Sunday, October 31, 2010

25 Days of Thanks Begins Nov 1

Last year I dedicated the month of November as a month of thanks on my blog. I blogged 26 days straight about things for which I was thankful. This year, I'm gearing up for round 2. Want to join in on the fun? Just take a few moments each day of November and post something you're thankful could be anything from food to family to fresh air. I've realized over the years that when I focus on gratitude my heart and soul are way less apt to complain about trivial things. I need a reminder every now and again to stay focused on the goodness of the Lord and give praise to the one who deserves it!


Hope you'll let me know what you're thankful for this about it, facebook it, journal it....but just do it!

Pippy and the Cowboy

Trick or Treat?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:26:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

I found this verse right after my dad passed away. I remember sitting in my dorm room at BBC wanting to really pour my heart out to God...and yet, I was at a loss for words. Someone had written Romans 8:26 on a piece of paper and given it to me and that day when I found it, it was like my ticket to not having all the answers. 

Finding myself in a similarly distraught time in my life, I returned to the verse again in August of 2002 when Savannah was born 13 weeks early - This time in a tiny 8 X 8 waiting room reserved for parents of NICU babies. I tried to pray alone, at her tiny incubator bed, with Bruce, with friends, at church....but my heart never had the right words to say. 

So, last night when Bruce asked me if I knew of a verse he could share with our youth and some of our friends who are going through what seems like the millionth bad news situation...this verse was on the tip of my tongue. 

I am overwhelmingly encouraged to know that I know a God who can interpret the very groanings of my heart. When words don't come easy, His Spirit intercedes and interprets those deep, tender, anxious groanings that our mouths can't seem to utter. That's amazing to me!

So last night as I stood in the yard of one of God's faithful young servants whose family has been turned upside down by illness, I watched and listened as tears and sniffles and quiet prayers and praise songs were uttered and heard by a God who understands the audible and inaudible. As 50 teenagers and youth workers quietly stood in testimony with their dear friend and mentor, possibly experiencing what I've felt in those dark, desolate moments I was reminded that I don't need to know what to say, how to say it or even when....He hears those cries, those moments of incomprehensible pain and anguish. He knows. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Amish White Bread

Here's the best white sandwich bread you will ever put in your mouth:


  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.


(Copied from

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire- Update

Scroll Down For Update

There's nothing quite like being greeted by your husband with, "The microwave is shooting balls of fire". 

Seems our over the range microwave has bit the dust...but not before adding a little excitement to our household. After several episodes of shorting out, the dearly loved, often used, small household appliance said its final goodbye in a ball of fire on Monday, October 25, 2010. RIP.

Not to be outdone, our glass cooktop also bit the dust. Yes. That's right. In a short span of 3 hours both highly used appliances said their final goodbye to cooking another meal for my family. Remember just a few days ago when I was thanking God that He had given this perfect house to us.....well, I'm still thankful, things could be worse...always!

Funny thing is.....we won't be replacing the stove top anytime soon. We've priced them and it's not a cheap quick fix. We will be getting a microwave today however! There are some things you just can't live without! We're debt free besides the house and 2 more car payments and we have no intention of heading the other goodbye cooktop for a bit...and hello microwave, crockpot and griddle....believe me....we will survive!

Thank you God for protecting Bruce as He battled the blaze of microwave fire! 

While I was posting this post yesterday....God had already provided the funds for a new stove. I just didn't know it then. Later in the day when Bruce told me, I was overwhelmed with emotion because of the goodness of God. He is concerned with our every need. He blesses us beyond what we deserve. Thanks to whoever became the hands and feet of Jesus yesterday. God bless you!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Satisfying Saturday

This was one of those weeks that just demanded for a slow paced Saturday.

So when I saw that RAIN was in the forecast for this weekend....I just about did the Happy Dance!!!--- and if you've seen me dance...

Thursday I worked from the moment I got home from teaching. Laundry, Bathrooms, Floors, Dusting....the works. I enlisted the help of my kids...and eventually Bruce so that by days end....the house was spic and span, laundry was just about done and the smell of the weekend was in the air. 

As soon as school let out Friday I took Tucker to the grands and Savannah and I headed to my new home away from home....Scrappy K's. I had spotted a chipboard scrapbook that I wanted to try my hand at a few weeks ago. We spent almost two hours browsing over papers, stamps, chalks, stickers, chipboard, tags, embellishments and so much more. It was fun spending time with Savannah that way. We left with a sack full of goodies and headed home to scrap while the guys were still gone. 

