Thursday, May 29, 2008

JUST LAUGH Is Coming To A Close

edited to say this is very much a "just one of those days" posts..rambling and wanting to share my heart but not sure how...yeah, you know those days don't you?
A "I probably shouldn't, I'm just tired, and emotional but I'm gonna do it anyway" post.

PCS, or Permanent Change of Station is coming quickly. The time will soon arrive that we will be leaving beautiful Okinawa. Sometime in July, we will board a plane with all our memories and about 3 years of age and head back to the U.S. with a very slim chance of ever returning. It will be very difficult to say goodbye to the Church we have called home since Aug 29th of 05. It has been such a blessing. I am slowly surrendering my ministries and some are to a dear friend whose husband will replace mine as a deacon when we leave. My feelings are bittersweet. God has allowed us to run hard and strong in the midst of trials and difficulties...He has so strengthened us in the way and I look forward (with some nervousness) to what He has ahead of us.

Yes, this may be the end of "Just Laugh" seeing as how I started it to keep our friends and family updated on our lives across the ocean. I love the friends I have made on here and I do plan to keep in touch. I may start a new blog when we get settled in the states...I'm just not sure about that yet as I have shared an awful lot of info on here because we were outside of the US...we'll see what happens.

And, this, is difficult to share. It has been a challenge to discern what to share on blogger here...I don't think a blog truly paints an accurate picture(maybe I'm wrong?), but for me, I would start to write some things about our ministry here and many other things to round out what comes across my blogger image...and it just felt like it would come across as boasting. I don't think that anyone else is boasting when they share about what the Lord is accomplishing in their lives, their talents the blessings in their family...I guess I am aware of the painful fact that pride lurks around every corner in my life-even in that statement itself. Anyway, since I feel led to exclude many things that could have lent to stumbling on my part, it seems as though who I really am is not coming through. In my attempt to be *real*, in recording my thoughts and struggles...ideas, convictions and some lacking ones... I have had my feelings hurt, I am ashamed to admit, when I feel that I am rejected by other bloggers. We ladies have a sly way of showing our approval and our rejection of one another...let's be honest-I believe we even fool ourselves most times. We know when it's done to others and have a pretty good idea when it's done to us and honestly, we just have to love one another anyway :) I have gone back and read comments I made and had to recant...I have been less than gracious a few times I am sure. I praise the Lord for those who overlook my faults. It is truly a show of Christ like love when you *stick around* even when you don't see eye to eye on everything....when you see a besetting sin the Lord is working out, when you don't share the same convictions... I know we don't have time to get around to everyone's blog :) I'm not talking about that...I certainly don't get to visit everyone that I would like to...I go long periods of not being able to blog or visit, but I purpose to encourage each one of you that I can, I love you and care about you...I pray for you.

Thankfully, many of you know me personally and can see more of the true picture with all its faults and blessings as well. :) I have had to repent of accusing in my heart, as well....I know I am just a faulty human and I am never to be offended-as I am crucified with Christ, but in my flesh, I have been angered and upset when I see others judged and *ousted* by one another in the blogosphere and offended myself as well (not that it doesn't happen in real life). Praise the Lord it is only a fleeting thing and repented of immediately, but it is worth mentioning that ladies know when they are being rejected and it is discouraging. Let's be sensitive to one another. Okay, off my soapbox that rings of lingering self-pity and a touch of resentment, I'm afraid.

So, because I stumble in many ways, I will sum up our ministry here with this: it has been such a blessing a priviledge to learn and serve at Maranatha...I am so blessed. What I do want to do is lift up the Lord-He not only sees the big picture, HE KNOWS our hearts. He has blessed and I do want to unashamedly thank the Lord for a godly husband who has so faithfully served His Lord and Savior amidst many a trial. He has taught and trained his children faithfully, been patient with me, had faith in me to be his helpmeet...held my hand in prayer...made me so proud to be his bride. As tempted as I am to share more, still seems I trying to somehow be *approved*.

Please pray for us as we have much to do in preparation to leave. It is especially difficult right now because Brian is tied up with school and we still have lots of loose ends to tie up. Please pray for Maranatha Baptist Church as well-since this is PCS season...they are losing alot of faithful servants-pray for more laborers to carry on the ministry to the military and Japanese here on Okinawa. Love you my friends!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


He has somewhat against me in my lack of consistancy and my coolness towards Him....I have left my "first love" in my abandonment of the "vision" He has given me. Vision as in being faithful in the little things...*ahem*. It shows in my frustration, lack of organization...yeah, I've been here more times than I would like to admit. Defeated? No....learning, growing, moving on. And, I'm on my knees...again...and again. The following broke spoke to my heart today...I found it- rather, the Lord brought it to my attention, whilst I was off on a tangent researching some other "Biblical things" that interested me...but should have been attending to the "little" things. Yeah...the fact that my research was *ahem* Biblical, did not mean it was allowed to monopolize my time, and not just today, this has been going on for a while now...these "bunny trails" if you will.

