Saturday, April 23, 2011


If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, then you know one of my struggles is control. Today in my quiet time God revealed this verse to me:

 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.  
Proverbs 19:21 (New International Version, ©2011)

Again. Yes again. Just last week he showed me a similar verse but in a different chapter of Proverbs.

So what does it mean? Does God mean that I need to stop making plans? No. Does it mean that I need to recognize Him? Definitely. To me, this short and simple verse tells me that I can make lots of plans. But I need to recognize that ultimately it is His purpose that will happen. I cannot force anything to happen.

But our flesh wants us to take control. I have learned this is a tension to manage while here in this world. A balance so to speak that we must live in. Look at another translation of that verse:

We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails. 
Proverbs 19:21 (The Message)

Brainstorming options and plans - yep that's me. My father in law sometimes refers to me as "spreadsheet" because of my love for organizing and crunching numbers. I do love it. That's what I do.

But it's not who I truly am. I am His. I am to recognize the Throne. Lets do that right now...

Father, as we approach the holy week - I pray I can sit back and fully take in all that you have done for me. Thank you Jesus for taking on my sins. I am so grateful. I really do not know what I would do without you, Lord. Right now, I submit my plans to you. I trust you with my life. I pray that we will continue to grow closer. And again I thank you for all you have done for me. Amen.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Peace isn't easy

Having peace, living in peace, being a peace maker. I'm always praying for it. I'm always longing to just "be still." But it's easier said than done.

My mind is always running. It's so hard to turn my brain off. Actually, I don't think it's possible to turn my thoughts off. So what to do?

Did you know that the word peace is mentioned in the Bible over 200 times? Obviously, that means that God cares about being peaceful. My favorite verse is where it defines peace as one "that transcends all understanding." Do you get the depth of hat verse? That means that we can't even fathom the kind of peace that God can give us if we ask.

That's what I'm praying for. God's peace. One day I will achieve that. Until then I'll keep praying...

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 
2 Peter 1:2

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I'll pray for you. Any prayer requests? 

I'm sure you have said those statements before. It started to bother me a few years because I would say that but I wouldn't follow through. So of course, I had to develop a system for myself.

So now, I like to be very intentional with my prayers. If I tell you that I'm going to pray for you - then I really will. The way I do this is structured. So it won't work for everyone but it does work for me.

Basically, I created 5 days that are "assigned" to specific people or groups of people. I pray specifically on those days. I have the days set up on my calendar so I can add specific prayer requests in the calendar event. Each day, I can take a look to see what I'm praying for. Any time a prayer is answered - I log it in my prayer journal so I can remember God's faithfulness. Below are the days I'm doing for 2011. These days are reviewed in December for the next year.

Monday - Gregory, Tuesday - Finn, Wednesday - Ashley (accountability partner), Thursday - Family/Friends, and Friday - Groups I'm in (Mom's group and Cambodia team)

And that's it. So just know if I ask you - "How can I pray for you?" that I really will pray.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Lesson

Fearless  adj  \'fir-les'\
:free from fear

I wish I was fearless but I'm not. I may even be a wimp sometimes. I'm not afraid of dying. I'm not afraid of heights. Spiders may bother me, but I'm not fearful of them.

I'm however fearful for Finn. I wish I wasn't but I am.

It just hit me yesterday that I need to be praying about this more often. My weekly lesson was learned yesterday at the playground. So - thanks God :) I was watching Gregory run around with him. And all I kept picturing in my head was awful things. A bloody lip, broken teeth, a fall and a broken arm. I couldn't enjoy that nice memory because I was so fearful.

I know that I need to let him be a boy. I know those things will happen. I know that I'm being overprotective (and I don't want to be). But just because I know doesn't mean I can stop the thoughts. So I need to take the thought captive immediately and not let my mind run with visions.

I'm not supposed to be anxious about anything. Even my quiet time this morning was about peace and how God wants us to have that abundant peace.

