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Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Fluff and other random happenings

The older sister took some gnarly shots of the little sister.

Like the moto wear?

Matt (my 19 year old comedian) went to the dentist the other day because his tooth was hurting. The dentist told him that he had a dead tooth. It is probably from his past motorcycle accident.

The dentist told him, "when you hit your head you killed your tooth."

Matt: "I killed my tooth?"

Dentist: "Yes, you killed your tooth."

Smart aleck son: "Wow....(shaking his head)... I didn't mean to kill it ... I just wanted to teach it a lesson."

The other day Lauren and Matt were playing....actually Matt was teasing her and she was fighting back. At one point she looked at her "target of opportunity" then bent over and ran across the room straight at him. When she got 2 feet in front of him she stopped and threw her head forward with a loud sneeze!

His face was priceless as he realized he had been "sneeze bombed!"
It's that time of the year again and she knows it! Lauren came out of her bedroom with a drawerful of her pajamas overflowing in her arms, I asked her what she was doing and she said, "mo-home."
She was going to pack the motorhome!
Texas is next week, but I don't think Lauren and I will be going.
However, it won't be long and we'll be on the road again, coming to a moto-cross track near you!
Have a great weekend, stop by tomorrow for the March giveaway!
Our hope is in Him,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Love


Such a common word, but powerful, none the less.

Let’s go right to the source and break it down:

1 Cor 13:1-12

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

So, what IS love?

4 Love is patient
Does that mean…like…when he is not doing something that I want him to do- WHEN I want him to do it???

Love is kind
Even when I am exhausted and he comes home late?

It does not envy

But what about when I do something and HE gets all the credit??

It does not boast
But I AM more spiritual than him and I read my Bible way more often than he does.

It is not proud
But I WAS right. Why should I be the one that ALWAYS has to apologize?

5 It is not rude
Is calling him a jerk rude? He really did act like a jerk!

It is not self-seeking
I really kind of like things MY way though.

It is not easily angered

It keeps no record of wrongs
Oh…I can forgive, but I’ll NEVER forget, I may need “that one” for another argument!

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
7 It always protects

So….I shouldn’t tell others things that embarrass him?

Always trusts
Always hopes
Always perseveres


8 Love never fails
Ok Lord…but You are going to have to help me with this….

I think that pretty much says it best.
The Word has set quite a high standard for us, but God never asks us to do anything that He won’t help us do.

Whenever I read this chapter it challenges me.

I challenge you to read these everyday this week and ask the Lord to help you do them throughout your day.
Your nugget is: LOVE.

I’m praying for our marriages.

Our hope is in Him,

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Are you tired of that word yet?
It is the "it" word of the day. Change.
From the White house to my own house, our nation is in a state of change right now.

I feel pretty safe in assuming that many of you are also in a season of change.

Some changes are huge- moving, major job changes, marriage, divorce, children. Others are smaller, yet meaningful changes. Some changes are internal such as attitudes and dreams.

I believe that the body of Christ is going through changes also. There seems to be a common thread in the conversations that I have with Christians lately. It is a sense that the Lord is calling us closer to Him and that things are starting to shift and shake within our churches.
Some of the changes are painful, yet necessary for us to become the "spotless bride" that He will ultimately return for.

One thing is for certain...we're being taking out of our comfort zones! The Lord is calling us upwards and onwards and it's rattling our cages a bit! Don't get the wrong idea, I am not some hyped up person talking about how God is 'bringing us higher in Him' and yelling a whole lot of empty promises at you.

My "comfort zone" ...

To read the rest of this article, hop on over to the Internet Cafe' and I would love to hear your input also!!!

Our hope is in Him,

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Fluff and other random happenings...

I'm the glove on the right...

Seriously! We are in a "lake effect" zone and it just keeps coming. I'm so looking forward to spring!!

I saw this headline the other day in the local news:

"Numerous semi-trucks collide, cow gets loose."
I hate it when that happens!

I looked online and found a few more good ones for ya:

Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers

Milk drinkers are turning to powder

Smokers are productive, but death cuts efficiency

Blind woman gets new kidney from dad she hasn't seen in years

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge


So, what kind of incentive do you use to motivate your children to behave?

