Saturday, May 31, 2008


I have intentionally not posted anything over the past week until yesterday. I have had this post hanging around as a draft throughout the week. My mind has been everywhere but here.

One week ago, my husband and I attended the funeral for a little guy we did not know. His memorial service left me realizing once again how precious life is and how easily I take so much for granted. I came home weary and completely sick of all of my selfish concerns, you know all the stuff that weighs on us that has no eternal value what. so. ever. His precious young life, lived so courageously, had impacted so many in less than three short years. I wondered if my own much longer time here so far (life) has had such an influence?

On Sunday afternoon a community not far from us was changed forever by a devastating tornado. My family and I clueless to what was taking place so close, sat and watched the storm roll through. We later realized that most were huddled in their basements waiting for it to pass. We stood stunned at the pictures broadcast that evening and how quickly so many lost so much. My heart has been so heavy this week. I have received several emails asking us to pray for families and extended families who have lost their homes. Sarah has given us a glimpse of the devastation through her blog.

I have spent the week trying to get things caught up in my own home before Summer hits, and yet in the midst of it, I find myself looking at all this "stuff" as a weight. I find myself worried about things that don't matter. I sense God drawing me in close and whispering this stuff is not eternal, don't value it.

My kids have come home this week from their respective schools each talking about how they personally want to help. The school's have provided ways that the kids can give towards helping those impacted by the tornado. Even our little league is asking the players to consider donating equipment.

Hunter (7) sat down one morning looking at his flimsy plastic box which he is currently using as his piggy bank and stared at the crisp five dollar bill laying across the pennies, nickels, and dimes. He looked up at me and said, "mom, I really want to take money to school, but I was saving my money for summer vacation and I don't know what to do?" I told him that it was his decision, but I also understood how hard these choices are. I noticed a piece of paper sitting next to him. After I returned from dropping my kids off at their schools, the piece of paper was still sitting on the table, and the piggy bank was still full of pennies, nickels and dimes.

I heard the Lord whisper, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

Friday, May 30, 2008

Preparing for Summer

We are only two-thirds through Spring and I think all of us over here are begging for summer to finally come. Once today is completed, the kids have three and a half more days to go. I don't know how many more days of moaning and groaning at 7:15 am I can take. They are done! Completely ready to be done with this school year.

I have been busily preparing myself for my kids to be home. I absolutely love this time of year as the weather warms up (or is supposed to...I think). For good reasons, the last couple of years I haven't felt prepared as I would like. I like to take the time to think about what I want summer break to look like for my kids. I learned many years ago that if I don't plan, then nothing happens. (or maybe better stated that I am overwhelmed by everyone being home and running around in ten different directions)

I used to think that I wanted summer days to be long and care-free for my kids as they seemed for me. As kids we would leave the house after breakfast and it seemed we didn't return until dinner. But as I think about it, it is not that we didn't go back in the house, it's that there was nothing indoors that we wanted to do or that was calling for our attention. We certainly didn't have any type of video games and kids television programs were not on during the day. Even as a teenager, there were no computers or cell phones. So, we headed outside to swim, ride bikes, run through the sprinklers, ride the bus to the beach, and most days wait for the ice cream truck to drive by so that we could spend the change we had made from turning in pop bottles.

As I think back through the years, I have made it my personal responsibility to be our family's event coordinator of summer memories and fun. (I wish I could come up with a better title for myself) It is more than activity planning or vacation coordinator. It has been a secret personal goal of mine to create unforgettable memories so that the kids will go back and talk about them for years to come. Memories from time spent together and the crazy adventures we have tried have brought much dinnertime laughter.

Just yesterday while out running errands with Kelsey (13), she said, "mom, I have a great idea for making memories", "what's that I asked", "let's have ice cream for dinner one night a week." I told her that would be a great idea. So, we may have ice cream sundaes, shakes, and root beer floats on our dinner menu. And I can tell you this, my kids will never forget the summer we ate ice cream for dinner.

to be continued...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


for the tragic and heart wrenching loss of two children on the same day. Steven Curtis Chapman's young daughter and for Elijah Carlson, the grandson of a sweet couple in our church who passed away in his home today of cancer.

Our thoughts and prayers are with both families today.

Friday, May 16, 2008

If you are weary in mothering this

My sixteen year old daughter just emailed me this from school. Yes, she attends public school and has access to her email account everyday during study hall. As I look down at my toddler and the continual demands he places on me, the constant picking up, the day to day discipline, I also remember when this child was in this stage and wondering what choices will she make, who will she become, will she listen to God's voice, will she choose to make Him Lord and Savior?

Many days we are still in the midst of constant demands, instruction, discipline, but then I get a glimpse of what God is doing in the life and heart of this child. This is not to brag or toot my own horn, (believe me, if I could change some things I would) but to encourage us as moms that all the time and energy we give to these children in teaching and instructing them in the ways of the Lord is not done in vain.

"Mom read the forward! it totally spoke to me about what we talked about last nite."

The Daily Bible Verse : Email Edition May 16th, 2008~
John 5:18-19~

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.That is why the world hates you.

Since Satan is the one who dominates the evil world system in rebellion against God (14:30), the result is that the world hates not only Jesus, but those who follow Him (2 Tim. 3:12). Hatred toward Jesus means also hatred toward the Father who sent Him (v. 23).
MacArthur, J. J. (1997, c1997).
The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed.) (Jn 15:18).Nashville: Word Pub.

