You have to try this...Emma swears by it! Much better than any ointment we have tried ever....

Miracle Skin Salve 2oz

Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday, monday

So today hasn't been my favorite Monday of them all. I had a great time working with the kids at St. Jude. Emma had a great day playing with her MeMe and Granddaddy. I think Tal was not so blessed. He had a growing day more than anything. It was one of those learning days where you wish you did not have to learn so much. And one of those days when you have to trust the Lord so much it hurts. I have had to learn to trust the Lord to defend Tal, to help us see where we are wrong, and to give us love and compassion for those we don't understand. God has called His people to work with the lost and broken hearted. Those are not always the "prettiest" people out there, nor the easiest to work with. But it is the call on the lives of the followers of Christ. We are seeing the gapping holes in our love for Christ and our trust in Him alone. And thankfully, He is faithful to help us grow. Pray that we will continue to love Him more and be obedient to His call no matter where it takes us.

Thanks,
Mary
Ps. Hopefully tomorrow will have more sunshine.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday joys

Today was full of the normal: church, naps, ands church. It was such a great feeling to be at home and not have to be somewhere for the few hours that we were here. Emma and I took a nap in the back together while Tal got to rest in the recliner up front. Then we hung out together for a few hours before going back to church. It was so nice.

Tal and I are learning the joys of being in the ministry. Mostly that God really likes to work through your weaknesses so He can be strong. I thought that my perspective of being a pastor's wife was pretty balanced and correct, but I am finding that God has used this to refine me in areas I was not prepared to be refined. I guess my biggest surprise that should have been more of a given to me was that the struggles I have faced in past life experiences are really no different than the ones I face here. Mainly, the lessons I failed to learn other places I am just repeating here. And sometimes it is hard to trust the Lord when you feel like you might be the only one standing with you. But it has been good to find that my relationship with Tal is strong, that our visions are one, that our desires for more than just the "norm" are consistent with each other, and that God brought us together for a special thing. Then there are the incredibly sweet moments when a life is changed and you get to witness it, or a kindred spirit is found and you feel a little more at home, or a prayer is answered and you remember what life is really about. So all that to say, sometimes I get discouraged that maybe life will always be hard, but then remember that life is always sweet dispite the trials when the Father is your God. And that there is nothing new under the sun and our Lord has walked before us and has the perfect answers for every question we have no matter how big or how small. So just my musings and my gratefulness for where God has us and the work He has given us.

Here is my thoughts from a much wiser woman. I obviously admire Elisabeth Elliot and her words have caused so much growth in my life that I love to pass it on to you....
"Jesus sometimes refused to reveal the truth about Himself, even when it would have seemed to us "an opportunity to witness." He did not always answer questions. He did not always say who He was. He told some of those He healed to tell no one about it.
"For every activity under heaven its time...a time for silence and a time for speech" (Eccl 3:1,7 NEB). "A man of understanding remains silent" (Prv 11:12 RSV).
Lord, deliver me from the urge to open my mouth when I should shut it. Give me the wisdom to keep silence where silence is wise. Remind me that not everything needs to be said, and that there are very few things that need to be said by me."

So just a thought and maybe I should shut up at that!!! Talk to you later.
Mary

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Fun and friends





Today was so much fun. We spent the morning with my mom and brother Matthew eating breakfast. Then we went to our good friends, Tracy and Deryl's little boy, Reese's 2nd birthday party. Emma was shy at first, but then had a blast. She played so hard that she was sound asleep less than a mile from there house and slept the entire three hours back to Benton. Thanks, Tracy and Deryl for having us. It was so nice to spend time with you and your two boys and the rest of the crew. Emma is still talking about Reese.

Then we got to eat at a home of one of our church families. They invited four families over. Emma immediately cued in on the pool. And almost refused to eat dinner, but the cat helped entertain her. But after dinner she and her daddy went swimming until it was too dark to be in the pool. Then we ate homemade ice cream around the pool. It was so much fun. What a nice day, visiting with friends and family.

Here is a thought from Elisabeth Elliot for today.

The man whom Abraham sent to find a wife for his son Isaac had been long in Abraham's service. No doubt he had learned much of trust and obedience through watching his master walk with God. He set out on his mission, confident that God would help him.

Beside the Well of Aram of Two Rivers he halted his camels and was praying silently when a beautiful young woman appeared with her water jar on her shoulder. She responded to his request as he had prayed she would, and he watched quietly to see whether the Lord had made his journey successful (Gn 24:21).

