Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A very special day...

July 25th, 1994 is when it all began. The day I became a mother to a boy! You see we went into labor thinking we would be bringing home our third daughter. We were excited to add Lindsey into our family. Well, lets just say we got a bit of surprise when Caleb made his first appearance. We instantly were in love with this little boy (ok he weighed 10 1/2 pounds, so wasn't exactly little!). Brian stood a little taller and puffed his chest out. We didn't even realize how much our family needed a boy until God gave us one.

Today, Caleb is 18! Wow, those years just flew by. Brian and I are so proud of the man he has become. This summer is working as a counselor at camp and God is growing him in some amazing ways. I can't wait to get to spend time with him to see the ways he has grown.

In less than one month this son of ours will be beginning a new adventure. He will be at college, going through freshman orientation...in Texas!! We just moved about as far north in the US as you can...and he is heading several states south of us. His plan is to major in Forensic Chemistry...yep he's one of those smart kids!!

I am a bit sad that I won't get to see him on his birthday this year. I do intend on making my presence know in other ways...I will text him no less than 18 times in the morning so he gets them all when he has his one hour of away from camper time! I also might have sent him a care package with instructions to make a big deal out of the fact that its his birthday! :)

So Caleb one day you will read this and I want you to know how thankful I am that God gave us you!!! Happy Birthday...I love you!

Following are some pictures of Caleb taken throughout his senior year.


Our thinker!

Rubik's cube expert!

Preparing for state mock trial!

He loves his sisters! Just not their hugs and kisses!

YFC fun night

Still thinking!

More stuff for smart guys!

What was he thinking?

Accepted to college!!

Sad but true...he got baconnaise for Christmas. ew....

Groomsman

Very excited to get one of the outstanding lawyer awards at state mock trial!!
Golf fanatic!

The day we made a surprise visit to his camp!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

God's Word...put it up!!

I love the Old Testament. It is so rich and full of some wonderful verses. One of my favorite portions of scripture is in Deuteronomy 6:5-9.

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 

All of these verses are good, but I want to talk about verse 9. I love writing verses in my home. I love that as my children grew up they saw this plaque every time they exited our home. If they ever wondered who we served, there was a constant reminder there for them! This was our version of "writing them on the doorframes of our house."

Now, we have moved to a new home. This plaque is not yet up; in fact all our walls are bare. I am eager to get to painting so I can put some of my familiar belongings up; especially this plaque that has survived several moves with us!

Something else I am missing in our new home is the scripture we had written all across our garage. We had five Bible verses written on the walls (each of us choose our favorite verse).  Every time I drove into our garage, I would see these words...


As I was walking to the house I would see these words...


And my husband was ministered to by these words....


We also had two other verses on the wall; one from Joshua 1:9 and the other Proverbs 31:30. I know that our new garage will also find itself decorated with God's word as well. Once we are able to find the garage underneath the rapidly growing pile of empty boxes!!!

With our house being unsettled, I was most excited to add a new sign to our yard last week! It was one box that was easy to unpack and has helped me feel like this is indeed our home. About a week or two before we moved I got a delivery from Dayspring that made me smile (something that was tough to do right before the move).  This particular delivery contained two items...one which has already found a home in our front yard; the other I am still debating on where its location will be.

Everything beautiful begins with God. Ecclesiastes 3:11
In your presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11

There is just something about having God's word up in my home that makes it feel like home to me! Even as we adjust to a new house, where everything is new and we are still trying to figure out which light switch will actually turn on the kitchen lights, it is comforting to me to know that I have already started putting God's word up. This time I started outside and will work my way inside!!

So, if you are ever in a rut for how to decorate a room...God's word always fits!! And if you need help getting started check out these (in)spired deals!!









* I was given the products from Dayspring for free. However, the excitement about this product is my own personal feelings and opinions. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday...That's Enough!

After more than a week of no blogging, I am excited to be back online and joining Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday!!!



 Today's prompt is the word ENOUGH.

Go:

We hear the phrase "That's enough!" a lot in our lives.

When as a child I would ask for candy and proceed to take two fist fulls...mom would say "That's enough!"

When siblings are having a spat and yelling or hitting, mom yells...."That's enough!"

As a wife encourages (nags) her husband to get a chore done...he says "That's enough!"

So as we grow up, we learn to associate the phrase "That's enough!" as a negative phrase.

It doesn't have to be. When God gives us blessings, He makes sure to give us enough.

When God says "That's enough!", He does it because He has lovingly given us enough!

Sometimes we may think its not...but who knows best our needs...us or God? God does!

He always gives us just what we need. We may be like the little grabbing for candy and think that we don't have enough, but God does supply us with all our needs.

 He is sufficient!

His grace is sufficient!

God is enough!!!

This past week has been one of major change for my husband and I. Everything is new, but God is the same!! He is still meeting our needs. He is enough!!! He is giving us just what we need to get through this transition!!

So next time you say to God "That's enough"....say it with gratitude...thanking Him that He gave you enough!!! 

 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
 Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm an alien...and proud of it!

Tomorrow, Brian and I drive out of Iowa. When do we become Minnesotans? Is it the minute we cross the border tomorrow? Do we have to live there  a certain amount of time to be considered Minnesotan or should I say Minnesoooootan? I have been pondering this for quite sometime. We have lived in several states, we've been Iowans, Coloradans, South Dakotans and soon Minnesotans. If we aren't careful we could have an identity crisis!!

