Saturday, December 27, 2008


Toby Mac with Dr. Billy Graham

Have you ever heard someone dissing a kind of music because they say Jesus wouldn't approve? Too much bass? Too rock-y sounding? Beat is too fast? You know the arguments! Opinions like this can be quite divisive within the body of Christ and many a church has experienced a split as a result of musical preference!

We were watching a bio on DC Talk and Toby Mac yesterday. Not my favourite music, but I do like quite a few of their songs. Many in the Christian community have had a problem with them, though, because of their style of music.

A few years ago Billy Graham invited DC Talk to open for one of his crusades. DC Talk was surprised to be given this opportunity and evangelicals were more than a little shocked, too! To say they were up in arms is an understatement. Billy Graham's flavour of music was more George Beverly Shea, Sandy Patty and Steve Green and his supporters liked it that way!

Billy Graham, being the man that he is, realized that DC Talk was reaching a culture he couldn't, though! He made this statement and it was so profound it stopped me in my tracks...

"When I go to a foreign country, I don't speak the language and I need an interpreter. DC Talk is my interpreter to the youth culture of today!"

Wow! Doesn't that just kind of give you shivers? Mr. Graham was able to see past his own preferences and understand that youth needed to feel like their opinions were being heard, too! DC Talk performed at the crusade and record numbers of youth came forward at the conclusion of Mr. Graham's message!

Praise the Lord for a man who was able to recognize his need for someone to translate the love of Christ in a language those kids could understand! May we all be as open to the voice of the Spirit should He show us an option a little out of the box for us! He likes to do that, you know...shake us up a little and open our minds to the fact that our way might not be the only way!

Maybe it's time to ask the Lord if there are any foreign languages He would like us to brush up on! I'm game...are you?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jackson Smith Peck...

September 25, 2000 - December 23, 2004

Psalm 139:16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

Today is a sad day, but a day filled with hope. Today my dear friends will experience just about every emotion known to man. They will cry, they will laugh, they will reminisce and they may even experience a twinge of guilt wishing they could do things over with a different outcome.

4 years ago today sweet Jackson went to live with Jesus. Wow! It's hard to believe it has already been that long, but I imagine it has seemed a whole lifetime since Smith and Julie last held their boy.

As a friend it's hard to know what to do. My heart is so heavy for these ones I love so much and my tears have flown freely much of today. I pray for them and we let them know we haven't forgotten. Even this blog entry is to let them know how much I care.

I recently, during a Bible study, wrote a prayer to the Lord that went something like this...

Papa, I know that YOU knew when Jackson was born that his time here on earth would be just 4 short years. It's what your Word says. It wasn't an accident in the sense that it certainly didn't catch You by surprise the way it did the rest of us! Please minister to Smith and Julie as only You can!

After all this time I was reminded yet again that He really does know when He's going to call us each home. None of us are promised tomorrow so we better live the heck out of today! Look at those ones you love and imagine what you would say to them or do with them if you knew He was almost ready to call them up to Him! How radically different would we live our lives?

Lord, I thank you for the way You have ministered to Smith and Julie and their families. Thank you for what You are yet doing in Roz's heart. Papa, You alone know what's in the hearts of these who are grieving today, yet they grieve not without hope for they have the assurance that one day they WILL hold their sweet boy again. They will gaze into his eyes and be able to tell him how much they love him and have missed him. Please Papa encourage their hearts today! Allow them to be still before You. Allow them to feel in such a tangible way the deep and abiding love you have for them! And Lord, please help those of us whose hearts are full of love for them, but just don't really know what to do!

And Lastly, Papa, would you let Jackson know that his presence here on earth is missed in a way that words could never adequately express!

We love you, Jack!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Body...As It Should Be!

We, as most of you know, are in full-time ministry! We have ministered in this area for 15 years and have a solid nucleus of friends who partner with us! We had our annual Christmas party the other night and it humbled me to the core! How I wish you all could have been there.

The room was filled with a multitude of names who could make just about anyone's "who's who" athletes in football and baseball, entertainers with TV shows, musicians with Grammys and AMAs under their belts, leading Christian apologists and even just some of us common folk. All with different occupations, but all with a common focus ~ Jesus!

We came together to celebrate the birthday of our Saviour and celebrate we did. Definitely not how many would expect people of this sort to celebrate, but what a sweet time it was!

We are so bombarded with high profile people who time and time again make foolish choices and live in such self-consumed bubbles that to imagine a Christ-centered party involving names like these would seem counter-intuitive! Christ-centered it was, though!

We sang Christmas songs of praise, listened to the writings of one famous for humour who had us in tears, heard a devotional about the birth, death and resurrection of the Saviour that was knee-buckling and closed with a lengthy time of prayer! And as I gazed around the room I was hit with this verse ~

Acts 4:32-35 The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn't even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, "That's mine; you can't have it." They shared everything. [33] The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them. [34] And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale [35] to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person's need.

I found myself in tears as I beheld a work that could only be orchestrated by One greater than ourselves. Gatherings like this don't just happen, they are heart at a Someone Who cares not a whit about titles and fame!

So this Christmas season as you contemplate what it's all about, know that the One Who became nothing has invaded the hearts of many who have everything and caused them to lay it all down at the feet of Him Who owns it all anyway!

2 Cor. 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Faith...or Lack of it?

My friend has cancer. She was diagnosed about 1 1/2 years ago and has undergone many rounds of chemo. She was recently removed from the chemo because it appeared it was not doing its job of killing off the cancer.

My friend and I are joining 2 other girls in the study Believing God by Beth Moore. She picked the study and I am not sure if she picked it for herself or for us! We certainly need to believe God in some areas right now, too.

I am finding, though, that I am struggling through processing the whole faith issue as I think about my friend. If faith that has not been tried cannot be trusted, then I guess this struggle is a good thing! Sure feels icky, though!

I wrote down these questions today as I contemplated the scriptures I had been reading and the words Beth had penned...

What am I afraid to believe God for and why? Am I afraid of His perhaps unwillingness to do what we ask or my lack of faith in believing He can? Does my faith, or lack of it, even help or hinder Him in any way?

I realize I am afraid to ask God for my friend's healing because I don't want to become too attached to the outcome should His answer require her heavenly healing rather than a healing that allows her to stay with us for longer! I believe He CAN heal my friend, but will He? His word says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God", so is it the act of believing He can or He will that shows true faith?

