Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
For some, it's coffee. For others, it's a 5 mile jog. Yet others have the need to press snooze on their alarm clocks at least 10 times. In order for me to have my daily fix, my jump start, I have to have my daily time with God and His Word. I really have to have it. When I don't, and there are days when I get too "busy", I begin to whither. By day 2, I start feeling stress and worry creep in, and by days 3, 4, or 5, I get completely stressed, tense, and depression sets in. Seriously! Ask my family.
Knowing this and having experienced these feelings time and time again, you would think it would be easy to set aside time to spend with God. Seems easy enough. Yet there are so many times when I just convince myself I have too many other things to do. Why is that? I haven't a clue. However, I am trying to turn that around. I am making daily time with God and His Word a daily part of my routine, and I can see, feel, smell, hear, and taste the difference. My life isn't perfect, there are still problems but because of God's Word and Truth, I refuse to focus on the problems. Rather, I focus on what His Word says is true. It is a load off my shoulders!
I am still continuing my Faith study, and this is my Faith verse of the day:
(Jesus speaking) "Make use of the light while there is still time; then you will become light bearers." TLB
That verse just jumped off the page for me. It reminded me that we still have time to put our trust in God and to lead others to Him. I want to make sure I do that. I don't want any regrets. I want to be the lone lamp on the dresser that brightens the darkest of rooms. Am I there yet? Nope, but I am striving for it. By the grace of God, I will continue to do so.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Today was my boys' much anticipated photo session with Amanda Traywick. The session was at 1, but I started getting ready at 9. I didn't want to risk being late. So I got ready, got the boys ready (gave Tristan repeated warnings not to fro the curls), fed Asher, and headed out the door. On the way to the studio, I asked him and got several confirmations from him on what to do. He assured me he would look at Mrs. Amanda's camera and smile. He was so convincing, I actually started to believe him. Then we got there, and the session began...
Let me just begin this part of the post by praising Amanda. She is fabulous and has the patience of a saint. My Tristan becomes a totally different person when the camera comes out. He's kind of like Jekyl and Hyde. He's happy and vibrant until the memory catcher comes out...then he becomes a zombie. I say that to say that despite Tristan's total disregard for getting a good picture, Amanda gave it her all and never gave up. She was great with both the boys and with their cousin, Mary Ryan.
During the session, Tristan basically did the opposite of whatever she told him to do. If she said to cross his legs, he stuck them out. If she told him to scoot in, he would scoot out. If she told him to sit up straight, he would slouch. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know if I should warn him, tell him to smile, ignore his behavior, bribe him, etc. I didn't know what to do. Initially, I tried to ignore it. At our last photo session with Grethel, I gave him tons of direction (she probably didn't appreciate it). When I saw that ignoring it wasn't working, I started repeating whatever Amanda said (it probably drove her crazy; I was that mom). Nothing worked! So then (and this is bad...those of you Ezzo followers just skip ahead a couple of lines) I bribed him, which I really don't like to do. I told him that if he would just smile, I would take him and get a Christmas DVD he's been wanting. Do you know what? It still didn't work! AAAGH! It was so frustrating.
I love Tristan so much and think he's a gorgeous kid (don't all moms). I get compliments on him all the time from strangers (I'm not boasting, I'm just trying to make a point), but you wouldn't know it based on the pictures he takes. He refuses to smile in pictures. Sometimes he makes really awful faces. What is this about?! Can someone help me? I want those who don't get to see him much or ever to realize that he is a precious boy, and not the Frankenstein face that he portrays on film (ok, so he doesn't always do the Frankenstein face, but he does do it occasionally). Anyway...
Asher was doing well initially, but the session was during his nap time and that presented a challenge. Things were going well, he was sitting there then the unthinkable happened...he plopped himself over and hit his head. After that, he wanted no more pictures, he just wanted his mommy (Tristan did the same thing at a photo shoot at the same age). Figures, right?
Despite the craziness that is my boys and pictures, I think she got some great shots. She showed me one that was typical Tristan...him pinching Asher's cheek while he was supposed to be sitting and smiling for the camera; not the picture perfect snapshot that you would see on the cover of Parents magazine, but my typical child on any given day...which, when it comes down to it, is what I wanted to capture anyway.
Amanda, if you're reading this, thank you for all your patience. I couldn't do what you do, but I am in complete admiration. I can't wait to see the proofs!
Today while continuing my faith study, I came across a couple of great verses that I want to share.
We boldly say that we believe [trusting God to care for us*], just as the Psalm writer did when he said, "I believe and therefore I speak." 2 Corinthians 4:13 TLB
The next one is one of my very favorites and one that God brings me to over and over again. I'll share my two favorite interpretations of it:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV
So I pray for you Gentiles that God who gives you hope will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. I pray that God will help you overflow with hope in Him through the Holy Spirit's power within you. Romans 15:13 TLB
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hope this way:
1: to cherish a desire with anticipation trust
1: to desire with expectation of obtainment
2: to expect with confidence
Romans 15:13 is not only my prayer for myself but also for you. I pray that God will fill us with hope, that we will desire with expectation of obtainment and expect with confidence. I pray that He will keep us happy and full of peace in all our circumstances. I pray that by His Spirit we will have joy and that we will be a light for the world.
Christ suffered for us. He intends for us to have life and have it to the full. He doesn't want us to spend our time worrying about things we cannot change. Today I am choosing to believe in God and on Him; to trust in Jesus and to believe that what He says is true. I hope and pray that you will too.
Monday, November 26, 2007
the harder they fall!!!
This past weekend was a crazy one in college football, to say the least. Friday started the weekend off right...Arkansas beat LSU in overtime. I was thrilled! Not only did the #1 team get pulled from its seat upon the throne, but it also allowed a team who needed a boost to get a HUGE one. Way to go HOGS!
