He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Consider it Pure Joy?

How can you "Count it all Joy" when you've been wronged? Or when someone in your family is wrongfully accused? It hurts! It makes you mad. I was so frustrated last night as I talked with my oldest about rumors girls had spread that weren't true. Girls can be mean. I wanted to scream and yell, I wanted someone to really pay for what they had done.

Then reality hit. I am trying to lead and teach a young woman how to be a woman of God. I am the one responsible for her learning of the truth. The words that God gave us to depend on, I have to be the one to pass on to her. So, taking a deep breath, and a few hugs later,  I reminded her what we had talked about this very thing before she started high school. There will be people for you, and people against you. Sometimes, the ones against you will try to make it harder. And, well, last night she experienced that for the umpteenth time. 
This time, it really hurt. It was personal. 

Remember when God said, "Vengeance is mine?" 

Romans 12:19 - 
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. 

If we take our own revenge, I think we are not fully trusting in God and what His Word says. It's not easy to just let go, and not feel the hurt, but when we're reminded of His promises, it makes it a lot easier. Then, when you ask Jesus to help give you peace about it, it really works! That's where your faith comes in. Faith in Him to get you through, to give you the mindset to let things just roll off your shoulders. (at least a little easier)

James 1:2-6 -
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

This is hard to take in. It's hard being a girl in this modern day, and fending off the damage others are trying so hard to create. My heart broke as I sent her to bed in tears..at midnight. These girls (and boys) really need our prayers.

We also need to explain to our girls, that the world can't carry them through. That it comes from within. This personal relationship we have with Jesus, is the only thing that will carry us through. This is the truth.  

I am proud of her, she stood up, talked to the "powers that be" at the school, and is trying to sort things through. She had a horrible day, her phone got stolen on top of everything that was going on, but she stood strong. She will be okay. We are not raising girls that wither in the face of adversity, but that can speak courageously in the midst of it. 

We found out some names of the girls. And, instead of looking for revenge (because that's not our job), we will pray for them. We read a book when she was in jr. high I will totally recommend. It's called "Mean Girls" by Hayley DiMarco.

It talks about the importance of knowing our place in this world. When God puts someone like this in our life, we wonder why? Why us? Why HER? Well, God wants us to pray for them. Maybe there is nobody else that will come in contact with her that will. And, who needs prayer the most? The person that needs Jesus the most. This is an excellent read.

Now, I'm not saying our girls are perfect, but they are being molded...trained. 

Isaiah 64:8 -  
Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; 
We are all the work of your hand.

With God's grace and help, we can raise amazing "Graceful Pillars", women of faith! Women who raise their families for the Lord, and who pick godly men to marry to help lead them.

Isaiah 43:2 -
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Team - part 2

It's been a while since I updated my blog, and also since I updated my scripture memory verses. I have so much to share, but often not much time. I need to get a little better at posting more often! 

 Waiting for this beautiful 
Magnolia tree to bloom

I last left you at  "Anyone doing the Siesta Scripture Memory?" post. For the verses, anyway. But, I have more verses that I actually look at everyday! 

Verse #4 - February 15, 2011

With all my heart I am waiting Lord for you. I trust in your promises.
Psalm 130:5

Verse #5 - March 1, 2011

My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the 
testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:2-3
(These verses I picked ahead of time, before the Japan earthquakes and tsunami. Not that I had to go through it, but am sad for others who have. What great promises, aren't they?)

Verse #6 - March 15, 2011

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? 
If I were trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galations 1:10

Now, to leave you with something SO much fun! The kids and I watched an eagle cam last year, all the way up to the eaglets leaving the nest..for good. Here is another one, this time out of Iowa. The male and female trade off turns sitting on the nest. Let me know what you think! Or, if you're following along too. 
Great for homeschoolers! I've kept it on half the day today. :)

Live video chat by Ustream

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Current Events

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, 
of love and of self-discipline.   II Timothy 1:7

The kids and I were early to church this morning as only one of us needed to be there an hour before. We took a quick run to Dunkin Donuts for some coffee and hot chocolate, then back to church..still early. I offered the kids something to read and we talked about the book I had in the car, "Let's Roll." The book of Todd Beamer's story from the 911 tragedy. I have not read it yet, but the kids were interested as I explained what it was about. Someone posted on facebook today something pretty thought provoking. 

