Saturday, June 30, 2012

Going Up To The Mountain!

"Many people shall come and say,
'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
and we shall walk in His paths.'"
Isaiah 2:3

We will be vacationing at Camp of The Woods in the Adirondack Mountains of New York this week.  This is our 9th year enjoying this family vacation together, and we are very grateful to the Lord.  

Over the years, I have asked the Lord for a verse for me for the week at COTW.  This year it is Isaiah 2:3.  I am looking forward learning more of His ways and, by His grace, learning to walk in His paths.

Lingering morning quiet times, daily morning chapels (this year with Garrett Kell), snack shop with the family,vigorous walks up the mountain to the dining hall for each meal, swimming, hiking, mini golf, shuffle board (that's my sport!), lots of activities or...just lazy afternoons on the beach of Lake Pleasant!  (And this year, my friend will be speaking at the daily seminars!)

A little slice of heaven on earth, we love Camp of The Woods!

"Exalt the LORD our God
and worship at His holy mountain,
for the LORD our God is holy."
Psalm 99:9

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Sister ~ The Bride

"It is pleasant to see dreams come true..."
Proverbs 13:19

Me and my sister Anne

My beautiful, younger sister, Anne, got married this past Saturday!  We are thrilled for her and her new husband!  God gave Anne "Mr. Wright"!  Literally...that's his last name.  And now, that is her last name too!

Mr. & Mrs. Wright.  It just seems right.

After waiting a long time, a dream of my sister's has come true.  We are so thankful to the Lord for His goodness, His faithfulness and His perfect provision.  Our hearts could not be happier for her...for them.

My sister the bride.  She was simply gorgeous.  She was peaceful, joyful, composed and lovely in every way.  

My family, though flawed in many ways, is truly special.  Seemingly prickly with imperfections, my family is perfect to me and for me.  Though not escaping certain "dysfunctions", my family has amazing love and loyalty.  We function well in great love and care.  

We love each other, challenge each other, encourage one another and make each other mad.  We speak the truth, we love, we communicate.  {We communicate.}  We poke necessarily with a heart that is cheering each other on to growth and truth.  We care with gentleness.  We love with tenacious loyalty.    

My sister loves our entire family deeply.  She is loyal and dedicated and would do absolutely anything for all of us.  Always there for us, even through her own difficult seasons, Anne is steadfastly present in our lives with her constant love, encouragement and help. She is our "oxygen" often.  

Anne weeps when we weep.  She quietly comes alongside us to comfort and console.

Anne rejoices when we rejoice.  She enthusiastically celebrates our milestones and accomplishments.

What a delight to rejoice with her as she is now a bride for the first time.  Our hearts burst with joy for her and her husband.  Anne, we love you!  We thank the Lord for His goodness to you both!

Here are a few pictures of Anne and Ward's wedding day...enjoy!

Anne got dressed at our house.
Gabrielle was the Flower Girl.
Joshua was the Ring Bearer.
Holly is the sweet, presumptuous doggy
that loves Aunt Anne 
and wanted to come
to the wedding!

It was our honor to chauffeur Anne to the wedding!

Ward and Anne

The Bridal Party
(I was her Matron of Honor)

My mom and her four children.
Me, PJ, Paul and Anne

The ladies (and one guy who snuck in)
To my left is our niece, Stephanie,
who will be a bride in August!

The men in Anne's life
PJ (brother), Ward (hubby)
Paul (brother) and Jim (my hubby)

"...and the two shall become one flesh;
so they are no longer two,
but one flesh."
Mark 10:8

We love you Anne!  Congratulation!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

"...know the God of your father, 
and serve Him with a loyal heart 
and with a willing mind; 
for the LORD searches all hearts 
and understands all the intent of the thoughts. 
If you seek Him, He will be found by you..."
1 Chronicles 28:9 NKJV

Thankful for a husband who is wholeheartedly
committed to our God and our family.

"The righteous man walks in his integrity;
blessed are his children after him."
Proverbs 20:7

Blessed daughter
Gabrielle and Jim - Spring 2012 

Blessed son
Jim and Joshua ~ Summer 2011 ~ Ocean City, NJ

We love, honor and respect you Jim!
Today and every day!
Happy Father's Day!

"For You meet him with the blessings of goodness..."
Psalm 21:3

"For You have made him most blessed forever;
You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence."
Psalm 21:6

Monday, June 11, 2012

One Little Article ~ One Amazing Editor

"My heart is stirred by a noble theme    
as I recite my verses for the king;    
my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer."
Psalm 45:1

My lil' article...
"Why Is My Raincoat 'Dry Clean Only'?"
June 2012 P31 Woman Magazine

Inspired by a real-life laundry room mishap, this article was almost two years in the making.  I would work on it and then put it away for several months.  Then work on it again.  With the patient, wise and gentle guidance of the editor, Glynnis Whitwer, my little article made its debut in the June 2012 edition of P31 Woman Magazine.

One little article.  Glynnis took the time to carefully fashion a pattern for me and to walk arm in arm with me through the writing process.  In humility, honesty and love, she responded to my request for feedback when I submitted the article in January 2011.

"Your article shows has a Biblical foundation that is solid and thorough."

"Let me suggest some improvements."

"Keep the same tone throughout the article."

"Know your voice and keep it...don't dress up a sentence rather than speaking your own voice."

"Stay focused and real."

"I admire a writer who is willing to put herself out there for critique.  It's the hard work of writing."

"Rewrite the article."

Rewrite the article.  Glynnis was right.  She knew what I was trying to say and she gave me three different ways I could bring that out in the article.  She knew what was on my heart and helped me translate that ~ pen to paper.  And she stayed with me until the article was "publication ready".  

