Sunday, January 29, 2012

This is the stuff...

My daughter has a song that makes her think of me, the first two lines in the song will tell you why...

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please

'Cause I can't find my phone

In the past few days I have heard this song several times. So I started thinking, maybe I better really listen to the lyrics and see if there was message there for me. And you know what I found out, this song is about more than just me losing my keys!! Imagine that!! 

The next lines in the song are amazingly for me and about me!
This is the stuff
That drives me crazy
This is the stuff
That's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff
That gets under my skin
But I've gotta trust
You know exactly what You're doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

 It is so true that I forget how big I'm blessed! Why is it that I let the little things cause me stress? This year I have chosen to focus on the word completely and it seems like I have been given many opportunities to remember that word and my verse for the year. 

He got up. rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39

To completely trust Him is not as easy as it sounds! To remain completely calm is not easy! I am thankful that God keeps working on me though. I just need to keep the perspective from the song...this is the stuff you use. When I am challenged with finding my keys, my phone, when I am challenged with whatever happens to be thrown my way...I need to keep perspective!!! God does not waste an opportunity, He uses it all! So instead of being stressed, I just need to allow God to work!

So I think I will remember today just how big I'm blessed or to use my one word, how completely I'm blessed!

* The love of my Jesus!
* God Grace...daily!
* A loving Christian husband!
* Three children who are all following Jesus!
* A future son-in-law who loves Jesus and my daughter!
* Friends!
* Health...yes I have colitis, but it could be worse!
* A warm house!
* A loving husband (he deserves to be listed twice!)

As you have stuff come up, remember today just how completely blessed you are!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

5 Minute Friday...Tender

It's once again 5 Minute Friday!! One word, five minutes, just writing, no editing!

Today's Word is.....Tender.
*photos added after 5 minutes!

It all started 22 years ago. That's when I witnessed such a tender love as I had never before seen. The love between a father and daughter. The way Brian cradled Ashley was so tender! 

 On her first birthday, he began a tradition of roses. Every year our daughters receive roses from their dad. It's his tender way of saying, you are special and I love you so much. Their face lights up every year when they are delivered. 

This same love is the love that led my little girls to cry out in the night for their daddy. When they couldn't sleep they needed to snug with their daddy. He never complained, he would go get them and then snug as long as they needed him. So precious...

Lately, that tender love has caused many tears to form in that daddy's eyes. He is preparing for the toughest job a dad will ever have...walking that daughter down the aisle. I see the tenderness whenever that one special song plays on the radio. The song he chose for the father/daughter dance at the reception. (He not only gets to walk her down the aisle...he has the privilege of actually performing the ceremony!)  

It makes me think of the love my heavenly Father has for me. He has loved me so tenderly, even when I didn't deserve it. He is always there. When I cry out to Him in the darkness, He is there to hold me tight. Ah...nothing so tender as a Father loving His daughter!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Can she really be 22???

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday. She is 22 today! How can that be? It really seems like just yesterday Brian and I were two scared kids at the hospital! I will never forget the day Ashley Elizabeth was born. The day I became a mom! In fact just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes now. It was a day of mixed emotions, we were so excited and so in love with her from the very beginning, but there was fear mixed in there as well. This little girl sent us to our knees from the very beginning. She was placed in the NICU pretty quickly after birth. She had a collapsed lung and was not breathing well. So instead of spending our first hours together with me cuddling her, we were separated, Brian went back and forth from her to me, not sure what he should be doing.

We prayed. The doctor came in and told us what they were doing to correct the situation. He then told us that there was a procedure where they would go in with a needle to drain the air inside her chest cavity so her lung would inflate. He told us this was  a last resort and that with his luck that day he would probably nick the lung. (in case any of you are doctors, this is not what you tell new parents!). Several hours later, we were told this was what needed to happen. More praying!! Thankfully it worked and soon my little baby was in my arms. But what a long day that had been!

