Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blue Roses


Trevor came into our bed in the middle of the night last night saying he had a bad dream. I cuddle up to him and ask him what it was about. He said people were chasing him and ate all his birthday cake and he didn't get any. Then he said can we pray mommy? So I said sure buddy... " Jesus please help Trevor to know he can trust you in all things. Even in him getting some birthday cake. Amen."

I started to fall back asleep then he prays " Jesus help me to dream of good things. Like blue roses. Yellow sidewalks and pink skies. Amen."

I love it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

He is Good


Some dear friends of ours came over this week to help me with my soul. How good it is to have faithful friends. I was presented with the question: Do you believe that God is good in this very thing that you are struggling with? It's one thing to believe God will work all things out for good or what man meant for evil God will use for good. But do I believe that God, in allowing these certain hardships or unmet expectations, IS God being good to me. It's done my soul much good to meditate on this truth.

"My soul! be still! you are in the hands of your Covenant God. Were all the strange circumstances in your history the result of accident, or chance, you might well be overwhelmed. But "all things," and this thing (be what it may) which may be now disquieting you, is one of these "all things" that are so working mysteriously for your good. Trust your God! He will not deceive you—your interests are with Him in safe custody. When sight says, "All these things are against me," let faith rebuke the hasty conclusion, and say, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" How often does God hedge up your way with thorns, to elicit simple trust! How seldom can we see all things so working for our good! But it is better discipline to believe it. Oh! for faith amid frowning providences, to say, "I know that your judgments are good;" and, relying in the dark, to exclaim, "Though He slays me, yet will I trust Him!"

Blessed Jesus! to You are committed the reins of this universal empire. The same hand that was once nailed to the cross, is now wielding the scepter on the throne—"all power in heaven and in earth is given unto you." How can I doubt the wisdom, and the faithfulness, and love, of the most mysterious earthly dealing, when I know that the Roll of Providence is thus in the hands of Him who has given the mightiest pledge Omnipotence could give of His tender interest in my soul's well-being, by giving Himself for me?" John MacDuff, The Faithful Promiser

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Detective Taylor


The other day Taylor said, " Mom I just can't decided if I want to be a detective or a singer!".

I told her that was a hard decision and maybe she could be a singing detective! She laughed her Taylor laugh :)
She has such a wonderful imagination and I believe that it's largely due to the mass quantity of books she reads!

I apprecaite all who chimed in on recommending books for Taylor. It has really helped broaden our horizions! Here are some of the new series that, thanks to you, we are now reading:
The Mandy Series
Grandma's Attic- which she is reading with Grandma of course!
Little Princess
Three Cousins Detective Club A great christian fiction mystery series
Cul-De-Sac Kids Another great christian fiction mystery series that I found on amazon and also at our local library.
Sugar Creek Gang This was originally on tape and they ended up putting it in book form. These books are also christian fiction that strive to bring about christian teachings. This particular series seems a little old for Taylor but perhaps would be loved by a boy!

and of course our standards:
Magic Tree House
Boxcar Children One of our favorites!
Nancy Drew Notebooks Series These are different then the Nancy Drew books and written to a younger audience

Time to get reading :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tis So Sweet


"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His word,
Just to rest upon His promise, Just to know "Thus saith the Lord.

O how sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to trust His cleansing blood,
Just in simple faith to plunge me "Neath the healing cleansing flood!

Yes, tis sweet to trust in Jesus, Just from sin and self to cease.
Just from Jesus simply taking, life and rest and joy and peace.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I've proved Him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for Grace to trust Him more!

