Monday, May 28, 2012

No Bucket Lists Here

Neither Ricky nor I have "bucket lists" (you know, a list of things you want to do before you die).

But, I used to have one. So, what happened to it?

Well, the shortest, simplest answer is: I read Randy Alcorn's book Heaven. {Here is a neat,compact review of the book.}

You see, I finally grasped one, really big thing that really impacted this decision -- "we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth" (2 Peter 3:13).

Simply, this is not only a promise of God, but Alcorn led me to believe that this new earth did not necessarily mean a brand-spanking new earth (created ex nihilo, out of nothing, like our present earth). Most likely, this new earth will be our present earth, redeemed. Our present earth will burn (see 2 Peter 3) but not disappear. Sin, decay, death, and all of their effects will burn and be destroyed. Yet, the earth, which He created, will remain and be restored and redeemed to become a new earth! [Is this not exactly what He does with us?!]

Okay, so what does this have to do with bucket lists? Time for new glasses...

There is a really good possibility that the new earth will have the same (but redeemed) structures and landmarks and sites as our present earth. Hawai'i? Check. Niagara Falls? Check. African safari? Check.

Bucket lists are usually composed of those things you want to do or see that you don't think you will get to do or see after you die. Once you (those trusting in Jesus) get a better grasp of Heaven (what is most likely being referred to here is the new earth) however, you will understand that there is no need whatsoever to pursue bucket list dreams. I always tell Ricky, "Oh, I can do that later (on the new earth)." We seriously and literally have forever to do bucket lists. What we do not have forever to do is missions. Evangelism. Telling those who have never heard or do not yet know about the Good News (salvation and eternal life by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ). Instead of saving up large amounts of money to cross off number four on your bucket list, give it all away to spread the Word!

Note: I am not implying that traveling or going on vacations is wrong or bad. I am saying check your motives, pray (ask God for direction, which could very well be to go somewhere or do something), and question yourself (Why am I going? Who is this for? Have I asked the LORD about this? Can this trip or action wait?).

So, my bucket list? It's waiting for me in Heaven.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Three Cheers

  • My parents visited over the weekend, and Ricky's parents come this weekend. [If you did not know, both sets of (grand)parents come every month. Ricky always comments how we live from one (grand)parent visit to the next :)]
  • Micaiah's mishaps: his hair is growing (we think it might be straight like Ricky's hair), cries when you take a toy away from him, is now leaning to grab anything within reach, gets super-excited about bedtime, is teething worse than Aolani did, is extremely fond of me (moreso than Aolani was at this age, and has a little cradle cap (that soap, water, some massaging, soft-bristled hair-brushing, and coconut oil has quickly improved).
  • Aolani's antics: brings me the Boppy when I ask, loves the Hokey Pokey, is such a creature of habit, and says so many new words every day it seems (i.e., church, Daddy home, Bumbo, heavy, Goodnight Moon...). AND...
  • Aolani is totally potty-trained (awake-time). Everyone who potty-trains must try this method, seriously. The training period took 2.5 hours for us on a Saturday afternoon. She had six pee accidents total in the subsequent week, and now none. And, it only took one week for her to learn to master pooping in her potty. When we go out: sometimes we put a pull-up on or just leave her in her undies, either way, she only pees in the big potty when we take her. For nap time: we use a pull-up, but she sometimes holds it the entire 2-3 hour time! At night: we still use a diaper covered by a pull-up for double protection because she still wets a lot at night, and we keep her locked in her crib (so she couldn't go to the potty even if she wanted to). WHAT A RELIEF!

Daddy and Aolani are preparing to plant the rosebush they got me for Mother's Day. Grandma got Aolani these pink Crocs -- so cute, waterproof, and Aolani puts them on herself :)

While I nurse Micaiah, Aolani joins us in the bedroom (my social butterfly hates being alone) and usually plays on our bed...
  • Verse to memorize this week, #5 of the Romans Road: Romans 5:1 ~ Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A High Five

Today, we give God much thanks for five years of union. As we were contemplating what truths we have learned (learning still, of course), the following post I wrote (edited, from 8/16/10) came to mind:
  • Lead by following. Follow Him, and you will lead others to Him. Think of a Mambo line with Jesus leading and you're holding on to Him next in line. Lead by following.
  • During our trip to Seattle, an engaged woman asked me for a quick nugget of marital advice. Typically, I would have frozen, stumbled over my words, and possibly have offered something unintelligible and dull in my moment of stage fright. Much to my surprise, I measured up and gave a quick, clear retort. And it was GOOD. Let me share it with you: "In marriage, it is not right versus wrong. It is different. My thoughts and my ways are not right and his wrong. They are different." I must add that this little insight has increased our respect for one another and the overall peace in our relationship. I do not have this down pat. It is not easy for me. And, I'll humbly and freely admit that I rarely succeed at implementation...
  • Ricky and I were on a date playing chess (yes, again). Ricky mentioned how the Queen is the most powerful piece in chess with that twinkle in his eye telling me that he's referring to more than chess. And I remark that while the Queen is more powerful than the King, the only reason that she is given that power is to use her strength to protect the King. Let me encourage wives to not use your strengths over your husband but for him. We must battle for him in order to build him up. You and he are on the same side!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Heartbreaking (too light a word, it seems)

