Saturday, December 11, 2010

Diagonol Lines

Life comes at you fast. One day I write on my blog and the next thing you know its over a month later and I realize I haven't posted a thing. Sad really because there was a time when I loved to post on my blog. I still love it but can't seem to find the time. I received a copy of a Lancaster County devotional today and I realized how much I miss writing. I was actually going to submit something to this devotional but life happened and I missed the deadline. I always just go on thinking it just wasn't my time but maybe it was and I was too distracted with things instead of being obedient.

I visited an art museum on Monday with my kids(yes, occasionally Ellie Mae takes the kids out to things like that- after praying they wouldn't touch anything or notice the two naked women paintings I was glad to be back home) but anyway the guide was talking to the kids about the artwork. She explained that pictures painted with horizontal lines were very calming but the ones painted with diagonal lines depicted movement and chaos. My life must be painted with diagonal lines because there is always movement and a bit of chaos also.

I started out in November speaking at a workshop for a group of ladies in Cressona, PA. The topic was CPR for Weary Women and I had a blast. Then mid-November Greg and I spent the night near Ocean City, N.J. where I spoke at two luncheons. It was the first time he heard me speak and it was different having him in the audience. I finished the month at a MOPS group in Hanover, PA.

December has been no different. I have already been blessed to speak at 4 women's groups and have two MOPS groups to finish out the month. I am thrilled to be blessed to do what I do but sometimes it takes me away from my blog. I have really been missing it and hope to have some new and exciting stuff for the New Year.

Today is Greg's birthday. He just went for a run so I thought it would be good time to give you all an update. We are babysitting Nathan tonight so I really should be going. I just wanted to jump on and let anyone who still checks this that I am here and hopefully will be back more frequently in the near future.

I pray your holiday is blessed!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Still Laughing

I woke up this morning after a terrible nights sleep to find out that my e-mail address and Facebook account has been hacked. Everything was gone and I really can't get on Facebook which is not a big loss because I got on about once a month anyway. At first it was upsetting but now I am just laughing. I know my blog address was in there so in hopes that the "hackers" visit my blog I have a little letter for them:

Dear Computer Hackers(is that what you like to be called???):

I just wanted to write you a note and tell you that it takes more than a little computer hacking to ruin my day. I hope you are ashamed because if your mother knew what you were doing she would be mortified. My husband fears you are trying to steal my identity so I thought I would give you a little rundown on what that looks like. Typical day:

*Get up at 5:30 and take both dogs out to potty

*Have a little quiet time before all the chaos starts

*Eat yogurt because you are once again on a diet

*Get three kids breakfast

*Make sure Cayla is up and Chris doesn't need anything before he works or goes to school(don't panic you will get down which days he does which)

*By now the puppy has probably had an accident on the floor so you might want to clean that up because I guarantee you someone WILL step in it if you don't get it right away

*Deal with the mouse poop found in kitchen(yes you read it right)

*Find mousetraps for aforementioned mouse issue(I hope this doesn't totally freak you out)

*Spend countless hours on the phone with MSN and your well meaning friends because of some computer hacker(Oops...forgot that's you)

*Do school(did I forget to mention we homeschool????)

*Deal with the Halloween candy that we are up to our knees in(I thought about doing a dentist buy back because I can't afford the extra calories but since your me you can decide because maybe your a little younger and have a better metabolism than I do)

*Take puppy to the vet

*Drop off stuff to grandson(Yeppers you are now a grandparent....congrats!)

*Go for walk....remember metabolism issue???? And dress warm - it's cold here but I guess your used to that because Colorado can be frigid

*Clean up a whirlwind of mess and switch the 6th load of laundry(you might want to get into the habit of starting the laundry early in the day because we average about 4 loads a day but its up to you)

*Go to Upwards banquet

*Pick up Cayla from drums

*Break up 6 fights, clean up 12 spills, and I am sure the puppy has had another accident by now

*Go to Chris's hockey game at 8:30 in Lemoyne(40 minute drive - use GPS - sometimes the games are at 10:30 and you don't even get home til midnight)

*Come home put three little ones to bed(don't forget to brush teeth, make sure they go potty, and say prayers)

*Help Cayla with chemistry(maybe you will find it easy with all the knowledge you seem to have but it's like getting a root canal for me)

*Pay bills(by the way there is not much money left after that so you might want to get a part time job but I hope you do something a little more honest than computer hacking)

*Wash your face and put on moisturizer(we are starting to get old)

*Brush teeth

*Fall into bed exhausted around 11:30

*Get up with puppy at 2:30

*Wake up and REPEAT

Ok, so I know it seems a bit overwhelming but remember you wanted my identity. I would tell you to e-mail me if you get in a jam or have any questions but remember the e-mail is out of commission so you shot yourself in the foot with that one. As for me I will be vacationing someplace warm. And just so you know I would never ask for money to come home from England. I would ask for money to STAY someplace sunny and warm:) Good luck and have fun!

Love always,
The one you hacked but is still smiling

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. ~Proverbs 31:25

I am still laughing because no one can take my strength and dignity!

Hope your day is blessed and "hacker" free!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Laughter



I watched this video this morning and it made me laugh. This guy is hilarious. I do love to laugh. My family makes fun of me and says my laugh is too loud and obnoxious. Oh well...I realized today that I don't laugh nearly enough anymore.

Life is so "heavy" and we can easily get drug down and forget to lighten up. So I hope this weekend you find something to laugh at and I don't mean just a giggle but a good, long, make your stomach hurt laugh.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.~Proverbs 31:25

I love you all! Have a blessed weekend!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Zoe Lu!!!!



Well, this is the newest addition to our family. Her name is Zoe Lu. She is part Cairn Terrier and part Bichon. I wanted Lulu but I was outvoted, which is really ok because I think she looks just like a Zoe. She is just about the sweetest puppy I have ever seen. She isn't giving me much sleep at night but I love her anyway. Besides I get a lot of thinking done while I am sitting outback of my house at 3 a.m. waiting for her to "go".

My daughter said she looks just like me. Wild hair with dark roots.....

I took this picture with my Iphone myself so its not very good but hopefully I will get a better one soon. I can't wait to show you what her little three pounds of cuteness looks like next to my 90 pound American bulldog/boxer Niah. They are hysterical together.

On a totally unrelated note my husband pointed out to me that the title of my last post said "Her I am". In case you were as perplexed as he, I thought I would let you know that there was no deep philosophical reason I just apparently didn't proofread the post. It obviously was supposed to say "Here I am". After I thought about it though it would be a good post because I am her. Her who is need of God's grace daily. Her who is desperate for Him because I know apart from Him I am a stinkin mess. Her who is trying to be a better wife, mom, friend, and follower of Christ. Her who realizes that I have no peace and no joy apart from Jesus. So yes I guess you could say "her I am". I am lots of "hers" trying to wear all my many hats well and depending on mercy to get through each moment of each day.

On yet another totally unrelated note(are you detecting a theme here???)tonight in church we sang a song I was not familiar with but there was one line I can not get out of my head. It said "spare us any joy apart from you". Just think about that. What if that became our prayer? What if we asked Him daily to spare us any joy that wasn't of Him. Wow....that would be powerful.

You see there are things that temporarily bring me joy and happiness but when they aren't of Him I am only deceiving myself and often times the thing that I thought made me sooo "joyful" ended up being a detriment to my walk and my relationship with Christ. So I think I will start praying this powerful few words daily and see what happens. In fact I think I will start praying it down over my entire family.

