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Monday, May 21, 2012

Speechless


This is where you will find me on this chilly, damp Monday.  Sometimes I just have nothing to say.  I mean, I guess I could muster up something, but what worth would there be in it.  There seems to be so much rattling around in my mind and in my heart and I just need to dump it.  The best place is at the throne....I don't even have to make it all neat and organized and sensible.

That's amazing......that we have a God that has taken care of that for us...His Spirit intercedes for us, when we can't put letters together to create words.  He reads the deepest parts of who we are and he knows how and why we hurt.  He knows our need before we do, before we ever have to even speak it.  Thank you Jesus <3

I need that today.  Everyday really.  When we are troubled, burdened, weary, overwhelmed, He's there.  We don't have to tidy up, no neat packaging or fancy shmancy words.  Just us, in our dirty rotten mess, meeting the Pure and Perfect Father, for a spiritual cleansing that can come from no one else.  I have been fighting for this today.  Not that it wasn't already there waiting for me when I awoke, but because I am just too stubborn to let it go.  Why do we feel the need to take care of everyone and everything?  Who ever said that we had to? 

I'm surrendering these things today....it hurts, really bad.  It's like the slow ripping off of a bandaid, across the hairiest part of your arm........man does that hurt {and if you know me, you know how I feel about that!!}  I'm feeling that pain today and I don't like it, but I can accept it because I know its for a good cause.

Praying that you feel God's presence in your day, whether you are on the mountaintop or in the trenches, may you accept all that He has for you today <3

God bless <3 Lorraine

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday Favorite Five #13...on Saturday

 


 
Happy Friday!!  Wait!! I mean Saturday, Happy Saturday!!!  A day late and a dollar short!!!  Our apologies for not getting this to you yesterday!!  Last night was our "big" (not so much) Disney Senior Trip planning meeting, so the day was spent preparing for that.  Which honestly is no excuse, so please, forgive us for our neglect!!! It's a gorgeous Saturday morning, the windows are open, the laundry is tumbling and my to-do list is long!!  So here goes....our favorites of the week!!!

1. Craft(s)



So originally, I had wanted gumballs to fill the jar with but we couldn't find them, so I opted for Rice Krispies.  The Mickey heads were made out of styrofoam balls of different sizes, spray painted black and stuck on a stick.  Easy, no mess, no skill!! 


2.  Music  Food 

(okay, fine, we really should have some music for your listening pleasure)

I know, it's not the typical Five - stick with me!!
Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie Treats, nuff said!!

3. Blog/Other More Food


Chocolate Dream CupCakes with Buttercream Icing....recipe courtesy of my Mother-in-Law; Dottie (so good)

So we tied the cupcakes into everything else through the stars...did you notice the ribbon on the jar above?  They are carried throughout! 


4. Scripture Notes

We found this paper on clearance at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago for $1.00!!!  Perfect!!  At the time, we weren't sure what we were going to use it for, but we knew we'd find something!!  The Agenda!!


5. Quote Mickey & Minnie,
I mean Bill & Lorraine




Yes, we dressed in black & red in honor of Mickey & Minnie - we ARE that Goofy!!!!(Hardy Har Har) What is life if you can't have some fun!!!  We are truly blessed by the group of girls and their parents.  They really are some of the best kids that I know and God is so good to have provided my daughter with these friends!  We are so thankful that their parents are allowing them to join us on this crazy idea of a "Homeschool Senior Class Trip/Junior Year" and we are really looking forward to spending a week with them all!! 

Thanks again for joining us - do you know how much we appreciate you?  Lots!!!!  Have a blessed Saturday!!!!!

<3Lorraine & Jessica

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Job Shadowing

As some of you know, I am aspiring to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) in Honduras after college. This all plays into the Honduras thing. Well, Monday I had the chance to go to a local elementary school and shadow the ESL teacher there (whom I will be referring to as Mrs. Teacher). It was a very interesting experience, I learned a lot and really got a good feel of what this career could look like. I want to take you through some of the highlights of my day, and some of my thoughts as the day went on.

5:45 a.m: Wake up and attempt to get ready by 6:45. The "attempt to get ready" part had nothing to do with only having an hour to get ready. That's the easy part. The hard part is getting out of bed AND getting ready in an hour! :) I can't help it, I like sleeping in!

7:15 a.m: Get to the school and check in. The teacher that I was job shadowing, I had never met before. But, thankfully we hit it off great and we got to go over the schedule for the day and report to "duty". We had to hold open the doors for the kids as they got off the bus and came in the school, it was so awesome to see all of their smiling faces and the pride that Mrs. Teacher took in greeting them and hopefully helping to start their day off on the right track.