I'm so glad I learned to trust Him, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
and I know that He is with me, will be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for Grace to trust Him more!"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Losing One's Will

I recently began re-reading Elizabeth's Prentiss biography "More Love To Thee" by Sharon James. Early on in the book her father, Edward Payson passes away and on his death bed says these words:

" O what a blessed thing it is to lose one's will. Since I have lost my will I have found happiness. There can be no such things as disappointment to me, for I have no desires but that God's will might be accomplished. Christians might avoid much trouble if they would only believe what they profess, that God is able to make them happy without anything but Himself. They imagine that if such a dear friend were to die, or such and such a blessing removed, they should be miserable, whereas God can make them a thousand times happier without them. To mention my own case, God has been depriving me of one blessing after another, but as every one was removed He has come in and filled up it's place, and now, when I am cripple and unable to move, I am happier than ever I was in my life before or expected to be, and if I had believed this twenty year ago I might have been spared much anxiety."

Oh how far away I am from this man! I do desire to have this kind of faith & satisfaction found in Christ alone. How much trouble indeed would I spare myself from if I were to live this out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Parmesan Chicken With Cherry Tomato Sauce


Last night I made a new recipe I found on Cooking Light. It was delicious! One I will most certainly make again.

Parmesan Chicken Paillards with Cherry Tomato Sauce

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine cheese and flour in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 side of each chicken breast half in cheese mixture.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken breast halves, cheese side down; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and chicken breast halves. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in broth and vinegar; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Add tomatoes, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and oregano; cook 2 minutes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Real Gold Please


Trevor came crawling into my bed one early morning last week and laid his little head on my pillow. He said "Mom can I plan my birthday party?"

His birthday is coming up and we've been talking about having a pirate party with his friends. Not totally where this is going I say, "sure buddy what do you have in mind?"

Trevor, "Ok, I want REAL gold at my party, not that fake kind with chocolate inside. And I want it to be this big" As he spreads apart his hands as far as they'll go.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Book Recommendations For Taylor


Taylor is a avid reader. Once her little reading light bulb turned on there has been no stopping her! She's getting close to having read through all the Magic Tree House & BoxCar children series books and it seems as if I'm running out of books to give her that I know I'd approve of. If anyone has any recommendations of author's and or books that your children enjoy I'd love to hear! Particularly if you know of any christian fiction chapter book. Please share :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Grace in Weaning of the World


I read a great sermon this week on Grace Gems. Entitled The Power of Grace in Weaning the Heart from the World. Being weaned from the world has been a theme of mine for the past year. Something I feel the Lord keeps bringing me back to meditate on.

In one section He asks the question,"How may I know whether my soul is under the weanings of God? How may I know whether I am weaned from the world or not?"


1. To have heavenly affections amidst earthly possessions—this is a sign of a weaned heart.

2. To reckon our happiness, our riches, rather from divine comforts than from any worldly comfort; this is a sign of an heart under the weanings of God. David was a king, a great man; but he does not reckon this his happiness. No, but from his interest in God. Psalm 16:5, "Lord, you alone are my portion, and my cup of blessing." And what then? "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."

3. What do you most desire? What do you most hunger after? this shows whether we are weaned from the world, or not. Now, what is it—which quiets our minds, which satisfies our desires best? If it is worldly pleasures, worldly comforts, worldly honors, etc. then our hearts are not weaned.

4. To bear worldly evils, worldly troubles, worldly losses—with a holy quietness and satisfaction of spirit; this is a sign of a weaned heart.

5. To choose holiness with affliction and loss—rather than sin with pleasure and preferment; this is a sign of a weaned heart.

6. To be able by faith to overcome all the smiles and frowns of the world—this is another sign of a weaned heart. Now can you do this? When the world smiles upon us with its splendors, honors, riches, pleasures, delights and glories—can you then look upon all these as base and abject things—in comparison of Christ?

Or, when the world frowns upon us with crosses, losses, sufferings, reproaches, etc. Can we then overcome it by laying aside carnal fear, by patience in tribulation, by looking upon afflictions and sufferings for Christ—as our honor and happiness; by eyeing the invisible God in all, as Moses did?

"Is not this our case? May we not fear it is? For if we are weaned from the world—why do we doat upon it? Why are we so fond of worldly things? Why do we conform so much to the world, and study the foolish fashions of the world? If we are weaned from the world—why is our joy and grief so great, and proportioned to present comforts, or present losses? Surely therefore we have cause enough to fear—that our hearts are not yet under the weanings of God."