That was where the great weekend ended for me. I pulled for Virginia against Virginia Tech because I wanted to see an underdog win, but all my cheering was to no avail. Virginia Tech won.
Georgia beat Georgia Tech, so the hubby was happy but not happy enough. He was distressed because Kentucky lost to Tennessee in the fourth overtime! It was an amazing game, and we were hoping Kentucky would pull it out (they should have made that touchdown before the 1st overtime!) so that Georgia could go to the SEC championship, but it didn't happen (ok, does anyone else have a problem with a team who has lost three games going to the championship?! Crazy year!).
Then came the BIG game...the IRON BOWL. Let me just start off by saying that this is the first year that I haven't had Tristan decked out in his Bama gear all week. I mean, I still roll with the Tide no matter their record, but I just wasn't feeling too festive about the Iron Bowl this year. Saturday night reminded me why...we looked rough, really rough! And yes, we lost AGAIN...for the sixth straight year!!! Normally, this loss eats me up, but not this year. Sadly, I expected it. I have high hopes for next year, though. There is talk that Bama has several players who have refused to cooperate with Saban's plans; however, I am hopeful that next year he will have a more cooperative team. Good riddance to the selfish players who don't run their routes and give it their all. Good riddance to those who could care less about any of the other players or their team. I'm ready for a new beginning, and I think next year will be the real start of that. ROLL TIDE!
I can't close this post without commenting on all the wild coaching firings and changes. What a year! As it stands today, like 9 coaches have been fired. WHOA! Now there are constant rumors and speculations as to who will go where. I can't wait to see how this coaching carousel plays out. And to those of you LSU fans who have had nothing but harsh words and feelings for Les Miles, I bet you'll be saying goodbye to him. I hope you won't regret the way you treated him.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! I hope you all have a super blessed and super wonderful Thanksgiving.
I'll be taking some time off from the writing world, but I'm sure the boys will give me plenty to write about next week!
God bless you all!!!!
Ok, I know this is really weird, but I have to post this! I was just looking at my Sitemeter because I think it's neat to see what part of the world has happened upon my page, and one visit I got was from another state. That's pretty cool, but the strangest thing is how they found my page. They typed these search words in google:
picture of a lil black boy standing beside a thanksgiving turkey
What?! Ok...what a strange search! For the life of me, I can't imagine what they were looking for. Well, I guess I do know... a lil black boy standing beside a thanksgiving turkey.
Anyway, I thought that was really strange. I've just never typed in "a little white boy standing on a slide" or a "little hispanic boy eating an icecream" or "a little black boy sitting on a swing". I felt taken back to the North and the South movie (remember that? the Patrick Swayze civil war movie.).
I just thought it was funny and strange. Ok, that's all.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
After Tristan's Thanksgiving Feast, the boys and I met Channing and his mom for lunch. Asher had just woken up from his nap, so he was in a great mood...at least for the first 15 minutes.
As you can see in the picture below, Asher's smile is starting to fade. Although Tristan is being sweet by giving him a kiss, Asher knows something else is coming...I think he could sense it.
Not long after this sweet picture was taken, I had my head turned talking to Channing when I heard a scream followed by a faint cry. That's when Channing's mom told me Tristan had just bitten (yes, bitten!) Asher's foot. Poor little Asher! His foot had Tristan's teeth marks in his foot. It was all red.. Why Tristan bit him, I'll never know. He never bites anyone. He's just not a biter. I guess Asher was too sweet to resist. I think he sees me bite on his feet and doesn't realize how much his HARD bite hurts. I honestly don't think he intended to harm him, but I could be wrong about that.
I guess this is just one of the many hurts these boys will inflict on each other in the coming years. Fortunately, Asher is already a tough kid.
I'm actually looking forward to the day that he can stand up for himself against his big brother. A day of reckoning is approaching!
Today I had the pleasure of joining Tristan and his class for a Thanksgiving feast. It was a bit rowdy, but lots of fun. His teacher, Mrs. Karen, made these cute shirts for all the kids, and they also wore macaroni neclaces and feather headbands that they had made. Of course, being the camera-obsessed mom I am, I had to embarrass him in front of his friends by taking tons of pictures. Doesn't he look happy?
Here he is feasting with his friends.
All that feasting makes a boy thirsty!
Here's Tristan taking his turn with Pin the Tail on the Turkey.
After the party, we rounded the cute class up for a picture.What a fun hour! I'm so glad I got to enjoy the feast with all the kiddos. Happy Thanksgiving!
"You hide over there...right over there, Daddy; right behind the door! I'll count to ten, then I'll come find you!"
These are words heard daily in our home. Channing and I laugh every time we play hide-n-seek with Tristan because he usually tells us where to hide, especially Channing. He gives Channing specifics..."Daddy, hide right behind the shower curtain, and I'll come find you."
Once he's found us in our super "secretive" hiding spots, he tells us to close our eyes, count to ten, and then find him. He's usually pretty easy to find because as soon as you say ten, he has something to say. It usually goes like this...
Channing: ...8, 9, 10.
Tristan: Daddy, you forgot to say, ready or not here I come!
Channing: Oh! Ready or not, here I come!
Tristan: Ha! Ha! Ha! Find me, Daddy! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Channing (usually standing right beside Tristan's "hiding" place): Are you upstairs?
Tristan: No! Ha! Ha!
Channing: Are you behind the couch?
Tristan: Nooooo! Ha! Ha!
This usually goes on until Channing finally "finds" him, and then it starts over. It is absolutely hilarious! It reminds me of a game my sister used to play when she was little (she's 18 years younger than I). She would pick a person to play with her, and this is how the game would go.
