Saturday, July 21, 2007

5 Reasons I Love Jesus

I have read so many others reasons why they love Jesus and they have done such a good job of putting into words the love they feel for HIM and I can honestly say I second their sentiments. But I have to come up with my own list and not be too repetitive, if I can. I had to finish up my vacation pictures so during that time I thought about how I wanted to approach this topic and found the one that I wanted. It actually came about during a blog conversation with a friend about Precept Bible Studies. The very first one my husband and I did was Lord, I Want To Know You. It is about the names of God. I came to know Him in a more personal and intimate way through that study and my love for Him grew. So here are 5 of my reasons (there are many more than that, as others have stated) that I love Jesus!

1. He is El Shaddai: The All-Sufficient One. God Almighty. When I am feeling like I am missing something or just unhappy I can run to my Jesus and know He has all I need or will ever need. "When I am weak, in Christ I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

2. He is Adonai: Lord and Master. He has total possession of me and has my total submission to Him as Lord and Master. "Every knee must bow and confess Him as Lord to the glory of the Father" Philippians 2:10-11.

3. He is Jehovah-jireh: The Lord will provide. He provided for my death. He died for me so that I didn't have to. He provided for my eternity. And He also provides for my needs daily. "My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19.

4. He is Jehovah-raah: The Lord is my Shepherd. He takes care of me, directs me, removes me from harms way and protects me. I want for nothing because He has taken care of it. I don't need to fear because He is there. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" Psalm 23:1.

5. He is Jehovah-shalom: The Lord of Peace. He is my peace. He is the Prince of Peace. In Him I have peace in the middle of a chaotic world. If I keep my eyes upon Him, I will have that peace. I have peace knowing that I have the Prince of Peace in my heart so that I need not fear on that day of judgment. I have peace that I will be in Heaven one day with Him. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.

There are many other reasons and names of the Lord for why I love Him. I could go on forever. But that is not the meme! If you have never done that study, I encourage you to. It can change how you see the Lord and draw you closer to Him as you learn about Him through His names.

Until next time...blessings to you.  

Friday, July 20, 2007

Our July Vacation - Part 4 - 4th of July and Rocky Mountain National Park

This is my final post with pictures of our July Vacation! I am sure some of you are happy about that. I will be glad to get to another subject but have enjoyed sharing this one with you. We did have a great time for those 9 days!

This is a picture of Jenni and her best buddy in Colorado. They used to live here in Texas and go to our church but moved to Idaho Springs a few years ago. We miss them a lot but have gotten to see them each time we make a trip to Colorado. I wouldn't go there and not visit them. Despite the fact that I love seeing them, we have to eat so why not eat at the best place I know while I am there, Hilldaddy's Wildfire! They have super food! We enjoyed sitting there talking with our friends and relaxing while the kids were off playing with their friends. The girls decided they wanted a Popsicle! Goofy Girls!

We went down town Idaho Springs and found a large flat spot to watch the fireworks. We spread out the tarp we put under the tent and everyone piled on!

Do you think they like it?
Don't let this calm face fool you. JC was just as goofy as his pal. It wasn't long before all the boys and then the girls were acting like there were bombs going off and they would hit the ground each time. They had a great time!

We spent a day driving up and around Rocky Mountain National Park. It was breathtaking up there. I took lots of pictures as the van was moving. We did stop at the top and took these few pictures.



We had a great time, as I said before. We enjoyed seeing all of God's wonders as we traveled around and as we just sat in our room enjoying the cool breeze! Thanks for letting me share a little of it with you!

Until next time...blessings to you.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Our July Vacation - Part 3 - Climbing In Trees & Off Road Paradise Around The Lake

This is part 3 of 4 vacation posts that I will do. I am trying to combine things so I can get them on here but then go on to other things, like the meme I have been tagged with. I will finish up our vacations tomorrow.

JC was always in a tree. He LOVES to climb and this was perfect for him, so many trees everywhere. He climbed as many as he could! He is so like I was when I was a kid. I lived in the tree in my front yard. It was my favorite place to be.



~This is the map of the lake we drove around that day~

~A wonderful paradise we found while driving around the lake~

~Dad leads the way~


~A climbing we will go, over and around~
Nick took the camera so I could get in a couple of pictures.
~John and Terri~
~JC looking out at the water through the trees~
~Binoculars in hand~
~A beautiful view~
~And another~

That is it for today. I hope you have enjoyed our day at Turquoise Lake in Colorado. It was a beautiful, cool day. We sat with our feet in the water for quite awhile. It was so peaceful there and beautiful. The water running was so soothing. I never wanted to leave. But it was VERY cold! JC ended up in the water before we took our shoes off, all the way up to his knees. That is him all the way!

Until next time...blessings to you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our July Vacation - Part Two - Fishing and Rock Skipping

We found a lovely spot to fish the first night we were at the campsite. We were one mile from Turquoise Lake so we found this nice spot to stop and fish for about an hour before heading back to camp to make dinner on the camp fire.

The two younger kids jumped around in the lake while the older guys got the fishing stuff ready. I spread out a large square blanket towel and took pictures the whole time. 

"Dad, what am I supposed to do?"

