Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Show the love of Christ to a child in need this Christmas!

What are you doing this year for Christmas?

Decorating the house? Making Christmas cookies? Celebrating with family and loved ones? Exchanging gifts?

What if this year you gave gifts that not only celebrated your loved ones but brought the love of Christ to a child in need? An orphan in Africa, India, Ukraine, or Honduras?

This year Lifesong for Orphans has gifts that will do just that. Give the new Lifesong cookbook...

or give a child in Africa food, a child in Honduras job skills training, a child in India a home... in honor of those you love... and really, what could be better at Christmas than to know your gift was given to a child who needed it more.

Check it out here.

May God bless your holiday season!

10-11 Gifts of Purpose from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This week, you have TWO chances to be entered in a giveaway for a FREE Lifesong for Orphans t-shirt! Lifesong will be debuting 2 new colors (chocolate brown for men and red for women) and are offering to give away 2 shirts before they are available for sale!

Here’s how to enter:
#1: Go to the Lifesong blog posting from Monday and guess how many children are no longer orphans that Lifesong helped to bring home through financial assistance.

#2: Leave a comment on Friday’s posting about how we can creatively work together as the body of Christ to care for orphans around the world! Here's what you do... share with us your ideas. Leave a comment... maybe about a ministry your church is involved in... or a family you helped support financially to adopt.

Maybe you have this aMAZing idea that has been just waiting to get out and be put in action. Here's your chance! Let's inspire each other to rise up on behalf of orphans!

“With this in mind, take some time to walk through your house and ask God what he would have you do with your part of the 200 million orphans worldwide, most of whom may never hear the gospel, much less have it lived out in a loving family of their own.” – Greg Lucas

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hey my bloggy friends! I had to take a minute to share something that I learned last week - something that I hadn't thought about before - something that made me realize even more how powerful our God is and that His Word is exactly how He wants it to be.

First, let me ask you a question - if you were starting a church, would you begin by setting up a plan of policies for the church to function or would you share the doctrine of the Holy Word first and then figure out the policies?

As we look at the letter's that Paul wrote, the growth of the church is based on right teaching over policy.

Paul teaches about doctrine in all of his first letters and then talks about church leaders and policy in Timothy and Titus at the end of his life. Obviously, the most important information in causing the church to grow was the doctrine!

Hope this can be a great reminder to all of us to always put doctrine over policy!

Thank you Pastor Dick!! :)

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, September 24, 2010


Alvin was born in a Liberian refugee camp in The Republic of Ghana, Africa.  His mother fled there during the civil war in Liberia.  Sadly, while she was in Ghana her family was killed in Liberia.  Alvin’s father died in the refugee camp before he was born.

In 2007, When Alvin was 4 years-old, he and his mother returned to Liberia.  There she began attending church and quit drinking.  Two years later, a few days before Christmas, she began vomiting and was admitted to a hospital with malaria.  Soon after, she died.

Alvin now lives at Lifesong Liberia's Master's Home of Champions.

You can help a child like Alvin. You can feed a child like Alvin.

Our goal is 70 people. $28 a month. One year commitment.

We have 44. 26 to go!

Will you join us in bringing joy and purpose to orphans?

Contact us at to make your commitment! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Quita is 5 years old.  During the disarmament time, rebels came to her village and took all the men, including her father.  She never saw her father again.  Later it was discovered that these men were taken to a bridge where they were shot and thrown into the river.

Her mother ran to the Salala district with the other villagers for refuge.   There she later got sick and became paralyzed.  Last year Quita’s mother died and Quita was taken to the Lifesong Liberia's Home of Champions.  When she grows up she wants to be a medical doctor and help children.

Isn't it amazing that at 5 years old she's thinking about how someday she can help other children?

How can we help children today?

We're asking for a monthly commitment of $28 for one year.

Twenty-eight dollars...

- eating out at that new restaurant

- the shirt you've had your eye on

- a date night to the movies

- those pillows that would just look sooo good on your sofa.

I won't lie, making this commitment will require some sacrifice.  But trust me.  The sacrifice is always worth the reward.

What can you sacrifice for a child like Quita?

Our goal is 70 people.  $28 a month.  One year commitment.

We have 36 commitments, 34 to go!

Join us in bringing joy and purpose to orphans!

Contact us at to commit! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This summer our church had their annual VBS program. We had the kids raise money to support a Vacation Bible Camp at Lifesong Liberia. Well, the response of these 5-11 year olds brought tears to my eyes. We heard stories about kids doing extra chores around the house and emptying their piggy banks. One child even asked if this year's Christmas money could go to helping these children across the world! wow!

That week we raised more than double what we needed! That same week our Liberia director, Emmanuel Jones, discovered another orphanage that needed our help. Another orphanage where the children were starving. Another orphanage that we could help with extra money raised by children in Illinois.

Amazing! God's timing is so good, isn't it?

We announced to the kids that their money would not only give Liberian children a Bible camp to attend, but would also provide food and shelter for over 25 more children! Oh the cheers that filled the Sunday School room that evening. They whooped and hollered. I cried. God is good!

