Thursday, December 31, 2009

Love this!

Luke 12:30-32 (NLT)

30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. ♥

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I have been reading some books on spiritual disciplines recently and I am very intrigued. I have decided to focus on a different discipline each month in 2010. I am very excited about it actually. I chose disciplines that I would like to make part of my everyday life anyway. Some of them I already do, but I will try to make them more intense or different during the month I focus on that discipline. I figure since I lived through 2009 (it was a very hard year for me) I can pretty much do anything, through Christ. Oh, yeah, the Bible mentions something like that, huh? :)

In January, I am going to practice silence. Internet silence, to be specific. Only when I am at home though. I need to check my emails at work but I am feeling like that is the noisiest part of my internal life at home. Not to mention my favorite way of wasting time. I would LOVE to add TV silence, but that won't go well with submitting to my husband's desires. :)

So, if I don't immediately get back to you when you email me, you will know why. I will still blog, I just won't be able to check my comments...

And I am PRACTICING, so if I fail, I will just get back up and start over. It will not be the end of the world and it won't mean I am a complete and utter failure. That is why this can be fun instead of extreme torment and torture.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reflection Time


New Beginnings.

I love them.

Especially now that things actually change!

Because God is working.

In me and in you.

So much Hope in Him...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I love good books!

I just finished "What difference do it Make?" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It was the book the publisher sent to me that I was so excited about. I was not disappointed, I loved it. I don't usually like sequels as well as the originals, so I was happy that I like it even better than "Same Kind of Different as Me". If you are interested, it would be best to read them both, in order. They are about a wealthy man and a homeless man becoming friends and God doing His beautiful thing in them. It is a true story, very interesting and inspiring.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dang it, Dang it, Dang it!

So, I am driving, trying to figure out how I can sneak $25 more dollars from Jason so I can get him one more present for Christmas, and these FLASHES went off around me. Apparently, I had entered a school zone. One of those speed trap vans were there. And I was going 30 instead of 20. ARRRGGGG. Now I am just hoping that the fine is only $200 and that he won't make me take back the presents I already bought and wrapped for him today. Pout, pout, pout. I sorta prayed that we wouldn't get the ticket but then I thought that was dumb. I was speeding and why shouldn't I pay for a ticket? But I DO think the city shouldn't put those stupid vans out during the Christmas season. Don't people have enough financial pressure this time of the year????!!!!! I guess they need money too...

Monday, December 14, 2009


Ok, I think it is time for another personal retreat day. I feel like my heart is a disaster area right now. Like I should wear a banner of that yellow tape that says, "Caution, Danger Ahead" until God gets my heart back in order. And it is weird, I usually don't have things lurking around under the surface. Lately, I think I am fine and then find myself all upset about something I thought I had made peace with. One of my friends said in her Christmas letter that the older we get, the more we have to rely on God. Definitely agreeing at the moment.

But were do you go for a day of solitude in the winter??? I best figure it out! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Guess what I got in the mail yesterday? A free book from a publisher! Because of my blog. So cool. After I read it, I will give you the scoop. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I have been thinking a lot about friendship lately. True, deep friendship. The kind that has been through the fire of difficulty and come out more refined and stronger. I looked up some friendship verses in Proverbs this morning. These are the verses I don't want to forget. The things I want to practice.

Proverbs 17:9
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven,but dwelling on it separates close friends.
Proverbs 17:17a
A friend is always loyal
Proverbs 18:24
There are “friends” who destroy each other,but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 27:6
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
Proverbs 27:9
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense
Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 29:5
To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet.

And to my friends that make my life so much richer, who love me, challenge me, and believe in me when I have failed them time and time again, who have made me better by their presence in my life, Thank you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How is this possible?

Yay! It is December 1st! I am excited about the holidays this year.

So, I was reading 1 John this morning and got so much good stuff out of it. I may have blogged about this verse before because it shocks me every time I read it:

1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

Full expression??? Really Lord? That just scares me to death.

I can barely grasp Him loving me, and then to think I am supposed to love others like that too? Scary, scary!

I will do a little more research on this verse and share it with you if I find anything interesting. :)


So, most of the other translations say, "His love is perfected in us" or "His love is made complete in us". Not nearly as scary to me. That sounds like something that could happen that no one else would notice. Which, is not realistic at all. If we knew someone who had let God have His way in them, so much that they had a complete/perfected love for other people, we would notice. I think what impacts me the most about all of this is God's desire to be seen in us. So much responsibility! So far to go...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sick Buddies

I just have to say Jason is a very good sick buddy. We laid on the couch all day together yesterday and it was really fun, in a coughy sort of way. He is out getting more movies right now. He is feeling better today, so I will probably be on my own tomorrow, but for today, I will enjoy my sick buddy. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yes, we are rash sometimes...

But isn't he cute?

Happy Veteran's Day

My sweet husband gave me a kiss this morning and thanked me for serving my country! (Trust me, I didn't do much!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Life Stuff

I think we are mostly recovered from Poppy's death. (In case you don't know my daughter's dog got ran over on Thurs night.) Laney and all the cousins had quite the funeral at my brother's house. Now we have to figure out what to replace him with. We don't want another dog and Jason is allergic to cats. This should be interesting!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Desperate for Humility

Ok, I am writing about this, because I don't ever want to forget it. I doubt I will because I have been slammed with it lately. But still, writing about it is another way to work it into my heart. I read Mathew 23 this morning. Jesus was ummm... ripping the Pharisee's pride to shreds. Of course, it didn't humble them, it just made them start plotting murder.

Verse 8 says, "Don't let anyone call you 'Rabbi,'for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters... Vs 11-12 "The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

I don't want to THINK I am better than anyone else. EVER, for any reason. And I don't want to ACT like I am better than anyone else, either. I wish there was a permanent way to like cut something physically off, pluck out an eye or something, so it was done once, for all time, and obvious to everyone. (And not so everyone would see, but so they would always know I am for them, not against them, and then I wouldn't have to worry about the "acting like" part.) But there isn't, so I will just have to trust God to answer my prayer, "Lord, make me humble, keep me humble. Please, please, please! I so don't want to dishonor Your name by thinking I am more than I am. Or that you don't love every one of Your little ones as much as You love me. Forbid it Lord, that I should think I am better than anyone else, EVER. Change my heart to love Your people well! I ask in Your Name!"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Word for the Day

I keep thinking about gentleness. I thought I figured this out already, when I prayed for gentleness with my kids, but apparently I still have lots to learn. I was thinking about that verse, "Let your gentleness be evident to all..." last night when I went to bed. What is gentleness, exactly? So I looked up that verse in a bunch of different versions. There were a wide variety of words used there; graciousness, forbearance, unselfishness, reasonableness, and of course, gentleness. I looked up The Message translation and look how cool this passage is:

Philippians 4:4-6 (The Message)

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Isn't that cool?! And, if anyone would like to share with me what gentleness means to them, I would love it! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009


I can't believe it is November!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Joy in Suffering

I have a theory:

Most of us miss out on the LIFE we could have in Christ because we are afraid to obey Him. We obey him in the obvious things; don't cheat on your spouse or taxes, go to church, don't beat kids behind closed doors. But we are afraid to obey Him in the LOVE things; have that conversation, be vunerable, tell that person what you really believe, how you really feel, call that lady and tell her you care about her.

