Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ali-ism; About Gracefulness

The meaning of her middle name may be "grace", but she's never been very graceful....
As a matter of fact - we were betting how long it would be before she fell in.

It didn't take too long...

She's such a good sport - always able to laugh at herself.
A quality I hope she never looses...

...it makes life bearable!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Snippets From Syd; Triple-Dog-Dare

... you're triple-dog-dared, by your big sister, to lick a slug?
Ponder the expectations, pause for a deep breath, prepare yourself...

...and DO IT?

Then regret you did it...

Regardless of how brave your big sister thinks you are!!!

FYI - I left out all of the, incredibly feminine, spitting pictures from afterwards.
Yes, just in case you're wondering - it is times like this that make me SO proud of my young ladies!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Visitors

For a long while now, we've been hearing sweet little sounds from our fireplace.  The sounds have made for a very curious household (dad, mom, daughters, dog, and cat).  Daniel and Sydney mustered up the courage to climb on the roof and look down the chimney to see if we had a family of bats living with us.  He was quite relieved to find out it's just a family of swallows.  He captured some pictures (as good as he could looking down an old, dirty chimney).  Not sure who is who, but we know there are four birds living with us.

a picture of either Momma or Daddy
 Did you know swallows are monogamous birds?

A picture of the other adult
Glad to have learned that - we don't approve of living together outside of marriage...

baby 1 of 2
... people or otherwise!!!

baby 2 of 2
 Just sayin' :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Unity In Christ

It has been a very long time since I've posted something "spiritual" in nature.  I cannot tell you why exactly as I don't know myself.  I used to get on [my other] blog and step upon my soap box telling the world (or whom ever would read/listen) exactly what I felt.  Maybe the Lord has simply done a work to show me that only the fool displays that behavior :o)

However, I have recently been led to ponder something that I want to write out.  Not to preach at you dear friend, but more at myself.  I seem to grasp things better when I write them out in clear, concise thoughts.  

So here goes....

What, exactly, does this phrase "unity in Christ" mean?

Does it mean the exact sameness?  a copycat?  a replica? 
When a photographer prints multiple copies of a picture, does that make them unified?

Let me give you an example of what I've been told I've seen unity in...

We took a road trip recently to hear some preaching. Upon arrival I saw something I had never seen before (in real life). I saw a sanctuary full of people that looked exactly the same. I don't mean exactly the same in feature, but in outward adornment (dress, jewelry, make-up). Every woman had the same hairstyle. Every woman was wearing the same 'type' of jewelry. They even wore the same manner of clothing and spoke in the same high(er) pitched voice. Every man was wearing a suit of very similar fashion. Even the little girls and boys were dressed in the same manner as their parental counterparts. And not that I was disapproving of what was worn or the way these people dressed - no to the contrary, it was very modest and classy, but when I made mention of all the replicas in the church, I was told  "what you saw was unity...".

Websters 1828 dictionary defines unity as:
The state of being one; oneness. Unity may consist of a simple substance or existing being, as the soul; but usually it consists in a close junction of particles or parts, constituting a body detached from other bodies. Unity is a thing undivided itself, but separate from every other thing.

Now the Bible:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1-3  (UNITY OF FELLOWSHIP)

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  (UNITY OF SPIRIT)
Ephesians 4:2-4

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:  (UNITY OF FAITH)
Ephesians 4:12-14

Nowhere do I see in any of the above verbiage indication of looking exactly the same to be unified.  On the other hand something I read in my little devotional just yesterday is brought to mind...

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest stated "Active work (to be spiritual) can actually be the counterfeit of spiritual activity (the work of the Holy Spirit)." words in parenthesis are my own

Unity in Christ is the individual expression of who He made us to be, with a heart knit together by Him; in Him.  It is not the pencil that defines our lips and eyes so boldly that we can no longer perceive their natural shape.  Or the length or brand of our necklaces.  It is knowing and believing we are good/beautiful because He first said we were is what makes us truly beautiful - and having the heart and mind to walk out THAT belief through the power of Jesus Christ our risen savior is what unifies us.

I wear make-up (very little, but I still wear make-up).
I wear jewelry (it's a new thing for me).
I wear modest, feminine clothing (it's a strong conviction for me).

Everything I do is because I am called to do it according to the Holy Scriptures.  Everything I do is to give Glory to the God of Abraham.

Unity in Christ is (as a group) believing that He died for you and living your life each day, walking in the Spirit; separate, but together.  And coming together (as a group) to magnify His name because He alone is worthy of our praise.

I am not moved, compelled, or persuaded to believe that I have to look like someone else to be unified.  God made me to look like ME for a reason.  If He wanted us all to look alike, dress alike, adorn ourselves just the same He wouldn't have made us so drastically different and then stated in His love letter to us that we are all different in beautifully different ways.  The unknown author wouldn't have admonished us to "...run with patience the race that is set before us."

We all need to be secure in who we are.  We need not place our security in man or man-made traditions, but the shed blood on that hill so long ago.  The security I have is in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The one that died on the cross to purchase my soul with his blood as ransom and then rose again in three days to make Himself known as alive before He was taken up to be seated at the right hand of Father God in Heaven.  He did this for everyone of us.  And if you believe the same as me in this - we are unified.  You may not go to the same church as me.  You may not wear skirts/dresses.  You may not like jewelry....

We are unified in Christ.

Monday, July 08, 2013

My Birthday

My husband surprised me on my birthday and took all of us toward the coast - VA Beach to be exact.  He had thought the experience through quite well and had a list on hand for me to choose from dependent on what mood I was in; nature, history, shopping....

We had a wonderful weekend.... 

We went to the Virginia Nature Museum that acquainted us to everything native to Virginia....

Having a little game of hide-and-seek long the way...

I was so excited to go through the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel


Because it actually goes under the Atlantic Ocean...

We went to the beach

And found treasures to make Pintrest inspired crafts

Ok.  Maybe not that with THAT treasure, honey.

This fish will keep me out of the ocean waters.  Not suppose to be here in the US, but brought over from another country and introduced to our shallow waters.  His barbs are deadly.

We stayed on the beach until the sun showed up its beautiful majesty

The next day we went to the Jamestown Settlement

Walked through all three ships: Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery

Went shopping for some new clothes

...and the most amazing pancakes ever...
If you ever have the chance to go to the Astronomical Pancake House

Friday, July 05, 2013

Ali-ism; On Driving In Rain

It was Daniel's birthday the first week of July.  We decided it was time that we take him to his favorite places for a change - so we headed to all the "guy stores" that we knew he liked.  

During the trip it started pouring down rain profusely.  I was driving so he could play with his GPS and tell me where each and every geo-cache along the way was and what the name of it was.

During this torrential downpour the van began hydro-planing and everyone became a tad uneasy.  I informed Ali to never put on the brakes, just take your foot off the gas and steer the car in the rightful direction until it stopped.  A few moments later bigger-than-life-dully-truck went past us going way too fast for the current weather conditions and splashed water so deep I couldn't see anything.  The car seemed to go dark momentarily there was so much water.  The wipers did their job and we were back on our way, getting ready to pull in the parking lot.  And of course being the A#1 driving teacher that I am I asked Ali again - what would you have done in that situation, how would you have handled it?

And she answered in her typical Ali-Wit:


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