2010 Liberia VBS from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

Over 360 children attended!

67 children dedicated their lives to Christ!

75 adults came, and 11 of them received Christ!

Bishop Emmanuel Jones writes:

It was heart touching and very moving to watch for three days. I saw the children change in a dramatic way in their relationship with God and with each other.

The camp was profound and the children left very encouraged and blessed. We have started a church in the community in order to continue discipleship and follow up with these new believers."

But this was only the beginning. Now, with more children we have more cost. Funds are tight and we need help.

Here's the exciting part. If we surpass our goal of 70 sponsors we can take in more children! Children who would otherwise be turned away!

Our goal is 70 people. $28 a month. One year commitment.

We currently have 25 commitments... 45 to go in just 3 days!

Can we do it? With your help we can!

Join us in bringing joy and purpose to orphans.

Contact us at to commit!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kemah never knew her mother. One day while she and her brother were sleeping, their home caught fire. In a desperate attempt to save his children, Kemah’s father ran into the house for them. After he rescued her brother, her father searched for Kemah as well. That day, the roof of their little house caved in, leaving Kemah’s foot badly burned and killing her father.

Now orphaned, 6 year-old Kemah and her brother found refuge at Master’s Home of Champions-Lifesong Liberia. Here she is gaining an education, is given daily, nutritious meals, and is learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Kemah can tell you that she loves Jesus and knows He loves her because He died for her sins. Someday she hopes to be a missionary so she can tell others about the love of Christ!

Wow... What an amazing response to the Gospel from a young child who's already experienced more pain than many of us will experience in a lifetime. But Kemah is not alone. There are other children... so many children... who need our help!

We're asking for a monthly commitment of $28 for one year to help cover the costs of caring for 70 orphans in Liberia. This donation will cover food and water, and other necessities, such as coal and kerosene, toothpaste, bathing and laundry soup, and hair oil.

A typical grocery list at Lifesong Liberia for 1 month includes:

- 8 bags of rice

- 5 gallons agro oil

- 2 bags of cornmeal

- 1 bag of sugar

- 20 gallons of red cooking oil

- 1 carton of cooking salt

Sometimes powdered milk and flour will also be purchased, but not every month.

Every 1-2 days cassava, various vegetables, fish and occasionally chicken are purchased for soup.

Typically the children at Lifesong Liberia will have cornmeal porridge for breakfast and rice with soup for lunch and dinner.

Will you help us feed and care for these children? Children like Kemah?

Our goal is 70 people. $28 a month. One year commitment.

We have 17 commitments. That means 53 to go in just 4 days!

Join us in bringing joy and purpose for orphans!

Contact us at to make your commitment today!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hey all! Check out this link:

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Good morning my bloggy friends! After seeing that its been two months since I've blogged, I'm feeling quite guilty. Yes, I am still alive and yes, God continues to shape and mold me through this little thing called life.
About eight weeks ago, I began having major pain in my neck, left shoulder, and left arm. When I say major, I mean not going to work, laying in bed all day kind of major. After trying chiropractor care and lots of different kinds of drugs without relief, I saw a neuro surgeon on a Friday and had neck surgery the following Monday (August 23). So, its been almost 4 weeks since my surgery and I am happy to say that I felt immediate relief and continue to recover well.
During the time of my recovery, I've had lots of time to spend with God. Our time together has been so precious and I've learned so much. In the whirlwind of a life I typically live, I find myself always looking for a quick fix to any problem I may encounter. I mean, who has time to deal with problems??? God placed me in the first three chapters of Proverbs for about two weeks to show me the importance of seeking wisdom. In James 1:5, God offers wisdom to those who ask for it. Proverbs shares the blessings of seeking wisdom and the consequences of not. God helped me realize that I must seek wisdom in everything. I must seek wisdom first, not after I've tried my own thing and screwed it all up. God is willing to give it to me - all I have to do is seek it and then actually obey once He gives it to me. Simple enough, right?
Well, my problem is taking the time to seek it. Will you pray with me that we will take the time to listen for God's wisdom?

Our small group has been reading the book Radical by David Platt and I have to say it has opened my eyes to many things. I highly recommend it. One thing it has led our group to do more of is - see a need, meet the need. We began by serving in our community by helping some people with home repair and gave school supplies to some needy families. Then, we became aware of a need outside our community.

Join our small group (a group of young adults in Central IL) as we seek to find 475 people who will give $20 each in order to build a well for the kids at Plan Escalon campus in La Entrada, Honduras! WILL YOU CONSIDER GIVING $20?What is $20 to us today, in 2010 in the US... well, I could think of a lot of things and if we each make one sacrifice, we can make this happen!

If you would like to join us go to and click on donate and make sure you put Honduras Well in the description box. You can also find out more about Lifesong for Orphans, the children they provide for, and other opportunities for you to serve along side them at the website. And if you are on Facebook, check out our group at Godabuildawell.

