Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Trip To The Fire Station

Yesterday was field trip day here at our house. A field trip was planned to visit a fire station and away we went.

Brad, our 13 year old, wasn't really interested in this trip as he swore they just talk for a bit and then you get to watch Teletubbies. I just shook my head and told him that this was our school for today but if he wanted to stay home and work on his school work, he could. He chose to go. Now that I am thinking about it, I remember a few years back (maybe 6 or 7 years ago) when we went to a fire station open house, I think I do remember that being played on their TV in the living quarters so now it all makes sense.

I realize that as he gets older, the less that he is going to be interested in but he helps me with crowd control so I hope he will willingly go with us. Besides, he is just an all around great kid who I enjoy spending time with. I was glad he was there with us yesterday not just because I love to hear him laugh but because Aaron attempted one of his disappearing Houdini tricks and Brad was there to save the day.

The Fire chief and his men did a great job showing the kids the fire trucks, the jaws of life, all the gadgets, levers and hoses on the trucks. They couldn't show us the living quarters as it was under renovation but the guys did go upstairs so they could show the kids how they come downstairs when they get a call. The men sliding down the fire pole was priceless.

One of the guys put on his gear including the oxygen tank and mask to show the kids what they look like when they are in their suit. It can look scary to a youngster so I was glad they showed them that. One of the things that tickled me so was that they were giving the kids fire safety tips and one of the things they told them was to never hide but to go over to a window and make as much noise as they can. Then they had them practice. Here was their opportunity to scream, jump, and make all kinds of crazy noises but do you think they did? No, nope, no way! It was hilarious. They gave them a second chance and that attempt was a little better. I know my kids alone could have hit a much higher noise level. I've seen it and heard it! I know it's there. I guess they were saving it for me for later in the day. I'm glad they were thinking of me and just wanted to give me something special later. I am loved.

After the tour was over, they passed out plastic fire hats and coloring books to all the kids. All I can say is that I am glad there was a place to write their names on it as they are scattered all across the house.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Boys...will I ever understand them?

I was sitting at Mom's Night Out last night with some great friends and what do you think we were talking about? Our kids, of course! We were comparing the differences between girls and boys.

I just had to share one of my many stories that I have of being the mother of Aaron, Ryan and Brad.

One precious afternoon, Aaron who was then three, decided to go out in the backyard to play. This always makes me breathe a sigh of relief as the noise level goes down so much when even just one child decides to take his/her liveliness outside. All of the sudden, I realized how very quiet it was. I went outside to check on what was going on.

Upon not finding this cute little guy in the backyard, I entered the garage to see if he was in there. What do you think I found? I found this little brown boy sitting in there playing with a can of varnish. Now I ask you and it still remains a mystery....just how exactly did he get the lid off?

Fortunately, I found him and the mess before it dried on completely and was able to wash him back to whiteness but he never would tell me what his secret was. He did have a distinct smell about him for a few days though.

So now we move to this morning.....

Aaron who is now four, almost five, came running up to me crying that his nose hurt. I was trying to figure out what was going on because he was jumping up and down crying and carrying on about something I couldn't understand. Then it hit me what he was saying. He stuck a white, little, round lego up his nose. Why, why why...did you do this, I asked him? Of course, all I got was a shrug of his shoulders along with a I don't know.

My husband swooped into the living room with his super cape with just the right tool to remove the object....needle-nose pliers. Do you think that is why they call them that? Perhaps, the inventor was a boy and knew that he was going to need such a tool to remove an object from the nose of one of his boys? I wonder....hmmmm. I also wonder if perhaps I should be giving tools like this as baby gifts to all new mothers. Apparently, they are a necessity right up there with the poison control number. Ooooh, maybe I should put a magnetic strip on the back of these pliers and keep them on the fridge right next to it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life...It's Priceless

I saw this video on another blog and it touched me so. Life is so precious. It is amazing to me how God took this little one and gave him his own testimony to touch so many. It's worth watching.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where's Your Dependence Lay?

One thing that God has been bringing me back to over the last few weeks is this. What do you put your dependence in?

As a christian and a citizen of this country, whether I intended to or if it just happened without me realizing it, I have found that I assume and have placed dependence on a couple of things:

I assume the American dollar is going to be worth something.

I assume gas will be readily available at a moment's notice.

I assume I will have a car to drive.

I assume that I will have a house to live in.

I assume the stock market and the American economy will succeed.

I assume that my kids will grow up and have families of their own.

I assume that those that I love will be healthy.

I assume there will be food to purchase.

I assume that coffee and chocolate will always be within my reach.

I assume that I will be able to worship the Lord freely.

I assume my freedom will always be mine.

