Wednesday, June 17, 2009

yes, i still have a son...and a new post on the private blog!

OK, I know this has pretty much turned into an anti-trafficking blog, but actually i don't spend AS MUCH time on the issue as it may appear by my posts. A good amount of time, yes, but I have been really trying to keep it in check...asking GOd not to let me be diverted from my first ministry, my family. And thankfully, thankfully, thankGODfully, M has been napping like a champ lately...so it helps to balance things.

So...there is a new post on the private blog...and photos (although only 3 are of M as I've been trying to give him a little break from the hard life of modeling...and now my camera is in the fix-it shop!

I honestly miss checking in on blogs...seeing what you all are up to...and I hope those of you whose blogs I've followed will know that (I say this genuinely and sincerely) I think of you often!!!

New blog post on PRIVATE BLOG.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vegas UPdate

Here is an update letter I sent to my email buds who were praying for the trip, but I know that many of my blog readers were praying, too, so wanted to share here, as well.

I wanted to send an update of the Vegas event and a note of gratitude for your prayers! Both Terri and I were blessed by the experience and feel it was a confirmation that we are moving in the right direction...God's direction.

THE BAD
- we totally got taken by our taxi driver and ended up paying double what we expected to pay (based on info from both the web and our hotel). the quote was, "i could see our hotel from the airport...why can't i see it now????"

- we totally got taken by our hotel when our room was not ready (and would not be ready for another 2 hours)..but we could take a smoking room or pay extra $ for an upgraded room that was ready. the quote was, "what do we expect? we're in sin city!"

- we got to the rally location, i pulled out my camera only to find that my lens had busted....my $300-most-favorite-shoot-with-all-the-time lens. the quote was, "bummer" as now photography will be put on hold for awhile!

- we did not march down the strip but instead planted ourselves at a busy intersection of the strip. this was actually probably a better situation because we were able to talk to the people stopped at the traffic lights...but we were hoping to witness some action taking place just to understand what it looks like...what to look for.

- the event drew fewer people than expected

- i accidentally took full strength dramamine instead of less-drowsy...i was a total ZOMBIE.


THE GOOD
- prior to the rally terri and i discussed many questions we had about various topics, and they were answered so clearly in both the rally speeches and in one-on-one conversations with random people we met. lots of "ah-ha!" moments

- God gave us great favor with the Shared Hope staff, including the founder and her husband, and we feel like this relationship will be vital for our future plans. they even invited us to dinner after the rally! we still aren't 100% certain that we will become official SHI advocates (only because we might then have to get every move approved before we act), but SHI does come alongside and support existing local orgs, so that might be an option.

- important connections were made with people, both individuals and organizations, who have been working against trafficking and can serve as mentors for us as we move forward.

- we met a trafficking survivor who is now running a safe home for victims in DC. it was invaluable to hear firsthand information about the physical and mental brutality that victims endure, and her words made an impact on our hearts and, more importantly, a shift in our perspectives.

- one very specific prayer i prayed was that, during the march, a big gust of wind would come and blow flyers everywhere...just to get them into the hands of people whom we would not see that night. shortly after i made my way to one corner of the intersection, the wind blew and a young woman's flyers went flying across the parking lot. she turned around to go after them and i squealed, "no! i prayed for that! let them blow!"

- the event received GREAT media attention


THE UGLY
- we ate dinner with the SHI staff at PF CHang's in Planet Hollywood. you know i had those amazing banana spring rolls...yeah, baby! anyway, as we waited in valet for our car, i noticed a young girl walking toward us. she could not have been more than 15 and yet here she was, all alone, dressed in a short dress and ridiculously high heels. her blonde hair was tousled and her skin pasty white. she looked sad...and vacant. not the vacant look of drug use...but just vacant. as she got closer to us i smiled at her...and she half-heartedly smiled in return...then she walked past us. was she a prostituted child? was she a victim of trafficking? i cannot say for certain but felt in my heart it was true. and it was hard not to run after her, hard not to ask her if she was OK...but even harder to know that i DIDN'T do those things. to think of what that girl may have just come from or may have been going to breaks my heart but fuels me to move forward in this fight for lost innocence.


THE FUTURE
- we have much to pray about and discuss and consider. we have people to contact and research to gather. we have friends and family to inform, money to raise, and decisions to make. most importantly, we have a God to seek. and as we make HIM our priority, He will make the rest happen. He will.

- if you would like to be on an email list to receive updates and prayer requests, please respond to this email and indicate "UPDATE/PRAYER LIST." if you would like to participate by taking action in the hands-on tasks, please respond to this email and indicate "TO-DO LIST". To-do list peeps will also receive prayer requests and updates.

- again, we thank you for your prayers!!! please take a moment now to thank and praise God for answering them!!! terri and i were richly blessed by His grace and love during our trip!


i apologize for my rotten typing in this email...two full strength dramamine in less than 24 hours has taken its toll on me!

MUCH love to you!!!!
tish & terri

Thursday, June 11, 2009

stuff of no real importance

took this pic with my cell phone the other day. i actually have a few other pics of M to post but time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future! leave for trafficking event in vegas tomorrow and doors are really opening here, too. like faster than i can say "i'll take door number 2, please!" seems as if i'm walking on a treadmill and God just switched the speed to SUPAH FAST! thankfully, He has raised up an army of fab chicas with a heart for this issue of human trafficking...so it is unbelievably exciting to see what God is doing/will do.

i've decided M is going to be a lawyer...he has the gift of arguing a point and the tenacity to see his argument to the bitter end. i would say it was cute if i wasn't living the effects of it right now. sadly...and i know toddlers say random things...the other day he told me he wasn't in our family. i asked whose family he thought he was in and he said "nobody." so i just reminded him he was part of our family and sang a song about it...but, even if it was just a toddler thing, it made my heart sad.

though he really doens;t have much interest at this time, M did actually go on his little toilet and squealed in surprise, "it's so funny!!!!"



hope your week is beautiful and blessed!

edited2add...it's been so long since i have blogged that i posted this and then thought, "oh, yeah, i have a private blog, too!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

falling in love through photographs

One of the things I have loved best about blogging is checking out other bloggers' photos. Seeing a mama's expression as she holds her child for the first time...or the look on a little boy's face when he is "caught in the act"...or a beaming smile from a tiny girl as she runs through the sprinklers for the first time...I fall in love through photographs.

I want to share some photos with you. They are not photos which, by nature, would invoke our human love. No, to truly fall in love with these subjects calls for a love much greater than our own.

May you fall in love...with the love that only God can give for the broken, the weary, the downtrodden...through these photographs.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Friday, May 29, 2009

give-UH-way!

The Wild Olive Tees crew is have a sweeeeet giveaway!!! As in 75-bucks-worth-of-free-stuff sweet! Check out entry rules HERE!

