Thursday, June 30, 2011

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." - Psalm 1:1-3 I've always felt this to be an encouraging scripture. I think it's often used with teenagers, to help them stay away from the "bad" crowd. But, it's so fitting for adults, who, just because we grow up doesn't me we don't want to fit in.
When we're older, we quit calling it peer pressure and start calling it "people pleasing." You know I think I'm more anxious about others' thoughts of me now than I've ever been. I'm careful about what I wear when I leave the house, I'm careful to put on makeup & heaven forbid my child should throw a fit while in the grocery store!
Must of us go to work each day (I did until 2008) and we have evil influences all around us. (Not that we should completely avoid sinners & never witness to them.) But, we should not be receiving counsel from them, or let them influence our mind. Instead we need to be meditating on God's Word. If His words are in our heart there isn't room for a worldly perspective. When we're in God's Word and growing spiritually strong, we're like a tree. Those "bad" voices we here do not affect or move us, but we show forth fruit that will affect them. They will see your fruit and in it see your Savior. Just a quick thought on some verses I love!

Favorite Hymns/Hymnists Part IV: My Jesus I Love Thee

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know thou art mine,
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign,
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.
I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus, 'tis now.
If you're like me, when you hang up with someone with whom you are very close a spouse, child, parent, etc., you tell them, "I love you." You wouldn't want some thing to happen to that one in the interim before you see them again, and for them not to be assured of your love for them.
However, when was the last time you told your Savior that you love Him. This is the reason that I like this song. It is in essence a love song to our Lord. An opportunity to recount the reasons of our love for Him and what the results of that love should be.
I fell in love with my husband eight years ago and when I did, my life changed. I gave up relationships or close friendships with other men. My desires changed too. I no longer planned a life centered on my own wishes, but one designed around our mutual happiness. I quit spending extra income on clothes and pizza, (Yes, that's where all my disposable income went), and started saving for a wedding.
Likewise when we love our Lord our lives should change! We should lay aside the attributes, ie sin, of our former lives. We quit satisfying our own desires (lying, fornicating, hating, greed) and begin living a life that our Savior can take pleasure in: "For Thee all the follies of sin I resign."
I love Thee in life I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath.
And, sing when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.
In mansions of glory, and endless delight,
I'll ever adore Thee in Heaven, so bright.
And sing with a glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now
I love the line "as long as Thou lendest me breath." Remember, every moment is one we have been given by God and we are never guaranteed tomorrow. Use this moment for your Lord!
How much do we love our Savior? Will we love Him implicitly when facing the pain of death? Can we say in all of life's ups and downs, "If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now?" Also, look at the sweet reward, the gift from a Lord full of love for us, that we receive after facing death!
"For to me, to live is Christ; and to die is gain." -Phil. 1:21

Let's get excited about forever singing praises to the Lord!
And, as a lover of pretty jewelry, I'm excited about the crown!


At my age, most women start to feel that the candles on their birthday cake are less exciting and a bit more ominous. I'm not old, by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm at that point where most start to dislike birthdays. Most, that is, but not me!
I may not like the age that the birthday signifies, but I will always like birthdays, and here's why: I believe birthdays to be the one day each year totally devoted to being mindful that God has given us a gift in the loved one that was born that day. I get really excited about my daughters' birthdays, even though I hate that they aren't my little newborns anymore, because I believe that I'm most thankful of anyone on the planet that they exist! (Also, it reminds me that I'm tough, but labor is a post for another day!) So, next time forget the fire hazard that your age is, and remember the gift of life God has given you. (Make others do it too!) My husband always tries to play down his birthday, and it drives me nuts. Especially, since my birthday is the month before and he always works so hard to make it a spectacular day, week really. But, I won't let him! I make him acknowledge it, because I'm so glad that God created him, my perfect mate! I hope you have a great birthday this year and enjoy the birthdays of those you love, being glad that you have them to celebrate!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Friend

I walked along a rocky path toward a mountain top and as I traveled I heard footsteps behind me. I turned to see my companion, but in the midst and darkness of the night the path behind was difficult to see.
I continued on my way and came to a babbling brook, while it was shallow and pleasant I could see that the current was strong. I had to ford the stream to keep on course. I entered the creek, but when I was midpoint I lost my footing and began to fall. I felt the hand of my ally reach forward to support me o'er the brook.
Once on the other side, I began to climb the mountain. The way was light to start, but as I traversed it grew steep and rugged. It was difficult to persist. I lost my desire to reach the mountain's peak. I began to slip, but as I did arms caught me and braced me up the steep path.
The night was cool and the breeze was light, but suddenly the breeze became a gale. The sky grew crowded with dark clouds and the rain began to fall. Hail pelted my person as I walked along the path. I thought of turning back, I thought the journey too difficult. But, then, along came my friend again and sheltered me with his arms. The wind persisted and grew too strong that I could no longer stand. The stranger held me in his arms and carried me along the path in the midst of the raging torrent!
Then, the winds died, the skies cleared, and the sun had risen. I could now see clearly, I was at the mountain's peak, my journey through. I was incapable of traveling this road alone, I had needed the strength of someone stronger than myself, someone who had hands capable of carrying me. Now the storm subsided I could see the hands that guided, supported, and bore me, they were nail-pierced.

Is Every Life Valuable

It was late February 2008 and my husband and I were to be at church early to practice with an ensemble. When we arrived I needed to make a quick stop in the Ladies' room, and when I did I discovered that I was bleeding. I was 12 weeks pregnant. My heart began to race! I immediately found my husband and told him what was happening, choking back tears all the while. We went into a Sunday School room and called my doctor. He told me I needed bed rest for the rest of the day and that tomorrow morning I would go in for an ultrasound. He informed me that if I were miscarrying nothing would prevent it and that all I could do was to rest.
My husband took me home and I stayed in bed until it was time to go to the doctor's office the next morning. It was the longest day of my entire life. It was so difficult to give my little one's life over to the Lord. I was so uneasy that my mother even agreed to go to the doctor with me the next day.
Finally, after all my waiting I was in the ultrasound room and being examined. The screen lit up and suddenly before my eyes there was my little child, small, vulnerable, and energetic. I could hardly distinguish her arms and legs because she was such a wiggler! At that moment, I relaxed, there could be nothing wrong with this baby! Both the doctor and the ultrasound technician confirmed that she was, in fact, healthy, and that nothing was apparently wrong. This happened again in my pregnancy, but on September 10, 2008 my daughter was born.