Next: I'm not really sure what time everything else went down, but I'll try to guess! After "duty" we had planning time. We went over the schedule some more and talked about all of the different aspects of Mrs. Teacher's job. We talked about the different kids, and at this point I realized how much more than a teacher this lady was. She was practically a guidance counselor in addition to an ESL teacher! I also helped her to be able to expand the ESL program, we talked about what the ELL's (English Language Learner's) struggle with the most and how to pinpoint those needs.

8:20: We had two Kindergarten aged kids come in. They were SO cute! They were both dealing with some family issues, so we read a book to them (in English) about a family and we talked about the different parts of a family. They were so much fun to talk and play with. After reading, they got to draw a picture of their family on the wipe-off board. While this doesn't sound like a very solid lesson, the whole time that they were talking and playing, Mrs. Teacher pointed out different English words to them. They were pretty fluent, they just had some trouble with the little details of English.

Then: We went into a classroom with a little girl who was in 2nd grade. I sat in the back of the classroom as Mrs. Teacher helped this little girl during her class' English time. It was pretty laid back and more of a tutoring type of thing. If the little girl needed extra help that the normal teacher couldn't give her Mrs. Teacher was there to help.

Next: We went into a classroom to teach Spanish. The first class that we taught Spanish to was practicing for a little performance they would be putting on of either Goldilocks or the 3 Little Pigs. I didn't get to see any of the performances, but it was interesting to watch how the class interacted with each other, and it was really easy to see who the class clown and class control freak was. :) I was probably the class control freak at that age. After this class we went to another Spanish class and taught them. During this time I got to see more of a 'teaching' experience. It was a class of 3rd graders, I believe, and they all worked together to read a paper about the Galapagos Islands together in Spanish and English.

11:40??: Lunch time! I got to eat a school lunch, which I was familiar with last year, consisting of  a chicken patty sandwich and some tater tots! Yum! We went to the Teacher's lounge to eat and I got to listen in on a few conversations about classes, which was interesting. Not too much else happened during this time, though.

Then: We went to the Library to help out a little boy in the class. It turned out, though, that the class was watching a movie. So, we stayed in there for a couple minutes and then left to do something else. We checked on one of the first kids that we met with to see how he was doing. He was in art class at this time, so I talked with a little boy there and helped him color a picture while Mrs. Teacher was dealing with some behavioral issues. We didn't stay in the class the whole time, so we went back to Mrs. Teacher's desk and worked on developing the ESL program some more.

Lastly: We went into the little boy's class that we met with the first period and the period before while he had play time. We helped him to make up a story and draw and I talked with a couple of other kids in the class as well. During sharing time the little boy got up and talked about his story very well. Meanwhile, there was another kid in the class who kept smiling up and me and scooching closer. Needless to say, he was very distracting!!

Overall the day was very laid back and I got to see the more personal side of teaching in general. I think most teachers would agree with me that teaching is more than the classroom. It's about cultivating relationships with kids who you see 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

~Jessica

Monday, May 14, 2012

Shadows

So I'm running a little behind today, well, alot behind!!!  Jessica had to be at a local elementary school to job shadow an ESL teacher and I headed to our church to work with our Youth Pastor.  It's been a busy but good day!  I've not been in a "professional" setting in a very long time!!  God has been working in and through me since I attended the girls retreat last June.  I think I may have mentioned this before, but at that point I had no intention of being involved! 

The 2012 girls retreat is in less than three weeks and here I sit in the church conference room!  I just finished my lesson plan for tonight's CORE meeting!  I sit here and laugh at how God's plans for me are being played out and I had no idea a year ago that He was going to do this!!  Anyway, I'm getting ready to go pick up Jessica and I can't wait to hear about her day!!!

How is God working in your life?  Where have you seen Him move you where you intended to stay still?  I'd love to hear about it!!!  He's so incredibly good!!!

Have a blessed afternoon and night!!!

<3Lorraine

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Some say weekends aren't for posting, they're for wandering, dreaming, living, etc.  But everyonce in a while a weekend may hold something worth posting.  This is that weekend <3  I wanted to just say a special thank you and Happy Mother's Day to some important people in my life!!  We're going to work backwards if that's okay for you!

The first is my husband Bill, and my amazing children; Jessica, Joseph, Jaysen and Julia
These are the people that I spend my days and nights with, they shape and mold me and are ever challenging me to become better in everything that I do.  I can't imagine spending my days with anyone else <3

Next, is the one that kick started this whole motherhood thing for me; my son, Jonathan
Almost 21 years ago he blessed me with my first ever Mother's Day!!!  He made being a mom so wonderful that I decided to do it again...and again, and again and......again <3 lol

Next is my mom.  Well I wouldn't be here if it weren't for her, which really goes without saying.


She has always been my closest friend, my confidant, my cheerleader.  And as you can clearly see, she taught me everything I know about fashion......She rocked the Farrah Fawcett like nobodys' business!!!

