Friday, July 11, 2008

New Blog Name

This will be my last blog post on this site, "blessed with 6".

I felt the Lord encouraging me to change my blog name to: Truth 4 the journey.

If you are visiting my site, feel free to browse my back posts. Then, click on truth THIS and you'll pop over to my new site.

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you will return.

My new URL is:


Summer has turned out to be action packed this year. Between vacation and swim team I don't know that we've had even one day of nothing to do. Every Wednesday night we have a swim meet from 5-10 or 11pm. These meets are great! Everyone is there cheering on the kids while they try to swim there personal best for the season.

The challenging part is what do I do with my two youngest daughters. The parents have to work at the meets, so watching them myself isn't an option. Their Dad doesn't always get there until the meet is under way, so he can't watch them. This is where grandparents come into play. I am blessed to have their grandparents living in the same town! (Mine actually live on the same street.)

Thankfully my parents have agreed to let the two youngest children spend the night with them on Wednesday nights. This has been a treat that they look forward to each week.

On Tuesday of this week, my three year old started talking about spending the night with her Nanny and PaPa. I told her she could go to their house tomorrow night. To that she replied, "Mommy, I don't like tomorrow." My six year old hearing this said, "why don't you like tomorrow?" To that, my three year old stated, "because I don't know tomorrow, I only know today."

This was adorable and we've told her grandparents the cute story. I had to wonder, didn't the Bible address this same issue:

Matthew 6:34 (CEV) Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.

James 4:13-15 (GNB) Now listen to me, you that say, "Today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we will stay a year and go into business and make a lot of money." You don't even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. What you should say is this: "If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that."

We all get caught up in the worries of tomorrow. For me it's been thoughts like: "Will my articles get published", or "will anyone want to accept my book proposals". These are just the more recent thoughts about tomorrow that can cause me to stress a bit. Thankfully, God used my three year old daughter to remind me that today is the only day I need to even think about.

I hope you too can be encouraged by these words of wisdom. If we put our focus on today, we will be so much more productive and we can live at peace, knowing it's all in His hands. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Is it Beneficial?

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit. All things are lawful to me, but not all things build up.

We've had a vegetable garden for several years now. Some of our favorite things to plant are: Tomatoes, watermelon, squash, and green beans.

Last year we noticed that there were several volunteer watermelon plants just growing in random places within the garden boundaries. Feeling generous, we decided to just let them grow where they were. What we didn't think about, was the fact that I would no longer be able to run my tiller down the rows to plow under weeds because they were growing everywhere. We continued to justify it by thinking we could hand weed our large garden, NOT--

By August, our garden was overtaken by weeds and we couldn't even get in there to harvest those volunteer watermelons!

There are a lot of good things out there, but not all things are beneficial.

As you take the time to plan activities for you and your children, prayerfully consider if the activity is beneficial for your family at this time. Don't make the same mistake we made by letting our favorite plant grow where it wasn't supposed to grow.

Watermelon plants are more than welcome in our garden, but only in the designated place. This was a hard object lesson, but one we won't soon forget.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Trust Me

It was a particularly hot day, Grandma had decided to have her four year old granddaughter, Stacey, over for a visit. They thought cooling off in her pool would be a great idea! After putting their suits on they lathered up with a good SPF sun protecting lotion. Stacey seemed to prance to the pool in anticipation. She carefully put on her water wings, since she didn't know how to swim. With a refreshing splash, they were in the water.

Stacey held on to Grandma's arms with a very tight grip. Grandma realized that her granddaughter was frightened so she began to reassure her that it would be ok. She promised her that nothing bad would happen to her. They both gently kicked and moved around in the pool. Stacey's grip didn't seem to be letting up. Grandma knew that something had to happen if Stacey was going to learn to trust her.

She decided to pry Stacey's hands from around her own arms. She spoke gently and softly, "Stacey, I would not allow you to drown." Stacey replied, "I know Grandma". "Stacey, don't you trust me?" she prodded. Stacey, still holding on tight replied, "yes, I do trust you, but I still SCARED!" With that Grandma held her close and the two floated together the rest of the afternoon.

I can relate to Stacey. There have been times in my life when I've held on too tightly. Times when He was saying to me, "Sonya, don't you trust me?" and my response, "Yes Lord, but I'm still scared!"

Saying we trust someone and learning to step out in faith are two very different things. Consider how Peter experienced this very thing in Matthew 14:

Matthew 14:29-31 "Come!" answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. "Save me, Lord!" he cried. At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, "What little faith you have! Why did you doubt?"

I think Peter was thinking, "Lord, I trust you, but I'm scared!"

What is it that you are afraid to do today? Is there a calling that has you unnerved and holding on for dear life? If so, pray and then, like Peter, step out of the boat knowing that God is with you and He won't let you drown.

Friday, July 4, 2008


We are leaving Massanutten Resort today to travel home. The view up on this mountain is breathtaking. Pictures cannot do it justice!

As the mother of six children I'd like to point out that vacations don't mean a break for mom! For years I would go with the wrong expectation and I would end up discouraged and depressed. Over the years I have grown (thanks be to God). I now know that vacations are a time to spend together.

