Monday, June 29, 2009

Adventures Together

I am writing to you this week from the sunny state of Florida!! My parents have a house near the beach and our entire family is spending the week here. The kids are having a blast boogie boarding, building sand castles, swimming in the pool, and generally raising ruckus! The adults are all having a pretty great time too! We are so fortunate to be able to do this.

Last night, my parents and my sisters and I took all of the kids on a nature walk. My parents live on a nature preserve, so there is a lot of fun things to explore. Here are the kids getting ready to go.

They were so excited to go on adventure. Who knew what we would encounter... Frogs, alligators, rabbits, unidentifiable rodents??? It was all good though, because they had each other. Here is a picture of them setting out to see what they could see. (That's my mom trying to stay out of the picture:)

My favorite picture of the night is Caroline holding hands with her cousin Jackson. Caroline is not much of a nature girl, so this walk was a stretch for her. Towards the end of our adventure, she found comfort holding her oldest cousin's hand.

As humans, we find comfort from others, whether it is family or close friends. During our life adventures, remember that we have the ultimate comfort in Christ. He is there for us no matter what the situation. Remember to ask Him to come along for the ride!!

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afteward you will take me into glory." Psalm 73:23,24

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My New Momma

It is so good to blog again. I was in Alabama for a week with the youth from my church (June 13-20), so I was out of touch with the internet world for a while. I spent the past week catching up on life and I have been waiting to write this post.

Our mission trip took us to Birmingham, Alabama with Mission Serve. Monday started out on the work site at 7:30 in the morning. I had met my squad the previous night (only 2 kids from my church). We were from 3 different states and 5 different churches. Our job for the week was to build a deck, rebuild a railing on some stairs, and help another crew with painting the house. We were pumped and ready to work, but I was nowhere near prepared for what God had in store for the week.

I got a new Momma!!!

I don't want to confuse anyone - my mom is perfectly wonderful and I love her dearly. Just bear with me for the remainder of this post and the title will make perfect sense.

Ok......I got a new Momma!!! Her name is Ms. Betty Taylor and she is 72. She was a total blessing from Jesus to my life and I am super glad I got to meet her and spend time with her. She is the owner of the home that we were working on. Mission Serve encourages us to meet the home-owners and talk with them. Well, in the south, you get invited in and given a tour of the house (at least we did)!

I spent lots of time with Ms. Betty, a.k.a. Momma, while we were working. She was on fire for Jesus and overjoyed by how God was blessing her and getting work done on her house. Each day she would come out and chat with us or invite myself and Courtney (another adult on my squad from Texas) to come in and talk. We all quickly became her "babies".

So, I now have a black Momma in Alabama. The coolest thing about this - God knew this would happen. He paved the way. He didn't just bless Momma, he overwhelmed me with this new relationship. He is so cool that way!

Here is a picture of Courtney, Momma (Ms. Betty), and me:

Friday, June 26, 2009

God Heals!

I have a pretty basic testimony: I was raised in the church, by two parents who were very involved in church, and great witnesses to me on what it looked like to live for Christ. Nothing super terrible has happened to me in my life, and for the most part I have consistently lived seeking God.

Although, a few times, my heart has been broken.

In the past 6 months, I have had a lot of transitions. A few of these have been painful for my family, close friends, and especially for me. One in particular has left my heart shattered. I am sorry that I am being slightly vague, I am trying very hard to be respectful of the situation.

I have tried to forgive and move on...I don't believe one can completely forget certain pains, and I don't think God wants us to. He brings us through certain things to be taught something, and forgetting the darkness He has rescued me from, could lead to me forgetting the lesson I have learned. One of my favorite Christian groups is Point of Grace, they sing a song called Heal The Wounds. It is a song asking God to heal the wounds of our hearts but leave a scar so we can remember the mercy and grace He has shown to us.

Psalm 147:3,5 says
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds...Great is our Lord,
and mighty in power.
I know that God is bigger than my current sorrows, I know that He sees something in me that I can't even begin to comprehend, and I know that He will heal my heart. But the difficult truth in this is that I have to be willing to give Him all the pieces of my broken heart. But I don't want to, my human heart and mind wants to hold on to the pain. I want to feel justice on earth for what I have gone through. It seems ridiculous to me right now that I would say that but it's true. I am not done complaining about how terrible the situation was for me, I am still wanting to live in victim mentality.
The truth I am facing in this day is that God may never give me that moment of earthly validation, but what He can offer me is so much better. FREEDOM, from the pain, hurt, and negativity that has surrounded me.
Great Lord,
Would you heal me, please? I love you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

As you know yesterday was my birthday! Had a great day! Got to eat out all three meals and had many well wishers!! I've been saying for a couple years that I'm 39 again, actually 15 years so yes, I am 54. Can't believe it!!

