Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Mean Streak

It seems like every time when I hit that pit...after I feel like I have had "A REVELATION" ...You somehow bring things across my path. I know it has to be You, because our very conversations that we have, the things I battle with spiritually that only You and I know about...are all of sudden being brought to my attention thru someone speaking your word or just using small incidents that show me You really do listen. It makes me embarrassed to think about the things I question You on...Time and time again, there are days I feel like You are too busy to deal with me and my insecurities. But, then days like today...can feel You next to me. What is the purpose of this? Why one minute I stand on a mountain peak, and the next I know, I have hit a mudslide only to find myself barely able to stand on my 2 feet. When we meet Lord, You and I have a lot to talk about! I feel CLUELESS on my life at times.

I have been studying the book of Esther the past 2 weeks. I have studied it before, but not this in depth. It is so obvious your hand was upon her. I really pray that You bless Beth Moore for her ministry to women. God You have used her to truly reach women in ways I cannot even find words to explain. I don't think I am in this study by mere chance. In the evenings I feel like I just do not have the energy to go...and I am always finding the excuse to not go. I have so much to do at home, or I don't like the kids being up so late. I don't feel comfortable with women I don't know, or I just don't think anyone can relate with me. But I have gone, not knowing what to expect. Why would I second guess what to expect with You.

Last week in this study we talked about who Mordecai and Hadassah also known as Esther were. I didn't realize Mordecai being a Jew was so vital to knowing the history of where this man came from. Coming from pretty much a well off family I believe to being exiled to nothing. Being a lonely man to all of a sudden a father to a cousin. And Esther~ A woman who was an orphan. Lost her parents at such an early age. To not have either of her parents. It's one thing to lose one, but both. They both had a history. Esther had no experience whatsoever in royalty. Yet she was forced into the kings search for a new wife. God didn't use someone to change a time in history with a "impressive back ground".

Last night in the study Beth discussed how "It is tough being a woman in a mean world". I think any woman knows that girls can flat out be mean. She revealed how meanness has a history and just doesn't "Pop up"

Now, she went super in depth with Haman who was King Xerxes "right hand man". So in depth that I have to go back and look it over again because I am completely lost. It talks about Haman and where he came from. I can't remember if she said it was a long the line of Saul and his disobedience to follow God's instructions. I don't know. I was seriously lost in all that. The main point she was making is that Haman had a history of anger passed down thru generations to him. Anyhow, Haman had a lot of power. Haman was driven. He was driven by wealth, ego, and rage. He was enraged at Mordecai because of his refusal to bow down to Him because he only showed that reverence to the living God. This made Haman livid! She made a point about how nothing is meaner than a coward because they pick on the elderly, weak, children, and all the defenceless. Haman had this power over Mordecai because he had no "royal power". Haman like all of us at times, was "mean" because he was "threatened" by Mordecai. When we are threatened, we often times become enraged and mean.

I cannot help but be convicted, Father. I feel like I am meaner than I have ever realized. I hear so many people talk about "how sweet I am" They do not know me like You. Unfortunately there are those who have seen this mean streak and certain people who can bring out this mean streak that no one else can. Those who we are mean to, there is ALWAYS a threat behind it! What am I threatened by, Lord. What is it? Beth made a statement of "insecurity is at the heart of every rivalry." Was this a comment that was meant for me? It keeps spinning thru my head. I am not ignorant to the fact I am probably the most insecure person out there. I am always comparing myself to others. Realizing I don't quite measure up to them. Why am I threatened by those who are smarter than me? I don't quite catch on as quick as others and it honestly makes me feel stupid. The fact that I am unable to remember anything at times and forget so often it is embarrassing. I am not as patient, at times easily angered....and then there are those I know that are the complete opposite. I start wishing I were like them. You know, the more "spiritual people" Or when I feel like I am beginning to catch on to a talent,and someone pops along and is far more talented than I go searching for a new talent because I am not good at it like they are. Why do I do that? Why do feel insecure and threatened by those I don't quite measure up to. 2Cor. 10:12 is the scripture verse used. You tell us NOT to measure ourselves to others. So, how do I stop? How do you just toss those insecurities?

I have felt so threatened by women for a long time. I know You know. I talk like you don't know any of this. I cannot remember why Beth mentioned this next quote....but I wrote it down on my notes, because it was one of those quotes that convicted me. But she mentioned that "We will never have the perfect friend. We will never have that perfect Sunday School teacher, or whoever it is that you tend to run to" Our basic instinct is to find those who feed into our emotions and eventually you smother them and I am sure that I have been one to do that. I don't know why but I need You to tell me how I am supposed to respond to this comment. I feel like there is something You are trying to get thru to me...but it is just not clicking.

The last thing Beth said was, We all have a mean streak. We have those moments where we are mean, but go back and apologize sorry and not quite sure why would ever say something or do something like that. I have no idea what came over me. Please forgive me. But a mean girl never takes responsibility. I want to take responsibility. But it's hard.

