Monday, March 31, 2008

I Hear God's Voice (read on before you think I've lost it...)

I think one of the hardest things I've tried to discern in my Christian walk has been trying to determine God's will for my life. You know, not just His BIG purpose for my whole life, but the smaller every day kind of things. Does He want me to do THIS or THAT? If you are a Christian, I'm sure you know what I mean.

Our pastor is doing a sermon series titled "Questions and Answers". He has asked the congregation to e-mail him questions we've had and he's going to search the Bible and give us the answers over the next few weeks. Yesterday was "Part I" of the series.

He tackled a couple of different questions, but my favorite was the last one, "If you are going in a direction that you think God wants you to go and encounter an obstacle, how do you know if God wants you to overcome the obstacle or He is using the obstacle to change your direction?"

Now as a side note, I must say at this point that I do "hear God speak to me". But what I mean by this isn't that I can audibly hear His voice. I wish. It isn't that easy. What I mean is that He speaks to me through His Word (the Bible), through others, through thoughts... But trying to figure out when it is HIM and when it is ME is sometimes a challenge!

He then preached on "Five Keys to Hearing from God: How to Identify the Voice of God". Here are his 5 points:

1. God's voice is consistent with His Word (the Bible). (Psalm 119:105) He will never lead me to do something that isn't in line with His written word. So what does this tell me? I must know His Word to discern His voice.

2. God's voice will conflict with human wisdom. (Matthew 5:38-48) His will doesn't always make sense. Sometimes he wants me to do something, in faith that He will provide along the way.

3. God's voice will clash with your fleshly nature. (Galatians 5:19-24) What He wants isn't always what I WANT. The way He wants me to be isn't the way I'll naturally be.

4. God's voice will challenge your faith. (Hebrews 11:6) He is constantly trying to grow me. His desires won't always be easy for me.

5. God's voice often demands courage. (Joshua 1) That is why it is called faith. I must trust in Him to do it. This definitely takes courage!

Are you faced with a decision?
I suggest you seek after Him before making your decision.
Then "listen" for His answer.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blessings Times Two (maybe even Three)!!!

Oh my goodness! I just don't know what to say, except... Praise God! I just can't believe it! (My friend Lisa is smiling as she reads this thinking, "I knew it! I just knew it!)

I spoke to the Principal of First Baptist Academy today (the wonderful school that GameMaster will be going to next year). I had misunderstood what the Board of Directors at the school had offered to me!! The dollar amount that she had quoted me was for ALL THREE of my children to attend their school (not JUST GameMaster)!!! (Are you believing this?!?) They have never done this before, but after reading my letter to the board, and praying about my children, they want all three of them to attend their school - all for a low tuition of just one of them! I'm so freaked out!!

Now, the reason why it may be for only two of them. I've been meeting this year with Princess' teacher and we believe that she could have some special needs. She has been behind all year in kindergarten (she was last year in pre-school as well). It could be that she needs some special help, or it could be she needs to be held back a year. We just aren't sure yet. I'm to meet with her next week to see where she is at now. FBA doesn't accept any special needs children. This is why she may not be able to attend there.

But for now - I've got GameMaster and CandyMan signed up for testing later this month and they will be attending a private Christian school next year!! (Who would've thunk it!??)

(Can you tell I'm excited??) Thank you, God!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CandyMan update

The problem teeth have been extracted! It was kind of a funny experience actually. CandyMan is so tough, most of the time. The dentist gave him nitrous oxide - otherwise known as laughing gas. Well, today I saw why it was called "laughing" gas!! The child giggled and giggled!! It was hilarious! He just kept smiling and laughing! I've never had so much fun at the dentist before!!

CandyMan was oblivious to the numbing injections and the yanking of the molars. He was much more interested in the fact that he couldn't feel his chin and how darn funny that was!!

I'm sitting here at my computer laughing and typing!! It really was very funny!

New Again

Oh! Have you seen this video?? It is so good! Click on this to see it...

New Again

Some pictures are quite may want to make sure that "little eyes" are not watching...

God moments...

There are so many good God moments happening in my life right now. When they occur, I look forward to blogging about them. But then life happens and all I can think to blog is...

CandyMan is home from school today. He had a low grade fever yesterday evening - with a headache. I thought he seemed fine though. This morning his fever is fine, but he says he still feels bad. And I smell his breath?? So I look at his appears fine. Then I look at his teeth. Aha!! His teeth are abscessed again! It's infection! What is causing this!??

We are going to the dentist this afternoon for an emergency visit. The poor guy, I can't believe his teeth/gums are hurting terribly!!

So, I recognize the enemy distracting me from the God moments, but I will not be had! As soon as I remember them, I'll tell you all about it...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Jesus is alive!!

