Friday, October 30, 2009

The Week In Review

Monday - The day began with me sneezing so much I was sure my nose was gonna fall off my face. Since we'd been to the park the day before for our church's Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, I figured it was my allergies. I had plenty to do around the house, especially laundry. I'd fallen behind on everything thanks to jury duty the week before, so I had alot of catching up to do. By the end of the day my throat was feeling scratchy. I chalked that up to allergies, too.

Tuesday - The sneezing calmed down, but my throat was sore and I had a dry cough. Now I knew it wasn't just allergies; my husband had caught a cold and was feeling pretty miserable, and obviously I'd caught it. I didn't focus on it too much, though. Hubby had been to the doctor the day before, but basically all he has is a virus. I loaded him with Theraflu which helped him sleep. It was what his body needed, because he hadn't been able to sleep for 2 nights. Once he got some rest he began to feel better.

Wednesday - As hubby got stronger, I got worse. The coughing made my back and chest hurt. I was wheezing by the end of the day, requiring a nebulizer treatment. The stuffy nose was coming back too. I knew it wasn't the flu; I've had the flu before and this was coming on too slowly. But I had a low grade fever the entire day, so I knew my body was fighting off something. Thankfully there was no Awana due to a pastor's conference. I wouldn't have been able to go anyway, but this way my son wasn't disappointed.

Thursday - Bad night's sleep. Even with the vaporizer in the room I was congested. I knew at this point I couldn't fight this one on my own. I called the doctor and was able to see her in the early afternoon. Turns out, not only do I have bronquitis, but I'm anemic again. That explains why I'm feeling so weak and why this virus has hit me worse than my hubby. Antibiotics, nebulizer treatments, and some vitamins should help knock this one out. Still, I went to E's Cub Scout meeting. He earned the Bobcat badge and a badge for the first campout. He was so thrilled. The kids went in costume because it's 2 days before Halloween. I let my son dress up for Halloween so long as it's not anything evil. This year he's Bumblebee, one of the Transformers.

Friday - Slept better last night, though I still feel pretty weak. I'm also not as hungry as I usually am, but I think it's all the medicines that make my stomach feel yucky. I'm so thankful E doesn't have school today (it's a teacher's planning day). I hope to get plenty of rest today, because tonight is growth groups and I want to be there. I know, I should stay home and rest, but our group is so great I hate to miss it. Pray that I have the strength to get there tonight for our study of Proverbs - tonight it's joy verses anger.

I'm hoping for a restful and healing weekend. We have baptisms on Sunday at church, which is always a special time. I'm also teaching in children's church this week, so I want to feel better. I love teaching the children.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich."
- Proverbs 28:6

How is success measured? Most people will tell you that success is the equivalent of a person's monetary value; if you have lots of money, you're successful. If you possess real estate, you're successful. A striving business, a promising career. All these things spell "success".

Yet we forget the words found in Luke 12:20 - "But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'" We can acquire many things while we are here on earth: money, material possessions, what the world would call "riches". But what are they worth once we leave this life? In heaven they are worthless. Those that put all their energy into gaining riches, regardless of how they do it, find in the end that these riches will do them no good, and someone else will enjoy it all once they're gone.

Does this mean we shouldn't have money? No. Does it mean we can't own anything? Not at all. But these shouldn't be the things we are after in life. Why not follow the advise found in Proverbs 22:1 instead? "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold." Those are the things that money can't buy. They're priceless.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"He who is full loathes honey,
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet."
- Proverbs 27:7

Ever have a big, delicious meal and eaten so much that you have to pass up on dessert? Even your very favorite treat becomes unappetizing on a full stomach.

On the flip side, ever been so hungry you'd eat just about anything? My mom would wait till we were starved before introducing a new food. She knew if we were hungry enough we'd try it, and have a better chance of liking it.

The same goes for our hearts. When Jesus fills that space inside us that only He can fill, we don't need to go searching for anything else. We're full and content, like a baby after 20 minutes of nursing. There's that smile that comes from a feeling of satisfaction. A full heart is a happy heart.

Then there's the heart that doesn't have Jesus. There's a big empty hole that aches, and try as we may to fill it up with something else, like relationships, money, careers, and the like, nothing sticks. So we look for other things in hopes that they'll work: alcohol, drugs, or other illicit pleasures. These activities leave a bitter taste in the mouth, yet people continue to go back to them. Why? Because of a hunger that can't be satisfied. A hunger that can only be quenched by Jesus.

Are you hungry? Really hungry? Have you found that none of the things you've tried takes that hunger away? Then give Jesus a chance. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.


Too Funny...

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Early Birthday Gift

This is one of those stories where everyone says "Awwww" at the end. The good kind of aww.

As I've mentioned before, my husband works in the food industry. I tell him that as long as people eat, he has a job. For the most part this has been true; his sales may fluctuate from one month to the next but there's never been a time when he hasn't been able to make enough money to pay the bills. We're very thankful for that.

Still, the economy being what it is, his company has looked for ways to save money. Recently they switched cell phone companies. The contract the company had with Cingular expired, and they decided to go with Metro PCS. Yes, the service is less expensive, but it has its drawbacks.

As sales supervisor my husband has several salesmen working under him who he speaks with regularly while on the road. He also speaks with clients, supermarket owners and managers. So he spends alot of time on the phone. The issue he began having with the new service company is that inside the stores (especially in the freezer section, where most of his products are) he couldn't get a signal. This meant that his sales force couldn't get a hold of him, nor could his customers. He was also embarrassed every time someone from the competition was around and saw my hubby having to walk out the store just so he could make a phone call. It was hindering his productivity, and he wasn't happy.

At home, we've had Sprint for our phone service for several years and are happy with them. My hubby spoke with his bosses and asked if it were possible to switch his work phone over to our home phone service, with the company paying him whatever they were paying Metro PCS. He explained the problems he was having, and the company agreed to his request. So my hubby called Sprint and worked out a good plan with them that would work for his job and our personal phones.

A couple of days after he'd told me about this, I received an email from Sprint verifying the purchase of a new phone. Sprint has my email address on file, so anytime a change is made they send me an email. Since my hubby had already told me he was adding his work phone to our account, I figured he was upgrading his phone also. I printed the email without really reading it, and left it on his nightstand. When hubby came home, he asked what the paper was for. I told him Sprint had emailed me a confirmation of his order and I'd printed it for him. He became very serious. "Why did they email you? I'm the one that placed the order." I explained that my email is the one they have on file. "But I never told them to email anything. What did they have to do that for?" I told him Sprint's system does it automatically, whether he requests an email or not. I couldn't understand why he was so upset about it. Then he told me. "I was buying you a new phone for Christmas, and Sprint ruined my surprise." Since I hadn't read the email, I didn't notice there were two phones ordered, one for him to use for work and an additional one. It was so sweet! I laughed because he was pouting like a little kid all because his surprise was discovered.

Now that I knew about the phone, my hubby asked me to fill out the paperwork for the rebate offers. Turns out, to qualify for the rebates the phones need to be activated by November 14. Since that's exactly a month before my birthday, we agreed the phone would be an early birthday gift. I get to learn how to use my burgundy Blackberry Curve now, and hopefully I'll have gotten the hang of it by the time my birthday rolls around. Thanks for my early gift, honey!

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, October 26, 2009...

Outside my window...the sun shines brightly and there isn't much of a breeze. The cold front we got last week has come and gone, and summer weather is back. I liked the reprieve. We're hoping to get another one soon.

