Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Favorites, Senior Graduation and Sick Hubby Edition

Happy Friday, my friends!  I cannot believe we're down to the last few days of April.  It hit me Tuesday night (when Missy told me) that on Monday, May starts.  I know it's redundant, but I cannot believe how fast the time is flying!  I know having a senior doesn't help this.

That being said, this was a weird week.  My husband has been home sick every single day this week.  If you know him at all, this is a huge ordeal, because he NEVER misses work.  Never.  It's just a bad sinus infection that he got a shot and antibiotics for, but I am ready for the poor thing to feel better!  Bless it.  I told him that I need him back at work, though.  I don't know why, but I'm super lazy when he's around.  I get done the things that are necessary, but nothing more.  It's weird, because he's a great patient, never whiny or needy.  If anything, I probably bug him to death because of how often I ask if he needs anything.

I'm linking up with Andrea and friends for this post.

Here are some favorites from this past week.

My favorite senior on the planet.  I think I finally narrowed my favorite senior pictures down to these three.  I pick up his invitations today and will have them in the mail by tomorrow and Monday.

I have to turn in his grades a little earlier to allow time to process the request for his diploma (homeschool problems), so I did that today, and once he finishes that last chapter of math, he is officially done with high school.

I still can't believe I have one about to graduate.  It's an emotional time!  Even if our lives won't change all that much, it's super emotional.

The twenty third Psalm is one of my favorites, and a short chapter I committed to memory last year.  I posted this picture on Saturday last weekend, and a few days later, unbeknownst to me, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth started a series of podcasts on this chapter in Psalms.  A friend of hers, Damaris Carbaugh, is the one speaking on it.  It's really good, if this interests you, and you can access it by going to Revive Our Hearts Ministries.

Also?  I love, love, love Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth!  I am currently reading her book Adorned right now, and savoring every page.  Which means, I'm going slow.

I'm a really fast reader, in case you didn't know.

Sunday is always one of my favorite days.  I love our church home and family, and I am so thankful that I get to serve alongside some pretty great friends.  That being said, Sundays are busy!  On this particular day I was there at eight a.m. with Todd, and so that I could practice for the praise team at eight thirty.  I had my second cup of coffee for the day in the car, on the way there, and when we got there, he went in and I sat and finished my cup.  This picture was taken later the same day, at two forty five, when I had to be at choir at three.  I left a little early so I could sit and drink this once I got there.  It was freezing that day!  I had to pull out a winter sweater.  This cup was helping me warm up.

Monday's quiet time.  I always love a long time spent praying and reading God's word on Mondays, after a busy weekend.  Monday mornings are also when I spend extra time planning out my week and committing it all to the Lord.  I lit this candle and have since thrown it away, because I burned through the rest of it so quickly.  I'm in need of some new candles!  I might have to make a trip today and remedy this.  I love candles, and how they smell and give off a cozy vibe to my home, and I burn them all year long.

I met Christa at the park this day to get the cd she put Graham's pictures on, and then Noah and I went grocery shopping.

I saw this on Facebook and immediately cracked up.  Miss Congeniality is one of my favorite movies of all time, and this line is amazing.  I loved every character in this movie!

I was praying for a friend this week, on Tuesday morning, I think, and I mentioned this verse to her without the reference because I couldn't remember where it was found.   Then either later that day or the next morning, that was where I read in my quiet time in Psalm.  I love when the Lord drops a verse in my heart, and how kind of Him to show me where it was the next day!  Actually, I think it was two days later, but the point is, that God hears.  I prayed this verse over my friend that day, asking Him to heal her broken, hurting heart.

Times like that are some of my favorite moments.

Tuesday night was Bible study night, and that is always one of my favorite weeknights.

Wednesday was BEAUTIFUL outside, and I met my bestie Christa and her little girl at the park with Jonah and Noah for a picnic.  I got a couple pictures, but I only posted to Instagram and don't feel like getting them from there to here right now.  If you follow me there (allfiveboys), you can scroll down until you see the park-like setting.

