Monday, October 31, 2011

No Matter What

We are home today after losing power for 12 hours. It's funny how losing something puts life in perspective. You quickly remember what's important. I'm thankful for the reminder to take each day as gift, to receive it with an open heart and offer thanks. I started my journey of thanking God for 1,000 things in March of this year. I don't ever plan to stop. Offering thanks is so beautiful; a grateful heart-so radiant. May my gratitude point to the Giver of all these things. I am ever so thankful for my Lord and Savior who brought me out of darkness and into His marvelous light.


Direction from the LORD
Trusting in His unfailing love
Rejoicing in God my Savior
Being fully alive
Power outages
Snow in October
The beauty of His Holiness
The richness of His Word
Being thunder for Him
The LORD strong in battle
The hope of a new day
Blessing & honor, glory & power forever and ever
Daily Bread
Love that covers
Renewing Grace
Small beginnings
Being satisfied in Jesus
Jehovah Jireh
A renewed heart & mind
Being a doer of the Word

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT "No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church posted this on Twitter:

"If God is first in your life, EVERYTHING will come into order. If God is not first, NOTHING will come into order."

It stopped me dead in my tracks. This has been my hearts cry for years now, that I would allow God to have first place in my life. Sadly, I haven't always given Him His rightful place and the signs of it are evident in my life. I know that God in His steadfast love will cover me with His grace as I make the changes necessary in my life to give Him first place; that is what I want to do.

On Sunday at church we read 2 Corinthians 8:5, "and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the LORD and then by the will of God to us." Pastor Jeff said, "Give yourself first to God. Nothing happens until we get this part right."

I have prayed this morning and repented of how easily I give other people and things first place in my life. I have thanked God for giving me a new heart and for the grace to cover my sin and shame. I know that He is faithful to forgive and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I desire to live my life with God in first place because then I don't have to struggle on how I'm going to get it all done in my own strength. It's not about me! Amen to that!

Finally, I just wanted to be real. I have these wonderful books I am SUPPOSED to be reading each morning during my time with the LORD before I start my day. However, I have been sleeping in and just jumping right in and giving into the tyranny of the urgent. Lord, help me. I have to stop hitting the snooze button for 2 hours. I NEVER hit the snooze button until after I had my children. I am so thankful that tomorrow is a new day and with the Lord's help I can get up and meet with Him. I want that in my life so that I can be a beautiful reflection of Him to those around me.

Morning Devotionals:

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
God's Heart for You by Holley Gerth
The Valley of Vision A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions
Praying God's Word by Beth Moore
Devotions for Homeschool Moms by Jackie Wellwood

I have these books along with my Bible and my journals ready and waiting for my morning meeting with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Thankful for grace.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thanks Be To God!

"Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 ESV

698. 10 years of fun nights with The Stultz Family
699. The Word of God
700. The message of Grace
701. Shopping with Brianna
702. The boys catching their first fish with my Dad
703. New flooring!
704. Listening to Brandon sign when he thinks no one is listening
705. Watching Jordan play with Play Doh
706. Family Game Night

Your grace is so amazing!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I've heard it said that time flies when you are having fun. I've also heard how fast time flies and how you never really can relate until your kids are grown and gone. Tear. So today, I'm just reflecting back...wondering how we got here so quickly. What happened to my babies? And my long hair. But, that's a post for another day. Don't even get me started! :)

Please forgive me for the poor quality of photos of Brandon. I really didn't enter the "digital age" until I turned 30 and received my Canon Rebel. Here's my first baby Brandon born in April 2002. He had me at hello. What a gift from God. Now he's in 4th grade and I'm homeschooling him. So very hard to believe that he's in 4th grade and I'm his teacher.

And then in a moment of weakness I let someone take a picture of me when I was pregnant with Jordan in the Summer of 2006. All I can say is you do strange things while pregnant; um-hence the blonde stripe in my hair. WOW GUY! Anyway, I'm thankful for this picture because I think I only have three pictures of me preggo for the second and final time.