Wonder if I'll ever have answers to these questions this side of heaven? I rest in the fact that He sees my heart for what it is and He understands my desire to wrestle with Him for the answers and not against Him!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My man!

Today is his 46th birthday! He is the love of my incredible gift from Papa and I am so thankful I get to share life with him! It would be hard to find someone with more integrity, boldness and wisdom than he has and he is a testimony to what the Lord can do with a yielded heart.

Happy birthday, best friend! May you feel celebrated, appreciated and deeply loved today and always! I love you!!

Friday, December 5, 2008


1 a: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom) b: a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable
2: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
3: cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
4: characteristic manner, method, or style

My husband was asked an interesting question this week and it has been on my heart. The question was this..."Does God love tradition?"

Makes you think, doesn't it? No other time of the year is as rich with traditions as this one. Christmas trees, nativities, carolling, hot chocolate, family gatherings, stockings filled with goodies, cookies made from recipes generations old and Charlie Brown with his unimpressive Christmas tree. What's not to love, right?

Okay, I realize we are pondering God's love/hate relationship with tradition, but in coming to any semblance of a conclusion we must consider this...Whatever God thinks about tradition, I am confident of this one thing ~ God loves us and we love tradition!

Now I realize some traditions truly can steal God's glory and His Word says He will share His glory with no one, Santa Claus included! We have to be careful that in celebrating our traditions we are not inhibiting the ability of those around us to embrace what it's really all about! But I don't think traditions are inherently bad.

I hope that traditions will remind my kids when they are older that they came from something special. As they decorate their own Christmas trees with ornaments from long ago, I hope they'll share the stories of their origin with their own little ones. When they bake the pumpkin bread and snowball cookies that we've mixed side-by-side each December, I hope they will be comforted by the familiar smells. As they giggle and laugh their way through Elf and Christmas Vacation, I hope they'll remember all those nights snuggled by the fire with pillows, blankets and Daddy's popcorn. I hope mornings filled with lighted candles and shimmering Christmas trees will remind them how Mama used to get up early so those were what they were greeted with as they awoke.

For you see, traditions are the stuff that we are made of. Those bowed heads around the table speak to that! The reading of the Christmas story and the birthday cake for Jesus...the basket of Christmas books and the home-made snowflakes hanging from the ceiling fan over the kitchen table...Santa Mouse and Angel Trees...shoeboxes sent to those without and plates of goodies shared with neighbor friends. Are they rituals mindlessly performed or the result of hearts filled with giddy expectation?

Don't you see it? Traditions can be the very things that prompt our thoughts to focus heavenward for He created families and our traditions are the threads that bind us all together! Our familial fingerprints, if you will, that makes us distinguishable from all the others.

Now some may ponder this question and arrive at a very different conclusion, but as for me and my house...we're going to deck the halls!

Simple Sounds...

* The roll of dice on a backgammon board as siblings play...

* The tapping of a keyboard as Baby Girl practices the new words she has learned to construct, sounded-out-letter by sounded-out-letter...

* The clomp, clomp, clomp of fireman boots worn by a boy with cowboy holster and gun slung around his middle...

* The excited chatter of a daughter full of stories from her trip to the outermost parts...

* The laughs of inside jokes that tell of a family with rich memories...

* An "I-love-you" as he leaves, testimony to Him Who has kept us united for 18 years...

* The ring of a phone with a hurting friend on the other end...just needing an encouraging word and a nudge to keep pressing on...

* The whisper of His still, small Voice as He calms our fears and reminds us He sees...

* The quiet at the end of the day that signals all are at rest...

...Simple sounds...a symphony of love...His love, so lavishly bestowed on us ~ His beloved!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Gift!

At this time of year, the mere mention of the word "gift" can send most women into apoplectic shock. The list of names screaming for the perfect gift seems to grow in leaps and bounds and the stores all shout to us that they have just what we need! If we're not careful, our frenzied activity becomes akin to a gerbil on a wheel and we find ourselves spinning out of control! We truly have become a society addicted to getting and not too familiar with least not for the right reasons.

It's funny, though, if I was going to a party for my friend, Sheri, I wouldn't spend all my time running around trying to find Jori a present. That would make no sense. So why do we become obsessed, consumed and exceedingly stressed over making sure we have conquered our gift list when the party is really for Jesus? It is, you know!

The politically correct can work all they want to take the "Christ" out of Christmas, but Jesus is still the reason for the season!

Now don't get your panties in a wad and think I am implying that gift-giving is wrong. We do give gifts and our kids love opening their stockings that they find placed beneath our tree covered with lights and ornaments. We're not really Scrooges! We're just trying to make sure we have not lost focus of the true meaning of what we do.

If the celebration is for Jesus, then surely there must be something I can give Him. Remember the Christmas poem that goes like this ~

"What can I give Him as poor as I am,
If I were a shepherd, I'd give him a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I'd do my part,
What would I give Him? I'd give Him my heart."

We all have secret places that we have closed off to everyone...even Jesus! Some of us have areas of unforgiveness toward someone who has hurt us deeply. Some of us are consumed with fear and insecurities because we have focused on our own limitations rather than His ability to protect us and empower us. Some of us have heard the still small whisper of His call to us, but we have not responded to it because we're not sure what He may require of us. Some of us, quite frankly, may have never even known the joy of surrendering our hearts and our lives to Him because of pride and confidence in our own abilities!

Join me this Christmas in asking the Guest of Honor what He would like you to bring to the party! Ask Him which area of your heart He would most like to have access to. And if you have never surrendered your heart to Jesus, know it is the greatest gift you will ever give Him...or yourself!!!

If you have doubts as to whether He is even real and interested in a relationship with you, I encourage you to ask Him! Ask Him to show Himself real to you this Christmas season so that the fun of tradition can be coupled with the joy of the liberating Truth of a heart yielded to Him!!

James 1:17 ~ "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Merry Redneck Christmas!!!

What more can I say? ;O)


Hard to deny the existence of God when you see a view like of my favourite spots ever in the Smokey Mountains!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mary's Pain!

