Thursday, August 27, 2009


We tend to overlook those who society or, sadly even, the church deems unworthy. Those who may act a little different or talk a little different or may have "sinned" a little too much or are perhaps are too young, like children. Lest we begin to feel like this is new; it isn't It happened back in Jesus' time too, even by his beloved 12. He told them they must change & become as little children otherwise they'd never enter Heaven. He didn't mean childish behavior or mentality. He meant that the greatest take a humble status.

Children were the lowest members of society, a commodity, ones who were dependent on others for their very life. Definitely not in the "upper crust". Jesus wanted his 12 to stop and consider that they shouldn't think of themselves as first or the best. Paul tells us to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves". What?!? We don't like to think of others better than ourselves, but that is just what we should do. Sadly, we tend to build ourselves up by thinking we're just a little better than the next person, or proud that we haven't done this or we've elevated to a certain level.

We have to humble ourselves, trusting not in our "worth" but His. Trusting not in our abilities, but His. Jesus was in the "very nature of God but He made himself nothing taking on the nature of a servant and was crucified on a cross", maybe our version of lethal injection or the electric chair...the punishment we give to the lowest in society. We are to be as humble as that. How tremendously would our lives change if we were? Giving of ourselves.

The future of any ministry isn't to see a life changed but to teach one how to make decisions that will change his life. The Kingdom of God reaches us at points and places where we least expect it. Isn't it ironic that those with seemingly nothing give the most? A giver embraces the heart of the lonely and touches the need of the sinner. It was a Giver who changed the outcome of our existence & soothed the pain of our greatest need. When was the last time I gave away something I felt I was entitled to? When have I given my best to those I was convinced deserved it the least?

God's Goodness

Sometimes in life, there are moments of overwhelming, deep-down joy. I am so very proud of my boys. Now granted they get on my nerves from time to time, especially when I'm overly exhausted but for the most part they are precious gifts. Time nor words will allow me to share all of the details here, but I provided them with real-life circumstances about difficult decisions that sometimes we have to make. They asked a few questions & then began to give me the reasons they would choose the decision they did. I was amazed at their depth in understanding & the way they made those decisions based upon Godly principles. They didn't choose the popular choice. They made decisions based upon loving others, being a candle in the darkness, & being willing to stand when everyone else around sits.

It is times like these that makes a parent realize that something they did was right. That the many, many trips to church, Bible studies, etc. was sinking in & that God has truly spoken into & over their lives with His Word & Promises. That God's Word is Living & Truth & that if we train up a child in the way he should go then he will not depart from it. Thanksgiving fills my heart as I consider God's impact on my boys! I am humbled that they seek Him, and that they are genuinely good. I pray that they continue on the path of righteousness, to grow in Him, & to love Him above all else. I am not sure that the words exist to express to them know how truly grateful I am that God allowed me to be their mom!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big Dog

We found this huge dog! Of course the photo doesn't do it justice, but it's enormous. I told everyone it would be a great addition to the Jr. High Youth room at church. So we snagged it. Invariably someone spent some big money winning this guy at a fair, but for was free! We decided it would be really funny to drop him off at Michelle's, the new Jr. High Youth leader's, & see what a commotion he caused. So we headed over there. Clay was in ninja mode & rolled across the yard, hiding behind trees & keeping low. Chandler toted the big guy & set him up at the door & rung the doorbell. Tom, the boys, Jason & LaCinda, & me were hiding in the bushes out of sight. They all came to the door...saying what is it? oh my goodness? It's huge! We gave ourselves away from laughing so hard. All of the little guys had to ride him & tackle him & had a great time playing with him. We think he'll be a really fun for the guys at church...until all of his stuffing falls out anyway!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Church Family!

Yesterday, we had 10 people join our local church.
Two of those 10 were Chandler & Clay as well as some great friends & family who really mean a lot to us.
We are very happy to have them in our church family!
God is Good!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cabin Adventures

This weekend we made a trip to the cabin for several reasons. We needed to check on things, we needed to bring the trailer home so we could haul some wood back that we're getting to put a deck around the cabin, and to do a little work. So we set out to do just that. Graeson & my dad went up with us so we definitely had fun with Graeson to entertain us. The boys played in the pond, caught frogs, tadpoles, & butterflies. Graeson was so tired last night that he said, "Steppie, I've gotta go t' bed" Now imagine that in his little country voice.

