Stone Sunday Chronicles

Today was a spectacular day full of rest, family, and friends.  I had originally planned to be at an educational conference this weekend with the hopes of finishing the weekend with friends in Frisco.  Ah, but we’ve had one financial excitement after another, so no conference this year nor weekend away.  But I had scheduled a substitute for our pre-k class at church today, so this is how things unfolded in our family on our day of rest.

Since our coffee maker broke, the rule is, whoever wakes up first on Saturday goes to get the coffee…and since we couldn’t get coffee at church today, husband was the coffee man.  After breakfast, he took our youngest and went to finish a paint job he’s working on.  Youngest said he had a fabulous time, and for a while was entertained by a vice by crushing things, as well as two jumping spiders.  By the way, today was no electronics day for either boy.  We’ve been on a break for a week, so they’ve had more free time for screen….and I think they’re fried.  Not the screens, but the boys!

So, no screen time amounted to this LOVELY vision of our oldest on the couch, relaxing and READING.  Oh, I can’t tell you how I adore such scenes.  This is my boy who has been busy from the words “in my womb”….always  on the go.  He played some ball.  Then read some more.  Visited some neighbors.  Read some more.

I piddled.  Now, the dictionary’s definition of piddle is this:  to spend time in a wasteful, trifling, or ineffective way.,  However, I don’t agree with that definition.  Piddling can be productive…and pleasurable.  So that’s what I did.  Nothing hard, but relaxing piddling.   Part of my piddling including drawing with my new coloring pencils our oldest gave me for Mother’s Day.  I also did some repotting of plants.  I made another bird feeder out of an empty vinegar jug.  Love watching my birds at the feeder.

The mid afternoon sent us flying down the road to exchange boys.  Youngest and I headed off to the dance recital of a dear friend -we’ve been friends (and her mom and I) have been friends since they were babes.  We had a lovely time watching such beauty and art in the dancers, their costumes and music.  So all of the dance routines include girls…until….the next to the last; and here come 4 cute boys doing a Hip-Hop routine.  So that was indeed, my dear boys favorite!  And he’s considering dance lessons….hmmmm.  I love exposing to him to the art of dance with such beauty and grace, as well as the different styles of dance and music.  He’s wanting to hear more of the Phantom of the Opera music since that was one of the tunes included.

Our evening landed us at home, with Dad and Bub at the deer lease doing some clean up work.  All were joyfully delighted with my offering for dinner of beans and rice….I have a great bean recipe I’ve been making for many years now and it’s a hit.

So, I’m off to read.  My soul has been at rest today and it has worshiped quietly and joyfully amoung few.

God’s best to you and yours,

Stacy

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Stone Sunday Chronicles

Today began early with a near 4am frantic knock at the door, not once but twice!  I was already a bit awake, but this was a cause for my husband to be woke up.  He handled it like it was nothing (because he’s a near 20 year veteran police officer) – yet something more, because he was protecting his family.  It was a teen boy and girl on our front porch – their friend had been yanked out the car, assaulted and the keys taken by the assailant.  Husband called 911 and didn’t step out until the police showed up.  *Sigh*.  The boy beaten up is someone we are familiar with – several summers back he spent much time down the street at a neighbor boy’s home.  The neighbor’s  momma had to eventually cut all ties with him as he was becoming a bad influence on her son.  I’ve prayed for this boy since then (and since then he continues to run into trouble with the law for truancy and theft).  So last night was a reminder:  keep praying; he’s not hit rock bottom.  And this is not the first time he’s been beat up.  I’m praying he turns around before it gets unsurvivable.  All I could think about last night as I tried to go back to sleep was how his Momma might feel – him being out (in HER car) at 4 in the morning and getting beat up.  How heartbroken I would feel if these were the choices my boys were making.  She’s a single mom, from what I remember.  I know God can rescue Him.  I’m praying He does.  Will you lift him up and ask God to send help for a turn-around?  A do-over?

So, corporate worship we missed, but serving we did 😉  Our preschool class is a high-light of our Sunday.  At one point, I had them sitting on the floor so I could give them some information before we headed outside….and one after the other kept getting up to give me a hug.  It was hilarious and heartwarming!  Now I’m realizing that perhaps it was because my family was out last week!  I completely  believe in having consistency in ANY ministry, but especially with children.  It is so much better for them to be able to adjust to new teachers each August and those same folks show up week after week to love on them and tell them the Good News, not to mention the opportunity to connect with their parents.  JOY!

Husband was out pittin’ yesterday so we had some fine pork but with KFC sides.  Boys did some dish washing and putting away as they are the elected dishwashers since ours is fried.  Maybe we’ll get that replaced next month.  This month:  we are repairing my driver door which was pummeled by a doe a week ago Friday.  *Sigh*  It has been one thing after another….I refuse to give up my joy over these trials that are light and momentary troubles, achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV).  But I have lost it at times…mainly over the dishes, hence, boys are now evening dishwashers.  Tony and I sat in the swing outside Friday evening, watching them through the kitchen window work together – dancing to loud music.  It was lovely!  I think the dishes were clean….

