Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is it Odd or is it God?

I heard that saying last week for the first time. I may not even understand it right but I think it applies to those coincidental situations where things come up more than once and you feel it's not normal. As Christians, we often feel that's God trying to get our attention. That was the case for me this morning. I still can't stop thinking about it. Last Wed I read a devotion written by the couple that gave us "Captivating". This one was referring to the story in the Bible about Jehoash going to see Elisha to ask his advice on how to protect Israel. Elisha told him to "strike the rock" but he only struck it three times. Elisha sensed he was not doing it with his whole heart and professed that he would only defeat his enemy three times instead of five or six because that's how little effort he put into the instruction to "strike the rock". What does explaining a devotion that someone else wrote have to do with me? Well, one of the first things my friend, who loves the Lord with all her heart and then-some, mentioned to me this morning was how tired she was and was seeking God for strength. When she was reading her devotions (out of a book, not from internet like mine) it was about the same story! She took it to heart and told me she was going to strike that rock many times! Is it odd that both of us, tired but willing to press on regardless, were inspired by this scripture in the same week? Is God telling me something about being sure I'm in it with my whole heart? You bet! It makes me think about my position as team leader for kids ministry and how I better check myself and make sure I am in it with my whole heart - He's checking me and will help me go and win battles as many times as I obey Him. It's not odd! It's God!

Anyone else have those moments lately? Please comment - I'd love to hear them!


With Dakota's help this morning we drew a winner for the soap giveaway......and the winner is: Christine! I will send you a message through Google with my e-mail address. I will monogram up to 5 letters or initials on the bar. Thanks everyone for helping me get my blog off the ground this month!
Friday, February 19, 2010

It's not their fault.....more on "Captivating"

I just finished Chapter 5 of Captivating titled "A Special Hatred". Jon and Staci Eldrege explain why it was Eve who was tempted in the garden. Eve was originaly created as a reflection of God's beauty. Not just outer beauty but radiating beauty like a sunset over the mountains. They refer us to Ezekial 28:12-14 where it describes just how gorgeous Satan was (Lucifer) before he fell. He wanted to be the MOST beautiful and his pride led him to go after her instead of Adam. He suceeded in separating her (and mankind) from God, giving her a deep feeling of lonliness (for God) and getting us kicked out of the garden. Often women feel lonely but unsure why or for who? How many of us long to live in a garden like Eden? I'd assume most of us strive during our days to create some sort of Eden out of our lives. They point out that in the Bible Eve was also named "Desolate". Ever feel desolate? Starting to identify with Eve? Satan takes it even further. He attemps to confirm those feeling of loniless, unworthiness in us by manipulating people around us. As often as he is able he leads people around us to make us feel like there is something wrong with us and that's why they leave or withold affection or maybe even reject us. Jon and Staci help us understand that it's like Satan wants to act as the puppetmaster, man and woman the puppets. The good news is that Jesus came to cut those puppet strings. He came to restore us to Eden, to communion with Him, to delight in us. Read Isaiah 62:1-5 and insert your name where it says, "Jerusalem" and see how God promises to rejoice over you. Insert your name in Isaiah 62:4" the Lord delights in ______your name here______.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Wow - I notice my youngest, Dakota, was in the living room roughhousing and trying to tell me something. I went to see just what and this is what he wanted me to see. This fan is 13 feet up and look right in the center - a 'hacky-sack"!
Monday, February 15, 2010

A Rowdy Symphony?!

Matthew Savery, Conductor
That's right! We took the boys to the local symphony Saturday and it was WILD!

Once a year they offer a free family concert and we are always blown away. Last year, Jack Horner (think Jurassic Park-the movie was based on his research) gave a slide show and kid-friendly narration about paleontology while the band played. This year was a patriotic theme with a mix of humor. Each year they hire an actor, and I mean a really GOOD actor, to do a funny skit that leads into each piece. This time HE, the actor Joel Jahnke, dressed up as George Washington, Betsy Ross, and among other famous historical figures - the Statue of Liberty. He had us rolling in the seats with laughter and somehow the music would transition us to a place in our hearts where our patriotism runs the deepest. I found myself teary eyed more than once. I think it was because I kept going back in my mind to the book "Captivating" and the description about God revealing his beauty through people and things like mountains and music. The comic relief was necessary to break the intensity of the music mixed with the slideshow of historical paintings. The Maestro got the kids going and for the entire last song the whole audience was on their feet for the last song clapping like mad. Even my 7 year old was fist pumping! Bravo! Encore!
Friday, February 12, 2010

You are Captivating! That's right - YOU!

Have you ever used that word when thinking about how God sees you? Have you ever wondered what he intended when he made Eve and then you? I am in a ladies study group right now and we are digging deep into the book "Captivating" by John and Staci Eldridge and I am blown away already with the first two chapters. Immediately John and Staci uncover the root of why women crave adventure. They point out that in Gen 1:26-28 (Alter ver) that BOTH Adam and Eve were told to go forth, multiply and conquer the earth. CONQUER! I also see the words "subdue" and "take charge" in other translations of the Bible. The book also explores the order in which we were created. They enlighten us that - first Adam was created, but then something was missing and God created Eve. He revealed through creating her, his relational qualities. He was not finished until he revealed his femininity in her - she was the icing on the cake! Take a minute and imagine God being captivated by you because, He is.

