Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gather the Family...Winner

I wish I had this DVD for each and every reader of our blog. I truly feel the message that it shares with parents about the importance of family worship is so important. I do have other giveaways of this nature coming. Now without further ado the winner of Gather the Family is........

Rebecca & Josh


Congratulations!!! I'll get this in the mail to you :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our first step to simplicity....While seeking a balance on the fulcrum of life

PART 3

We started to pray for simplicity a few weeks after we began family Bible time. We weren't really sure how to simplify or where to begin. We didn't really have anyone to ask, because it seemed most everyone we knew was also living the hurry scurry life. So, praying is what we did, and we prayed for several months for the Lord to give us direction. In May after praying for a little over 5 months we meet a very unique family, they are Mennonites. We meet Noah the husband at the Mennonite market, he introduced himself to our family and told us about his family. Noah has a wife named Sarah, and at that time had 14 children...and Sarah was pregnant and expecting baby #15 at the end of summer. Arthur and Noah really hit it off and became friends quickly. The next several weeks we continued to purchase our produce from the Mennonite market and visit with Noah while there. One Saturday Noah ask Arthur for our address and they began to write letters back and forth. Noah and Sarah invited us to their home on a Sunday afternoon, for watermelon, popcorn, and fellowship. We were very excited about going to visit this Mennonite family of 17...Sarah had by this time given birth to a baby boy whom they named David. We had a very pleasant visit with our Mennonite friends and while there our eyes were truly opened to 'true' simplicity! Oh you can read a million books on the Mennonite and Amish but until you know them first hand you cannot fully grasp their way of life....it is far from hurry scurry to and fro! They are busy people with much manual work to do, but they aren't driven or ran by the world and it's expectations. When we left their home we had a clear understanding of what the Lord was calling us to do. He was calling us to simplify in multiple areas, but first He started with the -Big- one...where our time went each day. We were drawing close to Him and His word each day as a family, but we still had to many outside activities.

With more prayer the Lord showed us that we had to decide what was really necessary activities, and what things were time robbers. We looked at all our activities and at that time we had 9 children, 7 in outside activities....and that wasn't including the fact that Arthur and I had commitments at church. We made a list of all activities and looked over the ones that we felt weren't God honoring or going to be able to help our children/family grow in their gifts/talents. Eliminating activities really wasn't hard, because sad to say most didn't fall into the two categories I listed above. Our children accepted giving up the activities with no complaints. We were amazed at how much time was freed up and how much calmer our days were...not to mention the sense of peace we had with not being on such a tight schedule.

Almost overnight we saw a change in attitude and disposition in our children. We also began to see gifts/talents in them that we had never seen before. I can't really say if those gifts/talents came out from not being overly busy, or if they had always been there...yet we were so exhausted from the go-go-go of life we never noticed them. Either way because of simplifying the balance on the fulcrum of life was really taking shape, we were having harmony and a good start to simplicity. We could see our children and life much clearer now.


Noah & Sarah's home

Our next step was to simplify our 'stuff'!

What I have been sharing is merely a CliffsNote version of our life change. I pray that at some time I can share a more in-depth look at our journey the Lord has lead us on and often times carried us.

What a mighty awesome God we serve!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The beginning of balance on the fulcrum... and a giveaway

PART 2
Yesterday, I told about how our family lived the hurry scurry lifestyle and never seemed to find a balance on the fulcrum called life. If, you missed that post you can click
HERE
to read it.

Our life as a whole was busy, and trying to keep our balance never seemed to happen. We sought to have a balance, hoping that harmony would also come with that balance. Yet, it seemed the formula that we would apply never changed us completely....
We remained busy!
Our children were getting older and the Lord continued to bless us and add more children to our quiver. Arthur and I became burdened that we weren't doing something right, but we couldn't figure out what exactly it was that we were lacking.
We homeschooled, we were very active in church, went on mission trips, our children had loads of outside activities...choir, music, sports, etc. We ate dinner together most nights, prayed before meals, and at bedtime prayed with our children...so what was missing?

