Snowboarding!

Snowboarding!
Our favorite non-boring thing to do...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lauren's Senior Year - end of the first week

So I didn't get to post every day but am at least going to tell you in this post about stuff that happened... Not a lot happened. She went to school, drove most days, came home for an hour,  went back for volleyball practice.

We had the volleyball parents meeting on Wednesday night... Not really sure about this coach, but are hoping that things go well and that Lauren gets good advice, coaching and playing time. We love watching her play!

She's not able to wear running shorts to school this year (new coach, new rules, plus they really aren't dress code but she has been able to pull it off. I think most teachers recognize her height and realize that they don't make shorts long enough to fit their "fingertips" rule for her. Oh well, she's wearing jeans and trying to figure out Iowa to wear yoga pants (needs longer tshirts).

She's working as an assistant for one of her classes (supposed to be with kids with disabilities). Doug Peters (the teacher) kept her for his office (athletics). She set up his wireless keyboard the first day and rearranged the peripherals to better suit his needs... She's a tech-savvy-kid!

She is doing well in AP Stats. Hoping that continues.

First football game is next Friday... She and Becca will be in the stands of course!
Until then...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Her First Day as HS Senior

So. It's here, Lauren's first day of the last year of high school. Yeah of high school, not of the rest of her life. I'm going to try and write a little something every day this year... 1. To see if I can do it and 2. To give Lauren something at graduation or after that she can look back on and remember that the the things that seemed awful either really weren't or they didn't last long and that all the good that happened are memories to last a lifetime. So, here goes...

Day 1 - She slapped a LMHS sticker in the front window of Jason's Saturn last night and took off this morning. I didn't quite get done what I wanted to for her first day... I have cinnamon rolls still in the fridge... They'll definitely keep until tomorrow morning. She actually may need them more tomorrow than today anyway. I did put chicken and rice in the oven for dinner tonight...  On a delay timer. Hoping that works! And no pictures this morning. 😕 Sort of a bummer for me, but it's more a tradition that a need, so, I went with her request this time. I didn't last year and got a cruddy (but funny and infamous) pic of her hand in front of her face.

Jason and I are riding together this morning. Here's Jason's thoughts... She has the car, she made it to school on time... Increased responsibility... Doing good so far. He was actually pretty sentimental last Friday...

His text to me:
I was just thinking, on another note, how cool its gonna be watching Lo run in, warm up and play varsity level. :-D
I remember dropping her off from half way through 5th to 8th grades...

Softie. 😆 And I love that about him.

Praying for Lauren today... Praying that she's right where God wants her to be: all the right places at just the right time and that He'll give her all the right thoughts and words.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Who's Your Valentine?

