Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Tree Firmly Planted

I know that I skipped my usual weekend wrap-up yesterday, but I had a really busy day and just didn't have time to write an entry. I also didn't have much to wrap up. Gene didn't get home until close to 7:00 Friday evening and by 8:00 we were putting the girls down for the night. We were both tired and turned in early. Exciting, I know.

On Saturday, we stayed home all day, hanging out in the yard while Gene did the yard work. He had chair set up at the church at 5:00. He left around 3:30 to run another errand first and didn't get home until close to 7:00 again because only 8 men from his set-up team showed up to set up 800 chairs for Sunday morning worship. Gene has back issues and is still hurting this morning.

On Sunday, we had a wonderful morning and night at church. As I have said before, I love corporate worship so Sunday, as busy as it is, energizes me.

This morning in my quiet time, I didn't really want to study too deep, just read a little bit, so I turned to my favorite, the Psalms.

I read Psalm 1 several times and wanted to share a few verses.

Psalm 1:1-3
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."

I know I have shared these verses before because there is so much truth to learn in them. I was reminded how often as a woman and a mom, I look for advice in all the wrong places. I watch talk shows, read Parenting magazines, or read self-help articles looking for an answer to some question that I have. Those things are equal to "walking in the counsel of the wicked". God's Word promises to be everything I need. As I continually read His word, delight in it, and meditate on it day and night, God says that I will be blessed. More specifically He says that I will be "like a tree planted by streams of water". I want to be firmly planted in Him. I do not want to be tossed about by different waves of thought or instruction. I want to yield fruit for God in my Christian walk and in my mothering abilities, fruit that will not wither. I want the things that I do to prosper.

For those things to happen, I have to make time to read God's Word every single day. I need to write down a verse that speaks to my heart and read it throughout the day. As I do that, I am meditating on God's truth and putting that truth down into my heart. I want to be full of God's truth and not the truth of this lost world and that is a constant battle, isn't it?

Start growing your roots today by committing to daily Bible study and prayer.

The fruit that comes from it will be juicy and delicious.
Psalm 34:8 says, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!"
He is good! He really is!

Until next time...

Friday, August 27, 2010


I am really trying to do better with the money that I spend at the grocery store. My older sister introduced me to Publix and their insane policy of accepting manufacturer coupons and competitor coupons. You really save money when you shop their sale items and then have 3 plus coupons on that sale item.

Yesterday I did pretty good if I must say so myself. We eat a lot of granola bars around here and Reagan likes them for breakfast on the go, and Publix was having a sale on many varieties of bars that we eat. Boxes of granola bars can run around $3.00 each so I loved this week's sale. I spent $17.00 and bought...

2 boxes of Nature Valley granola thins

2 boxes of Nature Valley sweet and salty bars

2 boxes of Cascadian Farms chocolate chip bars

1 bag of Doritos

2 bags of Chex Mix

1 packagae of Solo plates

1 roll of Reynolds wrap aluminum foil (75 feet)


wait for it....

wait for it...

wait for it....

4 bottles of Right Guard Total Defense deodorant

And all for $17.00! Isn't that crazy?

The deodorant was the best deal I have made yet while shopping the sales. They normally run $3.99 a piece, which would be over $16.00. Publix had them Buy One Get One Free so I could get 4 bottles for $8.00. I had a $1.00 off coupon for each one, which brought my total down to $4.00. Then I had a $3.00 off two coupon which brought my total down to $1.00. And last, I had a $1.50 coupon off two which brought my total down to -0.50. I made money on these suckers and I shouldn't have to buy deo for a LONG time. (Gene already had a couple of these in his cabinet.)

I love this!

Of course couponing is taking a lot of my spare time. I guess we will have to call it a new "hobby".

Right now it is worth my time and effort because I have seen a huge reduction in our grocery budget and my cabinets, frig., and freezer are FULL.

Do you coupon? If you don't you should! Start today!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Calgon, I Mean God, Take Me Away

Do you remember that old Calgon commercial where the stressed out woman who was at the end of her rope would cry out, "Calgon, take me away!" She would then be transported into a luxurious spa-like bubble bath complete with soft music and candle-light, with all her troubles fading away.

