Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Five People....

So this is the newest, coolest happenin' thing in bloggy world. And who I am not to follow the crowd and list the 5 most influential people I've run across in my time here on this giant floating ball. My friend, Billy, did it....I love his blog. You really need to read it ASAP if you haven't already. I've seen it on other blogs too and think it's a pretty cool idea. So, without further delay:

1) My kiddos. Without them I would have no purpose or direction as I would sleep long hours and relax with no errands to run, games to watch or concerts in which to cheer wildly. God gave them to me to love, cherish and adore....and to LEARN how to be a grown up while enjoying being a kid. He gave them to me to lessen the pain of my own childhood by giving them something better and learning what unconditional love feels give it and receive it.

2) My little brother Brad. He is the bomb. We are 19 months apart and I have always been the smaller of the two of us since he was 2 years old! At 6'7" he is no small fry. He was my best friend growing up and the person I fought with the most. But at the end of the day, he was the most cherished person in my life. Today, he lives 18 hours away in Virginia and is planning to move to Ohio soon. I can't wait until him and his sweet family are closer. We don't talk everyday....or even every week, but when we do, it's like we just spoke 10 minutes ago. He is my brother and I thank God for him each and every day.

3) My high school social studies teacher, Mr. Mullan. In high school, I didn't give a RIP about especially. Mr. Mullan picked on me relentlessly but also believed in me. He saw something in me that I certainly did not. He told me on the last day of his class that my life was mine to live. That it was up to me to either be somebody or not, but I couldn't walk around all day acting like the world owed me. If I wanted something, I needed to work for it. He told me I was smart enough and more than qualified. Then he said and I quote: "I better not read about you in the newspaper being sent to prison, GOT IT?" and he walked away. At the time I was PO'd! Who was he to say that to ME??? Years later, I understand. THANK YOU, MR. MULLAN. Thank you.

4) The person who drug me into my church nearly three years ago. I won't way his name and while my time with this person was not good, many good things did come of it. I lived across the street from my church at the time and often sat on my patio looking at it wondering what happens in that building. One day he said "Let's attend." I was sick to my stomach...I did NOT want to go. What if someone in there looked at me and saw right through me? I didn't belong in a place like that. I was hurting and broken and so not worthy of a place like CHURCH. After much coaxing, I finally went. I walked out an entirely different person. My life and the lives of my children changed that day and have never been the same since. Whod'a thunk that CHURCH is where you go when you are broken?!? :0) At any rate, this person was bad for me in so many other ways. I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible, I don't deserve to be bullied and most time with this person was God's way of releasing me from a pattern of unhealthy relationships and behaviors. Like Billy said in his post, "not everyone who influences you for the better needs to be a good influence." Amen, brotha.

....and finally....

5) A little girl named Reegan. She is the same age as my middle kiddo but wiser than most adults in my book. At VBS in the summer of 2007 I had this sweet little girl in my group. We were doing small group time and, mind you, I knew less than most of these kids so it was such a blessing to be able to spend time with them. Another little girl asked "Should we be afraid of God or bad things happening?" It was seriously a question I was struggling with too. Reegan raised her hand and said, "My mom says we should be FAITHFUL NOT FEARFUL." No words in my life have ever knocked me back on my bum so powerfully. I had tears and tried not to cry for the rest of the night. Over the next month or so I struggled with what that really meant and to this day it is the first thing I think when I start to become fearful. God used that sweet little girl and her momma's very wise words to her to reach inside my heart and BLESS ME. Thank you Reegan and Krisann for being faithful and not fearful and for sharing what you know. Out of the mouths of babes the world of another can be changed forever.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


"In His hand, little becomes much."

I'm swirling today. Just sorta not all together here....or there. My mind racing and going 1,000 different directions.

I was pretty frustrated with my daughter last night. I forgot how selfish teenagers can be at times and I'd had it. Between me needing to drop everything to do HER MUDDY, STINKY soccer laundry, feeding her dinner (yes....we had our predictable "which gravy is better with chicken fried steak....brown or classic country" discussion at dinner....AGAIN**) and the poor little thing not being able to text for an hour and a half last night because her phone is half busted, I was at my wits end with her.

