Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brody's version of The Pledge of Allegiance

Brody can now say The  Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America...well sort of.  I think Francis Bellamy would still be proud though.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brody singing Spiderman

Brody got a new cd a couple of weeks ago, and he likes to sing and dance to it.  One of his favorite songs on it is Spideman.  I really enjoy hearing him sing all through the house.  Who would have thought that songs like Batman, Scooby Doo, and Ghostbusters would bring a big smile to my face?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Don't Want To Be A Hamster

I've always wondered what it would be like to be a hamster.  It must be hard to run in the spot and never get anywhere.  Of course as humans we do the same thing some days too.  We get to dwelling on something that ends up consuming us.  Worry will always keep us spinning in the same spot.  As humans we get to make the choice to move forward.  It was fun to watch Brody falling around in the hamster ball, but I'm glad that as his mother I can teach him in difficult times not to stress but to keep pressing on in life.  
Do Not Worry   Matthew 6:25-34
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what
you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

For He Cares For You

I'm always amazed at how God cares for me and how He listens to my prayers.   Yesterday morning I felt so lonely.  My family and friends are far away, and sometimes I long for those conversations with people who know me so well and I can be completely myself.  As I prayed before I set off on the day's adventure, I told God how lonely I felt.   I put on my "optimist hat," and I was determined to ride the "happy bus" all day.  I dropped Brody off at preschool, and then I went to Target to pick up something he needed for his class project.  Of course they didn't have what I was looking for, but I decided to look around the store.  While I was looking through the little boys pants for Brody, a little old lady pass by and commented on how cute the clothes were.  She was so precious looking, and I couldn't help to ask if she had children.  She immediately gave a huge smile that only a mom can give and told about her boys.  Being born in 1922, her boys were grown and they had grown children.  Most of her great grandchildren were around Brody's age.  After we shared about our children to the point of where most people say "that's nice" and move on in the store, we both just stood there.  We were just two lonely women aching for conversation.  To keep conversation going I asked if she had always lived here.  She told about when she and her husband had decided to move down here, and then she told about how he died several years ago on Christmas day.  This kindred spirit shared about when she missed him terribly how she would get up to go clean something to keep her mind busy.  She shared her feelings about how she didn't like to dwell on things she couldn't change, and her need to keep moving forward.  I was very touched to hear what her prayers were.  We had a wonderful hour of conversation talking about many things.  It was also very unique to hear how she has made many blankets over the years for the premature babies in the NICU.  I told her how much it meant to me when Brody had several hats made for him while he was in the NICU.  It was a  huge yet simple blessing to our family years ago, and it was nice to finally thank someone who does that kind of ministry.  As our time came to an end, I asked if I could pray for her.  We ended with sweet smiles and a few tears.  God knew I needed this lady even though I didn't even know the words to ask for her.  I was greatly encouraged by her and thankful God sent her my way.  The Bible is truth, and it holds many promises from God.  1 Peter 5:7 says "Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ryan Rollerskating

One of my top 10 funniest Ryan moments. Our neighbors kids were out skating one afternoon, when Ryan mentions that he has roller blades. So he digs in an old sporting goods bag and finds them. A piece of plastic broke while he put them on, and that should have been the first clue for disaster. I quickly go get my camera because I know something is bound to go wrong with a 30 year old man who has not skated in years. Here is the video clip.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


My husband Ryan, Matt who I like to think is my little brother even though he is way more mature than me, and I got to take ten teenagers from our church on a mission trip to Romania. We were able to help with a camp there. It was most of Romanian teenagers first time to go to camp. The camp took place in the mountains, and it is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. We were able to build relationships the the young people there hopefully be an encouragement to them. We also got to play goofy rec games, do a little hiking, make bracelets, and play lots of card games. At night there was a worship service. We prepared a skit each night. Acting is not something I do well, but I did try. Ryan and Matt got to preach some. One night three of our teenagers even got to help sing during worship time. This is a very short summary of an amazing week of my life. I'll try to add more as I get time.


