Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heard 'round here (Tucker version)

Just a few of the many things heard 'round this house recently:

While listening to a Christian rapper on the Dove Awards rap the phrase "Jesus saved me from this old world" Tucker announced proudly "That's what Jesus did for me!" (PSA- Tucker accepted Christ as his Savior on April 15...more in a separate post)

"Mom, can I have a jar of peanut butter for a snack?"

"I have schoolitus."

"Can I shoot that butterfly with my nerf gun?"

"I need a raise."

After completing the last few pages of math in one of Savannah's old first grade textbooks he says "That was fun. Can we do it again tomorrow?"

He certainly keeps things interesting around here!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Scream - You Scream - We All Scream

For several years I have wanted to have porch parties. The kind where on any given summer evening I post on Facebook or text friends or call family to join us for an informal dessert party. I'm finally in a house with a great back porch and yard and now....I have this Ice Cream, Sorbet and Frozen Yogurt Maker....well, I've paid for it...I'm waiting for delivery now....impatiently, I might add.

I've pinned no less than 3 jillion ice cream recipes on pinterest. Here's a sampling:

Source: weheartit.com via Gina on Pinterest

I can't tell you how glad I am to finally be putting feet to this sweet time of friendship and fellowship. I'm looking forward to seeing many of you on my back porch this summer...don't dress up...and wear something cool...'cause this IS Texas and even ice cream can't beat the heat completely!

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? Do you like frozen yogurt or sorbet better than ice cream? Got any good recipes? Feel free to give me some feedback on your homemade goodness experiences!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shedding a Bitter Spirit

Lately I've been learning a few things about myself. That verse: Search me oh God and know my heart....yep, that one...has been on my mind for days..weeks really. I've tried to shove it to the back of my mind sort of, but really, in all honesty, I'm ready to deal with it. I'm tired of feeling trapped by hurts, insecurities, bitterness and overall unforgiveness. In reality it has been taking its toll. I feel it in my heart an soul and it unsettles me and makes me feel every feeling, every hurt, every gut wrenching moment again and again. Have you ever been there?

The truth: my heart has been bitter. I've managed to juggle it, but in the daily effort to walk with the Lord, He reveals by the light of His Words and the Spirit of His holiness just how far I am from really walking with Him....really knowing Him....really abiding in Him. It's an ugly but beautiful picture I see in my head. The one of me with my ugly burden of bitterness...my back crouched low under the weight of this besetting sin....the look of weariness and lost hope and pain...the muddied streak of tears staining my face...and there...right there...is this Savior...ready to save me from myself...from my sin...from the very weight that brings me to my knees. His hand reaches....not for just me...but for my burden...He removes it with ease....wipes my tears....helps me to my feet....And with great hope I take hold of His promise to bury my sin....to bear my burden....to let me lean into Him and learn of Him...His ways...His character...His Word.

And for the first time in a long time....I have peace. Real peace. The kind that Satan wants to fight...but I'm holding tight to the Peace Giver. That burden I carried wasn't mind to bear. It was sin. And in these days of such sweeter communion I am convinced that living with my embittered heart was as bad a living with a physical heart condition. Life threatening to my spiritual health.

Matthew 11:30 - My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

“There is only one way of victory over the bitterness and rage that comes naturally to us--To will what God wills brings peace.” 

 Amy Wilson-Carmichael

Whatever God wills....sometimes that's a tough pill to swallow...but when I grasp a small idea of His deep love for me, I better understand that His will is all I want....forever and ever. I'm thankful He has made a way for me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

After the Drought

Over the last few summers we have experienced a historical drought. In my little 1/2 acre of the world that means we lost 13 great pines...each over 150 feet tall, 10 boxwood shrubs and many perennials. It has been a sad thing to witness.

So today...I started in the front yard...planning, replanting, cultivating. Bruce and I had both worked last week to get the beds cleaned out and the last of the dead stuff pulled or cut out. Today began the new planting season. 

This guy was my little helper all day!
Red and yellow is our color scheme
This is Tucker's climbing tree. He picked the flowers to go under it!
Still need to mulch...maybe Friday?

An old birthbath turned flower container

I spray painted this bench from barn red to this grassy green color.
I hope to enjoy some time out here before it get's too hot!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Cleaning the Heart and the Home

In our household, we've spent the last two weeks doing some pretty big spring cleaning. After being closed up for months during late fall and winter, the house has been aired out, closets cleaned, pillows fluffed, toys decluttered...you get the picture. To be honest, I don't really enjoy doing these chores...although that doesn't stop me from seeing the necessity of doing them. It's just the time and energy and motivation it takes that makes spring cleaning less than desirable. 

The same is true for my heart. So many times my heart gets cluttered, cobwebby, dirty and stuffy. I get too "busy"....too lazy....too comfortable in my little world, that I wait until things are out of control before I go to the Father for my heart spring cleaning. I make excuses....too busy, minimizing my sin, denial, even shrugging it off. But just as my house doesn't clean itself...neither does my heart..and eventually, when I look into the deep corners (and sometimes I don't have to even look that carefully), I see the harsh reality of self. 

Today is Good Friday, a beautiful day to meditate on the beauty of the cross. The forgiveness, the sacrifice, the sinless Savior, the scapegoat for my sin, the selfless exhibition of perfection dying for filth, unconditional love, pure blood washing my infected sin away, cleansing. As I reflect on the brutal, life-saving death of Jesus and all (that I can comprehend) that He has done for me, I'm challenged to live a cleaner life because I have been saved from so much. To live more humbly, because I see (dimly) what Jesus did for me. To live with love leading because that's what His example shows....Love covers a multitude of sin....mine, yours...the worlds. 

What a good Friday!