** And for the record, just because the SCHOOL serves brown gravy with chicken fried steak that does NOT mean it is correct....or even good for that matter. Can I get a witness?!?!?

'Course, once her laundry was done, her belly was full and her phone was switched to an old one we still had lying around, I was back to being the "best momma ever."

But I was still frustrated with her.

Or was it really her? Was I just frustrated with life in general and she got the brunt of my frustration? I'm pretty sure it was a 50-50 split....half her, half life. Wait....I gotta be was more like 100% ME. I hate it when that happens.

Ya see....I'm right in the middle of trying to figure out how to follow God's lead and purpose for my life while at the same time not being disappointed because things He has promised aren't moving fast enough, etc. I have a vision in my head of how it would all work (Mark's business, my business, our families, our relationship, how to serve, etc.) and everyone is happy, but I can't seem to formulate the "plan" and next steps to get started. I want to do it all to the best of my ability while still getting everything else done that needs done.

So, here I sit swirling. Sort of in a funk and honestly it's by choice. It really is much easier to sit here and be frustrated than to get off my bum and move. Move in a way that positions me in a place where God can bless my progress and open doors.

"In His hand, little becomes much."

I heard this statement while watching a sermon yesterday and I cannot get it off my mind. Check it out. YOU WILL BE BLESSED. It speaks to exactly what I am talking about above. About how we have a vision but it feels like nothing is happening. Like God has made a promise for this vision but it hasn't come to pass yet and it sure doesn't feel like it will. Amen, brotha.

What does that mean to me...."In His Hand, little becomes much"??? I see three things:

1) Even the littlest of dreams will be mighty if it is in God's hand.

2) It means give it to Him....unconditionally. Stop giving it and taking it back because God isn't handling it fast enough, or in the way I think it should be handled. His timing is better than mine.....even if He's slllooooowwww. :0)

3) It means stop stressing, let Him do the work ahead of me and work it all out as He said He would.

In that same sermon, I heard this: "...I despaired at the thought that my life might pass me by without God moving greatly on my behalf..." ~ Jim Cymbala

Wow. That's good stuff right there. Could that happen? Could I be in God's way and my life might just pass me by without His moving greatly on my behalf? You bet it could....and that's a scary thought!

So no more sitting here being frustrated that things aren't happening with my business as fast as I want, or that it feels like God is not moving and shaking like I think He should. Nope. It might take me awhile to get myself out of this funk I'm in today but until I do and MOVE, God can't move greatly.....I'M IN HIS WAY.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I love me some beach....

It's true. I live in Iowa and if you passed 5th grade geography, you know I am not near any real, live beaches. We have around here what I call "livers"....lakes/rivers with beaches. Not even close to the same thing, but when you live where I do, you take what you can get.

And I love me some beach.

Not in the middle of the day when it's 90+ degrees and 100% humidity. That's just for the crazy folk. Nope. I love me some beach in the evening....when the sun isn't so hot, when it's starting to set. I call that "beach therapy". So far this year, I've been to the liver twice.

I want to move there.

Anyway, we all have things that relax us. Things that make our insides want to burst 'cuz they make us just so happy. That's the beach for me in the evening. get it? I love me some beach.

Here are some pics of my recent trip to the liver with 3 of my most favoritest people in the world. Just missing my oldest daughter, Mark's baby girl and a few others I can't live without. Had they all been there, I'd have been over the moon.

I love this much as I love the beach.

My girls fighting over a stick. Carli is laughing because she thinks it's hysterical to torture her sister but Taylor is NOT happy.

As you can see, Taylor is holding the stick....she won.

Little Miss Sassy Pants....

Hee Hee.....

They are out of focus but I love it. They are truly BFF's. (DON'T TELL THEM THOUGH...)


Thursday, April 23, 2009

One more prayer....

Seems like there are so many things to pray about these days. If I sat down and prayed about them all at once I'm fairly confident my foot would fall asleep long before I was done! The best part of that??? God wants us to talk to Him all the if we forget something we just bring it up when we remember. NOTHING like having someone to talk to whenever you want.

