Sunday, November 30, 2008

We're back home in Florida ....


.....but I wasn't ready to come back home.  I was so enjoying the cold weather out there, the relaxing energy and time with friends and family. It is muggy and rainy here in Florida.  It was a great time up in Rochester.  I am really tired and I just put baby girl down, but before I go to bed myself I had to share a picture of Morgan with tooth #2.  Can you believe it?  Check it out yourself.

And these pictures have different lighting and coloring to them because mommy was playing around with her camera, using ISO numbers with what natural lighting I had, instead of the cameras 'harsh' flash photography. Not perfect, but surely softer shots than what they would have been had I used the camera's automatic w/flash instead.  

PS:  Notice how I posted just pictures, with out any boarders or decorations?  That's how tired I am, but I just had to show of her little teeth.  G'night


Gotta love the tongue and just the happy expression.

Love the eye-brow going up...a little personality coming out.

This one I like a lot.  Its very soft! 


This one is a little blurry...but what are you going to do? 


Friday, November 28, 2008

Devotional 6 - Continuation of "Love"




Love Is a Habit
by Rick Warren

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.” Luke 6:32 (NIV) 

*** *** *** ***

If you only love on and off like a light switch, you do not love others like God wants you to love. Jesus said, “If you only love those who love you what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32 NIV).

His point is this: anybody can love those who love them. Becoming a master lover means you learn to love the unlovable. It’s when you love people who don’t love you, when you love people who irritate you, when you love people who stab you in the back or gossip about you.

This may seem like an impossible task and it is – that’s why we need God’s love in us, so we can then love others: “We know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16 NIV).

When you realize how much God loves you – with an extravagant, irresistible, unconditional love – then his love will change your entire focus on life. If we don’t receive God’s love for us, we’ll have a hard time loving other people. I’m talking about loving the unlovely, loving the difficult, loving the irritable, loving people who are different or demanding.

You can’t do that until you have God’s love coming through you. You need to know God’s love so it can overflow out of your life into others.

Love must become your lifestyle, the habit of your life. But it starts with a decision. Are you ready?

Your life is worth far more than you think, and by learning to love others with the love God gives you, you will have an influence far greater than you could ever imagine. If you will commit to this, you will experience love as God means it to be, filled with hope, energy, and joy.

My prayer for you is “that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love …” (Philippians 1:9 NCV).






The Bible Says Love Is a Skill
by Rick Warren

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 (NLT) 

*** *** *** ***

Love is a skill that can be learned. In other words, it’s something you can get good at and that means you get better at love by practicing love.

You may think you’re a good lover, but God wants you to become a great lover, a skilled lover, a master lover. Yet, most people never learn how to love. You can become an expert at relationships.

Wouldn’t you like to become known as a person of extraordinary love? When people speak of you they might say: “He doesn’t care who you are or what you look like.” “She doesn’t care where you’ve been or what you’ve done or where you’re from.”

The only way you get skilled at something is to practice. You do it over and over. The first time you do it, it feels awkward, but the more you do it, the better you become.

The same is true with love (1 John 4:7). Let’s practice loving each other. As the Bible says, “Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15 HCSB).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday Hunter -

I couldn't go to bed without first making a post for Hunter on his actual birthday (TODAY - November 27th).  I have a letter I want to finish writing to post to this, but I am way too tired to do that tonight.  I did find just a few pictures I had of him on my computer through the years and I just loved looking back over them and seeing how much he has grown. He is my little man. I am so proud of him and I am so thankful for my first 'real' love.



Hunter Dylan Brackett
November 27, 2000
Time 11:16 PM
6 lbs 8 oz
18.5 long 

Hunter's teeth coming and then going.

On the left page is all the many "faces" of Hunter (not so happy faces) 

I am so very thankful!!!

What a day, what a day! I am in NY (Rochester) and having a wonderful time.  There is snow on the ground. I love that. Morgan has been a treat the whole time (even on the plane). She hasn't really missed a beat at all.  The family is just loving how much she has grown.  Today was a relaxing lovely day.  There was no time schedule and it has been nice to just relax and be around other adults, having adult conversations and while getting to enjoy being with Morgan and having extra hands to entertain her.  

Tomorrow we are going to go to a Christmas tree farm to pick out a tree and cut it down.  I have never done that before. So I am looking forward to that.  We may go and do a little outside ice skating.  That should be a funny site to see. Over all its been a very nice treat for us to enjoy a holiday together, get away and be with some family.  I am very thankful for that.  Last night we attended a nice hip church about 20 minutes outside of Rochester.  A nice way to end a long day of travel and day.

Today is about being thankful. I know a lot of people are listing things they are thankful for.  I love reading them. I could make a list that would ever end, and I mean that.  My cup really runs over with things to be thankful for. 

I have my salvation. I am thankful for God's son, who sacrificed His life for me. Thank you.

I have my family.  My two beautiful and healthy children to love and hold.  Today is also my sons 8th birthday.  Wow!!  I am so thankful! 

I have my husband.

I have my own health.

And its not about what I have.  I am simply and truly THANKFUL for these things that we can take for granted every single day.  

I am thankful for the ability to love and be loved. 

