Sunday, December 12, 2010

Like Wisemen of Old...Come Follow the Star

As the Christmas season is approaching, I have been listening to my Christmas music. One of the songs that I listened to today was "Follow the Star" by Point of Grace and Clay Cross.

As you listen to the music, ponder the words (listed below the video)...





Point of Grace/Clay Crosse–Follow The Star



O, winter night of wonder - night of promise long foretold
When angel voices filled the heavens high above
Announced the joy of the ages and His glory to behold
For into this world is born the wondrous Child of Love
O, star of hope that leads us to His manger
Shine your light upon the newborn King
For all who seek to find new life
Make a gift of your heart
And follow the star
To hear the song that heaven sings
Like the wise men of old
Come follow the star
They laid their gifts before Him on that night so long ago
Stood in His presence every pilgrim great and small
To worship at His manger is to kneel before His throne
Laying our burdens down the greatest gift of all
O, star divine that brings us to our Savior
Give the light of love to show us our way
In place of gold lay down your life
In place of frankincense and myrrh
Abandon all

I pray that through this Christmas season that the story of Jesus' birth will become real to you and that you would recognize what it meant for God to step down out of heaven to save you and me!
God gave us such a wonderful gift of his Son. And it was just that...a gift. There was nothing we did to deserve such a gift. And the best thing is that we get to celebrate His birth at this time of year.

May you all have a Blessed Christmas Season!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Change is inevitable

My life is in no where what I thought it would be.  As a young girl, I remember playing "school" with my stuffed animals and dolls because I wanted to become a teacher.  As I grew older, I wanted to be an accountant (that was until I attempted accounting in college...decided that I couldn't deal with all those numbers!!).  A slight change in my classes and I got my degree in computers.  I enjoy working on computers! :)

One thing that I had always wanted to be as a young child was a mother.  I had all my dolls...most of which were girls...and played with them all the time.  I even remember one year my parents buying me a doll that was the size of a 6 month old baby (even wore 6 month old baby clothes).  I took that doll everywhere...we even went garage saleing for clothes for this doll!  I put it into the bath (not a good idea to do with a cloth doll) and dried it off with the hair dryer (again...not such a good idea with a cloth doll), which resulted in a hole in the belly of my baby...just a slight burn!  What a great mom!  LOL  Nothing that a onsie put onto my baby (permanently) wouldn't fix...didn't want to lose all that stuffing!  I played with that doll a lot!!  (well, until her head popped off...then I had to throw her away)

So here I am today...I'm not a teacher or an accountant.  And that degree in computers?  I've never had a job that I could use that degree in...and since computers have changed so much since I graduated from college, my degree isn't worth much!!  I am a mother...but of boys! :)  And I don't work...well, outside of my house for money.

Not quite what I had thought my life would be, but that's ok, God knows what he's doing.  I couldn't imagine what my life would even look like if it were my decision on what it would be.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

I'm forever changed...in more ways than one.  I'm ok with that!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

16 years

After 16 years, I love him more now than I did the day I said "I DO"

Happy Anniversary K!!  I love you!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vacation

We don't go on vacation every year, we haven't went since 2006...other than camping here or there...that being said, our vacation is coming up...the boys are so excited!

As a child I went on vacation a lot.  I don't remember much from our vacations (mom always says that the car accident I was in has affected my memory...it's either that, or I have a horrible memory!!)

My vacations as a child...I remember going to Disney World, I was about 7ish years old.  However, I don't remember anything but the electric parade, but I'm not sure if I remember that because I've seen photos or if I actually remember that.  I do remember staying at my Uncle's house and his son's pet taranchula got out...is that where my arachnophobia stems from?