I need to be open to all of this God. I want You to show me and I want to grow. But during the growing pains it hurts so bad. So much easier to just be mean. So where do I go from here? How do I identify these threats and remove them? How can I be threatened? If You are for me, Who can be against me? If I am not measuring up to others, help me to realize You love me just the way that I am but don't want to leave me where I am. You are all I need and live for. Not to impress others with speech and talents. Not to rely on others to nurture me in my valleys but to call out Your name.

Ugh....I have rambled. I don't want to be mean. I don't want to be the influence that Haman was. I want to leave my Haman to You. Not to be overcome by my Haman but overcome my Haman. Not to bow down to Haman, but to love and forgive until Haman's heart sears.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Women of influence and aroma

Of course when I post this I am struggling with picking up past offense. Sometimes I feel like I shouldnt speak.

Thoughts from Charlotte's Sermon

I talked earlier about my trip to Springfield a couple of weeks ago. I won't be able to give you the FULL extent of what Charlotte Gambil preached but the notes I took I think will give the most valuble points.

I must say the most convicting topics that Charlotte discussed was "Women of Influence and Aroma" . She used the story of John the baptist and the mother and daughter wanting his beheading. Mark 6:17-28. Herod feard John because he knew John was a righteous and holy man. The daughter of Herod came into the banquet dancing and Herod was "impressed". So he vowed to her that he would give her anything she asked for. So she ran to her mother asking what she should ask for. The mother replied "The head of john the baptist" The mother of this daughter had a deep hatred for John. It was a bitterness that saught his death. This story talks about the influence and aroma that these 2 women had on Herod. Would the daughter have asked for John to be beheaded if the mother had not influenced her? In my opinion I don't think so. But that is merely my opinion. Why would she have gone to her mother for advice? Mother's tend to have that sort of influence on their children. Leaders, Friends, or just my average aquaintances I influence. Well, even a complete stranger can be influenced by me. Makes me think of my slight tendancy of road rage. Ok, maybe it is major. The point is....we all have an aroma and have the choice to make it sweet or make it sour and stinky. Charolotte also made the suggestion that whether I have a good aroma or bad aroma it spreads to everyone I come into contact with. "AT ALL TIMES" My aroma influences others around me. So what aroma are you? A sweet aroma? Loving, kind, patient, outgoing, giving, long suffering...ect. Or are you stinky? Bitter, angry, resentful, selfish, gossipy, slanderous, always talking about others short comings? Are you grumping and constantly complaining about the situations you face? Wallowing in it. I need to be focusing on the words of Paul to be content in every situation I face. I need to get rid of the attitude of "I will not be happy until I "have the head of John the baptist". I will not be happy until they pay for what they did. Charolotte also refered to our reaction to offenses, and hurt feelings. How we have the choice to keep our aroma's sweet and not allow others to influence us and spread their aroma to ourselves. If we start feeding that offense, hurt and all those emotions it becomes somewhat like a baby to us. It becomes attached to us and we feed it and nuture it. It begins to grow. It becomes a part of us like a child. And when we drop that is like dropping our "baby". And our natural tendancy is to rush to it and pick it back up again. My mother and mother in law and father in law and even my friends are constantly encouraging me and telling me what a great mother I am. And how proud they are of me. It just touches my heart because after God, and my husband, they are my main priority. Are you ready for this? This was the MOST POWERFUL statement Charlotte made......When you raise and nurture this baby....(Offense, hatred, resentment)...Satan, like my parents and friends, puts his arm around you and thanks you for raising this baby so well. And then, gives you another baby to raise. I think I will end at that thought.

I am not a great speaker, nor am I good with words. But I have enough wisdom, to take this sermon and learn from it and apply it to my life. However it doesn't mean I will tackle it right away or not struggle for the rest of my life, lol... I need to be spreading the aroma that Christ had. I hope this encourages you the way it did me

