Friday, December 5, 2014

Why do kids have to grow up??

It feels like it was just yesterday that the children loved doing all the holiday activities such as: Decorating cookies, setting up & decorating the Christmas tree, hanging lights, caroling, Christmas programs, doing charity events, visiting Santa, organizing family holiday pictures,  drinking hot cocoa etc. etc.

And now.. it is a hassle for them to do anything.. I desperately want to hold onto those fun memories of us doing the things together... Is it too much to ask?

I truly know what the true meaning of Christmas is and we do celebrate that; however the season just is not as fun since the kids are not little anymore!

I would have so many people tell me  "cherish your children while they are little" I did most the time but I don't think we truly comprehend that concept until we are out of that season and then long for it again! Embracing the season you are in now can often times be difficult. The excitement isnt there for the holidays. I actually would get mad when people would say that to me because I wanted to cherish all stages of my children regardless of their age. Although I love the stage that my kids are in now; which brings freedom, responsbilities, trust & friendships, I do understand now what others was so kindly trying to share with me. I think sometimes we just get so caught up in survival mode when the children are little we often forfeit the living abundantly during that stage of life which then ultimately causes us to wish the time away! At least that's what I experienced some times... I just couldn't wait for them to be older so I didn't feel so tied down. Now, as I sit here on this sad evening because our evening of making holiday memories has been a bust; I go down memory lane remembering the excitement that filled the air.. I am left with a question.... how do I cherish this stage of life when all I want is the fun memories??

Monday, December 1, 2014

Can you do without?

Have you asked yourself what you could do with out, if you had too?

A phone definitely didn't seem like it should be on the top of the list however due to us living in such a fast pace, high social media society you can't go long without thinking of calendars, twitter, instagram, facebook, & texting...

But when you remove an object or thing from your day or even week you realize just how connected you have become.. this happened to me this past week while home visiting for the holidays.. I broke my phone the first day into our vacation. At first I thought about all the tweets I couldn't do....the pictures I couldn't post... and the updates I couldn't make.. but I realized quickly that those things wasn't what I was visiting. I was visiting with friends & family for the holidays.. it was neat that I had my phoned forced from my hand sort of speak.. so that I could realize that ALL too many times I am not giving the UNDIVIDED attention to those around me that deserve the attention. I decided that I wasn't going to allow a broken phone to define my visit. In fact it ended up being a blessing to realize that I needed to hang the phone up for a bit and focus on what really matters!!!!

When my face was out of the phone my eyes were open to the epidemic we are modeling for our children! I honestly did not go anywhere without seeing this engagement.  I started to think of the memories I am leaving behind for those around me. I want to be an example.. a light for Christ. If I am spending so much of my time distracted will I miss an opportunity to share & be the light that God is calling me to be?? It definitely has me thinking.. and If I could choose to leave an imprint in society I would want others to see the passion I have for Christ instead of the passion I have for an object!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

When the puzzle pieces don't fit!!

                                          
                                        

Okay so what happens when you think you know what the Lord is preparing you to do; however the information you do know just doesn't fit with other information???

 The last few days I have pondered on the who, what, when, where and WHY?????  It is hard to wait for answers in any given situation!!   
Psalms 130:5-6 “I wait for the LORD,  my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”

I know God orchestrates things beautifully and in his good and perfect timing.  But it still doesn't change the fact that it is hard to wait.  It is given that we must go through a waiting period; so the question is How do we wait??

JOYCE MEYERS WRITES:
      "Once we've asked God to answer a question or solve a problem, we need to be eagerly awaiting His answer. We need to be serving actively, aggressively and expectantly. When our hearts are eager to hear from God, He loves to rush in suddenly with His solution. In many cases this waiting period actually serves as a time of preparation for the answer. If God answered right away, many of us would be ill-prepared to handle His solution.
Sometimes we find ourselves in such horrible messes that it's hard to imagine waiting one more second. But we need to keep waiting on God and trusting Him with a sweet and simple faith. Then, in a way we never could've figured out—God moves suddenly!" 

Then All of a Sudden...

In the Bible Paul and Silas knew about waiting, and they waited well. Acts 16 tells the story of how they were attacked by a crowd, beaten and thrown in jail. Verse 24 says the jailer put them into the inner prison (the dungeon) and fastened their feet in the stocks. He was making sure they couldn't escape. But about midnight, God showed up. Now it would have been nice if He'd come a little earlier, but Paul and Silas didn’t seem to mind—they just decided to start singing and began to worship the Lord. They began to wait on God.
Verses 25 & 26 say, "But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened." God answered them suddenly!
When people patiently and expectantly wait on God in the midst of horrible circumstances, suddenly God breaks through.
So don't give up! Don’t stop believing! Stay full of hope and expectation. God's power is limitless, and He'll break through for you.

