Friday, April 30, 2010

Oops! I did not finish clearing my flat surface! And, I'm busy getting ready for a tea party tomorrow - so am just going to say ~ Have a great weekend!

See you all here on Monday ...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Value of the Effort

Sometimes, I'm ashamed to admit that when things come easily my way it is also easy to take them for granted. But, other things that come harder - are taken more seriously, valued more and treated more carefully.

Around Christmas, a friend (thanks, Heather!) gave me a bunch of un-shelled pecans. I've had intentions of getting them shelled but have never started. I tried calling David's aunt who owns a pecan farm to find out about sending them somewhere to have them shelled for a small fee - but they were already closed for the season.

So, last Saturday morning - I decided to just dig in and do a few here and a few there as time allowed. We like pecans! And, they are expensive - I did not want to waste this gift and resource that God had provided.

And, as I was working hard cracking and shelling - pulling off those sometimes stubborn shells - I was aware at how I did not want to waste even the little pieces that came off unexpectedly. I wanted to preserve the hard work I was putting into them! And, I was thinking how I did not want any of them to get wasted!

This is a good lesson to me - if someone had handed me a huge bag of shelled pecans (or whatever else) and I dropped a little piece, I probably wouldn't think much of letting it go. But, knowing that I had invested my time and energy into them made them more valuable in my eyes.

And, it shows me that this is not a bad thing! It made me think of the pioneers who worked so terribly hard for everything and I know they used everything. They did not waste anything - they did not have that luxury.

I want to be a good steward of what I have as well - and appreciate the reminder of the value of investing myself along with my energy and strength. These pecans will taste all the better to me because of these efforts!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waiting Gracefully: Heart's Desires

It is so easy to proclaim something as the desire of our heart, but how often do we really make sure that these desires are from Him?

I remember wanting to begin praying for my future husband - but realizing that before I began praying with a pure heart and believing in faith that God would answer - I needed to know that the desires in my heart were from Him.

How could I honestly pray and ask God for a husband when I wondered if it was just what I wanted or what He wanted for me?

I can remember earnestly seeking Him in prayer about His desires for me and therefore the desires of my heart and I focused on this verse ~

Psalm 37:4,
"Delight yourself in the Lord and
He will give you the desires of your heart."

It strikes me that when we are delighting in the Lord, the desires in our hearts are the ones HE places there. Not the things that we in our flesh seek. So, the way that He can promise to give us the desires of our hearts is by knowing that He is really allowing us to desire the same things He wants for us and complete His will in us. His will becomes my will and He delights to fulfill those things.

Are you in a season of waiting? Have you sought to delight yourself in the Lord and let His desires fill your heart? May it be that He would impress upon our hearts, the desires He has for us and may they become our most precious desires as well.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fiasco Turned Blessing

I have been on a search for a cute lightweight coat for the weather around here! My old one is shredding and it was time for a new one! But, finding one that met all my criteria has proved impossible.

I finally found one I liked (minus a hood) and it fit great - but I did not buy it because it was not on sale! I figured I could always order it online when it went on sale, but upon arriving home (1 hr. and 15 minutes from the mall) I noticed they were already out of my size, so the coat would have to be located in a store.

And, so the saga began - I called the store and tried to order the coat over the phone. But, that was against their policy. So, I called my friend Melissa and asked her to check the store near her which she graciously agreed to do.

They did not have the coat, but offered to order it. So, that's what we did. And, it arrived promptly two days later - in the wrong size. Another trip back to the store - we returned the too big coat and re-ordered the correct size.

Days went by and no coat arrived. I finally tried to call the store - but their line was busy and I could not get through. So, Melissa graciously agreed to go again. She got the name of the manager I needed to speak to and I was able to get through and speak with her.

Again, I was assured the coat was on its way and thought everything was straightened out. And, the coat arrived in the designated time, but with the ink tag still in place. Sigh - was this coat really worth all of this?

Melissa made yet another trip to the store with the coat since she lives much closer than I do to have the tag removed and I was able to wear it home from church on Sunday!

In the end, this fiasco has turned into a blessing - between all the $5 coupons they gave me and some birthday money I had in advance - I did not spend a thing on this coat and actually came out $10 to the good - which I gave Melissa for all of her trouble.

I just love how God cares for us so generously. He knows I was concerned about paying full price for the coat and yet that I really liked it and how it fit. And, He provided - yes, it seemed very frustrating at the time, but as I looked back it was a blessing in disguise.

