Saturday, August 7, 2010

I saw Jesus!

This summer has been ridiculously busy and at times very stressful. We have had so many camps, meetings, appointments, trips, VBS's...the list goes on and on. Now that the summer is coming to a close, I was thinking about all that we have done and am just dumbfounded. We have had some amazing opportunities and gotten to know some really great people. The pinnacle of the summer was this past week. I saw Jesus!

I saw Jesus in six teenagers who paid money to sleep in tents, get eaten by bugs, sweat their socks off and work very hard for people they've never met. I saw Jesus in three adults who gave up a week of their time to do all that and show love to six teenagers. I saw Jesus in a man that stepped out of his comfort zone and let God show him amazing things. I saw Jesus in a couple who is preparing to move to New Zealand and plant a church. I saw Jesus in a young woman who gave up her plans and let the LORD lead her to establish and work for a non-profit organization to support an orphanage in Kenya. I saw Jesus in college students and campus ministers who are sold-out Christians and are open to His leading. I saw Jesus in a couple who is preparing to move to Thailand to teach and share the gospel. I saw Jesus in a tearful minister with a heart for all of God's people. I saw Jesus in a woman who works all summer in a busy kitchen for no pay so that under-privileged kids can have an opportunity to come to camp. I saw Him in breadline workers, generous strangers, ranch hands, a middle-aged woman and a hard-working camp staff. I saw Jesus in a little almost-nine-year-old girl who chose to ask Him into her heart and is now embarking on the most amazing journey of her life. I even caught a glimpse of Jesus in me.

It was a phenomenal week! There were little things that warmed my heart and big things that broke it. There was discomfort and sweat and dirt and manure and I wouldn't trade a second of it. I would have loved to stay at camp and keep that mountain-top high just a little longer. But all good things must come to an end, right? I had to pack up our things and say, "good-bye" to so many wonderful people that I met. I had to come home and wash our laundry and water the plants and feed the cats. But I hope I never, ever stop seeing Jesus. I want to look for Him and find Him in people I encounter every day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2010-2011 Curriculum

I am getting very pumped about the start of our 2nd year homeschooling! I'm currently in the lesson planning stage. I'm looking forward to adding some new elements and doing things a little differently.
I was thinking of doing workboxes, but we just don't have the space to do it properly. I really like the idea of both the kids knowing what they have to accomplish each day, so I've decided to make up lesson plan books for them and for me, this year. That way, every morning they will have their day mapped out and know how much they have left to do.
Working along with that, I'm getting ready to make up some folder games, flash cards and other "busy" work that is also entertaining. I really want to make an Anti-bored Board to hang somewhere. I haven't decided exactly how to go about this yet, so I'll post more about that later.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Oops, I mean THIS is the final installment

I was mistaken. Here is the last Pure Purpose excerpt. Leave a comment if you would like to be entered in the giveaway.


What if someone took a snapshot of you and made it an example for others so that’s all others know about your life? Some snapshots of our lives can be framed into a nice photo that accurately reflects a particular situation in our lives. However, our lives aren’t mere snapshots. Our lives are rich recordings, capturing our thoughts, emotions, relationships, situations, struggles, growth…every detail of every moment of our lives. Our lives are a marathon. We may stop to walk along the way. We might make a wrong turn and need to get back on track. We may enjoy the refreshing wind at times and sit by the side of the road in tears sometimes. Endurance is movement through the marathon of life, regardless of the varying types and speeds of movement. Endurance involves perseverance. Sometimes we persevere at a sprint, and sometimes we barely shuffle our feet.

When have your legs felt strong and you felt the refreshing wind in your face as you ran through life?

When have you been completely overwhelmed with the path ahead, your legs feeling like massive weights, and you wanted to stop for a long rest?

Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, who through our faith has brought us into that blessing of God's grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God's glory. We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. Romans 5:1-5

When we have problems and trials, we can develop endurance. (We can also sit and mope and whine and become self-focused.) Endurance develops character. Character develops our hope in salvation. And yet…isn’t it our hope in salvation, our relationship with Jesus, our acceptance and understanding of God’s character, that helps us deal with our problems and trials in the first place?

You see, we often stop where we are because we’re waiting on something. We think we need more faith or we need more strength or we need more courage. We may even ask God for it. And then we wait and wait and wait….when we already have what we need! If you have a relationship with Jesus, you have his strength and courage. You may not always feel like you have it, but it’s there. We may feel completely drained and insufficient and incapable, but it’s not because we actually are. Standing on the promise of Romans 1:5.

