Psalm 147:1

"Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm now blogging at....

Just a note to anyone that may drop by this blog....

I'm now blogging at 
www.servingagenerationforjesus.blogspot.com

I may occasionally post here, but this is my private blog that is not public knowledge for most friends and family to view. I knew that God was asking me to do something more in the way of sharing and training versus just talking about myself. ;-)

I'd love to have you drop by.

My new blog is based off of the Titus 2 concept of older women training younger women.
I'm not "that" old yet, but I'll be sharing with anyone who would like to read along.

 Titus 2: 3-5: "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March is a busy month for us

March has been a VERY busy month for us. It always is! :-)

We always start the month out going to a wonderful weekend gathering with other youth ministry workers. It's such a blessing. Of course, it takes effort to make the plans to get there, but once we do it's always worth it. The worship is always a refreshing time for me as well as the many people that are preaching the Word and wisdom into our lives. I had the opportunity to spend quality time with a young lady who used to be at our church and her and her husband are now youth pastors a few hours away.

The second weekend of March we took 13 kids to a Kids' Conference in the area. There were 2,300 kids there! It's amazing and fun and wonderfully hyper!!!! :-) The worship was amazing this year and the kids all had a great time loving on Jesus and having fun with each other. Of all the weekend events that we do each year, this is by far the most taxing. Simply because we have to meet the needs of young children who are not used to being away from mom and dad plus the crowd is so large. It's like being at Disneyland with 13 children. But the investment in their lives is worth it. We don't get much sleep but it helps keep us young. :-)

Last weekend I had the privledge of hosting a Ladies Retreat for our Children's Ministry teachers. Wow, what a powerful time we had with the Lord. Friday night we began service at 7:30 pm and finished praying at 12:15 am! It was amazing. God totally worked it all out as far as the speaker was concerned! He always does. The funny thing was that the ladies were harder to get to sleep than the kids. They don't get out very often! It was actually really fun watching them laughing and just enjoying each other.

In between those events, I was able to host my first Titus 2 type ladies Bible Study. I had 8 young wives and mothers over including our pastor's wife. It has been a dream to do this for a long time and God opened the door and I took the opportunity. It was really great. You can check out what we discussed at www.servingagenerationforjesus.blogspot.com. I began a new blog specifically for our Bible Study group and others desiring to be a better wife and mother.

This Thursday, my precious baby girl turned 7! Birthdays are a VERY big deal in our family. We try to make them very special. Not necessarily with gifts, but with time together! The kids and I left the house and had a SUPER fun filled day on Thursday, then we met up with our family and pastoral staff to celebrate that night. I'm so thankful that we have so many loving and godly adults in our kids' lives.

Friday night was Sunday School prize night at Chuck E. Cheese! Fun times with lots of church families.

Today was Reagan's friend party at Nana's house. Auntie Cass did an amazing job decorating for it. I'm so blessed to have sisters who love to make the kids' birthday's special! We are tired. It's been a very busy month. Tomorrow we are having our Kids' Seder Meal at church that I'm in charge of. Then after church it's worship practice all afternoon for our Good Friday and Easter Services. Then I've got to rush home and pick up the house for Home Group meeting tomorrow night in our home.

 Busy? Yes! Blessed? Absolutely!

As long as I stay in the Word every day, God gives me the strength I need to face the day!
Praying you have a blessed Sunday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Other Hand

It's 6 AM and I've been up since 3:30 AM cleaning my bathroom. 
Not only cleaning it, but organizing every drawer. 
Washing the walls, etc. 

This is "the other hand." 

Remember, I have 9 ladies now joining me tonight in my home 
for a Bible Study. 9 ladies that I was taught by my mother
will look (judge) you by how clean your home is. 

Balance: 
Isn't that what this whole blog is about?
Balance:
Isn't that what life is all about?
Balance:
Isn't that why so many of us never step outside our comfort zones?
We're imbalanced. At least I am at times. 

Every time that someone else opens up their home to me, 
I think about what a blessing it is. I do not judge what their 
home looks like. I think what a blessing it is that they are 
willing to open up their home and follow the Biblical 
pattern of hospitality. 

I try to keep a clean home. 
Of course, there are days!
But overall, especially in the past 3 years after finding flylady.com, 
I have really tried to make cleaning a habit instead of a chore. 
It has lifted a burden. 

