Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rewind Wednesdays (on Thursday!) :)

I really can't believe it's been almost 2 years since Logan was in the hospital with pneumonia. I begin to think about it a lot more around Christmas time because the day after Christmas is when he started getting sick! These pictures just take me down memory lane and are a reminder to me that I need to be thankful daily for the health of my children.
Logan was really sick, but no where near as sick as some of those precious children who shared the walls of Children's hospital (a place we are so thankful for!!!).
Praise God for His healing!

Here's Logan still at DCH. Smiling was few and far between during these 16 days!

This is Logan after they had inserted the chest tube to drain the fluid off his lungs.He had lost almost all use of one lung! But he was being so silly this day.....the Lortab definitely helped!

Logan barely wanted anything to do with me during this entire time. His daddy was his best friend and Alan rarely left his side. What a great Daddy he is!! Logan wanted to play with his trains so badly, so Alan and I laid out a sheet on the floor and built Logan a track.
Alan also built this little tent for Logan over his bed. The nurses all thought it was cute! Logan liked it because it made him feel secure in his own little space. :)
When Logan started feeling better and got off his i.v. antibiotics, we took him for a ride in one of the wagons at Children's. He had the best time! It was nice to get him out of that room.
More playing in the floor with trains. :)
So exhausted from the wagon ride!
Thank you Lord for watching over my sweet Logan and making him healthy!

I am a horrible blogger!

So, apparently I am horrible at blogging. It has been a whole 2 weeks since I last posted! So embarrassing! :-/ Oh well, I am going to do a bit of a rewind today and post a "Monday Meditation" here. SO much on mind this morning, so I want to share it with you all!

I have around 5 books that I have started reading and have had a hard time deciding which one I want to just go ahead and finish. I'll read a few pages of one book one day, another the next and so on and so forth....BUT the other day I decided that I am going to dive in and finish "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan first!

As you have read in past posts, I have a little different outlook on Christmas this year. It has become very obvious to me that God is purposefully changing my heart about the "secular-ness" (if that's even a word) of the holiday and He's very much HIGHLIGHTING things for me to read in order to get His point across. But I love it because I LOVE knowing God is working ON ME and CHANGING ME! It's so awesome and I welcome it!

Chapter four in "Crazy Love" is titled "Profile of the Lukewarm." I have been getting hit pretty hard from all sides with this chapter, let me tell you! Boy, he has been in my head and heard all my excuses and then wrote them down in this book! It's crazy! ;-) If you don't have this book, I highly recommend it. I won't go over all of the characteristics he lists of lukewarm Christians, I only want to talk about one. Here is what it says:

"LUKEWARM PEOPLE think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focused on today's to-do list, this week's schedule, and next month's vacation. Rarely, if ever, do they intently consider the life to come. Regarding this, C.S. Lewis writes, "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for this present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."

Uhhhhmmmm, HELLO! Wow. I read this and felt a big punch in the gut! How many times I quoted the verse "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things" (Col. 3:2) yet I am not even living it! I am guilty and pointing my finger straight at my chest! This really made me think about the Christmas season specifically. How many times do we get wrapped up in the shopping, the planning, the cooking, and, IF WE ARE REALLY HONEST WITH OURSELVES we TRULY forget what the REAL meaning of Christmas is for Christians. It is very easy to do. I have felt convicted about worrying about the perfect Christmas present or making sure my kids have the most memorable Christmas morning ever, when what I really need to focus on is making sure they PERSONALLY know the gift that was given to all mankind, the reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus Christ. The best gift I could ever present to them! It's more than just reading them the bible story and saying we are celebrating Christ's birth. I believe it's about living it daily in front of our children.

I have sat here and wondered why I am so concerned about these "earthly" things, when they will all wither away, none of them matter, when we really focus on what our real purpose is on this earth. Are we here for personal gain? To live the most successful and wealthy life? To have all the earthly possessions that we can obtain? To be the first at everything? The best at everything? None of the above. Our purpose is to praise and glorify our heavenly Father, and to make the most of our time here making sure we tell as many people as we can about Jesus Christ. When I think about it that way, all the stores and the decorations and the presents really seem insignificant! But, oh, how easily it is to get into our daily, earthly lives and push this aside.

My prayer today is that God will keep my focused on heavenly things and not earthly things. That this Christmas season I will be able to teach my kids that is IS more blessed to give than to receive and that remembering that God gave us the ultimate gift of His precious son, Jesus Christ, that first Christmas morning in order that he may live a sinless life in order to bear OUR sins, die on the cross, and be raised on the third day!

