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Showing posts from 2012
O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing! Psalm 103:1-3 (MSG)


The end of 2012 is near, and I am thankful to have some extra time today to reflect on it. I am thankful for how far we have come, I am still learning to understand the turns our lives took, and I know through it all God is good and has provided much. My greatest joy in life is my family, what God has given me. My greatest dream has been to find a man of God whom I can share my life with, to be blessed with the amazing and extremely challenging role of motherhood, and to know with greater certainty that no matter what direction my life should take--I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I have many reasons to praise my God every single day, but the greatest is to know I have a Savior, that Jesus loves me, that I am saved and God will not forget me and will always take care of me. Life is always going to hand us dis…
My heart is heavy today, not just because of the school shooting in Connecticut, but because I am very much aware of how our nation, our world needs a Savior. How do we make sense of this, any of this and a number of other tragedies that has occurred and unfolded in our communities? And then, how do we help our children deal with this? I have seen some of the coverage today and I am rocked to my core by how very short life can be. What is most difficult to swallow--God knew this was going to happen today and He did not intervene to stop it. How do we make sense of it? You and I may not want to swallow this in the raw state of emotion and grief, but here it is.

He makes all things work together for my good!

Check it:

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far b…
Christmas is just a few short weeks away, and while I am looking forward to it and enjoying the season and all the festivities leading up to it, I am also mindful today in particular of those who are struggling, hurting, in a very dark time. It probably feels as if there is no solution, and it may even seem as if there's no way to climb out of the hole you are in. As Ryan and I are coming to the end of 2012 and looking back at what we have experienced, I find myself asking more questions than finding answers. In fact, there are questions I have no answer for at all. I am quite frankly dumbfounded, at a loss for words to describe, to understand. I think I am finding on this journey of faith, as I continue to talk with God about it, and explore what the Word has to say about it, study a number of resources, find any source for answers---some of them may not come until I stand before Him. I don't like that. I don't like that I can't figure it out, that I can't …

Trust and obey..small but powerful words

I found myself digging deeply in my spirit this morning during my devotional. Something caught my attention, grabbed me and made me stop and think about the condition of my heart. Faith is hard, trusting God is hard, and all too often I find myself feeling a draw to plant my feet equally in both courts—God’s and mine. At what point in our lives and after experiencing a hand full of difficult times, do we suddenly find ourselves so skeptical of God, of everyone, of everything we have known for so long? Is this a step in our growth as Christ-followers? Is this precisely the point God wants us? So in the midst of my devotional this morning the words suddenly became tangible, I could picture the description and myself fully in it. It starts out by defining believing as a decision, that faith does not come from hearing the Word of God alone, but it involves the active decision. As we begin our relationship with Christ, we begin this journey toward a stronger, greater faith in Him. …

I dreamed a dream....

Thanksgiving brought me many moments to stop and weigh the depth of my life to this point. I am so incredibly blessed to have my husband Ryan and four amazing children Rylee, Bailey, AJ and Chloe--God is so GOOD! Now to get down to the nitty gritty of where my heart is at this point in my life. I am aware of and amazed by every experience God has given me in my life in the form of "work". From a very young age, all I ever wanted was to be like my Mom. To be the best wife and mother I could be someday, get married, and have a bunch of kids and live happily ever after. Isn't that what nearly every girl wants? Well, in some ways I got that, and in others, I have yet to experience "my dream". Dreams take on many forms as we age, as we see what we have to accomplish, tackle in life to get to it and make it happen. Life has handed us more than I would have chosen to deal with, and the path I'd hoped to take has gone in some directions I wouldn't have…