Also?  I've been posting more to Instagram this week and less to Facebook.  I'm kinda frustrated with FB again...I'm not really sure why, but I love Instagram and all the pictures.  I guess that's why~I love pictures more than rants.  So, to see more of my week, follow me there.  I can see this becoming a thing.

I needed to make a Costco run yesterday for some coffee, when I realized it wasn't a good day to lounge around a pool, and my mom went with me.  We got our nails done together first, then went to this yummy little restaurant called La Perla Tapatia.  This tortilla soup was the best bowl of soup I have ever had!  I want more.  I'm considering trying to make a copy cat version.  It's definitely my newest favorite Mexican food entree to eat.  I could eat Mexican food every day of my life.

Seriously.  I have had Mexican food four times already this week.

Yesterday afternoon after I got back home, the boys and I and a friend of theirs went to Bellevue to pick up their caps and gowns.  I didn't cry!  I did all that on Monday night, so I kinda feel like I got it all out.  I'm so excited for Graham!

After this, we met my in-love's at our favorite chicken place, Abners, then we came home and later on, Graham and Drew and two of their friends went to the Grizzlies game.

I snagged this off Drew's Instagram.  I'm assuming they had a great time, but I can't say for sure.  They're still sleeping and I was in bed when they came home.  It was well after midnight.

Well, that was our week.  I don't know what the deal has been lately with me not blogging consistently, but hopefully next week, I'll be back at it more frequently.

I'm excited to see my daddy today!  It's been a couple or three weeks.

I hope your weekend is wonderful!  Love to all.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


If you're an adult, then you know what this is.  It's when the final weeks of your senior year hit and you are officially done with high school.  Maybe not done in the official "finished all the work" done, but done as in, you're incapable of doing one more day.  I keep hearing this term.  I'm one of the senior girls community group leaders, and they've been throwing this around all year, but we have officially hit senior-itis here in our house.

I do feel as if it's different for us, because we homeschool.

Graham will be officially done with his high school career as of this Friday.  He will have completed the last of his subjects, and we will begin the wait of his graduation day.  His pictures have all been taken and chosen, he has decided what he is going to do after graduation (PRAISE GOD!), we will pick up his cap and gown on Thursday afternoon, and we will address and mail out graduation and party invites.  Our first celebration will be next Tuesday night, when we will attend a dinner to honor the seniors at a country club nearby.

I cannot believe how fast his school days have flown by.

I feel as if he should still be in elementary school, and I well remember the days when he would break free of his line when he saw me in the halls to run and hug me.

I need someone to sit and hold my hand!  I am so grateful for my friend Missy, who has promised to keep back up tissues stocked up for me in her purse.  She even offered to ride with us Thursday, but I assured her that I would be fine by then.


I was so emotional yesterday!  All day.  First the pictures that my bestie took, then the call about his cap and gown, and a song I've had on repeat all day, called I Got Saved.  (I'll share it at the end of this.)

I am trying to soak up all these lasts with Graham.  Our life won't be changing dramatically with him graduating, but it's just an emotional time for us moms.  I know some of you will get that and some of you will totally disagree with me.  That's okay.  Missy gets it, and for that, I am grateful.  I even cried a little with her on the phone and she just patiently listened.

Here are a few of his pictures that are my favorites.

Thanks for reading!

And here's the song.

Love to all.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, my friends!  I'm linking up with Andrea and friends for this blog post.

I have been missing on the blog and just generally not feeling like it much these days.  Some days I love writing on this thing, but sometimes it feels too much like work, and I can't make myself write anything.  I don't really write on this for anyone other than my family, and sometimes they read, and sometimes they don't.  I'm okay with that, and anyone other than them who reads is a bonus.  Lately I've been struggling to find things to write about.  It all kinda feels redundant to me, so I am totally open to suggestions, if you have any for me.  Just comment and tell me what you love to read, and maybe that will pull me out of this blank that I'm currently in.

I will always do these Friday posts, though, because they're my favorite.  (Truthfully, they are.)  I try to practice being grateful for at least five things everyday, and this is one of my favorite things to do: to look back on the week and thank God for all that He has done.

