Wednesday, August 30, 2006
It was an episode about Boots the monkey losing his ball. She, of course, was interacting the whole entire time. She counted the coins when they went to buy the ball. She only got to three, but that was good for her. Then she talked to Swiper when he tried to get the ball. But what got me was when the bouncy ball, bounced off into the story. She stood up and cried for the ball at the top of her lungs, and then was saying her standard, "Oh no." which is her response for anything distressing. After about ten oh nos, she started saying "Oh, momma." Something about that and the seriousness of her voice just got me. That is why I love being her mommy. It was one of those moments I would never trade. But of course when I finally go to sleep again, I was not complaining. But I am so glad I got my "Oh, mommas" in too!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Emma discovered today that the street is fun to run in. I was playing with her and then all of a sudden this super human speed out of now where came upon her and she was across the street. I could not keep up. Thankfully, our street is very quiet. But still, it was our first lesson on streets.
We went to the Benton/Bryant game tonight after much debate. I was tired and have been recovering from a cold/virus, so I was not really wanting to go because it was in Little Rock at War Memorial stadium. But we finally decided to go ahead and go. We had a night of it though. Dinner did not cook on time, which was partly because it took me a long time to get Emma inside. We had a slight meltdown and had to stop and learn to control ourselves. (Sometimes training a one year old is time consuming) So dinner wasn't quite on schedule. Then we finally got there and as we were walking in, Tal walked right up to the entrance to the seats, and I was holding back because it dawned on me as we were walking through a sea of Blue shirts with the word BRYANT on them that we might be on the wrong side of the stadium. When I pointed that out to Tal, he was like, "How did you know it was the Bryant side?" I asked if the blue was a little of a tip off at all. It was great. I love being right, which isn't very often, so I have to glory in my smarts when they happen.
So the only way to get to the Benton side, was to exit the stadium and walk all the way arouhnd the stadium. If we were Bryant fans, our parking space was awesome, but considering we were there to cheer on mostly Benton stuff, it was exactly opposite the part of the stadium we needed to be in. Not to mention up a very steep hill. But whats the fun if it is easy!!! It did remind me that in November when we attend the TN/AR game, I should wear a very sturdy pair of shoes especially seeing that I will be eight months pregnant versus tonights 5 1/2. So remind me in Nov. good walking shoes, no flip flops.
Emma loved the game. Especially when the cheer leaders and bands performed. She put her little arms straight up in the air and would cheer. She also loved to clap whenever everyone else clapped. Sadly, she was mostly cheering and clapping with the other side, because we did not have much to cheer about. When we left it was 17-0 not in our favor. So we made it through our first game, but we told her since we forgot the camera to take her picture, that we would count the TN/AR as her first real football game.
Tomorrow, we have to get all the laundry finished, so we can go to Memphis yet again. I was going to go by myself on Thursday and drive back that night, but Tal needs to be in Memphis for an appointment on Thursday morning, so we are going to leave after church on Wednesday. I am glad because as time goes by with this pregnancy, the drive gets harder, so I won't deny the blessing of having an escort.
Well, I have rambled a lot. It was such a nice day even though we did not get much done. I just wanted to share all the thoughts that were going through my head. I am glad we had a nice time despite all the comic relief moments. I just have so much fun being with Tal and Emma. My life is so cool with them in it.
Talk to you soon,
Monday, August 28, 2006
Homeschooling parents often discuss the importance of having a strong support network at church. That isn't a problem at Grace Community Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Magnolia, Texas. All the families homeschool.
Ted Seago, a minister and church planter for three decades, was working in a "seeker-friendly" church in the 1990s, when he began to have doubts about the program-driven model. Adults were theologically illiterate, children really didn't understand the Bible, and people weren't growing spiritually.
Furthermore, he saw even good church programs were pulling families apart. Parents and kids would arrive at church together, go their separate ways, and never cross paths until everyone was back in the car.
"We have segregated churches," Seago told participants in Wednesday's Kingdom Education Summit, sponsored by the Southern Baptist Church and Home Education Association in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C.
At the same time, Seago, a homeschool father of nine, and his wife, Johnnie, were leading marriage conferences and retreats and speaking at homeschool conferences.
Seago, with a doctorate in curriculum development, began to ask if there might be a better way to teach the Bible to children.
He came up with a model called the "family integrated church," where Christians worship, learn and pray as families. Church is a place where believers come together for corporate worship, but the teaching of theology and doctrine to children is centered in the home.
"When you're talking about a family integrated church, you're just looking at a church that has brought everything back under the guidance of the family," Seago said.
Seago said there is "a holy frustration" going on in many churches. It starts when families begin to homeschool. Before long, they find the teaching in the typical church youth group is different from the value system they are teaching at home.
With studies showing that up to 85 percent of youth in a typical church falling away within three years after leaving high school, Seago questions why most Baptists continue to do youth ministry the same way. At Grace Community Church, they don't.
The church doesn't have a "youth ministry," but it has a "youth group." All recreation is planned by fathers. The church is fond of claiming it has "the greatest youth ministers in the world--our dads."
Fathers also serve communion to their families and pray over them. When a child becomes old enough to accept Christ, Seago's invitation is not for them to walk the aisle but to discuss it at home with their parents. Dads baptize their children.
Grace Community teaches that fathers are to be the spiritual leaders of their home. In the family integrated church, no adult except the parent is a significant influence on a youth's spiritual life.
