Like a child <3

Good morning to you!

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the transition from spring to summer and all the hustle and bustle of getting the yard in shape, attending graduations and end of year events and a slate of ball games that will run through mid-July. 

Last Saturday we headed up north to watch Graham play baseball. After a quick wardrobe change for him in their van, we were off to his last soccer game on the fields across from the ball diamonds.

Two sets of grandparents, one set of parents, three siblings and an army of umbrellas, blankets and bag chairs completed the entourage. 

The first game was played with a light drizzle and a solid wind that gave us a workout resembling the flying nanny scene in Mary Poppins.

Thankfully the clouds rolled away by the time we got to the soccer fields and as we watched Graham and his team play their game, Emmett and Joel ran the empty fields around us with a variety of bored siblings. 

At one point, Papi was monitoring the two younger boys when we heard Emmett crying.

Since he was so very upset he was unintelligible, we looked to Russ to find out what had happened. He tactfully passed on that there was a girl about Graham’s age playing with them but she was giving all of her attention to Joel. 

Emmett headed to the pool of adults and when his other grandma bent down, he climbed in her arms and poured out the whole sad tale.

We were all sorry to see him crying, but also had to stifle smiles as this little blonde ray of sunshine has soaked up more than his fair share of attention since he burst onto the scene almost 5 years ago. 

He is so comfortable in the limelight that you would think his approval tank would be full. 

But it isn’t. 

He had been rejected from the attentions of an older girl and as Joel laughingly basked in her 100% favor, it had been too much for him.

He is too young to be tough and savvy when rejected. 

He is too naive to worry about what we might think of him for his tears.

He trusted the love of the circle of adults and knew any one of us would pick him up and hold him and let him cry. 

God is like that, you know.

When we are hurt or rejected or feel slighted and overlooked, we can go to Him. 

We don’t have to do anything but reach up and tell Him what He already knows. 

He won’t chastise us for openly sharing the overwhelming emotions that would cause us to sin if we acted on them.

He will hold us and He will do like Emmett’s grandma did…He will just love us and acknowledge our hurt and gently wipe the tears until we get it together again and head back out to the field one more time.

If your heart is broken, you will find GOD right there; if you are kicked in the gut, he will help you catch your breath. Disciples so often get into trouble; still, GOD is there every time. Psalm 34: 18-19 The Message     <3

So many studies, so little time <3

We got a calendar from the local library outlining all the summer fun to be had and reading programs and festivities in the park and what snagged my eye was that  the “Farewell Party” to end it all will take place on…

July 19th.

I haven’t even had my first bite of a graduation cake and the end of summer is breathing down my neck!

Ok. I exaggerate.

But truthfully, the Park and Library Team knows that summer flies by for families and so they put together a calendar of events and left room for family vacations and schools will be gearing up mid-August so they have planned to make the most of the days they have.

As we switch gears a little and enter into warmer weather and the fun that summer holds, we have to be intentional to make plans as well.

Even though my actual weekly schedule doesn’t change one little bit, my mental and spiritual schedule does.

I still take on the “School’s out for Summer” mentality and feel like we can move at a slower pace…enjoy outdoor activities until later in the evening and make plans to spend more time with family since their schedules have lightened.

I enjoy adding some kind of Bible study to the months of summer and really like it if I can share that experience with a friend.

I actually landed on two because God has raised up that many opportunities for me to share learning with others. We may not actually be able to meet regularly, but I have made agreements with a couple of friends to do…

The Storm Inside Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are by Sheila Walsh


Adorned Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth with a young mom who, like me, has a heart for building relationships across generations.

Today I saw one of those awesome FREE  studies being offered through StudyGateway – also by Sheila Walsh on her new book In the Middle of the Mess. You can sign up here.

And by “free” … you usually do need to purchase the workbook/book…but they offer decent deals on those and then the videos are emailed each week.

I have done several studies this way, and they work well for our busy lives. You usually have access to the videos for an extended period of time so it is possible to get the study completed over the course of the summer.

