Friday, July 30, 2010

Love personified....

I know my husband loves me.  I've known it since practically meeting him and he's never - not once - given me a reason to doubt it.  Tommy goes above and beyond the call of duty in every area of our life together.  You will never hear me complain about his involvement in our home, raising our kids, and his level of commitment to anything.  He is the most giving person I have ever met - hands down.  To put it bluntly - he amazes me.

Last night, as we laid in bed and prayed, he approached our heavenly father.  He praised the Lord for all He is and all He has blessed us with.  He prayed for our girls - that they would grow in the Lord and that the Lord would equip us to raise them in Him.  Those things aren't new - Tommy prays like that all the time.

What amazes me is that he always knows just what to pray for me - how to approach the King of Kings on my behalf.  Often times, it is to give me strength to go about my day taking care of the needs of our household to the level that I feel the Lord expects of me, or for me to have peace about a certain situation, or other general requests that He knows are very real needs.

But never before, has he uttered these words in my presence to our Lord - and how did he know this was my greatest need right now from our creator??? He said, "Lord, please love on Rachel..."

I know, to some those words aren't amazing in and of themselves.  However, to me, last night as our household fell quiet for a few short minutes, he knew that no matter how much love he can give as a husband to me and a father to our girls, that when the day is done - to feel the love of my Savior is the one thing I needed - something that Tommy cannot give me or make me feel. Yet, he approached the Lord and begged him to "love on" me.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me my greatest love on this earth - who has pointed to you, the greatest love in the universe, to give me my greatest

And thank you for answering his prayer....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hope is NOT lost

As is the usual, last night was small group night with my high school girls and my awesome co-leader, Lynzie.  Something has happened with our group this spring and it's been so exciting!  The Lord has allowed them to open their hearts and have conversations that are very very real.  Walls have come down and opened the door for some pretty awesome talks.  They've been the kind of discussions that many adults (even many church-going adults) would struggle to be open and honest about.  I have enjoyed listening to their hearts and how completely transparent they are about their faith, their convictions and their sometimes-struggles with both.  Last night didn't disappoint. 

In the last couple of months, our conversations have covered these (and many other) topics:

Are people married in heaven?
Do we blame Satan for sin or humans?
What is heaven really like?
How do I reach others around me most effectively - by simply living the life and not pushing them or with a more conscious decision to have conversations about the gospel?
At what point on the scale are people cold, lukewarm or warm in their faith?  Where does on fire sadly turn into being lukewarm?
Is it a sin to be homosexual?
What baggage from my past do I bring to my relationship with the Lord?
Faith vs works
true inner beauty
Women's role within the church/home/family

Tough stuff - many things that I don't have the answer for or at best feel the Lord has taught me through His word.  I urge them to seek the truth out through scripture and prayer instead of relying on my word for it's surely not the standard by which to live. 

Thanks, Lord, for putting me in a place of ministry that blesses me 10x the amount I put in.  I don't deserve to be in their presence in the place you've put me!

Their generation is hurting, no doubt, but Wednesday nights give me hope!  All is not lost - they long to stand firm and stand tall for the Lord.  There is hope!

Friday, May 7, 2010

So much to be said, not enough paper...


I was reading the last part of John this morning and I noticed something that I'm sure I've read many times, but simply never really grasped.

In John 21:25 in the English Standard Version after Jesus sits down with his apostles for one of the last times before his ascension it says, "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."

This verse falls right behind John stating that he bore witness to all things written about in his book, and that each account is valid.  But I love how he just couldn't help but tack on these words at the end.  Like he wanted to write more but there was simply no possible way to recall and capture it all.  It is almost a noticeable change of tone.  John switches from the usual "scriptural" tone here into one that is more diary or journal in style- he even speaks in first person - he just can't help himself.  

As to what he said in this one short verse?  It speaks volumes!!!!  Jesus did so many things in his short ministry that John felt the need to describe their number and magnitude as too big to be held in all the books that could be written in the world!  Wow.