When I remember this time, when I was so frightened for the life of my unborn child I marvel that anyone could choose to extinguish such a life! I can't imagine how someone could endure this type of loss, and devastated that any mother could willingly destroy the precious gift that God had given her.
Abortion is a disgusting, disturbing, and despicable method of murder. I will not highlight it on this post and catch my readers off guard with the gruesome details. But, if you wish to fully acquaint yourself with why this is such an atrocity please check this site.
Our eldest with the doctor that delivered her
I'm sorry that this is a bit political in nature, but I don't consider abortion to be a political issue, rather a moral one!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jane Austen Books: Northanger Abbey

If you love Jane Austen you may have read Northanger Abbey. If you, as I am, are fully devoted to the genius of her works then you definitely have read Northanger Abbey many times.
I'm planning on doing a series on six of Jane Austen's seven completed novels. You may catch me writing that every book is my favorite and, on some level, that's true. It's almost as if all her books combine in my brain into one great work. I'm excited to share my passion for her works with you. If you're a die-hard Austenite then, you'll probably enjoy hearing another perspective. If you're relatively new to Austen, perhaps you'll get bitten by the bug!
Catherine Morland, the main character, is a young lady to whom, at the time I first read this novel, I could fully relate. She's the daughter of a vicar and from a large family. Check. Check. She had an active imagination and allowed her reading to carry her off into the world of fancy. Check. Check. She's naive about the ways of the world. Big check here. She's ready for an adventure. Okay, here I depart from her, I enjoyed my quiet life and was content to read of others' adventures.
When our story opens young Catherine is quietly living with her family in the country, enjoying novels, and day dreaming. She's given the opportunity to finally live out the adventures she's been imagining by a neighbor couple, the Allens, when they ask her to accompany them to Bath.
While there Catherine meets many people: < br> Henry Tilney
Eleanor Tilney
Isabella Thorpe
John Thorpe
General Tilney
Mrs. Thorpe
And, she's reunited with her brother James, who has been away at Oxford.
I'm going to examine a few of these characters.
Isabella Thorpe: Isabella is the typical self-absorbed type. She's very pretty, and boy does she know it! She's incapable of having empathy for another, and has no need for a friendship that isn't centered around her.
Eleanor Tilney: Eleanor serves as a contrast to Miss Thorpe. She's kind hearted and affectionate. She is a genuine friend who enjoys being a supportive friend.
John Thorpe: Mr. Thorpe is the only character Austen ever wrote, including the infamous Mr. Wickham, that annoys me to no end. This is on purpose of course, but I have trouble getting over every scene in which there is a mention of John Thorpe! He's crass, rude and morally gray. Catherine does not like him, but her desire to be kind to her brother and her friend, Isabella overpowers her own preferences. Mr. Thorpe was proud and that perhaps is his most annoying attribute.
Henry Tilney: My favorite Austen hero! I'm genuine about this and I won't say that any other Austen hero! Henry is a happy young man with a good sense of humor. Good nature, amiable, just the things he ought to be. He stands in stark contrast to the annoyance that is Mr. Thorpe. Henry isn't a proud person, but his initial interest in Catherine is brought on solely by her obvious preference for him! Henry can laugh at a lot of situations, which is probably why I like him the most. My favorite of his attributes is his joy in mocking! He teases Catherine through the whole book! (My husband picks on me all the time and I love it.)
Back to the plot.
It doesn't take Catherine long after becoming acquainted with Henry Tilney to develop a bit of a crush on him. She's unsure of how Mr. Tilney feels for her, but she like a schoolgirl does very little to hide that she thoroughly enjoys his company.
Not long after she arrives in Bath she also meets a family by the name of Thorpe. Mrs. Allen was at school with Mrs. Thorpe and Catherine's brother friends with Mrs. Thorpe's son, John. The eldest of the Thorpe daughters, Isabella, befriends Catherine immediately and they bond over their mutual love of novels.
When Catherine's brother, James and John Thorpe arrive in Bath it's obvious to the reader, but not to Catherine that Miss Thorpe has intentions toward him. The two eventually become engaged. Soon after the engagement with her brother gone, and being able to witness that Isabella in her brother's absence she realized that Isabella does not have as faithful a heart as she'd originally believed.
She receives inexplicable kindness from General Tilney, Eleeanor and Henry's father, and when the family departs from Bath he extends an invitation to Catherine, or rather encourages Eleanor to invite Catherine, to Northanger Abbey, they're country home. Catherine passes many happy days at Northanger Abbey solidifying her friendship with Eleanor and spending time in the company of Mr. Tilney. But, while there she receives a letter that devastates her and then, General Tilney makes a discovery that shatters the happiness she'd been experiencing.
There are so many reasons that I love this book. I love how Catherine is educated in worldly knowledge all the while keeping her sweet and unaffected nature. One of my favorite aspects of this novel are the conversations between Mr. Tilney and Catherine! They're so humorous! But, you'll laugh through the whole book, I promise.

Favorite Hymns/Hymnists Part III: It is Well With My Soul

Horatio Gates Spafford, better known as H.G. Spafford, was a Lawyer born in 1828.
In the year 1873 Mr. Spafford sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him to England for a holiday. (Business at home had detained him.) On the night of November 22 the steamship they were on struck an iron vessel and 226 people died that night, including the young Spafford daughters ages 11, 5, 9 & 2. His wife, Anna survived the terrible accident. When she arrived in England she sent her husband a telegram that read, "Saved Alone."
I can't imagine poor H.G. Spafford's pain to be told by telegram that his precious daughters were all of them lost!
Mr. Spafford then sailed to England to join his wife. As he traveled over the waters that had claimed the lives of his small children Mr. Spafford penned the following hymn:
It is Well With My Soul
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrow like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say, It is well with my soul.
In the midst of tragedy, he saw that his Father was in control. The Lord knows what we need and that His grace carries us through these situations. Just a note, this is extremely easy for me to say, because I have never lost a child, let alone, four, all of my children.
Let's look at someone who has first hand knowledge of the pain Mr. Spafford endured, Job. Job lost all of his children in one moment as well. He also lost all of his earthly possessions, and was left with just his wife while suffering physically. In the midst of these trials Job said this:
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him." - Job 13:15

This hymn to me is a testimony of great faith in the love of the Lord. When I'm facing loss I often fall into the emotional trap of believing that God has no compassion for me. It takes strong faith to hold fast to one's trust in God's goodness during such a time.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Mr. Spafford highlights in this stanza that no matter the pain we face on earth that one thing is enough for us: Christ shed his blood to save us. I believe that one can only face such tragedy if they have the peace that God gives to His children.
I'm so thankful for the testimony of men like H.G. Spafford. Such a lesson one can learn from his life experiences.
After losing their four children, the Spaffords were blessed with three more children. Their son died at only four years of age. They also had two daughters.
Later the Spaffords went to Jerusalem and began a philanthropic organization. He died in 1888 and is buried in Jerusalem.
I'm sure it was a joyful reunion when he entered eternity and was greeted by his five little lost children.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." - I Thessalonians 4:13

Monday, June 27, 2011

Have You Thought of the Cross Today?

