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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Coming of Age…

Jalen had his big coming of age party.

We have a tradition of celebrating 13 birthdays by having it be a time that all my brothers and sisters and their families come together and bring blessings written for that teen.

So they gathered at our house on Sunday Night and we partied with Jalen’s favorite foods….

This little girl wanted to be out with the action and whined when we said “no”. But she had nothing to read and we didn’t want her eating the food and choking to death. So she had to sadly watch from the window..

Poor Poor thing!~ Crazy dog~

This is Jalen’s Grand dad reading his blessing.

The cool thing is our kids know that they have a support system that believes in them.

They know that we expect them to live in honorable ways and that we love them so very much!

So we sat around the fire until it was so dark we had to bring out the lanterns and flashlights to continue.

We ended it with a special prayer over Jalen.

He is blessed indeed!
I think this guy got his fix of affirming words and hugs..

I’m leaving you today with Jason’s blessing to Jalen.

Jalen,
It is hard to believe you are 13 years old already. When you came into our world I remember thinking at least now I won’t be out numbered by the girls. I recall going out to look for a going home outfit and thinking they sure don’t give as many choices for boys clothes as they do girls. I think now I know why that it is. You are content to wear the same pair of sweat pants 19 days in a row and wonder why we ask you to change when it it time to wash them. I remember putting those clothes on you and they were huge. But you looked like a little man. I wondered as I held you there what kind of man you would turn out to be.


It has been fun watching you develop from the little boy whose hat would fall and cover your eyes when you were trying to play baseball. Jalen you have always liked to run, even when the coach would tell you to stop at first you kept running. As the year progressed I watched you become more coachable, leading the team with the highest on base percentage and scoring the most times per at bat. This quality will serve you well as you get the opportunity to work for an employer who wants something done in a specific way. I hope that you will always be coachable.
Jalen you are not usually the one that is itching to get in front of people. But when it becomes necessary to do so you do well. You can be confident and focused and these are qualities of a good leader.

I have enjoyed watching you grow into a young man. When asked about your thoughts and feelings you usually don’t have much to say. However, when you decide to share more it is usually (except when you are being crazy) to ask thoughtful questions. When you desire to understand the meaning of something you process it until you find a satisfactory answer. That type of determination will serve you well as you continue your journey into adulthood. I trust that you will find your answers in the One who knows all things.

The verse that I would like you to always remember is found in II Timothy 1:7-8a. “For God did not give us the spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord.”
Jalen this verse tells you that you do not have to be afraid. Because God has given you a spirit of power. Not so you can be mean to people, but rather for you to love people and enough power to be self-disciplined. My prayer for you as you continue through your teenage years is that you use the power that God has placed inside of you to love others and control yourself.
This will make you a TRUE MAN.
I love you tiger
Dad.

The Torah of Kindness

Do you ever have times when you just know you are supposed to do something?
It just keeps popping up in your thoughts and you know.

You just Know!

Last week I had that happen.

A friend had mentioned several weeks back that Beth Moore had a simulcast at a local church on Saturday.

I didn’t forget it.

I felt like I should have been 2 other places but somehow I just kept feeling like I was supposed to be at the Simulcast.

So in the 11th hour I decided to go.

Alone.

I sat toward the back where 3 other sweet sisters joined me. They were strangers to me but they were so very kind.

I made it through the first 2 songs of worship and then the tears started to come.

For those of you who don’t know who Beth Moore is well…
She is one funny anointed passionate lady who I for one plan to put my bid in on real estate next to her when we get to heaven.
Her love for Jesus and his Word is inspiring and contagious.

She spoke out of Proverbs 31.
Don’t panic…
She didn’t talk about the perfect woman!

She just used the text from Proverbs 31:26
“She openeth her mouth….and speaks with wisdom….and the Law(or Torah) of kindness is on her tongue.”

She went on to give us 8 reasons why we should be kind.

One of the things that hit me was this…

We live in a mean world.

It is stinkin mean out there!

Can I get a witness?

It seems like there are lots of people that are just always cranky.
And I find myself feeling cranky when I have these encounters.

But her encouragement was this….
We really can’t share the good news in a bad mood.
It’s just counterproductive.

And in my home….Do I have the Torah of Kindness on my tongue all the time?

Emmmm….

Especially not when I’m saying these words….

“I am sick and tired”

She said that Kindness is not an action it’s a disposition.

And that often when we have been hurt it’s easy to respond out of that.

Instead I must keep the “Torah of kindness” on my tongue.

