Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Feel the Fear; Move through It; Do it Anyway"
-Jillian Michaels

Monday, November 30, 2009

For Such a Time as This

Esther had become Xerxes queen by a rare chance it seemed, but Haman had a plot to destroy her people. Esther was afraid to speak up and her cousin Mordecai told her "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:12-14)
God gives us the privledge of taking part when He is working out His plan for His glory. In times of testing of character, in times of perseverance, and in times of weakness, bask in such an opportunity to rise and meet the call of our King. We were created for such a time as this.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rough Day

Sometimes I have a tough time in this world of deception. I think I know who my teammates are, and then I wake up with tire marks on my back from where I was just thrown under the bus. It's time to take it to Jesus again, and ask for wisdom to be innocent as a dove and wise as a serpent.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bedtime Rituals

The following is a blog post from Staci Eldredge, co-author of "Captivating". This is a special nugget of wisdom to pass on blessing to our children. Eat it up!

Stasi's Blog
Bedtime Rituals
When our sons were young and it was time to get ready for bed, we would announce, “Time for jammies and teeth!” They used to wear John’s old T-shirts as jammies. They were soft and comfortable and fell to their knees or lower. Now, all three sons have outgrown my husband’s tees.

For some reason, they liked to brush their teeth in our bathroom, not theirs. So our sink was surrounded not only by our various accoutrements, but their three boyish toothbrushes and toothpaste as well. John’s a TOM’S man…something one son has inherited but at the time their toothpaste sparkled and had various super heroes on the cover. We wondered why they wouldn’t use their own sink…but understood that this was a sweet season that would pass all too quickly. We enjoyed the chaos.

Once tucked in bed, we would bless them. Every single night. And they would bless us right back.

“The LORD bless you and keep you.
The LORD make his face to shine upon you
And give you peace.”

Samuel initiated making the sign of the cross on the forehead at the beginning of the blessing and more than a decade later, the little ritual has stuck.

Often times, after blessing, one or more of our boys would ask to “snuggle”. This was the crucial moment. We would be exhausted. Done. Finished. Ready for bed ourselves. They would be ready to talk…share about their day, experiences, thoughts. Precious moments. Golden moments.

“Sure honey, we can snuggle” (pronounced schnuggle).

Sometimes, I would sing the blessing to them instead of speak it. Sometimes I would make up lullabies and sing those to them as well.

The other night, I was talking with our oldest son over the phone – he’s on a Europe semester traveling all over the continent, experiencing so much but so far away. As we were saying our goodbyes, I said, wait,

“The LORD bless you and keep you.
The LORD make his face to shine upon you
And give you peace.”

I could feel his smile.

I am so happy at the moment. My mother’s heart so full. Our youngest, Luke, 16 years old, after blessing him tonight, began to sing the blessing to me. I finished it up and then snuggled next to him and continued singing and humming to him– remembering the old lullabies from years past. He remembered. He loved it. I loved it.

Oh. It all matters!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oh how divine this bedroom looks to me; Shabby Chic, it's called. It is inviting, romantic, feminine, luxurious, but not too fussy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Deal with Manipulative People (from How-to.com)

Step 1
Identify manipulative behaviors. Manipulators are very good at what they do: controlling others. Their tactics vary, but the goal is always to get the manipulated to do what the manipulator wants. Manipulative behaviors can include threatening, flattering, giving you guilt or demeaning you. They may keep you guessing by alternating between excesses of affection and charm and coldness or anger. If you often feel stressed and resentful when dealing with someone, you may be enmeshed in a manipulative relationship.

Step 2
Look at ways in which you play into the manipulator's hands. List things you have done or not done to please the manipulator and how you felt when at the time.

Step 3
Figure out which buttons the manipulator is pressing. For example, if you are a giving and caring person, a manipulator might suggest that you are cold and selfish if you are start resisting the manipulator's schemes.

Step 4
Stop making excuses for the manipulator. If you blame the manipulative behavior on his insecurities or unhappy childhood, know that such excuses are a key part of his manipulative strategy. Be wary of anyone who regularly "plays the victim."

Step 5
Turn down "generous" offers of help, money, time, etc. To a manipulator, these are always "quid pro quo." Manipulators use "gifts" they give to get something out of you.

Step 6
Assert yourself. Say no to manipulative demands calmly and rationally.

Step 7
Establish and maintain boundaries. You need to distance yourself emotionally in order to deal with the manipulative comments and behaviors. Cultivate detachment and consider it necessary "tough love."

Step 8
Challenge lies and half-truths. Use logic instead of emotion to argue back. If necessary, end the battle by "agreeing to disagree." Hold your position. Be prepared to repeat yourself many times until the manipulator backs off.

Step 9
Prepare yourself for the manipulator to escalate her behavior. The manipulator will not give up control without a fight. You will hear how "mean" you are and how "hurt" she is by your "uncaring" behavior. The manipulator's behavior may become worse than ever or she may totally withdraw. Stand firm, don't get defensive and don't take the bait.

Step 10
See how the manipulator responds to the changes you have made. Some people see the error of their ways and come to appreciate the benefits of a more equitable relationship. Once you deal with the manipulator, you will feel more optimistic, more powerful and once again in control of your destiny.

