This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:35-40

35Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

36Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38This is the first and great commandment.

39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

If I Stand
Rich Mullins

There's more that rises in the morning

Than the sun
And more that shines in the night
Than just the moon
It's more than just this fire here
That keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger
Than this room

And there's a loyalty that's deeper

Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the giver
Of all good things

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

There's more that dances on the prairies
Than the wind More that pulses in the ocean
Than the tide

There's a love that is fiercer
Than the love between friends
More gentle than a mother's
When her baby's at her side

And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing

The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegence
I owe only to the Giver

Of all good things


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Read to Me 2007 Mission

Who knew?
Tinkerbell has a mouth like a sailor and she’s a little bit of a hussy to boot. But we’ve liked Peter Pan. It was a bit more bloody than I errrr... the boys were prepared for but all in all a good book. Definitely a book from another era.

Harry Potter, I love that child and wish I could take care of him (I connect with Molly Weasly on such a mom level), but good golly Molly, he needs to learn to think a little. That child is rash! Reading this with the boys will count my third venture with the series. We are into the Chamber of Secrets now. I think maybe JK Rowling is Molly Weasly. She is like a mom to Harry being the author and all, she birthed him, so to speak.

Johnny Tremaine is a great book but we didn’t get as far in as I would like to. We've had some good discussions about the historical aspect which have made it worthwhile.

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children is just that a treasure, a gem and a gentle foil to two little boys who like to explode in my living room. The calming animal stories and Herriot's way with words is great for a cuddle on the couch.

All in all the Read to Me 2007 Mission was a great challenge. I was disappointed that we didn’t do more, but then we did struggle with a case of the snots each, and then me, debating back and forth whether or not we were actually going to have a spring break due to the fact that my DCG has been home for so long and the apple cart got upset a looooooooong time ago.

So, yes, we did a lot more reading aloud together than we had in the past, but not as much as we could have. The books have been the topic of many dinner conversations. The chance to snuggle and read won over Xbox time more than half of the time. And right now I am grateful for that.

We won’t be dropping the Read to Me Mission just because the challenge is ending. This has been a boost that we so needed. I hope to get back to a bit better schedule and the pile to be read is growing. Coming up will be Stuart Little, Some of the Little House books, Heidi, Misty of Chincoteague and more. Roo has been on a fantasy/adventure kick for a while and I am looking for a bit more "realistic" fiction that might provide a better transition to bedtime.

Thanks so much Jennifer for hosting this challenge. Stop by her Snapshot, her blog and check out what everyone else read!

Stay tuned next week for Katrina’s Spring Reading Thing over at Callapidder Days. Time to make a list for me!

How Do You Spell Relief?

Well I thought I would spell it J-O-B. As in DCG received the much prayed for job.

55 days unemployed it will be when he starts on Friday. But oddly, yesterday when I found out I did none of the things I thought I would do. Almost two months ago when this “desert” began I thought I might dance and cry with relief. I thought I might call everyone I knew to celebrate. I thought we might plan a dinner out. I thought we might have a bottle of wine to celebrate (There is one in the cupboard—waiting.) I did call my family. None of the other things were done.

The reality was…we ended up in a fight. Sigh. It was short. It was just a flash. But initially it seemed an odd response to an answered prayer. For this whole time, although there has been some depression and tears, worries and unspoken frustrations, we have put up a fairly united front to family and friends and to especially not worry the boys anymore than they were. I think there was a release in the news and we faltered. Like I said it was a flash—two minutes of exchange, five minutes of silence and then repentance and forgiveness on both sides. But it was a shocker.

Dare I say it? I took it out on my husband that I was disappointed God did not meet all my “demands” for what DCG’s (DarlingCaveGeek) new job should be. The biggest one being—not another contract. And this is. A contract to permanent hire. It appears to be a fine job, but I know nothing about the company, other than they moved faster than any other we’ve dealt with—the initial contact was last Friday. Everyone else is dragging their feet in decisions. (Watch more offers come next week. He won’t take them, it would just be ironic.) It was not on a bus line, the commute is kind of stinky, with no alternate route. There were tantalizing benefits that won’t be put in writing.

I’m kind of a brat, aren’t I? Who said that there would be 100% perfection, satisfaction and joy on this earth? Not God. No, He says otherwise. Who says that I will get more than I deserve? Well actually—He did and He’s already provided that because I deserve death and condemnation and I have instead salvation and eternal life. So what is my problem?? (Another sigh) Oh, it is that humanity thing again. I am really tired of that.

So we start a new chapter. And I am grateful we will be able to leave the desert again. And as I went through the day yesterday I mellowed and praised. I know that my trust should not be in “chariots and horses” or rather offer letters and employers. The ugly lessons we have learned about ourselves are quite vivid right now. Praying I don’t lose sight of those things I need to work on and change.

One thing I will say now is that there is joy in the fact that this trial did not divide us as a family. Our boys showed great character for ones so young. DCG and I chose to cleave for the most part and draw closer to each other and the boys. We spent a lot of time together. We laughed and we shared time which was the one thing we had in plentiful supply.

Someone asked me yesterday if it was a good job. I said ask me five years from now. For now it is a job, just that and nothing more. I am reminded by a story that Max Lucado shared called the Woodcutter’s Wisdom. If you’re a Lucado fan you’ve probably heard it. If not, it is a parable for everyone. Worth the read. It is in PDF form so I think you need Acrobat to read it.

