Thursday, May 31, 2012

Give A Little, Get A Lot

It feels like forever since I have been on here with you! I am not tech-savvy enough to be able to post while on my adventures, so here is a nice sum up of it all!

This past week we spent on the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation with Diamond Willow Ministries. In an extreme nutshell, we spent the week loving on children. Diamond Willow is an organization that provides a positive place for the kids to be.  It is a big playroom that contains ping-pong tables, fus-ball, carpet ball, a tv center, and a kitchen.  The kids in the area come from difficult life situations.  They are able to come to Diamond Willow and get away, get support, and just get some real Christ-centered love. Besides just a great organization, Diamond Willow is nearly the only Christian presence on a reservation of approximately 6,000 people. When groups like ours come in, they are able to multiply the number of kids they can have out and influence.

Our days went sort of like this: We would wake up in the morning and make breakfast.  We would then spend the morning hours doing chores around the site.  About 11:00 they would drive to pick up the kids and spend the whole afternoon with them, including making them lunch.  About 4:30 the kids would be taken home and we would get about an hour before teens would filter in and we would feed them dinner and spend the evening with them.  Sounds easy, but we were all worn out to the max from carrying kids, running around, swimming, pushing swings, and on and on!  It was wonderful exhaustion!

We encountered several "hiccups" along the way.  The biggest for me (besides being away from my babies) was that I got a skin infection from poison ivy on my face and had to go to the hospital.  Yeah, ick!  I got the treatment I needed and it got rapidly better.  I don't believe one can ever go on a trip like this and not encounter something.  Satan doesn't just hand over his ground without a fight.

There are many, many things that I learned on the trip, but one in particular that I would like to share with you today.  Whether on the mission trip or just in your normal life, we tend to say that you get out of it what you put in.  However, when you are working in God's Will, you get out a lot more than you put in.  All it takes is for you to give a little to get a lot.  I was so proud of our team.  They gave a lot.  I know that they walked away with a lot more, though.  They already want to go back.  They formed relationships and bonds that will impact them forever!  But just think if we lived our everyday lives like this.  If we gave every ounce of ourselves for others.  If we unhesitatingly shared God's Word every opportunity that presented itself.  If we purposely made life changing relationships.  If we gave just a little.  Here is what the Bible says would happen:
"Truly I tell you," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life." --Luke 18:29-30
Basically, if we give a little, we will get a lot.  In what way can you give more today? Is there an area in your life that you can do more, share more, or love more? If there is...just do it!

To see more of our pictures from this trip, visit our youth group facebook page:!/pages/First-Christian-Church-of-Richland-YOUTH/321279294150

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First Things First

I am filled with joy to tell you that an exciting part of this year has arrived! Tomorrow my family will embark on our first train ride to Chicago to see Grampie and Grammie. After 4 days, Daddy and Mommy (that's me) will return home without the wee ones in order to prepare and go on a week-long mission trip in South Dakota. We will be ministering to the Lakota/Dakota people. I am so very excited! I wanted to share a few things with you before I left:

I will be missing my children with agony. So why am I willing to leave them? Day by day I am attempting to teach my children that their relationship with God is the thing of utmost importance in our lives. I daily try to teach them to put others before themselves in an effort to share God's love with others. I daily try to teach them that our mission on this earth is to share the Word of God with those who do not know him. The best way that I can teach them this principle is to do it. If they see me setting it all aside to take the Word of God to a people who do not know, then they will see that I mean what I say. When they are old enough, you better believe they will not be left behind, they will be right there by my side!

There are those who do not know. The compelling force that drives me is the knowledge that there are those out there that do not understand that the eternity laid out before them is hell. Nope, I am not sugar-coating it for you today, ladies! Whether it is spending time with a friend, working alongside my husband in youth ministry, spending a week on a reservation, or raising my children to one day go, I do it all for the sole purpose of reaching as many as I possibly can during my life spent here on this earth. This is not my home. I am only here that I may draw others to Christ.

First Things First. I get busy. Real busy, doing the everyday ordinary tasks. It is times like these next couple of weeks that bring everything into very clear focus for me. There are some really important things in life and the real, honest truth is, the things I spend most of my time on are not those things. I love reminders that strip me of the useless and fill me with the knowledge of God's purpose for his people.

So while I am gone I challenge you with the following:
Pray for me!
Teach your children to serve, not only by instruction, but by demonstration.
Tell others about your faith - anyone!
Remember what is most important in your life.

With this I leave you for a while! I will keep you updated as much as I possible can! Blessings!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I have a new project this week. I am attempting to de-stress my lifestyle. How about you? Need a little de-stressing?

