Thursday, April 29, 2010

On this day...

April 29th is a very important day for me
for one very important reason...
it is my husband's birthday. 

Why is he so incredible? 
Let me count the ways...

because he knows me better than any other person...
because he makes me laugh like no one else can...
because he has a desire to learn, grow and be mentored...
because he is taller than me... :o)
because he wrestles with, reads to and hugs his kids every day...
because he can play volleyball...
because he prays for me...
because he is vigilant...
because he is a leader...
because his first love is His Savior, and not me...
because he makes me feel like a queen...
because he isn't too proud to apologize...
because he helps me learn...
because he desires whats best for me and the children...
because he can handle a gun...
because he has a brilliant business mind...
because he is passionate and creative...
because he sees what he wants and makes it happen...
because he joys in the success of others...
because he looks me in the eye...
because he allows himself to be used by the Lord to bless His church...
because he can play the piano beautifully...

because he loves me.

I love you Joshua Ryan and thank the Lord for this day you were born...
thank you for your kingdom vision, your constant love and Godly leadership.  
You are the world to me. 

your loving wife

Monday, April 26, 2010

A mommy moment...

There is a great blog that I often visit that always has Friday Funnies.  Well today I am contributing my own "funny" for you to enjoy. But since I'm a busy mommy, it's a Monday (was too busy Friday) funny instead. :o)

A couple weeks ago I was holding down the fort while everyone else was gone.  Carey & Tarah were out of town, Josh was at school and Greg & Candy had Marriage Encounter.  So I was spending Saturday by myself, with my 3 kids. 
We had enjoyed a great day...Saturday morning pancakes, PJ's 'til noon, reading good books and generally having a quiet day at home. I was feeling pretty good at balancing the needs of my 1 month old, 3 year old and 4 year old.  Or so I thought...

A little after lunch, I was sitting in the recliner feeding Amelia.  Ella & Levi were hanging out on the couch and Ella was playing with a "pet rock" that her pappy had found on a walk.  She proceeded to put the dirty thing in her mouth (why? I have no idea.) 
This action was quickly followed by a firm reminder that we do not put such things in our mouth (cue the mother line: you might choke on it, it's dirty, we don't do things like that, etc...).  To which she replied, "okay mom". 
I calmly returned my attention to Amelia and her quiet nursing. Crisis averted, I concluded.
But out of the corner of my eye I notice Ella burying her head in the pillow of the couch, her hands conspicuously close to her mouth. Sure enough, she was putting the rock in her mouth...again.
Only this time she was trying to "hide" it from me...hmmmm.  (what exactly goes through childrens' minds when they do things like this?) 
It gets worse.
When I asked her if she was putting the rock in her mouth, she calmly said "no". 
Yikes.  That is not the best choice my daughter has made.
I quickly told her to come to me and the precious rock was confiscated.  This prompted a fountain of tears...but not of remorse, only deep sadness that her new favorite thing was taken from her.  Thus we were having quite the heart to heart regarding her lack of obedience, her attempt to hide it and then her lie to cover it up. It was deep.

Due to the fountain of tears and my inability to get up, because of the nursing child in my lap, I ask Levi to go across the room and get a couple kleenex for his sister. He heads that way while I return my attention to Ella and the huge heart issues at hand. 
But he never makes it. He bursts into tears there by the tissue box. (I'm still not sure why.) I look up at him in disbelief, for his cries have now overpowered his sister.  

There he stands on the hardwood floor (thank goodness...) in his little underwear...peeing his pants.  He has never done this. He is crying, "It's coming mommy, I can't stop it".  
And as I think how hard this situation is going to be to resolve...son with huge puddle on the floor and daughter who just disobeyed, lied and doesn't seem to care that she did...Amelia promptly throws up ALL over me and herself.  We aren't talking "spits up", we are talking the real thing. 

Thankfully, my first reaction was to start laughing.  What can you do? At that point I was sure a meteor was going to fall from the sky. I was thinking...this can't get any worse?!?
And it didn't. Thank goodness.

