Thursday, February 28, 2008

So funny...Mom my van!

Okay, one of my dearest friends, Carrie, in California has succumbed to motherhood and gotten a minivan...which she swore she would never do. In honor of this, her husband posted this video to his blog. I laughed so hard I cried! I have to admit...I have seen a few like this in person! MINIVANS ROCK! It's really helped me to not get "hit on" so much since we got one.....or the fact that I haul around three kids with me all the time! :) Actually, I never really got "hit on." I'm going to stop now. I'm starting to make myself all insecure.

He's Home....and I need to grow in sanctification!

He's home. My Shane is home! After a long, hard week without him, he is a breath of fresh air to me! He walked through that door, and I just fell into his arms. I love being married to a Godly man.

While he was gone, I did not do so well. I struggled-hard-in so many areas. I didn't even know I missed him so much (apart from missing help with the kids!), until I saw him. It melted my heart! I may be accused of being co-dependent...that's fine with me. I admit that I need my other half.

I hate struggling. I hate failing. I hate being depressed. I hate giving into sin. I hate feeling defeated and giving into my emotions. I want to grow in sanctification. Romans 6:11 says, "You must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." To give up and feel defeated is the same as denying the truth of the scripture.

I'm not talking about perfectionism, the view that 'sinless perfection is possible in this life.' But, I'm talking about reckoning myself dead to sin. Realizing that sin, even the sin of allowing emotions to control me, no longer has a hold on me. Sin is no longer my master. I know "God is at work in (me), both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13)

Sanctification is primarily a work of God in our lives, but we play a part, too. We must depend on God to sanctify us, but we are to actively take a role in which "we strive to obey God and take steps that will increase our sanctification." (Grudem) We are to "strive...for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord!" (Heb. 12:14) We are also called to "abstain from immorality" and obey the will of God (1 Thess. 4:3) We are to hope to be like Christ. "We are to continually build up patterns and habits of holiness.." (Grudem) This, as we all know, comes only through Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, witnessing, Christian fellowship, and self-control. It's about trusting God and being obedient to His word.

I desire to be conformed to the image of Christ in every area of my life. Boy, am I so far from that! And, I get so easily defeated. I've just been going through a really dry period of life in my personal walk. I have been learning, but I've felt so weak to the attacks of the enemy. I've struggled with depression and let it get the best of me. I've been praying alot about this, and I feel like the Lord just keeps wanting to teach me about sanctification and how it works. I can say it's nothing I do, but it is. I must be on my guard, staying in His word, building up habits of holiness...and yet it's only by His grace. "Sometimes the popular phrase, 'Let Go and Let God', is given as a summary of how to live the Christian life. But this is a tragic distortion of the doctrine of sanctification, for it only speaks of one half of the part we must play, and, by itself, will lead Christians to become lazy and to neglect the active role that scripture commands them to play in their own sanctification." (Grudem)

Motives for obeying God...(1) a desire to please Him (John 14:15) ; (2) to need to keep a clear conscience before Him (Rom. 13:5); (3) the desire to be a vessel for noble use/have increased effectiveness in the work of the kingdom (2 Tim. 2:20-21); (4) the desire to see other come to Christ by observing our lives (1 Peter 3:15-16); (5) the desire to receive present blessings from God on our lives and ministries (1 Peter 3:9-12); (6) the desire to avoid God's displeasure on our lives (2 Cor. 7:1); (7) the desire to seek greater heavenly reward (Matt. 6:19-21); (8) the desire for a deeper walk with God (Matt. 5:8); (9) the desire for peace and joy (Phil. 4:9/Heb. 12:1-2); (10) the desire to do what God commands simply because his commands are right and we delight in doing what's right (Phil. 4:8) (from Grudem's Bible Doctrine)

"The more we grow in likeness to Christ, the more we will personally experience the 'joy' and 'peace' that are part of the fruit of the Spirit, and the more we will draw near to the kind of life that we will have in heaven...This is the source of true joy...As we grow in holiness, we grow in conformity to the image of Christ, and more and more of the beauty of his character is seen in our own lives." (Grudem)

I look forward to Christ's return or the end of my life on earth, when my sanctification will be complete. "At his coming, we will be made alive with a resurrection body and then we shall fully 'bear the image of the Man of Heaven.' " (Grudem) For now, I desire to grow more in His likeness...maybe that's why it was so rough when Shane was gone. God had a lot to show me!

"So you must also consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves go God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will no longer have dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:11-14

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What's up with us?

So, I suppose I've been copping out a bit on the posts lately with the pictures and the videos, but somedays it's all I have time for...that, or our life is just not so interesting to post about! :)

Life has been pretty routine lately around here...just schooling, cleaning, work, nothing big. The baby was running a fever that last couple days, but seems to be okay today. We've just ended a week of the stomach bug...but are on the mend.