Tori: I'm an animal. Guess which animal I am. I have black and white stripes, a tail, four legs, and zebra eyes. What am I?
Did you catch the part about the eyes? It was so funny! We would always pretend like it was so hard to figure out what kind of animal she was describing.
I love this age!!! Their little minds are so precious.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Today is a very big day...Asher has officially been out in the world for seven months! It is so hard for me to believe. It seems like yesterday I was in the hospital giving birth. The time has passed in the blink of an eye. It's both exciting and heart-breaking. I sometimes wish I could freeze time and both my boys would just stop growing. They would stay three and seven months forever. I know that's not possible, so I better just continue cherishing every moment (ok, truth be told, there are some moments that I find hard to cherish...for instance, I could definitely do without the occasional tantrum at naptime from Tristan and the spit up from Asher ;) ).
In the short seven months Asher has been with us, he has brought so much joy to our lives. While he definitely shares some of Tristan's features, he is definitely his own man. He has Channing's personality...what a blessing! He is laid back and happy, an easy baby (as long as he's got his bed at bedtime and naptime). He hasn't been the best sleeper, but in the past couple of weeks, he's gotten two teeth so I think that's a contributing factor (I found the second one after church Sunday. Leisha, he's ready for his steak!). He is a huge momma's boy (which of course, I LOVE). He is a little ham who seeks out the attention of others, especially his daddy, when he's preparing to do something cool. He loves to hang upside down, and he enjoys watching Praise Baby. He really is such a wonderful addition to our family, and I am so thankful to God for sharing him with me.
HAPPY SEVEN MONTHS, ASHER!!! I'm looking forward to many many many more!!!
These are my two favorite boys in the whole wide world! Every day, I love them more and more. Watching the two of them bond always amazes me. Asher is only 7 months old, but he and Tristan already are so close. Every day when Asher wakes up, Tristan is thrilled. He immediately starts asking for "Little Tiny" to come snug him on the couch. Since Asher isn't all that big into "snugging", it only lasts a moment, but that moment makes Tristan so happy. There have been many days when I've been busy cleaning, and I look downstairs to see Tristan sitting right next to Asher while he watches his shows.
In the beginning, Tristan was really rough with Asher and pretty envious of all the extra attention that he got. I worried that things would stay difficult and that the boys wouldn't bond. However, they really have become the best of friends...at ages three and 7 months!
I realize there are lots of tough times to come...fights, tattling, annoying each other, but I also know that there will be lots more bonding.
I am so proud of my boys...my brothers...two of my best friends. :)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Does anyone else do this? I am currently washing a load of towels for the THIRD TIME! Why am I washing he same load of towels for the third time? I guess because I'm lazy. I don't know why. I put this particular load of towels in the wash two days ago. I keep forgetting to put them in the dryer and have to rewash them so they won't smell like mildew. I am wasting so much water and energy (please don't call Gore on me!). Seriously, I need to get better in this area. I do this constantly!
And if you knew how much I clean (ok, not so much clean but more like straighten up), you would think I would have the most spotless house in the world. I don't! Every day it looks as if I've done nothing around this place. How I wish I were one of those people who are compulsive about being clean and neat (yes, a neat freak). I would LOVE that. The thing is I abhor mess clutter, really I do...I loathe it. However, I am so messy. It's awful! It puts me in the worst mood when I have to step over mess to get where I'm going. So as you can imagine, I am constantly stressed over my mess.
The Bible says that our God is an orderly God and that things should be kept in an orderly way. This is definitely an area I need to grow in! Those of you neat freaks out there...just think of me when you see those hoarders on Oprah (honestly, I'm not that bad, but I do have a lot of clutter). One day, I hope I'll be writing to say I'm cured of my messiness. I don't know when it will happen, but I have faith that it will happen. It happened to my mom, so that gives me hope. :)
And on another subject...what is up with the dawgs?! They need to step up before Kentucky takes 'em down!
It's Saturday morning, and I'm alive and well. I made it through the night! Woo hoo! When I talked to Channing on the phone last night, I told him I probably used more energy last night than we have in a week. I had one front porch light on, one back porch light on, a light on in the kitchen, Asher's heat up really high, and a night light on in the hall upstairs. And this was while I was sleeping, people!
I turned Asher's heat up really high because he likes to be hot when he sleeps. My thought was that if I turned the heat up really high, he would sleep all night and I wouldn't have to go upstairs in the middle of the night all by myself. You may be wondering if it worked....NO! The child (my precious child, btw) woke up every four hours! Can you believe that?! I mean, he doesn't wake up that much when my family's home. Oh well. It wasn't that bad since I had so many lights on.
Today is set to be a busy day. I have to work for Channing on Monday and Tuesday, then we're heading to my family's in Ozark on Wednesday so I have to get a lot done today. On my list...clean my mess of a house (and not just put things away, I need to DEEP CLEAN. Hey Lindsay, is Olivia available? ;) ) and find a specific pair of pjs for Asher.
My boys are having their pictures done by Amanda Traywick in a couple of weeks, and I am beside myself with excitement! If you have not ever visited her website, you must do so. I have a link to her blog on my page...Precious Memories. She is an artist! I cannot wait to see what she does with my boys...and their cousin, Mary Ryan.
We have decided to do the pictures in their jammies. I found jammies for Mary Ryan and Tristan at Pottery Barn. We have chosen their solid red button up flannel pajamas, and they're really cute and classic.
Now I need to find something for Asher that's pretty solid in color and has no feeties. Do you know how hard it is to find jammies for babies without feeties?! The most frustrating thing is that I found a super cute pair (two actually) online but they don't have his size. And because the brand that I found is something only sold in boutiques and avails their website only to sellers, I can't order directly from the company that makes them. Frustrating! So now I have to spend the better part of the morning calling all the boutiques in Birmingham and Montgomery trying to find these pajamas or some that will work.