And with the people who have loved us but hurt us sometimes, we harden our hearts and let them grow cold when He wants us to keep our hearts open and soft and vunerable.

We are afraid of taking the risk of rejection. Rejection causes suffering. Is there a worse kind?

But if we are willing, God works. He changes us. He changes others through us. We get to worship Him with our lives not just our mouths.

But the sweetest part, the most beautiful part; we get to share in His suffering that way. Who can offer themselves in love more than He did? Who can be more rejected than He was? He understands our feelings and He blesses us with His pleasure when we get to share in the tiniest glimpse of that suffering. When we are willing to pour our lives out for others, even when they have no idea what we are going through for them, He blesses us with Himself. There is NOTHING I love better than hearing Him saying, "I am pleased with you, Child" in my heart. I don't want to miss one bit of His will for my life. Not one thought, not one word, not one breath. I want to live out every single bit of His plan for my life. I don't want to be afraid to suffer. He calls me to suffer. And to rejoice in that suffering!

I praise you Lord and ask that I would truly be willing to do ANYTHING you ask me to do. Make me who You want me to be, that is all I want...

Gal 5:6b The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

1Pet 4:12-13Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Question of the Day

What is gentleness?

Phil 4:4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I picked up "The Mind of Christ" by TW Hunt. He said the oposite of gentleness is hardness and the perversion of gentleness is being too soft.

Jesus was gentle. Always. But the whips in the temple and the "Get behind me, Satan" do not seem gentle. So it must be a state of heart. I need it. I also need the peace which transcends all understanding. I am so thankful that all we need comes directly through Him. If all we have is Jesus, we can be complete.

I love His people though, I don't want to ever be without them. Thankfully, He feels the same way. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


You know one of the things I love about Jesus?

He makes Himself available to us all the time. It may not always feel that way, but if we seek Him, we will find Him. He wants to be with us even more than we want to be with Him. Sometimes A LOT more.

I love that I don't have to make an appointment to be with Him. I can just say His name, and He listens.

Amazing, the most important Being in the universe wants to be at my side. All the time.

Ok, that just makes me cry.

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Secrets and Mysteries

I think it is so exciting that Jesus said this to His disciples. Which means it could apply to you and I:

Matthew 13:11-12 (Amplified Bible)
11And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

12For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will be furnished richly so that he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

If we know Him, we have access to all the secrets of the universe. The important ones, anyway!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The True Family of Jesus

Matthew 12:46-50 (New Living Translation)

46 As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 47 Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to speak to you.”
48 Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49 Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 50 Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”

I am reading through the Gospels in the mornings. I already read Mark.

I have the strangest feeling when I read the Gospels. I read them over and over when I was little and liked Jesus less and less. Of course, I didn't have His Spirit inside of me to open up my understanding. I did not see His humility. I thought He expected WAY too much of us. This was one of the passages I thought were mean. Why would He treat His mother like that?

Now I love it.

He does not love His mother or brother or sister less, just because He includes me in His natural born family, since I obey His Heavenly Father as much as He makes me able.

Yay, He calls me His sister. What a wonderful thing to think about as I go attempt to do something with my hair.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Circling the Mountain

Wow, what a roller-coaster ride the last couple of weeks has been! The first week, I was on such a high, it was almost ridiculous. :) Then I sorta crashed. I say sorta, because it could have been a lot worse! I realized my old high is now my low, so life is definitely getting better. The more my perspective changes the better things get. It is amazing how much of our lives are in our minds! I was thinking about that analogy of circling a mountain. Dealing with the same things, but less intensely and more quickly as we grow. It seems very true for me at the moment.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Adventure Has Begun!

I read in a book recently that every day should be an adventure. I thought, "Really? Every day? Is that possible? That would be so cool! I am happy if one day a week is an adventure! If everyday adventure is possible, I WANT it!"

Lately, everyday has been an adventure. I am loving it. This feels like LIFE to me!

I am even forgetting to eat! That usually only happens at the Retreat once a year. :)

I know the REAL adventure began the day I gave my life to Jesus, but I still believed so many lies and my heart was still such a mess.

I am still a mess, but I KNOW God is Good. I have HOPE and JOY in Him and I know He is making me good and righteous and complete for His pleasure, through His strength, since you know, I don't have any.

Bring it on, My Lord!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~Jesus, who is the ultimate authority on all things Life...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just wondering...

So, how do you suppose rejoicing and the extremely irritable time caused by the "curse" work together???

They aren't working well together for me about now...

Only one of them is working.

And it is not the rejoicing part.

Ugg, time to go get my kids out of bed...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For Leaders

Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Love them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have
But of the best leaders,
When their task is done,
The people will remark,
"We have done it ourselves!"
~Unfortunately, I forgot to write down where I got this. It's not mine, I will say that. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

I am a mess but Jesus loves me :)

I ate too much yesterday. Not because I wanted to, but because I couldn't stop myself. I was praying about it this morning and asking, "Lord, why do I do this? Where is it coming from? What is motivating me?"

I realized that when I was about 10yrs old I started to feel deeply insecure. I was starting to see the sin in myself and the sin in those around me. All was not right with the world. I knew about God, and a lot of what I knew wasn't even true. I did not know His character or His heart for His people and I certainly did not believe in His goodness. I had no hope.

I have come to love Him and trust Him as an adult but there is a part of me that still feels very shaky. That doesn't trust the future, doesn't trust myself. And since I totally lost it in church Sat night and started laughing and could not stop and felt badly for being disrespectful and out of control, I ate all day yesterday.

Oh my Lord, come and heal all of the messed up places in me. The ones I can see and the ones I can't. I want to be whole, in You. I want to reflect You as clearly as a human can. I don't want to be a slave to my insecurities. I want to trust You so fiercely that insecurities are not a part of who I am. Especially insecurities that are 27 years old! Life will be hard, yes, I accept that. Help me to trust that You will always be good. And that Your sacrifice makes me whole, not my own thoughts and behavior. I am not trustworthy Lord, but You are. And it is Your goodness and faithfulness that I can trust to make all things right in the world. Someday. Make me good through Your power and strength in the meantime. Thank you for loving me despite my complete lack of worthiness. I love You.

I love these verses...

Hosea 6 NLT
1 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces;
now he will heal us.
He has injured us;
now he will bandage our wounds.
2 In just a short time he will restore us,
so that we may live in his presence.
3 Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Friday, September 18, 2009

Measuring Success

How should leaders/pastors/elders/shepherds measure success? Evangelists would probably measure it by the people that take that first step of belief and the angels are rejoicing, we know that. Would all of the different roles that leaders play, measure it differently? Or should we not even have a measure of success and only go by of our level of obedience? Or both? What do you think?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I embarrassed myself recently. Not just my average, slightly embarrassed because I said something slightly stupid. Nope, this was one of those deep, painful, embarrassments when death sounds preferable to walking among other humans again. I was really surprised at how I reacted. I hit the floor, praying. I cried out to my Lord to come sooth my soul. He was sweet, and let me feel His presence almost immediately.

Me: Oh Lord, please teach me how to be quiet!!!!

Him: (In my spirit, something like) Smiling slightly, "Child, you don't necessarily have to be quieter. You do need to be calm."

And then I just rested in His presence and let His peace flow until I was healed of the pain.