"Men are called to lead their families," Seago said. "They are the priest of the home."
Women are instructed in "biblical" roles for wives, including remaining in the home during their child-rearing years. A lot of the women members have college degrees but choose to "put work aside in this season of their life" so they can be home with their children.
Families stay together for Bible studies, worship and fellowship, though optional childcare is provided for younger children and babies. It is not acceptable for a child to sit outside the family. If a child visits without a mom or dad, he or she sits with another family. "We do everything together as a family," Seago said. "We don't separate."
Grace Community Church is a "covenantal community" modeled after the early church described in Acts, where members shared all things in common. Members joke it usually means sharing power tools, but it also applies when a member has problems. If someone is sick, everyone pitches in to help, and if someone loses a job, church members are expected to help with car or mortgage payments. Church members eat together every Sunday in a "fellowship meal."
Started by five home schooling families 14 months ago, today there are about 50 families in Grace Community Church. Members include Voddie Baucham, an author and conference leader who in 2005 co-sponsored a Southern Baptist Convention resolution contending that parents, and not the government, are responsible for educating their children.
The church has two founding elders, with primary responsibility for teaching. There are eight deacons, who have no administrative responsibilities or monthly meetings. An administrative council takes care of most financial matters, allowing the pastors to focus on preaching and teaching.
While the typical church asks a new member, "What can you do to add to our program?" the family integrated church asks, "What can the church do for your family?"
"Leading our own children to Christ, that's our greatest mission field," Seago said. "If you have children at home, that's your mission field. That's your small-group ministry."
While the model appeals most naturally to families with children, several older women, mostly widows, have joined, as have some younger single men. Several older couples have visited and decided the church wasn't for them. While all the current families homeschool, Seago is hoping to reach some more "non-home schooling families that we can minister to."
The Southern Baptist Church and Home Education Association formed in 2004 to foster communication between Southern Baptist homeschooling families and the Southern Baptist Convention.
SBCHEA President Elizabeth Watkins endorsed the family integrated church model.
"The public school system has not only had a devastating impact on families, but in my opinion it has had a devastating impact on our churches," she said.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.
Tomorrow my plan is to finish out the guestbedroom and front rooms. That way, I am continuing on my goal to have the house de-cluttered. So hopefully I will keep on track!
I read this article today, actually it is a letter written by a mother to a child that she was carrying and that she knew would never live a day outside her womb. Some complications had caused the baby to not be able to survive, but the pregnancy itself was relatively like others she had had. So she felt the baby move and kick, and bonded with the child inside of her. I read it and thought of all the emotions that I have felt with the miscarriage six months ago. There have been times that I have wished it did not happen and wished God had done something different. That if the baby wasn't going to live, wouldn't it had been better just not to get pregnant. But after reading this, I realized that I was very privileged to have carried this child even for eight weeks. And that one day we will be together forever in heaven. After reading that article, I was more convinced that God gave us Isaac for a reason and that instead of wishing I did not have to go through that experience, I should be thankful for the time we had with him. I could not imagine bonding with a baby for as long as she did and the pain she had, but I am thankful for her story and testimony, because it helped me heal in a level I wasn't ready to heal yet before today. Here is the link to the story. http://www.epm.org/articles/MotherHeart.htm
Well, that is all for today I guess, unless I finally get those pictures taken. Emma is outside right now, so I think I will try to get a few now. That is when she is happiest. She has a full tummy right now too. I made baked chicken with parmesan encrusted top, creamy spinach, and these awesome roasted sweet potatoes that mom gave me the recipe for. (you cube the raw sweet potatoes and put them in butter and dust them with brown sugar or you could probably use maple syrup or honey and then roast them in the oven. Yummy!! Tal said he is a big sweet potatoe fan after eating them at my mom's house, he likes them most anyway now, but this is his favorite.) And we made Emma some broccolli. She went crazy after that and ate three bowls worth before stopping. So she is full and happy, great for pictures.
Before I end, just wanted to say congrats to Jamie, Tal's sister. She started her new job today. We just wanted her to know that we are praying for her and so proud that she got the job.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Thank you for all your prayers recently. Hopefully soon I can let you know how God has answered them. Tal and I were talking last night, and there are a lot of unknowns about our next few months. He was saying how he was a little nervous because of that. And I rightfully agree with him. I like things to be so planned and perfect. So I am planning on trying to look at all this as a grand adventure. That God has great things down the road, we just don't always see them though. So pray for us to not be anxious for tomorrow, knowing that tomorrow takes care of itself. And that we can give God all the credit for bringing us through, since we cannot take credit for it. Plus, I think that the next year will bring many blessings and in a strange way, some rest and refreshment. So more to come on this....probably in the next few days. And keep praying for us.
Emma is starting to put some connection between the baby and Elliot. When you ask her where the baby is, she automatically points to my tummy. She doesn't do that when you ask for Elliot, but occasionally when you ask her where baby Elliot is, she gets it. Her new thing this week, is sitting on the air vents (all our registers are on the floor) and saying "COLD".
