Just A Little Faith

I told Mark I just needed more faith.  It was something that in all reality could happen, why did I doubt that God could pull through?   

As a young girl, I had learned the verse about having faith the size of a mustard seed and moving the mountain.  Where was that child like faith in this instance?

As I look up the verse again, in the Message version it reads as follows: 

"Because you're not yet taking God seriously," said Jesus. 
"The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, 
you would tell this mountain, 'Move!' and it would move. 
There is nothing you wouldn't be able to tackle."  
Matthew 17:20-21 Message

"Because you're not yet taking God seriously..."

I pause and wonder about these words.    These words seem strong, and yet, if I am really taking God seriously, why do wonder and doubt that something can happen?   He promises that if we ask and we believe, we will receive.

"I tell you, you can pray for anything, 
and if you believe that you’ve received it, 
it will be yours."
Mark 11:24 NLT

Mark and I talk about how we continually need to take God out of the box we so easily put him in.   He is greater than I can ever comprehend. 

Again, I find that I have to take Him out of the small box that I build and let Him be the big and awesome God that he is. 

If I lack faith, I miss out.
If I lack faith, I limit God.

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Matthew 13:56 NIV

In the book of Mark, a father is standing before Jesus, his son is having seizures.   

"...If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!"
Mark 9:22 Message 

In verse 23 Jesus responds: 

"If? There are no 'ifs' among believers. Anything can happen." 
Mark 9:23 Message 

I don't think Jesus is saying this just to the father of the son.   I think this is something that He is saying to me today, as I sit in my family room and ask Him if he can do something.    

The father's next words have become my prayer at times like these. 

No sooner were the words out of his (Jesus') mouth than the father cried, 
"Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!"  
Mark 9:23 Message

I believe Jesus.  I believe that you can do things I think are impossible, but in the times that I do doubt,  please help my unbelief.  With You, all things are possible.  


Five Minute Friday: Relevant

It is Friday, I am joining up with Lisa Jo for her Five Minute Fridays.   Join me here if you would like. 

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!



World English Dictionary
relevant (ˈrɛlɪvənt) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
1.  having direct bearing on the matter in hand; pertinent

Perhaps this means that we live in the moment.   To be relevant is to see a need, acknowledge the need and do something about it.    If we are going to be relevant, we need to pay attention to the people around us.   It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and miss the people who are in need.   It can take just a moment to offer a smile and brighten a day.   Perhaps, just to be noticed and acknowledged makes a difference in a day.   A quick hug to say I know and I care, or to listen when there seems to be no one around.  

Jesus was always present in the moment, seeing those in need and extending love and care. 

That to me is being relevant.



Christmas Shopping

We began our Christmas shopping this week.   As a family, we have saved all year for this gift.   Allowance, money from pop cans, pocket change, it all went into a glass jar.  The kids could not wait to send the gift.   We logged onto Compassion's website and sent family gifts to our sponsored children.   

E sent one gift...

 Addy another...

A little help from Daddy, ...

and our Christmas shopping has begun.  


Broken Pieces

On the days that I find myself standing before God, broken pieces of my life in my hands, I wonder how a perfect God can love someone so broken, so imperfect. I see my failures, the times I didn't get it quite right, and I am discouraged. As I look at the pieces of my life, I wonder what it is He sees in me.

He picks up the broken pieces, different sizes and colors, and carefully arranging them with a plan in mind.   Just like a stained glass window, it is not until His light shines through that a brilliant work of art is created.   Not because of what I have done, but because of what He has done. 

I find it hard to always see myself as God sees me.   Too easily, I get focused on the failures, wondering how a perfect God can love someone who continually messes up.  But He does.   

"I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand 
the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people 
who are his rich and glorious inheritance.  
 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness 
of God’s power for us who believe him."
--Ephesians 1:18-19 NLT

A song, still lingering in my mind, has become a reminder.    A reminder that He is still working in my life, even though not every day is full of success and one that I feel good about.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new
You are making me new.
Gungor "Beautiful Things"


A Special Visit

The eastern sky is just beginning to lighten on this Monday morning when my doorbell rings.   The much anticipated visitor has arrived, my kids still in pajamas, run to the door with shouts of glee.   As we open the door, there is my companion for the morning.   She runs through the door and into my arms wrapping her arms around my neck, my heart soars.  

