Monday, December 28, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Good morning all! Hope you had a wonderful holiday. I am now trying to uncover from all the gifts, and instructions, and batteries, and small pieces, and trash, and food, and.....

It was a great Christmas here. Maybe not always what I planned but still good. My husband got me some really nice things and my kids got too much! I don't really have a specific "choice" today but I read a book on Saturday. The best book I have read in a while. I could not put it down. Read it all in one day. I definitely recommend reading it. It is very thought provoking and really challenges the way we see things and what we do with our time. I reflected a lot on my choices.



It is "Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together". Here is a short description:

A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery.

An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel.

A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream.

A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.

It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana . . . and an East Texas honky-tonk . . . and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda . . . an upscale New York gallery . . . a downtown dumpster . . . a Texas ranch.

Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.


If you have read it or you do in the near future I would love to hear from you. I will post some pics this week of our weekend and don't forget the whole month of January is going to be dedicated to small choices = big change!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! The ham is in the oven and the pies are made! Greg is desperately trying to put together the Zhu Zhu habitat and my heart is very full right now. We read the Christmas story first thing and I don't care how many times I hear it each time I am in awe that He came to earth for me. May your day be blessed as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mary, Mary....

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." ~Luke 2:34-35

Did Mary have any idea the pain she would endure? Did the words of Simeon really sink in at that moment as she held that precious eight day old baby in her arms? I don't know but for some reason I can't stop thinking about it. Maybe its because I know the pain I have felt as a mother has been greater than any other pain I ever endured. Maybe its because lately I have felt some soul piercing pain as one of my children is struggling and yet I know that it doesn't come close to the pain she would endure.

I have read these verses over and over in the last few weeks. I can't seem to get Mary out of my mind. I know that Christmas is a wonderful time and I know, praise Jesus, He had to come. I know without the birth there would have been no cross yet I think of Mary.

Mary your child is destined
Mary He will cause the rising and falling of many
Mary He will be spoken out against
Mary He will reveal the thoughts of many hearts
Oh and by the way Mary He will suffer and because He is your child and you love Him a sword will pierce your own soul too

Whoa....almost seems like too much doesn't it???? But she trusted and she endured and what didn't kill her physically she was given the strength to survive. So what's your "too much to handle" this holiday? He'll get you through it. You will be stronger. You will be changed when its all said and done if you let Him change you. I know NOTHING has brought me to my knees more and NOTHING has changed me more than when I am crying out to God for one of my kids.

I pray I can be like Mary this year. Mary you were one amazing mama. As I ponder these verses it gives new meaning to the song "Mary Did You Know". I will leave you with those lyrics:

"Mary Did You Know"

[Originally written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene]

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know.. Ooo Ooo Ooo

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.


Have a blessed Christmas Eve!

Holiday Do's and Don't's

Thought I would share some of my limited holiday wisdom that I have learned, of course, the hard way.....

Do order your holiday ham ahead of time or you might be eating holiday duck(fa-ra-ra-ra)

Don't go into Walmart and ask where the Zhu-zhu pets are

Do expect chaos

Don't expect for things to go as planned

Do play in the snow if you get a chance

Don't expect to be able to move the next day if you do play in the snow

Do enjoy little ones if you still got 'em

Don't be disappointed when things don't turn out the way you thought they would

Do praise God for things just the way they are

I hope that you find some time just to sit at His feet today and tomorrow and especially Christmas day! I was overwhelmed yesterday and just grabbed my Bible. It opened up to Ecclesiastes 3. I have read this a million times but of course He met me there and spoke to me. He is faithful. Verse 6 & 7 says:

"a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak"

There is a time that we can just give up on the thing that is just wearing us out and give it over to Him. A time to keep holding on to dreams and a time to throw them away and seek the new things He has for our life.

I also flipped over to James. James 1:26 says:

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Yikes! That one hurt because I know I have not been keeping a tight rein on my tongue lately. I have been impatient and too busy. Quick to snap at my family when I think they aren't cooperating with "the plan". Maybe I need to spend sometime being silent today:)

I will leave you with a few pictures from the weekend! Have a blessed day.