This weeks project is to totally de-clutter our house. I have been wanting to do this for awhile and I only have to work for one day out of the next eight. And Tal, has a longer weekend. He still has to work on Sunday, but he will have Monday off. So we are going to get going on this. Tomorrow, if I am feeling better, which I think I will be. I am going to go through all our clothes and pack up all of Emma's out grown clothing. And go through mine and Tal's and decided which ones we don't need anymore. Then we are going to get rid of them. My goal is to eliminate about half of the things we own by just getting rid of things we will never really use again. And things that are just taking up space, even though they are nice or I might use them in ten years, once! So that is my big plan. I will keep you updated on my progress. This can be my accountablity site for the week. I already have about a truck load of give away things that have accumilated over the past few months. I hope to have about at least one more and hopefully a lot of stuff I can throw away as well. So that is my plan, I hope I stick to it.
Well, I have rambled for quite long enough. Talk to you soon, and I promise, pictures to come.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Emma was not at all cooperative last night when I was trying to get her to sleep last night. She just goes wild when it comes to going to sleep when we are not at home. She cries and cries, I finally got her to calm down a little after about an hour. We watched a few Dora's and spent some time singing. She started back up after mid-night and then finally fell out after one. I know the teeth are an issue. But also the fact that she is not at home. Hopefully today she will do better. I am just too tired to stay up all night again.
Well, we will be back on our way tomorrow to Benton. I will hopefully get some pictures taken and to you all this weekend. Talk to you soon,
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
But right before I went to bed, after about six hours of feeling desparate and lonely and tired, the verse "Weeping endures for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." came to my heart. I decided to go to sleep and rest, not worrying about what would come next. Not much has really changed, but my heart is at peace now. I am not frantic like I was feeling yesterday. There are so many big decisions to be made starting today, but everything will be okay and God will provide exceedingly. A few days ago, we were in great need of a miracle and someone mentioned that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Tal laughed and said, yeah, but sometimes I wish they were already sold and slaughtered. I guess that is where I was yesterday. I knew God had the resources to help me, but I wished I could already have it in the bank.
Elisabeth Elliot said this today. So right for me.....
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
When we begin to imagine that our own problems are so deep, so insoluble, or so unusual that no one really understands us, we delude ourselves. It is one of the many delusions of pride, for Scripture tells us not only that our High Priest, Christ, has been tempted in every way as we are, but that no temptation has ever come our way that is not common to man. There are no more new temptations than there are new sins. Our story, whatever it is, is an old one, and He who has walked the human road has entered fully into our experiences of sorrow and pain and has overcome them. He has comforted others in our situation, gone with them into the same furnaces and lions' dens, has brought them out without smell of fire or mark of tooth.
It is a bad thing to take refuge in difficulties, thus excusing ourselves from responsibility to others because we think our situation is unique. If we are willing to receive help, our Helper is standing by--sometimes in the form of another human being sent by Him, qualified by Him to help us. It may be a case of our not receiving help because we were too proud to receive the kind God sent. Sometimes we really prefer to wallow.
"Ours is not a high priest unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who, because of his likeness to us, has been tested every way, only without sin. Let us therefore boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and in his grace find timely help" (Heb 4:15, 16 NEB).
So that is my story for the morning. Thanks for the constant prayers.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Sorry I haven't gotten many pictures lately. Things just haven't put me in the picture mood lately.
Pray for Emma's leg. She has a little boil on her leg that is causing her some discomfort. Tal worked on it while she was taking her second bath today. So now she is wearing two bandaids, one on each leg. Hopefully, she won't need to visit the doc for this one. We are going to keep an eye on it.
Talk to you soon,
Monday, August 21, 2006
I thought I would include a link to Voddie Baucham's sermons on marriage. They are incredible! Actually, anything he has done has impressed me. Tal and I had the opportunity to spend some time with him about a year ago when we were in Memphis. His life is just such a testimony and his love for the Lord is so evident. Tal and I cannot believe that he is only 37 years old. He has accomplished so much in his years and it makes me realize that I need to get busy. Anyway, he did this series at Andy Stanley's church in July. Tal and I listened to the first one of the sermons yesterday. I would encourage everyone, married or not to listen to them. I sat and listened not wanting to move and in tears most of the time. The vision he shows for life is just so much fuller than the one that I have followed so often. I wish as a single I had known what he puts forth and now I am thankful that as a married woman I am hearing it. It will bless you no matter what.
www.northpoint.org/messages Click on the Voddie Baucham messages. It starts on 7/16/06
I will post some pictures soon this afternoon. I need to run to the grocery first and start dinner, but sometime today.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Friday, I worked at St. Jude. I love it there. It is so incredible, I just feel better about life each time I am there. It reminds me of how good I have it. But my co-workers are great too. I love getting to see them and catch up with them when I am there. I had the opportunity to work with a family that was just referred to St. Jude with the possibility that their child might have cancer. It is hard to see how frightened, tired, and overwhelmed they are. But it is also really a great opportunity to minister to them. I hate that they have to go through such an event, but I am thankful for the opportunity to bless them a little. Just pray for the little ones that I work with there.
Emma and Tal spent the evening with my family. Uncle Matt was having his very last send off before his last semester of college. Since it is football season, it isn't like he won't see my family at least a few times a month, but it is still hard to see him leave. Emma ran into the house screaming "mam mommie, mam mommie" which is what she calls my mom, but since she was there are the time, she settle for "Mattttttt". So she had so much fun chasing and playing with everyone that she fell out early that night. But at 4am, she decided it was time to go downstairs and play. I was so tired. I could barely keep my eyes open. But we were up for about three more hours before we finally got smart and took her on a walk. Actually, Tal did. Then we slept until ten and could have slept a lot longer, but was worried about needing to get back to Benton.
