Friday, October 31, 2008
Amy Beth tries a taste of graham cracker at Grandma's house. The face says it all.
David enjoys one of his first meals of spaghetti. I would need to try and edit this one a little bit. I just don't have a good photo-editing program on my computer.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Below is a dream I had in November of 2005. I didn't think my blog would be the place where I would share these prophetic dreams, especially this one. I have shared it with a few people here and there as the Lord led me to, but I felt like I was supposed to keep it close to the chest, so-to-speak. However, I recently felt like God was telling me to put this dream on here - that it was time for it to be released to more than just a handful of people. I have been praying about it, to make sure it was really what God wanted me to do. He has confirmed it over and over again. So, in obedience to Him, here is my eagle dream.
I dreamed I was at a camp and saw people walking around with live eagles tethered to their arms - like trained falcons. I thought it was tragic that these magnificent creatures were being held captive.
I then entered a building and began talking with a mother and her son who had joined the military. As I was talking with them, I heard someone say the eagles were getting away. I rushed outside to see some of the eagles biting through their tethers and flying off. However, to keep them from escaping, someone released some hawks - one hawk per eagle. The hawks would fly up behind the eagle and bite at its feet or belly, which would kill the eagle. I was horrified and ran back into the building to find someone to help and stop the hawks. I saw a friend of mine talking on the phone. I told her what was happening and she said she would get some people to pray. I told her that was good, but we needed to also do something now. I went back outside and asked God to help me do something. When I did, one of the eagles flew down really low, with the hawk right behind it, so that I was able to reach out and grab it. I started to wring the hawk’s neck when I realized it was only a hot-air balloon device. It was easily popped. I started yelling for someone to come help me pop the hawks, but no one came. I was grabbing and popping the ones that I could reach as fast as I could, but there were too many hawks for me to handle by myself.
This was a dream about strategy. When the fight looks impossible, if we will look to our Commander-in-Chief (God), He will give us the strategy we need. But more people need to join the fight.
The Eagle = The Church in America
The Hawk = Demonic spirits - lying and fierce
Biting at the feet and stomach = The attacks were from behind and in the soft, vulnerable underbelly area. The eagles were not aware of it until it was too late. It represents - in part - backbiting among church members. It also represents "wolves in sheep’s clothing". Perhaps the reason the eagle didn’t perceive the threat is because all it saw was another bird and assumed it was one of them. There are people in our churches who - at first glance - look like us. They sound similar, look similar, and even move about like we do. But they are servants of the enemy who will come up and attack us when we least expect it and in our most vulnerable places.
Balloons popping = At first, the hawks looked fierce and intimidating, until I took action. In the flesh, it seemed like a foolish thing to do, but I didn’t take time to think about that. I just reacted to the first thing that came into my mind after asking God for help. We must be like that in the spiritual battles today. When we ask God for His strategy, we must trust and act on what He tell us to do without second-guessing or trying to figure out if it makes sense. Most of the time, it won’t make sense in our limited perspective.
Tethers: Obviously, a symbol of imprisonment. The tethered eagle is still a majestic, powerful eagle, but it is no longer able to soar as it was intended to do. In the long term, this is unhealthy and even potentially fatal to an eagle. And, in order to tether an eagle, it has to be willing to sit there long enough. It allowed itself to be tethered.
This is an analogy of the Church in America. We have dallied with the world and allowed the prince of this world to ensnare us. We still have the power and identity of Christ in us, but we cannot appropriate it to soar as God intended.
God is waking us (the Church) up, and some churches are breaking the tethers which never really had any power to hold us in the first place. This has enraged the enemy, and he is sending out his war-birds - his "birds of the air" - to attack the churches who are learning to soar again. The birds are the demonic spirits over the media, politics, and people’s voices. Through spiritual attacks, intimidation, and the court of public opinion, these hawks are seeking to destroy the churches that are remembering how to soar.
The body of Christ also needs to learn how to discern between true fellow believers and the ones who are there to attack us. There are those in the Body of Christ who are there on assignment from the enemy to disrupt, discredit, disorganize, and ultimately destroy. (And they may not even realize it.) Like Christ, we should love everyone who comes to us, but also use discernment to recognize who you are dealing with and be ready to call them out if it becomes necessary.
