Monday, December 29, 2014

My #1 post this year...

2014 is quickly coming to a close. I'm always a bit nostalgic this time of the year as I look back on all the events in my life. Funny how life can seem fairly ordinary and uneventful, but when I look over the previous year, I realize quite a bit did happen. I enjoy looking through some of what I wrote to remind myself of where I was and what God was teaching me. I have a small humble blog, I like it that way. I do however have one post this year that got more hits than I am used to seeing. This post wasn't even written by me...it was a guest post by my son Caleb. I asked him to write something for me before his wedding...guess I need to have him write for me more! 

Wait, you’re getting married?

That seems to be a question that I have been facing a lot lately. With my wedding coming up in a little over three weeks, a lot of people have been asking me questions along those exact same lines. You see, both myself and my fiancé are 19, we met met a little less than two years ago, and we are both still in college. Some call us crazy, some question our motives, but I stand firm behind my decision to get married and stay married.
Continue reading here...


**By the way the wedding went beautifully! You can read more about it here...


Friday, December 19, 2014

Adore...


Today is the last Five Minute Friday of the year. The word for today is ADORE...



O Come Let us Adore Him
O Come Let us Adore Him
O Come Let us Adore Him
Christ the Lord

Don't let this season pass by without stopping to adore Him...
the babe in the manger.
That babe is more than just a baby...
He is our King.
That babe is more than just a king...
He is our Savior.

Stop in the midst of the Christmas chaos...
stop to adore Him.
As you sing familiar Christmas carols...
stop to adore Him.
Stop and ponder why He came...
not just so we could celebrate this season with tinsel and gifts.
He came because He loved us...
He came to save us...He came knowing how it would end.

That babe in a manger...
He is our King...He came with a mission.
That babe in a manger...
He is our Savior...He came for us!




Friday, December 12, 2014

Prepare Him Room...

It's Five Minute Friday again, where do the weeks go anymore? Today's word is PREPARE...


Go...



Joy to the World!  The Lord is come
Let earth receive her king!
Let every heart prepare Him room...

In the hustle and bustle of December...
Prepare Him room...

In between the to-do lists and the shopping...
Prepare Him room...

During the flurry of parties and concerts...
Prepare Him room...

In the midst of the magic of the season...Santa and elves...
Prepare Him room...

In the mess of baking and frosting and taste testing...
Prepare Him room...

In the hunt for the perfect tree and hanging of lights...
Prepare Him room...

As you make travel plans and constantly check the weather...
Prepare Him room...

When you are still groggy as the morning sun peeks over the horizon...
Prepare Him room...

And heaven and nature sing...
And heaven and nature sing...
And heaven and heaven and nature sing...

Don't just let heaven and nature sing and point to Him...join in...prepare Him room and sing Joy to the world...the Lord is come!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dear Hope...

Today is Five Minute Friday. One word, five minutes, no editing. Today's post comes from a place of grief and love. My sweet daughter had a miscarriage the week before Thanksgiving. It was not her first. As you read this, please pray for Josh and Abby as they work through another loss. Today's word is DEAR....




Dear Hope,

Hey sweetie, I just want you to know how very loved you are. My heart hurts it loves you so much. Your mommy and daddy love you so much too. You have been prayed for so many times. From the day your mom told us she was pregnant again your grandpa and I prayed everyday. I will never forget the day that your mommy called and said they had heard your heartbeat. I cried that day, tears of joy. That was a huge answer to prayer.

A few weeks later we got news again of you, this time there were tears...for a different reason. This time there was no heartbeat. But sweet Hope we did not give up on you that day. Your family and so many other people began praying without ceasing. During that time is when you got your name, how fitting a name. As long as you were still in mommy there was still Hope. You are one loved baby, if only love were enough. We don't have the answers to why we won't meet you on this side of heaven. What we do have is a God who is big enough for our grief in losing you. We have a God who grieves with us. Your life may have been short, but know this little one that short life of yours has impacted many.

Jesus has you now, let him hold you. Tell sweet Faith we love her too, and your other siblings....