(To the church of Ephesus, a famous church planted by the apostle Paul (Acts 19))

"I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."
Rev 2:2-2:4

Matthew Henry wrote..."Those that have lost their first love must remember whence they have fallen; they must compare their present with their former state, and consider how much better it was with them then than now, how much peace, strength, purity, and pleasure they have lost, by leaving their first love,—how much more comfortably they could lie down and sleep at night,—how much more cheerfully they could awake in the morning,—how much better they could bear afflictions, and how much more becomingly they could enjoy the favours of Providence,—how much easier the thoughts of death were to them, and how much stronger their desires and hopes of heaven." (I added the bold)

edited to say...I'm not in any way trying to be some spiritual giant in this "research"'s just that chasing bunny trails is so much more fun than say putting away the 3 loads of crumpled up laundry in my linen closet...does that paint a more accurate picture?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday Brianna

It seems like just yesterday that I was rocking you to sleep...smelling your sweet soft hair and stroking your silky cheek...the days go by so quickly and even as I write this I see that we've not much time before your grown. May I not waste a moment to listen to your little voice lifted in praise and laughter, to see the beautiful sparkle in your blue eyes, to hold you a little longer when you crawl into my lap....these sweet moments that I breath in, are priceless-I will cherish them always.

"I'll love you forever

I'll like you for always

as long as I'm living

my baby you'll be "

Happy 7th Birthday, Baby girl I love you forever...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Please Pray...

for Ashleigh just take a minute to stop over HERE at her mom's site so you can know how to pray for both of these dear friends. Thank you so very much.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I forgot to mention that I am taking these new vitamins thatI got from HERE. I can def. tell a difference in my energy levels all around in just the past 3 days I have started them.

In addition to regular multivitamins they contain barley grass, alfalfa grass....spirulina and LOTS more. $36 for a 3 month supply!

Signs In The Sky

So apparently this is what was seen in the sky about 10 min before the e/q hit. This site offers some interesting explanations and could serve as an early warnting system.

Of course, God's Word comes to our both a comfort and as an urging to share the Gospel

Luke 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

2Pet 3:10-14 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Matt 16:3 And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times?


Can I just say that I am soooo ready for this school year to be over? Brianna is on day 165 YAY!!!! I can't wait for our pool days, beach days and oh yeah...moving too, well, that will be ummm, an adventure. I'm just not even gonna go there on here because then I will have to think about it and with everything else that is going on, yeah, I just don't want to overload my brain. Having 4 babies has done some serious brain damage...or something.

The girls are recovering from their HFM just fine, I have a horrible headache and no energy, but other than that we are finally healthy. Yay!

Ayden thinks the tub is a potty...not fun, especially when he has Lily in there with him bbblech-SO not fun.

Brian is at an Advanced Acadamy for Gunnys which means he is up north for most of the week (except for the time I called him in tears and begged him to let me come get him so I could just spend some much needed time with him...yeah, I was frazzled) he comes home for Awanas on Wed and then the weekend.

And, I did a very unwise thing...I stayed til 1:30am talking with a friend of mine who stopped over after the kids were in bed. We had a great time talking and laughing, but I knew 1:30 am was pushing it...then the situation got worse...Ayden woke up at about 1:45am. Oh yeah...and he was *up* until after 3am. Fun times. This is also my team's week to cook the visitation meal and I *need* the energy and wits about me to juggle stuff. Okay, so have a great day :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Training Them Up be accusers of the brethren. We see it all the time don't we? Scary. From time to time I like to read the articles at No Greater Joy Ministries. Note that I don't agree 100% with everything that is taught, but there are many many good things I have learned in reading the Pearls' material. The articles are many times convicting but also encouraging- I can count on them to give me a fresh perspective. The question and answer session I read today addressed a situation that I see my own home as well, unfortunately.