My little All-Star was born in July 2006 during the baseball All-Star break. It's funny-we're avid baseball fans and our first son was born on Opening Day and our second was born on the day of the All-Star game. YAY for us! HA HA HA! Jordan changed my life in a way only the baby of the family can. He had a little mowhawk and was and still is a finger sucker. My little bear!

This is Brandon on the first day of school. I can't believe it. He's growing so fast! I'm really trying to take it all in; trying to use my time with him wisely-making the moments, minute by precious minute count. I can't get these days back. I want to be the mother he needs me to be and I want to give him the grace that he deserves. He's a gift from God just for me. I love you the most because you are my first baby, Juney Bug!

This is Jordan on the first day of school. He's in Kindergarten...sort of. More like pre-schoolgarten. LOL! I am waiting until next year to really start with him. I'm teaching him how to read this year by the grace of God! :) He's my little fire cracker for sure! He's very funny and watching him on photobooth has provided hours of laughter! He's so sweet and loves to be tickled on his back. He takes his blue blankie everywhere (my little Linus) and still sucks his finger. Without question, he keeps me on my toes. I love you the most because you are my last baby, Jodie Bear!

Learning to love well and give them grace......

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In Love

Look at me blogging two days in a row!! The LORD has captured my heart this day and here's why.

My cute little devotional book 'God's Heart for You' by Holley Gerth has me all wound a good way! I was challenged today to read Ephesians 1:1-14. Now that I've read the passage three times I am ready to share what was revealed to me. God's Word is so rich; so many truths for the taking. First, I want to provide the passage here.

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,to the praise of his glory.

What in the world? In Love?

In Love. They are two tiny words yet oh so profound. They stuck out like flashing neon lights to me. Everything was done IN LOVE. God did everything in love for me. I am loved; not because of what I've done but because of what He did for me; in love. He made a way for me to be adopted (1:5); a plan well thought out even before I was born.

Let me say right here what I say to my boys when they get going, "Slow down big fella'! LOL Let's take this apart piece by yummy piece with the help of my beautiful, big, black, English Standard Version Study Bible.

1:3 Every spiritual blessing communicates that the saving gifts of God are conveyed by the Holy Spirit (and this is the part I love) "whose personal presence throughout this age is the guarantee of future heavenly blessings."

We have a guarantee! Can I get an amen? :)

Another verse that spoke to my heart was this:

1:4 He chose us in Him-before the foundation of the world. Lord, I love you. ESV note says, "God's initiative in redeeming the believer from sin and death was not an arbitrary or (get this) a whimsical decision but something God planned all along "in Christ." Since God chose His people in His love, they can take no credit for their salvation.

Stay with me.

1:5 According to the purpose of His will. Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaattttt? ESV note, "God cannot be constrained by any outside force, and His inexorable(unyielding or unalterable) will for believers is to pour out His grace and goodness on them in Christ Jesus."

Grace & Goodness. We serve a good God who wants to smoother us in His grace and His goodness. There is nothing we need to do to earn this sort of crazy love. It's free. And as my friends like to say, "if its free, its for me"! LOL!

1:11 Who works all things according to the counsel of His will. ESV note, "How God's sovereignty and human responsibility work together in the world is a mystery no one can fully understand."

Amen to that.

1:14 Guarantee. What was that? ESV note, "God pours out His Holy Spirit on all His children; It is a down payment on their share in His eternal kingdom because He applies to them all God's powerful working in redemption."

In Love there is grace that was LAVISHED (per it means(expounded, bestowed, occurring in profusion, great amounts without limit)upon us.

In other words, in love, grace was bestowed upon us without limit.

Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me. To the praise of His glory.

Thanks for letting me share my heart today.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Recently I read another book in two days....sometimes I can't help myself.... I couldn't put it down nor did I want to. That was 22 days ago. I've been pondering all that I read and am just now going to start reading again and do the reflection question at the end of each chapter. Lord, cause to walk out what you are revealing to me.

Toward the end of the book I learned what the name Emma means. It means 'whole'. I literally burst into tears in an instant. I needed to know that. My name means Sweet, Grace, Whole. Lord, let it be true.

