Sunday, October 20, 2013

Soulful Sundays

Today's sermon at church resonated with me.  Our message was based on the scripture, Titus 2:11-15.

11 God has shown us how kind he is by coming to save all people. 12 He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world. 13 We are filled with hope, as we wait for the glorious return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself to rescue us from everything that is evil and to make our hearts pure.  He wanted us to be his own people and to be eager to do right.  15 Teach these things, as you use your full authority to encourage and correct people.  Make sure you earn everyone's respect.

As Christians, we should be looking for the glorious appearance of Jesus.  We should be excited about it!  The central idea of the sermon was this:

If Christ is truly the Lord of our lives, we should be looking for Him with excited anticipation.

As I sat through the message, I felt completed convicted.  I felt so convicted, I almost did not take communion.  I don't share excitement about Christ's return with anyone; nor, do I hardly get excited about it on a daily basis.  How sad is that?  Our guest pastor, used a great example of feeling excited to see someone appear.  He described the excitement he felt on his wedding day, as he was waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle - that is the kind of excitement I want to feel for Christ.

The one who has spoken these things says, "I am coming soon!"  So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!
Revelations 22:20

Thankfully, there are a few ways to help build my excitement for Christ, and his return.  And, quite frankly, these suggestions will help anyone deepen their relationship with Jesus.  

First, we should spend time in prayer.  Just like any relationship one may have, in order for it to flourish; there must be communication.  My relationship with God is no different.  Communication is prayer.  Prayer is communication.  Prayer is a daily occurrence.  God doesn't care what I say, or how I say it.  He'll understand.  My prayers do not need to be perfect.  He gets me. And, when I cannot pray, the Holy Spirit will intercede for me.  One thing I do need to "work on," is my listening skills!  I oftentimes do not sit silently, waiting for the Lord to speak to me.  

God's Spirit doesn't make us slaves who are afraid of him.  Instead, we become his children and call him our Father.
Romans 8:15

In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us.  For example, when we don't know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words.
Romans 8:26

The next thing we should do is prepare ourselves by knowing about God.  Spending time in God's Word will help us know Him on a deeper level.

Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word.  All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.
2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is inspired by God!  It's from Him.  The Bible will build our excitement, to get to know Jesus.  The more we know Him, the more excited we become.  Having a place to spend time with God, your "supplies" (Bible, notebook, highlighter, etc...), and possibly even a set time will help make this a routine.  It will be awesome to see what God will reveal to me each day!

The last thing to help build up your excitement for the Lord, is to make your time spent with Him a priority.  This is absolutely the biggest struggle for me.  I usually try to have my quiet time while the kids are at school, or napping.  But, realistically, something else always takes precedence.  What a horrible thing to admit - but, it's so true!  I rearrange my schedule to exercise, watch a favorite TV show, or see a friend.  Can't I do the same for God?  

You will worship me with all of your heart, and I will be with you.
Jeremiah 29:11

I have felt the Lord tugging at my heart strings a lot lately.  I feel myself wanting to be closer to Him, lean on Him. I pray that today's message will encourage me to deepen my relationship with Jesus.  He's calling me in closer, I just have to answer.

*Translations by Contemporary English Version Bible

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Letter to Remember

"Referenced below is a letter that Frank O. Lee, father of William L. Lee, wrote to Ruth Lyon when he was 14 from summer camp in upstate New York in 1905.  He later married Ruth in 1913 who became our grandmother, great grandmother and in the case of the youngest Lee's today, their great, great grandmother.  As Fate would have it, I discovered this letter in a box from Grandma Lee's effects on July 13, 2011 exactly 106 years after it was written!

I thought everyone would get a few chuckles from this letter that a 14 year old kid wrote to his (new?) girlfriend from summer camp.  And I hope you keep this letter and attached picture for your family heritage.

- Jon Lee (my dad)

YMCA Boy's Camp
Chazy Lake, NY
July 13, 1905

Dear Ruth,

I followed your instructions, in regard to the postal cards, but as you didn't give any directions as to letters, I will take the liberty of sending a few lines to you.  If your folks think entirely unnecessary that I should write to you, show them the enclosed slip of paper, which I received in a letter a short time ago so that they may place the blame on the right person.

