Friday, March 30, 2012

Oklahoma Field Trip

Today I had the opportunity to go on a field trip with our youngest two children.  Here are some of my favorite pictures.  

We went to the GW Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, OK and stopped on the way out of the park to snap a group picture.  Beautiful wisteria in the background.
Teacher, Mrs. Johnson was brave and kissed the camel!  (YUCK!)
Since our school mascot is the tiger, we were all so excited to see so many of these beautiful animals at the park!
The students (and adults) were VERY excited to see the baby tigers!  They were very playful and learning to pounce.  My two boys were able to pet them quite often during the visit.
The little bear was adorable, too!  All baby animals are, it seems.
This huge Siberian Tiger was standing up to see what was going on!
We also went to the Bedre' Fine Chocolate company in Pauls Valley, OK.  We weren't allowed to take photos inside of the chocolate factory, but enjoyed stopping by and looking at the plant facilities and getting samples, plus buying more chocolate.  It's very, very good chocolate.  Reminds me of some that my nephews brought home from Austria.  They ship all over the United States, if you're interested.  They supply some products for Neiman Marcus, as well as other companies.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Sports

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit. He's 9.

I knew something was wrong when Biscuit came into the house after playing with his brothers, plopped down in the recliner and sighed loudly.  I ignored it (like all good mothers do.  Ha Ha.....not really, but just wanted to see if he would say anything.)  Biscuit sat there a while, then got up and went to his room.  In a little bit, he came back, sat back down and sighed even louder.  

I asked, "What's wrong?"

Biscuit said, "It's going to be a hard decision on whether to ever pick up a golf club again or not.
Sports are not my thing!  Sell my golf clubs on eBay."

Without hesitation, I replied, "Okay, then go get all of your golf hats and golf shirts and shorts because we can sell them, too."   

Biscuit, after thinking about it for a few seconds, "Well, I might change my mind."

About that time my husband came through the living room and we told him of Biscuit's plight, to which he responded, "It's not about today, it's about how you bounce back from it."

I guess that was all it took because in a matter of 10 minutes, Biscuit went from being all down and out, to bouncing back and back in to sports.  I didn't think it would last long!

This story is funny because those who know Biscuit know that ever since he was little, he's had some kind of ball in his hand.  His first word was football, while sitting at a baseball game.  He's more into sports than any of us are at all, though he's made us more that way in some ways.

Aren't we as adults sometimes just like Biscuit?  We have something go wrong and all of a sudden we just feel like giving up?  How about in our Christian walk?  Do you ever feel like giving up?  Maybe you do.

There is a lot to be said about finishing the race of our Christian walk - or run, I should say! Luke penned in the book of Acts, "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace," Acts 20:24.  It's easy at times to feel down and out like Biscuit did, but we must remember that God is there with us and will carry us through the tough times.  We also have Christian brothers and sisters who are willing and able to help us get through the down times, as well.  We must persevere because the prize at the end is worth it!  As my husband advised Biscuit, it really isn't about the trials and troubles of today, but rather how you and I overcome those down times with God's help.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

GRATITUESDAY - GREEN!

Last week southwest Oklahoma got quite a bit of much-needed rain and it caused everything to "GREEN" over the next few days.  I have seen posts on Facebook about the beautiful GREEN spring, heard people say how pretty it is to see GREEN, and I have to agree!  Because of our long, long, LONG drought, it's been a while since we've seen this much GREEN around!!

Thank you, God, for the GREEN you've blessed us with!  Thank you for the rain!  Thank you for the sunshine!  Thank you for the mild temperatures!  What a blessing!

Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.
JOEL 2:23

Join us for GRATITUESDAY at www.heavenlyhomemakers.com!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ways to Keep the Family Connected - Part 2

Continued thoughts from THIS POST last week.

Here are more ways to keep the family connected, although because the points were from Dr. Gilmore's sermon and the thoughts following are from me (because I couldn't write his thoughts down fast enough!), some seem to overlap.  I'm sure his thoughts were more defined.

6.  COMMIT TO REGULAR FAMILY TIMES TOGETHER
Because the importance of family time has already been mentioned in the previous points, I'll focus on the word "commit" in this point.  If the parents don't believe that family time spent together is important, the children are going to grow up believing it's not important.  When every family member is committed to making time for one another and to the special relationships that are formed, "commitment" is achieved.

