Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

From Kansas City

May it be filled with magic

And Love

And Fun

and the baby born in a manger
Christ the LORD
Emmanuel-God IS with us.

Blessings and Merry Christmas from my family to yours,

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Manger Heart

This is probably the craziest week of the year for most of us.

Families, shopping, Christmas programs, Church, baking and everything else life throws our way.

As I found myself caught up in the chaos this weekend, I found myself pondering once again the question,

"Why a Manger? Why a dirty bed of hay?"

I've known the story of Jesus birth since I was a small child. Chances are you could recite the story just as well.

But over the years I've found myself pondering different aspects of that history changing night.
I'll never forget the first Christmas that I was a mother trying to wrap my head around what Mary went through in that stable. . so young. . .how did she do it. . .looking into my babies face and wondering how she looked at her baby and her Savior . . .was she as terrified as I was that she would do something wrong and break him?

But this year I've found myself think on the manger. ..a feeding trough for dirty stinky animals. Filled with hay. . .Have you ever smelled hay? Let's just say they aren't making a candle in that fragrance.

Yesterday as we watched a "Living Nativity", I found myself again thinking, "of all the places in the world, in Bethlehem, why that dirty, fifthly place?"

The answer that kept coming back to my heart was this, "Why not there? I came to dwell in your heart which was much more fifthly ."

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

Not that I don't know my heart can be black and cold and fifthly.

But, that in my desperate wondering of "Why, Why Why would you let your precious son be laid in such a vile and disgusting place?!", I am reminded once again that He came for the whole world and for me-me and my dirty heart.  That the manger of 2000 Christmas's ago would not be the dirtiest or ugliest place He would dwell. But, the heart of men and women who put their trust in and chose to follow Him.

Emmanuel. God with us.  With us in the cold, dark, dirty reaches of heart- not so we'll stay there in the dark, but so that we can walk in the Light.

Thank You for coming into a world that would only offer you a bed of hay. Thank you for reminding me that I am no better.

Thank you for changing that dirty, vile place of my heart and making it clean as only you can.
Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas With A Cause

 Nineteen or so months ago, our precious friends boarded a plane bound for Ghana Africa.
Their plan was to work in the Baptist Medical Center.
God's plan, as always, was so much greater.
The lives they  have touched will probably never be able to be measured until heaven.

One of the discoveries they made upon arrival was that in their little town was an Orphanage.
Because of the difficult economic times, the church run orphanage had seen much neglect.
Instead of blaming denominations, Wendy and Greg rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

They began a chicken farm, for food and income (selling the eggs). Meeting the children's nutritional needs but also to enroll them in the local school.
The schools there all cost money and the children must wear uniforms.
It was happy day when we saw the pictures of 18 children who had never been in school before, dressed in their uniforms and walking to school. God has done miracle after miracle in this place.

Wendy and Greg are back in the States now, but their heart for missions and these precious children has not been moved.

Here's the part where YOU come in.  Wendy's sister Misty is selling OH SO YUMMY cinnamon rolls to continue to raise funds for these kiddos to get an education.
ALL proceeds go to the children!

Here are the details:

NAUGHTY CINNAMON ROLLS: Made with real butter, organic milk, organic evaporated cane juice, top of the line unbleached flour, these rolls make your taste buds stop in their tracks and say, OH. DEAR. ME. Traditional in nature and with a light vanilla glaze, these are sure to be a hit with the entire family! (or buy a pan and deliver to your neighbors!) Your rolls will be presented to you FROZEN with simple baking instructions.  Prices listed below.

NICE CINNAMON ROLLS:  While these rolls might be a tad heavier on the wallet, they will be much lighter on the hips.  Don't let the whole wheat flour and natural alternatives to refined sugar fool you...these rolls are still loaded with great taste while being packed with nutrition. "Bad" fats are replaced with "good" fats and refined sugar is completely taken out (with the exception of the light maple glaze) and replaced with natural sweeteners such as honey, sucanat, and maple syrup. Good, clean, wholesome ingredients.  Who knew cinnamon rolls could actually be nutritious?  For once, you can eat that cinnamon roll and not feel guilty! Your rolls will be presented to you FROZEN with simple baking instructions.  Prices listed below.