Wild Olive Tees

stuffed crust blogpost

Some updates:

Human Trafficking - had my awareness event last night, and God blessed me with some AWESOME guests! SO cool to see how God might use their unique interests, gifts, and connections to bring light to this dark issue. If you are interested in learning more but don't have time to do research, I would be happy to share my powerpoint with you. It touches on trafficking in general then zooms in on trafficking to meet the growing demands of the commercial sex industry. Just email me at 1sttimemama1 AT gmail DOT com.

Cool thing...while I was preparing for this event, my half-hour napper suddenly became a TWO-HOUR NAPPER! Shout out! What a blessing!

OOPS! - OK, awhile back I got Lightroom for editing photos and did so through what I thought to be a completely legal manner. As I was recently trying to transfer the LR to another computer since our old one bit the dust, I found out that it was NOT legal! Talk about feeling HORRIBLE!!!! Yes, I could go on using the LR and no one would ever know...but I know. And God knows. And I do not want to sin against my good God. So....I went crawling back to picnik with my jpegs yesterday....and it was like trying to perform open heart surgery with a grapefruit spoon. Here are some of the pics:




Scott informed me the other day that he is taking a pledge not to watch any shows that don't have a laugh track. Whaaaaat?

Lil' M asked "what is mama's name?" I said, "mama." He was not satisfied and asked the question again, so I responded, "Mama's name is Tish, but what do you call me?" He stated, "Babes!" Matthew calls mama "babes" like daddy."

I've missed you guys, so I will try to check out all your new blog posts this afternoon!!!! Can't wait to see what is going on in your lives!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

new post

on private blog!

happy memorial day weekend!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

could he be any cuter?

not sure why M decided to wear my t-shirt as a head covering...with one arm in an arm hole and the other out...but, as he would say, "it's alright and OK!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

website recommendations

In a little over a week my friend, Terri, and I will be hosting a Human Trafficking Awareness Event! I am super stoked and have been giving my powerpoint program lots of lovin'. Terri is also going to be my travel companion in June when I head to Vegas for an anti-trafficking event! God has been orchestrating some cool stuff...so cool that I might have to write a rap song about it just for you, Jenna!

Anyway, I have some info I thought I would share for any who are interested:

TRAFFICKING WEBSITES:
TO LEARN MORE:
www.Sharedhope.org - focuses on the prevention, rescue and restoration of the victims of sex slavery. One of the few organizations which address the issue of demand.
http://www.lifeimpactintl.org/ - focuses on evangelism and humanitarian aid to child slaves at the Thailand/Burma border.
http://kimberlydaniels.theworldrace.org/ - focuses on ministering to the prostitutes in Thailand bars, providing outreach and directing the girls to safe homeshavens.
www.love146.org - focuses on child sex slavery and offers training in aftercare.
http://stopchildslavery.com/ - focuses on providing a central location for news articles and organization information.
http://www.globalcenturion.org/ - focuses on ending demand in order to stop the sexual exploitation of children.
http://www.fbi.gov/innolost/innolost.htm - Federal Government's Innocence Lost National Initiative

TO DISCOVER UNIQUE WAYS TO HELP:
http://www.stopthetraffik.org/getinvolved/ideas/yourideas.aspx - shares stories of people who have found creative ways to bring awareness to trafficking
http://www.love146.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=21462 - offers 146 ideas to help

TO CONSUME WITH COMPASSION:
http://www.betterworldshopper.com/
http://www.transfairusa.org/
http://www.madebysurvivors.com/
http://chainstorereaction.com/

So, there you have it...now go get your mouseclick on!

the company you keep...

I received the following email from my friend "C" today. The amazing thing is that these words reflect the desire of her heart ALL.THE.TIME. When you surround yourself with people like C, you find yourself standing very close in hopes that all that fabulousness will rub off on you!

Hope you will join me in praise...

May our lives reflect Christ. May worship and praise of our precious Lord never cease and may we always be grateful and praise Him for His salvation and His completed work on the cross. Praise Him for the life that He gives us and every test and trial that He knows will make us stronger in Him and more useable for Kingdom work. Praise Him for His tender mercies that endure forever. Praise Him that He has given one more day to shine His glory into the darkness.
Praise Him for the privilege of prayer and for you all - His body -- who stand faithfully in the gap for the weak, the weary and the wounded every single day. Thank you for the light that shines so brightly in and through each and every one of you. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!


And praise God for friends who direct my eyes to Him!

Friday, May 15, 2009

i like big posts and i cannot lie

if you make it all the way to the end of this post, you must be pretty bored.

PRAYING FOR KIDS

I was asked a question awhile back about praying for children, which is funny since I feel like I am a lousy pray-er, but here goes. Note: These are just my own personal thoughts and what works for me.

I like to pray Scripture for M. Mostly because I don't want my human desires (or frustrations) to color my intercessions for him. So, when I am reading my Bible and a verse sticks out to me, I will pray it for my little guy. For ex, Ephesians 1:18 says "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened..." and that has become a verse I pray almost daily. I may change the words, such as "Lord, please open M's mind to understand your truth," but I feel like if I pray God's Words, then I know my desires are aligned with His.

I keep a journal by my bed in which I write prayers for M. I do not write in it daily, or even weekly, even though I pray for him daily. I simply write as I feel led to pray about specific topics. I will give it to him when he is grown and look forward to seeing how God answered the prayers of this mama.

I pray a lot with M whether it be for other people or for him...or even for me when I am cracking under the pressure of the terrible twos! And now he will often initiate prayer...asking me to pray for him or for someone else. Does he understand? I can't even guess as to what he thinks is going on, but what I want him to see is a mama who loves God and who believes He is a God who loves talking with His children. I try to point out when God answers our prayers...and to share Bible stories that do the same.

Would love to hear if anyone else has ideas to share!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I DIDN'T SCREW IT UP!

Tried out PW's ginger steak salad tonight and it rocked my taste buds. I had never-as-in-ever bought ginger before...besides ginger snaps, of course...so I was freaky nervous going into this thing. Told myself that if it flopped, I would never-ever-ever try another new recipe again.

But PW did not disappoint! Scott even had seconds, which says a lot because he really doesn't trust salad. But this stuff is gooooood...so good I might eat it for breakfast tomorrow.

Note: I cooked my steak longer than the recipe calls for because I come from a long line of cook-it-til-it's-jerky women.

________________________________________________

NINE

That's the # of sentences in the 2nd chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

And in just nine sentences, you find the ultimate "before and after." It's like a snapshot of a person before and after Christ...a "you WERE" versus "you ARE."

So I made lists. Because lists make my brain happy. Almost as happy as ginger steak salad makes my tongue. And this is what God says...