Last night after we stayed up way too late talking and I finally said good night to her, I prayed! And then I prayed some more! I knew that I could not meet the need this child was facing. I can't fix everything even though I desperately want to. So, I laid my head on my pillow and said, "Father, she is your daughter and I love her. Would you minister to her? I am helpless here. I want to fix all of this and make life easy for her. But I know better. My ways are not your ways. My plan for her is not your plan. I trust you with her completely. Amen. "

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Looking Back...

My poor blog. I think those ladies are about to get up from the table leaving nothing but an empty cup. Hopefully, this will give them something to talk about.

Lisa tagged me several weeks ago with an archive meme where I must choose five posts from my archives in the following categories: family, friends, me, something I love, and anything I like, so that you can revisit some posts or perhaps read some posts you've never read.

Family: Yesterday as I pulled up to my usual spot at the crosswalk to pick up Hunter (1st grade) from school. He was busily talking to the other kids and showing them some long strip of paper he had received at school. The teacher who is there everyday raising the "stop" sign so that the children can safely cross the street had to go over to Hunter to get his attention. He turned around and with great shock, (as if I don't come to this same spot every. single. day.) he quickly ran across the street to enter our vehicle. The teacher/crossing guard walked over to my car and said, "I hope you are enjoying this age", I assured her I was. As I drove off I thought about this post written just over a year ago. It was a day I watched my then Kindergarten son do some Puddle Jumping.

Friends: Without even looking back, I know already that I don't post much or at all about my friends. Mostly because who wants to wake up one morning and open up their Bloglines and find a new post at Come to the Table about them unless we had first discussed it of course. So, instead of linking up to one of my old posts, I will send you here to read what God is doing in the life of one of my long time blogging friends.

Me: I still struggle with this, I should re-write this and elaborate more since I know I am not alone here either. And yes, I did this at the same time.

Something I love: I love (in no particular order) this one, this one, this one, these two, and this one.

Anything I want: Just this morning I prayed with a women and said these words again, "He Has Not Forgotten".

If you would like to be tagged consider yourself "it".

Friday, May 09, 2008

Spring Conference 08

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the things that had kept me busy over the last month was preparing for a Women's Spring Conference at our church. The conference was such a blessing and the ladies of our church have amazed me by their sweet words of encouragement.

The conference title was "Running the Race" and our guest speaker, Luann, did an amazing job bringing us a word from the Lord.

Our theme verse was Hebrews 12:1-2. I have been reading and re-reading it over and over all week. The Lord won't let me move away from it. I know there is so much for me to learn.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

I keep going back to "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely" In my study bible the "weight" is referred to anything, even those things that bring us joy and that are good that will keep us from running the race with endurance. It is so easy to be distracted and "weighted" down by good things and miss what really matters.
In the first session, "The Race to Freedom ~ Priorities", Luann shared the words of Jesus from John 17:4;
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
The words, "You have given Me to do" spoke so powerfully to me. Often times my priority list is a compilation of what everyone else is wanting me to do, hoping I will do, what others expect me to do, or probably mostly what I perceive others want me to do, rather than a list that has been compiled because I have first inquired of the Lord. And yes, even in the midst of our everyday lives of housework, mothering, working, caring for our husbands, and the many things we face, God has given us work to do and finish. But first, our eyes must be fixed on Jesus.
In the second session, "The Race of the Faithful ~ Servanthood", Luann compared our self-righteous service versus true service. Sadly, as she layed out the comparison I found my own service much more on the self-righteous side. For example, self-righteous service is impressed with "big deal", while True service doesn't distinguish small from large service. It welcomes all opportunities. It is God initiated. It is God focused. It is God glorified. The world and it's influences had in- filtered my service, not only in the church, but also in my home and towards the ones God has placed before me to serve. I found myself quietly repenting before the Lord. Much of what we do as wives and moms goes un- noticed by others. No one hands me a bonus at the end of the year. We are rarely praised for what we do. If anything, our roles have been greatly de-valued and we are left to think there must be something more. As I sit here finishing up this post I have four loads of laundry to fold, two bathrooms that need to be cleaned, and a family room that needs to be vacuumed and there is no guarantee that anyone will even notice what I have done.
In the final session, "The Race to Victory ~ The Crucified Life", Luann led us down the pathway to victory. But it's not what you think. Victory only comes through the cross. The cross is painful. The three points which spoke so personally to me and those which I have recently experienced in the Race to Victory were:
  • Abandon your own will and agenda Matt. 26:39
  • It requires intense times of aloneness with God Matt. 26:36-40
  • There will be times your dignity is forfeited Matt. 27:27-28

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal. 2:20 NJK

Thank you to all the wonderful women who made this conference so very special. And yes, the cute polka-dot high heels were displayed on our tables and filled with sweet goodies.

(all conference photos courtesy of Heth)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Can you guess where I've been??

The last month has been very busy. Can you guess where we have been besides soccer practice, baseball practice, softball practice, school, church, laundry, dishes, and enjoying some warmer days as a family?

(this photo courtesy of Heth)

Here are some hints...someone turned 13, someone went to her first prom with a christian young man who is an exchange student from South Korea and is living with a family in our church, My two daughters and I went to visit a weekend camp for women and girls, our church hosted a Spring Conference for the Women in our church, someone was a little apprehensive and excited all at the same time about having two teeth pulled and getting braces, the family went on a short trip for a few days. Guess away! It shouldn't be too hard to figure out (edited to add) what picture goes to what event?