We drove back to Benton, actually, we ran by Chocolate Soup and got Elliot's take home outfit and a couple of dresses for Emma for next summer and one for this fall. They were having a great sale. I will have to get a picture of the outfit for Elliot up, it is so cute.
We got back to Benton in time to unload the car and Princess and go to the church to pick up the kids for End of Summer. It was a long night for me because Emma did not want to be in the meeting, so we walked around for two and a half hours. We walked all over the Benton town square and then the church. She kept asking for her dad, so finally they were done with the meeting. Everyone said it turned out great. We drove back to the church to drop off everyone and Emma crashed. Tal took her out of the van I was driving to put her back in our van, in her car seat. She never woke up. She slept until about 5am this morning and then decided she wanted to play again. But Tal took her on a walk. I hadn't gotten to sleep until 2am because I wasn't feeling too good. So Emma and I ended up sleeping in until 11am, all the way through church. Tal just let me sleep because he realized I was exhausted. I felt a little better but not perfect. I have rested the rest of the day. But Tal had a lot of stuff to do at church today, so he wasn't home much. And Emma was going nintey to nothing all day. I was having a rough time keeping up with her. Actually, by the time that Tal got home I was so exhausted I could barely stand up. I think I had actually fallen asleep or something watching Emma. Emma thankful was doing good without me.
She kept standing at the front door going, "Dadda come home". It was cute. This afternoon she was drinking a sip of my coke slushy. She got a brain freeze. You should have seen her. She got the funniest look on her face and then started saying COLD COLD and cried and cried. She drank a few sips of warm juice and felt better. I felt bad for her because she did not know what was going on.
She of course has gotten to where so loves and I mean LOVES her baths now. She runs to the back and gets a towel and washcloth. Tonight she got the towel, but she had already emptied the washclothes, so she came running up to the den where I was with Tal behind her. She was screaming "posh clofff, posh clofff" She found one and then ran with it to the bathroom. So excited. It got interrupted because Tal found a bug bite or boil on her leg and I had to look at it. It looked better after her bath when I saw it again, so I figured it wasn't necessary really to do anything but keep an eye on it. Because everything I have learned about boils and bug bites, is that warm water and compresses are the best solutions because it draws the blood to the area and lets your immune system work.
Now she is watching Dora, yelling "BAcK PPPPPPACK!!!" And going down the slide again. She is so cute and full of life. She gets so excited about life. It is hard for her to have any volume other than loud because she is so excited about everything. She read a book about animals to me and knew all the sounds and animals. I just really enjoy her sitting on my lap and having her have fun.
Princess has been so funny today. I talked to a vet online about her, he thinks that maybe all her weight maybe hypothyroidism. Which would make sense, seeing that she cannot seem to lose weight for anything. Also, she doesn't tolerate exercise and prefers to sleep most of the time. But hopefully, she will be feeling better. Tal gave her a Tylenol. that seemed to make her feel better.
Well, I will try to get photos up soon. Emma loves to have her picture taken, and maybe she'll try on her dresses for me tomorrow. She loves to try on clothes. I should have gotten her with her bloomers on her head today. She looked like a little nun.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Then Tal, Emma and I went and had Chinese (my soup got frozen) because I was craving it big time. It was so good. Tal and I decided we could have made a meal of just the crab ragoon and the hot and sour soup. We have a frig full of chinese food now though. Which will be so good throughout the weekend. I love day old Chinese food. And it will be good to look forward to it at work tomorrow. Emma enjoyed the rice immensely and she even left room for some of Tal's steamed broccoli. Then we went to get Emma some more toothpaste without fluoride because she tends to like to brush more than she should. While at Wal-Mart we ran into another youth pastor and his wife and daughter. They moved here from West Memphis just a few months before we moved to Benton. It is always nice to see them. Their daughter, Mary Beth, is about six months old now. She is so cute.
The pictures are of Emma folding towels. And the she climbed up on the TV table and just sat up there. So of course, we had to take a few pictures for you to see. Tomorrow we might not get any pictures up because I have to work in Memphis tomorrow. Emma and Tal are going with me because it makes it easier when I don't have to drive back and forth all the time. Plus, I want to see my family. So we will make a quick trip to Memphis and be back in Benton in time to take the kids to EOS. Hope everyone is doing well!
Mary and Tal and Emma Grace
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Emma in her PawPaw's lap. She actually said his name today, instead of teasingly saying Maw Maw to him.
Giving PawPaw a kiss.
MawMaw and Emma
A picture with Daddy and His grandparents.
We went to Wendy's today. Emma had a great time. At first she wanted to sit in the high chair, thenshe went to the big chair and finally she was dancing around the area. She was showing everyone how to stomp and jump. and twirl. Fortunately the restaurant was almost empty. She enjoyed showing out for everyone. She was getting tired though because despite going to bed about mid-night, she was up at 7:30am again. I was so tired and very thankful that Tal let me sleep a few more minutes before he left for work. I don't think I could have made it without that cat nap. So we spent this morning playing and coloring. And then we had lunch and she has been asleep for at least two and a half hours by now. Hopefully, she will be a happy baby tonight.
Well, enough said for today. Talk to you soon,
Hope that this hasn't been too confusing, or that it makes sense at all.