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It Starts With Me

For the past several weeks, I have had a few things on my heart but not sure how to express it. I always hesitate on sharing sometimes, because I don't want to offend people, or get useless debates going that only hurt people instead of encouraging. Does that make sense? But at the same time, I don't want to offend God and have Him say "Why didn't you share that with others" or have that one person it makes sense to, and answers a question they had, or makes them feel that there is someone else out there feeling the same way they do. In that case, I am going to share in hope that there is possibly someone out there other than me, that understands where i am coming from. And anyone and everyone that knows me personally...I mean really truly knows me, knows where my heart is in sharing this.
I don't know if anyone else is aware of the spirtual warfare the church is facing. Division in the body of Christ. Offenses, hurt, anger, resentment, gossip, slandering, negative motives...the list can go on. I am not just speaking of the church I attend, but the church body in whole.
As a follower of Christ, what is our main objective? Some may jump to "Live like a Christian"! Yes, we most defintely should live like a Christian, and that is the sign that we truly know Christ. By following His commands. But how many of us live out EVERY command Christ gave? (1John 1:10, 2:4-6) How amazing it would be if we could. But living like a Christian is not our main objective. Furthering the kingdom of God is a Christian's main object. So how do we do that? (Matthew 28:19) Preaching the gospel of Christ. Yes! Loving others, reaching out to the lost, giving ourselves to others. All this is so true. But in order for this to be effective and possible, what has to happen first? What happens when we draw in the lost. We reach out to the woman who has been selling herself to make ends meet, in order to raise her 4 kids she has at home. Or the rebellious teenager who is going down a path that leads to death or the person who at one time was a part of a church but went astray. The teen who has abusive parents....What happens when we draw them in and they see all these "church people" slandering, arguing, hating, gossiping, pointing fingers at each other, causing useless debates, stirring up division and arguments. Why would they even want to be a part of that?
I am in no way writing this to point out any individual but MYSELF! So, those of you who may be thinking "aw man is she talking about me"....NO! Although, I would ask you, to reflect for a moment and see if there is anything you might be doing to hinder growth. I have noticed, if I am not open to teaching or being held accountable, I become arrogant. That is the last thing I want. The best thing any Christian can have, is a "teachable" spirit. I am yet to be able to put down that guard I hold so tightly to when someone points out that "thing" I did that contradicts my (our) faith. It STINGS! (Proverbs 27:5-6) An open rebuke is better than hidden love, wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. What better way to show me you love me, than to love me enough to show me where I am messing up. There is a way to hold each other accountable in love, and it not be a judgemental attack. But oh how I can sometimes get defensive and take it so. Am I rambling? I feel like I am. This stuff is just weighing on me and if I don't let it loose, it will keep growing.
My main point I am seriously concerned with the damage the church body is causing to further the kingdom. I have been convicted about constantly referring to those "hypocritical christian's" in the church. Which there are and I hate the sin NOT THEM! It is painful to see people puff themselves up about being a Christian (Believing in Jesus and God), giving to the poor, going to Church, but have no intention of following all of His commandments if it means they have to give up the things they find fun or not harmful to them instead of thinking of those they are causing to stumble. I mean come on, its their fault if it offends them, right? Their problem, not mine! Not so much (1 Corinthians 8:9). Pastor Roy made a comment awhile back ago telling me that I can speak truth, but if it causes someone to stumble, the very word of God can be used sinfully. Talk about a blow to my face, but in a good way. I don't think we should talk about the hypocrites in the church We should talk to them. Stop ranting about "Those Supposed Christians" What makes us different than the hypocrite if we are slandering them for being a hypocrite which at times I myself am guilty of contradicting what Christ taught me. Am I making sense? We should go to those people, but remember at the same time, we have been a hypocrite too. But I have to make sure I am holding myself accountable and open to that "open rebuke".(Romans 2:1) So don't go in a condeming way. Go with a humble, meek, loving, compassionate way. THIS IS POSSIBLE. God knows your intentions and where your heart is when holding someone accountable. (1Corinthians 4:5) Remember that! I know there are appropriate times when God tells us to steer clear of those who continue to live in sin and have no desire to follow Gods commands (but say they are Christian) But even with them....STOP PUBLIC SLANDER it damages the body and our witness. STOP STOP STOP! I have noticed to be effective you should be open about your own struggles and showing others that you run short with God as well. Nobody likes feeling they can't be as spiritual as some. I find that a ploy of Satan, to cause us to stumble and fall, because we will never be those "true christians". Ok, my main point "Be compassionate! Stop the public slandering. It damages our witness. Stop judging the hypocrites. Remember that NONE of us live up to all the commandments our Savior showed us and taught us. I may struggle with forgiveness, but does that mean I shouldn't continue to strive and tell others this is the way. Of course not. Living like a "Christian" is a life long learning process. I have to be careful not to look at the "hypocritical" Chritians judgemental....because God will judge me to that very same standard. This thought scares me.
The body has to be unified. We have to have nothing but compassion, self sacrifical love, patients, holding no record of wrong, no irritablity, smypathetic suffering. Love, never loses don't lose hope with those who struggle in the body. If you don't have love...your profession to be "Christian" means nothing. They are just meaningless words. Our greatest passion in life should be seeing those who come to know the Lord. Everything else comes after. A Unified body will succeed and produce MUCH fruit in this area. Love each other guys. I know this so hard at times. Don't feel condemned when you find this hard. Its ok.
BE UNIFIED! So He can be Glorified, thru us. God has so much planned for us. I have the power thru Christ to build the church. It starts with me individually! I can make a MASSIVE CHANGE and increase the kingdom.

I have so much more to say but I am afraid I have written too much. I spent last weekend in Springfield, Mo at a conference at James River Assembly. There was a speaker Charlotte Gambil. She shared words that feed into this topic that really made me realize the fallen part of my walk with Christ. I am going to write about this in a different blog. I hope you read it because if you are like will increase your faith, help you to grow, and let go of a lot of hurt you have been clinging to for so long. I think the body is suffering because we hold so much hurt and offense.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Panama 2010

So I have been thinking back to the year of 2000 when I took my first mission trip to Argentina. It was the experience of a lifetime that I could never forget. The people I met were so sweet and sincere....and probably the greatest group of people I have ever met. I had always seen the commercials "help the poor" with the video and pictures of the small kids who were hungry, and the tin shack homes with a mother and father and their 8 or 9 kids living in them....but can I just say that it is not the same seeing it in person. Watching a family still thank God, even though they are praying for their next meal which may not even come for another couple of days. For my age it was a huge eye opener to experience this. I grew a love for these people that I never knew I could have. When I got home I was ready to sign up for the next trip.

