Showing posts from February, 2018

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Matthew 4:18-20 ~ As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 9:9 ~ As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Luke 5:27-28 ~ After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.   Matthew 10:27 ~  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. When I was 14 I clearly heard the voice of God calling me and telling me to follow Him into full-time ministry.  I thought that meant I would be a missionary in some foreign land.  I didn't end up overseas b

Does Your Social Media Presence Set a Good Example?

I love teenagers and for the most part I can look past their quirks. They can be self-centered and silly and focused on the wrong things. They aren't always appropriate and they often are reactionary. But I love them anyway because they also can be sweet and kind and fun!  But the one thing that always makes me sad and a little at a loss as to what to do is when I see them fighting battles via Facebook or other social media and calling out someone through that means. Rather than deal with conflict face to face, they will take to their keyboard or keypad on their phone to type or text meanness.  And all that does is escalate the situation, get others in the midst of it, and make themselves look bad. From time to time I've had to deal with this in our ministry. I've had to gently remind teens of the way to handle conflicts. Some have listened, but many have not. And because they aren't my children there really isn't anything more I can do.  The thing th

Multitude Monday

Each day for the past 11 days, I've shared something I want to celebrate in that day.  It's been a way to get through the second half of February. Last night I noticed that it didn't get dark until after 6, and each morning it's a bit lighter.  I woke up this morning at 6:30 to light coming in my window.  Spring is still a long way off up here in the north country, but it's coming. I feel more energetic and happy.  Today I'm celebrating the longer days!  I don't feel the need to keep posting about it because the month will be over on Wednesday and I want to focus my writing on different things.  But on this Monday, I have a multitude of things for which I'm thankful. This week I'm thankful for blessings, 3,211-3220.  3211. A week of seeing God's provision for my son. 3212. Wrestling with an unexpected selfishness and allowing the Holy Spirit to win the battle. 3213. The opportunity to spend some time with different friends, enc

Celebrating My Freezer and Pantry

I'm continuing to look for little things to celebrate each day through the month of February and as I was making dinner last night I realized that one thing I can celebrate is my freezer and pantry. I went grocery shopping ten days ago and we all of the kids home through the weekend so my refrigerator is bare. Dan doesn't get paid until the middle of the week so I have to make things stretch. So I'm very thankful for all the canning and freezing I did this past summer.  I also generally have a good supply of items in my pantry to choose from though that's going down too but I love a challenge and decided to rise to it. The reason my pantry is fairly well stocked is that I purchase the same type of items each month and then make my meals around them rather than the other way around.  I find that it's much less expensive to do it that way than picking meals and shopping for the ingredients.  So I always have a certain amount of pasta, tomato items, starche

Celebrating Friendship

Being in  the pastorate is difficult at times.  People can be good friends until they get upset about something and then they either leave your church or want you to leave. Or other people are uncomfortable around you and avoid you as soon as they learn your husband is a pastor. It's always a bit of a lonely feeling to know that people are getting together for different things but you aren't invited because no one wants the pastor there to kill their party. And the funny thing is that Dan is the least killjoy there is! lol As a pastor and pastor's wife, you really need to develop a thick skin and stay the course.  In a church of 50 people there will be any number of different opinions of what should be done and how it should be done and many are not shy about pointing out what you are doing that they don't like. It's the only job that I know where people aren't afraid to tell the wife what they think is wrong with her husband and the way he is doing his jo

Celebrating God's Plan

The thing that seems to cause the biggest anxiety in my life is my children. As their mom I worry over the little details and I often have to take these concerns to the Lord. I thought it would get easier as they got older, but I find the opposite is true. The problems are bigger and I no longer have any control.  Yikes! Stephen finished up his college career in December and will be walking at graduation in May.  But since December he has been home and facing the overwhelming task of finding a job.  He would like to be a youth pastor because he doesn't feel like he has the experience or age to be a lead pastor in a church.  However, other than camp jobs, he really doesn't have a lot of experience at this.  His degree was in pastoral ministries so it's going to limit the type of jobs he can get. His student loans are going to kick in when June comes around so he really needed to find something quickly. Unfortunately, we do not have an extra bedroom and when Emily is h