Also, check out this amazing post at our friends, Dan and Christi Ucherek's blog

God is on the move!
God is working in so many lives!
God loves you no matter what is happening around you!
God is good all the time and all the time God is good! (even when you don't understand!)

Are you saying yes to His calling? Or is fear keeping you safe in your comfort zone? I can say from experience that He can be trusted. He is faithful but how will you know until you say yes? Say yes before you even know what He is going to ask and get ready for an amazing adventure!

Are you afraid? Do it anyway!!

OK, I've said my piece for now. Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hello my bloggy friends! No, I have not forgot about you! I think of you often, but have a difficult time, finding time to put those thoughts into words on my blog! Wow is all I can say about our amazing God. I had shared in previous posts about my difficulties in transitioning back into the working work while maintaining everything else in my life (well, except my blog :)), but as always God is faithful in pulling me through difficult situations. I felt as though I needed a refresher in my spiritual walk and boy did God provide one for me! Our young adult group started reading and discussing the book "Radical" by David Platt and it has left my head spinning (in a great way!)! It has challenged me and caused me to do some major thinking over my life and the way I live it! The biggest challenge it has brought about is how it has made my selfishness very apparent. I guess my selfishness comes so naturally that I don't even notice it at times. This book has been a great inspiration to me also to be more intentional about building relationships with others. I highly recommend it.

So, I would love to hear about what God is doing in your life! How is He changing you? What is He calling you to do? What vision or passion has He put on your heart? Big or small, I want to hear it all!!

Have a great day!
Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Good morning my bloggy friends! I hope you had an amazing Memorial day weekend! I sure did, mine was filled with catching up on over due relationships, house work and home work. It feels good to catch up!!

Do you ever feel like your relationship with God is dry? Do you ever desire a renewal in your connection with God? Do you seek to have more passion?

I've been a bit dry lately, but God's Word revealed a great truth to me this morning. In Ezekiel 37:1-14, God shows Ezekiel some dry bones and then not only brings those bones back to life with flesh and skin, but breathes life back into them.

God has the power to do the same to you and I. Seek Him and you will be restored. Ask for passion, and He will fill you with it. Desire His guidance and will and He will show it to you.

Hope this brings encouragement to you today! Have a great one!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Good morning my bloggy friends! It seems as though its been forever since we've talked. Lately, I have found myself overwhelmed with life. Attempting to balance being a wife, mom, friend, student, and employee has been difficult for me but I am holding on to the strength of God for wisdom and guidance. As I cried out to God about all I had to do, He softly and sweetly reminded me of the above verse. It reminded me, once again, that God is in control and that I need to make my focus on Him and the moment I am in - not the places I need to go or the list of things that need to be completed. Attempting to train my brain to focus on the here and now has been difficult but I will not give up.

While on the earth, Jesus' example was of working hard and being persistant but also taking the time to be still and pray. I wonder, how much more content and calm would my/your life be if we prioritized our quiet time with the Lord?

I hope you can gain encouragment from today's post and let it be a reminder for you to stay in the present and keep God as your focus.

Have a great day

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This verse brought sweet peace to my heart today

Psalm 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Enjoy joy in your soul through Jesus Christ!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The words in this song are wonderfully true - I have lived them. Enjoy and soak up the peace that the truth brings.

Tenth Avenue North: You are more

There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide
She says, How did I get here?
I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love

But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight
She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's too weak to try
But don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.
You've been remade
You've been remade.
You've been remade.
You've been remade.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I've been listening to the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan on my drive home from school each week. As I listened last night, I realized something about myself. I live in a cycle of being totally consumed and fulfilled by God and then falling into seeking other things in life to fulfill me. There is a void in my heart that can only be filled by God but I can so easily fall into trying to fill it with material things, the approval of others, achievements, etc. My last cycle has been being content with my home and what I have in it but recently have found myself spending money on it that I don't have. I've wondered why my heart has went from contentment to discontentment but haven't gone much further. It hit me last night - the reason I am spending money on unneeded things is because I'm searching again to fill my void with "things" instead of God. I've decided that each time I want something unneeded and am ready to shop, I will instead spend that time with God.

I love the way that God is so faithful! I'm so thankful that His love for me never changes even when I go seeking something else to take His place.
Thank you, Lord, for your forgiveness, grace and mercy!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, April 23, 2010

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. Matthew 5:13

Are you salty?

Are you passionate about your relationship with God?

Are you ready to say "yes" before God even makes the request?

Are you allowing God's light to shine through you?

It is easy to be on fire for the Lord when you first become a Christian but as the years go by and circumstances get the chance to harden your heart, do you find it more difficult to burn?

Think about your priorities today - does what you do set a godly example for others?

Do you speak and act differently than those who are not Christians?

