Monday, September 29, 2008

Remembering

Things I Remember
  • Casey saying "Go out and shut my door" at bedtime when she was 2 years old. (That girl always loved her some sleep)
  • Casey crying because everyone else was going to be smarter than her (She didn't get in VLE pre-school: scored too high on the entrance test)
  • Mark waking up in the night crying as a baby (Didn't want anything, just someone to be awake with him)
  • Mark constantly bumping into walls and falling down as a toddler
  • Joshua's big beautiful baby eyes
  • Josh dumping detergent all down the washing machine, and his head, face, shirt, and jeans
  • Them playing school all afternoon, after going to school all day
  • Josh throwing his fits by laying out in the floor, not making a sound (What a punishment for us!LOL)
  • Lemonade stands
  • Little skits they put on for us
  • Checking the kids out of school so they could play in the snow, and then being really glad I did, because by the time the bus came that afternoon it had all melted
  • If you ever interrupted, or tried to "help" Casey say what she was trying to say, she would start her story completely over ( We learned never to interrupt, just wait patiently, or we would be there a while)
  • Mark getting shot by Shayne with a BB gun
  • Josh pulling down the Christmas tree (2 years in a row)
  • Cheers and Dances
  • Mark swimming in Mawmaws pool in May - "No, I'm not cold, my teeth just wont quit shaking."
  • Josh learning to ride a bike at 3 (no training wheels)
  • DARE fishing tournaments
  • Cutting down Christmas trees at the tree farms
  • Horseback riding, and "Tip & Jans"
  • Not allowing anyone to say the words "Tip & Jans" for a few years
  • Mark, after being tucked in (under age 2) - "I love you people"
  • Casey reaching into her stocking at Christmas - "A STAPLER! A STAPLER! A STAPLER!!! You cannot imagine the excitement it brought
  • Mark in his prize winning Clifford the Big Red Dog outfit for Book Character Day at VLE
  • Josh in the same outfit for the same event several years later, then when the time came to go to school him saying-"I AM NOT WEARING THIS TO SCHOOL." Needless to say, we were late that day.
  • Duncan Park Days
  • The tape they made me that was priceless, and probably the best gift they ever gave me. It had songs and piano pieces, and many wonderful, incredible things on it. (Later it was taped over accidentally - Judge Joe Brown UGHHHHH!! Believe me that taught me to pull the little plastic tab off. A little too late. I will always treasure the fact that I had it. I only wish I could remember more of it. It seriously makes me cry! LOL
  • Oh so many more wonderful memories of my children as they grew into such wonderful people that I am so proud of

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Star Light Star Bright

When I was a little girl I remember riding in the car at night from time to time with my parents. I remember leaning against the window many times, stretching my neck to look up at the stars. I remember seeing what appeared to be millions and millions of beautiful stars. Tonight I was riding in the car with my sweet husband. We were coming home from a nice afternoon with the kids and Avery. I remember leaning my head against the window stretching my neck up to look at the stars. There seemed to be millions and millions of beautiful stars. I don't know what it is about the stars that I love so much. It just seems so amazing to me that they are so very very far away yet we can see them, so very many of them, shining so brightly. I guess my simple mind just can't really wrap itself around that. It is a beautiful sight though. The dark sky illuminated with all their glory. When you read Psalm 147: 4 & 5 and Psalm 8: 3 & 4 you see that they talk about how God made the stars. He set all of them in place! He even named each and every one! That's incredible. Those Psalms go on to mention how awesome it is that the God who can do that, is the same God who cares so much for us. Just as He cared enough to pick a name for each one of those millions of stars, He cares about each one of us. He cares about me. The mom of three, with curly hair, living in small town Louisiana, working in a high school, with no college degree, and no money to speak of. Even though there is nothing spectacular about me, the God of ALL cares about ME. The next time I am riding in a car at night with someone, I am going to lean my head against the window again and think about how my God set all those beautiful stars in place and named them, and about how much that same God loves little ole me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

For The Love of God!

