Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good morning my bloggy friends! As my kids continue to grow older by the day, God continues to remind me how very little time I have left with them. Our daughter's basketball team won their 2nd tournament of the season last night. My husband began coaching these girls when they were in 3rd and 4th grades through the Boys and Girls club. We have such a close bond with these girls as we have watched them grow into young women. It broke his heart to let them go to the jr high coaches when they reached 7th grade, not because the coaches weren't good but because he wanted to continue to coach them. The impact that he has had on them amazes me as each girl comes to him after the game to get a hug and high-five. Many times I have underestimated the impact that I can have on a child. How about you? Do you realize how important your love and presence is in the lives of your children or a child?
Have a great day
Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good morning and happy Monday! I'm so excited to share with you that our son made the decision yesterday to be baptized. For awhile, he had been struggling with if he had truly accepted God over a year ago and what did accepting God really mean in his life. My heart ached as I watched him struggle and wonder but I just continued to encourage him and pray with him over his heart and his relationship with God. As we were eating dinner on Saturday night, he announces that he and God had worked everything out in his heart and that he was ready to be baptized. On Sunday, his Sunday school lesson was on salvation and baptism which confirmed what God had placed in his sweet heart. So after church, he asked me to let our pastor know that he was ready and to get him on a list for the next baptism service. What wonderful joy filled Mike and I's hearts as we listened to him explain his journey of thought and prayer over the matter. God is good and never ceases to amaze me!

Something else that I have been thinking about is how God puts people in our lives to teach us and make us into who He wants us to be. I so easily fall into judging what other people's lives must be like determined by who their married to, how their children act and what kind of house they live in. As Mike and I have continued to lead our young adult connection group and get to know more intimately those in our group, I have been surprised to find that many are not what I imagined them to be. Our goal is to make the group a place where people can be open, honest and real as we walk through this life together - through this honesty we have found that those around us are walking the same difficult path as we are. God is teaching me that no matter who your married to, who your children are, where you live or what kind of job you have - we are all in the same boat. We all have insecurities, hurts, mistakes, and happiness. It is time to put away our intimidation and insecurities and build up those around us, no matter who they are.

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good morning and sorry about missing our time together yesterday. It was a whirlwind of a day that didn't allow for time in front of my computer. Today and tomorrow, I am subbing at Faithful Friends preschool again but this time with the toddlers. I have the opportunity to meet new kids and new staff members today and I pray that God's light will shine through me.

Did you realize that no matter where you are in life, you have a mission field?

Every job is a mission field. Each person that God puts in your path needs Him. Every moment of our lives can be worship.

Will you choose to see your life as an opportunity to share Christ or will you choose to get so caught up in your daily duties that you miss out on opportunities.

It is not easy to do but will you make the right choice today?

By the way, I came up with a new slogan for our family today: We're team Todd and we follow God! (my kids rolled their eyes, but I thought it was GOOD!)

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I read the note posted by me so long ago "God's goal for me is not comfort but character development." Obviously, what I want and what He wants is two different things because I would much rather have the comfort! In the past, there have been times in my life when I have felt like God was stripping me down to nothing but it was only to build me back up with so much more of Him. I think I'm going through another similar time. My own selfishness and pride has continued to build and through the process of thinking I would have no problems getting a new job and 9 weeks later, still not having a job, has knocked me down a few notches. Thinking that I could easily find a job with a large wage but only finding those that pay minimum wage, has also altered my thinking.

Who am I to think that I could be better than someone else searching for a job? Who am I to think I deserve something more than anyone else?

Who am I?

I am nothing and no one without Christ, just a lost sinner, but with Christ I am a daughter of the King. I am joint heirs with Christ Jesus. I have the hope of spending eternity in heaven.

No job or paycheck can ever compare with my relationship with Christ and the things of eternity.

Desperately needing a job to help support our family, I walked into McDonald's yesterday and asked a register girl that looked about 12, to speak to a manager. She answered that she was the manager and was happy to set up an interview with her tomorrow.

I am humbled to say the least but I know that each experience that comes my way can be used by God to make me into the woman He wants me to be.

What are you facing right now that you can choose to be thankful for?

Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Day I Sat in God's Lap
19 Oct 2009Tracie Miles

"Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 4:8a (NIV)

A couple months ago, I found myself in despair. I had been hurt and felt betrayed by a friend. How was I going to fix the issues I was suddenly facing? My heart and mind were overwhelmed with the storm that had unexpectedly raged into my life.One Sunday afternoon, I was feeling especially sad and worried about it. To hide my tears from my family, I wandered quietly into the solace of my bedroom. It was a rainy day and the room was dim, so I clicked on the lamp beside my bed. As the warm glow of light bathed the room, my eyes fell upon the little glass box a sweet friend had given me a few weeks earlier.This beautiful engraved box, wrapped in a soft yellow bow, was filled with little slips of carefully folded papers, and on each slip of paper was an encouraging Bible verse. This would have been a wonderful gift in itself, but to make it even more special, my friend had inserted my name into each of the verses. When I read them, I felt as if God was speaking directly to me, as if He was calling out to Tracie, by name.As I sat quietly alone in my bedroom unfolding each little slip of paper, tears streamed down my face. I read every verse silently, asking God to hear my prayers, comfort me, take away my hurt, and show me the way.

After a few minutes of intense prayer and focus, I became aware of God's presence in the room.I felt Him wrap His holy comforting arms around me and pull me into His presence. Suddenly, an idea popped into my mind. Instead of putting the papers back in the glass box after reading them, I spread them out all around me. Most were in front of me so I could read and focus on them over and over. But I placed several to my right, se veral to my left, and even put a few behind my back.As I sat on my bed, fully surrounded on every side by holy words, God impressed upon my heart that I was virtually nestled into His lap; the lap of my heavenly Father. The thought nearly took my breath away.

What an awesome privilege to be positioned right smack in the middle of God's Word. To be sitting in the lap of the One who created me. To be entirely physically surrounded by His truths. To see His written promises speaking specifically to me.I realized I wasn't merely surrounded by slips of paper. I was surrounded by countless reassurances that He heard my prayers.

What a gentle reminder that I needed to put my trust in Him, and I really could find rest in Him.I thanked God for reminding me that when I seek Him, I will find Him, and for helping me see just how alive His Word really is.

Dear Lord, thank You for who You are. For the privilege of getting to spend time with You and sit qu ietly with You. Thank You for engaging in conversation with me, a broken and needy soul. Help me have the strength through You to overcome the obstacles that Satan would love for me to trip over. Give me the passion and commitment to continue seeking You with all my heart, even when life gets tough or people disappoint me. Thank You for always being there when I need You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We celebrated my dad's 60th birthday last night with a surprise party and oh, was he surprised!! He continues to threaten my mom with what is now going to happen in two years on her 60th! Here's a few pics of the fun.

My sister, Shelly, her hubby Scott and their daughter, Amanda serving cake and punch.
My mom and dad

Sister-in-law, Brandi, granny and sister, Shelly
The delicious cake with my dad's favorite car on it.
Celebrating life - isn't it great!!
Have a great day and a great weekend
Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Well, I guess I was wrong about the whole subbing for the rest of the week. It worked out well, since I normally clean for a neighbor on Thursdays - so I'm headed out to clean. Before I go, I wanted to share a thought with you:

As I read Matthew 28:1-10 about the resurrection of Jesus, something stood out to me. After Mary and Mary Magdalene were told by the angel that Jesus had rose from the dead, they left to tell His disciples. On their way: vs 9 "Suddenly Jesus met them. 'Greetings,' He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him."

In order to "clasp His feet", they would have had to fall down in worship.

When was the last time you collapsed in worship?

Was the promise of the resurrection any different than every other promise God keeps?


Do you take the time to at least thank God when He keeps His promises? How about when He answers a prayer?

Our crazy busy lifestyles can keep us from taking the time to worship. Are you willing to make a commitment to take time today to thank God for keeping His promises?

Have a great day!
Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thanks for your prayers, I survived my first day of work out of the house in 12 years and then headed straight to school. It made for a long day but I will continue to praise God for His faithfulness. I am headed out again for another day of subbing and I'm guessing for the rest of the week, I will be doing the same.

Transitions are difficult at times, but are amazing learning opportunities.

What is God teaching you during this time of experience?

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting ready to head to work. Weird, I haven't said that in about 12 years! I'm not officially working yet but am subbing today for a lady with a sick child at Faithful Friends preschool. Thank you for praying. I found out yesterday that I won't be needed on a regular basis for teaching until December but at least I know that I will have a job in less than 2 more months. I thank God for His faithfulness and pray that His will be done in my life.

Thanks again for praying and I'll keep you updated on how it all goes.

Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hello my bloggy friends! I'm back and no, I have not fallen off the end of the earth. It feels like such a long time since we've talked. I forgot to tell you that I was heading to Indiana to help a friend get ready for her garage sale last week and since there isn't school today, the kids and I slept in! Yea!!