She's endured alot of heartache and worry, always carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and she usually didn't complain : )  Hey we all have our moments of meltdown!!  She almost sacrificed her very life to bring me into this world and she hasn't stopped sacrificing for me yet!  I don't tell her nearly enough how much she means to me.  I don't go a day without thinking about her.  She is still the first person that I want to call when I'm in a panic, although I've been learning to 1. lean on God and 2. lean on my husband.  But she still holds the #1 spot in thought.  My family and I wouldn't be who we are if it weren't for her love, support and encouragement!  We all love you very much mom <3

Last, but not at all least, is my Grandmom.  This is our first Mother's Day without her and I know her four daughters are going to have a rough day today.  Prayerfully they will feel love, peace and calm as they gather at my home to celebrate <3


When my mom had to stay in the hospital after having me, I went home with my Grandmom.  While my mom had to work, I spent my days with my Grandmom.  She and my Grandpop called me their Sunshine.  I have fond memories of her and I playing blocks in the living room, rolling a ball back and forth on the kitchen floor and watching "The Young and the Restless" together.  We always had Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Lima Beans for dinner.  She was always a huge part of my life, every aspect of it and it was hard to say goodbye in January.  I'm looking forward to seeing her again in Heaven.

Well, I'm sure that you have a basketful of important people that you'd like to honor today as well.  Please feel free to leave a message in the comment box and tell me about them <3  Have a blessed Mother's Day Friends <3

God Bless * Lorraine

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A special Saturday Post

Hey Friends!!!!  I'm super excited about today's post!  No, we don't usually post on the weekend but this weekend is different and somewhat appropriate, as tomorrow is Mother's Day!! 

MOPS International, Inc. (Mothers of Preschoolers) invited me to participate in their Mom Blogger Book Tour featuring Tracey Bianchi's new book,  "Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood". 


A quick backstory about my involvement with MOPS and then we'll get to the book!!  Back in the year 1990-something, my mother gave me the book "What Every Mom Needs" by Elisa Morgan.  At that time I had one child and had never heard of MOPS before.  I read and devoured that book and wished that I had a MOPS group to attend.  A few years further down the road and another child later, I had caught word of a MOPS group starting in my hometown!!!  I was super excited, my second child, my daughter, Jessica was around 2 years old when I went to my first MOPS meeing.  Scared and not knowing what to expect and having only that book as a reference, I went and I was not disappointed!!! 

 Jessica is quickly on her way to 16 years old and I have held the positions of Craft Lady and Coordinator, and now am a Mentor for a group that was birthed from my original group.  The children that I brought up in the Moppets program now serve and offer their hearts to other children and mothers as they are now a part of the Moppets team.  Jessica started her own Mommy's Helper business through MOPS, at the age of 8 or 9 and has forged many wonderful relationships with these mothers and their children over the years.  It is an honor and priviledge to be a part of such a wonderful organization, a fabulous group of women and now to offer my opinion and insights into this new MOPS book!!

Since I am a higly visual person I'm going to start with the front cover...scroll back up and take a look.....that dessert looks scrumptous and I'd like the recipe please Tracey!!!!  Two forks, two pieces of dessert, two coffee cups and those cute red and white checked napkins - LOVE!!!!  This screams friendship, togetherness, fellowship and yum, I mean fun!!!  We are not meant to do this alone friends!!!

Each section and chapter is chock full of wonderful and amazing truths. Tracey, I think, has peeked into the recesses of my heart and mind and borrowed my thoughts!!  This book is honestly, everything that I've ever said to another mom or thought I should have said after I had walked away!! If I could sit down long enough and gather my thoughts on all of these mom topics, our words would be very similar.  So all that to say, I felt like I was reading my own heart here!

Reading this book is much like having a conversation with a friend.  Tracey instantly pulls you into herself in the first section and chapter "Hula Hoops".  She draws you back to your childhood and helps you connect with that little girl that may have lived so long ago.  She pairs up the desires of that young girl and the young mother and weaves such a beautiful story bringing the two together as one.  The insecurities and wants that we had as young girls are the same insecurities and wants that we have as young ladies, new mommies, seasoned mothers.  Some things never change but the way that we can go about healing those insecurities and fulfilling those desires do. 

Tracey beautifully weaves the love of Jesus throughout this entire book and really brings it home in the last chapter.  In chapter 12 she talks about community and faith and how that is where we catch a glimpse of God.  "Motherhood is like this at the deepest level-a divine dance with God, with your family.  A chance to shift and bend, to merge and to twirl with the artist who crafted your soul so that you in turn can dance with others."  She provides wonderful tools at the end of each chapter to help you navigate through this journey of self-exploration and motherhood and also provides lists of wonderful resources to help further the process.  I may need another bookcase!!!!

