Saturday, March 30, 2013

If by Rudyard Kipling

My oldest daughter had to memorize this poem for home school.  I really liked it and thought it would be nice to post it here.   


by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son! 

Hippity Hoppity Happy Easter Time!

We love this time of year. In fact, Easter is my oldest daughters favorite holiday.  We always have a fun time coloring our Easter eggs.  Here is my little guy patiently waiting for his egg to dye.  What color will it be???
She was so excited...each egg was a precious piece of art that we will probably smash today.  LOL
Such a sweet and precious time with my kids!
It was fun to see him be so careful and be so excited!
Here are our beautiful creations.  Thanks sharpie for the added fun this year!
My henna inspired eggs.  I had so much fun doing henna on our arms and legs one summer in Ludington.  I thought why not do it on eggs?! I think they turned out so fun!
Here is the back of the eggs. 
This year I bought some dollar baskets and dressed them up.  I used scrap material for around the edges and braided the handles.  They turned out really cute and they were pretty inexpensive.  
The dollar store had some fun nail glitter and Michaels had their dollar spot 50% off so I got the lip gloss cupcake, rose bath soaps for a buck.  I got the giant clothes pin their for a dollar too.  I made them necklaces this year at a paint your own pottery place. They were about $5.00 to make.  They turned out so cute.  
This year I decided to do something fun for my kids.  I used hollowed out eggs, dyed them, filled them with confetti, placed a rolled up message inside, and sealed the hole with tissue paper.  They got to smash them this morning and read their little love notes.  (just make sure your egg is very dry inside before filling them. LOL) That was fun!  My husband was too cute.  He could not figure out how I filled them.  
Here they are after they found their hidden baskets. His was in the wood chest next to him.
Hers was in the front closet under a scarf.
I hid hers in our paper shredder.  That took awhile to find. Bwahahahahahaha!
Have a happy and blessed Resurrection Sunday!  May you know how much Christ loves you and cares for you.  May He fill your hearts to overflowing.  

For the Lord your God is LIVING among you.
    He is a mighty Savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. 
~Zephaniah 3:17


Now I have to go clean up smashed egg shells and confetti!  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

From the Heart of a 10 Year Old!

My daughter was not prompted by me to write this letter.  She was just told by her teacher to write a formal letter to the President. 
Here is what came from her 10 year old heart...

If only those who called themselves Christ followers would stand firm in their belief system; yet treat those who differ with respect and compassion. May we truly honor Christ with our words, our actions, and deep devotion to Him.  May we be slow to anger!  May we guard our tongues!  May we let our light so shine before men.  May we learn from our love as Jesus loves.  May we lift up our President in prayer and ask God to lead him and draw him to Himself.  God alone sees the big picture.  He is not surprised by our choices or our words.  He alone is in control!  Let us not forget that!  Let us completely learn how to trust that truth!  

May we remember that we do have a beautiful country and that we are truly blessed.  May we not forget to lift her up in prayer.  Today, we have the freedom to do do not take that for granted!  Remember, God can always do more than we can even takes us falling to our knees to see it happen!

God bless our country and help us be mindful that You are still in control!
Help me be a light that shines like the stars!

On a side note...Isn't my daughter's handwriting just lovely?!  She has been working on it so hard this year.  Loving homeschooling!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Go, Go, GO!

It is that time of year again...Derby Day! We have been sanding, painting, tinkering with our cars for the last two months and today we were able to finally race them.  I have decided that our family is not about speed,  aerodynamics, or sleekness...we are all about the interesting, funny, weird, how slow can we go kinda derby car.  And a couple of us came in dead last all was awesome!  

Here are some of our fabulous designs...

Francesco Brnoulli !

Her car is a replication of one of her sand art bottles
she made at a fair in Lundington, MI!

She did an airport complete with a flying plane!

My car was The Little Engine That Could....I think I can, I think I can!

We enjoyed watching all the races!

