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.