Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God's Power In Your Life

Hi everyone! I do not have anything much to write tonight, but I want to encourage you, if you haven't already, to read yesterday (Monday's) post. A friend and fellow church member wrote her testimony, and it is amazing! To acknowledge God's sovereign power in your life is truly humbling, and witnessing His work in other people's life is just as powerful.

Sharing our testimony is so crucial in our walk with our Lord--- When others hear how God changes someone's life for the better, they can't help but want to find out more!

We would love to hear about how God has worked in your life, recently or in the past. Post a comment with your testimony of God's love and grace!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Amy's Storm

Hello Ladies! I am posting my beautiful friends testimony she gave last Sunday in church! I hope you are moved by this as much as I am!

My major storm rolled in on October 2, 2009. My husband of 14 years decided he wanted to be single and moved out of our house. I was enrolled in school full time and working a part time job here at the church. I was completely shocked and blown away. In 68 days, my divorce was final, I no longer had health insurance. and I was on my own with two teen boys. This shock set my world into a thunder storm.
That same October, my mom had a horrible kidney infection she didn't know she had for three months. She ended up in the hospital with a septic infection that invaded her brain. She was having episodes of delirium and was extremely sick. My mother is my best friend and this was another blast of thunder in my storm. I couldn’t imagine losing her after just losing my husband.

In February, I had to give up my job here at the church to finish my schooling with full time externships. Living on my tax return and child support, I knew I had just a certain amount of time to get things done and get a job. I am a good with money, so I knew I could do it and just how much time I had to do it in. I was confident I had it all figured out.

Since now I was certain God was not on my side any longer, I gave into Satan’s grasp and lived a life of self destructive behavior for a while. I became a daily purposeful sinner, almost mocking God with my behavior. I was still attending church during this time, just not ready to give up the new supportive friends I found here. I also wanted to keep my boys active in the church but I was not getting much out of it.

THEN, Pastor Dave started preaching on the Fruits of the Spirit. He was speaking directly to me, he was telling me how to get my life back on track. I listened and each week thought, yep, I need to do that. But each week I didn't. Finally after hearing a few things, one, something my brother said and two, the sermon on Self Control, I realized it was TIME to get back in God’s will.

My brother told my mom I was a hypocrite for being a purposeful sinner and still going to church, and my mom told him, "That’s exactly where Amy--and all sinners--belong." I also realized I was not being a good example to my children, my family, and everyone else I came in contact with. I needed help and I realized that only God could bring me back from this mess.

I made a promise to myself that I would stop my self-destructive behavior and had a great new Christian friend who helped me daily by checking on me and making sure I was still being true to myself.

Things were going well for me, I thought the storm was lifting some. I was wrong, Satan was still at me. Thunder and lightning were still in the storm. Although I am going to thoroughly enjoy being in the medical field, the main reason I chose it was the promises of always having a job. But I graduated from school and couldn’t find a job! I sent out over 100 applications and resumes for jobs from South Bend to Fort Wayne. Early on in my job search, I was offered a job at just above minimum wage but the hours would've kept me away from my sons at night. As much as I wanted and needed a job, my job of being a good mother comes first.

I had a few interviews, even second and third interviews. Each time, I would get my hopes up only to be crashed down in the rocks by the huge waves of the storm. Two or three of those jobs I wanted sooo badly! I In desperation, I claimed Matthew 7:7, "Ask and it will be given to you." I boldly prayed that scripture, asking Jesus to give me the job I wanted that week. And then another disappointment--still no job, money running lower and lower, panic getting worse. I just couldn't understand why God wasn't answering my prayers! About the same time, I realized I was still being a purposeful sinner and I was so very unhappy with my entire life. So I knew it was time--time for me to give my life back to God, time to work hard at seeking God's will for my life and living within God's law. The first few days were extremely hard! Obviously the devil wanted me back. (GRIN!) But each day it got a little easier to be in God's will.

Ten days ago my money ran out, my house payment was due and my car needed repairs--I had to jump start it every other day for weeks if I needed to go somewhere. I had to get government help with food, I had to get some paper supplies from the food pantry. I felt I had fallen about as low as I could go. Then my tire completely blew out and with no money, all I could do was drive on the little donut tire. I didn't know how I would get out of town safely if I actually did get an interview. All I could do was pray. And then great friends came forward and put two new tires on my car. My mom loaned money for the mortgage and to fix my car. She even gave me her car to drive for the week or so mine is in the shop.

