Chuck N. Cheese

That’s what M calls it 😉 Of course we know it’s E. But come on, it’s cute when they make their own words and names and stuff. Like when she says “I loves you”. hehe, anyway,….

I just like Chuck E. Cheese b/c it’s so CHEAP! and actually a lot of fun. Some of you might see it as like a germ infested frenzy but whatever, I think that place is great. lol.
So here are some pictures from our latest trip there. By the way, we only spent 20 dollars and were there for like 2 hours and got a TON of tickets. You know you love tickets too!!
Classic miniature merry-go-round
Clifford!
Happy Happy Haappy!
Sitting at the ticket muncher. Far cry from the days when our tickets got weighed.
This was the closest they would get to the Chuckster. They absolutely would not go near the real guy.
I don’t know any small child that could actually control this horse for this game. They really need to work on the techniques of this one.
These are my favorite! Some Chuck E. Cheese originals. Gotta love it.
How can you not LIKE this place A LOT??? It’s just so awesome!
You can be a big kid too!
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Agape

I’m doing the Beth Moore Study “Living Beyond Yourself”. It’s a study of the Fruit of the Spirit. And it is amazing. I highly highly recommend anyone to take on this study. I have learned so much from what God reveals through Beth and the words she has written. One thing I have loved about the study is how much you read straight from the word. When I was younger and did Bible studies I recall a lot of what I learned was written by the person, with a verse here and there. And I love how much Beth refers you to God’s word. Because ultimately that’s where we need to be getting all our info from anyway.

I am on Week 3 and today did day 4. We’ve been studying Agape.

First of all one thing I was reminded is how distorted our society’s view of love is. It’s really quite sad. It’s no wonder that our divorce rate is as high as it is, people don’t have a clear concept of what love really is. At least not what Agape love is.

I can not tell you how many times I have read through 1 Corinthians 13. Every time I read those verses I am struck by how often I fail to love. I fail to love FAMILY, people who most of the time are easy to love. Not to mention we are called to love those who are hard to love. And then I was reminded by how hard I must be to love at times. It’s funny, we can so easily look at others and think “Boy is SHE hard to love!” But HELLO we are too! If we have true agape for others than we will find that 1 Timothy 4:8 Love covers a multitude of sins.

The section of this study that really hit me was the part “love is slow to anger”. Lately I have been VERY quick to anger. And Psalm 145:8 says God is “slow to anger and RICH in love”. Beth points out that we can not be rich in love and quick to anger. That was very convicting for me because I thought “Yeah, I definitely have not had much love for anyone lately….” How could I? I was too busy getting angry at them. But to think about not being “rich in love” for my children, or my husband, or my parents, or close friends of mine. That kind of hurts to think about it that way ya know. I mean I want to have a rich love for those family members and friends. But I can’t, if I’m easily angered. And I was glad that she gave this passage to look up because I think it will be one I memorize. Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. (NLT)

I could use some “deflecting” of anger! You know like when I’m outside taking Jake out and he heads straight for the canal and comes out smelling like a rotten egg. So I hose him down with the nice chlorinated water to clean him up a bit. Then M comes walking out of the house leaving the door open so that Jake can tear through it sopping wet, plowing over R in the process. A gentle word would have probably been better than me getting on (out of pure frustration) to M for leaving the door open.

The other portion that I loved about today was “love keeps no record of wrongs”. I am so guilty of this! And most of the time I don’t even realize it. Beth said “We humans revel in recording the failures of others”. I think this couldn’t be more true. How sick is it that it makes us feel better about ourselves when someone else messes up. Not the kind of person I want to be but I certainly have been that way at points. Psalm 119:29 Keep me from my deceitful ways… I believe I need to read that verse every day just to remind myself how deceitful “my ways” apart from Him can really be. It’s so easy to view yourself as a good person and look at your “ways” and think you aren’t all that bad. But we’re all sinners that need the mighty power of God to do anything good.

This is how Beth puts it:

“Beloved, we are incapable of agape! No matter how hard we try we cannot exercise this kind of love. We cannot love the unlovely. We cannot love those who do not love us. We cannot love those who have hurt us.

