Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Hard Questions

I know that technically Good Friday has passed, but I am still up (way later than I should be) so it is still Friday to me. I have taken some time to ponder the events of today and reflect on some not-so-easy-to-answer questions from J-Man. The questions may be easier to answer for an eight year old, but a four year old - a bit challenging.

Our church celebrated Good Friday today with a noon-time service and bag lunch. It was actually a joint service with two other churches in our area and I believe this is the third year we have done this. We celebrate with song, prayer, and a short challenge from a preacher from one of the three churches. A wonderful reflection of what price Jesus Christ paid for us. A time to remember and ponder the foundation of our faith.

On the way to the service, with the Easter cantata music playing, we drove by another church and J-Man pointed out the purple "robe" hanging on the cross. "Jesus' robe is on the cross, Mommy."

Further down the road and a bit closer to our church, there are blue ribbons on light poles, signs, and any other posts imaginable. There was a fallen officer's funeral around 6-9 months ago and the ribbons tracked the route taken from another church (where the funeral was) to the burial site. J-Man asked what the ribbons were for. Before I could really answer, he remembered that we had this conversation before and proceeded to tell me that he knew what they were for. They were for the police man. I told him he was correct. They were hung because the police man died.

"Is he in Heaven with Jesus?"

Ooooh. I don't know. After having conversations with my own dad about the officer (as he knew him personally), I am not sure that he is in heaven.

How do I tell this to a four year old?
How do I explain that not everyone makes the choice to go to heaven?
Do I avoid it all the way?
I don't want to lie to him.
I also don't want to judge or make a false statement about the man's faith.

I went with the "be honest" answer. "J-Man, I am really not sure if he is in heaven with Jesus or not. Remember, Mommy and Daddy have told you that Jesus is a gift to us?" He had a positive response. "There are some people who choose to accept Him as their gift and ask Him into their hearts. There are some that do not. When they do accept Him, they have the wonderful opportunity to go to heaven with Jesus when they die." "Those people who choose not to accept that gift, do not get to go to heaven."


Was this silence good or bad? Even at this point, I am not sure. I am confident that he was just taking it all in. If he wanted to know more, he would have asked. Sometimes it is just good to answer the question and stop. I have learned to not add an extra two cents - it may be too much. 

When we sat down for service, a black cloth draped the cross in the church. J-Man noticed that it wasn't purple as the one down the road was and asked why. "The black 'robe' is in memory of Jesus dying on the cross for us. Today we celebrate His death." I know Sunday will present the question of why there is a white "robe", but I am so glad that I am able to let him know that our Christ arose from the dead.

We serve a living God. The ONLY living God!

"But the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where he lay." Matthew 28:5-6

Yes, these questions may be hard for me to totally answer for a four year old, but I am glad that there is a glorious outcome after my flesh passes away. I am glad God's promises were fulfilled through Jesus' death on the cross and through his resurrection. I am glad my God is living and breathing and with me every step of my day.

Thank you for the cross, Lord.
Thank you for the price You paid.
Bearing all my sin and shame,
In love You came,
And gave amazing grace.

Thank you for this love, Lord.
Thank you for the nail pierced hands.
Washed me in Your cleansing flow,
Now all I know,
Your forgiveness and embrace.

Worthy is the Lamb!
Seated on the throne.
Crown You now with many crowns,
You reign victorious!
High and lifted up,
Jesus Son of God,
The Darling of Heaven crucified,
Worthy is the Lamb.
Worthy is the Lamb.
Hillsong United
"Worthy is the Lamb"

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Today we celebrate 8 years of Bocephus! From that day that we went to pick him up in May of 2005, he has been such a highlight in our lives. He is definitely very animated and loves to make us happy.

This morning I woke up to sing Happy Birthday to him and realized that he was limping on his back leg. I figured he may have slept on it wrong. He didn't even want to come back up the deck steps after he went out to use the bathroom this morning. I had to give him so help. I worried about him all day but when we got home this evening, he seemed to be all healed. :) That old age is getting to him.

