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

 

 

 

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Out from the Holiday fog

Well, from Thanksgiving prep to  New Year’s Day (and to me, after the complete first week of the New Year), it’s time to come out from the holiday fog!

I’ve not blogged b/c there are several things I wanted to blog about (some started and waiting in unpublished) but could never finish them.  Since I’m still a recovering perfectionist I’ve recently realized I’d slipped back into the “All or Nothing” realm.  Now that’s a real fog!  So here I am, ready to hit some highlights of the past few weeks!

  1. Christmas was great – I had tears in my eyes as I saw the excitment of my Sammy over his Jet airplane.  He has had such a great time with that toy.  As he and SW were opening gifts from our extended family he touched my shoulder and said “Mom, this is the best Christmas ever.”  What a kid!  It was a true blessing to have our families over for dinner. 
  2. My favorite gift – 2 “hot-pad” gloves so I’d stop burning myself using a dish towel.  I put this on and pretend to be a crab with my children, so they serve double duty!  A gift I received from my mom that I’ve been wanting for a long time but would never buy were some thirsty stone coasters with our initial – they are the prettiest and I’d never seen them in this design.  They are perfect! 
  3. This year we didn’t draw names and exchange with our extended family.  I didn’t like that and hope to do something different this year.
  4. I received a wonderfully unexpected gift from a new friend after Christmas – they were homemade goodies that included truffles!  WOW!  She’s my friend forever 😉  Along with some vanilla syrup for a homemade vanilla diet coke.  Thanks, M!  Hugs to you!
  5. New Year’s Eve was uneventful – I think everyone was in bed and I was left reading a book, which was ok for me.
  6. Speaking of books, I’m reading T.L. Higley’s Shadow of Colossus – very good.  I’m always struck by the bookcover and this draws me in.
  7. We’ve started painting the trim work in our home.  Inch by inch, everything’s a cinch.  This is me leaving “All or nothing” or the house would never get painted!

Well, one kid needs me in the kitchen to help with chores.  Running  a little late today!

Go Tell It on the Mountain

My Sammy rarely sings.  I don’t know what happened after the age of 2 when he would sweetly sing “Jesus Loves Me” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”  During the holidays I like to break into “Go Tell It on A Mountain.”  Yesterday I finally got Sammy to sing along with me.  And then came his version “Go!  Tell it through the bat cave!” (to which I added) “Over the hill and down the road! Go!  Tell it through the bat cave, that Jesus Christ is born!”  The “bat cave” has (I don’t think) anything to do with batman.  He knows who batman is, but we don’t watch it.  But when we go to Kilgore the back way, it’s called the “bat cave” because on one stretch the trees are so beautifully canopied over it, it does kindof resemble a cave.  I love his version and creativity.  He also likes to sing “Jesus Christ is in the bat cave!”  Yes, Sammy, He is, because He is everywhere!

 

Speaking of batman, about a month ago we were in one of our local Goodwill stores; I was searching for some  jeans for Sammy.  But what we find are Superman and Batman, each $3.  We don’t buy toys often so this was a given to purchase.  While Tony and I were out shopping last week I see these two packaged together (the same exact toys) – they retail for $49.99!  I could not believe my eyes – in fact, I bent down to read the small print to make sure they were over the right price.  Yes.  What a bargain!  We would have NEVER purchased those for that amount.  I’m happy for Sammy he was able to have them for such a deal!

Here I am!

It’s been forever since I blogged.  I gave up blogging for 40 days as our church prayed and sought God together by “fasting” and giving up various things.  Mine was my time on the computer.  I had offered that sacrifice to spend that specific amount of time with Father seeking Him – sometimes I was faithful and sometimes I wasn’t.  So glad His faithfulness is and always will be complete.  Anyhow, our 40 days of prayer and fasting was to seek God individually, as a family, and for our church as we enter into the largest building program we’ve encountered.  If you go to the web site you’ll see the proposed building.  Wow!  So our family came to a figure to commit over the next 3 years that is to us, beyond our ability.  That is exciting and frightening.  I can’t wait to see God pull it off!  Because our finances are fairly tight since I’m a SAHM, there was little to financially sacrifice.  Except my weekly Mother’s Day Out for the boys.  Yes.  Father offered the thought to sacrifice that and give the money monthly to our building fund.  So, after talking with Tony and continued prayer, Father gave me peace about the sacrifice that I would offer.  And now, I’m looking forward to January and expecting to see Father provide for me – and my boys – in beautiful and delightful ways.  I would say He already has, as my heart is thrilled, although on difficult days, a little afraid – yet trusting Him. 