PRICE LIST: *glaze is included in all prices

1 pan (7-8 rolls) NAUGHTY Rolls: $6.00 FYI: I say 7-8 because it depends on how thick I cut the rolls.  Sometimes I can squeeze in 8 and other times 7 is all I can get in a pan. 
2 pans (14-16 rolls) NAUGHTY Rolls: $11.00
3 pans (22-24 rolls) NAUGHTY Rolls: $16.00
4 pans or more, contact me for prices.

1 pan (7-8 rolls) NICE Rolls: $8.00
2 pans (14-16 rolls) NICE rolls: $15.00
3 pans (22-24 rolls) NICE rolls: $22.00
4 pans or more, contact me for prices.

Will YOU help?  

Here's the extra bonus.  If you live in the 50 mile radius of Kansas City I will deliver your rolls.

If you don't but still want to help, the first 5 people to become a follower of the blog (and leave a comment telling me they did, I will donate a pan in your name.)

How do you order? Email

What a great way to get your kids involved in keeping the focus on the least of these during this Christmas season.
Praying you'll help!


**Edited to say that you have until next Tuesday to order. Misty has received FIFTY orders already!! How awesome is that??

Monday, December 5, 2011

If you're feeling Blue

May the Magic and Wonder  of the Season surround  you
May you always have a little person in your life that melts  your heart.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Light and Dark

When the news began to unfold in the Penn State child abuse scandal I have to say that at first, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention.

It was far away from me, concerning people I didn't know and frankly I didn't want to think about.

Then as more and more details emerged, I could no longer hide my head in the sand.

What I read and heard angered, saddened and sickened me.

Who could do that for so many years?

Who could basically condone that by covering it up at worst and just ignoring it at best?

I wept. I yelled at the TV. I prayed for the children.

Then the news began coming out of Syracuse.

Not Again.

Not Again.

Of all the many thoughts running through my head, one that I kept coming back to is "Well, they don't have Jesus. The reaction of a Christian institution would be different."

This week I was made aware of story coming of the Christian University that I attended that has made me physically sick to my stomach.

I won't go into all the details-which are to numerous to list here. But the just of the story is that they are re instating to their board of directors a pastor, who back in the 90's when a young girl had come to him that was pregnant because of rape by a much older man who was also a church  member , made HER apologize in front the congregation.  He also had the man apologize for an 'affair' never mentioning to the congregation that this man was the father of the victims child.
Did not call the police. Did not turn this man in.
Years later the victim found the courage to step forward, and long story short the man is now in jail for the rape of a minor.

The Pastor insist he did nothing wrong. Has never apologized to the victim.

And yet a school that is EXTREMELY  focused on what Christians do on the outside: dress, music, movies, alcohol, has re appointed someone who helped a  rapist essentially cover up his crime.

I heard about this through facebook and a petition that is being propelled forward by current students.
They are planning a protest on Dec 12.
I applaud their courage. Make no doubt, it comes at great risk for them. This is an institution that does not like to be questioned and labels put upon those questioning are hard to shake off once applied.

But, all of that is not why I'm writing today.

Why I am writing is to tell you about the deep dark hole I found myself after reading the case.
Then realizing that people I genuinely care about  and have known most of my life, are still supporting this institution by not calling on them to do the right thing and remove this man from the Board.

I was sickened. sad. outraged.

Are we no better?!

No. In many cases we (I) are not.

I found myself in tears and praying for all involved. Sad just so very discouraged and sad.

When the Lord brought these verses to mind:

John 1:1-5

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Light shines in the darkness. . .

Darkness has NOT overcome.

I have come back to those words throughout the week.

The Light is here-even when it seems dark. Jesus has not gone anywhere.

Even when we laud our standards and proclaim our righteousness, yet act no better than the world. . .
The Light is here.
Darkness will not overcome.

Maybe for different reasons than mine, you need to hear that today.

