Friday, January 29, 2010

The Great and the Small

This was written almost a year ago, but in many ways, it is something that needs to be visited often to be sure that we are doing just this...

As a means to press through this “economic downturn”, most of us are praying, crossing our fingers, strategizing and holding our breath until it passes over. Even as I have been praying, I feel like I have been holding my breath, waiting for life to get back to normal. But what happens to us when we hold our breath? We die…and that is exactly what I have been like…the walking dead. Oh, I have been doing all of the essential stuff, but in this coma like existence that I was never really present in anything that was going on…I just kept waiting. It may take 6 months or 3 years for life as we know it to get back on track…do I really want to miss out on that time?

2 Corinthians 4:8 & 9 says:

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Recently, our church has been challenged to increase our prayer time. There are so many needs. People are hurting everywhere. Even the “experts” are saying they are not sure how to fix things. It would seem that the only place to turn is up. Even as I pray, I find myself whining and griping about the things I want God to fix…Do you ever get tired of hearing yourself say the same thing over and over again? Couple these thoughts with a few sermons about “Praising God through the Circumstances” and I began to have a paradigm shift. I began to notice that there were many mini-miracles that went on daily and I didn’t take the time to thank God (to my shame). One of the things that sadden me is when my children seem totally unsatisfied with something that my husband and I have done for them. God must feel that way when He swoops down to perform some awesome act in our lives only for us to have the attitude of, “Oh, that’s nice but really, I wanted you to…” I asked God to open my eyes to every little thing that He does for me, give me that child-like wonder and amazement so that nothing is taken for granted. Let me be fully aware, present and engaged in the great and mighty thing He has going on today.

The Message says in 2 Corinthians 4:13-18:

13 -15We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

16 -18So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

This has encouraged and inspired my spirit. I believe it so I am saying it…Whether it be great or small, I am going to walk with a spirit of gratitude. If all I have left is a little meal and bit of oil, I will give it to God, because I know He will work a miracle!

Would you join me on this journey where praise and thanksgiving pave the way to joy and contentment in Christ?

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Christmas Blessing....

Babies are making their entrance to the world and God is blessing in ways that we never thought would be possible. This little boy, Brody Stone Christmas has been born into the family of Billy, Cheryl Christmas & big sister Ivy. God has been so good to orchestrate every detail of his arrival. There is no doubt that in the days and weeks ahead as he learns what it means to be a part of this loving family, they will all know the magnitude of love their Heavenly Father has for them. I am so blessed to be an eyewitness to His wonder working power in their lives!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is totally AMAZING! My little 10 year old wanted to have his picture taken with his school books! Truthfully, as a part of our homeschooling goals, the love of learning is way up there on our list. Trenton does love to learn new things, but sometimes on his terms. His favorite subjects are History and Science. He does like to read when he gets into it, but mostly it is really hard for him to settle his wiggles down enough to digest what he is reading. He is often found doodling something, but he says he is not really into Art. This year he is taking an art class at Co-op and the first semester went fine, mostly because there were a couple other boys in the class. This semester it is just him and the girls, so he begged me to let him out of it. I prayed that he would not quit but just stick it out. Over Christmas break, we gave him a calendar that had instructions to make all sorts of origami figures. This is an all time favorite of his. When we went back to Co-op we told the art teacher of his new love and she suggested that he show the class how to do origami! Talk about a total attitude change! He cannot wait until Monday when we get to go back to art class and HE gets to be the teacher!


Regardless of the fact that she has surpassed my shoe size or that she looks eyeball to eyeball at me, Hannah Rae will always be my little girl. God saw fit to strategically place her between two eweyy-gooey boys and she loves it, despite what she will tell you. Being the only girl has afforded her the undeniable privilege of being the only Daddy’s Girl, and let me tell you, she works it. =) If there is a baby or an animal anywhere in sight, she is sure to be sitting by, observing, holding, or loving on it as much as it will let her. She has taken a great interest in fixing her hair in new ways and loves to try new bubble bath and perfume. Don’t get me wrong now, if there is a ballgame anywhere, she is sure to find her way into it, and when she does, those boys better watch out….


Almost 15 year old Trevor has a backpack full of things he is looking forward to in the next coming year, namely getting his permit sometime in March. His days are filled with freshman high school work, ministry classes, playing his bass guitar and beginning this season’s Senior Bible Quizzing. Trevor is the type of guy that is quick to lend a hand, whether it is at his daddy’s shop, helping Trenton understand a math concept or just about anything you throw his way. His temperament is easy-going and happy go lucky…

Another beautiful fruit from the Bainbridge Family Tree

Today, January 21, 2010, my neice Stella Rayne Bainbridge was born.  Her parents Cory and Lori Bainbridge could not be happier.  Lori did a wonderful job of taking care of this baby during pregnancy and came thru delivery quite impressively.  Short, sweet and to the point.  There was no messing around when Stella decided it was her time to enter this world.  My children are so thrilled to have a baby cousin who lives so close by.  Each one of them is dying to get their hands on her.  Of course all of the grandparents are as proud as they can be.  In the days and weeks ahead we will find out what this little girl is all about.  We will enjoy rocking her, reading to her, showing her things that her little eyes have never beholden before.  What a great privilege and honor it is to participate in the lives of our loved ones.  Thank you, Cory and Lori, for sharing not only such a special event with us, but for sharing this little one with us all.