We went to the Wisconsin Dells...I have no idea how old I was.  What I can remember from that is the boats that could drive on land as well as in the water (Duck Boats, I think they are called).  This was a pit stop of a trip on our way to South Dakota (we were driving my Uncle's boat out to him).  What I remember most about that trip...sitting on the side of interstate for 5ish hours with the boat...just my mom, my sister, my grandmother and myself...while the guys (my dad, my grandpa, and my cousin) went to get a part for the boat.  This is something you can't do in this day and age!  As far as South Dakota, I remember some little shops at the Black Hills and seeing a Prairie Dog for the first time...unfortunately, not much else!

I know we went to Niagara Falls when I was younger, but I don't remember much of that, I do remember going with my youth group on a ski trip to New York and going over to the Canada side of Niagara Falls before heading home.  Let's just say, some of those guys in my youth group should have stuck to the US age limit!!

I'm so glad there are photos that I can look at to help me remember things that we've done and/or seen that I can't remember.

Anyway...as I was saying, we are going on vacation as a family.  We are bringing my mom along.  This vacation is so much different than any vacation I've ever been on...Why?  Well, my mom and I are making all the plans.  Neither of us have ever done that!  There's always been someone telling us what we were doing or where we were going, so this is going to be interesting.  Kevin said he was going on vacation, but not planning it...so mom and I are doing all that.  We are going to Michigan to do some things and then heading over to Cleveland to do some stuff before coming home.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day Reflections

Father's day has come and gone.  We kept busy with church, a church-wide luncheon, and a church meeting, that I didn't really have a lot of time to just sit and think.  It's probably a good thing.

Every time I think I've made it through the grief, I realize once more that my dad is gone and miss him all over again.  So, I made it through Father's day...but the past couple of days, I've been down...I've been having lots of thoughts about my dad.  It saddens me that my twins were the age I was when my grandmother died, but I don't remember her much at all.  I just want my boys to remember him.

He was such a great man of God.  I miss him so much!



"Save a Place for Me"  Matthew West

Don't be mad
If I cry
It just hurts so bad, sometimes
'Cause everyday it's sinking in
And I have to say goodbye all over again

You know I bet it feels good to have the weight of this world off your shoulders now
I'm dreaming of the day when I'm finally there with you

(Chorus)
Save a place for me
Save a place for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon
Save a place for me
Save some grace for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon

I have asked the questions why
But I guess the answers for another time
So instead I pray, with every tear
And be thankful for the time I had you here

(Chorus)

I wanna live my life Just like you did
Make the most of my time Just like you did
And I want to make my home up in the sky Just like you did
Oh, but until I get there...
Until I get there...

(Chorus)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My son...growing up!

I've been pondering this post for quite some time...I didn't want to rush into this post only to realize it wasn't what I thought.
For some time now, I've been noticing a change in "M" (my oldest).  They've been little things, things I thought were just the signs of maturity...as in he's getting older, (remember I said LITTLE)...but now, I'm not so sure it's JUST that, I think it's more of God working in him.  It's great to see!
"M" has been really diving into what God wants for him.  In his youth group, they went through the gifts and had each of them really take a look at what they think their giftings are and then have their parents look it over and give their insights as well.  I took a look at the papers that M had.  He circled a "Maybe" for Encouragement.  Yes, I can see that.  He does seem to come up right along side his brothers when they are struggling and help them along.   So yeah, he might have some of that in him...
He had originally circled a "Maybe" for Helping, but then changed it to a "No".  I think he was right the first time...he does have some of this gift in him as well.  I've seen him helping behind the scenes a lot here lately...I'd love to give an example, but I don't think I will...a few already know what he's been helping with and I don't want him to get a "big head" about that.  But he asks to help, it's not them asking him to help.
Leadership was another "Maybe" he had circled.  I think that as the oldest child in any given family, they tend to have a leadership quality.  So, yes, he does have a little of this quality as well.  I've even had some of his 6th grade teachers tell me that he has this as well.
The thing he circled a "Yes" for has been the one thing that has struck me the most.  I don't know if he has this gift, but I'm not going to say he doesn't.  That's really not for me to say, that's between M and God.  God will be the one who has to confirm this gifting.  "M" circled a "Yes" on Pastoring.  He has told me that he thinks he wants to be a Youth Pastor.  This floored me.  I had no idea...I told him that this is something I cannot confirm or deny for him, that it was something he was going to have to pray about and get confirmation from God.
A Youth Pastor.
WOW
God has really been moving in his life!  It's exciting to see.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stay at home mom is a calling