The best valentine a man or woman could ever have is Jesus. Not only does he love each and everyone of us beyond what another person could ever love us, He has all of the characteristics that we look for in a potential Valentine!
Sort of sounds like a want ad: Looking for Valentine; must be humorous, creative, respectful, loyal, compassionate, be a great listener, love me deeply, able to forgive, and must know how to celebrate the good in life.
He is funny - think of Jesus 'casting out demons'... He didn't just banish them (think Charmed - little bits of disappearing black smoke), but he put them  in a bunch of wild pigs that went running amuck all over the countryside. Consider some of the parables he told - most have that 'aha, ha ha ha' moment as he makes a point about loving God and others or giving everything to follow him.
And speaking of the parables he made up and told - creativity! The prodigal son, the man with the 10 talents, the vineyard (I am the vine, you are the branches) and the list goes on and on. Story-telling is an art in and of itself, but to be able to create the story, make the point you want and tell the story in an intriguing way? That's pure creative skill.
When Jesus was here on earth, he respected the men, women and children that he was surrounded by every day. Regardless of stature, social standing, sick or not, man or woman, Jesus gave respect to all. He even respected and revered the people that it was 'OK' to shun - the lepers, the tax collectors, the lame... Jesus sought out these people and redeemed them and made them more than 'OK' for His glory. All of us are respected, 'sought out' and can all be redeemed.
Jesus defined loyalty. He was loyal to God's will for his life here on earth; he was loyal to Peter who denied him three times. It's one thing to be loyal to your calling and to 'stick it out', but to be loyal to those that are anything BUT loyal to you? How many of us would 'stick that out'? He's a loyal lover of our souls and our hearts. He is the ultimate Valentine.
True compassion - being 'for' people that everyone else is against; loving and caring for people that no one else wants to; doing more or giving more than what is asked - loving us enough to give us what we need, not just what we want. Jesus IS all of these. Healing on the Sabbath (such a big "religious No No" then); not just healing the physical person, but forgiving sins (healing the heart and the God-person relationship) too. His compassion isn't just in word, but in deed - he lives compassion.
Must be a good listener... What defines a good listener? Is it just someone to 'hear' all of the stuff we have to say? Is it someone who listens and tries to fix everything? Jesus' version of 'good listening' was patient and patient and patient. :) It didn't matter who it was (see 'Respect' above), he listened attentively and responded patiently. Consider the rulers trying to find fault in him or his disciples learning what it really meant to follow him or just those that cried out in utter and extreme need. He listened to them all with patience and love and then practiced compassion in each response. Good listener, check.
Deep love means caring confrontation. What? Don't we all want someone who loves us so much that they'll lovingly challenge choices we are making? But not just point them out and  sit back condescendingly - someone that will help us see the goofs; that will help us overcome those mistakes and help us the next time it comes up. Love that wants to see us succeed - that wants us to live life 'more abundantly'. Jesus is the only one who can love us like that.
And when we realize that we've made one of those bad choices; when we've misstepped for the umpteenth time - we need forgiveness. More importantly, forgiveness is available - Jesus is forgiveness. His forgiveness is permanent - we repent (confess it and turn away from what we did before) and he forgives. Forever. Forever forgiveness; that's what Jesus offers.
And lastly, 'knows how to celebrate the good in life'! Wow, this one's particularly exciting because God created celebration! So, who better than Jesus to know how to celebrate?! He celebrated with us on earth at weddings; he told stories of celebration - the wedding feast - the prodigal son's return home and more. He knows our hearts, um he MADE them to look like his, and he knows the joy we experience in celebrating the once lost and now found, or of joining two hearts in a wedding celebration. Hmmm, funny, right? I was lost and was found by Jesus - my heart will finally be joined for eternity with his at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.
All this to say, that  Jesus, the perfect Valentine, possesses all of these characteristics and more. And he loves you! What better Valentine is there to have, than Jesus!

John 1:17, NLT
For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

God, thank you for... (beach things)

A abundance of sand
B the beach
C conch shells
D days at the beach
E eateries at the beach
F fishies in the sea
G Gulf beaches
H highways that lead to beaches
I Ice cream after the beach
J jumping on the beach
K kids that love the beach
L laying on the beach
M Mondays on the beach
N nighttime walks on the beach
O oceans unending
P peaceful time on the beach
Q quality & quantity time at the beach
R restful days on the beach
S sunrises & sunsets
T time at the beach
U umbrellas for shade
V vivid colors at the beach
W small and big waves at the beach
X eXtreme sports on the beach
Y yellow sun
Z zoo of creatures in the ocean

That's what we are thankful for God!

Monday, April 22, 2013

This is me... at work.

So, I've started a new job; I'm an employee of HD Supply now. :-) And with a new job, I usually get an empty desk, aka, a blank slate to decorate, organize... To add little reflections of me and my personality. :-D

I love this part...  :-) a chance to add little things that mean TONS to me but may not seem like much to others. And then also to add things that will just open doors to conversations with all of these new people I'm meeting and getting to know.

So, representin' me... (see picture at bottom of post). We've got my new key chain, with scripture to memorize as our small group and I go through the "What On Earth Am I Here For?" series with Rise Community Church... Then my Phillies (Woohoo, Go Phightin' Phils!)... And then Russian nesting dolls from my lovely, sweet daughter, Lauren. The dolls are fun to just put together, take apart, put together... Particularly while thinking... And this isn't to say that I don't have a photo of Lauren on my desk; I do, just not one from this year. Anyway that's a longer story, so.... Back to the desk stuff.

The little glass thingy is a paperweight (talk about something being so out of date), from my Dad's desk, from back in his days working at NASA/Cape Canaveral. Love remembering my dad... He loved Jesus and he was an awesome loving father to me and my sisters and husband to my Mom. And I recall that my sisters and I would use this paperweight on our desks at home when we were "playing office". :-)

The next item is a very recent addition...  It was a gift from a coworker at my last job. Besides the great message on it, and the beauty of a bird with a heart-design right in the middle, it reminds me of all of the wonderful relationships I’ve had the privilege of having. It reminds me that I’ve moved on to the next spot in my work life, in order to build more relationships, to do the best job that I can for the new company and to look back and be thankful for what’s been given to me in terms of friendships, experiences and life-impacting moments. It reminds me of the dove that came down from Heaven when Jesus was being baptized by John – when God, our Father, said, ‘This is my son, in whom I am well pleased’. It reminds me to keep Jesus first – to follow Him, instead of trying to lead myself and everyone around me.