This vacation came with its own set of issues. It all started on Tuesday night when I got sick! I spent half of the night in the bathroom and I awoke feeling achy and out of sorts. Wednesday was the day we had planned to go to the indoor/outdoor water park. That said, I got up and we went to the water park! As a mother we make these sacrifices. You know, in the end I had a good time. I didn't stay as long as the rest of my family but I made memories while I was there.

Being a mother is a very hard job, it's also the most rewarding job of all. I am thankful for these vacations, issues and all. I hope that if you are a mother and planning a vacation this summer that you will have the right expectations. Remember that vacation isn't about a break for mom, but time together as a family. Then go and make good memories! Enjoy your family while you have them with you.

Proverbs 31:18 She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

Happy 4th of July!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vacation in the Mountains

My family and I are vacationing in the mountains of Virginia this week. It is absolutely gorgeous here!

Here are some of the highlights of my trip.

On the way up here we saw an accident involving a motorcycle and a black bear! The man on the motorcycle seemed ok, but the bear didn't appear to have made it! This is the kind of thing that you could only see in the mountains!

Bubble time in the jaccuzzi, a must during the rainy times.

We spent a lot of time swimming in the various pools and also playing hours of games as a family. Since we don't have cable TV back home, the kids (and my spouse) really indulged in the TV while we were here - I hope they don't have TV withdrawals when we get home!

Fishing together brought lots of smiles. Here is a picture of Daniel fishing and Ashley with her very first fish!

The mountains are a very peaceful and enjoyable place to be. Here is a picture of the mountians that I took while on a morning walk! Only God Almighty could create such a dramatic and beautiful scene!

Psa 65:6 The mountains are established by Your strength, banded together with might,

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday @ She Speaks

What an amazing weekend it was for me! (This is a picture of my writers on-line support group)

I had a fabulous time meeting other bloggie friends, hanging out with my special friend, Kelly, and soaking up all that God had for me.

The final session on Sunday was a general session called, "What have they got that I don't Got?" This was given by Micca Campbell.

She is a fabulous speaker and I enjoyed it very much. The main point I walked away with was this, Courage is not the absence of fear, it's pushing through your fear. I hope to post this point in my bathroom, too!

After this last session we broke up and the writers/speakers/leaders separated into our groups for a lasting connections time. It was a time to exchange blog addresses, and say, "good bye". (This is a picture of me and Robin)

One little treat was that Glynnis Whitwer decided to have us create on-line writing support groups! How fun! I was placed with 7 other ladies (Robin is one of them!) and I am very excited about this opportunity.

The other opportunity that I had was to sign up for conference calls. They will begin the end of July and go into the fall. I am so excited about these as they will allow for Q & A sessions at the end of the calls. :)

I think that every woman who is called to write/speak/or lead should attend at least once! Praise God for His goodness.

Friday, June 27, 2008

She Speaks Part 3

I've saved the best for last!

Renee Swope spoke at the last Saturday session called, "Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt". (Renee and I are pictured above)

She focused on the doubt filled, fear driven, Gideon. God, overlooking his fears and doubts, saw him as a mighty warrior and took him on a journey which required total faith and ended in victory for Gideon and God.

She taught that in the shadow of doubts we have fear, but in the shadow of the cross we find God's Truths.

After the teaching, she had everyone take out a piece of paper and write down any doubts or fears that they had. I wrote a few on the paper. Then I walked to the front of the room and laid the paper at the foot of the cross.

Approaching the cross, I knelt down and closed my eyes to pray, SUDDENLY---

I had a vision of my past life as a child in grade school. In the vision, we went outside for P.E. and the team captains had to choose whom they wanted on their teams. Not only did they overlook me, but not being very athletic, they fought over who had to take me on their team.

I just sat there weeping. I couldn't believe the pain. I had not thought about this event for many, many years. God knew I needed a healing.

To help me deal with my fears of submitting my articles for publication, God lovingly reminded me of my painful past. You see, I was rejected by man, but HANDPICKED BY GOD!!! Praise God for this weekend! God did not overlook me.
Armed with the confidence that He has called me into this ministry, I can rest assured that He will publish my work when and where He wants to.

What a freeing time for me! I opened my eyes and looked around, God is so amazing. He loves us so much that He is willing to show us where we are bound, and then He sets us FREE! I left that paper there, at the foot of the cross. I left and just praised God for releasing me from the pain and fear associated with my past.

As I left, I picked up a paper with a promise (they were pre-written and prayed over) it said, "Called", and the scripture was Isaiah 43:10 "You are my witness," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He."

If you have been called by God but there is something holding you back, pray and ask Him to show you why you are bound and pray that He will set you free.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

She Speaks Part 2

Can you believe that we are still in Saturday's sessions! This was a convention that was packed FULL of information.

Session #4 on Saturday was called "How to Write a Book" by Lysa TerKeurst. This was very informative!! She is so much fun to watch! She used a pineapple and actually cut it up in the class to help us remember her pineapple Principle. She then gave us a lot of "P" points to remember which were great. For example, she said that we have to partner up with others, God has not intended us to go it alone. She had so much to say but ended it with Pursue Excellence. This is great advise and I will be reviewing these notes in the weeks to come!