Nick went off to the side to sit and fish.

Jenni stayed pretty close to me.

JC was on the other end but not too far from me either.
Here goes the cast.

OK, reel it in!

"Dad, I think I'm stuck again!"

John didn't get much time off to himself. He spent a LOT of his time fixing the kids lines.

The next day we decided to drive around the lake and see what there was to see.

We found a great spot for them to come back and go fishing later that day. Then the rock skipping "contest" began.
Then it was time for John to "show you how it's done".

They really had fun doing that. I just thought it was cute how their dad had his "stance" and that I was able to capture the rings in the photo, too. It was a beautiful day. Tomorrow I will share some of the other pictures of our trip around the lake.

Until next time...blessing to you. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our July Vacation - Part One - Camping

The first day of our vacation was spent in Westcliffe, where our land is. We went bowling (which we always do when we are there) at their very new, very nice bowling alley. We had a ball, no pun intended! Then we went to church the next morning before packing up and heading to the campground in Leadville, CO. Sugar Loafin' Campground was wonderful. 
We got a very nice site and went to work right away setting up our tent and other camping gear. We had never gone camping with our kids so we didn't have anything until this weekend. John and I had a great time shopping for the tent and other things. We got this great 3 room tent that he could actually stand in! He HAD to have that. He is 6'2". We got new sleeping bags and air mattresses and some $5 fold out chairs to sit in. We also got a great cookware set to cook on the campfire with. What fun! 

As you can see, John and Nick were quite happy with their work on the tent and were taking a break. It only took them about 30 minutes to get it up. Then we set to work on blowing up the beds. After we made camp we went into town to find a grocery store, which was no easy task, like you might think it would be. We did find one though and purchased what we were going to make for dinner (hamburgers and hot dogs) and breakfast (pancakes). Then made our way back to the camp to put it on ice. 

While the fire was getting ready we roasted marshmallows and later made smores! The kids had never done that before. We also stuck the hot dogs on the sticks (we got kabob sticks from Target) and roasted them while the fire was still getting burnt down enough to cook the hamburgers. The kids had a great time. JC was all for stuffing his mouth full of roasted marshmallows! He wasn't quite sure about it at first but really seemed to like them. 
Nick really just liked roasting them and not eating them. Jenni enjoyed hanging out with her dad around the tent. And never is shy about smiling for the camera! She loved being outdoors and just running around getting dirty!
While the guys went fishing Jenni and I hung around the campsite and relaxed and just enjoyed the quiet. She has such a great smile. I can't help posting them. It makes me smile looking at them.
She decided to practice fishing with the Barbie fishing pole her daddy bought her. She did really great! Caught tons of fish and cooked them up for me and her bear (little stuffed animal that she bought in the campground gift shop). She was even kind enough to let me lay down and rest for about 30 minutes. What a sweet girl! Mommy LOVES naps! Too bad I don't get hardly enough of them.

I thought I would close part one off with the beautiful sunset that I saw one of the evenings we were camping. It was just breathtaking! No one paints a sky like God does!

I hope you have enjoyed part one of our vacation. I am breaking them up into parts to make it more fun and to give you just a glimpse of what we did. God blessed us with a wonderful time together. Not perfect, with 3 kids, are you kidding me? But wonderful nonetheless. What a blessing it is to have time with my family. I can't wait to do it again!

Until next time...blessings to you.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Honor Your Husband Challenge Day 30

Has it really been 30 days? I can't believe it. I am so grateful to Christine at Fruit in Season for offering up this challenge! It has been a challenge but most things worth anything at all have some challenges to them, don't they? As Christine pointed out this morning, none of us have a "perfect" marriage because there is no such thing. We will fail but the Lord knows our heart and will forgive us where we fail and help us back up to try again. We will never come into the perfection of the Lord until He comes again to get us and take us to Heaven with Him. Until that day, we are to continue working towards that perfection. We can't do it in our own power!

As I attempted this challenge this past 30 days I can say I had some victories and some failures. At times I feel I failed more than anything. But I can tell you that it has made a huge difference in my thoughts as each situation took place, even when I didn't react the way I should have. So that tells me that I have a shot at doing it "right" the next time I am in that situation.

I had a really bad time on Thursday and I knew I had reacted badly the second it came out of my mouth. I tired to fix it but you know once it comes out you can't take it back. My husband came home from work Thursday morning and he ate breakfast and then went into his music room and started playing his bass. He had friends coming over that evening to play and I knew that I would not see him then either because of that. We had just gotten back from a nine day vacation and I was missing that time that I had enjoyed of just being with him most of the time. So I went in there and asked him how long he was going to play. And that he was spending his morning in there and would be spending his evening in there and there wouldn't be anytime for us. I knew right away that was not fair of me to say. It was terrible. I knew he deserved time to be by himself, regardless of the fact that I don't get time by myself. He also deserves time with his friends and playing his guitar because he loves it so much. So I tried to take it back and say I was sorry. He has spent the day before taking Game Champ to two doctors appointments. One of them to take his cast off and one was a therapist appointment. So I told him that he had spent all the day before running him everywhere. I knew he had been hurt by my words because he said "yeah, do I get credit for that?" I didn't mean it the way he heard it. I was just sad that we weren't spending any time together. He took it as he wasn't doing everything I expected him to do and didn't want him to have his free time that he needed. Shame on me. But the fact that I knew immediately that I was in the wrong and maybe from now on (or at least most of the time) I can handle it in a way that will show him I love him and honor him instead of making him feel badly. Lesson learned!