As individuals, it is our responsibility to stop the hawks. We cannot sit on our hands; we cannot just pray, even though that is a major part of the strategy, and we will not succeed without prayer. It must be our first priority. And we cannot be intimidated by these fierce-looking spirits. We must get out onto the field, ask God for His strategy, and reach out our hand (in faith) to whatever God tells us to do. When we do, we will realize the hawks are nothing but hot air and will easily be destroyed once they are within our grasp - as long as we are acting within the power of the Holy Spirit.
Friday, October 24, 2008
So I did what I always do when I've tried all my options and failed - I prayed about it. (You would think that I would have thought of this first, since I am the prayer team coordinator for our worship ministry at church, wouldn't you? It is disappointing to see how often I still try to rely on myself to get things done. No wonder we are referred to as sheep in the Bible, for I am just as dumb as one sometimes when it comes to submitting and depending on Him for everything. But I digress.) I asked God to show me what I needed to do to get Amy Beth interested in eating.
Last night I was very tired, so instead of preparing supper when I should have, I sat and watched "America's Funniest Videos" with the boys. They showed a clip of a little boy (younger than 2 years) who would throw a fit if you tried to make him eat a cookie or piece of cake, but ate broccoli like most kids eat a cookie. He couldn't eat it fast enough. I thought to myself that maybe that was Amy Beth's problem - maybe this was God's way of showing me what to try. Maybe Amy Beth didn't like the fruit and cereal stuff, but would like the non-sweet vegetables and such. The thought had crossed my mind before, but I never seriously considered it because my 2 boys have major sweet tooths (they take after Preston). So this morning I gave her some zwieback toast, which she enjoyed far more than she ever did the sweeter-tasting biter biscuits. Then we tried a jar of peas - and she LOVED it! And after eating her fill, she laid down and went right to sleep - which she has not done in a couple of days, but fighting sleep and crying instead.
I guess she's going to take after me. When I was little I didn't like sweet stuff, either. Too bad I grew out it.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Part of our group and the field where most of the activities took place. Look how blue the sky was. It was a gorgeous day!
The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
Petting the pony/baby horse (depending on who was petting it.)
A view of the lake through the trees on our hike back.
Beautiful butterfly on some beautiful flowers.
And last but definitely not least - Harris and his pumpkin. When we got home, he was so excited to go put it out on the front porch. He has shown everybody who has been to our house his pumpkin and the spot he picked for it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This is the dress and hat without the dress-coat.
This is with the dress-coat, which I liked much better.
The boys said they didn't like the hat because it made her look like a chef, and she was a baby - not a chef.
So what do you think? Not bad for $25, but still way more than I usually pay for clothes at Kids' Market.
Friday, October 17, 2008
So the other day, Monday, to be exact, I had 3 big coincidences. The first one actually started on Sunday night. I came home from "Adoration" at my church (which was SO good. They're always very worshipful, but the worship went to another level that night. Wow! But I digress.), and was fixing myself something to eat. For some reason, my mind started replaying a Christmas show that I had last seen as an older kid - Claymation Christmas was the name of it I think. I was remember one skit in particular where claymation bells were playing "Carol of the Bells" by hitting themselves upside the head with mallets. It was hilarious! The memory was playing so clearly in my head that I was smothering my laughter so that I wouldn't have to explain it to my husband, who would think I was nuts (and rightly so, probably). The next morning, my mom called me on my way to take Harris to school and asked if I could stop by Lowe's (where she works) on my way home and pick up Rusty, my brother, whose car is currently out of commission. He wanted to hang out with me for a while. So one of the first things he said once we got back to my house is, "Guess what I watched last night? Old home movies and things we recorded over the years. Do you remember Claymation Christmas?" !!!!! I was thinking about the show when he was watching it!!!! Now THAT is a seeming coincidence.