It's such a joy as parents to watch our children grow and learn new things, to see them attempt things on their own, and to hear the questions they ask in order to piece things together in their own little minds. "Come unto me as a little child," is what Jesus said and as I watch the simplicity with which they live their lives, I come to understand that verse more and more. They don't care where we live, what we drive, or what kind of clothes they wear - they just want to spend time with us.

As we reflect over this last year and look forward to the one to come, we need to ask ourselves this question, "How can I spend more time with my Father?" We can't impress Him with our "things" because they are His anyways. We can't impress Him with our thoughts because He knows them even before we do. We can't impress Him with our knowledge because He knows everything. All we can give Him, that He may not already have, is our time.

As I close, I'm going to leave you with a poem. In thinking about Mary one night, I realized that on that wonderful night when she gave birth to Jesus, she embarked on an awesome but painful journey. As a mother I can imagine the pain she must have felt, but how thankful I am that she just trusted her Father and did not try to stop it.

I stared at you the other night
As so peacefully you slept,
With thoughts of another mommy
And the tears she must have wept.

Her newborn babe she held so close
As she whispered in His ear,
"You are this promised Jesus,"
And she wiped away a tear.

She watched Him grow in wisdom,
Found Him teaching those that taught,
She heard He fed five thousand,
As He healed all those that sought.

And all the while she waited,
For she sensed with a mother's heart
That sooner than she'd ever want
He must fulfill His part.

So it came to pass that final day
That she watched, as pain engulfed her,
For there He hung, her little boy,
Who had now become her Saviour.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Santa in the Manger!

We got a card the other day
A Christmas one, in fact,
But it really was the strangest thing
And showed such little tact.

For laying in the manger
Was Santa, big as life,
Surrounded by some little elves
And Rudolph and his wife.

There was so much excitement
That the shepherd’s saw the glow
Of Rudolph’s bright and shining nose
Reflected on the snow.

So in they rushed to see him
Followed by the wise men three,
Who came not bearing any gifts ~
Just some stockings and a tree.

They gathered round about him
To sing praises to his name;
A song about Saint Nicholas
And how he came to fame.

Then they handed him the lists they’d made
Of, oh, so many toys
That they were sure they would receive
For being such good boys.

And sure enough he chuckled,
While reaching in his bag,
And placed in all their outstretched hands
A gift that bore a tag.

And on that tag was printed
A simple verse that read,
“Even though it’s Jesus’ birthday,
Please take this gift instead.”

Then I realized they really did
Know Who this day was for
Though by every indication
They had just chosen to ignore.

And Jesus looked upon this scene,
His eyes so filled with pain ~
They said this year’d be different
But they’d forgotten Him again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


One of my favourite verses is 2 Cor. 10:5 which encourages us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I had to do that today!

As you may know if you follow my blog, our daughter, Rachel, just returned from India. She was there for 2 weeks and has been home for 5 days now. She got home 5 days before the terror attacks in Mumbai, India...the last place she visited...the place she flew out of...the place that touched her heart the most...the place where she took some of the most intimate pictures of the children who captured her heart!

As I watched the news coverage of this place where my daughter had just been, the tears began to flow freely. Tears of joy for allowing Rachel to make it home 5 short days before...tears of pain for all those who lost their lives and are experiencing such terror...and tears from a Mama's heart envisioning those sweet little faces in the pictures who are having to endure yet more atrocities against their innocent young lives!

My mind became very active this afternoon and I had to reign
it back in! I looked up the verse in 2 Cor. and checked to see how it was worded in The Message. I loved it!!! 2 Cor. 10:5 We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Wow! Doesn't get much better than that!

Our every loose thought, emotion and impulse does so need to be fit into the structure of life shaped by Christ. My what-if thoughts don't fit that model. My wonderings and worryings about those sweet little ones Rachel had to leave behind are wasting the time I could be spending taking them before the Throne!

So I am choosing to take captive those loose thoughts and fix my thoughts firmly on the only One Who was not surprised by today's events!! I'm asking Him, too, to place a special hedge of protection around those children who need lots of protecting!

This was Rachel's favourite place she Mumbai...and the little ones who stole her heart!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

She's Home!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our girl while she was gone! She is home and very happy to be here! She took some amazing pictures and has been sharing her stories since we met at the airport! It would be safe to say she has seen, heard and tasted things she never could have imagined and she has seen firsthand how truly blessed we all are!

The other 4 children are thrilled to have Sissy home and Hannah and Caleb just keep looking at her and giggling! Ahhhh, all my chicks are safe in the nest and I think I need a nap! Interceding for your baby while she is on the other side of the world really will wear you out! ;O)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We're Doing a New Thing!

Our family is starting a new tradition and, quite honestly, it's been a while since I was as excited about something as I am about this! As I contemplated Christmas and all the "stuff" that would be added to our already bursting-at-the-seams home, I started praying and asking the Lord for an alternative. I felt that He gave me something and when I presented it to our family, everyone was pretty fired up!

So...instead of buying our kids presents they do not need and will forget they even have this year, we are going to give them each $50-100 to spend on someone else! We may get a child's name off the Angel Tree at church, we may buy goats and chickens through World Vision, we may adopt a family at Scottish Rite or we may have the Lord show us someone else who is in need! The rules are that the kids get to choose who and what they spend it on and they get to individually assist in the purchasing!

The little ones have already started making cards for "their" kids and they have all been pouring over the World Vision catalogue! Their excitement has already blessed me immensely and I just know this will be a tradition to treasure!

Care to join us?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday!

Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy

Psalm 96:12 (NASB-U)

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Battle...

Ephes. 6:10-18 (MsgB)
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. [11] So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. [12] This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
[13] Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet.
[14] Truth, righteousness, [15] peace, [16] faith, [17] and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. [18] In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Praying for baby girl today as I sense that the battle is fierce! Thankful that the Name of the Lord is a strong tower and that the righteous can run to it and be saved! Would Rachel take refuge under the shadow of Your wing today, Abba!

Psalm 91:4 (MsgB)
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.

Psalm 36:7 (MsgB)
How exquisite your love, O God!
How eager we are to run under your wings,

Psalm 121:5 (MsgB)
God's your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can You See Me Now?

“Can you see me now?” If you have children, this is a phrase you have probably heard many times in your home. What child doesn’t love to cover their eyes with their hands or an object and ask most sincerely, “Can you see me now?” Our 2 little ones still love to do this and they are convinced that just because they can’t see you, you must also be unable to see them!