The rest of the evening was spent veggin' with the kids while we watched the Ranger's finish up the ALB championship - that in and of itself is a whole different post. 

Today...Saturday..... has been spent printing pictures for my new scrapbook, playing with the munchkins, baking brownies, catching up on HGTV, blog browsing and cooking dinner....and yes, even though I threw a load or two of laundry in the washer, I still feel like Saturday has been satisfied.

What a great weekend! What's your favorite thing about Saturday?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday

A few gratitudes from the last week:

1. My home. If you've read back a few days, you already know that we just celebrated our 1 year anniversary of moving into our home. What's so special about that? Well, we spent 3 months in an RV right before the purchase of this home while we were waiting for our home in another town to sell. God provided wonderful renters for our home, and eventually buyers...all while supplying for us to be able to buy the home we are in now. I think we appreciate it much more after our 3 months in the RV!

2. My job. I feel blessed to get to work with some amazing women, teach 11 of the cutest and funniest 4 year olds around and have the opportunity to share Jesus everyday!

3. Motivation. This time of year always gets me motivated to do something new....change the furniture around, try a new recipe, tackle a home improvement project. Getting busy on some of those things today!

4. Comic Relief. My kids have been exceptionally funny lately. Most days I could probably bore you to tears with the details of their humor. It's fun watching them learn to laugh at themselves, tell jokes and figure out that they are seriously funny.

5. Faithfulness. Sometimes it's an encouragement to watch the life of someone else. Sometimes it's not. Recently I've been blessed by the faithfulness of some of God's finest servants. Faithfulness to God is beautiful for so many reasons. One, the example it is to others to watch someone stay faithful during times of trials is so rare in the world today. Rare things have great value. Second, faithful servants speak loudly about a faithful God. You can often see someones real priorities by looking at where they spend their time and what they talk about. I'm thankful for those faithful Christians who invest their time and talents in eternal things.

So, what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In the Scheme of Things

I was just thinking about a few of the struggles that have been going on in my life. I was trying to think of solutions, trying to figure out the details, trying to pray about them....and then I started comparing my struggles with the struggles some of my friends are going through and I realized how insignificant my struggles are in the scheme of things. A husband's illness, a child's disease, financial worries, international living decisions, ministry challenges...boy, do my worries pale in comparison.

But then it hit me.....God's not comparing my worries with other's worries. He knows the cares of my heart like the back of His Son's nail pierced hand. He doesn't define my worries as insignificant or irrelevant compared to those around me. He's interested and devoted to taking care of my concerns with the same love, compassion, justice and care as He is the next person. You see, none of these worries are a big problem for a God like mine. He doesn't have a "scheme of things" scale where He devotes more or less energy to one problem or another. He's equally concerned for each of His children, even more so than the best mother for each of her children.

I'm thankful He's able and willing to handle these desperate cries of my matter how insignificant they might be....from feeling overwhelmed, to parenting concerns, to whether or not I've balanced the checkbook correctly! Yes, in the human scheme of things, some of my concerns seem pitiful, but God looks deeper, into the crevices of my heart and sees the real issues...and knows just how to handle or out of the scheme of things.

Monday, October 18, 2010


My mom and Pops just celebrated their one year anniversary. Last year this time we had just wrapped up a grand celebration of a wedding. It was so beautiful. Last night I talked with them both and they had a wonderful day reminiscing all the good things this year has brought them. What a special couple!

You might also remember that this time last year we were gearing up for our own special occasion...moving from the RV to our new-to-us home. Gone are the days of running for our lives to get to the RV without getting sprayed by a skunk, hot dogs getting stuck in the microwave and coloring my hair in a small 3 X 5 cell bathroom! Oh how I miss those special times with my family!

Seriously speaking, God was so good to us during our  months in the RV. He taught us so many lessons, we learned so much about each other, and most of all I learned that when you feel completely out of control you are in the best position to hear from God. I am so thankful for all those lessons and for the many humorous events that helped to keep me sane during our time in the RV. (If you haven't read about this inspirational humorous journey, feel free to look at the Aug-Oct 09 archives of this blog).

We are loving our home and all the space it affords us. I'm so thankful God knew just exactly what we needed at just the right time.

So....Happy Anniversary....Mom and Pops....

and to my family for one incredibly blessed year in our home!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Believe

There are A LOT of things that I don't understand about God. According to HIS Word, the Bible, it's not meant for me to understand everything.

