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Showing posts from 2008

Today is a new day...

Chicken Little says it on the movie, and it just popped in my head as I am reflecting on the past 24 hours. I watched the election coverage last night, and stayed up to see McCain's speech and Obama's speech as well. I admire both candidates, because they are both very good men. I am thankful that Obama won, and voted for him. Many of my family and friends supported McCain, which I respect. There are reasons to support either candidate, but I chose Obama because I believe in his ideas for change and I didn't see enough evidence in McCain's ideas that prove he could pull it off. Regardless of who everyone votes for, we are all going to agree to disagree on something and ultimately we cannot agree on everything. Our new President is just as human as the rest of us, and whether we agree with him or not God and the Scriptures calls us to support our leaders. I am more committed than ever to pray for, support, and let my voice be heard by our country's leadershi…
I really can't believe how many things there are to do on the web. I just got into facebook a couple weeks ago, so now I have just way too much to keep up with. Last night was great study/meeting with my group, but it was hard. I know we have been challenged everyday in the study of Paul, but I also know it is so good. I need to be more consistent in my study of the Word, because I feel like I don't know enough. It is a constant challenge, so I am working on it. I have been feeling so out of whack with how full our schedule is, not eating right and not getting enough exercise. Bailey's last game is Saturday so that will open up some time for me to get back to some form of regular exercise. I can't believe we are half way through October. Halloween will be fun this year, we are doing a family theme. The kids love the cartoon "Chowder" so we are all dressing up in character. I am making most of the costumes, but don't be fooled--it is very simple…
I realize by now I should be a 'seasoned' blogger but really I am lucky to get to it once a week. My schedule, my life is one big crazy thing right now. We have so much going on between work, church, school, sports and extracurricular stuff. I am enjoying my Bible study group so much, and the study has been so great for my walk with Christ. We are studying Paul and his life, his ministry. It is amazing to read again about how he endured, all he gave up and all he accomplished for the Kingdom. I hope someday my kids will say some good things about my influence, not that I was just a nagging mom who was always on them about doing this or that. I am seeing some evidence of that as my two older children have come to know Christ personally. My daughter Rylee is going to be baptized this week, thank you Lord! She has considered this decision very carefully for awhile now, I have seen in her the struggle. As we have prayed for her, I know the Holy Spirit has been working on…
Proverbs 3:5-6 says to Trust the Lord with all our hearts, and lean not on our own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.

It is Scripture I have known since I was a child and so hard for me to grasp at times. I like control, I like feeling like I have control of my life. Here's the kicker: I don't. That is hard for me to swallow most of the time. I have literally shouted through my tears at God because deep down, I am so frustrated with not having control. It makes me angry, and it makes me feel so helpless at the same time. After getting it out of my system, letting it go and acknowledging His presence I know peace that cannot be explained. It hushes my soul, gives me comfort, somehow provides strength beyond any human explanation. Why is that? Because He is God. I am astounded by His provision: last night was no exception. I am hosting a study group in my home and we have 20 women including myself. God is amazing in…
It feels like a Monday, but it is Tuesday. That can be good and bad. Good, cause short work week. Bad, cause more work to do in a shorter amount of time. The pace is picking up now that school has begun. We had a great weekend, just went by too fast. I am looking forward to so many things coming up this month and next. It will be a jam packed schedule but so many great things going on. We start a new small group study Sunday, "The Truth Project" which looks so good! I know it will be so enlightening, so relevant, and so convicting for us as a church and as a community. Next Monday my women's study starts and I have a solid dozen or so women coming--yeah God! I am so excited to see what God has in store for this group. Bailey's football games start this weekend--go, Bubba, go! Rylee's youth group schedule starts Sunday and whether she likes it or not, she's going to get involved. It will be a bit daunting at first, we've already had a couple …
Monday seems to be the day of the week I am blogging lately. I can't believe how fast the week goes, but it is no wonder with our schedule. Bad air quality for a few days has left me feeling icky-allergies and just sluggish. I wanted to roll over and just stay asleep for a couple more hours this morning. Worship yesterday was sweet, a reminder of God's identity. Society has decided that any god is okay because as long as you are a good person, show kindness, focus on improving yourself and do good things then ultimately every path leads to a rewarding eternity. Some call it "the Light", an inner peace, finding your true self, or any number of idols like Buddha. Whatever the religion, it seems the world thinks you can pick and choose what you like about a religion, mix it together to make your own belief system. The truth is that there is only one, and that is God. He has not changed from one generation to the next: He is the same yesterday, today and foreve…
It's Monday yet again. I was out sick several days last week and so now I return to the unending catch up work. Uggh. Mondays can be tough as it is, but it seems harder given my circumstances. I am still getting over this crud and not in the best of moods, people are being demanding and impatient as usual in my line of work, so stress levels are high today. I can't wait for 4:30 to come. Fall is arriving whether we are ready for it or not. School, new schedules, new events, busy, busy, busy....I am too tired for this. I wish summer lasted longer than it has. My daughter, Rylee, started middle school last week--yikes! She is adjusting pretty well, but I know there will be more hurdles to come. Bailey is in second grade and so far, so good. He started football--oh yeah! That's my boy. He is loving it, although he's finding even the fun of football includes some hard work. AJ, my sweet youngest is rolling right along and I am missing being at home with him.…
For you know when your faith is tested, endurance has a chance to grow.