John and Staci also took some time to dive into the Hebrew meaning that is often translated "help-meet". Many of us have heard the old explanation that a woman was created to help her man. Well, in a way, but they dig deeper and come up with a jewel. The Hebrew words "Ezer Kenegdo" were researched by Hebrew scholar Robert Alter and separately by Rabbi Francis Nataf and better translated to mean, "sustainer beside him". "Ezer" can also be translated to mean "lifesaver" and "kenegdo" to mean "alongside". How many times do we fall in love with a book or movie depicting a relationship where one is saved by their "lifesaver-alongside"? How important is that person? I'd say a lot more important than just a handy-helper. You are important ladies! You are captivating lifesavers!
Monday, February 8, 2010

Handmade-Soap Giveaway!!

My life is jam-packed with activities:work, school, the boys, my husband, volunteering in kid's ministry, and fellowship. My calendar can't possibly fit another thing - but I consider it all good! When I finally take a moment to "recharge" myself mentally, I make soap and other bath accessories. Although,it's my goal to run a home based business selling handmade soap and other things like, herb-infused relaxation pillows and bath mits, the actual making of them is how I relax. I just love making things that pamper ladies! I love blessing them something I made with my hands that will transfer comfort to them. The best part about it is making them WITH the ladies. Just two weeks ago, a few ladies:Bobbi,Pam,Bridgette&Kristi and I hosted a "Spa/Craft Night" for 55 ladies from our church and their friends. They learned to make a variety of sugar-scrubs, salt-scrubs, and bath soaks and other things, as well as my favorite-Herbal Scented Goat's milk soap! Since then we've even gotten together to make a funraiser to offer the men of the church to secretly purchase for the ladies a variety of these items. Fun!Fun!Fun! My friend, Bobbi headed up the teaching of scrubs,massage oils,salve, and lipbalm and I am the soapmaker (although she's an expert at that too!). I can't wait to hear if they actually got to fill up the tub, relax and enjoy some of the things we made for them.I can't wait to open the one my husband "secretly" ordered for me (from me-I made it for the fundraiser!) On Feb 28th I will draw a name from my blog and send you this handmade lavender soap and handmade bathmit. I will even emboss your name or initials on the soap! I just want to share this to thank you all for helping me get my blog off the ground. All you have to do is be a follower, comment on this post, and get your tub ready!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mary VS Martha - a battle within

It's a bouncing, baby BLOG! Thanks for reading my first ever blog.

Do you ever look around your house, then think to yourself, "Boy, I sure hope no one comes over this afternoon."? Isn't that the most awful thought? Have you ever noticed that when your house is spotless, no one drops by to see it, but miss a day or two of housework and you become the most popular person on the block? What if you could find a balance so that every day you could think, "I wonder who might stop by today," with a positive outlook? Inside of us we have a battle going on. It started with Mary and Martha. In the Bible, the two sisters were hosting a dinner for Jesus and Martha became completely occupied with the preparations to the point that she didn't leave any time to visit with her guest. Mary, on the other hand, sat at his feet and got to know him. He told her she made the best choice because he would only be with her for a little while. Most days I feel the sisters within me, both tugging me this way and that way, each wanting me to devote more time to one of them than the other. The best days are the days that Mary wins. Occasionally, my Martha has to have her way, too or else the family might all catch the plague from my lack of housework. My middle son Wyatt, asked this morning, "Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean?"(Shh,don't tell Martha he even had to ask!) When it comes to spending time with God, he's aways waiting for me to quit toiling away in the kitchen and sit and visit with him. I believe he smiles when we, as a family, spend time doing his work at the expense of household perfection because it's a sacrifice of my heart. When I lower my "Mrs. Clean" standards a bit,not completely but enough to an acceptable level, I relax and invite my friends over. In the end I feel so much richer. My friends bless me with laughter and hope that we will gather again. I hope to make them feel welcome in my home, no matter which sister has won the battle that week. It's also important to the boys that I choose Mary's way more often. Dakota, our youngest boy, doesn't care WHAT condition the house is in when he asks, "Mom, can we do a puzzle?". Our older boys, Josh and Dustin, thank their dad and me for sleepovers that we answered, "yes" to - little do they know inside I'm remembering a time when I'd say, "No, maybe tomorrow when everything's clean (&perfect!)", a time before we encouraged new friendships. Once in a while, when Mary has been "ruling the roost" for too many days in a row, my dear husband, Chris comes to the rescue and gets things back in order, so a shout-out is in order: Thanks, Honey! So, examine your calendar and see if you have been welcoming people lately or avoiding them. Has anyone dropped by with a plate of cookies to thank you for something you did for them? Were you excited to see a familiar car pull up in the driveway, delivering a surprise visitor? You will see those visits, activities with the kids, times of serving outside the home and time inside getting to know your Savior will build on each other and soon you will notice your life is blooming with friendships, new memories, a stronger spiritual walk.