So what is the title of the book?

Ann Voskamp was quoted on the back saying, "Emily Freeman is one of those rare writers: profoundly biblical, lyrical, transparent-memorable. Her emancipating words on these pages offer the needed keys to all the good girls longing to take wing-and soar home to God's heart."

Grace for the Good Girl (letting go of the try-hard life) by Emily P. Freeman.

Two books this year have caused me to stop and listen. To be still. To encourage me. To show me His amazing grace is for real, for me. My deepest heart felt thanks to Ann and friends I've never met.





679. Our 13th Wedding Anniversary
680. Fall Foliage
681. A nice unexpected email from a dear friend
682. 80 degree weather in October, in MAINE
683. A day alone with my husband
684. Watching football with lifelong friends
685. Homeade salted caramel cupcakes
686. Pumpkin spice frapuccino
687. Panera
688. Lunch with my brother and his fiance
689. Watching a VHS tape of my husband singing in 1997 & 1998
690. Having my mom sleepover when my Dad was out of town
691. Beginning to trust
692. Playing Apples to Apples Disney version with Bry and the boys
693. Love & Respect Marriage Conference
694. Realizing how precious time is
695. Priorities- you make time for what you love (Thanks, Pastor Jeff)
696. Patience
697. After 12 years, new living room furniture! YAY! (Thanks, honey)

Lord, thank you for your grace. Thank you for your love. Thank you for making me whole.

Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Ten years ago on September 11, 2001 I was 3 months pregnant with my son Brandon and I was sitting in my office at UNUM when a co-worker came in and asked me if I heard what happened, I said no and then when he told me I just looked at him in utter disbelief. I remember they sent me home from work to rest because my inlaws lived dangerously close to ground zero and we hadn't heard from them. Thankfully, we were able to get in touch with them and find out they were ok and I remember just watching Fox News for the remainder of the day and praying for mercy.

It's crazy to think that 10 years ago it was just me and my husband living here in our home. No babies, no homeschooling, no nothing to consume my time, well except for my job. LOL Fast forward 10 years, we have 2 boys, homeschooling, and the busyness of life is upon us but I'm reminded that life is not an emergency. It's something to be savored. (Thanks Ann Vos Kamp!) :)

And so it's been a few weeks since I've been adding to my 1000 gifts list and I think today is a good day to celebrate all that we have to be thankful for.

560. The wisdom of God
561. Heart to heart talks
562. Restoration
563. New beginnings
564. Communion with God
565. The will of God
566. The cross of Christ
567. Identification with the Lord Jesus Christ
568. Farmers markets
569. Fresh basil from the garden
570. Garden tomatoes
571. Tomato, Basil & fresh mozzarella salad
572. Cute patio furniture
573. Swimming with my niece Meredith
574. Coloring with the kids
575. Being in Vermont with family
576. Prayer-perfect and complete oneness with God
577. Supernatural sense
578. Human dependence upon Jesus Christ
579. Yard sales
580. Vacation
581. Making time
582. How quickly time passes
583. The preciousness of others

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Birthday Recap

On Saturday July 30, 2011 I turned 33.

That means its been 3 years since I turned 30. Whhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttt?

Time is flying!

I wanted to share a couple of interesting facts about the number 33:

*The Atomic number of Arsenic
*A normal spine has 33 vertebrae
*Jesus's age when He was crucified
*Jesus performed 33 recorded miracles
*33 is not only a numerical representation for "The Star of David" but also the numerical equivalent of AMEN: 1+13+5+14=33
*Retired number of Celtics Hall of Famer Larry Bird

Enough of that; back to my birthday celebration. We went to breakfast at IHOP and then went to the pool and I worked on my tan. I am so tan this summer y'all! :) Later that night we dropped the boys off at my parents house for the night (can I get an Amen for Grandparents?!)

Last year we started a tradition of going out with our besties Heather (in orange) & Brandon and Andrew & Whitney (in pink) (side note: Andrew is Bryan's cousin who married my good childhood friend Whitney). So last year we went to Federal Jack's in Kennebunkport:

This year we went to Salt Water Grille in South Portland.

