Thursday, July 22, 2010

Go Global...

Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..."

Recently I was listening to an interview with Joel Houston, Worship Leader for Hillsong Australia.  In his interview he discussed the idea of the Global Church.  I would normally hear something like this and think, "wow, that's is good to reach out and touch the nations with the Gospel..."  and then I would move on and not give it much more thought, simply because I do not feel personally called to serve in the mission field in another country.  But this time when I heard him speaking of getting people to understand that the church is not just this small thing rather a huge conglomoration of people all striving for the same goal.  That we are all here for a purpose and that is to glorify God in ALL the Earth! 

I started really meditating on what the Word says about going out into the world, about ministering.  I started considering the local church.  The local church is just an extension of the Global Church and the Global Church is a beautiful representation of all of creation.  We are created in His image yet we tend to get so caught up in our own image.  We get focused on the image other people see in us.  I believe if we were to start seeing our calling beyond our own forehead we might stop having some of the issues that we face.  I've even found myself wondering over the past several months what it is that makes Hillsong Australia pump out so many CD's, how do they have church services with thousands upon thousands of people, why are they so influential in the Christian community. Then, after I heard Houston discuss this idea of the Global Church, I realized it is that which allows them to be so successful - they have discovered what it means to be the Church.  I'm sure they have their issues and their situations but I'm also certain that their foundations consist of a group of people who are able to see beyond themselves and into the real purpose of our calling - to be used by our Saviour to save a lost and dying World.  If we were to realize what we are really here for we'd stop concerning ourselves with worldly issues - repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community (if that doesn't sound familiar pull out your Bible and look up Galatians 5, I took this from The Message Bible).  Unfortunately, even the local church is riddled with lives that look like this.  Why do we continue to be okay with this in our own lives?  Why are we not aspiring to go global by taking on a more Godly lifestyle - things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity...develop[ing] a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people... find[ing] ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

I have no doubt if we were to focus more on the World around us and get outside of our own motives and "all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants" we would see such a change in our personal lives and then it would bleed over into our service for Him. 

Something to think about....

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Kitchen is My Classroom

Early morning
Rise and Shine!
I hear the kids yell,
"Is it breakfast time?"

Around the kitchen table
   we gather.
Eggs and bacon
That's all that matters.

We finish up all our yummy grub
and head to the sink for a
Dirty dish scrub.

The big square table sitting on the kitchen floor
is about to transform into so much more.

Crayons, pencils, paints and books,
It's school time here
for all of us Cooks!! kitchen is my classroom!

Happy First Day of School!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reckless Abandon

Galatians 2:19-20 (MSG) "What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that."

I love how The Message version translates Galatians 2:19-20.  As women most of us can probably relate to the beginning of this verse well.  We run around trying to "keep rules" working our head off to please God and everyone else - even ourselves - only to find ourselves tired, worn-out, disappointed and frustrated.  Not only do we try to keep the rules but we get mad when other people aren't keeping the rules.  We work hard so why isn't everyone else?  We live completely abandon to the tasks at hand or the people we are trying to impress without giving much thought at all to the Lord's plan.  But I'm here to testify that when we finally realize that we are not going to succeed in anything without giving over our own desires and plans, life will become so much more peaceful!  

That's all. I'm going to let you meditate on that above verse and determine whether or not you are ready to live in reckless abandon to the One who made you instead of the things He made for you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Fresh Look @ the 10 Commandments

I haven't spent much time on the computer for the past several days and have gotten quite far behind on my blogging!  But then this morning I got up and read something in my devotional time that I wanted to share with everyone.  It comes from a little devotional book called, "Our Daily Bread."  Here is what the writer, Julie Ackerman Link, had to say:
"Sometimes I wonder why God didn’t list the Ten Commandments in reverse order, since the 10th commandment correlates to the first sin—desire. Eve’s sin wasn’t simply her desire for a piece of fruit; it was the desire for knowledge that Satan told her would make her like God (Gen. 3:5). Eve’s covetousness caused her to violate both the first and tenth commands that God later gave to Moses.

When we don’t covet, we pretty much eliminate our reasons to disobey the other commands. Wanting what isn’t ours causes us to lie, steal, commit adultery, murder, and refuse to honor our parents. We refuse to rest because we can’t get what we want in 6 days of work. We misuse God’s name when we use it to justify something that we want to do. We make gods out of wealth and relationships because we don’t want to have to put all our trust in God.
I have a hard time coming up with sins that don’t involve some form of covetousness. Yet because it’s the last in the list, we tend to think of it as being the least important. But it’s not. When we stop sin while it is still in our hearts and heads, we avoid making others the victim of our sin, and we avoid many of the serious consequences of sin."

We tend to brush off the 10 Commandments as something of the spiritual past not looking at them as being relevant to our daily lives.  I believe this article will give us a fresh perspective of how we can make this relevant today as we interact with those around us.  As the author of this article says, "wanting what isn't ours causes us to lie, steal...murder, refuse to honour our parents" (who by the way are MUCH wiser than we give them credit).  What do you want today that isn't yours?  A different job, a different talent, a new wardrobe that you can't afford, a different husband, new kids?  Are you looking around you thinking it seems that everyone has something you want and you can't attain to it?  King David did that the night he saw Bathsheba on the rooftop leading him into horrible decisions....lust, adultry, murder, lying....all because he wanted something that was not his.   His covetousness caused him to break almost every commandment on the tablets!
 I think this girl is right on about her fresh look on the 10 Commandments.  Maybe it is time we opened the Old Testament closet and brush off the first gift God gave His creation; Not to live under legalism but to remind us that He really does love us and desires that we walk in a way that pleases Him by doing what is right and loving others. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

You are "You-nique"

It's book review time here at Beyond Laundry and let me tell you, I just finished reading an absolute GEM of a book by Max Lucado entitled, You Can Be Everything God Wants You To Be.  It's a little gift book but it definitely lives up to the "good things come in small packages" standard.

As all Lucado books, this dives straight into the center of the heart to discuss the unique calling God has on each of our lives.  Lucado says, "God gave you a zone in which you were made to dwell.  He tailored the curves of your life to fit an empty space in His jigsaw puzzle. A sweet spot, if you will.  And life makes sweet sense when you find your spot...DaVinci painted one Mona Lisa. Beethoven composed one Fifth Symphony.  And God made one version of you! He custom designed you for a one of a kind assignment. You cannot be anything you want to be.  But you can be EVERTHING God wants you to be (emphasis mine)." 