James 1:3
I read this in my quiet time today and thought about something in my devotion for the longest time. Rather than wait impatiently, gnawing at our fingers and wondering if God is really going to come through...we should be expectant. Are we? Am I? Honestly, 90% of the time I worry too much. It is something I have struggled with for years, to the point at times I have lost sleep, lost my appetite, lost touch with reality and slipped into a state of mental fog. There have been moments in our marriage Ryan has even told me about these "episodes" I have had that truly scared him. I have learned in recent years it could be a form of depression I am dealing with. The anxieties of this life should not be a surprise, yet every time something doesn't go the way we hoped and expected, we freak out. Most of us would say we can account for this reaction because it is simply our human nature. Bu…
My week is nearly over thanks to flex schedule. I will miss having an extra day off, but I won't miss the longer days. I am looking forward to getting back to the traditional schedule next week. I can't believe July is almost gone...where did it go? Where did the summer go? It is just too short, too quick. Summer was so much longer when I was a kid. It has been fun, but school is approaching already. So much to do, and the daily schedule is about to become even more hectic than it already is. Rylee starts middle school, Bailey will be second grade and AJ is the big 3. I read about Paul last night in my quiet time, and specifically when he spoke in a town where he could only stay the night then head off the next day. He spoke for hours, til late at night and it apparently wore a guy out...in fact, he fell asleep and fell out a window! God gave Paul the ability to heal him and bring him back to life, what a miracle. It is cool to read about what God did through Paul…
It's a Monday, and it really was a pretty good day. I felt a little draggy today though, wishing I had one more day to enjoy before the work week started. I haven't had my quiet time yet, so I am certain God has something very cool to tell me tonight. It is a bit more quiet than normal around our house right now cause we are without two children. Having one child around is strange, but it is a nice break from all the noise, chaos, whining, bickering, etc. Rylee and Bailey are with my parent for a week and we'll join them later this week for a mini vacation. I am so ready. It ain't much, but it is what we can do this summer given the cost of fuel and food. I don't know how we make it each week. We are trying to tackle our debt, so our budget is going to be extremely tight for the next couple years. We need to do it, and we'll be so much better off in the long run because of it. I keep thinking God has a plan beyond these circumstances, and this will p…
I was just thinking about how people have way too much to complain about and not enough to rejoice about. Actually, people are choosing to complain about stuff rather than choosing to rejoice! It's all in the choosing, isn't it? Yesterday I was talking with a coworker about how the past couple days in our office we have received more complaints from people calling from other departments. When she commented to one caller in particular about putting themselves in our place regarding the issue, she paused and said she hadn't thought about it that way. That seemed to shut her up. Well, what it will do to a person's attitude when they are asked to put someone else first. We don't do that often enough. Why not? It should start in the first moment of our day: How does it begin for you? Before I speak to a single person or arrive at work, every morning I have a conversation with God. It may not always be that interesting, or that long but I take time to do it b…
July has arrived, and although we are in the middle of summer school seems to be just around the corner for the kids. August 11 is Rylee's first day, they call it "Step Up" Day Camp. It is what the middle school does to give the kids a run through of what their day will be like. We'll get her locker, her pe uniform, schedule, supplies, etc. and she will be set to go first day, August 13. It just ain't right for school to start so early and summer to end so quickly. Today's a kind of blah day for me, headache and asthma troubles. Weather has a lot to do with it I'm afraid. We've got storms coming in, rainy couple days lately. I have gotten back on the "better lifestyle" wagon yet again. I am such a yo-yo. Deep down I really hate eating right and exercising and would love to be able to do what I want and eat what I want. Don't we all?! Well, reality is hitting me in the waistline and I don't like it when my clothes start fe…
Man, I can't believe how fast my days go by. Last night a took a little extra time to love on my children, just not enough time in my day to enjoy with them. Ryan is learning very quickly just how much more he has to help me out at home since I've gone back to work full time. My days are longer this summer since we are doing a four day work week. Yes, I get a day off, but the other four days I am working 9-9.5 hour days. This week is is closer to ten hours since we are wrapping up the university's year end. So much to do, not enough time to do it all, something or several something's come up everyday that seem to get us a bit behind, and well, my stress level has gone up several notches. My favorite time of the day is on the way to work in the morning. As the sun is coming up, it is all quiet in the car, and I lift a prayer to God for my day. It gets me started, keeps me centered, and helps me prepare for whatever may lie ahead in my day. That doesn't mea…
I can't believe how long it has been since my last entry. Well, let's face it--life happens, too much to do and not enough time to do it all in. Summer is definitely here but it seems to get shorter every year. We got some fun water stuff for the kids to do at home. We got a slip n slide and an inflatable activity pool. The kids have had a blast and I am just exhausted every time we do it. Kids get to play, Mom gets to do all the work required to make the play happen! So we are doing a flex schedule for the summer at work, which means four day work week but longer work days. I haven't decided yet if I like it. I am tired from the adjustment to working full time, but this just makes me more tired. So, once again I am faced with the reality that I need to find some sense of balance in a lot of areas of my life. It seems to be a life long battle.
