Thursday, January 22, 2015

In sickness and in health

It's winter, right?  No...it's spring.  Wait, it's back in the 30's again today, but it was in the 60's this past weekend.  This season has been absolutely menopausal! 

How is the weather in your neck of the woods?  In Northwest Arkansas, it has been a roller coaster ride from one day to the next with the weather swinging on a pendulum...from one extreme to the other.  No wonder it's a season for sickness.  It has been that way in my house since everyone has battled some kind of sickness for the past several weeks.  It seems to be more allergy or virus related than the flu (that is throwing in one case of Strep), so for that I'm thankful; however, viruses take a while to kick since it needs to run its course...and trust me... it's ran an ultramarathon.  

My heart is heavy for a sweet 5 year old that died, in Oklahoma, from flu complications.  I cannot fathom the pain the family must feel and I pray that the Lord will give them peace and comfort that only HE can give!  It causes me to fall on my knees and give THANKS to Jesus for viruses that we CAN kick; for strep that heals WITH antibiotics; and for allergies that CAN be managed with medication.  Oh Lord...be with those who need healing beyond that which modern medicine cannot cure.  Let us not take that for granted!

As I am typing the sun just peaked behind a cloud...releasing some beautiful light into my husband's home office.  Behind every dark cloud there is light.  Is there a light behind your dark cloud?  Are you deep in the middle of a sick household, overwhelmed by anxiety that clinches your chest, clouded by a dark cloud that envelopes your very heart and soul?  I am SO grateful that HE is an ever present light in this very dark world!

John 8:12 (NIV) says:  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out with the old....

2015 is just around the corner...and at the end of the day 2014 will be a memory.  Before you know it, 2015 will be in the rearview mirror too.  Lucy Maude Montgomery in her classic book Anne of Green Gables said, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”  What are some of the mistakes you would love to erase in 2014?  I can think of many of mine:

  • Insecurity
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Envy
  • Pride
  • and much more....

The above were just honest samplings of my experiences in 2014; however, if we are all honest...haven't we all had those very same issues pop in from time to time?  I truly believe the root of all evil is INSECURITY.  If we are insecure...do we not worry?  If we are insecure about something...are we anxious or worry about it (and constantly think of things to change or fix it)?  If we are insecure...are we not envious about others that seem to have it "all together"?  If we are insecure...does our selfish pride find excuses why we are better?  Seriously?  Aren't we all in the same boat? 

2014 wasn't a hard year for "me" specifically; however, I saw friends deal with death, separation, job loss, illnesses, financial  hardships and other tough life issues that caused me to be on my knees so much in prayer that I sometimes lost sight to pray for my own family.   In November, a revival broke out in my church that made me seriously pray for my family.  I prayed that the spirit would so move in my family that if any one of us truly weren't HIS that the spirit would make us UNCOMFORTABLE!  Guess what....He did just that.  My 15 year old daughter was weepy and doubted her faith for a few weeks before we finally nailed down her salvation.  I allowed a few weeks to lapse only to make sure she just didn't suffer a period of doubt (even Christians have moments of doubt), and to truly make a decision that would stick....and she did.  The joy and peace that she had from the minute she said AMEN was life altering!  Are you praying that the spirit will make those you love uncomfortable until they are His? 

Out with the old...2014 you are in the rear view mirror!  2015...you are my blank slate....no mistakes in it unless I put it there.  2014 my life word was INTENTIONAL and my life verse was Joshua 1:8-9.  I constantly prayed for my friends and family, truly invested myself to helping God's people and being more intentional with my time.  2015 my (OUR....I am picking a FAMILY one this year) life word is HEALTH.  It's a weird word to choose...since it isn't an action verb; however, it is a noun.  It must sound selfish to pick a word that is focused more on "me" (us) as the subject, huh?  I picked this word since I want to heal myself from the inside out...not just for me, but for my family.  Scripturally, Jehovah-Rapha, God our Healer, can do just that.  Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.  Psalm 103:2-4 (our Life Verse).  Physically, I can focus what goes into our body by making better food choices and finding ways to make my family more physically active.  Mentally/emotionally, I can make genuine strides to put away insecurity and focus on being exactly what God has for me each day.

