Saturday, April 28, 2012

Waging War in Hopeful Prayer

The Christian life is daily battle.  Each day we are called to wage war against the flesh, devil, and the world.  Most of my battles are fought in my thought life.  As I said earlier in my previous post, my thoughts tend toward despair.  I am learning to wage war in my mind with hopeful prayer based on God's Word. 

"I am broken, but by Your wounds I am healed."

When we pray like this, we replace our despairing thoughts with God's hopeful truth.  And, when our thoughts change, we begin to live like the triumphant people that God has called us to be.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hoping Not Despairing Women

Chances are that you are despairing today.  And, maybe there are some really heavy reasons why you are feeling despair as you look at the circumstances of your life.  Maybe there are no real reasons, and you are still despairing. I know my own thoughts tend towards despair.

Several weeks ago, I felt lead to study the book of 1 Peter.  I have come to learn that this book is largely a book about hope!  I have not counted yet, but the word hope is sprinkled throughout the book.

The first command in 1 Peter is to hope!  "...fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:13)

We are commanded to hope because our Father "according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." (1 Peter 1:3)

So, if you are despairing today, kind of like the women of old who were despairing as they carried their spices to the tomb of their Lord, go, and find again, that the tomb is empty!  He is risen!

Even when all seems lost, there is hope because He lives today!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Life With Little People

Emily lost her first tooth Saturday evening!
And, you know you are a parent of a small child if you are trying to work out and there is someone really cute on your back making things a little more difficult.
You also know you are a parent of a small child if you find yourself humming Little Einsteins while you run through the neighborhood.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Day 3, The Purpose: Hospitality

Special princess friends!
Spring Cleaning, Day 3. Not much was accomplished task-oriented wise. Because...

We had friends over for lunch! And, our little friend stayed to play with my little ones. And, I totally meant to take pictures of it all, and completely gets a little wild around here with all eight of us and I was struggling just making a pb and j sandwich let alone take pictures. Next time, because it is memorable! Between my friend and I, we have six kiddos ages 6,5,4,3,2, and 1. And, all the effort is totally worth it!

Anyway, like I said I didn't really further my spring cleaning plans yesterday, but, I was reminded of the blessing of living in fellowship with one another (beyond the one hour of Sunday morning worship). When you live in community with one another, others know your needs (like Murphy's Oil), your wants (like pretty Geraniums), and your likes (Coke, chocolate!!!)( friend surprised me with all these gifts yesterday!...thank you!) And, you know their needs, wants, likes, and you begin to minister and love each other like true sisters in Christ.
And, this is exactly why I am putting forth the effort to spring clean, simplify, organize, create a stuff-down-people-up-hospitality-oriented home. I don't want to spend my life maintaing my stuff. And, even though I have to work through some of my shyness and awkwardness with meeting new people, I want to spend my time cultivating relationships. Relationships are what matters for eternity...beginning with God, then family, and then others.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Day Two, Dining Room Area

Yesterday, Day Two, was my Dining Room area. Besides the table and chairs, I also have a work desk in this area. It is my Home Management Planning Area!!! This is where it all happens!!! You can see what happens during the day. Everyday I organize it, but yesterday I also cleaned it.

And, these are my reminders...
oops....I guess I need to dust those corners a little more...
And, in the dining area, I deep cleaned all the parts except the wood! Which, as you can see, is a large chunk of the work. I realized after cleaning the windows that I did not have anymore Murphy's Oil, which I personally like to use for the wood areas. So, after my desk, the window area, and wall hangings were cleaned, I had to stop. Thus endeth Day Two. hee hee...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Children At Play

I always enjoy listening in as my children play throughout the day. You see what they are learning from how they play. As I was making lunch, Luke was pretending he was a doctor with his stethoscope. Caleb was his assistant with an air pump. Emily, his patient. And then, Luke said something that completely cracked me up.

"Caleb, you pump her legs while I check her heart."

Monday, April 16, 2012

SC Day 1: Family Room

The stuff under my cushions...good grief!!!
Today was Day 1 of my Spring Cleaning Extravaganza.

The deep cleaning aspect:

-throw blanket
-air filter
-organizing DVDs
-organizing side table area

Side Table Before: slightly out of control with books and Rudolph

Side Table After: repurposed magazine rack for books, added lamp and flower

Incidentally, this is the spot where I blog!



Summer mantle: You can see I like things symmetrical and simple!
I have some projects like painting the room, having some pillow covers made, a pinterest inspired family tree wall decoration, and some more plants, but for now, it is clean. I am happy that I have finished the first room. I love that fresh feeling. I hope the motivation keeps up!!!! Tomorrow is my dining area and my work desk. The fun doesn't end here at the Murrell household. Are you doing any spring cleaning??

