Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Questions God Asks Review

"Adam, where are you?" It's a question so many of us have read and wondered where God was going with that.  Questions God Asks invites us to reflect on conversations such as this between God and several Old Testament personalities.  Though many of us are familiar with the stories presented in Israel Wayne’s latest book, he discusses this and several other questions God asks of His followers in the Old Testament.  As Mr. Wayne offers fresh insight, we are also given an opportunity to reflect on our own answers to the inquiries. 

Though this study is an easy read, there is a good amount of material to reflect on and revisit.  I frequently found myself marking the pages as I flipped so that I could share the information later with someone else or simply to remind myself.  Once again, Mr. Wayne does not disappoint in his offering.  Order your copy today of Questions God Asks, a publication of Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group.

Don't just take my word for it.  See what others have to say here.

Disclosure: I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. A positive review is not expected nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Power of One

I’m just one person.  I don’t have a lot of money or power.  I don’t even have a lot of time.  What can I do?

I can be obedient.  Like my daughter who prayed with the faith of a child.  She heard God tell her that our family should adopt.  “Maybe God meant your family when you are older,” we would say.  After all, our family is complete with three daughters and God is not telling me to adopt.  We have been through so much with the loss of my grandma and medical issues with two of our sweet girls.  And that was just last year’s problems. We don’t have to go back far to count our struggles.  We’re just discovering normal again.  Please, no more change my heat would cry to God.  But I can follow wherever you lead.

I will follow.  Even if it means going to Taiwan to get my son.  I didn’t want to leave my girls, but it was so obvious that God was taking me to this boy so I could take him home.  After all, his mother signed her rights to us while sitting in a restaurant with my husband after only knowing him for a few hours.  We passed our home study and the process went so fast.  Four months!  I may be only one person, but I can lead my son to my King.

I will lead.  Although he was almost seven, that boy fought to be a part of our family like I had never seen.  It was like he was always one of us.  Still, we have maintained a connection with his birth family in hopes of one day telling them the truth.  Maybe one day, we could tell a few people.  

Our son didn’t wait for one day.  He started telling the truth as soon as he knew it.  But not to his family.  He wrote a letter to a woman who was visiting us from Taiwan.  He told her about his King and begged her to know Him too.  This boy was too young to know that he was only one person.  Like most boys, he was fearless and unaware of the consequences.  I knew.  And so I prayed the prayers of a person who believed that I was just one person who still thought so small.

That woman who read the letter from our son prayed too.  She prayed to know the truth and met the King before she went back to Taiwan.  How wonderful, I thought!  She could tell her family!

She did tell her family.  And she told thousands of women.  She told the story of our son.  She told the story of his letter.  And she told the story of her King.  Many of those women left that night knowing the King.

The next day, she told me.  And I cried.  How could I have questioned the power of one?  I was right that I didn’t have much power alone.  Neither did a little boy or a new believer.  The power was in one King. 

I am thankful that He allowed me to be a part of this story.  I am thankful that He allowed me to learn through this experience.  I am thankful for the growth that my mustard seed experienced in that one year.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 Things I LOVE About Spring

This white stuff all over the ground is really getting to me.  In an effort to stay positive, I'd like to share ten things I love about spring.  That sounds so much nicer than my original title of this post - ten reasons I wish winter would go away.

10. Cute sandals
9.   Open windows
8.   Longer days
7.   Butterflies
6.   Mowing the lawn
5.   Rain
4.   Eating outside
3.   Grilled vegetables
2.   Afternoon walks
1.   Wildflowers

What would be on your list?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don't Just Watch the Winter Olympics

The Olympics always bring back sweet memories for me.  As a Los Angeles police officer, my mom worked the 1984 Summer Olympics and brought home many souvenirs.  My husband carried the Olympic torch through our town as a teenager. Most recently, our family had the pleasure of watching the last Summer Olympics with a former Olympic gymnast who taught our son to swim.  Of course there are countless memories of watching each year and rooting for our team.  This year our family will be watching the Sochi winter games and using some of these resources to add to our experience:

The official Sochi Olympic website - http://www.sochi2014.com/en

The official Olympic website - http://www.olympic.org/olympic-games

NBC's Olympics Page - http://www.nbcolympics.com/

Olympics Lapbook - http://www.ajourneythroughlearning.net/wiol20lawist1.html

Another Olympics Lapbook - http://www.currclick.com/product/89369/2014-Winter-Olympics-Lapbook

Oodles of worksheets - http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/2014/01/winter-olympics-pack-2014-2/

Winter Olympics Bingo - http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/02/05/5539460/get-into-the-games-with-winter.html

Opening Ceremony Bingo - http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303942404579361362349406806?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303942404579361362349406806.html

Movies about the Winter Olympics: Cool Runnings, The Cutting Edge, Miracle, and The Mighty Ducks.  *I strongly recommend that you screen or research any movie before showing it to your children.

What events are you looking forward to?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bucket List

I'm part of this crazy fun and inspiring group that encourages each other to set and accomplish goals 30 days at a time.  Every day we are given a topic to address regarding the goal we set and then the conversation explodes.  One of the guys in the group has a goal that involves helping people check things off of their bucket lists. 

In all honesty, I have never written a bucket list.  A few years back, when we knew that we were moving out of California, we allowed our daughters to make a bucket list.  It went something like this:
  1. Spend the night at Grandma & Papa's house
  2. Calico Ghost Town
  3. Rain Forest Café
  4. Go to the movies (apparently they were worried that Missouri didn't have movie theatres)
  5. Disneyland
  6. John's Incredible Pizza
  7. Visit Ms. Brenda's horses
  8. Victor Valley Mall playground
  9. Round Table Pizza
  10. Play with the neighbors at Grandma & Papa's house
Some of my friends do bucket lists with their kids, like a Christmas bucket list, summer bucket list or vacation bucket list.  For me, there's something about the term bucket list that makes me feel old and so I avoid making a bucket list.  I think it's because I never heard the term until I saw the movie The Bucket List

As I face another birthday this year (which is much better than not facing another birthday) and my kids are getting old enough that I feel like I'm running out of time to do everything with them before they move out, a bucket list is beginning to form in my head.  It's more of a list of things to do before the kids move out, but we'll call it a bucket list because that name is much shorter.
  1. Travel through New England in the autumn
  2. Take a cruise to Alaska (way better than flying or driving there)
  3. Take our family to Taiwan to visit our son's birth family
  4. Write a children's book (or five)
  5. Get all of our pictures scrapbooked/organized/labeled (this will be really simple now that I have Picture My Life)
  6. Share our family's story because someone needs to hear it
  7. Learn to play the guitar
  8. Be debt-free
  9. Organize my grandma's writings and drawings into a book
  10. Take my kids to all 50 states (preferably by car because you can see so much more, but train or plane would be ok too)
What is on your bucket list?