My Family


Saturday, August 29, 2009

finding peace

Lord, give me wisdom. Lord, help me find peace.

i continue to ask God to give me wisdom as i come up against challenges with my teenagers. it seems like the only time that they give me any problems at all is when they have to do something they don't want to do when they don't want to do it or they are not getting to do something that they want to do when they want to do it.

i remember being a teen.

life was all about having fun and going out and being with my friends.

i remember.

i remember wanting to get my way and being frustrated when i didn't get it.

i remember.

i remember thinking that my mom did not know what she was talking about most of the time.

i remember.

i remember not wanting to do what my mom told me to do when she wanted me to. i wanted to do it when i wanted to.

i remember.

it wasn't that long ago.

but, i was still wrong.

i was wrong to think that i should be able to get my way when i was told it was not going to be able to work out this time.

i was wrong.

i was wrong to think i knew more than my parents.

i was wrong.

i was wrong to not immediately do what my mom asked me to do.

i was wrong.

i didn't think so then, but now i can see it so clearly. hindsight is definitely 20/20.

just because i remember what it was like, doesn't mean that i condone the selfish, inappropriate behavior that is frequently found in a teenagers life.

remember, i said i was wrong then.

disrespect, selfishness, and rudeness is absolutely uncalled for and ungodly. i have no desire to live in a home with teenagers that are unable or unwilling to look inside themselves and recognize wrong behavior or attitudes that need to be dealt with.

but, like i said before, i remember the thoughts of self righteousness that raced through my mind when things did not go my way.

i remember.

there was no way that i would have seen the error of my ways by any gentle or harsh reminder from my parents. so, i know that it is not me who is going to be the One that is going to move in the hearts and minds of my teenagers to cause them to see Truth.

it is not me who is going to be able to convince them that they are wrong in any way.

it is not me.

it is not me who will birth respect and honor for authority in their hearts.

it is not me.

it is not me who will create in them a pure heart that loves God and others more than they love themselves.

it is not me.

i can not do that.

believe me, i have already tried to do that job and i have failed.

i failed because it was not my job to do.

but, in failure i have hope.

because the imperfect one, me, has turned the job over to the Perfect One.

i am off the hook.

my hope is in the Lord now.

the first step in me being able to experience the fruit of godly behavior in my teenagers is to trust them to the One who manufactures that fruit in the first place.

He bears the fruit in them.

He does the work.

He gets the glory.

and, i get peace.

Lord my children were your babies before they were mine. You love them more than even i do. i trust them to You. create in them a heart that longs for you and desires to please you. woo them by your love. open their eyes and their ears and help them to experience Truth. draw their hearts to your will. amen!

Friday, August 28, 2009

and the winner is......

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amanda and i put everyone's name in a basket that entered my 100th post giveaway yesterday. she drew a name this morning before she went to school. and the winner is.....Beth from outnumbered three to one. i love beth. she is so sweet and is a wonderful friend to me. stop by and visit her if you get the chance. she is a blessing to know.

i wanted to join sandy @ one day at a time in her meme, "tell me about it thursday," even though it is already friday. each week she gives us some idea of something to post about, usually about our family or our childhood.

this week's theme is "share something (anything) about your family"

i want to take this opportunity to tell a little bit about my husband, aaron's family. aaron comes from a pretty big family. he is the youngest of six children. this last weekend, we all got together at his brother's house to celebrate his mom's 79th birthday. her name is mary. isn't she beautiful?!

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this is the lady that is the mother of my sweet and wonderful husband. i know it wasn't easy raising six children without losing her mind. God's hand was upon their family in so many ways. aaron tells me so many stories of times when the enemy could have destroyed his family but God had different plans for all of them. with aaron being the baby of the family, mary tells the story of finding out that she was pregnant with him. she was none too happy. she had her hands full with the five kids that she had at the time. but, none the less, aaron was on his way into this world. her neighbor comforted her with excitement for her new little one coming into the world. that seemed to help. it is always nice when people are excited when you tell them you are going to have a baby, no matter how many members of the family you are bringing into the world. i believe that mary decided it was ok that she had aaron because he has been her "little baby" from the beginning, and still is. she must have done something right because she raised a wonderful, sweet man who has become a great husband and loving daddy. thank you mary! thank you God!