In 1999 I took my first position as a High School Social Studies teacher in a little rural school up in Mississippi - Sturgis School.  I was the only Social Studies teacher for the 9-12th grade so it was a pretty intense year.  Not only that but the school was primarily low income, farming children who had really no interest in school but knew they had to be there because the state required it.  Fast forward to 2001 with my first year at a school here in Florida.  I had a class of 8th graders made up of some military brats, basic jr. high school kids and then the icing on the cake in a group of 34 kids - 16 convicted felons!!!  It was during that time that I met some of the most precious people I will have ever known.  It was during that time that I realized how important it is for us to understand how each one of God's children has so much potential regardless of their circumstances.  I loved and lost during that time  as students I had taught never quite made it to their potential because rough home lives and bad choices squelched their lives early.  My life goal during those years was to make sure I let each one of those "diamonds in the rough" know just how special they were.

So I encourage you to get this book if you are doubting the call God has on your life. Or possibly you are not certain what your call is - WOW, this book will change your perspective quick! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ouch...That Hurt!!

Proverbs 20:30 -" Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart."

No one likes to be told they are wrong.  Especially in a situation where you know deep down inside you really have been wrong.  It is easier to be the one wronged, even though it hurts, I believe it hurts worse when someone brings it to my attention that I was wrong. 

Proverbs 20:30 says that blows that hurt cleanse away evil.  I have a friend who tells it like it is.  I told her of something I had done recently and her reaction told me immediately that I had done something wrong.  Even though I kind of already knew that, I was also kind of hoping she'd agree with what I had done so I could feel better about myself.  We laughed and I insisted that she stop punching me with heartfelt blows and only tell me what I wanted to hear!  Of course I didn't mean that but isn't that the way we face most of our own wrongs, our sin?  We call sin everything but what it is.  We have drug addicts, sex addicts, porn addicts, alcoholics, mental issues; we are mean to our children - oh I'm just exhausted - we yell at our spouses - I have PMS - we are estranged from our families - they're too difficult to deal with - we are unethical in our workplace - my boss is a jerk -  and the list of "problem" issues go on and on.  All of these things are real, real people deal with them on a daily basis, even REAL Christians.  But the problem is we have fallen into a trap that allows us to lable ourselves just as the world does.  Instead of facing our issues as sin we just brush them under the rug and move on. 

A good friend will not let you continue to live in sin if they are a real friend.  They will "beat you up" with the truth so that the evil can be cleansed away from your life.  They will speak to the inner part of your heart.  They will not be fearful of your reaction because they care about your heart.  If you find yourself hurting from the faithful wounds of a friend thank them for being honest with you instead of chalking them off to being inconsiderate of your feelings.  And if you are a friend who needs to pack a couple punches but are afraid to share the truth, take this advice from my "coach"...why would you be afraid to deliver the truth? 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lasting Impressions

Okay, so I haven't written for a few days.  I've been dreadfully uninspired!  Life has been pretty normal, cooking, cleaning, cooking again, cleaning again, yeah, cooking again and cleaning get the picture right!?!  The boys are going to Vacation Bible School this week and so far they have really enjoyed themselves - considering Gramma is one of their teachers really helps (and the fact that she has told them she has a surprise for them if they finish the week out with her)!  The past two mornings have been so quiet, almost too quiet.  I am on a warpath to do all of the things I don't have a chance to do when I'm surrounded by my clan.  And wouldn't you know it, cleaning is at the top of the list.  My house always looks tidy but it is hardly the kind of clean that I expect it to be. 

Just as I got ready to start getting down to the nitty-gritty God stopped me in my tracks and said, "Hey Martha...I mean Angela...sit down and get into the Word for a bit."  The Lord gently reminded me that I needed to rest at His feet for a little while and let Him minister to me.  So many times I'm so busy ministering to all of those around me that I do not stop to get filled up.  He desires to use me but I will never be as effective in my "works" if it is not done in love and full of His Spirit.  The Bible says that our plans are many but the Lord directs our path.  We might plan to do great things but if we are not allowing Him to lay the path ahead of us our busy moments will quickly fade.  And although we "get the job done" and leave a lasting impression, the impression is usually one of negativity and frustration.  I think about getting groceries...I spend hours clipping coupons, finding deals, then a good two or more hours around town at Wal-Mart, Target and Publix.  I finally get everything home, put away all nice and neat and then everyone wants to EAT!!!!  Now, it is easy to get irritated and spout out about how I just got home and half of the food I just bought is already gone.  I can yell and tell them they can eat later, but what will make a positive impression on my sweet family is to start pulling out those tasty treats and start serving.  I can promise you this, if you do not continuously fill yourself with God's Word you will not react in that fashion.  The yelling and frustration will come much easier and the only impression you will leave is one of hurt and irritation.

I encourage you today, no matter how many tasks at hand or appointments you might have, get in the Word and let God fill you up so that you can be an inspiration to the people around you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let's Go Bowling!!!

Bowling has been an American past time since it's beginning.  I read that as early as the pre-Civil War era German soldiers were playing the sport outdoors in it's modern day style using ten pins.  There are very few people who can say they've never bowled.  Although bowling is not as popular as it used to be there are still leagues forming and people spending the weekend trying to bowl those strikes!

So, you may be wondering why I am talking about bowling.  Well, the other day as I was talking to a friend of mine I was hit with this wonderful analogy concerning relationships and bowling!  As you know, bowling has two main players -- the bowling ball and ten pins.  It is the job of the bowling ball to make it's way down the alley and knock down as many of those ten pins as possible to score a strike. 

People are like bowling balls and bowling pins.  A bowling ball generally has a strong personality not afraid to take down anything along their "alley".  Even if they are able to be quiet about their strength, their actions speak with power.   A bowling pin personality is one who stands up tall but falls with one brush of the bowling pin.  The nice thing about the pin is that there are many different pins but only one is the head pin.  That is the strong pin, this pin is a leader.  The person who assumes the head pin position is usually just as strong in their personality as a bowling ball but the difference is that they will eventually allow themselves to fall victim to the ball.
If we look around us it is very easy to place almost every person we know in the two categories of ball or pin.  I love this analogy because as a bowling ball I find myself facing pins every day.  I tend to bowl  people over with my personality...sometimes it is a good thing, other times it is hurtful.  As a bowling ball I recognize that most pins are strong, they have their own ideas, there is always at least one leader amongst the pins (the head pin I mentioned earlier),and they like to take charge.  But the common difference is that as strong as the pins might be they are always willing to allow other people, usually bowling balls but even other pins, intimidate them.   They are not certain of their own strength.  The pin convinces itself that the ball is stronger, the other pins are stronger, that the alley is just too slippery.  So they give up, fall over waiting for that thing to pick them up, and never quite understand why there is always drama in their lives involving balls and other pins. The noise that is made when the ball hits the pins is evidence that when a ball and pins are together in the same room, there is going to be energy.  As Christians we can harnass that energy to see something happen that is much more exciting and fun then the game of bowling, not to mention something that will outlast any bowling alley in the world.  Using this analogy, I believe Jesus was a bowling ball but He understood the balance and consideration of the pins in his life (not pinheads) to create a dynamic that lead to the salvation of the world and the spreading of the Gospel.  His teachings and His works at times bowled people over with strength but always lead to life giving outcomes.  You see the bowling ball and the bowling pins serve a great purpose together...if the ball engages with the pins in just the right way, the bowler who is throwing the ball will benefit.  Not to reduce God to an American past time, but just think of  Him as a champion bowler and us as the bowling balls and pins.  When we choose to use our abilities and the strength God has placed inside of us to benefit the Kingdom we bowl a perfect game.  If you are a bowling ball, keep your aim straight with the intention of leading the group to a strike.  If you are a bowling pin, don't be intimidated by that ball heading straight towards you...stand tall knowing that the ball's only intention is to make a strike for the bowler.  If we can go at life with this attitude towards others we will accomplish so much for the Kingdom and see so many others join the league!!  Now, let's go bowl some strikes!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