You WERE
- dead in trespasses and sins
- walking according to the prince of the power of the air
- a son of disobedience
- conducting yourself in the lusts of your flesh
- fulfilling the desires of the flesh & mind
- a child of wrath
- without Christ
- strangers from the covenants of the promise
- having no hope
- far off

Enter Jesus.

You ARE
- alive together with Christ
- saved
- raised, made to sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
- His workmanship
- created in Christ Jesus for good works
- brought near by the blood of Christ
- reconciled to God
- having access to the Father
- fellow citizens of the household of God
- a dwelling place of God in the Spirit

Pretty amazing, huh? But another cool thing is this...there is a word that can be placed on BOTH lists. Yep, both. It's found in verses 4 & 5a:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses..

Love.

This passage not only tells us that, even when we were living according to our own lusts and in disobedience to God, He still loved us...but that He loved us with a GREAT love. One of the definitions I found for the original word used for "great" was TOO MUCH. As I consider God's love for me, a wretched sinner, "too much" sounds pretty right on.

One of the reasons I love this chapter so much right now is that, in my human trafficking research, it can be easy to feel anger and hatred toward the oppressors, the abusers, the traffickers...but God's love for them is slowly filling my heart. I loathe what these people are doing but am reminded that they are no more free than the women and children they enslave...for they are slaves to their sin. Just as I was.

This is what the love of God can do in a life...


before Christ:



after Christ:



We look at these photos and focus on the outward transformation of Anthea...but the real change for her, and for all of us, is the inward transformation that comes only through Jesus. This is the work of love. This is the look of love.

God is love, and I want to be love, too.

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NEW POST ON PRIVATE BLOG





Thursday, May 7, 2009

life in bullet points

no flowery stories; i'm rollin' with bullet points today. and no capitalization. just gettin'-my-hurry-on...which i am sure that many of you will appreciate!

WHATSA HAPPENIN' W/HUMAN TRAFFICKIN':

- an interest in human trafficking was sparked in my heart after hearing a radio interview with Linda Smith, founder of Shared Hope Int.

- checked out SHI and requested more info

- rec'd an out-of-the-blue email from a friend (we hadn't talked in quite awhile) telling me all about SHI! when she came in contact with this org, she decided to share it with me. i responded a la francis chan with, "NOOOO WAAAAY!"

- met with friend to discuss and said, "let's rock and roll!"

- started researching human trafficking...and praying for God's guidance

- discovered lots of organizations but kept coming back to SHI

- despite the NUMEROUS needs in this issue, i began to feel led to focus on "ending the demand"...raising awareness about the connection between the commercial sex industry and the trafficking of human beings to meet the escalating demands of that industry

- shared this feeling with a SHI employee...who then passed on my contact info to another staff member who is heading up a national awareness campaign to END DEMAND which will kick off in june

- plan to host an awareness event in conjunction with SHI during the last week of may and, Lord willing, might join them in Vegasbaby for their kickoff event



During all of this, God's Word has been filling my mind.....verses like:

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [them]. Eph 5:11

Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few." 1 Sam 14:6

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10

Arise, O LORD! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble....LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more. Psalm 10:12, 17-18



also, CHOCOLATE:
- children abducted and forced to serve as slaves on cocoa plantations, particularly in the ivory coast

- previously i CHOSE to ignore it because the thought of modern day slavery seemed unreal, i figured US companies would be regulated for such things, and, well, i like chocolate. seriously, i have days where about 50% (ok, maybe more) of my daily intake is chocolate, but i watched a video interview of a young man who was a slave on a cocoa plantation. as he spoke of the atrocities against him, he stated that to eat of his plantation's chocolate was to eat of his own flesh. Gulp. Guuuuulp.

- i've been buying only slave free chocolate...which is understandably more expensive...which means I am not buying much chocolate these days...which means i go into convulsions every hour or so...but the bruises are healing nicely...kidding!!!

- sites for you to check out chocolate: #1, #2, #3 (#3 is betterworldshopper so you can check out other products, too)


WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- check out Shared Hope Int
- host an awareness event (if interested, let me know and i'll direct you further)
- pray for the END DEMAND campaign to receive national media attention that will cause big changes in the hearts and lives of Americans
- kick your M&Ms to the curb and buy divine

more to share later...right now i have a date with my Bible. happy weekend, everyone...and happy mama's day to all my precious mama friends!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

alive and kickin'

We are still here! Absent by choice. Thanks for the concerned emails! The motherboard on our laptop fried the other day, which makes "checking in" on your blogs more difficult...since M despises being in our office where the PC is located. Plus our PC is super slow because I have a billion photos on it...yet I can't get in here to remove them. Did I mention that M despises being in our office? Yes, it's that ugly! Still...I'm kinda enjoying NOT having the laptop...especially at night!

I have photos to upload. And some stuff to share from Ephesians...I just cannot pull myself away from it! M seems to be growing like a weed...and is still in the deep end of TWO. The rollercoaster of emotions is exhausting...the demanding, the disobedience, the drama...we're all ready for bed right after dinner!

bubbles-8381

Will try to catch up soon!

Monday, April 27, 2009

is this the cure for a sleepless child???

I haven't been blogging...or visiting blogs...very much lately because I have been using M's naptime to to pray and read my Bible. For some reason even when I have a quiet time in the morning, I crave it again in the afternoon. And it's been good. Ephesians is rockin' my world!

But the funny thing about it is that, since I started doing this, M HAS BEEN TAKING LONGER NAPS!!!!!!!

Not even kidding.

Can't wait to visit your blogs and see what's been going on in your lives!!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

and they're off!

edited2add: Sorry, but I only have time to give you one link right now. Click here to read Angie's latest post, "Name."

Compassion International has selected five bloggers to travel to India, and you are invited to join in the adventure! Each blogger, as well as other trip members, will be documenting their experiences via the internet.

Here are links to follow along during the April 26 - May 2 trip:
- http://www.compassionbloggers.com/india - A snippet of every post, every pic and video will be uploaded to this page.

- http://feeds2.feedburner.com/compassionbloggers This is the link to the trip's RSS feed. Subscribing to the feed will send a snippet of every post from every blogger to your RSS reader.


If you'd prefer to follow the trip by visiting each blog here are their addresses:
Bloggers:
Pete Wilson - http://www.withoutwax.tv
Melissa Fitzpatrick - http://livingproofministries.blogspot.com
Angela Smith - http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com
Robin Dance - http://www.pensieve.typepad.com

Photography:
Keely Scott - http://www.keelymariescott.com

Videography:
Anne Jackson - http://www.flowerdust.net

Leaders:
Spence Smith - http://www.spencesmith.com
Patricia Jones - http://jonesbones5.com
Shaun Groves - http://www.shaungroves.com/shlog

OOPS! Sorry these aren't showing up as links...will haveto adjust later because right now I must attend to a hungry little boy!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

new post on private blog

what you get for your money in the new post:
language acquisition
why the kids at CH!CK-F!L-A hate me
and so many videos it will blow your mind!

click here!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

tagged by phatchik

OK, so J from Phatchik posted that she had been tagged and then cheated and "tagged" everyone who read the post. Now we all know that cheaters never prosper, but then she sent me a desperately-seeking-taggers email and practically begged me to participate, so I caved to the blog pressure. Just kidding...she didn't. J did not grovel in the least...she bribed with chocolate instead....HOW.I.WISH.

