Sunday, December 28, 2008

Still Christmas

We are still in the middle of the whole Christmas thing and still have 2 weeks to go. (Sorry, Danny, but our tree isn't coming down for a while).

We loved the Christmas Eve service at church. It seems we are never home on Christmas, so we really appreciated it. We might just insist that Christmas Eve and Day are set aside for our kids after this.

We had a very different Christmas Day. Jerald didn't feel very good all day, so after some yummy cinnamon rolls, I took the kids to see "Bedtime Stories". It was light-hearted and fun, but also had a good message. We came home and had Chicken Fajitas and played Pictionary.

The next day, we went to Indiana for Christmas with Jerald's family. His mom has MS pretty bad and isn't really able to do a whole lot anymore. We are wondering how much longer we can stay at their house. We came home Saturday night.

Next weekend is Christmas with my mom; the highlight of the whole time will culminate on Sunday afternoon when we pick Adam up at the Cincy airport. His 19th birthday was yesterday. We talked with him on Friday; I asked him if he was ready to come home. His reply? Yes & no, mostly no.

Two weeks from yesterday will end our Christmas celebrations. I know I will be ready to get everything put away and be back on a normal schedule, but until then I will enjoy the time with my husband and kids.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Season

Even though I start feeling a teensy bit of stress at everything that needs to be accomplished right now, I still enjoy this time of year. It's a time of being at home as much as possible, baking with my girls and listening to Christmas music. (My favorites right now are Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Fernando Ortega). The secret for me is to look ahead about 4 weeks in my planner and list all the food for various family get-togethers that needs to be made and plan accordingly. Everything possible goes in the freezer.

Jerald and I always take a weekend in early December and go to another city to Christmas shop. It's nice to be able to talk openly (versus secret code) about what we need to buy and order, and I always love his input. Plus the hotel and eating out are nice little amenities!

This week, we are putting as much in the freezer as we can. Brooke made tons of cookies for a couple gatherings, I made a cheesecake for Jerald's work Christmas and various candies (fudge, buckeyes, cream cheese candies). I'm also helping my mom get some food in her freezer for the family Christmas of 40+ brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, etc. Next week will be more of the same, plus finish shopping and wrapping.

We are going to Indiana the day after Christmas for Jerald's family Christmas. I have all the gifts bought and wrapped for that except one and that one is up to Jerald. Our tradition for dinner is tacos. Jerald's mom has MS and is no longer able to get around very well, so we are going to his brother's for the actual dinner and gifts. My contribution for the meal is appetizers, wassail, cookies and candy.

My family Christmas is always the New Year's weekend, Friday night to Sunday, although some don't come until Sat. My mom's house isn't big enough for everyone to stay there, so I host some of the family here (most are from out-of-state). Interestingly enough, we also have a tradition of tacos for dinner Saturday night. (It's simply amazing how different something like tacos can taste). On Sunday, we have a baked potato bar. My mom usually takes care of the Friday night supper by herself, but I'm helping with that this year. It's been soup and apple dumplings for a very long time.

Adam doesn't get home from Africa until January 4th, so Christmas with our kids will be the following weekend, Jan. 9th & 10th. The eve before gifts, we have snacky-type foods and play games together. The next day we have a hearty breakfast, gifts and a tradition of fondue for dinner.

On top of Christmas, we also have some birthdays to work in: Adam-Dec. 27th and Colin-Jan. 2nd. I usually let the kids choose their favorite meal; they range from roast beef & mashed potatoes to chicken fajitas.

One day at a time, sweet Jesus.
That's all I'm asking from you.
Just give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord, help me today, show me the way, one day at a time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mind Your Manners

With all of the family gatherings, holiday get-togethers and Christmas dinners approaching, it might be necessary to focus on dinner table manners with our families.

Mealtimes in the Yost home have always been an important part of our day. It is the time of the day when we sit down as a family and connect with one another. To make that hour as pleasant as possible, we spent a season when the kids were little reminding them of acceptable mealtime behavior.

