Spring Festivities

Happy spring time! The girls woke up this morning and were greeted with SPRING baskets from their NeeNee. Then we hid the eggs they colored and a few goodie filled plastic ones for a spring time egg hunt.

One of these days many years from now when Micaila and Ryann have kids and grand-kids they will all, hopefully, have continued and spread the tradition of “celebrating spring” in March and reserving Easter for our Savior. And hopefully because of that change unsaved people will be impacted by how much Easter means to Christians. They will take note of how important it is to us to make this day all about Him because of what He did for us. They will begin to understand and grasp what his life, death, and resurrection all means for us and they will ultimately desire to have relationship with Him.

It’s a big vision I know. But it’s gotta start somewhere right? 🙂

The next thing I will blog about on this topic is how we explain, share, and celebrate the events leading up to Easter Sunday with the girls. This will be the most important part of separating the two traditions. It wouldn’t be enough to just remove the baskets and egg hunts from Easter morning. As Christian parents we want to ensure we do our part in sharing with our children the love of Christ. Yes daily. But also giving them the opportunity to really grab hold of days like Easter and Christmas and why we set them aside and devote a whole day to the event. My prayer is that in doing this now they will have a great understanding early on of what His sacrifice means for them and that it will instill a love and desire in their hearts for Christ. Because THAT is what it’s all about.

Spring is here and so is our new tradition!

Spring is officially here! Everything is blooming, the pollen is CrAzY, and all the little critters are coming out of hibernation. Except that with our abnormally warm winter no one hibernates AND even more hysterical none of the old squirrels died off from a cold winter so now we apparently have a squirrel issue here in Georgia. The issue for me is that there is far too much road kill but that is getting way off topic.

Last year you may recall my Easter blog. This year we get to implement our new spring tradition. As much as I would love to nixola the baskets, I gave my sweet generous mother-in-law the option to send her gifts early if she so desired. We received our 2 BOXES of goodies today. So along with the spring egg hunt we will be doing Saturday, they will get spring baskets that morning. And thank you to Linda (seriously, thank you!) we wont have to purchase a single thing! The point in all this though is to keep Easter reserved for Jesus and His resurrection.  I’m excited about our new family tradition and I pray that the girls (and baby boy eventually) are able to really grasp what Easter is all about.

Today the girls dyed eggs for Saturday. It is a joy watching them do fun crafty things like that so I’m happy with this resolution. And here are the pictures. 🙂

Oh and here’s a hilarious picture of Marley.

We’re so cruel. Happy Spring!! 🙂

Pictures

Sunday morning I desperately tried to get a nice picture with both girls. They were matching and I tried to coordinate. But of course, Micaila didn’t want to have anything to do with the photo session. So it’s just me and Ryann. I still love you Micaila. 🙂

It has been so wonderfully sunny and warm but our pool doesn’t open till May (booooo!) so we have already put in quite a few hours on the slip-n-slide.

It’s unfortunate that I can’t take the belly down this super slide. 🙂

Ryann and I checking out a new park. Playground was rather disappointing but the time together was worth it. Ryann’s exact words were “It was a baby play ground but we still had fun.” 🙂 Time well spent, right there. 😉

My sweet girls.

I LOVE this, despite the fact that it’s in front of Walmart.

A few quick thoughts :-)

A lot of times when I share things on my blog I have learned, I do so with the thought in mind of “I wish someone had shared this with me” or “I wish I had thought of this sooner!” haha.

I am on my 2nd attempt of reading through the bible in a year. This time I am using YouVersion and I really like it. I also chose the Chronological plan. However, doing this plan has had me in the Old Testament for the last 60 days. The old testament is wonderful and I do love learning and reading about the old law and all the things that ultimately are leading up to Jesus coming. But it is also more difficult for someone like myself to find the life application in the old testament. I often have to call my dad to get explanations and gain understanding for why things were done and what does this mean for me. With all that said, I tend to get a little bogged down and lose my “fire” I guess you could say. So I have found it EXTREMELY helpful to go into some of the New Testament books like Philippians, Ephesians, Galatians, (any of the smaller ones). These books make it SO easy to apply to my life. For example, it’s difficult for me to apply the sacrificing of animals to life TODAY but very easy for me to read Philippians 2:3 Nothing should be done because of pride or thinking about yourself. Think of other people as more important than yourself. (NLV) Pretty straight forward. Especially when you read it and then take it to bible gateway and read it in many other translations. I really enjoy doing that.