Fast-forward 22 years and we are now parents of a beautiful young woman! We still find many occasions to pray for her. God let us know from day 1 how important prayer is and He has been faithfully working in Ashley's life from day 1 as well!!

So on her 22nd birthday I wanted to share with you 22 things about my firstborn!

1. Ashley loves Jesus more than anything. She became a Christian at young age.
2. Ashley's first prayer as a Christian was that her baby sister come to know Jesus.
3. One year later, Ashley led Abby to the Lord.
4. Ashley was born to be a mom. In kindergarten they had career day, she went dressed up as a mom!
5. She was easy to discipline. We just had to say her name in a stern way and she would cry and straighten up.
6. When she was little she would play for hours with those McDonalds Barbies, but she called them her mermaids!
7. She was painfully shy as a child. She did not like to talk and did not like being away from us.
8. Today she is not shy, she loves talking to people and well she's lived away from us for 4 years now!
9. She is our world traveler, she's been to Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, India, England, Australia and New Zealand.
10. Ashley has worked at camp since she was 16. She started out in the kitchen, moved on to counselor and then became VBS coordinator.
11. Ashley was into speech and drama in high school. She made it to state several times for speech, loves to act and was in Mock Trial as well.
12.She may be the big sister to Caleb and Abby, but they are both several inches taller than her.
13. Even though she is shorter than them, they both look up to her!
14. Out of high school Ashley attended a one year Bible School in Comfort, Texas.
15. Even though she was in Texas, she came home with a Canadian accent!!!
16. This northern accent has served her well as she's been living in northern Minnesota for the past 2 years!
17. She attends Oak Hills Christian College, she will graduate in December with her bachelor's in Children's Ministry (perfect for our nurturing daughter!)
18. She is currently an RA at school and lives right across the hall from her sister.
19. Ashley has an amazing smile.
20. I think Larry has a big part in why she is smiling these days!
21. Ashley and Larry are engaged!!!!!
22. The wedding is 40 days away!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to my sweet daughter Ashley Haynes (last year I can call her that!). I love you sweetie!!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sanctity of Life Sunday...January 22...

He Knows My Name...

Psalm 139:13-16
For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
  your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
   were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
Pray today for the Sanctity of Human Life!
Life is precious from conception to death.
God loves and cares for us all!

Friday, January 20, 2012

5 Minute Friday...Vivid

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most important: comment and encourage the person who linked up before you.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



The word is vivid. Such a powerful descriptive word. The kind of word you use when you really want to emphasize something and make a point.

"That red hair is such a vivid color!"

"She has such a vivid personality!"

I think one day we will arrive in heaven and vivid will be a word we use to describe it. Those streets of gold will shine! I think we will look back on life here on earth and think wow, the colors here were so muted! Heaven will be a place of rejoicing, singing, praising God. There will be no more tears, so more sorrow. We will be with Jesus! We will see Him face to face. Vivid...that is what heaven will be! Just the thought of it is making me homesick now!

John 3:16 "For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son that we may have everlasting life."

Do you believe? Will you be there in heaven soaking up all the vivid colors? I pray you will and if you have any doubt please talk to me or someone so you can be sure!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My One Word....I Completely Blew it!

Yep...last week I COMPLETELY blew it! Seems appropriate since completely is my one word for 2012.

Last Wednesday I wrote this paragraph...

As I go through 2012, there are bound to be storms and times of stress. When that happens I want to turn to Jesus to calm my storm. I want to completely trust Him, completely surrender to Him, be completely sold out for Him. I need to stop living for me and live completely for Him!

Last Wednesday after I wrote that I had a melt down! Didn't take long for me to forget that in times of stress I will completely trust Him! So what was the cause of this melt down? Was is some great offense done to me? Was it devastating news? Was it illness? Finances? None of those...plain and simple it was shoes, yes I really said (mixed with just a bit of PMS). Without going into too much detail, I ordered what I thought were going to the perfect shoes for my daughter's wedding and when they arrived...well...they caused a melt down. 

