Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back to the Future part 2

Earlier this week I wrote about what I would go back and say to my high school self.
That got me to thinking -what would I go back and tell my newly married self?
The Hubs and I married young and I was starry eyed. Some of the things I think I did a good job at -but I see young women doing and I want to scream STOP DOING THAT!!! But, there were others -many others, that I've got to think a lesser man would've been done with about 2 years in. Thank you Jesus for a patient man!

So back in the DeLorean I go to tell that naive bride, ready to walk down the aisle 5 things that would make her life much easier and happy.

1) Your Husband has a Holy Spirit -and it's NOT YOU!
Let the One who knows best, do His own work -you're just in the way, and quite frankly you don't have it together nearly as much as you think you do.

2)All those darling things he does that you think are interesting and quirky-I know you don't believe it right now, but really they will drive you crazy someday.
But, here's the thing -all your quirks are going to do the same to him. Let it go, and accept him the way he is.

3) Don't think he can read your mind. You're going to have to tell him what you need.
And that's ok. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you, it just means he doesn't read minds.

4)You married a man. They are different than you. Don't try and take all that away-after all that's not really what you want.

5) Never under any circumstances criticize your husband in front of a group of women.
Do not belittle or demean him. There is no greater harm you can do to your man than to cut him down.
Build him up, make him believe that he is amazing. That will go so much further than any criticism will-he'll want to be the man you keep believe he is.

There is much more. But those are the top 5 things I'd tell myself or any other new bride.
What about you? What would you tell your newlywed self?
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back to the Future

Recently, on our morning walk my friend and I were discussing what we would say if we could go back and talk to our high school self.

Oh, I know I'd have a few things to tell that big haired girl!

So since I just read Back to the Future is turning Twenty Five-WOW I'm OLD- I thought I'd hop in the DeLorean and visit my high school self. Somebody pass me some leg warmers and hairspray please.

1)You look fabulous exactly the way you are!
Quit stressing over your body and enjoy your youth -goodness knows it's going to end soon enough.

2) No crying over boys! Your true love is coming and much sooner and in a different place than you think. You don't need to waste your tears on love at your age. It's coming I promise, and when it does, it's going to be great!

3) Don't pick a college because your friends are going there and that is where everyone expects you to go. That's no way to pick the next four years of your life.

4) Jesus loves you and wants you to be free in Him. He thinks you're beautiful and loves you so much and He did not die on the cross for you to live in bondage.

5) Listen to your mother-she's pretty much right about everything.

Ok, your turn-if you could go back-what would you tell your teenage self.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reminded once again

We are reminded once again of fragility of life as a friend lost a parent this week.
She had fought the good fight and is now with her Saviour, but those who loved her mourn for their loss.
And we can Only Imagine. . .
I can only imagine what it will be like, when I walk by Your side...
I can only imagine, what my eyes will see, when Your Face is before me!
I can only imagine. I can only imagine.
Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

I can only imagine, when that day comes, when I find myself standing in the Son!
I can only imagine, when all I will do, is forever, forever worship You!
I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! Yeah! I can only imagine!

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! Yeah! I can only imagine!

I can only imagine! Yeah! I can only imagine!! Only imagine!!!
I can only imagine.

I can only imagine, when all I do is forever, forever worship You!
I can only imagine."

You can't be part of my Kingdom

The princess and I went to a parent/tot gymnastics class yesterday.

No I do NOT do any gymnastics-my job seems to be to keep her from falling off any of the big equipment!

Well, for Halloween they had a big inflatable scary castle type thing that the kids could walk through.
While B was standing outside the entrance trying to decide if she was REALLY going in there, a little girl put her hands on her hips and very boldly and loudly proclaimed 'YOU CAN'T COME IN, YOU CAN'T BE PART OF MY KINGDOM!'

B, just looked at me and chose to move on to something else. While we were walking away, the little girl called out to us and said 'Come back and play with me!'.

Well, B did -eventually-but it took her awhile to decide if she was really welcome in there and if she felt 'safe' enough to go in with Little Miss Bossy Pants.

(BTW, I've been the parent of the bossy kid -I get it they're kids and learning and frankly I was just glad it wasn't me this time doing the tough parenting)

However, it did get me thinking. How often do we stand at the door of our churches, look people up and down and then declare that they can't be part of the kingdom?
Oh, we're more sophisticated than to say those exact words out loud, but we can convey our meaning clear enough.
Not dressed they way we'd like to be, lots of baggage from past mistakes that have left a rocky path in their wake.
And just as they are thinking that perhaps this isn't the safest place for them, we call out and try to tell about Jesus. And then we wonder why they don't want they don't want anything to do with him.
I know I've been Miss Bossy Pants before.Often.