I told Ella to sit on the couch so we could continue our heart to heart in a second.  She continues bawling.  I pick up Amelia and hold her in one arm while I go to Levi with a baby wipe, do a quick once over on his little wet legs, pull off his soaked undies and send him to his room to find a new pair.  I quickly lay paper towels over his mess and then go to Amelia's room for new clothes for her, then a shirt change for me. I come back into the living room to my crying Ella, where we proceed to have one of the best conversations in a discipline situation, ever.  Remorse, forgiveness, understanding. I was a thankful momma. 
Hugs, tears and then smiles followed. And I returned to Levi's location to spray down the floor and disinfect the entire area. Meanwhile, Amelia lay happily on the carpet!

Whew. Just a normal mommy moment...the kind that memories are made of.  Hope it made you laugh!
I am sure many of you have similar stories...I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh, how quickly we forget...

Here's just a real short snippet from my recent readings, "The Hidden Smile of God" by Piper.  It is another book from his "the swans are not silent" series highlighting the lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd. These books ministered to me deeply while I was in the hospital and I am excited to be reading another.  It provides fresh perspective on the "sufferings" of my life, my inadequacy apart from Christ and the call of endurance to the saints.

From Cowper's book, "The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England", he says:
"We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by faith, and not of our own works or deservings.  Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort..."(emphasis mine)
Comfort indeed.  For apart from Him, I am nothing and can be nothing.  The last couple weeks have given me a whole new perspective on my need for Him.  
In many ways during these past few months of recovery, I feel like I have been able to jump out of the gate, so to speak.  Get back in the swing.  Pick up where I left off.  No problem.  However, I will admit the last couple weeks have been quite trying.  There was something about being in that hospital bed for 40+ days that made me recognize my need for God. 

I was helpless. 
I was not in control.
I could have despaired. 
I needed God.

And He was there.

But now that I am back in full swing as wife, mother, sister-in-law, auntie and daughter-in-law...I am in my element.  I just needed to get better.  And then, I could competently run my home again.  I couldn't wait to get back to my busy life and the many "hats" that I wear everyday.  I could do it.  I, in my own strength.  I can be all things to all the people that need me.

But really, no...I can't.

Father, how quickly I fall back into old habits.  Pulling myself up by my bootstraps. Taking pride in my even-keeled personality and ability to be flexible and handle stress. 
This is a trap and an excuse for me to be lazy in my priorities and goals. And it's how I get in trouble.  And then fall flat on my face.
Thinking I can make it...on my own.  And for me, it leads to not spending the time needed in the Word.  Not getting on my knees to beg for mercy and ask for help to spend my day for the glory of Christ.  Not seeing every moment I spend with my children, every day I enjoy being married to my husband and every second I call Christ my Savior as a display of grace.
Oh, it makes me so mad when I fall back into bad habits. Habits that are sin! Help me Lord...and may I be ever-conscience and comforted by your grace. For it is only by that unfathomable grace that I can make it through each day. I don't deserve it...but I sure need it. 

Don't we all...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tools to fight...

This morning, the kids and I began memorizing scripture again. I am afraid we had to take a serious hiatus while I was on bedrest & in the hospital. I missed it and so did they! They were very excited as I wrote out the verse this morning with bright markers (a favorite thing of mine, remember?) and put the paper up on the fridge.
There are obviously so many verses in the Bible to chose from. Where to start? I decided to use the Fighter Verse Program.  It is a list of scripture selections designed for weekly memorization.  (There's even a website/blog specifically about the Fighter verse for the week and some deeper thoughts.)  I believe they were originally from Bethlehem Baptist Church and Pastor John Piper. There are 5 different "sets" of verses, all chosen specifically to encourage the believer to fight for faith, hence their name "Fighter Verses". 

We started with Set "A" and I just jumped in on the first one, Deuteronomy 7:9. 
We said it 5 times and the kids repeated it after me. Then I would say it and leave a blank for them to fill in.  Childrens' minds are incredible.  They were both rushing ahead of me after only the 3rd time through.  Ella said "Mom, let's do another one!".  So I gave in and wrote out another one. :o) 

So, the McPherson children are working on these 2 verses this week.  With our goal of learning them both before daddy returns from T4G late Thursday night.  (Remember how much I like goals!) We'll see how it goes and I'll let you know.

In the meantime, how's your scripture memory bank? Full? Probably not, if you are anything like me.  As I heard once from a wise and experienced woman (who had memorized almost half of the Bible), "You just have to start".  Even if it's just a short verse.  Just start somewhere!  Blessings as you fill your mind with tools for the fight!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Helen...

