Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vacation Pics

Promised photos...

Our entertainment on the way up: buy meat and cheese, eat, then give Ethan the tray!

When we first got to the cabin in Iron Mountain...
Attempting to photograph our family is always risky due to obnoxious behavior, it usually takes many tries, and brings the photographer to their wits end (then they get serious). Our friend was only willing to try it once. This is what we get. Me, the more serious one not looking!! Oh well.

View of Lake Superior from Sugar Loaf Mountain.
The cabin on Dead River.

View of the Dead River from our friend's cabin.

My boys playing in the sand...

Kayla with our friend's dog, Kirby...

Us on our 25th Anniversary in front of the Coffee Cup in Marquette, MI.

I met Dale at an amusement park (Valley Fair-MN) and I have taken note of the significance of that now for 28 years. Yes, I met him when I was 15...

These are the offspring of me and my amusement park guy on the eve of our 25th Anniversary!
Kayla has a way of making friends with all the little critters.

This is my swing by the river.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Upon Returning

Vacation is good. Coming home is good.

But being the "type A" that I am, I get overwhelmed by the unpacking and getting things back in order. It was compounded this time because as we drove in the driveway, my flowers looked so sad from no rain the entire week we were gone. They were in full glory when we left-I guess I thought they'd stay that way!

I also came home to boxes of fall merchandise for the store to unpack. I had promised customers I would have some fall items out the end of August, which didn't leave me much time when I was returning on the 25th! (I don't get why some want to push fall forward for the life of me-summer here is so short-but I love 'em so I accomodate!)

I set about unpacking, laundry, watering, opening boxes, pricing, and rearranging the shop a bit before Wed (my hours are Wed-Sat 10-5).

Tonight I feel a bit back to normal, and clear-minded (sigh).

Usually when one returns from vacation that is what they talk about...Sorry, I had to dump the uglies first.

For vacation, we went to the U.P. of Michigan. For those who have no idea what that is, it stands for the Upper Penninsula. It actually is an extension of Wisconsin. We rented a cabin for a week on the Menomonie River. The Lord gave us perfect weather & lotsa fun!

We have friends in Marquette, which is on Lake Superior. They are wonderful hosts. They took us along the coast and told some local stories and history, then we hiked up Sugar Loaf Mtn to get a panoramic view of the city and the giant blue lake. It was breathtaking. I haven't loaded my photos yet-coming soon!

We then drove out a long, windy, narrow road for several miles to a little cabin on the Dead River, where she insisted we stay for the night so we didn't have to drive back to our resort. There was a beautiful beach on which I became a whale (laid out in the sun I mean) and watched my children-all three of them dig ditches in the sand and fill them with water. I LOVE that, when they are just like 8 years old. It was heart-warming.

We took a pontoon ride, sat in the sauna, visited, and nodded off. The next morning we had to visit a coffee shop that Dale's co-worker owns. We then headed back for Iron Mountain, where we fished, (well, I just laid in the boat) and ate and lounged and ate and slept and ate and toured and ate........and yes, I felt like a slug-you know how that is?

Then we went ORVing or ATVing or four wheeling-whatever you call it. I have read Wild at Heart-you know, the book about men and their thirst for they love their women to love it I put myself at the mercy of the Lord, strapped on my husband's too-large-for-my-head helmet, his gloves, and goggles, and off we went. I think I will post just on this adventure another time. Let's just leave it with WE ARE ALL STILL ALIVE-okay?

And I did get my romance (the other book, which I was reading on our trip: Captivating-the one about women and their thirst for romance or beauty). Mornings on the river were beautiful. When I woke before everyone else, the Lord beckoned me out to the swing that was on a little connected island, right near the river so I could admire the sunshine dancing in the water as I drank deep from the River of Life.

It's good to end a story with the sweet stuff. Actually, it's all good (I love that saying), even the return challenges- because I appreciate God's mercy and patience all the more when He continues to love His "type A".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I've been tagged by Flickers of a faithful firefly

I’m supposed to share an Alphabet story, the A to Z 's of me.

Attached or Single? Attached. It was 25 years on the 20th...28 if you count dating:)

Best Friend? Jesus

Cake or Pie? Neither. I like Hersheys chocolate or Dairy Queen blizzards (Cappuccino Heath flavor) if I have dessert.

Day of Choice? Sunday. Corporate prayer and worship feeds my soul for the week ahead. Plus I get to stay in my dressy clothes all day if I want to.

Essential Item? Bible, notebook and pen.

Flavour of Ice cream? Caribeau coffee w/ chocolate chunks (do you see a pattern here?)

Gummy Bears of Worms? Fruit snacks are the closest to these items that I eat.