Per J: Here are the rules for "8 THINGS":1.) Mention the person that tagged you.2.) Complete the lists of 8's.3.) Tag 8 of your wonderful bloggy friends. 4.) Go tell them you tagged them!


8 THINGS I LOOK FORWARD TO:

1.) going to bed tonight

2.) returning a hideous children's video to the library tomorrow

3.) starting to exercise again (because the booty boot camp video is gathering major dust)

4.) payday this friday! oh, wait, i don't get paid.

5.) time alone with superScott.....grrrrr

6.) rare self-initiated affection from M

7.) learning more about human trafficking and then kicking its butt

8.) seeing Jesus face-to-face...and seeing my mom again




8 THINGS I DID YESTERDAY

1.) woke up too early

2.) felt bad that i got snippy with a lady who answered the phone as "Esther" (or some E name) and then, when i explained how i had previously left a message and rec'd no response, she admitted to being someone else! what??? ok, i guess i didn't feel THAT bad about being snippy since i am obviously still snippy.

3.) ate salami and jelly beans

4.) attended a fundraiser for a pregnancy center

5.) watched in awe as a lady sang a song about having aborted twins as a teen...and then, by God's mercy and grace, gave birth to twins later in life. then watched in utter amazement as the CD for her second song went haywire and she bravely sang a cappella through almost the entire thing with the music loudly scratching in and out. STANDING O!

6.) ate a huge chicken breast that must have belonged to Big Bird himself...covered with seasonings and spicy peppers. nothing like having a runny nose at a banquet when your table is smack dab in the middle of the room.

7.) pondered this statement i overheard: Be intolerant because some things are just plain stupid.

8.) stayed up too late editing pics from a photoshoot at a local school


8 THINGS I WISH I COULD DO

1.) meet followers of Christ from around the world and see what faith looks like when you don't have the Bible translated in your language...what worship music sounds like when you don't have a band...what a prayer of gratitude sounds like when all that is on the plate in front of you is rice.

2.) respond to M in patience, gentleness, and grace for an entire day

3.) be more organized...have a little more schedule in my life

4.) take photos like Jasmine *

5.) sing WELL...and dance like the brazilians do

6.) hug someone who is hurting right now

7.) wiggle my nose and have a pan full of brownies with cream cheese frosting sitting in front of me...and then wiggle it again and have the brownies and myself on the beach in SoCal

8.) see people i love open their hearts to Jesus



8 SHOWS I WATCH

1.) The Office

2.) The Office

3.) The Office

4.) The Office

5.) The Office

6.) The Office

7.) The Office

8.) The Office

Since I don't care about prospering at this moment, I am going to cheat and tag YOU...yes, YOU, ya lil' bloggy reader. Don't try to sneak out of here by hitting that back button really quick-like. I have FEED-JIT...I know where you live! So get to work on your "8 things" tag!

Friday, April 17, 2009

one thing

note: NEW POST ON PRIVATE BLOG

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Recently I received a much anticipated package in the mail. An oversized manila envelope, it contained materials for hosting an informational event about human trafficking. That night I stayed up late poring over the materials and went to sleep quite overwhelmed and weary.

Over the next few days I began seeking God more diligently about how I could serve in this area but, by His grace alone, my heart's cry shifted from what can I do to help to how can I know God more. Asking for guidance in how to serve was replaced with asking to know His heart for the oppressed, His love for the broken, His plans for their rescue. Asking to know Him. And this led me more and more to His Word.

Thinking about this, a specific verse has come to mind: But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42

The NLT states it this way: There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it--and I won't take it away from her.

This verse speaks of when Mary chose to sit at Jesus' feet and hear His word while her sister was busy doing "stuff." Mary's decision revealed a posture of humble submission to her Master, of faith that His words were truth, and of love for the One who loved her so dearly. She knew that to be close to Him...to hear His words...to know Him...was the ONE THING.

What does sitting at Jesus' feet mean? To hang out in the middle of my living room floor as I wait for the clouds to part and a booming voice to speak to me? That I never actually do anything but just sit and read my Bible?

C.H. Spurgeon explains: It meant, also, service, for though Mary was not apparently engaged in waiting upon Christ as Martha was, yet she was, in very truth, ministering unto him in a deeper and truer sense... The first duty, indeed, of the student to the tutor is that he be cheerful in accepting, and diligent in retaining, what is taught... In that same spirit, had the Master only intimated it, she would have risen to wash his feet, or anoint his head, or wait at table, as Martha did; but she would, while she was performing these active duties, have continued spiritually in her first posture; she could not, of course, have continued literally sitting at the feet of the Saviour, but her heart would have remained in the condition which that posture indicates. She was in the fittest position for service, for she waited to hear what her Lord would have her to do.

Spurgeon goes on to say: Imagine not that to sit at Jesus' feet is a very small, unmeaning thing. It means peace, for they who submit to Jesus find peace through his precious blood. It means holiness, for those who learn of Jesus learn no sin, but are instructed in things lovely and of good repute. It means strength, for they that sit with Jesus, and feed upon him, are girded with his strength; the joy of the Lord is their strength. It means wisdom, for they that learn of the Son of God understand more than the ancients because they keep his statutes. It means zeal, for the love of Christ fires hearts that live upon it, and they that are much with Jesus become like Jesus, so that the zeal of the Lord's house eats them up.

Tonight at church Luke 24:32 was part of the message, and this verse seemed to explain what God has been doing in my heart as of late: And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"

In this passage the resurrected Christ, though unrecognized by Cleopas and another man, went through the Scriptures (what we know as the Old Testament) to show how every book pictures or prophesies about Him. These truths stirred the hearts of the men, leading to an invitation for Jesus to "abide" with them. Then, as Jesus broke bread with the men, "their eyes were open and they knew Him."

They heard Jesus' words. They chose to abide with Him. He revealed Himself to them.

I can use my camera to take photos of people who cannot afford to buy them but doing so is not the ONE THING NEEDED.

I can blog about needs, causes, and injustices but doing so is not the ONE THING NEEDED.

I can read about nutrition, recycling, treading softly, attachment, parenting, and raising a healthy family but doing so is not the ONE THING NEEDED.