If any of you know where I can find Little English crisp white smocked button up Christmas pajamas, please let me know! This is what they look like:
If I can't find these pajamas, the next thing I'm looking for is something like this pair, something white with red trim; however, I don't want the little logo on it:I LOVE this pair from Pottery Barn Kids, but it doesn't come in red trim. If it did, it would be perfect!
If any of you know of anything out there like this that I can get pronto, please let me know!
Oh, and Leisha...you are the shopping queen. Would you mind listing every boutique in B'ham that you know of. I've got a few, but I know there are a lot more. I'm going to keep my phone busy this morning!
Oh, and my hubby comes home tonight! Praise the Lord!!!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Ok, so Channing is out of town. He went to Philadelphia for a business conference, and I'm here at home with Asher. I'm missing my hubby and I'm missing my three year old.
You may wonder where Tristan is. Let me give you a hint. Tomorrow, this is what he'll be yelling (along with 80 something thousand others), "GOOOOOO DAWGS! SIC 'EM! WOOF WOOF WOOF!" Yep, he's gone to Athens to the Georgia game.
A couple of months back when I was expected to go on this trip with Channing, he asked his parents if they would keep Tristan. Of course, they were thrilled and eagerly agreed. Well plans changed, and I decided to stay home. Guess who didn't want the plans to change? RIGHT! Channing's parents. They still wanted to take Tristan to the game. This posed a dilemma for me. With him going, that meant that I would have to stay home all alone (ok, so I know Asher is here, but he's 7 months old! He can't even talk to me, and he sure can't sleep with me. He likes his bed too much).
Those of you who know me know that I'm a big huge chicken. I hate to stay alone. In fact, I've been dreading it all week. I've worried about sleeping alone and having to get up if/when Asher wakes up during the night. The whole idea makes me nervous, so last night I asked Tristan if he was still going to go to the game today. This was our conversation:
Me: Tristan, are you still going to go with MiMi to Athens tomorrow?
Me: Poor Mommy! I'm guess I'll stay home all by mineownself (one of Tristan's words).
Him: Mommy, why don't you and Little Tiny come? (aka Asher)
Me: Well baby, Asher doesn't like sleeping at the hotel, and he'll keep everyone up.
Him: (crying) I don't want to go.
Me: I was just kidding, buddy! Mommy wants you to go. I want you to have fun.
Him: I don't want to go! (more tears) I want to stay here with you!!!
So this went on for about five minutes, and I finally just told him we would talk about it this morning.
This morning came, and he still didn't want to go. I felt so fortunate and so terrible all at the same time. I felt so fortunate because my little three year old cared more about my feelings than his own. He wanted to stay home to keep me company and to keep me happy. Although I know he loves me, that just made my heart melt! I mean, the kid really really loves me! I felt like the most important person in the world at that point.
On the flip side, I also felt terrible. I never meant to make him feel bad. I was really just kidding. I didn't want him to sacrifice his weekend of fun for me. Thank goodness I was able to convince him that I would be fine and that we would talk on the phone lots and lots.
So now, here I sit...just me, the baby, and the dog. I'm counting down the hours 'til my hubby and my precious little man come home. I'm arming myself with the Word so I won't be scared tonight.
I'll let you know how it goes! :)
I'm a pretty big Joyce Meyer fan and try to watch her daily show as often as I can. A few months back, I was watching and she shared how she educated herself in God's Word after receiving the call to minister. She said that due to meager finances and having three kids (I'm almost positive she said three, but please correct me if I'm wrong), she was unable to attend seminary and devised her own plan. She said that she would find areas in her life that needed to change or improve, she would look that subject up in the concordance, and write each verse on that subject out by hand. For example, she said she struggled with anger, so she looked up every verse that dealt with anger, wrote them all out, and studied and absorbed them. I thought...great idea! I'll do that too!
So now I'm on my second subject...faith.
As I mentioned in a previous post, things have been kind of difficult lately. We have our own business and while sometimes it's great to be the boss, to decide the hours, decide the way things should operate, etc, it can often be difficult too. We are not guaranteed a paycheck every two weeks like most people. We don't get paid vacation, we don't get to pack up at 5:00 and head home. We have to give this business our all in every area. If any area suffers, we suffer.
Lately, the business has been a challenge. It's up and down and unpredictable. Some days, I've seen Channing come home happy and fulfilled, and others I've seen him come home and try to disguise the stress that I know he's feeling. It breaks my heart. He loves what he does, and he's really good at it. However, I feel that because he is such a caring person, he is often taken advantage of. I cannot tell you the amount of outstanding balances so many people have left us with. It's terrible! The saddest thing of all is that so many of those balances come from Christian leaders in churches. Crazy, right? Anyway, that's a whole other subject.
The point is that when things get difficult, I instinctively want to wallow in self-pity, stress, and doubt. I want to curl up in my bed, cry, and stress over what I'm going to do, how I'm going to fix things. I kid you not, the worst thoughts images come into my head. So many times I've given in to those thoughts later to look back and realize how dramatic and absurd they were. Well this time, I've chosen not to do that.
This time I have decided that I am going to BELIEVE God. I decided this week that I am going to go through my concordance and write down every verse on faith that is listed; and not only am I going to write every verse down, I'm going to write three different interpretations (KJ, NIV, TLB). Let me tell you...there are lots! So after a couple of hours, my hand was really cramping (I mean CRAMPING!), but something else happened too. My faith started rising. By the end of the first day of doing this, I had lots of Bible verses on index cards and my faith was really strong! To you it may not seem like much, but for me not to be worrying right now is a HUGE feat. I am just totally depending on God.
