Monday, December 16, 2013

The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas blares the cable news headline.

Is it real?

Is it something news media and conservatives made up just to have something to talk about?

Questions that have been rolling around in my head as I see the stories.

I decided it is real.

How do I know?

Because I've found myself becoming a causality in this war.

Christmas-a time we celebrate the birth of the king.

A time we reflect on how the God of the universe allowed His one and only son to be born into this cold, dark and scary world because He'd promised He would.
He'd promised us a Savior.

Christmas, when Emmanuel come to be with us.

Yes, I've found myself wounded in the battle of this war on Christmas.

A time when Peace should reign, yet in my heart I am finding peace so difficult to find as I reflect on circumstances instead of the Peace himself.

When Joy should overtake me, instead I find myself in the midst of grief, stubbornly refusing to taking my eyes off of my pain and instead look to the one who promised there would be more to this life.

I find greed creeping in and try and justify that it's not for myself, it's for my children as I worry that they'll be disappointed on Christmas morning- as this Christmas morning of gift opening will look different than years  past. . .as if my children aren't enormously blessed to have a warm house, plentiful food to eat, clothes to wear, educational opportunities that some can only dream about and yes each has a device with an i in front of it. . .
But, instead of contentment I find greed crawling up the walls of my heart and making me bitter and angry.

This war is leaving battle scars where love should abound.

Robbing me of Hope, when no matter my circumstances the Hope of the world has come and that and that alone is reason to celebrate!

Yes, it's true there is a real War on Christmas, but it's not because someone dared say "Happy Holidays" to me instead of "Merry Christmas".

That is just a  distraction. The real war is taking place in my heart.

But, I refuse to be another casualty in this war.

I will not let greed win.

I will let Peace and Joy and Hope rule over my life and in my heart.

Not by my sheer will power or 'good deeds', but because my Commander has already won this war, my part is only to obey.

Christmas is not in the  greeting of some store clerk or even in the depiction of the manger scene on public property,

Christmas is a person.

A baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger, who grew to be a man, who died on a cross and did not let death win, who on the third day rose and now is seated on the right hand of the Father, praying for you and me.

The  real War on Christmas, left childless mothers in the town of Bethlehem, left shepherds and kings changed forever and was won on the cross.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyeux Noel!

May the Peace, Joy and Hope of season reign in your heart and mine.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quiet Thanksgiving

It's here.

One of the seasons most Americans love the most.


The food, the family the traditions of it all.

A time to pause and remember and to give thanks for all the gifts we've been given.

Over the past few years something that has become popular on social media is the 30 days of thanksgiving.

Where you post each day what you're thankful for in your life.

I've participated the last couple of years and have found real value in doing so.

There is something powerful about  specifically  taking the time each day to say, essentially out loud, what  you're grateful for.

However, this year I've felt compelled not to participate.

Not because I don't find value in doing so - or as some like to pretend 'I'm to cool to be involved  in something so pedestrian'. . .

No, this year while I am Oh so very thankful for so many many things, I felt like my heart had changed somewhat I didn't like what was happening.

  In the days leading up to November, I began to feel a mixture of emotions such as; Pride, condescension   and an almost Pharisaical judgement on those who didn't participate.

And in those days, I heard a still small voice whispering to me, "You are so anxious to tell others what you're thankful for, but why don't you spend as much telling Me-the Giver of the gifts?"

Oh so very convicting.

Was it true? Could it be true? That while I was essentially shouting from the modern day roof tops all of my blessings I was thankful for, I wasn't taking as much time in prayer to thank the Giver of the Gifts?

And sadly, yes, I found it to be true.

So, this year, I've spent a quiet thanksgiving. A thanksgiving of the heart.

Time in quiet solitude as I thanked the ultimate grace giver, the sustainer, the giver of all things perfect and good. . .not always easy, but always good.

And in those times of quiet thanksgiving I've learned more about blessings than I've ever could from the one or two sentences I was posting as my status last year.

What I am proposing is not for everyone-nor should it be. . please hear me say, I believe there is great value in 'speaking' your thanks out loud. It can be a powerful witness to those around you.

But, for me, and maybe for another reading, this year needs to be a quiet thanksgiving. A thanksgiving so personal between the Lord and myself.
A true - time taking out pouring of a thankful heart, not a blip on a screen that took me a minute to write.

So, that is where I'm at this year.  
Every year is a journey.

I am oh so thankful for the still small voice that whispers to me, that never gives up on me, that pours out love and compassion, mercy and grace -365 days a year.
Who thought of me before time began, is never stunned or surprised by my  actions and yet chose to love me anyway.

What about you?  Have you had some time alone with Him this year to pour out your heart in quiet thanksgiving?

You are each a blessing to me and I pray your thanksgiving is filled with love, laughter and peaceful reflection this year.

Ever thankful, ever mindful of the Gift Giver,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Graceful Rewrites

Oh My Goodness, last week was a rough one!

My kids get sick all the time-I however do not.

What Momma has time to be sick?

Well, this Momma got knocked down and knocked down good.

One of the amazing things from my view while down was watching my hubby rise to the occasion.

Meal maker, laundry doer, head vaccummer (I totally made that word up) homework helper, peace treaty negotiator and head taxi driver-not to mention medicine passer outer and temperature taker for me-he was not only the glue that kept us together last week, but he was pretty much the everything.

I have a feeling if he wouldn't have stepped up it could have a been a little like the Hunger Games around here.

That's the stuff you don't think of when you're dating.

Will this guy throw away all my used tissues without complaining. . .
Will he fold a towel, clean a bathroom, vacuum a floor-just because it needs done?
And will he do it without expecting applause?

My husband didn't have the easiest of childhoods or a Christ like male role model to show him how a godly husband/father loves his family.

He shows me all the time in little and big ways-never let someone's past define how you see them.

With an outpouring of Grace and  a passion to follow Jesus, a person can be so much more than their past might suggest.

Isn't that one of the most amazing things God does?
Takes people, who on paper, should never be able to do anything for the Kingdom, never be able to have a family and love them well-not perfectly, but oh so well, and God takes them and molds them and uses them.

When I think about the Hero's of the Faith, and look at their beginnings with my human eyes, I would have picked the wrong person for Kingdom Work every time.
I would have been in the crowed cheering for Saul to be crowned king, never thinking a lowly shepherd boy was really who God would want to be King.

I would've over looked that burly fisherman and instead found a Pharisee.

I would've gone to the Palace looking for the newborn king and not some dirty smelly stable.

But, God uses who He chooses.

He knows that past does not define.

Sometimes I think not only do we let the past define how we see other people, but we let it define how we see ourselves.