"My 8-year-old daughter tells me everything. My husband heard her telling about some things that happened at church and he said it sounded like gossip. How can I encourage her to tell it without her engaging in gossip?"
"Many mothers establish emotionally intense bonds with their children by encouraging "telling all." The "all" the child learns to tell is how bad everyone else's children are and how he alone choose righteousness. Tiny details, such as the other child’s expression or attitude are discussed as well as "why do you think they...?" It is amazing how fast a small child can become subtle in knowing when to leave out or add a word, a phase, an expression, an emotion, or an opinion, thus changing the whole color of what really happened. Once this habit is established it is very hard for mother to see the deception that is so apparent to others. By your eagerness to hear the tale and respond you are encouraging the child into being an "accuser of the brethren."..... Never develop a "them and us" attitude. Don’t lead your daughter to feel superior to others. You should be sad when you hear of the failure of others. Discuss with your daughter ways to help the bad situations. Never allow your daughter to feel a closeness to you by tattling on others. If she emotionally profits from running others down, she will keep doing it even to the point of lying. " You can read the rest HERE.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day Mom and Mom in Love

When I think of my mom, I think of the following quote:

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." -- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Mom, I can't thank you enough for your prayers, for teaching me to pray and read my Bible and to never lose hope....I learned, by your example, that I can always trust in the Lord. I love you, and want to deeply thank you and Dad for loving the Lord and making Him the center of our home.

The Lord Blessed me also with a Mother-in-love who loves the Lord. I want to thank you so much for being such a great source of love and support. You have known me since I was just a 16 year old and have been there all along the way watching Brian and I grow and learn and fail and succeed...I know it's not easy being far away. Thank you so much for your love and prayers...and so much more. Happy Mother's Day!

God made a wonderful mother,

A mother who never grows old;

He made her smile of the sunshine,

And He moulded her heart of pure gold;

In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,

In her cheeks fair roses you see;

God made a wonderful mother,

And He gave that dear mother to me.

--Pat O'Reilly

Sweet, Sassy...and Sick

Blech...nothing serious, but the Hand, foot and mouth "disease" (which is really just caused by a cold virus) has hit. It is spreading like wild fire in these parts. So, I have cranky little blistered children..only two, but the others I am sure will follow suit shortly. The pic reminded me of Ayden LOL...he's managed to escape pics and the far ;)

pic from google images

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

On The Sweet And Sassy Side....

Just some pics of my girls from this past weekend....the boy is too quick for the camera ;)

He Breaks The Chains

...that I, in ignorance, had allowed myself to be bound.

"And if we ourselves are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty— the liberty that comes from realizing the absolute control and authority of Jesus Christ.
Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one true liberty— the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.
Don’t get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you— with patience and with gentleness. But never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, "Go . . . and make disciples. . ." ( Matthew 28:19 ), not, "Make converts to your own thoughts and opinions."-Oswald Chambers (My Utmost For His Highest)

The Lord has really been doing some "light shining" in my heart and has been painful. There have been some bitterness issues and ignorance issues that have opened the door to spiritual oppression....horrible feelings of anger that I had no idea where they came from..NOT FUN. I suddenly felt like I could relate in a way to Saul -one in need of a harpist to calm my soul. David's sweet music could only chase away the oppression for a time, Saul needed the only permanent remedy there is...a repentant heart and God as the Lord of his life. Well, in my suffering, I searched, He revealed, I repented, He is restoring and I am praising the Lord for His goodness and mercy.

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."Romans 1:21

Deut. 28:28,29 "The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save [thee]."

Read what Matthew Henry said about the above verses - "That they should be infatuated in all their counsels, so as not to discern their own interest, nor bring any thing to pass for the public good: The Lord shall smite thee with madness and blindness, v. 28, 29. Note, God’s judgments can reach the minds of men to fill them with darkness and horror, as well as their bodies and estates; and those are the sorest of all judgments which make men a terror to themselves, and their own destroyers....Those that will not walk in God’s counsels are justly left to be ruined by their own; and those that are wilfully blind to their duty deserve to be made blind to their interest, and, seeing they loved darkness rather than light, let them grope at noon-day as in the dark."-okay, this rejuvenated a healthy fear of the Lord in my bones...we serve a JUST God, a righteous often I choose not to ponder that... So often I hear Christians say.."Oh, well, the Lord knows my heart, He knows I'm not trying to offend Him"..I just heard that this past week from someone in defense of using a pet word that they in their heart KNOW is wrong. I am guilty as well with using "Oh, the Lord knows my heart" in a pat way to justify something that I don't want to go to the Bible and check out....*sigh*

Are you struggling with anger? Do you "FEEL" the spiritual "licks of fire" around you? Was there a "life storm" that you are holding onto bitterness over? Is there a false belief that you fell into because of the influence of others? Are you vengeful, unforgiving? Do you lack compassion for your fellow Christians? Do you suffer from the pride of life sin? Many of these sins are sneaky and we are hesitant to acknowledge them, but in all seriousness, they open a very real door to spiritual torment. Saul must have suffered exceedingly...Judas destroyed himself- the torment was so great. Dear suffering Saint, go to the Lord, to His Word-He wants to restore you. Much love to you!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

They See...