Whatever pain or turmoil you're find yourself in today, rest assured that Jesus, the Light of the World is here. People make mistakes. 
Jesus never does.
He was with God in the beginning, He is with Him now. He's never changed.
And He will overcome the darkness.

*I've tried to be very careful not to mention names of the University or people involved. Not out of respect for them, but for those reading who I care about still affiliated with the University and it's church supporters.
Know that this was not written out of any hate. I would urge you to pray about speaking out to those you know in a position to remove this man who covered up such a wrong. Let's show the world that we are a different-not just in words or superficial things but when it matters most.*
Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Heart

Pies are cooling and the dressing is made.

Packing up and heading out in a bit to celebrate with family.  Aunts Uncles and Cousins and Grandparents., not much sweeter in this world.

Just wanted to take the time to thank each of you for reading.

You blessed me in ways you can never know.

I hope today you'll take some time to reflect on your blessings. . .and the Giver of each and every blessing.

Grace, Mercy and Peace to each one of you,
Monday, November 21, 2011

Good Night

Footy  Pajama's 

Songs in the night

Read Me a Story

Before we say goodnight

Kisses and Hugs 

Soft Sweet Prayers

I'll see you in the morning

Whispered in my ear

Sleep tight my little one

Mommy is near

Hug Me Once More

And Now We Say 

Good Night.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Job Applications

We were sitting at the dinning room table a few nights ago, not for eating mind you but for the dreaded of all words.  . . .


(I've found my boys do much better at staying on task if they are right out there in the open doing their work, instead of in their rooms at their desks.)

Well, not to be out done, little girl went and got some paper and markers and joined the boys.

When I asked her what she was doing, she looked at  me like I was crazy and said

My homework.

Oh Yes, Of course.

That is some serious work for a Preschooler.

But, it got me thinking.

How many times do I take on jobs that don't belong to me?

How many times am I doing 'work' that is meant for someone else, just because I don't want to be left out?

Princess has jobs, designed just for her and where she's at, but at that moment she wanted more than what was allotted to her.

We each have specific jobs that have been ordained for us. Designed just for us.

But, if you're like me, I often find myself focusing on what someone else's job is instead of my own.

Perhaps theirs looks easier.

Or is more notable from a human perspective.

Or, my pride tells me "I could totally do that better!".

But, I've got to stop applying for others jobs and focus on my own.

Maybe I'll never be more than a burger flipper when it comes to Kingdom work.

But, if that is the job assigned to me than I'll do it to the best of my ability.

And say "Thank You Lord for designing this task just for me.".
Friday, November 4, 2011


The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Remember it's what's on the inside that counts.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why I don't care if my kids have a good day or not

Ok, so the title is a bit harsh sounding.

But, it's true.

Perhaps I should explain as I had to a few weeks ago when I had a friend at the house who heard my departing words to the 2 biggest monkeys as they left for school.

"Honor God Today. Make good choices!"

She smiled at me and said, "You didn't tell them to have a good day!?!".

No. Nope I didn't.

And here is why:

While I would be grateful if my kids had a good day, it matters little to me if in that 'goodness' of their day they didn't honor God and make God Honoring choices.

My primary goal as their Momma is not that they will be happy.

(And contrary to popular belief on some days it's not that they will be miserable either ;) )

It's not that they will be popular or great students.

My primar is goal is to set them on the path to Honor God all their days.  And with every choice that they make they change the world at the same time.

That is so much more important to me than their happiness.

You see I can't control their circumstances to make them 'happy'.

 (Insert that it took me years of learning this and is sometimes still a struggle. Don't mess with the Momma Lion and her cubs!)

People can be mean (Do YOU remember Middle School??)

School work can be difficult. (Hello Algebra -we hate you)

Your team won't always win.

A friend may just walk away when you need them most.

BUT if they (me, you) chose each day to Honor God make choices that reflect that, He  has promised them (us) all sorts of amazing things.

He'll be their friend.
He'll be on their side.
He'll be the Captain of their team-that never loses.

What more could a Momma wish for?

So no, I don't want them to settle for just having a good day.

Nobody ever changed the world by just having a good day.