Lastly, one of the sillier things about me; many different colors of markers and pens and erasers and all sorts of office-type items are indicative of my undying love of office supplies and stationery. Call me weird, but I’d be willing to bet there’s something that make you go: “ooh, cool!” I don’t know, but I can spend a solid couple of hours in an office supply store (um – so can my daughter! School supply shopping is almost as big as school-dance dress shopping!).  All those years playing office as a kid must’ve done something to me. ;)

Anyway, that’s a peek into the person and personality that God made out of me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One of *those* days!

Ugh!!! Ever have one of *those* days??

06.18.12
Day after Father's Day... all by myself; doesn't really feel great. I wasted yesterday feeling sorry for myself.
Everything feels out of place - Lord!! Please Help Me! I feel despondent; I feel like crying.

Father - I'm relying on You - the only dependable, steadfast, permanent structure in my life. You are my rock. You are my salvation - not only the eternal life kind of salvation, but my every day shelter and protection!

Read it out loud! So *powerful*!! Didn't make it through without tears of relief and deep-hearted joy!! Awesome God that we serve and who loves me!!

2 Samuel 22 , New Living Translation (NLT)

David’s Song of Praise

22 David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
    my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
    and my place of safety.
He is my refuge, my savior,
    the one who saves me from violence.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and he saved me from my enemies.
“The waves of death overwhelmed me;
    floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave[a] wrapped its ropes around me;
    death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
    yes, I cried to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
    my cry reached his ears.
“Then the earth quaked and trembled.
    The foundations of the heavens shook;
    they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
    fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
    Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
10 He opened the heavens and came down;
    dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
11 Mounted on a mighty angelic being,[b] he flew,
    soaring[c] on the wings of the wind.
12 He shrouded himself in darkness,
    veiling his approach with dense rain clouds.
13 A great brightness shone around him,
    and burning coals[d] blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot arrows and scattered his enemies;
    his lightning flashed, and they were confused.
16 Then at the command of the Lord,
    at the blast of his breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
    and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
17 “He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
    from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
19 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
    but the Lord supported me.
20 He led me to a place of safety;
    he rescued me because he delights in me.
21 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
    he restored me because of my innocence.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
23 I have followed all his regulations;
    I have never abandoned his decrees.
24 I am blameless before God;
    I have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
    He has seen my innocence.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
    to those with integrity you show integrity.
27 To the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
28 You rescue the humble,
    but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.
29 O Lord, you are my lamp.
    The Lord lights up my darkness.
30 In your strength I can crush an army;
    with my God I can scale any wall.
31 “God’s way is perfect.
    All the Lord’s promises prove true.
    He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
32 For who is God except the Lord?
    Who but our God is a solid rock?
33 God is my strong fortress,
    and he makes my way perfect.
34 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
    he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
36 You have given me your shield of victory;
    your help[e] has made me great.
37 You have made a wide path for my feet
    to keep them from slipping.
38 “I chased my enemies and destroyed them;
    I did not stop until they were conquered.
39 I consumed them;
    I struck them down so they did not get up;
    they fell beneath my feet.
40 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
    you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
41 You placed my foot on their necks.
    I have destroyed all who hated me.
42 They looked for help, but no one came to their rescue.
    They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
43 I ground them as fine as the dust of the earth;
    I trampled them[f] in the gutter like dirt.
44 “You gave me victory over my accusers.
    You preserved me as the ruler over nations;
    people I don’t even know now serve me.
45 Foreign nations cringe before me;
    as soon as they hear of me, they submit.
46 They all lose their courage
    and come trembling[g] from their strongholds.
47 “The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
    May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!
48 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
    he brings down the nations under me
49     and delivers me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
    you save me from violent opponents.
50 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
    I will sing praises to your name.
51 You give great victories to your king;
    you show unfailing love to your anointed,
    to David and all his descendants forever.”

 I think I'm going to try and memorize this chapter!! I want to keep these words, this song, close at hand!!

<3, jrenee

Friday, June 15, 2012

What do you love most about being a woman?

So, this question was in my devotional this morning...yes, I'm *still* going through 90 days with John :)

Here are my thoughts, but I'd really like to know yours... what do you think?
I think God's given women a capacity for being able to take in lots of details about a lot of things, and to either process them, relate to them, or simply store them for later use. It gives us the ability to know a little about a lot. However, unsurrendered, that gift births arrogance, feelings of superiority, and pride. Surrender to the lordship of Jesus, of my husband and my pastor keeps it as a gift for me to share, rather than a weapon to wield.

This is just me; so tell me what you love most...

<3, jrenee