Sunday, January 31, 2010


I have to admit that I was born a scaredy-cat. Never been one to take risks-- a rule-follower to the core. As a child, I was afraid of the dark, of strangers in the house, and of vampires. As a teenager, I was afraid of rebellion and the consequences that might ensue if I went off the straight and narrow path (and then I got to college and that is another story!) As an adult, I still have fears. Not a big fan of rollercoasters, heights,bugs, or birds. I have no desire to sky dive or bungee jump. After having children, my fears became more related to their lives and the "what-if's" that go along with raising them in this crazy world we live in. The list could go on and on... we all have fears. The question is, do we let our fears rule our lives?

My answer would have been "yes" before I became a follower of Christ. I let certain fears dictate the decisions I made. I let my feelings (fear being one of them) control my life, instead of going to the Lord in prayer for guidance. However, this began to change for me after I married a man who has little fear of risk, and more importantly, I learned to let God be my guide instead of my "gut feeling". It is such a cliche we use--- follow your heart. Well, that unfortunately is not the best advice. Our hearts often lead us down the wrong path-- our emotions get the best of us. For example, a few years ago a friend asked my then six-year-old son to go to day camp with her sons. My first reaction was one of fear. In my head, I concocted all the most horrific, worst-case scenarios that could happen at camp. Then, after talking to Jason about it, decided to pray about it for awhile. I then got a sense of peace that it would be good for Alex, as long as we prepared him well for his experience at day camp. (and believe me, he was the most well-prepared daycamper there!) In that situation, I could have let my fears control this decision and ruin one of the most wonderful times my son had all summer. He still loves camp to this day. And I still have my fears. We all do. But they should not get in the way of living our lives for Christ.

One of the most meaningful things I have learned over the past few years is that being a Christian is not safe. It means taking certain risks. It means stepping out of my comfort zone. That is hard for me, being the "safe" person that I am. When I was offered the opportunity to co-direct Upward, my first reaction was one of fear-- "I can't do it, I don't know anything about running it, I am too busy." After praying about it, God clearly told me that of course I couldn't do it by myself, but through Him I could. His will would be done, and I needed to be obedient. A huge task, but turns out to be one of the best things we have done, Him leading the way, of course.

God is teaching me through life and ministries that I am safe in His arms. And it is okay to take a risk, and it is okay to fail. Failure is not the end. Sometimes it is the beginning of something else, something better. Don't let the fear of the "what-if's" control your life. Trust Jesus to lead the way.
"Light, space and zest-- that is God! So with Him on my side I am fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. (Psalm 27:1 The Message)

*This post was inspired by discussion regarding Max Lucado's book "Fearless".

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Blahs

Ok, I've got it. It's just mid January but I have the winter blahs. I just want to stay inside, wrapped up in a blanket and eat something sweet and warm.

To combat these winter blahs, we've been following Kristi's footsteps and having some dance parties. I turn on my ipod and Grace turns in circles.

I've shared this with others, but there is one praise song that will ALWAYS get me raising my hands. I always think of Beth Moore when this song comes on because I can hardly do anything but stop what I'm doing and praise his name. The tears come, the hands go up. It's a praise party. I have a Geoff Moore version of it but there are so many good ones.

In Christ Alone lyrics

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

What a powerful reminder on this cold dreary day. He will rise again! There have been so many times in the past when I have needed him as my comforter. This song reminds me that He is my all in all. He died for me. The thought of him on the cross and then rising again.... chills.

So we'll continue to have some dance parties to combat the winter blues. Songs like this will mean so much more. We all have winter seasons in our life. Praise God for songs that can lift us up and for spring.

What song is speaking to you right now? Please share, we LOVE to hear from you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

An Inspirational Read

I am an avid reader, and when I come across a book that touches my heart, I like to share it with the world! ( I know that everyone does not cherish a good book as much as I do, but I still like to share with everyone like they do.)

I have been wanting to read Same Kind of Different As Me for awhile now, and I joyfully received it as a gift for Christmas. I did not read it right away; I set it aside waiting for the exact time when I really needed a great book to escape to. Well, a few weeks ago, I just couldn't wait for that time any longer. I had other books to read, but I couldn't resist. And I am so glad that I read it, because now, I want to read it again!

This book was so good that I couldn't put it down. My children and husband saw my rear parked in my chaise lounge chair in the living room all afternoon on that Sunday. Caroline looked at me funny when she asked me a question, and when I looked at her, I was trying to wipe the tears from my eyes. "No, honey, you didn't make mommy cry. I am just reading a really good book." The look on her face said, "A good book makes you cry?" Nevermind. You will understand in a few years.