He caught a little yellow butterfly, held on to it for a while & then let it go. It did fly off, so he was gentle with it. The 2 tiny frogs he caught however were not so lucky. They passed on. We did have a funeral & buried 'em under a log. Those poor little things either died from lack of oxygen or being squeezed to death in a chubby little hand but whichever...they're goners.

The boys threw rocks until I was sure we'd run out of rocks. Then eventually, slowly, and surely edged their way into the water. They caught walking sticks, bull frog tadpoles & frog eggs. At one point Graeson was all the way in the water up to his head. I thought I saw the dirty water go into Graeson's mouth. I said "Graeson, don't drink that water it's nasty." He said, "I not drinkin' it." A second time I thougth I saw him spit out water, so again say, "Graeson, don't drink that nasty water." He said in his country voice, "Steppie, I'm not drinkin' it, I jist washin' my mouff out!" Oh, well that makes all the difference in the world now doesn't it? I just laughed. I figured whatever bacteria was there...was in there now! I felt like Tantor in Tarzan...'Mommy are you sure this water is safe? Yes, honey. But what about bacteria?' Anyway, bacteria & all they played & played & had a wonderful time.

At one point Chandler & Clay had gotten out of the pond & Graeson was in there by himself. He got really quiet, & I could tell he was thinking. He said, (remember country voice) "Hey, Steppie, is a alligator gonna gi'me?" I said, "What?" He said, "Is a alligator gonna gitme?" I said..."oh no Graeson, there are no alligators in our pond!" I just laughed & laughed...I'm amazed at his thought process. I think he's been watching Animal Planet or something.

We did work some, Tom was able to use the box blade to smooth out some of the areas toward the creek. The picture above really needed a before & after. We moved lots of rocks (see picture above) & burned some downed trees. But didn't work too terribly hard. It was a wonderful couple of days up there. The weather was great & as always just a nice time away.

Swim Training

There is some type of apparatus that people can get to attach them to the pool so they can swim in place. We haven't purchased one of those yet, so Tom decided that a rope would work well enough to see if it was something he wanted to buy. So he tied a rope around himself & the tree next to the pool and began to swim. Amazingly it worked. He swam in place for 20 minutes or more. The boys & I of course found it quite humorous. We thought it was funny to see someone swimming so hard, but not moving. Chandler decided that we should untie him. So they boys go out & work hard at untying the rope so he doesn't know they're out there. They finally get him untied & he realizes he's not attached to the tree anymore. He told us he was watching a spot on the bottom of the pool & wondered why it was moving...we had a great laugh...doesn't take much to entertain us for sure!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tom's Tri

Last Sunday, Tom ran a Tri-Sprint for the 2nd year. He was worried about the swimming because that was the event he had trouble with last year. He finished the swim this year in pretty good time so we were excited for him about that. Clay & I were keeping up with the time so we could watch for him on the bike. We were able to cheer him on, & we're proud of him for endeavoring such an event. I'm amazed at the people who accomplish these events. I suppose the general consensus is that they are these extremely athletic people who are in tip-top shape. Not so. There were people there from all walks of life & literally all shapes & sizes. Now granted there were some who had about 1% body fat, but they were right next to the person with 75% body fat. We were proud of Tom for training & accomplishing the race! Way to go Tom!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Meteor Shower

Last night the boys, my parents, & I set out on an adventure to watch the Perseids Meteor Shower. As a child, I remember my parents loading me up in the car at 3 o'clock in the morning to go sit out at the fairgrounds parking lot to watch a meteor shower. We took a blanket & lay on the hood of the car to watch the "falling stars". I wanted to take the boys to do the same & last night was the perfect opportunity to do so. We traveled & found a good location, lay on beach towels, & watched the sky. The boys were amazed to see the meteor shower. They had never seen anything like it & had lots of fun. Chandler heard a dying body in a ditch crying 'help me' of course some drunk teenagers dumped it there...according to Clay's sources anyway. Chandler also says he also saw Moth Man...if you don't know who Moth Man is, then you should google him...he's from West Virginia, but he obviously made an appearance in Central AR last night. We all agree that it would have been much better to watch the shower from the cabin where there are absolutely no city lights, but we couldn't make it up there last night. We had fun anyway. We laughed & saw some really amazing sights. We talked about how God placed the stars in the sky & knows them by name! We could see for miles & saw only a glimpse of this amazing universe! God is amazing!

Friday, August 7, 2009

For What Purpose?

