Thursday, February 25, 2010


Today after school I took my kids to another elementary school, where we helped pack backpacks. We packed them with food. There are some kids who do not eat on the weekends. Am I living under a rock, that I really did not think of this as a real possibility? As much as this was for my kids benefit, it was for mine. We packed 25 backpacks with juice, cereal, mac n'cheese, granola bars, combos, donuts, clementines, candy bars, and pretzel sticks. We ALL had such a blast!! It only took about 30 minutes to pack them all. Of course, it goes almost without asking, that my kids asked if they could have some of that. I had to remind them that these were for kids who ate NOTHING all weekend. They (my children) eat almost anything they want all weekend long. I also told them that we are able to go to the store and buy these things if we really want them. We really have so much to be thankful for. Apparently I needed to have a reminder along with my kids. I love how God is working.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


When we came in from Awana tonight Greg and Grant were sitting in a chair together. As soon as I walked in, Grant jumped up and yelled "momma, momma". Oh how I love that feeling of being loved and missed and needed.

Later Jacob was in the shower and he asked me where the water from the shower came from - "Does it come from a tube or something?" I explained to him that the water ran in pipes and went through a water heater to get hot and then ran to the shower. "But where does the water go after it comes to the shower?", he asked. I told him it went down the drain and into the sewer. "Oh," he said. I asked, "Why? Were you worried that the pee you just peed would come back onto you?" "Yes", he said. Man, I can read him like a book. Love that kid who pees in my shower.

We play a game called "high-point, low-point" to get the kids talking. I was laying in bed with Jacob talking and I asked him his high-point. He answered, "My high-point is that you are in here laying with me talking." Does is get any better than that? I love that he wants me in there and that he wants to "talk".

Spa Day!

Jadyn, Grant and I went to the nursing home again today. I met a super sweet lady named Irma, who allowed us into her room to sit and talk with her. She was a joy to talk with! After talking to her, I went to check out the activity center. Guess what today was? SPA DAY!!! So adorable. These sweet ladies lined up to get facials, make-up applied, nails done, etc. I was even able to help out. I filed and polished the nails of 2 ladies. One was talkative and appreciative, the other silently criticized every swipe of the brush and fell asleep every time I held her hand. It was the most precious time - Eleanor and Mabel (don't you love it?) And Jadyn and Grant just hung out right next to me and "performed" for the ladies. The were amazing! This is one of the ways that I know I am doing what God is leading me to do - He is making my kids behave while we are there. They fight and scream when we get home, but that is OK as long as they are quiet and behaving while we are there. It was hysterical when a gentleman "walkered" in and said he was there to get his nails done. I was cracking up, but I actually think he was serious. All in all, a wonderful morning.

Have We Turned a Corner?

This morning, after only 2 kisses, Grace boarded the school bus and never looked back - REALLY. Usually we got through this long routine as the bus sits there and waits for all the kids to get seated. Her waving to me, me waving to her, us blowing kisses back and forth to each other, me telling her I love her in sign language (both with my hand and using full blown body language), you get my drift. Today - she did not even look out the window at me! I almost felt slighted, then I realized that she may be turning that corner. And THAT, my friends, is an answer to prayer. Let the Name of the Lord be praised, now and forevermore.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nervousness and The Prayer Required

My stomach is hurting. I am nervous. So much is happening and I feel all mixed up.

First thing: At the bus stop this morning I stopped with mom of one of the Indian girls at the bus stop (she is also muslim). I stopped her because her daughter told Grace that they were moving back to India at the end of the school year. So I just wanted to be friendly and tell her it was nice to have met her (although I was sure I would talk to her before she left). While we were talking, she invited me to come down to her house sometime. No specific time - just sometime. She is a very friendly lady and the one time I was at her house she was very hospitable. So I was thinking, I should go visit with her once before she leaves. Then I started thinking, what will we talk about? If I talk about my faith will she see me as an enemy? We are so different. We believe so differently. Later this afternoon, I was reading Our Daily Bread and today's devotion was on "Foreign Worship". People who are not Christians see Christianity as foreign worship, just as we see worship other than Christianity as foreign worship. Then it goes on to say, "When a friend see Christianity as foreign worship, we need to respect their heritage while sharing the gospel graciously..." I just need to be gracious and let God do the rest. I only have a few more months to be her friend - to show her a true Christian family in action. I know that God will equip me to do this, if it is according to His will. I will keep praying.

