welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.

Let there be Light

So I finished Crazy Love....WOW, just WOW is all I can say. Again.....I cannot encourage you enough to pick up this book! It will really impact you and the way you make choices in your life.

So this new fangle thing called "reading" that all you "shmart" folks do.... is starting to catch on with me....HA! I actually am halfway through my second book, Fearless by Max Lucado. I think I have read more in these past three weeks than I have in the whole decade of my thirties.

And with this new adventure, I feel I am being enlightened. It's almost like when you finally suck it up and go to the eye doctor and get your eyes checked. You find out that although you are not considered legally blind, you do have a slight impairment... and in my case, an astigmatism.

stopping here to think about this:

astigmatism: n; A visual defect in which the unequal curvature... (sparing the mumbo jumbo)............prevents light rays from focusing clearly...... resulting in blurred vision.

hmmmmmm, kinda reminds me, in my case......of The Light.

Ever notice that "light" is used in so many positive ways?

There's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Bringing light to the situation.

This little light of mine......I'm gonna let it shine.

How about the best Book of all....in the third verse we see what God feels about light;

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good...... ~Genesis 1:3-4

OK, back to the eye exam:

So then, the doc gives you a sample pair of prescription glasses to try on and suddenly things come into focus.... so much more sharp and clear. It actually is a bit frightening to think that you've been walking around (er, driving would be my case) and things really were not being viewed/experienced the way they should be.

(*side note....it was determined that my vision is only 20/25, so I was not too much of a menace on New England roads.)

With your new "vision" you are able to "see" better and therefore you are able to make better choices. I think back to how I navigated through life with blurred vision making half hazard choices and decisions. And "hazard" is a perfect word when I look back.

Anyway.....I guess I am referencing this because that is how I feel lately as God is opening up my heart and mind in a new and improved way. Kinda like He is the Great Physician handing me some new glasses. Not only is He bringing things better into focus......He is showing me that working through this inner turmoil and pressing through the changes need to happen so that I can prepare for my future. It is all so that I will have the best vision to keep my eyes fixed on Him.

I am now seeing that Light in the distance. And it looks GREAT!

......I have SO much more I want to share with you all on what is going on with me, how God is putting people and situations into Josh and I's lives, over-the-top plans......and they all are going to give Him all the Glory!!!

But I am going to stop here and just encourage you to seek His Light today. Someone NEEDS to hear this, I am sure. No matter where you are in your marriage/family life, no matter what the doctor tells you, no matter what your bank account states, no matter what the world tells you...

....it doesn't even matter what the weather is.....SEEK and soak in the SONshine...... for there is freedom in It!

He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.
~Job 33:28

Enjoy your weekend~


PS. If you have any books that you feel will bring more enLightment......please leave your suggestions with me. Just remember.....go easy with me!

If we evolved from apes....why are there still apes?

OK, I am not going to get into one of my biggest rants (if you have been around here for a while, you know that the whole evolution theory makes my skin crawl and I am a HUGE animal lover).....but I always loved that little statement and it stuck in my mind when I knew I was going to share this little less than 4 minute clip that was sent to me over the weekend.

(*This isn't a super duper spiritual posting...I am still in my digging deep mode with Jesus....continuing to sort through some questions and issues. I am ripping off a few emotional scabs but healing these wounds with God's "first aid kit" this time. It's a little painful, but I am certain I am going to come out of this better than I ever imagined! I can feel it and He promised me! I am beginning to see and experience that beautiful Light at the end of the tunnel and it sure is AWESOME!)

OK, so getting back to apes and evolution...and hopelessly trying to tie this all together.....

Please tell me......after watching this short little clip....that anyone could still believe that the animal kingdom was just random mutations over billions of years. Or that they only behave a certain way due to instinct or an automated response/reaction. Nope. I'm "old school" and I believe that God created each and every one with a special purpose on Day 6. I believe they are seen as valuable to God, who make them in their uniqueness for His own purposes. He sustains them and rejoices over them. (Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God~Luke 12:6)

How blessed are we to witness it firsthand.

