Selah~Day 226

My 27 Thanks:

1. We all slept until 9:00 a.m. It felt so good to not have any specific wake up times.

2. There are times in our lives when we get to stay up really late and sleep in the next morning. I am having one of those times!

3. Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate. Dr. Oz did a special on it back in 2011. But, I just recently discovered this amazing natural health product. It is good for a natural sleep aid, heart care, joint inflammation, and the #2 most powerful antioxidant. I take it at night before going to sleep. It is tart, but so good for my health.

4. I am very interested in taking care of my physical health.

5. God designed our bodies to heal themselves. We just have to be good stewards and feed it the right fuel.

6. Gary, Judah, and I all helped take down Christmas decorations.

7. Even though we were all pretty sad to see the tree come down, we enjoyed working on it together.

8. Judah kept saying, “Can we pretend that the tree is still up?” I love his sweet heart.

9. My wood floors survived the Christmas season of decor and foot travel.

10. My home is a comfortable place to live.

11. Gary hauled the 7 tubs of Christmas decor up the stairs to the attic. I am so thankful that I don’t have to do this type of work.

12. We stayed in our pajamas until noon!

13. Judah and I had fun building a farm out of duplo blocks. I love to build and he loves to knock down. But, the farm did survive for a while.

14. Gary took care of so many lingering to-do items today. He was on a role.

15. Judah and I took a nap together in our favorite chair. We didn’t mean to, but it happened.

16. We have so much fun watching Monsters University. We have watched it about 5 times together. I love hearing Judah laugh throughout that movie. He especially loves the part were they are running through the tunnel, trying to avoid those creatures that cause them to react and swell. He laughs so hard.

17. Laughter.

18. My pastor tweeted the following today: “Laughter increases the activity of antibodies by about 20%, helping to destroy viruses and tumor cells.” We are totally destroying virus’ in my house!

19. We finally got out of the house and made a trip to the health food store and out to eat for dinner. I love spending time with my family.

20. The lady at Dodson’s health food store was so helpful.

21. Judah always eats his entire meal when we eat at Pei Wei. Yes, it is our family favorite.

22. Since we were already in Norman, we decided to check out the Downs Family Christmas Lights show. What great fun. Judah was only interested for about 2 songs, but Gary and I enjoyed it all.

23. Families who are committed to make a difference together.

24. I got to speak with my mom a couple of times today. I think she might start a blog discussing natural health opportunities. It is a huge passion of hers and she is very wise in it.

25. While eating at Pei Wei, Judah loves to watch the random spurts of fire that shoots up from the cooking area. Like his dad, he is fascinated with fire. After seeing a fire burst, Judah made reference to the 3 Hebrew children who were thrown in the fire. He said, “Jesus was in the fire with them.” Then, he said, “Jesus would go in the fire with me.” Now, we quickly explained that, “Yes, Jesus will go through the fire with you.” But, YOU SHOULD NEVER get into real fire! It was a great teaching moment and I am so thankful that my son is learning the Jesus will go through the “fire” of life with us.

26. Jesus.

27. We had a day without schedules and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Selah~Day 224

Saturday, December 28…Judah’s 4th Birthday

I remember clearly the moment that they laid my son, Judah, on my chest immediately following his delivery. Every part of my body was exhausted from 10 hours of labor, but at that moment, every good emotion flooded through my veins and brought life to every part of me. I was in utter awe of his presence. I couldn’t even find a word to speak.

Time truly flies when you are having fun and my 4 years with Judah have been full of life, love, and lessons. In honor of his 4th birthday, I am making my list of 27 Thanks about him, my blessing from above.

1. My pregnancy with Judah was great and I had very few complications.

2. The protection, provision, and promises of God rest upon Judah’s life.

3. Judah means praise. Our son is destined to praise the Lord.

4. Gary and I spoke promises over Judah every day during my pregnancy. God’s Word doesn’t return void.

5. Judah loves life. Most mornings, Judah wakes with a great big smile and is ready for the day!

6. Judah loves to sing. I love hearing him sing songs. He especially loves to sing the songs his daddy sings and plays on the guitar.