So often I get caught up in the daily grime of living that my focus tends to drift from the spiritual to the physical. I start thinking about my goals for the day: dishes, sweeping, cleaning, changing diapers, grocery shopping, blogging, and facebooking that I stop thinking about what is eternal, but what is temporal.
Sometimes I forget that every day I'm on this earth with my husband and children is a day given me by God. I forget that my life is not my own possession, it has been bought.
Consider the price that was paid for your life. Jesus endured incomprehensible suffering and gave His life a ransom for mine.

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” - Mark 10:45

When I consider this, it's only reasonable that I choose to spend the days the Lord has given to me serving Him.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." - Romans 12:1

Favorite Hymns/Hymnists Part II: He Lives

He Lives
I serve a risen Savior,
He's in the world today.
I know that He is living
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy,
I hear His voice of cheer,
And, just the time I need Him
He always near.

What poignant lyrics for this day and age! If you have met the Savior you can relate to these lyrics. I'm always so sad to hear the lost try to refute the very existance of a God! But, if you know the Lord you have no doubt that He is indeed alive. The evidence of a Savior is in every aspect of the lives of His children. I've seen His healing in the protection of my father, I've seen His provsion in times of want, mostly I've felt His grace in everything. I know His grace carried me through times of despair, mourning, fear and even labor, but mostly, I've felt the joy His grace brings in remembering that my sins have been forgiven me!

In all the world around me,
I see His loving care.
And though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair.
I know that He is leading
Thro' all the stormy blast.
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

Again, such great lyrics! Our hearts often grow weary of the tedious labor we endure on this earth, and though, we face storms, trials and sadness, we needn't despair! We have the hope of His return. We know He will return, because He has kept all His promises thus far!

Rejoice, Rejoice O' Christian
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal Hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ, the King
The hope of all who seek Him,
The help of all who find.
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

He lives, He lives.
Christ Jesus lives today.
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives
Salvation to impart
You ask me how I know He lives,
He lives within my heart.

I know that Jeus lives, just as sure as I know I live. He's provided proof of it daily. That proof is in the regeneration of the Saints. Lives changed! Hope given, and peace found!
While I'm on this earth, I will seek to help others find the joy I have found and lift my hallelujahs to praise Him for his love to me. Then, in Heaven, at last I shall sit at the feet of my Risen Savior!
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We Have a Winner

I made a list of all followers & gave extra entries to those who shared my varies blog "entities." I used's True Random Number Service, and the winner is one of my facebook followers, Laura. I'll be messaging her today to find out which gift card she'd prefer.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My New Hair Gel

I know I said that I wouldn't blog today, but I have to share this:
During the summer I need a much stronger hold gel for two reasons: to help keep frizzies at bay &
to help my hair clump into curls instead of looking like a bunch of tangled, limp waves. This week I finally bought that stronger gel (my hair has looked awful this whole month, by the way.) I bought the same brand that I always do, but this time I bought a gel for spiking. This gel was obviously meant for men to use, but I didn't mind until I came home and smelled it! Wooeee !it smells distinctively masculine!
I used it anyway & my hair looked great. So if you are around me this summer, here's an explanation as to why I smell like a boy, but have cute hair!
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

He Humbled Thee

"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live." -Deuteronomy 8:3
Trials. Isn't it easy for us to stand before and after them and say how the Lord sent them to better us? I can't count the times that I've reassured someone in the midst of a trial that the Lord was using this hard time to grow that person spiritually or how many times I have received that same assurance.
When you're in the midst of the trial you really don't want to hear those assurances do you?
Two years ago I had really been struggling with believing that God would heal someone I knew who was very sick. I happened to go to youth camp that year with the teens from our church. On Wed. or Thurs. night I called my mother to tell her of all the amazing things that the Lord had done in our youth group and the camp that week. Our conversation later went to that one I knew that was ill. My mother assured me that if the Lord chose it, that one would, indeed, be healed. But, I didn't want to hear it. Finally, she said, "Bekah, think about what you've been telling me. You've told me how you've seen the Lord move mightily in the lives of these young people, but you don't believe he can heal this person?" (I am paraphrasing, by the way.)
I had my ears turned off to my mother's words of wisdom, even though, I had just been listing reasons for me to believe those words!
It states in this verse "he humbled thee" and "that he might make thee to know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord." The Lord doesn't send us through hard times so he can laugh at us. He does it to teach and train us, to better equip us to serve him.
When someone enters the military he has to participate in "Boot Camp." I don't know first hand, but I've heard it's one of the most grueling experiences one can endure. Those trials aren't meant to break the soldier, but to train and strengthen him that he'll better serve his country. Likewise, the Lord doesn't want to break us, but to mold us into excellent soldiers, capable of fighting in a spiritual war.
Could you imagine sending a soldier to the battlefield untrained? Now, that would be truly cruel!
I'm glad that I serve a Lord who doesn't find me to menial, but that He takes a personal interest in my life. He cares to try and purify me."
"But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." - Job 23:10

Please make me read this again the next time I am facing a trial!


The past two or three days I've been blogging a little less, but, don't worry, my keys are not lonely!
I've written the forward to a book and the beginning of the first chapter (appx 500 words.) While it's not very much to have written, I think this might be the hardest part. Trying to climb the mountain to develop the story has been so hard for me. I have a fairly original idea and the plot well developed in my head. But diving into it is so difficult. I think another difficult aspect for me will be communicating the complex nature of the relationships involved. (Time to read some Jane Austen!)
I'm excited to share this with you. I want to thank you who have been reading, it's definitely helped me to feel less embarrassed. More than that, it's made me feel accountable for my writing. Please when/if I see you in person, ask me about it. That will give me a hand as I continue on this path.
The worst that can happen is that I can write a story I enjoy and my family enjoys and I'm rejected by agents and publishers. Then, I'll be an unpublished wannabe author...which is what I am now. Nothing to lose, right?

My 2 Year Old Mirror

My grandmother said, "Little pitchers have big ears." (At least, I'm fairly certain that's how she said it.) Meaning, that small children see/hear everything we do, even what we think they're too little to understand.
I have learned this truth first hand. Over the past year my daughter has gone from a baby, saying one and sometimes two words at a time, to a little girl, who speaks in full sentences and plays pretend. What a difference a year can make!
Suddenly, I'm hearing myself in a slightly babyish tone playing with my children, teaching them, and most importantly reprimanding them. I've never realized how often I say certain words and phrases. Words like, "Darlin'" and phrases like, "How 'Bout."
I appreciate this little mirror of mine, but I've definitely learned that there are some sounds I don't want mimicked. Hearing her repeat my words or "punish" dollies for doing various things, has shown me that I need to control my temper a little more!
Don't worry, yelling isn't something you'll hear in my house often, but I can certainly improve. I'm hoping that I'll start to notice her disciplining dolly a lot more peacefully in the future. And, while it's shocking to be measured in this manner, I'm a little thankful for this barometer to measure my mothering!
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." -Proverbs 22:6

I've always believed the best way to teach is by example.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Road Not Taken