Check this out...this has to warm your heart:

I hope and pray that your week is full of SONshine......


Moving Mountains

*I got something brewing inside.......can't put my finger on it, but it is almost unsettling. Not necessarily in a bad way....but in a different and powerful way. Situations......again, not all negative.......are presenting themselves in my life. Just causing me to make decisions. Decisions that I know I am not qualified to make without going to The Only One whom I can totally trust for counsel and advice.

I know God has His tools out and He is adjusting, tightening and rearranging things in my head and heart. (Thankfully He created me or He would need a map to find His way around this place). So with change, comes uncomfortable and edgy feelings.....but at the same time, it is exciting and it is causing me to seek Him even more.

So that is where I am at....which is why I have been somewhat absent in the world of blogging. I am digging deep with my Jesus and searching for what He has planned for me......because I know it is gonna be GOOD!

I thought I would re-run another one of my older posts that pertained to obstacles/challenges and how we need to put our faith into action and do our part in pursuing the Plan that God has for us. For me....right now....I am in full force mode seeking that out and not give up until it is revealed to me. For others, it may be the thrill of knowing that no matter what lies ahead....nothing is impossible when God is by your side.

Moving Mountains (originally posted 6.29.09)

So yesterday at church, our pastor's wife was prophesying after a powerful praise and worship song. She was declaring that we have the gift to speak out and move mountains and we must exercise that gift/right......now.

So it got me a-thinkin'

A mountain is basically any obstacle/issue/trail that is standing in your way. We all face mountains in our lives. It's part of life.

Most of the time, we (including me!) pray to God about these mountains. But in a verse from Mark:

"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him." ~Mark 17:20

......Jesus is telling us to speak directly to that mountain (obstacle) and command it to move.

There is nothing wrong with discussing things with God. We should. But we also have to trust in His Word and promises. We need to trust in the fact that God wants only the best for us. But we have to believe. We need to have faith.

He replied, ".......I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. " ~Matthew 17:20

Again, Jesus said YOU should tell it to get out of the way. And again, most Christians just speak to God about the mountain. Instead of following Jesus' directions & speaking directly to the mountain.

I don't want to waste another moment talking about my mountains.
I want to talk to my mountains.
I don't want to waste another moment begging or whining to God about moving my mountains
I am going to speak to it myself.... in faith. Faith in the promises in His word.

I am going to just do it in Jesus’ name & not my own.

We need to speak to fear and tell it to be gone.
We need to speak to doubt and worry and tell it that it has no place in our life.
We need to speak to sickness & tell it that it can’t stay in our body.
We need to speak to our debt. Tell it to be removed from our life.

I heard this reference to having hardcore, steadfast faith regarding a stone-cutter. He may be whacking at that rock over and over with no signs of the stone cracking. He continues to labor and even at 99 whacks he sees no results. But when he swings that 100th time, it breaks in two. We can apply this to our own rock (obstacle). We might not see any results with those first 99 whacks , but we are weakening that rock even with no indication. Being persistent can bring us victory.

So today I am believing in that 100th whack.

I will continue to press forward and know that I am covered in God's armor. I believe what the Bible tells me. It tells me that nothing is impossible with God. I believe that God gives me the authority. I will not let unbelief or lack of faith keep me from speaking to my mountain.

So today, I encourage you.

Speak to your mountain!



So I am reading this amazing book Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

Yes, you read that correctly.......*I* am reading a book!!!

So I heard about this book when a few blogs were doing a "book club" study. I missed out on joining it, but to be honest....I probably wouldn't have been able to keep up because, well.....you know my issues with me not really reading all so well. So what most avid readers could finish from cover to cover during a nice hot bath.....takes me about two weeks. But in my defense.....my pace works well for me. I read one chapter in the morning and I let the message simmer for a day or so. I love that Francis Chan also has online resources that have chapter videos that summarize his powerful thoughts and other great clips where he shares great messages.

