I had a concern, something that was bothering me, just a little bit.
You see, my husband and I agreed that a certain purchase needed to be made, but he hadn't yet given me the "green light" to go ahead and make the purchase.
My husband is a man of his word, so I knew he would give me the green light, but I didn't know when.

Well, a bit of impatience began to creep up. I would think to myself, making the purchase now would benefit me in these ways. . . and I would ramble out a long list of why now was better. So when talking to myself wasn't enough (don't laugh, you know you do it, too!! LOL), I began to "motivate" my husband. You know, little comments here and there, just in case he forgot--translation: I was beginning to get on his nerves! (Never a good idea, Ladies!!)

So, I had a different conversation with myself. Stacie, just because Husband isn't "reacting" to the delay in the purchase, doesn't mean that he doesn't understand the importance of it. Stacie, have you gone to God to help you be patient in the time of waiting???

Well, I went to God and told Him all of what I was feeling. . .several times. . .especially when I wanted to "remind" my husband about the purchase. Well guess what??? Not only did my Heavenly Father give me patience, but He also reminded me that there was work on my part that needed to be done: Stacie, have you finalized the items to be purchased? If your husband asks you right now what the final cost would be, would you be able to give him an answer?

Mmm. In other words, before I go around reminding others what needs to be done, I need to be about my own business first! So, I set to work on doing my part. I still had moments when I wanted to remind my husband, but quickly remembered that before I opened my mouth, I should continue my work and continue to pray.

Well, what do you know! In a random conversation today, Husband gave me the green light!!! But the part that's even more amazing than that is the way God blessed my efforts. You see, I am not perfect. I didn't even get all of "my part" completed. But, I got a good chunk of it finished and because of the Holy Spirit's power, I managed not to nag my husband.

God blessed my efforts! I tried to do it His way and He finished the rest, which reminds me of the Scripture: ". . .being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" (Philipians1:6

What a loving Father, Who gives me good things even when I don't deserve it, Who works in my favor in exchange for all of my worries. What a model for parenting. . . blessing my children for their faithful efforts, for giving it a try.

A Simple Blessing, A Great God

by on Monday, July 30, 2012
I had a concern, something that was bothering me, just a little bit. You see, my husband and I agreed that a certain purchase needed to be ...
photo credit

On Sunday, my pastor preached from Mark 9:42-50 and the message of that sermon is so relevant. . .but isn't that the way of God's Word, always relevant??
Here are some notes I took away from the sermon:

Salt is preservation, it's applied to meat to keep it from spoiling.
So, if we are to be salt in the earth, salt in this world, salt in our culture, then we, as the Body of Christ, are charged with preserving the morals in our culture, keeping it from decay. . .
How well are we doing that?
As the salt of the earth, are we adding the flavor of the Gospel in our circles of association?
Are we preserving our culture, keeping it from moral decay?
Are we participating in things that will lead others astray--the thinking is, if holy men and women are doing "it" (whatever it may be), then it must be okay, right?
Don't you know that we are being watched? Don't you know that we are being looked to for seasoning, preservation, salt?
If the way we live our lives as Christians, as believers, doesn't reflect the character of God, then what good are we? What is salt good for if it loses it flavor? If hardly anything about they way we live sets us apart from the ways of the world, then how can we season those around us? How can we help to preserve them?
No matter what is popular, what is cool, what the latest thing is, who our favorite political candidate is, what everyone else is doing. . . no matter what, we are called to be salt first, our allegiance is to Him, our lives are for Him...Him and Him alone.