Oh, to be the person others only see Jesus when they look at me.
That our churches would be warm and welcoming to every weary soul that has gathered enough courage to enter our doors so that they will become part of the Kingdom .

When I read the promise of Jesus in Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Not only does it give me encouragement it also reminds me that life is hard and those who are coming to Jesus are weary and burdened. And sometimes, when you are those things you might be tough and hard on the outside.
But, if Jesus called them to come, who am I to say 'you can't be part of My Kingdom'?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For Pete's Sake

We are studying 1Peter in our adult Sunday School classes at my church.
I love Peter. Have since I was a little girl -I think it's because I can relate so much to someone who loves Jesus so much, yet is always jumping in to be first and says the wrong thing.
Peter the Big Fisherman, who lets us see once again, that God not only tolerates the misfits and often misguided, but loves them and chooses to use them. (Thank you Jesus!!)

Having grown up in church, there are certain verses that everyone memorizes. (BTW, I'm not criticizing, Scripture memorization is a VERY good thing and should be apart of any believers walk)
And a verse that I've memorized and heard preached on many times is 1Peter 3:15 -Always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is in you. (Angie paraphrase)
So, when you are going through difficult or stressful times, you had better be ready to give an a reason why you have a hope.

Oh and here's the actual verse and not just my paraphrase.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect 1Peter 3:15

Reasons. I like reasons. The reason why I believe the way I do, have the convictions that I have, vote the way I do. Lots O Reasons. And, I'm OFTEN very eager to share them with you and want you to desperately have the same reasons that I do.

That's why, after all my years in church and studying on my own, I was so surprised to see two little words squished into that verse . Gentleness and Respect.

Seriously, if you know much about Peter these are not words you would associate with him.
So, how much more convicting that they would come from the Big Fisherman himself.
Yes, know what you believe and why you believe it. But, when someone asks you why you answer with Gentleness and Respect.

So after pondering on that for most of the day we then finish the weekend off with the Rangers winning the Pennant -heading to their first World Series. ( the Hubs is from Texas, so we are pretty excited at our house)
But, instead of the usual champagne pour in the locker room after a huge victory like that, they opted for ginger ale.
Josh Hamilton, one of their teammates has been very open with his struggle with addiction and his Faith in Christ. So out of respect for him and his stance they opted for the ginger ale.
Now, I don't know much about Josh Hamilton, but I do know if he would have been arguing and ranting about the evils of excess alcohol, I'm pretty sure his teammates would've chalked him up to another 'intolerant' Christian. Instead, with gentleness and respect, he told his story of redemption in Christ. And now, it's being talked about everywhere by those who you'd never think would be talking about such things.

Gentleness and Respect. May I show those things to everyone I meet whether they agree with me or not, not for my glory, but that My Hope in Christ will be evident.
Friday, October 22, 2010

Walking on Water

**This was originally written in July 2009

So, ever since VBS this past June the story of Peter walking on the water has been on my mind.
It's a story, if you've spent anytime at all in church, you grow up hearing about. I mean it is amazing. Jesus walking on the water and Peter jumping out of the boat to go and meet him. Peter taking his eyes off of Jesus and starting to drown and Jesus pulling him up. That's a great story, and what makes it even better is it's true!
What struck me last month and that I just can't get my mind off of, is this thought:
The whole time, Jesus could have calmed the storm. In fact He did, but not until later after He and Peter got back into the boat.
Peter jumped out in the middle of the storm, just to get to Jesus. And, Jesus was walking to him, and encouraging him to come, even though the storm was raging all around.
I find in my life, so often I want Jesus to calm the storm for me. My attitude is, sure I'll walk to you with you, just make it peaceful. You can do it, I know you can-I've seen you do it!
But, just like Peter, I need to walk through the storm. And just like Peter, I'm not alone in the storm. Jesus was always with him, Peter just lost sight of the one he jumped out to follow.
Yes, I believe He can (and often does) calm the storm, but oh how much more my faith grows as I walk through it instead. Sometimes, like Peter, I begin sinking. I start looking around and it scares me. After all, the waves want to consume me, the wind wants to blow me down. ( I hope you can stay with me, I know that is a lot of metaphors)
But, Jesus bids me to come. He doesn't promise to stop the storm, only that He'll be there in it with me.
So, just like Peter, I don't want to wait for it to be calm before I follow. I want to jump out of the safety of my boat and do something I could never do without faith in the One walking through the storm, right along with me.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Little girl twirling in the sun
Waiting for Momma to come home.
For there are cookies to bake
And dresses to be made
All just for fun.

Daddy pulls in and says Momma is never coming home again.
And the twirling in the sun is all done.