I am thankful for our freedom and the freedom to worship our God freely.

I am thankful for the food I had today.  

I am thankful for so much.  

I am thankful we went to Sear and had some family photos taken, and I am thankful that it will be my last time to ever use Sears again.  I rather pay a professional photo $200 and get a few beautiful pictures, than to pay $110 to get a few alright pictures.  You with me here? 

I am thankful for the friends I have made because of the wonderful world of computers and Internet.  

I really hope that everyone was able to be thankful for and in everything, good and bad.  

We're blessed.....let's be thankful!!!

Here are some of our pictures from Sears!!!  Yes, I know you will say "whats wrong with these, they are beautiful or they are great," and I will agree with you. However, a lot of them are blurry.  We had better ones, where everyone was smiling great, but the pictures were blurry.  The ones we had to choose from are just "alright" and the girls 'excuse' was that the camera has been sticking and not wanting to focus.  Yea, well my credit card has been sticking too and maybe I will just pay half the price for half the quality of photos I am getting.  (Laughing)  A friend gave me that "credit card" line. I wished I had thought of it and used it at the time.  LOL

Alright, alright enough chatting, I am thankful that I have my family with me and was able to go and afford such family photos to begin with.  I truly am.


(click to zoom)









Happy Thanksgiving!!! 


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Week Five Devotional - Love is a Choice

Mark and I are leaving tomorrow for upstate New York (Rochester) to visit his family for Thanksgiving.  Hunter will be here in Florida with his dad this year for the holiday and will be participating in a Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament.  Who plays hockey on Thanksgiving?  Apparently those that play on the travel team.  I think that is silly! Anyways, off track here.  We were going up to NY so that Morgan could meet her great-grandparents who were going to drive up from Philly to NY.  We learned yesterday, that is now not happening, because they are just too old to be driving in that weather.  The weather has been extreme over the last few days, lots of snow.  I am sad they they don't get to meet Morgan this trip, but hopefully they will get to meet her in January. Morgan is the first grandchild and great grandchild on Marks side of the family.  I am very excited about all the snow.  Mark and I are taking some ski stuff so we can go hit the slopes one day (or two).  We love to ski! In fact we went skiing for a whole week for our honeymoon in Jackson Hole.  This will be Morgans 3rd flight since she was born, and her first snow.  I am looking forward to the pictures I hope to capture while out there. 

Anyways, I probably will not be able to post much while out there, and I return on Sunday.  So I wanted to wish everyone a very wonderful, a very happy, and a very blessed Thanksgiving Holiday. I will post on Thanksgiving if I have some down time. I would like to share my list of thankfulness. 

God Bless! 

====================================





Love Is a Choice
by Rick Warren









… That you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:20 (NIV) 

*** *** *** ***

Love is a choice and a commitment. You choose to love or you choose not to love.

Today we’ve bought into this myth that love is uncontrollable, that it’s something that just happens to us; it’s not something we control. In fact, even the language we use implies the uncontrollability of love. We say, “I fell in love,” as if love is some kind of a ditch. It’s like I’m walking along one day and bam! – I fell in love. I couldn’t help myself.

But I have to tell you the truth – that’s not love. Love doesn’t just happen to you. Love is a choice and it represents a commitment.

There’s no doubt about it, attraction is uncontrollable and arousal is uncontrollable. But attraction and arousal are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love. Love is a choice.

You must choose to love God; he won’t force you to love him (Deuteronomy 30:20). You can thumb your nose at God and go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won’t force you to love him. Because he knows love can’t be forced.

And this same principle is true about your relationships: you can choose to love others, but God won’t force you to love anyone.







Today's Quote 

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.


 

God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today's Quote 

Do or do not. There is no try.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blog Award




I have been given 3 blog awards in one week and I have been really bad at posting my appreciation on my blog.  I know I have at least left comments to those that passed on these awards to me.  I know its fun to give and receive awards of any kind, but I did the tag thing once and I just feel that after awhile that getting and receiving awards (that you have to then pass on or tag someone else with)....starts to become a little like forwarding emails. I don't want to annoy anyone by sending them things that they may not want to do and I don't want to disappoint anyone that thought of me for the award and then not have me participate.  So, I decided to make my own little compromise here.  I would at least like to "boast" my pride a little and share the joy of feeling a bit special that others thought of me for any kind of recognition for my blog. That means I have some happy blog readers out there. THANK YOU GIRLS!  I will post my award of "I Love Your Blog" here tonight and give thanks to the fellow bloggers that sent them my way with links to their blogs to check out. 

Michelle "Circle of Life
Aspiemom "Then I Am Strong

Live Outdoor Battlefield and Laser Party

This Saturday we had Hunter's 8th birthday party. The theme was "Live Outdoor Battlefield and Laser". It turned out to be a great hit among the boys and we had about 22 kids all together show up. The weather was a chilled windy day, but it felt really nice to enjoy the fresh air. Here are some pictures from the party. Below the slide show is baby girls day at the party. She was not feeling her best. She finally broke out in her rash, caused by her virus she had gotten last week. She was pretty fussy most of the day, but as long as daddy held her in her sling she was pretty content.

Happy (early) birthday Hunter-Boo! I love you, honey!