Also, instead of sending Samuel to a weekly pre-school next year as I had anticipated, I will be his pre-school teacher.  And on most days, I’m quite thrilled about this also.  He and I have dabbled in “school” time here at home.  I say dabbled b/c I get tired of fighting him on his attitude about “school” time.  So yesterday, surely only by God’s divine hand, I went through the “back door” so to speak.  After nap time/snack/few chores we took a break on the couch and worked through alphabet flash cards, saying our ABC’s and counting.  It was wonderfully fun and a breeze! 

Thanks to Dana’s blog (Mommy Madness), we have set up our first Jesse Tree.  It looks lovely and I hope to post picks later.  I would have loved to have felt symbols (Dana’s are so pretty and colorful), but since I’m a last minute gal, ours are printed from the computer/colored by Sammy/taped to construction paper/biblical character and scripture reading on back/laminated/hole-punched and hung by fishing line.  Perhaps next year we’ll have felt symbols. 

The kids and I went to the Kilgore Christmas parade tonight and had a wondeful time – up until “Snowman” Sammy melted.  He’s still melting.  That’s why his Christmas character to me is a Snowman – great fun but when he melts, it gets everywhere and it’s a mess!  Sawyer, on the other hand, is a reindeer – fun and easy going.  It takes all kinds. 

Well, plenty more to say, but that’s it for now.

Only way to go is up!

Well, today was my highly anticipated effort at beginning to teach my young Sammy his alphabet/counting/writing/bible.  Well, it can only get better from here!  He had been telling me he didn’t want to do school with me, and I kept trying to be positive.  It wasn’t helpful that he woke up in a foul mood that seemed hard for him to shake and that then began to regurgitate on me!  Ugh!  We didn’t die trying – but came close!  His attitude was bad even watching the signing time video that he has loved in the past!  So he got sent to his room.  Shoe shopping with dad even had to be cancelled. Yes, this is the 3rd effort at getting shoes for Sammy.  So I look forward to us trying again on Wednesday.  Trying.   We’ll just keep trying and hope it begins to pan out. 

And for some reason holidays (i.e. Memorial Day and Labor Day) mean grilling burgers to me – or some sort of yummy outdoor food involved.  Fortunately my Love is always up to the task, so he grilled us some great burgers today and we enjoyed being outside for the better part of the morning and lunch time.  Thanks for the wind, Gustav!  I think we’ve put up anything that could blow away. 

I was so delighted when nap time came – I passed out sitting on the couch by my sleeping Sammy.  I’d been up since before 6 and was whipped – or wiped out!  Whichever!  It’s my turn to write devotionals this month for our Children’s Ministry Teachers and I had hoped to do this while Dad and Sammy were shoe shopping; then passed it on to nap time.  Now I’m near my bed time still without it done and only a slight notion of the direction I’m going.  Tomorrow is MDO for the kids since I have ML meeting on Thursday and they’ll be going with me.  I can only pray they do well – in both places! 

But nonetheless, I’m going to breathe.  Breathe.  Deep breath, now.  Sammy said that to me the other day, “Momma, I’m taking a deep breath!” Good for you, son!  You need it!  And so do I!

These are a few of my favorite things…Jesus

blog-for-christmas-post-004.jpgblog-for-christmas-post-003.jpgChristmas tree

This afternoon after lunch my Tony and I along with the boys will celebrate the birth of Jesus with some Walmart cupcakes and songs.  I can’t wait!  He is the reason for our celebration. 

As I look at my Sawyer, a mere 10 months, I think of Mary and how she must have marveled at her Son.  Sammy is 3, and I’m certain she took delight in Jesus at this precious age – busy, inquisitive, loving, compassionate.  Was she challenged with discipline issues??  As I do, surely she embraced each moment of challenge seeking God’s guidance.  A recent sermon our pastor preached on Joseph revealed a great deal about him I had not previously gathered.  Although we think we don’t know much about him, he was obedient to God’s leading each time he’s mentioned in God’s Word.  Certainly they knew their Son was special for many reasons. 

What I like about Jesus’ birth was his humble beginnings.  And actually, humble he remained.  He’s been my friend and held my hand for many years now.  I praise Him for He is as real to me as the air I breathe – yet I can not physically see both.  But I need both.  I can’t imagine my life without Him.  1 Peter 1:8 & 9 (NIV) says “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”  AMEN!  Oh, how grateful I am for the grace given me to believe in Him! 