Agape is divine love. It’s only origin is the heart of God. Agape is the love of God expressed through us to others. Actually it is a response more than a feeling.”

Beth puts it something like this: With the power of God we can experience the short or long term JOY of OBEDIENCE (in loving others) and the guaranteed effects of His choosing. This causes a chain reaction of feelings far greater than any fleshly love we could muster. And she’s right. My best friend and I have a relationship that I believe is built on a foundation of agape. We didn’t always “love” each other. Anyone who knows our history can’t even understand how our relationship works. But it does and it’s beautiful because it was orchestrated by God and with His love. Our relationship is a testimony of the power of God’s love through those who act in obedience to Him. And it’s pretty amazing. Not to mention, I know that I definitely want that supernatural kind of love that’s way better than anything I could ever try to “muster” up on my own! God can provide that and praise Him for it!

Beth’s last paragraph says “Agape begins as a response and ends with a feeling”. I love that. You can not love someone and operate entirely off feelings. Love is a choice. And when you choose to love someone with God’s love and His power that feels pretty stinking good. =)

Casting Crowns At Your Feet

Our church had their summer worship performance and this song REALLY hit me hard. I love how God uses music artists to sing things that you feel like you could never express in words on your own, and then you hear it and you’re like “Wow, yes Jesus, that is what I’m feeling.” Praise God I can finally put it in words. It’s an incredible relief for me to sing things I’m feeling ya know?? Anyway, you can listen to the song and read the lyrics. Casting Crowns rocks it for His glory 😉

Here at Your feet, I lay my past down
My wanderings, all my mistakes down
And I am free

Here at Your feet, I lay this day down
Not in my strength, but in Yours I’ve found
All I need, You’re all I need

Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
Oh, to dwell and never leave
Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet
There is nowhere else for me
There is nowhere else for me

Here at Your feet, I lay my future down
All of my dreams, I give to You now

And I find peace, I find peace
Here at Your feet, I lay my life down
For You my King, You’re all I want now
And my soul sings…

‘Cause I am free (here at Your feet)
All I need (is at Your feet)
I find peace
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet

And I am free (here at Your feet)
All I need (is at Your feet)
I find peace
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet
We’re at Your feet

Here at Your feet
I lay my life down

http://www.youtube.com/v/JN7GjwAbBbs?fs=1&hl=en_US

No cookie cutter kids either

I have a big problem with beating myself up over little things. So I’m writing this to any of you who struggle with the same thing. Like I said in a previous post, we are INUNDATED with other peoples views, opinions, and perspectives. EVERYONE thinks they are right about everything and know what’s best for everyone. Not only are we subject to it when we are in person interacting with others but now we have email, facebook, blogs, tv, and the whole rest of the Internet to tell us “If you aren’t doing it THIS way, you’re wrong.”

I am very sensitive to thinking people look at me and wonder “what the heck is she doing with those kids!” What I’m doing, is trying my best to raise them in the way I feel God wants me to. And it’s definitely been (and still is) trial and error, process of eliminating this or that, and finding what feels right in God’s eyes.

So in regards to children:


We are all going to raise them differently. And we should, because each child is different and each parent is different. There isn’t one single method out there that would work for every single parent on the planet. There are all kinds of books on the subject of child rearing and I’ve read a few myself and incorporated things I’ve learned from them. But I firmly believe the one ultimate source we should all resort to for information on ANY topic is the Bible. And looking at how God instructs us to train up our children.

Example: Spanking might work for one parent and one child but then might be completely counterproductive for another. Some kids need a little switch on the hand or hiney here and there but some just need to be stuck in a corner for time out. But the parent can decide what is best and doesn’t need someone else telling them how they should raise their child or have someone looking down at them for the way they choose. It’s really frustrating when you constantly have people expressing their opinions, and maybe not intentionally, but end up making you feel guilty for how you believe your child needs to be raised. Proverbs 29:15 Correct your children and they will be wise; children out of control disgrace their mothers. (CEV) The KJV refers to using “the rod” as a method of correction. But ultimately I think God just calls us to love and discipline our children and not allow them to just run all over us and every other authority. So once you have figured out how God has designed and wired your child and you decide what works for you, be confident in your decision. If you are seeking God’s will for your child, there is no reason you should ever doubt your parenting.