Our evening ended at church to hear our Pastor’s vision for reaching 10K households in 3 years, and what that would mean for our church.  It is very exciting.  I want to be challenged in this area – to reach others for Christ.  I’m looking forward to how God asks OUR family to engage others in the hopes of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ!

Something I saw today:  the heart of one of my boys turn around quickly when he’s realized his response was not respectful (and I didn’t give him the evil eye to let him know).  And the heart of the other boy, who complained about going out to the lake area of our church to pray – and then found fun at the end with some Frisbee, fellowship, fishing, and popsicles.  He apologized on the way home for his bad attitude….not a bad ending, eh?

 

The Stone Sunday Chronicles

Today seems like the best day ever to TRY to begin my weekly Stone Sunday Chronicle where I’ll share a bit of our worship experience.  Why is today the best day ever?  Because HE IS RISEN!  Celebrating this Truth for me and my family brings me great joy.

By God’s grace, we woke up  late but made it to church early enough to get some coffee!  So today, we find ourselves in worship all together, including my youngest who is 9, as on other Sunday’s he is in his classroom.  So while I’m taking notes on my phone app provided, he’s taking his own…my heart exploded with joy as I unfolded his church bulletin I was about to toss in the trash to find the following:

So, I’m thinking he gets it.  That Christ passionately pursues him with a never-ending, never-forsaking love.  To love the heart of Christ is to recognize His heart for you.  My Momma-heart rejoices and turns to pray that my dear one will daily recognize the Truth of God’s love for Him that sent His Son Jesus to the cross to bear the weight of our sins – so that we could be with Him forever.  And that God IS with him NOW, by the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in his 9 year old heart – a seal of promise that my boy belongs to God.

Well, this one also offered up a hilarious moment that I hoped did not turn into a meltdown, as Pastor ask for those wanting to accept Jesus to raise their hand, to which he did.  Why?  Because he wanted to do it – again (he’s already accepted Christ several years ago), so that….he could get the new bible they were offering to new believers (this child needs a new bible…).  So I joyfully promised him a new bible forthcoming.

After worship, our oldest and husband and I then serve in our preschool ministry.  I love seeing these kids each Sunday.  All of the 4 year olds were together as we waited to go see our special guest, an Illusionist that would present the gospel.  Each Sunday, seeds of Truth are being planted in the hearts of these children.  Our family considers it a privilege to be a part of something bigger than ourselves – seed planters that others will come along and water, and God will grow in His time.

Our afternoon was spent with both sides of our family as we celebrated Easter with a burger cookout.  My man is the king of the pit.  We were blessed with great time together.  Our oldest wanted to lead in our prayer of blessing.  Past the food, he was looking forward to some basketball court time with his dad and uncles.  I was delighted to visit with one of my SIL, my Mom, and a friend that stopped by.

May you and yours be blessed,

Stacy

 

 

 

God in Me!

So this is how it went down.  Boys were up at 6:30 this morning (I’d been awake since 4:30; made them stay in there room until 7am and I’d had my coffee.  This morning was BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), which is usually on Wednesday, but holiday week pushed it up a day.  These are generally easy mornings for us as the boys LOVE going to BSF as well as I.  They are tired when we depart from BSF, we pick up lunch, come home and they have to finish cleaning their room and doing their kitchen chore.   They generally eat and play outside while I veg inside for a bit before it’s time to come in.  Rest time is a MUST on BSF days.  At present, school is not a priority on this day, unless we squeeze some in after rest time. 

SO, it’s rest time in our house.  I can tell I’ve got some tired boys on my hands.  I’m tired but I’m not melting yet, although ready for MY nap!  Oldest starts getting grumpy and mouthy while we’re trying to put his bed back together (linen washing day) and by the time he’s snuggled under the covers he’s said “I’m tired of you” and something else I can’t remember…..but hurtful and unnecessary, nonetheless. 

I’ve been meditating on the Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 – back to the basics is what I like to call it.  I’ve been reading it each morning and usually stick around “Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It is not easily angered. ”  Today I added on “Love is not self-seeking.”  So, basically, love is self-less.  Anyhow.  I continue to thank God for His Spirit in ME that I can be patient, kind and not easily angered – and thank you for the opportunties you (God) continue to present that allow HE and I to walk that out – mainly in my home! 

So today, as my ears heard these unkind words from my child, instead of being “easily angered” as I had been in the past, and could have responded differently (’cause I’m human and sensed those things rising and about to bubble forth), I walked away and recalled God’s word that I’d been meditating on – walked back in his room and gently touched him, told him I loved him and to have a good rest with a smile, and asked if I could give him a hug, which he declined…until youngest wanted a hug – and then he was ready for one 🙂 

As I came into the kitchen, I realized I’d just experienced God’s transforming grace in ME.  And rejoiced.  And wrote it down in my journal, thanking Him for His goodness to make me into His instrument of love to my children.  It wasn’t difficult.  It was HIM.  And my boy experienced HIM.  And for that, I exhault HIM and bless HIS Name.