Without giving away much of the story, this is a true account of an unlikely friendship. It tells of hardship,unconditional love, forgiveness and faith. Parts of the story I could not, or did not want to believe were true, the suffering unimaginable. It left me convicted to feel more compassion for those around me, especially those who might seem "undesirable". I urge you to read this book. It will change your opinion on who God can use in this world to convey His wisdom.

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Father God, I thank you for this book, for helping its authors weave this story of all different emotions. Ultimately, you are glorified through the telling of these men's journeys. I praise you for the lessons learned. Help me to not forget how it touched me, and keep my eyes open to seeing you in all people. It's in your Son's name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Best part of my week....

I had a good week. Monday was a scheduled snow make-up day that we actually got off! My kids were great the rest of the week. I had dinner with some wonderful college friends Tuesday night. Wednesday was small groups with the youth. Thursday was Upward practice. Friday night I went to see the Harlem Globetrotters with the family. Saturday I became a momma to the cutest puppy ever.

But, the best part of my week was the challenge I had.

I am leading a Bible study of 4 7th grade girls. Monday night we were talking about prayer and studying the Word. We each made a commitment Monday night to read our Bible and pray for 6 or 7 days. I have spent daily time, 15-45 minutes, with the Lord. I have read out of James, Philippians, and Isaiah. I have had some amazing prayer time. I have noticed a completely different attitude in myself. I have noticed that the stupid little things that usually get under my skin haven't even phased me this week.

I encourage you to take the challenge. Make a commitment over the next week. And tell someone that will hold you accountable and pray for you! We at GLOW would love to hear from you. You can leave a comment or send us an email (link is to the right).

Jesus, thank you for this wonderful week. Thank you for your word and timing. You are SOOOOO good to me. Amen

Just had to include this picture. It absolutely melts my heart. This is my new puppy, Linus. He is the sweetest thing ever! I'm in love....

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Life: The Holy Sitcom

I am loving the Upward season this year. I feel so focused on the kids that call themselves Boilers. But sometimes I find myself so focused on all of the things they don't know.

As I was going through my undergrad work I always knew that I wanted to work with older kids, like the ones in 4th or 5th grade (I wanted to have at least a slight chance that I would be taller than my students). I liked that they were old enough to have pretty much developed their own personalities and attitudes but young enough to still love school and their teacher (all generalizations, I know). But I loved that you could joke around with them, they took directions pretty easily - when they wanted to, of course. Now don't get me wrong, I love all kids, I love their energy, the funny things they say, their complete honestly and openness.

But sometimes I get frustrated at Upward practice. For example, last night we were trying to teach them how to do a layup drill. At one point I felt like I was trying to teach them the chinese alphabet - underwater - with their ears plugged. Everything has to be so slow and every single little detail explained...then re-explained and slowed down some more...then there is still guiding and re-explaining while the drill is happening. I was getting bogged down with the fact that we couldn't even do a layup drill, at one point I was really struggling. I want to encourage them to have fun and enjoy practice, but I also want to accomplish things and leave feeling like they learned something.

The more I have reflected on this today, especially when I looked back at my original Upward post, I realized that I was missing the point.

*On a side note I am living under the complete understanding that I am God's own personal sitcom. I am sure He spends a lot of His time laughing at me. Loving me, yes, but laughing no doubt.

So on the sitcom-that-is-my-life I am sure God was getting a super deep belly laugh going on, maybe even about to fall off his Holy Lay-Z-Boy, because little did I know, I was putting Him through the same frustration that I was struggling through with the Boilers.

Allow me to explain.

You see at the beginning of this season I knew that these frustrations would come, but God was telling me to love them anyways. I knew that most of the players would have very little basketball experience but I was to love them anyways. So last night as I slowed down the drill and re-explained...I am sure that God was trying to slow me down and re-expain my job at that moment - to love them anyway.

...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5

Thanks for teaching me. I am so proud to be called coach, especially when that means I get to witness to youngsters for you. Give me patience and understanding...keep in the forefront of my mind and heart what I am really meant to be doing - loving in your name. Amen

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We can't forget

The news is slowing down about reports about Haiti. It's so awful, my first thought is often... turn it off, I can't take any more. And then I think how blessed I am to even be able to think that. I don't know why I am sitting in my house with an abundance of food, with my family sleeping nearby. I don't know why my friends or the country I love so much is going through this. But I DO know that God is good. I DO know that He is in control and that He is working. I have heard first hand about miracles happening. I've heard about people being pulled out from the rubble alive after days and days. I've read stories about how just when dear friends have run out of a precious desperately needed medical supply, another box of the supply was found in an unexpected place.