We learned last night in our 5th grade Grapple class about how God is everywhere, all the time. It's really very simple, and at the same time, a very hard concept to grasp. And I say simple if you look at it from a child's perspective and don't muck it all up with adult thinking!

How can God be everywhere? How can He be fully and intently listening to you while fully and intently listening to me at the same time? I know, right? More than one voice at one time gives me a very large headache, but not God! And that's the "magic"....while He is deeply and fully in love with each and every one of us, He is, at the same time, fully and deeply committed to walking with me every second of every if I am the only one on earth. And how stinkin' cool is that?!?

I stopped asking how and why some time ago. I've given in to the fact that I'm not meant to understand it all. My job is to just have faith and go to Him whenever and as often as possible.

Easier said than done, I know.

Anyway, I have a friend who is not in good health. She really hasn't been for as long as I have known her and she is the unlucky one who has had to deal with so many scary health issues. She is my age and a momma to two young kiddos. She is an awesome person, loves the Lord and genuinely has a heart of gold. Today she is in the hospital as doctors remove fluid from her lungs for the second time in 6 weeks. While they are in there, they will be removing some swollen lymph nodes and try to determine why they are swollen.

I ask that you pray for Jean (I affectionately call her Jeano) and her family. I know that God has her health and future already figured out so what can our prayers really do you may ask? is my "un-trained", regular person opinion that our prayers spring forth faith. They let God know that we are paying attention, that we love Him, that we seek His will and guidance and that we trust in His plan while at the same time they give us something to DO when we have no control over our surroundings. Take it or leave it, it's what I believe.

One more prayer request: I follow a blog (MckMama) that millions of others follow as well. She is a momma, also my age, dealing with the very serious health issues of her youngest son (he is 5 months old). Doctors told MckMama when she was pregnant with Stellan that he would not survive outside her belly.....Remember? I just said he is 5 months old! :0) He has a very serious heart condition and she writes very honestly about what they are going, being away from her hubs and other children who are in Minnesota while she and Stellan are in Boston. THROUGH IT ALL....she believes God will do what He says He will do. I ask that you pray for Stellan and his family. They need to be lifted up in prayer.

And you just never know what one more prayer might do....

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." ~ Philippians 4:6

Friday, April 17, 2009

Full circle....

Sometimes you get side-swiped. You know, totally knocked off your feet.

It happened to me last night and it took everything I had not to cry....and I am NOT a crier. It's kind of a long story but you won't get it without the background so bear with me.

The picture below was taken on May 25, 2008. That evening, 2 hours before this was taken, a devastating tornado ripped through the town of Parkersburg, Iowa (approx. 2 hours north of here). At the time I took this, I had no idea this had happened yet.

Meanwhile, I was driving home from some crazy personal events and as I was coming up the hill where the cross stood, I heard very clearly God say to me, "Stop. Look what I can do. Look at the beauty in My world all around you. In the midst of the chaos you feel right now, I can still create beauty." I pulled over on the side of the road, grabbed my camera, ran up a small hill and took this.

It was a reminder to me that even through all the craziness (both personal and happening to others around me), God was still in control. ALWAYS.

Moving ahead a few months, I was inspired to pull together this picture in small picture frames and donate them to my favorite pastor at church. Pastor Wayne is a retired pastor who has a hospital ministry visiting with the ill and their families. He is quite a presence and leads many people to the Lord as a result of this ministry. Pastor Wayne is the guy you call when you need prayer. Yeah....he is THAT guy. Ok....not THAT Guy, but you know what I mean. :0)

Anyway, over the course of the last 6 months or so I have given Pastor Wayne over 100 frames with this picture. He gives them to the sick and those who have accepted Jesus during his visits. Most Sundays when I see him he tells me of the people he met that week and he loves to tell me their reaction to the picture. Yeah. It's nice to hear about the smiles on their faces or how a grown man in his 80's just prayed to Jesus for the first time and is now sobbing over my picture.'s never been real to me because I understood the excitement to be that they were being loved by people who did not know them. My picture was just a physical reminder that God was there.

