Monday, July 30, 2012

Looking in the Mirror

Have you ever had someone tell you "You sure look like your Mom/Dad?"  I never thought I  looked like my mother, but as the years have passed, I stare in the mirror and see her looking right back at me.  I wish I knew then what I know now about how she must have felt and what she was going through. 

Sixteen years ago today she passed away. 

It seems like a lifetime ago.  So many things have happened.  Milestones in my life that happened without my mom…..seeing my oldest grow up, the birth of my "surprise" second son...and birthday's and anniversaries that I did not get to hear her voice or touch her hand...and those daily phone calls….I miss them.

I remember hearing the shuffle of her slippers in the house, the smell of the cottage cheese she loved to eat (but not anyone else in the house), laughing uncontrollably with her at the silliest things and the smell of her perfume.

You are never the same when you lose a parent.  That loss is never filled.  No matter how close you are to your spouse or in-law, no one can fill that void.  I want to leave a legacy like my mom did.  It wasn't about the tangible things she left, it was about the memories, the laughs, the smells that remind me of her.

I want my children to have the same memories. 

I loved my mother with all of my heart and I miss her everyday.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  Old friends stopping by for lunch
2.  The Olympics
3.  Diet Cherry Cokes from SONIC
4.  Magnetic paper clips
5.  French bread pizza

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Friday, July 27, 2012

The Best Relationship

I've written pretty openly about my devotional time.  There are times in my life where I have been extremely devout and some seasons of life where my devotional time is non-existent.  Right now is a pretty good time.  I've been spending time in prayer and reading Lysa Terkurst's "Made to Crave."  A great book!

I have added a new dimension to my time.  My dear friend "J" came in from out of town and we were able to spend some time together (work related) but we were in a very casual atmosphere at my home in meetings.  It was great :)  She brought me a present...a "ClingingCross."  It is just beautiful.  It fits perfectly in your hand.  She told me that her father had one and it brought him great comfort in his last days.  I was very touched that she thought of me.

I have been holding it while I pray and read in my devotional time and it is amazing how it has heightened the depth of my time. 

My relationship with Christ is top of my list and this small cross is helping me to connect on a deeper level.  I want this relationship to be the deepest, most satisfying relationship that I can have.  It will not only help me as I grow spiritually, but help to deepen the relationships that are closest to me.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.      Thoughtful gifts

2.      Books

3.      6 am

4.      Colored pens

5.      Prayer journals

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Perpetual Cookie Jar

I have a very difficult time buying gifts for my husband.  There's not much that he wants or needs, so getting creative with gifts for birthday's and holiday's keeps me busy.  Last Christmas I gave him a pretty clever gift (if I do say so myself).  He loves my homemade sugar free cookies, so I decided to give him the gift of cookies!  I bought him a cookie jar for his office at the church and I keep it filled with my homemade treats.   

What I like about the gift is that it gives throughout the year.  Every day.  Just like Christ gives His love freely to us...non stop, all year long.

There is never a moment where we are alone.  Yes, we may be physically alone, maybe even for hours or days at a time, but God is with us always.  That little voice in our minds and hearts is being heard by God.  He knows our deepest desires and greatest fears.  But He also knows how we love and share and spread the Good News.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.      A new showerhead

2.      DVR's

3.      Chunky pens

4.      Seeing long distance friends in the flesh

5.      A great manicure

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Monday, July 23, 2012

A Spark

Sunday morning I finally stepped out into what I know.  My passion.  My ministry.  My calling to lead women.

I held a meeting for those interested in beginning a women's ministry at our church. There are so many many people to be ministered to …...and so many women that can touch the lives of others. 

The group of women that showed up were spunky and filled with ideas and most importantly desire.  There was a spark in the room.  Like when you first light a see one spark start and then all of a sudden they ignite and go crazy!  One spark feeds on another and before you know it, you have something beautiful.

That's what happened yesterday.  We all fed off of each other's energy and something beautiful happened...God was in the room and the sparks flew!

It only takes a spark to get a fire going.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.      My peach trees

2.      Trying a new recipe

3.      Ice, cold water

4.      Naps

5.      A good haircut

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Friday, July 20, 2012

The Only Bible

How many Bibles do you own?  Personally, I've lost count, but I will admit that I do have a nice collection.  Different sizes, different translations….all very handy.  But the truth is that I always go back to my favorite.  It's my Life Application Study Bible.  I've had it for at least 10 years and it is the one that I go to first. 

