Welcome to our adventures. I try as best as I can to document the happenings here in our family - everything from the shenanigans to the spiritual, from the kid to the kitchen, from the cat to the catastrophes. We believe that adventure can be found in everything we do...even in the mundane tasks of the day. When we set our minds on things above in gratitude to God, we find the strength to approach life with a sense of purpose & adventure. The adventure may not always be what we have planned...but isn't that what adventure is all about?

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Friday, October 30, 2009


I like to sing. I like to sing like Ethel Merman. Really loud. Randomly.

Tonight, I was doing "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" (a personal fave) in my loudest Ethel Merman voice. However, I sort of launched off in mid-song:

"last week he took all my money...and it may sound funny..."

I was interrupted by the sound of my sweet precious 1st grader:

"MOM. You are not giving any details. Who is HE?"

I bet Jim Croce didn't have to deal with such questions.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tree ~ MTSU Campus, October 2009

Shhhhhhh.....can you hear it?

It's the sound of my internals SQUEALING with excitement!

It's fall, baby. That means TREES. Trees of ALL colors, shapes, sizes. I am in tree heaven. I even love dead tress - especially when contrasted with the living!

click for full sized image

This weekend, I should have the opportunity to travel south a bit and capture some gorgeous color. Stay tuned...but if you can't wait until then to see tree pictures, take a quick trip here and here to see some of my pics from 2008.

I'm all geeked out about the trees....so what's geeking you out this fall??


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Friday, October 23, 2009

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes
it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
~Maya Angelou


In my last 2 posts, I've shared some thoughts with you on the book of Nehemiah. If you haven't had a chance, I would encourage you to read Part 1 and Part 2 so this post will hopefully make more sense! For those that have hung with me, I hope that you have picked up a nugget or two. Thanks to those of you who have given me feedback - I appreciate you!

Let's pick up where we left off...

7. Sometimes a change of direction is required in order to continue the work of transformation

In a season of transformation, there may come a time when something we are doing no longer works or is not conducive to the direction we see God leading us. In order to press on, we may have to adjust our course a bit – or, maybe change directions altogether.


Upon hearing about the plot of the enemy and seeing the state of the workers, Nehemiah realizes that it’s no longer possible (or safe) to have everyone dedicated to the rebuilding the wall. He then implements a new strategy for the work of restoration (4:15-23).

8. Don’t overlook opportunities to take up the cause of others

Chapter 5 relates some issues occurring internally among the people. In a nutshell, “the rich were getting richer and the poor getting poorer primarily because of the way that the financial transactions contravened the Mosaic Law. Interest was being charged on loans in such a way that the people became crippled by debt. Nehemiah bravely addressed the issues and sought to equalize the economic levels among the people”[1]


There could be a number of reasons why scripture takes a break from the story of Jerusalem’s wall project (Chapters 4 & 6) to tell us about the economic woes of the people and how Nehemiah addressed the situation. To me, it’s a reminder not to become so engrossed in the work of transformation that I miss opportunities to help & serve others. Not only that, but it’s a picture of unselfishness that convicts me of my own selfish ways.

9. More opposition? Yes…and sometimes from within your own people.

Opposition is a common theme in the story of Jerusalem’s restoration. We see it before restoration even begins, it carries on during the work and it continues even after the work is done. In Chapter 6 we see more pot stirring from Sanballat & Tobiah, as well some trouble from within.


“One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetable, who was shut in at his home…”


“I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah & Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.” (6:10-14)

10. When true transformation occurs in your life, even your enemies will take notice

“So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God” (6:15-16)


When a person overcomes obstacles to walk in true God-given victory, it is a testimony – even to your enemies. What glory to God!

11. The voice of opposition will occasionally find you even as you walk in freedom

Even after the completion of the wall, Tobiah continued to send intimidating letters to Nehemiah! (6:19)

To wrap up, transformation looks different for each one of us. We may not always experience the things outlined here, but we can certainly be aware of the possibility. Bottom line is when we let God do the work, the end result is going to be more than we could ever hope for or imagine!