I've used (of course these must be spoken with great enthusiasm):

...(at the grocery store) I'll let you ride the dinosaur if you behave!
...(at the grocery store) we'll go to McDonald's after this if you're good!
...if you give Mommy a couple more minutes on the computer I'll let you put on a bandaid!

And one that I'm about to use tonight...
...if you sleep in your own bed, I'll buy you a pony!


So, yes, something has come between Mark and I. It is 3 foot tall and filled with enthusiam.

Last night, I put her to bed. She was fine for a while, but then decided she was done in her bed so she cried. Then she screamed. Then she cried again, this time with big alligator tears.

She falls apart into this heap of heaving, sobbing, weeping child, looking at me with those "don't you remember that I was an orphan" eyes.

I finally can't take it anymore so I bring her in my room and lay her on my bed. (Stop with the look- I wanted to see the end of Apprentice!)

She giggles with glee!

I've been had.


I have another wonderful website to share with you.

It is full of fun! From great deals on all kinds of things for ladies like you and I, to giveaways! And on top of it all, Melody is just a sweet thing and fun to be around!

Pennies In My Pocket

Jump over there for a visit! You'll quickly become a friend!

Our hope is in Him!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm a Winner...twice!

I was so blessed by Bev Brandon , she sent me a gift subscription to domino magazine!

I can't wait to receive it in the mail!! I love magazines.

Then I won a book at Beth Vogt's Writing Road!
It's called Writing Motherhood and it's by Lisa Garrigues.

I have just started reading it and just in the preface it's hitting me square between the eyes!

I want to share a little with you:

The author is sharing how she has so many reasons (excuses) not to write an article.

"As I sat poised to pen the next reason I could not write the article, I
remember a story I had read in Georgia Heard's memoir, Writing Toward
, about a rafting trip her friend had taken one July down the Rio
Grande in Taos, New Mexico. The water was low. but the guide instructed the
group not to try to avoid the many rocks in the river. Much to their surprise,
every time the raft bumped into a rock, it gently bounced off it, glided
backward, then drifted on downstream with the current. Heard has since applied
the rafting lesson to writing: "The obstacles I face - lack of time, too many
projects at once- as well as the obstacles all writers face- rejection,
criticism, doubts and insecurities, unfinished poems and stories- are impossible
to avoid and can be valuable teachers. I can gather strength from them. They are
inevitable parts of a writer's life." The poet went so far as to mount the
slogan like a bumper sticker on her writing chair: Don't try to avoid the


Don't you love it?!

I think this book is just the encouragement (kick in the pants) I need!

Thanks to both of these ladies for blessing me!

Our hope in in Him,


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Two shall be One ~ Thoughts of Thankfulness

First a couple of things.
Look at what I look out my front door at:

**Another snow day here in Michigan. My son (a senior in high school) is thrilled, he gets a day off. My daughter (a sophomore in high school) is bummed- she is homeschooled!

** Thank you all so much for your input last week! I will be delving into many of the subjects you mentioned over the next several weeks.
I have decided to hold off on the carnival idea for now. Though, I encourage you to jump in on other marriage carnivals that are presently going on, such as:
Marriage Mondays at Chrysallis, if you know of others, feel free to tell us about them in the comments.
1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

Also, I really would like you to use the comments to expand on my thoughts and give your own. Give examples, verses and testimony- I love it!!! Don’t ever apologize for your comments, I appreciate them and I think it will be a value to all who read “TsbO Tuesdays” if they are all in one spot.


What are your thoughts?
Has satan had you down a bad road in your thought life?
Have your thoughts made you angry, stressed out or full of anxiety?

Changing our marriage life starts with changing our thought life.

Changing our thought life is not as difficult as you think. Though it takes work, it is possible to redirect our minds to focus on the positive and not the negative - the power and not the draining direction that sinful thoughts can take us in.

I have to be honest and say that the times I get angry are usually the times when I’m not getting my own way and I let my thought life get out of control. I know this goes right along the same lines as "stewing" but I believe that looking at the issue from different perspectives will help us to remember how powerful our thoughts are. It does for me anyways!

Psalms 13:2
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?


Psalms 139:2-4
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O LORD.

THAT will make us deal with our thinking won’t it?!

It helps me to know that I am accountable for all my thoughts and that the Lord cares what is on my mind.

