Showing posts from September, 2012

Climbing on Ashes

I finally figured out why my amazing friend, who seems to know me better than myself sometimes, would want to take me on a trip to climb Mt. St. Helens.  She is smarter than I; and in her wisdom, after passing many blog thoughts through her head as we ascended, she remained silent.  And, after writing about ten pages worth of blog notes in my journal on the plane ride home, I still wasn't sold on what the main point was.  There were many sub-points, but three days post-climb, I got it.

The T-shirt we saw (but neglected to purchase) in the "Lone Fir" registration shop sums it up "We Kicked Ash".

Ashes - that's what we were climbing on.

And, that's what God has taken me out of, and brought me on top of!

Ash, according to Wikipedia, refers to products that remain after fire or incineration or combustion.  When something or someone is burned or "blows its' top" (as in a volcano) there is almost always something left over from that.  And it is …

Living Wide Awake!

I bit the bullet.
Signed us up for a family serving trip to Costa Rica - and I can't wait!
One of my daughters (I'll let you guess), even told me that this is what she's always "dreamed about doing".  Maybe I should just leave her there.  (kidding)

The dream comment is big though.  I just finished Erwin McManus' book, Wide Awake.  It took me a while because I didn't want to read it at night since it was so motivating I didn't think I'd be able to sleep.  In it, he says that our dreams - the ones we dream while awake, are God's visions for us.  The things He puts in our hearts that He has designed for us to do.

"Our dreams are where the future is fueled and created."

So, when I heard the message at church last week, and 5% of it was about getting your kids out of their comfort zone to see what the majority of the world lives like, I grabbed that, or, God grabbed it for me, and wouldn't let it out of my head until I did something a…

She Who Has Been Forgiven Much...

Loves Much

Do you remember this story?  It is recorded in Luke 7.  Jesus anointed by a sinful woman.  He (Jesus) tells a story to Simon about two men who owed money.  One man owed more money than the other, but both of their debts were canceled.  Simon acknowledged that the man who had owed a larger debt would be more grateful than the other, which was the point.  The sinful woman showed her love for Jesus so much because she knew she had been forgiven so much.

While one point may be that the more we mess up in life, the more often we can experience God's amazing grace;  I think another point is the more we REALIZE how much we've messed up, the more we grab hold of and spend our lives for Him because we realized how much we NEED it!

Brings me back to the post about my youngest daughter and her nasty notes.  A few of you have asked if it worked (see Grasping Grace post)... Two things have happened since then that show that this grace thing really might be getting through.  Fi…

Why I LOVE my Thursdays!

I don't really mind when my house isn't clean (sometimes to the irritation of others).
I don't really enjoy dressing up (if theres a zip or a snap, my kids think I'm going out).
And, my grammar is not impeccable either (I'm sure you've noticed this).
So, I'm starting to learn why I am very comfortable, and thoroughly enjoy hanging out at Breakthrough, a Homeless Shelter (and way more) in East Garfield Park, Chicago.  Just seems to fit me better than the North Shore sometimes...

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of leading my first devotional.  I was assigned the topic, "Becoming A Woman of Strength", because that is the name of the series the group is in, and I was pinch-hitting.

My head told me - "That's perfect for you, you've been through a lot and have been able to display this!".
God told me - "You're life has been a cakewalk compared to the lives of those you're about to speak to, so, be prepared to learn a few thi…

Unbroken or Broken?

I had the pleasure of forcing myself to read Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, for the past two weeks in order to be ready for an interview with Louis Zamperini (the man of whom the book is about) at church this weekend.
It was an awesome book, and I can understand why it was on the New York Times best seller list for 92 weeks.
However, I could not figure out why our Pastor wanted to interview Zamperini until the last few pages.  THAT was my favorite part.

Spoiler Alert:
The title "Unbroken" characterizes Zamperini's life for 90% of the book, but in the end, he is broken, and that characterizes his life from then on.  Thanks to Billy Graham, the man who was known for his strength, allowed himself to be broken.  And, it is in the breaking, that he was made whole.  Who else can completely take away revenge from a man's heart?  Who else can repair an almost broken marriage?  Who else can restore nightmares to peace?  Jesus.  The only One who can make a broken vessel who…

King David Vs. Honey Boo Boo

Walking my dog the other morning, we came across two very different women.  The first shrieked in fear when he slowly approached her for a sniff.  I quickly pulled him away, though he knew he wasn't wanted anyway, and then I kinda chuckled.  I was perplexed at how someone could be scared of this goofy looking gullump.  But, it was dark, and she had headphones on, so I'll give her that.

About 20 minutes later, another one passed, stating how beautiful he was.  He proudly pursued her, tail wagging high, looking at me as if to say - come on, let's get closer to her - she thinks I'm beautiful!
(I don't think male dogs are offended by the word "beautiful", I think they really know it's a good thing).  He couldn't keep his eyes off her, and if I were wearing roller blades, I would have had a nice ride.

We are made the same way.
We follow (aim to please, pursue to reach a goal) those who tell us we're beautiful.

Okay - now we'll get into the tit…

You Are My Strongest Player

In an effort to implement June and Ward Cleaver-Style parenting; I went to bed before my oldest came home from her late soccer game the other night.  She was quite wound up telling me (who could barely keeping my eyes open) all about their win and how she played.  Then right before she left, she said;  "The coach pulled me aside right before the game and told me, 'you are my strongest player, so I'm putting you in forward'".
But she doesn't play forward - for the past few years she's been playing midfield, and she started at defense when her career began at age six.  Apparently he's got new plans for her.

I woke up the next morning and heard those words penetrate from a different angle;
"You are My child, whom I have chosen, and I'm putting you in forward now."  That got me pretty pumped!
Most of us, as new Christians, start out in defense, trying not to sin.  Keeping the enemy out of the net.
Then we get to a point where we move up a …