I had one of those long days yesterday. I did not have a bad day by any means, just long, and with young children, tiring.

My day started around 5:15 a.m. because I desperately wanted to start my day in the Word and prayer. By 6:30, Reagan was awake and by 7:00 Gracen was awake and we hit the ground running. We left the house at 8:00 to take Reagan to school, and then, I had some errands to run that lasted until 11:30, the time that I have to pick Reagan up.

Errands are a little more tricky with a 15 month in tow. Gracen was pretty good, but I stayed in entertainment mode, trying to appease her while concentrating on what I needed to do. I think every mother knows what I am talking about.

When we arrived home, I immediately started making lunches and from that activity up until 4:30, when we left for church, I was either cleaning up, dealing with one child or the other, getting everybody ready, packing bags, etc. Again, nothing bad...just that constant activity.

When we arrived at church for dinner the battle of eating and dealing with Gracen started. She has decided that she does NOT like to sit in her highchair and will make the embarrassing scene about it. So for the last several Wednesday nights I struggle to eat with one hand and feed her and hold her down with the other. Eventually she ends up in my lap while we both continue to try and eat.

After dinner, I was truly looking forward to dropping her off in the church nursery and going to worship. I love corporate worship and my soul needed refilling. Well, as I walked up to sign Gracen in, the nursery director told me that 5 people had not shown up to fulfill their COMMITMENTS, so I ended up keeping Gracen's age group, with not just one 15 month crawling all over me but several. During that hour and a half, I was very thankful that I didn't have multiples.

We left church at 8:00 and I had to stop by Wal-Mart, which I never do that late at night. After getting what I needed and standing in a ridiculously slow line, I finally made it home around 9:00. At this point, I wanted to climb into my bed and hide from the world, or at least from the two small children who were staring at me, extremely cranky and ready for bed. Gene is now preaching a college service after our regular worship service so he gets home around 10:30...meaning it's all me for the bedtime routines.

I finally crawled into my bed around 10:30 having done nothing for myself all day or receiving any nourishment at church. I wanted to cry, knowing those my two precious dolls would be up by 7:00 a.m. and then...."Here we go again." Yes, at that moment I was thinking, "Calgon, PLEASE take me away."

How easy it is to forget that I have a very present help in my moments of pure exhaustion.

Psalm 18:1-3 says, "I love you, Lord, MY STRENGTH. The Lord is MY ROCK and MY FORTRESS and MY DELIVERER, MY GOD, MY ROCK, in whom I take refuge, MY SHIELD, and the HORN OF MY SALVATION, MY STRONGHOLD. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies"...(not that my children are my enemies, but you get the idea).

Like the mother in the Calgon bathtub, I can be transported to a place of complete peace and rest. At any moment, I can quiet my soul and go to Him in prayer and ask Him to fill up my empty places and be my strength.

Your stress may be different from my stress. It may be a colicky baby, marital strain, In-law problems, physical illness, a rebellious teenager, financial pressure, a bad attitude, stress at work, caring for aging parents, etc. Whatever it is you can know that God is there in that situation. He has not left you or forsaken you, but you have to cry out to Him and ask Him to be your refuge and your shield in times of trouble and need.

This morning my children slept until almost 8:00, and I got up about 6:30. I chose to spend that time with HIM, instead of getting started on all the things around here that needed doing. In that time, my stress started to melt away. Today, with God's help, I can do all that He has called me to do.

Psalm 46:1 says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

What a great verse to memorize and get down into your heart.

He is with me...moment to moment...as I focus on Him, I will be able to do all that I need to do.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Being Intentional

Lately, I have been trying to be very intentional in teaching my girls about the things of God. If I don't do it, who will?

One thing that we are doing is turning off the TV and listening to praise and worship music together in the mornings. It is amazing how it quiets my soul to have the "noise" of the black hole gone and words about God filling the house. Reagan and Gracen both love music so they have been enjoying the change. I will raise my hands with certain songs and Gracen will raise her hands too. It is pretty cute.

I have noticed that from the songs, Reagan is starting to ask questions about different biblical words or phrases that she hears. The words are starting to penetrate her little heart and that is very important to me.

