Cooking Out

Last Tuesday we went to my Dad's to have a cook out. I guess you could say we celebrated Earth Day by staying outside, not using air conditioning and using the grill instead of the stove. Does this count? Anyway, here are some pictures of our cook out.

She loves to be outside.

Papaw is reading Michaela's favorite book.

Doesn't this food look wonderful? They always cook the best meals!

Michaela is trying to get Aunt Holly's braces. She is facinated by braces.

Michaela is starting to understand how to play with this toy all by herself.

It wouldn't be a cook out at Dad's without playing cornhole.

We had such a great time hanging out. Thanks for having us over and cooking such a wonderful dinner!

Worship as a Lifestyle

Prayer. Singing. Dancing. Reading. Preaching. Teaching. Writing?

Wait. If I am listing some of the ways that we can worship God, can I put writing in the list? Is this really a form of worship?

I had never thought of writing as a form of worship until our pastor said that tonight. He is preaching on the many forms of worship that we, the body of Christ, can take part in.

As a body of believers, I think that we fully understand that prayer, singing, reading, preaching and teaching are forms of worship. Most of us, even the baptist, can accept dancing before the Lord as a form of worship. But we don't think of writing as an expressed form of worship.

So, let me ask. What exactly is worship? In the original language worship is defined as "reverent honor paid to God..." If I am seeking to honor God through my writing, then it is a form of worship. In fact, anything that we do in order to bring him honor is an act of worship.

Worship is not something we do in church before we hear the message. Worship is a lifestyle.

Consuming my Time

I need to apologize for not putting anything out here for the past few days. Once you know my reason you will understand. Two words: Yard Sale.

When the day is over, I'm always glad that we got rid of some things we didn't need and made some extra cash. However, getting ready is the worst!

Who do I REALLY work for?

Have you ever had one of those days at work when you just feel like crying? Whether you work outside of the home or your work is done in the home, I think there are days when we have just had enough!

I had one of those days yesterday and I actually cried.

I work in customer service. (I could probably leave the rest of the story out and you could understand where I am going with that short sentence.) I work with one customer in particular that is just a little bit difficult, but I try my best to go above and beyond what I am told to do in order to make her happy.

And her and her boss still complain.

My boss came to me and told me that we were going to make a few changes with the way we handled the order and I had had enough. My flesh, and my voice, cried out and said, "I can't take her anymore!! I go above and beyond and it's still not good enough for her!! She is burning this bridge as we speak!!"

Immediately, I went to my desk and regretted the way I had acted. I cried. Then I sent an email and apologized for the way I acted. That email could have been sent by the Holy Spirit himself because I had been completely convicted about the situation.

I had to remind myself who I REALLY work for. I have to work as hard as I can, even when the customers are difficult, because this is what God calls me to do. If I work to receive the applause of men on earth, am I missing out on the applause from God? I know one thing: if I miss the applause of God, I have failed. I want to finish well.

Jesus said it best (like always):
If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:41 NIV

I'm putting my walking shoes on today.

Crayola Moments

I just had a "Crayola Moment".

What do I mean? Let me try to explain:

I had just finished my study and was putting away my colored pencils into the box. Being the curious little person my daugther is, she decided to pick up the box and explore. She looked at the box from every angle possible. Front. Back. Very close to her eyes. Far away. I think she even balanced it on her head. Then she decided to shake the box and her eyes lit up!

She loved the noise that the pencils made as they crashed against one another. She would shake fast and then slower. She laughed and smiled with every twirl of her wrist.

Up until now you could compare her fun to eating an ice cream cone in July. In just a moment, she was about to eat her ice cream cone in July in the middle of Disney World. The box came open and she noticed all 12 of the bright colored pencils.

One by one she examined the small pieces of wood. Some were pointy and others were dull. The noise they made when she smashed them together was music to her ears! You would have thought she was Beethoven as she composed her Crayola Masterpiece. Did I mention that she had fun playing with the colored pencils yet?

Alas, it was time to go to bed and the adventure in Crayola land had to end. Her ice cream cone was gone, it was winter and we were back in Kentucky.

This small person reminded me of something huge tonight. How many things in life do I stop and appreciate? Do I stop and thank God for the beautiful sunrise or the flowers that He is blooming right now? Sadly enough, I believe I rush through life without examining His wonders. I become lazy and take things for granted because I have seen them for years.

Maybe I should slow down, re-examine and appreciate the beautiful creation before me.

I need to have more "Crayola Moments".

Showing Lovingkindness

For you all that are married, do you find it difficult to always show love to your spouse?

