Archive for October, 2008

Little Things

Last month marked the one-year anniversary of our family (aggressively) using the Dave Ramsey principles for finances and budgeting. It’s been a slow go, but by God’s grace, we have made so much progress! The wrecked van may have set us back a bit, but we’re not going to waste time thinking about all the “what ifs.” God allowed me and the other lady involved to escape with very little injury– and I’m determined to thank Him for that every time we pay on the note for the “new to us” van that we’re still looking for!

Tomorrow is Halloween, and although we don’t celebrate that “holiday,” we do let the kids dress up for our church’s evangelistic outreach (TRUNK & Treat.) Costumes can add up quickly and I really didn’t have want to make room in the “Dave Ramsey budget” for three new costumes for the three non-teenaged kids in our family. So…I talked to my 12 year old and 10 year old about not buying new costumes for them this year. I told them that I thought we should still buy something new for Jane, the 3 year old, since the “dress-up thing” is all fresh for her and everyone knows that every little girl “needs” to be a princess once in her life! I was a little worried at how they would respond to the idea, but surprisingly, they took it in stride! We had just watched an episode of 17 and Counting, where the Duggars talk about frugal, debt-free living. Titus reminded me that the Duggars even make their own laundry soap to save money! Good boy! He’s caught the concept! He decided to “recycle” an old Zorro costume that we found during the big Master-Closet-Cleansweep. Anna decided to wear a white sweatsuit and recycle some angel wings from last year’s church’s Christmas concert. She even got excited when I told her I would help her do her hair in an “up-do.” I was so pleased with both of their attitudes.

So…we’re not saving a ton of money with all of this, but sometimes it’s just sticking to a plan. I am more thankful for the mindset that we’re teaching our children than I am for the $30 or $40 we saved on costumes.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life. 🙂


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They say “While the cat’s away, the mice will play,” and that usually proves to be true whenever Spencer leaves for a few days. That man loves the end result of an organization project, but never does he enjoy it when I’m in the middle of the “it’s gonna get worse before it will get better” phase.


With the Missouri convention taking him away to St. Louis for a few days, I decided that this would be a grand time to organize our master closet. (Which is as big as the first bedroom I ever put Truett in when he was a baby.) I know. Huge. Don’t be too jealous!! So, since it’s so huge, it tends to collect, well, everything. With the help of my five live-in slaves, I took every single solitary item thing out of the closet. EV-ERY-THING. And then I got to my favorite part– THROWING OUT (Two 39 gallon trash bags worth!) and then thoughtfully putting back what was left, in a new, neatly arranged, perfectly labeled manner. It doesn’t get more fun than this my friends. I could do this all day long if I didn’t have to take care of feed the kids.

Here are a couple of pictures of labeled items sitting on shelves. Don’t they just give you the willies? (The good willies!)

What is it about labels? Some girls love chocolate– Give me a gift certificate for Rubbermaid and a black Sharpie marker any day. (And I’ll take the chocolate too.)

In all of the organizing, I swapped out summer clothes for the winter ones. (It’s been stinkin’ cold here this week. I’ve been wearing my scarf and my long underwear already. Don’t laugh. I think I only have like two red blood cells in my entire body.) Anyway, in the process, I discovered the difference between men and women! Yes, friends, the difference between men and women has been discovered through the organization of one lone woman’s master closet. And now I offer you the difference here on the blog through scientific, photographic evidence:

Michelle’s Winter Shoes:

Michelle’s Summer Shoes:

Spencer’s Shoes:

And I don’t even have a psychology degree. 🙂

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To the Swing Voters

Newsflash: This is not an intellectual blog– nor is it (usually) a political one. I’ve never pretended that I spend more time studying politics than I do scrubbing toilets, frying up taco meat for seven, or helping my fourth grader do her homework.  I put that caveat out there, so that I can save some of you the trouble of sending a condescending nice little email my way trying to prove why a political post by me should be dismissed.

So now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to talk to the swing voters. I know you’re out there because I’ve been where you’re at. (And I’ve talked to an awful lot of swing voters, as of late!) It was only a few months ago that I said that for the first time in my adult life I wasn’t even going to vote!  I have some thoughts and links for you to consider.

A lot of Christians are scared right now. Don’t be. God holds the keys to this election, and He has already decided who will win. Sometimes, God gives the people what they want even when it not in His plan nor in their best interest. There was once a time when the people rejected God as their king… and they got King Saul. But God was still in control! David was eventually annointed and the Davidic line that produced Jesus Christ was established through all of that mess. No worries. God is always in control. However, God will still hold you personally accountable for whom you vote. And so I will not vote for a “Saul,” no matter how many promises he makes to my middle class checkbook.

As I mentioned, for a long while, I had almost decided not to vote. I wasn’t excited about either candidate, and to be honest, I still am not. Then I toyed with the idea of a write-in vote– either for Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin. But I finally came to the conclusion that a vote for  anyone besides John McCain would be a vote for the Freedom of Choice Act. If you’re not familiar with the Freedom of Choice Act, I strongly encourage you to read about it and what Obama said he would do during his first days in office.

