Friday, September 16, 2011

People with Dynamite Passion

So, let me ask you a question. Do you know anyone that has such a passion for God that when you are around them you feel almost electrified? Well, that's the way I feel most Sunday when our pastor, Dr. Allan Bosson finishes preaching. He grew up as an atheist, came to know Christ in his early 20's, gave up a well-paying career in engineering, and when he speaks it's as if he can't contain his excitement about Jesus and our Almighty God. His passion for God and His inerrant Word literally exudes out of him and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he believes in God's ultimate sovereignty with all his human might.
Bible Study Fellowship started this past Wednesday and I'm eager to see what God has in store for me through this study. My mom has completed all 8 years of BSF and growing up I would see her studying, hear her learning, and couldn't wait until it was my turn. She always used an NIV pictorial Bible that I've never seen in stores, and she found one online and gave it to me. Now I get to underline, highlight, learn, and grow using the very same copy of God's Word that she used. Dr. Bosson popped into my mind Wednesday, because in BSF we will be studying the book of Acts. In our opening lecture, the leader was pointing out that Acts really focuses on the Holy Spirit and the "power" that it brings to us when we accept Jesus and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside us. (Acts 1:8) She said it's like dynamite inside us and we "light the fuse" be delving into the Bible and soaking in God's Word. She said "Is your life dynamite? If you are a follower of Christ then you have the "power from on high" for it to be and the tool is right in front of you. (Luke 24:49)" In other words, I should be just as passionate about Christ and God's Word as Dr. Bosson because the same Holy Spirit resides in him that does in me! I felt a skip in my step when I left that day and I feel blessed to have the chance to intensely study about my Heavenly Father.
Now, I wanted to mention one more thing about people with passion. My mom, for as long as I can remember, has used every opportunity you can imagine to share Christ with me, my little brother, and now my young sons. Remember in one of my recent posts when I said, "Whenever I am on the water or look out onto it, I feel like I can see a glimpse of God sparkling on the top of the waves. It reminds me of just how great our Father is!" Well, my mom has always taken the time to point out little things like that to me. She uses most anything as a "teachable God moment." Is she perfect? Far from it, mainly because she is human, but truly she has lived the verse Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." She puts no weight on material things or earthly beauty or even the opinions of others. She only considers God's opinion, not the world's. When I was a "too cool for you teenager" I, of course, took this for granted. I would roll my eyes as she pointed out the amazing sunset that God painted or the birds singing to the tune of a hymn or that I didn't need to go to the tanning bed because I was exactly how God wanted me to be...BUT all the while, her words were soaking in deeper and deeper. She is such an awesome spiritual mentor to me and I pray that I can instill the same values and knowledge about God in my sons as she has in me. I love you more that I can say Mom!
 Hope everyone has a fun-filled, relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Reviews!

Well, back in June I wrote a post called Summer Reading
I am shocked to tell you that I actually finished all three books:
1) Weird  by Craig Groeschel
2) The Help by Kathryn Stockett
3) Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent
Plus I somehow fit in one more, A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Lee Dugard, and tidbits of two others. This is craziness for me but truly I enjoyed it. Now let me say this, in my opinion, if you are going to take the time to read, it really needs to be #1 uplifting  and #2 informative. I am reminded of Philippians 4:8, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things," and I definitely think this pertains to books too!

Now that being said, I will tell you about the Jaycee Dugard book first. It definitely was not uplifting, but I did personally find it informative. I think it is so important when we are raising young children to not just live in our little bubbles in life and really remember who and what is out there in this world. Most of the book was very difficult to stomach, but what I came through it with is a desire to pray for her. She says that she doesn't exactly know how she feels about God, and who can blame her really. Her mind was filled for 18 years with mistruths about her Almighty Creator by a man who was being led by Satan rather than the Holy Spirit. I sincerely hope that she will be able to lead a somewhat normal life but mostly that she will form a relationship with Jesus because if anyone deserves the opportunity to get to know Him, she does.

Heaven Is for Real was just an easy, enjoyable read. It was so amazing to hear the little boy's descriptions of Heaven and then see the scriptures that aligned with it. It really made you think about the verse in James 4:14, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." This life is so temporary and reading this little book made it all the more exciting to think about my eternal home.

The Help was absolutely fabulous! I'm a little slow on this one because when I first heard about it on Oprah, I thought it was some "self help" book and I wasn't about to read it if Oprah thought it was great. Well, oops, boy was I wrong. I am absolutely obsessed with the decade that she wrote about and just find the whole thing fascinating. Remember the Titans is my favorite movie and The Help reminded me so much of all that went on in that film. Speaking of film, i haven't seen it yet, but I am definitely going to. I can't wait! Oh and by the way, this will probably be the first time I have ever gone to a movie when I have read the book FIRST! :)

Now to talk about Weird! I have read Crazy Love, Radical and now this one and let me just say, WOW! It was awesome; knock your socks off awesome! One of my favorite paragraphs was this one. "Imagine God looking at most of what passes for Christianity today and saying, "I know who I am. I know what I've done for you. I sent you my Son, Jesus, so that you could truly live. And yet you act like you think that simply squeezing me into your schedule every now and then will satisfy me - the one and only true, holy God." It really made me think outside my comfort zone and gave some great advice on marriage and parenting as well.

