Friday, December 31, 2010

Being Bold in Prayer

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.  Habakkuk 2:1

Have you ever opened your Bible and searched for the writings of Habakkuk? I would venture to say, “not too often.” I have been surprised to find some pearls in this short, three-chapter book. One such pearl I came across and will quote back to the Lord is chapter 2 verse 1. Habakkuk tells the story of how he questioned what the Lord was doing with His people. It is a great illustration of how we can seek out the Lord's plans, reason with Him, and then fall at His feet when He answers us personally. However, in this case, the answer was not in favor of the people, Habakkuk stood in awe of God's awesome power and mercy.

As a Christian, I tend to think much about what God wants from me. I spend time praying for the things that I think He wants me to pray. I always pray for “His will to be done.” I think sometimes that may just be because I’m being shy/wimpy in my prayers. In many cases, I know what His will is (it’s all over the Bible). In praying these wimpy little prayers for things that are important to Him, I’m allowing an out for me. Does that make sense? My relationship with the Lord should be stronger than that. The Lord wants me to not only pray for the things I want and need, but also He wants me to reason with Him, wrestle with Him, and be honest in my prayers. In Isaiah 1:18 the Lord says, "come and let us reason together." Habakkuk had questions and he was not afraid to reason with the Lord, even to the point that he states in this verse that he will stand, wait and watch for God to do something. Talk about boldness!

I believe that God wants me to be BOLD in my prayers; He wants each of us to be bold. He wants us to come to His throne of grace with boldness and receive the mercy He has freely given through His Son Jesus. God wants us to pray with that same boldness, asking, seeking and knocking to know His will. Is something on your heart today about which you are not being completely honest with the Lord? Do you have questions or maybe you are upset with the way things are going? Go to the Lord in boldness. Tell Him your thoughts and feelings then tell Him that you will "sit on the ramparts [watchtower]" and wait for His answer. I am not going to be afraid. I want to see God's goodness, just as Habakkuk did. "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joyful God my savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He enables me to go on the heights." (Habakkuk 3:18-19) Now that is a great promise!

So, as I start this new year in reading the Bible daily, I am also going to be bold in my prayers.  The more I get to know God, the more freely I can share everything honestly to Him in prayer.  I am going to sit on the ramparts and wait for His answers. I expect to see His greatness this year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Well, it has come and gone.  I think this has been the fastest Christmas season yet.  Today I am going to take a few minutes to try and look back on the past few weeks.  I don’t have much in the way of photos, as it just seems to have all happened in a blur.  I am definitely going to slow it down next year.  I plan on incorporating more Advent activities and devotions to really prepare for Christmas.  It is a shame to let something so special become so ordinary.  I don’t want to be like the Inn Keeper, too busy to notice the miracle happening around him.  I want to be like the shepherds, Simeon, and the Magi who found Christmas through inspiration, anticipation, and dedication.

We really didn’t get “into” Christmas until last week.  Now the kids had been counting the days with their Advent calendars of chocolate candy.  But let it be known that The Princess got tired of the “wait” and ate her chocolates a few days ahead of schedule:)

The Princess and her preschool performed a little Christmas concert.

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Our Christmas tree that had been on our back porch in a bucket of water was finally brought into the house.  There was some anticipation as we just left it alone for a day, so the branches could settle.

We hauled the boxes of decorations in from the garage and began the decorating process.  We don’t really go all out with decorations.  Just a few.  It is probably because it is always so late in the season when we get started.

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Unraveling the lights.

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Big Tuna gets the honors for stringing the lights because he doesn’t need a chair to reach the top of the tree:)

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Godzilla added a new dragon ornament to the tree (see right corner).

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A Mongolian doll brought to us from a friend who adopted a child from Inner Mongolia.

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More ornaments to hang.

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My Mama’s Nativity.

Santa came to visit at our church’s Christmas party.  The Princess was one of the first to tell Santa her list.

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The Queen really wanted to talk with Santa, but shyness took over.  The Princess was more the happy to interpret for her.

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Our friend’s new daughter, MeiMei, from IM.  Her very first Christmas ever!

Making Christmas cookies…

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…and cakes.

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Christmas morning!

