Thursday, September 30, 2010

They are....

Ok, I've been MIA because I've been sitting in a rocking chair nursing a little monkey! Graham is doing great and is now 10 1/2 lbs!!!

As I sit in the nursery in the middle of the night... I have lots of time to think and pray. I know without a doubt that I am much more emotional at night. But I thought of this and want to share.

I am incredibly blessed. I can do a post a day for months on end and never get to the end of my blessings. But one great one that I want to share about today is the ladies who write on this blog. When I moved here I never imagined having such loving, satisfying friendships. But I do. So ladies of Glow... get ready to be embarrassed. :) I want everyone else to know how great you are.

First.... Shannon Y. I met Shannon at church one Sunday when she was sitting by Kristi. She and her family had just started coming to church and they jumped right in. Shannon attended our first women's retreat and has been involved in almost everything else at church ever since! I've seen Shannon give and give and give. She puts her family first and does all she can to make sure that her kids are growing up to be thoughtful, loving, adults. She and her husband have made themselves vulnerable as we shared in our small groups getting to know each other better. I know without a doubt that she's there for me whenever I need her. And she's super creative!!

Kristi.- I met Kristi when I was helping with Upward 3 years ago. I remember "cold calling" the Beer family to ask her to help with concessions. Then a few Saturdays later we were both working the stand and tentatively asking each other get to know you questions. What came from that was a commitment to do ministry together- through Bible Studies, retreats, and Upward. Kristi has become a kindred spirit, (to borrow from my favorite Anne of Green Gables!) and wonderful friend.. She will always remember an event in my life and make sure to text me or call to check on me. She has great advice for a new mom (and I needs lots!) and has even blessed us with some great hand me down clothes from her kids. Kristi is a great example of a mom trying to raise her kids to love Jesus with all their heart and I love watching her go through the process.

Judy- I met Judy through Monica and let me tell you that both of them have provided much laughter and smiles in my life. The Wilsons are a loving family and if you don't know them- you should. Judy is one of the hardest working ladies I know. She gives 100% in all she does and even goes beyond. She's creative (ever seen one of her vignettes?!) and she cares about women and children's ministries. I know from watching her with her family that they are number one in her life - another good example for me.

Dina- I met Dina through church and Upward- but when I was dating Shane they were both coaching MS girls basketball so I actually remember seeing her at games! :) Dina is real, honest, open, and awesome. She wears her relationship to Christ out so everyone can see. I love her honesty. She's not afraid to admit when things are bad, hard, or just plain stinky. But she's also the first to praise God when things go right. Her hugs are universally known (if not that, then definitely nationally!) and she's got a great voice that praises His name. Her love of kids again, is an example to me. I watched her coach Upward last year and was taught about how to love all kids through her actions.

Ok... I hope you learned something today about my friends. They've been on my mind these last few weeks as I've been a night owl. I'm so very thankful for them and for others that the Lord has placed in my life. I think we all have friends like this- sometimes it just takes stopping to think, reflect and realize who they are.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sitting around the Table

Dinner time is sacred in our household. I firmly believe in the practice of sitting down at the table with your family and discussing the day's events. There are days, of course, where the kids sit at the bar and Jason and I stand at the bar and throw something on the table to eat. But most days, we gather around our kitchen table to thank God for his blessings and enjoy each other's company for thirty minutes.

Oh believe me, it gets harder as the kids get older. More and more activities and meetings and technology pull at our time together. But I am sticking to my guns on this one-- studies show that families that eat dinner together regularly are happier, have kids who get better grades and are less likely to use drugs, have parents who have stronger marriages, and in general have better eating habits. And if you start this habit early in a child's life, it just becomes part of the expected routine!

I got some good dinnertime conversation ideas from "Mealtime Moments" from Focus on the Family (I just love them!) This little flip book stirs up great discussions and teaches important things about Christian life as well. The kids love when I pull out the book!

