The Morse Family

Beyond Me

Beyond Me

Monday, November 26, 2012

Photo Card

Monogram Memories Christmas
Create unique Christmas cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Photo Card

Monogram Memories Christmas
Shutterfly has classic, elegant Christmas invitations for your party.
View the entire collection of cards.

Photo Card

Monogram Memories Christmas
Create from the Heart: photo Christmas cards from Shutterfly .
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


the kind of friend who calls at 430p to see if i would come over with the boys and have a glass of wine while she fixes dinner..
laughter as we watch it all unfold in the kitchen..the five kids, the dog, oh the drama..a knowing look passes between moms.
when she aches, i ache as if the pain were mine
our boys have a play date every week..we switch back and forth houses
the boys love one another so well, they genuinely care for one another and want to share the very best, the batman fighter guy
the mom moment when she drops him off and a look would pass quickly..the eyes say it the day/week is transpiring, sometimes leads to a chat, sometimes just the look is enough to know

anytime maxeys and morses are together fun is a given and depth expected.

i say i am no good at goodbyes, but truth be told i think i am a master of them. i feel them at the depth of my being. i know that this is what the Lord had in His plans all is so obvious that this is for His good and for His glory.  i look with expectation at what He has done and is going to do through your move.  i know it is best...but still, i ache.  i ache in my soul as i lay in bed tonight at the thought that our boys may not remember one another when they are grown. i mourn the ease and intimacy of our friendship, that will now be one of distance and facebook posts.

mostly, i just wanted to say that Heather, Jack, Jackson and RyJ love you, Katherine, Matt, Will, Annely Blake, Henry and "FLORIDA".

Assurance that Christ is At Work : 1 John 2:28-3:10

i have been attending a women's bible study on tuesday mornings at my church (Redeemer PCA).  this year, we are studying 1John.  It has been a great is always good for my soul to practice regular fellowship around the never returns void.  i have also been feeling a pull lately to listen online to sermons by some of the reformed pastors (keller and piper and others) who have great things to say about the texts that we have been studying.  today, i listened to a sermon on 1john3:1-10 by piper on the Gospel Coalition website.  here it is:
Let What You Hear From the Beginning Abide in You

it is a little on the long side..but

the question it tackles is how do people who have experienced the miracle of the new birth deal with their own sinfulness as they try to live in the full assurance of their salvation?

i struggle with questions like, "why do i still sin?" "why does sin matter to me, since i will never be sinless?" "why don't i have joy, if i believe the Gospel to be true?"  1 John addresses all of these questions.  John's first letter seems to be designed to help believers in the daily battle.  Piper says, "This book is written to help believers have the full assurance that they have been born again."  God wants His Children to experience Joy..a profound confidence that we have passed from death to life.

my struggle looks a little like this in my head, "i am a believer. i will go be with the king when i die. but i won't ever stop why try...where is my joy? i carry a feeling of defeat around.. what is the point of telling others about this faith of mine,if it doesn't produce change in my life. if it doesn't produce joy?"

so here i stand, a believer who knows my destiny, but is so "all or nothing" that i despair in my sin and live a life of tons of apathy about my unbelieving friends.

John warns against claiming to have a new birth when your life contradicts it, and John celebrates the advocate we believing sinners have in Christ.  The fact that we can be both Christians and sinners and drawing on Christ all at the same time and that is the way we show others Christ!?..This is exciting to me!  Assurance in my new birth can be found in how these truths function in my life..Assurance brings great joy.

so what i am saying is:
The Holy Spirit manifests both
1 John 3:9 "No one born of God makes a practice of sinning"
1 John 2:1 "We who sin have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous"
in the life of a believer.  "New birth has a spiritual discernment that senses how to use Johns' teaching to chasten the warnings and be sobered and be filled with joy and power because of the promise of an advocate."-John Piper

Proof/Assurance that I am a growing believer comes as I see the Holy Spirit showing me my sin, giving me power to put it to death, (ie. not living a life of practicing sin), and allowing the Father to be my advocate as I fall again and again.  That assurance that the Lord is indeed at work...making change where joy is found.

