The Scrub Brush of God

We were preparing our garage to host a birthday party for my daughter April who was turning six. Our garage tends to be somewhat like some people’s attic. Things get set here and  there in hopes that at a later date it will be put away or taken care of properly. So there are times that we can’t pull our vehicles inside from the elements. Preparing a place in case of rain, took cleaning measures. First it meant putting things away. Come to think of it, it would have been easier in the long run if we’d just put it away right the first time. It meant everything in its proper place. Shoes on the shelves. Coats in each one’s personal space. It meant sweeping the floor. Of course, with having garage doors hang open that meant I scooped up more than one dust pan of dirt, and flower petals, and sticks. Then we proceeded to spray the garage down with water. Jordan had the delight of squishing LOTS of dishsoap on the floor for cleaning. Oh the bubbles we had! The children were thrilled with being able to scoot here and there slipping and sliding. We each had great broom scrubbrushes. In the process, there were giggles, getting wet, and falling soundly on one’s tailbone due to the slick condition of wet concrete and soap bubbles combined. We all got sufficiently soaked but the garage sure looked a world better after the scrubbing! We wrapped up our morning with a picnic lunch.

As we were scrubbing, cleaning out our garage. My mind went to how are lives are like that. Life happens. If we aren’t careful overtime dirt and debris accumalate in our souls. In the busyness, we forget to care for our inner life. Or am I the only one that finds this happening? Our souls need nurture. We need time with God. We need to have time with God’s people. We need time to connect with others who will have the courage to speak truth into our lives.

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Speed Bump Ahead

There is speed bump ahead for me in blogging. Time is rapidly approaching the birth of our third child. There are a few things I learned this time. #1 Pregnant women are not made to work outside in flower beds or gardens even though spring is just begging them to do so. #2 I learned that children have no concept of why mommy isn’t thrilled when she has thirty pounds trying to sit on her growing abdomen. #3 Pregnancy is HARD work! The list could go on. Just use your imagination and your probably close.

In the next few weeks you may find that my posts are less often. As time winds down, there is more appointments and more things that need done so I hope you will bear with me. I currently am hoping that I can remember to take care of myself in the next couple weeks. With beautiful spring and summer weather coming, it’s hard for me to rest and find myself easily overdoing it. I also struggled with postpartum depression after both of my other children. If you think of me and our family, we would covet your prayers in the next number of weeks as we adjust to new life, new schedules, and new joy. Thank you!

Character Building Wednesday

Hi folks! How did the letter “F” go for you this past week? This one was easier for us as we chose fun and family. Let these photos speak for our week.

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Now for this week:

Glad and Grateful

These are the words we chose for our week. What are some other words that you could choose? Here are some suggestions to get your mind thinking: gentleness, goodness, gift-giving, gracious, God-focus. What will you choose?

When I think of the word glad, I think of the dear classic story of Pollyanna who played the glad game. Pollyanna was an optimist who learned to be grateful in every circumstance. One time for Christmas she badly wanted a doll but in the missionary barrel that came for her family all there was, was a pair of crutches. For which they were glad they didn’t need them! Pollyanna taught those around her to play “The Glad Game” through her influence. Reading this story for yourself or to your children would be an excellent way of learning “Gladness”. Gladness is to exhibit joy, pleasure, and cheer. Gladness is to appreciate. I haven’t thought of an action plan for the word glad other than to stop myself when I’m being negative and replacing it with truth. One thing I’ve found challenging is to write down what I’m grateful for. Some days I can come up with a long list of things. Other days I struggle to put even two things down on paper and mean it.

To be grateful is to show pleasure and thankfulness for gifts, favors, etc. Every day we are surrounded by a world of things to be grateful for! Especially those of us who live in this free country of the United States. We’ve been blessed beyond what we deserve! Do we live gratitude? An outlook of gratitude makes a world of difference. I’d much rather be around a person who when life gives them lemons, they not only make lemonade, they make flavored lemonade (like the yummy strawberry lemonade my sis-in-law makes). What kind of person are you? I’m afraid I tend to be the type of person when life gives me lemons, I let them rot. Gratitude is not just about the big things like the blessings that our family recently received through an envelope. It’s about dirty piggies, sand on the kitchen floor, poky “puppies”, and stacks of laundry or dirty dishes.

What does the Bible say?

Psalm 50:23 “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;”

Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”

Which words will you choose to practice building character in yourself or those around you? I’d love to hear from you, my readers!