Thank you Father for your gift of Jesus Christ and salvation, and the many gifts you bless us with on this earth. Help us to remember that these things on earth will perish and wither away, but your promises endure forever and ever. Help us not to lose sight of the true reason we celebrate this day we call "Christmas" and continue to give us reminders of your love and grace. You are amazing, loving, gracious and beautiful to us and we praise you for who you are above all else!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I had seen several people on Facebook and many of my blogging friends spending the entire month of November expressing thanks for specific things each day or each week. Well, I missed the boat on that one, so I am going to try and make up for here, on this last day of November!

First and foremost, I am thankful for my precious savior, Jesus Christ and the love and mercy of my Heavenly Father. In the last 9 weeks I have learned so much about God's love and mercy and His priceless gift of salvation for us. My worth is nothing, His is matchless and unable to describe. I deserve no less than the wrath He has for my sins. I have learned that the closer you draw to God, the clearer our sins become and the more we see just how unrighteous we are. This is so true! But praise God He loved us more than our sins and He allowed us way to spend eternity with Him, even though we do not deserve it! I am so thankful for my God and my Savior! Through Christ we have hope in the sad, hard and confusing times and we have joy and happiness in the good times! God has never promised us that life will be easy or happy 100% of the time. But He has promised that He will be with us through those times of sadness and difficult days. He calls us to be unwavering in our faith so that HE may receive the glory under Heaven and our treasures will be stored up in Heaven! Praise GOD!
God has also been so good to us through providing health for our family and for blessing with a beautiful home place to raise our children. May we always be good stewards of what He has given to us so that His name is glorified!
Thank you God for your unchanging, unconditional love for us and for your amazing gift of Salvation through Christ Jesus!

 Secondly, I am thankful for my husband. Alan has always been a rock in my life through times when I have needed guidance and strength when I have felt so weak. He is a godly man, who works hard so that I can stay at home with our 2 boys.

Alan prays for me and for our marriage and our children daily and I am blessed to have a god-fearing man who has a passion to be more Christ-like. Not to mention is a SUPER-DADDY! :) God knew just what I needed when He sent me Alan and for that I am THANKFUL!

I am also so very thankful for my children. God has gifted me with the sweetest, smartest, funniest, (cutest!) ;-) and silliest little boys! Each one has their very own personality! Logan is so tenderhearted and so sweet and smart. Ford is so determined, smart and such a loving little boy. God is so amazing how He gives parents such a sense of privilege over their children. If that didn't make sense, what I mean is, don't all of you parents out there just sit and go "Man! I am so lucky to have this kid as my own. He/she is just so ....." We all do that, don't we? Just feel so privileged to have them as our child. I do, anyway. So if you don't, then maybe my kids ARE extra special!! ;-) Seriously, though, God has richly blessed us and our family and I am so thankful for my two precious little boys!
Logan: only a few days after coming home from the hospital!

Logan: 4 1/2 years old.

Ford: only a few days after coming home from the hospital!

Ford: 2 years old.

God has blessed Alan and I with a terrific extended family. The love and support and prayers we are shown and receive by parents, brothers and sister in laws, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles is dear to us. There is nothing greater than the loving, earthly family God has given to each of us and we are so thankful for ours.

God has also blessed us with an amazing group of godly friends. Alan and I have found accountability partners and confidants in our extended group of friends who love us and pray for us. Alan and I are firm believers that as a young married couple, it is vital to have Christian friends who pray for you and who encourage you to nurture your marriage and can relate to you and your daily struggles. In addition to having a Christian family as a foundation, I also believe having a solid group of Christian friends is an important element to a strong foundation in your growth in Christ. It is a hard walk to walk sometimes, but having godly friends walk it with you and most importantly PRAY for you, is incredible! Each friend has a significance and a special purpose and for that I am thankful. Thank you to all our dear friends and thank you God for placing each one of them in our lives!

I would have posted pictures of our extended family and friends, but there are SO many, I would have been here all day! :)

There is so much to be thankful for in my life. So much to think about and reflect on during one of the most exciting and amazing holidays! God is good and we are so blessed!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday's Meditation

Trying to get back in to the swing of a routine after having so much time off and camping 2 weekends in a row is TOUGH! But today I must get back into my routine, AND get my Christmas decorations put out!

