Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things I Learned (or at least heard) from Granny Young

Sept. 26, 2008 marked the end of my grandmother’s 97 years on earth. She had much to say about life…especially about how we as her grandchildren lived it. I wrote this when she was 94. A year after she went home to be with Jesus seems an appropriate time to share my thoughts. Enjoy!
1. The “golden years” happen when your children are young and you are healthy.
2. People under the age of 70 are spoiled.
3. Kids need to learn to work.
4. We buy too many clothes and toys for our children. With all the distractions, they miss out on some of the plain things that God put on earth for us to treasure…mud, clouds, sticks, etc.
5. TV is the biggest waste of time…right up there with computers and microwaves!
6. Respect your elders even when they tell you things you don’t want to hear!
7. Things are really better than they seem, especially in hindsight!
8. Riding in the car should be a thrill! There’s time to talk, time to find pictures in the clouds, count cows, trucks, watch high-line wires, look for trains...
9. Three Wal-Mart bags of plastic Easter eggs filled with candy would feed Coxes Army! (I don’t know who Coxes Army was, but there must have been a bunch of them!)
10. Little girls should wear short dresses so they’re not in the way of them playing.
11. Moms should not wear short dresses.
12. Make-up and money just make you worry more about how you look and what you have.
13. Happiness is having all your family around, just not all in the kitchen at the same time!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sometimes It Takes The Rain

It has been raining here for days. At first, I was thankful for the rain. We needed it desperately; however, after four days of it, I was ready to see the sun again. You see, the cloudy days had not only affected the weather, but my mood. I was feeling gloomy, unmotivated and overwhelmed. Satan was using the weather to discourage, distract and defeat me. (The 3 D's I know to watch for in my own life).

On Tuesday as I was taking care of Sharon's kids, Davis and Addison went out to play for a few minutes in between rain showers. To my surprise they quickly came back with a small bouquet of beautiful white flowers. With smiles on their faces, they said, "Look what we found!" I adored them, smelling the sweet fragrance they emitted (the flowers, not the boys!). Then I quizzed, "Where did you find these? They are beautiful! I've never seen them before." They replied, "They were outside in the grass! They are for you!"

Since I didn't know what they were, like any good mom, I told them to go ask the neighbor if she knew what they were. Sure enough, Mrs. Pam, our sweet neighbor, knows her flowers! She told them they were Rain Lilies which only come up after the ground is saturated with rain.

Wow! Did I ever need the reminder that God is faithful amidst the rain in my life. I shared with my children that even in the midst of a gloomy time, God is there, evident in His magnificent creation. Only when it rains can this flower be seen! Amazing!

Some of the most beautiful things come out of hard times in our lives. God wants to make something beautiful come from the rain in my life, if I will allow Him too.

Shortly after the flower incident, I began praising God, though the rain had not stopped. He helped me change my focus. So I ask you, "What is growing from the storms in your life? Is it discouragement, distraction and defeat (3 D's), or maybe bitterness, doubt and disappointment?" He wants to make something beautiful out of you and me, but it can only happen if we have our hearts and eyes turned to Jesus in the midst of the rain!

Romans 8:28 The Message
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. 29 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.. . .31 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? 32 If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? 33 And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen?

Lord, You are amazing. Your handiwork is evidence of your faithfulness and love. Thanks for loving me and drawing me to Your side when I allow myself to be consumed by my rainy circumstances. Thank you for Rain Lilies, Lord! I love You!

Here's "Sometimes..."—an oldie, but a goodie—from Steven Curtis Chapman for your listening pleasure!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wind-Blown Weeds or Deep-Rooted Trees

“He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts. Not so with the wicked! Instead they are like wind-driven chaff.” Psalm 1:3-4 NET

My kids and I have been working behind our house clearing a new walking path in the woods. In the process, we’ve pulled, clipped and chopped our way through the itchy overgrowth. (Thought none of us were allergic to poison ivy, but I was wrong!) As we worked, I noticed two kinds of plants. We have lots of grasses. You can tell because when you pull, it comes right up. The other takes more than a pull. We have to get the clippers and cut them down leaving the roots in the ground. These baby trees are surprisingly strong.

PhotobucketWith sweat dripping from our foreheads in the Texas heat (I love sweating with my kids!) I realized that we have two choices in life. I told my son, “I am praying that you and your sisters are like these trees, not like the grass. When somebody tries to convince you to do something out of line with God’s plan, I want you to have strong roots, holding you firm. You don’t want to be like the grass that can be pulled up with no effort. The grass lasts one season, but the trees grow stronger year, after year, after year.”

