Friday, September 30, 2011

The Jesus Serve

I've been thinking about how Jesus served and loved people here on earth. I'm kind of overwhelmed with a few things that I've discovered as I researched. He truly was someone who walked against the tide, went against the grain and rose above status quo. In a world where we are told to take two steps back from anyone who we don't like, offends or hurts us....Jesus took two steps forward to minister to them. The very people who betrayed Him were the ones He reached out to heal. His character is/was amazing.

Think about...

Peter's betrayal
Thomas' doubt
The sleeping disciples
Breaking bread with the disciples
The woman at the well
Soldiers at the foot of the cross

I'm reminded how His love looked beyond their hurt and betrayal and looked to the heart. A heart in need of something more. A heart in need of Him. Would His love have been perfect if He had written them off? Would His love have been perfect if He had moved on and forgotten about them? No...because perfect love has staying power. It is patient. It endures. It tries to see past the present and into the future. It gives people the benefit of the doubt. Perfect love forgives. Perfect love...a serving love...seeks to meet the real need and not get sidetracked by the traps of excuses and bad attitudes or wrong motives.

What a standard to live up to. In fact....I know I'm going to fail, but it's worth striving for....treating others with a love that's not our own....His love....what a privilege to know that kind of love in my own life...and get to share it with others. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I've been refueling. After nearly three and a half years of blogging. I took a little time off to refuel. I was at the end of ideas for blogging, feeling like I was empty...writing a bunch of nonsense and feeling some pressure from myself to write nearly everyday. I so didn't want to disappoint my readership or myself...not to mention God. So, after a couple weeks of very sparse writing, I feel ready to enjoy blogging again...with no pressure to write for anyone or about anything particular. Just journaling about life....the running, reaching and the resting. Hopefully you'll pick up something you can use along the way.

I've thought a lot about that feeling of emptiness lately. A friend of mine is emptying her house before her family heads off across the world to be nearly all her earthly possessions away(talk about emotional?). My gas tank tells me all too often that it's dangerously close to being empty. When I neglect breakfast, my stomach tells me it's empty. My heart has a spot that is empty because of my dad's death years ago. Emptiness isn't comfortable. We arrive there by different means, but the truth is the same. Life is draining. This world takes more than it gives. On our own we feel empty, dried up, useless, tired, dejected and somewhat worthless. On our own we believe a lie about emptiness.

God's Word tells us when we are weary, burdened, heavy hearted - to come to Christ and receive rest (Matt. 11:28). Rest from what?....the weariness of the world- The hardships that come by just being in this sinful world. The grief of death, the worry of tomorrow, the sorrow of wayward children, the loneliness of a broken heart...Christ says....come...sit your empty self right here with me and find rest. You are valued, loved, cared for, cherished, are my child. It's such a huge contrast to what we convince ourselves that emptiness is. Empty is where Jesus wants us. Empty is where we are most full.....of Him. Empty is the place of complete and utter dependence on the Savior. It's the place reserved for us at His feet. It's where we share the sweet fellowship of intimate conversation. Empty is good. Very good. The best.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


You know the feeling. The one where you are keenly aware that you've failed. You've disappointed God. Yourself. Friends. You've believed the lies that your enemies told and you fell flat on your face. It happened to me today. The pain of the burn still hurts.

In my mind the fail was epic. Forgotten words. Miscommunication. Nerves. Confusion. Unfocused. The pain still fresh and the sting of disappointment still lingering, I crawled into the Father's lap. Daddy's know how to make things better. Daddy's know how to restore a girl's faith. Daddy's know just the right words His girls need to hear.

And as He whispered His promises sweetly to my ear, I was reminded that I am nothing. I was reminded that He is everything. And that the weight of this world may knock me down and down and down again, but His hand will reach out and pull me up and His gentle voice will calm the storm of failure. He dusts off the knees of His girl. He wipes the tears of sadness and sorrow. He reminds us of His amazing love. And He sends us back on our way to bring glory to Him.

It's done. It's over. It's forgiven.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Small Things

It's the little things that make the big picture of my life beautiful. Sure...there's big things too, but "big" things might not happen everyday...but little things do. Or maybe it's all in perspective. Either way, there have been some little things that have blessed my socks off lately and I'm in complete awe at how much encouragement can come from these small, yet extremely ministering things.

For instance, friends who will keep your kids at the drop of a hat. I can't tell you how blessed I've been by this on two occasions recently. They don't think it's a big deal....but you know...if you have kids and are ever in a panic about what to do when a situation arises that they can't be with you....IT"S A BIG DEAL!

What about the friend who made the bestest chicken stew in all the world last night and brought it to us? After an extremely tiring and emotionally exhausting week someone thought we could use a meal....I never knew how ministering a meal can be in a time of exhaustion...but now I do.

