Monday, September 22, 2008

Passing On The Torch

Moms, in particular, remind themselves of every failure, mistake and error. We are slow to celebrate the victories, big and small, in our parenting choices. Even when we enjoy a moment of triumph, we're quick to cast some kind of negative slant on the whole thing.

Case in point. My 15 year-old daughter Rachel attended a special class, on Sunday, for teens that want to develop a deeper walk with God. She came home with some homework that included several spiritual disciplines. One was to be spiritually aware.

What a great discipline that I'm also trying to develop. I just plain forget to include God in some of the things I do.

Then, surprise! Rachel told me that she thought I had helped her develop this really well. She remembered how we pray in the car. A lot. How I often point out something God created or did for us, or thinking of how we need to be as Christians.

Wow. It was a grip your heart, thrilling moment.

Then my second thought was, I guess I haven't done a very good job at teaching the other disciplines.

Stop right there. Rewind. Go back to Yea, Mom! I did something right. Praise the Lord. I could have never done it on my own. He has manifested himself through me to my daughter.

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me the privilege of raising four wonderful, talented, awesome kids. They all love you! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oklahoma/Texas Border Wedding Part II

The groom's family had a pet deer! It licked Chase. Leaving town for the reception, I made Dan pull over to take a picture of these goats. Someone pulled up behind us, and I commented that they were wondering if we had never seen a goat before....
We have seen goats, just not the kind that freely wander from house to house like cats. No leash law, I guess.
It was so great to see my son Jeff for the entire weekend. We miss him so much. He thrilled my mom by dancing with her. She told me that he really wants tennis shoes that light up. Anyone know where I can get them in a size 11?

Wedding on the Oklahoma/Texas Border Part I

We attended my niece's wedding and had a lot of fun. The groomsmen arrived by stagecoach. Here come the Bride and her attendants.
Mother of the bride, my sister-in-law Julie. Doesn't she look so happy! We both married off our first born this summer.
Officially married on the groom's family's porch, in the shortest ceremony I've ever attended.
It's really flat out there. My husband (being from Nebraska) loved it!
Go to the next post for part II.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Seventeen Years Ago Today

The blushing bride! I just couldn't stop smiling all day, I was so happy! I was so excited about having my hair put up and the flowers arranged into it. I was still finding flowers the next day.Brad (6) held the rings and Jeff (3) was supposed to hold my flowers, but he got bored and sat down and made Brad do it all. Any other kids, and I would have been annoyed. But I was so delighted with every thing my OWN children did that day. Funny how that works.
Finally a picture of the Groom. He was so dashing. He sang to me during our wedding. (That's my aunt Suzie). Notice the CHOCOLATE cake? Yum.
I'm still smiling today. What a wonderful marriage (cause I got a great guy). Yea, me!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Predators, Prey, and Natural Selection

Homeschooling can be difficult, challenging, rewarding, but throw some M & M's into your science experiment, and it's melt in your mouth, not in your hand fun!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

At Least He Didn't Ask Me to go To Ninevah

"I'm okay with being single, but there is a part of me that wants to contribute to someone else's life," or something to that effect I told my mother while I was a single mom.

And on Sunday I will be celebrating seventeen years of being married to the man to whom I eventually decided to offer my contributions.

I really did long to be the cheerleader, companion, helper.

However, too often I begin to think that life is all about me, and he entered this marriage to serve me. He has a servant's heart. He does so much for me with such a loving, cheerful attitude.

In this God-walk, me trying to obey Him and be more the person he's called me to be, I purposed in my heart that the next time my dear husband asked me to do something for him, I would respond joyfully.

I've been doing so-so until the other day. I was overwhelmed, and thinking of all the "important" things that I had to accomplish, when I received the request. I remembered my pledge, waited for the joy....

It didn't come.

So I said yes, but in an if I must voice.

Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.