Let’s change our thoughts to thankful ones!
Col 3:15
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.

Are we thankful for the man God gave us?
According to this scripture, it will affect our peace.

There is nothing so powerful as peace in our hearts and our homes!

Think of how it changes the atmosphere of the home when Momma is livin’ in peace.

It bears repeating:
Changing our marriage life starts with changing our thought life.

Let’s create an atmosphere of peace in our homes and start by changing our thoughts to those of thankfulness.

Please talk to me about this one, tell me I’m not the only one who lets her thoughts get the best of her and turns into Cruella….

Our nugget:
Thoughts of thankfulness!

For further encouragement:
Eph 1:16
16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
(Read that whole chapter, it’s wonderful!)

Eph 5:19-20
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Col 3:17
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thess 5:16-18
16 Be joyful always;
17 pray continually;
18 give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Praying for our marriages!

Our hope is in Him,

Friday, February 15, 2008

Make the most of every opportunity

For those of you that have come here for the Friday Fluff, I'm sorry but this week has been anything but fluffy. (Although I think you will enjoy the story at the end...)

Some of you may remember me talking about Alan on this post, he was an exchange student from Mexico that lived with us a few years back. He and my son became best friends and it was sad to see him go at the end of the school year.

He showed up this October for a surprise visit and we were thrilled. He also told us that he had a wife and new baby.

We were shocked to receive a phone call this week that he was killed in a car accident.

Due to the language barrier, it took us some time to get all the information and by the time we did, it was a day late for my son to fly down for the funeral.

Our hearts are broken. Especially my son who was so close to him.

I have reminisced this week about all the great times we had with Alan and how God brought him into our lives.
He was so much fun to be around, and always willing to help you do anything!

When his Mother came for a visit, he was ear to ear smiles when we went to the mall because he had his two moms with him.

I am so sad that he has died at such a young age, yet I am thankful that he came to know the Lord while he lived here. I look forward to the day when I will see my "son" again.

Let this serve to remind us that we never know the whole plan and when someone comes into our sphere of influence, let's take every opportunity to share the love of God with them. Whether it is through prayer or actions, let's love those who God brings into our lives- and maybe into our homes.

This is for Alan...

OK...I just have to tell you this story about Alan's Mom.

She came to visit while he was here and she could not speak English, and I do not speak Spanish.

I had to pick her up at the airport by was crazy.

She did not come out of the gate I was at, so she ended up wandering around looking for me. She called my cell phone, here's how it went:

Me: Hello?

She: SUE?!

Me: ...uh...yes....uh...Si'

(then we rambled for a few minutes and I realized that she was in the airport but had no idea where)

Me: (as I look up at the sign that said Exit 2, I said...) Exit?

She: Exit?

Me: si'....exit....(counting on my fingers...) exit ... dos! (of course I'm speaking louder and louder because I'm sure that if I yell it, she will understand)

She: si''

So eventually we find eachother and I show her the picture I have of her and Alan and she gives me a big ole' Mexican embrace, it was wonderful.

The car ride home was fun. We actually both thought we were communicating with one another as we pointed things out and smiled.

Later that day when we were home with Alan and he could translate we realized that she was asking about my family and I was telling her about the weather.

So a few days into her visit, Alan is off at school and she and I are home alone again. We start "talking" and all of the sudden she starts bawling.

Oh goodness! What did I say??? What is she saying???

So I bring her into my office.
I find a website that will translate from English to Spanish and vice-versa.

I start asking her about what is wrong.

Come to find out, she and her husband are about to get a divorce (mind you, all this has been happening while Alan is away from home so he has no idea).
She is crying and typing, telling me about her husband having an affair.

So I am crying and typing telling her about how the Lord will get her through this.

I find another website with a Spanish Bible and start punching in verses and having her read them.

I end up praying for her through a computer translator.

Now I ask we serve a God with a sense of humor or what?!!!

I have to say that, THAT was the most unusual experience I have ever had ministering to someone- and I've had a few crazy ones!
This verse comes to mind.

Col 4:5-6
5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

In His amazing love, He bypassed all language barriers that day.
Thank you Lord for the opportunity to love on Alan and his Mom.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day Friends!!

The contest winner from Two shall be One ~ Tuesday is:
Jennifer !!! Congratulations!!!

