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

April 29, 2016

Great read, great movement

I love this story! This book is a beautifully written memoir of how a young woman found her way through lonliness and depression, while living in New York City, by writing letters to strangers! 

It all started when sat next to a woman on a train whose life was obviously difficult. She was asleep and wearing men's workboots which were without laces. Hannah couldn't take her eyes off of her and then she decided to write her a letter of encouragement to hand her as she lef the train. But she was so involved in writing the letter, she missed seeing the woman wake up and make her exit.
At that moment she realized that people all around her needed love letters! She left that first letter on her seat for someone to find after she left.  And then she wrote more letters and left them in random places all around New York City.
She blogged about it and offered to write a letter to anyone who needed one and over two hundered people emailed her their story and their addresses. She shares how writing all those letters, changed her life and helped her find God and see the beauty in people.

If you would like to cheer others on in this thing called Life, which is often so painful, and remind them of how important and special they are, then maybe you would like to consider leaving some letters around your city! In library books, on subway seats, under rocks, on park benches...
Or help Hannah send them to selected people in need at

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writitng God, who is scripting a love letter to the world." ~Mother Teresa

"And I believe in a religion that doesn't sit pretty in the church so much as it rages beautifully when it's out on the sidewalks." ~ Hannah Brencher


April 28, 2016

Happy 17th to Andy

So excited to celebrate, this sweet young man, whose compassion, kindness and passion for Jesus always amazes me.
The bear pancake tradition lives on!
The other night he gave a dinner party! He invited one of his best friends and a married couple from church over, who are about ten years older than he is. He said this couple is "wise and cool" and he felt like he could learn some things from them.
 (melt my heart) And he helped fix dinner!
He has such a sweet heart!

I think about this a lot:
If it is true that boys grow up to treat their wives like they treated their mothers,
then whoever God has picked out for him IS GOING TO BE MIGHTY BLESSED one day!

So grateful that he is his dad's mini-me!


April 27, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

I read this in Stuff Christians Like, the other day, and couldn't help thinking of it later when I was reading in the Old Testament.

"For Christians, it's completely okay to watch R-rated movies, but only if they got that rating because of violence. If they are R because someone is getting their head cut off or there's a battle scene that's so gory, blood splashes on the camera lens, don't worry. God's cool with that. However, if the movie is rated R because of sexuality...well, I hope you enjoy your fold-out couch bed in hell. It's gonna be a hot one, my friend. A hot one, indeed. 
I'm not sure where this rule came from, but it's true. Not only do Christians watch violent R-rated movies, we'll quote them from the pulpit, build sermon series around them-even show clips from them during the service. I call it the Braveheart Rule, and my theory is that it's because of the Old Testament. Have you ever read any of the Old Testament? It's hardcore..."  😉
~Jonathan Acuff

Yes, it is hardcore! And 1 Samuel 18 is a good example of that, especially the part about how David won his wife. Blah!

But the reason I like this chapter is because of what it shows about David's character.
Check out the way he conducted himself:

"So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely." v. 5

"And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him." v.14

"So it was, whenever they went out, that David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed." v. 30

I pray these verses for me kids, and hope they will do the same.

Minus all the blood and guts, of course!😂

April 26, 2016

Special memories shared

When we were planning my husband's memorial service, we knew that there would probably be too many attendees to invite people to speak, but our daughter had a great idea of having note cards and pens present so that people could share their memories with us that way! The church had beautiful cards made for that purpose and we received almost 200 of them!
They are so special and we treasure them.
We just haven't been up for reading them yet.

Then the other day, after my quiet time, I felt the Lord put those cards on my heart and I read the first 10 or so of them.
Some were written by people that are a part of our church family and they wrote about the impact that my hubby had on their sons in the class of K-3rd grade boys that he taught for many years.
There were some from those boys, themselves, who are now teens and young adults, saying how much he encouraged them.
And there was one from a co-worker, who said he was the "truest example of a Christian they'd ever encountered! I loved that!
I loved them all!

from someone who didn't sign their name:

"I don't really have too many memories, but I remember thinking I want my husband to look at me the way he looked at Becky." 

And I burst into some very happy tears!
I can't even describe how much that meant to me!

Thank you, Anonymous Friend, for saying that and for making my day! (my week and my month!)
Much love!!!!!

April 25, 2016

When the telephone game is real

Apparently, every hair stylist cuts themselves really badly, at least once!
It's a thing.
Unfortunately, my sweet daughter-in-love, who has been a cosmetologist for 3 years, had her turn recently, while cutting MY hair!!!
Oh my stars, was it sad! It was a pretty deep cut and it wouldn't stop bleeding. 
Just as after it happened, her mom came in the salon to say 'hi,' -The timing couldn't have been better because who doesn't want to see their mom when they are bleeding and in pain!?

