Friday, September 16, 2011


Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20,21

For the last 8 or 9 months, this has been my favorite verse. Everytime I read it, it's like it sinks in further and further. God is SO GREAT and SO POWERFUL, that He can do way more than we can even think or imagine. You can't even imagine it! How AWESOME is that? I don't know about you, but I've got a pretty vivid imagination. There are a lot of things I can imagine. When I was young and bored, I would daydream and make up a life in my mind and live it. Weirdo, I know, but that's what I had to entertain myself. :) You could live your entire life on this earth and never come remotely close to even thinking or imagining how amazing and powerful God is. Wow. (It just sank in a little deeper here.) You can be in the bottom of the lowest pit, pray for the most far-fetched (by human terms) way for God to get you out of that pit, and He has the capability to save you in a far more grandious way than what you thought. Deep stuff there. Capability doesn't mean He will, but that's a different post altogether. Sometimes what is best for us isn't anything on our radar of thinking.

God is so good, He's so good to me. I read Radical by David Platt last year, and at the end of the book, there's a 5 step experiment, or challenge for the reader to complete within a year's time. My year window has come and gone, so here is the synopsis of my challenge accomplishments.

1. Read the entire Bible through chronologically: Finished it 2 1/2 weeks ago. Undoubtedly one of the biggest feelings of accomplishment in my life, and the power of The Word was (and continues to be) utterly life-changing like nothing else I've experienced. It is NOT just a story you read. It. Will. Change. Your. Life.

2. Pray for the entire world: I had several off days, I'll admit, but for the most part, I prayed for a specific country each day over the last year. Operation World is a fabulous reference for this. I signed up for daily emails so all I had to do was click on the link each day and it directed me to the country to pray for with topics for prayer and praise.

3. Multiplying community: This was a hard one. I feel like I reached out (and still reach out) to invite people to visit church, City Gate (our downtown ministry), MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), but I know there is so much more that I could, and should, do here.

4. Sacrifice my money for a specific purpose: Another hard one. I did try to cap our family spending (I mean, I did start couponing, right?), and we committed to give a small portion to missionaries, organizations, etc. on top of tithing, but I don't feel like I adequately fulfilled this one. Can we ever, though? There is always a little more that we can do.

5. Spend time in another context: Specifically, plan to spend 2% of the next year of your life (a week) in Gospel ministry outside of your community for the sake of God's glory in all the world. This was the one that stood out as the most important to accomplish in my experiment. My trip outside of my community (and country) might not be within the given year's time frame, but the planning for it started within the year, so I'll count that. :) I'm a part of a mission team from Meridian that is going to Costa Rica in January! I am so excited, nervous, scared, anxious, and insufficient to be a part of this team. The great thing is, though, that God can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine when He is at work within me, so don't you know I'll be spending lots of time in prayer that He'll do just that! This will be my first mission experience outside of the country, and I can not wait to see what God shows me through it. I want to experience His manifest presence and gain a more loving heart for His people. Please pray with me over the next few months. I'd really appreciate it. :) God is already answering prayers and blessing our trip. When I signed up to go a couple of months ago, the expected trip cost (which I am responsible for) was between $1100 and $1200. Well, within the last week, plane tickets have plummeted, saving me almost $300, and the state convention has agreed to partially fund our trip! My $1200 cost has been cut almost in half! God is so good, He's so good to me!

I am so abundantly blessed! God has done so much in my life in the last two years to bring me closer to Him. Abundantly more than I could have ever imagined my life would be as I daydreamed about it those many years ago. :) In the words I use to explain the reason my sweet husband hasn't had more car accidents in his life, "Somebody must be praying for you (me)!" Thank you to those on Earth who do, and to those in Heaven as well. I can tell you're looking down on me. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chex Mix.........Mmmmmmmmmmm!

Well, I'm glad I haven't posted in the last month, only because if I had, I may have posted my frustrations with a little 20-month-old biter who invaded our sweet boy's body. Good thing we've nipped THAT in the bud! (Fingers crossed.) Yes, our first 4 days of preschool were great. On the fifth day, I came in to talk to Barrett's teacher and make sure he'd been sweet and wasn't biting or hitting (he's been known to chew on Charlee some). She said he was doing fine and there had been no biting. Weeeeeeeehhhhhhlll, that day when I picked B and C up, Barrett's teacher came out and said he had bitten 3 kids that day. From then on, it was an every day thing. :( I was sure he would get kicked out, and I dodged any parents I passed in the hallway. Finally, though, my little pistol got a taste of his own medicine when his friend bit him. I know I should be upset about another child biting mine, but I was secretly happy. I know, I know, but how else was the kid gonna learn? I couldn't stake out the joint and run in and spank him when he did it (I would have if I could, but they wouldn't let me - ha!). I figured he needed to know what it feels like. I've heard from so many people to "bite him back". Well, I don't think I could bring myself to do it, but even if I could have, he wasn't doing it at home anymore. Anyways, ever since his friend bit him, he has only bitten once. We are going on a week and a half strong of no biting! He has been bitten a couple of times since, but that's slowing down too. I guess when you put 10 or 11 one-year-olds in a room together, they've got to communicate somehow. It is such new territory, though, because Charlee wasn't a biter. She bit another kid when she was about 9 or 10 months old, but that's it. Barrett's just showing me (yet again) that he's gonna be a whole lot different than his sister. Night and day, those two! He IS the sweetest little boy I could ever hope for, though. He is just precious, and he makes me laugh EVERY day! He has such a great personality. He smiles at nearly everyone he passes, whether he knows them or not. He spots people out at restaurants who pay attention to him, mainly older women (just like a man ~ ha!), and he flirts and flirts. It is too cute! He is definitely going to be an athlete. Even though his legs are short, he runs super fast already. He gets his legs AND his speed from his daddy. :) He is all over the place, all of the time. He can go up and down stairs on his own now, can drive Charlee's power wheels Jeep, can kick the soccer ball, and do ALL things boy. His masculinity isn't threatened AT ALL by his pink, hand-me-down toys. Ha! It is a little sad to see that all of the ride-on toys in the garage are pink, but I promise you he does not care! He loves them! Maybe Santa will bring some blue or red outside toys for Christmas. Surely that two weeks of biting won't put him on the naughty list.