How many times do we ask God from a most sincere heart, “Can You see me now?”

Maybe we are going through a storm and are calling out to Him rather frantically, wondering if He has closed His eyes to us and our difficulty. Surely if He could see us, He would have intervened by now and saved us from additional turmoil and heartache. Has your heart ever resonated with the question David asked of the Lord, “Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and our oppression?” (Psalm 44:24)

Maybe we are experiencing a season of rebellion before the Lord. We all, left to our own devices, tend to think we know better than God at times and we willfully choose to disobey what He lays out so clearly for us in His Word. During these seasons, our “Can you see me now?” question becomes one of hopeful anticipation that maybe we really have been able to move beneath His radar and elude a painful encounter with a loving, yet just God. “Can you see me now?”

The Lord shared with Jeremiah an observation that many of us would be wise to embrace. "Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?” declares the Lord.” Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:24) Do we really think we will ever be successful at hiding the things we do or the thoughts we think from the Lord? Isaiah 29:15 says, “Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord, and whose deeds are done in a dark place, and they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?" Attempting to hide from the Lord is a scary place to be!

God, though, is not the only One we strive to hide from. We hide from each other all the time, unwilling to let anyone see who we really are or get close enough to glimpse our pain, our dreams and the unfulfilled longings of our heart! We create, brick-by-painful-brick, a wall behind which we seek refuge, while all the while really longing for another to take the time to know us!

We put on whatever face is expected from us at any given moment. It’s Tuesday night so it must be time to pull out the “Bible study” face. Sunday morning calls for the “happy little family” face. Unfortunately our families often get the “do what I say or else” face, while we reserve the “pretty” faces for those that would be turned off by the real us! Such pretending! Such deceit!

The Lord admonishes us to “encourage one another day after day, so that none of (us) will become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13) What a miserable, isolated existence we live when we try and avoid having others know where our heart truly is. “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.” (Col. 3:9)

We all have struggles! We all have times when doing what is right before the Lord seems like an insurmountable feat that we feel very insufficient to attempt. None of us is exempt. None of us is without fault at all times! That is why the Lord tells us in James to “confess (our) sins to one another, and pray for one another so that (we) may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)

It has been said that eyes that look are common, but eyes that see are rare! Oh, how I yearn to quit hiding from the Lord and desire to have the eyes of my heart open to what He longs to show me. “Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts!” (Psalm 139:23) Oh, how I desire to open myself up to really be seen and known by those around me.

Let us cease playing childish games! “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking, but in your thinking be mature.” (1 Cor. 14:20) No matter how many ways we try, no matter how we hold our hands, contort our body or pull the covers over our heads…we cannot hide from the One Who knows the number of hairs on our head. No matter which mask we pull out of the closet on any given day, we can’t keep others from eventually knowing what our true colors are!

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. (Eph. 1:18)

He is not here...

I feel I must start this post with a disclaimer, reminding you guys to consider the name of my blog! ;O) My thoughts are not always conventional ones, but I love to wrestle through how and why we do things! This is just one of my latest attempts...

Have you ever considered why there will be many people this Christmas season who set out a nativity as part of their decorating scheme, yet have no clue what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ? It used to be puzzling to me, but this is the conclusion I have come to...

For many people, Jesus has never become more than a cute little baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger. He is safe as long as He stays in there. How much havoc can a cute little baby really wreak in our lives. Once a year we pull the set out and pay homage to this wee one Who arrived in such an unconventional way. How much is an innocent baby really going to require of us?

Think about it...when your children have a birthday, do you sit around and obsess about the day they were born and fill your thoughts with them as a little baby? Sure it's fun to reminisce, but don't we really end up celebrating who they are NOW and what they mean to us at this stage of life? Why should it be any different with Jesus?

Last year when I set out my nativity, I didn't even put Jesus in His "rightful" place. Some people probably thought it looked crazy to have a nativity with no Jesus, but I wanted a visual reminder that HE IS NOT THERE! He is not still a little baby in my life, but He is the risen Saviour in Whom I have found eternal life. That's what I want to focus on!

This year when I set out the familiar pieces, I imagine Jesus will again be absent. I think I'll attach a sign to the scene, though, that reads like this...

He is not here, He is risen!

Now that's something to celebrate!

Monday, November 10, 2008

She's in India!

My girl is in India! Rachel, Naomi, Barb and 2 other people are in India for 2 weeks on a mission trip! Thanks for praying for safety, fruitful ministry and health! I know she will come home a changed young lady and I can't wait to hear what the Lord does in her and through her!

We love you, baby girl!!! XXOO

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's a New Day!

Psalm 143:8 (NASB-U)
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Well, I must admit I am relieved and nervous all at the same time that it is finally Election Day! What a time of uncertainty for us as a nation! I have to keep going back to the fact that God is matter what!

Proverbs 21:1 (MsgB) says, "Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses." If that is truly the case (and since He said it, I believe it is) then I have to believe that He has the ability to clear the way for whomever needs to be elected so that His ultimate purposes and plans are carried out!

We do seem to be living in a time where there are many things pointing to the return of Jesus Christ in the not-too-distant future and chances are it's not going to get too much better before that! Weird how you can be comforted by even that if you trust that He IS in control!

So as we are filled with expectation, waiting to see what the Lord has in store for us for the next 4 years, let us pray with all unity that we will be filled with His peace, trusting that His will WILL be done!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Such wise words!

Proverbs 17:9 (NASB-U)
He who conceals a matter seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.

I was reminded again today how important our words ~ or lack of them ~ can be!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I've never really posted recipes on my blog which is funny because I LOVE to cook!!! I made this recipe today for lunch and it is so yummy I decided it was worth putting in print!!! :O)

Buffalo Chicken Soup
6 servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes

1 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 lb. deli-roasted chicken, skinned, boned, and coarsely shredded
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 14-oz. cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. bottled hot pepper sauce
1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (6 oz.)
1-1/4 cups crumbled blue cheese (5 oz.)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz.)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I used sweet rice flour)
Bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

1. In 4-quart Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in broth, milk, and the 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce.
2. In bowl toss together mozzarella, 1 cup of the blue cheese, Parmesan, and flour. Add gradually to soup, stirring after each addition just until melted. Stir in three-fourths of the shredded chicken; heat through. Top with remaining chicken, blue cheese, and hot sauce. Makes 6 servings

Note: I used Buffalo Chicken Sauce instead of straight hot sauce and used Ranch salad dressing in place of the milk!!