The other things I have learned by this month of challenge?

That it should be an on going thing in my life and marriage. And I intend to make it so. I know that God will honor my efforts as I seek to be the "perfect" wife and friend to my husband. To lift him up and not tear him down any longer with careless words.

That I have to put my husbands feelings before mine. I know that I am not good at this because I have spent a lot of my life taking care of myself. Or nursing hurt feelings and feeling down about what I couldn't get other people to do that I felt they needed to do. When I put others (my husband) before myself it gives me a feeling of pleasure and peace.

Like someone else mentioned, God gave us a wonderful instruction book in His Word, The Bible, that if we will just follow the things in it we will find happiness and contentment in our lives. God wants what is best for us and wants our relationship with our spouse to be a success. I want that. I have not only been reading The Power of a Praying Wife but have recently purchased the Power of a Praying Woman to learn how to pray for myself and my needs as a woman. We can pray for others so much easier than ourselves. I know, I pray for everyone, even people I have never met IRL. But I am not as good about knowing how to pray for my needs and I know our Father wants us to pray specifically in our prayers and wants us to pray for ourselves as well as others. And I know I need to pray for the words that come out of my mouth and the feelings that well up inside of me. That His Light will shine through me instead of ugliness.

I will continue to lift up those of you who took this challenge, that it will be a source of hope and strength to you all as the days go by. Our journey isn't over, it has only just begun. May your marriages be ever fruitful in the Spirit.

Until next time...blessings to you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What's My "Job"?

Do you ever ask yourself that question? As a stay-at-home mom who also runs a business out of my home I sometimes can get caught up in the worlds way of looking at things. I don't know how many other moms have that happen but I can't imagine that I am the only one.

In my quest to honor my husband one of the things that has been brought to my attention is the house and laundry. I know my husband feels proud and happy when the house is clean and organized so that he can find things when he is looking for them. So I have been praying for the desire to get things done and the energy to do so.

When we went to a marriage retreat last March I purchased a few books. There are always so many great books for help and encouragement with marriage, parenting and other great topics. The one I picked up today that I have been reading through in little bits is Celebrate Home, Encouragement and Tips for Stay-At-Home Parents. It talks about going from a job outside the home to the one in the home. And how it is a calling as well as a job. I agree with that, although sometimes I have forgotten that it was true. Shame on me.

Today I opened the book up to Chapter 5 Your Agenda: A Stay-At-Home Mom's Daily Duties", page 134. The title of the section was Cleaning House: Do I Really Have To? Boy did that catch my attention. Of course, I knew the answer was yes. She put some scripture verses in a section about doing the work but not liking it attitude. They really spoke to me. I would like to share them with you.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Colossians 3:23

She mentions that it doesn't say "whatever you do that you really like to do." That is very true. I never looked at it like that before. Really makes you think about it.

"God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7

She mentions that we are "giving" continually as homemakers. Giving of our time, talents and energy. More than we care to think about, at times. As a mom we have committed to so many jobs and as people say "we wear so many hats". It can be very tiring. And sometimes we are not the least bit cheerful.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing." Philippians 2:14

She mentions that again it isn't "do just the fun things without grumbling or disputing." And that even though we try so hard to teach our children to do things we ask cheerfully we don't always set the best example. How many times do we gripe because of the chores we have to do, the laundry that has piled up or the lack of help with any and/or all of the chores that we have to do? I know I have been guilty many times.

So if I can give these things to the Lord and admit that I fall sadly short in this area and take the steps that the book says I should take to get a grip on it : Organize, create a workable plan and delegate, then I know that God will be faithful to bless my efforts.

It does talk about how we are to not sacrifice our time with our babies when they need rocking and read stories while they want to be read to. We need a healthy balance. We just need for things to be workable and orderly for us.

"Let everything be done in a fitting and orderly manner." 1 Corinthians 14:40

So even though I can't do things perfectly the Bible does encourage me to find a fitting and orderly way of doing things. So as my days go by I am going to work towards a goal of finding a way of doing things that will line up with what Scripture instructs me to do. I know I have so many goals but they all seem to point to one big goal that each of them lead to: Bringing glory to God and pointing all successes to Him and reasons for getting up each day. The Bible teaches that "God's mercies are new each day." So we can rely on that. If we mess up one day then we can start over and begin again. We are to forget what was yesterday and face a new day with hope. I need to remind myself of that so often at times.

I hope that by my sharing what I have learned and am learning that it has encouraged someone else to keep their chin up and their eyes on Jesus. He is the only One that can give you the hope for each new day. Being a homemaker is a very important "job". One that the world has decided is beneath us and not worth our time. That is one of Satan's lies. Don't believe him. Chose to believe God's Words to us instead. They hold the key to true peace and happiness.

Until next time...blessings to you.