JAMES 1:27 

For those of you that know me well, you will know that I am obsessed with orphans and adoption right now! I think about sweet little orphan kids and starving kids all over the world, oh, about 8500 times a day. ;) I have a couple of (new) friends that are in the midst of their international adoptions. As most of you know, any sort of adoption can be quite expensive! So raising money for these adoptions is a must! So, my one friend, Anna,  and her husband, Tim, are adopting from Ethiopia and they have a blog and are selling the cutest ornaments that Anna makes HERSELF! They are just adorable, so check them out here: ANNA's ORNAMENTS FOR OLIVIA. Here is one of the ornaments Anna made for me, Logan's "L" ornament:

I also have a friend who is adopting a sweet little boy with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. She is an advocate of an organization that helps orphans with DS find a forever home called Reece's Rainbow. Through this site, my friend, Tesney, has fallen in love with a sweet little girl named Victoria who is still in need of a forever family. Tesney is helping to raise money for a grant that can be used if/when this little girl is adopted. She has a friend who sells Mary Kay and this lady is going to donate 25% of her sales between Nov. 28 and Dec. 3 to Victoria's adoption grant fund!! So amazing! So if you use Mary Kay and you need some RIGHT NOW, buy from here: MARY KAY FOR VICTORIA!
You can also donate to Victoria's adoption grant fund (minimum of $35) and recieve beautiful Christmas ornament. Tesney has more information about these ornaments here: VICTORIA'S ORNAMENTS. I just donated and ordered mine! ;)

With all these thoughts on orphans and starving kids around the world, it has made me realize just how fortunate my family really is. We want for nothing, we never worry if we are going to have our next meal or when OR IF that meal will come. My kids have a huge play room with more toys than they ever play with and as a matter of (a sad) fact most of those toys they DON'T ever play with. It is definitely time to downsize their toys and give them away to kids who don't have many (or any!) toys to play with. The best part? Logan is totally on board with this idea and that makes my heart smile! :)

My friend Tesney, that I referred to earlier, made a statement on her blog not too long ago saying that her 4 year old is only getting 3 toys for Christmas this year, because "if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for him." I have stolen her saying and have used it quite a few times! Alan and I have agreed that is the theme of our Christmas this year (and basically forever).

I must not say all of this without saying "Thank you!" to all of my friends and family who have to listen to me talk about and obsess about this subject on a daily basis! It has become very close to my heart and has become quite a burden for me! I have come to realize that we are not fortunate and basically RICH (according to 85% of the world's standards) in this country just because we are "privileged" or have some greater ranking of importance in God's eyes. We are given this wealth so that we can share it with the poor and needy and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations! I truly believe that. We are NOT given this wealth so that we can drive the nicest car we can possibly afford or live in the nicest house we can afford or wear the most expensive clothes our monthly income will allow us to buy. We are given it to sacrifice these "things" in our lives so that we can either GO OR SEND people to all parts of the world to tell ALL people about Jesus. I also believe that adoption is very close to God's heart, since we, as His children, are adopted by Him, and that if we can't afford to adopt (or feel like it's not something we are able to do personally) then we should help those that are able to adopt. Adoption is not cheap and to quote my friend Tesney again, It is a ploy of the Devil to try and keep these precious children from having forever homes!

So this is my prayer today, that God will give us a burden and a compassion for the fatherless, the hungry and the needy all over this world: in America and internationally! There are so many other organizations and ways to help like Compassion International, Samaritan's Purse, Show Hope, World Vision, and many many other sites for feeding hungry children or helping orphans find forever homes!

I challenge you, my blog reading friends, to do something "radical" this Christmas........spend less on your kids (or other family members) and more on those who need food, a family or to hear about a heavenly Father who loves them and wants them to know HIM personally! Will you do that?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We have PUPPIES!

Yes!You read that right, we do, indeed, have puppies at our house! Do you or anybody you know want a sweet little puppy in their Christmas stocking this year?? Our sweet little stray, Judy (named by Logan), had puppies about 2 weeks ago, November 9th. She had 7 puppies total, but only 6 survived. Here are all 6 puppies snoozing all cuddled up.

This is the puppy Logan has decided to keep. She's the only black and white puppy in the mix. He had originally said he wanted a boy, but he has fallen in love with this little black and white girl and couldn't care less that it's not a boy! Isn't she a cutie?!

I just love how puppies cuddle up together when they sleep. They are just too cute! Their eyes have only been open for a couple of days. But when they do open them, they are real squinty and they look at you like "Would you please put me down and let me sleep!?" Precious!

If you or anybody you know is interested in some cute, mixed-breed puppies, please let me know. Judy is a stray of unknown origin, and I could find out more information about the puppies' daddy (he's our neighbor's dog). Just keep in mind, if you are interested in the puppies, the black and white one is NOT available! :) We are also going to offer one of them to our neighbors. These puppies are FREE, by the way, and will be ready for you to take home just in time for Christmas!!

More about camping...

We spent another fun weekend camping at Tannehill this past weekend. Here are a few snapshots from then:
Ford LOVES bubbles. He had a great time learning how to blow them.

