Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Sacrifices You Make, Momma

I read this today and thought of all the sacrifices that surround the birth and life of a child.  Check out this Our Daily Bread Ministries devotion from December 21, 2016, written by Tim Gustafson.

Thanking God today for all the Mommas in the world, as you make many sacrifices each day for the life of your child.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What Are You Waiting For?

I had the opportunity to guest blog for a dear friend of mine, Shannon DeGarmo Carpino, author of "The Bounce Back Woman".  So I thought I would share my heart here as well...

Have you ever had to wait for something that you were particularly excited for? You know the kind of thing that is so exciting your mind wonders to it when you should be thinking about something else? Perhaps it was the anticipation of an approaching birth, or butterflies the night before your wedding day, or maybe it was an exceptional Christmas present you knew you would be receiving?

For me, my most anticipated gift was the gift of finding my husband. I remember always wondering when it was going to happen with an eagerness of “would it be sometime soon?”. The years went on and I watched as some of my friends got married and I often wondered why I hadn’t yet found “the one”? Little did I know that although my search was for the right man, the Lord had a gift for me that I wasn’t expecting. You see, I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord growing up. I knew very little about the bible and who Jesus Christ was. So before God introduced me to my beloved, He introduce me to HIS beloved… The Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.
As I reflect on the most special present of all, I am reminded of two people who waited their whole lives for one special gift, and at Christmas time God gave them just that.
Simeon, meaning obedient, was a righteous and devout man, who had eagerly waited his whole life for the Messiah. Being moved by obedience and the Spirit, he entered the temple to find the child and his parents there.
Luke 2:27-32 That day the Spirit led him to the temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the Law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
Another prophet, Anna, whose name means full of grace, lost her husband after being married only 7 years. Anna spent the duration of her life in the temple praying and worshipping God and waiting for the Messiah to come.
Luke 2:37-38 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. [She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
This Christmas, as we participate in all the fun this time of year brings, let us remember the true reason for this season. As Simeon and Anna spent their entire lives waiting for the Savior who was to come, let us remember and reflect on the One who has come. The One who came so that we may have life to the fullest and life everlasting. Will you join me as we focus on the Giver of the greatest gift, Life-in-Him-rather than on the presents that lay under our tree? Let’s be partakers with Simeon and Anna as we anticipate celebrating Jesus’s birth, praising and worshiping our God and sharing Him with everyone.
Lord Jesus, I pray as the busyness of this season tries to consume us, please help us slow our hurried pace. May we be deliberate with our days, carving out quiet time to spend with You so that we may reflect on all that your birth means to us. Lord I also pray, that you help us reflect the good and perfect gifts you have imparted to us, so that others may see and hear the good news of You and Your Beloved.
Much love and blessings to you!
Merry Christmas,
Fran Maynard

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Blessings!

This is a such a great outlook on Christmas and  on life!

(It also so reminds me of the man I begged God for... and married! LOL!)  

Merry Christmas!

Click here and Enjoy!

A special thanks to Forest Hill Church, NC for video permissions.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Bond of Peace

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3

I read this verse and was determined to live out the “bond of peace” part.  All day while the normal things that would have rattled me and given me the “right” to raise my voice at our kids, I chose to remember those three words, “bond-of-peace” and act in a more peaceful manner.  The result was a more tempered momma, less stressed kids, and the unity of the Spirit.

The dictionary defines the word endeavor: try hard to do or achieve something.  Well when we invite the Lord to work in and through us to endeavor[ing] to keep the unity of the Spirit of the bond of peace we don’t have to try so hard—just let Him work through us!  He will remind you of His peace as He did me!

Bedtime is supposed to be 8pm but this night it was going on after 9:30 and I was still being asked to put cream on mosquito bites and letting them know that there is no reading in bed by the light of the little lighted Christmas tree in their room.  I felt the Lord with me like a loving coach as I handled the moment.

