My God

“Now, Death where is your sting?  The Resurrected King has rendered you defeated…”

I can’t begin to tell you what the words of worship do to the spirit that lives within me.  I stand in my kitchen with hands lifted high as if my spirit is about to soar or like a child that begs to be picked up. My spirit is so eager to be with my God, eager to leave this world behind so I can stand in His presence to tell Him, face to face, how great, how powerful and how good He is.

I worship a living God. He is alive.

The grave is empty.  There are no bones to visit.  He died on the cross but on the third day He was resurrected, brought back to life.  He has conquered death.

Death is not the end.

Just when I think this world cannot get any more darker it surprises me and it quickens my spirit to ask the Lord, when?  When will you come back?  How much longer?  Who hasn’t heard of you?

You?

My Savior lives.  He is the God of hope. You are never alone.  You don’t have to change.  Let His love change you.

God, I love you.  You are awesome. You are a good Father. You are the Father to the fatherless.  You know our deepest sin and yet You STILL love us.  I wish I could hug you  right now.

 

 

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Mother’s Day … Off

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day

I think this holiday needs to be revamped to Mother’s Day Off.

This is the day when a mother gets to act like her kids and significant other. I envision throwing my clothes on the floor and leaving them for my boys to pick up, including my underwear. I would string up my bra somewhere embarrassing so that one of them would have to fish it down and stuff it in the hamper which, by the way, would be two steps away.

I would wait for them to do laundry then wipe my nose on my shirt sleeve and throw it in the hamper — scratch that – on the floor and grab another shirt only to wear it for the last hour of the day and throw THAT on the floor at bedtime.

I would demand breakfast and whine if my coffee was too cold. I would leave half empty cans of coke sitting in a puddle and bread bags opened on counters. I would wait for them to clean that mess up then go and get a glass of water making sure to leave a trail of droplets all the way to the living room.  There I would sit and watch tv and eat yet another snack being EXTRA careful to leave crumbs.  Then I would walk away.

Could you imagine if I asked my boys where everything was? Or if I could do something crazy like spend our grocery money on getting my hair done, movie tickets and books then roll my eyes and stomp away because they thought that was frivolous?

I would be absolutely giddy if they had to constantly tell me to clean my room. THEY would storm in and begrudgingly make my bed and clean up my clutter because it would embarrass their company if they happened to see it! Hoooo *wipes tears from eyes* THAT would be royal.

How about leave them home to go shopping with friends and ignore their calls and don’t check in? Oh, this could be fun. (Sigh)

I think we’d REALLY be appreciated then.

Having said that, I am pretty blessed by my two boys. Tucker can make coffee and make a good bean and cheese taco seasoned to perfection. Carsen can make eggs and pancakes… They’re good boys, messy, but good.

Enjoy your day off. Kiss your kids and count your blessings.

Elements of a Good Party – Part 1 (In no particular order)

“When throwing a party for introverts invite an extravert for entertainment…”

Set the stage. Your house should invite your guests in. Mood lighting is important people. Blinding light really isn’t setting your friends at ease it’s putting them on the spot. Light some candles and dim some lights and your guest will relax. (Candles make any room cozy just remember to blow them out when the party is over!!) Another way to create a mood with candles is scented candles. Acc-scent your evening. Choose companionable scents. I like woodsy smells in the winter and light floral (not too sweet) in the Spring and such.

Now that you’ve taken care of the lights turn on some music even if you’re only having friends over for dinner. Suddenly there is a lull in the conversation and DEAFENING SILENCE has created a awkward moment. Someone coughs to fill the silence, another is suddenly thirsty and you’re desperately flipping through your mental rolodex for the latest news bit or joke you’ve just heard.

Sitting down to an Italian meal? Pandora has great stations for that. Some of my favorite Pandora stations are: French Bistro Station, Celtic, Rat Pack… right now we’re enjoying Swinging Christmas. Anyway, music can play a vital roll in entertaining just don’t play it loud. It’s meant to be in the background not center stage.

Got questions? What do you do to make your guests comfortable? Think about it, ask it while I whip up Part 2 – in no particular order, of course.