Th curious person in me wants to know so badly what some of those things were.  Was it many more miracles?  Was it more times simply being with his apostles and sharing the faith with them?  What all did they get to witness about our Savior?  I want to know more.

I hope in heaven that we get to see all these things. To somehow witness firsthand his life - every minute of Jesus' precious life. Every single thing that could have been written about.  If only there were enough books in this world to contain all he did.  But in light of his grace, that would simply be impossible, wouldn't it?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thankful for the things I haven't got....

I know I haven't posted for awhile.  It hasn't been neglect or forgetfulness.  It's been the fact that I simply haven't had anything to say.  One thing the Lord has been teaching me lately is to only speak when necessary and to measure my words carefully.  So here goes!  :-)

It's no secret that I'm blessed.  My family life growing up was very "all-american".  I grew up in a pastor's family where my parents loved each other and I never feared they would separate.  I had a brother, a dog, played sports, got decent grades, acted and sang, and lived the charmed life.   

Looking at the present, I have the best husband this mid-western girl could ask for, three beautiful little girls, and an extended family that continues to support and love me.  We've NEVER had a fortune - and that's an understatement.  We've ALWAYS made-do with less.  Up until recently I never feared that having less and making-do was a problem - I was used to it.

So, why do I fight that feeling now? 

Lately, as I walk around my home and around my town I notice so many things that I HAVEN'T got.  It's ridiculous!  Almost every step I make around my house reminds me of something that I wish we could either fix, paint, add to or replace to make our home something that is pleasing to the eye at every glance.  After three long years of doing this, it dawned on me this morning that I need to be thankful for the "have nots" and focus on what they represent.  So here goes:

Have nots:

I haven't got a nice kitchen floor.  It's cheap peel and stick wood-grain looking tiles that are broken and chipped.  We have a rug that tries to cover the imperfections.  BUT we have a kitchen floor.  Many people in the world would just love to have a kitchen.

I haven't got enough room to put all my dishes.  BUT we have food to put on those dishes and frankly, dishes to put our food in.  How ridiculous is it that I have 1 set of china from Tommy's grandmother, 2 sets of everyday dishes, 1 set of Pfaltzgraff for casual settings, 1 set of Pfaltzgraff for Christmas and countless pots, pans, rubbermaid containers, plastic cups, glasses, mugs, etc???  We can't even use it all!! 

I haven't got a oven that was created in the last decade.  It's old and ugly. BUT it cooks the food we are so blessed to have.

I haven't got an abundance of pillows for the window seat.  BUT I've got a window to keep the cold air out in the winter and the hot air out in the summer. 

I haven't got a flat screen tv.  BUT we have a TV and for that matter, we have electricity to be able to use the TV along with countless DVDs, video games, videos, and remote controls that most people in third world countries wouldn't even know what to do with. 

I haven't got fresh paint on my walls.  BUT I have walls to keep me sheltered from the wind and rain.

I haven't got very many items of furniture that isn't either a hand me down or new within the last decade.  BUT I have a bed that I sleep in cozy next to my husband, a couch to rest on after a busy day, and a old chair that I love to cuddle in with all three girls and read a good book. 

I haven't got a new van.  Ours is old, dirty, and stained from almost 5 years of handling all that kids can bring - spilled drinks, melted crayons, silly putty, etc.  BUT we have two vehicles that take us where we need to go.  And the van is almost paid off.  And while we're at it, we have enough money to put gas in these vehicles.

I haven't got a nice manicured yard.  Frankly, it's horrible.  BUT we have a tree that Aubrey loves to climb, Grass and pine needles that Gabby loves to make "salads" with and trees to watch grow with time. 

So, thank you Lord for the things that I haven't got....for you use them to remind me all the time of what I HAVE GOT!  Joy in salvation, blessings of a loving family, and a heart that is thankful for the things that really matter in this life.  If the "haven't gots" keep me looking straight to you, then by all means, continue on...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Focus by process of elimination

I'd been distracted.

