Sunday, June 30, 2013

Redirecting and Making Goals

I have been doing some thinking about my blog. I am able to dedicate more time to it (for now). Things could very well change anytime with children,but as of now I feel like I can write more and read more. I started reading Blog Mom by Christin Slade and that also has been a big help. I want my blog to serve a purpose,not just be somewhere I write. I want to encourage others,particularly women, in their walk with Christ. I thought about starting a new blog directed to parenting,but that isn't the only thing I want to write about. I want to write about whatever the Lord leads me too. So I decided to just change my name back to the original name it was a year or so ago. This name was inspired by a blog called At The Well. It was a blog encouraging women to become and be Titus 2 women.

So I changed the name and will hopefully have more of a schedule. I do 2 link ups during the week with 2 other blogs. I want to start doing a post each week called Weekend Links where I publish articles or posts that I read during the week that were very worth sharing. I also want to have guest bloggers. I have one lined up hopefully for this coming week. Reading Christin's book (I'm not finished,but already have learned a lot) help me figure out some goals for my blog. I wrote down goals,passions,hobbies,and some other things. If you haven't read the book, I recommend getting it. I have a passion for being a Goldy woman,wife,and Mother. I have a passion to love my husband as God has commanded me too. I have a passion to teach my children all I can about our Lord and pump them with the Word of God. I have a passion for encouraging others,especially women.

I hope to find out who is still following me and who is not. It's hard to tell really. I don't care if just 1 person reads my blog, I hope they are encouraged. I also hope they will comment so I can know who is following me. I'm not some profound writer. I haven't got it all figured out. I am a woman who fails daily,but is striving to be more like my Lord. I just want to share the things God has used to mold me,refine me,and humble me. I want to share the miracles He has done for me and my family. I want to use it for God's glory.

If you would spread the word about my blog, I would appreciate it very much.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy birthday Johnathan!

Taken by a family friend just a month or so after his birth. He wasn't so happy about this.

He fell asleep during a diaper change.

I can't believe my "baby" turns 2 today. Where has time gone? He was very unexpected though we don't use any form or birth control. We found out we were expecting him when my second son,Aaron, turned 1. It was a hard pregnancy and not the delivery I wanted a all. But I don't know what my life would be like without him. He is so joyful. He is the epitome of Mama's baby. He is playful,strong willed,very smart,and loves his brothers. Thomas Johnathan Jackson (the only one with 3 names) was born via c/s on June 29,2010. He's names after the infamous Stonewall Jackson. His nick name is Binky. I love that little boy. I wanted a blonde haired baby so bad. I finally got one. They all have blue eyes,but my oldest two have dark hair. Happy birthday Binky!

                                               Johnathan playing outside at our apartment.

At the beach this past April.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday's Fave Five

This is a favorite each week of mine to write about.

  1. Sunday evenings... we had no service Sunday evening. It was our softball Sunday,but it was so hot that we had dinner on the grounds instead. My hubby had to go to work,but the boys and I enjoyed a relaxing evening. I loved it.
  2. Rising early... I have made it up each week early enough to do my Bible study,pray,and write on my blog some. I love getting up early and having the peace and quiet before my loud day begins.
  3. Friends... We had a couple over from our church (who we have known for awhile before hand) Tuesday evening. We had a good time of talking,eating,and watching the kids play. I love having friends that are like minded in so much.
  4. Playtime... my boys love playing like we are various animals and we play this a lot. Imagine me crawling around on the floor making cow,deer,or bear noises. We make us a home and pretend to be finding food or running from other animals/people. It's these memories my boys will remember though it's not so easy on the knees. 
  5. Moms Night Out... wooo hoooo! The homeschool group I stay in touch with has this once a month if they can and they are having it Friday night. My hubby happens to be working a day shift and I will be able to go kid free to it. I am looking forward to some more fellowship with like minded ladies and barrels of laughs.
Join Susanne @ Living to Tell the Story for Friday's Fave Five. Glean back over your week and share some of your favorites.

