A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Last Battle

From The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis: And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Greatest Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
I have loved reading the Chronicles of Narnia series with my boy this year. It's been a wonderful journey and I'm sorry to see it come to an end. It has spurred many wonderful discussions on how Aslan is so much like Christ, and the characters in the book so like many of our Bible heroes. He put into beautiful language some of the hardest things for us to grasp as adults. He made it possible to share the pain of the cross and the joy of the resurrection when Aslan took on the sins of Edmund. He taught us the importance of truth and humility in Eustace. He showed us the struggle one has within to do right and to truly repent in the sweet, pure heart of Lucy. He showed us that truth is always worth fighting for and how easily we can get caught up in the lies of this world. He showed us the beauty of forgiveness every time one of the characters disappointed Aslan and the mercy and love he showered on then when they turned back to him. He showed us the ugliness of sin in the White Witch and Tash. And finally in this last book, he showed us the joy that will come when our life here is over and we have the chance to enter Heaven. His words brought tears to my eyes and Samuel's. My little man doesn't quit understand that my tears were of joy and not at the loss of our friends at the end of the series. My tears of joy were shed because Mr. Lewis knew just the way to put into words what heaven will be like so that my "upper elementary school child" could picture what the apostle John wrote in Revelations. Heaven will be a place with no pain or tears, no worry or fears, and no hunger or thirst. It will be a place without time, but filled with all the good and precious "things" of this world.
If you haven’t ever read the Chronicles of Narnia, I highly recommend you do it. Read it as a family. My little man and I have enjoyed our time snuggled up on the couch together. He’s read the voices of some of his favorite characters, and I’ve had the opportunity to emphasize how to read with feeling and how to use punctuation for dramatic ques. It opens the door to wonderful discussions, and has allowed me to see just how close he may be to obeying the gospel. I loved how Aslan called the characters, Beloved and Dear One. Mr. Lewis’s ability to show the fear that comes with disobedience, and the strength and love that comes with repentance. There are so many other wonderful lessons that can be drawn from this series, and I would definitely start off by reading The Magician’s Nephew first, after all that is how the author wanted it to be done, even though it was the last book he wrote in the series. It makes The Last Battle even more meaningful. I hope you choose to snuggle up with your little one(s) and share the adventures into Narnia together, and if you’re an adult who has never read the series, it’s definitely worth your time. May God bless you richly and may we dream of heaven and the joy that awaits us there!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Forgotten Birthday

Not only is August 5th my anniversary, it happens to be my brother’s birthday. In fact, I got married the day he turned 14. Love his heart, I know he had to have felt forgotten that day. I had plans to have his birthday cake at the wedding, but things started going haywire Friday while I was working on cakes. I made the grooms cake and was getting ready to start working on Garrett’s birthday cake when little details started slipping through our fingers and a trip to Mobile had to be made. Once I got sidetracked, I never made that birthday cake, and with the craziness of the day I don’t think I even told him Happy Birthday. I have to admit to that too many times over the years he’s gotten a belated Happy Birthday because I still would get caught up in my self. So this year, I’ve been blessed with getting to see him and his sweet family in between our birthdays and I’m finally going to honor somewhat publicly a very sweet brother who could have made sure we didn’t forget his 14th Birthday, but allowed me the spotlight that day. I love you little brother.
For those of you who don’t know my little brother, he’s turned into a wonderful man! I love to watch him with his babies and I love the looks on their faces when he walks into the room. He’s given me a sweet, very talented sister in Jess, and I love her not only because he does, but because of who she is and what she does for him. He reminds me of Granddaddy Lyles in many ways, some in the way he looks, but mostly in the way he prays. I love to hear him pray. I wish that we lived closer so that we could see more of each other, but it makes the times we do see each other more precious.
I know at this point he’s already fussing about the fuss I’m making over him so I’ll quit typing and end with a big THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU little brother. Happy Birthday and may God give you the desires of your heart and may He bless you with many more years in his service!

