Sunday, May 31, 2009


As I sat in church this morning there was red celebrate the day of Pentecost. It was beautiful too. There were red ribbons with doves all around the balcony, red tapestries on the tables and organ, a red bookmark in the huge Bible up front, 2 pots of red geraniums at the front of the church, and red banners hung.

I found myself FIRED UP! I don't know if it was because of the red. I don't know if it was because of the lesson in Sunday school. I don't know if it was because of the music. I don't know if it was the energy from the youth. I just know I was fired up!

As I noticed the red and how fired up I was, I began to think. "What comes to mind when I see red in a church?" Blood. Blood that was shed 2000 years ago for me. Innocent blood that cleansed an ugly spirit and has made me white. Blood from flogging, thorns, nails, spears, sweat, prayers, and tears.

Sacrificial blood that saves.

Acts 20:28
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Romans 5:9
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!

Hebrews 9:14
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Best Friends For Life!

Throughout my life, I have had a ton of "Best Friends"! Ok, maybe that sounds a little like I am tooting my own horn - not at all...really, we all have.

Can you name best friends from your childhood? High School? College? Adulthood?

As you start to think about these folks, I am sure that a smile comes to your face. And I know if you are anything like me, as you start to remember them lots of stories come to mind. Great memories with people that we have shared different parts of our life with.
In Captivating (if you have been following the blog, you knew I would mention this book!) the authors talk about God loving us in so many different ways. As a shepard, a friend, a parent, and even a lover - see Shannon's post.
I have started about 15 different posts throughout the day, none worked...I would have a great idea, or a scripture I wanted to use and then nothing would follow. I am reverting back to my children's ministry days and reminding us all of one of the basics. Jesus wants to be your best friend! He already has so many great memories of you and smiles when He thinks of your name. He can rattle off all of your favorite things and tell great stories about your friendship.
The best part is unlike many of our earthly best friends, He will never phase out of our lives. If we will let Him, God wants to be our best friend for life! Or if you are down with the lingo - Jesus is your BFF!
I know it seems a little elementary but it's a great reminder!
Eternal Best Friend,
I praise you for knowing everything about me and still loving me! Thank you for being with me for the long run, for thinking of me fondly - dare I say adoringly. You are an amazing God, whom I will choose to follow for all of my days. Teach me to be a friend like you. Amen

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Remembering Memorial Day...

So I realize that I'm a week late with this post. Sorry.....

I was wanting to reflect on Memorial Day and relate it back to reading Beth Moore's blog as she wrote about the National Day of Prayer! If you remember I wrote about that a week or so ago and it came back to me last weekend. Lots of times I think we usually think of Memorial Day weekend mostly as a time to get together with family and friends for a cook out. It is always exciting in the Wilson family because it is the beginning of the summer season at 'The Cottage'!!! This year we had lots to celebrate because we had two new babies since last summer ( one being my new granddaughter, Ava and a new great niece, Leila) and we can't forget, the new pier!

Anyways, as I read Beth's blog ( of Saturday, May 9th called 'Oh, What a Living Proof Ministry's) she talked about all the different celebrations she attended that day and many of the things that struck her about the speakers or people she met, or traveled with and how awesome it was to be in prayer with all those people no matter what their political affiliation or agenda was any other day. That their faith was the same and all believed in the power of prayer and they were all praying for our great country!! We all see and feel the struggle our country and people are in, some worse than others. Sometimes I think the only way we can make it and I believe have made it this far, is because there are many people bold enough to stand up and say they believe in God and pray to him.

I think one of the reasons Beth's words struck a cord with me was she spoke about Washington D.C., the Pentagon, etc and it reminded me of the trip I took as a chaperone when my youngest daughter, Alexis was in 8th grade. It was in October right after the attack on the world trade center on 9/11. Patriotism was very high and I was so impressed to see our government in action. It truly made you 'proud to be an american!'

I remember singing a song when I was a kidd and my kidds singing it some, too, about being in the Lord's army. And altho that sounded funnie to me sometime, being in an army for God, we really need to be!! As I thought of all this, I also thought about putting on the armor of God. I was thinking that pray was part of that armor but must not be. Either way, it does say in Ephesians 6:18 (after talking about putting on the armor of God...) "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for all the saints."

So as we begin the summer, celebrating Memorial Day with family time, let us remember the opportunity we have as Americans to pray for our country and also, to be in 'God's army' wherever that finds you in your every day life. Doing whatever God is calling you to do, having put on the armor of God each day, and being in prayer for our country and it's leaders, for our military people, for our local government, for our churches, families, and 'all the saints'.