Spare me any joy Lord apart from you! You are the only true joy giver and you give so freely. Thank you.

Have a blessed night!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Her I am!

I started writing this post earlier this week on my laptop and it had all kinds of fits. I know. I know. It is time to get a new one but this one has been through so much with me. Countless hours of me banging on the keyboard sometimes saying nothing meaningful at all and sometimes having HUGE revelations. So I am a bit hesitant to let her go. So here's the run down(in no certain order, of course):

~Paul Baloche....that's who I am listening to right now and will be leaving to go see live in a few minutes!!!!

~Marmeduke....the last movie I watched when a field trip got canceled because of rain and I needed to bribe my kids to do school:)

~Lulu Princess....the name(at least I think) of the new puppy we are getting next week. Yes I am a dog lover and yes I am crazy. Was there ever any question?

~MOPS and MOMS....two groups I had the honor of speaking to this week. It was such a privilege. I love groups like this where mom's can support one another. It is by far the hardest job I have ever had and there is no room for wimps. We need to have a tenacious faith if we are ever going to survive this.

~Feelings....that is what God has laid on my heart lately when it comes to my kids. They will never remember everything I said(who could my mouth runs constantly)or everything I did but they will remember how I made them feel.

~Blocks....every block on our big old calendar is full for October. Maybe it is time to evaluate some things or maybe it's just a season and like all seasons this too shall pass.

~NOTW....a clothing brand that I love and they sell at Berean. There is the cutest long shirt thingy I would love to have to wear with leggings.

~Dieting...what I will have to do if I am ever going to attempt aforementioned leggings.(wow! I just used a huge word..but not sure if I used it right....what can I say I know I am blonde)

Well ladies I have some hair and makeup things to do before the concert. It is so funny because my hair used to be straight before I had children. No I didn't get perms I got extra doses of hormones so I have some unruly hair to deal with tonight! I miss and love you all....hope you have a blessed day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Update

Thought I would jump on here this morning and let you all know where I'm at. When I say all I mean my husband who is sitting right here and knows where I am and the other 3 people that possibly might read this:)

I am heading to a Beth Moore simulcast this morning and could not be more excited. I have loved her Bible studies and conferences and I can not wait to go and hear a Word today.

I was very busy this past week speaking and doing school and doing housework and driving my kids from here to there and cooking and.....ok enough playing my own sad song you get the picture. It was super busy and I am really tired. I did have an awesome time speaking to the 4 women's groups that I had an opportunity to share with but I am always grateful for busy weeks to come to an end.

I was thinking this week about the speaking I have been doing and God never ceases to amaze me. I am about as unqualified as a girl could be on my own and yet when I stand up He takes over and words actually come out of my mouth. Usually I want to throw up right up until the moment I stand there. He is so amazing. He uses everything if we will allow Him to.

I guess the "allowing Him to" is usually my biggest problem. Most of the time I am to stubborn and I miss out.

Well my laptop is starting to have one of its fits so I better get going. There is so much more going on I would love to tell you about. I will as soon as I can. I hope you have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sorta a Joke

Ok...my letter to Dell Computer was really meant as a joke. Not that it isn't all true but I really never expected Dell to leave a comment:) Too funny. Maybe I should write them a thank you note:

Dear Dell Computer:

Thank you for finding my blog. I know you like your customers to be happy and though my computer still doesn't work you have been very kind. Please stop by the blog anytime.


On a totally unrelated note I would like to write Dunkin Donuts a letter. Do you know when you order munchkins through the drive thru you can't do any special ordering. We are not fans of Dutch Crumb so I always ask for them to be left out. I had to go in the store to get my box of munchkins minus the Dutch Crumb. How inconvenient.

But I guess that is all I really have to complain about so I consider myself very blessed. Today is my 19th anniversary. I can't believe it. I was married at 18 years old and so you just have to do the math. I have been married over half my life. Greg is an awesome guy and though much of our time together has been a bit rocky I am blessed to be his wife and I love him dearly. I am looking forward to another 19 years and I know that they will fly by just like the last 19.

I just wanted to jump on and say hi to all of you but I really should be going. My grandbaby is coming at 3:30 and we are going to get pictures taken and buy him some new shoes!!!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Computer Issues

Dear Dell Computer~

I have put up with your shenanigans(is that a word?) long enough. I loved you when you first showed up on my doorstep all shiny and new and pink but you have let me down one too many times. Now I know you say that I have let you down by letting my virus protection and such expire but enough is enough. If you don't soon shape up I am replacing you. And also when I call for help and someone located who knows where takes control of my computer that is just weird. I hope whoever it is can't actually see me because last week we spent two hours together and I didn't have on one stitch of make-up. So next time I hit your power button and you decide to take an hour to power on just know that I won't be coming back......you will be dead to me!

Thanks from your very irritated owner!


So there you have it....we are having problems with my laptop AGAIN. I am so frustrated and when I call the problem doesn't get resolved and I spend valuable time just sitting in front of my laptop trying to keep the chaos at a minimum here so that the gentleman on the other end doesn't think he is connected to the zoo as opposed to a residence. I am afraid he will try to charge me the business rate.

On another totally unrelated note I haven't started school yet. I can't believe it myself. I usually try to have at least 10 days in by the time September rolls around but I haven't done a thing. My neighbor and I always say we will start when the spirit moves but she started this week and I haven't felt anything moving down my way. I guess I will start Tuesday regardless of what I feel.

I guess a lot of life is that way. We are called to do many things regardless of how we feel. So often our feelings just deceive us anyway. I was reading Psalm 51 and verse 6 says this:

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

He does desire for us to have truth in our inner most parts because it is that truth that will guide us when we are tempted to follow our feelings down a path that could be very destructive. Trust me on this one...unfortunately I have had plenty of personal experience on following feelings down a destructive path.

We are headed to the mountains for the weekend and will back on Monday. If I can I will try and jump back on this weekend if the spirit moves but I make no promises:)

Have a blessed day! Is anyone still out there anyway????

Friday, August 20, 2010

An Update

Thought I would let you know what is going on around here...

Outside my window...The sun is shining and I hear cicadas singing their songs.

I am thankful for...grace. God's grace is overwhelming to me at times. It brings a tear to my eye as I type this. Maybe it is because I am always in such need of it.

I am praying for... Many, many things. For my man and my kids. For school that will be starting soon. For the friends of my children. For my friends. For ministry and the women God gives me the privilege to serve.

From the kitchen... Not a thing going on out there....not unusual for me. Betty Crocker I am not:)

I am wearing...A skirt....now you know that is something unusual for me. Greg and I have a date tonight so I dressed up a bit.

I am creating... not much other than this blog post. I have been cleaning and decluttering over the last two weeks. I have hauled an unbelievable amount of stuff out of here so it hasn't left much time for creativity.

I am reading... Every Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge

I am hoping... to start working on a few writing projects. I miss having some creative time.

I am hearing... Lots of little voices. Sometimes loving one another and sometimes yelling at each other.

Around the house...It is clean!!!! I can't usually write that. What a good feeling.

One of my favorite things... to close my eyes and turn up a good worship song and let God's love wash over me.

A few plans(I never have a "few" plans so this is a bit of a joke) for the rest of the week... B-day party for my grandson, a b-day party for my great-niece, flag football practice, softball practice, a date with my hubby, a much needed nail appt., and a million other things I don't need to bore you with.