NOTE: This contest was hosted here, but the prize is coming from our wonderful Darlene over at...

I think it is so cool that she loves you girls so much, she did a giveaway to bless our marriages!

Thank you so much Darlene and Christian Women Online, we love you!!!!

On this "day of proclaiming our love" let's remember that it is better to give than to receive, so don't let satan get you all worked up about what you expect your loved one to do for you.

Honestly, I'm not much into this holiday because it is so commercialized and can cause us to forget what real love is.

Here's what "real love" is:
1 John 4:10
This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

1 John 3:16
We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.

Happy Day All!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's a Jungle Out There

I'm posting over at the Internet Cafe' today, please come visit me!!!

The February Praise and Coffee Winner is:
Doreen @ Doreen's Place

I have a few more Praise and Coffee magnets to give away also,
the winners of those are
(these don't disqualify you from wining Praise and Coffee in the monthly giveaways):

Brandy @ Brandy's Blurbs

Crystal @ Song of my Soul

kmom3 @ A Planting of the Lord

Joanne @ Blessed

Frances @ Loving and Serving
Congrats to all the winners!
Be sure to email me your home addresses.
New drawing again next month starting March 1st!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Fluff and other random happenings


There, are you happy now? I made a Friday Fluff button. :-P

I have to tell you though, I am not promising that I can do a Friday Fluff post every Friday. We will be traveling again soon and though that may give me fodder to write about, I may not be able to punch it out every week.
But when I do...this is the button!
Feel free to take it and use it on your blog if you also do a Friday Fluff thingy.
You don't need to link it, just feel free to use it!


So we have come to the conclusion that Lauren will be a soccer player, she can kick and head butt with the best of them. We have to dose her with Benadryl before she plays however because she seems to be most on her game at 3 AM while fast asleep in our bed.
EDITED to add: my husband pointed out to me that this may make it sound like we give her Benadryl to sleep- I assure you we don't. I was saying that she does her best moves while sleeping, so she may need the medicine if her game is during the day.


Politically speaking...
*Bill Clinton stated, "I waited all my life to vote for a black man, and I've waited all my life to vote for a woman, sometimes I look up at the sky and say, 'God you're playing with my mind again.'

Yes Bill, that's what this is all about, God playing with you. ~sigh~

And then with regards to another candidate...

*Really...we could have a president with the middle name 'Hussein?'



The other day I was getting ready to go to the store and I thought to my self, 'oh my back hurts, I need to call the chiropractor.'

A few minutes later I looked in the mirror and noticed way too many gray hairs and thought, 'I'd better get a hold of Char to touch that up.'

As I was washing my hands I noticed my nails and thought, 'I need to get a hold of Janice to get these nails filled.'

It was at that moment I realized...oh mercy...I have handlers.


I was recently reminded of a time that I went to Walmart. I had this very hip pair of black shoes on. While at Walmart, the wooden heel of said shoe came loose but did not fall off so it was hanging there. With every step I took it made a loud clunking sound.

With the squeaking of the cart and the cluncking of the shoe, I sounded like a 4th grade band walking down the aisles.


Lauren is really progressing in her speech. However, she has not learned the proper placement for words such as: who, what, where, when and how. Instead she uses the word "why" for all of the above. As if a 3 year old does not say "why" enough, she uses it 5 X as much as any other 3 year old.
For instance:
"Lauren (I yell up the stairs so I can find out if she's in her bedroom or has snuck into my room)?"
"Why?" she yells back.

(me to Lauren) "Guess who's coming over today?!"
(Lauren) "Why!"

(me) "Look what I bought for you at the store!"
(Lauren) "Why?!"

You get the picture.


Lauren loves the song I posted a few days ago, 'Trading My Sorrows'. She asks me to play it really loud! Her favorite part is the la-la's. She will sing and spin in a circle singing la-la-la-la....
As I look at that little girl that has been through so much in her 3 1/2 years, filled with joy and singing, I realize that she is the one who has rescued me, not the other way around.
One more thing. I am so thrilled to be praying for some blogging friends that will be traveling to Africa for Compassion International. They leave this Sunday.
Let's pray for them as they take this amazing trip!
Here's a link to learn more about it.