The Holy Spirit gives us everything we need. The strength and courage we need is already in us, and not only is it in us, but the Holy Spirit fills us! You have access to God’s love, courage, strength, joy, discernment (and the list goes on…) inside you, accessible at all times. So why do you think we still want to sit beside the road, bury our head in our hands and quit?

My thoughts might not be even close to yours, but here are a few I’ve considered.

1. Even when we know God provides all we need through him, we try to rely into our own strength and courage instead of tapping into his.

2. We wait to tap into his strength and courage only when we’re completely exhausted. We try to hand him the baton, expecting him to run the rest of the way for us, not with us.

3. We rely on the Holy Spirit to guide, equip, and encourage us so infrequently that we’re not sure how to listen and rely on him.

We’re human. I don’t want this to become a crutch we rely on, but we have to admit, we’re going to struggle with our past baggage, current struggles, and future apprehensions. The key is whether we try to manage it all or rely on God to equip us to persevere and endure.

Our marathon doesn’t start the moment we get the phone call, receive the diagnosis, or discover the betrayal. We don’t run through the crisis and check it off our list. Our marathon is our entire life. Challenging uphill climbs. Downhill coasts. Crushed by crowds of people. Feelings of isolation. Encouraged by others. Discouraged as others fly by. Inadequacies. Doubt. Injuries. Milestones. Rejuvenation. It’s all part of the marathon. And you’re in training through the entire marathon. Increase your endurance through consistent training.

Training isn’t just a to-do list. It’s a to-be list. What you do prepares you for who you become. Who you are influences what you do. Both are intimately connected. What is God prompting you to do and who is he prompting you to become?

Adapted from Pure Purpose by Susan H. Lawrence. Check out Susan’s blog at and follow Pure Purpose on Facebook at

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pure Purpose - Week 4

Here's the 4th and final installment of the Pure Purpose excerpts. I also have a pdf sample. If you'd like to take a look at it, just leave your email address in your comment and I'll send it to you. Don't forget to leave a comment so that you can possibly win a free copy of Susan's book!!!


Lord, teach me what you want me to do, and I will live by your truth. Teach me to respect you completely. Psalm 86:11

Authenticity is “being actually and exactly what is claimed.” (

Have you ever given advice you have difficulty applying in your own life? Have you ever stretched the truth (a.k.a., lied) to make yourself look a little better or perhaps a little worse in order to avoid doing something? (Perhaps you’ve even deceived yourself.) Are there areas of your life in which you know there are principles you should follow, but you just don’t seem to be able to discipline yourself to apply them or you struggle with how they apply directly to you?

Truthfulness isn’t just about what you say. It’s about the way you live. It paves the way for an authenticity in our lives, a perspective that reflects actually and exactly what we claim. Authenticity is a reflection of God, which means if we want authenticity, we can’t look in our own mirror; we have to use God’s.

Truthfulness affects others. It affects their faith, because it affects how they see God. Whether I have a long-term relationship or momentary encounter with someone, my character, the way I behave, my attitude…all combine to reflect the God who created me for purpose on this earth. No moment, no situation, no person is insignificant.

And here’s the truth. I don’t always reflect the truth of God’s character. Sure, sometimes it has nothing to do with deceit. It might have to do with ignorance. But in all honesty, how often are we ignorant in a situation…versus how often we rationalize we’re ignorant? It’s much easier to plead innocence than to take responsibility.

Not listening to God isn’t the same as not knowing his character. We live in a “shirk responsibility” culture. It’s easier to blame someone else. But when it comes to your personal walk with God, it’s between you and him. I can assure you, he’s not the one creating space. Are we distant from God sometimes? Yes, but we can acknowledge the distance and move. Or we can choose instead to try to figure out the distance, whine about the distance, and end up in the same place weeks or months from now. Are we hurt or confused sometimes? Yes, but again, we can acknowledge our emotions and experience and begin the process of moving to another place, or steep in the turmoil and end up in the same situation, or worse, weeks or months from now.

You’re not a victim. How can I be so sure? Because I know my God. He’s not a victimizer. He’s a Victor. He created you. And he is Truth. There is truth in you. We need to let him reveal it to us, so you see the reflection God sees. So others see the reflection God sees.