What are we doing? Is it right?
Do we take thought of the purpose? The true purpose?
Intentions. Good intentions. The best of intentions.
For what purpose?
What are we doing? Spinning our wheels?
Accomplishing a task? Fulfilling a dream?
For what purpose?
Do we consider the outcome? Do we look outside ourselves?
Do we consider there is a greater purpose?
Do we know the true purpose?
Have we asked? Or listened?
Do we hear what is being said? Truly said?
Do we look inside ourselves? Or see more than ourselves?
Do we dare?
Do we truly know?
For what purpose, For what purpose?

~stephanie thompson

Proverbs 2:1-5
If you accept My words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom & applying your heart to understanding, and if you look for it as for silver & search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord & find the knowledge of God.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Weeds? Are they a nuisance?
What do they become?
Left alone, growing.
Weeds? Are they nothing?
What do they hide?
Growing, in the midst of weeds, growing.
A treasure. Beauty.
Almost missed it.
Trying for neatness.
Cutting away.
Cutting away beauty in the midst of weeds.
Beauty, missed by many.
Seen by a few.
A rainbow in a sea of green.
Knowing all along what would become if left alone to bloom;
He placed them there.
To glorify, For pleasure, For a purpose.
But they are weeds....just as we.
~stephanie thompson

Songs 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth.
Ecc 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in it's time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cabin News

We took a trip to the cabin after Doris' play. The land looked like a jungle. We haven't been able to get up there since April. We definitely can't let that happen again. We arrived about midnight & began unloading the truck. As I was going upstairs, I just so happened to look to my right in the window sill. There looking at me was 2 little black, beady eyes & 2 alert little ears. I nearly killed myself getting back down the stairs. He definitely wasn't as cute as Mickey! I think we scared him away, if not, we left him some nice little poison to nibble on. We got up early this morning to start the mowing expedition. Tom got on the tractor & I started weed-eating.

Now many of you may not know, but I really hate power tools. After I use one, I just about have to pray through. Nothing frustrates me more than a gas-powered lawn tool that won't crank. Tom cranked the weed-eater for me, gets on the tractor & starts mowing. I chop about 3.2 weeds when the thing dies. Deep breaths...deep breaths I tell myself. So I pulled the cord...amazingly it starts again. I'm getting really excited thinking no big deal, I'm like that girl on tv who does this all the time. I chop down about 5.7 more weeds, & I hit a thick, barky weed & all of my line is gone. Deep, cleansing breaths; I tell myself. I sit the stupid thing on the trailer & just look at it. Tom, by the way, is just riding along on his chariot & his never dies. I think, ok, this tool from the abyss is not going to beat me. So I gently try to figure out how to fix the cord. Whaaalaaa! I did it. I took it apart & put it back together again! And I actually get it cranked again. I am on a roll. I head around to the front of the cabin & the idiotic thing dies again! I decide at that point that it's time for a break so I go inside, fix me some toast & coffee, bring the rocking chair onto the deck & sit & rock & watch Tom riding on his red chariot. I waved at him a couple of times, but do you think he saw me....well no.

After a while Tom does come crank the thing for me, & we do accomplish much more. He tried to make a funny about I probably really didn't want to do much work. He probably should have been glad that it wouldn't crank...I think there was a horror movie like this where people were chopped up! I then told him that if anything ever happened to him, that I was selling all the gas powered tools & buying electric ones because they worked EVERY time you plugged them in...he just laughed and said yeah right, you'll just hire a yard boy! He's probably right, but we won't tell him!

Mom & dad stopped by the cabin on their way home from Branson to visit. I was telling them the weed eater story & Dad said that I needed to create a flag system so that if I needed Tom while he was on the tractor, I'd put the flag a certain way...of course that would mean the king would have to glance around the kingdom while riding on his chariot. I'm sure we can figure out something. Maybe we could hire a yard boy...oh wait...we have 2 sons! Well problem solved!

We had a nice time. Worked a lot, still a lot more to do, we're going to go again soon to mow everything again so the land will be smooth & cleared. You can see a few before & after shots above. Well...Until then....

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Friday night we attend Conway Dinner Theater's presentation of Oliver. We arrived early for a great dinner. The food was wonderful! We had a joke/bet on the way that it would be chicken or roast beef. Chicken won! Generally, we probably would not have attended the Conway Dinner Theater since we live in NLR, but we were invited to see someone we knew in the presentation. Tom's mom,Doris, a.k.a. Grammy, tried out for a part in the musical & got it. She did a great job. I got a few snap shots of her. I even got one of her drinking....I think it was gin! LOL! We're really proud of her adventurous spirit in trying new things. The musical was wonderful! If you get a chance, she's performing again next weekend. Give her a call, I bet she can get you tickets. It's a fun evening out!