We've all spent time sitting across a table with children who were eating like cavemen. They couldn't sit still, they slurped, they used their fingers, they interrupted, they reached, and yes, sometimes burped. This type of conduct was totally unacceptable when I was a child.

Somewhere along the line, I'm afraid we've forgotten to teach our kids the polite way to eat. We figured that once they had mastered picking up food themselves and getting it in their mouths instead of their hair, our job was finished. It could partly be because as a culture, we've made dinner a casual affair.

Families used to eat dinner together, and not just once a week, but the majority of the evenings. Today, because of schedules, we sit down, we inhale, we get up. Studies show that eating together as a family has awesome benefits. Teens who eat dinner with their families at least five times a week are less likely to do drugs or be depressed, and are more likely to do well in school. (Research by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse) Kids who never eat with their parents are 60% more likely to smoke or drink. It only makes sense that dinner is one of those opportunities to be together and actually talk. Kids internalize the message of Christ when they see us together as a family and living it out. Eating together provides a time to talk with our kids about their day. It gives us opportunity to keep up with what they are thinking and doing.

So now that we have established the necessity of a family mealtime, wouldn't it be more enjoyable if our children knew how to act properly at the table? It starts with setting the table. Even the youngest can be taught the proper way to set a place setting. Train them to do it properly. I know it seems like a minor detail, but it's the beginning of decorum. If it helps, draw the outlines of the plate, cup, knife, spoon and fork on paper and laminate it. They will feel really important at being able to do this on their own. Moms, if you don't know yourself, google it. :) Napkins are a vital piece of an enjoyable meal. Teach your kids to use it instead of their sleeves! Other important etiquette rules are elbows off the table, please chew with your mouth shut, sit still in your chair, no eating with fingers, use utensils properly, take turns speaking. It's a time to learn to listen quietly when another person is speaking.

This might all seem like a small piece of a child's training, but it pertains to respect, honor and courtesy. It will carry over to other areas of their lives.

When children sit at dinner respectfully, the time together is more enjoyable for everyone. It will take consistency, discipline and patience, but the dividends will be worth it. Just ask your relatives who may have to eat with your barbaric offspring at the next Christmas dinner.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Frantic Friday


In my opinion "Black Friday" has become exactly that: black! As black as the depravity of man's heart.

How can any material thing be more important than a human life? One greeter at a Walmart won't be celebrating the season with his family. Instead his family is planning his funeral. The masses broke the doors down and trampled him underfoot as they madly rushed to get those iPods or xboxes or gps or... How can this happen?

Nicole works at Walmart in Troy. Thankfully, she didn't have to work till afternoon. She came home last night and told us about a man who punched a lady and her daughter because they took the last xbox off the shelf!!

A couple years ago, Jerald & I decided to get up in the middle of the night and go to a Best Buy for something ( I don't even remember what it was anymore). We stood in a line that went across the front, down the side and half way around the back of the store. Even after the store opened, the line barely moved. We decided it wasn't worth the ridiculous wait, so we went home. Jerald went online and got the same exact item for the same exact price with no shipping.

How can we go from spending one day in thanksgiving with our families to spending the very next day in a lustful, mad pursuit of stuff? It's like something (or someone) temporarily takes up residence in the heart and causes actions and attitudes that are insane.

For shame America!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Titus 2:3-5
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands that the word of God may not be dishonored".

that they may encourage the young women sensible.

It seems that much thought and time are spent in the encouragement to love husbands and children, but my attention lately has been drawn to that one little word, sensible. What exactly does it mean to be sensible? How does an older woman encourage the younger woman to be sensible? How do we, in a practical manner, live sensibly? What happens if we do not incorporate this virtue into our lives?