Just some thoughts that I've been pondering and thought you may want to also.
Have a great day

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello my friends - long time, no talk! Well, since its been so long since I've wrote something, I thought I'd add some recent pics so I could show you what I've been up to. On Monday, I had my 35th birthday and my sweet sweet friend, Kristy made me a beautiful cake! Her name is Kristy Cotter and she makes the BEST cakes ever and will be starting Cotter's cakes soon, so make sure you let me know if you are ready to be a very special customer. YUMMY!!!!
Another birthday surprise got delivered to my job on Monday. What a wonderful hubby I have!!
We also spent last weekend camping. It was so much fun and very relaxing. It was windy enough to blow us away but we were able to find ways to stay near the ground - well, except for the pics below.

Nate decided it would be good to walk in Cooper's shoes (paws) for awhile. He really enjoyed being a dog (I guess its a good thing that dog is his nickname!)
Well, that's all I have for now - hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hello and happy Friday my bloggy friends! I have to admit that as I write today, I am in pain! Lots of physical pain! I got this great idea that since I packed on a few pounds over the winter that I could join my local Curves and get this old body back into shape. I never do things half way, so I worked out this week with fervor and passion, not thinking about how long it had been since my body had experienced exercise. I am now hobbling around like an old lady and wishing I hadn't been quite so passionate!

This week, I heard someone say "don't judge lest ye be judged," quoting from Matthew 7:1 and I began thinking about how our defenses go up when someone may get just a little to close to our favorite sin. When I think of "judging" someone, I think of the times when I really don't know the whole situation but choose to make a judgement on a person's actions or motives, anyway. It's a way that we make ourselves feel better by putting someone else down.

As Christians, we are to love each other, lift each other up, and help our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ when they have fallen. I believe it is my responsibility to lovingly keep those Christians accountable, that I have a relationship with. I am not responsible to point out the mistakes of those who are not Christians because I have to show them the love of Jesus before they will be able to see their sin. Relationship is the key to keeping others accountable. No relationship will bring out all the defenses in the other person. Now, I'm not saying that this always makes the other person happy and could not hurt the relationship but to follow the example of Christ, we are not to judge but we are to help keep others accountable for their actions and also be open and willing to be kept accountable, ourselves.

Hope I stepped on some toes today! :) (If I have to hurt, you have to hurt!)

Living fearlessly in Christ

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Does you life bring glory to God?

Each choice we make, answers the question.

Living fearlessly in Christ

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Good morning my bloggy friends! As I read the first chapter of Matthew this morning, I was reminded of how God has a purpose and a plan for everything and everyone. It begins with the genealogy of Jesus. I have to admit that I have often skipped over all the names of who fathered who but as I read all the names, I realized how important each person was.

I know many people who call their pregnancies "accidents" but truly, in God's eyes, their are no accidents. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, whether our parents had planned for us or not.

It gives me comfort knowing that God wants me - even if no one else does. God knows how to stretch and pull me so that I can be who He wants me to be. His love and faithfulness gives me the strength to do what He asks me to do.

Do you know what God's purpose is for you? What are your spiritual gifts? What can you make the choice to say yes to? (even if its scary!)

Hope you can spend some time chewing on these thoughts, today.

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, March 26, 2010

When my husband and I had our first child at the age of twenty, I had no idea that I should be making choices to protect my marriage. How I wish that someone would have prepared me for the issues I would face with setting family priorities and boundaries once children entered the picture.
From speaking with many Christ following women in central Illinois, I have found most being as naïve, as I was, as I believed that our new little bundle of joy would only enhance our marriage. That was, until the baby was actually born!
For me and many other moms, it is common to put our children and their needs above our husbands and sometimes even God. This is not God’s plan for us and I am excited for the opportunity to share with other Christ following moms, my experiences and hard core facts about setting priorities and boundaries in marriage. I have learned much through discussing this topic with other women, learning from other Christ following moms, my own personal experiences, doing much reading from the last decade and internet research.
So the question to answer comes down to: how can something a married couple made together be the root of what could tear them apart and how do we keep that from happening?
It is in no way the child’s fault but the reactions of the parents in the midst of an addition to their family. Although caring for a child takes much time and energy, I believe that nurturing marriage is a wise investment. A family begins when a man and woman become one through marriage. Children are additions to an already established family.
Titus 2:4 “so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.” (Holy Bible New American Standard Translation) The responsibilities of a young mom are clear: love your husband and love your children. What it does not say is: love you children and let your husband fend for himself!
God created marriage and gives much input to the subject through His Word. God created marriage for pleasure and for procreation. The Bible’s timeline shows God was first, and then He created man and marriage, and then procreation. Although this makes sense as we read the Bible, when we add children to a marriage, our priorities can be easily altered.
“Children. When husbands and wives become parents, they go through a significant transition that changes their lives and their marriage completely and permanently. These changes cause a husband and wife, to stop and wonder, “What has happened to our lives…what has happened to our marriage?” (Morgan and Kuykendall pg. 21)
The issue of Christ following wives neglecting their husbands to be more child focused runs rampant today in central Illinois. The ability to learn from others is a powerful tool in our lives, so use this information to understand how your marriage not only affects the married couple but also the children involved.

