Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer is Here...

...and we are already enjoying the sunshine and fun. We celebrated Hallie's graduation from Kindergarten, my parents 40th wedding anniversary, have been to the pool three times, rode bikes to the park countless times and started baseball for the boys. As Ryan and I walked and talked one afternoon we commented on how much we enjoy time as a family. I am thankful for the unity, joy and love in our family of five! God is good!

Hallie with Mrs. VanHove on the last day of Kindergarten

Coach Dad with his best players, Jacob and Zachary

My parents celebrating 40 years

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hallie's Heart

In the last two weeks I have been blessed to see into my daughter's heart, and discover her growing love and trust in Jesus Christ. As a Christian mother, my greatest hope is that my children would know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and that they would enjoy the freedom and abundant joy of a daily walk with Him.

1. We were having some mommy/Hallie moments on the front porch swing and I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She was unsure and so I suggested a few careers. She seemed not to care too much one way or the other. Then I asked if she thought she would be a mom. Hallie's reply was, "Yeah, if God wants me to be a mom."

Lesson learned...Don't try to predict and plan every little bit of my future and don't instill that kind of selfish planning into my kids. There is a difference between setting goals, refining and developing God-given talents and planning exactly what the future will be. Only God gets to know the future.

Jeremiah 29:11...For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future when you call to me with all your heart."

2. Hallie was feeling sick two days ago and was moaning as her stomach cramped up on her. I suggested she go rest in her bed and try to sleep. She agreed and I laid her down in bed. As I walked out of the room I watched as she folded her hands and prayed to God for His healing touch on her body. Only the Lord knows what her words were, but I got to watch as she confidently gave her concerns and physical pain over to Jesus, knowing that He was the One that could help her.

Lesson Him at all times and have the faith of a child, believing He can do all things and will help me and my children in any and every circumstance.

Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."

3. Hallie, Ryan and I have certainly talked about what it means to believe in and follow Jesus. We have talked about how Jesus died for our sins and what sin is. Hallie has told us that she loves Jesus and believes in Him as her Savior. Recently, the topic of baptism came up and she asked Ryan a lot of insightful questions. We talked to her about how baptism is not for salvation, but an act of obedience and a way of experiencing salvation. Although she has not yet said she is ready to be baptized it is a blessing to see her begin to wonder and ask questions about her faith. I just love watching her young faith blossom.

Lesson learned...Always be ready to discuss faith questions with my kids. I never know when and what topic will come up.

1 Peter 3:15 "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Forever Family

This past week has been eye, heart and mind opening.

For several months Zachary seems to have had an obsession with the relationship between mommy and baby. It does not matter what we read, watch or where we go he is always pointing out the mommy, baby and sometimes the whole family. If he sees a big rock and a little rock he will say, "That's the mommy rock and that's the baby rock. I'm the baby and you're the mommy." His favorite game is to play mommy and baby, and he is always the baby. He also prefers to be anyone or any animal other than Zac. We wants to be the baby lion, baby hyenna (yes, a hyenna??) or even baby Jake but not baby Zac.

Knowing that lots of children go through phases of acting like a baby (person or animal) I did not make much of it.

But, this behavior has not stopped and it was only recently that Ryan and I began to see what we think Zac is trying to tell us.

Ryan laid down to read Zac the book, Mishka. It is the story of a little bear and a boy that is adopted from Russia. Zac said, "NO, I DO NOT want that book!" Ryan urged him to read it and he went on to say, "NO, that is when I was in Russia and I was sad." Then, he turned his back to Ryan, crossed his arms and added, "If you read it I will not listen."

It was only after this that Ryan and I realized that he must have memories of being in Russia without a family and that his labeling game of mommy, baby, brother, sister and daddy is his way of telling and convincing himself and us that he is my baby and that he is in our family forever.

We also wonder if he is not confident in who he is as Zac. Maybe that is why he doesn't want to be Zac when he plays games.

So, in the last few days we have been gently persistant in telling him, "Zac, I am your mommy and I will be your mommy forever. You will never live in Russia again. You will stay with mommy and daddy in America." We have also told him, "You should be Zac. Zac is cool, Zac is wonderful, Zac is precious," etc.

You would not believe the subtle but significant changes we have seen in Zachary. He now wants to be baby Zac in the "baby game" and he seems to have lost some of his defiance and manipulation that I realize now was a disguise for insecurity.

I am thankful that God has given us the wisdom and words to help Zac to know in his heart and mind that he is a Horner and that will never change. Nothing he does or says changes the fact that he was adopted into our family forever and I am his mama.

Sounds like a message also meant for my heart.

"For God chose us to be adopted as his sons and daughters in Jesus Christ." Ephesians 1:5

"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit." Ephesians 1:13

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Eleven Years Ago...

...I was standing in a church marrying the man of my dreams. I was so giddy with love and swept away in the beauty of that day.

