Saturday, January 23, 2010


When God (Holy Spirit) places something so strongly on your heart at what point to you agree to follow where He may lead? I don't know the answer to this question. For a few years I've been led to ask God to open a door in an area that seems like a hopeless dream. I've tried to smother, deny, and convince myself that I've "heard" wrong. But it doesn't go away.

Pursuing this prompting will not make life easier, but I'm willing to endure any hardships that come. Isn't that what following the Holy Spirit means? We deny our Self and pursue a life that He desires for us.
Tonight at church our pastor asked if anyone has had a calling to a ministry to please stand for prayer. His sermon was on Luke and how Jesus called ordinary people to serve Him. The world is full of ordinary people being used or called by God. Before I knew it I was standing with tears streaming down my face. I really sensed God is not done with the calling He placed on my heart many years ago. Following the prayer we sang Consuming Fire. The words are...

"There must be more than this,
O Breath of God come breath within
There must be more than this,
Spirit of God we wait for you
Fill us anew we pray
Fill us anew we pray
Consuming Fire fan into flame
A passion for your name
Spirit of God
Fall in this place
Lord have your way
Have your way with us
Come like a rushing wind
Clothe us with power from up on High
Come set the captives free
Leave us abandoned to your praise
Lord let your Glory fall...
For those of you who know my heart, pray with me on this. I am content to continue life like it is. But I desiring to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. My passion is to have everyday of my life Glorify Jesus...I'm surrendered.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Bleeding Hearts of the World, UNITE" ~the grinch

When I was a kid one of my favorite stories was The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson. I'm not sure a little kid can have a more morbid story to choose as a favorite, but I somehow connected with the story and had such compassion for the little girl who sat freezing, hungry, and ignored by those passing by. I wished someone would notice her, care for her and then at the end of the story she would survive. But instead she tries to warm herself lighting her only possession, matches, and dreams of a warm stove, food, Christmas and her deceased grandmother. She asks her grandmother to take her away from the miserable existence she was living in.

Now maybe there's another meaning to this story, but since I'm literal girl, all I can see is a freezing, hungry, little girl, on the street, being passed over by many adults who don't have the time or the compassion to offer her a warm shelter or a morsel of food.

This breaks my heart. Moreover, this happens day after day around our globe.

How can we as humans turn our backs or a blind-eye to the suffering of the little children? Are we cold-hearted? Where is our compassion? How can we look on the tragedy in Haiti and not have the Holy Spirit tug on our hearts? God's children are living in MISERABLE conditions. They are surrounded by death! That alone should prompt us to want to do something.

I read a Fox News report this morning by Adam Housley. He describes orphans living on a front lawn sheltered by only a tarp, with the dead around them. They have only a brown-gravy type porridge to eat. Such a sad description.

So, I may be a Bleeding Heart. I think the heart of God has a HUGE amount of compassion for these kids too. He tells us over and over again in His Word, as believers it is our RESPONSIBILITY to care for the widows and the orphans. I'm not sure what caring for the widows and orphans looks like in your life and to be quite honest I'm not sure what it looks like in my life. I know what I want it to look like, but I need to wait on the Holy Spirit.

So, I continue to wait, listen, and do what I can. For many it's donating money to a reputable charity. To some it may be offering time on a mission trip. To some it's adopting one of these little orphans and providing a true opportunity to experience the love of Jesus, sacrifice and family.

My prayer is that we don't just walk by the little one freezing on the street and turn away so as not to be bothered.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

When It Rains It Pours

Yesterday we experienced something I never dreamed I'd experience outside of the midwestern states in America. A tornado touched down just miles from our home.

Prior to the tornado, normally sunny, southern California was wracked with strong, blowing winds, drenching rainfall, and dark, gray, dusk-like cloud cover. At noon it looked like evening. By 12:30 the torrential rain was dumping down in a side-ways fashion soaking any who dared to run through it.

The kids and I watched local television broadcasts alerting mobile-home residents to find more adequate shelter, which included huddling in a ditch. The kids were worried and I calmly reassured them, "All will be fine."

It rained. It poured. The wind howled. Lightning and thunder shook the sky. And then it cleared. The storm moved on and we were fine.

As the rain poured down yesterday, so did God's answers to months of prayer. They just kept coming down. I was surprised and overwhelmed and couldn't help but see the correlation between the rain and the answered prayer.

I've started a new Bible study, Discerning the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer and I realized last week that in my prayers to God I was praying like Habakkuk did in Habakkuk 1:2

"Oh Lord how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?"
Before our move my prayer was that God would provide opportunities to serve in our new church. I wasn't sure where He would direct my steps, but I was confident He had a plan.
Shortly after arriving here I began searching out where a need might be. I offered to volunteer for summer VBS. From this opportunity I met two WONDERFUL women who desired to have a woman's Bible study and a mentor. We formed a Bible study in the fall and meet weekly.
I still felt there was another opportunity for serving. So I set out again...I volunteered to serve in middle school ministry and marriage mentoring. In both areas it seemed as though I was hitting a wall. I didn't have the right reference letters. Our names and numbers lost in the shuffle. The meeting times didn't match our schedules. Emails never returned.
I felt dejected, rejected, lost in the shuffle, and just lost. I wasn't sure where I was supposed to fit into this new life at a new church in a new town.
And then pieces of a puzzle began to settle in. A friend who happened to move from our same, previous town down here began attending the same church. She is a precious younger mom with two darling children. This last fall she began attending a mom's group at the church.
During the Christmas holiday she asked me if I'd consider being a Mentor Mom at her table. This was not what I had applied for, but was God directing me to something I hadn't yet considered? I told her I'd pray about it and I'd ask my Hub and Mentor to pray along with me.
We prayed for a couple weeks.
I asked God if this is where He wanted me. I listened. What I heard back were affirmations of direction He'd been placing on my heart for the last couple years. Mentorship. Titus 2:3-5.
My Hub gave his blessing and I agreed to email the director of the program and fill out the Leadership Questionnaire.
Yesterday (Stormy Day) was our first Mentor Mom/Table Leader meeting. My heart was bursting with excitement. Sitting at the table with other Mentor Moms I felt such peace. I was greeted and included. I didn't feel like an outsider. I felt like a welcomed sister. After the meeting the Mentor Moms on each side of me asked if Hub and I would consider being Marriage Mentors. I thought, "Didn't I hit a wall with this one?" mind was pondering these mentoring opportunities.
Then when I got home and checked my email, there was a much delayed (2 months) email from the gal in charge of middle school ministry asking if I'd still like to volunteer in middle school and would I come for an interview.
Wow! How crazy is this?? For six months I've been wondering where God would like me to serve and in one day opportunities pour down!
Today as I look back at my attitude and my angst in waiting, I'm reminded that it's ALL in God's Timing! My prayer is that I' come to a place of more trust and faith relying on God for provision rather than on my own understanding. I want to be as Habakkuk at the end of his book:
"Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17-19"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Out of Balance