Bring on 2015!!  Bring on HEALTH:  from the inside out.  It will be a more healthier me, a more healthier family...and I can promise we will have more energy to give and invest in ourselves and others. 

What are your plans for 2015?  Do you have a life word?  A life verse?  I encourage you to find one, write it down and SHARE!  You are more than welcomed to copy mine...word for word, verse for verse.  The key is to share...this will help you to encourage others to be more INTENTIONAL with making a goal for 2015.  SEE what I just did?  I closed my very last post, on the very last day of 2014 being INTENTIONAL!  Time to stop looking in the rear view mirror as you cannot change one thing in 2014....but 2015 is 365 days of new opportunities.  Choose each day wisely. 

My hope for you:  May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4

Blessings to your new year,
Angie

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Blessings

 
Merry Christmas from the Slones!

As I look over my friends blogs, while attempting to venture posting more blog entries, I notice they post a lot of pictures.  My post from last Christmas was basically a pictureless post...making it merely an electronic Christmas newsletter.  That was my intent then; however, since I want to post more entries as an avenue to scrapbook the life with my people...I need to get with the program.  Bear with me as I share Christmas in my little town with my precious people.  Also, please keep in mind that many of my friends and family recieved Christmas postcards with a link to this blog, so I will update a bit about each member of my family.   I PROMISE my future posts won't be as long!  :)

I will forever and ever LOVE the picture above from our previous homeowners and friends (Vandenburgs).  The DETAIL in each snowflake is amazing and the glow of the lights and the snow makes it a Hallmark picture.  This picture makes me think of Christmas, although...it's not likely it'll be a white Christmas this year.

Since I cannot "dream of a White Christmas", I chose to make snowmen in a different fashion.  I love how my front porch turned out.  I kind of like snowmen as you can see.  :)

I have several trees throughout the house and pretty much have every room decorated, but will spare all those pictures, but I do LOVE the glow of the tree in the media room from the stairway.   I am one of those that would LOVE to leave Christmas up all year round.  Call me weird, but I do so love the lights and decorations. 

As promised, I do plan to update on the Slone happenings for our friends and family that we don't get to keep in touch with very often (not by choice...but life happens).  Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, and I will try to make it quick:

Greg is still working for Walmart Corporate and has been with the company for over 12 years now.   When he's not working, he is working out...literally.  He is into Cross-Fit, golfs on a league and is working with Baylie with softball.  He rarely sits still...that's why he is married to me. (I need a smiley face emoji)

Rylie is an honors sophmore and is busy all the time!  She is extremely active with our youth group and is on the leadership team.  She is in the process of saving and doing fundraisers to help fund her mission trip to Ecuador next summer.  She is beyond excited about it.  She sings with the youth choir and is in Sophmore select choir with her High School.  She started Debate this year and made 3rd place in her very first tournament as a novice (against champs).  We always thought she could argue...now we have proof! :)

Baylie is in 6th grade and is extremely busy athletically (while Rylie artistically).  All last year we were literally in basketball or softball practices and had games or tournaments almost every weekend (sometimes at the same time).  Baylie finally decided she like softball better and wanted to work on that craft, so she dropped basketball.  She played softball, for years, on a local Rec league and a few weeks ago tried out for a travel league and made the team.  I was so proud of her, but her daddy (Mr. Baseball) was thrilled!  :)   She also picked up an instrument this year:  Alto Sax.  She's not so sure she loves the instrument, but she is learning music, so it makes her Momma happy!

As for me....I am still doing the same things, working at home or at the church.  I still help as a coordinator for VBS, work with our preschool/nursery, direct 5th/6th grade choirs (we have a big church, and the grades are separated), sing in the choir, play handbells...and many other things, but I don't want to bore anyone! ;)

Bottom line:  This family is BUSY!  We wouldn't have it any other way. Everything we do...we do together.  Our Christmas blessings remain in the blessing of each other, but more importantly....in the one who gave every perfect gift:  JESUS. 