If you ever find yourself in a funk, try this activity of being grateful daily.  I promise you, there is no better way to change your perspective.

Even though I didn't blog any this week except for Monday, I have so much to be thankful/grateful for, and I thought I'd share some of my favorite things and activities from the week.

These are my favorite teenagers in all of the world, and I think they're best that were ever around.  Here are a few reasons as to why they're my favorites:

For Graham, I love that he has never met a stranger.  Ever since he was a young boy, he has loved being around people older than him.  He's never had a ton of friends that were his age, but that has never bothered him.  He has always had friends that were girls, though, and to this day, they're still whom he prefers.  Especially one named Rachel.  ;)  These days it's usually him, Drew, a couple of sisters, and anyone else who wants to join in with them.  I love that.  His group is small, but they are loyal.  I love that Graham has NEVER been afraid to show affection to me.  Most teenage boys won't hug their mom or be openly loving to them, but no matter who is around, he will come kiss my forehead and tell me he loves me as he walks out the door.

For Drew, I love that he has this ability to have fun wherever he goes and whatever he does.  He is (almost) always joyful, and that shines through in his personality.  He loves to laugh, he loves to have fun, and hanging out with his friends is his favorite thing to do.  I love that he has always just included Graham in his set of friends.  I have told them since they were teeny tiny, that friends would come and go throughout the years, but that his brothers would always be around.  My desire has always been for them to not only be good brothers, but good friends, and all praise and glory to God, they are just that.  I pray it will last forever, this bond that they have right now.  

Looking at this picture of Jonah just makes me smile.  There was a time in his elementary school years that he became painfully shy.  He would not talk to adults, and he wouldn't make eye contact.  (He did talk to family.)  When I started homechooling him and Noah in their fourth grade year, he slowly started to come out of his shell, and he has blossomed into this young man that loves talking to people.  He has such a great personality about him now, and he doesn't have a shy bone in his body.  He still hates having his picture taken, but I love capturing him when he's smiling so genuinely like he is in this picture.  And about that smile?  It is always in place, with his dimples on display.

Sweet Noah.  The word 'sweet' will always and forever precede his name.  He loves life in general.  He is the most genuine, loving, loyal, and caring young man I have ever known.  He would prefer to go without than to have someone around him go without.  He loves kids.  Just the other day, my friend Christa came over with her daughter Annalise, and the whole time they were here, Noah stayed with Annalise and did whatever she wanted.  He colored with her, he made paper airplanes for her, he took her to jump on the trampoline.  He loved being around her and took such great care of her while she was here.

It's a joy and privilege to see these four become godly men.  Being their mom is one of my favorite things in all of my life.

I said I would post about this book, but I never did.  This book will probably be my favorite book that I read this year, other than the bible.  I love Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and her radio ministry, Revive Our Hearts.  I've listened to her podcasts for sometime now, and I love how she speaks and ministers.  I've never met her, but it is evident to all how beautiful her heart for the Lord and for others is.  I basically want to be just like her when I grow up.  This book is based on Titus, mainly chapter two, verses three through five.

When I am able to write more, I will post about it, but there's so much to write about that I don't know where to start.

It is that good.

 A while back, Todd bought us a family account on Spotify.  I love, love, love having this account!  We can listen to all the music we want, any genre you can imagine, for a low price, and without commercial interruption.  I love K Love, y'all know that, but they play the same four songs over and over and over again.  There are so many old songs I love that I never hear anymore, but thanks to Spotify, I can now listen to them again.

There are a few I am always listening to: Matt Redman, Elevation Worship, Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Casting Crowns, Matt Maher, Travis Cottrell, Brooklyn Tabernacle, Prestonwood Baptist...but y'all.  This week it has been this album pictured above.  Never Lose Sight by Chris Tomlin.  It is my favorite this week.  Earlier in the week, I had this song Kyrie Eleison on repeat, but for the last two days, it's been First Love.

Another album you will hear playing all year long is These Christmas Lights by Matt Redman.  Please, don't judge me for this.