I will enjoy wearing this coat all the more knowing how sweetly God provided for it! And, it reminds me of other times in my life when something has seemed like a huge fiasco and has turned out costing less or nothing at all just for the trouble. To me, it is worth the trouble for a reminder of His provision and care for us!

Do you have a story like this? Where your fiasco became a blessing? Please share!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Input Requested: Reunion Ideas!

I'm planning a reunion for my High School graduating class this June and need your ideas!

We have the date, times and places all set. Invitations have been sent out! But, now I want to fine tune some more of the details.

We're having a dinner the first night and a family picnic the next day. During the dinner, I have had a few thoughts - tell me what you think and/or share your own ideas from reunions you may have been to.

* We are also inviting the teachers and staff and I want to include them in a special way. I wondered about having a cardstock piece of paper with each teacher's name on it that we could write a special memory or a thoughtful thank you on.

* To jump start conversation during the dinner - I thought of placing trivia cards on the tables. These could include memories, current life questions, questions about our school, teachers, etc...

* I'm also looking for an ice breaker of some kind for the first half hour as guests are arriving.

So - please share your ideas! And, let me know what you think of the ideas above - workable or cheesy?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Make Your Home a Haven: Clear a Surface

Wow - it has been a while since I posted on making havens in our homes! But, it has been on my mind that our challenge was to add worship to our homes.

When I typed that challenge, I had no idea of how I was going to follow through on that. I thought I would wait and see what God had in mind -

And, I can now tell you that the way worship has been added to our home over the past couple of weeks is through music.

I've enjoyed just going to You Tube and typing in some favorite praise songs to listen to and have discovered some new ones that I enjoy too. I've discovered Seeds Family Worship for myself after hearing so many godly moms talk about it for years. Wow! It's great! And, I found they also have Family Worship ideas and verse cards to print out and use with your children!

My favorite music is always Scripture put to music - great way to get God's Word right into our hearts!

Some of my favorite music is:
Fernando Ortega
Glory Revealed
Steve Green Hide 'Em In Your Heart Volume 1 & 2
Seeds Family Worship (there are five volumes)
The Door

There are lots of others I listen to as well - but these are the ones I reach for most often!

This coming week - let's work on clearing one surface in your haven! For me, it will likely be a section of kitchen counter or the top of the dryer! Do you have a spot that needs to be cleared? Please join us!

Last weekend, I worked hard at cleaning a big section of my counter off - and it has lasted all week! I have made myself make sure it is clear before going to bed and it has made such a difference! I've wanted to keep it clear, enjoyed cooking more, been more diligent at keeping other things picked up, etc... Now, I'm motivated to work on another surface and maintain the clean one!

I'd love to hear how you brought worship into your haven over the last several weeks!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book Winner

Carrie is the winner of the Handmade Marketplace book!

Waiting Gracefully: Close to God!

As I was telling the story of how David and I met, I was reminded of the days leading up to that time. The days that multiplied into years where I wanted to be married - yet, was in a time of waiting.

Even though I wasn't always patiently waiting, those days hold a sweetness in my memory. A sweetness I want to remember, to cherish - and to pass on to my daughters.

One of the sweetest things about these days in waiting was the time I was able to spend with God. I had time with Him in the morning before work, on my lunch break and in the evenings. I practiced the verses I was memorizing in the car, listened to uplifting music and had Scriptures posted at my desk and in my home.

I still enjoy spending time with God of course, but during this season - not as much time is available for enjoying with Him.

I enjoyed the Navigators Topical Memory System - I'm horribly out of practice now ... but what a treasure to have those words of God in my heart.

I participated in Beth Moore and Navigators Bible Studies (like this one). And, I read God's Word and spent time really thinking about how it applied to my life.

Waiting gracefully by spending time getting close to God! Do you have a sweet memory of spending time with God during your time of waiting? Or, if you are waiting now - how are you getting closer to God?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Giveaway: The Handmade Marketplace

I recently received a copy of The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online. Honestly, I haven't had a chance to even look at it yet! And, since I've had it a few weeks - I think I should pass it on to someone who has time and motivation to read and enjoy it!

If you'd like to be entered to win, please leave a comment on this post by midnight (EST) tonight. Winner will be drawn tomorrow at random and posted here!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Heaven Rejoices!

It seemed like any ordinary day, any ordinary afternoon even. Emily arose from her Quiet Time and asked to watch a movie - very ordinary.

She asked to watch Facing the Giants - a recent discovery of hers and one she is loving! I told her we wouldn't be able to watch the whole thing since it is long, but she could watch part of it.