We are starting our day with prayer and a few Bible verses and Gene, as he has done for the past 2 years, leads a longer devotional time at night. Reagan will literally cry when Gene is not home to do this or is too tired to do it. I try to take over when Gene has had a really long day and it is just not the same for Reagan. She listens but she would much rather Gene do it. She loves him so!

When Reagan complains about something or someone, I am trying to give her a biblical response of how she should respond, rather than how I would respond in my flesh.

I am trying to point out things outside that God made or that we should be thankful for.

When we see an ambulance or a fire truck with its siren on, we pray for the people who might be involved.

We pray before our meals, and I am trying to encourage her to pray as much as possible. Gracen will even bow her head when we pray as a family and mumble something that sounds like "Amen" when we finish.

I am allowing Reagan to see me reading my Bible and praying throughout the day so she sees that mom needs God.

All of these things will work together to open Reagan's eyes to the fact that there is a God in heaven who created her and loves her, and in the future Gracen will see this as well.

I am praying every day that Reagan and Gracen will accept Jesus as their Savior and that their lives would bring glory to Him. I want to do my part to point them in that direction.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."

Moms, some days are really difficult, but if we are consistent, in the future we will see the fruit of our labor, we will shoot out Godly arrows into a dark world.

I want to encourage any moms who read this blog to be intentional in teaching your children about the things of God. It is THAT important! Their futures are at stake.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

This past weekend was busy with different activities.

Thankfully, I kicked it off with a pretty quiet Friday. Gene had a late night with the college students and was suppose to be home around midnight. I headed to my mom's house around 3:30 to visit with her and really just to get out of the house. The girls both love going to their Gram's, and we decided to eat pizza together, which means that I didn't have to cook. It was a win-win for me. I wanted to be home by 7:30 so I could get the girls in bed early. I successfully had both of them asleep by 8:00 and enjoyed 3 hours of solitude before I fell asleep. I needed that alone time, and I soaked up every moment drinking decaf coffee and reading a good book. It was heavenly!

On Saturday, we were home most of the day. Gene did the yard work and I played in the big blow-up pool with the girls. Around 1:00 we had to start the process of getting everyone dressed and ready for a wedding that was in Montgomery. This was Laura Lovelady's wedding, and it was absolutely beautiful. Thankfully both girls were very well behaved. We left Montgomery around 5:30 and went to Chick-Fil-A and grabbed a bite to eat. I would have really liked to eat at the reception, but Gracen makes that pretty impossible. I prefer to go to places where I can strap her down in a chair, rather than standing around with punch in one hand and a dainty food plate in the other. After dinner, we headed to a few stores, pricing appliances. My stove has died and my fridge, and microwave have their own issues, so we are looking at replacing every kitchen appliance, updating from white to stainless steel. We did not make any final decision of course. I am very indecisive and could never make that kind of decision without checking every store within a 50 mile radius. So I will keep you posted on that. For now, I am cooking on my stove-top and in my crock-pot, which is working out fine.

On Sunday, I had a marathon of a day. We went to worship and Sunday School, as normal, and then a couple from our church wanted to treat us to lunch at LongHorn, which is our favorite restaurant. Against my better judgement, I went. Well, let's just say I should have listened to my inner voice of reason. We got out of church at 12:15 and Gracen is normally asleep every day by 12:30. She was rubbing her eyes when I picked her up from her class, which should have been a signal to this mom. Long story short, let's just say that Gracen pitched the biggest tantrum that I have ever seen. She would not sit anywhere and cried and climbed all over me for a solid hour. I did not get to eat even a single bite of my food, and I felt like the entire place was staring at the mom who could not control her brat of a child. When we left the restaurant, I was sweating, and told Gene not to ask me to eat lunch out again with Gracen for the next 2 years. I don't think he would have anyway.

After lunch, I sent the kids home with Gene, who, by the way, ate every bite of his lunch, home with the kids (Yippee!) because I had to make a trip to Baptist South to visit a friend who had just had a baby. Unfortunately, baby Rachel is having some mild complications, so Cassandra Hicks, Leslie Dedon, and I went to pray with her and try to lift her spirits. I enjoyed the time of fellowship and finally got to eat my boxed-up lunch from Longhorn....in peace.

