Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tour of My Flower Garden-Spring, 2013

I am so thankful that God didn't move us quite yet. I absolutely love spring around here! The beauty of my flower garden astounds me. After seven years of planting and trying to take dominion over the weeds, I am seeing the fruits of my labor. I thought I would share some pictures with you.
 Here is my lovely trellis house. I love the clematis this year! The white blooms are huge. I actually have four different varieties that bloom throughout the spring and summer.

 One of my favorite spots. I love to have coffee out here in the morning and read my Bible. It is a great place to watch the kiddos play, too.

 I had my hubby rip out some yucky, poky bushes that I hated for years. I am starting to fill in the bare spots. I love having flowers and a variety of different textured plants in here.

 This bed is filling out nicely, too. My antique wheelbarrow is used for some pretty annuals.

 Another section of the front bed.

 This is my useful bed. At the back of the house, I have my herb garden. Sage, thyme, oregano, chives and rosemary are at my disposal all year round for my cooking pleasure!

 My climbing roses are absolutely beautiful this year! We have been picking them and putting them in vases. Last year we didn't have enough, but boy do we this year!

 Here is a closer look at my sage, chives and rosemary.

 The back of the house is way more shady, so hostas seem to love it here. They are still growing.

 Here is my other antique wheelbarrow.

 In the back yard, these purple irises steal the show.
 I can't remember the full name of these red flowers, "________ Beard". I love them, but they do spread quickly. It is great if you have a lot of space you need to fill up.

 Salvia and candy tuft on the front wall.

 The red flowers are filling out the beds on my front wall.

So there you have it. Next post, I will show you my vegetables and berries I am growing.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Eliminating Stress=Eliminating Anger

(Miss Lily, in her office wear)
Dearest Mothers,

The Lord has been working with me lately on eliminating stress from my life. He has shown me that when I am stressed, I get angry. I am asking God to kill this anger that seems to manifest itself all the time.

The main way I can eliminate stress is to not be in a hurry. Simply slowing down is crucial to reducing stress. How can I be an effective Christian if I am in a hurry? Godliness takes time. Sanctification takes time. Hurrying, makes me overlook and become overwhelmed.

These are some practical ways I am going to try to slow down this week.

1) I will not go past the speed limit! I even asked my kids to hold me accountable on this one. Even though I don't speed all the time, I generally allow myself to go 5 miles over because I don't think I would get a ticket at that speed. The fact is, I need to slow down!!!

2) I will get the kids ready and leave earlier than usual. Giving myself more time is a great way to prevent howling because we are on a time-crunch. Blocked goals are a huge stressor which causes me to erupt in anger.

3) Stop multi-tasking! What? How can this be??? I'm the queen at multi-tasking. I have a more Christian term for it though. I'm "being efficient". Hmmmm.... Am I really being efficient? I don't think so. I'm purposely putting my body into "fight or flight" mode. I'm hurrying and getting less done. My goal is to sit down while I am on the phone, instead of cooking, emailing, gardening or whatever. When I am returning emails or texts, I need to not be trying to listen to my child's day at the same time. Fully give my attention to the situation, problem, crisis, task or child at hand. What a concept!!!! LOL!

I could go on and on, but I feel like I have my work cut out for me just by working out three of these bad habits.

If any of you want to share how you could eliminate hurry and stress from you life, I would love to hear your comments.


Monday, May 6, 2013

There is a Season for Every Time...Part 3

Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2

10. Time is COMING because Jesus is COMING!  She encouraged us to do the right thing, the righteous thing. She told us that while we are waiting for Jesus we have some things we could be doing.

-We need to mentor young girls. They need it desperately!

-If you have the gift of teaching (you have a passion to study and and you can't keep it to yourself, chances are you are a gifted teacher that needs to start equipping herself so that you can use the gift that God has given you.)

-We need to get women in our homes. Do Bible studies. Teach them how to respect their husbands and to love and disciple their children.