I am not a good receiver.

It is much easier to give than to receive, that is just such a TRUE statement! My mom kept telling me I had to let these people help and that really humbled me. She said I was cheating them out of the joy of helping. I still don't like receiving the help, but I think I have a little less pride now!

Every single day for two months I was calling and checking on all my applications, going on interviews, putting in apps for new job listings, even at Menards! Here I was, with two college degrees and I couldn’t get a job, not even at Menards! What a loser I was!

Then last Sunday at church, after another great sermon on Storms, about 40 people gathered around me to pray for me. With hands laid on me, prayers being raised high, and tears streaming, I let these people love on me and send an appeal to God to take the storm cloud off of my head and open up the skies and let the Son shine down.

Within 24 hours, I had a new interview. Then two days later, a second one...and a third, all with the same company. The district manager wanted to interview me and she was going to be out of town for two weeks so they hurried things through so I could meet with her before she left town. Two hours after that interview I was offered the job! It's not just a job, either. It's something I love doing, the pay is way better than anything else I was ever offered and it comes with great insurance. I believe this is the power of prayer in action! This was not a coincidence, this is GOD at work!

It took me getting my life in God’s will, lots and lots of prayer, being humble, losing my pride, and allowing others to help and pray for me before God could see his reflection in me and pull me out of the fire. ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD!

Baby Hartman!!!

Graham Bradley Hartman was born at 11:29pm on August 29th. He is 8 lbs 6 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. It was a long 33.5 hours of labor but both Mother and Son are doing well! Like many of you, I can't wait to meet this sweet gift from God!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today is my birthday. I had a wonderful day. My daughter proudly gave me a card first thing this morning. My husband and mother in law and daughter and I spent the day in Ft. Wayne shopping our hearts out. I had a free birthday lunch and free ice cream (I love signing up for freebies!). It was wonderful. I have also been so blessed this week by dear friends who have loved on me with food, cards, treats, and sweet kind words.

I've alternated these last few days between being so happy about my life and so very anxious to have this baby! A friend told me on Sunday to just enjoy this time because once they are out, they are out! (thanks Cheryl!) I think that I have felt a pressure (from me only, not from anyone else!!!) to have this baby earlier than his due date because my MIL is here and she can help us. I want to have him so I don't feel so big and blah (full well knowing how I'll feel AFTER he's born!), and I just want to see him, see what he looks like and kiss his sweet little face.

So, yes, I'm anxious. I'm about ready to try anything... but I also switch back to the fact that our loving God who has blessed me with him, KNOWS the day he'll be born. He already KNOWS everything about him! Why should I be so anxious when that's the case? :) So I spent some time tonight and found two verses that I'm going to put on my fridge this week. Two verses that remind me that God is leading me on this path and he's guiding me and it's HIS timing.

    Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
    Ecclesiastes 3:11
    He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I know I'm not the only one struggling with God's timing and with waiting on him. Praying for you ladies... that you'll find rest in the fact that He has laid out the path ahead of us. AMEN!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Power of Friendship

I am so thankful for my friends. Old and new, young and old, similar to me and as different as night and day. What a wonderful God we serve who knows us so well, that He places just the right people in our lives at the perfect time. A friend who teaches, a friend who guides, a friend who listens, and friend who challenges us to be better. Each friendship is unique, and I love that.

A friend of mine shared a story with me today that moved me, and I would like to share it with you. It really shows how powerful friendship can be if we allow it to.

My friend "Ann" has a friend "Kay" who is terminally ill. She has pancreatic cancer. She is only in her mid-forties. She has three children, the youngest who is in high school. Ann has been visiting Kay regularly, just sitting with her and loving her. Kay's oldest son is engaged to be married on Sunday. A while ago, Kay shared her concern about not being able to put together the rehearsal dinner for her son and his fiancee, whose family lives in Illinois. Kay's health is failing fast. After talking about it, Ann offers to go to Illinois this weekend and organize the rehearsal dinner for her friend Kay. She knows none of the fiancee's family. She is not familiar with the area. But what she does know is that she loves her friend, and she wants to do this act of kindness for her and her family.

