Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Truth About Vaccines -- Episode 1 {video}

This is good and so worthwhile. Not pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine. It encourages discussion and critical thinking. It's almost two hours long, so I broke it down and watched 10-20 minutes at a time ;)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Recording a Spiritual Timeline

For one of my courses in college, I was asked to create a spiritual timeline -- just jotting down notes of ways you see God at work in your life. It's usually chronologically recorded and things noticed in hindsight. Mine consists of both big events and insights.

Anyway, it was one of the best things I've ever done! I usually try to update my timeline every year. This way when I'm asked to speak or share or whatever, I can pull it up, browse through it, and jog my memory of God's faithfulness to me in my life so far (I have a terrible long-term memory).

I did things a little different when I spoke last month. I read through my timeline on my own, selected and named 21 stories, gave the group the titles, and let them pick which stories sounded interesting to hear. It was fun!

I cannot recommend recording your personal spiritual timeline enough! It's so rewarding to remember and see God's handiwork in your life. Every time I read over mine, praise and awe and tears combust :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Family Under Construction

  •  May -- friends unexpectedly stop by; final small group before our leaders leave to adopt their little girl from China; day of appointments -- chiropractor, OB/Gyn, prenatal massage (birthday present from Ricky); new friends visit; Grandpa and Uncle Robby visit, and the men go shoot guns; I speak at a women's luncheon; go to a new restaurant for Mother's Day; go on a prayer walk; attend kids' art exhibit (ice cream social with art stations); a friend visits overnight; another friend hung out one afternoon to play games; and, some friends came over for a Memorial Day cookout/kid swim :)

with Uncle Robby and Grandpa
Kindle time

her house at the art exhibit

Micaiah's sculpture house
tea party and hymn sing with Daddy
The final meal cooked by our neighbor girl
Some of his Lego creations

One of the 17-year cicadas that took over our area this month. The kids loved playing with them everyday and treating them like pets. Every morning it sounded like an alien invasion outside. Micaiah liked his new nickname, "Micaiah the Cicada".
with our friend from China

4 months pregnant
  • School verses: Micaiah -- Ephesians 5:25, Matthew 5:10, Exodus 20:7, Matthew 6:20, Proverbs 11:1 ; Aolani -- Psalm 119:11, Psalm 150:1-6, John 14:23
  • Verses I memorized: Matthew 5:15-19

Friday, June 2, 2017

Forgiven Much

There's a story in Luke 7:36-50 about Jesus forgiving the sinful woman (who washed His feet with tears and anointed them with oil). In that passage Jesus makes His point in verse 47,
"Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
We are all disgusting, hopeless, death-deserving wretches on our own with many sins needing forgiveness. So, who is being forgiven little? The good man with fewer sins who needs less forgiveness? Oh wait, he doesn't exist! So who? The one who is forgiven little... who's that?

You can only be forgiven little if you only ask for forgiveness for a little. The one who is forgiven little is the one who repents of little. 

If you want to love more, repent more! We need to continually pray that God opens our eyes and reveals more of our sin to us. From my experience, this is a prayer that He always, quickly answers!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Celebrating from East to West

  • April: firs trimester misery continues but eases towards the end of the month; we both have birthdays; Ricky goes to a few meetings; we go to visit my family at their farm over a long Easter weekend and then leave the kids there for several days while Ricky and I flew to Mexico for our first time both to celebrate our 10-year anniversary and as a sort of missions trip (slideshows below); dentist appointments (all that vomit had built up a lot of plaque on my teeth); and, I got to organize an adoption shower for some friends who were about to travel to China to get their little girl!.
  • Aolani -- wrote a sticky note that read, "read year of the baby tomarwwer" (YOB is a book),  and told us that "In my Bible Jesus loves kids more than adults" ;)

Our early anniversary dinner in Charlotte (Ricky and I shared) 

Their "house"
The Adoption Shower
Refreshments: fruit, cupcakes with pink frosting and flags, egg rolls, wontons, Chinese-shaped sugar cookies (found China cookie cutter on Etsy) with icing to dot location of girl, and specially ordered red, cinnamon fortune cookies stuffed with Matthew 18:5 :)
Note-writing station

Attached the prayer requests to origami Chinese stars

  • School verses: Micaiah -- Proverbs 12:22, Proverbs 25:15, Proverbs 16:18 ; Aolani -- Matthew 7:7, Philippians 2:14-15
  • Verses I memorized: Matthew 5:11-14  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Faith is a Free Gift

I was reading in Mark 4 about Jesus calming the storm. The disciples are amazed by this/Him, and Jesus then asks (incredulously/sorrowfully/rhetorically),
"You still have no faith?"
 I remember that faith is a gift.

Surely, Jesus isn't accusing them of not having faith because the gift was never offered. The gift of faith has been more than amply offered to them. Day in, day out Jesus has been with them offering them the gift of faith. Like He's standing there with outstretched arms holding a present, waiting for them to take it. Just reach out and receive this free gift.

So, after the disciples grow afraid of the wind and waves and wildly shake Jesus awake looking for help, He indeed helps and the storm is calmed. And Jesus asks, "After all the daily opportunities to receive this gift of faith, you still haven't taken it?" (my own paraphrase/interpretation). That is sad; I feel for Jesus.