7. Judah loves to play.

8. Judah has a great imagination. He can turn random, ordinary things into places or things of adventure and fun.

9. Judah is inventive. He thinks through things on his own. I love to watch his mind work as it figures out new things.

10. Judah is curious. He loves to ask questions and figure out the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of an object. I love questions too.

11. Judah is an includer. He loves to help others and usually he includes others in his activity.

12. Judah is adventurous. He has always been great with balance. He climbs, jumps, flips, rolls, and even soars into big piles of laundry! I am so thankful that nothing inhibits his ability to move.

13. Judah loves to laugh. Gary and I love to hear him laugh. He always gives us great big belly laughs.

14. Judah loves to spend time with Gary and me. He likes to be in our home with us most of the time.

15. Judah loves to be comfortable and relax. He could hang out in his pajamas at home on most days.

16. Judah is particular. His has many funny quirks that make me laugh. He loves the numbers 1, 4, and 11. We are always 11 miles from a place, or 4 minutes from eating, or 1 minute from going potty. He loves the colors red and orange. He only wants to eat with his red and orange spoon. He refuses to wear anything but actual pajamas to sleep in at night. And the list goes on…

17. Judah always wants us to hold hands when we pray over a meal.

18. Judah loves to learn. When we are in the car, we have to talk about letters and numbers that we see. He is very observant and wants to know what everything is.

19. Judah loves to play games with Gary and me.

20. Judah loves to sit on my lap.

21. Judah loves to hear my stories. I have so much fun making up stories for him.

22. Judah loves to help. He always pulls up a chair beside Gary or me in the kitchen. He loves to pour in the ingredients, stir the spoon, or measure out stuff.

23. Judah loves to be home.

24. Judah has many characteristics just like his daddy.

25. Judah has many characteristics just like his mommy.

26. Judah keeps life simple and in perspective.

27. God chose me to be Judah’s mommy.

Selah~Day 225

My 27 Thanks:

1. Today is another day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

2. I got to see me church family today.

3. We are always greeted with BIG smiles when walking into the church building.

4. Abby had everything ready to go for our kidz service.

5. I met several new families today who were checking out the church. I love meeting the new families, hearing their stories, and making them feel comfortable in a big space.

6. We had a well staffed team for a 5th Sunday following the Christmas Holiday.

7. Faithful leaders who love to serve.

8. Pastor Marcia is ready all the time. She stepped in and preached for Pastor today.

9. All the rooms were nice and warm on a very cold Sunday morning.

10. We wrapped up our series, “It’s Christmas Time.” We had tons of fun with this series. But, I am excited to move on to our New Year’s series, Robots, Inc. 

11. We had lunch at Gary’s parent’s house. Both my in-laws families met at their home to have a big lunch get together. My MIL has a huge family.

12. This is shocking news to some, but I don’t always like crowds. I am accustomed to being surrounded by hundreds of kids at a time, but that is usually in a big space. My in-laws home was so crowded with people, and I stayed calm.

13. Family got to reconnect and spend time together.

14. There was plenty of food. At first, we didn’t think there would be enough, but there was plenty.

15. Provision. We serve a God of more than enough.

16. He is my portion. He is exactly what I need.

17. With God, we never lack for anything.

18. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

19. My hope comes from the Lord.

20. We were home by 4:30 and had plans to do nothing.

21. Relaxing evenings at home are priceless. I would rather be home than anywhere else.

22. Gary and I watched the movie, 42. What a great story. I love real life stories and Jackie Robinson’s story is one of perseverance, love, and hope.

23. The spirit of Perseverance.

24. For the most part, racial segregation is a thing of the past.

25. People who believe that they can be a catalyst to change the course of history and then they execute!

26. People who believe that they can make a positive difference in the lives of others. And, they do!

27. Rest.

Selah~Day 223

My 27 Thanks:

1. Gary came home ready to help me get the party started.

2. Judah loved the “Happy Birthday” banner I bought to hang in our house. He asked if we could leave it up for a long time.

3. Birthdays! I love to make people feel special on their special day!

4. We are playing fun, old-fashioned games at Judah’s party.

5. All of Judah’s OKC cousins are getting to come to the party. There is a full birthday party invite list just with his cousins. We all had kids at the same time…8 to be exact.