I will be having a guest posting next week. It is my first time to do so. Stay tuned for more details!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Welcome to thankful Thursday. Share something you are thankful for and link up with Iris @Grace Alone. 

I'm so thankful for friends. Good,true friends are hard to come by. We have several that are like minded and Christ followers. We love to spend time with them in and out of church. Our Pastor and his family happen to be very close friends of ours. We spend many Sundays with them. It's wonderful to have someone you can sit and chat with about life and be encouraged or challenged. We had another family from church over last night. The wife is a childhood friend of my husband's and we all hung out in our high school/college years together. Our kids love playing together which also makes it great. I love how God weaves friendships together and creates a bond that cannot be broken. We're blessed to have some of the friendships that we do. We're constantly blessed by our friends and in return try to be a blessing to them. 

What are you thankful for today? 

Monday, June 24, 2013

He Will Meet Our Need

This is a verse that over the last 5 years I have been learing. It's not been easy to learn God will truly supply all that you need. It's hard. It's tiring. It's glorious. We're a one income family and that can be tough. At times I have thought about trying to bring income into the home. When I tried to do so,it failed. I would get so frustrated. I couldn't understand why it would not work for us. I finally just backed off the idea. God had always taken care of us no matter what. I don't know why I couldn't just let Him continue to do so.

I have been reading Pain Redeemed by Natasha Metzler. If you have never read her blog, you have too. She is so inspiring and is very gifted by God when it comes to writing. In her book she talks about miracles. That's when it struck me. When we try to meet our own needs, we miss the miracles of God. That's not to say we cannot try to make extra money,but sometimes God may not want us too. He wants us to trust Him completely. I kept thinking if I could just make a little extra money making jewelry we could start saving more a month, but God saw differently though. When we don't trust God with every area of our life, we can miss some very amazing things He wants to do. There were many times when we were first married that I wasn't sure at times about certain financial issues. God did above and beyond our needs. Just last year I had to have mouth surgery and it was going to be quite expensive. I had to go to an oral surgeon and was so scared of the cost. It was much higher than I thought too,but God took care of all of it except $283 exactly. Then, we got a refund for a hundred dollars in the mail. I was so thankful and so surprised. I shouldn't have been surprised. God loves us and He wants to meet our needs. God just wants us to trust Him.

We're waiting to find a home now. It is so draining at times. We found one that seemed perfect. It was so us. We started on the process and God put a halt to it. We hit that brick wall pretty hard. We both were so bummed and upset. We knew that we shouldn't push it though. It was almost like God pulled the carpet out from under us. The only thing I keep hearing from God is wait. I'm not a very patient person,even after being a Mother for 5 years. I have no clue when God will move us or if He will. I am trying to be content where we are in our very small apartment with 3 boys. I believe if we are faithful in small things, God will make us ruler over bigger things. So that is what we are doing. Easy? No. There are days I want to scream so loud get us out of here! It's a small apartment with 5 people and it can get cramped. We love hosting people,but that also can be hard at times. God knows best,I just have to remind myself of that daily every second of the day.

My parents raised 3 kids in a small 2 bedroom mobile home until I was in the 7th grade. We moved into a larger mobile home,but still only a 3 bedroom. I know God will sustain us if He sees fit for us to live here longer than we want. It's not easy praying God whatever You want with this house situation. It's much easier to pray Lord, show us the house you want for us. Isn't that part of dying to self? Praying God's will over our own no matter how hard it is. Refinement is not easy,but it is necessary. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekend Links

I wanted to list some posts from different blogs that I have read lately. I want to try and do this each weekend. I read a lot of blogs about mothering,parenting,and marriage. So many have so much good advice and Godly wisdom that I want to pass it a long.

I hope you take time to read the articles. They aren't very long,but are very good. I subscribe to each of these blogs. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cooling Off With Smoothies

I added a subscribe button to my blog if you would like to receive updates through email.