Not so distracted that anybody had noticed.
Not so distracted that my faith decreased.
Not so distracted that I felt separate from the Lord.

Not hardly.

In fact, in many ways I feel like I had been growing - and in some ways I probably was.

But I was distracted enough to become careless.
I was distracted enough to lose my true zeal.
I was distracted enough to be rendered useless for a time.

It wasn't going to end - I wasn't going to let it. I loved those distractions. They shouldn't have been distractions, but that is what they became. My desire for them started pure but ended up as my idols. Satan used my desire for these good and pure things, to create something wordly and soiled - and I let him do it.

I claim ALL responsibility.

Those distractions are gone now. I wondered why for a time. But now I know and that brings me hope. And this is the only analogy I can use to explain it:

Every evening right around 8-8:30, Bailey has a fussy time. It's not her fault - there is so much going on around her. Aubrey and Gabby are running around finishing up their chores, finishing homework, getting books read to them, brushing their teeth, goofing off, etc. All the lights in the house seems to be on. The phone rings. Dishes are being washed.

And she's tired. I hold her - but the distractions are enticing and she longs to pull away from me. She is keenly aware of the fun sounds coming from her sisters. The lights in the house invite her to learn more from her environment.

But she needs to sleep and I know it.

Are all of these things bad in and of themselves?  Hardly. In fact, they are some of my favorite times in our home. The moments when we are all at home and life is happening. Things are being accomplished and enjoyed.

But they are distractions that pull Bailey away from what she needs at that moment. She needs the distractions to go away. She needs to drift asleep resting in my arms feeling safe and loved.

She chooses to pay more attention to the all that is going on around her. After all, wasn't it a few moments ago that she was laughing and playing with her sisters? Wasn't it just within an hour that we were eating off those dishes with her at our side - enjoying the cheerful sounds around our loud table?

Yes, but now she needs quiet.

As her mommy, I know that she needs to move closer to me and just focus on her time in my arms. She fights it. She pulls away and fights the gentle yet strong tug of my arms drawing her closer to my heart.

It becomes apparent that the distractions are keeping her from focusing on me. So, I remove the distractions one by one. The older girls are put to bed, the phone ringer is turned off, the dishes are put down and the lights in the house are turned low.

It takes her a moment to realize that the distractions are gone. She's so used to them that she still cries - and doesn't understand what to do next. Though she continues to fight, I continue to draw her closer to me. I sing to her softly and speak words of love that I hope somehow make their way into her little heart. I gaze into her eyes hoping that her eyes will lock with mine in a sweet recognition. I rock her gently in my arms pleading silently for her to be at peace in my arms - to realize that at that moment, being close to me is all that she needs.

And slowly, but surely she does. I feel her body relax and there is a moment that she realizes it's time for peace and quiet. It's time to simply enjoy her time in my arms. And there is peace.

Recently, the Lord removed some distractions from my life that apparently I just wasn't ready for yet. He took away the noise. He took away the glittery things that had turned my eyes from gazing into His. He took away things that are wonderful on their own, but for my wandering heart, they were just too much at the time.

I feel myself start to relax and there are moments that I have realized it's time for some peace and quiet. It's time to simply enjoy my time in His arms. Through all this, He is pulling me closer to him, singing to me softly and speaking words of love straight to my heart. He is gazing at me waiting for my eyes to turn towards His in sweet recognition. He has been pleading for me to be at peace in his arms - and to realize that always - at every moment - He is all that I need.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Be Ye Glad!!!

One of my favorite movies from my childhood is Pollyanna. My obsession with this movie started simply because I loved Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap and moved on to Pollyanna.

I love Hayley Mills. As a child I wanted nothing more than to be her. No, I didn't want to be LIKE her. I wanted to BE her.