I will admit, I am an over-achieving, type A perfectionist. Phew! Glad to get that out! While I enjoy accomplishing things and I enjoy the work I do, I realize that at times I do too much. I think that this "too much" is affecting my health, my relationships, and my overall happiness! In short, my cup is empty and I keep trying to pour out of it! The bad part is, however, that I am this way by my own making. My husband doesn't require it. My kids don't demand it. My ministry would function well without it. The "it" being the stress! I am sure that half of what I do would still get done even if I took a little time to relax.

God does not want a bunch of pack-mule women to serve him through pain and suffering. He says,
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." --Matthew 11:28
and he goes on!
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden in light." --Matthew 11:29-30
That sounds nothing like my daily routine! So I began to do a little research on reducing stress in your life. What I found medically completely supported everything found in Scripture (go figure!) So if you, dear sister, like me, need a little de-stressing in you life, join me in trying the following ideas!

Calm Music
Calming music and sounds are supposed to lower one's stress level. Looking back to the life of Saul, this king hired David to come and play music for him then he "would feel better." (1 Samuel 16:23)
I have attempted to play some classical music each day this week while I am doing chores or taking a shower.

Call a Friend
It is proven that when one feels stressed and gives a friend a call, just the thought of sharing the burden with another lowers the level of stress. If we think of this, Proverbs 17:17 has already shown this to us when it says
"A friend loves at all time, and a brother is born for a time of adversity."
Eat Right and Exercise
Well, we all know this one, so I am not going to get into it too much... Do you recall Daniel 1? By eating healthy and as the Lord had instructed, Daniel and his companions were "healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food." (Daniel 1:15) This week I am attempting to get up each morning and do some exercises. I am also cutting back on my caffeine intake (gasp!) and taking daily vitamins!

Meditation and Deep Breaths
Well, while this may bring to mind some Eastern religious mumbo-jumbo, we must not forget that we are supposed to be meditating - on the Word of God! There are passages after passages to remind us of this, but consider the following:
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. --Joshua 1:8
Remember the Proverbs 31 woman? It says that she can "laugh at the days to come." (Proverbs 31:25).
Laughter is proven to be a huge stress reliever! Remember the old saying "laughter is the best medicine?" There is truth to that! My kids always serve for a good laugh if I just take the time to sit and play a little with them! I also love to watch Psych. Thirty minutes with those quirky guys and I am rolling in laughter! Find what tickles your funny bone and take some time out for it!

Sleep Well
Doctors recommend that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Those of you with young children laugh at this idea. Think about the following:
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves. --Psalm 127:2
Sounds like God values sleep, doesn't it? Make the effort to get a good night's sleep each night.

This last one is from me. Don't let the things you do as a result of your life's purpose become your life's purpose. Always remember why you do what you do.

My goal is to implement all of these into my lifestyle. What about you? What can you do this week to de-stress your life a little?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Four Percent

At the Homeschool Convention this weekend I was confronted with a very tragic statistic by one of the session speakers, Israel Wayne. He said that 4% of all Millenials hold to a biblical worldview. I was blown away.

4% Random Statistics from Google
Four percent is 1 out of every 100.
You pay approximately 4% (rounded up) interest for your mortagage payment.
An ideal unemployment rate for a country is between 4% and 6.4%.
4% of US children have allergies.
4% of men are victims of domestic violence.
4% of women feel negative about their normal child delivery.
I know, random, right? There just aren't that many facts that apply to only 4% of the population.

Who are the Millenials?
Millenials are those born between 1980 and 2000.
I am a Millenial.
Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Elijah Wood, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, the Olson twins, Miley Sirus, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Kristin Stewart, and Brian Williams are all Millenials.
Millenials are also known as Generation Y, Generation Next, the Net Generation and the Echo Boomers.
The millenial generation is generally connected to neoliberalism.

What is a Biblical Worldview?
Basically, if you believe the Bible's principals apply to all areas of your life and you seek to use the Bible as your basis for decision-making, you have a biblical worldview.  Israel Wayne and those he works with have created a wonderful site that explains and expands on the concept of a Biblical Worldview. You can find this information at

So, again I tell you: Only 4% of Millenials hold to a Biblical Worldview. This is so sad! I never realized I was such a minority! This statistic raises many thoughts and questions in my mind.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Baby is 4

Today my baby boy is turning 4. It amazes me each time we cross a milestone how quickly time is going by! If you read my posts regularly, you have probably read it over an over again -- now is all we have! I am reminded of this during these times. It is going so quickly!

It seems like yesterday when I first held him in my arms...

And it will feel like tomorrow when he is graduating High School...

So here is a reminder today from a mom who is thinking about her babies growing up too fast - don't let those joy stealers in. Don't worry about all those things you have to do today. Don't focus on where you could be right now if things had gone differently. Don't focus so much on where you want to be in 10 years. Focus on right here, right now and cherish those memories. Store it all up in your heart, treasure them, just as the mother of our Lord gave us as an example...
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. --Luke 2:19