Saturday, August 31, 2019

Mommin' and Ministry

As I leave the family campsite this morning at 6:30 a.m., all dressed up to be the presiding minister at church this morning, I am feeling conflicted.

I went to sleep 1st last night, while others stayed at the campfire and giggled together. 

I am driving back to town for worship, by myself, as my family still sleeps peacefully in the camper. 

Last night I was feeling guilt about leaving early. I was having thoughts about my kids growing up so quickly and that they may not be willing to camp with us too much longer. I would be missing family breakfast at the picnic table and fishing and how could I have double booked myself in a manner that would cause me to miss some family time.

But this morning, as I drive, I feel excited. Excited to preside at worship. Excited to sing loud praises on this beautiful day. Excited to have the ability to set this example for my children and have them see me creating a balance between being mom and being me! 

Signs of God's beautiful creation were everywhere as I drove;  the Orange sunrise, caught between layers of clouds, and the deer standing in the road looking directly at me as if she had a message for me.

I watched this sunrise caught between two layers of clouds, and I thought to myself, 'that is how I feel sometimes, caught between two things'.  Caught between two passions really, motherhood and ministry.  And by "ministry", I don't just mean leading worship at church; "ministry" includes volunteering at the food pantry, spreading love to those around you daily, and so much more.  


Those things, are what I am passionate about; serving others and being with my family. 

Have you felt torn between or stuck between two things before?  Or perhaps, even more than two? 

The message that I got from staring at this sunrise, was that the sun can still shine bright between the layers. No matter what is conflicting you or I, we still shine despite it!

What I felt as I drove, was peace because I am doing both things.  I am finding a way to balance both and still shine through as me. You can too! 

Just believe in yourself and the path laid out for you each day.  Seize the opportunities and balance the rest! 

Us moms can do a lot of things. Strong women can accomplish so much.  Trust me, you can figure out a way to gain healthy balance between whatever the things tearing you in different directions are! 

Whether it's mommin' and ministry, career and family, caregiver and athlete, we've got this ladies and we can create balance to enable to to do all that we love! 


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Tenacious Hope is Anchored in Love

Do you feel the unshakable, immovable love of God for you?


The life-breathing hope that transpires from truly feeling
the love of Jesus Christ for you every day, creates strength
to carry on.


“The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the
extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship
of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.”


We can lean on the extravagant and tenacious love of God
always! I am certain of it!


May I share with you a recent experience that prompted me to
think deeply about the love of God and the sure, secure, and
tenacious hope that we can have because of Jesus’ loving
sacrifice?


A few months ago, one of my pets had been missing for
several days. I suspected that she had been hit by a car, and
was not coming home.


The morning after walking our neighborhood looking for her
and calling her name, she showed up at home.


She was not, however, in very good health. One of her front
legs was broken in many places and her jaw was stuck opened.
She was so frightened.


She looked up at me, her broken and bruised body hurting
severely, and I saw hope in her eyes, because she had found the
one that loves her and would care for her.


I held her for many hours that day, trying to comfort away the
pain. It took several hours to even get her to drink. She was so
weak and scared.


In those moments, I began thinking about the deep, unending
love of God. I thought about God taking care of us whenever we
cannot care for ourselves. I recalled times that I have felt like I
did not have the strength to go on, and God always comes
looking for me, picks me up, and reminds me of his deep love
for me. He gives me hope for the future and fortitude to keep
on.


As I was holding my pet and trying to care for her; at one point
she stood up on her back legs and licked my nose and then
nuzzled into my neck. This pet had never been a cuddly pet,
in fact, she was quite cranky most of the time. But in this
moment, she felt loved and therefore also felt hopeful that she
would be alright.


I thought about Jesus taking all of the burden from us and
giving us the gift of hope for a beautiful life and future, because
of his sacrifice on the cross.


My pet had apparently been invigorated by the sound of my
voice looking for her. She heard my voice and had the strength
to come home.


Whenever I feel lost or broken, I fall to my knees and pray, and
when I hear the life-breathing voice of God, I too have a
renewed vigor to carry on. The voice of God uplifts my spirit
because I am confident in his deep, unending love for me.


We can feel secure in the sure and certain truth that the Good
Shepherd himself, our Savior Jesus Christ, never loses one from
his flock. He will seek us out at any time, in any way needed,
and fill us with a hope so undeniable that we cannot escape the
power of his love.


God will always give us the strength to persevere.


There is nothing that the Lord will not do to pursue us each and
every day. He will move mountains to show His love. He will
knock down walls in our lives (or build walls, if needed) in
order to show his unending love for us!


Today, our 3-legged pet lives a happier life then before. She has hope because she is certain that the people who love her will
care for her. She is no longer a cranky, standoffish gal, but
rather a loving, happy, peace-filled being.  


I hope and pray for the same for each of you.  


Acknowledge the immeasurable love of God for you, and live in
tenacious hope that you are cared for completely!