Love for ever and always,

Grandma.


Rejoice in hope,  be patient in affliction, be constant in prayer. 
Hebrews 12:12

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five Minute Friday...giving him notice...


Five Minute Friday time! One word...five minutes...no editing. Today's word is NOTICE.



Are you feeling discouraged? Do you believe lies that are whispered to you? There is an enemy who wants to destroy you and me...
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8


I am tired of his lies and deceit so I am giving him notice...

Satan...you have no power here. Your tricks and deceptions will not work on me. I have Jesus on my side...I am leaning on Him for support. He is my strength...He is my shield...He is my defender. These scriptures are what I will listen to...I will not believe your lies, so quit trying...


I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. 
Philippians 4:13

The LORD is my strength and my shield. 
Psalm 38:7

In the day when I called out, You answered me, 
and made me bold with strength in my soul.
 Psalm 138:3

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, 
in Him I will trust, my shield and the horn of my salvation, 
my stronghold and my refuge, my Savior, You save me from violence. 
2 Samuel 22:2


(now read those verses again...substituting the I's and me's and my's with your name...)

I've read The Book...Satan loses in the end...he is defeated. So live in victory!!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Five Minute Friday...I Still Do...

Today is Five Minute Friday. A group of bloggers all sharing thoughts on a single word and five minutes to write whatever comes to mind. The word for today is STILL....

GO...


November 14 is just a regular day....
           it is not an anniversary of anything...
                   there are no big date plans....
                          in fact this morning has been quite uneventful...

In the midst of just a regular day...
           in the quietness of my morning routine...
                     I reach for a cup to make my hot chocolate in...
                           this cup says it all...I still Do.



         
Over 26 years of marriage...
            9631 days...many of them just plain ordinary days...
                      but is any day with you just ordinary?
                             In our every day life  know that I still Do!

I still love you...
      I still count it an honor to be your wife...
           I still smile when I think of you...
               My heart skips a beat when I know you are on the way home...
                    I still thank God everyday for you...even on "those" days...
                           I still do!











Friday, October 31, 2014

take five...He will never leave...

Well, I did it. Today is day 31 of a 31 day writing challenge. This has really been fun and challenging.   Today for the last day I am joining up with Five Minute Friday. The rules are pretty much the same as I've been doing all month long, five minutes to write on one word. The word for today is LEAVE...




“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 31:6


He will NEVER leave you...He will NEVER forsake you. That comforts me.
When I am feeling sorry for myself...He is right there. All I need to do is talk to Him.
When I am struggling...He is right there. All I need to do is lean on Him.
When I am facing a challenge that takes my breath away...He is right there. All I need to do is ask Him for strength.

He is right there, He is always right there, by my side. Why do I forget that? He is not going to leave me ever! When He makes a promise...He keeps it. He promised me that He will never leave me...He promised me that He would go with me. That brings me peace and comforts me. 

How about you? Are you struggling? Do you feel alone? There is no need to...HE is right there!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

take five...pray first...

The word for today is FIRST...



It is no secret that I am a competitive person, my husband just so happens to be one as well. We like to win, so sometimes games between us can become intense, but for the most part we are gracious at both winning and losing. We go into the game knowing that there will be a winner and there will be a loser, that's the nature of playing a game. 

Sometimes I tend to forget that in our marriage we are not playing a game, that my goal is not to win at times of disagreements. I can get so caught up in "winning" the argument that I fail to listen to  Brian, I am too busy presenting my case. If only I could step back and take a breath and realize that coming in first is not what is needed here. When I view a disagreement as an opportunity to win I am making sure we both lose. In those instances I need to stop, drop to my knees and pray...FIRST...before those competitive juices take over. Do I always remember to do that...sadly no...I am still very much a work in progress.


How about you? Is there a winner and loser in your marriage...I hope not. I hope you are both on the same team, working together, journeying through life, not keeping a score card. 

Here is a prescription for making sure you both win...

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes are things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Corinthians 13:4-7

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

take five...untie or unite?

The word for today is UNITE...