Shane left early this morning for Seattle to attend a pastor's conference at Mars Hill church. A group of guys went from our church. I guess they missed their check-in by six minutes this morning, though, and so are stuck in Louisiville for the day. According to him, they are at a hotel with a gun show and a group of Pentecostal ladies. Sounds like sweet revenge for leaving all us ladies home alone with the kids for a week! hee, hee.....

I might end up going to the salvage grocery store today with my friend, Cari. It's our new favorite addiction! Cheap groceries! :) Good stuff. If we go, we'll probably take the kids to McDonald's, which would bless my kids' socks off! To cut back lately, we haven't been taking them out to eat at all, and have told them they will have to wait until their birthdays for McDonald's. But, it's neat...this way it's special to them! We'll have to see about that splurge! :)

Church is going good. Shane is LOVING his new "job." He gets so excited with all the 'divine appointments' God keeps bringing him. And, he has such a heart for the people at the church. We continue to be blessed.

Well, folks, that about sums up my life lately. Other than all the pruning the Lord's been doing in my heart...but we won't get into that! :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Feminine Graces

Recently, a little boy at church asked my five-year old, Lizzie, to "be his girlfriend." She asked me and I told her that he had to ask her father (knowing quite well what his answer would be). He took her hand and walked her over to Shane and asked permission to "go out with her." Shane, of course, lovingly told this young 5 year old boy that she was too young, but he had permission to be her friend.

A few weeks later, word was "out on the street" that this little boy was terrified of my husband and would never ask Lizie out again.

So, Lizzie and I were talking the other day about it. She asked if she could be his girlfriend when they were older. I told her we would just have to wait and see what kind of a Godly man he became. My older daughter, encourager that she is :), said that he said he would NEVER ask her out again, EVER! I asked Lizzie if that hurt her feelings, and she said, "No, if he doesn't, I'll just beat him up!"

Maybe it's time to read "Beautiful Girlhood?" :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Photography Blog...

I started a new blog just strictly for Kari McGrath'll have to go check it out! Let me know what you think...and if you see any changes that need made! It's still a work in progress. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

How To Save $7000 This Year!

Okay, I really like saving money. I admit, sales and garage sales make me happy! I'm always looking and praying for ways to cut back or save. I thought this article from Living On A Dime was great. It shows how the little things really do add up.

Another one of my favorite websites is: . She sends me a weekly meal plan, complete with recipes via email. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't...but I always get ideas. All her meals are easy and cost effective, and for those of you who don't have time to plan your meals or just don't like to...what's better than having it done for you for free? Plus, she's got all kinds of articles on home organization and freezer cooking.

One other I want to direct you to is . She has some great articles and has a whole lot of calendar/household notebook pages you can download and print for free. My friend, Cari, made me a household notebook, and I couldn't believe how it cut the clutter in my kitchen. I think I'm gonna go inventory my pantry now! :)

Day In The Life...Photos...Diapers!

Since this really is a part of our day at home, I thought it needed documented. Don't worry, we all know what a dirty diaper looks like-so I didn't feel the need to be truly documentary about it. This is the cute part of diaper changing! :)

Day In The Life...Photos...Lunchtime!

I'm telling you, folks...I know you're on the edge of your seats's lunchtime! :) As you can see below, Shane was just as excited about my documenting our day in photos as I was! :)

The happy homeschooling family at lunch!
Besides being a proficient artist, my son is also an accomplished chef-he came up with this concotion on his own: macaroni and apples. Sheer genius!

Day In The Life..Photos...Art Lessons

After a little reading, the baby wanted to color. He usually likes to eat crayons, but today his artistic genius came to the surface!

Voila! The masterpiece! It's good to know I have passed on my artistic skills to my children! (actually, I think he may do better than I do!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day In The Life...Photos...TV Problems!

Well, after the big night of the storm...this day we went to turn on our TV...and...nothing! The great "idol of entertainment" was gone...dead...and we were all so sad! What would we do with ourselves? Read? Talk? Crochet? I just knew God was speaking that we needed to let it go...Shane, on the other hand, was sure it was Satan taking away our only form of entertainment! (little joke there, folks) So, this is the saga of our pictures! (oh, the excitement just doesn't end on this blog, does it?) :) (gee, someone should dust the top of that TV!)

Later that day, we went to Best a new one! Hey, we've gotta have something to do! :) Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the new one. I'll save that for another picture blog series! (just gotta keep you coming back!)

Day In The Life...Photos...Reading Time

The "beloved book of the day was "Five Little Ducks." If I remember right, grandma McGrath gave us this book. All day long they read it over and over and sang it over and over....until mama said, "Okay, enough. No more five little ducks!" :)

And, of course, we have the young theologian, Nehemiah, seriously studying the scriptures! This was just too cute. When I looked over and saw this, I had to take the picture! :)