Dear God, I praise you that you made a way by dieing on the cross for us, that we would be able to come to you in prayer, that you would be available to us 24/7 to listen to all our prayers. Help us to remember to rely on you in everything, to come to you, and seek your guidance. I also pray for our country and the many people that need our help. Show us what it is you would have us do. Help us to be your hands and feet.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Today I was also reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. I'm enjoying it just like Monica. There have been lots of parts that have really spoken to me, but today I was thinking on just how much God adores us. He does, by the way, if you aren't sure. He adores you. ADORE. That's a big word. I adore my daughter. She makes me smile ALL the time. She makes me laugh. There will never be anyone who can take her place. I adore my husband. I adore my friends. I even adore some good chocolate. :)

In Captivating, they mention that we often know and talk about that there is a space in our hearts that only God can fill. But it also brings up this point. Did you know that there is a space in God's heart that only you can fill?

You my friend, "are the one that overwhelms his heart with just 'one glance of your eyes' (Song 4:9b) You are the one he sings over with delight and logs to dance with across mountain tops and ballroom floors (Zeph 3:17) You are the one who takes his breath way by your beautiful heart that, against all odds, hopes in him. "

Are you reading this right? Our God who made every single thing in this universe. Who made the heavens and the earth loves you. He has a special place in his heart just for you. No one could ever replace you. You are adore-able in His eyes. I mess up, I forget, I am not worthy, but I am adored and there is no one that will ever take my place in His heart. I love that. I hope you do too.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Love For a Lifetime

Hello again!!! It's me, your friendly marriage counselor!! Just kidding. But I was thinking about making this a weekly post for awhile, anyway. Last week my post was about the vast differences between males and females, and how God uses those differences to make marriages great! This week, I would like to explore a bit about the actual covenant of marriage. That is what our Fireproof class studied this week, and it was really interesting.

What is a covenant? According to the dictionary, it is a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment. When a man and woman get married, they enter a covenant agreement with God. They make vows to honor, respect, love and care for each other in all circumstances. I would like to share with you an excerpt from our Fireproof your Marriage book:

"The vast majority of adults find someone to fill their need for a partner and companion- approximately 90% will eventually marry. Unfortunately, around half of all marriages end in divorce. Most perish from what is called 'irreconcilable differences' which is a catch-all phrase for 'it's just not working out anymore.' Other common explanations include 'I've fallen out of love' or 'We're just two different people now.' In reality, there are days in every relationship where there are irreconcilable differences. But God intended marriage to last a lifetime.. marriage is a covenant. In our culture, however, marriage is sometimes treated more like a 50/50 contract- spouses do their part IF they feel the other partner is doing his/her part."

There are two points that I really love in this:

1. Marriage is hard work. Do you enter into it lightly? Do you enter into it with God as the center of it? Do you view your marriage as a lifelong commitment or a if-it-works-then-great attitude? I believe that too many people get married without fully contemplating or understanding the commitment God intended when he made marriage a covenant.

2. God wants each person in a marriage to give 100% of who they are to their spouse, no strings attached. It should not be "Well, if he does this, then I get that." That can be so hard to do!! As humans, we feel a certain sense of equality is needed. We want things to be fair, darn it!! But God does not view marriage this way. He wants us to fully, unconditionally love our spouse, even if we feel we are not being loved the same way.

Now, I am not going to delve topic of divorce and when God says it's okay and when it is not. (Not in this post anyway!) But overall, I believe that there are so many unnecessary divorces in our world today that could have been avoided if God was the center of the marriage.

I would like to end with a passage from Ecclesiastes dealing with vows.

"When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it". (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5)

If you are married, take a few moments to think about the vows you made to your spouse. I have included some common ones below. Rate how well you feel you have kept each vow in your marriage. ( These also came from the Fireproof book.)

*To have and to hold (how well have you bonded and held to your spouse?)

*For better and for worse (how stable is your treatment of your husband, regardless of circumstances?)

*For richer or poorer (how well does your marriage stand up to financial pressures?)

*In sickness and in health (is your marriage affected by health struggles?)

* To love and to cherish (do you show your spouse unconditional love?)

*I pledge my faithfulness (are you faithful to your spouse?)

I would love to hear what you think about this topic. If you feel comfortable, please leave a comment about how your marriage has or has not held up to the vows you took. In my marriage, the hardest vow for me to uphold is "the better and worse". How often do I treat my husband differently (harshly) because of the tough times we are going through? because of the little things he does that annoy me? Does my snapping at him about not listening to me help our marriage? NOPE!!!! These vows are reminders of how God wants our marriage to look.

