OK. So. Um. Well. Here it is. You should read A Voice In The Wind by Francine Rivers. Really. It doesn't really matter who you are. If you are reading this - you should read it.
First - Get thru the first 50 to 75 pages. It is a bit of history but, trust me, if I can do it then you can do it. Yes, there were paragraphs that I read and I was not sure who was who or what it all meant but you get the idea and you are able to know enough to understand the rest of the book. It IS a story, you just have to be a little patient.
Second - This is not light. I am normally a light reader and this is not. There is blood. There is craziness.
Third - Be prepared for your faithfulness, your prayer life, your passion, your love of scripture, and the personality inside you to change. Be prepared to look at the world differently.
Fourth - (especially if you are a girl) Get the Tissues out. I started crying on about page 22 and it went on and off thru page 496. Just have them available.
Fifth - Remember that it is fiction based on true events in history. The story line is fictional.
Just. Read. It.
I have bought it so that I can have it in my home. It is one of those books.
Now, this is the first in a trilogy. Any normal, regular, real reader would have started the second book the moment the first book was complete. If you are that normal reader, be sure to have the second book on hand - You DO NOT want to not have it available when you finish the first one.
However, me - little ole light reader me - needs a little bit to digest this one. I am still learning from it after reading it. I am still thinking on it. I have learned so much from this first one. I can't imagine the second (and I have heard the second one is the best in the series).
SO, I am going to read Sundays At Tiffany's by James Patterson before I read the second book in the trilogy. I need some time.
Today Hannah was wearing a shirt with butterflies on it. It was the first time she had worn it. Today I worn a solid colored pair of pants and a solid colored shirt.
We were standing waiting for something. I was holding Justus.
Mommy: (smiling) Hannah, I like your butterflies. (Hannah smiles big, is silent, looks me up and down.) Hannah: Mommy, I like your...... (Hannah, again, looks me up and down.) Hannah: ......... I like your Justus.
Hannah: I don't know who Jesus is. Mommy: What, Baby Girl? Hannah: I don't know who Jesus is. Mommy: Jesus is God's son. You know about Jesus. Hannah: God's Son? Mommy: Yes, and God made you, and Jesus was there when God made everything. Hannah: Why did God make us?
Silence Smiling Silence
Daddy: God made us to serve Him! Hannah: Oh.
((I think we might get more questions on that one - we may need to be a little more prepared.))
Do you remember in the movie My Best Friend's Wedding where Julia Roberts (the best friend) and Cameron Diaz (the fiance) are in the elevator and they start talking about all the crazy things that the groom does? Like they mention his snoring and wearing tennis shoes to supper and the fiance mentions breaking him of the bad habit of smoking cigars in bed?
Well, the fiance says that he slurps his soup thru his front teeth and the best friend puts her finger up, stops the fiance from talking, and says something like "Don't Touch That One. It's a Trademark Move!"
For some reason when I was thinking of this post today. That is the scene that popped in my head! :-)
Anyway, we are starting to correct Hannah's speech (as I am typing this I am wondering if I have posted about it before - hummm - if I have please just pretend I haven't - it is obviously something on my mind) however, Chris and I have agreed on a few words we are just not going to correct yet. We like them too much. Here they are:
Polka Dots = "Coca Dots" Yellow = "Lellow" Garage Door Opener Button = "Bunts" (no clue why other buttons are not that?)
My mom said that a couple of her favorites of mine were Chicken = "Chicknen" Refrigerador = "Agedator"
Do you have any of those words with your children?
This week we traveled about an hour or so to worship with my grand- parents before we went to my cousin's grad- uation. SO, I never got a pictures of Hannah in her dress because while we were there I forgot to get my camera out at all!! This picture is of Hannah with her hair fixed and her bloomers on with a T-shirt (that is how she traveled). Car seats are not very good for little girls in dresses!
This one hit me today. After I read it the first time - I just read it again and again. I admit, sometimes, I am a doubter.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6
I know I am late. I will keep this quick. This week my budget was $2.46 and I spent $61.76. You do the math. (HOWEVER, I did buy 6 3 pound bags of boneless skinless chicken breasts since they were on sale for $5 a piece.)
A Time To Heal was wonderful. Just what the doctor ordered after leaving a book. It was nice, sweet, feel good, interesting, and just right for me. I just love those Love Inspired books.
I have actually been finished with that book for about 2 weeks and I have already started another book. I didn't want to say I started until I knew I was going to finish it. See, this book is really not my usual reading material.
It is meaningful. It is long. It is historic. It is graphic. It is heart wrenching. It will change my life.