I am glad I had a minute to jump on and say a quick hello. Know that I think of the blog often and though I have no idea who reads anymore it is a blessing to be able to share here.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Favorite Song

This entire album has been so good for me right now but this song is one of my favorites so I thought I would share it with you:)



Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting Back Up

I have been thinking a lot lately about God's grace and how we get back up when we have stumbled. Although I hope not to have as many comebacks as Brett Favre I know I actually will probably have more:)

I had a perfect storm brewing last spring. I was tired and burnt out....I didn't tend to that. I had some hurts and disappointments.....I just buried them. I had a whole lot of pride over some issues.....I didn't even recognize it. The speaking ministry was taking off....I didn't see that as a possible target of Satan.

Although I was oblivious to this the enemy was not. He was watching. He read my behavior. He heard what I was saying. I needed some things sifted and God allowed that. It was painful. It still is. I wish it were different. I wish I could go back and make changes. I can't. That's the bottom line I can't.

I can make a choice now though. You see it is not about what has happened as much as what will we allow God to do with it. We get to decide. We get to choose. He isn't interested in all in our reason's and excuses. He is interested in our response. He is interested in our today and what we will let Him do with our tomorrow. We are never alone. He never left me this summer. I have thought a lot about Peter lately.


"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. ~Luke 22:31&32


I love that it says that Jesus prayed that his faith may not fail. I know He prayed for me too this summer. I also love that Peter was going to have a comeback but he too didn't even realize his vulnerability. In that comeback Jesus told him to strengthen his brothers. Well girls it is my prayer that through my comeback that I can strengthen you. I love you all. I hope your all still out there some where!

So from a girl who is having a comeback moment I pray you have a blessed day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Explanation....

Almost two months and the blog has been quiet. I owe you an explanation.

I was sitting in an airplane for the second time in a day. With tears running down my cheeks I heard the stewardess say "If we should lose cabin pressure an oxygen mask would drop from above. Please secure your own mask before helping others". That was it. I hadn't secured my own mask. I was weak. I stumbled.

I wish I could give more details but it would take days and lots of tissues. It has been a long summer and one I won't soon forget although I would love to.

The good news is I am getting back up. I feel like I had created this house of cards and I placed one the wrong way and the whole thing collapsed. The awesome thing is even in the rubble God's grace finds us. Not to mention the grace that has been bestowed on me by my husband, my children, and my friends.

As I continue to rebuild I really hope to be back on here. I hope to have something to say. All summer my words were gone but they are back:)

I want to tell you all about my family trip to California and all the things I learn in this process of rebuilding. One thing I do know is I will be once again securing my mask. I heard this song today in the car while I was traveling and it says it all. I will post the lyrics and then the song from you tube if you have time to listen:

"Get Back Up"

You turned away when I looked you in the eye,
And hesitated when I asked if you were alright,
Seems like you're fighting for you life,
But why? oh why?
Wide awake in the middle of your nightmare,
You saw it comin' but it hit you outta no where,
And theres always scars
When you fall back far

We lose our way,
We get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again,
One day you will shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,
Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up, get up,
You gonna shine again,
Never too late to get back up again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever
(May be knocked down but not out forever)

You're rolled out at the dawning of the day
Heart racin' as you made you little get away,
It feels like you've been runnin' all your life
But, why? Oh why?

So you've pulled away from the love that would've been there,
You start believin' that your situation's unfair

But there's always scars,
When you fall back far

We lose our way,
We get back up again
Never too late to get back up again,
One day, you gonna shine again,
You may be knocked down but not out forever,
Lose our way, we get back up again,
So get up, get up
You gonna shine again
It's never too late, to get back up again
You may be knocked down, but not out forever,
May be knocked down, but not out forever!

This is love callin', love callin', out to the broken,
This is love callin'.
This is love callin', love callin', out to the broken
This is love callin'.
This is love callin', love callin',
I am so broken
This is love callin' love callin

Lose our way, (way way way ay ay ay)
We get back up, (get back up again)
It's never too late (late late late ate ate ate)
You may be knocked down but not out forever!

Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up get up
You gonna shine again
Never too late to get back up again
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,

This is love (lose our way) callin' love callin' (get back up again)
To the broken
This is love (never too late) callin'
(may be knocked down but not out forever)
This is love (lose our way) callin' love callin' (we get back up again)
To the broken
This is love (never too late) callin'
(may be knocked down but not out forever)

This is love callin' love callin'
Out to the broken,
This is love callin'....



Have a blessed day.....I really missed telling you that, I hope your still out there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I know I said I was back and I still didn't post all week. I think that is how the summer is going to go. Things here are going well but we are extremely busy. I spoke 5 times last week in the Reading area and then had a yard sale on Friday and Saturday.

I just wanted to jump on here and wish all the dads Happy Father's Day. Not that any men read my blog but anyway.....I know my hubby does and he is an awesome father!

We are getting ready to leave because he runs a 10k trail race in Lancaster on Father's Day and then we get lobster dinners from Stauffers. It is becoming a tradition and it's a lot of fun.

I know this day can be tough for those who lost their dads or for those who didn't have a very good relationship with their dad. Just want to remind you that we all have a papa who looks down on us and loves us perfectly. I know things here can be really tough and it is easy to lose sight of the fact that He love us and cares for us. He has shown me so much grace lately it has been unbelievable.

I hope your day and your week is blessed. I will be out of town next Thursday through Sunday. I am heading up north to a snake hunt and some time of much needed rest:) Yes it is a little "redneck" and yes I love it. I will try and update before I leave but if I don't just know that you are never far from my thoughts!

Have a blessed day!



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm back.....I hope:)

Is there anyone still out there???? I really let the blog go over the last month. I wish I could tell you everything that has happened but that would be a book in itself. I will just say that I am battling my way through and starting to come out the other side(I think) of one of the most difficult spiritual wars I have ever experienced.

Not sure why the attack and not sure why now. I do know that I have a very full schedule through the rest of this year and I do know I plan on meeting with a publisher the end of July and I also know that Satan would love to take me out right now and he almost did. But in the words of Pat Benetar....Hit Me With Your Best Shot!!!! He hit alright and even knocked me down a bit but what he seems to forget is if we allow God to do His work we come out of the battle stronger, a little worn but stronger and most importantly changed. This month has changed me tremendously and shaped me in a way that nothing else would have been able to.

It has taught me the full meaning of His grace and even though I felt like I was falling hard I never fell away from that grace just further into it. I am fighting back the tears even as I write this. If you have seen me over the last month you would never have even known this was going on. Only one person knew the depth of what I was experiencing but it was real and it was harsh.

I also have a new compassion for those who are struggling especially those who don't know Christ so maybe if for nothing else that is what God needed to show me. Please pray for me over the next few weeks as I will for sure experience aftershocks of the earthquake that has rocked me to my core. Pray that I don't give up because running is usually my first reaction. A million times over I wanted to cancel my publisher appointment and my speaking engagements but for some reason I think God wants me to keep going and by canceling Satan would be winning the battle. Pray that I find the time to finish writing and also for our vacation. We leave on July 9th for California and won't be back until July 28th. I then fly out July 29th to go to North Carolina for a conference and publisher appointment.

I miss you all dearly and if anyone is even still out there please leave a comment....it would be such a great encouragement and some motivation to keep going!

I updated my calendar today if you would like to know where to find me. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Silent....