Today I am going for a health assessment which is a free service to ISU employees. It is the first I've had in years so I am a little anxious about what my results may be. I know I have some weight to lose, but in the back of my mind are concerns with health risks on both sides of my family. I know I shouldn't worry, but I do. Isn't that human? It can't just be me cause I know plenty of people worry. I suppose I take it to a higher level at times which I am certain Ryan would confirm. Anxiety is something we all need to let go of more often. I see anxious tendencies in my daughter, and I know she comes by it naturally due to both parents' personalities. We are approaching teen years with her so I wonder what kind of teen she will be. She already is showing that she favors her Dad's personality much stronger than mine. As another year passes for her, I pray with greater concern that she finds salvation. My son Bailey is a completely different persona…
At some point I realize this blog thing should be a habit for me, but it has just become another thing for me to check off of my 'to do list'. Working full time in addition to being a mother of three, wife, homemaker, etc., all makes for a rather impossible schedule for me. I don't know how I get anything accomplished. It has always been a day to day thing for me. All is right in my little world if I can just check off what I intended to accomplish for the day. If I don't get it all done, it very naturally spills over to the next day's list. As I age, I hope I am becoming a bit more relaxed although I have the feeling Ryan would protest. I am quite certain he would have a good laugh at that too. Anyway, I cannot believe my grandmother is gone. She passed just two weeks ago today. It doesn't seem real to me. It feels as if I need to call her, check on her, just let her know I love her and I am thinking about her. My heart aches to think about her mos…
I can't believe how long it has been since my last blog entry. Since I last wrote, I have been to Missouri and back. My parents flew me back last weekend to spend some last moments with my grandmother as she settled at home. We knew she only had a few days to live once they discharged her from the hospital and the doctors had made their final diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer is one of the, if not THE most fatal type of cancer. By the time her bloodwork came back her liver was taken over by it. Over the weekend we watched her grow weaker but somehow she gathered the strength to visit with each of us about some of our favorite memories together over the years. I am thankful for the time we had, and will cherish my memories with her for many years. She went home to be with the Lord Tuesday morning. I am amazed and at peace to know she is with the Father now. It must be wonderful, so incredible to spend all of eternity in His presence. We can only imagine, but the reality of it…
Last night I got some unexpected news from my Mom. She called to tell me that my grandmother was taken to the ER over the weekend and they have found she has cancer in her pancreas and liver. More tests are to be done to determine how bad it is and how much time she has, but there it is. She's not been well for a couple months now, fighting a respiratory crud of some kind. We just had a great visit with the whole family last month in Missouri as we gathered for a memorial service for my grandfather. Sine his passing in January, I know she has been grieving, strugglng to get through the sadness. At the same time she is an incredible Christian woman who loved him dearly and knows he is in a better place. I know that is some comfort to her. My folks rushed back since they were gone when it happened, but thankfully my brother was there to get her to the hospital. She is a strong, wonderful woman whom I have looked up to all my life. I cannot imagine her not being here. I am…
Today I experienced something new. While in the shower, about 5:30 am this morning, we experienced an earthquake. Yes you read it right--an earthquake in Indiana! The news reports stated everyone from the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky felt it. Something like 5.4? Nothing for those Californians but a wowzer for us! About 11:40 we had an after shock. I was standing sorting mail in the office and a lady across from me said, "Did you feel that?" and several of us said, "Oh yeah!" Is that crazy or what? Well it will be a memorable day for me and I couldn't resist posting something about it on my blog. I was so tired last night, another whirlwind day. I had a sleepy quiet time and this morning was refreshed by my time in prayer on the way to work. I don't want to miss a single day of my morning prayer time as I drive to work. It keeps me grounded, humbled and very thankful. It also keeps me aware of those around me and prepares …
I can't believe the little things that can drive me crazy each day. Now that our car is fixed, we have to get the tags and registration which Ryan was planning to do this week. No surprise, they required some kind of documentation he didn't have on him. It is frustrating and ridiculous the differences in what one state requires for registering your vehicle versus what another state requires. At some point this is one of those things that needs to be universal. It would save us all a whole lot of time and frustration not to mention making it paperless will be so much more beneficial for our environment. You know I could go on about the frustrations of this life for me, but for now this is it. Nothing comes easy in this world and there is always something unexpected and required of us. I got to thinking that God kind of works that way. As we walk through this life, living as Christ followers, we should expect the unexpected and not be surprised by what is required of us…
I know I haven't been as consistent with my blog as I should, but I've got more in my schedule now than before. Taking on a full time job on top of being a wife and mother of three makes getting everything done a whole lot more challenging. There are days I feel like I need to apologize to everyone because time with my family is so short. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for my job and hopefully I am that much more thankful for my family. Still, there are days I am just so tired. I wonder sometimes how long I can keep this up. Today our pastor spoke to us about compassion. I thought about myself, how I see the world most days. Like everyone else I have an agenda, a list of things to accomplish. At the end of the day, I take a mental inventory of what I got done or did not get done. I have to admit it has been awhile since I checked my compassion....did I show it today? I came away from worship today hoping I have a better fix on compassion. I have made it a…
