Friday, July 31, 2009

The paneling in my family room has been annoying me since we moved in. Yesterday, I got a wild hair to tear it down which in turn, meant tearing out the fireplace too. It was a lot of hard work in a very short amount of time because I had to have the room back in order for my daycare kids today. I worked and cleaned until late last night but got the job complete. My hubby has a wall to tear out tonight and then the revamping of the room can begin.

That room would have continued to annoy me if I hadn't done something about it. It took an action on my part.

In Matthew 17:24-27 Peter is asked if Jesus is going to pay the temple tax. Since Jesus didn't want to offend the tax collector, he instructed Peter to go fishing and open the mouth of the first fish he caught and in it would be enough money for the temple tax. Peter's tax would be paid, but he had to take action in order to receive it. Could Jesus have made the money appear in Peter's hand instead, sure, but He wanted him to take action to receive the provision.

All that we have comes from God's provision but sometimes He wants us to be active in receiving it.

What is it that you want or need that God wants you to take action in? God is fully capable and giving you anything and everything but in what ways are you stepping out to trust Him?

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hard times are, well, hard. As humans, we don't want to go through anything which is difficult but enjoy the times of happiness and contentment. As I have been studying the book of Matthew, I have noticed that Jesus intermittently tells His disciples of His upcoming death. They are upset and grieved about it not realizing what it is going to eventually mean for them. Jesus was not looking forward to the pain and misery He would endure but He knew that His pain would produce a great result. As I look back over my life, I can see what the most difficult times have taught me. It is through the hard times that I have learned the most and it is what has made me the woman I am today. I can say that during those difficult times, I just wanted them to be over but now that they are, I have reaped the benefits of wisdom and knowledge of the particular subject.

Although your heart may be hurting, take heart in knowing that God can and will use the circumstances of your life to make you into the person that He wants you to be.

Stand firm in your faith, your reward is coming.

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One of the things I love about blogging is the exchange of ideas that takes place; after all, what mom can't use a new idea every now and then!

If you are interested in a blog that brings a group of mommy bloggers all to one place, stop by and visit the Hearts at Home blog.

Hearts at Home's contributing bloggers write about motherhood, each with a unique perspective, reflecting on the spiritual, emotional and downright funny aspects of motherhood. Their group of bloggers range from professional speakers to authors to stay-at-home moms, all who share a passion for the profession of motherhood.

The Hearts at Home blog covers a variety of topics, such as practical mom tips, recipes, book reviews, and advice for tackling tough mommy issues.

Take a peek at this great resource and connect with real moms sharing real stories today!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I love sleeping in my own bed - it is one thing that makes me want to come back from vacation. It felt so good to snuggle in last night and wake up feeling refreshed and without back pain! We had an amazing long weekend! The weather was absolutely beautiful. It was warm enough to comfortably swim and yet cool enough to sit under a shade tree and relax - perfect. We soaked up the time we spent as a family and also enjoyed friends and family stopping by for a visit. It was great for Mike being able to spend his birthday doing his favorite thing - camping and boating. Fun was had by all but it is also nice to be home.
Liz and I getting ready for tubing
Friends - Dan and Christi look like their having a blast!! :)

Liz - water skiing for the first time!
Nate - water skiing for the first time
Just having fun

Hope you had a great weekend too!
Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This morning I was reading Matthew 16:21-28 where Jesus tells his disciples of his upcoming death. In vs. 22, Peter says "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to you." In which Jesus responds in vs. 23 "Get behind me, satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

Ouch! There have been many times that I have wanted to keep a loved one from pain that I felt they didn't deserve or need to go through but those words of Jesus really sank in today -- you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

My commentary puts it this way: Great temptations can come from those who love us and seek to protect us. Be cautious of advice from a friend who says, "Surely God doesn't want you to face this." Often our most difficult temptations come from those who are only trying to protect us from discomfort.

So, next time a loved one is about to face a uncomfortable situation -- hold their hand and be with them as they endure through a process that is making them into the person that God wants them to be.