Sorry the blog has been so silent. It is a bit how my life has been in many ways lately. Don't get me wrong we are always plenty busy around hear but I have just felt the need to be quiet lately.

I am still wrestling through things with this Bible study I am doing. I have one more week and I don't think any other study has ever done to me what this one has. I have been in a wrestling match for a few weeks with this one and am not sure if it coming to an end will be a welcomed relief or if the work I need to do isn't finished and as hard as it is maybe I wish it would keep going. Only God knows what I need right now and I know He will be faithful even when I feel faithless.

I have had a lot of things come to an end recently. Softball is over. Co-op is over. Cayla's classes in Lancaster are over. Awana is over. School is now finished. I am trying to figure out some kind of summer routine other than get up when you feel like it and do whatever the rest of the day. That plan isn't really working so I know next week it will be time to lay down some ground rules.

Well I just wanted to jump on quick and let you know where I am at in case you thought I got swallowed up in a big hole or something.....that would be too easy:) I hope your day is blessed!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Too much going on to post....

I know I never got back on here last week.....life is just like that here. A lot going on in life and in me. I never really full recovered from the trip when I found out my cousin's 20 year old son died in a car accident last week. Way too young. These are hard things to understand.

I also started a new Bible study a few weeks ago. About a week or two in I confided in my friend that for once I am not sure this is a study I need. See I am a very "needy" person. I all but have to drown myself in God's word or I fall apart but for some reason this topic didn't seem to be an issue. I was actually happy about that since so many other things are issues for me. But let me say ladies "pride cometh before the fall" because I got hit with some things last week and this is just the study I need right now. It has been deep. I have wrestled with God over quite a few things that I desperately want to hold onto and He is asking me to let go of. I hate letting go. When will I ever learn that what He asks us to let go of is so we can be given something greater??? I am so stubborn. It has taught me never to say that I have mastered something. There is always more to learn and ALWAYS more to weed out of my life.

Anyway, I feel like I am starting to ramble but I just wanted to let you know where I am at. Please pray for my cousin and his family. Pray for me as I speak at a mother/daughter gathering tomorrow night. Also I just want to leave you with a link to a video showing the Retuning Hearts celebration I was at last weekend. Just click on 2010 video. It is 7 minutes long but well worth it. Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Freedom from behind bars????....

He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers....Malachi 4:6

Louisiana State Penitentiary is a place of new beginnings. There is a sign that even says it when you enter through the front gate. I am sure some would say otherwise but it is true. Of the 5100 prisoners housed there for the most violent crimes over 2000 of them have formed a relationship with Jesus Christ. Freedom from behind bars. A paradox of sorts. Only God could orchestrate what I witnessed this past weekend. Men living in freedom in a way that most of us on the outside struggle ourselves to maintain.

As I looked into their faces and listened to their stories I realized I am no different than they are. I struggle. I make poor choices. I fall and by God’s grace get back up again. Aren’t we all really just one bad choice away from possible disaster?

I wanted to post all weekend but as often happens my emotions take over and the right words escape me. They cannot be found. I feel as though I will not do these men honor and many of them deserve honor and respect. I saw a fire in them for Jesus Christ that I am hard pressed to find in our churches. Now I know there are going to be skeptics. Those that say they too could be on fire like that if they were placed in that desperate of a situation where God was really all they had left. Somehow using “real life" and living in a free world as an excuse.

Their relationship was real and they were authentic. They had no reason to try and pretend to be something they were not.

Not only was witnessing this fire and worshipping with them an experience I will not soon forget but the images of them as they grabbed their children and loved on them will be etched in my mind forever. These were men among men. Real fathers who are working hard to make changes that will impact future generations.

At the end of the day I watched a man get down on his knees and pray with his 2 small children. When he finished it was time for goodbye. The little girl started to cry, the man assigned to assist this family was crying. The dad held back his own tears and in an act of bravery said it was time to go. I walked up to him after his children were escorted away and placed my hand on his shoulder and told him that he did more today for those kids in one day then some dads ever do in a lifetime. He told me how hard it was and that he was overwhelmed with emotion. He said he was ready to go lay down, drift off to sleep, and dream. I told him I was proud of him. He is a great man of God. I will pray daily for his release understanding that sometimes God works in ways we never really understand and that He is the author and perfecter of their faith and in His wisdom he may need to stay a while longer.

These men are truly rehabilitated and they are truly free. Freedom behind bars. Who ever knew it was possible. I am ever so grateful that I had the chance to be with them if only for a little while. It was a privilege. God has allowed me to have many opportunities and though it is difficult I lay it all out there when He does. I have left pieces of my heart a lot of places and this weekend a part of my heart is in the Louisiana State Pen. You have inspired me to deepen my faith and to believe in miracles. You are a miracle with your well worn Bibles being carried around in your back pockets. Angola you will always be a part of me.

I will share more stories from the trip later this week.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So much to say....

At the turn of the final page I was crying. I cry every time. "The Fate of the Yellow Woodbee" - a book I have read a few times. I just finished reading it to Catey. I could barely finish it. Catey was soooo sweet as she hugged me and held my hand so I could choke out the last few pages. It is the story of Nate Saint and the other 4 missionaries that were speared to death in Ecuador. I will never get over the beautiful picture of forgiveness. The book ends with Steve Saint(Nate's son) getting baptized in the same river where his dad was killed(the place that the Aucas saw angels after they speared the men). Not only that, he was being baptized by the same men who did the killing. An amazing story. I just pray that I would be as strong in my faith in those circumstances. The story never fails to inspire me.

On a totally unrelated note I leave tomorrow morning for Angola prison. I am feeling a bit anxious tonight and I am not sure why. I am not afraid of traveling. I have done quite a bit and I actually love it. I am not afraid of the prison because I had the opportunity to work in a prison for a few months when I graduated from paralegal school many years ago and I know what to expect. So, I just can't put my finger on it but if you think of me please pray. Pray for safe travel and health. Pray for the weather. The activities are outside on Saturday and it is supposed to rain. Pray for hearts that are open to the gospel and for clarity to those who have the blessed opportunity to share. Also pray for Greg. He has a very full schedule Thursday and Friday and to say he is going to get a taste of what I do would be an understatement.

I am sitting here alone and I should be packing. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. Carla and I were talking about taking our bathing suits because the hotel has a pool and hot tub. The idea of these very white legs putting on a bathing suit is making me cringe. Ugh! No wonder I am procrastinating!

Right before I started typing this I was thinking about what my life will be like some day when my kids grow up(they are at AWANA right now) and I came to two conclusions:

1. The silence is deafening.

2. I eat way too much when they aren't here. I don't know if it is because I can eat whatever I want without sharing(sad I know) or if it is just easier to feed one person. Either way I have had too much to eat tonight:)

Anyway, that was totally random but I think it is just another reminder to cherish today because the sands of time are slipping through my fingers and there ain't a dang thing I can do about it.....

Well, I am off to pack my bags. I am leavin' on a jet plane, don't know when I will blog again. I will do my best to update at some point this weekend!

Have a blessed night!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not always what it seems....

I had the best time on Saturday doing a training for women's ministry leaders. I am on a team for the EFCA Eastern District. We got to spend the day with leaders from several churches. I just love to be able to encourage women, especially these women in leadership, because so often they are called to be the ones doing the enouraging and they need their own cheerleader also.

God has definetley blessed me in my ministry to women and aside from my family I have found the MOST pleasure in my life being able to be apart of other women's lives.