Then I asked Him to teach me wisdom with my words and that there would be way less idle ones. And I remembered the whole 'quiet means calm' thing I posted about last time. I am thinking it was very wise of Him to put calmness with rejoicing. In my case, they seem to desperately need each other.

And don't ask me what I was embarrassed about, I won't tell you. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tradin it In!

I went to a women's seminar this weekend and I want to share my favorite part. One of the teachers explained the greek definition of "quiet and gentle" from the passage about women in one of Peter's letters. Quiet meant, "calm" or "tranquil" and gentle meant, "anger far from me".

This is very exciting to me because it fits so well with what God has been speaking to me about rejoicing. I saw a chart some time ago and it showed underlying emotions for different personalities. If I remember right, they were; fear, peace, optimism and I know mine was anger. I totally identified with that. Anger has been my fuel since I was ten. Not an out-of-control anger, but an underlying anger that moved me to go in certain directions.

So now I can see that God is asking me to trade all that anger in for rejoicing! To have rejoicing be my fuel instead of anger. What a wonderful trade! Of course this is a process, so I may still rant and rave and fuss and fume occasionally, but hopefully, there will be a whole lot more rejoicing and trusting my wonderful God to make things right.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Yesterday I woke up in a Super Bad Mood, wanted to kill the dogs and maim my husband (he woke me up a couple too many times during the night) and prayed like crazy and had a wonderful day. This morning I woke up in a Super Good Mood and am hoping I still have a good day? Better still pray like crazy. Right after I am done blogging. :) I have been having all sorts of fun questions rolling around in my head lately. What does it look like to "inquire of the Lord"? Actually, what does it look like to be answered after one does inquire? And I am extremely excited about the rejoicing thing. It must be possible to rejoice even in the worst of suffering or Jesus would not have told us we would have trouble but also to rejoice. I am believing there is a whole world of possibilities and wonder available to me that I never thought was possible.

Is there anything you think God wants to give you that your lack of belief is preventing?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


So, I just read this book called "Wild Goose Chase". I really liked it. But at the end he challenged us to have goals and I am wrestling with that. I used to have lots of goals. The ones that didn't happen frustrated me and the ones that did, would have happened whether I planned for them or not. I just tended to think I got some credit since I met the goal. I have pretty much decided to do my best to follow the Spirit each day and see what God does. That has been way more fun and much more satisfying. Am I missing out by not having goals? My only goal now is to please God and figure out what love is and how to do it. And that will cover about the next 80 years and then I don't have to try and sort this stuff out anymore. Hmm...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School

Got the kids off to school. The two little ones got the teachers we were hoping for. Yay!

Jason came home early because he isn't feeling good, so Meet the Parents (a horrible movie in my opinion) is invading the first blogging time I have had in three months. That's ok, it is better than listening to him throw up in the bathroom. :) He has the scariest sounding pukes I have ever heard. Ok, TMI.

I had a lady tell me today that I radiate peace. I have never been told that before! It reminds me of the first time someone told me I was very loving. God can perform miracles, that is for certain.

I have been thinking about rejoicing a LOT lately though. I can't imagine a life filled with rejoicing. FULL of it. ALWAYS? really... Doesn't that sound fun?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009




September is finally here. A new season.

Devin started football. He is so excited. He doesn't get excited a lot, so that is fun. I was thinking about it on my way from dropping him off for practice. I want to talk to him about why he is excited. I think because he is doing something that his dad and I are excited about and other parents, kids and teachers are all excited about, so it feels important. I want to explain to him about the cloud of witnesses that are watching our lives. Cheering us on, hoping we won't give up. The game of life we are in. Being part of something that matters. Something that makes a difference, forever. I hope he gets it, but even if he doesn't I was happy to be thinking those thoughts! I want to play my part well...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Love and the hope of heaven

I was thinking about changing my blog name from "Learning to Live", to "Learning to Love". I am not sure I have time for both. And loving seems the most important biblically. I am alive in Christ already, whether I feel like it or not. Loving is really, really hard. I am not even completely sure what it is yet. Speaking of which, I have been pondering what these verses mean the last couple of days, Col 1:4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. Why would our confident hope of what God has reserved for us in heaven cause us to love? That is so weird to me. Unless we love everyone in their imperfections (including ourselves) now because we know we will all be perfected in heaven? Or we don't worry about people loving us back because we know everything will be made right in heaven? I can see serving and obeying God because of what He has reserved for us in heaven, but loving? I am sure God will explain it to me sooner or later.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This was the only other thing I have written over the summer.

I told my son that I know he has not learned to love God with his whole heart yet and the parts of his heart that don’t love God make him weak. I realized that is the same with all of us, young or old. It is the parts of us that haven’t learned to love and trust God yet that the enemy uses against us...

Blogging Again

I was trying to wait until September, but I just went over to Darla's house and helped her with her blog a tiny bit and it got me itching to do something with mine. I have missed blogging. But as you can see from my previous post, I didn't have much good in my heart to share with you anyway. Hopefully the fall will be more inspirational. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009


This has been a hard summer.

Both of my sisters moved away.

My wonderful kids were always home.

So, I had no time to myself.

I love time. I am still too selfish with it.

I have had to believe by faith that God loves me,

Instead of feeling it flow all around and over me.

That has been the hardest part.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time alone is GOOD

I had my first personal retreat day yesterday and I want to share it. I didn't think much amazing happened, but I woke up feeling so light-hearted this morning. I had been very anxious again lately but didn't realize it until it went away. Whew!

I can see where planning would have made my day go smoother. I got to the river, almost fell about three time finding a good spot to sit and realized I needed to go to the bathroom. So, I drove to that little park in Rogue River where I knew there was a bathroom and hung out with the ducks most of the day and tried to ignore all the traffic. I didn't realize Rogue River was such a busy little town!

I didn't feel like I got any new revelations but that God reminded me of things He has taught me before.

1. It's all about Him.
2. It's all about Love.
3. He is Love.

I finished that book, "Soul Talk" by Larry Crabb that I liked so much and I think every Christian in America should have to read it once. Here is a quote by Augustine that was in it, "There can be only two basic loves, the love of God unto the forgetfulness of self, or the love of self unto the forgetfulness of God.

Was it also Augustine that said, "Love God and do what you want."? I love the freedom that God gives us. I hope we use it to choose Him more and more.

And now I have 10 posts for June :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blogless Summer

Hey Guys,

I have decided I better take the summer off from blogging. I am way too busy. I thought summer was supposed to be laid back but apparently, not this summer! I have a house full of kids that need my attention and are on the computer half the time, so I can't get on it anyway. I may post occasionally but don't hold your breath.

Hope you have a wonderful summer!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Death = Abundance?

If you couldn't tell, I have been in a bit of a dry spell lately, spiritually. Ok, I have been on the verge of being depressed, feeling far from God, not wanting to read my Bible and feeling like my prayers were hitting the ceiling. I had a bit of a breakthrough yesterday morning, which also means I cried so hard on the way to work I washed away half of my makeup and was afraid I might get in a car accident.

So, all that got me thinking about "The Abundant Life" that Jesus offers us. Most of my hard times are because I am not getting what I want. Or what I think I need. Or what I think I should have. Or not being who I think I should be. And over and over again, God just asks, "Do you trust Me?" And I usually say, "More than I used to, but obviously not enough, Help me, Lord!"