He was so funny. He kept trying to blow either above the stick or below it.

So, he got a little hope from Paw Paw.

Logan's mission ALL weekend was to find new friends. He kept saying to us, "Today I am GOING to make new friends! I am going to today!" He also loved to ride his bike.

Another shot of sweet Ford trying to figure out this bubble blowing thing. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rewind Wednesday

I love Rewind Wednesdays so much, I can never just put one picture up! I probably could even put about 10 pictures, but I won't do that. :) Instead, I"ll try to limit myself to two pictures.

The first is another wonderful memory of Great Grandmommy Ryan, or "Red" as she was affectionately called my many. I'm thinking Alan and I were just married here, maybe about 5 months. I believe this was a get-together for her birthday at Aunt Sandy's house. In the picture is me and Alan, Alan's mother, Nancy, our nephews Hunter and Harrison and Alan's brother, Brad and his wife, Kelly.

This picture is from my graduation from Grad School at the University of West Alabama. You probably can't tell it but I am 6 months pregnant with Logan in this picture. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This post is meant to be for 2 groups of people: the first being those people who want to see pictures from our camping trip; and the second being those people who wonder: "Camping? What do you do when you camp and why do you like it?" So, here you go. :)

Let me start by showing you a picture of my sweet boys and their new friend they met over the weekend. Her name is Caylee and she's from Mississippi. She is 4 and Logan spotted her about 24 seconds after she climbed out of her camper the day she arrived! This is a picture of the boys on Caylee's four wheeler that she was so precious to share with them over the weekend. Isn't she a doll? Such a little prissy thing.

Here's Logan and Caylee riding the four wheeler together. Logan preferred to drive, but it WAS her ride, 
after all. They had so much fun!

Okay, for those of you who say "I'm not sleeping on the ground or in a tent!" Here is our camper and set up. We don't sleep in a tent, either, (anymore). We really do rough it in our 5th wheel with satellite tv, full kitchen and bathroom. :) We did start out tent camping (and my brother and his family still do) and I will say it is a lot of fun. But it does tend to be a little more comfy and warm in the camper. :)

So, what do we do when we're camping, you ask? Well, we go for walks......

We snack.......
and we snack some more....

....and we get together under one canopy to eat dinner. Some of the best and funniest times come with all of us gathered together under my parent's screen room, cramming all 10 of us into the little picnic table and having a yummy meal!
My favorite part of camping (other than the snacking and being lazy..) is the campfire! We usually roast marshmallows and make s'mores. Here, Logan, Caylee, and Ceilidh are telling each other 
"scary campfire stories."

Ford found him a nice place to play alone. Several times we didn't know where he was and we'd find him underneath this picnic table playing with trains.

Here is Uncle Steven blowing some bubbles for Ford. :)

Ceilidh, Logan and Caylee riding the train. 
Logan's favorite part of camping at Tannehill is the train.....

.....and getting to blow the whistle.

After we got off the train, I looked back and found Logan like this....and then I found him bending over looking underneath the train and really studying it. I can already tell he has such a mechanical mind...
just like his daddy. :)

So that is basically all we do when we camp....I guess I forgot to mention that we ride bikes A LOT and we go to the playground, of course. But I didn't get any pictures of either one of those activities. If you think you wouldn't like it, maybe you should try it, least once.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's meditation

"A Night With the Chapmans"