It was a glorious summer night. Beautiful sunset.

It was good to feel the summer wind.

It's Monday once again and this week I'm thankful for so many things and I wanted to share them with you:

535. My birthday
536. Birthday dinner with friends
537. Sunset
538. Fresh cut flowers
539. Sweet birthday cards and messages
540. My parents for taking the boys overnight
541. Birthday money
542. VBS worksheets on the fridge
543. One week until Vermont Vacation
544. Lobsters & Steamers for lunch
545. Date night
546. Only getting 5 hours of sleep before church but oh so worth it
547. More new books

Psalm 139:17 ESV "How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them."

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Page From My Journal

During my quiet time with the Lord, I wrote that I love saying "My Kinsman-Redeemer" and then I began to search to find out WHY those words are so important to me. You can be sure that if you looked through my prayer journal, you would find these words written over and over again. The phrase brings joy to my heart. I've never done this before, but this post is a copy of what is written in my personal journal.

What exactly is a 'kinsman-redeemer'?

I'm so glad you asked because, quite frankly, I wanted to know...really know what it means. Redeemer in Hebrew is go'el which is translated 'kinsman-redeemer' meaning 'who had both rights and responsibilities for vindicating a family member.' The definition provided is compliments of my favorite Bible (ESV Study Bible). :)

Why do I love this phrase so much? Probably because it means that I have been bought back. My Kinsman-Redeemer is a rich benefactor who has bought me back and has freed me by paying a high ransom price. He has redeemed by lost opportunities, my freedom, my home, my family. He has rescued me from bondage. I am so thankful that Jesus Christ is my Kinsman-Redeemer. The One who was not only willing but also has the POWER to redeem. He has paid full price for my redemption. He won my salvation on the cross.

Job 19:25 ESV "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth."

Ruth 4:14 ESV Then the women said to Naomi; "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowed in Israel!"

Lord, you are the author of new life! I don't know where I would be without you. You truly are my Kinsman-Redeemer. You continue to amaze me. May your name be renowed in all the earth.

A New Heart

I started reading another book this week called Wild At Heart by John Eldredge. If you have a husband, or sons, or just want to know about the opposite sex, you MUST read this book. I cannot put it down to save my life! I'm currently wondering how I found time to write this post. Only kidding. Sort of. The book is sitting open next to me right now. :)

I wanted to share a portion of the book that spoke volumes to me yesterday. It can be found on page 133-34 that states, and I quote, "You have a new heart. That's the promise of the new covenant: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." (Ezek. 36:26-27). There's a reason it's called good news. Too many Christians today are living back in the old covenant. They've had Jeremiah 17:9 drilled into them and they walk around believing my heart is deceitfully wicked. Not anymore it's not. Read the rest of the book. In Jeremiah 31:33, God announces the cure for all that: "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people." Your heart is good." End quote.

I just felt prompted in my spirit to share that before I start my Monday list. For so long I've walked around like that, believing that my heart is sick and desperately wicked. I even considered in the past, taking down the art in my kitchen that says, "Follow Your Heart". I can follow my heart, because that is where God dwells and it is good. I follow my heart only as I follow Christ. Does that make sense? I am so thankful for redemption. Be sure to check back here on Wednesday for my post about redemption. You won't want to miss what I'm learning about that. It makes me so happy to type the word 'redemption'. I love knowing knowing that I've been bought back.

Ok, so enough about that. Once again I find myself having so very much to be thankful for. It's fun to share it. It's not something that should be kept inside. I want to tell of all the LORD has done for me. He is so good and He cannot lie. I love that about Him.

