Monday, November 30, 2009
This year instead of buying an Advent house, I decided to make a Jesse tree and ornaments with my children. We started our reading and ornaments yesterday. I've been reading ahead and decided to summarize each of our scripture readings for the children so they can better understand them. Today our reading comes from Genesis 3:1-24, which is the story of the fall of man. Our symbol is an apple and a snake. We are talking about how Adam and Eve disobeyed God and because of that they had to leave the garden of Eden. I talked to them this morning about how even though God still loved them very much, there were consequences to them disobeying God's instructions. This is a great lesson for us right now, because we can relate it to how there is a punishment (like time out,)when we disobey mommy or daddy. They are both trying to learn how to share with one another with out taking toys away from one another or yelling at each other. Taking turns is not always easy when you are two and three. At this age, they struggle with the mine, mine, mine concept or getting angry at one another is one takes the other's toy. Last week at church we were able to talk about the story of Cain and Able and how it's Ok to have happy, sad or even mad feelings, because God gave us different emotions and feelings. But, it's learning what to do with our feelings that matters, (enter the concept of self-control.) We talked about how God was pleased with Abel's offering because he gave his best to God. But, Cain kept the best for himself and gave God what was left over, which I'm sure made God very sad, and there fore He was pleased with Abel's offering and not Cain's. This made Cain very angry, and because he was so angry he ended up hurting and killing his brother Able. Next, we talked about how maybe if Cain had talked to God about how he felt he wouldn't have acted on those angry feelings and done something he couldn't take back. And because of what he had done he had to leave, just as Adam and Eve had to leave the garden. Again I explained to them that God still loved Cain very much, and promised He would protect him, but there were consequences to the bad thing he had done,which is "sin." So, this is all tying in together and I hope giving them the beginning of understanding to sin. And hopefully hearing these stories at different times and places will help them to remember them and the lessons behind them. Tonight as a family and at Master Club, we are going to talk about Noah, a man who obeyed God's instruction, even when others made fun or him. And how God protected him and his family. We are going to talk about the ark and the animals, and how the rainbow represents a promise from God. That story comes from Genesis 6:11-22 and Genesis 8:6-12. And our symbol is the ark with a rainbow over it. I'm praying that the Lord will help me prepare my heart each night as I read ahead and get ready for our bible story and ornament for the next day. I want this to be exciting and fun for them as we learn.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Light one purple candle - (symbolizing HOPE)
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Isaiah 60:2-3 See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
We are making our own Jesse tree this year. The symbols on the Jesse tree remind us that our belief grows out of deep roots of thousands of years of ancestors in the faith. The Jesse tree is symbolic of Jesus' family tree. (Jesse tree :website.) Today we are reading the following scripture as we make and hang our first ornaments.
Isaiah 11:1 A shoot shall come out of the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
1 Samuel 16:1-13
The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me." The Lord said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate." Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, "Do you come in peace?" Samuel replied, "Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the Lord." But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The Lord has not chosen this one either." Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, "Nor has the Lord chosen this one." Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The Lord has not chosen these." So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.
Genesis 1:24-28 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Unfortunately, our little man woke up with a fever last night, so we decided to stay home from church today. This turned out to be the perfect day to start this project with the kids. I'm going to break up each of the readings at meal time. So in a sense we are having church at home together today as a family. I'll post pictures later of our Jesse tree with the ornaments.