Monday, December 21, 2009

No Make A Choice Monday Today

Sorry girls but I don't have a "Make A Choice Devo" today. With only 4 days left to prepare for the big day I still have plenty to do. My count down looks something like this:

4 kids I need to homeschool
3(or is it 13????) gifts left to buy
2(or is it 20????) gifts left to wrap
and........
1 big dinner to prepare for at my house on Friday!

One thing I will say....even if your list is bigger than mine don't miss your time with God first thing each day. He can order our days and smooth out the rough spots in our schedule. I know its hard when there is a lot to do and most of it falls on you but He can be the strength and peace we need this time of year if we will let Him. So many other years I just put Him aside so I could get other things done and it often ended up with everything (mostly myself) coming undone.

I'm not too worried. I read that gift cards are the "new" fruitcake. I really don't care. This is the year of the gift card here. I just always remind myself that there is a season for everything and this is my gift card season!

I will try to post some pics of our sledding yesterday and our Christmas get together with Greg's dad and his brother's family. Not sure what the rest of the week or even next week will look like on the blog but don't miss checking in on January 1st. We are going to have 31 days of small choices in January that can result in big change for 2010! Some of them are things that we have talked about before and some will be new. The focus will be on weight loss and getting healthy but there will be things that can be applied to other areas of our life as well. I'm excited!!!

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow, Snow Go Away.....

I must admit it is beautiful, but to be honest I really don't like when it snows. Not even this time of year but.....its snowing and there ain't nothing I can do about it.



Yesterday I did watch my great-niece and we had a great time last night with Greg's mom and sisters.

*What a beautiful baby!


*My awesome son who calls himself "Uncle Chris"


*Getting kisses from the baby


*Food, Fun, & Gifts...







We are supposed to have lunch with Greg's dad, stepmom, and brother today. We will have to see what happens. I am drinking a new coffee my hubby bought me called "jet fuel" so I guess if we don't go away I will have enough caffeine in me to get a lot done and play outside!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday, Thursday.....

Good morning friends. Just another typical Thursday here. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to some really great ladies at Mountain View Chapel yesterday. I spoke on "Stop Trying To Control the Uncontrollable". I had a great time. Of course on the way home my mind was swirling with the same old stuff like did I forget anything or was I clear enough. But I am learning to just give that all over to God and I just ask Him to make up for my mistakes:)

Cayla has her last day of classes today. I am glad. We have studied all week for a big history exam and I am just as ready as she is for it to be over. I do learn more than I ever learned in school!

Tomorrow night is the first of our Christmas gatherings. We have something Friday night, Saturday, lunch on Sunday, and possibly caroling Sunday night. Tis the season I guess. Tomorrow night is at my house so I really should be getting busy. I still have shopping left to do and food to prepare but it's all good. Catey and Cayla will be a huge help.

I am trying my best to just enjoy it all as it comes this year. Things are not as I imagined they would be but that's ok. God knew and He will get me through it. I just continue to believe He is good and He ALWAYS has my best interest in mind.

Maybe this weekend I will post some pictures of our gatherings. I hope you have a blessed day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

I love to make bargains with God. You know what I mean. I say to Him if I do “this” then you will do “that” and then I will be happy. It is a lame attempt to be in control of things. I think the root of this control issue is fear. I believe if we can get to the root of something with God then change can happen. I have been digging down deep to uncover this control thing and it hasn’t been easy.

It can be especially difficult this time of year. We need to control all sorts of things. We were talking about this in Sunday school yesterday. We want to control our holiday schedules and gift giving. We want to control how our house is decorated and how well we seem to appear to have it all together. We definitely want to control our emotions even though this time of year can be very difficult for many people.

If we just maintain control then we know the outcome. Right??? WRONG! No matter what we do we can’t predict the outcome. Life happens. Kids get sick. Loved ones make bad choices. There are layoffs and recessions. Heartaches and heartbreaks. Death. These things happen and we are left holding the shattered pieces of our heart because we thought we were in control.

Mary had no control. She was pregnant, unmarried, and left to give birth in a stable. She was told from the beginning what her son was destined to become and that a sword would pierce her own soul(Luke2:34-35). Talk about being helpless and having no control but the funny thing is nowhere do we read that she falls apart and can’t go on. No. Instead we read she is highly favored and blessed and most importantly we are told she treasures it all up in her heart. No whining and complaining just quiet obedience and total trust in God and His plan.

