Monday, April 27, 2009

"A Gift of Grace" by Amy Clipston

IT IS A MUST READ, if you're looking for a book to kick back and read with leisure!!! I found myself pulled into the relationship dynamics and really enjoyed the unique perspective it was written from! I can't wait to read the rest of they series now!!! Amy Clipston did an awesome job! Her books can be found on AMAZON and they're on SALE right now! Hurry over and grab one - or two - or ten... share them with friends!!! Check out AMY'S blog if you have a minute as well!!

And to read more reviews of this book click HERE.

(And, again... this is a book that I read and reviewed as part of a blog tour. They sent me the book for free to read in return for a review and some awesome "pass it on" kind of action :) I've already given the book to a friend to read!!! If you want more info on becoming a part of a blog tour then shoot me a msg!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Today is Good Friday. Today is the day that Christ took the long walk to surrender his life. It was his day to fulfill prophecy and to fulfill the Father's plan. What an act of sacrifice. Some days the power of the cross hits me more deeply than others. Today is one of those days.

Looking into my heart I can so easily see the filth, the pride, the sin, the greed, the lust for what others have and I am lacking in, the selfishness, the self centeredness, and the judgemental thoughts I have.... the list goes on and on. I'm brought to tears in amazement that he would take on the cross for me.

And then I am saddened by how easily I forget the road he walked. When I forget the nails that pierced his hands and feet.. the thorns that drew blood to his head... and the spear that bled pure water from his side.

Take a listen to the following song, if you would. It's by Francesa Bastistelli.
Click the play arrow (remember to press pause on the playlist)
They lyrics are posted below so you can read along.
Praying you're as blessed as I have been this morning.

Time In Between - Francesca Battistelli

"Time In Between" Lyrics

by Francesca Battistelli | from the album My Paper Heart

You were there when your Father said
Let there be light
You obeyed when He whispered
Son, You have to leave tonight
To spend nine months in a mothers womb
Three days in a borrowed tomb

(Chorus One)
But it’s the time in between
That brings me to my knees
Knowing you came for me
And all that I can't be
I'm amazed, so amazed
And I thank You for the time in between

Don't take much for this crazy world
To rob me of my peace
And the enemy of my soul
Says You’re holding out on me
So I stand here lifting empty hands
For you to fill me up again

(Chorus Two)
But it’s the time in between
That I fall down to my knees
Waiting on what You'll bring
And the things that I can't see
I know my song’s incomplete
Still I'll sing in the time in between

So many ways
Your love has saved the day
And I'm grateful for them all

(Chorus 3)
But it’s the time in between
The middle of two thieves
That says everything
It’s the reason I believe
I'm amazed, so amazed
And I thank you for the time in between
Oh Lord, I thank you for the time in between

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Flickering Pixels" thoughts

Okay, so I'm still not done with the book. BUT, a few things have stood out to me. The biggest so far has led me to ask myself the following question: Does technology SERVE me or do I serve technology?

Strange question, you say?

Well, yes it is. But let me explain a little bit. Hipps speaks about how often we get confused by technology... and that often we start to find our identity in forms of technology, instead of simply seeing technology as an extension of ourselves. Some examples he gives:

"The telephone extends and amplifies the voice and the ear. Eyeglasses extend the focusing ability of the eye. Weapons, such as guns or knives, are extensions of our teeth and our fists. Smoke detectors extend our sense of smell and also amplify our feelings of security. Even a method of organizing information, such as an outline, is a meduim because it extends the mind's ability to comprehend and recall complex topics."

Hipp's goes on to say, "When we fail to perceive that the things we create are extensions of ourselves, the created things take on god-like characteristics and we become their servants."

So, maybe that seems extreme huh?