happy birthday to you! i pray you have many more to share with us!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

a gift, an award, and a giveaway

last week i got a knock at my door. i was surprised to see that it was the mailman because i was not expecting any packages. i had not ordered anything recently. but, i graciously accepted the large package that had my name on it, took it inside and opened it. inside of it was this really cute pillow and sweet card from lori @ joy unspeakable. she hosted a giveaway a few weeks ago and i won. she never did ever say what she was giving away. she just said that she wanted to wait to see who won and then she was going to make something especially for them. so, i was completely surprised when i opened my package to find this adorable pillow that she had made for me. it is so cute. it goes great on the sofa in my living room. doesn't it look great?!
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a few weeks ago i also was given this award from a few of my wonderful blogging friends. kat @ heart2heart, hope @ my hope is in the Lord, and kat @ art's chili all blessed me with the loyal friend and visitor award.

i was very touched by their graciousness and their thoughts of me as their loyal friend. i love everyone of them and visit them as often as i can. i don't think i miss their posts ever. if i can not get to them one day, i head over and catch up as soon as i can. i love their writing and stories of their lives. If you have not met them, please go knock on their door, they will gladly welcome you into their lives. they are loyal friends to me too. so, first and foremost i want to pass this award right back to them, even though they have all received it already at least once from someone else. then, i want to pass it along to my other wonderful friends that come to visit me and share their lives with me. i appreciate your friendship so much and want you to know that every time you visit me, i am so excited to read what you have to say. i love that you include me in your life even if it is only in the blogosphere.

you are all my sweet and loyal friends. my life is a little more enjoyable every time you stop by. here's to you! please accept this award from me!


and, now i want to announce that today's post is number 100 for me. i can't believe that it has come so fast. i never could have ever imagined how much i was going to enjoy this part of my life. so, i want to do a little giveaway to celebrate. autumn is approaching quickly and it is time to start adding fall decor to our homes. i thought i would help someone out a little and give them a little something to spruce up their kitchen for fall. i am giving away these two adorable decorative dish towels and hot pad. they should add a little autumn flair to someone's kitchen.
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if you are interested in winning, leave a comment saying so and i will add your name to the mix. i will put everyone's name who is interested in a basket and have my youngest daughter, amanda, draw a winner friday morning at 8:00 a.m. before she heads off to school.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

have you laughed today?

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Monday, August 24, 2009

growing up monday

today, i am joining joanne @ blessed... with a "growing up monday" post. she has a great idea of bringing the message that God is speaking to all of us together, uniting our hearts, and growing up together. Please be sure to stop by and read her post and link up with the others who are joining in to unite us all while we grow up together.

she writes, "wouldn't it be fun to be able to check in with other sisters around the world and see what we are learning in each of our churches on sunday mornings or in our weekly Bible studies? we are the body of Christ. we gather on Sundays in our church homes to learn and grow from His word. each week there is something our pastor shares or teaches from the Bible that speaks (sometimes shouts) right to my heart."

i think this is a great idea. we can reflect on what God is revealing to us, write it up in a post and share it with each other. maybe it will help us get the bigger picture of what God is desiring to say to His body. we can grow up together as one body. we are to grow up in the knowledge and understanding of Christ. we can do that together.

my pastor has been teaching a series on Joshua. his whole concept is to show that Jesus is revealed in every aspect of the Word of God with his slogan being, "show me Jesus in ....." so, he is teaching "where is Jesus in Joshua." he just started this series a few weeks ago and it has been great.

yesterday, he was teaching from joshua chapter 3. he taught about the children of israel crossing the jordan river. in the last couple of weeks, he taught us about types and shadows and how joshua was a type of Jesus. the law is represented by moses and faith is represented by joshua. even though God provided for the israelites in the wilderness at every turn, they could not believe that He could take them into the land of promise. what they saw in the natural was too impossible for them to see God accomplish for them. for that reason, moses nor anyone in his generation was allowed to enter into the promised land. but, joshua believed that God could and would do what He had promised and therefore he led the next generation into the promised land.

the biggest revelation that i received was that the law was able to take the children of israel up to the promised land but it took faith to actually step into it. the law can make us see what righteousness is supposed to look like and all of the blessings that follow it, but it can not cause us to partake of it. we must receive the promise by faith. like joshua did!

