Hope

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Psalm 130:5

Forgiveness

For this week’s edition of Fresh Year, Fresh Start, we are asked to share what God has pressed upon us regarding how to train, discipline, disciple, and teach the precious treasures we have been entrusted with.

And man, is it a difficult job at times.

There are days when I’d just as soon pull my hair out as to brush it.

There are days when I question if I have this parenting thing down. And there are days that I am sure that I don’t.

For a fresh year and a fresh start, I need to start with me. The best way to “teach” or “train” my children is to “live” it in their presence. My sweet boys do not miss a lick.

Hear me?

I said they do not miss a lick.

When McDaddy and I are talking about things or situations, their ears are 100% tuned in.

Sometimes days or weeks pass before they ask me a question regarding a conversation that I thought they were not paying attention to.

They are also pretty quick to question my motives and behaviors just as I would question theirs.

Whether I’m driving in the car, talking on the phone to a salesperson, or interacting with them, it is important to watch my behavior, and my mouth.

Oh sweet mercy. The mouth.

If I made a list of my faults (and believe me, it would be a long one!) my mouth would be at the top of the list.

My mouth is a serious source of trouble for me. Especially with my kids.

The second that some sort of nonsense flies out of my mouth, I am reminded of Psalm 139:4 that says, “Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.” And by that time, it is too late.

The Holy Spirit is quick to speak to me about my mouth and reminds me to try to be better the next time. What can I say? I am a work in progress. Thanks to forgiveness, I get a fresh start everyday.

About a year ago, our six year-old told me a lie. Knowing that this was a very important life lesson, I sent him to his room so that I could think about how to handle the situation and how I should discipline him. I opened my Bible to find a verse about lying. We sat down with his Bible and talked about Psalm 12:22 which says, The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.

We also discussed Psalm 34:13 that says “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” I believe he understood the words in the verse and the importance of living it. We talked at length about lies and how they get us into trouble. I had a tough time believing that my little one would lie to me, but it was an awesome opportunity to talk about lying as a sin.

And the we talked about forgiveness.

I am thankful that I am forgiven even though I am a work in progress.

This post is linked to Run the Earth, Watch the Sky‘s Fresh Year, Fresh Start series.

Worship

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28

Do I [Really] Surrender All?

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

As I sang along with Selah in my van yesterday, (without kids, mind you!) I found myself singing this song. A song that I have sang hundreds of time in church. Yesterday though, the words struck a chord with me. I stopped singing and really listened to the words. After the song was over, I was still thinking about its words. I’ve had something on my heart for the past ten days or so and I’ve prayed and cried out to Jesus, but feel like my prayers are not being heard.

Or answered for that mattered.

I replayed the song and as I listened to the words of this song, I asked myself do I REALLY? Surrender All?

I mean, I DO pray.

And I DO try not to worry. (I’ve made huge strides here with Jesus’ help, but I’ve got a ways to go!)

And I DO want to surrender it all.

Sometimes I feel like Jesus needs my help in solving a problem or answering a prayer. You know, because HE IS so busy and all.

Sound familiar? Or, am I standing alone in this line?

Ten years ago, I worried myself silly over stupid things that I had absolutely zero control over. I’ve really come a long, long way, but sometimes I feel like I’m standing back there on that road again, all alone worrying myself about some of those same things I worried about before Jesus got a hold of me and shook me real hard and reminded of the scripture in Matthew 6:27 that says, Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Worry is not from the Lord.

It is, in fact, sin.

Worry creeps up and it creeps in and before you know it, your mind and your thoughts are no longer centered on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). They are centered on what you can do to take care of the problem, fix the situation, or change the way people think. Instead, we need to look toward Christ.

Matthew 6:34 says, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Man, that is so true.

Both of the verses in Matthew really speak to me. Especially at a time in my life when I shouldn’t concern myself or worry about things that I cannot change. I am 36 years old, and still, I worry.

I need to make some obvious changed. I need to pray a little longer and work a little harder to eliminate the worry from my life. In other words, I need to SURRENDER ALL OF IT. 

ALL of the worry and ALL of the strife.

And that’s my fresh start for this year.

All to thee, my blessed Savior!

I really DO surrender all!

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If you’d like to read more posts from those participating in the Fresh Year, Fresh Start series, you can visit Kristi at Run the Earth, Watch the Sky.

Who Am I?

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  

1 Peter 2:9 

Who am I?

That the Lord of all the Earth

Would care to know my name,

Would care to feel my hurt.

Who am I?

That the bright and morning star,

Would choose to light the way,

For my ever wandering heart, Not because of who I am,

But because of what you’ve done,

Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow,

A wave tossed in the ocean,

A vapor in the wind,

Still you hear me when I’m calling, Lord you catch me when I’m falling,

And you’ve told me who I am.

I am yours. I am yours.

Who am I?

That the eyes that see my sin

Would look on me with love

And watch me rise again.

Who am I?

That the voice that calmed the sea,

Would call out through the rain,

And calm the storm in me.

Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
‘Cause I am yours.
I am yours.

 To hear Casting Crowns sing their song, click here.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9

My Year In Review

New-Years-CarnivalEarlier this week, Jo-Lynne over at Musings of a Housewife mentioned she would be doing a fun bloggy carnival recap of 2009 using the first sentence (or two because I come from a long line of loud) to compile a year in review post. I thought it would be fun to play along.

As I think back on 2009 and the hand it dealt, I remember lots of tears. Ten days into the year, I was shocked to learn that a dear friend had lost his life in a car accident. Three weeks later, our family embarked on a difficult deployment journey. It was not easy, but we made it and I remember to thank God daily for togetherness. 2009 also gave us a new niece (Lydia Kate) along with two more nieces on the way!