Today is a good day. We all should say that and think that daily to get our minds and hearts in the right frame of mind. I am finding once again that I don't have enough time in my day to get it all done. That looming to do list that seems to grow with time. As I adjust to working full time again, I find I have to remind everyone in my family to do the same. I did my quiet time in a bit of a hurry this morning but it was good. My habit is to do it when I sit down for breakfast. It is the perfect time cause I am the first one up and to head out the door. Usually I have about a fifteen minute window of pure solitude to enjoy just me and the Lord. I read the familiar passage about the woman who touched the hem of Christ's robe in her desperate desire for healing. I love this passage because it is a reminder to me that even this woman who dealt with a lifelong battle of illness, simply had faith and obviously carried a more positive outlook on life than most. But she wa…
Okay, so I just finished week one on the new job. I really, really like it. I could see myself doing this for awhile. It is enjoyable, a great office/workplace with a great group of coworkers and the benefits are awesome. Of course the down side is the time away from the kids, and we just don't have the family time we had before. Everyday I have twinges of guilt, sadness cause I miss being at home with my children so much. I am praying for God to provide that again one day when the time is right. I know and trust that He will. I had the opportunity to attend a ladies unity event at ISU tonight with a group of women from our church. It was so good, great speaker who was very funny and inspiring. I enjoyed time with a few ladies in particular in my group, we enjoyed a bite to eat, fellowship with one another and just enjoying being girls! On my way home tonight I was thinking how much I needed it. Let's face it, most of us women don't do much for ourselves with a…
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

I haven't blogged in awhile, Spring Break. I jumped into my quiet time this morning and all day I have been going over in my head this scripture from the message our pastor gave at church yesterday. What does that mean? All? All my heart, all my soul, all my strength...can I even comprehend what that means for me as a human being or is it easier to grasp on a spiritual level? I think it means very simply choosing each day, very deliberately to be like Christ. He was not a predictable man, and he did not follow anyone's rules other than God the father. He came with a purpose, to seek and save the lost and Oh my gosh, how much He loved them! Every single person who came to him He was more than willing to help if they simply believed. I have always found it odd that He told many of those He healed to keep it to themselves. I don't understand that completely,…
"He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come." Luke 4:18b-19

In my quiet time today I read about when Jesus returns to Nazareth, where he grew up, and spoke over the scrolls in the synagogue. I cannot imagine the mood in the room, the hush as he spoke, everyone listening so intently. Whether they realized who he was or not, his very presence must have left everyone with some sort of edge knowing there was something about him. He was the Word made flesh, God's Son come to save us. This Scripture is so inspiring, to know His purpose, to know that truly God is on our side. More than anything remembering what Jesus did for us on the cross, His death and resurrection gives us reason to celebrate our freedom in salvation, our joy and our greatest peace. There are those in the world who would love to prove it all myth, or jus…
I realize my blog yesterday may leave some wondering what my point was or worry I simply don't know who I am at this point in my life. Over the course of the past few months I have had a few conversations with several women I know either at work or at church, and strangely enough like myself they too are wondering what is next at this point in their lives. I listened to comments like, "I just don't know what I want out of life right now", or "I don't know what I want to do with my life", or "I am not sure where I am headed next". At some point in the conversation I agreed with them cause I am in a similar place. Ten years ago if you had asked me where I would be at this point in my life, it would not be here. I would not have expected to be starting over for one thing, particularly going back to work full time. I would have easily predicted having several kids cause that is something I have always dreamed of. I admit I would have expect…
I am little tired and somwhat frazzled at the moment, but I am bound and determined to get in my blog today. Easter is approaching, and so I have been thinking since last Sunday how am I changed since I first came to know Christ. How am I changed? Who am I today that I was not before? Do I really know Him, trust Him, love Him? I find as I get older I am bombarded daily by so many expectations to be something I should be, but am I just being me? Am I finding my authenticity and living it, really and truly living it? If everything I have, everyone I know, all the stuff I have accumulated and accomplished in my life was stripped away Who would I really be? I don't have an answer. I guess I don't have it cause I don't want to have it. I feel like that would be saying I am done, content, uninterested in moving, changing, being renewed and refreshed daily. I do know I am God's, I am chosen, I am a holy vessel for Him to use, I am blessed, I am loved and I am a goo…
We watched "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" last weekend and something he said has stuck with me. When he is explaining to Mahoney what matters most, he refers to Shakespeare's words in his writing, "He dies." I cannot recall which writing it is, but Mr. Magorium talks about how powerful those two little words are. The power is not in those words, or the sadness they carry, but the meaning of the life lived prior to those words. When you look at your life, do you feel sad? Disappointed? Wondering how you can go on or what is left worth living for? Mr. Magorium makes a great point. It is so important to be thankful for the life we live, every moment counts and hopefully it has been well lived. We cannot get bogged down by sadness, fear, worry, frustration, regret, doubt, anger, resentment...I could go on and on. The point is, life can be good if we live it and live it well! Jesus lived a life so brief on this earth, and although it was brief he ma…
"Today is a new day." --Chicken Little

