Monday, March 28, 2011

Multitude Monday

Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
1056.  A good night's sleep before Round 3 of the stomach bug
1057.  A little boy's long nap to revive his sick body
1058.  God multiplying my time by slowing me down
1059.  Time to work and plan at home

1060.  A friend's phone call to encourage me 
1061.  Sending "mail" to each of my children about one of their positive qualities
1062.  Daddy getting to his destination safely

1063.  Reading Life Together
1064.  Our fellowship and all its strengths and weaknesses

1065.  Daddy returning home safely from his business trip

1066.  My mom heading to Florida for some much needed respite from caring for her mom
1067.  And she is enjoying herself

1068.  Encouragement and prayer for one another at the Wednesday morning Bible study

1069.  No homework day at school!
1070.   Dinner out with school friends to celebrate

1071.  My fourth grader's class leading Chapel service at school
1072.  The kids singing There's Something About That Name

1073.  Inspiration to make goals to make my mission statement a reality

1074.  Early afternoon, mid-week catnap

1075.  My husband and friends who came to my rescue when I finally succumbed to the stomach virus
1076.  The consolation that since we have all gotten it now, it should be outta here
1077.  Feeling better- there's nothing like a stomach virus to remind you to give thanks for good health! 
1078.  My husband helping me clean and get the house back in order after my being sick

1079.  A beautiful Sunday School Teach Appreciation Dinner at church.

1080.  My co-coordinator for a large women's event next weekend at church
1081.  A meeting to pray and plan for the event

1082.  I'm in the home stretch with Bible in 90 Days

1083.  For world changers like William Wilberforce who act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God

You can read why I got started counting the gifts here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 63

Jenny is on a journey of praying her way through the Psalms.  I was fortunate enough to join at the start.  Each weekend, we pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

Psalm 63

I've written about this psalm before.  Salvation is a gift- once received it needs never to be sought again.  But soul satisfaction?  This must be pursued, lest we become weary, starved and dry.  
"O God, you are my God, 
   earnestly I seek you; 
my soul thirsts for you, 
   my body longs for you, 
in a dry and weary land 
   where there is no water."  Psalm 63: 1
Father, thank You for setting your affections on me, for choosing me and loving me.  Thank You for the indescribable gift of eternal life.  Help me, O God, to seek You earnestly.  Do not let my quiet times with You become just another item on my to do list but let them be times of devotion and intimacy with You, the lover of my soul.  Give me the desire to pursue You and to partake of the Sacred romance.  In Jesus's name, amen.
"My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you."  Psalm 63: 5

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In the Home Stretch

Edited to add quote at the end of the post.

If you read here regularly, you are aware that I am reading the Bible in 90 Days for the first time.  It's also the first time I am reading the entire Bible cover to cover.  I am reading with the encouragement of Amy and the community at MomsToolbox and the accountability of my dear friend, Andrea.  While it has been hard, at times, to keep up with the readings, the truth is, overall, it has been much easier to do than I ever imagined.  Some of the Old Testament readings were dry, some were difficult to understand but I just purposed to keep reading.

Now deep into the epistles of the New Testament, I am filled with joy to have gotten so far.  The beauty and the richness and the clear theology of Paul's letters have never been more real to me, having just read through the Old Testament in its entirety!  And what I thought might primarily be an intellectual exercise simply given the pace at which I was reading the Scriptures has proved to be a deeply spiritual one as well.  Though it did not happen everyday, many times as I read I was prompted to pray for myself and others, to share a verse of encouragement with a brother or sister or simply to be a doer of the Word.

The 90 Days end on April 2nd.  I am confident that, if it is God's will, I will finish on time.  And if not, I will finish soon after.  Amy starts a new B90Days group on July 11th.  If you have never done this before, I urge you to prayerfully consider it!  There is nothing in my Christian life, besides my Baptism, that has brought me more joy than this!

After I wrote this post this morning, I picked up Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a book I am reading for Book Club at church.  Chapter Two discusses, among other things, how one should be reading the Scriptures each day.  When I read the following passage, I knew it belonged at the end of this post:
"Consecutive reading of Biblical books forces everyone who wants to hear to put himself, or to allow himself to be found, where God has acted once and for all for the salvation of men.  We become a part of what took place for our salvation.  Forgetting and losing ourselves, we, too, pass through the Red Sea, through the desert, across the Jordan into the promised land.  With Israel we fall into doubt and unbelief and through punishment and repentance experience again God's help and faithfulness.  All this is not mere reveries but hold, godly reality.  We are torn out of our own existence and set down in the holy history of God on earth. "  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p. 53

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

His Hand

As we researched and prayed about homeschooling, God opened doors to give us the confidence we needed to make our decision in the end.  I want to remember how He led us in this process, have a record of it, for those days when I question it all.  

