Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least our of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.  ~ John Edwards

Monday, March 15, 2010

Horray for Spring!

Thankful Mondays...my thankfulness continues...

13. Spring is springing!  The cherry trees are blooming!

14. Grandparents are visiting!  What a special gift of time they have given us.

15. God's Word is more powerful than a double-edged sword!

16. God is building His tabernacle in ME!  (See Exodus)

17. Funny children and laughter!

18. Did I mention spring is here?!?  This fact brings a smile to my face!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wilderness Wanderings

We have been reading Exodus for our family devotion time.  Just like the Israelites, my recent past few weeks has felt a bit like an uncomfortable and irritating wilderness trek.  Imagine dirty feet, lots of walking and carrying stuff...and the temperature extremes!  I don't really have any of those things...but what I do have is decisions to make for schooling for next year (in the midst of still trying to finish out this year), sins and shortcomings in my life and that of my children, personalities of people that the Lord has put into my life that can be challenging at times, doubts and questions about what I'm doing etc.etc.etc.

I'll be honest and say that there have been times when I've read this book of the Bible and thought, "Wow, those Israelites were a bunch of ingrates!  They saw AMAZING miracles by the hand of God, and yet they grumbled, complained, and doubted." 

Then, I walk out of a season that I've just been through in the past few weeks and marvel at my ability to lose sight of WHO YHVH IS!!  How does that happen?  If the Israelites had really known the answer to the question WHO IS YHVH?, surely, they wouldn't have grumbled, complained, and made a false god to worship.  Surely, if I KNEW who YHVH is...I, too, would pass through the seasons of wilderness wanderings that I have in my life with a better testimony than I have displayed in the past few weeks. 

This time of year (March-ish) is always a struggle for me in homeschooling.  We have worked really hard for a really long time, but there is still a really good chunk of work left to be done.  Then, there is so much talk, talk, talk about plans for next year.  Too often I fall into the trap of discouragement and weariness.  I don't look to who YHVH is...I look at myself and my weaknesses and weariness.  Just like those Israelites before me, I so quickly forget the marvelous hand of God working in my family (that I am a redeemed child of the King!, that my husband and children are redeemed children of the King!, the sweet, sweet times our family shares together, what my children are learning about the amazing world that God has created, and so much more...). 

THEN, the Word of God captivates my heart, piercing me to the core:

Exodus 33: 12-14 

Moses said to the Lord, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.  You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.'  If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.  Remember that this nation is your people.

The Lord replied, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

The Jennifer version:

Jennifer said to the Lord, 'You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not make it really clear to me how I'm supposed to do that.  There are the SATs, ACTs, college looming, etc.  You have said, 'Jennifer, I know you by name and you have found favor with me.'

Jennifer says, "Lord, if you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so that I may know you and continue to find favor with you.  Remember that this family is your people."

The Lord replies, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."  Jennifer weeps in the arms of her Heavenly Father because He is so good!  She can do anything if His presence is with her!  She can find rest.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's Monday again...

Time moves so quickly!  It seems to be busy and full of seemingly mundane tasks.  Cleaning house, schooling children, working the schedule of who needs to be where and when, shuttle service to get the whos to where they need to be and when, laundry, making dinner...all to be repeated again the next day.  All of these tasks add up to the life the Lord has called me to as wife and mother in this family!  I need to get better at putting, "post on blog" on the list of to do's.

Recently I have been thinking about and praying for my sweet sister Lauren who has four children under the age of six!  Whew!  Although I never had four, I do remember back to the days when my three were under the age of four or five or six.  Such tiring and long days.  This past weekend I was looking through old photo albums to get some pictures of my sweet, oldest daughter who will be turning 14 on Sunday.  Such precious memories.  Lots of hugs, kisses, cuddles on the couch, reading together, arts and crafts, enjoying nature...together...together...together.   I want to tell my sister that these are really such sweet days, but she knows that.  The reality is that they are tiring, draining, and, at times, discouraging days, too.  But as that season passes and the Lord's faithfulness and goodness are what is seen "on the other side", it is a great reminder to me, too, that during these tiring, draining, and too often times, discouraging days that I find myself in, the Lord is faithful and good.  I know that I will look back on these years when my not-so-little ones are practicing spreading their wings and becoming more and more who God created them to be each day, and I will remember precious memories of talking, laughing, reading together, working together, enjoying life together!