Here are a few verses that really spoke to me yesterday. I hope they help you too:
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 NIV
You can never please God without faith, without depending on Him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely look for Him. Hebrews 11:6 TLB
You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the Holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God's salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15 TLB (It is SO important to teach the Word to our kids. This verse just drilled that point home for me.).
I did this because I wanted your faith to stand firmly upon God, not on man's great ideas.
1 Corinthians 2:5 TLB
I'm still a long way from being done, but already my faith is growing in leaps and bounds. I know that under His wings I will find refuge; His faithfulness will be my shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:4). The same goes for you. I hope you'll find refuge in His wings.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
We had a guest pastor at our church a month or two ago, and one thing he said that has really stuck with me is that here in America, on our worst day, we are blessed beyond measure. So much of the world has so little.
Not even looking just at the blessings of being an American but in all areas, I often have to remind myself of just how blessed I am. Sometimes when things get tough, I tend to dwell on dark thoughts, thoughts of defeat. I start worrying about how I'm going to fix my problem, what I can possibly do to turn things around. During these times, I am able to get myself so wound up and so stressed out that I'm impossible to reason with. When this happens, God always gives me these verses:
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own. Matthew 6:34
I'm going through one of those times right now. The stresses of life are threatening to consume me, but I am filling myself with God's Word and His promises. I am reminding myself that I am blessed beyond measure. I have a wonderful family, a husband who loves me and our boys, who is filled with a love and heart for God, two beautiful boys who are healthy, happy, and strong, family who care, friends who love me despite my many faults, a home to live in, car to drive, and food to eat. I am the child of the Most High God. What do I have to complain about?
I have a Lord who "took up my infirmities and carried my diseases" (Mt 8:17), a Lord that touches and blesses me "according to my faith" (Mt. 10:29), a Lord that sustains me (Psalm 55:22), a "refuge in times of trouble" (Nahum 1:7), a Lord of peace (John 14:27), a Lord who guards my heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7), a Lord who blesses me (John 13:17), and a Lord who "works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28). How blessed I am!
During my Beth Moore Bible study yesterday, these words from her brought me revelation:
Just as the gifts of the Spirit represent Christ's ministry, the fruit of the Spirit represents Christ's personality. When we allow the Holy Spirit to flow freely through our purified vessels, His personality takes over and we display love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. How often we wear ourselves out praying for more patience, faith, joy, or peace. All of these are the supernatural response of a Spirit-filled believer! A more appropriate prayer is "Lord purify me and make me a fit vessel for Your presence. Then fill me to overflowing with Your precious Holy Spirit." The fruit will supernaturally and automatically be produced.
What a revelation! Since reading that, I have continually been praying that prayer. My hope and belief is that God will fill me to overflowing with His Spirit, and that will produce the faith that I need to get through my tough times.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday was a busy day for us...not only was it football day, but it was also PICTURE DAY!
The day started off a little rocky. Channing left to get some milk for Tristan's cereal and to make a "quick 15 minute" trip to the gym. Well his 15 minute trip turned into an hour and half trip...which meant that I was pushed for time. As soon as Channing got home, I dashed to get Tristan a bowl of cereal, stood over him and rushed him as he ate, changed his clothes, fixed his hair, and ran out the door. Now some of you may be saying, "Why didn't you just have him ready for pictures, feed him when Channing got home, and leave?" I would have done that, but since Tristan has curly hair, I have to get him dressed first then wet his hair and scrunch it up. If I had dressed him before eat ate, he surely would have dripped milk and cereal all over his sweater, thus ensuring a huge rise in my stress level.
Anyway, we got it all done and were out the door. The whole way there, I'm giving Tristan his pep talk.
"Ok Tristan, a lady named Ms. Grethel is going to be taking pictures of you and Asher. I want you to listen, do what she says, and SMILE! I want some really pretty pictures so we can give them to NaNa, PaPa, MiMi, and PaPa as Christmas gifts. I know they'll love them. But you really need to smile, ok? Ok, Tristan? Are you going to smile? Remember to smile. Mommy really wants you to smile."
So we got there, and I tried a little test. I get out my camera and try to take a couple of pictures of him. Just as I feared, he pulled his normal avoid the camera at all costs trick. My first thought...uh oh.
We then met Grethel, and she proceeded to take loads of pictures of my two little angels. Just as he did when I tried to take his picture, Tristan avoided Grethel's camera. It drove me crazy! I became one of those parents. You know the kind I'm talking about, right?
Tristan! Look at the camera! Smile!
Trissssssssssstan! LOOK at the camera!
Ms. Grethel is talking to you. Pay attention.
Leave Asher alone. Don't pull on him.
Anyway, despite my kids' attention on everything but the camera, Grethel managed to get some great shots of the boys. You can check out a couple of their pictures on her blog. I have her blog listed under my favorite blogs..it's Grethel Van Epps, and she takes beautiful pictures.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
All I'll say about the Alabama game is this...Mississippi State? SERIOUSLY?! Ok...
The bright spot in today's football day was the Georgia/Auburn game. Way to go Dawgs! They stomped Auburn 45-20!!!
It's official...Asher has his first tooth!!! I am so glad because I was beginning to think I was crazy! He's had the symptoms of teething for about a month and a half but nothing to show for it. He's had a runny nose for a month, thus keeping me from the gym. Now I can confirm that his long bout with the runny nose is due to his new pearly white tooth. Yaay! Now maybe I can resume my fitness regime. :)
Congratulations, Asher!!! You're one step closer to corn on the cob!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Can I tell you, I love this kid!!! He just delights my heart. This is my sweet Tristan, my big snuggler. I am such a snuggler, and thankfully God blessed me with a little boy who likes to snuggle as much as I do. Of my two beautiful boys, Tristan is the one who always wants to be right next to me. He wants to sit really close, and rub my hair as he watches his shows, reads books, or just relaxes. I love it!!