I have these ideas in my head about what is important in life. I think He put those ideas there. I keep finding out He has something far different in mind. It is really hard to explain. I think it has something to do with this verse: 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. I always thought this verse is talking about salvation, but now I am wondering if it isn't also the key to the abundant life? Because every part of my life I am willing to die to, (give up my desires and trust Him) I seem to have more peace. And joy. When I hold on to my desires, I get discouraged when I can't make them happen, and start to feel like my spirit is dying.

I have been praying that God would teach me what it means to live for Him, alone. Really, truly. To die to myself and live for Him. It is very uncomfortable and almost scary to have all my values changing. I almost feel panicky about giving up some of the things that have been such a part of me for so long. Desires, personality traits, motivations, how I view myself.

But He is God, I am not. I have to trust He knows what He is doing and He is my guide. And I do want to follow Him more than I want anything else. So I will stay in this weird place as long as He keeps me here.

And don't worry, you guys know me, I could be completely fine by tomorrow and you will ask me about this and I will be like, "Huh? Oh yeah, I am fine now." :)

Thanks for being part of my journey.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little steps....

We made it back from camping, alive, and didn't even get rained on!

So, since my blog is called Learning to Live and all, I thought I would tell you what I did yesterday.

I got up at 5 instead of 5:30 and took a walk and even tried to run a little. When I got back, I DIDN'T CHECK MY EMAIL, OR DRINK ANY COFFEE. I ate some oatmeal and put my sugar in there instead of the coffee. I thought that was very creative of me.

I think I have been destroying my power of concentration and making myself antsy with all this computer stuff, so I am going to try and limit myself more. Not checking my email or blogs before work is a big thing for me.

And I lived!!!!!!!

I am going to try and do that again tomorrow. Today I got up and drank coffee immediately! Curled up on the couch. Gotta take things slow or they won't stick, right?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Not according to plan...

I don't know why I am feeling the need to keep everyone informed of every little thing this week but I am, so here's the latest. Today is the last day of school. The plan was to leave to go camping as soon as the kids get home at 2:30. But the weather is gloomy, Gabriel is throwing up, Devin is coughing, I have severe PMS and had to lay in bed this morning and pray so I could even get up, and Jason went to hook the Bronco up to the trailer and the carburetor is spraying fuel onto the engine. Hmm...Are we supposed to be camping this weekend?

And I found out this morning that there is no football next year at Jr High, which we were all looking forward to.

I do believe everything will work out how it is supposed to though.

And I hope you have a nice weekend! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


So tonight was Dev's 6th grade appreciation/graduation. It was really neat because all of his best friends got awards from the teachers. (I have been telling Jason that Dev runs with a good little crew, maybe he will believe me now. They were awards for the best attitude, community service, and friendliest, I think) I was getting a little sad because I know he worked really hard this year and I didn't think he was going to get one. He got the last one and it was for "All Around Best Student"!

Ok, I cried. But you guys have seen the kind of parenting week I have had right?

I had to ask Dev's permission to blog about this (because he has told me he doesn't want me blogging about him) and brag on him and he just reminded me he also got the "Most Athletic Boy" vote from his fellow students. :)

I am especially proud of him because Jason and I don't pressure our kids about their grades. He has worked hard by his own choice.

And God is merciful and sweet to me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Still having problems....

So, today my daughter fell in love with a kitten that was born with deformed hips and crawls around on it's stomach. The owner said if they couldn't give it away they were going to put it to sleep.

She wanted to rescue it, very badly. Jason is allergic to cats. He said no. She cried for a long time.

I (in my perfect Christian mother mode, of course) streamed a movie from Netflix and went across the street and got her some candy to distract her. It worked. But Gabriel wanted the candy I got for her instead of what I got for him. So he had just as big a fit about the candy, as she had about the cat. So, I ate his candy to self medicate. I am torn between guilt and going across the street to get some ice cream. For me.

Don't worry, I won't. I already am sick from the candy. :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Worse Problem

I am so grossed out, I want to die.

My daughter dropped a giant rock on her toe a couple weeks ago. The toenail came off today. She soaked it and THIS LARVAE THING CAME OUT OF IT.

ewe ewe ewe ewe!!!!!!!!!!

(And yes, this is the same child that also had an earwig go in her ear when she was about three. When we had it flushed out, there was also a tiny toy in there)

New Problem

Background, just in case you don't know:
I just started enjoying my own kids about 6 months ago, a year tops.

My house is less than 1,200 square feet.

My children are starting to bring their friends over and wanting them to stay indefinitely.

Ideal Solution:
Me turn into wonderful, warm, loving, Christian mom of the neighborhood who makes them all a healthy snack and starts a croquet game in the back yard. (Minus the dog poop, of course.)

I start to feel claustrophobic after 5 minutes and my skin starts to crawl at 10. After about 1/2 hour I start looking at the clock wondering if I can send them all home soon.


Monday, June 1, 2009

That's what's missing!

My kids were watching a movie in the living room. Too loudly, because I could hear the movie in my bedroom, where I was folding the laundry. Jason was outside and smiled at me through the window and it felt like a Perfect Moment. Then I realized that the music on the movie matched the moment perfectly.


Is that why life is never as good as a movie? How different would it feel if we had a soundtrack playing for every moment in our lives? Would we recognize Life better? Don't know if this will make a bit of sense to anyone else...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hidden and Secret

So, I am thinking about this "hidden life" thing more. If it applies to all believers, which of course it does, I don't need to be quite so "discerning" as I have been. Jesus will redeem all of us. He will heal all our diseases and complete our lack, remove any deceptions we still have and give us knowledge of Himself. We will all be complete and whole before Him and each other some day. Our weaknesses and blind spots won't last forever. So we don't need worry about those so much. They are temporary, earthly concerns. We can trust that someday, we will all finally "get it". (Usually the one thing I have learned that maybe you haven't yet, ignoring the 82 things that you know and I don't.) I find this relieving, because I don't have to be so concerned about people "getting it". I can love people more freely and trust God WILL fix them someday. Along with me.

I am not saying that there is never a time to encourage or correct a brother or sister in Christ. I am talking about all the stuff that isn't blatant enough for that but still can eat us alive.

On the other hand I do need confess and repent for my sin as God convicts me because Rom 2:16 says, "The day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life."

I so want my secret life to bring Him glory on that day. Help me, Lord!

Monday, May 25, 2009

More Identity Stuff

I don't know if I can express how full my heart is right now, but I want to try. I have been feeling like a failure lately. Spiritually, physically, emotionally. As a woman and as a mother. My head has known that it is not true, that God in His mercy, was helping me do the job He wanted me to do and be the person He wants me to be, but my heart has been crying, crying out to Him to help me. I have felt lost. (Those of you who know me well, know that I used to feel like this ALL the time, and for it to be a every 6 month thing, instead of daily, is a huge improvement).

So this morning I woke up happy, which was good enough for me. I went into my time with God this morning and He reminded me that He wants me to "Rejoice, always" and I had forgotten that is one of my assignments. I found the verse in my Bible really easily, "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!" I was thinking about what a fun assignment that is, to learn to rejoice always. And I found this verse, "Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God."

Ok, that made me so stinkin happy and I will try to explain why.