I can fight against human trafficking with every ounce of my being but doing so is not the ONE THING NEEDED.

Yes, these are good things, but they are not the ONE THING.

Yes, I will continue to do these things but, by God's grace, they will not be my ONE THING.

Again, Spurgeon: One thing is needful—let the rest go. What if we have not learning?—what if we have not eloquence? If we live near to Christ, we have something better than all these; if we abide in him, and he abides in us, we shall go and bring forth fruit, and our fruit shall remain; if he abides in us, we shall enjoy heaven on earth, and be daily preparing of that eternal heaven which is to be our portion. "One thing is needful." God grant it to every one of us!—Amen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

new post on private blog

click HERE!

if you'd like an invite to M's blog, just shoot me an email.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, April 13, 2009

odds and other odds

The CWA Hope Project will be updating their waiting child list any day now...here is the link. Looks like there are 46 children ready to be matched with their families and 3 still waiting from the last photolist.


Does anyone need me to mail you the 37 tons of Easter candy that somehow found its way into my house this weekend?


An historic day. M actually asked me to take his picture with the flowers. This is what he did when I told him to smile:

This is him when I told him to smell the flowers...see the nostril flare?:







Is anyone else totally burnt out on blogging? I feel like all of my posts read like this: blahblah BLAH blah blah blahblahblah BLAH blah blah.

Friday, April 10, 2009

tasting forgiveness

A baked ham. Deviled eggs. Peeps, jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies.

No matter what your favorite Easter treat, my wish for you this Resurrection Sunday is that you taste the sweet forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ.


Tasting Forgiveness - Robbie Seay Band

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

surrounded by beauty...and chocolate!

Last Friday I invited 5 lovely women to my house for an evening of fun. We had homemade salsa, smoked peppercorn cheese, crab dip, Pioneer Woman's yogurt cream and berries , and ooey gooey brownies.

We also had a chocolate taste test. I purchased ALL milk chocolate bars so we could compare apples to apples:

ladiesnight-7456

ladiesnight-7454

ladiesnight-7458

ladiesnight-7461

The winning chocolate bar was Ghiardelli's. Yes, the food was great...but the best part of the evening was the fellowship...hearing what God is doing in each of my friends' lives. As they spoke of their love for God and desire to know Him more, my home filled with beauty and joy...like the wafting fragrance from a bouquet of fresh spring flowers.

Here is M helping make the brownies:

ladiesnight-7462

Sunday, April 5, 2009

new post on private blog

click here to view!

river-7518

Friday, April 3, 2009

discipline? behavior mgmt? layin' down the law?

NEW POST ON PRIVATE BLOG!

As mentioned in the previous post, I've been thinking a lot about M's heart...spurred on by his behavior of late. We know that behavior is an outflow of the heart (Proverbs 4:23) and that, without an internal change, any external changes may be helpful to our sanity momentarily but not truly beneficial for the child eternally.

While each parent should seek God's will and wisdom for their parenting through prayer and scripture, I always love hearing what God is doing in the lives of others...so, if anyone is interested in a discussion, here are my questions. You don't have to answer ALL of the questions to participate!

- What do you believe the parent's role is in regards to the child's relationship with God?

- Do you talk to your child about the gospel when you deal with behavior issues? If yes, how? If not, why not?

- Regarding outright defiance against your authority, how to you handle such occurences?
(i.e. do you give warnings, do you deal differently with blatant disobedience than with tantrums or other issues, does the child's safety in the matter have an effect on your response--such as "stay out of the street" versus "pick up your toys"?)

That's all for now...gotta get ready for a chocolate taste test tonight!!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

inspired by stefanie (ni hao y'all)

I clicked on my blog and was going to do a new post about...NOTHING. Because I have NOTHING. So instead I decided to check out sweet Stefanie...who had just published a post saying SHE had NOTHING! (although, in reality, she had some really cute SOMETHINGS).

I guess stuff is going on...I've
got a WACAP pre-app sitting on the desk in front of me.
been ruminating a lot lately on parenting...and on the heart of my child.
planning a Ladies' Night with some awesome friends for tonight!
been given a cool opportunity recently by God to use photography to serve others.
been praying much more than I ever have before.

I hope that today, whether your day is filled with lots of somethings or lots of nothings...whether in the exciting or in the mundane...that you use it ALL to glorify God!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

M's book recommendations

These are M's favorite books from our latest library run. Both are fun and also contain recipes to test out with your little one!



For Shannon (this doesn't mean that if your name isn't Shannon, you can't read, too!):
Yes, I find myself making connections all the time (even though most the time it's not planned out) and going over the same idea quite a bit. I don't think it has to do with me being a good mama as much as it has to do with having a child who doesn't play by himself and who doesn't take long naps (the other day he woke after 23 minutes!) We simply have A LOT of time to fill!
As example, we recently read about the Good Shepherd from one of his bibles, and M made a little shepherd book from a template I got out of a guide. I also like to read little bits to him from my bible simply so he can see me using it! Then I drew a sheep outline on paper and let him glue cotton balls on it. Today we got out some marshmallows to use as sheep and a stick guy we made previously to serve as the shepherd....then we acted out the story with one of the marshmallows getting lost behind a candle on our table and the shepherd going to find it. Then M got to eat the sheep!

night games

At 1:45 AM on Sunday, I heard loud noises coming from M's room.

They were shouts....exuberant shouts.

"P! Q! R! S! T!..."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

the stuff we do

I love to see what other bloggy mamas are doing with their kids, so I thought I would also share the stuff we do 'round here. We have a big craft drawer, but I also keep a muffin tin of "supplies" handy. The tin usually has dry black beans, goofy eyes, pom poms, buttons, and dry pasta. When I am cooking I always set aside some pasta for crafts.


Sometimes I will draw a big letter for M to fill in with stickers/beans/pasta. I let him use the stick glue, but I use the Elmer's. Usually I put glue in a small area, and then he decorates but sometimes we collaborate!
Sometimes we make faces and other designs.
Or decorate the rocks we find. M has excellent fine motor skills and can handle little items very well. If something does end up being difficult, then I ask him to choose the supplies and location where he wants them placed.

This morning we read a book that we made yesterday about M being a special creation of God. Then I got out a photo album, and we talked about the great qualities that God gave him. Next we made a picture of him...I only drew the head and put the glue in the right spots, M then put everything in its place.
I drew another oval for Daddy's head, put some glue on top and at smile, and just let M go to town.
For this next picture (of me!) I walked him through the drawing...like asking him how many eyes I have and where they are on my face...and then asking where the eyes should go on the paper face. I also asked him what color hair/eyes/lips I have before choosing our markers.
Here we started putting some penguin stickers on a paper and talking about how, even though they were different colors, they are all still penguins. This reminded me that we had a new library book about penguins, so we looked at the different types of penguins and noted their differences. Then I grabbed a calendar of kids from different countries and pointed out the differences between the kids...but talked about how they are all still kids and all special creations of God.
Finally we made stick people for each person in our family and had them dance and jump together.
Then I needed a nap!

