Friday, August 29, 2008

Last weekend of summer

It's the last weekend of summer around here. The crew head back to school on the 2nd. We will keep this weekend busy as usual. Tonight and Sunday night the Hero and I are heading to the World Championship of Chuckw├ągons. Saturday we are taking the crew to the Fort if the weather holds out. Monday we will take it easy and make sure everyone is organized for school the next day.

Have a great long weekend!

*Photo by Kodiak July 2008


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh Lord It's Hard to Be Humble...

...... when you're perfect in every way. Or at least according to the old Mac Davis song it is.



heh. Yesterday I was accused of being 'perfect' which is laughable to me. I've lived a life filled with disappointing people. They had expectations and some perfect idea of who I should be, how I should act and what I should do with my life. I simply never measured up. I've spent most of my life fighting to be rid of the demands of perfection. To let go of the ideal that I had to act in such a way, keep my house in perfect order, dress to impress and bury how I felt in order to show the world a perfect facade. I loathe the word perfect because of my history.

So I asked why I was 'perfect' and was told that I have such wisdom to offer others, that I have the perfect marriage and that everything is always going my way. meh. Wouldn't that be something if that was in fact true.

I have wisdom to offer... sometimes I do but I hardly know all the answers. I've been blessed with the gift of discernment and the ability to see things that others don't necessarily see. I am an encourager by nature or gifts of the Spirit, call it what you may but it's a part of who I am. I do not always have that same ability when it comes to my own stuff and I can get buried in the stuff like anyone else. Sure I know what I should be doing to push through but that doesn't mean that I'm always able to do that. I struggle with life like anyone else.

My marriage is perfect. I won't lie, I am blessed in my marriage but it wasn't always this way. The Hero and I have walked through a lot of crap to get to where we are. Marriage is hard work, every, single day. Does the Hero drive me nuts some days, exasperate me, frustrate me and make me want to scream? Have you met him? heh. Of course he does, we are human (which means we are NOT perfect). However, I know that I can only control my reactions to him and I'm in charge of my actions. I chose not to hold onto hurts and let unforgiveness or disappointment take root in my heart. I chose to love, even when it's hard. I chose to edify, honor and respect. It's a choice, not always an easy one.

Everything is always going my way. HA! We have trials and storms like everyone. There are weeks when I am in pain, every, single day! There are times when I want to curl up in a ball and cry and sometimes I do just that. I yell at my kids when I shouldn't, I get hurt, I burn the cookies, I don't make my bed some days, I wish for things I don't have, I'm lonely, my Hero has to travel for work sometimes, my kids frustrate me, I feel like a failure, I have to sit in front of a blue light in the winter so I don't fall into a pit of despair, I have a hard relationship with my Mom, my MIL hates me so much that she tells people we are divorced, I miss my Gramma, I grieve the loss of a baby, I am furious with liars and injustice in my community, my country, the world. I could go on for pages and pages about all the storms, challenges and trials that life throws my way but what does that accomplish? Seriously, will whining about my troubles fix them? I don't think so. I'm careful with what I share and what I speak. I'd rather be thankful that God sees me through all these challenges and uses what was meant to tear me or us down and turns it around to be something that makes us stronger, builds our character, saves us from a greater tragedy. I trust that even when things don't look 'perfect' and it feels like the bottom will fall out any minute that God is in control. My feet are placed firmly on the Rock and He has a plan for me that is beyond my understanding and ultimately the best for my life, for our life. I chose to speak blessing into my life and not curses.

Am I perfect? Hardly. I am a sinner but through the only perfect one, Jesus, I am extended grace, mercy and love not because of what I do right but because of my willingness to confess my sins, ask for forgiveness and spend my life trying to walk in His light. I am nothing yet I am also a daughter of the Most High. I can be broken, I can make mistakes, I can be less than all those expectations yet I am still loved and precious in His eyes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WORD Wednesday

I've subscribed to a daily devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries and they have been such a blessing to me. Today's hit me right between the eyes and I thought it was a great post to share.

