Monday, September 28, 2009

Jesus, there is just something about that name.

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name..."
Philippians 2:9
I have been so busy lately. I used to not understand when moms would tell me they were "just too busy to blog". Well, now I understand! Between homeschool, field trips, memorizing the book of Philippians (insane!!!), house construction, photo shoots, cleaning my kitchen every minute, laundry, preparing for Bible Studies and being pregnant, I have just not had time to sit down and do what I love to do... BLOG!!

AND, our internet was out for almost an entire week and I didn't have the patience to be on hold with the cable company for an hour to have it fixed. My saintly husband did that last night and so I am re-connected to cyber world!!


Here are a few more pics from the session we did with Rich Smith a while back that I was just looking at and thought I would share...

Now, for some current pictures...
This is a picture of the truck that delivered the sheet rock through our window for the new room upstairs. The boys were in awe. The drivers let them climb in and operate the controls. Good times.

Here are the paint colors we were trying to decide between. Going for an earthy/warm feel. I almost lost my marbles picking out a paint color. It took us WEEKS to decide.

The room is painted now (will get updated pics soon). You can see by this earlier picture, it is starting to take shape. The movie screen will go on the wall straight ahead. This is Tim's project. I have had very little to do with this. The carpenter, Ethan, has been a part of family for the last 7 weeks. He arrives at 8 and leaves after 4. The boys love him and think he is super-human because he can build and cut anything. He brings them little shapes to make things out of. They are dreading the day his job is finished. That dreaded day will be this week!! Thank goodness. I am looking forward to putting things back into their place and moving the boys into their new room!
Room #2. The Boys Bunk Room.

This is what the space looked like before they started working on it. Tim and I have sweated and argued a lot over the design of these bunks because we want them to love it. Tim is VERY good at design and I love to decorate so we are usually a good team... when we can agree :). We finally did agree and the bunks are going to be superb!!
This room used to be our guest room.

Tim wanted to add tongue-and-groove boards to the ceiling to give it a cozier/cabiny look.

That is Ethan and the boys putting the bunks together.

Taking shape!
The middle will be book shelves with 3 cubbies in the bottom (with their names on them). The bottom part is a bench that will have storage in it. I am having a cushion and pillows made for it. It will also have lamps. I hope they use this space. I am determined to make it so inviting that they will want to read there. There will be 4 bunks and two trundles underneath. Plenty of space for slumber parties! There is much more work to be done in here. Can't wait to show you the finished product. It may be a month or so before I have it all put together with bedding and pillows (all the stuff I LOVE!!! and they could care less about :).

Here is my little pumpkin. I love this crazy kid so much... He is FINALLY starting to talk and is absolutely hilarious. Joy oozes out of him and onto everyone around him.
Most people think he is a girl. Tim says it is time for a haircut but I bought him a clown outfit for Fall Parties and I have to have his hair. He is going to make a perfect little clown. I can't wait. I have a feeling he will veto the outfit.
May have to bring out the big guns to get him to cooperate...

Last Thursday night, I had nearly 30 girls over to celebrate being a daughter of Christ. This whole idea was birthed as I listened to one of my closest friends cry talking about her relationship with her husband. He is not surrendered to the Lord and is treating her very poorly. It has been going on for years and she is growing VERY weary (as you can imagine). I look up to this girl so much. She radiates Jesus as she walks through this long trial. She makes me want to run my race harder and do it with excellence...
because she does.
My heart broke for her as I listened. All the sudden, I thought, "time out!". It is time to get back to the basics. To take an evening to focus on Christ, our heavenly Husband, Who never disappoints. We all need to be reminded of His love for us.. especially while in the valley. So, I started planning and preparing... AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!
All I told the girls was that it was a celebration of being a daughter of the King of Kings, to wear white and that we would be having dessert.
I started gathering candles, cakes, coffee & Scripture and it was PARTY TIME!!
Here are two of my fun friends, Tami and Diana...

Girls started arriving to my back porch. Lots of them!! :)

Very excited me...talking about my King, Jesus.

My friend, Bo, sang. She has PIPES. She is a white Mandisa. She could have blown the roof off my porch if she had wanted to. It was powerful.

There were girls from 12 years old to 61 years old packed in worshiping the Lord together. I cannot even describe how sweet of a time this was.

You should have been there. I should have recorded it.
She is a month ahead of me in pregnancy.