On a lighter note, last night I had a bit of a cough. Everytime I would lay down I would start coughing. Emma would come over and say, "you okay". Then after awhile, she started pretending like she was coughing and would then say, "I okay". Then this morning she has gotten to where she has wanted to pump the lotion on her own. She has liked to put on lotion for several months now. She puts it on our legs and then all over her. But lately she has been saying, "I do it, I do it, I do it." It is such fun to see her learning everyday. She has gotten very vocal and sometimes I get what she is saying.
Here is another good Elisabeth Elliot devotional. If I had not already mentioned it, Elliot
is named after Elisabeth's first husband that was martyred for the faith. She really shaped my early teen years and on through my college and married life. And Tal was very effected by Jim Elliot's life and writings. So we feel privileged to name a son after them.
The Work of the Accuser
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
One of the names of the enemy is the Accuser. It is his doing, when we have sought God's guidance and been as obedient as we knew how, and then remain in an agony of doubt as to whether God did guide, whether we really did obey. There is no end to the "proofs" the Accuser can present to sow doubt in our minds. "Hath God said?" (Gn 3:1 AV) was the first seed he sowed in the mind of Eve, and he has had a great deal of practice at that kind of planting ever since.
It is to be expected that every decision made with the desire to be obedient to God will be attacked. Spread your doubts before the Lord. Pray for correction of any wrong in thinking or doing and for his word of assurance as to the action you must take. If there is nothing else required of you at this moment, leave it at that. Trust God. Put the whole weight of your doubts and cares on Him--that will foil the Accuser.
"It is God who pronounces our acquittal....It is Christ who pleads...our cause" (Rom 8:33,34 EB).
We are going to have lunch with MawMaw and PawPaw and Aunt Jamie. Hopefully, I will have some pictures to post after that today! Thanks for all the votes on the quilts. It has been a landslide so far. I appreciate your comments because although it would not have been my first choice, and actually it was my last, my opinions have really changed as I have seen it through everyone's perspectives. Which is what I wanted for sure!!!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Up until the last few days, Emma has hated her bath. But that last few weeks, Tal has had to give her a bath and he has made a game of it for her. And now if you even mention bath, she is running full speed (And I mean running) to the hall closet to get her washcloth. Then she will come back and say wash cloth bath. She even tells Tal now when the water is the right temp. He turns it on, and then lets her test it. She will say if it is "hot, hot" "cold" or "okay". Too funny. That girl knows what she likes.
Her other favorite pastime is using her daddy as a jungle gym. She will make him sit on the floor with his back to the recliner. She then runs from the back of the chair and dive over his head or shoulder and do a flip over him. Then she will walk on him. And finally she will blow raspberries on his stomach. (and she is good, I thought I was the master, but she is better now than I am. She can make it last almost ten seconds. and she knows just where to get you on the ribs to make it really tickle.) Tonight she was blowing raspberries and he got up for a second. She stood up put one hand on her hip and said down!!!!! (and pointed with the other hand to lay down!)
You should see her right now. She has a mess trash can (no, it has never been used for trash, only her toys) over her head and yelling, "DDDDAAADDAAAA" and then giggling at the top of her lungs. I just wish I could see what was going through her head about these times. She is never a dull moment!
So I finally called and made the apology that could have been just forgiving someone. It turned out well. I am glad I did her not just for my sake, but hers too. She was having such a hard time with it and felt bad. I feel bad that I wasn't a better friend and sister in Christ, but am glad that God finally soften my hard heart! Maybe one of these days I will learn.
Well, that is our day. I will leave you with my devotional of the day and then the pictures of the night!
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
If God is almighty, there can be no evil so great as to be beyond his power to transform. That transforming power brings light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, gain out of loss, life out of death.
Sometimes we boggle at the evil in the world and especially in ourselves, feeling that this sin, this tragedy, this offense cannot possibly fit into a pattern for good. Let us remember Joseph's imprisonment, David's sin, Paul's violent persecution of Christians, Peter's denial of his Master. None of it was beyond the power of grace to redeem and turn into something productive. The God who establishes the shoreline for the sea also decides the limits of the great mystery which is evil. He is "the Blessed Controller of all things." God will finally be God, Satan's best efforts notwithstanding. Receive Elisabeth Elliot as a daily devotional
Emma with her pictures
Emma and her bubble machine. It is a dinasour the spits bubbles. She finally figured it out, by herself, and now wants to do it all the time.
Emma doing the bubble stomp. Blues Clues has a line in the song that say "stomp you feet", so she has gotten into stomping. And including the bath water, the bubbles are probably her second favorite stomping pastime.
Well that is all for the night. I will add more tomorrow. Hopefully, Emma will let me sleep later than 7:30 that she did this morning. I really like my sleep!
Noah's Ark #1
Noah's Ark #2
Noah's Ark #3
The final choice will be announced shortly!
Monday, August 14, 2006
Tal has had a little of a sinus infection, so I made him a chicken soup (homemade) for dinner and put a little spice in it for extra punch. Then I made homemade apple sauce with white grape juice and apples. The last picture of Emma eating that apple is one she stole from me and took off and ate throughout the afternoon. She loves apples.