Worship music is my absolute favorite music, and I listen to it all throughout the day.  I love music in general, but worship is my preference.  Music speaks so deeply to my heart, and I really feel that God often uses it in my life to draw me closer to Him.  Even as I write this, I'm listening to some.

One requirement I like in the music I listen to is that I prefer it to be about Jesus.  I don't want to sing about how He makes me feel, I want to sing to Him about how wonderful, caring, kind, and loving He is.  One lyric in the song First Love I've been listening to is this:

Oh how I love you, Jesus
You are my greatest joy
How I adore you, Jesus
Oh, my soul, rejoice!

See what I mean?  I like to sing to Him.

Yesterday was my favorite day of the week so far.  My beautiful best friend Christa has moved back home to Memphis, and I am thrilled.  I have so missed her the last seven years of life, and I am so thankful to get to see her regularly now.  I saw her Wednesday when she and her daughter came over to eat lunch and hang out, then I saw her again yesterday as she took Graham's senior pictures.  We met on the square and walked around as she photographed him, and then we ended it by eating lunch together.  I cannot wait to see how the pictures turn out!  Our town square is beautiful, and the day was gorgeous.  This church was our last stop.  Annalise wanted her to take her pictures, and she posed for the next ten minutes.  I snagged a couple of her myself.


Life with boys is my favorite.  One of mine did this last night, and I had a good laugh over it.  Also, the little ball ripped, and I love how he drew eyes to make it a face.

It has been a great week, and I am looking forward to the weekend.  I hope yours is wonderful and restful.  Love to all.

Monday, April 17, 2017

catching up

I have bad news about this pretty plant.  I think I drowned it.  It's not dead yet, but I'm afraid it might be on its way out.  I wish I had a green thumb like my mom!  She can grow anything anywhere and for all year, and I am the polar opposite.  I specifically asked the gal at the store about the care for this little fella, and she said room temperature, no real sunlight, minimal watering.  I am not a hundred percent sure, but minimal probably means more than not ever.

I hope it sticks around, because it sure does make me happy.

Also, I finished my favorite candle.  I mean, the wick would not even light on Friday morning.  Not even a tiny spark.  It was done.  So I've been lighting this one, but it's not as good as the one I finished.  It was a gift from a really sweet teenage girl from a year ago.

I go through spells when I listen to certain songs on repeat.  This is my most current one.  I sang this song (the old version, of course) in high school choir many moons ago, and I still remembered the words.  Do yourself a favor, and go listen to this!

Chris Tomlin's songs are amazing, and I love that they're straight out of scripture.

On Saturday afternoon, while waiting on dinner, I sat down to fill up the white spaces in my planner.  I love this planner, still, four months after receiving it as a gift.  It's my favorite gift ever.  Some of those things you see are stickers and embellishments, some are drawn.  It was looking mighty white after being home with a sick kiddo all week, so I added some color and things I prayed for.  I use this for regular schedule type things, but I love to use it for prayer and quiet time as well.  I love that it comes blank, and that I can be as creative as I want.

I wasn't sure if we would be going to church on Resurrection Sunday, but we were able to go!  Drew was finally feeling well enough, and I was thrilled to not have to miss another Resurrection Sunday.  Look at my grown up boys!  They're so handsome, if I do say so myself.  I loved sitting with them during the service, since I didn't sing in choir.

After the early service I came home to finish up our lunch.  I'd put a roast on the night before and I added some finishing touches and side dishes and called it a day.  My mom and sister brought potato salad and sweet treats, and I am so thankful!  They were delicious.  Still are, in fact...they need to get out of our house!

After lunch, Toddley and I fell asleep and enjoyed a quiet afternoon at home, while the boys hung out with friends.  Some ended up here after they went out to eat and stayed until late.  I love having their friends over!  Their laughter is like music to my ears, and I am so thankful for the sweet friendships they have.  It was a good weekend and today we decontaminated this house and washed all the bedding and blankets and used the rest of the Lysol.  (Not really.)  I did get out today for a bit, but more about that tomorrow....

