Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Life is a series of ups and downs. I'm reminded of a song by a gal named Pam Thum called 'Life Is Hard...But God Is Good'. It talks about different times in ones life when you feel like you can't go on and how no matter what, God is there to understand. My favorite words - "You try to pray but there's nothing left to say, So you just quietly kneel. In the silence of all that you face, God will give you His mercy and grace. Jesus never said it was an easy road to travel, He only said that you would never be alone. So when your last thread of hope begins to come unraveled, Don't give up, He walks beside you on this journey home and He knows...Life is hard, the world is cold. We're barely young and then we're old but every falling tear is always understood. Yes, life is hard but God Is Good!"

As I think about what is happening in my life, there is much good and some not so good. I think of people in my life that are hurting. Some that have lost a very close loved one and some facing serious surgery. You wish you could do something to help things not hurt so much, to make things better. Sometimes there just isn't anything to say or do but cry with them and then keep them in your prayers.

Sometimes I wonder what people do that don't believe in God, that don't have the assurance that they are never alone. I have so many times relied on the thought that God is always available. It says in Deuteronomy and in 1 Chronicles that God will not leave or forsake us. Halleluyah!! Life is hard.....But don't ever forget.....GOD IS GOOD!!!!! Amen.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

They are just Things!

Hi All, Shannon Y. here! I am going to be posting in Kristi's place today.

Something has been weighing on my heart for awhile now. My dad likes to call it Materialism. According to an online dictionary Materialism is a theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life. This really speaks volumes to me.

Luke 12:15 says ~ Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

I find it very sad people value their worth in possessions. So my husband and I have really been evaluating "our" possessions and detaching from things to focus more onto God. My husband and I have gone through nearly every cabinet, drawer and closet in our home. Finding items that we can live without. My wonderful husband and children did a great job going though everything! At times it was hard to really detach from those "things" but we just keep focusing.

I had a mental picture of God so far away I had to squint to see him and garbage in between us. Every time we added items to the garage sale, charity, or trash piles I felt like some of the garbage between us disappeared and I got closer to God. This weekend we are having a garage sale and my children are so excited! They haven't even asked about the money they might make because they are doing it for Jesus.

Dear Lord thank you so much for the "things" you provide for us but even more thank you for your unending love that we don't deserve!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Live Each Day

In case any of you were wondering, YES I am still alive! Needless to say I have had a crazy past few months and some things just had to be put on hold. But I am back, refreshed, and have posts ready to go!

God has been doing a mighty work in me lately. I seem to have a recurring theme in my study and conversation and time with the Lord. Live each day. I'm sure you are reading this and thinking "duh". I sometimes catch myself thinking the same thing. But those 3 words are more than a "duh" statement. They are straight from scripture. They are a command that I am learning a lot about.

"Live each day" means so much more than just being alive to me. It means be intentional. LIVE out my testimony with every breath that I have every day that I have breath. Stop being so concerned with the week, month, or year ahead. God doesn't guarantee us those. What he does guarantee is the present.

I am a planner. I like to know exactly what is going on every minute of every day. I like to have a plan. Now, if something comes up I can adjust the plan. I was the girl with a 5 year plan when I graduated highschool and a 10 year plan when I graduated college. Needless to say, neither went as I had planned. And I am eternally grateful for that because God's plan has been way better.

So, I am living each day. One day at a time. Not stressing over the what ifs or when or buts. Just focusing on being blessed with the present that God has given me. And as a thanks to HIM, trying to live each day for HIM. If you find yourself getting too caught up in the days, weeks, or months ahead you miss out on the moment you have.

I challenge you to look up what God has to say about living each day. I am going to list some scripture references, but not the verses. I challenge you to look them up even if you know them. Pray before you read. Take time RIGHT NOW to listen to what God is trying to tell you. Live each day!

Colossians 3:23-24
Matthew 6:25-34
Luke 12:35-40
Revelation 3:3
Matthew 25:1-13

Precious Jesus, Thank you for today. Help me to focus each day on living for you and you alone. AMEN

Friday, June 25, 2010


Love is hard sometimes isn't it?

I think it can be. Yes, it can be so great. It is the best thing ever... but man can it also be hard! I spent the day with a dear friend who is working on loving. Loving herself and loving others. We spent a lot of time talking, laughing, and even crying a bit. I shared my joys and struggles and most importantly I wanted her to know that God is our best example of love. He is constantly forgiving and full of grace. She knows that I am confident. I am so proud of her right now and for her hunger for God. It's exciting and encouraging.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I am guessing that someone out there needs to know that they are loved. Or someone out there is struggling with a relationship- how to love in the right way. It's work. It gives the best results but it is work for sure. God gave us hearts to love others and with that also comes some pain but in the end I'd take that any day over never having my life overflowing with friends, family and joy.