". . .but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy."
-1Peter 1:15-16

Salt

by on Tuesday, July 24, 2012
photo credit On Sunday, my pastor preached from Mark 9:42-50 and the message of that sermon is so relevant. . .but isn't that the ...
In my life the past couple of weeks…
    There seemed to be a lot of busyness. Just regular errands, grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, helping my husband in the yard, laundry, etc. It seems like we were trying to get things back on track after having lost power for so long. We finally got someone to come out and cut down our tree that was damaged during the storm. The great thing about it was that the tree company shredded the tree and gave us all of the wood chips from it. My husband was thrilled about that because that saved us a good chunk of change that would have been spent on buying mulch. The pile of wood chips was HUGE!
    We all pitched in to help my husband lay the mulch around the various bushes and trees in our front and back yards. After that there was still enough left over for a friend of ours to load up the back of his pick-up truck so he could use it in his yard. After that, there was still enough for my father-in-law to take 3 loads in my husband's pick-up truck to use at his mother's house. After that, there is still enough left over that my husband's friend wants to come back for another load. We are thankful for the way God has blessed us to give and share.

    We also planted a new tree in place of the old one. We planted a Crepe Myrtle that will blossom pink.
In our homeschool this week…
    We are progressing well considering many of the interruptions over the past few weeks. My oldest daughter is resuming Latin, which is fun. She is also taking flute lessons and she is super excited about that. My younger daughter is eager to begin reading Peter Pan. We listened to it on CD earlier in the year, but she wants to read it herself. My son is having a ball! What I am pleased about is his increased interest to read on his own. We are also beginning to memorize the books of the Bible.
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
    1. If it works for you and your family, stick with it!
    2. Consider joining online groups for homeschooling, such as Yahoo Groups. I joined one for a group in my area so I could know about local homeschool events and resources. I also joined another for Biblioplan, which we used for Ancient History. It's great because I can ask the authors questions about the materials before I make a purchase.
I am inspired by…
    My children, who have learned at an early age how to swim. This is big for me, someone who is not a strong swimmer and who did not learn until adulthood. My son is still learning how to do rhythmic breathing, but he has no fear of the water. My girls just blow me away. Both of them are now able to swim the length of the pool, freestyle and backstroke, without assistance, in deep water!!!  I don't think they realize how much they are teaching their Mama about swimming and conquering fears. I am so glad that they have a life-saving skill.
My favorite thing from a week ago was…
    My son turned 5!!!!!! His only request: a dark blue birthday cake! LOL So we certainly obliged. Did Mama make a cake from scratch? Nope, not this year! My husband picked out a dark blue cake that even had the Avenger's superheroes on it!
    The Avengers decoration actually lights up!
    Now my son plays with it all the time.
    My sweet boy, JR. . .

    being goofy. . .

    and really silly! LOL

    This is one of the shirts my parents sent him for his birthday.
    He ran upstairs to change into it, and asked me to take a picture.
    This is the pose he struck! Funny!
What’s working/not working for us…
    We do bible study at breakfast, before school starts. We've been using a book called The Wonder Devotional Book 1, that our church gave to my girls upon accepting Christ and being baptized. It's good because it covers meaty topics which is great for the girls' developing faith, but it is given in bite-sized pieces so that my son is not totally lost. (I don't know why I'm using food metaphors, but you know what I mean!) Anyway, what isn't working is that as soon as I begin to read from the book, the baby starts babbling. Loudly. And it is hilarious! So, we're working on that!
Things I’m working on…
    Still finalizing my curriculum for the upcoming school year. I have most things squared away, just trying to find the best deals so the budget remains under control
I’m reading…
    It is not an easy topic, the subject of slavery in our country. But it is one that must be told, in truth, in the Light of God's Word. Ms. Foster does that quite well; so far so good.
I’m cooking…
    I made deep dish pizza for lunch today, using my cast iron skillet. Yummy!
I’m grateful for…
    Prayer with my husband.
I’m praying for…
    The people of Colorado.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
    "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." -Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)
    This particular translation of this verse really struck a chord with me.

Busyness and a Birthday

by on Friday, July 20, 2012
In my life the past couple of weeks… There seemed to be a lot of busyness. Just regular errands, grocery shopping, doctor's appoint...


My dad left this note for me on my Facebook page. Now normally, one would say that writing a note by hand implies that the person took extra time and care to send a heartfelt message. I mostly agree with that, but for my Dad, the opposite is true. He's not the most savvy person when it comes to computers, and he types with his index fingers only (lol!). Writing a note and dropping it in the mail would have been much easier for him. So, this note on Facebook means the world to me!