So, last night Alan and I were able to go to Shades Mountain Baptist in Vestavia Hills to see A Night with the Chapmans. It was the entire Chapman family on tour, with Caleb and Will Franklin's band (and they were fantastic!) opening, then Steven Curtis himself basically did a concert before and after Mary Beth (his wife) came out and talked a little bit about their family's struggle to live each day after the death of their 5 year old, Maria Sue. Maria, along with 2 others, Shaohannah Hope and Stevey Joy, were adopted from China. Maria was killed in a tragic accident in the driveway of their home in May of 2008. Will Franklin, the Chapman's youngest son, accidentally ran over her when he was pulling into the driveway in his SUV. The entire evening had a theme of overcoming great tragedy, dark days, struggles and difficulties in life through the sufficient mercy of our God and Savior. 
Mary Beth talked about how it truly is a day to day process. Every day God's mercies are new, every morning it is required to call upon Him to sustain them throughout the day. As I listened to her share her heart and feelings, I couldn't help but think that even when things aren't that bad, am I seeking His face every morning? If I can't do it now, how will I do it if something horrible happens like what this family has had to deal with? God forbid I ever have to experience what they have experienced. But the Christian life is not without struggles, difficulties and heartache. It is how we handle them that is most important. God's plan is perfect, no matter how bad we hate it, no matter how much it hurts us here on earth. One of the things that has helped the Chapmans through this tragedy is knowing that Maria is in Heaven with Jesus, but also that the vapor of a life here without Maria is just a second or two compared to the eternity they will spend with Maria in Heaven. Praise God! What a comfort it is to know that we can have hope and assurance that we will see our loved ones again one day.
Mary Beth Chapman wrote a book about her life and how she and their family have been coping with Maria's death. It's called "Choosing to See." I got my copy last night and am anxious to dive into it! :)
Each chapter has a quote at the beginning. The quote on chapter 2 says this: "Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude." ~ Simone Weil.
I thought about that quote for a while today and wondered if would agree with that quote in the face of sorrow and sadness. I hope that I would. I pray that I would, because I truly do believe that God has a big picture that none of us can see, not yet, but that He is working on throughout our lives. The picture is perfect and beautiful, but He doesn't promise us that it won't ever be painful or difficult along the way. We can't see the big, finished picture. But one day we will and we will see that in all things, God was glorified. Job 1:21 says that "the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." The Chapmans showed the audience last night that even though the Lord took Maria away, they are still praising God! SCC wrote an entire album right after Maria passed away, and all the songs related to or talk about Maria and her death. One of the songs is called "Beauty will Rise" and it's also the title track. Here are some of the lyrics:
Out of these ashes
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes
Out of these ashes
Beauty will rise
For we know joy is coming in the morning
In the morning
Beauty will rise

I think Alan and I both almost had forgotten what an amazing artist SCC really is. He really brought the entire audience to worship last night. Their courage, strength and faith is so inspiring to me. Their story shows us how no matter what you are going through in your life, there is nothing that is too big that God can't handle. As a matter of fact, He wants us to bring it Him and let Him lead us through it. My prayer is that no matter what happens in this life, I will choose to focus on the bigger picture, the Master Plan, the perfect design God has for my life, to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future.
I plan on getting several chapters of this book read this evening. I also plan on crying quite a bit through it. 

I must also talk about the Chapman's adopted children. I believe that adoption, orphan care, is something that is very close to God's heart. It is mentioned numerous times in the bible for Christians to care for orphans. He commands us to do this. 
James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
Psalm 82:3 says: "Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy."
One story that Mary Beth told last night really touched my heart. She was talking about the first time she met, held and became Shaohannah's mother. Here is an excerpt from her book where she talks about meeting Shaohannah for the first time:
I saw a Chinese woman carrying a bundled baby. She was wrapped in a million layers, but the outside one was a pink, polka-dotted flannel blanket that I had made and sent from home.
I couldn't get to her fast enough. I opened my arms,, flew toward the woman, and took the baby. Tears poured down my face. I couldn't believe that this was my child. I stared down at her, crying over and over, "This is my baby!" I wept and clutched her tightly as the nanny handed me everything I had ever sent her: a stuffed pig, a plastic photo album of her new family......

She goes on to say this, what I thought was so profound and brought me to tears:
In that moment, time stopped. I was like God was speaking to me directly. "Mary Beth, you thick-headed woman, do you not understand now that this is the very way I see you? You are this orphan! I adopted you and you are Mine! I bought you for a price! Do you see how you love this baby? That's just a faint reflection of how much I love you! You didn't have a name, and I gave you a name. You did nothing to deserve my love, and I love you anyway. You had no hope, no future, and now you are the daughter of the King!" 
An amazing parallel between God's love for us, and the gift of hope and a future he gave us, and what we, as Christians could do for so many hopeless children who don't have a family or parents to guide them. It touched my heart and moved me to tears. 
Lastly, I want to tell you about the Chapman's organization called Show Hope.  The Chapman's built a hospital in China and named it Maria's Big House of Hope. Special needs orphans are treated here and the funding comes from sponsors. People like me and you. Alan and I gladly and immediately jumped at the chance to become a sponsor. We both have a strong calling that God has called each and every one of us to care for orphans. So when a way to do that is presented to us, we jump on it! The money also goes towards grants that families who are trying to adopt can apply for these grants to help fund the costs of their adoption. I can't think of a better way to spend $35 a month! If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, you can go here:
It might mean giving up eating out one dinner per month, or 3 lunches per month or not getting your nails done. Personally, I feel a strong conviction to take care of the orphans and am thankful to organizations like this one that make it easy for me to do so. Proverbs 24:12 says "If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?"
God lays it out pretty plainly in the Bible that He wants us to care for orphans. It's definitely one of those things that I think "Ya know, if He's going to spell it out so clearly for us in His word, I better not ignore it!"
Okay, off my soapbox! Didn't mean for it to be a platform here, but I do feel very strongly about it and wanted to share. 

