Friday, December 16, 2011


I am joining with Gypsy Momma today...

I watched several preschool programs this week.  That is my blessing being a preschool director.  Children singing to their mommies  and daddies.  Oversized hand motions with big smiles.  So proud of what they had learned and so proud to have someone they loved watching them.

One boy yells "That is my Nanny!"

A little girls eyes light up when she sees her daddy.

A shy child holds her hand over her mouth but is secretly glad that she is performing for momma.

After the performance the children have opportunity to create a holiday treasure with their someone special.  The adults have come into the child's envorment.  It is our chance to be a child again and enjoy the simplicity of popcicle sticks, pom-poms, glue and glitter.

Yet, some of these adults cannot or will not connect.  They are still plugged into their cell phones texting while their child creates.  They sigh and look at their watch.  They ask me "How long do I have to stay?"

I wonder how often do I do that.  Do I linger too long at the computer?  Do I acknowledge their question?  Do I hear their voices?  Or am I too caught up in things that really don't matter to connect?  Pinterest, blogging and facebook can wait. 

Help me Lord to hear and see so I can connect with people and with You.

Monday, December 12, 2011

1000 gifts

I recently started reading Ann Voskamps' 1000 gifts.  What started as hard to read has turned into can't put down.  I am searching for moments that I can fill my eyes with her words and create my own list.  I am now carrying a little journal to document as I go.  Because waiting until night I just might forget.  This list keeping is making my smile more.  I 'see' things in front of me.  It slows my pace of life just by the smallest amount, yet enough.  Enough for me to breathe in grace, thanksgiving and joy.

  • Red tutu's on my 5 year old asian beauty
  • Listening to one of my children pick up an instrument of thier choice and worship
  • Sharing with friends who are on a similar journey with God teaching similar truths - yet so individual
  • Preschoolers singing Away in a Manger across from my office
  • Sloppy homemade ornaments made in pride for mom & dad
  • The Written Word
  • Smell of Christmas baking
  • A sweet text from my hubby
  • My 15 year old son putting his arm around his momma
  • Sharing hope with a discouraged friend

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I sat on the couch with my youngest as she practiced her reading.  She is still struggling with the small little word “the”.  As we come to it again she tries to sound it out and I tell her this is just one of those words you have to memorize.  It doesn’t sound out.  And we keep reading.  Keep practicing.

We do it with spelling words, parts of speech and multiplication tables.  In biology, it is classifications, in chemistry it is the element chart.  We are all practicing. Drilling in information or concepts that are needed.  Needed to take us to the next.

“Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.”

These words are profound to me.  I want so much to realize Truth and have it be so.  Yet, it takes practice.  Simply knowing is not enough.  I have to let it be so.  I have to practice. Just like my 5 year old must practice reading to become a better reader.  Just like my 5th grader must practice fractions for them to become easier.  Just like my 8th grader practices her algebra to get better at equations.  Just like my 9th grader drills kingdoms, phylum, class, families, etc. to better understand life.  Just like my college student memorizes body functions I never knew existed and I don’t understand to get into a nursing program. 

Practice is the hardest part of learning.

For the lessons that God is teaching me I must practice.  I must practice His grace.  I must practice His truth.  I must practice thanksgiving.

And this training is the essence of transformation.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just breathe

I am linking up with Emily @Chatting at the sky for Tuesday's unwrapped.


God usually speaks in themes in my life. In teaching terms I suppose I would say that we (God and I) have been going through a unit study. A unit study is one that the same subject is used across the curriculum. This is a great way to teach because of repetition and consistency.  It all flows and learning is natural.  God is the perfect teacher.

I love how themes will connect in areas of my life.  What I am reading, a song on the radio, a sermon, or a conversation with a friend.  God does all this to make His point.  To help me to learn His lessons.  Sometimes I have to smile as the same theme emerges again and again.  “Yes, Lord, I am seeing.  I am getting it.”  Other times I react offended.  “Are you kidding me?  Are we still on this, Lord?”  This week I am smiling.  I am getting it. I am working on responding with His eyes, His voice, and His heart instead of reacting in my judgments, my opinions,  and my selfishness.  To take the grace He has richly given and rest and enjoy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Joy is


is always a function of gratitude and


is always a function of perspective.


we are going to change our lives, what we're


ing to have to change is the way we see."

Sunday, December 4, 2011


As I sat in church this morning way up in the back of the balcony singing seasonal hymns and songs I felt a wave wash over me.  A wave of praise and gratitude to Jesus.  It caught me a bit off guard.  I feel myself coming out of a long, long drought.  And it feels good.  As my perspective changes I can feel the rain starting to sprinkle over my soul and my spirit is renewed.  Circumstances and people remain the same, yet I have a peace that God is in control of everything and that is enough.  I am learning to let the peace of God rule.

We watched Seven Days in Utopia this weekend.  It was so good. I highly recommend it.  It is a great reminder about what life is all about.  Perspective is everything.