This commitment to each other is the glue that holds the family together.  The best commitment of family together time you can have is to worship God together, to sing praises to God and Jesus together, to pray together, to serve God together.  Keep God the center of family time!!

We're all committed to something.  Some are committed to sports.  Some are committed to jobs.  Some are committed to their cell phones or their TV shows.  Christian families need to be committed to God/Jesus.....to each other, and to helping and serving others.  That will make the family committed to each other in a way that Satan will have a tough time trying to break!

7.  CONTROL TV WATCHING
I would add to this and say to control cell phone use/texting, computer surfing, and Facebook/Twitter, etc., movies ....anything that takes away from your family time.  It's a struggle, I know.  Last year our 4th - 8th grade students all received a laptop at school because of a grant our school had received.  Our oldest two children already had a laptop, my husband had one, and I had a regular desktop computer.  One evening I walked into the living room....early in the school year....and ALL FIVE of my family members were on their computers (and most likely I had been on mine in another room during that time) and all sitting in the living room with the TV on! It really made me sad.  Just the thought that this wonderful grant had changed our family so much, to where everyone sat - focused on the screen right in front of them - but all sitting in the same room.  That night we made a concentrated effort from then on to limit the use of the computers at home even more.  Our kids were (and still are) already limited on being online and don't have any video games or play them much at all online, but during that first part with the school computers their teachers had them doing lots of projects with them at home.  We were thankful when the newness wore off of the grant computers, and they didn't have to be on them much any more.

The biggest problem with all of the electronics and electronic media/social media, is that it is cutting down on face to face time within families.  Children would rather text their parents/friends/etc. sometimes more than talk to them face to face.  If we're watching TV, movies, etc., it limits communication in the family.  We need to use the time our children are in our homes and under our supervision to TALK to them.  When we're TALKING, and they are LOOKING and LISTENING, they are LEARNING.  That's our job - to teach!

8. TRY HAVING MORE MINI VACATIONS
Dr. Gilmore was having to talk fast and quick during this time, so I for sure know he didn't say too much about this point, but I thought about a lesson I heard years ago from Carl Breechen and Paul Faulkner.  (I think it was a taped series they would do about the family.)  Faulkner said that there was nothing better for a family than to take a family camping trip together.  He went on to tell funny stories about his family going on trips.  Basically the idea was that in "roughing it" together, the family grew closer.  Some families would prefer a "less rough"vacation and stay in a hotel!

Financially, your family may not be able to go on a big vacation ever.  Gas is high.  Tickets are high.  Everything seems high!  It costs a lot to do much of anything.  But, you don't have to spend a lot of money to do some things - if you are creative in your planning.  For example, go to a free museum or a landmark that is nearby.  Take a picnic to a park or lake.  We live in a very rural, not over-populated area of the world.  There are plenty of "free" places to go exploring all around us, so I'm sure there are where you are, as well.

We've never had (or wanted) a vehicle with a DVD player because we wanted car time to be spent talking to each other.  When the kids were little we sang a lot in the car.  Worship CD's and Disney music were our favorites!  It was always neat at our monthly singing nights because our youngest son would lead so many different songs at such a young age.....and he knew all of the words! It was because we sang them in the car all of the time.  He still knows a lot of songs by heart.  Sunday night when the song leader announced the song number that youngest (now 9) said, "Why does anyone need a song book for that song?"  He'd known it since he was two!  Good memories!

9.  EAT AT LEAST ONE MEAL A DAY TOGETHER
Of all of the parenting talks, books, lessons, etc., I've heard or read in my 17 years of being a parent, this is the one point that I always remember being in the list.  Why?  Why is family meal time together important?  Well, think back to old television shows like Leave It To Beaver and others like that.  When did they show the family gathered together for the most part?  At the dinner table. (or breakfast/lunch).  The family dinner table was the core of family conversations.  It was where the parents and children talked about their day and their dreams about the future.  Sadly, the family dinner table has become the car fast-food-drive-through or everyone eating by themselves, in the living room, in chairs, on the floor, etc., with the TV on, laptop on, cell phones in use kind of lifestyle.  It's not good.