About two months had passed since T and I had begun to consider homeschooling again.  I was coming to the end of the women's Bible study I was involved in at church, Breaking Free.  As a result of the small group discussions in this study, a friend and I decided to be accountability partners over the issues from which we were each committing to "break free."  Jen also just so happened to be one of the homeschooling moms at church that with whom I had always been friendly.  As the weeks went on, Jen and I would communicate frequently as accountability partners and I also began to ask her about homeschooling, sharing with her why we were considering it again.  Jen is a wealth of homeschooling information and teaching is her passion so she was happy to share her experience and wisdom with me.  Best of all, she understood where I was coming from and never pushed homeschooling as the only way to educate our children.  Over the course of a few weeks, with prayer, Jen's guidance and input from several other homeschooling moms I respect, I came up with a plan I was excited about implementing.      

We hadn't told anyone in our families, assuming the reaction would be negative.  One evening, after a particularly long and teary homework session, I was on the phone with my mom lamenting about the situation as I stirred a pot of chili on the stove.  She listened and sympathized with me and then to my utter amazement, my mom asked if I would ever consider homeschooling.  I was literally dumbstruck.  All these weeks, I had been wanting to share this possibility and all my thoughts and research about homeschooling with my mom but had chosen not to yet.  I assumed her reaction would be negative and I did not want it to sway the process.  And then she goes and suggests it to me!  Of course, I shared with her that, yes, we were already considering it.

Not long after that conversation, my parents came for a visit and my dad asked about the homeschooling idea.  He was less enthusiastic than my mom but not adamantly opposed, either.  In the course of our conversation that afternoon, my mom offered to come one afternoon a week to stay with the kids while I took time for myself if we went ahead and home-schooled next year.  That simple offer of tangible support, whether she will actually be able to do it or not, was such an encouragement to me!

When T shared our decision with his sisters recently, one was encouraging while the other was less enthusiastic but not overtly negative.  This was similar to my own sister's reaction.  Our close friends have been supportive, even though to many, the idea of homeschooling is foreign.

Our boys are looking forward to it and our daughter is excited to start Kindergarten.  T has offered to teach the boys science!

I still have to speak to the administration at school to inform them of our decision.  It's silly but I am afraid to do it.  As I've shared, our school experience has been so positive that this last announcement will make it all final.  And, truth be told, it's a little frightening.  Like cutting the apron strings or something- lol!  But it would not be stepping out in trust if there were not an element or at least the perception of danger, would it?  So, very soon, I'll take a deep breath, put faith before fear and let the cat out of the bag at school!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Multitude Monday

Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
1014.  Local Borders Bookstore Closing
1015.  Allowed me to get wonderful birthday party favors at a great price

1016.  Sisters praying for my grandmother
1017.  A plan to give my mom a break from full time care of her
1018.  Pastor's wife calling to encourage and pray with my mom
1019.  How God answered their prayers in the form of a compassionate aide at the rehab

1020.  Reading my fourth grader's class book of poetry

1021.  Teachers willing to excuse the boys from homework so they could celebrate his birthday
1022.  Boys who were motivated to do the work anyway
1023.  Excitement about and joy during the ice skating birthday party
1024.  His little friend who fell while skating is ok
1025.  Cupcakes at school the next day
1026.  Family birthday dinner tradition

1027.  Serving at the Pancake Lunch at school
1028.  The kids were happy to see me there

1029.  Meditating on what is good about each of my kids 
1030.  Planning on sharing these things with them through the "mail"

1031.  Praying for and receiving strength in a weak moment of too much to do, too little time and a weary body

1032.  First graders class leading Chapel service at school
1033.  Their clear message on repentance and forgiveness
1034.  Seeing my boy's confidence on stage

1035.  Our girl's middle of the night stomach virus clean up was minimal
1036.  And I had gone to bed early that night
1037.  How a child's sickness will slow down your plans and routines for the day
1038.  Daddy taking the boys to school so our girl could sleep a little later
1039.  St. Patrick's Day crafts and videos online so she did not miss out on the fun at school

1040.  Smelling and feeling that Spring is in the air
1041.  Doing homework outside in the sunshine
1042.  The little guy trying roller skating for the first time

1043.  Basement family basketball game (I never want to do this and always have so much fun when we do- why don't I remember this???)

