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Showing posts from April, 2008

Overwhelmed with Thanksgiving!!!

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I wrote a post earlier today (Wednesday) that lists some of my blessings. I've been so aware lately that I am overwhelmed with blessings. God just keeps pouring them out upon me!

I'm excited by the new ministry opportunities that are coming my way. Excited and a little overwhelmed. I've been asked to write devotions for Laced with Grace (what an awesome group of ladies!) AND the NEW Internet Cafe.



The elders at church asked me to take over as Children's Ministry Director. I said no a few times but God wouldn't leave me alone. I kept telling Him that I'm supposed to be ministering to women, not children. I think He had other plans for me. I'll be donning goofy goggles and a lab coat while I try to blow up things in order to impress the kids this summer at VBS. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

About a year ago I formulated a vision for myself in ministry. I had some great dreams, but they don't seem to be coming to pass quite the way I expected. Actually, God'…

Blessings...

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In the spring of 2004, my husband and I felt God calling us to some big changes. At that time, I was teaching part time in an ideal situation. I had a three year old daughter and an infant, but I was home from work by 10:30 am each day. It was great except that I needed daycare for 9 hours a week and I wasn't happy with the way that was working out. Balancing work and baby wasn't so easy either.

My husband had a job that looked good on paper but in real life it was wearing him down. He knew he needed a change - more direct care (counseling) and less supervision and stress.

My husband's dad had unexpectedly died from cancer two years prior to this. His mom was trying to pick up the pieces of her life and figure out how to move on. And we were 700 miles away, unable to be of much help.

The signs seemed obvious: it was time to move. But, I was pretty happy where we were. We had a terrific church body and a personal relationship with our pastor. We were just beginning to get plug…

If Mama ain't happy...

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"'If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!'" We smile as we read the wall plaque in the novelty store. But our smile quickly turns to a frown if truly "Mama ain't happy." This is because the wife and mother in a family often "sets the tone" in the home. The "tone" God wants her to set is one of joy, optimism, and a delight in the Lord and in her family. If your family were called upon to describe you, what would they say?"~Martha Peace, "The Excellent Wife"

In order to answer the question posed above, I asked the littlest in our house to describe me. He said, "My mom is Heather." When probed further he added, "I don't know." What is she like? "She likes coffee." Yup, he knows me well.

The middle child would probably say, "My mom is mean!" That deserves a little explanation. The kids are always asking why they can't eat pure sugar for their diet or why they can't…

Super Secret Stuff

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Last weekend we celebrated a birthday around here - the biggest kid in the house just got a little bigger. She's a whole seven years old (and she has seven teeth growing into the gaps in her mouth too). Seven is her magic number, I guess.

So, do you know what she wanted for her birthday? Diaries. The locking kind - where little girls can keep their super secret stuff. Since she got three, she ought to be busier writing than her mother! But I don't think she has anything too secretive to hide away in there.

Not yet at least. When she turns ten I'll have to find the key to that diary to keep up on her life. Just kidding. I won't need the key. No, I wouldn't invade her privacy (maybe). :)

Now, in addition to the diaries, she got some of her favorite books: Junie B. Jones

But did you know there's a Christian rival to Junie B? I had no idea and now my daughter and I are totally hooked. The first book we looked at was about Meghan Rose and her diary! How's that for …

Days of Elijah

This has been my song lately. Isn't is awesome to realize that all of Scripture is culminated in our days? We await His return expectantly. I wonder if I am like Elijah, declaring the Word of the Lord? Am I like David, rebuilding the temple of the Holy Spirit in me?

Am I a voice in the desert, declaring "prepare the way for the Lord"? I want to be a laborer in His vineyard declaring the Word of the Lord!

God At Work

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This past weekend, my family took a short trip, over the river (or lake) and through the woods to Grandmother's house... On the drive, my husband and I talked about important decisions in our near future and our dreams while the kids chatted in the back seat. I wasn't paying much attention to their conversation over the music and my own deep thoughts. But, I suddenly realized they were talking about heaven.

So, I leaned my head back and pretended not to listen but my ears were wide open. Pretty soon hubby turned down the radio so he could hear too.

The seven year old said, "Don't you want to go to heaven?"

The three year old wasn't sure about it. I guess he didn't really know what to expect.

So, the four year old piped up, "When you fall down there, your knees don't get scraped up."

"Yeah, and there's no more owies at all" added her big sister.

"You get a whole new body and it's not even like the one we have here" she c…

Thankful for Spring!

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It was only a few weeks ago that my family enjoyed an ice fishing outing. Actually, I think we enjoyed the trip onto the ice in the back of the truck, the candy and pop, and the silly antics of the children more than the fish! I caught something huge but it never made it through the hole. It was the last hurrah of winter.



Soon after our ice fishing expedition, we bid farewell to our winter lawn ornaments. Sweet Billy Bob snowman and his wife Suzy Q disolved before our eyes on one warm day.