This point, in my opinion, goes along with point #5.  Every one in the family must be committed to the importance of family meal time for it to be a success....or at least the parents in the family must both be committed to its importance.  Of all of the points, this one is the biggest struggle for our family because of school activities and our own activities/schedules, as parents. However, when we do eat all six together, it is at the table and if it's fewer than six there at the time, we're still at the table.....with an occasional picnic in the living room floor. :)

10.  SLOW DOWN AND LIVE
This is one of those points that it's a lot easier to say than it is to do, isn't it??!  I commented just last week to our oldest (and only daughter) that I wished I could start all over again with having babies and raising them because it goes by so fast, BUT I would like to have the knowledge I do now in the going back.  It just doesn't work that way, unfortunately!

When our first three children were little, they were each 22 months apart.  It was fun, but crazy and busy, and most of the time I felt like I was in a whirlwind.  Now we're busy having fun watching them be involved in activities and in our own activities, and it still feels like a crazy whirlwind, but a fun whirlwind, at the same time!  I suppose that's going to continue, BUT in that craziness and business, we can find a time and place to slow down just for a little while from time to time.  Those times give us a chance to catch our breaths before gearing up for the next "season" of fast-paced life......until the next little break.  Mostly we just have to remember to "Keep Calm and Carry On".....to keep the stress of life at a minimum and just enjoy loving each other and being with each other while we can.

As Christians, if we allow ourselves to become too busy, we might be tempted to neglect God.  We might begin missing worship with our church family because we don't feel like we have time to go.  We might say no to opportunities to serve others in need or to help with programs of outreach because we feel like we can't fit it into our schedules.  It's a sad situation when we allow "things" to take the place of serving our God!

So, there they are.....10 ways to keep your family connected and committed to God and each other.  I hope you've enjoyed the thoughts!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ways to Keep the Family Connected - Part 1

Soooo, if you have been reading my posts the past few days, you may remember that I said Tuesday that "tomorrow" I would continue the family thoughts.  It didn't happen.  Sorry about that.  It's spring break and my schedule is erratic! :)

The following are the first five points Dr. Gilmore gave on keeping the family committed and connected.  I'll do the next five points next week. My thoughts follow the points.

1.  Prioritize
I have a ladies class lesson I've done showing how, instead of trying to list the most important things in life from 1 to 10 (for example), we should make a circle within a circle....and make sections within the outer circle. GOD is in the center circle and everything else in life is written in each of those sections in the outer circle.  That way GOD is in the center of EVERY part of life.  Example: In our family, God is the center.  In our work, God is in the center.  In our entertainment choices, God is in the center.

2.  Monitor Outside Activity (meaning "away from the family" activity)
I heard a preacher say once that he limited his children to one activity and recommended doing that to parents for their own families.  In a small town, I have to say that is really hard to do!  Students here are involved in a LOT of things all at once, sometimes because if they weren't there wouldn't be enough players on the team, etc.  However, it's really easy to become too busy with "stuff and things" and allow all of that to get in the way of our spiritual lives and our family commitments, so we must be willing to say no some times.  I know it's hard.  We face it every day.  I have a theory, though.  I appreciate coaches and have some family and friends that are coaches, but I also believe they would and will rule the world if we allow them to do so. (Family/friends/kid's coaches.....please forgive me.  I mean no harm!! :0) ha ha ha...(I said this at a ladies day event a few years ago, and a coaches wife was in attendance.  The next morning at worship she said she told her husband what I said!  I was a little worried until she said, "He agrees with you!" :)

3. Control Work Schedule
Money is a necessity in every one's life, but many of the "things" of life are not really necessities.  What is that saying, "We spend money we don't have to impress people we don't like"??  For some, maybe that's true.  For others, maybe we work and work and work so that we can have things that are wants instead of needs...all the while giving away more and more precious family time.  Our children grow up so quickly!  Time spent WITH them is so much more important than the MATERIAL THINGS we might give them.  Children would much rather have their parents around and involved in their lives than not, even if they don't want to admit it publicly.