When my session came in the afternoon and I stood before those women I just had to tell them how beautiful they were. They were from different ages and stages of life with different backgrounds and had different types of ministries but they were all beautiful.

Now if you would have seen me on Saturday you might have thought that I didn't look to bad myself. I actually had a skirt on. Something you will rarley ever find me in. I am as girly as a girl that you can find but I love my denim. I live in a pair of jeans and maybe should be buried in them:) Anyway I had to do this training and attend a memorial service so I actually dressed up.

Here's the thing about being dressed up, I do clean up o.k. I guess. I can put on pretty clothes and some makeup that does wonders. I can fix my hair and smile but that doesn't change who I am on the inside. I NEVER want to be known for my appearance but as girl who loves Jesus with all her heart and lives a life that truly reflects that.

Because beauty is fleeting. I look in the mirror and somedays can't believe how fast. I don't know about you but it sometimes hits me at record speed. Wrinkles appear overnight and gravity takes hold and doesn't let go without a fight and even then some things remain.

I was approached when it was all over by one of the ladies. She said she took one look at me and almost wrote me off as "one of those speakers" who has it all together and she did not want to hear from someone like that again. It caught me off guard because I know my heart and my struglles and I definetely DO NOT have it all together. She was so gracious and beautiful herself by the way and went on to tell me that what I said spoke to her the most. I talked about giving up control and the fact that we can't do a million things to the glory of God. I shared my own struggle with control.

Anyway yesterday as I was cleaning the house, my hair completely a mess, no make-up on my face, and sweat dripping off me I chuckled and thought I wish she could see me now because this is who I am. I clean bathrooms and scoop dog poop. I have cleaned up any number of bodily fluids off places in my home. I do not live a glamorous life. I have struggles and insecurities. I yell at my kids and have the need to apologize often. I fight like wild with my husband and thank God for His grace all the time. I am also thankful for concealer but know better than anyone that some things you can't cover up. Who we are and what we believe is what will show up on the outside.

I don't ever want to appear to anyone as someone who has it all together because things are not always what they seem. We do each other a disservice when we wear that mask and appear that way. I am a real woman with real struggles and real areas that God is still working on. So just remember the next time you look at someone who you thinks has it all....they do not. Perfection is inattainable this side of heaven and no one escapes the hardships this life has to offer.

I guess I just wanted to share that in case you for some reason thought I had it together here all the time. I also want us all to examine our own lives and be sure that we are being real all the time so someone doesn't write us off before they hear our message of hope that Christ has to offer them.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Frantic!

I woke up this morning and like every other morning as I make my way downstairs I stop and look at my kids sleeping. Maybe if we didn't live in a hundred year old house that requires me to walk through their bedroom to get to the steps I wouldn't have formed this habit but I doubt it. I would still probably peek in on them. I love to watch them sleep. I look at their precious innocent faces and it energizes me. It brings fulfillment and purpose to my life and I relish the stillness when usually they are going a hundred miles an hour when they are awake.

Well today was different. Abijah and Catey were not where I left them last night when they went to bed. They were not in the bottom bunk with Colton. They were not in the top bunk. They were not in Catey's bed or in Cayla's room or in the living room. I started to feel panic. I was frantic. I yelled for Greg who flew up the steps and checked all the places I already checked. I couldn't breathe. I think I was about to call 911 when we heard a faint sound. It came from Catey's room. I found them curled up on the floor fast asleep on the other side of her bed where they could not easily be seen. You couldn't see them when you just looked in the door at the bed. They made a "bed" there to camp out after I went to bed.

I rejoiced and I cried. The thought of a lost child is almost too much to bear let alone two. It took me a while to recover from that. I thought a lot about God, our heavenly Father and how he must feel when He "loses" one of us and the rejoicing in heaven when we are found.

I used to put a lot of emphasis on perfection. Now I put a lot of emphasis on repentance and grace. Redemption not perfection. Just know if you feel like you have been wondering a little too far lately don't panic there is ALWAYS a way home.

Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. The Parable of the Lost Coin: "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." ~Luke 15:3-10

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Can I be o.k.??????

% of Bible Believers.........

Grandparents
65%

Parents
35%

Generation Y
4%

88% Christian Raised Children Leave Church at 18 and....

NEVER RETURN!!!!!!!!

I read these statistics today. I was saddened. When you have a child who chooses to walk away from the Lord the emotions can be paralyzing. "Anything but this" you say to yourself because you know anything else you can help them with. You can fix it. This you can not. You can not believe for them. They have to own it. Isn't that all we want from the beginning anyway? For them to own it. But when they don't our heart breaks.

So today I had two questions I needed to ask myself. Will my child come back like the prodigal son? And if not, can I still be o.k.??? Tough questions. The first I can't answer I can only pray and pray and pray some more. The second though is complicated but at least it has an answer.

YES! I can be o.k. I can choose today, in spite of the sadness I feel, to believe and trust God. To love Him more than anything else in my life. To honor Him even when I don't get the answers I want.

After yet another conversation with my son, in which I felt like I was being pecked to death by a duck by the way, I wanted to give up hope and fall apart. I stood at the same crossroads that I have stood at so many times before but this time I chose to just believe that I am free and even though Satan wants me to lose hope I don't need to.

His word says it is for freedom that we have been set free. It doesn't say that we will eventually be free but that we are free. I don't need that old yoke of slavery anymore. I am o.k. I can be o.k. tomorrow even if the first question doesn't get answered. Even if there is more being pecked by the duck!!!! I AM FREE!

I read an awesome book on raising teens. It is called "The Space Between" by Walt Mueller. I wish I had read it years ago and highly recommend it to anyway with children in their life.

I hope if anyone reading this is struggling with a prodigal child knows that they too can be o.k. God sees our pain. He hears our cries. He knows our heart. What we sow in tears we will someday reap in joy. Praise Him! Hallelujah! Have a blessed night.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Make a Memory

This is a poem I wrote about my son for a group of young moms I was speaking to. I wanted to encourage them to spend time with their kids and not worry about all the little stuff. Some lessons we unfortunately learn the hard way.....


Wash the dishes, do the laundry
Please be quiet, not today
Can’t you see I am busy now
Can’t you see I have no time to play

We’ll play tomorrow if I can
But for now just run along
I have to get the house just right
You know I can’t get this all wrong

I busy myself and days turn to years
I miss your giggles and your grin
Too big now to play with me
As I sit and think what should have been

Did I give you what you needed
I cleaned the house, did the carpool
Thought I’d always have another day
You grew too fast, I was a fool

I see wasted days and wasted moments
Thinking I had all kinds of time
I blink my eyes and you grew up
Where’s that little boy of mine

Where’s the boy I used to hold
He’s taller now than I am
When’s the last time I picked you up
I can’t remember now you’re a man

So young mom you must listen up
Each new day is a chance to be
The mom that God created
Now go today and make a memory!



Thursday, April 8, 2010

It works!

I just finished up my 15th small group Bible study. I can barely believe it. Where does the time go???? All total I have had the privilege of spending around 125 weeks in group studies not to mention the time I have spent just digging up treasures on my own. It is truly a treasure hunt. It all started a few years ago with a few ladies huddled in a small office at our church doing the study "Believing God".

My life was forever changed. I will NEVER be the same. From that point on a fire was lit in my heart to know God and a fierce hunger grew in me for His Word. It was not always easy. Some of them I had to fight through with tears. Some I almost wanted to give up on because the work was too much. I have been on a journey over the last few years and have learned more about who I am in Christ and who God is than I could have ever imagined. I always finish a study with mixed emotions. Happy I finished. Sad it's over. Wonder of what will be next because each one teaches me something new and different.