For My Sons!

I recently received the book A Guy's Guide To Life, by Jason Boyett, from Booksneeze.  Time and again you will see me post book reviews as part of this program, I'll try to make it relevent to my blog site.  As the mother of three young sons, I chose this book to review so that I could read it and stick it on the shelf for future reference.  None of my boys are of the age even close to adolescence (wheww!)  But considering the past 6 1/2 years has gone by so quickly it is only a matter of time that my oldest WILL be an adolescent boy and so will my 2nd and so will my 3rd!!!  AHHHHH!   I don't have any teens yet but I'll have three teen boys all at the same time.  Do you see what is going to happen to me?   I decided I better start preparing myself now for what is to come.  If I study to show myself approved at least I will be prepared for what lies ahead!  I'm sure no mother can ever be 100% prepared for what a teenage boy brings to the table but I don't want to be blindsided by some of the things I ended up reading in this book.  Mother's of girls concern themselves with their daughters staying away from "bad boys" and finding a nice young man to spend their lives with.  I am the mother who is determined to work hand in hand with my husband (a man who has more integrity in his big toe then most people have in their entire being) to raise the boys who every mother wants her daughter to marry.  I think that is a good goal.  I think it is a Godly goal and I believe with all of my heart it is who God has designed all men to be through faith.  There are so many books out there to help women better understand the development of a man -- Wild at Heart by Bevere; Mark of a Man by Elisabeth Elliott; Bringing Up Boys by Dobson -- too many to even mention all of them, those just happen to be my favorite (side note:  if you have a hard time with your husband I suggest reading the first two, you are doing your husband a diservice if you expect him to be more like you - it's okay to admit it, you know you want him to do things the way you do). Okay back to the book and boys...Boys are born basic barbarians (actually so are women we're just softer) and it is a parent's responsibility to tame that little barbarian, get the Word in Him and help guide him to the purpose that God has for him.  If we can succeed at doing these things without controlling their lives, damaging their self-esteem or bringing accusation against them for typical male behavior, I believe we will have raised good Godly men.  So, my blog post for today doubles as a book review because this is what happened when I read through this book....I realized what a huge task I have set before me.  As a mom and as a woman, I have absolutely NO CLUE what it means to be a man.  But I do know this, I desperately desire to see a new generation of men raised to the glory of God and I believe that my purpose in life is to help three of them succeed. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who Are You?

Song of Solomon 6:3   "I am my beloved's and He is mine..."

So it is already 5:00 on this lovely Monday, June 14, 2010!  I trust everyone had a great weekend!  I know mine was a little bit of hectic tossed with a little bit of awesome! 

We had a fabulous service at our church yesterday - let's hear it for Pastor Dave at East Coast Christian Center for his message on Faithfulness!  Some of the things Pastor Dave said really struck a chord with me and got me to thinking of several things.  But today on the radio show, Morning Breath -- 91.5fm 7:30am, 4:00pm -- Pastor Dave said something that really hit home and confirmed some ideas I had in my brain from some things he had said during church yesterday. And what I'd like to write about today!

I think a lot of us can say we've been through the ringer asking the question, "What am I supposed to be doing with my life?"  Well, today Pastor Dave said something so simple yet so profound that I think will help answer that question:  "If you do not know who you are than you will have a really hard time figuring out what you are supposed to be doing."  That rang so loud in my heart because of it's truth.  I've heard other people say it this way, "If you don't know WHOSE you are..."  Either way you put it there is a huge truth for us to learn here.  If we claim the name of Christ as our Saviour and we say we want to walk in faith, those days of feeling like what we do doesn't matter or that no one appreciates us, would not be days they would only be fleeting moments - if even that!  If you know you are His then you never have to question your purpose.  You would know without question that your work was not in vain.  Frustration comes when the enemy has convinced you that you are not worth something.  You flit and float around trying to figure out where you are supposed to be, what you're supposed to be doing.  All the while you've been called to serve and not to be served.  You are not here on this earth to fulfill yourself and your own desires and abilities, you are here to serve the Kingdom, God will make room for those gifts and abilities if you'd stop trying so hard to do so.  We tend to jump ship when we feel those frustrations coming on. I always tell people who move from place to place, "no matter where you go, you will always be right there with yourself."   Because until you are able to do the proverbial, "Let go and Let God", and allow Him to fill that void you feel in your life - yes, even as a Christian - no matter WHAT you do, nothing is going to fulfill that need to know you are His!

 If you are in the middle of a place that feels frustrating and empty, get your focus back on the Lord.  Stop concentrating so diligently on your own problems and just start concentrating on what will help further the Kingdom of God.  Pastor Dave said that as soon as he stopped asking the questions about what he should be doing, where he should be going, that doors started to open for him and he knew he was right where he should be.  That's just how God works.  No matter where you are at, He will continue to try to teach you the same lessons until you finally get it through your head that you matter to Him and that you can lay down all pretenses and just BE.  Your life will flourish when you stop trying so hard and accept that you are His.  So stop trying to figure it all out and you'll figure it all out! 

Friday, June 11, 2010


Isaiah 61:10 - "I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!  For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.  I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels."

In the months of February and March both my brother and my sister started their new lives, taking on new roles, as a husband and a wife.  What a thrilling time as my mom and dad prepared for not just one wedding, but two!  Both Don and Nancy married wonderful, Godly people and I am so thankful to add another brother and another sister to my life! 

After watching and participating in a lot of planning for these weddings,  it was hard not to also concentrate on the beauty of God's design for marriage.  But more so it was hard not to find myself lost in excitement knowing that marriage is God's example of His love for His Bride! 