Have a great day!
Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring must be officially here - my kids had set up the hammock and I found them relaxing in the sunshine today. There is just something about spring that makes my heart smile :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Here I am again - hey, twice in one week is much better than skipping a month like I did last month! I am working hard at making this transition into being a full-time wife and mother, working full-time, and going to school full-time. Whew! It is an adjustment, but I am reminding myself that it is only a temporary imbalance and will eventually slow down. While I'm in this season, I am trying to be intentional about my time management and choosing important over urgent.

Over the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to speak three times. First,I spoke during chapel time at Pontiac Christian School, a women's retreat in Shelbyville, and at Fairbury MOPS. I am still amazed at the faithfulness of God, once again, as He continues to give me the strength to stand before others and then gives me the words that each one needs to hear. Thank you, Lord for another opportunity to trust in You.

What is God asking you to do that makes you cringe?

Have you allowed your fears to be your decision maker?

How can you say that you live a life of faith if your life doesn't require much faith?

Have a great day

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hello my bloggy friends! I'm home from the Hearts at Home conference and my spirits are high! My spirit feels rejuvinated but I think my body could use some sleep. Me and nine other women stayed the weekend in Bloomington and had way too much fun and way too little sleep!

If I told you about all the wonderful things that happened since I left the house Friday morning, I'd be writing for a long time and you would be reading for a long time!

Here's a few highlights:

As I drove to Bloomington on Friday morning, thoughts were running through my mind. As a volunteer, I was assisting a worshop speaker. I worried about not connecting with her or embarrassing myself when I introduced her and every other what-if that ran through my mind. I had also been praying for a connection with God over the weekend. As I drove, I looked up to the sky and noticed how a cloud above me was in the shape of an angel with its wings outstretched over both the north and south bound lanes of the interstate. It reminded me of God's continuous presence in my life. As the miles passed, it seemed as though I was being embraced by the outstreched wings of the angel. An amazing peace comforted me and I realized that even when I may not "feel" Him, God is always in and with me.

I attended a class titled "5 Secrets your husband wished you knew" by Mark Savage. A large portion of the message was on respecting your husband. One thing that stuck out to me and gave me new perspective was: at the end of Ephesians 5, wives are told to respect their husbands. If God commands me to respect my husband, than in order to be obedient to God then I must respect my husband. That means that he does not need to earn this respect, I just need to respect. WOW - now that's alot to chew on!

I could go on and on with the ways that God touch me and changed me over the weekend. What a blessing Hearts at Home is and I will continue to promote it and encourage women to attend.

Have an amazing day!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Whooooo Hooooo! Its that time of year again! Hearts at Home is tomorrow and Saturday and I am so excited to be a part of it again! Because of the impact it has had on my life, I want to encourage every woman I know to go - walk-in's are welcome on both Friday and Saturday. For more info, check out

My girlfriends and I are taking this opportunity to make the conference into a girls weekend and staying in Bloomington all weekend. Oh what fun we are going to have! Please be praying with me that God will prepare the hearts of the 6,000 attendees to feel His presence and be transformed by His Spirit. God used this conference to change my heart and I know He will use it to change many others as well.

If you are attending the conference, come visit me in the resource center. I will be assisting Jodi Antrim at her speaker table. Can't wait to see you!

Have a great day
Living fearlessly in Christ

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Psalm 46:10-11 "Be still I know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Does life ever seem like it's passing you by? Does you daily routine keep you from experiencing life to its fullest? Do you ever feel the need for something different or for some excitement?

Be still (yes, longer than a second or two) in order to hear God, but before you do make sure you have fully committed to obeying whatever it is that He may lay on your heart.

Say yes before you know what it is that God is going to ask you to do and be ready for the ride of your life!

Whoever says being a Christian is boring, obviously is not a Christian!

Be still, my friends.

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mom, do you know how valuable you are?

Do you want to be inspired and encouraged?

Are you in need of refreshment or rejuvenation?

Do you want to laugh?

A Hearts at Home conference gives moms the unique opportunity to pause along their mothering journey to refresh, refocus, and renew themselves. The 2010 National Conference, Mom’s the Word, is being held at the Bone Student Center of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois on March 12-13.

See what others are saying about a Hearts at Home conference:

“I attended the conference this year for the first time. I enjoyed it immensely. I was lifted up, instructed, convicted, encouraged, and brought to tears, sometimes all at the same time.”

“I loved it. I feel so full of information. I need to sit and read my notes and just process it. It was really encouraging to hear all the speakers and be with all of those moms. Thanks so much! “

“This past weekend was awesome and life changing. This was my first Hearts at Home Conference and I am telling everyone about it. “

“I want to thank you all for keeping these conferences going each year and for making them so refreshing for women at various stages in their parenting.”

Hearts at Home wants all mothers to know how valuable they are! Check out this video for a small dose of encouragement from Nicole Johnson and be sure to join us March 12th-13th for more!