It's been 9 years and MANY things have changed. I am married to an awesome husband. I have 3 amazing children. My oldest 2 are in school now. All these changes have happened in my life....but I still have the same passion I had 9 years ago... A passion for missions and bringing those with so little, a hope and a path to riches beyond silver and gold. I don't have money to give these everyone else my husband and I work hard to support our family. But the story in Acts about the lame man comes to mind....When Peter walked up to the gates and the begger plead for money to survive. Peter compassionately took this man by the hand and replied "Silver and gold I have not, but what I do have I give you in the name of the Lord, rise up and walk" I know I can be used to help people like this lame man. I can give money to help a few poor people out...but I have something MUCH greater to give them. Someone who is in a situation that seems hopeless. Someone who has a hard time seeing beyond their hungry bellies, their health condition, or living circumstances. I want to show these people the love of Christ and reveal to them no matter what their life on Earth may be like...they can have all the riches and glory in a God that is mighty and saves. Show them that their are people in this world that God has sent to love them!

One thing I might add, from my learning experience in Argentina. These people were poor beyond poor. They lived in little communites that were practically garbage dumps. The group of people I traveled with were assigned to one area and I nearly choked when we drove by. I remember seeing these people rummaging through all this garbage that filled the entire community streets, yards....I can't describe this picture to you but it is so vivid in my head as if it were yesterday. Cows, dogs, chickens, pigs....they walked thru all this garbage, which I am sure they relieved themselves in. There was a dead mule and other deceased animals lying in these piles that they rummaged thru salvaging whatever they could for eating or for other living necessities.

There were some people that believed in God and had faith beyond what I had. They were more concerned about serving me than me who purposely made a trip out to serve them and bring them good news. One night, I was so cold when we went to someones home for a visit. One of the ladies took off her red sweater and gave it to me. When it was time to go, I tried to give it back to her and she absolutely refused to accept it back. It was most likely the only sweater she had and she gave it to me. She never once complained or thought about the fact the next night she may be cold and without a sweater....but she wanted to serve me. I hear so many complain about having no money or being able to live the way they want to live with the materials they want. I have witnessed on hand people who live in shacks with dirt floors, eat from a garbage dump praying for their next meal. And here I am wanting more, when they are just wanting a decent meal and good health for their family. It just opened my eyes and showed me I took for granted my own toothbrush and that I was one spoiled little girl.

The church is taking another trip to Panama February 2010. Rusty and I have talked a numerous amount of times the past 3 years the church has taken this trip. This year I just cannot ignore it anymore. God willing~ if it's in His will...I am going. I have heard people tell me how hot, and dirty, and flat out hard this trip will be. I might not be able to handle the week with out bathing, and sleeping in a tent in the hot and humid weather. I won't lie, I got to sleep in a bed and a decent hotel in Argentina. But I in no way expected it to be some vacation nor do I expect it to be that way in Panama. I honestly have no idea what to expect. I don't know what it is like there, or what people face. But I do expect great things from God and believe many will hear His voice and let Him in!

If it ever crosses your mind, pray about this. For all those who are going and all those who will come to know Him.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reflecting Mercy

What is Mercy? Honestly for a long time I just figured it was forgiving people when they wronged or hurt you. But I have learned mercy is an act of kindness when it is not deserved. I have very much learned in the past month that I am not reflecting Mercy in my life to people. Even family. My husband. I don't get what I want or I am wronged....and I tend to automatically go into this major defense mode when feeling under attack or hurt. It is not easy for me to swallow my pride and show an act of kindness to someone in my life that has repeatedly offended or hurt me. Or maybe it is for some people but in the back of your mind you are still dwelling on their short commings and drowning your heart and mind in judgement. I read a quote from Joyce Meyer ...

"Judgemental thoughts come from a negative mind, a mind that thinks about what is wrong with an individual instead of what is right."

Q: Would this imply that focusing on what is wrong with an individual (friend or foe) does not reflect Mercy?

This quote has pretty much convicted me in every part of my life. I don't show the same mercy to people that God does with me. Maybe I am the only person out there who finds it hard to extend mercy to the ones who repeatedly annoy you, hurt you, ridicule you...persecute you for whatever you lack as a person for them. Expecting you to be something other than human. I find this hard. Does it mean I don't want to do it....My heart longs than nothing else to love God and serve Him and reflect every good and great attribute He posesses. But wanting it and acting it out I feel are two different things. My problem....again I am ONLY speaking for myself, is I am doing so good for awhile, and then there is always someone that hurts you and you blow like a loose canon....maybe not publically but I try to remind myself I may not be merciless to the person's face but God knows every intent of my heart and no one else does. And when I dwell on what is wrong and offensive about individuals and not the good I am not showing Mercy but judgment. ...I am judging the intent of their heart and in the end that is God's job and God's alone.Every person does this and if some told me they don't I would call you a liar....sorry... I have learned expecting anything from anyone and refusing them to have room for error is anything but an act of Mercy and pretty much the complete opposite. Maybe they have wronged you one too many times....but this is it! Mercy stops there. It doesn't for Christ and it shouldn't for us. I don't think people should beat themselves up either for maybe finding it hard to show mercy. We as Christians all fail to live everything we claim is truth and of God. If we were able to live out everything we preach....we would be perfect ....So for those who just find it so are not alone but don't let ANYONE make you feel you don't deserve to love God and preach the word because at one time you found it hard to forgive or show mercy....just cry out to your Savior to shape and mold your heart to be more like His....ask Him to help you with this. I don't find it anywhere in scripture that says because you love God this all comes easy...

