Thursday, October 11, 2012


I can't believe that I am leaving in less than a week for Russia! Last fall, when I signed up, it seemed like this trip was SOOOO far away.

I still remember sitting in church listening to someone talking about their trip to Russia with e3 Partners. They were saying that e3 Partners is about church planting and evangelism, neither of which I feel "called” to. So as I was listening to the person share, I was saying to myself (at least I thought I was saying it to myself but quickly realized I was saying it to God), "That is not me! I can't do that!" And God was saying, "I want you to go. I know it's not you! I want to use you even though you don't think you can be used!" So after what seemed like a forever argument back and forth between me and God (it was only a few hours) I decided that I wanted to go!

I feel like God has really stretched me and worked on me in lots of ways this past year in preparing me for this trip.

He's gotten me ask for help, which I don't like to do. When I found out the cost of the trip I was shocked...$3700.00. There was no way I would be able to afford that and no way I'd be able to fundraise that much! Little did I know (or believe) that if God wants me to do something or go somewhere, no amount of money needed is too much for Him.

He's working with me on not procrastinating. This is something that is still pretty rocky, but He's not finished with me yet! God used my husband Dave to nudge me along to send out support letters and make follow up phone calls to share with people about my trip and to ask for support. Most days Dave's nudges felt like annoying shoves in the back! But that's because I kept putting off the letters and phone calls because I didn't want to ask for help. (Crazy how what we think are different areas are all connected!)

I feel like a lot has been changing and happening in my family’s life this past year and unfortunately I feel like I haven't been able to give my all when it comes to thinking about and preparing for this trip. But God is reminding me, even now, that even though my life has been crazy and I feel like I am going in a dozen different directions, He is constant and stable and here for me. He has been working on me this past year, even though I didn't realize it!

The last thing I think He is teaching me is that He can use me just the way I am. I don't have to be like anyone else, I just have to be me! He gifted me with my abilities and personalities and wants to use them in His time and in His way. I just need to be open and willing to go and do what He asks me to do.

So I am excited to see how God uses me in Russia in less than a week! Thank you everyone for your prayers and for your support.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


DISCIPLINE.....right now I very much despise this word!
      I am not a disciplined person in any context of the word. I am not disciplined to exercise, eat right, clean, do laundry, spend time with my family, or spend time with God. I would rather sit and read or watch a movie or knit. I'd rather go and hang out with a friend or go shopping. I'd rather sleep. I would rather do whatever I want to do, instead of what I should do.
     Being disciplined means doing something that is hard, something that you are not used to doing. It means change. It means falling and failing a few times. It means messing up. Maybe that's part of my problem. Deep down I am a perfectionist and I think that if I don't do it right the first time, then why keep trying? I also think that even though I don't like where I am (being not disciplined) I lie to myself and say, "I do like it here. It's comfortable, it's what I know. It's familiar." But that's a lie! It's not comfortable. I hate the way I feel when I walk into the kitchen and see a big pile of dirty dishes. I feel terrible when I yell at the kids and feel so rushed in the mornings, only to realize I didn't even say good morning to God, let alone spent some time in His word.
     As much as I despise the word discipline, I don't want to. I want to love the word and every aspect of it. I want to love the challenge of it and I want to desire to be disciplined in every area of my life. There is no way I can do this except with God's help. I have the verse Hebrews 12:11 written on a note card posted to my kitchen cupboard. Some days are easier than others to look at the verse and claim it and desire it, but God is working on me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful 17

I am thankful for nature!
I like nature, outdoors things, God's creation. Here are some of my favorites...
  • I like seeing all the different colors of fall leaves. I like to take walks and look at all the varieties of colors. I like to hear the sound of crunching leaves under my feet.
  • I like to sit and listen to the birds chirp.
  • I love to look at a full or almost full moon when it is huge and yellowish orange.
  • I like to see the reflection of that same moon shine off the lake.
  • I like to try and pick out all the different colors of a sunset.
  • I like to sit in my warm house and watch the snow fall.
  • I like the sound of waves crashing on the shore.
  • I like to see big huge waves and their white caps come crashing in.
  • I like to sit and watch deer in the woods.
  • On year I had fun watching a squirrel sit on our front porch and eat a pumpkin we had out there. He must have made a hole in it and was eating the insides. At one point he had the whole top part of his body in the pumpkin! It was cute.

Thank you Lord for all You have created. Thank you that I can enjoy everything You made with all my senses!

