Thursday, December 25, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
40 Reasons why you are loved!!! (whew, I hope I can do this...j/k)
1. Because you are a funny guy...you make me laugh even when I wanna be really mad.
2. Because you're a hottie (as Will and his buddies would say about the opposite sex).
3. Because you are a God chaser...truly. You don't give up. You might get discouraged, but you always return to the woods to clear it up with Him. As a matter of fact, sometimes I like to encourage you to go take those walks in the woods.
4. Because you love me, in spite of my rotten self.
5. You love Will and will do anything to help him succeed
6. You love Bryn and will do anything to help her know that we love her.
7. Ditto with Erin!
8. You love Jayden and will even sit for hours playing a game that you care nothing about just to let him know that you love him...ask me how I know this.
9. You are truly thoughtful. You think about things and analyze them and rethink them because you want to make sure that what you do gives the right impression to the receiver.
10. You clean potties....I LOVE THIS ONE!
11. You plunge potties when little ones go overboard with the tp. This one's pretty high on the list, too.
12. You will do things that are dangerous to make sure your wife's crazy decorating ideas are carried out...like climbing a rickety ol' ladder placed on concrete to put a wreath on a window over the garage. You didn't fall on the concrete even though the kids thought you were going to surely die.
13. You give me big hugs that feel very safe and warm.
14. You like chocolate covered cherries...I just like that.
15. You eat things that aren't very good from recipes that i try and you don't complain (okay, I'm stretching this one a little bit, but you do attempt it and try not to hurt my feelings.)
16. You'd rather be with us than anywhere else...you're not consumed with some activity or hobby that is better than time with us.
17. You will do without things so that your family can have things.
18. Your a perfectionist. Okay, sometimes this drives me crazy-but when you're trimming out the paint on the walls and I don't want it on the ceiling-you're the BEST.
19. You work hard to discern the truth. You research. You study. You learn. You don't give up until you feel that you know that you know that you know what God wants you to know.
20. You're a great dresser. You want to look nice. You won't show up at my friend's party or house wearing an ol' unironed tee shirt with holes in it or fibers(inside joke) all over it!
21. You like to play...paintball, poker, cards, hide and seek, basketball, really anything-as long as it's playing.
22. You enjoy time alone with your wife EVEN if it's just to have a quick dinner. You like hanging out with me.
23. You are a sensitive guy...you feel the needs of others and you act on those needs.
24. You are a giver.
25. You recognize grace and attempt to share the grace afforded to you with others.
26. You love God's creation. I love that you're a hiker and outdoorsy, campy type of guy.
27. You tell great stories that make other people laugh.
28. Kids of all ages love you.
29. You're a great singer and I love to listen to you sing...especially when it's to me..hint, hint.
30. You love music.
31. You'd rather sit outside and sing Christmas carols around a fire with your wife and kids than go and do anything else.
32. Did I mention that you're a hottie?
33. You make great double layer pumpkin' pies.
34. You are strong!
35. You are constantly trying to think of ways we can make our family stronger and better.
36. You are a great communicator with our kids. I love how you can sit down with them and talk on their level to explain things...something I struggle with.
37. You know how to say "I'm sorry". Even when I'm the one that should be saying to you.
38. You never forget our anniversary or anyone's birthday.
39. You're handy around the house. You've learned how to do a lot of home improvement type things that end up saving us a ton of $$$.
40. I just love you for being you...every little bit of you!!!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Well, we started out on a pretty steep trail that got steeper and steeper. We finally topped the top of the trail after several very steep rises in the trail. It was AMAZING. The view was gorgeous. I wished we had discovered this a few weeks earlier. I'm sure the leaves were beautiful then.
The best thing about our hike was -well, I turned as we were coming down and saw two pre teen kids (yes, I'm talking about Will and Bryn) actually engaged in REAL conversation...no arguing, no fighting, just talking about, well, just stuff. I made Ken snap a picture of them without them knowing...I wanted to remember this moment without ruining the moment. It was BEAUTIFUL!!!! You see, Will and Bryn ARGUE constantly about EVERYTHING. We often comment that we wish they were as close to each other as Erin and Jay (they play lovingly together for hours). I think Ken and I realized that with the craziness of the year since July that we really have not taken the time to really SPEND time with our family. On the trail, I think there were no distractions, no craziness, but there was time to really talk and really listen to each other. It felt good.
Oh, and did I mention that there was some concern coming back down the mountain that we were not going to make it out of the woods and off the trail before it got dark...seriously? We made it by maybe 10 minutes...yes, 10 minutes. I was a little worried, but WE made it.
hugs and happy family time to everybody,
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I believe that I'm supposed to answer the following questions and give awards to other people:
1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
Well, they are still my friends. I don't see them often or converse with them often, but I do miss them at times. There are a few, that when I see-it's immediately like we never missed a beat.
2. What do you value most about your friends?
Well, I like to believe (and I'm pretty sure - it's true) that they love me when I'm bad and when I'm good. They see me and love me where I'm at. Also, so many of my close friends are also my sisters in Christ. They understand the grace and mercy that Christ awarded us and they also show that same grace and mercy to me.
3. Are your friends your sounding boards?
Well, I tend not to sound off about deep things within me very often, but when I do...they definitely are there to listen. I would say that my best friend in the whole world (Ken-this is you I'm talking about) is my biggest sounding board...bless his huge ol' heart.