What I see, what you see, IS NOT MY REAL LIFE! My real life is hidden, with Christ, in God. There is nothing I treasure more in life than my times with Him, when I catch a glimpse of who He is. I never realized I was also catching a glimpse of who I really am as well. Who I am, with Him, is my real life. Those times in His presence when everything else falls away, are the closest I can get to my real, hidden life. More real than me not fitting into my clothes from last summer. More real than me being selfish because I am feeling sorry for myself. More real than the discouragement I feel because I can't make my life be what I want it to be and still put God first. Not that I don't have to repent for those things, I do. But those moments don't define my life.

My real life is hidden. With Christ. In God. And that is the truth.

There can be no failure with Christ. There can be no shame. There can be nothing impure or sinful. This motivates me even more to seek Him first. He is where my true life is found. Like Jackie said in her newsletter article, it is the times when I am in His presence, that I am the most myself. There is so much freedom and joy in that.


"And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory."

Col 3:1-4

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Seeking What?

I have been feeling fractured lately. Divided. Out of touch with my heart. I have been trying to be healthy again and I think it is killing me.

Strange Stories

So, I finished reading Ezra this morning. It was really interesting after studying Esther. There were some of the same characters in the story. I noticed I had previously underlined only one verse in the whole book and it was 9:3, When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked. He had just heard that the priest and leaders had led the way in the people marrying the pagans around them. I can't remember why I underlined that. I think I was shocked that Ezra was so shocked? Was he that innocent? He must have been. It seems like from then til now more people were sinning than not. Priests and leaders included. It would be nice to have that kind of innocent faith, but I know I can't, because I would be one of the people who had to repent for sinning. It was also interesting that their solution was to divorce the pagen wives (What about husbands?) and send them and the children away. This story does make me wonder if maybe I have become a little too accepting of sin? Hmm...something to pray about.

Thoughts, anyone?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


2 Chron 16:12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.

This verse has intrigued me for years. In my mind, I thought the Bible said that God was angry with Asa for not seeking Him, but I couldn't find it when I was looking this time. I must have assumed that.

Check out 2 Chron 15:17: Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa's heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life.

I think Asa's life is a good example of loving God but not having all that we could have in Him.

Why wouldn't the King remove the high places? Why didn't he consult the Lord about his feet?

We had such a neat conversation about Job, I wanted to see what you guys thought about King Asa. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why the Wait...

I heard this morning that there might be a big lay off at my husband's place of work. While I was praying about it and telling God that I do trust Him to take care of us, I started thinking about how He always does what is best for us.

For so long, discipline was what was best for me. I have a very strong will and pretty much will only do what I want. God had to fix my "wanter", as they say. He had to teach me that His ways are best. I am sorry to say, He had to convince me. And it was painful. But He showed me so much mercy and revealed Himself to me and He loved me so faithfully and tenderly and strongly through it all.

I just realized this morning that we have to be prepared for blessings. If he blessed us before He changed us, we would never grow. I have spent years asking Him for things and getting a "No" or a "Not yet". I don't get mad at Him about it, (anymore) but I did wonder what the hold up was. This morning, I realized the hold up is me. I am not ready for all of the things I want. I am not strong enough or trustworthy enough or mature enough. It is God's best for me to make me wait.

I am so thankful He does not give us what we want, but what we need.

Praise You, Lord!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My silly girl

My daughter is so funny.

I have colored my hair red for years and I am sick of coloring it, so last night after my kids went to bed, I colored it brown, trying to get it closer to my natural color so it can grow out. It is a little too dark but hopefully it will lighten up a bit after I wash it.

So Laney gets up this morning, sees me, and says,

"Mom! I can't believe my blurry eyes!"

I thought that was hilarious. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Longing for Jesus

Do you ever have days when you really, really long for Heaven? I had a dream last night. In my dream I had something I have longed for, for a very long time.

And then I woke up.

When I was crying on my couch with the covers over my head, I realized what I really want is not what I dreamed about. I am longing to be with my Jesus. To see His face, His smile. To be able to touch Him. To sit under a big tree with Him and have Him teach me everything about Himself that He wants to reveal. To run with Him. Not jogging, but crazy, through bushes and over creeks, smiling like crazy. To be completely whole and healed, completed by who He is.

I don't want to wait another 36 years. But I must trust His timing. And I must learn to be more faithful with what He has given me here on Earth. And I must let Him satisfy me through the Spirit because that is real, I need to learn to meet Him in that way better and more often.

What do you want to do with Him in Heaven?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Do you ever find yourself annoying? Or is it just me?


It's windy tonight.

I feel something stirring in my soul.

Something I haven't felt for a very long time.

What is this wonderful feeling, Lord?

This was always my favorite emotion and I don't even know to call it.

An aliveness...

Why am I feeling this again after so many years?

What does this mean?

Are You giving me back my ability to dream?

Can I keep it? I like it!

Only with You, Lord, no other way.


Never mind.

It musta just been the wind.

Why is it so hard to keep the right perspective, Abba?

Why does life have to be so hard and long?

Hopefully some worship music on the way to work will help.

I am so fickle Lord, don't I drive You crazy?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I am disturbed.

Does anyone understand the Book of Job? I usually just read the beginning and the end, because the middle makes NO sense to me. But I have been reading it the last few days and I still don't get it at all. First of all, how was Job blameless? The Bible says no man is, right? Second of all, how did his friends have the love and wisdom to sit there with him for seven days and nights without saying anything and then mess up so badly afterwards? And the biggest problem for me is, I am very suspicious that if I were sitting there with them, I would be on the side of his friends. In the beginning, anyway, before they start obviously getting mean. After I read all of it, I will break out my study Bibles and see what they have to say but I want to read it all for myself first. But if any of you have any insight into this, I would love to hear it. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bleeding gums

Well, my friends are starting to email me to make sure I am ok, so I thought I better update everyone. My mood is better but I have some p word, gum disease, awfulness. So today I got poked in the gums 88 times or more and next week I get to go in to get my roots planed. Can't wait. Then after that, I get to get my wisdom teeth pulled. I was trying not to cry (since the gum doctor guy goes to TRF, I should try to not have a fit, right? I did tell him that poking people in the gums would be a good form of torture though) and praying and kept thinking about this verse, 1 Peter 4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. Do you think dental work counts?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Help me, LORD!

I would say, "Oh My Goodness, I am cranky today!" Except I don't have any goodness to talk about. I have not felt like this in months. (I think I always say that though) And of course, tonight is The Gathering which we do 3 or 4 times a year so people can get to know us. I suppose I should not say, "Hi, My name is Tawny and I am extremely cranky and I want to be in bed with the covers over my head feeling sorry for myself right now." Tom's sermon this weekend did talk about being authentic though. :)

I am sure I will feel better tomorrow. How are you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Holy Fire

Lord, I want to be Yours
Lord, I want to be free
from me
From my own wisdom (blech)
From my own sin
I want to want Your will more than my own
I want to be controlled by Your desires
not mine
To be fully Yours is to be free
I feel so full of me this morning, it is making me sick
Consume me
with You

Monday, April 13, 2009

I love spring, did I mention that already?

Yay! I just attempted to run again. Didn't actually run all that much, but it was definitely better than nothing. It is beautiful outside. And something fell out of a tree and hit me right in the middle of my forehead and made me laugh. I am really hoping I follow through this time. I think I can, because I am getting along better with myself these days and don't spend so much energy being irritated and aggravated about everything. :)

We'll see....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I already have what I want..