Dear Father God, help me to love my husband unconditionally, just as you love me, despite my innumerable faults. Pour your holy love into my heart so it overflows to those around me, most importantly my spouse.

Psalm 139

I just wanted to share this Psalm. I have been studying and memorizing it for about 5 months. It is an awesome reminder of who and whose we are. Enjoy! (The bold, italicized part is my favorite!)

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Come Up For Air...

I am reading this great book now called Captivating by John and Stasi Elridge. It is about every women's heartfelt desires to connect relationally; and how God has those same desires. I am sure I will write more on this book because I have really connected to it. In the mean time here are some pieces I want to share with you --- and you should run out now and get yourself a copy!

"We know we are not all that we long to be, all that God longs for us to be, but instead of coming up for grace-filled air and asking God what he things of us, shame keeps us pinned down and gasping, believing that we deserve to suffocate."

"Women are beautiful, every single one of us. It is one of the glorious ways that we bear the image of God. But few of us believe we are beautiful , and fewer still are comfortable with it."

I know I am just a little late and maybe a little short, but I hope you will take this chance to come up for some air and ask God what He sees in you and what He wants for you today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Do you like to paint pottery?
Do you like to snack and chat?
Do you love to fellowship with other women?
If you answered yes to any or all of these --- we have the perfect plan for you!

Let your creative juices flow!

“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father
We are the clay, you are the potter;
We are all the work of your hand.”
Isaiah 64:8

You are invited to a night of creativity and conversation.

When: June 2, 2009 6-9 PM
Where: Creative Fish, Syracuse, IN
What: You can choose any of the pottery to design and paint.
We’ll provide a light dinner and drinks.
Cost: $5.00 (due when registering)
Please note that cost of pottery is not included.

If you would like information to register please contact Shannon at Registration must be complete by May 31st!

Hosted by: God Loving Ordinary Women Ministries (GLOW)-the ministry that brings you Beth Moore Bible Studies and the Loving Well Retreat and this blog!
We hope to see you at the Fish!

Monday, May 18, 2009

He Said She Said

Jason and I are participating in the Fireproof Sunday School class at our church. For those of you who are not familiar with the movie Fireproof, it portrays a couple on the brink of divorce. The main character accepts an offer from his father to try The Love Dare, a book that urges the spouse to shower his wife with unconditional love. I have not watched the movie yet (it is sitting on top of my DVD player waiting for a night that we both have free), but I hear that it is a very touching portrayal of what can happen when you make God the center of your marriage.

Our first week of discussion was titled "He Said, She Said". I know that not all of you readers are married, but I think that this discussion can apply to any male in your life ... father, brother, friend, boyfriend. It basically touches on the fact that God created us male and female for a reason, and we need to appreciate and nurture these God-designed differences.

For example, throughout our discussion it became clear that men and women need different things in a marriage. Primarily, women want to feel loved. For some women, this means they crave compliments from their spouse. Others just want to feel like their husbands are listening to them. Others brought up feeling understood and appreciated in their roles as wives and mothers. Men, on the other hand, want to feel respected by their mates. They long to feel useful and needed. They want their wives to acknowledge what they do for their families.

Undoubtedly, men and women are two very different creations! But God created us to complement each other. Our strengths as women are often weaknesses in our spouses, and vice versa. God knew exactly what he was doing when He created men to be task-driven and women to be more emotional creatures. We work well together..... if we let God be the center of our unity.

As women, I think we sometimes forget that our husbands need our words of support just as much as we need them to listen to us. I challenge you (and myself) this week to find a small way to build your spouse up... whether it is a note or a quick word of encouragement or thanks. Pray for your spouse. It is amazing how much little gestures can make a big difference in your marriage. (just a side note, I have to tell you I left Jason a sticky note on the treadmill telling him how proud I am of him for getting up to exercise. He hugged me and thanked me for the note which is still sticking on the outside of his Bible.) I am going to make an effort to appreciate him for who he is, not complain about what he isn't.

I would love to hear about the results you have with your spouse.... how did he respond to your little gestures of love?

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Ephesians 4:29,32

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why So Negative?

What a week! (sigh) Have you ever finished a week and just taken a deep, exhausted, pleased-that-you-made-it, breath? I

Being a teacher is no easy task, let alone in the last days of school. Monday I was ready to count up my sick days to see if I had 17 that I could take to close out the school year. I have tried and tried and TRIED, but I can't think of one good thing that happened at school on Monday. (I know it was 6 days ago, but I have been trying since Monday night!) My day was spent correcting behavior, being told "Miss C., I think you hate me!" by 3 students, chasing late work, dealing with other teachers that had to repremand my students, and talking with a parent.