So, today in my authentic post - I'm just declaring to be praying about this. And starting the process to rid myself of this anxiety. I know it won't ever go completely away. But I should be able to have fun playing with Finn at the playground instead of being stressed that something will happen. Because the truth is - it might happen, but why worry?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 
Philippians 4:6-8

Friday, April 15, 2011

The hope of Heaven

 "Let the hope of Heaven give you peace today"

I don't know about you but I too easily get caught up in crap during my day. Drama that's happening around me, the urgent tasks, my to do list, and the list could go on and on. I find myself saying - Gosh there are really bad things happening in this world or Life just isn't fair or I have so much to do and not enough hours.

And those statements are true. However, as a Christian we are to have a Heavenly perspective. We are to fix our eyes on Him. I love how Hebrews 12:1-2 puts it - "Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame and sat down at the right hand throne of God."

So for me today - I'm asking God to give me that Heavenly perspective. I'm asking him to let the hope of Heaven give me peace. 
What about you? What can you do today?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No control

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his path" Proverbs 16:9

Wow - let that verse sink in. Read it again. What does it mean to you?

To me, it means no control. And I can be really honest here and say this is very hard for me. Actually, it's the hardest piece of being a Christian. I can make all the plans I want, but God's the ultimate director.

What I'm learning lately is that when I don't let God lead I'm not trusting. I'm not trusting Him and all the lessons and blessings he has in store for me. He always has the best interest for me because he can see the whole time line. Whereas I am living in tunnel vision.

So - what I'm trying to say is there is a balance here. You don't want to just be moved by the winds. But at the same time, you must recognize you have a leader. And His will ultimately will take priority anyway. How do you live this out?

1-Recognize God's place
2-Make plans, but be flexible
3-Pray a lot - "Less of me, more of You"

That's what I do. It's a daily hourly struggle for me. So I will leave you with this one last time...

Less of me, More of YOU!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book review: "That's my Son" by Rick Johnson

The first book I read in quarter one was That's my Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character by Rick Johnson. It was a pretty good book. For me, there were a few spots I just had to push through and read. But I have 5 takeaways from it. 

1. If you have a son and you were raised by a single mom - read this book. It's very helpful to help get your perspective right on how to raise your son to stay and make correct choices. And ultimately how to be lead by God.

2. There were a few things I didn't agree with. One was that the mom should tell her son about sex. Personally, I think that a father should tell the son and a mother should tell the daughter. If there are two parents of course.

3. If you are a single mom, this is a GREAT read for you. He devotes a whole chapter to single moms.

4. Ultimately, I have to realize that I have to let my son get hurt, make mistakes, and fail. Through all of those things he will gain character. God will teach him through the circumstances and struggles. As a mother, this is not easy. We want to "save" our children from everything. But we should not if we want them to be a man of character (which I do)

5. This book challenged me to make a list of character traits that I want my son to have. This was big for me - the list maker. Haha! I do love making lists. Some of mine included honest, loyal, compassionate, honor, and trust-worthy.

So all in all - it was a good book. I would recommend it. Happy reading...

Monday, April 11, 2011

The forgotten but most important

Quiet time with God daily is so important but typically it's forgotten. Yes I said forgotten.

Why? Well, that's easy - the urgent task will always take the lead if you let it. Let me say that one more time - the urgent s always take the lead if you let them. I just want to check my email real quick, i need to get ready first, i would just like to sleep a little longer...the list could go on and on. So today, I'm listing out a 3 things I try to stick to and why it's important to me.

What I try to stick to:
1. I wake up every morning at 6:00 am.
2. I immediately spend time with my God before I do anything else.
3. I change up what I'm doing in my quiet time as soon as it feels stale.

The whys:
1. If I'm not ready by the time Finn gets up, I can't fully be with him before he goes to school. Also, once he's up I cant get back to alone time.
2. If I don't immediately spend time with God when I get up - I cloud my mind with the to-dos of the day, I end up doing other things and before I know it Finn's up and my day has started, and I'm not giving God my first minutes of the day.
3. I'm a human - quiet time gets stale for me every couple months. So I have a rotation. Everytime I switch what I'm doing a light bulb goes off. I love that! Today, I just starter reading "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. I highly recommend it.

Remember, balancing a healthy spiritual walk is the most important item on your to-do list.