Such refreshing words from Joyce!!  The biggest problem is trying to keep  our thoughts captive from the doubt, disbelief and worry that plaques our minds!!
                


Friday, October 17, 2014

Preparing for a BATTLE!!

                                        

These last few days; I feel as if God is preparing me for a battle.. Only He knows what that will look like.  As I have been mediating on HIS WORD... I didn't realize how many scriptures pertained to a "battle" of some kind.
http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Battles (to find a few)
There is a song that comes to mind as I read many of these verses:

by:Jamie Owens-Collins
"In heavenly armour we'll enter the land
The battle belongs to the Lord
No weapon that's fashioned against us shall stand
The battle belongs to the Lord

The power of darkness comes in like a flood
The battle belongs to the Lord
He's raised up a standard, the power of His blood
The battle belongs to the Lord

When your enemy presses in hard do not fear
The battle belongs to the Lord
Take courage my friend, your redemption is near
The battle belongs to the Lord"



In a conversation I had with a friend many years ago; I had asked her about preparing for ministry and her words still ring true to my ears, even now... She said "God will not put you in the front lines of a battle without first preparing you for it"

Think about it in terms of being a parent.  We would never put our children in any kind of situation, first and for most without considering the level of maturity & responsibility that they display. 
For example, last week my daughter went to her first home coming dance.
After evaluating the situation and coming to the conclusion that she would be save in the surroundings (due to the dance only being a middle school dance, and that the group was going just as friends and no dates) we gave permission for her to go. 
 I had a conversation with friends who was struggling with letting their daughter go to the dance.  During the conversation I had mentioned that both girls are very trust worthy and mature in their age, given neither parent a reason to doubt their judgment, to which they agreed.  I think the hardest part is just watching our kids grow up!!

Now, would we have allowed her to go two years ago?? NO! Because she wasn't ready to go. But also, when we as parents make decisions for our children we can't make them based on anxiety and fear.  We could possibly miss opportunities for our children & disregard their individuality.

I say all of this because this is what our heavenly Father does with each and everyone of our situations as well.  He doesn't make a decision for our lives based on someone else.  He doesn't make a decision based on fear or anxiety. Nor does he put us in a situation until we are mature and ready for that situation.  This gives me reassurance knowing the seasons of life we go through is because they have come from the hand of the Lord.  He orders each and everyone of our steps. Each path will be different from another.  There is so much to learn in the path that we take, But as we put our Trust in the Lord we can stand on the promise that He will guide and protect us every step of the way!!!





Monday, October 13, 2014

Piece by Piece

It's amazing how at different parts of your journey God will reveal pieces of information.. piece by piece!!  It is reassuring to know He will only reveal as much as we can comprehend.  A few weeks ago I felt as if there was a wave of information and now it is back to the waiting game. I have spoken to Mike and we both agree that we are ready to share with everyone what God has laid on our hearts!! Of course this is all in HIS timing so we will wait while taking steps to get us to the next chapter in our lives....

Mike and I had an interesting Monday a few weeks ago. As God was throwing pieces at us we were trying to collect them all and figure out how this all works with in OUR PLANS.. But then it hit me.. No matter how spiritual you are or how "right with God" you are; it ceases to amaze me how we can "humanize" His Will for & in Our lives.... And that is what I was doing that Monday. As Mike was pouring out his heart to me I instantly started to think of how things were going to work out according to my thoughts and my ways..                                                                      
Isaiah 55:8-9 AND Ephesians 3:20 have plagued my mind lately.....


So I needed a few days to really comprehend what we will be doing and to be fully willing to accept this challenge even though it still scares me!! I am giving that to the Lord as I stand on the promise that he Has Overcome this world and HE WILL overcome my FEAR!! I also keep asking myself if this is just a test... the whole Abraham/Isaac thing plays in the back of my mind.  No matter what I still want to acknowledge the fact that God is stirring in our hearts something that IS ABOUT TO COME... A CHANGE!

*********************************************************
Our vision:
Mike wants to build a village for the homeless..
 We want to purchase some land to put a few homes on.. Mike wants to put up buildings "small homes" for the homeless to live in. These homes would be the size of like an outdoor shed.. The village would also have a building for laundry and a classroom to do devotions and classes.  (Honestly it is very similar to that of the Dream center; however that is in St. Louis) 
To achieve this we are looking at several possibilities...
1)  Mike will go back into the "field" for awhile
2) We are researching and entertaining the idea of cashing our pension
3) We would like to put a "storage shed" up on the property we were to purchase so that we can generate funds this way
4) We will seek financial support for those who would be willing to support us
5) We will work & serve a different camps as well along this journey
 *******************************************************

Now of course we do not know how or when we will arrive at this vision but do know, from last experience, when things start opening up and moving it tends to happened pretty quickly!! 

