Thursday, June 30, 2011

**Last Day of June 2011**

WHOA! Is anyone else just absolutely flabbergasted at how fast this year has flown by!?!

I mean, tomorrow is July 1st, 2011! It feels like just yesterday I was a freshman in highschool dreaming of being 18 and out on my own! And now, here I am 1 month shy of 25, married almost 6 years, with a 5 year old daughter and a 16 month old son!!!!! I am STUNNED!

This is not a normal post for me...I'm just checking in and saying hey. Once again, life has me pretty busy.
But for the most part, it's been busy in a good way :)
I have a four day weekend coming up for the 4th of July and so I plan to blog a little, share some things that I have gathered from my study of the book of Nehemiah and I plan to start including some pictures of what & who keeps me so busy! :)

Ecclesiastes 3:11a
He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Psalm 39:4-5
"Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath. "Selah"

On this last day of the 6th month of the year 2011, just cherish this day, there won't be another like it, ever! Time flies so fast...don't rush through life, wishing Mon-Fri away so you can enjoy Sat & Sun!
Happy Half-Year to you all!

Friday, June 10, 2011

~~Love is Not a Fight~~

This past Sunday evening, my husband and I attended the Love Worth Fighting For tour with Kirk Cameron and Warren Barfield. Before I go any further, I will go ahead and say that I have permission from my man to tell this story :) Also, I hesitated posting this because it doesn't do justice to the feelings that I felt that night (plus it's a rather long post).

I had heard about this marriage event on the radio and checked it out a couple months back. We were not sure if Josh would be off that weekend, so we didn't pre-order tickets. If he was off and we could get a sitter, we would just pay at the door. And it worked out that he would be off and his parents & sister would keep the kids for us. Perfect.

On the drive to the conference we started arguing pretty heavily over something so small and insignificant. That is usually how our arguments begin...over something stupid. When we arrive at the church, I was determined to not go in; we were going home; I was not going in there with him, no way jose!
This lasted about 10-15 minutes, before he finally said "Let's just go in there, and see what these people have to say. And maybe we can take something away to help us and apply it in our marriage."

I tried to act like that didn't touch my heart...I did not want him to see how much it meant to me that he actually wanted to be there with me, even though we had been arguing and fighting like fools.
So, we went in, found our seats and sat quietly, waiting for it to begin.

The subject matter was amazing. PERFECT for our relationship, especially considering the events that had just taken place in the car!

Summary of the 1st message from Kirk Cameron:
First thing: Genuine Conversion. The heart of a marital problem is the problem of your heart! Only God can cure a sinful heart. Saying a prayer does not save you. The Bible shows us what our hearts should look like. Sin is not horizontal: between you and me. Sin is vertical: between Me & God!

Second thing: There is only one person on the planet that you can change! And it isn't your spouse!!!
In marriage you are either surrendering self or singing Sinatra ('I did it my way').
Selfishness is the big beast in marriage: Be on the watch for "Seperateness".
Resurrection Power brings things to life! It's not about getting a new spouse; it's about giving your spouse a new you!

Third thing: You & I must have a strategy to defeat sin. The "don't do it" strategy won't work on it's own because the "I want it" is stronger. Deal harshly with your sin! Remove your temptations completely! Kill the sin out of you and your marriage! 1 Cor 10:13

Warren Barfield then takes the stage to discuss the story of the theme song to the movie Fireproof and the theme of this tour. He described how he wrote the song months after a terrible fight with his wife that could have ended their marriage. A fight that began, with a pretzel. Something so small and insignificant began world war 3 in their home; This part here, oh it seriously ministered to my heart; as we sat there, listening to his story, I know I replayed the same type of fights in my head. Warren said the fight ended with him voicing that he wanted out. I've said those words before. So has my husband. Then Warren said he didn't leave. It was as if angels guarded the door. And how he and his wife began Christian counseling, and today are still together.

