Friday, June 25, 2010

Random Insights

Throughout the past 3 years of my life I have been pregnant, or lifting children, while remodeling, moving our house from downstairs to upstairs and then back downstairs, painting, putting caulking on baseboard...well you get the idea. This has done a number on my back and a few times has put me down for a day or two. Recently, I did something while I was lifiting Spencer out of his crib and it has been the worst yet. I continued working out and going about my "normal" daily routine (ok, maybe I laid on the couch or in bed the majority of the day) hoping that it would just go away. Well, it didn' I decided to see my doctor. She always makes me feel like I did the right thing by coming in and is always concerned with my potential "self, internet-diagnosed" illnesses. This time she thought it was probably more of a problem than I had thought. The pain had gone down my legs and was affecting one of my feet. So, she put me on a steroid for a few days. I haven't been on any major medication and wasn't sure how it was going to affect me. Well, it has been almost impossible for me to get to sleep the last few nights, which has kept me up looking at all sorts of interesting information I could possibly think of googling on the interent. Here are a few insights and websites I have found. Happy reading (if you have about 6 hours).

*From: An iphone Bible app (someone put some of their insights on their Scripture reading and life):

Luke 24:45 "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures".

Over the past month I've started a Bible Reading Plan to grow closer to God. Honestly, I didn't think I could keep it up for the long term. I have never been a consistent Bible reader. A little bit here, and a little bit there most of my life. Sure, I've had growth spurts but never anything long-term. For the majority of my life I have starved myself the Word of God. What I've discovered is that God wants to see us reach our potential but we cannot do it by listening to Sunday sermons and reading a few self-help books. There is no shortcut or secret. God desires to spend quality time with all of us through the Bible and prayer.
This hasn't been an easy journey for me. When I decided to begin this 90-day reading plan I had to force myself to make time in my 'busy schedule' for the intense study that I personally chose. Can you believe most of us don't have time for God even if it's just for 5 minutes? We act like it's the end of the world to make room for the God of the Universe, our creator, when he has all the time in the world for us!! I confess that I had that mentality for so long. I realize how selfish I was. I found after the first two weeks my appetite began to grow for more of the Word of God. I sometimes fell short of completing my daily reading but I kept going because I discovered a hunger inside of me that wasn't going away. After I started reading the Bible plan I truly experienced what it says in Luke 24:45.
Not everyone is excited to sit down and read the Bible at first but after you let God's word penetrate your heart, you began to experience the presence of God in new ways. My heart has become more open and full of understanding. It's such a great feeling to be so connected to God! You know that feeling you get when you listen to what you consider a great song and you play it over and over and over because it resonates deep in your soul. Well... that's exactly, what the feeling is when you meditate on God's word and hide it in your heart. You feel so drawn to read more and excited to see God revealed throughout the scriptures that it becomes a healthy addiction. You turn the obligation to read the Bible into an opportunity for serving God in new ways!! Your eyes are opened to His truths, your heart remains sensitive and you see more opportunities to serve God instead of yourself.
Reading the Bible is no longer boring or old-fashioned. There are many ways to stay up-to-date and fresh in God's Word... and are two awesome examples of online tools for reading and researching scripture online- with many different translations. You can read the Bible via mobile phone apps or another option is audio Bible cds. The thing is you don't need to read the Bible in 90 days. That was a personal choice I made. There are reading plans out there for 365 days, for new Christians or beginners, and even more challenging plans. Whatever you do, do it with excellence for the Lord. Spend time with Him, pray and be consistent in doing both! You will see a change in your appetite and begin to grow spiritually!!

Joshua 1:8 "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful".

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work".

*From: A blog of a mom of 11 (Great and interesting view on apologies from children):

*From: A blog from one of my old guy friends from high school, Andrew Murch, who became a pastor and is living in Tacoma, WA. I love his insights and book reviews.

*From: A friend who lives in Mexico and has an amazing ability to get her thoughts, feelings, and emotions down. So glad I get to keep connected from so far away:

*2 fun blogs with cool mom stuff I like to read about. Pretty random stuff, but it is neat to see all the fun stuff out there:

*Some fun sewing blogs. I get some great ideas...of course they are just ideas until I get some time to actually try their projects.

*Then of course there is I could spend hours on this site looking at all the creative stuff people do (and then try to copy it :)

*Here are some great moms and ministry and just special Spiritual insights from some great blogs:

Anyways, here are some great reads for you if you feel like you have a few extra hours to sit (hahaha, that is probably not much of an option, unless you are up nearly all night like I was).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Everyday Fun

Here are some precious, everyday moments that I have been able to encounter the last few months. Oh, how my little ones are growing.

Love these two little ones.

Spencer finding his feet for the first time. He is so little...I miss that.

Marissa's first pigtails. She loved them. Anytime we go anywhere she insits on "ponytails".

Precious father/son moment. Love these two boys!

Hmmm...this explains a little bit of how quickly this little boy picked up on crawling, climbing stairs, oh, and getting into everything. Little boys, little boys.

So he didn't get up on the bike, but it does fall on him often as he tries to crawl up on the bike himself.

Marissa loves it when I put her in Spencer's crib. They are too cute together.