My preschool director is keeping a cabinet stocked with diet cokes and sweet and salty snacks for the teachers. I know it sounds crazy, but this small thoughtful act is not only appreciated, it's saving me $5 a week and allows me to leave the house a little later since I'm not stopping to get a drink on the way to school. This is a small and unnecessary act....but as silly as it sounds...I am thankful!

My hubby, who always has a plateful of stuff going on, seriously is the best guy around. He gave me 2 hours of quiet last night that I spent watching a movie I had recorded 4 months ago and doing laundry, but he knew I needed a quiet break. I'm thankful that he's sensitive.

As I look back over this list....I know to most it would seem like I'm making a big deal out of the "small" things, but I'm convinced that when you hear that small still voice urging you to make a phone call, make a meal, watch someone's kids, give someone a break or love on your spouse a little extra, that it becomes big in the hands of God. He is the master at making things minister to a person's heart. He's done this for me a thousand time and more. I'm eternally thankful for the people who listened to Him and helped make small things big blessings for me this week. It really is the small things.

Monday, September 12, 2011


This morning right as school was starting I received a phone call from Bruce saying that my stepdad had suffered a stroke. Tonight as we were eating dinner with friends we received word that Bruce's mom had fallen and the ambulance was on it's way to transport her to the hospital. It's not been the best of days by any standard.

WAIT!!!! stop the presses!!!!

The truth is...

This day was the Lord's....Psalm 118:24

He had it all planned....Jeremiah 29:11

So....I can rest knowing that....

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:16-18

Thankful for a God who has the big picture all settled. Thankful for praying friends and family who lift our momentary needs to the throne on our behalf. We are blessed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to School Photo

 This little man started kindergarten yesterday...

This little girl....fourth grade

Praying for them both as they fill their minds with numbers and letters...
and their hearts with the knowledge of Jesus!

Monday, September 5, 2011

What's for Dinner?

I made this recipe for dinner tonight...and everyone liked it! According to the website I got it from it is only 5 WW points if you use beef. I used turkey instead so it was probably even fewer points.

Baked Ziti Pasta Recipe

- 12 oz Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta (I used the penne noodles)
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef (96/4)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add onions and garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks, about 3 to 5 minutes; drain off any fat and set pan back over medium heat.
Add the oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and mushrooms and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Spoon a small amount of beef-tomato mixture into bottom of a 4-quart casserole dish (just enough to cover surface); top with half of cooked pasta. Next, layer with half of remaining beef-tomato sauce and half of mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining pasta and then top with remaining beef-tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces.
Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is 1 piece
Each serving = 5 Point Total
Read more:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Praying Hands

I just finished cutting out these handprints of 8 of my new students in my preschool class. Last night at Open House I had each child and their parent/grandparent/guardian trace their hands for us to use in a lesson and craft on the first day of school.

I was sitting here in my comfy chair watching Shark Tank while three under 9 year old girls ran through the house with Savannah and it dawned on me that I could be using my cutting time to pray for these students and their parents. Preschool isn't a big deal to those not sending a child off for the first time, but for those young parents or perhaps grandparents that are sending their four year old to me it can be daunting. I know. I'm there.

Am I doing this right?
Is he/she well behaved?
Does the teacher like my child?
Does my child have friends?
Is my child up to speed?
Is he/she having fun?
Is he/she learning...growing?

It's hard. Trusting someone to take care of your child is hard....whether you do it when they are 4 years old going off to preschool or 25 and getting married. It's hard to believe that anyone could manage to take care and love your kid like you do. And you're so very right. Our job as parents is unique, blessed, a privilege. No one can do your job as well as you do. But the fact of the matter is that we have to trust something...some ONE bigger and much more trustworthy than our humanness. We have to trust God to protect them, to lead us, to grow them, to guide us. It's amazing the peace God brings when we take all our issues to Him.

So this night of cutting out these sweet handprints has turned into a prayer time for those bigger handprints...moms, dads, grandparents who are working hard and depending on God for the wisdom and guidance to do their best at parenting....and maybe even for some who don't know yet or need to be reminded of how special and valuable they are to the Lord. May this year be a year that changes all that. May our class be a special expression of God's love for each family.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Preschool Room 2011

I've spent the better part of the month of August knee deep in preschool. Here's how it's paid off:

Focus Board for September 

Circle Time 

Theme for the year "Oh Happy Day!" 

Left open for good work to be displayed 

Cutesy wreath from one of my students! 

 The Classroom

A little gift from me to my students at open house. 

Reading nook. It now has chairs and a rug in front of it.

It's gonna be a fun year!