Bocephus is very special to our family and we love him to pieces. He greets us when we come home, he licks our tears away, and wags his tail 90 miles an hour when we laugh and play with him. We couldn't have picked a better dog. Here's to another great year (and hopefully many more) with our first child.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Have You Ever...

Seen a sign like this:
I am sure you have. Any one who drives has seen this one time or another. Maybe for a driver's test, maybe on the street, or maybe you have just stumbled across a picture of one on the internet. I am sure the sign varies from state to state, but they all have the same meaning - No Trucks Allowed.

Would I have ever, in a million years, thought that my 4 year old son would know what this means? Nope. It is just a simple drawing. One that he would be able to understand, but I just never would have thought it would catch his eye and he would "get it".

One day last week - I believe it was the same day he was trying to cool his juice, we were on the way home. I was stopped in the middle of a street waiting for on coming traffic so that I could make a left turn. All of a sudden, he asked, "Mommy, why can't trucks go that way?" At first, my thoughts were, "which way?" and "what are you talking about?" I just non-chalantly answered him and said, "I am not sure Buddy". Then, I made the turn and saw the sign. Yep...

"I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign."
Remember that silly Ace of Base song?

Everything made since then. I had my "ah-ha" moment. Then, I took the time to explain that maybe the power lines were too low on that street for the trucks to come through - and maybe that is why the sign was posted there. He proceeded to talk about something breaking on the truck if they went down that road and I agreed with him and then he was content with moving on to the next topic of conversation.

What an inquisitive mind.

Oh, and good luck with getting that song out of your head if you are familiar with it. I have been humming it since I thought of it to put in this post...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Family Time

Mourning the death of a loved one is never a fun time. The loss tends to always be a shock even if the death is known to be near. My mom lost her brother last week. He was the baby of 4 siblings and was only 51 years old. He lost a battle with a disease called alcoholism. We all knew the time was near but really didn't expect it to happen so quickly. When the word was received that he had passed, it was still a little hard to swallow.

He was a husband, father, brother, uncle, and son.
Many loved him for him.
Many were long time friends.
Many will truly miss his presence.

In times like these though, you tend to bring family in closer. You hold them tighter. Let them know that you love them. None of us will ever know when we will take our last breath. Cherish each moment - and that we did over the weekend. My mom's sister, her daughter and granddaughter came up for the funeral. We don't get to see them often because they are so far away, but J-Man and his cousin "Miss Diva" are only a little over 2 months apart and love to spend time together. I was able to capture some images of them playing outside. J-Man had not had a nap, so he was irratable and wouldn't let me get some pictures of them but I was at least able to get a few where he at least acted like he was having a wonderful time.
My little guy had a hair cut this weekend too. It has definitely had to grow on me.
Oh, and this is just a random shot of the love of my life! :)
He could use a haircut on his face! LOL.
Eventhough the time spent together was very short and the occasion was a somber one, it was still nice to see everyone. It was nice to chit-chat and catch up on the major events. Until we meet again (and hopefully not for another funeral).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Has Sprung...

... and the high temperature today is 55 degrees. Tomorrow will be 46. I thought we were supposed to be getting warmer. I shouldn't complain though because I know in about a month or so, I am going to wish the colder weather back.

Yesterday was beautiful. We were able to ride in the car with the windows down and enjoyed the wonderful breeze. I picked J-Man up from daycare and he had a juice bottle sitting in his car seat from the morning. I told him the juice was probably hot and it wouldn't be very good. He asked me something about making it cold, I didn't quite understand what he said, and I just agreed with him.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot, I saw this...

He wanted the wind from the car to make his drink cold again. He had asked me if the breeze would cool his juice off. Oh, how I wished this would have actually been true. I told him we could put it on some ice when we got home.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Like Father, Like Son

Ever feel like there is something you want to write about but something else just keeps filling your mind?

No, not "writer's block".
You have words to write, just not the words you intended.

That very thing happened to me yesterday. The thoughts that were filling my heart and mind overpowered what I really wanted to post about and my fingers followed my mind. Maybe you, as my readers, really needed to see those thoughts.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:"
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Today, count yourself lucky because I am going to hopefully let you in on what I was going to say yesterday.

