My Friend

by adustyframe ~ January 7th, 2017

The other day, my friend said, “I haven’t ever heard you say one bad word about your husband.”

That blessed me and made me think how important it is to be careful of our speech.

There’s bad I could say when you think of what we’ve gone through but there’s bad that can be said of me too!

I’m thankful that God has helped me guard my speech and thankful my friend shared that with me.

Lizzie

Merry Christmas

by adustyframe ~ December 24th, 2016

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. I’m so thankful that there is no Christmas eve prison visiting this year. I’m more than happy to have those days in our past.

We are having a very quiet calm laid back Christmas as home.

What are you up to (or what did you do if you’re reading later)?

 

Here are two Christmas staples on this blog. I’ll just post the links instead of another repost.

Christmas Eve At The Prison

A Vintage Christmas Treat–a wonderful story of God’s provision in unlikely circumstances.

Lizzie

Christmas Treats

by adustyframe ~ December 22nd, 2016

What kind of Christmas treats do you make?

In the past, we’ve done lots of treats but James is trying to get “buff” and I am eating low carb. Lee is one of those blessed people with a very minimal sweet tooth. So, we don’t make a lot and we don’t start early in December.

So far this year, we have only made these  low carb shortbread cookies which I think are quite tasty. I did replace 1/2 the vanilla with almond extract and add some lemon zest.

James is an expert at these  “Christmas Crack” candies and will make some to enjoy and share when we celebrate family Christmas.

I’m considering making a tiny batch of roll out cookies so that Nathan and I can have the fun of making them together.
What goodies are must haves for you?

Lizzie

Christmas Cards~Repost

by adustyframe ~ December 19th, 2016

Throughout these years that Lee wasn’t home, I tried to send Christmas cards. I wasn’t always very motivated.

Every year they were only a photo of James. My friends who didn’t know didn’t need to know, so I sent cards with no letter.

Sometimes I didn’t get them out. Sometimes I did.

This year choosing cards and mailing them out was a joy.  I used my Shutterfly credit for blogging about their cards.

Sending a card with a family photo blessed me more than I can express.

A man at church said, “That is a lovely photo on your Christmas card.” I said, “Yes, it’s the first time in years we could take a family photo.”

He said, “That’s what I meant when I said lovely.”

He’s right. It’s so lovely and wonderful all at the same time.

Thank you, Lord.

Lizzie

Book Suggestions

by adustyframe ~ December 17th, 2016

I love reading posts sharing books that someone loves.

I have given up on Oprah’s book lists. They always depress me. UGGGH.

I enjoy reading your posts about books so if you have any recent posts, please link them in comments.

I think that Lisa and I have similar reading tastes so I’m sharing her blog with you. I just started the book she suggested here and loving it already in chapter 2. I don’t read every book she shares but each one that I have read from her lists are enjoyable.

 

Lizzie

Happy Report

by adustyframe ~ December 15th, 2016

Our church supports a prison ministry and I signed up for the newsletter. I went to a training years ago–before we were expecting a new little guy.

I received a newsletter the other day that made me happy.

Here’s a short version….

“160 men were seated, the chaplain introduced me and I spoke about why Jesus had to come to die and rise from the dead. At the end, I invited anyone who wanted God to forgive their sins and give them the gift of eternal life to pray with me. I asked them to stand and 10 men did. The next service was 150 men and 30 of them stood at the end. We’re seeing an abundant harvest of men turning to the Lord. We train them to take the good news back to their unit and help new believers grow in their relationship to the Lord.”

 

It made me smile a huge smile. Chaplains were a big part of helping Lee to survive. How wonderful to hear that they are seeing men turn to the Lord. The good news is that this ministry is discipling them as well. They don’t just ask them to pray a prayer and count numbers to give a good report.

 

Lizzie

Tears

by adustyframe ~ December 11th, 2016

Several years ago, I shared a story Tears at the Talent Show.

This past week, I was thinking of some of my Christmas posts that I would like to share again and I thought about this post. The point of the post is to be very grateful for the family you have especially if no one is missing in your little family circle.

I realized with sadness that the point of that story is so true. The oldest child of this family in the story is dying of cancer and may not live much longer at all. It’s so sad and I’m sure if they would share the same advice. Be thankful for what you have. Be so very thankful for those loved ones you have with you.

Lizzie

Things Left Unsaid

by adustyframe ~ December 9th, 2016

This past year has been a little different for me.