All I can say is it does work. Studying His Word will have a profound effect on your life. The key is to not give up when the work gets hard. Wrestle the thing out and be tenacious about your time with God. Be fierce and stand firm. He is faithful.

Maybe the Bible hasn't ever seemed very exciting or very applicable to your current situations. I promise you it is. Ask Him to light a fire in your heart like He did in mine a few years back. He will do just that and when He becomes the One Thing you know you could never live without you will know twhat I am talking about. I don't think I would have ever survived some of the things I was going through without it. If you feel like your barely surviving right now give it a try. It will work. It will work. IT WILL WORK!!!! I promise.

I am not special in anyway. In fact because I have such a need for His Word it shows me what a mess I really am or could be without Him. What I am sharing here is available to anyone. Be diligent and it will work wonders in your life.

What's next for me????? One never knows.....I am reading an excellent book right now about the warden at Angola Prison in Louisiana that I will be visiting at the end of the month. I can't wait to see what God does in my life while I am there.

I have finished a few good books over the last few weeks and hope to blog about them soon. Until then have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beyond theTattoo.....



The newest tattoo...yes, this is my oldest son. He got this "little" piece of artwork last night. How do I feel you might ask??? Well, this is his third tattoo and of course I have all the thoughts a mom would have. Will he regret it someday? Will it hinder him from a job in his future? Should he be spending his money on this? What will people think of me as his mom?

But in the end God is always gracious and gives me a new lesson to learn and insight into this son I love. God has taught me to look beyond the tattoo to the man my son is becoming. I learned to pray about each of his tattoo's.

One says "R.I.P. Grandma" in honor of his great grandma who he was very close to. I pray everyday that he would remember the godly woman that she was and desire to honor her life through the way he lives his.

The other is a skateboard bent in half in the shape of a heart. He says he got this because skateboarding was his first "love". I thank God that he gave him a gift and a talent that he loves. I pray that God would take this thing he loves so much and use it in a mighty way someday for God's glory.

And finally this tattoo, "In God's Hands". Oh yes baby that is where I have had to place you almost daily for 19 years and struggle every time I took you back because I wanted to be in control. You will never believe what I have gone through to put that child at the foot of the cross and leave him there. I have sowed many tears and I praise God because I know He is faithful and I will reap a harvest of joy someday. I have also experienced the thrill of victory when the time between when I lay him at the cross and when I am tempted to pick him back up has become longer and longer.

The lessons that God has taught me through that child have been priceless. Eternal. Things I would not have learned any other way. I am a better person, mom, and follower off Christ because of all this. Because Chris and everyone else who I dearly love are "In God's Hand's" it gives me a stronger desire to be close to God so to be close to those He holds and has "tattooed" in the palm of His hand!

When I finally got to the point that I cared more about my child and his relationship with God and my own freedom in Christ rather than what other people might think I was finally free. Caring about how we will look or own pride is bondage.

My son is searching right now. I know that. I pray the heavens down on him daily. I choose to trust God. I know that in Chris' search to fill the "void" and find out who he is, even in the valleys, is where his walk will become real. If we could only learn as parents to let go and let God do His work. I know too many times I interfere. "In God's Hands" yep, that is exactly where my son is and that is exactly where I want him. So today I look beyond the tattoo and to the future. The place where God has a plan and purpose for each thing me and my son go through.

So what about you? Is there someone in your life that you have struggled to lay at the cross? Have your kids made decisions that scare you half to death? Go to God daily and leave it all there. He is faithful and He will do a wonderful work in their life and yours.

Have a blessed day!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Newsweek

MSN's homepage this morning caught my eye and made me laugh. It said "Will We Have Our Bodies in Heaven?" I wish I could have replied for all the world to see....

NO! No! No! No, we will NOT! No calorie counting or calculating how much we need to run to go to Rita's or anything else! Just a banquet table spread out in front of us, with rich food by the way - no nonfat lattes there, and a perfect body!!!!

Hallelujah and amen!

Can't get any better than that!

Have a blessed day!



Monday, March 29, 2010

Perfect Peace!

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. ~Isaiah 26:3

Is that just beautiful or what??? This was the verse that started out our homework last week in Breaking Free. This Bible study has been so good and also a bit different for me. Since I have learned so much over the last few years about taking my thoughts captive and about freedom in Christ I am learning to handle things differently. I was also thinking that this is the first study in a long time that I am not in a crisis or is it?

You see I still have things that could send me into fetal position crying my eyes out in some corner but my response lately has been different. I am finding perfect peace. Last week something happened with one of my kids(imagine that) and I was tempted to lose it. I did cry a bit but instead I repeated this verse over and over in my head. So much so that I woke up in the middle of the night saying it. I would say it and emphasize different words each time just letting it soak in deep.

In the past I would have been tempted to say the verse once or twice and when I didn't feel the perfect peace right away I would give up. Not this time. This time I decided to keep my mind steadfast and just trust in Him. The freedom is amazing. I repeated it until it finally stuck!

This is not just something available to a few select people. This my dear sweet friends is available to all of us.

So what's bothering you today and threatening to take your peace? Keep your mind steadfast and trust in Him no matter what you are feeling at the moment. The feelings will eventually come but sometimes we just have to obey no matter what we feel or how hopeless the situation seems to us.

I hope you find some encouragement in this like I did today! Be blessed!



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Returning Hearts

Just wanted to post a video and let you all see where Carla and I will be headed the end of April. We are looking forward to serving with this ministry. Click here to watch and let me know what you think!

Have a blessed day!



Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday - Monday - Monday

I ran the following post a few months back. I woke up this morning with my mind in a twirl. I needed to listen to my own words and do a little planning instead of feeling overwhelmed. I am happy to say that I have checked quite a few things off my list so far today. I hope this helps you as you plan your week:

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 looks like this:

1. Get the house cleaned up.
2. Send some e-mails I have been putting off.
3. Mail a cd to someone who contacted me as a possible retreat speaker.
4. Work on financial aid stuff with Chris.
5. Organize school work for the week.
6. Finish Bible study homework for tomorrow

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, March 17, 2010

Livin' with a rebellious heart....

Struggling. Wrestling. Fighting. That is what I spend most of my time doing with God. I don't want it to be that way. Actually, I hate it. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this lately. I believe the root is being revealed to me.

I am a results oriented person. I like to set high goals. I always say I can endure anything for a time if I know what the result will be in the end. But what happens when we endure and we endure and don't get the result we want? I know what my first reaction is...rebellion! And at the root of that rebellion is my need to control everything including the outcome. Well, in case you haven't noticed you can't control people for sure and often you can't control the circumstances that come your way.

Last week in Bible study we spent the week looking at rebellion. Here are the five characteristics of a rebellious child of God from the study Breaking Free:

1. A rebellious child of God doesn't act like a child of God.

2. A rebellious child of God isn't willing to listen to the Lord's instruction.

3. A rebellious child prefers pleasant illusions over truth.

4. A rebellious child of God relies on oppression.

5. A rebellious child of God depends on deceit.

Wow! Do I do that? Yes, sometimes I have been known to do all five. It has been a lot to think about this week but God is so gracious. He doesn't bring us anything to condemn us but to bring us freedom!