It's getting very hot here in south Alabama. I thought a good way to cool off would be with smoothies. I have a healthy smoothie recipe book on my Kindle so I went flipping through. I remembered I had made a couple last year and wrote them down the way I liked them. I made two smoothies yesterday afternoon. I made myself a strawberry banana smoothie and my second oldest a banana smoothie. Ahh they were so good! I used fresh fruit. Some use frozen fruit. I didn't have any frozen since I buy fresh and didn't think to freeze it the night before. It worked well for me. I'm a picture taker,I love taking pictures of everything. So of course I took one of the smoothies.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

It was very good! Daniel even liked it. Aaron requested a banana smoothie so I whipped him one up. I wasn't sure I would like it that much,but it was also good. We had these for a snack Tuesday afternoon. I found this great site for smoothies. Smoothie Recipes For Kids is the name of it. I found some delicious smoothies! 

Yesterday I made a Strawberry smoothie. I left out the bananas and it was delicious! I wanted a watermelon recipe so I searched for one and found it on Taste of Home's website and tried it out. Yuuuumy!! 

It's a very simple smoothie to make.

Daniel and Johnathan loved it! I made 2 glasses of this and we drank one glass. I have the other glass in the fridge and will drink it today. Oh so good!

Tada! Watermelon smoothie. 

Yesterday I tried a Pina Coloda smoothie. I have wanted one with pineapple in it since I love that fruit. I found 2 different recipes that used pineapple. I went with the pina coloda one. It was really good! My youngest really liked it. It was very simple too. 

Pina Coloda smoothie

I hope to try some that have greens in them. I love spinach so I thought of just throwing some in one of these. The boys would never know. ;-) I want to try a Pina Coloda,Orange,and Raspberry Almond smoothie. They sound so good! It's a good substitute for cakes,cookies,or candy. We have those things,but not everyday and it is tempting to have them every day. I will add the recipes for these and you can test them out yourself!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
1/2 cup milk
6 banana slices
6 strawberries (diced)
3 tbsp yogurt (I used strawberry Greek yogurt)
4 cubes of ice
1 tbsp sugar

Put ingredients in blender and mix to your desire. Strain if you wish.

Banana Smoothie
6 banana slices
4 cubes of ice
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp yogurt (Greek vanilla)
1 spoon sugar

Put ingredients in blender and mix.

Very Strawberry Smoothie
13 strawberries (diced)
1/2 cup yogurt (Greek strawberry)
1/2 cup V8 fusion (strawberry banana)
4 cubs of ice
6 banana slices (optional)

Put ingredients in blender and mix. Strain if you desire.

Watermelon Smoothie
6 cups coarsely chopped seedless watermelon
1 cup lemon sherbet
12 ice cubes

Put ingredients in blender and mix.

Note: I did only 4 cups of watermelon,1 cup of sherbet,and 3 pieces of ice. My blender is a small one and wouldn't hold the original recipe.

Pina Coloda Smoothie
14 ounces of pineapple (in juice)
6 ice cream scoops of vanilla yogurt (I used French Vanilla)

Put pineapple in blender and mix. Add yogurt a little a time until consistency is what you desire.

Note: I tried to strain this,but it did not work.

Hope you are staying cool with some healthy drinks this summer!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday's Fave Five

Maybe I can link up on time this week. Last week it would not let me on Friday. I am getting back to the season of time for writing. They come and go. I have put a subscribe button on my blog as well. So you can get updates through email when I do write. :-)