God understands all hearts, and he sees you. Proverbs 24:12

(For practical tools for how to “get R.E.A.L.,” authentic in your Relationships, Experiences, Attitudes and Leadership, check out Week Eight of Pure Purpose by Susan H. Lawrence.)

Check out Susan’s blog at and follow Pure Purpose on Facebook at

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pure Purpose - Week #3

Here's another excerpt from Susan Lawrence's study entitled Pure purpose. Be sure to leave a comment and you will be entered into the drawing for a free copy!


Each of us is impacted by our past experiences, family, health, education, relationships, and much more. Consider everything and everyone who has impacted your life from teachers to friends to coworkers to ministers. Jot as many as you can in one minute.

Each time we communicate, we bring our background with us. We use it to make sense of what we’re saying. Others bring different background to their communications. We may have some similarities, but no two people’s lives are exactly the same, and no two people will communicate in exactly the same way. We filter what we say and what we hear. So every time you say something, it goes through two filters: yours and the person’s to whom you’re talking. Every time you hear something, it goes through two filters: yours and the person’s who is speaking to you.

Understanding our filters helps us understand our communications better.

Consider a situation in which you made an assumption that was later proved to be inaccurate about someone.

If one assumption you’re made has been proven inaccurate, consider the possibility than any assumption you make about people might be inaccurate. We hear and give information based on our filters. But our filters aren’t purely clean. Our experiences, relationships, and attitudes clog our screens…and the screens of people we’re communicating with. That’s why we sometimes think someone said something they didn’t say or insist they didn’t tell us something when they actually did.

Being aware of your filters means acknowledging the possibility there’s been a miscommunication. When there’s a miscommunication, who’s responsible?

There are at least two people involved in communication. Both have filters. Does it really matter who’s right and who’s wrong when there’s a miscommunication? If the goal is communication, and communication isn’t complete or effective, strive to focus on the goal-communication- instead of getting stuck in a blame game.

No one should accuse or blame another person. Don't blame the people, you priests, when they quarrel with you. Hosea 4:4

We can’t assume everyone shares our experiences. It can be frustrating to start at the beginning to explain something to someone when we just want to move on, but again, if the goal is communication, and communication isn’t complete or effective, we need to strive to focus on the goal, communication, instead of getting stuck focusing on our filters, who should already know what, how much time we need to take to explain something, etc. Building relationships with healthy communication is always worth time and effort.

Here’s my list of communication tips.

ü No one is a mind-reader. If you want or expect someone to know something, tell them.

ü Take a breath before speaking. Once it’s spoken, you can’t swallow it.

ü Communication will fail. Do your best, but know it’s not foolproof.

ü Communication is not avoidable. You can be quiet, but you’re still communicating.

ü Communication assumes…based on past experiences, relationships, and personality.

ü Communication involves relationship. It’s not just about you, your intentions, and your goals.

How will you reflect God in your communication?

It will not really be you speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:20

Adapted from Pure Purpose by Susan H. Lawrence. Check out Susan’s blog at and follow Pure Purpose on Facebook at

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pure Purpose - Week #2

Here's your weekly taste of Pure Purpose from my friend, Susan Lawrence. If you'd like to win a copy of this excellent study, just leave a comment.


How have you shown compassion to someone you didn’t know. It doesn’t have to be huge. Have you helped someone carry groceries? Paid for someone’s lunch when her debit card was declined? Listened to someone’s struggles while sitting on a plane or in a doctor’s office?

Compassion is sincere. To share a burden or to sympathize with someone isn’t motivated by guilt or obligation. It’s a tug into action, rooted in love, consideration and kindness.

When do you avert your eyes from a need? Who do you pass by? Consider any groups of people or situations you consistently avoid.

Need help? Consider the following:

ð Roadside beggars

ð Veterans

ð Drug addicts

ð Foreign missions

ð Homeless

ð Poor

ð Single moms

ð Door-to-door solicitors

ð Hitchhikers

ð Donation solicitor

What are some reasons for avoiding people?

There are certainly some safety issues we must consider. If you’re walking alone in the mall parking lot and are pursued by a man asking to use your phone to call for help, you should immediately move toward a populated area.

But I wonder how often we rationalize not showing compassion because of an exception, not a rule. How often do we assume we know someone’s motives, and we don’t want to be taken advantage of, so we pass by?

