Hold my hand, Nicole...

That scream could only mean one thing...
My 4 year old "princess" had come face to face with a bug.

He was poised in the dog's food dish and he was by far the biggest grasshopper I had ever seen. Joshua, being the brave 2 1/2 year old brother, walked right up to him and picked him up. (I am sure if he had been a little older he would have thrown it at her, but fortunately he hasn't learned about those things yet). My husband called for back-up...a glass jar so we could keep him as a pet! Hooray! So, we sacrificed our one and only glass jar
(typically used for storing homemade marinade) for the sake of a "classroom pet." (I guess I should get used to that as I prepare to home school our children. At first the kids were excited. We put grass and leaves in the jar for him and punched air holes in the metal lid. But by the end of the day...the excitement had worn off!

I had just finished changing Joshua's diaper and instructed him to take the dirty diaper to the trashcan. He started to walk that way, then started to panic. As I looked over in that direction I noticed that the grasshopper was sitting on the counter above the trashcan. I again instructed him to take the diaper to the trashcan and he insisted, "No." Preparing myself for the battle of the wills, I asked him, "why not?" He replied with a quiver in his voice..."Joshua scared!" Well, no little boy belonging to my husband could get away with being scared of a bug. Daddy told him to be brave and get over there. And then...melting our hearts once again...he looked at his sister (the one who screamed with full on drama at first sight of the grasshopper) and said, " hold my hand, Nicole?" Much to our surprise, she did. They held hands and crept towards the trashcan. Joshua quickly opened the lid and threw in the diaper, then made a bee-line for the play room. There was no way he was hanging out near the grasshopper any longer than he had to. And yes, we did return the grasshopper to his natural habitat the next morning.

Oh to have a friend like that...one that will hold your hand and help you face your worst fear. Even if they are also afraid of that thing you are facing together. The Bible tells us that friends are good, they are necessary, and that one is indeed the "loneliest number."

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-13

However, friendship of this caliber takes work and quite frankly, most of us don't have a lot of time for that. Between our homes and husbands, cooking meals and folding laundry, our ministries and homeschooling and sick kids and on and on and on...How is a mother to maintain these friendships?

And let us consider how we may spur
one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another—
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10: 24-25

Unfortunately, when the tough gets going around my house, the first thing I must "give up" is my friends. And in most cases, they are the very ones I need the most during those times. I need their encouragement, their understanding, their prayers, their hugs and their "spurring on" so that I can continue to stand firm in my faith.

Seeing the closeness of my two older children has helped me to realize that I need to give a little more attention to these friendships. God has blessed me with some amazing women in my life - some "Grandma" friends (Carol), some "more experienced" mom friends (Diane and Chris), and a select few who just plain "get it."(Tami) While this season of my life may make it difficult to get together on a regular basis- it is still wonderful to be praying for one another and helping each other out any way we can. I especially love the phone calls that say..."I am running in to Walmart, can I pick anything up for you?" (Diapers, hangars, bathing suits...you name it) I love you all so much and I hope that we can maintain our friendship throughout the years.

If you have a friend, especially a sister-in-Christ, who you have let slip away...call them today and let them know that you still love them and purpose to encourage one another any way you can!

Thank you Lord that you have blessed us with women who can give us a small glimpse of you by their loyal friendship. Thank you for equipping us to spur one another on towards love (for our families and for You) and good deeds. Help us to nurture these friendships so that they may blossom and grow over the years.

Click here for Grasshopper Picture Above


Wordless Wednesday #5 - Healing

Nurse Abigail brings healing and smiles to Cardiac Surgery patient (my dad). Praise God, he is home and doing great!


Our Precious Lauren

Lauren and Nicole at Bible Study

(please see prayer request below)


Wordless Wednesday #4 - Prayer Request

Please read the urgent prayer request below. Thank you all!

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Urgent Prayer Request

There are some things that we just cannot understand. The hardest for me is seeing a child suffer....

Please join me and MANY others in praying for Lauren Nihei. She is 4 years old and was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor today. Her parents just learned of the tumor 2 weeks ago when Lauren was complaining of severe headaches. Today they were informed that Lauren had approximately 16 weeks to live. If her parents choose to try aggressive treatment, it could be 9 months. Lauren has a little sister, Marissa, who is 2 and her mom, Hillary, is 4 months pregnant. Please help us pray for a MIRACLE and that, above all else, God would be glorified and his will accomplished.

We serve an awesome God who is perfect, holy, and above all things of this world. I know that He has a plan for each of our lives...including Lauren, and it is a plan that will prosper us and not harm us. I don't know what that means for Lauren, or for any of us for that matter. But I do trust that His word is truth and that He sees the big picture when we cannot.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

May the Lord bless you and keep you today!


Wordless Wednesday #3 - Praise!

It's official...Joshua is OFF his Prevacid (acid reflux medicine) and well on his way to becoming a healthy, happy, growing boy. All praise be to God who is our Great Physician!

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Follow Me...

I've heard those words a hundred times lately..."Hey Josh, Follow Me!" It seems our little Nicole is a born leader. And her brother would follow her anywhere. Joshua also has one of the sweetest hearts of any 2 year old boy I know. He is almost always willing to give up his toys, his seat, or his snack for her (now, if I can only teach her not to take advantage of that we'll be ok). Once in a great while he gets stubborn and I hear "NO" reverberating through the whole house. When this happens I explain to Nicole - just wait a few minutes and he'll come around to your way of thinking. And he usually does...a few minutes later they are playing together happily.

One morning last week, after reviewing my lessons from the book of Matthew, I pictured myself in the same scenerio - only with two different characters. You see, Joshua's willingness to 'get up and go' for Nicole is exactly what Jesus expects from me.

Matthew 16:24 says,
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

In the early days of my walk with the Lord, I was so much like Joshua. I'd go anywhere the Lord asked me...without hesitation. Is that still the same today? Let's just say that the 2 year old comes out in me more and more often these days. I find myself screaming "NO" because I want it my way. You want me to do what?!? Learn a lesson, experience pain, deal with a difficult child, go where, apologize to whom? I have better plans than that!

One of my favorite songs is "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me. However, I admit that I cringe every time I sing the chorus (so do my children in the car...but that's because I don't sing very well)...

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

How many people out there can honestly say..."Lord, please bring me pain if it brings You glory." Sure, we endure it when it comes...we even know the He will get us through it. We pray for Him to be glorified in the end. But not too many of us seek it out for the sake of His glory. Even Jesus spoke out loud his hesitation regarding the suffering He was about to endure on the cross...

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42

OK, I guess I shouldn't beat myself up so much. God cares about me - my life, my problems, my dreams and desires. It's alright to tell Him what I want...or don't want for that matter. Is He surprised when I say "NO"...not really, after all He made me and He knows me better than I know myself. As long as I surrender myself to Him in the end..."not my will, but Yours be done" we'll be just fine. And fortunately, He is patient with me and, just like Joshua, I usually do come around to His way of thinking.

Lord, help me to follow You at all cost. Take my dreams and desires and mold them so they align with Your plan for my life. Help me to always glorify You, especially during the hard times, so that others may want to follow You as well. I love you Lord!


Wordless Wednesday #2 - Joy

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