Prayers for my husband from his head to his feet | Day 14

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Pray for discernment...

Father God, give my husband a discerning heart to know Your great love for him and the great plans You have for him and our family. Plans to prosper and not to harm, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Help my husband to trust in You with all his heart, to not lean on his own understanding, but acknowledge You in all his ways, so he may discern what direction he should take for himself and for our family (Proverbs 3:5-6). 

You have said, O Lord, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live, and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Father, I pray You move my husband’s discerning heart to choose life and blessing every single day. I pray You move his heart discern Your instruction, knowledge and wisdom instead of earthly riches and selfish gain (Proverbs 8:10). Happy, blessed, and admired is the man who seeks and finds godly wisdom and the man who gains understanding and discernment from the Word of God and learns from experience (Proverbs 3:13).

Father, give my husband boldness and courage as he assumes the role of father, husband, businessman & leader. Help him to filter and sift through [all evil], with spiritual eyes and godly discernment, as he leads our home (Proverbs 20:8). Teach him good judgment, discernment, and knowledge as he believes, trusts, and relies on You, O Lord (Psalm 119:66). 

Through my husband, I pray, spreads everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Christ; that my husband is the sweet fragrance of Christ [which ascends] to God, and discernible among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;  to the latter one a fatal, offensive odor, but to the other a living, fresh, life-giving aroma (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Give him discernment when temptation is waiting to ambush him. I pray he does not stumble and does not want to stumble into that which will snare him into sin. Help him to preserve sound judgment and discernment and not to let them out of his sight - for this brings him life. I pray he can discern between the way that seems right but leads to death and the right way that brings life. I pray his confidence is in you and you are able to keep his feet from being snared (Proverbs 2:11-12; Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 2:12-26; Proverbs 4:23).

And Lord, I pray my husband walks carefully, living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil, with all wisdom and discernment making the very most of his time on earth, and taking advantage of each opportunity, using it with wisdom and discernment, because the days are filled with evil. I pray he not be foolish and thoughtless, but discerning and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-17). In Jesus' Holy and Precious Name.


around here.

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Around here Jeff and the boys are putting in some hours out at Compassion Christian Church for Journey Build days. Jeff is on the set building team and one of a team of three leaders in charge of building a petting zoo slash barn stalls. The Journey is our churches big interactive and outdoor Christmas production that takes you on a journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. Because they're expecting 30,000+ people to attend this year they need upwards of 1000 volunteers to pull off the two week event plus tons more in these months prior to getting it ready. It's a grueling two weeks but, man, is it worth it!

Around here I am walking...and walking. Every day. And it's a good feeling. Has the numbers on the scale changed? Nope. Since, I'm a glass half full kind of girl I'm calling that a positive thing. Because numbers on the scale can go down - but, they can go up too. If the numbers haven't changed, it may mean it'll take a while to see some results from all the walking, but, the numbers on the scale aren't climbing. And that, Praise God, is a good thing.

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Around here we're laughing and crying at the same time. We are being lauded by our friends for our creative discipline of our boys, laughing on the outside, but we are crying on the inside and just between us because we are having to become creative in our parenting when normal discipline isn't working. It has been months since graduation and while the agreement was college or a job - neither is on the near horizon. So, first we had sons living outside for most of the day and all of the night, only allowed inside once I come home. It's hard core but we were at a loss. We just don't understand their lack of motivation to get a job. With some guidance from some godly men we've are even getting more creative: we moved them back inside and we'll be hitting their wallets...Maybe, this will be the push...and just like that John has a job.

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Around here I'm pulling out a canvas, acrylics, and paintbrush and doing some creating using the inspiration found on my Art Inspiration Pinterest board. I'm going with Indigo...blues, an art piece for our bedroom wall above the bed. I've procrastinated too long. I know why, too. 

It's fear.

Plan and simple. It's that whole, 'I'm not a creative so anything I create will be unworthy of display'. I know, right? Crazy thinking. But, there it is.

So, I'm overcome my fear and I painted.