I want them to Honor God with every choice.

To be different.

To Change the Tide.

I want that for me too.

So, I'll say it to you and to me too:

"Honor God today and make good choices!"
Monday, October 24, 2011

Cookie Cutters and Pit Dwellers

We were making sugar cookie cut outs with Mimi a few weeks ago and I was looking at those cookie cutters precisely cutting the dough so all the cookies were uniform, I began thinking about a term I hadn't used in a while . . .

After growing up in a church were the "law" abounded much more than grace, we coined a term called
"Cookie Cutters".

Everyone (I'm being broad here) dressed alike, thought alike, listed to the same music, same views on politics. . .and heaven help you if you didn't.
You could get labeled "Rebellious" or much worse.

It took many years of struggling and fighting to break free from those thoughts and actions.  Sometimes, with grace and dignity, more often than not though with the scars that come from the struggle.

I can look back now and see the good intentions (for the most part) that were there but that was a process that took along time and brought about many scars.
Of course, when you  look at a scar,  you can see where you were healed, so I don't mind them so much now.

But one day not so long ago, I was sitting a table of ladies who were sharing their stories.
Stories of battles and struggles, of a broken lives being remade new-through grace alone.

Stories that were painful to hear.

Stories that made me cringe.

Stories, that in my former life I would have shaken my head sadly and said "what a shame, now they can never be used by God".  (as if the Bible isn't full of God taking the most broken and using them for great things in His name?!?!)

But, now I find myself drawn to these Souls, who yearn to be free, who  yearn to know their Savior -not just follow a list of rules to somehow make themselves feel closer to God.

I've decided I'd rather deal with a group of former Pit Dwellers -yearning to be free- than a group of Cookie Cutters who have no idea what freedom really means.
Monday, October 17, 2011

Ocean of Grace

Grace is like the ocean

Always moving

Freely Flowing

It never becomes still or stagnant

No, instead like an ocean wave, it washes over you

Crashes into you

Envelops you

Touches every part of you

But here in the Ocean it is safe to sink down  into the deep end

There is room for everyone

Come and dive into the

Ocean of Grace
Thursday, October 13, 2011

No Doubt

Dirty Cleats at my feet

Dirty Dishes in my sink

Laughter flowing through the house

Wagging tail of my beagle friend 

Kissed at the door when My Man comes in

All these things and more

Leave no doubt


Grace Abounds.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rambling Randomness

My Middle has pneumonia. Let's just say that'll put a hold on everything  'important' you had going on in your week.
Times like these when I'm so thankful to be a stay at home mom.

 And for Diet Coke.

And Netflix.

Speaking of Netflix, we introduced the kids to The Hardy Boys starring one Mr. Shaun Cassidy, the other night.

OH MY STARS!  I think I forgot how dreamy those brothers were. And cheesy. But from the way to cool van, to flared pants and feathered hair, those boys had it going on.

And the kids- had the totally appropriate response of LOVING the show!

We also introduced them to Dennis the Menace. Which may or may not have been a mistake.
Let's just say there was ALot of laughter.

And the laughter, it did frighten me.

Our precious friends who've been serving the people of Ghana for the past year and half, are coming home on Saturday.
The anticipation in our house is as close to waiting for Christmas.

We're just a wee bit excited.

It's been dry and in the 80's here for most of September and now 11 days into October.

This girl is not complaining!

Cheering for soccer in sunshine and 80's is much more fun than in the rain and 50's.

But, I do the fall colors and they are beginning to show off here.

I've become slightly addicted to Words With Friends.

Someone found the blog by googling "Lessons Monkey's Learn".  I can't tell you how happy that made me.

Ok, I'm off to pass out medicines and  breathing treatments.
I refuse to complain about this because I am keenly aware that we are blessed to be able to do so.
My boy will get better. Not everyone can say that.

Thanks for listening to my rambling randomness today. Feel free to leave me a random thought of your own.

I'll leave you with this verse:

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 62:1 NIV

Praying for you today, Peeps! Praying your will find rest.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

From Here to Here

Today my first born turned 13.


