"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Janie Beth's Best Gift

The best gift that Janie Beth gave me was the gift of me. Due to her short stay with me here, I have searched myself over multiple times. I felt that I wanted to be different, but I didn't know how I wanted to be different. (Crazy sounding I know!) I have just been praying for God to mold me and change me. That is it, nothing in particular because I didn't know what my particulars were.

I have to say that God answers my prayer!!!! He knows what I need before I do, or He knows the specifics when I only know the generals. God is molding me into the person I want to be.

The Proverbs 31 woman seems like an impossible person to become; and she is if you try by yourself. I am far from her right now, but I feel like God is molding me more and more.

I see now that I am called!! I am called to be a wife and mother. Janie Beth showed me my calling. :) Does that mean that God won't call me to do other things? No! It just means that right now that is my main calling and focus and anything else must fall in line with that. If something doesn't encourage that calling then it must go.

Embracing that I am called to be a wife to Joey and a mother to my children has freed me in a way. God equips us for the things that He calls us to; therefore, I am not only called but I am equipped to be the wife and mother my family needs. This is scary too because I know I fail more times than not, so I am trying to do it on my own. My "self" gets in the way!

God is showing me to cherish my family; to nurture my family. I mourn Janie Beth every day. Now, I am going to enjoy her gift to me! I am going to enjoy my earthly family every day because she has given me a new vision of them. Had I not been on this journey, I wouldn't have taken the time to seek God and look deep within myself.

Growing up, I always wanted to be a wife and mother. God has blessed me with those desires! Now, He is showing me how I am to fulfill those roles. He is helping me use our money wiser by couponing. I am even stepping into the world of cloth diapering to help save us money in the long run! (I am very excited about this. :)) He is teaching me how to feed my family better. This is a bit overwhelming right now! I am trying to get back into the cooking/baking from scratch, and I am allowing myself baby steps. I am excited to see where God is going to take this new journey.

I have come to realize that our homeschooling/daily lives need to be different. I am supposed to disciple these children that are in my care 24/7. I must change my attitude! We are getting back to doing chores. Yes, that kind of fell off the band wagon last year! And that is OK!!! We are working on how to handle day to day things.

I am so thankful for the gift of loving my family!!!!! God is changing my heart and I am thankful! We will see what all He is planning to do.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Proverbs 20:11

So, I have this weird thing where I look up verses that have the same month and day. For instance, my birthday is April 4, so I have gone through the Bible and looked up all the 4th verses in the 4th chapter of each book in the Bible.

I decided to go through the Bible and look up all 20:11's for the year 2011. I actually did this before I picked my word for the year. There were a couple good ones, but one in particular became our verse for the year.

Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right.
I will be the first to admit that I am SLOW!!! We have already memorized the beginning of this verse as a family. We used it in a devotional out of an awesome book! (Click here to see it) We have talked about it quite often and about the deeds the kids should have. I love the whole verse because it tells you what kind you should have.

But, back to me being slow!! It never crossed my mind that this verse pertained to me. Stupid, I know, but as I said I am SLOW sometimes. LOL Since it says "even a child" that must mean that adults are also known by their deeds. In order for it to say even, someone else must have the same requirement. WOW! I am also known by my deeds, whether what I do is pure and right.

This started out, in my mind, as the verse for the children, but it has become my verse for the year also. This verse goes right along with our word GROW. In order for us to know the pure and right things to do, we must allow God to grow in His influence of us. Since we are wanting to grow in our influence of others, we must have deeds that are pure and right because we are examples to others!!

I had been thinking of our word and verse separately, but realized last night that they go hand in hand. Amazing how God does things like that!!! :) He had them on the same page from the get go; I just had to catch up!

I hope to get this verse and 2 Peter 3:18 up in our house in the next week or so in order for us to remember! You know the saying, out of sight out of mind!! I do not want that to happen.

I am so excited to see the plans God has for us in 2011. Jeremiah 29:11!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

To "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" is our goal for this year. GROW is my word for the year. Our main growing goal is this verse, and I am excited to see how else God is going to grow our family and lives throughout this year.

Many words came to mind when I thought about this year, but this one is the one that God is calling us to. He is calling us to grow deeper; to have crazy faith. :)

He is calling us/me to grow in our influence. I have been hanging out in 1 Thessalonians for the last few weeks and the first 4 chapters are all about being the example you are supposed to be for others. (I haven't finished ch. 4 and haven't started ch. 5 yet.) I just soak up the words!! They are amazing!
1 Thessalonians 1:3-4 work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. WOW!! That is some powerful stuff right there. I feel as though these verses are going to sum up the next chapter of our lives. As we grow in our influence of others it is going to be a mighty work of faith, labor of love, and be full of patience of hope in Jesus!!!! Through all the work, labor, and patience, we will have to keep our eyes on the promise that we are elected by God!
Then, in verse 5 Paul says that the gospel they presented to the Thessalonians didn't come to them in word only, but in power and in the Holy Spirit! Oh, may that be true of us. May all those that we share the gospel with receive it in power and in the Holy Spirit!!! Because in so doing, they will move on to verse 6 and become followers of the Lord, and in turn they will become examples for others.

