Tuesday, September 30, 2008
So in case you are wondering what I forgot to take with me to bible study - we didn't get to go! And I heard it was SO good too, with testimonies of miracles and God's supernatural hand at work.
Monday, September 29, 2008
So what do you think I will forget this week? And, what are some of the silliest "forgets" you've had?
This week I found an interesting article called, "Seeing Through Obamanomics" by Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe. I've got to admit that I have not been following the campaigns as closely as I should until recently, and even then, I've been lacking.
I thought this knowledge about Obama was very eye opening, and I hope to find out about the same information about McCain and Palin after reading this.
Here's the news. Obama's economic plan hopes to cut taxes for those of us who make less than $250,000 a year and raise the taxes for those who make more than $250,000. It is kinda like in simple layman's terms - the Robin Hood effect. Take from the rich to give to the poor. He considers it as he called it "neighborliness."
However, Jacoby goes on to give his readers very valuable information. In the years 2000-2004, the Obama family averaged nearly $250,000 in their income. But, their charitable donations amounted to an average of roughly $2,000 a year, which turns out to less than 9/10's of 1%. How about that for information? for truth? And then, in 2005, when he began to have "presidential possibility", they began to be more "neighborly" giving only 5.5% of their income to charity.
When I read it to Daniel, he said that Rick & Bubba were saying the same thing about Biden.
So how much do McCain and Palin give to charity and when did it start?
To think that an average family like ours gives more to charity than Obama or Biden is very hard to stomach. I hardly see how his compaign is based on TRUTH, as God's truth, if he doesn't really practice what he preaches!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Have you ever SEEN God work? Ya know what I mean. Like you could almost SEE Him reach down from Heaven and touch something or someone. Well, that happened yesterday. Ya wanna hear about it?
Well, as you know, we have "adopted" an Iraqi family. We have truly grown to love them. They are not Muslim but Catholic. They love the Lord and talk about Him often. We have spent a lot of time with them since 9/11/08 when they arrived in Tucson. We have visited for hours on end. When you go visit, it's AT LEAST going to be a 3-4 hour stay! You have to exchange pleasantries and drink water from the tap, have an apple, and you CAN'T leave without a cup of hot tea! (Why don't these people drink Diet Mt. Dew?) We have taken them to get their SS#, their food stamps, their bus passes etc. We have taken them to the supermarket several times (I'm teaching them to call a "shopping cart" a "buggy". Funny huh?) They walk to the supermarket everyday. In their culture, you go everyday and buy just enough for that day. They were surprised to see Americans filling up their "buggy" till it over flowed. Shari and I have gone several times to Walmart to get things likes, bed sheets, a baby bed mattress for the 2 year old, sippy cups, hangers, bowls, spoons to cook with, knives, a $29.00 recliner from the Goodwill etc. This week Jay and I took Nahren back to Walmart (she had never been before) to get a few things that she needed.
The stuff that she needed was stuff like a hairdryer, a cutting board, a pan to cook in the oven, yeast and baking powder (I have no idea what that's for) a strainer, and the most important thing was some anti-itch cream for their mosquito bites. Especially Nancy, the 4 year old. She had whelps on her little legs where bugs were eating her alive. We bought some OFF spray and some ointment. AND a fly swatter!!! At the check out we got Devid, the baby, some gum. He LOVES gum, and we started putting the items up on the register. She had brought some cash that she had gotten from Polus her husband. (Along with paying their first months rent of $550.00, the Lutheran Social Services gives them $425.00 when they land to last them FOREVER!) I told her that we were going to pay for this!
(Jay made SURE that every dime that me or Shari or any of us, spent on them was put on ONE credit card! It's actually our personal credit card that doesn't have a balance. When people said they wanted to help, the money would go to that card!)