Don't you hate flowery poetry? I do. My mother loves all poetry, and when a person in charge of your literature class is a big fan of poetry, you spend a little extra time studying it. I hated the unit until we came to Robert Frost. What a refreshing change of pace. He isn't redundant just for the sake of increasing the length of a poem and he doesn't write nonsense line after line until finally coming to the point, but along the way confusing the reader.
The poem by Robert Frost that spoke to my heart the most was "The Road Not Taken." This, of course, is his most popular poem and I think that almost everyone can relate to this poem. There is some aspect in almost everyone's life where they have made the less popular choice.
My teen years were filled with making the less popular choice. Nothing will make you "fit-in" less than being a conservative Christian. When I was with my friends I always felt the responsibility to be the "good" one.
While at the time that wasn't the most fun experience, I appreciated it even then. I knew that when I saw other adolescents making poor choices I saw how good God had been to me. I heard someone once say that being born again as a young child meant that he didn't have a riveting testimony to recount how the Lord had saved him from a life riddled with sin, but that his testimony was that the Lord saved him from ever committing those sins. Truly, those of us who have the same testimony can appreciate God's grace even more! Not only did Christ's blood cover ours sins, but He prevented us from many unpleasant regrets!

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So what's your Road Not Taken? Can I ask you to take the road I have taken and follow Christ?
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." - Matthew 16:24

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Name is Bekah and I'm an Austenholic!

Ahhh! Jane Austen!
There are few things on this planet that I love so well as a novel by Jane Austen. I love so much about her books:
Regency England
For some reason this time period is bewitching to modern women. Maybe it's that during this time period a lady's main purpose was to move socially. Who wouldn't want to live a life of comfort, leisure and social engagements? I think, though, that the best thing of that time period is most definitely the clothes. Empire style dresses are flattering on everyone, no matter your figure. And, the hair. Wouldn't it be fun to wear a fancy up do everyday, whether going to a picnic or a ball? A ball! In fact, I think I can just leave it at "a ball." We women know what that means.
Plot lines
Jane Austen had a gift for writing everyday lives and making them more interesting than a twisted soap opera. She wrote about quiet girls living ordinary lives and who suffered ordinary problems. I, personally, like this more than unbelievable conflict filled plots. I can relate to Elizabeth Bennet and Catherine Morland.
I think this appeals to women, maybe even, more than the clothes. She captures how people interact and how they interact differently with different sorts of people. My favorite relationships are the sister relationships even those of Henrietta and Louisa Musgrove of Persuasion, and Maria and Julia Bertram of Mansfield Park.
The Bertram sisters are so interesting that they have such affection, jealousy, and then, closeness again. Such a complex relationship. I think I shall blog more about that some other time!
Character Development
This is where Jane Austen leaves all other writers behind. She can write characters so real that when you lay down one of her novels, you immediately forget that the characters were, actually, characters and begin to think of them as real people. I believe her characters to be far superior to any other characters ever penned.
Perhaps my favorite character is Fanny Price of Mansfield Park. She is meek and eager to please others, even if it requires sacrificing her own comforts. Yet, she is firm when it comes to the issue of right and wrong. She protects the reputation of her abusers, but does not allow them to degrade her character as well. She's the most respectable of all Jane Austen's characters, in my humble opinion that is.
In short, it's this blogger's belief that Jane Austen surpasses all other authors!
Good night, I have some reading to do!

Give Away!

Welcome to my one week blogging party! I hope you brought your party hats & your balloons!
In this short time I've fallen in love with blogging! To celebrate I'm thinking of hosting a giveaway! I've got 13 followers on my blog, 22 fans on Facebook and 9 followers on Twitter. I'd like to increase my blogs visibility and I'm asking you to help me out! Recommend my blog, suggest my fan page, and RT this tweet "Have you checked out @diapersnprayer?" to be entered in the giveaway. Twitter will notify me if you tweet, but if you suggest my facebook page please write on my wall to let me know. Likewise if you recommend my blog to someone please leave a comment or contact me via my contact page to let me know. You may enter once daily in each of the three formats, meaning you may have your name entered up to three times daily. At the close of the giveaway a name will be selected at random from those who participated. This giveaway will end at midnight Monday, June 27 Eastern Time.
The Prize you say? a $20 gift card to either Olive Garden or Red Lobster.
Thanks for following and Good Luck

My Favorite Hymns/Hymnists Part I

Fanny Crosby Most of the people reading this blog are probably familiar with Fanny Crosby, but in case you are not familiar with her and her works, here's a brief biography:

She was born in early Spring 1820 and when only six weeks old she developed an illness that caused inflammation and discharge in her eyes. Her family believed that the ignorance of an unqualified physician caused her to be blinded by applying a poultice to her eyes. However, many modern physicians believe that she was born blind and that her parents merely couldn't tell that she had no sight because of her young age.
When she was 15 years old she enrolled in the New York Institution for the Blind. Here she stayed as a pupil and teacher for many years. While there she befriended the future president Grover Cleveland, who transcribed some of her poems for her.
On March 5, 1858 she married Alexander Van Alstyne Jr, who, himself, was legally blind. (Side note we share our anniversary with them. How cool!)
Sadly, one year later she gave birth to a little girl who died in her sleep while still a young infant. Today, it is theorized that she died from SIDs. The hymn "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" was inspired by the death of her infant daughter.
Also a sad spot in her life was her marriage, by 1880 she and her husband separated and lived apart for the remainder of his time on earth, more than two decades. There are various speculations as to the cause of the separation, but no one knows the truth.

Fanny wrote over 1,000 hymns during her life. The most well known of them was the song, "Blessed Assurance."
Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine.
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine.
Heir of salvation,
Purchase of God,
Born of His spirit,
Washed in his blood.

Fanny's hymns have such amazing doctrinal truths in them and speak of the most wonderful aspects of our Savior!
Once asked how she would know Jesus when she entered heaven, she responded by penning the following hymn, "I Shall Know Him":
When my life's work has ended,
And I cross the swelling tide.
When that bright and glorious morning I shall see,
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And, His smile shall be the first to welcome me.
I shall know Him,
I shall know Him,
As redeemed by His side I shall stand.
I shall know Him,
I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in his hand.

One of my all-time Favorite Hymns is "To God Be the Glory"
To God be the Glory,
Great things he hath done.
So loved He the world
That He gave us His Son.
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice.
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice.
Oh, come to the Father
Through Jesus the Son.
And give Him the glory
Great things He hath done.

