Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When I am weak, then I am strong.

I am a first born child, and I became a Christian when I was 4 years old. I have always tried to do the right thing and make wise choices. I believe that because of that, I have a wonderful life. But sometimes it can get in the way of trusting God the way that He wants me to.

Sometimes, I find myself worrying that I won't be good enough for the task at hand, or that I won't make the right decision, when really, I should be trusting God to be in control and provide what I need. When I do this worrying, I am not experiencing the kingdom of God to its fullest. I don't have the peace or joy that is available to me as a child of God.

The one time in my life when I was able to do absolutely nothing but trust God, was when I experienced the kingdom of God the most. When I was lying on the operating table, about to be cut open with only local anesthesia, and I didn't know whether I had a dead, alive, or brain damaged baby, was when I felt the closest to heaven or the kingdom of God. I have never felt peace like I felt then. The situation was totally out of my control so I was somehow able to totally put it in God's hands.

After the operation, I felt like God was a celebrity at the hospital. I had so many people telling me that they heard about how God helped me through. I was telling God that I was so glad to be a part of bringing so much glory to Him, when it dawned on me. The time in my life when I did the very least and trusted God the most, He got the most glory. Wow!

Maybe that is what God was telling Paul when He said, " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

And maybe Paul understood when he answered, " For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Would you believe that I like....

...Cutting my kids' fingernails, because I know that they are growing up and I get to be a part of it.

...gathering up kid's dirty clothes to be washed, because I imagine all the fun my kids had getting them that way.

...finding that my kids have outgrown clothes or shoes, because it reassures me that they are growing, so I must be doing something right.

...taking Olivia to the bathroom, because I would rather her go in the potty than on the floor.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vacation Pictures

1. My baby brother Anthony, with his baby, T. J.

2. It looks like a mirror image, but it is really T. J. and Ezra in the playhouse.

3. I think my dad and T. J. have the same expression.

4. Levi playing Frisbee with Anthony.

5. Happy 4th of July from Libby!

Playhouse and garden pictures

4th of July Parade

We enjoyed a hot, Georgia 4th of July parade. My two nephews Ezra and T. J were in the wagon and my brother J. R. and his wife Kayla were walking in the parade. My brother Anthony is pulling the wagon. His wife Jennifer was also walking with them, but is not pictured.

I am standing by my mom, pointing out the parade walkers, Grace is standing by my sister, Nadia and Mandi and Libby are watching, too. Levi is not in the picture.

4th of July Picture

The day before the 4th, Mandi wanted to pick flowers to make a 4th of July bouquet. My parents just so happened to have planted red, white and blue wildflowers. My mom made the bouquet.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

They' re Good Kids

The pastor always told Dick, "They're good kids." Then later at home, Dick and I would wonder how he could say that, considering the lastest trouble they had caused. These teenagers, that Dick was pastoring, were getting into major trouble, like stealing their parents car and going for joy rides, and only 14 years old. And they seemed to want nothing to do with the youth group or church in general.

We just couldn't understand how the pastor could keep saying that. Were they pulling the wool over his eyes? Was he making excuses for them because he had known them so long and loved them so much?

Now, I find myself doing the same thing. The kids I am talking about are still in elementary school. I hear that they are suspended the first week of school for fighting. I see them hanging around teenagers that are know drug users. I know that they are rebelious in school, contstantly in trouble.

But these same kids are the ones that I find my self bragging on. I just want to tell any one who will listen, what good kids they are. It hit me the other day, I sound just like our old pastor. How could I be feeling this way?

Could it be that what I really mean is, that no matter what bad choices they make, I realize how valuable they are. They are worth the fight. These are the people that God has placed in my life to fight for, to win them over to the kingdom of God.

Oh, and by the way, no matter what you hear about them, they really ARE good kids!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mandi and Olivia

I found these two playing like this in Levi's room. Olivia is so funny trying to lip sync to a song she has never heard before. I am praying that all my kids will be worship leaders in some capacity.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Like his dad

We have spent the last 2 1/2 weeks at my parents house. I really missed Dick, but I realized that I liked having Levi around because he reminds me of his dad.

My mom came to me with tears in her eyes and said, " Levi just whispered in my ear,
'Do you want my seat on the couch?"

And later, he brought her a pillow and a blanket when she was on the floor with Emily and Olivia, getting them to sleep.

Thank God he is learning from his Dad how to be a gentleman.

" I couldn't know..'

Last Sunday, I took Olivia to the nursery at my parent's church. I knew it wouldn't last long, but wanted to let her try.

Her number flashed on the screen after about 15 minutes. The teachers said she cried off and off the whole time. I held her in my lap to calm her down. I looked at her coloring sheet and talked to her about it. With much feeling she said, " I couldn't know if it was a O or a T or a E."

I knew what she meant was, " I tried to write my name and you weren't there to help me."

Later I saw that she had written " Oii" for Olivia.

It would have been nice if she could have enjoyed the nursery, but I was touched that she was able to express the feelings that she had while she was away from me.

Friday, July 4, 2008

This week...

On Monday we celebrated my birthday with a meal at my parents house and my mom made me a cake. My brother Roger and his family came over. Oh, and we walked downtown and my mom bought all the kids a webkin.

Tuesday, we went to the library's summer program and checked out books. At night, my brother's J. R. and Anthony and their families came over for dinner.

Wednesday, we went to a free movie at the movie theater and had lunch with my brother J. R. and his family. Grace and I went to a class on jewelry making for tweenagers at the library. It was fun and nice to go without the little ones. Grace and I checked out more books.

Thursday, we went with my dad to a sliding rock where the kid waded, climbed on rocks and Grace and Levi slid down the rock a few times. They would have done it more, but the water was about 40 degrees and it wasn't even that warm outside. It was relaxing to be there. My dad was glad he had brought his trout fishing equipment, because they had just stocked the stream with trout. He caught 6 trout and we ate them the next day. Yum!

Today, we watched the parade, and will have a cook out tonight with J. R. and Anthony's families.

All week we have had fresh vegetables from my dad's garden. We picked blackberries and my dad made blackberry cobbler. Yesterday, Mandi picked flowers for a fourth of July bouquet. We put fresh mint in it so it would smell good, too.

Mandi and Levi have enjoyed catching fireflies, too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The playhouse and fort at my parents house

The kids and I are at my parents house in North East Georgia. We will be here for over 2 weeks.

This is the first summer that my parents have had a backyard that my kids could play in. It is wonderful and beautiful. You walk through a vegitable garden that is lined with wild flowers to get to the back part of the yard. That is where the play house, fort, and swing set are. My dad spent last year building all this for his grandkids. The whole area is fenced in and surrounded by trees. I love being able to send the kids down there to play. They like to eat their meals there, too.

A few weeks ago, my brother's kids spent a few days with my parents. They spent that time painting and decorating the playhouse. They went to yardsales and bought furniture and household items to put in the house. Abbie, my niece wrote a song about the playhouse and wanted to make a portfolio about it. Nathan, my 13 year old nephew has actually been playing and really geting into it. He built the fort out of life size lincoln logs that my dad had made. When we got here, Nathan and Levi built a split rail fence to go around the fort.

I am thanking God that my kids have such great grandparents and we are able to be here to make some wonderful memories.