My trip to Romania was an awesome experience in so many ways, but my favorite part was worshiping God through music. We had the opportunity to have worship services at night at the camp. We as Americans sung the songs we knew in English while the Romanians sung in their own language. It was a blessing to hear the different tongues worshiping the same God. I really did feel like I got a tiny glimpse at what heaven would be like praising God. After sevens days at camp, not only did God create a passion in me for the Romanian people but for all the people groups of the world. Hearing different voices praising God made me feel an even more urgent need to bring the gospel to the nations. Every person in the world should deserve this opportunity to worship the one true God. In my prayer time, I just keep getting the same question of "What will I do to make His name known among the nations?"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I don't want to raise successful children by Lysa TerKeurst

This was read a couple of months ago in mom's group and has made a big impression on me. It's worth reading and may change the way you look at parenting.
Written by Lysa TerKeurst

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

I don't want to raise successful children. That's a shocking thing to read, and a shocking thing for a mother to type. So, let me clarify.

I used to define success according to my child's report card. Good grades and academic achievement would surely equal a good child with great potential in this world. But then several of my children wound up being average students with average grades. Though we carted them off to tutors and spent many a late night at the kitchen table helping them, they remained average. And I remained concerned and frustrated.

One report card day I found myself facedown in the fibers of my carpet crying and wondering, "Where have I gone wrong as a mom?"

I dug into Scriptures. I begged God for wisdom and discernment. I prayed for God's perspective with each of my kids. Finally, one day it dawned on me - what if I simply chose to embrace the natural bent of each of my kids as God's way to protect them and keep them on the path toward His best plans for their lives?

What if my A student needs academic success to prepare her for God's plans while my average to below-average student needs to be steered away from a more academic future? What if my sports star kid needs that athletic excellence for his future assignments by God, but my benchwarmer kid is being protected from getting off course by her lack in this area?

And that's when it finally dawned on me. My job isn't to push success for my kids. My job as a parent is to recognize the unique way God created each child and point them to Jesus at every turn along their journey toward adulthood. Yes, I want my kids to learn and thrive and grow up educated, but it's not a flaw in me or them if they don't have straight A report cards and trophy cases full of sports medals.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" (NIV).

I am challenged to ponder these words, "... in the way he should go." Are we training our kids that the "way he should go" is to chase worldly achievement or to chase God? Whatever they learn to chase as a child, they will chase as adults. Therefore, we must be challenged to honestly assess the way we are pointing them to go.

My daughter, Hope, is one of my average students. She has also warmed many a bench in the sports she's tried, and can always be found hiding on the back row of the stage during school concerts. Using the world's benchmarks for achievement, Hope wouldn't be seen as a child positioned for success. But God...

This past January, my 15 year old Hope, shocked me when she announced she wanted to go to Ethiopia with some missionary friends of ours and live in the remote African bush for the summer. Yes, she may not have trophies and straight A report cards but she does have a heart of gold. And because she's not entrenched in sports and academic pursuits that could have created obligations for her summer, she was free to go to Africa. Free to chase God in a really big way.

One of the first e-mails she sent me from Ethiopia read, "Mom, I've fallen in love with the AIDS orphanage children. They rushed at me when I held my arms out and I tried with all my might to hold all 30 of them at once. I love it here."

Now, don't get me wrong. I do expect Hope to return to her studies this fall, give 100% effort, and finish her high school career having done her very best. She will most likely then go to college. But she probably won't be delivering the valedictorian address or wearing the honors cords and medals. She'll be the one with a vision of a dying AIDS orphan pressing against her heart ready to chase God's plans to the ends of the earth.

So back to my original statement, I don't want to raise successful children. It's true, I don't. Though Hope's sister coming behind her is an A student and can always be found on the front row of school performances - we don't chase after success for her either. I trust God that she needs those things in her life for the plans He's unfolding in her life. We train with that bent in mind. But, we don't chase it. Just like Hope, we point her in the direction of God at every turn and pray like crazy.

I stand by what I said and I'll say it again, I don't want to raise successful children. Because--- raising God-honoring adults who will set the world on fire for Christ is just so much more rewarding.

Dear Lord, being a mom is a really tough job. Please help me, teach me and show me how to define success for my kids. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day

We got snow today!!! Brody just loves it. He is so cute stomping around in his green Dino boots. Nanny is here this weekend so we have enjoyed making snow memories with her. Our neighbors also came over to play, and they bought sleds. Here is a short video of Brody sliding in our backyard.