As, I am heading out for vacation today, I will not be posting until Tuesday - so have a great day and a great weekend! Talk to you soon

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Tomorrow we leave for a long weekend of camping. The thing I like most about camping is that there is nothing to do! If I take time off and spend it at home, I try to accomplish as many tasks as possible but if I want to rest, I have to go camping. This will be our family's vacation this summer and I'm so excited to spend 4 days just relaxing and hanging out. Our only plans are to eat, sleep and go boating in the sun (hopefully we'll get a chance with all the rain in the forecast) - now that's a true vacation! The only bummer is that I still have to cook but I think I can handle it as my only responsibility. :)

Are you able to stay home and relax or what things do you like to do to relax and spend time with family? I'm all ears for new ideas.

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Well, I told you I'd post pics yesterday and here they are:
Me and my lil sis, Courtney (I told her that I was going to take a poll of who you thought was younger but I guess I blew it when I told you she was my younger sister!)
Courtney and hubby, Jordan
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
When I was in high school, I was addicted to marijuana. I not only craved it's mind altering power but I loved the smell and taste of it. When I met my husband at 16, he put a quick stop to me doing any drug. He gave me the ultimatum of these things or him. Since I was head over heels in love, I gave it all up to be with him and didn't look back.
Yesterday, I took the kids to a park and noticed all the garbage laying around. I began filling the trash can with litter while the kids played. As I was finishing up, I spotted something shiny in a corner of a building and went over to pick it up. As I bent down, I realized that it was a homemade pipe for smoking marijuana. Wondering if I was right, I lifted it to my nose and smelled that old familiar smell. My mind instantly went back to the days of my addiction and for a second, I thought about how much I loved that smell, taste and feeling. I threw it away and thought about how easily temptation comes to our lives. Something that I hadn't even thought about in years, came flooding back in an instant.
The lure of temptation is always around. Just because we have overcome a temptation once does not mean that it will never be back. Satan is prowling and does want to destroy you! Also, be careful of judging those who fall to temptation because you think you would never fall to it. I remember thinking or saying that I would never fall to a temptation like so and so did, only to find myself in the midst of it years later.
One thing I do when a temptation floods my mind, is catch it quickly, tell satan to get behind me and try to think about something else. He is trying to get a foothold and I want to try my hardest not to let him. Now, I do not catch it every time but when I do, I thank the Lord for helping me to see it.
What is your current struggle of temptation? Do you have a specific method to overcoming it? I'd love to hear about it!
Have a great day
Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good morning my bloggy friends! Thank you - thank you for praying over our first young adult cook out on Friday. It was so much fun and we got to know people that we normally only get to say "hi" to at church. We had 15 adults and about 20 kids. We were all very thankful that we were able to be outside where the kids could run and play. Will all those kids, I thought we did pretty good to only have one with a bloody nose and fat lip! The fellowship was great and many are interested in continuing to get together and do life together. I just love the way God orchestrates His plan through us who are so unworthy to do anything for Him.

Saturday was spent cleaning up from the night before and then homework, homework, and more homework. By the grace of God, I was able to get it all done and then be able to enjoy the rest of my weekend. We then spent the evening with my husband's family.

On Sunday we went to church in LeRoy because my little sister and her hubby were home from Detroit MI and we wanted to spend as much time with them before they left Sunday afternoon. We had a great visit and even took some photos together before they left. (I'll have to post them later because the camera/computer cord is in my sleeping daughters bedroom). We then came home for a bike ride and dinner with friends.

Aaaahhhh - another wonderfully blessed weekend spent with friends and family. I am ready for a new week! Hope you had a great one too!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, July 17, 2009

Good morning and happy Friday! Before I got started on the cooking for tonight's cookout, I read Matthew 15:21-28. As I read the commentary on this passage of Scripture, I was so convicted.

"The disciples asked Jesus to get rid of the woman because she was bothering them with her nagging persistence. They showed no compassion for her or sensitivity to her needs. It is possible to become so occupied with spiritual matters that we miss real needs right in front of us. This is especially likely if we are prejudiced against needy people or if they cause us inconvenience. Instead of being bothered, be aware of the opportunities that surround you. Be open to the beauty of God's message for all people, and make an effort no to shut out those who are different than you."

OUCH! That statement was not only true for the disciples but for me! I've shared that compassion is a struggle for me. I was brought up in a way that you should not focus on your problems but suck it up and move forward and I guess that I expect everyone else to be that way too.