After Kevin and I got married, we discussed children.  With knowing that I may never be able to have children due to an accident I had when I was 16, but we knew we would have at least 1 child, even if it was through adoption.  Before I got pregnant with "M", we talked about how we would want me to stay at home and raise our children.  That didn't happen right away.  After "M" was born, I went back to work and worked until we moved out of state (M was 14 months when we moved).
When my children were a bit younger than what they are now, I struggled with what my calling was.  Why am I here?  What is my purpose?
After some thinking and talking over with a few friends of mine, I have come to the conclusion...my purpose is to be a Stay at home mom.  That's what God has called me to do for a season (yes, that season is quickly coming to an end since my youngest ones are now 5).
Over the past few months, I have realized how involved in my children's lives and education that I have become.  I have also realized that I wouldn't be able to do half the things I have done with my boys if I were a working mom.
Please Note... Not everyone has the same calling.
When "M" forgets something at home, he has the opportunity to call me as soon as he gets to school and ask me to bring it to him.  That's something that may annoy me at first, but then I realize, not everyone is able to do that.  When "N" has a party at school, I'm able to go and help out (and thankfully, his teacher has allowed me to bring "D" and "A" with me as well).
Don't get me wrong, there are days that I think life would be so much easier if I worked outside the home, but that's not what God has called me to.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I was only 16...Part 3

You can read Part 1 Here
You can read Part 2 Here
I was only 16 when they told me I may never be able to have children.  How does a 16 year old comprehend that?  It was something that went in one ear and out the other...not to be thought about again until I met K (a year later).
When Kevin and I started getting serious, I flat out told him that I may never be able to have any children.  His response "Then we'll just adopt"...he didn't even hesitate...it was an automatic response!
Fast forward a few years...Kevin and I had been married for 2 years and at Praise and Worship practice (yep, even back then I sang and Kevin ran sound).  There was a Hispanic minister that had preached at our church that morning with an interpreter.  However, he was at practice (which we did on Sunday nights) without the interpreter.  He spoke very little English...just enough that you could get the jest of what was being said.
He began praying over each member of the Worship team.  I had NEVER shared with anyone on the team (nor the pastor) about what the doctors had said to me in regards to having children.  He got to me and asked me if I wanted to have children (basically only said the word child...or was it baby...anyway, enough that I knew what he was talking about).  I shook my head.  He began praying for me.  During that prayer the only words I could understand was baby...not your fault...and boy.  He would pray, giggle a little and say boy...this happened a couple different times...if you know my family as it is now, you can probably imagine what he was seeing as he was praying.  At the time, I had no children, so I didn't understand the whole prayer.
Within a few months (only a couple of actually trying), I became pregnant with my 1st child.  I believe with all my heart that God healed me that day.  I may have been 16 when they told me I may never have any children, but I was 22 when I went to my family and told them that I was going to have a baby!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I was only 16...Part 2