Anyway, I told her that we were going to pay for her things. She got HUGE tears in er eyes and asked "Why?" I said, "Well, we want to help you in the same way that we have been helped in the past. When Jay and I were struggling, Jesus sent people to "help" us and we are doing the same to you. When Polus gets a job and you can all speak very good English, YOU then can help someone else! That's what our Father wants us to do. We are FAMILY." It took a little while for me to explain that to her but when she understood, she was very appreciative.
OK... HERE'S THE COOL PART!
As of yesterday on our credit card, we had spent, $640.81. We have never been worried about it because it wasn't money out of our kids mouths or bill money.
Steve called last night after speaking at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. He told Jay, "Tonight was great. It was a huge blessing. They took up a love offering for us." Jay said, "Man, that's awesome" and being the financial guru of the bunch then asked, "How much was it?" Steve said, "Before I tell you, I want you to get these receipts that we have spent on the Iraqi family and add them up. I wanna know how much we have spent on them so far." Jay said, "Gotcha. I'll call you right back." Jay added all 8 receipts and called Steve back. "Ok. I added them. As of today it's $640.81." Steve said, "The love offering that they collected for us was $647.00!"
I just thought this was a neat story of how God works!! Praise Him for He is Alive!!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
As I was explaining it to her, I realized that almost all choices in life can be put in these turns. Either you obey and reap the benefits, or you disobey and reap the consequences. A lot of times we do not know the benefits/rewards or the effects/consequences our choices will make. But Scripture is very clear about the benefits of obeying God and the effect disobeying has. And eternity is placed in these terms. Either you obey, follow, believe and accept Christ, and spend eternity with Him with the rewards of obedience or you do not obey, follow, or believe, and you spend an eternity without God.
I think God is shaping within me a real stick-to-it-ness for the parenting of my children during this Believing God bible study. I am experiencing hope, and I believe that if I stick to my discipline methods and stay consistent, I will see results. It might be a while, but I will see them none the less.
Pea, however, has been more busy, less inclined to want to read. In the beginning, I did not worry about it because I knew that he was hearing the books I read to Princess. But somewhere around the age of 6 months to 8 months, I felt like it was time to impress upon him the importance of books. I was just persistant with it, because I'm the mom, the teacher. The kids do not get to decide what is the most important thing. I say this because some moms do let the kids decide - they only do what the child likes.
Very quickly, Pea developed favorites, and became picky about what he wanted to hear and when. Now, as busy as he has always been, he of his own choosing will stop moving to pick up a book and look at it! Children, especially babies, LOVE to learn.
This morning he said banana. I am SO proud of him.
One thing I know is true from the reading concept is that it is never too early to teach. Kids learn more while they are young than when they are older. They are sponges, so teach them values, tell them about God. It is said that values are developed by age 9, and the most formative years before age 5. That is why it is so important to me to get Princess to obey.
When we were training Princess, we did not feel that spankings were appropriate before ~18 months. But as I've read and gained wisdom, I now disagree. I believe spankings are appropriate whenever a child or baby begins to knowingly defy the parent. I strongly recommend "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp. It is a great resource on parenting.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
To finish up my bible study for today, I had one and a half homework days to do. It turns out that they were designed specifically for this day I had.
I wanted to share a couple of important things I learned:
Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." This has always been a favorite of mine. But today I learned that "create" in the original language meant to create from nothing, which is quite comforting to know that I don't have diddly squat to do with creating cleanliness in me - God does all of it, and He will do it anytime I pray this prayer. How utterly awesome!