As we are raising our kids we think about how small they are and how some day they will "Oh say it isn't so' - graduate from High School! Then they will "Heaven Forbid" go off to college! Then even "marriage". That is when the time apparently comes that we get what they call "Empty Nest Syndrome". So somehow we deal with that, hopefully without medication, and then come the golden years where we grow old together. Our children are all at their own homes and it is now just you and your spouse together alone without a care in the world. No worrying about running noses and running fevers. No slammed doors and no slammed fingers in the doors. No selling girl scout cookies and no selling candy for amazingly big prizes. No boyfriends or girlfriends. No late nights up waiting for them to get home. No stressing over test grades or semester grades. No having to be "mama bear" providing protection when needed from those who might not be so nice to your little cubs. Right? What's that you say? That isn't how it works completely? Okay so now I know that my dream world of what the golden years would be like will be somewhat altered. I realize that my crazy worrying self will have more to think on even though they are not right under me. Casey has certainly taught me that in the last few years with all her heartache and the stressful surprising way Avery came into our world. I have been thinking on that today. I was thinking about how much we love our children. We will do anything for them as they grow up. We never want anything bad to happen to them. When hard things do happen to them we hurt. We really really hurt for them. The hurt comes from the love. If you don't love someone you don't hurt for them in that same way. We care about people we don't know and we can be concerned for them of course. That's God given compassion. When you have true love for someone though, that compassion goes much deeper and becomes much more physical. So I said all that to say this. My thoughts today went to God our Father in Heaven. He is the Father of Jesus. Now of course He didnt (doesn't) worry. He is sinless and knows all. He doesn't worry. I strive to be more like that myself. But like us He has love for His Son. As a matter of fact, as much as I LOVE my three wonderful children (and my one son-in-law), God loves His Son so much more than I could ever imagine love could reach. That's a lot, let me tell you, because I love my children more than life. But God's love is amazing. I don't think it is even possible in our human minds to understand the whole truth of that. Actually I know it's not that easy to understand because God's word gives that hint in this awesome prayer. Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom His whole family in Heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge. That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. The apostle Paul knows that it's gonna take some power for us to grasp this concept of Gods' amazingly great love. I love this prayer and I am so thankful for the love of God my Father. So I am comparing Gods' love for me and my love for my children, which leads me to this scripture. 1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! We are called the Children of God. We are His children and He loves us. He not only loves His Son Jesus, he loves us with that great love. The love of God for His children is great and has been lavished on us. (given greatly in excess) Can we ever know all of His love for us? Even the part we can know, the part we can pray for the power to understand, is SO AMAZING!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Blessings

Well a lot has gone on since my last post. Avery came to spend a weekend with us. She was real good on the trip here. When she got here though, she screamed. I dont know what the deal was but she was so unhappy. When I finally got her to take her bottle she took a nap. When she woke up she was fine. We had a great time with her. She played and squealed and smiled and was so good.

Her mommy got some needed rest that weekend. As you can tell from the photo I was pretty happy to have our little miracle with me for a bit. Well after that great visit with her, Calley had her sweet baby boy Amaus. I was so blessed to be able to be a part of that. They asked me to come along to take some photographs. I did and it was such a sweet and blessed day. Calley did a wonderful job. No medication and he was the biggest baby I have ever seen. 10 pounds 11.9 ounces! WOW! So cute! Head full of dark hair. I always wanted a baby with lots of hair. Never happened for me. She had praise music playing, I was praying for her (silently of course). Danny was too, I am sure. The whole atmosphere was peaceful. It was so different from the norm. Not sterile feeling and loud wailing and such. It was beautiful. Anyway that is an experience I will not soon forget. Congratulations to them! Then next, all the kids came in. Casey, Charlie, and Avery were here. They had a funeral to go to. Mark came in too. He had the Hathaway golf tournament to attend. Josh was here of course. So with all of them and their friends in and out, including Maw Maw and Papaw who came in town. We definately had a house full of folks. It was nice. Wish I had a bigger living room though. We were packed in there like sardines in a tin can at times. But it was still nice. Hope you have been as blessed lately as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Water Poured Out

This Sunday our Youth Pastor brought the sermon. He brought out a scripture that I have never heard before, but one that I think I will never forget. 2 Samuel 14:14 I can't believe I have never seen this before. (There's so much in there, if we just keep digging, we will keep finding.) He used the New Living Translation (You know Youth pastors) When you read it in the other translations, it is the same, only the words used there really bring it to heart.
2 Samuel 14:14 "All of us must die eventually
. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. That is why God tries to bring us back again when we have been separated from him. He does not sweep away the lives of those he cares about." When I think about our lives - my life -being like water spilled out on the ground. I see the concrete driveway with the water poured there. It makes a mark, a dark spot. The water sinks in. I can't pick it back up. There is no way to retrieve it. Like words once said cannot be taken back. The water poured out cannot be taken up and poured out again in another way or another place. Our lives, the decisions we make leave a mark. Good or bad, they cannot be redone. No do-overs.
Married at 18 - Sinks in
No College - Sinks in
How we raise the kids - Sinks in
Taking the job - Sinks in
Walking away - Sinks in
Yes, No, Go, Stay
Everything we do has consequences. Living our lives in the manner that God wants us to live them is what really counts though. Sometimes the decisions we make can cause us, for whatever reason to get off track - to move further away from our Savior. For one reason or another, maybe selfishness, or laziness, or simply indifference, we find ourselves choosing the wrong path. That path may not be a road with deep pot holes and rugged pits. It may be a smooth simple path, but not the one God chose for us. That still leads us away from God. This scripture tells us that God "devises" or "plans" ways to bring us back to him. God himself comes up with ways for us to be brought back into fellowship with him. I can just see God saying "Oh, There she goes again, Okay this is what I'll do. She will see me here and come back my direction." I love how it says he devises ways or plans ways for us to be brought back into fellowship with him when we goof. I love the next part of this scripture as stated in the New Living Translation. It may just be the thoughts of someone on the scripture, but it is truthful when it says He does not sweep away our lives just because we dirty them. He cares about us. I plan to do more thinking on this scripture and how our lives are like water spilled out on the ground.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

