Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mary's 90 Day Challenge!

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.  This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways, Mary. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD."

I know that the next 90 days are going to be filled with lots of hard work.  Building my spiritual house will take sweat, tears and moments of doing things I don't want to do.  I am so thankful that I belong to a Savior who tells me that IN HIM I can do ALL things!

Here is my personal challenge that begins January 1st and goes through March 31st.  

1-  Using the Visalus Shake to replace one meal per day.

2-  Add Stretching to my daily routine.

3-  Track/Journal everything I eat.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Beginnings.....New Camera!

I know it sounds silly but one of the things that has really been difficult this past month as our family has gone through some pretty significant challenges was that my beloved camera broke.  I felt like someone had chopped of my hands.  

You see, I process through words, pictures and conversation.  Blogging, writing articles, sharing through facebook, are all tools that help me process my emotions, thoughts, and idea's.

My camera simply helps me put words to my feelings.  It's as though I've been sitting in limbo and not had a chance yet to reflect and remember.  I deeply long to work through my feelings.  Sometimes I feel totally fine and other times it feels like they are going to crush me.    

It wasn't until Scott actually took me to purchase the camera that I understood how much I had missed this powerful tool.  It all came together as I stood in that store bawling my eyes out.  The poor man helping us had no idea what in the world was wrong with this emotional woman. (smile)  

How could I explain to him that this was not just a camera, this is a tool the Lord uses to help me connect and come alive?  Instead, I quietly clung to Scott's arm while he lovingly smiled and shook his head.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Memories For My Boys.....

I am so blessed by the incredible friends the Lord has lovingly placed in my life.  I've been overwhelmed with cards, dinners, pet sitters and lots of prayers.  

 My boys are having a blast staying the night with their buddy Tommy.  After weeks of walking through lots of serious things I am so blessed to watch them relax and let loose!

Niki, is such a good mama.  She has let them fish, play baseball, made them dinner, fixed homemade milkshakes, and now they're having movie  time with "Rio"!

Something cute....

Little Tommy asked if Seth and Jake could stay the night.  Niki told them they would have to ask me.  Seth pipes in and says, "Oh it will be okay my moms very flexible".  LOL!  

Thank you Lord for giving me such precious memories.  I pray I never take for granted how you work through those people you place in my life.  


Monday, December 19, 2011

Letting Go Of Regret

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you. ~ Luke 5: 8

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”  And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus. ~ 11

The answer to past regrets?


Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead! ~ Phil 4:13

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23

Thank You, Jesus! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Coffee W/ Jesus- Building My Forever Foundation!

Sitting, soaking in Jesus this morning.  My heart is overcome with deep thankfulness that I serve a Savior who doesn't look at where I'm at right now, but where I'm going.  He waits in delight to coach me to that holy finish line.  Lord, let me be still, strip away my sinful habits, help my eyes to stay focused on you in the midst of the craziness and chaos. 

Mary, I will show you what it's like when you come to me and listen to my teaching.  Don't become just a hearer, but put into practice my truths.  Become a DOER!  

"I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it.  It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock.  When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built." ~ Luke 6:47-48

I feel the anticipation of change building in my heart.  You are moving me to quieter waters for a time of rest and restoration.  My heart overflows with thankfulness for being my faithful Shepherd.  I trust you completely.  Let me climb close and listen carefully so I don't miss a thing! 

Build my house, Lord!  Help me to lay a strong foundation in you.  Let my focus be heaven and my actions be about others.  Fill me up with your Word so I can pour it out on my children, my husband, my friends and total strangers. 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye

His citizenship is heaven.  He eagerly awaits (Nope!  He's There!) his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Who by the very power that enables Him to bring everything under control, will  HAS TRANSFORMED his lowly body so that it will be IS like HIS glorious body!  Phil 3: 20

I have thought of him so many times in the days since he went home.  I'm wondering what he thought/felt as he stood before Jesus.  I imagine him fishing in lush ponds overflowing with bass or hunting with his dad, my granddaddy.  

I am so very thankful that goodbye is not forever to the believer.  One day we will see our loved ones again if they have asked Jesus into their hearts.  

See you again, Dad!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holy Boot Camp!

Our family received the dreaded phone call that eventually all of us will receive one day or another.  My father's body is shutting down and they've asked us to come say our goodbyes. 