gratitude

Thanksgiving is upon us and I wanted to jot down my thoughts before the week gets away from me. I am so thankful for my life, that God sent His Son for me, for His perfect provision, for my family, my friends. I am thankful for food, clothing, shelter and a job. I am thankful that no matter how far life drives me to despair and frustration, God will take care of me and provide relief, peace, the answers and instructions for what I need to do one day at a time, one step at a time. I try every single day to be mindful of my blessings because if I do not, I will find myself very quickly spiraling down a tunnel of anger, regret, sorrow and defeat. That stinker downstairs is absolutely to blame for when my condition goes in that direction! There are days that I can feel so on top of the mountain, so ready to conquer anything that comes my way but all it takes is one little poke in just the right spot and I am falling. Falling into thoughts of, “Why? When? How?” Gratitude is like …
I haven't blogged in a little while and I am sorry to say it is because I have been so busy, and just felt I didn't have a lot to say. We are settled in to our new home in Springfield, Missouri, new jobs, new life, new start. I am thankful, truly thankful for what God has provided. I should be really excited, but I find myself just plain tired. Can you relate? It's just life, and I am struggling more so now than any other time in my life to find a balance, to carry the joy I know I should throughout my day. I try very hard to live my life in obedience and with an active, authentic faith, and I know there are many times I don't get it right--the times I do, I feel a sense of peace and accomplishment that I've somehow met a goal. I know I am not perfect, and I know I am extremely flawed, so I hope that the mistakes I make, and what I have learned from them can somehow be a helpful lesson to someone else. I am struggling today with the weight of our reality. …
‘Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion.
Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception.
Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude.
Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.’
John Henry Jowett


It’s Friday and I am oh so thankful for many things. First, to be where I am today having come so far it seems. I have been reflecting this week on how I feel about it all, I mean, the journey so far. All in all, I choose to be optimistic and see the twists and turns in my life have had lasting purpose. It is as it should be and as God has intended for it to be all along. I stand firmly grounded today in the certainty that I have a wonderful life, I love my husband and I believe in him wholeheartedly, and I am so incredibly blessed to have four wonderful children. God is so good! My mind has also wandered to consider as I begin this new job, where do I see myself going from here? Well, a few things I’ve d…
The past couple weeks have been nothing short of amazing for Ryan and I. In that time frame, we have both been blessed with new jobs, very good jobs for which we are truly amazed and thankful! This is that moment, that moment we have been praying for nearly two years now. The moment when we know we've found a step up, a way to the light at the end of the tunnel that has been our most recent journey. Ryan has begun to settle in to his job, and I will be starting mine in another week. I am excited, anxious and extremely thankful! My heart is just so full! I cannot put into words, it just seems impossible to fully express our gratitude for the prayers and support we have received all this time. God is so good to provide precious family and friends, to stand beside us and walk with us through the best and the worst of times.

At the same time as we are finding ourselves in a better place, my heart is broken for family and friends who are experiencing trials right now. There ar…
Jeremiah 31:25 For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.

I admit I've not been as consistent on my blog the last few months as we've transitioned into a new season of our lives. The move to Springfield has been good, but the work is still hard and well ahead of us. We are not out of the woods yet but as we press on, work hard and meet our goals we know that God will take care of us and we will continue to be faithful with what He has given us. I have to admit I've been very weary even after the physical work of the move has been done. I am weary emotionally and mentally due to the battles raging in our marriage and in other "relationship arenas" in my life. God knows the details and there is no need for me to hash it out in a public forum because it is too personal and there are likely to be too many feelings hurt unintentionally. I have wrestled for years with this need to help and fix and do what others cannot do or will not do for the…

Progress, yes, we have some progress here!

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day in our lives. Well, exciting in terms of what we've endured the last year and a half. Ryan got a job. A really good job. A job that pays a good wage, a job he is good at, and that he can enjoy. This is a healthy and very positive step in a direction we've prayed over for months. He starts his new position as Accounts Payable Specialist for a company in Springfield on Tuesday. We are so thankful, so excited, so glad to see this door open, and God lead him through it to a real and wonderful offer with a great company. Thank you, Lord!

In my world, the wait continues. I had a wonderful interview with MSU last week and hope to hear from them in the next couple days. Ryan's offer got me a bit anxious, hoped I might hear something sooner than I have. Well, God has the plan in His hands. So I'll keep waiting and trusting He will lead me the right direction. The other job possibility is with old friends of mine from high school, …

New path, new life, God's plan at work

We are still unpacking and most likely will be for months with the schedule we are keeping right away, but that is okay. We are moved, we are settling in and we are so incredibly amazed and thankful for God's goodness to us. In the last year and a half our lives have taken a less than ideal turn. At the time of this writing, I am working as an area supervisor at a retailer the majorit you are familiar with, Ryan is working a temporary position with a local auto retailer in their human resources department and the kids have started new schools. We are not out of the woods yet and in some ways not entirely settled yet. Ryan has interviewed for a permanent position that has opened up at the company he is with now-Yay!-and I have two interviews this week with two additional job options for me. I am thankful for the job I have, but my intention in taking it was knowing it would be a temporary fix and stepping stone to the next great job opportunity that awaits me. I am excited a…

A new season is upon us....