We’ve experienced two incidents that were shocking to say the least. They aren’t things easily explained so I won’t even try.

They aren’t things between family members thank the Lord. But they took a lot of energy and caused confusion and pain and to be honest a lot of head scratching.

Everything is ok now–no need to worry about us.

The end result is that I’ve been left feeling shaken and not sure that my “voice” has any merit. I’ve thought of so many things to say or to share and have second guessed myself (because of these incidents) multiple times.

I end up not saying anything and this little blog putters along with far fewer posts than it used to have.

It’s NOT that God isn’t still teaching and leading and changing us. It’s not that I don’t have stories or blessings or hardships to share.

It’s just that these things that happened made me feel that I shouldn’t share. That I didn’t have a platform (no matter how small) or that maybe I was completely wrong about everything I knew to be true.

I am coming to the point where I can see that is not true. God HAS allowed us to have a small way to share our story with others in order to encourage and teach. God HAS given me this little spot on the internet that has been here for quite some time.

God HAS given me a reason to share and I’m going to regardless of what has been said or done to us in past months. My initial response was to just be quiet and try to sort out my confusion.

But I finally feel that God hasn’t given me peace about being quiet. So, misunderstood I may be. Disliked perhaps? Ignored…ok that’s fine!

But for those of you who have followed along and prayed and encouraged and sent emails how God used something I shared with you to change your heart, well, I’m going to keep blogging.

I’m going to keep encouraging and sharing with people I know in real life.

I’m going to be the me that God has made me to be and our family is going to be the family God has made us. Our marriage is going to be the marriage God has blessed us with.

I know this is so much left unsaid, but I’m mostly checking in. Sharing what I can and asking you to pray for me for God to help me sort out what it is He desires for me to share. Then if I’m obeying Him, the chips can just fall where they may right?

Lizzie

Baby Questions

by adustyframe ~ November 30th, 2016

Tonight, we were on the way home from Bible club. Nathan ADORES church and Sunday School, and AWANA.

He is in the little kid’s group called Cubbies. His workbook included a CD which we listen to in the car sometimes…..when big brother isn’t around to roll his eyes!

The story we heard on our way home was about Paul and Silas. Little guy listened then asked, “Mom! What’s jail?”

I am not sure I was prepared to hear that question come from my little one. It almost took my breath away. It’s amazing the thoughts that rolled through my mind.

James was really only a few months older than this guy is now when dad went “away”. It was a reminder to me of HOW LITTLE James was. He was so young….barely out of babyhood.

I answered that jail was a place where people go who make bad choices.

This little guy of ours isn’t content with simple answers and so the questions and discussion went on and on.

My stomach felt a little sick actually because discussing jail isn’t in my top 10 list of fun things to do on a Wednesday evening…..or any evening!

I thought how very blessed he is to not know about jail. How precious that jail doesn’t touch his life.

But it does touch his life doesn’t it? Because it touched ours.

All of the people in his family were touched by our experience with jail. We are different people because of it.

He’s not 6 or 7 or 8 years older than he is because of jail. He’s the perfect person and God gave him to us at the perfect time. I do know that. I’m just stating that we probably would have had other children and probably not a 3 year old at this stage of our lives.

Jail is that big ugly something in our lives.

The thing that still hurts to think about.

The thing that is still not shared freely with everyone.

The thing that hangs over our memories.

The thing that I scan James’ face for when I look at photos of him from that time period.

Jail is the baggage that all of the people in this house carry. All except for that feisty little one.

For our little guy, jail is just something he hears in a Bible story.

It’s not something that makes Father’s day unbearable to experience.

It’s not something that causes the kids at his table in Sunday School to laugh at him.

It’s not something that adults whisper about around him.

It’s not somewhere he goes to put his hand on a window to “touch” his Daddy.

And we are so thankful.

Lizzie

Thanksgiving Plans?

by adustyframe ~ November 22nd, 2016

fall

 

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

We will be spending time with family and staying in a hotel for 2 nights–sort of like a mini vacation. We’re looking forward to catching up with everyone including some of our far away family who just got in last night.

Lee is almost home–he should be home by bedtime tonight.

I love the feeling of almost all of us being gathered in together.

We’re eating the usual turkey and fixings but I will take along some of my no carbs, no sugar, no dairy stuff. Although, I think that for the day, I will allow myself some dairy but no sugar or high carbs–pray for me!

What will you be doing?

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving verse or song? Share it with me!YouTube Preview Image

Lizzie