I read this book with pen in hand because quite a few things jumped out at me and I want to hold onto them and then find them again easily.  I would highly reccomend this book to mothers and women of all ages and stages of life.  Tracey opens our eyes to the real needs of women everywhere, locally and globally and at the same time reveals the personal needs that you as a reader has.  If you follow her suggestions, take the time to read and pray, to journal and go do, I have no doubt that you will discover the restorative power of our Lord and Savior,thus changing the face of your family and heart in the process.  

Tracey uses humor and real emotion to captivate the reader from the first word to the last.  If you have ever found yourself questioning your worth as a mother- this book is for you!  If you've ever felt like motherhood is the lonliest job on the plantet- this book is for you!  If you've ever felt like you should be doing more or doing less-this book is for you!!!  I think that you could read and re-read this book several times over the course of your adult life.  It takes you through the beginning stages of motherhood, stops off at the importance of your own family rhythm and then leads you to a life of giving yourself and family away to be a blessing to others.  No matter what stage you find yourself in; infants, toddlers, adolescents or even adult children, there is something in this book for you!!

I am ready to re-read this book again and again, although I am torn with wanting to give it away as well!!  What to do, what to do??? Oh wait a minute!!!!  She gave me two copies, I can keep one copy and give one away!!!  Our first give-a-way friends!!!!  How exciting is THAT?????

Alrighty, so if you feel like this could be the book for you, leave a comment sharing your best "You might be a "MOP" if........" story.  We will announce a winner at the end of next week, let's say on Friday, May 18th!!!!

Happy Mother's day friends <3 May you feel your full worth and value in and through the blessings that He has given you!!!! And if you are a Mother of Preschoolers and would love a MOPS group community to share in, go to www.mops.org to find a local group!!!  You won't be disappointed!!
 Love to you all!!!

*Lorraine

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Favorite Five #12



Happy Friday!!!! I cannot believe that it's Friday already!!  Where does the time go??


  Well it wouldn't be Friday without our top five favorites of the week!!!

1. Craft(s)


This one I actually thought of earlier today and just went for it!  It's a bit rough due to the fact that I didn't take my time because I just wanted to see if it would work.  So I promise you, one day next week, I will do it again and provide step by step detais.  For now, just know that this desktop filing box is made from a cereal box!!!  I cut it up and covered it with some fine scrapbook paper!  It's so easy!!!!

2. Music


I love this song!!!!   God uses the battered ashes of our lives and makes beautiful creations out of them.  God was and is the Ultimate Crafter!!!  Who knew!!!!  Seriously though, whatever you're holding onto, whatever decision you've made that you think is too bad or ugly for anyone, let alone God, to see, you can trust Him with it.  He will make beautiful things out of those dark places.


3. Blog/Other
So I've mentioned the Women's Retreat that I was at last weekend in a few other posts this week.  The number 3 spot is going to the lovely lady who graced us with her humor and beautiful voice as she led us in laughter and worship!! 



Sue Duffield!!! Please take some time to check out her website, www.sueduffield.com,  it's full of information, schedules, links, etc. She is a wonderful lover of Jesus <3

4. Scripture
thanks Pinterest

So story on this scripture:  Yesterday I (Lorraine) was hit with a typhoon of emotions all at once and my reaction wasn't one that reflected this verse at all!!  Today I found an email regarding this verse...boy was I regretful of my choices and repentent that I did not just turn those things over to the only One that can do anything about them in the first place.  In big and small, we can give, to Him, them all!!!!!
 
5. Quote

(found via Pinterest @ http://imgfave.com)

I LOVE this!!!!!  It is the absolute truth!!!  If we look for joy and blessings, we will see joy and blessings, if we look for pain and curses, we will find.....yep you know it!  Look for God in everything...even the hard and ugly places!!!!  Trust me if you look for Him, you will find Him <3  A friend once told me that you if you can't see Him, maybe you need to clean your windows!!!!  Let that one sink in!!!

Friends, thank you so much for joining us here week after week!!  We pray that we can bring a blessing to your soul, a smile to your face, and light to your path as we shine Our Light towards Jesus!!!

<3Lorraine

Thursday, May 10, 2012

More than Conquerors (I heart you)

Hey guys - time for another I <3 U post. The last one can be found here! I have to admit, I've not been staying on top of my blogging or even thinking about it, really. This cookie thing plus school has taken up a lot of my time! It's really hard balancing it all, but I'm learning how to. So, anyway, today I sat down at my desk to rest and get some school reading done, but decided to pick up my bible first. I'm trying to get through Jeremiah right now, so I read a chapter or two there and then flipped to the New Testament. This week I've been flipping through Paul's letters to the different churches not really sticking to one solid book or chapter, for that matter. Today I found myself in Romans 8:28-39 and it captured my attention. So much so, that I pretty much underlined the entire section of Scripture. So go ahead, grab a bible, visit biblegateway.com, and listen to this song as you read.


