September 05, 2012

Wednesday- Wise Words for Wallys

Funny post title. When I was carrying all our children before their birth we called them Wally 1, Wally 2, and Wally 3. The name has stuck and as I was having my quiet time with the Lord this morning I thought of how Wednesdays can be our days of sharing the Wisdom we are gaining through spreading joy. 

So the wisdom that we shared this morning before daddy took all of them to have donuts was how God takes everything and makes it good for His glory. It is hard to imagine this when we are hurting, cancer strikes, a job gets lost, or your child does not take on your faith as their own. However, God has shown our family we can stand firm in His plan that he knows what today brings, he forgives what happened yesterday if we messed up, and he holds tomorrow in his hands. His mercies are new everyday for us. What FREEDOM!Today's Wise Words for Wally's is that our response to having no one we know in class, having a teacher we do not click with yet, rejection, physical pain reveals if we really believe the Truth from God's word. So as we walk through this week we are asking ourselves, "Do I live as though I believe God works in everything to bring out the good?"We are claiming Romans 8:28 for ourselves this week. In our kitchen I have a plate where I write the verse we are gaining wisdom from. I also love fresh flowers because the make me smile!

Having this wisdom helps me go through my to-do list asking what is His purpose this week. So here is my list of all the things I want to do to bring Him glory to join Him in working good out of everything:

  • Write a note to a friend who is hurting
  • Have coffee with a new friend
  • Call another new mom and invite her daughter to Kathryn's bible study.
  • Kiss my kids more
  • Not just ask how their day was, LISTEN.
  • Take more photos of what they are doing each day...reading, playing Stack the States, Homework.

  • Pray for my husband's busy schedule that he would be sustained.
  • Ask my husband, "What can I do for you today?", DO IT.

This was on our Honeymoon. Wow we were young! 

  • Pray the verses all my couples bible study friends are claiming to overcome this week.
  • Pray for the women in my new bible study.
  • Make a menu for all the food I bought from my favorite places so we can have dinner together.

  • Do not listen to the LIES that distract me from doing His good.
  • Listen to my favorite Praise music each day.
  • Go to the gym to continue getting STRONGER for the family He blessed me to have.
  • Love those around me, be willing to say YES Lord....

How do you encourage your family to grow in Wisdom? Please share the wisdom you are growing in this week.
Thankful for His Wisdom,Shari

September 04, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

I had a dear friend, Holly Johnson, post about my blog the other day and I wanted to share what she said because she captured exactly what Joy is to me:

Joy is not who you are,
Joy is not where you are,
Joy is not who you are with,
Joy is not what you are doing,
Joy IS what you think about all the above.

This is so true and exactly what led me to start a blog. I think it is so critical for us as moms and wives to think about the JOY in our lives. The joy that we can extend to others and the joy that is extended to us. I have been so grateful for how starting this blog because it has slowed me down in my life and made me become aware of all the little gifts and what I think of the joy they spread. Here are a few of them from our past Labor Day weekend.

Kathryn and her best friend Cora playing Trouble. We had so much
rain that we had to find things to do inside. These smiles bring joy!
Aaron's buddy Evan spreads so much joy because he loves to
do things other than play electronics. They have old-fashioned fun
Emma spent time looking at Olivia's new photography blog. She
also spent hours under a blanket reading.
This moment spread joy to so many 5th and 6th graders.
One of Emma's dreams came true when she performed with
a praise band on Sunday for church. She knows how to
connect with God through music.
OK so it brought me joy that we rode our
bikes as a family to a local outdoor mall for lunch.
The funny of the day was Aaron's pedal kept
falling off. He brings such joy with his calm attitude.
Kathryn learning to make herself eggs in the morning.
This gives me such JOY that she will
be a great Mom some day.
Here is a list of the rest of the ways I think we had JOY....
  • Aaron finally grew enough to ride his "Big Boy" bike.
  • Emma and Kathryn spent time crafting.
  • I talked to a dear friend and encouraged her that her daughter would begin to find peace with school.
  • Prayed for all the women who are in the study I am helping lead.
  • Took a walk with Mark and Sadie (the dog) while our kids read their books in bed.
  • Mark and I cleaned the garage and made our lives more organized.
  • We all laughed so long at a funny movie we watched together.
  • We had so much awesome family together time.
  • Mark and I had good talks about the kids and growing them to be more aware of how they pick their friends in a way that they are encouraged to stay thinking about J(esus) O(thers) Y(ou).
Thanks for stopping by to catch how we spread joy,

September 01, 2012

Where we spread joy and found joy this week...