Movie playing, Rachel wandered out sleepy head wild hair everywhere and eyes barely open. We snuggled up together on the couch where I could be with them and fold clothes.

Time to get Samuel up - he came out too - in a sleepy mood for a toddler. And, we lingered and let the movie continue.

I found other things to do nearby and Daddy wasn't home from work yet - I'm not really sure why, but I let them watch the whole thing. By this time, Rachel and Samuel had wandered off to find something else to do - heading outside.

Emily quietly taking everything in ... I hear the end of the movie and go see how she is doing. She looks very thoughtful and melancholy.

"Are you ok?"

"Yes, I just want to be like them."

"You want to play football like them?"

"No, to be good like that."

I sort of silently respond and turn off the movie. She stays in her thoughtful spot on the couch while I return to cooking dinner.

Almost silently she slips by me and heads back to her room - I check on the other two playing outside.

Ten minutes tumble by before I realize how long I haven't seen Emily. I head back to her room where I find her kneeling by her bed in tears - genuine tears.

"Oh honey, why are you crying?"

"I've been thinking about Jesus all day. I've been thinking about bad things I've done."

I can't remember my next question to her or her response, but the next one comes from Him:

"Do you want to ask Jesus into your heart?"


"Do you know what that means?"

I offer a brief explanation and then ask her to repeat after me that prayer that sweeps her into eternal citizenship. A breathless moment...

We pray together. She stops crying. We hug. I hardly know what to think. Does she know what this means? Is it real?

And, I remember during her Quiet Time that afternoon - she came and showed me a drawing on her Magna Doodle of a hill with a cross on it. Then, a second drawing of water with a man standing on it - Jesus.

She's right, I recall, she has been thinking of Jesus today. I remember an earlier conversation about Him in the day.

I can hardly wait for David to get home. Walking up the front sidewalk he comes and my words tumble out quickly sharing the precious news of the life change that has happened in our humble home this very-ordinary-turned-eternal-day!

He pulls her up on his lap in the Peace Chair - a favorite spot these days. She says, "I asked Jesus into my heart today."

My heart is stirred and the tears come quickly to my eyes. I am in awe of the Holy Spirit's work in my oldest daughter's heart. I am in awe of Him taking my very feeble efforts at training her in His ways and using them for His glory. And, for all who have planted seeds of faith in her - I am grateful.

I quickly jot this on the calendar so we won't forget the day. I've celebrated my Christian birthday for 28 years and want to be able to honor that memory for her as well.

The next few days pass and I notice a change in her. A once uncaring heart towards sin has become soft and humble. She is apologizing and asking forgiveness. And, I know her decision is real because I see the change in her.

One morning not long after, we are cleaning up from a BIG mess of toys, books and clothes. I'm frustrated by it all. Emily cleans up everything without complaint and a simple, "Yes, ma'am."

And, as we finish - she hugs me and says, "I'm sorry about the big mess we made mommy. Will you please forgive me?"

A weary smile and, "Of course I will! Thank you for doing such a good job cleaning up! Would you like to go ride your bike now?"

I love to see that smile and happy heart bounce outside excited to be released from the chores. And, I'm honored and humbled to see how her heart has softened.

What a blessing to watch this small soul respond to God! I have prayed for this day and He has been at work! To God be the glory!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Children's Birthday Parties!

Have you found this new blog yet? I am really enjoying reading all the ideas about hospitality! And, I've over there this morning sharing about birthday parties!

** OOPS! Looks like it hasn't posted yet, I think today was the day! Will update with a link later if I find it!

Here is the link!

Free Bowling!

We took our girls bowling the other day to celebrate the 100th day of school! And, while we were there, we found out about a great program where your children can bowl free all summer!

Here's where you can find out about signing up your family. UPDATE: You have the OPTION of signing adults in your family up for $26 for the summer, but that is not required for the children to bowl free!

Next, I'm looking for some very inexpensive bowling shoes for our girls and myself so we can enjoy this free activity! If we have to rent bowling shoes every time, we won't be going!

So, if anyone has any bowling shoes around they'd like to sell for a reasonable amount please let me know! We are looking for children's size 9 and 10 and women's size 6.

Happy Bowling!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Have a great weekend...

No new post today! I feel like I've been meeting myself coming and going - and just can't get caught up!

I'm thinking this morning of this quote on refraining, this quote and this post on my words. Great thoughts for today -

Now, head over to my friend Melissa's and dig out your favorite party food recipe to enter her giveaway!