6. Pizza…it makes for a great, easy meal for parties.

7. I live super close to Crest and a pizza place.

8. The Crest cupcakes were perfect and super yummy. For Judah’s first birthday, Crest messed up his cake. They even misspelled his name. I have to admit, I both laughed and cried. But, everyone deserves a second chance. They do a great job and the product is amazing.

9. The weather was perfect, so we could take the kids outside to play the games!

10. Judah was so excited and enjoyed every minute of his party.

11. The silly string fight was super fun and a huge success. I was covered with silly string.

12. Gary’s sister, Kelli, is here for a visit. It is so good to see her and Kaden and Natalie.

13. Nate, Kelli’s husband, is serving overseas in the military. He will be home from a year of active duty in February.

14. The sacrifice that military families make for our freedom.

15. Gary’s family stayed over the entire day. The kids had a blast and the adults had fun too.

16. My dad made us a “corn hole” game. We love that game and play it all the time. Gary’s family especially loves that game and they always have fun playing it.

17. Laughter with family.

18. My mom made it home safely.

19. My entire family, both mine and Gary’s, gets along well. We all love each other and want to spend time with each other.

20. Quiet after a storm.

21. Hand massages.

22. Judah was exhausted and fell asleep at 7:30. I am so glad he is getting the much-needed rest and Gary and I are getting some down time together.

23. We watched a movie together.

24. It was a great, action packed movie that was actually clean. I think I heard two curse words…maybe.

25. I don’t have any parties or events on my calendar to organize for at least a month!

26. We are an incredibly blessed family.

27. My hope comes from the Lord.

Selah~Day 222

My 27 Thanks:

1. I always miss my husband when he has to report to the fire station. I am so thankful that I miss him when he is gone. I have heard others before say that they would love to have a break from their spouse. After 9 years of marriage, I would rather be with him than anywhere else. I miss him.

2. Gary has a great job that supports us well.

3. Gary loves his job. It provides something new everyday. He never knows what he may get to do that day when going in to the station.

4. Gary doesn’t have a lazy bone in his body. He is a hard worker and always puts his best in whatever he does. A hard-working man is super attractive.

5. My dad and sister are going back home today, but my mom is staying with me!

6. My mom has work and home life to get back to, but she is putting it off for one more day to hang out with me.

7. We are going to get to have mother-daughter shopping time. Judah is coming along too.

8. My mom encourages me and always wants the very best for me.

9. My mom makes me laugh all the time.

10. My mom encouraged me to take digestive enzymes. After having my gall bladder removed 3 years ago, I have struggled with tummy issues often. After surgery, the doctor didn’t tell me anything about enzymes. So, I started taking some of my mom’s enzymes this week and they have helped tremendously.

11. Natural Health.

12. Judah made us laugh multiple times in the mall.  Every time I got into a line to check out, he had to go to the potty immediately. He was so funny too. While standing in one line, he said loudly with big eyes, “Mommy, I am going to poop in one minute!” I love for him to announce those things to the entire store.

13. Because I had to leave the line and take Judah to the bathroom, my mom bought my sweater for me. I tried to pay her for it, but she wouldn’t let me. She loves to give.

14. I have a son who can provide funny, embarrassing moments.

15. Judah was great in the crowded mall.

16. Mom and I had lunch at our favorite spot, Pei Wei.

17. I picked up all the needed items for Judah’s family birthday party.

18. The lady at the Crest bakery was super helpful in choosing a perfect cupcake cake for Judah.

19. I am learning to keep things simple.

20. Judah fell asleep in the car and I still had a few stops to make. My mom sat in the car with him and let him nap. It is so nice to have an errand running travelling buddy.

21. Judah is so excited about his birthday party. He is very aware that he is growing bigger and he tells me about it all the time…sniff, sniff, sniff.

22. My mom got to have a nice visit with her younger sister. She doesn’t get to see her siblings often, so I was glad she got to have this chance to visit with her.

23. Judah and I played games on the floor. He loves playing games, but I think he loves games because I play them with him.