Channing and I were in a small group a few years back at church; it was The Five Love Languages. Having completed that study, I can definitely say that Tristan's love languages are touch and quality time. I love giving him both.
It's so sweet now that we have Asher to see Tristan snuggle him. It's precious. Asher has become a comfort for Tristan. Any time Asher is sitting somewhere, Tristan wants to be right next to him. He likes to sit by him when he eats, he likes to sit by him and hold his hand when he watches t.v. , he likes to hold his hand while I nurse him (and by him, I mean Asher). It just melts my heart!
Although the age of three with Tristan has been a challenge for Channing and me, I wouldn't trade it for the world. For every challenge he gives us, the reward is abundantly greater. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family of boys. I have my patient, caring, and loving husband, my precious little ham, and my big snuggler. What more could a woman need?
Thank you , God, for loving me and sharing these wonderful boys with me!! I truly am blessed beyond measure.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I found this poem on a friend's myspace page, and I think it's awesome. It's something I need to read and meditate on every day!
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not shouting, "I've been saved!"
I'm whispering, "I get lost! That's why I chose this way"
When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't speak with human pride
I'm confessing that I stumble-needing God to be my guide
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong
I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt
When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't think I know it all
I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught
When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible but God believes I'm worth it
When I say, "I am a Christian," I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name
When I say, "I am a Christian," I do not wish to judge
I have no authority--I only know I'm loved
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I have to share this. For those of you who know me know that if anyone (and when I say anyone, I really do mean anyone) falls down around me (and by "falls down" I mean: stumbles, trips, wipes out, falls on their face, etc.), I'm going to laugh. I don't want to laugh, really I don't, but it just comes out. It's kind of like a disease or something. As soon as it happens, my laughter just flies out. It's uncontrollable. I have laughed at the most awful times. I mean, people get hurt but my body doesn't seem to notice. My mind is saying...don't laugh, don't laugh, that really hurt, but my body just laughs. It's embarrassing, really. I'm serious...it's a problem. My grandmother fell at a football game a month ago, and I had to turn around so I wouldn't laugh in her face. And let me tell you, it WASN'T funny. She was hurt and bleeding. Like I said earlier...embarrassing.
Well anyway, last weekend we went to the Georgia/Troy game. At the end of the game, I was walking down the stadium steps holding Asher when out of nowhere, I feel someone hit me...and hit me HARD. I felt like a football player who had just been blindsided by a defensive end or something. That's when it happened...I fell! Not only did I fall, I fell holding Asher and into a man's lap! Now if that wasn't hilarious! I mean, it was ME that fell and I was holding a baby, and I still found it hilarious.
While it was funny and I was laughing, it was embarrassing to be laying in some guy's lap while holding my six month old. I turned around to look at who would tackle a woman with a baby, and I see this guy (a pretty big guy) just continuing to walk up the steps like it never even happened. I don't know if he purposely tackled me because I was wearing Troy colors or if it was because he was drunk, but it had to be one of the two. I mean, the guy hit me hard. It was wild!
Nevertheless, it was funny. It brought a good laugh to me and hopefully to others. I'm sure there were those nice people who didn't laugh and didn't find it funny because I had a baby. I was not one of those people. I found it hilarious and disturbing all at the same time. :)
About three years ago, I felt God speak to me about a huge problem in America...depression. It was something that weighed so heavily on my heart, and it just wouldn't go away. It is such a huge problem, not only in the secular world but also among Christians.
I attended a women's retreat a couple of years ago with my church, and one of the things discussed was the fruit of the Spirit and what it consists of. Galatians 5:22-23 says that the fruit of the Spirit is "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." After meeting in a big group, we were broken up into small groups where we discussed what we had learned. As the women were speaking, I felt God telling me to speak up about depression and specifically depression medication. I fought it for a few minutes and tried to avoid it, but God wasn't letting up. So reluctantly, I brought up the fruit of the Spirit. I told them that joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit and that God tells us to covet the fruits, but that so often when Christians get down or depressed, they quickly run to their doctors instead of the Great Physician. Christians want to condemn those who get drunk on alcohol or mind-altering illegal drugs but don't think anything about popping Prozac. In my opinion, many people drink alcohol so that they can get away from the stresses of the world and relax...to get that "good" feeling. Isn't that the same thing as taking that depression medication that makes you feel better? Anyway, after talking to my group about this, no one really commented. Actually, the room got quite quiet. I was thinking...oops! However, after leaving the group, I had two women tell me that they had been battling depression and that they didn't want to live on these medications. They told me their stories and how they wanted to change. One even told me that her husband believed that every woman should be on some sort of hormone or depression medication (Can you believe that?! I mean, don't you think that if that was what God intended, then we would have some little button on our arms to release the meds?). Crazy!
Anyway, I say this to say that I have been working through a Beth Moore Bible Study: "A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place". It is a study of God's persistent desire to relate to His children as the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness. I have learned so much through this study! It is amazing how much God has done to get close to us. It is quite humbling!
So I've been working on this study for a few weeks. Although it's such a great study, I often find other "more important things" to do, and I put it off. Well I've been doing that over the past week and a half. But not only have I been putting off my Bible study, I've also been putting my relationship with God on hold. I've just been too busy...too busy getting the kids ready, cleaning, working on the computer, etc. I have barely worked God into my schedule let alone worked my schedule around God. The result? Feelings of diminished hope, lack of get-up-and-go, feelings of depression. I've been short with my husband and short with my kids. I haven't bothered to get in touch with my friends as often as I would like.