Have you ever heard that CD that Jars of Clay made with all the old hymns? I don't even know what the hymn is called but it starts out by saying "We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord". It made me so happy because I realized WE ARE ALREADY ONE. Just because we don't know how to act like it, doesn't make it any less true. :)

I have been learning that about a lot of things lately. Nothing is as it seems.

So, I think this is the end of this drama, for the moment. I think it will be a reoccurring theme throughout my life. Pretty sure about that actually. :)

Tears and Laughter

Feeling much better today. :)

Had a big fit yesterday evening and cried my head off while Jason laughed at me. For some reason he thinks it's hysterical when I have big sobbing fits. (He says it is because I am so cute and He loves how passionate I am, hopefully that is the real reason) After he quit laughing, he prayed for me and was very sweet.

I know God is working on earth. He is working in His church. Like He is working in me. I just need to be patient. It always seems to come back to that!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


What is unity?

This weekend I felt so connected to God and His women. We had one goal and one purpose; to join together in being His, seeking Him individually and corporately.

Now I am home. My boys want to play video games. My daughter is at a friend's house. My husband is getting ready for a trip this weekend.

Everyone at work is busy, doing their jobs.

I feel lonely. Disjointed, disconnected, dissatisfied. Sad.

How are we supposed to live our daily lives for God? With God? With His people? What should it look like? What should it feel like? How much is enough? How much is too much? Can there ever be too much of Him?

Are the little glimpses of unity worth the pain of realizing how not united we are the rest of the time?

I guess I have to trust Him with what is...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

picture a frowny face here

So, Jason and I had had our bed for fourteen years and it was getting all lumpy and saggy and all that good stuff so we got a new one. Which was extremely blissful for the first week. But it must hold all your body heat in it or something, because it makes me miserably hot while I am sleeping. And now my back is starting to hurt. We have a thirty day trial, so I was going to call today and see if we can exchange it and then I realized, I think I took all the tags off. I am so irritated with myself!!!!!!!!!

Just thought I would share this oh-so-exciting problem with the world.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In His Presence

The Retreat was wonderful. The Lord seemed to answer all of our prayers. The lady who lives there and runs the camp said they hardly ever have weather that beautiful. The women were so sweet and tender towards one another. They shared their hearts, even in our corporate times. The worship songs matched what God was doing in our hearts. It was everything I hoped it would be. He is so faithful and I am amazed at how much He wants to meet us.

I also have never felt so supported in prayer. Some of it is by you guys. Thank you so much. I am so grateful. One of my friends sent me an ecard, every morning for three or four days until I left for Retreat. The Retreat was called "In His Presence" and this was on one of the cards she sent, and I don't think she even knew what the theme was.

We are never away from God.
He is never away from us-
Not even for a moment!
He remains within us,
continually present in our lives.
~Max Lucado

I meant to read that at the end of the Retreat but I forgot, so I put it on here instead.

Thank you for your prayers and love.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If God doesn't do it, it will be a disaster.

Me, tossing and turning in my bed this morning:

"Lord, why are you trusting me with this Retreat? I have spent the last three days eating constantly, from anxiety, I am not trustworthy!"

The Sweet Voice in my head: "Am I trustworthy?"

Me: Of course, Lord! You are completely trustworthy.

The Voice: "Then trust me."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

All the things I forgot to say...

Jason had to work last night and I was dying to go to church, so I went without him. (He has to sleep Sunday morning.) My ten year old and my eight year old wanted to go to "big people" church with me and I thought, "why not?". I told them they might get bored but they would have to be quiet and stay anyway. My ten year old was very good. My eight year old was not.

I didn't think to tell Gabe he would also need to sit still. And if he dropped the one little toy I told him he could bring in, that he couldn't jump up, hit the back of the lady in front of him, run over the lady sitting beside him, and snatch it out of the isle, especially while the pastor was looking our direction.

I also thought he already knew not to put his feet on the chairs if he had shoes on. And if he takes his shoes off, he really shouldn't swing them around by the shoelaces in church.

Oh, and I forgot that when he yawns, he also adds this very loud noise with his voice. I think he has always done that, so he didn't understand why I was spanking him with my eyes the three or four times he did that!

IF he ever comes with me again, I apparently need to explain the difference between church and the movie theatre.

It was all very embarrassing. And he is grounded from all things electronical today.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Praising Him

My heart is full of joy this morning.

God is so good. And wise. And strong.

He is for us.

We give up too soon, before we get to see Him work,


The times when we persevere and see something through to completion are glorious.

Lord, teach us to know You!

If we know You, we can't help but trust You.

To whom do You Compare?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Called to Love

We were talking Saturday in my prayer group about our callings. We all prayed about it together and now I am feeling "smote to the heart". God has been reminding me today that as a Christian, my greatest calling is to love. God and every person He puts in my life. I don't know if I have much business worrying about any other calling right now. Especially if it makes me forget about this first calling. And I can't do anything right or well for God if I haven't learned to love, at least a little, first. So, I guess until I have learned to love until it hurts and rejoice in Him while I am doing it, I needn't be so worried about any other role I will play in God's kingdom. Does anyone else have a hard time remembering it's all about love, or is it just me?

Friday, March 20, 2009


Ugg, I am having bad dreams again. I do this sometimes when I am stressed out. (Retreat time) Last night I dreamed my sister and I were fighting so much I moved to Washington, to live with my Grandma who passed away a year ago. (That's dreams for ya) The night before I dreamt that I was going to have another baby. That might not sound like a nightmare, but for me, it is. :)

So, anyone feel like discussing dreams? What do you think causes them?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Heart Today

I have had a very interesting day today. I had a revelation or two, embarrassed myself to death, had some wonderful conversations and prayer with people. I wish every day was this exciting. (I could live without the embarrassment, of course.)

So, my morning revelation was that it is God's will that His people be full of peace and joy and love. Every moment. That we be anxious for nothing. I was praying that His will be done and realized that according to the Bible, His will is for me to be full of the Spirit and all of the delicious fruit that brings. Why is it so hard for that to be my will too? That is what I want, right? So why do I choose something different? No more excuses now, dang it. Except I probably will forget this and have to be reminded about 82 times before it sticks.

My afternoon revelation is it is really hard for me to pray on one topic for an hour. Talk about rabbit trails! I love to pray and can pray for hours, but not on one topic! About half-way through, I got the brilliant idea to ask Jesus to intercede for my interceding because I was afraid I was failing miserably and thought I would share my time with Him and He could pray much better anyway. :)

Prayer is strange. It is so neat that He wants us to talk to Him but He could do so much better just doing everything Himself. But that is not His plan, He wants us to play a part. So cool!

AND the sun is shining...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Just wondering...

I am dreaming of daffodils and sunshine.

The magic of the seasons never gets old.

For me, anyway...

God is so creative and thoughtful.

Do we not realize how much He cares for us?


He does disguise His love for us sometimes, though.

Why, I wonder?

I was reading through the red parts of Mark this morning. I noticed twice Jesus told the disciples that they didn't understand something because of their "hard hearts". I thought that was kinda strange, that faith had to do with the hardness or softness of our hearts.