And suddenly, the world began to transform before my eyes. A long, cold, hard winter which kept me (and the kids) inside for six months gave way to a slow spring. Somehow these pussy willows survived the blizzard which flew in after the snowmen melted.
The tulips have poked their heads above the ground and soon they will share their joy with us.
Even though the weather forcast predicts more snow in the week, I'm reveling in the glory of sunshine and green. The kids have been climbing their favo…

Community

"To be intimate with others is to reveal our innermost selves to them, including our emotions, thoughts and desires. For such deep sharing of the soul and spirit to occur, people must respect and trust each other. ... In a world controlled by sin, however, to choose to be intimate is to choose to be hurt. Yet Jesus calls us to this kind of intimacy with Him and with one another."~ Kenneth A. Schmidt ~




My local church body has been faced with a crisis recently. Three weeks ago, I wondered how this crisis would affect our body. Would people leave the church in disillusionment? Would it cause young believers' faith to weaken? Would this crisis bring us to our knees or would we respond with gossip, anger and disunity?
We've all been hurt by the sin of another and we can choose to build up walls imagining that we can protect our hearts from further pain, or we can continue to open up our lives to others, placing our trust in God. Our church has chosen to draw together, to …

Mothers

Mother's day is coming up soon; do you have a gift planned? Let me tell you about a sweet little book for mothers:


What better way to tell Mom how much you appreciate her on Mother's Day than with this lovely reminder of thoughts about the loving, selfless attitudes that fill a mother's heart?

The text and original four-color illustrations of Margaret McSweeney's A Mother's Heart Knows will be a beautiful and touching reminder to Mom that her love is never forgotten. The text is a reminder of those things that only a mother's heart knows, with some special emphasis on a Christian mother. Appropriate Scripture verses will be incorporated into the design element.

All royalty proceeds from this book go to WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger) and a student missionary scholarship fund. WINGS is a non-profit organization that provides a domestic violence shelter for women and their children in addition to transitional housing and programs.
Here's the great thing! …

Blindfolded

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If someone offered to lead me on a hike around the edges of the Grand Canyon but asked me to wear a blindfold, I would be dubious. If he assured me that he was an expert on the trails, I might feel a little bit better. But when he declared his undying love for me and swore his protection and care, I might begin to warm up to the idea.




Go visit Laced with Grace for the rest of my devotion today...

Thankful that God is Trustworthy

With everything that's been going on in our lives right now, I'm so glad I can trust God. He's the only true source of faithfulness in this world. He is so trustworthy.

Thank you Father, that I can always trust you to care for the needs of my family. How easy it is to worry about finances or all the "what ifs" the media presents, but I trust You.

Thank you Lord, that I can trust YOU with my marriage. And by the way Lord, thanks for giving me such a great marriage! What did I do to deserve this? (nothing!)

I can trust You with the precious lives of my little innocent children. The world makes me want to hold them closer and protect them by sheltering them forever, but You ask me to trust You.

Thank you Father that I can trust You to build up our church and be our shepherd. You are the head of the church and you are the only thing that holds our body together.

Thank you Lord that I can trust You to bring along the right job at the right time. I trust You to make that de…

Great Music

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I love music so much that I wonder why I'm not a musician. Okay, maybe because I lack talent in that arena. But, my family is full of talent. My mom plays piano and flute with ease. My grandpa and my sister both could have had professional careers as musicians (he was a drummer and pianist and she was a floutist). But, although I don't get to participate in creating good music, I can still appreciate it. I just get chills running down my spine when I hear good music.

So, I have to share with you some great new music out there. Matt Maher's new CD, "Empty and Beautiful" caught my attention right away. It's filled with deep and poignant lyrics and tunes that make me want to sing along. The first song, "Lay it down," speaks right to my heart about the true nature of surrender. Music has a way of touching our hearts in a way that is deeper than mere words.

Please go check it out.

You can buy a copy here.

Discovery

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One of the most wonderful things about knowing God is that there's always so much more to know, so much more to discover. Just when we least expect it, He intrudes into our neat and tidy notions about who He is and how He works.

~ Joni EricksonTada ~ My kids love to sing the song, "God is bigger than the boogie man." The little guy thinks the next line says, He's bigger than Gorillas or monsters on TV. I don't think he knows who Godzilla is. But He sure knows that God is powerful and trustworthy. In some ways, kids know God more clearly than we do as adults. They trust complicitly in the words of the Scripture without balking or questioning. Their knowledge of God is innocent and pure, but untested.
I KNEW God was bigger than any fear of mine when I went to North Africa. I was still childlike in my faith at the age of 22. I believed that God was always there for me and I trusted Him. One night I chose to take a taxi home from a party instead of coming home with my …

I'm Poisoning my Family

I braved a blizzard to reach the retreat destination in time for our long awaited time away. The retreat was in limbo for a few days as we watched the forecast and wondered if it would be as bad as they predicted. Yes, it snowed and yes it blowed. It huffed and it puffed but it did not blow down our plans.