4. What is your favorite activity to do with your friends? Well, always a weekend away with him ...oh.. and you girls - I love a weekend away with you, too!!! I just like being with my friends...no matter what we're doing.
I'm awarding this to 5 of my blogging friends:
1. Ken (my honey)
2. Tamara C
4. Marilyn K.
5. Jennifer J.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Would you guys mind showing him some love so he doesn't misinterpret things and think that all my friends are snobs? Yeah, he's a little bit of a whiner.
He did manage to get one comment from somebody he doesn't even know. It's pretty interesting, actually. It makes you think.
I personally think that tithing is an old testament thing. I do believe that everything we have is God's and I'm called to give more than 10%. 10% is just a legalistic amount to make some people feel like they are doing their part. It kind of relieves the guilt for them. I also agree that there are some people who really are trying to keep it together (not many) and we should be giving to them, not them giving to the church. Yes, I'm actually saying that there are times when some of God's people can't take 10% of their check and give it AND I think God's intention is for us to help those people. I think the problem is when we feed our own materialistic desires and then can't pay our bills or give to God and his people. (note: I'm preaching at myself right now).
Oh, and when you're reading Ken's post-remember that he didn't put his stance on it. He just wants you to think about why you believe what you believe. He's really been pushing the kids in youth to figure out why they believe what they believe, too. If you don't know, it's very easy to be swayed by someone who is a gifted speaker, but not a scholar of God's word. May I remind you of the current election, when I make that comment.
hugs to you all!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I ran across this post and realized that it was really thought provoking and could possibly be life changing for me....and my significant others. So, I'm gonna share it with you. Maybe it could change your life, too.
You can find more info here.
love you guys,
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Now, doesn't that just crack you up? I had to scan it and save it. It'll probably end up somewhere in some scrapbook. Gotta love Will!!! He's got his Dad's sense of humor.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
This is actually a "blog in a box" that you can purchase here. I bought this because it came with very good instructions and I thought it would help me understand the how and where of the html code. It basically did, but I'm not happy that there are boxes around some of my elements. I thought they would be transparent around them (i.e. the star where it says "about me"). ********update********
Ken looked at it on his laptop and the squares weren't there. They are definitely there on the desktop....so you may or may not see the squares....oh well.
I did figure out how to create my own header and buttons with scrapbooking stuff so that was helpful. I will keep researching and maybe by the time we have another scrap weekend I'll be able to give everybody free lessons on digital scrapbooking and maybe blog design.
We were hit with the strep bug again....I'm hoping that this is the last time considering this the fourth child. Hopefully, we'll be well enough for church tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Five Tag
10 years ago I:
1. had my second child
2. worked part time for the first time
3. attended a church that changed my life (you figure it out).
4. changed two children's diapers several times a day
5. bought my first minivan(first in a long list)
5 things on today's "to do" list:
1. laundry ALWAYS!!!
2. Daniel study and prayer
3. sanitize my home of the strep virus!!!!
4. go to bed
5 snacks I enjoy:
1. guacamole and chips
2. Sweet & Salty snack bars
3. kettle corn
4. Anything that's dark chocolate
5. Starbucks Milk Chocolate Covered Coffee beans (ohmigosh...I had these for the first time the other day and they are YUMMY!!!!
5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. pay off our houses and vehicles
2. buy my brother and his family a house
3. take my kids(with my husband of course) somewhere fun and exciting that would be an adventure for us
4. Quit my job, so that I can be more accessible to my family.
5. give generously!( I liked that one, Angie...me, tooo!!!)
5 places I have lived:
1. 2244 Dawnville Beaverdale Rd.
2. 259 Upper Varnell Rd.
3. Jackson, TN
4. 969 Dawnville Rd
5.1855 Collins Rd.
5 jobs I have had:
1. Winn Dixie
2. 2 Different Hallmark Stores
3.Precision Sample Company (my uncle owned it and mom and dad pushed this one on me....yuck!)
4. Babies Can't Wait/ Service Coordinator for Special Needs birth to age 3
5. Whitfield Co. School System/Speech Language Pathologist
I am tagging: Cyndi R., Shana F., Meleia B., Angela F., and Jenny G.!
I'll try to comment everyone and tell them they're "IT!"
I forgot to attach the rules: Here they are.
Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person that tagged you know when you've answered the questions on your blog.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Okay, I'm really becoming addicted to digital scrapbooking. This is what I did with the pictures from Bryn's game. I figured out how to do two page spreads at once. That was something I had to research. I've learned how to use a premade template, how to cut letters from background paper, how to make your own textured paper, how to recolor elements to match your photos(everything on this page was red and white when I downloaded it), and so much more. It has so been worth my time.
Just thought I'd share for you "hanging on the fence" people that are thinking of trying it. It is so much nicer to close the laptop and have no clean up. PLUS-in the end I will have a professionally bound leather album to keep. Woohooo!!!
Also, if you click on the picture it will get bigger so you can see the detail.
Friday, September 19, 2008
These two below are two of her bestest buddies. I think they are some of my favorites from her group of buddies.
Bryn was messing around with the digital and made some incredibly funny pictures of her sister and brother....swim goggles=fall....NOT. Go figure.
Only being allowed to play video games on the weekend=FALL!
I rarely catch Will on film. He's my loner child and seems to be in his room, or reading, or just being alone while the rest of us are going crazy. Ken says it's because he's hit that preteen goofy stage...who knows?
Okay, back to the title of the blog. Is it fall yet? Well, UT played ball Saturday and won. We didn't get to see it thanks to our local network. THe screen was black for most of the game....not happy. My thoughts are college football=FALL!!! Yes, it's Fall, and I'm loving it.