In my own personal experience I think I have lacked in giving mercy because I myself have not accepted God's mercy. I see how humans put up guards when hurt and shut down....I have not always had the best image of myself and don't give myself mercy but chastize myself for whatever I did. And then hear other people rub it in that I am a Christian "How could you do that" "How could you say that" ....I always fall into the trap that I can't serve others in need because I made a mistake or reflected a characterisitc that was not one of Christ's. The next thing you know I am withdrawing and not wanting to give my all to Christ because I didn't live up to what I said. Is it just me or does anyone else find it easier to preach forgiveness than give it. Or Mercy? My all is not good enough to some but it means EVERYTHING to your heavenly Father. It is important to look at how you treat yourself because sometimes you try to give to others what you yourself do not have.If you do not recieve God's love and then love yourself in a balanced way, how can that love flow thru you to anyone else. This is all making so much sense to me but how do you do it. I can't do it in my own strength. When I try I fail miserably. God I guess is the only one who can help I right or wrong. I am not making comments these are all questions and I am seeking to grow and flourish in this area of my life from you who may have conqured this area in your life...Is that possible? If there is any spiritual gift I want it is Mercy to no end.

A really good friend of mine who I honestly find wise in my books told me that only God knows my heart and it's intentions. God knows my desire to serve him. There will be men who will think they know it and judge it to their standards....But God is the author of my one else. God doesn't call perfect people to preach His word and reach the lost He calls the obedient. Thank God because I would be useless in the body of Christ otherwise.

Keep your chin up...keep praising the King of Kings.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Loving My Plants and Garden

The infamous "Wandering Jew"

Oh I love this plant. It is so easy to care for and grows uncontrolably which makes me look like I have a "green thumb". I started out with just a few clippings from My husbands cousin in law ;o) And I put them in dirt this spring and I cannot hardly keep up with them. I think they are so pretty and will really be AMAZING next year because I can put them in a hanging basket and let them grow long. As for now I keep them clipped for a fuller look. I really recommend this plant for beginners like me. If anyone wants a start of these please let me know and I will graciously give you a start. You'll love it! Clippings can be put in water to start new plants. Indirect sunlight works best for these plants....atleast from what I have noticed. No sunlight makes the leaves lose their color.

Then there is the famous philodendron plant. Another "easy" plant that can grow beautifully. And you can cut clippings in water to grow more. Which after awhile you have to just start throwing them away because it is more than you can handle. Indirect sunlight works well for these plants.

This is my good friend Lisa's plant that I rescued. When we first started hanging out a couple years ago she came over to my house and seen my plant....and then showed me hers. Later she brought it over to my house and asked me to save it. It was sadly bearing a leaf or two. Now look at it :o) It anxiously awaits her new home :o)

I am very new to the purple heart and honestly do not know anything about them. If you do please let me know. I don't know if new clippings can start new growth or not. This is a very unique plant and I look forward to seeing what all it does.

My very first plant was the spider plant. My sister in law Kristian gave me her clippings from her "mother plant" lol and I started one and then got a different type and started another "breed" I guess you can say. I have solid green and then the green yellow and white striped. Spider plant is very easy to grow indoors in medium to bright light throughout the year. It does well with average humidity and cool to average temperature, although it can tolerate warmer conditions. Use a general-purpose potting soil or soilless medium. Plants grow and produce plantlets best when slightly pot-bound. But because they grow quickly and the roots can easily become too crowded, they need frequent repotting to do their best. I have enough clippings to start a green house from this one plant. I started cutting them and throwing them away because I just cannot keep up. If anyone wants a start on these let me know....Again I have plenty and graciously will give them to you no questions asked. I had no idea the spider plant can remove 96% of carbon monoxide under laboratory conditions. Imagine what it can do for your home.

I also love to grow fresh herbs. Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, ....Lavender....etc....However, it is hard sometimes because if you miss one day of watering they will wilt in no time and die. But it is fun and smells so good. I love to rub my fingers on the plant and then smell.....Oh man....the lavender and mint are my favorites.

Well, I guess I have talked enough about indoor plants. I talked last time about my tomatoes and jalepenos....and all the outdoor plants I started. SO I will just post pictures of them.

Another Picture of my Dahilas

Red Dahlia

My Yellow Gladiola

My purple galdiola

Grandma Allen's Castra Beans :o) She gave me a start last year and now they are BOOMING. These are posionous if don't eatem. ;o)

Orange Gladiola

My Elephant Ears! Now these are cool. Next year I need to do a better job placing them.