CHANGE

My beautiful daughter Casey with our "tiny miracle" Avery

This is Mark with a snake he got a hold of at the Grand Canyon



Josh with a rare smile. Things like the LSU Championship Trophy do that for him.


I have always disliked change. I like things to stay the same, where I am comfortable. Of course if things are uncomfortable, I want to change to comfortable. But honestly I must be REALLY uncomfortable before I am comfortable with the change. Wow, that's a mouthful! When I am in a comfortable place, or even a somewhat uncomfortable place that I can deal with - then change makes me nervous. It's a lack of faith of course. Because the nervousness comes from the fear of the unknown. If I can deal with a situation, then changing to something that might possibly - in some minuscule way - make the situation worse, isn't something I can easily do. I have always been that way. It's amazing that I ever married. :) Boy was that a big change. I remember changing from our trailer to our house. I sat in that room with that big table signing the millions of papers with the biggest knot in my stomach. It felt awful, not exciting like it should have been. Having children was a huge change too. I remember the fear involved once the pregnancies began. With Casey, I was so scared about the delivery. With Mark, I was so so scared that I wouldn't be able to love another baby as much as I loved my first. With Josh I was scared that I wasn't ready and didn't know how I could handle it. But the fears of delivery passed as I gave birth to Casey with no epidural. Of course with Mark I found that with each new baby a huge load of love was also delivered just as awesomely as the love for the first one was there. With Josh I found that you don't really have to be ready. Gods grace is amazing, just as the song says. I found that I COULD handle whatever GOD thought I could handle. (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.) So it seems that those major things in life happened, maybe easier than the smaller things. What's up with that? When I think of these changes here that I have mentioned, and how GREAT they all turned out, why would I even be nervous about change at all?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Back to School

Our first day back after Gustav was not so bad actually. I finished my Principals Report, and Started and Finished my Financial Report! Wow Both in one day! Thats crazy. The thing I hate the most about my job is that Financial Report. I never was cut out to be an accountant. Secretary was what I agreed to. Well I guess I agreed to it but I certainly didnt understand all that it entailed. I hate hate hate that part. Actually that is the only part I dislike, but it sometimes overshadows all the rest of the job. But not days like today, when I can start it and finish it all in one day. Thank you Lord. My auditors have set their next date to come visit me. It will be in October. I hope everything goes ok. My stomach is shuddering at the thought. :{ Sometimes when people find out that I dont "love" my job. They make comments about the kids. I always set them straight on that, No, it is not the kids. The kids are great. There have only been a couple that have caused me any trouble. In fact I love the kids. I see that as a big part of the reason I am there. I know God put me there for some reason. I cant believe that it has much to do with the accounting of the school. LOL I know there have been times when He has used me with the kids. I feel like there will be more times. Already this year I can see a few things that God has me praying about. There are so many stories there, just in our little school. So many lives with so many things going on in them. I wish I could make everything great for all of them. Of course thats not possible. But God can use me as I allow Him to. That is what I plan to do. I certainly do not want this job to be in vain! I want to be used here for as long as I am here. So I will continue to ask God how He wants to use me each day. And maybe next month I will again have a Financial Report that doesnt give me a stomach ache.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pledge of Allegiance


I work in a school, so I hear it every day. On some occasions when we are gathered together, there are times when as a group we Pledge Allegiance to the Flag. (And we should) It gives a sense of patriotism and pride in our country. I remember a time after 9/11 when the recited words even brought tears to my eyes. (Yes, I am a very emotional person.) Today I was thinking about something that happened during Hurricane Gustav. We were going stir crazy inside with no electricity. Tired of staring at one another and interested in seeing what had happened in the community, we decided to drive around in the air conditioned vehicle for a bit. During our short outing we drove to the River Walk. That's where I saw this flag. It was a huge flag, flying in the wind and rain. It was tattered and torn with a part of it missing. The entire top right quarter of it was gone. I can't explain exactly what it said to me, but it was sort of sad and I felt compelled to take a picture of it. Today I was sitting with my guitar and playing and singing for a while. I was going over and over a part of a song that says "You're altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me." As a Praise and Worship leader it is awesome to see a congregation in one accord singing to Him about how lovely, worthy, and wonderful He is. My mind was going over that, and I began thinking, how we get together as a group to recite the well deserved Pledge of Allegiance to that flag. I thought of Jesus and how wonderful He really is, how deserving He really is of our praise and worship. Allegiance means: Loyalty to; devoted support - The flag that deserves our allegiance can become tattered, ripped, and ruined in a storm. Even without a storm in time the flag will become worn and less than its original beauty. But Jesus - God - our Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever! How much more does our God deserve our corporate praise of Him. God will not fade away. He will not become frayed, or ragged, or used. He is and will always be King of all Kings and Greatly to be praised! He is and always will be deserving of our Pledge of Allegiance to Him - Our vocalized promise of loyalty to Him in praise.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oh Please Be Careful!

