Sunday, February 27, 2011


to whomever reads this.. I am sorry I cannot get my act together to post more regularly!


Finished 1000 Gifts this past week. Have you bought it yet? GO NOW. Go to amazon or wherever and buy it. It's so so good. I know it will be good for anyone but for me, it was like.. "YES! This is what I need!" I need to be reminded to practice being thankful for all things. I love how Ann Voskamp writes so honestly and so .. real. She is a mom, a wife, a teacher, and a child of God. She shares her honest struggles with finding thanks in daily life. What I appreciated was her admitting that is it a daily struggle. To have an attitude of being happy/content/thankful with where God has placed you. Sometimes we have to stop and refocus.

I started my own thankful journal, like Kristi did and it's been neat! Getting up at all hours of the night with a baby that should be sleeping and I sit there and thank the Lord for moments of holding a precious little guy that will fade fast. For little fingers that wrap around mine. When I look at the piles of laundry sitting my floor that should have been folded on Friday and it's now Sunday and it won't happen today either and I thank Him that we have such abundance that I can have extra clothes sitting around and a washing machine and a dryer and even the space to stick them. When I put on those jeans that are just washed and want to have a little hissy fit that the weight isn't coming off and why not and can't it happen faster I have thanked him that he gave me a body that can carry a baby and that I can exercise and move it and thank him that jeans now have stretch to them.

Today we are celebrating the end of a fantastic Upward basketball season. It's been another awesome journey to see God at work. So many times this season I have teared up. God is so good. In the craziness of planning and finding time to get it all done I have thanked him for extra help for the kids, encouraging texts, extra hands that step in and do the little jobs that do add up, kids who cannot help but smile as their names are announced, and cannot help but jump up and down as a basket is made or a cheer is finished.

God is good. I will keep this journal up and hopefully like Ann start my journey into true thankfulness. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Prayer For You

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ Jesus- to the glory and praise of God. (Phillipians 1:3-6, 9-11)

Thank you, faithful readers of GLOW, for traveling with us on this journey to know Christ in our lives! We hope that our musings each week in some way touch you and spur you on toward the finish line in this race-- the race to the arms of our Lord. Have a fantastic week!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Kristi's post came at the best time... I feel like I'm letting myself get busy. So busy that I didn't even post last week! (I've been reading A Thousand Gifts and I have lots to share but need to put my thoughts together and that hasn't happened yet!)

Staying on the vine... I am running at about 50% with staying on the vine by time with the Lord, memory verses, and some quiet time. BUT I did want to share with you a success story I had! Not one you'd have seen. Some of our struggles are so personal and private that people don't ever see them. But I'd like to share this with you.

I know I've shared on here before about some of my struggles with being confident in who I am in Christ. This past week a bit of that was put to the test. Last week was rough for me. I was getting to a place where I was feeling low, letting words hurt me, and also hurting with my words. The details don't matter as much as the end. I was feeling sorry for myself and getting ready to have a good cry. Honestly, it made me mad! I am so tired of the cycle of feeling good, feeling bad, feeling good, feeling bad... I had a short talk with God that went something like this God, you are the healer. You can heal this situation, and you can heal me. Do your work God and please, do it quickly.

I decided NOT to go my usual feel sorry route. Instead I pulled out something that some of you will remember-
  • God is who he says he is
  • God can do what he says he'll do
  • I am who God says I am
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
  • God's word is alive and active in me.
(from Beth Moore's Bible Study- Believing God)

It WORKED! God is so good. I NEVER thought I would ever get over some of those strongholds that Satan had over me. I have for so long beat myself up when I got to that point. Let myself feel bad, and then I'd add some salt to the wounds with some personal insults. Oh, it felt so good not to flood my heart with hurt. Yes, I did have to repeat it many times and even quite a bit the next day, but my outlook was changed. I am not the warped vision I have of me. I AM who GOD says I am.

There you have it. A personal success story. :) God is good friends.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Take a Deep Breath

Busy times at our house.....busy for Dad, Mom, and kids! As I was searching Scripture for my memory verse for the last half of this month, I came across this familiar one in John, one of my favorite books of the Bible.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4

You know when passages literally jump off of the page at you? Well, this one hit me right between the eyes. What a great reminder that I need to stay centered in Christ in all of my busyness. None of the efforts I make will bear fruit for the kingdom of God if I try to go it alone.

It is so easy, isn't it, to rely on our own actions, thoughts, plans-- and leave God on the outskirts of it all. Where does that plan put me? Ready to go off of the edge! You know the feelings ... anxiety, stress, frustration.

However, when God stays at the center of my world, I stay centered... emotionally, physically, spiritually. I am a better wife, mother, and friend when I remain in Him, and not on my own.

How do you remain part of the vine? Stay connected with God throughout your busy days?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Resentment or Gratitude?

Well, I have made it through about 4 chapters of One Thousand Gifts. Those of you reading this book right now as well, know that sometimes you just have to stop yourself from going too fast. There is so much in this book to think about-- it really challenges you to look at your life in a different way.

I had a hard time choosing a topic for this post because there were so many points I wanted to open for discussion. But one of the ones that jumped out at me was the choice of resentment or gratitude: When life does not go the way that we had hoped, and we experience tragedy or a difficult circumstance, do we choose resentment or gratitude?