I have biscuits in the oven to go with it and am waiting anxiously til lunch when I can sit down with a big bowl!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Don't Settle...Papa Has More for You!!!

The guy pictured here is the epitomy of everything you don't want your husband or prospective husband to be! So much so that my friend, Jackie Kendall, wrote an awesome book called A Man Worth Waiting For: How to Avoid a Bozo. It is a great book and my daughter, Rachel and many of her friends have read it. Of course, that jacks it up for most of the guys around here because now all the girls are busy evaluating their male friends and coming up with only one things to say...Bozo!! (We do try to assure them that time and maturity work wonders in the hearts of these young men and that one day there just may be a be-fitting suitor in the group!)

I have a friend who works at my bank who I have been building a relationship with slowly during our check cashing or check depositing encounters. Her name is Lauren and she is a stunningly beautiful girl! One day Lauren shared with me that she had just broken up with her boyfriend. Her mom was excited because she had never liked the guy in the first place, but Lauren was having a hard time. The Lord began to lay Lauren on my heart at various times and I began interceding for her and asking the Lord to help her learn to be content with His love and not continue to be satisfied with counterfeit lovers of her heart.

As I continued in prayer for Lauren, I felt Papa nudge me to give her a copy of Jackie's book. I was a little hesitant because I only have an over-the-counter relationship with Lauren, but I have learned long ago to obey when you hear that still small voice. So I packaged the book up with a note and gave it to Lauren the next chance I had with the assurance that I was not a stalker-patron! ;O)

Last night I ran into to cash a check and Lauren motioned for me to come to the side. She began to share how the timing of me giving her the book was perfect and how, even though she is not a reader, she had been devouring it! She said she had gotten back with the old boyfriend recently and things were spiralling downward quickly. She said he was definitely a bozo and the book confirmed so much of what she had felt, but didn't know how to verbalize. Lauren, through tear-filled eyes, shared how she had been crying for days and how the Lord had used the book to help give her the courage she needed to cut her bozo loose!

We hugged the best we could over the altar/bank counter that separated us and I assured Lauren I would continue to pray for her. I fairly danced out of the store and began to throw my arms in the air in praise as soon as I caught a glimpse of Rachel waiting for me in the car. She was slightly perplexed, but quickly rejoiced with me when I explained how Papa was putting the pieces together in Lauren's life.

Aside from rejoicing in the work that is going on in my young friend's heart, and being thankful beyond words to my Jackie for writing a book that is touching so many vulnerable hearts, I was thrilled that Papa had confirmed yet again that it was His voice I had heard and He had honored my obedience in stepping out! His word will never return void and His assignments will never be without the promise of future fruit! We may not always have opportunity to witness the fruit first-hand, but He always has a purpose in His requests of us!

So now I am waiting and praying to see what Papa does in sweet Lauren's heart! Won't you join me?

Friday, October 17, 2008

There they go...

Our 3 big kids are getting ready to start basketball and, unfortunately, have outgrown their basketball shoes from last year. Tim was going to take them on a trip to Dick's Sporting Goods and decided to take the 2 little ones as well so I could have a couple of rare hours at home by myself. Since this almost never happens, I was thrilled!

So they loaded up and were pulling out when I was hit with the words to a song by Kenney Chesney that go like this ~

There goes my life.
There goes my future, my everything.

It's true! Apart from my relationship with my Lord, they are the reason I get up in the morning and meet each day with expectancy! Those 6 people are my life!

So, I am off to workout during my me-time while asking the Lord to PLEASE keep those special people safe until we are all back home together!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beauty in the Mundane!

Mundane ~ relating to the commonplace: ordinary...

Translated ~ laundry, cleaning, making beds, cooking...the list goes on!!!

We have had a crazy last 2 weeks! We have been in full birthday mode for so long that mundane is welcome! I find myself rejoicing today in the mundane...finding beauty in the smell of freshly laundered towels, a tidy bedroom, the sound of my washing machine and dryer doing their stuff, a home-cooked meal...

I just let out a deep sigh and realized that there is much contentedness in the mundane! Prov. 31:18 in The Message says, "She senses the worth of her work." I am convinced that is the root of it all! If there is not great worth in the mundane, then the extraordinary becomes the standard and who can maintain that for very long without growing exhausted!

Thank you, Lord, for the mundane that brings such joy!!! For in celebrating the routines of life, we can rest in the knowledge that godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. (1 Tim 6:6)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Living the Dream!!

I really am "living the dream". Not the American dream which is tanking fast, but MY dream...the one that was birthed in me so many years ago!!!

As a little girl, I am sure I had many aspirations and more than one future occupation! The one that always seemed to rise to the surface more frequently than all the rest, though, was the one that had me being a wife and a Mama! On December 1, 1990 my dream began its journey to fruition when I became Mrs. Tim Cash! Aaahhh...what a way to start!

Now some have said we started our family quickly, but when we're talking about waiting to fulfill a dream, the next 22 months seemed to take a lifetime. It happened, though! On October 11, 1992, as I held that perfect little bundle of pink close and stared into her eyes, the waves of a dream-come-true crashed over me and I wept with joy! I was living my dream and it was more wonderful than I could ever have imagined!

The last 16 years have added three brothers and a sister and the dream has gotten better and better! I wouldn't trade being a wife and a Mama for anything in the world! For me, no job, no fortune, no public or professional recognition could ever replace what being a Mama means to me.

So thank you, Rachel, for helping make my past dreams become my present joy and spur me on with renewed hope for the future! You have brought more joy to me than I deserve and have been the kind of daughter most people can only dream of! I love you, baby girl, and am so very proud of you!

Love you,


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A perfect Mama moment!!!

Caleb ONLY wears boxers around the house. We can come in the house and within 30 seconds he has stripped down. It makes for lots of soft skin to rub, though, so secretly I like it!

A few minutes ago he crawled up beside me on the bed and snuggled. I rubbed his bare belly and kissed his cheek! Now this is where it gets good! He sighed and said, "Mama, you just make everything better! How do you do that?"


Love, baby! XO

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My longing fulfilled!