I don't know if any of this makes a ton of sense, as I am still trying to flesh all of this out..but it is just really meaty to me.  As a believer I am always "slipping into a lukewarm, careless, presumption frame of mind about my own sinfulness" but the Holy Spirit awakens me...As a believer I am always "sinking down in fear and discouragement and even despair though my righteousness, my love for people, and my fight against sin are just not good enough" but the Holy Spirit rescues me.  The redemptive power of God's word and His Spirit grants me to embrace both the warning and the comfort in a way that can bring...even me...Joy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


for those of you who may not know me personally, thinking too much about myself and and my body is the chief sin that i struggle with..looks like me having to repent many times in a day..repenting when i pass a mirror, repenting when i see an outfit i don't like, repenting when i spend lots of time thinking about what i am going to wear, repenting when i feel devastation because i missed a manifests itself in so many ways..i am repenting lots.

yesterday a new woman joined my table at women's bible study. she rolled into study in an electronic wheel chair with the biggest smile and sparkle in her eyes. she had on a pink "i love Jesus" hat..that she  quickly placed on her lap when she approached the table. her big smile brought joy to our table and also made me think too long about the teeth that her smile revealed. very crooked, very nasty teeth. i couldn't look at her face when i talked to her because i was afraid i would stare into her mouth too much. i tried to make small talk though. i wanted her to feel comfortable at our table, since i am the table leader that is kind of my job. everything i said, she smiled. with every smile was joy...and teeth. a constant internal reminder to me that i am God's child because i recognize His presence, but i am a wretched sinner because i can't look at yucky teeth.

the woman spoke none. she smiled lots. at one point during our study she pushed her scooter button to go in reverse to try to reach her slipper that had fallen off of her foot onto the floor.  without thinking, i reached down and grabbed the very dirty, very stinky slipper and put it on her very dirty, very stinky foot.  it was clear that she could not reach her feet easily. with that itty bitty act of service, i felt the Lord's presence very strongly inside of my body.

during prayer requests at the end of the study, she spoke. " know." is what she said.  with each word there was long pause and her eyes watered as if she was trying with all of her body to make her words come together and make sense.  at this point, another lady at the table explained to us that this woman had had a stroke and had trouble with speech and stringing words together.

we bowed our heads to is a popcorn style prayer where women at the table take turns praying for one another. after a few of the other women at the table prayed, the woman began to pray.


i knew the moment that she got the first word out of her soul into the room, that many tears were about to flow from my soul. i began to cry and after the first tear rolled down my cheek, the large amount of tears began to wash my face, my shirt, and my pants.  the Lord used her prayer mightily in my innermost being. her prayer was cleansing to me.

she lacked every worldly idol to which i cling. her testimony had power. her joy was overwhelming.

My Father is alive.  His plans are perfect.  He is always at work.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My web doesn't cover me but my God's clothing is armor!

Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,

or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;

but your iniquities have made a separation

between you and your God,

and your sins have hidden his face from you

so that he does not hear.

For your hands are defiled with blood

and your fingers with iniquity;

your lips have spoken lies;

your tongue mutters wickedness.

No one enters suit justly;

no one goes to law honestly;

they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,

they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.

They hatch adders' eggs;

they weave the spider's web;

he who eats their eggs dies,

and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.

Their webs will not serve as clothing;

men will not cover themselves with what they make.

Their works are works of iniquity,

and deeds of violence are in their hands.

Their feet run to evil,

and they are swift to shed innocent blood;

their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;

desolation and destruction are in their highways.

The way of peace they do not know,

and there is no justice in their paths;

they have made their roads crooked;

no one who treads on them knows peace.

Therefore justice is far from us,

and righteousness does not overtake us;

we hope for light, and behold, darkness,

and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.

We grope for the wall like the blind;

we grope like those who have no eyes;

we stumble at noon as in the twilight,

among those in full vigor we are like dead men.

We all growl like bears;

we moan and moan like doves;

we hope for justice, but there is none;

for salvation, but it is far from us.

For our transgressions are multiplied before you,

and our sins testify against us;

for our transgressions are with us,

and we know our iniquities:

transgressing, and denying the Lord,

and turning back from following our God,

speaking oppression and revolt,

conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

Justice is turned back,

and righteousness stands far away;

for truth has stumbled in the public squares,

and uprightness cannot enter.

Truth is lacking,

and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him

that there was no justice.

He saw that there was no man,

and wondered that there was no one to intercede;

then his own arm brought him salvation,

and his righteousness upheld him.

He put on righteousness as a breastplate,

and a helmet of salvation on his head;

he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,

and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.

According to their deeds, so will he repay,

wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;

to the coastlands he will render repayment.

So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west,

and his glory from the rising of the sun;

for he will come like a rushing stream,

which the wind of the Lord drives.