As if ours is THE ONE story God can't redeem.

We look at others and we're pretty sure that is exactly who God would choose to use, yet we limit what we think  He can do with us because we know our story.

But, then I read Rahab the harlot name right there in the lineage of Christ.

How Jesus himself called a Samaritan woman out of her sin and never once told her she was a hopeless case.

Mary Magdalene, how the grace poured out on her and changed her forever.

The Hubs, who on paper should've been the one who walked away because he didn't know what staying looked like.
Didn't know how to parent, because he was never parented

And yet has shown me over and over again what it means for a husband to love a wife they way Jesus loves the Church.

Never Ever let someone's past define their future in your eyes.

Never Ever let your past define who your think you are and what God can do with  you.

God loves to write his story and he loves a grace filled plot twist.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lessons While Driving

Two weekends ago found me driving about three hours to Wichita for our oldest Robotics competition.

The Midwest has been particularly stunning this year as the season is changing and the colors could not be more vibrant.

On the drive back Saturday, I took a more scenic route and it did not disappoint.

The country side was absolutely stunning, like something out of travel brochure as it was all lit up with reds, yellows and golds.

On the Tuesday of that following week, I traveled about three hours toward Southern Missouri to go speak to a great group of MOPS moms.

The only difference this time . . .it was raining.

It rained the whole drive down. Not just a little rain. A LOT of rain. The kind that makes you grip the steering wheel a little tighter and sit up straighter in your seat so you can pay close attention kind of rain.

I had a wonderful time with those Sweet Momma's and was blessed by them, and by the time I was heading back home the rain had all but stopped.
Just a little drizzle now.

The drive home, I was struck again by the beauty of this particular Autumn in the Midwest.

God has truly painted us a beautiful portrait this year.

As the week progressed and into this past weekend, I've been thinking about both those drives and their contrasts.

You see the beauty was the same for both.  In fact, in could be argued that the one in Missouri was even  more spectacular because of the green hills all those fall colors were using as a backdrop.

The only difference?

It was much harder to see the beauty of the one through the rain.

God's handiwork-exactly the same.
The beauty-I was surrounded by it on all sides.

The difference-

My perspective.

Sometimes life is so hard and it feels like we're so busy gripping the steering wheel so we don't crash that we miss the beauty around us-the work going on around us on our behalf .

But it's still there.
God is still at work.
Even when it's hard for us to see.

And you know, just like my journey, the rain eventually stops and you're able to see clearly what's been there all the time.

I love this verse-in fact I have it hanging in my kitchen window.

Malachi 3:6a "I am the Lord I do not change."

What an amazing promise !

No matter what storm  is ragging around us, God is still there, still at work...

And someday we will be able  to see the beauty of it all!

Until then, keep holding on  ...

Monday, November 4, 2013

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?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why We Celebrate

We are a Christian family.  (Some might use the word conservative to describe us)

Our children's education in firmly rooted in Christianity.

We are active and engaged in our church.

And yes, we celebrate Halloween.

This year I'm sending out into the neighborhood, Dr Who, a  Policeman and an Autumn Fairy.

I can't wait to see who appears at my door: Princesses, Superhero's and I'm guessing a few Duck Dynasty guys are sure to make their way to us to get some candy.

When our oldest was tiny we wrestled with what to do regarding this most controversial of holidays.

And we came to the conclusion you just can't always say No.

We are called to be light to a dark world. What better way than shinning some light in the middle of a dark night?

Especially, important for us we believe, since we don't attend our local schools.
What a great way to reach out to our neighbors.

Of course we invite them to VBS, Trunk or Treat, Church, but should it always be that they have to come to us? Don't we need to go to them sometimes as well?

So that's what we do.

We hand out the GOOD candy with a smile - no tract, no invitation- just fun.

We see neighbors we don't always get to see often.
It's a fun night that we look forward to for months.

It's our family's PREFERENCE.

If it's  your family's PREFERENCE to not participate that fine to.

I get it. I really do.

Here's the thing though. . .could you please ask you kids not to tell mine that they are celebrating the Devil's birthday?  
That we are engaged in some sort of pagan holiday. . . 

Because if we are truly TRULY honest, MODERN day Halloween has as much to do with Devil worship as  the celebration of MODERN Christmas has to do with Jesus.

If you don't celebrate, can I encourage you to point out that 'all families are different, this is what works best for our family'-this is a mantra at our house concerning movies, video games, and music.

Don't look down on another family for not being exactly like you.

Our world doesn't need anymore Christians who look down their nose at them, saying loudly in the store so everyone around them can hear "WE DON'T CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN LIKE THOSE PEOPLE"

Love people where they are  and yes, sometimes that's in the dark.

And really-who doesn't love free candy??


Monday, October 28, 2013

An Ordinary Mom's thoughts on Immigration

Immigration . . .

Yes, I'm diving in some deepwater and yes I am in way over my head.
Not my usually topic.

But, because of somethings going on in our church family, the news out of DC, an a Critical Issues Forum my church recently hosted featuring Dr. Richard Land and also a local pastor who's ministry is to those who have recently come to our country, I found my self having some thoughts, some things I feel need saying.


I hope you can hang with me, and if not I totally understand.
Also, I know it's a complicated and far reaching subject and I also understand if we don't agree.
But, we can all be kind.


Listen there are no easy answers to this place in history where we find our country.
Jesus says love your neighbor has yourself and I feel like that is what I'm called to do. No matter where my neighbor is from originally .
Also, keep in mind, I haven't been elected to anything since my Senior year of High School when I was Student Body Secretary, so you know, I'm in a different position than those in DC.

I believe we do need some sort of immigration reform, can we all acknowledge that what we have now is not working.
And no, I don't think it's right to ignore the laws we have, however those laws aren't doing anyone any good.
So, with it's flaws and all (because there is no perfect solution) I would ask my representatives to support the bill that is coming up for a vote.
English must be learned. A fine paid. Any crimes and you're deported back to country of origin.
No bringing anyone with you except for immediate family, and then after 13 years if you pass all of that and a test, you can become a citizen.

But, I say all that to really talk about the children.  Because  this is what has stuck with me for a while now.  When families get torn apart, it's the children that suffer the most.  It's also no fault of the children if they were brought here illegally or not.
In the whole process, they are the ones who are truly innocent.

We should love them, support them and care for them.

It was mentioned a few times when talking of educating the children that what if by not educating them (offering in state tuition for students whether or not they had legal status if they came here when they were young children) we were saying NO to the next great doctor, scientist, inventor ect.