22 Years of Marriage

Tomorrow is my 22nd wedding anniversary, and this week for the first time since we became parents, we’ve had time with just the two of us (that wasn’t wrapped up around trips to see the dr. for the headache). When my little man was asked what Mama and Daddy would be doing while he was gone to camp was, “There going to Honeymoon.” I love that answer! We only spent one night away from home, and then came home and enjoyed having the house to ourselves. It’s been such a blessing to have the time to spend just concentrating on each other and finding out that we love each other more deeply than we ever believed possible.
There are so many precious memories that come with our anniversary. The craziness of the morning, getting everything ready to get to the church on time. Leaving the house with my hair in rollers and getting to the building and getting ready. It’s wonderful how strong certain memories stand out from that day. I remember, Grandmamma Lyles coming in the bathroom and drawing in her breath telling me how beautiful I looked and giving me some wonderful advice that I’ve shared with you before. I remember handing Jenny, Richie’s ring to hold onto until just the right time in the ceremony. Family pictures being made before the Wedding. Scott McCown asking us about how we wanted I Cor. 13 read with love or charity, and bless his heart I was so nervous I didn’t listen closely to just what he asked and told him to read it the way it was written (I’d forgotten the Bible we gave him to use was old King James, so instead of love he read charity just like I told him too.); and that makes me smile. My Daddy holding my hand just before walking me down the aisle telling me, “You don’t have to do this today, I have the car outside waiting and YOUR Mama, will tell all these people there won’t be a wedding today and it will all be okay, or I can walk you down that aisle and give you to Richie and you only get to come home to visit, you are making the decision to marry him and you won’t come home.” (Now if you don’t know my Daddy that may sound harsh, but he was telling me 2 things, I love you and this is a forever choice and I want you to realize just how serious it is.) Remember I’d only been 18 for just 6 days J The beautiful sound of Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Patsy’s voices wafting into the lobby and all around me as Daddy walked me down the aisle and handed me over to my sweetheart all dressed in a white tux with long tails on it (that he pawned his electric guitar ‘s amp for the day before because I wanted him in that tux J) But you’ve heard me talk about my white knight so many times. I love how concerned he was and how careful he was with me as we walked upstairs and downstairs to light the unity candle. The tears of joy the flowed down two young pairs of cheeks as we said our vows. I love that I forgot to get my bouquet back and Jenny was finally happy with me because she got to carry those flowers back up the aisle. I love how my Daddy pulled all the immediate family into a room just off to the side of the auditorium and said a prayer over us asking God to bless and guide us while Scott stood out front inviting friends to stay and celebrate with us in the fellowship hall. I love remembering that I wish the picture taking would hurry up and the laughter of all my new nieces and nephew as the followed us around. I love how my sweetheart, literally swept me off my feet and carried me out to the car, and the “snow white shaving cream” blowing off the car as we drove away. And believe it or not I loved the stanky old smell of sardines on the manifold that we had to stop and take off not more than 3 blocks from the church, and the mustard stain on my dress from stopping at DQ on our way out of town because I was too nervous to eat at the wedding.
So now you know almost all the precious memories of that day. And I’ve gone on and on, and I know if you’re still reading at this point you love us and that makes the day even more blessed. The road we have traveled has not always been an easy one, but it has made us who we are today, and I’m so thankful God sent me My Sweet White Knight when he did and for the friend he gave me to share life’s ups and downs with. I love you James Richard Moore more than I ever thought possible, and once again I’m drinking from the saucer because my cup is overflowing!

We Did It! We Survived Our First Full Year of Schooling at Home!

I’ve been wanting to write this article since school got out and just didn’t make the time. We celebrated the fact that we finished our first year of home schooling, and my little man successful skipped 2nd grade and finished 3rd grade with an A average. There were times through out the year, I wondered if we had made the right choice. We encountered the drama and tears of Mama’s job changing from cheerleader to teacher. (Don’t get me wrong, I still cheer but I have to make sure it’s right and correct habits now that could make things harder in the future.) It has also been a wonderful blessing to be the one to get to watch the light bulb come on. It was the love of watching that happen that had me get my degree in education to begin with, and I must say it is a great joy to watch it happen with my own child. I’ve now learned (for the most part) how my little man thinks and maybe even more importantly he’s learned how I think.
If we had to judge who learned the most this year, I’d have to say it’s me. I’ve had to figure out how to get the best work out of my boy and do so in such a way that I don’t turn him off to learning but to turn him on. I love listening to him read his Bible and story books. I love listening to him reason out why something works the way it does…or even how he has a better plan for it. I love being able to snuggle in the mornings as we give ourselves the time to wake up and get moving. I love hearing him practice his music and how he’s gone from struggling to make the cords to playing songs. I didn’t enjoy the melt downs when he thought he had something right only to learn that it was wrong and had to be redone. I’ve learned that sometimes a quick trip out of the house can make a huge difference in how the rest of the day goes.
I also learned what I wanted to change for the next school year. So I’ve spent my summer praying and studying and comparing different curriculums and do they fit his learning style and my teaching style. Lord willing, we’ve found a combination that will lower the stress for both of us.
We are both looking forward to school starting a week from Monday, and I’m prayerful that not only will we meet the educational goals we’ve set but the spiritual ones as well. I had a good friend tell me that if I would hang in there for three years, things begin to get easier. I’m praying we see things get easier this year, and that like Christ, my boy will grow in knowledge and stature (Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.)