Hometown? Hugo, MN-Did you see our little town made national news a few months ago because of the tornado? My parent's and two sisters were 1 mile North of the twister!!

Indulgences? You guessed it: hershey's kisses and mocha w/ no whip!!

January or July? don't want to be here in January!!

Kids? 2 beautiful (if I do say so myself!)

Last Movie I saw in a Theater? Expelled. It was really really good.

Middle Name? Jane, after my mom.

Number of Siblings? 11

Oranges or Apples? Oranges.

Phobia or Fear? fear...but overcoming by the grace of God!

Quote? a new favorite: "Everybody believed God could kill Goliath, but David was the only one in Israel that believed that God could use him to kill Goliath." Rick Heeren

Reason to Smile? Seeing my Savior set someone free, and the privelege of having been a part of it.

Season? Autumn... Wow! Colors, sweaters, apples, pumpkins, afternoon drives through the countryside, fragrance of the air, hot cider, orchards, hayrides, bonfires, no more mowing, no more weeding, banana bread (with chocolate chips of course!).....

Tag four more: Heather, Robin, Angela, Kristi

Unknown Fact About Me? Hmmm, perhaps y'all don't know I have curly hair...

Vegeterian or Oppressor of Animals? I grew up on a farm. Animals are from God for food :0

Worst Habit? chocolate or coffee???

Xrays or Ultrasounds? I have had both. Don't want either.

Your favourite Food? You guessed it...chocolate. I do love seafood though. Crablegs, shrimp. I also really like homemade bread w/ butter. Did I mention chocolate chip cookies?

Zodiac? Nope.

So there you have it, a snapshot of me, written quickly, A to Z.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bon Voyage!

We'all are goin' away for awhile! No laptop, no business calls, no laundry until I return! God bless you if you came to visit and found me "not home". I'll be back soon.

Pray that all will go well for my mother-in-law as she stays and waters, weeds, picks, and runs the shop....thank you!

Be back soon!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am so thankful today for God's mercy, patience and grace for such a "wretch like me". I had a really huge challenge with my attitude, and failed off and on to keep my focus on pleasing the Lord rather than grumbling about a job that was "laid on me" (as my old nature was trying to convince me).

I am also really thankful that even though I failed God, he graciously gave me opportunities in the muck...

I have been gifted with the gift of paint, that's right, PAINT. Therefore I get called to use my gift. Makes sense. I have a gift -I should use it. I am grateful that it is acknowledged, and I would feel bad if I didn't get called (you know how that is?) It is also pride to take a job when your life is too busy to do it. Hmmm. Actually I agreed to get the paint and oversee the project-thought I could handle that. It was announced from the pulpit that we needed painters.

The first week I got approached after service by two little guys; 11 and 9. I thought, "okay, when a couple of people sign up who are good at painting, I'll give them a call". Another anouncement was made the next week, no response. Finally, last week I had two women agree to do it, but they don't trim. Okay...

We need to get the classrooms painted and the carpet laid before fall Sunday School starts and I am leaving on vacation on Monday. (MIL staying here and running the shop for me!)

After I was enlisted to get paint and oversee the project, the youth pastor showed me that the area where they took the walls out from between the two rooms had not been textured and I would have to figure out something to roll on there. Here is where my heart's challenge began...

Now I have to figure this out and I'll have to do it myself (wahh, wahh wahh), and I told them I have no time. How did this fall on me? (please don't count the personal pronouns-it's ugly!) Why didn't the SHEETROCK TAPERS do the job???

So Tuesday afternoon I went to the local hardware store to ask Paul what to do.

On my way in a young mom with a little girl approached me and asked me for $4.80 so she could call her mom in Illinois. if they ask for your shirt, give them your tunic as well... I had, (guess how much) in my wallet, $4. and some change. I gave her the money and blessed her. Then I went in and Paul sold me some sheetrock mud to mix with the paint and roll on. Okay, sounds pretty simple.

When I checked out, the young woman at the register was a newly single mom who I have connected with in conversation a few times. She has two middle school girls who have been coming to youth group for a few years and whom I have gotten to know. She ended up telling me her whole story. Her husb had been cheating on her for 1.5 yrs with a girl she sat at soccer games with. They had girls the same age. I was heartbroken and heard the Lord say something like "workin' it out for good" (He meant my being there after feeling inconvenienced & having an ugly martyr mentality)

I ended up offering to spend time with the girls if she wanted me to. They are having an understandably hard time.

Thank you Lord, that you could use me to encourage her despite me!

I had an idea last night. Kayla isn't working now, and I could get her to run the shop for me this morning, so I could get my part done with the painting. The texture and trim. So I headed in, after being detained with a phone call, and spend four hours there getting the job started for the girls who will do the rolling on Tuesday next week. NO BIG DEAL!