Charlee is a sponge and soaking up SO MUCH at preschool! She is writing her letters, spelling her name, and has learned the Pledge of Allegiance. It is so sweet to watch her come home and "teach" her stuffed animals all that she's learned. :) She is also in AWANA again, is taking a dance class once a week, and just started preschool choir at church. She has been singing all week. I LOVE IT! Also, she did the sweetest thing several weeks ago. I had a pretty bad headache one day and was laying on the couch while Barrett was napping. She came up and asked me what was wrong, so I told her my head hurt. She clasped her hands together, closed her eyes, and said, "Dear God, thank you for this beautiful day and thank you for Mommy. Thank you for her headache and please help her to feel better. Amen." :) :) :) LOVE HER! She has the sweetest and most gentle spirit and heart I've ever met. She has started getting freckles on her face in recent months, and it is just the cutest thing. I told her she has freckles now, and she said, "No, Momma, those are sprinkles." Adorable! I think they SHOULD be called "sprinkles" ~ sprinkles of sunshine. She IS a few inches short on some hair, though. :/ She has been "cutting coupons" with me lately. I bought her a pair of kid scissors so she could take up my newest hobby with me. She clips up scrap paper. Yesterday, we were clipping along (or so I thought), I looked up and Charlee was no longer in the room with me. About the time I looked up, she walked around the corner from her room with scissors in hand, scared look on her face, and locks falling from her shoulders to the floor. Ohhhhhhhh, Charleeeeeee! What did you do???? Lip began to quiver, tears began to roll. Sure enough, CLUMPS of hair were gone. I told her we would have to cut off the remaining to match where she had cut, and she just bawled. "I don't want to have boy hair, Momma!" Well, why did you cut your hair off, then, sweet girl? Oh, it was depressing. For both of us. Her sides were pulled up, so the chunks she cut were under her top layer of hair. When I wet it to try and even it up, I decided that you couldn't see the short parts when her hair was down, so I couldn't bring myself to chop it. She didn't want to go to school this morning because she was afraid her friends would see, but she survived, and no one even noticed. No more updos for a while.

My newest obsession, and one of the reasons I haven't blogged in so long, is couponing. Might call it extreme, but I'm nowhere near where the people on the TLC show are. I am addicted. I usually buy 4 newspapers, sometimes more if there are good coupons, and I've got a pretty good stockpile going already. Chandler says that if anything happens, we'll have clean teeth, smell good, and be able to keep our dishes clean, but we won't live very long off of our food supply. It has been easy to stock up on cheap toiletries with Walgreens and CVS ads and promotions. I've got well over a year's worth of toothpaste, and I got most of them for free! I do need to focus on the grocery end of it, but it doesn't seem to be as easy around here. All we have is Winn-Dixie, Piggly Wiggly, and Wal-Mart. I've realized the art of price-matching at Wal-Mart, though, and that's been pretty profitable to my pantry stockpile. I got ten bags of Chex Mix today for 49 cents a piece! I'm pretty excited about that, cuz I LOVE me some Chex Mix! :) It's amazing how much money I'm realizing I've thrown away over the years by paying retail for things like toothpaste, deodorant, razors, milk. I just always assumed Wal-Mart had the lowest price and I couldn't get milk cheaper anywhere else. Well, Wal-Mart milk is consistently over $4, usually closer to $5. Since I started couponing and price-matching, I haven't paid over $3.19 for it. I know that may not sound like a lot, but it is to me. That's a savings that could buy 3 bags of Chex Mix! Yummmmmmmm. This week, I found a gallon of milk on sale at Piggly Wiggly for $1.99! That's awesome! Okay, enough of my elation on milk. Ha!

It feels so good to be back on the blog. My house may still be a wreck, and the laundry needs to be folded, but this is such a therapy for me, and I've been in definite need of therapy lately! Now, off for some Chex Mix.