Such great questions to ask myself! I pray for more & more weaning to occur. Heaven and knowledge of Christ is truly more sweeter than anything the world has to offer.

This past weekend at Renewed, Steve Shank and my husband Chris preached messages on these topics. You can find the messages here. Session 2 & 4.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Kids Concert

We've had so much fun with the kids the past couple of days! Tonight was no exception. Taylor got a little shuffle from my parents for Christmas. We put a bunch of worship songs on there to help her with her learning songs for Sunday Mornings. We also put a song called Fly To Your Heart, from the new Tinkerbell movie. Tonight after dinner the kids wanted to put on a concert for us. Something they like to do often. Well we put this song on and listened to her sing it for the first time. I was so impressed with my girl. So impressed that we had to call Papa and Nana over who live a mile away over. She's come a long way from the 4 yr old singing Peace Be To The Brothers :)

and just in case you have lots of time on your hands today you should watch the other two sing their songs...

Trevor's singing his favorite song on the Acts CD. One his daddy wrote :) The song gets a little long when you're watching an almost 4 yr old singing it. So be sure to skip to the end and watch his running man impersonation and his BIG ending.

Rylee's Singing her favorite Happy Day. This is pretty much how she is all day, a happy, bouncing, bundle of energy. She had us laughing with the hand wave to the audience :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Renewed Review


I have have good intentions of writing up some thoughts from our retreat this weekend, but have been a little time challenged and sleep deprived :) The first night we were reminded of the fall and the effects it had on all of the human race. But God, in his kindness, did not leave us in our fallen state without a way out. He provided a way, Jesus Christ, to make men new again. We have been renewed through faith in Him.

The next two messages on the world left me convicted of ways in which I love the world too much and ways I love it not enough. We are not to love the things of this world but at the same time we are called to be ambassadors to the people living in the world. We all are ambassadors. It's just a matter of what kind. The last message left me with a fresh view of eternity with Christ, promised to me as a believer and motivated to live for things that will last for eternity, not the passing things of this world.

The kids & I will be enjoying having Chris home for a few days as we all recover and spend some extra time as a family. Thanks to all for your prayers. I will post links to the messages once they are up!

Here's a team for the Olympiad afternoon games that Taylor & I adopted. I figured any team that wanted to use my fireplace to burn holes into their poster was definitely worth my allegiance :) Taylor was their mascot, carrying their sign around at every event cheering them on. Out of 12 teams they came in 2nd, not too bad. Thanks SWAT for the fun memories.

The West Coast Revival guys lead our worship. It was great having them there.

Daddy & Taylor

Our attempt at a quick family shot before leaving the camp.

Thursday, January 08, 2009



Today I leave for our Church's 5th Annual, Singles Retreat. I will be joining my husband, our church, and four others from the west coast. This has always been such a sweet time for me get away with the singles for an extended time and fellowship with the girls. Also, I enjoy watching my husband's hard work and preparation in action. This trip is a milestone in many ways. It is not only Chris and I's last single retreat, but really the last major thing Chris will do before we leave to plant. When he returns we will kick church planting prep into high gear. Again I find my emotions all over the place, sorrow mixed with excitement. I am so thankful for the ways the Lord has meet us each and every retreat and expect this one to be no exception! We'd appreciate your prayers this weekend!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Money Saving Moms

My friend Megan is going to be doing a series on coupons/money saving tips over at her blog. Admitedly this is never been a strength of mine. I like Megan, have clipped coupons only to put them in baggies and either forget about them or when it comes time to actually using them, they've expired. I've even gotten as far as bringing them to the store only to check out in a hurry with the kids, completely forgetting I had them in my purse. So, being a poor example, I'm happy to point you to others :) Thanks for doing this Megan!

