Better Than A Boob Job!

Ladies - if you are looking for a way to be more attractive to your husband, I mean REALLY attractive - try this: Get in the Word! I am serious, it is better than a boob job (and just for the record, this title came from my husband when I was discussing with him my desire for ladies to really know the impact that being in God's Word makes.) Here was my experience from this past weekend (and there are tons more stories I could tell you):

I have been struggling with thinking that we needed to move into a bigger home. You know, the constant desire for more, more, more. I found a home in our neighborhood that I had decided would be perfect for our family and would give us extra room as our children got bigger. I found myself all of a sudden not being content with the home God had blessed us with and the home that my hubby works so hard so that we can live in it. Not attractive.

Then, on Saturday morning, as I had my extended time in the Word, God totally set my heart back to reflect His heart again. And what does that look like - being thankful for the many blessings He has given me, wanting to affirm my husband that he does so well in providing for our family and taking care of us, wanting to save money instead of spend money on temporary things, smiling more and not being so grumpy, etc. - all attractive traits to my hubby.

I challenge you this week to really pursue the heart of our Lord. And then please post comments about how spending time with the Lord made you more attractive to your spouse. Also, post the passage of Scripture you were in this week.

My attractive moment came from Proverbs 1. 20 - 33. This passage then made me want to look at more verses that address God's view on money and I went to the Dave Ramsey site. Scroll down and look for the little Bible symbol - can you believe over 800 Bible references to finances/stewardship?


I'm tired.

Well, I would like to tell everyone that I have it all together all the time. But everyone who knows me well knows I'm a horrible liar, so I won't try to convince you of that first statement. I would like to say tell you that I'm a changed (for the better) woman since Keith's health scare. But I can't say that yet. I feel like I still have a lot to process, but I haven't found the solitude to do that yet. I have struggled with how fast life has gone since Keith being in the hospital. I've had a difficult time finding my groove again as a wife and mom with four young children. I used to just laugh when people would make comments about how hard it must be with four children 5 and under. Now I want to affirm them in their assumption. I'm frustrated with myself because I hate it when I'm overwhelmed. My heart would like to be happy and look at the positive 100% of the time, and it is really aggravating to me when I get too tired to smile. But that's exactly the spot I have found myself in many times lately.

So, this next exercise is really just for me...to remind me of God's sweet faithfulness and graciousness to me.

Thankful for...
1. the peace that I have in walking with the Lord on a daily basis. He is not just someone I sing to on Sundays. He guides my every step and puts joy in my heart. He sustains me...even now in my tiredness.

2. my husband. Did you know that he took me on a date last night and surprised me with diamond stud earrings and a cross necklace? Just because. I can't express in words how much I love this man and thank God for him.

3. my children. Yes, they are mostly the reason why I am so tired, but they are also the reason why I laugh all throughout the day. They have my heart. God uses them all the time to make me more into the woman He wants me to be.

4. my mom and in-laws. Can I just say that we are so blessed to have the parents that we do? I have learned so much about sacrificial love from our parents. They always put family first and that has blessed Keith and I so much. I could not have lived thru the past couple of weeks without their love and support.

5. our church family...could just be the best group of people out there. They have ministered to our family and shown us God's love time and time again. I promise, if you come to our church, you will not want to leave. There is something so special about the people God has put together at our church.

6. friends and neighbors...just wonderful, I tell you. They have also blessed our family so much. We are better people because of the influence you have made on our lives.

Do you see what I'm seeing...none of my material possessions come to mind when I ponder on what I am thankful for. It's all about relationships. Don't get me wrong. I am thankful for the things God has given to us, but I also understand how temporary those things are.

OK, I can go to bed tonight reflecting on God's goodness and not on my weariness :) I told you this exercise was for me. And please don't think of this as "the power of positive thinking." Think of it as seeking to honor God with my thoughts and my attitude. Goodnight.

Here are some long overdue pics of our kids with their family...first off, Brynlee with her Mama E.

...the boys with their granny
the boys with their papa
Brynlee meeting her nanny for the first time (Papa's mom)
Brynlee meeting her mimi for the first time (Mama E.'s mom - 91 years old...I know, she looks incredible for her age)


New Tradition in our home

We started an awesome (maybe a little nerdy) tradition on Election night last week. We took a large wipe-off board that we had purchased at Home Depot and took it up to the office to project an electoral map onto the board. Then, I traced the map in permanent marker, with the state name and number of electoral votes listed on each state. We bought a brand new pack of dry erase markers (I know, you didn't really need to know that) and listed all of the important races to watch throughout the night. We had an Obama column (blue, of course) and a McCain column (red) and kept a running total of the electoral votes they had. We let the kids color in each of the states as they were called. I know our kids are only 5, 3, 2 and 4 mo., but our oldest two really got into it. It drove them crazy that they had to go to bed before all the states had been colored in. And it got them interested in the historic event. We made a fun night of it and let them stay up until they basically asked to go to bed because they were so tired. Now they are excited that there are going to be two kids living in the White House.