Please friends, don't just turn the tv off. This is the time when we must get on our knees and pray for God's continued mercy and help. And we need to continue to give. A friend and a coworker of mine in Haiti compiled this list of places that we know personally where you can lend your support. If you have another area or place you'd like to give to that will help Haiti, like UMCOR, please do so.

Quisqueya Christian School
This is the school I taught at in Haiti. It has become a temporary relief center. As of yesterday, they had medical staff working there, and are also working on food and water distribution. I still have many friends at the school, and have been receiving a lot of updates from Els Vervloet, who is the Alumni Director.

You can give to Quisqueya through a Paypal account, which is listed on their website.

John and Jodie Ackerman
Jodie is a teacher at Quisqueya Christian School, and John is a nurse and runs a clinic in the mountains above Port-au-Prince. They've been in Haiti a long time, and have the resources to coordinate teams and support medical care.

You can give to John and Jodie through their ministry website:

They also have a blog, where John has posted updates:

House of Blessings

Lonnie and Phil Murphy ran the House of Blessings orphanage for many years and are dear friends of mine- like my Haiti family. Lonnie is from North Webster (maiden name Black). They recently left Haiti after turning the orphanage over to Haitian staff who grew up at House of Blessings, but Phil and his daughter Michelle are in Haiti now helping with relief efforts

You can donate to House of Blessings through their website:


Heartline is a ministry that has many purposes, including an orphanage, a women's program, and many more things. The McHoul's were part of the Quisqueya Christian School community while I was there, and more recently the Livesays have been working with Heartline as well. I haven't met them, but have been reading their blog since they arrived in Haiti, and Troy Livesay has been tweeting about the earthquake since it happened.

You can donate to Heartline through their website:

You can also read the Livesays blog:

Or follow Troy Livesay on Twitter: @troylivesay

Monday, January 18, 2010


The ups and downs of life are interesting, to say the least. I was flying pretty high last week until the earthquake hit. That brought me down fast. I am sure I felt the same way as a lot of you felt. Shock, anger, sadness, despair, helplessness. I wanted to hop on the first plane to Haiti and help, full knowing that I couldn't. I had to get on the the "normal" activities of my life, but felt somewhat guilty about going on my usual routine like nothing was happening. Donating to UMCOR made me feel a little better, praying settled my spirit. Then Saturday came with all of the excitement of the Upward ministry. That sent my spirit soaring again! It was an awesome day of watching kids, parents, coaches, and volunteers serve in the body of Christ. Then I woke up Sunday morning.

I think sheer exhaustion had a lot to do with it, but we (our family) had one of the most irritable days in our history. The kids were grouchy, fighting, not listening, whiny. I was grouchy, snippy, impatient, angry. I did not like them, and I am sure they did not like me. Jason had pulled an all-niter at work on Thursday, so he was not in great shape either. UGH. It was not pretty. I was so ready to crawl under the sheets at the end of the day and call it DONE! "Stick a fork in it" finished.

Monday dawned a new day---- and of course, the kids were home from school all day for MLK day. I prayed for strength, for patience, for new children. (well, figuratively). The day went pretty well until dinner time, and then it fell apart. I took a deep breath, wished my husband well at his meeting (great timing!) and decided there was only one thing that could fix this funk we were in..........
We needed to get down on the dance floor and praise God! With a little help from Toby Mac, that is exactly what we did.
Seriously, who couldn't love those faces?
A little break -dancing never hurts either. The dog was even in on it.

Jumping, spinning, dancing, singing out to the Lord. Praising Him for just being Him.

In the most dire situation, as in Haiti, or just in my little world of raising children, God lifts us up. He strengthens us and fortifies us. He upholds us with His righteous right hand. Praise be to God, for His love endures forever!

Praise the Lord, sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker, let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing, and make music to him.... Psalm 149

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The tears have been coming on and off since I first heard of the devastation in Haiti. I'm not sure why this has overwhelmed me so much. I have never been there. I have no connections there. I don't personally know anyone there. But, my heart aches for this nation and its people.