Recognizing that Jesus has been incredibly kind and loving toward me.

The fact is Kindness truly is not a weakness!
It is so very difficult to do.
And next to impossible on our own.
That’s why not more people are practicing it!

But as I remember that I have been given mercy in my unkind, sinful state I began to soften and allow the Holy Spirit to move in me and give me the strength I need to do the kind thing.

And

Once again I stand in awe at the wonder of his gift.

Yes…

It was a God ordained day for me.

It’s part of that healing he is doing in this heart.

God,
I ask you today to remind me of your grace in my life. May I extend that grace and kindness to everyone I see today. May your Spirit give me the strength to do the hard thing and show Kindness in the face of a mean world.
And once again I thank you for the tender mercy you shower over me each day~

What’s for Dinner?

One of my favorite meals to make is Chicken Fajitas.

I love it because of 2 things.

1. It’s simple

2. My kids eat it with Gusto!


All I do is put frozen chicken breast into my crock pot.
I add a cup of water and sprinkle it with salt.
(Large sprinkling of salt)


Then I cook it all day. Low up to 8 hours and 4 on high.

After it’s cooked it literally falls apart when you stick a fork in it.

So I just add a package of any kind of taco like seasoning.(we especially like this flavor)

I fry up some onions…for J and I….. and

BAM!

Dinner is served~

Packing it away

This is what I’ve been up to….



I’ve been packing stuff away for the winter…

One of my musts every year is to make this Tomato soup. In the winter we have it once a week, along with cheese sandwich’s. It was a childhood favorite and now my kids love it as well.

And this week I went to pick grapes. It was a first for me. We have our own grape vine but this year it just didn’t produce well.

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When I was done picking and ready to check out I noticed my favorite apple for applesauce…Jonnygolds…..so I picked up some of those to put in my freezer.

Well I ended up with more juice then we needed….in fact I had to get more jars….

I decided to make a little jelly.

So Hallelujah I’ve got a full pantry of canned stuff~

Two things I ask of you,

O Lord;

Do not refuse me before I die:

Keep falsehood and lies far from me;

give me neither poverty nor riches,

but give me only my daily bread.

Otherwise, I may have too much

and disown you

and say, “who is the Lord?”

Or I may become poor and steal,

and so dishonor the name of

my God.

~Proverbs 30:7-9

How I love me a little Autumn

It’s that time of year again…

I love it~

Autumn.

It’s really a good reason to hang around Indiana!

I love the cool nights and warm days. The candles burning in the windows and the leaves burning on heaping piles in the yard.

It’s a wonderful time of year!

I try to keep the fact that Winter is creeping closer out of my mind because that indeed is NOT why I stay in this state.

The white is pretty until…ummm…December 26.

If I were the weatherman it could all melt away and spring start on January 1. But since I’m not and I won’t ever be, I shall just focus on the present beauteous fall weather that is upon us.

We took a little bike ride with 3 of our kids over the weekend,

This is what we saw.


And this is what we sang until I became too winded to continue…

Great is thy faithfulness
Oh God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with thee.

Thou Changest not
Thy Compassion’s they fail not
As thou has been thou forever will be.

Great is thy Faithfulness.
Great is thy Faithfulness.
Morning by Morning
New mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy Faithfulness,
Lord unto me.

(we did not see this precious face on our
ride but I took this over the weekend
as I was completely taken with her)


Summer and Winter
Springtime and Harvest
Sun Moon and Stars in their courses above.
Join with all nature in manifold witness.
To thy great faithfulness
mercy and love.


Great is thy Faithfulness
Great is thy Faithfulness.
Morning by morning
new mercies I see.

All I have needed
thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy Faithfulness
Lord unto me.

And then after our beautiful ride on a Sunday we went to pick up our missing son who was with a friend.As we pulled into the driveway this is what I spotted….Oh yes, My newly turned 13 year old on our friends roof! After finding out that it was indeed a general practice at this particular home I felt a bit better.

And then later they all decided to actually hide on the roof during a game of hide n seek.

Campfires, Bike rides, Great Food and Fellowship.

Wonderful family.

Wonderful friends.

Wonderful weather.

How I love me a little taste of Autumn!

Moments you never forget…

The old man speaks of days gone by. Years etched on his face lined up in rows like the fields he speaks of. On and On the stories are told until he has worn my weary mind to a screeching halt.
He is one who speaks more then he listens.
His speech tells me he is lonely and in need of friends.
Years of pain come forth and yet he doesn’t realize all he is telling as he speaks.
He doesn’t understand the song that he is playing has rifts that show his vulnerabilities.