Today I celebrated eleven incredible years with my best friend. I love even more today than I did on that day eleven years ago.

I love my husband because...
...he loves Jesus more than me
...he is faithful
...he encourages me
...he gently pushes me to be a better me in all areas of my life
...he laughs with me, at me and at himself!
...he is a committed husband and father. He LOVES to play, read and teach his kids
...he tells me he loves me every day
...he likes to hold my hand
...he likes my cooking
...we work out together and encourage each other to be healthy
...we love to sing together and he is an amazing musician
...he is really fun and is always coming up with creative ideas
...he loves to learn new things

The list goes on an on.

I only pray the Lord will give us many, many more years together.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ordering Our Day

In light of one of my most recent posts about preparing our mind for action in our day to day tasks I found this wonderfully inspirational post. Go HERE to read it.

Not only can we use the order and preparation we put into our day to glorify the Lord, it also teaches the next generation how they can do it too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day Pictures

Thank you Lord for the gift of being a mother and for the blessing of my mother, mother-in-law and grandmother.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Prepare your Mind

The Lord is so good!  When I take the time to dive into scripture and hear from Him he always teaches me exactly what I need to know.  Last night was no exception.

I was reading in 1 Peter 1:13.  I was going to read through the end of the chapter but God kept me on verse 13.  It says, "Therefore, prepare you minds for action, be self controlled."

So, I began to think through what preparing my mind looks like as a mother of three young children.  Here is what I came up with:

1.  Daily read God's Word.
2.  Memorize and recite scripture often so that it is imprinted in my mind and on my heart.
3.  Pray to start the day.  Pray that God would help prepare my mind for action today.  He knows what's coming so why not call on Him for His help before the day even begins.
4.  Anticipate the problems that may occur that day and decide in advance how I am going to handle those situations.  For example...there WILL be whining in my day.  How will I react? How will I react the 25th time I hear whining as I am making dinner?  What's the plan?  If we are on the go all day, how will I handle battles in the car?  How can I minimize stress for my kids so they don't freak out?
5.  Remind myself throughout the day to view things in light of eternity, not the moment.
6.  If I get frustrated and overwhelmed call on God to renew my mind.

and then be SELF-CONTROLLED.  I can only respond with control if my mind is prepared in advance.  

Today was not perfect but I do think my parenting and the kids behavior was improved as a result of the lesson that God taught me last night.  I hope it can encourage and help some of you as well.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

This last week I was listening to the radio and heard about one woman's favorite mother in the Bible.  It wasn't Hannah or Mary or Elizabeth.  In fact she is not named.  I admire many mother's in the Bible but sometimes their lofty roles leave me wondering if I can relate and if my daily, motherly duties are as important.

The unnamed mother made her child lunch.  Hmmm, now that sounds familiar.  Making my family meals is certainly part of our daily routine.  

The unnamed mother knew her child would need some food to sustain him while he listened to Jesus all day long.  So, she packed some fish and bread for him.

Jesus, used that lunch to miraculously feed 5,000 people!  

What an encouragement to me.  Who knows how God will use the mundane, routine and predictable motherly acts that I perform each day for his glory!

I love being a mommy!  The indescribable and abundant love that fills my heart because I am blessed to have three dear children call me mommy is one of life's greatest joys.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommy's out go make lunch!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hallie's Sweet Heart

Tonight Hallie and Ryan replaced the screen on our laptop computer. Let me give a shout out to my amazing husband who saved us over $900 by doing it himself, with patience, with his 6 year old daughter assisting him AND it works!!

During the project Hallie tipped over the small plastic container that was holding 6 microscopic (so I exaggerate, but they really were tiny) screws. My wonderful husband did not get upset and the two of them quickly found all the screws.

This was Hallie's response...

"Oh, thank you God that we did not lose those screws!"

A smile graced my face as I then thanked Jesus for being in her heart and on her mind. I am so thankful that somehow and someway God has used us and others to teach Hallie to thank Him in all things! Oh, the precious moments in this life when I get to see God working on and in my children's hearts. Oh, the joy to see the Lord growing thankfulness in my children and an awareness of His constant presence in their lives.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cute Zac Stuff

The other night Zac was the seeker in an intense game of hide-n-seek with friends. Just before running off to find the other kids he stopped briefly to tell Ryan, myself and his friends parents, "I am a good looker!"

Before bed, leaving for work, waking in the morning I frequently ask Zac is he has any hugs or smoochers. His repsonse is so cute (writing it down doesn't do it justice). He puts a finger to his chin, taps away and after 20 seconds or so says slowly, "Well, I have...2 smoochers and....2 hugs. If you are good I will give you one." I, of course, say I will be good and he proceeds to plow me over with a huge smoocher right on the lips followed by a bear hug. It's great!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Encouraging Word...

An encouragement to mommy's from God's Word.

Isaiah 40:11 "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

We have a loving Father who gently guides us in our day to day efforts to parent our children. I am so grateful He helps me.