Wednesday, December 24, 2008

family...

well, we've been in memphis about a week now. it's so much fun to reconnect with friends and family! tom joins us tomorrow, but not 'til 2:00. he said something tonight on the phone about whether we will be ready to come back to AZ when the holidays are over. you know, i love my family, but it's messy sometimes dealing with so much "togetherness". silly conflicts, too easily hurt feelings...i must always remember that tomorrow isn't promised to any of us, to count the blessings of today, to extend grace freely and not be easily offended. i am truly enjoying this time with my family! will i be ready though to return to AZ? yes...home, my little family's home is where my heart is!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

such a tiny offering...

i hadn't really thought of this song a such a Christmas song (maybe i'm goofy!?) anyway, we sang it this past sunday at church & it was wonderful worship! listen...read the words...WORSHIP!!!!!!!!Like hinges straining from the weight,
My heart no longer can keep from singing...




God With Us, Mercy Me

Who are we--- that You would be mindful of us?
What do You see--- that's worth looking our way?
We are free--- in ways that we never should be.
Sweet release--- from the grip of these chains.

Like hinges straining from the weight,
My heart no longer can keep from singing.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:
Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.
The debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Lord, You know--- our hearts don't deserve Your glory;
Still You show--- a love we cannot afford.

Like hinges straining from the weight,
My heart no longer can keep from singing.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:
Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.
The debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Such a tiny offering
Compared to Calvary;
Nevertheless,
We lay it at Your feet.

Such a tiny offering
Compared to Calvary;
Nevertheless,
We lay this at Your feet.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:
Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.
My debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

a special day for elle and a few friends, new & old...

all set and ready to go!

everybody's here, let the fun begin

Yummy, yummy

pretty aprons girls!

and painted pillow cases too!

we had SUCH a good time! thank you Lord, for good friends new & old!

Friday, December 12, 2008

a blessing from the Lord...


my "miss elle" growing up too fast, but I love seeing who she is becoming!

my sam...growing up so fast...time is flying!
I'm just so thankful they have each other!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

a truly Christian education...

one of marylin howshall's truths about "a truly Christian education is built on the humbling idea that your child's education is simply a direct reflection of who you are - your values and character"...her point, i think, is that the places where i am weak may lead to weakness in my children's lives! what a scary thought! this makes me think. it spurs me on to more dependence & a closer walk with Jesus. there will, no doubt, be gaps in our children's education, as well as their character. my prayer though is that this won't weigh me down & worry me. a good friend & i frequently remind one another that "He is the Great Gap Filler!" we will do our best & we will trust Him with the outcome...2 corinthians 12:10, "for when i am weak, then i am strong"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

garden in the desert...







i was just amazed at the beauty of this glass, the light, the moon...the evening was like a beautiful dream!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

evalutating simplicity...

i've been sensing that the Lord is telling me...even more simple jennifer...i think we homeschool in a fairly simple way. we're certainly not focused on going to a particular college or attaining the perfect GPA. we want our children to learn to study well, to be organized with their responsibilities, but most of all to demonstrate character that is pleasing to our Lord. we will certainly "mess up" along the way! but hopefully we will be learning as we do!

my heart is drawn back to how it all began for us, this homeschooling venture. i read so much by a lady named Marilyn Howshall. she spoke of a "lifestyle of learning" of "wisdom's way of learning". i think over the next several weeks,going through this season which began in such a simple way, i will be returning to things the Lord showed me previously. i will evaluate over this season where He wants us to "simplify" and hopefully when the new year comes, His focus will be mine!

"delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart...commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." psalm 37:4

Friday, December 5, 2008

to say something...or not to say something...

So, here's my question...if you see something a friend or family member's child is doing that you would want to know about if it was your child...should you say something to the parent? what if you love each other, but you're not "that close"? do you take a chance on possibly offending them? what if they DO know their child is doing the thing, but they're ok with it? what if they think you're being judgmental instead of just loving their child and trying to walk along side them? The Bible says "iron sharpens iron", but when faced with it, it's a hard thing to do!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Parallel Lives (Acts 2:43-47)

(artwork by Dale Chihuly)


God didn't make us for parallel lives...

Parallel Lives...

Give me, Lord, a messy life
All mixed up with others
Let me not walk parallel
To my Christian sisters & brothers.

Mingle the colors of our lives
Into Your own design.
Make us, Lord, a masterpiece
Let our lights truly shine!

Surface talk & busyness…”How are you?”
“Oh good”…”Doin’ fine”
Leave me feeling hollow
Like I’m walking just my line.

A line that runs only parallel
To others walking the same way.
I long for intertwining,
Interruptions in my day!

“Such & such is going on…”
“Please pray for me about this…”
Let’s meet & lift our children up.
Greet each other with a kiss.

God is so about relationship.
After all, He is the Trinity.
He embodies the ultimate closeness
And sets an example for you & me.

From this world we are set apart.
We should look different from the rest!
By spending time with each other,
We’ll reap some of God’s very best!

Remember when it all started?
They met together. They worshipped & praised.
O that we would be like the Early Church!
Some eyebrows we’d surely raise!

So, this is my prayer, my Father…
That within Your narrow way,
You would beautifully mix us together
And put Your love on display!



*jb



I've talked with several friends lately whose husbands especially are worried - stressed about the future of our country, our economy, their businesses, their families. What an opportunity to pray faithfully for each other - to meet together & encourage one another. To reassure that our Father promises us that "He knows the plans He has for us, to give us a hope & a future." Let's share with each other! Let's commit to lift up one another's families. Let's love each other with the love of Christ. Let's mingle our lives together and be the Early Church!