I am thinking...about all the things I need to get done around the house because I was out of the house most of last week and this weekend. So much for being a "stay at home" mom!

I am thankful...for the announcement our pastor made yesterday at the volunteer appreciation picnic. Can't post about it yet - top secret! But it's so exciting to see what God is doing in and through our church.

I am olive green t-shirt, pale blue capris and sandals. Doesn't sound like fall attire, does it?

I am remembering...the young man convicted of armed robbery. I continue to pray for his repentance.

I am creating...a cleaner neater home today. I have to. I can't stand it when the house is messy.

I am reading...Romans for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, Proverbs for growth groups. I started reading The Edge of Darkness by Francine Rivers but I haven't had time to get past the intro. It's been a hectic week.

I am husband's insomnia goes away. He hasn't been able to sleep which makes him irritable (understandably so). Need to find some natural way to help him get some sleep.

On my mind...the pile of laundry I need to get to. Today.

From the learning rooms...I had a very productive meeting with E's teachers on Friday. They are listening to me (unlike last year's teachers) and are encouraging strategies to help E with reading comprehension. I'm so glad to finally have someone believe that my son needs additional help.

I am noticing birthday is less than 2 months away. Where did this last year go?!?!

I am pondering these words...from the song "Beautiful King" by Danyew: "Every word that you say wields the beauty of angels. Every smile is arrayed with a joy like wedding bells. It's my heart you hold. Of your mystery I sing. I will stand and behold my Beautiful King."

From the kitchen...tilapia today. With noodles and salad. Ate too much this weekend, so I need to keep it light today.

Around the house...I'll be running around getting things done today. Laundry mostly.

One of my favorite playing worship songs while driving. South Florida traffic can be a nightmare, but when I'm praising my King, it's like the traffic isn't even there.

A few plans for the rest of the week: there's no Awana this week because of a pastor's convention. Thursday the Cub Scouts will have their Halloween costumes and we'll be going to a local park. E gets his Webelos badge this week which is pretty exciting. Growth groups on Friday, then we'll see what the weekend brings.

From my picture journal...we went to a birthday party at Boomers on Saturday and my son was able to ride a go cart solo for the first time. The smile on his face could not be wiped off for hours. At least not until it was time to go home.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Observing My Senses

For Today, October 24, 2009...

I am seeing...on and off rain. The cold front we got at the beginning of the week has left us, and the temperatures have gone back up to the 80's, though not as much humidity till today.

I am feeling...thankful for the many blessings I receive from my Lord.

I am tasting...lemonade, which I drink a lot of.

I am hearing...Saturday morning cartoons. Brings back memories.

I am smelling...banana nut muffins that just came out of the oven. The whole house smells delicious!

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

The Week in Review

Boy, has this been an eventful week! I haven't blogged as much as I would have liked, only because I was on busy mode the whole week. Of course for blogging purposes it was pretty monotonous.

Monday - I reported promptly at 8:00am at the courthouse for jury duty. This meant getting up at 5:25am so I could get my son up, prepare breakfast and lunch (I took a packed lunch to the courthouse) and heading out the door by 6:30am. My son didn't have school on Monday, but thankfully grandma stayed with him. I met my cousin at the courthouse, because surprisingly we both got called for jury duty the same day. What are the odds! By 9:40 she'd been called, and I had to wait till 10:30. Jury selection began, but it's very slow. I kept trying not to nod off, since I was tired and the jury selection process is pretty boring. Imagine my surprise when I was chosen to serve! I was sure they'd pass me by just because I looked like I was half asleep! The attorneys began opening arguments the same day, and we didn't get out till 5:30pm. I was exhausted. One good thing, though: I met a pastor's wife there. I was so glad; it meant I wouldn't be the only one looking at this case from a biblical point of view.

Tuesday - I was supposed to be at the courthouse by 9:00am, but due to having to drop my son off at school and getting into major traffic, I didn't get there till 9:30am. I felt awful, because everyone was waiting for me. The case began. Armed robbery. I posted about this in my previous post, so I won't go into detail except to say that several of us were in agreement that this young man needed prayer. I'm thankful for our God who gives second chances. I pray this young man will seek His forgiveness.

Because the judge had another trial, we were dismissed at 2:30pm. This gave me time to go home and prepare enough food for 3 days, since I knew I was going back the next day. My son and I had Burger King on Monday, and it didn't exactly agree with me. I don't eat much fast food, so my stomach doesn't appreciate it. Besides, there's nothing like giving my family a home cooked meal.

Wednesday - The trial finally ended. Although we agreed the evidence proved the young man guilty, no one was happy about it. At 20 years old, it's difficult to send someone to prison. But that is the consequence of crime. He's still young; I pray he'll turn his life around. We were dismissed at 1:45pm but by the time I got home it was 3:00pm. Just in time to say goodbye to my oldest son as he headed off to work.

E and I went to church that night. It was Harvest-fest at Awana. Games, activities, crafts, lots of fun. The kids didn't want to leave. I went to Bible study, which I desperately needed after 3 days of trial. Pastor is doing a series on Praying like Jesus. It was so refreshing.

Thursday - My first day at home all week. I did a bunch of laundry which had piled up, plus gave the kitchen and family room a good cleaning. I was thankful to get a chance to catch up on home matters. We went to Cub Scouts at night, but I mostly just sat there and watched the boys. I was only too happy to relax for a while.

Friday - After grocery shopping I met with E's teachers. What a difference from last year! His teacher is in agreement with me that E needs to be tested for a learning disability. She has other children in her class with issues, so she seems better equipped to deal with the situation. Both his teachers listened to my concerns and we're working on ways to help E with reading and writing skills. Thank the Lord for these wonderful teachers!

We had 12 women last night at growth groups. What a blessing! It seems the group grows every week. Lots of participation, too. It's very diverse; I have teenagers, young single women, married women with small children and married women with grown children. The beauty of the book of Proverbs is that it's relevant to everyone. It was an amazing night and the Holy Spirit was in full force feeding us from the Word. Another refreshing night.

My week isn't over, either. I just pulled some banana nut muffins out of the oven (yes, baked from scratch; the bananas were over-ripe and I don't like throwing them out). In a little while E and I are heading out to Boomers for a birthday party he was invited to. We'll have the rest of the afternoon to rest. Tomorrow after church is the Volunteer Appreciation picnic at a nearby park. I volunteer in several ministries, not because we get a picnic ;-) but because it is such a blessing, to others and to myself. I'm looking forward to it and praying it doesn't rain.

I hope everyone has a joyous weekend. God bless!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Do not eat the bread of the stingy;
do not desire their delicacies;
for like a hair in the throat, so are they.
'Eat and drink!' they say to you;
but they do not mean it.
You will vomit up the little you have eaten,
and you will waste your pleasant words."
- Proverbs 23:6-8, NRSV

Ever had the unfortunate circumstance of swallowing a hair? It causes an annoying tickle in the throat that will immediately trigger the gag reflex. It's fairly accurate to say the experience is not pleasant.

God compares this nasty sensation to dealing with a stingy person. The reason for this is because stingy people are hypocrites; they offer without really wanting to offer. Ever had someone ask you, "You don't want any of this, do you?" You automatically answer no even if you want to say yes, because the offer is in the negative. I remember my grandmother, who would never ask a person if they wanted something to eat or drink; she just served whoever came to her house. Her explanation was, "If you ask, you do so in the hopes they'll say no." There is no genuine desire to share, just the desire to appear generous.