My hair was wet and half trimmed but I didn't really care about my hair anymore anyway.
Then one of her coworkers insisted on finishing it for me and said that they weren't sending me out of the salon with wet hair, even if I was family!
When she finished it, I met up with them at the walk-in clinic and thankfully, she didn't need stitches afterall, just glue! PTL!

When I got home, Joy told me that my best friend, had called and was really worried. She heard from her son,
who heard from Andrew,
who got a text from Joy,
that while getting my hair cut, my HEAD got cut and I needed stitches
and I was at the hospital!!!

Oh, my word!
The telephone game, for real, Y'All! ; )
But via text messages and with the help of a typo!


April 21, 2016

All the appointments

Last night, Joy slipped at work and sprained her ankle. : (
And since she couldn't put weight on her right foot, she couldn't drive home.
So, I raced off to pick her up at 11:30 PM and we had to leave her car there (which made me nervous) and then had to stop to buy pain killers at midnight. Bless her heart!
We went to the doctor today for an x-ray and we found out that all is well! She just had to spend her day icing and elevating. I enjoyed the chance to take care of the sweet girl who is usually always on the go. And dear Zac came to our rescue and helped me get her car back home.

Then, I was off to another appointment, which was with the orthodontist for a quote for braces for Andrew. We had been saving up for those, when life threw us a few curves. So, although we planned to do this way before now, we haven't been able to. And bless his heart, he is not happy about getting braces this late in life. Not happy at all.
While we were there we found out that quite a bit has changed since we walked this road with Zac nine years ago! (how could it be nine?!) Speaking of which, I couldn't believe that all the same receptionists STILL work there! And the orthodontist couldn't believe that Zac is married!
He told us what luck Andrew is in by being the youngest brother because:

He will have the invisible, clear braces!!!
It won't cost us any more! (happy dance!!!)
He can take them in and out. -Hello, senior pictures WITHOUT braces. Yahoo!
It will take less than two years! Yay!
He will only have check-ups once every two months!
And apparently, there is a monitor/sensor inside them that will tell the orthodontist whether he is actually wearing his braces for the required 22 hours a day.
 If he isn't, they have threatened to put on the very silver, very noticeable, traditional kind instead, at no extra charge!  -LOL
Now, there's some motivation!

Quite the day, but good news all around!


April 20, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

"Salty" is the new adjective around my house.
My kids use it to describe when someone is "upset" or "annoyed" or "bitter."

The Bible has a lot to say about being salty. But, not using this definition. ; )

I like this verse:
"Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another." Mk. 9:50
Or as the footnote in my Bible says, we are to "allow the salt of the gospel to preserve us from selfish ambitions" so that we are at peace with other people. Amen!
How often do selfish ambitions trip us up?
Or maybe a better question is when don't they?

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." Phil. 2:3

"For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." Js. 3:16

Jesus said "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Mk.9:35


April 19, 2016

A little blue

We've all decided that grief hits in waves. And sometimes a large one will break over one or other of us.
As you can imagine, seeing one of my kids in pain, about rips my heart out every time!

When it happened to one of us this weekend, we all converged!
Eating, jamming, shopping, and cooking all took place. Then we watched this together:

I'm so thankful the investment we made "in Family Island" helped! ; )


April 15, 2016

All the fun of late

When you buy your kids a vinyl for their collection

 and it is Duran Duran, as a joke, of course. 
The fact that I found it in an ANTIQUE store was not lost on me. ; ) 

How long have these existed? They stand!!! I proclaimed how genius these are out loud in the aisle of the grocery store! And then realized how glad I was to be the only one in that aisle!

Friday night Joy gave her first dinner party! She made gourmet pizza bagels with olive tapenade and a Cobb salad. Her guests brought the Krispy Kremes! Super fun night with people we love!

Andrew waited about 30 seconds after I left with Nathan for the airport, to start making their bedroom his own. LOL He has been waiting for this for "16 years" he said! It couldn't belong to a more grateful guy! He gave this recliner to Zac for his apartment.
As you can see, they took a little break before carrying it up 2 flights of stairs.: )

When Nathan got home, he bought his very own Prius. His passion for them has convinced several friends to buy one. Now, his dream has come true. Yay!

Dates with Dad, have continued as Dates with Mom. This was my first time to take out my sweet Daughter-in-love. We went out to breakfast and then antique shopping. 

Look at the size of these cranberry walnut pancakes?! I'm planning to make my own soon. But not this large. 