Have you ever found it hard to even want to try to forgive someone? I have found myself in the position the last few days. I know that it has been harder on me than it should just because I want to be right. I had done nothing wrong in the situation until I refused to forgive. Funny, huh? it would have been no big deal if I had just turned the other cheek. But now, I have hurt over the situation for several days, and now the other person has hurt over it too. So I am going to suck it up and do the right thing. Had I done it in the first place, I would only have to be forgiving, now I am the one needing to apologize!
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
There are dry, fruitless, lonely places in each of our lives, where we seem to travel alone, sometimes feeling as though we must surely have lost the way. What am I doing here? How did this happen? Lord, get me out of this!
He does not get us out. Not when we ask for it, at any rate, because it was He all along who brought us to this place. He has been here before--it is no wilderness to Him, and He walks with us. There are things to be seen and learned in these apparent wastelands which cannot be seen and learned in the "city"--in places of comfort, convenience, and company.
God does not intend to make it no wasteland. He intends rather to keep us--to hold us with his strength, to sustain us with his sure words--in a place where there is nothing else we can count on.
"God did not guide them by the road towards the Philistines, although that was the shortest...God made them go round by way of the wilderness towards the Red Sea" (Ex 13:17,18 NEB).
Imagine what Israel and all of us who worship Israel's God would have missed if they had gone by the short route--the thrilling story of the deliverance from Egypt's chariots when the sea was rolled back. Let's not ask for shortcuts. Let's keep alert for the wonders our Guide will show us in the wilderness.
Emma on the slide
Emma and Her Daddy
Emma eats an apple
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Before Emma felt out, since she got up at 6:30 am this morning, we got a few pictures with her uncle Matt.
Emma poses at the youth party yesterday.
Emma gives Uncle Matt a kiss.
Emma hanging out in the youth room, literally.
Yesterday we had so much fun. and really could not have pulled it off as well without the help of Matt. He and Tal ran to Wal-Mart to get a few extra things, while Emma and I baked cookies at the youth room. She helped me set up by washing the floor. (She loves to pour water out and the wash things.) We had a fun afternoon of volleyball, basketball, hide and go seek, and this dance pad that Tal got at Mardels the other day. Actually, the dance pad was a big hit. And it is great exercise. I tried a few of the slow songs, but was not very good at it. Matt was the best out of our family, but several of the younger teens showed all of us out. We had hot dogs, chips, cookies, and coke/root beer floats. It was just a nice afternoon of fun and hanging out. We had several wonderful parents helping out throughout the afternoon. That was such a blessing, because it gets difficult to watch Emma and get everything done.
Today was church. I dropped Emma of for Sunday school and her teacher was not there yet, so I was sitting there waiting for her. Emma kept saying, "bye bye momma" Finally her teacher arrived and she gave me a kiss and went on with her business. She loves her class now. I was the church time teacher when I got there she gave me this look like, "no momma, its not time yet. I am still playing." She did like it when she realized both of us where staying.
We all came home and had pot roast that we had put in the crock pot last night before Uncle Matt went back to Memphis. It was so much fun having him, and we hope we get to see him again soon. Then the rest of us fell out and were very grateful that we weren't the ones driving this time. Emma and her dad slept on the bed, while I slept on the couch. Emma came and woke me up. She is so sweet. Then she decided she wanted some tea. So her dad thought it would be nice for them to go out while I rested a little more. I had given her a cup of juice while she was waiting for her daddy to change. When he picked her up, her juice was left on the floor. I thought she yelled out "juice" but apparently I was wrong because she said "I said shoes" It came out clear as a bell like that. Then I said "juice" and she said ,"no shoes". That girls knows what she wants and doesn't mind telling you. So shoes is what she got. So cute. Tal and I had big laugh. She won't lack for personality.
Hope your Sunday is full of rest and peace. And that the love of Christ surrounds you on every side.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
When faced with threat of any sort of invasion or attack, whether from human or spiritual foes, it is quite natural to draw back, throw up my guard, attempt to defend myself. The Christian has a far better defense--"Let Christ Jesus Himself be the armor that you wear" (Rom 13:14 NEB). Let me take my stand in Him, come to my enemy without fear, responding only in the power and with the love of Christ.
Who can hurt me then? And what hostility on earth or in hell can destroy me? That person whom I most dread to see, let me meet him as Christ meets him. Let Christ meet him. He is my armor, I am hidden in Him. My weakness, my fear, my hostility will be covered by his strength, his courage, his love.
I wish I was half as deep as her!
Friday, August 11, 2006
I was thanking the Lord that I still have a few more months until I have a newborn, but I forgot about teething. Poor Emma Grace is cutting molars, so I stayed up with her almost all night. Well, until about six am. I was so tired this morning I could hardly move. But my gears finally got turning since we had so much to do today. We had to get ready for the Youth Volleyball bash tomorrow. We had to run up to Sam's and then Mardel's ( a great Christian book store) to get ready for everything. At Sam's Emma found a play house, she loved it. She was not real thrilled to leave. But I figure even I could build her a bigger, better, new and improved house for the 1400 that they were asking for. Finally, we got done with our errands. Then we got home and the heavens opened up. I wanted to take a nap, but Emma was having so much fun yelling "THUNDER" every time that there was thunder. She wasn't necessarily scared but she loved to run up to you and tell you what was going on. Then my brother, Matthew, came from Memphis to spend the weekend hanging out with us old foggies. When he got here, we all went out to eat and then ran over to a surprise party for one of the youth. Now we are settling down for a movie and probably we will all fall out asleep. Emma has already crashed. Having not slept last night and no nap today, so is so tired. But hopefully, I will get to sleep tonight!