I didn't get any pictures of the potato vine....but I just read it really isn't potato I am confused as to what it is. They said it is in the morning glory family...But it looks like potato vine....purple leaves and then there are green leaves....hmmmmm

I am always up for advice on planting. I really don't know much with the outdoor stuff. Indoor I am getting better at. Anyhow....Again let me know if anyone needs some starters.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My First Garden

I only planted Jalapenos and Tomatoes. Not exactly a big garden. But I am not very good at this stuff, so I take it one small step at a time. I planted Strawberries and never even seen them surface. I planted flowers as well...Dahilas and Gladiolas....and of course my castra beans. I did plant elephant ears and they are not looking too whoopy. I should have maybe planted them deeper. Anyhow....I am a youngin and I guess I learn each year what to do different. Oh yea....I almost forgot....I planted Caladiums too.

My First Dahila

My second one in bloom

I can see how people lose themselves in God's nature.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The New Grin

Another fun and exciting day. We lost our 5th tooth and nearly losing the 6th. She already sounds so funny ;o) But sis was persistant in letting everyone see her new grin. She spent the night at a friends house last night last minute. So we explained to Chloe that mommy would put the tooth under the pillow for her and the tooth fairy would still come. She was thrilled ;o)Tooth fairy is going broke with all these teeth falling out at once. Just wait....Noah's will be starting up here this next year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Going Down!!!

I think every kid has a childhood memory of sliding down the stairs ;o) Atleast I do and I remember my dad telling me some pretty scary "yet" amazing stories ;o) Well, It was NOT my idea to teach my kids this tradition and I did not start it! LOL! Rusty will have to take the blame on this one....but I am guilty with taking part in it and I will admit that it was fun! Hopefully we didn't start anything that will cost us an ER visit down the road....BUT man we had fun tonight! Being a mom is so much fun....I love being able to make memories that my kids can pass on to their kids! Who needs World's of Fun?

Oh I wish you could hear the giggles! Aghhh it was so funny!

If we were not careful Roo would fly thru the wall if we let her go full speed. Tiny little speed demon!

She has to be doing what all the big kids are doing!

The look on their faces are priceless!

And Yes! There was no way we were not going to join in on the fun! Dislocated knees, broken elbows, and twisted hips....don't faze us.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Uncle Sharky and Uncle Barracuda

We spent the day and night at Nana and Pa Pa Nelson's house. I didn't have any problem convincing them to pack their bags and swimming suits that's for sure.

The kid's have improved so much since last year with their swimming skills. All their practice with their best bud Ethan has given them enough practice to impress their Nana, Pa Pa, and Uncles ;o)

We had a slight problem with Ruthi wanting to wear a swimmer or swim suit. And yes....she gave Uncle Sharky (Aaron) a sweet "Baby Ruth" right in the face! Mmm Hmmm YUCK!

Ruthi is absoulutely not shy whatsoever with water. Infact gets so fustrated when you hold her and don't let her go her way. The arm floaties come in so handy because she feels somewhat free to do what Chloe and Noah are doing.

Usually she doesn't say one. two, is.....Nine, Nine, Nine!!!

It took her awhile to get to jumping on her own....but once she started...there was NO stopping her!

Chloe loves to swim at night. I must say I didn't get in...but it is a very relaxing atmosphere.
We had fun mom. Thanks for opening your home and sharing your pool.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's All Right Here

I have been up for a couple hours now...I haven't even started my day...Kids are still asleep and I am wondering what this day is going to bring. I have so much anxiety I can barely breath. You think you have plans and then things can come out of no where. I am so clingy to my kids and husband...which is not necessarily bad...but just out of my norm to not want my own space. I keep thinking about how much I love them and despite what I might face mentally or spiritually, I have to be their mom and Rusty's wife far most. I get one chance at this. One! I feel like if I let anything else in outside of this circle I am only asking for distraction from my job and flat out pain and hurt. I try and work so hard to put God first in my life....and like this picture I have posted with my kids...even though times may be emotionally or mentally draining....they can still see their mommy is there for them no matter what....brushing the world off and loving them more than anything else.

We buried my Aunt yesterday. I didn't know her well. I didn't know what her favorite color was, her favorite food, or what her heart desired most. But I know God had major plans for her life and had desires for her. But it took a man drunk and drugged to change all of that. And a law system after already seeing this man kill a person before to wait for Shelli's death to finally have enough evidence to put this man away. It's hard not to let my blood boil thinking about this. What if a man like this had hit my husband? My kids?

I watched Uncle Steve look over his wife's casket and tell his wife goodbye. I just weep for his hurt. His daughter's and son....their grandchildren. What if I was burying my husband from a tragedy like this...I can barely type these words because I am just crying and hating myself for wasting so much time and forgetting what I have right in front of me....

The other night, Rusty and I were in bed ...and he out of the blue said "Do you know how good of a wife you are to me?"....He has said this before....not recently but has said it....but for some reason it was just the right time for me to hear those words and I melted. I don't say it enough, but I love Rusty and he is by far the greatest blessing God has given me. I won't lie, marriage is hard and often just flat out sucks at times. It is definitely something I would not want to do without God being in the center of it. But I hate the fact that I have wasted so much time on resenting his workaholic issues rather than just being his wife and loving him and supporting him. I have spent so much time in therapy and listened to Jan tell me all these different ways I can react and other things I flat out didn't want to hear, but there is a reason we pick and choose our's moments like loosing a spouse, child, etc...with no goodbye or getting to choose your last words....