I prayed that He would give me a softer heart, so I could have more faith in Him. A soft heart sounds a little scary though. Kinda like asking for a weak heart. It feels like I am asking to suffer. A hard heart feels stronger, but I wonder, is a heart that is strong enough to be soft, actually the strongest kind?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I had a horrible dream last night. I dreamed my oldest son was going to kill me. He was looking me right in the eyes and had a gun and a knife. I pleaded with him not to do this and when I knew he was going to, I asked if I could pray for him first. And I prayed that God would convict his heart towards Him, and that he would repent for his hard heart towards God.

I was very surprised how much my concern was for Devin in my dream, and not myself. I actually forgot about it until I was reading my Bible this morning and read these verses: And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in in his Kingdom and glory. ~1 Thes 1:11-12

I had these verses underlined already because there aren't a lot of verses in the Bible that tell us specifically how to be parents. I love that this is what fathers are supposed to be doing. And I don't think God will mind if mothers attempt to parent in this way as well.

Have no idea why I dreamed that last night though. Hopfully I have just been watching too much TV lately....

Later in the day I remembered the TV show I had watched that was very similar to my dream. Need to be more careful!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I really don't like daylight savings time.

And I haven't even attempted to get my kids up yet....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My time is not mine?

Yesterday was a really nice day. It was my daughter's 10th Birthday. "Double Digits!," as she likes to say. I had a million things to do and I got them all done and I wasn't even worried about it. That was a wonderful new experience for me. Usually, even the thought of having lots to do overwhelms me. My favorite sort of day is the one in which there is nothing I have to do, but lots I can do if I want to, with lots of surprises throughout the day. Because if nothing actually happens, that is horrible too. I am not hard to please at all, am I? :)

I realized this morning that I don't ever need to be afraid I won't have enough time to do what God wants me to do every day. He is the Lord of Time, as well as everything else. I may not have enough time to do everything I want to do, but His will is more important to me than mine, finally, which is why the time thing is getting easier. I have had the hardest time :), trying to learn that my time is not my own. It feels nice to be loosening my grip on it a bit more.

Is there anything in your life that you have a hard time letting go of as your own?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Silence is Under-Rated

It is really bothering me today how noisy everything is. This morning, I turned off my pellet stove, unplugged my fish tank filter and put the computer on stand-by. Then it was finally quiet enough to hear my clock tick and my dog sigh. Until my fridge kicked on. And I noticed my coffee pot makes a popping sound so I had to turn that off too.

Hopefully the fish won't suffocate.

Isn't it weird how much better God-made sounds are than man-made sounds? (Ocean vs. Fish tank)

There are some exceptions, but in general. :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

And I could just be bi-polar....

It is amazing how fickle our moods are. Yesterday morning (on my way to work) I felt happier than I ever have. I felt so free and loved and full of joy. For the first time in my life I was brave enough to believe God is pleased with all of me. Not that I am perfect, but that He loves me and is pleased with me anyway.

By yesterday afternoon, I felt just normal (and that was after a really cool lunch and conversation with a new friend. I LOVE making new friends but it usually stresses me out because of all the stupid things I say and I am not sure if they will see through all that and not think I am an idiot. And I was surprised I wasn't all stressed out, maybe I am growing?).

And this morning I woke up a total grouch.

I just took a loooonnnngggggg bath though and now I feel normal, which I guess means content and slightly happy. I am grateful that is my normal now and not the complete grouch, which used to be my normal. But all that to show how fickle I am. I am so glad God isn't moody.

I hope all ya'll (is that how you spell it?) have a lovely weekend.

Enjoy the highs, right? :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A God of Passion

I just finished reading Mathew 23. Man, Jesus chewed the religious leaders up and spit them out! For what, exactly? Pretending that they were better than they really were? Being self-righteous? Probably verse 4 is a huge part of it; "They crush people with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden." It made me even more certain that a child-like faith is the best kind. The Pharisees lived their whole lives trying to serve God the way they thought was right. But they were wrong and Jesus called them "children of hell." Scary! They served the right God, they just forgot to love Him. And His people.

I don't read the gospels often enough. I am not sure why. I read them a lot when I was little and didn't like Jesus very much. Now I read them and I am touched by His mercy and compassion but still a little shocked at how He doesn't soften the truth. I hope this is the beginning of me loving to read the gospels, they way I love to read the epistles.

What is your favorite thing Jesus did/said while he was on earth?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


There is sunshine streaming through my extremely dirty windows. If I don't look at the windows and just see the golden rays bouncing of the somewhat clean floor (that Jason cleaned) it makes me very happy. I adore sunshine!

I have realized lately that I am sorta afraid to delight in the gifts God has given me as much as I could. I am still afraid that if something makes me too happy, it will get taken away. God reminded me lately that He wants me to find pleasure in the life He has given me. As long as I don't want pleasure more than I want Him.

I hope all of you are enjoying some small pleasure today. Because, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." The big gifts and the small gifts. Anything that makes our heart smile, is from Him.

Us thanking Him and praising Him for all that He gives us must give Him more joy than us looking sideways at His gifts, trying to decide if it is ok to enjoy them or not, right?

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1Tim 6:17

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We are commanded not to worry.

I put this on a igoogle sticky note for my husband this morning. I love these verses. Thought I would share:

Phil 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Monday, February 16, 2009

God's Power

2 Tim 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.

This verse hit me like a ton of bricks early on in my walk with Christ because I knew I was lacking in God's power. Later, I realized part of the reason why I didn't experience God's power, in these verses:

James 4:1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

I wanted power to fight my own sin, but not as much to please God as to feel godly. So I could be confident and comfortable about who I was. For my own pleasure. God is slowly making me comfortable and confident, but only because of what He has done for me. I am still as helpless as I ever was, on my own.

This morning I read these verses:

Eph 3:14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Experiencing Christ's love is where our fullness of life and power comes from!!! What a beautiful, perfect idea. As we grow in love for Him and recognize His love for us, which humbles us and makes us more like Him, we increase in power.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ginormous quote for the day

A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell. But God wills our good, and our good is to love Him (with that responsive love proper to creatures) and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces. If we do not, that only shows that what we are trying to love is not yet God-though it may be the nearest approximation to God which our thought and fantasy can attain. Yet the call is not only to prostration and awe; it is to a reflection of the Divine life, a creaturely participation in the Divine attributes which is far beyond our present desires. We are bidden to 'put on Christ', to become like God. That is, whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want.

George Macdonald, in a passage I cannot now find, represents God as saying to men, 'you must be strong with my strength and blessed with my blessedness, for I have no other to give you.' That is the conclusion of the whole matter. God gives what He has, not what He has not: He give the happiness that there is, not the happiness that is not. To be God-to be like God and to share His goodness in creaturely response-to be miserable-these are the only three alternatives. If we will not learn to eat the only food that the universe grows-the only food that any possible universe ever can grow-then we must starve eternally.

CS Lewis in The Problem of Pain

Thursday, February 12, 2009


What is it, really?

Me talking?

God talking?


Longings revealed...

Mine or His?


A blending of spirits.

Mine and His.

How amazing,

He wants that more than I do.

To be part of me.

May we hold nothing back from Him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Mind of Christ

I finished reading "The Mind of Christ" by TW Hunt. I really, really liked it. He was very clear about the difference between letting our carnal mind control us and learning to let Christ's mind control us. He had little tests and exercises in there we could do to see where our mind is right now. I love little tests and exercises. :) If you like to read, I highly recommend it. He said Jesus was omniscient when He was on earth though and I don't agree with that. I don't think He was omnipresent either. :) He went through the crucifixion and ascension and what the Kingdom of God is, exactly, and that was worth reading.