It's been an emotional, roller coaster ride, ever since.

My heart grieves the loss of the man who took me in and made me his own when my biological father walked away.  I cannot tell you how different my world will seem without him.  He is our strong tower who spent his life taking care of us.  He was a Command-Man personality.  Hunt, fish, build, fix!

Praise the Lord that his hope (Our Hope) is not in this world.  His real life is about to begin.  He will soon take his last breath and close his eyes here for the final time,


He will open them forever as he stands face-to-face with his Savior God.  There will be no more suffering, no more pain, no more sin, just life EVERLASTING!

This is a HOLY Boot Camp!  
The Lord is beckoning me to throw myself head first into the days which are about to come.  How can I encourage my siblings, my mother?  How can I speak words of comfort to my dad.  This is not about me, it's not even about my family.  It's all about HIM!

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17-18


Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Thanksgiving To Remember!

When I was just 10 years old my parents bought six acres up on the Suwanee River.  My dad then cleared trees and slowly built his dream home.  In June of 1988 he and my mom moved up there full time.  This is where we go for our Thanksgiving each year.

However, this year was very difficult.  Dad has been battling cancer off and on for over six years.  It began as lung, moved to colon, went to liver.  The Lord gave him a pause and he beat it.  Then it came back a few months ago and is in his lung and liver.  

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving dad was taking oral chemotherapy.  He had already done I.V. and Radiation so many times they wanted to try something different.  Unfortunately, his body could not handle the trauma of such a toxic medication and we ended up spending most of our week at the hospital which is 1 hr and 15 minutes away.  

Please pray for my dads comfort as our family gathers close over the next couple of weeks.  He has been very restless and had lots of pain.

With all of that said, I am so very grateful for the memories the Lord allows us to store up when we spend time together.  I am so proud of my mother, brother and sister as I watch them lovingly care for this strong, proud man we all love so dearly.

I will share pictures from our Thanksgiving:

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. ~ Phil 4:8-9


Monday, November 28, 2011

Reminded Of My Purpose

Everyone who competes in the game goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last FOREVER!!! 1 Corinthians 9:25

Friday, November 25, 2011

Classical Conversations Follow Up Week 12!

We are halfway through our school year and I am loving our experience with Classical Conversations more than I could have ever imagined or fathomed. 

 Let me say, I do not think Classical Conversations is for everyone.  I know the only reason we are having such an incredible experience is because because this is where the Lord has called us.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my SPIRIT says the Lord! 

I still remember sitting in Lynn Doto's classroom last year (observing with my husband) when I heard the Lord whisper in the stillness..... This is your community Mary.  You belong here.  I could so deeply feel His presence.  He later confirmed this decision through my quiet time:

“But forget all that, daughter—
      it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
  For I am about to do something new.
      See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
   I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
      I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19

After 13 years of homeschooling we had found our groove, our community, our roots, and the Lord was about to shake everything up!  (All for HIS glory)  It was time to begin a new journey and how sweet it has been.  

My lesson has been learning how to fit Classical Education around who God made our family to be and not the other way around. 

I don't want to follow a philosophy.  I want to follow Jesus!

So, halfway through the year I can more confidently state that this amazing community has been a perfect fit for our family.  Thank you so much to all of you who prayed while I was making those hard decisions last year.  They felt so heavy, and so difficult, but I realize now that my flesh rebelling to change, starting over, doing something new and different.  

Let me close with pictures of our 12th week!  It was GREAT!  

 Human Body

For the past 6-weeks we've been studying the human body.  Here are their final projects.  They had to cut out each organ, bone, and muscle, as we studied and learned about them.  We then attached them to their life size outlines to help bring everything to LIFE!

 My precious Seth

 Christa was my helper this week and she did an amazing job helping with review!

 My precious, Jesus-loving, new friend, Marcie leading the community in timeline memory work.  

Jessie and Christine working on their bodies.

 Christa and Mary at the beginning of the human body project.

 Christa and Mary after one hour of cutting, gluing, instructing! (teasing grin)

Thanksgiving Luncheon

 Though everyone brought something to eat these two gals did all the work of organizing, decorating, buying.  

For I am about to do something new.
      See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
   I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
      I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:19