Monday, December 31, 2012

2013-weren't we supposed to have our own robots by now?

Happy New Year, Friends!

Your support, encouragement and friendship to this little ministry and to my family have meant

more than you can know.

2013 is upon us. Hard to believe really.

I promise to pray for you this year.  And when I do this is what I'll pray:

I pray that you know Jesus more.

I pray that the love of family surrounds you this next year.

I pray that you have all you need,

and when you do, that you remember to thank  to The ONE who provided it and that you

remember to share it with someone who doesn't.

I pray in times of trouble that will undoubtable come, you'll find a peace that can only come

from THE Prince of Peace.

I pray you laugh more than you cry.

I pray you give more than you take.

I pray that in the middle of you ordinary, everyday life, you see the hand of God at work- even if it's
in the aisle of the grocery store.  Be alert, be aware because He's always there ready to show himself to you-and me.

And while I'm praying all these things for you, and me too, I'll stop and say Thank You Lord for allowing them to let me into their lives and for blessing me by doing so.

Peace, Love and Joy to you in the New Year,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Praying for Newtown

Like you, I've spent the last day and a  half crying, praying, hugging my children, crying and praying some more.

Answers are easy and complicated.

Aren't the always?

The answer to every question is Jesus.

It's complicated because we humans make it so.

So, I cry some more.

And pray. Sometimes with words, sometimes no words can be formed.

Here are some thoughts I began to jot down yesterday and this morning.

Jesus Oh Jesus,

We need you more than ever.

Children, Jesus. . .just babies.

Oh their Mama's and Daddy's . . .I can't even imagine.

I don't want to imagine.

Jesus, when you came to us here on earth, there was a mass murder too.
You were surrounded by violence your whole earthy  life, you know how they feel.

How we feel.

I see so much wrong, Lord.
Family's falling apart, crime rates, violence in our day to day lives that we not only tolerate, but
The list never seems to end.

Forgive us Lord.

Forgive us for rejecting you so long ago and every day since.

Forgive those of us who say we follow you, but live no differently.

Jesus, comfort those parents like only you can.
If they don't know you, help them find you.
Surround them with kindness and peace that only comes from you.

Lord, those police and paramedics . . .Lord I can't imagine what they are seeing, the nightmares
that will haunt them for years.
Lord, I pray you'd give them strength for the job and a sound mind and peace after they're done.

You promised you never change. I'm believing you Lord.

Believing that your grace is enough. That the brokenhearted can be whole in you.

That you love us.

We are down here hurting Lord, longing for your return.
I believe you when you said you'd never leave us.
That you'd come back again.

Help us hold on until then Lord.
It's so hard down here.

Lord, help us be the light in the darkness.
Because it's so dark here.

Jesus hold those precious children close to you. Hold their parents closer still.

Use this tragedy to bring someone to you.

Help us Jesus.


I couldn't get the lyrics from I heard the bells on Christmas Day out of my head yesterday.
Perhaps they'll bring you some comfort as well too.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.

Grace and Peace,

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lessons in Humility

If you asked me what strongholds I tend to struggle with most, my answer typically would be;

fear, control, self doubt (has a lot to do with fear).

Pride isn't something I would say I necessarily struggle with, except of course, fear and control as so much to do with pride don't they?

Yesterday was a day I got some lessons close up and personal with humility.

My day began by going for an interview for a part time retail job.

(No, this isn't my ideal or dream job but we've got some hefty medical bills sitting here that just
plum need paid)

I walked in fully confident I'd be leaving with a job.

That didn't happen.

They needed me to be available on Sundays and I said not possible.
They politely showed me the door.

After that I ran to the grocery store. I've needed to go for a few days now and have just not had the time.  I try and only go twice a week so as it is my cart is overflowing and the extra days and it was crammed FULL.

As I began to unload my cart the lady in line behind me began what I thought would be a nice chat.

I was wrong.

'Boy your cart is really full.'

Yes, it sure is, I've got three kiddos at home I'm trying to kept fed (insert smile here).

'OH, are they all as fat as you?'. . . .

Time seemed to stop.

I could feel my face become red as I felt the heat rise.

I was so embarrassed.

The  only thing I could think to say as I looked down, no longer making eye contact with her, was

'Would you like to go ahead of me?'

She said yes.

I kept unloading my cart, as the sound of my heartbeat filled my ears.

So humiliating.

Needless to say, my afternoon was filled with many many thoughts and frankly a few tears.

Felt a bit like a loser at some points.

One of my primary thoughts though  was this:  I'm so glad I know who I am in Christ otherwise that could really bring a girl down!

But, as I laid my head down on my pillow last night, I found myself thanking the Lord for pointing out my pride and letting  me practice humility.

I truly believe He lets us have tests until we can pass them.

I hope yesterday brought me a step closer to passing, because let me say those test were NOT FUN.

