20 Years ago Today

13528123_910655249080671_2644836525209392490_oTwenty years ago today, our oldest son was born.  This child has kept me on my toes, made me laugh and made me glad I am a mom.  Through the years, he has entertained our family.  On Friday, June 28, 1996, Dennis and I arrived at the hospital around 6:30 am for our scheduled induction.  He was born at around 5:40 that evening.  He was a dream baby in some ways.  He truly is a blessing directly from God to our family.  Oh and it would not be fair to talk about Jacob’s birth without mentioning my birthing coach – Dennis’ sister-in-law Lisa.  She was truly amazing at all the births (she coached me for all four).   I am not sure I could have gotten through the labor and delivery without her.  Stay tuned in October, when all three others were born to read about their lives.

However, this grape ape would only fall asleep some nights by his dad holding Jacob with his head in Dad’s had and the rest of him laying supported by Daddy’s arm.  From one end of our single wide mobile home to the other end of the home Dennis would constantly walk bouncing Jacob the entire time.  The two had/have an incredible bond.

Two weeks to the day after he was born, he lived through his first hurricane.  A few months later, he lived through his second.

This baby became a toddler who loved to be with his daddy.  One day, Daddy took him to the garden to dig potatoes.  However, I think all he really did was throw dirt over himself.

Then our second son came along.  The two were inseparable, and quite good at being instigators.  At the tender ages of about four and two, these two were able to put our minivan in gear (Jacob steered) and Joseph was down on the floor board pushing the pedals.  Somehow the two managed to get the van in gear and drive it into our fence (a much better outcome than  what could have happened – them driving the van into our mobile home.

The young boy grew and started school.  On his first day, I took him and picked him up (along with his siblings).  My young son looked at me that afternoon and told me, he did not want me to take him and pick him up; instead he wanted to ride the school bus.

He continued to grow.  When he entered fourth grade, he started Cub Scouts.  The following year we were forced into a situation that resulted in us homeschooling Jacob that year and then bringing all four children home the following year.    He really came into his own through homeschooling.

Then he crossed over into Boy Scouts and just sort of took things as they came.  In November 2008, we moved from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.  Right before we moved, his brother crossed to Boy Scouts.  Joseph had drive and determination, which helped motivate Jacob.

Soon the two were picking up each new rank at the same time.  After all, as the song goes, “Anything you can do, I can do better.”  This was their philosophy.  Although I believe Jacob was less competitive than Joseph by nature.  He just was not about to let Joseph outshine him.

He also became a Young Marine and did a fairly good job at that.

In July of 2012, both boys reached the rank of Eagle Scout.  They had their boards of review the same night.  So technically they achieved Eagle the same date.  We did a combined Eagle ceremony for them, which was a tremendous success.  We had an amazing turnout.  My inlaws drove to PA, with two of Dennis’ aunts to celebrate with us.  My father-in-law even cooked a hog for everyone.   The aunts and my mother-in-law helped with cooking everything else.  It was a wonderful day, although slightly bittersweet – since we had just moved a couple of weeks earlier from western PA to central PA.  We came back just for the Eagle ceremony.

Today, we are in Texas and Jacob is starting his work as a Youth Pastor and will be pursuing college classes starting in the fall.  I love him dearly.

So I just wanted to share a little with you.  I have to say life is never boring with my JacobP.  He is a true joy that God has blessed me to call son.

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Abiding in Christ – Happiness

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For the past several Wednesday nights at church, our pastor has been speaking about abiding in Jesus Christ.  Several times he has spoken about the fact that our happiness depends on “happenings.”  But instead of trying to find happiness, we should look for`happiness we should look for the joy that only can come from God.  God loves us with a never-ending and immeasurable love.  We must walk in the steps of Jesus Christ.  Does this mean we have to be perfect?  Definitely not, but we must strive to be Christ-like.  We need to love our neighbors, even those we deem to possibly be unlovable.