1 Cor 2:15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

I am guessing that "having the mind of Christ" comes from being "controlled by the Spirit" which is one of my greatest goals in life.

Gal 5:25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

HELP US, LORD! It would be so fun to live controlled by You and not our flesh!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Overcoming Evil

So, I was thinking about where Jesus said we are supposed to "overcome evil with good" and that we are "more than conquerors through Him" and I was wondering if the way we conquer through Him and the way we overcome evil is simply by loving. Not the warm fuzzy love, but the gritty, "I will not quit believing in you and trusting in God's plan for your life" kind of love. He overcame evil with love, right? I am starting to think love is far more powerful than we give it credit for...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Either I have outgrown musicals...

Or Mama Mia was just really, really bad. The only thing I liked, other than Greece, was my husband muttering, "This is just painful." from his corner of the living room, where he was trying to distract himself with the computer.

If you liked it, sorry. I just thought if I blogged about it and made someone laugh, it may have not been a complete waste of time. :)

Happy February!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Circumstantial Love

My house is quiet.
My heart is quiet.
What a nice moment.

My kids get home in ten minutes though. That will be the end of the quiet house for sure and possibly the quiet heart. Depends on how long it takes me to get through the homework/chores routine.

I have been thinking lately about how much my circumstances influence the state of my heart. I do believe some of that is natural and ok. Jesus sat by the well and let his disciples go get groceries because he was tired. Of course, he also had an appointment with the Samaritan women. But still, he was tired so he sat. But I doubt He was cranky. :)

I want to be stronger. So if the time comes I ever have to be tired and hungry I can still love those around me well. So, that is a new goal for me, to be uncomfortable and still put other's needs before my own. Especially my family. They get to see me in my weakest moments and I want to love them well. Only by His goodness and grace will I ever succeed in this endeavor!

The front door just opened...

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Whew, I am feeling better. My fears have been alleviated. I love it when one takes a risk and the results are much better than expected. I still need to do better at praying before I start talking though. (more prayer, less talk, more prayer, less talk...)

I have been wanting to blog about something for a while. I don't have much time before hopefully guitar hero gets turned off (I loathe it) and Jason and I can watch a movie.

I caught part of a sermon and the pastor read the story of Mary and Martha and his translation of the Bible said, "but only one thing is necessary". And I thought, really? Only being with Jesus is necessary? THAT IS SO STINKING COOL!!!!!

What do you think is necessary? I mean really? Dinner or quiet time? Prayer or TV? Safety or obedience? Love or protection? I think we chose the lesser things time and time again.

Maybe it's just me....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


A couple months ago I thought relationships were easy. You love people and are honest and everything works out.

Hmmm... Now I am wondering if I have one uncomplicated relationship? Everything seems so hard and confusing. Is it because I am getting older? Knowing people longer? Knowing people better? Them knowing me?

I know it is worth the discomfort and angst but I see why some people keep everything surfacey. Much easier and possibly more fun. Not better or more rewarding, I know, but TEMPTING!

And someone was using our credit card. Thank goodness they will let you contest the charges.

What do you want most out of a relationship?

Monday, January 19, 2009

I want to do this!

So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. ~2Cor 4:18

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Daily Life...

I have been in a bloggy sort of mood lately. But this is one of those times I really shouldn't write because I have nothing very important to say. Still loving my Bible study. We met this morning. Beth promised we would go to the next level with God during this study. Totally looking forward to that! Jack Bauer is cool. The only thing that could make him cooler is if the very last moment of the last episode he reveals he is a Christian. :) (A TV show, for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about. :) I am tired from staying up until 10:00 two nights in a row, though. Glad it will only be on one night a week after this. My daughter finally passed an AR test. We have only been struggling with that for two years. She took one and failed it and then refused to take any more. My husband is running and I am still walking and I am the one who likes to run. Oh well, walking turns into running eventually. Speaking of which, I better get out there....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Prayer....

Lord, I was thinking today about how well you know me. Your Spirit lives inside of me and can see all the things I am not wise enough to recognize. You know all my thoughts and emotions. Motivations and intentions. You can remember every detail of my past, the things I have forgotten. You know how every experience has affected me, even if I didn't notice. You know my past and my future, internally and externally. On earth and in heaven. There is nothing outside of Your knowledge and Your love. Amazing. How could I ever think that You don't care about me? That I couldn't trust You to know what is best for me? Forgive me, Lord and help me to never doubt that You are with me and for me, ever again. In Jesus' Name I pray.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

But do I love them well?

I am thinking not.

Some I neglect
Some I abuse

Many I misunderstand

I am more faithless than faithful.

I talk too much and I pray too little.

Thanks be to Jesus, our Lord.
He is our only hope.

And He is enough to make all of it right. Someday. In the meantime all we can do is our best, even though it is never good enough and thank Him for His mercy and faithfulness. Thank Him for His perfect ways and that He was good enough to teach us about forgiveness.

Thank you, Lord. Purify us, strengthen us, make us more like You. For the glory of Your Name.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Love God's People!

Young ones
Old ones

Fat ones
Skinny ones

Sweet ones
Cranky ones

Men and Women
Boys and Girls
(Over the age of 12, anyway)

Have to work on loving the self-righteous, cocky ones.
Not very good at that.
Of course, sometimes that might be me....


I enjoyed our small group last night so much. It was our two year anniversary and we had dinner together and went over a survey about what all of us were wanting to get out of the group. We have been using a chronological Bible and been going through the Old Testament, but when we are done with David's life, we are going to jump over to Acts and start studying what it means to BE the church. To be God's people in this generation. I love studying straight scripture. I love hearing different people's thoughts and ideas. I love how we can spur one another on in this journey.

I hope all of you have a place like that....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Expecting Good Things...

Well, we are almost one week into 2009! How is everyone doing? I have taken 4 walks. Two with my new MP3 player and two with Jason. Haven't decided which I like better. :) I am still tired from getting off schedule for two weeks. We started our Winter Bible study this morning. Stepping Up by Beth Moore. I think it is going to be a really good one. I have some really neat ladies in my discussion group too, so I am excited about the study. I am excited about life, actually. And if you know me, you know that is my favorite place to be. :) I am expecting God to do something wonderful soon. I have no idea what, but I love His plans and ideas.

I just realize I can say the word "expecting" now without thinking of babies.

Well, not immediately anyway. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Young or Old, Does it Matter?

I am feeling very happy right now. I am enjoying it, because I know moments like this don't last forever. I stayed up until the New Year last night which is something I haven't done in years. We got to sleep in this morning because our kids are finally old enough to enjoy sleeping in and we let them stay up and play games and watch movies with us last night. Jason and I already took our walk this morning, so the rest of the day we can do whatever we want.

Today is my sister's 28th Birthday and I was thinking about age. One of my dearest friends just had a Birthday a couple days ago. She is in her 60s. 62? Anyway, I was thinking how age is such an earthly thing. Such a temporary thing. It means so much to us in so many different ways, but it really doesn't mean diddly squat. All that matters is our hearts learning to be in step with God's heart. In the end, how old we were when we did this or that will make no difference at all. Only if we did what God created us to do. If we believed Him and loved Him and served Him with all of our strength.

May we have willing hearts this year!