What's the problem with stinginess? It fails to acknowledge the real owner of everything we have. Nothing we have is ours; the proof is in the fact that we don't take it with us when we die. Everything stays behind for someone else to enjoy (or discard). When we realize and accept that everything in our possession is only temporarily ours, that all belongs to God and He, in His generosity, has allowed us to enjoy it, there is no logical reason for us to hoard anything. Just as He shares with us, so we must do with others. After all it's just stuff, until it blesses someone else.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge
or puts up security for debts;
if you lack the means to pay,
your very bed will be snatched from under you."
- Proverbs 22:26-27

In these tough economic times, we may feel tempted to help someone who is having trouble getting a loan by co-signing for them. Did you know that the Bible tells us not to do this? Many are surprised to find that God is against putting up security for another person's debts. Why is that?

For the co-signer, the message is simple: if the loan cannot be paid by the principal borrower, the debt then falls on the co-signer. What happens if you have debts of your own that you need to take care of? The finance company doesn't care. You made a promise to pay, and if you don't it will affect your credit rating. The finance company may try to put a lien on your property. The least they'll do is call daily to harrass you into paying for this debt. Is it worth the trouble?

But perhaps you're thinking, "I wanted to help this person. Why should I be punished for doing good? Doesn't God want me to be generous?" Clearly this isn't the way God wants generosity expressed. Proverbs 22:7 tells us that "the rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." God wants us to avoid getting into debt, not help others increase their own. When we co-sign a loan, we're interferring with God's plan for that person's life. Rather than helping them, we're hurting them by getting them further into debt. Perhaps God is trying to teach that person to be content with what they have. Maybe God wants to give that person a lesson in saving for the future. Regardless of what His reasons may be, we need to obey God's Word and not put up security for another person's debts. God has promised to take care of our daily needs. Let's trust Him to do just that.

Jury Duty Ends

Jury duty finally ended yesterday. It was a learning experience, though I'm not in any rush to go through it again. I found it to be very stressful, and I had trouble sleeping. It's not easy knowing the fate of a person lies in a decision made by 6 people who are hearing arguments on both sides but who don't know this person, his thoughts and dreams, his likes, his fears, anything.

The young man being tried for armed robbery was only 20 years old. Born the same year as my own daughter. According to the detective, he called her to give a sworn statement confessing to the crime. She even said he seemed remorseful. I watched the young man, and he never seemed cocky. Instead he kept his head down much of the time and seemed embarrassed at being there. I felt moved in my heart to pray for this young man. Interestingly, I was not the only one of the jury members to say they felt a burden to pray for him. I really believe we were all praying for him.

He was found guilty. I'm praying the Lord would send someone to speak with him in prison. I don't know what prison he's in, but God knows. At 20 years old, he has plenty of time to straighten out his life, repent of his sins and turn to Jesus, who can and will forgive him and wipe his slate clean. I'm hoping and praying he knows this.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tackle It Tuesdays

There's good news and bad news. The good news is we were released from the courthouse at 2:30pm. The bad news is, closing arguments are tomorrow morning. That's another day of jury duty, and I'm sooo behind on my home duties. Thankfully E helped me fold and put away laundry yesterday (such a sweetheart).

Today, since I got home so much earlier than yesterday but still have to go report back for jury duty tomorrow, I chose to cook up 2 days worth of food. I had taken out close to 3 lbs. of ground beef which I browned. Then, I took about a third of it and used it to make a meat sauce. We had spaghetti and meat sauce, fresh baked bread and salad. My boys were happy for that home cooked meal! Then the balance of the meat I prepared sloppy joe style, and I'll put that away for dinner tomorrow. That way, when I get home, I just have to warm it up and make rice and a salad to go with it. I want to have the free time to get caught up with some of my chores.

Tackle It Tuesdays is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, October 19, 2009...

Outside my's a cool night. Temps took a dip this weekend, and the last two mornings have been in the 60's. NOW it feels like fall.

I am thinking...about having been picked for a jury, and having to go back tomorrow for the second part of the trial.

I am thankful...that we have the judicial system we have in this country. I admit I don't like to have to serve on a jury, but I recognize it's the best system in the world.

I am wearing...a navy blue button down blouse, grey pinstripe slacks (because the courtrooms are so cold), and black and white flats (for comfort).

I am remembering...all the laundry I still have to fold, and the ironing I have to get to before I hit the sack.

I am creating...nothing. I'm too tired to create right now.

I am reading...Acts for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions, and I started a Francine Rivers' book but I forgot the title. Edge of something.

I am hoping...the case I'm on gets finished up early tomorrow. I'm way behind on stuff to do at home.

On my mind...getting a good night's sleep.

From the learning was a teacher's planning day. That really bummed me out, because E had a day off from school and I spent most of it in a boring courtroom. He spent it at grandma's with his cousin, so he's not upset. I missed him, though.

I am noticing that...I don't have the same energy I used to. Jury duty is not manual labor, yet I'm totally exhausted.

I am pondering these words..."Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save. Forever author of salvation, He rose and conquered the grave, Jesus conquered the grave."

From the kitchen...E and I had Burger King. Daddy is working late and R is at his buddies house. Thankfully I didn't have to worry about dinner today.

Around the house...I don't even want to think about it. Three loads of laundry to put away.

One of my favorite coming home after a long day. This is the most comfortable place in the universe.

A few plans for the rest of the week: finish up (hopefully) jury duty tomorrow, Awana and Bible study on Wednesday, Cub Scouts on Thursday, and growth groups on Friday.

From my picture journal...I'm just too tired to even post a picture. I'll get something up during the week.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body."
- Proverbs 18:8

There's diabetes in my family. Both my grandmother and my father died in their mid-60's due to complications from diabetes. The saddest part to me was that my dad knew he was diabetic, yet he would sneak Snickers bars into the house and eat them in hiding, as though the only reason the sugar affected him was because he was being watched. Ultimately his weakness when it came to caring for his health caused his early death.

Since this type of diabetes is hereditary, I try my best to control what I eat, especially in regards to sweets. Yet I admit it's very difficult. If only cake, cookies and ice cream didn't taste so good! Then it would be easy to control myself. Instead I have to be strong and learn to say "no" when my taste buds want to say "yes".

Gossip is alot like sugar to a diabetic. It causes havoc in our lives, yet it's so hard to stay away from because it tastes so good. Every little secret is like a delicious morsel. It's just too hard to keep our ears away from it. Yet we know that in the long run, it's destructive to our spiritual and relational health. Why, then, do we keep going back to it? Because even though we know it's bad for us, the temptation is too great.

Gossip has some very serious consequences. Families are hurt by it. Friendships end because of it. Reputations are damaged by it. No one likes to be a victim of gossip, but everyone makes up excuses to listen to it. There's a Spanish saying, I don't like gossip but it entertains me. It's a vice; we know how harmful it is but we can't keep away from it.

What can we do? First off, think of what God has to say about spreading rumors. The Mosaic law was very clear about gossip: "Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:16). God has a low opinion of gossipers, and warns us about them in Proverbs 20:19 - "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much." Did you know that among the seven sins that God finds detestable in Proverbs 6:16-19, is one who sows discord in a family? That's what gossips do. They stir up trouble, whether in their own family or in God's family. They cause divisions, anger, and ultimately bring permanent damage. No wonder God calls these an abomination to Him.