But, here's the part I can't let go of (not that  either man was implying this but it's an argument I hear often used when talking about abortion, and I've used it myself)

What if we're not?
What if we're not educating the next great thinkers of a generation.
What if we're educating a Down Syndrome kid, a kid with autism, a kid with a medical history as long as one of my kiddos?

These children shouldn't be educated and cared for because of what they *might* be able to do for us as a society  someday.  They aren't a  utilitarian object here for our use and if they're of no use to us we discard them.

We are called to love and do justly, expecting nothing in return.


Like I said, ordinary thoughts from the most ordinary of girls.

May it be said of me

I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. Job 29:16

Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Blessings along the way,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Uneven Lanes

Several weeks ago there was a sink hole about two blocks from our home.
A water main line broke and in caved the ground.
No warning-just giant hole in the ground.

Lots of sirens,  news coverage and damage. (thankfully no one was hurt.)

A mere few hours later that hole was filled in and covered.
The street was even open to drive on the very spot that had just been an open hole in the ground only hours before.

It was marked by a sign though.

Because, although, it might be drivable it wasn't quite the same.

Sometimes, life is like that.

A tragedy happens, or a major event -even a good one-, a move, a job change and we're left with a gapping hole.

And, yes, we may be able to 'fill' in that hole pretty quickly as if 'there's nothing to see here', but deep inside we know we still have some Uneven Lanes we're going to have to drive over.

That first day that hole was filled, I have to admit I was a bit timid to drive over the spot.
But, if I didn't what was supposed to be a quick run to the grocery store suddenly wouldn't have been, so drive over it I did.
And, absolutely yes, I can testify to the unevenness of the lanes.

Now though, do you know what's happened?
It's settled, been smoothed over by time and  diligent work, and is a much less terrifying drive, in fact, except for a small bump in the road, you'd hardly know it was there.

Can I encourage you that whatever 'hole' is in your life right now-whatever thing has caused so much damage you're wondering if you will ever recover. . . just hold on.
Eventually, if  you'll let Him, Jesus can fill up that void like only He can.
And while things may never be the same, they can still be 'drivable',  until one day you may be the only one who knows the bump is still there.

Change  happens for everyone. Marriage, babies, jobs, moves across state or across the world.
Sometimes change leaves gapping holes, death, divorce, hurts that leave you wondering if you'll ever get out of the giant 'sinkhole' you fear will swallow you whole.

Whatever hole you find yourself at the bottom of right now,  it doesn't define your whole life.  It doesn't get to decided who you are or where you're going to stay.
Seasons change. Life changes.
Fill up that 'sink hole' with Jesus.

The one constant you can count on-Jesus never changes, He will never let you go or fall further than his reach can grab.

Never. Not once in all of eternity.
You can count on him.

If you're angry, confused. You can tell him.
If you're doubting. You can tell him.
If you just do not understand. You can tell him that too.
If you're tired, He can be your rest.
If  you're lonely, He's the one true friend.
If you're scared, He's promised to protect you.

He isn't afraid of your questions.
He sees and understands your humanity.
He's never afraid, He's never wondering 'what's next'.

You can trust him.

Let Him fill up those 'sink hole's' we've all found ourselves in from time to time.
He's the only one who can.
Eventually, all those Uneven Lanes will be drivable again.

He's promised. And He alone is trustworthy.

Psalm 40:1-2 (NIV)

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.

Blessings in the Uneven places,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Non Essential Workers

Non Essential is a term, that if you watched the news at all in the past week,  you've heard used over and over again.

{There is a part of me that's wants to go find  everyone of those 'non essentials' and give them a hug. That can not feel good to be called that in front of the world}

As I've been apart of this Start Experiment with Jon Acuff, and maybe even before that, I've wondered that about myself. . .

Am I really 'essential'?

I mean there are a thousands of Christian bloggers.

Thousands  of speakers/teachers, who are way WAY more essential to the Kingdom than I am.

And millions of mothers around the world, who I am sure are doing a much better job than I am at this whole 'bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord' thing.

It doesn't take long for the those questions to rise, for  the enemy's whispers in my ear of 'see He doesn't really NEED you', to be drowned out by my own voice declaring, "I am so very Non essential to this kingdom work!".

So instead of feelings I need facts. . .I'm betting you do to.

The fact is: If you have chosen to be a Jesus Follower, He has a plan for your life.

The fact is: It is essential for the Kingdom that you do what you're called to do.
Maybe it's mom, maybe it's teacher, maybe it's minister to the person in the cubical next to you, maybe it's hospitality. . .maybe it's a 1,000 other things I can't think of


The fact is: We all (Yep, every single one of us) have been given gifts and talents that we are to use.

The fact is: You (and me too-because I seriously need this reminder) have been written into the Kingdom story. We have a part to fulfill.  We are essential.

Absolutely essential.

Yes, He could write the story of time without us, but fact is, He's chosen to use the flawed people that He loves.

The fact is: your talent is not the predictor of how 'essential' you are.

God loves to use the most 'non essential' looking among us.

Even a chunky, 40+ mom of three in the middle of the United States, who's life looks so very ordinary.

Because no matter how talented you may be,

the fact is: without Him, none of it matters.

On this first day of work week, when your life can really feel so very non essential, will you join me in
the very essential kingdom work He's called us too?

Each of our jobs may look different. But, they're so very essential. Do not  be fooled into believing otherwise.

Because of Jesus in us, we are essential.

When the mundane overwhelms and threatens to take over and you just feel like quitting because you think no one really notices anyway. . .hold on to the  promise that He SEES you and all the hard work you're doing.
Not only does he see, he VALUES your efforts as well.

And not only does he see and value your effort, He's promised to REWARD all your effort on His behalf as well.

So, change the diapers, fold the laundry, encourage a co worker, take a meal to a hurting friend, and even though no one may acknowledge it today and you may feel like a 1,000 others could line up and take your place, hold on to the fact that He has called

YOU to what He thinks is a very essential task.

Blessings, My Friends, you are so valued by me and by the One who called you!
Friday, September 27, 2013

The Messy Princess

There are parenting moments you want to forget, and some you never will.

One of ours was when Belle was about 6 months old and we were introducing her to baby food.

And like all kids do, she got messy.

Jude who was 3 at the time was standing near by watching and taking it all in.  Since the day she was born she was " princess" and there were some serious princess expectations.

  After a few minutes he declared "she might be a princess, but she sure is messy. She's a messy princess!", and  then ran away off on something else.

Seven years later and I have not forgotten that moment.

Of all the things kids say and do, that has stuck with me.

It was such a brief moment in time, but I still think about it often.