Soli Deo Gloria! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

8th Annual Crawford Family Camping Trip

Every year, since right before Alan and I got married, we have taken a family camping trip with my side of the family. Normally we camp at Lake Guntersville State park but since Daddy had his heart attack just over 2 months ago, we thought it would be best to camp a little closer to home. Since we all love Tannehill it was an obvious choice.

So, that is why I haven't posted anything since Wednesday. We are "roughing it" it our 5th wheel camper with a potty and standup shower, air conditioner, heater and satellite tv. Oh yes. We really are living like the pioneers our here, let me tell you. ;)

Camping is something I have grown up doing and therefore I love it and always will. Alan camped some as a child with his grandparents and is just loves the outdoors anyway, so naturally we have passed on our love for camping to our boys. They are having a great time as they usually do playing with their cousin Ceilidh and riding bikes. Logan even made a new friend just 2 campers down from us and he is smitten! Her name is Caylee and she is cute as a button!

Unfortunately, my sister in law and my other niece Addie weren't able to make this trip. Addie has been sick with a virus all week. We have missed them tremendously and I personally have missed my "bath house buddy," Heather. ;) We always make a point to trek to the bath house to take out showers at the same so we don't have to go alone.
For those of you who don't camp, or think you're too prissy to camp, I'm going to give you all a run down of what all takes place on a typical camping trip. But I'll have to do that from home. I want to show pictures from the trip with my explanation and I can't do that here. My brother told me there had to be a blogger app for my iPhone so that is what I'm using for this post! I have to say, I don't know why I didn't think about it before now, but I LOVE it!!

So I guess that is all the ramblings I have for now. I will be back early next week to post pictures of our trip.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Tannehill State Park

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rewind Wednesdays

Today is one of the days I am stealing an idea from a friend. So, Wednesdays will be called "Rewind Wednesdays!" Enjoy the first installment:
This is Logan and Grandmommy Ryan (Alan's grandmother), Christmas 2007. Logan was 2 here and he always loved for Grandmommy to read books to him and she loved reading to him just as much. The last day Logan spent with Grandmommy, just days before she passed away, she was reading to him. Alan was even able to make some video of it. Precious, treasured memories of a precious Great-Grandmother. She was so loving to all her babies, even the older ones. This time of year makes me personally miss Grandmommy so much more. It will only be our second Christmas without "Red" and she is dearly missed.
This is our family picture made at Alan's Aunt Sandy's house the same Christmas, 2007. I love looking back at old pictures to see how much the kids (and Alan and I!) have changed. I am going to love Rewind Wednesdays! :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Logan's heart

For those of you who know us well, you will know that my 4 year old, Logan, has not a sweet tender heart, but he also has a brain that doesn't stop turning! With that comes some pretty funny comments out of his mouth. Anyone who ever teaches him or spends any amount of time with him usually relays some funny story of something has said to them personally. He really is a mess! So, I think I will dedicate Tuesdays for sharing something funny or sweet that Logan (or Ford) has said or done throughout the week.
Logan's teacher at preschool is doing a unit on the state of Alabama. They are learning that Alabama is in the United States of America, and that Alabama is in the South, and the bordering states are Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia (that's all for now). :) They will also learn about the flag, flower and bird. I think it's a great unit and Logan is loving it! Today on the way to school Logan asked me if I knew that there were children in Africa that didn't have anything to eat or anything to drink. Of course I said "Yes, I do. Isn't that sad?" He said, "Yes, it is sad Mama, and I think that we need to bring those children over here, to the United States of America, to Alabama, live at our house and give them food and water so that they won't be hungry."
WOW! What a precious heart my little 4 year old  has. What a desire God has already given him to help take care of those that are less fortunate than we are. Part of our great commission is to take care of the poor and needy, not just in our state or our country, but all over the world. As a matter of fact, there are over 300 verses in the bible that mention us caring for the poor. I don't know about you, but with a number like that, I think it's pretty important to God. So I told Logan that in his prayer on the way to school that he should pray for those children and ask God to show him how he can help take care of them.