Everything has changed and been all rearranged
And all she wants to do is yell STOP!

But, she's got no voice
Not even when the man does his dirty deed
Even when Daddy doesn't believe.

Drifting through church but no one takes a second look
At the sad little girl who no longer twirls.

All grown up now trying to make a life and do what's right
A baby girl all her own is soon to arrive
But, the guy doesn't stay
And really it's just better that way.

Life takes another turn
And little boy soon comes along.
Same sad story as the Daddy goes away and people just can't seem to stop talking.

No one asks why they just shake their heads and sigh.
Looking down their noses and without ever saying so, wish she would just go.

But, Jesus has been there.
Holding her up when no one else was looking.
Even on the darkest nights
When there was no night light
And the world around her was crashing.
As the people turned their heads, He was there instead
Holding out His hands, saying
I will always love you.

Twirl again in the sun my little one, He calls out the invitation.
Let's start again and I'll turn your pain into beautiful things.
Don't let those others take your life away.
I can make you whole again
And give you joy unspeakable
Dry all your tears
As I hold you near
And, let you know Momma is waiting right here for you.
Hand in hand you'll dance again in the sunshine
There will be no night
Because I am your light
And the twirling never has to end.

Quoting Spurgeon

I read this today and was so moved, bear in mind it was written a century ago so the English is a bit wordy for us, but the truths that are written there are undeniable.

We shall, as we ripen in grace, have greater sweetness towards our fellow Christians. Bitter-spirited Christians may know a great deal, but they are immature. Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart. He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more; he overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find it. As he has sometimes to say of himself, ““This is my infirmity,”” so he often says of his brethren, ““This is their infirmity;”” and he does not judge them as he once did.
I know we who are young beginners in grace think ourselves qualified to reform the whole Christian church. We drag her before us, and condemn her straightway; but when our virtues become more mature, I trust we shall not be more tolerant of evil, but we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for the people of God, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “Ripe Fruit,” delivered August 14, 1870.
Saturday, October 16, 2010


Today I saw a leaf
Floating on the wind.
Eyes up to the sky, I couldn't look away
as I watched it float by.

All alone and on a wild ride the leaf seemed so out of control, even on a peaceful day.

As I watched, I wondered
How many times I've felt like the leaf.
Floating on the wind, no control of where I'm going.
Forgotten and just floating by.

A wild little dance it's doing until it sinks gently onto to the ground.

But, I stop and remember
The Maker of the Leaf knew where it would land, before it even began to float.
He blew the wind that kept it afloat and made the ground it landed upon.
And though the ride seemed wild to leaf and the ones watching it fly by
Others may have looked and thought
Why that leaf
Why make it dance alone in the wind, so seemingly out of control
But, the Maker was preparing it's soft landing spot the entire time
In a beautifully lush piece of grass
Where if that leaf had just stayed in it's comfortable pile
Never would know the comfort of a spot made just for it.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scaredy Cat

I was that kid who while playing Hide-n-Seek would come out running because I would get scared where I was hiding.
Afraid. Of many many things.

A life lived in fear is one that is not being lived. While I may have broken free of the more obvious strong holds of Satan that had a grip on me in my early 20's, fear was still there. I didn't always recognize it as fear though.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you looked around and found yourself in a pit and not even know you were there?
It had become comfortable. My pit of fear. I was cozy there in that place. After all, it's 'just who I am'. And aren't there many 'legitimate' things to be afraid of.

But, that fear had a tight grip on me and in turn my growing family. And what I was willing to do for the Lord. After all, "I can't do that-it's too scary!". "He'll get someone else more qualified than me." That's just code for I can't do that I'm to afraid.
About 5 1/2 years ago I began to recognize this stronghold of fear in my life.
And what it was holding me back from. All the good gifts God wanted to give me, but couldn't because I was to afraid to receive them.
One of the verses I have claimed in the quest to leave my scaredy cat costume behind is Habakkuk 3:19 in the Amplified Bible The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

The last thing I want to do is stand still in terror! And the promise I love and have claimed is HE is my PERSONAL BRAVERY!! Even when I feel afraid and like I have no courage left for the battles that lie ahead-I can have confidence in this: He is my bravery, HE is my army, HE makes me walk and stand firm.
Thank you Jesus that I don't have do to it myself, otherwise I'd be quivering in the corner.