As Sammy and I have discussed having a birthday celebration for Jesus, I can see the look in his eye, wondering “what do we give Jesus on his birthday?”  I’ve told Sammy the best gift we have to offer Him is ourselves.  I’ve trusted Father to convey the truth of that to Sammy’s heart.  The nativity scene was out this morning and when Sammy woke up he said “But where is Baby Jesus?” Literally, he’s on top of the fridge, but I told Sammy when we celebrated His birthday we would put him in the manger.  But he also wanted to know “Really, where is Jesus, Momma?”  So I explained that He lives in mine and daddy’s heart because we believe in Him.  Ah, Father, help me navigate these questions with truth and grace!

So Jesus not only had humble beginnings, but He remained so during His life here, because He came to serve, not to be served and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28, NIV).  He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as scripture foretold, “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'”(Matt. 21:5, Isa. 62:11, Zec. 9:9).   He bore my disgrace and shame willingly by being crucified for my sins – He was completely innocent of any sin (John 19).  He rose from the grave (John 20) Praise HIM!  He is indeed alive and seated at the Right Hand of God in the heavenly realms (Eph. 1:20)!  And He is coming back at just the right time. And when He does, according to John in Revelation 19:11-16, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True….on his head are many crowns….on his robe and on his thigh he has the name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Rejoice all ye people!

By the way, that’s not my Chevy Chase Christmas tree pictured above.  That’s a tree from Oakland Height’s Baptist Church Festival of Trees.  The tree had on it the Name’s of God.  It was my favorite of the festival.  Beautiful!

We’re wall to wall here, people!

I think in a previous post I made the statment that we had plenty of room here in our house.  I was wrong.  Add that 7 foot “Chevy Chase” leaning Christmas tree to our living room and there’s only one way in and one way out of that “box” called a living room!  It seems I have a thing for wood furniture.  Probably my enjoyment of anything wood began with my family pieces passed down to me.  I have 3-4 pieces of furnture, well, 5 now that I think about it, that I will not part with.  That leaves two pieces – well, 3, that are up for grabs.  Well, regardless, nothing is going anywhere within the next few weeks, so I’m still wall to wall.  Did I mention there’s a pack-n-play up in the living room?  This is Sawyer’s play place so it can’t come down yet.  His play place is quite helpful and since he and Sammy share a room, it allows him time to himself to play.  I believe everyone should have a place to themselves that’s all their own.  Can you tell I’m an only child and an introvert??  Anyhow, the pack-n-play works great but takes up space.  Since our plan is an “open” plan, our kitchen connects to our LR.  Sometimes I find myself going in circles just to avoid running into Sammy or Tony.  And somtimes I simply find myself going in circles regardless.  Can we knock out a wall anywhere?

Anyhow, after two weeks, maybe 3 of having this Christmas tree in our house, I’m ready for it to move on!  It is barely decorated and I have TRUELY had to leave behind the perfectionist in me on this one.  What is it about Christmas that makes us go looney -especially us ladies/mom’s responsible (are we really?) for creating the “perfect holiday?” I must let go of that.  If I turn crazy on my family (which I have, by the way, this season), it certainly doesn’t add to a peaceful holiday – ah, yes, that’s what I desire to strive for.    Now I’ve found the replacement for “perfect.”  Brilliant!  And this makes sense considering one of my favorite pieces in my kitchen is a beautiful bright plate that says “Shalom.”  My Auntie brought this back to me from the Holy Lands.   So in my quest for an outward peace and inward peace,  I can leave behind several things:  1) Sawyer’s stocking will be a substitute sock – one of Tony’s of course, because my previous plan of a quilted reindeer stocking is not complete and I refuse to send myself to crazy land to finish it the next 24 hours.  2)  It’s OK that I didn’t bake this holiday and that the cookies Sammy and I will leave for “Ole’ Saint Nick” will be from the freezer!  Trust me, he’ll love ’em! 3) That my sweet Sammy didn’t get EVERYTHING he wanted for Christmas is downright OK!  Years ago I heard wisdom of limiting the # of gifts a family gave their children to 3 each.  Well – I think this is wise.  And wiser still the older they get since the “toys” become more expensive!  and 4) It’s ok that I had to make a last minute run to Walmart – no one died!  I finally have finished my shopping!

I was sharing with Tony that I thought I’d heard the definition of Christmas one time as “Making much of Christ.”  So we asked Sammy why we celebrate Christmas and he replied “It’s baby Jesus birthday!”  YES!  Thank you for the joy of teaching him the REASON FOR THIS SEASON, and bless his MDO Teachers and Sunday School teachers for reinforcing that!  Tomorrow after lunch we will have a cupcake (storebought – another peace) birthday celebration for Jesus.  We will make much about Jesus and leave the rest behind, or rather, rest leaving unneccessary things and thoughts behind. 

 Come, let us Adore Him.