(click on image to zoom)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Small Fryday Contest - By: MckMama


(Click image to zoom)



Okay Dokay folks----

As you know I follow a blog My Charming Kids (a.k.a. MckMama's Blog) and have posted a few times on here about her MckChildren and MckMiracle that she so delighted the whole world with just a few weeks ago.  This lady is a bunch of MckPersonality and MckHeart! I just love reading her blog, for it always either makes me smile, laugh or cry.  I also admire her MckTalent in photography (she's a self-taught pro). I adore her beautiful kiddos ages 0, 1, 2 and 3!!! LOVE IT! 

If you haven't yet checked out her blog before you should.  Its truly just a breath of MckFresh Air and will keep you wanting to go back for more.  Most importantly, if you struggle in believing in the power of prayer and OUR Father's Love, Mercy and Miracles. MckMama's story is one to read from the beginning to present, for I assure you will rethink your stance and maybe will share a giggle, a tear and some MckLove to her and her family. And before you know it, you are a MckFAN!!!!

She is having a contest......Small FryDay Contest: Go check out her blog, leave her a comment and while you are there tell her why she should vote for ME to win this contest.  If you are having a little trouble coming up with reasons to tell her why I should win (because you are too busy telling her why YOU should win), yea think I wouldn't catch on did you?  I have given you a little "help list" below to pick from to get you started.  Have fun reading her blog....and I know I am taking a risk by posting this post, it's possible that once you go "MckMama".... you wont be back to McMyBlog - UGH!!!  (See I can't even think of a cool 'riddle/motto' for my own blog or self!) MckDangIt! 

Enjoy!

Why I want to win!

1.  I love custom blog headers, in the mood to change mine up but can't fork out the $$ to do so.  
2. I am learning more about my own fun in photography by reading her blog, and she is giving away camera stuff.  I TOTALLY NEED CAMERA STUFF!!!  All I want for Christmas is stuff for my camera and a bike!  

3.  We both have little girls and I think (hoping) I can some how come up with some creative way to get her to ship Small Fry's wardrobe to Morgan.  Oh wait.... did I just write that?  Getting off track! 

4.  Because maybe she loved the little scrap-blog page I made (all by myself) along with the little riddle for Small Fry I wrote and thought it was simply MckMarvelous. After all this is a Small Fryday Contest, right? 

5.  And last but not least...... WHY NOT "Wind Beneath My Wings" for a winner?  She has a lot of things that take her breath away.... but so do I, so MckMama and Myself both, have a lot of MckBlessings to be THANKFUL for! 


Friday, November 21, 2008

How to Deal with Conflict Quickly

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 (NIV) 

*** *** *** ***

How do you deal with conflict quickly?

I’ll tell you, but you’re not going to like it. The solution to resolving conflict is confrontation.

That’s right; if you’re going to resolve conflict, you must confront.

You don’t have to confront in anger, though. In fact, you shouldn’t confront in anger. Lovingly go to the person and, speaking the truth in love, deal with the problem immediately.

In James (1:19), we’re taught three rules for confrontation: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.

If you do the first two, the third one is automatic. If you’re quick to listen and you’re slow to speak, then you will be slow to anger.

What are you listening for?

You listen for the hurt in that person. Hurting people always hurt other people. When someone is being a jerk, more than likely, it’s because that person is hurting. When you understand their hurt, you have a better understanding of why they do what they do, and you’re a little more patient with them.


by Rick Warren

Thursday, November 20, 2008

(click on all images to zoom them)


Thought I would start this post off with my handsome man, since a lot of the post after will be Butterfly.  And it isn't because I enjoy taking more pictures of Morgan, but simply because he isn't home all day with me and so Morgan is mommy's 'ginny pig' for photo taking.

Hunter turns 8 years old next Thursday on Thanksgiving Day (27th). I can't believe it.  We are having his Live Outdoor Laser Battle Field Game Birthday Party, this Saturday.  Its going to be fun and I will have tons more pics to share.

This picture is to show you that my handsome boy had his braces taken off.  Isn't he so cute!!





My friend Carolyn, who is the owner and maker of "It's a 10" hair products, recently purchased this really cute beach house up in Boca.  They did some amazing remodeling in the home and just have turned it into the perfect little beach house.  We went there this weekend (the girls) and had a really fun time.  Although that was the day we really got our cold front, we took the girls for a walk to the beach, it was a fun time.  Then after that we took a ride over the Mizner Park and ate at Max's Grille.  It was such a treat to spend the day with just the girls, go to the beac, beach house and then finish it off with some delicious food for lunch.   

By the way, if you have never tried out her hair product, YOU MUST!  This stuff works wonders, smells fabulous and to be really honest here.... IT WORKS, simple as that!!!  

It has been mentioned by some really cool famous people in their interviews who swear by it, and you have many big name company's that want to buy her out and take over her product.  This stuff is becoming BIG TIME!! So try it out if you haven't and I'd love to hear your feed back and spread the word over to my friend.  













A wordless picture!!!  But look at her tooth! 













Just some cute little pictures of baby girl not really feeling that good, so doesn't really want to give mommy a smile, but after awhile couldn't really hold back that serious face for too long.  