I have a friend who criticizes me for being a one-issue voter. It makes me feel stupid for her to call me that, but if that’s what I am, than so be it. I’m not going to apologize for being so narrow, just like I wouldn’t apologize for not being pro-rape if that was the issue at stake.  John Piper addresses one-issue voting much better than I ever could.  Randy Alcorn does it even better.  Just a little warning, the second You-Tube in this Alcorn post is very graphic, so be prepared.  But watch it.  Abortion is murder and it is graphic.  Videos like this one keep your heart soft and your mind focused.

So, like I said– just a few thoughts and a few links for you to chew on if you’re still undecided.

Here’s a powerful, short, 4-minute video produced by American Family Radio that reminds the viewer that not only is abortion an important issue, but also the federal protection of traditional marriage and the issue of teaching homosexuality in public schools are things to consider. Barak Obama opposes the federal protection of traditional marriage and supports teaching homosexuality in public schools. Watch it for yourself– and considering emailing it to to a few swing voters in your life. Or post it on your blog.

Recently, a couple of ladies came by the house, campaigning for Obama.  They were positively giddy and one of them said, “I haven’t been this excited about a presidential candidate since John F. Kennedy.”  But then they really couldn’t tell me why.  They said that they were trying to educate people by passing out literature, but when I read the literature, it was extremely uninformative and was propagandic in nature.  And so lastly, I leave you with one of the best articles I’ve read about Barak Obama and here’s my favorite line from it:

But beyond the elites and the media, my greatest concern is whether this election will show a majority of the voters susceptible to the appeal of a charismatic demagogue.

My thoughts exactly.  Above all else– pray.  Because no matter who wins:

“Blessed is the man who hopes in the Lord.”

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Jane: Mommy!  Mommy!  NOT THIS VAN!   I want to go in the bloooo van!

Me: Remember, Jane, I told you already.  We can’t go in the blue van.  We’ll have to ride in our yellow van today.

Jane: Why, Mommy?  Why can’t we go in the bloooo van?

Me: Because a lady hit mommy and now the blue van is broken.  Remember?

Jane: Did you get a boo boo Mommy?  Was that lady mean to you?

Me: No, Jane.  It was an accident.  She didn’t hit me.  She hit our car.

Jane: Why did the lady hit you?  Was she mean?  I want to ride in the bloooo van.  [Crying commences.]

Me: What’s wrong Jane?

Jane: I WANT THE BLOOOO VAN!  I will never ride in the blue van ever again!

Me: Well, what if we get a new van?  How about that?  What color would you like to get?  Would you like another blue van?  Or would you like a red van or a green van or a white van or a yellow van?

Jane: Pink!  I want a pink van!  (Do I see Mary Kay in her future?)

Me: They don’t make pink vans.  How about a red van?

Jane: I want a pink van!  Or a flower van!  Can we get a flower van?

Me: How about a green van?

Jane: I want to ride in the bloooooooooo van!!!

Me: Sigh.

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Good bye Ole’ Blue.  You were a good van.  R.I.P.

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Monday’s Musings

Today my pastor preached on the danger of a low Sunday Night Attendance. The trend all over Evangelical churches in America for the past ten-twenty years has been to cancel the Sunday night service due to low attendance. Eighteen years ago, when Spencer and I first started in the ministry, low Sunday night attendance would often discourage us. We even started a children’s choir that would take place during the Sunday evening message, so that young parents would feel more motivated to come to the Sunday evening service. But it didn’t work. Sadly, parents would drop their kids off for choir and go back home for the hour. Over the years, we’ve learned to just enjoy the sweet fellowship of the smaller group and to not take it personally. However, we still feel that it says something about the overall condition of the church. (And we miss the joy and excitement felt in our college days by the huge crowds of college students who “just couldn’t get enough preaching.”

The Baptists (actually– the Anabaptists) were the first group to have two preaching services on Sundays. The move to go from one to two services was connected to their “back to the Bible movement.” Although Martin Luther had led the church to favor loyalty to the Bible over loyalty to church tradition, there were still many “Catholic-like” traditions that hung on. They didn’t feel that the Protestant Reformation had gone far enough– and so in an effort to be more loyal to the Bible than to “the church,” the second Sunday preaching service was born.

Spencer asked “How are Christians perfected?”

Did you receive the Spirit by the works of law or by THE HEARING OF FAITH?” Galatians 3:2

He ended the sermon with a short practical section entitled: “What issues are at stake in your life when little preaching is heard?” based on Galatians 3 and 4.


  • alcoholism
  • pornography
  • adultery





Happy Monday!

Monday’s Musings is a weekly post encouraging you to review the Sunday message

in your Monday quiet time.   If you post Monday Musings of your own,

please leave the link in your comments.

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Works for Me: Free Books

This week’s Works for Me Wednesday is something that I’m not exactly sure works for me. Yet. I mean, I think it will work for me, but I haven’t tried it yet. After I agreed to review Lynne Spear’s book Through the Storm for Thomas Nelson, (in exchange for a free copy of the book), it occurred to me that reviewing books might be a fantastic way to get other books for free. So I googled “review books, free” and came up with all sorts of possibilities! Try it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

So– getting the free book from Thomas Nelson really worked for me and I’m going to look into this some more and see if I can score some more free books so that I can bore you to death entertain you with all my juicy opinions on the ole’ blawg.

I’ll let you know if this REALLY works for me! 🙂

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