I wanted to use this picture as a visual of Isaiah 61:10.  White is used as a symbol of purity, of a life washed of sin, of holiness, righteousness.  All of those things are given to us when we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour.  He washes us white as snow and in Christ we become the righteousness of God (2 Cor.5:21).  This picture reminds me of the joy we possess as we walk from death into life through Christ Jesus.  Just as a bride wears a beautiful garment on her wedding day, the person who turns to walk in the newness of life through Jesus'  blood puts on a new garment -- clean, white, pure, beautiful!  The day we decide to follow Jesus is our proverbial wedding day.  He ushers you to His banqueting house to celebrate over you and lavish His love over you.  The Word tells us that He is "the Mighty One...He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing"(Zephaniah 3:17).  That sounds like something to celebrate, something that gives us a reason to be full of joy!  That sounds like the precious love of a bridegroom as he cradles his new bride into his arms.  Although we live in a world that has allowed the enemy to convince us differently of marriage, the Truth of God's Word still remains the same...marriage was and will always be an institution of the Master Designer.  The joy that can come from a relationship with Christ should be evident on our faces, with all the excited anticipation and the expectation of a life filled with happiness just as a bride on her wedding day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Real Promise Keeper

Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."

I am always moved to such gratitude when I come across this verse.  The Lord is always faithful!  Many times in my daily walk I have to remind myself, regardless of the circumstances HE IS always faithful. 

The key to understanding God's faithfulness is understanding and knowing what God promises.  Many times we deal with the wavering because we do not really know what God's Word says.  We might hear people quote, "Nothing formed against me will prosper," but have no idea what it means and in what context it was given.  We mimick other Christians with, "by His stripes we are healed," but don't take the time to nurture our bodies by walking in faith with works by cutting out unhealthy habits and taking time to rest our bodies - even God himself took time to rest! 

My challenge to you is nothing you haven't been challenged with before if you are a believer....READ YOUR BIBLE!  Take time to do a Bible Study; take 10 minutes each morning and do a simple online devotion.  If you were physically hungry you would eat.  So if you are having a hard time believing that God is faithful and that His promises are true, maybe it is time to start to learn exactly what He promises!  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


We live in a world so full of facades and masks. Certainly in my lifetime I have worn a mask or two, or three or four (lol), afraid to reveal the deepest hurts of my own heart. But as I've grown older and have developed a deeper love for the Lord and His Word (The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us - John 1) I have dropped the masks and have found such freedom in living life with a realness I had never experienced as a young person. Most of my masks were the types of which I was afraid of what other people would think of me if they really knew the softness that was inside, the girl who would buckle under the least of pressure, and who was deeply afraid of being rejected. Not necessarily rejected by a certain person or group, but a rejection of who I really was. I'm dramatic, I'm goofy, I'm hypersensitive, I'm very particular, sort of black and white - no grey. I always had a very deep sense of confidence in the person I was but recognized very quickly that other people did not necessarily accept those things in me and would make comments or tease - "Oh, you're just dramatic," Oh, you're just a control freak," stuff like that.

Whenever we are in the company of people who we can sense do not like us, whether the dislike is rooted in jealousy or ego, it is very easy to put on a mask, not be yourself. But this is the sort of dislike that has started to eat at me over the years. I have been moved to almost a state of hurt over the fact that people in general are very quick to find all of the faults in others yet maintain a level of pride that allows them to think, "not I". Some are able to move so boldly into a position of "advice giver" without even the slightest hint that it is their own life that needs to become transparent in order to start seeing lasting relationships develop. These are all masks. Because when we all take down the mask we quickly see how we're all really very similar. We all struggle with identity, we all ask the question at some point in our lives, "Who Am I?" We all wonder if anyone really cares about us - Facebook is a perfect example of this - we all have things we need to overcome.

I had a revelation the other day about those obstacles we need to overcome but try to hide from everyone: As long as we hide them we will never overcome them. James 5:16 says, " Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed." If we can not come to a place where we admit to ourselves and to others that we are living behind a mask it is likely we will live our entire lives in hiding, in bondage to those things which we want so badly to be set free from. I guess it is possible that there are those people out there who do not see their own mask and have lived so long with it that it has grown permanently onto their face, but even those people are recognized by those who know them best. When we know that what is in our hearts does not line up with how we act that is when the mask is worn. God does not desire that we live "fake" lives. We're not called to fit into a mold. He did not create us to be like anyone else in the world. He calls us to be who we are and to imitate His character. We're called to love one another. We're called to lay down the pretense. We're called to the nations to be a light to those hurting - maybe that's what the childhood song, "This Little Light of Mine," means by, hide it under a bushel, NO...I'm gonna let it shine. How can your light shine if you are always hiding under the guise of someone you are not - wearing that mask again. It is possible to touch the lives of some around you in those moments where the "realness" comes through but those are only temporary moments of freedom. Wouldn't it be much more exhilarating to live every moment of every day in the freedom knowing that there is not a stone left unturned in your life where you haven't been real. That the people in your life know that you are who you say you are, no matter what? That there is nothing to hide any more, that the love of God is so engrained in your heart and mind that there is nothing to be ashamed of? Yes, there will always be people who do not approve or understand but even Jesus walked the earth as a person who was misunderstood and not all that attractive - but usually to those who were still wearing the masks, the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. My desire is to be real. A friend of mine recently wrote to me and said that I had hurt her several years ago and for some time now she has been dealing with some anger towards me. At first I didn't know what to think, should I be hurt, should I be offended? But then I realized that God was impressing on her heart to be real with me and to uncover herself. That was beautiful and in that moment I was so thankful that she was able to be real, taking her one step closer to the freedom her Savior desired for her. If I would have been offended or allowed myself to be hurt by her honesty I would have hampered the work God was doing in her life. Oh but for his grace....

So, how do I end this? Ahh, perfect...a little tough but so good - "Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. BUT IF YOU ARE CONTENT TO SIMPLY BE YOURSELF, your life will count for plenty." Matthew 23:11-12 (The Message)

Life can not count for much if people don't know the real you. Stop hiding and just start being - REAL!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weather the Storm

So, another book review.  You will be seeing a few more of these through the months as I have joined up with a couple other publishers to review and blog!  It's fun and we get free books which I eventually plan to donate to the library.

Anyway, I was very excited to have the opportunity to read Storm Warning by Billy Graham. I did not realize that this was a revision of his 1992 book when I agreed to review the book. The first few pages left me with a feeling of dread...dread of reading of sad and depressing situations people all over the world face due to storms. But I should have known better because as I forced myself to read on I found myself so energized regarding the time of life in which we live. As usual, Billy Graham has an amazing way of sharing the Word of God. In Storm Warning he has an amazing way of sharing hope during what seems so hopeless to so many people in our culture and in our world. Knowing that much of the time and effort went into this book almost 20 years ago is absolutely mind-blowing and should give readers a keen awareness of the times in which we live. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning of current culture and how the Word of God gives light to our current day issues of recession, terrorism and natural disasters. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Designed in His Image, not Hers!

