Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Grade

Yeah for First Grade!
You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.  ~Clay P. Bedford

Our sweet Brody started First Grade yesterday!   Strange how I can be proud, excited, and sad all at the same time (that's talent folks).  
Proud- Just look at how far he has come!  Two years ago the kid could barely talk, and now he is an excellent reader.
Excited- I'm glad he is making new friends, and he will learn so many new things this year!
Sad- I do not like the quiet house while Brody is at school all day.  He makes our house fun, and it is boring without him.  It's also sad because I want another baby so bad, and I cannot wait to hear little feet running around our home again.  Lord, please multiply our family!

I have been praying and praying.  Praying for Brody and a new school year.  Praying God will let me have more children to love.  Praying to have good friends.
      And as always, God takes care of us!  Brody is blessed with a great teacher, and he had a good 1st day.  He has good old and new friends in his class.  Yesterday, God even sent me a friend when I needed one too.  I was invited to go walking with a friend from church.  Instead of having to come home to an empty house, I had a friend to walk and talk with...and both felt good.  While I do not have a baby of my own, I have family and friends who keep having more children for me to love.  All these new babies that have come lately or will come in the next few months, whether adopted or biological, are such blessings to me.  Love comes in all kinds of ways!  

Brody sitting at the table in his new class.

 Life is good when you are looking for it to be good, and you are making it good!

Just look at this happy kid!  He was so proud of his new backpack.  

I have no idea what this year holds for our family?

 But I do know I'm planning on lots of good stuff to happen, and whatever comes our way we will still be praising God!  

So as Brody said yesterday, "Yeah for First Grade!"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where did our Summer go???

Where did our Summer go???

It's like I blinked, and summer is now gone.  Brody started school today.  I'm going to write about that tomorrow because I'm sad at this empty and QUIET house.  Today I going to think about all the fun we had this summer.  And boy, oh boy, did we ever have some fun! 

I don't think we could have squeezed any more activities or trips into our summer.  
It was busy. 
 It was fun.  
It was one of the best summers ever!!! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Completely Humble and Gentle

Brody and Bradley- I can remember while taking this picture how over and over I said, "Be gentle."

Be completely humble and gentle; 
be patient, bearing with one another in love. Eph. 4:2

I stopped in my tracks this morning as I read Ephesians 4:2.  I asked myself, "Cristy, do you know what completely means?"  Well duh, it means complete!  So that means I am to be completely humble and gentle every day in every situation.  If I am honest with myself, I know I fail at this greatly.  
Because I am not being gentle and humble when:
- I've explained something 5 times to Brody then become frustrated with him on the 6th time.
- I'm yelling at the slow car who has pulled out in front of me.
- I'm bothered at the cashier who sat down my coupons and did not scan them causing me to then have to stand in the customer service line to fix it. 
- I'm aggravated at my family for leaving dirty clothes in the middle of the floor.
- I'm annoyed with the person I am meeting with who is not on time.
- This "when list"could go on for pages. You get the general idea.

I am not always humble and gentle with every person, every day, in every situation.  But you know what?  I want to be.  Why?  Because God has told me to be just that.  It's not enough for me to half way live the Christian life.  If I do not live the life God has called me to live, then I am no different from the rest of the world.  My faith will not seem important if I am not any different than the average Joe.  I must try to love people like Jesus loves them.  When I love people the right way, I will see what made me upset in a different way.  I will see:
- The really tired child in front of me who is not listening because he is mean but because he needs a nap.
- The man driver just found out one of his parents will not live much longer, and he is driving slowly as he is processing the bad news. 
- The cashier is hurting and distracted because her husband left her.
- My husband was not trying to be messy. He just has a lot going on at work and needs to get there as quickly as possible so he can get everything he needs done that day.
-The late mom was up all night with one child and the other child did not want to get ready that morning.  She really was giving her best to be there on time.

My perspective changes when I stop looking at the world with my eyes, and I start looking with God's eyes.  I will be humble when I stop listening to others with my ears, and I start listening with God's ears.  I will be gentle when I stop using my heart, and I start using God's heart.  I do not have to be gentle and humble on my own.  Colossians 1:29 says, "To this end I labor, struggling with all Christ's energy, which so powerfully works in me."  How awesome it is to have Christ's energy work in us...if we allow it. 

