I always, thoroughly, clean out the car after every road trip.
I would NEVER go a whole summer
without cleaning out the car!
No way, not me!
Especially when your summer consists of as many road trips as ours does!
I'd at least throw the trash away periodically
so as to avoid the mold-infested sippy cups,
the 5-week old newspapers,
and the rock-hard chicken nuggets.
Nope, not me!
And, since this would never happen to my car...
my children would never get so used to me not being able to find things,
that they would begin going to the car, as their first choice,
when looking for their favorite toys, shoes, books and water bottles.
1 - As of Wednesday morning, I am going to Uganda, Africa the beginning of October! Josh and I get to go together to share the love of Jesus. We haven't done that since I was 6 weeks pregnant with Areyna. So excited...so many things to do!
2 - I have put in so many hours in the "office" this week that I feel like I have a full-time job. (I mean, besides the full-time job of taking care of our 3 little tykes, that is)
3 - I just LOVE Areyna's ringlets.
4 - Micaiah has started making this look that screams, *gasp* "SURPRISE"! It's hilarious!
5 - I am in the process of "manuscript submission" with my publisher for my book. I decided it was time for action. We're rolling now and I can't wait to see the finished product!
6 - Zeke still loves being a super hero. As a matter of fact, it's so commonplace to me that I forget that he is in character when we go out about. I am quickly reminded, though, when we start getting those looks...some that seem to say, "Awww, look at that cute little boy" and other's that shout, "When I have my own kids, I'm never letting them just wear whatever they want to the store!".
7 - We felt a glimpse of fall this week. We had all the windows open, a bit premature probably but I just couldn't resist, and played outside ALL day! The kids were giddy with excitement for the turn of the season.
8 - Josh gets to lead worship, in 2 weeks, for Two|Four when David Platt is speaking. I hate I have to miss it because it's going to be AMAZING!
9 - I am down to ONE thumb sucker in this house! Praise The Lord:)
10 - Areyna continues in her love for all kinds of critters! Here is her latest frog taking a ride on her Barbie bicycle. Wow...
And when there is a mouse in your house
you should probably try to kill it.
And if that mouse that you are trying to kill
finds an access hole he may get trapped
in the wall between your living room and your kitchen.
And if that mouse does happen to get stuck in the wall
you'll be forced to listen to him scratching in the walls
when the sun goes down.
when that scratching stops it may be followed by
a stench that your husband simply cannot bear.
And if your husband simply cannot bear it any longer,
then he will go to any length to find that stinkin' critter!
And if he can't seem to find that stinkin' critter in the kitchen cabinets
after taking every appliance out of its rightful place... (*sigh*)
he will be forced to move to the unknown territory
behind the panels of the living room walls.
And if your husband goes to all the trouble of taking the trim
off of the wall he may as well just take the whole panel off!
And if he doesn't find the mouse inside the first panel
then it's very likely that he'll move right on to the second.
And after he pulls the second panel out from the molding
he is SURE to find the dead mouse!
And if he finally finds that mouse then you may be tempted
to cheer him on and get a little prideful
thinking about how awesome your husband is
and how sexy it is to watch him tear those wall panels off
and how good looking he is with a dead mouse in his hands
and how he is way better than YOUR husband!
But then you'd have to pray for humility again...
There is just something very humbling about having a mouse in your house:)
1 - Micaiah's favorite past time is scavenging for leftovers under the kitchen table after meal time. He was literally slipping all over the kitchen floor when I found him this particular time. Leftover oranges are quite messy, ha!
2 - Wrestle time continues to be one of his favorite times in the day.
3 - Cai's First Birthday was a quiet celebration with just us! We had a fun evening of pancakes, presents and birthday cake. I think Cai enjoyed himself:)
4 - Started "dancing" to music.
5 - Micaiah has hit milestones left and right over the past few weeks. He loves for us to read him books and enjoys them just as much while reading them to himself. Check out that drool string! He's been teething again too.
6 - Threw his first full-blown temper tantrum on Sunday afternoon. Oh boy...
7 - Has started pushing cars around the house. It is so cute to see him going from room to room scooting on his knees with his cars...LOVE IT!
8 - His vocabulary is really picking up. He is matching word sounds and syllables and is actually saying "Hot", "Gotcha" and "duck" (among others)
9 - We've discovered that Diarrhea + Cloth Diapers = MESSY! Hence the disposables in the pictures above;)
10 - We were reminded again, this past week, why we need to keep giving Cai his garlic ear drops. After almost a week with an ear infection, and ALL that goes along with that he is FINALLY back to himself. I'd quit administering them with all the traveling we'd been doing since they tend to be really messy and smelly. Now I know...
I know, I'm in the middle of 5 books. I used to wonder how in the world Josh did it, you know reading multiple books at one time, and now I can't seem to just focus on one. I've NEVER been an avid reader, but lately I just can't get enough.
Anyway, this morning I read I John 4:20-21 in a new light. I've heard this passage before and read it several other times, but my eyes were opened to something new today.
Let me start by letting you read the passage for yourself.
"If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother,
he is a liar. For anyone who does not love
his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God,
whom he has not seen.
And he has given us this command:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
I John 4:20-21
Here is what hit me. If I say that I love the Lord, then I better act like it by loving others. God has commanded us to do so! Not only should I be loving my husband, but I should be loving my children, my neighbor, my extended family and my friends, like they were created in God's image.