Very possibly we often miss what God wants to show us because we don't take time to pray silently and watch quietly. It was by doing those two things, along with the obvious practical things (let us not leave those undone) that the servant was able to say, "I have been guided by the Lord" (Gn 24:27 NEB).


Just a great thought. Enjoy the pictures. The new baby is Tracy and Deryl's little newborn, Samuel. He is almost three weeks old. Then Reese is the little boy.

Mary

Friday, July 28, 2006

Nothing big.

Today is just another normal day in our lives. I had to work again today, but only until 4:30pm which will please Emma Grace. She was so mad that I left this morning before she woke up. I was sad to hear that when Tal called, but she was easily pacified with her best friend, Dora.

Another great Elisabeth Elliot quote: "When personal relationships break down, it is a sure sign that there is some rift in one's relationship with God. The deeper the rift, the broader will be the effect on the human level. Rebellion against our Creator and Redeemer--against the One who designed us and gives us the breath of life and loves us every minute of every day--is not only unreasonable but outrageous. The sense of outrage will reveal itself in our treatment of others. "

"If we claim to be sharing in his life while we walk in the dark, our words and our lives are a lie; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, then we share together a common life, and we are being cleansed from every sin by the blood of Jesus His Son" (l Jn 1:6,7 NEB).

Last night, Tal and I along with my parents watched the first DVD in a series called the The Truth Project. This is a new iniative put out by Focus on the Family. Tal and I were privileged to go out to Colorado Springs and hear Del Tackett present this and be trained as small group leaders. It is essentially a 12 DVD course on Christian worldview. Last night we watched the DVD about verity. I had heard the exact same talk when we were there in CO, but it was like a whole new experience. I just wonder at the glory of our God. I would highly encourage anyone to check our thetruthproject.org. It is great.

Well, got to run and go have fun with my family.
Mary

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gymnast in the making

Thought y'all might enjoy a quick picture of what Emma's new venture has been. She is now doing partial chin ups on the trampoline at my mom's house. She did it until she wore four grown ups out. I hope she sleeps tonight!!! Then she was tuckered and laid down to watch Dora. (Or so we thought, minutes later she was at it again!)



Just another day...

Well, today seems quite uneventful compared to yesterday. We got up really early (actually before 8am is early for me these days....) and drove to Memphis in time for me to be at work by 8am. I have gotten used to my evening shifts over the past three years or so. But it is a nice change of pace to be awake during the days. Emma and I will definitely have to get used to it before the next baby gets here.

Yesterday I had one of those experiences that really brought me home a little. Emma loves to chew on ice chips. And I had gotten a big glass of Sonic ice for her, she was so excited, but got tripped up coming to get it. She skinned her knee and blood was everywhere. She was crying a little and upset about her "my knee". As I sat there cleaning her knee, I was taken back to a day when I was not much older than her. I was outside playing when we lived in Florida and my mom called out that she had just cut watermelon and we could come get some if we wanted. I was so excited, but my legs were a little behind my excitement. I don't remember exactly, but I did skin at least one knee. I remember being taken inside to the bathroom and getting my knee cleaned off. I remember feeling so scared about getting my cut cleaned, but remember my parents reassuring me. All of a sudden, here I am the parent, comforting this cutie in my lap. (although she is tough, she rarely cries of blood, just when she makes a mistake, then big croccidile tears appear.) I don't know why it hit me so hard, but it was like those moments that seal in your mind forever. That remind you the the goodness of heaven, because there is an eternal ring to them. Like it was God saying, this is a picture of my love and tenderness for you as you fall and skin your knees and sit in His lap to get them cleaned. Just musings....

Another great thought from Elisabeth Elliot "If we guard some comer of darkness in ourselves, we will soon be drawing someone else into darkness, shutting them out from the light in the face of Jesus Christ.
"Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen" (Book of Common Prayer)."

Hope your day is great!
Mary

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fires, lip gloss, and swimming in coolers.

Well, today started off as most days do. We watched Dora and then got ready for the day. Emma Grace and I went and purchased a birthday gift for her friend Reese. Of course, she has decided that she might like Thomas the Train stuff too. But we quickly hid it and Dora and Backpack, quickly returned to their state of grace. Then we came home and were going to start supper and do laundry. Yeah, not in our life.