Perhaps it's because we all have notions on how things and people SHOULD be, and when they

vary from our preconceived notions it shocks us.

But, life is like that most of the time isn't it?

We expect one thing and get another.

I think Christians can especially get into this trap of thinking, that since we are Jesus Followers that nothings ever going to get messy.

But, that's just not true.
Life is messy.

Belle was messy that day, and yet it didn't change that fact, that to us, she was still "princess".

And as messy as life may get sometimes it doesn't change the fact that God is in control and He has a plan-even in our mess.

That day in the kitchen I wasn't surprised Belle was messy.  It didn't shock me.
She was still my darling girl.
It was a learning process, one I knew she would get that it wouldn't always be like this.

And you know what?

Your mess doesn't surprise God either.
You are still his darling child.

He knows you won't always be in the mess you are right now.

He sees the bigger picture, the process.

Don't let your mess define you.
It'll clean up and wash off, it doesn't change who you are.

Sometimes princess's are messy.
But they don't stay that way forever.

later that same day. . .

Blessings from the middle of the mess,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Racing Day

I work part time in the afternoon with grade school children.

It's my third year with basically the same group of children and I enjoy them very much.

Each afternoon, weather permitting, we play outside for about 30 minutes and finish up with some races.

I call out different colors, or letters in their name, who has big brother/sister, anything I can think of for different groups to run at different times.
Let's face it they've been sitting for the past 7 hours-we've got to M O V E.

My two littlest kiddos come with me, and my daughter is typically the youngest in the group.
Needless to say she never comes in first.
But, as I have been watching her more closely I began to notice that she'd race down to the wall, turn to come back, pause for a moment and then set a look of sheer determination on her face to finish.
Knowing she wasn't 'winning'.

But, you know what? She was finishing.  Her race.

And isn't that what we are all called to do?

Finish our own race that has been set out before us.

Our races may look very different.

I have a dear friend who's husband was in a skiing accident last year that left him in the battle of his life (praise Jesus he's doing so much better than the doctors ever imagined).
Her race looks different than mine.

Another who's husband of almost 20 years died unexpectedly at their home one Sunday afternoon watching TV.
Her race looks different than mine.

Many who homeschool.
Many who work full time outside the home, then serve their family.
Their races look different than mine.

Another dear friend, who with her hubby and three precious  children, packed up and moved to Africa for 18 months to serve the  people there.
Her race looks different than mine.

Some friends with kiddo's with special needs.
There race looks different than mine.

And yours probably looks much different than mine.

That's the thing though, I think sometimes we get so caught up in the race someone else is running and how it looks like they're 'winning' and we are falling behind, and think that must mean we aren't running ours well, we just stop running altogether.

We're stuck at the wall and don't move anywhere.

It's time we stop comparing ourselves and our lives.
Run the race laid specifically out before US.

I can't run your race and you can't run mine.
But, that doesn't mean either of us is losing.

It just means we are running the race God designed just for each of us individually.

The biggest mistake racers make? Turning their head to see where the person is behind/beside them.
You lose focus and slow down. They are told to keep their eyes straight ahead on the finish line.
That's  their goal and the only thing to keep in view.

So, today, just like my sweet girl; let's pause, set determination on our faces and then R U N, our race and no one else's!

It's the only way we can finish well.

Running toward the finish line with you, where Jesus will be waiting to give us our medal,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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

* This a repost from last year. It's been on my mind as I'm reading everyone's back to school posts as sports have kicked in, but also because I've began studying the Priscilla Shirer Bible study on Gideon.
Maybe  you need to hear it today too.

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, and 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.

How 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.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Clever and Witty Title Here

I should be blogging something clever, witty or at least touchingly  heart felt here today.

But, can I just say, I can't?

I'm tired.

Worn flat out tired.

Our Labor Day Holiday was spent working hard around here, and Hubby struggling with some medical issues.

School is BBAACCKKK in full mode, which means I'm working my part time job, homework is getting done and I'm drilling flash cards like a Drill Sargent barks commands.

I just sighed out loud after I reread that last sentence.

Yes, tired is the word.

Today I finish my 24 day experiment.  It's had it's ups and downs, taught me somethings and I'm better for having participated.

But, it's also helped add to the stress and overall tired feeling.

I was struggling yesterday with my attitude when I got up (I'm not a morning person and 5 AM is about to kill me) but as I was saying good bye to the kiddos and my middle was just ITCHING to get out the door to get to school (a RARE occasion I haven't ever experienced from  him) I realized I was watching an answer to prayer.

It began last school year about half way through.  He was having a rough year.  As I was praying for him the prayer of my heart became not 'help him be a good boy', but 'Lord, please bring him that one true friend'.  Although J is extremely social and tends to make friends wherever he goes and genuinely likes most of his classmates, he just didn't have that one friend at school who makes it fun to be there.

I certainly had that growing up, and his big brother has such a wonderful group of core friends-the kind you know are going to be in your life forever-and that's what I wanted for J. Not only what I wanted for him, but what this Momma thought he NEEDED.

We found out toward the end of summer that indeed his best friend was going to be coming to our school this year. A true miracle. Such a long story. . .but oh such a good one!

And while we'v praised and given thanks for that, it just hit me again as I was watching him be so excited to get out the door that I was watching an answer to prayer right before my eyes.

And no matter how tired and worn out you may be. . .that'll put a spark right back in your step and knock you clean over with grace all at the same time.

I'm so glad to have a God who cares about children.  Who knows and honors the value of friendship and who still answers the feeble prayers of ordinary Momma's all over the world.

Yes, it doesn't change the fact that I'm worn clean out, but it does help me to remember to praise in the middle of the struggle, because I have a God who answers prayers and cares about whether 4th graders have a true friend or not.

Whatever you're going through today, know that He sees, He hears and He knows.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Moms of Preschoolers and Other Wonders of the World

I've had the privilege of getting to speak at lots of MOPS groups

(MOPS= Mother's of Preschoolers)

and gotten to know a few of the groups pretty well, and we've stayed connected through social media.

I also have lots of friends that are still in the beginning/middle of the baby/preschool years.

So, I see lots of posts and hear lots of stories about tantrums, sleepless nights, and general chaos that comes during those years.

Sometimes when I read them, I want to chuckle, or I want to reach through the screen and hug them.

If you and I were sitting down right now over chocolate and Diet Coke what I would say to you Dear Sleep Deprived Mommy is,

You're doing a great job!

Even when your precious three year just threw themselves down in the middle of the aisle at Target because you had the audacity to say "No". . .

Even when your kitchen floor is covered in cereal. . .