“Captured by Love,” by Jody Hedlund – Amazing Christian Fiction

I have been on a reading binge lately, putting down #5 book as I wait for “Where’d You go Bernadette,” for my July book club read to come in. I recently finished reading Christian author, Jody Hedlund’s, “Captured by Love,” which is to be release July 1st, 2014. I was fortunate to receive a copy from Bethany House Publishing to review it and couldn’t be more pleased!

 

"Captured by Love"

“Captured by Love”

First, I must say Jody is an inspiration. She writes Christian fiction of the historical romance variety, which is my favorite genre. I don’t know why I cringe to say “romance” BUT … but what can I say? I need a little romance to hook me sometimes. Besides writing my favorite genre, Jody Hedlund homeschools her five children. Yes, I said FIVE.

As a mom, as a writer AND a homeschooler can I say… WOW.

Yes! It can be done and done quite well. Though Jody makes it looks so easy. Jody has a gift of developing characters that are easily engaging both likable and not so likable. I’m amused at her ability to create scenes that envelop me with rich details that don’t drag on (you know the kind where you get so wrapped up in the details you forget what the story is about).

“Captured by Love,” is set in Michigan 1814. Pierre Durant is an American fur trader who loves the freedom and adventure his profession offers. Guilt from abandoning his mother and brother drives him back home five years later only to find the family farm in shambles and his mother destitute and alone save for the childhood friend, Angelique LaBelle, who helps with her care. Pierre is torn by his desire to return to the wild or stay and take care of his mother and his growing affection for Angelique.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because I am fairly familiar with the fur trading life and the call on a man’s soul to return. My father is a fur trader. He is never more at home than on his trap line or paddling down a river in his canoe.

*Side note – My father has often shared that when I was three years old he took me and my sister on his trap line. The stories I could tell!

ANYWAY – Jody Hedlund never fails to build suspense or seize you with the urge to shake the characters by their shoulders in hopes to knock some sense in them. I love it! Of course, the romantic tension in “Captured by Love,” is sweetly there begging to be fulfilled. Come on Pierre! Stay. KISS her will ya! I especially love that some things are wonderfully left to your imagination and when you need a nudge Jody indulges.

As a Christian reader I respect her for the discretion. As a Christian writer I am inspired that I can write about romance and the tension that goes with it without having to cross moral lines. I encourage you to try out this talented author.

I first stumbled upon her from a tweet offering “The Preacher’s Bride,” as a free download. I have been hooked on Jody’s books ever since.

Dreams

Job 33:11-17 – “He puts my feet in the stocks and watches all my paths.’ “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man. Why do you contend against him, saying, ‘He will answer none of man’s words’? For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds,”

I don’t put a lot of stock in my dreams, only the ones that seem odd or stand out or there is symbolism.   When I do have those kinds of dreams I always pray and ask God for understanding.

I’ve been having apocalyptic dreams lately, which strangely I don’t find alarming.  Maybe it’s because of the shows I watch or the state of our Union *sigh* or maybe it’s because I don’t belong to this World and I just want to go home.

My apocalyptic dreams are usually dark and I don’t mean in an evil sort of way.  No, I mean in a Batman movie kind of way where everything is washed in midnight blue.  There is no moon or sun or stars to light the sky.

I’m not sure of the source of my dream.  I watched the Oscars last night, which is a whole other observation.

In my dream I was on the run.  Why I didn’t have a car I have no idea.  I need to fix that.  It’s very cumbersome.  Anyway, I’m stumbling across the landscape and a very dreary one at that and I come upon a car accident.

The car is smashed into a fence or something and there is a huge pole skewering the car.  I notice a woman’s body behind the wheel and the pole is resting on her thigh.  I’m not sure I want to approach the car to see if the woman is alive or dead but somehow I know that she is alive.

I happen to be a few yards away from my house.  It feels like my grandmother’s pink house in Ft. Collins and I know my sister is there somewhere.  I bring this woman there get her washed up and find clothes for her.  I mention if there is someone she would like to call she can use our phone (and it works), so she does.

I overhear that she doesn’t want to stay, that she feels weird being here at the house… I just saved her life and she thinks I’m weird.  I’m offended and my caring goes out the window.  I no longer want to be hospitable.  I no longer want to go out of my way to make her feel comfortable.

That’s my take away from my dream.

I feel like this should mean something to me.  Hospitality is my gift, I took a test so it must be true.  I can’t decide if I’m miffed that my hospitality was rejected or that my hospitality was conditional.

