Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Aunt Sylvia

This past Sunday my Aunt Sylvia's battle with cancer ended. I got the message from cousin Hugh Monday morning. He said they were all there with her. My Aunt was a wonderful lady. Even though through growing up are large families had let time pass by and slip into years without seeing each other, we all still love each other, and something just doesn't seem right to think Aunt Sylvia is not here anymore.

I have many fond memories of my Aunt. She always made us feel loved, and was always so giving. She loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren beyond herself. She was the heart of that family. She had a huge smile and always wore it, and she endured through many trials. She gave me my love of crafts. I remember going to her house, and she was always making something. She seemed to have no end to her talent, painting, sewing, creating she was truly gifted. Bowling was her passion, she was awesome at it, of course I'm still lucky to stay out of the gutter ball zone. The bowling alley was a second home, and I remember spending many birthday bowling parties there. She also made great cookies, and could make all those cool character cakes.

So I thought I'd share a couple pictures of my Aunt Sylvia. She was married to my Uncle Hugh for 50+ years, was a mom to 5 children, a grandma to 8 grandchildren, and great-grandma to 4 great-grandchildren. And a friend to more than you could count.

The first picture is my Aunt the night before her wedding to my Uncle I believe in 1956.

The next picture is a picture of my mom (on the left), and my Aunt blowing out my Aunt's birthday candles at her 70th birthday. The party was of course at a bowling alley.

The picture was taken this past August at the park for my mom's 80th birthday party. It was a blessing that we all got together that day. My mom and her brother are the two oldest of the four siblings. My mom's youngest brother was killed in a plane crash in 1973.
Mom had a stroke a few years back, and has difficulty remembering things, but I loved the way she lights up when she would see her little sister.

This last picture is my mom (left) the oldest sister, my Uncle Chuck (middle) the oldest brother and my Aunt Sylvia (right) the baby sister. This was taken in July of 2007 when my sister and I took my mom up to meet up with my Aunt at my Uncle's home. They enjoyed there visit, and so did we.
Please put my Aunt's family in your prayers, for comfort and peace. Thank you for letting me share just a bit about my Aunt Sylvia.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Completely Flawed Yet Forgiven Completely

Well it might be over a month behind, but here it is Chapter 9 of Lisa Whittle's book Behind Those Eyes. The study was hosted by Lelia over at Write From The Heart as part of the Yes to God Bible study. If you go to her and Lisa's blog you can find previous posts by both of them. Sadly I fell very behind when I got the flu in November but have promised myself and more importantly God that I would complete my study, that has challenged me and really changed my life. So after this I have one more chapter I will write on before the end of the year.
As always the Lisa's words will be highlighted.
Ephesians is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It has ministered to me throughout the last 2 1/2 years, Paul tells us how completely God loves us, not because of anything we did but because He created us. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons (and daughters (my addition)) through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will-- to the praise of His glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace Ephesians1:4-7.
Through Jesus' death on the cross we have complete forgiveness. The slate was wiped clean, by Jesus and Jesus alone. Nothing we have ever done, or will do will secure us in the Kingdom of God, not how many payers, not what we do or say, how nice we are, how much money we give, or even going to church on Sundays, nothing but the blood of Jesus will give us complete and total forgiveness in the eyes of God. The best part is that once we embrace that truth and fall in love with Jesus, nothing can take it away. Even when we completely screw up.
Lisa says:" the truth that we women, as people and as followers of Christ are completely flawed and yet forgiven completely..... We are sinful, down to our soul" What an amazing truth. When you read it, it's a bit of a mind twister, but it's true.
In John 19: 28-30 it tells us this about the death of Jesus Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus cried out "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus didn't say I'm through for now I almost fulfilled the scripture. It said seeing the scripture complete he cried out IT IS FINISHED. Jesus completed the atoning of the sins of all the world FINISHED. Lisa talks about absolute words in relation to forgiveness in the Bible, words like always, totally, fully and completely - why are they important. Because they show us the fullness of Gods love and Jesus' sacrifice and His perfection.
But there is another side to this and that's us and our complete imperfection. Even though we've been redeemed and forgiven we are still trapped in our sinfully fleshly bodies and we sin daily. From a small sin like lying to someone to get out of something you don't want to do to the biggies like that could find you a feature on the Nancy Grace show. Here's the kicker even though we have a rating scale and can justify different sins, God sees all sin equally, and Jesus' death on the cross renews our slate daily. Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Romans 4:7 NLT If we were perfect and without sin, Jesus wouldn't have had to suffer and give His life for us.
Lisa explains it in away I hadn't though about "we can't accept only the good part of this equation (that we are forgiven completely), leaving out the part we don't particularly like (that we completely flawed). It can't work that way, and here's the reason: because being completely fleshly and flawed from top to bottom and from tip to toe makes room for us to be forgiven in an entirely equal way. And Knowing that makes the beauty of the completeness of the act of forgiveness by almighty God that much more meaningful and incredible and real in our lives."
Being perfect is not our role here as believers. Our role is to share the Gospel and one way to do that is to let other people see your flaws and mistakes to His Glory. It's not until we are in God's Kingdom that we will be without our sin nature.
Sin Nature in our house we call it the fleshies. It's that part of us that is easily tempted, distracted, impatient, selfish, and is driven by our emotions and fears. It's why we are completely flawed. It's why the idea of complete and total forgiveness is a hard concept for so many of us. It's what Satan uses to try and convince us that we can't be totally forgiven, and it's what keeps us from totally forgiving others.
We are called to forgive others after all there isn't one of us that hasn't completely blown it. I know for myself learning to forgive people for the hurt I've felt has been a long road, and one I'm still traveling down for some pains. Just when I think I've forgiven completely something sparks a memory of the past pain, and boom I hit that rewind button. Then old Satan kicks in and adds his two cents. I'm getting better, now when that rewind button goes off on something I thought I forgiven someone for or myself for I start praying and praising God, and God soothes my sole as he reminds me that I am his beloved child.
Through out this study I along with the other ladies have revealed many of our flaws and struggles. Through all of the posts I was ministered to by women who are waiting on God, still hurting, but still finding comfort in God and others who have walked through a trial and are now helping others through a similar trial. God takes our times when we follow our Sin Nature and get ourselves in trouble to draw us closer to Him and reveal and rework our hearts and then take our bad choices and our reworked heart, and uses it to reveal Himself to us and to the people around us.
Father, your love that you have for me is greater that anything in my life, I've never been worthy of the sacrifice you gave by giving up your son, but my life would be nothing without it. Thank you for freeing me from the path of destruction I was on. Thank you for constantly showing me your love and grace evem when I was running the opposite way. I pray for my friends and family who don't know your love and mercy, and pray that you would speak into their hearts. In Jesus name Amen.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Little Angel

