Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

Last week I shared with you some thoughts I had from Psalm 33. I learned that there were 14 reasons to praise and worship the Lord. This week I have been focusing on the first way: His Word is right and true. What is His Word? The Psalmist (by the way, this Psalm doesn't have a title so we don't know who the author was), didn't have the whole canon of Scripture at this point, but he did have the Law and the Words of God spoken through the prophets. He had God's promises that he saw fulfilled. He had God's wisdom and God's view of Holiness. He had the creation account, etc. Now, for us, 1 Timothy 3:16 tells us that "All Scripture" is inspired by God and that the whole of Scripture is right and true. It is very useful in our lives. If I take God at His Word, that means that I believe that all of His promises will come to fruition, I believe the Gospel, I believe that there is certain conduct required of me, I believe His warnings of future judgement, and I believe what it tells me about God and His character. If I desire to know who God it, I have to turn to His words. Then, I can praise Him!
I looked up this portion of the Psalm in some commentaries so I thought I would share some random thoughts from them:
-God is not prompted by selfishness or greed. He sets the standards of righteousness.
-"All truth, all right, all justice are measured against His norm." Robert L. Alden
-It is dependable, trustworthy and Divine revelation.
-His promises are all wise and good.
-The threatenings deter us from evil.
-His word is right and therefore all deviations from it are wrong and then we're in the right when we obey it.
-It is straightforward in expression and intent, perfect in moral worth, and impeccable in truth.
-Ps. 12:6 tells us that His words are pure, 19:8 say that they are right, rejoicing the heart, and enlightening the eyes.
-His words hold true.
These are pretty good reasons to praise Him!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Snake Love! (We love Aunt TeeTee (Sarah)!)

Valley of Vision - God Honoured

O God,
Praise waiteth for thee,
and to render it is my noblest exercise;
This is thy due from all thy creatures,
for all thy works display thy attributes
and fulfil thy designs.
The sea, dry land, winter cold, summer heat,
morning light, evening shade are full of thee,
and thou givest me them richly to enjoy.
Thou art King of kings and Lord of lords;
At thy pleasure empires rise and fall;
All thy works praise thee and thy saints bless thee;
Let me be numbered with thy holy ones,
resemble them in character and condition,
sit with them at Jesus feet.
May my religion be always firmly rooted in thy Word,
my understanding divinely informed,
my affections holy and heavenly, my motives simple and pure,
and my heart never wrong with thee.

Monday, May 28, 2007


My brother works with a guy who's wife is pregnant with triplets - yes I said triplets, that's three babies folks! Pam organized a baby "shower" for them from our church. Today, Pam and I got to deliver (no pun intended) the gifts to them! It was fun to be able to help them out in a small way. It was really interesting to see a nursery with three cribs in it! Do you realize the amount of diapers they are going to go through in an average day?! And the amount of trash that generates?! They are thinking of getting a diaper service for that reason alone. They have a web site if you want to check out the progress of the pregnancy or donate towards any of their needs: . Pray that Carla and the babies (2 girls and 1 boy) remain healthy!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Conversations with a Toddler and Happy Birthday Sarah and Sara!

Me: We got those nesting dolls when we were in Poland when you were a tiny baby in Mommy's tummy.

Rylie: (lifting up my shirt) Can I go back in your belly?

Happy Birthday to my two Sara(h) friends!!! The one in the picture is my mentor/friend Becky and my friend Sarah T. We went to this adorable little Italian cafe today to celebrate with her. (If you're ever in my neck of the woods, I'll take you to it, the food is delicious!) She has been my friend since she was in junior high, but since I was a few years older than her, we are much closer now. We are truly sisters in the Lord, and I love her!
It is also my best friend, Sara's birthday. I would put her picture on here, but alas, she won't let me photograph her! :( She is truly beautiful inside and out! She is striving to be the Proverbs 31 woman and is doing very well at it. She is the proud mommy to three wonderful children and the wife to a man of God. We have been friends since we were both in junior high. We have gone through bad hair, bad boyfriends, and the joys of marriage and children. I love her very much!
Happy Birthday my dear friends!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Vacation Review