I am humbled, and satisfied because of this mercy, patience and grace mentioned above.

Me-wretched, HIM-GOOD! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Visit Iris for more Thankful Thursday!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Parental Concern

Ugh! I just lost my whole post...I press on...

I jumped into a study of 1 Thess last week. Today we were in chapter 3 where Paul is anxious to hear of the faith of the Thessalonian Christians. He is deeply concerned that in hearing of his persecutions, that the deciever would have turned them away from the faith.

"I endeavored more eagerly to see your faith with great desire." (2:17)

"...when we could no longer endure it..."(3:1)

"For this reason, when I could not longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter has tempted you, and our labor might be in vain." (3:5)

Seeing/feeling the emotion in these verses, I can relate! I feel this in my heart for my own children and the ones the Lord has given me to mentor and invest in over the years. A constant "watchfullness" and attention to their lives.

In the 19 years I have been walking with the Lord, I have seen several wander from the faith, and it causes me to be continually "alert" on behalf of my children & those in my circle.

"But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love...we were comforted concerning you by your faith." (3"7)

And then I can relate to the comfort. The sense of relief at hearing the good news! Knowing that indeed, your children and loved ones are walking in the Truth.

"For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord." (3:8)

For now we LIVE...the emotional depth in this passage is one that our hearts can connect with...and what passion that Paul prayed with...look v. 10! "night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith." In other words, "I long to build you up!!"

Praise God that we have the privelege and comfort of prayer along with mass communication abilities as we move toward that Day! The Day where: He has established our hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. (3:13)

This is our goal, our pursuit, our ministry to the Lord. This is why He came! To seek and save the lost! Blessed be His Holy Name!

Friday, August 8, 2008

New Music

I have been listening to a CD the last couple of days that blesses me alot and I wanted to share it with you!! It is "Mesmerized" by Meredith Andrews. I was delighted to hear her @ our Set Apart confrence @ Northwestern College last March. I purchased her CD and I love every song!! She has a new one out now I saw on her website today. I am going to have to order one!

Check it out! This is her new CD...


I have read much in blogworld about going deep with God and the treasures that are awaiting. Sometimes it begs the question(s) to be answered: "What does that look like?" or "How do you go about it?"

There are some things brought out such as the cost...being willing to sacrifice time, or to sacrifice material things, or to go out of your comfort zone..

I would add fasting and worship beyond what we normally do. Perhaps giving up a day and going into your sanctuary and worshiping and praying. Seeking with our whole heart. Or reading books (or blogs!) instead of watching TV...

As I just finished a book entitled "Worship Warrior" by Chuck Pierce, and I am now reading "Desperate for His Presence" I am gleaning treasures from the deep that the authors are sharing with me. Things that Jesus has taught them over time, or through other authors.

By the way, isn't it awesome how we enhance each other's knowledge of God by sharing what He teaches us!! I just get pumped!!!!!!!

In Desperate for His Presence, Rhonda Hughley talks about returning to covenant with God. (This book is mainly about God bringing transformation/revival to people, cities and nations.)
So here is the treasure I want to share today:

Covenant is simply an arrangement between two parties with specific and mutual obligations to be fulfilled. A binding agreement that requires a commitment to responsibility and action.

She describes steps involved in covenant-making; a number of things were exchanged between the two parties which symbolized them being one.
1. the exchange of robes represented an exchange of identity.
2. the exchange of belts symbolized the sharing of strength and assets.
3. the exchange of weapons symbolized the exchange of enemies. (isn't that one profound!)
4. the sacrifice of an animal making it a blood covenant. (our Savior)
5.and finally they exchanged is the treasure (maybe y'all already knew this, but it was a wow moment for me!) Abram was changed to AbrAHam. "AH" comes from Yahweh, so Abraham was given God's name when they made a covenant. God also took Abraham's name..."The God of Abraham...."

Think about SarAH as well.

Next the author speaks of two types of covenant treaties. One between equal parties (parity) and one between a King who posessed everything, and a peasant who possessed nothing (suzerainty). It is obvious which one is ours with God (smile). So in our covenant with Him, we are the recipient and He the giver of identity, assets, strength, enemy (and assured victory), and the blood of the Lamb.

Talk about treasure! We can also look over the list and think in terms of our marriage covenant. What rich things to meditate on.

Jesus, thank you for such a rich treasury that you have given to us, your Bride. Thank you that you love us so much that you gave all to be in relationship with us. I am in AWE!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A little late in the day, but wow!! Let the list begin!! I am thankful for:

This perfect day! The weather was like a kiss from the King!

The beauty of God's creation. My yard is in full bloom, and the grass is mowed and I was able to just sit and look at it for awhile today.