Dear Heavenly Father: Please help me to see others through Your eyes. Fill me with Your compassion and mercy for others. Help me not to avoid people or see them as interruptions to my schedule but to see them as an opportunity to serve You by serving them. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good morning my bloggy friends! It's the beginning of a busy day followed by another busy day. Mike and I are preparing for a cookout tomorrow night. After much prayer and leading by God, we have invited all the young adults from our church to come over. A couple of years ago, I attended a Bible study put on by our church called "Apples of Gold". It was a mentor/mentee program and I realized for the first time the power of mentorship. To be encouraged and loved on by older women was an amazing experience that really opened my eyes to their wisdom. Titus 2 continues to stick in my mind as a reminder of the responsibility for older women and men to teach the younger. Even though I don't consider myself an older woman, I am older than some and want to use the things I've experienced to help them. After months of prayer, Mike and I believe that God is leading us to begin this new ministry of equipping young adults for their walk with God. This will be the first time that Mike and I are on the same page in ministry and are able to work together and we are so excited to follow God's prompting as a couple. We are leaving all the details open to God's leading and during the cookout will discuss what kind of program the young adults would desire. (Bible study, fellowship time, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc.) We ask for your prayers in this new endeavor. We truly want to seek and obey God's will. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated!

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On Sunday, we brought our 7 year old niece and 2 year old nephew home with us to spend the night. We were sitting at the table, eating pizza. I had cut the 2 year old's piece into many little pieces. He took a bite of a piece and exclaimed "I'm done!" After denying him to get down from the table a few times, I told him that he couldn't be done until his pizza was all gone. I was sitting next to him and as I turned to talk with Mike, I saw a little hand coming over from the corner of my eye. He was trying to be sneaky and very carefully placing each piece of his pizza onto my plate and when his plate was empty, he announced once more "I'm done - pizza all gone!" I had to keep my head turned towards my husband so Mason couldn't see me laughing and Mike had to leave the room because he was laughing so hard! Don't ever doubt the mind of children - they will surprise you every time!!!

What are you trying to sneak past God and others around you? Remember, He's always watching! Live your life to respect Him.

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I was so excited about the Scripture we discussed yesterday, I didn't have a chance to tell you about my wonderful weekend. We've been working hard at painting our cabinets and walls in our kitchen. From removing and cleaning knobs and hinges to priming and painting, we wondered if we would ever get done with the 1st phase of the remodel. Well, on Friday night we had some great friends stop by with supper. What a blessing to a woman who really didn't want to cook so she could finish up some things on the kitchen! We finished up for the night, ate supper with our sweet friends and then took a bike ride.
Here's what we have done so far. In phase 2, we will put up a back splash behind the stove (maybe tile and then a row of tile around the top of the counter top) and paint the counter top (sand, special primer, oil based paint, and poly) - avocado green is just not my color!!
We also will be installing a new dishwasher into the empty hole. We already removed our 1976 dishwasher that refused to drain. I will have to post the before pictures at another time - they are on my other computer and it's in the shop. You'll be amazed at the transformation!On our bike ride, Mike's tire tube exploded so we waited patiently for our rescuers to bring us home. Saturday morning we finished the kitchen and knowing that we had a busy day on Sunday, spent the rest of the day resting and hanging out with the kids.
On Sunday, we experienced another amazing service at Pontiac Bible Church ( We officially became members of the church and then worshipped in song, sermon, and testimony. A heart-felt testimony by Josh Marchetti, reminded me of the power of God and His ability to work good for those who love Him. Sunday was also the t1 year anniversary of my grandpa's death. After a birthday party, we spent the rest of the day with my grandma, parents, siblings and their families. It was a bitter sweet time of remembrance and celebration.
Like I said, it was an amazing weekend filled with God, family and friends - just exactly what I needed to begin a new week of service to Him.
Have a great day
Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, July 13, 2009

Good morning and happy Monday! I just read some amazing Scripture that really got my heart thinking. Matthew 14:13-14 Now when Jesus heard about John, (John the baptist had just been beheaded by Herod) He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.

John was not just the for-teller and preparer for Jesus' arrival but he was also His cousin. Jesus was understandably upset and went to be by Himself. Now comes the part that convicts me - when these people followed Him, He didn't get angry or tell them to go away because He was sad. He felt compassion for them and began healing their sick. He knew His mission and purpose so He moved forward with what needed to be done.

