Tuesday, July 28, 2009

She Speaks!

Hi Y'all!

How did that sound? I am getting ready to head to North Carolina, y'all, to attend the Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference. It is my first time and I am super excited. It will also be the longest period time I have left my husband on his own with the kids.

This has been a long week of auditioning outfits to see what looks good, writing and practicing two talks to be evaluated on, and trying NOT to coach my husband on how to handle things.(Just in case Jen peeks here, I have nothing but bargains and hand-me-downs filling my suitcase, even some stuff I pulled out of a bag that I intended to bring to Goodwill.) I have not spent nearly enough time doing what I wanted mostly to be doing, spending time in prayer. I'm getting caught up in the details and not preparing in the way I know will be most beneficial, praying. But seriously, God knows my heart. None of these other ladies know me at all. You only get one first impression.

I am looking forward to connecting with the other ladies (sisters, really) who are also passionate about serving God and other women. God has gifted all of us, each and every one of us, in the way that will best serve the people He has put in our lives. I am praying that I am man enough to recognize that we may not all have the same gifts, and to not be jealous if someone is "better" than I am. I am also praying that God give me a humble heart, to be gracious to everyone. Even those who are better than me, lol.

I will be excited to tell all y'all about the conference when I get back. (For you Yankees, that is plural for y'all.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Weird, weird day. I ran into someone I haven't seen in 12 years today. A girl I used to work with was looking at the same store as my sister for a wedding dress. How do you catch up after 12 years?(The answer to that is I got divorced, remarried, had two more kids, and now I'm a grandma. Seriously, so much for small talk!) Is she obligated to invite me to her wedding now, just in case we are friends again? (The answer to that is no.)

Then, tonight, I'm minding my own business, and everyone else's, on Facebook, and I get a friend request from a guy from high school that I haven't seen in...gulp...24 years. (OHMAGOSH am I really that old?!) So then, I start looking through pics of his friends, then their friends, and before you know it I'm having a little class reunion all by myself. I left the town I graduated high school in six months after graduation and never looked back. I was never able to attend a reunion at first because I was out of the area, then I lost interest. Tonight was my first time laying eyes on any of these people since graduation. There was even a picture of the guy I was so madly in love with all through high school. Not my actual boyfriend, but the one I could never quite snag.

Before anyone starts worrying about my stalker potential, I did not send anyone a friend request. Most of these people were acquaintances, not real friends. It is just really weird how much smaller the world has gotten lately. Oh, and in case anyone was going to be nice and say, you're not that old...a little girl I used to babysit for is a professor at Cardinal Stritch. Seriously, people. How is this possible?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Charged Up!

I took my car into the shop to see why it is squeaking and clunking, and decided to put my bike in the trunk to ride home, instead of loading up the whole gang to drive me back. As I was pedaling along, I was thinking that it was easier than I thought it would be. I'd gone maybe 1/4 mile at that point...3 or 4 more to go, I wasn't sure. Then I rounded a corner and had to go across some railroad tracks. I paid close attention to make sure my tires didn't get snagged, then continued on my merry, semi-oblivious way.

I was cruising along some more, coasting on a flat stretch, when I could see a hill in the distance. Nothing you would notice by car, but biking is a different story. Instead of continuing to coast, I slipped into a lower gear and started pedaling harder, hoping to save up a little momentum to help me push up the hill. Propel me forward. Prosper me, in biblical terms. (Did you know the deeper meaning of prosper is to push forward, as God promises to do for us in Jeremiah 29:11?)

Life is like that sometimes. We get comfortable, coasting through the easier times. We just whistle our way through, unaware of rough terrain or a hill looming on our horizon. It is during these times that we should start storing up God's word in our heart, so it can propel us through the tricky times. God's word can be a lamp to our feet, but we need to keep the batteries charged. Have you ever tried to replace batteries in a burned out flashlight in the dark? Don't wait until the storms come and the lights are flickering to get charged.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Housekeeping Thoughts

I am supposed to be cleaning my house right now, but I snuck away. Actually, I was struck by a thought that I had to share before it slipped away. You know how that goes...