This Christmas let’s choose to be like Mary and relinquish control of it all. We really can’t control anything anyway . It is our choice. I guess choosing is the one thing we do have control over. Will you turn it all over to Him or will you hang on and keep futilely trying on your own only to come up empty and exhausted?

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sitting in Starbucks....

Haven't been able to type that one in a while. I do believe this is one of my favorite places. There is something about being totally alone yet surrounded by sounds of conversations and the smells of all kinds of delicious things that just makes me smile. I am waiting for my daughter. I have two precious hours to sit here.

I am supposed to be working. As usual. I am speaking on Wednesday. It is the last time for this year. 2009 has been full of so many new things and I am trying to reflect on it all and I can barely take it all in. My heart is overflowing right now. God has given me a wonderful ministry. I have had the opportunity to meet and serve so many different women. I close my eyes and I can see their sweet faces. Sometimes I would look over a group and there would be laughter and sometimes there would be tears. I know the pain they feel and my heart breaks for them.

Also after many, many, MANY wrestling matches this year over some things He has taught me so much. I have shed a lot of tears myself as I have learned to relinquish control of my kids and hand them over to Him. I have let go of some dreams and also learned to give Him my disappointment. Life is so full of uncertainty. Pain is inevitable and the constant attempt to control it all is exhausting. He has taught me over the last year to just sit and wait on Him. To not give up. And to realize His ways will ALWAYS be better than my ways even when I don't get it at first.

I am feeling sadness for those women who are struggling right now. Especially this time of year. I am so sure that Satan loves the opportunity to take the focus off the real meaning of Christmas by convincing us to focus on the hurts and losses we have faced. Don't let him have it dear one. God knows it all and He is GOOD!

Tomorrow I am going to talk a bit about giving up control. Especially this time of year!

Have a blessed night!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting Old Isn't So Bad....

I was getting my hair done the other day and it had been a while since I had been there. I decided a few months back to go blonder but then you have the whole "root" thing to deal with. I was long over due for some hair color. I sat down in her chair and she said that my roots really aren't that noticeable. I was surprised. Then she went on to say that the gray hair really blends well with the blonde and she thinks that since I have gotten much grayer in the last year that is what makes it not look so bad.

So, I guess getting older really isn't that bad:)

On a brighter and less "grayer" note Nathan is home and seems to be doing well. I went to a volunteer appreciation breakfast this morning with SVPS and had a great time. Tonight we are headed to movie night/food drive at church.

Hope your weekend is blessed!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thanks!

Thanks to all who prayed. Nathan had his surgery and it was a success. He is awake and eating. He will come home tomorrow!

Have a blessed night!

Please Pray

Got a call last night that my daughter was at the hospital with my grandson. He has had some issues since birth but nothing was ever found. After a check up yesterday they finally sent him for some tests and he has pyloric stenosis. He will have surgery today. It is a simple procedure where they cut the muscle that has become unusually large and is preventing food from entering the intestine. It is typically found around two months. He is almost five months. I feel so bad for the little guy because he has struggled for so long. I will post an update tonight.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Make a Choice Monday - On Tuesday!

Monday came and went like a flash before my eyes. I hit the ground running from the time I got up. School, dentist, Christmas shopping, looking at cameras with my daughter so she can decide which one she wants, babysit the little grand baby, cook dinner, clean up dinner, decorate tree, and fall into bed watching a holiday movie with the kiddos. Whew! Some days I can hardly breathe let alone blog. Sorry that it's Tuesday instead of Monday. I can't believe a whole week has gone by and I haven't posted a thing.

The thing that has been on my heart lately is Christmas and my expectations. I have been feeling very nostalgic and I feel as though I have had a visit from the ghost of Christmas past. I have replayed in my mind all the Christmas celebrations and traditions in the past and my heart is a bit saddened. I always had grand expectations on how the tree should look and the way the house should stay clean for visitors. I was angry when I would give the tree one last look before I went to bed and all the decorations were in one spot or the bottom half had no decorations at all because I had babies and toddlers.

I should have embraced those moments. They were moments in time NEVER to be done again. Last night my three youngest decorated the tree all by themselves. It is beautiful. I just sat back and watched. I was at a crossroad. I had a choice to make. I could have taken over and done it my way or I could let them do it. I also could have been sad because my husband was working and my daughter was busy. Who knows where Chris was and the other two don't live at home anymore. I am in a season of change. Another crossroad where I have a choice. I can embrace the ones who are here and excited about decorating or I could feel bitter and angry because the others aren't here.