I arose early to look over my Sunday School lesson one last time. It was around 5:15 or so. Very shortly after I started my review, I heard J-Man get out of his bed. This was VERY unusual for him as he rarely gets up in the middle of the night. He couldn't see the light that I had on either. He went to the bathroom and as he was walking back to his room, it hit me.

I had to cough!

I assure you that I didn't want to make any noise, but it was killing me to keep it in. One of those where your eyes start watering because your throat is iching so bad for a cough! And... out with it.

He heard me... of course.

He rounded the corner. "Mommy, I didn't know you were up!", he gleefully shouted. Yes, that's right, gleefully. Like... he-had-his-full-night's-rest-and-was-ready-for-the-day, glee. My first thought: Oh no, buddy! It is waaaayyy too early! Before I could say anything, he calls my name as if he wanted to ask me a question. I answered him and he proceeded with his question, so innocently, "You know what?" "What, son?", I answered. Are you ready for it? "We should have cleaned my room last night! It is a m-e-s-s!" Not only did he have the cutest facial expressions, his fingers were so adorably pointing back to the direction of the his bedroom.

In that moment, I could only chuckle under my breath. I surely wasn't laughing at him but I came to realize my son is his daddy's child. Just as I was about to get up to take him back to bed, he started up again.

"The rocking chair room is messy too. We should have cleaned that too."
"... And the living room. It is messy too Mommy."

I really laughed out loud then. I couldn't hold it in any longer. After letting him know that we would work on getting it picked up soon, we headed back to bed. I told him he needed to sleep a little longer to make sure he got the best rest for church.

What a way to make a mommy smile!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wake Up!

Happy Sunday! Happy day of the Lord!

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Today is a wonderful day. We had an awesome and thought-provoking service at church with the start of our revival services. Our speaker will be speaking on prayer all week and I am looking forward to what God has laid on his heart to present to our church as well as myself. This morning was a message from Revelation 3 where Jesus is speaking of the church at Saridis. The pastor's message centered around complacency and how our church and Christianity itself will perish if we don't do something about it... Quickly.

"... I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God." Revelation 3:1b-2 (ESV)

I will say that I have been battling complacency for some time now. It is easy to show a facade when you are at church but just going through the motions is never a good thing. It is my earnest prayer that I can get out of this, um... funk and get back to the things of the Lord - personally. There are so many things that I could do better at, and one of those specifically is prayer. That is where it all begins. I know having the best relationship with my Lord must involve prayer.

As you can tell, I am very excited about what this week holds. My prayer for you is that if you are feeling like you are in the same boat with me on complacency, please take a look at Revelation 3:1-6 and wake up! Take the time to pray for the people of your church. We all need to stand up and know that the end is very near if we don't do something soon.

Don't let yourself continue to be dry in your faith!
Be excited about what God can do in your life.

Pray and let God use you in ways that only He can. Don't be scared -- He will be with you every step of the way. However, you have to let Him in; you have to allow Him to work.

Happy Sunday and have a wonderful day of rest!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Spring-Like Saturday

A morning with tempuratures in the mid sixties means that we are able to spend some time outside. I had to work for a few hours but J-Man sure entertained himself. That is one thing I love about that kid, he does play well by himself. However, you better be ready to play with him when he asks... because he doesn't ask often. Most of the morning started off with Rescue Bots...

That picture appears blurrier and blurrier every time I look at it. :(
Yes, I believe he now has every Rescue Bot that was made, and he is asking for the fire and police stations now. Grandma has her eyes out on radar for them. Oh, I sure wish I could have taken a picture of how J-Man dressed himself today to go outside. That... was just hil-ar-rious! Maybe I can capture one of those another time.

After Rescue Bots, J-Man and Bocephus spent some time outside playing. I was still working, but the few times I checked on them, Bocephus was just chillin' and soakin' up the outdoors and J-Man was digging in the dirt or throwing balls in the yard. Just a few moments where I was glad to be able to watch him without him knowing I was looking. I just sat back and smiled. He is getting so too big. Time is flying by too fast.