Enjoy your weekend -

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Father's World Kindergarten: My Thoughts

Several of you have asked about how we chose MFW, how we liked it this year and what we are doing next year - here are my thoughts on this!

How did you decide to use MFW, and did you rule out other curricula first?
Ok, I met with a mom from my church who homeschools her children. I asked for her opinion on what to use and she is the one who suggested MFW to me. Turns out, lots of moms in our church are using it as well. I actually thought about Sonlight, but the cost was a big deterrent to me on that. I also thought about Five in a Row - but it was not a "complete" enough curriculum for me and my style.

How is the prep and does the material keep your girls engaged? The prep is really quite minimal! Most of the prep will come with any "extra" activities you add in. I have found the creative extras to be somewhat lacking in this program - however, that is one thing I love - so lots of times we will add extra things in. There is a Message Board set up on their website and I have found a wealth of good suggestions, book ideas, snack ideas, etc... on that. As far as keeping them engaged, I think that would depend on the child. Here is my experience: my Emily is five (November) so she is not "technically" in Kindergarten yet. However, the way this curriculum is set up - it almost starts out too easy for Kindergarten in my opinion. We are getting into some sounding out of words and things now that are more challenging - but it starts very slow. I've heard some say too slow and for other children, just right. I will say that my girls seem to be enjoying learning! Also, we only spend about 20-30 minutes a day on our schooling. I like it that way for this age and with a little guy to occupy as well!

Pros (in my opinion):
* Biblical tie-ins: I like how she has the lessons divided into 26 topics that correlate with the alphabet. But, she has a sentence to go with each card that the child learns. For example: leaf - "I will live and grow in Jesus" I love how this ties things from creation with the Creator and begins to cultivate that awareness in my children. There are also Scriptures to read as part of the schooling lessons.

* Complete Curriculum: I like how this comes with everything! We've had a ball with the classical music CD and activities suggested to do with the lessons! The math rods and workbook, ant hill - I just like how everything is right there! Yes, I omit and add activities for what I think is best for our home, but I like having it all available.

* Phonics based reading: I like how they learn songs about the letter sounds and then learn to put the sounds together. It seems to me that learning to sound things out is a great skill to have for life in being able to figure out words we don't recognize!

* Paced: as much as I thought it was slow moving at the beginning, I think there is an up side to that. My Emily does not feel rushed or pressured to master something, but she feels like she is succeeding because it is a small step at a time. She started out knowing all of her letters and all of her sounds, so she was way ahead of the curriculum right off the bat. But, being able to write words and sound out words now is exciting!

* Cost: for other things I've looked into and what this includes, I have thought it was very reasonable.

* Slow moving: the first two weeks I seriously wondered if I'd chosen the right thing! Overall though, I would say we've had a great year working through this and the pace has fit our home.

* Lacking in creative elements: if you've been reading my blog for a while - you likely know that I love the extra fluff! The fun stuff - the things that make learning fun and make a fun childhood for our children. I like hands on activities that tie in our theme. Again, the message boards have been a great resource for this.

* Awkward layout of book: I will admit to you that I found the teachers book very awkward at first. Now that I've gotten used to it - I don't think anything of it. But in the beginning - it was strange to me.

* The word for the letter "x" is "fox" and this has been somewhat confusing for my girls - they continue to try and say "f-f-fox" instead of "x-x-fox" understandable, but I've tried steering them to say the latter since that is what she suggests in the teacher's guide.

I have looked at the 1st grade program in person and that is what we've decided to go with for next year. In spite of the few downsides I mentioned above - this program really suited our family well and fit our styles and home life. Personally, I don't want to mess with that! Emily is learning to read and I'm very pleased with her progress this year and certainly cannot complain about that either. So, we're sticking with it and moving ahead.

If you have used My Father's World (especially Kindergarten) please share your thoughts for others in the comments!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Winner of the Soccer Goal chosen at random is Stephanie!! Thanks for sharing your Family Night ideas, everyone!!

Spinach Pesto Pork Chops

David recently requested Pork Chops. I don't make them very often - usually with BBQ sauce, but decided to try something different with my freshly made Spinach Pesto.

Prepae a baking dish with cooking spray or a bit of oil. Lay thinly sliced boneless pork chops in the pan. Spread the pesto generously over each piece of meat.

Next, sprinkle the tops of all the chops with Italian seasoned bread crumbs and a little shredded Mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. You could certainly do this with chicken too!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spinach Pesto

Did you see the recipe in the most recent Taste of Home about making your own pesto? I don't have any basil, but I do have access to fresh spinach and realized that spinach and basil would be easily interchangeable in a recipe!

