Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo Meme Friday: D

Photo Meme Friday, I couldn't wait to share this one...

... Darling Daughters Dancing

I think Brooke was about 3 here which would make Ashley around 7.  You can see dress up was popular in our house... and my girls loved dressing up and dancing.  Oh sweet memories :-)

I heard, after we moved out, the owners of the house were planning on putting in Pergo... how much fun those shoes would have been, tapping on (fake) hard wood floors! 

Sometimes I miss that bright, beautiful place.  But all the times I am grateful to be obedient and have left.  Now I can look back on these wonderful pictures and smile thankfully at all the wonderful memories God gifted us with there!

The Mother's Homeschool Journal #1

After prayerful consideration, I am going to start participating in The Homeschool Chick's weekly event:

To read why this project stirs my heart, check out the "Homeschool Journal" tab at the top of this page. 

Here goes!

In my life this week…
I started the week in spiritual warfare.  By the grace of God and through His guidance and strength I was able to overcome quickly.  I was right-as-rain by Tuesday!

Some AMAZING news was confirmed... but I can't share it yet!  Hopefully, God willing, in this spot next week! (I don't mean to tease!  But the question is "In my life this week..."!)

In our homeschool this week…
I soooo did not want to do school this week!  However, I used our spring break (last week) to re-set our last 6 weeks of lesson plans (we were still running off track since the move in January).  The kids' math is very tightly scheduled to get it all done in time so I rebuked the enemy (procrastination and laziness) and we hit in hard... and I am so glad we did!

Ashley was diagramming sentences like a pro and really got a hold of Probability.  Brooke started learning double digit addition.... finally.  I know it is late in the year, but I am not worried.  Everything in its time!  She nailed her language arts work wonderfully!

Brenden started Remainder division.  Again, late, I know... but with his learning disability I rather make sure he understands the preceding concepts before pushing him into something else.  Understanding sometimes takes a while!  (notice, I don't say "perfecting"... just understanding!)  Well, he really did amazing on his division... better than I expected!  I am so proud of his diligence and he didn't get upset once with hard problems!

One frustration I had was with their spelling.  Brenden and Brooke haven't done real well the last few weeks with spelling.  Missing 5-7 out of 20 words. Brenden, being a visual learner, needs the manipulation to grasp things.  Ever since the move, this has been hard... we usually use cornmeal in a pan or play-doh rolled out in ropes but I don't have a lot of freedom to make quite that big of a mess... along with other issues!  I am praying for guidance.  Brenden, being dyslexic, doesn't always have to take his "test" but I do always want him to try and learn. 

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
 We are boring... we don't go anywhere!  ;-)  Actually, we will be taking the bus up north of town Monday to run errands and grocery shop on the way back.  Weather is suppose to be nice so, prayerfully, we can walk to the park a lot next week!
My favorite thing this week was…
 Resurrection Sunday :-)  And the fact that we got all of our school work done AND I was able to finally clean out the area we keep our clothes in!!  I think I might go camp out there... so nice!
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
 I have tried to contact our local Homeschool Association about their annual rummage and curriculum sale.  I just loved it last year and would love to go again this year.  Great way to get books at dirt cheap prices (and help other parents out too!)  I will have to set some change back for the occasion :-)

I haven't done the research yet, so I wonder if anyone can recommend a good math program for dyslexics (Other than Math-U-See).  I really want to get Brenden on something more comprehensive.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

 This video is just all up in my head this week!  I remember singing it at the Youth With a Mission base and I think it is such an amazing worship song... especially with such a faith filled crowd!  It is also great for those moments when you are seeking God! 

May God grant you blessed homeschool weeks and ambition to get it all done!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

God Always Knows Better

I have a horrible confession to make… I have not always been the mother I wanted to be (and sometimes I still am not).