Live today and everyday, certain of the hope that a relationship
with Jesus Christ gives. May you notice God seeking you out,
holding you, comforting you in times of need; and may you be
anchored and grounded, with tenacious hope, for a beautiful
tomorrow, because of his undying, unending love for you.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post was previously submitted for a spot in a Devotional
book. This post didn't make the cut, but I have a different
devotion in the book!! Check it out and purchase a copy here:

Friday, March 29, 2019

"Love Like Jesus" my Recent Post for Bridging the Gap


Happy Friday to you all, friends and fellow lovers of Jesus! 

My dear friend, "What Blessed you today?" 

Think about that for a minute. 

Then, check out my newest Blog post, posted on "Bridging the Gap MN" to find out my answer, and to read about friendships that I hope and pray that all my readers have and nourish in your lives! 

"Friendships like Jesus often had; full of shared, mutual respectfulness; a shared desire to learn from one another; mutual love of God and Scripture; and brought together with a sense of deep community."     CLICK TO TWEET

Click the Link below to read this Post: 
"Love Like Jesus" my Post for Bridging the Gap

Enjoy! 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Are you Overwhelmed or Stressed? - My recent post for MNBTG

Are you stressed or overwhelmed? You might be surprised at the difference between the two! 

"So the next time that you find yourself saying, 'I am so stressed,' stop and think: Am I stressed or am I overwhelmed? Am I in an environment that does not serve me well? Is there a purpose of love or praise or joy that is being fulfilled by these overwhelming acts?"

Learn more by clicking here to read the whole post: 

Are you Overwhelmed or Stressed?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes


This year I felt deeply compelled to post on Martin Luther King Jr. day. 

I will be honest, I have lived with a fairly common level of oblivion to just how meaningful and formative this day was and is for this nation. It wasn't until earlier this month, as I attended a "Dismantling Racism" class, that I even noticed just how oblivious I was. 

Because of my blindness of and years of allowing myself to remain blind to racial issues, it is important to me that I offer a post honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and his life well lived. 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes of Martin Luther King Jr.: 

"I have decided to stick with Love, Hate is too great a burden to bear." 

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." 

Some of my all-time favorite words are woven into those quotes; like Love, Hope, and Justice. 

Those words also were very high on the list of importance to Martin Luther King Jr. 

In the class I attended a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to meet the daughter of a Pastor who regularly marched with Dr. King. Listening to her stories of Martin Luther King Jr. and the causes that he was passionate about, it was obvious that he was a man that would not back down. He boldly went into 'battle' (meaning speeches, marches, etc.) knowing that each one could be his last. He knew that the position he took was dangerous, but he had deep enough faith, hope for justice and love for mankind, that he did not let fear stop him. 

If you wish to read more about Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, check out this link: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/martin-luther-king-jr

As I read the news this morning, I was so saddened to read about, in 2019, youth standing in the way of an Indigenous Peoples' March and news anchors (yes plural) making racial slurs about MLK Day. One would think that in 2019 we should be far beyond these occurrences. We should be more kind, more educated, love more, and more Just than to allow these things to happen in this day and age... 

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." May we continue to fight for justice for all, and model love and hope in the way we live, just as Martin Luther King Jr. did every day of his life! 

Please share Your Favorite Martin Luther King Jr. Quote, in the Comments Below...

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Meaningful Gifts


Merry Christmas!!      

Meaningful Christmas gifts are wonderful! 

Take a moment and think about the Christmas Gifts that you have received, that are unforgettable...

One of the most meaningful Christmas gift that my husband and I have ever received was given to us the Christmas after we got married. 

It was from my husband’s grandfather. He had passed away abruptly, 8-9 years earlier, but he had exercised the foresight to know that he wanted each one of his grandchildren's families to have something handmade by him. 

So, that year, we received a lighted Christmas Tree made out of glass baby food jars. 

I had admired these illuminated trees at relatives’ homes for many years, but it wasn’t until we were given our own, that I heard the story about this tree. 

You see, my husband’s grandfather tenderly gathered baby food jars in order to make enough lighted trees for everyone that he wanted to be gifted with one. He crafted them by hand, into a beautiful gift not only symbolizing and emphasizing the beauty of Christmas, but also exemplifying the immeasurable gift that deep love for your family is. 

Even though he was unable to gift them himself, all of his grandchildren are reminded of his deep love for them, every Christmas, as their lighted tree is brought out.

Think about this and other gifts that have been meaningful to you, as you strive to give meaningful gifts, of time, treasure, talent, love, and more, throughout the coming year! 


For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.




Sunday, November 25, 2018

"Beyond My Window", Recent Post for Bridging the Gap MN

Song of Solomon 7 says, “The feelings I get when I see the high mountain ranges—stirrings of desire, longings for the heights—Remind me of you… Your beauty, within and without, is absolute…” (MSG).

Find out what I learned about windows and "light-bringers" in our lives, from the curiosity sparked from an evening spent peering out my own back window...Click on the link below to check out my post for Bridging the Gap MN:

"Beyond My Window" Post

Blessings to your week and your Holiday Season to come! 


