It's Worth It . . .

I was reading in Luke 18 today (The Bible) and loved the reminders that popped out at me while reading the Parable of the Persistent Widow.  I wanted to share them.

There is such an emphasis in our society today, to raise funds and awareness for social injustices.   These are undoubtedly admirable and worthy causes to raise a banner for, but Luke 18 suggests to me that the answer to getting justice in an unjust world is PRAYER, and constantly requesting of God that there be justice done in the dispute with our enemy. 

In the story, the widow came repeatedly asking the judge for justice.  Even though the judge "neither feared God nor cared about people", he wanted to see that the widow got justice, "because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!" (vs. 5)
As I think about the word enemy, I think about more than a singular person.  Rather I think of ideas, social or economical practices, and sickness or disease

By definition enemy is:  a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent.  

In the definition above you could replace "a person who" with any of the words underlined above and the definition would hold true.

Perhaps you're standing up against an idea that opposes God's biblical truths.  Maybe your fighting against a social injustice, or possibly you or a family member are struggling with a reoccuring sickness or disease.

I want to implore you to PRAY and never give up!  Keep asking God for justice.  It's worth it.

“Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night?"  (vs. 6-7)



Dreams and Reality

It's been just over a year since my last post.  I'm taking a little time this morning to reflect on all that has happened in this past year, and I wanted to share some of the thoughts that have been most impacting in my life this year.

Christine Caine posted a blog entitled "Dream Big" that listed 20 things she's learned in 20 years about seeing her dreams come to pass.  I've hung them up in my office and get encouraged by them every time I read them...I pray that you do the same for you:
1.  Get planted in your local church
2.  Do wholeheartedly whatever is before you.
3.  Don't have any agenda, but serve wiillingly.
4.  Wait for God to open doors.
5.  Submit to leadership.
6.  Trust God because He is always in control especially when we are not.
7.  There is no wasted experience; God uses everything.
8.  God makes a way where there seems to be no way.
9.  Have faith.
10.  Be courageous.
11.  Hold your post.
12.  Be loyal.
13.  Always remain part of something bigger than you.
14.  Stay accountable.
15.  Be surrounded by wise counselors.
16.  Do nothing from selfish ambition.
17.  Keep stretching and growing.
18.  Continue to be grateful.
19.  Bring others along the journey with you.

I never dreamed I would be working with kids in a church setting, but I'm so thankful for the opportunity and priveledge.  Sharing God's truth with kids is a constant reminder of the importance of having FAITH like a CHILD.  Sometimes I over think how to share a "difficult" biblical principle with a child.  I forget that their hearts haven't been completely filled with doubt and unbelief.  They take God at His word and embrace the Bible as truth.  It's refreshing and energizing to be apart of.

My current reality is somewhat far removed from my dreams, but I praise God that there is no wasted experience and that the work I do each week is preparing me for what God has already prepared next for me. 

I'm thankful that God has given me a passion to do wholeheartedly that which is before me!  It's my ATTITUDE towards God not my EXPECTATION of God that determines my ability to serve Him.


New Seasons

A 4 year chapter of my life has come to a conclusion. I'm no longer working at Venture Expeditions. I'm now a proud (and somewhat overwhelmed) staff member of River Valley Church.

There have been some significant changes in our life this summer. We've moved, I've changed jobs, and Mikelle has become a full blown toddler - temper tantrums and all! Even tonight, she was in an uproar because I wasn't giving her the "up high" & "down low" high five in the proper way. She holds a grudge too, so even when I was putting her to bed she wanted nothing to do with my attempts at getting it right. I'll let it (and her) rest until tomorrow!


My Hobby

I love re-doing and re-using stuff. This picture is the completed version of my most recent "redo". Chris found a hat hook just hangin' out on the side of the rode with a "Free" sign on it last summer. I finally got around to painting it this summer. It's now ready for a comfortable spot in our new home! This isn't the best "staged" picture of it. It's missing a little pop of color with some accent pieces, but all in due time.

Prior Lake - Our new spot!

As of July 3rd our family will become residents of Prior Lake, Minnesota. Although the town is only 10 minutes away from where we currently live, we are excited about what it has to offer . . . A beautiful lake, a delicious pastry shop, and a pleasant Saturday morning farmer's market.

We went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday for the first time and captured a few of the cozy corners on Main St., Prior Lake.


RiverValley Church Picnic & Outdoor Fun

We have the joy of temporarily sharing our home with a family of 5. This is the youngest of the family. Isn't she a dolly! It's so great to have a baby around the house.

