Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June Nature Discoveries in Pictures ~ Flowers, Flyers, & More

     As I reflect back over this month, I realize we've seen some "new" things that we'd not noticed before on God's beautiful creation.  Having not previously been much of an outdoor person (I don't like dirt, sweating, or bugs), I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I have enjoyed spending time with the kiddos and my husband outdoors.  With a little effort on our parts, we can see so many things God has put on this earth that will bless our souls.  As the weather has warmed up over the past month or so and due to my allergy to heat (ha ha), it has put a damper on our outdoor adventures.  But I still wanted to share with you the incredible blessings in nature that we have enjoyed during the month of June.

     Previously I had posted  photos here, but they disappeared.  So I will share what we saw - 2 little land snails, a U.C.C. (my own acronym for an Unidentified Creepy Crawly), a swiftly moving green lizard, the little scoundrel that is known as the local cat food eating raccoon, a typically carefree butterfly stuck inside our screened-in porch, a dragonfly, two birds' nests (both discovered by my husband), a stunning periwinkle iris bloom, a variety of daisy blooming, another daisy or daisy-look-alike, a Happy Returns Daylily (this variety happily returns all summer), more gorgeous daylilies, breathtaking blooms of our Crepe Myrtle tree, and a Blue Hydrangea in bloom.

     I really wanted to capture each moment that we discovered something "new."  For me, it was truly a blessing to take notice of God's beautiful creation and know that He loves me enough to share these wonderful creations of His with me.  For God's Word tell us in Romans 1:18-20, "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (NIV)  What confirmation that verse should be for all of us of the depth of God's love for all mankind!  Ah.....more of God's little kisses.

Blessings to you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Me be Meek and Quiet?

     Recently, I have been doing a summer Bible study with some precious friends.  I've had this book sitting around collecting dust for several years and never took the time to read it.  I'm so glad my friends asked me to join them.  The name of the study - Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell.  PLEASE DO NOT STOP READING YET!  Hang with me here!  Those who don't homeschool, keep reading.  If you don't even have children, don't stop here.  Let me say that this book would be good for any Christian to read, especially moms and wives.  Even though not every mom homeschools, we are always teaching our kiddos something when they are nearby.  It may be love or hate, academics or values, giving or taking, building up or tearing down - whatever we are doing with our children, we are always teaching them something either positive or negative.  They learn from us by default - just by being with us.  So whatever character qualities it is that we are displaying, our children are learning from that.  We, as moms, all "homeschool" in some way or another.

      As I have been going through this study, I have been convicted in my spirit that I do not regularly show a meek and quiet spirit to my daughters or my husband, for that matter.  When I say meek and quiet, what I mean is having the self discipline (which comes from the Holy Spirit) to choose to not display my anger when I am angry.  I think meek and quiet many times is actually the opposite of what most people think it is.  It's not allowing others to run over us like we're doormats.  Instead, it's allowing the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to show others love when we don't really feel like showing love in the flesh.  It's responding to others in kindness, not with an ill temper.  Now, is there any way you could imagine that I would respond to my precious children in such a negative manner???  I know - it's hard to believe I would do such a thing.  

     Since I started going through this book, I have been much more conscious, almost constantly, of my response to my daughters and my husband.  I believe that's conviction and I'm so glad.  I have realized that many times I treat mere strangers better than I treat my own family whom I love dearly.  Why is that?  How can I treat someone I barely know better than I treat my own family members?  We take them for granted and we're teaching them, when we treat them badly, that it's okay to do that.  Well, it's not okay.  God tells us that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20).  If we truly love the Lord, we will show it in our actions.  It's not enough to just say we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we must live out in our daily lives what we say we believe.  Otherwise, we're "deceiving ourselves" (I John 1:8) into believing the lie that we can say one thing and live another.  It's just not so.  I feel so blessed that the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to this Biblical truth!  

     While it may seem that I was asked to do a review on this book, that is not the case.  I just felt the tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart to share the insights I've gained from this book with others.  I would encourage anyone who's interested in living out their Christian walk daily to pick up a copy and see what God might show you through Teri Maxwell.  You can find the book at this link,    

     Thank you Lord for loving me enough to change me from the inside out.  Ah...another little kiss from God!

Grace to you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ #4

Expecting little kisses from God this week!

Book Review ~ Voices of the True Woman Movement, Chapter 1

Voices of the True Woman Movement

     Recently I received this book, Voices of the True Woman Movement - A Call to the Counter-Revolution, from Revive Our Hearts Ministry.  If you aren't familiar with Revive Our Hearts Ministry, it's a wonderful ministry to women in today's world that encourages us to live according to God's Word.  Period!  I love Nancy Leigh DeMoss and her way of sharing with women, without condemning us, what God's Word has to say about living for the Lord in today's culture.  She isn't afraid to approach hard topics with women - topics many wouldn't dare discuss today for fear of offending someone.  But these are topics we need to hear discussed according to Biblical standards and Nancy has answered that call from the Lord.  If you aren't familiar with Nancy or the ministry, you can check it out by clicking on the book link above.