On the topic of praying, the second item: Based on past posts you know that we have started visiting people in nursing homes. Sunday our pastor (Scott - who is going on sabbatical) asked me if I would check in on the people from our church that are in the nursing home while he is out. I said I would be glad to. He told me to call the church and talk with someone there to line everything up. Monday I called the church and the person I was supposed to talk to was not in, so I talked to the pastor who answered the phone (and happened to be in charge of outreach). He started talking to me about helping start a nursing home visitation program. Woah! I was freaking out! I was just supposed to visit people and love on them, not start a program, right? I told him I would pray about it - which is what I am in the process of doing. The more I think about this the more I think it is something I can do, but I just want to be sure. Call me Gideon. But, tonight, I made my first of the "fill-in" visits. We went to see an amazingly sweet lady, who totally reminds me of Grandma Boss. She is in the hospital and is 98 years old. I talked with her for a little while, then asked her if I could pray with her. I had all my kids with me so I did not want to stay long - and Grant had one really loud screaming session for about 45 seconds - that was horrible! So for now I plan to visit these people on behalf of our pastor, visit at the original nursing home and keep praying about the ministry. Who in the heck would have EVER pegged me to be in ministry? Certainly not me. God keeps cracking me up.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Had a Good Morning

We went to church this morning. We had our first discipleship class this morning and Tom came with us. Towards the end of the class Pastor Todd asked for people to share how they felt post-Encounter. I said that I am no longer remorseful, but truly repentant. You know, not always saying I am sorry for something and then going right back to doing it. If I keep going back and doing it again, I am not truly repentant. My Encounter experience helped me to see the difference. Then what happened next was so great. Greg said that although he had not had the Encounter experience (yet), he was noticing some things. He said that my grandma was a saint and was one of the nicest people he had ever met - she never had a bad thing to say. Then Greg said that he was starting to see some of those same characteristics in me. Wow! First it was great to hear something like that, but better than that was that it came from Greg. What an encouragement to me he was today. So he was wet in the eyes and so was I. The words were even more encouraging because after the class, and in the service, I had to go onstage and speak. Not something I prefer to do. I was asked to talk about what I learned at the Encounter and what I would say to someone considering attending. Praise the Lord it went well. I mean the people who commented to me about it said I did well. I graciously thank them for their kind words, but know that the real thanks belongs to the Lord God, who gave me the strength and courage (and words) to this.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Having one of those days. I just put the kids to bed and not in a very nice way. I am tired. Not *yawn* tired, but sick and tired. I feel that I am failing as a parent. Yes - satan is attacking me right now. Why don't my kids obey? Why are they so sassy? Why do I want to clobber them right in the head? I am so frustrated right now that I cannot stand it. I feel like I need a break - you know, a mini vacation. Maybe I need to pray this away. Yes, I do. I better go now instead of just venting all my frustrations here.

Coffee at the Nursing Home

Yesterday I made over 17 dozen cookies. Today the kids and I took a whole bunch of them to coffee hour at the nursing home. Grace handed out napkins, Jacob handed out the cookies, Jadyn pushed Grant in the stroller and I was in charge of introductions. Some people really wanted to talk, some people clearly did not want to talk and then there were those who wanted to talk but I could in no way understand what they were saying. So that is when I was just smiling and shaking my head. I felt terrible but felt worse when I kept asking "Excuse me? Can you repeat that?" But let me tell kids rocked! They were so amazingly great!!! They smiled, said hi, attempted small conversation and even ended up doing a puzzle with one lady. The aide told us that she was "having a bad day" because she could not find her purse (it was in her room all the time), so she brought in a puzzle for the lady to work and Grace went over to help her. Then Jacob got in on it and by the time they were finished Jadyn had even gotten in the mix. The aide came over to me and told me that the kids doing that made that lady's day. How awesome! To God be the glory! Then there was another man who apparently did not care for kids too much. A nurse came to me and told me that she was talking to him about the kids and the cookies and he told her that if he saw more kids like those, he would like kids. He said that they were so well behaved. Oh, thank you Lord! And thank you to my kids for being the way I know you can be - sweet, compassionate and loving. Of course, once we got home all the fighting began, but I was so thankful that while we were there they all got along and no one whined or complained. The funny thing was when I asked them if they were ready to go home, both Jacob and Grace said no. They wanted to finish the puzzle with that sweet lady. All in all, it was a great time but I was very drained afterwards. I don't know if it was all the smiling or what, but I was exhausted, and so very filled.