Next, put yourself in the place of the victim. "What if that was me they were saying those things about?" Betcha it wouldn't be so appetizing. Especially when you consider that the person who is bringing the gossip to you might very well be taking stories of you to someone else. Gossip is like that; it's a wild fire that starts small and grows rapidly, destroying everything and everyone in its path. We don't want to be a part of anything that causes so much pain to anyone. The next time someone wants to bring you a "juicy piece of gossip," just remember that something that tastes that good can easily cause severe "heartburn" later on.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vintage Wisdom - Diligence Verses Laziness

Last night I was thrilled because we had a total of 10 ladies at growth groups (including myself). One of my dear sisters in Christ wasn't able to make it because she's got the flu, and another because she had some issues with the electricity in her home, but we still had a full house. Everyone was participating, too, which I love because each one of us is special to the Lord and has something to say that can help someone else.

The topic this week was diligence verses laziness. When I first saw this title, I didn't think of it applying too much to myself. After all, I'm always busy with something, how could I possibly fall under the category of lazy? But diligence is a "constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken." ( It refers to doing things in a timely manner instead of putting things off till the last minute. That is also a form of laziness. I was quickly convicted.

Let's face it, we're not a society of hard workers. Americans like everything fast and easy. Why slave away in a kitchen when you can pop something in the microwave? Why spend the day cleaning house when you can pay someone else to do it for you? Why walk anywhere when you can jump into the car and be at your destination in a fraction of the time? Everything quick, so we can have extra time. To do what? Sit in front of the television set? Doesn't sound like a very good use of our time.

One of the ladies in the group made an excellent point. Nothing we have belongs to us, including our time. When we misuse time, it's God's time we're failing to use wisely. He has given us a specific amount of time on this earth, and we should be using that time for His glory. That goes perfectly with the Scripture found in Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." It's easy to put things off when we're doing it for someone else, but when we're doing it for Jesus, suddenly our tasks take on a whole new significance. If we consider everything we do as unto the Lord, we'll be sure not to slack.

We don't like to think of ourselves as lazy, yet how many times don't we put things off just because it's something we don't like to do? We make excuses: I'm too busy, there's other more important things I need to take care of first, it takes too long. Proverbs 22:13 tells us how silly some of our excuses really are: "The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside!"or, "I will be murdered in the streets!'" So we put off things like balancing our checkbooks, paying bills on time, caring for our health, visiting elderly family members, studying God's Word, only to later regret and complain because these important things didn't get done.

How do we break this cycle? I found the answer, once again, in the Scriptures. "David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished." - 1 Chronicles 28:20. David was speaking to Solomon about building the temple, but this truth applies to any task that needs to get done. Our Heavenly Father is with us every step of the way. We don't need to be afraid, we don't need to feel discouraged. The Creator of all the universe is our Father. He will help us get the work done.

Do you have anything you've been putting off? I think it's fair to say we all do. So let's be diligent, and get it done. We'll all feel better about it in the long run.

Observing My Senses

For Today, October 17, 2009...

I am seeing...the clouds rolling in again. Looks like we'll be getting more rain. I hope this'll help bring in the cooler temperatures the weatherman was talking about.

I am feeling...tired, though totally happy after spending the afternoon with 2 of my favorite guys, my dear hubby and my sweet little boy.

I am tasting...nothing right now, but I'll be tasting some leftover pumpkin spice cake in a little while. I baked it yesterday for my growth group, and it was a hit.

I am hearing...Sonic the Hedgehog. The cartoon, not the video game.

I am smelling...mac and cheese. The instant kind. E likes it, and I'm tired after walking for 3 hours, so easy works for me.

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Disney's Xmas Carol Train Tour - Warning: Lots of Pictures!

We were able to go this morning to the Disney's Christmas Carol Train Tour, and it didn't disappoint! There was plenty to see, and it was really exciting!

The train came into the Florida East Coast Railroad station in Miami, across from the airport. We got there at about noon, so we didn't have to park very far. Those that got there after lunch were in for a long walk! This was what we saw as we approached the train:

And this was the side of the train. It was six cars long, though only 4 of the cars were part of the tour.

This is the movie preview tent. We went in after the train tour and were able to see clips of the movie in 3-D. This one's a definite winner!

Father and son posed for pics by one of the posts in front of the movie tent. What a couple of hams!

Disney has to make the experience as realistic as possible. They gave us a train ticket, and the ticket punch is in the shape of Disney's logo (which is Mickey Mouse, of course).

Of course, as is typical in South Florida, we got rained on for a good 15-20 minutes. Thankfully I brought an umbrella. Unfortunately, I'd left it in the car :p. My dear hubby went running to get it, though we still got pretty wet. After I'd spent the morning washing and drying my hair, too! Oh well, it didn't fare too badly.
Would you believe they even had carolers?! Disney thinks of everything!

Daddy took a picture of E and me inside the train. We couldn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, because the train was packed with people and the cars are narrow. There was so much to see, too! They even had some of the costumes from the movie! While the movie is done with computer graphics, it does get acted out and then copied by the artists, making it look much more realistic. It's amazing what today's technology can do!

They had some items on display, like this published story of "Tiny Tim". I don't know if it was an actual original. I couldn't stop long enough to read anything because the lines were long and had to keep moving.

There were digital photos of different scenes from the story, including this one, Scrooge as a young boy in the school house.

The "maquettes" were so incredible! The artists use these prior to building the characters on their computers. This is Scrooge and Cratchit.

They also had replicas that are used in the scenery, such as this structure of Big Ben under construction. I was amazed at the amount of detail used. It was very meticulously done.

This is a replica of Fred's house. In case you don't know the story, Fred is Scrooge's nephew.

There were also figurines in glass cases, such as these of Scrooge and Mrs. Fezziwig.

The last train car was for photo ops. This is a fireplace where E and I had our picture taken. It was very beautifully decorated in a Victorian theme. Notice E is wearing his Phineas and Ferb t-shirt. The crew working the train noticed! Phineas and Ferb is probably Disney Channel's most popular cartoon right now.

My family standing behind the Christmas feast, courtesy of Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge! The background is so lovely, it looks like 19th century London. Of course our clothes give away the fact that it isn't really snowing outside!

Daddy, E and I had such a good time. We went from the train to the preview, but I couldn't take any pictures of that. Still, despite the rain and subsequent heat, it was a fun family afternoon. I love the price of admission - it's absolutely free! The train will be making 3 more stops after this: Charleston, Philadelphia and New York. I recommend this to anyone who loves Christmas, loves a bargain, and is looking for something fun to do with the family.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed."
- Proverbs 16:3

I fell in love with this Bible verse the minute I read it. Just think: all I have to do is give my deepest desires to the Lord and my plans will succeed! That is just amazing beyond words.

So when the company I worked for began bankruptcy proceedings, I posted this verse in my office, where I could see it as I worked. I was going to look for another job, and I was going to succeed because I'd committed my job hunting to the Lord. He would get me the perfect job.

Of course, deep down in my heart I'd always wanted to be a stay at home mom and homemaker. Even as a young child, I never thought about being a teacher, or a nurse, or any of the standard "women's" professions. I'd wanted to be just like my mom. But I didn't voice that desire, because after all, how were we going to pay all our bills? I'd been working all through our marriage. To expect my husband to take care of the family's finances on his own would be selfish of me, wouldn't it? We couldn't live on just one salary. Though it was what I really wanted, I assumed it wasn't possible and went for option #2.

