Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Checking in!

Hi everyone! It has been a busy month, sorry I haven't been around much. I think of you often and I have been busy! I am taking an online art class and I am working around the house painting, refinishing furniture and sewing!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Memory Monday

Happy Monday Friends! I couldn't decide which one I liked better, so I have the same verse written two different ways. Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Whole Truth

All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I am a Bible Study nerd! I confess that I love sitting down and reading the Word, searching for new ideas or thoughts. I look forward to learning something new each day.

When preparing to study, there are a few things I must have:
- my Bible (of course)
- reading glasses for the small type
- my journal
- a cup of coffee
- my little black bag, which includes hi-liters, pencils, a few different pens and post-it notes

I always thought I was thoroughly prepared for my study time.

My study right now is The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision in the US. It is a life-changing book. It is really challenging my view of the world and the way I live.

One of the things Stearns mentions is taking scissors and cutting out all of the parts of the Bible that we don't believe or choose to ignore. Our Bible would then be full of holes! This is an echo for me. My Dad has talked about using a Sharpie to cross out all of the Scripture that we don't really believe.

all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. -Psalm 139:16b

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you -Isaiah 43:4a

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:14

We have a decision to make. We can believe God and His Word as the Whole Truth or we can treat the Bible like a buffet; picking and choosing what to believe and what to ignore.

I am trusting God on this... He is much smarter than me!

So, this morning I added a Sharpie to my little black bag, just as a reminder.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Milk Messages from God

So many times, we have said to our kids "the effort you put in, is what you get out". Whether it is sports, homework or friendships, our effort in, equals the value gained. I knew the kids weren't "getting it." So one night, I prayed and asked for wisdom.

The next morning, before breakfast, I wrote Effort on the side of our milk carton. As we sat down to our cereal, I asked the kids, "what is effort?" They both responded and we came up with an acceptable definition. I showed the kids that for the morning, our milk would represent our effort. I poured a splash of "effort" into each cup. The kids glared at me... quite upset with their lack of milk. "I only put a little effort in," I said. "When you only put a little in, you only get a little out." Then, I asked them to think about something they had to do that day.
Little Miss responded, "I have a fact quiz."
"How hard are you going to try?" I asked.
"I'm going to try like always," she decided. So, I filled her cup half-way with milk.

Mr. D said, "I have music today."
"And are you going to be a good listener and sing your best?"
"Not really," he said laughing. I gave him another little splash of milk. He wasn't happy with me.
"If you aren't going to try, you aren't going to get anything out of music today. You only get out, as much as you put in" I added, trying to help him understand. "What else do you have?" I asked him.
"I have hockey practice and I am going to try super-duper hard!" he said, grinning. I filled his cup to the point that the milk almost spilled over. The kids were both shocked by the almost overflowing cup, but they got the message.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you -James 1:5

What are you trying to teach your kids today? Ask God for wisdom. He created your kids, He knows exactly what they need to hear and how to reach them best.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dirty Windows

I lingered at the breakfast table this morning, enjoying my coffee and the rare Michigan sun. I listened to the chatter of Mr. D and Little Miss, as they anticipated the day ahead.

I broke into their conversation, "You two need to stop drawing on my windows!"

That rare sun I had previously been enjoying, caught and magnified the artwork made by food-covered fingers. Before my negative thoughts could whisk me away to that solitary island where my work is never appreciated, God whispered, "those fingerprints will be gone soon."

I stopped. Oh Lord, You are right. My sweet children are growing up before me. The preschool toys are slowly making their way to new homes and the days of full-day school are in sight. It won't be long before they stop asking me to play with them or read to them. Too soon they will want to spend their time talking with friends instead of me. It is ok, I know that is part of the process, but God, help me appreciate this time and this moment.

"I guess it doesn't bother me that much" I said, "I like your drawings, no matter where they are." Mr. D replied, "Mom, even when I'm 18, I will still draw on your windows." I laughed, I won't let it bother me... at least for today.


Friday, February 3, 2012

My to do list won't let me sleep!

I looked at the clock, the bright red numbers glared back at me through the darkness... 4:35. I had been awake for hours tossing and turning, never finding rest. I could not shut off the voices, the worry, in my head. "Please God", I prayed, "let me sleep."
As I have mentioned before, I tend to seek perfection from myself. I want to please everyone. I want everything right. There seem to be so many tasks calling for my attention right now. So many things unfinished. Rather than picking one and getting to work, I find myself paralyzed. "If I can't do it right {perfect} I'm not going to start it."
I know this is not healthy thinking. I know I need to do the tasks God has given me and not worry about others opinions. After all, I am only trying to please Him, not myself, my husband, my kids or my friends.

And then, His Word comes to me and speaks softly, reminding me. 

Photo by Danilo Rizzuti
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30
Father, help me, teach me your way. I have been trying to do things on my own again and I am not doing very well. Please give me discernment to recognize the tasks you have asked me to do and the burdens I have placed on myself. I am weary. I need you. Jesus, give me rest from my striving, Amen. 