Here's what you'll need:

2 c. packed fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 c. or less olive oil

Put everything except the olive oil into a food processor and process until everything is chopped nice and small. Will look like this -

Now, with the food processor running - slowly add olive oil. I thought 1/4 c. seemed a bit much, so on my next batch I used about 1 Tbsp. less.

I spread it on homemade bread and made a grilled turkey and cheese for lunch! Yum! Tomorrow, a recipe I made using this pesto!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Family Night Idea & Giveaway!

Good morning - hope you all had a great weekend! Today, let's talk Family Nights! We have been enjoying being outside more and just being together though I haven't been planning much.

I was contacted about giving away this soccer goal and thought it would make a fun Family Night activity! So, please leave a comment before Tuesday, April 13 at 10 pm EST to be entered for the drawing. Just tell me what you've been up to for Family Nights lately! Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Wednesday.

Reminder - if I have no way of contacting you, I will need to draw a new winner. Nearly everytime I host a giveaway - the winner does not have contact info and I have to draw at least one more time!

A Few More Thoughts

Thank you for your comments last week as I shared the story of how David and I met. Amid all of the great things God did in our lives - it is not all easy.

Living far from my family and Colorado is hard.

Knowing that my family felt excluded during the process of us getting to know each other, becoming engaged and moving to another state makes my heart very heavy.

I say this in case there may be some of you who may consider a similar path to the one I chose - to put forth your best effort at drawing your family into the process with you.

When my heart is burdened with these things, I always come back to is asking myself - Did I follow God? Yes, I believe with my whole heart that I did. So, I apologize and share the sorrow. I have to leave this hard stuff in His care - because it is simply beyond me to know how to handle it, make up for it or right it.

A couple of your comments and e-mails especially reminded me of my days as a single woman seeking God's will ~ and I realized there is more I want to share on that. So, be watching for a new series of posts on Waiting Gracefully - I'm guessing no less than a dozen posts are already brewing on this topic.

I certainly know that I am no expert, did not always manage my attitude and dreams of the future appopriately and in many ways, I don't feel adequate to share - but it is an idea God laid on my heart with excitement and if nothing else, is something I would love to share with my daughters someday. I know He can take my feeble efforts and multiply them for His Kingdom.

At the end of that series, I'd love to host a Link-Up where you can share your ideas for Waiting Gracefully too and we can join together to encourage a younger generation.

Comments to this post are again turned off - you may e-mail me if you would like to share something.

Friday, April 09, 2010

How'd 'ya meet? Part Five

So, I returned home from South Carolina with a dazzling diamond on my finger and two decades of life to wrap up in Colorado Springs.

Some around me were happy for me, some tried to talk me out of it, the emotions went on and on. But through it all - I was happy and had God's peace!

I spent the next two months being with family, beginning wedding plans and packing up my apartment while finishing up my job at Glen Eyrie. On my last day of work, David sent me flowers and I drove up to Eagle Lake summer camp to work their staff banquet. It was a great day.

After finishing my job - I spent the next week packing up and getting ready for the big move. David flew out and my parents went too - we stopped and saw family all along the way to the south. David just told me recently he was thinking about this drive and move and told me how brave he thought I was.

This was like Isaac and Rebekah! Go read Genesis 24.

So, I moved to South Carolina near the end of August - I don't know if I'd ever been that hot before! And, the bugs! Ack! David had rented me a little two bedroom house to live in. He lived in an apartment across town and we were in the process of closing on a house that God had provided for us to buy.

This little house was cute - but it had a problem. I'm not sure when it had been sprayed for bugs. Um, yeah. You get the picture - one night, I'm getting ready for bed and there is this gigantic (to me) bug flying around the living room. Oooh - gives me the creeps thinking about it. I was so scared I was trembling. I repeated out loud a zillion times, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Then, I grabbed the vacuum and sucked that dude up in there and tied a bag over the end so it could not crawl out sometime in the night. Oh, it was bad.

Meanwhile, we did not realize this little house was for sale?! So, I ended up having to move out of it after not too long which turned out to be fine. David moved back home and I moved to an apartment and then to our house while we did TONS of work to fix it up!

You know what? Following in God's will is not always easy - but He is faithful to provide what we need when we need it! And, being in the center of His will is always the best place! There is a peace that does not make sense - but it is true because it is from HIM!

I went back to Colorado for Christmas and worked on wedding plans. And, of course worked on lots of things at home too - we were married February 20, 2004 at Glen Eyrie and it was a very special day! All through it, I had God's amazing peace!