I prayed for a daughter ever since I was little.  One whose hair I would lovingly brush and braid and tie up with ribbons.  One who would wear the most darling dresses and cutest jeans.  One who would sit and have quiet little tea parties with teddy bears and mommy dear.  A daughter who, when given her first doll house, would love on the miniature people, set up the dining room, and have great feasts and adventures within the molded walls.

God told me I would first have a son.  The only thing I wanted more than a daughter, was a big brother to take care of this precious little girl I knew would someday issue from my womb. 

Zach came into this world with curiosity and patience.  If first babies could be picked, he would be the one to have.  The terrible twos were not much more than a speed bump, he was always obedient, always darling, always a model.  I would even have moms of less obedient children ask me, “How do you do it?” and I, young and naive with only one child, would begin to advise.  I was convinced my darling child was all because of ME.  (I had fallen away from God for a time when he was younger so I had no clue then, it was because of GOD!)

I must concede here, apology calls were made at a later date.

22 days after Zach turned 4, Ashley entered the world…. SCREAMING.  And she didn’t stop.  Within the first few weeks I felt like a failure as a mom and my sweet little girl, who had to be taken early because of infection in my body, resembled a screeching alien more than a pudgy ball of delight.  

2 week old Ashley and her grandpa
I still loved her and I still tried to dote on her.  It was hard, though.  Long nights were spent pacing the floor with colic.  She would only settle down for her father, but he had work and was either gone, or needing sleep to be gone ‘bringin’ in the bacon’!  I did the best I could

At least while she was a baby I could dress her like I once had done with my baby dolls.  But the older she got the more I realized I was not dealing with the typical little girl and she was not at all like her big brother.  Where before a simple “no” would suffice with Zach, spankings and time-outs wouldn’t even work with Ashley.
She did have her sweet moments!  Here with her big bro :)
 As she got older and bed time would approach I would almost hyperventilate in anticipation.  Lying on the floor and kicking her door in protest of the nightly need for sleep was a regular and screaming some nights was a bonus. 

Poison control’s number was posted clearly on the fridge and Syrup of Ipecac never went far back in the cabinet.  At one point, after an unnerving sleep walking incident, I had to tie her door shut at night because I feared she would get up and go un-knowingly for a walk outside.  Living in bear country (or any country), I was terrified.

She destroyed her doll house because she liked it better as a jungle gym.  She HATES pink and frills have got to go.  Her hair was so thin (and she was so wiggly) fixing it beyond brushing was a long shot.  I was too exhausted from the work that was her to sit down to a serious tea party.  She usually roped her baby brother, when he arrived, into those.  She would tag him with a bib and serve him, then reprimand him for playing the game wrong!

Ashley and Brenden on one of his birthdays, she was 'helping'!

Speaking of her baby brother, when I found out I was pregnant with Brenden I was excited… then I cried.  “Please Lord, I can’t handle another Ashley”.  Having returned to a faith walk and the pues of church,  my hope was in God.  Whatever child he blessed me with, I had to Trust He would give me the strength to manage.

Brenden was more mild mannered than Zach.  Of course, I didn’t know it was because he was almost deaf in his early years… but that isn’t the point of this article.  The point is, here I am, up to three kids, two of which were boys and marvelously behaved and one of which was the coveted girl and I felt like I was constantly in an uphill battle with her.

I began to think I just wanted a daughter I could love who will love me back.  The daughter I had dreamed about.

One day, after a despairing struggle with her, I sat down and had a hearty cry.  I began to pray and seek God’s forgiveness, his council, and his hand to help.  I realized, at first in despair, that because of female problems and 3 miracle babies already, Ashley was likely the only daughter I was going to have.  I had a choice.  I could either battle her till the day I die, or I could embrace her and love her as only a mother can.    This heart altering realization formed into the finality of my prayer… that God would grow my heart for my difficult child, that he would create in me a love that surpassed all understanding.  That I would see my daughter in His beautiful light, and not my own obscured bulb.

Guess what?  God truly does answer prayers.