Prayer: Thank you God, for our family. Help us as a family this Advent season to prepare to celebrate Jesus' birthday at Christmas. As we think of His family tree, may we grow to love Him more and to love our own family more. Amen.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tomorrow officially begins the ADVENT SEASON! Yah! I'm so excited! I need to get my advent wreath out and get my scripture ready to read for each Sunday. I need to get my decorations and nativity out too. This is my favorite time of year. And I think this year my children will really be able to start to grasp what Christmas is all about. The true meaning of Christmas! I'll share as we go along through out the season. It's truly as much fun for me as it is for them if not more. What are you doing to prepare your heart and family for Advent and Christmas? I always enjoy hearing about family traditions, so please feel free to share! And Blessings to you as we begin this wonderful season!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Today, I'm Thankful for a quiet day at home with my little ones. We've had snow flurries throughout the day. Although it's still too warm for them to stick, it is so pretty. And it is so peaceful to watch. We went for a walk earlier. Just around the neighborhood. Then we came back for a cup of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. Yummy! The babies are watching Mary Poppins right now and are as content as can be. It's been such a perfect day. I'm so ready for the snow to get here and stay for the winter. I can't wait to play in it with my children. I need to get Trey a new snow suit and snow boots. Anna grace is all taken care of. They grow too fast for me. I want to freeze them right where they are and keep them young and sweet forever. They still crawl up into my lap and snuggle me, even though they are more than half my height already. I just love them so much. Sweet babies! I can't wait to get our tree up and start decorating for the Christmas holidays. I need to find a little countdown calendar or house. I think Trey and Anna Grace are finally old enough for it. Hugh and I were telling them about Jesus' birthday the other night. They were really excited and I would love for us to focus on the true meaning of the holidays together as a family. I am so thankful for this time of year and all the magic and excitement and expectation that it holds. I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday weekend and getting plenty of rest and quality time with your families. Blessings!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone! I hope y'all are having a wonderful day with your families and friends today! I am so thankful to be home with my little family. Hugh is feeling much better after struggling the last couple days with a tummy bug. Anna Grace helped to make him feel better by putting a Barbie band aid on his tummy and giving it a kiss. Then both the babies said a prayer for their daddy that night. And the Lord answered their prayer. He woke up feeling much better last night. I started my cooking last night. I made home made cranberry sauce, and apple cider. We are having a couple of friends over for dinner at six o'clock. I'm cooking a small turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, crescent rolls, and a peach cobbler. We enjoyed an early breakfast of blue berry muffins,sausage, and fruit this morning. And we are enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together right now. Trey and Anna Grace are so excited. They started screaming and jumping up and down when they saw Spider Man and all the Sesame Street characters. They keep asking if we can go there -to the parade. That would be a nice memory to share. Maybe someday we'll spend Thanksgiving in New York and see the parade live. I've always wanted to be at Rockefeller Center when they light the Christmas tree. And then spend that night ice skating. But, for today, we are spending a nice, laid back day together. I am thankful for our health, and for the chance to spend this day in freedom to worship and pray and share a special meal and time together. I am also thankful for all of you, my friends in bloggyland. I've enjoyed getting to know all of you, reading your blogs and your comments when you visit mine. Blessings to you and yours this special Thanksgiving Day!
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Beauty of the House is Order,
The Blessing of the House is Contentment,
The Glory of the House is Hospitality,
The Crown of the House is Godliness.
Have a Beautiful and Blessed Day!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I try to focus on the positive. Negative is so draining. I think I spent my adolescence so jaded. I was such a victim. I was focused on every bad thing that had ever happened to me, and how I couldn't seem to over come it. I was broken, and whiny, and pitiful. (Gag.) I was so focused on myself. My focus was inward instead of upward. Not that I didn't have the Lord in my life at that time. (Our lives are always a work in progress.) And I knew that He loved me. I just hated myself more. And now, I'm so over it. Not that I'm over all my problems in life. I just choose to handle them differently. It's hard for me to allow myself to even go back there, because I don't want to flirt with that old thought pattern. And It took up so much of my time and energy. I guess that's why I avoid people and situations that are negative. I mean we all have our days. But, I'm not going to get caught up in that again. And, I know that's what the Lord wants for me. A good life, a fruitful, productive life. And a good, healthy head of hair;)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Preacher's Wife
and the original it was based on .....
The Bishop's Wife
I have not seen either of these movies in their entirety. Only snippets, here and there. She said she knew I'd love the music in The Preacher's Wife and who doesn't love Denzel Washinton. But she knows I'm addicted to the classics. And I love Cary Grant and Loretta Young, so I can't wait to watch them both. This got me thinking about another remake I dearly love....
You've Got Mail
and the original it was based on....