I left school feeling totally defeated and not looking forward to Tuesday. My thoughts were flooded with, "this was only Monday! What if they are worse tomorrow? What if we don't get everything done? I am going to shut K and C up as soon as they walk in tomorrow. I know that there will be more late work. Why can't they get stuff done? The 6th grade teachers are going to talk bad about Miss C.'s students next year."

Negativity. It is such a crappy thing. I was totally ready for the week to get worse and to seriously take a personal day to get away from it.

Tuesday was better at school (as was the rest of the week). Thank you Jesus!!!! However, I had some personal stuff to deal with. I need to go to the doctor to get some things figured out. So I immediately got the negative thoughts going again. "I must have some serious physical problem. He's just going to tell me to lose weight...again. What if there is something majorly wrong with me and ...." Immediate negative thoughts.

So, why so negative? Well, I will tell you. Satan knows exactly where to attack me: 1. my job 2. my self-image. And I actually listened. I was out of tune with Jesus this week. I can honestly say that I didn't open my Bible once, NOT ONCE, until today. I didn't really even pray this week, I mean really converse with God, until today. I didn't step back from me until today.

Guess what? I am learning. I am learning that I NEED Jesus every day. I need to be addicted to HIM, so much that it pains me to go without. He reminded me of this today as I was reading. I can't make it through life without him, so why try.

Precious Jesus, I want to NEED you all the time. I want to be in pain without you. I want you to be first in my day, every day. Thank you for reminding me of this today. Thank you for the time to just hang out with you and talk and experience the love and grace you give. Thank you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

Ever since I was a little kid, I've heard people say, "Practice makes perfect." This can apply to lots of areas in our lives. I can remember my dad saying it to me about basketball (although I never even got good at that, let alone perfect). Various directors said it to me about musicals. I have sometimes thought of it about my own cooking. :) I definitely tell myself that multiple times in regards to my new job. But I wonder tonight, have I ever thought about it in reference to my faith.

As Christians, we need to get our practice in too. Our game is a spiritual one with much higher stakes - in fact, the Bible often refers to it as a spiritual war. This game of life is indeed the ultimate game and the ultimate gig so we should practice even more fervently for it. In Hebrews it says, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25 NIV) For some christians this is attending church, personal or group bible study, sunday school, small groups, church choir practice, worship band practice, or a combination of these. Regardless of the name, we all need to make sure we are practicing because we are all in the game and "practice makes perfect".

I am encouraging you tonight to practice, I pray that you will find time this weekend to talk with our Heavenly Coach! I know that I intend on a practice, so I am always ready to play!
This week I've been thinking about children quite abit - partly because it was Mother's Day, (I got the cutest Granma Mother's Day card from my granddaughter!! It made me cry!!) partly because I'd been reading on a couple blogs about a few gals that had gone to India with Compassion International (these really made me cry) , partly because of the last few postings on our blog, and because of a few things I'm working on myself.

Kristi had concern about her children and as women, many of us mothers, we probably have been there ourselves worrying about our own children or others we come in contact with. We are so lucky to have a God who in the business of loving children - ALL children!! Let me tell you I have hung on to God's promises for my children many times over the years and still do even tho they are grown. What do people do that don't have God to lean on or pray to about their children?

I was visiting my mom last Sunday (the mother of 8 children, with 19 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild!!!) and had given her a little devotional book which I had written in the front cover. It made me cry as she read it, when I wrote it and I'm even getting teary eyed now as I remember. (boy, do I cry alot!!) I had thanked her for teaching me by example, to teach my children the importance of having faith in God. She even said then that she wondered if she could have done more or should have done some things different to do a better job. I know she did her best and I tried to do my best as we all do, all the while depending on God to take what we do and use that to work His plan!! (Jeremiah 29:11)

We have to remember that God also has a plan for our lives. We are one of God's children. No matter where you are in your life - a student, a young adult just starting out in the working world and living on your own, a young mother with young children, an older mother with older children, an empty nester, a granma of one or of many, some of us work full time out of the home as well as in the home, some work part time... God meets you where you are. He can help you to be the best you can be at whatever it is you do and do it with the right attitude. He has this unbelievable love that can help you to conquer anything. You can rely on that love, it can fill you up so that you can be used by God - so that all we do is for God. We do whatever so much better because we are doing it for God even our everyday things.