Verse 28 is a pretty 'famous' verse, it's very well known. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who ahve been called according to his purpose." A footnote in my bible says "...God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good" which I thought was pretty interesting. God works together with us? Most of the time we view it either as God working for us, granting our every wish, or us working for God, doing everything and anything he asks us to do. But this says that our relationship is mutual, God works with us to do good. He wants to accomplish things with us and for us, but primarily for His glory.

Now, the next 2 verses are a little tricky. They have to do with predestination, which is something that there is a lot of conflict or debate about in the church. Some people say that predestination could not be because Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 to pray for all people, that they may be saved. If everyone is already predestined to salvation, what's the point in praying for them? I don't have time to go into all of this, and honestly, I don't know whether we're predestined or not, but research it a bit more if it interests you. Here is a sermon from John Wesley himself, about it.

"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies." (Romans 8:31-33) We can't find satisfaction or validation in other people. 'It is God who justifies' God didn't spare his son, he gave him up so that we could be with him. We are validated in Christ. He holds our worth and he showed that by sending his Son.

I love this next part, "Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life -" I can just see Paul scribbling out the 'who died' section of it and re-writing 'who was raised to life'. That's the power of God. He didn't die, He's alive! "is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Christ is interceding for us, he's rooting for us. His death was an intercession on our behalf. He intervened on our behalf. "Who shall seperate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" No way! Christ went through all of that for us and He did it all in love, we can't let all of these things listed above get in the way! They can't get in the way, Christ already has and will defeat them again!

Let me leave you with the last 3 verses. "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angls nor demons, neither the present nor the futurem nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to seperate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39)

We are MORE than conquerors!
~Jessica

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A piece of my heart for you



Today I'm writing a letter, it may be to you it may not be.  I have a few specific people in mind that I am writing this to, but please if it speaks to you, put your name in there!!!

Dear ___________,

I've been watching you.  Creepy huh??  Haha, No, not that kind of watching, the watching that someone who cares deeply about you does.  When I look at you, I see all of the wonderful qualities that God has given you.  I see the purposes that you could fulfill, if only you believed in yourself.  Oh I know people have hurt you over and over and over again.  So much so, that their words and the pain have become a part of you, like an outer skin.  Remember Spiderman III (I think) where the black suit took over Peter Parkers body....that's the kind of pain and becoming I'm talking about.  Where, no matter how hard you try to out run it, to pull it from your body, you eventually give in and it consumes you.  You become someone else, trying to pull off this rough exterior, like no one could ever hurt you again.  I don't blame you, it totally makes sense, from where you are standing.

But from over here, the place where I am standing, it makes no sense at all and I want to scream out loud "YOU CAN FIGHT THIS!!!!! DON'T GIVE UP, I AM HERE FOR YOU, LET ME HELP!!"  But you can't hear me. You pretend to hear me, saying "I know, I know" but I know that it only bounces off that outer shell of who you've become.  It pains me to see you hurt like this and it pains me even more to know that there is nothing that I can do for you.  That all of my love and words of encouragment just aren't enough.  If I could go beat up every person that has ever hurt you, including myself, because I am not without fault, I would do it in a heartbeat, if I thought it would help.  It won't, you and I both know it.  You put on a brave face and say it's fine, but I know you're heart, because it beats and hurts just like mine.  Underneath we are all not so different ya know.  Pain is pain and hurt is hurt and it doesn't matter how it's delivered, it all sucks the same.

There is only one thing that will ever make a difference for you.  You know what I'm going to say, because I've said it before.  I have to say it, it really is all there is.  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  He created man and woman and they didn't trust Him (much like you and I) and they turned their backs thinking they could do it on their own.  They couldn't.  Life goes on and years pass by and the earth is full of life, people, animals, problems, enemies and only One Savior.  But rarely do His people acknowledge Him. 

He decides to send His son, hoping that will make a difference, hoping that His son will win their hearts back, the ones that have turned so cold and hard. It doesn't.  To some it does, quite a few actually.  Hope is restored and people believe again in the One true God and lives are changed!!!!  The lame walk, the blind see, the dead raise from their beds.  But for the majority, life goes on in the same, old, tiring fashion.

Years go on, life passes by, generations come and go and here were are today, fighting the same fight that Adam and Eve fought that day in the garden.  Trust in someOne bigger or trust in ourselves.  Day after day we choose ourselves.  We blaze our own trail, do it our own way and how do the days end....pain, heartache, lonliness.  We find that we have exhausted ourselves in the trying and yet we still choose to deny Him.  If I could grab you by the shoulders and shake this into you I would.  But God says no, He will never, ever force Himself on you.  I've explained it before, I wouldn't want to force my children to love me, it doesn't feel the same. Don't bother.  I want it to be genuine, to come from a deep place of knowing, understanding and pure love for me.  So does He.  He loves you so much - He sent His one and only Son to live on the earth, to walk the roads that you are walking, to feel the pain and lonliness that you are feeling, to die for you, to cover your sins and offer you a life above the pain.  A life with Him.  We couldn't put a price on that gift, yet He paid the ultimate price.