"And a Redeemer will come to Zion,

to those in Jacob who turn from transgression," declares the Lord.
 "And as for me, this is my covenant with them," says the Lord: "My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring," says the Lord, "from this time forth and forevermore." (Isaiah 59:1-21

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

printing pictures from your iphone

Haven't you always wondered how to print all of those pictures that you take with your take them, you love them, you share them on facebook.. then they kind of go into an abyss called the camera roll...well, I finally found out how to print them at a photo store!!! yay!!!

here are the steps...

ok so you go to the app store on your upload the free walgreens click on it once it is done can automatically access all pictures on your click on the ones you want to can click on 5 at a time..after uploading 5 you hit print button..then it uploads the 5 pictures...then you can always hit the back button and print more and more and more..once you are done uploading all of the ones you want to print at walgreens, then it says "would you like to upload more?" hit "no" when you are done..then an "order prints" screen comes can choose how many of each print you want and what size (i wish you could choose for each individual print, but you can't)..each 4x6 is .29 cents which is pretty pricey..but I looked for a coupon code online...used the code PRINTIT40 (good until aug 4) and got 40% off the prints. Then you choose a walgreens store to send them too..and type in your contact info. Then submit. and enjoy touching, feeling, and framing your iphone pictures..finallly!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

still here

I am certain if you don't have me on your blogreader, I have lost your readership (is that a word?)...For this long break in blogging, I will blame the iphone and life.  I can't publish on my iphone, and I NEVER get to sit in front of my computer...either life is busy, or Jack is on.  It seems since my iphone, he has claimed the office pc for his own.  All is fair in love. He doesn't have an psycho, super addictive, new way to organize/life machine iphone, so I call it a great trade.

I didn't have a lot to say, just wanted all to know that I do still blog in theory.  I read all of your blogs more than I actually write something.  However, I am certain I will one day encounter one of those moments when you start writing a blog in your head and can't wait to get to a keyboard so you can unload it into the blog-sphere (sp? word?).

Until then, let's continue to live a life of repentance as we love and serve Jesus.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

this world bombards women on all sides..guilt if you stay at home and don't bring in money..guilt if you go to work and don't stay home..guilt if you send your kids to day care...guilt if you don't send them for enrichment early..guilt if you send them upstairs for rest time..guilt if you don't let them have independent play..guilt if you wash the dishes and turn your back while they play alone..guilt if you leave a pile of dishes in the sink while you play with them...guilt if you let your kids watch tv..guilt if you don't let your kids experience technology...

being a woman means having to have an answer for everything you choose to do and everything you choose not to do..IT.IS.EXHAUSTING. or is it?

So when I read this article floating around Facebook called, "Hands Free Mama"..I added one more thing to my list of things that I could feel guilt about.  geeesh!  Let me just say right up front that I definitely need to repent of spending mindless time in front of my iPhone screen..while my kids are playing..while I could be talking to them..Jackson has even said, "Mommy, will you listen to me?"  I for sure have some work to do with being more hands on with my kids.

When I need answers on how to think..I try to default to scripture.  What does God think about my role as a woman/wife/mother?  I know iPhones weren't invented back then..and maybe there are a lot of cultural jobs that don't translate into now..but what is important to Christ?

This is what Christ has called us to..straight from Proverbs 31.
noble character, lacking no value, brings family good, eager to work, thoughtful, works vigorously, strength, kind to those less fortunate, confidence in the Lord's protection of her family, profitable for her family, dignity, wise, shares faithful instruction, isn't idle, fears the Lord...

My iPhone assists me in relating to this is helpful in assisting me with completing the tasks that Christ has called me to is not will not make you a better mama if you don't have one. It is idleness, laziness, obsession with a thing that is sin.  Repent...turn away and fall into Jesus who knows that you aren't going to do everything perfectly...Talk about your tendencies towards sin to your children, to your your friends. Share with them that you fall short and that Christ loves you and fills that gap.

Who can illustrate the character of Christ perfectly?  Christ.  Who do I claim when I am not noble, when I lack value, when I bring my family evil, when I am not eager to do the work, when I am lazy, and weak, and thoughtless..when I fear and doubt Christ's protection of my family, when I am idle...when I lack wisdom...I turn away from the sin that so easily entangles me and I turn to Christ who loves me.  Jesus freed us from the guilt of our sin when he died in our place on the cross.

Let's not beat each other over the head with how short we fall and perpetuate the guilt that so easily brings us to a place of helplessness..let's point each other toward the One who conquered sin and said, "" (john 19:30)

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

right to the heart of the matter

I love this below chapter from the devotion book I am reading right now...It is just so perfect at describing exactly where I am right now.  I can feel the war inside of my soul right now..I can really see/feel the strong contrast between the light of Christ and the darkness of my sin..I am very aware of many areas of sin that I am holding onto.  I have just come to a place of prayer and constant repentance..filling my airspace with Christ, so that the sin can't I live second by second with the awareness of how far short I fall.

Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by: Paul David Tripp
page 59 in Ch. 18 Unfailing Love
I wish I would live with You in view;
Eyes to Your glory
Ears to Your wisdom
Heart for your grace.
But I live with me in view.
Eyes to my kingdom
Ears for my opinion
Heart captured by my will.
I know I was made for You,
I know that Hope
My agenda for every day,
Is to be found in You.
But I want my own kingdom
I love my own glory
I define my own meaning
I delight in my control.
I know You are not fooled
By my burnt offerings.
There's a war that never ends:
The battleground is my heart.
It's a moral skirmish
Between what You have ordained
And what I want.
So I don't find pleasure in Your glory,
I don't delight in Your law.
But my heart doesn't rest;
I know there's a better way.
I know You are God
And I am not.
My sin is more than
Bad behavior
A bad choice
Wrong words.
My sin is a violation of the relationship
That I was meant to have with You.
My sin is an act
Where I replace You
With something I love more.
Every wrong thing I do
A lack of love for You,
A love of self.
Help me
To see
To acknowledge
To weep
And say,
"Against You, You only have I sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight."
And then help me to rest
In Your mercy
In Your tender mercy
In Your faithful love,
Even as the war goes on.

What thing in life do you tend to want so badly that it tends to control you more than God's call, God's grace, God's glory, and God's kingdom?

What does it look like to embrace God's mercy and faithful love in the midst of the war?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

what really matters

let me get naked on here for a minute..

now that I got your attention, emotional nakedness is what I speak of..

I don't know if you remember this post...well, that day at the UGA game when I was uncomfortable with the outfit I had chosen and the body that was under the ugly outfit...repeated itself (sort of like that movie, Groundhog Day) many days before that day in September and many days after that day in september...The day would usually start with me looking in the full body mirror that is situated in my closet at outfit after outfit as I tore the fourth shirt off of my head because the second pair of jeans that I squeezed into wouldn't work with THAT shirt because it was too tight and you could see my muffin top..need a bigger, need a bigger pair of pants..well, maybe that fourth shirt will work with this third pair of pants? blood pressure rising..sweat begins to form on my get me, I know you do..although, I pray you don't...and you never have to endure such a struggle in your closet.

I looked at my my eyes as they searched for just one thing..just one thing that would look amazing..and I remember in my subconscious thinking, "Lord, just take this extra weight away!  Please, I know I never thought twice about what I was wearing before when I was slim..I just threw something on..Lord, make me back the way I was when I was confident!"

35 of the 40 pounds are finally gone!!! Celebration!!! Praise God!  Thank you Lord for helping me fit back into my skinny jeans!! Thank you for helping me to survive bathing suit shopping at target!!  Thank you for helping me look great in my small t-shirts again!  Problems solved, right?!

Wrong. I am here from the slimmer side to share some truth. It.didn't.go.away.  The problem looks different, but it didn't go away.  Tonight, I was sitting in the tub, where my two boys don't join me..therefore, where most of my thinking happens..This is the part that is hardest to type..the part where I get naked..and talk about my "now" thoughts.

Thoughts: "Thank you Lord for my body..I can actually look at it now without being critical..only 5 more pounds to lose..thank you for that fitness pal app on the iphone..maybe I will write a journal entry about how great it is...thank you for providing friends that support me and help me on my weight loss journey..and walk with me..and inspire me to look great...i look great...i hope i can maintain this weight..i actually fit into ALL of my clothes..I feel sexy...and on and on and on...more of the same thoughts about my body, my clothes, my progress, my runs, my pace times, my ...."

Getting healthy is great! My Fitness Pal app is genius! Whoever thought of it deserves a prestigious award!  Looking great in jeans is a definite perk..BUT where is the room in my streaming thoughts for what is eternal?

Laying in bed tonight, I read a really applicable chapter in Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by Paul David Tripp (thanks God!)..The whole book is focused around Psalm 51.

(a little background)
Psalm 51 is a psalm about how God meets David (and us) in his moment of greatest sin (watching Bathsheba bathe, taking her to bed with him, killing her husband...etc...--you couldn't get content this juicy on your juiciest Bachelor episode..) and transforms Him (and us) by His amazing Grace.  

So after David has confessed to God all of His putrid sin, he ends his prayer with a prayer for prosperity..The really applicable chapter that I read tonight.  Chapter 16 The Gospel of Prosperity is a chapter that focuses in on the following verses:

Psalm 51:18-19
New International Version (NIV)
18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

David isn't requesting to look great in His skinny that he can get dressed in the morning without emotional distress..He doesn't even pray for the Zion to prosper so that it will be a nation that needs no God interventions...what he requests is not a prayer for personal or social prosperity.  He has lived a selfish existence..and he has been changed by the living God.  David is asking for God to prosper His nation, so that they will begin living for God's kingdom and God's glory.

