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Who Am I? Who Are You?

November 30th, 2010

 

It caught Erich and Todd’s eye as we entered a restaurant at 3 a.m. on the night of Black Friday (which is a whole other story I’ll save for another day)…

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Todd even decided it was worth the investment of a quarter…… thanksgiving weekend 009_resize What was it that made them laugh, made them notice, made Todd purchase?

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It was this.  A chance to be someone else (not really)….

It’s more about the fact that even with a mustache and new eyebrows and sideburns, it was obvious that this was still a little boy……

Don’t we hide behind things just as silly?

Smiles when we’re having a hard time.

Excuses when we don’t feel up to doing what we know we should do.

Our past so we don’t feel guilty when we don’t move on with God’s future for our lives.

So many things to hide behind, but thankfully, God is the true Master…

And he sees through our disguises.  He knows what we’re hiding behind.

So, today, I felt challenged to ask myself, “What am I hiding behind?”

I want to live an authentic life.

I know you do too.

Have a great day being YOU!

Love,

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Although Saturday “felt” like the anniversary of Nick going Home because we said our goodbyes to Nick on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2008, today is officially Nick’s birthday in Heaven.

As I got online quickly this morning to print out my lesson plans for the week, I smiled when I read KLove’s verse for the day in my email inbox and knew that I couldn’t keep this promise from God’s Word to myself this morning.
The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

~ Psalm 9:9

If you find yourself this morning needing a shelter or place of refuge, please know that God is with you longing to be just that………………………

He has never failed me.

He is my Comforter.

Although death is in escapable part of life, God truly is a Healer…………………….

He brings complete physical healing in Heaven.

He longs to heal hearts here on earth.

Praying that today you can sense His healing touch as you turn to Him for shelter and praying that you can smile today at the thought of Nick celebrating in the presence of God………oh to witness that smile!

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Together……

November 28th, 2010

 

 

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Saturday, before everyone went their separate ways, we took a few family pictures in hopes of sending out a Christmas card this  year.

2007 was the last time I mustered up the energy to mail out Christmas greetings, so I thought it was time to reenter the holiday spirit of actually sharing our “love” with friends and family by sending cards.

We chose this special place in mom’s backyard, because the figurine in the front is Jesus with two small children.  A friend of my mom’s gave it to her in memory of Nick and Adrienne.

It felt good to gather here.

thanksgiving weekend 105_resize thanksgiving weekend 112_resize Do you see Hugo in the background???  He had so much fun running in circles in the leaves!

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Nick would have had so much fun building this pyramid.

He was with us.  I just know he was! 

I found a shiny 2008 penny on the floor right next to mom’s guest room bed when I was taking off the sheets…looking back, I realized that it was at almost exactly the same time that Nick went Home on the same Saturday in 2008. 

I hope your Thanksgivings were full of special memories.

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Why am I Thankful??????????

November 25th, 2010

 

It’s Thanksgiving morning and as I lay in bed and thought about the day, I knew I had two choices.

To be thankful for all that God has done……..

Or spend my day thinking of all the things that have changed and how I wish I could go back in time and make life different.

I could choose today to live in the moment and soak up the laughter and love around me….

Or I could dwell on the past and remember the pain of just two years ago when Nick was so weak and so filled with pain.

As I made my way to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, I looked out the kitchen window and for the first time ever I saw these branches (the ones holding the hummingbird feeder I bought in memory of my friend Heidi’s daughter Jessica who loved hummingbirds and who had a hummingbird hover over her grave during the entire graveside service)……

I saw these branches asking the question,

WHY?

I saw the “why?”

I stood and stared and thought to myself, “There are some questions that we will ask until eternity and the answer will continue to be,  “I don’t know.”

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Only God knows.

And then, as if the side branch had been invisible for a few minutes, I saw the bottom of the branch-made “y,” and my breath was taken away…..

Do you see what I see?

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A cross!!

I had to put on the first shoes I could find, Todd’s size 11 tennis shoes, and grab my camera and head outside.

God was speaking, and I knew I had to listen.

I came back in and knew it was time to photograph my Nativity sets around the house.

And then, by no accident, I received Max Lucado’s email devotion today entitled of all things, “No Accident.”