I am waiting for a return call on a job lead. I received a call from the owner of a local Christian preschool last week asking if I would be interested in a teaching job for 3, 4, and 5 year olds. Since MY plan was to do something different from daycare with this new job, I told her that I would have to think about it and let her know. Over the past few days, God and others have reminded me that this job would be exactly what I have been praying for: work in the town I live, a ministry position, and an easy transition.

I called her back on Friday and left a message and then called again this morning and left a message. I haven't heard back yet, but can I ask that you will be praying for God's will to be done in my life?

If this is where He wants me, then it is where I want to be.

I'll keep you updated!

Thanks bunches
Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life is just plain hard sometimes and it is so easy to fix our minds on the difficulties we face. It is a great time to focus on me, me and me. As I read Matthew 27:32-44 today, I realized that while Jesus was being mocked, flogged and crucified, His focus stayed on God and others. He didn't complain about the pain or how hard it was to endure. He didn't turn away from God because He didn't save Him from the pain. He continued a life of worship even in His agony.

This realization brings much conviction to my heart.

Are you turning away from God because of your pain? Are you fixed on your hurts and your fears instead of focusing on God and others?

May we all continue to live a life of worship no matter what our circumstances may be.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today I was reading about the soldiers mocking Jesus before His crucifixion in Matthew 27:27-31. These guards took the time to strip Jesus of His clothes and put on Him a robe. Then they also took the time and effort to twist together a crown of thorns to put on His head and put a staff in His right hand. They made a game of mocking Him over His kingship. They then had to take His robe back off and put His clothes back on. My question was: why go to all the extra trouble just to make fun of someone?

Then it hit me - this wasn't just done to Jesus but is something we do on a regular basis. I am doing the same thing when I take time out of my day to gossip; I am doing the same thing when I make a snyd remark about someone each time I see them and then move out of hearing distance; I am doing the same thing when I repeatedly bring up past mistakes of others.

I am doing the same thing to Jesus because when I mock, hurt, gossip about, or judge others, I do it to Him. This thought brought conviction to my heart.

When we take the time to do these things and more, we are wasting time. If I say that I want to live a life of worship to God, these evils cannot be a part of it.

Lord, please forgive me for allowing my thoughts, actions and words to be filled with evil. Help me to remember that my life is to be worshipful to You and when I disobey, I am not bringing worship to You. Guide and direct my tongue. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, October 5, 2009

Road Trip!

Good morning and happy Monday! :) Sorry if that's too cheery for you today, but I'm excited to share about a great day we had yesterday. After running around like crazy people last week, Mike and I decided that yesterday was going to be a family day. We checked the Internet for some places to take the kids with free admission and hit the road. We left for our road trip about 10 am and returned about 7 pm. We traveled all over the lower central Illinois region. Here's some pics of the fun:
Crazy kids in the car
The fam at Dickson Mounds

Mike and I in the school house at New Salem
Mike and Nate at New Salem
Liz and I in the outhouse (guess we should have closed the door!)

We also toured the countryside, campgrounds, and state parks but I have to say, the best part was just being together with no agendas or interruptions. Life gets too crazy sometimes and we need to take time to just be together.
I hope you take the time today to appreciate your family
Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just heading out the door for a busy day. Please be praying for an interview I will have at 2:00 today. Thanks bunches!

Lysa Terkeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries will be on Oprah today. Watch and support an amazing opportunity for her to share the love of Christ on Oprah's show!

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Hey all! I'm heading out to make some $$ this morning. I will be cleaning my neighbors house once per week until I find a job. If you know of anyone else looking for help around the house or yard, feel free to give them my name.

My granny gave me this yesterday and I loved it and had to share:

By Corrie Bramsen
I sang the hymns on Sundays, and I knew all the lines, to, "All to Jesus I Surrender" and, "His Hand in Mine." But then the day arrived when God put it to the test; He said, "I want to use your life to show My way is best. "I don't want folks to only Hear words of trust and praise; it's not enough to quote the lines on which you have been raised. "I want your life to prove it; I want the world to see what I can do within a heart that's truly giv'n to Me. "For I will show the great things that I, the Lord, can do; I will display My glory... and I'm asking to use you. "But I don't need your efforts, your energy or strength; I'm not looking for a hero, or some super-human saint. "I want to have your weakness, I want to take your pain -- and use your inabilities to glorify My name. "And I want you to trust Me, to daily seek my face; I have not promised answers, I have only promised grace. "For the underlying issue is really not about all the great things I'll do through you, or the way you'll help Me out. "But it's what I'm doing in you that I want the world to see; the way a life of nothingness is beautiful in Me. "So trust Me, precious child, and someday you'll understand, that what seemed to you so senseless, was exactly what I planned!"
Makes me cry every time - Thank you Jesus!
Living fearlessly in Christ