The NASB uses the word 'sensible' in this passage of Scripture; the ESV says 'self-controlled'; KJV 'discreet'. The Greek word comes from two parts of speech: a verb meaning to save, to keep safe, to rescue from danger and a feminine noun referring to the mind as a faculty for perceiving and judging, but also meaning the midriff, a part of the heart that masters desires and passions. If we put these two together, we could safely conclude that sensible means training the heart so that the mind can discern what is free from harm and danger, what is safe, prudent and trustworthy. It would involve restraining desires and impulses. (I don't particularly care for the ESV definition of self-controlled. Anything with self at the beginning seems to leave out the work of the Holy Spirit and from what I've concluded there is no way to be a sensible woman without the working of the Spirit in the heart.) The same word is used in 1 Timothy 3:2 in reference to an overseer being prudent.

A verse in Proverbs brings to mind what an unsensible woman might be like- "like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man (or woman) who has no control over his spirit". (25:28)
Romans 6:12 commands us to "not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts".
I believe Peter knew what he was talking about (based on his past)when he instructed us to apply all diligence to moral excellence, knowledge and discretion (mastering desire, passion & appetites). He reminds us that if these qualities are ours and they continually increase in us, we will not be useless or unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I have to ask, who of us, as women, don't need instruction on mastering our emotions? A sensible woman doesn't let the emotions of her heart master her actions and attitudes.

So, how can on older woman train a younger lady in this? We cannot encourage the younger to be sensible when we ourselves do not live controlled by the Holy Spirit. If we are setting the example of a life that's ruled by our passions, desires and emotions, our words of encouragement will fall on deaf ears. We train by example first. And, Moms, you are showing your little girls every single day.

What does living sensibly look like? I asked each of my girls what came to their mind after hearing me read Titus. One said, "it's thinking before acting"; another said, "it's not being a dumb blonde, not acting stupid (stupid is a mean word :)), being smart" and the other mentioned "not being giggly, being responsible". I think that's a pretty good summary. And I'll let you decide who said what.
Other thoughts that came to my mind were establishing boundaries and schedules and than living by them. It seems that schedules may curb our impulses to just do what feels good at the moment. It is sound judgement, common sense, right thinking, the normal process of knowing your right priorities, controlling the temper, meekness (strength under control), applying wisdom in a practical way by modeling God's word.

Being sensible is NOT living by our feelings.

What happens if we don't incorporate this virtue into our lives? I believe if we realized the seriousness of what God is asking of us, we may give these verses more than a cursory glance. Some passages of Scripture become so familiar to us, we read over them without a second thought. But read what it says at the end of Titus 2:5, "...that the word of God may not be dishonored". How serious is that? The Greek word for dishonored is blasfemo. It's easy to see what English word comes from that: blaspheme. What it's saying is that when I am not being sensible and training the younger ladies to be sensible, the very word of God will be spoken evil against. That's serious business! Ultimately, I will cause a sin and I will not be useful to God. Most importantly, God will receive NO glory.

I'm sharing my study on this in the hope that I can encourage someone who is where I was 20+ years ago. Maybe I can help them avoid the mistakes I made, due largely to a lack of knowledge.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


That's what my brain has been filled with as far as blogging material is concerned! I've been seriously limiting my computer time so that I can keep my priorities straight. Life has been very routine, which helps me keep my daily 'to do' list checked off.
I think Jerald is home for a time now, so that's nice.
Nicole still has the dining room table totally covered with college info. I'm wondering how much time I should give her. Having things out-of-order like that doesn't bug me as much as it used to, but I'm starting to think time's up.
Adam is getting excited about his Mali, Africa, trip. He leaves Wed. (10-5), so keep him in your prayers for the next two months.
Colin is busy with school, farming and social activities.
Brooke takes ice skating lessons every Monday night, which she absolutely loves. She's awfully thankful for her older brother and his driving status so that she can be socially active. She pretty much likes to have her weekends full.
Laina has to always be the one who hangs out with mom and dad; actually, I think she likes the attention.
God continues to pour his blessings out on our family; we are continually seeking His will and praying a lot!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008






Interesting stuff here...
By the way, hubris means arrogant.
No matter what we believe in regards to voting, we MUST believe and engage in actively praying for our future!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Laina Mae

I have to post this a little early due to the Chicago event, which caused a little stress a while back when Laina realized I wasn't going to be home for her birthday (and, by the way, neither is her Dad who is away on business this week). Actually, it's turning out quite well for Laina because a one day birthday is turning into a 4-day event.