Just in case anyone was wondering.....


I have royal blood running through my veins. Just like the Queen of England is still the Queen of England whether she is in the palace, the White House or the ghetto, I am a co-heir with Christ, living here on earth.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Answered Prayer

So I was exercising and praying yesterday. After I had covered all the "important" prayers, I started talking to God about something. I was telling Him that I hated making dinner. I know this is so corny, but He wants all of me and this is part of the package. Actually, my problem is not so much in the making as it is in the deciding what to make. So I prayed, asking Him for a plan for dinner last night. Even after I prayed it, I was skeptical. Not skeptical in the God can't answer this prayer sense, but more skeptical in the why in the heck would I bother the God of the Universe with something so trivial sense. Well, guess what? God answered my prayer. Greg came home at lunch with an entire menu planned out - what I needed to go get at the store, what we had here, everything. I made the dinner with ease (Chicken and Pasta in an Alfredo Sauce with Broccoli and Red Peppers) and it was so peaceful and easy. It wasn't until I was sitting with my accountability partner that I realized that God HAD answered my prayer.....I mean He had EXACTLY answered my meaningless, trivial, somewhat corny prayer. If God is concerned with my dinner plans, why in the bunny blue blazes wouldn't I turn the most important, completely meaningful things over to Him? Truth is - I do and will continue to. He was just proving His point to me. I so love my Lord God!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gamma and Bampa

Jadyn: Mom, are Gamma (grandma)and Bampa (grandpa)in heaven?
Me: No.
Jadyn: Why are they not at their other house?
Me: Because they are in Florida.
Jadyn: Why are they in Florida?
Me: Because it is warm there.
Jadyn: I want to go there and be warm too. And be with my Bampa.

This girl is missing her Grandpa a lot. And I think her "Bampa" is missing her too!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Letter to the President

Today Grace brought home a homework assignment. The note from the teacher said that they were to write a letter to the President, telling him about themselves and asking for a signed picture or a book. Of course, I am a bit leery of this. If Grace wants to write a letter to him, I am ok with that - but forcing them to do it and telling them what to ask for - I am not ok with. But that is not the purpose of my writing tonight. When I pulled the paper out and asked Grace about it she told me, "We have to write a letter to Abraham Lincoln and then take it back to school and Mrs. Dennis will send it to him." Really? She is going to send it to Abraham Lincoln? I even asked her twice - the second time with my video camera in hand to get it on tape. So I do have proof that she is supposed to write to Abraham Lincoln. She did not understand why I was laughing so hard at what she said, but I did not want to tell her because I wanted to see how long it took her to figure out what she was saying. It wasn't until I was showing the video to Greg after dinner that she realized what she had said. Then it was even funnier.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Night at the Nursing Home

We took the kids to a nursing home tonight to visit some ladies from our church who are there. One of them was not there and no one had even heard of her - that concerned me a bit. But the other one was and had family visiting her. So, we only stayed a few minutes - long enough to deliver the Valentine's treats we had made earlier in the day. Once we found out that the other lady was not there, we had 2 bags of treats to give away. I asked some of the nurses if there was anyone who never had any visitors. They could not think of anyone who never had anyone, so they just suggested that I give them to whoever we wanted. Let me tell you how easy that was - not. When we walked in there were easily 25 people just sitting in their wheelchairs, waiting. For what, you ask? That was my question. Maybe they weren't waiting for anything, maybe they just wanted to be out of their rooms. But, MAYBE they were waiting for someone to talk to them. Now I am not real good at initiating conversation. Once I get talking - watch out, but the initial start is rough for me. But after the conversations we had with the 2 ladies closest to the door (we couldn't get past them - they wouldn't let us by) I thought I can do this. So I am thinking.......if I make 5 dozens cookies a week, I can take a half dozen cookies to 10 people each week. I could take my kids (probably just Jadyn and Grant) and we could visit for a couple hours one day a week. You know, different people each week. I even talked to my kids about going there on a Saturday afternoon and just playing games with the people. They were not hesitant, not excited, but not hesitant.