Again more favorite verses: Psalm 139 - these are some of my most beloved verses in the bible. Verse 16 reminds me of my dream because it says, "your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." God knows all of our days, and He has known us before anybody else did. And from verses 1-6, He knows and watches every thing I do and every thought I have. There are many days that I struggle with believing that I am truly valuable, but God says that I am so valuable He knows every intimate thing about me. And I don't know about you, but that is something truly wonderful to me because I long to be known and with Him, I am! He gets me when even I do not.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
But this week, last Wednesday, the day after the Yucky Day, the kids slept in until after 8 am - something that never happens in our house. So I loaded them in the car and took them to Cracker Brarrel to have a big breakfast. I do not usually take them out to eat by myself, and if I do, it is something fast - not a "real" sit down restaurant. Pea was a little fussy because he was ready to eat, but Praise the Lord, everything went pretty smoothly! And the kids thought I was their hero. They ate and ate and ate like little piggies. Luckily, Cracker Barrel has large portions, so I just bought one big breakfast, and it fed all three of us. I ate the least amount, and we only had 2 biscuits left over! I don't know how many times Princess said "I love you, Mommy." She knew that she was getting an unexplained unexpected treat, and she was grateful for it. I guess this means I need to cook some eggs every now and then!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Last night, I went to sleep quickly, but I did not stay asleep and when I awoke, I was wide awake and my heart felt like it was racing (the adrenaline effect I call it). Anyhow, after an hour of lying in the bed with no luck of going back to sleep, I got up to see if watching TV could relax me and lull me back to sleep. I was SHOCKED to find X-rated material on the TV at 3 am on extended basic cable. I was just flipping channels when unfortunately I found adult toys for sale. Granted, it was the Oxygen network, which is rather liberal, but I did not have any clue that I was flipping past it at the time or that I would see such material. I hope this does not make you set your alarms for tonight so you can see for yourself, but if you have teenagers with TVs in their rooms, they could possibly see this material!!!
Along the same note, last week, Daniel and I left the kiddos with his parents and ventured to the movies. We saw "Burn after Reading." My eyes needed to be burned after viewing. Since having children, I don't keep up with what is really playing at the movies because I rarely have time to go to the movies. Well, that is a big mistake. Daniel and I just ventured off to the movies because we could, and this movie was both X-rated in my opinion with said adult toys as above and very violent and tried to get you to laugh at someone's unfortunate death. It was not a nice or good thing.
On a happier lighter note, we did rent "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" a couple of weeks ago, and it was much better, though now that I think about it, there is some promiscuity but no sexual images, but I guess the difference for me is that this character was somewhat redeemed (not in a biblical sense however) in the end.
What I've decided is that I can't watch movies unless they are rated G or PG.
Second, his birthday was November 22, and he died on November 8th. My parent's anniversary was/is November 26th, and somehow, the fall just makes me think of him like nothing else, and I miss him SO much! I am very aware of his faults, but there are so many things I would like to ask him all of the time. He was one of the smartest people I've ever known, and I loved to have an intellectual conversation with him about the bible, politics, controversies. There are so many things I would like to undo or redo about our time together, but he was gone in a moment. I miss you, Dad!
Friday, September 19, 2008
This is an imitation of my own struggles as a mom. I want my kids to have the same kind of toys, clothes, and opportunities as all the other kids have. I am learning to give this over to the Father so that I can truly prioritize all that is important for my kids. Eternity is what is important, not clothing that can be easily burned in the fire. However, it is so easy to be swayed by the here and now, and not be mindful of eternity.
I don't want to be a fast food copycat - I want to be uniquely Jamie with a unique Princess, Pea, and Daniel! Father, help me to be the me that you've created me to be!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
With the exception to this blog, I am usually a listener. (I have found my self becoming more of a talker and interrupter too.) Oftentimes, as I listen, I hear people telling me that their life is so hard and has to be oh so much harder than mine because of this and that. It is as if their words and actions tell me that they think their life is the only life that matters. It may be true that their life is harder but they or I can never know for sure unless we trade lives.
I wanted to say that invariably we all have hardness and difficulties in our lives. It is however wrong to belittle someone else's life in favor of your own. So, if you are reading my blog, know that I do not find my situation to be more difficult or your life less worthy than mine. It seems silly, but something that I feel needs to be said. I tell my story in hopes of encouraging someone else and just because I need to have an outlet I can call my own, and this is it.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The whole day was a little off, so I'll give you a taste.