Me and my girl a few years ago at a Superchick concert

I have a (currently) 12 ½ year old tom-boy who will, on occasion, wear loooong skirts and imagine she is a pioneer girl!  She loves horses and she loves the Lord.  She is not boy crazy (my husband deeply appreciates this!) and she is bossy at times… driving us all batty.  But she is passionate.  She loves each of us deeply and, even though I know we drive her crazy sometimes, she is crazy about us. 

The most wonderful thing about Ashley: her heart for God :)

She is a brilliant artist, a hard worker, and a deep lover.  The well-being of animals is close to her heart.  She is a die-hard daddy’s girl.  She is better than the daughter of my dreams. 

Birthday horse ride last year!  Amazing!

After that prayer I lifted up in despair, God began to work in me.  He healed my heart and I fell in love all over again… with my little girl.  I became her passionate defender and ready protector.  I saw our relationship blossom and bloom and I can’t imagine my life without her.

Families that serve together stay together!

The funny thing is, a year after that prayer, God blessed my scared womb with one more child:  a daughter just like me.  I see now how the dynamics of all my relationships with my four children have given me deeper faith, a deeper love, a deeper devotion, and a deeper appreciation of each one of them that I wouldn’t have without Ashley.

Christening in 2003
I’m so glad God knows what I need better than I do!  May you rest in God's great peace and provision today. 

Post note:  In 2007, tests confirmed what I had suspected all along; Ashley has moderate to severe ADHD.  And I wouldn't change the way God has made her for a minute... she is perfect!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For His Name's Sake

Today I have been challenged by the question, "How are you practicing Resurrection?"  I thought I knew the answer, but God whispered to me.... "It is time, you need to do this..."

I have a secret that I did not want to share, but if I can do this right, I feel God giving me a peace to share it here, in this light, for His glory.

To ready your hearts for my private adventure, I want to appeal to your senses with images from last year's journeys in my journal...

In one of last week's posts, "A Day With God", I shared about just that.  What I didn't talk about was the fasting God called me to.  Fasting is a biblical way God sometimes calls us to express dedication and reception to Him.

I fasted on my day with God because I was at a crossroads and I wanted to hear Him and I didn't want to miss a minute because I was concerned more about what I should (or shouldn't) eat.  I can honestly tell you, my day with God would not have been near as revealing about our missions, His Character, and all of the other miscellaneous desires HE had for us... if I had not fasted.

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret..."  - Matthew 6:16-18

I do not share all of this because I want any recognition.  As a matter of fact, I quarrelled with sharing this and only conceded because I feel God is calling me to, solely for His Glory and to tell of how I am being led to extend Resurrection Sunday this year... to inspire you to turn toward Him ever more.

I am at another crossroads.

Last year I sought guidance for many questions to which great change would result.  Where we would live, how we would spend our time, what we would be doing with our lives... those kind of BIG changes!

I'm there again.  For article length's sake I can sum up and say these are the key factors I am seeking God in:

- a training opportunity which could be exponentially beneficial in equipping me to minister more effectively
- Revelation on many current happenings including a BIG project with KOG Missions
- endurance in commitment to the hard things
- healing so I am able to do more for His Kingdom
- to simply hear all He wishes to say

... and you guessed it, He is calling me to fast.  But not the typical fast.

I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.  - Daniel 10:3

I am a pre-diabetic.  Going without eating for an extended period is not something I am capable of without serious health complications.  During my day with God I only fasted until God permitted me to eat... from the time I got up until around 4 pm when he called me to make unleavened bread and commune.  I sustained with juices until then.

What I feel God calling me to is a trimming of "delicacies" and a consideration of His natural provision.  I think often lately of Elijah by the brook being fed by ravens with needed portions at the appropriate times of day.  I except the provisions God gives me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I except a healthy snack in the afternoon to avoid a blood sugar drop, and I am not consuming any sweets other than fruit.  I am also sacrificing breads because this is a great vice and unhealthy eating habit God has been calling me to give up for a while (bad for diabetes).