We officially have a teenager in the house.
I've spent the day wondering how we went from 


                                                                  To here.

                                                                    From here

To here

                                                                    From here (with my giant pregnant belly)
                                                                 To here

                                                       From silly little boy

To serious young man

You're growing up

But to me
                                                  This is who you'll always be.

Happy Birthday Bubba!
Sunday, October 2, 2011

The One

In my minds eye

I see your sandal clad  feet

Walking along the dusty roads

In old Galilee 

The hem of your garment gently brushing the ground

Your back is to me

And I wonder if you know I'm there

There resisting the urge to run and throw myself at your feet

Afraid to lose my dignity

Your face turns to the side

I can tell by your profile that you're smiling

Gentle and Kind

Suddenly we're face to face

Quickly I look down afraid to meet your eyes.

They pierce inside to the very heart of me

Then I feel your touch upon my shoulder

Warm and tender

Pulling my chin up so my eyes meet yours

"Don't be afraid, Child" was all you would need to say

At your feet I would  fall 

weeping, calling to all who will hear

This is Jesus Christ

My Savior, King,

He is

The One.

Then I blink and just as suddenly I'm back

To the modern age

Where everything is always sifting and swirling around

Do I even find the time or courage  to say

"I follow The Way of Jesus, God's one and only Son."

Or am I afraid that others will think I'm old fashioned and out of date.

The vision is back

Once again I hear you say my name.

Yes, Lord, I hear you

And I will obey.

My name is Angie and I follow The Way

His name is Jesus

He came to die and rose again on the third day

He walked the earth and lives today

He will  make you new, provide forgiveness too

He'll be your shelter, 

Your Rock

Your Savior 

Your King

Who once wore sandals and had dusty feet.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Friday Night Lights

We spent our Friday night sitting outside watching our baby girl and the rest of the Preschoolers -2nd graders perform a little program.

You're welcome for all the cuteness I'm about to show you!

Herding Cats -I mean getting the preschoolers in place.

Cutest Little Preschooler I know.

The  Princes had  solo-but it's  having trouble loading
 Just know it's the sweetest thing you've seen in awhile. 

It has been one of the longer weeks I've experienced in awhile-last night was such a gift.
Watching these little guys sing about Jesus-precious beyond words.

Happy Saturday!
Friday, September 30, 2011


I got the dreaded call from the kids school yesterday: "Mrs Wilkinson I have J in the office and he's running a 101 temp. and says his throat hurts."

I was in the middle of Bible study at our church. Because this kind of thing is never convenient, right?

I'd been crying all morning as I poured my heart out and listened to my friends concerns. It has been an incredibly long week, with people I love dearly suffering and frankly I was at the edge of a major crying jag about 9:30 Thursday morning.

When I picked J up and we headed over to the Doctors to get a strep test (It's been going around his school) he said "Momma my tummy feels messy".

I couldn't get that word messy out of my mind.

It seemed to describe so well what I was feeling.

WOW life sure is messy isn't it?

I would like for things to be all neat and tidy and yet it seems it never or rarely anyway is.

I think I literally had tears in my eyes or was actually crying most of the day yesterday.

And while I was running between church, school, doctors office, back to get the Princess from preschool, pick up medicine, take  the sickie to Mimis so he didn't have go with me to my job,
I heard this song:

"What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise ?"

If your life is messy right now, please know that it'll end someday. . .

and in the meantime Jesus is walking right beside you.

If you need a friend to pray for you, please let me know how I can-it's my humble privilege to do so.

Wadding through this messy life,
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lessons Learned

I recently read a blog post by a woman that I read often and  enjoy and learn from her insight.
She has a new book coming out that I am excited to read.

But, this most recent post left me a bit puzzled.

Her point  was that not everything in life has a lesson.
Sometimes we just go through things because the Lord wants us to.

Now, I could be wrong-after all she's a published author and I'm a soccer mom-but I don't believe that to be true.
While I do believe the Lord can do whatever He wants, I also believe that He never wastes a hurt.

Every trail or difficult thing I've ever gone through has taught me something.