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Bicycles, Pillow Pets,

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Xbox 360,

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video games, DVDs, and more!

It was a very Merry Christmas for all.

Here is hoping your Christmas was wonderful! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fashion Show

The girls have been keeping us entertained every evening after supper with “Fashion Shows.”

They walk the runway…

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they strike “the pose”…

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all of this to music….

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while wearing “Barbie” sunglasses…

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and not once did they trip on their high heels!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Princess!

It has been a busy month!  We recently celebrated The Princess’ 5th birthday!

DSCN4822 I am lacking for photos as it was very hectic with 8 little “Barbies” running around our house!  Maybe that is why all of the photos are blurry!

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The Princess’ Birthverse scripture:

Luke 12:7 NIV
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Princess, you are a child of God, His treasured possession. He created you in His own image. He chose the day for you to be born. He has a plan and a purpose for your life.

Happy Birthday Princess! 

Sheng Ri Kuai Le!

Wo Ai Ni!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

14 Days of Homeschooling

Actually, we have about 5 days left before Christmas break…

Kick back and enjoy this youtube video.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Cards 2010

Ok, so I am not The Martha Stewart or Suzy Homemaker of Christmas.  I always have the best intentions on getting things done early, but you know what they say about the best intentions…

Anyway, Christmas cards are always a challenge for me.  I love photo cards.  I love looking at each family year after year and seeing how the kids grow and age(of course the adults do not age at all!).  Let it be known that I actually keep photo cards from each Christmas.  I always want the card to also be a reflection of our family.  I always try to send cards each year with a family photo included, and with a religious CHRISTmas theme and message to share the true meaning of CHRISTmas with friends and family.   Sometimes it is really hard to find a card that brings all of the qualities I want together in a card. 

Shutterfly has a great selection of photo cards and I am especially pleased to see that cards can be sorted by “Religious Christmas Cards.”

This is the card I will use this year:

PHOTOCARD-3-4292-MERCHLARGE_FRONT-v128209202000092985 They have a few “beachy” themed cards.  Let me tell you, those are hard to find!

There are also options to send folded cards like this “Rejoice the Lord is King” card where you can have a picture and a personal message on the inside of the card also:

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I have used Shutterfly to create beautiful photo books.  Each year our adoption travel group gets together for an adoption/gotcha day reunion.  Every can upload photos to a Shutterfly group page that we have set up.  From there each of us can create a photo book memento of the reunion. 

In addition to holiday cards, they have a great selection photo cards for every occasion.  Another great thing with Shutterfly is if you set up an account (free of charge), you will get great special offers via email (if you choose this option).

Head on over to Shutterfly and check out all that they offer in the way of cards, photo gifts, calendars, photo books, etc!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Guests or Party Crashers?

While visiting the girls room the other day, I noticed something a little different.  I mean besides the usual mess.  There were visitors or guests at the dollhouse.

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Guests?

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Party crashers?

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Visitors from outer space?

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Must have been quite a party!  Poor Woody!  I hope he wasn’t in the middle of something.

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I guess it was a good time for all!

 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

He’s Making a List…

Godzilla that is, not Santa. Actually, Godzilla has been working and re-working his list since about..June 2010. Christmas is (looming) upon us. I first started hearing Christmas songs on the radio about three weeks ago and nearly hyperventilated! Let me remind you, I am not a shopper. That aspect of Christmas doesn’t do anything but make me frantic.

So what is on Godzilla’s list? Currently, which could change at any moment, he has an Xbox360, video games for various gaming platforms, a few movies, Lego set, and a book series.

Big Tuna hasn’t gotten around to making a list. He has, however, bookmarked a few pages on the internet in case I want to check it out. According to his bookmarked pages, he wants an airsoft rifle with accessories. Big Tuna, being the ever caring big-brother, has offered to help Santa in identifying the correct Xbox360 for Godzilla. I told him I appreciate his offer, but it is out of my hands and in the hands of Santa:).

The girls, well, they want everything they see on TV. The Princess has been specific in a few items, such as, a REAL make-up table, not the toy one in her bedroom, pierced ears, and high, high-heel shoes. Sigh.

Captain Daddy is ever evasive in answering the question.

Me? Well, I’d love a RHW:)