I just found myself reading through this year plan, but it didn’t look or feel like I was in my bible daily. Reading through the bible is a great goal to have but we don’t want to get lost in the task and neglect what his Word is really there for. To guide and teach us how we should strive to live.

So this morning I decided to take a little break from my “plan” and just enjoy reading through Philippians. I love Paul. He is just very blunt and like “Hey this is the Truth!” A verse hit me this morning that I had not been hit by before. (Ya know, it wasn’t highlighted yet 😉 ) He’s talking about his life and not having confidence in the flesh. And of course I took it to BG and translated it to New Living Translation. Check it out. 🙂

Philippians 3:7-11 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

Amen! THAT is the attitude I want to have. The boldness I want to have! This is why I love reading what Paul writes because I can understand it and be like “YES! Lord make my heart sincere like that. Give me the confidence and authenticity that Paul exhibits.”

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to share with you issss if you’re a parent I have found a GREAT book that you could easily read every day. You know I am a BIG fan of Stormie Omartian’s Power of the Praying Wife. And I did read her Power of the Praying Parent as well. But I found a new prayer-book called Prayers that Prevail for Your Children, Richards and Hildebrand. (I actually “found” it in my book collection and I’m pretty sure Linda gave it to me quite awhile ago) I read a beautiful prayer this morning designated for an unborn child and it was backed with all kinds of scripture and I just really love how they formatted this book. I like to use these books as part of my quiet time. Sometimes I don’t always know what to pray and using books like these helps us to pray for our loved ones and do so specifically.

It is so important for us to stay in the Word and also remain in conversation with Christ, prayer. This is a beautiful relationship and he has so much to show us and give to us all we have to do is seek him out and he will be faithful.

Philippians 1:9-11 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Amen 🙂

No excuses, make an effort: Time well spent

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word time? Most would probably say “I need more of it.” I certainly have felt that way before. But do we really need more? Or is it that we have become a total time wasting culture? A culture that ultimately has replaced the important things in life with things that in the end are “meaningless” as the Teacher in Ecclesiastes puts it.

Have you ever examined your life, your day-to-day, and looked at the areas you spend the most time in? Because truthfully, I think, that what we value in life can often be determined by what we spend our time doing.

Here is what I would say I value most. The following things are what I want others to see and know that I place the utmost importance on. Ultimately I value relationship. First my relationship with Christ, second with my husband, third my children, and then family, friends ect.

Where do I spend the MOST time? Well I spent a lot of time on my phone. Sometimes this aids in remaining connected with family and friends however it also is a way for me to check out on a game of scramble. I spend a lot of my time on the computer. I got rid of my facebook because it wasted a lot of my time, but I have found other ways to waste time online through, email, searching the web, and as of late pinterest. Which by the way I waste more time “pinning” ideas for things that will probably NEVER get accomplished. I do spend time with my husband and children, but we live together, so more often than not it isn’t quality time. I spend time in prayer and reading God’s Word, but once I have finished my reading “plans”, I’m usually finished. If I loved him the way I say I do and truly want to, I should have a harder time finishing up with him, then wanting to finish and move on to the next entertaining thing. Before I became pregnant I spent a lot of time running and focusing on my outward appearance. And I have been known to spend time watching TV as well. These things are not all bad things but I’d like to challenge myself to spend time investing in what I say is and should be THE MOST important things in my life.

Here is something I have asked myself as well. What area of my life do I feel the most successful in right now? Whatever it is I’ve gotten really good at, is where I am spending the majority of my time. But how bout those areas of my life that I feel like there is no hope for…. if I’m really honest with myself I’d have to say I may need to re-prioritize my life.

This idea of time well spent is an ongoing exercise. Something that I need to constantly be checking on, evaluating and re-evaluating. Pretty much every morning I should start my day with “Lord, I want to love you and glorify you in EVERYTHING I do. Show me how to spend EACH moment. Show me what needs my time most, what area do I need to invest in today? Give me the strength, wisdom, and grace to spend my time glorifying you, not myself.”