And pray that I daily, boldly reach out to receive this free gift.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Slowing Down by Force

  •  Sorry, pictures and videos are pitiful for the month of March :( I hope to do April next week. At one point, I was stretching one week of curriculum into four weeks of time. I just couldn't get much done. The house went under since Mommy was out. I reclined, napped, went to bed early, and barfed. I ate small portions but frequently, couldn't keep dinners down (I had evening sickness). I couldn't meal plan. Some of our normal food repulsed me (yogurt, bread, cheese...), and I craved grits and mango (right now, it's ice cream :). I lost a few pounds and got a cavity from all the vomit. Every time I tried to do any work in the office, I'd vomit ;) It was my roughest first trimester (out of four), and I am so, so, SO thankful it's over! The house is getting back to normal, and schooling is back on a normal schedule. (Although my to-do list is still long.) Baby is growing, and I am growing :) We find out the gender on June 15th, God-willing.
  • March: Before I went bad, we went for a prayer walk, held a church missions committee meeting, and had some friends over for dinner and new games. Then, I woke one morning, got ready, ate breakfast, and proceeded to take a two-and-a-half hour nap. The rest of the month included two showers which I brought my misery to, dinner with friends, chiropractic appointment (fell asleep on table), and Ricky put on a chess tournament (which he won and I slept through).
  • Aolani asked, "Daddy, why do you eat so much?" and "Are fairy tales real?" (What a great opportunity to talk about the Good News and Jesus!)
  • Micaiah is wondering a lot too and keeps repeating Perhaps…

They went in the kitchen one Sunday afternoon and each made their own muffins without recipes; they were so proud! ;)
My mom sent me this pic of my dad and me :)
One of his many Lego creations

  • School verses: Micaiah -- Proverbs 12:18, Proverbs 19:11, Proverbs 12:10 ; Aolani -- John 13:34, John 14:6, Joshua 1:9
  • Verses I memorized: Matthew 5:6-10  (This will be the baby's chapter, as Aolani's is Philippians 4 and Micaiah's is Romans 8 and Avalynn's is Colossians 3.)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

We're Back and...

We're expecting!!!!

Second trimester begins today :)

Kids are super-excited!

Due date is November 4th.

Yes: planned, doctor's appointments, ultrasound, heartbeat ;)

I've been terribly sick and even put myself on bed rest for the first trimester. I'm feeling better and hope to get caught up on everything this month but we'll see (I rest a lot and go to bed earlier) -- hence, my two-month blog sabbatical.

Rejoicing in this new life,
the DiMartinos

Friday, March 31, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spread the Love

  • First week of February: we rented a cabin with two other families (14 total) and had a blast! We also hosted a super bowl party (11 total) ;)

  • Second week of February: Ricky worked out of county most of the week; we went on a short prayer walk and hosted small group.
  • Third week of February: a friend visited for a couple nights, and then Aolani's seventh birthday! First, Grandpa came down and we had pizza/movie night. On her birthday, we went to her favorite park, got pizza, went to see Lego: Batman Movie, then went home to celebrate with homemade ice cream sandwiches (ginger snaps and mango ice cream) and gifts :) Uncle Robby got to meet up with us there. And then...

  • Fourth week of February: Aolani has a friend her age whose birthday is just a week later. So, Aolani got to have two friends for her first sleepover here to celebrate turning seven! She loved it! And we took the next day off school :) Later that week, we had a dear woman from church over for dinner, went to a cookout for a friend's birthday, and went to small group.
  • Micaiah thought that we had to go to Hawai'i to "get" Aolani's name and had to fly way over to Israel to "get" his Hebrew name ;)
  • Aolani informed us, "Peter Pan was right. Girls do talk a lot... because I talk a lot." Love it ;)
  • School verses: Micaiah -- Ephesians 6:1-2, Ephesians 4:32, Proverbs 15:23 ; Aolani -- Psalm 23:4-6, Psalm 119:105
  • Verses I memorized: Matthew 5:1-5  (I'm going to work on memorizing this chapter this year.)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I Hold The Power

It's almost been four years, and I still think about "The Immediate Hallelujah" -- rejoicing in suffering -- a lot... like daily.

Here's a little different focus on that same subject.

I had talked about how we should delight in suffering for Christ's sake. How that can mean suffering that is due to faith in Christ, but how it also means all suffering that produces His character in us. Both meanings are accurate when the Bible speaks of suffering for Christ's sake.

In light of that truth, it seems I hold the power. If I can but learn to respond to any suffering with joy and peace, then I can make any suffering be for Christ's sake (and reap all the eternal rewards for suffering for Christ's sake!)

We are all going to suffer at some point; it's impossible to live in our broken world and escape unscathed by pain. So, the question is: If I am going to suffer, how will I respond? In anger and bitterness to make my suffering pointless and in vain? Or, in joy and peace to turn my suffering into being for His sake and thus purposeful and beneficial? My response determines the outcome. It really does depend on me.

I have the reins. I can choose.