A Voice In the Wind by Francine Rivers. I have been told I MUST read them (it is a trilogy and this is the first one) and... I can already tell why. I was changed at the end of page 22 (with 476 pages left to go)!
They are Christian fiction. Anyone else ever read them?
There is a class we have at the church building for Moms and Babies up to 12 months old. The "Babes in Arms" class. It is in a room that has toys and only gliders to sit in. There is a big sign on the door to knock if you want to come in so that the moms can nurse if they want to.
On Sunday mornings Mrs Carol teaches us from the book Growing Kids God's Way. It takes about 5 months to get thru the whole thing so by the time you start thinking about moving on to another class and getting your child into the 12-24 month old class you will have gone thru the whole thing at least twice.
Now the book is really great. It can changes your life (even if your children are not at small anymore.) AND it changes the way you think of raising your children in the Lord. However, I have to say, I strongly believe that it would not have impacted me so much, if Mrs Carol were not teaching it. She believes in it. She is strong in her faith in the Bible and what it says. She is honest. She is loving. She is strong. She helps me to see the Bible scriptures in such a way that I know they apply to me, now, in the 21st century!
She is a wonderful example of a wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher. My family has been so blessed to have been taught by her.
The scripture that will always remind me of Mrs Carol is Galatians 5:22-23 - The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Just recently she has asked me this question. If we know, by what the scriptures tell us, that we receive the Spirit when we are baptized, then why are we not, as baptized Christians, constantly living in such a way that shows the Spirit's fruit?
There is no good reason. We should always be "showing off" our fruit from the Spirit!
Thank You Mrs Carol for all you have done. Happy Mother's Day!
((technical difficulties have made it so that I have no pictures of her to post, hopefully they will come soon))
WHEW!Having a promised post every day has been a little tiring but it has been so much fun going down memory lane and really exploring how people have touched my life as a mother. As I said before - I can not do a post on all the mothers that have touched me --- like AW, Aunt Diane, Aunt Teresa, Christy, Kathy, Melissa, Mrs George, Tracey, Patrice, Dorea, Kathrin, Mrs Pritchett, Mrs Barbara, Mrs Steele, Mrs Linda, Becca, Rebecca, Shana, Laura M, Julie C, Vicki, Jeanna, Haley, LeeAnn, Kelli, Wendy, Julie S, SueAnn, Kendra, Carol C, Traci, and my list could go on and on...... and I am too tired.... to actually type any more names ..... You all know who you are!
Dear Lord, Thank You for allowing me the blessing of knowing so many wonderful loving mothers. Lord, please be with these women. Please help us all to always seek Your Way in everything we do. Help us all to gain the understanding of knowing how to pass the knowledge of you on to our children, grandchildren and anyone who will listen!! I love you Lord. Thank You! Through Your Son - - Amen.
The friend that you have known since 5th grade. The friend that knows all of those old boy- friends. The friend who can tell stories on you in a minute. The friend that has been excited with you during joy and has been devestated with you during loss. The friend that is so much like you yet so different from you too. The friend that you have really been mad at in the past and now you have no idea why. The friend that has parents that would love you like their own and hug you like their own. The friend who could tell your mood after hearing you say one sentence, no matter what the subject. The friend you have cried with. The friend you have laughed with a million times. The friend who knows all of your weaknesses and has even seen those weaknesses in full action and still loves you. The friend who knows those things your parents don't know!
The friend I am talking about for me, is Sara Jo.
Part of who Sara Jo is, ever since I can remember, is that she has always always always wanted to be a mother. Unlike me. (There was a time in my life when I was certain God had a plan for me as a single woman in His Kingdom.) When we were younger I will admit that I thought this longing was crazy. But to see it come full circle. To see Sara Jo be a mother has bought me lots of joy. Mainly because of the joy I see in her eyes from it. Being a mother has fulfilled Sara Jo in a special way that it does not in everyone, mainly because of her great want to be a mother. Seeing motherhood in Sara Jo has encouraged me.
Her love, steadfastness, joy, faithfulness, understanding, gentleness, firmness, and patience is beautiful. Even after thinking of all of these memories......
Youth Rallys. CBC. KFC. Lipscomb. Linbar St. Project Graduation. Proms. Maggie Moos. Letters in Valentine's Day Candy Hearts. Road Trips. Sleep Overs. Bumper Pool. Skating Rinks. Football Games. Oklahoma. What's Your Number? Les. The gang of 6. West Virginia. Little Washington. West Forsyth. Counselor's Rules. "If ever I needed the Lord before...." Purple Car. Putt Putt Golf and Games. Rap Music. Would you follow him in the mall?
