"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Here are some photos of some of the things on the garage sale tomorrow!! Please come!! 8-6!!

This is part of mine

My main corner

GE Fabric Care 4 setting dryer-2 1/2 years old

Computer Desk

LCD projector-blueray compatible, high definition
7.1Ch amplifier
Surround sound speaker system.
72" (?) screen

Hand crafted Bird feeders

John Deere JS63 6.6 HP lawn mower

A friend's corner

Her BIG stuff

The last of hers

Kenmore Stylite Hepa Filtration vacuum. New in November-we just don't' need two anymore!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Well, as per all the other kids thus far this year, I am a day late in getting the birthday greeting and photos up. Oh well. We DID celebrate yesterday by going to Applebees for appetizers and dessert. She pulled a "Hailey" and didn't want to eat too much 'cuz she didn't want to get full for her ice cream! :-)

She is now 12 years old! My how the time flies! She has a sweet tender spirit and is so gentle with kids (well, not our own of course). In nursery she jumps up to take the criers. In all the letters we got from the kids in Zambia, they mentioned how they missed Mariah. She was often with them taking care of one or the other.

Memory and Memory

Mariah at age 5

This was age 7

Age 9, all gussied up for pictures for a Father's Day present

Shortly after her 10th birthday


Friday, September 24, 2010

Such crazyness-feelings-tensions-acting out

Moving is excited in one way; really NOT.SO.MUCH. in others. There is acting out-by all the kids (and yes, by mom and dad too). One is lying more than usual, many are doing what they want instead of what told (‘cause I am not always around or too busy to correct every infraction), one is wetting the bed (again; the usual reaction for that one), some are whiny, some just want the negative attention of getting in trouble so they will do WHATEVER it takes to get it…all this leads to ME being C.R.A.B.B.Y. (any idea why we emphasize words that way online??)
Just because I know it is happening and why, doesn’t make it any easier. Unfortunately, it isn’t making my reactions any better. I am just getting more annoyed, more tired, and LOUDER. And we aren’t even to the actual crazy-physical-moving time. Right now it’s just more that mental list. I want to be somewhere doing something most often other than what I am doing, but which I couldn’t probably do on my own anyway...and then you throw in doing school, church stuff, small group planning, husband time, kid time…well, you all get the picture.
And some of the kids just get my goat WAY faster than others. And there are different reasons for each kid. Talking back and eye rolling are big no-nos, especially for the older ones. And they, like me, seem to have problems changing attitudes in a timely fashion. With the little ones they can be easily distracted with a different activity. Some are just LOUD-they talk loud, they sing loud, they play loud. Usually not a problem, but when my mind is already reeling, thanks-don’t need the noise right now.
I have HUGE expectations for my kids, like really huge, and in all likelihood unattainable. If I tell you something one day, it applies the rest of the day, week,etc-they should know all that by now. Especially when it is a daily schedule thing! Simply things, really, right?? I expect them to read my mind, I expect them to always play together nice, I expect them to listen, I expect, I expect, I expect. I do this with Brian too.
So, as good as recognizing it is, it’s not enough. It’s hard to change, hard to adjust, hard to fit everyone’s schedules, wants, desires and needs. I know I can’t do it all on my own-but I still seem to like to try.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Here is a photo further away, without the flash. So the black is not black-black; it's black with a smoky look-or something like that. The green looks maybe a little darker here than it appears in the other photos. Does it change your opinion?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I am SOOOO not good at picking colors, but have to...so you can help!

I know it is hard to really see the colors because of the photo and the flash and all that...but do tell me what you think!

I LOVE this! Black counter with the reddish stained cabinets. This doesn't change.

LOVE this green with the black counter. This is the tricky one, because it is actually a little darker than it looks on this cardboard piece. Pay more attention to the bottom half as there is less glare. Actually, if you scroll down and then come back up, it is a little easier to see.

So-will the green go with the cabinets? Lots of flash and glare on this photo on the black counter, so focus on the green and reddish.

Another try, not so much glare?

Here is a BEFORE from a few years ago. The white fridge isn't there, that's where the dishwasher will be.
So, the soffit will be green up top. There would be green behind the dishwasher and down to the entry on the right. To the left of the stove is the hallway. We will be painting that panel, probably the green and the top will be a little whitish/cream color. Behind the fridge that is up close there is wall that could either be green or light.