However, the opportunity to reflect on Scripture that tell me who I am in Christ and how my value can never be determined by my job status or dress size. . .

well that part was pretty awesome.

Whatever difficult thing you find yourself going through today, lean on Him, trust Him.

Jesus is the only way we'll make through this mean world.

Oh, and never forget you have no idea what turmoil someone went through just trying to buy groceries for their family.
Let's be extra kind today.

Blessings from the trenches,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Star Light

As I step out of my door

The cold wind takes my breathe away.

I pause for a moment as I try and acclimate to the temperature

Looking up at the sky

The star light flickers down at me

And I wonder if these were the same stars that brought shepherds to their knees

That sent Wise Men on a grand adventure.

Holding ever so still now

A tear upon my cheek

I think about a girl, not yet a women

And all she faced on a night like this one.

How scared was she?

He was there holding her  hand, but did she just want her mother?

How confused was she, because I imagine when the angel told her that her world was about to change

I'm sure she never imagined giving birth to her King among the hay and animals.

The quiet overwhelms me now as I gaze upon the night sky

If I hold still long enough could I hear the angels song

Echo through the ages?

Could I feel the brush of a wing as they rush to tell of the birth of the king?

My mind is quiet and my body still as I pause to listen

But there is no angel song tonight

At least not here on Earth.

But in my soul the echo is loud and clear

Emmanuel, God with us, is here.

Oh this Christmas season, I pray that I take the time to look at those stars again

And pause to remember,

A baby born in the stable

Came and changed the world.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Words that shouldn't be in the dictionary

Our oldest kiddo has always been pretty insightful.

One year when he was just a little guy, right at four years old

The Hubs had taken him out to look at Christmas lights.

They were deep into a conversation when C said, "You know Daddy alone shouldn't be a word, it

shouldn't  even be in the dictionary."

Of course Hubby asked him why, and his answer though surprising for a four old really shouldn't be,

because  kids get it more than adults do I think.

His response was, "Because of Jesus we're never alone."

If this Christmas season, or life in general is overwhelming you and you're feeling alone,

please hold on to this Emmanuel has come.

Even in your darkest days.  The hours where the quiet can overwhelm and circumstances that seem to push you farther into the darkness make you feel as if the light will never come again.

You are never alone.

God has sent his son, given him a name to let us know that we are never alone.

Emmanuel, God with us.

God with you.

You are not alone.

Hold on,

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ordinary Girl

Tis the Season. . .

My living room is littered with  plastic storage bins filled with Christmas decorations.

Our main tree is up, but we still have several to go. . .it always takes me longer than I'd planned.
You'd think I'd plan for that.

Between sick kids and a school trip for our oldest, and extended family situations it's just not done yet.

I've decided I'm OK with that though.

Because, as it's taken me longer, I'm finding I've had more time to reflect.

Today I can't seem to get Mary off of my mind.

In my particular church denomination  Mary is not typically  celebrated.

After all she was just an ordinary girl, Jesus is who the glory should go to.

 And while that's true,
 in this ordinary girl I find a heroine to give hope to the ordinary girls just like me.

I have felt very overwhelmed lately and today was no different.

As I look at all that needs to be done, obligations to be met, bills to be paid, cookies made, gifts bought

and wrapped.

Help that must be given.

 Laundry piled on the floor.

Calendars full.. .

Overwhelmed and inadequate are the emotions I tend to struggle with the most.

It's even in my tag line. . .'an ordinary mom'.

Sometimes, I struggle with how God could use my ordinariness.

Not even how so much, as would He even want to?

After all, there are so many gifted people He has to choose from out there.

But, as I've been reflecting on Mary today, the thought that is being whispered down deep in my soul

was how ordinary Mary was. . .the mother of Jesus.  . . the one who was chosen to carry the son of God . . .

Just an ordinary girl.

Nothing special on the outside. No great talents we're told of, no superior intellect, not rich or famous.

Just a girl living out her normal everyday life.

Until an angel's announcement changed everything for her.

Everything and nothing.

Because to almost everyone around her, she was still just an ordinary girl.

But, God knew her heart. Knew how she loved him and was willing to serve Him.

And he used her ordinariness to change the world.

Perhaps you're ordinariness is overwhelming you right now.

The diapers, the dishes, the toys, the laundry, the paperwork, the bills, the boss that's unkind.

You feel so ordinary and useless for any 'great' kingdom agenda.

I'm no angel, but I want to give you some Good News that is for you and all people.

God seems to take great delight in those who use their ordinariness for him.

Serve your king in all you do.

Sing your song of praise to Him in the middle of your most mundane tasks.

He's sees. He knows.

He just might use your ordinariness to change the world.