I am glad I made some good choices last night. I am sure there will be days this holiday season where I make some not so good ones. Thankfully God is gracious. I will leave you with the lyrics to "O Come All Ye Faithful". We sang it today at Bible study and I just let the words fall fresh on me. I hope you let them fall fresh on you. He invites us to come and behold Him. That is the real meaning of this holiday. It is not about the tree or the decorations. It is not about a clean house or the perfect present. Just sit back and grasp that His birth meant our salvation!

Have a blessed day!

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Did I forget anything????

Today I had the privilege of speaking to some beautiful ladies at Chiques Church. I had a great time. I still need to pinch myself because I can't believe God would allow me to serve women in this way. I still start shaking in my shoes before I stand up. My palms get all sweaty and I feel like I could get sick at any moment and to top things off today my stomach was growling so loudly before I got up that I am sure it could be heard in the next room. I love how God keeps me humble:)

Anyway, on my way home I immediately started in on my routine of giving myself the "third degree". Questions roll around in my mind like "did I miss anything?" or "did I explain it clearly"???? I go through this each and every time and then I just need to stop myself. I know Satan would love for me to question and to doubt. I just need to remember that just as I told the ladies today....If I am called then I am capable. I also need to remember I prayed for my words to be those that God wanted me to speak and I need to trust that He answered that prayer.

If anyone is reading this from today I guess the only thing that I would want to add to what I said would be this:

*I have fully forgiven my dad and that will be key in moving forward and sharing your story. Forgiving doesn't make what happened ok but it does make you ok.

*When working through the things that happened in your life just prayerfully ask God each day to make you aware of who He wants you to reach out to.

*I may have had and abortion but it is NOT my identity. No matter what has happened to you in the past you are not defined by that. You are defined by the truth of Jesus Christ. His Word defines you - not your mistakes.

I don't know. I guess that's all! I hope you know how precious each one of you are. You are called for a purpose and therefor YOU ARE CAPABLE!

Have a blessed night!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

I ate my wieght in chocolate pie. I think I have eaten a bottle of Tums since Thursday. I feel tired and my jeans are tight. Ugh! The holidays are here and it starts already. I think I heard the average person gains 1-2 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years. I gained mine already:)

So what's the solution? Not eat all the good food? Count calories at Christmas gatherings and be grumpy? I don't think that would work for me. I do know I have a few weeks before my next holiday gathering. I do know that I can be careful with the leftovers. I also know I can find ways to get in more exercise by just being aware of how much I move during the day.

So today I am choosing to get back to a little better diet. One that doesn't involve chocolate pie and whipcream. Move more and eat less and I will be feeling better in no time. I make this much more complicated than I need to. It doesn't need to be my focus because beleive me I have much more important things to concentrate on this holiday season. I don't need a crash diet I just need to make small choices each day that will make a big difference in the end.

I also need to be careful with what I eat because I have been fighting a cold and I know my diet has a huge effect on my immune system.

Today when I go Christmas shopping and I see Starbucks I won't pass by and then be grumpy about it but I will order a tall instead of a grande and it will be non-fat no whip!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful

As I sit here typing this my heart and belly are very full:) As crazy as my family can be there is nothing like spending the holidays together. We arrived in the mountains yesterday afternoon and the meal was well on its way. We spent the afternoon eating and watching football.

My dear husband got up at 2 AM and took Cayla, Catey, and my nephew Tyler "shopping". He is a man like no other and I am so thankful that 18 years ago I married him. A man I hardly knew. A man I fought like crazy with. A man that God had awesome plans for. He redeemed us and all our mistakes. I don't know how Greg did it but he stayed by my side all those years. He is sleeping now. Exhausted from his late night shopping and I am ever so thankful that he is mine.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I know life can be really hard and sometimes holidays can make that weight heavier instead of lighter. I didn't spend this holiday with my two daughters. I think they spent it with their biological mom. I guess I am just trying to say that this life is not perfect and is full of many difiicult things but we just need to hang on. Jesus knows our pain. We just need to trust and praise Him in spite of what we feel and turn our pain into an offering poured out at His feet. Today I am counting my blessings and trusting God with the rest.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Ideas

Thought I would share a few Christmas ideas:

1. I read aloud several books each year. Our favorites are "The Bird's Christmas Carol" and "Jotham's Journey". At the recommendation of a good friend at Let's Make A Difference I just bought "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever".