24. Embarrassing moments that make for great memories and lots of laughter.

25. Quality time with my mom.

26. Abby is holding down the fort at the office, so I truly am not having to work on my days off. I am so thankful for a complete break from the office for a few days.

27. Refreshing times.

Selah~Day 220 and 221

My Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Thanks:

1. The Messiah, who was sent to save us all, is a Might God!

2. He is the God of all glory and all creation and is worthy of our praise.

3. His name is a straightforward declaration of who He is. There is no distinction between Mighty God and ALmighty God. He is supreme. And, I serve Him.

4. Mary, at a young age, obeyed God willingly.

5. A spirit of submission.

6. Joseph obeyed God.

7. Mary and Joseph didn’t care what others thought. They were sold out to God’s plan.

8. I love the fact that there was no room for Jesus in the town of Bethlehem. It just adds one more element to the coolness of God.

9. My family makes room for Jesus in our lives.

10. Jesus comes first in our lives.

11. God speaks to mankind.

12. God uses Angelic visitations to speak to mankind.

13. We have had a great time talking about baby Jesus’ birth with Judah.

14. Judah can tell us most of the story surrounding baby Jesus’ birth.

15. Science backs God’s amazing plan of salvation. The movie, The Star, is amazing.

16. The Wise Men took baby Jesus gifts. The gifts were perfect for a King, a Priest, and a Savior.

17. Jesus is our King, our Highest Priest, and our Savior.

18. We have an opportunity to give our very best gifts to Jesus.

19. Because He loves me, He chose to leave His throne in Heaven for a manger in a stable on Earth.

20. My mom and dad made a Christmas Eve run to the grocery store because we needed more baking supplies. I am so glad they got out instead of me.

21. My mom and dad found some land for sale in the OKC area. They are only entertaining the idea of moving this way when they retire. My mom would move today, but my dad-not so much. But, he is entertaining the idea. Praise God.

22. Big, baggy clothes!

23. We went to my grandma’s house for Christmas Eve. Its been a tradition for years that we would go over there and eat-lots of snack food!

24. I chose to not fill up on tons of snacks. I ate very reasonably.

25. My grandma was having a good day. She hasn’t felt well for a while, but she is feeling better this week.

26. Her great grandkids make her heart smile. She loves to watch them play. I love how she will talk about a brief moment that took place for years to come.

27. Even though I am 33 years old, my mom still brings me great comfort. There is something so special about a mother’s touch.

28. Gary worked Christmas Eve, so my mom stayed in my bed for a while. I miss late night chats with her. It is nice to relive those every now and again.

29. My mom is full of health information. It is a passion of hers. I feel healthier just talking to her!

30. We have had great conversation concerning healthy living and I have a great game plan. Now, I just need to execute.

31. The Holidays seem to be a perfect time to hear from distant family and friends. I love how the Christmas spirit brings people together again.

32. The phone-makes it easy to communicate with those far away!

33. Judah was so excited for Christmas. He woke up at 5:00 a.m. and jumped out of bed saying, “Mommy, it’s Mismas morning!” I quickly reminded him that we had to wait for daddy to get home from the fire station. He said, “Oh, I forgot that.” Then, he climbed back into bed and fell asleep.

34. Gary is home for Christmas Day.

35. He got home before Judah officially woke up and was able to set up a few more gift items for Judah.

36. I think the whole “Santa” thing is super cute. But, we chose as a family to not do the “Santa” thing. Gary and I work hard to buy Judah’s gifts and I want full credit. Ha Ha Ha…

37. I love the true story and the heart of Saint Nick. It should be all of our hearts at Christmas.

38. Giving is always better than receiving.

39. The sound of people wishing one another Merry Christmas.

40. Big bear hugs from my baby brothers.

41. Time sitting on the couch, snuggled between my mom and baby sister.

42. A Full House.

43. Excitement on the face of children as they open presents.

44. The smell of turkey cooking in the kitchen.

45. My sis-in-law, Meg, who is also an amazing cook, brought dishes to share.

46. Mom and I didn’t have too much to cook. We narrowed down the menu this year. And, we still had plenty.

47. My mom is a great cook. I love cooking with her. She makes me laugh. She has a great skill of throwing stuff together and making it taste wonderful.