Wednesday Words of Encouragement: Celebrating Clarity

Isaiah 55:8-9 ~  "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord .      “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,      so my ways are higher than your ways      and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. " So often when I'm going through a struggle or trial, I really want to run away. I want to get out from under those circumstances, hide from the world and go somewhere safe.  Yet, so very often, God keeps me right where I am because He wants me to stretch, grow and spiritually mature. You know what?  I'm thankful for that.  Because, as these verses say, I'm learning that God's way is so much better than anything I could choose for myself.  His thoughts are so much higher.  And when I finally get a glimpse of His plan and why He is allowing me to go through something, I have one of those moments of clarity.   And in those moments of His perspective, I'm thinki

Celebrating the Unexpected

Yesterday did not turn out as I had planned. One of our cars decided to go kaput and we dropped it off at the garage on our way out of town. We were taking the other two cars with us - the boys in one and Dan, Emily and myself in the other.  We were an hour and a half into our drive to drop Emily off at college and then go on another 2 hours to Dan's parents.  However, we stopped a rest stop to discover that Emily had forgotten her purse at home.  It included her dorm room keys, her wallet, glasses and Epipen. So it wasn't something she could go without for a bit. So the boys went on to Dan's parents with Nathan's car while we turned around and drove back home to get the purse.  My knee had already been bothering me that day and by the time we got home, I knew there was no way it was going to make it another 5 hours. So I ended up just staying home. I was not a happy camper.  I don't like it when I have to sleep alone and last night was worse because I was the

Sunday Celebrating and Monday Goal Setting

We had such a strange day in church yesterday. Generally our attendance is in the low 40s and on a good day we may get to 50.  We are a small church, but yesterday was the smallest crowd we have had since moving here.  We had 19 people and that mostly was because the majority of our church members are sick with the flu. On Friday, I went next door and bleached every possible surface to disinfect, but it's going around the schools too so everyone is catching it.   So instead of our normal service, we did things differently.  We sang, Dan gave a short devotional and then we had a time of corporate prayer. It was different, but a wonderful time of sharing and praying. One of the things I found to celebrate yesterday was the fact that we can see God's hand moving in a friend's life. He is going through an extremely rough time and his faith is wavering. Dan and I have been praying that he would see God working in his life each day in very tangible ways. It's been wo

Celebrating a Free and Sunny Saturday Morning

For the past month I've had something going on almost every Saturday - conferences, retreats, meetings, etc.  Yesterday was the first free Saturday I've had in a while and so I decided that was something to celebrate. Dan and I headed out for some fresh air, walking and to enjoy the lake a bit.  Then we went to breakfast together. Unfortunately, we really didn't get a whole lot of walking in because of patches of ice on the paths.  I spent more time looking down and picking out my way around the ice then being able to walk quickly.  I don't want a repeat of last winter! But it was nice to be outside in the fresh air and soaking up the little bit of sunshine there was.  We only average about 75 days of bright sunshine per year so the sun shining is definitely a reason to celebrate! By the afternoon it was overcast again and it has snowed overnight so I'm glad I celebrated when I did.

Celebrating Family Dinners

In my continued attempt to get through the second half of February, I am looking for those little things to celebrate.  Yesterday, we celebrated family dinners.  The nice thing about Emily going to school only 3 hours away is that from time to time we can get her.  She has a long weekend so Dan left yesterday morning to go pick her up and will be taking her back on Monday. To celebrate her homecoming I ramped up dinner a bit to make it special. We have spaghetti periodically, but I made it with homemade meatballs and sausage last night. It simmered all afternoon and when she came through the door the house smelled wonderful.  I also made homemade Italian bread which also turned out perfectly. Our dinners tend to be noisy with lots of talking and usually, someone talking over the top of someone else. There is usually some debate happening. It's loud, but fun and it's family.   Life is made up of these little moments and while they may not seem like much,

February Celebrations

I couldn't find a table cloth long enough for our table so had to go with two different shades of red.  It still looks festive!   I made a decision that I would look for something to celebrate each day between the 15th and the end of February in order to get through what is normally a pretty dreary time for me. I actually found a number of things to celebrate. ❤ Pretty-in-pink sugar cookies. Normally, these only show up right before Valentine's Day. But I never made them this year and I thought, "Why not?"  ❤  It was February 15th but I was able to open my living room windows and let in some fresh air.  50 degree temperatures were wonderful! ❤ My phone rang as I was preparing dinner and it was Emily. That was the 4th day in a row she has called. Now I love my daughter but I HATE talking on the phone so I was kind of like, "Why are you calling AGAIN when I'm going to see you this weekend?"  She told me she likes talking to me and sharin