Together, we walk the kids to school, I love how much they enjoy being together. 
Everyone is excited about the "adventure".   

Time to say good-bye, she can't understand why she isn't able to go to school with E and Addy.   

My living room has babies, cradles, and blankets in it because that is what she loves to play right now.   Some time with Dora and a snack, the morning has been fun.    I am so glad my sister called to see if I had time to play today. 



The tickets have been in hand since June.   It just seemed like it would be a fun thing to do.   Little did we know, that it would be just what we needed, just when we needed it. 

The schedule as of late has been intense.   There has been little time to connect.  Through the grace of God, we have managed to stay on the same page and be a unified front in the home, which is no small feat even on good days.

A good friend agreed to take E and Addy for the night so that we did not have the pressure of coming home right away, to which the kids were absolutely thrilled about.   Everyone in our house was excited for Thursday night.   The countdown was on as we all anticipated the evening.

We arrived at the venue just in time as the line began to form around the building.   The timing was perfect, any earlier, and I would have been really cold from the wind that was whipping through the downtown streets.   Any later, and the standing room only location, sold out that evening, would have given a listen only experience. 

We found our spot and settled in for the evening of music.  There were four acts in the evening, two of which I had heard.    The opening bands did not disappoint.   Actually I was quite impressed with each of them.   The lyrics were solid and the music great.

After two hours of standing, the headliner, the one I had come to see, was finally coming on stage.   I had seen this band two times before, and the expectations for the third time were high.   Finally David Crowder walked on stage.   The music began with keyboards and his voice.    Slowly the rest of the band came on stage and the night began.

I cannot tell you how much this man and his music have touched my life.   His lyrics put into words so many feelings and thoughts that I cannot voice.   The songs become expressions of love and prayers of my own.   The first time I saw the band in concert I was so moved and touched,  a night I will never forget.

Thursday night was amazing and everything I had hoped it would be.   Unfortunately, this is the last tour as the band is, from what I understand breaking up.   As they finished the encore last night, I was lifting prayers of thanksgiving for David Crowder and his Band.

If I could spend just a moment with David Crowder, I would tell him thank you.  Thank you for using your gift, thank you for your words, thank you for your music.   My life and relationship with God is so much deeper because of you.

A friend willing to take the kids, a great concert, and an evening away with Mark leaves me feeling rejuvenated.    Making it a weekend, he took Friday off so that we could have a three day weekend together.   Looking ahead at the schedule for the next few weeks, I am glad we have this weekend to stop, catch our breath, and exhale before we head back to fast lane of life.


Five Minute Friday: Beyond

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!


As my children grow up and become the people the God created them to be, my prayer is that they continue to be open to new thoughts and new ideas.   I want them to be able to think and relate beyond the walls of our home.   I hope that they are able to stretch beyond the boundaries of what normal is and be accepting.    

Our life is full of people with different cultures, backgrounds, languages, and beliefs.    I pray that my children can see beyond all of this and see the person inside that God created and celebrate in the difference.    With the ability to keep an open mind, their life will be so much more full and rich.    

This is something I learned from my parents, and I hope that my children can see that in my life as well.  


Join me here in writing for Five Minute Friday.  


A New Day, A New Beginning

When plans have shifted and all of a sudden I find myself facing a task that I had no intention of picking up and really did not want to balance in my already busy schedule, I can adjust and move forward making the best of the situation, or I can fight it and resent it.  Fighting and resenting is what I did yesterday.   I wasted a lot of energy fighting and resenting a situation that I cannot change.   By noon, I was exhausted and ready for bed.  I had cried, worried, and had an inner battle with everything I was feeling.  