One quick post. My friend Chrissy took this picture at our churches (The Highway Community) Christmas show this past Sunday. I love it. Thanks Chrissy for sending it.

Your Chance at Winning a Bracelet

Hi Friends,
Loni over at BraceletStories who created the beautiful bracelet I won is hosting a give away on her blog.

You must swing by and check it out. She has a variety of ways to get entered in her drawing, and believe me, her bracelets are even prettier in person. I just love mine. Here is another sample of her bracelets.

Don't forget to enter. Have fun.



Thursday, December 4, 2008

Look What I Won

Isn't this beautiful! It was made just for me by Loni at Bracelet Stories
Please take the time to visit her website, and make sure you read her story, she started this website to make bracelets for grieving moms, and she shares her story about the loss of her son, and God's Grace. She's also graciously offered anyone who links over from my blog 10% off their bracelet, just tell them Carol from the Facebook contest sent ya. The 3 colored stones represent our family. The left stone is my birthstone, the middle stone is Brinn's birthstone, and the right stone is Brett's. I chose this to represent the family that God put together, and sealed it with the adoption of Brinn by Brett on April 1, 2008.

How did you win you may ask. Well I'm on Facebook, and I have joined the Christian Women Online group on Facebook they have these contest and you post something on the wall of the group, and then they randomly draw you, and I got picked. It was a little surprise gift from God. You can link to my Facebook sight from my blog it's down there in the side bar, come join us.

Thanks Loni I love it, and thanks Darlene from CWO.

Wow it's Been So Long

It's been so long since I was able to actually sit and write I had to reread my last post to see what I said. So I'll give you a little catch up. My cold turned into a respiratory infection, and I was super sick. Thank you for all your prayers, God finally brought me through that, and I was able to go back and work.
Then the Friday before Thanksgiving, Brett hit his head and cut it on a breaker door panel, which turned into a concussion, so he had an extended vacation doctors orders. He was better by Thanksgiving.
We had a quiet Thanksgiving, went to my mother-in-laws and she made a yummy feast, then we stopped by and said hi to my sister.
We tried to avoid the shopping crowds on Black Friday, but we did venture out for a Christmas Tree and Brinn's annual Christmas ornament and Snow Globe. Target wasn't bad, but had no real good ornaments. So then we went to Kohl's wowsers, I've never seen a line so long, there were two that literally wrapped around both sides of the store and ended in the back. There is literally nothing I could find that would be worth the wait in a line that long.
So we did find the new ornament this year at of all places Longs Drug store, good old Hallmark ornaments, we've got Snoopy and Woodstock on a gingerbread version of Snoopy's dog house.
Then it was off to get the tree. It's not big but we had fun decorating it. Here's a few pictures of the decorating. The beads Brinn is wearing have become a tradition. When Brinn and I had our first very own Christmas Tree she was about 18 months old, she found the beads and had them all over her. Now she models them every year for me. As you can see she really gets into the modeling.
Every year since Brett became a part of our Christmas he lifts her up to put on the tree top Angel, I'm not sure how long he'll be able to continue this, won't be long until she doesn't need a boost up.Here is our little tree in all it's lighted glory. I love to have the lights off and look at the tree.

So this is a bit of our Thanksgiving weekend. We are very blessed to have a home and the ability to get a tree. I've been feeling so thankful this year, the Lord has watched over us and blessed us so. My health is improving, my husband is growing in his faith and soaks in the scriptures. Our daughter is just a rey of light, it amazes us how she's starting to see the differences between the worlds view of whats okay and what God wants for her. We pray that she continues to choose God's view. I've made many new friends and we love our church.

My mom continues to heal, she had her stitches out today, and I'll see her this Saturday. Sadly my Auntie is loosing her battle with cancer and my sister and I are taking her over to see her for what is probably the last time. We will also see my Uncle so they will all be together. Please pray that there will be joy amongst the sorrow, and that Jesus will be seen and glorified.

To all my Yes to God Friends I'm working on my post for the last 2 chapters, sorry for the delay. I will be continuing to enjoy reading your blogs and praying for you, and can't wait to do the next study with all of you.