Today, we celebrate and give thanks that Jesus was resurrected! He is alive and preparing a place for us. He is not dead. He is not on the cross. He has victory over sin! And we can too - by accepting His gift of salvation. I am thankful. And so I rejoice, this Easter Sunday, that
He is alive!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Do you care?

79 words

Speed test

It's Spring Cleaning Day!

Well, I'm trying to make today "Spring Cleaning Day". I honestly hate cleaning. I wish so badly that we could get it clean and keep it clean. Instead of having to play recovery once things are out of control!

At this point, I only have two of my children here. So things are going pretty good. We've gotten their rooms, the hallway, the living room and the stairs done. I still have the kitchen and office to do. GameMaster's room assignment is the family room. He's not going to be happy about that when he gets home from his friend's house...

I am trying to get gung-ho and all positive to talk to him when he gets home. I've got my disciplinary plan ready to talk about with him. Then it will be time for him to jump into his chores. Why is this so hard for me? Why do I feel guilty about expecting this child to help clean house? He makes MOST of the messes! He is exasperating! Seriously, he exhausts me. I love him so much. But I feel the oppression when he is around. He must be so miserable for those around him to sense this so much! Please pray for be set free!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm all alone today...

This feels so weird. I'm in my house all by myself, well just me and Duncan that is. It is spring break. If my children are not in school, they are with me. ALWAYS! Occasionally one of them will be gone to a friend's house, or two of them will go to my parents house. But all three?

It is so quiet...

Their dad had asked if they could spend the night with him last night and the day today. After praying about it, I told him they could spend today with him, but not the night. Not yet.

But then, GameMaster got a better offer. His friend called to see if he could come over at 10am today to spend the day and the night. I don't find that as a coincidence. Why 10am - the exact time that their dad was coming to get them? Well, that made a really good excuse for GameMaster, who pretended like it was a really hard decision to not hurt his dad's feelings, but decided to go to the friend's house.

He's just not ready. He's still very hurt and angry. I think he's scared too. I know he is uncomfortable around him. I feel so sorry for him having to go through this.

But then there is his attitude. What am I going to do? Somebody needs to beat his butt, you know? If you see a 10 year old boy treating him mom and siblings this way, what do you think? "Somebody needs to beat his butt!" Right? Well, think again. I'm in a very difficult place where I need to be extremely consistent in disciplining him, without confusing him or abusing him further. At this point I need to say that I've never and would never abuse my child. But once you've been abused, it doesn't take much to be perceived as abuse. If I lose it and yell at him, he goes running in fear like I'm about to hit him or something! He's so overly sensitive.

And then I think, how much of that is he using as a way out of getting in trouble? To manipulate me? I just don't know! That is why it is all such a delicate balance.

Today, while he is away, I am going to be praying for God to show me a discipline plan for him. He is getting out of control and he knows it. He needs help getting himself back into control. And I need help figuring out how to do that!

One thing that I do know that works is laying it out clearly for him. You know... if you do THIS, then your consequence is THIS. That way he knows what to expect and he knows that his consequences are from his own choices. My job is to define the problem behaviors and the consequences. Then DO IT!! Every Time!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fun Day in the Smoky Mountains!

Poor CandyMan has spent the first part of his spring break on the couch with the flu. I'm getting pretty bored myself!! I thought maybe he could handle a little car ride up to the mountains. All of the kids were up early excited! So we packed a picnic, loaded up the car and even took Grandpa with us!
We drove through Townsend, TN and around "The Loop" at Cades Cove. It was a beautiful, if a little chilly, morning in the East Tennessee Smoky Mountains! The temperature stayed in the upper 50's. CandyMan wore down fast and wasn't up for much.

GameMaster and Princess enjoyed getting out and touring an old homestead. Here is a picture of them in front of the barn. Cool, huh?
GameMaster became quite angry with me yesterday when I told him that I thought we'd go up to the mountains today. He has enjoyed being home-bound for days with nothing to do but video games! He didn't want to leave his precious Wii!! (Which is one of the biggest reasons I felt like I needed to get us out of here!!) Once we were up there, he admitted it wasn't so bad...
Princess loved every minute of it. She even got to drive for a little bit (in my lap). She had a wonderful day and was NOT ready to go home! But after our drive, we stopped in the picnic area for lunch. CandyMan was so worn out, he barely ate anything! He was ready to come home. So, we ended the day a little short and headed home.
As you can see, he is getting tired of his running nose!!

All in all it was an enjoyable day. I'm glad we got out of the house, if even for a little bit! God's creation is amazing!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I will not be discouraged!

Let's see...just yesterday I was talking about what a conqueror in Christ that I was! So what's next!? You got it! CandyMan has the flu. We've already been to the pediatrician this morning. Spring Break starts today and we are starting it with the flu!

