This is just a blog about my thoughts, my family, my everyday life. Because I am a Christian and have ups and downs like everyone else, I hope it will encourage others to either turn to Christ for the first time, or lean on Him when times are rough. Often life is just random and funny. I started this blog after many years of writing to my church about our vacations. They began to encourage me to blog and finally I am. Thanks for reading.

"Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace!" Nahum 1:15

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. John Piper

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Talkative...A Most Unlikable Fellow From Pilgrim's Progress

I do not like him and do you know why?  Because I see in him what I do not like in me.  Arghh!!  He isn't real!  He is a fictitious character in a fictional book....and yet I know him well.  Why can I identify with all the bad guys in Pilgrim's Progress?  What is that?  Christian and Faithful cannot go far on their journey at all without coming across another unseemly person.  Talkative is one of the unseemliest. He isn't particularly least not overtly.  He is more like an average guy or girl you might know...with no depth to his or her life.  Much knowledge, little application.
Everything he says sounds right and good. He makes for a friendly companion - at least for a little while.  Then you might discover that he is shallow...a hollow man...a shadow of empty living. And so I examine me again.

I know about esteeming others more highly than myself....Do I do that, Lord?
I know that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil...Do I love money, Lord?
I know that sharing the gospel is what we are called to do...Do I tell others, Lord?
I know that we are to honor our parents...Am I honoring my mom, Lord?  In kindness?
I know we are to redeem the time...How much time am I wasting on selfish matters, Lord?

Well I could go on and on, but I will spare us both the knife of conviction I am feeling in my heart.  Talkative speaks to Faithful about grace, the insufficiency of our works, the righteousness of Christ.  He knows hundreds of scriptures by heart, but his hypocritical life has brought him shame back home with those that know him best.  Do those that know you best, see Christ in you?  Do they see you following your beliefs?
When Faithful questions Talkative about whether or not his life and conversation match what he says, he blushes and cannot answer. When Faithful confronts him about how he has led many down a wrong path because of his "religion", he simply refuses to talk any further and says goodbye.

O Lord, was I too cross with my children, today?  Was my tone harsh?  Did I spend money unwisely today? Did I speak of You when I had the chance?  Did I spend this day well...this hour...this minute?
Convict me, with Your loving, gentle Spirit.  Help me redeem the time You give me...for Your glory alone.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

An Unlikely Little Beach


Ahhh, south Texas winters.  Today Shannon, the kids, and I drove over to Sylvan Beach in La Porte. It was vacant, but for a few fishermen, beach combers, and hungry seagulls.  Sylvan actually lies along the ship channel.  The water is anything but clean.  Still, there are two small stretches of beach that are full to capacity during the summer months as the heat rolls in and people are desperate for some "cool".  ( I must admit that I have been that desperate a time or two...I just don't think about the fact that hundreds of ships pass by, dredging up all kinds of ickyness and slime.  Swimming where oil tankards travel is...well...not the brightest thing I have ever done.)
However, the sea vessels fascinate the kids and cause more than a few waves to come ashore.  Across the channel you can see a coastline and for some reason Luke and Emma shouted, "Land!" as if discovering a new country.  We decided it must be France or Spain for sure.
As we walked the beach, we saw many exotic creatures - an octopus, a dog, someone's hand, an astronaut on the moon next to the stars, a squid,  and a dead body..(always the mysterious.)  What an amazing beach this is!

Luke, mimicking the dead body.

There is a small store just across the parking lot where fishermen buy bait and pay to fish on the pier.  They carry a scant variety of snacks.  I was in search of food for the gulls.  We usually feed them crackers or tortilla chips, but alas, they would have to settle for Honey BBQ Fritos. (Better them than me.)  The winged ravenous wolves devoured them, allowing for some delightful pictures.

Our visit lasted only a few hours, but Emma said it was the best day ever.  (Emma has many "best days ever")  and good for her.  So I share with you some of our fun on this very cool, sunny day.

Emma jumping the waves.