Monday, October 29, 2018

Broken yet Blessed

Sometimes it really feels like things might not be "Okay"...

Do you know the feeling that I am talking about? Those brief momentary lapses when your hope feels depleted and your faith is running low. 

I know I am not the only person who feels that way sometimes. 

Every once in a while, life just gets to be too much! The pace at which we live life these days is enough to overwhelm anyone. Add to that times of elevated worry, or health issues, or work problems, or lack of sleep, or feeling down about the elevated violence that seems so prevalent around us; and anyone could find themselves feeling broken. 

Today I was feeling depleted. Every required motion and thought throughout the day took extra effort. I was tired. Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Tired. 

And then, after I had wrote the opening sentence of this post on my lunch break, and began planning this topic, the sign pictured below came tumbling down from above my desk, and broke. 

My "Blessed" broke. 

I looked sadly down at the broken word that means so much to me, and I found myself creating new words from the pieces. Stressed. Obsessed. Pressed. Messed. 

As in "pressed" for time, "obsessed" with hurtful current events, "stressed" and too busy, and my whole sense of joy being "messed"-up!

I sat their in silence for a moment. 

I thought about the way I had been feeling all day. I pondered whether I could still feel blessed even when I'm broken (or when my sign is broken)...

I gu'essed' that I could find a way. 

I acc'essed' my Bible and decompr'essed'.

Psalm 34:18


The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. (NASB)






Alright, enough with the play on words (well, maybe only for a bit). 

But really, with faith the answer is "Yes", yes, you can be both broken and blessed! 

Remember, In this World we will have troubles, but He has overcome the World! 

God has never promised us a smooth ride through our life here on Earth.  The mess forces us to grow. The stress teaches us perseverance.  Feeling pressed and/or obsessed puts us in a position to put our trust in God, for only He can relieve our worries and take our burdens. 

So I was given a beautiful reminder today while pondering over that broken sign, that even though I may feel a little broken right now I am still blessed! 

Look at that picture again. As I see it, if we are standing in the broken part of it, and we look to either side, we can see our blessings right there! Just because there is a gap, does not mean it doesn't still spell BLESSED! 

So tonight, rest from your worry and focus on the things that make you blessed. Whether it be family or friends, or general good fortune; love, or community, or warmth, etc... 

Remind yourself that your many blessings are always on all sides of your brokenness, you just have to change your focus, and you will see them right there all along! 

BLESSED!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Words that hurt and words that heal

So many words are thrown at us each and every day. Words heard on the radio, words said by friends and loved ones, words just overheard, words read; so many words. 

Words all have meaning, some more than others, and some have deeper meaning to different people for different reasons. 

I have been bombarded by words this week, for several different reasons, and I also have been more aware of the words around me this week. 

The 1st reason that words are in the forefront of my mind right now is because I chose to participate in a women's group project in which we all wrote down the hurtful names that others have called us and that we have called ourselves, but we also wrote, separately, positive words that have been said about us or things/attributes that we feel are positive about ourselves. I wrote down a few of the most hurtful things that have ever been said to me. And by writing them down, letting them out, and later destroying them, I was finally able to release those internal stigmas about myself. I believe that the other women participating also had a very positive and transformational experience. 

It is certainly interesting that "words" spoken to each of us or "words" of self talk can stay in our hearts and minds for years. 

The 2nd reason that words are 'high on my radar' this week is because my 11 yr. old has been either asking me about, or speaking/repeating words heard in middle school, that are words that I was not yet mentally prepared to cover with him....

Words can make life difficult in so many ways! 

But then there was the sermon in church last weekend, about the immeasurable beauty that God sees in each and every one of His children.  The sermon centered very heavily on us owning and believing how beautiful each of us is to God. 

This brought me to reflecting on the positive words that I had written a few days before, at the women's event. 

What an impact words can have!  Now, it was the positive words that were filling my mind and heart, and brightening my day. 

You see, if each of us was able to focus more time on the positive "words" in our lives than on the negative "words", each day would be filled with more happiness than sadness, more self-love than defeat. 

And imagine if we made a point to spread positive words to and around others as well? 

What an amazing impact "words" can have!  Please ponder that and remember that in the weeks to come! 


Now, speak the bolded declarations out loud to yourself. The power of life and death is in the tongue, so it is vital that you only allow the Truth to come out of your mouth. It could be the difference in an amazing life and a disappointing one.       Proverbs 18:21

Peace to your week! 



Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Path to Trusting Him - Post for Bridging the Gap MN

"It can be very difficult to maintain a level of trust in someone else. Sometimes, it is even difficult to fully trust God. With the ever-changing life that we lead, in this drearily awkward world, it can be difficult to feel comfortable trusting anyone or anything."

If you, like me, have felt that way before; check out this post written for Bridging the Gap MN. 

The Path to Trusting Him
            Click Here 

"Today, may you have the wisdom to trust God’s plan fully, and feel comfort in his divine direction for each moment of your life!"

Blessings to you all!