Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Scaredy Cat

Last night after dinner we had our family devotions.
We have a great kids devotions book that some friends gave us years ago. All of the kids enjoy it and it has often help spark some great conversations.

Last nights devotion was the story of the Fiery Furnace and the friends who stood together for God against Mr. Nezzer. (If you have kids you'll get that Veggie Tales reference and the fact that the whole time we were reading I couldn't get Rack, Shack and Benny out of my head!)

I grew up in church, this is not a new story to me(-but if you didn't I encourage you to read it in it's entirety in the book of Daniel chapter 3-)but that is the amazing thing about God's Word. It's alive! A story you grew up hearing can suddenly give you a new insight.

What stuck me last night was not only did these three men stand up against the king, which takes courage and conviction, and not only did they have faith that God would be on their side, they also had faith enough to know that even if they didn't see God work they way they wanted they were still to do what was right.

In verse 17 *the Lessons from Aisle 12 paraphrase* they tell Nebuchadnezzar to toss them in the furnace because God will rescue them.
But vs 18 is what struck me.
It begins with the words, But if not.
In other words if God doesn't rescue us right now, you better know that we still believe in the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
They were willing to stand up, knowing it meant death and still believe that even if God didn't choose to rescue them at that very second, He alone was King and Ruler over all and they still believed.


I'll confess that I am often brave-when it's easy.
It's easy to stand for what you believe when you can see your deliverance coming.
But, it's altogether another thing to face the unknown and still be firm in your faith.

Of course, the story doesn't end there.
They were tossed in the furnace, they walked with an Angel of the Lord.
And not only were they delivered, they were delivered beyond their expectations.

In Vs 27 it says that not even a hair had been singed and their clothes weren't burned. They didn't even smell like smoke.

Their faith not only rescued themselves, but others believed too.
Not only were they delivered they were promoted. Vs.30

Oh, that I would have faith not only to walk through the fire, when I know a blessing is coming, but that I would be willing to go into the fire knowing my deliverance may not come in my timing or it may not look like I thought it would.

God's Word is alive and active!

I know this isn't my usually kind of post-and if you made it through-thanks for reading-praying a blessing for you today!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inferiority Complex

I blogged a couple of weeks ago asking the question :What situation have you found yourself in because of feelings of insignificance ?

Today, I'm asking : What top 3 things make you feel insignificant or leave you feeling inferior?

I'll give you mine. And thanks in advance for your help!

1) I didn't finish college. Often leaves me feeling like I have nothing to contribute and I'm sometimes embarrassed to admit it.

2) Body image. I don't struggle with it as much as I used to, but it still can certainly creep up leaving me like I wish I could fade into the wall or like I already have.

3) I often feel like everyone around me knows more about__________(fill in the blank) than I do and that leaves me feeling like I have nothing to contribute. (ties back in a bit to #1, but I'v struggled with those feelings even before college.)

Feel free to leave your comments anonymously and once again-thank you for your honesty and being open!
Monday, March 28, 2011

It's a beautiful day

The Princess said that to me Saturday night as she was getting her pj's on after bath time.
"It's a beautiful day, isn't it Momma?"

I tried to suppress the groan I could feel welling up and from spouting all the reasons why, No in fact it has not been a beautiful day!
We had watched two soccer games in the FREEZING wind and Snow! Snow, I'm so tired of it, and of stepping outside and freezing.
But, instead of going into that tirade, I asked her, 'Why do you think it's a beautiful day?'.
Her answers sucked the air right out of me.

"Because I got to spend it with you and the boys(her brothers) and Mimi and Poppie."

After stories and bed time prayers and being securely tucked in for sweet dreams, I couldn't get her words out of my head.

Her being thankful for the beautiful day had nothing to do with her physical surroundings but the people she was with and the love she felt.
That's quite the perspective from a little person.
And so convicting to me.

Stop complaining! Was shouting in my head!
Enjoy the way things are not always wishing for them to be different.

Snow comes, it isn't always warm outside, Monday arrives every week right on schedule.
Kids get sick, clothes get dirty, beds need made and bathrooms need cleaned.

Do I take the time to complain about each thing? Or am I thankful?
I think sometimes when I find myself in the deep and difficult trials of life I find my self more thankful than when I'm in the day to day routine of life.
Let's face it our to-do lists can wear us down.
The cold and yuck outside can be grating after awhile.
So do I focus on that? Or do I take the time to find the beauty in the day in those I love and get to spend time with-even if it's freezing our toes off at soccer games in the snow?