When Spencer wakes up from his nap, Marissa goes upstairs to keep him company until I have the opportunity to come up and get him. The other day I found Marissa "reading" to Spencer. So, special.

Spencer's first "big bath". He is a crazy kid...diving for anything and everything he sees in the water. Marissa loves to have a buddy to play and splash with.

Brother and sister swinging. They are going to be best buds.

Trial Without the Blessing

*From May-ish
God is so powerful. I have been learning through BSF that God is just unfathomable (we cannot fully comprehend His love, compassion, or even His plans in our lives). He has created me, my family, my life, my husband, his job, etc. all for His glory. Now, I am not saying that I, my family, my husbands business, or anything else are amazing and are going to glorify God by the positives they bring into the world. Actually quite the opposite...they will glorify Him through the trials that come in our lives. A statement hit me hard a few weeks ago and it has brought me into a calming mood about the "little things" in life (I'll give it to you at the end of this post).

Since the day I married my husband I knew he as a wild card. Actually, that was one of the things that attracted me to him...we were opposite. But there were always "plans" of him going to college and settling down with a 9-5 job that would provide for our every need. Boy did God know that wasn't in the cards. After him going to one sememster of college (and us both realizing he WASN'T called to be a student) he went back to work in the drilling industry. We were in limbo for such a long time just asking God what He wanted us to do (go into ministry, keep working in construction, work up the ladder into a manager position at a retail type store, etc.). Finally in 2007, after I figured out I was pregnant and had just quit my job to go back to get my Masters, Dan annoucned to me that he wanted to start a company. Every bit of logic inside of me screamed NO, NO, NO...however I had this overwhelming sense of peace about it and the Lord just told me to follow Dan's lead. I felt like I was a very supportive wife, but as I look back, I was also his biggest adversary because life was never stable. In fact our friends Ryan and Tara were more supportive and believed in Dan more than I did (I can look back and admit it). Lately God has been teaching me about the kind of wife I need to be to my husband. About the attitude I need to have while I am with him and when I am not with him (I admit, when he is not around or can't put his full attention toward our family, I get very upset and then let that affect the way I treat him). It is easy for me to say that I need to be strong and postitive through major trials that come up in my life, but the Lord has brought me to a place where I desire to look at the ordinary trials (the daily ins and outs that can create larger trials) and know that He will bring glory through them. I desire to look at what ever the future brings (good, bad, ugly, or "normal") and say the same. I know that the Lord gave me that "wierd" (what seemed to be wierd at the time) sense of peace about my husband starting a company, because He desired to show me a little bit of Himself through the situations that have presented themselves (both good and bad). It may not be the most stable job or always provide for us...but I know that God wants me to look at each obstical through his eyes, seeing the blessing at the end of the small and large trials.

Along with owning a business comes the many ups and downs of that business. I HATE that. I am a stable person, that likes having a stable income and knowing that my husband is going to be home at night. It is actually quite the opposite with my husbands company. I never know if there is going to be steady work, if he is going to be working 8 hours away, or if he will be home in time to put Marissa to bed. I have struggled with that since August 1st of 2007 when they left to Idaho. Through it all I have tried to be positive...being very unsuccesful (thinking I was being postive...but actually being very negative). Lately with the downturn in the economy and the uncertainty that faces so many businesses it is hard to know when things will pick up. We have some good things going for us, but it is hard to see the light at the end of this crazy tunnel. I don't know where we will be financially or physically (whether Dan will have work here in the area or far, far away). Through it all, I look at what we have to face and the plugging away that we have ahead of us and I HAVE A CHOICE. I don't know if God is going to bring us "fortune or misfortune" (I say that not in a finacial tone, but in a spiritual tone) or take us away from where we call home or if He will securely place us where we call home. But I hope that through the best or the worst I can look at my situation and say:

"Do I react to seeming misfortune like it was a blessing in which to give God glory or do I waste the suffering, because I do not use it to experience the glory of God in a new way and what He will do for me in it?" (paraphrase from BSF notes)
"God will work in my life and in then lives of those around me. Without the trial there would not be the particular blessing which that trial is meant to give. When I do not look for a blessing in the trial, the suffering of the trial is often wasted as though it was an effort spent, but with neither profit nor fruit." (paraphrase from BSF notes)

So, from this all...I can say that I am "excited" for the blessing in this trial and to see how God's glory is going to work through it. Trying to keep a positive attitude so that I (and others) can experience God's purpose in the midst. It's just earth, right? There is a place where we won't have to worry about this stuff.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Monster Truck

*From May 16th*
Well, my husband never stops surprising me...actually, I don't think anything will surprise me anymore. His company traded "something" for...a Monster Truck. It has been fun to watch all of their friends, co-workers, relatives, etc. come down to the equipment yard with their kids and take a ride on the Monster Truck. Dan justifies keeping it, saying "it's good advertising", but then says they will probably sell it eventually. So, while it is in our possession...we have been able have some fun with it.

Marissa and Dan in front of the tire.

Marissa and Logan Bennett taking a ride in the back of the Monster Truck. They both thought it was pretty loud.

The Bennett children and Marissa in the tire of the Monster Truck.

Of course, Ryan and Dan had to take the truck for a spin while I watched the kids.