Why I “Count it all Joy” Wednesday -

My Jesus loves me, and I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
My kids all love Jesus.
I have a wonderful husband who loves Jesus with all his heart, adores our kids (all five of them), is the best Papo in the world to our sweet little Ella, and spoils me every chance he gets.
I have 5 kids who love to sit on my lap.  You may think that is not a big deal, all kids love to sit on their moms laps, but three of my kids are 25, 23, and 18 : )
I live in a wonderful country where I can blog about Jesus any time I want.
I have been able to homeschool my kids, three down, two to go.
It’s almost Easter and my kids not only still love to dye eggs, but they also love to talk about and celebrate the true meaning of Easter.
I can still bake my gourmet cupcakes anytime I want, but never have to if I don’t.
It’s springtime, the days are longer, warmer, and I get to wear my flip flops.
I’m making wonderful new blogger friends.

Such a late post, I have had computer problems all day.  Several blogger friends mentioned they couldn’t post a comment either.  Sorry, I think I have it all fixed.

Counting it all Joy!!

Keeping Our Eyes on Him

Yesterday, while my boys were outside playing, a little girl, maybe 4 years old, came walking onto our cul-de-sac.  When asked what she was doing, she replied “I am going to the pool”.  They proceeded to explain to her that the pool isn’t open yet, but she insisted she was going to the pool because it was hot outside.  They also told her the pool wasn’t on our street and at that point, she turned around and started walking off.  Drew asked her where she was going now and she told him, “I am going to the pool another way”.  He was very concerned for her and told the others he thought someone should try to walk with her and get her home.  He, out of respect for her parents, didn’t want to take her by himself.  He felt it would alarm them even more if they saw her with him.  So one of the young teenage girls said she would and off they went.  Several minutes went by and Bailey, the teenage girl, returned.  By this time, I was out there checking on the boys and  asked if she had gotten her home.  She said she had, the little girl knew exactly how to get to her house, which was on the next street over.  She said her mom was frantically looking for her and that she had apparently climbed over the fence in the few seconds she had taken her eyes off her.  Thankfully, this situation turned out good and the little girl was returned to her worried mom.
I can only imagine how that mom felt.  I know how my heart has jumped into my throat when I only thought one of my kids was missing.  Like when you are walking through the mall or any busy area and you look and initially don’t see one of them and your heart starts to pound before you realize they are right beside you (surely that has happened to someone besides me).  
This morning I was thinking about those feelings and that mom and I started to think this must be how Christ feels when we take our eyes off him, even for a minute.  I know it is kind of reversed because He never takes his eyes off us, but He must be so saddened when we do, knowing that it is the first step of us getting lost.  We can be so easily distracted by life and the things we want to do and lose sight of Him for a minute, sometimes not even realizing we have done it until later.
A perfect example would be when Peter took his eye off Jesus for a split second - 
Come," Jesus said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"  Matt. 14:29-30
My prayer today - Lord, thank you so much for loving me and never taking your eyes off me.  Thank you for my boys who have a heart for people and their feelings and who made sure that little girl got home safely.  Thank you for keeping me focused on you no matter what distractions life throws in my way, and thank you that through this blog, I may be a vessel for you.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Heb. 12:2
Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday!
Counting it all Joy!

Diligence Pays Off

Several years ago, my father-in-law bought a really junky, no not just junky, very ugly, ratty old car.  I didn’t even know what it was, I guess that’s really not saying too much though!!  Anyway, when Drew, my second son, saw it, he loved it.  He told his Papa he wanted it and assumed he would let him buy it from him.  Papa said he could and Drew was elated!!  I was confused, that was one of the ugliest cars I had ever seen.  It was gold with a ratty vinyl top, one side had been crashed and had a gaping hole in the fender and was rusting terribly.  It looked like a grandma car from way back and I thought Drew had lost his mind.  Plus I was thinking anyone in their right mind would not pay money for something like that.  Not long after that, Drew was messing around on his computer and eventually showed me a picture of what the car was going to look like when he was finished with it.  I couldn’t believe it, I was awesome!!  My husband and his dad have had and worked on cars since long, long before I knew them, so I had seen not only pictures of cars they had done but even cars in every stage of the process.  I still thought Drew was crazy and there was NO way that car would ever look anything like the picture he had shown me.  
Somewhere during this time, Papa told Drew he could have the car and boy did I have mixed emotions.  On one hand, I was thrilled because I thought if he had to pay him for that junk Papa was really ripping him off LOL.  On the other hand, I was not so excited because it was a piece of junk.  (I really wish I had a good picture of it because I don’t think I am painting an ugly enough picture!!)
He has been so diligent and patient through this whole process.  He has worked so hard and sacrificed so much.  He is pushing 19 and has been borrowing one of our cars when possible while working on his.  He has scrimped and saved every dime he could get his hands on.  He had a vision and he saw it through.  
Fast forward a couple of years!!  After Drew and his dad spending weekend after weekend at Papa’s, yesterday was the big day.  Drew got to drive his car home for the first time.  The whole family was here and neighbors came out to see.  He was so excited!!
Drew driving down our street in his car for the first time.  It looks exactly like the picture he has had on his nightstand for two years!!
Several months ago, he found these shoes that match his car and bought them for the drive home!!