  1. Great Father's Day... we went to church and heard a powerful message about God being a Father to us,the fatherless,and about how important Father's are in the homes. Love our Pastor and his boldness ! We then spent part of the day with each Father. It was great to see my Daddy and Father-in-law.
  2. Friends... We went for a visit on Monday with some dear friends. They are missionaries in and out state/country. They also work to support themselves and their 2 small boys.Lance works with God's Pit Crew too building things for the needy. He recently got back from Moore,OK with GPC. He also married us right here in our apartment along with his wife as the witness. It was a great evening with the Hobby family.
  3. Rest... Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to get back to our routine. My hubby went back to work and the boys and I tried to stay cool.
  4. Smoothies... I have been making smoothies this week! Oh they are so good! I will be posting a post soon with pictures and recipes.
  5. Sisters... I got to see my little sis yesterday. They have been gone since about March to FL with her husband working. We had a graduation party for her son (he will start First grade this year,they home school too). We gathered at my parents along with my brother an his family. The kids ran,played,and even got to swim some. My Daddy fried catfish (the best around) and we had a good ol' time!
Join us for Friday's Fave Five. Susanne @ Living to Tell the Story is our host. Link up with us and be blessed!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I'm so thankful for God's grace and mercy. Oh how I need it every second of the day. I fail Him so much. There are some nights when I lay down I have so many regrets. If not for God's mercy and grace I don't think I could make it. I am suffering from severe mood swings at times and this makes me appreciate His grace and mercy even more. 

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 
    Lamentations 3:21-23

I have hope because of God's grace and mercy. I can go to bed and wake up new because of God's grace and mercy. Praise be to God!! What are you thankful for today? Join Iris @ Grace Alone and share your thankfulness. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Not Letting Life Rule You

My husband has a different schedule than some men. It used to horrible,but over the last few years it has straightened out a lot. When we first got married it was insane the amount it changed from week to week. He works in Law Enforcement and it is similar to any kind of hospital job. We were only married 4 months when we got pregnant and 9 1/2 months later we had our first son. It's then that I began to hate his job. The shift changed each week still and it was 12 hour shifts. A crying baby, breastfeeding problems,and recovering from a c-section made it even worse. Some weeks he never was home on time. We didn't have help 15 or 20 minutes down the road and had no friends. It was so hard. I became bitter towards his job and supervisors. They weren't even really at fault! I had to have someone to blame.

When our first born turned 1 we found out we were pregnant with our second child. It was the same thing over. Long nights and long days. I am naturally a routine person. My Mother says I came out on a schedule. You can imagine what I was like with absolutely no schedule. Irritable, cranky,and irrational. I kept wishing and dreaming for another job for my husband. I knew he was called to do what he was doing,but I was tired of doing it alone it seemed. That by no means insinuates that my husband never helped. He helped SO much when he was home,but when he was at work he rarely got a minute to stop by. They keep him pretty busy,no really busy. He had to go work details that took him out of town for 4-5 days and I was weary. I needed a routine so bad. I needed to know which day it was instead of feeling so lost. Since his job was not a 8-5 Monday-Friday, it was hard to have my days figured out. It was bad enough having one person in the house on a totally different schedule. By the time my second son was almost a year old I made my mind up, something had to change.

Sleep was getting easier with my oldest,who as a baby/toddler, hated to sleep. My second son slept much better than his older brother. We started implementing a bedtime because since my first came into the world my life was turned upside down. I wanted them asleep by at least 9. That gave me an hour to wind down and spend time with my husband, whose schedule was beginning to become more sensible. He was put on a shift and rarely had a different one unless he had court or school. I had struggled to read my Bible. Oh man. I was so used to having 2-3 hours every morning to pray and read the Word. That went out the window when the babies arrived. I somehow found time for a little reading and had to learn to pray throughout the day. It was not easy,but I had to have the boys and I on a schedule. I did not let it slide on my husband's off days,which are different each week. Things began to get much better. Good thing it did,because I was pregnant with my third son,when our second one turned a year old.

We are still on a schedule that has gotten much better. My oldest is 5 now. My second to oldest is 3 1/2 and my youngest will be 2 in a couple of weeks. Sometimes you just have to take life by the horns and not let it rule you. There was nothing I could do about my husband's job. I had to get over myself and get with the program. My children and husband needed me. God gave me the strength and grace to make it. I no longer hate my husband's job like I did. He is ministering to many people and many of his co-workers. God is using him mightily and blessing us. A quote I heard from a movie we watched last night (Faith Like Potatoes), "The best condition for a miracle is difficulty." How true is that. Never forget the God who formed you and who knows just what to do.