I love that line and for some reason it came to mind this morning. We should all have that outlook when we start each day. This movie is one of my son AJ's favorites, and Rylee and Bailey love it more for the songs. Chicken Little has it really tough in the story cause he yells that something terrible is about to happen, and when all the world is against him and he needs his Dad to support him, just believe in him--he doesn't. The story gets better and the dad eventually hears his son's hurt and disappointment and they resolve the situation, find closure as Abby Mallard (Chicken Little's friend) suggests. In the end his dad tells him he loves him, apologizes for not being there and show his support both verbally and by his actions. How many of us struggle to find that love and support we need and so desperately desire? In the beginning Chicken Little has made up his mind he will do something better, improve himself…
You know your are getting older when the body hurts a little more than it used to. I have been getting myself back into shape the past couple months in hopes that this is the real deal. I want to make these changes for life, really consistent about what I put in my mouth and living a more active lifestyle. So far I have had a great start, but it is the long road ahead that counts most. It is a daily fight for me with my mind and my body, starting when the alarm goes off. I wish I could have just fifteen more minutes, then I'll be good to go. It is that first initial step out of bed that is the starting point for my day, and I am off! Life is non stop with three kids, a husband, a house to take care of, a job, church stuff, extracurricular stuff, appointments, errands, etc. Where does the time go that I should have to get it all done? Why do I always feel like there is not enough time in the day to do it all? It is a bit unnerving to think going back to work full time wil…
Although some people really thrive on feeling sorry for themselves, I find it benefits nobody and it is extremely tiresome to deal with. I have had friends over the years who have come across this way, life just isn't fair most of the time, they have what seems to be greater struggles than the rest of us. Truly I believe this is a need for attention, somewhere along the way that person has either had an unhealthy example of love and self worth or they have been a victim of some form of abuse. What an opportunity to share Christ, show love in a way that blows any example they've ever had out of their minds? We should be aware of these needs immediately around us in our friendships, families, work places, churches, anywhere and everywhere we are encountering someone who desperately needs a fresh outlook on life. I read in my quiet time today as God gave the Israelites the opportunity to see the land He'd promised through scouts who were sent out. As they returned and r…
My head is whirling with information this morning. I had a great weekend, and my week started off great today with a great job interview this morning. Since I have started this weight loss challenge my physical and mental well being are more in balance I think. In my quiet time this morning I read the familiar passage in Psalm, "Create in me a clean heart, O Lord my God, and renew a right spirit within me." Then when I got an email from my mom-in-law and she needed encouragement, I thought of the scripture in Psalm that says, "Why so downcast, O my soul, put your hope in God!" And finally I was just thinking over our small group study last night about the passage when Jesus walks on the water and calls Peter to do the same. I know that daily I need to make a habit of going through a kind of metamorphosis:
I see the weight of my circumstances and the worries of this world crashing around me like waves, and although my humanity is weak I know I can look to Jesus…
There are so many ways to describe the "loves" of my life. I have an incredible husband, Ryan, whom I have loved more every day we have had together in our marriage. I have a daughter Rylee, who is such a great combination of Ryan and I but truly a reflection of her Dad's sensitive spirit. My son Bailey, is feisty, outgoing and very passionate about life. He dives head first into any situation he is faced with, has no fear it would seem. My son AJ, is a typical third child, wishing most of the time he could do the same things his older siblings do. He is like his brother, no fear and approaches life without hesitation. He is the most stubborn of my three children, and very focused on whatever is occupying his time at the moment. I love my children fiercely, and I would do anything for them. It is hard to imagine a love that goes above all of them. This is the love we are called to in our relationship with Christ. Above everyone and anything in my life, I am c…
I know it can't just be me, but does time go a lot faster than it used to? I remember feeling like summer lasted a whole lot longer when I was a kid. Now I look at the calendar for my kids and think, they don't really have a full three months off it seems. I am amazed how quickly the day gets away from me. By the time I get going, get everything done that I can and reach the afternoon when it is "my time" I can't believe how fast it has gone, how little time I have left. I think God wants us to do two things with our time on this earth. One, cherish every moment we have as if it is our last. Two, considering how fast the time goes, what could we be doing with that time to further the Kingdom? God doesn't want His Son, Jesus to return before everyone, every single person on this earth has the opportunity to know Christ and choose salvation. It truly puts everything in perspective. I have been struggling for a couple days with the financial burden we …
It is a rainy Monday and we all seemed to drag out of bed more than usual. I got up to get to the Y for my first weigh in. We are starting a biggest loser challenge so a friend and I have teamed up. It is just what I need to get myself really going on a necessary health makeover. It is a lifelong work in progress I am afraid. I guess I should be proud of myself for continuing to work toward improving myself. I have had some set backs, and I realize that stress has played a big role in my health. I know I turn to food for comfort. Some people have substance addictions, I have a food addiction. My greatest focus will be evaluating my moods, reasons for reaching for food especially when I am not actually hungry. I know I do it out of boredom, for fun, to relieve stress, or just because it is there and I might as well treat myself. I know there is strength in abstinence or making an effort to reach for something healthier. I know I can lean on my partner, and I have the encour…
