Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bucket List

No, no, no, I'm not dying. Well, I might be, but that's not for me to know now, is it? I'm heading my hubby comment back: We're all going to die Bob!". LOL. That's what happens after 13 years of marriage.

Just making my summer bucket list. Here goes:

- Spend time with kids [everyday, because they're stuck with me ;) ]
-the Beach (duh!! Did I even have to say that?)
-Pool (friends of course, unless I swim in my bathtub)
-Hang out with my friends (that's a must!)
-welcome my best friend to my house for a 5 days in June! (flying in from Idaho)
-July: go to Idaho and Montana (Yippee)
-Read (as well as join our local library reading program)
-Explore new (or revisit) places that we have not been to.
-Run around in the sprinklers (the kids, not me - no need to scare the neighbors)
-Find trouble (or stay out of trouble - haven't decided yet)

What's on your summer bucket list?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

John: Poetic Recap

Recently, I finished up a study on the book of John. I was encouraged by my bible study leader to reflect on what I had learned about Jesus and his Word. So I wrote a poem, a conversation really, picking out what stood out most to me inside each chapter. I'd like to share it with you.

A Conversation with My Jesus, My Savior
A Poetic recap of the Book of John
By: Brooke Small, written May 7th, 2017

Who could take away my sin?

Look! Do you see me? I Am the Lamb of God! I can take away your sin.

Lord, what do I do when I am empty?

Have no fear, daughter, for I can fill your tank. I provide the finest wine to fuel you Spiritually.

God, you love the World, correct?

Yes, my daughter. I love the world so much that I put my Son on this Earth. Believe in Him so you will not perish. Then you will live with us for ETERNITY. Jesus doesn’t condemn the World, but he came to save it for you and everyone around you. So come to me, in Faith. Believe. Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. Be with me and my Son forever.

Jesus, why do you sit with me, a sinner?

Because I love you. I will go where you are. I will not let your mind and body be parched. I offer living water. You will live when you let me in daily, and drink from my well.

Jesus, I am hurting, physically and emotionally. Will you heal me?

Keep running to me. Have faith in me. My Father works daily, and I too am always here for you. I am by your side, every second of every day.

What now Jesus?

I walked on water, child. I can perform miracles. Let me be your daily bread. Eat and drink of me, and I will raise you up in for all of Eternity.

I’m still listening, Jesus.

Good, because you need me. You need me.

I feel condemned Jesus.

My love, you are not condemned, at least not be me. And I am the one who truly matters. Leave your life of sin, follow Truth, and you will be free.

Daughter, do you believe in the Son of Man?

Yes, my Lord, I believe in you.

Which is the correct direction?

Go through that Gate. The Good Shepard will be right inside. I’ll be waiting for you, forever.

What do you want me to know Jesus?

I want you to know that I am the Resurrection. I am life. One day, you will die. But with me, you will live beyond that death. Do you believe me, daughter?

Can I bring you a gift?

You can bring me your best gift. Pour your best upon me, as my best will be given for you.

Jesus, that is gross! Why are you touching my dirty feet?

Because I love you dear child! Don’t you see? Your dirty feet are not the problem. Sin is. But when you let me wash over you, you will be clean.

Will you ever leave me Jesus?

Orphans are left with no parents, but you will not be an orphan sweet child. I have a room, prepared for you. Find peace in me. Do not be troubled. Do not be afraid. Follow the Way. Follow the Truth. Follow Life. And I will always come to you.

I’m still listening…

Always remain in my love.

Hey Jesus, will you be my friend?

I will provide for you a best friend. I must leave this troubled world. But may I introduce you to your bestie, the Holy Spirit? He will be your Counselor. He will catch you when you fall and redirect you to follow My path. He will never leave your side. He knows what is best for you because his direction comes from me.

Do you really have to go so soon?

Yes. Yes I do. I need to go so you can have hope because of what I will do for you.

Oh my goodness! Jesus, they’re hurting you!

I know. Don’t cry for me, daughter. This wretched pain is temporary. I’m doing this because I love you.

Jesus, the pain is too much too bear.

It is finished.

Where are you Jesus? Cloths lie here abandoned.  

I have risen from dead, just as my Father planned and just as I told you I would. Look at my sides, touch. See! It is I!

What do I do now?

Daughter, throw your net out. Tell the world about me! When you bring in your catch, nurture them to grow in Me. Tend to my precious sheep. That is simply what you do. And always remember how much I love you.

Friday, May 19, 2017

"You Gotta Laugh More"

Yes, folks, that is what my adorable 9 year old told me last night as I sat her down on the couch with me to read and pray together. She is such a joy. Her and I are alike in many ways. (Which sometimes scares me... LOL).

It's crazy how kids can really see who you are. Me? She's right. I don't laugh a lot. I often take life to seriously. I carry the weight of everyone's burdens on my back. Trust me, I'm working on it.

Just the reminder from my children that I need to smile more, laugh more, is enough to shoot a pang of reality to me. I just need to smile more. I need to speak my blessings out loud (truly we all have so many of these). I need to purposely find ways to laugh; whether it's playing with my children, watching them attentively, watching a funny (but clean) YouTube video, reading a funny book, or trying something new.

After all, they do say Laughter is the Best Medicine!

What makes you laugh?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Do You Ever Wonder....