-Earnestly seek the gifts God has given us. Is it encouragement? Discernment? Faith? Prophecy? Do we not understand what they are? We need to ask God to reveal them to us and to fill us up so that His Holy Spirit will manifest himself within us.

-Be a disciples of Jesus. Well-discipled people turn the world upside down! Just look at Jesus' disciples and the effects they had on the world through the centuries.

11. Ask God to "teach us to number our days". Let's make these days a good thing! Beth instructed us to write out what our headstone would look like.

April _________- _________

Circle the dash in the middle of the dates (I didn't want to put too much personal info up)

She made the point that our life is but a dash.

Do we want it to be an angry dash? (holding on to unforgiveness)

 A sad dash? (torn up but never healed)

A bad dash? (A life ridden with unrepentant sin)

Or a glad dash? (My God has been faithful to me. He has redeemed my life from the slimy pit!)

12. When the "time" comes, all "time" will go. When Jesus comes it will be forever more!!! Time will never be an issue again. Praise the Lord!

Friday, May 3, 2013

For Every Season There is a Time..Part 2

(Click here if you want to read Part 1)

5. If we are in a terrible season, that season will eventually end. I realized that I have been trying so hard to figure out what God is doing from the beginning to the end. Isaiah 46:9-10 says "Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the END from the BEGINNING from ancient times, what is still to COME. I say; my purpose will stand, and I will do what I please."

God makes known the END from the BEGINNING!

-He is after the process of how this ends. He knows how it will turn out. "I see where this goes, and Girl, are you ever going to be beautiful when this is done!"

-When we get to the end, we will bring glory to God.

-Do we trust God to be good to us?

-If the enemy can't take away our salvation, he can try taking away our trust. Our God cannot do us wrong. He CAN be trusted. -Psalm 31:15-15a "But I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hands..." When we are faced with a trial or a crossroad, Beth encouraged us to commit this verse to memory and speak it out loud to God.

6. God calls us to redeem the time. Ephesians 5:15-17 and Colossians 4:5-6. The enemy is coming for our season. We have to take it all for Christ. Redeem it and buy it back. We can let the enemy have it, or We can buy it back. We can also end up being a slave to our "time". Not allowing ourselves to rest. She encouraged us to fire ourselves from all our activities and let God hire us back. Then we are doing only what God wants us to be doing.

Galatians 6:9 says "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." If we hang in there, sew, believe and trust during this season, we will have a harvest that is guaranteed!!!

7. "There is a time to kill and a time to heal." She made a very good point about killing sinful behavior. Aggressively getting rid of things that tempt us. Killing pornography, affairs, all manner of immoral behavior. Getting rid of old lovers' momentos, things we have held on to from the past. She said after it is dead, cut it's head off. I take that to mean to aggressively taking impure thoughts and making them captive to Christ.

8. "A time to tear and a time to mend (or sew)". I never put this one into the context of the ancient Hebrew world. They tore their garments in grief, but they didn't have a huge wardrobe to choose from so they eventually had to go through the process of sewing or mending the cloth back up. Beth said we are not meant to stay torn. Grieve, but grieve with hope. He is Jehovah Rapha (the Lord is our Healer). He will heal us back together, stitch by beautiful stitch.

9. I was convicted on this next point. She said "Time does not heal, time only tells." What am I saying about my season right now? If someone asks me how I am doing, I sometimes reply in a sad tone and an exasperated sigh, "I'm in a season of craziness and medical appointments right now (Josh, Marcus and I are all seeing orthopedic specialists about different problems we have, plus Marcus has allergy shots and we have various counseling appointments). I feel overwhelmed with it all. But how can I change how I speak about it? She encouraged us to speak light into our season, not dark. God told me no more grumbling! On the way home, I processed this with my friend, Kathi, and asked her how I could rephrase my season when someone asks (because I'm not a good liar) and she said to say that "You are in a season of RECONTRUCTION". Perfect!

For Part 1, click here.

Part 3 is on it's way!!!

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