Ryan and I thought it would be fun to do a review of our recent anniversary trip to Ocean Shores, WA, in case any of you were thinking of going there.
The Judith Ann Inn (if you want to see more, check out the slideshow from Wednessday's post)This was a beautiful Inn, in an old southern style mansion. The decor was very pleasent, and their was a great view of the ocean. It had a fairly large kitchen, a jacuzzi tub, and wireless internet service. The only drawbacks were that the office wasn't on site, it was down the road about 7 blocks or so. Their point in this was so that people wouldn't be disturbed, but it was kind of a pain if you wanted fresh towels or anything. The other drawback was that there was a $30 housekeeping fee on top of the room rate and you still had to do your own dishes and take out your own trash. There was a $20 fine if they found any dirty dishes.
Dining Out:
Gallaway Bay- Typical pub fare, fun Irish ambience, friendly people. They sometimes have live music. Ryan says to try the Blarney Burger.
Mike's Seafood Restaurant- It was very muggy and the decor was old diner, but not in the nostalgic sense. The fish and chips were ok, but the salmon was full of bones. One to avoid.
Sandcastle Drive In- Get it to go, the food is good, ecspecially the fries, but they must have had the same interior decorator as Mike's!
Ocean Crest- Very nice, fine dining, unique ocean view, good creative food, suprisingly well priced. Ryan had the pan seared halibut with mango-strawberry salsa and mashed potatoes mixed with garlic and horse radish. I had the King salmon brushed with apple cider and wood fired tomatoes with polenta. For desert we had raspberry cheesecake; it was delicious and on the house as their anniversary gift to us. They also took our picture and put it on a card for us as a gift. This was in Moclips, about 18 miles from Ocean Shores. We highly recomend it.
Overall, we had a great time. If you're looking for a fun get-away, you could do a lot worse.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

We are home from our Anniversary trip. We had a wonderful time and Rylie was very glad to see us and we were very glad to see her! I'll tell you more about our trip tomorow. Today I wanted to share with you some things I learned in my devotions from Psalm 33. It really touched me and it's something I think I want to explore it further every Thursday. The begining three verses of the Psalm talk about how we are supposed to praise God, joyfully and with gladness. The following verses give us fourteen reasons why we are to praise God. I'll list them for you now and then in the weeks ahead we'll explore each one more in depth.
1. V.4 His Word is right and true.
2. V.4 He is faithful in all He does.
3. V.5 He loves righteousness and justice.
4. V.5 He has unfailing love.
5. V.6 He created everything.
6. V.7 He sustains and orders creation.
7. V.9 He is all powerful.
8. V.10 He is sovereign over all of the nations.
9. V.11 He has a plan and sticks to it.
10. V.12 He chose His people.
11. V.13-15 He is all knowing.
12. V.18 He knows who we are and what we are going through.
13. V.19-22 He is our help, our deliverer, our shield. He protects us.
14. V.21 He is Holy.
What an awesome list of things to praise God for!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Blogging Break

I'm going to be taking a bogging break for the next week. Ryan and I are going away for a week for our nine year anniversary! We are going to the beach, we're going to stay in a hotel that is designed to look like an old southern mansion. Each room is themed like Gone With The Wind. It should be a great week!
I am having a hard time however because I am missing my Rylie girl. She is staying with my parents this week. My Mom took her a day early so they could go visit my Grandma, a state away! When she pulled away this afternoon, I bawled! I knew it would bother me, but I didn't realize I would have such a strong reaction. She has never been this far away from us or away from us this long.
This weekend I had the opportunity to help coordinate a women's retreat. I have a lot of information I want to share with you from it, but that will have to wait until next week.
We watched Blood Diamond tonight. It was very disturbing. It made me very sad and want to pray for those in Africa. It also makes me think twice about wanting diamonds! (Not that I can afford them anyway). If you do buy them, insist that they are conflict free! It definitely put my trials into perspective! I'm not sure that I recommend this movie, but if you do watch it, watch it thoughtfully.
By the way, the picture is of Rylie looking at bugs at the park!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thoughts