Even when the laundry is piled high with no hopes of being folded today. . .or maybe even tomorrow. .

Even when you haven't shaved your legs for three days. . .

Even when you find poop behind the couch left by your darling little one your trying desperately to convince that the potty will not eat them when they sit on down.

You may feel like you're doing it all wrong.  You may feel that these days will never end.

That surely your kids were supposed to have someone different, better for a mom.

Nope. It's you Momma.  You're the one they need. You're the gift they've been given.
They are your treasures.

Every last fit throwing one of them.

Here's what I know:

These long days WILL end-

Your kids will all use the toilet properly.
You will be able to walk into the store without anyone throwing a fit.
You will regularly be able to shower.
(However, I make no promises about the laundry, because they just get bigger and so do their clothes.)

I know the days drag on and it can sometimes feel like you might be missing out on the 'important' work.

Don't believe that lie.

But, they will grow up. Faster than you can imagine.

And you'll wonder how did it happen, where did the time go.

And just when you don't think you can watch more episode of Veggie Tales and you're pretty sure you might kick Dora the Explore if you saw her in real life, sing one more verse of If You're Happy and You Know It, read Good Night Moon one more time, you'll look around and no one will be asking you to.

You, Dear Momma are in the hardest, longest  days of your life.
You really do deserve a medal-or at least a bubble bath, but instead you'll sweep up the cheerios, convince the three year she will live and that a band aid can fix just about everything, and change diapers that would make a weaker person weep.

You really do make the world a better place, even in your pj pants and uncombed hair.

Just hold on, they'll take a nap and wake up ready to go to  high school. . .

So go eat a piece of your hidden stash of chocolate-You've earned it!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For My Daughter and Yours

My Dear Isabelle,

You're 7 now and you began first grade last week, and Daddy and I couldn't be more proud of you!

We think you're smart, funny, kind, tenderhearted, loving and beautiful.

But, now that you're in school full time we won't have has much time together for us to tell you and show these things.

And because I've been on this big planet lots longer than you I know hard days will come.

Somebody in your life is going to be mean, a test will be hard, you'll doubt your beauty.

You'll be exposed to things that will make you cringe and then will make you wonder if that's the way you should be behaving as well.

As you get older getting attention, whether good or bad, will feel like it's maybe the right thing to do. That somehow this is how you make your mark.

You'll see people you've admired on television  seemingly lose their minds and embarrass themselves by doing all sorts of vulgar things on stage(I'm looking at you Miley) .  You'll see adults who should've known better than to let them go right ahead (I'm looking at you Robin Thicke and producers of the VMA's).
And you'll wonder if that's really how a girl has to make it in this world.

I pray you realize that, even when it feels like you're so small and insignificant, that you really do matter and you've got nothing to prove to anyone.

Daddy and I will always be here and love you. no.matter.what.  But there will come a time (hopefully not longer than a day or two) that you won't believe that.

I pray on those days that you doubt, you can still remember who you belong to and who gave you your worth.
It wasn't daddy and me.  No, it was the God of the Universe who says, "I made you, I know you, I understand you, and you are absolutely perfect just the way I made you".

I also pray that when we say, "No you can't wear that. Or no, we're not going to listen to/watch that."Or any number of things you might think we're being unfair about, that you won't be to mad for to long.
But, here's the thing, even if you are- It's OK. Daddy and I can except that anger.

Our job isn't to make you happy.  Our job is to keep you whole. To guide you to Jesus. To teach you, that no matter what the world says, His way really is the best way.  And in the end, even when it doesn't always feel like it in the beginning, it's always good and right.

So, someday you may slam your door or pout about some shorts that are to short, some show that's to trashy. . .but you'll survive and so will we.

We love you Dear Little One, and if I could, I'd keep you innocent and carefree forever.
But, I can't.
So, even if you getting tired of hearing it, I'll never stop saying it. . .you're so smart, you are absolutely beautiful just the way God made you, you're the kindest most loving person I know, use every gift and talent God gave you all for Him. He's the only audience that will ever matter.


And, Hey Miley all that stuff I just said-that goes for you too. You've got nothing to prove.
Be who your Creator intended, use your talent and platform for him. We've all done things we're embarrassed by, you can turn this around. . .I'm praying for you.  I pray you'll find a safe place, a person to tell you the truth and that you'll know how valuable you are, not just some object for the people in your life to use. That someday you'll realize you're worth more than some side show act for a middle aged man.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

9th Grade Miracles

Today's the day.

We sent this guy off to high school for the first time.

High School. What the What??  I swear I was just playing Rescue Hero's with him. . .

He was so nervous and excited last night.

As he was getting ready for bed we prayed together, thankful for new beginnings and exciting new


As countless memories came flooding back, one in particular was standing out.

See that big guy up there was a very sick baby/little boy.

In and out of doctors/hospitals and ER's.

The incident I couldn't get out of my head was when he was about 15 months old and he had been so sick and had stopped breathing.  We were in the ER of our local children's hospital and they couldn't get an IV started because he's veins had just collapsed.  Where they had tried to begin a line it hadn't worked, and he was just laying there starring up at me with blood dripping down his chunky little arm onto the floor.  For as long as I live, I don't think I'll forget those moments.
When they were finally able to get a blood sample they came back with news that was far from good.

We had a very long journey that ended with heart surgery when he was in Kindergarten.

There were many times along the way, that the thought of him being a relatively healthy teenager was so far out of scope we couldn't even have imagined it happening.

The fact that he walked through these doors this morning whispering under his breath, "Mom do NOT cry",  is a testament to just how good God really is.

I live with a walking, talking, moody, funny, smart, handsome, teenage miracle.

I've pleaded with God over the years to 'heal my boy', to 'just let him be Ok Lord'. And today I get to praise him with remembering all the waiting rooms and sleepless nights He's brought us through, all the miracles He alone has done.

Even when we can't see it, He's at work.

Even when we don't feel it, He's at work.

Even when it feels so desperate, He's at work.

When you feel like you're losing it all, hold on to His promises.

Miracles still happen.

I should know, I've got one who calls me mom!

Blessed to remember and praise,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Back to School Eve

Twas the night before school began and all through the house,

Everyone was scurrying about.

First Grader so thrilled to return, "I can't wait to do homework", she said with a happy grin

Making one of her brothers groan and shudder in fear.

The Fourth Grader can't decide how he feels, one minute he's jolly with thoughts of recess and P.E.

Dancing through his brain

The next he's glum at the thought of sitting still most of the day.

And then there's the big boy, a Freshman is he

Off to high school for the first time and nervous as can be.

What do I wear? Where do I go? Did you see that cute new girl, Mom?