1044.  Focus on the Family iPhone app to listen to while I clean
1045.  Healthy body able to work hard around the house

1046.  74 degress and sunny!
1047.  Watching the Sons of Thunder first practice- our church's new Men's Softball team

1048.  These AWANA stats- wow!

1049.  My oldest rising early to see me off to an all day Home Schooling Conference
1050.  How inspiring and encouraging the conference was
1051.  Getting this new resource!
1052.  Husband holding down the fort at home
1053.  Oldest got the stomach bug- but we know it's only a 12 hour one!

1054.  Reaching Psalm 62 in Praying the Psalms

1055.  Finishing the gospels today (a little behind) in B90Days!

You can read why I got started counting the gifts here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 62

Jenny is on a journey of praying her way through the Psalms.  I was fortunate enough to join at the start.  Each weekend, we pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

Psalm 62
"One thing God has spoken, 
   two things have I heard: 
that you, O God, are strong, 
 and that you, O Lord, are loving. 
Surely you will reward each person 
   according to what he has done."  Psalm 62: 11-12
From these verses came the inspiration for my blog title and tagline,  One Thing Spoken, Two Things Heard: Listening for God's Love and Strength.  And the inspiration, also, for the blog's primary purpose and direction.  I write here as a means for processing my experiences and emotions in the light of God and His Word.  As I do, I try always to be listening for His strength and love in my life.  And I can always hear it when I incline my ear to Him- He is faithful!

Father, thank You for Your strength and love.  For how it is personal and real You are in my life.  Thank You for Your faithfulness, for always keeping Your promises.  Help me to always "hear" You working in my life.  In Jesus' name, amen.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


My little man turned seven yesterday.  

We celebrated with an ice skating party with friends and family on Tuesday afternoon...  

Cupcakes at school on Wednesday afternoon...

And dinner out for the five of us at our local Mexican restaurant, where we celebrate all our birthdays.

Seven!  How can this be?  It seems like yesterday that he was born.  Such a sweet, sweet baby he was.  Even if he did have his days and nights mixed up!  He hasn't lost his sweetness to this day.  I just love him so!  

Happy 7th birthday!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


As you may be aware, I had started writing a series of posts on all I've learned from Beth Moore's Breaking Free Bible Study and how I've applied that knowledge to my life.  I just realized that my last post in the series was almost a month ago!  I do plan on finishing the series here in the near future.  I still want to share about the last set of lies and truths God revealed to me through this study.  However, with the illnesses running through my family this past several weeks and keeping up with my Bible in 90 Days reading, the truth is that I have little time to pray and reflect on Breaking Free lately.  I'm on a little detour, if you will, along Freedom Road.    

I had an experience recently, though, that really blessed me and is related to this journey to freedom I have been walking as of late.  As I was preparing to give my testimony at a Bible study I attend, I asked my husband what some of the biggest changes he has seen in me since I became a Christian.  To my delight, he responded instantly that I react less out of anger when we disagree and I am a better listener and problem solver.  As I prayed and prepared my testimony, I heard God whisper over and over, "if the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.  I have set you free already.  Enjoy your freedom.  Walk in it.  Accept it.  You are never going to be perfect and I am not expecting that."  And I have been doing that and it has been a sweet time for me.  

This is not to say that my struggle with anger is over and I don't need to continue to seek God over it.  I know I will need to come back to His truth on this issue again and again.  He did not reveal all He has to over this issue for naught.  Rather, I just feel a true sense of peace right now and a release from the need to strive for freedom.  And it has been just what I needed!        

Monday, March 14, 2011

Multitude Monday

Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
990.  Day 68 of the Bible in 90 Days- THE NEW TESTAMENT!!!

991.  Setting up e-mail accounts for the boys (almost 7 & almost 10)
992.  E-mailing them
993.  And getting e-mail from them
994.  Surprising Abuelita with e-mails from the boys

995.  Reading The Power of a Positive Mom: Revised Edition (again)
996.  And studying it in a small group each week
997.  Remebering to smile at my children
998.  Challenging myself to make at least three positive comments to each child every day
999.  iPhone alerts reminding me of this committment

1000.  One thousand gifts!!!
1001.  Knowing I can't stop
1002.  Longing for eyes to see more gifts each day

1003.  A burden to pray for loved ones walking an uncertain road
1004.  Seeing His power to heal 
1005.  Believing Him for more!