"Sept 11th (NY) Jan 11th (Haiti) and March 11th (Japan)....Luke 21:10-11"

We then talked about the tragedy in Japan, and how over 10,000 people (and rising) are feared dead. Writers have hailed it the "nations worst tragedy since WWII." The conversation then led to the talk about the end times. How there will be great signs and events. Those who know the warnings and prophesies foretold in scriptures will not be surprised. I can honestly say, I'm not surprised. I'm saddened to see and hear what is going on all around. We need to pray for the families in Japan. I wish there was something else I could do, like pack up and go help! I'm not sure I know what to do right now except to pray.  

I do know this earth as we know it, will one day be gone. We hear "global warming" and "the great balance of our mother earth," but it is not going to last as we know it.  As I hear about people saying, "Ahh the economy will turn around," or "It will all get better and be back to normal." I'm not quite sure about that.

We read Luke 21:5-38  It is clear that things are changing. That "events" and the "distress of nations" etc.. are happening more often. It is clear that we just need to be ready. 

What do I mean by "being ready?" Well, what do you believe? Are you truly saved? Do you know for sure? Check this link out if you are not sure! Pastor Ray Pritchard has an amazing FAQ section on his website called Keep Believing Ministries. He was our pastor for many years. We miss him dearly, and still love checking in from time to time. His site has a plethora of amazing information if you are seeking answers. There are many other sites that have explanations, but since he has so much explained through searchable sermons, FAQ's and such. You could spend all day..and months checking it out.

Here is Luke 21 5-38 -

Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple

And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution

10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name's sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Jesus Foretells Destruction of Jerusalem

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Coming of the Son of Man

25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Watch Yourselves

34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
37 And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

Some books of interest:

I loved this series simply because of their perspective on the events and last days. No man knows exactly when, what will exactly happen other than what is in the Bible explaining through prophesies. This series explains the end times in an entertaining and thought provoking way. It causes you to seek further, be strong and steadfast in your faith, and wanting be ready!
Many amazing books by Pastor Ray Pritchard - take your pick!

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, 
of love and of self-discipline.    II Timothy 1:7

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More in the Girls Get Away Line-up!

More artists announced for the Girls Get Away Cruise 2012!  I have to admit, I don't know many of these. I am excited to get to know them, though! I'm a little out of the loop when it comes to this sort of thing, because I don't really do grown up things so much it seems. So, unless they've moonlighted at a summer baseball game, or been on the local radio back and forth driving kids everywhere, I haven't heard of them. That means, YOU probably haven't either, and if you have, please share!! I love hearing new artists and songs. Sometimes we hear the same thing over and over. It blesses us, but sometimes it's nice to hear something new!

Check out the payment plans they are offering. That should help some make some awesome decisions! If you follow this link and want to book, make sure you come back and click on my button at the top of my blog, or at the bottom of this post. If you should book on the phone, please let them know you are booking with the Group Kara!  Thank you! I'm excited to see who's all going to be a part of my group!
So, here we go! 

Jamie Jamgochian is a singer/songwriter with a new album called Above the Noise. I'm going to have to check it out! I've got a lot of research to do, because I love hearing artists especially when I know the songs.. so I'm off to listen to her music! 
 Jimmy Needham  “Christian music is an interesting paradox because the ambition should be the promotion of Christ and yet everything in your industry is telling you that it’s a promotion of self,” he explains. His newest album, Nightlights took after his love of classic soul artists. Check out his site, it's actually a blog, and his wife, Kelly has one also. I love blogs, so I can't wait to read them!

Lisa Bevere is explained as edgy, passionate, powerful and funny. I love those attributes! 
international speaker, best-selling author, and co-host of The Messenger  television program, which broadcasts in more than 200 countries.