Hugs to you all!!!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Funny how little kids do that, but they do. I remember my mom and other youth leaders telling me when I was in high school that the younger kids were watching us. I don't think I ever believed them, but I do see it happening now. I'm sure it was happening then, but it seemed kind of crazy at the time.
I tell the girls in the youth group that Bryn is watching them. I don't know if they believe me, but she is. I see her try to copy their outfits, the way they fix their hair, and the jewelry that they wear. She even begins to talk like them and copy their gestures. Does this strike fear in my heart? Of course it does. I have no control over what these girls say and do around my young impressionable daughter. Sigh...I suppose I will turn her over to Jesus again like the many times before and the many times yet to be had.
All of that to say, am I copying my hero? Do people look at me and see a carbon copy of my maker? Don't answer that. I know the answer. I will continue on my journey one day at a time and try to grow more like him everyday. Just remember, I'm not done yet. Hopefully, one day people will look at me and see undeniably who I belong to and to whom I am loyal. I am thankful he loves me where I am and loves me to much to leave me there(and thank you Pastor Keith for this reminder).
Friday, September 5, 2008
The problem is that this person has no idea that I'm harboring unforgiveness to towards them. In fact, they have no idea that I know what they did. In some ways, confronting them would only make it worse. I'm not sure that them saying they were sorry would help at all, because the simple fact that they did what they did makes me feel differently towards them. AND....that statement just proves to me right now that I really haven't forgiven at all. Does forgiveness mean I really have to love this person? Can't I say that I forgive them without loving them? Honestly, loving this person is just not on my "to do" list today. Vengefully, I want to let this person know that I know, but not to offer forgiveness...more to offer embarassment to them. If I went and said something to them right now, it would simply be to put them in their place. I'm not sure if that's my job.
How does Jesus forgive us? It's even more amazing to me that he has forgiven me, because currently in my weak earthly self-I'm finding the power to forgive impossible. The FACT that he's forgiven me in my sinful state when I constantly cheat on Him with other Gods is just basically unbelievable at times. I KNOW in my head that he has and I recognize that just because I can't(or won't)forgive makes it seem like Him doing it for me is not possible. In my hurt, I recognize that I often hurt HIM just like I have been hurt. Yet, he still loves me AND he forgives me.
Father, I don't know what to say or do to bring this forgiveness into my heart. I guess that in some ways this is good(although that's very hard to see right now), because it's made me recognize the immense gift that you have given me. In spite of the many, many times that I've hurt your feelings, you still love me and you still forgive me. You hurt more for the fact that I'm missing out on so many wonderful things you have for me, rather than what I've done to you. Help me to find a way to forgive this person as you have forgiven me.
I accidentally ran across this...yeah, right? Thanks God for putting this in my path as was aimlessly wandering blogland.
Thoughts from CS Lewis
"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you."
I think that pretty much sums it up, right?
Sunday, August 31, 2008
God uses theses seasons to grow us, to love us and to help us to realize that something knew is always in our future. There have been times when I haven't understood why things happen the way they do, but I can always look ahead and see that the season is changing.
May this change of season bring you out of your slump and into a new relationship with the Father. Lately, I've been drawn to Him. I'm leaning on Him more and more out of reflex instead of conscious thought. It is the hard stuff that pushes us into His very arms. I've definitely had my share of hard stuff lately. He wipes my tears and hears my cries.
Thank you, Father for being patient with me in my silliness and just as happy to have me when I can't resist you any longer. You are all that I need.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Keith's sermon this morning was very timely for me. We've had an exceptionally long and hard week. I'm sure that many of you have as well. Problems that have seemed insurmountable have cropped up. We've been a little discouraged and disheartened with several things in our family this week.
Keith reminded us of who Jesus is in our lives and WHAT he is capable of. I needed that reminder, but I also needed the reminder about what comes next. He said that once you get your faith on-then you need to count your blessings one by one. Well, that's what I'm gonna do today. Count my blessings. Please feel free to count yours in the comments as you feel led, but I'm going shout mine out here. It's easy to get discouraged and down and dwell on everything that's not happening as we feel it should. I'm letting go of that and grabbing onto those things that are DEFINITE BLESSINGS in my life.
- My husband- he is very good at making me feel secure. When he's not with me, all those crazy insecurities come back. Not that they should, but he does provide me with a certain sense of security. I was somewhat bothered by this, but he reminded me that that's what God gave us each other for. I think I have always been consumed with this certain amount of independence. I feel like I have to be able to do everything without asking for help. That is not how God intended for us to be. Eve was given to be a helpmate to Adam. They were put together to go on the journey together as helpers to one another.
- My sweet, healthy children- so many times during the day I look at them and want to freeze little moments in time with them. They are so unique and awesome in their own individual way. God blessed me with them and I want to enjoy the journey with them-not complaing about the hike on the journey.
- My church family- I say family because now that we are at EMC it truly feels like home. I feel comfortable and loved by many of you. Sometimes, I'm still trying to find where I'm supposed to fit in, but that's my insecurity not one that you guys have put on me. If anything you guys have gone out of your way to include me in the family side of church.
- My job- not many people get the opportunity to choose to take their career and slow it down to part time so that it works with your family. I get to be an adult and interact with adults- and still be a mommy, too. I'm thankful that the Sara Hoskins has allowed me this opportunity.