He just doesn't know what to do

Excited and nervous -a ball of hormones.  Makes you want to hug him and lock him up tight  in the

span of five minutes-OH! What a delight!

The alarm clock is set, backpacks by the door, clothes laid out and camera ready to go-

Because everyone knows the first day of school doesn't happen unless posted to Facebook and Twitter.

And now we join with  parent's everywhere, as they  high five themselves that they made it through

another summer without doing to much harm and

take a deep breath as the craziness of the school schedule is about to kick in

Go kiss your babies while they sleep

Because tomorrow. . .

Homework, it's back to reality.

Happy School Year to All!
Friday, August 16, 2013


There is nothing like the internet to make you feel small.

Especially if your dreams are big.

On this Start Experiment journey I'm on, one thing I'm noticing is that although my little corner of the interwebs may be small, together all our goals and dreams add up to something that is really quite big.

When you feel small it's easy to hide behind your fears.

When you feel small it's easy to convince yourself what you have to say doesn't matter.

When you feel small it easy to fail once, convince yourself you never need to try again.

And if you've just yelled at your kids, lost it with your husband, asked God "DOES THIS REALLY MATTER AT ALL", messed up in so many ways, you begin to feel even smaller.

And once we feel small, it's so easy to convince ourselves we are useless too.

But, when you're part of something bigger, your dreams can no longer hide.
Your voice becomes louder and although you may fail, you have others around you to pick you up, dust you off and set you right back on your path.

The power of community is an amazing thing.

And here's the thing, no matter how small we may feel inside, we have the God of the Universe backing us up, cheering  us on, setting those dreams in our hearts and giving us the vision to carry them out.

Maybe like me you feel small today, like what you have to say and do just doesn't really matter at all.

Listen, I'm just an ordinary girl from Kansas, but I serve the powerful King of everything. . .

And you can't get any bigger than that, so I tell that nagging voice that says "You're to small to matter",
to step aside, I have a King to serve.

And that, My Friends, is no small thing.

In His service Always,

I'm linking up with Five Minute Fridays today. Stop by and check them out!

Five Minute Friday
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Audaciously Ordinary

I wrote yesterday about joining Jon Acuff's START Experiment  and our challenge to think audaciously about our goals and pursing them vigorously over the next 24 days and really taking a risk.

And, I'm all in.  I have big dreams that I feel have put on my heart by the Lord and I want to follow him wholly with abandon.  I have certainly let fear hold me back on pursuing some of the bigger portions and am trying to embrace the risk of really stepping out in faith over the next weeks.

Taking risks, putting myself out there.

But, I was thinking today about how sometimes the risk lies within the ordinary.

My life looks very ordinary from the outside.
Stay at home mom to 3 kids.
Married for 21 years.
Schedules, menus, laundry, taxi service, grocery store, referee .  All so  seemingly very ordinary in family life.

And yet. . .

There is a Momma tonight sitting outside the door of her two years olds room trying desperately to keep them in bed while not losing her temper. She hasn't been able to shower yet today and her risk is to not lose it or to drown her anger in a bottle of wine.

Risky. Very Risky.

There's a teenager about to push his parents over the edge and instead of responding in anger, they love him where he is.


There's a family that's decided to choose a different education path for their kids, perhaps Christian school, perhaps homeschooling- people shake their heads and call them crazy or worse …

I call them trailblazers who refuse to settle for the ordinary path for their family.

Audaciously stepping out of their comfort zone.

A husband choosing to work hard and love his family. Ordinary? Perhaps.

Life changing for the people who love him? Absolutely.

Sometimes I think it can become easy in the pursuit of our BIG dreams to want to shun the ordinary or at least push it aside, but there is something audaciously bold and risky about loving your family well, following Jesus whole heartedly- that may look incredibly ordinary, but can be one of the biggest risks you'll ever take.

Yes, I do believe one of my risks over these next few weeks is to see 'ordinary' family life for what it really is. . .the biggest risk a  person could ever take.

Love your people audaciously,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Diving In the Deep End

I've jumped into an experiment for the next 24 days that Jon Acuff is heading up.

(and let me just saying joining an online group for something like this is WAAAYY out of my comfort zone)

We were given the assignment to pick something reckless we were going to focus on completing over those next days, along with daily assignments from Jon.

Yesterday our assignment had to do with the word "Audacious" and what that mean in our lives.

My only real  understanding of that word had more to do with fashion and attitude than anything else so I did what a modern girl does and goggled it.

Audacious- here's some of what I found:

intrepidly daring : Adventerous 
 recklessly bold

 marked by originality

Can I just except for maybe the third one, I typically don't fit the definition of that definition!

Maybe I used to, after all I did move to Germany when I was barely 20, unafraid of what the future held. . .little did I know it held a really cute Airman man from Texas who I was recklessly bold in marrying six months later. But that was 21 years ago.

Maybe it's been time or motherhood or a combo of both that has made me more cautious. . .

But, then I began writing a couple of years ago, and let me say that takes some daring to put your heart out there for the world to see. 
Then I began working on the Women's Ministry Team at my church. . .totally stretching past the preschoolers I'm much more comfortable with serving.  What an adventure that has proven to be.

And with a combo of those two things, speaking opportunities had begun popping up, and not only that be what I feel has been a clear and unmistakable tugging from the Holy Spirit, that I have indeed have a calling to encourage and uplift women.

That feels so recklessly bold to say.

And while in some ways it is bold to say 'I have a calling', in other so many other ways, I want to be like a turtle, poke my head out and say it then crawl back inside my shell.

But the pulling, tugging, straining at my heart just can't be ignored any longer.

So, over these next 24 days I will audaciously be putting my self out there.

I want to follow Jesus with reckless abandon in doing what I feel so clearly he has called me to.

I want to face my fears head on.

Yesterday my little one did just that.
Seemingly out of no where, she looked at me and said "I'm going off the diving board. I'm ready"

(She can swim, but deep water scares her and add the hight and pressure of everyone watching you at the pool and let's just say it hasn't been something she's wanted to do. She COULD do it mind you, she just let her fear stop her.)

So, she did.

With a smile on her face, she looked her fear in the face. . .



With arms open wide in pure reckless daring

She went for it.

Oh to be like that. To jump into the deep in, knowing it's scary, but going for it anyway.

That's my adventure for the next 24 days.
The goals I have set for myself are:
Completing 3 more chapters of book I've been writing.
Sending out info on Lessons from Aisle 12 to 100 churches/women's groups.
And when someone asks me what I do, to not be embarrassed by saying I'm a writer and speaker for Lessons From Aisle 12. To live in that calling.