But you know what? It doesn't really matter where we live on this earth. We will never be home. We were not meant to feel at home here. Today in my Bible reading I read Hebrews 11...its one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible. How amazing that today of all days that is where I was reading. I needed to read about the faith of some amazing men and women. I needed to read Hebrews 11:13. It says; And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

I am an alien! We should all feel that way. We should never feel so tied down to this earth that we aren't excited about heaven. So, today, as I listen to the packers packing up my belongings and as I get sad about leaving this town behind...I need to realize this isn't my home anyway...heaven is! We've been here seven years and as I said yesterday, our roots in this town run deep. Maybe God is moving us before we have too deep of roots. He wants us to remember that we are strangers on this planet and what better way to remind us than by a move! For the next several months we will feel like strangers in a new town. Instead of allowing this to be a difficult thing, I need to keep reminding myself that I am an alien!!! Maybe that will keep me looking up to God and to my true home...heaven!!


Monday, July 9, 2012

There is a season for everything...even moving...







Tomorrow the movers show up at our home. We have been praying for and preparing for this event for quite some time. The best way to describe how I am feeling right now is surreal. Brian and I are truly experiencing conflicting emotions. We are excited and ready to be in Roseau; and we are grieving leaving Hampton.

When we moved here 7 years ago, we knew this is where God wanted us to be...for a season. God is the God of seasons, and our season in Iowa is coming to a close. Our roots go deep here, we may have only been here 7 years, but they were 7 very special years. This is where our children all became adults...this is where we spent hours and hours cheering on the Bulldogs in various sports...this is where we made lifelong friendships...this is where we grew even closer as a family...this is where we poured ourselves into a church family...this is a special place. To quote a line from a movie "This isn't heaven...it's Iowa!".

The one question we get over and over is why are you moving? Brian and I both have the same answer...God. He put the call in Brian's heart that it was time to move on. He awakened the passion Brian has for preaching, and He allowed me to be in agreement with Brian that it was time to move on. God led us to this church and thankfully they decided they wanted us too!!

Some people have mentioned that Brian is getting a promotion. We don't feel that way. To say becoming a senior pastor is a promotion diminishes the role of the associate pastor. We have always felt as long as we are serving the Lord where He wants us then we are doing what we are supposed to be. There is no corporate ladder in the church. So, Brian is not getting a promotion, but he is getting a relocation and a new assignment. We will still be serving the Lord; just in a different way. We are excited to see the shape this new ministry will take.

So, today I feel like we are on the edge of the unknown. We know where we will live, we know what church we will attend; but there is so much yet to learn and experience. I am so thankful that through all the changes in our lives...there is one constant....God...He never changes. So as we leave one very special season in our lives behind...we excitedly follow God to a new season...I can't wait!!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified
because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:5, 6

Friday, July 6, 2012

Five Minute Friday...Stories are all around us...

Here's the official "rules" for Five Minute Friday. Head over to Lisa-Jo's site for more posts.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt  with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..



Today's word is STORY:

Go:












Everyone has one.
Some are sad.
Some are happy.
But everyone has one.
Some fill me with hope.
Some drop me to my knees.
But everyone has one.

All you have to do is look in their eyes.
The eyes help tell the story.
Everyone has one.
To get insight into another all we need to do is ask.
Ask just the right question.
Sometimes, it doesn't take much.
The checker at the grocery store with tired eyes.
Just say, so how's your day going.
More often than not, she will tell you.
When she does....listen.
Show her a moment of compassion.

That little three year old with eyes so wide.
She's busting to tell her story of some great adventure.
Listen...maybe no else will.
Show her that her story is important.
Show her a moment of interest.

Look around you, everywhere you go.
There are stories in the eyes of everyone you meet.
Sometimes all it takes to show them Jesus is to listen.
Connect with them, look them in the eye.
If you feel they need prayer, tell them you will pray for them.
Then do it.

We all have stories.
And sometimes what is needed is just someone to listen.
You never know how much it will mean to someone!!
To be seen, to be heard, to have some show compassion or even excitement!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Can it really be 24 years already?

Twenty-four years ago, my best friend and I got married. Just thinking about that day makes me smile. What a ride we've been on! We've lived in 8 different houses/apartments (soon to be 9), we lived in Colorado, South Dakota, Colorado again, Iowa and soon Minnesota, we've had 4 church families (soon to be 5), we've raised 3 amazing kids, and gained an equally amazing son-in-law, we've had 3 dogs, 6 cats, numerous fish, we've cried together, laughed together, prayed together,and yes even fought together. We've done it all together and I am so blessed that God gave me this amazing man to share life with.



 Following are the vows we recited to each other that day:


Brian, with joy and thanksgiving I accept your pledge of life and love. God said it is not good for man to be alone, so He created me to be a helpmeet or helper suitable for you. I need you, Brian and I need your love just as we as Christian need Christ and His love. This life I now commit to you has first been committed to God and in my commitment to Him, I will commit myself to you; in obedience to Him, I will obey you; in submission to Him, I will submit to you. I give you now my life and my love and will from this day forward, honor you, respect you and will you to you all that is even yet mine as we are yet two. I will be greatly honored to be you wife, to bear your children and to grow old with you. I love you, Brian and I can rejoice in the knowing that the love I have for you is based on the word of the living God.


Brenda, I thank God for you and praise His name that we have both come to know Jesus as our personal Savior. I believe that God has hand-picked you for me and in His perfect will has brought us together to complete each other and be His faithful servants. I need you, I need your love and your total life. As that need is met, I pray that our love for and obedience to Christ will be perfected. That through our relationship, God will demonstrate to the world around us what Jesus can do in an individual life and and in any relationship. Brenda, I love you, and before God and these people here, I pledge my lift to you. I promise to love you in an understanding way as Christ loves the church. I pledge to care for you, to protect, to honor, and love you no matter what circumstances might be, until death separates us or Jesus Christ returns to take us home. Brenda, I believe God has truly brought us together and this love I have for you no man will put asunder.


Brian...I love you!!!!!