I will not let the enemy get me down! I will not be discouraged! I will not miss a step on my journey this time!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I have been restored!

I have been trying all week to get time and determine how to tell you about what happened earlier this week. Then all of a sudden this morning I just felt like I had to tell my "Daughters of the King" small group leader about it. I wrote it all out and sent it to her in an e -mail. Now I'm going to share it with you!

As you know, I’ve been doing the Beth Moore Bible Study with the Tuesday morning group. I did the last day’s homework on Monday night and it was an INCREDIBLE experience! God used it to reveal a stronghold in my life (which we have been hearing about at church and at our DOK small group!). One that I keep coming back to – over and over. And I really had never recognized it as a stronghold!

As briefly as possible – we were studying Psalm 132:1-10. But to understand the passage, she took us back through the Old Testament to read about what led up to this Psalm. Basically, it was a story of David’s heart and passion for God and his wanting to find the Ark of the Covenant and bring it to a permanent place in Jerusalem. They looked, but didn’t find it where they thought it would be. Then when they found it they put it on a cart attached to oxen to haul it. At one point on the journey it started to slide off and a man close by (Uzziah) put his hand on it to steady it and he died! This scared and angered David so much that he abandoned the trip and left the ark there. Eventually, he heard of the blessings that God was pouring out on the household where the ark had been left, and he got back on track and after studying the proper way of transporting the ark, continued the journey to bring the ark home.

This stood out to me as myself!! I was a married woman – seeking after the heart of God. I was praying and praying and doing everything that I thought God wanted of me. Despite my miserable marriage, I had joy in the Lord and faith in Him for my future. Then all of a sudden, He did something that I didn’t expect of Him. He ended my marriage instead of healing it! I was scared and angry. I tried to abandon my journey as a Christian because of it. I tried to take my life into my own hands. I was too afraid to trust Him!

I’ve done this before. Any time that God “behaves” in a way that is inconsistent with whom I think He is or should be, I freak out and “abandon the journey”. Of course, the good news is He doesn’t abandon me and I always come back to Him.

Anyway, Monday night I spent an amazing time in prayer and quietness before Him. I feel like He has restored me to the faith that I’ve known before. I am so grateful and in love with Him!

I just had to share that with you!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today was a good day!

Today was such a beautiful day here in East Tennessee! It was near 70 degrees this afternoon, sunny, and springy! I just love this weather! I look forward to having a little bit warmer mornings to have my quiet times on the deck!

Today was just one of those days when everything fell into place and I got a lot accomplished and I feel good about it. You know those kinds of days? I got a good night's sleep for starters. I got more transcription done than I've ever gotten done in one morning! I had a good healthy salad for lunch. I got my Bible study done today. And I even got several things posted on my eBay store this afternoon before the kids came home from school.

Then I cooked dinner. And I do not say this lightly. My children debated at dinner about how long it had been since I had cooked a nice meal and sat down to eat with them. I had no idea that it was such a big deal for them! Of course, we used to have a family sit down dinner almost every night before the "changes" happened. Now, I just cook for them and spend the time running back and forth from the stove giving seconds, getting more drinks, etc... Tonight I cooked pork chops, mashed potatoes, green beans and crescent rolls. I put it all on the table and even sat and ate with them. They acted like it was Thanksgiving dinner or something! It was really funny! The best part about it was that I was appreciated!
I got the dishes done, two of the kids have had their baths, and now we all have a little free time before gathering for our Bible Time. We've been reading the book of John. I'm trying to time it just right for Easter. We are really ahead of schedule, so it should work out. I've been amazed lately at how many times we've heard reference to John...whatever - on the radio, at church, different places! Every time, the kids are like, "Hey Mom! We just read that the other day in John 12" (or whatever!). Their minds are absorbing it. I love it!
Two more days until Spring Break! They will be home with me for 10 days straight! I really hope for some warm days to do some fun things outdoors!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I have been introduced...

My friend Lisa introduced me this morning to Idina Menzel. Okay, well not like really, in person - but to her music! She had a specific song in mind for me and she was right - I loved it!! You can check out the music video on the side bar over there. --------->

Sunday, March 09, 2008

What a Day!

What a day we've had! I am exhausted (even though it is just almost 8pm in yesterday's time!).

We started bright and early this morning at a friend's church. I play in a handbell choir at her church and we played for both services this morning. Made for a long morning for the little ducklings!

GameMaster had a total meltdown on the way home about it all. And after we were home...for the next 30 minutes. Lots of tears shed. Lots of yelling (on his part, and a little on mine, I admit). Then he finally calmed down, apologized (so did I), and we got on with our afternoon. He had math homework that he got done pretty quickly without much argument (I guess he'd already gotten it out of his system?).