My idol is my body.  When I am fat, I obsess about it.  When I am not fat, I obsess about it. I can't take it with me when I die.  It won't help my friends know Jesus, when they see me looking HOT in my size 2 jeans (a girl can still

It is here that I must repent of worshiping what is not the Living God.  Turn away from thoughts of me.  I am nothing without Christ.  My sin is obvious before me, before you, before Him..

Matthew 6:19 (NLT)
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[d] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

It is my hope and prayer that as I confess my sin to will read words that sound familiar.  That maybe, if you haven't already, you will begin to see your own sin. What is your answer for sin?  Does it have a place in the way you think about life?  My answer for sin can be found in the person of Jesus Christ.  He took my sin (and your sin) upon Himself on a wooden cross..committed his spirit into the hands of Satan.. ascended into Hell...and defeated death..rose from the only one who can defeat sin and death..and my idol is no surprise to Him. 

He loves me.

without condition.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oprah's interviews of famous people always captivate me..I dvr all of them and watch them in some of my quick moments i have for myself.

just finished watching Oprah's interview of Lady Gaga...after watching such a beautiful, creative, dynamic, and thinking woman...I had a thought..well, i had lots of thoughts..but I will save one for this post.

Lady Gaga is talking about writing a song..each song/performance/idea is a 'journey' she has been through that she is trying to convey to the audience/the world..she is trying to get the world to believe the this case, the message being we were each born the way we are for a purpose..we are each special, unique, lovely..hiding self is hiding purpose.  as Lady Gaga is talking about the song/idea "Born this Way", The Lord reached through the tv screen and applied something to my heart.  Gaga said, "I hit a have to hit a nerve...if you don't hit a nerve, it won't erupt.  I am not interested in lukewarm.  I want to get you to be a part of this message that will change everything."

in some ways i am so harnessed (i say in some ways because i know lots of you know me and know lots of ways that i am not harnessed..)..example: my ear is listening as a dear friend is sharing treasures of her life..snapshots of what her life entails behind closed doors... snippets of lies she told, things she loves, things she wants, hate she harbors..i see quick glimpses of what is real in her world. in every instance where what is real plays peak-a-boo with what is presented, i quickly have a choice...address what is real or believe what is presented.  Gaga said, "I hit a have to hit a nerve...if you don't hit a nerve, it won't erupt.  I am not interested in lukewarm.  I want to get you to be a part of this message that will change everything." eruption..that is what Christ desires.  as i choose not to believe only what is presented, and I talk about/address what is real...hitting a nerve will happen. hitting a nerve scares me. hitting a nerve is what keeps me from always going there. going to that real place..talking about the reality that my dear friend is facing..eternally my dear friend is wasting away..her only joys are the joys that she is experiencing right now..that were she to die right now, she would die. be completely separated from all joy, all peace, all love..a complete separation from her Father, her Creator...i am sin makes my life about me..and i am fearful the alter of myself will be knocked down...but when Christ is my journey and not self..I am not afraid...i/He talks about what is real...i/He is not harnessed...i/He hits that nerve..He comes into me..and ultimately causes eruption. eruption within me..eruption within my friend. He is not interested in lukewarm..HE.WILL.CHANGE.EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


question number 11 on our women's bible study sheet prompted this post.

it asks, "what are the most significant lessons you have learned from acts?"

like any lessons in learn them over and over again until you get to some of these lessons i am learning for the 5th or 50th time.

life doesn't always go as planned and doesn't always feel good/right...but it always goes according to God's plan and always is perfect at bringing Glory to God and bringing His children to a saving knowledge of Him.
-i can't even count the number of times paul's is arrested, detoured, or goes the long way to a place..things that just didn't make sense..if his mission was to bring the Good news to as many as possible throughout the world..but the journey made perfect sense to God.

living life has lots of perks..lots of friendships..lots of fun journeys..lots of heart aches..lots of emotional ups and downs..but the ONLY real purpose for being here is to bring God glory...spread the truths about Him to everyone who will hear us.
-paul was given his mission in acts 1..and he didn't get caught up in worshiping his circumstances, his gifts, his friends, or even harping on how hard things  In acts 28, he is still at it..telling all around him about Jesus.

if you are losing sight of your mission, you are probably not staying connected to your I was thinking about a friend who i am having trouble reaching out to..and then it hit me..i am having trouble thinking of what to say because I am not in the word studying my Father's words..and I am not praying/talking to Him about her.
-paul had lots of struggles and hard times..and he never ceases turning to His Father for direction and support. signing hymns in prison, praying, talking to God, asking those in fellowship with Christ for direction...