With that age comes some obvious issues, some good - some not so good. This past week I was sitting in the hospital with my mom and some of my siblings as we waited for my dad to get out of some day surgery which was follow up from some tests he had had. We talked about our kids and grand kids, work, the cooking shows we were watching, and then got to the subject of changes that my parents and my father especially would pro'bly need to be making in their lives. Not an easy subject. It is very strange thinking that your parents are getting to the point that they will be needing your constant help whether they want it or not.

Which leads me to my next thought, I don't know about you but at times, I worry abit about what really happens after we leave this world. I guess that is doubting and I work thru it. I think it is many times at night and my mind is playing tricks on me and I'm worried about many things...I just pray to God that He would give me a peace about all my worries, whatever they are and especially calm the storms in me. I remember Jesus' words when he told the disciples in John 14 : 1-6, "Let not your heart be troubled, You are trusting God, now trust in me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming, When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren't so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there." Thomas questioned and 'Jesus told him, "I am the Way --yes, and the Truth and the Life."

Jesus tells us not to be troubled and to keep our mind on him for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! When I think on that my mind can focus on what is important and I realize things will be alright in my day to day worries. Things are put in perspective and I know what I need to do or how to act or how to react. I am sometimes humbled and know that God is telling me what I need to change about me to do better. And also, I realize that this life is all for a reason and in the end when it is my time, Jesus will come for me and take me to heaven to live in the mansion he has prepared for me. That usually puts a calm in my spirit and a smile on my face, sometimes even tears in my eyes knowing that Jesus loves me that much. He has the words there for us to read so we can know what to do and what He will do! That's why it is so important to be constantly reading the Bible. We can trust Him and know His words are true!

Dear God, Help us here on earth when we are doubting and struggling. Show us in your Word. Help us to follow you for as long as we are here on this earth before you come for us to take us to our Heavenly home. Amen.

P.S. I read this saying one time something like 'when I get to heaven, I hope my mansion is right next to yours.' That's how I feel about you all!!! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Participation Wednesday

Hi Ladies!

Edited to add: HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDY! We love you and are SO thankful for you, to have you as a part of our lives and this ministry. You are loving, helpful, giving, faithful and we CAN see Jesus in your life! Love your GLOW gals. :)

Summer is here in full swing... Shane's busy with camp, we are taking swimming lessons, enjoying the lake, and being outside. I'm so thankful for this time. I'm thankful for my family, for time together, for memories. I'm feeling particularly thankful in this time with so much turmoil in the world, economy, and in a life where you never know what's going to happen next. (I'm also thankful for central air and ice cream! ha!)

Let's make this participation Wednesday... What are you thankful for today? Leave a comment and share with us.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Let Jesus on the Boat!

Okay, my post today is not an original idea, but I loved the sermon my pastor gave yesterday. I have to share the gist of it with you. It is based on Mark 4:35-40, where Jesus calms the storm for the disciples. To paraphrase, Jesus and the disciples are on a boat, crossing the Sea of Galilee. During the night, a storm breaks out and the disciples wake a sleeping Jesus up, frantic for him to save them from drowning. Jesus gets up from his cozy cushion and tells the wind and waves to be quiet.... and they do, of course. He then asks his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" In other words, what is wrong with y'all? You have me, Jesus, here with you in the boat, and you are still afraid for your life?

Basically, my pastor's point is that we all have storms in our lives. Sometimes big, massive hurricanes that could overtake us, and sometimes little squalls that just get us off course briefly. God never promises that our lives will be storm-free. But He does promise to help calm the storm inside of us with his perfect peace, if we invite Him in the boat with us. God uses those storms in our lives to point out how helpless we are, and how mighty He is. Sometimes we have to sail through some pretty stormy seas to realize how much we need Him. He is mighty to save us from desperation, from drowning in our doubt, sorrow, anger... whatever it may be.

Our praise band sang a wonderful song that fit this story perfectly....the chorus goes like this:

You are my refuge, my shelter from the storm. You are the answer, Lord you are my home.

We all need Jesus in the boat with us. There is not one single person who can make it through life's storms intact, on their own. But He can get us through it. He can be our strength when we are weak.