Then we went about trying to help poor Princess! Her first loose tooth has been driving her crazy and she was ready for it to come out. She preceded to scream and cry while we held her down and wiggled it. We'd stop and she'd lay down and get us to do it again!! She wanted it out, but she was scared. After about an hour of this, I said, "Enough!" And we started playing games instead!!

Princess and I made cookie bars (with peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips - yummy!). I cooked dinner. And then we seperated for some more playtime.

We ended our evening like most evenings at home with "Bible Time". We've been reading the book of John leading up to Easter. Tonight we read John 13. Then we each prayed. A nice ending to the day? Almost...
GameMaster got the bright idea to tie Princess's tooth to the Nerf dart and let her shoot her tooth out. She went along! It didn't work.
Then he tied her tooth to his radio control car. It made the car do a pop-a-wheelie, but said tooth stayed intact!! She giggled the whole time.

Then we really had a problem! We couldn't get the thread off of her tooth!!! So we went back to holding her down and wiggling and wiggling that tooth. At one point I looked up and CandyMan was pacing the floor with his hands folded under his chin - praying for her! It took almost another hour, but it finally popped out! Then she just looked at us and grinned!

I asked her if it hurt and she said no. Then what was all the screaming and crying about? She was afraid it was going to hurt! Oh. Okay. (Can't we relate?)

My gappy girl:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I am so proud!

We just got home from GameMaster's Martial Arts Class. We officially got signed up tonight and he got his uniform (a gi, I am told). You know what he said? "I am so proud of myself!" I am so proud too (and so thrilled to hear this from him!!)

Answered Prayer

Well, I've gotten a long-awaited answer. I met with the principal of FBA this morning. They are willing to give GameMaster the recommended 69% scholarship. That is a lot of money they are offering in a grant. It will still cost me a lot of money (at least to me).

I have prayed and prayed. I feel like this is where GM is supposed to be next year. It is another test of my "financial" faith to see if I trust Him to provide for that additional expense. Do I? Yeah, I think I do! Just last night, the ex-Papa Duck called to say that he had gotten a promotion at work. That means that we should be getting more child support then. How much you wanna bet that it is exactly the amount that we need each month to send GM to FBA!? That is just how my God works!
On another note, Pretty Princess bit down into a piece of sausage at breakfast this morning and smiled at me really big. I was shocked by what I saw!! Her front bottom tooth had just laid straight to the left in front of the tooth next to it!! I made too big of a deal about it and scared her a little bit. I think she thought she was in trouble! Once I got to looking, you can see the adult tooth is peeking out of the skin behind it! She'll probably lose her first tooth at school today! Poor thing is completely freaked out by it, since she really hasn't had a significantly loose tooth to worry about! She was so cute with that tooth all crooked in front though!

I'm taking GM to tour FBA this afternoon and see what he thinks. Then he is going to have his MRI done. We are praying that it will come back completely normal!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Busy, busy...

Lots going on here at the Duck's Nest!

I heard from FBA on GameMaster's scholarship. Well, sort of. I am meeting with the principal on Thursday to find out what they've determined. We are still praying for that miracle!

GameMaster has also been attending Aikijutsu classes (martial arts) the last few weeks. We have found a school that is Christ-centered. It is this man's ministry - to raise up boys into Christian men. Very cool! GM is really enjoying it and is ready to commit. We are talking to the owner on Thursday evening about that. Well, after he gets his MRI on his brain and cervical spine that afternoon.

I took our dog Duncan to have his haircut yesterday and realized that I hadn't had one in awhile either! So I went and got mine cut too. Of course, the dog's cut cost almost 4 times as much! What is with that!??!

I had Bible Study today and lunch with my friend Lisa afterwards. We have been enjoying each other's company so much. It is so good to have a Christian friend to discuss God, church, and our lives with. She is such a blessing to me. I love her so much!

When we go to lunch on Tuesdays I have my phone set at 2:45 to rush home to meet the school bus. Well at like 2:44 it started raining in sheets - sideways! Then my alarm went off. We dashed to the car (I offered to be a gentlewoman and pick her up, but she insisted) - giggling like little girls. Our fronts were barely wet, but our backsides were drenched (the rain was blowing into our backs)! It was so funny. Of course we started off the day with umbrellas and left them in the car! I don't know that they would've helped anyway!!

I've got some allergy yuck going on again. My sinuses are draining into my throat and it is getting all clogged up. Okay. Enough nastiness. I just pray it goes away quickly. And I am thankful that is the worst that I've gotten through these months of sickness every one else has experienced! I am thankful!!

Enough for me tonight! Time to start getting the ducklings ready for bed...