Emma was playing in the den and I was just out of eyesight cutting some meat for stroganoff. There was a tremendous loud popping sound and the electricity went out. Emma was screaming and I assumed she had gotten a new hairstyle. But when I found her hair to be the same beautiful brown and straight silky mess she usually sports, I realized she was not the culprit. The electric company finally showed up about thirty minutes later and our power was restored, only to explode again a few minutes later. My neighbor happened to drive up just as the second outage occured and couldn't open her garage door and went to the electric truck to complain. He very politely told her, no she was mistaken, he had just restored power.(Apparently, he missed the loud boom and lack of power as he was walking to his truck) But as he was telling her this, he noticed a large amount of smoke coming from my property. He had her call 911, and by the time the fire truck got there, Emma and I were watching the back part of our property go up in flames. It wasn't huge, but I wish I had gotten a picture. It wasn't something I could have put out with a garden hose. After about 15 minutes, the flames were out and the electric company free to investigate. Apparently, an electric line had over time begun to sag and either fried a squirrel or other small rodent causing our display of smoke and fire. But all is well and the line is high in the air once again. Hopefully this will be our last bout with fire for awile, two weeks ago I started a grease fire in the kitchen (that is another story, you have to ask me if you want to know about that) and then last week while in Gulf Shores, Mom, Dad, Emma Grace, and I were evacuated from our 11th floor condo at 10pm on night for a burnt bag of popcorn somewhere in the 15 story building. Emma is going to think that this is like a weekly adventure. The picture at the bottom of Emma's back outside, is her telling the firemen "BYE, BYE" at the top of her lungs! Wish is had audio.

So then afterward Emma was playing around outside and found the cooler that we had mistakenly not drained of the water after our trip. She was playing in it, when we saw her do a swan dive into the cooler. She got a wet surprise at the bottem. She thankfully did not get hurt, but was more than happy to go inside and get dried off. (Note to self: drain coolers as soon as you get home.)

Then as we finally were getting dinner cooked about 1 1/2 hours later, Emma decided to paint herself with lip gloss. That is what the pictures are showing. She loves to "get pretty" as she calls it. Then she will tell you "I big"! So we had pepto bismol pink gloss all over us.

Well, that is enough for one day. Hope you enjoy the pictures. I will leave you with two thoughts. One is something I heard yesterday. We all have pain in our lives and we all will seek comfort, but it is up to us what that comfort is. Some chose food, others sleep, others sports, others work, some chose God and His cleft. All the comforts involve lasting consequences, but those consequences not only effect us, but also our children and grandchildren. So next time you are looking for comfort, why not find it in the Rock that is Higher than Us.
And second Elisabeth Elliot said this and I was reading it today "If we really comprehended the measure of the grace of God toward us, surely it would be easy for us to forgive others for the relatively small sins they have committed against us." I should tattoo that on my hand, I need that reminder daily.

Hope you enjoyed the humor of my day. (Although, I am sure it is just my mom reading this. Maybe one day I'll have groupies!!!)

Mary






Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Working, working

Today is when duty calls and I must gas up the old gold van and drive to Memphis. Actually, I love my job in Memphis, but the drive does get a little old. I prefer to drive in and back to Benton though because I get to sleep in my own bed at night, but mom's guest room comes in a close second.

Emma gets to stay with her daddy when I just work one day. If I work two days in a row, they both come with me. Fun, fun! We have a pass to the Memphis zoo, so they spend time there and then with my family back at the Regenold "ranch". (Which is more like a zoo these days, my grandfather, Big Daddy, Mom's dad broke his hip in June and has been in Memphis since then almost. Then about a week later my brother, Mark, broke his left leg playing softball and was on the invalid list at my parents house. Then Mike is busy with golf and Matt is home working. Fun, huh??? Don't know how mom keeps up with all of us.) This fall mom will have all three of us from Monday-Friday as Tal is finishing seminary from August until October. Maybe one day Tal and I will live one town at a time. This has been almost a full year of going back and forth to Arkansas, but eventually, I think we are going to pick just Arkansas. (Which my no means, means that I am going to switch my allegance. And I remind Emma Grace daily that she is a Tennessan by birth. Unfortunately, unless a higher power intervenes, our next little one will not have the same claim to fame.)

I thought I would share some of Emma Grace's cuter moments here, for those who don't get to see her often. She is a hoot. I did not realize that children could have a sense of humor so young, but they do. She is so funny. Her daddy is trying to teach her to raise her arms and shout "daddie" at the top of her lungs. She is catching on quite well, but after a few times, she gets a gleem in her eye and says "MOMMMMMMAAAA" at the top of her lungs and then just burst out laughing. She knows so well that she is funny.