one of the things that looked impossible to the israelites was the jordan river. even though God had made it possible for them to cross the red sea forty years ago. they could not believe that he would do the same thing for them with the jordan river. but He did. the ark of the covenant, containing the presence of God, led the way. and, as soon as the presence of God touched the waters, the waters opened up and stood still until all the people had crossed on dry ground. the men carrying the presence of God were the last to come up from the river bed. and, when they did, the waters rushed again.

what i think was so amazing about this part of the story is that what seemed like an obstacle to the promised land actually became a pathway to it. that is so like God! many things that look like obstacles in our way of God's promises will actually become pathways to attaining them! He relishes in turning the obstacles in the way of His promise into pathways! if we know that is what God is all about, we will not get discouraged at obstacles, but excited instead. really, every time that we see obstacles in our way, we should rejoice, because we know that God is going to do a miracle to provide our promise for us. what a concept! rejoicing for the obstacles!

What about you?

What is it you are studying? What lessons did God want you to learn this week, and what did you take away from your pastor's lesson or church family today that you can apply to your lives now?

Let's share with one another what we are learning and how we are growing up in Christ. Be your hometown church representative and fill us all in!

Friday, August 21, 2009

tell me about it thursday

i wanted to join sandy @ one day at a time in her meme, "tell me about it thursday," even though it is already friday. each week she gives us some idea of something to post about from our childhood. I feel like our childhood has so much impact on who we are today. so, i am very interested in writing about the feelings and events that took place in my life when i was a kid. i always seem to learn something, about myself or someone that i love very much, when i think back and allow myself to reminisce through my memories.

this weeks theme is "tell about a special grandparent"

there is a picture that i have seen many times coming to my mind right now. i think it is at my mom's house somewhere. it is a black and white picture of me when i was about 1 1/2 sitting on my grandpa beckham's lap. one time when i was looking through these old pictures with my mom, we came across that picture. she told me that my grandpa thought that i was so wonderful. she said that he was so proud when i was born. i wish i had that picture with me right now. i would post it. maybe, i will still post it here some day if i can find it again.

my grandpa did always make me feel like he thought i was so special. he took time to show me that in many different ways as i grew up. when i was about three, he bought me a pony that he kept at his house. he did not keep it long though. i think he got tired of the poop in his back yard. he used to take us, my sister and i, to the store and let us pick out something we wanted and buy it for us. then, he would take us out to lunch. i knew my grandpa did not like to let go of his money, so that made me feel very loved. he would come over to our house sometimes and pack up all of our friends in the back of his pick up truck and take us to the park. he would sit on the bench until we were all ready to go home. then he would pack us up and take us back. the most vivid memories that i have of my grandpa are of him sitting at our kitchen table with his legs crossed, a hat on his head and a cup of coffee in his hand. he would just stop by to visit, usually on saturdays, and we would all sit around and talk. i remember this so well. my grandpa always seemed to think that i was pretty wonderful and he made me to know that he thought that in his own way. he never said, "christy, you're wonderful," but he had some way of making me feel that way.

my grandpa beckham died in 1991, several months before i got married. that was really sad for me. but the one thing i remember thinking the most when i found out he passed away was not sadness for him not being able to be at my upcoming wedding as much as him not being able to be a part of my future children's lives. it seems kind of funny to think that my thoughts would immediately think that way, but they did. i think it was because i had always imagined him being around when i began to have children. i wanted him to be able to see them and make them feel as special as he made me feel. i know he would have if he would have gotten the chance. my grandpa is in heaven today and i know he is as fond of me as ever. ten years ago, aaron and i packed up our family and moved home. we moved into my grandpa's old house and lived there for nine years. i know that he is proud of me and my family. today as i write this with tearing eyes, it still makes me smile when i think of him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

building trust for the flying lesson

one of the most difficult things that i have found in raising five children is making sure that i keep depth in the relationships with all of them individually. i know that i can take care of them and meet all of their needs on a daily basis as far as feeding them and getting them where they need to go. but, taking the time to maintain a deep and intimate relationship with each and every one of them can be difficult with many children. it seemed to be easier when they were younger too, because their whole life was at home. they did not have life outside of me and their dad and church. as they have all gotten older, they have friends and other things to do that take up a large portion of their time as well. i understand that is perfectly natural. i remember that time coming in my life when i was younger too. but, in that, i find my struggle. i need to be more strategic in planning my time with them.