2. We always pick a family or two and we do secret santa. I pick ideas and do the 12 days of Christmas and for 12 days leading up to Christmas we secretly drop a gift, ring the door bell, and RUN! My kids love it!

3. Christmas Eve we play a game called "To Bethlehem". My older kids roll their eyes and complain and the little ones love it:)

4. We read the Christmas story out of Luke on Christmas morning.

5. Some years we make a Jesse Tree Ornaments and give them to people explaining what they mean. Just google Jesse Tree Ornaments for ideas.

6. In years past we have served meals at Water Street and Bethesda Mission. This year I want to be more intentional and spend some more time looking for places to serve.

7. We always put to together Operation Christmas Child boxes.

Well they are a few of our ideas. I would love to hear from you! Share some of your families traditions for the holidays!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Good Monday afternoon everyone! I don't know about you but I am starting to get excited about the holidays. With Thanksgiving this week I have been reminded all day long of all the things I have to be thankful for.

Remember a few weeks ago my post about Pray, Plan, Prioritize, and Put into action???? Well today we are going to do the same thing in regard to the holidays. In previous years I would become so overwhelmed because of lack of planning that I wouldn't even enjoy the holidays. I have learned in recent years what my strengths and what my weaknesses are and I have learned to evaluate what is really important.

So today we are going to choose to evaluate and pray this week about what we NEED to do before Christmas and write it down. After that we will make a list of what we would like to do. Then we can get out our calendar and see what goals are realistic and what do we need to let go of so that we have the most peaceful Christmas season.

I used to beat myself up because I am not a very good "cook". I have learned to let that go and instead of being upset that I can't bake 33 different kinds of Christmas cookies I enjoy baking 3 kinds with my kids (and the sugar ones are pre-made dough!)

When we remind ourself of what is really important and realize it really has nothing to do with the most beautifully decorated tree or the biggest spread of cookies we are freed up to enjoy this special time of year.

Tuesday or Wednesday I will share with you some of our family's traditions and also a few "new" things I would like to make time for this year! I will also share my plan to get it all done!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tempted To Give Up!

Do you ever just feel tempted to give up? I do. All the time. I am actually embarrassed to even type that. Something will happen and I will start feeling bad and start complaining and it's like a spark that sets a whole forest on fire.

*The scale doesn't budge even though I eat yogurt and fiber cereal for breakfast instead on Fruity Pebbles.

*The child doesn't change even though I have prayed everyday for a breakthrough.

*There are two loads of laundry sitting here even though I have done at least 8 loads in the last two days. I swear just like the stuffed animals in my house it multiplies in the hamper.

*There's not enough money for the new kitchen table I want.

*Christmas is coming and I need to bake cookies, decorate, and buy gifts for several people who already have everything so I need to be creative. And I have to do this all while being cheery!

Ugh! Do you see where this thought process goes??? Right in the toilet. One bad thought leads to another and then before you know it I am sad, overwhelmed, and ready to give up! But you know what also usually happens right at that time??? I read a devotional about 37 days of kindness and putting others before ourselves. I watch a video by Jennifer Rothschild about being grateful. After that I read yet another e-mail devotion and this is the verse:

James 1:2-3 "Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow" (NLT).

Don't you just love God! He is so patient. He gently takes my hand and reminds me(several times - He knows how "slow" I am) that I have a chance to grow and I need to change my heart of grumbling to an attitude of praise, gratefulness, and kindness towards others. When I do that all of those other things that consumed my thoughts fade into the background and don't seem to matter much anymore.

I am not sure how you are feeling today but DON"T BE TEMPTED TO GIVE UP! That is exactly what Satan wants us to do. He wants to convince us that God really isn't good after all. He is. He has a plan. Hang on and trust Him!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

First I want to say congrats to Cherise. Through "Random Number Generator" she won Lisa TerKeurst's book. I will mail it this week:)

Today's choice is another tough one. Today we are going to choose to let go and let God. I found myself getting caught up in something this weekend that I don't need to be a part of. It was a debate on something. A gray area in scripture. It's hard because my human nature wants to be right. There are some things I don't believe we will have the privilege of knowing until we meet Him some day and then it probably won't even matter.