Ann told me today that she visited Kay, and with tears in her eyes, shared with me that she would be surprised if she lived until this weekend. And even though doing this task for Kay really puts her out of her comfort zone, her love for her sister in Christ outweighs her discomfort of traveling to an unknown place and basically being around a bunch of people she doesn't know.

This story of the power of friendship has been on my mind all day. What a servant's heart Ann has. I thought about if I was in the same situation, would I have the courage to do the same? Would my selfish desires or discomfort win over? Would I put myself out there to love as freely and openly as Ann does?

When God created us, He created a part of us that needs relationships and friendships. God wants us to have a body of believers we surround ourselves with to love, laugh, support, and hold each other accountable. He sometimes works through our friends to serve his purposes here on earth. I know He put Ann in Kay's life for a reason, too.

How can you be a better friend? How can you let your friends know you appreciate them? I know that I sometime take my friends for granted. I am planning on letting them know how much I love them for who they are!

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

** Kay did get to see her son say his vows a few weeks ago. Her son and fiancee made a special trip to see her, dress and all, to get married before the official wedding, knowing that she would not be able to go.

Monday, August 23, 2010


"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." Proverbs 3:3

This is my favorite bible verse right now and I am trying to "drill" it into my head as my dad would say. As a lot of you know last week was my oldest daughter, Zoe's first day of kindergarten. Soon my youngest, Hank and Ella, will be going to preschool. It is hard for me to let go of their little hands and let them "walk alone." I know that God is always with them and I need to have faith that when my hand is letting go His hand is still holding on!

What is it that makes it so hard to just believe that God has it all under control? Is it because God isn't a physical being walking around saving the world like superman? When I was a child I knew my parents had everything under control because I could see them fixing and doing things. Now as an adult I am learning everyday to let go and my Father has it under control. I can pray all I want but in the end He knows what is best.

I want my children to learn at a young age that God has a plan for them and that He is with them at ALL times. My husband and I wanted Zoe to have a reminder that God is with her on the school bus when she hears conversations that are to old for her ears. When she meets other children from different walks of life and when she is faced with trying times. We chose a necklace, a beautiful cross with a small heart on the bottom of the cross. Zoe was very excited the first day of school after she was all ready for the bus we gave her the necklace. We explained to her that God was with her now, God is with her when she rides the bus, and God is with her at all times. The necklace is a reminder that when you need the strength to say no or walk away God is with you!

I walked Zoe out to the bus and away she went. When I picked her up from school. I asked her how her day was and of course she had a million 'n one things to tell me. I told Zoe I was relieved because I was nervous. Zoe said I was nevous too but Jesus was with me. She was right! God is with us ALL!

I hope you all feel that God is with you no matter what storm you are going through in your life! We may not understand the storm today but someday those clouds will disappear. We will look to the sky the sun will beam down on our faces and we will understand the purpose of the storm.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I am a C...

I am a C-H
I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N
and I have C-H-R-I-S-T in my H-E-A-R-T
and I will L-I-V-E E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y!

If you know this song, I'm sure you sang it. Hahaha! I learned this song from 2 of my dear friends in college. I just had dinner with them and I can't help but hear thier voices, singing in twin unison, every time I see them. The song has been stuck in my head all week! So, needless to say I began thinking about it.

You see, the song talks about living eternally with Christ in our hearts. But lines 3 and 4 mean so much more than eternal life. It is a standard that we need to live by. It is a lifestyle, a choice, that we must devote ourselves to every day.

I have been reading through Acts. I was having some personal struggles with church (in general) and what the purpose of the church body is. I was trying to work through things on my own and found myself getting more and more perturbed with things. Finally, while teaching a Bible study with middle school girls, I was reminded that the Bible is the place to look for answers. I chose Acts because it is where the Church started.

And I am learning so much. The biggest thing that I am learning is exactly what the song says....I have CHRIST in my HEART! With that comes power for the kingdom of God!