I suppose the soffit and the space inbetween could be lighter too, but I am digging the contrast and the green and black counter top together.
Oh, and did I mention that this green paint is FREE??

Friday, September 17, 2010

feelin' crazy around here!!!!!!!!!!

...but I am trying not to let it. Ha Ha!
Our renters moved out of our home in Kandi and did an AWESOME job of leaving it clean. I am going around cleaning all the windows, wiping cabinets and some of the walls and cleaning the carpet. I suppose I wouldn't really need to do as much as I am; but the house is empty and it's pretty quick work.
Brian is putting an epoxy on the laundry room floor (done). Next that needs to be done in the garage. The garage will now be more of a room than a garage. He'll make sure it is well insulated and all that and it will be storage/exercise/whatever room.
The kitchen. Ah, the kitchen. We bought a dishwasher that needs to be put in. So that means we need new counter top, which that means why not new cabinets, which... Let's just say we didn't realize it would take 3-4 weeks to get in the cabinets we want. We can go with a different brand, but some of the pieces won't quite be what we want, but they will easily work and be a little cheaper...yet not quite what I want. Really, I don't know what I was thinking. I guess we are so used to just going to the store to get what we want that we figured they would be there too. Yeah-not so much.
So, of course because we want to do that first, we aren't just jumping on over and moving in yet. But if it is going to take that long, we may need to. I don't know. I am sure Brian could get the cabinets in over a weekend as there aren't that many, I just don't like living in a half finished area if I don't have to. Been there, done that, got the t shirt, preferably don't want another. We don't have a date we have to be out of here by, so we could stay here until then. But you know-once you start thinking about moving, and then get slowly started in the process...then all you want to do is MOVE!
So I am trying not to push myself and make things crazy. The kids will feel it and I'll feel it from them and so the cycle goes. There is school and work and kids activities and our small group will be starting and I'll be doing a garage sale (or two)...
It will all get done when it needs to get done and we'll be fine. I just hate that anxious feeling though.

Let's see what else--Cybil is going on her first hunt tonight with a group from a local church. She is soooo excited she doesn't even know how to get dressed.
The four younger kids (not Henry) started Wednesday night activities at a local church and JUST. LOVED. IT. I am so glad they are excited.
Garage sale is planned for October 1st. 5 or 6 families, 2 of us are moving. WILL BE HUGE. Depending on how the moving goes and if I am done getting stuff gone through, I will probably do another one the next weekend, Saturday this time. We have lots of big items to sell (leather recliner, flat screen TVs, a nissan pickup, large kitchen table) and are hoping the sale will pay for the kitchen cabinets.

Writing may be a little sporadic the next few weeks. Few things are written, but need to be edited and not much time to think long and hard so we can write some more! Our small group is going to be looking at "church"-what it is, what it was, what Scripture says and whatever comes along with that. I am sure we will have plenty of things to think about then!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“God is not better to princes than other people. He is not better to rich people than poor people. This is because he made them all with his own hands.”
Job 34:19

This was the verse for the kids’ devotions yesterday for school. We are using “Growing with Jesus” by Andy Holmes to start our day. It’s basic enough for the younger kids, yet he makes some great points for ALL of us to remember. I read it and knew that there were some people out there that needed a little reminder-for themselves and for others, and we need to let others know too!

Are you the fastest runner in your school? No? That’s okay. God loves you just the same. Are you the smartest kid in your school? NO? That’s okay, too. God loves you just as much as he loves anyone else.
You don’t have to be the brightest, the funniest, the tallest, the strongest, the bravest, or the most talented before God will love. And if you happen to be brightest, funniest, strongest, bravest, or most talented person in the world, it won’t make God love you more.
God loves everyone the same. He has no favorites. There is no competition for God’s love-there’s plenty for everyone!
Enjoy God’s love for you.