Since I know pictures make the world go round, I will add a few from our day at Wassaw Island this past weekend.

Davis striking one of the cutest poses I have ever "clicked"                Tate and Grady clowning around!

Busy boys working on a water hole!

Cute daddy fishing with his cute little man!          We bribed Davis with gummies and took the pic fast!

Hope everyone is enjoying their week!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let the good times roll or maybe float a little!

Our new family fun...
 Now I know you've heard the old adage, "opposites attract." Well, Chris and I are about as opposite in most ways as night and day, but one thing that we both LOVE is boating! We feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to get this boat. It will be something that we look forward to enjoying as a family for years to come.
 Grady is excited about learning more about fishing and Chris  makes for one cute captain if you ask me!

I don't have very many pictures of me with both boys and I just love this one. Whenever I am on the water or look out onto it, I feel like I can see a glimpse of God sparkling on the top of the waves. It reminds me of just how great our Father is!

On Sunday, we went to early service and Sunday school which were both GREAT! I don't know if I have ever mentioned on here before that I go to Southside Baptist Church and I am in awe right now over the "mini revival"that is going on and boy is it exciting! Do you ever just have a Sunday where both church and Sunday school seem to flow together perfectly and you can tell God is trying to get a message across to you? Well, I do and this was one of them! For those of you who know me, you know I struggle with a hot temper and wanting truth and justice at all costs, even at the cost of anger. Well, Dr. Bosson preached on the book of 1 John chapter 3 and focussed on how to love as a Christian. He said  that we are to love one another with an "agape love" which is never ending and not based on any obligations. It is a love that loves no matter what! This is the kind of love that the Lord has for us. He also said that if we claim to be Christians, then we should be able to love our enemies and believe that Satan has a hold on them and that by the grace of God we are not in their shoes. Wow, this one really hits home for me! He also pointed out verse 15, "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him." He said it basically boils down to where your focus is? Is it on self or is it on the Lord? Verse 16 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." In Sunday school, my teacher covered Matthew 18. We discussed how Peter asked ""Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.""(verses 21&22) That's 490 times! My teacher said, "Can you imagine forgiving someone 490 times for the same offense?" That is what Christ does for us if we offer up true repentance. This of course goes right along with humbling ourselves to truly love one another the way God intends for us to. As the week goes on, lets try and look at others through God's eyes and treat them truly the way we would want to be treated. Boy is this hard, but if we all try a little harder each day that will go a long long way! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eternal Value

Hey there! Had to share this tidbit. In my Jesus Calling devotional yesterday this is what i found.
"The desire to act independently-apart from God-springs from the root of pride. Self-sufficiency is subtle, insinuating its way into your thoughts and actions without your realizing it. But aprart from God, you can do nothing: that is, nothing of eternal value."
I have heard the verse John 15:5 many times.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
But I have always been left to wonder about the many people not only that I know but that I see on TV, read about or hear about, who seem to be quite accomplished yet do not profess faith in Jesus Christ. And then I read it..."nothing of eternal value." Aha, I get it! It's one of those duh moments but man was it a good one. Sure they are accomplished by worldly standards but that means nothing when it comes to eternal standards. Nice to have yet another reminder that God is looking at the inside, not the outside!
It has been such a fun week so far. 
Chris left last Thursday to head to China and on Monday, the boys and I headed to the airport to pick him up. It was their first trip to the airport so they were pretty excited. Of course the escalators were the thrill of it all though. Gotta love the Savannah airport. :) Here they are waiting on him with their signs.

Then, Grady started Pre-K Tuesday and Davis started in the 2 year old class today. These are such milestones but both were more than ready. They had a blast.

Love that smirk! So Grady. He wanted Hope on his bookbag so Mimi came to the rescue.

Allie, Grady, Elliot, Wyatt, Davis on the first day of school

Grady at his cubby and posing with Mrs. Powers (Leigh). She is like daddy's big sister so we couldn't be happier that Grady gets to have her as a teacher!

Cute little man on his first day. He picked the tractor bookbag which is no surprise since John Deere is his favorite thing right now.