Then today, I watched Joyce Meyer. Her message was amazing! She was talking about how much God loves us, no matter how often we mess up. How when we are tired, "He will renew our strength, we will soar on wings like eagles..." (ok, so I probably didn't get that exactly right, but you know the verse.). She said that while her children often do things differently than she would like, she never stops loving them, and she certainly doesn't want anyone talking about them...just like God is with us!
After Joyce, I got back to my Beth Moore study. Today it was amazing! God really spoke to me through his Word. This blog is long enough, so I won't go into everything, but I will highlight a couple of things. She had us read John 15:2, 4-6. "He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful...No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit... If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown in to the fire and burned."
Did you catch the part about "withering"? That is exactly how I've been over the past couple of weeks; like a withering branch. Beth says that a relationship with God is not something that can be "stored up". It must be renewed every day! Without that daily relationship, we WITHER! Wow! What a perfect illustration. And as Joyce pointed out today, you aren't going to be at the level of someone who has been in strong relationship with God for 40 years after your two week relationship with Him. However, if you remain faithful, things will get better. I mean, I feel better after one day.
Check out these statistics I found today:
- Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million Americans.
- Pre-schoolers are the fastest-growing market for anti-depressants. (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!)
- 30% of Americans are depressed. (I would guess more)
- 15% of depressed people will commit suicide.
- Depression will be the 2nd largest killer after heart disease by 2020.
- Depression results in more absenteeism than almost any other physical disorder and costs employers more than 51 billion dollars a year in absenteeism and lost productivity, no including high medical and pharmaceutical bills.
- Standard depressants such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft have been revealed to have serious risks and are linked to suicide, violence, psychosis, abnormal bleeding, and brain tumors.
Joyce also said today that many times, those in ministry have a poor relationship with God because they hide themselves with their acts for God. They convince themselves that their relationships are in good standing because they're doing so much for Him. I've done that, but that makes about as much sense as me just doing things for Channing and never with him, you know?
One thing I've learned is that if you want, God will allow you to do things on your own. He wants to be included, but He needs to be invited.. In the book of John, He tells you that if you remain "in Him, you will bear much fruit but apart from Him, you can do nothing." The best example I can think of is with my son, Tristan. He used to try to tie his shoes on his own. He's three, he has no idea how to tie his shoes. However, he always wanted to do it and insisted that we leave him alone. So we would. After a couple of minutes of frustration at his failed attempts, he would come to us for help. Now isn't that just like us? I know it's what I do. Even though I know II need God, I still try to go it alone. My attempts always fail, and I end up right back where I should have been. On my knees begging for help.
I'm sorry this post has been so long, but God has really been speaking to my heart today, and I feel like there are others who have allowed themselves to struggle as I have. I am tired of seeing people on all this unneccessary medication. God desires to help us. We just need to ask!
I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you to stop taking depression medication, but I can tell you to please give God a chance. Let's work together to build a strong relationship with God. It's what He desires and what we need.
This is my little ham...my little attention seeker. He is the funniest thing ever! No matter what he is doing or who has him, he is always looking around to make sure that everyone else sees him.
For instance, if I am holding him and he wants to give me a kiss, he'll first look to be sure his daddy is watching, he'll kiss me, then quickly look back to be sure that his daddy saw the whole thing. This is usually followed up by a big smile and a repeat of his actions. It's hilarious!
He does this every day over and over and over again. It kind of makes us wonder if he's going to be an entertainer or if he is going to seek out our attention continually as he grows. Either way, I'll be glad to support him. I could stare at my little ham all day long! I am so thankful to God for sharing this little man with me!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Ok, so I was tired of looking at the pink rockstar background I had on my blog and decided to change it. I found this blue background, and thought it would be a nice change. What I did not realize was that when I changed my background, it would erase nearly everything I had saved on my page! MAN! I had to redo everything and lost some things. I had to restart my clustr map and redo my list of blogs. Some of my blogs are now missing, and I have to figure out how to find them again.
Next time, I'll heed the warning to back up all my data before changing my background!
This is very interesting. This morning while watching Good Morning America, they were talking about something they had on their website called Match-O-Matic. You click on it, answer some questions based on major issues in this presidential election and our country, and it matches you to the candidates who most share your views.
Here were my top three in order:
1. Mike Huckabee
2. John McCain
3. Bill Richardson
I can't say I am too surprised. I am already a big supporter of John McCain, unfortunately, he doesn't look like he has much of a shot. In fact, against Hillary Clinton, I don't know who does. As for Mike Huckabee, I'm learning more about him. I've watched a couple of the Republican debates and parts of the Democratic too. I want to make sure I make an educated decision about who I vote to be in the leadership chair of our country.
If you get a minute, check out abc.com and do the Match-O-Matic quiz.
Monday, November 5, 2007
As you can see from the pictures, my boys enjoyed playing football this past weekend while we were in Athens. They had a blast. Every time Tristan goes to Athens, he makes sure that he is taken to the Georgia practice fields for some tackling, kicking, and chasing. It's a tradition.
While I enjoy playing football with the boys, I often count my tiny battles at home as touchdowns. Let me give you an example. Asher is 6 1/2 months old, and is super interested in food, but not just any food...our food. I was so excited when he turned 6 months old because I was finally able to feed him rice cereal, a favorite of Tristan's when he was a baby. Well guess what? He didn't like it. I kept thinking he would catch on, but he never did. So I did what any mom would do, I went on to the next kind. The next thing I tried was oatmeal. I got a slightly better reaction, like maybe he kind of liked it, but it was fleeting. After a couple of days of oatmeal, he started gagging whenever I would give him any. I started to stress. I mean, what kind of baby doesn't like cereal?! I know, I know...put some fruit in it. I just really don't want to have to do that. I want him to learn to enjoy veggies before I fill him full of the "good" stuff.