I heard Beth Moore say in her Loving Well study that God is like a well that we need to draw from every day. (hense the importance of daily Bible study and spending time with God!) We need to dip into that well to be filled up with His love so that we can pour it out, maybe it will even spill out because we are so full of His love. This love can help us to do things we don't think we ever could or to do the very mundane or thankless things with the best of attitudes. It can help us to love all of His children, the lovely, the testy, the stranger, and even, our foes.

He calls us to do all of this because we love Him and want to serve Him. That love will help us!! So wherever you find yourself, remember to dip into God's loving well each day so that you can depend on and share God's love.

Ephesians 3:16-21 " I pray that out of His glorius riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Checking in!

ok... So here I am checking in... and I promised honesty. Here you go :)

Yes, I did better at being intentional about spending time with my Savior this week. But better is NOT good enough. Wow guys.. why are we so hard headed? Why does it take us (ME!) so long to get things figured out. Here is what I learned this week
  • The time while my baby is crawling around is not the time to crack open my Bible
  • The time when she's napping isn't either. I either need to clean, work on projects, or I want to get online! (is this the part where I should just walk away from the computer.. she's napping now!?!)
  • The time at night when all I want to do is crawl in bed is not the time for me. It's too tempting to just drift off..

So that leaves me with the crack of dawn.... I have between 6 and 6:30 (on a good day) when I am not called into mommy-land. That's going to be my golden time. I can do it. I NEED to do it. On a walk with Kristi this week I told her to ask me if I'm getting up to do it. I have 1 good day under my belt. That is certainly not great, but it's a start. I'll be up tomorrow A.M with a hot cup of tea and my Bible, seeing what God has to show me.

Being intentional has given me more of those.. spur of the moment prayers and times when I stop and reflect and talk to God. I do like that. Here are a few verses that I did read that encouraged me this week.

"My mighty God, in your hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind" Job 12:10

"You my God, open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing" Ps 145:16

The earth is Yours, O Lord, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. (Ps. 24:1)


Ok friends, keep asking me! I want some loving accountability! I want to say in weeks, months, years from now that I GREW in my faith in my gracious, loving , good, powerful, Savior!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just one more perspective.....

I had an entirely different post planned for today. However, after reading Monica's post and Dina's post based on Jeremiah 29:11, I got to thinking about how that verse really applies to my life now in regards to my children.

How often do I believe God when He says that He has plans for my children? Good plans. Great plans for them. Plans to bring HIM glory in the process of what has occurred and will occur in their lives. Do I trust Him with the lives of my kids? Do I hand them over to God? Or do I think I can control their destinies? I think I do the latter more often.

For example, right now I am "worried" about the following: How are they doing in school? Do they have friends? Are they good friends? Do they get along with others? Are they in too many activities? Do I push them too much? Do I not push them enough? Have I taught them to love Jesus? Am I a good example for them? Do I let them watch too much t.v.? Am I too strict? Am I overprotective? Am I not protective enough? Am I consistent in my enforcement of house rules? Do I treat them equally? Is public school the right means of education for them? Why don't they appreciate what they have? How can I change that? Are they spoiled brats? Will they grow up to be lazy? Will they grow up to do drugs? What if I am a grandma too soon? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

Okay, can any of you relate to this? The list could go on and on. So, after reading Jeremiah 29:11 again, I inserted my children's names into the verse.

"For I know the plans I have for Alex, plans to prosper Alex and not to harm Alex, plans to give Alex a hope and a future."

God knows His plans for my children. It will not be all happy times--there will be struggles. But they will be struggles with a purpose behind them. I get that. It's not always easy to totally surrender to God's will for my children, but it makes sense. He is the I AM. He knows for sure, without a doubt, not only what will happen in my children's lives, but also the reason for it.

But if you read on in Jeremiah 29:12, a very crucial point is made in actually taking that step in giving your children's lives over to God.

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."

Instead of worrying about these issues, I need to call upon God. I need to go to Him in prayer, often, for my children. Instead of giving in to my "mommy fears", I should go to my Father with my petitions and lay them at His feet. He will listen and He will answer (maybe not in the way I want, or maybe no answer will be his answer for now).

One of my favorite parenting books is by Carol Kuykendall, who is director of communications for MOPS. It is called Loving and Letting Go.

I want to end this post with an excerpt from the book. This list really helps me pray for my children.

I would love to hear from all of you reading-- How do you let go of your "Mommy fears"?