Maybe I couldn't or didn't see it at the exact moment, but to sure the Lord  has never had me walk through something for nothing.

Even if what I learned was - I am not in charge.
Or, Lean on Jesus, He is the only one strong enough to carry me through.

The Lord does not waste an emotion, a struggle, a journey for us to learn NOTHING. If He did that would just be mean and pointless and that is NOT who God is.

Whatever spot of life you're in right now that you can't see your way out of just know He's walking right beside you.

Sometimes, that's the best lesson of all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


A word that is said in our house ALLOT-is


Focus on the task at hand.  Whether it's cleaning up, homework, soccer, setting the table.
F O C U S.

I've found that my ability to say focus on what's important verses my ability to Stay focused on what's important are entirely two different things.

And the past few days I found myself focusing on my shortcomings (which is just a backward form of pride) instead of Jesus and all that He is.

I have found that Perfectionism is the enemy of both patience and grace.
And I lost my focus was only looking at what was wrong or what I couldn't do.

So I began praying "Jesus help me focus on who YOU are instead of what I am not."

In doing so I began writing down words that describe who Jesus is:

Jesus You Are
















All Power

All Knowledge

All Might







The Rose of Sharon

The Bright and Morning Star

In Me

For Me

Beside Me

Behind Me



The Way

The Truth

Who is Jesus for you today? Let's focus on Him together.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sometimes only a hymn will do

I love Modern worship music.
But there is something about an old hymn that speaks to my soul. Maybe it's because I grew up with them, maybe it's the classic, flowery language but sometimes nothing will do like a hymn.
I don't hear them much anymore, but occasionally one will pop to mind.

Tonight this Chorus has been going over and over in my mind.

Grace, grace, God's grace, 
 grace that will pardon and cleanse within; 
 grace, grace, God's grace, 
 grace that is greater than all our sin! 
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, 
 grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! 
 Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured, 
 there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt. 
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, 
 freely bestowed on all who believe! 
 You that are longing to see his face, 
 will you this moment his grace receive? 

I pray you're living in God's grace today.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What I did this summer

In the spirit of all that is back to school here is a review of summer.

Caught lightening bugs

Celebrated my baby turning 5

Rushed My Man to the hospital
Sat by his bed and held my breath, uttering prayers with no words
Brought him home
Watched him heal

Played catch

Headed up Preschool VBS

Sat by the pool

Welcomed home a dear friend

Set off fireworks

Camped when it was 105 outside

Swam in the lake

Stayed up late

Rode rollercoasters till I thought I'd puke

Ate smores

Turned 40 and survived

Read some good books

Went back to school shopping

Then I blinked and summer was over and
I sent the kids back to school

What did you do this summer?
Friday, September 2, 2011

The Bible tells me so. . .

Jesus loves me
this I know
for the Bible tells me so.

Many of us having been singing those words before we could even talk in full sentences.

Are they just some trivial words we sing is Sunday School or do we believe them?

Our oldest memory verses for the week:

 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8 Love never fails. 
1 Cor. 13: 4-8a

Our 2nd graders verse for the week:

I the LORD speak the truth;
   I declare what is right.
Isaiah 45:19c

While helping the boys memorize their verses this week, I was struck by how they go together.
All the verses we quote at weddings, yet somehow don't quite believe them.
Love never fails.

But J's verse reminds us-The LORD always tells the truth and always tells us what is right.

While dwelling on those thoughts another verse sprang to mind.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. 
I John 4:16a

Maybe you need reminded today, that Love never fails-because God is love. Man's love may fail, but the LORD your God never does.
Because God-Your Lord always speaks the truth.

Grace and Peace,

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fries, Airmen and Halves

Twenty years ago today I went on a lunch date with the cutest Airman I'd ever seen.

We'd met at church a couple of weeks before and when he called for a date I said YES.

I was living in Germany and he was stationed at the local Airbase.

We were supposed to go for lunch at a cute local joint, but both of us forgot that they close mid day for a break.
So we ended up at the romantic hot spot on base.

Burger King.

Yep. That's our big first date.
But, we were young and it didn't matter.