Until last night.

I went with Mark to visit his 90+ year old grandma in the hospital recovering from hip surgery. As we walked in, Mark's brother said Pastor Wayne had just been there and left a picture for their grandma. Mark turned around and there it was. I was shocked....even though I knew Pastor Wayne was going to give her one. It took everything I had not to drop to my knees and thank God for being a part of something bigger than me and far beyond anything I ever dreamed of.

So it has all finally come full circle. A very bad day for me personally turned into this. Some words from God, a picture, a pastor with a mission and the end result to reach as many non-believers as possible and love our neighbors the best we can. I know that God had me take that picture for a reason. I know that God has a purpose for it. And while it may not be anything spectacular, it is still something He is using to reach the world....and I indirectly get to be a part of it.

What a complete and total honor. I am humbled beyond measure and on my knees praising God for His purpose. I told God last night as I was falling asleep that if I never take another picture, if I never hold my camera in my hands again, I will forever be satisfied knowing that God's will was completed for me.....with one picture.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


It's CRAZY. I'm shocked, flattered and THRILLED. I'm feeling a very strong urge to jump up and down, scream and holler and just totally act like a very over-excited 4-year-old right now!

You probably will think this is silly but I just saw that my blog and website are featured on I's silly but can I get a WOOT, WOOT?!?!?!

Mr. David Rupert from Red Letter Believers posted about me....little old me and my blog post titled "Reflections". I started this blog to document my photography and it has turned into a place where I can be real....with ME. If anyone else gets anything out of it that's totally cool, but it is really for me to learn, reflect and grow. To know that someone else appreciates my words, my long, weary road traveled and my heart lying fully open and exposed is flabbergasting. It brings me soooo much joy to know that my heart change may in some small way bring help to another and at the same time bring glory to God. It is, once more, God showing me how He can make good from yucky things. all I have left to say. Wow.

OH.....and WOOT! WOOT!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


My God Reigns.

My Savior LIVES.

My heart is FULL to the brim and ready to overflow.

It's been a crazy 40 days and the fast is officially over. I've learned so much about me, about God, about....just stuff. I don't have words for everything yet and I will post as they come. It's annoying when that happens to me....I struggle with my words and putting them to my feelings. On the plus side, when I do that I know something big is in there trying to come out. So that is where I am today. Something big is working inside.

I am so grateful for many, many things these days. I just revamped my photography website and think it turned out pretty good. In searching for pictures to post out there I ran across a few I really want to share here as they remind me of two very BIG things that I am grateful girls and just how stinkin' far I've come.

These pictures were taken last October. I was wanting to get the girls outside for some pictures to use for our Christmas card and it was FREEZING and windy. I knew it was one of our last opportunities to get it done so I forced them to do it. We had a few tears (one of my children, BLESS HER, is a wimpy girl at times), we laughed A LOT and ended up with some pretty good stuff. This one below makes me laugh. Alli was teaching the little girls how to look like you are thinking.

Then Alli laughed 'cuz Taylor kept asking "Alli? What are we supposed to be thinking about?" Silly goose. They all three fill my heart with so much laughter and to watch them LOVE EACH OTHER and really, genuinely have hearts for the Lord makes me PROUD. Don't get me wrong....they fight like the best of siblings, but at the end of the day, the love each other and that's what matters.

Then I finally got a half way decent one of all of us. I would set the camera timer and RUN to get behind them. It was muddy back there so I fell a few times and we laughed and laughed.

So today, and everyday, I am grateful for the blessings in my life. There are many but today I am most thankful for my girls and for the work that God has done on my heart. Looking back at this picture, I remember where I was and what I was going through. If I knew then where God was leading me, I don't think I would believe it. He is sooooooo good.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." ~ Colossians 3:15

Sunday, April 12, 2009



Today would be a great day to add to my Thank You List to God. Not sure where I left off number wise so I'll just start over.

Thank you God....

1) For sending Your Son -- for His perfect life, for His perfect death, for His perfect resurrection.

2) For loving me in the way that only You can.....just the way I am.