Acts 1:8
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Look to Jesus, receive His power, receive His love and testify to what He is doing to those around through words and love.

Monday, February 27, 2012


i went on a women's retreat a few weeks ago..and one of the things that stalked me when i got home was a truth that I learned about keeping it real. i try to keep it real..tell the bad and the ugly stuff...but at this retreat, it occurred to me that, while keeping it real, i can tend to complain or grumble about the plate that the Lord has handed i am just wanting to tell a goody...a gift the Lord gave me today through Jackson.

the past month or so jackson has really been struggling with perfectionism..and we have also been learning the letters of his name. How the perfectionism manifests itself in learning his letters is..let me give you an example: Last Friday we were doing chalk letters outside on the sidewalk...jackson would go FAR away from me and write his letters in secret.  He called me over to see his "J" after he finished many minutes of drawing letters. I came over and was so excited about all that he had done..he did an "A" and a "C" AND the "J" that he wanted to show me. I was so proud of him. But he started crying..saying that the "A" and the "C" were actually a ladder and a man consecutively...I knew that they were letters that he didn't like, so he was making them into something else.  The only thing I could do is pray for that little man's heart that he will Know the truth..that Jesus is the only perfect one and we can enjoy the freedom of relying on Him for His grace amidst our shortcomings.

so fast forward to today. today i sat with jackson at the writing table and we were working on writing his name again..he wrote the whole thing (i helped with the k and the s--and he let me!) and had a smile on his face the WHOLE TIME!  The name wasn't written perfectly..but He enjoyed writing it..and he completed it without making a letter into a ladder or a man!

as i was putting a load into the laundry, I remembered that smile that he had on his face...

the Lord used me to teach my son to write his name AND to teach my little man an important truth in His word...and I see growth!

i got goose bumps in that moment.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

on children (in a post to a friend on facebook)

Having Jackson and Ryan Jefferson is the most rewarding job I have ever been given the privilege of doing. Children are a huge blessing from the Lord. Just like anything worthwhile, you have to sacrifice and work hard. Other things under the same category would be the christian walk, marriage, siblings, relationships of any kind..loving something more than yourself doesn't come naturally to sinful human beings but sacrificial love forces us to come face to face with Christ. Staring into Christ's eyes is the only way I ever want to live. Follow His calling and you will struggle but you will be fulfilled as you lead a life that glorifies Him. I know that was a little more than you asked for but I have been thinking on this a lot thankful I am for the way He is teaching me to love and teaching me about himself through my children.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

on paul

have been studying the book of acts in women's bible study this season..the book of acts follows the spread of the gospel after Jesus is taken up to heaven. verse 7 gives a summary of the movement of the message.."you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

as readers, we have been following paul's journey as he shares the gospel with jews and gentiles, rich and poor, women and men, educated and uneducated...etc.

you know how things can kind of stalk you? ex. a song lyric you can't get out of your head, an idea that you MUST carry out in order to get it off of your mind, or maybe a truth from a sermon that just keeps rolling around in your head and heart...

the truth from Acts that is stalking me is this..
paul had many relationships and conversations on his journey. he comes into contact with believers and unbelievers. with his believing friends, he encourages them in their journey with Christ..encouraging movement toward knowing Christ and spreading His word to others.  with his unbelieving friends, he shares about the fulfillment of the law in the person of Jesus...He spreads the Gospel message to all who have ears.  His life is about that..his mission is about that...he loses friends, his plans get thrwarted, he is faced with people who don't like him because of what he professes, he is even flogged for things he didn't even do...but still...paul is about the business of Christ.

now I know the bible doesn't tell us everything that every disciple did or said, and I know that paul was not a perfect man..after all, he is the one that is famous for the "do, do" passage in scripture. (Romans 7:19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me)

but it is clear that there wasn't a lot of fluff in paul's life...wasn't a lot of coasting friendships in Jerusalem...wasn't a ton of complaining when things didn't turn out how he'd hoped...wasn't a ton of whining when he was flogged without reason...

Paul had a single purpose and he didn't seem to lose sight of his mission.  The Lord used him to bring Himself glory even to the ends of the earth.

Acts 28:30 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

Lord, I confess to you that I care a ton about myself.  I want my friends to like me. With my believing friends, I often don't care enough to ask real questions and love them well. With my unbelieving friends, I tend to converse about the safe and steer away from the uncomfortable..I don't love them enough to share the hope that is within my soul.  I want my relationships to be easy. I spend more time talking about my fitness, my iphone, my facebook, my shows, the weather, my sons, etc. than I would like to admit.  Because of this, it feels weird to even utter your name, Jesus.  I immediately turn red when my friendly conversation shifts to testifying about what you are doing in my life.  Father, please forgive me for my me how to love deeply, show me how to be about bringing you glory. Amen.