I know that all too soon our together times will be fewer and fewer as they go to college and follow the path that the Lord has laid out for them.  Those times will, too, be filled with precious memories - just different from the season we are in right now..and certainly different from the toddler/young child season we have left behind.  I so wish that on a daily basis, I would remember how sweet these present moments are and enjoy them to the fullest.

The list of what I'm thankful for continues:

7. God's faithfulness in spite of my faithlessness!
8.  Children who are maturing in the things of the Lord and desire a right relationship with Him and with me!
9.  Breaks from school - our co-op is taking a winter break this week.  It is nice to breathe!
10.  Family visits...this should count as multiple items because I love it when family visits.  My sister Aimee and her awesome crew are coming this week for a few fun days.
11.  Unexpected quiet moments...Jerry and Abigail are enjoying watching Randy's basketball game.  I stayed home to shuttle to Alex from Show Choir.  She is diligently working on a paper, and I'm blogging...quiet moments!
12.  Diligent children - see #11.
13.  Warm socks...certainly not a very spiritual thing to be thankful for...but,seriously, I have the coldest feet E.V.E.R.  Thick, warm, fuzzy socks really make me smile :).
14.  Old photographs!  How often has the Lord used old photographs to remind me of His love, faithfulness, and goodness to me.  Like the commercial says:  Priceless!

One tired, but really happy mommy!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Quotable Quotes...

A parenting nugget ~ "Encouragement after failure is as important as praise after success."

Mark Gregston

Monday, February 1, 2010

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart...

One of my favorite blogs to read is Ebenezer Stories. Beth is someone that I would love to have tea with and learn from on a daily basis. She participates in 1000 gifts which is beautifully explained here. Oh, I have so many things to be thankful for on a moment-by-moment basis!

1.  For my sweet husband...I mentioned that I would like to change the look of my website, and viola!  I have to be careful of what I mention because he will jump all over it.  Sweet, sweet man!
2.  My lovely daughter, Alex, who spent all Sunday afternoon preparing for her new venture of collecting frozen casseroles for us to take to the Harvest Center in Charlotte.  She made four spaghetti casseroles (and did an amazing job cleaning the kitchen afterwards) and a cute-as-can-be flyer to pass around at dance.
3.  SNOW!  The Lord blessed us with a beautiful covering this weekend.  It was great to clear the docket and just enjoy peace, quiet, and family for the weekend.
4.  Snuggling close with Abigail and reading "Night Journey" by Avi this weekend.
5.  Family devotion times - great reminder today from Exodus 15...God moves mightily in our lives and days later, we can begin to complain.  Lord, help me to thank you in all circumstances.
6.  Great teaching and teachers who share their heart.  I've been so enjoying reading and listening to resources from Mark Gregston.  He has a free ebook, emails etc. to encourage parents of teens.  Good stuff!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

So blessed...the adventures continue

My sister Lauren has been encouraging me to continue contributing to my blog. My thought: "What in the world do I have to contribute in the blog world?" Since then, I've had a few thoughts or ponderings that I would then think, "I could put that on the blog". Then my next thought: "Why would I do that?" O.K...the debate still rages on in my head, but I figure that I will use this place as a record of my adventures as a wife, mom, teacher, and follower of Lord...if nothing else than to look back on it and see how the Lord has so greatly blessed me.

I originally started the blog to record our trip to California, so that my awesome family members could enjoy the trip along with us. We had a wonderful snowy evening last night that has continued into today. What this means for those that don't live in NC is that EVERYTHING shuts down! The girls and I headed to the grocery store yesterday afternoon before the storm came in to grab something for dinner. When I commented to the bagger about the crazy amount of people at the store, he said, "Well, the world is coming to end...people want to be prepared!" It really did look like it from the amount of intensity in Food Lion!

Anyways...all of the plans for the weekend were cancelled...yay! Always loving a great family moment, Jerry put a long in the fireplace, hooked his laptop to the tv, and made the announcement, "FAMILY VIDEOS!" We spent over an hour watching the slideshows and videos and reliving our awesome trip to California this summer. I was reminded again about God's gift to our family in the form of special time together! I have become keenly aware of how fast time is moving...my oldest will be getting his license in just over four months. Special times all together are a real blessing!

So...full circle back to contributing to the blog...it was definitely a fun part of our trip...each night documenting the fun we had for that day and posting the pictures. Let's see if I enjoy posting on a more daily basis as our family journeys together...