Thursday, April 30, 2009

Submission to Authority

Eric and I have been talking a lot about the concept of authority in the Bible. We have marveled at the story of the Centurion who had faith in Christ to heal simply because he understood the chain of authority and the power that resides in that.

I studied this topic a couple of years ago and thought I would blog about what I learned.

Submission definition: to lower oneself of your own free will. When you submit to authority, God’s blessings will seek to fill up that low place much like water seeks to fill up anything lower than itself. If you refuse to submit to authority, then you are raising yourself up and the blessing cannot flow to you anymore because there is no longer any receptacle or low place to fill up. As gravity pulls water downward, submission draws on and gives place to the blessing of God to flow down to you. If someone over you is making bad decisions, your act of submission and respect puts great pressure on that leader to change—submit even when you disagree as “unto the Lord” (as long as it is not illegal or immoral.) I like this definition: an act of faith, respecting divinely appointed authority out of respect for Christ. Since I know my KING is Jesus, it is easy to submit to the authority he placed over me…even if I am submitting and I think Eric is wrong, then I know there is someone higher than him, and HE will make it right.

From my own experience, I have found that Satan tries to attack my marriage by assaulting my thinking towards Eric. If he can get me to lose respect for him, usually because I don’t agree with him on an issue, or don’t think he is taking care of things in a wise or timely manner, then my marriage comes under attack and I open myself up to defeat in my thought life. A more funny and practical example was a few years ago. We were outside doing some yard work. We were trimming some azaleas with an electric hedge trimmer. Eric went inside and told me to trim a couple of bushes, but leave another one alone. He didn’t really give me a reason to not trim the certain one, and before I knew it, I was over there trimming it. Well, wouldn’t you know it, I dropped those silly electric blades and it grazed my finger. I had on gloves, or it would have been a lot worse. Now, I believe that I put myself out of the realm of God’s protection when I went against what Eric desired. Now here is a deep theological question…did Eric tell me to leave that bush alone because the Holy Spirit prompted him to…because I might hurt myself, or did God remove his hand of protection because I disobeyed? Silly, I know…but an example that has stuck with me. I have to really try to do as he desires…for example, he can’t stand it when I wash stray hairs down the sink. So, much to my chagrin, I wipe them out everyday. I HAVE to believe that even in the silly things there is blessing and protection when I listen to my God-given authority. I also try not to disagree with him in front of my kids very often. I REALLY try not to second guess something he told the kids to do/wear/whatever. I am constantly trying to instill in them that he is the Father, and we listen to him and always do what he says. If I am arguing with him, then my kids will have a reason to.

Here are some cool Biblical examples God showed me. I love that he showed me different examples of God given authority, not just husband and wife.

1. 1 Samuel 24 David has an opportune time to kill King Saul (after all Saul is chasing him and trying to kill him.) David humbly realizes that even if King Saul is evil, he is the God-appointed King, and he has no right to “take him out.” He realized if you don’t submit to authority, you lose your advocate (Christ).

Exodus 18:17-27 Moses has encountered the ONE TRUE GOD…and he is put in leadership over the Hebrew people. He is having trouble delegating, so he receives counsel from his father-in-law, Jethro. What is so cool about this is that Jethro didn’t recognize God as Yahweh at the time (he does later.) It would have been easy for Moses to say that he should shun Jethro’s advice since he wasn’t a “believer.”

Esther 2:7-20 Mordecai raises Esther, so he is her God-given authority. He adopted his cousin when her parents died. Esther listens to him when he tells her not to reveal her nationality to the King. Later, she still follows his instructions (v.20). She is able to save the Jews because she is obedient to the point of enacting Mordecai's plan...which could mean imminent death for her.

Ruth—she puts herself under the authority of her mother-in-law since her husband died. She listens to Naomi and does what she tells her to do. Her blessing comes---a kind husband, Boaz and she later becomes part of Christ’s genealogical line. (What a gracious blessing…she wasn’t even Jewish!)

Jesus—he submitted to his parents as a child, to the government (rend to Caesar), and ultimately to God his Father—to death on the cross.

I love that through all of the examples above, they were all recipients of huge blessing after they submitted to authority. David becomes King, Moses walks with God, Esther is Queen and saves her people, Ruth is redeemed from shame and a pagan past, and Jesus has everything under his command.

Our culture has made submission out to be some four letter foul word! The truth is that our protection and blessing lie in submitting to our God-given authorities.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Tale of Mud and Muck

Growing up, I don't think I realized just how blessed I was. From the age of 2 til 14, we had 5 personal acres to navigate and discover. Complete with a huge pond, 3 large pasture areas, and a creek, we never hurt from boredom. I have countless joyful memories of my adventures, but I thought I would chronicle one that usually sticks out in my mind.

I was in fourth grade. My best friend was Amy, who was home schooled. We saw each other at church and whenever our Moms got together. We shared a love of the outdoors, horses, Jesus, and boys. At the time, we also disliked our older siblings, and getting together probably didn't aid in the unity, but that is OK. We were best friends.

