Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Myriad of Thoughts

So is your summer as busy as mine? I'm sure it is. I've had so many, "Oh, I need to blog about that moments", but sad to say there has been no time to flesh any of those things out. I will give you a brief run down and perhaps you can wander into the world of those ideas without me as your guide. (trust me, you'll be better off for it. ;))

1) A few weeks ago on Wednesday night we did a word study on Worship. Really interesting considering the current hysteria with all things "worship". The most common usage in the NT really conveys a attitude of contrite prostration, a total submission of ones will to another. Hmm, seems that worship should go beyond a liturgy, praise bands or even a Sunday morning service. Really thought provoking fcr me anyway.

2) I just downloaded an audio book to my MP3 that has been great. It is entitled, DO HARD THINGS, by Alex and Brett Harris. It really is technically a book for teens. So why is this 30-something reading it? Well, one Sunday Night a month at our church we all take turns leading the service(this is nice for variety and gives our working pastor a break too). Anyway, I ran across this book and the corresponding website online(www.therebelution.com). The topic fascinated me and has challenged me too. It would be a GREAT read for any young person you know, in fact, I wish I had read it 20 years ago. I think it will help me be a better parent as well. Perhaps after camp I can give you all a little book report. But for now...

3) Speaking of Camp. Our Church Camp starts this Friday. I'm looking forward to it, but my kids are ecstatic! I remember loving campmeeting as a kid. Sure I heard some of the wackiest sermons in my life at Campmeetings, but the fellowship was sweet and I did gain a tender heart toward the things of God. Our camp is good in that we really are wacky evangelist free(well, except that one year Tarrra y D-riko came). If I were an artist I'd draw a little "No Wacky Evangelist" sign and put it up here for you. TEE HEE HEE!

4) As most of you know, the boys and I started to study history this past school year. My eyes have been opened to the significant role history plays in the decisions we make today in so many areas. I know we've all heard that "nothing is new under the sun", but even problems akin to our current political struggles have been faced and handled. The problem is our politicians and certainly the common public haven't read much about history and certainly feel qualified to have opinions without the historical knowledge to form a balanced opinion. In fact, Susan Wise-Bauer has said(my paraphrase here) that our children have been encouraged so much to have opinions and develope "creatively" before they have the back ground knowledge from which to form educated ideas. Therefore, we end up with adults who form their opinions and even beliefs based on how they feel and not from a true understanding of the topic at hand. And so we stumble ignorantly back into the same blunders again and again. At the Home School Convention I attended this year Jim Weiss told a story about Vice-President Truman. He was the last president in US History to not complete college, he came from very humble beginnings, and yet he led America through some of her darkest times after the death of President Roosevelt. After his Truman's presidency he was interviewed and the question was asked how he made his decisions even though he didn't have all the advantages of his predecessor. He took the interviewer over to his library. He pulled out a book and said, "This here book was written 2000 years ago by a Greek feller named Pluto. And this book is full of stories about Greek and Roman leaders of the ancient world. So when I ran into a problem I didn't know how to handle I'd take down this book and I'd read to see how those fellers handled things. If there was someone I needed on my side I'd come to this book and pretty soon I'd find someone in here like the person I needed on my side. Then I'd do what they'd do and 99 times out of 100 it would be the right answer. You see Son Human nature doesn't change." This inspires me to continue to learn and to pass on to my children the value of knowing where we come from and how to learn from those who came before us.

5) I was mowing the other day thinking about the way God sees fit to provide for us. I grew up hearing stories of miraculous ways God answers prayer. How folks would pray for healing or sell all they had in "faith" and then blamo, God would give them a better job or a million dollar check would show up in the mail or they never felt sick again. Now before I start sounding too cynical, please don't misunderstand. I trust God, I have no doubt that He is more than able to do these things. My question is, does He always or even mostly? I'm sure there are cases where God has miraculously provided for the physical needs of his children without any effort on their part, but is that how He usually works? It has been my experience that when a need arises, I without fail talk to my Father about it. I trust Him to help us. Then guess what? We work. And you know what? We are thankful for the work. I've been mowing a lot this summer and it's been nice. While I would prefer to stay home and care for the needs at home full-time, I'm also thankful for work that doesn't take me away from my kiddos all day everyday. I'm thankful for a flexible schedule. I'm thankful to be able to help supply the needs of my family. I'm also thankful for the unexpected joys too. While I mow I have a lot of time to think, to pray and to listen to uplifting music and books. This is such a precious treasure for a mother of little ones. I often think of you while I'm mowing and pray for you. I think about how I can be a better friend and ask our Father to help me with that. So for those of you out there who don't get the "easy answers" from God that we've come to expect, try to see the joy in where you are. See the blessing in how He has chosen to provide for you. Think of our brothers and sisters who have it so much worse than we do. And remember that God is concerned with our souls and eternal destiny, perhaps the difficulty you are facing is what will help conform you into His image. Perhaps it is your difficulty that will help you to show his love to someone else in trying times. And so go out today my friend, knowing that this week as I mow I will mention you to our Father and I will be thanking Him for so many blessings.