All of these things are not wrong to assume will be but we have to have balance. We have to be careful that we don't put our dependence in things, in people or in our government. God is the sole source of everything we have, everything that we own and everything that we are. He desires to be all that we put our dependence in.

He is never changing. He is always with us. He is never ending. He is GOD, the Almighty. He is the creator of everything that we see, touch, smell and breathe. He is the one who blesses and keeps order. He keeps everything together including the atmosphere. He is our provider, our healer, our conqueror, the One who we need to invest in. He never fails and all of this that He created is for His glory.

Instead of concentrating on all the things of this world, we need to seek His face. We need to pursue God and know Him intimately. Our pastor recently quoted Charles Spurgeon as saying that He believes that a very large majority of church goers are merely unthinking, slumbering worshipers of an unknown God. This quote brought me to tears.

If it had not been for the things that happen in this life that are hard, agonizing and faith stretching, I fear that I might have been one of those church goers that he speaks of. I've been a believer for a long time so I asked myself, did I really 'know' God? I knew things of Him, I knew facts about Him but did I really 'know' Him. In order to know someone, you've got to spend time with them, you have communicate with them and you've got to pursue them.

He has so much He wants to share with us, so much that He wants to reveal to us and He has gifts He wants to bless us with. If only we would seek Him out.

Do you feel God whispering across your soul to come to Him? Do you feel Him calling you? I urge you to seek him out. He wants you to 'know' Him. He wants you to discover the mysterious wonders that He will reveal to you as you draw close to Him. He wants your sole dependence on Him and Him alone.

Can you imagine if we all would surrender all that we have and we are to Him, what that could do for each of us and this country?!! Wow!

II Chronicles 7:14: If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Rascally Rabbit

As I was busy getting coffee made and trying to see my way around the kitchen to get breakfast started yesterday, Ryan mentioned that his stomach hurt. In my most sympathetic tone, I told him that I was sorry that it hurt, rustled his hair and told him I loved him.

When the first round of pancakes was finished and ready to be eaten, Ryan came running into the kitchen first! I looked him in the eye and said, "I thought you said your stomach hurt. Are you sure you want to eat?" Of course, I was just giving him a hard time because I was thinking it hurt because he needed to eat.

He responded to me with this...."Mom, a man's got to eat, you know!" With a shake of my head, my thought was yep, that's my little man. (oops...there I go again calling him little. He hates that...sorry, Ryan!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tough Days

Last night I sat down to write some of my thoughts with things happening such as they are this week. I ended up not posting it. After reading it today, it sounds downright depressing which is NOT what I want my wonderful readers to hear when I write something. I hope that even when I write a post on something that is on my heart, that you will come away with hope or laughter. I know not everything is funny these days but we do have humorous stuff happen even in the midst of our storms. We need those moments to get us through...that and a Costco size bag of chocolate.

Earlier this year, around Valentines Day, our local 7-11 had this HUGE bar of Hershey's chocolate. My mind, as of late, has longed to own that bar! I think if I did, perhaps everything would be right with the world or at least for the time I was devouring it. Yes, would only satisfy my flesh but boy, would it taste good! I think I just lost control of my mind as it went to chocolate land. Anyway, we had a very tough day yesterday. I was finding it difficult to keep on my path to trust and have faith and not let the doubts toss me here and there. Why is it, that I know in my mind what I must do but when a Hurricane size wave hits, I can't seem to hold on very well.

Times like those make me feel like quite the hypocrite. I talk about holding on even if you only can with a fingertip and a day hits like yesterday and I'm a mess. I am so thankful that God is intimately familiar with the emotions of a woman! I do believe His mercy covers that! He knew before I was born what I would be like, the emotions I would feel and the decisions I would make. Interestingly enough, God decided that I would still be born. That fact simply amazes me!

I was reading James 1:2-7, it talks about finding joy in our trials and that these trials are producing endurance and the endurance produces character and great faith. It was encouraging to know that something good is going to come out of all this if I can keep my focus on Him, continue trusting and pressing on. He has a plan for this and even if I don't understand it now, it will be revealed later perhaps in eternity. Of course, my curiosity wants to know now but I realize that there are times when I have to be ok with not knowing.

It is apparent we are not through this valley yet much to my disappointment. So we continue on believing, trusting and praising God in all things as His ways are perfect.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Knowing Him...

I've been a Christian for a long, long time. I was taught to read God's word, to memorize it, to live by it. When you surrender your will over to God by accepting His gift to you, you begin a journey. A journey like no other. It's not an easy journey by any means and it's filled sometimes with agony as our Creator shapes us into what we were created to be. We must be refined and all that ties us to this world must be reshaped into what we will become for eternity. But also within that, we are given a peace and a joy like no other to celebrate the life we have been blessed with.