If you live locally, there is an opportunity at First Christian Church to join the women’s study on Wednesday mornings. You do not need to be a member – there will be no pressure for you to join out church. Just a wonderful opportunity to meet with other women and make new connections. You can sign up with a friend and ask to be placed in the same small group for the discussion part.

Those start June 9th and you can register here.

And if you are a guy…sorry…not sure what is available but how about texting a buddy and setting up a Saturday morning breakfast meeting and decide on a way to study God’s Word together for four to six weeks this summer?

Or golf.

Because fellowship counts too.

Have a blessed Wednesday and I hope you are getting a stirring in your heart to make plans to do a study with someone or by yourself <3



Switching gears <3

On Sunday Russ took me for a long bike ride at one of our local parks.

It features a nicely paved trail that extends through wooded areas from our local environmental center out on the edge of town and winds behind some residential areas peeking through the forests and little streams.

Getting exercise and enjoying beautiful scenery as I followed this guy…

through new territory was good exercise for my heart, mind and soul.

At one point I spotted this mommy…

We made eye contact and although her two fawns were just a short distance from her, she  must have decided the only thing I was going to shoot was a picture because she just went right back to her afternoon snack.

It was a gentle gift from God to this mom on Mother’s Day and I received it.

I also received a little message from Him as we made our way on terrain that was much more up and down than the flat farmlands Russ and I usually travel on around our neighborhood.

Now if you live in a mountainous area, you might find our definition of “hills” as quite humorous but…

to put it in biking language…I can ride ten miles around our area in 3rd gear, level 5 and never have to shift.

However, on Sunday as we went up and down a variety of hills surrounding the river that runs through that part of town…I was shifting a’plenty.

With four levers to choose from, two on each handle bar and the intensities transposed…so that high is the low one my left and the high one on my right…and being slightly dyslexic and forgetful…I had to remind myself of what the guy who sold me the bike told me.

He said…don’t worry about remembering.

Just switch gears…if you chose the wrong one you will know right away and you can just click the other lever twice and you will correct your mistake.

This was a great relief to me as I tend to become OCD and have strong tendencies to never, ever, ever make a mistake…dangerous combo…trust me.

It takes a lot of the panic out of learning something new if I can remember this universal lesson…I may choose the wrong gear but if I do, I can just correct my error and keep going.

Changes in life are inevitable and we are constantly climbing new hills and coasting down into unfamiliar valleys.

As May unfolds there are graduations from various levels of schooling, there are weddings being celebrated and babies being born.

There are funerals and vacations and interruptions to the flow of what we thought would be.

These events go on year round and season by season and all of these additions and losses to our family and to our life mean change.

And some of us don’t want to make a mistake as we navigate the hills and valleys so we can stress out trying to make sure we know exactly how to roll in to and out of all the changes smoothly.

But we won’t know..and we are just going to have to pick a gear knowing if we did it wrong…it’s a simple correction to a different one until we find the one that will get us and those we love safely through the journey <3



Happy Monday and the winner is…..<3

First off, let me explain the highly scientific and technologically advanced way in which this sweepstakes was handled.

I recorded the names of anyone who I was able to ascertain had shared, liked, commented on the post on Facebook or left a comment here on the site or signed up for email with this device….

Last night I manually cut every name into strips and deposited them in this custom designed raffle machine…

Using the highly proven and patented (by me) selection process of closing my eyes and sticking my hand in the bowl and mixing them around for several seconds…

I prayed and pushed them around all over the bowl one more time and then I selected our winner…

and let me tell you….

she upped her chances considerably because even if I hadn’t drawn her name she was going to get an honorable mention for Encourager Extraordinaire.

Because this girl…right here…

pc/Whitney Mueller <3

is a powerhouse of positive love and encouraging words to me and to so many.

She will give me one of her serious mom looks for telling you, but with the love of Christ burning bright and a fervency of a host of storm troopers…God has packed so much into this tiny little human being.

