Wednesday, October 28, 2009

...Love and Marriage...

Zack has had a fascination with weddings and marriage since he was in Uncle Jared and Aunt Laura's wedding back in May. The topic seems to come up at random intervals... including tonight during dinner. What follows is a little "transcript" of the conversation that went on between Zack and Daddy (because Mommy was having a hard time keeping a straight face...) And keep in mind, this came up out of the blue...

Zack: I need a wife.
Daddy: What?
Zack: I need a wife!
Daddy: Why?
Zack: Because I need one!
Daddy:You don't need a wife...
Zack: Miriam is...
Daddy: Miriam is what?
Zack: Miriam is my wife.
Daddy: No, you didn't get married.
Zack: I want to.
Daddy: You want to what?
Zack: I want to get married.
Daddy: I'm pretty sure you have to be at least 16 to get married in the state of Iowa and even then I don't think you should get married that young.
Zack: When I'm 5 I want to be in Sparks. (AWANA)
Daddy: Ok, but that doesn't have anything to do with marriage.
Zack: But when I'm 5 I could be in Sparks.
Daddy: Sure, when you're 5 you can be in Sparks if you want to.
Zack: Ok.

Yep, that's the gist of it... and all the while I was half hiding my face 'cause I didn't want Zack to see/hear me giggling... ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009


I admit it. I love summer, but hate the dreadfully hot weather. What I love more? Fall. I love 70ish degrees with a slight breeze. I love wearing long sleeves (but not a coat) and feeling not too hot, and not too cold. I love the crisp air in the mornings and the sun through the golden and orange leaves.

The boys and I have taken advantage of the fall weather when we get a chance (I am acutely aware of those “perfect” days right now especially because of some unseasonably COLD weather we’ve been having.) So when those perfect fall days come around… we try to head outside.

One of our new favorite places to go is Grandview Park. It’s just down the road from our house, and when you go at the right time (school hours on a weekday!) there’s practically no one there. It rocks to have nearly an entire park to yourself. :)

Here are a couple pics of the boys enjoying the playground…

Austin’s new favorite… the swings!


It never fails that Austin’s hair will be sticking up wildly in one place or another (or MORE than one place, for that matter).


Here’s Zack in what he calls the “intraption” (a.k.a. CONtraption)


Zack also loves the bridge. If he’s on it, it probably means he’s pretending to be Indiana Jones.


And he’s starting to get the hang of “pumping” his legs to swing on his own (but he much prefers to be pushed.) Here, he’s checking out his shadow.


So, once the ground dries up again, I’m sure we’ll be out again… maybe in a park near you ;)

My Worst Enemy

It's me. Do you ever feel that way? I know it's true (well, except for the devil himself...)

My "bad" days are the days I get so full of SELF that I make myself miserable. Oh sure, I could give all kinds of reasons why I'm having a bad day... but the truth is, most of it has to do with me. Whether it's feeling sorry for myself, getting too wrapped up in circumstances, or just giving myself too much credit. It never fails to leave me feeling down and frustrated. I KNOW what can take that feeling of hopelessness or despair away, but what's so crazy is how hard it can sometimes be in those times to give it let refocus on God (instead of mySELF). And really, let's be honest, that's a form of selfishness, too. That's just me wanting to hold onto control of things...or what I perceive as "control." And while we're still being honest...sometimes we just LIKE to have a pity party. To play the victim. And we like to get a little pity from others, too. I say it 'cause I've been guilty of doing it.

Well, I don't know about you, but I don't want to keep getting trapped in this vicious cycle. I don't want to give the evil one that kind of victory over me. Especially when I know he has no power over me unless I GIVE it to him. So, I'm on a mission to dump out this overload of "self" I've got lying around... Join me, if you'd like, and we'll bury the evil one in it. ;)

Philippians 2:3-11
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God Speaks

I’ve recently had the pleasure of taking part in an awesome ladies Bible study at my church. It’s the Beth Moore study, “Stepping Up,” which goes through the Psalms of ascent. I’ve learned so much just about the history involved in these Psalms, but more than that, I’ve learned so much about God’s heart. He has used this study to teach me and draw me closer to Himself. It’s been an incredible journey! (and I’m sad to see it end next week).

One of the days this past week really hit me – particularly a Psalm that was referenced in the study time (but isn’t one of the actual Psalms of ascent). It’s Psalm 139. I ended up highlighting the entire Psalm in my Bible because I just couldn’t stop… it’s amazing.

What I love about God’s Word is it is a LIVING word. You can read something in the Word one day, and God can use it. Then you can read that same something weeks or months later and God can use it in a completely different way. This was one of those Psalms I’d heard and read many times before, but for some reason this last week it reached me much more deeply than it ever has…

I’ve pasted it in here (the NIV version) for you to read for yourself, but here are just a few things that jumped out at me:

  • God is with us ALWAYS, even when we don’t want Him. There isn’t anywhere we could ever go that He isn’t there as well. We can never be separated from Him – and I’m SO thankful for that! (v. 5-12)
  • God knows us COMPLETELY. No one on this planet will ever know us as well as He does. We don’t even know ourselves as well as He does. He’s known us since before we were born – and LOVED us just as long. (v. 1-4 & 13-16)
  • We must always come clean with God. There isn’t anything about us He doesn’t already know, but He wants to be in RELATIONSHIP with us – and part of that is coming to Him and confessing or venting or just talking to Him about whatever’s on our heart. He already knows – He just wants us to share our heart with Him. Also, we should ask Him to reveal to us anything that we need to clean up in ourselves. He’ll show us and help us to become the person He meant for us to be. (v. 23-24)

With that… please read and enjoy… and may God speak to your heart, as He did mine.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.