I made it home around 4:00. Gene had to leave at 4:15 and both girls were just getting up from their naps....joy. We immediately had to get ready and leave for church. We made it back home around 8:00, ate supper, bathed the girls, and headed to bed.

Sunday was exhausting!

I thought about my quiet Friday night many times throughout that busy day.

The next 3 hour block of solitude won't get here quick enough!!!

Until next time...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Are All Things Really Good?

We have had a very busy couple of days with the passing of my sweet friend Beverly Easley. Her husband Bryan is on staff with my husband at East Memorial, and Gene has been away from home everyday since Sunday, from early morning until bedtime, and this schedule will continue until Saturday. He has had a lot of things to help with in relation to Beverly's passing, the visitation, and the funeral, and so have I. On top of the busyness, I have been an emotional wreck, literally, and just haven't had the desire to sit down and really "think"...which is often necessary if one is going to write a blog entry.

The question that has stayed on my mind during all of this is..."How is the passing of a beautiful godly mother and wife a good thing?" I have asked many people that question over the last few days, I have said it to people as I have cried with them, and I have read my Bible looking for a new nugget of truth to help me process this event.

Gene I were talking about this in bed last night and he said it basically comes down to what we really believe about God. Is He good or is He not? We cannot pick and choose what we believe about God. We cannot view Him as a good God when everything is going good and then turn our backs on Him or get angry at Him when something bad happens. We believe ALL of scripture or none at all. So, do I trust God or not? Will I continue to follow Him in the bad times, as well as the good times? My answer to that is YES, because I love Jesus, and I cannot imagine my life without Him. With Jesus there is always hope.

That was the overarching theme of Beverly's homegoing celebration, a funeral like none other than I have been to. It was made clear that if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you have accepted Him as your Savior, then you WILL see Beverly again. Her father, a retired minister, wanted to do her funeral and what an amazing job he did. Despite his incredible sadness over the earthly loss of his daughter, he was able to have joy because of the strong foundation of faith that he has. He reminded her children, his grandchildren, to "stay close to Jesus to stay close to Momma". Her entire family and all her friends could be comforted because we are SURE she went to heaven because of her steadfast love and devotion for Jesus. We were all able to realize that God is still in control, and as believers, we will see Beverly again. Heaven is a wonderful place! Her 3 years of battling cancer are over, and Jesus has wiped away every tear from her eye. She is rejoicing right now. That truth is comforting.

So, are all things really good?

Romans 8:28-29 says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. "

God has a kingdom purpose for Beverly's death and for every single thing that we endure. Many individual things do not feel good, but we have to trust that ALL THINGS works together for our spiritual and eternal good and the spiritual and eternal good of others. The verse is speaking of a long-range good, a good that we may never see. How easy it is to forget that God is not working to make us happy, but rather to fulfill His global purposes. Many, many things HURT in this life, but the believer can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is using it for a greater good.

An example of this are the 2 souls that were saved at Beverly's funeral when an altar call was given. The gospel was clearly laid out and 2 publicly accepted Christ and who knows how many more were touched...or at least had a seed planted in their hearts.

Only God knows how this event will be used in the lives of her husband, children, extended family, and friends' lives....10, 20, 30, 40 years from now and beyond.

Is He good...yes, He is!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reagan's First Day of K-4

Reagan started K-4 today at Coosada Baptist Church. She will go three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30-11:30. That time frame is still sufficient for me. I am not sure I am quite ready to release her for 5 days a week from 7:30-3:00 yet. That is a hard thought when we have been together almost every waking hour since she joined our family. This schedule gives us the best of both worlds....days of school and days at home.

She was so excited this morning. Let's just hope that excitement sticks. She is super pumped about her teacher and the fact that she has several friends in her class. Reagan is my social butterfly, so knowing people will probably get her in trouble, but I still think having friends in the same room is a blessing. Here she here right before we loaded the car. I thought she was just adorable this morning, and I am so thankful that I am home with her to take part in all these big events.
Here is her teacher, Mrs. Vicky Lowman. This is the teacher we requested and come to find out, she requested Reagan. That felt good as a mom. Mrs. Vicky just oozes love and affection for all of her students. She is bubbly and energetic and has "preschool teacher" written all over her. I am thrilled that she is Reagan's teacher this year.