Have a wonderful weekend! I will be drawing for the February Giveaway on Sunday.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rock Solid Families by Janell Rardon

Hello Ladies,
I have been reading a book that really blessed me!
As I was reading the first chapter, I thought to myself- I love this woman! I can totally relate to her! So I went looking for her online because I knew you would want to know her too!

I found her and asked her if she would put together an article about the book so I could tell you all about it. She is an absolute doll and agreed to do so!

I have felt that the Lord has been speaking to me about the importance and impact of my ministry here at home. This book spoke directly to my heart about how huge our ministry at home is. Working or stay at home Mom... we will impact a generation and generations to come!

Ok, enough of me. here is Janell....

“This is your home, whether you own it, rent it, or were born into it.
Home is where you go to refuel – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You
no more need to own the house for this personal refueling than you need to own the
service station to get gas. When your soul claims an address as its own, it
doesn’t matter if you stay there six months or the rest of your life.
While you occupy the space, it is undeniably yours.”
Proverbs 24: 3-4 instructs,
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

God desires our homes to be full of pleasant and precious riches. Riches, as spoken of here, refer to “an abundance of spiritual blessings.”

On my morning walk, I pass many homes, praying for the families as I go. As my walk comes to a close and I am standing in front of my own home, I stop for a second and transform Proverbs 24:3-5 into a personal prayer.

It goes something like this:
“Dear Lord Jesus, this is my home. Within the
walls of this precious place are my husband and
three children. And, Abraham, my dog, too.
I pray that each and every room will be
filled with the riches of Your presence,

Your grace, Your love,
Your power and Your serenity.
May wisdom, knowledge and understanding

guide us through this day.
Help me, today, to be a drink of fresh water for my family.
Thank you, Lord, for such a wonderful family.”

Serenity of soul is one of those rare and beautiful treasures spoken of in Proverbs 24. A person who removes tension from the air, who operates in serenity of soul, is like a fresh breeze blowing off the ocean. It only takes one person to change the atmosphere of a home. Don’t you agree?

While stealing some alone time in Bermuda, my husband and I spent eight days in a cabana that jetted over the crystal clear, sparkling blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. No air conditioning. No screens on the windows. Only the fresh ocean breezes to keep us cool. Upon arriving to this cabana, I thought to myself, “You have got to be kidding me. No way. Eight days without air conditioning? Rob didn’t say we were going camping in Bermuda. What in the world was he thinking?”

But, that night, when the negative ions of the Atlantic Ocean permeated our room, I slept more soundly than I had in a very long time. Now, I am not a scientist, but I do know that there is something pretty spectacular about ocean air. Denise Mann confirms:

“There’s something in the air and while it may not be love, some say it’s
the next best thing—negative ions. Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and
invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think
mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative
ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the
mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and
boost our daytime energy. For a whopping one in three of us who are sensitive to
their effects, negative ions can make us feel like we are walking on air.”
The negative ions that circulate in the mountains and the beach are said to “contain tens of thousands of negative ions—much more than the average home or office building, which contain dozens or hundreds, and many register at a flat zero.”

I wanted so desperately to be the one in my home who possessed serenity of soul, but found myself coming up short every time.
Why can’t I master my emotions?
What is wrong with me?
I try to be patient, yet find myself angry once again. If only I could get it all together. Finally, after many long days of struggle, I came to the feet of Jesus.
Help me change, Lord. Your word says that my weaknesses can be transformed by Your grace (2 Corinthians 12:9).
This compelling scripture provoked me to ask some hard-hitting questions.

Let’s face them together:

Are our homes registering a flat zero in the serenity category?
Serenity means, “quietness; calmness of mind; stillness; peace; evenness of temper; undisturbed state.”
Is the spiritual air in our homes full of “negative ion” energy? Encouragement? Laughter? Joy? Love? Faith?
Is the spiritual air in our homes full of “positive ion” energy? Contention? Strife? Anger? Impatience? Frustration?
When we come home from a long day, open the door to our home, do we feel as if we’ve walked into a sanctuary? A place to be renewed and refreshed? Or, are we bombarded with chaos, confusion and clutter?
Are we moving through life with more serenity than irritation? Not just on a good day. Every day.
On a typical day, do you read the Bible? Have devotions? Talk to your children about God? Breathe in God’s powerful presence?
Is your soul running on empty? With nothing left to give? Is it overloaded with care and concern for others?