So ever have one of those dyslexic moments when you look at a word and read it wrong? Well that happened to me with the word for today. Last night I checked my list to see what the word for today was  and I saw that the word was untie. (yep, read it wrong!) I was stumped as to how to use this word for anything encouraging. I was thinking well, you need to untie your shoes, but that's not really enough to encourage anybody. Then I thought of this summer when our son got married, I literally cut apron strings, could I change that story to be from the angle that we untied the aprons strings so he was now free to become one with Britt? So, I pondered it and came to sit down and write today only to realize the word today is not untie...it is unite!!!! This word still leads me in the direction of Caleb and Britt's wedding. After all what is a wedding, it is two people coming together to be united in marriage!The night before the wedding I read Britt a poem and cut the apron strings, I gave my son away. The next day at the wedding Caleb and Britt chose not to do a unity candle, they chose to braid three ribbons together, one ribbon represented Caleb, one represented Britt and the third represented God. What a beautiful picture of them joining together. Indeed a special day.

And though a man might prevail agains one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12







Tuesday, October 28, 2014

take five...are you leaving a wake?

The word for today is WAKE...




A ship in water leaves a wake, a big wake. This wake is noticed, it is felt by boats that come behind it. There is no hiding the effects it has. As a kid I used to love going to the lake and riding the waves that came in from passing boats. It didn't matter how fast the boat was moving, it still created a wake and some fun waves for me to play in close to the beach.

As I go through life, I ask myself am I leaving any kind of a wake? Will those who come behind me feel the effects of my life? If so, what kind of legacy am I leaving? As I think about my children and grandchildren I pray that they would look at the wake I leave as a good thing. I pray that I am leaving a wave that they will want to ride, a wave that points them to Christ, a wave that makes them better people. 

Your faithfulness endures to all generations...
Psalm 119:90


What kind of wake do you want to leave?



Monday, October 27, 2014

take five...feel free to act like a child...

The word for today is FREE...




One of my favorite parts of our church services happens during the offering every Sunday. As the baskets are being passed to the adults the kids bring forward their own offering. I am always amazed at how many kids we have in our church as they all head forward to drop their money in a can on the stage. Seeing the kids do this is so heartwarming. But what I really love is all the different personalities these kiddos have. If they are having a good day, you can see it on their face and in their body language. The same is true if they are having a bad day; there is no hiding it. Basically these kids are all genuine, they are not hiding behind any mask, they are who they are. Each and every Sunday these kids make me smile. 

What they are experiencing is a freedom to be who they are. So the question I am pondering today is...why can't we feel free like that? If we are having a bad day why do we try and hide it? Let's all try and be more childlike!


"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, 
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3



Sunday, October 26, 2014

take five...please pray...

The word for today is VISIT...



Today I simply want to ask all prayer warriors to pray for a friend's daughter. She is visiting China and is having some health issues. Please pray that her flight can get changed asap. Thank you!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

take five...enjoying what God created...

Today's word is ENJOY...


When our kids were little we took them on a hike at a waterfall near where we lived. At lunchtime we  snuck off the trail and had lunch by the stream. We felt like we were the first people ever to find this amazing spot, so we gave it a name. We called it Hitogochi..."Hidden Treasure of God's Creation". That was a great day, one I will never forget. We took the time to enjoy something God created and at the same time made a memory.

The original Hitogochi...

This past summer was one of my favorite summers in a long time. I found myself outside more than I had been in years. There were so many opportunities for me to enjoy God's creation. As the summer progressed I found myself thinking of Hitogochi and determined I would enjoy and find even more hidden treasures of God's creation. Ok, so the treasures I found weren't actually hidden, many of them were in my own back yard. However, if I hadn't taken the time to appreciate and enjoy God's creation it would have remained hidden to me. 

God is such an amazing artist, the way he paints a sunset takes my breath away. God has way more colors in His color box than I have in mine. I discovered this summer the beauty in the color green, the amount of different shades of green God uses is amazing. The wild flowers I saw growing this summer made for a far more beautiful bouquet than any florist could ever create. This fall the colors on the trees seemed more intense, more breathtaking to me. All of these observations occurred because I took the time to notice, I took the time to thank the one who created my views, God's creation is amazing!