Worthy Words
Sharon Sloan – She Speaks Graduate

“…if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be My spokesperson.”
Jeremiah 15:19 (NIV)

Devotion:
Worthy words. Wow. In this passage of scripture, God was urging Jeremiah to repent so that God could restore him and thus he could serve God again. This particular verse of God’s spoken word to Jeremiah really penetrated my heart as I read it recently. Worthy, valuable, precious words. Words that honor Him and words that are encouraging, founded in His truth and love. He gives words their worth.

Our God allows us to be His spokesperson. How humbling. In His wisdom, He requires that, in order to be His spokesperson, our words must be worthy, not worthless. The King James Version says “precious” words. What an excellent, ageless standard He sets for us to maintain as His children in order that we could be His spokesperson. A spokesperson is someone who represents you and your character well. As this verse resonates in my heart, I ask myself, “Are my words worthy and precious? Am I representing God well and with excellence? Am I allowing Him to mold me so I reflect His character? Am I keeping the bar raised to His standard such that I may be His spokesperson?”

In our home, our rule has been that our words should be based in truth, spoken in love, necessary and kind. Add to this that they must be worthy and precious. How often do I utter words that are worthless and hold no value for anyone? Oh, how I think of the words I have wasted. If my words hold value and worth, they will reflect His character and minister His truth and grace to those around me. If I keep His standards and utter only worthy and precious words, He allows me to represent Him and be His spokesperson. What an awesome privilege and responsibility.

As you go through each day, allow your words, whether they be written, spoken or thought, to go through His filter of requiring worthy, precious words. If those around you have lowered the bar, raise it again to His standard. Humbly meet the challenge to utter only worthy words that represent Him well. You may be His spokesperson.

Faithful Father, by Your grace and in Your faithfulness, allow my words to be worthy and precious. May they be worthy such that I may be Your spokesperson and represent you with excellence. Thank You for Your standards and for Your promises. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Memorize Jeremiah 15:19 and use it as a standard for your words, whether written, spoken or thought.

Devote time each morning to seeking His face, soaking in His perfect written Word, and filling your heart with His love and desires for you.

Allow the Holy Spirit to control your heart and mind and, therefore, your speech.

Today I'm going to be meditating on these questions in Reflections. I ask you to join me. I know I've been really dropping the ball lately in some areas of my life. Being frustrated with children, dealing with chronic pain, a mixed up town and extended family stress does not bring out the best in me. I pray that I might write these words upon my heart and learn to guard my thoughts and words in a way that is glorifying to Him and befitting to my own heart. ~Ker

Reflections:
Are my words worthy and precious?

Am I living to His standard such that I qualify to be His spokesperson?

Power Verses:
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life…” Proverbs 10:11 (NIV)

“The lips of the righteous nourish many…” Proverbs 10:21

“Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt…” Col. 4:6 (NIV)

“…the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace…” Romans 8:6


Please go and check it out in it's entirety at Proverbs 31 Daily Devotions.

Have a blessed day dear ones!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nail Lady

I'm having a rough day and this always makes me laugh. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do you know who you are?

Do you know who you are?  I'm so thankful that I've finally found myself.  It's taken nearly forty years and the road has been a rough one at times.  I finally feel secure in my self and my identity.  I am a child of the King of Kings, I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a lover, a help meet, a other half, a mother, a friend, a warrior, an intercessor, a cry baby, a grump, a worrier, a dreamer, a teacher, a follower, a leader, a chef, a maid, a chauffeur, a CEO, a student, a gardener, a writer, a reader, a red head, a blonde, a brunette, ;), a hard worker, a procrastinator, a go- getter, a lazy lump, a list maker, a note taker, an insomniac, a sleepy head, a woman in pain, victorious, prayerful, funny, crazy, serious, sad, optimistic, loving, confident, unworthy, graceful, clumsy, inspiring, frustrating, passionate, woeful, joyful...... I am all these things and so much more.  I am thankful that I'm sure of my identity in Christ and that I am constantly growing, changing and evolving.  I'm thankful that I've finally come to terms with the lies of my past and the knowledge that I am not the words, hurts or labels that others put upon me.  I am me- good, bad and ugly.  Praising God for finally being at that place where it's ok to be who I am.