I recently read about a great gift idea.  Giving a Bible.  Not just a new Bible with the person's name embossed on the cover, but your personal Bible with all of the highlighting and notes written in the margins.  It was even suggested to buy a new Bible, use it for a year, then give it as a present to maybe your teenager, or in preparation for a graduation or birthday.

Great idea!

Having a Bible is great, but the truth is, "we" may be the only Bible someone ever sees or hears. 

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."  Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

Our words and actions are so important.  The "oozing" we are challenged to do (yes, as much of the time as possible) is a huge commitment.  But Christ wants us to live the best life we can live and at the same time, be an example of His love to others.

Are you up to oozing?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  Volunteers
2.  The smell of rain
3.  Bookshelves
4.  Company at my house
5.  Wholesale clubs (Sam's)

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Having Skin

"The miracle is not to walk on water but on the Earth."  Thich Nhat Hanh
When I first saw this quote, I wasn't sure how to take it.  Did it mean Christ was not the miracle?  The more I thought about it, I came to an understanding.  We are not intended to walk on water. We are His miracles living in the flesh, on Earth.  We are to be the hands, the feet and yes, the skin of Christ. 

It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger who may have had a difficult day.

Giving the gift of a listening ear to someone who wants to talk about their grandchildren.

Volunteering for work in the community or at church.

 Sometimes it's simply listening to what God is telling us to do even if we don’t have the desire.

I liken it to what I believe "oozing" to be.  Trying to be the best person we can be in this world.  Everyday we are given, is one more than we deserve.  So how are we going to spend this day? 

 Today I Am Thankful For:

  1. Diet Cokes
  2. Ribbon bookmarkers for my Bible
  3. Payday
  4. Weeds
  5. Rain

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Have You Prayed About It?

So often I get going in my daily routine and by the end of the day some things are laying heavy on me.  "If only I had given this issue some serious prayer…."  I have been establishing my morning routine of prayer and devotion but sometimes, I feel as if I am skipping through prayer.  I fumble and am not sure what I am praying for each day.  I think there is a lot to be said for keeping a small notebook with your Bible and daily readings to jot down those prayers you want to lift up to God.  It is something I am going to get better at with my prayer life.

 This spin on Matthew 21:22 stuck out to me.

Matthew 21:22 in the NIV says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."  That's trick.  This scripture makes it sound like whatever we ask for, we will receive.  If I ask for a million dollars, will I get it?  Probably, but not necessarily in cold, hard cash.

When I think of my family and the opportunities I have had and continue to have since our recent move, they equal well more than a million dollars.  I can't put a dollar amount on the things I have been blessed with in my life.  Those blessings have sometimes come with a heavy price, but nonetheless, have amounted to riches beyond my wildest dreams.

God's timing is not our timing.  When we pray, we are establishing that relationship with Christ.  We are developing a bond that gets stronger over time (as long as we nurture the relationship). 

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  Playgrounds
2.   Scaffolds
3.  White boards
4.  A spotless house
5.  paperweights

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Are you sure, God?

I know that God has me on this Earth for many reasons.  I think one of them is so that He can have a good laugh :)  When I think about where I have come from and where I am at this moment, it is nothing but through God's grace that I am alive and thriving.  I am so incredibly grateful.

But lately, I have had something brewing inside of me.  I could not put words to it until now.  I feel as if the next part of my ministry needs to be helping to develop a Women's ministry at our church.  That I have accepted and am excited about, but there is one other thing.  I am feeling led to write more than my blog.  I believe God is putting it on my heart to write a Bible Study. 

Then my first question is, "Are you sure, God?  I don't have a seminary degree (yet) and my Bible knowledge is not the best, so are you really sure?"

Do you ever have those moments when you question God.

Just like Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah.  They did not think they were the appointed persons to lead but God sure showed them the way. 

I don't know anything about writing a study, but I am going to give it a try.  I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to discern God's voice.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.      Blue skies

2.      Friendly neighbors

3.      Ink cartridges

4.      Paper bags with handles

5.      Shipping tape

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Who you want to meet

I am an introvert.  Now, if I know you very well, you may not think that is true.  But I tend to be very quiet and have a difficult time reaching out and developing new relationships.  So as a pastor's wife, you can see how that may be a struggle :)

There are a few people I have met in my life that are the epitome of what my message in ministry is all about….oozing.  The people who you can hardly even look at because the light of Christ shines through them and the fact that they are living their life by following Christ in every way is what I call an oozer.  That's what I want to be.  I want to be a person that gives off that light.  In order for me to do that, I have to work through the introvert problem that I have.