Just so you know I'm ok now. The shoes are sitting out for me to see everyday. They are beside another pair I found last week. Each time I walk by I think hmmmm...which shoes will be the ones I wear? They also remind me of my one word...completely. They remind me that just because I chose a word doesn't automatically make me able to completely trust and be completely surrendered and at complete peace!

I need daily, hourly and minute by minute (depending on the day) to Stop, Drop and Pray! When I feel that stress bubble up inside of me, I need to stop myself before I allow a mole hill to become a mountain. I need to drop my grip on the problem, and I need to drop to my knees! Then I need to pray, I need to release the trouble to God and ask Him to calm my anxious heart.

Thankfully, God showed me the error of my ways with a problem as simple as shoes, I know much greater stresses will pop up in my life. But if I remember that in order to COMPLETELY rely on Him I have to COMPLETELY give Him my problems, then I should be ok. It's still only January, I've got the whole year (and beyond) to learn this lesson!

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you. 
1 Peter 5:7

So how's your week? How is your focus on your word doing for you?

Linking up with:

One Word Wednesday
Walk With Him Wednesday

Friday, January 13, 2012

5 Minute Friday...Awake

Today is 5 Minute Friday. I love today. The rules word...5 minutes...write!
 Today's word....AWAKE.


I hear it faintly, that annoying music. It won't stop until I roll over and do my favorite thing...hit the snooze button! Sleep, I must have more sleep! This goes on for sometimes an hour, waking up is not my favorite thing to do.

But finally...I am awake. Awake with a mind racing of things to do today, worries that I forgot I had, awake to the reality that today my body decided to have a flare of my illness. Oh why did I wake up?

I reach for my Bible, I read a Psalm and then dive deeper into His word. I soak in His encouragement for me today. Nothing in my circumstances have changed, but I have started my day with Him. And now I realize I can do my list, my worries aren't such a big mountain any more. My icky body, still there but, for this I have Jesus!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My One Word...

For the year 2012 I have chosen to focus on one word. Instead of starting the year with a bunch of resolutions that will be broken in a matter of weeks, I want to focus on one word and let God change me. The word I have chosen for myself is completely.

The verse I will focus on is:
  He got up. rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39

As I go through 2012, there are bound to be storms and times of stress. When that happens I want to turn to Jesus to calm my storm. I want to completely trust Him, completely surrender to Him, be completely sold out for Him. I need to stop living for me and live completely for Him!

I have a song that sums up my word for me. 

The Stand 
by Hillsong

You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

How about you? Do you have one word? If so what is it? If not, prayerfully consider finding one!

Linking up today with:

One Word Wednesday
Walk with Him Wednesdays

Friday, January 6, 2012

5 minute Friday...Roar

Today is 5 minute Friday.
The day when I link up with Gyspy Mama and write for 5 minutes whatever comes to mind.

Today's word is ROAR.


The first thing that comes to mind with the word roar is a Bible verse:

 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8

I think sometimes we forget that there is an enemy out to destroy us. He prowls around looking for ways to destroy us, to ruin our testimony, to give us doubt, to make us ineffective Christians.

He has worked in such undercover ways that we don't even realize he is lurking, waiting to destroy us.

-He didn't want prayer in schools...its gone.

-He doesn't want Christian marriages to be strong...divorce is rampant in the church.

-He doesn't want us to be witnesses for Jesus...we have allowed ourselves to be so busy we don't have time to even get to know our neighbors.

-He doesn't want us to believe the Bible...he makes us doubt the Genesis account of creation, and therefore the rest of the Bible as well.

We need to wake up and fight the battle. We can't let our enemy go around devouring us! We need to remember how the Bible ends...the good guys win!! So let's live our lives victoriously. Let's let our roar drown out his!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

I read this verse today and thought it was fitting for the new year.

Philippians 3:13-14
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.