 

Merry Christmas from the Slones.  We wish you all the happiest of holidays and a wonderful New Year!  Thank you for taking time to read this LONG post.  Please drop a line and let me know you stopped by...I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Angie

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Be the ONE

For those that have been blogging for a while...have you ever wondered if anyone reads it?  Do you remember the first comment you received on a published post?  Well, after my second published post, I received one last night.  Thank you Robbie!   I even gained another follower! :)   A comment truly makes a difference!


I  was having  my quiet time, this morning, and a thought came to my mind "Be the One".  I thought about...during this time at Christmas...how we each could "Be the One" to simply share Jesus by merely saying "Merry Christmas".  A simple smile and a COMMENT could lift ones spirits dampened by financial woes, marital stresses, loved ones battling cancer, loss of a job and and many other things that takes the joy out of the holidays for so many.   A comment last night propelled me to write another post, so think what a comment would do for someone you meet at the Walmart checkout, a Santa line at the mall, a frazzled Mom with tired kids or other places along your daily journey?  What would a comment do for you at this very moment?




Can I just say how LONG it took for me to find a way to post the above picture? :)  I will spare all the issues with text boxes and microsoft word.  I had an amazing clip art background that I never could get to work that, when I originally saw it, caused me to look at the statement "Be The One" in a different light...reducing me to tears, but I could never get it to post.  I had to use word art and text boxes to drive my point across. 

When you look at the picture above...it's merely be the one; however, when you move the 1 to the end...it becomes BETHEL.  In the original Hebrew, Bethel means "house of God".....a place to encounter God.  WOW!  If we are to Be The One...we need to encounter Him!  In the busyness of the season are you spending any time with the Lord?  In II Kings 22:1-11 you will find that King Josiah wanted to rebuild the temple that was in ruins.  During the clean up the "word of God" was found by those repairing the temple.  Bottom line:  the word of God was lost in the house of God.  I truly believe that happens to a lot of us.  Since we are a temple of the Holy Spirit, there are times that we lose the word of God in the "house of God".  Does His word abide in you?  Experience Bethel....find Him in your moment right now....Be the One to someone else, but don't short change yourself....put the word of God into your very own Bethel! 

Blessings to you and yours,

Angie









































 


 



















































































































































































































































































































































































































 

 

Learning the ropes

I have so many amazing friends that blog.  One of those friends is nationally (and internationally) known (kellyskornerblog) and she has a HUGE following. She makes it look SO easy!  I have to admit....and I don't know why, but I find it so intimidating.  Ugh!  I am a grammar freak, and if I accidently posted something wrong...I would fret about it for days.  If one of my English teachers/professors were to read this blog, they would cringe over my use of dot, dot dots (...).  I am obsessed with them in lieu of commas all the time.  I guess it's the way I talk...the pause, the southern drawl...who knows...I'm doing it again.  Lord help me!  Please tell me that I am not the only one that suffers from internet/blog fright?   I would LOVE to hear from readers/bloggers with pointers to overcome this anxiety!  I want to be me...to be authentic...to use this blog to journal the amazing life I have with my people...to share my FAITH....and to throw some occasional humor periodically for kicks (those that know my extended family knows this isn't occasional) :) 

The original intention, for this blog, was to be an "annual Christmas newsletter" in lieu of a paper one that I have sent for YEARS (decades more like it).  We chose to send a Christmas postcard, last year, and post my blog url on the card, which in turns saves on paper (earth friendly)...and if someone wants to read my blog...they can (or they don't have to as well...throwing the honesty out there).  Truly trying to save the earth, and attempting to be more "digital". 

I was updating my Christmas blog, tonight, and saw a LOT of traffic views.  I knew I didn't send that many Christmas cards last year, so I found that traffic came from a friend's blog. She posts blogs that she follows on the sidebar of her page.  Wow!!!  Does this mean I have to update more?  Is this the push that is necessary for me to put pen to paper...or fingers to keyboard?  Yikes.....

I have seriously considered this for YEARS....so I am asking you to bear with me as I charter this unknown territory.  I welcome those that stop by this way to post comments, feedback, pointers and encouragement as I "attempt" to step out of my comfort zone.  