After that date, he called his grandma and told her he'd found the girl he was going to marry.
It took me two more dates to get to that same place.

I had just turned 20.

I've loved that Airman now for half my life.

God has been good.

Grace as filled in all the cracks and covered two broken lonely kids and made us whole.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Step by Step

Life is hard.

One of the most over used sentences in the English language.
One of the most understated sentences in the English language.
And a fact I was reminded of once again this week.

A dear friend lost her step-father unexpectedly.
Another's struggles with Parkinson's.
Another is just beginning her fight against cancer.
Kids struggling already at the start of new school year.
Jobs that have been lost and now families are scrambling to know what to do next.
I've heard all of these stories this week.

The voices of the struggling have been swirling around my head.
But, in the quiet of my heart I hear ONE voice who said:
 Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
   before one of them came to be. Ps. 139:16

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.Ps. 90:6

Whatever your personal struggle is right now, I pray you'll remember these verses.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 
   for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

Often the big picture can be overwhelming. Take each journey step by step. When everything else is falling apart, hold on to Him.

Grace and Peace,
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bird on a Wire

On our way to the first day of Pre K today, the Princess found a bird sitting by itself on a wire.

An ordinary thing to you and me, but to a little girl who loves all animals (bugs do NOT count) every creature we see along our journeys is a big deal.

Momma a bird, I see a bird. It's so tiny and cute.

Oh, I see it too Baby. Yes, it is cute.

But, it's all alone Momma. Is she sad to be all alone.

I don't know Baby. Do you think she's sad?

No, I don't think she's sad. I think her Momma taught her how to fly and now she's practicing. So she's super happy. And after awhile she'll go fly back to her Momma.

I think you're right Baby Girl.

Fly away for just the day. . .and then come home and tell me all about it.
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Packing and Unpacking

I'm sure there were Praise Offerings heard far and wide these past couple of weeks as kiddos headed back to school.

Back to School is always an emotional rollercoaster for me.

Happy- No more playing Cruise Director, Julie McCoy as I try and keep everyone entertained.

Astonished -where in the world did summer go?

Overwhelmed- between new schedule's, back to school shopping, making sure you have the EXACT thing on the supply list. . . it often overwhelm's this Momma.

Sad-my babies are growing up. As much as I encourage this, it still breaks the heart of me. ..the eternal struggle of parents.

As I was dealing with my emotionally wrecked self, I found myself labeling and filling backpacks.

Even for the 7th grader.
I only do for back to school, but I do love filling their backpacks and organizing their things.
Nothing like a new school year and fresh start.

Tuesday was the first day for this guy:

All smiles and slicked back hair.
Watch out 2nd grade, you're about to get rocked!

The next day was the big boys first day of 7th grade.
That seems so crazy to me. . .I still remember my first day of 7th grade. How could I be sending this man/child off to 7th grade??

I've mentioned before how much I hated 7th grade.
It was very difficult year for me.
Didn't fit in with kids I known my whole life.

Awkward. Lonely.

As I was packing up the big boy's back pack with all his school supplies Tuesday I found myself praying all sorts of things for him as he sets out on this new year.

Good things to pray. . . ramblings of a Momma. . .desperate prayers, that weren't really prayers but begging . . .

And it was if the Lord spoke right to the heart of me. . .don't pack things in there for him that aren't necessary. . .
Fear, anger, loneness, bitterness. . . .He's not you, don't load him up with extra burdens to carry.
 He'll be Ok. I've got this covered.
 Have I ever failed you before?
Don't make his load heavier by putting your own stuff in there.

I can't tell the extreme sense of peace that overflowed in those quiet moments.

Do you ever do that?
Put stuff on others that they don't need to carry?

Maybe I'm the only one, but I doubt it.

I Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Jesus is the only one who can hold on to our fears and anxieties and invites us to throw them all to him.

So off to 7th grade C went, his backpack a little lighter, filled with only things he needs not with useless things of mine I was trying to shove into the corners.

And we were both the better off for it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Not to sound like Granny or anything, but this birthday has caused no small amounts of deep reflection.