Hebrews 12:2  "...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..."

Recently my Pastor preached the best Mother's Day sermon I have ever heard in my life.  The message of his sermon probably had a stronger effect on me this year because I have been so immersed in the life of motherhood and wifedom that I needed to hear what was said!   Something that resonated in my spirit was this idea that women are held back from fulfilling their purpose in life because they are so busy comparing themselves to one another...or as Pastor Dan said,  "you ere when you dare to compare."  He spoke of women who feel inadequate because they have this notion that they have to be just like all the "other" women they know.  If they can't keep house perfectly they feel like a failure; if they are too concerned about housekeeping they feel like control freaks.  No matter which way the cookie crumbles (somebody better clean that up - I'm the control freak housekeeper) someone will always be able to do something better than you and me.

So, what got me thinking about that sermon again today?  Well, I spent some time surfing the web while Abigail took a nap and the boys played with Daddy.  I visited some sites that I've heard other women talk about and although they were greatly put together sites (almost too put together considering they are supposedly sites of stay-at-home moms) I started to think, "this is exactly why women are never satisfied with the calling that is on their lives...they spend too much time looking at all of these other women that they don't take the time to be who they are called to be, not to mention, not even liking themselves because they think they have to be what these women claim they are!"  (whewww, that was a long thought but work with me :)  We can be anything we want to be in a blog or on facebook.  We can post all of the prettiest pictures we have of ourselves; we can talk about all of the encouraging things that run through our heads (c'mon, I don't get on here and write when I'm frustrated with my husband or kids!) .  But when it comes right down to it, we're all human, we all have those things that are unlovely about us.  We all put our pants on one leg at a time (unless we try to actually jump from high heights into those jeans that are too tight - but we all do that the same way too) and none of us smells like roses all of the time! 

I guess the point is, God did not design us to look around at everyone else and determine who we want to be like.  He designed us to be like Him...I recall Genesis clearly stating we are designed in HIS image.  Although we are women it never says that we are supposed to look like Eve (I imagine that she was pretty hot considering she lived before the fall) or cook like Martha (and I don't mean Martha Stewart, but her too) or sell boutique style clothing like Lydia.  Just as He designed all of us with different personalities and different strengths, He designed each one of the amazing examples we find in His Word.  He desires for us to look to Him as our example -looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith - not all the women around us.  Even the good examples should only be there as those of encouragement - just like that awesome bible figure, mentor or girlfriend, we are saved and made beautiful by the same Creator.

I would encourage you once again to embrace your calling not your best friend's, your sister's or your mother's calling, but the very calling God put on your life.  Go get it girl!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Alive Again!

I have another song for you to listen to.  Okay, so I'm hopeless when it comes to music.  Especially a song that makes me want to pull my mini-van to the side of the road because I'm crying so hard at the thought of what the Lord has meant to my life these past 16 years.  A lot of people who have only met me since that wonderful day 16 years ago might do a little "reverse judgement" on me.  Ya know, the, "oh they would never be able to understand how horrible my ife is, they are just perfect, they have never had problems" kind of judgement?  Without going into the details of my "past" life I can tell you that there was a day when I doubted God's existence, I didn't want to have anything to do with God or anything that had to do with God and I lived in a way that would have convinced anyone that I was a hopeless cause!  When I think back to those days I remember being a young 20 something feeling so lost yet so determined to succeed.  I remember being so confident, so certain that I was okay.  So, when I hear a song like Matt Maher's, Alive Again, I can't help but cry with my face pointed straight to heaven and my Savior.  I was pulled from a pit that only gets revisited as a humble reminder from where I came.  His light bursts forth from my heart and I am overflowing with gratitude that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me.  I praise Him for His faithfulness to the prayers that were spoken on my behalf by people who really loved me and wanted to see me come out on the other side of my darkness.  Today, I write to testify of God's great love to me.  I testify that if you doubt or you struggle, that He has provided for you a spirit of joy and fullness, not of sadness and defeat.  I testify that He can pull you out of darkness and into His marvelous light!  Enjoy this song!  And cry out to God if today is the day that He calls out to you!

I woke up in darkness
surrounded by silence
oh where, where have I gone?
I woke to reality
losing its grip on me
oh where, where have I gone?
Cause I can see the light
before I see the sunrise

You called and you shouted
broke through my deafness
now I’m breathing in
and breathing out
I’m alive again!

You shattered my darkness
washed away my blindness
now I’m breathing in
and breathing out
I’m alive again!

They never loved you
you waited for me,
I searched for you…what took me so long?
I was looking outside
as a love would ever want to hide
I’m finding I was wrong
Cause I can feel the wind
before it hits my skin

Cause I want you!
Yes, I want you,
I need you
And I’ll do what ever I have to
Just to get through
cause I love you
Yeah, I love you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God

Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies."

Ah, the Virtuous Wife! Some women snicker, some women snear, some women throw their hands up in fear! The utterance of this woman of Proverbs 31 creates quite a stir in the Christian community. The longer I walk with the Lord the more I'm drawn to this woman. I no longer see her as a threat to my own abilities but rather I see her as an example that God fashioned right on the pages of His love letter to the female population. Our culture, even in Christian circles, has allowed the ideals of feminity to squelch God's perfect plan for womanhood. A friend of mine gave me the book you see to the left...I took a couple passages from this book and hope if you ever have time you too will read this little treasure!

The following excerpt is taken from the book, Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald:

"A godly keeper at home is absolutely not a lesser human being, a mindless robot, or a placid doormat under submission to all men; rather, she is created in the very image of God and of equal worth and value compared to man (Gen. 1:26-28). She is the crown of her husband (Proverbs 12:4), a helper suitable for him (Gen.2:18). Because she trusts God's wisdom in establishing perfect order for His creation, she willingly submits to her own husband as unto the Lord (Eph. 5:22-24)."

"Disguised as a sympathetic champion fighting against female oppression, the enemy has led many Christian women astray by whitewashing a pervasive evil - feminism, in all it ugliness. Since most of us have been brought up in a society already entrenched in humanistic, egalitarian thought, it is not surprising that we have feminist baggage we need to rid ourselves of. Even those of us who would recoil in horror at being thought of as a "feminist" battle the same old urge that Eve did...THE DESIRE TO BE IN CONTROL!"