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I am hoping to have a yard sale the first weekend in May, so I am getting in my ruthless purge mode. Plus, I am having strong urges to deep clean the house. I am one of those weird ones. So, for the next three weeks, before my (Lord willing) yard sale, I am hoping to put some time into decluttering, cleaning, organizing, and decorating. Organized Simplicity has been a huge help in doing this process.

Realistically, I am going to spend only one day on each room. During the afternoon quiet time for my kiddos, I am going to try to tackle the designated area as quickly and as thoroughly as I can manage. Also, I have one special project in mind. We have a sun room in the house we are currently renting, and it definitely needs some sprucing up. I have some ideas in mind, so hopefully, I will have a before and after picture of this particular room especially as summertime quickly approaches.

But, for now, tomorrow is my living room cleaning day...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Missionary Work

"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." - John 17: 3

I have come to understand that motherhood is missionary work. I dwell with a small band of natives teaching them how to eat, think, read, dress, relate, rest, play, work, etc all to the glory of God.

Jesus was the greatest missionary and I love His missionary prayer in John 17:3"...that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." I pray that verse for my four through the day especially after someone has a meltdown. They see my sin, and I see theirs, and there is nothing left to do but cry out to God... have mercy on this family and cause us to be born again that we may know You and then, make You known. For You alone are great!

Monday, April 9, 2012

REAL Homeschooling and God's Will in our Work

This is a picture of our less-than-ideal math lesson this morning. Emily is learning about dimes, nickels, and pennies. Here was our reality at one point during the lesson:

My five year old bursts in the room to tell my six year old about the show she was watching during TV time in our home school morning routine.

My two year old invades by, well, you can see for yourself, laying on the table and reaching in our school coin jar and throwing coins all over the place.

A perfectly executed math lesson? Hardly. But, I believe, that's one thing that gives homeschooling a slight edge over other educational options. You are educating your children right in the thick of reality...and, we all know that reality is far cry from the ideal. My homeschool reality this year as I school one student is that I have three preschoolers who cause a lot of upheaval...bless their hearts!!!!

So, this math lesson became a lesson in gentleness and perseverance (for Mommy). And no, the lesson in gentleness and perseverance was not executed perfectly either.

And, I was reminded of what I had read last night.

"There were endless demands on Jesus' time. People pressed on Him with their needs so that He and His disciples had not leisure even to eat, and He would go away into the hills to pray and be alone....Still He was able to make that amazing claim, 'I have finished the work You gave me to do.'...He made no claim to have done what He wanted to do. The claim was that He had done what had been given. This is an important clue for us. The work of God is appointed. What was given to the Son to do was the will of the Father. What is given to us to do is also His will." (Elliot)

My will had been to have a calm math lesson. God's will was for me to learn (again) to be gentle with my children and continue to persevere through these little moments of interruption. It is hard to surrender these moments of frustration to Him, but I believe that is what He wants me to do. Surrender the mess to Him, and let His work of restoration come.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Call From the Cross

This moment is central in all of mankind's history. This image is a brutal call to awaken to the reality of life.

Christ is at the center.

He is man. "I am thirsty."

He forgives. "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

He cares. "Woman, behold your son!"

He grants. "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

He fulfills. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

He entrusts. "Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit."

He is God. "It is finished!"

All of mankind are the thieves on either side of Christ having attempted to steal His glory.

Either you are on one side hurling abuse at Christ until the moment you die.

Or, you are on the other side, realizing your just punishment, yet crying out for His mercy.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fear, Flies, and This Female's Feeble Faith

Facing our fears by picnicking with flies, our soon-to-be friends

I found encouragment from Carolyn Mahaney's message to mothers entitled "The Lord is in Your Boat" .... She used the story of Jesus and the disciples in the boat when they encountered a storm at sea. From this story, she pulled three truths for mothers to preach to themselves in the storm of motherhood. (smile)

1. The Lord has taken you to this particular storm and is with you in the storm.
2. The Lord upholds you with His great power in the storm and will deliver you from the storm.

3. The Lord is strengthening your faith in the storm.

God strengthens our faith when we ....

1. Refuse to sin.

2. Apply His promises.

3. Stand firm.

Storms teach us about God and exercise our feeble faith. (smile again).

Monday, April 2, 2012


What we did on vacation....

After we told Daddy we were sorry we had to go without him...
Scarily smiling
Spending time with Pappy
...and Grammie
Giggling and Swimming
We had a few other adventures going to the beach and visiting my aunt...However, my camera went home early with Pappy so I could not take other pictures. We had a wonderful time!!!