"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

January 9, 2019

Wednesdays in the Word

I have lots of 20-somethings in my life!
And I love that a bunch of them regularly hang out at our house.
Reading about Hezekiah, who became king at age 25, recently impacted me and reminded me of what I would like to pray for in the lives of my 20-somethings.

Here are some powerful snippets about his life from 2 Kings 18 and 20

Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king

He  did what was right in the sight of the Lord

He trusted in the Lord God of Israel,

After him was none like him nor were any before him

He held fast to the Lord

He did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments

The Lord was with him

He prospered wherever he went

He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him

He subdued the Philistines

He made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city

He walked in truth with a loyal heart

He did what was good in Your sight

Hezekiah wasn't perfect. But what a life to be proud of!

He was obedient, innovative, courageous, and described as one of a kind! 
He trusted God, he subdued giants and he rebelled against a king! He chose what was right over what was easy and he held on to God!

His rebellion was inspiring! It included laying a letter open before the Lord in the house of God and praying and begging God that the situation that his nation faced would result in the kingdoms of the earth all knowing that "You are the Lord God, You alone!" Wow! When you care about making God known on the earth and praying to that end, I'm pretty sure He backs you  up! 😊
In fact, God came through for him in a mighty way!

God, I pray that the 20-somethings in our lives would be like Hezekiah and do what is right in Your sight. May they remove idols from their lives and have a faith that believes You for the impossible. May they be uncompromisingly devoted to making Your name known on the earth. May they keep Your commandments and subdue spiritual giants.  May rebellion in their lives be against the status who and the easy way outs. Help them do hard things. May they see you intervene when they pray and see great supernatural deliverance. May they care about Your fame and Your glory going forth in the earth and not their own. May they desire that all people know You as God and God alone.


January 2, 2019

Christmastime was here

Hi Friends! 
December was pretty special for our family and I hope it was for yours as well! 
Since I am on staff at a church, it was a busy but fun season. One amazing gift that we received, was two weeks off, starting on Christmas Day. What an amazing gift. I've been able to spend a lot of time with my adult kiddos!

On December 11th, Zac graduated from Arizona State University, Summa Cum Laude with his bachelors in Communication and a 4.1 GPA. It was a long road. To this day, I don't know if I am more proud that he stepped away from college to spend time with his dad, who had cancer, or if I'm more proud that he went back, worked two jobs and graduated with honors. I guess I'm just plain PROUD! He's a hero in our family and the most hard working and determined human we know. 

On the 17th, Nathan came home for Christmas! He is always our favorite gift, for sure! 
He has been here for 16 days and we have had a blast the whole time. 
When he arrived, the first thing he wanted to do was take his mom on a date. How sweet is that? And he told me to order anything I wanted and not to look at the price! What a sweetheart! We had an amazing dinner and happened to walk up to a movie-on-the-lawn event that was taking place downtown. It was A Charlie Brown Christmas and at the very best part, when Linus explains what Christmas really means. So fun! Then we went out for dessert.

At the beginning of December, Joy's brakes stopped working and the fix was going to be $2,000! (that Prius life) 
Y'All, buying a car is not for the faint of heart! Super thankful for our 'village' and all the input we received and especially for my boss and dear friend,who knows how to haggle! Joy came away with a good deal on a 3 year old car, which is a Toyota but not a Prius. Oh happy day! She is thrilled to have a safe, reliable car and happy to make the payments on it.

Andrew's best friend asked him to baptize him while his family was in town for Christmas. What an honor it was for Andrew. He had been praying for his friend for many years and it has been one of the high points of our whole year to see God moving in this friend's life.

We had dear friends from CA stay here with us for the week of Christmas which was fun. 

Our church always does the most beautiful Christmas Eve service and this year was no exception. We all went and were blessed. Due to some food allergies we found out about this year, our Christmas Eve dinner menu changed a bit, but it was still fantastic. We thought we would be without two family members that night, which was a little sad but when your kids are grown, you learn to go with the flow during the holidays and not mind who can and can't be present. Anyway, it was great fun that those who couldn't, suddenly popped in the door, right before Christmas Eve dinner! What a gift! 

On Christmas day, we slept in a bit because grown kids aren't as excited as little ones!
 We had a nice Christmas brunch and opened presents and enjoyed being together. It was actually the very first time in 365 days that just our immediate family had been together to share a meal.
 That was the best party for Nathan.. He had been looking forward to that moment his entire trip home. I'm so glad my kids love and appreciate being together! We always feel that we are "better together" and that is really pretty special! 
We saw Mary Poppins Returns later in the day and some of us loved it and some got a goo d Christmas nap. LOL Then Zac and Tiffany hosted a Christmas D=dinner party that night that we all went to, along with her family.

A Christmas coma resulted and mainly just relaxed the next couple of days.

On New Year's Eve day, some of my kids and one of my extra kids and I went to our favorite local, coffee food truck and talked about all that God had done in our lives in 2018 and what we hoped for in 2019. It was a really special time. I love hearing their hearts! And I always feel blessed that my 20 something-year olds want me hanging out with them in the first place. Yay!!!! They are the best!
That night, I went to two New Year's Eve parties and made it home before midnight, therefore avoiding all the awkwardness of not having someone to kiss at midnight. Mission accomplished!