A Prayer for Our Children

I pray that they will know Jesus.
I pray that they will learn to love others with kindness and compassion.
I pray they will know the difference between right and wrong and will pursue what is right.
I pray they will develop self-control and discipline.
I pray that they will respect authority.
I pray they will desire the right kinds of friends.
I pray they will resist temptation and hold fast to the truth.
I pray they will find joy in the right mate and be saved in purity for that person.
I pray that they will be filled with God's hope.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What's Wrong with Me?

Tuesday night was bad for me. Tuesday night I hit rock bottom. I cried and cried for almost 2 hours straight. I mean the crying where you can't breathe, can't see, can't stop weeping. I found myself feeling helpless, hopeless, doubtful, fearful, frustrated, alone, and tired.

And then the nagging question pops into my head, "What's wrong with me?"

The question wasn't just in regards to the crying. It was also due to struggling with losing weight - why can't I? Why am I still single? Why do people not "notice" me? What's wrong with me?

I seem to be a fairly confident, happy person. Truth be told..I really (I mean REALLY) struggle to like myself. This always comes as a shock to those who know me, but it is true. It isn't something I am proud of, but it is a huge part of me.

I went to bed Tuesday night, cried myself to sleep, got up Wednesday, and the question still lingered. I had emailed 2 close friends just to be in prayer for me.

Wednesday, God spoke to me! He answered my questions ("What's wrong with me?") Here is what he said: "'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) It was on the coffee mug that I used Wednesday morning - given to me by a dear friend. What's wrong with me is that I have not been resting in these words. I have not been trusting that God is in control, he knows my heart, he knows my desires, and he has my best.

Sure I have some stuff to work through, wrestle with, turn over to Jesus - WHO DOESN'T! But in answer to the question, "What's wrong with me?" - I am too quick to focus on ME and not focus on God.

I realize that Monica also had this verse in her post. Amazing how one verse can speak differently. Please share if you have a scripture that speaks to you...I always love hearing.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Who doesn't love a surprise?!

I know that they are one of my favorite things!
**My family, friends, and boyfriend (Mike) surprised me for my 25th birthday.

**Mike also surprised me with tickets to the Reba and Kelly Clarkson concert last fall.

**My parents and friends threw me a surprise party when I was leaving my position at church.

But do you know what I love more than getting surprised? It's giving surprises!

I love the feeling of knowing that a person will be anxious, excited and then so happy because of the surprise that I have planned. I like spending time thinking about what that special someone will love! Thinking about their likes and dislikes, and even trying to anticipate what they will enjoy. When I do this, for the most part, I think of nothing except that person....and after it is all planned, I am bursting to tell someone, anyone (even sometimes the suprisee) about my plans.

I think this is what God was experiencing when he spoke the words in Jeremiah 29:11:

"'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.'"

This is one of my favorite parts of scripture but it wasn't until this week that I thought of it with such excitement. Before I thought it was just a promise, that God would be good to me! Which is amazing but now I think of this promise with much more of an edge. God probably gets so much more excited when He is about to reveal a surprise to me, He watches and waits for His plan to fall into place so that He can see me experiencing all of the blessings He knows are coming my way!

Now I know that each new day is a blessing. I just wish that I could start each day with this excitement. I know that He approaches each new day with excitement for me.

Heavenly Father - I praise you for the simple blessings of each new day. I thank you for thinking of me throughout each breath of my life and even long before that. I am in awe of the consistency you have in supplying me with what I need. I want all the surprises that you have in store for me. I am recognizing in this moment that nothing comes as a surprise to you, what an awesome God you are! I love you! And I thank you and praise you for loving me first! Ahmen

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I heard on the radio on my way to school today that it was the National Day of Prayer. I was thinking that was the day that the older kids would stand around the flagpole first thing in the morning to pray. It makes me think about all the people that will be praying on this particular day which gives me such a good feeling and brings a smile to my face! Then I think, surely they don't pray just on this one day...or I hope not!

I looked up on the website for the Day of Prayer and was excited to see that Beth Moore was the honorary chairman. (I just love Beth Moore but then that's another whole posting in itself!) It said they've been organizing a Day of Prayer since 1952 and that this year's theme was "Prayer...America's Hope" taken from Psalm 33:22 where it says "May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." I pray that our country can put its hope in God!! I believe God will continue to bless America if we will continue to pray!!