Then it was off to Session #5 this was called "Book Proposals that Get Noticed" by LaRae Weikert. She works for Harvest House Publishers. She had so much helpful information to share with us that I am going to hold on to it until God gives me a book to write! Thankfully we have the notes to refer back to at any time!

Session #6 was called "The Ultimate Blogging Q & A" this was put on by our own top bloggers, boomama, bigmama, and rocksinmydryer. This session was practical info on things like, how do you change your blog name, etc.

On a readers note, I will be changing my blog name to "truth 4 the journey" very soon. I'll either learn how to redirect you all to my new URL or I'll have a post up telling you how to get to my new blog location..... But that isn't going to happen this week. I'm working on it!

Session #7 was called "Writers Coffee House" and it was great! My favorite part was when Suzie Eller (T. Suzanne Eller) talked to us. She is a published author and speaker and just a down to earth pleasant woman and mother and wife! Her love of God was contagious!

Ok, I've saved the best for last, be sure to check back tomorrow to hear about the vision that God gave me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Saturday @ She Speaks Part 1

Saturday @ She Speaks was so full and exciting! It all started at 8:15am (this was after breakfast!) and it didn't end until 10pm that evening.

The first thing we did was to have a general session taught by Karen Ehman on Embracing your Little and your Lot. Here are a few of the important things that I learned at this session:

1) Comparison Kills Contentment. (I think I should post that truth on my bathroom mirror!)

2) The grass in NOT greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water, fertilize and pull the weeds! I loved this one! :)

3) Lastly it's God's job to grow your ministry and your job to learn how to obey God and be content where He has you.

The second session that I attented was called, "The Pathway to Publication", by Susanne Scheppmann. I was so glad that I attended this session. The main point to remember from this one is that I need to keep writing and keep submitting. There were also a lot of practical things I took away.

The third session was called "Magazine Writing 101, Honing your Writing Skills". That was a critical class for me with many practical tips and tools to help me become a better writer. I learned the difference between being an active writer and a passive writer. And lots of other important things. I will need to review my notes some more to really glean everything that I can from this session.

I hope this is giving you a picture of what this conference is like. If you are a writer I highly recomend She Speaks!! More to come later!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Friday at She Speaks

Lysa TerKeurst and Me!

Wow, Friday at She Speaks, where to begin!

I'll start with the first general session. It was given by Lysa TerKeurst and I was really blessed. I don't want to give it away if you ever hear her speak, so I'll just tell you what I came away with.

First of all, She gave a stellar description of her first writers conference, and how she had the wrong expectations. I think we could all relate. Then she said by the end that she felt like she was rejected by man, but handpicked by God. That is exactly how I felt this weekend, as a matter of fact, my whole adult life! So this was exactly what I needed to hear.

She then went on to point out that David, in the Bible, was also overlooked by man but handpicked by God. It was a sweet time and I will NOT forget those words as I receive the occasional rejection letter from a publisher or magazine! I will not give up and I will be sure to keep writing and submitting because God has called me to do this.

The next session I went to was called, "Blogging: What Works and What Doesn't." This was put on by 3 top bloggers, Boomama, Rocks in my dryer, and Bigmama. They were very cute and helpful and I will probably be redirecting you all to a new blog name at some point in the near future because of their advice. No worries for now, though. :)

The last session of the night was a writers critique group. This was invaluable because I brought an article and shared it with 2 other writers who read it and then gave me feedback. Praise God for the honesty and help of these 2 ladies, I now know I can make this article the way it needs to be. The other cool thing was that Glynnis Whitwer, who headed this up, decided to create online critique groups for the writers who were interested! So, more to come on this, but I am in a group now. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm Home!

Hello All!

I want to thank you for your prayers while I was away at the She Speaks Conference. It was a life changing experience!

(Kelly and Sonya.)

My good friend Kelly and I drove down to North Carolina late Thursday evening. The main issue we had was a warning sign in her car that indicated low tire pressure. We stopped at the very next exit, and were blessed by a full service station that was still open and working on vehicles at 7pm! They plugged the hole in the tire and we were off again. We arrived at the Embassy Suites hotel around 11pm. The room was lovely and we called it a night.

Friday was really great as we had breakfast with our special friend and encourager Bonita from Streams of Living Water. We talked and talked until almost noon. Then it was a quick lunch and down to the Bloggers reception.

Then the sessions started and we weren't up to our rooms until 10pm! Saturday was also packed from 8:15 until 10pm. You certainly don't sleep much at these events.

Sunday we were up and checked out by 9 and then the service started at 9:30 and ran until noon. After a quick lunch we were on our way home.

I didn't remember my camera so I am waiting for a few friends to e-mail me pictures then I'll post them.

I will blog about some more events over the next few days. Can you believe this is the first time I've gotten onto the Internet since last Thursday!!

Well, this is getting long and I've got a pile of laundry as tall as me to tackle! I'll talk to you all soon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sweet Nothings

I am very excited that in less than a week I am leaving to go to the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina. What a great opportunity this will be for me to learn and grow in the area of writing for God.

Back in April God lovingly called me to start this blog and begin writing for Him. He directed my path to go to She Speaks and beyond all of this I am not certain where this road will lead. Will He call me to write a book, a devotional, articles for magazines? These are all mysteries to me right now. But I believe that He will begin to clarify my calling when I attend the conference.