Philippians 1:6 

 ...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

*photo taken by Kodiak July 31, 2008


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Word Wednesday

A diplomat... is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip. -Caskie Stinnett

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hazzard County Days

This weekend was Hazzard County's version of a fair.  It consisted of a pancake breakfast, a parade, a giant junk sale down main street, garage sales around town, ball, beer gardens, a petting zoo, some throw/kick the ball type games for kids, wagon rides, a bench show and fireworks.  It was pretty lame even for this town.  

I had fond memories of the agricultural show growing up so I encourage Kodiak and La Diva to participate in the Bench Show.  Sadly it was a very poor showing of participants but I think it was still a good experience for them.  Kodiak submitted photography in 12 of the teen categories, I believe he was the only entrant but was judged according to the criteria and did not just receive ribbons for every entry because he was the only one.  He placed first with the following pictures: 



He place second with these pictures: (missing an action shot of the Turtle playing soccer which is not on this computer)

and third with these: The first 3 were part of a group of 3 flowers for 1 entry.






La Diva submitted 4 entries and won first for Ruffled Skirt:
 and 3rd for Best Friend:

They were pleased with their winnings and it was a good experience despite the lack of competition.  We hosted a parade watching morning at our home as the parade route had changed to go right past the front of the house this year.  It was a relaxing weekend for the most part and we managed to survive the heat.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I *heart* my front porch




I love my front porch. I've always wanted a front porch. We created a front patio in the last house we owned because we wanted one so badly. The one redeeming feature about our current home is the front porch. In fact, I think it was the porch that swayed me to say yes to a place that was smaller than we were used to, attached to a neighbor and in a town that had little to offer our family. This is our 3rd summer with our front porch. It has become a peaceful little haven for us and brings many hours of solitude, laughter, quiet company or a place to enjoy the company of friends.


We can be secret voyeurs of our neighborhood if we sit in certain chairs on the porch due to the planter boxes and hanging baskets or we can be active in the happenings of our street, waving hello or chatting with those that go by. The Hero built me a fountain this year which pleasantly drowns out any noise I don't wish to hear. The beautiful mature trees in our front yard provide us with shade during a hot summer day and shelter from winds on more miserable days. The Hero and I spend many evenings on our safe little haven. We are thankful to have a place of reflection and solitude, as well as, one of gathering and laughter.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I love the way you love me....

Today we celebrate fourteen years of marriage. As always I get nostalgic and take a trip down memory lane. Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I remembered our first dance at our wedding. It made me laugh when I remembered the song, I love the way you love me by John Michael Montgomery. Yes, a country music song... what were we thinking???? I am SO not a fan of country now.

We had such a romantic and simple view of what our life together would mean. We were ill prepared for the hard work ahead of us to build a marriage and a life together. We did not see the gift of our four blessings and loss of a fifth, just one of many trials and obstacles that would be placed in the path of our "perfect plan for our future". We could not have predicted all that lay ahead of us. It's probably a good thing we don't get a true vision of our future or we would be hard pressed to take that romantic leap of faith.

Fourteen years filled with joys, hurts, trials and victories. Fourteen years of hard work, forgiveness and love. Fourteen years of laughing and loving. I'm so thankful that God has given me the Hero to walk this journey with. I love you honey. I look forward to the joys and trials we have before us with a heart of gratitude because we have each other to see us through.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (NKJV)
Our bodies are such an incredible creation. As I journey on my path to healing from my torment I am continually amazed at God's creation. I had massage therapy again today and to witness how everything within me is so connected. I can see how holding tension in one area translates to pain in another, how releasing that tension can bring healing to many parts and how our thoughts play such a huge part in our health and healing. I'm blessed to have a massage therapist who is in tune with the Holy Spirit and follows that direction to give healing to my body. I'm learning so much through this process and I'm seeing great results. Praising through the pain and thanking God for the lessons along the journey.

