Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seeking a Meek and Quiet Spirit

Like my friend, Camilla, often says "If you ask God to show you what you need, He will answer." I recently finished reading and studying through one of John MacArthur's books "The Gospel According to Jesus." It was great, but I'm not going to get started on that as it would be a blog post in itself (maybe another day). For the past week or two since finishing that study, I haven't really known what direction to go in, but I've been searching.

After some recent discipline issues with the children and me not really liking my handling of the situations, I remembered a book I've read a couple of times before and thought it would be a good time to go through it again. It's called "Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit" by Teri Maxwell. I read the first chapter yesterday morning and have decided that this time I will do the assignments at the end of each chapter. Later in the morning, I checked my e-mail and found that Nancy Leigh DeMoss is doing a study on meekness right now. I printed out the transcript and began reading through it this morning also. Then I received an article from a homeschool organization on the same thing. Okay, Lord, I get it. You've made it plain and clear what I need to be studying and working on right now.

One of my assignments from yesterday was to start finding Bible verses on meekness. Nancy made this easier for me as she had a printable list on her site. So I started reading through those this morning, writing them down in my journal and adding my thoughts as well.

Another assignment was to write out a prayer to my Lord asking Him to help me in this area. I enjoy doing this as it really helps me get my thoughts together on what I want to ask.

The last assignment was to write down a record of every time I am not exhibiting a meek and quiet spirit. I did that this morning also as I looked back on yesterday.

Then I thought about times in the past few months when I said things to others that I shouldn't have. Have you ever had someone say something offensive to you and your heart is burning within you, and you feel like you have to say what is about to come out or you're going to explode? I've had that feeling, and I've gone ahead and spoken when I should have been silent. I always, almost immediately, know that I shouldn't have said what I did.

Nancy is using a Matthew Henry book for some of this study material and here are a couple of great quotes she shared in regards to what I just mentioned:

We have often been the worse for our speaking, but seldom the worse for our silence.

There is nothing said or done in passion but it may be better said and better done afterwards.

She shared a letter from long ago that exhibits a meek spirit:

George Whitefield, an 18th century British revivalist, received a vicious letter accusing him of wrongdoing. He responded with the following -

I thank you heartily for your letter. As for what you and my other enemies are saying against me, I know worse things about myself than you will ever say about me.

With love in Christ,
George Whitefield

Oh to exhibit that kind of meekness. I have a feeling that as I am studying this topic that God might just give me some opportunities to choose meekness. I hope I'll be able to. Only with the help of Jesus my Savior will I be able to. After all, he was the ultimate example of meekness -

Isaiah 53:7 - He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

On the path to simplicity, a meek and quiet spirit definitely sounds like something I should take along.

Galatians 5:22-25 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We won!

My daughter's travel ball team spent all day Saturday in Alpharetta at a fast pitch tournament that was held to raise money for juvenile diabetes. There were eight teams in their division, and they were the only ones to go undefeated the whole day! They played five games yesterday with the championship game starting at 10 p.m. They beat teams that have already beaten them this season, so it was just great all the way around. I am so proud of them. Winning is so much fun!!

Happy Father's Day!

We enjoyed a nice afternoon at my sister and brother-in-law's home. She prepared a yummy meal for us in honor of the great dads present - my dad, husband, and brother-in-law. We took this picture later in the evening at our home. Brad's eyes are almost swollen shut from allergies, but Matthew seems especially happy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Project Followup

I'm slowly working on my to-do list. At this rate, I may never get it all accomplished, but that's okay. Every little bit helps!

So far, I've cleaned out all the cabinets, refrigerator/freezer, and drawers in the kitchen. I got the pantry walls painted and shelves covered in decorative contact paper. It looks so much better. The pictures may not reveal how much better the pantry looks, but I'll give you a glance at some before and after pictures.