You can read more about our wedding here. David was the first one to ever kiss me and I had prayed for that as well!

A godly husband is a gift from the Lord - something I prayed for many, many times. And, now I am living out the answers to those prayers. God is good and I have so much to be thankful for! We have a happy and full life together and I am thankful to have David as my husband!

Hope you enjoyed reading our story!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

You Asked

You are all curious as to why I can no longer support the site that David and I met through - go here and read this and listen to the interview with the founder.

Note: Comments to this post are turned off - you can e-mail me if you would like to share something. Thanks for understanding - this has headed in a direction I did not intend and certainly do not want to go.

How'd 'ya meet? Part Four

I spent the weekend in Albuquerque and it was apparent to me pretty early on that this was not a good fit either. I was disappointed mostly for hurting his feelings - but I had to be true to myself and what God was laying on my heart.

I came home and took my name out of the database for about a month. I just needed to pull back and refocus for a bit.

Sometime in February of 2003, I activated my account again. On the morning of February 20, 2003 I wrote in my journal,

"This week it has been easy to lose courage and hope. It has been hard to trust that God is hearing my prayers especially regarding you. But, here is a verse I'm meditating on - I have prayed it, read it, and have it up on my computer at work -

Psalm 37:7a, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him..."

This has been a challenge and a promise this week! I continue to pray for you! I sometimes wonder if I'll ever be ready to be the wife you need and want and the woman God wants me to be. I have such a long way to go - but being dependent on Him is where He wants me. May my life and love bring Him glory!"

Oh, I forgot to mention that another rule I had for myself was not to use my computer at work for any of this. I wanted to be above reproach in the use of my time and their resources and I did not have a computer at home either. So, I usually reserved a computer at the library a couple of times a week.

February 20, 2003 was a day that I had a computer reserved over lunch time. And, David was one of my matches that day. We began working through the initial stages that their website requires you to go through before e-mailing openly.

Very early on, we decided to take some time to really seek God separately about continuing with getting to know one another. We prayed, fasted, sought God's Word. Psalm 126 was particularly meaningful to me during this time.

And, we continued e-mailing and then talking on the phone. A few months later, he decided to come to Colorado for a visit. He stayed at my parents house and we spent a few days getting to know each other in person.

The thing I will never forget about that visit was that I was able to be myself around David. This was huge for me as I had always struggled with being myself around men in general.

About six weeks after that I came to South Carolina for a visit and stayed with his parents. I was praying that God would make His will known. So far, He had been saying yes to this and we were so very like-minded.

I was not expecting to get engaged during that visit - but I did. I had been praying particularly on June 20, 2003 that God would help me to know what His will was and that was the day that David proposed. I had peace about it which was another great encouragement that this was from God.

To be continued ...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

How'd 'ya meet? Part Three

I was living in the lovely yellow apartment, enjoying my life and yet longing for a family of my own. I was journaling, I was praying through this, attending Beth Moore Bible studies and working my way through The Navigators Topical Memory System.

One day, a friend and I were on a walk (a girl friend - ok?) and she mentioned hearing a program on Focus on the Family about an internet matching service that starts with an "E" and ends with a "Y". ** Sorry, I can no longer endorse this organization and I don't even want any blog searches on their name here. ** I basically said - thanks but no thanks. Not for me.

Well, you know where that is going right? Our pastor was teaching through John at the time and his message on John 5 particularly jumped out at me.
John 5: 2-9,
"Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie - the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well?'

'Sir,' the invalid replied, 'I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.'

Then Jesus said to him, 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.' At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked."
A few notes I jotted down from the message:

Take a Hike: The Provision of Initiative Part 1
3 habits of a "Spiritual Hiker"

1. Taking an honest inventory - vs. 5
- How long had he been ill?
- It seems an obvious question, Jesus wants us to respond with what our real need is.
- Sometimes we don't want to get well - we find our identity in our stagnation and pain. Staying the same: safe, secure.
- Staying the same is the worst that can happen. If I am deeply satisfied with the way I am - the Bible has nothing to say to me.
- The longer the time spent in sickness - the more normal the sickness becomes. We begin to define our situation by those around us.