...... and more I still think seeing Sara Jo become the wife and mother she wanted to be and living her dream is the most beautiful I have ever seen her.
There are a lot of reasons why this verse reminds me of Sara Jo. We have been thru some sad times together but I think this verse, of Jesus' words, has given us strength for many reasons. Matthew 28:20b "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Today's mom that has influenced my life is my mother-in-law. She is the mother of my wonderful husband - you know. AND have I every told you how unbelievably wonderful my husband is? If you have never heard it, call me, when you have about 3 hours to spare, and I will tell you all about how wonderful of a husband and father he is.
Here is a little story. The very first summer Chris and I were dating, he said that he would like for me to come to the lake with him and his family. They have a tradition of getting together every fourth of July. Please Note: I had NEVER met anyone in his family before. I said I would go.
What I didn't know is that this was not just his mom and dad and sister. This was the WHOLE family. 90 people were there. I was a little over- whelmed. I met everyone at once. AND I stayed there at the lake house with about 20 of them for 2 or 3 nights. I slept with his cousin (that I had never met) and ...... well ...... Lauren and I cuddled. There I said it - It is true!
Chris' mom was so wonderful to me. She immediately treated me as if I were part of the family. She made sure I was comfortable. She introduced me to everyone. She tried to be sure I was included in all the festivities. And she and some of the other ladies in the family even talked about me -- they observed that I look like Jo from the Facts of Life. (Has anyone every seen that show? I totally don't have a black leather jacket or a motorcycle!) It was so funny. She asked me if I ever watched old TV Shows and Chris stepped in and knew what she was thinking. Chris laughed and said - you mean like Facts of Life? Everyone laughed - even me!!
Thank You, Betty for raising such a wonderful man that was made just for me! And Thank You for welcoming me into this Awesome Family!
The Scripture that makes me think of her is I Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.
Not only is Betty so loving but she has told me more than once that these verses are very special to her! Again, Thank You!
Hannah is just now noticing things about us that she has never noticed before. Like the fact that Daddy can walk around the house without his shirt on but us girls can not. Interesting - huh?
Anyway, she came into our room the other Saturday morning and said she was hungry for breakfast and Chris told her that he would go downstairs with her to get breakfast but first he had to put on a shirt.
She said "Mommy! Daddy is not going to wear his belly to breakfast!"
Have you found that friend as an adult? Do you know what I mean?
You have those friends you grow up with that are oh so dear to you. The friends that know your past way too well. The friends who could SO embarrass you with stories at the drop of a hat? The friends that have seen you with different boys and know all your horrible old boyfriends and all the drama that went along with it. The friends that saw you fall in love and saw you loose yourself in the man of your dreams, the keeper of you heart. Well, this is not the friend I am talking about.
I am talking about THAT friend that you find later.
The friend that only knows all those past stories because you told her. That friend who also only knows those stories from your point of view because she wasn't there. That friend who can only imagine you with that man of your dreams because that is all she knows. That friend who knows the adult you. That lost soul sister that, if you had known each other earlier, the friendship may not have been so beautiful. That friend that God saved for you for later in life. You know... That Friend...
Elizabeth is that friend to me. And she has been such a wonderful friend. One of the many ways she has been so special to me is the things that I learned from her as a mother. I can clearly remember when I was pregnant with Hannah (and she already had 3 children of her own) and I asked her what her big advice was. We were kindof joking around. I don't think it was any serious in depth conversation but she told me a very real and true answer. She told me to always be sure things were good and strong with my relationship to my husband and that would be the best thing I could do for my children. That advice. That moment. It will live in my heart forever.
Elizabeth and her family have taught Chris and I so much that we just can't express all of our gratitude. Helping to guide us thru this crazy thing called parenthood. Helping to calm me during this transition from outside-the-home to inside-the-home. And even though we totally do NOT see each other enough, we are so connected, it is amazing.
The Birthday Cakes. Atlanta Bread Company. Curves. 2 Families Becoming One for 3 months. Doing the Dishes Tomorrow. Laundry, What Laundry? Chris Helping Chloe Walk. Our Ice Cream Runs. Your Sonic Fetish. Atlanta Braves. Bumming Around. Messy Houses. Kohl's. Grocery Shopping Together. Craziness. Not Being Able to Finish a Sentence. Picking On Each Other. Games - Um - OK. I think I could probably go on and on...
The scripture that makes me think of Elizabeth is Proverbs 31:28-29. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her saying: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
I, in no exaggeration, have about 10 meals in my refrigerator that will go bad if I don't figure out who will eat them. Duh, I know we can but we can't even eat enough leftovers to take care of it.