Dear God, you are my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. I will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea. I will be still and know that you are God. You will be exalted among nations. Amen

(based on Psalm 46)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Prayer Sisters!

Good afternoon blog world! I just wanted to make a quick post. The GLOW ministry blog team is meeting weekly to do a summer study by Kelly Minter, No Other Gods. So far we are being stretched and taught by each other and God's Word.
As we meet weekly we would like to pray for you more specifically than we already do. Individually we are all praying for our blog and the women who read it. We are blessed to know that you are reading and praying for us too! It would be our honor to lift you up in prayer, and be your prayer sisters! To post a prayer request you can either leave a comment or email the blog authors at

I am obnoxiously excited about getting some prayer requests so send them our way! We know that God is with us and hears our prayers. Won't it be awesome to have commited Prayer Sisters! I know I am excited!

So to be fair, I'll start.

This weekend I would like as many people as possible praying for our earthly Fathers. After all their day is coming up!
I am so blessed by my Daddy!
Would you join me in praying that all dads would feel the love of God in their heart, would lead by example the way a Christian should live, would be surrounded by the love of their families, and would feel relaxed and blessed? God you are so good, thank you Lord for my dad!!

My dad in one of his best roles yet, Grandpa!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My strength

"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Cor. 1:8-9

Who do you rely on? I can give you a list. I rely on my husband, my friends, my family... so many people. But I'm studying this week on relying on God. The Israelites had to rely on God when they were in captivity. They had nothing else. Now I am thankful for the list I gave you. So thankful. I am blessed beyond measure in my life. But I also have gone through times when people couldn't help me.

That's exactly what this verse is talking about. I know that God only gives us what we can handle. He makes sure of that. But there are times that I think he must be saying... "ok, Shannon, you are going to need me for this one, and maybe it's time for a reminder that you DO need me".

I've had some times in the past year when all I could do was turn to Him. When my pain was so deep that I knew He was the only one to get me through it. I have a friend who has some family struggles right now, and as I listen to her share, all I can do is turn it over to Him. It's just too tough to wrap my brain around. When I was studying this verse this week it really stood out to me. I take such comfort to know that in my most painful moments God is there, walking me through.

I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this... just wanted to share with you friends- God wants us-needs us to turn to Him. So often when things are good we tend to take care of things (or think we can!) ourselves. But when things get so bad, when you are hurting, when you don't know where else to go- then that may be the time that God can step in.

We want you to know that we have been SO blessed by this blog. It's been an answer to prayer for us and we are so thankful for you. Please know that we love you and are praying for you!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Summer is by far my favorite season. Thank you God for creating summertime!! Here are some of my favorite things about summer:

1. Sleeping with the windows open and hearing the frogs in the lake and the crickets in the woods.
2. The sky staying light until almost 10:00. Thank goodness for black out shades so my kids will go to sleep before then!
3. Taking slow boat rides with the kids around the lake, and then after they nag us for about 30 minutes to "Go very fast", going very fast with them on the tube and watching their little faces light up with glee!
4. J and I's anniversary! It will be 13 years on the 29th. We are going to show everyone that 13 is NOT an unlucky number!
5. Alex's birthday! He will be eight years old in August... SIGH. He is such a loving, caring, bundle of energy and questions. I adore him AND his six million questions. (and his love affair with ants.)
6. Eating strawberry shortcake. I LOVE it! My mom came today and made homemade shortcake. It rocks! She and the kids helped me pick gobs of strawberries. My favorite quote from Caroline: "MMMM, my hands smell like strawberries and I just want to EAT them!"
7. Evening cookouts with friends and their kids. It is so fun just to lounge around outside, eat, and watch the kids play.
8. Taking walks outside with girlfriends and catching up.
9. Elephant ears at the mermaid festival.
10. Thunderstorms!! (as long as their is no tornado risk... above child A inherited his fear of tornados from his mother and we retreat to our shelter at any sign of a strong wind with pillow and transistor radio in hand.)

I am so thankful that God created the Earth and its seasons. The splendor and majesty of His creation is so amazing. Take time today to stop and notice what God created for us to enjoy!!

"God saw all that he had made and it was very good." Genesis 1:31

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I love to read! That is one of my favorite things about summer...I have time to read something besides teacher manuals. And, I can get my reading done in less than 2 weeks (on average, that is how long it takes me to read a book during school). I am a super fast reader.