Illusionist Brock Gill defies the ordinary. From his pastime of motocross bike riding to his outrageous onstage show, Gill likes to push the limits. Leading a new generation of edgy, daring illusionists, he amazes audiences with his unique stage show, dry wit, and mind-blowing escapes.
Heather Williams named as "Artist to watch in 2011" by Billboard Magazine. Her new album self titled "Heather Williams" you can find on itunes. Follow her twitter or blog, and get to know her before the cruise!

Get ready to have some more laughs!
321 Improv is an interactive comedy experience like no other. At each show, three comedians instantly turn audience suggestions into hilarious scenes, so no two shows are the same! Through laughter and connecting with the audience, their ultimate goal is to spread a message of true joy that can only come from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Donna Gaines is a pastor's wife who speaks to women from the heart. Have you ever wished there was something more to life? Read her latest book, There's Got to be More! I am diligently writing my list, and excited about the books I get to read before the cruise!

  Creative Memories will also be there. Bring your creative self, and if you don't think you have one, you'll learn! Do you like to scrapbook? Do you enjoy journaling about the kids, or special moments you've kept by way of concert tickets or scraps of paper to remember an event by? Learn how to throw all of this together on a page.. get your creative juices flowing!

If you don't feel like sitting, do you like to dance? Join Michelle Staub, Zumba dance instructor! Come join the latest fitness craze inspired by Latino dancing - appealing to more than 10 million people of all shapes, sizes and ages in 110 countries. Zumba, the Spanish slang word for “moving fast and having fun,” will be offered by Girl’s Get-Away instructor Michelle Staab. So, while you are cruising and having fun, be sure to add Zumba to your vacation plans. 

Join Kara on the Girl's Get-a-way 2012

Book today and save $100! Come join my group by clicking on this link to get the savings! Set sail Jan 12-16 2012

Monday, March 7, 2011

What *is* a Typical Day like?

So, what is a Typical Day? 

Most days are a Typical day in the Life of a CFD Wife. I don't blog about every detail, because some days are just like this. Others, too crazy to actually believe anything gets done. And, this is really normal for some/most FF wives. For some to completely understand what it's like, I've put together a small time line. This is what some people don't understand, unless they have husbands that work odd hours. Or, have hours that are less than routine.

Saturday consisted of:

6:30am - yay, hubby is home after working all night, fell asleep back in bed beside me.. awww...

8:30- slept in, woke up to hubby still sleeping.

- get up, see youngest completely dressed, up, eaten, and ready for her big day planned.

- am reminded son slept at friend's house and wonder when high schooler will wake up.

- breakfast, get youngest organized with her bag, correct shoes..etc.


10:30 - little one's ride is here, she's off to church to practice for Awana games.

- husband still sleeping.

- get ready to go to Costco forgetting last minute photos needed later on.

- husband reveals he had "watch" last night (every wife's nighmare as she reality hits like a lead balloon.. I'm on my own today!!)

- the next half hour spent writing him notes, explaining where each kid will be, when to pick up, and when baseball practice is, where the son is, why he is the one to pick him up, calling that friend's mom apologizing it may be either now (while I'm around) or later (when hubby finally wakes) that we will get him, notes that I will bring dinner home, and oldest will be picked up by a friend. (with a "by the way, I love you").

-writing myself notes as to what to bring and not forget as I'm leaving the house at 11:00am until after 6:00pm.

11:20 - coscto - pick up photos.

- drive to church to pick up youngest, and on the way realize I forgot the essential things she would need for her next appt.

12:00pm - stop at store, pick up essentials, run the next 2 errands, realize the car is out of gas, fill briefly to get me through the day.

1:00 - oldest texts to ask where her makeup bag was (in my car) and could she please use mine. I reminded her she needed to wake dad for $ for her fun evening as I realized (as I had written on my own note) that was something else I forgot to give her!

- husband gets woken up for $.

1:05 - pick up daughter, get her ready, take her to appt 15 min away by 2:00 
- put her hair in "Kirsten" braids with pink bows, make sure she's changed, and has her bag with everything she needs for the next 4 hours.

1:20 - in the car to go to Subway for something quick to eat on the drive.

1:21 - suburb I have to drive through is basically SHUT DOWN by police cars, police blocks..their annual St. Patricks Day parade.. who knew?


1:23 - u-turn, look for a drive thru.