4.  Develop Family Philosophy of Leisure and Together Time
Obviously each individual in a family is going to have different ideas of what is enjoyable and fun.  For one, it might be working in the yard.  For another it might be board games.  For another, maybe it's TV or a movie.  We're all different.  So we have to be creative, don't we?  Maybe a family game night one week, a movie the next week, and everyone helping in the yard another week.  Or, maybe write down ideas and draw an activity from a jar.  The important thing is just being together - without distractions of cell phones, computers, etc.  The important thing is talking...communicating with one another.  There have been times in our lives when I have thought it was a treat if all six of us were in the car together!  Sounds strange, I know, but at times that doesn't happen very often.  The older our children get and more involved in those activities I mentioned above, the less often we're all together. 

5. No Amount of Money Can Fix the Problems in the Family
I really liked this point!  Isn't it true?  No dollar amount can fix what is lacking.  No dollar amount can make what is bad, good.  When problems arise, only you and I can fix them.  We have to work together within the family unit to make things better.  Stifling anger and harboring resentments will only make things worse.  Some people have trouble letting others know their true feelings.  On the other hand, some have trouble with controlling their emotions.  There's a happy medium where problems are worked on and not ignored.  Problems might not can be fixed, but they can be handled.  It doesn't have to involve money, but it does take work.  It's worth the work to help your family be the very best that it can be.

More points to follow next week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stuck Together Like Glue

In Sunday night's lesson that I mentioned in my previous post, Dr. Gilmore talked about "Keeping the Family Connected".  In a marriage, there is a commitment, or there should be a commitment, by both the husband and the wife.  The thoughts below are partly from him and partly from me.

The "Commitment Promise" is:

1. Exclusive: The commitment only involves the married couple - the husband and the wife.  Adding to this couple or taking away from it defiles the commitment.  In addition, "adding to" would also include homosexual relationships that are not God's design of marriage.  (Note:  *Hooray for Kirk Cameron who is speaking up about this subject in Hollywood.  For obvious reasons, Cameron is receiving a lot of backlash for his willingness to speak up about this hot topic.)

2.  Unconditional:  The marriage commitment is not based upon any conditions.  It remains intact through the good times and the bad times, through thick and thin (both physically and metaphorically).

3.  Enduring:  The commitment endures through all stages of marriage.  The honeymoon stage doesn't last long.

Dr. Gilmore mentioned that there are three stages of marriage, though these stages aren't original with him.

Stage 1 is the "Enchantment" phase, when everything is like fairytale life.

Stage 2 is the "Disenchantment" stage, when the fairytale image wears off and reality sets in.  At this stage both the husband and wife realize that their mate does have faults.  This is the hardest stage and depending on how both parties respond and react towards this stage will determine whether or not the marriage lasts until the final stage.  Sadly, we all know, many marriages don't make it through this stage.

Stage 3 is the "Maturity" stage, when the marriage commitment has made it through the tough times, realizing that neither the husband or wife is perfect or flawless, but that each spouse is willing to overlook those imperfections and stick to the commitment regardless.  Reaching the "Maturity" stage takes work, takes love, takes forgiveness, takes perseverance, takes selflessness, and takes a faith in God.

Tomorrow we'll look at the glue that holds the family together.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Family Connections

Last night my daughter and I were in the Dallas area and went to worship where my brother-in-law preaches in Plano, Texas.  He was on vacation, but the visiting preacher, Dr. Ralph Gilmore (a professor at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN) was doing a lesson about Staying Connected in the Family.  The lesson was great!  I have several pages of notes....writing down everything I could as fast as I could!  The evening lesson isn't online yet, but the morning one, Staying Connected in the Church is HERE, if you're interested.

I'll just give you the first point that he talked about tonight, plus some thoughts of my own.  It's an absolute necessity that for a family to be connected in the way God would want it to be, that the family unit would be Christ centered.  Dr. Gilmore quoted Dr. John DeFrain, "The business of families is to nurture and be nurtured by one another."  With Jesus at the center, everyone will be concerned with the well-being of other family members.  Selfishness will be replaced with selflessness.

The main scripture used for this part of the lesson was one of my absolute favorite passages that I've used many times on this blog:  Deuteronomy 6:4-9


Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

A Christ-centered family:

1.  Provides guidelines for living.....consistent guidelines for family members.  Children will feel safe and secure because of these guidelines.