This school year I made a list of books that I wanted to read this summer. The list has about 20 books on it: some children's literature, some professional literature, some books that I have read before, some books that I have purchased and haven't had time to read yet. I started today - FINALLY - with the last 3 books in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Sometimes I will ask for suggestions and sometimes I just grab something off a shelf that looks interesting. I thought I would take this post and make some suggestions to you all. I will give you title, author (if I remember), and a little summary. Let me know if you read any of them...I always like to hear about your thoughts on books.

The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer - a friend of mine calls this "teeny-bopper vampire romance" but it is amazing. It is the story of Edward, Bella, and Jacob. A story of love, life, growing up, making tough choices. I HIGHLY recommend them.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan - this book is about God's crazy love for us and what HIS loves calls us to do as followers of Jesus.

Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne - this book is about simply loving people the way God has called us to love people. How we need to simply live and love our neighbor as ourself. How we shouldn't live in excess, but help those in need with the "extra" that we are blessed with.

The Thing about Georgie - this is a short chapter book about Georgie, who is a dwarf. It is realistic fiction. It shows how everyone has the same experiences just from different perspectives. I read this to my 5th graders this year....they loved it!

Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper - this book will rock your world! It took me to places of my heart and soul that I usually try to avoid. It challenges you to be intentional with your faith.

The Shack by William Young - I just read this over Spring Break. It is a fiction book about how a man's relationship with the trinity and how the "three persons" each have their individual role in our lives and how those roles also work together. One of my all-time favorites.

Captivating by John and Staci Eldridge - this book has challenged me more in the past year than any other book! It gives a fantastic picture and description of God's purpose for us as women, how HE loves us, and why HE specifically designed us the way we are. If you are desiring to know your purpose, I HIGHLY recommend this book.

Romans, James, and Hebrews the Bible - these are the 3 books that I find myself searching and studying the most. Romans is a challenge to be different, James is brutal truth about what our walk with Christ should look like, and Hebrews is encouraging accounts of our forefathers.

I just picked up The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning today. It was suggested to me by my best friend. I will let you know my thoughts. Keep me posted on what you are reading.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

So I am going a little more personal on this one, mainly because I need prayer and some Christian Sistas to stand up with!

Fair warning: to some of you, most of this may be incredibly old news.

I graduated from Purdue with my degree in Elementary Education and I am currently a licensed teacher in the State of Indiana. After I graduated I was offered a children's ministry position that I held for a little more than 2 years. I loved that job! I got to use my education degree but in a very unique way: teaching kids about Christ! In December, I was let go from that job and found myself searching for a new one. It wasn't a very good time in the nation's economy to be unemployed, so I worked my tail off to find a job right away. Unfortunately, teaching didn't seem like an option since it was in the middle of the school year and I couldn't support myself on a substitute's income. I decided that it still wasn't the right time for me to teach and I applied at lots of places, finally ending up at United Way.

I started mid-January and have really enjoyed it. When I was hired I was asked if teaching was a possibility for me or if I was ready to commit to a few years with them. At the time, I was ready to know that I had steady income and this was a job I thought I could really I said I didn't think it was right for meto teach (and for the record I believed that!) It's a challenge somedays, but most days I get to network with people, which I love and everyday I leave knowing that I am positively impacting our community.

SO, yesterday I get an email that says there is a 4th grade teaching position open at a nearby school....what to do. My first reaction was "not interested". Then I kept thinking about I am just not sure....

My dad's advice, "Do what's best for you!" As soon as he said that, these words jumped out of my mouth, "What if I don't know what that is?" He laughed, I didn't think it was that funny, that was a real question.

It's a rollercoaster at this point between three thoughts:
A. Stay where you are, you are happy
B. You gave your word, it's not fair to leave
C. Teaching, it's what you used to dream about

So I guess I have probably gone on long enough about this minor dilemna. I know there is only one person who has the answer. I am asking you all to please pray for me as I make this decision. I want to do what God is calling me to do, unfortunately at this point I am not convinced that I have heard Him very clearly. I know that this is not because He isn't talking, but rather I haven't been able to stop my thoughts long enough to shut up and listen. So will you pray that in the next few days, hours even that I could just shut up and listen.