May we strive to keep this bond of peace in our homes as we cheer on our kids to live walking worthy of the calling with which they are called. That they would do this with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, as they endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace in their lives.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are a few things we traditionally do on Thanksgiving and some things we are just starting this year.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful...." Colossians 3:15–17 (check out the rest, too) 
  •  We have a Thanksgiving book that explains the origins of our beloved holiday.  In this book I keep a log of where we spent our Thanksgiving each year and who was there around the table.  Everyone takes turns writing what they are thankful for next to their name.  
  •  This year our kids have made the place cards for each person who will attend. 
    The cards are “decked-out” with a picture of a turkey, turkey facts and a scripture verse.  Matthew and Jordan have written the names of each person who will be around the table.  Some we left blank as there may be surprise people who show up!  This brings me to my next point:
  • We also invite anyone who might not have a family to be with for the holidays.
  •  Also, this year my mom made cookies for all the kids to decorate.  This is kind of like a Christmas thing but my sister and family will be moving houses by the end of this year so I guess that’s why we are doing it at Thanksgiving. 
  •  I printed off a bunch of festive coloring pages for the kids to do if there’s ever a lull in the entertainment :-)

What are some of your traditions?  Maybe make new ones and make sure to look into your kids’ eyes and let them know how thankful you are to be their mommy!  Make it an every-day tradition.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Beyond the Universe

My Very Early Morning Just Started Under Nasty Pancakes.”  Well, however you want to learn it, our solar system is incredibly interesting!  As our kids (and I) learn more about the Universe and the things in it, an amazing thing has happened to my faith!  I could never quite “place” God before, but now I see how He is over and beyond anything I could ever think or imagine.  Hmmm, that makes me think of a verse.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20

As we guide our kids through this journey of life, let’s take every opportunity to give God glory!  Take another look at that verse.  How can you apply it in your life today?  It makes me think that if He is able (and He did) to create the Universe and all that is within it, what can He do with me, my kids, our churches, etc. 

Look up at the sky – just seeing those lights in the sky tell of the majesty of our God.  Although science thinks it can describe it all away, it doesn’t take the magnitude away from the Creator of the stars, planets and us!  To me it has made Him bigger, greater and more mighty, majestic in wonder and glory, worthy of our praise!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Reformation Day!

It was on October 31 of the year 1517 that Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg.  His act along with many other men and women through the years played huge parts in us now being able to know we can have a personal relationship with our God.  Luther and other reformers obeyed God and were bold in faith.  We can celebrate that boldness in remembering to be bold ourselves on this day and others for the cause of Christ.

So, today before everyone comes to our doors for candy and a scare, let’s help our kids know that this day is really a day to celebrate the One who created it.  Our God gives us strength to be today’s reformers. 

I’m glad for present-day reformers – Christians like Danielle V. in my high school that lived out her faith no matter who said she was different.  She was a big part of my faith journey – she prayed with me to receive Jesus as my Savior.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to know your kids and my kids are out there being that kind of reformer for others?!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

For His Mercy Endures Forever

I was reading Psalm 136 where every other line is "For His mercy endures forever."  Immediately I thought of how we teach our kids - through repetition.

“For His mercy endures forever” Psalm 136

So many times, God repeats a phrase in His word (His love letter to us, the Bible) to get our attention on what is truth, how we should obey, how we should judge things, etc.  He knows us. He knows many of us just skip over passages without receiving the meaning.  In this Psalm He shows us this technique in order for us to not forget His character. What are we repeating over and over to our kids?

“For His mercy endures forever” Psalm 136

Yesterday we went to a birthday party and I had the opportunity to encourage our son.  He came to me with a concern about some other kids at the facility we were at and how they weren’t playing fairly.  Knowing him I gave him a good plan of action reminding him that he is a good friend (Proverbs 17:17 & 18:24). 

 “For His mercy endures forever” Psalm 136

I know I usually need to hear stuff more than once to get it to sink in to my heart and mind.  How about you?  How about your kids?  Let’s encourage our kids over and over again the message of the gospel and how God has a purpose for them. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rushing Through

Have you ever rushed through something just to get it done?  Perhaps rushing to eat breakfast so you can get to work on time or bring the kids to school, etc.?  If you have you are in good company.  Most moms rush doing things for themselves because they are helping everyone else be on-time. 