2.  Provides support from like-minded people.  Family members will have the same thoughts/beliefs about discipline, etc.

3.  Provides meaning, values, and rituals that are essential.  Each of these provide a sense of belonging....being a part of something special.  The family unit is special.

4.  Provides a positive and confident outlook for the future.....a Christian outlook of hope, trust, peace, and love.

Because my husband works at a children's home, and because we've been involved in these children's lives for many, many years (him a lot longer and more involved than me), I know that family units don't all look the same.  In fact, many family units aren't blood relatives at all.  It doesn't matter.  Any "family" can be a Christ-centered unit.  In fact, every family SHOULD and MUST be a Christ-centered unit!  It's the most important thing a family can have - Christ at the very center.

I'll share more Family Connections tomorrow, but for today....I am GRATEFUL for families.  I am especially thankful for Christ-centered families who are striving to follow God's Word.  I pray that all families will seek to put Christ in the center of their family.

To find what others are grateful for, join us for GRATITUESDAY at Heavenly Homemakers!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Christian Race

The following devotional was written by my oldest son, Zachary.  He gave it for the youth group recently.  The stories he found online and the three points he got from a sermon somewhere online.  Other points are his own.

Nine Athletes

Some time ago at the Seattle Olympics, nine athletes, all mentally or physically challenged, were standing on the start line for the 100 m race.  The gun was fired and the race began.  Not everyone was running, but everyone wanted to participate and win.  They ran in threes, a boy tripped and fell, did a few somersaults and started crying. The other eight heard him crying. They slowed down and looked behind them.  They stopped and came back.  All of them. A girl with Down's Syndrome sat down next to him, hugged him and asked, "Feeling better now?"  Then, all nine walked shoulder to shoulder to the finish line.  The whole crowd applauded.  And the applause lasted a very long time.  People who witnessed this still talk about it.  Why?  Because deep down inside us, we all know that the most important thing in life is much more than winning for ourselves.  The most important thing is to help others win.
- Author Unknown -

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

FIRST, TO WIN THE CHRISTIAN RACE, WE MUST RUN WITH CONFIDENCE (SELF-WORTH):  In 1 John 3:1, God tells us how important we are. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

SECOND, TO WIN THE CHRISTIAN RACE, WE MUST RUN WITH THE RIGHT MOTIVATION:  One of the greatest motivating factors for living our lives for the Lord is the grace of God.  "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." 1 Corinthians 15:10.

On August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport, killing 155 people.

One survived:  a four-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia.

News accounts say that when rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane.  Investigators first assumed that Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed.  But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia's name.  

Cecelia survived because, even as the plane was falling, Cecelia's mother, Paula Chican, unbuckled her own seatbelt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and would not let her go.

Nothing could separate that child from her parent's love  - neither tragedy or disaster, neither life or death.

This same love is the love the Savior has for each of us. He left heaven, lowered himself to us, and covered us with the sacrifice of his own body to save us.

THIRD, TO WIN THE CHRISTIAN RACE, WE MUST TURN SETBACKS INTO COME BACKS:  "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything, " James 1:4.  Never give up!  No matter what happens, we must never give up on our faith.  Things will always get better.



Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet Things

We just arrived home from a weekend at OYE (Oklahoma Youth Expo - The World's Largest Junior Livestock Show) where our children showed their goats.  This year was the first year all four of them could show because our youngest is now nine.
It was fun having two 4-H members and two FFA members.  This will be the only year it will ever be that way, so it was kind of special!
This morning while waiting for the goat show to begin, we saw this sweet couple.  He was her pillow for quite a while during her nap.  So sweet.  That's love!
.....and then, tonight, when we arrived home, we found that one of my tulips had bloomed!  I am so excited and look forward to seeing the others very soon.  My oldest son planted 100 for me and he counted 75 that are coming up!!  First signs of spring are all around us!  

I am GRATEFUL for the SWEET THINGS of life.  Thank you, God!

This post is linked to GRATITUESDAY @ Heavenly Homakers!
To find out what others are thankful for visit www.heavenlyhomemakers.com.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Choosers Quote

Some are accusers, 
some are abusers, 
some are users, 
some are confusers.
Some are amusers, 
some are losers, 
but I want to be a chooser.
I want to choose my path, thoughts, actions, and words wisely
by allowing God to help me become what He wants me to be.  
Quote by Me.....March 6, 2012

What do you want to be?