Blessings in the midst of boxes and laundry,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Swimming Lessons

   Because of some life changing things going on in my extended family, plus having two kiddos with

 pneumonia, plus about five other things I could list, but won't otherwise I'll begin to sound like a

martyr, and really you wouldn't believe if I did-life has really been that unpredictable and chaotic;  I

have felt a bit lost at sea and tossed about on some major waves, somedays even like I am drowning.

Which has gotten me thinking about the Apostle  Peter.  I love the life lessons of Peter. I love that God

used this flawed man to do great things for him.

 In Peter's life, I find hope for mine.

When Peter jumped out of the boat and walked on the water he showed such brash courage.

I want that kind of courage.

Lately, I feel like I've been clinging to the side  of the boat for dear life. Like somehow if I hold on

to the 'boat' it won't sink taking me along with it.

Perhaps, the greatest miracle of Peter wasn't that he walked on the water, but that he let go long enough

to jump out of the boat.

Peter didn't sink because the waves were to big; no,  he began to drown because he lost his focus.

When his focus was on Jesus, he didn't need the boat, or swimming lessons.

I don't need swimming lessons either, I did focusing power.

Do I focus on the waves that threaten to pull me under or do I focus on  the Creator of the waves?

I've found the courage to jump out of the boat, now do I have the courage to keep my focus on

Jesus when the waves threaten to pull me under.

My natural reaction is to start swimming back to the boat.

But I don't want to be that person.  I don't want to swim for safety, I want to walk with determination

and courage.

What if we all choose to believe the Creator of the waves when He tells us "Don't let your heart be troubled" or "Take Courage" or  "In weakness you are made strong". . .

What if instead of swimming for it, we rose up and walked keep our eyes ever forward on Jesus.

No more swimming lessons for me,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

God in the details

I read something on twitter the other day from a well known pastor that  basically said when we say we see God at work everywhere we are reducing him down to our size.

I was so startled when I read that. . .

After all I see God at work everywhere or at least I TRY to. . .

Was I wrong in my approach?

I don't have a theology degree, I am 'just' a mom.

Maybe I was wrong.

But, then I saw this

And this

And this

And this

And this too

And here I see Him here too

Maybe this ordinary girl is wrong, but I think to NOT see God at work everywhere we go would be a sad and wrong way to live.

I'm certainly not trying to reduce God to my size.
In fact I think when I see Him at work everywhere, I'm reflecting on His amazing power and also love and grace. . . 

That the God of the universe cares enough about me, about all of us, to allow us to catch glimpses of him in our days while go about our lives is such a gift. . .

just another way He shows his grace.

After all we could live in an all brown  world, but instead He gives us glimpses of the  extraordinary in the ordinariness of our every days.

I hope you see Him today.

Not so He'll be 'our size' but so that His Greatness will be magnified even more next to our ordinary.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Political Thoughts from an Ordinary Girl

I have used this blog on one other occasion to discuss politics. (Twice if you count my post on Chick Fil A-and I don't, but some might.)

Not that I don't have opinions -because I do.

But, because that's not what this blog is about.

But, today is a special day. One every American should be grateful for and not take for granted.

For some reason today, I can't get that picture of the Iraqi's holding their purple thumbs up in the air

after their first free election out of my head.

And we get cranky because lines are long. . . .

Anyway that's not really what I wanted to talk about today.

I was watching a news story about violence and kids. Particularly, kids committing violent acts younger and younger and why that might be.

First of all, let me say that I am an ordinary girl and my thoughts might be simple. I realize that.

However, these two thoughts keep jostling their way over and over in my mind :

Perhaps if we didn't teach kids that they are disposable in their mothers womb where they should be the safest, things might be different.

And after we that, perhaps if we didn't teach them they were decedents of animals they wouldn't think it's ok to act them.

Not just when it comes to violence but also when it comes to kids and sex.
That they can control themselves, don't have to act on every urge.
It is possible to wait until marriage and have one partner for life.

Simplistic, I know.

And yet not all at the same time.

Happy Election Day America, let's not take for granted the right so many died for and so many others wish they had.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Working in the Dark

Driving into church last night, it was already dark because of the evil known as 'Falling Back'.

(I would vote for the first candidate that promised to end the whole nonsense of Spring Forward and Falling Back. Enough Already!)

But, while driving, I came to red light  next to a building that's been under construction for quite awhile now.

My first thought was, "Boy they've been working on that forever, I wonder when they'll be done?".

My second was, "Now they'll lose working time because it's getting dark so much sooner.".

Then, as the light turned green and I drove closer to the actual site; I saw way in the back of the

building one little light, and as I looked closer realized it was a headlight on a construction worker who

was working away at something.

I couldn't tell what it was, but he was busy.

As I've thought more about that building, it occurred to me that is how so many of us view what's going on in our lives.

We feel like we're under construction.

Like it's taking forever and will never get done.

