Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Fresh New Look!

I hope everyone is enjoying your Summer! Our days have been filled with various activities, including swimming lessons, mowing the lawn, trips to our favorite campgrounds, mowing the lawn, planting and weeding the garden, mowing the lawn, Vacation Bible School, play dates with friends, and did I mention mowing the lawn?! We've had quite a bit of rain this year, which is good, but it also brings alot of humidity and, of course, lawn mowing.

Speaking of growth, God has been raining on the lives of me and my family this Summer also. Various rainshowers, and sometimes thunderstorms, have come into our lives to produce more growing in our Spiritual lives. It hasn't always been a time of easy growth but, none the less, we know HE is working in our lives to help our lawns become fresh and green. I know we still have a long way to go before our grass is acceptable in God's eyes, but we'll keep working on it. I hope you will, too.

2 Pet 3:18 ...but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him {be} the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Speaking of fresh looks, how do you like the new design of my blog? I thought it was time for a change. Send me a note and let me know your thoughts!

Friday, July 23, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Lead Like IKE - Geoff Loftus

So, what’s been sitting on my night stand for the past month (aside from my Bible, and a homeschooling magazine)? It’s a book that is not the average kind of book I would normally read:  Lead Like IKE by Goeff Loftus. However, I decided to branch out of the normal, and picked it out to review for Book Sneeze.

Quite honestly, I had a difficult time getting “into” this book - not because of poor writing - but because of the content, which really didn’t apply to me. For one, I am not a CEO (Corporate Executive Officer), or a Manager of a business or corporation. Secondly, I am not a huge history buff, especially in the area of WWII. However, for those who fit into those two categories, this book is a well-written, unique approach, meant to give helpful suggestions and simple reminders to encourage you in your leadership.

The reason I have not been a huge history buff (although my interest is now growing) is because the subject was never taught to me in an interesting way. I admit, this book did have its interesting parts and, despite my lack of enthusiasm at the start, I did learn a few things about this part of History.

One quote I found especially interesting from the book is found on page 132:
In less than one day, Eisenhower had demonstrated what makes for truly great leadership: making the tough decision and accepting responsibility for the decision.
The decision he had to make, in this case, was whether or not to launch Operation Overlord, a pivotal move in the course of this war.

If you are a CEO, and you love History (or even if you just want a behind-the-scenes look of WWII), then this is the book for you.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Following the Rules

A few weeks ago, my young son was having a difficult time obeying the rules of our household. After spending some time alone in his room, he was ready to talk and asked me, “Mommy, why do grownups get to make all the rules and not kids?” That was a fair question. I simply told him, “Its because kids are young and are still learning. Mommy and Daddy knows what is best for you. Someday, when you get older, you will understand better; but, for now, its important for you to trust us.”

Isn’t that just like us, sometimes, in relation to God? When we see others doing the things we know are wrong, we may still want to take part. If we are in one of our self-pity moods, we may ask God, “Why do YOU get to make all the rules? Everyone else is having fun doing this, so why can’t I?” But, if we spend time praying and REALLY listening to what God has to say, we will hear Him remind us, “My child, you are young and are still learning. I know what is best for you. Someday, when you are more mature, you will understand better; but, for now, its important for you to trust Me.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (NAS)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

GUEST BLOGGER: Sonya Gonzalez

Sonya is a Pastor's wife and a stay-at-home mom to 4 children (2 boys, 2 girls). She and I met at Edgemont Bible Church in Fairview Heights, IL, more than 20 years ago before we each attended college. I always enjoyed her friendship while I attended Edgemont. We recently connected again through Facebook and, after reading an article she wrote, I asked for permission to put it on my blog. Thanks for allowing me to share this, Sonya! 

The Little Things
May 2010

There always seems to be a debate on whether or not God cares about the little things in our lives. Whether or not we should pray for little things that don't seem to matter in the grand scheme of God's plan in the world. Well, I still pray for little things...especially when it comes to my children. One day God confirmed to me that He does care.

My mom and I decided to take Abby and Mason to the aquarium while the little kids were in preschool, to give us some more undistracted time with them.

This was not our first visit to the aquarium...we had been there many times before, and Mason, my 7 yr. old had quickly discovered there were certain aspects of the aquarium he didn't like. The parts where you could touch the creatures or they could touch you. You see, Mason is not really an animal lover. He appreciates them from afar but doesn't care to touch them. Even having dogs doesn't help. He tolerates them, but would be just as happy without them.

Abby, my 10 yr. old, is just the opposite! She loves every animal she sees, even the ugly ones, and wants to keep and take care of them. So when we get to the stingray tank, she is all ready to stick her hand in and pet them or even feed them shrimp when she gets the chance. When we go into the butterfly house, she can't wait for a butterfly to land on her!

Mason knows this and I wonder if it makes him feel inferior to his older sister. But he is also the type of child who will sometimes work to conquer certain things he can't do or personal fears that he has. I love that about

When we got to the stingray tank, he tried. He really did. He would stick his hand in a little, but when the stingray got close, he would pull it out again. I have to admit, it is a little scary, they are so slimy, and all. It takes guts for me to do it. We stayed at the tank awhile, waiting for him to finally pet one. Soon everyone was getting anxious to move on. I told him that we could try again another day. He didn't object too much, and the next stop was the butterfly house.

The last time we went in there, he was afraid. He doesn't like bugs. I guess most boys do, but he is not one of them. All these bugs flying around sometimes landing on you was too much for him. But he was determined that this time would be different.

He told me, "Mom, I want one to land on me today."

"Really, you do? That's great, honey! You can do it!" I tried to encourage him.

We spent lots of time in the butterfly room. He walked around to many different butterflies, holding his fingers out in front of them, trying to get them to crawl on his fingers. I was so proud of him! He really was trying to conquer his fears! Since he didn't pet the stingray, I especially wanted this to work out for him. I didn't want him to feel discouraged the rest of the day.

It was almost time to go, and no butterfly would land on him or crawl onto his hand. "What is up with these butterflies today?" I wondered. "Please God," I had been praying, "please let a butterfly land on him. It means so much to him." I know that might sound silly to a lot of people, but it didn't feel silly at all to pray that. This was a big moment in my little boy's life. And God knew that.

We were about to give up and head out when it happened. A butterfly was on his hand. He was so happy! He walked around the room so proud of his accomplishment. And do you know what? That butterfly would not leave him. It stayed and stayed and stayed longer than I had seen any other butterfly stay on anyone else. My mom and I were amazed.

And in that moment I realized how much God listens to my prayers. And to the heart of my son. He truly cares about my boy. And about what is important to Mason.

Before we left we had to gently get the butterfly to fly away. Mason had conquered something huge that day in his young life. I was able to share with him how Mommy had been praying for him and how God answered my prayer for him. I want him to always remember these moments and realize how much God cares about him and wants to help him have victory in his life. I know sometimes he prays on his own for the little things, and no matter how God chooses to answer him, I pray that his faith will grow more and more in each

In the little things.

1 Peter 5:7 - "Give ALL your worries and cares to God,
for He cares about what happens to you."