Saturday, February 26, 2011

blogging is "therapetic"

It is hard to believe, but I have been blogging for two years!  This is my 215th blog post ... not counting all those that I never finished for one reason or another (or the ones I finished, but didn't have the guts to publish).  It is funny to me how blogging has changed my perspective on everyday things.  I take far more pictures than I ever have before, even if I haven't used any of them on this blog lately.  Little things that the kids do and say almost always spark some thought about how I could blog what they are doing.  I have noticed that lately I am not as good about posting those little things as I used to be.  As much as I enjoy blogging, I just haven't had the time for it lately.

Still, I started blogging as an outlet for writing.  I enjoy writing and truly find it therapetic, to borrow a term from Barney Fife.  Of course, blogging isn't just about writing my own posts, it is just as much about reading posts on other blogs.  I have been amazed to realize how many normal, everyday people blog.  One of the unexpected aspects of blogging for me is the fact that I feel like I know the authors of some of the blogs I read simply because of their candor in sharing their lives.  I haven't been successful in being that transparent with my blog, not because I want people to think that everything is all sunshine and roses in my life, but because I just can't figure out how to share some things without feeling as though I am giving more information than any of you could possibly want to know about my life.

Blogging has brought unexpected blessings into my life that I never could have imagined.  Besides being a creative outlet for me, it has brought me closer to several other homeschooling moms in the area and allowed us to form real friendships.  These ladies have become very dear to me and I am thankful for what we share, both in the blogging community and in real life.  In a way, I could attribute my place in our new homeschool group simply to this blogging thing ... but that is a story for another day.

If I had to choose what I have learned most from blogging, I think my answer would be simple ... gratitude.  As I have spent time reading other blogs, I have learned to recognize the small blessings in my own life.  Sometimes that happens because the author is intentionally pointing the reader in that direction, but just as often it comes by seeing the pain and struggle that people face.  For the most part, I lead a fairly sheltered life and sometimes I am just stunned by the things that people go through.  Not only has this exposure forced me to realize just how blessed I am in the things I have had to deal with, it has helped me to realize that I don't always handle adversity in the way that I should.

When I sit down to blog these days, I am finding myself more and more drawn to sharing something uplifting ... more directly stated, I want to point anyone reading my words to the Savior.  I don't have the opportunity to come into contact with many people outside of my little circle, so in a sense, this is my mission field.  Of course, most of the people who stop by here on a regular basis are probably already Christians.  Still, we all need encouragement from time to time and my goal is to be used to provide that for anyone reading this blog.  I have been encouraged more than I can express by some of the blogs I read on a regular basis and I guess I am feeling challenged to pass that encouragement along to the next person.

All in all, I am truly thankful for what this blog has come to symbolize in my life ... a place to share what God is doing in my life and in the the life of my family, not to mention, a place to connect with others in a way that wouldn't have been possible even just a few years ago.   I do appreciate those of you who come here and read my ramblings.  I am still not sure why you're here, but I sure do hope you keep coming back for the next 215 posts!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

prayer needed

Please pray for Crosby ... he is the 2 week old nephew of my friend, Rie.  Crosby will be having heart surgery on Wednesday morning.  Please lift him, his family, his doctors, and all involved in his care up to our Father.  Thank you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

blessing abound

This makes about the tenth time I have started this post and I just can't seem to find the right words to express what I am feeling right now.  Maybe that is a good thing ... not that I am in a bad mood, just that being thankful is much more useful than the crazy thoughts running around in my head.

31. children playing barefoot in the yard in February
32. windows open letting in the beautiful weather
33. listening to (and trying to learn) our new Easter music ... which included singing with the music and only giving a passing thought to the fact that the windows were open and what my neighbors might think about my singing.
34. the kids working together to clean the living room this morning
35. lentils and rice for supper (one of my favorites!)
36. Ronnie meeting with other Dads in our homeschool group to pray for their families
37. Marie and Gregg opening their home for the men to meet
38. the friendships that I see developing between my husband and the other dads
39. the wonderfully uplifting sermon on Heaven that was shared in our service yesterday morning
40. Ronnie preaching last night ... he only does this once or twice a year and he does a great job, though it makes me incredibly nervous!
41. and finally, since we are supposed to be thankful for everything ... I am thankful for the sink/counter full of dishes that I must go wash RIGHT NOW!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Longer I Serve Him

I have been debating whether or not to write this post, but since I've decided to go ahead with it, I do hope that I can do it justice. 

He called me Jenny. 

No one has ever done that before and I still don't know how he got started doing it, yet somehow I didn't mind it too much coming from this gentle man.  Now he is gone and memories are swirling around in my head ... prayers he prayed, snatches of conversations, his ready smile and soft chuckle ... all good memories of a man that will be greatly missed.  There are two stories from the years I have known him that seem to keep coming up in my mind that just speak clearly to the life he lived.

When Ronnie became the Sunday School director for our church several years ago he decided that we needed to have teachers' meetings on a regular basis.  For the first couple of years we had prayer partners among the teachers.  The plan was for the partners to be secret until the end of the year, when we would reveal who we'd been praying for all year.  I will never forget when Bro. Jimmie told me that I was the one he had been praying for.  He told me that he took the card with my name on it and put it on the mirror in his bathroom and prayed for me each day.  Every day, for a whole year.  I was amazed and I was convicted.  I wouldn't be able to look at the person I had been praying for and speak those words to them.  Their card had been in my Bible and I prayed for them each time I came across the card, but I knew that I had not been the faithful prayer warrior for my partner that Bro. Jimmie had been for me.  As I sit here, typing these words and picturing Bro. Jimmie in my mind, I can hear bits of prayers that I have heard him pray over the last ten and a half years ... prayers for peace and comfort and healing, and I am incredibly thankful to know that he lifted my name up to our Father.

Just a few weeks ago our choir began working on the song The Longer I Serve Him.  When we finished singing through it the first time our choir director had a questioning look on his face as he looked at Bro. Jimmie ... as we had sung the song, he had cried.  A few years ago I don't think I would have truly understood the significance of his tears, but I do now.  This song meant so much to him because he lived it every day.  He could attest to the truth of the words that are only just beginning to take on real meaning to me. 

The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows. 
The more that I love Him, more love He bestows. 
Each day is like heaven, my heart overflows. 
The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows.

Bro. Jimmie wasn't with us on Sunday morning when the choir sang this song in church.  Beginning Sunday evening and for all of eternity, this gentleman, who impacted my life in such a powerful way, is experiencing the reward for a life lived in devoted service to his King.  I cannot mourn for him, but I will miss him and I can look forward to seeing him again one day. 

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.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

do you glass?

For those of you who are like me, you may not even know what "glassing" is ... I didn't until a few months ago.  But, if any of you are hunters (or married to a hunter) or if you happen to do any bird watching you may be familiar with the term.

Glassing has to do with the use of binoculars, in this case, mostly for spotting game or maybe birdwatching ... and I don't do it.

But, my brother does.  When I was still in high school, Bob spent a summer in Montana working as a hunting guide and as a result he came up with an idea for a new product to make "glassing" easier and less tiring.  Bob, and his wife, Stacy, have been working to bring his idea to market and now they have!  It is called the Airlite Chestpod  and it not only works with binoculars, but also with cameras and camcorders (for those of us who are more likely to attend -and video- a recital or ballgame than go birdwatching)

I think it is pretty cool to have an inventor in the family and would love it if you took a moment to check out their website (linked above) and also their first press release on