Jesus answered, “As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, some robbers attacked him. They tore off his clothes, beat him, and left him lying there, almost dead. It happened that a priest was going down that road. When he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. Next, a Levite came there, and after he went over and looked at the man, he walked by on the other side of the road. Then a Samaritan traveling down the road came to where the hurt man was. When he saw the man, he felt very sorry for him. The Samaritan went to him, poured olive oil and wine on his wounds, and bandaged them. Then he put the hurt man on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he cared for him. The next day, the Samaritan brought out two coins, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of this man. If you spend more money on him, I will pay it back to you when I come again.’”

Then Jesus said, “Which one of these three men do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by the robbers?”

The expert on the law answered, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Jesus said to him, “Then go and do what he did.” Luke 10:30-37

Consider this happening in today’s world. Picture the roadside where you might see this man and what your reaction might be when you encounter him? What are your assumptions, and how do they determine your response?

What happens when we assume we know someone’s past, motives, etc.?

Isn’t it funny, when the other fellow takes a long time to do something, he’s slow. When I take a long time to do something, I’m thorough. When the other fellow doesn’t do it, he’s lazy. When I don’t do it, I’m busy. When the other fellow does it without being told, he’s overstepping his bounds. When I go ahead and do it without being told, that’s initiative. When the other fellow states his opinion strongly, he’s bullheaded. When I state my opinion strongly, I’m firm. When the other fellow overlooks a few rules of etiquette, he’s rude. Tom Knight, quoted by Charles McHarry, New York Daily News

Brothers and sisters, do not tell evil lies about each other. If you speak against your fellow believers or judge them, you are judging and speaking against the law they follow. And when you are judging the law, you are no longer a follower of the law. You have become a judge. James 4:11

Adapted from Pure Purpose by Susan H. Lawrence. Check out Susan’s blog at and follow Pure Purpose on Facebook at

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Peek At Pure Purpose & And Upcoming Giveaway

Once a week, through the month of June I will be sharing my blog with my friend, Susan Lawrence. She has written a wonderful study book entitled Pure Purpose. Susan has been generous enough to offer me a copy of her book to give away. If you leave a comment after any of the Pure Purpose posts, you will be entered in the drawing. Good luck!


When I was a young girl, I’d slip my feet into my dad’s boots. They reached my knees or higher, and my feet slipped forward as I stepped and upward as I lifted my feet. He had big shoes to fill, but I felt special to have them on.

We’re not going to fit into God’s shoes, but the slipping and sliding is totally worth it. I’d rather fall down and get hurt walking in God’s shoes than wearing anyone else’s! Including mine.

Humility reminds us that we don’t fill someone else’s shoes, particularly God’s. But our perspective is often distorted, and our humility is affected. We think too highly of ourselves. Or we don’t think high enough of ourselves – as God’s creation.

Our desire to look good affects humility.

Our desire to feel good affects humility.

Our desire for the best deal affects humility.

We can become bitter when we think we haven’t been given a “fair” life. And we can become complacent or even prideful when we think we’ve been given a “good” life. Both are dangerous, and both are deceptive, because both focus on what we think. You’re not God, so who are you to decide what a good or bad, fair or unfair, life is? Remember, God is the source of your life. He knows every detail. And he knows how all the details work together toward your purpose. And because God is God, we know...he knows “what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

The truth is…when we focus on how we look or feel or what type of “deal” we’re getting, our focus is ME-centered, not GOD-centered. You have a choice each moment of your life to either say,

“I can do this pretty well on my own.”


“I can’t and don’t want to do this without God.”

Humility is not about putting yourself down. It’s about a proper relationship with God. Look up to God. When we say “I can do this,” we take God out of it and fail to acknowledge his existence. We become the focus. When we say “I can’t,” we take God out of it and fail to acknowledge his strength. We deflate ourselves or inflate ourselves, and both are wrong. We’re not the source of the air. God is. When we only allow him to inflate us through his encouragement and deflate us through his discipline, we start all our sentences with God. We must acknowledge God.

To the church of God in Corinth, to you who have been made holy in Christ Jesus. You were called to be God's holy people with all people everywhere who pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:2

God can do all things.

That’s all we need to know.

Your worth is in him, my friend, and no one, including yourself, can make you worth any more or any less.

Adapted from Pure Purpose by Susan H. Lawrence. Check out Susan’s blog at and follow Pure Purpose on Facebook at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Be still and know that I am God...