Here's the incredible thing: God can see beyond my words. He sees into my heart. He knew better than anyone what I really wanted. So when I committed my future to Him, He began putting everything in place so that my dream could be realized. 'Course, I didn't know that at first. It took a while before I realized what God was up to. It even shocked me a little. But once again, I remembered this verse, and committed to Him my desire to be a SAHM and homemaker. And here I am today, just what I wanted ever since I can remember. Successfully too, I might add. He has taken care of everything, in ways I could never have foreseen.

Is there something you want, deep in your heart, that you think is just impossible? With God, nothing is impossible. Give it to Him. Then step back and watch the greatness of God.

The Week in Review

I was amazed this morning as I saw the weather up north: bitter cold, snow in parts of the Midwest and even the Northeast, with more to come today. We've had record breaking heat for the last week and a half. We're expecting a cold front on Sunday, bringing the temperature down to 80 degrees. Won't be seeing much snow, that's for sure.

Monday - I spent the day cleaning, mopping, doing laundry, all because I didn't know what day I would have to go in for jury duty. Since it was Columbus Day the jury pool recording didn't get updated till 6:00pm. I found out then that I didn't have to report in to the court till next Monday. I'm afraid I got worked up about it for nothing. I'm not looking forward to going downtown and sitting Lord knows how long in the freezing cold rooms at the courthouse, but then again it's my duty. Hopefully it won't be too bad.

Tuesday - I tackled the bathrooms which was the only thing I hadn't done on Monday. In the afternoon I picked up my son from school, went to the bank, then returned some stuff to the library. Boy, was I tired when I finally sat down!

Wednesday - Church on Wednesday night. E went to Awana, which he always tells me he loves, and I went with my friend to Bible study. Pastor spoke on praying like Jesus. I took lots of notes. Afterwards we had prayer at our tables. I left feeling so refreshed. I love Wednesday night church service!

Thursday - My son passed all his Bobcat badge requirements, so at the end of the month he'll get his Bobcat badge and can start earning pins for his achievements. He's so thrilled! He also got a flag ceremony patch for carrying the flag during opening ceremony. The Webelos march together and take the flags (US and Florida) for the Pledge of Allegiance. He's really enjoying all there is to do with the Cub Scouts.

Friday - Today was fall color day at school. My son dressed in an olive green shirt and khaki green shorts. That's right, shorts. It's fall color day in 93 degree weather.

I did my grocery shopping this morning, along with some Christmas shopping. I'm actually starting later than usual this year. Typically I begin Christmas shopping in September, because I hate going to the stores in December. The stores are packed, people get rude, there's too much running around and the focus gets lost. I try to get all my shopping done and everything wrapped before Thanksgiving. That way we can enjoy the Christmas season doing things that remind us of what we're celebrating. I won't say what I bought or for whom, in case my family members come over to read my blog. Sorry, you'll have to wait till Christmas!

Tonight is growth groups, and we'll be studying diligence verses laziness. Plenty about that in Proverbs, that's for sure! Tomorrow we have a special treat planned: the Disney Christmas Carol tour train is in Miami for the weekend, and Lord willing we're going to go see it. I LOVE this story by Charles Dickens, and I'm so looking forward to the movie. To be able to see the train is just icing on the cake. This is one of the last stops, too. I'm glad my friend told me about it. I'll be taking the camera so I can post pictures. Stay tuned for that!

Have a wonderful and blessed weekend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Better a little with the fear of the LORD
than great wealth with turmoil."
- Proverbs 15:16

Recently a cousin of ours who has 2 children under the age of 3, is working and also goes to school, made the comment, "If only I had a million dollars, I could be a stay at home mom." That got me to thinking this morning of what can be done with $1,000,000.00.

Let's see now. I guess the smart thing to do would be to put half of it into a retirement fund so as not to worry about the future. Next, eliminate the house payment by paying off the house. Car payments? Not anymore. Children's education, taken care of. Credit card debt...oh wait, just ran out of money. A million dollars doesn't go very far these days, does it?

But even after doing all this, is life taken care of? Retirement funds are a wise way to put money away for old age. Yet how many retirees are finding the money they'd invested in companies like AIG somehow turned into less than they'd anticipated? I'm not against saving for the future; but can we place all our faith in the all-mighty dollar? During a recession, the dollar is not as all-mighty as it used to look.

Of course, there's no more house payment, right? But wait, there's still the yearly tax bill, the homeowners insurance, maintenance, electric bill, phone bill, gas bill, and the list goes on. The only thing that disappeared was the mortgage. And since that retirement money can't be touched till at least the age of 59 1/2, these other bills will have to be paid somehow.

What about the car? Once again, insurance, gasoline, maintenance. Then after about 10 years, if you've taken really good care of your car, it's worth just about nothing because cars, unlike a home, depreciate rapidly. Before you know it, it's time for a replacement vehicle. They just don't make cars like they used to.

The children's education is an excellent investment. However, if you think that's the last time your child will ask for something from you, think again...

Bummer, ran out of money before getting to that credit card debt. Expenses get higher every year. One million dollars sounds like such a large sum of money, a huge wealth, but it disappears so quickly. Money doesn't bring us the security we're looking for.

But a relationship with God does. He promised that if we "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be given to us as well." (Matthew 6:33). My answer to my cousin was that she doesn't need a million dollars to be a stay at home mom. She needs to be content with what she has, even if it's not everything she wants. God provides everything we need, including peace. Money never does. The security money brings is temporary, fleeting, and uncertain. The security we get from the Lord is permanent and sure. Yes, better to have just a little.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Every wise woman buildeth her house:
but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands."
- Proverbs 14:1

If Solomon had been talking about the literal house, I'd be in trouble. I'm no good with a hammer. Building a house for my family would have been pretty disasterous.

The house Solomon speaks of here is not the building, but what is in it. The household. The family. The relationships. A wise woman knows the power she has to keep her family together, and uses it for good. She dedicates time to her husband, encourages him, takes his leadership into consideration before making a decision on her own. She teaches her children with loving discipline and example. She is easy to point out in a crowd.

The foolish woman takes her house apart with her own hands. She is destructive when it comes to her marriage and her children. This damage goes on from generation to generation, as her children end up destroying their own relationships because they never learned how to take care of a marriage or how to be good parents.

We need to be aware of the attitudes we have as women. Are we using our words and our actions to build our family up, or tear it apart? We have the responsibility to be the glue that keeps the family unit together. Let's take that power and use it wisely.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tackle It Tuesdays

I wasn't sure if I'd be home today or not, thanks to the whole jury duty thing, so I got ahead of the game yesterday by cleaning and tidying up as much as I could. Today I tackled the two bathrooms which I didn't get to yesterday, and a couple of loads of laundry. Then I tackled the questions for Friday's Bible study.

We'll be looking at what Proverbs has to say about diligence verses laziness. Much as I brag about all I get done, I know there's laziness in my life I need to take care of. Things I put off because I'd rather not do them. Usually it involves time on the telephone or running errands. I hate being on the phone. I don't mean with friends, but calling businesses where you spend the first 20 minutes with a recording telling you to press 1, then press 4, then press 9, then enter your account number, etc. By the time a human being comes on I've forgotten what I called for! I tend to put those calls off as much as possible.

Then there's errands. Ugh! I admit I don't like to drive. I do it because we have a lousy public transportation system and it's the best way to get around, but I'd rather not have to get in my car if I can avoid it. Of course, God reminds me that these errands are important to the household, and that diligence means "constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken". I've undertaken to be a homemaker, to keep my home running efficiently so that my family can enjoy being here as much as I do. Therefore, after picking my son up from school I tackled a couple of errands that needed to get done. And you know what? I feel really good about it now.