I have found myself in sobbing prayer many times. I find myself asking God, "WHY?" It catches me at the most random times. Watching the news, listening to music, teaching, driving somewhere. The ache in my heart just burns and tears and I can do nothing but pray.

This morning's sermon was on miracles. I find myself praying for a miracle. I truly believe that is what it will take. Haiti needs a miracle. There is only one way this can happen...GOD. And I am trusting him with this nation, these people, and this devastation.

I came home and began searching for some answers from the Word. I want to share my findings:

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." -psalm 46:10

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." -psalm 73:25-26

"Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." -psalm 77:13-14

I wish so much that I was in a position to pick up and go. Go help. But, I am not right now. But I am always in a position to pray. To pray for a miracle....a God-sized miracle.

Precious Jesus, you know my heart. You have placed in me a need to trust you. A need to reach to you. A need to allow your Holy Spirit to intervene. Jesus I trust you are in control. I trust that your love is never-ending. I trust that you are the God who can perform miracles. I pray for miracles in Haiti. I pray for miracles in the hearts of the Haitians. I pray for comfort for the hurting, those who have lost, those who are helping, and those who are praying. May your will, your good pleasing and perfect will, be done in such a time as this. Amen

Friday, January 15, 2010

Upward Update

So far the Boilers are having a great season. Last night we had another practice. We are working on rebounding, good passes, and loving Jesus. The theme this year for the league is God is Light. We talk a little each week about various verses in the Bible that talk about the light. Last night we were doing our devotions and I asked each player to share how he is the light of Jesus to others. I got lots of good answers: "Be nice" "Help someone at school who is being made fun of" "Play with my sister" "Do the dishes for my mom" and then...then, I heard a pretty good little story.

My dad and I are pretty prone to nicknames and we call this particular little guy "El Presidante" fits, in so many ways. Anyway so when I asked El Presidante how he is a light for Jesus he proceeded to tell me this story.

There are some kids at my school that make fun of me, they hurt me and my feelings. They aren't nice. Whenever we come in from recess even if we don't have much time, I always tell him that God is mad at him. Well, He is, God gets mad when we are whining, complaining or not being nice. So I just tell him God is mad at you. Because He is.

After forcing down the little chuckle that tried to escape...I talked to him and the rest of the team that El Presidante was kind of right. Sometimes we do hurt God's feelings when we disobey but that doesn't change the fact that He loves us, always. And that maybe instead of telling someone else that God is mad at them, we should tell them that He loves them. In response to this one little guy said "Do until others as you would like them to do to you, that's the Golden Rule, From God."

I love them! And I love the chance that I have to impact their lives for Christ.

Bless these little ones. Help them to be your light at school, at home, on the bus, in everything. Keep them safe. I praise you for choosing little old me to be their coach. I will love them with your Love. Amen

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prayer needed

I was getting ready this morning and thought about not putting up the post below and just writing this but then I thought, no God IS working and I need to post that, but I also am asking you to get on your knees today and to pray. I believe that our great might God IS AND WILL BE working through this as well.

The country of Haiti was hit with a horrible earthquake yesterday afternoon. I am not sure if you have seen anything about it on the news but it's awful. For those of you who don't know, I started going to Haiti in college and moved there for 4 years when I graduated. It's been almost 8 years since I've lived there and 2 since I've been back but it's home for me.

Many of my dear friends have reported that they are ok, but Haiti is not ok. The damage is horrific. The loss of life is overhwelming. I know it's hard to imagine a if you've never been there, but there really is little to no infrastructure and no red cross to come to anyone's aid. There really is no medical structure to help the sick or a way to get to the trapped. Like I said, I know that for most of you, it's a place far away, but just know that today there are people in utter devestation with little to no hope. BUT our God is good and I believe that He will work through this tragedy and be glorified. Please join me in praying.
Thank you friends,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

God is moving

Like Kristi said, we finished Saturday's first UPWARD games with a huge bang. It was a fabulous day with so many helping to make it a smashing success for the kids. I woke up early that morning praying that God would make his presence known and He did.

Then on Sunday, my family went to church. It was a great message about baptism and about knowing God. That's what it's about my friends. It's all about knowing Him. It's about believing that HE loves you desperately and wants to walk with you step by step, day by day. The worship was powerful and at the end our Pastor gave a call for those who wanted to be baptized or renew their faith call to come forward. I stood in my pew and thought for a second about those around me. I thought, "Lord, I know that there are people here today who NEEDED to hear that. Please open their ears and hearts and give them a desire to move closer to you". I closed my eyes to sing for a bit and then opened them to see that a few brave, strong souls had gone forward. I didn't register who they were, that wasn't important for me to know (yes, important that they did it, and that they are known, but not that I be nosey and know "who" came forward).