I want to be the kind of person I want to meet.  I recently met a woman at our church who is an oozer through and through.  I truly had to step back when I met her because she was so "bright!"  Our meeting reignited my desire to show the world, truly through everything that I do, what oozing is all about.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.      3 ring hole punchers

2.      Collapsible coolers

3.      Hope

4.      Clean towels

5.      Bananas

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Enjoying the little things

We have a nice backyard in our new home, but the flowerbeds need some desperate attention.  I finally got out with a hoe early Saturday morning and started weeding and taking out the dry, dead plants.  The ground was not too hard to work with since we have finally had some rain over the past few days. 

As I was digging and making piles to pick up, I thought about my Dad.  As a kid, I remember my Dad going out on Saturday mornings to work on the yard.  He taught me how to mow a great yard :)  He never used a weedeater, he used his ax to cut the edges of the yard next to the driveway.  After raking and mowing, he would pick up the piles of leaves and cut grass, put on the sprinklers and sweep the concrete.  He was proud of his work and would then get his lawn chair out to survey his masterpiece.

I especially remember the sound of the ax when it would sometimes hit the edge of the concrete.  That's the sound I was making Saturday as I was edging.  It brought a flood of memories back to my mind of a simpler, easier time when my biggest worry was my report card and if I would be able to meet up with my friends to ride bikes on Saturday.

Sometimes it's the smallest of things that we are grateful for because they turn out to be the bigger things in life that we cannot replace.

·        Saying hello to someone at church, even if you don't remember their name.

·        Your clothes fitting a bit looser from eating healthy

·        Not having any responsibilities on a Sunday afternoon and spending time with your family.

·        Being in fellowship with others.

·        Hearing a sound from your childhood and remembering good times.

What are some of the little things you are in an attitude of gratitude about today?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.      Hummingbirds

2.      Cool evenings

3.      Fresh dirt

4.      Dead, crispy plants

5.      Memories of my Daddy

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Our Motto

When your immediate family lives hundreds of miles away, you need to be prepared in the event of an emergency. I have put together a Household Binder, and it needs some major updating.  Once a year, I update our emergency contact numbers, doctor's numbers, schedules, insurance information, etc.  And when your church family is physically closest to you, you have spare keys and instructions readily available to leave to a trusted person.

On the cover of our Household Binder is our family motto.  I haven't looked at our motto in quite some time, and it has made me rethink several things.

"Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God."

I think I now know what has been making me so unsettled. When you live in a rural, small town, living simply is easier to do than when you are in the big city. You aren't as close to major department stores, big grocery stores, etc. Yes,online shopping brings the best to you, but I have found it's just not the same. Now that we are living back in the big city, temptation is all around.  I can get to anything I need at a moment's notice!Yes, that is a good thing medically, but I can act on impulse and shop easily. The "Live Simply" component of our motto is at risk.
I want to seriously pay attention to the tenets of our motto:

  • Live Simply: having more "stuff" is not priority (we don't need the latest video game)
  • Love Generously: the core of who I want to be is a loving person and to be able to nurture the loving hearts of my children
  • Care Deeply: when we care for others,God's light shines through everything we do….oozing at work
  • Speak Kindly: our words are impacting...they can't be taken back.
  • Leave the rest to God: this is the one that can bring you to your knees...leaving it up to God and not worrying about things that are out of your control.
Does your family have a motto?

Today I Am Thankful For:
  • A fresh manicure 
  • RAIN! 
  • A new recipe that was successful 
  • A cookie jar filled with homemade cookies 
  • My new, office chair - leopard, of course :)

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Monday, July 02, 2012


I am so happy right now.  We are living in a beautiful home that we can breathe in, the boxes are unpacked, we live in the big city where we can get to whatever we need to get to quickly (especially the hospital) and our new church is just amazing.

Why is it I am feeling so unsettled?

Change is so hard….it's inevitable.  And it sometimes brings out the worst in us.  In my case, it brings out doubt. 

Doubt whether or not I can live up to being a preachers wife in a growing, vital church.

Doubt whether or not I can find my place and allow ministry to happen.

Doubt whether or not I can develop new relationships (and learn names :)

The enemy knows your weakness...knows where you waver that tiniest bit.  That's when he sinks his claws in and has a field day with your heart.

I am glad that I can see when this happens to me...I just have to continue to move forward and tell the enemy to get out of my head and most importantly, not let him in my heart. 

 Today I Am Thankful For:
1.  Plastic pools
2.  Fresh cherries
3.  Handshakes
4.  Sunday's
5.  A freshly, mopped floor

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Speakers and Writers


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A 2008 Graduate of

Recommended Reading

  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver
  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

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