It's funny though. Being there with my kids took me back to when I was a kid and my parents took us. It was so surreal, being the parent now. I thought to myself, just smile and say hello, but forgot to talk about this with the kids. But they did awesome! They smiled and talked with whomever talked to them. Grace even let one lady kiss her cheek. Grant was flirting and was ok as long as no one got too close to him. Jacob did an excellent job of talking to a woman who was extremely difficult to understand, although he had to repeat himself about 20 times because he was speaking so softly and she was very hard of hearing. I think he was afraid if he talked to loud she would break. As we talked to these couple of ladies another lady wheeled herself right up into the back of Jacob. He handled it quite nicely by just smiling at her. Jadyn was the most stand-offish, but I think if she got used to being there she would rock the show. She is such a performer that she could be of good use there. In fact, I think each of those kids could be of good use there. Watching the eyes of those precious people just light up as my kids walked by burned my heart. I want to go back there and let them know that they are loved and important and special.

Lest I think that all this was my idea, it was not. To God be the glory! I am so excited though that my eyes are being opened to other people. I have been a very self-centered person, but prayed that I could see areas where I could serve. Well, I was too busy to actaully stop and think of other people. But PRAISE GOD, as soon as this thought entered my mind I knew it was from Him. The companssion I had for other people, not just my own family, was overwhelming. ALL GLORY TO GOD FOREVER! Lord, let me decrease so that You may increase.

So....can I make 5 dozen cookies each week? With God all things are possible. Lead on, precious Lord.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Encounter Thoughts

I wanted to go to Encounter - really badly. For some time I have felt that there was something in the way of my relationship with God. Obviously, it was me but I couldn't get my brain around what it was. Prior to the Encounter, I was reading the pre-encounter reading and had to laugh at God's PERFECT timing. One of the "recommendations" was to get rid of anything that would distract our attention from what we were about to enter into. I laughed because this would mean to stop living - but seriously the real laughter came from the fact that the morning of the Encounter we were finally able to close on our house in MI and remove that HUGE thing from the books of my mind. Ahhh - God's timing. So I went to the Encounter feeling pretty free. As I sat there Friday night, I was thinking to myself - "What is wrong with me? Am I repressing memories? Why can't I come up with a bad past memory to forgive my parents for?" Once I said those things and listened, my whole attitude changed from "What's wrong with me?" to " I have to get to my phone and call my parents and thank them for all they have done for me". Although I have to admit it was pretty powerful to have "FORGIVEN" shouted over me!!! I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember and was pretty sure that I was doing ok. Yeah....well, then Saturday came and those thoughts were shattered - Praise Jesus! I was still sitting there when others were getting up to forgive those who have hurt them and I was thinking again "What am I forgetting or trying not to remember?" I even went so far as to think I was going to have to come in for counseling after this Encounter because I HAD to be repressing something. All of a sudden Todd said something along the lines of "Maybe it is yourself that you need to forgive" - YES! YES! YES! That's it! It was me. I was the one who was stealing my own joy. I was so consumed in worry and wanting to have COMPLETE control over every situation that I was not able to experience the pure joy of what was right in front of me. I prayed for 6 months to get my family back together, saying that I would live in a cardboard box if I had to, and here God has brought us together and I was too busy complaining about everything I did not like, that I completely missed the answer to my prayer. There is freedom in knowing (and even more in believing) that God is in control of EVERY situation. I do not have to be. I can enter into His presence and talk to Him without trying to convince Him over to my side - He is already there. I have authority as a princess of GOD MOST HIGH to claim the blood of Jesus over myself and my family and TRUST that Jesus' blood is enough. Oh for sure, I am going to mess up. I am not kidding myself. This side of glory I am still a work in progress, but I know that when I do mess up, I will be convicted and will be able to experience true repentance and then with as much ease as writing it.....carry on. Forgiveness with God is so much more than forgiveness with a mere human. When God forgives, He forgets. That's it. No more. Praise the Lord and carry on.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Power in His Blood