He worked so hard. Josh and Mickey helped too. Gustav wont get us down.

Things to Be Thankful For


1. Cold Water
2. Ice
3. Lights
4. Family together during a storm
5. Family away not having to experience a storm
6. Meat
7. Air Conditioning
8. Being able to run to the store to pick up whatever it is you need
9. Things like the roof and the wood floors being replaceable
10. Sunshine

Press On

By the light of a flickering woodwick candle, with the sound of pouring rain through heavy winds, above the flap, flap, flapping of the loose shingles (those that haven't given up and flown into the yard yet) I am reading Gods word. This is a new experience for me. I don't believe I have ever done this before. I am excited to find out what God is about to show me. It does seem like so many trials have hit our family - Carson, Avery's birth, job trials, clogged pipes, plumbing troubles, money issues, Hurricane damage... But I am reminded of that verse in the song that says" It never really ever crossed my mind to turn my back on you O Lord, my only shelter from the storm." What a shelter He is. Now to Gods word, next to a candle to see what it is He will show me through it's light.
..."Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Let steadfastness have it's full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." The testing of your faith will produce steadfastness. You don't give up, you stick to the plan. When you have trial after trial and you learn to wait on the Lord, and when you learn to press on and on and on it does have the effect to help you to learn to trust and wait and lean on Him over and over again. That's the steadfastness in it. For what else can we lean on but Him. He is the rock, the steady part. If we were to lean on anything unstable we could fall and be injured.
I love Psalm 85:5-7 "Blessed are those whose strength is in YOU, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs: the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength." Its HIM who we should lean on. It's His strength. This says we are blessed as we put our strength in Him. Our hearts are set toward Heaven. He is our focus. But yes, there will be times when we go through the Valley of Baca, which is to say the Valley of weeping. There will be those times. But as we go through them they will be made (through Him) a place of springs. "Refreshing Springs" There will be puddles of refreshing there, as we step through, and we push through, as we press on, there will be puddles here and there of that refreshment, where we gain our strength from Him. I love the part that says "They go from strength to strength." Through all this rain, believe me there are puddles everywhere. I got out this morning just to get a few needed things, and I even had to drive around a very large puddle. If there had been grass and ducks, I am sure it would be considered a pond. You know when there are puddles around and you go this way and that to avoid them? This verse just makes you want to wade right through them, going from strength to strength.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bring The Rain

With all this storm stuff, this song just keeps going through and through my head. It is a song I came across on one the of the blogs I keep up with. "Bring the Rain" Angie, who is the wife of the lead singer in "Selah" writes it. Great stuff. Anyway she had this song on her blog and I just love it. It is called :Bring the Rain, by Mercy Me. If you dont know it, go listen to it. These are the lyrics:
I can count a million times, people askin me how i, can praise you with all that I've gone through. The question just amazes me, how circumstances possibly, can change who I forever am in you. Maybe since my life has changed, long before these rainy days, its never ever really crossed my mind, to turn my back on you oh lord, my only shelter from the storm, but instead I draw closer through this time. So I pray, bring me joy bring me peace, bring the chance to be free, bring me anything that brings you glory, and i know there'll be days when this life brings me pain, but if that what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain, oh I am yours regardless of the clouds that may loom above, because you are much greater than the pain. You who made a way for me, suffering your destiny, so tell me, whats a little rain. So I pray, bring me joy, bring me peace, bring the chance to be free, bring me anything that brings you glory, and I know there'll be days when this life brings me pain, but if that what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain, Oh Holy Holy Holy, Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty Is the Lord God Almighty I forever sing Holy Holy Holy, Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty, is the Lord God Almighty Everybody singin Holy Holy Holy, Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty, is the Lord God Almighty, you are Holy, you are Holy, yea you are Holy, the Lord our God Almighty Holy Holy Holy, You are Holy, Holy holy holy...
What a song. I especially love the part that says "its never really crossed my mind, to turn my back on you oh lord, my only shelter from the storm" He is our only shelter from any storm we may experience. I am so thankful to have Him for my shelter from Gustav or any other storm life may bring. His anchor holds.