Friday, September 28, 2012

Five Minute Friday...Grasping on tight...

Today is Five Minute Friday. Here are a brief review of the rules we all follow:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – 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 GRASP.

go:

We had a child who was something of an escape artist. The minute her hands were free from ours she would take off; didn't matter where we were, didn't matter if there were strangers around. This child had a need to run, and run she did on several occasions. We had to grasp her little hand in ours, sometimes I wonder if maybe we squeezed too hard; she was good at slipping out of even the tightest grasp.


We held her tight, not because we didn't like her energy or desire to run. We held her tight because we knew the danger if she ran at the wrong time. We knew something she couldn't yet grasp. We weren't holding her back to anger her; we were holding her back because we loved her.

I believe God is like that with us sometimes. There are times we want to run ahead, but God's hand grasps ours firmly to keep us from running ahead too soon. God can see the road ahead, He knows best for us. So in those times when we sense that God is holding us back from our goal, we need to realize he may be protecting us. We need to trust Him and not struggle against his grip. When the time comes he will release our hands and let us run!




Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fingerprints on my heart...

Just when you think you've got this empty nest thing figured out...you unpack your scrapbooking stuff and find this item. So moms, enjoy those fingerprints, they really will gone 
so quickly!!



Friday, September 21, 2012

Five Minute Friday...try and grasp how wide...



Today is 5 Minute Friday. Following are the official rules.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – 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 WIDE: 

go:

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 
Ephesians 3:17b-19

Is it possible to grasp just how wide, long, high and deep Christ's love is for us? How can we? We only have our own personal experience to go off of. We have people we love, but our love is a not a perfect love. We may love unconditionally, but our love comes nowhere near the depth or width of Christ's love. 


My prayer for today is that of Ephesians, to be able to grasp just how amazing the love of Christ is for me. He gave his life for me. He suffered unimaginable pain, not just physical, but the pain that He felt when God turned His back on Him while he hung on that cross with all our sins, had to be the worst pain of all. Yet, Christ did it willingly. He did it because He loves me. He not only loves me, He love all of us. Take some time today and try to grasp and understand just how wide, long, high and deep Christ's love is for...then take sometime on your knees thanking Him for that love.


This is one of my favorite songs about God's amazing love for me!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Minute Friday...Focus on your race...

Today is once again Friday...is it just me or did this week just fly right by? Anyway, time for Five Minute Friday. One word...five minutes...no editing...just our thoughts flying out! Today's word is FOCUS.

Go:

I've discovered a fun new sport to watch, cross country! It just amazes me how these runners can stay focused and keep their eyes on the prize...the finish line. They also need to keep their eyes on the cart leading them around the course or they could take a wrong turn. The closer they get to that end goal, the faster some of them run. I can't believe that anyone has that much energy left at the end of three miles to sprint it out. The look of joy and excitement on their face as they cross that finish line is priceless. And this isn't just the top finishers, its pretty much every one who finishes. These runners train for this. They don't just run once a week and expect to be able to finish the race.

Our Christian life has been compared to a race. We must keep our eyes on the prize as well. We need to focus ourselves on Jesus! If we take our eyes off of Him, we lose that focus. We become lost. We too need to train ourselves. We can't just show up at church on Sunday and think that is good enough. We need to spend time each day in the word. We need to pray and seek God's direction for our lives. Then we need to do it!!! Just like the runner needs more than one day of training, so to do we!

What are you focusing on today? Focus on Jesus and you will be amazed at how clear things become!!


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ah...home sweet home...

We arrived in Roseau exactly two months ago today! We were excited, we were exhausted and we were a bit emotional. We asked ourselves, what have we done? Are we ready for this? Is it to late to back out?
 

On our second day we received a bag of goodies from Roseau, kind of like a welcome wagon! This bag had a saying on it..."Roseau, Feels Like Home" . We chuckled to ourselves because it didn't feel like home yet. In fact, at the time we were standing in our new home with only one piece of furniture (thankfully a bed!). We weren't even sure when the stuff that made us feel at home would show up!


Two months later we are still very much newbies in town. Still trying to figure things out. We are still waiting for our Minnesota driver's licenses to come in the mail. The grocery store still confuses me and I find myself searching for items on my list. I have yet to get my hair cut because changing hair dressers is a big deal! (I better get over that one soon...I'm in need!)

Two months later and we now own Roseau Rams clothing, we even own Polaris shirts (even though I suspect Brian would be happier with something from Polaris that had a motor!). We are settling into a new community. We can drive most places in town and not get lost! We find ourselves knowing more names on a Sunday morning in church. We have been to sporting events and cheered on our new team...the Rams. There's something about high school sports that makes us feel a part of a community.

Last week I spent most of my time painting, painting and still painting our kitchen! When I started I was planning on using red as an accent color. What I wound up with was an almost entirely red kitchen! This is why I spent the whole week painting....red requires lots of coats. Anyway, when I was done Brian told me this now feels like home to him. That made me smile; I want this house to be a home!

The only part of the kitchen not painted red is the backsplash.

Gone are the grapevines on the pillars. Someday the pillars may be gone as well...we're waiting to see if the grow on us!

New light in dining room...much more understated than the previous one!

 We are still newbies and will most likely continue to be for quite sometime; but I can say...with confidence that "Roseau, Feels Like Home!"  Brian and I are so excited to see just what God has in store for us here!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Nine years ago...

**Today I turn my blog over to husband. This is a tribute to my father-in-law, who passed away nine years ago today. My favorite memories of him are the way his eyes twinkled when he would spend time with his grand-kids and no matter how hard we tried we could never beat him at cribbage.