The second coincidence happened on my date with my husband that night. We were watching the movie, "Billy: the Early Years". (A great movie about Billy Graham - how he got saved and called to be an evangelist. It was so funny, moving, and convicting! I highly recommend seeing it! But, I digress again.) The actor playing young Billy was very easy on the eyes, and his mannerisms and the sense of humor that was written into the part made me think of Darrell, my other brother. I was wondering if maybe Darrell was meant to be an evangelist - or at least someone whose livelihood was in full-time ministry. In one scene, Billy is leading his first convert to the Lord and he asks the man's name. The man's name is Darrell! What a "coincidence"!
The third one happened at dinner after the movie. Our waiter (excuse me, I mean server) came up and at first I thought it was one of my step-father Hugh's, sons. (Yes, that would make him my step-brother, but I don't think of him like that. No hard feelings. It's just we were mostly grown when our parents got married, so we have never lived together like siblings.) Anyway, this guy had the same hair style, build, size, everything. He even sounded like him! All of this I take in within a couple of seconds. The server then introduces himself - his name is Brandon, which is Hugh's son's name!!!!! What are the odds, people?
So now I am prayerfully trying to figure out what God is trying to show me with these 3 big "coincidences" in one day? And all 3 had to do with either a brother or step-brother? Very weird. I almost wish I did believe in coincidences so that I could just chalk it up to that and forget about it.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
So tell me. Did you prefer the old layout, or do you like this best? Let me know!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So I have been considering it ever since. What is the deal with brand names? I once thought maybe the brand named clothing was a better quality, but Rachel changed my mind about that when she wrote about her experience buying designer jeans. I know for some people it's a status symbol thing, but is that really the only reason? Is it just a matter of status, or is it something more? I would love your input into this and help me understand. Not that it will change how I feel about brand name versus generic, but I would like to know what makes someone pay, say $200 for a pair of jeans when a $30 pair work just as well? Can someone enlighten me?
Oh and for those who hate a dangling story, I ended up choosing the brand name dress. Not because it was a brand name, but because Amy Beth didn't have a dress that color. She'll be wearing it to church Sunday.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Me: Goodness, are you ok?
David: Yeah (we are still working on the "yes ma'am and yes sir" thing). It went down the wrong way.
Me: Oh, I'm sorry.
David: It turned left.
Me: It did what?
David: It turned left, but it was supposed to go right. That's where the food is supposed to go.
Me: Ohhh. So if the food is supposed to go to the right, what is supposed to go to the left? (I have a couple of ideas of what he'll say - i.e. my drink, my spit, etc. However, as usual, David comes up with something out of left field.)
David: My energy goes down that side!
My other David story for this week is when we were on our way home from shopping at Kids' Market - that's another story for another post. He was so good, though, that I let him pick out a toy while we were there. He picked out a bag of Hot Wheels cars, of course. They were in a ziploc bag that was also taped. On the way home, he managed to pull the tape off. Now when David has something that needs to be thrown away, he wants it thrown away now. I normally have a trash bag in the car for such things, but I took it out recently and have not replaced it yet. So David wanted me to take his tape right now! I told him I was busy driving. I suggested he stick it to his leg and when we got home, I would take it off and throw it away. He thinks this is a good idea. However, a few moments later, he starts telling me the tape is hurting his leg. Now if you have a 4 year old, you know that they sometimes say something is hurting just because they're not happy with something. I assumed this was the case. I explained that the tape could not possibly be hurting his leg and we would be home in a couple of minutes. David continues to complain, so once we stop at a traffic light, I turn around to take his tape from him - and see why it didn't feel so good. He had pulled up his pant leg and stuck the tape TO his leg! I guess I should have been more specific. It just struck me as hilarious that Mommy would make such a seemingly bizarre suggestion, and he happily (and literally) obeyed without question. I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. David did not see what was so funny about sticking tape to his leg, which made it even funnier to me. Although, it may be one of those, "You had to be there" moments. In which case, you should have been there.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
10) Much more time to shop. Workers' sale starts at 4pm and goes to Midnight. You might think you don't need that much time, but when you're shopping for clothes for 3 kids for the whole season, it takes a while.
