Thursday, December 16, 2010

His gift to me

This past week I came across a job opportunity at my church. It was for a part time office assistant position. If you would have known me as a little girl, you'd know that my favorite piece of furniture in my room was my desk. I would sit and arrange and rearrange my pencils and pens and piles of paper. I always pretend I was doing an important job or something for someone else important.

Oddly enough, this same job was open 9 years ago when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I actually applied for the job back then, thinking that perhaps motherhood might cause me to be stir crazy. :) Such are the thoughts of a first time mom, sometimes. ;o)

Anyway, when I hear the job was again open, these 9 years later my heart quickened. I knew realistically in my head that it wasn't really an option but I did entertain the thoughts. I even talked to a friend who works there about the position and we both agreed that it'd sure be a FUN thing for all of us.

When I brought it up to Eric, he was more than wiling to support the idea. Me, working 3 days a week, putting JJ in childcare, figuring after school logistics, everything. He was willing to do whatever it took to help this happen for me if I wanted it. That was a welcome gift. His support is cherished, still now.

As the next few days went by, we'd talk about it and pray about it. My heart just couldn't find the peace I was so hoping for. With a twinge of disappointment (And yet utmost confidence, oddly enough) I let them know that I would be passing on putting in an application. I told Eric and he was okay with my decision as well. I know that God has me at home for this season of life with kids and I want to be 100% okay with that and trust His plan is best.

Today, I saw the listing for the job in our church newsletter. I can't say there wasn't a silent groan inside me that wanted to say, "Hey, that's my job!". But, as I read I also saw the days and hours had slightly changed as well. I started to think about it - and realized those hours would have worked slightly better for me scheduling wise... but it added a 4th day to the work week.

There is no way I could have, with any good sense of peace, worked 4 days a week. It just isn't something I'd have felt comfortable with. And yet, of course, my flesh gets in the way and I wonder....

I grabbed my Bible and closed my eyes. I said, "God, I know this is silly. I know you didn't want that job for me. I know your plans are best. Please reassure my heart."

I had opened my Bible as I grabbed it but hadn't glanced down as I'd gone straight to prayer. When I opened my eyes my finger was on this verse in Daniel.

Daniel 4:4

I, Nebuchadnezzar, (okay, i like to read 'I, Charity') was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous."

Now it might not say much to you. But in my heart I think I might have done a back flip. Tears started to roll down my face as I started to laugh. It was His gift to me. He didn't have to do it. He didn't have to listen to, or answer, my silly plea of confirmation. He is so patient with my flesh as I ask for (and even sometimes demand) Him to show me His ways.

This Christmas season God's been in the business of restoring relationships and showering the little blessings that add up to be so much. I'm truly grateful for Christ in my life this Christmas.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grace Spots

The past 3 weeks at church our pastor has talked about GRATITUDE. This last week was about spotting God's grace - even when your world is falling apart. It's harder to see the little things where God thinks especially of us and throws a little "here ya go, I know you'll like THIS!" at us. I know my eyes (heart) can see and linger on the areas where I feel lost, alone, failed, or like I'm drowning. I can fixate on my fears, insecurities, worries all too easy and stop relying on His goodness to get me through the minute, hour and day.

Sometimes we hit a season in life where we wonder where God's goodness has gone. At that point it's time to rely on what we know and not how we feel. We know of God's goodness - and we've seen it documented in the Bible .. and in lives around us. It isn't just for them. It's for us a well. It's for ME. Perhaps it looks different in my life. I'm convinced it does. It's what makes God's love personal for ME and individualized for MY heart.

It's time for me to list a few things I'm grateful for.

~ I love the way the snow and ice is frozen on the branches outside. I'm itching to get out there with my camera!
~The lights and ornaments on my Christmas tree.
~The new tires on my Expedition that got us safely UP and DOWN from the mts where we got our tree.
~How paint keeps my 3 year old happy and contented.
~How my said 3 year old is enamored with J's. His identity is wrapped up in his name (nickname, JJ).
~Coffee and white chocolate pwd to make my own marble mocha.
~warm fuzzy mittens
~my best friend, Jani

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Forehead, I'd like you to meet Mr. 2x4

I can't even decide what to title this entry. (I did title it at the END of writing the entry! ha ha)

It has been months since I have sat down and put fingers to the keys to share where my heart is. Honestly, since we're all friends here, I'll just share that it was easier NOT to write for a while. Sure, I still wrote - I just kept it to pen and paper and left it between God and I.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a place in life where at the end of the day "HE and I" are all there is that matters. If we were honest with each other, TRULY honest, we'd recognize that should be a daily occurrence don't you think? It's just so often we find ourselves allowing others to meet our needs and fill our spaces that really should be met and overflowed with from God.

God's faithfulness continues to be such a place of grace in my life. The more I find beauty in his faithfulness the more I recognize the harsh blatancy of my sin and failings. I see it most lived out in my mothering and my marriage. I suppose because these are the people I'm most honest with in my actions and words. Not because I'm such an honest person - but because my true nature shines brighter than I'd like sometimes. And sometimes I don't see what I am, until I see it in my children.