I was finally able to get off the phone and out of my computer for work and I grabbed my camera and went outside. I took a few pictures but J-Man really wanted me to play ball. So we rolled a ball back and forth on the deck. After he got tired of that, I took a few more random pictures of him. This one included:

He did change his clothes because he was too cold with what he had on originally. :)
Oh, and he wouldn't let me just take all the pictures... he had to take some as well. I got a few random ones of the deck boards and the grill. Then, he wanted to take a picture of me. I think he is going to be quite the photographer. :) Hopefully he will get a better model for his pictures though. :\
I guess that is as good as it gets when I am still in my PJs.
Then, it was time to play with Bocephus for a little while. I kept calling his name but he would just simply ignore me. That happens often. I wish I had the tone that Daddy J has - let him speak, and Bocephus jumps! Then after a few minutes, I had just the thing that would get him motivated! One word you don't say out loud in my house is PRIZE. Unless you want a doggie all over you, drooling, begging, and nudging you to go get him a prize (treat). I wish I had a video camera for this, but I since I didn't, this series of pictures should suffice:

1) "You said what?" "Are you sure you said 'prize'"? 2) "Oh, here I come, you better be ready" 3) What are you doing, lady? Aren't you going to go get the prize?" 4) "Please?!?!"
Bocephus finally got his prize and we were all happy again. J-Man decided to hammer some of the nails back down on the deck for a little while. Then he pretended he was painting the deck with his hammer and his spit. Oh, the imagination. I absolutely love days like this! Happy Saturday to all of you!

Friday, March 15, 2013


Welcome to Between the Chapters! I am so glad you stopped by. Take a moment to grab your favorite coffee (or tea, if you prefer) and settle in to enjoy the stories of our life. I know you have heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, right? Through the stories posted on this blog, you won’t have to only see us from the outside; you can enjoy what really happens day-to-day for us – inside our lives.
Who are we? I am glad you asked!
 Let me start by introducing the man of the roost – we’ll refer to him as Daddy J.  Daddy J thinks he has some pretty thick skin (and most days that is a true statement) but he has such a tender heart on the inside. He loves to spend his time cherishing his family, watching cop shows, and learning everything about history he can (especially war history). He also loves to be busy with improvements around the house to make our new house home. He is my Martha Stewart but a very manly version. He definitely has some OCD quirks about him and even though they may aggravate me just a bit, I love him from the bottom of my heart. I truly believe he is the half that makes me whole. You know what is really awesome about him? He knows Jesus Christ as his Lord and is leading our family in the best way he knows how.
As for myself, the lady of the house, I will be called Momma J. I love taking pictures, spending time with my family, and having days of rest and relaxation. I wish that I had time to scrapbook more often and hate that I battle weight issues. However, I love my life and every part of it and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Wait, I do desire to be a better money saver, but that is something I can definitely work on for the future. I do consider myself a musical person as I enjoy playing the flute. I often attend musicals with my mom and love to sit and listen to a pianist play. I sing in my church choir and love to belt out songs of worship and praise in the shower and in my car.
Of course, we would not be called Daddy J and Momma J if it wasn’t for our little J-Man. He is our four-year old pride and joy. He loves to laugh, go to the movies with his Grandma, spend the night with Nana and Papa, and play on PePa’s swing set. He loves to play games on the iPad and search for new ones to buy as well. I am so glad a password has to be entered to purchase things through iTunes or we would be in trouble! Right now he is really into Rescue Bots (Transformers) and watches the TV series on Netflix every chance he gets but as the weather is getting warmer he loves to spend time outside as well. He enjoys playing with his friends at daycare, church, and down the street. He is also a big sponge that loves to take in every bit of information and knowledge he can.
I just have one more member of the family to introduce and that would be Bocephus. He is our four-legged family member and has been with us for nearly 8 years. He loves to play outside, go for walks, and drool for our food. Silly dog! He is the best cuddle buddy and guard dog. He enjoys having visitors over and he gets especially excited when they come to play with him! However, most of the time, you will find him sprawled out on our bed or curled up on the couch.
So, that’s a really short synopsis of “us”. Life around here can get crazy at times but we just take those precious moments in and cherish every second. Please come back to visit soon and again, thanks for stopping by!