So turn off the t.v. and the cell phones, dust off your pots and pans, say no to those activities during dinner time. It is so much more than just sharing a meal--- it's sharing our lives.

"Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Monday, September 20, 2010

Go Be Jesus

Hey Ladies! I had this great blog on my mind all day and now I have something weighing on my heart.

I just have to say I really missed not blogging last week. I am sorry I didn't but I was feeling emotionally vulnerable. A week ago last Sunday was the one year anniversary of my dear Mother-in-law's death. It is hard to believe that it has been a year since she lost her fight against cancer. I feel extremely blessed to have had her in my life. Over the years I came to understand how lucky I was to have a mother-in-law who I cherished and she feel the same for me.

Kim was many things and love was probably the greatest! She loved many and was loved by many. That is something I want for myself...I want people to know I love and cherish them. I never want people to walk away from a conversation with me and not know that I valued them. A lot of times I don't know what to say or how to start the conversation but I am working on it. There is so much hate and negativity in the world why not be someones sunshine in all of the rain?? One smile at a stranger in the supermarket could change their whole mood! I like to set personal goals when entering stores...I am going to smile at ten people and see how many I can get to smile back. I have some friends that tell the youth at church "to go out there and be Jesus today." In short that is what I am challenging you to do! Go out let people know they are special even if it is just a smile to a stranger.

God Bless!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Answering the Call!

Ladies, ladies, we are at Henderson Settlement right now, as I speak. (or type!) There are six of us here - three are going to work in the beauty salon and three of us are going to the worksite. We had a flat tire on the way down which turned out pretty good, considering. We sat on the highway for a little more than an hour. Luckily, we had roadside assistance so we just had to call and they got someone to come help us. Funnie thing is, it was a woman that came to change our tire and we then went to a Walmart and bought a new one! We made it in time for the evening program which starts out the week right. There is a guy here named Jerry that is in charge of the workcamps and the projects that is so much fun to work with. He is very entertaining and makes it fun to come here to work.

Every evening they have some sort of program. Monday night they talk about the settlement and all the different programs available. They also talk some about the poverty level of the area and try to give you an idea of what the local people are up against. Well, someone asked Jerry how long he had been at the settlement and he kinda got serious. He told about growing up coming to many of the same programs when he was a kid, working here as a teenager, and then in college having a plan to do something else but that God had another plan. It was just so moving to hear his testimony and he had to stop a minute so he didn't cry himself. He is just such a neat guy. He tells us each time we have a meeting that the workcampers are really appreciated. But this night, he got very serious. He talked more about the impact of the workcampers on the community and how much it meant to the staff at Henderson, too, since most of them are local people that are struggling also.

I'd imagine you might have realized by now that I love this place. This is our 5th year coming as a ladies group and I've come with a few other groups different times. We are having fun and also getting work done. The gals are busy in the beauty salon. Kathy is cutting hair, (She thinks about 50 so far, in two days!!) Sara is giving manicures and wax treatments, and Cookie is washing hair, and laundering the towels, etc. Kris, Shirley, and I had three sides done siding a 12 x12 shed, and worked on the front this morning. Now we're at the more difficult part but we have two more days so I'm sure we'll get done. It is neat to hear about all the other groups work also!!

It all makes for an interesting week. Lots of times you realize that you receive more than you can possibly give. I think ultimately that God has His plan for each of us and that's why we are here!! Maybe you'll come with us sometime!!?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Hi everyone! One of the bloggers I follow traveled to Guatemala recently in conjunction with Compassion International, and she wrote about her experiences there. I want to encourage you to read her posts, especially the one titled, "A Whole New World". As I sat at my computer yesterday and read the post, tears were flowing.... and I am not an emotional person. And then I signed up to sponsor a child, a little girl, in Guatemala.

It is so easy to insulate ourselves from what goes on around the world-- heck, who wouldn't want to? It is agonizing to see pictures of families living in a garbage dump. But Jesus wants us to feel that pain, let it soak in, and then do something to help. Giving them hope....

