Thursday, February 23, 2012

He is all I need

I have recently been reading Tim Kellers book Counterfeit Gods. I'm only on Chapter 5 but I thought I would give it a shout out seeing as it is phenomenal!  Each chapter looks at a Biblical character and shows the idol that managed to hold captive that persons life till they saw their greatest need- CHRIST! It has rocked my world and caused me to examine my heart and root out those idols that are holding it captive.

"We tend to think that idols are bad things, but that is almost never the case. The greater the good, the more likely we are to expect that it can satisfy our deepest needs and hopes."

How true this is! God daily loads me with blessings and I can take those blessings and think that those things or people are making me happy, rather than realizing the only true fulfillment I can gain is from Christ!
I love how Abrahams story is unfolded. We all remember how he longed for a son in his old age. We see how God blessed him with a good and long awaited gift, Isaac! I have met several women who have LONGED for a child and have not been able to conceive. I see the pain in their eyes when they hold a friend's baby. I hear the sadness in their voices when they talk about how very much they want a little baby to hold and love. I have seen that longing and I can only imagine the joy and gratitude and excitement when the angel told Abraham that he would finally have a child! What a good gift! And then we see the ultimate test of faith when God tells Abraham to take his only son, the one for which he had longed for for years and sacrifice him. Seems so cruel and harsh.

"God was not trying to find out if Abraham loved him (God) . The All-Seeing God knows the state of every heart. Rather, God was putting Abraham through the furnace , so his love for God could finally 'come forth as pure gold'. It is not hard to see why God was using Isaac as a means for this. If God had not intervened, Abraham would have certainly come to love his son more than anything in the world, if he did not do so already. That would have been idolatry and all idolatry is destructive. From this perspective we see that God's extremely rough treatment of Abraham was actually merciful." 

And then I love how this story takes the emphasis off the man and points to Christ, the perfect sacrifice!
"Now I know that you love me, because you did not withhold your only son from me. God was not only saying this to Abraham but also to the world! Because years later another Father would walk another "mount" called Calvary with his firstborn and offer Him there for us all."

I looked at the story of Abraham with new eyes. How God knows that I will often place my hopes, happiness, fulfillment and joy in my family. They are good gifts from a loving Father but they are not what satisfies. Christ is! If they were all taken away, Christ is still all I need! Hard words to write.
The last few weeks I have heard  tragic stories of loss and illness. A missionary family experiencing the loss of their little 3 year old  girl who was killed in a car accident a few days ago. A husband whose wife has a deadly brain tumor and is preparing to die and say goodbye to her 2 toddler sons. So many people we know struggling with cancer. Heart-wrenching stories and stories that pepper my heart with fear and questions about how I would respond if it happened to me. My 7 year old asked me this week, "Mom, does God give cancer. Why does he do that?" I answered with tears in my eyes that He is good and "He gives and takes away- Blessed be the name of the Lord!" He is enough. He needs to be enough because those good gifts could be snatched away any moment and my faith put to the test.  I have personally never walked through those dark, deep trials but I know some day I will. And I pray today for strength in the future to say "Blessed be the name of the Lord". I am encouraged as I see believers walking right now through death and illness saying, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." What a reminder to me that- Christ is all I need!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

$5 Tuesdays

SO glad that Valentines Day fell on a Tuesday because at Southglenn (5 minutes from our house) Tuesday is $5 night! Yes, you heard that right- movies at Hollywood theatre are $5 ALL DAY AND NIGHT and a really fun restaurant- Bar Louies has a special where all their specialty burgers are $5! So thats just what we did!
We usually do not go out on Valentines Day because it is just very crowded and its hard to find a babysitter, but thanks to some pretty awesome teenagers who suggested that they watch our kids and we go out, we were able to enjoy a very fun and cheap date night:) THANK YOU- Jamie, Tyler, Kelley and Brooke!
Just in case you dont like any hints before seeing a movie- you might want to skip this next part:) Although you will still be surprised even if you read my little blurb below! The movie had lots of twists and turns!
We watched The Vow. I LOVED that is was based off a true story and was even happier that the real life couple are married today and have 2 children even though she never regained her memory. I like to think that if I lost my memory of Mark and I meeting and our marriage and friendship that I would still honor my commitment to him in marriage and that even if the love feelings weren't there, I would still remain in the marriage and work on loving him again! Im sure that easier said than done.
And a side note- they show the husbands back side in the movie that is rated PG-13! I was shocked and  I guess we should have researched the movie a bit more to have found that out before we went. But I didn't know they can have partial nudity in a PG-13 movie - how very sad. I am cringing for the day my kiddos are teenagers- I will have to do TONS of research before allowing them to any movie at all... if the age they expose peoples backsides is 13!!!! makes me so mad. How in the world does showing his bottom help the plot of the story at all- totally unnecessary!
Anyhow, it was so very nice to have a date with Mark, my amazing husband and enjoy good conversation with the man I will spend my life loving- memory or not!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I {HEART} Valentines Day! So many wonderful childhood memories of little sweets, notes from my dad, special treats from my mom, hugs, flowers from boys, making Valentines and handing them out at school, hoping that the boy you liked wrote something more then just his name on your card, wearing red and pink, balloons! I love it! Its fun and I try to recreate that fun with the kiddos!
I found lots of inspiration on Pinterest this year and wish I could have created more but was happy with the things we did get to make!
Here are everyones Valentines this year...
Elijah only has a few little buddies so this BuggyValentine was cute, easy and cheap to recreate! Next year when he is in preschool we will have to mass produce:)
 Ellas were very last minute- I couldn't think of a good idea but we made these with chocolate coins from the dollar store and she loved them!
      Arianna made these from glow sticks at the dollar store. Super easy to print, cut and tape!