Before Mark left for work yesterday, he said that there are times in life when we have to be fully present in the moment.   Even if we are in the middle of a task that we do not like, or do not want to be in, which for him was prepping the lawn for winter on Sunday, being fully present can bring the calm and rest in the situation rather than the emotional struggle I was facing yesterday.  

Oh, I wish I had listened and taken that to heart at seven o'clock yesterday morning rather than fighting it all day and finally accepting it just before going to bed last night.   I think the day overall would have been a much better day.  

This morning, I am grateful for a new beginning.   A new day to try again.   I am going to live fully in the moment of today and try to take it as the day comes, not worrying about tomorrow, the rest of the week, or the upcoming weeks.   For some reason this seems to be a struggle of mine.   I tend to give my worry up to God, only to find myself picking it back up again and carrying it around for a little longer.   I wonder why I do it to myself.   

By worrying about the future and what is coming, perhaps I am missing what God is trying to teach me or give me right now.   Perhaps He needs me to help someone else, and by fighting and resenting, I am missing an opportunity.  

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, 
and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."  
Matthew 6:34 Message

Today, I want to focus on what God is doing in my life "right now" and let tomorrow take care of itself.  


Five Minute Fridays: Catch

It is Friday and I am joining with Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Fridays.  If you would like to participate, join me here

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

Five Minutes on Catch. 


Nine and a half years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would teach her children piano lessons.   Having never taught before, I was very nervous, but needing a little extra income, I agreed.   Fumbling my way through the first few year, this family was very patient with me as I was learning to be a teacher.  

As the years passed by and I gained more confidence, I began to love teaching piano and love working with the students that I have had throughout the years.   Music is a part of who I am.   I always hope and pray that my students will "catch" or develop the love for music that I have.   

This morning while reading through the blogs I follow, one of my students posted the video below on his blog.  The music itself brought tears to my eyes because it spoke to me in a way that I cannot describe, let alone try in five minutes, but it also made me so excited because this particular student found a song that he really enjoyed, and I hope has caught the passion for music.  



She is Growing Up

A letter from Honduras came yesterday, and with it a photo.  In the photo, a smile is on her face, and my heart is full of joy.   Studying the picture,  I take in every detail as I have never seen her in person, I know her through letters.   The pictures are a treasure because they are few. 

She has grown. 

Last year with her birthday gift she bought a baby doll and an umbrella.   This year, shoes and a new shirt.  The shoes are not practical everyday shoes like tennis shoes, rather they are shoes that one buys for a special occasion or when dressing up.   I am so pleased.   I am so excited when the birthday money we send is spent on items the kids want.  



Tuesday's Thought

In the book that I am currently reading, the first chapter began with this quote from the author:

"Patient God, 
Instill in me a desire for honesty and 
authenticity in my walk with you.  Open my eyes to
catch you as you slip through corners in the boxes
I foolishly create for you. "
Enuma Okoro

My hope is that as I walk each day, trying to live my life, God's love and light will shine through.  I don't want to have areas or "boxes" in my life where God is not present or the focus.   So today, I claim Enuma's words as my prayer. 


With Prayer and Hope

A whispered prayer, lifted to my heavenly father for two and a half years.   A desire so intense that the ache does not go away as the months have slipped by.

This morning the feelings of discouragement creep in as the morning takes on it usual busy routine that we call life.  

It feels as if I am reaching for the unattainable,

It feels like I am wanting something that will never happen.

Perhaps it is something that only a few are able to do, and I am not one of those "few".

The thoughts keeps coming and the discouragement is growing.

Then, I hear His voice, and I am reminded that He has heard and not forgotten.   Humbled and encouraged I will continue to pray and wait for His timing and hope for the future. 

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."  Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV

Our lives are forever connected.  Prayers are lifted on behalf of each other.   Letters describing our life, desires, and dreams are exchanged.  Pictures sent back and forth.  Memory verses shared to encourage.   

My dream is that some day a letter can be sent saying "I am coming to visit.  Coming to give you a hug.  Coming to see you."  That is the prayer whispered from my lips and the desire that is burning deep in my heart.  