Just yesterday - my oldest son was angry with his younger brother. I watched him walk rather forcefully up to his younger brother - his hands were clenched and his jaw tight. His eyes were narrow and his tone was .... well, it was me. " I am VERY angry with you right now," he says. I don't remember the other words that followed out of his mouth. My eyes started to well up with tears b/c in that instant I saw and heard ME coming out of the mouth of my 8 year old.

Hello 2x4. Nice to meet you. UGH.

I called my oldest to me. And then I did something I don't do enough. I told him that I first needed to apologize. I told him that I recognized something in him as he talked to his brother. It was just how I had talked to him before. I was able to share with him how sorry I was that I had modeled how to talk to others in a bad way and we were able to have a good conversation from then on.

His words/actions shined a light on an area in my life that needs God's healing touch. How thankful I am, that He is a God that knows my flaws and yet finds me beautiful. He's a God that delights in my voice and yearns to pursue me and refine me.

Thanks for being patient with me this year as I was on hiatus for the most part. Sometimes there's a time for silence... but I'm happy to say that I think that season is past!!! YEAH!

Talk to ya soon!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Good Girls Don't Have To Dress Badly

It's blog-tour time again!!! This time I got the chance to read this great book by Shari Braendel. Shari is a sought out Christian author and speaker who loves to tie together looking great and reflecting the beauty from the inside out. Remember the days of "color me beautiful"? Think of that times a bunch!!! Inside this book she outlines for women what colors, types of clothing, the best swim wear recommendations for body type, jean cut, make up and hair color tips... even down to what size purse is best for your height, size, and sense of style!!!

It's super easy to read and has room in the back for note taking as you go along. My only negative thing to say about the book was that it said I should NEVER EVER wear black. Are you kidding me?! I love black. Sigh. Hmmmph. :o)

So, check out Shari's website HERE. Who knows. Maybe your church could book her to come speak!?! How fun would that be? A couple hundred gals together talking fashion and God all in one weekend!!!

Should you want to follow her BLOG go HERE. She gives tips and advice throughout the week!

MOST of all... check out the book on AMAZON!! With all the shows out there now on TV and looking to the media and Hollywood for fashion advice, I think it's high time we support a fellow Christian woman and her passion for helping us dress well to fit the way God made us..... and not cut ourselves short when we compare ourselves to the latest celebrity on the magazines at the grocery store.

And if you don't want to take MY word for it.... check out all these other bloggers and get their opinion!!!

AND NOW... if you've hung in with me this long, here comes the good part! There's a contest! And it's so much bigger than JUST a book! Though, who doesn't love a free book?!

So, here it is......

The link below at FashionMeetsFaith isn't working so to go to Shari's website click HERE and then click on the enter sweepstakes bar.

Fashion Makeover Contest
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Complete and submit the entry form at, Shari Braendel FaceBook page, Zondervan FaceBook page, Zondervan Twitter account between August 9, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. (EST) and August 28, 2010 at 5:00 p.m (EST).

First Prize: One Winner will receive . . .
One $500 Visa gift card, one web camera, one-hour fashion consultation with Shari Braendel via Skype, one set of color swatches, and one autographed copy of Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad. Approximate retail value: $600. The fashion consultation will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time for the winner and Ms. Braendel on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday between September 15 and November 15, 2010.

Second Prize: Three Winners will receive . . .
One $100 Visa gift card, one 30-minute fashion consultation with Shari Braendel via telephone, one set of color swatches, and one autographed copy of Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad. Approximate retail value: $450. The fashion consultation will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time for the winner and Ms. Braendel on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday between September 15 and November 15, 2010.

Third Prize: Ten Winners will receive . . .
One autographed copy of Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad. Approximate retail value $150.

For complete details, visit Shari’s website.

As is always the case, I was given Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Badly, from the publisher in return for reviewing Shari's book for my readers.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


4:04 pm 5-28

GIVEAWAY OVER: I will momentarily be emailing my winner. I'm hoping to do more of these, so try again next time if you were not the lucky winner!!!!


Tony Evans has written a new book called "Marriage Matters". It caught my attention when I received my regular Blog Tour Spot email. Tony Evans' website is great so check it out HERE.

Lets just get through a few of the nitty gritty details and then I'll share my thoughts on this book.
By participating in the Blog Tour Spot I am able to receive books and give my own review of them at no charge. It's a great chance to have literature (all kinds!!!) delivered to my very own mailbox! I then, read the book that I received and then blog about it. I get to sign up for the books of my choice and it is never forced upon me! It's a great way to learn/read/glean insight not only into the way God thinks and loves me but also in the way that He created us to live life.

The following link is to other blog spot tour bloggers who are also reviewing "Marriage Matters". If you'd like someone else's opinion about the book hop on over there and check them out! I'm sure they'd love the feedback as well!! :)

Ok, lets dive in!!!!!