...our true character.

"You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here's how - guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do's and don'ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately... yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it - emotional and spiritual damage will occur". -Charles Swindoll


...getting a midnight snack? This is what I found when I went to pour the kids cereal one I even ask? I have found "bad" baby dolls in the fridge and stuffed toys in the just never know what you will find in this house.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Is There Anything More Beautiful

to a searching and hurting heart than a timely Psalm?

Psalm 43:3-5

"O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God."- I added bold -photo from wunderground

Homeshcool Update (LONG!)

Feel free just to skim through or just post a question if you have one!
Just wanted to update you all on our homeschool this is a challenge with 4 children who are VERY close in age. Believe it or not, though, there are some definite advantages to having children close when it comes to homeschooling...and when I find them out, I'll let you know- JUST KIDDING;) They are all within 4.5 years so their interests are pretty close for alot of things. They all love to sit and color, be read to, do puzzles and help me bake and do housework. They are all eager little helpers...even Ayden.
I use the Abeka DVD program, so if you have any questions please post them in the comments. Keep in mind, Brianna is only in 1st grade and so I am a new homeschooler :)
This a rough overview of our schedule
----The girls have chores before breakfast and Bible class. They all sit for Bible..this was a real challenge to train Ayden (who turned 2 in March) to sit for the class but totally worth it. He does not sit perfectly and I allow him to have a small toy or two for his fidgety little hands, but he "sings" along and picks up things from listening to the girls. I know he is a boy, (and a busy one at that) but teaching him to "sit" at an early age has been a blessing. I think it is easier too that he is the youngest and has 3 older sisters...the younger ones just follow suit if you have a good routine-at least in my experience thus far ;) That's not saying a whole lot is it! I know I post alot of our *disasters* but they really are, by God's Grace and Mercy, coming along well :) Lily who is 3 sits well...her attention wanders, but the routine is what is important. The first grade class has lots of songs with motions and the story is done using pictures...this is where having them all close in age is really good.
-----After Bible, Brianna continues with her class time while Ayden and Lily play in the play room. Anjolie sits in for phonics with Brianna. She has memorized phonics charts just by watching along with Brianna. I love the Leap Frog Letter Factory and put that on in the play room while Lily and Ayden play...Lily has learned some letter sounds this way and some recognition as well. Ayden calls any letter he sees "B" and it always says "cu" lol... ;)
-----Snack time! A break for everyone-outside if it is nice!
Brianna watches Arithmetic, Writing and Combinations on DVD. I many times must *pause* and repeat if they are using flash cards or a chart-or I pause it on a new chart and run through it with just Brianna so she doesn't get "lost". Anjolie works on some cursive, colors...she starts K-5 this fall, so I really want her schedule to be fairly relaxed until then...she begs for schoolwork each day, and I want her to be motivated at the start of the year.
----Lunch Time!! I try to prepare lunch as Brianna is finishing up class, but many times I am playing with, caring for the others... We take a short play break, and then Lily and Ayden go down for a nap ( I am adamant about them taking naps!) Anjolie (whom I am weaning off naps) has some special time with me and then she takes a nap as well, she still rarely misses a nap...
-----While everyone else is napping, Brianna does her worksheets...I tried having her do them along with her classes, but it worked best to just have her watch her classes back to back and then do paperwork back to back. Since it is quiet, we have some one on one time to go over and reinforce new concepts, but the videos are VERY thorough as long as the student is participating-they will learn it. I have had to start classes over because I caught a very distracted Brianna not participating :)
-----Brianna finishes classes and paper work around 2:30 if she starts at 9am (we aim to start at 8:30, but most times it ends up being between 9 and 10 which is my fault) and works at a fairly reasonable pace. :) I have her read to me intermittently throughout the day. Meal prep is a really good time for her to pull up the step stool and read to me. She reads the Abeka material, but currently she is also reading The Wind In The Willows with very little help from me. I continue to read to her so she can hear the speed and expression I expect...

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Come on in...the babies are down for a nap

I picked up all the morning's toys just for your visit....:) We recently got these "cranberry" couches..the photo doesn't do them justice...we needed some new couches before we move. It won't be so much red in a normal sized house with our coffee table and other furniture which is in storage back in the US...
Oh, moving on...Brianna who has just finished watching her classes, is working away on her school work and Anjolie is working on a water color masterpiece. I LOVE days like this...

Then Anjolie takes a little break outside before taking a nap of her own :)

Ahhhh if only every day went this smooth...
well, if that were the case, I would have nothing to blog! :P

*sigh* the time with my little ones...