We plan on pulling out our nerdy white board for every presidential election in the future :)


Part of obedience is serving...

My mom (aka "granny") has blessed me so much my whole life - but especially since she moved here in May. She has made having four children 5 and under a lot easier than it should be for Keith and I. One of the ways she has blessed us is by having a "sleepover at granny's" on most Friday nights for our boys. They get to stay up late watching movies and Keith and I get to sleep in a little longer and have a sweet time with the Lord where we actually get to be still for more than 5 minutes at a time. So, I am blogging this after I've had one of those precious mornings.

My heart has really been burdened over teaching members of the body of Christ that it is vital to their Christian walk to serve the body. I think our culture is so used to being consumers that we can easily forget that church is not a consumer driven establishment. The church does not exist to make Christians feel better about themselves because they've gone to church one day a week and sang a couple of songs that makes them feel closer to God. It makes my heart sad that we, left alone, all tend to feel like that's good enough for our spiritual life. I think that this is one reason that non-Christians don't see a real need for Christ in their lives. Because for so many believers, having Christ just seems to make a nominal difference in your life. They don't see evidence of the transforming work of Christ in the lives of most Christians they know. They see it as vanity on our part - just trying to do whatever necessary to feel better about ourselves - and going to church really does move us up on the ladder of being better than our neighbor, right ? Please read the sarcasm in that last sentence.

One of the basics that God had in mind when he put the church together was that we learn how to serve each other and that we could see how each part of the body is extremely vital to the functioning of the church. It seems like such an easy command to obey - to serve the body.

Let's look at Eph 4. 11 - 16: "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we ll reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitfulful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

It is obvious from this passage that God's people are to serve so that the body of Christ may be built up. When you don't serve, you are keeping others from becoming mature in Christ. And I love the last verse, that the whole body is held together by every supporting ligament, and that we grow as each part does its work.

If you are reading this and you are not serving in your church body, I pray that you will be challenged to step out and obey the Lord's will for you in this area. We always wonder what the Lord's will for us is in certain areas...well this is a clear directive that you don't have to keep pondering...You are called to serve.

And along with this challenge - remember, that serving in Children's ministry is not baby-sitting! And it is very manly. And the excuse "I am not gifted with children," is really only true for a very select few in our society. Most of the time, that is just used because you think of it as baby-sitting and you're right, that is really not a gifting that many of us do have. But if you see Children's ministry as a way to show Christ to our young ones and a way to model for them what being a godly man/woman looks like, then you really have no good excuse for not giving CM a try. I am overwhelmed by the impact that the CM at our church has on all my kids.

Because our church is a church plant, we still only have a select few ministries to be apart of on Sunday mornings. So, that's why I had to include the previous paragraph. Our main ministry focus on Sunday mornings is pouring into our kids and many of our people seem to think it's an easy out for not serving - but remember, you are needed so that our chuch body functions like God intended and so that we may all become mature.

Usually, my postings are all warm and fuzzy, so I'm really curious as to ya'lls thoughts on this posting after you read...


Welcome Home!

Hopefully, most of you know not to wait on me to post news - like an update on Keith's health. I am slow at this blogging thing, that's all there is to it. I have no excuses - except for four children who require A LOT of attention - does that count :)

Keith is doing wonderful. And because he is doing wonderful, I am doing wonderful. I just can't thank the Lord enough for restoring Keith's health. He went for his sleep-deprived EEG yesterday morning and then we met with his neurologist. She took him off the seizure medication because all the tests have officially come back looking good. I wanted to ask her more about the workings of his brain - always been a little curious...but I refrained. I've already teased him so much about what he did when he was in his crazy unconscious state that I thought it bests to leave him alone this time. The neurologist said that though rare, they think he had the grand mal seizure because of the sinus infection. Needless to say, we are going to be seeing an allergist and ENT doctor on a regular basis from now on.

Here are some pics of my awesome hubby at home.

We got home from the hospital around 6:00 on Halloween evening. Our neighbors and our RLG kept up our tradition of providing hot dogs to all our neighbors and trick-or-treaters. So, almost as soon as we arrived home, we had around 50 adults and kids on our front lawn getting ready for the night. One of our sweet neighbors, Judy, made cupcakes for Kade's birthday, assuming that we weren't going to have time to make him a cake - she was right! Kade wouldn't blow out his candles until his daddy came out to watch him.

We have the most awesome neighbors. Our parents and the kids woke up one morning to find this banner hanging on our fence in the backyard. What a fun treat in the midst of trying times. A lot of the kids from the two streets around us painted their handprints on the sign and the adults signed it. It is still hanging up just because it makes us smile. This is the only pic from the week that I took. I couldn't bring myself to take any pics in the hospital. I love this banner because instead of reminding me of the difficulties, it reminds me to be thankful for all the precious people God has richly blessed our lives with. That's what I want to scrapbook about - when I do get a chance to scrapbook :)

Check back on the blog soon. A new tradition was born in our family last night and I can't wait to share it with all of you. Maybe some of you will want to be a family of nerds like us...I'll try to post it tomorrow. But you know how that goes...