Our Attorney

by adustyframe ~ August 22nd, 2016

We had three different attorneys during this journey of ours. I refuse to tally how much that cost because it boggles my mind and because those costs have made an impact even today on our finances.

But here’s a story that makes me giggle every time I think of it.

We found out that the receptionist for one of our attorneys is a Christian. She was always very polite and kind to us and I appreciated that so much.

I was looking for an attorney recently and called there to see if this attorney did the paperwork we needed to get done. She answered and was excited to hear from me and asked about us. I told her God had blessed us with another baby and I said that I always thought about bringing him into show him off to her. She said to come in anytime.

 

We did one day and talked to her for a couple minutes. A week or so later, we drove past the office and saw her mowing in her dress clothes and shoes. I told James to hop out and finish that for her.

She went in and asked the attorney and they hired him on the spot to mow for them. We stopped that day to be kind, but they insisted on paying him. They called today and asked him to come over and mow and he came home with a check again.

Maybe I’m just a little odd, but the attorney sending money into our house just makes me smile. James will have to mow more than 275 times before it’s even close to what we paid him but it still makes me smile.

Lizzie

Thankful for Friends

by adustyframe ~ August 21st, 2016

I had a quick conversation with a friend online last week. She has moved away and James is taking care of her lawn.

I touched base with her to let her know we were keeping an eye on things and she immediately sent me a payment for him.

I told her  I hadn’t touched base with her to nudge her into paying James. (I hadn’t!) I just wanted her to know we had stopped and checked on things and how things were going.

She said, “I know! I just wanted to pay him while I was thinking of it.”

I’m thankful for  someone who knows my heart. Someone who knew I wasn’t being vague and trying to hint at anything. I’m thankful that when I said, “Hey! I was just checking in with you.” She said, “I know!”

It’s a blessing to have friends who believe you.

Friends who don’t read into comments.

Friends who know when you say something you meant  the words you said and not words that could be assumed.

I’m so thankful for the friends I have like this. I’m going to hang onto these dear ones and pray that I am that friend in the life of others.

 

Lizzie

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks~Book Review

by adustyframe ~ August 18th, 2016

b3714db6-f176-45f6-b15c-54f712667369

About the Book:

Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

 

About the author:

960280e8-d1b1-45f0-abe6-66d01c2e57e2

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

My thoughts:

Initially, I was worried this book would be all about snakes. I really dislike snakes! They are in the story but it’s not quite as bad as I feared.

The story was very engaging and I immediately wanted to know what was going on. All along you know someone is behind this but I wasn’t able to guess and didn’t see it coming. I appreciate that! I don’t like it when I can figure the mystery out in the first few pages.

If you’re looking for a good book to try, this may be it!

To read other reviews, check out this page at Litfuse.

When Death Draws Near Carrie Stuart Parks
Disclosure~ I received a free copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own.

 

Lizzie

God Made You Just Right ~by Jill Roman Lord~ Book Review

by adustyframe ~ August 14th, 2016

9780824919764

 

Our little guy adores books so when I was asked to review this kid’s board book I said, “Of course!”

About the book:

You’re brilliantly created and there s no one else like you! With easy-to-understand descriptions and simple, rhyming text, Jill Roman Lord shares the message that God created each of us in just the right way in a manner that even the youngest child will understand. Bright and engaging illustrations from Amy Wummer pair perfectly with the text and enhance the appeal of the book. Ages 2-5″

 

Our Thoughts:

Nathan wanted to sit right down and read it when it arrived and we did. It’s a sturdy board book which is nice especially for little ones who don’t respect books yet. (We’re working on it!…..he’s getting better!)

The illustrations are sweet and colorful.

The story line reminds little ones that God made them exactly right. This emphasizes the message I share with Nathan (and James too) that God made them exactly how they are for a specific purpose and He has a wonderful plan for their life.

 

About the Author:

Jill Roman Lord won her first writing contest in first grade, and she’s been writing ever since. To learn more about her, feel free to check out her website. Her other books look sweet too.

Disclosure~ I received a free copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own.

 

Lizzie

Sink Prayers

by adustyframe ~ August 11th, 2016

My mom’s favorite place to pray is at the sink.

She loves washing dishes and I think it’s because it’s one of the places she takes time to pray.

I was washing dishes this morning and praying about some situations we’ve been dealing with the past few months.
I prayed for God’s conviction and for humility but I also prayed these things for myself.

I prayed for God’s hand to work out knotted details and to help us to show love in the meanwhile.

I think my mom is on to something.

Sink prayers are the best!

Lizzie

Prismacolor Pencils ~ Great Deal

by adustyframe ~ August 4th, 2016

I was introduced to these pencils in my rubber stamping days. I still have my original set.

These are great for the new coloring book craze and this is a super deal!

Lizzie

I Don’t Think So….

by adustyframe ~ August 4th, 2016

A friend of mine posted this link and said “Oh our next date night.”

Never in 12 million years will it ever be a date night for Lee and I.

Uggg!

 

Lizzie

One Of The Best Things…

by adustyframe ~ July 29th, 2016

One of the best things about having Lee around is sharing smiles about our little guy….and our big guy too!

It’s also something I missed greatly when he was “away” when James was small.

Let’s face it, all of our children are wonderful, smart, funny, brilliant, cute of course. But no one thinks they’re as cute as their parents do.