Well, sorry no real cute stories. But I like keeping records of my boring days too. Plus, it is kind of neat to look back and see what I have done everyday.
As Emma would say....BYYYYYYYYYYIIIIIIE
Thursday, August 10, 2006
On Wednesday, a father in the youth group had mentioned that it was Christian Day at Magic Springs and that our kids really enjoyed it last year and it had made such an impression on them. So instead of bowling and movies, we ended up spending a soggy and steamy afternoon at Magic Springs. It was not my first choice, but it was either spend all day by myself at home or go and hike up and down the hills in the heat and rain. We got there and the sun was blazing. Emma and I had just gotten changed into our swimsuits when the clouds started rolling in. I remarked to one of the youth that was hanging out with us that I would definitely welcome the clouds, but was glad that weren't threatening rain. It was only five minutes later, after we wrestled Emma to get her sunscreen on, that the thunder and lightning started up. So for the rest of the afternoon we spent trying to figure out whether or not we were going to stay at the park. After aboutthree hours of walking around in the humidity, we finally decided that Emma and I should retreat to the car to watch Dora. We no sooner got the the car and the heavens opened up. Poor Tal was stuck in the rain for several more hours. Apparently, no one else minded the rain, but Emma and I split and went home to enjoy the rain from our den. Actually by the time we got to Benton, it was dry as could be.
Sunday was busy as usual. Emma still loves her class because Mrs. Betsy is there. Mrs. Betsy is great. She always has a necklace for Emma to wear in the classroom (they were learning about mommies and how God gives us moms and they dressed up as moms, so ever since she thinks that you have to get a necklace in the sunday school. Poor Mrs. Betsy had to let her wear her real necklace one day.) Also, Mrs. Betsy always lets Emma "help" which makes her so excited about being there. We are so grateful to her, because before it was such a struggle to get her to stay. She actually looked at me as I walked out the door, smiled and continued playing, like good, now that mommy is gone I can play.
Sunday afternoon I took advantage of Emma being asleep and went to Wal-mart. It was such a treat shopping without her. I was in the process of cutting down a small tree and had gotten some of the lower branches off when it started thundering and then pouring out of nowhere. It had been so nice and sunny and then it was pouring. So I took that as a sign that I needed to lay down and rest. Of course, Emma woke up about that time, so I just laid on the couch and watched her play. Tal woke me up just before church and told me that I had been dead asleep even to the point that Emma was screaming next to me and I did not move. It was so hard to go to church after that, but we made it. We had ice cream sundays for the kids that night. Emma had a blast eating her ice cream with the high school girls. She was sitting in the booth with them trying on their sun glasses and playing with their keys. She thought she was hot stuff. We will have to get a picture of her this weekend trying on Katherine's glasses, she is too funny.
Monday was chill day for us. We were so tired. We did get up to see the kids off for kids kamp. We made muffins and Emma stood in the back of Tal's truck and passed out apple and orange juices to everyone. She then got bored and used the napkins to clean the back of Tal's very dirty truck. She had a blast, especially because we had let her wear her pj's out to church. So we rushed back home and changed so we could go see the doctor. Everything checked out great and you of course see the ultrasound results from Tuesday. Except for the occasional migraines, we are smooth sailing. Also, I have had a lot of abdominal pain. I asked the doctor what could be the cause, with a chuckle we figure it had something to do with the five pound weight gain. I have never gained that much that quick.
So Tuesday was the ultrasound and then Bogg Springs. Emma had so much fun. She played so hard and ate hardly anything but a peach all day, so on the way home, she devoured her french fries and my french fries. It was so funny because every few seconds I would hear either "MOOOOOOOEEEE" (Emma for more) or "finch fie" all the way home from Hot Springs.
Nothing special happened yesterday. It was just a day at home for Emma and I. We did get out to go to JcPennys to look for bargain clothes for next summer. We found some for her and Elliot at good deals. And we found some clothes for him for newborn that were on clearance as well. They were long sleeve sleeper things but probably not as heavy as most winter things. If he is anything like Emma was, if I have really heavy things he would hate it. So I figured at a dollar a sleeper, we could wrap him up with blankets. Boy stuff is just not as cute as girl things. When we got home Emma immediately decided it was clothes for her dolly. So we tried one outfit on a doll and she carried it around during the afternoon. She kept trying to find her "broffer". Even at Wal-Mart she was wondering if we were their to find her brother. She doesn't understand that we only saw a picture of him, that we don't get him until December.
Today, Emma got a whole day with daddy, because I am at work. She hasn't seemed to miss me too much. She went with Tal to eat with a student and his dad. Tal said she was great, even letting them talk while she played and colored in her seat. Today was relatively uneventful except for this morning as I was getting ready for work, I preheated the oven to warm up some soft pretzels to eat on the way. I thought I smelled something funny, but did not look into it (dumb) until there was smoke in the house. Tal had set a plastic bowl with a little potato salad in it in the oven last night to get Princess to stop barking for it. I did not check the oven before I started warming it up. So by the time I got to it, we had molten plastic (it was one of those heavy pampered chef bowls so there was a ton of white melted plastic) all over the bottom of the oven. Fortunately, he set it straight on the bottom and not on the rack, so all we had to do was let it cool and them scrap it off. But that added to my morning. On the way, I figured out why I have gained so much weight. I ate two soft pretzels, a couple of pieces of cheddar cheese, two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a peach, and two rice krispie treats. And I was still hungry. Fortunately, my commute is two hours and I was not eating all that in just 15 minutes, but I could have I think. So I will have to make sure I am a little more careful because I cannot gain that much each time.