This time next week we will be spending our last night in our home in Brazil. Saturday, August 4 we will head to Springfield, Missouri and officially begin a new season in our lives. If you've been following our journey this past year and half, it has been nothing short of an "unexpected adventure". We look back at where we were and couldn't have imagined being here now. Ryan lost his job two weeks ago and rather than attempt to drag ourselves through another year of killing ourselves to get by, we have taken the leap and chosen to move on to "greener pastures". Now don't let that phrase give you any impression that suddenly our problems are over and we've had a "silver platter" land in our laps. Nope. It is an entirely different picture than what we would have expected. Our "greener pasture" is going to require starting over, starting new jobs especially for Ryan and it will include going back to school and finishing his…

I Need You More, Lord...

What a great message today from the interim pastor at my brother in law's church, a reminder that life comes and goes in seasons and this, like so many others, is just that. A season. Although it seems like we have been in this season for an eternity, I realize and I hear God speaking to my heart, "All in good time, my child, all in good time." Some scripture for today:

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 ...We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. And He did deliver us from mortal danger. And we are confident that He will continue to deliver us. He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people's prayers for our safety have been answered.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 It is God who gives us, along with you, the ability to stand firm for C…

Empty net..Worn heart..God can handle it all!

Determined? Yes. Discouraged? Yes. Seeking? With all my heart and soul. Hopeful? When my anxiety doesn't overwhelm me. Human? Yes, entirely. Which means I am far from perfect, I am certainly going to fail a lot in this life. Supernatural? Yes, Christ in me! Which means I have a choice daily to start by recognizing how incapable I am but how capable the Spirit is that lives within me. I am currently reading Max Lucado's, "Next Door Savior" and I just hit a great chapter entitled "Discouraged People". The scripture reference is Luke 5:1-11. I read the familiar story of Jesus telling Peter to cast his nets again. This was after a bad day of fishing, we are talking 0 fish. So, you can imagine how worn out he is, ready for a hot bath, dinner and straight to bed. It is one of those days that I can only identify with as one that leaves you feeling empty. I don't have a thing left to give and I don't see the point of even making an effor…

Yes! There is a purpose even for this!

If you are going to do something, do it with purpose. Every moment we endure in this life, good and bad, happy and sad, has purpose and we have a choice what to do. We can dwell on what it could have been, or we can evaluate it for what it was worth and move on. God allows life to happen very purposefully, and nothing happens by accident. When he hands us something to deal with, whether we expect it or not—and most of the time we are surprised!—we are immediately thrust into his spotlight, you could say. He is allowing it to see how we will act upon it. He is allowing it so we have the opportunity to behave in a way that says, “Lord, I believe in You and Your purpose for my life! I will walk this out by faith and trust You have use for even a moment such as this!” or, we will do the complete opposite and turn from God, curse Him and wallow in bitterness and regret for the rest of our lives. I think it is safe to say that most of us have faced a few things in our lives that we…

Fear and faith: It's a heck of a journey!

I realize today more than any other day I am so blessed. I don't know if it comes with age and a variety of life experiences, but at the wonderful age of 40 I find myself enjoying more moments of solitude with my God to fully appreciate what He has given me. To say the last year and a half has been hell on earth in some ways is the only way to describe it. Now I realize that is probably being overly dramatic, and I am certain there are people experiencing far greater struggles than me but for me I have to say it has been the most difficult and painful portion of my life journey so far.

This leg of my journey started when I was 8 months pregnant and had to spend the day comforting my husband after he came home to tell me he had been asked to resign from his job as worship pastor at our church here in Brazil, Indiana. Fast forward about a month later, and I remember the day we brought Chloe home, sobbing uncontrollably, I had so many questions racing through my heart and mind.…

Waiting, searching, anticipating....