3) For the peace I have in my heart that only comes from KNOWING You.

4) For the many blessings in my girls, Mark, my health, my family and friends.

5) For the spiritual gifts you placed in me as you wove me together in my mother's womb. For showing me what they are and slowly, in Your time, showing me Your perfect plans for them.

Today is a great day. My Savior LIVES. My Savior has overcome the grave and has taken His place on the throne. It is surely a great day.


Friday, April 10, 2009

It's a GOOD Friday.....

For the first time in my life I finally GET what today is. I GET what today means. I GET what today does. And it's pretty stinkin' powerful. I realize that most who read this blog are believers and so I am preachin' to the choir here, but boy I gotta say it. Today is a big day! Some may think it's sad. Some may think it's not anything to celebrate. I happen to think it's a GOOD day and a day that most certainly needs remembered, celebrated and rejoiced.

Today is the day Jesus was convicted. Today is the day He was beaten, tortured, bloody and bruised. Today is the day He carried that heavy cross up that hill. Today is the day He "took one for the team". As His hands and feet were nailed to the cross, so too were all my sins. As He hung there dying, He died for me. He could have called every angel in heaven down to release Him.....BUT HE DIDN'T. Instead He finished it. The ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Something that really stuck with me as I went through Christ Life Solutions, was this:

Every time I chose to go against God or make a choice that is for ME and not for HIM, I put Jesus back on that cross. Every time I follow God and avoid the sins of this world, I put my sin on that cross. My choice.

It ain't easy....and I'm not saying AT ALL that the only way to heaven is by good deeds and actions. I'm just saying that He would die over and over again for me and my sins and I get to chose how many times He has to do that.....for ME.

Turn off the music at the bottom of my blog and WATCH THIS VIDEO.

"A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." - John 19:29-30

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


"As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man." ~ Proverbs 27:19

I've said it 1,000+ times. I am NOT who I used to be.

It's crazy actually....thinking back to the old days. I really don't know that person anymore. I was angry. At the world. At God. At the family I trusted that hurt me. At LIFE.

Just. Plain. Angry.

The kind of angry when you see red. If you've ever been that angry you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's the kind of anger that makes your blood boil, your skin crawl, your heart burst and your words flow out of you so full of venom. And this happened on a DAILY basis for me.

I know. It's a wonder that I had a husband and friends and family who loved me anyway.

I lost so much because of that anger. I lost a marriage that we gave up on (for more reasons than just my anger but it did play a big part). I lost TIME. Time to live life to the fullest.

I kept everyone and everything at least two arms length away. The wall around my heart was so huge I could not see over the top. In looking back I see the changes that have been made. I see a hard, black heart being busted into a billion little pieces and what is left showing is soft and full of joy. I see gritting teeth turned to a relaxed jaw. I see God's hand on my head as I sit on my knees and surrender.

How does that happen? Honestly, I have no words to describe it fully. All I know is I got TIRED of looking in the mirror and seeing the hatred in my eyes.....which showed the true hatred I held in my heart. The only thing I truly loved were my girls....and even that was not to the best of my ability.

Then God showed up.

Ok, ok.....relax. He had been there all the time, I just chose not to SEE Him.

I remember being disappointed that when Jesus knocked and I finally answered the door to my heart to let Him in I didn't hear the angels singing and no big light from heaven was shining down on me! HELLO!!!! That's how it happens in the movies so I thought I was doing it wrong. Seriously. I remember thinking where IS He? I remember praying the prayer of salvation at least 100 times waiting on God to show up. I'm pretty sure He was rolling His eyes at me laughing at what I was doing (that is one of the questions I want to ask Him when I get to see His face, by the way). I remember also wondering why I was still hurting and angry and frustrated. I incorrectly believed that everything should be "better" now.

Now I see that He truly was there.....ALL ALONG. The change started taking place when I finally got off my bum and MOVED. It's not an overnight transition. It's not immediate. But it is GOD DIRECTED. I needed to roll up my sleeves and deal with first things first. I needed to LET Him work. I needed to LET GO. And when I did.....WOAH. It was a very crazy ride.