Anyone who lives near me interested in a leftovers swap? Each family plans for 1 less meal than needed and then we switch leftovers for the other meal. That way we don't have to eat the same stuff all the time and we can try what other families have for their meals!!
The next mother that has been so influential in my life is my Grandmom. First, I must say, she is the mom of my mom so ...... of course, she must be wonderful because she raised such a wonderful mom for me.
There is more though.
I did not have the blessing that my children have, of seeing a Christian mom and dad in my home growing up. I did not have the blessing of seeing a Christian husband and wife work together to raise their family in such a way to please God, in my own home.
My Grandmom and Grandpop showed me that. My Grandmom is the most excellent example of a Christian wife working with her Christian husband.
For our wedding Chris and I put together some scripture that was read. The scriptures came from Ruth 1, Ecc 4, I Cor 13, Colo 3, I Peter 3, I John 3, and Ephesians 5. This is the portion of scriptures that remind me of my Grand- mom: Wives, submit to your own husbands as is fitting in the Lord. The husband is head of the wife as also Christ is head of the church and He is the Savior of the body. Just as the church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in every- thing. Do not let your adornment be merely outward rather let it be the hidden person of the heart with the incorrup- tible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. Let each wife see that she respects her husband. For this is the way the holy women of the past, who put their hope in God, used to make themselves beautiful - They were submissive to their own husbands.
Do those words not describle the most beautiful picture of a woman? That is a desciption of my Grandmom.
Thank You Grandmom for showing me the way a Christian home works. Thank You Grandmom for showing me the was a Christian woman loves her Christian husband. Thank You Grandmom for showing me all the wonderful things that women can do to further His Kingdom. Thank You Grandmom for all the kisses that are still in my hand from you. Thank You Grandmom for talking with me anytime I want or need. Thank You Grandmom for opening the doors to your home up to me and my family at all times. Thank You Grandmom for the example you gave me of how to be a wonderful Christian mother and wife!
Well, I said that these were in no particular order and for the rest of the week they are not, however, this one, I must admit is the absolute MOST special to me.
(She has known me the longest, you know!)
My mom is this amazing woman that, if I told you everything wonderful about her, you wouldn't believe me. You would think I made her up. But, she is real. I thank the Lord every single day for that - she is real!!
My mom is one of the most faithful Christian women I know. She is not waved. She is not torn down. She is not luke warm. She is full of Christ every day.
These verses make me think of her: Proverbs 31:25-26 "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."
She is a list making, laundry doing, hard working, mind reading, loving, cooking, cleaning, listening, idea flowing, hugging, hand holding, bed making, new lingo learning, laughing kind of mom. Growing up I can remember awesome games at birthday parties, never being afraid of bringing my friends home, cold popcorn sitting on the stove, snacks available at all times, singing, WalMart shopping and I could go on and on with the good memories.
I appreciate her for all of the things above but I also appreciate how she talked to me like a human being as I was growing up. I never felt belittled. I appreciated that open communication about anything (and yes, I really mean anything). I appreciate the love that she has always shown to me in the way she tells me she loves me. I appreciated the emphasis she put on God's word and His light shining in my life. I appreciate her, now, not only as a mom but as my best and most trusted friend outside of my marriage.
To describe or show the kind of or amount of love I have for my mom is really impossible.
I pray, wish, and hope that one day I can be the kind of mom to Hannah and Justus that she was and is to me. I am not there yet, but we will see......
SO, have I ever mentioned that Chris and I are very bad at holidays? We are.
Hannah heard about the Easter Bunny first a few days before kite day from someone else asking her about it. We just had not even mentioned a special day was coming up.
We totally didn't mention presents until someone (a stranger) asked her what Santa was bringing her, while we were out of town last year for Thanksgiving. She just looked at me, like "what is this lady talking about? who is Santa? what am I suppose to be asking for? what does she mean have I been good? why of course, I am good!!" Seriously, she was clueless. We just kinda forget about that stuff and just go on our routine day in and day out and day in and day out and day in... oh, you get the picture.
When I said something to Chris about it, he said he thought it was his fault. I immediately dismissed his comments. However, the more I think about it ........ he he he he ..... (Chris, are you wondering where I am going with this - am I about to blame you?) ....... I think we both just don't get interested in the "special-day" stuff. Go on, call us weird. That is totally fine with me.
All this to say (you know I am not long winded or anything) that yesterday, Chris nor I called one special mother in our lives to tell her Happy Mother's Day. Really. Not one. In our defense, we did send cards and we did talk to both of our moms on Saturday and did think about it yesterday and tried to find a time Hannah could talk but with worship, nap, children's Bible hour preparation, worship, meal at church building, taking left overs to a family with a new baby, and bed time there was really no time for Hannah to talk on the phone.