Friday, March 27, 2009

new post on private blog

Just published a new post on the private blog. If you would like access for viewing, please email me.

M-7181

Thursday, March 26, 2009

milk

when do you recommend switching a babe from whole milk to 2%?

and from white milk to chocolate? haha.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

you don't want to know...but you need to

As soon as I mention the topic of this post, some of you will immediately stop reading. Perhaps you will take the time to scroll down looking for photos...or you may just quickly hit that back button and get the heck out of dodge. Let me say...I totally understand.

But hear me out. I'm not saying you need to do anything drastic. I'm saying you need to know...to be aware. To have your eyes open to the realities of human trafficking.

It's difficult to face. Our minds don't want to "go there." But right this moment a little child, a young girl, or a woman IS THERE. Actually living in the place that we don't want to go.


You need to know that
- human trafficking, the buying and selling of people, is a business that is bigger and more prevalent that you can fathom...and it is rapidly growing in our country,
- forced labor associated with trafficking can be sexual in nature, but also includes working in sweatshops, agricultural settings, and domestic settings,
- the United States is one of the largest markets in the world for sexual slavery.

I'm not going to post stats because I think they can overwhelm and take the focus off the individual. But it's safe to say that by the time you finish reading this an American businessman will have had his way with an 11 year old Filipino child, a vanload of teen girls who thought they were coming to America for school will be herded into an underground brothel in your state, and a young woman will have sexually served, against her will, her 20th customer for the day.

God is not calling everyone to become ICE agents or open a transitional house for victims. But God does call us to free the oppressed. Is there really any who are more oppressed than those who are bought and sold to be used for brutal, humiliating sex or labor against their will?


You can
- do nothing
- pray (I even pray that God will bring the oppressed to my mind so that I remember to pray for them!)
- become more aware (look around when you are at gas stations or public restrooms...notice the people in your surroundings)
- become more active (research sites, donate $, host an event to inform your community)

Some resources:
Shared Hope Int
Life Impact Int
Kim Daniels w/AIM
Hagar Int
The Defenders USA (great site for men!)

I recently watched the movie Human Trafficking. I never watch these types of movies because I see no point in filling your mind with such things, but I feel that this movie accurately depicts various aspects of the scope and brutality of human trafficking. In the final scene, Mira Sorvino's character says that we must face the fact that "none of this horror would be possible if our culture didn't create a demand for it."

UGH! Doesn't it kill you that the men (and a growing number of women) in our cities...in our neighborhoods...are fueling this tragedy? PRAY for the victims, the oppressors, AND the buyers who are creating the demand for this product of human lives. As God answers prayers and brings His light to the darkness, healing and hope will come...but also future lives will be spared the horrors of human trafficking.


"modern day slavery is only occuring because we choose to ignore it..." - Human Trafficking, the movie

Monday, March 23, 2009

private blog

Our new private blog is up and running, and I have sent email invites to all who requested access. At least I hope I did! So if you didn't get an invitation or have decided you would like one (because all the cool kids are doing it), please email me!

This blog will stay a public blog if you care to join me in discussing topics ranging from trash-bagged windows to human trafficking to chocolate covered strawberries!

crazy

I recently read that parents are not supposed to tell kids things like "you are driving me crazy."

WHAAAAAAT?

I would just like to know who the goody-two-shoes was that came up with that decision...and give 'em a good thump between the eyes. UNFAIR!

Finally...I was going to be on the giving end of that statement rather than the receiving end...and now it's ripped out of my hands...torn from my arsenal of mama comebacks...

and it's driving me crazy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

POSTpourri

I LOVE this kid:
I LOVE Play-doh...but not as much as I love the kid.
Love the kid even though he has been miserably tired the past few days...or has it been weeks...and has decided that mama is not interesting AT ALL and says things like "Matthew and Kit play and Mama goes work." For newcomers, Kit is M's aunt...and I DON'T WORK!! At least not outside the home! He is totally trying to give me the boot! I'm so glad my Play-doh people enjoy my company.

Purchasing a camera: To answer some email questions...I have the Canon Rebel Xti, which was purchased as a kit (camera body + 2 lenses). If I had to do it over again, I would not buy the kit. The 18-55mm is just adequate and I rarely use the 55mm-250mm. That being said, I do believe there are some photographers who could take AMAZING pics with a coke bottle duct taped to the camera in place of a lens, so take this with a grain of salt. I purchased the 50mm 1.4, and it is the lens I use 99.999999999% of the time. Keep in mind this lens is prime and does not zoom.
If you are looking at the Rebel, do a comparison between the Xsi and the Xti. One feature that is a nuisance with the Xti is that the smallest metering setting is PARTIAL, and you really want SPOT (which the Xsi has).
You can rent camera equipment, so you may want to consider that option before making a purchase.


Hefty, Hefty, Hefty...Although M has both blinds and drapes on his bedroom window, I thought that it might still need to be darker in his room. My reasoning for this was that he slept so well in CA, and it was pitch black in that room. I decided that, while I wanted to give it a try, I didn't want spend a bunch of money and have a failed project. So I broke out the Hefty. Actually, the generic version of Hefty. And my best packing tape...again, generic. Six big trash bags and half a roll of tape later, my baby's room was ghetto chic. And much darker! No worries, the bags are between the blinds and the drapes, so our neighbors' property value isn't going down due to my frugality. Does it work? No, not really...but not surprised.

Beauty products...My face has fallen, and it can't get up. I am aging faster than something that goes really, really fast. It doesn't help that we have NEGATIVE percent humidity right now. I wish my face could live in the bokeh of life! Any good recommendations on wrinkle cream?

A flip flop, a flippity flippity flip flip flop you don't stop a rockin'...HOORAY for flip flop season! Don't even think about baring your dogs until you grab some Curel's Foot Cream. It is a summer must-have and is less than $5, which makes me happy. It's so marvelous that your feet will send you a hand-written...err, foot-written...thank you card.


Blush, blush...I just got an email from the author of PRAY BIG FOR YOUR MARRIAGE! When I saw his name in my inbox, I recognized it, but figured it was a blogger asking for an invite to my private blog. But then I opened it and realized it was THE Will Davis, Jr! He kindly thanked me for the free airtime . I blushed...and then blushed some more.
OK, now as I look at the "blush, blush" above I am starting to sing it to the tune of "Hush, Hush" by Til Tuesday...which you will only know if you are ancient like me. So in my head I am singing, "blush, blush, keep it down now, blog posts carry..." because I am assuming the Pastor found my blog by googling "pray big for your marriage." BAM! And there I was...my little blog post carrying its words around the cyberworld...which confirms my decision to go private with M's blog. And reminds me not to write any posts about al-KY-duh!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

for your eyes only...