A few months back, Tim and I had a night away at a B&B! It was in a lovely old house in Madison, GA with a screened-in porch on the back. On the porch was an old iron bed and it was heavenly to lay out there and listen to the rain and the crickets. I could picture a bed just like that on my beloved screened-in back porch, but I also know a bed like that is not cheap! A girl can hope, though, can't she?

Well, I did keep an eye out for a bed that would work, but never found anything quite right in my price range...virtually free! ;O) I was at peace that I may never have a bed like that on my back porch, but there was a tiny shred of hope hiding in the back of my heart!

Well, last weekend my very dear friend, Sheri, was having a yard sale. I drove in her driveway, parked in the yard and had no sooner gotten out of the car than I spied it! I am sure there was a heavenly spotlight on it and I imagine the sound I heard faintly in the distance was a choir of angels. It was beautiful, it was white and it was definitely in my price range! I pounced on it and immediately tore off the price tag. I told Sheri it was sold and I was thrilled! Sheri,being the amazing friend she is, would not let me pay for it! (I'll return the favour one day!)

So we disassembled the bed and put it in my car. A couple of days later I found a very nice used box springs and mattress for $50. Sheri's son and our other friend brought me the mattress in their truck and I already had the perfect linens to use on it! I got all this done before Tim got back from Arizona so I could surprise him.

So here is Papa's gift to me...just because! Not because I deserve it, not because I even needed it, but just because he desires to give good gifts...longed for His kids!! Isn't it pretty?! :O)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

She's 6!

6 years ago today Hannah Joy Cash entered this world with a bang!! She decided midwives were over-rated and Daddy was the only one she needed to catch her!! We should have know then that the Lord was letting us know we needed to buckle our seatbelts because life with Hannah would be an adventure!

Hannah has been just what her name implies...a joy! She is sweet, bossy, funny, smart, motivated and a VERY prissy girl! She loves all things glittery and pink and she embraces life with lots of passion!

We are so thankful the Lord saw fit to entrust us with this treasure wrapped in a little blonde fireball!

Love you, baby girl!! XXOO

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Caleb Mac is named after our dear friend, Mac Powell of Third Day! Mac named his son, Cash, after Tim, and we were thrilled to reciprocate when Caleb came along! Caleb loves Uncle Mac and frequently asks to call him so he can see when Uncle Mac can babysit! :O)

Well, last Saturday Caleb got his first opportunity to see Uncle Mac sing live! He was thrilled and talked about it incessantly for days before...and after! Here is a picture of Caleb, Jesse, Uncle Mac and his kids Scout and Cash!

Rachel and Benji with Uncle Mac!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's beginning to feel a lot like fall! \O/

Many of you know I am Canadian born and bred, now living in the deep south! I love living here, but the heat is another story. I can handle it pretty well the first few months, but by mid-August I am ready to rip my hair out!

I am presently, as I type, sitting on my screened-in back porch. There is steam coming off my cup of coffee and there is a slight chill in the air. It feels even better because I just got done working out and was "glowing" quite a bit! ;O)

Now, the leaves down't get as pretty down south as they do up north. If you have never enjoyed a northern fall, you really don't know what you're missing! I'll take these cooler temps, though! The air is crisp and humidity-free and we can sleep with the window open! Woo! Hoo!

So I'm off to finish my coffee, open all the windows and light my fall candles! While I'm at it, I think I'll bake some pumpkin bread! Might as well go all the way! ;O)


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My baby!

Hard to believe, but my baby is playing ball! Here is a slideshow of KK's first game! So cute...but of course, I AM a tad prejudiced!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Florida Vacation

What Have I Done?

What Do You Want? funny picture

Do you ever find yourself saying yes to something and at the same time you hear yourself say the word you realize you must be crazy? Happened to me today in a big way!

I have a passion for ministering to women! I love encouraging them, challenging them, praying for them, admonishing them and giving them food for thought...often the very same thoughts I have had to wrestle through myself. I really do love it...on a small scale.

The funny thing is that I want to love getting up in front of a lot of women and speaking! Kinda hard to do, though, when you absolutely hate to be the center of attention! I prefer to be the one in the family who prays for the one in the family who has been called to speak! ;O)

Do you see where this is going? Any clue? Would it shock you then if I shared that I heard myself saying yes to being the speaker at our church-wide Ladies' Christmas Tea? Was I nuts? Did I have a brain-freeze...momentary loss of sanity? 300 women? Ackkk!

Tim always says that when you run out of the natural then you are a candidate for the super-natural! Wow! Am I ever a candidate!

So, if you think of it, would you pray that the Lord would give clarity of thought, nerves of steel and a lock on my mouth so I don't commit to anything else in the near future! Thanks!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Narrowing it down!

Well, I must admit that I always thought by the time I was 44 (the age I am now) I would have this walking with Jesus thing figured out! What a joke! At the age of 44 the only thing I know for sure now is that I have a lot less answers and a lot more questions!

On Saturday we were able to attend the Braves game and the Steven Curtis Chapman concert. Many of you know Tim is the chaplain of the Braves and he was the MC for the concert/sharing time! Because of a one hour rain delay, we were able to spend some quality one-on-one time with Steven.

Steven's 5yo daughter was killed tragically on May 21st. It has been such a painful time for them and a time of brokenness and searching. He shared that after 30 years of studying, writing songs and leading others in worship, he has had to kick to the curb much of what he thought he believed. He said the few things that are left are what he is passionate about and what he is willing to die for!

What he has found is the same thing I have been wrestling with and, while the struggle can be intense at times, the result is a freedom like never before. Much of what I thought I believed was more man-made rules than scriptural truths. Much of what I thought was really important turns out to be little more than wood, stubble and hay! There are a few absolute, irrefutable truths, but so much of the other stuff is totally subjective and varies from person-to-person.

So here is my beginning list of what I know for sure. It will not be complete, but is rather something I am going to continue to ponder in my heart and add to as time goes on. So here goes...

* Jesus is the Son of God
* He is sovereign
* He rejoices over me with shouts of joy
* He will share His glory with no one else
* He is omniscient...I am not

Will you join me? Will you begin to make a list of only those things you know for sure? Only those things for which you can find black and white evidence?

Tim says we should spend more time questioning answers than answering questions! That's pretty profound if you stop and think about it! Makes me realize afresh why He says we should be quick to listen and slow to speak!