Actually, I do know some people who think they are God’s favorite; they think I am His favorite too. And as a believer in Jesus Christ- so are you! We are all His favorites! And He is desiring to LAVISH His love on you. Will you let Him?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Only we, personally, can know what God has asked or told us to do. We can ask God for confirmations which He will often send through other people. We can ask others for prayer. But we should NEVER ask someone else what to do and then follow it if it is so clearly against what God is telling us to do. We don’t have to like it; the other person does not have to like it. But you DO NOT go against what God is telling you! Two distinct situations recently where clear direction came from God. And they were hard and painful…but it was clearly God’s leading. And people were asking those involved to step back, rethink, hold up, retract, etc. etc. however you want to put it.
How DARE we ask for anyone to go against what and where God was leading them! Only, only, only after serious time in prayer, prayer, prayer-and study if need be- do we even bring up the possibility of them doing their own more prayer, prayer, prayer to reconsider a decision and seek more confirmations from God. And only then, if we are so confident ourselves that it is from GOD do we pray with them and seek God. Then and only then. Really, I mean really?! Who am I to question what God has for someone else?
Do we not think about the consequences our or their disobedience will have in life? Can we really be that selfish? Unfortunately, yes we can.
I tell you what though, it really raises the bar of respect I have for the person or persons who say “no-this is what GOD told me, this is the direction God is leading. I love you and I love that you care for me…but this is about OBEDIENCE, MY obedience. This is about me obeying God, not the popular vote.” And then you pray for strength of conviction for that person-to stand strong in what and where it is that God is leading. Because somebody else is gonna Monday morning quarterback them and they are gonna need that strength to again stand up to those who would seek (even in love) to lead them where God hasn’t.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

y'all come back now, you hear?

Sorry, we've been distracted by various things this week. We've got quite a few posts written, just didn't finish editing them to get them up. Will definitely work on that tomorrow and Monday and get back to more regular posting.
Thanks for reading! Come back soon! ;-)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


On Father’s day Kel gave me a binder in which she compiled page after page of history about me. Some of them are things I have written over the years, others are things people have written either to me or about me. Why did she do this? Well, a few weeks before that in the midst of a one of the biggest “discussions” Kelly and I have had in our 14yrs of marriage, I told her that “I don’t know who I am anymore and what I do know I don’t like much”. (Why does it seem that things need to blow up before they start getting better?) Sometime after that discussion she went to work on my Father’s day present. To remind me of who I am-what has been spoken to me and over me. After I paged through it a name came to my mind, Jonah. We all know the story of Jonah: God called him to do something; he ran away and wound up in the belly of a big fish. He then decides to do what God wants and gets spit out on shore. We often kind of forget about the rest. Jonah goes and does what God asked of him and then Jonah gets mad and depressed that it turns out the way it did. You see Jonah had a different plan in mind and he got really upset with God when it did not turn out his way. I can kind of see Jonah’s point, he did ultimately do what God asked; he sacrificed, he said what God wanted him to say. But he had in his mind it was going to work out HIS way; but God had different plans. And for Jonah, those plans were hard to swallow. I get that. For some reason people think that if we do what God wants/asks it will turn out the way we/I want. Our sinful nature thinks we can either control God or manipulate Him into doing what we want. God does what HE wills. Jonah learned that the hard way and so have I.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

on a lighter note....

Finally-some pictures from the barn dance last Friday night!!

I keep getting asked when the next one will be...we'll have to wait and see!

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FYI-our caller Myron teaches classes on Monday nights in Willmar. If you'd like the info on it I can email you! We'll probably be joining the classes after our Monday night bible study ends in November!

Friday, September 3, 2010

What is it about “church” that makes us feel we are supposed to have a say in everything that happens there? I am not passing judgment on whether it is right or wrong, just asking the question. Do we do that at work? With our school boards? The other night at a meeting someone asked what I thought about my own church deciding to continue with one service and not announcing or discussing it a congregational meeting first. My own questions somewhat along some of those lines have been brewing for awhile. I answered- you know, sometimes “they” just need to decide and tell us what we are going to do. You will never get everyone to agree on what to do. Which, she kinda had to agree with.

If you think about your school board-they discuss, research, and make a lot of decisions. They will have meetings for “input”, but quite frankly, by that point the issue is already decided, it is more just informational. The school board will close the meetings for personnel issues and other sensitive matters that are just really not all that appropriate for the general public to know and be a part of. If they hire a new teacher do we get a say? Do we get a say in the superintendent position? And if a higher up in the school resigns, there are often contractual clauses that say neither he nor the school board can discuss it.
What about at your workplace, especially if you work for a larger company? Does your boss consult and get your opinion on everything, much less do what you want? He does with his senior staff in all likelihood. But for the most part, no-he will say this is what we are thinking (and have been researching) of doing, and then will tell you how it will work for your position, or whatever.