I have been trying to teach Rylie different attributes of God. This week I have been teaching her that God always keeps His promises, He always does what He says He will do. I think this concept is sinking in some because the other day she told me she would do whatever it was that I asked her to do, and then said, "I promise I will". She will also tell you that God always keeps His promises if you ask her. This is a great attribute of God to praise Him for. I was really struck by our Bible study of 2 Chronicles today in how it was so evident that God kept His promises to Israel. In chapter 6 the word "promised" (or a form of it) was used 6 times (NIV)! Time and time again, God kept His promises. He did what He said He would do. Twice in ch. 6 it says that He spoke with His mouth and acted with His hands. I thought that was a good illustration of keeping your promises. If you want more illustrations of how God has kept His promises read the Chronicles, and the history of Israel. He is still keeping His promises to us everyday. There are so many examples I could give, the main one of course, would be that He is keeping His promise that He will save us who believe on Him. I read this passage in Isaiah 40:28-29 that caused great thankfulness in me. I am thankful that He has promised that He will not grow weary and that He will give me strength. That is very powerful and comforting and awe inspiring. Here are those verses: " Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power."
Of course I want to share with you a snippet of my latest Valley of Vision prayer, but I couldn't narrow it down to just one, so here's two snippets for your enjoyment!
"May I be always amongst those who not only hear but know thee, who walk with and rejoice in thee, who take thee at thy word and find life there." This is my desire! I want to know Him, not just hear Him, I want to walk closely with Him and find my joy in Him!
"Help me to be in reality before thee as in appearance I am before men, to be religious before I profess religion, to leave the world before I enter the church, to set my affections on things above, to shun forbidden follies and vanities, to be a dispenser as well as a partaker of grace, to be prepared to bear evil as well as to do good. O God, make me worthy of this calling, that the name of Jesus may be glorified in me and I in Him." Oh to live my life like this!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pictures from Mother's Day

I had a wonderful Mother's day! I woke up to flowers and cards from Ryan and Rylie. Rylie gave me her card a couple of times and each time said, "It's for you Mommy, Daddy made the heart." Then she put half of her cheerios in a separate bowl and said, "For you Mommy, for Mother's Day". It was so sweet! She made me a bracelet in Sunday School also! After church, Ryan made lunch for all of us. It was delicious! (Steven set the table and Dad cleaned up.) After some family time, we then went to Sarah's house and had dinner with Ryan's Mom and sisters. Rylie loved spending time with her cousins all day. All in all, it was a great day to celebrate the joy of motherhood. I am so thankful that I get to be Rylie's Mommy!
If anyone wants a good cry, read the book, Let Me Hold You Longer, by Karen Kingsbury. It talks about how we celebrate our children's first but often don't realize when something is their last. It reminds you to revel in every moment!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Grandma Update

My Grandma just found out that she will start her radiation treatments for her breast cancer on Monday. After those are completed they will do another MRI of her thyroid to see if the mysterious spot has disappeared or changed in any way. My Mom is going to go down to be with her for the first few days. My Grandpa had a treadmill stress test that the doctors have some concerns about, so we're awaiting the results from that as well.
Please pray for their salvation and their health! Thank you for all that you have prayed!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Park Pictures

Thursday Thoughts

"Carry me Daddy, my Daddy will carry me". This was a constant phrase we heard from the back seat as we drove to the park tonight (along with, "I'm going to feed the ducks in the pond, at the park"). She loves her Daddy and she knows that he is strong and can carry her and can protect her and that he loves her with an unending love. In my devotions today, I read this verse in Psalm 28, "Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever." (v.9) The analogy here is clearly that of a shepherd carrying his sheep, but it reminded me of Rylie and her Daddy. This is one of the ways I need to view God. He cares for me, He protects me, He carries me when I need it, He shelters me with His unending love! That is a personal God! I am fully aware that He is sovereign and I have that reverential awe for Him, but I'm working on that intimate, personal part of Him. I am very thankful that He has revealed this side of Himself in His Word and in my life. He makes me feel very secure!

(By the way, I know that my Daddy is still my protector and loves me with an unending love also! And I love Him, just like Rylie loves her Daddy!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Valley of Vision

I bless thee that thou hast made me capable of knowing thee, the author of all being, of resembling thee, the perfection of all excellency, of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness. . . While Jesus is representing me in heaven, may I reflect him on earth, while he pleads my cause, may I show forth his praise.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Mommy, Mom, Mamma

