Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grace by Grace

I started my day giving thanks.
Thanks long overlooked.
Clinging to His grace for that needed lifeline.
I served.
And then.....
 
Odds that only an all powerful, all knowing, and all loving GOD can pull off.
Get YOUR specific, personal attention kind of circumstances.
Way too big and individual to be simple coincidence.
Sit on the front porch and cry tears that HE holds.
Hot tears that release memories of being loved by my creator.
A love so pure and real and so undeserved.
That kind of God moment.
That kind of reminder.
ONLY GOD.
Oh Jesus how I love you, from that same front porch.
And a decision to be made.

Today I poured advice, guidance from my heart.  I've been her and I don't believe her.  To not need help because you ONLY have the Lord doesn't make sense.  He IS the help.  He IS the provision.  He IS the grace.  He IS the saving.  It didn't make sense.  So I shared the story a wise preacher man once shared with me....

There was a flood and a man sat on the rooftop of his house praying, pleading with the Lord to help him, to save him.  A lifeboat came by and offered this man a ride to dry land.  He declined, and continued to wait on the Lord he knew would save him.  Then a rescue chopper lowered a ladder, another way to dry land.  Again, this faithful man declined.  He decided to wait for his God, to hold out for God to save Him.  The man drowned as the flood waters rose.  He drowned not knowing that the chopper and the lifeboat had been sent from God.  The help he refused was the direct lifeline from the God he pleaded to. 

The answers to our prayers aren't always the things we expect.  They aren't always packaged how we expect them to be.  Sometimes we miss God while we wait for Him.  We don't see His hand because we're looking for His face.  Little did I know that council given today was God's pre-given advice to a question I myself would be asked later this day.

And the answer?  God is God.  Grace is a gift and it's given the way He chooses to give it.  I too was reminded today that sometimes it's easy to overlook an answer to prayer.  It's our nature to stay stuck on what we had in mind for our future.  Today, I choose GOD and I fully accept HIS ways.  His plans far exceed mine in what's best.  Again, I soak in a scripture I shared with another person, advice that I gave to yet another child of our King today.  I gratefully take it as my own and give thanks to the God that loves me beyond my wildest dreams.  The second bit of truth I shared today that was indeed also handed down for my own answer.....

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us  Ephesians 3:20

Thank you Jesus for your all-powerful, breathtaking, tear bringing reminder that I belong to YOU.  Am loved by YOU.  Am protected and guided by YOU... moment by moment.  Grace by grace. 

So yes God, I will take your grace today.  In whatever fashion you give, with all satisfaction.  For I know that whether it be your hand or your face, your personal presence or your lifeline.....that it is far above anything I could ever ask or dream of.  OH JESUS....how I love YOU.




Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tomatoe Grace

 
It's that time of year again.  The vegetables....not coming in like I want, but still the harvest is enough and there's hope for more.  But these girls....
They steal my heart.
Every time.
They make it skip a beat.
And make it explode with laughter.
They're the perfect part of our crazy.
Yep, these two sisters have a huge part of me.

 


Memories and tomatoes, all wrapped up in one.
Pretty good if you ask me!
Yummy and goofy too!
 

 
Always entertaining.
Always loved, so very loved.
By eachother,by me, by any and every one who knows them.

 
And randomly crazy, oh so random!

 
This food sieve....generations old.  The perfect birthday gift from my Grandma a few years back.  If I'm right, it was her Grandmother's before it was hers.  And now her Great Granddaughters share the kitchen with it once again.

 
And the boys, those crazy boys.  Yep, they're the other piece of the puzzle!  I never, ever would have guessed my heart could have this much room for this much love.  With each day, each year, each crazy kitchen moment, and every wild parenting challenge....it continues to grow.  A limitless grace.  Thanks you Jesus for the four greatest kids ever.
They're pretty amazing.
 
RANDOM KID QUOTES OF THE NIGHT.....
 
Alaina:  Gracie thinks North America is Texas....like all of it.
 
Gracie:  I love my sister.
 
Cass: Uhhhh....I don't know what to say....HELLO.
 
Aiden:  Ummm whatever.
True story, that's just kinda how we roll!
I'm now inspired to actually capture their randomness while theyr'e unaware....to steal their perfect words when they least expect it.  That will be fun.
 
