Thursday, May 30, 2013

can't sleep

I'm sure I'm not alone right now at 4:00 a.m., not being able to sleep.  Someone else out there is longing for more hours of rest just as I am!

Although I wish I could just lay, one thing I'm not good at all is just laying there, so here I am.

These two weeks have been weeks with very little time to think.  They've been reaction weeks, when asked for help or for suggestions or for decisions, it's been an on-the-spot reactive reply everyone gets.  I'd rather be deeply in touch with those around me, part of the process, part of the collective solution instead of throwing out my own. 

On top of fast solutions the  problem is with my mid-life brain the minute a job or service or event is done -  it and all it's details are gone.  There is no time for relishing the process or dwelling in the past - instead it's always time for the next thing... immediately. My co-worker girlfriends and I joke about how there is certainly no time for pride in the accomplishment and that's a good thing, but it would be fun to at least remember some of the details.

 A confidence among our staff in one another has emerged over the past couple of years, a settling in yet still not settling for less than excellent.

There is a down-side to SLOW too, you can get stuck and not move if everything is easy, slow and not moving.  In those time I have to be careful not to find myself way too deep and for too long contemplating what should be instead of deciding what is.

The Bible talks about being still a lot.  I assume He wouldn't have talked about quite so much unless He realized what a problem it would be for us.  I picture Him looking down kind of like - ahhh excuse me....hello down there...remember me?  And with His view of eternity He just shakes his head in disbelief of what occupies my days.  He knows much of it has no connection to moving me closer to Him.

So at 4:00 a.m. this morning I confess yet again my lack of attention...being more busy with His Work...then with Him.... don't suppose He woke me up do you?

Monday, May 27, 2013

my Memorial Day

Although it wasn't a restful day - it was a great day.

There is no where I'd rather be than working my hubby and our kids.

This morning we watched the Memorial Day parade which begins close to our daughter's home before beginning to strip the living room floor.  I finally headed back home at 9:30 - we ran into some delays when we found really tough glue under the carpet padding.  But it was fun to be there regardless of the difficulty of the work.

The following pictures kind of sum up our day.
before the carpet was taken up

Working hard to get the old glue off left by the carpet.
Young Marines

Pastor Paul's guard dog - Toby

Waiting for the parade to begin

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ugly talk

Saturday morning, because we actually had a free day, I got to go to lunch with my hubby and his mom.

As we chatted with the waitress (whom we love) we began to hear ugly talk coming from the next table.

A young boy probably about 8 years old had just told his mom he didn't know where his electronic game was, and maybe he left it at his dad's. The ugly began.

"You are so stupid", she said only slightly quieter than a yell, " you're the most stupid person I've ever seen! I've never known anyone so dumb in my life!" The little boy began to sob and say he wanted to go back to his dad's house...she stormed out of the resturant to look for it.

I asked my hubby how much trouble I would get in if I punched a woman... (I'm a big talker)

I certainly lost my tempor while raising our kids, but never would it even have crossed my mind to tell them they were dumb or stupid. I tried to address the problem not cut them down in any way.

She returned and of course the game had just been left in the car. That seemed to make her even more mad. " you are just so dumb - you don't deserve the game, you don't deserve anything!" She grabbed him and practically dragged him away. I wondered how the little guy spent the rest of his day - my heart ached for him.

I've thought of him all day and am still praying for him. I pray God can block his ears from hearing and believing the ugly talk.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What I learned today

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" II Corinthians 12:9

The words - made perfect in weakness - fill my soul with joy and courage and determination!

Knowing I don't have to pretend to be strong and that I in fact can expect to go through times that make me look and feel weak so that others including myself can see Jesus - makes me unafraid! It makes sense that if I look strong in myself - there is no room for His strength to be seen. As if I don't need Him.

When I experience a time of arrogance in something I've completed or been a part of - all it takes is a glance backward to realize how many people it takes to accomplish it. All it takes to acknowledge my weakness is understanding that in myself it's only an idea or dream. It's never a singular accomplishment. And my weakness is quickly revealed if I blunder out on my own.

I encourage all of you this week to join me in 'seeing' your weakness and using it as a way to let Jesus shine through you.

A failure in the world's eyes is the exact opportunity The Lord has been waiting for to be seen.

my favorite place to study!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

weekend report

Wow - wow - it was exceedingly good to be in the House of the Lord this weekend!

The tech team was ON it - excellent work by all!
The praise team engaged the congregation and lead them to the Throne!
And the teaching was extremely challenging!

I love it when baptism happens during the praise music - so powerful!  Truly worship!

The entire weekend was a blessing !

Our setlist:
Alive In You
Praises To Our King
Be Thou My vision
How Great is Our God
Prayer/Announcements:  Wendell Anderson at our Mansfield Campus
Deering Dyer at our Galion Campus
Message:  Grow Pt. 1 - Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit Song

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries did in their services to to

Friday, May 17, 2013

moving on

Have you ever noticed you aren't nostalgic or attached to something until it's gone?  That's how I feel about my childhood home right now.

My parents move out of their home of over 40 years into a beautiful condo tomorrow.  We'll be leaving early in the morning to go help them.

I'll see my childhood bedroom that I shared with my sister for the last time.  The memories that room holds are many...

- lot's of arguments with my sister
-trying on of a million outfits trying to decide what to wear in highschool
-crawling out the window to lay in the sun on the roof
-changing the furniture configuration around hundred's of times
-yelling at my brothers to shut-up across the hallway
-whispering about the boys at school
-hiding 'rock-n-roll' music from my very conservative parents
-sketching the birds that sat outside my window
-a feeling of safety in that room
-listening to radio long into the night - especially the New Year's Eve song countdown
-we got many, many parent kisses and love-yous in that room
-countless prayers were spoken there

All the years of memories remembered perhaps for one last time tomorrow as we say goodbye to our bedroom.