Hmm.. maybe, maybe not. What's generally one of the first things I do in the morning? I turn on my computer. I check my email. I leave not only my email but also my facebook account, and another web bulletin board that I frequent, up in different tabls all day long. I walk by and check in almost everytime I walk by my computer. What's the last thing I do before going to bed? I check ONE last time... for new mail, new posts, a new thread to comment on. Sometimes, I'll be thinking about my interactions on the computer than I think about my interactions with people "in real life" (IRL). When I allow my mind and my thoughts to get overly consumed with the computer and my TIME starts being overly wasted on the internet - how is that using the computer for my benefit. At that point, it's no longer just an extension of my senses... it's become a god. It's become a passion. It's become and obsession. It's become "who" I am. It's tearing me away from my wife and mom responsibilites.

So the computer's evil?! OF COURSE not! :)

It's in how we view it. It's in how we balance it. It's in HOW we see ourselves. It's personal to each of us - and will be different for each of us. Just another way we're all unique.

But a great reminder for ME. I want technology to serve ME and the gifts God's given me...(medians of writing, developing relationships etc). I do not want to feel enslaved to technology and feed the monster of self gratification. Once again - it's NOT about me. It's about HIM.

Got any thoughts on this? Are you in control of your position with technology in your world? What would be the median you're struggling with?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

While I've always admired the beauty of cherry blossoms, they hold new meaning to me now. I've been a reader of the blog "Bring the Rain" for over a year now. When I joined Angie on her blog I immediately loved her and felt connected to her! She's got that ability to reach beyond the computer monitor and grab your hearts and just pull you close to hers! Really! If you haven't spent any length of time on her blog you are really missing out!

Anyway... today, April 7th, would have been Audrey's 1st birthday. For weeks I've been looking for flowering cherry trees all over the valley. It just "so happens" that I got to the grocery this morning without my money OR the list!! GROAN! So, I had to turn around and go home. I went a different route home, HOPING and praying God would show me the perfect tree! And, HE DID!!!! I drove by a tree/plant nursery and there was ONE lil tree just waiting for it's photo op! :) I went home, grabbed my money, list, AND the camera and drove back to the nursery. I unloaded the 3 kids and snapped a few pictures!

Happy Birthday Audrey! I know you're sittin' on His lap today soakin' in HIS Love and having a really amazing day! And just so ya know, everytime I see a flowering cherry tree I think of you and your mommy!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blog Tour Time

SO, I thought I'd throw out a little bit of basic info on the book that I'm reading.

"Flickering Pixels", by Shane Hipps. You can review or buy it on Amazon here.

Just so you know, for transparency sake, the book was sent to me, free of charge for my willingness to participate in the blog tour! What a great way to read some new stuff and to get the word out about a great new book!! Win win situation if ya ask me :)

You can also find LOTS of info about Shane Hipps at his own personal website.

I'm hoping to post some thoughts tomorrow... :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

For your viewing pleasure

weathered and worn
layered and torn
peeling and shorn
underlying beauty adorn

aged and worn
cobwebbed keyhole
weathered and forgotten
time's taken it's toll

reflections in the pane
whisper of the wind again
leaves and branches
to and fro
memories of a time long ago

spring leaves
new color
great promises
new tomorrows
great strength
from cold yesterdays
bright beauty revealed

day's done
night falls
sun farewells
shadows fall
sun kissed

tired mama

What a week it's been. If I ever thought I was a sympathetic mommy, this week definitely proves me wrong. So, my hubby and I got a way for a weekend not long ago. We were eager to get home to our kids as we really missed them; though we relished the moments we had alone as well!

Upon returning home, I started to come down with a nasty cold going around. Previously to going on our trip I had been sick and then dealt with 5th's disease's ugly rash and joint pain. No fun, let me tell you! Since coming home, my cold has gotten worse, my 22 month old little guy has run fever, leaked snot all over me, and has as of today started rashing out (5th's). My oldest spiked a fever this morning of 103. His temperature waxed and waned throughout the day and sent him to bed at 7 pm (due to his own request) with 103.5. Thankfully, just 30 minutes ago he came out, drenched in sweat and in need of a drink. Thank you Jesus! Hopefully in the morning he'll still be fever free.