I want my precious girl to always have her sweet spirit and not lose what is inside her that helps her find beauty where others don't. That means sometimes her Momma's going to need to be quiet.

It's Monday, at the end of March and there is snow on the ground. I get to spend it taking care of the things that the people I love the most need.
Isn't it a beautiful day?

Psalm 100:1-3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us and we are his, we are his people the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Friday, March 25, 2011

Japan, Libya and Blogging. . .

I've gotten a couple of emails asking me either what I think about the situation in Libya and the devastation in Japan. Also, questioning why I haven't blogged about either.

So, here is my response.

My heart is so deeply moved by the people of Japan and the utter devastation that I see in the images. I pray for healing, restoration and most of all that the people of Japan find Jesus in their individual lives.
My silence on the blog doesn't mean I don't care or am not praying, I just frankly didn't know how to express my deep level emotion as I watched/am watching the situation unfold.

As for Libya and our (U.S.) involvement. I'm not going to say much. This isn't a political blog. You can rest assured that I've got opinions and feelings on the matter, but I've really chosen not to have this blog be the place where I express them.

This blog is about how I see the Almighty God of the universe in the day to day aspects of my lives and my families lives. It's not about politics. I pray I never lose sight of that-because trust me when I tell you, I've had to bite my tongue from time to time, but my cause is greater than the ebb and flow of politics.

So, for those of you who were wondering and those brave enough to ask, there are my answers.

Blessings and thanks for reading and asking!
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Da Bomb

We had a bomb drop at our house last night.

Our middle child learned the "F" word from the neighbors grandkids.

Up until now the "F" word at our house has been fart-also not to be spoken.

But, not now. Now we had to talk about words and what we do and don't say and why.

This isn't a rant about the neighbor kids, who are J's age.
Or J, who dropped the bomb on the school playground. Oh, yes the Christian school playground.

Or about how hard parenting can be. Parenting is. Parenting NOT for the weak willed.

What has been coming back to me over and over again is how the world takes something beautiful and turns into trash.

What God created as a beautiful expression of love between a husband and wife, the world turned into something vulgar and disrespectful.
Same with the middle finger. I remember going to my own mother and asking her what the 'bad finger' was-when she asked me where I'd heard about a bad finger, I told her on the playground at school. Stinking playground!
What she told me has always stuck with me-God did not create a bad finger, people gave it a bad meaning.

In the world, but not of it. .. such a difficult balancing act. I fail at it so miserable sometimes-often times.

Rubbing off on The World, instead of the other way around.

Instead of ducking for cover when bombs are thrown at us, to throw a few of our own.
Some of Peace, Joy, Thanksgiving, Love.
All things The World is sadly missing.

Taking back what has been degraded and disrespected and trampled on and claim it back for what it was intended.
Like Momma said, so long ago-God didn't make anything bad-people did that!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Making Plans. . .

Jer. 29:11 is one of my favorite verses.
A verse I've used many times and that we claimed over our sweet Princess when she had her Kidney surgery.

I've been reflecting on it quite a bit the past few weeks.
And as I reflect on it and the lives of my children, I've become so convicted.

Plans. Always making plans for them. Do you do that?

They WILL be this, they WILL do that. Making plans.
But, really what do MY plans have to do with God's plan's? Often, not much.

Oh, yes I want them to follow Jesus! But, do being good at sports or straight A's have much to do with that? No, not really.

What if I stopped and looked at God's plans instead of making my own?
Can we be honest? Sometimes, God's plans seem a bit scary to our minds-or is that just me?

Chronic sickness, heart surgery, kidney surgery, learning struggles. Those are scary things to my Momma eyes.
I want everything to be 'normal'. (Which if you ever figure out what normal is - let me know)
I want the 'Best' for my kids.

But, what if I come to accept the fact that God's best and mine often look very different.
God wants their hearts and minds and bodies. And He's going to do what He wants to do to achieve that. And He wants mine too. And sometimes-more often than not, using my kiddos to get my attention is what He's going to do.

So, I've come to the conclusion that my plans need to look like His plans.
How can I know what those plans are? Well, sometimes I can't or won't, sometimes I will.

Sounds scary doesn't it? And if someone was in charge of the plans that didn't love my babies more than I do or could it would be!
Actually, once I choose

not to hold on so tightly and let go of my woman-made plans for them, peace comes. And relief. It's hard to be God when you're not.