It was all about the reality that from the very beginning God planned for Jesus to die.

Max wrote, this “Jesus was born crucified.”

His disciples asked, “why?”  And surely Mary groaned in her grief and pleaded with God for an answer to the question, “Why?”

It’s no accident that I am behind in reading my chronological Bible, and I am in the parts where Paul talks about the power of the resurrection.

It’s no accident that I was asked to speak next Friday night in Lawrenceburg, KY, and I am working on a message based on the song, “Mary, Did You Know?”

My heart is wrapped up in the reality that God’s wisdom goes far beyond our human understanding, and ONE DAY WE WILL KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until then, I choose to be thankful for today.

I choose to see the beauty and the pain of the Nativity through the eyes of a mom who was chosen to give birth to a son only to one day be forced to watch Him die.

Can you imagine the joy Mary felt when she realized that Jesus had conquered death???????

Oh, that’s what I cling to!

That joy!

Oh death where is your victory?

I’m thankful today for the hope of the resurrection, and pray that same thankfulness fills your heart as you trust in Him.

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours.

I won’t be able to  post for a few days, but I want to leave you with a few  photos from my home to yours…….

Images that show why I am thankful today. 

Why am I thankful?

Because God loves us all this much………

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Healthy Perspective…….

November 23rd, 2010

 

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror..”

I love how I Corinthians 13 contains the words above.

A reflection…

Oftentimes distorted and blurry…

A reflection….

Not able to view things from every angle…

A reflection…

Not the real me, the real you, the real life….

One day we will see what is real!

No more need for mirror viewing…

We will be viewing the face of our Savior.

And then what will happen?????

That same verse above ends with these powerful words!

“And then we shall see face to face. Now I know

in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am

fully known.”

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for the healthy perspective God’s Word gives us!

Have a wonderful Tuesday…..

Coming soon (Battlefield of the Mind’s next chapter, Multitude Monday Update, and some thoughts from the book Putting God back in the Holiday).

 

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Baby Steps………

November 22nd, 2010

 

christmas 2010 001_resize It’s the first year that I’ve really dug into our Christmas boxes since Nick passed away.  I decided to pull out my snowman collection.

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Old family pictures will always be some of my favorites…….

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christmas 2010 019_resizeI put a little tree in Nick’s room under one of my favorite pictures of me, Todd, and Nick at a Titans’ game.

I’ll share the Christmas trees and Nativity sets as soon as we have them out and ready.

I’m baby-stepping my way into the holidays, trying to find joy in the things that always made Nick smile.

If you’re facing a difficult holiday season, I’ll be praying that you can make steady baby steps too. 

I love the middle of this passage…….it reminds me that there is a “joy set before us when we endure….”

HEBREWS 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
For the joy set before him he
endured
the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
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A Healing Weekend…….

November 21st, 2010

 

A shot (waa!!!), some antibiotics, and some rest are what the doctor ordered…….

 

But the best part of healing came for me through……november third week 2010 017_resize Watching Tim play chess with Phillip………november third week 2010 042_resize Watching Evan who turned 21 today blow out his candles with Phillip who will be 7 in just three weeks!november third week 2010 057_resize Seeing Evan open his watch from Maria…..november third week 2010 072_resizeWatching Phillip play with his birthday present with Olivia….november third week 2010 086_resize Taking a picture of Phillip with Olivia………november third week 2010 106_resize

Watching Ian and Phillip play “Just Dance” on the WII……. november third week 2010 090_resize november third week 2010 092_resize

Having two little boys play “Spies” all through the house……. november third week 2010 110_resize Playing Uno with Phillip and Aunt Jennifer…….

Yes, my medicines are helping but I am thankful for healing that comes in the form of family and friends most of all!

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I’m at home today.

Heading to the doctor in about an hour.

I’ve been fighting a cough and head cold for three weeks now, and I finally decided that I probably need more than an occasional Tylenol.

As I was thinking of what to write today, I ran across these pictures from the morning before Erich’s reception and I was reminded of how God used tweezers in my washer to help me prepare for that particular day.

See, the Friday night before the reception I had looked everywhere for my tweezers with no luck.

On Saturday morning as I was switching some laundry from the washer to the dryer, I felt a poke on my hand and, lo and behold, there lay my tweezers…nestled quietly between the folds of two blankets.