Defense Rests. I know the verdict. Guilty. Seriously Guilty.
SO, here is the resolution. I am going to make this official Mother's Day week on my blog (you can declare the same on yours too if you want) and each day I am going to tell you about a mother that, in my life, has touched me and why. With this declaration, you must remember a few things...
I am not a great writer of feelings so be prepared for possible cheesiness.
The cheesiness WILL be full of sincerity.
They will be in no particular order.
I only have 6 days left in the week, so I will not be able to cover everyone. These will not be the only 6 special mothers in my life, just 6 of the many.
Daddy had Sunday Picture Duty this morning. (Thank You, Thank You for giving me some time to actually fix my hair and put a little perfume on, Mr. Chris!!) It always cracks me up. Today I had 7 pictures to choose from. When I take Sunday Pictures..... well, let me just go back and count....
Last week I took 24 pictures. The week before I took 36 pictures. The week before that I took 27 pictures. You see the pattern. It makes me laugh. ...... Mainly at myself!
All kinds are out there. I could probably go on page after page on each of these punishments, how we are trying them, what we think of them, what works best for our kids, what we plan to do in the future, blah blah blah but I have a feeling you don't really want to know all that. (If you do, just let me know and I will see what I can do for you! he he!)
No matter the punishment we choose, we always try to be sure the punishment fits the crime and that she knows the punishment ahead of time so that she actually chooses to be punished. No Surprises.
We have found that one of the punishments Hannah responds well to is natural consequences.
I heard a talk on this one time and one of the examples was if you have an older child that will not get up for school what do you do? Well, you get them an alarm, be sure they know how to use it, be sure that it is set and if they do not wake up in time to get ready before school - the natural consequence to that is they will have to get ready on the bus or at the bus stop. You just need to have their things for them waiting in a bag as they MUST get out the door on time. Another example would be if you tell a child not to run on the sidewalk and they do, then fall and scrape up their knee. The Natural Consequence to disobedience.
We have a knickknack shelf in our dining room that Hannah knows she is not allowed to play with. One day she did. Things fell. Some special items broke (none irreplaceable) and it just hit me when I saw it.. I just bent down and started to cry. Boy, seeing me crying over it was enough punishment for her. She cried and cried and sulked most of the evening. She was heartbroken that she made me cry. We talked to her about it but she was not punished in any other way and I am not sure she has ever touched that shelf again.
Anyway, on to what happened earlier this week. We are having a hard time explaining to Hannah that she is a little rough with Justus even when she does not mean to be. Or she is not quite aware of his unbalance as much as she should be. Well, Hannah and Justus were playing on the floor in the living room and she went by him playing and caused him to fall over right where the pillows were not. He hit his head on the floor and just sobbed!! Hannah, then sobbed too. She was so upset that she hurt him when she was trying to play with him. She did not get another punishment since she was SO upset (I am not sure which child had more tears). She just had a little talk about her actions with Daddy on the front porch as he comforted her. It was a sweet scene, actually. (Justus was NOT physically hurt, by the way, at all.)
According to my mom, this is the second of 3 or 4 of these Annie outfits that I had. It was my favorite so she keep having to buy the next size up. Hannah looked so cute. Her Daddy even decided that he liked the outfit by the end of the night. :-) How Funny!
I am embarrassed but I have to admit to you - - I can't get thru The Bridge Across Forever. I tried reading it for 10 days, I am on page 82 and I just really really can't go on. At the beginning of this book it has got 3 pages of wonderful reviews. It says that this is a love story. It seems it would be everything I would like. I am trying to figure out why I can't read it. I think it may be a little over my head or something. I am so use to reading lighter stuff. This book is about a man looking for a woman. THE woman. His Soulmate. The list of qualifications was 32 pages long when he wrote them out. He has a subconsience that he talks to often that gets me confused when I am reading it.
Anyway, You can talk about me if you want but I am quitting it. Has anyone ever read this book?
SO, I need, now, to read a guaranteed good one for me. A light one. A book that will bring me back, back to warm and cozy reading. You guessed it.... A Love Inspired book!
I am going to read A Time To Heal by Linda Goodnight. I will let you know how it goes.
I am a Christian woman with the most wonderful husband. He is the absolute perfect man for me. I also have a beautiful daughter and a handsome son. We are blessed! Our family, daily, tries to do God's will and live as He would want, following the example of His Son, Jesus Christ.
"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You."