Only to have something else out of our control make the progress feel as if it's stopped.

We're in the dark.

But, we can't see is  that construction is still going on.

Maybe slower than we'd like, maybe way in the back.

But, it's happening.

God is still working on us and our lives.

What we've got to do is trust.

Trust in our Divine Carpenter.

Trust that even though it may be dark for us-

He is the Light.

He knows the plans and He can keep working, no matter what we can't see.

In Jeremiah He tells that not only does He have a plan for us, but His plan is only to do us good.

And, if we seek Him, we will find him.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer 29:11-13)

If today, you feel left in the dark, half unfinished and not sure when work will ever be complete.

Trust the Maker of the Plan.

He's still at work.  

Even if it's in the dark.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beyond the Shoebox

Tomorrow night is ghosts, goblins and sneaking the kids candy.

After that the countdown for Christmas begins.

The other day I sat down with the kids and talked about what they could do to help someone during the Christmas season, besides packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.

Make no mistake, we LOVE OCC and will be packing our three boxes again this year!

But, I want to get them thinking outside the box (<----see did="did" font="font" i="i" there="there" what="what"> ).

So I'm asking you, Dear Readers, what ways do you practice being the hands and feet of Jesus during the Christmas season that 3 kiddos ranging in age from 14 to 6 could do?

Or maybe you've never done anything but would like to-I'd love to hear those ideas too.

Don't be shy, inquiring minds want to know !

May you score lots of the good candy tomorrow,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

WordsTo Live By

The Princess made this at school yesterday.

She said "It's not all the 10 Rules but I think these are the best ones".
                               (that would be the 10 Commandments)

She's a smart one, that girl of mine.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Days Like This

Autumn in the middle of the country can be a beautiful thing.

And this year is no exception.

Once again I've been struck by the magnificence of God's creation, as I watched Him take out his

glorious paint brush and color the world with reds, yellows, golds, orange's  and browns.

And let's face as with weather and life we'd all prefer days like this:

But, perhaps even though they might not be our favorite, days like this make the beauty more clear to see.

On those dark and cloudy days that can mirror our lives so well, maybe just maybe we notice the colors more, the beauty more. . .that in the grey of what is surrounding us, there is such a  contrast to the beauty we can't help but notice it more, appreciate it more.

So that when the sun does shine again and it does always shine again. . .even though those days may be long and far between. . .it will eventually shine again, and when it does we can appreciate the beauty even without the grey.

If you're in the 'grey' of your life today would you join me in looking for the beauty somewhere.
Anywhere. It's there. I promise it is,

We've just got to look for it-don't let the grey of right now hide it from you.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Calling God a Liar

Every time we say we don't have enough

We call God a liar.

Every time we think our children are an inconvenience

We call God a liar.

Every time we think we'd be better off just walking away from our spouse

We call God a liar.

Every time we say NO to our calling

We call God a liar.

Every time we call ourselves  ugly

We call God a liar.

Every time we say we aren't good enough

We call God a liar.

Every time we let our past define us

We call God a liar.

Every time guilt and despair consume us

We call God a liar.

Every time we walk in defeat

We call God a liar.

Every time we let man made rules win over love

We call God a liar.

Every time.

I don't know about you, but I am fed up with the lies.

I want to live and walk  in the Truth.

Will you join me?


Thursday, October 4, 2012

We are the Champions

Our middle child was at soccer practice this week and while coach was trying to explain something to the team, J was chatting.

Coach said, "J are you paying attention? I'm trying to make you a Champion."

Of course, that got his attention and he practiced  hard for the rest of their time together.

I haven't been able to get that phrase off my mind, "I'm trying to make you a Champion!".

I wonder if God is ever looking down from his heavenly throne and saying, "Angie are you paying attention ? I'm trying to make you a champion!"

I love the first two verses in Hebrews 12.  They say:" Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. "

God and all the Saints who've gone before are cheering us on in this race called life.

Telling us to throw off all those things that hold us back; fear, worry, anger, deceit, envy, pride-
anything and everything that is holding us back from reaching the finish line, where we'll find Jesus there waiting for us.

But are we paying attention? Do we really want to run like the Champions He's created us to be? Or would we rather hold on to all the J U N K that is holding us back and keeping us from running the race well?

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to run full speed ahead-like a CHAMPION.


Monday, October 1, 2012

For shame. . .

Shame on me.

Shame on you.

For shame.

Ever hear or use those expressions?  

I know, I said them before, most often to myself.

I'm in the midst of a Bible study right now that has me peeling back the layers.

The process of peeling away is not an easy one, it's often very painful.

Last night  I was thinking about this idea of shame.

The thought that I could not escape, nor did I want to was this:

"Thank you Lord, for tearing up MY rule book and replacing it with you.
Thank you for NEVER using shame to humiliate me."