"L" for Laina

Eleven years ago, after 2 1/2 hours of labor, our third daughter and fifth child was born on October 9, 1997, at 12:03 pm- Laina Mae Yost (we liked the feminine sound of Laina & Mae is her grandma's middle name). It was a very bittersweet time for me because I was pretty certain this would be the last baby I would ever have and I loved my babies!

I've kept baby books on all the children (some have more info than others)and I found a prayer I wrote shortly after she was born:
"Oh Father, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my child, to listen patiently to what she has to say, and to answer all her questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting her or contradicting her. Make me as courteous to Laina as I would have her be to me. Forbid that I should ever laugh at her mistakes or resort to shame or ridicule when she displeases me. May I never punish her for my own selfish satisfaction or to show my power. Guide me hour-by-hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces joy. Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me, and when I am out-of-sorts help me to hold my tongue. May I ever be mindful that Laina is a child and that I should not expect of her the judgement of an adult. Make me fair and just and kind. Fit me, Oh Lord, to be loved, respected and imitated by Laina."
How interesting that God already knew when I prayed that prayer that she was going to be the most talkative and questioning child we would ever have! :)

Another excerpt from the baby book:
"We aren't sure where the phrase 'terrible twos' came from, but that certainly does not describe you. We are loving every minute of you. Mommy calls you her 'bright spot'".

skipping ahead to age 7- we've shed many tears over lost or killed kitties- she truly loves them

Laina never got into the traditional little girl (so much for the feminine-sounding name) role of playing house and babies. She wants to be outside and busy with her pets or riding bike or jumping on the trampoline or rollerblading. The interesting thing, though, is that she also has this side of her that likes to study and write what she thinks and feels.

age 8- now this is when she started getting spunky- if you look close you can see it in her eyes

9 years old- never far from her pets

dance praise- Christmas 2006

sneaking kitties in the house

very funny- 9 1/2 yrs

you go, girl- 10 yrs.

birthday #10

she hated to see those puppies sell- jan. 08

my hamming munchkin

learning to drive the 4-wheeler with dad- 10 1/2 yrs.

that position lasted about 2 seconds- sunbathing is not her cuppa tea

we did a mother/daughter lunch at Olive Garden today and she got a small part of her gift

my sunshine turning 11 in a few hours

There is no one word that sums up who Laina is, but several come to mind:
*intelligent (the easiest student I've had)she can out-math and out-spell most of her older siblings, which doesn't make for smooth relationships.

*incredible grasp of God's Word (sometimes leaving me slightly bewildered)


*peacemaker (to the point of giving in just to keep everyone happy)Is it wrong for me to encourage her a little more towards being OK with having an opinion that's different from others?




*enjoys adult conversations

*gives as good as she gets

Her favorite pastimes are:
*one dog- Mandy
*two cats- Butterfinger & Scotch (and at the moment 6 kitties- anyone need a kitty?)