It seems to me God isn’t quite finished with our lessons. I think our trust and faith need to be more grounded in Him and perhaps this is why our prayer was answered with this job. Maybe if it was the perfect dream job we would forget our lessons too soon. I don’t claim to have wisdom to interpret things, it is just a hunch. Maybe, just maybe I can get myself motivated to march forward and find the joy in this phase as He has shown me joys in everything else.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday

Remind me again why I am joyful about litter boxes… Oh yeah, it would be because if we have litter boxes Old Man and Ferocious One don’t pee on the bath mat. Too bad they can’t be convinced to use the toilet, like some cats I have heard of.

I have seen a lot of “designer litter boxes” lately. Litter boxes hidden attractively in end tables and specially made to match the d├ęcor cat commodes. And while my space is at a premium, I really don’t need to have the “cat facilities” in the living area. And I reeeeeaaaaalllly don't want to.
What we do have is an attached garage and we chose to put a pet door from the garage to the lower entry hall. It keeps the kitty mess out of site. There is plenty of room to have their food in one area and their boxes far, far away (oh and it is our storage space so there are no cars—why would you put a car in the garage for Pete’s sake?) And it keeps Poochie from sampling the cat food or worse the litter box cruncy treats.(EEEEWWww!!!) If I didn't have an attached garage and I did have a few more rooms I would consider making a "kitty room" just to keep the boxes away from everything else.

A pet door on the inside of the house…Works for me and the cats!

Visit Shannon's Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer, I've found so many things there that work for me.

Wordless Wednesday

One morning my parents woke up to find some neighbors came to call...

Check out Wordless Wednesday. So many great pictures to see.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Not a Lot of Time

Joy shared is joy doubled. –Johann von Goethe

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Matthew 24:36

I am a procrastinator, a piddler and a time waster. I can have a to-do list that stretches the across the house and manage to find a reason to sit at the computer…for "just another minute." I don’t use my time well.

This week at church I was reminded that the one thing we all have in common is a 24 hour day. You cannot buy more time. With enough money one can buy conveniences and hire help to get more done in a day—but no one can’t buy more time.

If you knew that you only had a limited amount of time left, what would you do with it? Would you read a great book? Would you go on a mission trip? Would you make up with your ex-friend about the argument you can’t remember what started it? Would you go visit Grandma? Would you spend every last second with your nose shoved in your child’s hair, just to smell that sweet smell? Would you hold your spouse’s hand a little longer?

Would you sit and write a blog post about time?? Apparently, I might. But we all only have a limited amount of time left. We don’t know the day or the hour. We don’t know if we will see the LORD return or if we will be waiting for our loved ones on the other side of heaven.

There are so many things to do with our time. There is no right answer for everyone.

The question needs to be asked also, what will you leave behind? Some people laugh at me because I am a “saver of stuff’ but I think I am saving memories. (The guy on Clean Sweep would trounce me.) I know my grandma is not in the afghan, but her hands made it. I know my father (who is alive, just so you know) is not the hope chest I have, but he made it for me. I save pictures and letters and they all bring back memories. I want to leave good memories for my family, should I leave before them.

There’s not a lot of time. There are more memories to be made.

Encouraging us all to live life well…In Him.

Menu Plan Monday

Once again I am joining the creative and organized ladies at Laura’s I’m an Organizing Junkie (shhhhhhh…don’t tell them what a messie I am!) and trying to start the week off on a planned route. There may be a few detours, but at least we will have a map.

The menu this week consists of:

Monday— pizza sandwiches & salad
Tuesday— spaghetti
Wednesday— breakfast for dinner
Thursday—cardboard pizza deluxe (add our own ingredients)

Ballet is on spring break this week so we have nowhere to go and there for it doesn’t matter how long preparation takes, although most of the meals are pretty easy, 'coz I'm kind of lazy organized that way.

Pizza sandwiches are a French loaf cut in half filled with Italian turkey sausage and turkey pepperoni & mozzarella cheese. Marinara is on the side for dipping.

Breakfast for dinner this week will include either biscuits and gravy or pumpkin pancakes, I haven’t decided.

Cardboard pizza is frozen pizza (we use Red Barron 4 cheese) and then we doctor it up. Still cheaper than delivery and we can pick the toppings.

For more and more creative menu’s go visiting Menu Plan Monday at Laura’s.

Happy Dining!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God. –Leon Bloy

Grains of Gratitude was started by Christine at Brady’s Bunch. It seems a fitting way to start the week being thankful. I don’t always thank my heavenly Father first or praise Him first. Often I run in with my wish list and I need to be more mindful of what I am blessed with first.

This week I am grateful for many interviews on Friday and interviews scheduled for this week. We are hopeful that one of these will yield the job the LORD has planned for my DCG.

I am thankful that my niece got a superior at her piano contest. I wish I could have been there to listen. We are proud of her.

I am thankful my nephew got a trophy bowling. He is such a strong boy. Look out pins!!

This week was parents watch week at my boys dance school. I am so proud of the dancers that they are becoming. They have improved literally by leaps and bounds. I am so grateful for the teachers in their lives that are providing solid training. And I am thankful for all of the people who are encouraging them and offering their talented examples.

The lessons I have learned over the last almost two months have been eye-opening and at times painful, but I have been blessed by them and for that I am grateful.

What are you grateful for?

Psalm 51
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.

14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.