So....here this goes...I'm about to publish this post and see where it takes me.  In the meantime...I hope you are being INTENTIONAL about this Christmas season.  Focus on the reason, the hope, the purpose, the mystery and the GIFT of that virgin birth.  HE is the reason for the season!!

Blessings to you and yours,

Angie

Isaiah 9: 6-7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Slones!

Merry Christmas!!

2013 is more of a "digital" age for the Slone's.  More for Angie, that is, since Greg is way more computer/tech savvy than his bride.  For over 16 years, Angie has made a newsletter each year that she sent out with Christmas cards to update friends and family near and far on the life and happenings of the Slone family.   Angie decided that it would be more productive, and more earth friendly, to send a regular postcard for Christmas and have a link to view a "blog" for a newsletter.  This way...if you want to get an update, you can...and if you are one that doesn't like reading them...well...you won't!  :)   We are thrilled you are reading this; hence, it shows that you are one that enjoys hearing from us.  Thank you!

As this blog is being typed, on a Monday, the kids have been out of school since the previous Thursday.  Almost a foot of snow, sleet and freezing rain has made the roads an icy mess.  It was great for a few days, but the snow days are cutting into summer plans!  

So far, 2013 has been a good year.  I'll try to update as much as I can, starting with Rylie:

The beginning of High School has brought a plethora of activities, including football games, dances, basketball games, choir concerts and MUCH more!  Everything was fine until we shopped for a Homecoming dress...it's real folks...just FOUR more years!! :(   It's hard to believe that Rylie is almost 15 (in May) and is in the NINTH grade!  She has been doing a wonderful job maintaining a 4.0 average.  She auditioned, last year, and made the Women's Advanced Choir in High School.  She had never been in any organized choir outside of church and made it.  She auditioned, recently, for All Region...and out of 180 Alto 1's that auditioned, she made SECOND chair.  She was ecstatic and we were so proud of our songbird!     She's still very active in her youth group at FBC-Bentonville and summers are literally a BLUR with all the camps, mission trips and bible studies they do during their summer break.  I can see why High School truly FLIES by!!  She is SO busy...ALL the time!  :(  I just want time to slow down a BIT....thankful for the snow days right now!

Baylie turned 11 in September and started a new school as well this year.  Baylie started middle school at Ruth Hale Barker Middle School and is in 5th grade.  She is having a good year so far and is making great grades, for which we are extremely thankful!  Baylie is our athletic child and she keeps us busy YEAR round with Spring and Fall softball and basketball.  Rather than playing with Upward Basketball, we had Baylie try out for a 6th grade team and she made it, so she is playing on a competitive league and is still working on getting more "aggressive" (something she had to curb with Upward!) :)   Baylie is also active with the children's activities at church like Rylie.  It's a task to stay on top of everything; however, church is like our second home and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Greg has entered his 11th year with Walmart and it's truly been a blessing.  He has done quite well with the company and we are blessed with God's favor and blessing upon him.  Greg assists with the coaches on Baylie's softball teams, so he really enjoys that.  He continues to play golf a LOT (leagues and tournaments), and he has joined the CrossFit craze.  So glad he has found things that will keep him active and will keep him healthy for a long time.

Angie is still at home attempting to keep the Slone household running smoothly.  She started working part-time at our church preschool to get out of the house a few days during the week.  Since it is tied to school hours, she is always off when the girls are off, so it hasn't ever interfered with the goal of being home with the kids and being active with their schools.  Between all these things, Angie is still directing children choir, singing in the church choir, playing handbells, co-directing VBS and  being  active with many ministries at FBC.  It's always been said Angie is a Martha...never a Mary! :)

We cannot forget our furry children: Chloe & Zoey (our miniature Schnauzers)...they add to the Slone's Adventures.

Lastly, we hope and pray as you read this that it has updated you in ways that sometimes we can't accomplish on our own.  We are grateful for each and every one of you and we know the Lord put you in our lives for a season...some long...some short.  Make no mistake...we are better because of you.  As you enter this Christmas season...please don't bog yourself down so much that you lose the HOPE of the season....the PURPOSE of the holiday: JESUS!  May He be your peace, may He be your joy and may He be your everything!! 

With all our love -
The Slone's