It is a difficult question to answer. As Ann states in her book, I feel like I also live the "no" at times. I have said yes to God, said yes to being a Christian, but when God closes a door that I thought should be open, or takes a way a person tragically, or does something that doesn't make sense, my initial reaction sometimes is "How could you do this? Don't you love me? Don't you want me to be happy?"

How do we find joy in God in those situations? How do we let God use us through our difficult circumstances? How do trust that He knows the end of the story when we don't? How do we choose gratitude over resentment?

I can't wait to continue reading. I have started a "gratitude" list of my own, and I have been surprised how the discipline of writing down 3 or 4 things a day that I find joy in, has really changed my focus from the negative to the positive-- appreciating all of God's gifts to us.

Here are a few on my list:
*a warm bed on a snowy day *a toothless smile *tight hugs from little arms *a long dinner with good friends *full cupboards *baby's fuzzy head *warm laundry *4 people and 1 cat in bed

If you haven't gotten a hold of a copy of One Thousand Gifts, I really recommend it. If you would like to see more discussion on Chapter 1 with the author Ann Voskamp, click here.

What did you think of the book so far? What was your favorite part?

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Don't Think I Could Have Done It...

I'm reading through the Bible. I have finished the first 3 books. Yesterday I finished Leviticus. If you have never read it, you should, over the course of a week or so. It is a lot to digest! The book is God's instructions for social and religious life for the Israelites.

As I was finishing the last 3 chapters I thought to myself, "I don't think I could have done this!" I am pretty sure I would either have been sacrificing more animals than I could afford OR I would have given up on trying to please God. Honestly I was leaning more toward the second choice. Knowing at this time in history that most people couldn't read or write, I can't imagine being able to remember what I needed to sacrifice for which things. Nor could I remember all of the social rules. And, even if I could remember it all, keeping up with everything would have been a whole other story!

Then a peace came over me. I don't have to remember the rituals, the different sacrifices, the regulations. I don't have to remember them because Jesus came. He paid the ULTIMATE sacrifice, once for all. I don't have to remember if my sin requires a sacrifice of a goat or dove. My sin has been paid full. I have a direct line to God. I can go to Him anytime, any day, anywhere!

God doesn't expect that I will be perfect, that I will remember every sacrifice, every rule and regulation. All that He expects is for my life to be entrusted to Him. Every day. Every minute. In every situation.

Thank you Jesus, for your life.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Days

Three days of being snowed in.

A mama, a toddler, and a baby.

A daddy gone all week.

What did I learn? I learned how to shovel our driveway so as not to hurt my back. I learned that the news doesn't have to be on 24/7. They say the same things after a while. I learned that Martha (Martha Speaks on PBS) can always save the day. I learned that bedtime for Jr. should come earlier than 8pm. I learned that I am not good with willpower- staying out of the kitchen. I learned that I MUST follow a schedule or else I will get sucked in to the internet, or Oprah or whatever. I learned that we are born to need community and that God gave us community so we can encourage each other. I've learned that I need that community!

Last Sunday I was sitting at our kitchen table, my hands holding up my head. I had been up with Graham many many times the night before. I was tired. My sweet mother in law, who was visiting, encouraged me to just stay home from church that morning and rest. (My MIL LOVES Jesus- she was just looking out for me, knowing it would be a busy week). She reminded me I could worship at home through a video, internet, or ipod message. I was so tempted. A day home with my hubby and yoga pants? Lovely. But.. there was something else. Yes I could have listened to a sermon at home. I could have played some amazing worship music but I needed more. I needed that community. I wanted to share smiles with others, to greet my church family and to worship together. There is something so .. I don't know.. uplifting? about it. Anyway, just wanted to share that. If you don't have a community where you can worship together... go find it!

And here is my 3rd verse :)

Shout for Joy to the Lord, all the earth
Worship the Lord with gladness
And come before him with joyful songs
Know that the Lord is good. It is He who made us and we are His.

Psalm 100:1-3a

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Great Commission

Being involved in the Upward ministry, I have an awesome opportunity to share my faith with others almost on a daily basis. The questions I have been struggling with lately are, "How do I approach the topic? How do I share my testimony ? How do I invite this person to church without sounding pushy? What if I open my mouth and something really stupid comes out?

By nature, I am not an "evangelist". Evangelist (In Greek) means "good-news" bearer--and some of us were created to be gifted, naturally talented evangelists, and the rest of us have to work REALLY hard at it.

But as a Christian, I am commanded by God to share my faith with others.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded (Matthew 28:19-20)

Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15)

The Bible does not say "If you feel like it, share your faith" or "If it's not too uncomfortable for you, share your faith".

So it is an obedience thing. And it is my desire to follow Jesus.

I do share my faith on this blog but somehow writing it online is different than face-to-face interactions.

After some thought, prayer, and a little research, I came to the conclusion that my problem is simply "me". I am relying on my own abilities to accomplish this, and not trusting God to lead me and give me the words at the right time. When you accept Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in you. What a gift to have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me! Have I been calling on the Holy Spirit to help me share my faith? No.

So here is my plan:

1. Pray and ask God to lead me in my interactions with people.
2. Know that the Holy Spirit will enable me to say the right things when they need to be said.
3. Act on the nudges I get from God. Share my faith-- invite that friend to church.
4. Leave the results of those actions to God-- it is in His hands!

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. (Philemon 1:6

I would love to hear stories of how you have shared your faith with others. How did someone share their faith with you? How did sharing your faith help you in your own understanding of Christ?