Here is Reagan with Drew Hicks, a friend literally since birth. These two have grown up together in the church nursery at East Memorial. Reagan is looking forward to playing with Drew each day. Like I said, I hope they don't get each other in trouble.

And here is Reagan with another East Memorial buddy, Katelyn Crosby. Reagan was equally excited about this little cutie being in her room.

Reagan had a great first day of school and told me she wanted to stay with Mrs. Vicky forever. I think that is a pretty good first day impression. She talked about her day the entire way home. That made me smile.
Her great first day was a happy point in my otherwise sad day. I am still in shock about the loss of such a dear friend. I can not get her precious family off of my mind and have been praying for them throughout the day. I have cried way too much and I know my children think I have finally lost it.
Life is hard isn't? Some things are just way too hard to comprehend. When an elderly person dies, it is still sad, but more expected in a way. When someone dies that is about your age, it is hard to see what good could come from it. But yet, that is what God's Word says, that all things work together for the good for those who love Him. Today, I just don't see the good, and I guess I probably won't until I am in heaven myself.
Until next time...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Profound Loss

I am so sad to report that my sweet friend Beverly Easley lost her battle with cancer tonight around 9:00 p.m. It is almost 11:00 in the evening and it has taken me awhile to gather my thoughts...not that I will write many.

I wrote an entry a few days ago called "Legacy" after spending some time with her on Tuesday of this past week. She truly left a legacy of faith. She was a committed follower of Jesus Christ, a loving wife, a dedicated mother to 8 amazing children, and faithful friend, daughter, sister, aunt, etc. She definitely got it right while on this earth.

I will always remember that last visit with her...holding her hands, praying for her, telling her how much she meant to me...I felt like I was saying good-bye....and I was.

I am better for knowing her and knowing her sweet family.

What an amazing testimony of faith that I have witnessed as she served the Lord with all her heart in the good times and in the bad times. She never wavered in her faith that God was with her and would never leave her side.

Her husband posted a small paragraph on the caring bridge website at www.caringbridge.org/visit/beverlyeasley after she passed away. He said the entire family was gathered around her singing "Beluh Land" as she uttered her last words..."The angels are here to get me." That gave me chill bumps! Amazing...amazing...amazing...

The angels ushered her right into the presence of Jesus where I know she heard the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

Beverly, you will be missed. What a hole your absence will leave in our lives.

Please remember to pray for the entire Easley family today, but especially her husband Bryan, and their 8 children, Luke, Ellen, Mason, Maggie, Patrick, Paige, Palmer, and Hope.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A New Best Friend

We had a traumatic event at our house not too long ago that I have failed to mention. Reagan lost her beloved "Teddy". This was a pink blanket style teddy bear that she received as a baby at one of my baby showers. She has slept with that thing for over 4 years and we recently lost it. I think we left it at the beach, but who knows. It still could turn up somewhere in the future.

The first week after losing Teddy was very difficult. Reagan continually asked for it with tears and we continually assured her that Teddy would show up and for now she could sleep with one of her other stuffed animals...which she did. She stressed it wasn't the same, but complied and slept with either a cat or a lamb, both of which were gifts as well.

This little nighttime scenario has continued for almost 2 months. She recently asked to go pick out a new Teddy and we went to Target and Wal-Mart and looked at the stuffed animals. I commend her for knowing exactly what she was looking for because no stuffed animal at either store was good enough. She saw nothing she even came close to wanting to buy. Over the last week or so she has really been asking for a new sleep buddy, and I thought maybe Build-A-Bear workshop would fit the bill. My mother had mentioned doing this in the past, but I kept putting it off because honestly it just seems a little pricey for a stuffed bear, not to mention all the accessories that go with it.

Well, yesterday I finally caved and took Reagan to this famous money pit. She absolutely loved the entire experience. We all had a great time and I am proud to say that Reagan has a new best friend. Here are some pictures from our day.

Here we are at the beginning of the process.