First of all, I woke up early before the kids and got out of bed thinking yay bible study day. We will have a great day. I got in the shower, checked my email, and then progressed to get the kids up and feed them breakfast. I got their cups and snack ready for childcare. I got one of my trusty green publix shopping bags to carry their bags and mine in along with my bible study. However, I forgot to put my bible and the study in the bag. They were left on the couch, and I did not discover this until I had dropped the kids off at church. So I had to rush home to get my study.
I made it back to bible study. Then, not to disgust everyone, but just to tell you the craziness, I scratched my arm, and it started bleeding seriously. So I got up to take care of the bleeding when I knocked over my water cup on the bible study table and water got all over my book and bible. Yay for me.
Get back in the room and Beth Moore is talking about the Lion of Judah, which you know, I'm still trying to decide about the dream. And then I was thinking it may have something to do with granny's healing, and I was very confused, but God spoke to me, but I was oh, so scattered.
Upon leaving bible study, my mom greeted me at my car to go to lunch as she was headed to my sister's house. Then she tells me that my sister has had a setback in her nursing class, and I am disappointed alongside my sister, not in my sister, but in the setback itself. But of course, my mom reminds me of the advice I've given in the past about persevering and such, but I still feel yucky for my sister.
I proceed to tell mom about my updated thoughts on the dream even though I'm not really sure yet what it means. I should've been quiet. She tells me her ideas. And the more I think about it, the more I don't feel at peace with what I've said because the dream with was so personal to me. So I leave my mom feeling extremely yucky and defeated. But I'm supposed to be "believing God."
My mom always calls with newsflashes as soon as she knows something new, so she called me twice on her way to Jenn's, one to tell me a crazy and awful story about my grandfather and two to tell me that granny probably has cervical cancer.
Then I had to spank Princess THREE times in a row. Pea takes a very short nap and proceeds to cry steadily after getting up. Daddy came home and he proceeded to spank Princess twice. We go to the park - she gets another spanking, and has to stop playing altogether and just watch brother and then go home and go to bed early. And no ice cream for her or us either. I don't like being disciplined because my child needs it. SIX spankings in one day, and we generally spank as a last resort.
In this absolutely crazy hard life, there is only one constant - God. The God of the Universe, the God who created me, my family, my children, who is in control even when I feel as though the world is spiraling more and more out of control. He holds it steady. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and I can count on that. He is unchangeable. Thank You, Lord, for that. The "Lion of Judah" is a God that is not to be messed around with. God has many character traits, and the "Lion of Judah" is the portion of God that is all powerful, all consuming, very big, huge, and powerful. I hope to learn more in my "Believing God" study this week because we are studying, "God is who He says He is," and I will come to know more of who God is. I am so thankful to have a God who relates who takes me on a journey, even if at times a difficult one. If it is not a bumpy ride then I am not able to share in the victories and pains of Christ, and as I mentioned in this post, it all matters, and with Christ, I can have abundant life even though the road is bumpy!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Anyhow, I made a quick trip to a store where sales where occurring and then brought lunch home for the family - fried chicken from Publix. I think Publix has the best fried chicken that you can buy if you don't make it yourself. Then we all went outside for one of the last kiddie pool swim sessions of the year. It was tons of fun. Then, there was nap time, and after naptime, we decided to go to Chick-Fil-A, which meant we did not have the most nutritious day with 2 fried chicken meals, but that's just an aside.