If you want to read an amazing book and be challenged in your thinking I would absolutely recommend this book! You can order it at Amazon. Even if you are not a full-time, stay-at-home mom but you are a woman it is a must read. Several friends and I have not only read it once but use it on a regular basis as a reminder of the journey we are on as Passionate Women, Desperate for God! Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Song of Dedication

This past week I was listening to my iPod and came across a song I haven't listened to in awhile. The tempo and message of this song touched my mommy heart knowing that the Lord doesn't leave me to do this thing all alone. I decided to post the song here in hopes that it will minister to you as it did to me. I want to be the best mom my children will ever know and every day is a new day to change and become whatever it is my family needs. That's exciting and this song will get you movin'!!

Take my hand to the promise land
And on You I want to stand
‘Cause I can't do it on my own
You're what I need and I need to be
Right by Your side ‘cause I cannot hide
Lord, I know that I need You
Na na na na na na na na na, I need You
Na na na na na na na na na, I need You
Without You I'm so alone
I am weak but You are strong
You pick me up when I'm falling down
And I am crying
Out to You inside of my heart
I need You, Lord, oh so, for the part
I want You to have my life, Jesus
I fall to my knees
And I'm begging You, please, oh, Lord
Won't You change me
Make me new from the inside out
I want to shout out Your name

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Faithful Provision

Matthew 6:26 - "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

A few weeks ago my little family of six drove up to the mountains in Georgia and had a week long adventure at a creekside cabin. We anticipated this vacation for some time as the days in our home seem to drag on and never end. It was just what we needed and the boys had a great time playing in the creek behind the house.

While we were there we checked out a local BBQ place. The food was good, being with the kids was fun and what happened when we left was one of those teachable moments straight from the Word. A little bird had escaped his mother's nest and found itself almost trampled under our three year old's foot. Barrett went skipping across the front lawn of the BBQ place and stopped just short of a newborn bird. All the kids went hysterical and the little bird was wide-mouthed just waiting for someone to feed him. We gave him a little to drink (which we later found out was not the right thing to do but he didn't choke so it ended okay) and then after several minutes of contemplation, decided to find a nice big bush to place him under. Of course as you can imagine, the children were not at all happy about this decision but didn't understand that we'd be driving home 10 hours the next day and could not possibly take an orphaned bird with us. That is when it hit me...share the verse about how God takes care of the birds of the air. It was accepted well by the boys and they were able to leave the bird behind trusting that the little bird's Creator would take care of him.

How many times do we doubt the Father, our Creator, will really take care of us - the apple of His eye, His bride? There is another story in the Old Testament about birds and trust found in the book of 1 Kings. God send the prophet Elijah to King Ahab to deliver a message that drought would be in the land for three years. And then God tells Elijah to go hide from the place where he was and that God would give him water from a brook and food from the ravens of the air. Now, I don't know about you but I'd have a hard time going out into the wilderness and believing for a second some dang black birds were going to feed me - and not to mention, they didn't just bring him berries and nuts but meat and bread! Anyway, Elijah did what he was told and eventually God moved him to another place after the brook dried up (that's an entirely different story with an entirely different lesson - we'll save it for another time). Bottom line, God took care of Elijah!

Just as God was faithful in the Old Testament, just as God is faithful to other believers around us, just as He cares for the birds of the air, He will provide what we need for our lives. I'm sure there were moments when Elijah was making his journey to the Kerith Valley he must have wondered how God would ever provide for him...not only was he in a valley, it was during a drought!
So, an age old message many of us have heard time and time again about believing God provides despite circumstances. Let it be a reminder to you today that your God will take care of you, He will provide the resources -whether it be money, time, or relationships-to fulfill the purpose in which you were created. Take time to look for them, keep your eyes and ears open in order to see the incredible ways God will provide. I'm sure Elijah never dreamed that one day a bird would be serving him dinner!
Today's Reading: 1 Kings 16-17; Proverbs 27
Additional scripture references: Hebrews 11 and Matthew 6

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it."

I seem to have boxed myself into a theme this past week of endurance, victory, not giving up. I think as mothers we can all say that not a day goes by where we do not feel the need to endure. This is partly the reason for my, "you can do it" attitude. (Okay, I'll admit, I wanted to use this picture of me from the 11th grade. Back then I never thought that I would use my days of XC racing as a life lesson on being a mommy.) Anyway, just so you know, I am not just sharing a word with you but letting you in a little bit on what God has been doing in my own heart. After three weeks of feeling down right cruddy with a head cold and brochitis, I am finally feeling like myself again. When the pressure came to start writing on a regular basis for a devotional blog I was smack in the middle of late night coughing fits, completely blocked sinus passages and, AND an 8 mos. old baby dealing with the same stuff on a lesser scale. No mother can tell me she enjoys being down at the same time someone else in her household suffers. It doesn't allow us to care for our loved one's as well. Energy is lacking and the desire to take up another's needs is just not there. It has been during the past couple weeks that the Lord reminded me of another time in my life, after my second child was born, I was recovering from a c-section and trying to keep up with a 15 mos. old. A friend called me right while I was in the middle of a meltdown. She listened to me cry for a few minutes and then said, "nuh, uh, get up off that bed right now, you start speaking the Word over your life and you endure! There is no one else who has been called to this task but you and you WILL succeed!" So, I stood up from the bed and I sucked in the tears, raised my chin and started speaking life into my tired body. Let me tell you what, the memory of that moment consumes me with strength because it was packed full of God's truth and not the lie that I am not capable of enduring tough moments.

So, again today I want to encourage you to stand strong, endure this race for the sake of your sweet family. No one else is called to do your job, no one else knows those sweet faces as well as you do, no one knows the way you do, that husband whom you go to bed with every night! You were created for such a time as this and His promise is already manifesting itself in your heart as you take up His will during this season of your life! Run girl, run for the prize!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Great and Precious Promises

2 Peter 1:2-4 "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises..."

This morning I woke up with this verse on my lips and just a few minutes later, as my husband was getting ready to leave for work, the same verse left his lips as he spoke over me to begin my day! That is how the Word applies in our daily lives. That is why it is so important for us as mothers to make sure we immerse ourselves into the refreshing waters of God's promises over our lives.

I love how verse two of this passage begins with, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you..." What an amazing way to begin the day! The next part speaks of the knowledge of God and of Jesus. According to the Word believers are given the mind of Christ (2 Cor. 2:16) and as we work out our salvation by getting into the Word our minds are going to recall the promises of God. As this passage continues we see that we have everything we need through His divine power (the Holy Spirit) to lead a life of godliness. But I'd like to think that this verse does not leave us with no responsibility to lead this life, even with the Spirit's power. In verse three it says He calls us by glory and virtue. That word, virtue means goodness, moral excellence. God can only place within us the ability but we must exercise our right to choose to live in such a way.