The fact that I'm even going to the conference is a miracle. When I looked into it they said it was full, so I put my name on the waiting list, and by sheer miracle I got in! There are 500 women attending and probably a large number on the waiting list. I love when God clears the path like this because you can follow Him with ease.

Up until about a week ago I have been confident in this new calling and I've been happy to write blog posts and potential articles for magazines. Until the enemy started whispering in my ear. He said things like, "why are you doing this?", "you are a nobody so who would want to publish your articles/book ideas?", "you can't afford to go to the conference, what if it's for nothing". I like to call these things sweet nothings, because that is exactly what they are, nothing but LIES!

I've seen on several other She Speaks attendees blogs that they, too have had these sweet nothings whispered into their ears. Thanks be to God for His Word. We are told to test everything against the Word of God. So, when I did this I found out that they were all lies. Let's take a look at what the Bible has to say:

Psalm 138:8(MKJVa) Jehovah will perfect His work in me; Your mercy, O Jehovah, endures forever;

Jeremiah 29:11(MSG) I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Deuteronomy 31:6(MSG) Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you."

Now these aren't sweet nothings, these are the promises of God concerning you and me!

Please pray for me this week, and the other 499 ladies and staff of She Speaks. Pray that we will only listen to His promises and that we will have peace about the conference. Pray for our safety and the safety of our families as we travel. Prayer is so important, thank you for sowing into my life in this way.

This will be the last post from me until Monday (after the conference)as I have multiple details to take care of before I leave on Thursday. I know God is at work and I'm looking forward to coming home and blogging all about His goodness.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I am having so much fun writing this blog. It is amazing how therapeutic writing can be. You are able to really sort through the emotions and lessons that God is trying to show you in your life. But it's also addictive, surfing the net to read other christian blogs and then there's the comments on my blog. This is all very time consuming.

Since I'm new at this my husband and I are still in the discovery stages of setting the proper boundaries for me on computing. I do feel a little like a blogger junkie! Because I desire to spend so much of my "spare" time checking to see if anyone has left me a comment, and to check to see if my bloggie friends have posted something new I can read and be blessed by. My husband told me that I've become a feedback junkie. When he said that we both laughed, but it struck a cord with me.

I took it to the Lord in prayer and He showed me that I have become addicted to seeing feedback on my blog. It feels good, it's uplifting and encouraging. The problem is that I need to make sure I'm not writing for the feedback, but out of obedience to God. I need to learn to be content with the fact that I'm doing what God has called me to do and I've done it to the best of my ability.

I am glad that God has again lovingly shown me an area that needs improvement in my life. And I want to warn you fellow bloggers not to become a feedback junkie! I was able to release this and what a freeing feeling. I no longer feel compelled to "check on my blog" but within my boundaries I can blog and be encouraged by feedback, as long as I'm no relying on it to confirm that I am following God's lead.

This can be taken to other areas of our lives, as well. Why are you serving in your church, in your community? If you've become a feedback junkie in the area of service, give it to God and stay focused on being a servant and nothing more.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

This is a you tube video I viewed on another She Speaks blog. It is so powerful that I had to share it with you. Just click on This Link and it will take you to the video that will bless you!!

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


How many times in our lives are we faced with something disappointing? I think if I had a dollar for each disappointing moment in my life I'd be a rich lady! I realize that we all face disappointments in our lives. Sometimes they are huge and other times they are over small things, but they are always there.

How do I handle disappointment? Until recently, I did not handle this emotion very well. I would get upset, angry and even pout! This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but it's true. Having 6 children who have learned to imitate me in this area made me realize the need to change.

How do you change a 41 year old habit? You transform yourself through God's Word. I have been devouring God's word lately. In reading through it, I have come to realize that He is truly in control of EVERY DETAIL of my life. So, if I have expectations that something will work out a certain way and it gets changed, I need to be confident enough in God's purpose for my life to just accept it.

I want to give you a snippet into my life one recent Saturday to show you how I was better able to handle disappointment.

I woke up early to go to the annual used curriculum/book sale in our area. We all look forward to this event each year. As I left the house, I noted how messy things were in the den, toys were everywhere. Since I left my husband at home with the younger 3 I just assumed he would have them clean up their mess. I got home to find the house in the same condition that it was in earlier, and my kids were all in their P.J.'s at 11:30am!! My son had a baseball game at 1:00pm so this was problematic.

Ok ladies, here's where I had a choice to make. I could allow myself to get upset with my spouse, or I could trust God and let it roll off of my back. I am so grateful that He allowed me to let it go. We were able to get it cleaned up together and still see the last part of my son's baseball game. The important thing here is that I didn't hurt my relationship with my husband. In giving it some thought, I realized that I had not verbalized to him my expectation that the toys would be cleaned up before I came home, he had done nothing wrong. In the past I would have gotten upset and hurt our relationship, God is good.

I have had several opportunities for disappointment to throw me for a loop this week, but through the Holy Spirit's prompting I have been able to change my reaction and let it go. Here's the verse that has helped me in this:

Philippians 4:11-13 And I am not saying this because I feel neglected, for I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.