Camp is nearly over now, and I think everybody has had a fine time.  When we arrived in Plattsburgh, Mr. Eckersley (the Pittsburgh secretary) had two special trolley cars ready which took us around the city.  When we got to Chazy Lake it was raining a little, so it made it pretty hard to get things arranged. Warner and I "bunked" together in Mr. Clark's tent.  The first night we went to bed at 11:30; went to sleep at 2:55, and was awake and dressed at 3:05.  After that we were not so anxious to get up so early.  We lay in bed now, just as long as we can.  The next night it rained "pitch forks," and flooded our corner of the tent, so Warner and I had to sleep in a mud puddle that night.  We were nearly drowned in the morning, and we made such a kick that they put us in an extra tent, which we occupied alone, until a fellow from Brooklyn came a few days afterward, when he slept with us.

Tuesday, we climbed Lyon Mountain, which is 3,809 ft. high, and I got several souvenirs from the top.

Yesterday was field day in camp.  The athletics were divided into two classes, the seniors, composed of boys 15 yrs of age, or over, and the juniors, composed of boys under 15 yrs.  I entered the junior class, and had the good fortune to win the first prize by one point.  I am to get a small silver shield with my name and number of points engraved upon it when I get to Pittsburgh.  There were eight events, and I got four firsts, one third, and one fourth.  Another fellow got the same number of points, so another event was called and I won by one point.  Warner entered, but did not complete the events, on account of a lame leg.

I received a postal card yesterday without any signature, and from the writing, I think you are the one who I have to thank.  I don't want to strain your reading capacities so will close now.

Your friend,
F.O. Lee

Monday, August 5, 2013

Wellness Visit Stats (better late than never)

Bobby's 4 yo stats (6/11/13):

38 lbs. - 80%
107 cm (3'6") - 85%
Size 4T/5T clothes & 12.5 shoe

Evies's 18 month stats (6/11/13):

25.13 lbs. - 70%
33 in - 80%
Size 18 month clothes & 6.5 shoe

Check out Bobby's 18 months stats, here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Railroad Park

We headed to Railroad Park yesterday morning, at B's request.  He had been asking for quite awhile to go to the park, and have a picnic.  So, that's what we did!  The temperature was pretty hot, probably in the low 90's - but, we managed to find some shade and enjoy our lunch.  The kids played, and, of course, we watched 8 trains go by!  Yes, we counted.  And, yes, Bobby would go here everyday if he could.  I had yet to see the new Barons baseball stadium, so it was pretty neat to see just how nice it was.  I love coming here, because it gets us out of our little bubble; whether it's the neighborhood, or city we're in.  There's just something unique about spending time with your kids in an urban area.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Easter Recap 2013

Cut me some slack, please...

Life has been busy.  But, a good busy.  So, a little overdue - here's a quick recap of our Easter, with a picture overload.

First, the kids went to a Helicopter Egg drop with their daddy.  They had a great time, and spent time with our good friends, the Cooley's.

I love this sweet girl!

Thank you, Pottery Barn for bringing this basket back!  Now, my kids have matching baskets.

Bobby, and Ryen.  He looks like he's thinking, "what's up?"

The Rosses and Cooley's: Ryen, Bobby, Maddi, and Evie.

Helicopter dropping eggs!

Bobby checking out his loot...

The kids and Bob, Easter morning.

Daddy already hard at work, putting toys together.

The only decent picture I got of them, Easter morning.  And, yes, it was while they were sitting on the front doormat. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Our Life in iPhone pictures, recently...

And, when I say recently... I mean, from the beginning of the year.  
Hey, a girl's gotta try, right?!?

edited to add:  These pictures are so randomly out of place, it's ridiculous.

A beautiful view of downtown Birmingham, from The Club.  We spent an evening there celebrating the accomplishments of Bob, and his fellow colleagues.

We had a snow day this winter!  It was just one; and it wasn't much.  But, still exciting.  This picture just reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting.  A boy and his pup.