How this all will work out is uncertain to us, but our steps have already been laid out and know that God does have a plan for us to continue in ministry.  What this will look like is beyond us... We are just taking one step at a time!! This is where TRUST comes in and having the knowledge that sometimes Faith requires UNANWERED questions.....

Will you join with us in prayer as we seek God's direction & pray for the obedience to follow His Will??????  Your support means a great deal to our family. A family who is, just a vessel for the Lord, willing to do His work for him!!










Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ARE WE Ready???


I went to an amazing conference this past weekend and several things made an impact in my life.  God has been stirring in our hearts for quite some time that the next step to our journey is coming closer and closer.  I believe before steps need to be made God works in our lives to prepare us and to equip us. 
To share the experience of the entire conference would take too long; however I would like to share in a few "snap shots" of what God revealed to me this weekend!

1) We went and visited the Dream Center. It is a ministry started by Dave & Joyce Meyer.  This is a description of the dream center straight from their website.
"They saw firsthand the restorative influence the Dream Center had on the crime-riddled, impoverished community surrounding it.
Dave and Joyce were moved by God to bring the outreach efforts of the Los Angeles Dream Center to the hurting people in their own city of St. Louis. With the help of David and Shelly Meyer and a handful of committed volunteers, they planted the St. Louis Dream Center right in the heart of North St. Louis, an inner-city area that was known for high crime, drugs, and gang activity. Thousands of men, women, and children in the St. Louis Metropolitan area would be dreamless and living nightmarish lives of poverty, drug addiction, and hopelessness. Men are being healed of addictions. Children are being fed nutritious meals and receiving character training and discipleship. People are being trained for ministry. The homeless are receiving food and clothing. The elderly are receiving attention and love."

A group of the men who have been transformed by the POWER and GRACE of God's LOVE formed a choir; they surprised the 14,000 women who attended this conference ministering to us in SONG... They sang the song "Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave:

 Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then you look at this prisoner and say to me
"son stop fighting a fight that's already been won"

  I am redeemed , you set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain
Cause I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed.....I'm redeemed

  All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear you whisper "child lift up your head"
I remember oh God you're not done with me yet

 Because I don't have to be the old man inside of me
'cause his day is long dead and gone because
I've got a new name , a new life I'm not the same
and a hope that will carry me home

There wasn't a dry eye in the arena.. To see the JOY on their faces and to see the new lives they were living.. THEY WERE NOT THE SAME!! It ignited in me a refreshed passion and reminded me of the Restoration and Saving Grace God gave us.   The question came up: What am I doing to seek and save the lost???  I believe God will call us out of our comfort zones so that we are not complacent or stagnant in our current positions or seasons of life.. We are to fully depend upon him and his strength!!!
 
 2)  One of the speakers Ed Young, spoke on being under the authority of God by demonstrating, with an umbrella, what it also looks like to be under the authority of our husbands.
Romans 5:18 "Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men..
Are we reigning over our circumstances or are they reigning over us?  
Are we bearing the fruits that we need to weather the storms? 
 The devil has power but we have power & authority in the name of Jesus Christ.
 Luke 10: 19 "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 
When we walk under the umbrella we are also coming under the authority of God.  It's a place of protection, perfection and purpose.  We can give up the sin of "self-protection" the fear of being hurt. We can give up the rebellion towards authority.  We do not have to be afraid that we will be taken advantage of.  The things we go through makes us stronger; what Satan attends for harm God attends it for good!!!  

3) Lisa Bevere spoke on battles..  Do we want to be a prisoner of war or do we want to be a hero? The enemy of our souls often know who we are going to be in the future rather then who we have been in the past. 
Christianity is a battle it is not a dream.
Luke 22:36 "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag, and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one"
We need to be on guard as we underestimate the power of what our opponent sees when they look at us.
James 1:22-25 "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what is says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like"
Matthew 16:24 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me"
Jesus isn't looking for your sacrifice he WAS YOUR sacrifice... He looks at your OBEDIENCE
James 1:2-8 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do"
God uses our present trials to overcome.  God doesn't say IF you pass through the waters he says "WHEN  you pass through the waters I WILL BE THERE
Lastly, she talked about how we need to be praying prayers that scare us!! If we are not praying prayers that scare us IT WONT SCARE THE ENEMY...Ask boldly and believingly with out second thought!!!