48. My mom got to talk to her oldest brother on the phone. I know that meant the world to her to hear from him.

49. My grandma and my uncle came over for Christmas lunch. I am so thankful that my grandma can still get out and about.

50. The kids all played really well together and had so much fun.

51. We had a fun time playing Heads Up together. The guys totally beat the girls. It is too ironic-Heads Up is a word game. Who would have thought the boys would have beat the girls at a word game.

52. My brothers, my dad, and my husband crack me up! I have never laughed so hard watching them act out certain scenarios. Let’s just say…they are in it to win it!

53. Floors can be swept, kitchens can be cleaned, trash can be thrown away…the mess is more than worth time together!

54. Family. God loves family and I am so glad to be a part of His!

Selah~Day 219 “And He Shall be Called…COUNSELOR!”

He is our counselor. The Word of God tells us in Proverbs that there is wisdom in a multitude of counsel. But, we should be very selective with who we allow to speak into our lives. Ultimately, Jesus should be the first One that we run to for guidance, advice, insight, and direction. His sweet Holy Spirit will guide us into all truths for our lives. Now, I do believe that Jesus uses others to speak Godly wisdom, direction, and guidance into our lives at times. Nevertheless, we have to be so careful with who we allow to speak to us.

Eve walked with God and talked with God. Unfortunately, she also chose to heed the “counsel” of the serpent. Because she entertained his guidance, she fell into disobedience against God, causing sin to enter the world. The devil’s evil counsel caused a woman to rebel against her Maker. The counsel that she listened to did not restore her, but rather destroyed her.

The counsel that comes from the Lord is delivered in love, full of wisdom, and provides a solid foundation, all at the same time. Think about those in your life right now who you sometimes go to for counsel. Sometimes they may be very sweet in their advice, but is it wise? Or, do they give you advice, but it isn’t too sweet? Or, maybe they give you counsel, but there is no sympathy in their delivery.

When we go to the Lord, we get love, we get wisdom, we get sympathy, we get guidance, all at the same time. He is our counselor. It is in His DNA. Go to Him…He is the First one to run to.

My 27 Thanks:

1. Morning quiet time is the best. I enjoyed my morning with the Word and a Word study.

2. I got all my laundry caught up. Praise God.

3. We lounged around in our pajamas. I am off work for several days!!!!

4. My family has arrived.

5. My mom and I went and had lunch together.

6. We also got our hair done together.

7. We shared lots of laughs with each other and with April at the hair salon.

8. April always does an amazing job on our hair. She is fabulous and a talent.

9. My dad and Gary finally figured out why our fireplace remote wasn’t working. They fixed it!

10. Finding solutions to problems.

11. I enjoyed a nice conversation with my childhood pastor, V. O. Stuart. It was so nice to hear his voice again. He is so encouraging and full of the Word of God.

12. Encouraging Words.

13. I cooked dinner for my family and they loved it. My dad went back for seconds and then thirds. He really liked it.

14. My parents bought our guest bed a brand new mattress. I guess they were tired of sleeping on the old one when they visited. Now, they will sleep comfortably when they come.

15. My mom, Haley, and I made cookies in the kitchen. I don’t know if we have ever all baked together.

16. Judah loved helping. He kept saying, “I want to make more treats, Hawey.”

17. Haley taught us how to play this really fun game called Heads Up. It was a cheap app that you could download from the app store and provided so much fun.

18. Everyone played the game. My dad played too and had so much fun.

19. My parents are so funny. They both provide great entertainment for all.

20. Games.

21. Fun Times.

22. I serve a God of Wonder and amazement.

23. You can never get bored serving God. He is so vast, you never run out of things to discover about Him.

24. God chose to deliver the good news of His Son’s birth to the Shepherds, who were the lowest among people. And, the Shepherds quickly ran to see Jesus.

25. Jesus came to be the perfect, spotless, sacrificial lamb of God.

26. Jesus is both fully God and fully man. He identifies with us as humans and then rescues us as God!

27. From the mouth of my sweet Judah, “Only two more ‘beeps’ until Mis Mas day.”