     This book is a collection of messages that was presented at the True Woman conference which was in October 2008.  An excerpt from a summary of the book states this:  "Which voices are you listening to?  In a world with so many contradictory and insistent messages, it's hard to know which ones are right, isn't it?  Discover how a heart tuned to hear God's voice can be transformed to glorify Him and impact those around you for such a time as this."    

Chapter 1 - The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood
by John Piper

     John Piper begins this chapter with a big bang, mentioning several women who have gone through tremendous loss and/or turmoil in their lives yet have chosen to stand strong in their faith.  Those brief bios were extraordinary stories that gave me encouragement.  Piper's sentiment in this chapter is mainly this - "wimpy theology makes wimpy women."  If we don't know the Lord who was, is and is to come, then we can't live like we do.  One of his quotes states, "Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ."  I couldn't agree with him more.

     Because his assertion is as stated above, the opposite of wimpy women is the true woman, a woman of God.  The true woman, Piper states, is one who lives so that God may be glorified in her life.  Furthermore, if women were never created, the glory of Christ could not be displayed with the same magnitude that it is because of the presence of women in the world.  Of course, that is also true of men.  Main point - God purposefully created us as men and women.      

     Piper writes a special message to married women and single women and states that "true womanhood can flourish in marriage and singleness."  He also cites scripture references throughout the chapter. 

     Honestly, I didn't know much about this book before receiving it.  Thus far, I am enjoying what I've read and believe I'm being challenged to think about these ideas.  I really like that in a book.  If I can't read something that makes me think when it comes to God and His word, in my opinion, there's no point of reading it!  

     I'm interested to see what's coming next - Chapter 2 was written by Nancy herself.  I can't wait to read that one.

     Update:  For my review of Chapter 2, click here: 


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Marriage Challenge

     A friend of mine (thanks, Amanda) shared with me about a blog challenge today, and I wanted to encourage other women to check it out.  Sounds like a great way to start ministering to our husbands.  The link is:  

     Hope you find it encouraging.  I did.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 3

holy experience

     Today, I'm thankful for many things - of which I've added to my list.  Click on the One Thousand Gifts tab by the Home tab at the top of this page where you'll see newly added items and my complete list.  Please feel free to peruse this site as I've just recently began blogging.  Thanks for stopping by.

Enjoying little kisses from God each day,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On Father's Day - A Tribute to my Daddy and my Husband

     Today is Father's Day!  And while this day could bring heartache and bitterness to my heart, instead it brings blessings.  It was such a blessing to be able to spend the day with my husband, David, and our 3 precious daughters, Carrie Beth, Scutter, and Rae-Rae.

     As I was sitting here thinking back over the day, my memory takes me back to when I was growing up and my daddy was still here on earth.  I was so blessed to have a godly father, one who cared about me while I was growing up, and I'm so thankful for that.  Although I struggled with his death for years, God has helped me overcome the bitterness that his death brought to my soul.  And all that is left now is gratefulness for the man, husband and father he was.  I know today he is joyfully in fellowship with Jesus and other loved ones, who have gone before us, in Heaven and has been there for over 25 years now.

     While the void that was left by my father's death could continue to sting like a dagger in my heart, I turn my thoughts to the man I now have as my life-long partner and the loving and caring father of our 3 daughters.  How blessed I am and our girls are to have him in our lives and how grateful I am to the Lord for the man, husband and father he is!

     You see, I could allow bitterness to control my emotions but I must remember the  little kisses from God - not few blessings but many more than I can even imagine.  I could focus on the loss and the void but instead, by God's grace, I choose to focus on the precious memories I have of my own loving father and the wonderful times our girls are able to share here and now with their father.  I choose, by God's grace, to be thankful for the man who is now in my life and who is a wonderful daddy to our daughters.  

     I love you, David!  And I hope you've had a blessed Father's Day today.  And thank you, Lord, for the caring father I had in my life while he was here on earth and for the father our daughters have in their lives here and now!

     Encouraging you to focus on the little kisses from the Lord this week.  It will bring joy to your soul too! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Multitude Monday - One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 2

holy experience

     I have been inspired to ponder the awesome gifts God has given me and to physically list 1,000.  There are so many more than I even recognize but this is my feeble attempt at coming up with a few here and there.  At the right, you'll find others I've previously listed.

#44.  The quietness of early morning
#45.  Food in the pantry
#46.  My Bible
#47.  God's goodness
#48.  Sunlight
#49.  Reading glasses (along with the awesome blessing of being able to read)
#50.  Godly family and friends who encourage me
#51.  Air conditioning
#52.  Healthy children
#53.  The warmth of socks on my feet when I go to bed each night
#54.  My husband's job
#55.  The sound of the girls playing the ukulele
#56.  God's provision

Praying you are also recognizing God's little kisses to you today!  


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Artwork by John Bell copyright 1998-2007 used with permission