Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Pressures of Life....

Pressure... it affects us all. A couple of days ago we came home from a 5 day out of state trip. With us we brought lots of new items that we had received over Christmas. We came in with all of our luggage and gifts and with being so tired layed them in the foyer. As I woke up this morning getting ready to leave for church my husband and I both had a little bit of crabbiness as we looked around at the mess. For me I also looked around at all the things I didn't complete that I had wanted to before we left on our trip and was frustrated.

Then I go on facebook and see what all my "mom" friends are doing and accomplishing. I start looking around my home and thinking that this or that needs to be done, fixed or prettied up. I look at my children and think how much I need to work with this one on spelling and that one on speech and take this one to this sporting event or practice.

Then this afternoon I turned on the radio.... and God allowed me to hear just what I needed to get my perspective focused back on him! One thing that was said on the radio that isn't in the following article is this. "We need to stop thinking that interuptions are interrupting our real life and realize that the interruptions ARE real life!" We need to take each day as it comes and ask God to give us HIS strength to make it through each day no matter what stress or pressure is in the day. Hope you enjoy reading the article as much as I enjoyed listening to it today! Hope it blesses you!

The heavy pressures in your life are often the things God's using to press you to Him
by Dennis Rainey

Does pressure ever get to you? It gets to me. Let me share a slice of our lives from my journal several years ago:
A plumber has just informed me our house could explode due to a faulty gas line. A corner of the wallpaper has started peeling above the shower. Leaving for the office I hit every red light possible—arriving late. Walking into my office, an associate informed me of two urgent situations needing a decision. A three-inch pile of unanswered letters on my desk cried out for immediate attention. PRESSURE. Barbara was on the phone needing a decision from me on refinishing our ancient hardwood floors—'What color stain should we use? When should the floor man come? Should we do the kids' closet? Who's going to move the couch? (Remember it's the one that has a queen size hide-a-bed in it).'

And if that wasn't enough, all six of us were leaving in 48 hours, having just returned from eight weeks on the road, to speak at a Family Camp in California.

Barbara started sneezing. Ashley and Samuel chorused in, and by midnight one half of the Rainey Zoo had asthma. In less than eight hours we were to leave for Family Camp. Who needs Family Camp?! We prayed about cancelling. The next morning the lawn still needed mowing, the kids were still sick and Rebecca was crying for Cheerios. I had to get this tribe to the airport, but our bills were due and the paycheck hadn't come. The phone rang as we locked the door, but we had to go or miss our plane. The kids chimed in unison, "Could you stop for doughnuts, daddy?" Secretly I thought, "Who needs Family Camp, hardwood floors, or DOUGHNUTS! This must be a sinister plot to over-throw my family!!!"

As I reflect back to those pressure-packed moments, I think life was pretty simple then compared to today. Stress, it seems, has become the ninth family member. My hope is that God is using stress to make us all into diamonds—diamonds are just lumps of coal that have been under pressure for a long time.

Bearing burdens

Stress. Pressure. We work under it. We are driven by it. We suppress it. We deny it and try to escape it. We take vitamins for it. We feel it in our chest. Our stomach churns. Our palms get sweaty. And all of us are squeezed by it.

The questions for all of us are: How do we live with it? and Is pressure always bad?

J. Hudson Taylor, the great pioneer missionary to China, has some great advice, "It matters not how great the pressure is, only where the pressure lies. If we make sure it never comes between us and our Lord, then the greater the pressure, the more it presses us to Him."

But sometimes I want out. Don't you? We often think less stress would be better (and sometimes that's true). However, many of us want less pressure from the things that are good for us to bear. There can be positive effects from pressure. It is not pressure, but our response to pressure, that determines pressure's effect on us. Joe Bayly, a modern-day "psalmist," captures what our response ought to be in a poem entitled, "A Psalm While Packing Books":

This cardboard box
See it says
Bursting limit
200 lbs. per square inch.
The box maker knew
how much strain
the box would take
what weight
would crush it.
You are wiser
than the box maker
Maker of my spirit
my mind
my body.
Does the box know
when pressure increases close to
the limit?
it knows nothing.
But I know
when my breaking point
is near.
And so I pray
Maker of my soul
Determiner of the pressure
Stop it
lest I be broken
or else
change the pressure rating
of this fragile container
of Your grace
so that I may bear more.

Isn't that what I need to ask God for? Our prayer should be, "Change the pressure rating and broaden my shoulders. Strengthen me, O Lord, to handle that which has come into my life." He will. He promised. Here is His response to that prayer:
"Come unto me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is
light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

Only Jesus can promise that. Only Jesus can truly deliver.

May the burdens you and your mate carry press your hearts to Christ and merge you into one as you rightly respond to circumstances together. Tonight before retiring, why not spend a few moments in prayer together. As a couple, take those "things" which are pressuring you to the One whose burden is easy and whose yoke is light.

Article found on :

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Anna's first Christmas

My little girl is almost 10 months old!. Christmas was wonderful with her added into our lives this year. We have celebrated many different places already and still have one more to attend and it has been so much fun.

Here are some pictures from our Christmas, and yes the date is wrong on all the pictures... lol but it really was Christmas and 2012!! :-)

She wanted to play with the bows more than she wanted to play with her presents :-)

Hope you all had a blessed Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 a year in Review

This is my first blog on my new page. To view old post from my other one, including my last blog that I wrote today you can click here I decided to start fresh after something happened with my old blog.

So let's start with a year in review! :-)

Started off the year largely pregnant with my 4th and final :-) child.

Then on February 27th I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl in the world :-)

In April Jonathan turned 3 :-) I love his face in this picture! :-)

In June Samuel turned 6 and we visited our family back in Missouri.

In July Joseph turned 8 years old!

Boys had some fun in the sun!

Mike also took the older boys on a summer camping trip. It was Joseph and Samuel's first real camping adventure and they loved it.

Most of the year though... has been watching Anna grow... and change. She is loved by her brothers that's for sure. Even now she is almost 10 months old and every time she comes into the room every single one of her brothers oooo's and aaaa's over her and can't wait to go and kiss her or hug her.... she brings a whole new element into our lives.

Then this fall Joseph started 2nd grade and Samuel started kindergarten

In September Michael turned 15!!

Halloween we had a house full of superheroes!!

Jonathan had surgery in November. His second in his short life. His first was at a year and a half for tubes in his ears. This one at 3 and 1/2 was for adnoids being removed and new tubes put in. He did great and we are already seeing improvments in speech!

Then these are from this month. Our "Christmas pictures" ... my how all the kids have grown and changed...

One more picture of Anna.... Since it's her first christmas... and our first girl... I figure I can lavish a little extra attention on her right now. :-) :-) I took this on Friday evening after hearing the tragic news of Conneticut. I needed to smile and she always makes me smile... so I thought it might help others to smile as well, so I posted some pictures of her on facebook. This is one of them...

Please remember to keep the families of Newtown in your prayers as I will be doing for a very very long time.

I do hope everyone is having a blessed Christmas season and in case I don't post again before the New Year, Happy New Year to everyone as well!