These are necessary questions.
How can we serve our families, churches, and communities if we are empty?
I faced this question with great care and knew that I needed to withdraw for a season in order to find the answer. Responsibilities compound, obligations mound, and all of a sudden we find ourselves in the midst of the whirlwind, drained of any positive emotion.
Because in the midst of the whirlwind, we forget to take care of ourselves and our relationship to God.

Very often, our households become a whirlwind. A whirlwind of activity: music lessons, dance lessons, soccer games, birthday parties, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Youth Group, etc. The list goes on and on. While these are all good things, are they the best things?

Herein lays the challenge:
Are we moving through life with more serenity than irritation?
Are all these wonderful, exhilarating activities and opportunities robbing us of a quality life and enriched family time?
Are they crowding an already busy household?
Are they infusing our homes with deep satisfaction and rich relationships?

One way my husband and I combated this whirlwind was to inaugurate family devotions. We began this practice when our first born, Candace, was seven and our twins were three. Full of wiggle and giggle, they did their best to be still. Initially, we would say short sentence prayers and off to bed they went. As they grew, we graduated to “The Lord’s Prayer”—even as they were somersaulting across the floor or climbing on Daddy’s back—and added a short devotional thought or teaching.

We felt it crucial to create a quiet time at the end of a hectic day to recognize God and one another. It was a daily habit in our family for many, many years. Nothing extraordinary, no, it was rather ordinary, but absolutely vital to the spiritual climate of our home. Now, as they are leaving the home to enter college and build their own lives, we see the great fruit of this daily discipline.

In the visual, “Developing Devotionals Using the Q.U.I.E.T. Method,”
I offer five simple principles for creating a devotional life in your family*:
(disclaimer...I -Sue- scanned this picture from the book so that you would see how she laid it out, sorry I couldn't get it bigger!)

1. Encourage the art of questioning. Questions are a terrific way to draw your child into vivid discussions about God throughout your daily routine
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

2. Unlock the mysteries of God. Openly discuss the profound mysteries of God’s amazing world (Mark 4:10-11).

3. Inspire at every opportunity! Always be on the lookout for the little lessons tucked away in life. Lessons that rouse the interest (Psalm 100, MSG).

4. Enlarge each child’s understanding of God through hands-on learning activities.
Activate the five senses. One of the simplest, yet most rewarding, things we ever did was invest in a simple butterfly farm. What an amazing sight to behold. Watching little caterpillars spin their cocoons, hang upside for days and days, and then struggle to emerge as butterflies was money well spent. The process of metamorphosis engaged my children and fostered many questions and spiritual discussions: Why is the caterpillar hanging upside down? Is it dead? Why is there blood coming out of the cocoon? Enthralled by their observation and discovery, their little minds whirled with curiosity and inquiry.

They grasped the spiritual teachings of regeneration and conversion (Romans 12:1-2; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 92:1-5, to name a few!)

5. Testify to God’s working in your own quiet time. Talk about your private devotions. Make God very real to your children (1 John 4:13-15).

And, finally, plug into the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Overflow. That’s the beauty of living a devotional life.

When time is set apart for the infilling of God’s Spirit, on a consistent basis,
the end result is overflow.
No longer deprived of necessary “spiritual ions”, which recharge and replenish, true spirituality will spill over and fill each and every room of your home with rare and beautiful treasures.

*For more information on the great resources available for family devotions, check out the store on my website: (Check out her blog too!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

There is a Holy Spirit, and it's not me


Mark and I have been married over 20 years. As we’ve ‘grown together in the grace of life’ we have both learned much about each other and much about how God wants us to treat one another.

Mark was raised in a Christian home, but really started serving the Lord around the time we got married. I had been raised Catholic, but didn’t come to know the Lord until I was in high school. It was then that I started living for the Lord, and so when Mark and I got married, I was the “stronger one spiritually.” I use that phrase loosely because even though I had a few more years of Biblical teaching under my belt, I was anything but spiritually strong. However, I sure thought I was!

We both wanted to live for the Lord and serve Him with our whole hearts. But, I continued to see things in my husband that needed “fixing.” I made it my job in life to “fix” him because as anyone could tell, I was more spiritually mature than he. (ha!)