We need to spend time in God’s Word and with God’s people.  We are told in the Bible how Jesus often went off by Himself to spend time with God His Father, so we need to do the same.  We all have a choice about whether or not we abide in Christ.  I want to abide in Christ so He will abide in me.  I recognize I feel differently when I spend time in His Word and in His Presence than when I do not.

So what is going in with you?  I would love to hear from you.

Abiding in Christ on One of “Those” Days

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Have you ever had one of “those” days?  A day where everything and anything that could go wrong does go wrong.  Last week my husband and I had one of those days.  It began when we stopped by our primary care doctor’s office.  I needed a refill of one of my prescriptions, but for some reason, it was not included in the prescriptions I was given.  Getting this particular prescription filled proved to be an exercise in patience and determination.

The specialist told me we needed to bring in a copy of the authorization from Tricare.  I immediately stated they already should have that information.  The insurance specialist collected information from me so she could go confirm with her boss about our referral.  Once she pulled up my file the authorization displayed, so there was no question about our authorization.  Then we had to go wait again.  We watched numerous other patients come and go.  Finally, my name was called and we did more waiting before finally seeing the doctor.

We returned to my husband’s unit to finish out the day.  While there, I received a call from our primary care doctor saying they had no record of me telling them about the prescription I needed.  After several frustrating moments on several calls, we finally got the situation rectified by the specialist.

Later that evening, we attended our Wednesday night church service where our pastor was speaking about abiding in Christ.  It is easy to say we are abiding in Him when everything is going our way (meaning the way we want it to), but it is another thing to abide in Him when things are not going well.

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This particular series is really speaking to my heart and soul.  Oh, how I want to abide in Christ.  I want to rely on Him and recognize that He knows what is best.  But sometimes, that is easy to think and much more of a challenge to truly believe.  I want to be the one God created me to be.  I know I am loved by Him, but I can not always see myself as He sees me.

According to the Webster’s Dictionary website, here is the definition of abide:

Full Definition of abide

abode

play\-ˈbōd\ or

abided

abiding

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1:  to wait for :await

  3. 2a:  to endure without yielding :withstandb:  to bear patiently :tolerate<cannot abide such bigots>

  4. 3:  to accept without objection <will abide your decision>

Did you notice the word “abode”?  Abode brings to mind thoughts of a home – like when someone says, “Welcome to my humble abode”.  I want to welcome Jesus Christ into my heart so it is truly a home for Him to stay in for the rest of my life.  Jesus Christ died for our sins.  We need to open our hearts to Him.  We need to be willing to die to self so He can live in our hearts.  When we do, we will receive a peace that only God can provide.

May you find a place today where you can allow Jesus Christ to abide in you.

 

Reset and Reflect

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So for the past few days, I have been focusing on my family and spending time with them.  Now that Memorial Day is past and Dennis is back to work, it is time to work on getting into a better routine of writing.

I have four children that I am blessed to be called “Mom, Mother, Mom-a-tron” and other miscellaneous spin-offs depending on the mood of said children.  I love them with all my heart.  They are a tremendous blessing to me.  As I watched news about a child, an animal at the zoo, and a mother unfold over the weekend, I recognized that by the grace of God, I could have been the mother in the headlines.  As our oldest turned two, I waited expectantly for the birth of our second son and I waited for the expected “terrible twos” to arrive.  However, we skipped that phase.  Instead, my son waited until closer to four years old to enter that phase.  My son, and in fact all of my children,  are stubborn individuals with a mind of their own.  I could not and would not expect less from them.  They come from a long line of people who had minds of their own.

As a parent, I tried to watch them diligently.  I tried to always keep an eye on them and worked to keep them safe.  Our children have never been to a zoo because I really had no desire to go to one.  But, our children went to the ocean and had plenty of opportunities for adventures and unexpected consequences.  However, we were blessed to never deal with unfortunate consequences.  Several years ago, we returned to North Carolina from Pennsylvania for my in-laws’ fiftieth wedding anniversary.  While we were there, we went to the beach.  We had barely exited the van when my daughter took off running across the sand barrier to the other side where the ocean was.  My husband and I followed as quickly as we could.  Her brothers were close by her side.  As she made it onto the sand, we saw her shoes go flying.  She was excited to see the water.  It would have been very easy for her to head into the water before we made it to her side.  Fortunately, she was old enough to know better and she did not enter the water.  But at four years old, she would not have had that restraint.

