“My flesh also will rest in hope.” Psalm 16:9

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Christmas: so beautiful, but thank goodness it’s over! I know. I know. I still need a Linus.

This morning I struggled with my precious but incredibly clingy two-year-old. The problems of life that I cannot get off my mind swirled around in my brain. I found comfort in these promises from God’s Word.

“Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.”   Psalm 16:1

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“My flesh also will rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”   Psalm 16:9-11

 

“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”  Proverbs 16:33

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What a week it was! I want you to know that on Monday I started a new medicine, for my heart, and while I’ve made it so far in life without having a daily medication, this one has done me so much good that I’m thankful for it.

I used to wonder why I had a “laid-back” personality, yet I feel so keyed-up, like I’m always on high alert. I get these adrenaline rushes that are horrible.

It was my heart.

And just like that they’re gone. My heart medication helped me with my anxiety problem. It brought down my blood pressure as well as my heart rate.

While I was sitting at my doctor’s office, and she left the room, I checked my text messages.  It was from Alan.

They (Alan’s employer) want to move us back to the South, and not just the South, but so close to our parents!

Disbelief and relief and feeling looked after flooded over me!

I could see the finger prints of the Lord all over it. It reminded me of that Bible verse:

“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”  Matthew 23:37

Only, thank goodness, I am ever so willing, though sometimes I have to remind myself to be.

Have you ever had a day where so many answers to your prayers happen at once? That was Monday.

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The heart medicine can’t fix my sciatica, but it sure was a wonderful start in my quest to feel healthy again.

And look outside. It’s pouring. It’s pouring glorious, beautiful rain. I prayed for rain so diligently last year. Sometimes it would come that very day that I asked for it. Sometimes it waited until now, but my prayers were answered.

I know God will answer my prayer for a good diagnosis of my sciatica/hip/whatever problem too. Sometimes we just have to trust and hope. Once I know for sure what it is, I can know how to best treat it. That’s why it’s important to me. After six years of this (off and on), it’s just not funny anymore.

Today Joshua scored his first basketball goal of the season for his team. Then Daniel went shopping with me. Dan got new light-up Batman tennis shoes. I bought, at Daniel’s encouragement, a pair of ruby-red slipper ballet flats and a denim colored, more low-profile pair too. That sort of shopping makes me plumb giddy!

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It’s a good day. Praise God for a good day. Things are looking up. I have hope.

“I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”  Psalm 13:6

It bears repeating:

“My flesh also will rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:9-11

Come back tomorrow. I have photos of my very first blogger friend meet-up!! I hope you all have a fun MLK weekend! Never give up hope.

For the next part in this story on diagnosing my heart problem (ventricular tachycardia), click here.

 

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4 Powerful Lessons From My Very First Women’s Retreat

4 Powerful Lessons From Women's Retreat

This weekend I have ridden a horse, eaten delicious food cooked by other people, and listened to an inspiring speaker, Denise Cunningham. I have grown closer to God and closer to other ladies from my church.

Guess what! Our speaker this weekend has a blog too! I’ll give you a link at the bottom of this post. First, you have to read mine.  😉

This retreat was at Wolf Mountain, near Sacramento, California.

I want to share a few lessons I have received from my time on Wolf Mountain.

4 Powerful Lessons from Women't Retreat

Alan and me…..not at Wolf Mountain. That’s Yosemite. Alan was at home being Super Dad this weekend.

#1 My very first ministry is actually my husband. When I married him, I promised many things. One day, the boys will all grow up and move away. They will promise their hearts to younger, prettier women. But Alan will still be there.

I can’t wait to get home and focus on being a better wife!!

 

#2. Do TELL others what God has done for you, and don’t try to take credit for that. Look what God has done in my life! God has guided and protected me through ALL of my years. He provided a way for me to go to college for FREE. He led me to Alan. God kept Alan safe through several tours in combat zones. God has given me these four adorable boys. HE has answered so many prayers and allowed us to live all over the country and see so many beautiful places and meet inspiring people.

I stand in awe of what God has done for us.

Now is the time of life for ME to give thanks and praise to God. What a life that I am living! I have everything. There is no good thing that I do not have.

Yes, I have a bad back. Yes, I have children to train and plenty of work to do. Yes, I have another cross-country move looming in my near future.

But I have a relationship with God in heaven who will carry me through all of these duties.

8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

 

2 Corinthians 12:9

I’m not going to pretend like I have something to do with God’s blessings in my life. To God be the glory!

I cannot take credit. GOD gave me all of this.

4 Lessons from Women's Retreat

We hiked to this cross at the top of the mountain this morning. It was an exhilarating start to the day!

Look for a post soon about the answered prayers we have seen just in the past week! God does not promise us a life without problems. He promises that we will never walk alone. He is always there.

 

#3. Don’t let the devil steal your joy. Never believe things will not change. Never believe that you aren’t good enough to belong to God. Never believe the lies! “I will just always be like____.” “I just can’t win.” “I’m not as good as they are.” And so on and so forth! Those are lies. Do not buy it.