Patience and grace I keep whispering over and over…

And then I watch as the little one crawls into his lap and sweetly says, “good morning grandpa”.
He in his deep gruff voice responds in kind, and then asks for a spoon.
She responds, “yes grandpa”..and quickly shuffles over to get one.
“The milk will sour, it should be put away”. He announces.
“Yes grandpa I will do it”. She softly says.

Need for space and a new thought drive me to my computer.
I sit in the next room in wonderment as I hear her continued interactions with him.
“Can you play a game with me?
I will teach you.
By the time you leave you will be a Yahtzee expert”.

He softens and laughs. She hurries to find the game explaining that she has a whole closet of games.

Her careful instructions as she explains how to play remind me of the patience I have lacked. Even as he dozes off she sweetly wakes him and starts over.

And I listen.

She brings game after game.
Sometimes she explains, “no one wins, this is a team game”.

“Do you want to be yellow, red or blue? Grandpa, Grandpa,” Pause….
As he dozes off once again…she waits.

My 7 year old is teaching me how to love today.
They are loving each other.
She is meeting the need of an old man although he seems to be unaware of how she is ministering to his lonely heart.

And he is giving a little girl who so loves quality time the attention she desires.

Letting his hard words go right over her head.
Not allowing his gruffness to scare her.
But instead giggling and responding with patient kindness.

He is warming and seems softer as he plays.
“One more?” She asks.
“Sure”, he responds

I am moved as I hear their exchanges.

I can’t remember a grandpa.

And

After today she will never forget hers.

Jalen’s 13!

My firstborn son is turning 13!

When I reflect over the first 13 years of your life I am reminded of grace.
My best pregnancy was with you, Jalen.

You were my easiest baby.

I remember the days before you were born…

I was very anxious what this would do to big sis. Our world was pretty small and she was pretty much at the center of it.
I worried that she would feel betrayed. That somehow whoever this new someone was….. they would rock her world.
But Jalen came to us gently.
I remember checking to see that you were indeed the boy that we were so elated to have.

And when we took you home from the hospital I couldn’t believe how welcoming your big sister was of you.

You slipped into routine within the first few weeks and were sleeping through the night by 6 weeks.

Jalen, you went the first year with very little fuss.

And then you got mobile. You would touch “no no’s” over and over…and then again.
You followed a girl who was pretty compliant and after such an easy start in life I figured you would be the same.

You had just turned 2 when little brother came along…

And there you were stuck right in the middle.

What I have always loved about you, Jalen is your smile.
Smiley, Smiley since very little.
You fly under the radar. Not an up front kind of guy.
You love mechanics(as in how things work) and you really love computers.
And you truly are sensitive. You have sharp conscience that doesn’t let you get by with much.
I must say having a boy in middle school is very different then having a girl.
Puberty hit this past year and your voice changed.
BOOM! Just like that!
But you’re still a boy in so many ways.
I love how you are developing a compassionate heart for those around you.
I love it when I hear you ask your little sister if she needs help.
I love when you tell Micah you’d like to play ball with him.
I love that you have actually become more free as you grow to give me hugs and kisses.
I love that you want to love God and serve him.
I love that you’ve got a sense of humor and are still the smiley boy.
I love that you read.
I love that you try to take more responsibility as you grow.
I love that you listen to me.
I love your quiet thoughtful questions.

My little boy is passing the threshold to young man and frankly…

I am scared about it on many levels.

I obviously have never had a young mans battle and I feel at times ill equipped to give you pointers on how to fight yours.

I want to encourage you to stand for truth.
To be the warrior you were meant to be.
To be honorable in all your relationships.
Showing special honor to females.

And this is my prayer for you…

My firstborn son,

You are a warrior and these are the ways you are meant to fight…
For Truth, Integrity, Purity, and Compassion.
You know I believe in you.
I Know you can do this.
It’s going to take effort and strength.

You can not be lazy in this battle.
You will have to work harder then you ever have before.
But I know you have what it takes!

Sometimes it will mean that you will be called names for the stand you take.
You may be made fun of and laughed at.
You may be told that it’s not as bad as you think.
Remember, you know the truth. The truth will always stand in the end.

Your teen years are actually very short compared to your life.
Remember your creator in the days of your youth.
Remember that you were his first and that in the end you will stand before him.

You have what it takes!
I am here to support you.
I am here to be your soft place to land.
I am here to help you through these waters.

I love you forever!
You always have a place in my heart!
And I am so thankful to call you my son!

Mom