I am anxious, worried, upset, angry, depressed, nervous, disheartened, and fearful to the point of paralyzing myself. It's all just little things, but when I sit here and make my list it just overwhelms me.

"The carpets need to be cleaned. The windows need washed. There are hand prints on the hallway walls. The floors need mopped. The basement needs cleaned. Am I doing a good enough job with the kids? The computer desk needs to be cleared off and organized. I should exercise more. I need to start eating right. Am I any good at this home schooling thing? Oh the laundry...the bathroom...the dishes. It's time for the trustees to do a walk-through of the house...the house will never be clean enough. The school year is almost over...have they learned a thing?"

Be still and know that I am God - Psalm 46:10

As I sat here lamenting over my present situation, this verse popped into my head. I decided to google it and here is the first thing I found...

"This command — “be still” — forces us to think on two things: that we are finite, and that God is infinite. That being the case, we need to drop our hands, go limp, relax, and “chill out.” Christian people ought to “come, behold the works of Jehovah,” (v. 8) that we may enjoy a calm confidence in him who gave us his Son.

“Shall he not also with him freely give us all things?” Paul reasoned (Romans 8:32). Psalm 46:10 encourages us to reflect on what God can do in the face of what we are unable to do.

Spiritual serenity, the psalmist admits, ought to be cultivated in spite of the shaking mountains and agitated waters (vv. 2-3; i.e., figures for the difficulties we face in life). This spiritual calm, that God commands, does not come from a lack of troubles; it derives from a steady, deep reflection on the ways God has intervened in history on behalf of his people (cf. Romans 15:4)." -(

Well, that just about says it all, doesn't it? I've absolutely, positively got to spend time every day focusing on God and resting in his power and provision. Then maybe when my list starts to pop up, instead of being paralyzed by my own shortcomings I can trust in Him and breath easy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I am LOVING this time of year! It has been so beautiful out the past several days. I'm enjoying mowing and walking to the park with the kiddos and really looking forward to planting a garden. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and my allergies are in full swing. Spring has sprung!

Now, if I could only muster up this kind of enthusiasm for teaching, things would really be great. I guess it's not so much the enthusiasm that I'm lacking as much as it is the energy and determination. Oh don't get me wrong. I still know we're supposed to be doing this and know that we are using the right curriculum. I have no intention of giving up or sending the kids back to public school. I just have trouble getting going in the morning. Every afternoon, I feel guilty because I didn't do enough or really get into it like I should have. So every evening, I vow to make tomorrow better, finish everything on our list for the day and have fun doing it. Then, the morning comes and it's back to procrastinating and rushing through to just get it done.

I want my kids to love learning. I want them to look forward to each day and to really grasp all the concepts, most especially the Bible lessons for the day. I want to make it fun for them and make this the highlight of their day. So, if I have all these desires, know I'm doing the right thing and know what it is that I'm doing wrong; then why do I go through this same cycle over and over again? I could just defend myself by saying that it's my first year and I'm allowed to not do everything right. I mean, that is true and really i'm not expecting perfection here. I just need a little more spring in my step.

We are currently on chapter 11 of The Weaver. This chapter is meant to be a breather so that you can catch-up or take a little break. The only thing that is in the chapter is Bible and character sketches. I think it came at a perfect time. I'm just really beating myself up and needed this time to regroup and get ready for chapter 12. I'm both excited and nervous about chapter 12 - The Human Body. I am determined to do my best with it and to have fun with my kids.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where I'm From

Thanks Gretchen for this idea.

I am from tomato preserves, Brach's candies from the refrigerator, and homemade Chex mix.

I am from the farm house on the blacktop...modest, welcoming, and the smell of dirt, farm life and freshly oiled road.

I am from mulberries that stain your bare toes, walnuts on the ground and cicada shells in the trees.

I am from Sunday dinner at Grandma's and big brown eyes, from Frank & Eva and Charles & Evelyn and Ronnie & Barb.

I am from the quiet family who you've never seen upset and the outspoken who make their feelings known.

From "I don't know. Are you able?" and "Coffee will stunt your growth and turn you black."

I am from the Christian Church with long wooden pews and a baptistry under the stage floor.

I'm from Barnard, Missouri and ham salad made from bologna and goulash with a bay leaf hidden somewhere inside.

From the woman who danced with Jesse James, the trombone player & violinist who played in a big band, and the shy, smitten man whose friend hid the girl's purse so they'd have to meet again.