This hymn is a comfort to me in various times of struggle and sadness. When I look at the trial-filled life that Fanny lived, to pen such words is very powerful to me. I try to call this song to memory in times of sadness, because, as hard as this life may be, I always have a reason to praise the Lord! I praise Him for the gift of His Son. For the life of perfection He lived on this earth. For His taking my place on Calvary and suffering for my sin. I praise Him, that I'll one day be in Eternity with my Savior whom I shall know, by the print of the nails in His hand!
Fanny died in 1915 and awoke to see her Savior's smile welcoming her home!
Praise the Lord for gifting some with talents such as these, that someone born 68 years following Fanny Crosby's death can be edified by her words!
Click here to see more hymns by Fanny Crosby!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

His Way

This post is a Prequel to my post: "How It All Began."
Rewind to the Winter/Spring of 2003. I had already felt that the Lord was calling me to spend my life with children, more specifically, my children. I've blogged about that here.But, I was now in a holding pattern. Have you ever been in a spot where you feel that you're spiritually stalled?
Working a job that was stressful mentally, spiritually and physically, I would come home, shower and crash everyday. I worked in my church with all my spare time, which between work and sleep, that was not a lot.
Knowing what the Lord was calling me to be, obviously, a necessary step toward motherhood was marriage, however, there was literally no where for me to meet a possible husband. In spite of this, I felt that the Lord had me where He wanted me. I truly believe he wanted me in a holding pattern to learn that there is peace only when we are specifically where He intends us to be.
You see wherever He puts you there is something that He wishes you to accomplish, even in holding patterns. We must be fully surrendered to His will or we can not learn the truths He desires to teach.
The lesson that I was taught during that time was that Christ is enough. If my job is not fulfilling: Christ is enough. If my social life is nonexistent: Christ is enough. If no one else will love me: Christ is enough. His love is more than any one human can give. It's perfect, tested and eternal!
I'm so happy for that short time in my life when I felt I was on the fast track to nothing! It was certainly the time when I learned one of my most important lessons.
I challenge you today, if you are in one of those holding patterns, unsure of what the next step is, work for the Lord where you are! Seek to glorify Him in your mundane time as you would when you feel the excitement of His hand moving!
I had to fully surrender myself to the Lord and accept that whatever He chooses for my life, I am satisfied in being His child, before He would show me the next step in His will for my life.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." - Romans 12:1
Please, when you feel discouraged, remember that He isn't trying to torment you, but to teach you. I know that stalled times are some of the most trying, but, again, remember, His way is perfect.
"As for God, his way is perfect: the way of the Lord is tried: his a buckler to all those that trust in him." - Psalm 18:30

My Calling

"There ye shall lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." - Deuteronomy 11:18 & 19

When I started 7th grade I began working in the Children's Ministries in my church. I began babysitting when I was 12, and having both a niece and nephew while still in my teens, I spent a lot of my adolescence with small children.
Not that I disliked it, but by the time I graduated I found myself ready for something new and different. I had always felt a burden for Israel, and I assumed if I started down the path toward becoming a missionary, the Lord would open doors and call me.
This was not the case. In fact, every door slammed in my face.
At nineteen, I was working in a daycare facility. I, unexpectedly, found that I enjoyed working there quite a bit, and I did not have peace pursuing my own call to the mission field.
During nap time, I was helping a little boy try to settle down for his nap. He asked me to pat his back. He laid on his stomach and I knelt beside him to pat him. He suddenly looked up and said, "Miss Bekah, I love you." It was quite possibly one of the sweetest professions I'd ever heard.
At that moment it was as if I heard the Lord speaking in my ear, "This, Bekah, this is the future I have for you. Children."
From that moment, my passion changed. I enjoyed working with little ones so much more than ever before!
The Lord presented many opportunities for me to work with children, I also knew in my heart that he didn't want me working professionally with children only. I knew that God's plan was for me to work with my own children.
In 2008 God finally gave me that opportunity to fulfill the calling He gave to me, and, I am trying not to be too distracted by daily living that I forget that I'm in full time ministry! I'm in the ministry of mommying, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

Let's Pretend...

Growing up our favorite game always started, "Let's pretend that we're all brothers and sisters and our parents are dead..."
Later, we found out that this made our mother very upset! Of course, this wasn't our intention, but how could be running away from a horrid orphanage if we were happily settled in a nice home with loving parents?
In this game, as I said above, we were residents of an abusive orphanage with a director that put Carol Burnett to shame! Not only were we five siblings, but we had about 8 baby dolls that were our unfortunate younger brothers and sisters. I'm not exactly sure how this worked logistically, since our parents had been dead longer than I had been alive?!
We finally would be fed up with the injustices we had to endure, and would sneak by night away from the orphanage, jump into a carriage (a full size bed, no smaller or the baby dolls wouldn't fit) and ride away to freedom, all the while being chased by the tyrant who ran the orphanage!
After what seemed like an hour, of the five of us bouncing on the bed as if it were being pulled by horses, we would stop, because the game was finished and no longer fun.
But, then, later that day we'd play it again!
My siblings are the best! We had so much fun playing together as children and they're my best friends now. Not many people can say they have four people who will be loyal and dependable through thick and thin with as sure a belief I as I can!

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." - Philippians 1:3

My family,Christmas 2006
There have been 4 additions since!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sissy, it's called a STINGray!

My fourteen year old nephew is perhaps the coolest person I know. Today, he came to spend the day with us. Mostly, he plays video games with his uncle, but all four of us enjoy having him come!
In honor of the fun I have when I'm hanging out with him, I decided to blog about him. Here are some of the great things my nephew has done over the years...
When my nephew was a toddler he went through a flushing stage. He flushed cassette tapes, he flushed toys, he tried to flush a 2 liter bottle of Mt. Dew.
He went through phases, like every child. He especially went through phases of TV show obsessions. When he was two or three, he walked through the mall for hours repeating, "I'm tired, I'm hungry and I have to go to the bathroom." I would personally like to thank Big Idea Productions, the makers of Veggie Tales, because of that line in a Larry Boy video everyone in the city of Lafayette, IN thinks that I forced a preschooler to walk through the mall
Holding his baby cousin

exhausted, hungry & holding it the whole time.
Just like cheese, he gets better as time passes. When one of my sisters was babysitting him, she asked him to get dressed. He went upstairs, came down completely naked and said, "I decided you get to pick out my clothes today!"
He had a little friend that liked to be neater than he. During Sunday School when he was in 1st grade my sisters were teaching him and began to randomly ask the boys silly questions about dirt. "If you could play in the water or the mud?" sort of questions. Each time the friend did not choose the dirtier option, neither did my nephew, but it was obvious he was itching to say differently. Finally, they asked, "If you could jump in a big pile of leaves, or big pile of soft dirt which would you do?" He stood up on the table to exclaim, "The dirt I would jump in the dirt! I love dirt!"
Finally, my all time favorite nephew story. He was at an aquarium with his family on vacation and was given the opportunity to pet a stingray, but declined. Later, we were asking him and his sister about it. She said, "I can't believe you didn't pet the stingray since you want to be a marine biologist!" To which he replied, "Sissy, it's called a STINGray!
I have a great family!

