Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Keep Seeking the Things Above

This morning a friend emailed me the blog address of a family he knows thinking that, being into blogging myself, I might be interested in checking it out. I did visit this blog and, upon doing so, was quite encouraged by what I found. In the bloggers' own words, this blog is designed "to give analogies of everyday life and relate them to Christ." Essentially, they are relating stories of everyday events and seeing Christ even in these "mundane things."

I got to thinking about this concept of seeing Christ in all things, and concluded that our ability to do that should result in praise and glory to our King. Praise God that He has made Himself evident in that which He has created! "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:18-20). God has made a way through His creation for all to come to the knowledge of Him. What a blessing that the work of God's hands calls out to the saved and unsaved alike, beckoning us all unto Him.

As I said earlier, I was encouraged by this fellow blogger's words. Instead of allowing the mundane things of everyday life to blind him to the majestic things of our great God, he is actively looking for God even in the most "un-religious" of situations. May this be a reminder to me to "keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Signed Up For PayPerPost!

Last month during a casual conversation with a friend, I learned that people can make money blogging! Being a stay-at-home-mom with no income and lingering student loan debt, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to learn how I, too, could make money by doing what I love to do--writing! An experienced blogger friend whose average blogging income is $500 a month advised me to sign up for PayPerPost to get started making money. Having just met the 10 posts and 30 days requirement yesterday, I signed up on PayPerPost.com this morning, received notification that my blog had been approved shortly thereafter, and here I am tonight taking my first PayPerPost opportunity! I am so excited to have finally found a way to make a little money while still fulfilling my most important role of raising up the children whom the Lord has given me. I certainly hope this pans out for me, as I would love to start chipping away a little faster at my student loan debt. The Lord has always been faithful to meet all of our needs, and my husband has a wonderful job that provides well for our family; but since starting our Total Money Makeover at the end of last year, we have seen that a little extra income would go a long ways in helping us to become debt free. So thank you, PayPerPost, for this wonderful opportunity!

If you like to write and wouldn't mind making a little extra income, maybe you, too, should join the blog network!

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 26 June 2008.

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact Angela Squires at travisangela.squires@gmail.com.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for her posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thank God for Good Friends

I have been so blessed by the phone calls of caring friends since the news of my ultrasound results went out. The love I am being shown has caused me to reflect on my own expression of love towards friends, and I'm afraid it doesn't always measure up. I have some friends who have had miscarriages in the past, and not knowing what I should say to them during their trialsome times, I have chosen to not say anything at all. But now that I find myself likely facing the same situation, I am so thankful for the words of love and care and concern and encouragement given me by my friends. It means so much to hear the words, "I'm praying for you.... If you need someone to talk to.... We love you...." So thank you, my dear friends, for showing me love and compassion during this time. It means more than you know.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

All Things Work Together...

As I continue to reflect on the situation we face with this pregnancy, the Lord has brought to my mind Romans 8:28--"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." This promise can be a tough one to wrap the finite human mind around because we humans see only the snapshot of our current situation, whatever it may be. But God--the infinite, all-knowing God, the God who is not bound by time or space--He sees the big picture. He knew the beginning, and He knows the end, and His grace is sufficient for whatever falls in between. I think it's interesting that just a few verses before this astounding promise, Paul says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (vs. 18). The promise is not that only good will happen to those who love God. Indeed, we know that "all things" includes the good and the bad, for Scripture tells us that we will encounter trials. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4). So not only can we know that even our trials play into the best God has for us, but we can also rejoice in these trials, knowing that through them we are being perfected. Perhaps the best way to understand this mystery that all things work together for the good of those who love God is to remember that God is continually sanctifying and perfecting His children and using all things as the means to this end.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My First Appointment

This morning I had my first OB appointment for this pregnancy. We got to see the same doctor who delivered Amariah, and he enjoyed seeing how much she has grown over the past year. At the end of our appointment, he sent us to the ultrasound technician for our first ultrasound. Having just had a good appointment, we were surprised to see no baby as the technician began the procedure. She saw a normal placenta, a gestational sack, and a yolk sack, but no baby. Based on that, she called me six weeks pregnant instead of ten and sent us back to visit with the doctor. Since we are pretty confident of the dates involved, the doctor seems to think that a miscarriage is pending. He is, however, having me come back in a couple weeks for a follow-up ultrasound to determine whether any change has occured. Whatever is going to happen, I am comforted by the fact that the Lord knows all things. He already knows the outcome, and His grace is sufficient for whatever we may face. He is my Lord, and I will rest in Him.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Male and Female He Created Them

Yesterday I blogged about how my son Abel is turning into a little man before my eyes. Today my thoughts have turned to the developing womanhood of my (almost) one year-old daughter Amariah.

Yesterday afternoon as I was trying to get myself and the kids ready to head to the grocery store, Amariah decided to take herself upstairs. Still busy getting Abel's shoes on, I let her go do her thing thinking that she would soon be ready to come back down. Several minutes passed, and I noticed that everything seemed a little too quiet upstairs--usually the first warning sign that I need to check things out. I quietly headed up the stairs, and as I peeked into Abel's bedroom, Amariah turned around with the sweetest little grin on her face as she held Abel's baby doll to her chest--certainly not a naughty thing, but still something that I needed to see! Baby doll still in her arms, I asked Amariah if she would like to take it along with us to the store. She gave me an affirmative grunt, and we headed for the van. As I loaded her into her carseat, I could hardly pry her arms away from the baby long enough to get her strapped in. She held that baby tightly for most of our grocery shopping trip. Later in the evening I watched as Amariah spent a good half hour pretending to put her own pajamas on the baby. As a mother, it was so much fun to see my daughter's nurturing nature revealing itself. Sure, she is hardly more than a baby herself; but it cannot be denied that God has created male and female for very distinct and different purposes--complimentary to each other and equally important, but still distinct and different.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do