The nifty face painting is my handy work! Ava was begging for it to be done, so I did her face and she did mine.

The trampoline that was such a hit at Christmas is still a big hit! Money well spent.

Our neighbor girls have a play haven next door, including a toy house, jungle gym, sandbox, and teeter totter . . .yes, the little one is pouting.

Last weekend we had our "local" church campus picnic. For those of you who don't know, Rivervalley church in Minnesota is one church, but multiple locations. Chris is the campus pastor at the Savage campus. We'll have our all church picnic (meaning all 4 campuses) in August. Anywho . . .we had a ton of fun. The weather could not have been more perfect, it was a sticky hot mess, and considering that we're now in the 60 degree temperature range I would prefer hot and messy any summer day.


To Do's: Done

I woke up this beautiful Saturday morning ready to conquer the world! We all know a feeling like that can go one of two ways . . .either you get going and your momentum carries you through the day, or you get going, hit a hiccup in the schedule and your "can do" attitude turns into "care less". Well, I'm happy to say that today was a "can do"day and I got so much done! Breakfast by the lake with friends, yard work that nudges our yard up to "best in the neighborhood" status, a bathroom completely painted , cleaned, and put back together, playtime with the girls, and 2 loads of laundry done! My body is tired, but my brain is racing - I'm energized by the thought of how much I was able to do today. I'm grateful for the ability to have health, youth, and energy on my side. Now I'll settle in for a good nights sleep and dream about our super fun church picnic tomorrow!

Ava as the Unicorn, Raina as the Princess & sweet Mikelle as the onlooker!


The Garden

I love the idea of gardening. I like to fancy myself a green thumb, although I'm not absolutely sure I have one. I do have 2 surving house plants that have lasted years, and each summer I'm able to plant and grow multiple containers of flowers. Does this mean I have what it takes to garden? I hope to find out. This weekend I got the chance to help my father-in-law plant his garden! It was great to walk barefoot in the dirt with my hoe in hand, working the soil. It was so energizing for me. One of the highlights of my weekend . . . so thank you Papa Al for letting me be apart of your labor of love. The girls couldn't resist their chance to "help" too!

And this has nothing to do with gardening, but she's just so dang cute . . . I had to include it!


Memorial Day

We were at the local Waukesha City parade earlier this morning. It was a great way to spend some time remembering the men and women who have given their lives for this country. Ava & Mikelle don't understand all that quite yet, but they do get excited about the marching band, fire trucks, and baton twirl girls!

After the parade it was time for some Fun in the SUN . . . God has given us a beautiful day today and we're showing our gratitude by being outside and enjoying it. Papa Al setup a makeshift water slide that Chris and Ava are wearing out! Poor Mik's naptime always interrupts her fun, and she misses out on the afternoon!

I'm sitting a safe distance away so as not to get wet!. I'm on the deck with my feet up, reading about Gardening in Minnesota, while sipping on a LaCroix.


My sweet Mikelle . . .

Ava marches to the beat of her own drum (which I absolutely love). When she tells me she's going to play "princess" this is what she creates! The hat is courtesy of a "RUN DMC" halloween costume that Chris used last year. Classic!

Peace & Quiet

I consider myself a people person. I really love people. I especially love "my" people. That is, Chris, Ava, and Mikelle. The sound of our laughter or daily banter is great fun, but tonight I'm enjoying the quiet of a peaceful house, or rather the peace of a quiet house.



Ava loves to play with money. . . no bills just coins. We have a Green Bay packers mug full of coins that we keep in our junk drawer (there's no better place than a junk drawer for Packer paraphenelia). Anyways, Ava likes to grab a few coins here and there and carry them around, put them in a pouch, or stack them up. She calls them "her guys", cute right . . .

Mikelle is weeks away from crawling. She's at the really frustrating point where she's up and rocking but can't get the forward motion, so she's crawling backwards. Today I walked in from work and she's on the floor butt naked. Chris likes her to "air dry" after he's changed a diaper. So, she butt naked and on all fours crawling backwards. It was great. She got excited when she heard my voice and started doing her "stalker noise". No joke - she does this heavy breathing almost panting thing. A little creepy, but mostly adorable. I took the opportunity of her being completly nude to give her a couple big sherberts on her little booty. She was loving it so much that I kept doing it until her little giggle turned into a cry and the crocodile tears were rolling. Bad mommy!


The Lovelies . . .





i'm back . . .