The Bed of Flowers

The sun shone brightly upon the dew kissed valley following the dawn. The weary traveler had just a moment to rest as he crossed the stony path that wound through the grassy place between the mountains' high peaks.
"What a lovely haven I have come upon," the traveler said to himself. He paused, wanting to leave behind a treasure in this beautiful scene, and so, he reached into his satchel and retrieved the one item he still carried in it. A small packet of seeds.
"I have not time to tend these seeds, but, per chance, they may still grow to dainty blooms. Perhaps other travelers shall enjoy this dale as I have done myself." Gently he knelt amongst the tall grasses and sowed his precious seed.
Sadly, he turned from his would-be garden and continued on his way.

The young child was overjoyed at the sight of the large, leafy tree as the noonday sun beat upon her small body. She had walked long that morning through the mountains' rocky ways, and though near her destination, was dry and warm from the high, summer sun's heat. As she moved to the tree through the grass she saw a small patch of freshly tilled earth. "Is this stranger's lovely garden to be dried in the heat of the day?" she thought. The little one moved to the stream and,using her hat for a vessel, carried water to the little patch.
Rejuvenated by her happening to assist this small flower patch, she continued on her way.

Her eyes already dim with age, it was difficult for the elderly woman to walk through the valley in the twilight of the evening. She continued steadily on the familiar path, as she need only cross the valley to be safe and at her small cottage once again. She'd walked this way every day numerous times and knew the valley well. If she were not so familiar with the lovely dale she certainly would not have seen the small garden located just off the path. But the difference was obvious even to her inhibited vision.
"How sad to see this little flower bed so choked by these weeds," she thought. And so, slowly and feebly she lowered her aged body to the ground. She reached out and pulled with her bent hands. She continued until the weeds were all removed and the patch was free from all it's attackers. With the task complete, she continued on her way feeling light and spry with the joy of assisting in the tending of the garden.

The sun was just gleaming in the eastern sky as the knight galloped through his Master's mountain range. The light shimmered as it reflected on his glimmering armor. He was happy to be returning to his Master after the long and harrowing battle, and he rejoiced he returned to his Master's kingdom. The sweat beaded upon his steed and though nearing the palace of the King he realized that his faithful horse would need a refreshing drink from the nearby stream. As he lowered himself to the ground he spotted the most beautiful flowers his eyes had ever beheld. He knelt and gathered the lovely bounty into a stunning bouquet.
"What amazing beauty these blooms posses," He contemplated. "So thoughtful of someone to plant, water, and tend them. I shall harvest them and bring them to my King. I'm certain that they shall bring him joy beyond measure!"

"Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." I Corinthians 3:8 & 9

"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Luke 15:10

Monday, June 20, 2011

How it All Began...

When I sat down to write this post I was resigned not to mention that certain sister who has become the main character in my blog, but alas, I can't tell this story without her either!
I've written about my children, my siblings, and my dad, and now it's time to write about the most important person in my life, my husband.
It was the summer of 2003, and my family was planning it's annual Memorial Day BBQ at Turkey Run State Park. Probably some of you reading this have attended or have been invited to said picnic. It's always a great time, and we enjoy it so much more when we can be surrounded with those we love. To ensure this, we invite lots of people! That year my sister's, yes, that same sister, boyfriend (now my brother-in-law) invited an old friend of his to the picnic. The poor guy had no plans for Memorial Day, and his family was busy with plans for his sister's wedding which would be the following weekend.
My sister was glad that he would come because she knew her boyfriend wanted him to attend, but she didn't want him taking away any time that they could spend together.
My sister knew that I was a reformed flirt. That is, I used to flirt with anything! However, the Lord had been teaching me a lot over the previous three or four months, and, as earlier stated, I had reformed. I didn't flirt with boys unless I liked them, and since I hadn't seen anyone I liked for a good while, I was not flirting! However, my sister wanted to keep the friend busy while she walked the trails with her boyfriend, and so, she asked me to flirt with him. I was so annoyed! I thought to myself, "Does she think I will flirt with every boy I see?" Which formerly would have been true, but annoyed me all the same. As a result, I resigned myself that not only would I not flirt with him, I would busy myself with my guests so that I had no opportunity to do so!
Us at Turkey Run

The day started so nicely, it was gorgeous! My sister introduced me to the friend approximately five times, but I was unmovable, I would not play a pawn in her game of manipulation! After a short time, I began to noticed that the friend was ignoring me and all my cute friends, and was playing with my six year old nephew instead. "This is odd," I thought to myself. I started to observe him some more, but from a distance, I did not want my sister to think I was fulfilling her wishes. I noticed that he was just a little weird, but the kind of weird that makes someone fun to be around. After all, let's face the truth, normal people are just plain boring. I also noticed that he was so nice to my nephew, and he had no reason to be. He'd never seen him before, he just liked the little guy. (And they're still very close!)
I have to admit that he was starting to intrigue me more and more. By the time we left for the trail, I wanted to talk to him. But, I was cautious, again, I didn't want her to think I was flirting! While he was friendly and polite, he was busy with her boyfriend trying to find inventive ways to travel the trails.
Now, I must admit, I was more intrigued than ever before! He had the chance to talk to a cute girl and instead he was climbing around with his friend, who, I'm not above saying, is not as cute of a girl as I am!
Finally, I decided I didn't mind what my sister thought! On the next trail I tried to speak with him when I could, but her silly boyfriend got in the way!
Unfortunately, my sister hurt her ankle. Unfortunate for her, but very fortunate for me! She needed her boyfriend's support to walk the rest of the long trail back to our picnic, leaving his friend available to talk to me!
We talked to each other much of the remaining trail and the remainder of the picnic. I must say, I flexed those rusty flirting muscles some throughout the day, and by it's close, I was hooked.
I wasn't sure if my feelings would be returned, but after my sister's boyfriend insisted that his friend call me, well, as they say, the rest is history.
On the day we met my friend told one of my sisters, "Well, their kids will be skinny, but they'll be cute!" And, I must say, she was right!

Shards of Broken Glass

As a small child, and an older child, and even a teenager, the person I was most concerned to please was my sister. (The one I fought with and that donated a kidney to my dad.) We were more than two years separated by age, but I thought she was the holder of wisdom. If she said it, I believed it!
When were very young, my mother broke a glass, she told us to stay away from the broken glass because it would cut us. I knew this to be true and had no intention to near it, until my sister told me to touch it. Of course, I did and of course, I received a nice cut in return!
My Sis & Me
What is it about humans that make us so desirous to please others? If you stop and logically contemplate it you see that it's pure silliness. But, when your in that moment and you feel the pressure to please another, don't you find yourself picking up broken shards of glass more often than not? I do.
"For do I now persuade men or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ." -Gal 1:10
I wouldn't try to encourage you to be unkind to others to ensure that you're not pleasing men, but, what's your motivation? Do we please men to fulfill our need for acceptance or are we loving others as Christ does us?
"He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." -I John 2:10

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Giggling, Chuckling and Laughing out Loud!