- Last but far from least-I'm so blessed to be called by the Son of God to be part of the best family. He CHOSE me first. Grant it I had to choose to make him my Lord and Savior, but he LOVES ME. He loves me in spite of the screwy things in my past, or the mixed up crazy thoughts in my head. He makes my life significant. Without his sacrifice for me, I truly would be a wandering, confused, unhappy person. I can't imagine trying to make sense of life without HIM as the center. It's what urges me to be the best mom, best wife and friend that I can be.
Thanks go to Keith for the gentle reminder about keeping our minds focused on pure, lovely and holy things.
Hugs to you all!
Friday, August 8, 2008
I have to admit I had forgotten about the dances, but I was quickly reminded when I signed up to help with PTO. Lori, the person signing me up, said , "I've already got you down to help me with the dances. They're crazy!" Now, she has had a year to adjust to middle school. I'm just starting. Do you think I really enjoyed the "They're crazy!" No, I didn't. Because the thought of Will mixing it up with the girls really makes my stomach turn. Ken and I have known for some time now that we were heading down a difficult path. You see, our boy and our girl are too close to the same age. Meaning that his friends will be interesting to her and her friends will certainly be interesting to him (and his friends). Does this make me nervous? Yes, it makes my stomach churn deep down inside. Something else that really, really frightens Ken and I is that we will have children in MS for the next 10 years. Yes, count it on two hands. We carefully spaced (okay, it wasn't careful, but who's keeping up with whether I was trying to get pregnant or not? Oh yeah-that's my mom that keeps up with that.) our children three years apart with the exception of Will and Bryn (they're 21 months apart). So when Bryn leaves MS, Erin will start. When Erin leaves MS, Jayden will start. SCAREY!!! We also will have a child enrolled in the youth group for the next decade and 1/2. Also scarey. You see we know teens and we know what teens do that their parents don't think they do...yes, it's scarey. Did I mention that it was scarey. I just wanted to make sure you knew that it was S-C-A-R-E-Y!!!!
Actually, I'm looking forward to having fun playing with my kids and I'm gonna try my very best to enjoy them when their brains turn to mush as a teenagers.
Here are a few pics from our first day back to school. Jay won't start until the 18th.
This was right before we left the house!!!
This is Erin. Doesn't she look thrilled to be in first grade? Her two buddies, Mary Grae and Carson weren't there yet. I think she was feeling all alone in a new place. I'm sure she perked up once they arrived.
This is Bryn with her new teacher, Mr. Kubin. Ya' know , 20 years ago I would have never guessed that I would WANT my child to be taught by this man...LOL. We go way back! He is an awesome teacher and I know that my kids will get what they need to succeed from him.
Bryn had no trouble walking right in , finding her buddy, Victoria and sitting down to a great year. Aren't they photogenic?
Friday, August 1, 2008
I thought I had a good picture of their capes flying behind them, but maybe not. This one was too cute to pass up.
Oh and just for the record, the other kids did go. There will be more to follow about them later, but for now this post is dedicated to my super heroes.
PS I had to look up how to spell souvenir. I still think it looks wrong, but dictionary.com says I'm right.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
*****If you click on the page it should fill up your screen. The picture of Sam (age 7) jumping off Jack's River Falls is amazing. I still can't believe it turned out so good. Don't worry-I quickly sent it off to Brandy. I think she was mad (furious was her word exactly) at first, but really liked the picture. Joey was trying to figure out how to break it to her that he let his son jump off something 10-15 times his height into a pool that quickly turned into rapids. I probably would have been furious, too!!!*********
Thursday, July 24, 2008
LOVE the Makeup!!!!
Final hairstyle-complete with CHOPSTICKS....pretty appropriate, huh?
Audrey and Jordan both have summer birthdays. We celebrated by creating a great evening referred to as "Paint Night". The girls played at the nail salon while the boys painted each other at the paintball place. I have embarked on yet another obsession. Digital Scrapbooking! These are my first attempts at pages commemorating the night. Don't be too hard on me-these are my firsts. I'm still learning to use Photoshop Elements and haven't quite gotten all the bugs out yet. I can't even really take credit for the titles. Bryn made the comment when we were eating after all the paint had dried. I immediately snagged it for use in a scrapbook.
Well, sadly the Kadows had to leave. It's back to trying to rent a rental house, finishing up sewing projects, and just being a mom.
I shouldn't say "just being a mom". I love being a mom, but sometimes life moves so fast that I forget to enjoy what I have when I have it. I have to stop and remind myself that my kids are not going to need me forever. Will already seems like he's backing away. Lately, I have caught myself staring at them when their playing and just wanting to freeze that memory in my head. The other day, Erin was dressed in a spiderman costume and Jay was dressed in a batman costume and they were double riding her four wheeler. I watched them zip across the yard screaming something about saving the world. I loved it and I just paused and thought , "don't let me forget this moment." I wish I had caught it with the camera, but it was over before I could grab the digital.
So I leave you with....don't forget the moment!!! Cherish every second that God gives you with them.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday night I heard a brother stand before our church and cry out for Christians to begin loving each other as Christ loved us. He suggested that we allow our lives to be “transformed” by the power of God which in turn would allow us to engage in true and connected love relationships. I don’t think anyone would disagree with his petition. We are called to love one another, but what does that really mean? How does this “transformation” come about in a Christian’s life? I believe it begins and ends with the word grace.