Isn’t it wonderful how God gives us the vision to see what others may deem impossible.  I love to see Him work in the lives of my kids. 
A couple of verses come to mind - 
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich” Prov 10:4 
“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” Gal. 6:9
Have a blessed Monday
Counting it all Joy


Yesterday, I took a walk down memory lane.  My mom passed away last August.  My brothers, sister, and I have all had a hard time dealing with all the ins and outs of her death and have not spent much time together since.  Actually, my sister and I have and I think my brothers have some, but the four of us have not been together once since she passed.  Anyway, I invited my dad and step-mom, and all my siblings over yesterday, including my brother and sister from my step-mom and dad.  With everyone and their families we had 28 here (this was without my sister and her family and several nieces and nephews and their families).  I spent the day cooking chicken enchiladas, refried beans, mexican rice, guacamole, and Drew made his famous salsa.  My youngest sister Sarah (20) is pregnant and just found out what the baby is, so I made a cupcake tower and filled all the cupcakes with the color of the gender of the baby and that is how she announced to the family what she was having.  Everyone was excited to bite into their cupcake to find out she is have a baby girl!!!
Anyway, we had lots of food, laughter, and fellowship.  We spent the remainder of the evening going through pictures I had brought home from mom’s a few weeks ago.  What a trip that was, everything from her baby pictures to present day.  Pictures of step brothers who aren’t our step brothers anymore that we haven’t seen in 25 years.  Pictures of old friends from school, some I have recently been catching up with and some I had completely forgotten about.  The best part was we got to remember the fun we had with mom over the years instead of the horror of the last several.  
I was actually dreading going through those pictures and remembering things I wasn’t sure I wanted to remember, but it is always so amazing how God chooses to heal our hearts.  He wants there to be peace in our lives, and for that I am thankful!!
Counting it all Joy!!

God is so Good!!!

It never ceases to amaze me that my God knows my needs and the desires of my heart even when I don’t tell him. There have been so many times in my life where He has shown himself faithful. The latest of which being a couple of weeks ago, I randomly mentioned to my mother-in-law that I was considering tutoring elementary kids. It is something I have considered over the years but have always been so busy homeschooling my own that I didn’t feel I had the time for it. Anyway, with The Sweet Lady chapter of my life ending, and my play money going with it, I was trying to think of something I could do that wouldn’t take me out of the home or prevent me from keeping my adorable granddaughter. At this point, I mentioned tutoring in passing and within a week, I had someone call me out of the blue and ask if I would consider tutoring his 1st grader. She has been attending Kumon and they don’t feel it is the right setting for her because it is just another classroom. So he said he and his wife had been praying about what to do for her and for the last week every time they prayed my name came to mind. Today I will begin tutoring her!!! ISN’T GOD GOOD!!!

I have always had such a heart for kids and I love how when I allow myself to look beyond my heart or drift from my hearts desire, He reigns me back in and realigns my head with my heart!!!

“I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these, you were doing it to me!” Matt 25:40

Counting it all Joy!!!


Sun, Rain, and Snow, OH MY!!!

Our trip to Branson was exciting to say the least. We reconnected with some old friends on Thursday evening for a bit of fellowship. On Friday we invited their three girls to join us at Silver Dollar City and had a blast. The kids (and Dan) went from ride to ride, laughing and screaming!!! Me, on the other hand, not being much of a rider, sat in the beautiful sun and watched my family enjoy themselves and at the same time I enjoyed the sun!!! I think my body was in need of that. I was however, a little shocked to notice on the way out of the park that I had a sunburn!!! Come on summer!!

We had heard a nasty rumor that it was supposed to snow in Oklahoma on Saturday and we definitely love snow, but were really hoping it wouldn't. Unfortunately, we heard bright and early Saturday morning that it was icing at our house so we cut the trip short and headed home. The only part of the trip we didn't get in was the shopping : (, oh well. We left Branson in the rain, and 30 degrees colder than the day before had been. By the time we were to Joplin it was snowing hard. From there it went to severe street conditions, 25 miles an hour and car off the road everywhere. Needless to say we were praying, not only for the poor people in the ditch, but for our own safety. I will say it took a lot longer to get home than it did to get there. We safely arrived home to about 5 inches of snow on the ground. Oklahoma weather is amazing, 80 degrees one day and 30 degrees and snow the next.

I thank God for the weather, the changes, and for not letting life get too boring!!!

Counting it all joy!!!


Busy Week!!!

I guess after all the time that's gone by you would think I had decided not to blog. I have been giving it a lot of thought and after all the cupcake business I think I just needed some time off to collect my thoughts and pray about the direction of this blog. I always have so much in my heart and/or head but also think who in the world would want to read it.

This has been such a big week, Dan had a business trip to Orlando and returned on Monday, my birthday was Tuesday, Wednesday - Drew had some friends from ORU over and he made dinner, which is always a treat, and today we are leaving for Branson for a much needed time of relaxation and family time.

You know how sometimes you wake up and something weird crosses your mind before you are awake enough to know better? That happened to me this week. I woke up on Tuesday (my birthday) and immediately wondered what was wrong because my mom hadn't called me to wish me a happy birthday. She has called me, to be the first to tell me, before sun-up all of my adult life. You know it is one of those things that you love and at the same time you are thinking why on earth would you get up before the sun to call and wake me for that!!! Unfortunately reality set in quickly, mom went to be with Jesus last August and this is my first birthday without her. I miss my mom and it was definitely a sad start, but with my amazing husband and kids, the sadness ended there. I got my fingernails and toenails done, the boys cleaned the house, Dan and Drew made a wonderful dinner, grilled shrimp and chicken, grilled seasoned potato slices with goat cheese, sauteed corn and tomatoes, salad and a lemonberry granita to finish it all off. It was yummy!!!

I should wrap this up and finish getting ready for your trip!!! Next week I think I will feature my kiddos so everyone can see how truly blessed I am.

May all we say and do glorify Him!!!