When Lee wasn’t around, I missed this smile sharing over the head of a little guy so much. When I share a story about my child, I temper my enthusiasm a little because I know no one loves them quite as much as we do.

I am thankful that I can go on and on about Nathan or James to Lee and he thinks they’re as funny or brilliant as I do. I’m thankful for the 100 little funny things about our little guy that I can share with Lee every day. I know I missed sharing 100s of funny little things about James with him because we talked so infrequently (although those bills certainly felt like we were living on the phone).

I was finishing a book the other day and a line said, “We exchanged that glorious ‘aren’t our kids something’ look that parents are sometimes privileged enough to share….”

Yes….that sums it up beautifully.

Lizzie

How Has God Redeemed This?

by adustyframe ~ July 27th, 2016

Right before our little guy was born, I shared parts of our story in Sunday School class. 

This past Sunday, I did again. It’s the same class and some of the same people but some are different.

I shared a little differently this time mostly also including my story of how I came to know the Lord.

I told them that last time I shared was 3 days before baby was due and that’s why I cried. Well, I teared up again and laughed. I said I guess I can’t blame that on being almost about to birth a baby.

When I was done sharing, one of the ladies said, “I want to ask you. How has God redeemed this?”

 

What a wonderful question! I’ve been thinking of it all week.

In the post I linked above, I did share some things that I know God has done through this but as I thought this week, I thought of a few more or maybe it’s similar just worded differently.

1. God has shown us so much about who He is. He’s been made very real to me.

The verse in Psalms about God drawing near to the brokenhearted is incredibly true.

He has shown us His provision, His grace, His mercy, His faithfulness and so much more. I’ve said before and I will say again that I would never ask to repeat this trial, but I would also never ask to be the person I was before this happened in our lives.

 

2. I have been given compassion for hurting people that I would have never had before. Oh, I may have been concerned or tried  to help but I wouldn’t have been able to feel how deeply they hurt. I wouldn’t cry with them as I am able to do.

When someone shares with me a story that is painful, I can feel their hurt and I can offer mercy and compassion in ways I never could before.

3. I am less judgmental. To be clear, I didn’t “think” I was judgmental before but now I realize I was. I figured I knew how people should behave and what things needed to be done and I knew that “if only they would do what I do” or “if only they xyz……” I’m not like that anymore. I know from a very real experience that people can be doing everything right and people can be living lives to honor God and still be involved in a deep agonizing trial that wasn’t their fault.

4. I have a heart for single moms. I imagine people get sick of hearing it but I will always speak up for the single mom. I will always remind that “you’re not a single mom if you’re not a single mom”. I can say with real knowledge that having a husband who travels and is gone a lot can definitely be a hardship. I’m NOT saying there aren’t challenges.

I’m just saying it’s nothing–absolutely nothing–like being a single mom and I will say that as often as it needs to be said.

5. I have a heart for women who are struggling in their marriages. I’m thankful for the hearts that have been opened to me. I’m privileged to pray  and share encouragement from God’s word. I’m thankful to be able to share truth–even hard truth that sometimes isn’t welcomed or appreciated.

I’m sure there are many other ways this situation has been redeemed not the least of these is a marriage that God held together and patched up and sustained. And of course our precious little guy is another huge way God has shown His grace.

I’m going to think about this excellent question some more and perhaps I can think of  more ways God has redeemed this situation in our lives.

 

Lizzie

Prayer

by adustyframe ~ July 16th, 2016

Throughout these past several years, I have been asked to pray for a woman dealing with hard circumstances in her marriage.

Whether it’s sin on her husband’s part, minimal finances, abuse, hopelessness, wives who admit their own sin or any other reason, I’ve been privileged to pray with  and for these women as they learn to depend on God.

I’ve been thankful that I can encourage them to obey God and to honor their marriage covenants.

I’ve been blessed to see prayers answered and watch them grow closer to God.

I’ve also considered it a privilege to keep their requests private. I know that sharing deep painful prayer requests like these is never easy.

It’s hard to know if it’s ok to share things that aren’t pretty. It’s not easy to be completely vulnerable with requests that are heartbreaking.

I know from personal experience that sometimes after sharing a deeply private request, it can feel awkward. You hope they really are trustworthy with your request. You hope they aren’t looking at you thinking “oh my!” You hope that they don’t look down smugly at you now that they know something less than perfect about you or your marriage. You hope and pray that they won’t spill your beans.

That part stinks because unfortunately some people are not listening to prayer requests and the cry from broken hearts in order to pray and encourage and support. They’re listening in order to bring it up later.

Unfortunately, I also know from personal experience how it feels to find out something I shared with someone I assumed was trustworthy is shared far and wide. It hurts on a very deep level. It also makes one wonder if being vulnerable is worth it.

Because I know how difficult it is to share deeply private prayer requests and because I know how it feels to have a prayer request used against me as a weapon, I am so very careful when someone asks me to pray for them or with them. I keep their heartache and tears close to my heart and I pray for them every time they come to mind.  But using their request as a weapon or ammo or a story to tell to a group or another person? Never.

I think of the people who prayed and prayed with me and the people who cried with me and I know that I am thankful for their true heart to bring my requests before God. When someone shares with me, I am thankful that I can show the love of Christ in their life by keeping their requests private.

Isn’t it amazing that we can take these requests to God and know He hears? Isn’t it amazing to find people who want to pray with you when you’re hurting?

God is good!

 

Lizzie