Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Books & getting away from it all...

...even if for only 15 minutes at a time.

I am really enjoying reading!!! Prior to this summer, the only things I have read in the past fifteen years include parenting how-to books, Christian living, devotional books, the Bible, kids books, etc. I can't tell you how many I have started and haven't finished. Ughhh.. I cannot stay focused!!!

On a relaxing vacation this past summer, I decided to try reading a fiction book. I finished two in three days. My favorite was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Wow - it made me fall in love with God all over again! (which I should be doing daily anyhow) It is a vivid portrayal of how deep and tender - how persistent and unconditional God's love is. I felt changed just by reading it and getting to know and love the characters. I was so sad when I finished! In fact, I am sure I will read it again - except I may use the study guide (Bible study) with it next time.

Most recently I have been reading the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson. Danger in the Shadows is a prequel and I think I am on book four of the actual series. The characters are heroic, yet real and I enjoy the way the family plays out throughout all of the books. In each book, the characters are faced with some part of God's character or Christianity - God's grace and mercy...justice...prayer, etc. The books are suspenseful and romantic - and a nice way to take a mental vacation from life!!

Speaking of books, I met a neat girl this past year who has released two of her own - Her name is Marla Taviano and her books are titled From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife and Is That All He Thinks About? (about s-e-x) Both are written in an easy to read style - very similar to the The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy - type books. I laughed quite a lot and read them both in a few short days.

ALSO - thanks to Elizabeth Jackson, Jim Hicks, and Mike Colon for adding the Thirst Badge to their websites/blogs. I KNOW we can get more than 4 donations:).

Friday, February 23, 2007


Emma Lovelace, the little girl I asked you to pray for two days ago, is doing GREAT. She is still on a ventilator to assist her breathing slightly. I am sorry I didn't update this sooner but the mom actually got sick herself and I wasn't able to get an update because of her feeling awful! Spend your day praising the Lord for His merciful works!

Several parents have told me that the one thing they would have changed in their parenting is that they wished they would have prayed for their children more. It's overwhelming to think of all the things we want to pray for in regards to our children. You may have seen this before, but it is a parent's prayer calendar. It was developed by Bob Hostetler. It has qualities or attributes that you can pray for your children each day of the month - and it can be used for every month of the year, repeating. For example, on Jan 1 and Feb 1 and March 1..., I would pray for my kids salvation. Anyway, I just wanted to pass it on. Have a wonderful weekend!

{Now I need to go wipe the poop off of my hands since my daughter just loaded her pants and when I picked her up to change her - well, you can figure it out....}

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wall Inspiration

FOCUS - Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...Hebrews 12:2.

That is what is written on our office wall directly above my computer work space. It is a constant reminder. I need reminders.

Where is your focus?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

To Him who IS able...

Yesterday I wrote about Thirst and how we can tangibly help a cause by donating money. Sometimes we feel helpless in a situation because there is nothing we can do but pray. I am sure we have all been there at some point in our lives - for some of us, it is daily. I read something in high school that said:
So often in a helpless situation
when I have reached the end of my resources
I have nothing left to do
but totally rely on You Lord -
when actually that is the safest,
most secure place to be.
There is no place like our Father's arms.

My good friend Lara Hicks called last night and asked me to pray and spread the word - A young couple - Jen Stark and Chris Lovelace - need your prayers today. PLEASE. They had a baby last week - baby was healthy throughout pregnancy and delivery but swallowed some of it's own bowel movement in the womb. The meconium coated the baby's lungs and as a result he/she (I don't know if they had a boy or girl - I will refer to the baby as he) has been on life support ever since. They tried taking him off of life support and letting him breath alone but he started to crash so the doctors have given the baby until tomorrow. Then they will take him off of life support for good. Pray for healing for this baby and strength and peace for the family. Today is critical. Thanks.

"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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Help save lives - and change the world!

Water - clean water. Something we totally take for granted.

Thirst Relief International exists to provide the basic necessity of clean drinking water to those in need around the world. Check out Thirst's website - or this quick video clip. There is a lot of great information there - like the fact that nearly 2 million people die annually (90% of which are children under the age of 5) simply because they lack access to clean drinking water. It so great to know that you can help save a life for only $5! It is so simple - and yet profoundly life changing for those who lack clean water.