Now what about rushing through reading books or listening to your kids?  Does housework or phone calls or texting take our time away from sitting face to face with them to do these all important things? 
“…For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”  James 4:14
A friend of ours took a job in a different state for a couple of months leaving family and friends back in FL.  He recently came back for a quick weekend visit in which he spent quality time with his mom walking and talking on the beach.  What he didn’t know was that only days later his mom would be taken from this life in a brutal way.  Wow!  If he had rushed through his short weekend without spending that sweet time with his mom, he would be dealing with the pain of regret. 

What about you?  Do you spend time with your family, namely your kids without rushing through?  Spending time reading, playing and listening to them is crucial and will create a pattern for your relationship now and in years to come.

Jesus spent time with his disciples—eating, walking and talking with them.  Our kids are our disciples.  We must take the time to eat, walk and talk with them too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

When we read to them...

Matthew chose a Superman book from the library so when we got home I read it to my eager listeners.  The book was appropriately titled Superman Versus Bizarro by Chris Strathearn.  It certainly was “bizarre” alright!  Everything was switched around making me think, “This is ridiculous! It’s obvious a tree wouldn’t be hurting a cat!”  The author was contrasting Earth verses Bizarro World.
The next day I read the following excerpt from the devotional booklet Our Daily Bread and I believe God was developing a message in me to share with our kids. “In our world today – when good is often considered bad and bad is seen as good, when truth and error are switched around – people are looking for direction in life.”  (Our Daily Bread August 16, 2016 C.P. Hia).  How true!

I got the opportunity to share a message of hope with our kids as we read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  About half-way through the book, Matthew and I didn’t really want to continue anymore because it was such "nonsense" but then the Holy Spirit nudged me with His message.  I told Matthew and Jordan, “Just as Alice is walking around in this nonsense wonderland, we are walking around in this kind of world too.” I gave them current examples and they understood so I continued, “We have the TRUTH of the gospel!  That’s the only thing that isn’t nonsense!  Our job is to share God’s truth with people…”  It was such a moment of wisdom from the Lord! 
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength....You shall teach them diligently to your children, ..." Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Teach your kids truth from the Bible.  Expose lies for lies so they are not swept away in it all never differentiating truth from lies.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Last night there was a most impressive storm that rolled through.  I woke up to a symphony of this incredibly brilliant, flashy lightening followed by a long, hard-pounding rumble that shook the house with its loud voice each time like a slow motion earthquake.  All of a sudden I saw quick shadows followed by the kids they represent racing for our room.  It’s almost as if they dove into our bed, found their spots and promptly fell asleep.  Even our dog (a big Lab Pitt) was there!  Our queen-sized bed felt more like a twin by the time I adjusted into my appointed spot – on the edge in the opposite direction!

As the Olympics are rolling in at the end of this week, I’ve been searching for a way to teach our kids about the events, what the rings represent, and how we can schedule our viewing.  I woke up this morning thinking about synchronized swimming.  This led me to think about how when we sync ourselves with the Lord, we are a beautiful display of His perfectly timed choreography of life.  Just like a storm and just like the kids running in at just the right time.
“…we should live together with Him.  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
With all of us on that bed, I realized the part I play (as a mom) is crucial to our kids’ lives.  But not only as mom, as a friend to other moms, we can play a huge role in edifying each other by praying for one another; having playdates (or coffee) to not forsake the assembling together; and helping each other.  Let's live together with Him and edify each other today.