I had quite a long "to do" list today. I accomplished some of my list, but more importantly I spent the day with a dear friend and was able to listen to her heart (what a privilege!) and walk with her on her amazing journey. That beats folding laundry my friends. For sure.

I'm praying for you right now, that you have someone you can talk to... that you have a friend whom you can turn to and tell your struggles. God didn't make us to be alone and he made us to love. I'm so grateful for that!

Forgive my rambling.... my heart is full tonight and I wanted to share with you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Long Obedience

I just finished up day 4 of my first week of my new summer Bible Study on the Book of Ruth. Tonight's topic was long-term obedience to God. Wow. What a fresh perspective on Ruth's decision to follow her MIL Naomi back to the land of Judah. What I love about doing studies like this is that I learn things I would have never picked up on just by reading the Scripture by myself. God truly speaks to each of us in a different way when we are in His word.

If you get a chance, read the first chapter of Ruth (it's short). Basically, Naomi tells Ruth three different times to go back to her people (the Moabites, who worshipped false gods). Ruth responds with dedication to Naomi, and most importantly, dedication to God. "Your people will be my people, and your God my God." Despite Naomi's urging to turn back, Ruth stands firm in obedience to God (more than one time too!)

As the author points out, it takes more than sheer will-power to obey God. Sometimes I know that I think that it is my own inner strength that allows me to stick to my guns when it comes to obedience. How many times do we give ourselves the credit for standing up to temptation, when it is really the power of Christ working in us? I love thinking about the power that God gives to us through his Holy Spirit--- if only I relied on it more than I rely on myself!! How much umph I would have to fight against those roadblocks to obedience.

Thank you Lord for the story of Ruth and her dedication and love to you and to Naomi. Help me to make you my anchor, the source of my strength and obedience. Show me the ways to walk on the path you have prepared for me, not the one I would choose for myself. Amen.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Ok, I had the busiest, craziest week but it was wonderful! We started our weekend with a trip to Mackinaw (hubby and I) and then when we drove down to get my daughter from my parents, we also brought back my niece and nephew for the week. After getting home and unpacking, some dear friends who are missionaries in Haiti came for the night on their way through town with their 5 children! We had a wonderful visit with them. I love catching up with friends from Haiti. We could have picked a better day, when we weren't just getting home, or when we didn't have family visiting, but for me, any of my friends from Haiti are family and I'll always make time for them.

Yesterday when our company left yesterday... we CRASHED! It was great to have family and friends visiting but it's also great to just be home... just us. I worked hard all week with extra people in the house and found that I didn't take any time for myself- or time for God. I'm starting a new Bible study this week (can't wait to share what I'm learning!) but I'm starting off on the wrong foot... playing catch up. that's not how God meant/means for us to study his word. So I will commit to you on this blog to stay on top of my time with Him this summer and to report back to you what I'm learning.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A little of This and That

Whew! I am back for a week, and then gone again. Summer, where are you going? I guess this is how it goes when your kids get older and involved in lots of activities. This week is dance rehearsals, dance recital, golf camp, tennis lesson, karate, piano, and off to camp for Alex for five days!! (that is a whole other blog post--sending your firstborn off to sleepover camp for the first time!) Then off to vacation with my entire family! Then it is July, yikes!

I love being busy and involved in lots of stuff, but I also like to just relax and enjoy time as a family. It is definitely a struggle to find that balance. Busy enough to stay out of trouble, but not so busy the kids do not have down time just to play and be kids.....

Also, to remember to put God first in worship, prayer and devotion time. I know how I get, especially during the summer, so I deliberately set up a Bible Study to do to keep me on the right path with my Lord! My friend and co-blogger Shannon H. shares my same issues, so we organized a summer Bible study by Kelly Minter entitled "Ruth: Loss, Love and Legacy". We did her study called "No Other Gods" last summer and it was so much fun. It is called the Living Room Series and she writes in the perspective of chatting with her girlfriends in her living room, sharing good food and good music, along with studying the Word. I can't wait to start!

I pulled out some of my memory verse notecards the other day and this is the one that has been sitting open for the last few weeks. I feel it is very appropriate given my tendency to fill my time with "busyness".

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge." Isaiah 33:6

I love that verse because it reminds me the He is the source of all the good things in my life. All of those other activities are great, but my life is nothing without Him. He is it!!! Without that solid foundation, life can crumble so easily around us if the going gets tough. I thank the Lord for that reminder in Isaiah.