Arthur and I felt the Lord telling us to attend a Family/Homeschool
encouragement weekend in Anaheim CA. put on by the Maxwell Family of Titus 2.We booked a flight, hired a sitter for our children, and packed up baby Wesley and off we went to California for the weekend.......
This type of thing was totally out of character for us, and we truly had no idea what a work the Lord was going to in us that weekend.
The Maxwell family spoke straight forward all weekend, backing their words up with scripture. Often times what they said hit a nerve....you know that nerve of 'Oh I already knew that but I'm not doing it'...yes, that nerve!
Several of the sessions Teri Maxwell gave to the ladies I thought , wow, she knows just how I feel. Then she would give practical ways to help you with the situation, all pointing to our need to be in God's word!
Arthur went to several other sessions put on by Steve Maxwell for the men.
The session that hit home for Arthur was the session on Family Bible Time, Arthur walked away convicted but also on fire and encouraged!
Arthur stated on that day that when we returned home he would be starting a family Bible time. And that is just what he did upon our return home.

We began the next day after arriving home, and haven't missed a day since then. As a family we began to dig into God's Word, and to pray together as a whole family seeking one accord.
Little by little the Lord began to open our eyes to our many short comings,
and He began to refine us in a way that we didn't even know existed or even thought possible.
This is when we began to see harmony, and the balancing on the fulcrum started to seem like less of a daunting task.


Why?
Because we started to give God our first each morning,
we began to know Him in a deeper richer way from being in His word,
and our family started to see one another in a completely different light...
Harmony was upon us!

The giveaway we are offering is called

Gather
the Family


This is a wonderful DVD produced by Franklin Springs Media.
If your family doesn't have a family Bible/Worship time
or doesn't know how to start having one this DVD is a great source of help.

We highly recommend all families join in a time of Bible study/Worship each day.
It doesn't take a theologian or scholar to lead the time of Bible/Worship
all it takes is a family to come together as one!





Family Bible time and worship set our family on the road to harmony,
But what about simplicity?
Well, simplicity started to happen after the harmony which was set in motion from being in the Lord's word daily as a family.

Next post I'll share about that simplicity....
and how the balance on the fulcrum of life seems to come natural now.







TO ENTER:

There are 2 chances to enter this giveaway....

1 leave us a comment for 1 entry
2 blog about this giveaway
and leave a second comment

This giveaway will run until Wednesday night at 8PM, and the winner will be picked by Random. org and announced on Thursday.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Fulcrum of Life

PART 1

How we found balance on the FULCRUM...


People often ask Arthur and I how we do it with so many children, from day to day life, finances, time management, work, and giving each child one on one time, teaching them, shepherding them, and still having time with one another.

We are no experts but, Arthur and I could talk at length about each subject. I'm pretty sure we could fill a book with all we know...
Good & Bad ...Do's & Don'ts! Most of which we learned from trial and error. For years we were heavily involved in every activity that could come our way church related, home school, sports, etc...along with daily life. This kept us very busy, seldom could we find a balance on the FULCRUM. All of this making for the hurry scurry lifestyle.

At times we truly weren't sure if we were coming or going, often times passing one another along the way. This made for a family lifestyle with little harmony or simplicity....And a family who was tired from trying to balance on the fulcrum of life. With this lifestyle it made it hard to have a family vision or unity, with so many seeking their own way and direction. About 5 years ago, we found a balance on the fulcrum. Oh the fulcrum didn't stop moving so we could balance, better yet, we learned to balance. We collectively came together 'in unity' to seek to balance on the fulcrum of life, in hopes to gain the harmony and simplicity that we were lacking.

If, you are curious how this took place in our family, come back tomorrow for the rest of the story......And a giveaway!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A few Words on Wednesday; Family Pictures



After many months of 'our family' page on the blog being under construction
I finally had a few minutes to add pictures and ages!

You can go
HERE
and check them out ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brothers & Buddies

I have several blog post that I had started, yet, never finished. So, along with trying to catch up on our daily happenings I thought I would update the and finish the old post...and finally get them out of the drafts :)

James, Stephen, Madison, William, Wesley, & Jonathan

May 2011


Our 6 boy are growing ever so quickly,
each one crafted uniquely by the Master Potter.
I marvel at the talents and gifts He has given each one,
and how each one being so different compliment one another
with their talents and gifts.
Brothers and Buddies they are!
They stick close and back one another up...
daily life is full with 6 brothers ranging in
age from 14 to 4!
(written May 2011)



Madison, James, William, Jonathan, Stephen, & Wesley

April 2012

Our boys continue to grow and change,
in body and spirit.
A few now are young men, and before we know it will be men!
As they grow I love seeing the bond that they have with one another
continue to flourish and deepen.