All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 
John 1:3


Here are some of my Hitogochi pictures from this past year...
















Friday, October 24, 2014

take five...I dare you!

Today is Five Minute Friday and also day 24 in my take five series. The word for today is DARE...



Just over nine months ago I received a new title...grandma! Let me tell you it was love at first sight, actually I am pretty sure I was in love before that first peek. We prayed for that little girl every day during the pregnancy. When you pray for someone you begin to care. We didn't know who exactly we were praying for, no idea if it was a boy or a girl, no idea what the name would be. We didn't care, this little baby was special and we were in love. Now we get the privilege of praying for her by name and we are honored to pray for her daily...she is our crown. And we eagerly anticipate the day we have more crowns to pray for. (no pressure kids!)

Grandchildren are a crown of the aged...
Proverbs 17:6

My paraphrase of that verse goes more like this...
Grandchildren are a crown of the middle aged...


So, I want to dare you to do something. I dare you to look at these pictures and not smile. This little beauty is Ellie... our first crown!













*photo credits 
Mandi Pool Photography
Amber Rae Photography
Heather Boyd 
Ashley Klingsheim

Thursday, October 23, 2014

take five...look at me...

Todays word is LOOK...





Mommy...look at me dance.
Daddy...look at me tie my shoes.
Mommy...look at me...I drew you a picture.
Daddy...look at me twirl.

All day long you hear those words...mommy...look at me, daddy...look at me...
Your child craves your attention, your child longs for you to see her. When she knows you are looking it is as if she is playing to grand stage, a stage filled with one of the people she seeks attention from. She is not only seeking your attention...she is seeking your approval.

I don't think we ever outgrow that phase, but I think as we mature the audience we are playing to needs to change. We shouldn't do what we do to impress our parents, our friends or even strangers. We need to realize that we play to an audience of One. We don't need to twirl to get His attention; we have it every day, every second of every day. He is watching, He sees us; He knows our every move. I want the things He sees to be pleasing to Him, I want to make Him smile just like a mommy smiles at the accomplishments of her child, I too want to please my daddy...my Abba Father!Today, as I go about my day, I will be asking God not only if He is looking, but if what He sees is pleasing to Him.


For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. 
Galatians 1:10



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

take five...expect to overcome...

Today's word is EXPECT...





"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

John 16:33



Notice in the verse above it does not say you might have tribulation, it says you will have it. This world is not a perfect place and trials are a part of living. God tells us to expect trials, He never promises us that life will be all sunshine and happiness for us. He does promise us peace, so when trials come approach them with expectancy of that peace that surpasses all understanding. I love the last part of that verse, "But take heart, I have overcome the world." God is the ultimate overcomer and because of that He has given us the power to be overcomers as well! So expect trials, but also expect that with God's help you will overcome!!!






Tuesday, October 21, 2014

take five...just a second...

Today's word is SECOND...



When our kids were growing up we had a saying that I know each one of them remembers today. Delayed obedience is disobedience. In other words, please do what we ask you to do when we ask you to do it! 

Here is a typical conversation involving this saying...

Time for bed, let's go brush your teeth.

Just a second mom...

No, not in a second now.

I will...in a second. 

No, now. Are you disobeying me? You know that delayed obedience is disobedience.


Were we such mean parents that we wanted our kids to jump every time we spoke? No. We wanted to teach them discipline and respect. We wanted them to respect our authority and the "just a second" game was not one to be played in our house. Were there exceptions to the "just a second" rule...yes! However they were just that...exceptions.

So, how often do we say just a second to God? We pray and ask for His guidance and when it comes we don't act, we hesitate, we come up with something that needs to happen first. Is this what God wants from us...delayed obedience?  Here is Jesus' response to just a second...

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” 
Luke 9:57-62

God wants obedience...not delayed obedience from us! What is He asking you to do?

Monday, October 20, 2014

take five...fear not...


The word for today is FEAR...