Some deep sighs, a few tears, an over abundance of smiles and the overview of a life filled with grace.
Not perfection, but deep and wide places where God fills in His vast and unfailing love.

My big boy begins 7th grade this week. And that in itself is as much of a  shock to my system as turning 40 has been.
And in all my reflection I have decided that turning 40 is better than being in the 7th grade.

I hated 7th grade.

 And it seems no amount of time or adult perception can change that.
So, I have found something good about getting older.

Also, one of the best things about turning 40. . .?!?!

Reflecting on a life filled with friends.
I have been blessed to have some of the same girlfriends for a lifetime. There aren't many that can say that, I know I am blessed beyond measure to say that I can.
I've also picked up some amazing friends along life's journeys.
Really, since getting older doesn't seem to be a choice, I am so glad I can do it with these gals.

BFF since 5th grade. We have a lot of history and she knows all my secrets.
Everyone should have a friend like my sweet Lanie.

You don't need a big birthday to reflect on the grace of your life.
I challenge you this week to look at all the places in your life where God's grace and love has overflowed.
I read this verse this morning and it made me teary and smile in grateful praise all at the same time.

The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything. Deuteronomy 2:7

Yes, I can truly say "These forty years the LORD has been with me. And I have lacked not one thing."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Breaking Rules

I have broken a major bloggy rule, by not blogging in what feels like forever.
But, while I have had a lot on my mind, I've had a hard time putting into words.

Yesterday was a big day.
I turned *Gulp* 40.  Sounds freaky to say that out loud.
Only because I look and wonder "Where did the time go?"

I spent the morning and afternoon with my beloved friend. She has been my best friend since we were in 5th grade and knows all my secrets.
She's lived in Thailand the past three years, and I won't even pretend like that hasn't been so hard.
But, yesterday we were blessed with a day together doing some retail therapy and having a yummy yummy lunch. (of which I took no pictures)

I came home to a house that smelled amazingly like chocolate.
The Hubs baked me a cake.

So moist and gooey! There are chocolate chips in the frosting as well.

I was given some lovely flowers

And was surrounded by love

The pics were taken with my other present,  which is a new phone-replacing the one I dropped in Diet Coke right before vacation.

Friday night, The Hubs has set up a Girls Night Out for me  -which I am so looking forward too!!

Maybe 40 really will be fabulous?

Monday, August 1, 2011

What happens after 10 days in a Camper

Sunday, July 31, 2011

People Praying

I found myself doing quite a bit of people watching this past week and half while we were on vacation.

One day at a waterpark-where we spent 10+ hours -I found myself praying for those who passed me by instead of just watching them . . .

Dear Lord,

Watch over those teenage boys talking about scoring meds from their doctor.
Protect them and let their parents become aware of what they are  doing.

Help the mom with one hand. Give her a special blessing today.

Lord, the young man who took our food order. . .help him overcome that lisp. Give him a friend.
Give him confidence to face the world.

Oh, help that Momma with those triplets.  She needs and extra measure of grace-give her strength for the day. . .and her long journey.

Help that man covered in angry tatoos and piercings find the peace he needs.

Lord, I'm praying for those teenage girls there, protect them. Help them find their confidence from within and not by showing their bodies.

Lord, marriage is hard, help that couple fighting over there. Help their angry words be few and their apology's be quick.

Lord, I'm praying for this lesbian couple right beside me. Trying to raise two sons. Protect the boys. Help them all find YOU. For only YOU can save. Help me be light to them right now by showing kindness.

Lord, see those three children right there? I know you do. I know you hold them in the palm of your hand.
Thank you for their precious smiles. Guide them, protect them.
Help their parents, for they are slow and often don't know what they're doing.

How can I pray for you  this week?
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Days

Popsicle drips on the front of your shirt

Missing teeth from your smile

Scrapes on your knees from climbing a tree

Laughing at Bugs and the guy that goes Beep Beep


Suntan lines where goggles belong

Wondering 'Why' a thousand times

Treehouse forts
Balls strewn about the yard

Friends all day
Picnics in the shade

These are what make up our Summer Days.