I hope you all are having a fantastic summer, and pray that you have a way to stay grounded in the love of Jesus!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Love, the first of the fruit of the Spirit...

Well, well... here it is the middle of another busy week. I enjoyed Shannon Y's post in for Kristi. I should have thought of that. It is neat to hear all the different perspectives of all of our lives. I'm sure most of those of you that read this blog would have similar things to say. Be sure to comment and email when you feel so inclined to share your thoughts. That's what this blog is all about!!

We started a study this week in church about the fruit of the Spirit and they had a short video of a very cool lady that goes to our church. I hope many of you got to see that video! She spoke about 'love' which is the first one talked about in Galations 5 : 22-23. It was very interesting to hear her thoughts. She talked about the love of her blended family and the love that she found in the church. I've worked closely with this lady in the past at our church. Her love for her family, her church family, and for others is very evident. She is a true blessing to people she comes in contact with.

She shared a story about herself as a little girl when she was always peeking into the basement windows of the church next to her house and the Sunday School teacher came out and invited her in. She shared about the first Sunday coming to our church after her and her husband had married and blended their two families together. How welcomed and loved she felt.

I share this because in October, 1988, almost 22 years ago this same lady called and welcomed Mike and I and our four children to the church in much the same way that she spoke of. She was the church secretary at the time and called visitors the week after they were in church for the first time. We were new in the community, had both been raised Methodist, and had been attending a Methodist church in our old town so automatically came there. But just like she had felt so welcomed so long ago, we were welcomed, loved, and drawn in by that love we also, found. I was somewhat overcome hearing her share, knowing that God did the same thing for me and my family that He did for her many years earlier. I hope and pray that I have been that welcoming person to others by sharing His love. That is the really awesome thing about Jesus, He will help us to love others with His love, sometimes even people we don't think we can love. And He helps others to love us even when we are at our 'unloveliest'. ( Is that even a word?) I pray that we can focus on God so He will show us all where we can show that love.

Dear God, Thank you for your love, it is so amazing. You love us unconditionally. Help us to be more like you every day. Amen.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Have you ever asked God to trip you?

Hi All!

My name is Shannon Y and I am writing for Kristi while she is away. A little about me... I am married with three children. Zoe is 5 , Hank and Ella are 3. I enjoy any type of crafts I can get my hands on. I recently started playing flat track roller derby.

I have a friend, Jayma, from a different roller derby team who we invited to come to a practice to give us some pointer. As Jayma and I are putting on our protective gear she says I keep telling God.. "God if I start to showboat trip me." Wow! I love that thought! Her purpose for coming to the practice was to support women in a sport she loves not boosting her ego. Since that night I have been saying the same prayer but in different forms. God if I start to stray off your path please trip me. God if my eyes fall off of you please let me fall on my face.

We recently went on a retreat to see Beth Moore as a lot of you know. The morning before we left was crazy at my house! I still needed to pack, list out the rules for my father who was watching my children till my husband came home that afternoon, feed my children and myself... you get the idea.

I kiss everyone goodbye and jump in to my husbands little black truck. I am so focused on getting to the bank before meeting everyone at church. Seriously! I'm focused on the bank! I'm about to go on this amazing journey with wonderful christian women and I'm thinking about the bank! That was my first problem. My second was the state police officer going the other direction turning around with his lights on! Uh-Oh! You see while I was so focused on the bank I was also speeding. Without another thought I pulled over and for just a minute I started thinking... "This little sport truck just got away from me, Yeah that's what I'll tell him. I'm a girl he'll believe that." Crazy huh?! I think so. I have my window down, my licence, and registration out ready for the officer. He walks up to my truck, "Ma'am I stopped you for speeding. (Yes Sir) I clocked you at 51 in a 30. Where are you headed in such a hurry?" Honesty spills out of my mouth. "I am on my way to a ladies church retreat." As he returns to his car I try to wrap my mine around what just happened. Then I smile God just tripped me!

Soon the officer returns, gives me a warning, and sends me on my way. Wouldn't you know I made it to the bank and got to church early. So I sat in my truck and a bit of quite time with God. I gave Him the praise that I had so easily forgotten, the honor he so deserves, and my focus!

Thank you Lord for tripping me!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Summer is here! I'm so thankful for this past year and I am so thankful for summer. Remember my working on the railroad post? Well... I can see the end of a few commitments and some actual down/family time coming my way. I'm working on protecting some days and time for my family this summer. It's hard because I'm a "yes" lady. I like to help and hate to disappoint but I know that my time will soon be filled with a baby's cry, nursing, diapers, and sleepless nights so time with my family is precious. (that is- good, quality family time)

As a few of my commitments wind down (babysitting, the retreat is done, and a few more) I can look back and see how I need to keep my priorities straight and remember that all I do is for HIM. If I'm working as if I'm serving the Lord, not men, then that changes my attitude quite a bit you know? I'm really going to try to keep serving Him as my #1 and just plain old being busy out of the picture.