My two year-old son Abel is starting to turn into a little man. His demeanor is changing from that of a toddler to that of a little boy. Everyday I realize all over again how smart and impressionable he really is. I see little behaviors in him that remind me of myself, but even more so I see behavior that could only have been learned from his daddy. There are several things Abel has been doing lately that prove to me he is already looking to his father to learn how to be a man. Indeed, many of these things are still quite insignificant in the grand scheme of Abel's manhood, but nevertheless they are good reminders that he is watching every move we make.
  • If Travis puts on a baseball cap on his way out the door, Abel asks for his cap, too.
  • When Travis comes in out of the sun for a moment, he often pushes his sunglasses up to his forehead. Lately, instead of handing me his sunglasses when we come inside, Abel strategically places his own sunglasses not on the top of his head like Mommy, but on the front of his forehead.
  • Travis mows our lawn once or twice a week with a push mower that of course has a pull start. If Travis is mowing, you can be sure that Abel is ten steps behind with his own mower, stopping every once in a while to restart the motor.
  • In preparation to replace the tire on our wheelbarrow the other night, Travis wheeled it into the grass and laid it tire side up. A few moments later I noticed a small plastic wheelbarrow placed upside down in the grass right beside it.
  • Last night Travis had a wheelbarrow full of dirt and was placing it with a shovel around the edges of my garden. I looked out the window as Abel quietly watched his father work just before turning to his own shovel and wheelbarrow full of dirt.
Reflecting on these moments makes me realize a few things: (1) our children are watching everything we do and listening to everything we say, and from our examples they are learning how to behave; (2) spending time with our children is important not only for the relational aspects and for the memories, but also for the teaching and learning opportunities it provides; and (3) I am so thankful that Abel's father--my husband--is a godly man, because from him Abel is learning how to be a man himself. What a blessing to be a parent and to therefore have the opportunity to so strongly influence the life of a child.

The Weather...

What is it about summertime that can lift one's spirits so? When I stepped outside this morning, the warm sun was shining brightly; and it just made me want to find a reason to be in it. Of course, there is no keeping Abel inside on a day like this, either. We love the summertime.

Isn't it funny, though, how we always complain about the weather? Winter is too cold; summer is too hot; spring is too rainy; fall is too short; and it's always too windy (at least in Iowa!). So what is it that would make us happy?! Maybe our constant discontentment is just another sign that this world is not our home. Something within us longs for something more and better. So I wonder what the weather will be like in heaven.... :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In Debt to Debt

Do you ever feel like you are in debt to your debt? I never really felt so burdened by it until I became aware of it. But thank goodness we became aware when we did! Last November my husband and I read Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover and immediately recognized that we needed to stop letting debt be a way of life. Since changing our view of debt, we have seen great success in our finances: we have paid off two student loans, an "interest free" credit card, and several medical bills; and we were able to make a large down payment on a new (to us) vehicle when our trusty old car unexpectedly bit the dust! We are still plugging away at paying off the rest of this vehicle as well as two more student loans. At times I feel like it is taking forever to see the kind of progress that I would like to see. But then my husband gently reminds me that it is not going to be easy to become debt-free. Sometimes doing things the right way takes a lot of time and effort, and that is not the kind of mindset that comes naturally to the average American. But we are doing what we can to stay "gazelle intense," as Dave would say, because we are "sick and tired" of living in debt to our debt!

Monday, June 16, 2008


"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

With all the recent devastation in Iowa due to tornadoes and flooding, I have been reflecting a lot on this verse. And after discovering water damage in our own basement just over a week ago, I realized how truly unimportant are the things we "treasure" on this earth--and how truly quickly those "treasures" can be destroyed.

Interestingly enough, it was upon returning home from my grandfather's funeral, where the preacher had exhorted those in attendance to hang on loosely to earthly possessions, that we found ourselves having to let go of some of our own things. God, in His mercy, had used both the preacher's words and my grandfather's life and death to remind us that the "things" of this life do not matter and should not be treasured in our hearts. My grandfather had been a successful and well-respected businessman in his day; but trialsome times came, money got tight, and his fifth-generation family-owned and operated cattle business became nothing but debt. His earthly inheritance had perished, but he had an imperishable inheritance--salvation through faith--waiting for him in heaven.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and fully of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter 1:3-9)

Monday, June 9, 2008

About Me

I've been tagged by my friend Amber to complete the following list about myself. Here goes....

I am...thankful for godly friendships.

I want…to know God more.

I wish…I could remember everything I read.

I hate…alarm clocks.

I miss…college life.

I fear…that I won't know what to say when witnessing to unbelievers.

I feel…tired most of the time.

I hear…Abel and Amariah playing together.

I smell…fresh cut grass.

I crave…chocolate ice cream.

I search…for Abel's sippy cup at least twice a day.

I wonder…what it will feel like to be in heaven.

I regret…missing opportunities to witness.

I love…to feel the sun's warmth on my skin.

I ache…after a long day on my feet.

I care…about how my children behave.

I always…brush my teeth before leaving the house.

I am not…very patient when Abel plays with his food.

I believe…that Jesus is God's only Son, sent to die for my sins that I might be saved.

I dance…when I sing silly songs to my kids.

I sing...without realizing it.

I cry…when a conflict is resolved.

I don’t always…remember who told me what.

I fight...the habit of running late.

I write…with proper grammar.

I never…order seafood.

I listen…to my husband's heartbeat when I lay on his chest.

I need...a Savior.

I am happy…when my children are obedient.

Now I'm tagging Rebekah.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...