As I have watched this movie in more recent years with my own children, the theme from this movie hits home everytime for me.  BE GLAD.  The title character moves in with her aunt who is anything but glad.  Aunt Polly is, in fact, so grumpy and so powerful that she has made an entire town miserable.  Pollyanna moves into town and by using scriptures and references to her missionary father who has since passed away, she uses her joy and it becomes infectious to all she sees.  She changes their lives simply by being joyful and letting her actions spring up out of that joy.

Pollyanna's life wasn't always sunshine and daisies.  She mentions often never having new clothes, never having a doll of her own, and never having adequate food - yet she was and continued to be glad.

In a conversation with the reverend in town, Pollyanna tells him that there are over 800 scriptures dealing with the subject of gladness.  He moves on to announce the following Sunday that he will preach weekly on each of these texts until he has hit them all.  Now I know that not every lesson should really be about gladness, but I sometimes wonder if we as American Christians should hear it more often.  Many times, it seems, that joyfulness is shown only during the good times - the times in our lives when things are easy.  That's not joy - that's being pacified.

True joy in Christ is not affected by our circumstances - our response to our circumstances is affected by our joy- if it's true joy - in Christ.  If we find our true joy in Christ alone, we will have that joy no matter what surrounds us - possibly even more in times of trial. As James says in James 1:2-3, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  "In the movie, Pollyanna plays "The Glad Game".  She finds something good in every situation.  Clearly, this annoys the downhearted - at first.  But joy is infectious!  If joy is seen in everything you do - just like Pollyanna - it will rub off on those around you.  

I don't know if it was the winter blues, selfishness or allowing my circumstances to control my joy meter, I have been much more of an Aunt Polly than a Pollyanna. And I intend to change this!

So, for the next week, I'm choosing to play the glad game...

I will be editing this post with a list of as many little things to be glad or joyful goes...

Bailey made it all the way to school and back this morning in her carseat without crying!
Though my house may be messy, I have a sturdy roof over my head.
Aubrey poured the milk straight into her bowl of cereal this morning instead of pouring it in a glass only to then be poured into said bowl of cereal moments later.
Gabby loved her outfit she wore today.
Diet Coke tastes really good.
The sun is shining.
I'm not pregnant.  I love my children more than words can say, but I'm glad pregnancy is over for my lifetime!  :-)
I have a great husband who works so hard inside and outside the home.  He is an incredible family man.
The snow has completely melted in front of our house.
I hear a bird chirping.
Time spent alone is simply more time to spend with God.
We will get new bodies in heaven.
The huge coffee stain came out of the carpet this morning - and will hopefully also come out of Bailey's pajamas, my tank top, my pants and the diaper rag.
My Jesus loves me.  And I know it.
Crockpots were invented
No matter what happens in life, my parents will always stay by my side with wisdom and love.
I enjoyed the popcorn that provided the piece that is stuck in between my teeth.
Music makes me feel good.
We use disposable diapers now instead cloth ones like in the “old” days…
Diet Coke tastes good.
TobyMac…’nuff said
Bailey likes her bouncy seat
Tutu fabric came in the mail on time
The innocence of children
Aubrey had a great day at school
The girls play together so well
Clouds and rain make for good reading weather
Small Group with the high schoolers on Wednesdays
Waking up earlier means coffee earlier
Having three girls means that I am NEVER bored….ever
Having to sort through clothes for spring means that we are blessed to have enough clothing to use some for only certain seasons of the year – something many in the world could never fathom
Dirty dishes in the sink means that not only do we have enough food to eat, but more than enough dishes upon which to eat
Open windows make spring cleaning much more enjoyable!
Grace from My God is not based on my performance- but solely on my belief in and surrender to Jesus as my Lord and Savior
Bailey is getting bigger - and interacting with the older girls more everyday and it's so fun to watch
Friday Night Jive is tonight!
Getting up early means quiet in the morning.
Rain brings flowers
It's only 3 weeks until we leave for vacation...
Things of this world that are no so great will simply make heaven seem all the more wonderful
The shape of my nose reminds me of my grandmother
The shape of my butt reminds me of my grandmother
We will have new bodies in heaven!!!
Feeling all alone teaches me to fully rely on God as my sufficiency.
Playing cards with the family is fun!
Vacation is less than three weeks away,
Spring brings new life...and new energy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jillian update....