This is one of the blessings that comes with being a parent!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Headstones....What will be said of you?

On our recent trip to the Chattanooga National Cemetery we walked around reading headstones. The children always like to read the names and dates. A few really like to read what war the person served in. I like to read both, but what I enjoy looking at the most are those 'final' defining words written on the stone. I think it gives a glimpse of what or who that person was. Often there are few words, but each word is powerful and well thought out. I know it would be difficult to write in few words about the legacy that person is leaving behind. Up until the other I hadn't really thought about what my family would say or write about me. When I came across this headstone, it made me think long and hard......



OK......this is not what I would want on my headstone! I stood and looked at this stone for some time, trying to understand it....my family was already in the van waiting on me, but this one had me stumped! Oh, I know what it says, and I get it....but is that it?!? Is that all that was to speak of this mans life? I also noticed that this headstone didn't have a cross or any symbol of faith etched out on the top...So was this a man that thought that this is it?!? That once your done here, your just done?! No Heaven, No Hell?!? My heart sank, and I was sad for this man. Was this to be his legacy? I don't know? What I do know is that the Lord used this headstone to have me thinking not only about what legacy I'll be leaving one day, and of the words written on my headstone. But it opened my eyes once again to see the vast need that people all around us....our neighbors, family, clients, etc. have a need to hear the Word of the Lord presented to them. We should be telling others there is a Savior and there is hope!

Just a few feet away from this mans headstone I caught a glimpse of this stone, and it gave me chills! This is what it said.............



Now I'm not sure if this is what will be said to this man when he enters into heaven, but how wonderful it would be if it is! Just what kind of life did this man live? Was he a man of faith, and just as in Matthew 25:23 talks of that good and faithful servant...was this man? And then did the Lord bless Him with more to be a steward over? I have no idea, but this headstone was uplifting, and spoke of the legacy that his family felt he left behind.

I pray to be like the man with the second headstone and my family speaks highly of me. I look to the day when we will be united with our Lord. I hold to the promise.....

I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and
receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14:2-3



What might your headstone say about you?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How we celebrated Resurrection Sunday...

We had a wonderful day together as a family. We started the day off by attending church, we were blessed by the message Pastor McCready spoke. Each Sunday our church shares in a fellowship meal after service, but it was canceled for Resurrection Sunday. So, after church we headed home, this is how the rest of our day went.

We took family pictures......


Ruth Ella...


Madison, Mary Ann, and Arthur

More pictures to come, soon!



We had a special lunch and a few chocolate treats....



At lunch we talked about Christ grace, love, and sacrifice...and of our sins that placed Him on the cross.



After lunch we took a ride down to National Cemetery to visit Arthur's parents grave. The children enjoy visiting, they always take off running up the hill to the grave.


James, Stephen, and William made to the top first.


Mary Ann didn't care to much for being placed in the grass, silly girl. Mary Ann is standing next to her Grandma Elizabeth's grave, who happened to have passed away 28 years ago that day! I know Arthur and his siblings miss her, and I know each one wishes that she could have meet her grandchildren. Because of the Resurrection one day they will meet...praise be to the Lord!



Now Mary Ann is happy, happy to be held by Amanda :)



Once home we had dessert, Elizabeth had made fruit pizza, YUM!


After dessert we sat around the table, we read and opened Resurrection Eggs...



Each of the younger children had 2 eggs to open, then they passed them around to share. These are great visuals to go along with the scripture for small children.


To finish off the day we had some fellowship with a little praise and worship time.......



Our family said this was their favorite Resurrection Sunday, EVER!
We are thrilled to serve a Risen Savior!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The good life.....

Tonight Mary Ann enjoyed her evening walk so much that it put her right to sleep ....ah the good life!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Trampoline- Friend or Foe?