"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Praying for you, Momma

Lord, I pray for moms who are in the trenches of training up their children.  These early years can be so stretching for us as we learn how to live out the principles in the Bible in front of our kids.  
God, as Your word instructs us I pray that we would instruct our kids from Your word as it is the lamp to our feet and the light to our path.  Let the fruit of the Spirit be evident in us as we make choices to stay self-controlled during those crazy moments, that we extend love and grace and speak encouragement to our children rather than lash out in anger and frustration.  
Lord, maybe if we’ve set the bar too high for our kids to reach sometimes please help us to keep a sound mind and reach them where they are at.  Let us stop drilling them with what they should have done but rather give thanks for the things they do.  Help us to stop everything and look at them in the eyes and let them see our eyes.  May we not miss the opportunity to give a high-five or hug but also not miss when a tear needs to be wiped away or boo-boo kissed and prayed for.  Help us to be firm, wise and always seeking Your counsel upon giving correction.  Help us keep our word.  
Be glorified in our mothering.  We desire to be at Your feet asking for the way, that we should walk in it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Opportunities

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Do you see this summer as an opportunity?  Maybe this summer you could take an adult education class or have other moms come over your house for a mom’s prayer night.  Or maybe both! 

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, … For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

When you ask the Lord (of the harvest) to guide and direct your steps, He will!  Maybe sign up for a class to learn a new language, a new skill, or just to meet a new people group.  Ask God to show you how He wants to use your life to bring Him glory.  I learned sign language YEARS ago through adult ed classes, then college and then at church interpreting the worship for the Deaf community that attended – remember this is YEARS ago.  Well, a month or so ago I was at a park with my kids, pushing them on the swings and I tried to talk to a mom swinging her kid too.  She said she was Deaf, so I started up a conversation with her in my “broken” sign language.  It was almost like she came alive when I responded back to her in her language.  Can I tell you that IT WAS THE LORD giving me those signs!  As we talked, He used me to re-connect her to an interpreter we both know who would encourage her to come back to church!

Only God does stuff like that!

“Set your mind on things above, not on the things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Be a Life-giver

"The instruction of the wise is like a life giving fountain..." Proverbs 13:14

"The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul.  The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, make wise the simple." Psalm 19:7

Sometimes life is tough!  
Sometimes it is really tough!  

Yet, as children of the Lord we are call to stand firm in Him and see His faithful deliverance. We sit at His feet, bask in His presence,  and breathe in His rest... and then sometimes we need help from a friend! 

I have one of those friends.  She faithfully sends scripture when the Lord puts it on her heart. She is in the Eastern time zone and I am in the Pacific time zone, so sometimes after a night of wrestling in prayer, my thirsty soul wakes up to an encouraging, life-giving scripture that is spot on!  The Holy Spirit uses this friend to speak life and hope through His word.  My friend, Kate, is obedient and God gets the glory!  I want to encourage anyone reading this to be one of those friends.  Send a scripture, say a prayer, leave a voicemail... whatever you can.  
We need each other! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Memories are Made

We just finished installing laminate flooring onto the bedroom floors.  The first floor we tackled was the kids’ room so they were displaced into another room in the house for sleeping for a couple days.  Matthew wasn’t too excited when the lights went out the first night so I stayed for a little while telling him stories from my childhood.  I realized that the memories I had were much attributed to all the pictures my mom took through the years of the activities we did.  She put them in albums that we frequently looked at and showed relatives when they visited.

In this day and age we take millions of pictures and post them to Facebook but are we stopping long enough to print them and stick them in albums?  When my kids were first born I made small albums online (in lieu of store-bought baby albums).  How do you preserve those memories of your family’s history?

As a mom, I can now look to my mom and thank her for capturing those snapshots of our family history and taking the time to create those albums that have become my memories from childhood.   I read 1 Thessalonians today and thought of my mom in this verse:

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father;” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (underlining and italics mine)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Noticing Their Gifting

Our family set to the task of replacing our carpet with laminate.  During our experience I stopped to notice Jordan shouting, “GOOD JOB!!” over the high pitch of the vacuum cleaner as the rest of us got the room ready for the new flooring.  My husband ripped up the carpet, I was scrapping the glue from the concrete, Matthew was vacuuming and Jordan was encouraging.  (She would also be the one that would take care of anyone if we needed a band-aide or ice pack, etc.) 