Featured guests include Nicole Johnson, author & motivational speaker, a favorite at Women of Faith, Jill Savage, author, international speaker, CEO & founder of Hearts at Home, and Christy Nockles, Dove Award nominee & formerly of Watermark.

Visit for more information.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Today I'd like to welcome author and speaker Susie Larson. Susie's new book Growing Grateful Kids has just released and I've invited her to share a little bit about this great resource.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

My husband and I have been married 25 years and have three grown sons (all in their early twenties). Our oldest son Jake works on the business side of the Christian music industry. Our middle son Luke is married to his beautiful wife Kristen; he works full time at a bank and part time as a worship pastor. Our youngest son Jordan is studying to become a surgical nurse. My husband Kevin is a commercial construction manager by day and manages my ministry by night (and weekends). Bless his heart.  I am an author, speaker, and an on-call radio host for Christian talk radio. Together, Kevin and I serve as advocates for justice on behalf of modern day slaves and human trafficking victims.

Tell us about your new book, Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places.

Even when economic times are tight, our children enjoy an abundance of material possessions. Yet, amidst all this wealth, discontentment and competition seem to be on the rise. Instead of teaching children virtues such as gratefulness and patience, many parents are bending over backwards to get their children the latest and greatest item - or feeling guilty when they can't. In spite of the currents of materialism and entitlement that flow so strong, it is possible to raise children who are simply grateful. Though teaching perspective and gratitude to our children is critical, it is not difficult.

Why did you want to write this book?

To be completely honest, I never wanted to write a book on parenting. I wanted to protect my kids’ privacy and give them time and space to become the men God wants them to be. But in the last few years, I have been especially burdened with the level of selfishness, entitlement and disrespect I see among children today. Furthermore, moms seem more stressed than ever. When I asked my sons their thoughts on writing this book, without pausing they all said, “Do it, mom; that book needs to be written!” I think I wrote a book that not only equips young moms to raise humble, grateful world-changers, but also one that nourishes the soul of the reader and encourages her personally.

Throughout the book you remind the reader that we cannot impart what we do not possess. Can you explain?

If we never deal with our own fears, insecurities, and hang ups, but we try to teach our children to believe in their divine value, over time, our words will not ring true to them. First God wants to do His work in us before He does it through us. They say that lessons are more often caught than taught. If we parent from a place of conviction and real freedom, our children will be affected by what we teach them.

One of your chapters is titled, “Take Time to Play.” How does taking time to play teach our kids to be grateful?

To me, taking time to play says a lot about the level of faith we possess.

If our children hear us confess that we love and serve a BIG God and yet they see us striving and straining through life, they will come to believe that more is on our shoulders than on God’s. If we can trust God enough to step away from our busy-important lives, to make a fort in the basement, or play a game with our children – even in the most desperate of economic situations – we will give our children a sense of much needed security and that all is well in their world.

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

To answer this question (I hope you don’t mind), I would like to share an endorsement from one of my sample readers. She expressed my deepest desire for my reader:

“Growing Grateful Kids is such a great source of conviction, encouragement, and inspiration to spur me on to finishing this parenting race well and not sputter out along the way. This book compels me to submit my own character to the refining of the Holy Spirit that I may be equipped to impart those lessons onto my children. Thank you, Susie, for taking the time, for submitting in obedience, and writing this down for a generation in desperate need of this kind of parenting book!” –Gail Miller

This is a Hearts at Home book. What is Hearts at Home?

Hearts at Home is an organization that encourages, educates, and equips women in the profession of motherhood. Hearts at Home encourages moms through annual conferences, our extensive website (, a free bi-weekly electronic newsletter, a radio program, and an entire line of books designed to meet the needs of moms all over the world!

Any closing thoughts?

I am very excited about the message in this book. It is my prayer that every one who reads it will be nourished, encouraged, and equipped to parent from a place of fullness, conviction, and confidence. Raising grateful, confident kids will be one of the most heroic, important things you do in your lifetime. God’s blessings to you!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today I'd like to welcome Jill and Mark Savage. Jill and Mark's newest book Living with Less so your Family has More just released and I've invited them to share a little bit about this great resource!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

We have been married for 27 years…17 of them happily. After finding ourselves in a marriage counselor’s office around year 8 or so, we realized that we really didn’t know how to be married. We worked hard to turn things around and now we like to share that hope with other couples.

We have five children ranging from 13 to 25. Our oldest three are married. Anne (25) and her husband, Matt, live in Zion, IL, and are expecting our first grandchild in April. (We are very excited!) Evan (22) and his wife, Julie, have been married a year and a half and they live just a few miles from us. Erica (19) married her husband Kendall last September. They live in Augusta, GA, and wherever else the Army takes them.

We have two teenagers still at home. Kolya just turned 16. He’s learning to drive and we’ve nearly worn a hole in the carpet on the floor in the passenger seat trying to find that non-existent brake pedal. Kolya is the newest member of the Savage family. We adopted him at the age of nine from Russia.

Austin is 13 and in the 8th grade. He wants us to make sure and tell the world that this “living with less” life is a real bummer because he’s the ONLY kid in 8th grade who doesn’t have a cell phone.