Romans 8:1
26...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. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."37No, in all these things we are
more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In the entire scheme of my life I realize that this decision will more than likely not make or break things. However, when I was paid to work in ministry I never questioned my, honestly, I kind of am. I know Judy talked about doing everything in the name of Christ. And I know that teaching or working for United Way I can glorify God but I want to get it right. Will you pray for me? I know I am not the only person at a crossroad, some of you I am sure are at a much more serious one. Please know that I am praying for you too! This part of Romans chapter 1 is something I read to myself over and over sometimes, especially now.

He made me, He knows me, He loved me, and He has a plan.
He did/does/has the same for you!
Praise God!

Thank you that you have a plan. Move me to the side and guide my steps according to your will for my life. Thank you for the women that are a part of this blog, writers or readers. Bless them today. Remind them that they are called by name to live their life to Glorify You! I praise you for the blessings of work you have given to me. I ask that you would be present in the decisions I have to make now. And know God that the struggles I have at this time are just because I desire so deeply to please you. May your name be blessed in all I do! Ahmen

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Part of God's Plan

Today was a great day! We were in southern Indiana and the weather was beautiful. I heard that it was raining all day at home, sorry about that. Also, we got to baby sit for Ava and we had so much fun. She is just about to crawl, very close. She finds so many things funnie! So like 'normal' adults, we continue to do whatever it is that makes her laugh and laugh right along with her. Being grandparents is the best!! I praise God for this blessing and I hope in due time for many more!!!

The other reason we were here was to check out the accommodations and the job that we will have later this summer when the Family Workteam comes to Columbus. We first drove out to the Columbus Youth Camp which was way out in the middle of nowhere. Mike finally stopped for directions and we had somehow missed a turn off the main road but the fellow we asked knew just where we needed to go. The drive was beautiful. The camp will be the perfect place for our group to stay. We found out that there will be another group here at the same time so we will have the opportunity to meet some other workers which always makes the trip more interesting. We will talk to the gal setting up our job tomorrow before we leave for home.

This week was the one year anniversary of the flood that struck on 06/07/08 and devastated a wide spread area. The local newspaper had a whole section about many different things pertaining to the flood and it's clean up. It is exciting to think we will be part of that. There was an article about many of the groups that came over the last year and someone being helped said they couldn't believe that many of the people coming to help were taking vacation time to come, especially when the economy was so questionable for so many everywhere. It does seem funnie, I guess but I don't look at it that way. It makes me think of a quote Monica has that reads like this, 'You have been created and equipped to live an abundant life filled with joy and extraordinary fulfillment. And Christ says that to live this pulse-quickening, satisfying life, all that's needed is to mirror his habit of serving the people around you.'

It is always interesting to see how the group comes together. We always seem to have the right people for the job that is chosen. Like last trip to New York, Lenny Foyle, decided to go at the last minute and the church we were working on had some major problems with plumbing that he was able to fix for them. And a couple years ago when we went to Michigan, John Pavy went along at the last minute and Craig Streby went along to cook but both were needed to do a major cement job in the basement of the house we were to work on. They had the know how for that job and then the other half of our group worked on a major ramp for a fellow and had experience with that. I always say I'm amazed that it works out the way it does but I shouldn't be because God has it all planned ahead of time. Those who go along get to be a part of that plan. How awesome it is!!

Thing is you don't have to go anywhere or actually do anything out of the ordinary to be part of that awesome plan. It says in Colossians 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.' We are called to do whatever it is we do for Christ Jesus! If all you do is live your life, go to work every day, go to church, volunteer at the food pantry, the elementary school, or the library, mow your grass and maybe your neighbors, buy girl scout cookies, sit on your porch and say hello to passers -by with a smile on your face, give an extra $10 to a good cause, buy locally, give someone the good parking space, and the list goes on and on... we should do everything because we are doing it for the Lord!!

I challenge you to think about everything you do in the next few days and do it with a different attitude. I myself need to take this same challenge. And if you feel the call to join the Family Workteam, give me a call!

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the opportunity we have to serve you in everything we do. Help us to see where we can be your hands and feet so that we can be more like you. In Jesus name, Amen

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Year

My baby is 1 year old today. ONE YEAR! I remember the excitement of waking up early, heading to the hospital, knowing that when we would arrive home again, we'd be "3". Gracie is such a part of our lives, I can not imagine life without her. Here are some random thoughts I'd like to share with you about her first year of life.