The funny thing in all this is that while it may appear that maybe he's not ready for food, he is SO interested in what we're eating! Case in point, a couple of weeks ago we had dinner at a pizza restaurant. He kept reaching for the pizza so we finally let him gum the crust. He loved it! Then last weekend at the game (let me warn you...this is BAD!), Tristan asked for some of "that tall sticky stuff...you know, rotten candy". We got him some, I turned around for two seconds, and I turned back to see Channing letting him taste it. And as I'm sure you can guess...he LOVED it! Not good.
Well tonight I apprehensively presented him with sweet peas. Hallelujah! He actually liked them!!! Woo hoo! The kid will eat something besides Mommy's milk, pizza, and cotton candy. Touchdown Mommy!!!
We walk into Samford stadium, and the majority of the fans are already upset. We quickly glance at the scoreboard to see what is going on, and this is what we see...
I was thrilled! Troy put the first numbers on the board. They were leading the game 3-0! Channing was less than thrilled, as you can imagine. Georgia is his #1. Even though he (and his brother) went to Troy, he remains loyal to his #1. To me, you should always stick with your alma mater, but then Alabama hasn't had to face Troy. Until that day comes, I shall not judge. :)
Later in the game, this is Troy continuing to do well...
That is where the scoreboard pictures end for that game because that was the last time Troy was on top. Although I was disappointed in the final score, I am SO PROUD of my Trojans!!! They played so well and nearly upset a #10 school. WAY TO GO TROY!!!
Prior to the game, Tristan got to meet a really important part of the Georgia team. Check it out!
Due to the HUGE audience, he was a little nervous and I was unable to get a great picture. It was cool that he got to meet UGA, though.
Here he is reuniting with Hairy Dog...
Asher started the game strong and excited.
However, by halftime, this is what he was doing...
Ok, so that was that game. So far, my perfect day is just going ok. Then someone updates me on the Auburn game. Surprise surprise...they won. My day is now less than perfect...it's kind of an uuugh day. Next came the BIG GAME...the Alabama/LSU game. I'm sure lots of you saw it. If you didn't, shame on you! I won't go through the details play by play, however, I want to highlight a couple of things. First off, I was really impressed with the way Bama played. They played a FANTASTIC game! I mean, this is a team that has had numerous coaching changes over the past few years, probation sanctions, loss of scholarships, and lack of respect. Before the season began, little was expected of our Tide. Anyway...on with this game. Alabama played #3 LSU, and nearly caused an upset...nearly. LSU muscled through and won the game. We lost, and I can accept that, but please let me say something to Major Applewhite (who I love and respect, by the way).
With five minutes left in the game, you're up by seven, and it's 3rd and 5, you DON'T GO DEEP!!! You do what you can do to get the first down. You take your sweet time, and do what you can to keep the ball away from the opposing team, especially when that team is #3 LSU! When JPW got the call to go deep (to a receiver who has double coverage, btw), I freaked! Most people say the fumble by JPW caused the loss, but I say it was going deep on 3rd and 5 with 5 minutes left in the game. That one play made me so upset (It clearly upset Coach Saban too because he was yelling and screaming into his headphones/microphone)! Channing's dad agreed with me, although he didn't see it, but Channing says that they were probably trying to surprise LSU. Well they surprised them alright...with getting the ball back! He says, "Who's to say they would have gotten the 1st down by running it?" Well I say they would have had a much better chance, and even if they had not gotten the first down, the clock would have kept running. We would have had a greater chance of stopping LSU, or at the very least of making the game go into overtime. AAAGH!
In the hotel room, Asher woke up a lot that night (and the night before. It was miserable. He likes his bed.). Every time I got up with him, that was my first thought...why go deep with 3rd and 5 with 5 minutes left?! It has haunted me, but now I've got to let it go. What's done is done.
Bama, I'm proud of how well you played! You looked great!! There are three more games for you to go out and win. You can do it! I have faith in you!!! Roll Tide!!!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I'll be leaving bright and early in the morning. The boys and I are heading to Athens for the Georgia/Troy game. It's a tough one because I really want Troy to win. It's my alma mater, and it would be awesome for the program. However, everyone with me will be pulling for the dawgs (it's sad, isn't it?). Even Channing and his brother, who are also graduates of Troy will be pulling against them. It's despicable!
Since I'll be tailgating with loads of Georgia fans, I think I'll wear a neutral color (I would wear Troy, but sadly I don't own anything with Troy on it except a t-shirt). I just don't think I can bring myself to wear Georgia...not for this game.
Even though this game is a big one for me on Saturday, it doesn't even come close to the real game. You know the game I'm talking about right? The Alabama/LSU game. I'm gearing up for it and am super anxious. I won't offer to make any predictions about that game or any other on Saturday; however, I will tell you what a perfect Saturday would look like...
Bama would beat LSU (it doesn't even have to be by much. I just want them to win.)
Troy would beat Georgia (can you imagine?!)
Auburn would lose (I'm not even sure what high school team they're playing this week)
I guess those are the main ones I care about. I feel pretty certain that my perfect Saturday will not happen, but I'll settle for the Bama game! ;)
I'll b back Sunday!!! Have a great weekend!! AND...
ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE ROLL!!!!
The boys and I had a blast last night at our Trunk-or-Treat and Fall Festival. Asher mostly hung out in his stroller while Tristan jumped, slid, played games, and loaded up on candy. It was great to see friends and enjoy the great weather and fun. Check out our pictures:
Timothy & Tristan waiting in line to ride the Titanic slide and then afterward having dinner.
That's a big slide!
Nathan and Asher chillin' while the big boys rode the slide.
Asher getting a kiss from the scary dragon!
Me with my boys!!!