#4. Be thankful!!

“Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endures forever.” Psalm 107:1

a few friends climbing the steep mountain

a few friends climbing the steep mountain

What did I like about retreat? Rest, fun, God’s word, and fellowship! Did I mention I also got to ride horses? Wow, can we go to retreat again next week???

I am so thankful for my life and the people in it. “To God be the glory. Great things he has done, so loved he the world that He gave us his son.”

4 Powerful Lessons from Women's Retreat

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And here’s a great new blog for you to check out/read/follow. Someone asked me this weekend what it means to follow a blog. It just means to subscribe via email or social media. Blog subscriptions are free. Just type your email address in, and you’re done. That way you never miss a post. My “subscribe via email” option is in my sidebar.

Denise is a darling and inspiring speaker. She is a woman who knows the Lord well, and she has a kind and loving heart that comes through when she teaches. Plus, she’s downright adorable. Here’s her blog, where she writes about a wide variety of topics. I was most struck by her object lessons and her beautiful home decorating skills: www.refreshher.com

Have you ever gone on a retreat? What did you learn?

 

 

 

Focusing on the Positive of Each Child

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My goal for February is to focus more on the positive things that I love about my children. There are SO many, and as parents, I firmly believe we should be praising them way more than we are correcting them. Why does that sometimes seem hard? It’s all in how we think, isn’t it?

As I read in Michelle Duggar’s book, A Love that Multiplies, I do not want my children to remember me as the mom that fussed at them all the time!

(affiliate link.)

Kids thrive on positive feedback. I know that anything I praise, I will see a lot more of.

My friend Jenifer hosts a #MommyReality Link-up each week on her blog, JenerallyInformed.com. This week’s theme was “what I love.” The more I thought about that, the more I thought about what I love about each individual child. Thanks for the inspiration, Jen!

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love

John David:

I love the way he hugs. Great big bear hugs!

I love the way he sticks out his tongue and raises his arms for us to pick him up.

I love his intelligence. Today a kind nursery worker remarked, “John David is so clever. You know, I’m an educator, and I’ve worked with lots of different kinds of kids. John David really thinks about things. There were two boys that wanted to play with the same cars he did, so John David took the a ball and threw it for them. They ran off and chased it. He seized the opportunity to grab alllllll the cars for himself. I was like, ‘Wow’! Then he did other things too, that I cannot remember. That is a sharp, very aware little boy.”

Of course, we just love hearing things like this!  Hopefully, sharing will come soon…

 

Daniel:

Adorableness

Adorableness

-I love how much he loves to cook. He’s getting so good at it! This boy knows more about baking and cooking than most 18-year-olds, I promise you.

-I love his happy spirit.

-I love how he likes to help.

-I love how he adores his big brothers.

-I love how easily he makes new friends.

-He just started going to Cubbies on Wednesday night. It’s very easy to finish the Cubby verses, because you just say them back to the leader. His leader told me, “We enjoy Daniel. He’s really good at saying the verses back to us. He says ‘dinner’ instead of ‘sinner’, and we thought it was so funny!”

 

Caleb:

Caleb and his fire station full of Skylanders

Caleb and his fire station full of Skylanders

-I love how tough Caleb is.

-I love how innocent and immature Caleb is, for a 7-year-old that looks like a 10 year-old!

-I love how he is always building something: Lego creations, forts, comic strips, robots made from things he found in my kitchen. It can be messy, but it is wonderful.

-I love how Caleb always sticks up for whoever he feels is the underdog.

-I love his love for science.

-Caleb started Sparks last night, after never wanting to go. He came home so excited. “I made new friends!”

-I love the way he prays so faithfully.

-I love the way he will quickly jump up and accomplish any task that you give him to do.

 

Joshua:

There was never a more devoted brother.

There was never a more devoted brother.

-I love the way Joshua handles his role in our family. There was never a more devoted older brother. “Mom! Can I get JD up?”

“Can I fix everyone’s breakfast?”

Can I kiss you all over your face, my child?????  (only if I’m quick and sneaky)

-I love the way he always includes everyone. He can have three neighborhood boys over, and Joshua will still come inside and say, “Daniel, aren’t you coming? We saved you a gun!”

-I love the way you can usually get the true story from Joshua. “What really happened…..Joshua? No one else talk!”

-I love the way he reads and reads and writes and writes. I passed on a few bad traits, so it’s really good to know I passed along a few useful ones too!

-I love how quiet he is in the car. 🙂 I like to be quiet in the car too. In our family of six, Joshua and I are the only ones that don’t need to talk in the car.

-I love the way he tries to keep the peace among his brothers.

-I love his leadership skills.

 

These sweet children make for one seriously happy mom and dad!

Blessed, and trying hard not to forget it!

Blessed, and trying hard not to forget it!

It’s so easy to lose sight of blessings, in the midst of work, work, work, and clean up, clean up, clean up. We really are blessed. Let’s not forget it!

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