Before: It still had the same paint color from when we first moved in 10 years ago (we've painted the kitchen twice since then!). The shelving had been moved at some point, and the resultant nail holes needed to be filled in a long time ago.


We've got most of the vinyl siding on the house washed. I hope to get the pressure washer out again next week and wash what I can reach on what is left and then wash that fence and get it stained.

Cari and Amelia's room has been cleaned out, carpet shampooed, and windows washed. No re-decorating yet.

Now that I've just typed all this out, I realized I've gotten more accomplished than I thought! I still have the rest of June and the month of July, so maybe I can tackle the rest of the list. July may be pretty busy, though. We have a possible week-long softball tournament in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and we found out yesterday that Madison has got to have all four wisdom teeth removed. She's only 13! I was 20 when I had mine removed! We scheduled that for July, too, but I think we'll reschedule to August when things slow down a bit.

Before I wrap this up, I found a couple of other cute pictures when I was looking for the pantry shots.

My two hardworking men:

Silly Amelia:

Cari and one of the five baby rabbits that WE NEED TO GET RID OF!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Shots

Brad and Madison went to the NCAA softball tournament at the University of Alabama to see the Lady Longhorns play. It's not often Texas gets this close to Georgia, so they took advantage of the opportunity.

I have two square foot gardens that I've been enjoying working with. We've been able to use the cilantro and spinach so far! The tomato plants are doing well, as well as the pickling cucumbers that I planted from the seed packets. The cucumber plants have lots of blooms now (this picture was taken a couple of weeks ago), and the tomato plants are getting taller quickly - I had better purchase some tomato cages soon. I didn't mark off the square feet like you're supposed to with a square foot garden, so my garden has imaginary lines. Maybe next season I'll remember to do that!

We had a fun time at Jumpin' Joeys in Carrollton with some friends...I think they were playing hide and seek at this point, and these were the lucky girls who made it to "base" without getting caught.

Madison playing softball....

Amelia had a very busy afternoon yesterday. She worked hard in the driveway writing with her sidewalk chalk, then dipping water out of her pool into a bucket and walking up the hill and washing off the chalk. This kept her busy for quite a while. Matthew was entertained just watching her. He obviously thinks she's hilarious.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Lazy Saturday

fg6yu87ythuythyyut5y5t5t4t4t4t4tr4refea - Amelia asked if she could type something, so I said "sure."

Now it's my turn. :)

Today, Cari, her friend Megan, Amelia, Matthew and I are just hanging around the house. Madison has a softball tournament in Paulding County, so Brad is with her. I decided a few days ago that I would stay home and avoid the heat, but today is actually cloudy and not too hot. ? If they have a game later in the evening, I may load up everyone and head that way since it's not too far. I love watching Madison and her friends play, and all the parents are great. We really have a good time together.

During my internet playtime this morning, I found a great article that voices my opinion on having children that I'd like to share. It's long but good. I've mentioned this blog before and find the words, as well as the photography, absolutely beautiful.

And here's a funny story I have to share. Last night, Madison and I were invited by one of her friend's and her mom to go to a Rome Braves game. They had great seats right behind home plate, so we were excited about going. After we sat down, a man and his son came and sat down right in front of us. He had his laptop with him as well as a radar gun. At one point, someone walked up and asked to have his picture made with this man, and he seemed happy to do so. Then someone asked for an autograph and later someone made a special effort to come shake his hand. Each time, we would look at each other like "who is this man?" He was sitting directly in front of me, and since I had Matthew with me, too, I was just hoping Matthew didn't spit up on this man's head or anything dreadful like that since he was obviously someone important. Not that I would want him to spit up on the head of someone not important, but you know what I mean. (Do all moms think like that?) We noticed he had a HUGE diamond championship ring on, and Madison was able to read the name written on the sides of the ring. So, as we were leaving, I called Brad and asked him to look up the name "Frank Wren" on the internet to see if he could find out who the man was. Turns out, he's the current Atlanta Braves general manager!!