Now it's time for moving on.

My parents have blessed us by moving now while they are fully healthy and still capable of caring for themselves.  They have purged a lot of what they owned - selling it and giving a lot away.  This is a gift to us.  It protects us from having to sort through everything and try to manage emptying a full house of things while trying to manage our own busy lives someday.

 I thanked them for moving now - and I am so thankful that they will be living in a place that is conveniently located close
to all the things they love so much in their home town...

Their church...
Their friends...
The highschool sports fields...
The school where my mom volunteers...
 And the barbershop where my dad at 84 still works...

Moving on can be good - and smart - and a blessing to others and I look forward to our families' next chapter with never ending gratitude toward our precious Lord!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


What comes to your mind when you think of trees?

Shade, leaves, fruit?

We will be using it as the icon for our next series "Grow".  You'll see trees on our notes and slides and stage.

This is one of the trees we created for our Grow series
I feel it beautifully represents growth.  It starts as a tiny seed, then a small sapling growing into a tree and finally in it's maturity it bears fruit, or flowers, or nuts, or pine cones.  It provides shade and fuel and building supplies and is used in all kinds of useful ways.

As you continue to move forward in your spiritual growth - join us at Crossroads and together we'll take the next steps together.

I'll see you this weekend!

Monday, May 13, 2013

My day off

As our daughter and son-in-law prepare to leave as missionaries for a year - I find myself paying close attention to each moment I have with them. They are amazing people and they love to serve others.

As my son and daughter-in-law prepare to have our first grandchild - I find myself paying close attention to each moment I have with them wondering how this little one will change all of our lives. They are amazing people and they love to serve others.

This morning as I stood with 10 other people paying final respects to a friends's deeply loved father, I got to hear my sweet husbands words drift through the chilly wind as he eloquently blessed the grieving family. I then got to hear my daughter's voice perhaps at her finest with guitar in hand standing next to the casket sing the words to Amazing Grace. Even the the young children there began to weep as the beautiful notes and words filled the small tent. Breathtaking...

As I looked across the many gravestones representing people unknown to me I wondered how many were experiencing God's amazing grace - sitting in His presence? The greatest privilege we have on earth is to share the eternal hope that only Christ can bring to a dying world and to serve others.

Our family is not perfect that is for sure, but as I thought about it today I think except for their relationship with Christ, the most important thing we taught our kids was to serve others.

Whether it's in graveyards, or in the local church, or in our own home - we were created to serve.

It is perhaps the highest form of love.'s a quiet forever love.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Count it all joy

Last night at the Young Married Small group my hubby and I host - we discussed conflict in marriage.

We looked at the passage in James that says to 'count it all joy' and a light went on for me. I realized I don't and I'm not sure I ever have- counted it joy!?

I realized my entire focus whenever I'm in conflict is to get out of conflict - to force a resolution. In the midst of it I think of NOTHING else!

As believers the path to maturity is many times through difficult experiences - conflict!

Who wants conflict? Not me!

With God's help I'm going to pray for the foresight to SEE Him waiting at the end of the problem knowing if I honor Him in the journey it leads to greater maturity!

A new perspective!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

what I learned today

day 128

Our church has a daily Bible reading posted on our Facebook page this makes it very easy to spend time reading God's Word daily.

Today's reading was all about fear.

There are different ways to look at fear.
-Our world is evil and full of really scary things over which we have no control
-There is no escape from conflict and fear in this life
-I find myself fearing most anything that I cannot control

There is the logical way of looking at fear
-Worrying and being afraid won't change anything, I know this but still battle fear at times

I've said it many times, I have NO idea how people watch the news, see the suffering and listen to all the evil that fills the world without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!

And thankfully this is God's way of facing fear and encouraging us

-God said the following...  “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed.”

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.—Your life is hidden with Christ in God.

He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

I rest in Him...

Friday, May 3, 2013


My brother is getting married tomorrow.  Tonight my mom, sister and I did kitchen duty preparing dessert, potato salad and pasta salad galore, while the bride's family worked on decorating.

We had lots of laughs as my dad's yodeling rang out across the church reception hall and filtered through the kitchen doorway.  His hilarious spirit will never stop making me laugh!

Along with laughs came anxious preparation as the bride tried to turn the dreams she had silently dreamed for so long of this day - into a reality. 

I liked the simplicity with which they are satisfied and in some ways envied the ability to settle for enough instead of always pushing for perfection and often for way too much.

I love my new sister-in-law a lot and pray the Lord will wrap His amazing arms around them and draw them constantly into Him as their lives become one.

My new sister-in-law whom I love!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I'm sitting here at The Coffee House waiting for our Artist Group to arrive.

I love them - they're worth waiting for.  They're not late - I'm early.  So conveniently it's 70 degrees and lovely outside as I sit here waiting with my amazing iced coffee outside!

I sat here and started thinking about all the waiting I'm currently doing.

-I'm waiting for dinner until later.
-I'm waiting for our first grandchild to arrive,
-I'm waiting (and not anxious) to say goodbye to our daughter and son-in-law for a year as they prepare to be missionaries in Cambodia.  I couldn't be happier that they are following God and using their talents to serve orphans over there, I'll just miss them terribly!
-I'm waiting for answers to about 20 emails I sent out today
-I'm waiting to talk to a few friends that I miss very much
-I'm waiting and looking forward to several concerts and special events that are coming to Crossroads
-I'm waiting for a difficult conversation that I know is coming

I can easily spend my whole day just waiting.

God often brings to my mind the fact that I have done nothing at the end of a busy day to move closer to Him. 

How much of my life has He been waiting for me...