as kids become teens, they begin to develop their own sense of self. they begin to try to spread their wings and fly. they aren't quite ready for that yet, because they are still kids and not adults, yet! so, they fail when they try. it is kind of like a baby bird setting out to try out his wings before they are ready. they fall quickly to the ground and the momma bird swoops down and picks them back up into the nest. then they try again. it is my job to help them be ready when the time approaches for them to fly. i am to let them have practice flights so that they are well practiced and prepared when the time to fly comes. but, along the way, the little birdies sometimes think they are ready to fly already and begin to resent the momma bird for not letting them fly off solo. this is when it is necessary that the momma steps up and continues to remind the babies that she loves them more than life itself. talking and reminding them of that rather than just saying "not yet" all the time continues the relationship and builds trust between them.

i have a few little birdies trying their wings at our home right now. so, recently, i have been asking the Lord to help me to be led by Him in developing ways that i can have more meaningful times with each of them individually. i feel like the Lord has directed me to take each of my children individually, at least once each month, out to spend time loving on them and doing things that they like to do. listening to them and sharing our hearts will continue to build our hearts together. that is a pleasure that i long to have with them forever. i believe that will also make it easier for them to recognize wisdom in knowing the proper time to practice flying and the proper time to continue resting up at home. in the last few weeks, i have taken each one of my kids out shopping for school clothes individually. then, we went out to lunch together. no one else. just one at a time and me! it was wonderful! i was able to bless them with clothes and shoes that they wanted and we were able to talk and enjoy each other's company. i think this kind of time with them is so important because i could tell that they felt loved and listened to. and, i believe it will help to establish more trust in me for the next flying lesson.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

and now back to our regularly scheduled program...

yesterday was rachel's 1st day of high school. i can not believe that i have two children in high school now, josiah and rachel. josiah, olivia, and amanda started school this morning. it is just jacob and i home this morning. scheduled life is back. i guess that is good somewhat. i like the laid back summers of doing whatever we want, when we want. but, it does feel good to be back on some kind of a schedule too. it does make more time for me to study and get other things accomplished.

during the school year, i plan and prepare more meals for us to eat together. i make a monthly meal plan and shop weekly for what we need. in the summer, we eat out a lot and aaron cooks on the grill most of the time when we eat at home. so, i shop as we need food and i never plan any day of meals more than a day or two ahead of time. i enjoy cooking a lot. but i do not like cooking the same things over and over again. i like to try new recipes. so, today is planning day. i am setting up our monthly meal plan and making a grocery list for the week. then, off to walmart. here we go!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the only water that can quench my thirst

i have had this dream several times where i would go to get a drink from a water fountain and i would drink and drink and drink. it seemed like i just could not get enough water to quench my thirst. before i went to get a drink, i do not remember thinking that i was that thirsty. the water fountain was just there and so i just accepted the opportunity and took a drink. but, once i started to drink, it seemed like the more i drank, the thirstier that i got. every time that i have had that dream, i would wake up and my mouth would be as dry as it could be, like i had been breathing with my mouth wide open and had not closed it to appropriate the moisture available inside of it. my logical thinking makes me to think that the reason that i was dreaming this was because my mouth was physically telling me that it was dry and i was attempting to take care of that need within me in my dream. the reason that my thirst never really got quenched was because, in reality, that water in my dream was not actually moisturizing my mouth at all.

as i ponder, think about it, and ask the Lord if there is any spiritual significance to my dream, i feel the Lord has shown me that though the physical thirst of my mouth probably did preempt my dream, God has a lesson for me to learn within it. all of us have an intense dryness within us that thirsts to be quenched by the Spirit of God. we may not realize that is what that longing and thirsting is. we may not realize that we are thirsty, but we are. John 4:14 says, "whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. but the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up continually within him unto eternal life." we have, deep within us, a well of Living Water, that never runs dry and never ceases to quench our thirst if we drink from it. it is the presence of the Living God and the pleasures of knowing His love that satisfies our deepest needs and makes us feel spiritually saturated with goodness. but, if we attempt to quench our thirst with any outside source, other than the Living Water within our own spirit, we can drink and drink and drink and never be satisfied. the more we drink of outside, imitation water, the thirstier we will actually get. the moisture necessary to quench our thirst lies deep within us just like the moisture that my mouth needed would have been found if i would have closed it and allowed my salivary glands within me to do their job. attempting to moisturize our thirsty hearts with this physical world is like me trying to moisturize my mouth with water from the fountain in my dream. it is impossible! the Living Water within me is the only water that can quench my thirst.