Thanks for following me on this adventure!

What about you? What fear is holding you back from diving into the deep end?

Facing them together,

Friday, August 9, 2013


Today instead of focusing on grey hairs and laugh lines, I thought I'd list 42 I'm thankful for and love.

Except for the first four they are in no particular order.

1) Jesus. Without him and the grace He gives everyday- nothing else would matter.

2) Dear Hubby of mine.  He's loved me for over half my life.  Good, Bad and Ugly we've seen it all and we're still here. Love you, Dear Hubby, thanks for letting me be me.

3) Three beautiful miracles who call me mom.  Seriously, even on the really hard days, there is nothing better. I love you three more than you can possible understand right now. What a privilege it is to be your mom.

4) My Dear Parents.  What gifts they've poured on me.  But, my favorite is watching how they love my kids unconditionally.  I sometimes have people ask if I know how lucky I am to have   parents who not only love my children, but ENJOY them.  Yes, I am a blessed girl indeed!

5) My church family.  Simply.The.Best.  Not perfect. . .but God has used them in my life and blessed me by them in more ways than I can count. Pushed to grow and loved when it's hard. I love this group of people.

6) Girlfriends. I have some of the best.  There are not many people in this life who you can be your honest self with (It can be scary sometimes) But I've got some girls who aren't scared off, who know where I've been, know every flaw every weakness and love me anyway.
I blame most of my laugh lines on these girls-and I wouldn't trade a single one of them!

7) Music. Just about all kinds. . .I'm so thankful God didn't wait until heaven to give us this beautiful gift.  I am the girl who could burst into song at any given moment.

8) French Pedicures.

9) Cute shoes. Yes, I am that shallow.

10)  My kids school. It's not perfect, but neither are they so they make a good match.  I appreciate how they push them to excel yet love them where they are.

11) Good books. Books become like friends to me. I've been known to cry at the end of a book. Not because the ending was sad but because I had to say goodbye to the characters.

12) Farmers Fields with round hay bales. Never ceases to make me teary and remember where I come from.

13) Road trips.  I LOVE a road trip!

14) Camping.  I KNOW I KNOW.  But, since we purchased our little pop up camper a few years ago, I've learned to love it. . sitting around a campfire, looking at the stars. . .if you've never done that with your kids, I dare you too.  It'll change your family dynamic faster than just about anything.

15) Really Great Hotels.  Hey, I am no fool.

16) A really talented hairstylist. My great friend went to beauty school a couple of years ago and by her following her dream, she filled a huge void in my life. :)  Love Hair Salon Day!

17) MU Tigers.  I love my beloved Tigers (although I'm still not thrilled about the whole SEC thing, but I'll get over it)

18) Beth Moore.  This lady changed my life.  I can't wait to get to heaven and tell her without sounding like a gushing fan. Life. Changing.

19) Bible studies.  They get a separate category from Beth because not all the studies I do are Beth Moore.  I love digging deep into God's word and seeing things from a  perspective I never considered.

20) My i-phone.  Yes, I really am that shallow.

21) When all the laundry is done, folded and put away. It doesn't happen often, but oh I LOVE it when it does!

22) Medical care.  My kids have each been through much in regards to their health. Without modern medicine . . .well, I don't really like to think about what would've happened to them.

23) Peanut Butter.  Mmmm, I love peanut butter.

24) Fountain Diet Coke with a splash of cherry from Quick Trip or Sonic.  Seriously, one of life's simple pleasures.

25) Flowers.  Love these little gifts from heaven with all their bright colors.

26) Football.

27) Riding roller coasters with my kids.

28) Movies. I enjoy just about all types of movies, but I especially love the classics and anything with a superhero :) or a musical soundtrack :)

29) A great piece of jewelry . . not expensive, but fun and unique, I'm in!

30) Social media.  Yes, it can be annoying and overdone, but it's allowed me to stay in touch with friends across the world, become closer to others and get to know some new friends.

31) Sunny days with nothing to do or anywhere to be but the pool.

32) Having a great party.

33) Chocolate.

34) Max the Wonder Beagle. He can drive me NUTS sometimes, but he is the very definition of unconditional love.

35) Boo Mama and Big Mama. If you haven't read their blogs or books you should.  They are funny gals who helped me inspire me to write. In my head we are all friends. (Yes, I am that crazy)

36) The Ozark Mountains and Tablerock Lake. My happy place.

37) My extended family. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. . .love those people.

38) A Freshly popped bowl of popcorn, lightly salted and buttered. Mmmm. By far and away my favorite snack.

39) A jar of dirt from my great grandparents farm.  I have it on the shelves in our family room. I love it and it reminds of my roots and those who've gone before me.

40) Sharpies.  I love writing with a Sharpie.

41) Sitting outside on a lovely evening playing hide and seek with the kids in the dark and chasing fireflies.  Some of my best days. They are to fleeting, and I am thankful for the gift of each and every one of them.

42) YOU.  Yep, I'm thankful for you. Thank you for stopping by and reading, leaving comments and sending me encouraging emails.
When you write, it's like you are letting strangers peek into your soul just a little, that can be difficult and scary at times. I appreciate the time each of you has taken out of your busy lives to stop by my little corner of the interwebs.
So yes, I am thankful for YOU.

Love xoxo,

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I am often asked 'how to' questions about blogging and speaking.

The other day I was having a lovely conversation with a lady and her basic question, which is the one I get the most was, "But what do I write about? ".
She clearly knew what she wanted her new blog to be about but was unsure about how to go about writing it all down.

Listen, I'm no expert. I'm clearly not an English major.

But, there is one thing I know.

Tell YOUR story.

YOUR journey.

People want to hear what's true and real and authentic.

Discretion is also something to really remember, hard as it is to believe lots of people don't want their business all over the interwebs . . .go figure.

One of the best things I ever heard that has stuck with me over the years is this quote from Beth Moore,
"God never waste a hurt.".

And, OH! How I believe that is true!

If the the stories, the testimony, of my life can help just one other person along the way, can bring me closer to Jesus, well then it's all worth it in the end.

 Whether you blog or not, telling our stories is a vital part of life.

Don't hide from the world.  I promise wherever you are on your journey, you're not alone and someone else has been there before.

The world might just be an easier place to navigate if we realized that we're all in this together.

Everyone has a story to tell.

What's yours?

Thanks for reading and sharing mine,

Monday, July 29, 2013


I love things that have been around along time.

I find comfort in them. From jewelry to furniture, chances are if it's been around along time I'm going to love it.

In that spirit of loving old things, I'll confess that I have two  giant bath towels that I've had since college.
I received them both as a graduation gift from a sweet family I'd known since I was a little thing.