Here is how you can help in an extra special way:

You and I have the opportunity to raise even more money for Thirst Relief International! We could receive a matching grant of up to $10,000. People have created charity badges through a website called www.SixDegrees.org for their charities all over the country. The six badges that have the most number of donations between January 18th and March 31st at 11:59pm ET will get a matching grant from Kevin Bacon (the actor). (Keep in mind that multiple donations from a single individual to the same Six Degrees Charity Badge will only be counted once, although spouses could donate separately).

The process is easy; I have already created a Six Degrees Charity Badge for Thirst. I have posted it on the top of my blog and website and others will be joining me later this week on their websites and blogs. I fully believe that Thirst could get enough donations to receive a matching grant. The six charities with the highest NUMBER of donations - not total amount - will receive the matching grants. Here are the top six as of today. We need your help though!

Thirst Relief International together with you and www.sixdegrees.com – saving lives, changing the world. Please join me in donating and share this with others you know! (minimum donation is $10).

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25: 40

"He who gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses." Proverbs 28:27

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ideas. Lots of them. Scattered. Unfinished.

Yeah – I have plenty of them. Many are pretty good ones. The problem…I have so many ideas that I got all disorganized and distracted and my thoughts become SCATTERED, unfocused. Then, I start a lot of things and don’t finish many. Some I forget about – in the moment, only to remember them somewhere down the line. I think about how good of an idea it was originally and try to work on it a little bit more until I lose all focus again.

Like now, I should be cleaning the house. The kids are quiet. It seemed like such a good idea. Then I realized that I wanted to start a blog – I needed to start a blog so that I could share ideas and help make a positive difference in this world. I hadn’t posted on my blog yet. Hmmm…wouldn’t it be great to start another blog called “Pass it on” or “Pay it forward?” It would be ideas or concrete projects that people could do to encourage someone else or help another in need. I know so many people who could use encouragement or need financial help.

Here is an example of an idea I had in high school – I thought I would draw this picture of my then boyfriend (now husband). He was quite the basketball player and I loved watching him play. I am not an artist so this would take me a lot of patient work. So I found this yesterday.

It is the sketch I started almost fourteen years ago. Notice – it is almost finished – not quite. I remember being frustrated because I couldn’t get his ear right. So, wouldn’t it be great to finish it now and give it to him as a gift? Hmmm…where is that photo I was using? Oh – I can’t seem to find it. I’ll just set it aside for another time – here in my to do pile. It is only as tall as the dresser.

I was planning a lot of other great things:

Sending at least one encouragement note to someone (could be anonymously) every week – the kids had to do it too. We would also visit the nursing home once every two weeks – they need to learn to do kind things for others.

Organizing all of my recipes and putting them in a binder.

Painting a verse on my daughter's wall about how she is a princess – a daughter of the King of Kings. Haven't done that yet.

Making the closet by the garage a place to store all hats and mittens and gloves and boots and making sure everything had a place at a height where the kids could reach.

Doing a scrapbook for each year that Kevin and I have been married. Eac two page spread would have a picture of us and info about the year - what was going on in our lives and in the world...the average price of a home or car...popular shows or songs, etc. Wouldn't it be great to look back after 25 years of marriage and see how we have changed and how the world has changed? I still hope to do this one.

Making a prayer schedule of family, friends, government, etc and actually sticking to it daily…along with my weekly exercise schedule...and cleaning schedule...and monthly journaling schedule….Phewww….

This could be depressing. God loves me and created me in a way that allows me to think of others and try to make situations better. My husband calls me the most organized, disorganized person he knows. I must be creative right? He has given me the desire to do whatever I am doing 110% and when things get a little too hectic, I am thankful to realize that I am so far from perfect. I fall short daily – moment by moment. But he loves me anyway and by his grace and mercy allows me to be His child. I pray that I can focus on the important things of the day and give grace to others when they don’t meet the expectations set out before them, just as God has extended His grace to me.

What a wonderful gracious God we serve. Welcome to my blog – quite an introduction. I am sure you will have your fill of pieces of me.