It's been a long and bumpy road, but boy, would I NOT change a thing. I have learned so much and I finally now get to see the fruits of that very hard, heart wrenching, painful labor.

The seeds that have been sown are blooming. Now it's time to maintain and grow by weeding, pruning and watering, following His direction.

I'm not who I'm supposed to be YET but THANK GOD I am not who I was.

Monday, April 6, 2009

SOOOO much to be thankful for....

This will be a totally random post. Too much to share as I sit here ready to EXPLODE. :0)

Random #1:

God is so good. You already know that and if you don't, trust me on this one. Been praying for a long time that my brother and family get to move back to home. That isn't happening but other exciting things are. He has asked me not to share too much until it's officially official, but since I am bursting at the seams I just have to hint at the exciting-ness happening to them....and ME ('cuz you is all about ME!)!!! WHOO HOO! More later when I can share details.

Random #2:

MARK & I ARE GOING TO SEE JEREMY CAMP!!!! He is coming to the Iowa State Fair with Steven Curtis Chapman and I got our tickets this morning! Not a huge fan of Steven but I have a feeling he will be awesome anyway. Jeremy and I....well....we are TIGHT. I so love his music and he was the first Christian music I really got into on my crazy God's totally gonna be AWESOME. WHOO HOO!!!!

Random #3:

Run for The Pines. Check out this is a group of crazy runners from my church running across the state to raise money for an orphanage called The Pines our church sponsors in South Africa. I am the "official photographer" and will need to get some pictures of these guys running or something so Brad can put them up for you to see. Run for the Pines has a huge goal to raise some serious money.....please donate if you can or join them on the run!

Random #4:

Another blog for you to check out. It's very sad. A young, single Christian mother is carrying baby April who is not expected to live outside her momma. She needs serious prayer and people to lift her up, not tear her down. Sounds like people have been very mean to her for her being an unwed mother. Breaks my heart that people can't see past their own crazy self-centeredness and embrace her in her time of need. It's what God calls us to do, people.....she needs help carrying her burden of a broken heart.

For whatever reason God has been sending me to many blogs like this one. I requested the privilege of joining "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" organization that finds photographers to go to the hospital and shoot families whose baby is not going to survive to offer heirloom photographs that celebrate the family and help in the healing. Not sure how that will all go but I feel a very strong, special tug to do this.

Random #5

Carli had her 9th birthday party on Friday night. It was fun but my daughter and her friends like to "rough-house" much like a group of boys. It wears me out. :0) They ate and ate....had to send Alli back to town to get more food only an hour into the party....SERIOUSLY. Anyway, they had a good time and below is a picture of Carli and her friend going down the stairs in a sleeping bag (we call it carpet races). They FLY and it HURTS. I tried it once....never again. Had a bruise on my bum for a long time. The other is Carli showing some money she got.....what a nut! :0)

That's it for now.....sure hope nothing else exciting happens to me today. Not sure I can handle any more!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

You are what you let stick to your heart.....

I am a person who needs positive words of's my love language. Over the course of my life, I have let awful words stick to my heart and allowed others to use words to control me. I have let those words stick to my heart and as a result I formed a negative opinion of myself.

You are what you let stick to your heart.

Whenever I look inside, I see those words stuck on my heart like little yellow sticky notes. They determine my choices, my thoughts and the outcome of my life.
You are what you let stick to your heart.

Those sticky notes have said: DUMB, UGLY, UNLOVABLE, MEAN, FEISTY, STUPID, LAZY, WORTHLESS....I could go on and on.

You are what you let stick to your heart.

Because of God's truths, my deep soul searching and the love of a wonderful man, those sticky notes now say: FUNNY, SMART, SWEET, LOVING, KIND, GENEROUS, HAPPY, LOVABLE, BEAUTIFUL, ENDEARING....and a thousand more.

You are what you let stick to your heart.

Never again will the wrong words get stuck to my heart...they just aren't sticky enough anymore.

" heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." ~ Psalm 84:2

JC is my BFF....!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Grapple - 5th Grade Ministry....