Around here small group is starting up again. I'm soooo glad! We're beginning with our traditional, as that is what it has become, low country boil. Everyone brings something for the boiling pot plus a side to share, or an appetizer - or two; maybe, a dessert, a salad or some chips and dip. Yummy food. Even more fantastic is the fellowship, the friends - and laughter ensues. After our opening get together we'll meet at our place once again, weekly, for bible study, prayer, and fellowship. It's a good thing. We'll be diving back in for some Andy Stanley videos because he's Bible-based, plain speaking, and tells-it-like-it-is - biblically. And then there's desserts.

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Around here Jeff shifts construction job sites. After 20 months driving 1 hour 1 way and 1 hour home each day he (and we) are looking forward to the 30-minute drive reprieve. We're not sure how long he'll be on this job site as it is in its last 7-weeks of work. But, there is a possibility a phase II will be solidified before all is said and done. Unfortunately, it is still very long days and no days off! But, man, he did a beautiful job on The Inn, at Palmetto Bluff.

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Around here we've welcomed (long-distance) our fifth grandbaby! We were introduced to Samuel Cole Louk on August 13. And I am anticipating, anxiously awaiting, a month before I can get the time off to visit my newest grandson.

Around here I stepped out of my comfort zone recently and listened to the nudging that has been going on by the Holy Spirit for the past several months, more loudly now that my body has been mostly cooperating, and visited Hope Academy here in Savannah for an interview to be a Homework Coach, once a week. It was a delightful, inspiring, endearing conversation with the missionaries of the academy. I can't wait to receive my first call to serve a struggling student.

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Around here I've made a few changes to our living room decor. Nothing biggie. A couple end tables and a couple lamps. And, 4 Engineer Prints of my 4 oldest grandchildren. Whilst 'tis true I have 5 grandbabies, to be fair I'll wait about a 8 months to a year, like I waited for Noah. It's only fair. I love the end tables, the lamps (even though the picture showed them a tad darker), and the professional photos turned Engineer prints look way better - and professional - but, super cheap! 

 

 


Friday, with a cup of coffee | 8

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Are you raising your kids to be kind? Here is a really good article on ways to teach your kids to be kind. One thing we have done over the past couple of years: If we receive a compliment from someone about our kids (they're so polite, interesting to talk to, love how they serve others, my kids love your son because he doesn't treat like a kid, etc...) we've rewarded our sons. We wanted them to know how great it is that others see them as kind, or polite, or someone with a servant heart.

"Happiness is a decision. Dare to be happy

For our next road trip, over a couple of days, I'd like to take the ultimate Georgia Waterfalls tour visiting 10 of the most stunning waterfalls in the country. We've been to Anna Ruby Falls and can wholeheartedly attest to its beauty and awe. As my body is not in near the painful constitution as the last adventure trip to a waterfall, I believe I could do this. Let's!

"It’s not what you do that matters. It’s how you do it. Do what you love and while you do it, make much of Jesus.” Are we making our purpose in life harder than it is? Is it as easy as do what you love and while you do it, make much of Jesus? Or do what you have to do to pay the bills, take care of family, do the hard stuff - and make much of Jesus? Glorify God in whatever you do.

A photographer takes absolutely stunning birds-eye shots of the world's most beautiful beaches - and how he does it!

Why one woman wrote a memoir called Ruined.

Really good. A beauty quiz you won't find in magazines.

What I learned this summer.


30 Day Walk 1 Mile Challenge | Update #2

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So, here's the deal. 

I missed a couple of days.

I had to talk myself into not sweating - the failure.

I mean, the small stuff.

Both days of not walking one mile was because of my pain levels. It just hurt too much to walk.

To be quite honest there were some days I barely walked a mile.

On the bright side, there were some days I walked; and walked; and walked.

With one week left on my challenge my plan, barring pain, is to finish strong. To overcome those trying-to-walk-on-the-weekend-is-a-bear days, and exceed total miles each day over 2 point something or other.


52 New Books in 2016 | 48

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The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.

Hum. Not sure about this one. Rave reviews abound for this self-help book on wholehearted living and many from those people in the blogging world that I've enjoyed reading for many years - but there is that nagging thought-provoked, "why are you leaving God out?" Brown doesn't exclusively, wholeheartedly, leave out God but she doesn't put Him first, either. This is where self-help books and I always seem to go askew. 