The fact is we have plenty of time for what should be our priorities in life. We have time for Jesus, we have time for church, we have the time for our marriages, we have the time to read to our kids and play with them, we have time for those friends that need us, we have time for whatever we are willing to MAKE the time for.

I suppose I could also start my day with the question “Katie, what are you willing to make time for? And Katie, how does GOD want you to spend your time today?” The Holy Spirit is alive in me, and all I have to do is be willing to listen and obey. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:15 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

I absolutely do not want my life to be a reflection of all the things I did for MYSELF that in the scope of eternity means nothing. What I do want is for my life to reflect that of Christ. Christ laid down His life for me! I love what Philippians 2:5-7 says about having the same attitude as Christ. From the Message: Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. And He did this for you and me so that we could have relationship and eternal life with Him.

I want to spent my time in a manner that honors God, not because I have to or feel obligated to. He has saved my life, a life that apart from him is worthless. What better way to respond to that sacrifice, that GIFT, with a desire and an attitude that says “Take this life, take all my time, my energy, my focus, and help me to use it to glorify YOU.” That is what I pray my time will say about me.

 

A waterfall of emotions

Hello friends and family! I have been wanting to post my next blog for my series on “No excuses, make an effort”. I have written two out now but with it being about spiritually sensitive subjects I like to pray and ponder over them for awhile to ensure it’s the Holy Spirit’s word and not mine.

These last few weeks have been very emotionally taxing for our family. I’m not 100% sure but I’m assuming it’s baby boy that is messing with my hormones. I can honestly say (and Jason can concur) that I have NEVER been like this pregnant. This being: completely irrational, overwhelmed, on edge, always about to cry, feelings and emotions just completely out of control ect. As I have laid in bed trying to figure out “What is wrong with me?” (because being pregnant just hasn’t been reason enough for it all!) the word Bipolar came to mine. I know I’m not, but that should give you a pretty good picture of how I have been. It is so frustrating and exhausting. I have spent time praying asking for the strength to have self control and to not allow my emotions and feelings to strip me of joy and a thankful heart. I do have so much to be thankful for. But my Spirit and flesh have been fighting a major league WAR with each other and feelings of guilt and self pity and absolute confusion take over. I keep wondering “why?” and I keep trying to find a solution that can end these crazy feelings.

My parents came in town which was wonderful and yet again the guilt of inflicting my wickedness on more loved ones was present. I am so thankful though to have family members that truly LOVE me. My husband, mother and father, all have continued to love me despite my down right ugliness at points. (I want to cry just typing that out.) If I were them I would be running for the hills! But they, (especially Jason God bless this man), have moved beyond their own desire to receive love and affection and poured it out on me regardless of my response. My poor mother has put up with a lot too, I love you mommy!

Once again, Christ is revealing to me through my own circumstances what it means to love like He loves. He also is revealing to me again that I HAVE to be fully reliant on him, totally in sync with His Spirit. Satan would absolutely love for me to be consumed by these feelings, to lash out at my husband and children, and to blame it all on “being pregnant”. Yes, I’m pregnant, and yes, it is causing my hormonal imbalance. But I want to be filled with the Spirit and controlled by Him so that when I am overwhelmed with feelings I don’t understand, my response will be one that honors the Lord. Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

This is no easy task. But we were never told it would be easy. Jesus willingly, lovingly, embraced the discomfort on the cross for my sake. I want to willingly embrace whatever circumstance I am in and with strength from my sweet Savior, glorify Him in that circumstance.

With all that said, here are some pictures from my parents visit. We went this cool little waterfall and it was so beautiful and SO symbolic of my emotions (especially from that morning).

It started raining, but it just went with the whole experience. Honestly made it even more fun and adventurous!

Ryann with her bruised up face. First she got hit by a swing she was pushing. Then when it finally started to go away, she tripped and hit the coffee table. Poor girl, what are we gonna do with you. You are still beautiful. Both my girls and NeeNa. 🙂

I am Second

This past Sunday in church they shared another “I Am Second” video. I know I’m pregnant, so I’m “touched” emotionally, rather easily. But Jim Munroe’s story is incredible. I’ve never heard one like his, told the way he tells it. It’s very eye opening as far as the POWER our omnipotent God has. I encourage you to take a few minutes and watch it. It’s so good.

I am Second- Jim Munroe