Love to all!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Good Friday to you, my friends.  This is my favorite time of year, and the most holiest of days in the life of a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I pray that you and your family have a blessed weekend of celebrating our RISEN SAVIOR.

I am linking up with Andrea over at Momfessionals for this post.

I have TONS of favorites to share with you this week, so bear with me!  I don't know how I have so many when this week has been so slow with my sick kids.

First up on the list is my family.  They have called or texted or prayed or volunteered to bring us food, and I am very thankful for them.  They're definitely some of my favorite people on this planet, and I love them.

Next on my favorites list is this lady.  She has prayed for us, and though I've not seen her in MONTHS (not really), we have talked on the phone every single day, almost.  We've laughed, we've made inside jokes, we've made plans for our future when we someday run a store together, we've just talked about everything else under the sun.  I cannot wait to see her in person again, eventually.  Until then, I might call her three hundred and four times a day.

Fresh fruit has been our favorite lately.  My husband takes a bunch with him to work everyday, and we've all been making our way through all this that is in this stand.  Also, I love my new little stand I bought from Home Goods last week.

I tried to kill this little campanula plant I bought last week, but I did not succeed!  That makes this my favorite plant ever.  It's hardy.  And by the "little" amounts of water that the lady told me this requires, it does actually need watering everyday.

Sick kids are NOT my favorite.  I do love taking care of them, though, but it's been a rough week and couple of days.  Drew had a weird rash break out all over him last night and I took him to the doctor thinking it was scarlet fever from strep throat, which is what the doctor thought Noah had last week and treated him for.  We determined that we didn't think it was strep, though, because he kept on being really sick, even on the medicine.  We thought it was either a bad virus or the flu, because Drew caught it and has been in bed with fever and body aches all week.  Until last night when he came down with a rash, and I had flash backs from when he was four and broke out with scarlet fever because he'd had strep and we had no clue.  His throat never hurts when he has this.  I thought for sure that's what it was last night, but the test came back negative and white blood cell count was perfect.  She determined it was hives from the virus he's had all week.  And hives are caused by stress, and being that sick is no walk in the park.  So, if you want to pray for him about this, we would appreciate it.  They were all over him when he went to bed last night.

My favorite times this week have been spent praying and reading the word of God.  He teaches me so much in His word, and I've taken tons of notes this week.  It's been my sanity.

This was one of my favorite services ever.  Eight churches joined together for a night of prayer and praise and worship at Bellevue, a local mega church in Memphis, and our pastor was one of the preachers.  I didn't get to go because of sick kids, but I watched online.  It was AMAZING.

Another favorite moment this week: spending one on one time with Graham riding back together from taking his Bronco to the shop.  I love this kid so much.

Favorite new pen: the Sharpie marker pen I bought myself last week.  I love how these write!

Karen Kingsbury is my favorite author.  This book was really good, but this series hasn't been my favorite.  I still enjoyed it, though, and am so excited for her newest book coming in June or July, called Love Story.  If you've read the Redemption series with the Baxters, this is the love story of John and Elizabeth Baxter, the patriarch and matriarch of that family.  I cannot wait!

Favorite Friday morning view.  I love my quiet times with the Lord.

I pray that if you're a believer, that you have a blessed weekend of celebrating our risen King.  If you're in need of a church to attend and are local to me, I'd love to have you at Collierville First Baptist Church.  We'll have two services: one at nine fifteen and one at ten forty-five.  I'm not sure if I'll be there or not, it'll depend on how people in this house are feeling, but even if I do go, I won't be sitting in choir, but will just attend in the congregation.

This is the holiest time of year, for those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ.  I am eternally grateful for His sacrifice on my (your) behalf, and that I will never again be separated from God.  (Sin=eternal separation from God.)  I wrote about this yesterday...scroll down to the entry from yesterday, if you're interested.

Love to all.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

There was a time in my life when I thought I was a believer....

(My church people who were at DNOW will get that title.)