It occurred to me the other day that I don't think I am being real enough in my blog. I like putting my first thoughts into it, what I am experiencing that day and what I am facing in my walk with Christ. I try to include a scripture but I know some days I am not specific enough and I don't always include a reference. I realize some people will wonder why, but I guess it is good enough for me to share what comes to mind. With three kids, a husband, a job, a house and a multitude of things to accomplish in a week I am lucky to get a sane word down on paper or in my blog. The truth is there are days I'd love to scream my head off in frustration, anger at how my life has turned out. It isn't really directed at anyone, it is just to get it out of my system. I claim full responsibility for my part in some really bad decisions that we have made. Oh the times I have thought about how great it would be to go back, re-do, get a do-over for some moments in my life. My g…
It never fails just when my plans for the week seem to be rolling along, a bump occurs in the road. The respiratory crud has attacked two of my children so I am playing nurse-mom today. This does not go over well with work when I have to call in but unfortunately we have no options without family nearby to help out. So, I'll get a few things done around the house that would have been put on hold til tomorrow had I gone in to work today. Good for that, bad for the bank account. That's okay though, God knew ahead of time how today would go and we will continue to trust Him for provision. I was reading today in my quiet time about when Peter, James and John went up to a mountain with Jesus. They were able to see Him in His glorious form, and conversing with Moses and Elijah--wow! I am amazed every time I have read this account and wonder what it must have been like for them to be there, experiencing something so incredible. Yes, they were afraid, and I am sure they must …
I love reading about the miracles Jesus performed while here on this earth. Today in my quiet time I read as thousands were fed when he blessed what little food they could gather. I also read about the healing of a deaf man, so amazing the process he went through to touch that man's life and restore his hearing. As he walked and talked with the disciples after these many miracles occurred, I am amazed at their lack of understanding and faith in Jesus. Certainly their human nature was a factor, largely their inner denial of the reality of things to come for the Lord. I know daily I struggle to find some sense of what is happening in the world around us. The hurt, the frustration, the anger we all feel when something goes wrong, a tragedy occurs or we are so incredibly disappointed when someone makes a bad choice. What can we do to find restoration of our hope? It is in Jesus. We have sung about it, read about it, now let's live it! What a testimony for others who may b…
Another Monday, everything starts over again. Nothing gets your day going like kids dragging out of bed, running late from the get go, frantically getting what I can get done before heading to work and a few unexpected things thrown in the mix. I am a ball of stress right now cause some things in my life I feel are still unsettled. For about three years now I have been going through some form of mid life crisis. I love being a wife and mother more than anything, but some of our choices and life's unexpected curves have made that more challenging for me. I am at a point in my life that I must do something more to help us get back on our feet financially. Last year was a year of huge challenge for Ryan and I and so this year not only brings with it new starts, but the even greater challenge of climbing out of the previous year's challenges. We are faced with replacing an engine in one vehicle, then there is the job situation for me, repairing our credit/debt situation whi…
Mid afternoon is typically my favorite time of day because AJ is down for his nap, I can have a cup of tea and have some time to do what I would like whether it be reading, blogging, or catching a favorite show on A&E or Food Network. I am thankful for this time because it keeps me sane, keeps me balanced. In my quiet time this morning I read the familiar passage about the woman with the bleeding disorder who was healed by touching Jesus' robes. This has always been one of my favorite passages because of her faith, just to touch his robe and know she would be healed! She was fearful to reveal herself to him, but she knew who He was and what healing He could provide. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to look into his face and hear his words, "Your faith has healed you". Do you have faith like that? The Bible tells us we only need faith the size of a mustard seed, and mountains will be moved! In my lifetime I can already recall moments when I heard a…
Leviticus 11:45 I, the Lord, am the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God. You must therefore be holy because I am holy.

I have to admit having read through the Bible before, I am once again struggling to read portions of the Old Testament. It is difficult and tedious, very detailed. God was very specific about the set up of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the offerings, the way the priests were to dress and carry out their duties in the tabernacle. The procedure for carrying out each type of offering is at times disgusting to read, but also very specific down to what parts of the animals are to be removed, burned and/or consumed. God gives specific instructions as to what is to be consumed and whether or not it is appropriate for His people. It is a lot of information for my mind to absorb, and hard to imagine what it was like to have to do it all. Thank goodness for Jesus or we would still be doing all of that today. I know there is meaning to …
Psalm 37:16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and possess much.

What is your definition of wealth? Happiness? Contentment? No matter the circumstances I have endured in my life this far, I have always counted myself wealthy in terms of the blessings God has given me. From as early as I can remember, I was never really interested in making a lot of money, having a huge house or fancy cars, being able to spend money on anything and everything I wanted. Material possessions never mattered much to me. I was raised to value hard work, taking care of myself in a way that is both pleasing and honorable to Christ, and always being mindful of how much I have to be thankful for. My parents instilled those values in me and it has carried to my children as I pass it along to them. I think the day we begin to get excited and gradually turn our values toward what we have accomplished or gained in this life is the day we have lost focus on what truly matters. There is…
Psalm 36:5-7 Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.