Maybe you need to hear that today too.

Shame is not an emotional  tactic God uses.

Shame pushes you low and focuses on self. 

Instead of seeing our sin for what it is-SIN- in shame we only focus on ourselves.

Grace instead sees us for who we are and what we've done-and doesn't sweep the sin under the rug-but it does reach down and pull us up, washes us clean and NEVER reminds us again of shame only of our forgiveness.

Shame is Satan's tactic.  He whispers our shame in our ears and says," How could you?".

Shame on you is his chant. His accusation. 

Christ, says Come to me and I'll wash you white as snow and put your sin as far as the East is from the West.

Satan says SINNER.

Christ says REDEEMED.

If you feel like the shame of your past is beating you down, know that isn't from Jesus.

Lift your head high and bask in the glorious thought-I AM REDEEMED.

Shame  has NO power over me.

Walk in grace today!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And the World Keeps Turning. . .

Our family has been through quite a bit in the last few weeks, culminating in a hospital stay for our oldest over the weekend, after a 911 call because he stopped breathing and then passed out.

I've started to write this post several times now and frankly am just to tired for it to make any kind of sense at all. . .

What I wanted to say though is this:

Even in the middle of our trials, God is there.

In the middle of chaos, God is there.

Grief, anxiety, pain, sleepless nights. . .God is there.

While sitting in C's hospital room yesterday I watched the sun come up and just had a chat with the Lord.

Thanking him for taking care of my boy.  For taking care of us.

For never moving from His throne.

The sun still came up, the world still turned even in the midst of all our pain.

God never moved.

Never wandered away.

He poured out his love on us, even though what was happening was scary and difficult.

These are some verses I reflected on while watching the sunrise, maybe you need to hear them too. . .

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart;I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Blessed be the name of the Lord
    from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised! Ps 113:2,3

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.” Ps 91:1,2

My prayer is that these verses bring you as much  peace as they have me.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sunshine and Clouds

Oh what a whirlwind September is turning out to be.
And not a good on either.

A rip everything apart and toss it all about kind of whirlwind.

My oldest is the grip of a major illness that has derailed him for the past three weeks.

Lots of meds and several doctors visits later we still ended up in the ER last night after he stopped breathing for a few moments.

That was after I had been in Urgent Care with our middle son, who's eyes mysteriously swelled shut last night right about dinner time.

Yes, for those of you keeping score at home, that was two trips in one night.

The physical and emotional toll all this can take on your body and spirit can't be underestimated.

My precious girl was sitting at the table drawing.

She made a lovely little scene, complete with bright sunshine.

Nothing to unusual for a little girl.

What struck me though was when she took a grey crayon and added some big, fluffy clouds.

So, I asked why she was adding those.

Her reply took my breath away.

"Momma there is always some clouds with the sunshine.  We just have to remember the sun is still always there."

Truth from the little people of life.

Even when life is bearing down on us, wearing us down and seemingly never going to stop.

The sun anD-THE SON- is always there.

He sees. He hears. He knows. He understands.

Choose to believe.

I am today, even when it's difficult. I will believe that even when the clouds roll in, the SON will always shine through.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Superheros in Skinny Jeans

I attended my first MOPS meeting toady as a MENTOR MOM.

(Hello reality check that time is passing by so quickly! Mentor. .unbelievable)

Of course in a MOPS group of any size at all there at mommy's with babies either in their tummy's or ones who have just had those precious little ones, and today was no exception.

There was Sweet Thing there who had her TWO WEEK OLD with here (  I would've still been in my PJ's at two weeks. . .).
When it came to time to feed the little guy she had a darling modesty drape (I'm sure they have a cuter name but I have no idea what it is) that she used and then just kept on her the rest of the morning.
At one point she'd thrown it over her shoulder and I was tickled as I saw it, because it looked like a superhero cape.
I'm sure that was the farthest thing from her mind at the moment, but it was cute.

As, I've been thinking on our meeting and that precious one, I can't help be think that not one mom in that room felt like a superhero.





Superhero-not so much.

But, the room was filled with them.

Mommy's who sacrifice their needs for their children's.

Their beds so a little one can snuggle in the middle.

Their sanity as they sing a long with Barney.

Their privacy as the bathroom door gets thrown open every time it's closed.

Their dignity as they pick a screaming two old off the floor of Target.

Their wardrobe as everything has a spit up stain down the back.

Maybe, you're reading in this and you're still in your PJ's, haven't been able to shower today and don't even ask when the last time you shaved your legs, and you think "Yes, Mom's might be those things, but not me.".

If you love your baby, put that thing first, ever been pooped on, lost a nights sleep so you  could rock a sick one, kissed a stuffed animal goodnight, ate a chicken nugget because that's all there was. . .


Don't give up now.

Have a good cry if you need too, but don't give up.