I hope to be posting more often but the reality of it is I have a very busy next few days. Greg, Cayla, Catey and I will be spending the day tomorrow in Hershey. There is a Toby Mac and Skillet concert tomorrow night. We will go help the caterer for breakfast and lunch and then Greg will take the girls back tomorrow night for the concert. I need to stay home and make sure I am all prepared to speak to a MOPS group Friday morning. Greg will be teaching my K/1st grade class again. He cracks me up because he said he doesn't want to be "outdone" by the other teachers so he wants a really cool lesson.

Cayla has her first scrimmage Friday night. I will be at an event with EFCA in New Jersey all day on Saturday. So....if I don't get on again until next week I am sorry! I do think about the blog everyday but I don't always get to post. Hope your day is blessed!


Friday, March 12, 2010

This is where I'm at.....

Haven't been on here for over a week because we have been so busy and somehow with everything going on I have fallen behind on my housework. I feel like the old lady on the commercial, "I've fallen and I can't get up!" So I have been slowly digging my way out this week. I must not be doing to good though because poor Cayla came to me yesterday......



All that was left for her to take her shower was the little monkey towel and the little crab/puppet wash clothe. So maybe I do have a little more catching up to do....

I did have a great girls weekend away last weekend. I am thankful for all my girlfriends and a hubby who let's me go. He had to teach my co-op class and he forgot the book so he said it was no big deal he just improvised. I got a message from the person who helps me and she said he did a good job. What a great guy.

When I got home I originally thought I was going to be away with the EFCA ladies this weekend but that got canceled so it gives me a little more time to get caught up so Greg isn't drying off with the little ducky towel all weekend.

I was putting a mountain, and I mean a mountain, of wash away last night when Carla came over. I told her I needed a vacation and I can't wait to go away the end of April with her. She bust out laughing because the end of April we are going to the Lousiana State Penitentiary(also known as Angola prison). It is the largest maximum security prison in the United States. We are going to do some mission work. You know it's bad when a trip to a maximum security prison is what you are looking forward to as a vacation:)

On a more exciting note Cayla made the high school softball team. We were so excited. The stress of it leading up to Wednesday was almost too much and at the end of practice they handed out envelopes telling you if you made it or not. She was thrilled. I am so proud of her. She has worked hard for this and I can't wait to be sitting in the sun watching her play and yelling my fool head off when she does something great!

The house has been quiet with a little less "traffic" this week because Chris and some of his friends were away all week for spring break. I will be happy to have him back and have a bunch of boys eating us out of house and home tonight. This letting go and "change of seasons" is threatening to nearly kill me.

Bible study has been a bit tough this week. Day one was about rebellion. I do have a rebellious heart and I hate it. I can tell when I am pulling away from God. I am very goal oriented/results oriented and when things don't go my way I pull back. I am going to post more about this in the next few days.

I guess I better go get ready for co-op and stop rambling. Just wanted to give you a quick update on what's going on here. Hope you have a blessed day!



Thursday, March 4, 2010

books, books, books

I love to see words in print. I always have. Nothing more exciting than cracking open a brand new book. I love the smell of it and the sound it makes and nothing sounds better to me than sitting in church or Bible study and listening to the sound of pages in a Bible flipping.

I have a zillion books. Some I have read, some are partially read, and still others I have yet touch. It is almost an obsession really. Some of my best memories are of my grandma taking me to the library and checking out a bunch of books. I would then go to her apartment and spend the afternoon on her red leather recliner getting lost in the words.

I was taken to the little farm in Charlottes Web and the magical world of Narnia. I would be so lost and mesmerized that I wouldn't move the whole afternoon. I loved to write when I was little too. I remember writing a rhyming book and illustrating it all by myself. I was so proud of that book. I think what made it so special is my dad was proud of it. He had a bunch of friends at our house one day and he made me show it to them. I just couldn't believe it. Precious memories.

So here is my fear.....is the printed word going out of style??? Are libraries and used book sales going to be a thing of the past? I hope not. I can't imagine reading everything digitally. I thought about asking for a Kindle for Christmas. Greg thought it would be an excellent idea. The problem is how would I dog ear pages and underline important things??? And what about the books that move me and change me and are stained with my tears?

Today go to the library or book store. Buy a real book. Read. Let your kids see you read. Encourage them to. Read out loud as a family. I love to hear Greg reading to the kids and some of my best school days are spent on the couch curled up reading to the kids. It is something you will never regret. Who knows where it will take you. Books can transport us places we otherwise may never go.

Well I need to go, I am going away for the weekend. I need to pack(books of course)and clean up and help poor Greg with his lesson tomorrow. He is taking my place at our co-op and needs to teach K & 1st grade.

By the way, what do you think of the new blog design??? I would love to hear from you. Have a blessed day!




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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where's the flu?????

The front page of our local newspaper recently ran an article saying the flu has not "shown up" in our area so far this season. I am sure this is the same newspaper that created a frenzy in the fall warning of how bad the flu season would be this year and that there was a shortage of vaccines.

A frenzy. Doesn't take much to create one does it??? We are a worrying people. We worry if we have enough or if we have too much. We worry about illness, finances, disasters, and if God really does care. We spend our days keeping our self busy in hopes of escaping those dark places of worry but inevitably night comes and we are left with our deepest and darkest fears staring is right in our face.

I heard Tony Evans say that there is a difference between worry and concern. Worry controls you. Concern you have control of. I know that I am often controlled my worry. It effects my health, my relationships, and my reaction to uncontrollable circumstances. We are told many times in the Bible to not be afraid, to not fear, and to not worry.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:25-34

So there we have it. The remedy for worry. Just don't. Seek first the kingdom and everything else will be ok. Easier said than done but not impossible. We can retrain our thought process with God's help. We can be different today than we were yesterday but it is a choice. We need to choose today or even just for this moment to not allow worry to take control of us. Then an amazing thing happens. Moment by moment and day by day we change. Worry isn't what we default to anymore. Faith is. A powerful thing isn't it.....The God of the universe that knows every single hair on our head(and our loved ones by the way)steps in and takes control of our life. No more worry filled life just faith filled abundant living.

Have a blessed and worry-free day!


Monday, March 1, 2010

The Heart of a Mother

I am sitting here having my second cup of coffee. I need to be starting school and getting things moving around here but I couldn't without first jumping on the blog and giving a little update.

I have been up since 5:30. I get up and make sure my son gets off to class. His first one starts at 7:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays and with my mama heart I can't bear the thought of him getting up and leaving alone without someone to say goodbye, I love you, and please be careful. After that I see Greg off to work, saying the same three things.

I guess it doesn't really matter how old they get(kids not husband - him and I are already old:)some things never change.

I have been struck lately watching the Olympics and hearing the stories about the parents of these athletes and the sacrifices they have made to get their kids where they are. I love when they show the parents faces after a medal is won. The look of pride and overflowing love. I almost like that more than seeing the actual athlete.

The funny thing about it is your kid doesn't even need to be an Olympic athlete to feel that way. My heart overflows when I watch my 7 year old make his first basket or my daughters first home run last year in softball. I would have to say that I think I feel their victories and defeats more deeply then I feel my own. Motherhood is an amazing thing.

I am just so blessed to be where I am at right now. Now I do not want to paint a picture of perfection here. This is not a place of b-ball shots always made and home runs all the time. We have disappointments, arguments, and fears for our kids. I spend much of my time just crying out to God over things but at the end of the day I know I would not have had this life any other way. I would not trade it for anything in spite of all the worry, sleepless nights, and gut wrenching crys that I have been privileged to go through. It has made me the woman I am today. God knows the heart of parent. He was one. He witnessed and felt the victories and the pain of His child also.

