Dec 29, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

Romans 12 (New Living Translation)
A Living Sacrifice to God

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b] 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

3 Because of the privilege and authority[c] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.[d] 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[e] and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.[f] 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;

I will pay them back,”[g]

says the Lord.
20 Instead,
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.

If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap

burning coals of shame on their heads.”[h]
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

This chapter is so packed, I could go on and on about it. However, I think I will simply let these words speak for themselves. I find the last verse "Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good" especially powerful. Thank God for His Word!

Dec 28, 2010

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time

This Christmas has been a wonderful blessing for me and our family! We spent Christmas Eve with the Chaffins this year, which is a rare treat because usually Christmas Eve is reserved for Luke's side of the family. However this year things were a little different to accomodate late arrivals from out of town. On Christmas Eve, we met my parents at a methodist church for a candle light Christmas Eve service. Mandie and Matthew got to work on their manger stickers during the preaching, then we all sang Christmas carrols with the congregation, then we passed the fire from person to person. M&M's favorite part was holding the fire. Whitney held little Michael during the service, and he slept in her arms most of the time. While he was preaching, the preacher mentioned a verse out of the book of Luke. Matthew had been very busy with his stickers, but when he heard the word "Luke" his head shot up and his eyes grew wide and he exclaimed in a voice loud enough for at least 3 rows in either directions to hear: "LUKE! He is talking about my DADDY!" Matthew is really freaking me out right now because he seems so big! I can see the toddler in him turning more and more into a big kid every day. We all returned home to my parents house to pop our traditional poppers and then eat a bite. Then Robin, Dickie, and Grandmother came by for a quick visit. While they were there Whitney read a Christmas book by Max Lucado and the story of the birth of Jesus out of the book of Matthew. Alas, it was time for the kids to open their presents. My mom went with the Disney princess theme for Mandie and the Toy Story 3 theme for Matthew. Little Michael had no theme. Thankfully, however, he could care less as long as he is well loved and well fed. We really enjoyed seeing Aunt LaJean during this time, she is such a treat to have around at Christmas time. We went home and put out milk and cookies for Santa and threw reindeer food on the lawn. Then we all gathered on Matthews bed to sing jingle bells about 10 times before calling it a night.

The next morning was Christmas morning. Luke and I woke up before the kids and hurried to get the camera and the video camera ready to see the expressions on the kid's faces when the discovered that Santa had actually come to see them. We had been ready for a while when Luke decided he was tired of waiting on them to wake up, so he went in to wake them up. It took them a few minutes to find their presents, because Santa had left them by the fireplace and not under the tree. I guess he was in quite a hurry because he left the doors to the fireplace open on his way out. M&M were very good this year, and Santa treated them well. He left them a Melissa and Doug art Easel, stockings full of little trinkets, a Littlest Pet Shop House for Mandie, and a Transformer for Matthew. Michael also got a little toy and a stocking full of bathtub toys. Luke and I both recieved a pack of mixed nuts in out stockings, apparently Santa was not as pleased with us as he was with our children!! After playing all of Christmas morning with our goodies, we all went down for a long Christmas day nap (praise the Lord!) and then we headed over to the Grand Parent's house on Luke's side. On the way over we were listening to The Chipmunks rendition of "All I want for Christmas is my 2 Front Teeth" and decided to take the CD in with us so that Mandie and Matthew could sing it for everyone for Christmas. That was pretty cute, at first they were a little shy, but as the song went on they got more and more comfortable and they were laughing and singing like silly gooses! They even got up on MiMi's coffee table to use as a stage. However the best part by far was when Matthew elected to turn around and pull down his pants for no apparent reason after the song was over. Apparently he wanted to show everyone the big boy underwear he got in his stocking that morning from Santa. We opened presents and ate a delicious gluten free meal (thank you so much MiMi for going gluten free for me!) MiMi and G-Dad got M&M&M some little rocking chairs with their names on them. They are really cute, I'll have to post a picture later. Then all of the Cooper's came over to listen to the guys play and sing. I am so blessed to be married to such a talented musician! Luke, your skills on the piano and guitar are truly amazing! It was a real treat this year because the little cousins are old enough now to hold a microphone and sing along while their dads play. That was really fun! Matthew and Noah really played hard that night, it makes me look forward to Matthew, Noah, Michael, and Micah all playing together as they grow up! I was able to sneak away for a few minutes for a Christmas walk that I really enjoyed. I think overall everyone was really able to celebrate the birth of Christ! Praise the Lord!!

I spent most of today un-Christmasing our house. I gotta say, it' looks a little bare and it really needs to be vacuumed! There are little green pieces of Christmas tree and other random greenery all over the floor! We are still looking forward to the New Year's celebration coming on New's Year's day. I am so glad every year to have a chance to give and recieve with our family, and more than that the opportunity to teach my children about the birth of Jesus Christ. At the candle light service, all the kids gathered on stage to hear the reading of a kid's book entitled "Love Came Down and Christmas". I didn't pay a lot of attention to the actual book, but I was deeply moved by the title. On Christmas night so many years ago, God sent love down to earth in the form of Jesus Christ. Love did come down at Christmas, Praise the Lord for Jesus! For the life He led, the death He endured, and the example He gave! Thank You Lord.

Dec 18, 2010

Mandie Can Read, in a manner of speaking . . .

We have a Christmas decoration that consists of 3 rows of words made out of wooden blocks:
JOY on top,
NOEL in the middle,
PEACE on bottom,
and a Santa Clause rests on top of all of these words.

The other day, the blocks had been played with so I was telling Mandie the order to put the letters in so that the words would be readable again. When we got to "NOEL" I thought it was pretty simple phonically speaking, so we began sounding out the noises of the letters and this is what transpired:

Mandie: "nnnnnO . . . . . eeeelllllllll

nnnnnO . . . . . eeeellllllll

I GOT IT! . . . ELNO! I can read!!"

Of course, you can imaging what "ELNO" sounds like.

It was hilarious!!

So maybe we have a ways to go in the world of reading, we'll get there :)

Dec 13, 2010

The Exception

Last night was not a regular night for us Haneys. Mandie and Matthew were both sick. Thank the Lord, they are rarely sick . . . but I guess last night was the exception. Mandie had a slight cough and a low grade fever, Matthew caught a stomach bug. At 10:30 he walked out into the living room where Luke and I were enjoying a bowl of popcorn, to inform us that he had spit up in his bed. The amount of throw up was almost indescribable, and for your sake I'll opt out of an effort to really make you see the picture. After a bath, new sheets, new jammies, and some teeth brushing Matthew was tucked snuggly back into bed. Luke and I thought we could settle back on the couch, except we had to repeat the above process 3 more times that night.

Usually when it's the middle of the night and I've been up taking care of my kid's, I get a little irritable. I think this is because of my desperate desire for sleep. But, last night must have been the exception . . . because by God's grace my witt's stayed intact throughout.

Later in the night, Mandie woke up coughing and wheezing a bit. Usually she's an awesome sleeper, but last night was the exception. After a little dose of medicine and some TLC she was back to dream land.

Michael has always been a great sleeper as well. In fact at around 3 months he was sleeping 12 hours a night most nights of the week. The last couple of weeks have really been the exception to that, because he's been cutting his first two teeth. Last night he was up at 4 for a quick meal, and then back to bed as well.

Man, having sick kids can be rough . . . although it is such a joy and a privilage to snuggle, and rock, and cuddle those snottly little babies in the middle of the night. Yes, that would definetly be the exception!