With 2 other kiddo's here at home... I'm just waiting for them to turn up sick here in the next few days. It WAS going to a be a pretty busy week - but God may be clearing my schedule! Sometimes plan B is better than plan A!

While dealing with sick kids and being sick myself, I have found myself speaking to my kids in such an ugly manner. Sarcasm has returned and the tone of disappointment, frustration, and irritation has reared their ugly heads too. I hate it when I allow myself to stoop so low as to speak that way to my children. It's like I can hear what I'm saying and almost "watch" myself in 3rd person when a tirade comes on... and yet the words continue to spew. Where's that duct tape when it's needed?! I sure needed it today. :(

Inspite of the ugly in me, my kids seek me out, knowing the good that's in my heart... they still want me to play with them, hold them, meet their needs. They still long for my touch and my encouragement and they are eager to please and seek my approval. What a humbling thing. To know you've just been nothing but awful - and to have your child's small arms come up, wrap around your waist and say "I love you, mommy." OIY!

"Thank you Father for the way you shape a child's heart. Let me NOT take their unconditional love for granted. GUARD my mouth and my actions tomorrow, Father. I want to only use my words for building up and for loving my family. And thank you too, Lord.. for loving me inspite of my "ugly". For seeing the good in me when sometimes all I project is impure. I am so undeserving of your grace... and yet you extend it... so undeserving of your presense...and yet you come... so undeserving of the sacrifice of your son...and yet to sent him anyway... i am thankful. so desperately thankful ..."

Not to suddenly switch gears but i do want you to know i'm excited to do some book reviewing this week! SO... stay tuned.... for my thoughts on "FLICKERING PIXELS" by Shane Hipps.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Couple things!

Be sure to continue to check MckMama's blog and continue to fall at our Father's feet and ask for His kind mercy!! MckMama states in her latest blog entry that she's in "survival mode"... and you can hear how incredibly tired she is. I don't pretend to REALLY understand what's up with lil Stellan's heart - but you can HEAR MckMama's heartbeat through her words and I know you won't be able to read her posts and not feel connected to her and wanna just grab her cute face through the screen and love on her! So go check it out.

Also, I'm reading a new book to do a review and participate in another blog tour. I'm excited to really dive into this book! I've tip toed along through the first few chapters and I am eager to really get into it. Between a sick hubby and now feeling cruddy myself, reading usually sends me off to lala land! But... I really hope to gain something out of this book - :) It's called "Flickering Pixels" and I guarantee MORE is to come! By the way, should you want to participate in a "blog tour" it consists of signing up, having a book be sent to you (FREE!), READ the book, write up your thoughts and share them on your blog, share and talk about the book everywhere you can (twitter, facebook, blog, email, bulletin board communities, IN REAL LIFE.. that's always an option! HA!), write up reviews on Amazon or the like. It's fun! :) You get to read new stuff and feel like a part of the process in promoting GOOD stuff! So, if you're interested leave a comment and I can direct you to a blog tour coordinator.

Spring Break. Ok, I know this post is crazy spacy all over the place. It's just I feel the need to catch up on a few things and so it's rather random. My apologies. It's spring break and my hubby and oldest son are home! Can I just say... it's been awesome! Probably one of THE BEST break times we've had as a family so far. Granted the hubbers an I were gone for 3 days... ha ha ha ... We were able to run off for a few nights together and leave the 4 kids, cat and dog HOME with my wonderful mother in law! Oh, what a blessing! But we came home a day early b/c we missed our kids and our comfy bed! HA! It's bad when sleeping in your OWN bed trumps an additional night away ALONE with the HOT hubster! hee hee hee... We got home late and were so excited to see our kids faces when they came into our room - fully expecting to find Grandma in our bed and it was US... their faces were PRICELESS! (HUGE SILLY GRIN!)

Yawn. it's nearly midnight. I'm truly losing it to even be up this late. I've had a migraine most of the day - along with sinus pressure, stuffed up nose, and sore glands/throat! Time to hit the sack! 'Night all! :)