The following is my feeble attempt to link this idea of having a transformed life with one of the most misunderstood words in the bible. That word of course being grace. If at first it seems that I am mindlessly rambling, stick with it. I promise I am actually trying to bring together a rational and organized thought.
When we love each other we fulfill God’s law and prove our love for Christ.
John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?" 23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.
John 15:9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
Verse 24 of John chapter 14 is particularly important because it makes it clear that we will not obey the Lord’s teachings unless we have come to love Him!
Another important tie in with this is found in Matthew 22. Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
So, what does all of this mean? Let’s break it down.
1. Jesus says if we love Him, we will obey His commandments.
2. What are those commandments? In John 15 verse 12 He says His command is this: “Love each other as I have loved you.”
3. Thus, we prove our love for Jesus by loving others the way He loved us.
4. Yet, Jesus makes it clear that we will not do this if we don’t love Him. (John 14:24)
5. This is made clear when we look at Matthew 22:37-40. There is the reason the Lord said, “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. Why does the Lord list this as being the “first and greatest” commandment? Because, if this is not the case in our lives, we have no ability to fulfill the second greatest commandment which is, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' John 15:5 says, “apart from me, you can do nothing.”
6. Thus, we will not (and cannot) obey the commandment to love others (the way Christ loved us) if we do not love God first. It is impossible!
So, the question is, Do we love God? Are we really at the place in our lives where we are really able to love Him?
Although this may sound harsh, I think the answer to that question would be no for most of us. Before you “freak out”, stay with me! I don’t think this is due to a lack of appreciation for what the Lord has done. We see the cross and cognitively recognize the great sacrifice God has provided on our behalf. Yet, I really believe most of us simply lack a deep and committed love for God. So why is that? Why is it that most of us have reduced this glorious redemption to a system of “hoop jumping” and feeble attempts at pleasing our God with good behavior. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, most of us live as if we believe serving Christ means doing the good and running from the bad. At the end of the day, we tally up the good versus the bad. If the good stack trumps the bad, then we can rest easy knowing we have appeased our Lord. If not, we must deal with the furrowed brow of a disappointed Father who grows weary of our constant failure!
Every now and again, I have these imaginary conversations with the Lord where I play both parts. These generally happen after a “bad” day or some grievous failure has taken place in my life. They tend to sound something like this: God: “Well Ken I see you’ve wasted another day that I blessed you with!” Ken: “Yes Lord. I didn’t do very well today at all.” God: “When are you going to learn boy!” Ken: “I know I’m a complete failure Lord.” God: “Well, I just want you to know that I’ll still love you because of Jesus, but I really am sick of your train wreck of a life. You better straighten up and fast mister before I have to send some nasty discipline to do it for you!” Ken: “Yes Lord, I’m so, so sorry! I’ll try to do better. Maybe I can witness to someone or something tomorrow. That will make you happy. Right Lord?” God: …………(silence). Ken: “Won’t that be good Lord?” God: ……………(continued silence).
This imaginary conversation generally ends with me walking away believing that I will need to live really well for the next few days so that my relationship with the Lord can be restored.
At this point you are probably thinking one of two thoughts. Either you are amazed that you are not the only psychotic person in the world, or you feel sorry for Ken Richmond and his apparent psychosis! Maybe it’s not quite that black and white, but I do believe many of us tend to “feel” as if we must earn God’s love, acceptance, and blessings. The question is why?
That is such a very important question because without its answer we will continue on what we should call “the performance treadmill”. What is the performance treadmill? Well, it is a sick device of torture we have created that forces us to endlessly chase after the embrace of the Father with NO hope of ever really arriving at our destination. The funny thing about treadmills is that they require a lot of work and movement but never transport us anywhere. They allow us to burn off that which we do not want to keep, but keep us in the same spot. Now, if you’re wanting to drop some pounds that’s not such a bad thing. But, if you’re wanting to drop some pain, guilt, fear, or any of the other “stuff” created by our propensity to sin, it’s a complete waste of time and energy. The truth is sin and it’s effects are just far beyond our ability to “burn off”. No amount of hard work and sweat will ever rid us of it. God knew that and provided Jesus. He dealt with a problem we could never have dealt with.
If that’s the case, then why do we continue to try and earn God’s love and acceptance through our own performance? Well here it is folks. FINALLY! Here’s why I think that sad cycle continues in each of our lives. WE SIMPLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE GRACE!
SO, what does that have to do with all that stuff about loving God and loving others and having a “transformed” life? It has everything to do with that and our own ability to live a Galatians 5:1 life.
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Let me ask you a question. Does that describe how you feel? Do you really feel free? Does that word completely describe your Christian experience? From the time you wake up in the morning until you enter the bed at night, do you live each moment feeling free? Not just head knowledge, but a heartfelt, “breath of fresh air” kind of freedom. If not, you do not understand grace. Let me summarize.
1. If you do not understand grace, you will continue trying to earn God’s favor on the “performance treadmill”.
2. If you are running on the performance treadmill, God’s love for you is based on how well you are living the Christian life (hoop jumping).
3. If God’s love (and “like”) of you is based on you and your performance, you will never feel free. Why? Because you and I fail constantly.
4. If you never feel free, you will grow weary bearing the burden of your own guilt, sin, and shame.
5. Thus, God becomes an angry task master who constantly demands that which you can never fully deliver.
6. If God is viewed (even some of the time) as an angry task master, how can you ever truly trust or feel love for Him.
7. If you can’t fully trust or love the Lord, you won’t obey His teachings (John 14:24)
8. If you won’t obey His teachings, you’ll never be able to love others as Christ loved us.
9. All of this makes for a dead, disconnected, and lifeless church. Buildings full of people unsure of how to love God or each other.