On New Year's Day, Nathan had us up and out of the house EARLY for an adventure he had been planning. We went to swim in a natural spring in the Ocala National Forrest. And being that this is Florida, it isn't odd when it is 81 degrees on January 1st. The spring is always 73 degrees, so the kids really enjoyed it once they got used to it. I think 73 is a bit nippy and chose to sunbathe. It was a gorgeous spring and Nathan used his iPhone X plus something something, (LOL) to  make  UNDERWATER VIDEOS without even a  waterproof case!!! 
It has a water ejection system! How crazy is that?! He could take it down in 7 feet of water for 30 minutes! He got some incredible footage! There were lots of fish, snorkelers, a turtle and plants and beautiful rock formations. He was in heaven! 
Then we cleaned up and went for coffee and then drove to Disney Springs for dinner. Great memories were made by all! 

Looking back, I'm so grateful for all the hard parts of 2018 and all the blessings! 
God is always faithful!  
Here's to living everyday of 2019 for the applause of Heaven! 

November 18, 2018

A beautiful tribute

I'm so blessed by what my youngest son put on social media today in honor of his dad.
Here it is:

"Today, 3 years ago I held my fathers hand and thanked him for all that he has been to me. Thanked him for equipping me, fighting for me, loving me, and most importantly, showing me how to follow Jesus and love him for myself.
I slept in the chair next to his bed in hospice that night, and when I woke up, he was in glory with The Lord.

It’s a feedback loop of grief and gratitude that weighs on my heart. I allow myself to feel it and ask God to comfort, provide, and bring peace through this pain. My father taught me more in 16 years than most fathers do in a lifetime.

The truth is, cancer couldn’t be farther from his body as he beholds the King he sought after so diligently. And I will choose to run this race knowing my earthly and heavenly father await me with a smile. God was glorified even in darkness, and my faith was strengthened even in shadow. It would be a lie to run away. I press on with patience as I believe and watch God work all things for good in my life over the rest of my time on t(His) earth.

Thank you to everyone who has been there for my family. You are loved."


November 6, 2018

Blogging break

At this time, due to an accident with a bass and a MacBook screen, I'm sharing a laptop with a busy college kid. LOL  So, it may be awhile,  but I'll be back here blogging eventually.  😀

Hope you are enjoying a lovely fall!

October 26, 2018

Learning to say 'Yes'

I was recently given a hotel stay and a free ticket to a woman's conference in Daytona and I actually said 'Yes' and went.
Amazing, right? 
 Even though it was totally out of my comfort zone! And I didn't have anyone to go with. And I'm not a spontaneous, spur of the moment type of person, at all!
  I took my first road trip ALONE ever and went, despite the fact that I didn't know the women I'd be sharing a hotel room with very well. 
Of course finding out that the  hotel was a Hilton and RIGHT on the beach, in a room with a gorgeous view helped me feel a whole lot better about the whole thing. LOL ; )

And then the first speaker shared her story and half way through, it became apparent that she is a widow. 
And then I KNEW why I was there! 
In my almost three years as one, I've never heard a widow speak before. 
Her story had so many elements that were similar to  my story. in any of the conferences I've been to. (not that that's a lot)
It really blessed me to get to see how her story of restoration and healing reached a thousand women of all ages and backgrounds and marital statuses!
It was beautiful and so much prayer and ministry took place when she was done. 

All the speakers that weekend were great and had tremendous stories and teachings to share. And the ladies I hardly knew, became my friends!

I made some time to play in the waves of the Atlantic too. I was jumping and laughing and having a great time because the beach is my happy place! Then a wave took me face down to the ground and I felt my legs come over my head and when I eventually stood up, I was facing the other direction!!!  So that was officially the first cart wheel I've done in 30 years! I got out after that shaken and knowing I'd been beat. And seriously wondering if all my body parts still worked. LOL Thankfully, they did! 

It was definitely the weekend that turned me upside down in more ways than one and I'm so glad I said 'yes.' 


October 21, 2018

Book study

I was in a weekly women's small group for a year and a half or so and then the lives of all the ladies got really busy and we couldn't find a night that continued to work for all of us to meet but we stayed connected by posting our prayer requests on a private Facebook page and praying for each other.
 Then we did some online Bible studies on the Bible app.
 The next evolution was reading a book, together and posting our comments on each chapter on a private Facebook page.  I got seriously behind on reading schedule, but the leader of that study is persistent and she is still cheering me on to finish so we can all go out to dinner and discuss it.

I'm not sure what kind of a small group would work best for your life but I hope you have one of some kind, whether you meet in person regularly or have a private Facebook page for sharing prayer requests. However yours looks, I hope you have some people who will challenge you, pray for you when needed, meet you for dinner or movie, share thoughts from the Word with you and make you laugh harder than you've laughed in a long time. Relationships are worth investing in and so are people.

And speaking of our book study, here are some awesome quotes from Adamant, by Lisa Bevere.

"You were born to scale mountains, not merely scan phones. You were born for face to face connections, not emojis. Speak God's word rather than merely echo it in likes and reposts. 
You were made for involvement."