You can read Part 1 Here
As the ENT assessed me, he asked me if I felt any pain.  My answer...Nope.  They had to pry the door open and climb into the back seat of my car to get me onto a stretcher.  That question about pain...my answer changed as soon as they started moving me!!  Oh yeah, I probably should mention that as they were getting me out of the car...this is when I realized that my leg was broken.  My right knee had hit the dashboard and the side of my leg had hit the gear shift, breaking my femur on my right leg. I also noticed that the steering wheel had been snapped in half too and my head had hit the windshield.
They loaded me onto the ambulance and they also loaded the guy that hit me onto the same ambulance...again...small town, only 1 ambulance.  Off we go to the hospital.  While in the ambulance, I started getting those cold chills...(shock) I was loaded up with blankets.  But the more I shivered, the more my leg hurt.
Once we got to the hospital, the drama started!  Most of which I found out AFTER the fact.  The man that hit me told the staff that I was his daughter and he wanted to know how I was.  What threw a wrench into that was my parents showed up asking about me.  As all that got figured out, the doctor started in with the x-rays and the nurses came in trying to keep me calm.
From my bed, I could see the light window thing that they show the x-ray films on (I have no clue what that's called) and could see that my femur was broken.  My parents were told that I would have to have surgery first thing in the morning and their choice was to put a rod into my leg or to put me into a full body cast (which I would have to relearn how to walk).  They chose the rod.
The next thing I can remember is being upstairs in a room with many doctors and nurses standing around my bed and this traction machine over my head.  Yep...time to put me into traction.  I know I had mentioned earlier that my head hit the windshield...yep, that threw a kink into the traction...They started pumping the morphine into my IV as they started putting the traction in.  Do you know that pain medicine takes a little while to work?  Yep...I felt them put the traction in!  Apparently, my parents were on the 1st floor while they had me on the 3rd floor.  They didn't want them up there until the traction was finished.
After all that, it was time for me to relax (as much as you can in traction)...surgery would be the next day!
Morning of surgery...I don't remember much.  I can remember being in the operation room and counting, then waking up back in my room.  Not much excitement...except the traction was gone and now I had a long incision on my right hip where the rod went into my leg. They noticed that my hand was swelling, so they brought the x-ray machine up to see if there were any broken bones in my left hand.  Thankfully there weren't, however they did fit me with a brace so I could use crutches.  There was also a lot of other trauma in other places...long story short on that, the doctors told me (and my parents) that I may never be able to have children.  As part of therapy, they put me in a machine that automatically bent my leg...I didn't do anything!  A day after surgery, I was up on crutches...I had to be taught how to use them.  I didn't get the whole stairs thing very easily.  I went home and was out of school for about a month.
To be continued...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I was only 16...Part 1

I was only 16 when the doctors told me...
I guess I should go back and start from the beginning...
It was a Sunday, my nephew's dedication.  I was asked to be his God Mother.  How neat for a 16 year old to have a God Son!  It started out as an awesome day!
That evening, after his dedication, I decided to hang out with a friend of mine.  I had my license, she had her permit...I was going to be her license driver...we were going cruising!  I drove my little red Chevette out to her house and we got into her car and headed out.  Since curfew was at 9 (school night and all...), we came home in plenty of time for me to drive home.
I climbed back into my car and started home.  As I came into town, I slowed down...didn't want to get pulled over by a cop!  I noticed a car with it's headlights coming my way...it looked like it was over the center line, so I slowed down even more and pulled closer to the parked cars.  Little did I realize that the next few moments would define the rest of my life!
Seconds after slowing way down and pulling closer to those parked cars, I realized that this car was coming fast and it was in my lane!  There was no place for me to go!  My adrenaline kicked in and I grabbed a hold of the steering wheel ready to brace myself against this car that was coming fast.
A split second later, my car was mangled, and facing the left side of the road.  As I looked around, I saw the other car stopped a few yards past me.  The next thing I can remember was me trying to open my door.  It was stuck!  A lady (who happened to be the Chief of Police's daughter) approached my car and asked me if I was ok...still in a dazed, I said I thought so, she then asked if I would like her to call my parents (the benefits of growing up in a small town, everyone knows everyone and their parents).
I hear the sirens of the ambulance.  Then one of the ENT's came over and started talking to me (he happened to be a Sunday School teacher at the church I went to).  He put the brace around my neck and did his assessment from the door.  Told me not to move.
My parents showed up and were a bit shocked.  They had told me at a later date that they figured that I had hit a parked car or something...the scene they came up on was not what they had expected.  Dad came over to the car and started talking to me.  I could tell he desperately wanted to help them get me out of the car...but the ENT insisted that my dad NOT touch me (we were told later why).
Things from that night are still a bit fuzzy...so some of the above information may be a bit off, but for the most part, it is as accurate as I can remember.
To be continued...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