Provers 19:21 Many are the plan's in a person (momma's) heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Jer. 29:11a For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. . .
Monday, March 21, 2011

You Can't Make Me!

That is not our camper, but ours is basically the same.
This is where I spent the last 6 days with the four people I love the most.
And who can drive me a little batty. I say in love. Five very unique and different personalities in a small space can lead to lots of areas in your life that you can see need improvement.
Our question of the week-for ALL of us-is THAT a Fruit of the Spirit??

We did indeed have a great time, being together and enjoying each others company, but it wasn't without it's bumps in the road. And, I've learned THAT'S OK, the bumps teach you some great lessons!

Tomorrow, I speak to a MOPS group. Their topic: "Building the Family You've Always Dreamed Of. .. ".

When I first began writing and speaking, I told God, "Ok, I'll do this, but I will NEVER speak on marriage or parenting. NEVER. EVER."

My suggestion to you is NEVER EVER tell God what you won't do.

He will have you do it.
The day after Spring Break.
And six days of camping - at your In-Laws.

Yep, God definitely has a sense of humor.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Stars at Night. . .

If you can finish the lyrics then you probably know where The Fam is this week.

Yep, that's right-Deep in the heart of Texas.

We are here visiting my husbands family, so the kids are getting a good dose of Grandma, Aunts and Cousins.

We are enjoying, family, sweet tea, deep fried things of various sorts and some OUTSTANDING TexMex, campfires, and stars at night.

One of my favorite things so far has been singing my babies to sleep at night. Something I always did while they were little, and still do with the Princess, but it's been a long time for the boys.
Even the 12 year old has throughly enjoyed this. Makes a Mommas heart tender toward her babies.
And, it's been really interesting to hear their song choices.
From Twinkle Twinkle, to Amazing Grace, Come now is the time to Worship, There is a Fountain.
I've enjoyed it so.

Lest you think we are family who never fusses and always enjoys each others company, let me remind you we are a family of 5 very different personalities, in a camper, for a week. The little one hasn't taken a nap since last Saturday. There have been some struggles.
But,one of the things the Lord has been teaching me recently is to stop and appreciate people for who they are, not getting frustrated because they aren't who I want them to be.
Not saying it is always easy, but it has changed my perspective as I look at my kiddos and others.

I want the full benefits of grace. . .am I freely pouring those some benefits out on others?

Many of you are on Spring Break this week and maybe the kids are ready to drive you batty.
Or you're at work and the person in the cube next you is going to send you over the edge.
Or The Hubs has done (or NOT) the same thing you asked him to/not to for the 100th time.
Instead of losing it, take a breath and say a quick prayer "Lord, help me see them like you do, help me love them like you do".

Yes, all those problems will still be there, but with fresh, grace filled eyes they suddenly look much different.

Ok, gotta run, my glass is empty of sweet tea and I'm out of chips and salsa.

I'll think of you when I look up at the stars tonight!
Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Grow My Own Friut

**This story is being told with permission from the 12 year old

Yesterday we had our camper, Scout, out of the garage and set up getting ready for our Spring Break trip to Texas this week.
Needless to say, the Three Monkeys were/are SUPER EXCITED!

The brothers had a half day of school yesterday and that only added to the palpable excitement in the air!

After helping and playing most of the afternoon, they were just hanging out in Scout.
J was playing his DS and C was watching him. Which soon turned into pestering him.

After asking him to stop and sending him to 'his side' of the camper, I asked him which Fruit of the Spirit does pestering fall under.
To which, the looked at me for a moment, got a twinkle in his eye and a crooked grin and said "I'm growing my own fruit.". (in his defense he IMMEDIATELY said I'm just kidding and you're right, pestering isn't a Fruit of the Spirit.)

I've found myself coming back to that thought today: "I'm growing my own fruit."
I know in my own life I am often guilty of that.
Growing; doubt, anger, fear, worry, bitterness,deceit. The list could go on and on.

So, as we head off on our family adventure this week I'm recommitting to growing-which requires tending-which means w o r k-the things that God commands.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

It will be difficult at times, as we'll be five different personalities in one small space doing things that are outside of my comfort zone.

But, I'm tired of growing my own fruit. It's much harder to maintain and you know, it just doesn't taste good.

