The Results Are God’s

 

11231147_10153363753038115_7619548832444295992_n

It’s not about us. It’s not about numbers. It’s not about “professions of faith”.

It’s not about the “next big day”.

It’s about Christ.

Let’s spread the Word!

sig

It’s Recital Time!

Lauren, Mitchell and Leslie competed in the Schubert Festival, a musical competition in our town, on May 2nd. Those who received a “superior plus” rating were allowed to play at a recital the following week. Lauren and Leslie both received this honor. Mitch was a close second, earning a “superior” rating for his arrangement of the song “Let It Go” from the movie, Frozen.

Here are the recital performances, in case our family would like to hear them:

My sweet Lauren was so very nervous. She takes after her mother in that way! This was her first time to play with an audience staring back at her. I was pleased with how she kept going, even after becoming distracted. This was a wonderful experience for her. I wanted to get a photo of Lauren with her teacher, Mrs. Pihulic, but she did not attend the recital.

It was so special to hear my dad’s trumpet being played after all these years. If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can still hear him belting out “A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)”, “Reveille” and “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White”. He was able to earn a scholarship to college with his trumpet. I just hope Lauren can receive the same enjoyment from it that he did.

Leslie was less nervous this time around, since she just went through all of this in March for another competition.

Thanks for tuning in,

sig

Leslie’s Party

I just wanted to pop in and share the photos of Leslie’s birthday with our loved ones far away. I hope you enjoy them!

les-cake

Leslie loves chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. She is easy to please!

For the meal, she requested homemade tacos, which we all love.

DS

She wanted to get a 2DS for her birthday, but we don’t usually spend that much money on the kids’ birthdays. Instead, we gave her cash to go toward it. When she combined that money with other cash gifts from friends and family, she had more than enough to get the 2DS. She had her heart set on the “sea green” one.

Les-gift

You may notice that I had to put my hand over Matt’s mouth to keep him from blowing out her candles. He’s kinda sneaky, but I’m sneakier. :)

Leslie had a great day filled with friends, fun and food. We are thankful for our sweet Leslie Anne!

sig

A Short Soccer Season {Spring 2015}

Soccer is already over for our family. It was a short season because the games were cancelled twice for rain. Lauren and Mitchell will both have to miss their final games because we’ll be out of town that day. It’s been a bummer. Terry’s had a blast coaching the u15 kids. He and Mitchell even went over to the field yesterday and mowed it in preparation for the big game. (Our city has failed to mow the field the entire six weeks of our season!) It was a huge disappointment to have to cancel, but we are thankful for the rain and the cooler temperatures that come with the rain.

I usually snap photos of each child while they are playing their “tournament” game. I wish now that I’d taken some during their regular practices. I was only able to get photos of the U10 game. I pulled out my zoom lens and took a few photos for our family. To all of you non-relatives: thanks for indulging me. :)

group

Here’s a group shot of my soccer players! Leslie didn’t get her jersey until later in the day.

Leslie was on the blue team, Laci was on the red team. I knew I’d have one sad player and one happy one at the end of the day. It would be  a good time to teach good sportsmanship and thoughtfulness, which is more important than winning or being a great athlete.

Leslie Laci3 les-throw-in laci4

The extremely tall grass, which had gone to seed, made the game quite frustrating. Sometimes it was more like “hide and seek for the ball” than “soccer”. Both teams worked hard and did their best despite this difficulty.

sister-against-sister

Sister against sister. . . but still friends.

sisters number3

huddle

les les-kick laci

laci2

intense

Laci’s team won, but I never heard her brag; Leslie never once pouted or whined about losing. I am thankful that there was no drama for this Mama.

Maybe the weather will be better for the fall season?

Well, we can hope!

sig

The Last Day of School {2014-2015}

On May 18, 2015, our school year ended when Mitchell turned in his math test. I snapped a few photos to commemorate the day.

But first, here’s a look back at the beginning of the year:

group

August 11, 2014

last day

May 18, 2015. Older and wiser?

(I was in such a hurry to snap the photo before Lauren left for work, that I forgot to get Matthew! Oops.)