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Memory Verse

It's not Monday, but here is a new memory verse for you... Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

81. the smell of turkey dinner
82. a friend who sends a prayer through email
83. memories of past Christmases
84. a house full of laughter
85. the soft glow of Christmas lights
86. fresh snow
87. coffee with a dear friend
88. family party at the Rec center
89. cozy couch time
90. squirrels playing tag
91. picture perfect sunsets
92. a full golden moon
93. death is not final
94. thoughtful gifts
95. new dreams... what is next?
96. massage!
97. quiet dinner with my husband
98. Parents who want to see my kids
99. new Bible
100. the smell of home 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

61. Trying new things- glass blowing
62. stretching in faith
63. stepping out on faith
64. trusting God completely
65. working together to clean house
66. Protection for D&D
67. the ability to create
68. knock knock jokes
69. family time around a campfire
70. kids making up "shows"
71. learning new words
72. God speaking through friends
73. lazy movie days
74. dedicated teachers
75. not because of what I've done, but because of who you are
76. I am yours
77. quality time with friends
78. baking with the kids
79. Mr. D's b-day party with family
80. babysitters worth their weight in gold

Please leave a comment and let me know what you are thankful for today.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

I am pleased to introduce another of my She Speaks sisters. Kimberly Rae is an encourager! She is always quick to respond with prayer, optimism or Scripture. She has a big heart and I hope you enjoy her responses as much as I did.

Mama Always said…
 1. What is your life verse? What does it mean to you?

Zephaniah 3:17  This verse changed the way I saw God.  I used to worry all the time that I was disappointing Him, but when I read this verse, especially the part about Him singing over me, I finally really recognized His beautiful, unconditional love.  Mothers sing over their babies as they rock them to sleep—those babies that have done nothing for the mother as of yet, those babies that are loved beyond all reason simply because they belong to that mother.  God loves me like that.

2. I realized I was my mother when...
I think it was the first time I felt a baby moving inside me.  It was such a light touch, like butterfly wings, but every time I felt it, it reminded me that my life was changing forever.

3. I know now, but I wish I knew then...
That my worth isn’t based on what or how much I do.  I don’t need to prove myself all the time—in fact, everybody is better off when I stop stressing myself out doing too much, and instead rest in the Lord enough to be content and at peace.  My whole family benefits when I stop trying to prove myself and let some things go.

4. What is one thing you do just for you to relax and refresh?
I write.  Maybe years down the road that will feel like work, but for now, being a stay-at-home mom, getting away for an evening to write is a real break for me!

5. By now, I thought I would...
Be thriving on the mission field, involving my kids in our work, having a biography-worthy life in ministry.  Instead, I have chronic health problems, am a stay-at-home mom (and writer on the side) in the US, and I’m going to Emory next week to talk with a neurosurgeon about brain surgery.  Not what I’d expected, that’s for sure!

6. In the midst of the chaos a special trick that helps me cope...
Getting outside somewhere where all I can see in every direction is God’s beauty (nothing man-made).  It’s a visual way of getting myself back into God’s perspective and timing, not the rush and harshness of man’s world.

7. If I could go back for one day...
I’d go back to Bangladesh, find my friend who lived on the side of the road with her baby girl (I found out later the woman was a prostitute) and, knowing now that I’d never see her again, I would give her the Gospel in her language so she could read about God’s love for her.

8. The best advice I ever received about being a Mom...
I am responsible for training my kids for adulthood and for eternity.  That certainly puts things in perspective!  I’m not just training and disciplining them to keep my household controlled today—there is much more at stake here.

9. Don't worry about...
Anything!  The God of the universe loves you so much He knows how many hairs you have on your head.  If He keeps track of a detail as tiny and insignificant as that, we don’t need to worry about any small or big thing in our lives!!!

10. A perfect day for me...
Oh, wow, what a question!  I have to admit what comes to mind would be waking up after brain surgery and finding out that the health problems I’ve had for the past 15 years are over, that I’ll be able to go hiking in the mountains again. And hey, since we’re dreaming, I’d add a nice long backrub from my husband, dinner out to a great restaurant, and those last 8 pounds I’m trying to lose magically falling off me without effort!

The spiritual side of me says a perfect day would be finding out that our Muslim friends around the world turned to Jesus for salvation.  That would top being healthy, or skinny, any day.

Kimberly Rae has lived in several countries overseas.  She has been published over 100 times, has rafted the Nile River, and has eaten cow brains just to say she’d done it!  Her first novel, Stolen Woman, about international human trafficking and missions, was released this summer. Find out more at or visit Kimberly’s blog at


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I dumped my resolution!

Photo by Stoonn

I don't make New Year resolutions. There are many reasons... I never know how to pinpoint the change I want to make. I get overwhelmed by the vast possibilities. I'm not sure how to go about the changes. I have trouble following through on them and then I feel disappointed with myself for failing. Many years ago, I decided that avoiding resolutions altogether was the best option for me.

Last year, however, I heard about an alternative to the traditional resolution. It is called My One Word. This organization encourages focusing on one word rather than a list.

I like it! I think I could actually follow through with one word.

So after praying about it, "Love" became my one word for 2012.

At first, I felt like this was a rather simple word. The more I thought about it, however, the more complex it became in my mind. I really feel that God is leading me to love people the way that He loves them. To look at others beyond what is seen or first appears and to look deeper.

God reminded me of this verse A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)

So I wondered, how do I go about this? It goes against my human nature to love others completely and unconditionally the way God does. I turned back to God's Word and our friend Paul for more direction.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)

This simple recipe for loving others is something I can do. Not through my own strength, but with God's help. I know I will have good days and bad. But I also know I will become more like my Father through this year and that is my ultimate goal, even beyond 2012.

I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment. What are you hoping to do in 2012?  Share your resolutions or perhaps your word...


Monday, January 9, 2012

Marvelous Memory Monday

Hello Friends!

Happy Monday, I can't believe it has been a month since I posted. I have missed you, but I enjoyed focusing on my family and the holidays. I hope you were blessed!



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