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the illuminated word project


the illuminated word project l october

thank you for joining our circle for another month of the illuminated word project. you can learn more about this special project here. on monday we celebrated my birthday. in the morning  i came down stairs to find two signs made by my husband and my oldest daughter. one of the signs had the following scripture on it which seemed so fitting and perfect to share this month.  i completely feel blessed in every way to be a part of the family God has bestowed me with ...

Proverbs 31:28-29: 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:29 “Many women do noble things,but you surpass them all.”

and here i am with these amazing gifts from God...(on halloween eve before we headed out to our neighborhood get together) 

off we go for some halloween fun...

and one last one-just because every time i look at it, i get a big smile on my face...

i'd love for you to continue on to the blog of Jessica Risinger and see what has been on her heart this month...




the illuminated word project l september

Thank you for joining me for one of my favorite projects of the month.  This month I would like to share the following scripture: Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV:  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

I found this scripture after reading through my current Bible Study: Nehemiah, A heart that can break.  by Kelly Minter.

This week one of the questions she asked us was: "Is it hard for you to move forward without everyone's support or approval? Why or Why not?"

This really spoke to me as we just began our second year of homeschooling. I've written and spoken to many about God's call for us to home school our children. We prayed a  lot about this and were affirmed in this decision.  And we had the most amazing first year of learning together.  I can say that I am most at peace having our children home and having this quality time together as a family.  All summer I planned and developed a wonderful room for our children to create and learn in and I was super excited for this new year with them.

And then the school year began. It started off wonderfully as our daughter began 3rd grade, our son began his kindergarten year, and the baby of our house continued to follow along with us.    But as the weeks passed,  I was reminded of questions I had been asked from friends and acquaintances.

Questions such as:

How long do you plan to home school your children?  Will you always home school your children? Why did you choose to home school?  When do you have your "own time"?

Followed by statements such as :

That's great that you are doing this, but I don't have the patience to home school my children. My kids are much too social and wouldn't enjoy homeschooling. I don't know how you do it all.  Most home schooled children I know are "different"

Admittedly, I really began to have doubts and questioned God's purpose for our family.  I began to feel like I had to prove to everyone that our kids would turn out "normal" and be successful.  But who defines what is normal?   Following Jesus in today's world isn't normal by many standards.  And how quickly did I forget that my children's success is not measured by today's worldly views, but only in the eyes of our Lord.

I realized that I was letting others voices be heard over God's voice.  No, it is not always easy to move forward when you don't have everyone's approval or support.  But I must remember that when God gives instruction, He will provide the resources, the strength, and the answers.   This road we have followed may always be filled with questions. And I know that each of us may experience lonely days by following God's plan for our lives and not society's plan, but I also know that we will reap many blessings through being obedient to God.

I must remember this verse and not rely on my own understanding, nor that of those around me, but trust in the Lord with all my heart.  I must take faith that "He will make my paths straight."  I hope that these words will also bring you comfort when you are doing something that isn't easy or something that others don't approve or understand.

Please continue to follow our circle and see what my friend Gail Pomare has on her heart this month.




the illuminated word project l august

this project is by far one of  my favorites.  not only do i like the way it makes me search within; i also love to read what has been stirring inside of the other members of my circle. this month the following verses have been on my heart...

Jeremiah 29:11-13

New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

i've written before about how i worry much more than i should.  and i am slowly learning to hand these worries over to the Lord and truly trust in Him. i've also written before about all the anxiety i experienced before moving back to our home town last year.  but my husband and i clearly felt the Lord leading us here and were obedient in pursuing a move back.   since moving back i have seen time and time again, blessings pour out from this decision.