God is doing something. God is up to something. We have done what we must, and we will work tirelessly doing what we must in our time on this earth, but at times….it is so stinkin’ hard to wait! Beyond our time here in Indiana, Ryan and I have both wondered what it is God intends for us to do, what He has called us to. We have embraced ministry work both in volunteering and in church staff positions, but we long for something so much more than this. There is something more for us, we know that now more than any other time in our lives. Ryan and I have been on a road together, but in other ways we are on different roads. I believe God is doing a work in each one of us, shaping us, molding us, tweaking us here and there and quite frankly—at times it is painful! It is easy in the darkest hour, in the most difficult times of our lives to hold on to what we can grasp with our hands a little more tightly, to question God when we don’t see tangible evidence of some sort of progress,…

What's next?

I don't know anyone who enjoys waiting, it is not fun for me at all. I have had people tell me I have a very patient nature, I don't anger easily and it amuses me when I hear that because I know it isn't me, it is God's strength in me to be that way. I can get upset, angry just like any other person, but I diffuse it in a number of ways so as not to explode on anyone who may come across my path at just the right moment. Believe me, I have had my moments of complete panic, emotional meltdown. Ryan could tell you first hand, he has witnessed my worst moments and unfortunately he has had to absorb the shock of it too many times. Thankfully he loves me anyway, in spite of my moments of weakness. Thankfully, I can come back to him and say, "I'm sorry, I was weak and hurting, and you didn't deserve that. Please forgive me!" You know, God is the same way. He knows our weakness, and He wants to hear what we are experiencing; our joys, our sorrows, ou…

What's next? God knows.

“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18 MSG This past weekend was so good. I had the opportunity to interview for an amazing job, one that could very well launch me into a career field that I believe I have been destined for all my life. God has opened a door, and I am so excited to see what happens next! Ryan had a great opportunity as well, some really good job prospects for him to consider. Coming home was hard for him, more than for me. I went into the weekend with no real expectations, and I deliberately chose to have the mindset that God has provided this interview, and I am so thankful for it. What happens beyond that is not a concern. On the drive home, I listened to my husband share his concerns, and I could sense he was disappointed. How many of us can relate? You are in a job you do not like, you go away for a weekend that is a great start…

Prayerful, Hopeful, Thankful

I was reminded in my study time last night of giving thought to how I pray. So many times, we pray answers rather than requests. We've all done it. We pray for someone to be healed, to receive something very specific and then we are disappointed when we don't see it happen. So, have you considered how you are praying? I did this great study on prayer years ago in a women's Bible study group and I pulled it back out a few days ago. It is full of such good stuff on prayer! Last night I read the portion that specifically talks about how we pray. It caused me to stop myself in the middle of my prayer time this morning and I realized...I don't like this, I am not used to this! What was it I didn't like? You know it is coming.....surrender. When we pray for a need, a dream, a situation that we've been made aware of for someone we love dearly, are we truly giving it all to God and trusting Him to handle it? I believe wholeheartedly that God wants us to be …

I"ll go, Lord...because You want me to

The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reasons why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to.... (Ginny Owens, "If You Want Me To")

Psalm 36:5-6 God's love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.
(The Message)

God has a plan. Day in, day out, we live our lives, many of us assume our lives will remain relatively unchanged, we grow very comfortable in our habits, our schedules, our rhythm and then it happens. Something a bit unexpected. I suppose it is His way of keeping us on our toes. Reminding us that, well, we are not in control. He is! As Ryan and I have walked through the past year or so, we have had to face some less than desirable moments. Thankfully, we have a God who is bigger than it all and has taken care of us…

Refresh, Renew, Re-focus

Spring is here, well, at least I hope it is here to stay and we don't have some freakish weather coming in April. I am enjoying this above average weather, how warm it has been and it is truly uplifting to the mood. I have been completely unmotivated to blog for awhile. The last couple months have been some of my hardest. I have found myself hitting a wall emotionally, spiritually, mentally. Thanks to some help from family and friends and my doctor I have found some relief. I am hoping in time to see progress with my ability to manage life, cope with the stress and anxiety that is the norm for us. I have not lost hope, but I am finding I have more moments that God seems to be very silent and unresponsive. I realize this is my interpretation and that in fact He hasn't gone anywhere, He is still with me. My humanity, my brain seems to be interfering a lot more with the willingness of my heart to trust God and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through me. I am very m…

Spring is in the air....