There are times it is hard to be a Mommy, like the other night when I found myself cleaning poo out of Rylie's hair (at someone else's house, none the less!), and didn't even realize for another hour or so that I had it on my shirt as well! Or when I walked into the living room to see her pouring her sippy cup of milk on her pajamas and the couch (granted, I think it was an accident). Or when I realized that I will probably never again go to the bathroom by myself, she has taken to pulling up a stool and sitting right in front of me while I go. As my friend, Stephanie (creaturebug) said in her blog, it's the chores of motherhood that are hard. But the rewards are incredible! When she puts her chubby little hands on my face and draws me in for a kiss, it's a reward! When she says, "I love Jesus", it's a reward! When she pulls on her little cheeks and says, "I'm cheeky" (we have no idea where she got this), it's a reward. I could go on and on and on. Suffice it to say, motherhood is hard and rewarding and we need each other's support. And, don't forget all of the things you're Mom did for you and let her know that you remember them and that she is a reward! My Mom is so sacrificial and I aspire to be even a little bit like her. I am very thankful that Rylie gets to know her and love her and be loved by her!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

100th POST!!!!!

I'm so excited to be at my 100th post! I have been having a lot of fun doing this blog and I've grown some too. I started it for the purpose of keeping people updated on Rylie, but it's turned into so much more for me. It's really deepened my devotional life. I appreciate all of the support you all have given me and thank you for reading!
A few posts ago, I had said that I would give you an excerpt from Ryan's sermon last Sunday night. He taught from a sermon that Thomas Watson (a Puritan) preached in the 1600's. The whole focus of the message was glorifying God. He gave five reasons why we must glorify God:
1. He is the source of your life. Realize that we aren't self sufficient, every breath we have, every fiber of our being is because of God.
2. He made all things for His glory. God made everything for Himself. We all bear the Potter's fingerprints.
3. The glory of God is of infinite worth. His glory is His treasure, it's worth more than all of Heaven, than all of the souls of men. God is infinite and therefore of infinite value.
4. Creation below and above glorify God, we need to get in line. Shall everything, the Angels and the rocks, glorify Him and not man?!
5. All our hope hangs on Him. What do we have besides Him? If He is my hope, why shouldn't I glorify Him?
The conclusion to this was that our pride is not something to be cultivated or coddled. The way to get rid of pride is to let the glory of God humble us. We are to meditate on who God is! Spend some time thinking, meditating, praising God for His glory!

Happy Birthday Katy!

Our friend, Katy, turned 5 yesterday! She had her party at an inflatable jump center. It was a little big for Rylie, but we had fun! I thought you'd enjoy a few pictures!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Awana Awards and My Little Talker

First of all, let me start this off by saying THE MARINERS BEAT THE YANKEES!!!!! Now that that is out of my system. . . Wednesday night we had the Awana Awards Ceremony. It was great fun. Normally, Rylie and I don't go to Awana (she isn't old enough and it's past her bedtime anyway), but we came to support our little Abby! (And of course all of the other clubbers!) Now, Abby, technically is not supposed to be in Awana. The Cubbies start at four years old and she is only 2 1/2. But, since Pam is a Cubbies leader, she got to join. She has memorized almost all of the verses, done her book work and even did the extra credit project - memorize The Lord's Prayer! Only her and another (4 year old) boy memorized this (I don't even have it memorized)! I am so proud of her. She loved Cubbies and wore her vest with pride. She was so ecstatic each time she got a new patch on it. I'm also proud of Pam for teaching her all of that! Congratulations to our friend, Amy who got Clubber of The Year for Sparks! She memorized over 50 verses! Some of the older kids have memorized over 1,ooo verses since they have been in Awana! That is just incredible! The other little boy in the pictures is Amy's brother, Clayton. He suffered a black eye when he tripped and fell into the table, but if you ask him about it, he says, "you should see the other guy"! He is one of Rylie's best friends (even though her Daddy doesn't want her talking to boys). Then, of course there is a picture of the Lukeman and my beautiful daughter. Isn't this picture of her so pretty?
I know I've said it before, but I love how much she's talking lately. The other day when I put her in the shopping cart she told me "put my seat belt on for safety". For safety? She cracks me up. When we went out to dinner the other night (to celebrate her cousin, Bryan's winning the Kiwanas terrific kid award!) she asked the waitress for a to go box and then proceeded to put all of her food in it and shut it all on her own! She's been having some nightmares lately and thinking there are monsters , animals, real lions, and sharks in her room. I've been praying with her and I was telling her that Jesus is always with her and that she can talk to Him whenever she's scared. She said, "Jesus came back home with us?" (we had just returned from church!). This is just a fraction of the things she comes up with. She's a pretty funny girl!