The days are long, but the years  are short.


Friday, September 7, 2012


Oh my what a week it's been!

Between usual family stuff; school, homework, soccer practice-all the STUFF that comes with having three kids. . .

There has extended family turmoil  that with the turmoil brought strife, and let's just say it's been overwhelming.

Of course, then there is ministry to do(which is my privilege and honor), first Bible study of the season was yesterday and a women's event that I brought the devotion for last night.

Hard to believe this has been a 'short' week.

Oh and the icing on the cake, our oldest is really battling all sorts of asthma J U N K right now.

I imagine if you and I were sitting down over a cup of coffee right now, your list of frustrating, sad, difficult things would be as long, if not longer than mine.
It truly feels as if every time I turn around someone is telling about some tragic or EXTREMELY difficult thing they are going through.

Yesterday I was reading in John 14 and in the first verse Jesus is talking to his disciples and he says "Let not your heart be troubled", see he had just gotten done telling them all sorts of hard things that were about to happen to them.  

(And, I've known  that verse since I was a little girl, but the  powerful about God's word is how alive it is  and how we can see with fresh eyes something that's been there all along.)

What struck me about this verse was how Jesus didn't say "you have nothing to worry about" or "you have no reason to be troubled". He's acknowledging that they indeed do have troubles.

I love that about Christ.  He knows how human and frail we really are deep   down inside.

The second half of verse one say "you believe in God, believe also in me."

Belief requires faith.

Down farther in the chapter in verse 15 we read:
If you love me, keep my commands.
Faith requires obedience. (Jesus doesn't give us choice, he telling them Believe in me, trust me.)

Then down in verse 23 it says.
 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Love = obedience
Obedience=Fellowship with God and Christ
Fellowship with God and Christ= Home

And isn't home what we all long for?

At the end of the day, when we're sick, things are going wrong, hard day at work, don't we all just want to go home?

I love words, so even though I know what 'home' is, I thought I'd look it up in the dictionary just to see if there were any other definitions than what I'd typically think of and I loved what I found.

Home: a familiar setting : a congenial environment.

And isn’t that what we all want? 
Home where they know us and love us anyway. Home were it's peaceful (or at least it's supposed to be)
Home where you're safe while the battles of the world rage around you.

Faith, Obedience, fellowship, HOME.

Maybe your earthly home is the LAST place you'd find those things, but when we know Christ we can know that of all the blessings He's promised us-HOME is one of the best.

I pray we will all find ourselves ‘Home’ this week.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When you just want to play. . .

With fall sports, come the dreaded physical that allows you to play.

We couldn't get in with our regular doctor so I was preparing my boy that we were seeing the Nurse Practitioner, who is indeed a woman.

There were sighs of unbelief, but he knew if wanted to play this is what had to happen.

Uncomfortable was certainly the word for the day.

(please forgive for words I'm about to type)

After he'd put on the dreaded open backed gown, been weighed and measured,  poked and prodded she looked him right in the eyes and said "So, do you poop everyday?".

My boy looked as if he'd like the floor to swallow him whole.
He looked over at me, back at her and replied; "I just want to play soccer."

To which I tried to suppress a smile but she said, " I know Buddy, but you've got to tell me."

So, he finally answered "Yes", we moved on and endured the rest of the appointment.

But, as I've been thinking on that event last week, it's got to me thinking about how often we (I) just want the fun stuff, the what we want to do stuff of life, without going through the hard stuff.

Make no mistake that appointment was hard for a 13 year old boy.

How often do we want the great marriage, but are unwilling to put the time and effort into having one.

Or a friendship, yet we become unwilling to risk anything to have one.

Even spiritually we want all the blessings without getting on our knees, opening our Bibles or being salt and light to those around us.

We never want to be uncomfortable. . in the words of the 13 year old, we just want to play.

So, as I ask you, I ask myself; What has called us to that is uncomfortable but if we take a deep breath, head through it the pay off will be more than worth it in the end?

Keep walking in the light,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Raising a "B" team kid in an "A" team world

With school back in session, at our house that also means it's soccer time.

Now that  our oldest is in Middle School the time for try outs was upon last week.

My boy made the "B" team, and was glad  he did.  He's excited to get to play with his friends, for his school.

But, in our culture  it seems that "B" team is no longer acceptable.

If you're not the best then what you're doing doesn't matter.

You would think, from Facebook status updates, twitter feeds, to bragging at family reunions, if your kid doesn't only make the "A" team, but score the most points, run the fastest, be "THE BEST" (whatever the best may be) then somehow they, and by proxy you, should feel badly or at least that you're not doing enough, not pushing hard enough.

As parents, we're proud of our boy. Not because of what team he makes, but because he tries.
Most people have no idea what he's been through in his brief 13 years.
But,  even if he hadn't been through as much, not everybody makes the "A" team every time.