We've been tested and we've had our share of tribulation. As each crisis has happened, I've had this little niggling in the back of my mind saying to me that I must have done something to deserve punishment. Ever hear someone say to you that you made your bed, now you get to lie in it? That is the absolute opposite of what Christ wants you to think on. He is not a God of condemnation. Yes, there are consequences to our actions but if you honestly seek to live your life to please God, those consequences are only for a time so that we learn from them and then we are covered in the blood....God's mercy.

I've had such a hard time understanding that I come before God clean and without sin because of His blood. In my mind, I still need to live up to that gift and do things that make me deserving of it. It is so hard to accept this gift as it was and without strings attached. It is so draining trying to work my way into God's heart. I can imagine him shaking his head in disbelief at how hard I am making this. It's a simple gift but I turn it into this complicated matter.

We have been going through what feels like a never ending testing that I fondly call our training season. I've had so many questions that I've pounded the gates of heaven with. Why God? If you would just do this, then we would be able to do this. But then I realized, that if God did change things like I wanted Him to, I would probably go back to my 'old' ways. I would also be placed in a position to take things into my own hands which HE has clearly shown us He doesn't want. He wants our sole dependence on Him which I might add is a very difficult place to be.

Surrendering your will to God is one of the hardest things to do. He has us in this place where I've had to do that in order to survive. If I try to work it myself, everything becomes increasingly suffocating and more than I can handle. So he's teaching me to trust Him fully for not just surface things but what's deep within my dreams and desires.

One of the dearest things that I've experienced throughout this past year is getting to know who God is with a new understanding. What I thought He was previously is not what He has revealed to me recently. I'm am so glad to be able to 'know' him more intimately and I just cannot get enough of this new understanding. I honestly can say that excitement wells up inside of me when I think of meeting Him face to face instead of the fear I felt for so many years. I can't wait to dance before my Lord and to hug him and to praise Him free of what chains me to this earth....experiencing true freedom in Christ.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Very Special Gift

Birthdays are a grand celebration in my mind. It notes the importance of a person's life and how it intertwines with those who touch it. When we were growing up, we always celebrated birthdays with relatives and many times with a dear old friend named Chuck E. Cheese. Back then, it was quite something to have your birthday with that enormous mouse since we had to drive quite a distance to do so. I have many fond memories of those times.

Now, as a mother, it is such an important day to celebrate each of my children's birthdays. Each one, a remembrance of the beginning of life and how much they've grown and changed year after year.

We have a few traditions that we do for birthdays like picking out what you would like for Mom to cook for your birthday dinner, breakfast with Dad and let's not forget the cake and presents.

Grace has a flair and a exuberance for life which includes everything in it. Why would her birthday be anything less?

This year has us in a situation that hasn't allowed for much extra. Unfortunately, birthday's fall under that category. So I fretted. I knew Grace's birthday was coming and I knew that all her expectations of the day were not going to be met. I also knew that she was disappointed with our circumstances and had been having a hard time with it. I had nothing to offer her but I knew that God could give her something that we could not so I began to pray....

I didn't know what to expect. We've seen so many blessings in the past few month that have rendered me speechless that I was excited to see what God would reveal to her on her special day.

Her birthday arrived. I had arranged for her to spend some time with one of her Grandma's who took her (and I, the chauffeur) out for dinner and a special treat from Coldstone Creamery. She was thrilled and of course, Grandma had a present for her which was to buy a Webkinz. When we arrived home, her other Grandmother had dropped off a present for her to open which sent her heart to soaring.

She had a really good day despite my not being able to offer her anything but our love. Throughout the day, it occurred to me that God had indeed answered my prayer and had given her something very special....something, that no one else could have even come close to giving her. Something that can only come from a Father who passionately loves his children....


God promises that He will bless us but sometimes it's not what we are expecting and if we don't have eyes to see and ears to hear, we can miss it. I did not miss the blessing of His gift nor did she. We felt it flowing out of her from the time Grace's feet hit the floor after waking up until she laid her head down on her pillow that night. It touched our home, it filled her very being and it was shared with those who love her here in this home. It was there for her to enjoy and to delight in. I wish I could have recorded her throughout the day. It was amazing to see her in action. She sparkled with the joy of the Lord.

God had truly given her a joy, that only comes from within. I know kids are excited on their birthday but this was different. Sometimes when God blesses us with something, no one can fully understand the meaning behind it because it was only meant for that particular person. This was one of those times and we are so grateful that God revealed himself in that way, in that day.

I could not have planned a better celebration with my human hands if I could have tried. God is so amazing and His love for us is so encompassing. His love for our daughter, again, renders me speechless.