Anyway, I have been praying while I clean. Not like when I was praying while cooking dinner last week. Just changing the focus of the drudgery of cleaning. Although, seriously, anything done to Third Day in the background is not drudgery.

Ok, anyway. Praying. Thanking our God Who Provides, Jehovah Jireh, for each thing I have as I am cleaning it. Thanking Him for this house, these floors, even a little boy who is learning to pee standing up. I could thank Him many times during the day for that. Asking Him to bless each room with His Spirit as I finish up, to make this home a refuge to all who come through these doors.

Hope that helps someone who has a less than cheerful heart as they go about their chores. No guilt intended. Just joy and the recognition of a generous God.

Here's a little Third Day for you if you don't have any!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Qui-et, Pu-leeze!

So here we are on LPM Memory Verse #14, and it picked me. I love it when that happens. Sometimes God is doing a work that I have become aware of, and then I see a verse that describes what He's up to. Love it!

Twice yesterday, I started to whine (I know, seriously, me?) to get my point across. Twice I prepared messages to send via text and email, and twice I felt very strongly that I should not send them, so I actually didn't. Twice our amazing God went before me, and behind me, to smooth the way with the exact thing I was going to ask for. Twice He showed me that it isn't about me taking matters into my own hands, but about bringing it to Him. It's like He's reminding me that He can't get done what He wants to do if I keep running my mouth.

Here's the verse:

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where
I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:5-6

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bicycle Banter

You know, God will speak to you wherever you are at. Last summer He did a whole lot of talking during my jogging time. This year there is no jogging time, but a lot of time spent with kids riding bikes. If you don't know, Justin, 3, learned to ride his bike without training wheels. There is a whole lot of "guidance" going on.
  • We are expanding our bike rides to include crossing the streets. I am constantly telling the boys to not cross behind me, but cross on the inside, while I block them from the road. God gives us the same message. He hems us in, going behind us and ahead of us (Psalm 139). It is when we try to sneak around the barrier that we get hurt.
  • You have to learn how to fall so you can be safe. That is Justin's explanation to me about why he falls off his bike and gets back on. There is deep 3-year-old wisdom in that. If you learn how to fall properly, in a godly way so to speak, you won't get as hurt.
  • And, last, sometimes you need to take the training wheels off before anyone but you thinks it's a good idea. Sometimes you might be the only one who thinks something is a good idea, and you just need to go ahead with it. I don't actually recommend that advice often, but, once in a while it works!

Anyway, it promises to be a long summer of hearing myself talk. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't. Hey...I thnk He just agreed with me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Handfuls of Love

Hey, kids, you know, God is good. He is just good. No way around it. Many of you were kind enough to ask how dinner with my dad went. It went well. No earth shattering revelations or fresh vows of getting together more often, but a sociable time none-the-less. My kids acted up because the grown-ups were busy talking together, but I had a feeling that would happen. I handled it without coming unglued. I had to chuckle though because as soon as dinner was done my dad and stepmom hit the road so fast they forgot a coat and a pair of glasses. Since we don't actually plan to see each other for another six months I went ahead and mailed their stuff. God showed up to our get-together, even if no one could recognize it but me. He was so with me I could hardly swallow. He is enough.

I learned something last night during some Beth Moore homework: Love never fails. OK, so I have heard that before, and so probably have most of you. But here is the Greek translation of fails: to fall off or put down. Love never falls or is put down. If you reach out to someone in love and they reject it or don't respond the same way, your love hasn't failed. Your God, Your awesome Savior, is holding that love in His hand. It never fails. It may not be received in the way you intended, but it did not fail. So don't stop putting it out there. Don't give up, dry up, or shut up. Keep putting it out there. If for no other reason, you now know that God is holding it for you. Makes it a little easier to keep trying, doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Restorer, Rebuilder

Yesterday God gave me the thought about not knowing our limits until we push those boundaries. Today He gave it to me again, about Him. Which is probably how He meant it the first time, but as we know, I need to hear things more than once most of the time.