In 5 chapters, there has been one account after another of the power of Christ living in people. Peter and John speak with passion and confidence and fearlessness. I find myself asking how are they doing this? Then I realize it is the power of Christ in their heart. The Holy Spirit working in and through them. And I ask myself if I really believe that this power is possible for all who believe.

I truly believe it is. Because we can overcome death with Christ in our hearts and live E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y! There is power in that. There is power in Christ. And Christ's power is in us!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An interesting perspective

I was reading a blog the other day and came across this post about gossip. It hit home for me. I am not going to assume that gossip is a problem for you, but I do know that I struggle with this area and that some may too.

Elizabeth Writes-

So I know that she's specifically talking about gossiping about her child- that was the part that spoke to me- I don't want to gossip about my little one. I need to be careful about my words and think about how they will affect her. Even if I were to try to hide it, she'd see (they always do!) And I also feel like I need to be more careful to watch my words in general- often times I think we as Christian (an maybe more ladies!?) will use- a "pray for so and so because of...." to spread gossip.

Here are some tidbits of info about gossip- (taken from a question and answer website-)
The Hebrew word translated “gossip” in the Old Testament is defined as “one who reveals secrets, one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger.” A gossiper is a person who has privileged information about people and proceeds to reveal that information to those who have no business knowing it. Gossip is distinguished from sharing information in two ways:

1. Intent. Gossipers often have the goal of building themselves up by making others look bad and exalting themselves as some kind of repositories of knowledge.

2. The type of information shared. Gossipers speak of the faults and failings of others, or reveal potentially embarrassing or shameful details regarding the lives of others without their knowledge or approval. Even if they mean no harm, it is still gossip.

And finally, I did some looking up of verses about gossip. OUCH! I'm going to copy a few of these down as reminders for me. Is this hitting home for anyone else? I'd love to hear some feedback- Thank you Lord for this time of conviction- may my words be pleasing to you in all I say.

LEV 19:16  "'Do not go about spreading slander among your people. "'Do not  do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD.  
PSA 34:13  keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.  
101:5  Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence;  whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.  
PRO 6:19  a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up  dissension among brothers.  
10:18  He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads  slander is a fool.  
11:9  With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through  knowledge the righteous escape.  
13  A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Psalm 16

I was reading a book the other night (I know, big surprise there...) and the main character has trouble sleeping at night because of the issues that are going on in her life. Can you relate? I sure can. Sometimes my mind will not allow my body to rest! Anyway, her sister tells her to read Psalm 16. So I put down the book, picked up my Bible, and read Psalm 16.

If you have a Bible handy, read it right now. If not, here is the last part of it that really spoke to me.

I will praise the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore, my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body will also rest secure. NIV

I would also like to share with you another translation of the same passage. It is always fun to read "The Message" for a more modern-day interpretation.

The wise counsel God gives me when I am awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I will stick with God.
I've got a good thing going and I'm not letting go!
I am happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I'm firmly formed.

Because of Christ, we can rest secure in His arms. No problems or issues or illness or change can take away the future we have with Him. He took care of that on the cross. The next time I have trouble sleeping because I am worried or upset or stressed, I am going to read Psalm 16 and remember that I am always safe with my Lord. What joy we can have in that total security!

What other passages help calm your restless heart and mind?

First Day

Today is the first day for our community school. Let's be in prayer for our kids and teachers- that they will have a great year and let's also be in prayer for our two mama bloggers who sent kindergartners off today- love you Shannon Y. and Kristi!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Just sitting around today... it's the countdown to baby time so just know the posts these next few weeks may not be very meaty... it's all I've got. But today I am thankful for:

  • Friends who are willing to listen and pray with me/for me. There really is nothing like having friends who are sisters in Christ. I am very blessed to have quite a handful of these. I know that my going on my knees before Christ is priority but I'm so glad I have others to do it on my behalf too.
  • My hubby- we have a beautiful new bookshelf that looks like a dollhouse in our garage from Grace's grandpa. It was just needing paint. Well, has anyone forgotten how hot it is outside? Tonight he opened the kitchen door so the air would move in there and then put a fan in the garage and helped me get the first coat done. Not his favorite thing to do by any means but I think he knew I wouldn't get to it by myself!
  • God's leadership in my life. He has led me in a great summer Bible study, led me to spend some quality time with Him, and also led me in making sure I'm spending quality time with my little one before there are two.
  • Ice cream with magic shell. It's a count down people. There is only so long I can play the pregnancy card.
What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Well, just finished a busy week at VBS which turned out AWESOME! We had the usual craziness but that's to be expected and actually, kind of enjoyed. Did I say 'enjoyed'?! YES! It has to be a little crazy with so many kids running around. (big and little!) We showed God's love and got alot of it in return! Planted lots of seeds for God! Learned right along with them. I think that's why I like VBS so much - we get reminded of what an UNBELIEVABLE GOD we serve. HE LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY!! AMEN!! HE has given us so many things that are here for us to enjoy! Like KIDS, for instance!

I got to thinking about that...what else I enjoyed at VBS...

At VBS, it is always fun to see how things all go together. How many people doing small tasks change the church into whatever it needs to be. We had some cool trees, used grass skirting all over the place, I mean, grass skirting on something is just plain fun!! We had ants made out of styrofoam balls painted black with florescent antenna. We had two plants with florescent stems, flowers, and leaves!! We had a monkey hangin' from a vine!! And two kinda lame waterfalls!!

Then we had neat people to lead the classes and each group. The teachers that spent their time after finishing one day getting ready for the next. There's so much, I know I can't tell about it all and will pro'bly forget something really awesome. It is also neat to watch the kids cause so many of them are sharing God's love with others and are so happy to be there and then to tell others what they are learning.

I was also thinking about some random things that I'm thankful for and think are awesome about VBS.....
youth helpers!!
adult helpers that have helped for years - also, the new ones!!
Mildred Gray's sugar cookies - with or without icing!!
our church janitors - that come to the church to sweep and clean extra!!
anything florescent - paper, pipe cleaners, pom poms!!
little kids and glue- well, maybe not!!
kids remembering their bible verses - from all week!!
Joyce, in the office, doing whatever needed - pro'bly on short notice!!
making toucans and capuchin monkeys!!
all the people helping to make the end of the week party extra fun!!
seeing willing youth helping knowing they were the kids a few short years ago!!
remembering past VBS weeks - all the people, themes, and fun!!

It's over til next year but not forgotten. Also reminds me that life can be like VBS if we let it. I need to just remember that when I get too busy or let adult things in life get to me. God wants us to have the faith of a child so remember your favorite VBS and smile!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Our family had an unexpected addition to it last week. Our rabbit, Ella, had babies! You might ask how we did not know she was expecting; well, that is a story too long for this post, but regardless, we found out she was pregnant on Monday, and she had the babies that night.

Let's just say the kids were thrilled, I was shocked, and my husband was dismayed. We already have a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and a goldfish. I love animals, but we have more than enough time and energy spent in pet care. So to find out that more were on the way put a little wrench in my week. A very busy week. A week of VBS and working on Upward. Not taking care of baby bunnies.

I thought, "God, please let the litter be small. Like, just a few. Not 6 or 8. " Then I started worrying about finding them homes. "God, could you just put it in the hearts of a few special people to adopt the bunnies. I want them to find good homes and not have to sell them to the pet store." And on and on it went.

I know God had a lesson in all of this for me. I am still not sure what it is. Maybe patience? Maybe taking an unexpected "surprise" and turning it into a learning experience for my kids? Maybe blessing someone with the love of a good pet.

Whatever the case, in whatever the "surprise" situation we may be in, God can make good come from it. We just have to be open to his teaching, and then his blessing.

By the way, Ella had five babies (three healthy, two did not make it). She is a great mom and is taking care of her babies. They are a week old and just starting to open their eyes. So adorable!

Proud Mom

Babies at one week

Monday, August 9, 2010

Through Her Pain She Taught

Last September we lost my mother-in-law to cancer. It was very aggressive and we only knew she had cancer for almost 6 months prior to her death. Her death has impacted us all! There isn't a day that my sweet 5 year old doesn't talk about her. Zoe was only 4 at the time and full of questions. Due to Kim's treatments her hair had fallen out. Zoe and Kim had a long talk about cancer patients losing their hair. Zoe was stunned to find out that children loose their hair too. You could see it in her face. Grandma Kim explained to her that some people grow their hair and when it gets long enough they cut it and donate it to people who make wigs. Now if you know Zoe you know her hair is everything to her!!! She is always twirling it, combing her fingers though it, or picking out some hair piece to put in it. Zoe just couldn't imagine not having hair to do all of those thing.