I don't want to preach at you, I know you won't listen.  I know that this is something bigger than me, bigger than you.  It's a work that only He can do.  I pray every day that you get to that point quickly and with the least amount of pain. I don't want to see you hurt anymore, but like a parent that has to discipline their children, sometimes God has to let us learn the hard way.  Oh how I pray that your way doesn't get much harder.  I don't know how much more I can take.  Have you ever tried to convice someone of a truth and they just won't listen???  Hello!  Okay, well I have said all that I can say and the truth is, you will probably never even read this.  But in case you do, I wanted to tell you.

YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH. 
YOU ARE LOVED JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO PERFORM FOR OTHER PEOPLE, YOU'LL NEVER SATISFY THEM. (that one really makes me angry to watch you do)
YOU SHOULDN'T CHANGE FOR ANYONE BUT YOURSELF...that is if you're unhappy with you're current situation - only you can make the choice to change it.
I BELIEVE IN YOU AND SO DO ALOT OF OTHER PEOPLE
PLEASE LISTEN TO ME
IF I COULD WALK YOUR ROAD INSTEAD, I WOULD DO IT IN A HEARTBEAT. Does that even matter?
JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU, IF YOU WERE THE ONLY PERSON ON THE EARTH HE WOULD HAVE DONE IT JUST THE SAME!!!!!  Do you know that kind of love? Can you fathom it? (remember The Passion movie?)
and I guess last is DON'T GIVE UP - I LOVE YOU.  I THINK YOU ARE WORTH IT, I JUST WISH YOU THOUGHT THE SAME OF YOURSELF.

With all of my heart and soul,

_____________________<3

Monday, May 7, 2012

Simply His

Happy Monday friends!!!!  Does that greeting bring joy & anticipation or fear & angst to you spirit?  If I were to take a guess, I'd go with the latter.  Why is it that we find ourselves not looking forward to another day?  What did Monday do that was so bad that it turns stomachs?  Could it possibly be because we don't live our days out in the right way, right place, right mindset?  I'm going with yes on that one!  We're gonna tackle that one today.  Jesus came so that we could live life abundantly....groaning over Monday doesn't sound like abundant living to me!!  Let's go!

I just returned from a weekend women't retreat and the title was "Simply His".  Isn't that sweet, refreshing, and endearing?  If you are married, think back with me for a moment to when you either first laid eyes on your spouse or when you first realized that you longed to be Simply His or Simply Hers; no messiness, no drama, no confusion, no one elses, Simply Theirs <3  God calls us to be Simply His, He longs for us to claim that we are Simply and Only His.

This could almost be placed under Jessica's "I <3 You" series.....we're going to Isaiah 62:1-3ish, here are a few nuggets from that, little love notes, if you will.

*  "you will be called by a new name (and recieve a new character) 

*  "you will be a crown of splendor"

*  "the Lord will delight in you"

*  "your God will rejoice over you"

So when we come to Him, He gives us a new name, like a lover gives a nickname to his love, we receive a special name, full of love and affection.  We will be a crown of splendor -  something to behold, something of great value to be placed in a special position of honor.  Where do crowns usually go?  Yes, on your head.....God places us up above the rest, for all to see!!  He will delight in us!!!  His pleasure, His joy, His love, His enjoyment all comes from us!! God will rejoice over us!!!!  He will be glad in us and take take delight in us.  I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty amazing!!!  To have the affection, that kind and amount of affection from someone is exciting.  But to have that from our Creator puts me through the roof with joy and gladness!!

So do you remember how you felt when you were dating your true love?  Remember how you couldn't stand to be apart?  How you hated to say goodnight and you lingered long there in that moment, dreading the end of the day?  You anticipated the next day with such delight and excitment because you were free to think about and spend time with your love again!!!  That, my friends, is how we ought to approach our days, every.single.one.  Mondays are a gift, Tuesdays are a gift, Wednesday....gift <3  Each day is another chance to spend with our One True Love, the One who delights in us, who takes joy in us, who longs to be with us.  Every moment of every day is a chance to be with Him.  If you walk through your days with Him by your side, everything has to be better.  Yes, even those moments of dealing with crying children, spilled milk, loads of laundry, dirty diapers, etc. I'm totally serious here, please don't laugh it off and say "yeah right". 