This week was the first full week of my kids back in school. It is always bittersweet for me when they go back to school because I miss them being here but I know they are where they are suppose to be. I have yet to write my "About Me" section that tells you where the Go Spread Joy came from. It started when my husband and I felt led to send our kids to public school. We felt led to send them into the community where God had placed us to spread joy to those who might not know Jesus. How they have done that ten-fold and we are always amazed at how God continues to stretch us to do the same.

So as this blog develops I would like to share each week how we have gone and spread joy or how we have witnessed it being spread to us. So here is one of my favorite ones this week. Kathryn is our middle daughter and she started 5th grade this year. Fifth grade is a new school where our district combines all 5 elementary schools into one school. So the chances of you getting friends from your elementary is slim to none. We had hoped, we had prayed she would get someone she knew. Well God had a different plan. She got no one she knew well in her class or lunch period. She is a two friend kind of girl so this was going to be hard. She began to get to know two girls in her class and by the end of this week she already had a play date with each of these new friends. Most importantly, I was brave enough to take my "Go Spread Joy" motto to heart and call one of the girls mothers not even knowing her name. Now this little girl will attend the bible study I am going to lead for Kathryn and her friends and the mom will attend the prayer group I help lead for the schools. GOD IS SO GOOD and his timing is always right. This mom was so thankful I called and reached out. There is my Go Spread Joy moment for the week.

Here are a few of our moments from the past week and a half that I am thankful for:

Daddy and little man before the first day of school.

First day of school with the girls. Yes it was dark because they catch the bus at 6:45 am.

One of my favorite things to do spread joy to my kids with
special treats when they get home.

Emma today noticed that the trellis this clematis is growing on is from a
bench they sat on when they were toddlers.
I love how Mark is training this new vine to grow up,
just as God is training us to grow up in Him.

As Kathryn and I sat on the back porch last night we saw a Blue Moon.
Kathryn finds joy in creation...thanks God for this after a long week.

Thanks for stopping by to see how we are Spreading Joy,


August 29, 2012

Like so many things in life this has gotten away from me. Our summer has ended and we are in the second week of school. I had pondered this blog for a year, was so excited to start it and then all our travels began. I have had to realize I am a person who needs structure. Why is this so surprising since God is a god of order. I have not gotten into a rhythm of this blog being in my daily, weekly or monthly life yet. I so aspire to be a blogger. I read them, I am inspired by them, I learn from them, I am hoping to have one be a part of my life....

So I would like to begin my second attempt at blogging by sharing highlights from July and August of this year.

We enjoyed swim team in our neighborhood and both our youngest children received the award for Most Improved in their age range. We enjoyed getting to know some of our neighbors better and got to spend time with some we rarely see.
Our little bug doing Breast Stroke. Oh how I did not realize how much I missed seeing them swim the past two years we have not swam on team.

Aaron could barely swim across the pool before we started the team. He was ready all the time to learn a new stroke and compete in the race for the new stroke.

Oh the sharpie arms with their name and all their heats and strokes.

Swim Team is as much about the snacks as it is the swimming!


We spent a lot of time in MI. Thank you to my in-laws for having us so much. We have never had friends come to stay until this year. For my birthday some dear friends the Trent's came with two of their boys. The weather was not the best, but we made the most of it. We especially enjoyed ourselves when other friends, the McCoeys, stopped by the beach for the day. What great food and fellowship!

 Smores on the beach! Best because we get to see the sunset as well!
What a gift to spend my birthday with one of my dearest friends. Thanks Kel!

We loved sailing in Papa's and Grammy's new sailboat.

I am amazed how life is orchestrated sometimes with moments that leave a mark on our lives even when we do not know it is happening. Our second daughter turned 10 in June and only wanted to her three best friends to go to Grammy and Papas on Lake Michigan. From that desire sprang a desire to take the next step in her faith and get baptized. This is the moment I was just referring too...the one where we get a glimpse as a parent into our child's heart and we are inspired by their step of faith. Below are some of my favorite pictures from this time in MI. Her love for nature and all the is created is why she desired to be baptized in one of her favorite creations and by her dad. Bonus was that my Mom was there with us from NC. Thank you MOM!

Kathryn's baptism in Lake Michigan with Daddy! He shared why we get baptized from scripture and she shared her testimony. This is the moment that inspired me!
My Mom and Kathryn. What a special moment to experience as a grandparent. Thank you mom for being there with us!