It isn't easy because I do not practice the best of eating habits, though I do try to 'be good'.  I enjoy "candy night" with the kids every Friday and a lovely dessert every Saturday with the study group we lead.  Birthdays are coming.... and so on.  There are many details to this sacrifice I gladly offer to God right now.

All I know is, I want to hear God's answers.  I know, with all my heart, this is the route he has called me to take.  He wants me to look at him.... not things or food so constantly.

How is the practice of Easter extended in this act?  Pentecost.

God put Pentecost on my heart.  Jesus' followers gathered and the Holy Spirit descended.  I am looking forward to the culmination of my partial fast with Pentecost and remembering how God keeps His word.  I trust Him to not only reveal His words and desires for me during this time, like Jesus revealing himself in his time from Resurrection until Ascension, but I also trust He will keep His word in all He reveals.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
- John 16:13

I tell you all this, like I said, not for my glory but FOR HIS GLORY!  He wants to speak to you too.  Fasting can be many different things.  When we deny ourselves of simple pleasures, when we sacrifice as Jesus sacrificed, we open our hearts to receiving greater blessings from our Father above without things of this life cluttering it up.

how you can have the best posture for receiving it.  You never know what he may ask you to lay down for His name's sake.  It may not be easy, but it will always be worth it!

May you have great Revelations from now until Pentecost when one of the greatest Revelations of all appeared!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Christian at the Core

It is Tuesday and time again for....

I had so much fun with it last week and God has really given me a peace... and a word to share:  Christian Values at the Core.

No school is any good without them, homeschool or otherwise.  But don't take my word for it!

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.  - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The founding fathers of our great country (United States for those of you reading abroad!) met each day to discuss and debate how our constitution, laws, and government should be set up.  It is said that, at one point, the meetings almost broke up over differences and opinions.

Enter Benjamin Franklin, a man who feared God but did not quite act as a Christian.  Regardless of his questionable personal life, he knew Christian values were at the core of every great society.  He was certain that, to build a nation, it could not be done without God.  Not willing to see the potential of this new nation fall apart, he made a proposal:

"... I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probably that an empire can rise without his aid?  We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.'  I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel..."

While this also makes the argument of P for Prayer, the point here is the Christian beliefs at the core of our nation.  After Franklin's petition (you can read more of his speech here) each Federal Convention meeting began in prayer and petition.

This set a foundation of moral principals based in Christian beliefs.  I have met a number of atheists who tell me they do not believe in God or the Bible but they do believe it is a book with many good lessons and morals [worthy of following with or without faith in Jesus!... I prefer with!!]

It doesn't stop there though.

Noah Webster, one of the shapers of the U.S. Constitution (best known for his dictionary!), was a Christian who believed Christian morals belonged in schools:

"In my view, the Christian Religion is the most important and one of the first  things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed... no truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian Religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."

Others such as George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Rush, Charles Carroll, Patrick Henry.... should I continue?  All shared the same view as Noah Webster.  Christian Values lay a foundation for freedom and the moral health of a nation.  That foundation begins.... in school!

Break out that Bible study!  Fold hands for prayer.  More than that, integrate it into your daily lessons.  Want some inspiration for working your faith into the 3 R's?  Check out the 1777 New England Primer.

In ADAM'S Fall 
We sinned all. 
Heaven to find; 
The Bible Mind. 
Christ crucify'd 
For sinners dy'd. 

Have an ABC-tastic week with Christ-centered Christian values. 

Pictures are compliments of Photobucket

Monday, April 25, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays #31-40

Counting Miscellany blessings and considering gratitude in Multitude on Monday....

31.  My repetitive message of thankfulness today was "His inspired revelation".  Realizing Truths God wants you to see at just the right moment, with all the right information, in such a way that grows your faith.... it is like feeling His very presence in the room!

32.  Beautiful bubbles and the darling hands that make them!

33.  Patiently waiting on porch swings and keeping busy all the while :-)  It makes getting out the door so much easier when my sweeties aren't dancing around me asking, "when are we leaving, when are we leaving"!