Now I am looking to God to help me change my children's reaction to disappointment. I believe that in time, by setting the right example they will also begin to change. As women we seem to struggle with our emotions, God's word is what we need to keep us emotionally healthy.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sabbath Update

Hello all,

How was your weekend? Did you rest on Sunday?

I have to tell you that this was very difficult for me. On Thursday I left to go to our annual homeschool convention. I stayed in a hotel from Thursday through Saturday. This is a very busy time for me and I am going non-stop during this conference. First I must shop, shop, shop at all of the booths selling curriculum until I've purchased everything we will need for the upcoming school year. Next, there's visiting with all of the precious Mom's that I've known over the years (it's like a family reunion). And of course there are the sessions, I find that they are always helpful, all in all this is a draining but necessary couple of days.

I woke up on Saturday not feeling the best, I was probably just exhausted. So, I came home in the afternoon and just went to bed. I wasn't planning on being so very tired but that's just the way I felt. I stayed in bed until dinner and I went right back to bed afterwards. This brought me to Sunday.

I've heard it said that a picture is worth 1,000 words so I wanted to show you a picture of my 6 year olds room. This is what it looked like on Sunday morning. Ok Ladies, this was a real moral dilemma at first, should we clean it because life is happier when it's clean, or should I let it go. After discussing it with my husband, we decided to let it go (until tomorrow). Now, I hope you're homes weren't this out of control, but I tell you, I'm enjoying the rest today. I even took another nap! Today we rest, but tomorrow we clean!

The scripture that helped me not have guilt about the mess was this one:

Exodus 34:21 Do your work in six days and rest on the seventh day, even during the seasons for plowing and harvesting.

I have come to realize that during the time to plow and harvest it must have been very tempting to go ahead and work on the Sabbath because they weren't finished with their work, but they weren't allowed to! The punishment for working on the Sabbath was DEATH! God takes this very seriously and so should we, whether in times of plowing or harvest, no excuses just rest. I have come to realize that we should plan on getting as much of our work done in six days as possible, but, if we aren't finished we still need to lay it down for 1 day and honor God with rest.

If you tried to rest on Sunday, leave a comment to tell us how it went!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Time with the kids

I have mentioned before that I love to bake, being in the kitchen is just fun for me. I remember when my kids started asking me if they could bake with Mom. This was unexpected and I wasn't sure if I would like to "share" my kitchen with other people! My precious mother had been cooking with them for some time and she encouraged me to let them help. I decided to try it out and I've loved it ever since!

My 2nd born had an idea for a new twist on pancakes and we made her raspberry chocolate chip pancakes, mmmm, mmm, good! Of course, sampling the chocolate chips was the best part for the kdis!

If you haven't tried cooking with your kids lately, give it a whirl. It's not very often you get contentment like this afterward.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Box of Joy

I have been posting on some heavy topics this week so I wanted to end on a lite note. I would like to share a story from my past with you.

There was one day, a few years back, when I was really struggling. I had been upset by circumstances and I was in a really bad mood. My oldest daughter who was 5 at the time, gave me a little gift wrapped box.

I wasn't sure what this was all about since it wasn't my birthday and I surely didn't deserve a gift that day. So, I opened it and found that it was EMPTY! I asked her what was supposed to be in it and she said, "I filled it with joy, Mommy!" To that I began to laugh and cry all at the same time. What a precious gift this was to me. I kept that box for several years and I would open it once in a while just to remember the wonderful day that my daughter gave me a box filled with joy.

I hope you all have a joyful weekend! Don't forget to rest on Sunday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

This Little Light of Mine

We have all heard the words to this song: This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.... The part I am going to focus on today is: Don't let Satan blow it out.

I had the strangest experience on Sunday. We had set out to go to church and after getting there I remembered that I had forgotten a meal that I was supposed to bring for a friend who had had surgery. I ended up leaving my family there and then driving home and back during the service (we live 30 min. away so it was an hour drive). I have to say that I enjoyed my hour drive, because I was able to spend a solid hour with the Lord, one-on-one time. With six children this doesn't happen too often.

The day progressed and we went to the pool for the afternoon as a family. Sounds perfect, doesn't it. What I didn't know was that the enemy was planning an attack on our family that very evening. After we got home from the pool I began making dinner, and my husband started replacing the front door lock (the other one was in need of repair). I noticed that tension was building between 2 of my children and I had to correct them several times, this caused my tension level to rise.

All of a sudden a terrible wind blew up. A storm was approaching. We have chickens so I immediately sent 3 of my children outside to throw them into their hutch for safety. The rest of the kids and I went onto our deck to close the umbrella's and bring in the wet towels. It was a violent wind that seemed to come from nowhere.

While I was securing the umbrella's my daughter accidentally knocked over a glass vase and it smashed into a million pieces! Meanwhile inside, another child knocked over my favorite glass tea lamp and it smashed into a million pieces. At the same time, my dog threw up all over the carpet!!! Now, I have had my buttons pushed before, but never quite with this magnitude. If you had been there you would have felt the tension and seen the problems! I blew it. I yelled at everyone and then just sobbed. I cried and cried some more. How could I have lost my cool over such unimportant things? I felt so ashamed. So angry at myself. I thought God had been changing me, where was the changed woman now?

