If you would have told me a month ago that we would be staying home because we were told to and not because we want to, and that in all of Wheaton there was not one single roll of toilet paper to be found, I wouldn't believe you!
If you would have told me one month ago that all schools would be canceled and that college would go online, I think I would have smiled and said that could never happen here.
If you would have told me one month ago that we would be attending church online and would not be meeting for all of Lent, I would have stared at you in disbelief.
But today I am living that reality. So much around me is shifting, changing, shaking, and what I never expected is now my reality.
Not all of the changes are bad, but just the fact that so much of normal life has been altered because of the current COVID-19 virus is enough to leave anyone's heart unsettled.
As I have been praying, and praying with others, the phrase that I have heard...
Some Truths Just Need to be Danced!
My daughters Sara and Hannah choreographed this dance for a fundraiser tea last fall.
As I watched each move, the words to the song came alive in my heart.
What beautiful truths are here to dwell on as we enter this new decade:
We can have a fresh start because of God's forgiveness.
"Step into a new day
We can rise up from the dust and walk away
We can dance upon our heartache
So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships
And don't look back"
We can leave behind the shame of past mistakes.
"So long to shame, walk through the sorrow
Out of the fire into tomorrow
So flush the pills, face the fear
feel the wave disappear
We're coming clear we're born again
Our hopeful lungs can breathe again."
Take some time to dwell upon these truths and dance your way into the new decade.
Jonathan's Stop Motion Video
My son Jonathan made this video while I was reading to him. I wanted to include it in my blog post because it is the message that I am hearing God speak over and over to me as this new decade begins.
Don't just stay where you are - TAKE ACTION!
The cars could remain in the garage, but if they leave they will be able to reach their destinations to help people in need.
There are many reasons why we don't take action.
It could be fear of failure or rejection, or maybe it is because we don't know what the next step forward looks like.
Action looks like something. It makes our faith visible.
In the Old Testament, God required action from the Israelites in order for them to get the land that He had promised them.
He gave them the land, but they had to march forward and trust God to help them each step of the way!
There were walls that needed to come down, and giants that needed to be slain. But God...
This picture was made possible by a Christmas Gift!
My son Jonathan has been enjoying his new endeavor of 3D printing. There is a website where you can explore and find hundreds of items to print!
But what if you want to create your own pattern to print? This is possible, but you need to use a specific program that requires you to have a scroll button on your computer mouse. Our computer mouse lacked this feature, so Jonathan used some of his Christmas money to purchase a new mouse!
It was so fun seeing him plug in his purchase and begin to create what he could not do before!
It made me think of how we may be stopped or frustrated in an area of our lives because we do not have the tools necessary to go forward.
This is where having a mentor can help you!
Linking arms with someone who has already walked the road that you are on has many advantages. Your mentor can show you the best path forward, point you to the tools that you need, and help you avoid...
I found the rocks!
Although this picture does not have the best lighting, I wanted to include it in this blog post. I was so excited as we walked through the story of God on the third floor of the Museum of the Bible to find this stack of rocks!
This stack of rocks was meant to be an artistic replica of the twelve stones that a man from each tribe took from the middle of the river Jordan when they crossed over to the promised land.
The rocks that the men stacked up were to be a reminder of the miracle that God did in drying up the river. God dried up the river so the Israelites could cross over on dry ground to the promised land that God was giving them.
The tower of rocks was specifically put there for the people to remember.
"And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones...
Each summer we have had the gift from God of a family vacation. These travels and experiences have not only given us memories we will treasure forever, but have also helped us grow individually and in our family relationships.
So traveling together as a family is not a new experience for us. However, traveling right after Christmas is! This year we felt God was calling us to be part of a prayer conference right outside of Washington DC.
There were so many pieces that needed to come together for us to make this journey. There were pets to find places for, and leaving our house in the middle of winter also felt daunting.
Amazingly all the pieces came together for us to attend the conference! What was also so encouraging to us was to see God's fingerprints on all parts of our journey, to spend time with God and praying for our nation.
As we messaged the hosts of the AirBnb where we were to spend the week, we found out that they loved God, and that...
My son Jonathan designed and traced our Christmas card this year!
I love the names of Jesus written on the tree:
Son of God, Son of Man
Good Shepherd King of the Jews
Christ, Bread of Life, Emmanuel
Almighty One, Chosen One, Deliverer, Light of the World
We put a lot of love, time and energy into designing and making our cards this year. But as the days towards Christmas began to dwindle I realized that I was not able to get the cards finished.
Not only was I putting all the finishing touches on our Christmas celebration, but I was also doing all the preparations necessary for us to attend a prayer conference near Washington DC, just a few days after Christmas.
We left for the conference with wrapped packages and Christmas cards sitting on the table waiting to be addressed and stamped.
As I talked to God about the gifts on the table, He told me to surrender my timetable and agenda to Him. As I did...
What is your favorite part of a birthday party?
Do you enjoy the decorations, the games, or maybe the cake?
Birthdays are so fun to celebrate because you get to honor a unique, one-of-a-kind person on their special day!
This year I was thinking about how our Christmas traditions have all the ingredients of an amazing birthday party!
There are spectacular decorations inside and outside. There are fun Advent activities and special events throughout the season, and we search for special gifts for those we love. Finally, there is the amazing food that comes with the season, like cookies and egg nog! These are all beautiful ways to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!
Jesus’ birth was promised, and awaited for many generations. When he was born, Jesus brought hope and deliverance, so making Christmas an amazing celebration is a beautiful response!
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and...
There are so many things that I love during this part of the year!
I love the changing colors of the trees!
I have several favorite trees that I admire each year. One is directly across from our house that turns a brilliant yellow. Another tree I love is on a favorite walking path. Its blazing red leaves are such a contrast to the clear blue skies of these autumn days!
I love hot chocolate and tea.
Although I am a tea lover all year long, there is something special about having something warm to drink on a cold frosty morning!
I love that we begin counting the days to the Holiday Season.
I love celebrating, and this time of year brings lots of opportunities to connect as a family! My love language is gift giving, so I love thinking of ways to give to those who mean so much to me!
During this season of favorite things, I love to keep one of my favorite sayings in the forefront of my mind, which is No Joy no Grace!
There are so many choices that come...
The sun peeked behind a cloud as the boys drew their bows tight. Their teacher loved challenging them with different games. This game was a point challenge. Each shot they made had the potential to earn from one to a million points!
The arrows wizzed through the air as each boy racked up points! Then their teacher added a new level of challenge. He put red and blue balloons on each target with even more points to gain.
As I watched this new game get underway I was surprised by two things.
First, although each boy missed the balloons, they each hit the target EVERY time!
The second thing I noticed was they all were disappointed.
Even though none of the balloons were broken, the teacher congratulated them for never missing the target. He said that the balloons had brought an added precision, even though the goal was not being reached.
I recently completed my coaching certification with Kingdom Builders Academy. I had set many goals for myself, so when I reached the one year mark and was...