My house is a house of prayer...2 people stopped over for prayer Tuesday, one was a neighbor who is being tested for lukemia next week, and another "sister" from my small group looking for support. The cool thing is they were here at the same time, so Jodi (neighbor) got two to pray for her!!

My prayer time with Ethan in the morning. His name means "Steadfast Heart" and when he prays I can see him living up to it!

My husband had a breakthrough on Sunday. He was under a dark cloud for the last several weeks, and I was awakened @ 3am Sunday to pray. I cried out to the Lord. During the service the Lord spoke to him and he has been walking in light since then!!

Kayla will be coming home Sunday from her summer @ camp as counselor, and a week later we will be attending the Barlow Girl concert (16th) and on to vacation in the UP of Michigan!

My young friend, Reverie, who I have mentored over the past few years sent me a beautiful mug that says "mocha". Thanks Rev!! I love ya! She just started a blog...

And finally, just had to let you know again I am thankful I got to meet Heather on Monday! & Between her and Angela I was able to figure out the linking thing!! Thanks girls!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Our Youth Room

I was browsing my photos and thought I would post a couple of pictures of our youth room. We just finished adding on to the church last spring. We added a new wing with nurseries, bathrooms and a youth room.

When we were meeting and discussing paint and decorating, it was mentioned that we needed the room to really look like it belongs to youth. Well, I got out the trusty JC Penney catalog for inspiration, and this is what we came up with.

Kayla (my daughter) did the computer work, and we blew it up and I made a stencil out of 6 large pieces of tagboard. I was a little nervous about it falling apart as I had to put it up and take it down so many times, but the Lord held it together real good!

The 2nd picture is just before the dedication service, we moved the whole congregation into the room and had testimonies and singing. (The name of our youth group is "Recharge")

I had my scrapbooking friend do the posters in the frames with charachter qualities in them in the colors of the room. I will have to remember to take pictures of them close up. They are awesome!

Come to think of it...Recharge is what happens whenever I read blogs! Thanks Friends!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Desperate For His Presence

I have been reading a book called "Desperate For His Presence" by Rhonda Hughey. Because I am...desperate for His Presence. In the book, Rhonda talks about the Omnipresence of God; His being everywhere. And the manifest Presence of God. Making this distinction with Old Testament examples of when God's Presence manifested. In the tabernacle, in the temple, in the cloud. Always coming as Israel was worshiping.

I recall the times at retreats or confrences where His Presence is more tangible than every-day experiences. And the times of severe pain, as in the death of my brother. His Presence seemed more real, close...

She goes on to talk about our ministries, and how we often do work for God without Him being the source, and it amounts to alot of striving on our part verses being intimate with God and following His lead and having His Presence and Power at work.

We need to hunger and thirst for His Presence and ask for more hunger and thirst.

Today I met (for the first time) my bloggy friend Heather for lunch. And after I left her, I began to think about the difference between reading her heart on her blog, and actually being in her presence. Even though we only had a couple of hours together, my heart grew more fond of her in those two hours. I feel like I know her (a little bit)now rather than simply knowing about her. I care about what she cares about after time sharing our hearts.

I recalled my time with Robin @ She Speaks being similar. Now when I read her blog, I hear her voice and see her expressions. And Angie, such a sensitive, encouraging, sweet sister (visit her blog about "sister day")... I am so blessed to have met my "sisters"!!

Wow! What timing for that picture of the contrast of simply knowing about Jesus and reading His Writing to being in His Presence.

What I am seeing so much in seeking His Glory and Presence more, is that He manifests through our worship. He inhabits the praise of His people (sorry I can't find the address of that one, but I know it is in scripture) Oh how I long to know Him more! To rest in Him more confidently, to glorify Him more.

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ...Phillipians 3:8

If you are already hungering for more of His manifest presence and you want to go deeper, click here for an article by Prayer Transformation Ministries-go to the archived articles and click on July 28th article.

A Fruitful Tree

Last summer I started this new garden which I can see from my kitchen window. It was the perfect spot on the south side of our workshop. I wanted a little tree, and settled on this apple tree. As you can see the fruit on the tree is making it bow to the East.

This got me to thinking...fruitful tree.. bowing...Here is another Spiritual application from a garden. When we are planted in the Lord, if we are fruitful, we are bowing in humility before the Lord.

Then I saw another application: If I left my little tree without support it would probably snap off at some point. I had Ethan put the fencepost in next to the tree so I could tie the tree to it to help it stand.
Then I had to pull the fruit from the main branch so it would stand upright. Now that it has support, it will grow upright.

May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. Psalm 20:2

I'm sure there are many more applications from this little adventure in the garden if I were to spend more time on it...any come to your mind?