We spent the weekend worshipping, fellowshipping, studying the Word, encouraging one another and praying for one another. God's Spirit was present and I sensed Him moving in many hearts. After we explored the different fruit of the Spirit, we spent time considering the challenges we would face upon arriving at home. It's easy to be spiritual when we are in isolation but the rubber hits the road in our homes, doesn't it?

So, I'm here to tell you that I think I may have left my fruit at the hotel. I came home floating a little bit, still strung out from my retreat-high. I loved on my kids who tackled me instantly after I opened the door. I snuggled up to my husband who l…

He Never Changes

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This has been a difficult week as my church has fought off the attacks of the enemy. I've spent countless hours praying and crying for my dear friend, the associate pastor's wife, as she is on the front line of the battle. It's not my story, so I don't feel the freedom to share it, but it isn't a good story to tell.

I've mourned this week. I've wondered how to answer questions with anything but emptiness. What has stuck with me is that God is still in control.

Man is not trustworthy. But God is.

Hebrews 13:5
God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you." 6So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?"
I'm thankful that God is both a rock and a refuge. He is faithful and He is strong.

This weekend, I will be working with other ladies from church at our yearly women's retreat. I was unexpectedly asked to speak for a few sessions. I'm excited to see God move and to hear …

Go Visit

If you haven't yet been to visit Mary Pierce's website, I'd like to invite you to take a peek. She is an inspirational author who writes frequently for Focus on the Family and has published three books.

I am reading her Twister book, but haven't read the Potato Head/Barbie book. I think Mary has a thing for toys :) She is a humorist and is aptly labeled the "Laugh Lady."

I just won her book, Confessions of a Prayer Wimp through a giveaway at her blog. I was tickled pink because this title always intrigued me. Someday in the near future I'll give a good review of her books that I've read.

I was just telling the ladies at Bible study that I want to be Mary (Pierce, that is, not the mother of our Lord!) Hee hee - maybe someday I will be my own version of Mary Pierce. Not as funny though.

Can I tell you why I admire her so much? She is the president of my writer's guild and she has been a great inspiration to me. She has taught me so much…
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What do you do on a Monday morning when the brain is slow and life is buzzing by?

Instead of trying to come up with something deep and meaningful, I play silly internet games.

Who comes up with these crazy ideas, anyhow? Did you ever wonder what kind of punctuation mark you are?
You Are a ColonYou are very orderly and fact driven.
You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.
You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.
(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colonhttp://www.blogthings.com/whatpunctuationmarkareyouquiz/">What Punctuation Mark Are You?

So, there you have it. Now you know why I'm so annoying! :) Ahem, I mean, such an educa…

Life is Dirty

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Last week, the dirt began to surface. Have you ever noticed how your beautifully clean yard changes instantly when the snow melts off? Within 24 hours my yard went from pristine to embarrassing. Long lost mittens, once buried plastic bats and forgotten newspapers now litter the muddy yard.
It just goes to show that no matter how hard we try to cover the dirt, it’s bound to resurface eventually.




You can read the rest of my post today at Laced with Grace...
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This has been a challenging week. I've been quite wrapped up in the difficulties, the pain and the tragedies life brings. Yesterday morning, I went into the coffee shop to get a little mocha and I came out with a bright new smile.

The man behind the counter was talking to the woman in front of me in line. They must have known each other because they were joking about giving tips. He might have wanted a monetary tip but she had some silly life tips to give instead.

Then, he ended the conversation by adding, "Just don't say you're going to pray for me and then not do it. Because that would really suck." So, I came up to the counter and offered, "How about if I say I'll pray for you and I really do it?"

He smiled and kept messing around with his lanyard containing a nametag. I finally understood that he wanted to make sure I knew his name. Dale. "Ok I'll be sure to pray for DALE, but God knew your name anyway, right?"

Then, after my coffee wa…

Poetry Month

April is poetry month, so I'd like to invite you join in on a fun challenge. Go here to participate in writing a poem a day for the month. Sounds challenging, huh?

In honor of poetry month, I'd like to post a special poem written by my six year old. She's a natural.

It is winter.
The smell of fresh is the wushing wind.
The Polar bear is roring like this ror!!!
Polar bears are very cool and big.
The smell of fresh is coming very soon.

(Spelling errors left intact to authenticate the six year-ness of the poem :)

Conformed

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We must assess our thoughts and beliefs and reckon whether they are moving us closer to conformity to Christ or farther away from it.

~ by John Ortberg ~

Robert Frost's poem creates an image of two simple paths in the woods. One is narrow and less traveled while the other is wide and more popular. But, I think there are lots more paths out there. After we choose the narrow way, we keep running across new forks in the road.

Oh look, this path is less rocky and a little bit more maintained. It's still narrow but it just looks a little bit easier on the feet. From our vantage point, we may not be able to see if a certain path will lead back to the wide way.

Sometimes, the path narrows so much that it is difficult to see the way. The grass grows high and the bushes crowd in so that each step is labored.

I guess it seems to me that each day we are given new choices which is why it is so important to evaluate our thinking each and every day. Asking ourselves, Is this thought pattern draw…