And when it becomes even harder and my flesh wants to rebel, I will think on this verse from Galatians 6 : And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

I can't wait to reap that rich harvest!
Friday, March 11, 2011

When Hope Gets Dusty

**I wrote this three years ago.  I woke up with it on my mind today and thought there might be someone out there who needed to hear this message.
It's time-Dust off your hope and let's walk this thing out.

I was dusting yesterday-a job LONG overdue-and on our bookshelves we have a little plaque made up of black letters that says HOPE.

The dust just clung to the black and was hard to get off.

It got me to thinking about the Hope in my life.

Sometimes it gets dusty.

There are lots of reasons why, but mostly it usually comes from a lack of faith or circumstances have worn me down.
Sometimes my hope can even feel forgotten by The One who I put my Hope in.

Surely,  I'm not the only one?

We talked allot about this at Bible study yesterday and maybe that is why it was on my mind.

Or maybe it was because of those I see struggling with finding a job, wayward kids, unloving marriages, infertility, sickness that doesn't feel like it will ever end. Disappointment after disappointment.

Waiting. Watching. Waining.

It can wear you down after awhile.

 When you feel like maybe peace, joy, stability. . those are for others and not yourself.

Sometimes you've got to take your HOPE down and dust it off.

Let's pour these words of hope into our weary hearts.

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. Job 11:18

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Ps 25:25
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, Ps 38:18

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.Ps 39:7

Today if you need to dust your Hope off-do it. Take it to the Lord, tell Him you need to shake the dust off.
And remember, WHO your Hope is in.
It's not in this world or the rulers of it. It's not in circumstances or people.
Our only hope is in Jesus.

If you need to, write these verses of hope down. Post them throughout your home, in your car, in your cube at work-wherever you  might see or need  them most.

Let them rest in your weary heart for awhile.

Then dust off your hope and let's do this thing called life-and do it well.

Remember our Hope is in Jesus, and with that hope comes the knowledge and faith that he sees us, he

knows our every circumstance and his timing is always perfect.


But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Hoping with you in Christ Alone,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

She Speaks 2011

It's that time again.
The She Speaks Conference is filling up fast and they are now giving away scholarships. To enter you must write a post on your blog then link up with the She Speaks site to enter.
Yes, I would be honored to win one. As I know all of the ladies entering would.

I began this journey of writing/speaking/women's ministry a couple of years ago now. Although, there are days when it still all feels so new.
It often still feel unbelievable to me. I mean seriously, I would much rather play with a room full of preschoolers than do what I am doing. Or I should say, that is what I used to be so much more comfortable doing.
I spent years avoiding even going to women ministry events!
But, what can only be described as the Lord's doing, I now find myself thrust into the heart of women's ministry and speaking at different ladies events. And you know what? I love it! The center of God's will isn't always peaceful, but is always perfect.

But, I also know, I could use some time of deep, specific teaching to become even more effective in my efforts for women to see that God is at work all around them-not someone else, but THEM. Yes, that can mean even in the aisle of the grocery store.

The She Speaks Conference holds many different classes on three different tracks: Speaking, Writing, Women's Ministry. You can pick one specific track or merge all three. You may also sign up to get some specific critique on your speaking style.
If you want some more info on the conference you can go here :

Thanks for reading and letting me take up the space!

Whether I win a scholarship or not, I know God has called me to this place of ministry, if for no other reason than to prove He can and will use whoever He wants-even a silly girl like me!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Can you help a girl out?
I'm speaking on insignificance in the next month and how those feelings may affect us in our relationships to Christ, our family, friends and those we're meant to serve.

Which leads me to my question: What have feelings of insignificance lead you to do or not do ?
You can leave the comment anonymously if you'd like.

I'll give you one of my mine to get you started.

There was a time in my life where feelings of insignificance lead to me making poor fiscal choices and I maxed out 3 credit cards. All in the hopes of 'fitting in'.

So, what about you? Have you ever made a poor choice in order to boost your confidence or to help you feel like you 'fit in'?
Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Perfect

My little Twinkle toes had ballet class this morning.
We take some fun filled, low key classes at a local church.
It's just a 45 minute class, so typically most of the parents hang in the hallway outside the classroom.
Parents and the siblings of those taking the class liter the folding chairs lined up in the hall. The perfect opportunity for people watching.
It's always interesting what people choose to do during this brief window of time.
There is one Daddy that braves the hall and he typically works on school stuff with his little boy who is with him.
There are the mommies who read, who chat, who chase babies and who do Bible study. And ones like me who pretend they are doing that but really they are watching everyone else.