From time to time Zoe would mention how sad it is that little girls with cancer don't have hair. One day last spring during one of these conversations I brought up the idea of her donating her hair. Zoe was interested so we did some research on the internet and calling our hair stylist, Kathy. Kathy explained how many inches that would be needed for a wig. Zoe ran and got a ruler. When she returned I measured and showed her how much hair would be cut off. "NO!" Zoe shouted. "I can't cut my hair that short." We decided that Zoe wouldn't get another hair cut until it was time to start school. Maybe just maybe by then she would be comfortable with the length. Every once in a while Zoe would bring the ruler to me and ask for her hair to be measured. You could see the amount need to be cut made her nervous. I would hand back the ruler without a word and she would slowly walk away. Soon enough Zoe didn't look so nervous and she would walk away with her head high. I knew my baby girl was growing up before my very eyes.

Soon Zoe said, "Mom will you call Kathy I'm ready to get my hair cut." Well of course my heart broke and filled with joy at the same time. This was a moment I was waiting for. I was so proud but sad. I'm sure a lot of you can relate. I called and wouldn't you know it.... someone had canceled! I told Zoe, "Kathy will cut your hair today." Zoe just beamed, "TODAY!"
We arrived and had the normal small talk with Kathy until it was Zoe's turn to jump in the chair. Kathy spins Zoe around and says. "what are we doing today." I mentioned about doing the donation. Kathy decide to measure one more time to make sure Zoe was ready. We gave her all sorts of chances to change her mind. Not that we wanted her to but I think both Kathy and I wanted her to make sure this was her decision. Zoe was pumped up and ready for those scissors to come out! She didn't hesitate one bit, "YES!" Kathy started cutting and Zoe started smiling. At one point Zoe was tell us what she was going to tell her friends about her hair and how it was going to be a wig for another girl.
Kathy would carefully lay out the hair to be bundled as she told Zoe how happy the little girl would be when she received the wig. Zoe never looked back! She was so excited to run her fingers though it and Kathy told her it might grown even faster because of most of Zoe's hair was adult hair now. On our way home Zoe talked about this little girl who would receive a beautiful wig and how excited she will be to have hair again. Cue the tears! My heart warmed just thinking of a how happy they both are/will be. Zoe got quite and says, "Mommy do you think Grandma Kim is excited too." "Of course she is Zoe and so am I."

Ladies I can not express how proud I am today! Some days as a parent you don't think your doing it "right" and then they surprise you. I don't think Zoe really understands how much her donation will impact the child that receives her hair. We will be praying for the child and all the other children waiting to receive their own wig.

Dear Lord! Thank You for this beautiful day that I will treasure forever. Thank you for blessing me with a daughter with such a big heart. Please watch over the children and adults that are going though cancer treatments. Please bless them with happy days no matter what plan You have for them!
And Thank You so much for my Mother-in-law Kim.

Through her pain she taught!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

I want to SCREAM!

What keeps us from shouting about God?
What does a life led by the Spirit look like?
What should the church look like?

Welcome to my big thoughts of the summer (and they are still continuing). Through camp, a music festival, jr high girls, discipling a young woman, a new dating relationship, and daily life these questions have been heavy on my heart and mind. I am learning so much. I am being challenged in my walk and my life!

This title is the best way I could verbalize what I'm feeling on the inside. With all that I am learning and seeing, I just want to scream. How can I be so blinded by the world? How can I not see the need in the community I live, work, and worship in? How can I continue every day not wanting to pour out the love of Jesus on every single person that I come in contact with? How can I begin to live more intentionally, with integrity?

I believe, with all that I am, that we go through seasons. I am definitely in a season of fire. I am fired up for God. I am fired to no longer be content. I am fired up to reach people for Jesus. I am fired up to continue in this season and meet Jesus, face-to-face, in my everyday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's not about me...