Life of luxury. Million dollar mortages. Streets lined with Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac. Private schools. Spas. Gardeners. Nannies. Housekeepers. White sandy beaches. Botox. Plastic Surgery. Implants. Teeth whiteners. Cocktails. Pottery Barn. Neiman Marcus. Sushi. Stilettos. Doggie Daycare. Excess. This is where I live.
I live in a world where I feel like I don't belong. We have a scratched up Honda and a Ford pick-up. We prefer to eat at home. I clean my own house, make our food, and take care of the kids God blessed us with. I do my own laundry. I mostly wear tennis shoes and prefer sweats and t-shirts. I like to compost and try to find places to plant a seed of lettuce just to feel like I have a garden. I choose to homeschool our kids. We are really simple people living amongst so much prosperity.
Devastation. Hopelessness. Death. Tears. Urgency. Crumbling buildings. Shattered lives. Hunger. Thirst. Sanitation issues. Disease. Relief coming? So much tragedy. Surgery without anesthesia. Crime. Violence. Aftershocks. What does tomorrow hold? This is what I see on television and read from people who have been to Haiti.
I sit at home feeling helpless. I sense an urgency to do something, but what?? Pray.
Just Pray.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Things I've Learned Living in the O.C. #3- The Tooth Fairy

I'm sure I can stir up the big controversy whether parents should do the Tooth Fairy thing or not with this post, but that's an individual family thing. We happen to be visited by the Tooth Fairy at our house.
Little did I know how the cost of living in the O.C. affects the value of baby teeth.
Recently our little girlie lost one of her baby teeth. The night it fell out we had guests over. As they were leaving late that night, she announced, "My tooth fell out!!!"
She excitedly placed it in a baggie and wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy:
Dear Tooth Fairy
I Love You
God Loves You Too!
She placed the note and the baggie under her pillow and went to sleep.
DH and I were so exhausted we headed off to bed and also went to sleep.
The next morning as I was making my coffee our little princess glumly walked down the stairs, her little face was hanging on the step below her. I immediately went to her, hugged her and asked what was wrong. With big teary eyes she told me the Tooth Fairy hadn't come, and it was probably her note that blocked the tooth so she was missed.
My heart began to break for her. Such a sad face! I tried to reassure her that all was fine and that she would be taken care of. I went to my purse and grabbed all the change from my wallet. Kneeling down before my girlie, I offered her the coins from my purse.
She looked at me and with a quiet response said, "Mom, I don't want your money."
Let me say, at this point I'm feeling like the BIGGEST loser of the Universe. I can hear the mockers saying, "You shouldn't do the Tooth Fairy thing!!" I just couldn't believe we slept through the night without a thought of her little tooth and the precious, heartfelt, little note.
The Tooth Fairy was going to pay BIG for this bungle!
So that afternoon the Tooth Fairy appeared and left a whopping $5.00! That's the most ever paid at this house for a baby tooth.
When the discovery was made, there was celebration and amazement from our girlie and the boys. $5.00!!
I was feeling like the Tooth Fairy had made good on her mistake and all was good...or so I thought.
A couple days later, while playing with a friend they began comparing missing teeth. Our girlie proudly displayed her gap where her $5.00 baby tooth once was. She boasted of the $5.00 gift. Then her little friend replied, "$5.00??? I get $20.00 for mine!!"
TWENTY BUCKS!!! What??? For a baby tooth??? Let me figure that out...If kids lose 20 teeth, that's $400 per kid. That's $1200 for our family!! That's a big chunk of change.
So, there's one more thing I've learned living in the O.C. The Tooth Fairy pays according to the cost of living.

If you're from the PNW you're happy to receive fifty cents to a dollar. If you're from the O.C. you're probably guaranteed double digit dollars. Our poor kids...they'll continue to receive the pittance received in the PNW.

Home Economics Day- Learning to Sew

I'm drawing a blank for words today... I must have used all my creativity trying to teach the kids some sewing basics. The kids received a great little sewing calendar for Christmas. In it there are a number of sewing projects that are fairly simple with great directions. The first project is quilted coasters. We found some great fabrics at a local craft store. Here's our sewing day in photos...

Monday, January 04, 2010

Cupcake Pops

Last year a friend shared the Bakerella link with me. Bakerella makes amazing cupcake pops and other yummy looking desserts. It's inspiring just viewing her website. Our little girlie and I decided to try the cupcake pops. They are really easy, but a bit time consuming due to the chilling of the cake after baking and before decorating. It was great fun and a big hit with the kids!