Princess got to play in the play area at Chick-Fil-A, and I was SO proud of her. She was so sweet and kind and outgoing with the other children. She is always complimentary of the other children, so the first thing she did was tell both of the other girls that she liked their respective shirts. And she really meant it. And even though, one girl was afraid, she was just and gentle and sweet as she could be and tried to coax her, help her, guide her. I was so proud. It is moments like these that give me hope, because it is really rough being the tough guy all of the time. I'll post pics soon.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
And then, of course, there was today. The door bell rang. After a little suspicion I answered the door to a lady, who said that as a result of a new vacuum cleaning business opening down the street, Kirby, they wanted to offer people a free demonstration and carpet cleaning. Well, if there is one thing I want really bad, it is new carpet!! Mine is in extremely bad condition, though the nice salesman assured me he has seen worse. I said yes, because it was FREE carpet cleaning, which I desperately need, but there was a salesman involved. I am so gullible, I guess. Daniel could just kill me. The nice lady said well in 20 minutes someone will be by to clean your carpet and it won't take long. So 20 minutes later, no one had come, but my husband was at home. And, we had one kid at Nana's house and wanted to take advantage of our time as a family of 3. But, no such luck. Here comes the Kirby van to drop off my salesman and carpet cleaner. Now, little did I know that he was going to demonstrate a vacuum, every imaginable part that goes with it, and the carpet cleaning too. It took 2 hours! Though I must say that was the best vacuum ever!!! And it was certainly worth the money, but we do not sign up for payment plans ever, so we again did not buy the Kirby vacuum. I really wanted it, because by golly, he had to work really hard, but he got my nasty carpet CLEAN! If we had a budget for a Kirby, we would have one in the closet today. I again felt so bad for having a salesman come in. If I had realized the gimmick at the appropriate time, I would not have wasted his time!
By the time he was finished though, it was past dinner time, and we had not eaten a thing! I felt awful!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Here's the dream:
I and some of my family members were on a mountain top along with other people who were left to fend for their lives. It sorta seemed to me to be the end of time last days type of thing. It was stormy, very windy, as if a tornado would continually come and go, and each of us would take refuge and try to hide from the winds when they were about to get stronger. People were dying. At the onset of another storm, my family members and I were trying to take refuge, when I looked up and to the east I saw a lion, and I said, "Look! The LION of Judah!" I was very happy and excited to see Him for I felt salvation was at hand. He in turn made His way directly in front of me and roared with a very loud roaring voice spoken to me, "I have known you since the foundation of the earth." And then I woke up.
Upon awaking, several things went through my mind: 1) I had just been with the Lord and felt His radiant presence, 2) were the trumpets about to sound and the redeemed called to heaven?, 3) unclean like Isaiah, but also clean by the blood of Christ (both at once), 4) fear, 5) praises on my tongue "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!"
Now even though I was awestruck and a little terrified, I was also peaceful in that I was able to go back to sleep with a radiant light ever before me.
So today I've realized that I know little about "the lion of Judah." Do you? The verses that spoke to me are these:
"For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them. Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me." Hosea 5:14-15
"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. ... How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man -- the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. when he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes, declares the Lord." Hosea 11:1-4, 8-11.
I cannot wait to get into my study tonight to see how God speaks.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
5 principles of faith:
1. God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ.
5. God's Word is alive and active in me.
God, I am so happy to meet with You. Give me more of You!!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Then my mom and I preceded to get into an argument, when all I was doing was trying to relay the story to her. I was naturally upset because I am sad to see ungratefulness in my daughter's heart, and very little actually seems to work in regards to discipline these days. It takes me a while to process my thoughts, thus the reason I write. But I mentioned it, and it was handled poorly on both our parts. I just needed some encouragement and hope.
And today we saw Princess in action at church. Not a pretty sight when she gets together with her best friend. She has some compassion but very little.