Tears immediately filled my eyes. God is working. He's moving!!!! He is working in the hearts of our leaders in our church. He's working in the hearts of our volunteers for Upward Basketball and Cheerleading. He's moving the hearts of those who sit in our church and worship together every Sunday. I LOVE IT!!!!!

I had a few thoughts after church on Sunday. First, God is ALWAYS working. I think the reason that it hit me so hard and was so special to me is that I'm again in a time of deep prayer and ministry. I'm mindful of what is going on around me and so very thankful for His work and grace and mercy in my life. Second, because I am in this time, I can see how deliberate I am being about reaching out to others and I am praying that He will continue this season of my life for a long long time!

Lord Jesus, thank you for working in our lives. Thank you for showing your presence in a mighty might way this past weekend. I pray that those who came forward at our church will feel you and will be able to learn so much more about your love. Thank you for the ladies that write here, for a collective time of learning how much YOU move!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's not me, it's HIM

Okay, I just got up off my comfy bed to write this post. I was having some quiet time with the Big Man Upstairs, reading my Beth Moore devotion, referring to my Bible, thinking about what I was going to write in my blog tomorrow, and it hit me that I needed to get these thoughts out RIGHT NOW!!! Have you ever felt that way????

Anyhow, I had an entirely different post planned out in my head, and as it frequently happens, God decided today that He wanted me to write about something else. I am cool with that. But if this post is a bit disjointed, please bear with me. These are fresh thoughts --- kind of stream of consciousness, mind you.

After hearing a moving message in church Sunday, and reading Dina's post, my heart and head were "jarred" if you will. I think we all need a good "jarring" every now and again to get us headed on the right path, following Jesus, not our selfish needs. After planning out a post on some of the things I wanted to work on this year spiritually, I came to the conclusion that God is way ahead of me, as usual. The ultimate planner is outplanned, once again. He wins. He knew when he dropped me right in the middle of this huge ministry called Upward that it would open my eyes to a lot of things in His plan, not my plan. When I found myself serving others all day Saturday and not thinking about what I was planning for dinner or what my children were having for lunch and if it was healthy, this was HIS plan, not mine. When I heard of a little boy after his game telling another little boy excitedly that it was like being announced at a REAL basketball game, that was HIS plan, not mine. When I saw some faces from Upward at church today, that was HIS plan, not mine. When I lost myself in the ministry of loving and encouraging others and forgot about my own worries, that was HIS plan, not mine. When I saw the joy in the faces of children who are learning about the Lord while playing a sport, that is HIS plan, not mine.

I guess you are probably getting the point now. Even though I know to my very core that this life is about following Jesus and his plan, not mine, I get sucked into my plans all of the time. God knows that. So He put me in a situation where I see His plans get carried out in ways beyond the reach of me and my sharpened pencil, notepad, and watch.

My plans vs. His plans.................. I think I will join in on His plans.

I can't wait to see what HE has planned next.

Dear Lord of all, You are the author of the perfect plan. Even when I feel like things are not working accordingly, you have a reason for it all and it fits perfectly with your path for me and for others. Guide me, lead me, strengthen my faith and trust in your plan and purpose.
In Your Son's name, Amen

What REALLY matters?

M a student. He informs his teacher that he sleeps on the kitchen floor or under the couch most nights. Needless to say, he falls asleep in class a lot. What REALLY matters for him?

S is mentally handicapped. She function at a 1st grade level. Grade-level work is not a possibility. Social and life skills are a necessity. What REALLY matters for her?

A is an intern. She has lived a life of investing in lives while traveling around the world working with athletes, specifically basketball. She struggles with finding a job that fits her passions.

K, E, J, T are 7th graders. They are in a tough stage of life. They want to be liked, loved, and accepted. They are eager to grow up right now. What REALLY matters for them?

D is a teacher. She invests in the lives of children 180 days each year. She wants to start grad school and head into the next season of her professional life. Her heart aches for youth ministry as well. Priorities get focused on being that "outstanding" teacher. She loses sight of God and his ultimate plan sometimes. What REALLY matters most for her?