Settler Theology vs. Pioneer Theology

* Church: courthouse - where records are stored, the center of town vs. the covered wagon: where they eat, sleep, love, die, fight

* God: mayor - don't see him, don't know him - but know he is there vs. trail boss - favorite person yet also the most scared of this person

* Jesus: sheriff - enforces mayor vs. scout - going before; knows about every coming danger and difficulty

* Holy Spirit: bar tender - listens, comforts, only responds when you need it vs. buffalo hunter - gets food for the pioneers

* Christian: settler - likes having the same address vs. pioneer - likes to be on the move

* Pastor: banker - has an "in" with the mayor that no one else has vs. cook - dishes up whatever the buffalo hunter has provided - some meals taste better but they are all nourishing

* Faith: safety and security vs. adventure

* Sin: breaking the town ordinances vs. turning back

* Salvation: having an address vs. adventure

2. Pursuing authentic maturity: maturity is the realization that I'll never arrive; continued growing and learning; trying to make progress attached to a rope; life-long learner
- Hebrews 11:13

3. Facing a confused majority.
- Did the Jews (settlers) say to the man - he's walking for the first time!! No, they said it was unlawful. Don't go the same direction as the confused majority! Don't run from God's question - Do you want to be made well?

Be a palate-carrying people! Don't keep going back to the camp site!

Do I want to be well? Through a different set of circumstance, this passage became meaningful to David that Fall as well. Unknown to either of us at the time. We often still say to each other, "Do you want to be made well?"

God kept bringing this to my mind along with what my friend had mentioned and I knew it was a step of obedience God was asking me to take.

So, I borrowed her tape of the Focus broadcast. I listened to it and prayed about it. I had my parents listen to it and asked their opinion. We agreed it would not be for everyone, but together agreed it could be something that might be a good fit for me. So, I took the plunge and signed up.

I took my time filling out my profile - I studied it and had my parents read it. Did it accurately describe who I was? I wanted to make sure that it did.

Finally in the Fall of 2002, my name was in the database. I had a rule for myself that I would never initiate any kind of conversation, they would have to take the initiative. Even though my method was unconventional and modern - I am still old fashioned at heart.

Initially, the results were disappointing. Divorced. Not like-minded. Self-centered. Just not good fits at all. Until around Thanksgiving. I started getting to know a guy from Albuquerque. We e-mailed and eventually talked on the phone. After Christmas, a friend of his from Colorado Springs was going down to visit her family and offered to take me along and let me stay with her at her parents house.

So, I went.

To be continued ...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

How'd 'ya meet? Part Two

It is December 1, 1999 and I am meeting my blind date (what was his name? can't remember - Keith maybe?) at a close restaurant.

Not good.

I was soooo glad to get back into my car and go along by myself. Alone. Ok, it wasn't that bad - but we did not hit it off - and it was not the right thing.

An important verse to me at the time was Psalm 62: 1-2,
"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation. He is my fortress I will never be shaken."

I remember getting in my car that evening and saying this verse over and over and over to myself as I drove up North Academy to go to Michael's. (yes, craft stores were a comfort even then!) And, I can remember saying it in my head as I walked through Michael's - God's Word came alive to me in those moments and surrounded me with peace like nothing else could.

I wrote in my journal (to my future husband) the next day,
"Last night I went on my first date - a blind date, it wasn't with you!"
Meanwhile, I kept praying for what God had for me. I was asking God for His best and to protect me from anything that wasn't His best.

Time passed on - there were interests of mine and others trying to set me up. But nothing came of any of that so it isn't worth telling.

After six years working at the school, I knew it was God's time for me to move on from there. I had already resigned my position as cheerleading coach earlier in the spring. But, by the summer - I knew it was time for a change.

In God's provision - I got a job working at Glen Eyrie! I loved being out there and enjoyed the scenery to the full! And, time just kept going on as it always does.

I started working at the Glen in the summer of 2000. Initially, life just went on - with no apparent prospects in sight. I can't remember the exact sequence of events - but there were several interested young men during this time.

The thing was that I had prayed and asked God to keep me from anything that was His best. So, when one of these young men expressed an interest - I prayed about it and every time I had gotten the answer, no.

Most of the time, this was not well received - for me to just go to them and say, "I've prayed about this and I just don't have peace about it." But, I'll never forget one who was so very respectful of what I shared instead of defensive. That was a blessing to me in doing what was right.

Through all of this, I was now in my mid-20's and had continued praying for God's best. It was getting a bit discouraging to have to turn some away and hard to be firm with a particularly persistent one (a pastry chef who even created a recipe named after me for some kind of baking contest).

To be continued...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Sooooo - how'd 'ya meet?

The question that everyone loves to ask and I seriously try to avoid. A number of you have asked over the years of me blogging and I've never replied - however, I am finally ready to answer it - you've asked and here goes. Beware - this is going to get wordy and will probably be continued several times.