Okay, so get this, I DID NOT know that this would come in the mail today, but low and behold, on my way home from picking him up from school, the World Vision Gift Catalog was in the mailbox. Seriously, I kid you not. I have always said that with God there are no coincidences and I do not believe that it was a coincidence that this catalog came in the mail today. Actually, I think it came yesterday but I didn't get it out of the box until today. Talk about divine intervention! :) I am definitely giving this one to God!! When we got home, I showed Logan the catalog and went through it with him. I reminded him that we had prayed for God to show us how we could help the hungry children and I said "I think maybe this is how God wants us to help." Logan looks at me funny and said "Do you think God put that in our mailbox?" :)

If you aren't familiar with this catalog, it is a magazine from World Vision that has all sorts of farm animals that you can purchase right in the comforts of your home and have them sent to a family somewhere in the world in need. You can also purchase fishing kits to teach a family to fish, fruit trees, seeds, mosquito nets, life-saving medicines, emergency food, school supplies for schools, clothes and shoes, soccer balls, bibles in a child's own language AND you can purchase different items and the proceeds to towards helping sexually exploited girls, as well as donating money for sending a girl to school. There are so many choices in this catalog, it is hard to know which one I want to do! :)
I told Logan that instead of him and Ford getting a whole bunch of presents for Christmas this year that we are going to buy something from this magazine with that money to help those children he was thinking about this morning on the way to school. Although, distracted, tired and probably not thinking about those kids anymore, he agreed that would be a great idea!

I challenge you this year to step back from the hectic, crazy Christmas shopping frenzy and check out the World Vision website. The prices are so low, anyone, on any budget can do it. For example, for $25, you can buy 2 chickens and give a family a daily supply of eggs. Now, isn't that reasonable? Here's another, and the most popular gift: for $75 you can buy a goat that will provide a family with milk, cheese and yogurt, as well as fertilizer for their garden. It also says that the surplus of milk, cheese and yogurt they get, can be sold at the market to buy medicines and other necessities.

God calls us to help the poor and feed the hungry. Do you plan on doing something similar with your kids this year? If so, please share it with me! I'd love to hear about it! God is so good and has blessed us so abundantly, how can we keep this all to ourselves!? :)

Well, this is embarrassing!

I just started this blog and I am already a day behind! But I have been thinking a lot about what I wanted to name my Monday posts, and I think it will officially titled:

"Monday's Meditation"

So, without further ado, here is Monday (November 8, 2010)'s Meditation:


I have been doing a bible study with 5 close friends at church called "Discipleship Essentials." It is a bible study that is written and geared towards small group discipleship. The intention is to create a climate for the Holy Spirit to bring about accelerated growth in our spiritual lives and our walk with the Lord. The author of the study challenges us to be truthful, transparent and accountable to one another. This creates an atmosphere of complete trust and vulnerability. We study a core truth, memorize a verse or two of scripture, do an inductive Bible study and have a short reading each week. We decided to do this study after seeing how it changed 3 of group members husbands' lives after completing the study. The ultimate goal is to finish the study and each group member to form his/her own group and become the facilitator. It focuses on Jesus Christ's approach of discipleship-making through his example of his relationship with the 12 disciples. Jesus focused on the 12 while he was on earth so that after he was gone, they would continue the work that he left and tell others about Him. The first week also tells us about how Paul also followed this type of discipleship during his ministry.
So that is really the very skinny intro to this study, it is indeed an incredible bible study that I encourage you to look in to! I see revival taking place in the heart of many of our young adults at our church and I believe this study is the perfect stepping stone for that revival! Praise GOD that He does supply all our needs! He knew our hunger and I truly believe He placed this study in our lives for this very purpose!
I can't talk about this study without thanking the one person God used to bring it to us; David Kizziah. David and his precious wife, Katie, have ministered to our church family for the past 2 years and have especially ministered to my family specifically. We are super sad to see the Kizziah family leave us to serve at a church in North Carolina. Alan and I have been so blessed to call them friends and see our children grow to love and adore one another. Alan and David (and two others) traveled to Africa together this past Spring for a mission trip. At the same time, those 2 guys and 2 other friends were doing this bible study. Needless to say, it has changed Alan's life and many other lives and I look forward to see what all God has in store for me throughout this study.

So far, the three weeks that have impacted me the most are the weeks that covered quiet time, prayer and worship. Probably the three things that form the foundation for a fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, I want to talk about worship. I grew up in church, in a baptist church, and I have heard all my life that we are going to "worship service." Probably not until the last few years and more so the last few months have truly come to understand and experience true worship. Going into "big church" and singing the hymns, listening the preacher and listening to special music is not worship. One of our main purposes as Christians while on this earth is to worship God because when we get to heaven, that is all we are going to be doing! In Revelation, while the apostle John was being held prisoner by the Romans, an angel delivered to him the scenes of Heaven we see in chapter 4. He describes God's throne as blazing with glory and beauty and surrounded by creatures who continually praise the Lord saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty." (v. 8). Verse 11 goes on to say that God is worthy of glory, honor and praise because HE alone created ALL things and ALL things exist because of Him. There is no other God that has created ALL things and is worthy of this praise.