I made it 4 straight days working out with Jillian - then life got CRAZY! And not just the "oh it's a little busy" kind of crazy. The kind of crazy where NOTHING happens past waking up, getting things done and going to bed. However, I have managed to squeeze in just a bit of Wii Fit (nothing compared to Jillian but at least it's moving) and pushing myself to just move more during the day. I'm not disappointed though - I have lost 3 lbs in the past week and a half and I feel more energetic. Starting back up on Monday with Jillian and going to strive for 3 days a week with her alternating with some basic Wii Fit strength training moves and that kind of thing as well as continuing to eat right...

Gotta have balance - 7 days a week of Jillian= too much for me. Three days I can handle and for me it's all about not getting frustrated with expecting too much of myself. So, there you go...a week and half, 4 workouts, 3 lbs lost. I'll take it for now...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just one of those weeks...

This past week has just been "one of those weeks". Ya know, the kind where everything goes wrong and you know it's all your fault. The kind where as hard as you try to get into a groove it just doesn't happen. The kind where you try to find joy in the little things but that joy seems elusive. The kind where you feel like you could have dropped off of the Earth and very few people would have noticed. The kind where pushing through and getting by feels like the best you can do - yet everyone around you seems to just keep expecting more. The kind where every little thing sets you off and you don't understand why. The kind where you realize so much of what you thought you had been doing right is revealed as so much that you have been doing wrong. The kind where instead of a gentle nudge, the Lord uses a swift kick on the back of your head to wake you up. The kind where you want to press the pause button of life and just breathe a minute- or a month- before moving on.

Yep, I had "one of those weeks". This week the Lord revealed to me some major ways in which I haven't been surrendering to him. Some ways in which I have been selfish, uncaring, and just plain hurtful. I have hurt people I loved deeply. I've been on the other side of this and neither side is fun to be sure. When everything came to light, I felt disconnected, discouraged, worthless, misplaced, weary, burdened, indignant, over-driven, and lonely.

Recognizing a very particular sin in your life can be so painful and can surely hurt your pride. It should. Pride in and of itself is sin. Add to that all of the feelings and emotions mentioned above, and you've got yourself into a that feels unending and so deep that nothing will ever lift you out. This is where I sat Saturday night.

But, oh, Sunday came...and praise the Lord it did!

With pain ever present, we went to church Sunday. Honestly, I was faithless and expected to come home with even less hope. But the Lord was ready for me - He knew that's how I would be feeling and He had a word for me in a huge way.

First, he pointed to my loneliness. He put people in my path that I hadn't spoken to in months - or ever - who, by just asking how I was, did more for me than they will ever know. I had conversations with people that we have just met through high school ministry, a lady who asked to hold our baby and while doing so shared that her estranged daughter was getting ready to have a baby and she just wanted to hold an infant. She had such pain in her eyes as she held my sweet girl close but spoke a quiet and sincere thanks as she handed her back a moment later. I got to catch up with someone who is only an acquaintance. For the past year we've passed and said "Hi" and moved on with our lives but Sunday she stopped me to talk, really talk. What an encouragement. It's like every step I took, the Lord led someone directly in front of me - unexpected faces - and let me know that not all was lost. That moving on will be possible - even if it's not to where I thought I would be at this time.