I hope you notice above my list of things to stick to - I said try. I am not perfect. I mess up daily. Today, I checked my email before my quiet time. That was a mistake. But the point is - I'm aware. These things work for me. I have the list so that I'm intentional.

Are you? I encourage you to make your own lists of what to do and why. Share if you want.

"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31-39

Saturday, April 9, 2011

No easy task

Sometimes the pendulum of balance swings more in one direction than usual. In today's post, I'll explain how I "try" to keep things balanced between work and home.

We had Drive Conference at my work the last week of March. That means I worked from Sunday to Thursday - I put in around 50 hours that week. On a normal week, I work 32 hours a week. Of course it was worth it, Drive is one of my favorite things about working for North Point Ministries. I got to meet and talk to leaders from almost 500 churches. I can definitely say I ran on total adrenaline that week. Little sleep and on my feet all day!

This brings me to this past week - it was SPRING BREAK! And since my husband was home we did all kinds of fun activities. We went to the zoo, we took Finn to an indoor jumpy house, and did plenty of eating out. It was wonderful. When I was home, I was fully home. No work! And on top of that, my awesome husband landscaped our front yard. He did an awesome job.

Below are some pictures for you to enjoy.

 Finn and Daddy in front of the Panda exhibit
 Finn really loved watching the orangutans
 I love my little boy!
 Checking out a komodo dragon
 Happy boy - he loves the ZOO!
 My little cub
 Watching the elephants
 All 3 of us on the train
 The tree behind him was planted when he was born - we call it "The Finn tree"
 Finn and daddy in front of Finn's tree
 The beautifully landscaped front yard - I really love the border he designed
 A little done to the side to help with erosion
And here's the whole front! 
All the pics are blurry from Kangazoom - but this one is my favorite, Gregory's face is priceless.

So - that's how I "try" balance home and work. I try to keep my time as equal as it can be. If my time swings towards work a lot for a week then the next week I'm all home. And of course, it's always a good thing to have the pendulum of balance go more towards home.

How do you keep things in balance? Any tips?

Monday, April 4, 2011

The best job i've ever had.

If someone asked you what the best job was that you've ever had - could you answer it? I can - it's my current job at North Point for sure!

This week is my anniversary date at work. I have been on staff at North Point Ministries 4 years already. As I begin my 5th year at work here, I'd like to make a few comments. First of all, I can say with 100% confidence that I am a better person because of the investment North Point has made in me. Just to be specific - when I say I 'm a better person I mean I'm a better mom, wife, Christian, and friend than I was before coming on staff.

My story of how I came on staff:
Coming on staff was totally a "God thing." I had been in the mortgage industry and was tired of working crazy hours. So, I just submitted my resume into the hiring database. Ashley Jansen was pregnant with her first child, Hamilton, and was looking for a replacement. The role was the IT Admin Assistant to Sean Strickland. I thought this will be a easy job and I will be in the ministry so I'm interested. After applying, I ran into Ashley at GroupLink and she recognized my name. The next week I had a series of 8 interviews. I was exhausted after that and also humbled that North Point took such care in making sure they were hiring the right people for the right job. But 2 weeks later, Sean called me and offered me the job. And of course I accepted right away! I cut my pay in half - but it was totally worth it! God has blessed me WAY more than that extra money every did.

And that's the story - in the last 4 years, I worked in IT for 3 and now in Resources for 1. I loved working for Sean and I loved the IT team. But I do feel like the job I'm in now is the one I was always meant for. To be completely honest, I have found my dream job.

So, cheers to 4 wonderful years! Thank you Andy Stanley for your investment in making sure the staff is cared for. I have felt that from day one and this is definitely the best place I have ever worked.

Thank you Jesus for bringing me to work at North Point 4 years ago. I know it was all you. I love being part of a place that is spreading your name throughout the world. May everything I do here be to your Glory. I take credit for nothing - for it is all you. Thank you for growing me as a person and pulling me closer to you. I pray as time moves that we continue to get the word into as many peoples hands as possible. And also that others not us - but see you shining through. Amen.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. "Colossians 3:23-24 NIV