Friday, April 30, 2010

Memory Verse #9

Last weekend I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Beth Moore "So Long Insecurity" Simulcast with my sister at a small gathering in Atlanta, TX. Although we only had about 30 there, we joined about 300,000 other women throughout the United States & Canada! How amazing is that!

She challenged us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received (Ephesians 4:1). The main points of the lessons came from Ephesians 4:1-5:2. She taught us how to be SECURE (the points spelled out SECURE).

1. Saved from herself
(Sometimes our biggest enemy is our own mind.)

2. Entitled to truth
(We are taught the truth--Eph. 4:17-21...sometimes we try to manage our strongholds instead of being free. We don't need to do that!)

3. Clothed with intention
(We must be intentional & deliberate to make our minds up to be secure.)
4. Upended by grace
(We are turned UPSIDE DOWN by GRACE. We are more likely to forgive & grace others daily if we are secure in ourselves. God's grace turns everything upside makes the IMpossible possible.)
5. Rebounded by love
(1 cor 13 & Eph 5:1-2...she talked about how we need to show LOVE in every situation.)
6. Exceptional in life.
(We are truly special...We can be exceptional in our culture by letting Christ overtake us.)

I loved how she said that we if started ACTING secure in Jesus, then we could make a huge change in our culture. She went through several examples like, "No one would be able to make it through that cancer with such grace...EXCEPT for her."

"No one would be able to go through the devastation of the death of a loved one...EXCEPT for her."

"No one would be able to survive that betrayal...EXCEPT for her."

"No woman would react like that...EXCEPT for her."

So...that finally brings me to my verses for this's from the Ephesians passage.

Ephesians 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I also want to learn these verses that are part of "When Wallflowers Dance" Bible study.

Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

1 Peter 2:2-3
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

I know it's quite an undertaking, but with God all things are possible?

What verses are you clinging to right now? I'd love to hear them!

The Countdown Continues...

20 Days 'Til 40

I'm slowly getting "my mind in the game" about my diet and exercise. I know that nothing happens by accident and that God orchestrates the timing of everything that happens in our lives. So it's no "coincidence" that I felt compelled at the very last minute to participate in our women's Monday Night Bible study that started a few weeks ago.

It's called "When Wallflowers Dance" by Angela Thomas. I've done her study called "A Beautiful Offering" a few years ago and remembered how I enjoyed the lessons & videos and knew it would not be too time consuming for this busy month. Although the lessons are short, they were very powerful and convicting...the same is true so far in this study.

The whole point of the study is for us to "grow up in our salvation" (1 Peter 2:2) and to grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus. A few weeks ago, she taught us how we needed to RESTORE ORDER to our bodies...OUCH!!!!!! So convicting! She talked about how we really can't focus on drawing closer to Christ and maturing spiritually until we get our minds & bodies on track. She said, "If the foundational structure of your life is in chaos and disrepair, we have nowhere to build."

Then, I read 2 Timothy 1:7..."God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline!" I just need to choose to live with that power of self-discipline every day!

So...I've been trying to eat better and exercise. We have walked almost every day this week and we've been eating more fruits and vegetables. I have a long way to go but maybe by my birthday, I will have my mind totally focused & determined to see this work to completion!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ethan's Singing Debut

We had a great time visiting our family in Texarkana this weekend. On Saturday, my sister and I got to attend the Beth Moore "So Long Insecurity" Simulcast at a church in Atlanta (TX). She taught us so much...I'll have save that for my next post.

Ethan & Evan spent most of the day playing with PawPaw...he took them to play at the mall, shopping at the Dollar Store & Game Stop (two of their favorite stores), and to eat lunch at Cracker Barrel.

As we were packing to leave, Caleb came in and told us that Ethan was singing Zacchaeus to Evan because he had climbed a tree. It was SOOOO cute that I had to video him singing.

This is my first attempt at uploading a video so we'll see how it goes.

Ethan was really sad to have to go home last night because he was having such a good time playing at Grammy & PawPaw's house. Then, we were praying last night before bed, he said to me, "This is CERTAINLY not our house!" I asked him where our house was and he said, "Grammy & PawPaw's!"

Monday, April 19, 2010

40 Days 'Til 40

Last Friday night, as I was giving myself another talk, I had an epiphany. I have been trying to find something to motivate myself to get back on track with my diet. For the past 2 years, I have lost all control. I have struggled with my weight for SOOOO long…pretty much all my life.

I am addicted to food. I turn to food when I’m depressed. I eat without even realizing it when I’m stressed. I LOVE to eat when I’m happy. I just LOVE to cook, and I just LOVE to eat.