Monday, January 30, 2012

on schools in a note to a friend

schools are a reflection of our human condition.  they are a petri dish of our world. they are beautiful and they are ugly..beautiful because in public and in private there are teachers that love children and want to serve kids and one another..but ugly because both have their problems and issues..both have flaws too numerous..and we can not fix them on our own..and when you really get into them and get dirty in them...teaching or will see them as they really are and they will make you long for Jesus.

the school puzzle is an unsolvable puzzle on this side of heaven...made me want to despair as an educator. and probably feels similar as a parent trying to find a place to send your child.

focus on the truth..the simple. there is no despair in Christ. He can take any bleak situation and make light..He can work all things for His glory.

remember our soul/sole purpose on this earth is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Jesus was a "reed in non-essentials--an iron pillar of essentials".--John Newton

non-essentials would include but certainly not be limited to:

Whether you decide to home school your child, send your child to be educated at the local public school or pay for your child to be educated at a private or parochial school.

getting a shower daily

Choosing to send your toddler to preschool, or choosing to keep your toddler home for early learning.

Owning or not owning an iphone.

Having a house with a basement or opting out of one..

putting your baby in cloth diapers or making the decision just use disposables 

choosing to wear or not to wear underwear.

putting your children in sports/other extra activities or keeping them at home in the evenings

shaving your legs or not shaving your legs

owning a mini-van or owning a compact car with two kids

our family was just put here in this place to help you practice your best "reed"...

Friday, January 27, 2012

acts 17

23 So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

It just doesn't get much more clearly stated.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

reflection going over the last couple of posts in my mind as i fed my 8m old at 330a to try to get the teething boy to calm down..i thought..."i hope i am not giving off an 'ive got it all figured out' vibe to my reader...cute hair, fun activities with jackson, no struggles...etc.

please don't go there...and if you have already gone there, please repent.

cute hair because i was obsessing about myself...couldn't stop thinking about it getting too poofy..vanity.

fun activities because about a week ago jack asked if i thought jackson was bored at home and needed more structure...knife to chest motion...decided to amp up the activity level to one learning thing per day..nothing 'mom of the year' worthy.

no struggles? i wish...right now the one that is on my mind is the struggle of wanting to be 'easy to swallow' vs. wanting to be the bearer of the Gospel.  my struggle is, do i ever really speak truth?..and when i don't speak truth, i wonder if it was a correct time to hold back..then thinking that all of this gospel spreading is dependent on me..of course the Lord doesn't need me to speak His word, but He is choosing to use me...sinner me...imperfect me...scared i ruin the joy that goes with friendships by over-analyzing some seconds and under-speaking other seconds..

Romans 12:11-13
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a week in the life

I don't normally write posts about daily life..but i had some great pictures so i thought it  would be a great opportunity to share some days with you...this is ryan j during is 30 degrees out and he has fallen asleep in the swing.

one night per week we go to a neighbor friend's house and have an evening playdate. both her and the other neighbor who comes work full time, so they have playdates at 6. We eat dinner together and then play. this is the 3 of them playing hide-and-go-seek. Jackson would keep popping up when we would come to look for

ryan j sleeping again at playgroup..this time we chose a diff swing that would support his head.

since we have chosen not to put jackson in any kind of preschool until 4 year old pre-k, i am working with him on his letters. this week we learned "J"..and he is starting to like writing/drawing, which is a big change from a month ago. my fave "j" picture is the "jumping man" his legs are disconnected at the knee to show he is jumping.

my robin hood. we found the picture of robin hood on-line and we created a costume out of clothes in everyone's closet..he loved it..

until he looked in the mirror..and saw that he didn't look authentic enough...and then he had a tantrum. (just keeping it real folks..) and he didn't want me to take any pictures of him having a he did this.

another day we played in jack's shaving cream and made letters..well, i made letters and jackson made footprints and hand prints...hey, i tried...don't tell daddy we used his shaving cream..

this is my little drummer

making banana bread for daddy..jackson's favorite thing to make. he knows what comes next without me reading the recipe.

we leave out the nuts and the sugar, and instead of butter use oil..and it is so yummy!

this is jackson reading to ryan j..telling him about dangerous bugs.

my job is the best job on the planet...not the easiest..probably the hardest..but the most rewarding!

the long and the short of it

the haircut is pretty great if you can go 5 months and it still looks pretty great!

wasn't crazy about this side..

the front was cute still though..

The back was horrible...

after the haircut..much better..

love the back now too..