We sponsor a little boy, William, in the Dominican Republic, and now Glendy, age 6, in Guatemala. It is such a rewarding experience to not only write the letters to our sponsored children, but also to receive their letters back to us. And my children love writing to them and drawing pictures for them. And praying for them.

Here is the link to Amanda's blog through Compassion. Will you please read it and then prayerfully consider sponsoring a child? Offering that hope for a better life, and a life following Jesus... There is no better gift you can offer a child living in poverty and desperation., or

or Compassion blogger website:

My hope for you is that these stories touch your heart like they did mine.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Needing Church

I went to church for the first time in 3 weeks. I missed one weekend hangin with my family and I missed last weekend because I went to a car show. At the time I didn't think it was any big deal, but it was.

I don't know about you all, but when I miss church my weeks don't seem to go just right. I am emotional and can get crabby and find myself trying to fill a void with stuff. And at the moment that I am missing church I don't ever think it will be that big of a deal to miss.....but I am always proven wrong.

Today was refreshing. It was a reminder of the need that I have for fellowship and community worship and hearing the Word preached. And it was sooooooooooo good. I am fired up. I am excited to open my Bible. I am reminded of the need for God in my every day (and He was kinda put on the backburner, not totally out of mind, but back of the mind). And I am filled with joy.

Yeah, I was needing church. I missed it. I'm so glad I went. And I'm already excited for next Sunday :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Hello! I am emerging from my baby world to say hi and tell you that we have been so thankful for your prayers. Although he had a tough first week with jaundice that would not go away, resulting in another hospital stay, Graham's doing great now and we are home and learning how to be a family of 4.

My week with Graham at the hospital was interesting. It went from a super long labor in which I was so tired to me just being the mama watching him in the room, still being so tired! I had Shane bring me my Bible up but my brain was/is not into reading right now. Instead I found myself shooting up short little one liners to God. I know that He heard those just as much as he would have heard a formal, fancy, scripture filled prayer. I have a new found empathy for parents of sick babies/kids. I had just the slightest glimpse of that world and it's not easy. In fact, being sick or in the hospital at all is hard- no matter what the age.

So- I'm counting my blessings today- I am thankful for
- my family- a healthy baby boy, a super supportive husband, and an inquisitive loving daughter (who has found her way of adjusting is being bossy!!!)
- a wonderful support group. Friends bring meals, praying for us, checking in on us, you name it. We are blessed.
-wonderful hospital care- Graham was so loved on while he was in the hospital. It made me so happy to see him doted on by all.

And, I know you are anxious for these so here you go!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Praying With My Man

I have never really been one of those people who pray out loud well--you know, the ones who seemed to be blessed with giftedness of the spoken word? Well, that's not me! My mind always goes blank or I stutter or make some ridiculous grammatical error.

When I first became a Christian, I avoided praying aloud -- always looking down or away when the leader of sunday school asked if someone would like to close in prayer. Now if you wanted me to stand up and recite "The Lord's Prayer" or "The Apostle's Creed", I'm your gal. I've got the entire Catholic mass memorized. But spontaneous prayer, not easy for me! Through the years, I have realized that God wants me to vocalize my prayers to Him, even if it makes me uncomfortable. So I do it, and I am getting a little more eloquent now. A friend gave me good advice-she said just speak from your heart and God will make the words come. Maybe not in any order that makes perfect sense, but God loves you and your prayer regardless.

So when it came to praying with my family, I was determined to start out on the right foot. "God, I am going to teach the kids to pray before they eat and before they go to bed. I want them to grow up praying out loud so they feel confident in their prayers." As I continued on my spiritual walk over the past few years, I came to understand that it is important to teach my kids that we should pray not just before meals and bed, but anytime (before school, after getting disciplined, when sad about something)-Relying on God in our everyday routines and activities.