If we were to truly see who God really is, in all of His perfection and beauty, we would probably be in despair because this would make us see just how unrighteous and filthy we are.  The author states: "In the presence of God we are but dust and ashes. Every breath we breathe is a gift of His grace."
In Isaiah, when he comes into the presence of God, he cries out "Woe to me...I am ruined.." (Isaiah 6:5) but he doesn't run away. The author predicts that "perhaps he knew that he could never flee God's presence. Or perhaps there is something about God in his holiness that is irresistible." I like to think it is the later that kept him there, because I know that when I feel a glimpse of the presence of our God, it is so amazing and I never WANT to leave it!
In my own words, when I come into a state of worship, I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, I am reminded of what Christ did for me, undeserving and worthless as I am, and it makes me see the magnitude of my sin and how disgusting I really am and how marvelous and perfect HE is! I also think about how much He does love me and through grace and forgiveness I am able to have a relationship with Him. One final thought about worship is this, a quote from our bible study: "The vitality and depth of our worship are directly related to our view of God." Our worship should consist of falling before Him with gratitude and praise at the wonder of his holiness and the glory

I have several songs that I listen to when I want to come into a state of worship. Whether it be in the bathroom getting dressed and putting on my makeup, in the car, or in the kitchen cleaning! I have my "go-to" songs that are perfect for bringing me into the presence of the Holy Spirit. I want to share them with you.
The first is "Revelation Song" and my favorite version is by Kari Jobe. If you haven't heard it, I beg you to do so. It is the perfect worship song. The lyrics are straight from Revelation:

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King,Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I - will - adore You!

The second two songs are by Bethany Dillon called Sing Over Me and it is a gently reminder of how God promises us a peace that passes all understanding if we seek His face in all circumstances. One of my favorite lines is :

Sing of Your unending faithfulness
That knows no doubt or fear
In the face of all that I don't know yet
Remind me of who You are 
 I find it quite comforting to know that OUR GOD is faithful in ALL circumstances and He knows how to get us through anything, even those things we don't know anything about yet! Isn't that great!? Isn't GOD great!?

Finally, the second Bethany Dillon song is; "Let you light shine" and wow. This one right now really  moves me to tears when I listen to it. She says "the calmer of the sea, here in this room with me, so gently welcoming the weakest thing in me." I find so much peace in knowing that the God who is able to calm the sea, cares about me and all the little situations in my life when I can't seem to figure out what to do or how to do it. He wants ME to turn to HIM and rest, just let Him handle it. That is so amazing and comforting to me! My favorite verse from this song is this:

Oh Jesus, you became, what was my deepest shame
That in your very name
My calloused heart would change
How could you, oh perfect one,
Love me, when I have done nothing that's worthy of
My freedom You have won

How true that is that He is so VERY PERFECT and we are are so unworthy of freedom, yet He became our deepest shame and bought our freedom for us; we have calloused hearts but just the very mention of His precious name can soften our heart.

I hope that you are comforted by these songs as I am. I promise that if you sing them, really think about what they are saying, and focus on how great our creator is, what an amazing gift Jesus Christ gave us through the cross, and how unworthy we are of that gift, it will bring you, too, into a place of worship with our amazing, loving God.

I don't plan on making all of my posts this long. I hope to shorten them as I know that I tend to ramble with random thoughts at times and many of you will not want to read such lengthy posts! :) I felt like i needed to give some history my first day. If you've made it to the end of this, I sincerely thank you for that. You MUST be a dear friend. ;)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm starting a blog! (along with everyone else on the planet!) ;)

So, I decided to start a blog because, well honestly it looks fun and lots of other people are doing it. :) I have to admit, this blogger deal is not user friendly, at least not for this user. I sat here in front of my computer for FIVE HOURS the other day just trying to get the picture and blog header fixed and centered. I mean, that is just ridiculous! I can't get those 5 hours back. So, I finally decided to get up and walk away from it because I was so mad and irritated at that point, I was about to start using profanity.

I can't honestly say that this blog is going to be edge-of-your-seat-entertainment. But it will be daily occurrances in McPherson household. I will admit now that I will steal some ideas from some friends' blogs and add a couple of ideas of my own. So for those of you whom I planning on stealing ideas from, I apologize in advance, I just honestly am not that creative, so I have to steal creative ideas from those that are. :) My ultimate goals is 3 part: #1 to let friends and family see what's going on in our lives, #2 to share what God is currently doing in our lives and #3 to glorify our Lord and Saviour in all that we do and say and in doing so hopefully encourage others to praise and worship Him!

I may only have one reader (my mom), okay well maybe 3, I would be willing to bet that I will have a couple of "pity readers", but I will be grateful for what I have and not for what I don't have. ;)

I hope that you enjoy this journey with me!