I had to share this video of my sweetie laughing and laughing at her colored rings! I'm not sure what she thought was so funny? But she sure does have an adorable laugh.
Sometimes I feel that people think critically of me because I'm reluctant to take things seriously. In this respect I had a good teacher in my dad. He tends to laugh at a lot of situations, and I may have adopted a "If I don't laugh, I may just cry mentality" along the way.
I don't feel so bad about that when I watch this great video of my baby girl for two reasons:
First, look at that, wouldn't you rather do that then be all serious!
Secondly, life is short. In James 4:14 it says, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." 
I think we should all take a lesson from my baby girl, take a couple minutes and laugh at some colored rings. Just enjoy yourself and those you love, because our days are short, and this moment will never happen again!
Without further ado, the World Premier of the video you have been anxiously anticipating: 

The Lord Liveth!

"And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth." - Deuteronomy 5:24

I'm so sad that Christians of this day and age have to "prove" there is a God. How terrible that "atheism" has become so rampant. I suppose if you tell someone that there is no divine law, no standard that is necessary to live by that he will flock to that ideology.
It's discouraging that we live in such a rebellious culture that they revolt against the Living God and reject even His existence! This is especially sad because most of those that subscribe to this belief system should have had some exposure to the true glory of God. In fact, all have:
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork." Psalm 19:1
Every Memorial Day we have a picnic at Turkey Run State Park. We love walking on the trails, especially trail three! Walking through it you can't help but be impressed by the beauty of Creation, what a wonderful God to create such a
Photo by Rachel Bobo-Jobe
beautiful world!
While this beauty of our planet is truly a proof that there is in fact a supreme being who created this world, I think that the Lord shows His glory even more effectively through hearts that are fully surrendered to Him.
When a lost soul sees the sinner changed wholly and completely, how can he help but take notice. How can he help but recognize that there is in fact a Heavenly Father or keep himself from desiring the joy and transformation that this person has received!
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17
While God may not present Himself as a pillar of fire in modern America. He presents Himself profoundly in the lives of His children. Therefore, let us shine His glory through our lives. That people might say "he liveth!"

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Songs that Stick...

When I was expecting my first daughter my coworkers (see the previous post) threw me a surprise shower in the break room. One of the many lovely gifts I/we received was a little angel that plays Sunday School songs. The good ones that you grew up singing: He's Got the Whole World, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children and This Little Light of Mine.
(By the way, expect a post in the future about the song Jesus Loves Me, but not today.)
My oldest liked this toy a lot, and though it was used quite a bit, it was not a favorite. However, the baby loves this toy. It's definitely one of her top ten (if not top five) favorite toys. She's learned how to start the music, and she keeps playing it all the time! I think that her favorite song is This Little Light of Mine and she's discovered how to push through until it plays that song.
As a result of this, that song has been stuck in my head for weeks. To help this along, my older daughter has been singing it lately, as well!
I don't mind that it is my head because it has always been a favorite of mine. In fact, I'm glad that it's in my head. What a great song to have rolling through my mind hour after hour!
Let's think about the lyrics:
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill can not be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." -Matt. 5:14-16
Have you ever been somewhere pitch black? Our eyes are programmed to seek any small source of light that might be found in the utter darkness. What a privilege to be a flicker of the Lord's grace. That those lost in this dark world can seek me and find the gospel of Christ! However, sadly, I'm too tempted to disguise my light and hide it away. Easily annoyed, often discouraged, and quickly frightened, I have allowed countless opportunities to share the saving grace of my excellent Father with those around pass me. How terrible to think that a person with whom I had opportunities to share His Word will go to an eternity without the Lord!
That terrifying thought makes me so thankful to that coworker, Jenny, who gave my now two year old daughter a little angel that plays such wonderful songs. I'm so happy that the tune will not leave my head. I'm going to keep humming it, and, perhaps, it will keep Matthew 5:14-16 fresh in my mind!
Mmmm mmm-mmm mmmmm mm mmmm,
M'm mmm-mm mmm mm mmmmm.
Mmmm mmm-mmm mmmmm mm mmmm,
M'm mmm-mm mmm mm mmmmm.
Mmmm mmm-mmm mmmmm mm mmmm,
M'm mmm-mm mmm mm mmmmm.
Mmm mm mmmmm,
Mmm mm mmmmm,
Mmm mm mmmmm.
Hide it Under a bushel...NO
I'm gonna let it shine!

Lovin' the Library!

In the age of the Nook and the Kindle you might begin to think that your local Library has become useless.
Playing before class
Who needs to go to the library when  you can buy an ebook for $0.99. Let me tell you, you are underestimating your library! (And I'm not just saying that because I worked at mine for almost 5 years.)

Libraries are so much more than just a place to pick up a book. Our library has loads to do: concerts, art shows, classes for all age groups in tons of different genres and so much more. But, the best by far is the Children's Dept. Again, I'm not saying this just because I worked with them for almost five years, but the people at my library are great! I had so much fun working with them, and now, my little girls love going to visit them!
This morning we went to a "Lapsit" program for my 10 mos old. It's so much fun to watch her be so engaged! We turned in our book reports, checked out a crate full of books, and each girl got to take home a book to keep as a Summer Reading prize. For a 10 mos old & a 2 yr old that is one exciting morning, and all of it was free!
If you haven't checked out the treasure trove that is your local library, I think you should!
Here are some links to libraries in Central IN:
Tippecanoe County Public Library
Kokomo/Howard County Public Library
Tipton County Public Library
Carmel Clay Public Library
Marion County Public Library