If you saw them you'd know how old they were just from the colors.
That's right, peach and sea foam green.  They matched my  lovely Laura Ashely bed set with stripes on one side and a pretty floral on the other.
There was nothing as trendy as Laura Ashley and sea foam green in the summer of 1989.

(I've been seeing sea foam green making it's comeback and it makes me smile)

You should know that The Hubs does not use these towels. They are strictly mine.

You should also know that our bathroom has never been those colors the entire time of our marriage, and you should also know that yes indeed we do have newer/nicer/matching towels.
That I rarely use.
I love 'my' towels.

A few weeks ago, when The Hubs was bringing me 'my' towel (after he'd warmed it up in the dryer-isn't he awesome?!?!) he asked the dreaded question.

"Why do we still have this towel? Wouldn't you prefer a newer one?"

No. No thank you.

He just shook his head, and while I can't be certain, I'm pretty sure he was wondering about the crazy he was married too.

See, as you can imagine, those towels are pretty thread bare at this point. Any fluff has been stripped away over the years of use. Both are frayed around the edges and one (I can't believe I'm admitting this) has a giant whole at the bottom.

Really, they don't do their job very well anymore.
Yet, I can't seem to let them go.

I could say it's because I'm frugal or because I don't want to be wasteful, but really it's because I find some sort of comfort from having something around that's been with me so long.

I think sometimes in our lives we do that as well.  We keep doing the same routines; perhaps staying in the same church long after we should have moved on, keeping  the same job, sending our kids to the same type of schools, we know it's time to let go, to move on, but we can't or don't want to because it's comfortable.

We know God is calling us to better things but because that would have us leave the comfort of our situation -even if like my old towels it's no longer doing it's job-we simply refuse to budge.

Maybe it's ministry related, job related or something I can't even fathom of, that God is calling you to walk away from the comfort of something so familiar yet is no longer fulling it's purpose in your life.

(BTW, I'm not talking about marriage-God is NOT calling you to leave your marriage. Please don't read this and then go tell your spouse "Angie said it's ok for me to leave")

We settle for the familiar , even when really it's no longer as comfortable as we'd like to pretend.

We settle for what we know, instead of getting to know something new and fresh.

Even if what we know, is now frayed, wholly and thread bare  and no longer capable of doing the job we need it to, we'll take that any day over the unknown- the unfamiliar .

It's a hard choice.
Do we settle for the comfortable, or do we follow the calling to the unknown.

When choosing, I think it's good to remember that while what's familiar may appear more comfortable, like my aging towels, really what we think of as comfortable is really thread bare and itchy.

We've just gotten used to things feeling that way-and calling it comfy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Short Cuts

We went hiking a few times this past week.

( Please don't get the wrong idea. . .by hike I mean a couple of miles on some trails, not forging our way through rugged terrain for mile upon mile. We are not that family, but for us it was an adventure.)

Sunday we packed up to head home, and can I be totally honest? We were all just a bit grumpy.

Well I say all, but really just four us, the Princess was still going strong even though she was just as tired as the rest of us was  and her typically sweet self.

We had said we were going to hike that day but with the four of us being surly . . .well, let's just say we were trying to get out of it and just get the heck home.

But, being reminded that we PROMISED, we hit the trail.

At one point we came upon a short cut that was looking mighty fine to most in our group.

That's when the Princess piped up and said (and trust me when I say, I have no idea where she got this)


Well, you can't really argue with that can you?

Here's the thing though. . .

I've been looking for some short cuts lately and in all sorts of areas.

Want to be blessed and be a blessing, don't always want to do the hard work required. Or at least not all of it.

And this  Mama Warrior has felt  pretty tired and worn down lately and in the middle of that tiredness

a short cut can start looking mighty fine.

Mighty fine.

And make no mistake our Little Warrior could be found looking like this 30 minutes before we headed out.
Doesn't exactly look like she's ready to conquer the trail, does she?

But, as soon as it was time to hit that trial, if we heard it once we  heard it twenty times that day. .


Her spirit was contagious and by the end trail the four of us less enthusiastic participants  had come around, we were all actually ENJOYING each other not just tolerating.

And if we'd taken the short cut? Well, we would've missed  coming eye to eye to with a deer.
It was an almost sacred moment in the stillness of those woods, a memory will be able to talk about for years to come.

It has gotten me to thinking about how much I miss always trying to take the short cuts in life.

No matter how tired I am, how much I rather prefer to lounge in the shade and take it easy, I'm going to keep reminding myself . . .


Want to join me taking the long way around? It is so much easier doing it together!

From one Warrior to another,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Remember When

We went on a little camping excursion last weekend with the family.

On the way home, Hubby decided to take the back roads-and you may not know this or believe me, but there are parts of Missouri that are so breath taking.
No mountains or beach, but there is a familiar beauty there that can sometimes take my breath away.

I also have an affinity to round hay bales. They make me happy.

My grandparents old farm house had a field behind it, and when we'd visit at the right time it would be full of round hay bales. My uncle (who was only 10 years older than me and who I was pretty sure hung the moon) and I would go out and play and climb on those bales. He would even take me to his favorite 'secret' pond out in the middle of those bales.
I loved those adventures.
He died tragically when I was 16, and over the years of missing him those round hay bales have become a sweet reminder of the love and kinship we shared.

So, while we were driving home Sunday and I was taking the beauty in around me, Hubby was quick to point out a field of those treasures to me.

Remembering can be such a good thing.

These past few weeks have been filled with some painful and challenging moments.
And when we got home from our camping adventure, I was faced with another huge disappointment.
In my humanity it would have been easy to wallow in the discouragement and disappointment.

But instead I choose to remember.

Remember where I've been, and a God who has carried me every step of the way.

Remember that even when the path was rocky and hard to navigate, I never had to walk it alone.

Remember that My Savior promised to not only save me, but to love me, guide me, protect me.

That He only wants good for me. To prosper and not to harm.

Yes, I chose to remember instead of wallow.

Wallowing is easy. Remembering can be difficult.

Because it's easy to remember all my failures. All my regret. all the disappointments.

That's when I must turn my remembering off of myself and onto The One who created me, has set my feet upon the rock and has promised good to me.

I love these verses from Psalm 77

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
    the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (vs 10-12)

Yes, I will remember and in the remembering I will praise.
And in the remembering I will give thanks for all that He's brought me through and all the things that are yet to come.
Good and Difficult, but so blessedly thankful never alone.

Remember today, who's you are, where He's brought you from and what He's brought you to.

Praising and remembering today,