Tackle It Tuesdays is hosted by 5 Minutes For Mom.

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"The sluggard craves and gets nothing,
but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."
- Proverbs 13:4

Ever have a craving? I get them every so often. Chocolate cravings. C'mon girls, you know what I'm talking about.

Cravings don't give 24 hours notice. While we may know ourselves well enough to know when a craving might come on, the truth is they just happen. And when they do, nothing else will satisfy.

Since I know I occasionally get chocolate cravings, I keep some in the house. It could be chocolate ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie, even a Hershey's Kiss. Anything to squelch that craving, because there's nothing worse than craving something and not having it.

This verse says that the sluggard craves and gets nothing. That's because lazy people don't plan ahead. The diligent know that "cravings" may come, so they're sure to be prepared. That's one difference between laziness and diligence: the diligent prepare well ahead of time, and have no worries. The lazy put things off till the last minute, then regret not being able to fulfill their desires.

The lesson here is simple: don't procrastinate. Whatever you can get done now, do it. You'll be thankful for your diligence later on.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The "Verdict" Is In

Well, I called the jury duty pool hotline, and it turns out I don't have to report till next Monday. Which means I have a whole week to plan for it. I'm not excited about it, but it's better than being on standby for days and days, not knowing if I'll get called in or not. Now I have a definite date and can plan accordingly. Now, where's my crock pot recipe book?

Proverbs Thought of the Day

I read this in one of my morning email devotions. It's from Prime Time With God:

Around 1923, the most powerful men of the day ruled the world of money:

Charles Schwab, president of the largest steel company in America.
Samuel Insull, president of the largest utility company.
Howard Hopson, president of the largest gas company.
Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange.
Albert Fall, Secretary of Interior in President Harding's cabinet.
Jesse Livermore, the great "bear" on Wall Street.
Ivan Krueger, head of the world's greatest monopoly.
Leon Fraser, president of the Bank of International Settlements.

These men were "movers and shakers," the kind many people envy and wish to be like. Yet something went terribly wrong with these men's lives. Twenty-five years later:

Charles Schwab, left behind an insolvent estate with debts and obligations totalling 1.7 million.
Samuel Insull, died of a heart attack in a Paris subway station with 20 cents in his pocket.
Howard Hopson, died in a sanitarium
Richard Whitney had just been released from Sing-Sing prison.
Albert Fall died at home, broke.
Jesse Livermore committed suicide a week after Thanksgiving in 1940.
Ivan Krueger committed suicide.
Leon Fraser committed suicide.

It reminded me of these verses I read just yesterday in my Proverbs reading:

"The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death."
- Proverbs 11:3-4

Need I say more?

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, Columbus Day, October 12, 2009...

Outside my window...still hot and humid. I see the Northeast is getting cold, I see Minnesota is getting snow, but we are still stuck in a massive heat wave that is breaking records. What's more, we probably won't see any cooler temperatures till next week.

I am thinking...about tomorrow and the possibility of having to go downtown for jury duty. I won't know until after 5:00pm today if I have to report tomorrow morning or not.

I am thankful...because the Lord has placed some amazing ladies in my life, who love God and want to grow in wisdom. I'm thankful He is using me to lead this group in Bible study.

I am wearing...dark blue top, light blue capris and sandals. Come to think of it, it's the same thing I was wearing last Monday.

I am remembering...Samuel and how God spoke to him when he was just an 8 year old boy. God sees beyond our age into our hearts.

I am creating...a list of what to get ready in case I have to go in for jury duty tomorrow.

I am reading...Acts for morning devotions, John for SOAP devotions. E and I are studying the Webelos handbook and just finished Eddie the Dog Holder yesterday.

I am hoping...I don't get picked for jury duty. I know it's my responsibility as a citizen and all that; I just hate the thought of having to go downtown everyday. Traffic into the city is a nightmare.

On my mind...several worship songs.

From the learning rooms...E is in school today despite the fact that it's Columbus Day. For some reason the kids didn't get the day off. We're starting a science project that needs to be turned in next month before Thanksgiving. He was assigned to do a study on dishwashing liquids and which creates more suds.

I am noticing that...the books E and I have been reading together were written in the 1960's. They have words like "swell" which I have to stop and explain to my son. He thinks it's hilarious.

I am pondering these words..."Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492." Think of what a difference that voyage made in our history. The world literally changed for mankind, from the belief that it was a flat surface to the realization of the round planet that it really is.

From the kitchen...chinese style chicken stir-fry with white rice.

Around the house...I want to get as much done as possible so I don't have to think about it tomorrow if I'm in the courthouse.

One of my favorite my comfy bed and my comfy pillow. Vacationing and staying in hotels is okay, but like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

A few plans for the rest of the week: I guess all my plans are on standby till I find out this afternoon whether I have to go to the courthouse for jury duty or not. Then of course it depends on whether I get picked to serve on a jury or not. I hate not being able to plan my week. It makes me feel disorganized.

From my picture journal...the teepee fire built at the Webelos camporee. The kids were mezmerized.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty."
- Proverbs 10:15

This bears serious consideration. Let's see the first part of this verse: "The rich man's wealth is his strong city." What do the rich depend on? Their money, of course. They are confident that in any situation all they need to do is use their wealth and their problems are solved. Who needs God when there's money to save us? Money becomes their god; it can buy them out of their difficulties, making them arrogant and self-sufficient.

The second part of the verse states that "the destruction of the poor is their poverty." Unlike the rich, when the poor find themselves in financial trouble, there's nothing to fall back on. The poor begin to covet what others have and they lack. Rather than having faith, the poor succumb to fear and frustration, leading them to take matters into their own hands and getting into worse trouble. This becomes a vicious cycle of envy and deceit, and in the end, destruction.

It's no wonder the wise Agur asked for neither riches nor poverty, but just what was needed to live peacefully and content each day.

"Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God."
- Proverbs 30:7-9

Am I content with what God has given me? Are you?

Vintage Wisdom - Wisdom Verses Folly

Last night our group reviewed the first 9 chapters of Proverbs with a study called "Wisdom Vs. Folly." The first thing we were asked to do was name a favorite TV or cartoon character that is always messing up, and another who is very clever. My picks were Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy, and McGyver. I don't think there's anyone who hasn't laughed at some of Lucy's antics. Her schemes never worked, but boy were they hilarious! McGyver I admired because he could get out of any predicament with just a paper clip and a rubber band. The guy was a genius! Then the question was, what's the difference between the two? Simple: I wouldn't mind being like McGyver, but even though Lucy was funny, I sure wouldn't want to be like her.

We went over the differences between being knowledgeable, wise, and foolish. Knowledge is knowing things. It's what you've learned, thanks to reading, studying, investigating, etc. What you do with that knowledge is what determines whether you're foolish or wise. I think that hit home with us all. One of my precious ladies admitted she'd never really asked for wisdom and therefore didn't consider herself wise. We were able to point out to her that she is indeed very wise, because she is a godly woman who reads the Word daily and obeys God's commands. See, if you have much knowledge but don't use it, it's just wasted space in your brain. Much better to have a little knowledge that is put into action, than have much knowledge that is completely ignored.

So in the end, this is what we determined to be true. Wisdom = not just listening to the Word, but also doing what it says so that we can see the results. Folly = listening, even agreeing, then doing whatever we want. This brings no positive results, only regrets. James 1:22 puts it plainly, "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

Want wisdom? You need to do two things:

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."
- James 1:5-8

Ask, and believe. That's it. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and understanding as you read His Word, then believe He's gonna do it. Watch and see what the Lord will do for you!