Surviving “no naps”

It was 8:41 pm when I walked out of the boys room – both asleep. Last night it was 8:32 pm. When they do nap (like on a Sunday) they don’t go to sleep until 10:30pm and that makes for a l.o.n.g. day. I can’t remember what happened on Monday night, but I had them up around 7am and they were getting cranky at Noon, at which point I fed them, read to them and we snuggled down in my bed for an hour and half nap!

I’ve been toying with “no naps” even before the holidays. It’s SO easy to go back to napping! Sometimes I don’t sleep well and I need a nap! My youngest (3 in three weeks!) could probably still use a nap, but he doesn’t want to miss anything! One thing I did try was having oldest rest on his bed with a book while I put youngest down for a nap (who likes for me to “lay down me” for him to go to sleep). This worked sometimes and Sammy and I would go do some school work and then take 30 minutes to rest (which Sammy usually fell asleep). And sometimes (when I wanted it to and even when I didn’t), Sammy would fall asleep reading his book! And Monday, I tried waking up Sammy after an hour nap – he woke up, changed positions, and went back to sleep for another 30 minutes!

So these past few days have been fairly easy to work through our afternoon “lull.” Tuesday we had organic produce co-op pick-up at 2:30, and errand, and then I took us to the park for park and bike riding time. Today we had to run a lunch into town for Dad. We’d made ourselves a picnic for the park but it was SO COLD (due to wind and no sun) that I couldn’t finish my lunch! The kids had already ran off without finishing their lunch, knowing their time was short! We’ll return on a day that the sun is out. So we picked up some Wendy’s chili on the way home, ate, I did some clothes folding while the kids played, and then I joined in for some block playing. We snuggled in a big chair for 30 minutes of Sense and Sensibility, then it was time for me to do some kitchen work. And surprisingly, the meltdowns we had encountered previously trying no naps haven’t popped up. I was on the verge of one today, but reigned myself in! LOL!

So here we are. Trying. Highly grateful for more peaceful bedtimes (for they have not always been this way even BEFORE trying no naps). To continue to survive, I hope to plan a walk to see our neighborhood horse we feed carrots to, do some art (I’m still working up the courage to do finger paints…), go see relatives, read, read, read our library books, play a game.

I think we’re going to make it.

Stone Sunday Chronicles – Last week!

Today began early as we were scheduled to serve as MVP (most valuable parent) in Saw’s class today. It began with Tony and I working together to throw a pork loin roast into the oven. Fortunately (albeit grudgingly) I am learning to bathe the night before so there’s only makeup and hair to contend with. Easy breakfast with farmers cheese (tvorog), honey, granola and banana. Sammy would love a return of my “famous Sunday muffins” but he and I are going to have to make it a routine to mix the dry ingredients the night before.

Way before we had kids, Tony and I were involved in a large Sunday school class where everyone was having kids before us. I loved that class and the people in it and was very passionate about encouraging others in their relationship with Christ. One of the members had twins at one point – and then “fell of the face of the earth.” And I remember it making me sad that she no longer attended our class, or church, that I knew of. Perhaps to make it more challenging, I think her husband worked on Sundays. And although our class visited and encouraged her, nothing changed. However, believing that a parent, as a Believer, had the greatest responsibility of leading their child to faith in Christ, and in my opinion, worshipping with other believers is a part of the process of teaching them to live out God’s Word, could not understand her absence and rememember thinking “God didn’t give you those babies for you to drop out of church!” Well, this was my simple prayer when I got home and was changing clothes “Thank you Father, for helping us to work through the challenges of GETTING to church! Thank for for the tenacity and perseverance it often takes on a Sunday morning to not give up and to keep moving us (especially 2 small people!) forward so that we can live out our faith by worshipping with other Believers.” Because believe me, I encountered some small, yet viable opportunities this morning to throw my hands up in the air and say “FORGET IT! IT’s TOO HARD!”

Our time was well spent in worship (didn’t get there for song, only message). Pastor is still preaching on 2 Corinthians and giving/money. It’s been a great series. Tony is PUMPED about starting Dave Ramsey’s course in a few weeks.

Our next tour of duty was changed – we were to be MVP’s in Sawyer’s class (a breeze) but were asked before worship if we could switch to Sammy’s class. My response: I’m not prayed up for that! That class is 30+ strong. But we were willing – and always will be, to step in where we’re needed. Sammy was NOT happy about Momma being in his class, but Dad is the fun man of the two of us and was able to win him over by playing a game of “ball” in the fish tank (no fish or water) and this won him over easily. They divide the boys and girls up after getting started and we were in charge of sharing about Jesus being in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, how hard it must have been for him and how He made the right decisions to lean on/into Father during this testing. We made a 80 link chain yellow/black, representing day and night. My Sammy was a great help. I don’t know who was the rowdiest, the girls or boys. But both groups LOVED my husband. This is how it always is. Our previous next door neighbors had a daugther – she saw me more than Tony (he was working nights at the time), but she ALWAYS remembered his name and would ask about him – and then say “What’s your name again?” Anyhow, we survived 30+ kindergartener’s and were glad to get home!

Since I’m finishing this post a week late, I can’t remember much past that! But there were a few things I thought worth reading. Maybe a sentence or two.