Well, that's good. For a minute I thought I might be the only one. When we got married, we made a covenant to our spouse, in front of God, to love and respect. We promised to cherish that person and to put them before ourselves.

I would just like to admit that I don't always show Chris love and I don't always show him respect. He lets me down from time to time and in my mind I don't think that he 'deserves' it. But how many times have I promised God this or that but failed to keep the promise? How would I want God to respond to me?

Thankfully, God responds with His lovingkindness. In Hebrew, the word lovingkindness is Chesed. You might find the definition to this word interesting. "A love that remains constant no matter what the circumstance. This is God's covenant-keeping, steadfast love." After I learned what this word actually meant, I have not been able to read this word in Scripture without being amazed at His love for me. He loves me when I sin and He loves me when I bring Him glory. He loves me no matter what the circumstance. Wow!

So who are we to keep love from our spouse? They are fallen humans, just like us. They are going to disappoint us and at times they might even hurt us. What better way to show God's love to our spouse then to love them no matter what the circumstance. After all, we are in a covenant with them and we need to display this covenant-keeping, steadfast love.

This will make it easier for them to show us that same love when we let them down!

My Clown

Grandma took a few pictures of Michaela wearing clown hair the other day. These are just too cute not to show!

She looks a little scared in this one. Maybe she's just confused.
The hair didn't last too long, but then Daddy made her laugh.
I love watching the two of them together. He is such a great dad to our daughter. I thank God that He gave us such a wonderful man!

Small Haiku-Indescribable Meaning

I was reading one of my favorite new blogs and she had a contest posted. You could win a thousand dollars and all you had to do was write a haiku about your mom. This seemed simple at first, but when I started to try to summarize my mom in just 3 short lines, I realized just how hard it was. There are so many things I could say; good and bad. I'm sure you could too!

I started thinking of all the times that she sacrificed for us and encouraged us. Then I thought of all the stupid arguments we had when were trying to survive my teenage years.

My heart just felt a twinge of pain because I realized that we never made it out of my teenage years. I had just turned 19 when she was taken from us in a car accident. I never got to say, "You really weren't that stupid after all."

Can you do me a favor? If you can, let your mom know how much you appreciate her. She is a special gift from God, that no other human can replace. You never know when she might be taken from you.

Gone-You left a hole
That I thought could never be filled.
Thanks be to God; He Can.

Learning Table

Right now Michaela's favorite toy is the Learning Table. Thanks to Fisher Price for this invention. Daddy and I got the table for her on Christmas, but we just opened a few days ago.

This is a great toy for her right now because it allows her to stand up and play. She loves to pull herself up right now!
This table teaches her the alphabet, colors, shapes, counting and much more. When you get enough learning, you can always switch it to the music mode. We love to watch her play!

The learning table is teaching me as well. I am once again reminded how fast she is growing up. When did she start standing up? When did she first desire to do things on her own?

Maybe, just maybe, the laundry isn't as important as I once thought.

Standing on Holy Ground

Why Blog? What is Blogging? Should I enter the world of Blogging? Will I keep up with my blog? What is my purpose in Blogging? What should I title this blog? These questions have been running through my mind recently.

In my first posting, I would like to answer a few of these questions. My first purpose through this blog is mainly to chronicle our life at home. I have already found that I have forgotten some of the details about my daughter's life, and she is only 8 months old! Time goes by so quickly and I want to remember our life. I want to capture our memories.
Secondly, I want to pass on any information that is helping me grow in my relationship to Christ. We are all on a journey to know Him and become more like Him every day. I don't claim to know everything. In fact, the more I learn, the more I realize I have SO much more to learn.

Most importantly, I want these postings to bring Glory to God!

You may ask, "Where did your title come from?".
First, I would like to admit that the idea for the title of my blog is NOT original. The thought came from Donna Otto and her book Finding Your Purpose as a Mom: Building Your Home on Holy Ground. (Which, by the way, I have not read past chapter 1. Not because it's not good, but I sometimes have trouble finishing a book once I start.)

Having said that, I would like to explain this idea in a little more detail. In Exodus 3, God appears to Moses through a burning bush. After calling out his name, the first thing that God says to Moses is " 'Do not come any closer,' God said. 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.' (Ex 3:5)".

The ground that Moses was standing on when God appeared to him was holy. We are New Testament belivers, so once we accept Christ as our Savior the Holy Spirit dwells with in us. So, isn't everywhere we stand Holy Ground? I am reminded every day when I come in the door to take off my shoes because my home is Holy Ground. It is the small piece of the earth that God has given to me to care for.

I want to give God this blog as well. This is more Holy Ground for Him.

Let's take off our shoes together on this journey....