Hey, gang...I am taking this blog PRIVATE. Well, actually I am not sure yet if I will make this one password protected or just create a new private blog for personal posts about M.

If you would like an invitation for viewing, please send an email to 1sttimemama1@gmail.com and include your email address and blog/website address (if you have one).

Hope you are having a great Wednesday!!!!!!! (I had to look at my computer calendar to make sure it was Wednesday!)

edited2add: Hey, thanks for all the emails! When we were in CA we stayed in a new section of the resort, which was still under construction. The main resort buildings were nestled at the foot of the mountain, but our condo was higher up the hill. A few times I walked the road down the mountain, and along the entire road was a tall construction fence, obviously erected to keep guests from the danger of the steep hill. One day I noticed a breach in the fence...an opening not too big, but big enough...and on the other side just slightly down the hill was a beautiful tree with bright purple blooms. BEAUTIFUL! And it was calling my name! I wanted to smell that tree...to see the blooms up close. I walked closer to the fence and peered through the opening. I could have easily stepped through the fence...stepped away from its protection...but I turned on my heel and headed back to the road.

I have been praying lately for God's protection of our family...and yet no sooner do those words pass my lips that I also pray that WE will be diligent in building walls of protection around ourselves. Yes, God is our Protector, but we also have a responsibility.

I see that, for me, making my life (and especially the life of my child) so public is like that breach in the fence around the resort. Even with thousands of feet of protective wall along that road, just that one small opening would be enough for someone to fall to danger. My decision to go private is simply a matter of patching up that opening.

I do intend to keep a public blog for God-stuff. While I do not pretend to be a gifted writer, I know for certain that I am gifted struggler! And, if God can use my struggles (that are always outmatched by His grace) to help someone else, then thanks be to Him! Before I go private, I will post info about a public blog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

some stuff

I am a little commitment-phobic when it comes to decorating. So rather than select, frame, and hang a few photos and then tire of them in a month, I purchased these white magnetic boards from eye-KEY-uh instead. They were about $9/each. I saw some super cool tiny, stainless steel magnets that I loved but, when adding shipping to the total, I just couldn't bring myself to pay nearly $30 for MAGNETS! So I found these little colored ball magnets for less than $3/pkg. I haven't decided which photos to put on the boards yet, but I threw some recent pics on the boards so you could get an idea of their size.


The other day we finally got some rain, so M and I played Noah's Ark! M pretended to be Noah; I played the narrator and God. Here "Noah" is building the ark:
The animals were gathered:
The ark doors were shut when it began to rain:After the rain stopped, there was a "rainbow" of rings in the sky:
The cool thing was that afternoon we really did see a rainbow in our sky! A rare occurence!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

back to grace

Before we left for CA, I published this post and this post about grace. Based on the comments and emails I received about them, I decided to share some more of my study on this topic.

Why I started studying about grace:
At the beginning of the new year I had a few conversations with a friend that left my heart feeling a little heavy. Replaying the discussions in my head, I realized that the problem was my speech. Oh, it wasn't that I had been gossiping or cussing or slandering or even throwing down a bunch of "yo mama" jokes (I save those for my convos with Scott...just kidding, Grandma!). Yet even though those things were absent, nothing about my words was edifying. My speech lacked purpose (other than just trying to use up some of my 30,000 words for the day) and reeked of the world.

We know that our speech is just an outpouring of what is in our hearts (Luke 6:46), but I'll focus on the speech in this post...because the heart surgery is taking longer than expected. Scalpel...scalpel.

God's words about a Christian's speech are pretty cut and dry:
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.- Eph 4:29

[Let] your speech always [be] with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.- Col 4:6

Do all things without complaining and disputing, - Phl 2:14

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips [is] wise.- Prov 10:19

The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked [what is] perverse. - Prov 10:32

A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. - Prov 18:2


As I studied, God revealed more ways that my speech was in need of an overhaul. I'm going to give you an example because, if you were writing this post, I would be like "What exactly is she talking about?" and then I would email you and ask, "What exactly are you talking about?" To which you would respond, "Away with you, blog stalker!" and set your blog to private. But, since I like examples, I will provide one.

So...for example, (I think I could use up my 30,000 words just with "example") every night as Scott would walk in the door, out of my mouth spewed an ugly laundry list of everything frustrating M had done that day. Why? Was I trying to get sympathy? Was I trying to relay how challenging it can be as a SAHM? That it's not all about eating chocolate covered strawberries while watching Spanish novellas? At least not ALL of it. NOTE: Scott NEVER questions my role, so it's not like I had to defend myself.

Nope, there was no purpose other than a selfish one. Scroll up and re-read Proverbs 18:2 while inserting "Tish" for "a fool." Sums.it.up. NOTE: I'm not saying that I should never discuss M's behavior issues with Scott or that it's not human to vent now and then. I'm only saying that God has called me on the carpet for a sinful habit I had developed.

This is what God says about Jesus' speech:
You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.- Psalm 45:2

So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. - Luke 4:22

I want my speech to lift the spirits of others...to encourage, to comfort, to edify. I want God to be blessed by the words of my mouth even if His name doesn't pass my lips. I want to speak with purpose...this doesn't mean I never want to chit chat and small talk and gab. I mean, afterall, I have like 30,000 words a day that I just HAVE to get out!

But here's the thing...
My Savior spoke with grace.
His Spirit dwells within me.
By His power I, too, can speak with grace.


I'm confident of this.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

BTW, if Scott has written this post, it would be 1/4 of it's current size...because guys only use like 25 words a day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Easter is coming!

Just practicing...M was happy to oblige for photos when I whipped out a sucker the size of our nation's debt! I think it was even a little too much for him since he eventually said, "Matthew done soon" and didn't cry when I took it away. I left them unedited because M is back to "flash naps"...yesterday's was 35 mins...so I have little time for such extravagant luxuries!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

get your verse on

As if Stefanie wasn't already in the running for some Nobel-SuperHero-Lifetime Achievement Award, this soon-to-be NINTH TIME MAMA just started a new business venture! On the side. On the side of 1 husband, 9 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 SN adoption support blog.

When does she find time to do it all, you ask? Exactly. Cloning. I suspect cloning.

Anyway...this is good stuff. This is God stuff.

Wild Olive Tees


His Word on shirts, His money helping those in need, His love displayed in a group of friends who are having fun selling Tees!!!