10. If that is all we are left with, then we must find some kind of way to justify living this Christian life. So, we climb on the performance treadmill hoping to create “something” with a God we don’t know how to love or even relate to.
The end result: religion.
Is that what Christ died for? Does that sound like the kind of life Jesus talks about “life and life more abundant” (John 10:10)? If there is to be any hope for the Church, we must find and embrace the truth of who we are in Christ and how we are loved by Him. Let me encourage you to pursue a study of who you are in Christ and how God really sees you. As we begin to better understand and embrace the awesome love and grace offered to us by our heavenly Father through Jesus, we will surely begin to see not only transformed lives, but a transformed church!
Sorry this was soooooooo long!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Anyway, I don't like to go get those annual physicals that we(women) all have to get...not fun...I know it's not fun for anybody but I really dread them. Honestly, I went the year after Jay was born(he's four) and then I missed my next one. Something came up. I don't really remember what, but I never rescheduled and haven't been since. Bad girl. I know. My mom's been yelling at me. Well, I finally decided that I better make an appt. and I went in last week for the grandiose pap smear. Today, Dr. Harbin's office calls me. The lady on the phone said, " I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Well, you came in last week for a pap smear." I'm thinking...ohmygosh...it came back bad. I'm dying, cervical cancer, etc. etc. (Yes, I turned into my glass half empty husband). She then goes on to tell me that they sent the swab to the lab and the truck carrying the samples crashed AND BURNED. Yes, I have to go back in next week. Is this some type of punishment for not going in for three years? I still have to pay my dues and be humiliated the same number of times. I almost said "Forget it!" BUT I had a moment of weakness and laughed. The whole darn thing is kinda funny. She transferred me to the front desk and I rescheduled. They tried to make me feel better by telling me I didn't have to give them a urine specimen or anything. I only had to be swabbed. THAT'S SUPPOSED TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER! The worst part of the whole ordeal and I have to do that part twice in two weeks. Ya' know, I really should be immune to this after four babies. I mean the janitor comes in at the hospital and checks you in the middle of the night, right? Well, I'm not immune and I still hate it. Meleia, give me insight here!!!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Sunday mornings should be calm, relaxed and peaceful. You're about to go to a wonderful church with great friends who love you and learn about a God who couldn't love you less and couldn't love you more because of anything YOU do (thanks Pastor Dewey). So let me paint my sweet, serene picture of pre-church.
I roll over hopefully to snuggle with my husband. He's not there. I think to myself that it must be later than I thought because usually I beat him out of bed. I find him lifting weights in the garage and realize it's only 6:00ish. I ask him why he's not snuggling with me and he says that he had a nightmare that I was raped and murdered. Great start to the morning, right?
Well, after I shower and get my clothes ready, I begin to hear the children stirring. They gradually make it downstairs. Let's see who was mouthy first? Bryn or Will? My children really think they know more than us. Bryn gets sent to her room while I'm raging (yes, I do raise my voice often a bit more than I should) about her mouth talking back. Next, I hear Ken raging about Will's mouth. Ken doesn't like Will's hair and Will doesn't like for Ken to fix his hair. Erin says that Daddy threw the hair dryer on the floor because Will made him so mad. Ken exits to the back deck. I find him sitting on the steps. We discuss our children's current mouthing problem. With no solution in sight, we take deep breaths and return to finish the battle.
Jay is not up yet and doesn't want to get up when I go upstairs to get him. I leave him in his bed thinking that he'll get up on his own since I woke him. NOT...I hear him screaming my name at the top of his lungs and I trudge back UP the stairs to get him a second time.
We finally load the car and get to church...the long way for us, because Shaw has decided to block us out from driving through their parking lot. Jayden's crying that they locked us out of church. We still arrive semi early. We hope to convince Dewey not to present us until after the younger two go to children's church. We didn't convince him. I sigh...and say a silent prayer, "Please, God don't let Jay embarass us when we're standing in front of everyone." God heard my prayer, at least about the being in front of everyone. He only embarassed me before we got up there. He said in his loud voice when we were asked to come forward, "I wanna go to MY CLASS!" Yes, most people heard him. I think he got stage fright when we were standing up there because he just layed his head on my shoulder and was silent...a rarity.
After church, we decide to celebrate by going to Los Reyes-a fairly affordable restaurant for a family our size. Well, we get there and the door is locked. They don't open 'till 12. We're there at 11:40. We decide to regroup and go somewhere else. Jayden throws full blown temper tantrum in the middle of the parking lot-not a parking space, but the street part. He wants chips and cheese with rice. No Fudwuckers, No chinese, only chips and cheese.
Big Brother finally gets him consoled by telling him that if we go to Chef Lin(yuck) he'll get ice cream. Why does my husband like that place? Jay is finally is all right. We get to Chef Lin and get ready to go through the buffet. A fairly peaceful meal occurs. We get the bill to realize that Will and Bryn are no longer considered children. They've changed it to ages 9 and under. Well, that sealed the deal for Ken, we won't be back. It's "okay" food, but not at full price. It was only worth it if we were getting a deal. $40 for a "so- so " meal doesn't make him happy. Inside, I jump for glee. NO MORE CHEF LIN!!! I let him know that for and additional $10 we could have had the lunch menu at Ichiban's(my favorite). He agrees that it was a bad choice.