I thought he should pray more, so I would drop little hints about it and put him on the spot when I saw fit. I thought he should read his Bible more, so I made sure it was strategically placed for him to find it and every chance I had I would let him know that it was something he should be doing more of.

I was stealth I tell you! I made sure that he knew there was more he should be doing for the Lord. After all- if I didn’t, who would? And let me tell you, it’s not easy being stealth when you have a giant plank sticking out of your eye getting in the way all the time! I had to work hard at it.

Then there were my moments of condescension. I could so easy manipulate a conversation to let him know that he needed to be a better Christian. Mind you…this was all while I was being a good and submissive wife. I truly felt that I was doing all the right things and that the Lord was leading me in my controlling ways.

I’m not sure how long it was before my husband starting saying, “Hark, what is that I hear? Is that the Holy Spirit speaking?”

Of course at first, I knew this was just rebellion. Surely God was about to “get him.” How dare he blame me when he is the one with the obvious issues!

Until, I finally heard the still small voice of the actual Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and telling me how wrong I was. This was not an overnight lesson for me. I have learned this, repented and turned around time after time and done the same thing over again.

Eventually I realized the destruction I was bringing in our relationship and the lack of trust that I had in the Lord.

I saw that when I would shut my mouth about a situation and pray and then truly give it to God, He would intervene and do a mighty work in my husband and in me.

The key, I have learned, is stepping out of the way.

Let God be God, let the Holy Spirit do the correcting, training and teaching in both of our lives.

I had a need to control. That need was based on the fact that I did not trust that the Lord answered my prayers. I did not trust that the Holy Spirit would actually speak to my husband about leading our family. That’s really hard to admit, but it’s true. I felt that I could do a better job leading my husband than the Holy Spirit could.

John 16:13-14
3 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

1 Peter 1:2
2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit

Did you catch that? “The sanctifying work of the Spirit.”

The Spirit does the work. The Spirit is the one who sanctifies, not us.

1 Peter 3:1
3:1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives

I find it funny that is actually says, “without words.” How well does He know us?!

It is our behavior that will speak louder to our husbands. The Lord showed me that I could trust Him, and more importantly that I had so much more work to do on myself! If I would obey the Lord and do MY job in this marriage, He would take care of the rest.

I got a mental picture of the Lord standing before my husband and me standing in the middle of them getting in the way. When I finally stepped back, I saw the Lord do amazing things in my heart and in my husband’s heart.

Our faith became real to both of us.

Prov 14:1
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

A familiar verse, once again is so true.

Let the Lord, His Holy Spirit, do a mighty work in you by handing over the burden of your husband’s walk with Christ to Him. It’s not yours to carry.

Pray for your husband. But first pray for yourself, that you would honor the Lord in your marriage and be the Godly wife He has called you to be. Let your actions speak louder than your words.
It’s a prayer I pray often and I still remind myself of this truth:
There is a Holy Spirit, and it’s not me.

That’s our nugget for this week.

I’m praying for our marriages, feel free to email me with prayer requests.

Stop by and sign-up for the February Giveaway of Praise and Coffee!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday Morning wake-up shake-up!!

Ok Girls,
Time to put on your dancin' shoes and start the week off right!

Whether you are having a wonderful day or a stressful one, I guarantee you that if you will play this and "jump in" you will be filled with joy!

Let's 'Trade Our Sorrows' for joy today!!
I double-dog dare you to watch it and not smile
(or if you are like me, cry happy tears) !!!!!

2 Cor 4:7-9
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Love ya!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Peace, be still

Mark 4:39
Then He arose and rebuked the wind,

and said to the sea,
"Peace, be still!"
And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

How powerful is the voice of our God? Oh how I love Him.

Do you long for peace? In your home, at work, in your family, in your church?
Does the thought of a great calm seem unreachable? It's not.

The Word of God holds many keys to peace...

Ps 34:14
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

Ps 37:11
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

Ps 119:165
Great peace have they who love Your law

Prov 17:1
Better a dry crust with peace
and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

Prov 29:17
17 Discipline your son,

and he will give you peace

Isa 26:33
You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.

And the most important thing I have learned lately
brings me back to the beginning...
Peace...BE STILL.