That being said, Brown amassed some really good talking points, much of which requires the practice of...authenticity, gratitude, wholehearted living, or cultivating of...hope, joy, faith, laughter...and much of which I've gleaned from experiencing everyday, ordinary life; where I have found the sacred in the ordinary; it is necessary to practice gratitude and not just have an attitude of gratitude and joy is totally tied to gratitude.

The chapters on shame were enlightening because I experience this, or have experienced multiple times over, usually because of someone's actions for which I suffer the shameful consequences; when I should find my worth in Christ (my words not Ms. Browns'), but I can't seem to...

So, here's the deal. The book is good. But, not great. It will be one I keep on my shelf for reflection therefore I will give it a...

Rating: 7.5


Prayers for my husband from his head to his feet | Day 13

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Pray for his hands...

I pray, O Lord, that my husband will continue to bless You as long as he lives, lifting up his hands to You in prayer (Psalm 63:4) for You desire men everywhere to pray with holy hands lifted up to You, free from sin, anger, and resentment (1 Timothy 2:8). Lord, I know you want my husband to stand in your holy place, to have clean hands and a pure heart. May You cause him to lift up his soul to you and receive your blessing. As he seeks your face and lifts his hands in praise may you lift up the gates of my husband's heart that You, the King of glory, might come in and rule his life with strength and might (Psalm 24).

I pray that whatever my husband's hands find to do, whether he is at home, at his job, or elsewhere, as long as it lines up with Your will, then he will be led to do it with all of his might, working as if working for the Lord, and gaining your favor (Ecclesiastes 9:10, Colossians 3:23).

I pray my husband never lets go of you, holding onto you continually as You remind him that you hold his right hand and guide him with your counsel. Even though his flesh may be weak, or fail, You are the strength of his heart and his portion forever (Psalm 73: 23-26).

May my husband always know with certainty the power and the strength of his hands have never and will never produce wealth for him, but always remember it is the Lord God, who gives him the abilities, power and strength (Deuteronomy 8: 17-18). I pray with those abilities, power, and strength my husband works [ with his hands] with all diligence and is righteous before You; for You, O Lord will not let the righteous or the lazy hands go hungry; you thwart the cravings of the wicked and bring wealth to diligent hands (Proverbs 10:3-4). I pray my husband has skillful hands and serves his King above all (Proverbs 22:29).

I pray he willingly opens his arms to the poor and extends his hands to the needy (Proverbs 31:20). I pray he serve wholeheartedly, as if he were serving the Lord and not people, because the Lord will reward whatever good he does (Ephesians 6: 7-8). I pray he always obtains the favor of the Lord in whatever the work of his hands devise (Proverbs 12:2). In Jesus' Name, I pray.

 

 

 

 


Stories 2016 | Star Wars - Hogwarts

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Honestly, I didn't know what to journal. So, I shared with Samuel all about Star Wars and Harry Potter and how his family loves the movies - but, his Grammy loves the books more! Samuel's onesie is Ashley's favorite of all the onesies she has: I am a Jedi Like My Father Before Me...Unless Hogwarts sends me a letter like my Mother...It's perfection!

And well, so is Samuel!

Truly, I had fun putting this page together. I downloaded a Star Wars font and a Harry Potter font from DaFont so I could type the Star Wars/Harry Potter title. I added phrase stickers from various Ali Edwards Story Kits, Heart, Magic, and Little Things - kits. Added a couple embellishments, used a silk screen journaling block, also Ali Edwards, and I love it!

Come on! Who wouldn't love this little guy, too!


Read a book that intimidates you and 52 New Books in 2016 | 47

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For my 2016 Reading Challenge, read a book that intimidates you, I chose Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It's a dystopian science fiction novel that passes back and forth between past and future, interweaving a middle-aged famous actor-playboy and the rippling effect of his death, a young girl (of the past and the future as part of a caravan of traveling actors and musicians), and a catastrophic, flu pandemic that near-erases the past and changes civilizations future. Dystopian fiction intimidates me because on my own I don't often understand the main themes of the genre, the hidden meanings behind the words. But, Station Eleven came with rave reviews. While I haven't had much luck with 'rave reviewed' books, I'm after new and different and stretching myself beyond (J.D. Robb). Ha Ha.