492. Heart Training
493. Nail pierced hands
494. The steadfast love of the Lord that never ceases
495. Mercies that never come to an end
496. The faithfulness of God
497. To show the world the likeness of Jesus
498. To guide my affections with discretion
499. To owe no many anything
500. Vacation Bible School
501. Jordan's blue blankie
502. Wild At Heart
503. Sailboats at the Marina
504. High temperatures outside
505. Pink Gerber Daisies
506. Bryan taking Brandon to play basketball
507. Bryan & Brandon going to the movies together
508. My new pink water bottle
509. The sound of the keys on the laptop
510. First things first
511. New recipes
512. Letting things go
513. A good heart

And there you have it for this week. I am over half way to my one thousand gifts; but at this rate, I don't ever want to stop. This is so much part of my life and I can't imagine not listing what I'm thankful for; both the beautiful and the not so much. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thanksgiving: Summer Edition

I have so much to be thankful for. Thanksgiving isn't just a holiday on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving is a lifestyle. I want it to be a part of my everyday. It's so important to be thankful. What would I be if I wasn't thankful? Lord, have mercy!

I sure do have a lot to share but today I just want to share my list of thanks. It's what makes Monday lovely.

429. Seeing Janet again after 5 years
430. Lobster rolls with my parents
431. Pizza & All-Star game with my parents
432. Children Classic's at Target for $1.00 each (Can I get an Amen for good deals?)
433. Sharing a moment with Jordan on his 5th birthday-telling him that God is going to use him and do great things in his life
434. A visit with my Aunt Linda & Uncle Ed from Massachusettes
435. Bryan's new job, raise and promotion with a new company
436. Swimming with Brandon
437. Watching Jordan swim wihtout floaties
438. Grandmother Earle-thankful that she is going to be ok
439. Homemade strawberry jam (Redemption after last year) :)
440. Ice cream cones with chocolate sprinkles
441. The baby bird nest & the two baby birds
442. The smell of sunscreen
443. Summertime in Maine
444. New beginnings
445. Fresh cut flowers on my kitchen table
446. Our new & powerful A/C
447. The sale of our Camry
448. Car insurance savings

It's nice to celebrate "Thanksgiving" everyday. It's even nicer to share it with you on Monday. Join in! I promise, you will be SO glad you did.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Good Sign

This was my Christmas present from my dear friend Heather. I've been meaning to add it to my blog for a few months now but each time I tried I couldn't locate the photo (did I mention I'm still learning how to use the Mac? Cuz I am. :) Anyway, this sign is lovely and it makes me happy every time I see it. Thank you Heather for your friendship, your kindness, your thoughtfulness. I just love you and am so thankful for you and our friendship! So glad God saw fit to have us meet 11 years ago. I'd be LOST without you and fun night wouldn't be fun without you, Brandon and Lia Grace!

Happy Friday y'all! I pray you all have a friend like my Heather! :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Source of All Happiness

The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions
By Aurthur Bennett

I love this book. I had never heard of this book until I listened to a CD called Voyage by Christine Dente. She is a favorite of mine and her newest CD was about this book. I fell in love with the CD and immediately bought the book. It's an oldie but goodie and the prayers are so beautiful and thought provoking. I personally love to read a prayer out loud each day and I think that today's is the best one I've read until I read the next day. I love when that happens. If you don't own either book or CD, definitely check them out. You will not be disappointed. You will be encouraged and strengthened and renewed in your love and pursuit of the One who loves and pursues you. I wanted to share the prayer that I read today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

God Enjoyed

Known, but beyond knowledge,
revealed, but unrevealed,
my wants and welfare draw me to thee,
for thou hast never said, "See ye me in vain'.
To thee I come in my difficulties, necessities, distresses;
possess me with thyself,
with a spirit of grace and supplication,
with a prayerful attitude of mind,
with access into warmth and fellowship,
so that in the ordinary concerns of life
my thoughts and desires may rise to thee,
and in habitual devotion I may find a resource that will
soothe my sorrows, sanctify my successes,
and qualify me in always for dealings with my fellow men.
I bless thee that thou hast made me capable
of knowing thee, the author of all being,
of resembling thee, the perfection of all excellency,
of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness.
O God, attend me in every part of my arduous and trying pilgrimage;
I need the same counsel, defence, comfort I found at my beginning.
Let me religion be more obvious to my conscience,
more perceptible to those around.
While Jesus is representing me in heaven, may I reflect him on earth,
While he pleads my cause, may I show forth his praise.
Continue the gentleness of thy goodness towards me,
and whether I wake or sleep, let thy presence go with me,
thy blessing attend me.
Thou hast led me on and I have found thy promises true,
I have been sorrowful, but thou hast been my help,
fearful, but thou has delivered me,
despairing, but thou has lifted me up.
Thy vows are ever upon me,
And I praise thee, O God.