There is power, power, wonder-working power,
in the blood of the Lamb.
There is power, power, wonder-working power,
in the precious blood of the Lamb.
(imagine me singing it)

This is my thought for today. I am covered by the precious blood of Jesus, shed in the worst way possible for me. I have unspeakable freedom today. Freedom that before this past weekend, I did not have. I was in bondage to thoughts, concerns, worries, desires for things - just random stuff. It was gross. But the weird thing was....I really didn't know it. I have been a Christian for ever (ok for as long as I can remember), yet I was not living it. I mean, I was, but not fully. I knew what I was supposed to be doing - I have read the Bible - I knew. I just didn't think I had to do it all. Really.....what is a little white lie? A LIE!!!! What is worry about our finances? WORRY!!! What is not trusting God with the life of my husband and kids?? NOT TRUSTING GOD!!!!! Hello? Anyone in there? To live for God means just that - LIVE FOR GOD. I was living for myself and taking God along for the ride. I am now living for God and taking myself along for the ride. Does this mean I am or will ever be perfect? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Does this mean I will make mistakes? ABSOLUTELY. Does this make me a Bible scholar or increase my knowledge? NO - except that it does increase my first-hand knowledge of the incredible love God has for me and the absolutely wonderful life He has for me. Yeah, I thought I was living the good life, but now I know. I AM FREE!!!!! Oh, I don't have a past of cruddy black junk that I needed to be freed from (but TRUST me - God will free you of ALL of that too!!), but I have been waging war against myself. Stealing my own joy. Working for the devil. AND I AM DONE. No more. I am a princess of GOD MOST HIGH and there is power there!!! No I am not power hungry.....I am hungry for more of God!!! I am feverishly praying this for ALL of my family (Greg, Jacob, Grace, Jadyn, Grant, Mom, Dad, Krystel, Steve, Spencer, Seth, Scott, Katie, Ava, Bryce, Ella, Mimi, Papa, Colleen, Mike, Amanda, Mikey, Alicia, Jeremy, Paige, Reid, Tom) and everyone else I know (and don't know for that matter). God is so good and so loving and so kind and so RIGHT THERE. Reach out and grab Him. Wrestle with Him until He blesses you! You will find - it is better than any earthly "thing" you could ever have.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sanctification was a very full day. Last night and today (for me) were spent at church for the Encounter weekend. 18 hours of deliberately seeking the face of God. Praise the Lord it culminated in me being filled with the Holy Spirit (sanctified). To God be the glory! I sat through a few sessions today and was really racking my brain trying to figure out who had wronged me and who I needed to forgive. I felt like there was something really wrong with me because I did not have a past full of "junk". Actually I even left last night and had to call my parents to tell them thank you for being the kind of parents who didn't skew my view of the Lord. However, I have been looking, searching, trying to find out why in the world I can not get close to God and really hear His voice. Tonight it was all so clear. I am keeping my own self away from God. Oh, I have been saying all the right things, but my actions (I mean EVERYTHING I have been doing) have been the complete opposite. I had to admit what I was doing and then seek forgiveness from myself. How idiotic does that sound? Well, moron or not, I am a princess of God Most High and that is a title I will not easily give up.

Friday, February 5, 2010

It is Finished

It is final. Our house is sold. At a loss, of course. But sold nonetheless. It is very bittersweet. I am glad to have it over, yet sad. I had my blog made into a book (for 2009) and it just arrived. I have been re-reading it and am seeing pictures of my kiddos at our house and it makes me sad to think we are not there anymore. But...we are here. Where God wants us for now, I think.


