Friday, May 29, 2009

Prayer Update

Our daughter met with her friend for 2 1/2 hours yesterday morning.  I think it was a pretty intense study.  Although, so far, nothing has changed, she felt confident about the meeting.  Although the friend argued their case, they really seemed to listen to her, wrote down the scripture references our daughter shared, and said they were going to study them.  They seemed to genuinely be considering her words and the scriptures she shared.  Please continue to pray.  (If you haven't read the request, it's in the previous entry.)
Probably the best thing, so far, to come out of this was my daughter's experience.  She went with a little trepidation.  She knew we were fasting and praying, and she knew she had some scripture prepared to share, but she said she knew she was going in feeling like she had to change their mind, even though in her head she knows it's God that has to do that.   She had also struggled the day before of wondering if she knew why she believes what she does.  There comes a point in the life of a young adult when they have to own their beliefs.  They have been believing what their parents have taught them.  Even though she had no doubts about what she believed and has read the scriptures many times, I guess being able to express those beliefs and why is something else that has to be grown into.  As she told me about the morning, she came to a point where she just had the most peaceful tone of voice.  She told me that as she was sharing scripture about salvation/baptism/works, that she knew it was not her that was speaking.  She said that she was not a debater, she knew she didn't have all of those things to say, and that she is not generally that outspoken and bold.  She could feel the Spirit and Him speaking through her.  And, she said that as she spoke she was just filled with the sense that, "this is truth.  I know that.  And, no matter what happens, it really doesn't matter, because this is truth, and I have spoken truth."  Of course, she knows that what happens with the friend matters.  It was just that she was filled with the Spirit, and He comforted her, guided her, and assured her that she had obeyed and done what he asked.  It was very much a maturing in her faith and a growing experience for her.
There is still much for them to discuss.  I don't know yet when they will meet again.  Thank you for your prayers, and I will probably be asking again.  Please now, pray for this friend's heart to be opened to the truth as they seek the Word.  And, pray they will seek the Word and God, instead of going to someone else in their church. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Reason For My Quietness

I know I have been absent much lately.  That is because much has been on my mind and heavy on my heart.  A couple of people have asked if I am sleeping better.  No.  I did sleep almost 6 hours last night.  There have been only 4 nights out of the last 12 that I have slept more than 3 or 4 hours.  On those 4 nights, it has not been longer than 6 hours.  I know the reason is probably stress, although, I don't feel stressed when I wake up after only 2 or 3 hours of sleep.  Another possibility is the Lord is waking me up to pray.  I have prayed a tremendous amount during these long nights, and the Lord has shown me things concerning that which is stressing. 
I am asking you, as my friends in Christ, to please stand and pray with me.  You see, I don't need prayer for sleep, or for anything for myself.  We need prayer for a spiritual battle that the enemy is fighting.  This is a battle involving one of my daughters.  NO!  it is not a battle for her, but a battle for a friend of hers.  God has called our daughter to be a light and a witness.  This friend is in a very legalistic church, and we KNOW, with no doubts, that God has put this friend in her life, and that satan wants to keep that friend in this legalism.  In one respect, it is about our daughter, too, in that she needs to be covered in the full armor, so that she is not swayed in any way by this friend's words.  I can't go into many details, but this an urgent prayer.  The outcome has many important consequences. 
She will be meeting with her friend for a Bible study for the first time tomorrow morning at 10:00 am central time.  She is not sure she feels prepared.  As I prayed for her last night, and asked God to help her, I was struggling with feeling like this was too big for my little girl.  Immediately, God gave me the picture of David and Goliath.  He was a young boy (much younger than my daughter, I'm sure) facing a huge enemy.  But, David knew that he did not need to fear, because God was with him, God was fighting this battle, and all David had to do was show up and obey.  Next, Gideon came to my mind. God continually reduced his army until it looked impossible.  Again, God fought the battle using willing, obedient, and trusting hearts.  God wanted the glory for Himself, not the army. 
God has been preparing us for this.....James, our daughter, and me.  We have watched him AMAZINGLY answer prayer after prayer and answer question after question in this so far.  He has made it clear for over a week now, in several different ways,  that He is in this, and that He has a plan.  Then on Monday, THREE times throughout the day, God brought the same verse before my eyes from 3 very different and random places....."For God has not given you a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline".  When a verse comes at you 3 times in that short of a period, God wants you to take notice.  Also, this friend told her Monday, that they had been in a dry place spiritually, but that over the last week or so they had realized some things that were not right, and had made some big changes.  They told her that she was the reason for this....that it was nothing in particular that she had done, but just who she was, and watching her walk with Christ.  God is working. 
So, our daughter just found out about this Thurs. morning Bible study late last night.  That does not give her much time to prepare to learn something about what this friend believes, and to be able to pray and search for answers.  Only a few hours today.  Therefore, we need the LORD to go before her, to continue to pave the way, to open this friend's heart to the truth, to give our daughter a spirit of power, love, and gentle boldness, to be able to continue to just be the person she is, who has already made an impact, and to be able to hear the spirit whisper to her what to say.  We fully believe this friend is a Christian, but is in bondage to some legalistic beliefs. 
I know without the details, that it is hard to understand why we feel so strongly that this is a spiritual battle, and, perhaps it is just my mother's heart over reacting, but would you please pray?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Marissa's Day

I'm finally getting time to post Marissa's birthday pictures.  The day before her birthday, we went bowling as a family.  That is what she chose as her "party".  At the bowling alley~

Our beautiful girls~

Never take a ballerina bowling!  LOL

She was hillarious, and Ashley and I had a fun laughing at Bri's unique bowling style that she just "discovered" that day. 
The next day was Marissa's 12th birthday, and my parents joined us for a family party on the back deck.  Well, it was  a frozen strawberry cake (homemade), so we started out with the cake inside.~

A girl and her books......deliriously happy!