Poor Evie.  2013 has been her sick year.  Bless her heart.  Just this last week alone, she had an ear infection, fever, cold, and cut 4 teeth.  We are both SO over it!

But, on the other hand, she can be as happy as can be.  Here she is, playing at the library, one morning.

These three are always in cahoots.  Always.

Well, this picture sums Evie up pretty well.  My little toddler hellion!  I kid. I kid.

Here's Evie in February.  This was the start of our long drive to Orlando, to visit family.  It was also her first time turned around in her car seat at 14 months.

Enjoying that FL sunshine in February, looking oh so cute!

I'm not sure how this picture snuck in here; but, I believe it was taken BEFORE our FL trip.  Gee, thanks, Photo Stream. Anyhow, look at the sun setting on my little giraffe.

Back to FL.  Do these kids look like they belong in American Graffiti, or what?

Had some sisterly fun, and went bridesmaid dress shopping while visiting O-town.  This dress was a close second!

Friendship Park, Oviedo, FL.  Best.playground.eva.

I mean, preschool sized swings, so the parents don't have to push... genius!  And, astro-turf all over the playground.  We'd go there every day, if we still lived there.

Legoland, FL.  Bobby's first time riding a roller coaster.  His look of sheer terror in the beginning, was all smiles by the end.

Evie gets bus-nasty with an Oreo cookie.  This picture did not do it justice.  She went straight to the bathtub afterwards.

Wearing her first Matilda Jane dress.  Will I become an addict?  Only time will tell....

Evie sits on my lap during Bobby's Valentine's Day program at school.  She's a perfect angel, and paid such close attention.  Phew!

Ok, back to FL trip again (hmmm, hello iPhoto?!)  Look at this massive King Tut.  Yep, he's made from Lego's!

More beautiful FL sunshine in February.

Ooohh, yeah... here's the Valentine's Day program!  Bobby is in the front row, third from the left.  Obviously I'm too lazy, or (really, just don't care) to put these pictures in the correct order! ;)~

Goodbye bottles, bibs, and burp cloths.  Smell ya later! Or, never.

Beginning of the week from H-E-L-L at our house.  Bob has the stomach bug, and passes it to Evie, who then passes it to me, and then on to Bobby.  Barf.

Valentine's Day party at school.  I just love how these pictures are so intermingled in with everything.  Oh, and how Evie thinks she's part of the class, and sits at the table.

Visit 1 of 2 from Kelly.  It's really funny having someone here who knows nothing about kids.  No, seriously, it is.

Bundled up at the Chili Cook off a few weeks ago.  We had snow flurries the entire time we were there. Brr...

I walk Evie in the stroller, and Bobby runs.  #futuremarathoner

This guy prefers to eat chocolate at chili cookoff's.  I can't blame the kid!

Just call her "Evie Dynasty."

All greased up, and 50's out, for his school Spring Program.  "Jesus is the ROCK."

Finally leaving the chili cook off, Evie thinks, "well, it took us long enough.  You owe me.  Big."

Oh, yeah, she totally likes to help empty the dishwasher.  She's getting pretty good at it too!

Library adds iPads to their learning center.  It's about time.  My kid had no clue how to use a mouse/pad.

Apparently, Evie has ghosts in her crib.  Poor girl.

Ok, I know, I know... Totally scary pic.  No make-up, big scar on my neck visible.  But, this is my "Before" shot of the sun damage I have on my face.  I'll let you in on the secret later...

Evie loves the iPad too.  And, iPhone.  So, if you get any random texts, calls, Facebook updates, etc... it's probably her!!!

This my friends, is what life is all about.  Two best buds, and the little sister photo-bombing them.

Bobby falls asleep on my lap while watching March Madness.  I don't mind a bit...

Hitting the town for a girl's night out.  The maid will clean while I'm gone.  #iwish

Best buds, at Bobby's Easter party at school.  From left to right - Evan, Bobby, Ollie, and Jake.

My sister and Evie sharing a moment at my niece, Ava's birthday party.  Precious.

Hurkey, anyone?  Anyone?


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