Here is Reagan right after picking out which Teddy she would "adopt". This took her at least 20 minutes. She is very indecisive, but finally settled on a pink and yellow teddy that she named Pearl. Don't you love the way Reagan poses for the camera.

Here she is listening to the lady and rubbing Pearl's heart on her cheek. She then kissed the heart and placed it inside Pearl's body.

Reagan still listening...
My mom watching the process...

Stuffing the body....

Fluffing the body... This was followed by brushing her fur which I failed to take a picture of.

Here is Reagan dressing Pearl. She picked out a pretty princess dress with matching shoes. Picking out the clothes was really an ordeal. I know it took her 30 minutes to make up her mind, but she was really pleased with her final choice.

Hugging Pearl once she was dressed.

The finished product complete with bows on each ear...

The store was giving away free Messenger bags with any $25.00 purchase to carry the new teddy around. We definitely spent more than $25.00, so Reagan got a "free" bag and has loved it as well. I think they should have thrown in lunch too for what I spent in there. Doesn't she look so grown up in this picture?

And in case you're wondering what Gracen was doing during all of this...
She was running wide open throughout the store, going from rack to rack. Thank goodness my mom was there to help with her. (I left her shoes in the car.)
Gracen was walking around like she owned the place. She really thought we were in there for her.
We truly had a fun day. Reagan has carried her bear around constantly. Of course I realize that it hasn't even been 24 hours yet and only time will tell if the money spent was worth it, but so far so good. She gave Pearl a tour of our house when we arrived home, insisted on having her in the car on the way to church and back yesterday, watched TV with her once we arrived home, and of course slept with her. She has kept her by her side all morning and now she has taken her to visit Gran and Paw Paw.
On a negative note....last night she complained that Pearl didn't have any PJ's to put on and this morning she wanted shorts and a shirt to put on her for outside clothes.....Ugh! Life is perfectly orchestrated to take every dollar I have!
Until next time...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Do you ever have days where you are forced to think about the deeper things of this life? I had one of those days today. As hard as some moments are, I am so thankful that God is always there. Today I thought about James 4:14 which says, "...What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."

Our lives are truly a blink in time. The older I get the more and more that becomes truth to me. In the end, so many things will NOT matter one little bit.

It will not matter...
what kind of car I drive or
what kind of house that I live in or
what kind of clothes that I wear or
how spotless my house is (or is not) or
that I caught the latest episode of _______ on TV or
that I purchased the latest and greatest technology or.....etc, etc, etc.

That list could truly go on and on!

The only thing that will remain is the kind of legacy that I leave behind.
What kind of person was I?
What kind of wife was I?
What kind of mother was I?
What kind of friend was I?
Did I love the people in my life....really love those I came into contact with?
Did I spend quality time with those who were important to me?
Did I tell them often how much I loved them?
Did my actions show love or selfishness?

Just today, I clicked on Beth Moore's blog and she had a video of Kelley Minter, author of the Bible study called Ruth. Kelley was talking about this similar idea.....that each of one is ACTIVELY leaving a legacy behind.

What kind of legacy are you leaving behind?

What kind of legacy am I leaving behind?

Of course, the most important thing is whether or not I believe in Jesus Christ. Will I spend eternity with Him in heaven or separated from Him in hell? I will be in heaven and all my shiny things that I have collected on this earth will melt away.

If you read this blog, really think about this issue.

We all think that we are invincible, that we will somehow defy death and live forever. That simply isn't reality. When we make a choice to put off living for Christ or put off accepting Him as our Savior, we are denying Him.

I am thankful today for the peace that I have deep down in my soul. It is a peace that doesn't come from any earthly person or material thing. My peace is based on the love of my heavenly Father. I am fully accepted and covered by His blood.

Thank you Lord for you mercy, your grace, and your love.

Changing the subject in a major way....
If you read my last post, you saw the pictures of Gracen's crazy bed hair. I thought I would post a picture of what her hair normally looks like when she wakes up and you will then see why I thought her hair was crazy enough to take a picture of it last week.

Calm, normal hair.....

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bed Head

Well, Gracen wanted to say "Good Morning" to everyone this morning. She woke up with some serious bed head and I couldn't resist taking a few pictures. Look at this hair.