Anyway....for me to stick out something that normally is mentally exhausting/frustrating.....it must be gripping. And that it is. And I encourage you to grab a copy for yourself, I am sure you can "hang" and read about 200 pages......(if I can, anyone can!).........it will totally bless your socks off!

This morning, I read Chapter 4 and Chan addresses being "lukewarm" in Christianity. All I can say is OUCH! He gives examples of lukewarm actions such as:

Lukewarm People don't really want to be saved from their sin; they only want to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don't genuinely hate sin and aren't truly sorry for it; they're merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm People don't really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one.

or how about this one that is a zinger to my heart:

Lukewarm People love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return like family, friends and other people they know and connect with. There is little love for those who cannot love them back, much less those who intentionally slight them, whose kids are better athletes then theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached.

Chan give many more examples including how Jesus asks us for everything, yet most of us try to give him less (or what we feel "comfortable" with).....or how we feel we are "playing it safe" by attending church regularly, giving our tithes and refrain from cursing. We proclaim to trust in God and let Him control our lives......as long as it is going the way we want it to.

(another OUCH, huh?)

I don't know about you, but just those few examples of being lukewarm convicted me in a big way this morning. I don't want to become stagnant in my faith or my walk with Christ......I want to always be on fire...I want to be "that" radical Christian no matter what others think. The only One whose opinion of me that truly matters is God alone. Yet, it is so scary, that even with the best intentions.....the busyness of this world, the chaos of life......our own wants and needs....... pulls our focus off of Him and we can slip into that lukewarm state without even knowing/realizing it.

This kind of reminds me of that Casting Crowns' song "Slow Fade"

"Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day"

So what about you? Do you struggle with being lukewarm sometime? What do you do to "fire it up" and get back to the place that Jesus wants you to be?

Have a beautiful and safe weekend.......

Peace and love~


** I, in no way shape or form, have been compensated in any way with recommending this book....I am quite certain that no promotion agency, in their right mind, would even consider me for reviewing any book for fear that it would be out of print by the time I finished it.
Just thought I would mention that. ;)

Patience through Puzzles

I am jumping in on the One Word at a Time Carnival Today's theme is "patience" and is definitely something I struggle with often. I decided to re-post one of the first posts I made back in Nov '08 when I had about 3 readers, one being Josh, so hopefully it's a new read for you. It's a little bit on the long side and very scattered as usual......but if you are patient, I do bring a message. :)

Make sure you head on over to Bridget Chumbley's place to enjoy other great thoughts on patience.

Patience is not one of my strongest attributes.....but I am working on it ;)

Well, I am pretty patient in day to day stuff... such as

  • allowing kids to cook/bake in the kitchen, no matter how much flour is getting under the stove's heating elements. I even exercise more patience when the spilled milk makes it seep into places I will never reach to clean.
  • getting up over a dozen times during one TV show to wiggle the cable connection back in place.
  • asking H, over the course of a week (or two), when his bedroom will finally not look like a bomb went off in it.....only to hear each time, "I'm working on it, Mom".
  • waiting for this 100 pound "puppy" to stop chewing anything and everything that isn't moving (unless he catches it)
  • waiting for the house-cleaning fairy to make her appearance at our house....along with the Publishers Clearing House people ;)
  • this list could go on forever, but I'll stop here

But one thing I really need help is in patience to know where God wants me.....It's hard to explain, but I just feel that I am supposed to be doing "more" or going in a different direction for a purpose. It's so frustrating because on top of juggling family life, homeschooling, working p/t and tending to my two small online businesses....I also have a waiting list for "the back burner".

  • I have a children's book in draft form, that has been staring at me for over three years. I did get a good portion of the illustrations done this year, but now.....those paintings are sitting on top of the dusty pages of the story.
  • I have a project that I would love to start that has to do with sending (or better yet....hand delivering) boxes of my tie dye tees to Malawi or another less fortunate nation. I just think that tie dye can brighten anyone's day. :)
  • Josh and I would love to start a venue for youth to enjoy live Christian music and preaching and incorporate it with skateboarding, bmx and other sporting events in our area.
  • another list that can go on.....and on......and it does.... in my brain.