I meet women who are scared. Scared for their health, scared because they are in a new place, scared because they see their marriages falling apart, scared because there is no money. Scared because they don't feel like they are a good enough parent to their children. All this and so much more. Let's face it our world can be a scary place! But, claim it with me sisters -HE is our bravery! We will no longer live in fear!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All wrapped up in a neat little bow

Usually my posts are nice little stories about what I've seen God up to in my life. In other words, I don't really blog about my day to day activities. Not that there is a thing wrong with that, just not what I'm up to here.
But, this past weekend we went on a family camping trip to the lake (as our gift to our big boy who turned 12). And I wanted to share a few highlights that were so special to me.
What a fabulous time we had.
Laughing together, talking walks to the lake side, sitting around the campfire, hitting the local amusement park -where we terrified and thrilled ourselves on roller coasters and all sorts of spinning contraptions. (Really WHY?? WHY spin yourself until you feel the ground swooning beneath you? Sure is fun though)

My goal this weekend was, in a simple nutshell, to enjoy my family.
Family time-when all five of us are present and able to participate (no homework, housework, practice, ministry stuff pulling us apart) is a rare and special treat these days. Something to be savored and cherished.

So, as I tried not squander a moment these are the places where I saw God at work around me.

In the ability of my children to make a friend wherever we go. In no less than five minutes of setting up camp my kiddos had made friends some of the other children who were camping this weekend.
Seriously, I was nervous about introducing myself to the moms, but not a one of them had a flicker of self doubt. Oh to be that confident in who I was created to be!

In the moments of laughing with the people I love the most.
Do you ever wonder if in heaven when we aren't worshiping at the feet of Jesus if we'll be laughing with the Saints who've gone before us? Because don't you know Peter has got to have a great laugh-loud and booming!
And Sarah must still have a chuckle in her voice every time she tells the story of her miracle baby boy.
Oh I can't wait.

I also saw Him as I would look up at the night sky sprinkled with so many stars and know that He had His plan for mankind written in those same stars and when He gave Abraham his promise -He was thinking of me.
So amazing.

One thing we are working on as a family is enjoying the moment. Not worrying about what comes next. Next will take care of its self, but the moment we are living in now will never come again.

So, no wrapped up package with a bow on top this time.
This time God was showing me His Goodness over and over again in every little way that matters most to me.
He's so gracious like that - coming to us over and over again to show us His love and kindness. He could've left us to wander in darkness, or He could've just left us at the cross, after all, that was more than we deserved. But He didn't. Instead He comes to us everyday over and over again reminding us how special we are to Him and how much He loves and cares for us. All we have to do is seek Him - He will reveal Himself to us-sometimes in the smallest of places with those we love the most.
Thursday, October 7, 2010


If you are at all like me the use of the word "Homework" can send shudders down your spine!
But, have no fear this homework assignment should be pretty pain free!

Please leave a comment -ANONYMOUSLY- listing 3 things about the women's ministry at your church. Two positives and one thing you'd like to see worked on.
Remember to do it anonymously, that way we can be free with what we say and no one's feeling will be hurt.

Thanks for your help!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When My Heart Grew Wings

Twelve years ago today, I felt my heart leave my body for the first time, when they placed a beautiful baby boy in my arms.
Cameron's arrival was eventful but so were the years leading up to his birth with all the numerous infertility treatments.
And after he came not much changed.
He's a walking talking miracle -something he is reminded of OFTEN! I'm not worthy to be called 'Mom', but so grateful for the privilege of being one x 3.
Today we celebrate the person who made me a mommy.

Happy Birthday my beautiful first born son!
Here are 12 things I love about you.

1)Your smile -it lights up your face!

2)Your sense of humor-the fact that you actually have one. You aren't all about gross noises, you are clever and have a dry whit -I love that!

3)I love that you are a varicose reader. You devour books-and good ones, not just easy reading junk.

4) I love that, while not the best on your soccer team -you love your team and wouldn't dream of quitting.

5)Your love for your grandparents. It's a gift that you want to spend time with them and help them.

6) I love that you're already thinking about your future and what God would want you to do. The fact that you talk about going to our local Bible college tells me so much about your heart.

7) I love how you have embraced middle school. All the things that could have made it difficult or scary, you've embraced it with your whole heart!

8) I love that you love going to Youth Group at church. Your excitement is contagious!

9)I love that you can you go from 5 star resort to camping in the woods.

10) I love that you love music. From some great song choices on your ipod to playing the saxophone. You are becoming a well rounded young man. That will serve you well in your life.

11) I love that you still love Lego's. I'm so thankful you haven't grown up to fast.

12) I love that you still want a hug and kiss from your mom, and that you aren't embarrassed to be seen with me.

Daddy and I often call you our experimental child. I'm so thankful for God's grace to cover all our mistakes. It's hard to be the first one, but you handle it like a pro!

It's not easy to be let go of your heart and let it become a walking talking person -but it's so worth it!

Thank you God, for a small glimpse of how much you love us by letting us become parents and feel some of the same things you feel as you look at us.