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I felt the need to take a picture (imagine that!), but at the same time, I didn’t really know why.

When I went to take the picture, I realized that my battery was almost totally dead in my camera and had I not taken this picture I wouldn’t have had my battery charged for Erich and Mallory’s reception.

I was thankful that very moment for tweezers in my washer, and I knew why I had wanted to take the picture!!!

So, today, as I sit here sniffling, coughing, and feeling rather “blah,” it seemed like a perfect time to say,

Be thankful for things like tweezers in your washer!  You never know how God might be using them to make some other part of your life a little better!”

Ephesians 5:20

…….always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(After the last two posts, you may never ask me to do a load of laundry for you, but it was a risk I had to take. 🙂  )

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The Importance of a Manual……

November 18th, 2010

 

Anytime you buy a new appliance, it comes with a nice, thick book of instructions……

I save those manuals, but honestly, I rarely use them.

This past week, however, one of the students from the college where my husband teaches was in a pinch and needed some help.  He and his roommate both needed shirts ironed for an evening event, and Heath’s suit needed some extra help.  It had been in his truck for a long time where it had become very wrinkled and dirty.

I knew my washer and dryer had a setting for dry cleaning, but I had never tried it before.

We searched everywhere for the manual.

We even googled my appliances thinking we could find the instructions.

No luck.

So, we looked at the settings on my washer and found one that said “deep steam.”

“That has to be it!” I foolishly thought.

So, I popped Heath’s suit in, and as the famous saying goes,

“The rest is history……….”heaths suit and more 0022_resize

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Oh my.  I wish you could have seen my face when I pulled this suit out of my washer. 

I wish I could have seen my face.

I was all alone at the house, so I grabbed my phone trying to reach Heath.  I was finally able to get a hold of him, and he handled the whole ordeal with such grace and good humor.

I’ll never forget the night I tried to use my washer without reading the manual.

If you think about it, God knew life was going to be extremely complicated and difficult, so He left us with a very special Manual (His Word) too.

If you are facing tough decisions, don’t try to make them on your own.

Find your Manual and read it.

Believe me, you will be very sorry if you don’t.

Humbled once again,

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When Nick’s cancer came back in 2006, we decided that having college kids over to the house was just more than we could handle.  So, other than little visits from time to time, we stopped having discipleship groups and game nights.

Our five kid had loved these kinds of night for the 16 years before this, so it was a big change for our family but one we felt was necessary so that we could focus on the huge and difficult journey ahead of us.

Four years have passed since our lives were turned upside down by cancer, and truthfully, I’m not sure our lives will ever be totally “right side up” again while on this planet.

However, Tim and I decided to place ourselves in the faculty auction this year and offer a night of games and snacks to a group of college kids.

And I just wanted to share a few memories from last night with you.  You will see as you scroll down that Olivia had so much fun!  It was hard not having any of our boys here for the night…..time has changed so many things in our home.  But, it was great to see Olivia laughing with college kids and getting very “serious” about the game of Bunko.  She even dug out some Halloween gear to prepare for the competition.

I’m thankful this morning for the gift of laughter and since I forgot to do my Multitude Monday, please let me share a Thankful Tuesday by adding to last week’s Monday list through this blog post.

Things I’m thankful for, cont.bunko night 2010 002_resize

14.  College kids who love Jesus

bunko night 2010 004_resize    bunko night 2010 041_resize  bunko night 2010 042_resize   15.  Lids of pan that served well as a cowbell when I couldn’t find mine..

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16.   College kids that pop in just to see what’s going on and then stay for awhile to visit. bunko night 2010 030_resize

17.  Halloween costumes that can be used anytime

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18.  Hearing Olivia laugh bunko night 2010 023_resize 

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19.  Simple snacksbunko night 2010 015_resize  bunko night 2010 019_resize

20.  Enthusiastic players bunko night 2010 017_resize

 bunko night 2010 014_resize bunko night 2010 049_resize21.  Dollar Tree prizes that bring so much joy!

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22.  God’s grace which allows us to do things we thought we could never do……

With God all things are possible…………..

Praying the impossible becomes possible for you today through God’s power,