I am from family photos in dresser drawers, delicate wedding rings in the jewelry box and old cars in the pasture.

How could a girl ask for more?

Want to make your own? Check out

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10 Things Tuesday

I'm going to try one word responses, this reason...just shaking things up a bit.

1. Weather
2. Ring
3. Memories
4. Travel
5. Kids
6. Homeschooling
7. Friends
8. Tacos
9. Opportunities
10. LOST

That was a stretch for me. I'm not a woman of few words.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

10 Things Tuesday

1. I got to eat supper tonight with five other homeschooling moms. We had a nice chat, tossed around ideas for future activities and made plans for a group lesson next week.

2. I got to be in "big church" this past Sunday. The youth minister's wife graciously volunteered to take over one week of Children's Church. That means I am only teaching one Sunday a month and in the nursery one Sunday a month and get to hear Rob preach the rest of the weeks.

3. I get to pick up my wedding set from the jewelers on Saturday. I realized a few months ago that one of the prongs was broken. I immediately stopped wearing it so as to not lose the diamond. It will be so nice having it back on my finger where it belongs.

4. I have a purring, sweet, calico kitty on my lap right now. For some reason, she has decided to be personable again. I think she's finally forgiven us for bringing home the kittens.

5. I forgot to tape LOST tonight, but my wonderful hubby remembered and I am getting ready to watch it as soon as I'm done with this post.

6. I have lots of soup leftover from tonight's dinner. That means tomorrow night's supper is taken care of!

7. We took the kids to see Alice In Wonderland on Sunday. We all really enjoyed it.

8. In a few weeks, I get to travel with my Rob & the kids to NW MO for Rob to preach a revival in Faucett, MO. It is really close to my extended family and, for the most part, I will have nothing to do during the day except to go visit with them. Every evening, I will get to listen to my favorite preacher. What a great way to spend a week!

9. There are two boxes of Girl Scout cookies in my house right now. They will probably not be here tomorrow evening.

10. I am now done with my ten things and I can go watch LOST with my sweet hubby. Great way to end the night!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hope for the hopeless

One of my cousins committed suicide last night. I hardly knew him as a child and didn't know him at all as an adult. Sadly, I hardly know that side of my family. Still, I'm sitting here mourning. I'm mourning the loss of a life. I'm mourning for his son who found him and had to take on the responsibility of notifying others, and a daughter who will never understand how her dad could do this. I'm mourning for his father who is now planning his own son's funeral. I'm mourning for his mother who will never be able to mend a lost relationship. I'm mourning for his brother and his sisters who lost a brother long before he took his own life. I'm mourning for a lost and hurting world that goes through the motions day after day with no hope.

I have always held the belief that suicide is a very desperate act by a deeply troubled or selfish individual. I never could understand how a sane person could look at it as an alternative to life. It suddenly dawned on me tonight. All it takes is to look at this life without the benefit of knowing Christ.

If you don't have Him in your life, you can't know hope. You can't know grace or forgiveness or selfless love. It breaks my heart. It absolutely tears me up inside. How very sad to live without knowing why. To read the headlines and see the horrors that happen in our own backyards and not see anything better or beyond all this. It's no wonder that a 44 year old man would want to end it all. I don't know how someone could go even that long.

I wish I could show everyone how hope-filled their lives can be. I want to take this world full of hopeless, hurting people and hold them in my arms. I want to show them my savior. Please God, shine through me! Please show me how to love and offer comfort and peace to a world who has forgotten you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


1. My house is clean. My wonderful hubby has been doing a great job with the dishes and I've been mostly keeping my nose above water. The laundry, on the other hand...

2. There is a pork roast in the crock pot. We will be pulling it apart later and making tacos. Mmmm, yummy.

3. I'm getting excited about ministry again. I've been eagerly anticipating Rob's graduation from seminary for some time now. Up until very recently, I had hoped that it would mark the end of not only our time in Edinburg but our time in located ministry all together. I didn't care what he did as long as he wasn't the senior minister of a small church somewhere. Now, I'm still looking forward to his graduation, but in a different way. First of all, I'm enjoying the wait time instead of just getting through it. Secondly, I am very excited to see where God will take us next. Will He say, "Stay" or does He have somewhere else for us? I really don't know what the future holds and I'm excited about that!

4. We have finished one more chapter of The Weaver. We now move on to Solar System, Stars, Time & Seasons. However, this does move us ever closer to the unit on the human body. For some reason, I am petrified of teaching my children about the reproductive system. They might start to suspect that their parents...umm...well...ahem.