This little outfit was from Aunt Whitney and Uncle Brian.  She got so many compliments in it.

Thanks Uncle Bri and Aunt Whit!!! 








Okay, I like making the little collage things, but I am not liking how small they appear on the post.  Ugh!!  Now sure what to do that about.  

Well in the collage below you have a few different days and situations with baby butterfly.  

1. First Pictures she actually started out her day feeling pretty good. I got some smiles out of her. Then as the day went on she started to feel really bad. She became cranky and ran fever.  But I like this shot because you can really see her bottom tooth.  Click image to zoom!

2. This was the day before when she really began to feel bad, but the fever had yet to kick in.  She wanted to sleep a lot and I thought she looked adorable sleeping with her arm up by her head.

3. Third picture is baby girl after just waking up, on our way to take big brother to school.  If you really look close, you can see that she doesn't feel good at all and her hair...her hair, looks as though she took a bite out of a lamp wire (as daddy said it).  Pretty funny stuff! 

4.  We were going out to run some errands, getting things for big brothers birthday party coming up this Saturday.  To end up taking her to the doctor because she wouldn't eat for almost 7 hours. When I got her to the doctors she had 101.9 temp, on top of the Tylenol I had already given her.  Doctor says she has a virus and to not be surprised if she breaks out in any type of rash in the next day or so.  I finally got her to eat some last night, and she ran fever most of the night, but today being day #3, she has broken the fever and seems to be in a much better mood.  No rash yet!!! 





Resolve Anger Quickly -


Not doing an extra devotional, although I guess it wouldn't matter if I did.  I just felt that this was short, brief, to the point and very powerful in it's meaning.  I know I am guilty of not remembering this very stuff myself.  I need help and prayer to make me a better person at forgiving faster and not staying angry.  Maybe, someone else like me needs to read this today too!!! 





If you are angry, be sure that it is not out of wounded pride or bad temper. Never go to bed angry – don’t give the devil that sort of foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27 (PH)

*** *** *** ***


It’s okay to be angry, but anger becomes wrong when it’s not resolved quickly. The apostle Paul teaches, if you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin and do not stay angry all day.

The Phillips translation says, “Never go to bed angry.” That would keep a few of us up all night! If you said, “In our marriage, we’ll never go to bed angry,” you might work toward resolving problems a lot faster.

When anger is not dealt with quickly, it can turn to resentment and, then into bitterness. Bitterness is always sin; resentment is always sin; those emotions are always wrong.

But that doesn’t mean anger is always wrong. When you care about people, sometimes anger is the correct response. I get angry when I see people blowing their lives on things that don’t matter. I get angry when I see people walking right into the middle of something they know is wrong.

Regardless, we’re to resolve our anger quickly, or else we’re giving the devil a chance push us into bitterness and resentment.


By: Rick Warren (winking to those of you, that matters to! LOL) 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Week Four Devotional -- ON TIME THIS WEEK!!!



We are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:5 (NLT)

*** *** *** ***

Your choices control your calendar and, as a result, your lifestyle. Your choices are far more powerful than your circumstances. You may not like how complicated your life has become yet, with very few exceptions, no one is forcing you to keep your life complicated.

You have the power to simplify your life.

The Bible teaches, “We are each responsible for our own conduct” (Galatians 6:5 NLT). To me, that means God expects us to assume responsibility for our lives and to carefully choose how we spend our time.

That’s why I’ve spent years teaching people to discover why God placed them on this planet: What is your purpose for being here?

Ultimately, it will be the donation of your life that will count far more than the duration.

In other words, it’s not how long you live – or even how much you cram into how long you live – it’s really about how you live.

Here are three essential steps to simplify your life:

· First, figure out your purpose, and then let your purpose guide the goals of your life.

· Second, organize your activities based upon your purpose.

· Finally, harmonize your schedule with your purpose; that is, bring your activities into agreement with your goals.

You have just enough time to do God's will while you’re here on earth. You’ve been given just enough time to fulfill your purpose. When you try to do more than God planned for you, it’s only natural that you’ll find yourself constantly out of time or stressed over your schedule.

If it doesn’t fit the purpose of your life, God doesn’t want you doing it. In fact, he may be overjoyed that you finally got the message and stopped doing meaningless activities. He may even want you to add “rest” or “have fun” to your to-do list.

My prayer for you is that you will find relief from stress and a new sense of satisfaction as you do only the things God created you to do.


PS:  For those that it seems to bother and hide under anonymous, this devotional was done By: Rick Warren.


But as Rick Warren would normally like to say, "he doesn't want the credit, he doesn't care that I posted that devotional on my blog and didn't add his name to it. He would rather see it said "BY GOD".  

I am not writing my own devotional each week, never claimed to do that.  Which tells me that you must not read the books by Beth Moore or you may have known that my first two devotionals were by her.  :) 

However, lets all be adults and stick to the point.  The point is letting Gods word, no matter if I wrote it, post it, or if Beth Moore or Rick Warren wrote it.  Just as my daily quotes, I never put who said them. That is not the important part and I am not trying to take claim for anything I didn't do.  I am simply sharing and spreading the "GOOD NEWS" as God has called his children to do. So lets stick to just that please.  In the future, comments like I have received from "no namers".....will never be posted or seen by any other than me, and I will just delete them and be on with my day.