It is easy to cast blame and to judge other parents, but that is not what God calls on us to do.  We need to recognize that all sin is sin and there is no variation in varieties of sin.  All sin causes our God’s heart to break.  He has so much he wants to give us and wants for us.  We need to be open to receiving those gifts.  We need to have our hearts and minds open to those blessings.  Rather than judging each other, we need to walk with one another in love and understanding.  Jesus Christ died for our sins – every sin that has been or is being, or will be committed.  We need to accept the gift of forgiveness and love His death on the cross provides.  So I pray we remember what Jesus dying on the cross really means.  My heart breaks for the fear I know this mother must have felt.  Let us walk in love rather than judgment.

So what is going on where you are today?  I would love to hear from you.

#Write365

“Sink Reflections” versus “the life-changing magic of tidying up

Sink Reflections

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the life changing magic of tidying up

So we are a military family who also homeschools.  As a result, we have a lot of books and belongings.  I am always on the quest to find new ways to make my task of chores around the house easier.  Several years ago, I stumbled upon the Flylady website and love the values and information she presents.  Time and circumstances prevented me from truly embracing the idea of “Flying”.  Then a year or so ago, I started seeing many of my online and local friends talking about “the life-changing magic of tidying up”.  So I decided recently to read it.

With just moving from Pennsylvania to Texas, it seems like it is the perfect time to start reading these two books.  In addition, I added the book “Hidden Treasures”, a book which tells the story of some ladies and their desire to fly.

Hidden Treasures

Last night I completed “Hidden Treasures”.  I completed “the life-changing magic of tidying up” today and am still reading “Sink Reflections”.   At this point I can say for me personally, “the life-changing magic of tidying up” was too far out of my theological beliefs which are totally Christian.  The idea of bowing down to my house is just too much for me.  I can not dream of thinking about giving thanks to my possessions.  I have a friend who used parts of this book with great success, but it is just not my “cup of tea”.

On the other hand, I loved “Hidden Treasures” and am loving “Sink Reflections” so far.  These books speak to my soul and present things in a manner I can agree with completely.  “Hidden Treasures” kept me enthralled from beginning to end.  I hated to put it down.  The ending was perfect.  I could completely relate and appreciate what the women in the book were going through and wanted to see how the book ended.  The ending had me rejoicing with the protagonist and knowing it was just right for the story.

“Sink Reflections” is another amazing book, which breaks the system of “flying” down into manageable chunks in a book.  While I can appreciate the Flylady website and emails, these books just reach a part of me in a manner I can relate to and understand.  The books make me understand truly the idea of starting where I am and not worrying about complete and total perfectionism.  It brings joy to my soul.

Perhaps the fact, the Flylady has sections devoted to homeschooling families help as well.  Homeschooling brings its own distinct challenges, opportunities, and situations.  I appreciate the information presented just for us.  She also reaches out to those who have to work outside the home or perhaps have jobs they do at home.  Her products are amazing and are definitely worth the money.  I definitely recommend her website and her books.

So in conclusion, I believe there are some helpful ideas in “the life-changing magic of tidying up”, but it just was not a book for me.  On the other hand, the books and Flylady website and system are a complete fit for me.  So what books or systems for organization, tidying up, and decluttering do you recommend or are your favorites?  I would love to hear from you.

Review of the Rise of the Prophet

 

So I recently completed reading this book by Rodney Roe. On Amazon, part of the description reads:

“The land of Habareet faces so much trouble, only a miracle could save them. And the country’s leaders and many of its people no longer tolerate miracles—or the One who sends them. But Adonai has not forgotten His ancient promises for revival and restoration. In a few corners of the land, the impossible begins to happen—through the most unlikely people.”