But it's different when other people are coming to my home. 
It is honestly the only thing that I can think of that gives me true anxiety. 
I feel my blood-pressure start to raise as the time approaches. 
Did I clean under the sink? They'll be placing trash in the can there. 
Did I...
Did I...
Did I...
And then I start breaking out the paint cans to touch up paint!
Why? 
Because that's what my mom did! :-)

God is working on me in this area. 
He is showing me that 
"she did what she could".
Or rather, 
"I did what I could". 

Nothing will ever be perfect enough to invite people into our lives.
My walk with God isn't.
My marriage isn't. 
My kids aren't.
My home isn't. 
Yet, God asks us to do our best. 
I'm not one for not trying and then asking God to bless it!
I believe that we need to do our work as unto the Lord, not unto man. 

That is the place that I'm getting to with hospitality. 
I come to that place, for the most part, many years ago with ministry. 
I'll never be able to please everyone, but I know that I'll bless many. 
"I only want to please You, Lord." That's my life motto!!!!

So as I have been up cleaning and organizing since 3:30 AM because I 
simply couldn't sleep because 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hospitality

Tomorrow night I will opening up my home for a ladies Bible Study group. 
On one hand, I'm over the moon. I had so much fun and was so blessed planning
and preparing our lesson!
We will be talking about our PRIORITIES. 
How do they line up with Biblical principles? Do I have my priorities in line? 
Absolutely not. Not most of the time anyways.
I get all jumbled up along the way, like I think most of women do. 

As I was praying about what God wanted me to share, I simply could not come up 
with one topic. Thus, I decided to list out the things that I wanted to talk about. 
I wrote down:
1) Jesus - Our personal relationship with Him
2) Our husbands
3) Our children
4) Our home
5) Our ministry to others

As I looked at the list, I realized that was a list of priorities. And I believe, that is the Biblical order of them for a wife. The more I looked at it the more I realized how it is so easy to get our priorities out of balance in the busyness of life.

I pulled from so many great sources, mainly the Word of God. My mind keeps me up at night
thinking of all the things that I want to share. I know that I will be as or more blessed than the ladies
that attend.

Speaking of ladies that attend, it is quite the eclectic group.
1 mom with three little boys new to our church that I just met Sunday.
1 young gal married 5 years but no kids yet. I know her sister, but she just moved to the area.
She is bringing a friend.
1 friend that I've seen walk down many roads that I'm thankful that I haven't had to face. She has a blended family.
1 young mom from Kenya that I know but not really well.
2 gals from our homeschool co-op that I know, but only from seeing them on Mondays.
Oh, and our pastor's wife. That in itself can be unnerving if I allow it to be. Simply because I want her to be proud of what I do for Jesus and hopefully I don't make a fool of myself or say something too silly.

I have 4 pages of notes. I'm not sure that I'll get to them all. Will I say too much or too little?
Do I sound nervous? I'm actually not. I'm excited! But I am painfully aware that if I do it in the
flesh then it will fail, but if I rely on the Holy Spirit He will do a work in hearts. That's my desire.

The other hand -
I'll get to that later.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Peace...in the midst of a raging storm

Sitting on top of the heater vent...

Sipping a cup of English breakfast tea....

Looking at the rain drops that have accumilated on the window overnight....

Admiring the beauty of an antique school bell that sits on my dinning room window sill....

Week 2 of operation peace underway.

Last month I was working on contentment. Not just with the "things" in my life, but also with the
situations and circumstances. Learning to be grateful and thankful for all things. Even the difficult ones.

I have not yet reached that place in full....
because the being isn't really the point....it's the becoming. 

"Reaching for the prize that is before us..." "Pressing toward the mark...."
"Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith...."
Those are becoming/doing things. Not "I've arrived" things.


2012 has been one of the most difficult years of my life as well as my extended families lives.
We are facing a trial that is monumental and overwhelming and scary and upsetting and frustrating and
mind-numbing and very difficult. Something that none of us ever thought that we'd have to face.
However, it's here. We are walking through it. Each in their own way.

I can speak only for myself...yet, I also can see the havic in my families faces and voices as they
walk this road as well....but it has been debilitating. As much as we try to escape the thoughts
of "what if" and "why" and "how could this happen" and "who are these people that we thought we knew"
the feelings of anxiety only grow stronger and then the terrible numbness begins to set in.