For everyone else..... I am glad you are enjoying these devotionals and I am sure that you were not victimized because you didn't know that devotional was written by Rick Warren.  



Today's Quote 

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Six Feet Deep?







This weekend turned out to be so shocking in many ways here in Broward Florida.  Two teens where killed by another peer by a shooting and a stabbing.  One a female and one a male.  The male, a 17 year old, attends my sons school.  His younger brother actually plays with my son often in hockey.  The energy in the last two days at the school have been uneasy.  You can sense a sadness or uneasiness around the campus.  The school has taken extra steps to provide security for the kids from the media, as well as provide support groups and counsel. They have allowed for kids to attend the funeral today, with permission from their parents.  

I personally didn't know the teen, but I also feel a sense of sadness.  As I talk with my son about it on the way to school.  Its sad that his friend he plays hockey with lost his big brother forever.  Its sad that these parents have lost their son forever.  Its sad that these kids have lost a friend forever. And for some it will be their first time to experience a loss of this kind in their lives.  It will be very painful and confusing to them.

My heart aches that these two families have lost a child.  I also hurt for the two families who still have their children who are responsible for the killings (one female and one male).  No matter the outcome or the punishment, these are still kids who made big mistakes and their lives will forever be different from this situation.  I hurt for all of them.  It also adds more fear in me as a parent for my own children.  To think that all because of a disagreement or hurt feelings that someone that may or may not be a friend of theirs, could take such actions to end their lives.  

If you haven't read yet the 7x7 prayers on this blog, please do so.  We always talk about praying for this or praying for that.....but WE as parents need to always remember to not let a day go by that we don't pray for the protection and safety of our children.  Don't take them for granted.  We need to listen to our children, talk to our children and teach our children the right way and the wrong ways to handle themselves in any situation, no matter how they feel (angry, hurt, embarrassed etc).  They need to realize the seriousness and the frailness of life to never want to end their own or an other's. Please don't take the easy way out because you don't want to deal with the emotions or question to not talk to your children.  By avoiding the emotions you don't want to deal with, you in return could most likely be hurting your own child even more. If they can't hear it from or talk to you, their parents, their safety nets... they will only rely on themselves and or their peers influences.  Don't let your child be a victim on the living end or the lost end in their lives, all because you didn't want to get into a deep and serious conversation with them to avoid having to deal with your own emotions.  Be real and honest with your kids.  They know when you are being anything but!!! 

So I ask that you keep these families and kids in your prayers.  As a lot of them attend their first funeral today here in Sunny Florida, it will be a very dark day and time in many of their lives for days, weeks and months to come.  Please talk with your kids and share these stories, help them to open up and talk and work things out in positive ways.

I hope everyone is having a blessed week so far.

God Bless your families!!! 


Monday, November 17, 2008

Today's Quote 

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.

Sharing Your Life Message - Week #3 Devotional




I am taking a bit of short cut this week on (last weeks) devotion.  I liked what this had to say and maybe when I get a little bit of time I will sit down and share my own testimony. 

This little light of mine!

“Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them.” (1 John 5:10a GW)

“Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word .... The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore – you’re the message!” (1 Thessalonians 1:8 MSG)

When you became a believer, you also became God’s messenger. God wants to speak to the world through you. Paul said, “We speak the truth before God, as messengers of God.” (2 Corinthians 2:17b NCV)

Your Life Message includes your life lessons. These are insights you’ve learned about God, relationships, problems, temptations, and other aspects of life. David prayed, “God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.” (Psalm 119:33 MSG)

Sadly, we never learn from a lot that happens to us. Of the Israelites, the Bible says, “Over and over God rescued them, but they never learned – until finally their sins destroyed them.” (P 106:43 MSG) You’ve probably met people like that.

While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. There isn’t enough time to learn everything in life by trial and error. We must learn from the life lessons of one another. The Bible says, “A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable than … jewelry made of the finest gold.” (Proverbs 25:12 TEV)

Write down the major life lessons you’ve learned so you can share them with others. We should be grateful Solomon did this, because it gave us the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, which are filled with practical lessons on living. Imagine how much needless frustration could be avoided if we learned from each other’s life lessons.

Mature people develop the habit of extracting lessons from everyday experiences. I urge you to make a list of your life lessons. You haven’t really thought about them thoroughly unless you’ve written them down. Below are a few questions to jog your memory and get your started:

So what?

  • What has God taught me from failure?
  • What has God taught me from a lack of money?
  • What has God taught me from pain or sorrow or depression?
  • What has God taught me through waiting?
  • What has God taught me through illness?
  • What has God taught me from disappointment?
  • What have I learned from my family, my church, my relationships, my small group, and my critics?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Butterfly is 7 months Today

(Click on images to zoom in)

Riding around in classic car walker .......

check out those ears!!!! 









Getting the Flu shot and her ears pierced ...again!














Just a cute picture that Granny took in her crib.












Look I got my first tooth!!!  