I have gone up and down with my weight so many times since I was in high school. I even achieved “lifetime” status at Weight Watchers when I was a senior in high school. So anytime I finally get myself back in the right “mode” to lose weight, I go back to Weight Watchers. I know it works. I’ve done it many times. You’d think I would finally get the hang of it and quit going right back to where I started (plus a few more pounds).

But I don’t. I just keep falling off the wagon again and again and again. I was doing so well on my diet a little over 2 years ago, and then God chose another path for our family to travel. We moved to Malakoff and the stress of changing our entire lives triggered me to start eating again. I have told many people that “moving has been hazardous to my health” because I’ve gained about 25 pounds since we moved here.

It’s depressing to even admit it.

I’ve tried to convince myself to get back on track and have attended a few Weight Watchers meetings at the Cain Center. But it’s just not the same for some reason. I give myself sermons all the time about how I need to stop this nonsense & get serious again. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. I know it’s a HUGE mind game, and I just can’t seem to get my mind in the game.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m about to turn 40, so I thought I could convince myself that I need to get back in shape since I’m getting older. And that’s when I had my epiphany…I thought I would count how many days until my birthday and maybe I could be “good” for that many days.

And it was exactly 40 days! I know that 40 days is significant in the Bible in several places…the flood, Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, etc. We did a 40 day fast a few months ago leading up to our revival at church. So I told myself I could surely behave on my diet and start exercising for the next 40 days. And then maybe it would turn into a good habit and I’d be on my way.

Well, I was good for a few days. We’ve even walked several days this week. But then I started getting stressed again. I thought I could do this alone, but I really can’t. I need some accountability and some encouragement and a lot of prayer. I get really insecure about sharing my needs with others, so this is really putting myself out there.

Now, I’m only “30 days ‘til 40” and have a LONG way to go. I would love for you pray for me and leave me a comment. And if you see me, please ask me how I’m doing. Maybe by just posting this, I will hold myself accountable more.

Thanks for listening.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Evan's First Sleepover

On Friday night, we experienced a new adventure. We let Evan have a few boys over for a sleep over to celebrate his birthday (just a month was the first free weekend we had...does that tell you that we're a little too busy?).

They had a great time and Ethan thought he was a big boy just like the rest of them. He wanted to sit with them at the table and stay up and watch a movie with them. They all had a great time!

Now that we survived the first one, I'm sure it will be the first of many to come.

Each boy got to make their own homemade pizza.

Adding the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni...
They were very proud of their creations.

Showing off their finished products.

Evan decided he wanted brownies instead of cake this time.My baby is growing up way too fast! We're so thankful that he is making friends here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Memory Verse #8

Extravagant Grace

Our preacher, Nathan, is preaching a series on "Intervention" right now. What's really neat is that he's showing a video at the beginning of each sermon of a testimony of one of our members. They talk about how God has "intervened" in their lives. They have been great! I can't wait to see what's next.

This past week, the scripture was from Exodus 14. The sermon really spoke to us, so I'm using 2 verses from Exodus 14 to memorize this month.

Exodus 14:13-14 (NIV)
Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptions you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

What verse will you commit to memory this month? I'd love to hear it!


Monday, April 12, 2010

A Few More Things about Easter

I know Easter was over a week ago, but I just have to share a few more things that we'd like to remember.

First, Eric did a wonderful job (if I do say so myself) leading our choir musical, Loved with a Cross. It was a very unique and difficult one to pull off because it did not have a person play the character of Jesus. Instead, you had to imagine where He was during each scene. We really liked this better because no one really knows what He looks like. And it also reminds me that we need to remember that He is always with us now even when we can't see Him. I need to be reminded of that at times.

Here is a link to Keri's Blog where she posted a lot of neat pictures and music from the musical.

Second, I found this neat idea of Resurrection Rolls at the Women Living Well blog. I'd never heard of them before, and in the busyness of the weekend, I forgot to make them ON Easter morning. Instead, the boys and I made them on Monday evening. They are crescent rolls with a marshmallow inside and rolled in cinammon sugar.
Each part represents part of the Easter story. The crescent roll is the tomb, the marshmallow represents Jesus, the cinammon & sugar represent the oil & spices that the ladies used prepare Jesus' body for burial. When you bake them, "Jesus" disappears and the tomb is empty! They are so cool and so yummy! You'll have to look at the pictures on the Women Living Well blog because I forgot to take some while we were cooking & eating. :)

Finally, here are a few pictures of our time at the Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt in Athens. Evan & Ethan LOVE playing at this playground. We need to spend more time there. Enjoy!
I made the mistake of saying that Ethan looked like he was in jail in this picture. He couldn't quit climbing up and down the stairs and saying, "I'm going back to jail." Not the best thing to say when so many people are around. :)
My monkey!