Testimony Tuesday~One Voice

This is a true life story that actually took place not far from my house. We live about five miles outside of a small town. A few weeks ago someone put up a huge billboard that was extremely inappropriate. I’ve a friend who is actively involved in human trafficking and sex slavery. At a recent training seminar, she was told that we are called to speak out against things like inappropriate billboards, advertisements, and places of business. We may not think that our one voice makes a difference but every one voice counts. To go on with my story, my friends decided she needed to speak up. So the next day as she drove by the billboard to get the number to call and complain, she was surprised to see the billboard had been covered with something so that you could no longer see the details. The following day, the inappropriate message was completely removed! What had happened, was that enough of one voices had spoken up against that inappropriate billboard. These tragic things happen without blatant advertisements. What will you do next time you are confronted with evil? We can not afford to be silent about things with eternal consequences.  Will you be that one voice? I read a bumper sticker recently that said, “To be silent in the face of evil, is evil itself”.

God’s Swing Call

I love the things that children come up with! The other evening I commented to my daughter how I loved how she was cheerfully pushing my son on the swing. Then I continued about what I was doing. A while later; April calls, “Mommy, look at me. I’m pushing Jordan because I just felt God telling me to do it!” My soul smiled. I then replied, “I’m so glad that you chose to listen to God!” Satisfied she went back to pushing little lad higher and higher on the swing.

How do we listen to God’s call on our lives? How does God speak today? God speaks through our time spent with Him through His Word and prayer. God speaks through circumstances and through the input of Godly people into our lives. Sometimes, it can even be through small things such as observing another person that God can use to speak to the needs of our hearts. Are  we as eager for God’s approval as our children are for our approval? Are we thirsty for God, like King David of the Bible was? Will you follow God’s call to push your brother on his swing?

Psalms 143:6  “I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.”

“Poured Out Like Wine”

Would you be poured out like wine upon the altar for Me?

Would you be broken like bread to feed the hungry?

Would you be so one with Me that you would do just as I will?

Would you be light and life and love My Word fulfilled?

Yes, I’ll be poured out like wine upon the altar for You.

Yes, I’ll be broken like bread to feed the hungry.

Yes, I’ll be so one with You that I would do just as You will.

Yes, I’ll be light and life and love Your Word fulfilled.

~Hugo McCord (?)

 

Just 4 Fun~Floral Flip Flops

Summer is on its way! Simple flip-flops adorned with fabric flowers go with any outfit. Get fabric flowers at Dollar Tree or Michael’s or some other craft store. Cut the stem off the flower right below blossom. Attach with a dime size dollop of hot glue or Gorilla glue. For some flip-flops a single blossom such as a sunflower or daisy is enough. For other’s try a row of violets or small size blooms and attach along the straps. This is a very simple craft and can save you much money if you like pretty flip-flops as much as I do. I’d love to see your personal creations! Remember to supervise children especially if using a hot glue gun.

 

Photo courtesy of  www.marthastewart.com

Character Building Wednesday

So friends, how does this find you? How did letter “E” go for you this past week? Our family’s choice for letter “E” was encouragement and exercise. I must confess we were so busy last week we had little time to especially focus on these character traits. We did manage to get exercise in about five days despite the fact that Conrad had bursitis in his hip.  Now for this week, letter:

Fun and Family. These are the words we chose for our week. What words will you choose? Here is some ideas: friendship, faith, forgiveness, feelings.

This week is a week for fun character building for our family. Sometimes life gets so busy doing this and doing that, that it is easy to forget to simply just be together enjoying each other.

Do you know the meaning of fun? I decided to look up the definition. Fun is to be playful. Fun is something that gives amusement, enjoyment, and pleasure. How are we going to remember to have fun this week? With the spring weather here life is BUSY! (Hmm…did I use that word before? You got it, we are busy!) Monday was an extremely hot day here in Pennsylvania. The heat was draining. For fun we decided to walk down the creek bed across the road from our house. The shrub beds needed to be weeded but instead we went for a jaunt down the river. The children and I wore our Crocs and my husband  wore his flip flops which he ripped during our watery excursion. Here is some pictures.

  Treasures: a sand pail hanging in the tree, shells, fresh water clams, crayfish, and sand bars.

 

 

This was one evening we had a bunch of fun cooling off in the stream and connecting with the children. They were absolutely thrilled. It was amazing to see the uniqueness of each of God’s creation.

One evening of fun will most likely have to be cleaning out our garage in preparation for my daughter’s birthday party in case of rain. I wonder how we can make that fun? Maybe we could have Italian ice when we are finished.

For my daughter’s birthday, my husband is taking off of work and we are having a family day at a child friendly museum in the city. Then we have a store near us who gives tokens to the children when they visit their store and on their birthday the tokens are worth twice as much so we will be doing that too. Then we are having a birthday party with all the little people from her Sunday School class the next day.

This is a little of what our week is/will be. What words and action plans will you choose? I’m curious. I’d love to hear from you! Blessings on the journey!