This brings me to praying with my husband---Over the past 14 years we have both grown a great deal in our relationship with our Lord. It has been an awesome experience to see him morph into a real disciple of Christ. But we have not often prayed together just as a couple.

A few weeks ago, God spoke to me in His quiet way during my study time. I knew that it was time for Jason and me to routinely pray together, and our relationship, as good as it is now, would only get better. We have some family decisions to make over the next year or so that will require faith, and I am sure that our prayer time will give us insight and peace as we follow God's will for our lives.

So two days ago, right after we turned the lights out, I suggested that we pray together every night. So we started that night. And it was great! I just let my thoughts flow naturally and spoke what was on my heart. And so did he. It really gave me a peek into what he is feeling and his concerns that otherwise I may not know.

I will keep you updated on how this "couple's prayer" time is working for us. I encourage you to pray with your spouse, signifcant other, or even a good friend. I believe that when "two or more are gathered in His name", God will bless us with feeling His presence and peace.

Monday, September 6, 2010

God's Wonders

Well Ladies I am TIRED!!!!

It is Labor Day and boy did I Labor! My husband and I have a list and we are attacking all of the left over home improvements that need to be done before it gets chilly out. I know who wants to talk about it getting cold out right?! I have been so busy the last three day I haven't had a change to step back and see the Captivating World we live in.

My brother, Jason, was on a fly fishing camping trip that he does with some buddies every year. I love getting text messages from him especially beautiful pictures. Jason has a talent for photography. Some of the pictures he send just take my breath away. This weekend I was knee deep in sawdust and paint an he sent me a few pictures I thought I would share with you.

I looked at these picture and thought...Wow God is Amazing! I was so driven to get everything done on my list and through my wonderful brother I got God's reminder to stop and enjoy the wonders of His world!

I pray all of you have had a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend. I also hope you had a chance to soak in the beautiful environment that God made.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Some funnie stories.....

First of all, I was having a hard time thinking about something to blog about. I wanted to blog this week for sure. My husband said to blog that I was not able to think of anything, that I've been working all week, and I'm also trying to get stuff around for the mission trip, and that I would 'blog' you later, kinda like 'see' you later. Sorry about that.

Anyway, something did come to me finally, that I hope you will enjoy. Like I said I've been getting things 'round for the ladies mission trip. I try to have a theme and have bible verses to go along with it and figure out some fun things, too. So I had gotten lots of christian stories and quotes off the internet. Some of them are neat so I thought I would put a couple on the blog.

First one...a grandfather overheard his granddaughter repeating the alphabet in reverent, hushed tones.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm praying, grandpa," she said. "I can't think of the right words, so I just say all the letters. God will put them together for me, 'cause He knows what I'm thinking."

Second.....Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over and then said a prayer. "Fine," said the pleased mother. "If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you."

"Oh, I didn't ask Him to help me not misbehave," said Johnny. "I asked Him to help you put up with me."

And last.....Many believers don't see the importance of regular church attendance. Members of Northend Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Seattle received a special announcement in the mail, listing the many things that will be done for them at church on the following "no-excuse-to-stay-home-Sunday."

According to the pastor, cots will be available for those who say Sunday is their only day to sleep in. Eye drops will be supplied for those who have red eyes from watching late Saturday night TV shows. There will be steel helmets for those who say the roof would cave in if they ever went to church, blankets for persons who think the church is too cold, fans for those who say it is too hot, scorecards for those wishing to list all the hypocrites present, TV dinners for those who can't go to to church and also cook dinner. Finally, the sanctuary would be decorated with Christmas poinsettias and Easter lillies for those who have never seen the church without them.

Hope you had a little chuckle. Have a great week and remember god loves a 'cheerful giver'!

Dear God, I thank you for the people in our lives that make it worth living - people that help us to see your joy and love then help us to pass it on. Help us all to be a cheerful giver. In your precious name we pray. AMEN.