"Today I sit and reflect. When you were just a little girl, less than two years old, you got out of your bed in the middle of the night, came into our bed room, put your little hand on my face and gently shook me until I responded. With those beautiful brown eyes looking at me you said, "Daddy are you happy?" I replied, "Yes, Stacie, I am happy." You then said, "I am happy too." With that being said, you turned and went back to your room and to sleep.That was over 31 years ago and you still make me happy. I am so proud of you. . . . my little girl, his wife, and their mother. Truly a Proverbs 31 wife. Love Dad"

Isn't that sweet?! I told my dad that my eyes immediately became "allergic" to the computer screen--in other words, I teared right up. I'm so blessed to have a dad that continues to affirm and support me.
My dad is wonderful.
A "throwback" picture of my dad and my
daughters when they were 2 yrs. and 5 mos.

From My Dad to Me

by on Monday, July 09, 2012
My dad left this note for me on my Facebook page. Now normally, one would say that writing a note by hand implies that the person took ext...


In my life this week…
We were without electricity from Fri. 6/29 until Wed. 7/5. A major thunderstorm with hurricane speed winds paid our region a visit on Friday. We live in a neighborhood with lots of mature trees and those trees knocked down utility poles and power lines all throughout our city and state. Restaurants and stores were closed, traffic signals were out, hotels (that were up and running) were completely booked. And to top it off, we haven't had a day under 95 degrees in about 2 weeks. It was stressful in many, many ways. The tree in the front yard suffered some damage and we had a few stray limbs in the back yard. Considering the magnitude of the storm, we are so blessed. I am so thankful that my family is well and my home isn't damaged. God is so good.

Pictures of the fallen tree limb in my front yard:

The lighter green leaves you see in the center, at the top
are actually from my neighbor's tree.
Our tree looks a bit weird because it is so thin at the top.


This lamp post is about 15 feet away
from the trunk of the tree. This branch
is pretty big.
In our homeschool this week…
Well, not much schooling going on this week. We managed to squeeze in a few math worksheets and some reading. . .lots of reading, actually.

I am inspired by…
Crochet patterns! I receive various crochet patterns by email from Lion Brand Yarn and I've found some neat things on Pinterest, too. They are inspiring me to begin a crochet project. I usually do my crocheting during the cooler months, but I for some reason, I'm ready to grab a hook and some yarn and go at it!! Here are some pretty pieces I'd like to try:

Lacy Springtime Shrug
I'm hoping I have enough yarn on hand
to get started on this now.

Beach Cover Up--cute!
This is really pretty.
Tunic--this is so cute!
This seems perfect for the fall.

Knit and Crochet Tunic
This is actually a crochet/knit combo.
I can't knit well, but one day I'll tackle it!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
This week was tough, but my in-laws came through for us. They only lost power for about 24 hours, so we were able to stay in their home while our power was out. It was such a blessing because it has been so hot and it was hard to keep everyone cool, especially the baby. It was great because it helped my children through a tough time, especially my son. Thunderstorms and no electricity don't just "bother him" but they really scare him. So the distraction of being at Grand-Dad and Grand-Ma's house was just what he needed.

My least favorite thing this week was…
Getting rid of most of the food in my refrigerator and freezer. It was such a painful process to see so much wasted. I'm sad about it because I keep wondering what I could have done differently to keep more. But with the temps soaring to about 100 degrees each day, the food spoiled so quickly. Husband is in the process of trying to get a stationary generator installed so that we don't waste this much food again.

Questions/thoughts I have…
Wondering about the next school year. I'm still piecing together my curriculum choices. I'm also wondering about ways to help implement a bit of independence in our school days...I'm not sure. I've heard of people doing "work boxes" and having everything laid out for the school year ahead of time. That way, the child is able to just grab all assignments for the day and work through them. Our schedule just doesn't flow that way. Any thoughts?