I read something so beautiful today in my quiet time, and I wanted to share it with you, thinking that maybe someone needed to hear this today.

I spent part of my quiet time this morning reading Psalm 136.  For anyone who doesn't know, I am always going through the book of Psalms.  I love reading this Old Testament book.  Anyway, it's one of those Psalms that may have been sung by the congregation in response to the priests.  (I got that straight out of the commentary at the bottom of my bible on the page I was reading from today.)  Over and over the Psalmist writes a phrase, like "give thanks to the LORD, for He is good", and the response will be, "His love is eternal".  

And that's it...that phrase said in response is something that I couldn't get over this morning. 

I don't know about you, but I am so thankful for those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and have placed our faith in Him, making Him the Lord of our lives, that His love for us is eternal.  And I don't know about you, but for me, that is so reassuring, because I mess up all the time.  I don't necessarily mean to sin, but before I know it, I'm having a mean thought about someone.  I'm getting mad.  I'm impatient.  I'm saying a careless word.

I think that many people think that you have to be "good" to be a believer.  That's not true!  Nobody on earth could ever be good enough to be given eternal life through Jesus Christ.  The one and only Man who ever lived like that was He Himself, a few thousand years ago when He walked on this earth.  

God wants us like we are.  Blemished.  Imperfect.  Messy.  Complicated.  Doubtful.  Unloved.  

The reason He wants us those messed up ways is so that He can do the refining of us.  That is called sanctification, and that is an ongoing process, like until the day we die.  That way, He will get the credit for how our lives are lived.  Not us...the only thing we deserve is eternal separation from the God who created this world.  But by Him getting the credit and the praise for what our new lives look like, the world will know that He is the one who did that work within us.  

Take me, for example.  I prayed a prayer when I was about five years old, to be saved.  I honestly do not think that prayer meant anything to me, because I was so young, but I could be wrong.  For the rest of my growing up years, I lived life my way.  I didn't pay much attention to God, the One I'd called on to save me from eternal separation from Him. I think I had some moments when God was drawing me to Him, but I think I was responding because of the experience at that moment, like youth camp.  Everyone else was raising their hands, so I did too.  Everyone else went forward to pray, so I did too.  I was asked to help lead worship at the church I attended in my last years of high school, and so I looked the part, because I was supposed to.  But on the inside, I believe with everything in me that my heart was FULL of junk.  

When I was twenty eight years old, I had a huge moment with God.  I don't remember exactly what happened in that moment, but I know that God literally stopped me in my tracks from the life I'd been living, picked me up and turned me in the opposite direction, and from that point on, I've never gone back to that old life.  I gave up smoking, I stopped speaking foul language, I never again said His name in vain, I started devouring the scriptures, and He birthed in me this passion for prayer and His word.  

Around the time of this happening, my kind and gracious Lord placed very strategic people around me, like my old choir director and his sweet wife, Kent and Kathy.  These people and many, many others ministered to me through the power of the Holy Spirit during that formative year of my life, and I was studying the word of God and longing for more and more of Him like I'd never experienced before.  I was being taught through His word, and through such people discipling me, how to pray, how to know more of Him, how to study His word.  He was basically getting me ready for the toughest time I'd ever walk through in my life, but thanks be to God Himself that when it felt like I had no one else around me, I had Him.  

Praise be to God Almighty, that my kids do not remember the old me.  I prayed specifically for Him to do things in my life, and He answered every single one of those prayers.  I prayed that I'd never again crave nicotine.  He totally took away that desire, and even now, I can be around it, and I have never one time wanted to start that habit again.  I prayed that He would blot out the old me and the old Todd (because God did a major transformation in his life that looked very similar to what I'd gone through), and that our children would never remember us in those old ways.  

And they don't.  Just the other day I said something about how I used to smoke, and they all looked at me like I'd lost my mind.  Glory to God for that!  At the very least, Graham should remember this because he remembers EVERYTHING.  