Observing My Senses

For Today, October 10, 2009...

I am seeing...another bright, sunshiny day, palm fronds on the ground, not much in terms of a breeze. Looks like it's gonna be another hot fall day.

I am feeling...revived after last night's women's group. The Holy Spirit was in full force, giving us wisdom and understanding of the Word.

I am tasting...ham and swiss on honey wheat toast and coffee. My breakfasts can be unconventional.

I am hearing...the ceiling fan above me, and cartoons in the distance.

I am smelling...not a whole lot lately. This heat wave is affecting my sinuses. Ugh.

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

What does wisdom look like? What does folly look like?

These are both abstracts, characteristics that can't be drawn. Yet the Bible paints of picture of each in a way that is simple to understand.

Wisdom is pictured as a woman who sets out a feast:

"Wisdom has built her house;
she has hewn out its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her maids, and she calls
from the highest point of the city.
"Let all who are simple come in here!"
she says to those who lack judgment.
"Come, eat my food
and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of understanding."
- Proverbs 9:1-6

Ever planned a party? There are so many details to take care of! If you skip something, don't have enough refreshments prepared, fail to invite someone, it can turn into a disaster. Wisdom prepares her feast and sends out a personal invitation to all. She makes sure everything is taken care of so her guests can feel welcome. Sounds very classy, doesn't it?

Folly's invitation isn't so elegant:

"The woman Folly is loud;
she is undisciplined and without knowledge.
She sits at the door of her house,
on a seat at the highest point of the city,
calling out to those who pass by,
who go straight on their way.
"Let all who are simple come in here!"
she says to those who lack judgment.
"Stolen water is sweet;
food eaten in secret is delicious!"
- Proverbs 9:13-17

How crass! Folly is loud, undisciplined, lacks knowledge, yet she manages to attract the simple with her promises of excitement. What is the end for those who follow her?

"But little do they know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of the grave."
- Proverbs 9:18
Yikes! Doesn't sound like the kind of party I want to go to! Not everything that sounds fun is wise. Think carefully before taking that next step: is it wise, or am I stepping into the house of Folly?

The Week in Review

Whoever came up the title "Stay at Home Mom"? Monday was my only stay at home day this week, and that because the satellite technician was coming over to make the connection on the new HDTV. As I'd suspected, the old tv was beyond repair. My hubby was surprised, but I told him they don't make those huge tv's anymore so no one's interested in making spare parts for them. I think my hubby is glad, though. His sports shows are so crystal clear now it's better than being at the baseball stadium. He's in sports heaven.

Tuesday I tackled the family room and moved furniture around. I find it feels more open and airy now, which we need because outside it is hot and stifling. We have a heat wave coming through (the weather lady calls it a warm front. Yeah, right!) and the temps have been in the lower 90's. If that weren't bad enough, because of the humidity it feels like it's in the 100's. I could set some batter outside and bake a cake on my porch. Yeah, that hot. After school I took Simba, uh I mean my youngest son, for a much needed haircut. His mane grows so fast, just like his mom :-). Afterwards we went to return some books to the library and I met my friend and her son there. RJ and E are best buddies. My friend was trying to find a place for her son to do his homework without any distractions, and I show up with my son. Sorry! We didn't stay long, because E had his own homework to do, and he was getting hungry.

Wednesday I took E to the doctor for a full physical. I was concerned because his constipation problem is happening a little too frequently. The doctor was so amused by my young chatterbox; he talked and talked about aches and pains like a little old man. The doctor assured me he's doing fine and gave me suggestions for his constipation and getting him to eat more variety. My son is a carnivore. Hates veggies, fruits, nuts. Only wants meat. Oh well, he is his father's son. Wednesday night he had Awana, and E got his Discovery 1 sticker for his pin. He was so happy! Memorization is hard for E because of the dyslexia, so I was very proud of him for sticking with it and trying his best. We had an awesome Bible study and prayer time too. A really wonderful evening.

Thursdays we go to E's Cub Scout meeting. They're currently learning to tie knots, and E is working on getting his Bobcat badge. He has to learn the Cub Scout oath, motto, what a promise is and why it's important to keep your word, what honesty is, and what it means to do your duty to God and country. That's what I like about the Cub Scouts. It's not just about fun activities, it's also about teaching morals and values. Few kids clubs do that nowadays.

Tonight is our women's small group meeting, and we'll be reviewing the first 8 chapters of Proverbs with a study called "Wisdom verses Folly". I'm excited about doing this study, and hopefully will post something on it tomorrow. Gotta go grocery shopping now, though. I don't feel like going to my local Walmart and searching for stuff in the moving mess, but it must be done.

Hope everyone has a blessed weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gates leading into the city,
at the entrances, she cries aloud:
"To you, O men, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, gain understanding."
- Proverbs 8:1-5

Is it possible to get wisdom even if you've been a fool all your life? This proverb tells us that wisdom is calling out to those who are fools, and telling them to gain understanding. It doesn't talk about it ever being too late. Actually, it paints a picture of wisdom reaching out, standing at the gates of the city and crying out. Wisdom is begging to be heard. Can't you just reach out to her?

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
- James 1:5

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"At the window of my house
I looked out through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who lacked judgment.
He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent."
- Proverbs 7:6-10

How far do we have to go to find temptation? We can see it as we look through our window. We can run into it as we are walking down the street. It's everywhere.

"She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:
'Come, let's drink deep of love till morning;
let's enjoy ourselves with love!
My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.'"
- Proverbs 7:14, 18-20

How timid is temptation? It isn't. It's bold and outright, in your face, but at the same time subtle, sweet. It tempts with "pleasant" sin.

"All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose
till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life."
- Proverbs 7:22-23

How dangerous is temptation? Very. It's deadly. One small amount of "pleasant" sin cannot outweigh a lifetime of regret. Is that short while of "fun" worth the trouble? You figure it out.

Tackle It Tuesdays

Yeah, okay, so it's Wednesday. I've had a busy week!

Yesterday I tackled the family room. We have sliding glass doors in our family room, and typically I have it flanked by the two recliners. Every so often, though, I switch it and put the sofa in front of the glass doors so that the sun won't fade the chairs too fast. It also gives the room a more open feeling.

The centerpiece on the coffee table was originally in the kitchen, but it was too distracting. I think it looks better in the family room than the kitchen. I did put something else in the kitchen which I'll take a picture of later on (after I've cleaned up in there!). It took me a good part of the morning to get this done, since I turned the recliners over to vacuum underneath, plus vacuumed both recliners and sofa. That, along with dusting, cleaning glass and mopping floors, kept me busy, but I'm happy with the results.

Tackle It Tuesdays is hosted by Susan at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest."
- Proverbs 6:6-8

Ever watch ants at work? They're relentless! I don't ever recall seeing ants just hanging out, sitting around, resting. They are constantly working. They don't need anyone to tell them that they need to work; they understand that winter is coming and they need to store food NOW. So they go for it, working together as a team, all of them hard at work. No slackers, no complainers because ant #1 picked up a smaller morsel of food than ant #2. Notice that verse 6 calls them "wise." Why? Because they know if they don't harvest food they will starve, so they act upon this knowledge. That's the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowing that winter is coming isn't enough. To be wise, the ant must act upon this knowledge. Do we prepare for the future like the ant does, or do we sit around knowing we need to save but spending more than we earn? Proverbs 6:9-11 continues:

"How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest -
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wisdom Vs. Knowledge - Same or Different?