My heart has been heavy this week. God has placed a burning desire in me to know his grace and love in new ways. Not only does he want me to know these things, he is calling me to show these things. I know it will take me out of my comfort zone. I know I will have to speak up about issues that the world can't/won't open their eyes to. I need to get on my knees, into the Word, cry out to God. I know what REALLY matters is proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in every aspect of my life. I just need help.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pray without ceasing...

I'm praying for:

- The sweet family I blogged about yesterday.

- Our first UPWARD game tomorrow - GO BOILERS!

- My family, especially my sister who is getting married this year and my sweet Ava and her soon coming baby brother or sister.

- Mike and I, that we would contine to serve our God through our relationship.

- People who are without heat or a safe and warm home this winter.

- Thanking God for the way that He has been revealing Himself to me. What an incredible God that truly loves us and wants to bless us.

I realize maybe this isn't the most exciting, inspiring, or thought-provoking post. However, you have officially been impacted by my new year's resolution - Pray Without Ceasing. Well that and see Sugarland in concert. :) But back to the praying part, I am going to try to establish a strong prayer life not just for 2010 but forever. And finally, of course, I am praying for my girls who blog here. That we would be open about what God is calling us to share. That we would be strong women of Faith who are willing to admit at the end of the day, for all the online world to see that we are just sinners who have been given the gift of the Spirit because our Christ first loved us. And I am praying for those who read here. I love this community even if it's just a chance for me to release stuff once a week.

May God Bless You! And again, GO BOILERS!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cry out to Jesus.

I am so broken-hearted right now.
I can't tell you many details. But I know if you pray with me, God will know just what you mean.
Sorry for the lack of information, just know that there is a family going through what I imagine to be the worst possible storm on this earth.
But, God is there.
He loves them. He knows the reason for their incredible loss. He wants them close to Him, as He does with each one of us.
Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint.
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is ini anguish.
How long, O LORD, how long?
I am work out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the LORD has heard my weeping
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayers.
Psalm 6: 2-4,6-9

God we are crying out to you on behalf of this beautiful family. To us it seems impossible that this could be your will but we know that in Jeremiah you tell us that you have a plan for each one of us, and it's an awesome, beautiful plan. Bring these sweet children of yours closer to you now than they have ever been. Reveal yourself to them, give them your love, strength, mercy and a peace that passes all understanding. Be near to their hearts.
In your precious Son's name, Ahmen

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Heading into 2010

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a lot of Christmas blessings! Our family sure did. We were super busy up until Christmas, but this last week has been so peaceful and relaxing. We basically stayed at home, played a lot of games (and Mariokart) together, went sledding a few times, drank a lot of hot chocolate, and just enjoyed being together and not on a schedule! (Can you believe it???:) Given my schedule-driven nature, it was a welcome change of pace for all of us.

Now that we are headed into a new year, I have spent a little time reflecting on 2009. I think it is a worthwhile exercise to sit down, invite God to join you in some quiet reflection, and not only think about your blessings over the past year, but where you could improve this coming year. Oh how my list goes on, but here are my top five of each category (in no particular order):

My biggest blessings of 2009

1. My husband: I am so thankful that God brought Jason into my life 15 years ago. I am truly amazed at his dedication to God, and to me and our children. He is supportive of me in my roles as a mother, teacher (at home) and church leader. He leads our family in a Godly way. He loves me in my "not so fine" moments, and forgives me when I nag or just am cranky. I could not ask for a better partner on this journey!

2. My children: Each of them in their own unique way makes my life extraordinary. They are full of energy, enthusiasm, questions, and emotions. I am thankful for their spiritual growth this year. It is truly a gift to be able to see God work in the hearts of your own children.

3. My friends: I have to say that I have some awesome friends, some near and some far away, who God brought me close to for a reason. I appreciate each relationship and the special perspective each one brings to me. Some of my best conversations with friends have been on long walks this year..... thank you friends for listening and for literally and figuratively walking with me!

4. My church: Over the past year, God has really made me rearrange my church commitments. Some ministries close to my heart had to be passed on, while one new big one was placed in front of me. I am thankful for my church family for blessing me and allowing me to serve God in many ways with them.

5. My God: My awesome, mighty Father. I am thankful for his never-failing presence in my life. Even when I am not at my best, He is there beckoning me back into His arms. Every moment of pure joy this year came from Him, and he was there comforting me in times of frustration and sorrow. I am blessed that He loves me.

Ok, you will have to wait until next week to find out what I need to work on in 2010. This post is getting too long!!! What were your top five blessings of 2009?

"Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders You have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40:5 (NIV)