Things I’m working on…
I'm working on thinning out last year's school work (except for the really important things), and filing it way with our homeschool review forms. All you homeschool moms out there: How much school work do you keep each year? How do you file it all away? Do you file it away at all?

I’m reading…
The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part One: The Witnesses by Sharon Ewell Foster. I signed up for the summer reading program at library, right along with my children! Sharon Ewell Foster is one of my favorite Christian, historical fiction authors.

I’m cooking…
Nothing much. Heating up left overs from when we ate out this week. We tried to purchase "family style" meals this week rather than "fast food" so that it would last us longer.
The inside of my empty freezer. :(


I’m grateful for…
My life, health, strength, my family and my home. . .and for electricity.

I’m praying for…
Those still suffering from the storm, my great-uncle who's in the hospital.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
A pretty song.

Thunderstorms = No Electricity

by on Friday, July 06, 2012
In my life this week… We were without electricity from Fri. 6/29 until Wed. 7/5. A major thunderstorm with hurricane speed winds paid ou...

Are we always honest with our children? I mean do we really tell them truth, particularly about ourselves? Do we tell them about the sin in our lives--what God has cleansed us of, the struggles He delivered us from, the things we are still working with?

I remember when my oldest daughter was about 12 months old, she noticed something "strange" on my leg. Not knowing what it was, but knowing it was different, she would run her little fingers along the edges. At about 18 months old, she'd say, "Flower, Mommy, flower on your leg." I'd tell her that she was right, it was a flower and then she'd look on her own leg, wondering where her flower was. I would tell her that the flower on my leg was a "no-no." And she would repeat, "no-no!"

As time went on and the older she got, the more complex conversations and questions we had about that "flower", which is actually a tattoo of a purple rose.** And the same thing happened with my next daughter, and then with my oldest son, and I'm sure it will happen again with my youngest son. They all have asked (and in my son's case, continue to ask) about that flower: Mommy, who did that to you? Why did you let someone write on you? What did your parents think? Are you sorry you did that? You mean it won't ever come off? Maybe you can erase it. Mommy, maybe you should put a Band-Aid on it. . .

I've made decisions in my life that were not altogether lovely, some of them just downright sinful. But if I close that off from my children, by pretending it didn't happen, then I run the risk of inaccurately portraying myself as "perfect" or "without sin." If I present myself to my children as one who is always right, I can make myself unapproachable for the times when they fail. It is so important to show my children that Mommy is forgiven, meaning I have done some things the wrong way, against God's way, but I have repented and am a living example of God's Grace and Mercy. If I am open and honest and have the difficult conversations about when I'm wrong, I notice that my children are more open and honest when they are wrong.

So, I've explained and shared with my children my faults along the way, as things have come up in life. Not to encourage them to be sinful, but rather to let them know that I am not perfect and I can identify with them during times when they are wrong and need discipline, forgiveness, grace. God disciplines those He loves. . . and I can tell you, I am loved! (Hebrews 12:5-7)

So, I say, tell them. Let us not lie to our children by misrepresenting ourselves. May we present the truth about ourselves (in age appropriate ways, of course!) so that our children are able to know the power of God, that He heals, that He delivers, that He sets free, that He is available to us all, if only we come to Him.

**I know there may not be a consensus on whether getting a tattoo is sinful or not. For me, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart about it. I knew that my body is to be a living sacrifice to God, a temple where the Holy Spirit is to dwell, and that I should not defile it. (Romans 12:1, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Growing up, I always took these Scriptures to mean: "Don't have premarital s*x and say no to drugs!" I was in a VBS class one year and the topic of tattoos came up. The Holy Spirit had me think on this: Consider your physical place of worship. What if someone "defiled" the church building by spray painting graphics and images all over the outside of the church building? No matter how "cute" the images are, I would feel there was a lack of respect for the house of God; it would be offensive. That clicked with me in terms of what I had done by getting a tattoo.

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Tell Them

by on Monday, July 02, 2012
Are we always honest with our children? I mean do we really tell them truth, particularly about ourselves? Do we tell them about the sin in...
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