Today one of the mommies who typically waits with two of her daughters had a specific assignment from her oldest (Kindergarten) daughter. Fix her American Girl dolls hair.
Oh,and not just comb it, but make it look like the little girl's hair who was making the request. Complete with braid, in just the right spot.
I thought it was so adorable that the mommy came prepared-complete with spray bottle to wet the dolls hair. It took her a few minutes, but when she was done she asked her daughter, 'How does she look?'.
At this point, I was thinking what a brave soul to ask, because let's face it, when you ask the question you better be prepared to hear an answer you don't want.
But, her little girl gushed and said, "It's just PERFECT Mommy!".
I tried to hide a smile as the mommy seemed to breath a sigh of relief and sank back in her chair a little more comfortable.
Let's be real, it is not often as mother's we hear those words. It's perfect.
Perhaps I am projecting here. Maybe your kids tell you all the time what a great job you're doing, thanks for making me eat the veggie's , chores? Of course I'll do them happily. Homework, I'm on it and do you have more?
Or maybe you're like the rest of us and when those moments of 'perfection' come you need to take a moment and breath it in until the next one comes along.
I love the verses found in Proverbs 31 that say : Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:

Here's the thing I think we need to remembers as Moms when we are in the daily push and pull of motherhood. It says they rise up and call her blessed. Not that they ARE calling her blessed.
Sometimes the blessing WILL come.
But, the Lord knows we need sustaining during those hard days and sometimes, just sometimes you get to do something 'Just Perfect'.

When those times come, hold them in your heart and know that what you're doing matters.
Even when know one else can see it, even when you yourself doubt your value and worth.
Someday. Someday you will be called Blessed.
Thursday, March 3, 2011

I am Free

For several months the Lord has been telling me to do something, to cut something out of my life.
And, I've said No.
Frankly, I've said," I've got it under control, Don't worry God, I can handle this. You take care of the other stuff-I' got this covered."

Today that still small voice, became a LOUD ROAR in the middle of our Bible study. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it through to the end - I KNEW I must obey and OBEY RIGHT NOW.

In that obedience it meant also going to The Hubs and apologizing. Yep, obedience with a spot of humbling. Good times.

I kid, but actually it is good. GOD is GOOD and in obedience there is freedom!
I feel about 50 lbs lighter and like I could dance for joy.
There is nothing as freeing as doing what God would have you do.

You would think I would have learned by now to do what I teach my children 'Obey right away. Delayed obedience is not obedience.' But, I'm walking this thing out just like you.

So, here is some encouragement from a wayward Girl, whatever He is telling you to do. DO it. Don't hesitate, just do it. You'll be the better for it- I know I am.

Obedience isn't always easy, but it always leads to freedom!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Praying for Peace

Our oldest son had a bad week last week.
Bad. Just about anything that could go wrong did go wrong.
Some of it was done to him and some he did to himself.

As any Momma will tell you, it is difficult to watch your child struggle.
And when someone hurts your baby. . .well everyone better just stand clear as we go into Momma Bear mode.
But, several of the things he dealt with last week were of his own making.
It is hard to grow up.
But growing requires being stretched. And sometimes stretching hurts. As he (and the rest of our children) learn this difficult lessons-that we want them to learn at home-I was reminded how much I want our home to be a place of safety and security for them.

Like you I've been watching the news around the world. And, I'm no foreign policy expert, just a mom in the middle of the United States. But, as I see men, women and children yearning for freedom and all the struggles that go with that journey, I found myself praying for peace for them.
Especially the children, who are always the ones who get hurt, forgotten and walked over first.

As I was praying for peace around the world, that still small voice began speaking to me. He asked 'When was the last time you prayed for peace for YOUR children?' 'What about peace for your own people?'. OUCH! His voice may come quietly, but that doesn't mean it isn't powerful!

So, this week, in my quiet time and then throughout the day, I've been praying for peace for my children. Let's face it, the world they live in does not desire peace. It can be a dark and scary place. Our goal as parents is to rear children who make a difference in their worlds. Who are light in the darkness.
I've even began taking a votive candle and lighting it for them as I pray- a symbol of the life we would want for them. (no small feat for a little Baptist girl! )

Would you join me in praying for peace for our children?
That our homes would become places of peace-safety harbors-where no matter what battles are raging all around them and in them, our children can come and know peace.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8