Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Is Slipping Away

As I was updating my books list on the sidebar of my blog ('cause we've finished some of them, but not all), I realized how far short I have fallen AGAIN this summer. I had every intention of reading more as a family THIS summer! But alas... the summer is quickly slipping away. We have been so busy heading in different directions it seems, and I just have not made the time. One more regret to tuck away in my mind... sigh.

It's not that we haven't been together as a family or not that we haven't done things together. We have swam in our pool, played horseshoes in the backyard, played frisbee in the backyard, gone on several outings together. We've just been plum busy! It's been fun, but busy.

I'm almost ready for school to start back so we can settle into a routine again. I said ALMOST. I'm not quite ready to give up my summer. And I know my kids are not! My dd has been at cheerleading camp from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday this week... one more day to go. She's not quite ready for school to start either, but she is excited. She's entering 9th grade this year and she is going to attend the local Christian academy. That means I will only have one at home this year :( and I KNOW he is not ready to start back!

My oldest will be moving out AGAIN the first week of August. Now I have to go through that again... all those emotions. But I think it will be easier this time (I think). He is transferring from the small Christian college he attended last year to a larger university. He will have the same roommate, his best friend from high school. They have found an apartment off campus to live in. Of course he is excited! He says he feels like this is "for real this time." Really moving out. Not just into a college dorm. Taking all his bedroom furniture kind of moving out. His dad making his bedroom a work-out/exercise room kind of moving out. No more coming home every weekend. He'll have a job that will keep him there. Rooming with his brother when he does come home for visits.  At least he's not moving across the state... only a little over an hour and a half drive away. We'll see how it goes in about a week, won't we?

I don't know if I'll get to do any reading with everyone, but I might go ahead and start with my youngest. That will probably help ease him into the back to school transition. He is the one that struggles the most with the whole going back to school mindset. That's probably my fault. I probably give my kids too much freedom from routines during the summer. But my other children don't seem to have any trouble "switching gears." Thank goodness I DO get excited about the new school year... poring over the books I've chosen for the year. I guess that does help to keep him from "dragging his feet" too much when the time to start back rolls around.

Trying to enjoy these last couple of weeks...

My Struggle

Well, one of my struggles. The one I am dealing with right now.

Ok, I am going to be brutally honest here.

I have been struggling with some feelings of discontentment lately. I have been looking at other people's (some friends, some acquaintances, and some people I don't even know) "stuff" or "things" or whatever you want to call it, and that monster called envy has reared its ugly head in my life. Again.

Geesh, I really thought I was past this. So obviously I'm so disappointed. In myself. With these bad habits.

Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness.    Psalm119:36

I have even started complaining to my dear hubby. Yes I'm ashamed.

He works hard to provide for our family. And he is very supportive of me being a stay at home, home schooling mom. And I have actually had the nerve to complain about not having certain things. Yes... I am ashamed.

I am amazed at how fickle is this heart of mine. Just a few months ago I felt convicted to simplify. I've been cleaning out closets, going through cabinets, and clearing out toys and clothes and extra dishes, etc and taking them to the mission store. We have far too much stuff in our house. I know that.

And yet out of my mouth comes the words I didn't expect to hear. "We need a bigger house!"

What? I've gone from realizing that we have TOO MUCH, to thinking I need more space to put all this STUFF!

I guess I have not been guarding my heart as zealously as I should. Somehow, the worldliness has crept in...

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.    1 John 2:15

I know these thoughts are wrong, that they are lies from Satan. I try to combat them with the living, powerful Word of God.

Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.    Hebrews 13:5

Yes, I am really surprised that I am struggling with this. I really thought I had grown more in my relationship with the Lord...that I had come to realize that things are just that...things...possessions...straw...wood.

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them; so what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes?   Ecclesiastes 5:10

And He said to them, Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.    Luke 12:15

I thought God had inclined my heart to heavenly treasures, but somehow, somewhere along the way, I have allowed it to be turned back to worldly things. Things that will burn someday.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.    Matthew 6:19-21

So you see, I know that having a bigger house or more possessions or more money will not lead to contentment, but in fact will breed even more discontentment. I know this. I just don't understand why I'm struggling with it...

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.   James 3:14

So there. I've admitted the ugly truth. There is bitter envy in my heart. Ugly, unwanted envy. My prayer is that my loving heavenly Father will pull these bitter weeds of envy out of my heart, and that He will plant in their place the seeds of contentment.

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

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  1 Timothy 6:6

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Adoption Update

The adoption counselor called today! She said it is time for us to start our IMPACT classes...Yay! We elected to attend the Saturday classes. For three Saturdays in a row (August 14th, 21st, and 28th) we will attend this class from 9:00am until 4:00pm! Yes, that makes for a long day, but the alternative is attending a 3 hour class one night a week for 7 weeks in a town that is about an hour's drive away from us.

We are all very excited! My husband is not really looking forward to giving up 3 of his Saturdays, but he did say he prefers this option. And the way I look at it, we'll be four weeks closer to having a new little guy or gal in our family. No, we still don't know who we are going to adopt. We are leaving it up totally to the Lord. He has lead us thus far in this venture, and we know that He knows who He is bringing us together with. We are trusting in Him.

I don't mean to insinuate that we are going to get to adopt any time soon. It sure does seem that the adoption process is a long, drawn-out ordeal. This is just the beginning of the process. I know that there is alot of training and alot of inspections that have to be passed. It does seem overwhelming to me, but we are confident that this is where the Lord is leading us. So again, we are trusting in Him.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What We've Been Up To...

I am fairly certain that there is no time that is not too busy in our family. I really thought that after all-star softball season was over, there'd be a leisurely summer ahead. But who am I kidding? Things have been crazy around my house! Let's see... softball, vacation bible school, visiting family, the steady stream of kids' friends and spend-the-night-company, basketball camp, cheerleading practice, upcoming cheer camp... well, you get the picture.

However, there HAVE been a few lazy days tucked in here and there. Days where we don't have to go anywhere, lazy afternoons spent playing in the pool, evenings spent outside playing horseshoes with the kids. These are the days that I enjoy the most. And they are the ones that are most fleeting. Only three and a half weeks left for us until the new school year starts. See what I mean about fleeting?

But I am determined to make the most of the time that's left. I keep saying I'm going to put up a hammock in my backyard and spend some lazy summer afternoons out there with a good book... but, it's just too hot for that in south Georgia!  I hope your summer is turning out to be all that you hoped it would!

Here are some pictures depicting our summer thus far...

VBS 2010 ~ Saddle Ridge Ranch

fun games at VBS

As you can see, the youth helpers had as much fun as the kids.

Basketball Camp ~ Kate #11

point guard

foul shots

Kid's Club Summer Bowling

Yes! A strike!

We have a new rabbit! He is a Lion Head Rabbit, so called because the hair all around his face resembles a lion's mane.
The kids decided to call him Mo because he looks like he has a mohawk!

Marshmallow looks like a giant compared to Mo and Thumper, the flop-earred rabbit.

Our two youngest children spent a week in Alabama with their Aunt Debbie (my husband's sister) and their Granddaddy (who lives with Debbie).

at the water park, one of the many fun things she did with them

July 4th ~ waiting for the fireworks show to begin

We were not disappointed.

our annual church family picnic at Lake Mayer

Mike and Kate on the jet ski

Will, obviously not happy with Mom for taking this photo

not sure if it's safe for this many teens to be in one boat...

Enjoy the rest of your summer. I intend to!