Dear Lord, I invite You to speak to me. I am laying aside all my pre-conceived pat answers where you are concerned and asking You to show me what You want me to focus on. What truths do you want to brand on my heart? What to you want my focus to be personally and in the things I share with others! Help me rejoice in the struggle!

As a very wise friend just shared with me, right in the middle of the word wrestle is the word rest! Must mean it is possible to be at peace even in the midst of sorting it all out!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Remember Me!

When you remember me, it means that you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.
Frederick Buechner

We all have people in our pasts who have impacted our lives greatly and whose influence has left ripples for generations to come! I got to join my husband recently as he spent time with just such a someone!

Tim has often shared stories with the kids and me of his days playing Little League, college and professional baseball. As you can well imagine, the years were filled with many coaches and some were more memorable than others. One coach whom Tim has always referred to as an influencer and a man from whom he learned a lot is Chase Riddle! It has been said that Chase Riddle has forgotten more baseball than many men ever knew in the first place! To say that he loves the game of baseball is an understatement.

Coach Riddle himself played professional baseball and he coached and scouted at the professional level. By the time he entered Tim's world, he was coaching at Troy State University in Troy, AL where Tim went to pursue his dream of playing pro ball! Coach's sun-weathered skin hinted at the Indian blood that coursed through his veins and the stains on his jersey were evidence that he had long ago embraced chewing tobacco as a viable pastime!

Coach Riddle taught his players to be smart when they played! He taught them with integrity and wisdom and a lot of passion thrown in! Coach taught his players a lot about baseball, but he taught them about life as well. He taught in such a way that he would endear himself to his players and they would be drawn back whenever the opportunity presented itself!

On the way back from a Florida vacation, our family had the opportunity to spend an hour with Coach and Mrs. Betty. It was a special time of rekindling old friendships and forging new ones. It was a chance for our children to glimpse back into their Daddy's past and see someone who helped shape him into the man he is today. Baseball stories abounded and there were more than a few laughs!

As we prepared to leave, Coach walked out to the car with us. It meant a lot, for he was still recouping from surgery a few weeks ago and even a short walk like that was sure to be tiring. He and Tim embraced one last time and Tim got in the car. No sooner had the door closed, than Coach was knocking on the window. He apparently had one last thing to say, and he had saved the best for last!

Coach Riddle, the one who had spoken life into the lives of so many, had a final admonition. He leaned into the car and with an urgent tone, gave Tim one last charge..."I see how close your family is and how much they mean to you! Hold them close and don't ever allow anything to become more important than the time you spend with them ~ not baseball or ministry!"

Thank you Coach and Mrs. Betty! Thank you for allowing us to spend time with you in your home and thank you for continuing to be influencers of others. Thank you for making relationships paramount to everything else and encouraging others to do the same! You have left your mark and we are forever grateful!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My light bulb moment!

Being in ministry is so rewarding and I am so thankful the Lord has called Tim and I to do what we do! Being in ministry is so hard, though, and I sometimes wonder why He called us to do what we do! How is that for a double-minded wo-man?! ;O)

Seriously, though, it is so hard to pour yourself out in service to others and then have them turn around and attack you or just cast you aside because they don't like something you have shared. My friend, Sunny, helped me so much recently because she reminded me something I have encouraged others with...if a person can discredit the messenger (you) then they don't have to receive the message you are sharing!!! My how I needed to be reminded of that!

That's not my light bulb moment, though, and it gets even better! :O)

Tim and I were watching The Bucket List the other night with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It was really a very well done movie and was very moving at times. These 2 men have learned they are both terminally ill and their time on this earth is coming to a close. They decide to make a list of all the things they want to do before they die and they then set out to accomplish the list together.

At one point during the movie, Jack Nicholson has shared his painful past with Morgan Freeman and Morgan, soon after the telling, decides to intervene and devise a way to help Jack pick up the pieces of life with his daughter. Jack becomes irrate and says...

"Just because I shared my story with you doesn't mean I invited you to be a part of it!"

Instantly upon hearing that line, I felt a spiritual slap up side the head and a still, small Voice said, "That's why they get mad! They have shared their story (sometimes repeatedly), but they have never invited you to be a part of it!!" What freedom I experienced!!! It was if I was able to emotionally divorce the pain of the rejection because I suddenly understood the root of it!

Now don't get me still stinks to give and give and give and then get shut out! No amount of realization can change that! I can now rest in the knowledge, though, that I haven't done anything wrong ~ except to maybe to care too much!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

1 Thes. 2:1-20 (NASB-U) For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, [2] but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. [3] For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; [4] but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. [5] For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— [6] nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. [7] But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. [8] Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. [9] For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. [10] You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; [11] just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, [12] so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. [13] For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. [14] For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, [15] who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, [16] hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost. [17] But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while—in person, not in spirit—were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. [18] For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us. [19] For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? [20] For you are our glory and joy.

Thank you, Papa, for the assurance that you know my heart and my motives in ministering! Thank you that even when grace is not extended by others, You meet me with open arms! \O/

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I am sure I could write a book on how parenting and gardening run such parallel paths! I always laugh and tell Tim that I will never need therapy as long as I have a hose and some flowers to water! Of course, the parenting part is the reason I would NEED therapy, but that is a whole 'nother post! LOL!

At any rate, I was raised in Canada and one of the things I grew to love during my childhood was lilac bushes. I must say, at the time I took them for granted and never truly came to appreciate them as I should until I moved south and found they were a novelty down here. That only served to add to my unceasing desire to own one and thus began my search to find a hardy lilac variety that could withstand the heat and lack of really cold winters down here! (These people think this is cold! Huh!)

I was eventually successful and found a mail-order catalogue that assured me if I bought their lilac bush it would grow in my Zone 8 climate. I fell for it hook, line and sinker and purchased one immediately. It arrived weeks later looking like a forlorn stick, but I trusted them and planted it! And then I waited and watered and waited and watered and nearly lost my mind with the waiting.

The first blooms! The second blooms! The third year...maybe a bloom! The fourth year...I'll give it 5 and the fifth year a generous 6! What I was experiencing in my parenting was repeating itself in my gardening! I was pouring so much TLC into nurturing and caring for my little bush and not getting a whole lot in return! Year after year I was left wondering if I was doing something wrong! I was approaching despair in my desire to see a healthy crop of fruit for my labours until...this year!!