I just listed all the easier ones, though. Here's where it gets a little uncomfortable. You should love your enemies, even those who call themselves Christians who have wronged you, as well as other people who curse the name of Christ. They were all created by God. I don't see any exceptions to the love God has called us to give, do you?
That being said, I believe if we love our "brother" the way God has called us to it pleases God. It is a type of worship.
Here are a couple things that stood out to me about this issue:
"To fail to love my wife and kids rightly in the name of loving other people rightly is a sham." -Brady
The context for this verse is that Brady was asked to take a trip to share the love of Christ to a foreign country after he had committed to stay at home for a time after just having a baby. He believed that, even though he'd be doing work for the Lord, his first priority, at this time in his life, was with his wife and family.
Deuteronomy 24:5 - "If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married."
Here is what Gary had to say about this verse in Deuteronomy: "The thought that God wants me to serve him by concentrating on making my wife happy was extraordinary. Can it mean, then, that if my wife is unhappy, I'm failing God?"
Wow, I want to start thinking like that! I want to start loving like that!
Last Friday I offered a prize to the first person who could guess what this picture was all about.
The winner is Kate and your CD is on it's way:)
Zeke has been having night terrors and nightmares for several months. Some of them are just normal bad dreams, but other's leave him absolutely paralyzed in fear.
It was getting so bad that we were waking up more times that we could count, at night. And the worst nights always happened to be Saturday nights, before having to get up way too early to lead worship.
While talking through this with my parents, my mom mentioned an idea that one of our friends had used on his kids. He had gotten a Lysol can and disguised it as "Monster Spray".
I decided that it was worth a try since everything else we had tried had failed.
I went through my cabinet and found a bottle of Febreze that I'd gotten with a CVS deal;)
Then, I got on the internet in search of the cutest little monster/bad guy I could find, along with the Red slash-through icon.
I taped it on the bottle and presented our new magic potion to Zeke. He beamed as I told him what this "solution" could do.
I pretended to read the instructions from the back of the bottle:
1 - Spray 2 sprays in every area that you have seen bad guys come from
2 - Not 1 spray and no more than 2 sprays
3 - This will kill any bad guys that get in it's way
4 - If you smell it you know it's working
5 - It's okay if kid's feel the "wetness" after it is sprayed...just don't drink it, ha!
It's been over two weeks and we have had no major incidents of night terrors. We are hoping that this will help us differentiate between just a normal bad dream and something more serious and it is working like a charm!
Zeke reminds us to get the "bad guy spray" every night and he is the one that sprays them away!
It was one of those rehearsals. Because of some previous worship experiences I still battle feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness when I'm playing. I know, get over it already, but it's just not that easy. Music is very personal. It's such a big part of who I am. I mean, come on, I've been playing for 27 years! I studied it in college so I could get better and now I have chosen to make it my career.
So, sometimes those memories come back and haunt me and I get nervous that I'm going to play when I'm not supposed to or that I'm going to hit a note that's out of tune or just plain wrong.
So, like I said before, this was one of those instances.
We were about half way through rehearsal and I was just feeling the song out and as the song was building I was changing octaves and playing stronger, this is typical build for a violinist, by the way. But for this particular song it just didn't sound right. And Josh was the second one (yeah, I knew it deep down, but was still figuring out what I should play) to hear it.
He came over to me and said, "babe, uh, do you think you could find something else to play right there? That note is just kind of ... well... ummm, cheesy."
Wow! My own husband just told me that I sounded cheesy. I just made light of it and laughed it off saying "Oh yeah, sure. hahaha", while deep down inside I was crushed. When you are playing an instrument or singing it is like bearing your soul to the world and when someone offers criticism, no matter how constructive, it hurts.
But then you suck it up. Yup, that's what you have to do when you want to get better. When you submit to the authority, even if that authority did happen to be my husband that day. You change your perspective.
If you read back through this post there are a lot of "I" and "me"s in there. This is what makes leading worship SO difficult. It isn't about US at all! It's about bringing Christ all the glory and making HIM the focus. It's about refining each other to take away any distraction that will cause people to look at us instead of worshiping their Maker.
I am grateful for those moments of refocus. I am grateful for a husband who is a wonderful leader and sensitive to all these things, yet makes the initiative to help us eliminate distraction. I am grateful for a church that offers constructive criticism to us sensitive people in a graceful way. I am grateful for serving with a team that "get's it". You know, the part about sharpening ourselves to make the big picture better!
Pastor Jimmy asked me to preach for him at Journey this weekend. I felt so honored, but totally unprepared!
I remember dreaming about the trip to church and realizing that I'd forgotten to prepare the message. (did I mention I woke up with a nervous stomach because of this stupid dream!)
I remember trying to wake up but being stuck in this nightmare of scrambling to find the message God wanted me to give. Oh, it was an AWFUL feeling!!!
The memory of my dreams skips around in my mind a little now but I remember that I preached a full 3-point message. It was pretty scattered the first service, but you'll be glad to know that I did MUCH better the second service.
After the message I asked my mom what she thought and she wouldn't even answer me, so it must not have been that captivating, ha!
Now, this is for all you preachers out there...
I don't remember much about my sermon, but I do remember one of my points.
You may want to get a pencil and paper out for this one because you will probably want to use it next week. Don't worry I won't tell anyone it was MY vision from the Lord:)
So, here it is...
Keep Your Focus
Yup, that's it!
Anyway, thank you Pastor Jimmy for the opportunity, but I think I'm going to have to pass the torch to someone else...