Somehow, when it comes to church matters, we think we should be heard on every matter and every decision WE see as “major” that comes up. What is major? To you, to me? Is it because we feel so much more invested there than at work? At school? Why? Why do we have this sense of ownership? Should we? Why there and not other places? Does that sense of ownership change the larger a church gets? Should it? How do we decide what everyone should be involved in, or just the lay leaders, or just the staff, or just the elders? Essentially a church body will have a constitution that deals with major issues that have to be agreed on by the body (constitutional changes, a head pastor), but other issues are not addressed (other staff positions, specific line items of the budget, the day to day happenings, even the vision and direction of the church). Obviously any smart church leadership team will not make a decision or change lightly. They will seek God, they will pray, they will research, they will discuss. So what do the members of the body do? How do we wrestle with the fact that at no time will everyone be happy with every decision that is made? Then where do you go from there? How do you transition as a church gets larger? How do you TRUST your leadership to lead your body? What if you don’t? What does all this practically look like? Because it seems we all know what we SHOULD say-so how do we walk that out?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Chronologically, Habbakuk is in the middle of Jeremiah. Jeremiah had just prophesied Babylonia’s coming takeover of Judah. And Habbakuk goes up to wrestle his issues of faith with God.

I found this about 20 years ago while working at a camp and keep it in as my place holder in Habbakuk, not that I read it a lot, but it’s cute. Long time readers of ours will remember Hab. 2:3 which we have taken somewhat “as our own” as we have gone through many trials and struggles:

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.”

Habbakuk is often divided into two sections-The problems and the praises. He first asks God how long he will let the wickedness of Judah go unpunished. God answers that the Babylonians will be His rod of judgment and will be the answer to Judah’s crimes. This, as you can imagine, brings about Habbakuk’s second problem. You would think the problem has to do with the punishment being too harsh-but that’s not so much Habbakuk’s issue. He knows Judah needs to be punished. What he doesn’t understand is how God can use someone way more wicked than Judah to punish it (1:12-2:1). God answers that yes, He is aware of their sin, and it won’t go unpunished either, but Judah is guilty of the same. 2:20 says, “But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.” Basically-I AM GOD, I AM SOVEREIGN. In an east coast kinda way, He is saying I am God, I know what I am doing, now be quiet.

Habbukuk ends by declaring his trust in God’s salvation, verses 3:17-19. Though all these things happen (v.17), “Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” (v.18)

May we all seek to exult Him. Through the joys of course; but through the hurts, the disciplines, the not-understandings…because in the end it’s all about GOD’S GLORY, not our own.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Christian friend I ask you: what is your life like? It may seem to some we share and talk the negative more than the positive, that life is more of a struggle than it is peaches ‘n cream. (maybe ‘cuz it is!) What is your reality? Do you have a struggle with your wife, your kids, your work, your friends, your church, yourself? Anything at all? Now or ever in your past?
How do you discuss reality without being the big downer of the day? How do you have authentic fellowship without your current “misery” being the glue that binds you? I don’t make light of it at all. Our struggles, trials, temptations drive us to God. God brings and uses people in our lives to walk with us as we walk with Him. And when you come to the end of that journey, you come out stronger. Not just stronger, but closer. Closer to God and closer than a brother to those who have walked through life with you.
Jesus tells us in this life we will have struggles and trials. He tells us we will be hated for our faith. He tells us that we must daily take up a cross. He tells us to bear one another’s burdens. Why, oh why do we not do that? Why instead do we lie to the world around us and TRY to convince them that we are all fine all the time-we are all different than them because Christ has set us free and He is protecting us and He loves us and makes us happy and... All true. But we stop there. We forget to tell them about the refiner’s fire. We forget to tell them about a God who loves us too much to let us stay the way we are-just with a new title of “saved” after our name. We forget to tell them that in order to carry another’s burden, there has to be a burden. In the end times there will be a great falling away-will it be the “faithful” who fall away when God comes to do as He said He would? Will they blame us for not telling them just how much it is going to cost them to live for Christ?