Now, I have to admit that I have spent days and weeks in pity parties and/or times of real grief, only focused on me and my own pain. During these times, I don't feel like I can or want to help anyone else - I'm too busy being depressed to even think about anyone else. Isn't that exactly what satan wants from me? Absolutely! If he can keep me focused on me then I will not be fulfilling my mission from God and satan can so easily step in.

Here's what my Bible's commentary says: Jesus sought solitude after the news of John's death. Sometimes we may need to deal with our grief alone. Jesus did not dwell on His grief, but returned to the ministry He came to do.

What an inspiration to me! We must not waste time focusing on our circumstances but keep our eyes focused on God and the purpose He has given to each one of us. Circumstances change but God never does, so we can stand firm no matter what is happening around us.

Jesus also shows His amazing love in this message. A love that puts others first. A love that we can model when we make the choice to live committed to Him.

Wow! I told you it was goooooood stuff!

Have a great day
Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, July 10, 2009

I went on a bike ride last night - it was so exciting because I haven't rode my bike in many years. In fact, it had been so long since Mike and I had functioning bicycles that the base of the baby seat was still on Mike's bike! (Our kids are 13 and 11) It was so cool because I was at WalMart yesterday and thought about how much I've been wanting to ride my bike so I bought the needed tire tubes and the BIG granny seat. Later that evening, we had some friends call and ask if we would want to get some exercise with them outside. We jumped at the opportunity and after Mike got the tires and seat ready, we brushed the dirt and cobwebs off and headed out. My old bike seat was not comfortable (really hurt the old back side) and so in the past I hadn't been able to ride very long but we rode for about an hour last night with my granny seat and it was wonderful! Yippeee - this may just become a daily occurrence. Fun and exercise - I never thought I'd put those two words together!

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I got a sweet and loving reminder/reprimand from my accountablility partners last night as we studied the 5th chapter of Luke. Having compassion and seeing others as God sees them is a struggle for me. At times, I see people as an inconvenience instead of an opportunity. I am an overly scheduled person and interruption tends to annoy me sometimes.

As I continued to think about my struggles and how I want to change, I thought of this song:

Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black tile
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breath in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
Are those people going somewhere?Why have I never cared?
Give me your eyes for just one secondGive me your eyes so I can seeEverything that I keep missingGive me your love for humanityGive me your arms for the broken heartedThe ones that are far beyond my reachGive me your heart for the once forgottenGive me your eyes so I can seeyeah .. yeah .. yeah .. yeah
Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide whats underneath
There’s a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
To ashamed to tell his wife
He’s out of work He’s buying time
Are those people going somewhere? Why have I never cared?
Give me your eyes for just one secondGive me your eyes so I can seeEverything that I keep missingGive me your love for humanityGive me your arms for the broken heartedThe ones that are far beyond my reachGive me your heart for the once forgottenGive me your eyes so I can seeyeah .. yeah .. yeah .. yeah
I’ve been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all alone
Give me your eyes for just one secondGive me your eyes so I can seeEverything that I keep missingGive me your love for humanityGive me your arms for the broken heartedThe ones that are far beyond my reachGive me your heart for the once forgottenGive me your eyes so I can seeyeah .. yeah .. yeah .. yeah
Give me your eyes for just one secondGive me your eyes so I can seeEverything that I keep missingGive me your love for humanityGive me your arms for the broken heartedThe ones that are far beyond my reachGive me your heart for the once forgottenGive me your eyes so I can see

Lord, I pray for Your eyes in me. Amen

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If God asked you to give up something you really loved, would you be willing to do it? It may be easy to just say yes and move on but really put yourself in the situation - think of something you really love in your life and consider giving it up for obedience in Christ. Could/would you do it?

Matthew 13:44 "The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

13:45-46 "Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it."

Times when my husband and I have been going through our budget and trying to eliminate extras, we couldn't bring ourselves to give up tv, cell phones or internet let alone bigger things. We live in a society that says we should have everything we want, when we want it. Sacrifice has become a thing of the past.

In the past, I have given up things in obedience to Christ but I have to admit, it was some of the hardest things I ever had to do.