I heard it said once that worry is like a rocking chairs. It gives you something to do but it never takes
you anywhere. This experience has humbled me and made me more aware of my daily need of
God's freedom. Understanding, flexiblity, forgiveness, true forgiveness that is, reconciliation, trust,
letting go and letting God work out the details, giving others the freedom to process it how they need to.
All those things are a work in progress right now in my life.

I am so grateful that I have the Lord and His precious Word to rest upon. As I lay in bed and the scenes and scenarios once again arrest my brain, the Hidden Word of God begins to pop up. Things that I know are truth, yet I struggle to accept. Parables that I have heard since childhood are brought to my mind by the Holy Spirit. I know them, I hear them, I understand them, I teach them....yet now, it's time to live them. That's much harder than reading or teaching them.

I say that I forgive, yet I don't want to face what forgiveness means. Restoration.
I say that I trust God, but that means not continually picking the anxiety of the unknown back up.
I say that I love, but right now I don't want to forget the past wrongs.
I say that I am humble, however I seem so much better in my own mind than they are.

Matthew 6:25 - Jesus I know you say this to me daily....but it's hard to live out right now.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life."
vs 34: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own."

Live in the now. Allow the Lord to hold my future. Yes, that's what I have to chose.

I Peter 5:6-7: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

The French version says literally, "Unload on Him all your cares." The Greek word for cast means "to hurl." The Phillips translation of verse 7 says, "You can throw the whole wight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern." (Linda Dillow)


George McDonald wrote, "It has been well said that no man ever sank under teh burden of the day. It's when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that teh weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourself so, my friends. If you find yourserlves so loaded, at least remember this: it is your own doing, not God's. He begs you to leave the future to Him and to mind the present." 


J.B. Meyer made this plain when he said, "This is the blessed life - not anxious to see far in front, nor eager to choose the path, but quietly following behind the Shepherd, one stop at a time. The Shepherd was always out in front of the sheep. He was down in front. Any attack upon them had to take him into account. Now God is down in front. He is in the tomorrows. It is tomorrow that fills men with dread. God is there already. All the tomorrows of our life have to pass Him before they can get to us." 


If I'm not worried about tomorrow, because God's got it....then I can focus on the joys of today. 



Friday, February 17, 2012

The Love Chapter for Mothers

I read this over at Proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com and it was so good!






The Love Chapter for Mothers based on I Corinthians 13:


If I talk to my children about what is right and what is wrong, but have not love, I am like a ringing doorbell or pots banging in the kitchen.

And though I know what stages my children will go through and understand their growing pains, and can answer all their questions about life and believe myself to be a devoted mother, but have not love, I am nothing... 

If I give up the fulfillment of a career to make my children's lives better and stay up all night sewing costumes or baking cookies on short notice, but grumble about lack of sleep, I have not love and accomplish nothing...

A loving mother is patient with her children's immaturity and kind even when they are not; a loving mother is not jealous of their youth, nor does she hold it over their heads whenever she has sacrificed for them.

A loving mother believes in her children; she hopes in each one's individual ability to stand out as a light in a dark world; she endures every heartache and backache to accomplish that.

A loving mother never really dies. As for homebaked bread, it will be consumed and forgotten; as for spotless floors, they will soon gather dust and heelmarks. As for children, right now toys and friends and food are all-important to them. But when they grow up, it will be their mother's love that they will remember and pass on to others. In that way, she will live on.

So care, training, and a loving mother reside in a home, these three; but the greatest of these is a loving mother...





-by Dianne Lorang 

My precious baby boy woke me at 3:45 AM and said that his tummy hurt very badly.
It is now 3:25 PM and he has thrown up 16 times. 
I mean really thrown up! Not just gagging. 
It just breaks my heart to see my kids sick. 
He was so sweet when he woke me up though because 
he kept apologizing for having to wake me up 
and then as I was cleaning up he kept saying that he was sorry. 
I told him that this is what Mommy's are for...
to show love when you need it most!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Forgiveness

Linda Dillow writes, "Author Philip Yancy called forgiveness an unnatural act. He's right. It does feel unnatural. However, forgiveness is not a feeling but a secret choice of the heart. God uses conflict to teach us this truth." This morning as I was praying and struggling over a certain situation, I happened to open a book that I'd been reading and set aside for many months and this was the exact paragraph that I had left off on. It is completely amazing to me how God works in such mysterious and loving ways. I asked Him to help and He did by having me stop at this exact place months ago and begin reading again right when I needed it. Now the hard part is actually doing it....