   

  I believe God used these "SNAP SHOTS" to start preparing in my heart what is to come. Trust requires a lot of unanswered questions, but I will trust God that he has a plan for our lives.  Joyce Meyer said during the conference "God will always give us what we need when he asks us to do what he wants us to do"  Because everyday I am changing into more of his image, I asked God to change me and my children to believe regardless of whether I see immediate changes that are working with in us.
 I boldly and believingly prayed a PRAYER THAT SCARED ME.. 
 (without a second thought)
Little did I know God was also working in Mike's heart.  When I got back from the conference he began to share his heart. I was so taken back that I actually was loss for words.  GOD orchestrates things so beautifully and when it IS HIS TIMING he makes things MOVE!!!  Mike has a CLEAR VISION of what's to come.  IT isn't anything WE thought would be on our radar but If GOD CALLS US TO IT HE WILL CALL US THROUGH IT!!! 

*****Friends & Family We Covent your prayers right now for:
                 directions open doors, provision & support!!!! 
We also ask out of respect for our family that questions be limited as we are searching for clear answers ourselves.  Like I said before Trust requires a lot of unanswered questions.. We stand on the promises of God that Whatever he ASKS us to do, WE will have the willingness and obedience to FOLLOW HIM!!!!  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Family Winter Wonderland!!!

I know.. I know YOU are probably thinking... She is writing a BLOG about WINTER????
Well.... It is never too early to plan and I would LOVE for as many of my friends to be a apart of this so I need to mention it as early as possible to get it on all of your CALENDARS!!!!!!

So, now that the introduction is over... Many of you know that my husband and I are working to implement family ministry here at the camp that we serve. We have enjoyed watching the interest grow... I am very excited to announce that we have officially put  another family camp on the calender here at Rivercrest!!!!!!  



Who: Camp Rivercrest
What: Family Winter Wonderland
When: January 30th, 2015@ 7:00 p.m.-January 31st, 2015@7:00 p.m. 

So here is what the package includes:
LODGING:
*One Night stay in the either Lodge/Cabin
ACTIVITIES:
*worship/speaker
*snow tubing/hot cocoa
*capture the flag
*broom ball
*ice wall
*each family will participate in a talent show (so bring your ideas and/or instruments)
FOOD:
*Saturday continental breakfast
*Saturday Lunch (hot/cold buffet)
*Saturday Pizza dinner
*Popcorn
*Cookies



You get ALL THIS for your entire family for



Monday, September 8, 2014

Chaos to conflict to Schedules & Routines...

                                     


     Our family started home schooling today!!  We always start after we take a week off over labor day. We spent 10 days relaxing and just refreshing from the season we just finished.   We were able to go camping for a few days, we played euchre, we hosted a mother/daughter bunco, we celebrated another anniversary among the many things we did!!

     This is our 4th year homeschooling, while I learn new things each year I am finally getting comfortable with it.  Every year I forget how time consuming this truly is until we start and I adjust!! Each year I create some goals that I hope to attain.  This year is our first year with only two children. We did agree to have the children take a few classes at Cedar Public Schools.  I love how each home school journey is as unique as each family. What fits for one family may certainly not fit for another..  The kids have been doing these classes for about three weeks. It was a nice transition for them so they can adjust for the most part but like any transition, comes some chaos with trying to learn the new boundaries.  Transitioning can be slow for my son, and a lot of wasted time.  I am just convinced that no matter where or how my son does school he will hate it.  His stubbornness and argumentative spirit can be a challenge.  It brings some frustration which causes a great deal of conflict at times. I want to show empathy and compassion to him, he has such a great heart. I think he is overwhelmed with his struggles at times and just will do about anything to act out defensively to protect his heart.  Schedules work great for most, but he has always lived outside the mold and beats to a different tune of the drum.  But then again, he is his mothers son!! :) 
     I love the fall, as it welcomes a different season for us. It's a season of schedules & routines.. But also a time of building relationships; home studies, consistent blogs, bible studies, coffee socials, Family/Friend game nights.... and of course HOME SCHOOLING!!


A few of my goals for this year are in no particular order:

1) To be more disciplined
2) To be more organized
3) To have more patience & understanding (eek!)
4) To focus on our "school time" without distractions
5) To work more efficient
6) To be a good steward of my time
7) To not compare my family and home school journey to others
8) To give each and every day to the Lord and allow him to direct our path
9) To not be anxious; but to be still, not over burdening my children or  myself; which means if we don't get everything done, this will be okay....(do you hear the anxiety in this sentence?!!)
10) TO BE AN EXAMPLE!!