I'm a firm believer in prayer. I read an article recently where the author said she thought she was a failure at prayer and I think many times we think that about our own prayers, wondering if we do it 'right'? I feel like I stumble over my words sometimes when I pray especially when I pray out loud in a group setting. I figure someone else could do a much better job. I feel like many of my prayers are for the things 'I need.' Many times I've got it all figured out for God ahead of time - just in case He needs some ideas!? I was talking with a few friends about something we would be praying about and we laughed about the fact that we sometimes tried to help God and didn't know why He didn't do things our way. One said she wondered 'what we would do if we got everything we prayed for' and the other said 'what if we got what we deserved?'

I'm reminded so often that God knows more of what I need and if I would just let him take over, my life would be so much better. We need to remember that God knows and sees the whole picture of which we can only see part. He loves us sooo much and wants only the best for us. God knows what is in our hearts, even before we pray. As Paul writes about prayer in Romans 8:26-27 saying "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." I think we need to just pour out our heart to God in all and any circumstances as praise! He will hear us and know what we mean!

Dear God, Help us to not be so concerned about what we say in our prayers but to continue to share our thoughts and prayers with you knowing you will hear us and give us what we truly need. Amen.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I need some help

Seriously. I do. Just when I think I'm getting it all together I realize that I'm missing something. Lately I've been doing great at keeping up with the house stuff. I'm on top of things for my church commitments. Laundry is caught up. I'm eating right, even exercising almost every day! That all sounds great right? Great job Shan! (patting myself on the back)

Of course I'm leaving out a major MAJOR part... where is my time with God? Where is my foundation coming from? From the quick thrown up prayers thanking him for the day, my family, or asking for prayer for someone? Is it in the conversations I have with girlfriends about our Creator and how gracious He is? Is it in the prayers I have taped around my house. Sadly, no.

I know all the right things to say girlfriends. I know that I need to have time in HIS word. I even wrote about it last week. I know that I feel better spiritually, physically, and emotionally when I spend time with Jesus every day. So now I just need to do the same thing I have been doing with my eating and exercising- Make a commitment to daily quality time with my Father.

This is what I have to come to face. Daily time with him will mean less of something else. Less... me time. And what that basically means is less online time. I spend WAY too much time on here. I learn a lot. I LOVE reading things and finding out deals, news things, or just what's going on in others lives. But something has to give.

So... I'm going to ask for some accountability here. By that I mean next week I will blog and tell you how I did. I will be honest. Maybe I'll even learn something to share with you. Here's my question though... How do you do it? I'm not talking about reading Christian blogs, listening to Christian music, or even talking to friends about Christ. I'm asking how do you get your personal one on one time with your Creator? What is your strategy for getting into the Word? I'd love any thoughts or ideas! And please shoot up one of those quickie prayers for me that I can be disciplined to remain in Him! THANKS ladies!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Before You Finish the Race

The apostle Paul loved to compare the Christian life to a race. Here are a few examples from Scripture:

Acts 20:24 "I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me"

1 Corinthians 9:24 -25 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."

I love this analogy of how just like a runner concentrates on the finish line, we as Christians should concentrate on Jesus. He is our finish line. At the end of our lives here on earth, we will get to stand in awe of His glory. What an awesome prize!!!

I want to go beyond the finish line, though. I want to focus on the race itself today, and this is why:

I had an opportunity this weekend to walk/run in the Indy500 mini marathon. It was an awesome experience that I will never forget. Close to 40, ooo people lined up to compete in this race. Thousands of volunteers and loved ones lined the streets to cheer participants on and hand out drinks. The spirit that surrounded the event was intoxicating. Even though my mind was clearly set on the finish line, I couldn't help but get caught up the excitement around me. I set out to walk in the race, but actually ended up running some of it because I was inspired by the other runners.

Also, I had forgotten my ipod, and thought I might get bored along the way. I need my David Crowder Band to get me through the thirteen miles! To my surprise, however, the participants around me and the people on the street were my source of strength and perserverance.

For example, I saw an elderly man and his wife walking, holding hands. He was hunched over, barely moving his feet. Yet, I heard several runners go by with an encouraging word to them. One woman said, "I am proud of you." I also saw a young woman in tears, about to give up. Her friend grabbed her by the arm and said to her, "You can do this! Only a few more miles left. Let's do it together." Strangers along the way cheered and clapped and rang cow bells, yelling our names, "Kristi, you are doing a great job! Keep going!" (Our names were on our bibs.) Little kids held their hands out to be high-fived.

I loved looking around me and seeing people encouraging each other. If I had worn my ipod and focused just on finishing the race, I would have missed out on this part of the experience. I think my race as as a follower of Jesus is similar. Christ wants us to see the people around us during our race. He wants us to focus on the finish line, but also reach out and support one another as we go.