Kathryn's love for the Lord is contagious!
So proud to call you my husband. Thank you for leading us and encouraging our faith.

Little Kathryn, her three besties, Aaron and Emma dug the deepest hole I have ever seen. Then they spent hours jumping over it and me capturing them in mid-air.
Having fun playing outdoor games for Kathryn's 10 Birthday Party.

My Mom treated the kids and I to a few days on Mackinaw Island. Can you imagine life with NO automobiles? It was great. We rode 9 miles around the island and just enjoyed the history of the island. We were so blessed throughout our times in MI with a family down the beach from my in laws. They are one of the most generous families I have ever met. We enjoyed tubing on the their boat, kayaking, their porch in Mackinaw and their grand kids!

Mom and I taking a break from biking on the Island.

Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island.
Memaw and kids at our favorite rock along our horse and buggy tour.
We went back to MI for our annual Walpole/Oskam week away from reality. 7 cousins, 6 adults, and a dog. What fun we had riding a Dune Buggy on the Dunes at Silver Lake. It was a treasure to hear my husband and his family remembering the houses they rented on Silver lake when he was our children's age. Oh how things sift as we get older...that is the sand from the dunes.
We had so much fun Cousins!
What a great picture of an amazing family. I thank God often for the family I am gifted with through marriage. We have such good times. Thank you Papa and Grammy.
After MI we hosted my family at our house in IN. My mom and her friend Frank brought my nieces early and we enjoyed pool time, adventures in the woods, a water park and much more. Once my sister arrived we took off to Chicago for the day (only girls) while the boys went to Cincinnati for a baseball game. We enjoyed our last day of the summer with Aunt Na Na driving through the streets my husband and I owned our first home. We found an incredible Bistro on the Canal and had the best meal of the week. Then school began....
My kids and my sisters girls feeding the ducks in our neighborhood.
A day at the water park. It was cold. They are so funny. This is Elaina my sweet 8 year old niece.
This is the niece that changed my life. After meeting her day 2 of her life I decided I had all my priorities wrong. One year later we had Emma. I love Carly's sense of humor and her smile.
The top of the Hancock Building was more than I expected. The girls loved cleaning the windows and watching the air show.

What a day all because of my mom. Thank you for allowing all of us to see the best sites in Chicago.
Hancock Building, Navy Peer, the Bean, American Girl Doll Store, and the fountains. You are the best!
Taken from the Ferris Wheel. I love Chicago.....
I love you Rene! I love your free spirit combined with your unwavering faith.
Thank you for spending you days off with us. You are a delight.
OK I promise to never have such a long post. Goodbye summer and hello school year where we talk about Spreading Joy every day to those around us. I hope you join us again to see how we are spreading joy.....
Thank you God for all the joy I got to
see spread and my cup is overflowing.

July 06, 2012

4th of July Party

Too many days have gone by and I can admit I am still getting the hang of how to post and when to post and what to post. Thank you for stopping by to read my musings of the joy we spread and experience.....

Do you have those places and events in your life that leave an imprint on your life? We have not been able to attend our friends family 4th of July party in 4 years due to going to Lake MI each year. This year we decided since the 4th was on a Wed we would go. The moments I experienced on this day will be etched in my mind for years to come. The Trent's live in one of the most wonderful small towns in IN called Flora. Their house is set in front of some old railroad tracks and they even have a caboose to stay over in or for the kids to find ours of joy playing.
We played hours of corn hole, saw their 94 year old grandmother's quilts, helped the kids build a human pyramid, laughed, went to the greatest fireworks and of course ate. Before dinners prayer Mr. Trent told us they had been having this party for 13 years. We have attended it at least 9 of those those years. I treasure all of the memories of taking our kids pictures on the caboose stairs, lady talk time, sharing how God has worked in our lives, and time for kids to bond. Here are some of my favorite pictures that do not do justice to the actual experience:
Kids on our favorite caboose!

Love pitch-in dinners!

Kathryn trying to find  way to
cool off in over 100 degree weather.

Grandma's quilts!

  Inside the caboose made
for HOURS of fun.

Emma and two dear friends from church.

 Kids Pyramid. They were wet and this made
it difficult to hold eachother.

Aaron loved being on the TOP of the pyramid!
Thank you to all these hands who
made the yummy food and awesome fellowship!

All the men who enjoyed hours of corn hole.

Thank you to all these women (and some missing ones)
teach me through their example
how to love the Lord and our families.

Getting ready to enjoy the fireworks.