Let's see if I can dig into my memory banks to the very beginning of this story ..... wow, it is dusty in there! Ok, here we go - my very first memory of an interest in boys dates back to 1981. I was five years old and in Kindergarten at Tomahawk Elementary in Overland Park, KS. (Oh, just wait you are going to learn all kinds of things about me in this story!)

I remember a sixth grade crossing guard catching my attention - my memory only holds three facts about him - two that I've already mentioned (sixth grade, crossing guard) and the third was that he had rosy cheeks. Don't ask me if he really did - but that is what I remember. I wasn't always going for older men though - I also had an eye for a boy in my class. I only remember three things about him too. He was in my class, his name was Brodie and he had lots of freckles. I still have a thing for freckles...

Now there seems to be a big gap in the romance department of my memory aside from Charles P. who loved to play with my hair during afternoon read aloud story time in Mrs. Frankmore's third grade class at Roosevelt Elementary.

Moving on, by now I am in sixth grade - have moved four times and am in my fourth school since the days of freckles and crossing guards. I don't remember much about Chip - he had glasses and rosy cheeks (a pattern?) and I sort of recall he gave me some sort of Valentine card which I must not have wanted and must have told him so because for the next year and a half he called me "smurf" and "shorty" and who knows what other short-related names. Have I ever mentioned I am only five feet tall and I was even shorter then!

Now I'm in 8th grade - and going to a Christian school (which I graduated from) and it is another Valentine's Day and Nate filled my locker with flowers, a teddy bear, chocolates and a balloon. I was embarrassed. I feel bad even now at how I must've broken his heart ... yet, God had a plan in mind.

I dreamed my way through High School wanting a date to the Jr/Sr Banquet - but as of my graduation from HS, I had just turned 18 and never had a date to anything. Our senior banquet had been held out at Glen Eyrie and so began my love of that place and my desire to get married there.

This pattern continued for a few more years and all this time I knew that what I wanted was to be at home. To be a wife and a mom. And, to marry someone who loved God and supported me wanting to be at home.

I was working full time at the school I graduated from as Varsity Cheerleading Coach, Registrar and Athletic Director's Secretary. And, as time went by - I had a new boss. After a while, he wanted to set me up with a friend of his. So, here it was my first date - a blind date.

To be continued ............ (yes, I know that is really mean - it was just too perfect a spot to pause)

Friday, April 02, 2010


Wow! Thanks for all of your entries for the Sparrow painting! I enjoyed hearing what you loved about Spring!

The winner (chosen at random) is Elizabeth!

Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

Make Your Home a Haven: Worship

Did you have fun adding beauty to your homes this week? I did! Mine was a big project (big shock, huh?) so I did not finish it - but I'm pleased with the progress made!

Here was my project - I really wanted a farmhouse table of some sort for our porch. After *much* searching - we finally found this one in a thrift store right down the street. For just under $100 it was a great buy as it is the table and four chairs all in great shape!

But, imagine with me if you will:

White + outdoors + little children + people who actually use furniture and live in this house = not clean, right?

And, you know - I can never leave anything alone - so I had to do something to this table!

Ready? I painted it a very dark gray, almost black and covered the top with delicious oil cloth. Idea courtesy of The Farm Chicks. I actually set out trying to choose a different fabric than what she shows in the pictures - but it was my favorite after looking through lots of choices!

There are a few "fold lines" still in the top of the fabric - when I figure out how to smooth those out since I can't iron this fabric, I'll show you a picture of the whole top!

I also had two chairs that were my great-grandma's and wanted to work those in too - here is the side by side since only one is finished! My girls both love this chair and it is a good thing we will have two of them!

I still have to do clear top coats, prime additional chairs and do lots more coats of paint on other chairs. But I'm so thrilled with this start!

For this coming week, let's add some form of worship to our havens. Either in how we do our work, creating something in worship or a place to worship, etc... Get creative with adding worship in your home this week!

We'll actually have two weeks to do this since next week I'll be sharing how David and I met - enjoy!

Some of you have already linked up your adding beauty posts - but if you haven't, please feel free to link below!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Looking at the Sky

My littles have been asking for picnic after picnic with the warmer weather we've been enjoying! One lunch time found us sitting in their choice of spot - at the end of our driveway (by the street) on a quilt.

I found myself feeling sleepy in the warm sun and laid down to rest - wow, the sky is beautiful. I was nearly overwhelmed with its beauty, its largeness and thinking of the One above and beyond it all!

Have you laid down and looked up at the sky lately?