34.  I may miss the baby days, but I do love the older stages as well!  Like the picture above and ability to self-entertain, it was quite joyful to watch my two oldest having fun hiding the Easter eggs this year!

35.  The sweet things in life!

36.  Spring time beauty on display... just another sample of God's lovely pallet!

37.  Colored Easter eggs all in a row.  Do you realize just how marvelous an egg is in God's creation?  The shape, the pores, the composition of the yolk.... all perfectly created by the Master!

38.  Our hearts may be stained with sin, but Jesus washes us white like snow.  Like the remarkable ways our skin is stained with die, time and faith (that soap will eventually work!) will have us good as new!

39.  Unexpected springtime perfection of weather for a joy-filled Easter Sunday.  God is so amazing when he shines his light from sun and from Son!  Hallelujah He Lives!

40.  My 4 favorite young people.  All quite different yet they all find a way to get along and have fun.  I know it is God's love that rests in their hearts which creates in them such a joy filled spirit.  I praise and thank Him for his care in such ways!

May you rest in His care in multitude this week!

I post each Monday to share miscellaneous blessings and ponderings of our Great and Mighty God.  I share these posts at A Holy Experience (button at top of blog) and Lower Case Letters (above).  Join me :-)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photo Meme Good Friday

I just can not bring myself to do the regular Photo Meme Friday.  I sit here, watching The Gospel of John and Jesus speak to the disciples before he is arrested the prelude to all that is Good about this Friday, and I feel like I do Him no justice if I don't honor His memory.

In remembrance and reverence of my Savior, I wish to share some photos that are not mine.  I found them this week while looking for a picture to use in my Walking With Him Wednesday article.  Pictures, I pray, we can all gaze on and truly consider what He did for us on the cross 2000 years ago.  His death that guaranteed us Life.

“In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”  - John 16:16


13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.  - John 17:13-19

 16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.  So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.  - John 19:16-18

 11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
   “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
 14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
   She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
 16 “Mary!” Jesus said.
   She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
 17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
 18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.  - John 20:11-18

Oh, the joy of Jesus and God's Great Love for us.  He Lives!  

May you have a peace filled Easter!

ALL pictures are compliments of Photobucket

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tempus Fugit... Carpe Diem!

Have I mentioned how much I love using the local bus since we got rid of our car?  Well, call me crazy, but I do LOVE it!  I grew up outside of Chicago.  We always had a car and I never road the public bus, only school buses!  It wasn't until I was 19 and living outside of Spokane, Washington that I finally road a bus.... once!

'Big' town Montana is more like small town Illinois... even smaller... and the bus here is unlike anything I have ever seen before.  Imagine a big city bus shrunk to half size!  And after a certain time of day they switch to a shuttle bus with seats lining the perimeter instead of one behind another.  It feels less like public transportation and more like hanging out in a doctors office waiting room, wondering who will get called next to pass through the door and silently laughing to yourself at some of the crazy conversation you find yourself privy too!  

Yes, I love it.  I love seeing different people, talking with them, and truly being IN the community.  Today we borrowed a car and ran some big errands.  The last leg of our trip parked us at the library just as the bus was coming.  I was as bad as my kids, waving at the bus driver whom I look at more like a friend now that I have spent some time passing through the bus door!  I wished I could climb aboard and hang out! 

Why do I tell you all this?  Because it is time for another Eternal Encouragement (TEACH) review and this month's product was right up my isle!  (Pictures compliments of my bus rides!)

Notice it is a little rough around the edges.  Compliments of my thirsty son!  Whenever I walk I carry a water bottle with me.  He borrowed a gulp and inserted the bottle back into my shoulder bag containing the magazine, the lid wasn't tightly on!

The magazine recovered and thankfully I was still able to read it cover to cover.  Which brings up the first wonderful feature of this product:  SIZE!