Fear...this is a very real emotion these days. Everyday as I scroll through my Facebook feed I sense fear in people's posts. As I watch the news I find that fear creeping up on me. Fear is an emotion that can get the best of me, it can cripple me, cause me to feel anxious, make me irrational at times. I am so thankful that God addresses fear in His word. When I chose to remember that God is with me, when I chose to focus on Him, my fear (both fear of real things and what if fear) dissipates. There are stilly scary things going on the world, but does living in fear really help? 

Here are some of my favorite reminders to fear not. As the events of this world crash down on you and you find yourself being fearful, read these and be reminded of who is really in control...God!


Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
Isaiah 41:10

I sought the LORD, and he answered me ad delivered me from all my fears. 
Psalm 34:4

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world give do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 
John 14:27

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34

This is just a small sampling of verses I turn to. Take some time to search out your Bible and find the verses that comfort you. Share them with me if you would like.







Sunday, October 19, 2014

take five...honor...

The word for today is HONOR...






The definition of honor is "to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect."  So your assignment for today is to try and treat someone with more admiration and respect than they treat you! Let's make this trying to outdo one another a friendly competition where we all are winners!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

take five...taste


The word for today is TASTE...



I have a confession to make...I do not drink coffee. (please don't judge me!) I tried it and I just don't like it, I don't have the desire to acquire the taste for it either. I am perfectly content with a hot cup of tea with a little added honey; it is perfect on a cold day. I prefer the sweet taste over the bitter.

As much as I like adding honey to sweeten my tea, there is something that will sweeten my day even more than that... God's word! Take some time today to add some sweet flavor to your day...open your Bible...it's words are sweeter than honey!







Friday, October 17, 2014

take five...how long is it?

Today is day 17 in my take five series, it is also five minute friday. Stop over at Heading Home to see what other bloggers have to say about the word of the day. Today's word is LONG..


 




I'm a numbers person...that's just how my brain works. There is always a calculator running in my brain...I hear the year someone was born and I automatically calculate how old they are. Numbers matter to me. 

There is one thing that my brain has not been able to calculate and that is just how much God loves me, His love cannot be measured with numbers. There is no exact measurement to how wide, how long, how high and how deep God's love it; it is beyond measuring. A measurement indicates something is finite, God's love is not finite, it is infinite. It is wider, deeper, longer, and higher than any number could ever indicate. It is the most powerful love imaginable, it is a love like no other, it will not fit in a box. 


And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, 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 3:17-19

I thank God for His love for me, I am in awe of it, I pray to grasp the enormity of it. I pray that I would never try to put it in a box, but that I would allow it to be what it is. I pray that I can love Him back in an immeasurable way, I pray that my love for Him is too deep, too long, too wide and to high to be measured! 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

take five...sometimes you need to adjust things...

Today's word for my 31 day series of take five is ADJUST...



This morning as I was laying in bed feeling awful, I turned on Facebook and the only thing I read was this from one of my favorite bloggers

"So here's the thing - today is probably not going to go as you planned. 
I find it's a relief to just accept that at 6am rather than to temper tantrum about it at 6pm, eh?" 

I actually read this at 6 am! It was then that I realized I would have to accept a change in my plans for the day. A change that would involve me doing literally nothing except nap for most of the day. I had to adjust myself to a sickness that snuck up on me. Did I whine a little and feel sorry for myself? Why yes I did! Once I realized what my day was going to look like, once I realized there was only one option for myself, then and only then was I able to quit feeling sorry for myself and really rest. 

Lots of days are like that, well maybe not the sick part, but the having to change plans part. We make plans only to be disappointed, frustrated, and irritated. We get annoyed and maybe even throw a pity party. Why do we do this to ourselves? Oh, to be the person who wakes up in the morning and asks God what He has planned for me that day. Oh, to be the person who accepts change more readily and is able to go with the flow of my day and adjust my expectations. I am a work in progress, but thankfully God just keeps working on me! 

My plans may change and things may not go how I want them to, but as long as my anchor is the One who doesn't change then I'm ok! 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and
today and tomorrow. 
Hebrews 13:8