Can I just say I have huge respect and admire people who don't complain and suffer silently...Not to the point it makes them bitter and angry.... or that you shouldn't rely on God or family and friends...But just don't whine and complain how life doesn't go their way. They don't have money, their husband is insensitive, their job stinks, their kids that....or whatever other trial they face. Some people are just born to complain....I could most likely fall into that category. Not that I haven't been jipped as Jan would say or didn't deserve better and was wronged....but not allowing other people's actions to define who I am or how I react. I guess that has just been something that has stuck with me. But will take training being that my flesh cries out to complain and at times can take over. A lot :o/
Father, I don't think this email in anyway was spiritual but was basically just me letting it out. Forgive me for thinking wrong thoughts and for allowing wrong feelings to determine my attitude. Help me to believe your word and to ALWAYS be open to the Holy Spirit. When I lack trust in people help me to not EVER allow their actions or hurtful spews to become my perception of Who You Are. I love you Lord, and honestly need my heart cleaned from so many anxieties, hurts, anger....just everything my flesh is trying to cling on so hard to. I in no way claim to be perfect in any area. Help me to let go and to just focus on what really matters in my life. I have so much to be grateful for and don't want to take for granted what you have entrusted me with. An amazing man of God and 3 beautiful children who at an early age already show a passion for loving You.

Monday, June 22, 2009

100 Years And A Godly Legacy

Some say it's genes...Some say luck....But to live 100 years and to just have your license renewed for 7 years has to go deeper than than just genes or luck.

Ira has lived his life serving and living a Godly example for his entire family. He has put God first in his life and taught his family the true meaning of life....and like Abraham Isaac and Jacob....because of his faith he has left a "Godly" legacy for several generations and generations to come even after he leaves this earth to finally hear those words we LONG to hear. Well done and faithful servant. How awesome and blessed is our family to have such an amazing man in our life!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dear Jesus

Nothing can make a mother more proud than seeing their children grow up to serve the One And Only God and Savior! My children 5,6,and 2 year old already have a passion for their Jesus. Just the other day Chloe informed me after getting home from her Nana's house that even if we are not in Church, it is ok to still talk about Jesus and sing praise to Him.

We just recently had a HUGE storn that caused a lot of damage in our neighborhood and miami county. Our power was out for over 14 hours. As we layed on the bed around 11 p.m. Noah said "Mommy, the clouds are MAD! We need to pray. Jesus can stop this and give us back our lights." The mad clouds made me giggle!

Then there is Ruthi. Recently my dad got her this praying precious moment baby. It says the prayer "Now I lay me down to sleep" At the very end it says amen. Well, we push it every night before she goes to bed. She always says "amen" after it's done.
Well, shortly after she got this doll she was inspired to pray with the kids at the dinner table. Can I just say it is the most precious thing I have ever witnessed. I am so proud of her. It is a huge wake up call and reminds me NOW is the time to be praying for the salvation of my children. Now is when they learn who exactly God is.

The bible says to teach our children in the ways of God and they will not depart from it. I don't believe this means mearly speaking that there is a God....I mean visably showing them and modeling for them the Passion YOU have for Christ....they will see in You how much you love Him and see in your actions and life how to serve Him. And when you fail and mess them it's ok to fall at the foot of the cross and find forgiveness. They will not always have this innocence that we see now. Life will get ahold of them like it did us. The world will try to warp their minds and sin will steal so much from their life. But thank God for Jesus!

The best gift you can give your babies is to give your heart to Jesus. Love Him, serve Him, Worship Him....your children will see what you give your time to, your heart to....remember actions ALWAYS speak louder than words.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Addison's First Birthday!

Today was Addison's first birthday. When she was born she weighed a whopping 3 pounds....and still to this day remains tiny as could be. I don't get to see her too often :o( But I enjoy everytime I get to hold her and love on her.

Not sure who was more excited....Addi or Daddy ;o)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Smelly Feet

I just cannot wrap my mind around how something so beautiful can put off such smelly B.O. This has been an issue for quite sometime now. For as long as I can remember Chloe has had this issue with sweaty hands and feet. Her feet and hands get so hot (FIRE HOT) and sweat a river thru her pores. When she was a baby baby it didn't cause the smelling issue, but by the time she became 3 it was an issue. I can walk into my son's room and it be smelling like fruits and perfumes "lol" but I walk into her room and it smells like a guys sweaty locker room. It really is embarrassing to have people walk into her room cause its so noticable.

Her poor feet look so bad because they peel contantly from being wet....I am having to really watch my reaction and what I say about her feet and hands because if I say anything now she says "mommy I know...this hurts my feelings". Awwww this just makes me want to cry. I am going to set an appointment up with the Doctor and find out our options. I mentioned it to him a couple years ago and he said it was an overactive sweat gland. This is an issue even when she wears flip flops or just walks around the house. It is not from her feet not getting air circulation.