I was ready to give up this blog last night. I was so ashamed at my behavior that I said I couldn't write anymore. How could I tell people I was changing when I had regressed to this point in one night? Thankfully God gave me a loving husband. He encouraged me and told me that I had changed. He said that I had been such a joy to be around lately, and God had done amazing things in my life. He also said that I blew it last night, but so what. He told me that God had forgiven me, the kids had forgiven me and I needed to just get over it. The real problem was forgiving myself. That's where the Word of God came in.

Romans 8:1(KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

This is a powerful verse. If God isn't condemning me, I shouldn't either. I'd asked God and my family to forgive me so now I had to let myself off the hook. This wasn't easy for me to do, but with God's help I was able to let go.

I went over to my very special friend's blog on Monday. Her post titled "Part of that World" talked about not letting Satan blow out our lights. That is exactly what he tried to do on Sunday night. He blew hard and it almost worked, but God is bigger and stronger and God gave us the victory!

Monday, June 2, 2008


Exodus 20:9-11 (KJV)
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

We have all heard this verse before, it's one of the ten commandments. This one was even set up during creation(see Gen. 2:3). Knowing this we should all be enjoying our Sabbath's each week as God has directed us to do. He is actually telling us to rest, so what is the problem? I have struggled with breaking this commandment my whole adult life. How is it so difficult for me to just rest on Sunday. Well, I believe that the root of my problem is lack of planning during the week. Don't get me wrong I have an extremely busy schedule but I don't value this enough to plan ahead for rest. Until now....

I am going to make a change in my life. One thing I have recently learned is that work was created before the fall of mankind. I had always considered work to be part of the punishment for sin. But this is a false belief. God put Adam in charge of the garden of Eden and he was to tend to it. Now, after sin the ground began to grow weeds and he would have to eat bread by the sweat of his brow. Armed with this new realization that we need to work (it's part of God's perfect will for our lives) I am going to take care of everything considered work on the six days leading up to Sunday.

We could spend hours debating what work is, so let's not go there. Instead I want to challenge you to pray and ask God to show you what work is in your life and then commit this week to getting it all done in six day. I will write a post on Sunday (or Monday) to let you know how it goes. God even instructed them that during the harvest they were to rest on the Sabbath, so no excuses! Just do it! I hope you will leave me a comment and tell me if you are up for this challenge, then come back on Monday and we will share how we did. :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Virtuous Woman

Who can find a woman of virtue? For her value is far above rubies.The heart of her husband trusts safely in her, so that he shall have no need of plunder.She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands.She is like the merchants' ships; she brings her food from afar.She also rises while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and a share to her young women.She considers a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.She binds her loins with strength, and makes her arms strong.She sees that her merchandise is good; her lamp does not go out by night.She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.She makes herself coverings; her clothing is silk and purple.Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.She makes fine linen and sells it, and delivers girdles to the merchants.Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.Her sons rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:1-28 MKJV

How do these verses make you feel? I remember being a young Mother and feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate when I read these verses. I was adjusting to life as a stay at home mother of young children. How could I consider running a business or making my own clothes or even planning our meals for the day, let alone a week? It seemed impossible, and yet it haunted me because it was in the Bible. I found that I had to "table" this passage for many years, and yet, it was always in the back of my mind just out of reach.

In going through our Crown Financial Ministries study, we were looking at this passage today. My first reaction was anger, remembering how it used to make me feel so inadequate. But then the Lord showed me something, He had been transforming me day after day to become a woman of virtue. As I read through the passage again with an open heart, I saw that indeed I was in there, God had truly worked in an amazing way in my life! How did this happen?

The key was Titus 2:3-5 Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed.

Over the years God has placed Titus 2 women in my life and I have been learning by their example. The most important mentor has been my mother. She has modeled everything that Titus 2 describes, and more! I have had several mentors in my life and they have all encouraged Biblical growth in me.

God knew that we wouldn't just "know" how to be a virtuous woman, and that's why He lovingly gave us the older women to be our mentor's. (A mentor is someone who models the thing you are trying to learn.)

I want to encourage you today to pray and if Prov. 31 seems out of reach, then ask God to give you a mentor. Or, if you are seeing the fruit of this passage in your life, pray and ask God to give you a younger woman to mentor. We must remain proactive and either be learning or teaching in order to keep God's principles going for the next generation.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Warm Welcome

If you are visiting my site as a She Speaks Attendee then I want to welcome you today. I am looking forward to meeting you in June and sharing stories of how God is moving in our lives. This should be a good opportunity to encourage each other.

Although we haven't met, you're in my prayers (the other 499 attendees!).

For now, grab a cup of coffee and stay a while. If you like a certain post, I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recipe for Speech

One of my favorite things to do is to bake. I enjoy it so much that I have even purchased a grinding machine to grind my own grains for the freshest ingredients. My children also enjoy being in the kitchen with me, cooking with Mom. It's a special time together and also a great learning experience.