Today is April 10.  
It is a special day.
First of all, today is Grandpa Carey's birthday.
And that is very special.
Also, it is Saturday.
Which is always a plus.
But the reason I think it is really special is because it is my friend Helen's birthday. 

You've probably heard me talk about my friend Helen before...
-She's the one that does really cool things with a sewing machine (wish I could do that), making cute aprons right & left.  Or wonderful blankets and bedding for my children. She should have an etsy shop (hint, hint Helen!).
-She's the one with the same little red Bible as me. We weren't together when we bought them, but we picked the exact same one.  Fun little coincidence.
-She's a real cowgirl. I may be from Texas, but she's actually rode a horse.  And not just rode one, she's won trophies because she's so good at it. I just like that about her.
-She's my party-planning-partner.
We love showers, women's events, and tea parties for no reason except to get together, eat really yummy food, dress up a little and bless the socks off the person it's for. I don't plan a party without her. Unless the party is for her, of course. And even then, that's really hard for me to do.
-She's a really good and adventurous cook.  She's not afraid to try something new...and it always turns out really good! 
Some personal favorites of mine are her apricot-sage scones, homemade rustic bread, and lemon meringue pie. 
-She's married to my husband's cousin.
So we're not just friends, we're related. Super plus.
-She's a godly woman, striving to serve her husband, train her child (soon to be children plural!) and serve her Lord. She challenges me by her voracious desire to learn, her devotion to serve & bless her husband in every way, her love for Jesus, her humble spirit, and her genuine heart for hospitality.
Recently, it looked as though they were going to have to move out of state.  My heart sank. How sad it would be to see my friend move away. But thankfully, it did not have to be so.  And I am looking forward to another year filled with fabulous memories with my close friend who still lives close. Yay! 

Happy Birthday Helen...I love you my friend. And I thank the Lord for your life today.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Are you tired of pictures yet???

Oh, I just keep posting more pictures...but there are just too many good ones to pass up! Here's some more from Easter and the after-nap impromptu baseball game...started by Levi.  Looks like we might just have another Easter tradition on our hands.  Good thing it didn't snow!
 Play ball!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pappy & Grammy...

I promised some pics from my parents visit a couple weeks ago.  We had a wonderful time going on walks, having a picnic, coloring, getting a special haircut from pappy and making yummy treats with grammy. Thank you mom & dad (grammy & pappy to this kids) for sacrificing your spring "breaks" to come and spend time with us.  We had a wonderful time and can't wait 'til you come back again!

Monday, April 5, 2010

He is Risen!

He is risen indeed!

What a great weekend it has been celebrating the resurrection of our Lord & Savior.  We enjoyed a glorious morning of worship with our church family (even though my two oldest had sniffles...bummer. And yes mom, I wore my hat!) followed by a late afternoon celebration at Josh's parents home.  We had snow the day before and now the day after, so needless to say, we celebrated indoors! :o) 

This year our two oldest were quite interested in the story of the crucifixion and resurrection.  We must have read "The day Jesus died" at least 20 times this week.  And each time, they sat with eyes wide open, ears fixed...absorbing every detail of the story.  Their little minds were churning and working to grasp the concepts...sin, death, consequences, forgiveness, false accusations, sacrifice, Jesus on the cross...for my sins...even the ones I haven't committed yet.  Josh & I so enjoyed sitting with our children this week at bedtime, recounting the story of the cross and the joy of redemption.  They asked so many good only a 3 and 4 year old can do.

Levi, after getting in trouble says, "Is Jesus back on the cross now?" Or Ella as she listens to the story, "Why did He have to die Mom?"...and their questions went on and on.  As we answered their questions, we were met by solemn and thoughtful faces.  Faces that were starting to "get it", as only their young minds can.  It was exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.  And my heart prayed all the more...for wisdom, for salvation, for the rescuing of their little lives from the bondage of sin. 

And on Easter morning, as I walked into their bedroom, I was greeted by two sweet, sleepy, groggy, sniffle-hindered voices saying "Happy Easter Mommy.  Jesus is risen!" 
Yes, He is. And isn't that wonderful news?!? 
Indeed it is.