My main struggle is relating to my daughter. While she has many similarities to me, she is very different as well. I just want to know and understand her and help her to walk in obedience and respect for people and things, which will hopefully lead to an obedience and respect for God. She needs a lot of attention, and Pea needs less, but he demands it, because he's so much busier. I think she feels neglected. And I think that's what motivates the negative behavior. It is hard not to feel a little guilty, even though I so very glad to be blessed with both of my children. So I'm going to do the best I can about keeping structure, and see how that goes with improving things for her.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I was not angry with His answer, but I was moved to take action. To actually figure out how I need to pray to make him my everything. To come back into His word daily. To commune with Him daily - recognizing His Holiness. Sometimes, I think my spirit goes through the motions of what I think I need to do to gain His favor and receive that which I want. This time, though, I just want Him. I don't want anymore discipline and withholding of the gifts. I truly want to hunger for Him. In some ways I do already, but probably not in the way God deserves and desires. So I guess that means I need to get up earlier, since I have small kids and they are always with me, I need to find time to truly be alone with Him. And, I have decided on a women's bible study to do at church. I hope that something more will come with the women in the study than just meeting and studying - that true friendship will develop, but I earnestly seek only Him! My prayer is that I will be changed, intimacy with the Father will develop further, and persistance will ever be with me through any trials or triumphs.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Tomorrow's field trip - the library! I imagine Pea will be quite a little handful during storytime - he's much busier than she was.
And, I had a dear friend keep the kids Sunday night, so Daniel and I had a date. It was so much fun, and we had time to evaluate everything we needed too, and the kids were in bed and the dishes were done when we got home. Thanks, Jill!
I am a Christ follower. I was raised in a Christian home. I asked Jesus to be in control of me when I was in 4rd grade and multiple times thereafter, as I didn't get baptized (immersed under the water) until I was a senior in high school (already 18). Even though I grew up Baptist, it was not readily clear to me that I could be saved without being baptized. From an early age, I wanted to LIVE my Christian life out loud, so that it was not just something I grew up in, but that ALL knew it was my life, my very breath.
I am a wife. I was married on February 28, 2004. My husband is Daniel. We met at work, and I honestly was not attracted to him in a marriage commitment kind of way until God opened my eyes to it. He was not a Christian when we met, but alas, we became friends, and I prayed for him for a long time. Before we married, I went through a period of spiritual darkness. To explain it, I felt like God had forgotten me and had forsaken me. I felt all alone. I guess I was the closest to being rebellious more so than any other time in my life. But I saw God work in me in the midst of my dark times. Just when my life was the darkest, he began opening my eyes and showed me through a dream that I would marry Daniel. This was bizarre to me because at that time he was still not a Christian, and I was only going to marry a Christian man with similar beliefs as me. Through God's wisdom, and not mine, Daniel became a transformed man, and we were later engaged and married. Though I longed for marriage, I honestly believed I would be a single woman missionary doing something wild in another country for God.
I am a mommy. My daughter was born on December 2, 2005, and my son was born on July 13, 2007. They are 19 1/2 months apart, which can cause chaos. God has continued to teach me even more through my kids.
Things that I love: I love teaching my children. I love watching them learn. I love to share what Christ means to me to anyone who is interested. I love adventures, both big and small. I love to read. I love to dance and sing (when no one else outside of my kids and hubby can see). I love to write. I love to read blogs of those who were in my past but other than the blogs are not really in my present. I love deeply friends and acquaintances and people that I have wanted to know truth for years and years, though I do not think many share my love in return. I love to comtemplate and am rarely without a thought, though usually without a voice. I have usually been very thoughtful of my words before saying them. However since working and since being in a new family culture where you must stand up or fall down, I do occasionally speak whatever I'm thinking without editing. (Instead I edit it for hours and days later about how I shouldn't have said that!)
I am good with direction and usually adapt to new places well. I remember faces for almost forever, and usually remember details like names, though not always. If I am being me instead of adapting to the world around me, I am quiet. And when I am quiet, I can usually read people very well. I have been surprised to learn that some people unlike myself do not comtemplate their world or go deeper than surface level. I adapt fairly well to new cultures, but it is harder for me to understand the person who does not want to dig deeper.
In another life, I was a civil engineer. Now I stay at home as wife and mommy. However, I am at heart a world missionary, who always sees the "world" right here in Alabama, even at home.