Randy Alcorn's latest two posts on abortion: here and here.

Doin', Not Watchin'

  • We potty-trained Saturday, but I'll write about it next week :)
  • Micaiah wakes 2-4 times a night right now :( We're thinking that might change for the better once he starts solid in the next month or so (when I feel ready).
  • Aolani's most popular phrases: There you go, Other way, Hi Mommy or Hi Daddy, Big poop (please don't ask), and Bad boo-boo. And, she goes around shouting "Wadi!" or "No!" meaning "I want to do it myself!"
 This is Aolani's best friend, Leah (a sweet 10 year-old girl who comes over to play every week, and Aolani adores her). They are doing a sticky table activity and mostly using beads.
 Dressing herself to go out (pretending anyway)
 Micaiah's new teether, Sophie the Giraffe
 Aolani loves playing with/in the laundry hamper and really gets a hoot out of me zipping her inside!
 We use a lot of our activities from here, including this matching game and teaching her how to draw lines to connect things.
 Bible-time at night
There is a good explanation for this!
  • Verses to memorize this are the next two verses (#3 and #4) of the five-part Romans road: Romans 5:8 ~ But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 10:9 ~ If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers of Wee Ones

"He gently leads those that have young." ~ Isaiah 40:11 

I frequently think on this verse when I am having a tough day, feel impatient, act grouchy, want to keel over from sleep-deprivation, lack the energy and enthusiasm, or even when it seems like it takes more than I've got to even talk or smile or move. And it is in those moments when these words come to me. Minister to me.

Because I know that He is leading me, each day and each step. He is my faithful Guide. I have my eyes on Jesus, and His word is lighting my path.

It's the word "gently" that gets me. Obviously, He knows the hard-core nature of the work of those that have young. It is tough stuff. And it seems never-ending, always-needed. Not a spare moment. Not a spare breath. Often, not even a spare thought. And, you know what we need? Gentleness. Oh, yes. I may forget diapers, water, clothes, snacks, my mind, and a good attitude. My devotional time is scattered and haphazard (not that it should be or has to be) right now and is not at all what it used to be like before kids. Completion is a thing of the past. But, He understands that I have young. He is gentle in His dealings with me. And, I know that there is more than enough Jesus-grace for mothers of young, who may or may not be in their right mind some [most] of the time.

Thank You, Lord, for gently leading this mother of young!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Oh, How I Love Her

To honor my own dear mother, I decided to write my "10 things I'm thankful for" this week about her. They are on my Attitude of Gratitude page, but they are below, as well:


THANK YOU. I cherish how...
  1. when you lovingly stroke my face with your cool hand, my breathing becomes deeper, I ache less, my mind stills, and I am soothed.
  2. your eyes dance and your heart warms when I laugh.
  3. just hearing your voice relaxes my whole body.
  4. you will do whatever you need to do to be there for me.
  5. you make laying down your life to serve your family seem so easy.
  6. you can win people over with your charm.
  7. being practical (almost as much as me) does not dampen your fun-loving nature.
  8. I can say (or not even speak) whatever I want and not have to worry about it because you love me unconditionally.
  9. I notice your submission to my dad a lot more now that I'm married.
  10. by far, the thing I am most thankful for is that we get to be together forever because of Christ (praise God for softening our hearts enough so that we could receive the grace of God offered to us through Jesus)!
I love you,