And now, we celebrate!

excited

The last few weeks of our school year were the most challenging. We dealt with illness and lots of outside obligations which forced me to be flexible with my school schedule (something that is hard for me to do). There were times when I just wanted to call an audible and wrap the year up about three weeks early. I’m glad I didn’t do that, though. It was good for us to tackle our studies in the midst of minor chaos. That was a lesson in “character” for all of us, something that isn’t in our textbooks.

books

I praise the Lord for helping me and my children get through another school year. I also appreciate my husband’s kind “sanity support” and his financial contributions. ;)

Three cheers for summer break!

sig

 

What is a Pastor?

DSC_0041_edited-1

My Pastor, Terry Basham, II

I mentioned to you yesterday that I have enjoyed listening to sermons on SermonAudio. I wanted to share one that was a great blessing to me this past week. It is probably intended for pastors, but I enjoyed it immensely.

Do you know what a pastor is? I believe Bro. Don Fortner, a pastor in Danville, Kentucky, explains it very well from the Word of God in this sermon:

The Video

The Audio

I’m thankful to have a pastor who strives to constantly keep himself aligned with God’s Word.

With love,

sig

Overcoming Depression Day by Day

Overcoming

I have battled depression for many years. I had my first foray into the crazy world of mixed-up emotions when my oldest child was a newborn. She will be sixteen in a few months, and in that time, depression has been just outside my door. And sometimes right inside the living room. Every day, I seek to overcome my anxiety without medication. I am not opposed to medication. I was on Zoloft for nine months following the birth of my fifth child in 2010 and it was just what I needed at the time. But like most people, I try to avoid medication of any kind unless absolutely necessary. I wanted to share some things that are helping me overcome depression, one day at a time.

1. Daily Bible reading. I formed this habit as a teenager, but I admit that I have missed some days here and there. I have now determined not to miss it (unless I am sick with a fever or something terrible), even if I must read it at 11 o’clock at night. Many days – more than I can count, really – I receive just what I need to get through a particular valley. Recently, I was thinking about my emotional struggles, and the Lord gave me Psalm 55 in my daily reading. What a blessing that chapter was to my heart!

2. Daily prayer time. This area is one in which I have not been faithful since my teenage days! Prayer is work. It takes discipline to clear your schedule and have quiet, uninterrupted time to talk to the Lord. I shared last September how my prayer life had suffered. I have since seen my prayer life bear fruit in personal ways. Not only have I worked to set aside a daily prayer time, but also to pray throughout the day. One of the verses that blessed me from Psalm 55 was verse 17:  Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

3. Regular church attendance. My flesh rises up and dislikes church sometimes. That is when I have to do the hard thing, and go against my carnal desires. I have never regretted going to God’s house! I am especially thankful for the loving church family I have. They pray for me, and even though I’m “the pastor’s wife”, they don’t hold me to a super-human standard. They let me be me: fallible, talkative, crazy, Valerie.

4. Regular exercise, preferably outdoors. For years I have done aerobic DVDs and indoor walking DVDs. They are okay for rainy or cold days, but being outside in the sunshine and fresh air in God’s creation just can’t be topped! Nothing is as invigorating as the great outdoors.

5. Keeping my thoughts on the truth as Philippians 4:8 says. I’ve written about this before, and it is still the case today. Reminding myself of what is true, or real, has helped me keep my mind on the right things. To do this, I try to have the following always close at hand:

  • Good books. I have a list posted on Goodreads of books I want to read. I am constantly keeping my eyes and ears open for recommendations.
  • Good music. The advent of the iPod, iPhone and all things “i” has made listening to music easier than ever before. I love having my playlists handy and my ear buds with me. For my birthday, my husband bought me a bluetooth wireless speaker that pairs with my iPhone. This has been a great way to listen to music while I do chores or get ready for the day. I have also paired my phone with my van, so I can drive and listen!
  • Good sermons. Now that I have the aforementioned wireless speaker, I am able to listen to sermons from sermonaudio.com! I listen to my husband’s sermons there, or any preacher he recommends to me. One preacher who has blessed me is Bro. Don Fortner. But there are hundreds – probably thousands – to choose from.

Even when I’m doing all of the above, panic can strike at any time. If it does, I find a quiet place and offer a meager prayer or even a frightened cry to the Lord.  Psalm 55:22 says, Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. I plead for His help, and He has not failed me.

Someday, I’ll be Home and free from depression forever. Until then, I will rejoice that in my weakness, HE is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

From my heart,

sig