Here she is smiling and reaching for the camera. She woke up in a perfectly good mood, just had some crazy hair. Isn't it getting more and more blonde? I think that is pretty crazy too.

Well, we are about to leave for Pump It Up. I am taking Reagan and a friend, and Gracen of course. Reagan needs to get out of the house and get some of her energy out. This heat is killing all of us. Being trapped inside is not good when you have kids. When will fall be here? Not soon enough!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Prayer Request

I want to remind everyone to pray for my sweet friend, Beverly Easley. You can follow her story at www.caringbridge.org/visit/beverlyeasley She is an amazing lady, one who loves the Lord and her family with every fiber of her being. She has terminal cancer and has taken a turn for the worse. Basically, her digestive system is shutting down. She is unable to keep anything down and a Hospice nurse is now visiting her in her home, as there is not much the hospital can do for her. She is in an enormous amount of pain in her stomach and is taking morphine. Her color is not good and she is so thin and frail right now. My heart is breaking for this friend and this family.

Our entire church has rallied around this family, meeting their physical needs, lifting them up in prayer, and begging God to heal her. I must admit that it has been quite frustrating for God to be so silent.....(or rather to not give the answer we seek). Seeing a situation like this makes you think about the deep things of God....things that I would like answers for but know I will not get those answers while on this earth. I do know that I trust Him deeply and would much rather do life with Him than apart from Him. I know in my heart that He is good and everything that He allows is for His ultimate good....to somehow bring Him glory and grow His kingdom. But, things don't always feel good, do they? This situation doesn't feel good. Nothing about this is good to the naked eye.

I do know this....every single issue I have at the moment is so small in comparison to what this family is going through. I am thankful for every single day that I live. I am thankful for every single thing that I have. I am thankful for every single person who is in my life. God has been so good to me and to my family and I give Him praise. I want to be able to give Him praise in the good and in the bad and Beverly is teaching all of us that that is possible.

If you read my blog, please say a prayer for her healing and lift up her husband Bryan, and her 8 children.....Luke, Ellen, Mason, Maggie, Patrick, Paige, Palmer, and Hope. They all need your prayers.

Thank you

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

We had a great weekend as a family. I'll start with Friday, which is not technically the weekend but it was a nice kick-off to the weekend for me. My mother-in-law called around 9:30 and asked if she could pick up both of my girls for a little while. "Ummmm, let me think about that....YES!" Anyway, I was not expecting to have a free hour or two, and was in the middle of trying to clean my floors around my children....which is just about impossible. When she arrived, she said that she was going to keep them until 1:00. I wanted to break out into a dance, but refrained. At 1:00 she brought Gracen home because she was ready for her nap and told me she was going to keep Reagan. I am immediately thinking about the next 2 hours of freedom I am about to enjoy while Gracen sleeps.

What a treat!

It gets better, too!

That afternoon she said she wanted to have Reagan spend the night and if I wanted to go meet Gene for dinner and spend some time with him, she would get Gracen too. If I want to.....are you kidding me? At this point, I was thinking to myself, "Who are you and where is my mother-in-law?" She told me to call her as soon as Gracen woke up and she would come on and get her. Gracen woke up around 3:30. I feed her a snack, packed Reagan's overnight bag and called their Gran. I was child-free by 4:00.

Gene and I had a nice dinner out and spend some time just walking around Kirklands and Target. I loved every free minute we had.

On Saturday morning, I took Reagan to Lifeway for their Princess Day event. They had several princess activities and snacks in honor of a new Veggie Tale movie about being God's little princess. We also ran over to Kohl's and bought some back to school clothes and finished with lunch at Chick-Fil-A. Oh, and did I mention that my MIL asked to keep Gracen so I could just spend time with Reagan...I know, crazy!

Saturday afternoon I helped give a baby shower at my church for Kristin Lanier. It was a lot of fun and I ate too many cucumber sandwiches.

By the time I got home, it was time for dinner, baths, and bedtime.

We had a wonderful Sunday at EMBC. I always look forward to Sunday because it is just like being with family....and that is a good thing because I love my family.

Until next time...