With love,

Friday, February 1, 2008

February Giveaway!

Sign-up today for the February Giveaway of
Praise and Coffee!
The Praise is:
The 2008 WOW CD!!
The Coffee is:
One bag of Starbucks!!
Here are the guidelines again:
1. Post a comment to THIS post.
2. Make sure there is a link to your blog or email so that I can contact you if you win.
If your post is anonymous, you need to leave an email address.
3. One entry per person please!(You can win one time per year, so everyone starts new this month!)
4. Feel free to advertise on your blog if you like!
(A big thanks to all of you that do!!!)
Comments closed, come back and enter the March giveaway on March 1st!

Friday Fluff and other random happenings

Ok...I'm at it again, but NO sidebar button!
If you missed the first installment of FF, go HERE

*** It has been cold and snowy here in Michigan for far too long now. I'm ready for a break.
This is what we do when we can't go outside to play:

We build forts in the house. That is Lauren, Daddy and if you look real close you see the dog in there too! In case you notice that she has no shirt on...the child is hotblooded and I have a full time job trying to clothe her. Sometimes I leave the room for just a moment and when I come back, she down to her unders. Occasionally I fight it, mostly we've all gotten used to it.

***However...she was just given a lifesize (her size) Barbie, and my boys do not at all appreciate seeing Barbie in nothing but a pony tail holder. I have had to convince her that Barbie is sick and needs her clothes on. So now we have to wipe Barbie's nose. The nose I can handle, if it gets any weirder, I'm done.

***Last time I did this, a few of you wondered about a comment I made about my son Matt. Matt is a character and always giving me ammunition for the blog but I try to be discreet with the kids. However, you have to hear about his latest antics.

He is in college and is studying genealogy in one of his classes. They are supposed to look up their family history and make a family tree etc. Well, that seemed too involved for Matt, so instead of calling his grandparents and getting all the information, he decided to make up his own family and NAMES!

Mind you...some of these precious people are still living and he is changing their names!

If he had done the slightest bit of research he would have found that his ancestry goes back to people like Helen Keller on his Father's side and the Kennedy's on my side (sorry, I can't be responsible for that!).

But no, he made up names and occupations just to finish his project with the least amount of sweat on his brow. I'm not excusing his behavior mind you, but he did catch me off guard when I mentioned his Great-Grandma and he said, "Oh Grandma Stevens?" which is not her name in the real world, only in his pretend, liar world.

*** Another "Matt-ism" is that he loves to do illusion and tricks. He especially like amazing his littlest sister with his slight of hand. She's always good for a good jaw-dropping when he makes her toys disappear. Then the music starts of course!

Lauren thinks she's figured this all out and she will take a nickel into her hand, put both hands behind her back and then ask you to choose. When you choose an arm, she will transfer the nickle to the other and show you her empty hand. She repeats this until she finally drops the said nickel behind her and shows you both her empty hands as she gasps with amazement at her ability to make things disappear. Of course we all gasp too.

*** So last week I finally threw out the Christmas tin with a handful of mixed up caramel, butter and cheese popcorn at the bottom, how about you? Did you hesitate thinking that maybe you could re-use that tin, or did you just pitch it like me because you already have 2 in your basement?

*** Everyone in this house, except my dear husband, loves ranch dressing. We have a local restaurant here that makes it best! I used to have a friend who worked there and would bring me home the packet to mix it up and make my own. The only problem was that it was a large packet and I wasn't good with fractions so I had to make it all, and as much as we love it, a five gallon bucket was more than we could handle (just kidding- don't send letters to help me with the fractions).

But seriously, I do plan meals according to what we can dip in ranch dressing. That waitress no longer works there, but I found an awesome recipe that I can make in smaller portions.

Here is my tried and true favorite:

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Kraft mayo
1 Tbls Hidden Valley Ranch BUTTERMILK mix
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Mix and eat with anything and everything!

And the Bloggy Giveaway Winner is...

New giveaway ~enter today!!!! (this post)
Bloggy winner: Rachie S
Thank you so much Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer for hosting this!

You can comment on this post to enter
OR jump over to the Praise and Coffee February Giveaway
PLEASE enter on this one or the other- not both!
The February giveaway is for:
The WOW 2008 CD
& Starbuck's coffee!

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