I married a Redneck

The countdown to Brent’s 30th birthday continues. I’ve been attempting to do something special for him every day for the 30 days leading up to his 30th. Saturday night was his big present, tickets to the PBR. If you don’t know, PBR stands for Professional Bull Riding…I learned this after I married Brent and discovered that Sunday afternoons were reserved for watching PBR on TV.

As I said, I married a redneck and I love him to pieces!

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day got a little overlooked this Friday. OB appointments in the morning, my mom here for the morning, my dad flying in that night, and Brent’s upcoming birthday celebrations occupied most of our Friday. However, my favorite purchase of the year was made on Friday!
For well over 6 months, my digital camera has been begging me to retire it. I’ve tried replacing the battery, talking nice to it, and just not giving up on it, but all to no avail. The camera was determined to retire. So Friday evening, I took all my Christmas money and purchased a new camera! We spent the entire weekend playing with our new toy. So now, 216 pictures later, here are a couple fun ones from the weekend =)

Sisters are the Best

Just when you start to think, “how many times can I rotate between these 3 shirts that still fit me before anyone notices?” a bin of maternity clothes arrives from your sister. Thanks Jana!! I feel like a new woman =)

Attempting

Over the last 6 months or so, I have been attempting to practice some of the spiritual disciplines I’ve been implementing in my life with my kiddos. Prayer and worship are the two disciplines we’ve decided to just focus on for now. Here’s what we’ve come up with =)

After dinner every night, we sing songs and read one story out of a children’s Bible. We dance and sing fast and fun kids songs and then sit and sing slower songs as well. All while talking about worshiping Christ. We try to ask lots of questions about the Bible story because the girls are very literal at this point! For example, last night, after some probing questions, Avery truly believed that if she lied, God would send her away from her family like He did to Cain! oops…need to remember to think literally about all the stories we read to avoid instilling fear in our kids =)

Every morning after breakfast, I get two candles out and give the girls a word to think about. (obey, truthfulness, self-control, etc…) Its usually a characteristic we have been working on. The word stays the same for the whole week. I then ask them to close their eyes, be really still, and pray in their hearts and ask Jesus to help them practice that characteristic throughout the day. Whenever they think they are done praying, they blow out their candle. They decide how long this lasts, and its usually a 30 sec to a minute thing. And the candle means nothing, except its fun for them to blow out the candle, and they tend to sit in stillness and silence longer when they have something to blow out when they are finished.

Not that they get what spiritual disciplines are and not that I expect them to, but we just want them to understand how to sit in silence with God or how to be still and just know He’s God. One day we pray that these disciplines will be a channel for them to eventually discover not just salvation but the abundant life and relationship that Christ offers.

My Spiritual Journey…

“Do not forget Him! Think of Him often; adore Him ceaselessly; live and die with Him. That is the real business of a Christian; in a word, it is our profession. If we do not know it, we must learn it.” -brother Lawrence

This quote sums up my focus this week. I’ve written it on my mirror, on sticky notes, and anywhere else that I might glance throughout the day. Its my reminder to remain in the presence of God throughout the day.

Its funny how God impresses on your heart to memorize things at the same time he’s teaching you lessons. As I’ve been memorizing Matthew 5, the difference between “blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs IS the Kingdom of heaven…” and “blessed are the…. for they SHALL BE…” has accompanied my mind. I know the verbs have been pointed out to me in the past, but I’ve truly been contemplating the fact that the poor in spirit live in the Kingdom on a daily basis. The others are all a future action that will one day take place, but the poor in spirit is present tense.

All that to say, as I focus on the presence of God throughout the day, I’m also meditating on what it means to live IN the Kingdom of heaven on a daily basis. Interesting thoughts for my little brain to ponder =)

Goals from last week:

  • I’m still memorizing. I’m through Matthew 5:1-6.
  • I’m up every morning, well, except Saturday =)
  • I finished the book “The Practice of the Presence of God” by brother Lawrence

Goals for this next week:

  • Keep getting up! I’m in the last couple months of pregnancy which means good sleep is rare and hard to come by. Even though I’m not sleeping well or at all anymore, I want no excuse to keep me from getting out of that bed in the morning.
  • Pick a new book to start reading
  • Continue memorizing Matthew 5

You Gotta Love Cowtown

Saturday morning was the Fort Worth Stockshow and Rodeo parade. This was a true Western parade. Miles and miles of horses, horse drawn buggies, and more horses. No candy, no dancers…just horses.

They especially loved the cotton candy we bought for them =)
45 minutes of uninterrupted horses. Where else in the world could you get such entertainment?!

Family Fun Day

Family Fun Day consisted of:

All things that had to do with playing baby. I think Brent is now extremely ready to have another boy in the house!
Some good food
And a great movie night complete with M&Ms and popcorn.
Can’t ask for a better day =)

The honesty

Said while driving down the road. Avery was telling me about all her friends from church when she stopped and asked

Avery: “Mommy, who are your friends?”
Me: I responded by naming some of my friends that she would know. She got really quiet and just looked at me for a minute with a very concerned expression.
Avery: “That’s not very many friends mommy. You might need to make some more. But I’ll share some of mine with you so you can have fun with friends too.”

There’s nothing like a 3 year old telling you that you must live a boring life =)

Said during family devotions one night

Brent (reading from their children’s Bible): “God said, You can eat the fruit of any tree in the garden. But you must not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…”
Avery: “Wait, does that mean I’m NOT supposed to have the fruit of the Spirit?”

Brent tried explaining and then just switched to talking about how God has rules for us to follow.

Brent: “What is a rule that God has for you to follow?
Avery: “To obey mommy and daddy”
Elliana: “To love Connor”
(Connor is Avery’s best friend. Whether Elliana feels she needs to love him b/c she wants to be around him or b/c she’s a little bit jealous of how much she gets left out when Connor comes over to play, we’ll never know! =) )

Its calling to me

Its calling to me. No matter where I am in the house, its whispering to me about how comfy, how peaceful, how wonderful it would be to crawl back in and for one selfish day, pretend I’m not a mommy.

My Spiritual Journey

Practicing the Presence of God. The phrase that encompasses my current frame of mind. The more I learn about prayer, the more I practice mediation, the more I memorize scripture, the more I realize that everything points to practicing the presence of God.

My two quotes for the week are both from Adele Calhoun

  • “We cannot open ourselves to someone we don’t even notice”
  • “We can get so busy doing urgent things and so preoccupied with what comes next that we don’t experience NOW…the present moment becomes a crack between what we did and what we have yet to do.”

The disciplines I’m working to establish in my life have led me to a point of silence. A point where I don’t just focus on the future and what I want to accomplish but a point of enjoying the presence of God in each and every moment of the day. Its a ton more difficult than I thought it would be! I mean how do you enjoy the presence of God while cleaning up your kids’ throw up? But I know God is leading me on this journey and so I willingly submit to it and allow Him to teach me this not so easy lesson.

Goals from last week:

  • I have Matthew 5:1-3 memorized.
  • I’ve been up most mornings by 5:45am…still working on getting out of bed on the first beep!
  • I’ve answered questions # 1 & #5…still working on 15, 19, & 20
  • I have confirmed our family service project and we will start serving together next week!

Goals for this next week:

  • Continue to memorize the Sermon on the Mount
  • Get out of bed on the first beep!
  • Finish the vision casting questions
  • Finish the book “The Practice of the Presence of God” by brother Lawrence

I love the journey the Lord has me on! I love even more that no matter how much I learn and no matter how close I grow to the Lord, there will always be more room to grow and so much more to learn. Can’t wait to see what He does in me this year =)