Sophia made these and these are by far my favorite. The mustaches were supposed to be chocolate on a stick but alas, my chocolate mold that I ordered online over 11 days ago still has not arrived even when it said that the estimated delivery (when I ordered it) was Feb 10th! Anyway, I had to improvise and so felt mustaches it was!  attached to a little Sticky thingy- it was perfect!

And the kids LOVED wearing there mustaches around the house today! 

Every year I deliver a balloon to the kids school for a little surprise! I made them a special little lunch with heart shaped sandwiches and strawberries:) So fun! And they turned out better than my heart shaped blobs of pancakes this morning !

SOOO grateful for these little cuties! They fill my heart with such joy and their little giggles, laughs, stories, and quirks make me smile! I'm glad I have yet another day to show them that they are special to me and I love them!
Tonight, Mark and I are going out and are so blessed to have 4 of Marks students come over to babysit for free (well, I do have to make them a meal and dessert but thats a GREAT deal!)! Being a teacher certainly has its perks- nice to have lots of teenagers around!
I'll post pictures of me and my valentine tomorrow! REALLY looking forward to dinner and a movie tonight with a handsome man by my side!!
Also spent some time today contemplating Christs love for me displayed by His death on the cross- what LOVE! What a beautiful example He leaves for me to demonstrate a selfless, sacrificial, serving kind of love towards God and others!
Happy {HEART} day everyone! 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

20 inches of the fluffy stuff!

 Yep, you read that right! Right around 20 inches fo the fluffy powdery stuff called snow! 
And it gave us a 3 day weekend! How cool is that! 
Mark took the kiddo out to play on Friday and I cleaned, purged and organized all day! 
We did get time for 2 movies in there:) 
The Debt and Contagion- both really good movies! 

 I also made these yummy
They were amazing! They were pretty simple overall and tasted just like the soft pretzels you get at sports games but better! I will definitely make them again. They made ALOT so I tried to freeze a third of the bites when they are just dough and see if I can follow the steps after that and if they still taste as awesome. Hope so because that means that I can make a bunch ahead of time, freeze them and pull them out and finish them in little batches at a time as needed. 
I found them on PINTEREST the coolest thing on the web in my opinion! If you need an invite just let me know and you can get addicted! 
Yesterday Mark and I were able to go out to dinner on a date and then walk around Target for an hour just us- it was the best! Just me and my hubby cruising the aisles. He even went into the ladies clothes with me and looked at stuff I liked! We walked out an hour later and bought nothing but it was the greatest hour I spent in Target this past month! I just love my husband and am honored he chose me!

I have a busy week coming up and am praying for grace and wisdom as I enter it! Today at church Bobby talked about I Thessalonians 5: 16-18- Some pretty short simple verses but just what I needed when I thought about the week coming up!

That doesnt mean I have to be happy every moment this week but I need to have a spirit of joy and contentment in Christ always on my mind and face! Why? Because He has redeemed me! I have Christ! If all else was taken away, I could still rejoice because HE IS ALL I NEED!

Come to Him in prayer because of what He has done for me on the cross. He wants my good through all circumstances.  No matter how much I disappoint Him this week, He loves me and delights in me! WOW! Why wouldn't I want to talk to Him this week every moment I can- it doesn't have to be long winded prayers in the quiet of my room at the crack of dawn.. it can be as I am walking the kids to school every day, as I drive along to Ellas preschool in the morning, as I sip my coffee while the kids are just waking up, as I whisper to Him in my mind when I am struggling to be patient with my children... little moments spent talking to my Lord and casting my cares, dreams, hopes at His feet! 

This is definitely a work of grace for a believer! Its hard to see hurts, annoyances, struggles as good things! But we can! Things/People do not satisfy because they didnt die for us! Only Christ truly satisfies all those desires in my soul because HE died for me! When I realize that, I can give thanks in good days and in dark days because again, 

Wow! Amazing truths for me to think and ponder about this week!