I want to travel the world, not to the finest destinations with all of the lights and attractions, rather to the remote villages where one of the young ones I know lives.   One who I have come to love.  One who is part of my family.   That is where my heart longs to be.   

He has provided in the past when I have earnestly asked and sought His will.  I have faith He will do it again, when the time is right.  Then it will be perfect, because it will be a gift from Him.  


Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

Five Minute Friday, a time where we can blog without having to worry about edits or over thinking.   If you would like to join me here if you would like to participate. 



Ordinary in my mind closely parralles routine.   While routine or ordinary are can be comforting, there are times that I long to break out of the ordinary and do something different, something I have not done before.   This is usually when I find myself on a new adventure of which my whole family is sometimes drawn into. 

Eleven months ago, I decided to join the health club.   I was tired of the way I was feeling and just changing my eating wasn't working for me.   I also did not want to stay home through the holidays baking and then eating everything I had made.   So, I joined the health club.

In the year that I have been there, our lives have looked very different.  I have trained and completed a half marathon.  The training was intense and time consuming, and it affected family plans as we always had to plan activities around my running schedule.  Most mornings, he had coffee waiting when I came home and listened as I was getting into shape and the bumps and bruises along the way.  On the Sunday morning of the half-marathon, he got up early and took me to the starting line.  Never once did he complain, rather he was always there with a word of encouragement and support. 

Now that the health club has become a regular part of my routine, I still continue to receive support from Mark.   That is something in the ordinary and routine that I do not take for granted.



The Answer is Yes

It is Thursday, and yet Monday seems more than four days ago, more like four weeks ago.   The days have been long, they have been intense, and I have been challenged and stretched in ways that have me almost to breaking point.   Collapsing into bed each night, I hope and pray that the next day will be better.

I have not had much time to even open the cover this week, on my nightstand sits a book about the pursuit of happiness.  I want to pick it up and absorb the secret that maybe inside that will take me to the place of ultimate happiness, knowing that it does not exist. 

Today, I am reminded, happiness is a choice.   I can choose to be happy and look at the positive in my life, or I can choose to wallow in the trials and struggles and ignore everything else God has put into my life.   I cannot control the responses of other people or some situations, but I can control my reaction and response to others.  

Despite the intense week, if you ask me today, "Are you happy?"

My answer is most assuredly, "Yes."   

Yes, because I have a wonderful husband.
Yes, because I have two beautiful children.

Yes, because we have jobs.  

Yes, because I have friends. 

Yes, because I am loved by an awesome God.

Yes, I am happy because He provides beyond measure. 


Be Still

The hectic pace of life continues.  I find myself facing a week of busy schedules and non-stop activity. 

This morning I read a post from Pete Wilson's blog that has spoke into my day.   As the day unfolds with many activities, it is easy to loose focus.   So in my few minutes between scheduled activities,

I sit.  And listen.  And observe.

A breeze causes the wind chime to sing a soft melody.

A mid-Summer flower is blooming defying the cooler nights with the threat of frost.

A bird is singing its God given song.

Colorful leaves fall to the ground, gently saying good-bye to the summer days.

A squirrel runs by on a mission.

The sun, warm for an October day, is shining in the brilliant blue sky.

A mini-van pulls up to the park, children run with laughter.

I pull myself up from my perch on the deck as duty calls.   Although the time marches on and the schedule cannot wait, I am grateful for the moments I had to sit and observe His creation.   I will cling to these moments in anticipation of more, because these are the moments that bring peace and stability to my day. 

Thank you Pete for the reminder to be still.  


Our Weekend in Pictures

Our weekend was full, full of activity, and full of fun.  Rather than type is all out, here is our weekend in pictures.

Saturday morning Lego Robotics Club

Immediately after, we hopped in the car for a trip to Andover to get in some cuddle time with our newest little one....

We even shared with a very proud big sister!!  

There was time for breakfast with Tante and their cousin

Of course with the beautiful weather, 
we had time to shoot a few hoops

Look at Grasshoppers

Enjoy the apples in season

Have great conversations and hug my beautiful sister

And of course spend lots and lots of time with cousins

And now we are getting ready for another busy week.