God bless!

k


[1] David Pawson, Unlocking the Bible (page 584), Great Britain: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2007

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



In my last post I began to share some of my thoughts from the book of Nehemiah - a book that has been speaking (very loudly!) to me lately. Towards the end of the post, I listed 11 lessons that I have learned from Nehemiah & the Israelites...lessons that I saw as being relevant to those undergoing seasons of transformation. Today I want to elaborate a bit on the first 6.

1. Seeking God in humility and repentance can bring about His favor and provision for the process of transformation.
When Nehemiah heard of the trouble back in Jerusalem, he wept, mourned, fasted and prayed. He confessed the sins that the Israelites (including himself) committed against the Lord and asked for success and favor in the presence of King Artaxerxes. The king granted all that Nehemiah asked, and then some. “And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests. …The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me” (2:8-9)
2. Making a move towards transformation in your life will invite voices of opposition.
As Nehemiah sets off for Jerusalem, we are introduced to Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official. At the end of chapter 2 we begin to see the voices of opposition rise up. “…they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.” (2:10). This will not be the last we read of these troublemakers!

When Nehemiah came to the people of Jerusalem, he laid out the problem and a plan for restoration. “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (2:17)

The people of Jerusalem agreed with the following declaration: “Let us start rebuilding.” (2:18).

Scripture tells us that when Sanballat and Geshem heard about this, “they mocked and ridiculed us. ‘What is this you are doing?’ they asked. ‘Are you rebelling against the king?’” (2:19)
3. The work of transformation does not require special skill – only willingness to work
Chapter 3 of Nehemiah gives a very detailed account by name of those who worked on rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. One would think that only the most skilled masons and construction workers would be on task. Not so. God used perfume makers, priests, women, government officials and entire families to do the repair work on the wall. Each of these willing participants has the honor of their name in Scripture to this day.
4. Opposition will continue during the work of transformation
“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria…” (4:1)

“Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side said, ‘What they are building – if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!’” (4:3)

“They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.” (4:8)
5. During the work of transformation, be on guard for exhaustion, discouragement & fear.
The work of transformation is hard! Sometimes we just want to be done. In our zeal to get there, we can begin to do things in our own strength, which brings on exhaustion. Times like this can open the door to discouragement and fear. We see this happen to the Israelites.

In 4:6, the wall is halfway finished and scripture tells us that the people “worked with all their heart”. In verse 4:10 we see exhaustion “The strength of the laborers is giving out,” and discouragement, “and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall”
Knowing that exhaustion and discouragement can and probably will come, it’s wise to be on guard for it. In the case of the Israelites, we see that this exhaustion and discouragement gives way to fear:

“Also, our enemies said, ‘Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work’ ” (4:11)
The fear spreads quickly and becomes exaggerated: “Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, ‘Wherever you turn, they will attack us’ “ (4:12)

Imagine what kind of road block this can be to the work transformation!
6. Have an arsenal of tools for responding to opposition
Scripture shows several different responses by Nehemiah and the Israelites to the trouble coming their way. In one instance, we see Nehemiah respond to the ridicule of Sanballat & Geshem with proclamation:

The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you will have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.” (2:20)

In another case, we see an imprecatory prayer:
“Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.” (4:4-5)

We also see that in addition to prayer, it’s wise to have practical solutions in place:
“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat” (4:9)
Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.” (4:13)

Most importantly, do not lose sight of God…remember where your refuge, strength and ever present help comes from! Nehemiah did, and he encouraged the people with the reminder:

“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome…” (4:14)


In my next post, I will cover the last 5 lessons:
  • Sometimes a change of direction is required in order to continue the work of transformation
  • Don’t overlook opportunities to take up the cause of others
  • More opposition? Yes…and sometimes from within your own people.
  • When true transformation occurs in your life, even your enemies will take notice
  • The voice of opposition will occasionally find you even as you walk in freedom
So what is Nehemiah saying to you?