Thankful 16

I am thankful for my kids teachers and school!
I really like the public school that my kids go to. They have great teachers who seem really passionate about their jobs and they seem to have a genuine desire to see their students do well. My husband and I communicate as often as needed (and sometimes more) with the teachers and are helping in the classrooms when ever we are able to. We desire to know how our kids are doing and their teachers are more than willing to sit down with us or call whenever we ask them. We feel we have a great relationship with our kids teachers and school.
My husband and I went to parent teacher conferences a few weeks ago and told both teachers that we were praying for them. We don't know where they are spiritually but we wanted to let them know that we were praying. They both said thank you, so I don't think they were mad or anything.
I love that my kids can go to school and that they can come home and we can also teach them. They will not learn about God and creation and the Bible at school, but they will learn about it at home, which is where they are supposed to learn about it. For example: they both learned about caterpillars and butterflies in first grade. When they came home from school and told me about what they learned I said, "Wow that's pretty neat! And do you know something else that's really neat? God created the caterpillar to change into a butterfly! It was all part of His plan for that caterpillar. Pretty cool!" I love those teachable moments!
Thank you God for my kids school and teachers. Thank you for willing and passionate teachers. Thank you that we are able to teach them every day about You. Please work in their hearts and open them to you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful 15

I am thankful for books!
I love to read! I don't remember if I enjoyed reading as a child. I think I kind of liked it as a teenager. As an adult, I really love reading (when I have the time).
What kind of books do I like? I enjoy Karen Kingsberry books sometimes. While I do enjoy her writing style and can get lost in her books, that is usually the problem. I have a hard time putting the book down and doing something else, usually something that needs to get done around the house. To me, her books can be addicting. Even though they are "Christian" novels, I think I'd rather be addicted to other books. I am in the process of reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. This is a good book! Let's see, I'm also trying to read "Lord, I Want to Know You" by Kay Arthur and "Good and Angry" by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. One of the problems I have is that I start lots of books and I don't remember what I've read in each book. I should probably start one and read it all the way through before I start another one!
I love children's books too. I'm not exactly when I started buying them but we definitely had more children's books than "big people" books shortly after our first child was born! I loved reading to my 2 kids, actually I still do. We could sit for quite awhile reading together. My daughter who is 7 still loves to read. She will sometimes sit for an hour or so just reading. My 9 year old son on the other hand usually puts up a fight when asked to read. Some days are easier than others with him. Actually, he'd rather read in bed than after school. That's fine with me, as long as he is reading.
Thank you Lord for books to help grow my mind. Thank you for books I can read for entertainment and books I can read for wisdom and knowledge. Thank you for books as they bring me and my family closer together.
Thank you most of all for your word, the Bible. The best book (I think) ever written!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thakful 14

I am so thankful for Church!
I love going to church! I love going to a place and worshiping God. A place where I can hear biblical teaching that encourages me to know and desire God more. A place where I can be with other people who desire to worship the same God and who desire to hear the same biblical teaching. I love going to a place that desires to share the good news of Jesus with others who don't know it. I am thankful for the pastors who passionately teach about the Love of God. Thankful for all the Sunday school teachers who give of their time to teach children about God's love. Thankful for all the people who help set up and take down equipment, do the power point/media things, and take care of refreshments. I am thankful for all the people who love God so much that they will serve where ever they are needed in order to share the love of Christ with who ever walks through the doors.
I am so thankful (even though unfortunately I take it for granted) that I can freely go to a church and not be afraid of getting caught. Thankful that I don't have to meet in secret because I could get beaten or killed if the government found out I was worshiping God.
So I guess not only am I thankful for my church, but I am thankful that I can freely worship, learn about, and talk about my God.
Thank you God for church! Thank you for a place where we can go and worship You! Thank you for everyone's desire to help where ever needed in order to share Your word. Father, please be with believers in parts of the world who have to worship You in hiding for fear of their lives. Please encourage them and lift their hearts. Help me not to take for granted my freedom to worship You!

Thankful 13

Behind a day again :( Oh well, let's just keep going and post twice tonight!

I am thankful for friends, all kinds of friends!
I feel so thankful for all the friends that the Lord has blessed me with. Friends that He has allowed me to cross paths with and get to know on a variety of different levels.
I have different "groups" of friends...
My knitting friends. Girls (I have not become friends yet with any guy that likes to knit, but I am ok with that) that are into knitting as much as I am, if not more. I love to get together and knit, see what they are working on, get help when I am stuck, talk, and just hang out. Sometimes when we get together I get a lot accomplished and sometimes I don't. But that's ok as long as the company is good!
My church friends. Friends that share the same beliefs and faith as I do is very important to me. These friends keep me accountable and on track, check up on me and challenge me to live what I believe. They make me laugh and I have a great time with them.
My work friends. People that I don't necessarily have much in common with except that we work together. But with some I feel that they are more than just co-workers, they are a friend.
I am so thankful for all the friendships I have. However I feel like I have a hard time keeping them all "going" at times. I'm not good at calling friends or scheduling times to get together. Sometimes I feel like a bad friend if I haven't talked to someone in awhile, granted they can call me too. Ok, stop feeling guilty and keep being thankful.
Thank you Lord for all the friends you have blessed me with! Thank you for the way each person has touched my life in a different way. Thank you for the gift of friendship and please help me to be a better friend each day.