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Chronicles of Biscuit - The New Deal

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

It's not often any more that I get two "Biscuit" stories in a week, but this week it has happened! 

Tonight Biscuit came to me and asked if he could make a "deal" with me.  I said, "Possibly.  What's the deal." 

Biscuit: Well, I was thinking.....what if for one whole month I didn't complain, didn't argue, and didn't have any negativady (he's pronunciation of negativity) and then, you give me a prize at the end.....except I might mess up two times each month. 

Me:  What's the prize?

Biscuit:  Clothes....like a polo or something like that.

Me:  (Well, it is a season change and most likely I will be buying him a few things, so it's not going to be anything out of the norm, where typically we don't bribe our kids to be good.)  Go ask your dad and see what he thinks.

Biscuit comes back:  Dad said yes, but he's the judge.

Me:  Well, I need to be the judge, too, since I'm home with you more.

Biscuit: (Goes and talks to my husband again.)  Okay.  Dad said that's good.  And so at the end of the month I get a prize and I can mess up just two times.

Me:  Okay.

Biscuit holding out his hand to shake mine:  It's a deal!

Later on:

Biscuit:  Mom, can we start my deal tonight?  

Me:  No Biscuit, you already messed up this afternoon by complaining, remember? 

Biscuit:  Oh, yeah.  Tomorrow then.

*So, now we'll wait and see...... :)  Will Biscuit live up to his "only 2 times messing up in a month"?  I'm not sure.  But what I do know is that I'm proud of him for at least trying to improve in the complaining and arguing and "negativady" areas.  Imagine a world where everyone tried to improve in those areas.  It would be a lot different, wouldn't it?  All I can do is start with ME!  All you can do is start with YOU!

Good job, Biscuit!  I'm proud of you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Chronicles of Biscuit - It's Not My Thing

Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

A few weeks ago, Biscuit and his siblings were going out to walk their goats....part of the task in getting their goats ready for the spring livestock shows.  I mentioned to Biscuit that he should practice showmanship skills since now he was an "official" 4-H member and showing more for 'real now.  Biscuit's reply kind of shocked me, since he typically wants to be good at whatever he's doing:  "Mom, showing goats isn't really my thing."  Biscuit walked out the door to walk his goats and continued doing so for the next several weeks.  I never said any more about polishing his showmanship skills and just figured Biscuit wasn't interested that particular day.

Last week, the morning of the goat show, I mentioned again how that Biscuit was a 4-H member and that this show was different than the fairs he had shown in before.  Same response:  "Mom, showing isn't really my thing."  So funny that he felt that way about the showmanship part of showing (which can make the goat actually look better and place better) , but was really excited about showing!  This time I just encouraged him to do his best.

Well, right before the show, Biscuit was getting dressed:  jeans, white collared shirt, boots, and his 4-H jacket.  Biscuit, way unlike the rest of our family, is more into the "look" of whatever it is he is doing.  He said, "Mom, this is my 4-H debut in Frederick!"  Frederick is our county seat and where the show was being held.  I had to laugh at his enthusiasm!

Biscuit showed his goats and did a pretty good job, but I'll tell you what: when it got to the actual showmanship part, where the judge is judging the showman more than the goat, Biscuit showed his little heart out!  He kept his eye on the judge - something that he told me he would do during the show if he looked good.  I questioned, "You mean the goat looks good or the judge looks good?"  Biscuit answered, "The judge!"  Not sure what he meant by that, but apparently this judge passed Biscuit's criteria because he watched him the whole time!  Oh, that boys is something else!  He keeps us laughing, for sure!

I've been thinking about Biscuit's response of "It's not really my thing."  I appreciate Biscuit's honesty about showing, but also appreciate that when it got down to it, even though he didn't consider it 'his thing', he still did it and did it well.  No one in the stands would have thought Biscuit thought of showing like that.  (I'm still baffled that he does because he's actually excited about showing goats and being in 4-H.  I think it's just the technical part of it he may not like.)  But, how many of us - adults - do things that 'aren't our thing' with our whole heart anyway?  I'm not sure I always do.