The first trip from past to future in Station Eleven was a shambles - for me, but as soon as I caught on, I was hooked. And, somehow I, early on, recognized one of the main themes of the book, survival is insufficient, which is lettered on the lead caravan of the Traveling Symphony, and a line from an old Star Trek episode. Simply surviving is not enough to make a life. There has to be something more. Another theme was relationship, fraught throughout the book, most, in some way centered around the famous actor's life - and in his death. Very interesting weaving of how one person can impact so many in different ways.

This was not a quick read by any stretch. It took me days to get through as I'd get sucked in for a large stretch and then would need to put it down because it weighed heavy over me. But, man, this was a sterling piece of fiction.

This is also book 47 in my 52 New Books in 2016 challenge. Which means only 5 more books to go!

Rating: 9.5


Prayers for my husband from his head to his feet | Day 12

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Pray for humility...

I pray my husband worships you in humility; that he enter's Your gates with thanksgiving and Your courts with praise; giving thanks to You and praising Your name. For You Lord are good and your love endures forever; Your faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:4-5). I pray, in humble gratitude, my husband lets the word of Christ dwell in him richly as he teaches and admonishes others with all wisdom, and as he sings psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in his heart to God (Colossians 3:16). I pray, with an abandoned heart, my husband does not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but makes himself nothing, with all humility, and serves Christ through others (Philippians 2:6-7). Like Jesus did, I pray my husband, with an obedient heart, humbles himself and becomes obedient to the will of God (Philippians 2:8), even unto death.

I pray Lord my husband does not allow pride to overcome him, for that will only bring him disgrace; instead, I pray he has a humble spirit which will bring him wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). As humility is the fear of the Lord and its wages are riches and honor and life (Proverbs 22:4), I pray Lord my husband has a healthy fear of You, O Lord, full of reverence and awe. Following after You, I pray my husband rides forth victoriously for the cause of truth, humility and justice (Psalms 45:4). 

I pray O Lord, my husband seeks after You, seeks righteousness and humility, and perhaps, O Lord, You will shelter him against wrath (Zephaniah 2:3). And Lord, that my husband would do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but, with humility value others above himself, not looking after his own interests but to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4). For You O Lord oppose pride but give grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5)

As one chosen by You, holy and dearly loved, I pray my husband clothe himself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I pray, in humility, he relinquishes any bitterness or grudge against another and with the grace and mercy You lavished on him give him the power to forgive (Colossians 3:12-13). I pray that my husband heaps good deeds done in humility on others showing himself wise and understanding (James 3:13). I pray also he wisely chooses his words, being careful to not boast for that is never good and is not worthy of the Lord (1 Corinthians 5:6). Let someone else praise him, and not by his own mouth (Proverbs 27:2), but if his must boast may his boast be in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:31).

As Jesus was the servant of all and He made Himself of no reputation I pray my husband evaluates his heart and repents of any lack of humility or servant-hood in his life and pray he takes time being humble - and still - before the Lord. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve... (Mark 10:45) in humility. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


friday, with a cup of coffee | 7

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Photo source

You were not meant to do what you love, you were meant to do what you're good at.

Shauna Niequist for Storyline blog, You're Never Going to be Fully Ready for anything.

Here are 5 Truths about Caring for Yourself.

Beautiful post Before Helpless Turns to Hopeless

Making Things Happen versus Letting Things Happen

I love this tote bag - in Cognac; I love the word Cognac. It would be on a words that I love list.

My love of everything books is growing so it's not surprising I found the most beautiful libraries in the United States, all fifty states, each with its' most beautiful library an enjoyable pursuit. Unfortunately, the library my husband's company built didn't make the cut for the state of Georgia - oh well - the one selected is beautiful too.

A beautiful display of photographs during an Altiplano Expedition by Daniel Kordan. The Altiplano is an Andean Plateau, in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest and is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside Tibet. Just amazing!

How a special needs sister teachers about the love of Christ.

Our church recently moved into a 2100-seat worship center; an add-on to our already-large church (which has an additional building for Student Ministries and another for Adult Ministries) plus 5 other campuses within a 60 minute drive. I had no qualms about why, as a church, we were doing this: lead more to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. We needed the space. This article speaks volumes about the why of a bigger building.

I would love a spiritual retreat for my spiritual health. Wouldn't you?

Having trouble controlling your emotions, not taking care of yourself, neglecting what's important, these are a few of the Seven signs you are too busy.