I have been given some advice from a few that I need to take but I really don't see it helping. Her feet sweat NON STOP! Her bed smells from her sweating....I just don't know what this poor girl is going to do. Like her and Noah say...."Mom we need to pray for Chloe's sweaty feet" I think that is an option we need to take...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dear Satan

Dear Satan,
I'm writing to inform you that I decline your invitation

I'm declining your invitation to self pity and shame
Anger, resentment, unforgiveness and blame

No more excuses for believing your lies
My personal feelings and emotions I deny

No longer in surrender to the past you've chained me to
You are not in control
"Jesus I surrender to You"

You knew how to make me feel insecure
And all that guilt you made me endure

You have lost this battle
God has crushed you down
The true owner of my heart has been found

Taking captive every anxious thought you impress
My love for Jesus from now on I confess

As of now, my spiritual armor is on
Covered in Jesus blood
My guilt from sin is gone

I am no longer your victim but the daughter of a King
To Him alone my heart praises and sings

So Satan I have written this to inform you I have declined your invitation
Your well- laid out plans have been exposed....
And that is the END of this conversation!

Lisa Gerken

Praise be to our God and Savior Jesus Christ in ALL things!

To My Husband

I love you for who you are
I love you for what you are good at
I love the way you can make me laugh at any given situation
And for the ridiculous impressions you make
I love you for the way you let me put my cold bare feet on your legs when I crawl into bed
And the way you tuck the covers around me making sure I am snug and warm
I love you for how you always use your fingers to move the hair away from my face
And how we don't even have to talk
But embrace our moment of being close
I love how there has NEVER been a morning you left without waking me up to tell me you love me
I love kissing your dusty, dirty, greasy face the moment you walk thru the door from work
I love how dedicated you are to serving those in need
And listening to God anoint every beat you make on the drums during worship
I have even realized I love the annoying things you do and are not so good at
Like the way you always manage to miss the laundry basket
And cannot seem to tell the difference between a basket of clean clothes to a basket of dirty clothes
Or how you always take that one sock off and stuff it inbetween the couch for me to find months later
I love how EVERYTHING I lack you somehow make up for
I tend to give up so easily and you are always willing to finish what was started
If one of these things were missing I would be incomplete
Nothing would be the same and we wouldn't be "US"
Thankyou for loving me and being who you are!
I am sorry for making a list of goals for you to meet in order for me to be happy
Missing out on all these things you already do that make me happy
I am so sorry for being selfish and at times what I thought was motivated by love
Was really motivated to get what I wanted to make me feel good
I am asking you to forgive me
I love you and want to put you before myself
I want to love you like our Savior loves
Putting your needs before my own
I am sorry for the unrealistic expectations I have made
And for not giving you the permission to be human
And at times finding myself trying to be the Holy Spirit in your life
Some of these things may seem so small and simple
But I realize I lacked to appreciate
I will from now on work on putting you first
Not for any type of outcome I want
But because I love you!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Best Birthday Ever!

This was something I had journaled about in February. Thought I would share it.

February 20, 2009
So tonight I was making no bake cookies. Noah had just got home from his night out with the Cerros family at T-Rex for Ethan's birthday party. He had come down stairs after getting his PJ's on and asked me why I was making cookies. I told him it was mommy's birthday comming up and I needed some cookies. He told me "I need to go to walmart mom and get you a present but I can't let you see what I get you..." I about nearly broke down in tears. So we called Gee Gee and asked if she could pick him up and take him to walmart to buy his mommy a present for her birthday. I am telling you what. There is NOTHING in this world that could possibly be more precious than that. NOTHING! No amount of gold or silver means more to me than knowing my little boy wanted to make his momy feel special on her birthday :o) I love my son!

Our Trip To Deana Rose

This picture is for Opa....Here's to you Opa!!!

I love my babies so much! My children, after my love for Christ and the Amazing God I serve....they are my life! This Summer has been so awesome being able to spend it with all 3 of them. I have come to the conclusion that I need nothing but my faith in Christ, my husband, and my children....everything else comes and goes and is not guranteed.

We spent the day at the Deana Rose Family Farmstead. I loved watching the kids get so excited over seeing all the animals and getting to feed them. Roo was not too thrilled with the goats and getting too close to them...

Chloe doing what she loves most. Riding horses.

I still remember when Noah was scared to death of Sierra...Grandma Great's horse. It's good to see that he got over his fear of horses.

Chloe didn't catch the fish but still wanted to impress her Opa...So we took a picture of her with the fish. Ugh....I had to hook all those was nasty. I didn't have Pastor Roy there to hook them all for me. It really was the nastiest feeling in the world to hold them slimy things.

Noah had a hungry goat. Bottle feeding was a lot of fun. Those little goats are so cute. I had to hold Ruthi for awhile but I was fianlly able to get her to walk next to me. She didn't warm up completely but stood a good distance behind one and posed for a picture.

She has such a cute smile.

I think this is adorable.

She is so beautiful!

Noah ran out of the goat decided to eat his shirt. Earlier one bit him in the !@#$%

We had so much fun. God has blessed me above and beyond. I hold tight to that in my moments of ....well, in those moments...

What a cute group...The three Gerken Amigos.