 Today is  September 8th, 2012.  When I look at the calender and see the date I remember that it was 9 years ago today that my dad went to be with the Lord.  He had fought cancer for over two years.  He was a man of great strength and courage. The way he handled his fight with cancer was the same way that he lived his life.  He walked straight into the trial with courage and confidence that he could fight this.  Fight he did! 

As I reflect on this day it seems so unreal that 9 years has passed.  He is ok.  For I know he is with the Lord.  In the final weeks of his life God gave me some special time with my dad.  We talked about his faith in Christ. In August of 2003 we all began to realize that his time here on this earth was limited.  This trial and test was one of the most difficult tests of my life.  God where are you? Why is this happening? How long can this continue?  God answered my prayers and delivered my dad from cancer on that September day.  Cancer didn't win, God won and my dad is free!

The truth is that life is a precious gift and none of us know how much time we will have.  So we must, as I saw my dad do, live life to the fullest. Thank God for the time that we have been given.  Make the most of everything that God has entrusted to us.  Live life in a way that brings honor to God and to those in our lives that mean the most to us.

I thank God for my dad.  He was a support, an encouragment, an example and an inspiration to me.
When I think of my dad and the gift of life I have been given, I remind myself that I need to live life to the fullest.  I grew up in a family where faith and family were important.  So I continue to honor my dad and my heavenly Father by living each day to honor him.

Life is such a brief, precious and fragile gift. 

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes
James 4:14

With the time God has given me to live here on this earth I choose to live my life with eternity in mind. God help me keep my eye on the prize.  My eyes are fixed on Jesus the author and perfecter of my faith.



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Five Minute Friday...Who me...Graceful?!

It's Five Minute Friday time again! That means two things...its almost the weekend and I get to partake in my favorite activity of the week. The rules are simple...5 minutes...one word...no editing and lots of interesting takes to read about. So check out my blog and then head over to Lisa Jo's place to read even more ideas on this one word. Today's word made me laugh out loud...it is GRACEFUL.

Go:

If there was one word that does not describe me its graceful. I just don't possess that quality. I think of all my accidents as a child...I flipped a mini bike...I ran a snowmobile into a barbed wired fence...I hit a parked car while riding my bike....I biffed it big time warming up for hurdles in track (still have part of the track in my knee. The list could go on...but I do only have 5 minutes.

In fact, I currently have a corn maze injury. Yes, I got hurt in a corn maze!! Let's just say it was not graceful and after a week I can barely walk down stairs without sharp pain in my right leg! (Yeah...I see a doctor visit in my near future).

The theme of the corn maze was the Titanic. Guess I went down with the ship!!
 So, God may not have gifted me with that kind of grace. That grace I can live without (of course it can create pain!), but thankfully God has gifted me with His grace! I thank Him for it daily...so if I look at it that way I am grace-FULL!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Two special September days...and one in March...

In our family birthdays are a big deal. We love to spoil the person whose birthday it is. We love celebrating the day our children took their first breath. We also love to celebrate another birthday for them....their spiritual birthday. This is the day each of our children decided they wanted to become a Christian...the day they accepted Jesus as their Savior.

Today, we celebrate Ashley's spiritual birthday. She was just a little one when this happened. We had been praying for this day since before she was born. After she prayed, we told her there was a party going on in heaven...that the angels were rejoicing with her. So we did the best we could on short notice and threw her a party. It was right before bedtime, so we popped some popcorn and had root beer. To a three year old, this was a party. Woohoo!! Ashley's first prayer as a Christian was for her sister Abby to become a Christian. I'm sure had we had Caleb at the time she would have prayed for him then as well (he was but a glimmer!).



One year later we celebrated Ashley's spiritual birthday and being creatures of habit, we did the same thing...popcorn and root beer. By now Abby was almost three and curious as to why big sis was having a party. A little over a week later, she and Ashley were discussing this party after we had tucked them in for the night. After some discussion Ashley came out and said...well Abby's a Christian now. We were  a bit on the skeptical side. So we started questioning Abby and sure enough she truly had prayed to become a Christian. Not only had Ashley's first prayer as a Christian been for Abby; God allowed her to be the one to lead her to Christ. Pretty amazing!!!

Not to leave out Caleb, he also became a Christian at a young age. We celebrate his special day in March. Brian was the one who was privileged to get to lead Caleb to the Lord.

A lot of people were skeptical when we share how young our children were when they became Christians. However, that is the journey God led them on. They have grown up loving the Lord and each year on their spiritual birthdays Brian and I thank God for answering that prayer of ours. We feel truly blessed with each of these kids. We have had the honor of watching them grow in their faith and we continue to pray for them to follow the Lord.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chivaree is not dead...

chivaree -n
1.a discordant mock serenade to newlyweds, made with pans, kettles, etc
2. a confused noise; din 
 Brian and I are not newlyweds...yet we were the recipients of a chivaree on Thursday night! We arrived home after supper with some friends (some sneaky friends mind you!)...Brian went to open the window on our deck to let some fresh air in. As he was opening the window a loud noise began, and when I say loud noise, I mean LOUD noise. My first thought was glass was breaking, then I wondered if the deck was collapsing, were we being shot at? Brian turned the light on and we discovered a large group of our new church family in the back yard banging on pots and pans! To say we were surprised would be an understatement! What a fun way to feel welcomed and accepted into our new church family! We invited them in and enjoyed fellowship, ice cream, cookies and brownies!

So...here's a word of advice to you. Should you get invited over to someone's house and their children start saying how tired they are and that they should go to bed...be warned...its a set up!!! Especially if these people are night owls!!!

The way it was worded is that we have newly married this church family and therefore a chivaree was in order. Chivaree is not dead!!!