Crying and laughing at the same time. I love the Lord! He has this hilarious sense of humor. So many things..... I am reading the pre-encounter reading and it is talking about how you need to prepare by getting rid of any distractions or things that would junk your mind up.....Totally love that the Lord pre-determined that TODAY (this morning) would be that day of our closing on our house and that my mind would be free of that concern. Isn't He funny? Other random hilariousities (not sure that this is a word, but oh well).....Tuesday I received an email from someone at home saying that they just sold their house in Milford and wanted to but a house closer to church. They wanted to be west of Milford, north of I-96, south of M-59 and near US-23. They wanted a 4 br, 2.5 bath, newer construction home on paved roads with lots of space for biking and walking. Anyone know of a house like that for sale? Yeah, duh. Ours that was short-saling 3 days later. Then I got a random email that there was a purchasing manager (electronics) job available in where? Brighton, yeah, Brighton. God is cracking me up. I can say for sure that no matter how it happened, I am glad to have made the trip to central Illinois, because if I had not I would not be as close as I am with my Lord and Savior. And I would not be heading into this encounter hear what he has to tell and show me. I am completely open and empty and ready for all He has for me. I am yours Lord. Do with me what you will. Humbly, forever.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Big No

Today I got an answer. It was a big no. Do I like it? No. Am I ok with it? I suppose. Am I praising the Lord? Absolutely. The peace that I feel over this is amazing. I have been praying over this situation for a couple of weeks. It has torn me up for that long. But it is settled and although I do not like the outcome, I know that it is God's will for it to be this way.

Funny, though, how even as I write this the devil is trying to make me believe other than what I know. I will not make an agreement with doubt. I will not second guess what God has ordained for me. I WILL NOT!!!!! I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, leaning not on my own understanding, but in ALL my ways acknowledging Him and He WILL make my path straight (Prov 3:5-6).

Praise you Jesus for being my all in all, my Rock, my strength, and my refuge!!!

What is TRUST?

T - Telling God what is on my mind

R - Resting in His perfect providence

U - Understanding that I won't always understand

S - Submitting to His will

T - Taking it off my mind

Monday, February 1, 2010

Update to "Good and Faithful Servants" post

Praise the Lord!

Yesterday the offering (mentioned in the "Good and Faithful Servants" post) was taken. Originally $5000 was given out to everyone at church. The results are.....

.......$37,383.94!!!!! An increase of 7 times (sounds Biblical, doesn't it?)!!!

Let me say it again, Praise the Lord! You know what was so cool? We were given $50 and we turned back in $366 (another increase of 7 times)!!! God is so awesome!

Thank you to everyone who so generously donated! God is using you in ways you never imagined!

Growth Hurts

I have not cried as much as I have in the last month or so. God is REALLY working on me. I have been seriously searching for why I am struggling so much.....and keep coming up with trust. Now before we go jumping off the deep end, let me clarify. I have no horrible past with scary skeletons in my closet. I have never had an issue with my husband and know I won't - he is too good of a man (Praise you, Jesus!!!) I guess it is a head over heart thing. I know that God is in control. I know that God loves me. I know that God has a plan for me. I know that God can do infinitely more than I could think or imagine. YET.....I don't put this into action. Anytime anything comes up, I go into "problem-solving mode". Maybe I should have been a man?!? OK - seriously - no gender confusion here - I know I am made EXACTLY how God wanted me, and then He is molding me and changing me right before my very eyes. I have been letting the devil mislead me. I often tell myself that I am not doing anything FOR God. And then I get down on myself because I am supposed to be doing something, right? And the dang devil keeps leading me down this path and like the dumb sheep I am, I keep following. NOT TRUE!!!! I have a Good Shepherd who wants me to listen to Him and follow where He leads. Following my own voice or worse yet, the voice of the devil, will always lead to destruction (and/or pain). I have to let go of what I picture as the "perfect plan" for my life and cling to the plan God has for me. It is not easy, let me tell you. I fail every single day. And yet, each morning, I get back up and start all over...praying that God will show me what He wants me to know that day. Or praying that He will speak to me. Sometimes praying that He will scream at me. I am not perfect and will not be until I see My Heavenly Father face-to-face. But, I rest securely, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt I will see Him one day. "I belong to Jesus, I am not my own. All I have and all I am, belong to Him alone" to quote a friend (words from her song).

More stretching, more growing, more crying.....repeat. repeat. repeat. repeat. You get my drift?