Friday's Fave Five

It has been sometime since I have written much on my blog. I just got busy and was not able to dedicate time like I wanted too. Life is always changing. This week I have written every day. So I wanted to keep the trend going. :)

  1. Great Sunday service... I love hearing our Pastor preach,he is so passionate. We spent the day with his family and then my husband spoke at church that night. I love my husband. He talked about his job a little bit and how he wants to impact others for Christ. He's a State Trooper here in AL. 
  2. Coffee... I know I have said it's a favorite many times,but I so enjoy my morning coffee. I love trying new creamers by Bailey's. I have Caramel and Irish Creme right now. Ummm!
  3. Bible study... it's our 2nd week in our summer study. Our little online group is studying James. I am a part of the Good Morning Girls online study. I love studying the Word,verse by verse or in chunks. It's definitely been convicting and encouraging!
  4. Family... We went to see my parents yesterday. It was so hot,but we went for a swim. It was so nice. The boys ran,played,and went swimming. I love going back to my first home. I love all the woods,the pond,and seeing my parents.
  5. T.v... I love to cuddle on the floor with my boys and watch a movie or something. We did that tonight. They are so sweet and love to do it too. We watch a movie every week.
Link up with Susanne @ Living to Tell the Story for more blogs and share your favorites of the week.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thankful Thursday- Father's Day

Since Father's Day is Sunday I will write about that today. I truly am thankful for my Daddy. He worked hard for us while growing up. He was a carpenter and took pride in his work. We didn't have a lot of money, we were middle class I guess you could say. Mama stayed home with us and Daddy worked. We took summer trips to Black and Red Creek in the aluminum boat. We fished at home in our pond and we rode the 4-wheeler. We went hunting with him and sometimes to work with him. He wasn't always a very emotional man or very tender,but we did know that he loved us. Our needs were always met and we were taken care of. He came to know the Lord about 2007. He's changed a lot since then. He doesn't use foul language and has changed his music style and what he watches on t.v. He's more caring and a lot more friendly. It's amazing what God can do to someone. He's a great Papa to our boys,who adore every inch of him. I wouldn't want another Daddy then or now.

My husband is also a wonderful Father. He works hard,plays with the boys,and loves them. He always tells them how much he loves them. He rough houses with them and guides them. He can be hard on them,but it's because he loves them. I definitely wouldn't want another man to father my children. They play baseball together, they wrestle together, they read the Bible together,and watch t.v. together. The boys want to be just like him and pretend to be a Trooper all the time. I'm blessed to have a man who sees the importance of his impact on our children. He prays for them and with them. I see a lot of my Daddy in him too. I couldn't ask for more.

I hope all you celebrate your Father's and husband's this weekend! If you can't say much good about them,pray for them,and try to understand them. Link up with Iris @ Grace Alone for more thankful posts.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Refining Me, One Boy At a Time

Daniel,Aaron,Johnathan posing for Mama.

I'm Mother to 3 small  growing boys. Daniel is 5,Aaron is 4 1/2,and Johnathan is 1 1/2. It can be so hard some days. I am constantly redirecting, correcting,and guiding them. I'm training them how to live civilized. That my friends, is not an easy task,especially when they have the same sin nature as I do. I'm just as selfish as they are day in and day out. I wonder what in the world God thinks of me. Does He every tire of having to redirect me? I know I have been a stubborn child to my parents (when I was living with them) and to God. It's one of my traits I am not proud of most days. This is proving to be one of the hardest things I have done in my life.