Another thing, mothers out there who either can not or choose not to breast feed wont hear the end of it and how it’s so horrible to give your baby formula. If breast feeding works for you and your baby that’s wonderful, but if it doesn’t don’t allow anyone to guilt trip you over it. I have recently seen some really ridiculous opinions on this topic that I think can really hurt those moms out there that do not breast feed. That’s why I wish people would just keep those kinds of opinions to themselves. I know we have freedom of speech and what not but sometimes I wonder “And what was the point of you sharing that?” And this isn’t in reference to an article. Because I think there are great writers out there that can WRITE things with references to back the argument or opinion up so that people can on their OWN research things to decide what is best for them. And then hopefully keep it to themselves, lol.

There are so many things that myself and others I know feel guilty about these days when it comes to our children. It’s like if you don’t send your babies to swim school, or dance class, or pre k, you are depriving them of LIFE. I think people these days put too much emphasis on the activities their kids do to define THEM as parents and then they completely MISS whats really important. Even Christians can be guilty of their particular perspective. You know like if you don’t home school or do Christian private your sending your kids out to the wolves, hope they survive! And once again, I have no problem with either of those options. I attended private, home school, and public. And if I had it my way and knew I could successfully do it, I would more than likely home school my children. But by no means would I ever look down upon someone who chose a different route. Like everything, there are pros and cons to each option.

For me what’s really important all goes back to Biblical principles. I want my kids to know that Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life and should be in theirs too. And I don’t think playing soccer on Sunday would convey that. I want my kids to know that praying and being in conversation with God is important, and so is spending time in the Word and learning that loving God and loving others is our highest calling. I want my kids to learn that putting others above themselves is important. You can look at society and see that we are overrun with a bunch of selfish kids that think they are entitled to everything. And I want my kids to grow up knowing that what we are called to do is to “Go! and make disciples of ALL nations.” (Matthew 28:19) And for them, that might mean going to their public school.

But the bottom line is, I think WE ALL (myself included because I’m just as GUILTY as anyone else) as parents need to recognize that each of us are going to do things different. And we need to stop judging others and start being confident and certain that we (not “the Jones”) are following the will of God when it comes to raising our children. I think we need to stop trying to push people to conform to our way and strive ourselves to conform to GODS WAY.

Being a follower of Christ is not going to be “cookie cutter”. Neither is marriage, or parenting, or anything for that matter. Except for maybe your cookie cutter neighborhood 😉 and we all know how boring that is. hehe.

Husband and Wife

This morning I was able to spontaneously meet with my mentor. It was obviously an orchestration by God because I wasn’t supposed to meet with her. In fact, my mother was, but when she saw the stress I was crumbling under this morning she suggested I go instead. Stress created by my dumb dog Jake. UGH! Any takers????

I’ve been under Susie’s discipleship since right before we moved out of our home in Brooksville. She is an amazing woman to say the least. A godly woman that I look up to very much. I have learned so much from her personal experiences and am very grateful that God is using her in my life.

We talk about everything. EVERYTHING. And we often get a few topics in in one sitting. I usually walk away though with one “Ah ha!” that I’m excited about and can’t wait to start implementing in my daily life.

Today’s nugget was this: I do not have (nor do I want) a cookie cutter marriage.