His song is "Love is Not a Fight" and I attached it at the bottom. It is now one of my favorites, one of the songs that when I hear it, I think of my husband's face and his love for me. And the fact that he is worth fighting through the temptations, fighting selfishness, fighting the flesh and all of the arrows that the devil shoots our way. Love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for.

Love does not keep a record of wrongs.
Fight for eachother harder than you fight against eachother.*
We have 2 choices: to fight or to leave.
The only way to victory is to fight: The bigger the battle, the greater the victory. Fight for it!

Warren followed all this up with singing the song and then began showing photos of his family, including a little boy that his family sponsors through Food for the Hungry. The stories that he told; the fact that it only costs $32 a month and that's cheaper than one date night meal! It touched my heart; but I never would have thought that it touched my husband's heart too. Warren asked if anyone wanted a packet to sponsor a child to raise their hand. My husband was one of the first with his hand raised high in the air. Now you have to understand my husband: very shy and laid back, quiet, until you get to know him. Never does anything like that! Wow! You know what? I fell even more in love with him then!
So now we await for our child's information. I am so excited about this. I just know that this child will be such a blessing to our home, and I pray that our small $32 a month and our letters will bless him/her!
If you feel convicted to help, please follow the link for more information. Be a blessing!

Summary of the 2nd half from Kirk Cameron:

Everything rises and falls on leadership. God gave men the faith leader role.
1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Dwell with eachother: Spend time together. You don't catch it from being around friends with a great marriage. It isn't contagious. There isn't enough time in the day to do all of your hobbies and still have a great marriage. Some things you will just have to skip.
Study Eachother: Get to know her-What she loves, hates, what makes her tick
Women love to be understood; Romance springs from sacrifice & planning, not from convenience; Intimacy with your wife is the icing on the cake at the end of a good day, NOT the fire escape at the end of a bad day; A little help goes a long way.
Study eachother: Take notes!
Honor your wife: Make a big deal about her in front of others; Reward her; Give her what she deserves
Protect her: She is physically the weaker vessel; Make her feel safe; Manage aggression in a conflict; Do not fear her into silence or make her cower in your presence.
Open up to her:To have togetherness you must open up to one another
Prayer life: Men are responsible for the condition of their marriage; The key is consistently liveing 1 Peter 3:7

After the message, he opened the altar up for all couples to pray: There were so many that they were kneeling in the isles. Josh had half stood and we were waiting for an opening at first, and finally we just sat, bowed our heads together, holding hands and silently prayed to God for our marriage. Tears rolled down my face; my husband (although not audibly/verbally) was praying with me and for us; this Josh, this man- I had not seen this side of him before. It was beautiful.

I'm so thankful for him; so thankful that he talked me into getting out of the car and walking into that building so that God could begin tightening us back together. We were falling apart in some ways and didn't even know it. And we still have a lot of work to do, but I do believe that Sunday June 5th was an important night in our marriage. I love Josh and I couldn't imagine life without him. And I know that God is working in his life in ways that are unknown to me and that's ok. I'm not supposed to be in control. I'm not supposed to be the leader.

Thanks for reading this long post. I pray that there was something of worth buried in these words for you to take with you. Praise God for marriage and unity!

Friday, June 3, 2011

:) You've Got a Friend in Me (:

So this one is for my dear friends:

"When we consider the blessings of God—the gifts that add beauty and joy to our lives, that enable us to keep going through stretches of boredom and even suffering—friendship is very near the top."

—Donald W. McCullough, Mastering Personal Growth

There isn't much to say other than "Thank you" for always being there for me;
for putting up with me through the years and loving me no matter what!

In my opinion it isn't easy to be & stay a friend in this dark crazy world.
I'm sad to admit it, but I would be lying if I said that I was a fabulous friend 100% of the time.
But I will also say that I do try (sometimes too hard, sometimes not hard enough) and at the end of the day,
I don't know what I would do without my friends.

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!"
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 New King James Version

Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)
A friend is always loyal,
and a brother is born to help in time of need.