I know that these ideas are doable and can happen in time. But it's so frustrating to have your brain and heart wanting to invest time/energy and go in a certain direction, but waiting and needing some word of advice from God. Waiting on the confirmation that it is where He wants me to go. I am not one of those people who are fortunate enough to clearly hear God talking to them. I wish I was, because it would make this so much easier for me.
But, I do know that God puts desires and dreams in our heart. So I need to rely on Him to bring them to fruition if it is His will.....I have to trust in His perfect plan and perfect timing

....but sometimes, I feel like a kid stamping my feet and whining "I just want it NOW!!"

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed." (Habakkuk 2:3 NLT)

So I did a search at Blue Letter Bible for patience and came across that passage.......and just by re-reading it, I am finding some answers right now. As I pour out these thoughts, I need to have patience like Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Joseph and the many great heroes in the Bible. Time after time their stories show us that patience is a virtue and is rewarded.

So yes, I need to work harder on patience. I decided to buy myself a puzzle. I often give N a 100 piece puzzle as part of her homeschooling downtime. It helps her with problem solving and gives her a great sense of accomplishment when she sits back and sees the completed puzzle. It also has a calming effect on her, as she sits quietly and just focuses on "finding a match".

So I thought it would be a great way for me to wind down, work on my patience and hope to find a peaceful quiet time in the day. I hoped it would even get quiet enough in my head so I could hear God's soft sweet whisper that I have been longing to hear.

So I broke out that puzzle last night.........Life has been so busy for me this week, that I decided that we were all going to hang in on a Friday night for once. Josh was working so it was just me and the kids. I opened the puzzle box and dumped the pieces on the table......At first I had to talk myself out of just walking away/giving up as I felt overwhelmed just flipping over every piece.....750 of them. Starting to feel anxious, I regrouped and started working on the "flat edges" (because that is how you are supposed to, right?). After about an hour, I finished one whole side! (I know that doesn't seem like such a feat, but for me to sit still for an hour in itself is a victory)......so completing just one side of a puzzle felt so gratifying. I was brought back to the image of N's face when she proudly finishes her puzzles.....and it felt so good!

So then, it hit me.......I didn't necessarily hear God "talk" to me, but He revealed to me something I have been searching for, while I working on the puzzle. I thought about how sometimes life seems so disorganized and overwhelming in the rush of it all, but if we just take our time, relax and go with it.....after a few different attempts....the pieces will soon fit together.

One thing I did hear during my quest in Puzzle-Land......was all four of my healthy children talking in our living room. And then, one by one......they joined in on working on it with me. For that short time, there was no background buzz of the TV, there was no screaming music coming from the computer speakers (but it's hardcore Christian, mom!) and no bickering. It was almost a Beaver Cleaver moment, HA!

And it was then that it hit me.....again ( a double dose of enlightenment).....*this* is where God wants me right now....home with my kids enjoying the moment. He reminded me that there are many women who would love to be doing puzzles with their children in their home, rather than in the hospital. Many women would love to have the luxury of doing a puzzle, rather than working 12-14 hours a day trying to pay the rent.....many women would rather be doing a puzzle rather than making funeral arrangements for a loved one.

Point being......my life is truly blessed and fulfilling just the way it is, and sometimes I just need to be reminded of with the simplicity of doing a puzzle. (I have to mention that the word simple and a 750 piece puzzle should NOT be used in the same reference)

.....so, maybe God wants me to be right where I am, right now. Maybe he is pleased with me just trying to be the best wife and mom that I can be, trying to raise up my children to be Followers of His word, and hopefully letting His Glory shine through me whenever possible. Maybe I am not ready to take on the bigger projects I have planned........yet ;)

So I pray...... There is a purpose for my life, Lord. I will trust that you will help me to discover it, embrace it, and fulfill it for Your glory....in Your perfect timing. In Jesus Name~Amen.