All of these things that happened to me are when I really believe with all of my heart that I became a believer.  There's a message I heard on a podcast by J.D. Greer that is titled "Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart", and in that message, he basically says the same thing.  It's not about a prayer.  It's about a total 180 degree turn in your life.  That is EXACTLY what God did in my life on that one specific night.  It was a night, I do remember that, and I even remember how in my kitchen at home when Todd was gone and all the kids were in bed, the Lord just broke me, and I started crying out to Him in prayer.  

And to anyone I might have offended or if you remember something I did before all of this, know that I was acting as a believer when in fact, I was an unbeliever.  In one bible study I participated in, the teacher said something along those lines...that we often expect unbelievers to act like believers, but they can't!  Unbelievers are living in total darkness and they've been blinded, or it's as if there is a veil over their eyes.  But when we believe in Him, place our faith and our hope in Him, and when we call on His name, making Him the Lord (or boss) of our lives, that veil is removed and all of a sudden, we're living in light.  I remember experiencing that in that time frame of my 28th year.  All my desires changed.  My focus shifted totally.  I only wanted to live my life one way, and that way was to be as closely like Jesus as I could be.  

I said all of that to say this one thing: once we are His, we are always His.  We can turn our backs on Him and we can forget about Him if we're not careful, but His word says over and over and over that He never leaves us, never forsakes us, once we're His.  It says that in Psalm 136 that I was reading this morning...His love is eternal.  It says that in one of my all time favorite passages of scripture passages of all time.  I'll just write it out for you here.

It's Romans 8:38 and 39.

For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Once we are His, we are FOREVER His.  Not even our death can separate us, in fact, when we breathe our last breath on this earth, that is when our life is just starting.  For all of eternity, with Him, in heaven.  

Don't you want that hope?  I am so thankful for this hope I have in Him.  So much so that I cannot imagine my life without Him.  I desperately need Him everyday, every moment of my life.  Like my friend Abbey said one time, I can go without a lot.  But the one thing I cannot go without is my Lord Jesus.  I love Him so.

If you want to know more about this, will you reach out to me?  TODAY?  We're never promised tomorrow, my friends.  Don't wait any longer.  

Love to all.  

And to finish off the rest of that title...

There was a time in my life when I thought I was a believer.  I was going through the motions, and playing the part perfectly, until one night in my kitchen, God drew me out of darkness and brought me into His glorious light.  He had been working on my heart for quite some time, and on this one night, I paid attention to the stirring I felt in my heart.  Now, I live my life for Him and for Him alone, and I want everything in my life to show off how amazing He is.  Do you want this kind of life?  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

quiet time resources

Happy Wednesday!

I get asked pretty often what bible I use, and about my routines in the morning.  I think you pretty well know those by now, most people who read this, but I thought I'd touch on that, and what I use each morning for my quiet time.

I'll start with my bible.

This is the inside, and where I was reading this morning.  It's an HCSB Study Bible.  I love it for a million reasons, but the main reason I love it is because every single time God is referred to as He, or Him, or His, those pronouns are capitalized.  That is extremely helpful when you're reading and trying to figure out who is being talked about.

I also love it because often times God is referred to as Yahweh.  In the New Testament, instead of a verse maybe saying something about Christ, it will say Messiah.  I love that!

I love it because there are pictures and maps and vocabulary boxes on a lot of the pages that tell you what the original word was (it's Hebrew, Aramaic in part of Daniel, or Greek) and it's meaning in the original language.

It's really big and heavy, which I also happen to love, and it lays perfectly flat.  There are little tabs on it to help me find those minor prophet books (Joel, Hosea, Amos, etc.), and the pages feel good in my fingers and turn easily.

Know that this is a book nerd describing to you why she loves her bible so much.

I like to keep one bible to use for everything.  Meaning, I use this for my quiet time everyday, and I take it to church with me every Sunday.  I go through bibles pretty often, every two or three years, because I read them, mark them up, personalize them for my family members, and will someday pass them along to them.  The more I read, the more I understand, and the more I understand, the more I crave, therefore, this means that my bible is all marked up.