This may be simple to a lot of you. You might be thinking “Duh Katie…” but seriously. In our society we are all up in every ones business. Between publicity, social networking, BLOGGING, we are constantly subject to how other people live their lives. And I know I am not the only one who has looked at someone else and thought “Wow, maybe I should be doing that??” Often I have found myself looking at other people, leaders in our church, couples I look up to, and thinking “Oh no, Jason and I don’t do that… there must be something wrong with us…” But I can recognize now, that God has wired us ALL different. And all our marriages are going to look different. Even when we are fully submitted to God, our marriages in the body of Christ are still not going to LOOK the same. They should reflect God, but in different ways. So what might work in one couples marriage, may not work or be important for me and my husband. And THAT’S OKAY. There isn’t anywhere in the bible that says “This is exactly what a Christian marriage will look like” Yes we as Christians will love (1 Corinthians 13), and possess the fruit of the spirit (Galations 5:22). And yes we as wives need to be submissive to our husbands (Colossians 3:18). Which ALSO will look different in each marriage. My being submissive to Jason a phlegmatic is gonna look different then another woman submitting to her super choleric husband. Different temperaments need different things. So we wives are going to submit differently. And I find GREAT relief in knowing this. Don’t get trapped (like I did) in thinking that something is wrong with your husband if he doesn’t want to get up and preach or speak in front of 10, 20, 50 people. Or if he doesn’t want to be in the choir singing. Or if he isn’t initiating prayer with you on a regular basis. As long as you are confident he is actively pursuing his relationship with God, then God is going to reveal what will be important for the two of you to do as a couple to advance His kingdom. And that’s what matters. Bringing God glory and honor. I would often get all down that Jason and I weren’t praying together. But it was more about ME than God. It was more about my feeling like we were really intimate together spiritually, then it was about God. And that’s not right. So now I know that it’s ok to be different, as a couple, in our walk with God. Praise God! Maybe you find it funny that all this just clicked with me but I’m just happy it did.

And also, since I have referred to temperaments a lot I really encourage anyone and everyone to find out what theirs and maybe their spouses is. You will really benefit from it. I read “The Spirit Controlled Woman” by Beverly Lahaye and I plan on reading her husband Tim Lahaye’s version for men. And also, I haven’t read it YET but I hear “Two Sides of Love” by Gary Smalley and John Trent is great too. Just a few book readings to throw out there =)

Pine Cones

Yesterday the girls and I went for a bike ride. Well they road, I walked. We spotted some sweet pine cones in one of the neighbors yards and decided to grab them and make the infamous bird feeder. I like making these things a lot because they are easy and FUN. The girls really enjoy it too. It’s cool because they like the whole idea of feeding the birds (and squirrels) and maybe even catching them in the act! Yum Yum….
Here are the pictures from our little adventure.
On our ride home
Peanut butter pine cones 😉
You know you’d lick it too!

Gotta get those seeds on just right.

The finished product, up close and personal. Looks pretty tasty huh??

All cleaned up and ready to hang the feeder. R was REALLY excited lol.

 


Hanging in the tree, waiting to be eaten =)

Great Grands are GREAT =)

Today me and the girls took a little trip over to Grandma and Grandpa Whites house. My dad’s mother and father. My brothers and I spent A LOT of time with them growing up and I have many many wonderful memories with Grandma and Grandpa. It’s cool that my children get to know them and hopefully will even establish some of their own memories. Going to their house is so funny to me because seriously, I feel like it gets smaller every time I go. This is the house my dad grew up in. It’s old people. When I was a child I felt like it was pretty big for a grandparents house. I mean, theres only two of them and they each have there own room! And they had this other room that I imagine used to be a garage. It has this sweet sink that hangs on the wall. Just a sink. I thought that was cool. And in this room was where my first introduction to sewing was. So yeah, today was a fun trip down memory lane.

The girls did pretty good, hanging out and chatting. I can remember my parents taking me on these kinds of visits when I was little. You know, to see the old people. It was always so boring because they had no toys and sometimes their houses smelt funny. When you’re a kid you don’t know these older folks, so you don’t have the memories to really appreciate the visit ya know? So you sit there all bored and waiting till they get done talking. Usually you are starving too!

Anyway, today was nothing like that! hehe, loads of fun for all. Of course I brought my camera to take pictures…. poor Grandpa is hanging on by a thread so I like to make sure I get “one last photo” each time I see him.

Then M gets a hold of my camera. And mind you I had my big SLR. She ACTUALLY took some good pictures… I think this child has a future in photography.

Some of them are better than what I got. It’s funny how you can hand an adult a camera and they become all confused and don’t know how to use it but my 3 1/2 year old can totally figure it out with no problem and even get it centered and take a decent one! Amazing…..