Suzy, another friend who can S I N G led us in a couple of songs...

Let's celebrate, girls!! Jesus loves you so much!!!

Kristy (above), and these 3 girls (below)-- I could not do life without them. Period.

Here are some of the verses and some of my notes from Thursday night. May the truth of these words penetrate your heart. May we be compelled by His love for us.

"For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave."
Psalm 86:13

"For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies."
Ps 108:4

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him"
Ps 103:11

"The earth is filled with your love, O Lord; teach me your decrees."
Ps 119:64

"May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant."
Ps 119:76

"The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love."
Ps 145:8
"In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back."
Isaiah 38:17

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness."
Jer 31:3

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail."
Lamentations 3:22
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Romans 5:5
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. "
Romans 5:8
"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved." Eph 2:4
" All the ways of the Lord are loving..." Ps 25:10

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1
Is 46:4 says...
"I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
God defnitely loves us, Now What?

Well, first it makes me want to fall on my face in gratitude when I look at God’s love for me.
2 Cor 5:14 says "for Christ’s love compels us".
compel: to constrian or to hold completely
a) to hold fast
(as a prisoner)– WE CANNOT ESCAPE GOD’S LOVE FOR US. We are prisoners of His love.

We are motivated - even pushed on by - the love of Christ. We have received so much love from Jesus that it compells us to serve others.

This is the greatest foundation for ministry, wanting to give something to others because Jesus has given us everything. When we really receive the love of Christ, it touches us and makes us want to serve Him with all that we are.
"The apostles labored much, but all their labour sprang from the impulse of the love of Jesus Christ. Just as Jacob toiled for Rachel solely out of love to her, so do true saints serve the Lord Jesus under the omnipotent constraint of love." (Spurgeon)
To say the love of Christ constrains us is to say that the love of Christ has power. It has a force which can bind us and influence us.
What are we compelled to do?
Psalm 116:12-13
"How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord".
We ought to LIFT HIGH the cup of salvation and speak of how we have been rescued from the dominion of darkness... sharing the gospel and our testimonies everywhere we go. The Bible says that we are the aroma of Christ... meaning that our lives should permeate every place we go with the beautiful aroma of Christ.. strengthening and encouraging believers and causing non-believers to be drawn in by the irresistable aroma of Jesus. Our perfume should be LIFE... with our fragrance changing everyone we encounter. Leading them one step closer to Jesus.
We can in no way repay the Lord or give Him any sacrifice of value But We, ourselves, are to be living sacrifices..
"Therefore, I urge you, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as LIVING SACRIFICES, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship"
Rom 12:1
We headed off on a field trip on Friday. Pioneer Days. The boys loved it because they got to do a lot of cool stuff.
I, on the other hand, was very hot and sleepy so Lake and I ended up taking a nap in the air-conditioned car. I think God knew what He was doing when He chose this time and place for me to be born. :) Air-conditioning and dishwashers. Lol.

Feeding the chickens hand shucked corn.

Tim... making butter. He thought that was really cool.

Saturday... up bright and early for soccer games. Here is the view from my lap.

This is Reece and Bubba's second year and he is doing fantastic. He pretty much scores every time he gets the ball. It is so fun to watch. Very different from the first year. I didn't know if Tim and I would survive it. If you have read my blog for a while, you may remember last year. We lost Bubba mid-game and he was on the wrong field playing with 8 yr olds. The game had to be stopped while everyone yelled, "BUBBA!!!!!!!!!!". Bubba is at least staying on the right field this year. He is good too. He just doesn't really care yet.
The first year of every sport has been very painful to watch. I am glad we are in year two. Reece is loving it and we are loving watching the star player!!!

I am in week 20 of pregnancy!!! I am still in shock. I think about her all the time. We are having a hard time coming up with a middle name for her. I am enjoying this middle part of pregnancy. I am still walking in the mornings and feeling really good for the most part. I have really learned to live life to the fullest and I intend to do that for the rest of my life.
The boys and I are having a ball in homeschool. I love them so much. My heart is walking around in 5 other bodies now. Tim's, the boys' and.. now Hope's.
I hope you are all doing great! Please send me suggestions for a middle name for Hope if you can think of any!
Some contenders:
Elizabeth- my middle name. Means- "God's promise".
Louise- my grandmother's name who I love so much. Some of my first memories were laying in bed at her house (in VERY clean sheets after she scrubbed me down... possibly with bleach) while she read the Bible to me. Louise means "famous warrior". That also makes me happy. I want Hope to be a famous warrior for Christ.
Krisalyn- "Beautiful Bearer of Christ". Need I say more? Awesome meaning. Not sure I am sold on the name. Unique though.
"...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth"
Philippians 2:10


Taylor said...