Are you willing to give up all you have for something so precious?

I would love to hear your story!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm baaaaaccckk (and somewhat conscious) after a long weekend. My family and I worked a lot on our kitchen. It's not completed yet but it is getting close. I finished up stripping wallpaper or should I say, paste that sticks like super glue on Friday and then it was painting, painting and more painting. We decided to paint the cabinets until we could afford to buy new ones - I didn't realize that I have a total of 40, yes I said 40 doors and drawers in my kitchen. I was elected to sit in the garage and sand and paint them. I'm thinking they were just tired of me giving my opinion (bossing them around) in the house. Let me just say, that painting 40 doors and drawers with two coats of paint on both sides with 6 hours in between each coat, takes a LONG LONG time! I really hope they look great when we get them put back up!

I learned something in class last night that I thought was interesting and hadn't heard it before. We were studying the creation of the universe and had stopped on Genesis 1:7-8. "God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was morning, a second day.

According to my professor, the "waters below" are our waters here like oceans, lakes, ponds, etc. The "waters above" was a vapor canopy above the world. This vapor canopy was like a terrarium where the evaporation and condensation made the world self-sustaining and so didn't need rain. After the flood, this vapor canopy was no more and it was then that the suns rays were more penetrating on humans. People lived 900 years or more before the flood, but after, peoples lifespans became shorter and shorter.

I thought that was really cool and wanted to share.

Have a great day

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, July 3, 2009

Good morning my bloggy friends! It is Friday and a long weekend for me! WooooHooo! I've got big plans of stripping wallpaper and painting, in hopes to have my kitchen done when I return to work on Tuesday. It hit me this morning that I need to find somewhere to put everything that's in my cabinets until the painting is done and I'm really not sure where that is going to be but I'm sure I'll figure something out even if it all has to go on the front porch! My neighbors are having an open house tonight and tomorrow so I'm sure they would appreciate the contents of my kitchen sitting on my front porch!

Oh, and by the way Elizabeth discovered a new spiritual gift last night. Her youth pastor asked her what she was good at and enjoyed to find out what her spiritual gift was. Her response - shopping. I've never heard of shopping as a spiritual gift, but she was sure of it!! :) She of course, had to use her gift to purchase a new outfit for the 4th of July celebration - but does there really need to be a special occasion for a new outfit? She thinks, not! I'll have to take a picture of her and her new outfit to post next time!

Well, I'm off to work - have a great day, a great 4th and a great weekend! Talk to you again on Tuesday.

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our Wednesday night small group is studying the book of Luke. Last night, our study included Luke 5:1-11 when Jesus performs a miracle of providing a huge amount of fish for Simon Peter and his fishing helpers after a long night of fishing and catching none.

5:4-5 "When He (Jesus) had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered and said, "Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets."

My husband was so excited over these verses and got us all going too.

Do we say "I will do as you say" to Jesus, even when what He is asking doesn't make sense?

What an amazing example! I want to say yes even when I don't understand but I have to admit that many times, I don't. I have seen the faithfulness of God over and over again in my life and yet I continue to doubt. What a terribly convicting confession!

I can say that I do better saying yes than I used to but I have such a long way to go in the faith department.

How about you? I would love to hear your stories of times that you said yes to God even when it didn't make sense and what He made of the situation. Bring on the encouragement!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Good morning! Hope you are having a great week!

Do you ever feel embarrassed/intimidated when you are around someone who seems to know a lot about the Bible?

Do you ever shy away from asking questions fearing that you will ask something "dumb"?

As I read Matthew 13:36-43 when Jesus explains the parable of the weeds to His disciples, I thought about the times that I could answer those questions with, yes.

Vs. 36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."

Now, as Jesus told this parable to the crowds, the disciples could have been tempted to pretend like they understood and not ask Jesus to explain. Their pride and fear of looking "dumb" could have taken over as they learned from the Messiah. But this was not the case. Because they wanted to learn - because they wanted to gain wisdom and knowledge, they asked.

We should learn from this example. Don't pretend like you understand when you don't. Ask, ask, ask and learn, learn, learn. There is nothing to be ashamed of when your desire is to gain wisdom and knowledge of God.

Be a lifelong learner!

Living fearlessly in Christ