It is scary to realize just how far your example goes!! I have so much to work on in myself that it scares me to think that others are watching me! May my faith go our before me so that I need not have to say anything! (verse 8)

This will start in my own home. God is calling for changes in our home. He is calling us to really get the foundation down so that we can build successfully. In order to do this, I have to take steps back and start over.

God is calling me to grow as a wife and mother. My calling as a mother is to raise up godly young men and women! In order for me to do that I have to grow, and we have to grow in our family walk with God. I am excited to see what all God is going to do as we get back to the basics. We are going to grow in our use of scripture; in our memorization of scripture; and in our practice of scripture. I hope that we will grow in our love for God and our love for others.

My calling as a wife still baffles me. :) It is so deep and there are so many layers. I pray that God will truly grow me into the Proverbs 31 wife that He wants me to be. I want to grow in my ability to encourage and affirm.

As far as everything else... it will all be used to work toward our goal of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord! Whether it is school, play, chores, fellowship, whatever, it will all be working toward "growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ".

We do not know the extent of growth that will occur over this year, but I do know that it will be "exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever ask or think according the power that works in us" Eph 3:20. I am excited to see all the ways of growth that God has in store for us in 2011. I pray that this is the beginning of a lifetime of growth for the Karr family!! May we grow gardens full of God's fruit! :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Things

I had planned on writing a post about this coming year and how I feel that God has new, big things in store for our family, but I have a hole. There is a piece missing. We are taking steps in our family, and I must learn to do them holeheartedly. No, I didn't misspell holeheartedly. I am ready to be a part of the amazing things God is going to do in our family and through our family, but I will be learning to do them with a hole in my heart. Yes, God can fill it with His grace, but there are still times when I long not to have to learn to walk life with a permanent hole in my heart.

The devil gets a hold quickly as I look at others who seem to have what I want, and I get tired of the fight. I want to have the naivety of a new pregnancy, or the ability to hug all of my children each night, or the thought that life is perfect now that we have a newborn. Those things aren't true for me, and for many others, and I am ashamed to say that I have days where it gets to me. I want to have a different lense to look through.

"But God!" I love that verse. (I am being lazy by not going to find it, but I am pretty sure it is in Paul's writings.) When I slide onto the road of self-pity, God steps in! Or, I should say that when I allow Him to, God steps in.

As I was typing the paragraph about the devil getting a hold, God spoke to me, hence the next paragraph. It reminded me of another post I wrote a long time ago. How can I tell God that this is not the road I want to walk, when I have no idea where this road is leading!?! God threw my own words back at me as I was writing that other paragraph.

Abba, may You forgive me for jealousy and self-pity. May You come into my heart and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I need Your help to learn to walk with this hole. May You carry me when I am weak and write my faith. Surround me with Your love, Lord. I am really excited about the amazing things You are going to do, but I am sad at the same time because Janie Beth isn't here to walk with us. Thank You that You are the BIG God!!! Thank You for the blessed road that we are walking, no matter the pain that it causes because it is all about Your will. Lord, make that the desire of my heart!! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

The thing is, without Janie Beth we might not get to be a part of God's work in this place. Janie Beth has brought us where we are. She has made my faith real, but I still have so far to go. She has brought us to the point of being willing to let go and let God have the reigns; to trust Him completely. I mean, why not!?! He has brought me through an F5 tornado in my life! He has done things in my heart that I didn't even know needed to be done. He is still changing me. The desires of my heart are so different today then they were November 1, 2009.

I want so badly to love on and hold my baby girl again, but since I can't I will walk loving her and holding her ever so close in my heart. I will share the love of Jesus with others so that they too can know what it is like to live a life of faith. I will do my best to love deeper, care more, and reach out wider than I ever have before. This new year will be full of new things! It is what I do with those new things that matters. I will chose to use those things, whatever they are and however they appear, to the glory of God!

We are entering a new year. We are moving further from Janie Beth's time on earth, but closer to our time with her in Heaven. I will do my best to not look back too much, but to learn to bring her with me.

God is at work! I am so excited to see what He is going to do even if I have a hole and a little sadness.

Thank You, Abba for changing my perspective!! Help me keep my eyes on You.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First Week

Well, we have our first week of school for 2011 under our belt. :) I am excited to see what God has planned for our schooling this year. We are already tweaking our schedule and adding in some fun subjects. Last semester all I could muster was phonics and math.