This life is hard and frustrating, but remember how that young love made everything better?  Don't you think that God will make things even better than that??  You have a choice, you can just accept the dirt that life throws in your face, or you can catch it in a bucket and build a sandcastle!!  (I know, that was totally corny, but just go with it).  Thank Him in those hard moments, for that is where you will find Him!!  He longs to be enough for you!!  He is absolute truth and absolute love!!  That's not something that you want to walk away from and let go.  Stay connected (i.e. pray without ceasing) walk with Him through the moments of your days and nights. 

But in order to walk with and in that Truth, you have to know the truth.  One thing that stuck out to me this weekend was the comment the speaker made that "Every thought is a voice and everything that we see creates a thought".  Chew that for a second..............done? Good....what voices do you have in your head, what lies or truths are you bending your ear towards?  Know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free!  Free from the bondage of sin, free from the bondage of lies, doubt, insecurities, addictions, lonliness.  Do you want to be free?  Know the truth - know freedom.  A few practical nuggets for you:

*capture every thought (where did it come from?  truth or lie?)
*know the Truth (as the sheep know their sheperd, we too can know Our Shepherd)
*walk in that truth
*practice loyal obedience
*He is Absolute Love
*He is Absolute Truth
*Jesus is ENOUGH!!

It's time to renew our mind friends.  Know who you are listening to and make the proper adjustments.  Fall in love with Jesus, for He delights in You <3

-Lorraine

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Favorite Five #11: Disney Edition

Happy Friday!!!! In honor of a special trip you heard about yesterday, we're going to do a Friday Favorite Five: Disney Edition!!!

1. Craft(s)




I love these cupcakes!! How cute, unfortunately, though, I couldn't find the original link to them. So, these are not my doing... But how cute and simple???


2. Music


This song is so cute!! * sigh * 

3. Blog/Other
This website is so awesome! http://family.go.com/ has tons of Disney party ideas and recipes and everything you would ever need to throw the best Disney planning meeting in the world!! hehe

4. Scripture
I don't really have any way to figure this out except to say that Disney's motto is "Where dreams come true" and we know that this is what God says in John 10:10. The only place we can have true satisfaction in life is through Christ and all that he promises us!


5. Quote

This is my new life motto. Stop talking. Start doing. 

Thanks for joining us on this Friday! I dedicate this post to all of my friends who have endured all of my ridiculous planning and I also dedicate this to my super awesome guidance counselor, Trish!!!



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Everything has it's place...

If you guys have noticed the pattern, you're probably thinking "It's Thursday, time for an I <3 U post!". But, I want to tell you that you're wrong. I'm changing it up this week and bringing you an organizational post! As you might remember a few months ago, I mentioned my love of lists and now I'm going to talk to you about my love of being organized! Let's get started...

1. Planner/Calendar/Appointment Book

Whatever you want to call it, YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE ONE!! I don't know what people do without these things, but I would never go on... Okay, that was a little dramatic, but you get my point! I love my planner. I just got this one from Walmart for somewhere around $7, what a great deal!



(I'm really sorry for the bad lighting, the sun is going down and I really hate taking pictures.)
As you can see here, it outlines the months for you, but that's it. I prefer them like this, just the months and not broken down by weeks. It gives a broader overview, which I prefer. I like to be able to see what I'm doing this week, as well as next week, as well as in a month! Maybe it's just me....

2. To-Do List & Favorite Pen


I always keep a pad of paper near my desk, and cute things are so much more motivating! This pad of paper is from the dollar section at Target and I have multiple colors of my favorite pens! On my lists, I write everything from cleaning my bedroom (something that needs to be done this week) to blogging (something that needs to be done today) to planning for a meeting I'm having in two weeks.
I almost forgot......


Post-It Notes!!! I have post-it notes everywhere, as you can see I have small post-its, big post-its, colored, decorated, etc. These are great for daily to-do lists. Maybe you only have 3 or 4 things that need to get done, use a post-it! I might have too many post-it notes......


they're organized, though!!

3. Files

Now, I use files in a traditional way too, in the little hanging folders with labels and carefully organized. But, more regularly, I use cute file folders (from Target) that just sit on my desk. These are for all of the misc. papers that I need at my fingertips, but I don't need laying all over my desk and floor!



The first folder has alllllll of my misc. papers in it. Everything from blog ideas to long-term to-do lists to Spanish vocab to pictures I need to frame. You get the idea, EVERYTHING! The thing is, though, they aren't on my desk. I don't feel like a cluttered mess because of them, I know they're in the nicely stacked file on the corner of my desk and I can grab them whenever necessary.


In the next folder, I have some things I need to plan an upcoming meeting for an upcoming trip that is gonna be super awesome! You'll hear about it soon, but for now this is all I can show you!