Read Part 3 here
Sunday, October 18, 2009


Most of us can recall a time in our lives where we experienced a season of transformation. Maybe you are in the midst of that season. Maybe you look at it as restoration…or change…or sanctification…or recovery…or….? Whatever word you choose, the fact remains that it is difficult and requires the power and grace that can only come from the God of the universe. Those things attempted in our own strength may last for a time, but true transformation (restoration, change, recovery, etc.) is life-long and sends a message of hope to those around us. There is much to be gleaned from the Bible on the topic of transformation. One book in particular that has been speaking to me recently is Nehemiah.

A little background on the Old Testament book of Nehemiah: The book was written during a period of restoration in and around Jerusalem after the exiles had returned from Babylon. Nehemiah, an Israelite living in the citadel of Susa, was cupbearer to the King Artaxerxes. In the beginning of this account, he hears disturbing news from his brother who has just come from Judah. “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire” (v1:3). This news was distressing to Nehemiah, whose response was sorrow and mourning. Nehemiah approached the king to request a leave of absence so he could go back to his broken land and rebuild the city where his fathers were buried.

In the book of Nehemiah, the physical restoration of the walls of Jerusalem paved the way for spiritual healing in the Israelites. The rebuilding of the wall is followed by a time of renewal (chapters 8-10) and reformation (chapters 11-13). For me, I long for a time of renewal and reformation in my life but for now, my aim is to gather knowledge and learn from the Israelites and their time rebuilding the wall of their city. The following are lessons that I see as I have read thru the book of Nehemiah:

  1. Seeking God in humility and repentance can bring about His favor and provision for the process of transformation.
  2. Making a move towards transformation in your life will invite voices of opposition.
  3. The work of transformation does not require special skill – only willingness to work
  4. Opposition will continue during the work of transformation
  5. During the work of transformation, be on guard for exhaustion, discouragement & fear.
  6. Have an arsenal of tools for responding to opposition
  7. Sometimes a change of direction is required in order to continue the work of transformation
  8. Don’t overlook opportunities to take up the cause of others
  9. More opposition? Yes…and sometimes from within your own people.
  10. When true transformation occurs in your life, even your enemies will take notice
  11. The voice of opposition will occasionally find you even as you walk in freedom


In part 2 I will begin to elaborate on these lessons in a little more detail. I hope that this has whet your appetite a little ;)

Transforming hugs & kisses,
k

Friday, October 9, 2009
I've lived my entire life under the false notion that this was a Chrysanthemum.



About 5 minutes ago, I had an entirely different angle for this post. Then, I looked up how to spell Chrysanthemum. I'm a google girl, I google everything, including misspelled words. I know google won't let me down and will ask me if I meant something else. I love that. Google KNOWS me. It knows what I mean.

Anyway...google, in addition to asking me if I meant Chrysanthemum, also showed me some pictures of Chrysanthemums. And, to my surprise, it did not look like this:



So now, I'm spun out. I have no idea what this flower is. Somebody help me, please. Inform me. Google has let me down. I googled "flower with leaves that look like straws" and it did not come back and say, "Did you mean...". Pffsst...whatever, google.

So, my blog angle has been bent...and now I'm just left with a rant about google not really knowing me like I thought.

But, pictures of flowers are good. I'll go with that.



And, since I have no Mums to speak of in my vase of motherly birthday flowers, I'll leave you with this mum...my momma...taking a picture of me on the day before her birthday.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! I LOVE YOU!!!


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Thursday, October 8, 2009
In the midst of the busyness and the day to day, special moments can refocus me on what's important.


My girl, riding her bike on a beautiful day

Humor

Family

Harmonica Duets


What special moments are causing you to refocus?

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