Katie Jo is beginning Saxon 1 Math this semester. She started at the beginning but wasn't ready, so we held off until Jan. We are also doing Veritas Presses Legends and Legions for geography. I am hoping to get a unit on planets sorted out in the next couple weeks to do also. :) As of right now, we should be done at the end of April. Woo Hoo!

The plan is to take off May, and then pick back up with 2-3 days of school a week through June and July, and then take off a week at the beginning of Aug and then getting going full speed.

I am so thankful to have the privilege of schooling my kiddos at home!!!

I am beginning to think about curriculum for next year. How exciting!!!

Now, if I could just get Eli's schedule figured out I would be good. LOL I am going to try having little containers of things he can do while we do the schooling that he isn't a part of; 1 container for each day. He also has his computer time while we do school.

Joy Michelle is either sleeping or just hanging out with us.

This is my first attempt at moving my blog to incorporate our every day life as well. :) I have several deeper posts I want to do this week. I plan on scheduling my blog time. LOL God is helping me figure out our new normal for 2011, and He will show me when my blog time is. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2 Months

Technincally, Joy Michelle was 2 months on Dec. 26, but I am behind as usual. :) She will be 10 wks on Tuesday. Can you believe it!?! She is growing up so fast. :(

She is still pretty laid back and easy going. She doesn't usually mind when her siblings love on her. :) She had a good first Christmas. She even got her first white Christmas. :) Her favorite things from Christmas is the swing from Nana and Poppa, which she is sleeping in as I type. She was a swing snob and didn't like the one we had. Ha, ha

She was 10 lb 2.5 oz at her check-up and 21 in long. She is still in Newborn size clothes, but is moving into the smaller 0-3 month clothes. She is beginning to give me a 4-5 hour stretch at night, usually. I am a bit worried about tonight because she has been asleep since 6 or so and it is 9:30. (I guess I should be sleeping instead of typing, bt alas I want to get this typed up.)

She is beginning to smile at us, but she would rather look at anything but a person. LOL The smiles aren't too frequent, but she blessed me with the first one on December 29, Janie Beth's birthday. :) She doesn't care for tummy time as much anymore, but I think moving it to the morning may make it better.

Joy Michelle is a blessing to our family! I love to snuggle her close. :) I miss sleeping with her on my chest early in the morning now that she is in her crib. I have a feeling she will be spoiled because we all are hugging and kissing on her constantly. She will be the child that never talks because her siblings do all her talking for her. We shall see!

Here are a few pictures. The first ones are her 2 month pictures, and they prove that she doesn't want to look at people, just things and lights. :)
 She has also found her tongue. LOL

 With Eli, Katie Jo, and cousin Gwyn
 Visiting Janie Beth on her birthday.
 Love my dolly. :)
 Where I like to spend my time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Prayer

I am re-posting a prayer that was in a devotional I got January 1, 2010. I tweaked it to be mine instead of for all who read it last year. This came to me through Proverbs 31 Ministries. I was blessed to go back and read it again this year, so I wanted to share it. This prayer still rings true for me today.

Father in heaven, thank You that You are All Authority in heaven and on earth. Thank You that You led me here today. You know my every need, my deepest desires, and my hurting places. Lord, as I seek to know You more, would You open the eyes of my heart to see the wonderful things in Your law?

Father, I confess that so often I live a life that does not honor You. My actions and my words seem so far from You. But, I do want to live a life that pleases You, so I ask today for You to soften my heart to receive what Your sweet Spirit has to speak to me. Give me a hunger and a thirst for Your Word. As You reveal it to me, help me through the power of Your Holy Spirit to listen and obey. You tell me Your Word is living and active, like a double-edged sword. Father, I invite You to use it now to penetrate the deepest recesses in my heart.

Give me a heart that desires You and Your Truth above all else. Your Word tells me that if I lack Wisdom, I need only ask and You will give it liberally. So I ask today for a fresh filling of Your Wisdom. Give me the strength to walk in Your Truth, no matter the cost. Guard me heart and keep my eyes fixed on You. Grow in me the fruit of Your Spirit…those things that will make me more like You. As I study Your Word, fill me and saturate me with more of You!!

Today, Father, I surrender my past and look to the future, thanking You that I am a new creation. No matter what I have done before today, I have Hope in You to take all things and use them for Your good and the good of Your Kingdom. Thank You that You are Faithful. Thank You that I can make my plans but You will direct my steps. I trust in You to do a mighty work in me through this year and carry it on to completion until the day I step into eternity with You.

Lord, I love You. Make my life a living testimony of Your Love. I ask this in the powerful and mighty name of Your Son, Jesus Christ my Lord who will do immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine. AMEN.