Wednesday, October 29, 2014

5 Books I Read in October

I've been struggling lately with finding reading material that holds my interest.  The best book I read in October was Howard Hendricks' book Teaching to Change Lives.  I'm hoping to find a new author or subject matter to enjoy in November!

Here are the two books I read last month that are on my 2014 reading list.
  • Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are by Alex and Brett Harris.  I really enjoyed the Harris' brothers first book Do Hard Things; I had my 13-year-old daughter read it this past summer.  This is a follow-up to that book and gives practical ideas for teenagers to begin serving God now.  I didn't think it was quite as good as the first book, but still encouraging and challenging.  I'll be having my daughters read it as well.
  • Teaching to Change Lives:  Seven Proven Ways to Make Your Teaching Come Alive by Dr. Howard Hendricks.  If you are a teacher in any type of setting, this would be a helpful book to read.

These are the books I read that were not on my list.
  • Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund
  • The Replacement by Susan Wales and Robin Shope.  This was the sequel to The Chase, my fiction read in September.  I preferred the first book, but this one held my interest fairly well.
  • The Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson.  I read this book years ago, but wanted to refresh my memory on the principles he laid out for parents.

What have you been reading lately?

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Best Benefits Program Ever


"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's."  ~Psalm 103:2-5

I don't know if this is age-related or not, but I have difficulty remembering things.   
What was I supposed to buy at the grocery store?  Who has a dentist appointment on Thursday?  Where did I put that piece of paper I needed to save?

Yet when it comes to praising God, I want to remember all that He has done for me.  The passage above lists at least five benefits that God gives to His children.

1.  He forgives all of my sins.  I'm awed when I think of Him just forgiving the sins I committed last week!  To think of God forgiving all the sins of my entire life is simply overwhelming.

2.  He heals our diseases.  When we pray to the Great Physician, He hears us and is capable of healing us of any sickness - and often, He does.  Will He choose to heal us in the way we wish every time?  No.  But whether or not we have relief today, we know that one day, we will be healed forever.

3.  He redeems my life from destruction.  I certainly believe this is true through salvation; when I accept Jesus as my Savior, He provides me with eternal life in Heaven.  However, I also believe He delivers me from destruction in the here and now.  As I follow His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, I can be kept from many situations that would cause me harm.

4.  He crowns me with loving-kindness and mercy.  God's mercy and grace are ornaments placed upon me.  His love for me is constant and never changing.

5.  He satisfies my mouth with good things.  Don't we have a great God who gives us abundantly above all that we need and grants so many of our "wants," too?!  I am satisfied and fulfilled when I accept the precious gifts that come from Him and I can know that He is always working for my good.

No matter the size of your 401(k), you can rejoice in these benefits - and many more - when you know Christ!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Shadow of the Cross

On Thursday night, I attended my older daughter's first school concert of the year.  She sang in the Junior High Choir and played in the Junior High Handbells.  All went very well!

The Senior High Men's Chorus sang a moving song that reminds us of all that Christ did for us through salvation.  May we never lose sight of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and the price He paid for our redemption when He died on the cross!

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  ~Hebrews 12:2

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Salutes

With my 8th Grader on the way to her fall concert at school

This Fall Tree Craft for Kids is cute and super simple to make.

Kathie has 7 Tips for Parenting a Strong-Willed Child.

Lauren shares How to Have a Remixable Wardrobe.

Andrea lists 10 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor.

From Candy, there are 10 Tough Lessons We Need to Teach Our Kids.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Accepting the Season


I'm a home body.

Really, I am.  I enjoy staying at home, working around the house, baking, starting an organizing project, having a few minutes (or more!) to read a book or flip through a magazine.

I did not say I am a car body.

However, I can see that I'm going to be spending lots of time in my car during the next several years.

Whether it's soccer practice or a youth activity or running to the store for bake-sale cupcakes, I'm the designated driver at this point (except for the mornings when my blessed husband takes our older daughter to school - makes my heart sing!!)

The season we're in dictates driving one child to one thing and the other child to another - and not always in the same area or at the same time.

I suppose I could fight this, mumble and grumble about having to traipse all over town.  But - right now at least! - I'm seeking to embrace this season and be thankful for it.

You may be in a different season than I am.  Perhaps you're home most of the time because it's just too difficult to get all your little ones ready and out the door.  Maybe your season is filled with work obligations on top of parenting duties or perhaps your children are grown and you're serving as a caregiver for someone else.

Whatever season we're in, let's ask God to give us the grace to accept it.  There are difficult days no matter what the season, but He knows exactly what's taking place in our lives and has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

As for me, I want to be content to spend lots of time in the driver's seat for these years.  Because the next season will likely involve my daughters driving themselves places...and I'm definitely not ready for that!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Praise Ye the Lord

"Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."  ~Psalm 150:6

When the alarm clock goes off in the quiet pre-dawn, praise the Lord.

When the shower water's cold, praise the Lord.

When you burn the toast and have to turn the milk carton upside down to drain the last drops, praise the Lord.

When a child calls "Mama" for the 347th time that day....and it's only 9am, praise the Lord.

When you're in the farthest back corner of Walmart and your potty-training child needs to use the restroom, praise the Lord.

When traffic comes to a standstill and you're already running late, praise the Lord.

When no child naps and the afternoon stretches longer than your patience, praise the Lord

When a child comes home from school with a hole in the knee of his pants, praise the Lord.

When the laundry piles up and dirty dishes fill the sink, praise the Lord.

When you crawl in the bed at night and worries creep into the outskirts of your mind, praise the Lord.

And remember....

When you get an unexpected check in the mail and you walk right into the doctor's office without a wait and your husband washes the dishes after supper and the kids go to bed without a struggle....praise the Lord then, too.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Salutes

I can identify with much of Allison's post on Parenting as a Gen Xer:  We're the First Generation of Parents in the Age of iEverything.

There are such cute ideas in 5 Fun Fall Kid's Activities at Kingdom First Homeschool.

Myra set a beautiful table with this Simple Layered Fall Tablescape.

Mary shares Chaos, Order and the In-Between.

I liked the music in Emma so much that I ordered the cd.  It has a very classical sound to it and I enjoy listening to the soundtrack while I'm working in the kitchen.

We have a full day ahead of us.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!