1:45 - frantically looking for drive thru, as appt is at 2:00

1:48 - found one.. yuck, but what can you do?

1:52 - little one stuffs a burger in her mouth.

1:58 - rip (okay, gently tugged) burger out of mouth and off to 4 hour appt.

1:59 - park in valet parking lot, to which I explain, I'll be right back! He was kind.

2:00 - parent meeting. 

2:30 - * cue music and birds singing*
- I'm alone! I'm on my own! I have time to spare! I can't wait to do "nothing!" I don't care it's freezing, I don't care it's snowing, I am going to talk on the phone with a couple friends, my mom, catch up on some blogs, it's going to be the best next 2.5 hours ever! 

2:45 - Starbucks! *mom's relaxing time*

- open computer, drink Carmel Macchiato..a friend called, chatted mindlessly for a bit..

*music and birds singing screeches to a halt*

4:15 - youth pastor calls (probably saw my post from starbucks that I was going to be there for a while of well deserved "mom time") wondering if middle one is coming to Bible Study (at 5:00 - 35 min from our house - as I'm 30 min from our house another direction. Picture a big triangle) 

- I explain dad at home dead to the world for staying up 24 some hours + working. 
He offers to call someone somewhat nearby for ride. I agree as nothing else to do, while I call and make sure he's ready.

4:16 - call home - daughter answers, literally on the way out the door with friends as I tell her to go wake dad! 

4:17 - groggy husband reveals son is still at friend's.

4:18 - text that nice kid youth pastor found that was going to pick up son, that it's a "no-can-do, gigantor!" (Night at Museum quote)

4:18 1/2 - call back youth pastor, explain: dad is pretty much incoherent. Make judgement call: Bible study is off for him, apologize not sooner notice in canceling as he makes dinner for the boys.

4:20 - call friend's house explaining how the house was quiet around him, so he must have gone into a deep sleep. She so sweetly offers to drop him off later. Yes! Thank you!!

4:30 - realize Starbucks wasn't that relaxing, and head off to pick up daughter as parents were instructed to be back by 5:00.

- no parking ANYwhere close to the doors. Park behind HUGE conference center. 

5:00 - leave center, daughter starving!

5:40 - home. Husband was awake, son had been delivered, and friend had sent homemade pizza home for him!

- daughter not so starving, but since we'd just arrived, nobody else needed dinner - I so Martha Stewartly made her a waffle for dinner. *please no hate mail for this* She was thrilled! I figured she was fine, since her 4 hr appt kids couldn't have sugar, and she already had packed granola bar, apple, banana..etc.

- say hello's, clean kitchen, make a couple phone calls.

7:15 - middle one asks where his dirty practice baseball shirt is.. "You mean, the one from last night's practice?" Oh, um.. "I haven't been home all day to wash it, pretty sure you get to wear it again." 

- can't find shirt, rescues it from a lovely pile of laundry.

7:30 - boys off to practice.

- relaxing time yet?

- I'm tired - oldest still not home.  

11:35 - oldest gets home.

- betcha think it's time for bed? Guess who's not tired? 

- oldest and husband watch tv and play some computer.


So, what's normal? That's the thing, there is no "normal."

THIS is the life of someone who realizes that each day will NEVER go the same.
Each day, you plow through adversity, or you'll get stuck in it.
Each day, I am thankful for a husband who puts his life on the line, and does work hard, so that we can run around and take care of kids.
Each day, life isn't monotonous.
Each day, you just let things roll, and don't sweat the small stuff, right? 
So, "what did I do yesterday?" I can't remember...

Thank you, Lord, for never giving us more than we can handle. I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle any more that day. :)
Thank you, Lord, for giving me the strength and mindset to make it through days like this.. that happens a lot.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Who's in your Village?

I've been thinking a lot lately about the African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child."

After listening (twice) to Shane Farmer's message, he talked about having 5-6 Godly adults active in your children's lives, I wondered who was out there for my kids? I really prayed hard about this, I never even thought to pray that they be revealed to me, but that's just God's special way of rewarding those who seek him. And, it's been exciting to see God revealing them to me little by little. 