Beautiful, isn't it? I just love it. I wanted to share so much with you my thoughts about this particular prayer but I find myself at a loss for words, which if you know me well, doesn't happen all too often. I will say this, I am drawn to the line that says, "thou hast made me capable of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness."

Truly, it is. Enjoying God is the source of ALL happiness and He has made us capable of enjoying Him.

Have you enjoyed God today?

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Start of Something Good


175 Days of School have come and gone. Can I get an Amen?

So here we are now experiencing summer vacation. YAY! It's a cool 72 degrees outside....but this is all new to me. Not the weather, ok, well maybe, since I live in New England but still. This summer vacation thing is brand new. I haven't had a "real" summer vacation since I was a teenager. This is my first summer without a job and having my kids home with me. What a year it's been. So thankful for grace. I'd be lost without it. I find myself a little nervous for the summer. We are once again down to one car and I'm not sure what to do with all my time. I was journaling on Thursday asking the Lord to help me use my time wisely. To be a good steward of the moments that I can never ever get back. I need to start each day with that thought in mind and remember His grace that is new every morning.

317. A walk on the beach
318. Crashing waves
319. The sun glimmering on the water
320. Spending time with my only brother and his lovely fiancee Brianna
321. Birds chirping in the early morning
322. Early morning walks
323. My new haircut
324. The last day of school
325. Summer vacation
326. Potty accident-after a week of being accident free :)I know he can do it!
327. Watching Brandon play baseball with such enthusiasm
328. Being haunted by God (thanks to Oswald Chambers):)
329. Repenting of worry, self-reliance, self-sufficieny and pride
330. Truly trusting God
331. Life hidden with Christ in God
332. Soul dwelling at ease
333. Abiding companionship of God
334. Book: Glimpse of Grace by Mary Forsythe
335. Not being lazy or procrastinating this summer
336. Doing the dishes even when I'd rather leave them for the next day
337. Jordan's nap
338. A hot shower after a long day
339. Reading a good book in bed after hot shower
340. Loneliness

"Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart." Psalm 119:111 ESV

Lord, you are the joy of my heart. I know you are with me and I'm never alone. I love you for that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Days Like This

Today was one of those days. We've all had them so I'm sure you can relate on some level. I let the forecast really bother me today. It's gray, cold and rainy and will be ALL WEEK LONG. Except for Saturday when it will just be gray and cold so that we can go sit at Brandon's baseball game for no less than 3 solid hours. See why I need to be grateful today? I need to remind myself that "as long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible" Thanks Ann VosKamp. I love her! :)

Side note: My husband just came in the room and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was writing a post for my blog and he goes, "You have one? Since when?" Then I said, "Yes, since last June." SWEET COMMUNICATION. Hi Bryan, nice to meet you. LOL



rain everyday this week
long days at home
freezing cold baseball games
Lia turning 3
meaningful friendships
enjoying my role at home
leaving notes in my husband's lunchbox
new music thanks to an itunes gift card from my brother Mike & Brianna
Homemade cards from my boys
Amazon box containing 5 new books (my Mother's Day gift)
both boys not eating dinner tonight
Courtney Joseph
reading to the boys before bed tonight
playing chutes and ladders-SuperHero Squard Edition
having dinner ready when Bryan gets home from the office
phone calls with Beth
dying to self
new ways of doing things
returning a purchase that was an impulsive one
summer book club (The Ministry of Motherhood)
weeping cherry tree that we are going to plant
good intentions

Praise the Lord that tomorrow is a new day. Rain or shine and I get to choose my attitude. Thanks to the VeggieTales Devotional For Boys for pointing that out to me tonight as I was putting the boys to bed. It's my choice. Lord, help me choose well.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