Also, if we are excited about Christ, people we see every day will be more likely to want what we have, and may start running the race too!

Christ definitely wants us to focus on Him as the prize for fighting the good fight, but He also wants us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and share that part of Him with others along the way. One of my favorite Scriptures is in Hebrews. I have it on a post it note in the bathroom (okay, don't laugh..... it's a place you visit often, right?)

"Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.... let us encourage one another" (Hebrews 10:24-25)

In your race, don't forget to look around you. Some days you may be inspired by other believers, and other days, you may be the one doing the encouraging.

How can you spur on someone today?

Father God, you are the beginning and the end of our race. We thank you for placing people in our lives to encourage us. Please help us to open our eyes to those who need our encouragement today.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I started something new today...Sunday School Teacher! Our church just started The Academy (aka Sunday School) and I get to teach the jr/sr high youth class. It was awesome today! For those of you that don't know, I was the youth leader at my previous church. I felt God pushing me to change churches and step back for a while. I have done my best to listen for HIS direction before commiting to any ministries. I was really beginning to miss the teaching aspect of youth ministry. And, wouldn't you know, HE opened a door for me.

I am teaching out of a curriculum called DE, the Disciple Experiment. Today we spent time asking 2 questions; 1. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? 2. What does a disciple look like?I'm not going to tell you what the answers were...I'll let you work on that yourself. It was interresting to see how general answers were.

Then, my favorite part, we got to look at Jesus! The gist of the lesson was that Jesus always did the unexpected.

He went off by himself when a close friend was beheaded. (matt 14:1-13)

When a woman asked for help, he talked about being sent to help lost sheep. (matt 15:21-28)

He cursed a fig tree, causing it to wither, because he was hungry and it had no fruit for him to eat. (matt 21:18-23)

When he was arrested, he asked God to find another way to save the world so he didn't have to die on a cross. (matt 26:36-45)

When he was falsely accused before Pilate, he didn't say a single word! (mark 15:1-5)

A man said he wanted to take care of his dying father, but Jesus told him to let someone else take care of the dead. (luke 9:59-60)

He threw the tantrum of all tantrums in the temple courts before Passover. (john 2:13-17)

The Pharisees brought an adulteress to Jesus and he doodled in the dirt until they left. (john 8:1-11)

When he heard that Lazarus was sick, he let Lazarus die without trying to help. (john 11:1-17)

He got teary-eyed when he saw people mourning the death of Lazarus. (john 11:17-37)

Unexpected...Jesus rose above the norm so many times. Why?..."For God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." (John 11:4) Jesus did the seemingly unexpected to reveal God's glory. To show that He is who He says He is.

To challenge us to do the same as HIS disciples.

There were 2 questions earlier in this post. I challenge you to answer them. More importantly, I challenge you to seek out how God is leading you to answer them. What does being a disciple, a follower, of Jesus Christ look like for you? Do you do the unexpected?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Little is Much?

I have been listening to the acoustic Downhere album, Wide Eyed and Simplified for a few days now...basically since I stole it from my mother :) It has some great songs on it, but one keeps coming up over and over for me.

You know when you have a CD in your car and it seems that every time you turn on the car, that song is cued up....yeah that's what's happening. The song is titled: Little is Much. The lyrics are great and allow the listener, or the person singing as if they were a finalist in American Idol (that's me!) to really experience the fact that without God we are nothing.

Without God we are ugly, poor, worthless, dirty, stinky, stupid...we aren't good enough, or smart enough, or funny enough. Without God we are simply a continuous spin out of control, a constant fall, a neverending bad dream.

I have God and I am sometimes all of these things.

I guess I used to think that "little is much" was in reference to your income or the worldly stuff you have. I thought that "little is much" referred to the amount of faith you displayed in your day-to-day life. In the song lyrics, it says little is much when God's in it... this week God has opened my eyes to see that a little of Him, what little understanding, knowledge and faith I can muster up in this human heart and mind is nothing compared to the how MUCH He is willing to give me in return.

Now don't misunderstand me: I am not saying that we should settle for the little amount of faith we are comfortable having. No, we should definitely live our every breath striving for a closer relationship with Christ almost to the point where it's uncomfortable. To take the little that we started with and turn it into the much He wants to bless us with. The last verse

Consider a Kingdom in the smallest seed
Consider that giants fall to stones and slings
Consider a child in a manger
Consider the story isn't over
What can be done with what we still have

God, Thank you for being more than enough and so much more than we could even fathom. I praise you for opening my eyes to see what I risk being without you. I will never understand why it is that you would save me.