My sisters
Ashley & Cristina
After all that we have been through in our lifetime, I never ever would have imagined that I could call you two up on the phone and have a decent conversation with either of you. LOL
I'm so glad to have you two to vent to and to call day or night and just talk.
We will forever be friends; not just because God made us sisters, but because we know eachother...
and it won't matter how many times we tick eachother off,
the love that I have for you will never change.
It's the sisterly bond that we were given before time began, by the Big Man upstairs!
Love you big sister & baby sister!

Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)
There are “friends” who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
My Girls
Cara, Casi, Amy
My best friends
The girls that I went riding around with (sometimes hanging out of the window of a camaro)!
The girls that you get to hold their hand while they push during the birth of their first born;
and then get to be the god-mother of that precious child!
The girls that you hold their hand when their baby is so sick and that's the only help you can offer.
and you pray your head off during their surgery and recovery and you get a tattoo in honor of their child!
The girls that you drive miles through an ice storm to see when they are giving birth to their first born.
The girls that you drive in circles with in the movie theater parking lot!
The girls that you half-crazy-dance with to stay awake in the car on a long roadtrip.
The girls that have girls around the same age as mine that will hopefully one day be the best of friends :)
The girls that memorize scripture and study God's Word with you.
The girls that understand your hang-ups, and love you in spite of them.
The girls that you could go without talking to for a while, and then pick right back up where you left off.
They know your secret hopes...and have seen you during your darkest days.
These girls are my best friends: all in different ways, with unique memories, but
Equally special and dear to my heart!

Amos 3:3
Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

my husband-my best friend-the father of my children
I'm so thankful that God brought you to me.
Crazy & Young, I fell in love with you
And I plan to be more in love with you when I am Crazy & Old!
I just think it is amazing how He pieced two lost and broken souls together, and he created love between us and gave us the great opportunity to be parents to our sweet babies, Aspen and Hunter.
Even in the moments when I think I am going to go insane, when you are driving me crazy, I've never loved you more. If I didn't have you with your no-worries spirit, I don't think I could make it a single day.
I love you! Thank you for loving me back!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summertime Joy

Flip Flops
 Brightly Painted Toe-Nails
 Swim Suits
Burgers & Hot Dogs
 Coconut Lotion

The first day of summer is not scheduled until June 21st this year, but I'm here to tell you that summer has already begun for us! And I absolutely LOVE summer! Now, I could do without the sweat and sunburns, but I love all of the other good stuff that comes with this season of the year! The above list is just a few of my favorite things! :)

We cleaned up the backyard (for the most part) so that the kids can go out and play. We set up their little kiddie-pool and water table, cleaned and refilled the sandbox. I love to sit out there and watch them play, grill some burgers and dogs, soak up some sun. Ah, so relaxing.

I wish that I could do that every single day. But reality is, I can't. Real Life still goes on, as well as dishes, laundry, paperwork, etc, etc, etc. I struggle with trying to get everything done, all the time and now, I have come to see that in all my rushing, I have lost the enjoyment of relaxation. I lose my joy...


So I am setting new goals. Goals that will enable me to be joyful and have some semblance of organization.(or atleast I am hoping!!)
I have come to the conclusion, as I mentioned in an earlier post, that this must begin with Elohim first thing every single day! And during or after my time with Him, I must get my blood pumping with some good exercise.
I came across the website Inspired To Action and have begun Maximize Your Mornings to help me out in this department!

I feel that God led me to this information and that somewhere on this new journey I will glean something profound. We serve such a wonderful Redeemer! He is so creative in the ways that He draws us to Him. He knows us so completely and I am grateful that He does, because lately I don't think I know myself very well at all. But that's probably because all along I have been searching for who I am when the answer, the key, is in searching for Him!!

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
—Psalm 16:11

These things I have spoken to you,
that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full.

—John 15:11

True Joy can only be found in
Jesus Christ!