When I got "Marriage Matters" in the mail I was honestly thrilled to see that it was a short book! Life has been hectic lately and I genuinely wondered if this book would keep my attention. Never, though, have I seen so much powerpacked into such few pages when reading about marriage! The book is only 76 pages long. It's thin, the font is nice and readable and the conversational style made it easy to get lost in. I actually read the book in it's entirety in one afternoon/evening. It was a lot to soak in. And I'm sure I'll be reading it over and over. My pencil was busy underlining thoughts that I wanted to go back and linger on.... as my heart was eager to see what he would say next!

Evans' talked about the covenant of marriage and how in modern times we often lose sight of what a covenant is. Let alone a covenant made with God in the center. God created marriage and created the hierarchy of God, man, and woman. He was able to explain and show the relationship and the chain of "command" so to speak in a way that left me desiring the act of "submission" where often in some books it can seem like the biggest chore on the planet.

"God says that mankind will mirror His image on earth.... what that means is that you can have a happy marriage or a miserable marriage depending on whether your rule is reflecting His image. He sets up the fundamentals of a covenant, and gives you the option of utilizing them. Oftentimes, the well-being of the home is determined by whether the man is reflecting God's image in his role, or the woman is reflecting Him in her role..... Virtually every time there is a marital breakdown, it is because one or both parties are functioning outside of the covenantal fundamental of transcendence...". (Marriage Matters, pg 14-15).

In the hierarchy that God established it starts with Christ... and then moves to the man.... and then down to the woman. One of my favorite quotes from the book is about the idea of men leading in the home.

"The best thing that a man can do in leading his home and cultivating his marriage is to raise the questions, 'What is the mind of Christ on this matter?' and then follow it. Once you have done that, you will have your wife's full attention, and submission. Because now she is no longer arguing with you and your opinions. Now you have brought Christ and His word into the equation. Eventually she will relax when she sees that you are underneath an authority that can be trusted.... A wife needs to feel secure. A man must align himself under the Word of God to offer an environment that causes her to feel that way. When he does that, he will be demonstrating what it means to be a truly spiritual leader over her." (Marriage Matters, pg 40-41)

Wow. Need I truly say more?!

This book is one that I have already mentioned to several friends and I'm sure it will borrowed and poured over. I found it encouraging and offering hope, where sometimes reading marriage material can leave me feeling like a failure!

So, I'm doing my first ever give away!!!! If you send me an email me at my email address ( I will enter you into a giveaway for this very book. The way it works is that you send me your name and address. I then send your name and address (the winner's only) to Blog Spot Tours and they will have a copy of this book sent straight to you (again, free of charge!). :o)

Because I'm late in the game I'll be closing the giveaway tomorrow (5/28) by 4 pm. I'll need to get my winner's info to the BSTours before it's too late!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Are you squinting at the screen?

Maybe you need a trip to the eye dr.... or could it be that you aren't quite awake yet? Or perhaps it's the thick layer of dust or the half hazard cobwebs that are crossing the website as it's been left to sit for MONTHS!

I welcome you to grab a paper towel and wipe the grime off... or if you dare blow really hard and watch the particles fly off and the spiders scurry to a new corner!!!

Ok... a friend and I have taken on a new book to read. The book is called Sacred Marriage and it's written by Gary Thomas. I just picked up the book this weekend and have read the first chapter. I'm already feeling challenged. I can tell it's going to be different than all the other marriage books - even the best ones I've read - which give you step by step how to's at how to achieve that ever allusive "perfect" marriage. The reason I'm challenged is because I rather like the step 1-6 process with guaranteed results. I like order. I like sequential systems. Perhaps it's why sometimes reading books like that left me feeling more empty, more hopeless, feeling more and more inadequate to change ME or "change my husband". After all, isn't that what we're usually after? Surely the Lord has more work to do in his heart and life than in mine.... cough cough.... sigh. If only, right? :)

This will NOT be that kind of book. It's going to be all about ME and God and working on ME.

"Romantic love has no elasticity to it. It can never be stretched; it simply shatters. Mature love, the kind demanded of a good marriage must stretch, as the sinful human condition is such that all of us bear conflicting emotions.... her hatred is as real as her love is real... the reality of the human heart, the inevitability of two sinful people pledging to live together, with all their faults, for the rest of their lives...." (Sacred Marriage, pg 16-17).

The chapter goes on to talk about how we often find ourselves looking to our spouse with too many expectations. With too many ideas of how the other should and will meet our needs. And the entire point of the book is to challenge us with the question: What if God created marriage, not for our happiness, but as a means of making us more holy. What if we saw and took the opportunity in marriage as our spouse fails us (as he/she WILL do) to draw us closer to the heart of Christ and in turn our lives would reflect his likeness. Isn't that our true purpose here on this earth? Gary Thomas says, "I adopted the attitude that marriage is one of many life situations that help me to draw my sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment FROM God." (Sacred Marriage, pg. 24).

The chapter closes with the following thought. "The ultimate purpose of this book is not to make you love your spouse more - although I think that will happen along the way. It's to equip you to love your God more and to help you reflect the character of his Son more precisely."

Care to journey along? I will do my best to be candid as I write my thoughts and allow God to prune my heart... to clip away the branches that are intertwined and choking out new growth.