Wild Olive Tees


Get on over to Wild Olive...and get your verse on!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

takin' care of bizness

I met Jen and her megawatt smile behind the CO-OP last Sunday. Jen greeted me like a professional with her hand, but she hugged me like a friend with her smile. I met her through our mutual pal, Chelsea...the only sucker I could get to pose for a practice photoshoot a couple months ago. Well, Jen saw Chelsea's pics and asked if I would take some of her...for business cards!!! GULP! PRESSURE!!!!

Since the photos are (potentially!) for business cards, my goal was to get shots that would have enough space for printing her contact info. I actually remembered to meter correctly this time, so I was pretty happy with my exposure...but my focus is horrible. I was shooting between 2.2-3.5 and focusing on Jen's eye, but STILL ended up with soft shots. I think I need to hold my camera differently and really stay planted...I think I pull away before the shot is completed.

Anyway, here are about 20 photos...edited in picnik...I seriously have about 100 more!

serious.life magazine

You may have seen my sidebar button encouraging prayer for sweet ABBY. Well, in addition to caring for Abby and their 6 other children, Abby's parents own and publish Serious.Life Magazine.

Serious.Life Magazine includes articles about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor, etc. If you'd like to check it out, they just released the March issue...and a subscription is FREE! As in FREEEEEEEEEE!

Serious.Life Magazine

Monday, March 9, 2009

beach videos

these are long...and probably only Smooch and my grandma need to watch anything more than the first 10 secs...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

global food crisis day

I'm not one of those organized mamas who goes to the grocery store with a complete list of ingredients needed to make a planned meal schedule for the week. I'm lucky to leave with a "meal" for that evening...and a bag of gummy bears.

Whether you are a check-it-off-your-list queen or a grab-whatever-looks-good-at-the-moment mom, I hope you will go shopping this week with this thought in mind:

Is there a way to whittle down your list (or your whims) so that you can send a little love to those in need...to those who don't have the luxury of meal planning or impulse buys? For those who don't even have the luxury (yes, luxury) of knowing they will eat that day?

Here's the scoop:
WHAT IS GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS DAY? Compassion International is partnering with radio stations, media, churches and bloggers to spread the word about the Global Food Crisis and raise funds that will make a real difference to those impacted by it.

WHY IS THE CRISIS? Overshadowed by recent political and financial economic news, the UN World Food Programme calls the current global food crisis “a phenomenon, a silent tsunami,” that is affecting millions of families in every nation on every continent. This global food crisis is more rapid, urgent and devastating than any other in the history of our planet.

WHY IS THE CRISIS HAPPENING? The cost of food staples have roughly doubled in many countries where Compassion serves. Some of the original factors that turned this trend into a world calamity recently include unstable oil prices, increased meat consumption in countries like India and China, droughts in major crop-producing countries, and increased production of biofuels.

HOW CAN YOU HELP? Visit http://www.compassion.com/please to learn more about the Global Food Crisis and donate to Compassion's Global Food Crisis Fund. Add a Global Food Crisis widget to your blog sidebar or posts: http://share-compassion.org/gfc/

WHAT DOES THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS FUND DO? Provides food vouchers to children and families needing immediate relief. Provides seeds and agricultural tools so that families can grow their own food as well as earn extra income. Provides supplemental nutrition services at Compassion-assisted centers around the world.


If you cannot send a financial contribution, will you please take a moment and pray for the child who is shown in the Compassion button at the top of my sidebar?

gracias tanto a mis amigos



Thursday, March 5, 2009

happy anniversary, baby, i've got you on my miiiiind!

hooray for six years!!!

i planned to scan more photos from our wedding, but my scanner was having personal issues...so i gave it the night off. without pay, of course.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

pray big for your marriage

I have recommended the book Pray Big for your Marriage before but thought I'd give it some more free ad space. I am moving ever so slowly through it and tailoring the prayer suggestions for my marriage. And...I am already seeing answers to my prayers. I am humbled by God's goodness and by the joy of committing to praying more than just "bless us, God."

Some examples of suggested intercessions in the book include praying that
- you and your spouse won't settle for mediocrity in your marriage,
- your marriage would mirror God's everlasting love and lovingkindness,
- God will expose and remove any barriers that keep you from knowing all the joy He intends for your marriage, and
- you will love Jesus MORE than you love your spouse, etc.


I'd like to be transparent here...not because I think my words are going to be super exciting or profound, but because I know how incredibly helpful the honest sharing of others is to me.

I've mentioned before that I am not the prayer warrior I long to be. I know that God is our Abba (Romans 8:15) and some people converse with Him easily throughout the day just as they would their earthly Dad. However, for some reason I always think of Isaiah's encounter with the Lord (Isaiah 6) and feel like I need to be locked in my closet, face on the ground, and going through the ACTS steps in order to pray. Not for ritual but for reverence! Think Wayne and Garth, "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy."

BUT...I know that God meets me where I am, and He's been using this book to encourage me in prayer.


I have been praying the intercession listed above asking God to "expose barriers." Let me just say that the first day I prayed this, I did so with the acknowledgement that I am so often a barrier...THE barrier. God must have agreed and started revealing very specific ways that a change in me would lead to more joyful intimacy in my marriage.

Keep this in mind: If you read the account of Adam and Eve in the garden, God gives the instruction about the "forbidden fruit" BEFORE He makes Eve. There is no mention of God reiterating His words to Eve. Perhaps He did, or perhaps Adam shared the news and she was expected to trust him...we don't know. But we do know that Eve was deceived by satan and then gave the fruit to Adam, who ate of it in direct transgression (1 Tim 2:14). However, after they BOTH ate of the fruit, God addressed Adam. Nevermind that Eve ate first. Nevermind that she gave the fruit to her man. God addressed Adam.

I am a girl led by emotions and sometimes volatile ones at that! If up to me we would probably have started an orphanage in our guest room, given our entire savings to combat human trafficking, and be trekking to Mexico every weekend to build homes for those need. All good stuff, right? But is it God's will for our family?

Now because I believe that God designed the husband to lead the family (1 Cor 11:3), I pray often for Scott to have wisdom in guiding our family and our business. Yet, even when not meaning to, I often try to impress my ideas and my timing on him rather than trusting that He is surrendered to and being led by God. I mean, why haven't we sold all of our belongings yet? There is a baby in africa who needs milk!

I think most husbands, like mine, really want to make their wives happy...and perhaps sometimes men can succumb to the desires (or nagging, whatever the situation may be) of their wives in order to achieve this. Is this what Adam did? Did he disobey God in an attempt to make Eve happy? I don't know but I do know that, by Divine design, Scott is responsible to God for our family. Remember how God addressed Adam?

My guess is that we can expect to see more joy in our marriages when we fully commit to praying for our husbands to be surrendered to and led by God and then trusting that it is actually happening. May we be more conscious of what we ask of our husbands...praying that their desire to obey God will supercede their desire to make us happy. When God calls the name of your husband, may it be to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant..."