Shop Around the Corner
Both of which I have seen, and both of which I adore. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are so great together. Not in a passionate way, but in a quirky kinda two pieces of the puzzle that just found each other and fit kind of way. It's not fireworks, but they're quietly drawn to one another, and you're drawn in as well. And the way they romanticise New York in the fall, through the scenery and their e-mails. I felt like There was a slight homage there to the play Love Letters. And Jimmy Stewart is one of my all time favorite actors. I love him in Mr Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life. I can't think of the holidays without it. So, I'm off to enjoy some of my old movies. Well, some old, some new. I think I grab a cup of hot chocolate while I'm at it. Til next time. Blessing to you all. Oh, and please say a little prayer for the babies to have a speedy recovery. Thanks!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Second is friendship as a whole. I am blessed to have so many wonderful women in my life. Just here in Ohio, I have a wonderful women's Bible study group. We meet every Tuesday night together either here, at my house, or somewhere in the community, like The Mocha House or Boarders Book Store. Each one of these women are wonderful and special in their own way. Amanda and I attend church together and our babies were born a day a part from one another. If it weren't for her, we wouldn't have a play group or Bible study. She approached me about the two of us getting together when she found out she was going to get to stay at home. From there, she introduced me to Heidi. And Heidi introduced us to Missy, and we have grown from there. Missy is our funny lady. And she is also very protective and loyal to her friends. Heidi has become one of my best friends here. We have so much in common and we spend the most time together, now that Amanda is back at work and we are the only two stay at home moms. We just clicked. We're always on the same page and we're always in each other's corner cheering each other on. We usually check in every morning with a phone call to see how the night went with the babies and just encourage one other. Dawn and I used to work together, and she is one of the best teachers I have ever worked with. She is remarkable with children. My own included. They adore her. She is also a wonderful friend. We both love history and nostalgia. She has taken us all over the area and shown us the architecture, all the cultural areas and festivals, and where the steel mills began. We are right in the middle of where America's melting pot began. She has really given me an appreciation for where we live. And we've taken the kids on all kinds of fun trips together.
Me and Datha with Anna Grace
Datha was my first real friend here in Ohio. We met at my first job. I was teaching music, Spanish and multi-cultural diversity at Hope Children's Academy. She also worked there, in the toddler room of the daycare part of the facility. She is the most loving care giver I have ever come across. I have learned a lot from her in that regard. She has since gone back to school and finished her early childhood education degree and teaches kindergarten now. But, I have never seen anyone so patience and loving with little ones, ever. She has such a nurturing character. When I moved to Kidz by the Riverside to start The Early Learning Initiative program, which is a lot like head Start, I asked Datha to come with me to be my assistant. Together, we built a stellar program, but it almost did our friendship in. It's not always wise to work with friends. We both are very, very strong personalities. But, we realized in time that we needed a little space. It was for the best to go our separate ways professionally. We are both Christians and we consider ourselves more like sisters than friends. We've even talked to my women's Bibles study group about friendship, communication and forgiveness. We can laugh about it all now. How silly we were being and how we know we just have to agree to disagree on somethings. But, we aren't going to let it hurt our friendship, or sow seeds of bitterness between us. And we're lucky that we have both have the Lord in our lives to remind one or the both of us of that. We are still the best of friends. And she is a wonderful neighbor. (Did I forget to mention that? She is my next door neighbor.) I will miss her so much when we move back home. I love sitting outside with a cup of coffee as we watch our kids play together.
Amy and Emily and their grandmother
Amy and Emily are sisters that I met when we lived in Kansas City. I did a post on them and their friendship here. They are both remarkable women and I miss them so, so much. I used to walk with them in the evenings around our apartment complex. We would laugh and share and talk about everything. The very best memory I have about the both of them is that I had the chance to witness to them. We were sitting in their apartment on night, and they asked me what it meant to be "born again", and what was "a testimony." Have you ever had that opportunity? I have to say this was not my first, so I was prepared. It was very exciting. Needless to say, we were up half the night, and my husband came looking for me after a while, but it was all worth it. And I love how no matter where you go across the miles, once the Lord ties your friendship together, it can never be severed. We still keep in touch and when we talk, we pick up right where we left off.
Shelia and Marci were my friends and roomies in college. We were apart of a tight knit group we refer to as "the family." We've been through it all together; graduation, marriage, babies, changes in jobs, promotions, moves, adoption, death of parents, -everything. These are the girls that took a week off of work and had their husbands watch their babies and drove 900 plus miles to be with me when I lost my mother and had Trey with in two weeks. You know some people will tell you that if you need anything I will drop everything and I will be there. And then there are friends like these two wonderful ladies God has blessed me with that are there. I can't even express to you what that meant to me. What that will always mean to me.