1000 Moms Project

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coming or Going

  • This has to be short because this is a loooong week with Ricky suddenly being called to work in another county two hours away (commuting four hours every day this week). It's thrown a wrench in our plans, but we are surviving with the help of friends! Ricky is gone 12-3 hours each day, which means that he never gets to see Micaiah and Aolani is going to bed late and waking up early.
  • Very glad to learn that North Carolina's Amendment to ban same-sex marriage has been upheld by 61%. [So thankful for early voting!]
  • We just found out that Ricky has passed one more part of his certification testing, which means he has three of four under his belt. However, he must retake the hardest part again but not until October.
  • I had food poisoning (I think) this morning that knocked me out for two hours, but then I was all-better, praise God!
  • Oh, and I got a seat belt to use on my wheelchair. I love it; I feel so much safer, especially handling babies!
  • Ummm... Micaiah just erupted on me twice and is now cooing ;) Sorry, that must be it for now!
Yes, this is just play; Micaiah is not eating solids yet. Aolani got a big kick out of putting her brother in her booster chair, strapping him in, securing her bib on him, and pretending to feed him!
  • I want to make sure I have the "Romans Road" (five verses from the book of Romans that give a sort of outline that a person"walks" down to learn about how to gain eternal life) memorized well before moving on from Romans. The first two verses are Romans 3:23, which reads for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and the second verse, Romans 6:23, reads For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'm Good -- A Rap That Wraps

for (from) the Persecuted Church... lyrics below to help you follow along ;)

I hear that troubles coming for me death is at my doorway
Fear says Imma perish but that ain't what my Lord say
He said I ain't guilty though I still ain't have my court date
Tasted and I've seen even though it's just a foretaste
I don't know what they feeling I don't know what they thinking
But my soul's invincible like Mario when he blinking
They see me full of joy like "I don't know what he drinking?"
Cup is full of living water bro I sip it and thank Him
Yessir may not win grammy or get another stellar
But I get rewards from my Lord there ain't nothing better
I may not jot again I may not sell a milli
But I've been purchased by my king He's forever with me
So what they talking bout no they can't knock me down
Yessir I do feel pain but Jesus got me now
That's why I'm making noise that's why I'm running hard
That's why I go gorilla spitting monkey bars

Partner now you know I'm good to go
Pressure creates diamonds and fire refines the gold
Ain't nothing on this planet that satisfies my soul
I'm living for tomorrow today is out of control for sho
I'm good take all my money
I'm good here come the pain
I'm good ya they can kill me
I'm good to die is gain
I'm good I ain't saying that we don't feel any pain
I'm just saying you can't take us out the game
Cause homie we good

I done been through the fire
I survived all the floods
And them writers is with me they all covered in blood
Drag my name through the mud they can hate they can gossip
But my passion for Jesus they ain't never go'n stop me
I was dead I guess that made me better than I ever was
Look at me I'm good partner I'm on my forever buzz
If everything I have is taken I can take it
They say I never make it I know the person who made it
My life is hidden in Him so when I die I gain
And Jesus really be walking with me so how I'm lame?
My life is full of pain problems and such
But I'm focused on forever in eternity's touch
While the world try to fight me Pharisees try to stone me
I am Tebow in the fourth quarter they can't hold me
Ya the Lord is my coach got me off in the zone
Tell my mama that I'm good when he carry me home

Partner now you know I'm good to go
Pressure creates diamonds and fire refines the gold
Ain't nothing on this planet that satisfies my soul
I'm living for tomorrow today is out of control for sho
I'm good take all my money
I'm good here come the pain
I'm good ya they can kill me
I'm good to die is gain
I'm good I ain't saying we don't feel any pain
I'm just saying you can't take us out the game
Cause homie we good

Hey man we been beat down we been persecuted, laughed at, ridiculed and mocked but that ain't go'n stop us. No sir. We good. We know where our eternal resting place is at!
Hey trip talk to em man.

I know that Imma suffer that will only make me tougher
Death is just a doorway to take me to my faithful lover
The lover of my soul is with me you can shake me brother
But you can never knock me down and take me under bring the thunder
Let the storms come to hunt us and hurt us
They can't take our Lord from us bro we got us a verdict Not Guilty
He's with us and He stays present He never leaves me
He even gives me stage presence

Partner now you know I'm good to go
Pressure creates diamonds and fire refines the gold
Ain't nothing on this planet that satisfies my soul
I'm living for tomorrow today is out of control for sho
I'm good take all my money
I'm good here come the pain
I'm good ya they can kill me
I'm good to die is gain
I'm good I ain't saying that we don't feel any pain
  I'm just saying you can't take us out the game
Cause homie we good!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Budding and Building

  • Ricky's parents came to visit over the weekend and celebrate his birthday, which was last week. We went to Biltmore Estate one day (mainly to see their flower gardens in bloom) and installed the dryer. [I forgot the softness of clothes after being dried! Luxury.]

Ricky's parents have a stroller that they used for Aolani. {When it is just us four, I usually wear the baby and hold Aolani's hand while she walks beside me. Ricky pushes me. However, if we are going to a restaurant, we leave Micaiah in the car seat and put it (him) on my lap to carry.}

  • Verses to memorize (last and still) this week: Romans 1:16-7 ~ For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes -- the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”