Then the other day she had asked me for a coke. (yes, I give my baby coke, shame on me, but I do give her caffeine free coke, because I cannot keep up with her without caffeine, don't want to see her with it.) As I was getting it for her she was whining and whimpering and trying to hold onto my legs. I decided now would be a good time to let her know that if she wanted things, she only needed to ask me, not whine for things. But after trying to tell a 18 month old about whining, I resorted to just saying, "Emma, when you ask me for something, just ask, you don't need to cry." She looked at me really funny and said, "Momma, I not cryin" Then a few minutes later a baby was crying on the TV, and she said, "Momma, that baby cryin". I have got to write this all down.

So I have written enough I guess. This is so cool. I actually have a place to write my books.....
Mary
Ps. I have been listening to Jack Frost from Shiloh Place Ministries on my way to and from Memphis. He is so awesome. And everytime I have listened to them I am thoroughly convicted. It just seems like I take baby steps to change though. He talks a lot about the Father's love for us. I cannot even begin to summarize everything. I am just going to leave you with this one thought. We were created for His love and to give His love away. How different would I live my day, if my goal in the day were to give His love to others. If that was my purpose in the day.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A night at the Ewings











Here are a few pics from tonight, Monday 7/24/2006. This has really been our first night at home since we left for Beach Camp last Saturday. It has definitely been nice to spend it with Mary and Emma. Check out Mary's Chicken Soup that she made for us tonight. It was..."motherly magnificent." It made you feel all warm inside just like you had gotten a bear hug. She really is an amazing cook. I am blessed to eat better than most people who pay a lot of money for their meals. I hope that you enjoy taking a look inside our night.

Tal

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pool time

After church today, we got Emma a pool. It has been in the 100's for over a week, so it was the very last one at Wal-mart, but also it was only 15 dollars, so a good deal for us. She fell asleep on the way home, so after her two hour nap she awoke to a filled pool on our gazebo. She was so excited on her way out she said pool about 50 times. It was so cute. She had a blast, especially when she realized that if she pushed on the sides it let the water out. Even our golden retriever, Princess, got in and enjoyed the fun. So much fun.

The kid camp put on a lunch fund raiser after church today. It was nice. We ate with another family that has a two year old boy named Ethan. Emma was imitating Ethan thoughout the meal. She and Ethan are in the same class during church and have gotten to be buddies. Emma now has made it two Sundays in a row without crying when I leave her. Our pastor's wife, Mrs. Betsy, is so good with her and has been a blessing to us as Emma has gotten used to class and church.

Well, time to go get ready for church tonight. Hope you enjoy the pictures. Mary





Saturday, July 22, 2006

Beach Pics

These are pictures of the beach. I don't think Emma liked it do you????






Friday, July 21, 2006

Emma at the Zoo!



Emma at the Memphis Zoo in June 2006!

Beach Babies

Hey!

I thought I would try our hand at blogging! So much is happening in our life and maybe this is a good way to keep in touch with others. It seems to work for so many!!!!

We just got back from taking the youth group to Orange Beach, AL for Beach Camp with Student Life Ministries. It was such a blessing, hard but a blessing. Emma Grace, our 19 month old, loved it. She is already crying to go back. We were blessed to have my parents with us to help me cook for all 50 of the group. It turned out so nice. We had great weather and beautiful beaches. The last day we were there the water was so beautiful and clear. The sand was like sugar, nice!!!

God did tremendous things in their lives. We had one commit his life to Christ for the first time, several "come back to God" committments, a couple of decisions for some kind of mission work. It was sobering and so great. We are so blessed to have these kids in our lives and humbled to work with them and their families.

Tal and Emma and I are looking forward to a few days at home before we are on the road again to Memphis for me to work at my job. (We live in Benton, AR 2 1/2 hours away from Memphis, but for now this works for us.) It is nice to be home. Emma seems so content to just be when we are here. I think we are going to take her to the water park tomorrow or Sunday afternoon. Then this week we have bills to pay and housecleaning to do. Fun, fun!!!!

My pregnancy is going well. Thank God! It is hard after a miscarriage, but each week is a blessing. I started to feel the baby move this week. It was such a blessing, but on the other hand this has been harder than with Emma. It actually makes me feel a little sea sick. I would not trade it though. It is great. This little one is an active little one. We go back to the doctor on August the 7th. We should be scheduling out ultrasound then and will know after that what we are having.

Well, need to go do some more bill stuff before bed!!

Mary Ewing