Wednesday we had this amazing couple come to speak to our youth group.  Kathleen is absolutely amazing.  Amazing.  She is such an incredible woman of God.  I was so blessed to meet her in person and hear her story told in her voice.  To meet Cale and to see him smile.  Amazing. Again, it is all in your perspective.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  Colossians 3:15-16

This song blesses me.  God is worth my praise all the time.  In the dessert of my spirit, in the fire of my trial, in my battle and in the harvest.  It is all in my perspective.  I choose to let my attitude be that of Christ.

Hillsong United
Desert Song lyrics

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides
This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favour and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Here we go Fa la la la la....

Today is the last day of November. That means for this elf tomorrow official starts the Christmas season. I already have about half of my gifts purchased, lights up outside, and a few decorations up inside but tomorrow it is official. I am praying that my heart will stay in November's thankfulness. That I can truly enjoy the reason for the season and not be burdened by expectations that are heaped upon me either by other or myself. I will treasure the wonder of the gift that was given so long ago. I will choose wisely and carefully what I will commit to, partake of, and work towards. I will let my "yes" be for things that matter to me and my family. "Yes" to baking favorite treats.  “No to baking plates full of complicated creations. "Yes" to leisure shopping trips. “No” to stressful Power Shopping and conquering the mall.  “Yes” to thoughtful gifts.  “No” to trinkets that we do not need.  "Yes” to watching Christmas themed services that provoke worship.  "No" to obligations that bring stress and needless busyness.  "Yes" to smiling more and "no" to grumbling.
Let’s do this!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanks for the complaint

We are all heading into the week of Thanksgiving.  I have seen lots of lists of things people are thankful for circulating both on blogs and on Facebook.   I have even felt a bit guilty for now making my own list.  It would have been very easy to post something that I am thankful for each day of the month.  My husband, my children, my parents, my home, my friends, etc.   It is so easy to be thankful for the blessings.  The good.  The easy.  The things that make me happy.  The things I enjoy.  But what about all the rest of life.  The bad, the hard, the things that bring my frustration, the things I don’t look forward to?  Am I thankful for those? 

So from now until Thanksgiving I will purpose to be thankful for the things, situations and people that test my faith for the purpose of perseverance to finish its work that I may be mature and complete lacking nothing.

Today I am thankful for complaints against me.  Whether it be in the form of not pleasing someone in my home, an extended family member, someone at my workplace or someone at church.  This helps me learn the lesson that I cannot please everyone.  It reminds me that I am the servant and not The Source.  Although sometimes I feel I may not be pleasing anyone, I know that is not truth.  Today I purpose to do what I can with what I have and to put priority on pleasing the only one that matters, Jesus.  And in pleasing Him I am bound to please some of the others.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving. Perspective. Grace.

These three words have been on my mind. I am learning how they all go together.

I am not nearly as thankful as I should be. I am very happy for the people in my life, my circumstances and the material goods I have but happiness does not equal gratitude. My perspective needs to change.

Sometimes...most of the focus is on the immediate. The problem. The solution. The squeaky wheel. If I could just tweak my perspective just a teeny tiny bit to see people and situations through the eyes of the One who is in control of the situations and loves the people I would have more peace in the middle and more grace.

Grace to fill the holes of all that lacks. Not because it is the final ingredient of what people, situations or me do not measure up to. Not because when all else fails grace comes in to save the day. God is not pleased with my stuff and filling in with a measure of Himself where needed. I was never meant to measure up. People, circumstances and things were never meant to fulfill. I need His grace. All of it.  It is the one and only ingredient and no matter what I have to offer grace alone is enough.  All my stuff is accepted and desired only as a love offering.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  And for that I truly am thankful.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Day Project Review

I so enjoyed the Happy Day Project.  It was just what I needed to jump back into blogging. 

God has been speaking to me in the theme of 'Do What You Can With What You Have' and this was a perfect way for me to apply what I have been learning. 
The acts of kindess that were done this week were not done in Mathat Stewart fashion.  There were no clever tags attached to the project.  I did not deliver gourmet dinners.  Just simple.  I did what I could with what I had and you know what?  It felt good.  It felt good to not stress about the details of making something perfect and instead focus on the heart behind the act.  It felt good to have my husband comment on me not being stressed out to have folk over for dinner.  It felt good to do things God's way without self-imposed expectations that were just out of reach.

It amazes me that I am still learning about myself.  I really thought I would be so much more grown-up by now.  More mature.  More together.  More confident.  More.  Although there has been much work done in this heart of mine over the 21 years since I said "yes" to Jesus there is still much refining that needs to be done.  Flowerpatch Farmgirl spoke beautifully what my heart was thinking this week regarding the gentle work of the Father...
"He works one chamber at a time changing small pieces.  He lights the spark of willingness and tunes the strings of brokeness and grace" 
I cannot do the work on my own.  I need His help.  I need the help of my like-minded fellow travelers who are also on a journey to the same place. Christ-likeness.  Their path may look different than mine but we can encourage eachother to press on. 