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ezekiel 16

4 On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.

6 “‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!”[a] 7 I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew and developed and entered puberty. Your breasts had formed and your hair had grown, yet you were stark naked.

8 “‘Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine.

9 “‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. 10 I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. 11 I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck,12 and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. 14 And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Amazing Love! The Lord is always at work transforming His children.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

a sunday morning reflection...

..and our christmas letter.

The status updates on each member of our family today:
Jack loves his teaching job at UGA and enjoys fathering his two boys.
Heather has so much joy in this season of her life as she mothers Ryan Jefferson and Jackson.
Jackson loves leafing through toy magazines and watching “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”.
Ryan Jefferson is a dream baby who loves to snuggle and eats/sleeps like a champ.
However, status updates can be so deceiving because life circumstances change; and how we feel about our lives is constantly shifting. By the time you read this letter, Jackson may think magazines are boring and Ryan J may be waking up 3 times at night. (we sure hope not!)

The intent of our Christmas letter this year is to focus on the things in life that never change. God spoke and the mountains appeared, separating the vast expanse of water...He is creator. God sent his Son to be born of a woman and walk the earth for 30 years loving and teaching His creation...He is Father. God called his son to die as a man on a cross and conquer death and the powers of hell on our behalf, so that we could live with Him in heaven forever...He is redeemer. God is living and active in our lives always loving us fiercely and fighting on our behalf to bring glory to Himself...He is sustainer. We wish for nothing more than for you and yours to know the unchanging God we serve.

Thank you for being a support to our family. Please join with the Morse family as we pray for hearts that would be less concerned with our always changing circumstances and more concerned with having a heart that is oriented towards God.

His Grace motivates,
Jack, Heather, Jackson and Ryan Jefferson

Do not be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Heavenly Lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all He created.
James 1:16-18

Friday, January 13, 2012

spit up

yes, i am very aware of the spit up coming out of my ryan j's mouth in the picture above...that is why i posted it to my blog :)

a fun grocery list just fill in the boxes..and this is the order that i walk through walmart on my grocery trip.

Non-Grocery Items/pharmacy/household


Cans and Boxes

Frozen foods

Crackers/Cookies/Coffees/Gum/Choc Syrup/Beer


Special events/meals/foods:



Other grocery stores:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

testifying that a little order can go a long way

ok, so monday..let's just say that I wouldn't have gotten mom of the year...

Jackson still does room time (even though he doesn't sleep) and on monday room time ended poorly..I was mad at jackson for being bored and coming out every 30 seconds to ask me a question..i was mad at jack for not coming home the second he said he would be home...but most of all, i was mad at myself for getting NOTHING done during a 3 and a half hour room time. well, besides reading blogs and reading status updates..waste.of.time.

so, since Monday was a low point of my week, Jack asked a question that prompted me (the Holy Spirit) to make some changes. His question really didn't relate to the action plan..but it got me thinking..

his question: "do you think Jackson needs to go to some sort of structured program?"

my thoughts: no..surely jackson doesn't need to go to school..he will be in school his whole life..this is my time with him..but he is acting bored at home..for goodness sakes..i am a school teacher..surely i can figure out how to take the boredom out of his day and make him more stimulated...i think i need to shorten his room time..wait, i can't do that..i don't have enough time as it is..well you would have enough time if you didn't get on facebook at the beginning of the room time..well let's make a schedule for what I will do during room time and stick to it..

now notice how the Spirit used a question from my wise hubby to get me to a place of from my sin (laziness)...

revised plan:
first i have been taking ryan j upstairs and putting him down, then i spend about 30 minutes with Jackson doing a craft (painting is what he has chosen the past few days)..then i read him a story and send him upstairs..I decided room time should be no more than 2 tues-thurs i have timed it...also decided to start my quiet time with a devotional time for 30 minutes then a workout with jillian time for 30 min..the other hour is flexible and most importantly, it is second.


the time with jackson has been so rich for us..the time away from jackson has been so rich for me with the Lord and with my body and with our home...

the truth of the bible stands.
1cor 14:40 Everything must be done in a fitting and orderly way.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Eccl 8:5-6 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


i am alive over life..

i have noticed a trend of having stuff to say..going to my blog reader...reading blogs for an hour...getting longer having anything to say.

needless to say, this doesn't help my blog posting aspirations.

i desire to blog more, work out every day, eat more fruits and veggies, and read more of my bible..oh and drink more water.

but until then, upstairs..i have a 3 year old banging on the walls...and an 8 month old whimpering to get breakfast, a dad on his way to see me from Florida, a mother-in-law on her way to deliver a new desk to my house..

and, most importantly, a Heavenly Father who is at work in the midst of all of this and loves me fiercely, unconditionally, and forever.