I also began thinking about the saints that have gone before us.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it surely seems that in God's economy He's all about using
"B" team people to carry out his plans.

I read about Moses and his speech impediment.

Gideon was a coward.

Ruth was widow.

Esther was an orphan.

David, who we like to think of as KING DAVID, was the runt of the pack of brothers, who's own father didn't even consider him when Samuel showed up looking for the new king.

Peter, the burly fisherman with a temper.

John, just a boy, but Jesus called him to his inner circle.

Jesus, who could have came with all the glory man could bestow upon someone -instead was born to a young girl and a carpenter.

It seems God has a tender spot for those who make up the  "B" teams of this world.

And only he knows what they can truly be when used by Him.

Don't write off those "B" team kids-they may just change the world.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Learning to Fly

The first day of school has come and gone this week.

And like millions of mommies everywhere who sent their last babies off to school, I wonder what now.

But, as I'm wondering I'm also packing lunches, signing up for soccer, field trips and dentist appointments.

So, while they might not be flying solo yet, they are perched on the edge testing their wings.

This right here. . .took my breath away.

because it seems like I was just taking this big boy to Kindergarten.
And now he's taller than me, talking about where he should go to college and cute girls.

 It was a little easier the second day. . . .

I'm just thankful I get a front row seat as I get ready to watch them soar.

Hug your babies today and tell them you love them,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


This has been the summer of Drought here in Kansas.

And heat.

Hottest July on record.

In the middle of all heat and the drought-the BROWN of it all, it can just wear a person down.

I know spiritually as I've gone through seasons of drought, when it feels like everything around me is just withering away, and day to day life is just so hard and the refreshing rain will never come again, I can become so focused on the drought and the brown of my life that I forget to pray for rain.

Or even what the rain feels like anymore.

Because all I'm focused on is the heat.

Maybe you feel that way in your life today.

All you can see is the trouble.

All you can feel is the heat.

All you see is the burnt up grass and dying leaves of everything you once found beautiful in your life.

Instead of looking at all that, would you-would I, close our eyes and remember it isn't always like this.

The rain comes.

The refreshing wind of the Holy Spirit comes.

And when that rain comes let's dance in it, shall we?

If you're in a drought season of your life right now-remember it won't last forever!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time

I celebrated a birthday on Thursday.
Not the big one.

Nope, that one was last year.

Try as I might, there is no stopping the clock and not only am I 40 -nope I'm officially IN my 40's.

And as much as I like to escape it the passage of time showing up all round my eyes and mouth with those pesky little lines.

As, I was putting on my make up to go out and celebrate Friday night, I thought about how many of those lines got there.

Lots of laughing.

Laughing with friends, with the kids, with The Hubs.

I love to laugh, to be silly.  And it shows all around my eyes and mouth and no amount of 'age defying makeup' is going to cover that up.

There are some there too from days spent in the sun.
Sitting by the pool.
Cheering on the soccer team.
Picnics in the park.
Days spent at our favorite amusement park.

Of course there are some there from staying up through the night with babies or sick kiddos.

Crying tears when life is just to tough.

But they all tell a story.

My story.

So since I can't erase them, I'll try and look at them and remember.

Remember that even in the lines, I see grace.

Blessings and go make some wrinkles with the ones you love,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fame Game

I've noticed this really strange trend over the last few years, that seems to be growing instead of winding down.

It seems that  most shows geared toward kids have something to do with becoming famous.
And they are targeting younger and younger audiences.

Which while not overtly wrong it does help grow this seed of discontentment.

As if an ordinary life is somehow less than enough.

If you're not famous then you don't matter.

What a strange message we are sending our kids.

But, maybe it's not just our kids we should be worried about.

Perhaps we're becoming warped in our thinking as well.

We start puffing up Facebook statuses with tales of kids who never fail, always make the honor roll. . .
We begin comparing our whole lives to brief status updates from people we haven't seen in twenty years.

And that begins to create feelings in us that our lives are not enough.
That we are not enough.

God's Word tells that we are all unique and all special because we were created in His image.
That we are known by the One who knows all. And not only are we known, we are loved.

 Perhaps you feel like the world is overlooking you.
That you're unseen.

If your life is falling apart around you, or  you've dealt with the stubborn 2 year old for longer than you can remember, or the teenager that won't listen, the husband that doesn't see you anymore. . .

Please remember that YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Not because of some warped idea of fame we have, or some misguided sense of perfection, but because you are created by the one who created ALL and He says that you are amazing.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick Fil A and Me

In case you've been living under a rock, let me catch you up.

Yesterday was "Chick Fil A Appreciation Day" across the country.

Dan Cathy the CEO of the restaurant chain said he supported, "traditional marriage " and the media and GLBT community went crazy.