"My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

Nor do I think that just because I don't understand some things easily that I should just give up. In fact some of my most meaningful Bible discoveries have come because of intense personal study (wrestling sometimes) with God's Words on my own heart. What I have personally come to terms with in my own life is the beauty of the mystery of God. As a human there is NO. POSSIBLE. WAY. for me to understand everything about God. In fact, it really nauseates me to hear someone talk like they've got it all figured out. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing someone talk about the complexities of the scriptures but at the end of the day there are enough black and whites of the Bible that occupy my time and efforts. 

But over time I've come to believe a basic "core" for my life:

I believe God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die for all. Period. 

Do I understand this?  Absolutely not. I cannot fathom a love that would (1) bring a child into the world for the sake of sending him into a world that would reject Him, persecute Him, torture Him and kill Him in His prime of life in a horrific fashion (2) and all the while, have the power to stop it (3) and yet, not stop it. (4) I can't imagine saying His life was worth every murderers, rapists, abusers, thieves, liars, ....(insert sin of anykind here) 5. I don't understand that after that HUGE sacrifice, my God could still love people who might never turn to Him.

I don't understand it, but I believe it. It is the very character of God that is questioned when we wonder if He could of, would of, should of sent His Son into the world to die for all mankind. He did. The reason we try to rationalize that God couldn't have possible sent His Son into the world to die for the world (all people ever born) is because we compare the character of God with our own. We couldn't, so God couldn't? I think not. His Ways....His Character...His Love is higher than anything we can possible imagine.

Here's who God sent His Son to die for:

1. For all (1 Timothy 2:6; Isaiah 53:6).
2. For every man (Heb. 2:9).
3. For the world (John 3:16).
4. For the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
5. For the ungodly (Rom. 5:6).
6. For false teachers (2 Peter 2:1).
7. For many (Matthew 20:28).
8. For Israel (John 11:50-51).
9. For the Church (Eph. 5:25).
10. For "me" (Gal. 2:20). 

God isn't limited in His ability to forgive. Thankfully. 

His Son was used and abused while He walked on earth...and unfortunately He continues to be today. It's not because God didn't value His own Son....It's because He loved the world so much...He wanted to rescue us from the grasp of hell, offer us an eternal life in a heavenly place that our minds cannot even imagine. He is just because He gives us the choice, he doesn't force or make an eternal decision for us. He gives us a free will to accept this free gift. It wouldn't be free if there were stipulations of behavioral change, attitude modifications and detoured desires. The fact is that MANY people do desire those changes, but it is largely due to the discipleship and spiritual transformation and conviction from God's Word after they begin their relationship with Him. 

Thank you God for sending your precious, perfect, holy Son for the world. Unconditionally. Undeservedly. Thank You! I don't understand it, cannot fathom it, don't question it...but embrace it and want to share the hope HE offers to a world in need! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thoughts on Miner's Rescue

As I type this I am watching as the 19th of 33 miners is being rescued in Chili. Last night I watched as the process began. As each miner was rescued and reunited with their families, I I imagine many all over the world did. One by one miners took the 15 minute ride in the capsule that would bring them to freedom. They've endured the worst circumstances. Minimal food, limited water, terrible living conditions. They've survived.

I've listened as the reports of the rescue efforts have been detailed. The awesome endurance of those who have given the last 69 days of their lives to get these 33 men out is remarkable. What dedication!

Of course I've been thinking about the spiritual correlations this rescue effort has. What an effort Christ has made for us to know Him. His own life, sacrificed. I wonder if this life on earth is much like the miner's life underground these last two and a half months....cold, dark, wearisome, much to endure, pain, hunger. And I think about Jesus being the one who embraces us on the other side....tears streaming down my face as his warm embrace envelopes me. Words of thanksgiving and praise will drip off my tongue, or maybe the emotions of the moment will stifle my verbal skills but either way...the cry of my heart will be in utter worship of the one who rescued me.

Imagine the gratitude these workers feel toward all those who helped to rescue them. They were given hope when they realized they were REALLY going to be saved. I know for I grow in my relationship with Christ and realize more and more what He has done for me, I have greater hope. Hope that God is in control. Hope that something better is coming in eternity. With that kind of hope....we can't help but throw out a rescue line for someone trapped in a life of despair.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Bulletin Boards for the Preschool Room

This bulletin board was created out of a need to motivate my sweet class to "take their time", "this is not a race", "do your best". I am pleased to announce that most of the students have since found their good work displayed on the "Harvest Good Work" board. 

If you think you've seen this board have...except the apples turned to leaves this month. Soon the green will fall off and we will be left with only the leaves.....
I bet you can't guess what's coming for December????