Conviction came quickly. I had been reading about Jonah, his disobedience and second chance. Fortunately, I didn't have to spend three days in the belly of a big fish before I got the opportunity to do something for my wonderful husband. This time I was joyful.

But, obedience is responding with the right attitude. Even when it's not in me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Can We Learn From a Measly Quarter?

Internet savvy panhandlers, please avert your eyes. My husband will turn around on the highway to buy a meal for someone alongside the road. He used to pick up hitchhikers quite frequently, until I convinced him that he had a responsibility to stay alive for his family. (Right, honey?)

I just want to let you know that he is a giver, and I thought about him today. I was returning a shopping cart at Aldi's for my deposited quarter when a man approached me offering to take my cart. Aldi frequenters know that this is a common practice to "save" us all from the trouble of operating the deposit mechanism. However, when I happily gave the man my cart and asked for my quarter, he responded that he was just trying to be helpful.

I explained that I could return my own cart for the retrieval of my quarter and proceeded. But I was praying and thinking, wondering if he needed a cart, but didn't have a quarter. Or maybe he just needed the quarter. When he came near me to let me know that (again) he was just trying to be helpful, I put the retrieved coin in his hand. He thanked me at least twice. But I returned to the van with an uneasy feeling.
Obviously, he was "working" the shopping carts for quarters. And sure enough as I pulled out of the parking lot, I saw him approaching an elderly couple that was almost done unloading their cart.

I told 10 year old Chase what had happened, and he seemed a little concerned. But thinking out loud, I told him that obviously this man needs some money for something. It might be food, but it might be alcohol or drugs. He needs it so badly, that he's trying to get quarters one at a time from unsuspecting people. I think the unsuspecting is what bothered me. I felt protective of the older couple, afraid that they would be taken advantage of and too polite to ask for their quarter. (Which he had now).
Minimum wage in our state is $6.65 an hour. I had to research that. So to "earn" minimum wage, this man would have to hustle around 26.6 carts per hour. So, Chase and I prayed for the man that needed money that desperately. We also prayed that he would know Jesus, because that is what he needs most of all.

We picked up Rachel and told her the story. This made her really explore some questions she was having, because this morning she had just memorized Luke 6:27-30.
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. "
We had a great discussion about how to know when to give. How to respond to someone who steals. I didn't have all the answers. I may have been wrong in some of my answers, but we turned to scripture, a good application, and talked it over together.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Vote For...Kiersten

I have been so busy the past few days, that I haven't had a chance to write anything or download any photos. But now's a good chance for me to plug my friend Kiersten Venezia.

She has a song on this website. Go there, scroll down to her name, listen to her song and give her five stars!

She is greatly talented and totally sold out to God. You'll be glad you took the time to find out.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sea World Fun!

Mom wanted to know if I had gotten my pictures "back" yet. I so rarely get any photos developed any more. Maybe she'll see something she wants a copy of here.
It was so cool to see the kids feed the dolphins!
Upfront, I must say that Rachel took most of these pictures.
The jelly fish were absolutely amazing. They looked just like the ones in "Finding Nemo", only real.
The Coral was so beautiful. I can see why people fall in love with scuba diving. It was like looking at a beautiful garden.
This octopus was freaky and fascinating. I was glad to have glass between us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

All Hail, President Chase!

Women's Bible study started today. It was like the first day of school! So fun seeing familiar faces, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

My youngest son takes a home-school class at the same time. He was excited, too. Yesterday he said, "Guess what, Mom? Tomorrow is Friend to Friend."

(c) 2008 Rachel Sexson

Later my friend sent me this email

"...when I walked in to help with child care - it was already 10:10. Chase was in the Greece class and (the teacher) was holding up a globe. She pointed to Iraq - then Chase yelled out something about the war. She talked about the constitution (I'm not exactly sure why - I wasn't paying close attention, but) then Chase yelled out something about how it's been changed and it's wrong. Both teachers smiled and agreed... then one of the teachers said -'That boy will be president some day!'"