Sigh, the day does end peacefully...no more fighting...bike rides, four wheelers and just plain fun, but let me tell you at 9:00AM I just didn't think the day could be salvaged. It was!
As real as it is, I still can't bring myself to make it end on a bad note. This post was just for Ken so he'd quit saying I was lying in all my blogs. He is a glass half empty kinda guy and I'm a glass half full kinda gal- that's why we're together. God knew we needed each other. Isn't it great how he puts us together?
Saturday, June 7, 2008
1. My sweet hubby-he does more for our family than anyone. He's a Godly man with a lot of wisdom. I'm so thankful to have him to walk through this life with me. Without him I would probably laugh a lot less. Did I mention that he has a great sense of humor?
2. My parents- they raised me with a knowledge of who Jesus was...I never had to seek out the Father. He was present in my home from a very early age. They are still always there when I need help or assistance. It probably helps that they truly love my children and spending time with them.
3. A lady I met in college-Brenda Green. She truly walked the walk and talked the talk. I so enjoyed being with her and her family. She went out of her way to minister to me and several other girls in college. I'm forever thankful for that. I learned a lot about Who the Savior is and how he should be evident in our lives just from her. I have often said that my Mom prayed Brenda into my life when I was in college. She was a Dr.'s wife that just decided to come work at a Hallmark store(where I worked part time) because her kid's were in college and she was bored. She also was a non-practicing nurse, but wanted something not stressful to do. I'm so glad she did that...her ministry was very effective in my life.
4. My new(mostly) friends at EMC...you guys are so REAL. I appreciate the transparency and love that you have. I'm so grateful that you don't all profess to be these "perfect" christians. We're all on a journey and I'm so thankful that God placed us beside you again. I sincerely feel that you guys would love me through any failure or shortcoming that I have. You simply admit that "you're all a bunch of cracked pots". I'm so glad that my shattered pot can sit right along beside each of you to worship the One who glues us back together( love the "bring the rain" blog)
hugs and love,
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Erin and her teacher, Mrs. Gazaway. She's the most nurturing, loving person you will ever meet.
Will, AKA the giant, standing next to some of his classmates as they receive their awards. The fifth grade teachers were not as good at making their honor's program memorable. I CAN say that because my husband is one of those teachers. I was like, "What? No power point slide show. No memories to cry over?" The three male teachers were just wanting to save time. Tsk, tsk. Next year, I may have to do it for them.
Bryn standing as they call her name for one of her many awards. She's such a smarty pants. She also is a really hard worker...at least at school. Maybe not so much in her room, but with schoolwork, she's a hardworker.This is Bryn with Ms. Ciliberto. She came straight from Heaven in the middle of a very difficult fourth grade year. As you can see from the picture, Bryn's a little teary that the year is over. She truly loves Ms. C. Ms. C retired in TN and came down to fill a spot of a teacher that had to depart midyear. We are so thankful she did.
The final awards program was yesterday. Dear ol' Dad received "Teacher of the Year" at Dug Gap Elementary. I was so excited to see him get to stand next to our fellow blogging buddy, Meleia Bridenstine at the countywide awards ceremony yesterday. She was also voted "Teacher of the Year" by her peers at Eastside Elementary. I was so proud of both of them. They both deserved to win.
Last, but far from least I have to give one last award.
It goes to the best hairstyle of the Month!!! Don't kill me Jenny! I just couldn't resist.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
It began on Monday. Dress rehearsal was Monday. Will and Bryn were in a school musical about Lewis and Clark. Well, they had to have "pioneer" costumes. I was behind as usual and spent most of Sunday and Monday working on their authentic (I'm stretching here) pioneer wear. I managed to get them enough done to make it through rehearsal and then spent the rest of the evening finishing them up for the actual production the next day(Tuesday).
I must admit the quality of the pics is sad to say the least. I wasn't managing my camera very well at all. The kids were wonderful. Will had a number of speaking parts which he blew out of the water. I was amazed at Bryn. I had no idea how dramatic she was. Several of the parents came up to me afterwards to comment on her animation during the play. She didn't have any speaking parts since they gave most of those to the fifth graders, but she did a fabulous job in the chorus. I have no doubt that if she tries out next year she'll snag a huge part just from her performance this year. Her facial expressions and smile won everyone over.
Well, on to the rest of the week. We had church on Wed. night. Thursday night....ahhhhh a night off, but alas Friday came and so did dance recital dress rehearsals. Another afternoon of makeup, costumes, and hair. Saturday was the actual recital. You had to arrive 1 1/2 hours early to snag a seat for all the relatives. Otherwise, you'd be sitting in the back of the Wink. That's like a football field away. Here's Ken's undercover video of the actual performance. Tammy H. and I had camera issues at dress rehearsal. Ken said he'd video the actual performance. It was quite undercover so excuse the bouncing around and off center shots. She did great. The best two bumblebees up there were Erin and Maddie. They were always on opposite sides of the stage so I never got to get them together. I was so proud of both of them. I'm also glad that Erin finally has someone as tall as she is to hang out with. Those two are both gonna be tall drinks of water one day.