Tell us about your newest book Living With Less So Your Family Has More?

The world screams the message that bigger is always better, but we have found that is not often true. When it comes to raising a family, less materially can actually result in more relationally. Children don’t need the best houses, the best lessons, the best cars, or the best clothes. What they really need is the best home life and the best family relationships we can give them.

Why did you want to write this book?

We didn’t start out with the “less is more” mindset. We started as a double income family wanting to have the “best” of everything. Then Mark decided to pursue ministry. We went from the “high life” to the “frugal life” very quickly as we moved to another state for him to go to Bible College full-time.

That experience introduced us to the concept that less is more. We definitely had less money, but we had more time. We had less stress and more peace. We had less activities and more fun.

Since that experience, we’ve continued to live primarily on one income for the past twenty years. We’ve had to battle cultural peer pressure and make different decisions for our family than many other families in our neighborhood have made. But we’ve never felt that we were materially depriving ourselves or our kids…instead we’ve focused on what we’ve actually been able to provide for them emotionally and relationally.

What do you hope your readers will gain from this book?

We hope the reader is encouraged to evaluate how they are living their life, spending their money, and thinking about family matters. Our goal is to introduce families to the “less is more” concept and then equip them with the attitudes and actions to actually make that happen.

For families that are already committed to less is more, we hope to bolster their resolve and help them stay focused on the long-term goal of providing relationally for their kids.

In today’s economy, there are many families being forced to live with less. We want to help them see the opportunity they have with this unexpected downsizing they’ve been forced to do.

And for those who have just been a little discontent with their life and saying things like, “I’m tired of the rat race of life,” or “Is there more to life than drive-thru meals for dinner?” we hope to help them see other choices they have and how they can lead their family in a different direction.

What unique elements will the reader find in Living With Less So Your Family Has More?

For couples who want to read the book together, we’ve included discussion questions at the end of every chapter. This helps move the readers to discussion and eventually actions. Even a single parent can use the discussion questions for personal evaluation.

Readers will find this book a practical guide to changing your attitude and your actions to live a successful “less is more” life. They’ll find our writing style to be a warm, casual, honest discussion where we not only share our victories but our mistakes along the way. We are an average couple living successfully on an average income who want to help others to see the possibilities before them.

This is a Hearts at Home book. What is Hearts at Home?

Hearts at Home is an organization that encourages, educates, and equips women in the profession of motherhood. Hearts at Home encourages moms through annual conferences, our extensive website (, a free electronic newsletter, a radio program, and an entire line of books designed to meet the needs of moms all over the world!

Any closing thoughts?

It’s healthy for parents to occasionally pause and evaluate their vision for their family and the choices they are making. We hope this resource will help them do that together and that it will lead them to live a life of little regret.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm baaaaacccckkkk! Well, kinda - here's a post from my friend Suz, enjoy!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust the Lord in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.

This verse seems so simple. Trust the Lord with EVERYTHING, in all things acknowledge and him and give him credit and life will be easy, right? Not so much….The verse says He will make your path straight, not easy. The Lord’s idea of straight, as my simple mind can imagine, is according to His plan, not our own. So, yes, if we trust him with everything, lean on His infinite wisdom and acknowledge Him in all we do, we will see the blessings He is ready to pour out on us that will surely far surpass the limited scope of what we can imagine for ourselves.

Where are you today? Tired of caring the load? Tired of feeling like everything you can give is just not enough? Well, you are probably right. You cannot do enough right stuff for God to love you anymore than he already does. So be real with who you are and thank God today for the way he has molded and made you to be for you are His.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I am excited to share a fun opportunity with you!

To celebrate the release of Hearts at Home’s newest book: Living With Less So Your Family Has More, by Jill and Mark Savage, the Hearts at Home blog is launching the Living with Less Contest.

Email Hearts at Home a story or money-saving tip that gives a peek into your daily experiences representing the humor, richness, or spiritual aspects of what it’s like to live with less.

Better yet, blog readers will benefit as many of the money-saving entries will be posted on the Heart’s blog throughout the month of February!

For contest details go here!

Have a great day!

Living fearlessly in Christ


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Good morning my bloggy friends! I've missed you! This working full-time has really but a damper on my blogging! Yep, I said it, I'm finally working full-time after 5 months of not having a job and to boot, I love my job!! :) I'm here blogging today because the preschool that I'm working at is closed today. The other teachers and I spent most of our day yesterday cleaning up vomit and diarrhea as we sent many children home with the stomach flu. I got the call this morning that the owner and 1/2 of the teachers have it now. I'm praying that I don't get included!!

I've begun a new class at school called "Dynamics of self-leadership" and I'm learning alot about how to choose important things over urgent things and how to make more time for spiritual disciplines like study, submission, service, prayer, fasting, simplicity and solitude. I'm beginning to realize that I need to keep myself in strong connection with God if I want to help others connect with Him. I tend to give so much of myself to others that I become spent and burnt out because I don't take any refueling time for myself.