Next, he pointed to my sin. That part wasn't easy, but through songs like "Lead Me to the Cross" and "Jesus Paid It All", I was faced with it fully - and then reminded of the fact that though I have been so unfaithful and so sinful, that doesn't take away the fact that Jesus died for me - that he allowed himself to be led to the cross for me and paid it all - everything - just for me! Paul says in Romans 5:20: "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more." When my sin increases, grace simply abounds more! Now, please don't get me wrong - I'm also FULLY aware of the verse he goes on to say. Romans 6:1&2- "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"

My eyes were opened to my sin, he confirmed one very important fact once again within my heart. Through my belief in him I am forgiven and I repented and now know that I must run as far from that sin as is possible - and I plan to with the Lord's strength and help.

After my time of repentance during the singing portion of worship, Tim spoke on the scripture from Genesis regarding how we are created in God's image. He brought up a great illustration from Brennan Manning about how God says to each of us, "You're my favorite!" The tears spilled forth at that point. There I was, sitting in my deepest pit and he spoke a word of love straight into my heart. Tim spoke the words, it felt like he was looking straight at me (not on purpose I'm sure) and said, "You are God's favorite". Now, I know part of his point is that everyone is loved by God, but it had been SOOOOOOOOOO long since someone had reminded me of his great love FOR ME - how he looks past all of the ugly, wretched places in my heart and sees love. He sees his daughter covered by his son's blood and sitting white as snow.

Such freedom was found in that moment. A freedom I hadn't experienced in so long. Not to be TOO cliche, but it was as if chains fell from my hands and feet - almost literally - and I could breathe once again. The son has set me free and I am free indeed.

The rest of Sunday was one of the best family days we've had for awhile. My two oldest girls and I shopped at JCPenney and had a blast just being goofy and then the whole family enjoyed a meal at Applebees. Those things on their own are not especially rare, but the light hearted feeling that has been gone for some time was back! We laughed and joked so much - I even FELT younger! This whole week has been much the same.

I know that though forgiven by God and feeling such freedom through Him, consequences here on earth of my sin will remain. Wounds will need to heal and hearts will need to mend. Things will not be as they were ever again. While I would do basically anything to take back my actions that led to others' hurt, this lesson I have learned is invaluable. From where I sit with the Lord, I know I am in good standing. And that's all that matters in the end.

Right now he gently reminds me of this scripture...

“Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalms 55:22 NKJV)

I am His child - of that I am assured. I WILL lay my burdens at His feet and allow Him to sustain me.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3 (ESV)

So what now? I will do my absolute best to rest on His strength and to be pure and holy- to do all things for His glory. Through that, may others see that I am changed - not through my earthly effort but through his heavenly power.

Over the coming weeks, I'm pushing the pause button on life, laying in His arms, taking a few deep breaths of Him, and then moving on...renewed.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ready to be Shredded....

by Jillian Michaels. I think.

See, here's the situation. Although I've always struggled with my weight and already had some to lose, having my third baby in December certainly didn't help matters any. Don't get me wrong - I love my latest bundle of joy more than words can say, but this time I'm struggling to get the last 20 pounds off and it's DRIVING ME INSANE!!!

Add to that fact that we are taking a Disney Cruise over spring break and you see the equation quite simply:

Cruising the Caribbean + too much baby weight = unhappy Rachel

Now, to clarify - it's not really a looks thing. Though I obviously feel like I look better when I'm smaller. There are two main reasons: 1) If I am going to be clothed on this trip (which I'm sure everyone would appreciate), I have to lose 20 pounds in order to wear my spring/summer clothes. 2) Energy. I want to be able to run around Castaway Cay, Nassau, the beach, and Disney World for 9 vacation days with my family and have the spare energy to lift up a frozen fruity slushy non-alcoholic drink by the pool.

Here's the plan:


Today I'm starting Jillian Michaels' "30 Day Shred" DVD. As you can see, it claims that it's possible to lose 20 pounds in 30 days with this program. Jillian definitely has the rep for being hardcore and serious about fitness and I'm sure this DVD will not disappoint. I am committing to workout along with this video for 20 minutes a day for the next 30 days.