1006.  Finding the time to tweak my testimony
1007.  The privilege of sharing my testimony at Bible study
1008.  His peace during my talk
1009.  So many encouraging words and comments and e-mails in response

1010.  A photo shoot of my kids and my sister's daughter- a surprise anniversary present for our parents

1011.  Four hours ALONE AT HOME on a Sunday afternoon
1012.  Time to get ready for the week AND time to write and reflect
1013.  And to encourage my mom who is taking care of her 91 year old mother 

You can read why I got started counting the gifts here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 61

Jenny has begun a journey of praying her way through the Psalms that I have decided to join. Each weekend, we will pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms

Psalm 61
"Hear my cry, O God;
   listen to my prayer.
 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
   I call as my heart grows faint;
   lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 
 For you have been my refuge,
   a strong tower against the foe.
 I long to dwell in your tent forever
   and take refuge in the shelter of your wings."  Psalm 61: 1-4
The simple truth is that He can sometimes seem very far away.  I know He is there but I can't feel His presence, see His hand or sense His leading.  Sometimes, I will cry with David, "Hear me!  Lead me!  Help me!"  And at other times, in weaker moments, I succumb to the lie that I am He is not listening.  

I'm a black and white kind of girl.  I like things to keep moving forward in a logical, predictable pattern.  But life is not like that, is it?  Life is a journey, with twists and turns and highs and lows.  And I am learning.  Learning to call to Him even in the times when my heart grows faint.  Learning to wait for Him to answer and to lead.  Learning to trust that He is my refuge and my strong tower, no matter how I feel in the moment.

Father, I thank You for never changing.  Though my circumstances change and my heart grows faint, You are always there.  You are my refuge and my strong tower.  You always offer the shelter of Your wings.  Help me to abide in You, God.  Help me to remember and believe You regardless of my circumstances.  In Jesus' name, amen.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I Did This Morning!

On Wednesday mornings, I attend a wonderful Women's Bible study at a local church.  I've been going on and off since the time I became a Christian about nine years ago.  The morning begins with the entire group of women in the chapel with worship followed by a sister sharing her testimony.  Then we all split into small groups for the Bible study.  Through the years, I've been asked a few times to share my own testimony and I always seemed to find an excuse not to do so.  When I was approached this year, though, I felt God prompting me to say yes.  Since I had most of it written out in a series of posts I wrote for this blog last year, I simply had to tweak that a little and pray for the courage to share.  I approached the podium this morning in peace, covered in the prayers of several ladies whom I had asked to pray.  I truly enjoyed the experience of sharing how God first poured His grace out on me!  I pray it brought Him glory and blessed the ladies who were listening.

I thought it might be fun to share my testimony again here- complete with the tweaks that I think make my story more full.  It's been hectic in our home recently with all of us taking turns getting sick and though I have many new thoughts swirling in my head just waiting to become blog posts, I just have not found the time yet.  I miss this place, though, so I wanted to stop in briefly to share my joy!

How Sean Hannity Led Me to the Lord- Part One
How Sean Hannity Led Me to the Lord- Part Two
How Sean Hannity Led Me to the Lord- Part Three

Monday, March 7, 2011

Multitude Monday

Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
976.  Still plugging along with Bible in 90 Days- started Daniel today!

977.  A week off from school
978.  Bringing with it slower and more peaceful mornings
979.  And opportunities to visit with friends and family that live a little further away
980.  And to do fun things like ice skating on a Thursday afternoon with friends from church
981.  And to have a sleepover at Papa and Abuelitas for the kids
982.  While I got to have a dinner out with my sister

983.  A day in bed to recuperate from sinus and ear infections
984.  God's peace resting on the kids- giving me rest

985.  Coffee with a friend

986.  Writing my first notes to the kids and delivering it to their mailboxes
987.  Their excitement to get mail
988.  Being surprised with a big hug from my oldest after he read my note

989.  A gift of a new Gratitude Journal from a sweet friend who said the Lord brought me to mind as she was buying one for herself
You can read why I got started counting the gifts here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 60

Jenny has begun a journey of praying her way through the Psalms that I have decided to join. Each weekend, we will pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

Psalm 60
"With God we will gain the victory, 
   and he will trample down our enemies."  Psalm 60: 12 
Lord, my enemies are often within.  And then there is the Enemy.  He thought our home was his playground for about 30 minutes this evening.  But with You, we will gain the victory.  Thank You for this promise and for Your faithfulness to keep all Your promises.  Hold us close to You this week, Father and help us to walk in peace in the path you lay out for us.  In Jesus' name, amen.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I'm sick!  Sinus and ear infections.  I think Monday was my worst day.   Didn't leave the bed.  I am on an antibiotic now and feel like I am finally on the mend!  I missed my first Multitude Monday since I began counting!  I am also behind on my Bible in 90 Days reading :(  But enough whining!  That's not why I jumped on here :)  I wanted to point you to two great posts I've read recently!

From my sweet IRL friend and Bible in 90 Days Accountability partner, Andrea, a post about the ins and outs of Christian Accountability.

From Sally Clarkson, a great post full of wisdom on biblical, grace filled parenting:  First Time Obedience, Really?


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