Friday, August 14, 2009

true heart award

my sweet and wonderful friend Kat at Art's Chili has given me this most delicious award. It reiterates the celebration of friendship and kindness. I gratefully accept it and wish to share it with my fellow bloggers as well.

"those who receive this award are of the sweetest nature. they are kind, friendly, funny, loving, eager to share their love for Jesus with others, and brave in their efforts to reflect Him to this darkened world. they are the kind of folks you're blessed to know, even if it's only in the bloggy-sphere."

i would like to share this award with a few of my friends who Kat did not already nominate or have not already received it. these fellow bloggers have opened their world and invited me in. they are truly deserving of this award for they fit the description of a true heart.

shanda at a teachable heart
karen at hallelujah anyhow
beth at outnumbered three to one
mich at "mich"
adeye at no greater joy mom
kristin at these little girls of mine

i truly appreciate everyone of you and never would have ever thought that i would enjoy the relationships that i have here in blogland the way that i do. there is more fulfillment in my life now because of the relationships that we are building together. bless those that bless you with this same token of endearment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

a life worth living

the kids are about to start school next week. we are doing registrations today and tomorrow. as i send them off and back into the harshness of the world, my heart prays for them to be protected from the lies of the enemy that try to take them down a path of vanity, emptiness, and futility. this world puts so much emphasis on worldly things like beauty, pleasures, education, power, and money, all of which are not evil in themselves, but, as an end to all that we strive for, is a trap within a trap that ends with nothing past the means. and, it all comes to a halt when the time in which it is attained is over, making the life lived empty and pointless. so many times, what kids and adults, for that matter, are served up as the best way of life is only to struggle to achieve and be the best, get the highest degree, be the most beautiful, and earn the most money so you will be admired and desired, only to one day die and benefit from none of it. the end result proves that experiencing life that way is really not what was thought to be a life worth living.

lately, i have been having many conversations with my teenagers about what is important in life. i think doing well at whatever you do is important and necessary. getting an education and preparing yourself to work a vocation that you enjoy and provides a nice salary is a good thing, but it is not the end of what life is all about here on this earth. if the proper perspective is not served with the notion of working to be a success, then, attaining it brings no fulfillment at all and becomes empty and futile. that proper perspective is knowing that the journey we walk in and what we accomplish only brings joy and happiness if it is walked in union and agreement with God, taking steps in the direction in which He leads.

the biggest lie that our enemy throws at us is that if we listen to God and follow Him, we will not enjoy everything that there is to enjoy here on this earth, that God is holding out on us and wants to keep things from us. this was the first deception he used on Adam and Eve and he is still attempting it today. it is only as we recognize the love the Father has for us and the desire He has for us to experience everything wonderful and good, that we can recognize the lies and send our enemy packing. this life we live on this earth is to be lived and enjoyed greatly, walking hand in hand with the all powerful Spirit of God empowering us to accomplish great things, magnifying Him in all that we do. in that, every aspect of life is a pleasure instead of sorrow, a rest instead of a hardship, fulfilling instead of empty, and purposeful instead of futile.

Ecclesiastes 6:18-20 states, "Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him--for this is his allotted part. Also, every man to whom God has given riches and possessions, and the power to enjoy them and to accept his appointed lot and to rejoice in his toil--this is the gift of God to him. For he shall not much remember the days of his life, because God, Himself, answers and corresponds to the joy of his heart." this Scripture says it so well. God desires to be a part of the joy that we experience in this life. He answers and corresponds to us in the joys of our everyday life and in the attempts at becoming the person that He has destined us to be. every part of it should be exciting and fun if He is in the midst of the very core of who we are and what we set out to accomplish. that is His gift to us. that is what makes life worth living!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

jacob 16 months

i took jacob to get his pictures taken a couple of weeks ago. these were some of my favorites.

looks like we have another baseball player on our hands!

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