One of the ways I'm hoping to stay on track is by keeping in the Word this summer. I'm looking forward to doing a Kelly Minter Bible study. I like that focus that keeps me on task and target. I know I'll need to be grounded in the Word before my family grows by one more!

What are your plans to stay "fruitful" this summer? Any ways we can help/hold you accountable? We'd love to hear from you- as always you are more than welcome to post a comment - give it a try, you can do it!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Travel to the 'Rainforest' with us!!!

Well, again it has been a few weeks since I have posted anything. I had started reading the Beth Moore book and it was saying so much to me. I would hear a song on the radio while I was driving which would remind me of what I had read. Then I would write something in my head, If I'd just had a secretary riding along with me!! I put the book down and have not finished it as of yet so maybe some day I'll get back to it and have something to post about my insecurities. The reason I was so busy - our youngest daughter got married. It was a wonderful celebration of two families! Thank you to so many that shared the day with us! It made for a busy month of May.

Now that May is over, school will be out in just a few days and we are gearing up for the summer. Like Kristi posted, the Wilson's also had a great Memorial wkend at the lake. As usual, I have big plans for the summer to get my house organized and have a money making yard sale!! That actually never happens but I always hope.

Also once again we are beginning plans for Summer VBS at our church. We are using Gospel Light's Rainforest material. It sounds like great fun, as usual! I have volunteered to organize the decorations and the crafts. (could use some help if anybody wants to be involved) We will be transforming the church into a 'rainforest' for the week. We will make some trees, vines, water falls, a rainforest canapy with all the rainforest animals, etc all over the church. Hopefully, we will be able to come up with an idea to somehow make a rope bridge somewhere. It will be even better if the kids can walk on it. There are so many cool ideas!!

Then the crafts are just as exciting! We will be making dragonfly and toucan wind chimes, stuffed capuchin monkeys, and rain sticks, just to name a few! I think the kids will have fun while learning about a different Parable of Jesus each day. Hopefully, they will be challenged to learn more about God's amazing love, praying to him, and depending on Him. As adult leaders we have such an awesome opportunity to have fun right along with them and relearn some of the same things. I love VBS!

Consider joining us for one day or all five days...I'm sure you could find something to do. Or maybe you know some kids that need to sign up to come or youth that could help, too! If nothing else, pray for us as we prepare, pray for the children that will come, and for the missions that we will be working for. It's always so cool to see how it all works out. Which is how God works if we are willing to put in our time. I think one of the other important things is that we need to pray that we are doing what God wants us to do. Things will usually work out better than we thought and we plant seeds that we don't know anything about. So pray for the VBS and/or come be a part of it.

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart, as working for the LORD, not for men.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lots of Joy

We have had a busy few days here at our house. I want to share some of the joy over the Memorial Day weekend. I savored every moment!

First of all, it was one of the best Memorial Day weekends weather -wise that I can remember! praise God for the sun and the warmth. Our eventful five days started on Thursday with Caroline's preschool graduation. This is here before the ceremony, all dressed up.

This is Caroline with one of her best friends, Zoe. She has been blessed with some great friends and amazing teachers in preschool. Aren't their caps so cute?

On Saturday, we got together with some friends for a bonfire in celebration of Jason's birthday. I thought this picture of the guys roasting hotdogs was funny. It looks like they were posing for a catalog or something. Ha! It was such a beautiful night, and we had lots of fun hanging out friends, eating great food and enjoying good conversation.

On Sunday, we hung out with some of our best friends who come down to the lake every summer. Our kids have grown up together, and they were SO happy to see each other. Here are the girls hanging out on the boat. (Sadie and Caroline)

And here are the three amigos on the wild tube ride. (Alex, Nate and Cabe)

On Monday, we just hung out around the house and enjoyed being together. Alex got a kayak from my in-laws as an early birthday present, and he loves exploring right in front of our house.

I am so thankful for this past weekend. I LOVE summer, and it was a perfect kick-off to it getting to spend time with friends and family. I really tried to relish those little moments and thank God for his creation, for those around me, and for the good times. Even when our boat battery died, and we were floating aimlessly in the lake with no help around, the kids turned it into an adventure we will never forget (we did make it back to shore!)

I hope you all had a great weekend as well. I am going to have a guest blogger a few times in June when I am out of town, so stay tuned for Shannon Y.'s posts! (Zoe's mom!)