Eternal Encouragement use to be published as a regular sized magazine.  This new 9x6 size fit perfectly in both my purse and my shoulder bag.  It was comfortable to hold no matter where I was sitting... like reading a booklet and unlike bigger, awkward, flimsy magazines.  LOVE it just as much as I love riding the bus!  It was also much quicker and easier to tuck back into my bag when we reached the bus stops... not the huge production bigger material is to re-tuck away!

The next really neat feature was how beautiful the new title is.

The former title, "TEACH", is beautifully simple behind the elegant new title "Eternal Encouragement".

The third feature of Eternal Encouragement's quarterly magazines that I absolutely love are the Themes.  Unlike most magazines, Eternal Encouragement has a theme for each issue by which all articles are measured and included.  This issue's theme was "Time Flies" and I certainly felt I was living up to the content:  being ultra efficient by reading in the little nuggets of time I had.

Like all of Lorrie's products, I found myself inspired and encouraged to be better, do better, and think better.  The old adage, Tempus Fugit (Time Flies) was well addressed with a multitude of material reminding me of the importance of Carpe Diem... to "Seize the day"!

I never regret the time I spend in material provided by Lorrie Flem and Eternal Encouragement.  You won't either!  To subscribe and receive quarterly issues of Eternal Encouragement magazine or to view more products from Lorrie and her lovely company, visit her website,  To read more reviews of this product check out The Gabby Moms!

"I received this product for honest review from Eternal Encouragement Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program. All opinions expressed are solely my own."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Labeled Heart

I filled out my state income taxes online Monday.  It was rather interesting.  Next to the "Name" at the top of the form is a box titled, "Deceased", in case you have died during the previous year.  The interesting part came when I was filling out my husband's name and then my name.... my cursor kept popping into "Deceased" only on my name!

I had to chuckle, thought it was weird, then shrugged it off.  But that wasn't the half of it....

That afternoon I took the bus to run errands.  I was dropped off a few blocks from the Library.  Walking from the stop to my destination I passed a sign shop.  They had some cute signs in the window they had made.  I didn't stop and stare, but I did notice.  Then, after the slightest glance, my eyes caught sight of the strangest thing sitting in the middle of the sign shop:  a headstone.... with MY last name on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a good hearty laugh when I recounted the day to my husband that night, but both of us were a bit shaken as well.  Am I going to die??!!  Was this a message from God to prepare us?  I do have a health issue that has left us not a little concerned at times... but... ?

Yes, it was a message.  But not the kind that made us anxious at first.  God began to put on my heart the Ultimate message and this morning even my husband made a comment to that effect.

The Greatest of Fridays happens this week.  Jesus knew what was coming for him.  He warned His followers, He prepared the disciples, He prayed and prepared Himself.  Yet still, no one could hardly believe it when it happened.

Every year, as Good Friday approaches, I ponder those last days of our Savior.  I could never comprehend how He felt, though I could guess what his followers were going through.  I lost my mother unexpectedly 8 years ago.  One minute she was sharing motherly advice and the next minute... nothing. 

What if she or I had known she was about to die.  What would our words have been?  In John 17, Jesus spends time praying for and with his disciples before he is arrested.  It is such a beautiful thing to see His heart poured out for these men and women he loved so much.  I think, if I knew I were about to take my last breath, I would want to gather my family around and pray for and with them as well.  I would want to die with them in my heart and I in theirs.  I would hope to encourage them to live well and shine God's light through whatever they faced... even if I couldn't be at hand.

As I look up at the cross with Good Friday approaching, that is what I see.  My savior, broken and bleeding, with my name written on his heart and His on mine.  I don't know when my time will come but I know where I am going when it does.... and it is all because of a man, some nails, a hunk of wood and a love that ran more deep then anyone can fathom.

One sign I have seen in the past that comes to mind today is this:

Jesus gave His life for you, will you give your life to Him?

May you rest well this week knowing your name was on His heart, and realize that His name is on yours!