I went out one morning and hesistantly walked over to my lilac bush, certain it was mocking me with every step I took. But then I saw them...close to 20 fragrant blooms ready to bust wide open! And then I heard it...Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. (Gal. 6:9)

Just as I do in gardening, I nurture and tend, pull weeds of sin and water the ground with prayer! And in due time, I am able to reap the fruit of my labours in the lives of my children. Just as I am about to give up, I see a blossom that is ready to burst forth with evidence of new life and promise of a sweet aroma!

So on those days when I feel like my parenting skills are sorely lacking and my sanity has a very short shelf life, you'll be sure to find me in my garden...listening to His still small voice as I water and wait!

P.S. That is a vase of my very own lilac blooms proudly displayed on my screened-in back sanctuary!!! :O)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


1 Samuel 16:7 (NASB-U) "God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

I know this passage is talking more about physical appearance, but I think it can be applied to how situations look to someone, too. Tim often says that people see what they are prepared to see.

I have a friend who I have known for many years! I have spent a lot of time with this friend and have always sought to encourage her emotionally and spiritually. This friend is having some personal struggles that weigh heavily on her and it has saddened me to see her so upset. In an attempt to try and give her perspective and to encourage her with some things she could do, I have apparently deeply offended this friend. I have been shut out from her life and our friendship exists in brief and impersonal e-mails.

Why am I sharing this? I guess in part because my heart hurts and it is therapeutic to share my pain in writing. Secondly, because I figure maybe some of you who may be reading this have experienced situations similar to mine and we might mutually encourage one another.

Just today I was struggling with this situation and found myself full of turmoil! The Lord reminded me that, while my friend has misunderstood my attempts at encouraging her, He has seen the intent of my heart! Now don't get me wrong, I am just as capable as the next person of messing up and allowing my flesh to get in the way of His Spirit. The one time I know I offended this friend, I asked her for forgiveness. She says she forgave me, but the state of our relationship says something else.

Most days I am okay with things and don't spend too much time dwelling on what has happened. There are those days when my heart is burdened, though, and I have to remind myself that the Lord is working even when I cannot see tangible evidence of it!

I am so thankful, Papa, that you see my heart and know I have desired to help! Please forgive me for those times that I may have run ahead of you or spoken out of turn. Please keep me ever mindful of your sovereignty and, if at all possible, please restore this friendship!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Treasured Moment!

Anyone who has kids has experienced those days where everyone is at each other's throats and you wonder if you have done anything right in your parenting responsibilities! Well, today was not necessarily one of those days, although we have our fair share. Tim and I are both a little under the weather, though, so not apt to be quite as patient as we could be otherwise! ;O)

We decided to do a scramble pick-up of the house after dinner! All hands on deck to put away anything in your line of vision. Divide and conquer! I'll take this room, you take that get the picture. We had things fairly under control and Tim was worn out and had to go lie down. I was finishing up in the kitchen and asked the babies to get ready to go to bed. I got done what I was doing and went to round them up to get them in bed, but what a surprise I got!

Benji was telling Caleb a story and praying with him! Jesse was telling Hannah a story and praying with her! 10 minutes later, all was quiet and the babies were tucked snuggly in bed! My heart was tugged and and my spirit filled with thankfulness!!!

What a relief to know we really must be doing something right! \O/

Sunday, March 9, 2008

As Unto the Lord...

Today is, as some would call it, the Lord's day! This title we ascribe to Sunday always gives me pause to think because don't all our days belong to the Lord? It's also the day we set aside as the 7th day, the day of rest, even though the calendar seems to think it is the first day of the week! Crazy, huh?

Anyway, I digress..Tim is gone, Rachel is at church and I am home with the other 4 ~ 3 of whom are sick with coughs! As I pondered what to do with my morning I decided to cut the grass. Not exactly restful by some people's standards, but oh so restful by mine! It may have something to do with only being able to see my children's mouths move while no intelligible sounds are picked up by my ears! LOL! Maybe it is the time I have to pray and contemplate what the Lord has been showing me lately! At any rate, I love it!

This morning there was a chill in the air and a beautiful sun overhead! The trees were getting ready to bust open and the daffodils were smiling proudly! Even the purple clover that had taken over our grass had a beauty of its own ~ until I knocked it all down with the mower! The kids all had fun playing basketball and hitting the tennis ball! All in all, a lovely morning...

I missed not being able to fellowship with another group of believers, but the fellowship I had with the Lord was sweet. I was able to pray for my family and friends and I worshipped the One Who created all that my senses took in! I sang songs of praise! My heart and mind are at rest because...

I cut grass as unto the Lord!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Congratulations, Rachel!!!

Athletics is big in our house! Tim played professional baseball and ministers to athletes! Our boys play baseball and played basketball for the first time this year. Both are natural athletes!

Rachel was never interested in playing anything when she was younger. She is not one for attention so she was always content to cheer her brothers on! Then last year she decided she wanted to play basketball and to say we were slightly shocked is an understatement! She did a great job, though, and worked hard at learning the game.

This year she has had a great year and she has even learned she is a natural 3-point shooter! She bagged 2 last game!! Yaaahhhh!

Well, today that which she had cautiously hoped for came true! Rachel made the All-Star team! Yippee!!! We are so proud of our girl and the hard work she has put into getting better! She gets out there on her own and practices like crazy and her hard work, good attitude and perseverance have paid off!

We love you, baby girl! XXOO

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why the Name?

Well, I am attempting to move my blog over here to Blogger. It seems to be a little more user-friendly which is quite important for someone like me who is not too computer savvy!

When I was trying to figure out what to name my blog, a conversation I had with my dh last night came to mind. We were laying in bed and I thanked Tim for helping me learn to think outside the box. I tend to be a little more cautious and I don't really like to rock the boat. Tim would be my opposite! ;O) I think that's what Jesus taught when He was here, though. He was always coming against the religious leaders of the day and their rules they attempted to live by. He was constantly doing the unexpected ~ and the unaccepted.

I want to live like Jesus did. I want to walk in the Spirit and do what I hear Him instructing me to do. I don't want to march to the popular beat. I want to live with abandon in passionate pursuit of Jesus Christ! In other words ~ I want to live outside the box! Care to join me?