I love these kids. Can't help but smile and laugh at the things that come out of these little peeps mouths (or mine when I talk to them). Seriously.

I have never in my life really liked this age group (5th grade so ages 10-11). Not 'cuz they are bad kids, 'cuz they aren't, but the awkwardness of this age makes me remember too much about when I was 10 and 11! It's such a crazy time in our lives....the beginning of really growing up. Sometimes knowing far more than we should so really being more adult-like in a kiddo body. Its hard to relate to them sometimes because you never know if they are in "kid-mode" or "big kid-mode" and the roller coaster of emotions that comes from kids this age can wear a parent out.

I know. I know. The teenage years are ahead but honestly, I like teenagers better than preteens.

Until now.

I think my being a part of Grapple is testing my ability to learn, teach, grow and make kids behave while they are learning and growing. God does not always put us in situations where we KNOW we can do it. He puts us in situations where we LEARN we can do it. And that's what I'm doing.

What a blessing I have been given. I pray that they continue to learn and have hearts for the Lord that grow too big for their chests!

Mark & Charis speaking "gibberish" least Mark is!
Three buds.... least they are laughing!
Girls....CALMLY waiting for directions on the Q-Tip shooting game. The boys had their straws already loaded and ready to SHOOT!
Action shots.... :0)
Liz getting shot with Q-Tips....I love her smile!
Poor Cole....he got it pretty bad! (see the Q-Tip hitting his head!?!)
Josh....what a cute kid....
Teaching moment....a POP QUIZ!
Peace my sista.....

The girls all go to the Foosball table.....

And the boys play the XBox (or whatever gaming thing it is)....
The hula hoop game.....this was FUNNY (especially the adults!...Go Angie!)

Go Teresa!!!

Why is Mark watching???? He should have been in there!
Rachel showing how she can move the hula hoop up and down.

They were actually fighting over the hula hoop, but paused and posed very nicely. :0)

Sweet Alexis.....

Then the sunset on the way home.....God just reminding us HE IS HERE!!

JC is my BFF!!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Week four update....

It's been 4 weeks since the start of the fast. I cheat once in a while....only because I can, in my head, come up with 1,001 reasons why God would be ok with me eating this little thing or that little thing. my defense....I have done far better than I ever expected, learned more about myself than I ever wanted to learn and overall it's been worth the effort to date.

So counting today, only 12 days left. Not sure how I will feel when this is over or how I will proceed in the future.

The only real thing I know 'fo sho'.....the fat bastard (FB) is working overtime.

I guessed he would be. I guessed he would do everything in his power to make me slip. Never before have I seen the war that he rages so closely nor have I ever paid attention so intently. Part of me wants to go back to the "good old days" when I had no clue about what was happening and just blamed bad days and yucky circumstances to life being a big pile of pooh.

That's right. I said it. A big pile of pooh.

But that's a cop-out. That's taking the easy way out, I guess. I get to stand here and fight for what I KNOW is right and what I KNOW to be true.

BUT. I. DON'T. WANNA. (picture me throwing myself on the ground like a three year old having a temper tantrum here.....'cuz that's what this is).

I wanna do my OWN thing! I wanna have fun and enjoy my life and do the things that make ME happy! (YES....I have strayed from the fasting topic and made off on a rather large tangent here...).

What are my "own things" you ask? Things that are for my happiness and not God's. That's all you are getting.

I know. I know. It's about spiritual growth and taking a leap of faith and believing God for the things He says are ahead. But I'm so not a patient person.

I know. I know. It's now that I need seek God wholeheartedly to receive His patience and His guidance.

Ever have a fight with you KNOW you are not gonna win but you are too stubborn to even back down....from yourself? Yeah. That is crazy but that is what I'm doing. I'll get it worked out but until then I just felt like whining in this moment of weakness I am having.....'cuz it's my blog and I can.

JC REALLY IS MY BFF.....I don't just say that. God asks us to be honest with Him and share how we really feel. He already knows and He already understands, but like a real best friend we need to put it out on the table honestly, discuss it with Him and move on. And that's what I'm doing.