When I was an Avon representative, I would have my boys drive my route with me.  As a treat for the boys, I would take them to get them something to drink.  They loved it, especially on a hot day of running up to the doors of all the houses to hang the books on the knobs.
On this particular day, we decided to go to Caribou to get drinks (I'm sure mommy didn't have any influence on that decision because I'm not addicted to Caribou Coffee or anything).
We get to the drive-thru and there are a couple people in line ahead of us.  And like any other trip to Caribou, I ask each of the 4 boys what they would like to drink.  We order our drinks (all 5 of them) and I dig out my money.  Once the gentleman in front of me pulls away, I proceed to the window.
The worker pops her head out of the window and asks if I would like to buy a bag of coffee.  I look at her a bit puzzled...they never ask that when you get to the window.  She proceeds to explain...
"That gentleman that was ahead of you just paid for all your drinks, so you don't have a total.  So would you like to buy a bag of our coffee?"
SHOCKED!  I decided that since I have an obsession with like Caribou's Coffee, that I would go ahead and purchase a bag of coffee...because, well, that coffee was a lot less than it would have been to buy 5 drinks.
What a great thing Random Acts of Kindness are!  Have you had someone do something nice for you?  Have you done a random act of kindness to someone else?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Women's Ministry

I was asked to be on the Women's Ministry Leadership Team a couple months ago.  I was so excited to become involved in helping Women get connected with each other...to strengthen the bond of friendship in our church.
Friday was our first meeting of the New Year.  The title of the meeting was "Have a Soup-er New Year".  It was a Soup dinner...there were lots and lots of yummy soups and breads and desserts!  We talked about Friendship and did a devotional called A Recipe for Friendship.  Then we spent some time doing a few "get to know you" type of mixer games.
One of the first things we had the women do as they entered was write something unique about themselves on a slip of paper along with their name and put it into a basket (folded of course).  We used these as a transitional type of thing.  One of the leaders read a couple of the slips of paper (one at a time) and everyone would just throw out names trying to guess who it was!  It's funny the things you get to know about other people...and who knew one of my friends from church had the same talent as I do...zyxwv... :)
We also went around the room and told our names, a little about ourselves (how many kids, how long you've been attending the church, the city you live in, etc.), along with a "Truth or Lie".  We had to come up with a statement that everyone would guess would either be a truth or lie.  I now know those women who really can't lie.
However, I think the best game, by far, was another get to know you type of game we did.  We all got into a circle, the first person would take a small stuffed animal and throw it to someone while saying their name.  Then that person would throw the animal to another person saying their name.  As that animal went through a couple people, the first person would grab the next animal and throw it to the same person.  One rule about the game is that you ALWAYS throw it to the same person and you ALWAYS receive it from the same person.  Just imagine a circle about 25 women large and 6 stuffed animals flying through the air and people yelling each other's names.  It had us all laughing...mine (and a few others) stomach hurt from laughing so hard!
We are also starting a Secret Sister program in the church.  We are hoping to get all the women in our church involved in this.  Each member fills out a form, then they will be matched up with another member that you will pray for, send encouraging notes to (using a designated return address of one member who has graciously agreed to helping), and gifts.  We will be revealing at our Women's Retreat (May 7-8), or that weekend for those who are unable to attend.
Next month, we will be doing a Service Project.  We are making those No-Sew fleece blankets and giving them to one of our local ministries.  So, if you are planning on attending, please remember to bring your 1 1/2 yard or 2 1/2 yard fleece.  If you are making a double layer one, please remember you need 2 pieces of fleece the same size (one solid color and one print that match each other)
I hope and pray that all the Women in our church will be blessed by our Monthly Meetings which are the 2nd Friday of each month with the exception of April (Spring Break) and May (Retreat).