One thing that I have learned is that a recipe is only as good as it's total ingredients. Every Easter we make Resurrection cookies (forgotten cookies). One thing we do is taste each ingredient as we are putting it into the recipe. Let me tell you that some things, like vinegar and baking soda, are not very good by themselves. The kids usually question how they will benefit the recipe. I tell them that all of the ingredients are important even if some are bitter by themselves. It's always exciting at the end when we wake up and open the oven to find scrumptious white fluffy cookies that taste delicious.

During my devotions this week, I looked up this verse: Col. 4:6(MKJV) Let your speech be always with grace, having been seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Here is another translation: Col. 4:6(MSG) Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.

I believe that this is an important recipe from God's Word for our speech. Our speech needs to be with grace (always bringing out the best in others), and seasoned with salt (interesting not condescending). Just as my cookie recipe doesn't taste good with only one ingredient, our speech also needs to contain several elements in order to produce the delicious results that God desires. I believe this next verse really sums up what He intends for our speech with one another.

Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.

I do believe that the day of the Lord is approaching, so let's remember God's recipe for our speech and encourage each other daily.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Game Face

It was Saturday morning, we were very tired because Friday night was a late night filled with fun activities. The kids played at grandma's and Tim and I went to the movies to see the new Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian. Things weren't going well between us. I think the more people you have living in your home, we have 8, the more likely you are to have disagreements and annoyances between them. Factor in sleepiness and it's a recipe for disaster. At one point, we were all bickering amongst ourselves when the phone rang. My husband reached over picked up the receiver and in his most pleasant tone said, "hello". Well, to that I burst out laughing. You see, I've done that on more than one occasion myself. At my house we call it "putting on your game face".

It served a good purpose to break the bad mood in our house and we talked about how we can treat our own family with such disrespect sometimes and yet always treat the strangers in our lives with grace. Why is it like this? Does it have to be like this?

The answer to the first question is: James 4:1(CEV) Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn't it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body?

The answer to the second question is "no". Romans 12:10-18(CEV) Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. Take care of God's needy people and welcome strangers into your home. Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. Be friendly with everyone. Don't be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.Don't mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others,
and do your best to live at peace with everyone.

Based on these verses, we have some work to do in our house. We also should be praying for honor and peace in our home on a daily basis. I've always thought that you are only as good as you treat your loved ones. How are you treating yours? let's all work today to make peace with everyone, remembering to ask God for His help!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


My husband and I are still going through the 10 week Crown Financial Course to learn what the Bible says about money. We just finished with week 6. We were studying about giving this week. We have always been givers. From the beginning of our marriage, 15 years ago, we have always given our tithes and offerings.

There have been times in the early days when we were struggling financially and didn't have the money to give. During those times we gave anyway and trusted God. I am here to tell you that He was always there to provide for our needs. Glory to God!

Something has happened over the years. Giving our tithes has just become routine, habit. I write the check along with all of the other bills and then I don't even think about it again.

I was moved by one of the scriptures that I looked up:

2Corinthians 9:7-8 You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.

The thing that struck me with this verse is the part about not giving out of duty. I had to do a heart check. I love to give, but do I just write the tithe check out of duty. With God it is always about the heart. I had to confess that I had been giving out of duty/habit and that I wanted to start to think about my tithe each time and have a grateful/joyful attitude about it.

I talked it over with my husband. He has always prayed over our tithe checks before giving them on Sunday, so this wasn't his issue at all. I am glad it came up, though. We decided to make it a family affair. Now, before giving our tithe check to church, we get together as a family and we all pray and thank God for providing for all of our needs! It is so freeing when God reveals an area in our lives that needs to be changed. We are always being refined and I am so grateful for the process!

I hope that before you give your next tithe check, you take the time to thank God for your income and the ability to tithe. If tithing isn't something you are already doing I encourage you to look up some key scriptures and be open to what God might be saying to you. Remember, it's all about the heart.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Confessions of a Mother

Early to bed, early to rise. What a novel idea, but not a reality in my house. With 6 children to homeschool I find myself burning the midnight oil. If I want to spend time with the Lord alone, I must get up by 6am. Spending that time with Him is critical if I want to be full of the spirit for all He has planned for me that day. So, by 2pm the caffeine from my morning coffee has warn off and I'm tired. A lot of days I'll just get through without feeling tired, but today I was exhausted.

School was finished and the sun was out, I decided the kids could all go outside to play while I took a brief nap. I announced to them that Mommy was going to be in bed, please do not disturb me. They seemed to have acknowledged that. Ahhh, there I was melting into my down pillow, snuggled into my warm blanket, ready to snooze away. Suddenly the phone rang. Ok, it was an important call and once taken care of it was back to resting. The phone rang 2 more times!! Why don't I learn to take the phone off of the hook? Now I was sure I could finally rest. Then it happened, my son came into my room. I felt myself getting angry. So many distractions and I was so tired. I wish that I had handled it better, but I didn't. Without even opening my eyes I just said,(in a not so nice tone) "What do you want, can't you see that I'm trying to sleep?" To that my sweet 7 year old son said, "I just wanted to bring you this daisy I found outside. I think it's the last one in the whole yard and I knew you'd like it." OUCH! How could I have lost it with someone who just wanted to bring me joy?

Thankfully, children are very forgiving (they must have learned this from their Heavenly father). I thanked him for the beautiful gift and he went back outside. At this point I got up to write my blog.