We can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength.  And it is ONLY through Christ that I am anything, anyone, with any sort of plan and purpose.  May all I do this week be in love!  And may the little (and big) eyes and ears around me continue to be the grace, the blessing, the motivation, and inspiration that they are.  And they don't even know it!  I guess that's how amazing works.
 
Jennifer

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer's In FULL SWING in our neck of the woods!
 
Join me this week over at HOMESCHOOL SURVIVAL for some summer survival tips!
 
 
 
Love in Christ,
Jennifer
 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

School Year 2013-2014

Homeschool Year #1 Complete!!!!
Wow!
That's HUGE for us!
 
 
I look forward to printing these pictures for each kid to put in their school album!
 
 
Most importantly....GOD HAS BEEN FAITHFUL!
So thankful for these memories!
 
 

 
 
Here's a video to watch and enjoy!
Please forgive the mistake or two or three.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Reminder of Grace

Several weeks ago we had a pretty fierce storm. 
We know the drill.....
Watch the radar
Keep Tuned into local weather alerts
Pay attention and Listen
 
The lights flickered and suddenly it sounded like the house was being pounded inward from every direction by the rain.
 
That's when I gave the word and we rushed into the main bathroom of our house.  We live in a mobile home and I believe this is the safest room-if there is one.  It has no windows and seems to be in the best location if any of the big trees come down.  In the middle of this, we hurried into Cass' bedroom and drug his double size mattress into the bathroom floor, along with the weather radio.  It was here that we stayed and listened to the storm and the weather updates, on a now battery operated radio.
 
Let me explain that this isn't exactly a rare occurrence around here.  We live in a land of frequent severe thunderstorms, tornado watches, and the occasional tornado itself.  Most of the time, the worst that happens is we lose power for a day or more and/or spend the night in the bathroom floor.
 
I didn't go to sleep during this storm, and later in the night when it calmed down, I moved me and the kids back into our bedroom for the night.  I did peek out the front door and see a big limb off of a tree.  But I had no idea until morning what had happened outside.
 
 
To give you an idea, this shed is located behind the house.  There is usually only grass on the ground.  You can see a line of trees down behind Gracie, extending past both sides of the picture.

 
Here is a closer picture of what was happening outside of the house.  Where the skirting is 'ruffled' is  where we went to get the mattress and only steps away from the bathroom we ended up in.

 
Use your imagination here.  This specific line of damage started past the edge of the first picture of the post.  It began far from the house and did a whole lot of damage before making its way here.  It went through the trees as I've tried to show in the pictures above.  It messed with the skirting on the edge of the house....and then it literally STOPPED.  Right there, right before the area where the kids and I were sheltered.  Just.  In.  Time.
 
Let that soak in.
 
The next morning, the kids yelled that there were trees down in the back, big trees.  I stepped outside and my heart literally stopped and sank into my belly.  We ventured outside and with every step, I saw something that I'll never forget. 
 
I saw the exact measure of grace we were given that night.  The weeks since have held discoveries of many more places effected by that night's storms.  And a whole lot of cleanup with eventual results.  
 
Since that morning I've been unable to help it.....I keep comparing this storm to God's protection in our lives.  We go through times in life knowing things are rough and knowing God is with us.  But it's not always then that we realize just how much grace we've been given.  It's often not until the storm has passed that we are able to see.  To look and feel of the damage, to sense the hurt from which we've been spared.  Often Grace is best measured in hind-sight.  Looking back and being able to see just how much our Savior has protected us from.  I believe that feeling will be endlessly multiplied in the time we will walk and talk with Jesus.  Until then, I'll remember to trust HIM in the storms.  My hope is that you will too.
 
Life carries on in the days since.  Springtime filled with all things spring.  Baseball.  Soccer.  Softball.  End of school work.  Little friendships growing.  Family together.  Gardens planted.  Yards mowed.  Flowers planted.  Hearts healing.  And most of all.....lives lived.  The tragedies coming from storms in other states remind us that the same God that gives....He also takes away.  Still HE is mighty and He knows what He's protecting each of us from....even those whose lives were lost to a storm's fury.  Pray for those families.  Thank God that He isn't done with you yet.  Be inspired by the stories of faith pouring in from survivors. 

 
 
Today I give things to HIM in all we have.  For my husband, my best friend.  For our four beautiful and healthy children.  For little friendships and lives growing.  For lessons learned and storms survived.  For protections unknown and Grace we often don't see.
 