Here is the mom vs. my oldest daughter race..I won ( I won't tell you my train was a little on the heavy I did have an unfair advantage)

Here is our annual "Family RACE" and the actually race car won!

My daughter came in 2nd for speed.
Getting her trophy from our childrens pastor, Pastor Kelly!
I came in 3rd for speed...did I tell you there was only three in our division!!!! hahahahahahaha
What a great family time and I got this super duper cute picture of shorty!  Love it and love racing our crazy fun cars!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Generations of Artist

My Great Grandmother
I love the date on this...1894! She is my grandpa's, pictured below, mother.
This hangs in my mom's living room. It is huge and amazing!
My Grandfather
I love this picture of my mom's dad.  It is so awesome.
I am glad we have it.

My Mother
My mother gave this picture of my son, in watercolor, to me this Christmas
along with two other paintings of my daughters.  My mother's brother and my sister are artist as well.
I have several cousins from my grandfathers brother who are also gifted artist.
And for good dad's mom is an artist too.
 It is so amazing how God passes talent through generations.  
Picture of my girls that I gave to my mom for Christmas a few years back.

My 12 year old Daughter
Who has taken a go into the 3D world with her talents! Going where the women in her family have never dared to go.  LOL
Her cross is made out of wood (support system), cardboard (created the form), and covered in little pieces of duct tape to create all the beautiful color.

She wanted to do something that reflected her faith.  So after many designs on paper, she went with the cross and her favorite medium...duct tape of course!  The colors in the background reflect a sunset (one from our recent trip in the U.P.) and the grape vine represents us being in the vine (Jesus) and as we are His branches we will begin to produce fruit.  We can only do this because of His great work on the cross.  Pretty cool huh?!

My daughters piece just won a great award and will be going to compete at Nationals in Orlando, FL in the Fine Arts Festival.  We are so proud of her.  I was able to be a part of this same competition when I was in high school my junior year.  I won the highest award in my state, the merit and then went on to Nationals.  So, I am so excited that my daughter made it to Nationals on her first attempt at the age of 12!  WOW!  I can only imagine where her talent is going to take her over the next five years.  Watch out Fine Arts Festival my daughter is about to make her mark!  

You may remember I had the wonderful privilege to judge at the National Fine Arts Festival a few years ago.  You can check out that post here. What a great experience for all of us!  

Here I am at Nationals a bazillion years ago.
And yes that is my hubby in the background!
So young we once were!
During the creation of her piece she wouldn't let any one see.  Thankfully she took her own pictures of part of the process.  She is such a funny girl!
Could not be more proud of my girl!  She did this all on her own and she did a great job.  3D is so out of my comfort zone.  She is has passion for creating sculpture.  I think that comes from the love of math part of her which sadly I do not even dream to have.  Many hours went into this piece and she even got a blister from all the ripping of duct tape.  I am so excited. One way or another Florida here we come....even if we have to ship it to a friend to submit it!

Thank you Lord for all the talents and abilities you give each and everyone of your children.  May we always glorify YOU with them!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fake Me, Real Me!

I think I have suffered from a disease for the last 15 years, pastor wife-itis also know as perfectionism.  I don't think it is contagious....well maybe it is.  I don't think only pastor wives can catch it either....they are just really susceptible to it.

Symptoms are as follows:

  • Feelings that they must be happy all the time.
  • A need to say the right things at the right times.
  • Appearance may look to perfect at times.  
  • Hair is never gray or out of place.
  • Tendency to feel the need to know more about God than others; because it is expected.
  • May expect too much of children.
  • Appears to never shows anger towards husband...lovingly supports him ALL the time.
  • Appears to have hour long devotions and rich relationship with God.
  • Actually is turning into Mary Poppins! Carries a large stuffed purse and black umbrella to fight off anything that might catch her off guard.     
  • Perfectly, perfect...all together...all the time!

(Because that is what we as Christians are suppose to be 24/7...right?!)