I wasn’t sure he understood what I meant. But, a couple of days later at breakfast, he brought it up and explained the whole thing to his sister. Whoo-Hoo! I think she got it, too. And the roots grew deeper…

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord for teaching us principles about life through your creation. I pray that the children of this generation will rise up and stand strong, not swayed by the deception of the world. Draw their hearts to You. In Jesus' name…Amen

Check out our website for another verse under Spiritual Apps...We're learning it as a family over the next several weeks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Grace Grace Grace - Mom and Loving It Goes to She Speaks

At the end of July, Laurie and I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina...rented a "sweet ride" and traveled to Raleigh where we spoke to a group of moms from Southbridge Fellowship. A mom that attended the event was starting a Saturday morning book study with one of our books. If anyone from Southbridge reads this, let us know how it's going!

Once we arrived in NC, I realized I had no camera! After the Southbridge event we were headed to She Speaks where I wanted to learn about putting photographs on our blog. No camera, but needing pictures = a quick trip to Best Buy and wa-la...we have pictures - just not in time for Southbridge!

Cruisin' Moms and Loving It

We drove our sweet ride back to Charlotte loving the 3 hour drive time...and Starbucks! In Charlotte, we attended She Speaks (put on by www.Proverbs31.org) for women who are in women's ministry or women who want to speak, blog and write. The unpublicized theme was Grace, Grace, Grace. How we all need that. I always want people to give me grace, but sometimes I don't want to offer it. Ouch!

Lisa (below) was the first person I met. She's a sweet homeschooling mom from New Jersey who serves on the praise team at her church.


Laurie and I were so blessed to hear Jennifer Rothschild and get to reconnect with her again. Our families had visited with she and Phil at the MOPS convention in Minneapolis several years ago while we were on tour in Minnesota. I needed to hear that she had been prideful at times in ministry. I've done the same thing and have felt so guilty about it. Grace, grace, grace isn't just to offer to others. Sometimes we need to give grace to ourselves.


There were about 600 ladies at She Speaks. What a blessing to see the Lord working in so many hearts. We enjoyed the time (lots!) Laurie kept me up way too late working on a book proposal.


It was great to be with my best friend/sister learning, growing, laughing, and crying. We spent some time in the prayer room (I don't think I've ever been to an event so prayed over.) Evidence of the tears shed in the prayer room...


I had the privilege of meeting Elizabeth and Andrea in a writers critique time. What precious ladies. I wish we lived closer!


As the conference ended, we found the jewelry lady and more than that, we found a friend of our mutual friends, the Leal's. I worked at Leal's (mexican food restaurant) while I was in college. Veronica and her husband had spent hours and hours at Leals during those years. Veronica now speaks and makes jewelry. http://www.inspiredlooks.blogspot.com/

Photobucket Photobucket

Laurie and I met with three publishers while at She Speaks pitching a book idea. We enjoyed meeting all of them (Kregel, Cook, Harvest House) Kim works with a couple of the ladies we met at Harvest House while we were on tour in Oregon several years ago.

It was great to see Twila again, Cecil Murphey's assistant (www.themanbehindthewords.com). She was learning all about blogging, too.
Kay Martin (the funny lady) is on the left of Laurie. She is hilarious! http://www.thrivechristian.blogspot.com/ and Suzanne Shepmann was Laurie's group leader. She was kind enough to let me intrude on the speaker groups. Thanks Suzanne!



Laurie had the privilege of being with 10 wonderful ladies as part of a speaker evaluation group. We all survived the 3 and 5 minute speeches and longed for more time to get to know one another.

Kellie Kammes,Cheri Keaggy,Susanne Scheppmann,Bonita Leary,Nicole Leitz,Katherine Lorkovic,Katherine Lorkovic,Christine Kinney,Christine Kinney,Liz Lassa


At the last session, we were encouraged to take communion, then walk up to the front of the room and pick up a scripture from the pile at the foot of the cross. I picked up Ps. 33:11, "But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations." Laurie went up a few minutes later. When she sat down, I looked at her verse: Ps. 33:11. I thought maybe there were only a few verses printed, but as we looked around, nobody else had Ps. 33:11. So, not because it was ooh-mysterious, but because God is amazing and speaks to His people, we are studying and praying over Ps. 33 and how it applies to our lives and the ministry. Thanks, She Speaks Staff, for a wonderfully planned, uplifting, refreshing event.

Then, it was time to go back home to Texas. Laurie was packed up ready to go...really - walking out the door with bag in hand when she looked down to discover she was still in her houseshoes! Since I had a new camera, I took a picture to commemorate the occasion.


When we arrived at the airport, our families were waiting - all except Charles who was busy fixing a mysterious plumbing problem. Laurie will have to tell you more about that in another blog. The kids were thrilled to see us and just about as excited to see the new camera. Who knew you could do this with a camera! Leave it to a kid to figure that out!

Despite the drawings, they are both little angels most of the time!