I am going to talk about worry sometime this week but for now I will leave you with a picture of Coco right before he made his very first basket ever. You could probably hear me cheering two towns over. I know I was as proud as any parent of an Olympian. Have a blessed day!





Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow Flakes

I see the snow falling outside my window. Right now it is the big flakes that kind of blow around a bit before falling to the ground. They make there way down to the ground swirling in circles and blowing to the right and to the left before settling gently on the ground.

It is a picture of how my mind has been lately. Swirling. Going left. Going right. Floating higher and then lower. Decisions to be made and work to be done. When life gets this way(and it often does)I have to stop and ask myself two questions:

1. Am I listening for God's direction?
2. If I think I am and still can't hear Him, why?

The first one is a no brainer. I know if I have even attempted to listen for God's voice or not. But the second is a bit trickier. Sometimes in all my self-righteousness I think I am listening when I'm really not. I know what I want and I try to manipulate the situation to get the result I want. Not only that but I want to hear Him in a big way. I want to hear Him like a roaring wind, or earthquake, or maybe even a fire. But all too often He speaks in a "gentle whisper" and I need to be still and quiet myself to be able to hear it. That is how He showed Himself to Elijah and that I am sure is how He would like to reveal Himself to me.

The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. ~1 Kings 19:11-12


So as the snow here continues to swirl around I know my mind does not need to. I just need to sit back and listen for the gentle whisper. Have a blessed day!



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Update

Since I haven't posted in a week:( I thought I would give you an update. I saw this on another blog and thought it would be a good way to give you a glimpse of what's going on here!

Outside my window... it's dark, cold, and rainy:( It is only 6 AM though.

I am thankful for... Bible study today. Whoo Hoo! And a very gracious husband - last week I was a bit rough on him(ok Greg I know "a bit" is putting it mildly).

I am praying for... Many, many things. My hubby needs a new car and I am really struggling with homeschooling. So much so that I actually visited a school last week and if it wouldn't be for finances I think I would put them there. Since we don't have the extra money I am praying for God to either provide it or give me a renewed passion for homeschooling. I do love having them here but I feel like with one in K, one in 2nd, and one in 4th I have alot on my plate and let's not forget about the one in 9th! It's the academic part I struggle with not actually having them home. For the most part they are good outside of the books:) Greg has been great. He has asked me some really good questions like, "whose standard are you measuring them up to?" and "remember why we brought them home to begin with". It had very little to do with academics but I am struggling to find a balance and Satan is having a hay day with this one. He looks for our weaknesses and he seeks to devour!

From the kitchen... the first cup of coffee....ahhhh

I am wearing... p.j.'s of course(remember it is still early)

I am creating... a book. There I said it. I have been working on it forever and plan to meet with a publisher when I go to She Speaks. I can't believe I just told everyone my secret:) I am also working on some new talks for my speaking this spring. I found the coolest thing last night. It is a tablet and it says "The one thing I will do today". God has been laying Psalm 27 on my heart and I can't wait to use this tablet as a visual. God is so good and so creative!

I am reading... So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore and Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg

I am hoping... that the kids stay healthy and the weather here improves

I am hearing... the dog pacing around. I always take her over to the living room in the morning and she sits beside me for my quiet time. I jumped on the computer first this morning. Something I know I shouldn't do. She can't seem to figure out why I am up and she is still stuck in the kitchen. I know how she feels. Often times I think "why am I still stuck here". It is usually one of two reasons. Either I refused to move when God was asking or I got distracted by all the "pretty things" and forgot about my "One Thing"!

Around the house... laundry, dishes, clutter, and dust bunnies

One of my favorite things... when my kid's first wake up in the morning. I gave them a rule. When they wake up they need to find their mama, hug her, kiss her, and tell her they love her. They do it every morning and if they forget I hunt them down and remind them:)

A few plans(I never have a "few" plans so this is a bit of a joke) for the rest of the week... Bible study today, school, school and more school, b-ball practice tonight, Awana, softball practices, more b-ball and as luck would have it Greg and I got invited out to dinner Friday night and also to some one's house on Saturday night. Yes! I also need to do some writing and planning for the next few weeks. March is a very busy month.

Well there you have it. A glimpse into my well organized chaos! I hope you have a blessed day!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines day, babysitting, b-ball, and the One I love....

Wow! I can't believe how fast time flies. I get sick, my computer gets sick, it snows and it snows some more. Friday night I had my niece's baby Olivia, Saturday we spent at b-ball, Saturday night was a date night for me and my hubby, and Sunday was church and some more babysitting(this time it was my grandson).

I also spent two more hours on the phone with Dell only to find out that when my computer was all erased some "drivers" were not installed. I didn't even know my computer had "drivers" and quite frankly I am a bit jealous. I would love a driver to do all the dang running around I do:)

The weekend was such a whirlwind I hardly had time to think about Valentine's day. I always feel a bit guilty that I don't acknowledge it more but sometimes I just end up in survival mode. For some reason though yesterday amidst all the busyness I kept humming a song. Not only did this song keep going through my mind but I kept singing the same part over and over. I must tell you whenever I hear/sing this song I do always choke up at this part(see if you know the song):

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;


If you guessed "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" than you were right. If you have no idea what I am talking about that's ok. It is a beautiful old hymn you can listen to below.

Anyway, I choke up at that point every time because it describes me perfectly. Always prone to wondering and ALWAYS leaving the One I love. I think of all the indescribable gifts He gives and I can't believe that I wonder away. But I do. I make plans and lists and have goals that often leave Him from the equation. Ugh!

I read something this weekend that really got me thinking though:

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. ~Psalm 27:4

ONE THING. What if He became the one thing? The one thing I seek. The one thing I put first on my to-do list. The one thing I don't forget and the one thing I go to first when life knocks me around. Would my wondering become less and less??? I am so sure it would.

He is the one thing that will never let us down, never leave us, never hurt us and never deceive us. All the other things we put in first place always do and always will. After some research look at the words to the original 4th stanza to this hymn:

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.


Hallelujah! I get tears just thinking about it. He is so good. Praise Him. Today let's make Him our ONE THING! Have a blessed day!



Thursday, February 11, 2010

I am still here....

So I go down with a virus on Saturday and my computer goes down with a virus on Tuesday. Mine was much easier to fix. A little rest and I am back to normal. The computer on the other hand takes an hour and a half on the phone with the virus protection guy who tells me I don't have a virus and 7 hours on the phone with Dell who tells me I have a virus and my computer is in bad shape. Had to start all over luckily he saved my pictures and documents. Oddly enough though I just had Chris save the book I have been working on forever to one of those little Flash Drive thingy's last week. I am not sure what prompted me to do that. God is soo good!

Now I am having an issue with my mouse jumping all over the place so this post will be short. I e-mailed Dell and asked if they could help as a part of what they charged me yesterday. If not I am not sure what I will do since it cost too much already yesterday to fix and update virus protection.....

On the brighter side of things I did have an awesome time speaking at a wonderful luncheon on Tuesday. If I don't toss my computer right out the window today I will hopefully be able to tell you more about it soon.

One last thing...I joined Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity discussion group on her blog. I encourage you to get the book and join in.

Have a blessed day!