You can read the introduction here & part 1 here.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Thankful for 30


This weekend I turned... I can't even say it :) As a kid 30 seemed so old. Now that I AM 30 I realize it's far from old. I still in many ways feel like the kid at 21 who got married and started having babies. But it wouldn't be right to not look back and marvel at the grace of God on my life. Because In almost every way I'm nothing like the kid at 21 who got married and started having babies. And the fact that I am in any way different is only by the grace of God & His Spirit bringing His word alive to my soul. One thing I desired at 21, that remains the same today is, to bring glory to God in every possible way in my short life on earth. Looking back, I can see now how God can used the experiences of my Twenties to bring about change.

- I couldn't learn how to be a submissive, respectful wife to the man I loved with all my heart until I was actually married and realized how deficient I was in those areas.
- I couldn't receive the grace that came with motherhood (sleepless nights, tantrums, loving someone so much you thought your heart would explode) until being a mother.
- I couldn't learn the joy and thrill of church planting until planting a church with a group of dear friends.
- I could never have learned the faithfulness of God in trials until I watched the church explode and those dear friends be no more.
- I couldn't learn the empty promises of this world until I lived long enough to see that nothing of this world truly satisfies. It's one thing to know that's true as a young women - it's another to actually see and experience things of this world fall away and come up empty in my soul. This makes my heart proclaim- Only HE satisfies, only His word brings life to my soul.

Add in new friends, a new church to love, more children and God renewing my faith and desire to plant a church again and I'm entering my thirties. If given the chance, there would be things I would not write into these past ten years. But looking back and tasting and seeing the goodness of God, I would not change a thing.

I expect and know that God will continue his faithfulness till my days on earth come to an end. I expect to grow in my walk with the Lord in new ways this next decade as He continues to bring about sanctification in my life. I expect God to use each and every circumstance, life changes, and trials to point me back to the Savior! I am now much closer to heaven at 30 then I was at 20.

For all of these reasons and more, I am a thankful and blessed 30 year old woman.

Are you not at this hour a monument of God's faithfulness? Where would you have been, had not the magnet of His grace kept you, and drawn your fugitive affections towards Himself? From how many temptations has He rescued you- laying hold of you on the precipice, when about to plunge headlong down; employing, sometimes constraining grace, at other times, restraining grace- making this your brief history– "Kept by the power of God," and overruling all- ALL for His own glory, and your own good? John MacDuff, Night Watches

Friday, January 02, 2009

Unknown but Known


He Knoweth the way I take Job 23:10

Untried, untrodden and unknown as your future path may be, each step is mapped, arranged, and provided for in the everlasting and unchangeable covenant of God. To Him who leads us, who accepts us in the Son of His love, who knows the end from the beginning, it is no new, or uncertain, or hidden way. We thank Him that while He wisely and kindly veils all the future from our knowledge, all that future-its minutest event -is as transparent and visible to Him as the past. Our Shepherd knows the windings along which He skillfully, gently and safely leads His flock. He has traveled that way Himself, and has left the traces of HIs presence on the road.

Then, too, the infinite forethought, wisdom and goodness, which have marked each line of our new path, have also provided for its every necessity. Each exigency in the history of the new year has been anticipated. Each need will bring its appropriate and adequate supply, each perplexity will have its guidance, each sorrow its comfort, each temptation its shield, each cloud its light. The promise will be fulfilled to the letter, "As thy days, so shall they strength be" (Deut. 33:25) Winslow, Morning Thoughts, 1/2

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Gospel.Church Plant.Peoria

Happy New Year! A few seconds after midnight Chris turned to me and said "Honey we are planting a church in 2009." To welcome in the year 2009 is both exciting and sobering. I wanted to officially introduce my husbands blog: Gospel.Church Plant.Peoria. He is using the blog to share his thoughts on those three things as well as to keep our growing church planting team updated. We got some exciting news yesterday and instead of blogging about it I thought I'd send you over to his blog to read. Feel free to say hi, we all remember what it's like to start a blog and push through that period where people read but don't comment :)