One little article out of hundreds she has read and published over the years for the magazine.  

I am humbled by Glynnis' time and care.  And there is really nothing special about me.  That's who Glynnis is.  She knows the assignments God has given her, and she carries them out without compromise to the Word of God, to her executive board, to the readers and to the contributing writers.  

Glynnis, thank you.  I honor you.  I've learned more through you by writing this one little article than I ever would have imagined. May He pour blessings into your lap for you and your family...more than you could ever imagine!

Now, if you will please excuse me, I have a raincoat I need to take to the dry cleaners!


Mandy Currie and closemyeyesandjump. I will be emailing you for your mailing address!  Congratulations!!

Me and Glynnis ~ July 2010

"The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; 
what was upright—words of truth." 
Ecclesiastes 12:10

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Joshua ~ 6th Grade Graduation

"And give my son...a loyal heart 
to keep Your commandments 
and Your testimonies and Your statutes..."
1 Chronicles 29:19

Joshua graduates from 6th grade today. Our school holds a meaningful graduation ceremony for 6th graders to acknowledge the milestone of the students completing elementary school and crossing the corridors to the junior high school.  Feeling all the mixed emotions that many moms have experienced before me, I am equipped with tissues. Family and friends will join us today to celebrate with Joshua. We are so grateful.

As I go through the Word each day, one thing I do is journal scriptures that I make as Family Prayers for our family.  With Joshua moving into junior high, I find myself journalling more and more.  One thing I pray every day for each of us, I just re-read recently about Solomon in 1 Kings 3:9 ~ "Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart...that I may discern between good and evil.”  Daily I pray for God to give our children wisdom, discernment, discretion, understanding, maturity and love beyond their years.  Verse 10 of 1 Kings 3 tell us:  "The speech pleased the Lord..." and He answered Solomon's prayer in abundance.  May He do the same for our little family.

Steadfastness in his walk with the Lord, living a life that honors God, love for God and His Word, continual discernment from the Holy Spirit, a fruitful life for God's glory, a life bursting forth from and rooted in God's love, unconditional love of family, and the faithful love and companionship of pure-hearted friends...these our my prayers for Joshua (and Gabrielle).

We love and respect you Joshua. You are a fine young man.  We are proud of you today and every day.  Always honor God.  

Be on your guard; 
stand firm in the faith 
be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13

Monday, June 4, 2012

I Used To Be So Organized!!

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
1 Corinthians 14:33

"I Used to Be So Organized ~ Help for Reclaiming Order and Peace".  To be honest, I'd buy Glynnis Whitwer's newest book just for the title:  "I Used to Be So Organized"!  I feel like that describes me in a nutshell in this season of my life!  And I LOVE the cover of her book with the mismatched shoes!!

The old saying must be wrong.  You indeed can judge a book by its cover ~ this book is fabulous!

Glynnis' book, with a biblical and practical approach for reclaiming order and peace in the lives of Christian women, is giving me a sense of freedom and joy.  I feel normal again!  There is hope!

Each morning I pray Psalm 90:17 to the Lord and ask Him to establish, bless and make fruitful the work of my heart and hands that HE has for my day.  "And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands."  Psalm 90:17(NKJV)  As Christian women,  we desire to honor God in our lives and with our time and God-given gifts.  "I Used to Be So Organized" reminds us how His beauty is so graciously upon our lives as we allow Him to establish the work of our hearts and hands.

In her book, Glynnis shares biblical insights and boundaries for re-establishing order in our lives.  She helps us identify "time wasters" and walks us through the process of de-cluttering our hearts and homes.  Her tips for organization and for making our homes functional and yet welcoming re-energize us to live our lives with excellence for the purposes and glory of God.

I am giving away two copies of Glynnis' new book here!  Just leave your name and a way to contact you should you win. 

The girls in my Gather & Grow Bible Study group all received Glynnis' book earlier this year.  I have received exciting feedback. One of the gals asked if she could get eight more of them to give to her friends!  She said, "I usually don't stick with a book and finish reading it, but I can't put this one down!"  The content of Glynnis' book meets the expectations of the great title and cover!

Happy Monday Everyone!  Make generous time for Him and meet with Him in His Word ~ you will be filled at His table!

I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out Your precepts.
Psalm 119:45

Friday, June 1, 2012

Toys Left At My Feet

Looking down, I saw them there -- toys left at my feet
Unaware she asked to play as I worked with vigor at my seat
Quietly and sweetly, she brought them one by one
So intent at my keyboard, I had sadly noticed none

Wanting to spend time with me was her canine heart's desire
Not knowing I refused her as I typed and did not tire
Too focused on my task to hear her soft and gentle knock
Offering me her precious gifts ~ a bone, a ball, a sock

"Play with me, I love you so, do you see me here"?
This little puppy's wagging tail brought reflection near
Do my children come to me with toys held in their hands
A book to read, a game to play, a bucket filled with sand?

What precious moments with my children have I let slip by
Football tosses, crafts to make, a big bright kite to fly
This gentle nudge upon my heart by the Spirit's faithful touch
Confirms to me this momma's heart loves them oh so much

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me through toys left at my feet
My precious children come to me and there's nothing that's so sweet
As holding them and loving them and playing with them too
Welcoming them each time they knock, as joyfully as You

Time spent sitting at Your feet, meeting You each day
Luke 10:42 promises it shan't be taken away
You leave no toys left at Your feet when we knock to play
You gently lift them in Your hands and in Your arms we lay

© 2011 by Sharon Sloan. All rights reserved
"He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11