Well, I have been long winded today. I will leave you with one thought that I had today as I was listening to a sermon on the way. We have choice in our life. One is to walk with the sin that we have previously dwelt in and the other is to walk with Christ. Sometimes we wait for big events or crisis to bring us to our knees. The problem with this is that in between we dwell with our sinful habits and our ability to show Christ's love and responds as Jesus would is dimished. But if daily we walk with Christ, which means hourly, minute by minute for me, dying to self, we are able to walk this walk a little better. And we are able to walk with Christ as we cast down the lies from Satan and put on the truth of His words to us and about us. In other words, taking those thoughts captive. Just a little encouragement from where I received encouragement today. Boy, do I have a long way to go, but it would save a lot in therapy if I would follow it! :-)
Talk to you soon,
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Well, I am at work. I plan on updating more as the day goes by. I have a few days to catch up on. So hopefully later in the day I can say more.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Well, it is official! Baby Ewing is now James Elliot Ewing! We had our ultrasound today and everything looks good. And there is no doubt at all that he is a boy! Tal knew before the tech even got it out, there was no mistaking it. I had that momma feeling before the ultrasound, but was still pleasantly surprised to see him. This is the best picture we got, because he was laying on his stomach/back. But here you can see his face with his forehead all the way to the right and his chin facing left with his hand tucked up under his chin. Good picture of his face! So the radiologist said everything looks good. Thanks be to God! More pictures tonight when we get back from Boggs Springs visiting the kids camp!
Mary, Tal, Emma Grace and soon to be joined by Elliot.
We are going for our ultrasound at 8:30 today. So hopefully by around noon, we should have some pictures posted of our little new one. Emma insists she is having a "broffer" now, I think after playing with Reese she decided brothers were cool. When you ask her if she wants to go see the baby's picture, she gets really excited and says "car, go, come on" So it will be interesting to see how she responds to seeing the baby or if she responds at all.
Well, go to run. Hope you like the pics of us just goofing off.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Tal and I are driving home as soon as I get off work at 6:30pm, so we will talk to you soon.
Please pray for Tracy, their mom, as she faces surgery today. Our suspicions were correct, she needed an appendectomy. Also for safety for her mom as she travels from Florida to help out with the boys.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
We had lunch at Uncle Ab and Aunt Lizzy's house, which used to be Granny's house. That was sweet, too. I remarked to my Cousin Ceil, Aunt Helen's daughter, how it was only God that I was off work that day. Because originally, I was scheduled to be at work during the funeral and would not been able to attend. But at the last minute last week, I switched a few hours with a gal to help her out. It ended up helping me out. But, unfortunately, I began suffering a migraine just as I sat down to the most delicious looking lunch. Mom finished my lunch and Tal drove Emma and I back to Memphis. Two lortab, one phenergan, and several Sudafed later I am feeling better.
Then I was sitting on the couch thinking, "well, I feel better, I probably could have gone to work for a few hours." when.....our good friend, Deryl called asking what appendicitis is like. Even more unfortunate, it sounds like his wife probably has it, and she just had a baby three weeks ago. So it is now as I write this that I am waiting on their two year old and new born sons, so they can go to the hospital. Thankfully, unbeknownst to them, Tal and I are in town and can help keep their kids tomorrow. Her mom had just gone back to Florida and so they needed some help. So in some ways, I think that maybe my migraine was for a reason, because it I hadn't had it I could not help them out. So what Satan meant for evil, God used for my good!
So I will tell you tomorrow how today ended, but just wanted to relay the exciting times...
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Pray for us too, tomorrow we will be traveling to Jackson to a funeral and then to Memphis to work.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
So today was so good for us. Tal and I have been able to reevaluate our lives here and seek God's heart form our lives in AR. It was so good. We have felt our spirits restored, our questions answered, and our joy renewed. Yesterday was hard, but today the joy came in the morning times. We have a meeting tomorrow which will hopefully share our hearts and what God is doing in our lives. I am excited and nervous all at once. Please pray for us tomorrow. This has been one of the hardest things we have every been through, but God has really shown us His strength is sufficient and the oddest thing that in the midst of the pain, tears, trials we have found that God has given us a time of "odd refreshment" as Tal put it. That despite Satan meaning it for evil, God meant it for good, so in the midst of our struggle we found peace and refreshment in His will. Such a paradox, but so incredible. His ways truly confound the wise.
So the pictures, the top two are of Emma pretending she is an Arkansas fan to cheer up her dad. ( She of course wanted me to relay in no uncertain terms that she remains a loyal Tennessee fan despite her outfit.) The other pictures are of her and her little friend, Ethan. They just have so much fun together. And the last one has Carla, our Children's Ministry director, (an incredible and awesome person, WE love her!!) pulling Ethan and Emma around the fellowship hall. Just thought you would enjoy those.
"God's purpose for us is holiness----His own holiness which we are to share---and the sole route to that end is discipline." Elisabeth Elliot "God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness" Hebrews 12:10