More books~

New American Girl doll~ Kit.  She also got the Kit movie, and some Kit clothes.

She had a happy, happy 2 days!  Growing up into such a young lady. 
Would you all pray for me?  I keep going to sleep fine, but waking up after 2 or 3 hours, and not able to go back to sleep the rest of the night.  I've done this 3 out of the last 5 nights.  The 2 nights in between, I've slept wonderfully out of sheer exhaustion.  I've been okay the other two days, but this morning I'm completely miserable.  There will definitely be a nap before I go out this afternoon! 
We spent a wonderful day in the mountains yesterday (Briana included), so I will be posting those pictures in a few days!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Busy Times and Big Changes

One time I said on here that life was swirly.  Well swirly has hit again!  What a week this has been.  Many good things, some nerve wracking things.  (is wracking with or without a "w"?
Wednesday was Marissa's 12th birthday!  Happy Birthday, beautiful daughter!  Unfortunately, I don't have time to do pictures today, but I will get them up for her next week.  The day before, for her family "party" we went bowling, and had a fun time.  Briana was here for 3 days, so she got to go with us, and it was hilarious and fun for us all.  On Wed. afternoon (her bday), my parents came, and we had cake and gifts.  Briana went back home with them Wed. night. 
The nerve wracking excitement comes in with Briana.  She is ummmm.....getting to know a guy.   : )  Since she lives away from home, we are having to do a spin on courtship.  Actually, at this point, we don't know if it will progress to anything more than friends.  She is not sure how she feels, but is interested.  I teasingly call it "not-dating".  ; )  They are in the same musical right now, and they talk a lot there.  The past 2  weeks, they have been on 2 not-dates.  LOL.  After one of their shows, they have been out to an early, in the daylight, she takes her own car dinner just as friends.  They have both said they just want to get to know each other better and see. 
James and I have done an awful LOT of praying over this.   Despite some obvious obstacles (one of which is that he wants to move back to NYC), we feel like God is in on it, even if they never progress past friends.  If this works out, it will be a God-thing.  The prayers that were answered to a T, make it obvious that God was involved.  Anyway, that's all I can say for now. 
We are on our way back to see her once again this afternoon. : )  Of course, I love seeing her.  I'm excited to be going to see her in Shenandoah again tonight for the 3rd time.  Tomorrow night, Briana, Ashley, my mom, and I are going back to the same theater to see Smoke on the Mountain, which is said to be a wonderful show.  Her not-date friend is one of the main characters, plus we just want to see it.  On Sunday, Briana will get to come back home with us for 5 days. 
I'd better finish packing!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Minuettes and Nature Walks

  We had a really fun Mother's Day weekend around here.  On Saturday morning, Marissa went to an American Girl birthday party.  They all dressed up in either their best dresses, or period costumes if they had them.  A dance instructor came and taught them a minuette, and they all brought home a little tea cup and saucer as their party favor.  Marissa won a prize for best costume.  : ) 
(For some reason, HSB is making all of my pictures look mosaic when I resized them today.  ugh)

Playing Ring Around The Rosies with their dolls.  : )

Dancing a Minuette~

A Happy Mother's Day
This is a new address book from Daniella~

A wonderful handmade card from Marissa (along with some yummy chocolates)~

I also got some cool glitter pens for scrapbooking from Ashley, the cd "The Blessing" by John Waller from Briana, and some perinnials for the backyard and a scented diffuser from James.  We went to the National Park (Great Smokies) for an easy nature walk by the river.  We had a wonderful time. 

Daniella in front of an old pioneer fireplace~

Camo tree  : ) ~

Lots of purple butterflies~

The trail has quite a few 3D plaques of the different leaves found on the trees on this trail.  The girls took their drawing pads and did rubbings of them.~

Crystal clear mountain water~

And to end a great day, Briana came home last night, and will be here until Wed. evening!
I hope all of you had a terrific Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dancin', Spinnin', Jumpin', and Singin'

Things are not slowing down around here any.  Two days after Daniella's recital, we made another trip to my parents' house and spent 3 nights.  The purpose of the trip was to see Briana in her recital, but we went a couple of days early to visit and so James could go take pictures at dress rehearsal. 
  The theme of the show was "All We Need is Love", set in the 60's.  Most of the drama was centered around a young man being drafted to the war.  If you see an older couple in any pictures, they are the young couple today.  It continually flashed back and forth between 60's and present day.  Most of the dances except the ballet were done to 60's music. 
These pointe dresses were actually green.  Bri is 2nd from the left.~


This picture makes me laugh~

Briana is in the center.

Jazz. She's middle of the front row~

Musical Theater~

She called this dress her rug. Singing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.~

"Let It Be"~

It was a great show.   It was very refreshing.  As you all know, this is the first year Briana has been in this theater and in their dance program.  Did you notice the jazz costumes?  Their bodies are fully covered.  This is the first time Bri has been able to dance jazz since she was about 7 because the studio here had very skimpy (as in bikini outfits...literally) costumes, and did very provocative dances.  We had none of that in this studio, so she was able to participate.  It was so nice to sit through a recital and not have to sit through, or get up and walk out of dances.  They did 4 performances in 3 days.  I only got to go to one of them, because we had to get back home for a fund raising dinner with Ashley.
The recital was on the same stage as all of the professional musicals, so Shenandoah was off for a week for the recital tech and dress rehearsals.  It was back up and going yesterday, though.  She is just over half way through with Shenandoah performances.  Nineteen down, seventeen to go!  We'll be going to see it again (for the 3rd time) in 10 days.  Go, go, go is the theme for us this spring!  : )