I'm not a natural child lover. Growing up I was around younger ones due to our big family of cousins,but as I got to high school age I learned quick that kids were not my thing. I never wanted any children,only to be married and go off to the mission field. Kids were so rude and disobedient. I always thought I never want children if they act that way. Little did I know I wasn't so pleasant at times when I was a child. When God gave me my first son I was scared too death and asked what in the world are you doing? Refining you is the answer I got. Okay, I need refining? I thought you did that in college with the situations I went through. No, He said, I was growing you then. Okay, thanks for letting me know. That's how the convo went with God. I finally gave in to the idea that the first born wasn't going anywhere anytime soon and decided to just surrender to God. I wasn't sure what I was in for,but I knew it was better than trying to do my own thing for the next 18 years.

God has really changed me in a lot of ways. 2 sons later and I look at things differently now. I do believe God is using my children to transform me to more of His image. It's not easy and it's not always fun. It is necessary though. They have taught me so much about myself,God,and life. I also realized that I would have never made it in a foreign land. I visited Honduras for 2 weeks in 2003,right before I started college. My heart longed for that country,for people who desired and wanted something. It was a life changing experience. After being a parent for 5 1/2 years, I have learned if I cannot minister and care for my own children, I sure won't do it for those I don't even know. At least that is how I feel about it. We have to reach and minister to our families before we can do the same to others around us. God knew what He was doing all along,even though I questioned His ways. I still have a looong ways to go,but I can see a little teeny bit of progress in this process.

Those are my 3 darling,rambunctious,and energetic boys up there. They are a mess and I love them with everything in me.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Building Our Faith- One Trial At A Time

We had our Pastor and his family over this past Friday night for supper. It was a good time of fellow shipping while the kids played together. We shared a little bit of our testimony that dealt with our first pregnancy. It prompted me to see the bigger picture.

When I got pregnant with our first son, I was waiting to be added to my husband's insurance. We did not qualify for medicaid either. We only made $200 over the limit to qualify. I was so angry at God. How could He do this to us? We were barely making it as it was. Now, we have Doctor visits and bills to pay. Soon we'd have a baby to provide for. Before this, my faith hadn't been tested much at all. I was fresh out of Bible college and a newlywed of 4 months to be exact. This isn't how I exactly wanted to be "tested" or "refined". The mission field is where that kind of stuff happens and that is where I wanted to go since 2003 and it was 2007. God came in and took care of us the whole time. It was a miracle for us. Looking back at the things He done during that time always gets my mind back into perspective. We got free rent in exchange for my husband being the courtesy officer at our apartment (he's a State Trooper). That was the amount we now needed for the monthly Nurse Midwife visits. Simply amazing.

The hard things we go through can either refine us or define us. We can choose to let God take care of us in the way He wants or we can struggle on our own. God wants to take care of us. He wants us to completely trust Him with our lives,every detail and every situation. He has our best interest in mind always. He never wants to harm us even though it may feel like it at the time of the trial. We should expect trials in this life. If we never had a trial we would never know the One who can bring us through it more intimately. I remember telling God how it was unfair that we couldn't get any help (this was before our landlord came to us) and He said to me don't expect the world to reward you for living for Me. Pretty simple,but profound. God wants to reward us so many times,but we look for our reward else where.

We have went through many other trying times in our short 6 years of marriage and raising children. God has never ceased to provide for us. Each time He came through for us, He was just building our faith for the next trial or trying time. It's not easy to see that when you are going through something,but once you look back you can see what God was doing. Now that we are waiting for God to move us to a new home we need a strong faith. It is not easy waiting when you have family and friends moving into their new homes. We get discouraged and we get tired of looking. It gets frustrating trying to find something within our budget that will meet our needs and wants. When I look back and see the miraculous things God has done for us in the past,I know He will take care of this too. He will never fail us or forsake us. He already knows what house we will get next.

God wants us to share the things He does for us with others to help encourage and build their faith. So let us not keep the awesome things God does for us to ourselves,but let us share it with others in our lives. You never know how it may help them through the trial they are facing.