Morgan is 7 months old today.  Yes, she is growing up.  We took her in for her shots D-Tap and Flu shots.  Then while there we decided at the last minuted to go ahead and do the ears again.  I marked the spots this time and they turned out great.  However, I have to say this time it was way more sad to watch her go through this.  The first one she cried so hard she couldn't catch her breath.  So I ran over to kiss on her and sooth her as best as I could. Then while I backed up to let them do the second ear, the nurse was holding Morgans head in place for the doctor to get to her ear.  Morgan was cutting her eyes over at me with this look if terror, while screaming.  It looked as though she was looking at me in one of two ways, 1) mommy aren't you going to rescue me? or 2) mommy how could you let them do this to me.  It was awful.  I had tears appearing in my eyes.  I couldn't grab her fast enough when they were done to hold and kiss her. I felt awful.

Then as if that wasn't bad enough, they gave her the two shots, one in each leg.  Poor baby girl!!!  She was so upset, to the point where she was huffing in between cries.  I am sorry baby girl!!!

Morgan is doing great.  She weighed in at 19.14 lbs. She is laughing, trying to say mama and dada.  She can sit up and roll over and over and over again.  She doesn't have interest in crawling just yet.  She is sleeping through the night and over all is just one happy baby girl.

Happy 7 months butterfly!!!

Jesus Taught the Most Important Command Is to Love


Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (NLT)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today's Quote

Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hmmmm???

Today's Quote 

When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder.


 

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. 



Today's Quote 
Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.

My arrives today for a whole week -- YEA!!!!

My parents Ann and Billy.  

To be honest I can't wait to the following while my mom is here:










1. Sleep
2. Eat some southern cooking
3. Cry and spend time in prayer
4. Maybe get to the beach and play some volleyball
5. Spend time with my mom lost in conversation
6. Catch up on anything I can

Sunday, November 9, 2008

 

One great power of sin is that it blinds men so that they do not recognize its true character.


Like Brother Like Sister

This was taken this morning with the good old faithful cell phone camera, while my other camera is charging.  Morgan was on her play mat and Hunter got down to hang out with her while he played his DS.  Morgan on her own, put her arms around her brother and hung on him while he played his video game.  She hung out with him and even watched him play his DS,  for a good 3-5 minutes.  I'm lovin it! 


Blog in Question:


The blog "Mommy's Little Princesses" is my cousin Brandi who lives in Texas.  I am giving her blog a little make over.  This is her header I have made (all by myself) so that means it is an original and unique header.  I made it from scratch.  She said she wanted pink and black, so I did pink and black and already picked out her background drop to match the header.  Now I am just waiting for her to give me the login info so I can put it all together.  

Anyways, here is the header I put together for her. (Click image to zoom)  These are her two girls Alexis and Ashlyn.  






Today's Quote 
One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody, everything, every night before you go to bed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Week Two Devotional - Sorry I am late!


Scripture:

I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand and say to you, "Do not fear, I will help you." 

Isaiah 41:13





Wow, I have never fully read that verse before. I have just always known and read verses here and there about "do not fear." I like this one, because I like that He says He will take my right hand, and help me." Now that is a great feeling.

Did you know that the word "FEAR", shows up in the bible 365 times?  God, really must not want us to fear, for he put it in the bible, one for every day of the year.  Check it out here.




Devotional:

It's okay with God for you to be scared to death.  He recognizes our fears and our insecurities.  I feel like the Spirit of God sometimes says to me, "You know Misty, I understand that you're not very happy about this.  I understand that you may be crying over this.  Cry, shake, whatever---but do My will, child.  Do My will.  I have victory for you." 


Discussion:

Okay, so I truly opened my mouth wide, raise eye brows and lean head down on right palm as I read this.  God is amazing.  He knew exactly the words I needed to read today.  I posted a post yesterday, and before I go further, I just want to first say THANK YOU.  Thank you all so much for either emailing me or leaving a comment with prayers.  It really means a lot to me.  It actually feels nice to know that you have people out there really praying for you.  

As I said in my post yesterday, I am broken.  I have been broken for the last year of my life.  No, actually I have been broken for the last 8 years of my life.  My life hasn't been a easy road since the year I had my son.  It has nothing to with my son, it has everything to do with my choices in life and God tightening up the rope and telling me, I have had enough slack, now it times to limit my own freedom.  When I say freedom, I mean, freedom in choices.  I don't seem to do a very good job sometimes with the choices I make in my own life.  

Just when I thought I was finally getting through the 'storms' of my life, I meet my husband, I get married, have another beautiful baby and start living and planning my life.  Notice how I said "my life." That's the problem right there.  I got to a place where things were finally looking good for me, I was blessed through amazing people in my life who help me get back on my feet.  I was getting stable in my beautiful home.  I was working, and traveling.  I was feeling so confident.  Although, I was appreciative for all my blessings, I have lacked giving God my attention.  Why do I always seem to do that?  Haven't I learned yet that if I can't find a balance in my good times in life for God, that he is going to continue giving me the dark days because that is when he most gets my attention. Now, I also know that there will be dark days no matter what, and I am learning to say to God, "thank you for these days too, how can I learn from it." But, let me tell you the truth, I am not so brave sometimes or so sincere when I say "thank you for these hard times, how can I learn."  