Back to the pond. One day (while Amy was around) my Dad spontaneously got the idea to bulldoze in the pond. In other words, he would create a trench and allow all of the murky liquid to escape. I really don't know why he did this, after all, I was in fourth grade, and the "why" is not always so important.

What seemed like a lazy day quickly turned into a day of the utmost adventure! At first, Amy and I were unfazed by it all. I mean, what would a pile of mud and muck have to offer us? We would much rather be on our horses or laying out working on our fourth grade tans. Yes, we would be the envy of the whole fourth grade. Well, I would. Amy, being home schooled, would be the envy of her older sister and only peer.

To our utmost surprise, we glanced over at the draining pond and quickly saw fins flailing and tails flopping! What on earth? Who knew our pond was stocked with fish?! I mean, I could have been fishing all this time? Well, I know my Dad didn't know, that is for certain! He would have never deprived his LuLu of fishing in her own backyard!

Tans the last thing on our mind now, we put on the shortest shorts and the tallest black rubber boots we could find. We now had a mission. Did I mention we were both animal lovers and both had deep soft spots for anything that was in pain?? We had to save. the. fish. It was our new life calling. And we would not disappoint.

Mom helped us gather any kind of container she could find. We had buckets and lots and lots of Mason Jars. The Mason Jars would house the endless number of tadpoles we found. I think after a little bit, we ditched the tall black rubber boots. Needless to say, we were thigh deep in mud and muck. And loving every minute of it. We saved lives to the best of our fourth grade abilities. We set the small fish and tadpoles free in the creek. But our "life" agenda didn't end there.

I put as many fish and tadpoles into Mason Jars as I knew I could carry to school the next day. I begged my fellow students to take them home and give them a fresh start. I don't remember who took the bait, but luckily, Mrs. Whitlatch, a fifth grade teacher, had an aquarium in her classroom, and she became savior of the day.

Sometimes I miss my childhood so much, it hurts. Other times, I am glad to have all the ugliness of girl cliques behind me! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for allowing us to have big adventures.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

garage sale nazi

We thought it would be great fun as a church community group to have a garage sale together! I only allow myself one every 2 years or so becuase it turns me into a money making nazi. I scour through every crevice of my home, looking for things that just might be worth a nickle or a dime.

As the day gets closer to the sale, I will start staring at the clothes on my husband's back and will bite my tongue lest I tell him to rip them off and sell them to the highest bidder.

I am a garage sale nazi.

Hopefully, after the sale, you will be able to walk in our home, sit on some furniture, admire the fact that we are wearing clothes, and have a glass to drink some lemonade in.

Pray for me. I want to sell it all. I am a garage sale nazi.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mr. Toad

It is Toad Week! We have a wonderful festival called Toad Suck Daze that draws thousands of people every year! The festival is complete with craft booths, chicken on a stick, rides, "stuck on a truck," and of course, toad races! The boys got to practice racing toads at school. We decided to set the toad in a card board box is hard on the little guys. Eli about bawled his eyes out...but realized later it was the only way the little fella was going to survive. He perked back up when Uncle Zach informed him that there are tons of toads in his backyard. What is your favorite part about the festival?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cousin Time!

Lee and Kelli made the trek down here and we had a blast this weekend! Photo shoots, baseball games, birthday parties, and a trip to Soaring Wings Ranch filled our days. The Ranch had an appreciation day and the kids had a blast! Hamburgers, hot dogs, oreos, jump thingies, face painting, pony rides, and fishing took precedent over the day.

The only girl...notice her crown on her cheek. She isn't afraid to tell you she is a princess. Poor Sam called her "he" instead of "she" all weekend...I don't think he has ever had to use the pronoun "she!" Ha!

Isn't it crazy how Sam favors Sloan more than his own brothers?!
Maybe we will have better luck next time! Landon wasn't up for it! Sam really wasn't either...but he managed to take a bribe and be good for 7 pictures. I have ruined him forever.

Here Tia is throwing her gangster "these are my homies" sign. Nice.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bye Bye Birdie.

You can imagine my surprise when I noticed that our mailbox became full of all kinds of "nesty" things in the span of one morning! These birds are efficient! Not having the time to really know what to do with the babies' future home, I walked out the door. When I came home later, their home was gone! I decided to not disclose the name of the home wrecker. I have to admit I am shocked that they haven't tried again! Bye Bye Birdie.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Enough Already!

Ummm, Mom! If you can't bear to throw away your camera then at least stop pointing it at my face. If you don't, I swear I will leave my new rubber snake (that my Aunt Mini sent me) in your bed and when you crawl in at night, you will remember to stop pointing that thing at my face.
With all the love I can muster,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Field Day!

The big guy had a field trip today at "Field Day." When we got out of our car, Cade noticed other kids that were from public schools. He was shocked that they weren't wearing uniforms. He really didn't know that they are allowed to wear their "real" clothes. This first picture broke my heart...I wanted to go buy the boy some britches that fit!