  • having a baby is hard! No sleep, hormones, trying to figure out what they want... 24/7 care, no sleep... It's hard work. Worth every minute, but still hard
  • I am more thankful for my husband now than I ever was. He is a fantastic, involved father.
  • I should have known I am not good at adjusting to life changes... having a baby was no different. I felt like I needed to be the perfect mom, little Betty Homemaker too. You know, have little junior spotless and the house clean, dinner in the oven and warm cookies ready when the mister gets home? yeah... that's just on t.v. people. Seriously.. I knew, have always known, in fact that I wanted to stay home with my kids and we are blessed right now, to have that chance. Yet, I struggled with just being home... Once a few other things started, I began to find my groove. I'm a better mom by having a weekly Bible study to go to, by leaving my daughter to take walks, by going to MOPS, and having regular time with friends. Now I am not too stressed about having the perfect house, and I am good about working from a list... taking care of a little something each day. And yes, sometimes there is even dinner in the oven!
  • Having a baby changes your body. AND it's hard to get back to the way it was (does it ever???) Enough said.
  • When she smiled the first time, I thought I was going to burst. Literally burst. Like... all that hard work, no sleep, craziness I went through was suddenly worth it cause she smiled at me. Another blog I read talks about those little moments when your heart is so full it cracks just a little... her first smile, her first belly laugh, her playfulness, and now... kisses for mom.... crack.
  • If I love my daughter like this... and I seriously cannot get enough of her... imagine how much MY GOD loves me (AND YOU!)? He feels the same... He wants to burst with pride, love, and joy. What an awesome thought.
Happy Birthday Big Girl. -"The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing" Zep. 3.17

Monday, June 8, 2009

Breaking Free

Okay, I am back on track with the "Fireproof Your Marriage" study. I missed one week, so last week I did not feel like I could write a blog post about it. But we made it to Sunday school this week, and I am so glad that we did. The topic was temptations and addictions and how they can ruin your marriage. I think this is so relevant to anyone, married or not. Everyone faces temptations in their lives. Like Monica wrote about earlier, satan knows our weaknesses and attacks those areas.

In the movie Fireproof, the main character Caleb is taking the 40 day "Love Dare" to try to save his marriage. Everyday, he faces a new "dare" or challenge to love his wife unconditionally. Somewhere in the middle of the 40 days, he reads the following entry:

"Watch out for parasites. A parasite is anything that latches onto you or your partner and sucks the life out of your marriage. They are normally in the form of addictions such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography. They promise pleasure but grow like a disease and consume more and more of your thoughts, time and money. They steal away your loyalty and heart from those you love. If you love your wife, you must destroy any addiction that has your heart. If you don't, it will destroy you."

Caleb, who has an internet pornography addiction, faces a crossroads in his life. After reading this passage, he decides to destroy his parasite. He literally takes his computer outside and bashes it in with a baseball bat!!!

In class we talked about how other temptations can cause us to drift away from those we love, such as too much time spent on the internet, sports, overeating, shopping, toxic friendships.... really anything that takes over our lives and gets placed above all other things, including God and our spouse (and loved ones.)

We all will face temptation, but the good news is that we have someone to turn to who will give us a way out... Jesus!! God has a plan to rescue us from sin and death!!

I leave you with this Scripture. It is one of my favorites. Putting God's word in your heart can really make a difference when you are facing temptation......His word is a sword of truth that can cut through any sinful desires we have.

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Heavenly Father, I know you do not tempt me. You despise all that is evil. Please help me to see where satan is attacking me. Help me to stand up under any temptation that is thrown on me. Give me the faith and strength to do what pleases you. In Jesus' name, Amen

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Let Go and Let God

School is out! I can't believe another year has come to an end. I am amazed at how time flies, how 180 days of school seems like a blur, and HOW MUCH my kids changed over the year!

For those of you that don't know, I am a 5th grade teacher. I absolutely LOVE my job! I have never doubted for a second that I was created to be a teacher. Every day is different. Sometimes every minute is different. Regardless of the day or minute, I am blessed by my job. I am blessed by my co-workers. I am blessed by parents of my students. But, most of all, I am blessed by the 10 and 11-year-olds that I get to spend 7 hours a day with.

So, what does all of that have to do with letting go?

I have decided that teaching 5th grade is tough for one kids go to a new building the next year. I don't get to see them in the hallways at school. I don't get to "keep tabs" on each day. I pretty much have no clue what happens to them once they leave my classroom. Sure I see some of them from time to time, but not on a daily basis. I find myself worrying and wondering.

What are they doing?
Are they making good choices?
Did they learn the life lessons necessary to move on from 5th grade?
Did I make an impact on them?
Did I teach them what they need to know?
Are they okay?
Is someone loving on them?