When we pay attention to and record in our memories these special gifts our kids exercise during the day, it is so sweet to recount them back to our kiddos at night.  No matter the messes they leave; no matter the stress we go through acting as referee; no matter what level of chaos we have endured during our day we can encourage them at bedtime at how it gave us great joy to see them exercising the gift(s) God gave them.  They are growing (just as we are) and need to be reminded that they are not alone in this life – it’s a great way to help them know who the Holy Spirit is and where He is named as the Helper.

Lord, please give me eyes to see the wonderous things that You see in my kids.  The gifts and talents You have blessed them with are perfectly harmonious with Your character and I love that!  Please help me to remind them that they are wonderfully created by an amazing and perfect God.  Help me to encourage my kids and help them shine for You as they exercise their gifts and talents.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Today as I awoke and needed some refreshment... this blog was in my email inbox. SO like God to refresh and revive us through the words of another broken Mama! Broken must happen in order to shine more clearly His light through. Click the link and be refreshed.

"Our Stewardship in Suffering" by Annie B. Garman

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Goal in Mothering

I printed this verse and have it in a place I see often so when I read it I am ministered to as it helps me remember the goal in mothering.

We planted pretty flowers in our front yard and have tried not to kill them right away.  However, some of them have perished despite the rich soil they are in and my concerted efforts to provide them the necessary water each day.  My steadfast determination made me not give up!  I remember as a little girl helping my mom plant flowers, tomatoes and beans in the garden.  At the end of the season we would take the marigold pouches after they had bloomed and then “died” and plant them next year. 

So in our small garden right before shower and bedtime I gathered some seeds, enlisted the help of our four year-old daughter, Jordan and started to plant them ALL over the place.  Then watered and prayed for them.   

I think I even surprised myself when I let her help me plant the seeds.  Just as in baking, it’s hard for me to let the kids help me do things that I could do in less time and neater.  But thinking back, I love the memories I have of washing the dishes with my mom and sister, gardening, pinning the clothes on the clothesline outside, and helping make macaroni and cheese from scratch.  Pushing our kids away just so it gets done perfectly neat and in an efficient manner of time, will not reap a rich harvest and it will limit our connection and the memories they could have for a lifetime.  Don't give up Momma.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

School of Temptation

Do you ever wonder why temptation doesn't just flee? Why do we have to continually choose to stand against it?

Judges 3:1&2 tells us "These are the nations (temptations) that the Lord left in the land to test those Israelites who had not experienced the wars of Canaan.  He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle."

As a mom, I pray all the time that my children (spouse and self too) would be "easily entreated."  You see, I don't like trials and I don't want to go through them.  I just want to hear the Lord's voice and stay on His best path for my life to bring fruit to His kingdom.

The Israelites had a pattern, called the "sin cycle" that went something like this:

1.  The generation that saw His rescuing hand worshipped Him and kept His commands.
2.  The next generation, who didn't have that first hand knowledge, started to compromise.
3.  They started intermingling and worshipping other gods.
4.  God sent His punishment, usually in the form of an oppressor, to subdue them.
5.  They cried out to the real God for help and God sent them a rescuer.
6.  That generation followed Him.  Repeat cycle.

God, in His wisdom knows our human nature.  If our lives were easy, battle free, we too would grow complacent in our determination to set ourselves apart for Him.  Likewise, when we go through trials, our children see first hand how we handle it.  They see us on our knees and in the Word. They see us seeking His face.  Then they see His deliverance! Our children are learning the art of warfare, which they will pass on to their children, and so on.