9) You learn the "tricks of the trade" (i.e. - how to shop the sale). This is not like shopping at a department store. You gotta come prepared with a laundry basket or personal shopping cart, a blanket to spread on the floor to sort through all your grabs and decide on what you're actually going to buy, a drink (am I the only one who gets so dehydrated while shopping?), and a list of what you need and what sizes your kids are (if you're forgetful like me and can't remember - or accept the fact - that your oldest baby is wearing a size 5.)
8) You get to know the ladies who founded Kids' Market - Paige and Kim. They are 2 awesome women. They work harder than all of the volunteers put together and they genuinely appreciate and value their workers. Even though I haven't worked the sale in a year, they remember me and what was going on in my life when I last worked for them (my pregnancy). I just think that's remarkable for 2 women who are so busy and deal with so many people, and who only see me twice a year! They also have a personal relationship with Christ and begin every workers' sale event with prayer.
7) You get to know a bunch of other mothers in the community. I cannot tell you how many people I see around town that I think, "That lady looks so familiar to me." And then I realize it's because I worked with them at the sale. I can't say that I've developed bosom friends through the sale, but I have a large group of acquaintances that I run into all the time, and it's just fun seeing them again at every sale and catching up on each other's kids and things.
6) Did I mention you shop before everyone else? If you want to find the best deals, you have to get to the early workers' sale. You will find great stuff throughout the entire sale, but the best clothes at the best prices disappear fast. We're talking a boys' shirt and pants church outfit for $6 at the workers' sale versus the same type of thing for $12. Obviously, the steal deals go fast. I also hear of contributors who camp out in front of Kids' Market the Friday night before the first day of receiving sale items so they can get the first "priority numbers" and be the first people through the doors when the contributors' sale starts. Why go through all that when you can just volunteer to work for 1o hours (10 hours that are pretty much your choice to schedule) and go to the workers' sale, which is before the contributors' sale?
5) The interesting conversations you get to have or listen to while working. While helping a person get their tags pulled in order to check out, you can discuss everything from the weather, to sports, to kids, to achieving world peace. I love it.
4) Dinner is served. One way Kim and Paige show their appreciation to the workers is by feeding us at the workers' sale. Their husbands I think both work at Chick-fil-A (managers or owners or something) and so they bring in Chick-fil-A for us: chicken filet sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, chips, brownies, sodas, and nachos and cheese. They also keep bottled water on hand for us throughout the night - all at no cost to us. So we shop for a couple of hours, then they bring in the food, and we all sit around and eat dinner together. It's wonderful and so much fun!
3) NO kids at the workers' sale.
2) NO kids at the workers' sale.
And the number 1 reason I love volunteering for Kids' Market: No kids at the workers' sale!!!! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and I like yours, but to me it is sheer luxury to shop for their clothes without hearing mine or anyone else's asking when will it be time to go home. During the public sale, kids are running all over the place, babies are fussing or crying, and at times it feels as if pandmonium were about to break out at any moment It's usally not that bad, though. But like I said, shopping for clothes with no children in sight - ahhh bliss.
Kids' Market's Fall and Winter sale is going on right now. They will be open this week until Saturday, and again next week Monday through Saturday. Next Thursday, most things will be 25% off and next Friday and Saturday, most things will be 50% off. If you have any questions you can check out their website or leave a comment here and I will try to answer it. Happy Shopping!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Now, on a shallow note. (That seems to be my theme for these Thankful Thursdays - a deep and a shallow one) I am thankful for the new bag I bought earlier this week. I'll have more on that later. Oh, I'm also thankful for being able to go to the Southern Women's Show with my mom and new sister-in-law later today! It will be so much fun!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
And here it is stuffed with all my stuff that I would take to church or Bible study. I don't have it propped open, it gaps open like that because of all the stuff that is in it.
Here is the new bag with all my stuff in it. There are two pockets on the inside. One is the perfect size for my pocket planner and pens, and one is the perfect size for my cell phone. It also has 2 big pockets on the outside - on each end. It's a great place to keep my keys. No more hunting in the bottom of the black bag to find them!
So, if you're in the market for a new bag, go by Lifeway. They had them in different sizes and another color (kind of a champagne/beige-ish color). My bag is the biggest one they had. Did I mention I love it?