But, of course, in order to lose weight and tone my muscles (also a necessity for me!), I have to eat healthy as well. I'm going simple with the eating - allowing myself whatever types of foods I want, yet seriously watching my portion control and counting calories. For the next 30 days, I am going to have between 1250-1400 calories a day.

Let me say this, I'm really hoping and literally praying for the Lord to be over me in this and give me strength to make this not only a short-term thing, but I whole lifestyle change. That being said, I work much better with a bunch of small goals on their way to beginning one big one. So, this is just the beginning...and I aim to keep at this healthier lifestyle indefinitely.

But for now...'s the plan. Exercise and eating right everyday (no breaks!) for 30 days.

If Ms. Michaels hasn't killed me after the first five days, I'll update regarding my progress.

So, BRING IT ON JILLIAN! I can take it - and hopefully lose it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If at first I don't succeed....I probably won't try again! :-)

I'm jumping on the bandwagon. The blogging bandwagon. After following several other blogs, listening to my husband encourage me to do some more writing, and the general need to express myself through the written, er, typed word, I am attempting to blog. To be honest, I'm not sure how public I will make this for the time being, but we'll see how it goes.

First things first...

Who am I? My name is Rachel. Although I grew up in the Southern Illinois area, I now live in Noblesville, IN with my incredible husband of 10 years (how in the world has it been that long already?) and our three girls ages 8, 6 and almost 2 months. As a family we enjoy movies, going to Disney World, playing games together - love the Wii! - playing with our dog, Minnie and hanging out with our great friends and family. I am turning into a coupon/bargain junkie. Lastly, but not leastly, we love our church family at White River Christian Church and the wonderful high school group that we are involved in as well!

My goals for my little personal piece of the internet? I am longing for a place of expression. This blog will be a huge mixture (hopefully) of laughs, insight, and stories from my life that I long to capture. I've never been great with a diary or journal, but long to have a place that years later I can look back and see what the Lord was teaching me, what my family was doing and how I felt about it all at the time. Oh, and since I'm a stay at home mom and these things fit into my niche, expect a few stories about my kids, consumer product reviews, news of great deals to be found, and pictures of my latest sundress created for one of my girls!

Next, for the title - Every Sign and Wonder. I'm a huge Nichole Nordeman fan and this phrase comes from her song called "Small Enough". I re-discovered this song during a very difficult season in my life. These lyrics and melody found their way through my speakers one dark night in a church parking lot when I needed Him, what felt like, more than ever before. It helped me cry out the Lord and feel His arms wrap around me in a way that felt so real, I could almost swear it was.

That evening, He confirmed himself to me in a way that spurred me on to a greater relationship with him. I no longer experience simply a belief in Him as my Savior but a much larger desire to serve Him as Lord over my life. There's a huge difference there!

As the song suggests, I am amazed daily by the Lord's power and might - His every sign and wonder - and long to express what He is teaching and leading me towards daily.

Small Enough by Nichole Nordeman

oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now

there were times when i was crying
from the dark of daniel's den
and i have asked you once or twice
if you would part the sea again
but tonight i do not need a fiery pillar in the sky
just wanna know you're gonna hold me if i start to cry
oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now

oh, great god, be close enough to feel you now

there have been moments when i could not face goliath on my own
and how could i forget we've marched around
our share of jerichos
but i will not be setting out a fleece for you tonight
just wanna know that everything will be alright
oh great god, be close enough to feel you now

all praise and all honor be
to the god of ancient mysteries
whose EVERY SIGN AND WONDER turn the pages of our history
but tonight my heart is heavy
and i cannot keep from whispering this prayer
"are you there?"

and i know you could leave writing
on the wall thats just for me
or send wisdom while i'm sleeping,
like in soloman's sweet dreams
but i don't need the strength of samson
or a chariot in the end
just want to know that you still know
how many hairs are on my head

oh great god, be small enough to hear me now