one of the things  i feared was experiencing a new loneliness when work took my husband away from our home and family.  (and work takes him away A LOT).  you see, on a military base everyone is coming or going from deployments and training.  families living to the left and right and back and front of you have all been through it time and time again.   not only do the wives relate to each other,  but the children relate to one another.  it's truly a family all of its own.  BUT in our small town, very few people know this reality.  yes, many people have husbands that work long hours and even take business trips fairly often, but its different than missing weeks and months at a time.  missing milestones, special occasions, and holidays adds to the loneliness and difficulty that comes with military deployments.  i feared that i would not only long for my husband to be home, but long for the friendships and relationships that i had come to know on base for so many years.   and i do miss all of that more than words can describe. but in HIS own way, God has provided for our family.

as i said in the last year the Lord has shown us time and time again that moving home was the direction He wanted for our life.  and last weekend i was reminded of this once again...

my husband is currently overseas for two months.   two months is by far not the longest we have been separated during our 13 years of marriage; but it is the longest he has been deployed since we moved over a year ago back to our hometown.   one saturday afternoon, i invited my family (parents, three siblings and their families,  and my in-laws) all over for an afternoon at the lake.   and every one of them came.  as i sat there that afternoon watching every one talking and the kids all playing, i just thanked the Lord for again showing me to trust HIM.   no, my family cannot relate 100% to everything we go through but they are here for me in so many ways and for that i am so blessed.   uncles and aunts and grandparents willing to make my children feel extra special.  cousins to run around with. and extra hands to give me help in preparing food and fun for everyone at my house.   we are beyond blessed to have these people in our lives.   i truly believe our family is so unique and special and i hold tight to each of them in my heart.

i love these reminders.  the reminders that God has a plan for us.  BUT we cannot forget the last two verses of this scripture:

12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God wants us to call on Him. He wants us to need Him.  i am so grateful for a God that wants me as His always.

i'll leave you today with these pictures of our fun afternoon with our family. each photograph taken is a reminder of the love that surrounds me in so many ways.

this is home now....surrounded by all of our family.  this last picture is such a great representation of that to me..our house on one end and my brother's on the other.   with my sisters and parents not far down the road.  to be here with all of them, is more than i ever dreamed.

please follow along our blog circle and see what the always amazing Gail Pomare has on her mind this month.



the illuminated word project l july

it's once again time for the illuminated word project.  each month i join a group of ladies to discuss a verse of scripture that has spoken to our hearts during the month.  this month i would like to share the following verse:

Ephesians 4:32: "Be kind and compassionate to one another,   forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. "

"you are forgiven."  three simple words, yet at times, they can be the hardest words to say.

this weekend our two year old daughter told my husband that her brother hit her while he was playing the wii.   this is something we aren't very proud of as parents, but admittedly bad behavior does indeed take place between our 8, 5, and 2 year old children.  my husband disciplined my son and then he requested that my son apologize to our daughter.

my son has a terribly hard time with saying i'm sorry.   i think this is hard for a lot of children.   on the other hand,  i notice that children can be so quick to forgive one another.  they quickly say "that's okay." or something of the like.  and then the matter is forgotten and they move on.

as adults, it can be so hard to really forgive one another when we are hurt.  sometimes it seems easier to harbor feelings of resentment, anger, and sadness, then to say i forgive you.  why can't we be like my 2 year old who quickly says "it's okay, bubby"... and then embraces him with a hug and a smile?  indeed there are many reasons why we instinctively don't do this, but the bible clearly tells us to forgive one another as Christ forgives us.

have you heard the latest song by mathew west? if not, you can hear the song here and you can read the story behind the song here.  i can't seem to get this song out of my head.  the words are just that powerful:

It's the hardest thing to give away And the last thing on your mind today It always goes to those that don't deserve
It's the opposite of how you feel When the pain they caused is just to real It takes everything you have just to say the word...
Forgiveness Forgiveness
It flies in the face of all your pride It moves away the mad inside It's always anger's own worst enemy Even when the jury and the judge Say you gotta right to hold a grudge It's the whisper in your ear saying 'Set It Free'
Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Show me how to love the unlovable Show me how to reach the unreachable Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Help me now to do the impossible Forgiveness
It'll clear the bitterness away It can even set a prisoner free There is no end to what it's power can do So, let it go and be amazed By what you see through eyes of grace The prisoner that it really frees is you
Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Show me how to love the unlovable Show me how to reach the unreachable Help me now to do the impossible Forgiveness
I want to finally set it free So show me how to see what Your mercy sees Help me now to give what You gave to me Forgiveness, Forgiveness

the highlighted words stand out to me

" It'll clear the bitterness away.   It can even set a prisoner freeThere is no end to what it's power can do.  So, let it go and be amazed.   By what you see through eyes of grace . The prisoner that it really frees is you"

you see, by forgiving even the worst of sins done to us, we are the one who becomes free. it's amazing how Jesus works in this way.   i cannot say this is easy, but through Him you can let go and experience this freedom.   is there something that is holding you as a prisoner today?  is there someone who has hurt you beyond repair?   go to our Lord and ask Him to show you how to experience this freedom.  ask Him to heal your heart, so that you can experience your life to its fullest. its not an easy road, but i guarantee you will find blessings at the end of it.  and maybe for you its not a big thing but a lot of small things that have just added up over time.   don't harbor those feelings inside.

or are you the "someone" that needs forgiveness? do you feel like your sins are too much for God to forgive?   do you live with guilt and the burden of not even forgiving yourself?  the bible clearly speaks to us on this as well many times.   i'll leave you with another verse:

Acts 13:38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

don't let an unforgiving heart rob you of today.   i pray these passages will speak to you as they have to me.

please continue to follow our blog circle and see what scripture the fabulous  Gail Pomare | Santa Cruz, San Jose Lifestyle Photographer has to share with us this month.  i am always very inspired by her words and images.



the illuminated word project l june

welcome back for this month's illuminated word project.   if this is your first time joining me, please read here to find out what this project is all about. this month the topic of servant-hood has been on my mind often.  i 've been thinking of ways that we can serve others more as a family.  my husband and i really want to demonstrate the importance of servant-hood in our Christian walks to our children.  we desire to teach them the importance of putting others before themselves while striving to be Christ like in all things.

as i think of servant-hood my mother-in-law, mita, immediately comes to mind.  she is such an amazing example of selfless living for others similar to Jesus.  her whole life is about putting others before herself with the desire to display her love for them.  i pray my children will see this example and want to live like her.   additionally, she inspires and challenges me.

my father-in-law, pito,  is living with Alzheimer's and as of recent it seems to be getting worse. in the year we have lived at home, i have witnessed the effects it has taken on our mita. she is one of the strongest people i know and ultimately gets her strength from our Lord and Savior. i watch her as she serves pito daily caring for his every need and i can only imagine the pain she feels in the moments he looks at her and asks who she is.  through the heartache she remains strong; she smiles and she rejoices in the moments she has with pito still in her life.  even in the midst of all this hardship, she chooses to continue to serve everyone around her.  she does this without ever making her own needs known.   her life is such a living example of how Christ tells us to live and a vivid reminder that this world is not about living for ourselves.   it's about others.

this month's scripture i've chosen is:

Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)

2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,   if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete   by being like-minded,   having the same love, being one   in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.   Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

one of the many ways mita loves to serve is through her cooking.  this week she came over and cooked with my oldest daughter ellie and me.   through these pictures you can see the mutual love and joy of grandmother and granddaughter making lifetime memories together.

as mita and i were finishing up the cooking i saw my oldest in the family room carrying out her own acts of service for our family and my heart was so touched.  she was sitting with pito and showing him our family photo albums. i heard her asking him if he knew who various people in the book were-- including herself.  my heart sank a little when i heard him answer no. but as i kept listening, i heard as she explained to him who everyone in the family was and how they were related to him. she did this with such love and patience and in that moment i saw my 8 year old being like Jesus...

i'll leave you with this song , Live Like That, by Sidewalk Prophets.  listen closely and i pray the words would challenge you as they have me.

please continue with our blog circle and see what Rachel Chaney has on her heart this month.