It is absolutely spellbinding. I could not put my tablet down. And when I had to put it down, I could not wait to pick it up again. He has written a story where the characters draw you in. Certain characters like Joel you can’t help but root for. I can’t wait to read more of the series. This is definitely a winner. The message of your past not determining worth is clear. The willingness to step in and do what is right and what is needed resonates throughout the book. The love of God (Adonai) rings out true and clear throughout the story. I definitely recommend reading this book.  It was an amazing story.  I can not wait to read additional stories in the series.

I can not say enough good things about this book.  I plan on ordering the paper copy in the very near future.  You can find the book for sale on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B75DAB2/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1

If you decide to read it, let me know what you think.

#Ilovebooks

 

Back to Writing and What I am Reading

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So for the month of April, I participated in the Blogging A to Z challenge so my posts centered around that endeavor.  But now April is over and May is here.  So I am back to writing for the #Write365 challenge.  It is amazing to think about how fast this year is already passing by.  I am participating in another online Bible study for Proverbs 31 Ministries.  The book we are reading is “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit” by Nicki Koziarz and examines the story of Ruth.  It is an amazing book and I am really enjoying it.

Product Details

I also just finished reading “Fervent” by Priscilla Shirer.  It is such a powerful book about prayer.

I am also reading the Cherry Ames series of books as somehting lighter.  Books by Chautona Havig also populate my reading lists.  So what are you reading these days?  I would love to hear from you.

#Iamabookaholic

 

“Z” is for Zentangle

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Today is the last day of the #BloggingAtoZ challenge for April 2016. That means today’s letter is “Z”.  For the past year, I have been trying new things and discovering new things I want to try.  Zentangling is one of those things I want to try. It is a way of drawing using structured patterns.  Many, many years ago, I believe I tried doodling in such a manner.  Unfortunately, I do not have any of those early endeavors to share with you.  I have been spending time participating in various blog challenges and during one of those challenges, I came across the blog of someone who was doing zentangles.  When I saw their work, I was intrigued about the idea. I began investigating and found there are numerous resources for learning how to zentangle.  This includes websites, courses and books on Amazon.  For example, here is a book for beginners on Amazon.

Zentangle basics

There are sites to find zentangle instructions along with sites to find zentangles to color.  If all goes well, maybe in the near future I will be able to share some zentangles of my own with you.

So what does the letter “z” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.  I hope you have enjoyed my Blogging A to Z series.  Now it is time to keep writing for the #Write365 challenge.

“Y” is for Youth and Yesterdays

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Today is the next to the last installment of the Blogging A to Z challenge for April 2016.  So that makes the letter of the day “Y”.  “Y” for me represents youth, yesterday’s, and yelling.

Oh to still have the exuberance and energy of youth.  I watch my children and notice the amount of energy they have and wish I could keep up with them.  There is never a dull moment with them around.

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“Y” is also for yesterday.  It is nice to have memories to look back on through the years.  I love looking back and seeing how our children have grown and changed.  The thoughts and ideas they have amaze me at times.  The “yesterday”, when I watched my husband baptize our oldest two,  brings tears of joy and happiness to mind.  Watching our oldest participate last year in the CHAP homeschool graduation brings back memories of so many “yesterdays” when he did this or that or was first born.  These memories of yesterday will stay with me.

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So what does “y” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.

#Write365

 

“X” is for X-rays

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So today is another installment of the #BloggingAtoZ challenge, and the letter for today is “x”.  “X” for me brings to mind memories of x-rays.  Through the years, I have experienced a number of x-rays – both as a patient as well as either the spouse or mother of a patient.  One of my sister-in-laws works as an x-ray technician.  Some x-rays are not too bad.  Others like when I had to have my knees x-rayed for my arthritis are down-right painful.  The positions are awkward, the amount of time to maintain the position is painful and still others are just irritating to have done (like dental x-rays).

I have had normal x-rays, ultrasounds, CAT scan and MRIS, including an esophageal ultrasound of my heart.  While they are all different, they each come with their own set of challenges.

So what does “x” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.