This requires that trust to let go and let God. Trust HIM that he will be looking out for my kids. Trust HIM that he will love them always. Trust HIM that he did a work through me in their lives.

Yeah, time to let go...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

This week I was talking with some ladies about the fact that we don't really give the devil enough credit. I realize that this sounds a little strange to be writing an entire post on satan, however I think it's really important to think about.

So, throughout the day do you consider the hold and power that you are allowing the devil to have in your life?

In the past week, I have been thinking a lot about Philippians 4:8...

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

If I am supposed to think and seek these things in my life, it's safe to say that Christ is all of those things. So where do my negative thoughts, my feelings of insecurity and low self esteem come from? Who is that little voice telling me, "You can't handle this, you aren't strong/good/pretty/smart enough to do this."

The devil fears who we will become when we are fully in Christ, it scares Him to think that we could have all the power and might that is in the name of God. He sneaks into our human hearts and minds to try and convince us that the grace and goodness from Jesus can't be ours.

The beauty of the truth is that we can have all the power, might, grace and goodness of God. All we have to do is open our lives to the blessings He wants to give us! Are you open? Are you acknowledging the devil's voice in your life? Are you letting God's voice speak louder? It is good to remember that satan is a part of our lives and that he does deserve credit for negative parts of our lives. But there is someone who has already claimed all the credit in the world...Praise Jesus!

Thank you for sending Christ to claim the world for you. We are blessed each new day to be able to claim your name. I thank you for the consistent and loud message that you are sending to me; please help my heart to hear it. Quiet satan in my life and keep him from me. Ahmen

Friday, June 5, 2009

Women Of Influence...

As many of you know, I'm a substitute teacher which I love doing!! I've been subbing for about 15 years. I was given the opportunity to finish out the year in a second grade class because the teacher had a baby. She was done at school on Friday, the 22nd of May and had the baby the next day!! It was a boy!! All is well!

So Thursday was the last day of school which was exciting. I got to be in on all the things that tie up the school year in a nice little package. One of those things was the awards day. It is always neat to see the kidds get the awards they have worked hard for all year long. This year they also had a special presentation for Mrs Karilyn Metcalf because she is retiring along with Mrs Laurie Graham, too. But because Mrs Metcalf was the music teacher for all the students for the last 38 years, a few teachers helped the kidds all practice a song that the music teacher from Syracuse Elementary rewrote the words to. Well, let me tell you, the first time I played it for a classroom to practice, I cried because Mrs Metcalf was my four kidd's music teacher and some were in the 5th gr Special Choir. Among other things, I've worked with her just recently when there was a community push to 'Save The Dixie'!! So I had to make sure to have kleenex when we went to the awards program cause I knew I would cry there. On my, it was so cool when they got her a chair to sit down in front and the 5th gr Special Choir turned to face her and the whole student body stood up to sing. The choir had learned the verses and then the whole school chimed in on the chorus. Unbelievable!!

I tell you all this because the last few nights I've been thinking about the women in my life that have influenced me. First off, we had our pottery night at The Creative Fish on Tuesday. It was fun to see what everyone chose to paint and see all the creative juices flowing. The gals working there are very helpful and as the evening went on we were all singing each others praises. Everyone did such a neat job on their pottery!! There was about 15 of us, some that I knew and some I didn't but we all encouraged each other 'cause none of us thought we knew what we were doing. Surprise, surprise, I think we did!!!

Then on Thursday I had bible study with some gals and we watched a video of Anita Renfro. The title was 'something about your thyroid' which was part of what she talked about. It was pretty funnie, talking about things that happen to women as they age and that alot of it can be blamed on your thyroid. At the end she shared about remembering the women that are an influence on us and it really made me think. She read from Hebrews 12:1 where it talks about us being surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, all the women that surround us in our lives and support us, some that are here now and some that have gone on before us.

I think of many of the teachers that have taught at North Webster that have influenced me as I subbed. I thought of the women at my church I have worked along side of and been involved in ministry with. I thought of the women that are working together on this blog and probably even the ones reading it. I think of my daughters as they have grown. I think of my mom, my grandma, and my sisters and all the time they put into me as I was growing up and even as I was married and had my own children. Then the women in my husband's family that have influenced me while Mike and I have been together. Friends, neighbors, other coworkers and the list goes on!! You would all have your own very unique list with some of the same names maybe as mine.