So, a show a support was called for, and while I can't speak for others who ate there yesterday, I can tell why my  family chose to participate - and why we didn't.

First, it wasn't because we hate gay people.  Actually, both The Hubs and myself have gay friends who we love. While we don't agree, we also don't hate. And btw,  GOD DOES NOT HATE THEM EITHER.

Also, it wasn't because we think somehow our sin is different or not as bad. Nope not it either.

Not because we think 'we're better'- somehow the Church and World look very similar in the divorce statistics and there is no way to justify that.

There were several reasons why though.

First as American Citizens we have been granted the right to not only have opinion, but to express it as well.
Mr. Cathy was attacked for expressing an opinion.
It seems 'tolerance' as defended by some, is only applied when you agree with their agenda.

Secondly,  we do believe in Traditional Marriage.  As messed up as our society has become, the answer isn't to move farther away from God's word but to move closer to it. And God's Word is abundantly clear on the issue.

Thirdly,  we went to support our brother in Christ.  He was belittled, condemned and threatened for nothing more than following Christ.
I would hope if I was in that situation that my fellow Christ Followers would stand by my side as well.
It just seemed like that is what 'family' would do.

Now, please don't misunderstand, we aren't really a 'boycott' kinda family. In fact, I'm not sure we've ever participated in one. . .they always seem to trivialize Christians and in turn how others view Christ.

But, this was different. This was a show of support.

Maybe you disagree, and that's OK too.

After all this is America and you get too.

But, when you look at what this family choose to support, please know it was never because of hate.

Keep walking in the light,
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hold On

Recently, the Hubs and I were out on 'Date Night'.

(Dear Date Night-I love you)

When a family of 4 was seated next to us at the restaurant we were dining at.

One of the two children was approximately 2 years old. And.Not.Happy.

At. ALL.

The poor parents were trying all the could to calm her, but it wasn't happening.

Dad ended up zoning out, while Momma broke out in a cold sweat and kept trying.

Finally the waitress brought her chocolate milk and that helped for awhile.

I desperately wanted to go hug that sweet Momma, but I was afraid I'd make her cry or embarrass her in front of the other dinners.

What I really wanted to tell her was HOLD ON-it gets better-I PROMISE!

Maybe you're finding yourself in a situation like that during these dog days of summer.

Kids fussing.

Heat is rising.

Bills are coming in.

Husband is cranky.

Car won't start.

And those are just the minor things (although if you're going through them they don't feel minor)

In the past month I've had friends lose their Mother so unexpectedly, another  friends child end up in the ICU.
Another lose their job.

Sometimes life is overwhelming.
Whether is because your two year is throwing a fit in a restaurant or your husband said he doesn't love you anymore.

Can I encourage you to Hold On?

I promise it does get better.

Someday, while it might not all make sense, it does get better.

And while everything feels like it's spinning out of control and like that Momma  you're breaking out in a cold sweat and trying not to cry-HOLD ON.

I love these verses from Philippians 3 and I pray they'll encourage you too.

I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
 15-16So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. (The Message)

Hold on. Let's keep our eyes on the prize-Jesus Christ!  

Someday our race will be finished. Until then let's run it well !

Hold on, Friend, it does get better.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Making Plans. . .

A few weeks ago I read a blog post by a well known Pastor/Author and was surprised about what I read.

The just of the post was basically that while God created you and loves you He doesn't have a set purpose or plan for your life.

That God was too loving to be a 'controlling father' that cares about what you wear and what you eat  and so on. You needn't consult Him on such matters.

And while NO I don't think you need to seek God's council every morning as you stand in front of your closet thinking that perhaps if you chose the wrong outfit somehow you're out of the 'will of God', I do
think it's reckless to say God doesn't have a plan for your life.

Because, you Sweet Friend are worth more to God than that.

In Psalms 139 it says that we were knit (woven, created) in  our mother's womb, that not only does he know every hair on our head, he also UNDERSTANDS us.

I don't know about you, but someone who can know me, understand me and love me is one of the most beautiful gifts to be given.

So, you'll never be able to convince me that the same God who formed me, doesn't have a bigger plan for my life. That once we're born we are on our own to figure out our 'bigger purpose'.

Now, there are been more times than I care to admit that what God plans were and what mine were did not match and sadly I picked my way.

But, I know for certain He has a plan and no mere man (or crazy woman) can stop what He wants to accomplish.

No, we aren't mindless robots.

We have choices to make, counsel to seek.
God's Word even has something to say about how to do that (read Proverbs).

Rest assured if you're convinced you're so off the beaten path He could never find you-that instead He knows RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE and He will pull you up out of whatever ditch you find yourself in.

I can also promise you this, we are not hurling through space on some rock with no direction or plan.

God knows you, He loves you and He has a specific plan JUST FOR YOU.

You are that important.

Keep following the light,