Shelia and Marci holding Trey
Me and Peige
My best friend Peige. I met Peige on June 1, 1986, right in front of my house, the day we were moving in. She was walking by and I walked up and introduced myself and asked her if she wanted to play. It was her birthday. We have been best friends ever since. She lived two blocks away and we grew up together in our small town, swimming, riding bikes, singing in our hair brushes, falling in love with our first boyfriends, going off to college, getting married, having babies. We also have had a friendship built on the foundation of the Lord. Peige was one of the first people I ever witnessed to. We have a very unique friendship. I don't know if you have anyone like this in your life, but, I know that I could never lose her friendship. We understand each other, and we accept each other. We have spent hours on the phone talking and doing Bible studies and praying together throughout the years, or singing praise songs together. And we don't feel inhibited or insecure about it. We can pray and praise together and there are no barriers. Praise God. I am so so blessed that He has placed so many wonderful friends in my life, in so many wonderful ways.
Dena and M.C. and Me last Christmas!
I also have two wonderful sisters that I was blessed to find by marriage. They couldn't be more dear to my heart if we were blood related. We have said it many times before, but we have dropped the whole in-law thang. I love these girls! They are silly~crazy fun to be with, at all times. I've got their back and I know they've gone mine. We will be true blue sis-tahs til the very end!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
This is the 3rd annual Giving Thanks Challenge hosted by Leah at South Breeze Farm. Yes, I am arriving fashionably late to this lovely event, but I am none the less ready to celebrate this month is style. I look forward to this event every year. I enjoy reading every one's lists and finding new blogs to read and visit in the process. It's just a lot of fun. And it is so inspiring. It helps me keep my focus on the real reason for this season of the year. "Thankfulness."
Cultivating a grateful heart and attitude. Sharing your blessings and in the process blessing others. Taking the time to slow down and look at all that we have instead of all that we want. Enjoy life's little everyday pleasures. Feeding our contentment instead of our desires. That is what I'm going to spend this month doing. I hope you will join me. Click on the button above and it will take you to Leah's challenge, where you can sign up too. Then grab the button, and advertise the challenge on your blog in a post. You can keep an on going list on your side bar under the button of all the things you're "Thankful" for or you can post every day about it. Have fun with it. I even decided to make a new play list of music for the month to go along with the theme. Some of it is patriotic, because I am grateful to my servicemen and women that protect my country. I love my country and my freedom and I'm proud to be an American. I also wanted something "homey" that represented my Christian values. So, I added hymns, prayers and blessings, and songs like Love in a Home by Doris Day.
The first thing I want to give thanks for in my challenge is my friend Ashley. You may have noticed my new look. She was so kind to put together a header for my blog here, and one for my children's private blog. I know she is busy with her business, Ashley's Artistry, and her beautiful family and baby girl Evy. So, this was such an unexpected act of kindness. It really touched my heart. She just e-mailed me one day and said she really wanted to do this for me, and I was like wow! Thank you! And so, I Thank you again, my sweet sweet friend! It may not have seemed like much to you at the time, but it came at just the right time for me, and it really lifted my spirits, and touched my heart. Blessings to you!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Hugh and I have known each other and been together now for fourteen years. We knew within our first year of dating that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, but we also wanted to finish school (college) before we got married. So, we dated five years and got married a year after we both graduated. We lived just a little over a year in Ridgeland before going to medical school. We lived in the same apartment complex in college. And our first home in Ridgeland was a very quaint little apartment. It was perfect for us. We have also rented while in medical school and here in Ohio while we have been in residency. So, this will be our "first home." I have to say that I think we have made the right move renting all along. I am so so glad we don't have the extra added stress of trying to unload a house up here right now, in this unstable economy. But, we have spent such a long time planning and dreaming. I can honestly say that sometimes I feel like it's never really going to actually happen. Like it is always going to be a dream we just talk about and dream about. And then again, it's kinda scary to think of it actually happening. I know that sounds strange, but, change is a little scary too. I've known this for so long and I'm comfortable with this, and I don't know what our lives are going to be like once this change comes, and I don't want "us" to change. The core of us. I don't want a little comfort to take our eyes off our focus, which is the Lord. So, all we can do is pray and keep Him close. And take it one day at a time, right?
Anyway, I feel like I'm missing out on sharing my favorite time of year. I love the fall season. The rich colors, the crisp cool air. The yummy smells coming from the kitchen or from candles burning. It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside and reminds me of all my many many blessings. I love Thanksgiving. I hate that it gets so overlooked. So, I'm going to celebrate Thanksgiving all this month. Here is where I'm going to start...
GOD BLESS THIS HOME IN WHICH WE LIVE;
GOD BLESS It's EVERY PART.
GOD GRANT IT PEACE AND SWEET CONTENT
GOD GRACE OUR EVERY HEART.
More Fall fun to come! Love and Blessings!