And, after reviewing a few other notes on the subject, also avoid saying "I'm sorry...", instead say things like "It's a shame you feel that way, but here's what I am available to do". Also, remember to say "I'll get back to you" and "Let me think about it", so you can get away from the distorted situation and think clearly about what you are willing to do.

Remember, manipulators have often been manipulated and feel this is the only way to get ahead...always recognize they are unhealthy but pray for them.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I can honestly say I do not know how to handle this situation. "Hold fast, help is on the way" keeps ringing in my ears, but is the timing right? My flesh screams at me to run, but I cannot, there is too much at stake here. Father, Father, guide me. Here I go.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Persevering

Sometimes I feel like someone else owns my life. I feel like I am being drug along to do things that I really don't want to do. Most of the time I put on a smiling face, but inside I am a small child kicking and screaming "no, no, I don't want to!" And right now, I feel like God is really calling me to stick with this particular thing, and on almost a daily basis I feel fed up with the behavior of the people around me. I just want to say "forget it!" I don't always understand why, but this passage helped.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your fiath develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must not doubt, because he who doubts is...a double minded man". -James 1:2-8

I think God may be asking me to stick it out, and dare to be the one who will cause change. Dare to be real, and to address the issues at hand in a mature manner.

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him" - vs. 12

And I regularly have to ask for wisdom, because I do not know the wisest way to handle this situation. In James 3, he says Godly wisdom is pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, sincere, and humble.Worldly wisdom is bitterly envious, selfishly ambitious, boastful, and causes disorder.

Help me Lord to persevere and not to grow weary of doing your will. Help me not to run dry.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Daily Dose of Humility

Sometimes it seems that I always have to be the one to "rock the boat", and I don't want to be that person. I recognize something is not right, but I don't want to be the one bringing it up all the time. It's exhausting, and I don't feel like it lends to a great reputation. But perhaps God uses me because He knows I will - I can't stand to leave things unsettled when I am aware of the situation. And often, this holds me accountable too. And maybe God is using me here, but I just need my daily dose of humility to keep my head in the game.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Will Sing it to Fruition

"God is great, but sometimes life ain't good;
And when I pray, it doesn't always turn out like I think it should,
But I do it anyway.

I sing, I dream, I love, oh anyway"

-Martina McBride "Do It Anyway"

Amen girl!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am finding the romance in every day life moments....like when Laurelei wakes too early and we place her in bed with us. I just look at us, feel the warmth of snuggling all together, as we steal a few more hours of sleep. Precious moments shared, moments that will forever be ingrained in my memory.
It is a challenge, at times, when life does not line up with my dreams, but I we are doing this thing. We are conquering this, and our dreams will become reality. These little moments of inspiration, spur me on; like the cool breeze blowing through our windows this morning reminding me a new season is upon us. Ahh, I can feel it coming.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lining the Path with Rose Petals

It has been quite a bit of time since I have last sat down to write. Between work, school, and loving on my sweet family, there seems little time for reflection lest I break down. I renamed my blog today "Lining the Path with Rose Petals". This is a word painting of the image I have of me following the path the Lord has set for me, but also as a flower girl prepares the path for the bride, me flowering the path for our sweet Laurelei so that she knows her way Home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Church

What is our role in the "church"? The answer begins, first, by defining what we mean by church. I mean there is the body of Christ, being all believers, past, present, future, united in our cause of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth and spreading the Word. Then there is the institution of church. There are so many denomenations, worship styles, ideologies, whatever...the fact is that all that is useless without the direction of the Lord to say - Here, this is where I have you to be, and how, this is how I have you to serve.
Our dear friends remind us that while searching perhaps for the specific church body that we are going to align ourselves with in cause and community service, we must remember to stay in the community of believers who will remind us that life is not about us. As we search for the church home to challenge us and grow us, that needs the gifts that God has given us to offer, and that will nurture our relationship with the Lord, one another, and foster Laurelei's growth into a fully equiped follower of Christ, will you, my brothers and sisters, will you pray for us? Pray that God will teach us to think of church in the way that we should, that He would give us wisdom, direction, and that we would clearly hear His voice, fervently follow His direction, and diligently pursue the place He has for us until such time as we are sure of His call. And that God would give us the desire and strength to commit to the calling He has placed on our lives, and that until we find the church home that we would not use that as an excuse to become so wrapped up in our own lives that we cease to serve the people we come in contact with daily, weekly, etc.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Prayer

Oh Lord You are so good! I praise you for your gift of prayer and the power of intercession. Thank You for the power of prayer between husband and wife and between dear friends. You are a great and mighty God who bestows blessings on His people.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

His Truth Shall Be Revealed in Due Time

"I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction,out of the miry bog,and set my feet upon a rock,making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth,a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear,and put their trust in the Lord." (Psalm 40:3)

For months I have been battling with the loan company. Per the terms of my promissary note, if I am out of class for more than six months my loan goes into repayment. I worked hard to be in school when Laurelei was two months old often getting up at 4am to do my school work before she got up. The loan compnay wouldn't accept numerous papers that showed that, they kept calling to collect a debt. Calling my grandparents who cosigned on the loan. I told them I had done what I needed to do, but I think eventually they just didn't believe me because the loan company was telling them that I needed to do something else. I finally caved and just filled out a forbearance form, even though I knew I shouldn't have to and it would only last a year, but they said that was the last form they needed to keep it out of repayment.