I am broken in my marriage.  It has been a full year since Halloween of last year to be exact, that my marriage really started to struggle.  We go up, we stay steady and then we fall.  We have a very crazy cycle of this that we just can't seem to get ourselves out of.  What's really getting scary, is that our make-ups are coming quicker and faster (a good thing), but our down times are getting darker and meaner (almost too painful).  Without exposing my relationship too much, or going into too many details, I will just be "transparent" here and let my life sort of be an open book and tell you, that I AM AFRAID (uncertainty).  I want to believe where my marriage will end up, but I struggle with my fears and doubts.  This is where this devotional comes in and pulls at my heart strings in big ways.


Devotional:

So even though you may be afraid about many things, don't be afraid to allow God to do His work in you, looking into the deepest part of your heart and releasing freedom in your life, teach you how to live in victory.

Discussion:

I feel just by reading that right there, that I have had a years worth of counseling given to me in one paragraph.  God knows where I am struggling, what I fear in my marriage and what I really need to work on.  So, why do I keep trying to figure it all out on my own? I have many insecurities in my marriage, and I have never been one to be or feel insecure in anyway. So why now, and why in my marriage?  I haven't figured that out yet.  


Devotional:

God wants to remove all your doubts concerning who brings the victory in your life. 

Discussion:

What? Let me go back and read that part again. 

"God wants to remove all MY doubts concerning who brings the victory in MY life?" 

I feel like a load just lifted off of my back and now I can go to sleep and make-up for all those endless nights of getting no sleep (especially these last 4 nights).

Devotional:

In the same way, no amount of determination will bring us freedom.  We learn to be victorious by surrendering our lives completely to the Spirit of God, not by gritting our teeth and try harder.  

Pride can lead to captivity. It becomes an obstacle every believer must face on the freedom trail.  What will you learn from the down fall of others?

We fear making sacrifices. But the irony is that we also make a lot of sacrifices when we are not living the will of God. How many things have we placed on the altar to Satan's kingdom? 

Without Christ, every women has intense insecurities.  Unless we find our identity in Him, we Christian women can be just as prone to insecurities about our appearances as unbelievers.  To Christ, the most beautiful person on earth is the one making preparation to meet the Groom.  

Discussion:

Well, that is like walking into a brick wall and having a brick still fall down on top of your head to give you a double bang to make sure you really heard right and are paying full attention.  

I am not really going to put in my thoughts of discussion here....I think this will be more beneficial (and private) if given this part of the discussion with God.  (For All of Us!)

I made a joke to a friend last night in an email.  I told her that I had slept with another man over the last two nights.  Then I continued to explain---- I have been so down right broken, frighten, hurt, disappointed, sad, uncertain, angry, tired, shaky, hungry, lonely, bitter, frustrated, anxious, nervous, worried, stressed, confused, weak.... I crawled in bed with my bible.  I clutched it right next to me, I kissed it, I laid my cheek on it and I shed tears on it (HIM).  Asking for Him to take the wheel, take control, put His hand over me and give me the peace and the courage I need to get through another night by myself, and lean not on to my own understanding of things going on in my marriage, but to give myself totally and freely to HIM.  ( FYI: My husband has not lived home in 5 months now, my daughter is 6 months and 3 weeks old). 

Please keep me, my family and my husband in your prayers.  I don't want to embarrass him by blogging too much about our personal stuff, but the bible says to not be ashamed.  We could seriously use the prayers.  


=========================

I hope this devotional touched you in some way and that it had as much power in its words to you as it did for me.  I feel like I can walk out of my house tomorrow a more free and confident women.  

My friend that I made the joke to about 'sleeping with another man', she sent me some verses to read, and I can't keep them to myself. I want to share them with others that may need to read them tonight also.
 
Psalm 27:1  "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?"
 
Psalm 56:3  "The Lord is for me; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?"
 
Psalm 57:1  “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by.
 
Jeremiah 29:11 “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
 
Isaiah 41:10 “…do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
 
Romans 8:24-26  “In hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”


 Last night I did exactly that, I didn't pray.  I just said "Lord please hear my heart", and I let out a big sigh and fell asleep.  And, I had a really good nights sleep.

By the way totally of the subject, but I forgot to post it yesterday.  Morgan, my butterfly has not awakened in the middle of the night for her 2:00 AM feeding for an entire week now.  I only had to deny her, the 2-AM feeding one time.  How lucky am I?  She is sleeping through the night, she is taking more regular naps now....AND....and my little Butterfly's bottom right tooth did break through the skin.  It's so cute. Just the very tip of it is out, enough that you can see it and feel it's edges.  

Yes, yes...I have taken many pictures of it.  I will try to put them together and post them sometime tomorrow.  Morgan goes to visit her daddy tomorrow, and I have a meeting, a hockey game to attend and some laundry to do. Not to mention my nails that I can't even look at right now.  Want to talk about being ashamed, my nails are embarrassing. 


Prayer:

Dear Father, I want to just take this time to say THANK YOU.  Thank you for the many who have taken the time to actually pray for me, my family and my situation, Lord.  What a great feeling that is, knowing that people really do care and the power of prayer is simply that, POWERFUL!  