 The little nuts told me it was freezing. Of course it was only 72 degrees! I made them take them off before we walked in. :)

Great Memories! Hope you enjoy the rest of your week. Only two days left and then the weekend! We are so excited to spend the weekend with daddy. We missed him!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Heritage Organic Farm

Oh how I love this place! You may have noticed the tab at the top of my blog and wondered exactly what it was doing there. Well, my grandmother, Shirley Daughtry, was the first certified organic farmer in Georgia.  She has a certified organic box business that serves Savannah, Richmond Hill, Statesboro, and Effingham County. She is an absolutely amazing woman and is an incredible role model to me. Widowed in her mid twenties, she then raised two little girls alone, worker her way to becoming a middle school principal and Savannah Country Day and then found her true passion in life…organic farming. I was always very close to her growing up but as I got older, the 30-minute drive to the farm seemed to get longer and I definitely saw her less. When Grady was born, I knew I wanted to keep my brain working while I stayed at home with him, so I decided to start working for her one day a week. I went ever Monday for 4 ½ years and worked as her office manager. It was awesome to be able tot see her so often and to take first Grady and then both boys with me. They both LOVE the farm, but Grady is just plainly obsessed. It was hard for him this past year because one of his school days was on Monday and he always wanted to go with us and “work” with Mooma instead. Recently I started feeling a tug at my heart because I knew that I really needed to readjust my focus and put in some extra energy with my family. Davis’ sensory therapy will be on Mondays now and also Grady will be in school every morning this year. In July, I transitioned my duties over to my cousin’s wife Charlotte, and another lady who is volunteering. God truly worked out all the details but I sure do miss it, well mainly I just miss my grandmother. I took the boys up Friday to visit and they had a blast. Grady enjoyed “driving” the tractor, while Davis dreamed of mowing the fields. We took the golf cart down to the neighbors’ to feed the goats some fresh arugula and they got to see her chickens. The hens have grown so fast and one even turned out to be a rooster! Oops! I feel so blessed that they get to experience things like this. It truly is just “down to earth” fun!! I now update her blog for her, which is what the tab on my page links you to. Check it out if you ever want to know what’s going on around the farm!

Grady starts school tomorrow and Davis starts Wednesday, so this in a BIG WEEK! We are all very excited around here! Hope you all have a great week too.
Love in Him,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Goooo Dawgs!

Football season is here! My Dad and I both went to the University of Georgia and there isn't much that we love more than enjoying a UGA football game together. I love my precious dad with all my heart and am grateful that tonight I will be saying Goooo Dawgs Sick Em Woof Woof Woof with him. He had the boys out the other day on the golf cart and an old family friend clicked this photo and was nice enough to bring him 2 copies. I had to share it, especially on game day!! Whatever your team may be, have a fun night with family and friends cheering them on.
One Proud Papa!!

 The boys in their new UGA shirts ready to cheer on the dawgs!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Being Intentional

Now I don’t know about all you other moms out there, but even with all the praying, Bible reading, and self-examining that goes on around here, there is still a WHOLE lot of improvement needed!! I am almost finished with Weird, (ooh that reminds me to do a post on my summer books because, yep that’s right I finished them all YAY) and in the book he talks about what target we are aiming for in raising our children.  Here is one of my favorite paragraphs:
“God didn’t call us to be dead in the center of what the world calls success. In fact, if our kids are successful in every normal way, they can still miss God’s main mark. Jesus said, “ What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”(Luke 9:25). If we raise our children to become well-adjusted, materially comfortable, professionally successful adults, but they don’t know the One who created them or live for Him, then all the success in the world is for nothing. Psalm 127 tells us that sons are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. What if we’re pointing our arrows in the wrong direction?
Normal is to strive for the center of what the world lives like.
Weird is to live to be in the center of God’s will.”
Wow, now that will really make you rethink your parenting won’t it? He goes on to say that “being a good parent is impossible unless we rely on God for strength patience, guidance, wisdom, and discernment - and teach our kids how to do the same. “
Over the past year and a half, spiritual warfare has become very real to me. I had heard the verse 1 Peter 5:8 many times before that says Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I never really understood the reality of this though until recently.  In the book Groeschel says, “if we are not intentional about imparting a spiritual legacy to our children, I can promise you that our spiritual enemy is plotting full-time how he can divert our kids from God’s best to anything destructive.” I could never have said that any better but agree whole-heartedly. I am praying that each day I can be intentional about putting off a little more of my short temper, harsh words, bitterness, etc and pore on God’s grace. It’s the only thing that will get me through and help me to be what God has called me to be to my sons, which is a reflection of His own son, Jesus. I sure wish this could happen over night, but definitely looks like its gonna be a long road ahead.  :)

I had to share with y’all what I found in Grady’s room this week when rest time was over.  He came out and told me that I had to come check it out.
“Mom, I’ve got music in there. It’s from my Leapster. The habitat is great in there.” To which I replied, “What is a habitat?” He quickly explained, “Mom, it’s when you go over to somebody else’s house and sit on a rug and listen to music and that’s what all my trucks are doing. Now come on I saved us each a seat. Isn’t it a great habitat?”
Absolutely priceless!!!! (Please note that he had pulled out my rarely used yoga mat from his spare closet to use as his rug)
 Hope you all have a great weekend!