Any of the following and can be a result of more than one....
  • Idealistic expectations placed on her by herself or others.
  • Insecurities
  • Need to Control
  • Selfish ambition
  • Pride
  • Fear


  • A God shaped pill!

Okay, now I meant that to be funny.  But, God has been examining my heart the last couple days and has shown me some of my sickness.

I realized my sickness a few Sundays ago when my hubby and I were having a disagreement in church before the service started.  Yup...people...arguing right in the sanctuary...oh the shame of it all.  A wonderful unsuspecting pastor greeted us right in the middle of said argument.  And immediately I was struck by my sickness.  My mask went on my face and pretended nothing was wrong.  Now, for the poor pastors sake, he did not need to be in on my drama.  I spared him of that, thank goodness.  But, after he left I was stunned at how good I was at being "fake" me.  I mean... I am really good at it.  As fast as one can say Bibbty-Bobbity Boo...I was changed in to beautifully, happy ME!  I found that disturbing.  I came to the conclusion that I am good at it because I have practiced it A LOT.

Now, I have been asking God about it and of course He began to show me what I was doing to bring about this fake mask that could so easily put on.  I was pouring myself through my own filter every time I walked into church or anywhere really.  I only wanted people to see what I thought they should see.  I wasn't really caring about what God wanted at all.  I only wanted everything good about me to be seen, none of the bad stuff...ever!

However,  God began to show me a better way.  He wanted me to run through His filter...His hands.  He reminded me that He was creating me into the woman of God He wanted me to be.  He knows all my imperfections, my dirt, my shame, and my scars.  He is not surprised by them.  He is not ashamed of me.  He sees all the value of me; because He loves me.  He uses me just as I am and is changing me every day for His glory.  I only need to allow Him to filter me.  When He filters me, He determines what is beautiful and uplifting.  He pours in all that is good into my life.  He pours Himself into me.  He is able to show His redemptive real work in my life as a living testimony of a life changed.  I need not be ashamed of His work.  In fact, His filter brings Him glory.  My filter only brought me glory.

Now, I am not playing down the need to live a holy life, quite the opposite is true.  I don't want to pretend to live a holy life anymore.  I want the struggle, the realness of yielding a life to Jesus every day.  I want the real me God intends me to be to shine!  That is a life that declares all of His Glory and His Ability!

Help me recover Lord!
 May I always run through Your filter!
I'm going to go take my God shaped pill now!

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Grandiose Self!

James chapter 4 is a tough chapter.  God holds nothing back on His children here.  I am reminded about the passage in Proverbs 3:11-12 as I read this passage.  

But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.

It’s the child he loves that God corrects;

    a father’s delight is behind all this.

I am really loving The Message's take on James 4, so much so that I am going to take a different approach as I post today's blog.  To refresh our memories, do not forget that the writer is speaking to Christians, those who are followers of Jesus.

Get Serious

1-2 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.

This passage is all about believers fighting with each other.  Here in lies why so many unbelievers call us hypocrites.  The see us fighting with each other and ask, "Don't they follow Jesus?"  Unfortunately, time and time again we give them all the evidence they need to not follow Jesus.  They have a hard time understanding that we are still like them...still desperately in need of a Savior.  

Me throwing a fit!
How often am I still so selfish?  How often am I still so jealous of others?  How often do I still fight for my own selfish ambitions?  How often do I care for myself more than I care about others?  Too many times to count, I'm afraid to say.  

That is why James is so serious about how we treat our fellow Christ followers.  Why?  Because the world is watching.  We are ALL looking to fill the God shaped  hole in our hearts.  The last thing,we all know deep down inside, is that we do not need to fill it with more of ourselves.  That only leaves us empty and alone!

2-3 You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
4-6 You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”

Here we see our selfish nature at its best.  I think we can all agree that if we are really honest, we are all selfish in some way everyday.  I can tell you that I am a lot of times during the day.  We have this sense of entitlement.  We think somebody owes us something. And then James just nails the real issue on the head.  How many times do we want what God knows is not best for us.  So, we sneak around the back and try to get it for ourselves.  We know deep down it isn't meant for us, so we don't ask God.  Why?  Because, we know the answer.  