Last night something awesome happened. I heard my daughter pray for the first time. Her prayer was short and filled with lots of toddler babble, but make no mistake, she was talking to Jesus. I heard... "Jesus, thank you, day"... (lots of babble) and then "Amen". Tears instantly filled my eyes... Nothing will bring me more joy than knowing Grace has a personal relationship with God. I'm so thankful to be a part of her story and to be able to witness her first interactions with our Creator.

What an awesome and a bit daunting responsibility- to be an example of Jesus to my daughter. To be in charge of her care and upbringing and ensure that she sees/hears/feels the love, grace, and mercy of God on a regular basis. As I was thinking about that last night I also realized that it fits with two other jobs I'm doing this week.

We are in full swing, actually nearing the end of VBS at our church. Eighty plus children have entered our doors eager to have fun and also soak up info about the love of God. After helping register the kids, Kristi and I head upstairs to work on the upcoming Upward Basketball and Cheerleading season where, Lord willing, about 150 children will be coming to have fun, play ball, and hear about what walking with Jesus means for them and for their lives.

Three things I'm doing....three fun things that involve little ones... all with big responsibilities. It's a bit frightening if you ask me... why? Because in order to do these jobs to the very best of my ability and do what I know God is calling me to do I have to realize one thing... It's not about me.

Ha! We all probably know that but seriously... aren't there times when we do want it to be about us? When we don't want to think of others or what's best? There are times when my little one wants a book read to hear, or when she needs something from me and all I want to do is veg out and sneak cookies. :) Or when a ministry opportunityBut again, it's not about me. It's about the fact that I already have a solid relationship with God and I have chosen a path that I believe pleases Him (when I follow it!)

ok, I'm challenging you today. Here it is... find one thing (at least, I have found a handful!) of things going on in your life where you are working on making a difference but sometimes your sweet little self wants to intercede and then say It's NOT about me. It's about changing lives. It's about that amazing feeling of knowing that we are His and that we have security about our future. It's about putting others first no matter how awkward, uncomfortable, hard, or unpleasant it may be. If God is calling you to do something, get over yourself and get on with his business.

Love you ladies!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Giving Heart

As a parent, it's hard to know exactly how to teach my children how to develop certain characteristics my husband and I would like to see in them...... honesty, courage, compassion, dedication, (to name just a few.) When I came across an article in the Focus on the Family publication "Clubhouse Jr." for kids, I had a feeling that this mission project was something I needed to do to help my kids develop a giving heart.

Over the span of a month, my children collected shoes for an organization named "Shoes 2 Share", which sends new and used shoes to Haiti and other countries. They helped me write a letter to our church, make a box to collect the shoes in, empty the box every week, match the shoes and rubber-band them, count them, and then put them in the box to ship. We prayed almost every night that someone special would receive a pair of shoes just for them. It was so exciting to see the kids run to the shoe box each week and look in to see how many shoes we had collected. With help of our church, friends, and the local library, they collected over 300 pairs of shoes to send to this ministry!

My hope is that God instills in their hearts a giving spirit, compassion for the poor, and a sense that they can do something to help, even as a child. I pray that they feel that God used them to do something for his kingdom, and that He can use each and every one of us, no matter our age, race, or economic status. How can God use you today? How have you taught your children to have giving hearts? I would love to hear your ideas!

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. ( 1 John 3:17-18)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sing for Joy

I am having one of those days were I am constantly on the go, children are crying or giving attitudes, and I am so busy but nothing is getting done! I decided to take some me time while the little ones nap and check the GLOW blog to only realize it was my day to blog! I feel a little like a dog chasing it own tail. Do you know the feeling ladies?

I don't enjoy my day just being a blur so I pulled out my Bible. I opened to Psalm and found a verse that relaxed me . Psalm 90:14 says... Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

This speaks volumes to me! I have my quite time in the morning before the kids get up. This morning they woke up early with much excitement about vacation bible school and we have been running ever since. I feel guilty for not even thinking about my time with God! I am so thankful God doesn't treat us like we treat Him! So now that I have gotten my God time I feel satisfied with His unfailing love, ready to sing for joy and be glad in my day!

"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perserance." 2 Thessalonians 3:5