Among many other things she does and ways she serves….

She lovingly counsels expectant moms at our crisis pregnancy center.

She helps lead a Bible Study for young women.

She presents devotions at one of the local nursing homes.

She serves on several of our church prayer teams and most Sundays you can find her with her head bowed in our prayer room, and let me tell you…the gatekeepers of Hell are shaking in their boots…because I know her prayers avail much <3

She loves her husband and children fiercely.

She speaks the truth in love and is the model of how we are not to shrink back.

When we get to heaven and see her as God made her….she will make the likes of the Hulk look like a lady bug on a leaf.

And I am honored and blessed to call her my friend and one of my greatest cheerleaders.

Congratulations and thank you Kathy <3

Thanks to all who joined in on the fun.

If I was a millionaire I would buy every single one of you a copy. But I’m not…so I pray you will consider purchasing a copy or two of this sweet book <3

Hugs to all and happy Monday <3


Day 5…Brave Moms, Brave Kids week <3

Are we really at the end of the week?

We are!

And I feel like I just didn’t do this book justice!

But I hope I have created in you an interest to purchase a couple of copies…one to keep and one to give.  Check it out here.

We will be getting a follow up post from Rachel yet…

but I tell ya…

girl has her hands full…
photo courtesy of Rachel

All. The. Time.

But I know her and I saw her copy of Brave Moms on the stack of work next to her own computer…so she’s cooking up a good post for us and when I get it…so will you.

So today we are closing out the series from my end.

and then we can have a good rest….<3

I have loved hearing from  you all. I appreciate the comments/likes/shares/following the page and the email subscriptions. It helps make this little place of encouragement to be seen by more people and I pray God would use my “two fish and five loaves” and multiple them to lead any who stop by here on a given day to draw closer to Jesus <3

I am closing today with one of my favorite quotes from Lee.

In a section entitled Teach Them to Know and Obey Their God, she talks about the importance of daily sowing into our children the knowledge of God and why He is worthy of our obedience to His ways.

She points to the accounts in Scripture of a young man who was trained up to be BRAVE…by a brave mom and dad probably…way back when Babylon invaded Jerusalem and took him away captive…never to return.

Daniel was in his teens when he was selected to be transported to a faraway land so that he could be indoctrinated and brainwashed into the pagan culture and court of the King of Babylon.

They took his name, his life as he had known it and most likely his manhood…but they couldn’t take his heart or his spirit.

Those had been given once and for all to Yahweh and in Daniel we see story after story of what brave looks like.

It had to start with the training he received in his home is how Lee surmises it.

What he had received up to the point of capture kept him forever free in the land of the enemy.

Daniel … in Hebrew…God is my judge…never let the culture influence him but instead HE influenced even pagan Kings to declare the praises of our mighty God. In each account we see the Kings of both Babylon and Persia respecting him, seeking wisdom from him, acknowledging the Sovereignty of his God…and in King Darius we see such a deep relationship forged that his royal head never closed its eyes but waited fitfully though the watches of the night while Daniel slept peacefully amongst the lions he had been thrown to.

Day by day…faith lived out and taught by loving parents brought the name of Yahweh into the very throne room of the enemy.

Day by day…step by step….prayer by prayer…act by act…

“This is the way we walk, child…”

I will close with Lee’s beautiful words regarding the motive behind our efforts to raise up warriors who will strengthen others in their own faith and equip them to stand before kings with confidence held steadfastly in the King of kings…that they will have committed wholeheartedly their hearts to the LORD before the enemy ever has a chance at them.

“I pray that, when it comes to our children, the Enemy might look at them and conclude, “We began too late. These kids already know their God.” May our teachings echo down their hearts chambers decades from now, reminding them of the truths we sow into them today.”  Lee Nienhuis/Brave Moms, brave kids. pg. 139

Amen, amen, amen

That’s a brave prayer, my friend.

God help us to be brave <3