Saturday was a gorgeous day! When this comes into view...

it means that I am almost at my happy place!

We were also at Andrew's happy place on Saturday:

Being there reminded us both of Hubby.

His motto was "You can never own too many guitars."
This guy believes that too! ; )

Hubby left Andrew his Martin guitar! ❤️
And we are having his electric guitar fixed and given to him for his birthday.❤️

Can't believe he will be 17 soon! 


April 13, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

This verse reminds me of the parenting journey: 

"I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls." 2 Cor. 12:15
Amen, Moms?!
Anything it takes to help our kids choose to live for God all of their days.

Sometimes "spent" is the operative word here! LOL
 -How come teens only want to share their hearts when it is almost midnight?! ; )

And this verse reminds me our parenting goal: 

"For what is our hope or joy or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy." 1 Thess. 2:19-20

Whoo-hoo! Well worth being 'spent' for!

April 7, 2016

The best cookies!

These are my favorite cookies to make!

I made a batch for an event recently that I didn't end up actually attending, and well, we had monster cookies for days! They are gluten free and can totally pass for breakfast in a pinch because of all the oatmeal and peanut butter. -Or at least that is what I told myself on shopping day when breakfast items were running low. : )


April 6, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

During spring break, my friend and I went to see Miracles from Heaven.
We both are both former Alias/Jennifer Garner fans. : )
I didn't know what it was about exactly and had I known, I may not have gone, only because being reminded of hospitals, diagnoses, and feeding tubes is still painful for me.

BUT, it was an awesome, true story and God got the glory. You should totally see it! And if you are a Third Day fan, Mac Powell leads worship in it.

As I was walking down the stairs of the theater to exit, a woman stopped me to tell me that her husband got a miracle too!  She said his "heart died three times" and "now he has a new one." I said "Praise God! That is awesome." And then I followed her and her happy, elderly husband while desperately hoping she wouldn't turn around and see me doing the ugly cry all the way out of the theater. And my sweet friend M, cried too because she knew...
At that moment all I could think is:
It is rough to be the ones who DIDN'T get a miracle...

I love when miracles happen. I totally believe in them. I've seen them happen many times. And I've been miraculously healed myself of reactive airway disease. -I had been sick in bed for three months and was supposed to be on meds all my life and would always susceptible to getting pneumonia. But God completely healed me that day, 14 years ago, when a dear man came to my house and prayed for me.

I may have had a bit of a pity party that night after the movie, but I ended up giving our lack of a miracle to God.

The next evening, as I was reading The Barbarian Way (a favorite of my Hubby and I) for a devotion time with my kids, something totally stuck me!
In chapter two, the story of John the Baptist being in prison is discussed. And we all know, John sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the One or if they should we look for another.
-We know that John was convinced He was the One earlier, because he testified to that fact to everyone who came to hear him speak. "I have seen and testify that this is the Son of God."
But being in prison must have been rough and made him have his doubts. His time was short and Herodias' daughter was working on her dance moves. ; )
I always thought that he sent his disciples to ask Jesus this because he had NOT heard of all the miracles Jesus was doing.
But Matt. 11:2-3 says that "When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him..."
Jesus has his disciples tell John about how the lame are walking, the blind are seeing and the kingdom of God is being preached to the poor. And then He also had them tell John
"Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

And then what I read next, totally hit me like it was JUST for me!
It was the answer to not getting a miracle and it gave me peace.

"Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." Erwin McManus writes, is Jesus "saying to him, 'John, I'm not coming through for you. I'm not getting you out of prison. I'm not sparing your life. Yes, I have done all this and more for others, but the path I choose for you is different from theirs. You'll be blessed, John, if this does not cause you to fall away.' "

It was just what I needed to hear! "Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me."
-On account of what we think He should have done,
on account of what He didn't do,
on account of the way it happened.
All of it.

Let's never let our lack of a miracle cause us to "fall away."

This song and its declaration means so much to me right now.


April 4, 2016

Sent back with love

Nathan flew back to California on Friday. But before that there was a mandatory family wiffle ball game,

 pizza and lots of hugging!

He's the guy who sings through the house at the top of his lungs and who stays up til 2:00 or 3:00 AM because he can. He rarely plans ahead but is never stressed. He is the guy behind the camera and rarely in the photos. He is a visionary. He is always passionate about something and it is contagious. He always hugs me when he walks by and tells me he loves me several times a day. He's cheered me on through every hurdle I've had to face since Hubby's passing and I'm grateful!
As you can imagine, we are going to miss him like crazy!


April 1, 2016

Waterfall Hike

This is a video that Nathan made of a hike we took in on our trip to CA.
~So many sweet memories connected to this trip!