Friday, January 1, 2010

My year in review

I was reading Soliloquy's end of year review that she wrote and thought...I wrote something like this last year, I should do it again!  Thanks Soliloquy!
So...Let's begin, shall we?
January
I felt God's direction about Vacation Bible School.  It was the beginning of January that I realized that God had been calling me to be the director of VBS for 2009.  I had helped run it in 2008, but the call to lead was stronger than the year before.  So by the end of January, it was decided that I would be the director of VBS.
February
"D" and "A" turned 4 and I celebrated my 35th birthday.  There was that LONG gap of my internet time.  From the moment that we decided to drop the DSL line and get the Cable line...December through February!  WOW, I remember being so upset that it was taking so long and we would get the run around!
March
The stress of VBS was in full force.  My dad struggled with clots one big one that he had been hospitalized for that ran from his groin to his ankle.  I was so happy that he was able to get that taken care of and sent home.  Kevin and I started our online search for a house.  Our intentions were to get a house big enough that my parents could come and stay when a kidney would become available for my dad, since dad's Kidney doctor was down here by us.
April
I was so excited to be joining in on the A Woman Inspired online conferences!  My dad's kidneys were getting worse and the doctors were moving forward with getting dad ready for dialysis and his kidney transplant.
May
God began speaking to me about a ministry that my heart had desired to work with.  At the time (May) I didn't mention the ministry and I really hadn't mentioned it much since...things just recently came to pass.  I was speaking of the Ladies Ministry at our church.  God had began to open the doors for me to work with that ministry.   I also began writing about the Road to a Kidney and the feelings regarding my dad and a kidney transplant.
June
We were packing up our place and getting ready to move into our new home.  What an exciting time!
July
"M" turned 12.  We had a 4th of July party in our new home!  My dad had to have open heart surgery in July.  It was a triple bypass.  How hard that was to know that my dad going into this surgery would cause his kidneys, that weren't functioning properly, to completely stop working.  It was extremely hard for me to be there and see all those tubes he had when he came out of surgery.  At that moment, I had realized just how hard it was to watch my dad struggle and be in so much pain.
August
VBS month!  Wow, it was such a whirl-wind and a blur!  I was so happy when the week was over!  The day after VBS, however, I jumped right into working on the Women's Ministry Retreat.
September
"N" turned 9!  We had the Women's Retreat and I had so much fun!  I enjoyed every minute of getting all the things together as well as participating.  I started my research on 2010 VBS's...I was overwhelmed again.  While praying for which program to run the next year, I felt God telling me my time as the director was over.  I was actually very relieved at that, but decided to pray more to be sure it just wasn't my will.
October
An amazing month.  How I realized that distance doesn't matter when God is involved and how God was using technology to minister to someone first hand!  My dad's feet had began to turn purple from lack of circulation.  I had mentioned it to a pastor/friend who had mentioned it to a pastor/friend of his who just happened to be having revival services at his church...streaming online!  So I was able to get online with Larry Silverman's church (who, by the way are STILL in revival and stream their services online) and hear them pray for my dad while having my cell phone up to the speakers of my computer so my parents (who were on the phone) could hear the prayers for my dad.
November
Unfortunately, my father passed away at the beginning of November.  It was very hard to watch him die.  My heart was split from being happy that he was no longer in pain to being sad that he was no longer with us.  I still struggle with this!   Kevin celebrated his birthday, it wasn't much of a celebration time (sorry honey!) since it fell between my dad's viewing and his funeral.
December
Our first Christmas without my dad had it's moments, but we all had a pretty good time.  We celebrated this Christmas by having my mom spend Christmas Eve/Christmas Day with us.
As an overview, the beginning of 2009 was really great, the ending, too many deaths in the family!
I am looking forward to a new year!  Happy 2010!!