Oh, and I almost forgot. I spent all day with Will on Friday at the courthouse. There was a mock trial. Alpha students countywide participated. Will was a prosecuting district attorney. I was so proud of him. The students were given affadavits-that's all. They were either given a role as attorney(on either side) or witness. The attorney's had to formulate their own questions and the witnesses had no idea what they would be. They had to answer the questions based on their study of the affadavits. I was SUPER impressed with all of them. Doesn't he look handsome? The D.A. that acted as judge that day got to critique them at the end. He said that Will had the mannerisms and actions of a real prosecuting attorney. He also said that he could tell that a lot of thought had been put into his questions during his cross examinations. Do I have a future D.A. in my family? Who knows? It was awesome to get to see him in action. I'm glad that I got to be there.
Needless to say, it was a busy week. This week was a little better, but not much. I got to go see Will's catapult contest in fifth grade on Friday, but for the most part no other huge events this week. Next week...let's just say, "here we go again".
Tuesday-Erin's awards program
Thursday-Will's awards program AM
Bryn's awards program PM/Will's rocket contest in fifth grade.
Friday-School wide awards program and last day tie ups.
Let's just say that I will be glad when this week is done and we can all relax!!!!!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tragically, SCC lost his youngest daughter in an accident at their family home yesterday. You can read about it here. SCC blog.
I was moved to go to their website to give to the organization that he and his wife started to help with international adoptions. I'm sure that this family needs all the prayers and support that they can receive.
This little girl's life was lost but may her legacy live on through the lives of many other children and special needs children waiting to be adopted.
hugs to you all and hold your little ones a little tighter tonight,
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Our weekend began on Thursday night. We went out to eat at Fuddrucker's (a favorite of the kid's) with my parents. You see- Jayden's fourth birthday is May 4th. Well, Nana and Papa were going to Hilton Head so they wouldn't be here for the celebration. We just began celebrating early. Jayden was elated to begin early...the earlier the better. We had a great time. We got there a little early so we decided to fill the time waiting for them to arrive with a little video footage. I think he's following in his Dad's footsteps, don't you? I can just see him leading worship one day in the near future.
Friday night, my husband and I got to go out on a long overdue DATE!!! We had to pick up Jay's present for Sunday, so it was a perfect excuse to enlist the services of Uncle Mike and head north to Macaroni Grill with NO kids. That doesn't happen often enough at the Richmond's so we savor every minute of it when we get the chance. Not only did we stuff ourselves silly at the Grill, but we then went to Target to cruise around and let our food digest. It was so pleasant to shop without two small kids and two pre-teens. Trust me, the pre-teens can be as difficult as the small ones at times. The mega shopping trip worked up quite another appetite and we went to DQ for moo-latte's. Okay, none of this was on my diet, but it was so enjoyable that I thought I would just work out twice as hard the next day. We won't discuss whether or not I actually did it, but it was still so worth it to just spend pleasant alone time with my husband. He really is so much better than I could ever have dreamed I would have for a husband. I love you, honey!!!
Saturday, Ken decided to take Will to see Ironman...not a chick flick-so the girl's and I decided to sneak out before the movie and get our toenails done. Again, this was a super nice treat...we really don't do things like this nearly enough. The little asian ladies were so good to my girls and gave us all extra special treatment. Yes, Bryn chose lime green and while I wasn't thrilled- I did want her to be happy and have a good time. It must be popular, the bottle was almost empty when she chose it. Erin and I went for the more traditional look. My girl's look like they have big feet in this picture. Now that I think about it, they do. Bryn's foot is the same size as mine and she just turned 10.
Saturday night, I put together Jayden's cake. I am not a chef or a cake decorator!!! BUT, when Will was four I made this dinosaur cake for him. A picture of it is in his scrapbook. It was awful. I spent hours working on it and it just looked cheesy. Well, Jayden has been begging for this dinosaur cake-the one in the scrapbook. Ken came up with the idea of taking cupcakes and placing them together so they made a dinosaur. He thought that might be easier. Well, it was easier, but it still looks CHEESEY. Here's a pic of the finished product. Jayden insisted that it be a blue dino. He got to help decorate it. No awards on this cake. He loved it and I guess that's what counts.
Now, I'm gonna wrap this up. I know it's a lot, but I can't close out this blog without saying how much I enjoyed the service at EMC this morning. The sense of community in that church is amazing. Ken and I were talking after church about the willingness of the members of this body to "bear each others burdens". I am so happy to be a part of a church that is willing to break away from the norm and follow God's leading when it is evident He is taking the service in a different direction. I loved looking around the room and seeing so many people in pockets praying in small groups for one another. Praying for people that they were led to pray for. I know that you guys have been through a tough few years at EMC. I'm so glad that you stuck it out and hung in there. God is doing great things in your body. It is so evident. I'm glad you invited me to the party and I'm glad I decided to come.
Hugs to you all,
Monday, April 28, 2008
I especially enjoyed my van mates. We loved the roller coaster ride to get there. Bubba Gump's was quite the experience for lunch on the last day even if we did have to walk through a monsoon to get back to the van. I also enjoyed the sidetrip through NC...oops. I got to know more about each of you personally and spiritually during that little detour towards home. We made it and we didn't have to stand on the side of the road and flag down traffic to bring us gas...believe it or not.
I can't wait until our next excursion. I can't wait to see what God is going to do for EMC AND I can't wait to see what each of you are going to do with God. You all are a great group of women.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I just wanted to keep you guys informed of where we are in the process. I love my buddies!!!
I probably won't be at church tonight as Will is still sick. Pray for him this week, too. He has some kinda wild virus that is hanging on....just a fever-nothing else. He was negative for Strep on Monday, but we just can't get this stinking fever to leave. Oh and I put up a few pics from our fishing extravaganza on Sunday.
Love you guys,