Also, just for fun, I recently read where CSB is the bible that is the closest to the original languages.  Now, I'll tell you when and how I felt dumb.  We were discussing this at community groups the other night, with our senior girls, and one of the girls brought up a picture that her mom had sent her about how closely each type bible is to the original language, and how readable it is.

I felt dumb, because I said to them, "Oh, I've never heard of that one."  The next week at bible study, my friend Renee brought in her new bible, that is CSB.  And Missy and I looked at each other with eyes as wide as a deer's that is caught in headlights when she said, "CSB is the same bible you've got, but the H is being taken out."  DUH.  I've heard for years that NASB was the closest translated, with ESV following close behind it, but according to this, that's no longer true.  And now, I want a bible just like my friend Renee's.  It's the new She Reads Truth bible, but they don't capitalize the pronouns that refer to God.  I have a problem.  I know.  

Moving on to the rest of this blog post now.

I'll share about the journal next.  Isn't mine cute?!  Sidenote: Hobby Lobby has wonderful products for sell by Dayspring, and among them are cards for all occasions and journals like this one above.  Who would've guessed?  I will never buy another card from any other place.  

I use my journal for EVERYTHING.  In quiet time, I keep track of where I'm reading.  I write down all my scripture writings in this.  I keep my daily list of five things I'm thankful for inside.  I keep to-do lists, thoughts, blog ideas, books I want to read, scriptures I want to memorize, every single little thing, I use this one journal for.  Oh!  And for sermon notes on Sunday, too.  Or podcast notes.  Needless to say, I go through journals pretty quickly.  I could talk for days about how to do this, but mostly, I just write what I'm thinking.  If I have something I'm worried about, I write it down and turn it into a prayer to the Lord.  

I cannot stress how great this is to do.  It clears my mind, the writing out of everything, and it is so faith building to look back on.  I keep prayer lists and needs in here and I write down all my answered prayers.  

I'm a visual kinda gal, so I love a cute jar with my favorite pens.  (Candle, optional.)  I use these Papermate Flair felt tip pens all the time.  I love them!  My black one disappeared, though, so I'm sad about that.  I use them in my bible instead of highlighters, because highlighters bleed so bad through the tissue thin pages of my bible.  These do bleed through a little bit, but I'd prefer this to highlighters.  

I love these little pens.  I used to purchase the expensive Stabilo pens from Amazon (Hobby Lobby has them, too!), but there's no need anymore.  These are cheaper, and they don't dry out as quickly as the Stabilo brand.  

I like to light a candle for my quiet time.  Like I said, I am a visual kind of person, so I like things that make my surroundings appealing to the eye.  Also, candles make my environment more cozy.  And remember that whole book I read on that topic last week?  Well.  Go back and read the review I did.

I bought these Sharpie marker pens last weekend and love them, too.  I needed a good black pen to replace the Papermate Flair one I lost.  These do not bleed at all!  But the package must say that, or they will.  

Also, notice my bluetooth speaker.  I love to have music on some mornings.  Not every morning, but sometimes when I can't focus well, soft music actually helps my brain to slow down and concentrate.  We have a family Spotify account, and I have several artists and albums in my library on the app.  If this is appealing to you, here are some artists or albums that I have repeat.

I'm Living Proof by Travis Cottrell.

These Christmas Lights by Matt Redman.

Anything else available by those two artists.

I also love Elevation Worship, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Passion worship, and Casting Crowns.  

My top three favorites are Travis Cottrell, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin.  Much of their lyrics come straight out of scripture.  I love good, worshipful music.  To me, we should be singing to God about God, not about us or how He makes us feel.  

That's what I use every single day.  

To begin each day, I spend time in prayer, then I read the bible (having asked God to teach me something new that day), I write out scripture, I write down five things I'm grateful for, and later in the day, I do my bible study homework.  

I pray this inspires someone to start a consistent quiet time.  I also post to Instagram for that inspire someone to get into the word of God.  People have done that for me, and I like to pass the favor along.  I have so many people who always inspire me in their walk with God, so if you'd like some recommendations on who to follow for that, comment, and I'll share some.  

Have a great day!  Love to all.  

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