Let me give you a picture of what you would see if you were looking in my kitchen window right now: I am sitting on the floor, laptop in my lap, Third Day blasting on the kitchen cd player (May Your Wonders Never Cease is on right now), dinner preparations all over the counter, and a lump in my throat the size of an avocado pit. My dad is coming to dinner tonight, and I need your prayers.

The relationship with my dad has been strained probably since the day I was born, but he has gradually withdrawn from my life almost completely. He is not a bad guy, just one who has never learned to connect with me, and now with my kids. It is the musings of Connor, 6, wondering why he doesn't have a grampa like the other kids that make me bang my head against this wall time after time. My older kids gave up asking a long time ago. So, the cry of why doesn't my dad want a relationship with me has moved to the next generation. I invite him to things a few times each year, and this time he said yes. He and his wife are coming to dinner tonight.

I have been praying, asking for a nice time of fellowship and no seriously naughty acts by my little boys. While I was chopping, slicing, and dicing stuff for dinner tonight (fajitas if you were wondering), and getting my praise on to Third Day, God was asking why I was asking for so little. "Don't you know who I am? I am the Healer of all things, the Builder of all things, the Restorer of all relationships. Why are you just asking to have a nice time when I have all this I can give?"

Hmmm...good question. Because I am hitting my head on my limits.Because I am struggling in my own power. Because I am forgetting that this awesome, huge God of the Universe is capable of so much more than a dinner party.

So friends, I have abandoned my meal prep and cleaning to do some serious prayer and worship of my God. Tears stream down my cheeks as I consider all He is and all He has done for me, for all of us who believe. If tonight does not result in a brand new fresh start, I will still turn my eyes upon Jesus. He is the one who puts His breath in my lungs, allowing me to stand in the face of all things.

If you have a little time between 4:00 and 7:00 today, lift a prayer for us.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Sometimes I say something smart that takes me by surprise. It happened today. I was going in someone's tree house with Justin because he was afraid to go alone. It wasn't very high, but I forgot that apparently heights aren't my thing. I was making small talk with the other mom, trying not to hurl, and I said "I never know my limitations until I bump up against them." Ok, so I know the good thought didn't originate with me. God put it in my heart and on my tongue before it entered my brain.

The deeper thought there, though, is if we never bump up against our limits, how do we know where they are? Why stick with status quo when we were built for so much more?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God's Birthday Promise

If MY people who are called by MY Name humble themselves,
pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin
and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
So, my fellow believers, what are we waiting for? We keep waiting for a revival, for someone else to make something happen, for everyone to start believing in God so He will once again bless our country. We pour our efforts into evangelizing, thinking that if we could tip the scales in our favor, that would make the difference. Not that it isn't important to share the gospel, because that is what God has commanded us to do to save souls from Hell.

This verse is speaking directly to those of us following Him now, today. We are the ones told to stop being proud, pray and search for God, and repent. He WILL hear us and He WILL heal our land.

I challenge you today, to take some time, examine your heart, and see where God leads you with it. Pray for our country.

We have our marching orders, troops.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Grace, Please

Ok, everyone, the Beth Moore Memory Verse Challenge is on #13. I just didn't have time to post #12, but for those of you keeping track it was Zephaniah 3:17.

For #13, I picked one that is short and direct:

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. Jonah 2:8 NIV.

It reminds me that as long as I whine and complain about things, I am putting the importance of that stuff before God and the work He would like to do. Maybe certain situations exist for the sole purpose of me getting to see His grace in action. If I stop coming up with my own idea of perfect and striving for that, God is free to offer His grace that is more than enough to cover anything.