"My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
listen well to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge."
- Proverbs 5:1-2

So many times the book of Proverbs talks about wisdom and knowledge. But aren't they the same thing?

According to, the definition of knowledge is "acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation." In other words, it's what we know based on what we've learned or been taught. The definition of wisdom is "knowledge as to what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action." Notice the difference: knowledge is simply knowing stuff. Wisdom is knowing what is true and right, and then putting it into action. A person can have a small amount of knowledge, but if that knowledge is true and right and that person acts on what little they know, they are wise. On the other hand, someone who has much knowledge yet doesn't put it into practice is a fool.

So, is it enough to have knowledge? No. If we don't use that knowledge to do good, regardless of how much knowledge we have, we are still fools. And no one wants to be a fool. So, get that knowledge. It's needed. But once you have it, put it into action. Then you will be known as wise.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, October 5, 2009...

Outside my's still summer, even though the calendar says otherwise. We got a "cold" front last week; temps went from 92 degrees to 88. They're back up in the 90's again. No relief.

I am thinking...of the difference between wisdom and knowledge. Might post something about that later.

I am thankful...for the ladies who showed up Friday for growth groups. The group turned out smaller than I expected, but many have told me they'll be with us this coming Friday.

I am wearing...a royal blue tank top with blue button down shirt over it, light blue capris and sandals.

I am remembering...that I serve in children's ministry this week, so I've got to email a reminder to my team.

I am creating...notes for this week's growth group meeting.

I am wait for the satellite technician to come and make some changes to our system.

I am reading...John for morning devotions, finishing up Luke for SOAP devotions. Have a new book to read but I haven't had time to start it.

I am hoping...the satellite technician doesn't get here before 10:00am.

On my mind...the busy week ahead.

From the learning rooms...E is doing well so far. We started reading a new book, Eddie the Dog Holder, that we got from the library. Well, new to us anyway. It was written in 1966.

I am noticing that...temperatures are dropping all around the country, but ours seem to go up or stay in the 90's. Are we never to see autumn this year?

I am pondering these words...from the song Unbreakable by Fireflight: "Sometimes it's hard to just keep going. But faith is moving without knowing. Can I trust what I can't see to reach my destiny? I want to take control but I know better."

From the kitchen...kielbasa and yellow rice. I didn't make it last week.

Around the house...I have some laundry left to do, and the family room needs a deep cleaning, but I've got to wait till the technician is come and gone before I can get started.

One of my favorite a home cooked meal. Sure, going out every once in a while is nice, but nothing beats the tastes of home.

A few plans for the rest of the week: It's a pretty busy week, actually. Satellite repairman today, library tomorrow, Awana and Bible study on Wednesday, Cub Scouts on Thursday, growth groups on Friday. I teach this week in children's ministry so I've gotta prepare for that too.

From my picture son and his best friend. They're in different Cub Scout packs but there's no competition. They're buddies.

Wanna join in the fun? Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

I did a whole post on the verses from chapter 4 that most impacted me, so rather than write it all up again, just go back and take a look. The more I read it, the more I'm convinced that a parent's influence is the most important, whether positive or negative.

Read Proverbs chapter 4 today!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

Ours is a "me" culture. Everything is about "me", taking care of "me", and don't bother "me". Especially that last one. We don't want to be bothered with other people and their problems; we have our own to deal with, right? So different from the Bible verses that jumped out at me today:

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor "Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it" - when
you have it with you."
- Proverbs 3:27-28

Is there someone you can do good to today? Don't wait. You'll be greatly appreciated.

Observing My Senses

For Today, October 3, 2009...

I am Bible on my lap, opened to Proverbs. Reading chapter 3 today.

I am feeling...a bit sunburned after spending most of the day at the Cub Scouts Webelos Camporee. It may be fall in the rest of the country, but here it's still in the 90's and so hot I thought I'd get heat stroke.

I am icy cold Sprite, hoping to cool off.

I am neighbor mowing his lawn.

I am smelling...freshly shampooed hair. Boy was I sweaty and stinky when I got home!

It takes just a moment to stop and observe what's going on around you. Won't you join me?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

"My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding."
Proverbs 2:1-6
All we have to do is ask...

The Week in Review

Monday was probably the day I got most stuff done around the house. I finished up laundry and did some cleaning in the bedrooms and kitchen. It was the only day I stayed home entirely (except when I dropped off and picked up my son from school). It was also the day the TV blew up ;-). Hubby was watching Sports Center on ESPN when the thing went zap! and turned off. I tried turning it on again but no way. What's funny is, this would have concerned me so much years ago, but now that I rarely watch any television, I couldn't have cared less.

Tuesday we went to the library. This time we just dropped books off. I didn't see anything that caught my attention. I have one of Francine Rivers' novels (Christian fiction writer) that I hope to start reading soon. Hubby wanted me to take the TV to the repair shop but it was just so heavy he couldn't get it into the car (I have an SUV). He went over to Brandsmart and got a flat screen TV, much different from what we had before. It's a 37" but it's too small for the wall unit, despite the fact that the TV that was there before was a 32". Yep, televisions take up less space in our rooms and more space in our minds these days.

Wednesday I got bathrooms done. We went to Awana and Bible study at night. Pastor spoke about being unequally yoked not only applying to marriage but other relationships too, like business partnerships. I think alot of people walked out thinking really hard on that.

Thursday my hubby finally got the TV loaded into the car, and off I went to find a repair shop. Not as many around as you might think - most people just toss out an old TV and upgrade. I found one but they wanted a $40 estimate fee and no guarantee it could be repaired. I don't think so. Found another one that took it and will give us a free estimate. 'Course, it's all the way on the other side of the city just south of us. Oh well. Then hubby returned the TV he'd bought because there was a better deal at Costco. See, this I think is a typical difference between men and women. Women research; we go online, we visit several stores, we compare brands and deals and stores before we make a purchase. Men go into a store, see what they want, and buy it. Then, if they see something they like better, they return and repurchase. My daughter and I laugh at this, while the men in the family see nothing wrong with it. We're just wired different. Oh, you're probably wondering why we're getting the other TV repaired if hubby bought a new one. He's thinking of selling the old one. I don't think it'll happen. No one wants those big cumbersome TV's anymore. I think one of two things will happen: 1) It'll be too expensive to repair and we'll scrap it, or 2) It'll be repaired and hubby will give it to his mother, because her TV is broken.

Thursday night was Cub Scouts. There's a Webelos campout this weekend, but E and I will only be going on Saturday, since Friday night is growth groups and Sunday morning is church. Most of the activities are on Saturday anyway, so he'll get the most important stuff. I watched my little boy tying knots last night, and he's just so handsome he melts my heart. I love my kids.

Friday, wonderful Friday. Growth groups start tonight, and I have 20 women signed up. It's a much bigger crowd than I'm accustomed to - no wonder God had me take that leadership class! I'm praying for a good turn out and women eager to learn how the book of Proverbs can help them in their daily life. And mine too, of course!

Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Proverbs Thought of the Day

We are starting a new growth group series entitled "Vintage Wisdom". It's a study into the book of Proverbs. Each day I'll be reading the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the day, and we'll have small groups on Fridays to discuss the week's reading. I'll be posting thoughts on each day's reading to share.

Proverbs chapter 1

Most of us know Proverbs 1:7 - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." But what are the consequences of ignoring God's wisdom?

"Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way and be sated with their own devices.
For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster."

- Proverbs 1:29-33