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Tonight I sat in a meeting with 13 youth workers who are burdened and committed to the youth in our church. They are heroes in my book. It's a beautiful thing to see the body of Christ rally together during times of need..and I guess pretty much anytime. These are people who have busy lives, children of their own, bills to pay, jobs to work and yet, in the midst of all that...they are committed to supporting the efforts of parents who are teaching their children to grow in their relationship with Christ. For some youth, these are the only adults who give them any type of Christ-centered guidance in their lives.

As I looked around and listened to the concerns, burdens and heartaches of these adults, I thought about how blessed these youth are to have this extra support system around them. They take this calling seriously.  They hurt when the students hurt, rejoice when they rejoice. They want God's best for their lives and pray for their futures. They're concerned about today as well as the choices facing them tomorrow.

They're not perfect....but they are concerned....and they are praying. It was a beautiful thing to get to meet with them, share some good food and laughs and then share our hearts together.

Thank you God for a sweet time of fellowship.

Question: How have you honored those who teach you or your family about God lately? I was thinking of trying to do something special for these workers and would love to hear your ideas....comment below!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Looking for Perfect

For about a month now I have been looking for the perfect purse. know what I might as well go read another blog 'cause I'm gonna camp here for a minute.

I discovered a while back but didn't fully enjoy its online shopping pleasure until I was sick a few weeks ago and bored out of my mind. I happened to be looking for some cute little poppies and hopped on over there to see what I could find. It was there I discovered the PURSE category. If you know me you know I don't really accessorize all that much so the fact that I spent several hours browsing purses should impress you! I also realized during the shopping adventure that I have a slight obsession with birds. All the purses I really loved had birds on them. So for the last few weeks I have enjoyed browsing the 18, 345 different purses that are listed at etsy....and more get listed everyday! I have a little money is reserve for a new purse for the fall, so last week,  I thought I would find the perfect purse for me on etsy and order it.

The search, not big enough, no, that one's too big, that one is the wrong color, that strap isn't long enough.....are you following me? So after searching through thousands (no I am not exaggerating) I still haven't found the perfect purse. Poor me.

This fiasco got me to thinking about other areas of my life that I am looking for perfect. The perfect husband, the perfect kids, the perfect house, the perfect outfit, the perfect church, the perfect friend. Boy...perfect sure is hard to find. It's my opinion that there is really only one thing that is "perfect" for me ....Jesus. His everything is perfect. He never disappoints. He's the perfect size, shape, color....and He lasts forever...through whatever life brings.

So while my search for the perfect purse continues. My search for so many other things...peace, real joy, contentment, love and acceptance has been Jesus!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Bruce taught the youth at church today. It was a difficult day. Some things happened this week that were disappointing and some of our youth are hurting, mad and feel misunderstood. Boy, we've all been there before! I remember the very first time I was disappointed by someone that was a role model. I was about 14 and one of the college age girls at church became pregnant. This girl was someone who I had known since I was in kindergarten. She seemed so perfect on the outside. Her life seemed all put together. I remember the disappointment I felt when my mom told me. I remember thinking about how embarrassed she must be. I wondered if I would ever see her again.

Time passed and I did see her again and again and soon I saw her with her newborn baby. I wondered how she felt about her life. I was young. I was naive and mostly I was disappointed.

In Bruce's lesson today, he helped us identify with the Children of Israel. They were disappointed. Moses had passed away...this mighty fallible leader had left them and now the children waited to see what Joshua was going to do with them. In a few short verses of Chapter 1 we realize Joshua's mind had already been made up. He didn't have to ask anyone....He's mind and heart were fixed on service to the LORD. He didn't dilly dally around. He put on his coat of courage and decided to claim the strength that God provided him. He trusted God enough to surrender his agenda and follow this course that God laid out for Him. Can you imagine the things that might have been going through His mind?

Bruce challenged the kids to become Joshua's. I confess this challenge awakened a sense of urgency in my own life. Surrendering my own will, insecurities, past failures and successes...can be humbling in a weird but good way. I want to be like Joshua....ready, with my courage clad, to do whatever God wants for such a time as this. Whether it's teaching preschool, working with the Home builders or youth or taking care of my family....I want to do it....the best I can knowing God is going to be right beside me each step of the way. He is who I serve. Not man. Not stuff. He is who I put my trust in. When people disappoint me, my faith walk won't waver because my eyes are on Jesus...not people.

I'm glad the lesson spoke to someone....even if that someone was only me.