Thanks for all of the great verses on God's love for us! I recently had a long, tear-filled conversation with one of the teen girls I disciple over the fact that she feels so unloved by her dad and stepdad. It broke my heart but we talked for almost two hours about how much God loves her and prayed together. I can't wait to share these verses with her!

Anonymous said...

Hang on to those curls as long as possible! I love them!! My son has them as well and I just cannot bring myself to cut them. In fact, when I'm reading your blog, my little one, who is normally in my lap, sees pictures of your son and thinks it is him. He always says "That me, Mommy?" : )
It's also funny that you have a Lake and I have a River!

Amanda said...

Hope Elizabeth

Erin Southwell said...

DO NOT CUT HIS HAIR!!! :) (Does Tim still love me?) Do not cut his hair!!!

I am so disappointed that I missed your white party, it looks like it was a truly awesome event.

And holy COW, the boys' bunk room is just incredible!! I can't wait to see what bedding you choose :)

Love you!

Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog today. My mom passed away exactly one week ago. She was the greatest mother a girl could every hope for. She was hopelessly devoted to her Lord.
I'm glad things are going well with you.
My suggestion for a middle name is my own...
Hope Renee'
I have always loved my middle name.
Renee' originates from the French and it means "reborn".

Stephanie C. said...

We loved the name Hope too for our oldest little girl. We couldn't agree on a middle name to go with it either - so we named her Caroline Hope instead. I actually liked Hope Caroline, but my husband didn't agree :) Love your blog and so appreciate the encouragement that it has been to me.

Angela said...

Oh, Steph, what an amazing post!! I drank it all in. :)

So sad to have missed your party. It looks like such a blessing. And the cakes...YUM!

I can't wait to see the finished rooms!

I love Hope Elizabeth, too. Elizabeth is our girl middle name, but you may steal it. LOL (First name: Katherine) I might not ever get to use it, but we are hanging onto the name just in case!

Leah said...

Thanks for all the updates! Can't wait to see the boys finished room! I am in a bible study right now, we are also doing Phillipians,,joy, joy, joy! I vote for Hope Abigail,, I read a long time ago that Abigail meant "joy of her father", which I'm SURE she will be:)

AngelWalker said...

Name your daughter after a wonderful women that you love. Either yourself, your mother, or mother in law.

Love your blog.. keel blogging.

Trinity said...

I vote for either family name. Both girls have middle family names. Brooklynn is Kathleen after me and my mom. Bentley is Rachael after Eddie's mom, her mom, and her mom's mom.
I really like Louise.

Anonymous said...

I thought of Elisabeth before I even saw that was one of the choices! I love Elisabeth spelled with an s since that's the biblical spelling. I'm sure she will have a beautiful name no matter which one you pick.
Blessings from Illinois

Anonymous said...

I, too, thought of Elizabeth before I saw it as one of your choices so either my subconscious traveled back 25 years and pulled that out as your middle name or it just goes perfectly with Hope. :-) After I read what you wrote about your grandmother though, I understand your dilemma. How about Louisabeth? Not very common, but by the sounds of your other children's names, that suits you just fine! GRIN Beth means God is My Oath and Louisa means Famous Warrior...A Famous Warrior Whose God is My Oath...sounds unshakable! :-) Love your blog!

Heather said...

Thanks for the encouragement :)

Jackie Blue said...

You are so inspiring I love your blog..and enjoy all the additions..but I understand how very BUSY you must be........please know that the word of God you spread reaches at least some.

I also love Hope Elizabeth wishes to you and your lovely family.

Telstaar said...

I have never met you and this is the first time I've viewed your blog and I am weighing in on a name debate, humm...

But - what about Lucy? It means "light" - I was thinking that where there is Hope, there is light and that comes from Jesus who is a light on the mountaintop for all to see giving us hope in the darkness - well that's how I see it anyways...

Goodluck with choosing a name :) From what I ahve seen and read, she will be much loved and adored with a great legacy before her.

Love in Christ,