5. Lost is on tonight, tonight. Lost is on tonight.

6. Yesterday, I finally mailed off all my "thank-you" and "praying for you" notes that I've been working on for the last two weeks.

7. The weather has been positively Spring-like lately!

8. I got to make two cakes last weekend and I get to make another one this weekend.

9. The LORD is filling my life with so many friendships right now. This is something I've missed for a while now. I'm so very thankful for this.

10. I am leaving right now to visit Wal-Mart and the library all by myself!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

But you ain't got no legs...

Lately, Rob and I have been listening to sermons during lunchtime. Today we listened to Jeff Walling's sermon "Witness Unveiled" from the OCC Preaching & Teaching Convention.
His text was Revelation 10 and 11. He spent a lot of time on the following verses...

So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey." I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." - Revelation 10:9-11

He said that when John ingested the scroll, it became part of him. They were now inseparable. He also gave an illustration of where the world is and where the church is in relation to good vs. evil. He made the point that we are all too often standing with our hand on the shoulder of the world and only a few short steps behind where it stands. He went on to say that one who "eats" the Word will stay rooted in one spot and that while the world moves to and fro, he will stand.

That got me to thinking about where I'm standing. I try to stay rooted in one spot. I try to stand still and be an example. I try to lead and teach and minister to others. Then I realized that I'm trying all this with no legs. I have not made a meal out of God's word. I sample it now and then. I read it, but not as regularly as I should. I do a little more in-depth study, but usually only for a lesson I'm preparing to teach.

Jeff Walling wrapped up his sermon with this, "A lost world is waiting but until we eat and drink we won't have what it takes to be the witnesses you and I are called to be." How can I stand with no legs? How can I teach my children and be an example to them with my face in the dirt? How can I be a Christian almost all my life and be so lacking?

I want this to change. I want the teaching and truth and hope that is found in the Bible to be so much a part of me that it pours out through everything I say and do. In order to be effective in all that I do, in order to not get swayed by every passing diversion, I need to be nourished. I need to grow strong, sturdy legs that are rooted in Christ and can not be moved.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


1. I had a great time in Joplin last week. I love seeing family and friends! On Friday night, the kids spent the night w/family and Rob and I had a hotel room to ourselves!

2. I am now only watching one extra child on weekdays.

3. My home is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of a corned beef slowly baking in the oven.

4. I have the privilege of decorating two cakes this week. They are both sculpted cakes - El Toro Loco (a monster truck) and Lightning McQueen. I love doing these types of cakes. Can't wait to get down to business!

5. Lost is on tonight. Since we missed it last week, we get to watch two hours worth. Rob and Robby have Boy Scouts tonight, so we'll record it and watch it later with no commercial interruptions.

6. Have I mentioned how much I love my new vacuum cleaner?

7. Several people have been on my heart lately. I feel led lately to pray more than I have in a long time. I feel like it's the best thing I can do for these people.

8. In addition to the new desire to pray, I'm feeling led to start up a card ministry. It's something I've thought about for a long time now. I've decided that when someone is on my heart, first I will pray then I will drop a card in the mail letting them know that I am praying and thinking about them. Then I'll pray some more.

9. While in Joplin, I visited a teacher's supply store. I found some write on/wipe off mats that I had been looking for. (It's the simple things in life that please me.)

10. I've been hearing birds singing. There is hardly any snow left on the ground and the temperature is s-l-o-w-l-y climbing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ten Things Tuesday
(It's really Wednesday, but Ten Things Wednesday doesn't sound nearly as clever)

1) Our mechanic called on Monday to let us know that our car was finished. He originally thought that the transmission needed to be rebuilt and had given us a quote of $1700. Turns out it was a wheel bearing making all that noise and it only cost us $125.

2) I now have Weaver volumes 2-4 in my possession. A woman in our home school group offered them to me. I don't know yet how much she wants for them, but I'm sure it will be a huge savings.

3) Since we saved so much on the car, I was able to purchase a new vacuum cleaner. A good one! It's an Electrolux model that is supposed to be really good for sucking up all that pesky pet hair.

4) I would say LOST is on tonight, but since it is actually Wednesday and I've already watched it... LOST was on last night, but we had some running around to do, so we recorded it and I got to watch in sans commercials.