Choose today to walk in goodness and moral excellence by sacrificing your own needs and desires to serve the needs of those people around you whether it be your children, your spouse or your co-workers. Choose to believe that you have everything that pertains to life and godliness and that you have been given exceedingly great and precious promises! Now if that doesn't make you feel like you can take on that next big task....
Today's Reading: 2 Peter 1; Proverbs 24 (Other passages cited: 2 Cor. 2:16; Philp. 2:12)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

Galatians 6:9-10 "So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. "

Since having children I have come to appreciate the finer things in life. Things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread, going to bed at 9:00 at night, and best of all, Disney movies. Before I had children Finding Nemo was on top of my favorites list. We're all familiar with Dori, a Regal Tang who has short-term memory loss. She is the "against all odds" character who pushes Marlin to find his son Nemo despite the treacherous conditions of the vast ocean.

There are days where I feel like I am swimming upstream in a fast moving creek and all I can do is tell myself, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Our grandmothers would use the old biblical phrase, "this too shall pass." It is all the same. Trying to keep perspective during the days of hectic chaos - please note it is not just hectic or chaotic; it is hectic chaos, totally different - is sometimes almost impossible. But again, our dear friend Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:9 not to grow weary in doing the things of the Lord because there is a harvest to reap at the end. I don't know about you but I'm interested in reaping that good harvest. For too many years I reaped a harvest that was no good and I'm excited to see the fruit of good,Godly labor! Even in those moments of weariness there is rest for our souls according to the Gospel of Matthew - "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest..." You see, God does not hang us out to dry without a solution for our weary sowing. He promises us that He will give us rest. And after we are able to rest in Him we will, in the proper time, experience the satisfaction of a job well done.

Momma, today when you are at your wits end with the task you are so diligently laboring, remember that He showers abundantly, refreshes His weary inheritance and gives strength to the weak. Our God provides all our needs according to His riches in glory....He will give you all that you need so you are able to keep swimming!
Today's Reading: Galatians 6; Proverbs 21 (other references used: Ps. 68:9; Isaiah 40:29

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Embrace Your Place

Hebrews 10:35-36 "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

For the past seven years my life has taken a dramatic turn - I have become MOMMY! Of course like any girl, I spent many summer days playing house with my friends. I always had several dolls. During the Cabbage Patch craze my Gramma Holzberger made special trips into Canada to buy me the latest doll (we lived right outside the border of Ontario in Michigan). But even then I never really saw myself as a mom. Especially as I got older and more independent I was satisfied with the successes I was experiencing in my life. I didn't give much thought to having a household full of little children but that is the road I'm travelling on and frankly, I don't always feel like I have what it takes to do this job God has assigned me.

The writer of Hebrews said it best, " not throw away your confidence;" The confidence I once had as a young woman and even still experience in some areas of life was not always a confidence in Christ. Sure, I can sing well, I'm not afraid to be on stage in front of people and something a lot of people don't know, I was a pretty successful school teacher before I started having kids. But just because I am good at something or just plain horrible, I should never place my confidence in my own abilities but rather in the power and strength of Christ Jesus. He is my confidence, He is my strength, He is the reason I can be successful at whatever I set my hand to! I might not feel like I am a good mom some days but I know that the Word says, "Children are a blessing from the Lord," therefore I know my days are blessed if I am serving my children.

Today, be thankful and stand in confidence in the season of life you are called to, whether it be mommy or secretary, housewife or administrator. The assignment we are on is one that God wants to reward so don't cast off your confidence because of a lousy day...remember you are His and He desires to see you succeed! So embrace your place in this season of life and perservere!
Today's Reading: Hebrews 10; Proverbs 20

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hebrews 13:5 " content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

The word mediocre has several synonyms. Words like, ordinary, average, and second-rate. These are all words that you rarely want people to use when describing their thoughts of you. "Oh, she is a nice girl, ordinary in her appearance." I don't know about you, but I don't want people to say I'm ordinary! I want people to think I'm extraordinary! But in the grand scheme of things most of us will lead a life that is fairly average, ordinary, middle of the road. Heck, let's just admit it...down right mediocre. The problem is we are not satisfied being average and ordinary. There is something deep inside of us that desires to be something more! The culture we live in testifies to everyone's desire to be a rockstar by airing shows like, American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance. These shows give us the hope that those average, ordinary people just like us can really go somewhere, do something memorable with their lives. We talk up our children to help them feel that they are the best at what they do, allowing them to compete in sports by the age of 3, awarding them trophies and words of affirmation that go far beyond their ability. This mentality sets us up for serious disallusionment when real life begins because not everyone can be a rockstar. Not everyone can be the star athlete. Not everyone can be a Billy Graham or a Joyce Meyer.

Paul said that he had become content in every station of life, whether living in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12-13). There is a reason every Christian needs to embrace the ability to be content in every situation. If we do not embrace contentedness we open the door to become frustrated with the call God has on our life at that moment. It is in the ordinary that God creates in us the extraordinary. If we take hold of the ordinary moments in life and find the pleasure in being an "average Joe" God has time to prepare us for the greater things to come. Just because we may never stand on a stage to speak in front of millions, become the NFL's first draft pick, or have a number one song on the charts does not mean that God can't use our daily sacrifice to do memorable things.

Today while you are folding laundry, cooking dinner (a mediocre dinner at that), scrubbing toilets or whatever it is you find so monotonous and dull, remember that you serve the God of the Universe and He made you and He's your biggest fan! In God's eyes, when we are going about His business, we are all superstars! Nothing about that is ordinary or mediocre!
Today's Reading: Hebrews 13; Proverbs 19

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wow! The Pressure Is On!

So, I'm at my friend Jessica's blogspot - Books, Bucks, and Beyond - and she mentioned my blog as one of her favorite spots to find encouragement as a young mom! Wow, the pressure is on now because I've only been posting book reviews for books lately!

I decided that because of her taking the time to mention I might want to stop and share a little encouragement as a young mom of four very young children.

Last week we spent time as a family in a beautiful mountain cabin up in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The cabin came furnished with everything a family needs to have a great time - games, hot tub, two bathrooms, three bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchen, you name it we had it just like being home. Although we were on vacation, just like any good mom, I was still making dinner, making beds, giving baths, the usual. But for some reason there was no pressure. So I decided when we came home I was going to live the same way, NO PRESSURE! In order to take some of the "daily pressure" off of my schedule I needed to find things that took up unnecessary time and always left me frustrated. One of the first things I did was to widdle away at my 650+ friends list on Facebook and get it down to only out of town family - this is a great way to stay in touch and keep them up to date on new pics without having to remember to send everyone posted mail! Second, I decided to run my dishwasher everyday! That might not seem like much but to me it has been such a relief in the kitchen. And third, I decided to look at my children, square in the eyes at least once every day! Again, this might not seem like something we should have to purposefully do but if you pay close attention I will guarantee you that if you are a busy mom there are days that go by that you do not look directly at those sweet precious faces.