*riding her bike
*being outside
*studying & writing
*writing notes to her mom & dad (I'm saving them- they are precious!)Here's a part of her most recent paper handed to me:

Some struggles she has:
*keeping her room clean- we're talking BAD (I'm not sure whose is worse- Nicole or Laina)
*insisting she's right- even when it's dead obvious she's wrong (hmmm...wonder where that comes from?)
*being overly sensitive

Laina, you are loved and enjoyed in our family more than you will ever know. You have brought laughter, life and joy to all of us. We love your extremely distinct personality. Happy Birthday my very sweet 11 year old daughter- my baby.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let the Wife see to it that she Reverence her Husband

This seems to be a topic of mine that surfaces on an extremely regular basis! I seriously lose track of the countless times I meditate on this thing of reverencing my husband! I don't know about the rest of you, but reverencing my husband does not come naturally! In fact, we're told in Gen. 3:16 that the woman's "desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Translated, it means that the woman's desire will be to rule over her husband. It is only by daily (sometimes minute-by-minute) seeking of the LORD's help that I can even attempt this thing of reverence!

(By the way, I prefer to use the word reverence instead of respect; respect means to have esteem towards, to think highly of- which I can do towards any man who is worthy of it. But reverence? that's a much deeper word. It means a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe, a feeling of profound awe and love- it's the awe that makes the difference).

I would venture to say that most of us could say we respect our husbands, but do we reverence them?

Reverencing begins in the mind! "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."- Lu 6:45
If we start by revering our husbands in our thoughts, it will soon spill over into our speech! But if we think of them negatively, a critical spirit or words will follow. WE CANNOT BE OUR HUSBAND'S HOLY SPIRIT!
I read somewhere a long time ago that we must give God the negatives and give our husbands the positives.

Practically speaking, how can we do this? How can we systematically exercise the command in Eph. 5:33?

Here's some things I have come up with:
*Release my expectations of what I think my husband should do or be to God
*LET him lead- it's OK if he makes mistakes
*Realize that he will never be perfect (look at myself, for pete's sake!)
*Encourage any and all attempts at spiritual leadership (did you know your husband feels very inadequate?)
*Make him KNOW and feel that he is my hero
*Praise him for his hard work and the money he provides for his family
*Actually, praise him for everything!
*Do not EVER be negative about finances; husbands take this personally
*Give him some space from my emotional chit-chatting
*Don't expect him to read my mind
*Let his home be his haven- do our husbands drag their feet about coming home because of the chaos & haggard-looking shrew they know they will find there?
*Being a content wife speaks volumes to our husbands
*LISTEN when he speaks; don't be so quick to jump in with my own comment or opinion
*Focus on what made me love him in the first place
*Stop focusing on what's "wrong" with him and find out what's wrong with myself
*Let him enjoy "guy" things without making him feel guilty that this somehow isn't "spiritual" (i.e.- football (fantasy or real), softball, bowling, fishing, tinkering, in fact, show an interest in whatever it is)
*Stop thinking that if only he would do this or that my problems would be solved
*Never, EVER, EVER belittle my husband in public
*Make him my best friend
*When something needs to be discussed, speaking the truth in love applies most of all to my husband
*Sex- the more, the better- need I say more? (ha, you thought I forgot!)

I'm sure there are many more. I've found it helpful to focus on one aspect that I believe I need to work on and just do that for a time.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing". John 15:4&5

We cannot do the impossible without abiding in the LORD of the possible!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Brokenness post script

Imagine (ok, jessi, i know that's a stretch :)) my excitement when I discovered how concisely Beth Moore summarized what I tried to say in my comment on my last post about brokenness versus destruction, about Satan wanting to destroy and Christ wanting to use brokenness.

On page 53 of "Jesus the One and Only", Beth says EXACTLY what I was thinking about God's brokenness vs. Satan's brokenness. It is so important I'm going to quote it here:
"...heavy-duty oppression, which in essence is external oppression with the intent of breaking its object, is Satan's counterfeit for brokenness.
At times I've fought back the tears as I've heard testimonies of people who had been utterly unable to function, describing themselves as broken by God. I don't think God's brand of brokenness is total emotional wreckage. God's intent in breaking us is bending our stiff knees so that we will submit to Hs authority and take on His yoke. His aim is our abundant and effective life. Being totally unable to function because the mind and emotions are in shambles is Satan's counterfeit. Praise God, Christ can certainly use Satan's counterfeit brokenness to bring us to a place of accepting His own, but I think we credit some things to Christ that He didn't do."