5) I figured out how to make our Wahl hair trimmer work a little better. It is amazing what you can do when you take the time to read the little pamphlet that comes with a product.

6) We have had the opportunity for some great fellowship lately. It is wonderful to sit down with people and have them support us and really know what it's like being in our shoes.

7) I get to go on a date with my hubby and some friends on Saturday night!

8) Last Saturday, we attended a sock hop put on by the local Methodist church. We had a good time and then ate at Uncle John's Restaurant here in town. I love building these kinds of family fun memories with the kids.

9) I am sitting right now, resting and taking it easy. The kids are in bed. Rob is watching a silly movie and I am just Michelle playing on the computer. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love my husband and kids, and love spending time with them. However, by the end of the evening sometimes it's nice to not be needed.

10) On Sunday, we are leaving for Joplin and we won't come back until Friday! We get to see family and friends. We get to relax...ahhh.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A New Story To Tell

A New Story To Tell
I'm a very busy girl. I am the wife of a minster to a small church which usually means that if the church is doing something we are heading it up. I am a home schooler which means I have lessons to plan, school outings to attend and teaching to do. I am mom to two children involved in 4-H & Boy Scouts which means there are meetings to attend, projects to complete and badges to be sewn. I am a babysitter which means there are snacks to be given, wills to be battled and love to be given (often through gritted teeth). I am the church fellowship ministry leader, Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school teacher, children's church director/teacher, Home Extension secretary/treasurer and the sole driver in the household. I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend.

So often, I look at this list and at my very full calendar and think to myself that I am really doing a lot. Poor, little, under-appreciated Michelle. Shouldn't there be a day where everyone just stops what they're doing and applauds my noble efforts? Hmm, maybe not...

I came across this blog today Wow! I was taken for a loop. I feel humbled and ashamed. I'm sure she's not perfect or infallible but she does what she does for Christ. She sheds real tears for those around her and then takes action to help. She is probably much busier than I'll ever be. She has given all and continues to look for ways to give. I admire this young woman, but I sincerely doubt that she wants or needs my admiration.

So, am I ready to jump on the next flight to Uganda? Probably not. That is the way God is using her life for the Kingdom. Do her gifts and sacrifices make mine any less important? No. So what is the lesson to be learned here?

The first is this...
I need to come down from my self-constructed pedestal where I worship my time and my efforts and me, me, me. Christ needs to be on the throne in my heart and all I do should be for him and him alone.
Col. 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

The second is this...
I am very busy and do a lot, but so much of that is just busy work because I do not do it out of love. It's true that some people are very hard to love. We all are! But, I am called to love. I am not called to keep busy and have resentment and anger in my heart.
1 Cor. 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

So, this is my prayer; to be used by Christ for Christ and to do it all in love.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Okay, so I've become a bit of a complainer. Snow - blah. Car issues - blah. Interruptions - blah. Sewer issues - blah. Blah, blah, blah. I really don't like being like this. I used to be such a sunny, silver-lining-seeker of a girl. So, instead of sitting around complaining about the fact that I'm complaining, I thought I'd take steps to change. In my opinion, the best way to stop griping about what's wrong is to focus on what's right. Here's an idea that I'm swiping from a facebook friend of mine, Julie Swaim. (

Ten Things Tuesday

What I'm thankful for today...

1. Our kitties lost their social standing and their front claws and are recovering nicely. As an added bonus, the bill was considerably less than we thought it would be.

2. I recently discovered we are not behind in school as I once feared. At the pace we're on, we could be done by mid-May.

3. We had a houseful of people on Sunday! This is something I have been missing for a while now. I hope it's the start of a trend.

4. I've recently started to see glimpses of the kind, tender hearts I thought my children had lost.

5. My house is company ready and it's been that way since Saturday! If you rang my doorbell right now, I would let you come all the way in.

6. There is someone voluntarily and unexpectedly clearing the snow out of my driveway as I type! He's now finished and is moving on to bless someone else. I love to see the generosity and kindness of others.

7. My car is in the shop and will hopefully run much smoother and quieter when I pick it up later this week.

8. I think I know what I want to be when I grow up - a nurse. I will finally be going to college when Rob is done. I'm excited about it and a little fearful.

9. Someone offered to give us a piano. We have a space ready. Now I just need good weather, some burly men and a truck to get it over here. Then Megan can practice every day and we will not miss lessons because of my forgetfulness.

10. LOST is on tonight!!!