My 3 cute boys!
I think Ethan's eyes are as sensitive to the sun as mine are.

My sweet boys.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bike Day at Daycare

For some reason, it's BIKE DAY at Ethan's daycare today. Look at this sweet and happy expression on his face when Daddy dropped him off this morning. Isn't he cute on his little Radio Flyer tricycle?

Since it was Eric's first day off in a long time, we decided that he and Ethan could sleep in a little this morning and I would take Evan to school. Eric emailed me at school during first period and told me this sweet little story.
These are Eric's words:

"I heard Ethan stirring at 7:40, so I peeked in. He didn't hear the door open. He had opened the blinds and was looking out the window and standing on the bed. Then he turned around and spotted me. I said, "Good morning, Ethan. Do you want to get up and have breakfast?" He just looked at me, rubbed his eyes, laid down and pulled the covers to his chin. I shut the door knowing I'd get him up at 8:15. He's so cute sometimes."
How sweet is that? Not just Ethan's actions but Eric's words about his little boy. What a blessing they both are to me!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter EGGstravaganza

We had a wonderful Easter weekend with our family. In the midst of rehearsals and 3 performances of our church musical, Loved with a Cross, we managed to take the boys to the Athens Kiwanas Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday morning, met my parents and Kevin, Ami, and Caleb in Tyler for lunch and a little shopping, cooked a great Sunday dinner, and had a fabulous Easter Egg Hunt for the grandkids.

Our house was a little crowded with 9 people spending the night on Saturday night and then 14 there for Sunday dinner/Egg Hunt. But I LOVED it! I love having everyone together!

Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

Ethan at the Kiwanas Egg Hunt. He wasn't really excited about picking up the eggs. He said they were wet (from the morning dew I guess). :)

On Sunday morning, I told Ethan that we had to hurry up and eat breakfast so I could get him dressed for church. He proceeded to tell me that he did not want to leave and that he was just going to stay in this box.

Our angel food cake creation.

Family tradition...take pictures of each family in our Easter outfits. Here are Grammy & PawPaw.

Kevin (my brother) & Ami

Our goofy family (notice how I'm hiding because I didn't get to wear my Easter dress this year...I had to wear the Biblical costume for our musical instead).

My sister's family...Mauri, Shellye, Caleb, & David

The whole family together...not the best picture but it's the best one we got. :0

Our additional family for the day...Nathan, Kristi, & Asher decided to be brave and join our family for the day. We loved having them...I hope they enjoyed their time with us.

Before the Easter Egg hunt...Uncle Kevin had fun hiding the eggs for them. On your mark, get set,... GO!

OK, Uncle Kevin. I don't think Ethan is quite tall enough to reach that one.
Keep looking for those eggs.
Evan didn't want to mess with a basket...he just threw them in his backpack.

Here's one in the swing.
Kristi & Asher are having fun watchning them hunt the eggs. Just year, he'll be running all over the yard!

Ethan was more concerned about collecting flowers than hunting eggs.

He's telling Kristi a very serious story about a "rose garden"...

Day dreaming about the "rose garden."

Now the fun begins...Grammy & PawPaw save their change all year and divide it up in the eggs for each of the grandchildren. We got smart a few years ago to color code the eggs.

PawPaw helps Ethan count his money.

Mauri is having fun counting her money. Where is Caleb? I didn't manage to get any pictures of him here.

Needless to say, we were a bit exhausted by the end of the day. But it was an EGGcellent day!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Family Funnies

It's Easter weekend and I'm so happy & thankful that we had our entire family together at our house even if it was just for a short time. I love cooking with mom and hearing the noise of everyone visiting and playing together.

Here are a few pictures of our fun-filled weekend.
I don't know why these two pictures are so small...I'll have to figure that out. Anyway, this is Aunt Ami & Ethan being the "walrus" at Newks.

Can we say "bad hair day" for my brother? Luckily, he tamed it before church. :0
And my honey in his flower headband (yes, this was taken inside Target). :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Memory Verse #7

I'm a few days late in posting my next memory verse because we are having a very busy, crazy week with our Easter musical, Loved with a Cross. We have had LONG practices almost every night this week and last night was our first performance. God is good! Everything went really well. I'll have to post more about that later.

The verse I'm choosing this month is one that my friend, Jenna, has said several times during Bible studies. It's a very comforting verse.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
The Lord your God is with you,
He is might to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

What verse are you placing in your heart and mind this month? I'd love to hear it!