These are just some of the things I use to keep myself organized in the day-to-day. Find out what works best for you and stick with it! I love to know what I'm doing, where everything I need for that is, and how I'm gonna be doing it and this helps me with that! One more thing, A few weeks ago I got new glasses, if ya wanna see them!


Yeah, yeah... I'm making a goofy face, I know!! :D I hope you guys all have an awesome week and come back tomorrow for Friday's Favorite Five!!
~ Jessica

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Let it Go!!

Last week I had one thing hit home over and over again....

LET IT GO!!! 

 Enjoy this song from Tenth Avenue North



I went rolling through my to-do list pretty well last week, I had the Tea Party looming in the distance and had to coordinate my daily responsibilities with this large Saturday event.  Things were going smoothly, until Wednesday.  I recieved a call that altered the course of my day at an hour that I couldn't really afford to have things mixed up.  .

LET IT GO!

Jump that hurdle, move on.  Thursday, fine. I was able to maneuver through my to-do list with the exception of the phone call updates on my son's progress (the situation that occurred the day before) of going to the DMV and working out the problem.....he had to run around quite a bit before it was all said and done.

LET IT GO!

Friday, fine.  Moving through my list, checking things off, tea party is right before me.  There were still things on my tea party list to be accomplished and I spent the morning ironing the linens for the tables.  I had a break mid afternoon, jumped in the shower and talked to my mom briefly.  While we were talking, she recieved a call on her cell phone that my dad may have had another heart attack and was being taken to the hospital!  She's freaking out and I, of course, drop everything and go.  Yes, there are still things on my to-do list, but what else am I gonna do.  I dried my hair, threw on some decent clothes and headed out.  An hour later we arrive at the hospital and Thank God that it was not a heart attack and about 4 hours later he's discharged. 

I had left my house at 2:30, I returned home at 8:15.......the family is finishing up from dinner and the house is full of activity.  Now my mind is focused on the remaining items on the to-do list. It's late and I'm tired.   These things were not crucial to the party but they were things that I really, really wanted to to do.  I attempted to move forward but there was no grace there.  I knew that I had to let these last few items go.  LET THEM GO!!!  I was frustrated and angry.  I could feel myself getting snappy with my husband and children and I knew that was not a path that I wanted to go down.

We got the kids settled into bed and I just had to sit down and decompress.  What a week!!!!  How in the world do these things happen, out of the blue, when you are least expecting it??

LET IT GO!

Jesus tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."  All my anxiety?  Everything??  The phone call from my son?  YES  The scare with my father?  YES This.....tea party???  YES!!!  I'm sure you could add quite a few questions to that list and the answer will still be YES!!!  LET IT GO!!!!  Cast ALL of those things that chew up your stomach, that plague your mind and keep you up at night, throw them down and walk away.

One thing remains true and worthy of standing on no matter the storm that rages around you. God IS Good and if He is good, then there must be something good in that storm, even if the only good you see is Him, He's more than enough.  Stand right there under His wing <3

It's Wednesday now.  There's a thunderstorm rolling around outside, nothing major has really been thrown at me.  Well besides calling a driving school yesterday for information for my 15 year old - Jessica!  Oh and we have a 10:00 apppointment at the community college to speak with an advisor about the courses she needs to take!!!  And you know this whole Honduras thing, that's out there!!!  These are all amazing and good things, but I admit, my stomach is rolling a little and I have to LET IT GO! 

I am choosing to rest in Him, He is able to do far more than I can ever ask, dream or imagine.  So why do I need to worry?  He's got it under control!  I am just going to roll with the punches, duck them when I can and absorb the ones I can't and let Him handle it all!!

What things do you need to LET GO?  Start today, type them in the comment box and take the first step in letting them go!!  I will stand in prayer with you and together we'll keep moving on!!

<3 Lorraine


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Just another quick update...

We've had quite and eventful week as you can read here. But there are a couple of things that have come up that are really exciting for me that I would like to share! So read on to hear more...


1. We have raised enough money for one ticket to Honduras so far!! Yay! Cookie orders are coming in steady and I'm still getting some more support letters back. Pretty much my week has consisted of baking and more baking (see here), which I am fine with as long as I see an outcome, which I have! We have until June 17 to raise $5000 and we're about halfway there.

2. I have an appointment with the local community college tomorrow to talk to an advisor about starting classes in the Fall, if not Summer. I am planning on starting college in the Fall, maybe a course or two in the Summer and then taking my GED when I turn 16 in the Fall. I could get an Associates degree from the community college and then transfer to a 4 year school. That's been my thought for my whole Sophomore year and now that I'm finally going forward with it, it's scary!! So prayer for that would be so greatly appreciated!

I don't have a whole lot to say, as I've been swamped with baking, school, and other things like that. It's really been hard for me to sit down and just write. I hope you all are having a great week!

Thanks, Jessica