God's plan is for us to be sharp, persistent and victorious. The trials will continue in the life, until we enter in to His final rest for us, but they are purposeful and He promises (1 Cor 10:13) He will not give us more than we can handle.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Perspective of a Blue Donkey

         I really like the idea of meeting authors.  I would like to ask: how they decided on the plot; where did the idea for their characters develop; what was their purpose in their writings.  I think I would especially enjoy meeting the authors of classic children’s book.  I reflect often on the truths I’ve gleaned in books written for children.
         One such author would be A. A. Milne, notoriously known for his Winnie The Pooh stories.  His characters, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Roo, Christopher Robin and Eeyore have a place in our childhood that rival our affections for the mouse family in Orlando.
         As of late, and for the first time in my life, I have felt the temptation to give into the fictional character of the often-blue donkey, Eeyore.  Eeyore sees everything with exhaustion, an expectation for disappointment and even depression.  Eeyore was often illustrated looking over his shoulder at his pinned on tail.  Even then his comments were, “Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be.”
         This week as I drove east early in the morning there were dark clouds much like the ones illustrated with Eeyore.  I looked in my rear view window to notice one small pinhole of light coming through the darkness.  As I tried to stay focused in the direction I was driving, I kept looking at this “pinhole” of light growing ever bigger.
         I thought about what our family has been experiencing in grief over a little more than two months.  That ray of light made me think I don’t know the “why” of what has happened; yet I believe the Lord may show us that He was there.
         I can be like Eeyore and point to the “cloud” and all it’s pain or I can move forward.  As I keep looking back I can begin to see more and more that the Lord WAS there.  As He is with us now, He was with us then and He is waiting for me with every step.
         Moving forward helps me to have perspective of what is behind me.  I don’t want to be like Eeyore with my head flipped over my shoulder all the time.  However, when I do glance backward I want to recognize more light than dark.
I Corinthians 13: 12
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.  All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.  

         Though I won’t have the opportunity to meet A. A. Milne and ask him about the character development of Eeyore, I hope he too found the light and joy that can only be found in the understanding of our perfect Savior Jesus. Seeing Jesus instead of a blue donkey will help keep those dark clouds in perspective!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Overcoming Bickering

This week our four-year old has off from VPK but joins Matthew (six) and me in a special week learning about the Passion week of Christ (the week before Jesus was crucified).  One of the days we read from Luke 22:7-30 to learn more about “Holy Thursday,” the night of The Last Supper.  We read how our Savior poured out His heart to His disciples, letting them in on the great plan and what they could pass along to other generations to do in remembrance of Jesus.  But during this holy moment His disciples were…BICKERING! 

Does this resonate with real moms out there?!

There you are – in the moment – you just got done saying the last word of an awesome devotion for your kids where you thought they were SO attentive and it REALLY got through…. AND THEN… they start to BICKER!!

But here is where I focused my attention:  What was Jesus’ response?  Did He stand up, bang His hand on the table and yell in frustration at His disciples’ selfishness?! No, He didn’tEven with His betrayer RIGHT THERE, He simply responded in love and compassion.  He knows our frailty and tendency to think of ourselves before others.  He had the perfect story on hand for just such an occasion (see vs. 24-30).

Even though it didn’t seem like Jesus really got through to the disciples at that time, it is written in the Bible so WE can learn from His teaching.  And wouldn’t you know I got to use this illustration with our kids as they bickered over Legos not long after we read this awesome Bible story. 

The Lord is good and gracious. 
Thank You, my God for supplying me with what I needed at just the right time.

Mommas, read your Bible out-loud to your kids and ask them questions.  Apply it in their lives so they can relate to the story.  Maybe make hand-puppets out of socks or paper bags and put on a play.  Also, have these stories in your “back pocket” to use in everyday teaching moments.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


SO...we have been waiting on God for a specific issue for what seems like decades.  Recently, my flesh has been wanting out.  "I didn't ask for it," I don't wanna do it," "Are you really going to do it?" "I know You can do it, but WILL You do it?" all race through my brain daily.

In my sane moments, I know this issue we wait on is for His glory, I know its for the furtherance of His kingdom, and I know there is no reason why He wouldn't answer.

He has given us encouraging scripture along the way, and yet my flesh wants this trial over!