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day

Today is the nine year anniversary of the best Father's Day I've ever experienced. You are probably wondering why I, a woman and a mother, would have a best Father's Day. I've always felt that Father's Day, or rather, that weekend, to be: The day I got my father back.
When I was a very small child, so small that I can't remember the year or my age, my dad was diagnosed with a kidney disease. My parents sat us down and explained to us that our dad was sick and that some day he would need a kidney transplant. They explained what that meant, and I think they did a good job. Yet, being as little as I was I believed my daddy to be indestructible, so I didn't really believe he would ever be really sick.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. During the midsummer when I was thirteen he became very ill. They did tests and, in fact, my dad's kidneys were failing fast. He needed to start dialysis and quickly. This began an excruciatingly painful journey through my teens.
We were in and out of hospitals and doctors offices constantly. Sometimes, he was so sick I didn't know if he'd be coming home with us. But, somehow the Lord was merciful, and Daddy kept healing.
There were many roadblocks to a transplant. Finding a donor was the biggest of course. My three oldest siblings couldn't donate for different reasons, my mom couldn't, it seemed hopeless. Yet, the Lord gave us hope. I truly believed my Dad would be fine someday. I don't know if that was faith or child-like naivete or perhaps a mixture of the two and it was just plain child-like faith. Personally, I like to believe the last to be true.
I worked diligently through my teen years, and I had many responsibilities. It was a difficult time for me, and I often felt it fell on me to hold my family together. (If you ask my husband, he'll probably tell you that I still feel that way.)
Sadly, Satan loves to try to tear down the faith of teenagers, and I have to admit that when I was eighteen and my father seemed only to be getting worse. I lost faith. I resigned myself that my father might not make it to my wedding or see my children. The lowest point came during the open house for my high school graduation. My father was unable to stay because he was ill.
Praise the Lord, that was also the turning point for my dad. Right about that point the doctors decided to change his method of dialysis. It seemed after that that all obstacles were flying out of the path.
The biggest obstacle, a donor, was solved by my big sister. (The one with which I would fight.) She was 20 years old that summer, and she was able to start testing to see if she was a compatible donor.
This sister is, by far, the most diligent, self-motivated, and hardest worker of all five of us. She did all the testing while going to college full time! When it was discovered that she would be a match, the surgery was scheduled at a time that wouldn't interrupt her schooling. She went right back in the fall and worked just as hard as ever!
The surgery took place on June 14, 2002, two days before Father's Day. (Ironically, Readers Digest ran a story in that issue about a daughter giving her father a kidney.) It was an awful feeling having two of the people you love most in this world in surgery simultaneously.
Nine years later both my dad and my sister are in good health. Of course, Dad has ups and downs like all transplant recipients, but he's in better health now, than he was ten years ago! He officiated at my wedding and was in the hospital when both of my little girls were born!
Father's Day is always the time of year that I set aside to thank my Heavenly Father for giving me one more year on earth with my Dad!
She's holding my baby & I'm holding her's!

I also take this time to thank the Lord for my sister. Even though we had our differences as children, we've grown to be close friends and I praise the Lord for her. She's great at holding me accountable and keeping me spiritually sharp!
"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."-Proverbs 27:17
I hope you have a great Father's Day with the Dad's in your life.

I'm, personally, going to spend it Praising God for his goodness to my family!

Happiness is a "Gushy" Chihuahua

Oh Charlie Brown, you were so close, but not quite on the mark!
As I was growing up we had almost every type of pet children can own! We had gerbils, hamsters, birds, both doves & parakeets, guinea pigs, bunnies, fish of all sorts, dogs, cats, etc. The only animals we didn't have were the lizards, tarantulas & snakes that I begged my parents to get me, and shockingly, never received! We called ourselves the "Bobo Zoo." As if the name Bobo wasn't weird enough!
When I was 12, however, my mom was done with the animals. We got rid of all of them! It was horrible! She said that she didn't want any more pets, except for, maybe, a chihuahua.
A chihuahua are you kidding me, Mom? That is not even a dog!
We tried parading cuddly kittens before her, and pointing out our friends German Shepherds and the like, but she was unmovable. She wanted a chihuahua if she ever got another dog.
When I was in High School, she found her perfect pet. A black and white chihuahua puppy. A dog so small that she needed help to jump up onto the couch! I had to spend a day and a half teaching her how to use the stairs! But, despite these flaws it took my brother and sister and I about ten minutes to fall head over heels for that dog!
I can remember lying on the floor beside the couch while she sat on it, and using my hand as a puppet to entertain her! It was truly one of my most pathetic, but one of my most fun, moments in life.
We learned soon after taking home Pixie (Yes, a chihuahua named Pixie, can she get more cutesy?) that chihuahuas are burrowers. If you leave out a hoodie or blanket or even a winter coat, she'll bury herself in it and take a nap. She gets all warm in her little cocoon. My sister and I loved to cuddle her after she'd gotten all warm and sleepy. We call her gushy, because she just seems to become... gushy!

Pixie is fourteen years old, now. She's not as quick as she once was and she's got arthritis. But,she still is just as cuddly and can get as gushy as ever!

Honestly, I have to tell you, you've not lived until you've cuddled a warm, floppy, sleepy...gushy chihuahua!

Sorry, Charlie Brown

Life Verses

I've never been one to have a "life verse" per say. I believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration, therefore, no one verse is more or less important than the other. However, I can't help but have a theme verse that is a challenge or comfort to me during certain stages of my life.

When I was in High School and shortly thereafter my absolute favorite verse was Philippians 1:21 "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." At that point in my life I had the most desire for Heaven and Eternity that I've ever felt.

Then, I got married and a few years later the Lord blessed us with our first little girl.

Suddenly, my outlook had changed. I'm ashamed to admit that it's harder for me to focus on heaven. Instead of aching for Heaven my heart aches at the idea of leaving my girls with a motherless future. This is my personal struggle. Please comment and offer verses, council, or testimony if you feel you have some wisdom you can share with me in this area.

My current favorite verse is the verse at the top of this page: "For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him." I Samuel 1:27

In early December of 2007 on a dark morning before I went to work, I was reading my Bible, and decided to look at Hannah. I had been desiring a child for a few months at that time and was more than a little discouraged. So, of course, I turned to I Samuel and began reading of Hannah's heartache, sympathizing with her. When I came to her prayer in verse 11 of chapter 1, I too said this prayer. "And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life and there shall no razor come upon his head."

I excluded a few of the phrases, I must admit. I didn't ask for a "man" child and I did not promise never to cut my child's hair. But, I truly believe the Lord has blessed me with children because of this prayer.

My challenge as a mother is this: I'm trying to look at my time with my children as a time of training. The Lord has granted me a few short years with them to teach them, witness to them, and disciple them. My earnest prayer is that when I present my children to the Lord, as Hannah did Samuel, that He will find vessels available for His purpose. That they're hearts will always be open to His leadership and that they'll be used mightily by Him!

While I Sam. 1:27 is my favorite verse because it reminds me of how good my Lord has been to me, my second favorite verse is the following one: "Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there."

This verse is the verse that reminds me that on that cold, December morning not onl, did the Lord hear my plea, but that I made Him a promise too. It is my reminder that these are His children, not mine, and I daily need to give them to Him.

If you're out in cyberspace wondering, "Does God really answer prayers today as He did in the days of Hannah?" I had a positive pregnancy test on December 30, 2007. That is most definitely answered prayer!

Baby #1!

Born, September 10, 2008

Baby #2!

Born, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Are You...Am I... a Peacemaker?

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." -Matthew 5:9
When I was a child I was always getting into arguments, that often turned physical, with my older sister. I should be more specific: I have three older sisters and one older brother, and I had a terrible case of Youngest Sibling Entitlement. The only one of my parents' large brood that took issue with this was the sister who was closest in age to me. When our arguments turned physical, most often because I slapped or bit, she would pin me down and go to town. She really knew how to use that two-and-a-half-years-older size advantage against me.

The First of Many...

I'm starting this blog as a writing exercise.
You see, I've always wanted to write children's books, but I'm a little too reserved. I believe every writer must share a little insight into his/her soul on each page. I have trouble bearing my heart to my husband, let alone complete strangers. Yet, the desire to fill library shelves with my works of fiction still resides in my hear, and so, I'm blogging.