Cade is milking a "fake" cow.
I love Springdale. (Chickendale.)
This is Cade's teacher. She is 71. No lie. She has spunk and is as sharp as a tack. Cade says she is his favorite teacher so far.
Kind of a nice way to keep them all together, don't you think?

He loved the bunnies and chicks the best.

Only my Dad will know that this is a "Red Poll" heifer calf. She weighed 80 pounds at birth...big gal.

Compost anyone?

Did you know our state is the biggest rice producer?
This gal is named Dolly...that was my first show heifer's name!! You should have heard the uproar from the kids when he milked her with the machine tube thingies!
The next photos are some of Cade's friends...

He picked a winner (Cade picked a winner of a friend.)

Bye Ya'll

Monday, April 20, 2009

We have a Winner!

According to, our winner is #3...


Congrats and call me to receive your prize!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1st Giveaway!!

Hello fellow blog friends and faithful readers! Do I have a treat for you! Before I get into the specifics of my first giveaway...I need to tell a little story.

Last Saturday, after I calmly (this is my story...I will tell it like I remember it) exited Lifeway Christian Stores in Little Rock, I had no idea what events would follow. I decided to make a fun blog post about my disappointment in the store for not handing me over my much anticipated new Ted Dekker book, "BoneMan's Daughters." They had great legal reasons for not doing so...release dates and all that...but I still needed to vent about my frustration (or lack of patience, however you want to see it.)

A few days later, I received a comment from Ray Sadler, manager of eCommerce for Lifeway itself! What the hay?? How on earth did he discover this disgruntled customer, and was he for real?? After some emails, I decided he was the real deal. He offered me two brand spankin' new copies of the book, compliments of Lifeway!!!

I think Mr. Sadler must have the coolest job on the planet. He gets to filter out people who have made comments regarding Lifeway (for good or bad) and offer them the best customer service you have ever seen. He is like a private investigator who gets to hand out gifts and make people happy. I have never seen this type of service in my life. In fact, one time, Eric and I made a special effort to call a popular coffee company and brag on how well an employee did. He left a message (with a detailed bragging) and we never heard back from them.

So, this fun experience has led to my first giveaway! After all, I must share the love of Dekker! The giveaway is for his book, "BoneMan's Daughters." It is Christian, but it will be unlike anything you have ever run across in the Christian fiction genre. I haven't read it yet, but if it is like the others, it will leave its mark on you.

Just leave me a comment if you are interested...even if you are out of town. I will close the giveaway at 10 pm Monday night. Between now and then, I will figure out a way to have a random and fair selection....I think Nic had an idea on her blog! Happy commenting! And thank you Lifeway!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Camera Therapy

OK, readers. This woman needed a little camera therapy after trying on swimsuits at Wal-Mart this morning. Ahem. Enough said. So, a little vitamin D, a ton of gorgeous azaleas, two cute boys playing animals, and my best friend, Mr. Nikon, helped ease me back into my happy self.

This first shot is my favorite because I have never shot anything like it captured the sun coming through the leaves and they look like happy bubbles. I am afraid that you will think the tree nub (is nub a word?) resembles a female anatomy part, and I am just going to throw that thought out the window, because, like I said, I think this shot is way cool.

Heather...the below (minus a cute boy) will be one of the backdrops for your shoot next week! Gotta love it!
I have been trying to get out of my comfort zone and try shooting new angles. I am amazed how it transforms a subject!

For me?????

Animals always fight better in the open sunlight.

Check back later this weekend. I am very excited to announce that I will be doing my very first GIVEAWAY. Oh, and go get you some Vitamin D. Very nice.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Don't Hurt Anyone in the Process...

For you Ted Dekker Groupies out there...his book, "BoneMan's Daughters" comes out on Tuesday. While in Little Rock last night, my friends obliged me and let me run in Lifeway Christian Stores to see if they had released his book yet. The guy was brave enough to say that he had boxes and boxes of them in the storeroom, waiting to be devoured by people like me. But then he said HE COULDN'T SELL ME ONE TIL TUESDAY. Something about a release date and all that. I almost punched him in the gut and told him not to get between me and Dekker, but then I remembered I was in a Christian store.

So...go get your copy, but please don't hurt anyone in the process.
disclaimer...I have heard that this book is his most violent to if you are faint of heart, beware

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Check it Out!

I have been trying to get this gal (who happens to have a cool name) to start a blog for like ever. Check her out and leave her a welcome to blogworld comment!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Big Easter Egg Dye

The Dye of 09'. The boys loved it! I have vivid memories of dying Easter eggs as a little girl. The year that sticks out the most is when my Mom dyed them in dark tea and then etched drawings onto them with a needle (?). She is an excellent artist and the image of a cross etched onto a tea stained egg has stayed with me forever. Since I received no artistic abilities whatsoever, we went with good ol, "Paas." While Sam didn't get into the dying and decorating process as much as I had hoped, he had a rip-roaring good time cracking them and shoving pieces of egg into his mouth. Cade later ate 2 himself. You would have thought that I had never offered these boys a hard boiled egg. I guess color made them tastier.