I find it so amazing how simple but powerful God's love is for us. We make our troubles and circumstances seem so big and overwhelming, that it would seem God is not big enough to handle it. Here's truth: My struggles are big, but my God is bigger! I think sometimes in our lives when something terrible occurs, our mind somehow tricks us into thinking God must put us on hold because He has something bigger to deal with than what we are going through. Just because it is so difficult for us to deal with does not mean it is that way for God. I think in some way we make God less of who He is by doing that and somehow we think we can…
Today after my workout, I was thinking about some of the yummy stuff I enjoyed for Valentine's Day. Okay, let's be realistic--how do you get through Valentine's without something sweet to eat? It is not possible. I make sugar cookies and we decorate them every year, get the kids into it and it has become a family fun tradition. So of course, I indulged. I am finding as I get older, sugar is harder to resist and can even be addicitive. I have read more than one book that describes the way our bodies process sugars, and it is very interesting how our body is triggered into craving it. Today I am grouchy and want to eat something sweet and I know it is because of the sweet I enjoyed yesterday. I have quit carbonated drinks too, so I am sure my body is going to experience some form of withdrawal while I get on track from this point forward. On the other hand, I am thankful I am not in a situation where I have become morbidly obese and the work ahead of me would be so …
Throughout the Bible there is a common theme I read over and over again. When we love the Lord and obey Him, we will be blessed abundantly. It seems like such a simple thing, but we tend to complicate it. Whether it is our worldly priorities or "spiritual" priorities, we are the ones who complicate it. Once again, our humanity gets in the way of God's true purpose for our lives. Live life fully, holy and pure, set apart, a vessel to be used for His purposes. We complicate it by developing unhealthy habits, addicitions, excuses of every kind. At some point our guilt and deep conviction snap us abruptly back to reality. As the Lent season has begun, I am considering deeply what I need to release from my life to be more pure, more of a clean and empty vessel truly ready for His purpose. My greatest struggle has always been with control. I like being in control, feeling like I know exactly what is going on, what to expect, plan everything out to the last detail and…
So much to do today, so little time to blog. I read in my quiet time this morning the familiar passages leading up to Jesus' crucifixion. I am horrified every time I have read these passages as to how the Lord was treated by the very people He came to save. He had so much to teach them, really remind them of from Scriptures He literally, physically was fulfilling. Even the wisest, most knowledgeable teachers and priests refused to believe He was the Son of God. Was it too easy? Yes, I think they expected Him to come down in a huge show of ceremonial glory, robed in some fancy robes and a glittering crown upon His head. I think they were surprised because He came in such a natural, down to earth manner that everyone could relate to. Why? I don't know all the answers, but to me it seems our expectations of how something should be get in the way of simply being open to anything happening. We set ourselves up to be disappointed when we impose our own ideas upon something…
I was thinking today I would love so much to get away, go on vacation to a place warm and relaxing. It is terribly cold, and we are getting a bit more snow. I have always loved the changing seasons, but winter can be particularly hard on me. I am like many people who suffer from some form of seasonal depression. Too many days without sunshine and my energy level and mood tend to take a dive. Thankfully I can find peace and revival in my quiet time each day. Today I read in the Old Testament about the offerings, the detailed preparation that went into each ceremony. God gave such specific instruction, what would please Him in what was given to Him. It was enough to leave my head spinning. I am so thankful we are not required to do all of that; Jesus' life has covered us and a commitment to Him brings us to eternal life. I am in awe every day because He has chosen me. He knew me before I was even a thought in my mother's mind. He knew me before time began. He knew …
I read in my quiet time today a familiar passage about the woman who brought a jar of precious perfume to pour over Jesus' head. As he was present for a supper in the home of a leprous man named Simon, she enters and pours the bottle of perfume on Christ's head, annointing him with it. Jesus knew her intentions and did not stop her or berate her, yet the disciples questioned her and then Christ. He pointed out that she was doing so as if to prepare him for his burial, knowing His time was about to come. She had no shame, no hesitation and what an act of love she performed for the Lord. What will we give to Him as a sign of our obedience, our love for His precious gift of eternal life? Every year at the time of Passover I sacrifice something in my life, give up something I really enjoy to pause for true reflection upon what Christ did for me on the cross. For you it may be time to truly break a habit, an addiction you have carried for a long time or it may be a luxury th…
I wonder sometimes if a person can fully appreciate, completely realize how blessed they are. We are all likely to face something tough in our lives, but how we endure those hard times shapes us into a better person. How we deal with those trials speaks truly of our faith, endurance, integrity and character. I have had some moments in my life that did not speak well of me. Some of it was due to a desire to rebel, my spirit was tired of the pressure, the expectations placed upon me. Other times, I think I handled better, and some of the people who witnessed my ability to endure hardship or a difficult situation were able to tell me how it effected them. I was given the opportunity to hear what impression I made on their lives which was a direct result of how my behavior spoke for me. In my quiet time today I read how much God desires for us to be wise and faithful with what we have been given. We have a choice, to hide it and selfishly keep it to ourselves or we can be selfless…
How early does your day begin? A typical day for me starts with the alarm going off between 6:30 and 6:45. Today was no ordinary day. I had to work early, so my alarm went off at 5 am and my work day started at 6 am. After eight hours at work, I made a stop on the way home, then arrived home to find a bit of time to unwind before starting dinner and getting in my workout. I also made time for God, had my quiet time and thanked Him for his promises in His word to me today. No matter how my day goes, I can always count on God's word meeting my needs. There are things I enjoy doing in my life to find relaxation, balance and rejuvenation but first and foremost is my time with God. Some of my favorite things include reading a great book, enjoying a hot cup of tea and listening to a favorite cd. All those things are enjoyable, but nothing compares to time with my Lord.