Today I received a letter from them saying that they were unable to process my request for deferrment because my loan was in its grace period - exactly what I had been telling them all along. No payments are due now. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus. This is an answer to prayer. You have revealed the truth in due time. You have rewarded my hard work and diligence, you have forgiven my my transgressions, You have restored me to hope and encouragement. What a beautiful, beautiful blessing. The blessing that we celebrate at Easter of eternal salvation, of forgiveness, of sacrifice and grace is more than enough. But this reminder of Your Love and Favour Father, this reminder makes it even sweeter to my memory. Thank You Lord.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Dreams

The two biggest dreams that I have had throughout my life are: to sing and to write. They are dreams so personal, so close to my heart, and so filled with fear. What if I am really not a good singer or not a good writer. More people than I can ever count have told me that I am good at both, but the few that thought "eh" have continued to stand out in my mind each time I think that perhaps this is what I am meant to do.

Maybe another dream would also be teaching.

I have also dreamt of getting married and having a family. This dream is in fruitition at this moment. These precious moments with my beautiful girl and my dear husband.

Letting Go

Yesterday and today I sifted through all my "memories" and decided what to keep and what to trash. There is only room for so much stuff, and it is ridiculous to drag around a bunch of junk for sentiment's sake. I can't clog my family like that. After 10 years in our precious home, my parents have decided that it is time for them to move. That wasn't the plan you know; the plan was that this was the dream house, the house we built with our own hands. This was the house they were supposed to live in forever. And both Kati and I had our allotted amount of space to store treasures and projects so that each time when we came home we could go exploring the attic and relive those memories, moments, accomplishments. We were supposed to bring our children back there to explore those memories too - treasure hunting. It was not to be.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An Identity Crisis, You Say

"Identity Crisis" defined - distress and disorientation (especially in adolescence) resulting from conflicting pressures and uncertainty about and one's self and one's role in society

May I just say that this is exactly (minus the adolescence part) what I have been experiencing. For how long? One can only speculate. But for certain since the moment I found out I was pregnant or the moment my girly was born, I have been having an identity crisis.

I thought I needed to find myself, go back to my old self, or just be someone else. Though I am not inclined to follow all her advice, she often has a person on her show that offers a word that speaks to me. You know who I am talking about - Oprah, of course. Yesterday she had on the authors of a book entitled, "I'd Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper". They spoke about the dishonesty or rather withholding of information found especially, it seems, among moms. There are just so many things no one ever told you. Anyway, they went on to say that once you become a mom you can never return to the person you once were; for the rest of your life you are tethered in some form to this other human being and you will never be the same - how discouraging, right. Wrong. She went on to say that you must reinvent yourself.

Reinvent myself? I have done that before, and you know what, I can do that again. It is time now to reinvent me, and the only reason I need to look back on the old me is to remind myself that I have done this before with discipline and diligence and the Lord will help me to do this again. It is time to be, to become that great woman that I am meant to be, that I want to be, that is me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rejoice With Me

Lord God, I do not understand how Jesus could be both God and man. I don't understand how He died and rose from the dead. I do not understand, but by this faith You have given me I believe it to be true. I believe it with my whole heart. I accept Your forgiveness, cleansing, Your salvation. And without fear, I walk in it.

Friends, dear friends, today I have committed my life to Christ. When I was eight I gave my life to Christ at an eight year old level. At twelve there were new concerns that required me giving my life to Him again. At 19, after a year feeling confused and broken about spiritual matters I took the next step of faith. Here I am at 23, with a new world of ideas and issues to conquer and today with my whole heart I have given them to the Lord once again. Rejoice with me!

Oh I praise You Father for You are good and faithful. I sing and dance to You with abandon. You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song and I will sing again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thank you Jesus for answered prayer. After giving those struggles again yesterday to the Lord I found out that I am accepted into the BBM program with all my credits and will begin in June. I listened to my voicemail yesterday and had messages from two special girl friends - friends that are helping to mend the hurts of the past. Dear friends, you are like neosporin to a cut, vitamin E oil to a scar, and strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese icing to a salivating mouth.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Within every procrastinator lies a perfectionist: You don't want to start a task unless you can finish it and live up to your own exacting standards."

This is a quote I found in the May 2004 Real Simple Magazine, and I found that this is the truth about me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I am a wild thing, not easily tamed. A warrior princess, not a land likely to be conquered. If I am to do a thing, it is by my own choice, not by another's pushing. Keep forcing, keep pressing, and alas I shall rebel. It is my great attribute, and my great folly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Books, oh glorious books! Filled with beautiful pieces of literature and verse that have been wrestled over and diligently thought through. I am surrounded by them! Just the sight fills me with joy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Cup Runneth Over

Sometimes I forget that it is just not about me...how amazing, how wonderful, how lovely.