I can't tell you how many times I have gone and done something without permission.  I did it; because I knew that if I asked permission they would say no.  Boy, did I have a lot of reasons and/or excuses as to why they should let me do whatever it was that I thought was so important and necessary.  

When I was in the 8th grade my friend was having a boy and girl party.  I had a feeling my mom and dad would have said that I could not go.  So, I told my parents that it was just a party with a bunch of girls from school.  I even figured out a way to go with someone else so my parents wouldn't drop me off and see that there were boys there.  

Oooh you didn't know I was such manipulating, calculating lying person did you?! 

When I came home...I knew something was parents had found out.  My mom immediately sent me down to my dad's office in the basement.  All the lights were out except his small desk lamp.  As I rounded the corner of the stairs, in my gut I knew I was about to get in some serious trouble.  

I slowly walked to the tall office chair that my dad was sitting in.  When he heard the sound of my footsteps stop, he slowly turned his chair around to face me. (Yes, in my heart it really seemed this dramatic.  To this day, I think he did it on purpose to really make me feel he meant business.)  Very calmly and seriously he began to tell me how disappointed he was in me.  How my lies hurt him and my mom.  How he could not trust me.  He told me that I could have just asked them to begin with, they might have let me go.  But because I only thought about myself and what I wanted, I hurt those that love me as result.  I had broken their trust in me and now I had to earn that trust back. I could see in his face that he was hurt. I was crushed.  That conversation hurt more than the punishment did.  I had only thought about what I wanted more than anything else and anyone.  

Everyday, I must let go of my selfish desires; because, I want all of God's goodness and His perfect will to invade every fiber of my being! I want no more games with God.  I want all of Him in all of me!  

7-10 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
11-12 Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?

Cool picture of my sis in this alley in Ann Arbor.
I want my life to reflect all of God's goodness.  I don't want to be chained to sin.  I don't want the bad things I do to have control over me.  I don't want to bad mouth others.  Why?  Because...It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?

God, please help me not to write graffiti over Your gospel.  I never want to bring shame on Your message of hope.  I do not want my own selfish actions to ever keep others from knowing Your great love for them.  

Why?  Because my life is just a moment, and God's hope is eternal.  In the comparison of eternity, I am only on this earth for a short time.  But, what I do and say can have eternal ramifications.  I am not guaranteed tomorrow.  Only this moment is what I have.  I want to make it count.  I want God plans to become my plans.  I want God's vision to my vision.  I want God's hope to be my hope!

Nothing but a Wisp of Fog

13-15 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
16-17 As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.

Yesterday, my husband, our team of people, and I were suppose to launch a new church.  I thought my grandiose self had it all figured out.  Those were my plans as of 9 months ago.  Until, God decided that was not the direction He wanted for us.  Instead....Yesterday, His plans were for me to help lead 100 kids in worship at our new church we attend while wearing a silly, funny, sweaty hat.  Instead, I talked to two little girls about their week at school.  Instead, I helped my daughter put on swimming flippers and watch her try to jump rope in a contest.  Instead, a young girl leaned her head on my shoulder while hearing God's word.  Instead, I prayed for kids to always put God first.  Instead, I sat in a room having a yummy lunch with 23 children leaders and heard a message from our children's pastor about gaining God's vision for my life.


I was exactly were God intended me to be yesterday.   And when I laid my head on my pillow last night, I knew that I am smack dab in the middle of His perfect plans for me.  

And new vision...
If the Master wills it, 
As long as I have breath,
It will become very clear with each new step 
as I follow Him.
"If He goes to the right...then I'll go to the right.
If He goes to the left...then I'll go to the left."

May, I never be found guilty of writing graffiti over the His message of hope!
May, I always desire His will over my own!
Get Joy!