Today, I woke up with my busy thoughts, determined to keep moving forward (moving helps me to not over think) and I saw through the crack in the bathroom door, my hair tousled husband,  roll out of bed and to his knees in seeking God.   I was overwhelmed with humility and gratefulness all at the same time.  This is why I married this man.  He reminds me to keep going to the foot of the cross where all is made right.  God loves humility and He wants us to depend on Him for everything.  He tells us to keep seeking with persistent-widow like tenacity.

So, here I go, back to the powerful, hopeful, healing, foot of the cross! Thank You, Jesus, for Your grace and mercy!

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thess 5:16-18

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

From Generation to Generation (Written by my Mom, Bernice Blewitt)

My Mom, Dora Henriksen died last Thursday, February 18,2016.   She was 94.  We had a memorial service at our church this past Sunday.   As I was preparing what to say in her honor, I realized how much my Mom has shaped my life.

I don’t ever remember my mother giving me any advice – you know, the sit down and let’s talk – about how to get along in this world.    And yet, she taught me everything.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”   Galatians 5:22, 23

My mother taught me, not by words, but by how she lived.  She lived the fruit of the Spirit.  And how she lived her life would forever direct my life.  I watched her love people – she took in anyone who needed a place to live for a while (and there were quite a few of them), I watched as she comforted those who were mourning, as she was a friend to the house-bound, as she provided for more people than I could count.  My Mom made sure we knew about Jesus and showed us how important it was to live accordingly.

She taught me how to be a wife to by husband: respect, obedience, and yes, submission.  My husband, when we were dating, told me part of his attraction to me was my parents – that he wanted what they had.

I am a grandma now, but my Mom showed me the responsibility never ends to be the example to our children (and grandchildren) that leads to a life well lived. 

“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.   And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.”   I John 3:18, 19

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Due Date

As moms we always look forward to “the due date.”  At the first moment’s of reality that… “I might be pregnant?”  We ask the question, “When will that mean I’m due?”  During my pregnancy I ran to the “pregnancy wheel” and looked at the calculations for the approximate time of arrival.
         Today, I’m sure there is an “App for that!”
         However you find out…it is much anticipated.  You know it will come.  You know there will be much to do as you wait.  So in the vastness that separates saltines and ginger ale to the choosing doctors, having baby showers and decorating the beloved space where our children will sleep their first night home, we wait.
         I am grateful for our three that came on or before their due date.
         Our first grandchild’s due date is Sunday, February 14, 2016.  But she came early.  Kennedy Drew was born January 20.  She never took her first breath.
         Our hearts are tormented. Ripped beyond words. 
         The due date waits.
         The loss that surrounded January 20 is only more pronounced as we watch the due date arrive.  How can we face this date without the anticipation of our Kennedy? Please, putting me aside, how do my precious son and daughter in law look square the face of the calendar on Sunday?
         I told our son and daughter in law because there are not directions on how to parent each child in each season; I am unprepared to “parent” them in this season of grief.  I am to parent our mourning children while I mourn.
         My solutions and expertise are shattered. Except for God’s Word. His healing balm.
         Today I'm reminded there is a “wait.”
Habakkuk 2:3
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
it testifies about the end and will not lie.
Though it delays,
Since it will certainly come and not be late.”

         We are all waiting.  Now, not for Kennedy’s due date, but ours and our Lord Jesus Christ’s.  Our home-going, His return.
         We don’t wait as those without hope!  We wait in excitement and anticipation of the confetti He has cued.
         He is ready.  He is ready for our wait. He is not just at the end of wait.  He is with us in our wait.  I believe He is holding our hands and comforting us.  I believe He is waiting.   He is cupping our chins and lifting our heads and directing our focus to what is at the end of our wait.
He is worth the wait.
I wait with expectation.
I wait not only with the Author of the Wait 
but the Author of the Due Date.

For our Parakaleo friends, please pray for our family as we walk through this time of great mourning.  Remember to pray for others who are carrying difficult circumstances.  You don’t need to be reminded how tough this “mom” thing is.  God’s Word, prayer and His people are our life rafts during these dark hours.  We need each other.  Thank you in advance for your much needed prayers.