1Peter 4:9  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling

What about casting your pearls before swine?  I suppose I must check to see if they are real pearls to begin with…

Catching My Breath

I needed her gone. She needed to leave and I needed to wash my hands of her.  I was waiting to exhale and didn’t know I had been waiting for two and a half years to do it.  She sucked the marrow of my life right out of my bones and I was a shell of a person who could no longer care to help.

She was the horse I led to the water and try as I might I could not get her to drink. Instead I ended up looking longingly into the crystal pool of life-giving water wanting to fling myself into it and drown choking on well-intentioned good deeds.

To say that I was frustrated and beyond exhaustion would be an understatement.  I was a party balloon who had served its purpose depleted of air discarded on the floor among the trampled streamers and faded confetti.

I. Was. Done.

Even though I watched her drive away with a semblance of her life packed up haphazardly, in hurriedly taped up boxes, I worried for her.  I prayed for her safety.  I’m not entirely a monster, and let me tell you, many times I had felt as though I was one.

I gave her a hug, an honest, earnest, hug and told her to be safe and keep in touch and please, please, let us know how you’re doing.  I meant it.  And even though I did that I still could not look her in the eye for fear that the truth of my jaded, fed up soul would some how leak out and I couldn’t have that.

I cautiously exhale with much trepidation.  I tell myself it’s ok to breath agains so I take another cautious breath and let that settle somewhere deep in my chest.

Oh, peace come near to me once again.  Replenish my soul O, Lord.  Give me your shelter.  Cover me with Your wings and give me rest if but for a moment until I can catch my breath.

The After Party

SO, I have survived the hosting marathon of last week or … has it been two?

Deliriously tired of decorating.

Deliriously tired of decorating.

Photo on 3-15-13 at 7.33 PM #2

Thrilled with the results but this cuppy will NOT get a cacti flower.

 

I had spent all day, and I do mean, ALL day Friday, baking and decorating the cake and cupcakes.

I had plans for more elaborate cupcakes but THAT wasn’t happening or else Mommy was gonna git cra-Z.

I had already kicked the kids out of the kitchen for daring to talk to me.

 

When I finally said, “I AM finished.”  I was seriously delirious, giddy that the cupcakes came out better than I had hoped.

They actually looked like cactus, sans the flower.  The world and Pintrest would just have to deal.

 

 

 

 

My husband and I love to host parties.  We love having people come over to enjoy good food and a fun and sometimes relaxing time.  Every week we host at least ten families for a bible study. It is our gift.  Todd and I dream up ways to make our backyard, our home – heck every inch of our space an atmosphere of Welcome to any and all who would grace us with their presence. Continue reading

Tell Me

Don’t let this moment in time

Define who you are now.

Hold your head up high

Look em in the eye

Don’t let the world tell you who you are.

You tell the them who you are

by your actions today.

You want to be a thug? A loser? A liar?

Then go ahead and act like one.

You want to be called smart? Responsible? Hard working?

Then be that one.

The choice has always been

and forever will be

Yours.

Who are you going to be?

YOU tell me or should I listen to them?

My Son

Honestly, I never saw this day coming

never contemplated how I would feel

When I look across the room and I see my oldest son changing.

 

He turned eight years old last week

and it was like a light switch.

I’m staring at a young man

who has lived in my presence

under the same roof

breathing in the same air as I

these past eight years,

and I catch a glimpse of the man

he will grow up to be.

Continue reading

September 11

Eleven years later it still has the ability to curl its gnarly fingers around my throat with a sadness that makes my body ache.

I make myself remember.  I make myself look at the images but not for long.  When I see the smoking towers I tear up because in those pictures people were still alive trying to escape.

Even this morning I find myself asking God, why? I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the people and the choices they made to jump to their death rather than wait to be consumed by the fire. Which death shall I choose today? To put a human in such a position is sickening, cruel.

I know that You were there with them, Lord. You did not leave them alone in their hour of need. You never leave us to walk through the fire alone. Isaiah 43.

That was one day in OUR history and it seemed like the world came to an end but there are those who live with this fear every day in the Middle East.

We are blessed. Pray for those who pray they get to come home, alive, from a trip to the market or school or even work.

My kids will know about 9/11 because I will not forget.