That quote totally sums up my contemplation about the difference.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I've been reading "Brokenness" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss the last few days. This is actually the second time I've read it. She contrasts the broken person to the unbroken. When I see that fear, loneliness, bondage, bad relationships, communication issues, generation gaps, unresolved conflicts, self-focus, hypocrisy and, yes, even shyness are all caused by pride (the opposite of brokenness), my heart cries out to be broken. I know that the only way for true revival in my heart is to be completely empty of self. God cannot use my religiousness, my outward attempts of righteousness. He wants my humble, contrite, broken heart. I truly willing to let my heart be broken. I really DO want a deep sense of peace and joy, but can I get myself out of the way, can I let go of the control I think I have? Can I honestly say, "break me, LORD"? Because true brokenness before God involves a constant, daily, minute-by-minute way of life. It is agreeing with God about the condition of my heart. It is destroying my self-will, my self-reliance, my hard heart. I have to know that the outcome far outweighs the process; God has promised me that.

And so...I can say, "yes, LORD, break me".

I think ;)...

A really great quote from the book:
"...the broken, contrite heart is easily molded by the hand of God and does not harden itself against the circumstances God chooses to mold it".

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer's End

Summer, in our home, is officially over. School has officially started as of today. I jealously guard the days of summer and do not consider it finished until Labor Day. We have always started school the day after Labor Day. I sometimes kind of dread the thought of school starting up, but when the day actually arrives, I enjoy it. We get back to a stricter schedule and it seems like I get more accomplished.

Adam graduated from high school this past spring so now it's just the younger three. Even that is somewhat different because Colin enrolled at Sinclair this fall for his junior year; he will only be doing 2 subjects at home this year. Brooke is starting her Freshman year and Laina is in 6th grade. My goodness, where did the years go? This is the start of our 12th year of homeschooling. When I think how fast that time went, I'm sure the next 6 years will go even faster. Then what will I do with myself??

Things I Learned This Summer:

~smart boss + smart employee = profit
~smart boss + dumb employee = production
~dumb boss + smart employee = promotion
~dumb boss + dumb empoyee = overtime

~a man will pay $2 for a $2 item he needs
~a woman will pay $3 for a $2 item she doesn't need

~to be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little
~to be happy with a woman you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all

~a woman has the last word in any argument; anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument

~at age 4...success is...not peeing in your pants
~at age 12...success is...having friends
~at age 16...success is...having a driver's license
~at age 25...success is...having sex when married
~at age 35...success is...having money
~at age 50...success is...having money
~at age 60...success is...having sex when married
~at age 70...success is...having a driver's license
~at age 75...success is...having friends
~at age 80...success is...not peeing in your pants

Friday, August 29, 2008


I'm going to confess right up front that this is going to be an extremely shallow blog! :)

I LOVE shoes (& bags). I always have, even though I know very good and well what THE BOOK says about love and who we are supposed to love. So you all understand it's not THAT kind of love. It's a shallow love.

Which leads me to this bumper sticker on Nicole's Facebook that made me laugh:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


...accompanied with patience, has never been one of my dominant virtues. I'm more inclined towards doing, producing, gitterdone, the quicker the better. I especially get impatient when I have to wait on people. In fact, I stopped praying for patience awhile back because God kept inserting opportunites for me to display it towards my children. :)

But, waiting is so often what God calls me to do- waiting with patience. My humanness tells me I am being unproductive if I am sitting still. Sometimes my prayers can be more of a frantic desperation that God do something NOW. My heart can actually feel tight and squeezed when I don't see anything happening.