Being willing to hand things over and let God do His work is far more important than being right in a situation. He is coming back for a unified body of believers. I have been thinking a lot about evangelism lately and the sad fact that many people view Christians as hypocrites. We get so caught up in being right and proving that we are right that we miss opportunities to witness to others who don't know Christ. They see us in disagreement and wonder why they would ever want what we have.

This doesn't mean that there aren't some things that we have to stand firm on like the Trinity or Jesus dying on the cross but there are things that we can just choose to agree to disagree and become more interested in how we can build His kingdom.

His word says in Matthew 9:35-38:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Today let's be more concerned about the harvest field and the work God wants us to do than being right about something that won't matter for eternity.

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hey Girls....

Don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post for a chance to win Lysa TerKeurst's book!

I am sitting here after just rewatching my Bible study video from Tuesday. It was so good I had to download it. God has used it in a powerful way. Not only did I get an answer about that thing I had been waiting on it encouraged me to keep waiting on something else. It was all about moving past our devastation with God. I know that is a hard thing to do. You know when God doesn't do what we think He should do. Satan can really use that. He has used it in my life and it steals my joy and brings bitterness.

I have had some devastations. Some things I just can't figure out. They are the very thing that always brings me to a crossroad. I feel like I get to a point where I drop to my knees in uncontrollable sobbing (I was there just this morning)and I feel like I am either going to walk away from everything I believe and be bitter or I am going to trust and go deeper with God. I wrestle it out with Him every time but every time I come to the same conclusion. Please hear me when I say this.... The situation has not changed yet but I decide I am going with God every time and He gives me a strength and a hope that DOES NOT dissapoint.

I don't know who is reading this or where you are at right now. Maybe you are still wrestling the thing out. Maybe you have given up. But right now that can all change. You can choose to go with God on it even though you don't undersatnd it. It will be hard. You will be tempted to give up. You might spend a lot of time on your face in tears but at the end of the day, in the dark of night, when it is just you and Him you will have hope. Seek Him. Seek His face and He WILL be found!

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. ~Psalm 9:9-10

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. ~Psalm 18:16-19


I am praying for all of you tonight. Have a blessed night!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

I was all excited because I wanted to surprise you all today with a "video" Make A Choice Monday. I got it all ready this afternoon and it WOULD NOT upload. I was so sad. I worked on it as long as I could but then I had to leave and speak to a MOPS group in Temple, PA. I had a great time and then I came home and got right back to this video. It finally worked. Sorry it wasn't up sooner. I had a lot to learn about "waiting"!

*I noticed that Beth Moore also has a video on her blog today. We must be thinking alike:) Although I am sure she did not have the technical difficulties that I have had today! Hope you enjoy and don't forget to leave a comment to win the book!

Don't you just love the face:)

Untitled from Denise Grove on Vimeo.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Update....

Ok, so I never did get a chance to update you this week. Sorry. I always do have good intentions and the blog world is never really too far from my mind, but.....

Anyway, my grandma is still in the hospital. It wasn't pneumonia but it was something bronchial and since she was sick for a few weeks it took all week for her to begin to get her strength back. Today she was being very outspoken so I feel confident she will be released this weekend and back to her old tricks in no time. Since it has been so long since I posted I thought I would just let you know a few things that I have been up to lately and what I have been into. So here goes:

Where I've been lately(besides the hospital)...

Tuesday morning I spent the morning at LCBC's MOPS group. I had a great time. They were very gracious considering I didn't feel as prepared as I would have liked to have been. Wednesday I had lunch with some of the ladies from the Eastern District team as we prepared for the spring trainings. I had pumpkin soup for the first time and it was great! Cayla and I are going to the Revolve Tour tomorrow. This Monday evening I am in Temple, PA with another MOPS group.

Current Bible Study...

"Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed A Study Of David"

Books I Am Reading....

"Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl" by Lysa Terkeurst

"The Knowledge Of The Holy" by A.W. Tozer

I was just given "Organic Outreach For Ordinary People" by Kevin Harney and I can't wait to crack it open. Oh, and of course I am reading the Zits calendar that Chris got me last year for Christmas. He was so glad to see someone had documented our life although I feel like I am constantly somewhere between Zits and Family Circus!