March 2. Very special day on my calendar. At the age of 39 I gave birth one year ago today to my beautiful daughter Chloe Grace. Truth is, I would absolutely do it all over again in a heartbeat! All four of my children, all four pregnancies were really good. Honestly, I enjoyed being pregnant and had very few complications and had wonderful doctors with each one. I can remember vividly as a child imagining my life one day when I was all grown up. Marriage, kids and a wonderful life. Little did I know what twists and turns life would take. None of us can know that at such a young age, when we are so innocent and unaware of how reality can spin some very different scenarios our way. Thanks to the good Lord above and my faith, my hope in Him I can stand with confidence in knowing I am a better, stronger person today because of what I have experienced. What I didn't say previously is that part of my childhood dream did include being just like my Mom, specifically marrying a…

God Confidence

Most days I can dig deeply into the faith my God has provided and find strength, confidence to be the best wife and mother I can be. When I consider what the world has thrown at me up to this point in my life and how I have come through it, I think I’ve done okay. I know there are moments I have made decisions that may not have been the wisest choice, but in that case I think I learned from it and moved on better off than I was before. It is disturbing to me as a Christ follower how so many people I have known in my life to be what I considered “strong Christians” have given in, fallen, or just plain given up for the sake of something in this world. What disturbs me even more is that it is usually for one reason: pride and the inability to admit fault. Let’s face it, we are all going to screw up at one time or another in our lives, so why not instead of allowing our pride to go before us and be a stick in the mud just for the sake of being right—have the decency to admit you’ve …

Go Deeper, Reach Farther

We are called by Christ to walk this life with bold faith, share the gospel with all who will hear it and encourage them to embrace it, reaching without ceasing for greater wisdom and understanding of Him. This is certain to give the Holy Spirit fertile soil in our minds and hearts to develop us into the righteous and holy beings we will one day be when we are in the presence of God. We will not attain this in our earthly life time, but we can strive toward it, and we can humbly approach the throne of God one day in hopes of hearing Him say we’ve done it, we’ve accomplished what He called us to do.

Over the course of the past year and in looking back over what we have experienced in our time in Brazil, Indiana, the question that is foremost in my mind is, “Lord, did we do/Are we doing what You have called us to do? Did we make/Are we making a difference?” Although our time at FCC was brought to an end, our time in Brazil is still unfinished since God has kept us here a bit longer.…

Another birthday. Whatever! Don't look back--Look ahead!

I’m taking a good look at the year ahead, another year older for me. 40 to most people is such a big deal, but honestly it’s just another number for me. I stopped caring about my age somewhere back in my thirties. I just don’t look back, I don’t miss my younger days because I have come so far, learned so much and changed so much. I have great memories of years past, and there are moments I miss and time seems to move a whole lot faster as I get older, but if I had a choice to go back—I would not. It can be said that as we get older life is appreciated so much more, isn’t that true? Well, it is for me. How interesting it is to consider when we are younger we are in such a hurry to grow up, but when we get older we want so badly for everything to slow down. So, here I am, at the age that I am and how do I see myself?
I am a proud, independent, self-sufficient, passionate woman who has found joy in God’s blessings to me as a wife, mother, sister, and friend. God is so good, and …

When life gets us down, God picks us up!

2012 is here, and I am less than enthusiastic. I have struggled to find joy in this new year. It does not help that our circumstances have not changed. That weighs heavily on both Ryan and I day in and day out. We keep thinking something is going to come, something is just around the corner in the form of "relief". The questions that dominate our conversations with each other, with God, "When is the door going to open? How long must we wait? What more is there to learn?" Emotions run high, we are battling waves of doubt, frustration, fear, anxiety, hanging on by what feels like our finger tips. As tired as you may be hearing me say it, believe me--we are tired of going through it! How God must think of us as we wrestle with all of this? Along with all of that, I struggle with how inadequate I am to be exactly what God wants me to be. I wonder if He is disappointed with me when I behave this way? I would expect Him to be, but the truth is He is not and …