The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.  Psalm 145:17

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Louisiana House Bill 1091

Okay Dog Owners and Hog Hunters, there is yet another bill working it's way through into Louisiana Law that I think you will find of interest.  It looks like we have only until Tuesday April 22nd to stop this bill from passing into the Senate and getting one huge step closer to becoming law.  First, let me introduce you to....
 
LOUISIANA HOUSE BILL 1091  By Representative Tom Willmott
 
ANIMALS:  Prohibits the transportation of dogs in pickup truck beds on certain roadways unless humanely secured
 
Scheduled for Floor Debate on 4/22/14
(Final House Vote before moving to Senate)
 
This may or may not mean anything to you.  For our family, it's another jab closer to stepping on our rights as dog owners and a family that hunts with our dogs.  For us, it's a silly place for government to step in and could very well add to the slippery slope of losing our rights as dog owners.  I believe the people supporting this law think it's a public safety issue to have a dog riding unsecured on a pickup bed on Interstate Highways.  If you're like us, we know many people and many dogs that have done this for a long time with no incident.  And also like us, you can probably come up with a list of other hazards to our citizens that need much more attention....such as an overreach of government control on things that don't need fixed. 
 
If you feel the same way, please consider taking a few moments this weekend to shoot an email and or voice mail to your representative.  You can find your representative and contact information HERE.
 
If you're not great with words, feel free to use the same words we have.  Here is a sample email you might find handy....
 
 
 
Dear Representative_________________,
 
It has come to my attention that House Bill 1091 is up for floor debate and a final vote this coming Tuesday, April 22nd.  This bill seeks to prohibit the transportation of dogs in pickup truck beds on certain roadways unless humanely secured.
 
I am a dog owner, who cares very much about the safety of my animals and other citizens.  With that being said, I find this law an attack on my personal rights and lifestyle.  The practice of dogs riding unrestrained in truck beds is a long lived way of doing things for many of us here in Louisiana-and something that has not represented a hazard to myself or anyone/dog that I know.
 
At the end of the day, I find this bill an excuse for more government regulation where none is needed.  I feel there are many other pressing issues that need our law makers and law enforcement's attention.  Please consider taking a stand against this bill that will do nothing other than hinder dog owners like myself, as well as law enforcement officers from keeping their attention on more pressing matters.
 
PLEASE VOTE NO to House Bill 1091 this coming week. 
 
THANK YOU,
 
______________________
 
 
 
 
Please take time before Tuesday to email or call your rep's office.  Each voice makes a difference and this is just one of many attempts for lawmakers to get their fingers into a way of life that we are trying to protect!
 
 
 
For more information of past work we are trying to accomplish, you can visit the following posts....
 
HOUSE BILL No. 958 Update:  Bill 958 did NOT make it out of committee this year.  Instead, it was decided that a study would be done on this issue.  Good work people.  Keep your eyes and ears open for more information to come on the issue of transporting Live, Feral Hogs.
HOG HUNTING better known as HOGS, DOGS, & HATERS can also be found in your April issue of Tuskers Magazine and is a good read on what it is we're aiming to protect.
 
 
And now, to ask a favor from you.....
 
I've done the homework here, as well as give y'all specific breakdowns in who and when to contact.  My husband Tommy and I are glad to help fight to preserve this heritage for our children and generations to come!  Now I'm asking that after you make your calls and send your emails, to PLEASE take a minute to share this post with any and everyone you can.  Facebook is an awesome platform, so get busy and paste the link to this post in every dog, hog hunting, and other dog hunting group that you can!  THANK YOU!
 
HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND!  HE IS RISEN, HE IS KING, and HE IS THE HEAD OF OUR HOME and the HEART OF ALL WE DO!!!!!
 
JESUS REIGNS!
 
You can contact me directly at jenwhitten8@yahoo.com

 
 
 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Louisiana Homeschool Lessons

Wow....we've had an eventful few weeks!

Many things to share in the days to come!

Surprise sister visit and walking by faith!

Spring schedules & the tricky art of 'doing it all'!

Tornado....God proves right on time!

Current issues and future plans for protecting our hunting and dog rights.

Those are only to mention a few!

Yes, there's much to be written!

So as our life settles back to 'normal', I'll leave you with a Louisiana Homeschool Lesson!

Visit HERE at HOMESCHOOL SURVIVAL for a little bit of a Southern Challenge!




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