Thank you for this new day, a blessed day it was.  Lord, I know you know my fears, my struggles and my insecurities. I pray to you about them, but sometimes I probably don't pray the way I ought to.  Lord, I turn over to you all of those things.  I don't want to live in fear, the bible demands that we not do that.  Lord, I don't want to feel anxious, for you will provide my true needs.  I know this, but I allow my heart and mind to take over sometimes, please help me to stay focused on "your plans" in all of this.  Lord, only you know what the out come will be in my marriage and my future, no matter how hard I continue to manage it myself or the effort I put into it.  YOU are in control. Remind me that I need to let go, and take the "uncertainty" of life and just go down the slide, the slide of Your will, Your plan.  

Tonight, I want to give you all of me, the good the bad, and ask that you remove all of these negative emotions from me.  Let me walk in confidence and in peace, because I am a women of GODS.  You are my God, whom or what shall I fear? Right? I will let my light shine on and on and on..... I believe in You and I believe you can make anything happen. I witnessed I think my first real eye popping miracle when I got to read about little Stellan being born healed and perfectly healthy.  A child that was sentenced to death before his birth by a man call a doctor.  A Lord that can perform that miracle right before our eyes, is also the same God that loves me, loves my family, loves my husband and loves my marriage.  And in return the same Lord, I trust and that I love.

Thank you for your unconditional love.  

Amen.



  


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

 Letting Your Life Speak

On the importance of listening deeply to find your true vocation. 

Excerpted from "Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation" by Parker J. Palmer

I was in my early thirties when I began to wake up to questions about my vocation. By all appearances, things were going well, but the soul does not put much stock in appearances. Seeking a path more purposeful than accumulating wealth, holding power, winning at competition, or securing a career, I had started to understand that is indeed possible to live a life other than one's own. Fearful that I was doing just that, I would snap awake in the middle of the night and stare for long hours at the ceiling.

"True self, when violated, will always resist us, sometimes at great cost."

Then I ran across the old Quaker saying, "Let your life speak." I found these words encouraging, and I thought they meant: "Let the highest truths and values guide you." I lined up the loftiest ideals I could find and set out to achieve them. The results were rarely admirable, often laughable, and sometimes grotesque. But always they were unreal, a distortion of my true self--as must be the case when one lives from the outside in, not the inside out. I had simply found a "noble" way to live a life that was not my own.

Today, some thirty years later, "Let life speak" means something else to me, a meaning faithful both to the ambiguity of those words and to the complexity of my own experience: "Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you."

My youthful understanding of "Let your life speak" led me to conjure up the highest values I could imagine and then try to conform my life to them. There may be moments in life when we are so unformed that we need to use values like an exoskeleton to keep us from collapsing. But something is very wrong if such moments recur often in adulthood. Trying to live by an abstract norm, will invariably fail--and may even do great damage.

"Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am."

Vocation, the way I was seeking it, becomes an act of will, a grim determination that one's life will go this way or that whether it wants to or not. If the self is sin-ridden and will bow to truth and goodness only under duress, that approach to vocation makes sense. But if the self seeks not pathology but wholeness, then the willful pursuit of vocation is an act of violence toward ourselves--violence in the name of a vision. True self, when violated, will always resist us, sometimes at great cost, holding our lives in check until we honor its truth.

Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what is truly about--quite apart from what I would like it to be about--or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.

That insight is hidden in the word vocation itself, which is rooted in the Latin for "voice." Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear. Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.

Behind this understanding of vocation is a truth that the ego does not want to hear because it threatens the ego's turf: Everyone has a life that is different from the "I" of daily consciousness, a life that is trying to live through the "I" who is its vessel. It takes time and hard experience to sense the difference between the two--to sense that running beneath the surface of the experience I call my life, there is a deeper and truer life waiting to be acknowledged. That fact alone makes "listen to your life" difficult counsel to follow.

If I am to let my life speak things I want to hear, things I would gladly tell others, I must also let it speak things I do not want to hear and would never tell anyone else! My life is not only about my strengths and virtues, it is also about my liabilities and my limits, my trespasses and my shadow. An inevitable though often ignored dimension of the quest for "wholeness" is that we must embrace what we dislike or find shameful about ourselves as well as what we are confident and proud of. That is why the poet says, "Ask me mistakes I have made."

"The soul speaks its truth only under quiet, inviting, and trustworthy conditions."

I do not feel despondent about my mistakes, any more than the poet does, though I grieve the pain they have sometimes caused others. Our lives are "experiments with truth" (to borrow the subtitle of Gandhi's autobiography), and in an experiment, negative results are at least as important as success. I have no idea how I would have learned the truth about myself and my calling without the mistakes I have made.

How we are to listen to our lives is a question worth exploring. In our culture, we tend to gather information in ways that do not work very well when the source is the human soul. The soul is not responsive to subpoenas or cross-examinations. At best it will stand in the dock only long enough to plead the Fifth Amendment. At worst it will jump bail and never be heard from again. The soul speaks its truth only under quiet, inviting, and trustworthy conditions.

The soul is like a wild animal--tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient, and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well merge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek.
Related Posts with Thumbnails