Drink I Am Into.....

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha of course!

Latest Addition To My Wardrobe....

Just got this sweater and these jeans from White House Black Market!

Beauty Stuff:)....

I know you already heard about my makeup find but I am still in love with my mineral makeup! I also have been wearing Light Blue perfume and I love it!

What I am Struggling With.....

Hypocrisy. I would have made a great Pharisee. I should be in the 12 step program for hypocrites. I expect perfection from others around me yet I am not perfect. I preach to my kids about speaking kind words and then as I am making lunch(after church of course) I become impatient and say something I shouldn't.

I am also struggling with a big decision that would greatly affect my family. Greg is in the mountains with the 3 little ones until Monday night and we are both committing to pray until then and make a decision.

New Memory Verse....

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:21 NIV

And finally, Music I Have Been Listening To....

I just bought Taylor Swift's two c.d.'s. Yes, much to my husbands dismay I do still occasionally buy c.d.'s. He doesn't understand why I don't just buy what I want on I-tunes. He tells this to a woman who still has a Sony Walkman. The first time my kids saw it they had no idea what it was. So sad. So, so sad. She has a song I will link below called "The Best Day". I have listened to it a million times and cry every time.

I also just recently bought a c.d. from 1000 Generations. I am absolutely in love with one of their songs(see below) and if I haven't put you to sleep with this update it would be well worth the listen.





Well, I am glad I had a chance to let you know what I have been up to. I have something fun in the works for Monday. I won't tell you in case it doesn't work out but I am hoping to do something different for Make A Choice Monday. So come back then! Have a blessed night!

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Make A Choice Monday Today!!!

Just wanted to ask you all to pray for my 91 year old grandma. She has been sick for weeks and today we ended up at the hospital. After her family Doctor telling us it was not pneumonia we got here and she was sent immediately for a chest x-ray because they think it is. I will update when I can and will run my devotion for today later in the week.

Have a blessed night!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Verse and other random things...

It is a beautiful fall morning as I sit at my dining room table and write this. I am supposed to be working on something and somehow I always end up her in the blog world totally distracted. It is wonderfully quiet as I suppose Trunk or Treat must have worn my little ones out because they have yet to make a peep. Greg is out of town hunting and I miss him so much I can barely stand it. We started out our married life together with one of the most volatile relationships and 18 years later he is my dearest friend. That is how God works when we allow Him to. I don't always, in fact sometimes I dig my heels in and refuse to move but when I finally go where He wants he turns volatile into beautiful.

I realized I never shared my memory verse for the 15th of October. So here it is:

For you, O God, test us, you refine us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.

~Psalm 66:10-12


I love the idea of Him bringing me to a place of abundance and I have seen it happen. Just like my marriage and many other things in my life. I really was struggling in September and fell into some depression. I know now some of what I was going through was a part of the refining process. We will deal with different struggles. We struggle against the Enemy, the world, and our flesh. But sometimes what we go through is part of that refining process that God takes us through to make us beautiful and more like Him. I am so thankful He loves me enough and cares enough to take me through that process. That He desires to be in relationship with me and that He desires to redeem me and make me whole and beautiful.

I hope you have a blessed weekend and I hope if you are struggling that You let the words of that verse comfort you. He will bring you to a place of abundance. His word promises it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bible Study

Change of Pace started their 2nd 6 week session for the fall yesterday and I jumped in. I was so sad to not be apart of the first 6 weeks and I couldn't wait to get there. I am facilitating "Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David" and I am so excited. I have done several studies on David and learn something new and exciting each time.

As I drove away yesterday I thought about all those beautiful ladies gathered there to study God's word together. All of them just waiting to see what God would speak to them through this study. I thought "I live to do Bible study" and I heard God say "No, you do Bible study to live the life I have for you". You see as much as I think I live to "do Bible study" God knows when I study His word and I meet with Him each day He will give me everything I need to live life abundantly. His Word brings life and freedom.

I love that I have been given the ability to study His word. Me! A girl who failed algebra 2,barely made it through high school, and NEVER attended college. That is what He does for us. He makes the mysteries of His word known if we will just meet with Him, ask for revelation, and dig our heels in and not give up! It doesn't matter who we are or where we are or where we have been for that matter. It is available to everyone no matter the economic status or intellect. I don't care if you are as blonde as the day is long(natural or from a bottle!) or if you have a Phd. He gives freely to EVERYONE who seekd His face!