Thank you for the lesson, Biscuit!  I am grateful for you and the constant lessons and reminders you teach us and remind us about in your life - without even meaning to.

Reminds me of this verse:  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24


This post is linked to GRATITUESDAY at Heavenly Homemakers.  Join us for Gratituesday at www.heavenlyhomemakers.com!



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Babies, Babies, Babies!


Babies, babies, babies!  Our small town has been blessed with several new little babies in the past few weeks.  More are due soon!  And also, it's the time of year for our family when our goat nannies begin having babies, as well.  
God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
 Genesis 1:25
 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;  or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know  that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature  and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:7-10

There's nothing sweeter than seeing little babies, whether human or animals, is there?  Thank you, God, for all of these babies!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Be Nice :)


If you are on Facebook, you might be interested into "liking" the Making a Positive Difference page.  Each day MAPD has a "positive" quote and thought for the day.  I especially liked yesterday's thought and wanted to share it with you.


‎"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." ~unknown

No matter who you are, who you THINK you are, what you do, what your job title is...there is NEVER a reason to be ugly and rude. There just isn't.

Kids today have ugliness and rudeness down pat...and though many older generations complain about that, those same complainers are the examples those "kids today" are following.

We all have a job to do. But, have you ever heard the phrase "you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?" You are more apt to get what you need from others when you are KIND. Shouting orders, biting remarks, put-out tone...they don't get you far...and surely don't make you any fans!

So today, temper your words with kindness. Greet everyone you meet with a smile. Say please and thank you. Growl a lot less. You will be amazed at how you're treated in return!

Happy Friday, everyone!
I have to share some wonderful news:  Late Wednesday night my young brother-in-law (he's my age...42...so that's young, right?? :)  was taken to the emergency room after passing out.  He wasn't feeling good, so hadn't gone to Bible class, but my sister and the three children had just gotten home and then he passed out.  He was taken by ambulance and passed out again on the way.  At the ER, tests were done and things were ruled out.  He was running a low-grade fever, so the doctors thought it was probably a virus making him feel week and pass out.
He stayed over night and tests were run, just to rule out any other problems.  Mid-morning yesterday, they did a test that made it seem like he needed a pace maker.  They thought that all day, as they continued testing.
Late last night a specialist that deals with the electric part of the heart said that he did not need the pace maker.  My brother-in-law has Neurocardiogenic Syncope, which can be treated without surgery and something that can be prevented with exercises and other things to do when he feels the episodes are coming on.

Lots of prayers have been offered on behalf of my bro-in-law and sister and their children.  It is always a humbling experience to realize how quickly life can change....where one minute you're afraid something terrible is about to happen, then realize how bless you really are, to thinking about about what could have been and realizing all of the people that are around to love, pray and support.  It's good to see that and realize that from time to time.  We shouldn't ever forget to be thankful and recognize our blessings, but sometime we do.

Praise God for good news and for his love and strength that can help us in the good times and bad times! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What is Your Motivation?

Have you ever thought about why you do what you do or why you don't do what you don't do?  Sometimes we go through life doing and don't doing without giving a thought to the motivation that is behind it.  Other times we analyze our thoughts and our actions and do them for a particular reason.

Every once in a while I find myself thinking about my actions or the actions of others....wondering what the motivation was behind it.  To think about my own actions is wise.  To analyze those of another is wrong.  It isn't possible for me to know what the motivation is behind someone else's thoughts and actions.  That's between him/her and God.  But, I can be responsible for my own.  I can make sure that in everything I do and say, that my motivation is pure.  That I am only doing and only saying what I am because of the right motivation....that it is to give God the glory and not myself.  That nothing I'm doing or saying is every to bring attention to 'me'.

So, for today, ask yourself:  Why am I doing this?  Why am I saying this?  Am I doing/saying this to glorify God?  Or am I seeking attention for myself?

If I am doing it for self, I need to realize it and change my behavior and my motivation.  If I'm doing it for God and for His glory, it's a good thing.

To God be the glory in all that we do and in all that we say!  Always!

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11

For from him and through him and to him are all things.
   To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Romans 11:36

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:1-4
 
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