In some cases (like January) I had to move on to the second post because the first “sentence” was just a word like WOW!  or some kind of tangent (ahem!). I also discovered that I use some r-e-a-l-l-y long sentences so, you’ll have to bear with me!

 JANUARY

I am so happy to report that all manner of Christmas decorations have been stowed away in our loft for another year and my big, blue, bloggy [BBB] chair is back in place at the McResidence. I am coming to you from the BBB Chair and tonight I thought I’d write a post about my funeral.

Ah, my funeral. Must. Read. Now.

FEBRUARY

Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.  Psalm 55:17

Day 2 of deployment. It’s going to be a L-O-N-G six months people.

MARCH

Things not to ask me about today.

Sheesh. I’m guessing from the tone in this post, it is a very long list.

APRIL

Typically, when I have a problem, I consult nag McDaddy.

Oh, Internets, I’m not so sure I would call it nagging, but McDaddy probably would!

MAY

Three months and one day ago, my boys and I watched as McDaddy boarded a plane to fulfill a 6-month deployment responsibility with the WV Air National Guard.

Easily, one of the worst days of my life.

JUNE

I am so excited to announce that I finally completed a project that I’ve been wanting to do since we moved into our house seven years ago.

The finished project looks awesome!

JULY

Wow.

Obviously, when the idea of Thursday Thirteen – The Alphabet edition popped into my head 20 some odd weeks ago, I gave little thought to what might happen when it was time for me to come up with thirteen words that begin with the letter U.

Because seriously?

 Have you ever thought about “U” words?

(I know, I know! That’s a lot more than just the first sentence. What can I say? I love to tease. After all I did do 26 weeks of Thursday Thirteens going through the entire alphabet during the stupid deployment!)

AUGUST

We’ve had six months of tears, doubt and massive heartache. I didn’t even mind fighthing with 30 red, white and blue balloons because they were all tangled together and because the wind was blowing like mad.

Folks, after six long months, IT IS OVER!

SEPTEMBER

I am the most organized person I know.

May I introduce you to Braggy McBraggerson?

OCTOBER

I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me and I have about 4,387 things on my to-do list.

Apparently, October 1, 2009 was a pretty typical day in the life of me!

NOVEMBER

This was hardly a typical shopping experience.

You can say that again!

DECEMBER

It is 10:25pm on Monday night. I am sitting up in my bed instead of my big, blue, bloggy chair because there are three people sleeping in my living room.

Just another post about some Things I Learned This Week.

And if that’s not enough crazy for you (and also because this will serve as my Thursday Thirteen post this week) you can go read about some other really weird stuff.

Thanks for stopping by Inmates! 

Although I have no idea what 2010 has in store for the McFamily, I am sure of God’s grace and mercy in our lives today and everyday!

Happy New Year, Internets!

Devoted

 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Romans 12:10

Stones

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:40

Thursday Thirteen – Just Hangin’ Around

After your helpful comments and suggestions, I now have Thursday Thirteen posts planned out for the next eight weeks.

It’s not always easy coming up with thirteen of something.

This week, I thought it would be fun to show you thirteen things that hang around in the McResidence. Complete with special names!

Not real creative, but I think you’ll enjoy them anyway. I’ll apologize ahead of time for the poor lighting of some of them. I’m not so great at taking pictures of pictures.

Anyway.

Here we go….

1.WILD AND CRAZY –  Look at these crazy kids… This first picture hangs above our bed. It is 25×25. It was the picture we included in our Christmas Card back in 1999.

2. Best Smile Overall – Get it? He’s wearing denim overalls! This picture hangs in our living room. It is a picture of Alex when he was about 18 months old. The little wicker rocking chair that he is sitting in belonged to my daddy when he was a little boy. Today, the chair is sitting in Alex’s room. This picture makes me smile.

3.  ALL BOY!  – This next one is a picture of Stevie when he was 4 years old. It was taken in a creek a few miles from our house. Look at that sweet smile.

4. BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE – This was our Christmas picture in 2006. It makes me smile.

5. BROTHERLY LOVE – This picture is one of my favorites. McDaddy’s sister and her hubby own a photography studio. We are so blessed to have wonderful, fun family pictures. I LOVE this picture!

6. LOVE BIRDS  – This one was taken just before Christmas last year. Two cool kids.

7.  BEACH BUMS– This super cool shot was taken at a beach in Florida. It was several grandkids ago, but I still love it. McDaddy is on the far right with Stevie and I directly beside of him. The photographers are beside of me. McDaddy’s brother, sister and other brother are in the back and his parents are in the front. The sunset was just gorgeous!

8. PLAYIN’ FOOTSIES –  This picture is another example of how fun it is to have photographers in the family. It is doubtful that I’d have something like this if we had to go to an outside photographer.

That happens to be a picture of our feet. The verse says, “He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” Psalm 40:2

9. LINUS – This is my baby blanket. It was made with love by my aunt Jane. I love it still to this day.

10. NAME GAME – This one is pretty self-explanatory.

11. BASKET CASE – From the bathroom… I am a Longaberger rep and I also collect baskets. I have over 100 baskets scattered throughout the McResidence.

12. STITCHES – This quilt was quilted by my great-grandma. It hangs in our loft.

13. I HEART THIS – This hangs out in our hallway.

It is my bridal bouquet. It happened to be silk so it still looks just like it did back in 1998.

How’s that for fun?

What about you? Where is your favorite place to ‘hang out?’