31 Days to Clean

Who wants a clean house? That isn't just the catch phrase for the popular TV show, "Clean House". Although, it is a great question to ask, the answer is even better. Why do we want a clean house? What motivates us to clean? My dear Sarah Mae of Like A Warm Cup of Coffee has offered up a challenge for the month of May. You can download her e book for $4.99 on Amazon Kindle or on her website

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

Today we are learning about ways to create a sense of "Put Your Feet Up" as part of the Mary Challenge and the Martha Challenge is to clean the microwave inside and out. I love this challenge. It's not about doing everything in one day and then having no extra time for anything else. I can be all or nothing at times so this challenge comes in handy for me personally.

I, like Sarah Mae, sometimes what to just quit when things don't go quite right or the way I have planned things. Lord, help me to press on and do hard things. She recently wrote about that on her blog and it resonated with my spirit. I have full confidence that if she and I knew each other in "real life" we would be kindred spirits and friends for life. I can relate to her on so many levels. She is a breath of fresh air and if you haven't read her blog, you are severely missing out. So, what are you waiting for?

For good clean fun go and check out her website. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

So Good

I had debated with not going to the Homeschool Convention last weekend because of a bunch different situations. It always seems that these sort of "situations" pop up when you ARE supposed to go somewhere. For me, it's this struggle....should I go or not...asking yourself this 100 times or more. It's like you want to go and when you get there, you are so thankful that you endured the problems and pain because the message was exactly what you needed.

Enter Dianne Craft.

She is a remarakable teacher and her research on Brain Integration Therapy is revoluntionary and is going to change our homeschooling for the better. The information is just what I need to hear. It's ok that my son is behind in math; it doesn't mean that he isn't smart. She shared that these are bright children with a glitch and one of their "gates" is blocked (auditory,visual,writing). It has given me so much hope. I thank the Lord for this word in due season. My precious child. I will do whatever it takes to help him feel successful in his efforts. I have never been more excited to homeschool and to take the time that is needed to invest in him. He's a joy to me. We were working this morning on the Writing Eight exercise and he said to me, "Mom, you are so calm." Thank you Lord. Help me to be calm everyday. Help me to give him the time he deserves. All other things can wait. Such revelation! Amen!

So it's Monday again. I love Monday's. Being grateful and thankful is where it's at y'all. If you haven't started your list of 1000 gifts, what are you waiting for? Join me. You will be so glad you did.

144. Brain Integration Therapy & The Biology of Behavior
145. Dianne Craft
146. Homeschool Convention
147. New Ideas
148. Giving Beth her own copy of OTG
149. Letting go of hurts
150. Releasing people that have hurt me & my family
151. Communion service at church
152. Texting Sharon all weekend in Shakesperian
153. Words with Friends App (how have I lived without this? lol)
154. Going to the park with Brandon
155. Playing baseball with Brandon
156. Encouraging him while working on school work
157.20 days of school left
158. Having a playdate with a friend and her kids tomorrow (YAY)!
159. Proverbs 25:28
160. A day with just Brandon
161. Fingerpainting
162. Letting go even more
163. New Cirriculum for September
164. Abundant life that is found in Him
165. Creativity

Lord, you are SO good. I just love You.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Multitudes on Monday on Wednesday :)

This song is my prayer. I would sing it if I could. I can't, so I will show you the Youtube video of someone who CAN sing. :)

I'm getting ready to attend the MassHope Homeschooling Convention on Friday and Saturday. I am leaving tomorrow night with 3 other friends are am looking forward to learn ways to make homeschooling fun...for next year. Ahem! My goal is finish this year strong. We have about 24 days left(but who's counting?) and then the planning begins. I love to plan so don't feel bad for me.