The picture above of Brody holding the baby is a lot like how Christians should treat the world.  
Be gentle for they are fragile. 
 Be humble with them because you cannot understand just yet what they are thinking. 

I am going to be humble and gentle.  I am sure I will fail some days, but I will keep on trying.  I like how Paul encourages Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:15, "Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress."  Paul knew Timothy would make mistakes.  To put it into now days terms, he might say, "Just be real"---"so that everyone may see your progress."  In ten years from now, people should be able to say that the crazy Cristy Cackling Carpe Diem lady is more humble and gentle than she was. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One of the best gifts EVER!

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."  Ephesians 4:29

Ryan received one of the best gifts yesterday.  It is not an expensive present, but it is priceless to our family.  The seniors who just graduated took the time to write a few words to him to make one awesome scrapbook.  It's a book filled with favorite memories, something God taught them while in student ministry, thank yous, and words of encouragement.  It's very precious!  We do what we do because God called us to do it, and we love it!  We don't ever expect thank yous, and it was very overwhelming to read all of them.  It means a lot to hear something we did or said had an impact on them.  When something is so good, I just love to share it!  Of course, I have to share a few pictures.

Brody wanted to be in one of the pictures.  I'm sure Jessica will be please he picked her page!
Those sweet young men and women probably did not realize it, but they encouraged our son too.  He had me to read some of the pages to him.  You see, children in a ministry family have to make sacrifices too.  Brice Family summers are crazy, busy.  It's sometimes hard for him to understand that his mommy and daddy take other kids on trips and not him.  Then there are days where he is on the shy side, and his house is filled with teenagers.  It's good for him to hear that opening our house up to teenagers was important to someone.  He smiled at the idea that "his home" made other people happy.

Hearing such sweet and thoughtful words just fills us up to fight the good fight, to finish the race, and to kept the faith (2 Tim. 4:7).  Thank you guys and gals for pumping us up for another great year in student ministry!  We love you, and you will be greatly missed.  You visit us as often as possible, and please continue to share what the Lord is doing in your life with us.  You are important to us!!!  We thank you for making our job the best one in the world.

Philemon 1:4, "I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers."

Saying words of encouragement...
now that's some good seizing the day to me!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Casting ALL My Anxieties On Him

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by
your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  
To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:5-11

God was not surprised at all this morning when I woke up unhappy with my circumstances.  I have been casting ALL my anxieties on Him because I know He cares for me.  God gladly listens to me about the uncertainty of circumstances, the emptiness of not being able to have a baby right now, the frustration of relationships, and the feeling of complete helplessness in some moments.  I pour my heart out, and then I listen.  I listen for God's wisdom and comfort.  He brings to mind verse after verse in the Bible.  I thought I would share a few verses in case someone else needs encouragement today too.  The emphasis words are mine!

James 1:2-8, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."

Galatians 6:9, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." 

2 Timothy 1:12, "For which cause I suffer also these things: yet I am not ashamed; for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed unto him until that day."

Philippians 4:11, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, " But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Hebrews 13 (One of my favorite Chapters)
Verses 5 & 6-  "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Verse 8- "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Verse 15- "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."

 Isn't God's word good!!!
It's everything we need.

I may be unhappy about some things going on, but I am still full of joy.  I know the sovereignty of God always prevails.  I know He understands heartache.  I am comforted in John 16:33 when Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  And that my dear friends, is all I need to know at this moment...He has overcome the world.  Now that's something to cheer about!!!  So if you are feeling weighed down by the world, cast ALL of your cares upon Him,  FOR HE CARES FOR YOU!!!  Don't just give God a few of your problems and then try to take care of the rest by yourself.  His word says, "ALL."  And ALL means ALL! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Words are so Powerful!

Lots of things have been going on in my life lately.  I start to write about them only to erase it. Words are so powerful.  Once they have been said or written, you cannot take them back.  I just want to be careful that my words will bring glory to God.  To help me remember how powerful words can be, I keep quoting these verses from the Bible. 
"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Pro. 12:18
 "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life." Pro. 15:4 
"The tongue has the power of life and death." Pro. 18:21 
How will I use this power?
How will you use this power?