I admit I am an impatient person. It doesn't show, in fact, most people say I come across as a very patient person. That's God--He provides that for me cause without Him I am certain I would be a very grouchy, short tempered person that most people would not enjoy being around. Yesterday in my quiet time I read about God's desire for us to love Him and love others, and today I read about how much He desires for us to be obedient and to honor Him in all we do. He laid out the rules for His people, requiring us to honor Him in everything we do and say. It must have been awesome and frightening to hear the voice of God and experience the things they did as He spoke. I wonder what the voice of God sounds like? For me, it has never been an audible voice, I would say it is more of a whisper in my spirit and movement within my heart in the form of deep conviction. I think it is different for every person. Yesterday was a hard day for me. I felt I was in a terrible battl…
I read in my quiet time this morning in Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus' words to the Pharisees: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Are we honoring those commandments in our lives everyday? How many times do we find ourselves in the line at the grocery store, waiting in a doctor's office, or stuck in traffic demonstrating these things? Most of us would answer not often. It is all too easy to get caught up in our own agendas, stuck in a bad mood cause things aren't going as we'd hoped that day and the grouch in us comes out. What would Jesus think of us then? Although it may take some effort on our part and not doing what comes naturally for our human nature, we most likely will feel some sense of relief to know we behaved in a manner that would please the Lord rather than disappoint him. I know it is som…
There is nothing like waking up to the earth covered in a blanket of snow. It makes me feel cozy, and it is nice to have a little more time to sleep in. The kids were thrilled that there is no school today. I wonder what the Israelites would have thought if they woke to snow one day? I am sure they would have been very surprised, wondering what on earth was going on. Not that much different from how they felt when Moses began leading them through the wilderness as God had told him. They actually told him they'd rather go back to Egypt and live as slaves than go any further into the unknown territory that lay before them. It is scary not knowing what lies ahead. To be in unfamiliar territory rather than our idea of comfort is enough to give us all second thoughts. But what about faith? That was Moses' question to the people, what about the God who had already performed such incredible miracles? The majority of us would admit we will believe more confidently in someth…
For the first time this week I made it to the Y. The Ick has been in our house between AJ, Ryan and I so I have felt like a slug for a few days. It was good to be back, but I am feeling it. Can the same thing be said about our spiritual life? There are days I am sure we all can say we just don't have the time, don't feel like doing our quiet time. Some of you are thinking, "What? I can't imagine missing a moment!", others of you are saying, "Okay, I slip from time to time", and still others of you might actually admit, "I don't have the time, find it a struggle to get into the Word daily". We all have our reasons, but none of them are good. Whether we feel like it or not, we must make time for God daily. It should be like taking our vitamins, eating a meal, brushing your teeth, etc.; in other words, a habit. But in addition, it should be as fresh as a cool breeze on a hot summer day. We need to do it, but it should be invigorati…
I guess it is my turn to get sick. I woke up today with scratchy throat, runny nose and just not feeling all that great. Mom's turn to get the stuff! I suppose if we could pick when we got sick it would never happen, cause who wants to be sick? Well, life goes on and somehow we muddle through even when we are a bit under the weather. I was reading in my quiet time today in Matthew. Jesus is telling the disciples the story of the man who hired workers and paid the same wage regardless of how many hours they labored. He wanted them to get that when kindness is shown, we are doing what Christ did for us. He didn't come to be served, He came to serve and to save. How different would our lives be if we chose to be a servant to others rather than expect our needs to be met first? In every area of our lives this should be the model we live by: with our husbands, our children, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, everyone who crosses our path. Serving is not easy, especially…
I read Psalm 24 this morning in my quiet time and it is such a powerful, wonderful picture of our God. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord, strong and mighty! Chris Tomlin's song is going through my mind, what an awesome vision of our Lord in His rightful place. I wonder how many people in the world truly embrace and celebrate that? I wonder how many people in the world have turned from Him, found somehow their circumstances in life are His fault, written Him off as a cruel God. How many of them really know Him for who He is? I want them to know, I want them all to know His truth, His promises, His love and the true reason for why He allows this world to keep on spinning, existing, spiraling out of control. If we read the Scriptures we know why. He waits so that more may come to know Him, choose His promise of salvation. He waits because truly man is corrupt, the world is an imperfect place and it will naturally continue to get worse. There cannot be peace on earth, not…