After the recent experiences Stephen has had on the trampoline I believe he would say the trampoline is 'foe'! The month of March didn't start out to well for Stephen. He and his brothers were playing on the trampoline when the first mishap took place. Stephen and Wesley were jumping and Wesley's head hit Stephen in the mouth! Arthur and I weren't home it was the day were were finishing our taxes. Elizabeth called us to tell us that Stephen had split a tooth, a permanent tooth! I call the dentist and Elizabeth took him right over. They had to secure the tooth and repair in, and we had a follow up appointment 2 weeks later to make sure it was holding properly!

BUT, before the 2 weeks were up Stephen had another trampoline accident! This time Stephen was on the trampoline with James and he fell off! He landed on his elbow, and was in some pain. We checked it over and decided to take him on to the emergency room...seeing it was a 5PM on a Sunday.




Stephen had X-rays done of his elbow and wrist. They looked over the elbow and arm, ask him about his pain level. The doctor said she just didn't see anything on the x-ray showing a break. She felt that there must been muscle tears or damage. I then told her that it must be really badly damaged because Stephen has a very HIGH pain tolerance. And it just seemed odd for him to complain. She agreed that it must be painful, she had the nurse wrap his arm in an ace bandage and put him in a sling. The doctor instructed him to wear the sling for a week. She then said if we felt it wasn't getting better in a week or so to go and see his pediatrician.

~Now for the record in our family we have some 'dramatic' children when it comes to sickness and pain. On the flip side we also have some who could suffer a severed limb and still keep functioning as though nothing was wrong. Stephen would fall into the latter category, he is tough as nails!~



Well, 10 days passed and Stephen was still favoring his arm, but no complaining! He wasn't wearing his wrap or sling anymore. We began to watch him when he was doing school and various task like putting on his shirt, etc. and we noticed how he held his arm in to his side. He would lift his arm with his other arm to move it. We had continually ask him how his arm felt and he would respond "better, but still hurts some". Arthur and I talked about it and decided that something was still very wrong, even though Stephen wasn't complaining of pain. So, Arthur ask Stephen to lift his arm, and he couldn't....Not. At. All. It was time to get a real answer, Arthur took Stephen to the doctor the next day. They sent him straight for an X-Ray and this is what they saw....





A break right below his shoulder!!!!!
BROKEN, wow!!! Poor sweet boy had been walking around with a broken arm, and not complaining!




They don't cast for this break, so he went back in the sling for a few more weeks. He was a great patient and did just what the doctor told him and as of yesterday, he can resume regular activities. He was thrilled about this! Font size


As for the trampoline, it is now GONE! We have had 3 trampolines over the years, and never had an accidents. (And for those who are wondering, no we didn't have a net because it had ripped, and we did have trampoline rules) But with 2 accidents of this nature in less than a week, well, it's not worth taking the chance of someone else getting hurt. Plus, it gave more room to run in the yard ;)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Resurrection Day


He is Risen!!!!

Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it is necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:46&47

Monday, April 2, 2012

Girls Day Out....

The 5 Munck Sisters




Saturday the girls and I woke early and headed to Atlanta for the day to participate in a craft fair. If, you would like to see a few pictures from the craft fair, click HERE to view them on the girls blog.


It was such a beautiful day, and I had the pleasure of enjoying the day with the 5 Munck sisters :) I also had a chance to chat with my blog friend Victoria (Vicky), who became a real life- face to face friend last May. What a blessing it was to fellowship with her Saturday. To finish off our trip and our day out we stopped off for dinner at Cracker Barrel...YUM! We were thankful for safe travels, fellowship, and crafting fun.

Hi Everyone ♥

It's
A-P-R-I-L

Or so my Mama says it is!?!?

She isn't sure how March went by so quickly, but it did!
We have kept my Mama pretty busy the past few weeks,
which has left little time for blogging.
My Mama said she has several blog post in draft form.
{whatever that means?}
I think she is working on getting them posted.

Anyway, I thought I would just drop into cyberspace,
to let everyone know that my family is still here....
And well, to show off my new flower headband ;)

I hope everyone is enjoying spring,
Mary Ann