Monday, August 11, 2008

This is the best they can do??

This was found on a bulletin board in a convenience store in a neighboring village. And they wonder why they only have 5 entries for the parade?? And we are supposed to trust these people in power with the lives of our husbands as firefighters when this is the best they can come up with to promote a town fair that is a yearly event? Um... yeah.... the kids at the elementary school should have made the signs. *sigh*

Thursday, August 07, 2008

True North, Strong and Free...


This has been a hard week emotionally. It's hard to stand back and watch the Hero so disheartened and frustrated by the actions of those that govern our town. It's hard to hear more and more evidence of their lies and underhanded ways come to pass. It's difficult to see the faces of men who have dedicated over 20 years of volunteer service to a community struggling to come to terms with having that service mean nothing to those that govern our community. It's been a rough week... for me, the Hero and all of those touched by this travesty.

In the midst of the emotions comes gratefulness that we live in a country that has freedom. That no matter how corrupt our local government may appear they cannot shoot us or imprison us for having a voice. We have freedom of speech. We are free to lean on the Lord during a time of turmoil and uncertainty. We can chose to give our time where we see fit. We don't have to fear losing our home because the government doesn't like us or wants to teach us a lesson. We can fight the corruption with our votes and our voices. We are free to speak our mind. We live in the true north, strong and free. We have plenty to be thankful for.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Trust

trust

noun
1. certainty based on past experience; "he wrote the paper with considerable reliance on the work of other scientists"; "he put more trust in his own two legs than in the gun" [syn: reliance]
3. the trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of others; "the experience destroyed his trust and personal dignity" [ant: distrust]
4. complete confidence in a person or plan etc; "he cherished the faith of a good woman"; "the doctor-patient relationship is based on trust" [syn: faith]
5. a trustful relationship; "he took me into his confidence"; "he betrayed their trust" [syn: confidence]

verb
1. have confidence or faith in; "We can trust in God"; "Rely on your friends"; "bank on your good education"; "I swear by my grandmother's recipes" [ant: distrust]
2. allow without fear
3. be confident about something; "I believe that he will come back from the war" [syn: believe]
4. expect and wish; "I trust you will behave better from now on"; "I hope she understands that she cannot expect a raise" [syn: hope]
5. confer a trust upon; "The messenger was entrusted with the general's secret"; "I commit my soul to God" [syn: entrust]

The events of the past 7 months have hinged upon one important thing...TRUST. When trust is broken how is it regained? In personal relationships you have love to see you through to forgiveness and back to a place of trust. In other types of relationships it is harder to rely on faith that your best interests are most important to those that have broken the trust. It is hard when actions show that your life is of no value to a community. How is one expected to continue in a job that requires you to put your life on the line when the very people you represent and serve have breeched the trust? Is it unreasonable to expect actions to back up words? I don't think so. When trust is broken it must be earned back. You can't simply take the word of those that are only interested in self-preservation to have your best interests at heart. When they tell lies about you, refuse to let you be heard and make light of your concerns and experience they don't have your back. If they don't have your back then you have no obligation to put it on the line for them. Your life and service is worth more than inflated egos, corruption and self serving people who have no understanding of the scope of their actions. You are all heros and deserve to be treated with honor, respect and dignity. I'm sorry that the trust has been broken. I know our community is the worse for this path. I pray that you know your worth and value to the many lives you have touched in your 150 odd years of combined service.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cardboard Testimony



This moved me to tears and made me review my own cardboard testimony. God's mercy, grace and love knows no depths and is unfailing.