In the past several months I believe God has been speaking to me through His Word about this subject of waiting patiently:

Psalm 25:4&5- "Make me know Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day."
(I must insert here a great big thank you to Jessi for directing me to these verses in regards to my children. She has no idea how much this has blessed me. I want to pass it along: whenever the word 'me' is used in these verses, insert a child's name. I love you, Jessi!)

Psalm 27:14- "Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD."

Psalm 37:7- "Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him..."

Psalm 62:5-8- "My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."

Isaiah 40:31- "...yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."

Acts 1:4- "And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised..." (read the rest of this passage)

Titus 2:13- "...waiting (looking) for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus..."

Believers seeking to glorify God will simply wait. It is in waiting that God will bring about my sanctification through spiritual growth; it is in waiting that I am actually given new strength. He does not want me waiting with a sense of quiet desperation, but with a courage that He is my hope and salvation. God is a very patient potter, smoothing out my rough edges through sanctifying grace, settling my soul to trust in God that He is exercising His perfect will- even in those areas where I wait...and wait...and wait...

And so, maybe I now have the assurance to go back to praying for patience. :)

And a great big, full-of-love HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most important man in my life!

Monday, August 18, 2008


"I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." 3 John 4

Colin reading his testimony.

"I have been raised in a Christian home with parents who loved me and taught me about God and His love all of my life. I have known about Jesus for all of my 16 years.

About two years ago I realized that just knowing who Christ is wasn’t enough; I needed a personal relationship with Christ. I needed to really know Him. I confessed that I was a sinner; I needed Christ and His redemptive power of the Cross to wash and make me clean.

Titus 3:4-7 says “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

I have submitted to Christ and His finished work on the cross. I believe that I will never be good enough or be able to do enough for salvation, that it is my faith in Christ and nothing else that saves me. It is this same faith that makes me part of His body.

I want to be baptized to show the world that my belief in an awesome and powerful God is real, that He will love me even through the process of growing in His grace. Baptism, for me, makes me accountable to other believers because it is an outward confession of what is in my heart."

What an awesome day to experience the 4th baptism in our family. God's blessings are too numerous to count! One thing that is very clear to us as parents is even though we don't always agree with the choices our children make, we NEVER doubt that they love Jesus and sincerely desire to serve Him.

God is good all the time!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lake Erie

...was awesome in a completely different sort of way than our previous getaway. It was awesome to create memories with those I love the most- husband and kids. We were extremely bummed that Adam wasn't able to go with us. We left early Thursday morning and went to East Harbor State Park; it's on a peninsula northwest of Sandusky.

We had to go see the lake first thing!

Our camper supposedly sleeps 8- I suppose that's true if all the kids were 5 and under. We've always felt a little cramped with all of our big kids and so this time we borrowed my mom's little pop-up for the girls to sleep in. All the kids pitched in and we were set up in no time.

A good portion of our days was spent in the water...

or near the water...

or eating...

One day Jerald, Laina and I took a stroll down the beach and out on this walkway made of huge rocks.

Another day, we went to the Marblehead Lighthouse- the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes, built in 1819.

We snuck in some family pics at the beautiful area surrounding Marblehead.

"ewwwwww...that's disgusting!"

On our last day, we were able to play Bocce ball on a sandbar surrounded by water.

Other random pics...

Camping is actually one of our favorite things to do with our kids. It's a totally relaxed atmosphere, no schedule...sleep when you want, get up when you want, eat when you want, read when you want and is one of the cheapest family-oriented activities there is. It creates great, good times and lasting memories. There's nothing like sitting around a campfire, talking, roasting marshmallows, just being together. We've thought about other family things we could do; let's see...Cedar Point (we saw it from the lighthouse)- $315 for the day, Disney World- $525 for one day, Kings Island- $330. It really gripes me that these places are all about family, but one has to remortgage their house to go.

And so, I guess we will stick with camping for's a lot less stress anyway! The only thing we are praying for is the opportunity to take Dan & Chris! :)