So, what's the point of my blog? Well, I do not know to be honest with you. I enjoy talking, I enjoy sharing the days pleasures and faux pas with other friends. I'll use this time to encourage in the Word. I want to be the best mom to Braden, Andrew, Barrett and Abigail. I want to fulfill this calling on my life with as much passion and abandon as the Lord has put in me, just as I would any other type of adventure! So, I guess I'd like you to join me as I take the road less traveled and make this the most wonderful season of life I've ever known!

God's Promises for Boys!

I have been waiting for a long time to see a book like God's Promises for Boys come out at the Christian Bookstore! I recently received this book via Booksneeze to review. I was so excited to see it on the available book list that I hurried to read my last book just to get a hold of this one. As the mother of three young boys I can't say enough about this book. The illustrations are fabulous, the verses chosen as God's promises while trying to be a good brother, an obedient son, being happy, being a soldier for God - all absolutely wonderful. My favorite aspect of this book is definitely the illustrations as they will capture any young boys attention. This book can be used as a daily devotional or as a resource very similar to the adult version God's Promises book can be used. It provides an at arm reach resource to address every day issues a parent may face with their young sons. Having the Word compartmentalized into a few verses to help children remember how much God loves them even when they are afraid or trying to make new friends is a wonderful addition to any child's library!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Righ to Lead by John C. Maxwell

My third book to review from Booksneeze was such an amazing and easy read. John C. Maxwell is the Billy Graham of leadership writing. This book is just as amazing as every other book writen by Maxwell. This particular edition is a gift book which would be an excellent filler gift for any high school or college graduate. It also provides a great foundation for a leadership small group at churches or in bible study. In this book Maxwell uses several different historical leaders in order to lay the foundation for what a real leader looks like to others. It is a basic "what not to do" book for those people who seek the position of leader or who naturally find themselves in the role of a leader - in business, in the home, at church, wherever leadership is necessary. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an easy read, a gift for a graduate or even a gift for a person seeking a higher position at work. Leadership is more than just telling people what to do and how to do it, it is "knowing the way, going the way and showing the way." Thanks to Maxwell for another great read!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Friendship for Grown-Ups by Lisa Whelchel

Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel shares her experiences of growing up without true friends and how she learned to find and develop them as an adult through God's grace.

This book was an okay read. Although I've never been a huge fan of Whelchel's writing I will say that most of what I read in this book is for the most part, great advice for adult friendship. Much of what Whelchel relates her issues of friendship to involve what happened to her during childhood. My critique of this would be that I think this books gives people reason to dwell too much on their past issues as children and not accept responsibility for the fact that they need to grow up in relationships to others. That to me is a real "fact of life." Most women will probably be able to relate to this book as there are many examples of friendship woes and successes. There is a lot to gleen from this book whether you are trying to figure out adult friendship or if you are a good friend who wants to be a better friend! I would absolutely recommend this book to other women. It encourages healthy, Godly relationships and everyone can benefit from that!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Organic Produce

So, this week I signed up to receive a 30 lb. box of Organic Produce for $30.00. We received a nice portion of vegetables and fruits which will last for the better part of the week. Plums, oranges, strawberries, pears, green beans, bananas, lettuce, cucumber...the basics and then some. The only thing I noticed about this produce was that it is all from either Mexico, Ecuador or Argentina. None of it is from the good ole U.S of A! I have a I continue buying the produce deemed organic regardless of it's country of origin or do I go back to my regular routine at Publix where I search out whatever produce is in season here in the states, keeping my cash here supporting American farmers?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lonestar Homecoming

Recently I joined Booksneeze. Booksneeze will send you a free book for you to read and review. My first book I received is Lonestar Homecoming by Colleen Coble. Your typical Christian romance novel, Lonestar Homecoming is definitely face paced and it keeps your attention throughout most of the book. The story is about a young woman, Gracie Lister, as she goes on the run from her fiance who is possibly connected to a drug ring coming in from Mexico. Gracie needs to find refuge for herself and her daughter, Hope. Colleen Coble, the book's author does a great job capturing your interest right from page one as Gracie is dodging bullets and hopping a train with her five year old donning her wedding dress . As this book is the third in the Lonestar Series and the first I had read, I was a little concerned I may not be able to follow the story line. But throughout the book, Coble takes time to recap pertinent information about Gracie Lister and her newfound love Michael Wayne, making it easy to understand the character's past. Eventually both characters are able to take what started as a marriage of convenience into a lifelong love. Home is where the heart is, captures the essence of this novel. The book itself allows for an exciting story line of drama, love, intrigue and suspense. I would absolutely read more from this author!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So I think my first blog will be about homeschooling.
I have the priviledge of being a stay-at-home, homeschooling momma. For you skeptics of homeschooling, fasten your seatbelts because I also have a degree and prior to starting our family I was a school teacher. I do believe a blog is a place where we can "toot our own horns," so I will also let you know that I was not just a school teacher but I was the 2002-2003 Teacher of the Year at the school where I taught. Because I went on maternity leave half way through that year I didn't really get to enjoy the limelight of being TOY so every once in a while I do like to talk about it. I mean, it's every teacher's dream to be called the Teacher of the Year, right? At least it was for me. That was a goal I had set before I had started teaching. Back in high school I had a favorite teacher, Mr. Hines. He got Teacher of the Year when I was in 10th grade and that was when I said to myself, "if you are ever a teacher you are going to be the Teacher of the Year too, just like Mr. Hines." Well, because I have this all or nothing attitude I determined in my heart right then and there that I would have that honor one day.
So back to the point of this entry. Homeschooling. I do not believe you must hold a degree or be a certified school teacher in order to homeschool your children. I believe you must hold a desire to see that your children are given every opportunity to succeed. There are many days where I am so overwhelmed by the responsibility to educate my children but then realize that it's always our responsibility to educate our children, even if they are in a public or private school somewhere. That is where our society has gone wrong concerning education. We have accepted this belief that it is someone else's responsibility to make sure our children are being given a sound education. The classroom should not be the sole source for our children's learning opportunities. Humans have the capacity to learn every moment their eyes are open and they are still breathing. And you've heard the expression that children are like sponges? Well, it's time parents take back the responsibility of making every moment with their kids a teachable moment. Our kids learn from our behavior; kids learn while they watch mom make the beds; kids learn sportsmanship by watching dad play on the Wii. I don't necessarily think everyone needs to homeschool their children but I do think we need to take a bigger part in the responsibility to educate and stop expecting the school system to do it for us.
"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and all the people."
~Luke 2:52

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Process Takes Time

I am in the process of starting this blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends. It is a work in progress and is going to take some time as I learn how to put this thing together in a format that is appealing to the eye! Stay tuned....