I missed my update on Monday as I was preparing for a funeral out of town. I have been adding to my one thousand gifts lift and wanted to share a couple here:

107. Grace that knows no end
108. Choosing worship over worry
109. Intimate fellowship
110. No sweeter name than the name of Jesus
111. Praying for my husband over the phone
112. Faith-mustard seed size
113. Overflowing peace
114. Warrior Prayers (thanks, Brooke) :)
115. Speaking the Word outloud
116. Learning to trust
117. Crown of Thorns
118. Kindness that leads to repentance
119. Redemption (thank you, Jesus) :)
120. Personal Revival
121. Open hearts
122. Unity
123. The passion of the Christ, our Lord
124. Ears to hear
125. A burning heart
126. To be ready in and out of season (thank you, Oswald Chambers) :)
127. Responding to who He is

God is so faithful and I love living for Him.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Example

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in rememberance of Me." Luke 22:19 ESV

In everything give thanks. What an example we have in Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Always giving thanks, in all things. (Ephesians 5:20 NASB) Lord, help me to be more like you. Searching for You in the everyday. Aching to be filled by You.

60. Homemade macaroni & cheese, bubbling & gooey
61. Audrey Assad's new CD (The House You Are Building)
62. Not comparing myself to others
63. The possibility of a part-time job
64. Gas prices $3.72/gallon
65. Finishing our homeschool year well
66. Budding tulips in the flowerbed
67. The crisp spring breeze

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Full of Grace


Unmerited favor.

Amazing Grace.

Melissa, Full of Grace.

That's me. Melissa Ann. No e at the end, just Ann. I had never known what my middle name meant until I picked up a copy of Ann Voskamp's book called One Thousand Gifts. It was the first page I read, page 9 and I quote, "Could a name be any shorter? Three letters without even the flourish of an e. Ann, a trio of curves and lines. It means 'full of grace'."

Cue the choir of angels. It was an epic moment for me. Me- sweet and full of grace. Really?

I have been wanting to write a post about this book but I have found myself at a loss for words. It's hard to explain, really. You have to read the book for yourself. I mean, come on people, it's a New York Times Best Seller! :)

If I'm being honest, I really don't know how I found out about this book. I am an avid reader. I just love it. I got that book, had no idea what it was about but when I received it in the mail, I started reading and couldn't put it down. I am so thankful that I read this book. It has changed my life, my heart and my perspective. It's like the things I've known in my head have made their way into my heart and suddenly, everything makes sense. This book was the missing puzzle piece for me.

I'm currently on #57 and I'm pretty sure that won't make sense to you until you read the book for yourself. Please check out and be sure to check out the link at the top of this post and watch the trailer for the book. It's a pretty good way to spend 4 minutes of your life.

I've wanted to share all this book means to me, but I find myself at a loss for words. Sometimes, there are no words for things.

Like right now.

And I'm ok with that.

With a thankful heart,

Thursday, January 13, 2011


1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
Brandon: Time for school
Jordan: Little Bear

2. What makes Mommy happy?
B: When I finish school
J: When I do the right thing

3. What makes Mommy sad?
B: When I complain about school
J: When I yell

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
B: I don't know? How, Mom?
J: I don't know

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
B: ?
J: Girliness

6. How old is Mommy?
B: 31
J: 32

7. How tall is Mommy?
B: 3.5 I guess
J: 5 inches

8. What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?
B: I don't know
J: Play stuff with us and do the dishes

9. What does Mommy do when you're not around?
B: Skype
J: Color

10: If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
B: Children
J: Kids

11. What is Mommy really good at?
B: Working Out
J: Taking care of people

12. What is Mommy not good at?
B: Playing the Wii
J: Playing Star Wars

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
B: Stays home with us kids
J: I don't know

14. What is Mommy's favorite food?
B: Multigrain Cheerios
J: Lasagna

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
B: For staying home with me
J: You make cookies for us and I scoff them right up

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
B: Candice Flynn (Phinneas & Ferb's sister)
J: Pebbels Flinestone

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
B: Color
J: Color and read stories

18. How are you and Mommy alike?
B: Same eyes
J: Same eyes

19. How are you and Mommy different?
B: You are bigger than me
J: Different hair

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
B: When you smile at me
J: You tell me

21. Where is Mommy's favorite place to go?
B: Bed, Bath & Beyond
J: Weddings

Happy 2011!