I live to do Bible study
I do Bible study to live!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

How Are You Doing???

I have 4 things checked off my list.....how about you? Remember:

1. Pray
2. Prioritize
3. Plan
4. Put it into action!

Have a blessed night!

Make a Choice Monday

I am a procrastinator. Have been as long as I can remember. I was the one who crammed for tests and waited until the night before a paper was due to write it. This has its advantages and disadvantages. I used to look at it only in a negative light but I realized having the ability to put some things aside and just enjoy life has its advantages.

Unfortunately I have been putting too much aside lately and I need to gain some control. I have a few things that need my attention NOW! So today my choice I am making is to:

1. Pray
2. Prioritize
4. Plan
3. Put it into action

I want God to order my "to do" list. I don't want the list to control me but be a guide. If God brings some unexpected thing my way today that is ok too. His word is clear.....

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ~Proverbs 16:3

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9


I am also going to make a list but set a goal of doing the top three things today. If I took a list and thought I had to accomplish it all today I would become overwhelmed and would shut down and accomplish nothing. I am going to take baby steps today. A small choice to make life a bit easier.

My list will probably look something like this:

1. E-mail questions to MOPS group that I am speaking at next week.

2. Go through Catey's winter clothes.

3. Check on my grandma who hasn't been feeling well.

4. Set a date to have coffee with a friend that I was supposed to e-mail last week:)

5. Finish my talk on the 3 R's of Motherhood for Tuesday.

6. Get kids costumes for our churches Trunk or Treat on Friday.

7. Get caught up on correcting Cayla's grammar and vocab.

You get the idea. I have a lot swirling around in my mind and I just need to sit down and get a list going and have God help me to prioritize and get things done. Not everything today but I bet by the end of the week I can have this list gone!

So remember today to choose to Pray, Prioritize, Plan, and Put it into action!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today

Today I am headed to the EFCA Eastern District Conference. This summer I was asked to be on the women's ministry board and this is my first official meeting in that capacity. I am excited.

Greg is in the mountains hunting and I am missing him terribly. I HATE doing life all alone. I am thankful to have an 18 year old son to be the "man of the house". I used to be terribly afraid and not sleep well when Greg went away now between Chris and my 90 lb dog I know nobody is going to get in here:)

Chris started a full time job yesterday. He is not sure if it is really what he wants to do. Please pray for him. He has been struggling with what he wants to do and I know this is a very tough time. I thought when the kids got older my job would get easier. Physically it does but emotionally it is really tough. I want so much for him to find the thing that God created him for and for him to find that peace that passes all understanding. The hard thing about being the mom when they are this age is you can't do it for them. They have to wrestle through things and struggle for themselves and I hate that.

Well sorry for the rambling. I am really trying to process some of what I am feeling right now. Motherhood has so many different phases and stages - just when I get through one thing I am starting something else. I am so glad I am not doing it alone and that God is walking right beside me!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. ~Proverbs 31:10-12

A mother of noble character. No. A friend of noble character. No. Ok, ok – I got it. A ministry leader of noble character. NO! Ugh!!! It doesn’t say any of that. It says wife. A wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies. I know some days this wife ain’t worth a cubic zirconium.

I spend a lot of time trying to “produce” great kids. I spend a lot of time trying to be a good friend. I also spend a lot of time doing “ministry” whether it is speaking, preparing to speak, or being a part of the women’s ministry team for the Eastern District. But the one area I know I am lacking is working on being a good wife. I mean I have good intentions but somehow all those other things choke out my ambition and I end up empty for the man that I am supposed to be bringing good, not harm to for all the days of my life.

So today my choice is to think about my husband and what I can do today to make his life a bit easier. To bring him good and make my marriage a priority. I know when I get things in the proper order things go much better. God first and Greg second. Even after 18 years of marriage I have a lot to learn.

I am going to be going through Proverbs 31 over the next few Mondays. I hope you will join me. I used to think the idea of this Proverbs 31 woman was totally absurd and unattainable but I know now that I can learn a lot from this “chick”. I also know that I am on a journey. It is not about perfection but about how much I depended on God along the way. I am going to depend on Him to teach me to be a wife of noble character.

Have a blessed day!