...just what to pray for? There are so many scriptures on prayer. Many scriptures, such as Matthew 7:7, talk about Asking, Seeking, and Knocking on God's door so your prayers may be answered. But then there are the scriptures, such as James 1:2-4, where James talks about the fact that God doesn't necessarily talk about taking away our trials, but we are to consider them "pure joy" because of how we can grow in our faith in the midst of our trials.

So, you see? Sometimes it's really hard to know what to actually ask God for. If you're like me, you have the occasional throw-your-arms-up and there you go God: it's yours because I have no idea what to ask You for. Do I pray for healing? And do I pray that God does the healing or give the wisdom on the correct path? Or do I pray that God will allow the right Doctor to do the healing or people in our life guide us.

I was just sitting down asking God these questions... because sometimes I just don't know what to ask my Lord.

You know what? That's ok.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23: 1-4
Let God be your Shepherd. Rest in the peace that He provides. Let Him guide you.
He listens to us, no matter we ask.
Just talk to Him.
Prayers that you feel His peace,

Friday, May 5, 2017

Why I Love Homeschooling (but am excited for summer)

What a school year it has been! Our family is in the home-stretch of what has been our first year of homeschooling. It's been a rollercoaster of emotions. But I wouldn't trade even the hardest moments for going back to our pre-homeschooling days. Recently,
 I was talking to one of the fabulous teachers at our school and talking about how jumping into a startup school was a little scary. However, I told her I'm so grateful that I did not wait until year 2 to start, because I'm grateful to be a part of the growth, the blessings, and the challenges of our new school. I love it!

I love homeschooling! I'm sure you're asking "why?" right now. I'll pick a few of my favorite reasons why... I love that I get to be with my girls more. This means that I have more time to influence them (and drive them nUtS). I love that I get to be involved in their education; know what they are learning and help them in the process. I love being able to see the their growth a little more than typical school.

I love that my kids actually have more time to be KIDS!!! We have more time for freedom and flexibility most days. My girls get to be outside more, build legos often, and just be more creative. There's more time for rest, too. I love that. Everyone, including mommy, can sleep in a little more and wake up a little less tired and cranky (that's win-win for everyone).

BUT I CERTAINLY AM EXCITED THAT SUMMER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!! In summer... I'll stop there. No need to sing to you. Yikes! Anyways, I love summer. Just having days to lounge around. Days to watch movies, read books, play, and relax. Days to go explore parks and beaches. Days to enjoy LEGOLAND (we have passes this year for the first time). Days to spend with friends. Yay for summer!

Do you have any summer plans, friends?

Keep Shining!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Stirring up the Sunshine

You know what's funny? (Keep thinking... And finally you say: "I give up!") It's funny when I think about how I don't like to cram too much into our weekends, and then we happen to have a Saturday to lounge around but I tend to get a little stir crazy. Not just me, but my kiddos too.

That's exactly what happened this past Saturday. We got a little stir crazy. Shortly after 2pm we decided to throw some stuff together and head out. Out where? Out anywhere! Thankfully it was a beautiful Sunny SoCal day and the ocean was calling our name. (Although we refrained from the ocean for swimming + sand = because of a daughter that has foot in a cast).

San Diego has so many beautiful places to relax by the ocean, even if you don't want to sift your feet through the sand. So we cruised down to the Shelter Island area, that is near Point Loma. Shelter Island has a plenty to offer. Hotels and restaurants line a strip right alongside the harbor. You can see boats going in and out of the harbor, walk along the sidewalk, play on the playground, and fish off the pier. Lots of fun for the family.

But mostly, I love the family time and the sunshine. Warms my heart. Since we left in a hurry, we did not pack dinner so we ended up eating out (Not complaining because we had some fresh seafood). However, there's plenty of grassy area down there (and free parking in most areas) so you can bring a picnic meal or even BBQ down there.

I'm determined to find more gems in San Diego and share them with my family and YOU!

Shine On, Friends

Friday, February 3, 2017

America. Trump.

Ever since the Inauguration a couple weeks ago, Americans have certainly shown their true colors. And not the pretty colors. Not every American. But certainly the ones who have nothing better to do than smack-down on their new President without so much as giving him even a day in office. It's a shame that more American's cannot just pull up their big girl panties and get to work.

The colors are dark, depressing. The colors of marching in the streets are ugly. Red as fire and blood. Black as night and negativity. Face-slapping hatefulness on social media, daily. Why? Are these your own colors you want shown to others? To your children?

Why not find ways to serve others instead? Work harder. Be present to your family more. Get creative and make a positive difference in America. Support Trump.

Supporting Trump doesn't mean you have to agree with Trump. What it means is that you'll pull up your bootstraps and get to work. Whatever it is that you do as a productive citizen in this country, work at it because you want a better America. If you pray, then you'll pray for Trump, and those he has appointed. If you believe in the importance of respect, then it means that you'll respect Trump and his leadership decisions.

For me, I choose to be focused on raising my daughters and supporting my husband so he can continue to work hard. I will pray for our leaders and the decisions that they make. I will pray that through peaks and valleys of the next four years, that we will grow as a people. But more importantly, I will pray that Americans will look to God for ultimate peace, wisdom, and guidance.

May God Bless America. May God bless His Sons and Daughters.