6) Another topic that has been wallering around in my mind is the idea of how powerful influence is in determining where we end up in life. This was another topic of discussion at a Wednesday night service and I wish so badly I could just play back the whole discussion for you. It wasn't all brand new information for me, but it defiantly helped me organize and solidify some basic beliefs. I can't communicate it all in this space, but here is a basic "jist" for you. Our actions are a result of our values. So,what determines our values? Our values are determined by what we allow to influence us, be it people, media or ideas. This is pretty basic and in some ways a no-brainer. However, so often we unknowingly develope a value system based on influences we are not aware are having such an impact on our lives and especially the lives of our children. I see this so keenly with my own little ones. While I have years of experience and information that have formed solid beliefs, my kiddos don't have that yet. And if they are exposed to influences that I easily reject, they are probably not filtering the influence in the same way I am. This helps me to vigilantly guard the influences that my little ones are exposed to and to help them filter the ones that they have no choice but be exposed to. Why? Because these influences will help shape their values and in turn their actions. In the same way positive influences are powerful and I diligently seek these out so that they are exposed to the positive shaping these can bring. This is truly a simplification of where the discussion went and where my brain has been. But like I said, perhaps it will spark your mind to explore the idea on your own.

7) I'll end today with a disclaimer. I was looking back over my old posts and saw a comment that was written for my close girlfriends who know me well. However, I remembered that not everyone who reads my blog may know me well. As I know I can't possibly cover every misunderstanding, I do want to correct anything that may communicate a world view that I do know share. I posted a few pictures of my boys. and I said that I posted them because I was a "proud momma". Let me clarify that I believe it futile to be "proud" of my children simply for how they look. Since I really had no control over what DNA strands may have combined to produce the children I have. I am proud of my boys when they make wise choices or go above and beyond what I've asked of them, but that is a whole different situation than being proud of something that takes no effort on the part of an individual. I use phrases like, "A proud Momma" or "You done good" very lightly and my close friends would understand that. It does not however, reflect my true understanding of what one should gain pride or identity.

So there you have it, in a nut shell that's what has been on my brain. ( A nut shell is more than adequate space for my brain.) Blessings on you all today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Days

I've been working my brain lately on a couple of topics we have studied in church lately. I'm not quite ready to blog anything on my thoughts, I'm just too short on time to do that. I will, however, leave you with a few more photos of the last few days.

July 4th was a rainy day. We had plenty of outdoor projects needing to be accomplished, but alas Mother Nature had other plans. However, there is ALWAYS the pressing need to fold laundry around here(Tara you know my weakness). We are trying to teach the boys different chores around the house this often takes more time, but hopefully will pay off in the end....

July 5th Keith, Rachel, Matt and I hosted a July 4th Celebration, complete with fire works ala "Super Keith", for our church family ".

This week is going to be busier still. Yesterday Rachel and I did some landscape work up at our church camp. Today "Lil Guy" came to visit and the boys have been having a wonderful time. Our neighbors are finally home from their vacation and the girls came down to take the boys berry picking. These two young ladies have no idea what a break they give this Momma when they come over to "play" with the boys. They are so gracious! Combined the kiddos all picked enough berries to make a pie! Micah is looking distressed because he cut his finger in the woods while picking berries.

I hope you have a lovely week enjoying the beautiful warm summer weather.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Independance Day!

I know, I know, I haven't blogged in forever. I really do miss you all, but you know how it goes. Busy, busy, busy. This summer I am mowing for 3 hours about two days a week, I help a friend out in her office one afternoon a week and sometimes if it's crazy busy at the rocking chair plant I go help out there. So you add a couple boys and a house to that mix and presto, you don't blog. I will be back though, I do so miss staying in better contact with you. Until it slows a bit I will leave you with these pictures that my dear friend Lora took of the boys. Why? Well, cuz I'm a proud Momma, that's why. :)