We also have been learning about how to keep an eternal perspective on the choices that we make. There are so many things that I get worked up over that have no eternal impact - they just really don't matter in the long term. I want to live a life that truly focuses on the eternal since I am currently living my eternal life and so are you if you are a Christian.

One last note, cause this is a biggie - Gossip is a symptom of not feeling full in Christ. We gossip about others because it makes us feel better. We want worth and when we don't feel worthy, we focus on the faults of others so that we feel better about ourselves.

Our worth doesn't come from how we feel or from what others do, our worth comes from the fact that we are created by God in unique and magnificent ways. Our worth comes from knowing that, as Christians, we are children of God - princes and princesses of the King.

Are you willing to make the commitment not to gossip? Are you willing to find your worth in God and not go searching for it elsewhere?

I've loved having the time to catch back up with you! I hope that your day is wonderful and that we can talk again soon!

Keep your faith - we win in the end!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, January 15, 2010

Check out this song by Sanctus Real -

This song explains how I feel many times when I feel overwhelmed, afraid and desiring answers for my questions. I've learned that its during these times that God is working on my heart and preparing me for the changes He wants to make in my life and in myself.

Times of change are not fun and can spin me quickly into my own little pity party but its keeping my eyes focused on God and not myself that brings me through.

I'm reading a book for my current class on spiritual disciplines. One discipline that we are studying is the discipline of solitude, or taking time to just be still and be quiet. Those times come few and far between in our busyness crazed world but I think its time for just that - some quiet time with my God.

Have a great day and a great weekend.

Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our God is an awesome God! I continue to rejoice over our son giving his life to Christ and then being baptized on Sunday. I can't use words to explain the joy that I felt when both of our children accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior - it is just unexplainable.

Accepting Christ as your Lord means that you want Him to be the center of your life - your focus.
As I read in Exodus 34 today, I thought about something - God told Moses to come up on Mt. Sinai so He could give him a new set of tablets with the Ten Commandments inscribed on them since Moses had broke his other set in anger. Moses had went up on Mt Sinai the first time for 40 days and 40 nights, when he returned he stayed 40 days and 40 nights. Verse 28 says "Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water."
Now, that is some major focus!
I have a hard-enough time taking a few minutes out of my day to read the Bible and pray but to spend 40 days and 40 nights in the presence of God would be an amazing experience!
What is taking your focus from God?
Has busyness consumed your life and kept your focus somewhere else than where it should be?
Make the choice to take time to readjust your focus today
Living fearlessly in Christ

Friday, January 8, 2010

Good morning and happy Friday my bloggy friends! :) Looks like the night added a couple more inches of snow to our count of 6 from the day before. Although the snow causes inconveniences, there is nothing more beautiful than watching it fall and covering everything with a blanket of sparkling white. It reminds me of God's grace and how His sweet forgiveness covers all my sin. I was writing about how even though we sin so many times, God still loves us for an upcoming speaking engagement and came up with:

We make mistakes, big and small, but the grace of God covers them all.

I guess I'm a poet and didn't even know it!! :)

I start a new class on Tuesday and as I was working on homework yesterday, I read some very thought-provoking things. I was reading about different spiritual disciplines that need to be a part of all our lives.

Here's a section on study:
"Many Christians remain in bondage to fears and anxieties simply because they do not avail themselves of the Discipline of study. They may be faithful in church attendance and earnest in fulfilling their religious duties, and still they are not changed. I am not here speaking only of those who are going through mere religious forms, but of those who are genuinely seeking to worship and obey Jesus Christ as Lord and Master. They may sing with gusto, pray in the Spirit, live as obediently as they know, even receive divine visions and revelations, and yet the tenor of their lives remains unchanged. Why? Because they have never taken up one of the central ways God uses to change us: study. Jesus made it unmistakably clear that the knowledge of the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)" Celebration of Discipline by Richard J Foster

Hope that gives you something to chew on til we meet again.

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Living fearlessly in Christ

Monday, January 4, 2010

Doing hard things is worth the effort.

It would be easy to give up on purposeful parenting when my children continue to behave badly.

It would be easy to give up on prayer when God doesn't answer the way I want Him to.

It would be easy to quit school when the assignments are overwhelming.

It would be easy to leave a marriage that felt like it was falling apart.

It would be easy to quit a job when the boss or co-workers are very annoying.

It would be easy to skip church when I want to sleep in on Sunday.

It would be easy to only think of myself and what I want.

Taking the easy way out may seem like the best thing to do today but it is so important to look past today and consider what the future would look like if we do.

Did Jesus take the easy way out in any of the situations He faced while on this earth?

Absolutely not!

Not only did He not take the easy way out but reminds us that in following Him, we too must daily take up our cross and follow Him.

As Christ Followers, we are called to do some hard things and doing hard things goes against everything we are taught in this "feel good" world.

Will you follow Christ or will you follow the world?

It is up to you.

Living fearlessly in Christ