I have to remember that when I allow anything to come before people then it's considered an idol and it's a sin. In the future, I'll try to remember that distractions will come, and there's no reason to allow myself to become angry. Some might even be precious memories just waiting to happen.

Dear God, please forgive me for allowing my own fleshly desires to take precedence over being kind and loving to my own children. Please teach me to be ready to show love at all times. Amen.

Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

All of His Majesty

I was driving home from the grocery store this evening, just enjoying some time with God. Suddenly the clouds parted to reveal a magnificent sight! I pulled over to take these pictures. I didn't even realize that there was an American Flag in the middle of the shot! It really made me think of God pouring out His presence on our country! Enjoy!

1 Chronicles 29:11(GNB) You are great and powerful, glorious, splendid, and majestic. Everything in heaven and earth is yours, and you are king, supreme ruler over all.

Psalm 68:34 Proclaim God's power; his majesty is over Israel, his might is in the skies.

Psalm 145:5 They will speak of your glory and majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I just got an e-mail from a friend that was titled, "how long will you live?" All I had to do was click on this link and I would be taken to an insurance agency's website. Once there I would take a test to determine my life span. They claim to have done this for so long that they have found certain lifestyle decisions that contribute to either living long, or not. This is actually a fun little test. According to this company, I'll live to be 95 years old. While I won't put a tremendous amount of weight into this I do think they have some good ideas on living healthy to live longer in these mortal bodies.

I have to tell you that this made me stop and think about our spiritual lives. If we can see how bad habits cause our life spans to be shorter than there would be similar consequences for having bad spiritual habits, too. So, I've made up my own spiritual life span test for you to take below:

1) Are you reading your Bible daily (Most Days can be a yes)?
2) Are you spending quality time praying to God daily?
3) Are you worshipping the Lord daily?
4) Are you meditating on the Word of God all the time?
5) Are you sharing His love with those around you?
6) Are you part of a church or fellowship and do you attend regularly?
7) Are there Christians in your life who can mentor/support you in difficult times?
8) Do you trust God with your life, no matter what you are going through?
9) Are you harboring unforgiveness in your heart toward anyone in your life?

Hopefully you answered "yes" to 1-8 and "no" to number 9. If so, than you are living a healthy spiritual life and you are passionate about God and His kingdom, good job! If you cannot answer "yes" to some of these (1-8) and you answered "yes" to #9 then you need to make some changes in your spiritual life. You are not passionate about God and you are probably experiencing a longing that you cannot fill. He is the only thing that will satisfy you in your life! So, either be encouraged, or make some immediate changes in your spiritual lives today! I want to see all of you alive in the spirit and living well.

3John 1:2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pecking Order

Have you ever noticed that the way you feel strongly influences your attitude? That's partly because we're women, and women tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves. So what happens in your family when you're in a bad mood?

Well, I happen to know that in my house if Mom is in a bad mood, everyone gets irritable. With 6 children and a husband, that's a lot of bad attitudes. The other thing I have discovered is that if I purpose in my heart to change my mood, the mood of the house seems to change. It's called the pecking order.

Here's how it works: Mom fusses at Brittany, who then fusses at Stephanie, who then fusses at Valerie who then fusses at.... I think you see the picture. Even if you only have 1 child it is important that we understand the power we have over the tone of our houses.

Let's see whtat the Bible has to say:

Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son ruins his father, and a quarreling woman is like constantly dripping water.

Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a wife with a strong character? She is worth far more than jewels.

Ok, which wife would you rather be? The quarreling woman or the one with strong character? I like the latter one! But this is easier said than done. We must really press into the Lord and purpose in our hearts to have good attitudes every day.

My oldest sister once told me that happiness is a decision, not a feeling. That has made a dramatic impact on my life. She's right. That's why Paul can say to count it all joy when trials come. I used to struggle with this verse but if he knew that having a possitive attitude was a decision, and leaning on God would give us peace in all things, than he would be able to make that statement with confidence.

So, what kind of mood are you in today? If it's not a good one, make the decision to change and then spend some time worshiping the Father who is the author of good moods!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Our Garden

Today was the big gardening day at our house. Each one of my children wanted to have their very own row in our vegetable garden. After breakfast, we put on our work clothes and picked up our tools and gloves and we were outside hoeing, and digging, and planting for several hours! It was hot and we were dirty before it was all complete. As we were cleaning up our tools, my 6 year old said, "Planting a garden is a lot of work, Mom." To that I responded, "If you think planting is hard work, wait until the weeds come, then the bugs!"

I think it's interesting how God uses gardening as an analogy for salvation and our lives in Christ (sowing seeds, watering them, etc.). So I find it curious that while we fully expect weeds and bugs to plague our vegetable gardens, we are surprised when trials and tribulations show up in our personal lives!

Knowing that weeds and bugs are going to come we have an action plan to deal with them. First off, we plan to spend lots of time watering and weeding the garden. Secondly, when the bugs arrive, we will be visiting our extension agency to find out which organic bug killers will work the best on the specific bugs we will get.

So how can we be prepared in our personal lives for the trials and tribulations that will pop up from time to time? We can put on our armour.

Ephesians 6:13-18 GNB says:

So put on God's armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people.

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