As women we need each other, for many different reasons and I think the new group we are calling G.L.O.W. ministry is a way for us to help each other, work together, grow in our relationships with each other and most importantly, with Jesus Christ!! I think we need to remember and maybe even let others know how important they are to us. We need to try to influence and encourage other women every chance we get! I thank God for many of you and all you are to me. :)

Dear God, I do thank you for all the women you have placed in my life to help me. It is a marvelous world you have created for us. Thank you that your plan was for us to encourage and help each other. Help us to grow closer to you as we do this. I thank you for the new opportunities we have to work together in the glow ministry, please guide and use us for your plan. Help our group to grow so that more women can be reached for You. In Your Precious Name we pray, Amen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How to...

Hello! We had a great night last night getting our creative brains going... :) It was fun! If you missed it, we met for a night of pottery painting and some G.O.O.D. food! Dina shared about how we as women are God's clay ... to shape and use... that's exciting! I want him to shape me and make me exactly how he wants me to be. It's not always easy, or comfortable, or even fun, but it's so worth it.

A few of you asked how to leave a comment. I'm going to try and explain and we'll see if it works.. if it doesn't email me at and we'll see if we can get it straightened out. First, take a deep breath... read through this slowly, try it, then try it again... you can do it!

-To leave a comment on a post (please note, you cannot make your own blog post, but you can leave a comment on any one posted already):
1) read the post and then at the bottom find the comment button- click on it
2) you can write your comment in the area and then under it click on the tab that says account
3) make sure it says google
4) enter the special security code they give you then hit submit
5) it will take you back to a google page- click on new user and set up an account. you'll see that little link under the email and password part. I used my regular email account from yahoo and a password that I will remember. WRITE DOWN YOUR INFO somewhere so you don't forget
6) when you are done setting it up it should take you back to the GLOW blog and you can hit submit


Now... after doing this (it's not hard, I promise...try it!) you can sign in when you read the blog. The next time you go to you'll see on the upper right side where it says sign in. click on that and enter your email and password. You can click on "remember me" so you don't have to do it every time. then when you click on a post to comment you are already signed in and you will just be able to comment and hit submit!

Clear as mud? :) It is easy and we'd LOVE to hear from you!

Monday, June 1, 2009


I love to cook. I guess it is a trait I inherited from my mother and my grandmother. If I had time, I would try a new recipe every day. (that doesn't happen, by the way!) In fact, I am really good at following recipes. I find it comforting knowing that if I follow certain steps and procedures, I will have a wonderful (most of the time!) meal or dessert in front of me, ready to enjoy. Sometimes I venture out and try to concoct my own recipe. I try to look for that special ingredient that will make my recipe better than all of the rest. A dash of this, a teaspoon of that, trial and error. But in the end, if I go back to the basic recipe, I know it will turn out okay.

As I was looking through my recipes the other day, it occured to me our lives are similar to a cooking, especially when it comes to experiencing joy and peace. I would LOVE if it were so easy as to following these certain steps, like a recipe, and everything would fall into place, like cooking. But life is not like that. No matter how hard we try to do everything right, our lives will not measure up. Even if we try all sorts of different ingredients (more material items, more friends, more activities), there will be something missing from our lives. UNLESS we find that one special ingredient that will make us complete. And that is Jesus. He is the only one who can make us complete in our joy and peace. When God created us, he left a place in our hearts that can only be filled by Him. So if it is not, we will always feel an emptiness. Try some Jesus in your recipe for life. I guarantee it will fill you up to the brim!!!

"I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." Psalm 81:10

P.S. I leave you with a fun, summery, easy dessert recipe. I will be bringing this to the Ladies Night out tonight! Enjoy!!!

Bountiful Berry Bowl

1 pkg. of angel food cake, cut into cubes

3 Tablespoons orange juice

1/4 tsp. almond extract

2 1/2 cups cold fat-free milk

2 pkgs (4 serving size each) Jello vanilla flavor fat free sugar free instant pudding

1 1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip sugar free whipped topping

2 pkgs (12 oz each)frozen mixed berries, thawed, well-drained

Place cake cubes in large bowl. Mix orange juice and extract. Drizzle over cake and toss.

Pour milk into another large bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of cool whip.

Reserve a few berries for garnish. Place half of the cake cubes in a large glass serving bowl. Top with layers of half each of the remaining berries and pudding mixture. Repeat layers. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate two hours. top with remaining whipped topping and garnish with leftover berries just before serving.