OH, and lastly......speaking of patience......I will leave you with this amazing story of patience. It's almost borderline ridiculous that it is real....check it out.

Art in the Eye of a Needle


Solid Rock Faith, Solid Rock Love

".... He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by His wounds we are healed."
~Isaiah 53:5

*just wanted to share with you what Josh cemented into our woodstove hearth this week. We brought back the nail from The Cross at Soulfest.....the Crown of Thorns ring has been one of my keepsakes for years. It will remind us daily of what Jesus Christ did for us and how much He loves us....

.....ok back to the construction zone.

Hope you have a beautiful weekend~


Groundhog Day

So last night I am tossing and turning with another wonderful bout of insomnia. One of the many things pinballin' around in my head is that I needed to print out a quick lesson plan for Groundhog Day for today and work it into our homeschooling schedule.

Then I thought about how funny it really is that we have such a "holiday" (yes, Wikipedia calls it a holiday). What is even more funny to me is not only the massive celebration held in Punxsutawney, PA in honor of this little rodent, Puxnsutawney Phil.....(or is Phil a mammal?) but there are travel agencies who will plan your whole trip to Gobbler's Knob for the festivities. I mean we are talking thousands and thousands of people waking up at some horrific hour to watch a bunch of men dressed up in historical clothing to shove this furry critter through some fake burrow. And as you know.....if Phil sees his shadow, legend has it that we can expect six more weeks of winter weather. No shadow indicates an early spring.

Think about shadows for a minute......shadows are often used in a negative sense, such as creepy shadows in a spooky setting. Usually you see the shadow of the ax murderer right before he leaps around the corner. There was an old time mystery radio show in the 30s (No! I was not born yet.....) where the eerie narrator's opening line was.... "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"

Even in the Bible, the shadow is referred to a dark place/state of being....Job says "...before I go to the place of no return, to the land of gloom and deep shadow...(Job 10:21). David, along with Isaiah, Luke and Matthew talk of the shadow of death.

The shadow can also represent a dark past.....something that follows you around and can haunt you. And as you know.....you can not outrun your shadow. (Remember trying to do that as a kid?). Sometimes you can walk around in life and not acknowledge that it is there. But if someone or something causes you to look back due to fear, worry or guilt.......you see it is still there. The enemy is hanging around there too.....in fact, he is usually the one who reminds you of your past sin and all the junk back there. He enjoys it when you turn around and become filled with guilt, shame and sadness. It's kinda like that groundhog.....he sees (fears) his shadow and returns back to the world of darkness.

The Good News is that when we accept Jesus into our heart....He is *in* us. So when we keep our eyes/attention forward to God, His great Light casts a shadow on Jesus (because He dwells within us)......and there is no junk in that shadow. Accepting Him as our Savior washes away our sin.....there is no trail left behind. His Blood.....that of an innocent Lamb......was shed on the Cross to cleanse us and set us free.

How awesome is that?

I pray today you remember that God wants us live a joyful life......free from any creepy shadows that try to lurk back into our life. He does not want us to stay in hibernation mode, living in fear or feeling captive by guilt. No, He has great plans for us.....but we need to pop our heads up, face the beautiful day and get His work done!

(*insert pep rally cheers here*.....Hey, if a little critter can get a crowd of thousands going.....I hope this Good News can!)

So if you are reading this, I am assuming you are not amidst the festivities of Puxnsutawney (have you figured out how to pronounce it yet? I haven't). But don't despair my friends, you can always head on over to one of the many souvenir shops online and grab yourself a keepsake. Seeing as though we probably have at least six more weeks of this brutal winter weather.....I think I am gonna grab a pair of these.

Oh, and lastly......I have two more things to add as I wrap things up.

I was just informed by my kids......Puxnsutawney Phil *HAS* seen his shadow......so six more weeks of winter it is....

......and Phil is a rodent, which *is* a mammal.


Design in CSS by TemplateWorld and sponsored by SmashingMagazine
Blogger Template created by Deluxe Templates