Although I may need work and I am seeing more and more that I am not enough on my own, I am also learning new lessons on grace thanks to this book written by this girl.  I am feeling a freedom to just be.  To just rest.  And that through Him I am enough.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Day Project Day 5

happy day 

Today's project is to bring refreshment. According to the dictionary... 

Refreshment:  noun
something that refreshes, especially food or drink.
refreshments, articles or portions of food or drink, especially for a light meal.
3.the act of refreshing or the state of being refreshed.

Tonight my husband is having the leadership of our youth group over for dinner.  In keeping with the theme of doing what I can with what I have it will be a simple spread of pasta, salad and bread with a chocolaty dessert.  

My goal is for these dear people that serve our students, who most of the time are very ungrateful for the sacrifices that the adults in their lives have given for them, will leave refreshed and encouraged to press on.

Have a happy day! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Day Project Day 4

happy day

As I said yesterday, Wednesdays for us are busy so the gift card for the homeless will have to wait til the weekend.  After reading this post it really got me thinking about what I believe about those I see on the street.  I am intrigued to read the book she recommended.  Especially when I saw Francis Chan wrote the forward for it. 

Today's project is book for a friend. I love books!  I really do.  I just received a book from Amazon for my 15 year old son that we are going to read together Do hard things by Alex & Brett Harris so I am going to let this count for today's project.

In addition I thought I would give you a list of some of my all time favorites.

Crazy Love & Forgotten God by Francis Chan

Surrender, Holiness & Brokeness Trilogy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

A life that says welcome  by Karen Ehman

The power of a praying woman by Stormie Omartian - also praying parent and praying wife are all equally great.

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Day Project Day 3

So I imagined sitting down with a cup of coffee creating this long lovely note to an unsuspecting yet well deserving soul that would warm their heart. In this dream I was also writing with a quill and a bottle of ink.Reality was a store bought card and a ball point pen.  Just a quick little note to show a little love and let them know I was thinking about them.  Just doing what I can with what I have. 

Today's challenge is a gift card for the homeless.  Not sure what I am going to do with this. Hmmmm... 
 McDonalds?  Wal-Mart?  How much? I do know that Wednesday are super busy and this may have to wait til the weekend.  I would like to send you over to Holley Gerth who has a very encouraging post about making a difference in someone's life.  Holley always has something encouraging or thought provoking to say so head on over and be blessed :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Day Project Day 2

What a great project. God knew just what He was doing when He took me to Joy's Hope. It is a great way for me to jump back into the blog swing of things.

On day one I was surprised by my insecurity. Even as I type this it sounds completely foolish. Insecure to bless someone? If anyone showed up on my doorstep with a casserole and loaf of bread in hand I would probably cry tears of gratitude and joy wondering what I had done to deserve such a blessing.

Yet yesterday I found myself questioning.
  • Would she think it was strange that I brought her this gift?
  • Would she like it?
  • Would she have to tell her children to 'be nice because that woman meant well?'.
  • Would she tell her friends that I brought the nastiest casserole she ever tasted?
  • What if she found a dog hair in it?
As I got closer to her house my heart beat faster and I thought about turning around. Especially when I saw she was not at home but her mother-in-law instead.

I have no control over how my gift was received. One or more of those things may or may not occur. What I do have control over is my fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of disapproval. Fear of inadequacy. I will make the choice to do what I can with what I have. I will make the choice to branch out and bless others. I will make the choice to trust that God has all the other stuff covered.

happy day
Today's project is a handwritten note. I don't even remember the last time I wrote a sweet note on anything more than a post it. We live in a society full of facebook, twitter, blogger and texting. The art of taking the time to write a complete sentence with nice penmanship is nearly gone. Do you remember writing and re-writing a note to get the penmanship just so? Trying out different types of lettering? Folding origami style? Maybe even spraying it with Love's Baby Soft perfume? Sprinkling in lots of confetti? I don't know about you, but I still enjoy getting a piece of personal mail. A letter or note written and sent the old fashioned way - snail mail style. With penmanship that shows the sender's personality.

Today I will send some happiness!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Day Project

I am a list lover. I do my meal planning with a calendar, I do my grocery shopping with a list, I read the Bible according to a get the idea. I also enjoy an opportunity to bless someone with just little preparation and planning on my part. Welcome to the Happy Day Project!

Joy is hosting a fun project over on her blog. Every day this week will be a small challenge to spread some happiness and joy. What a wonderful way to lead up to the holidays!

Today's project is to treat a neighbor. There is a new girl in town. She has 3 small children and just started coming to our church. Even though she has family and friends in town I thought I would bring her a little treat this afternoon. I remember having lots of little ones around and people assuming that since my family was here I never needed any help or encouragement as a mom and wife. Technically she is not my neighbor - she lives several blocks away. But from Sunday School I have taught that really everyone is our neighbor.

Have a great day and spread some happiness!