Sand Angel

Happy Texas Winter, Y'all!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Unexpected Surprise

Have you ever taken on a challenge that was bigger than you are?  I am facing some in several different directions presently.  It isn't that the tasks are is just that I can't see the outcome yet.  Aren't we like that?  If only we could see the end result of what we are doing, we might volunteer more often.  If we could know that what we do will make a difference somewhere down the line, through the ages, even if only in the next few moments...but no. Fellow glory-seekers, we do not get to choose the job according to the outcome. Actually we may fail big time.  We may fall on our faces in total disgrace.  We may be laughed at, scorned, ridiculed, mocked, labelled a loser...hey, I know Someone that went through all of that, and more.  The people He was sent to minister to rejected Who He was. I am no one, but I have that Someone living inside me. I will take my chances with Him.
In my former post, "Just Another Day", I told you I was going to work in my yard (yawn) and that something unexpected was surely just around the corner.  It was...I just did not see it until today.  My patio was a mess with all the wind storms we have had in the past couple of months and the kids had done chalk drawings on the concrete. After hosing things down and cleaning out pots, I pulled up unwanted weeds and put them in a big garbage bag. I left it on the patio for my big strong husband to take out to the curb come trash day. Today as I was thinking about my challenges, I looked out to see the most pleasant and unexpected surprise on my patio. There in the trash that I was going to chunk, was a dead coleus plant, giving bloom to the brightest red leaves.  They were poking up from the bag and it was such a picture of joy that I had to go and rescue them.  They are the ones in the picture.
Isn't that what we are?  Dead coleus plants that life discards...until the rays of the sun (Son) touch us and we live.  We live to face the challenges He gives us.  He gave us new life, so that we might rise above the trash around us and be Him.  The fact that these leaves were brightest red means something perhaps only to me.  Thank you, Lord.

So keep your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Trust Him to see the path ahead and to chasten you into the right attitude.  Just keep obeying, one challenge at a time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Just Another Day

I am loving this beautiful weather.  Cold at night and sunny cool in the day.  Perfect.  My yard is calling to me, but there is no time to answer.  My mom's Christmas decorations still need taking down. (Yes, I know, but she was not ready until now...thankfully.)  As Tommy and I look at our calendars, they are full of things that must be done, and then there are those things we would like to do. Some are both and the same.  I am finally back to myself, whatever that is - and it is still subject to change at any given moment - and so life rolls on.
My reading has suffered neglect lately.  It takes much concentration and discipline for me to finish a book.  Tommy can read and study with one eye on a baseball game or ear-plugged in to 'who knows what'.  The multi-tasking days of my youth are gone forever.  I need quiet in order to absorb what I take in.
This aging process takes its toll, doesn't it?  Backs hurt, necks hurt, eyesights dim, joints ache, wrinkles appear out of nowhere, and memory takes a vacation. Yep, that sums it up.
So tomorrow I will take down some Christmas, make soup, run to WalMart for my mom's meds, and I just might make it to the backyard.  This is one of those boring posts that you often find on Facebook where someone is writing about their every move.  Yawn. Sorry about that.  Surely something very surprising and interesting is lurking just around the corner so stay tuned.  Oh, yes, and I am determined to crack open a book.
Side note - When I titled it "Just Another Day", it is no reflection on the fact that it is the Lord's Day and therefore very meaningful to me.  It's just that on Sunday evenings, we look at the week ahead so we can see if we will be able to shake hands as we pass in the hallway.  Looks like it might happen around mid-week.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Christmas Pictures

Just wanted to share some of our Christmas with you.  We rarely have everyone together and we were also at Tommy's mom's with that side of the family and then there are some pictures of our times at Shannon's house.  It was much fun and the pictures will reflect it.  Enjoy with me.

Bella, Emma, Addie

Tommy and  T.J.

Levi "snowboarding" at the park

Boy geniuses Levi, Luke, Ricky

Me and my blanket Jana made for me

Notice Jana's moustache.  Explanation later.

Camping out.

A game of murder called "Bang".  Really fun.

These guys were trying to figure out a child's game.  Men geniuses.

My brother Ray's family.  Ray passed away in 1998.
Cean, Emily and Heath, Vickie - the Huckabays

Ivy and Auntie Jana

All nine in pjs that Mimi made!

Girl power.

Matt in the doll house.

My kids - Luke, Lee, Jana, Denny

My family with Mimi in front

Auntie Ann with Ivy

Uncle Denny brings gifts!

At Lee's

All nine on Christmas Eve

 Tamrynn and Mona


Mae's bath in Grammy's sink.

Matt snowboarding in my bathroom.
There is no explanation for this.

We all shared Matt's gift.

The real me.

Two peas