I have three great examples for you! (as I have 3 kids)

My oldest was at youth group, and I was talking to someone while waiting for her. They told me that "I'm watching out for her, she's my kid! I had her in Sparks (Awana) when she was just little. I want you to know that I pray for her!" - Wow. This really touched me as I've been telling the kids that people who work with you when you were little, are still watching you, loving you, praying for you.. and you may never know exactly who they are. I then urged them to say hello to these special people in their lives who've given and sacrificed so much to help teach them. Even if they just have a tiny recollection of their involvement in their lives, please say hello.. I promise they'll remember you!

I still remember the kids I taught in VBS one particular year. I've seen these beautiful ladies grow up into amazing women of faith, and servants of the Lord. I pray for them when I see them or think about them. I feel the same way as the previous person I was talking about. They're "my kids!" They are both currently on their "gap year" traveling with missions to other countries right now. This is really the neatest idea. After graduation, you apply to a missions trip that takes the entire spring/summer and sometimes longer. You find out who you really are, grind your feet solidly into the ground - the foundation of your faith, and focus on others. Some come back to start their first year of college, some go on into the mission field, and some realize that college wasn't where they *had* to be, and continued on to raise a family.

- A great place to start looking for information on this would be Ventana Ministries it will give you a great idea about what a gap year is and does.

My middle one is going on a missions trip very soon. They are told to send out sponsor letters, and he was a bit nervous as he carefully decided who he would send these to. One person he really feels connected to is a Sunday School teacher when he was younger. He would always lean his head into her classroom and say hello..long after he had moved on. Just the other day,  this particular teacher called him. She questioned him about his upcoming trip, asked how she could pray for him personally, as well as their entire group. I was immediately struck with this being yet another person in our kid's lives who are praying on their behalf. I welled up with tears as I listened to him carefully articulate their mission, and knowing he doesn't like to talk on the phone, I was very proud of him. I just knew his heart was in the right place, and that this teacher was part of his village! Who does that anymore? This really spoke to me. I realized I need to be more active in actually telling the people that I am praying for them. That they mean something to me, and that they are not alone. They are "my kids" as well.

Last  one - and I tell you, these are just in the last couple of weeks that I've been praying for people to be in their lives, that would take an interest in them, personally.. 

My youngest was at Awana, and the buzz was over Awana games. She wanted to do this so bad, but once again, it was something else to be added to our plate. At this time, I had to tell her no. 
One of her teachers  noticed what was going on. I never knew the depths of this woman's love for kids, or for my children alone.. until she met me privately a bit later and asked if I would consider her coming to pick her up, and take her home afterwards. This may not sound like a big deal to most, but she does know were we live. And, it's nowhere near our church. This would be quite a trip in, and backtrack to the church, then take her  home and so on.. I was a little taken back, but told her thank you and I couldn't ask her to do something like that. She told me, "I know, I asked you." 

So I go home and the next day received a heartfelt email about how it would actually minister to her as her children are almost all gone. She said she was in a different season of life and would really enjoy coming to get her as they have bonded a lot this year. Wow! After swallowing my pride, and accepting, I realized how excited she was about this as well. Praise the Lord for someone else coming to light as someone in her village! Someone that will come alongside of her and pray, and lead, and be a Godly example to them. 

Our kids need this so much as sometimes us parents are not the ones they will keep their eyes on at all times. Don't get me wrong, they're watching...very closely, but they also need someone other than the ones they are with 24/7. 

I am so thankful for these particular ones that are in the lives of my children. These are only 3 examples. I could go on as another woman asked about my oldest the other night. She has also reached out to her. And, you know where my role will be in this? To accept. This is hard. I will accept, and I will also pray. I will pray for these special leaders that are absolutely a Godsend in our lives, that our children will see this, and become someone else's "village member" one day. 

So, I ask you - "Who's in your village?" I challenge you to pray about it, and consider sharing this with others. Wouldn't this be amazing if we could actually start a chain of people reaching out, and letting our kids know, if we would only pray that they would be revealed to us. And that our Lord Jesus Christ's name would be praised as a result.  

I'd love to hear about your similar stories. They would help encourage me, and others who read this!