Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seaside Letters - A Nantucket Love Story

Seaside Letters – A Nantucket Love Story by Denise Hunter

“Sabrina never intended to fall in love with Tucker McCabe, the man she serves coffee to every morning at the Nantucket CafĂ© – especially since he’s unwittingly tied to a past she deeply regrets. But she has fallen hard, though she’s kept her feelings a secret.

When Tucker learns Sabrina is the research assistant for a local mystery writer, he asks Sabrina to help him with a little sleuthing of his own…locating an elusive woman he’s fallen for online.

If Sabrina accepts the job, she’ll spend her evenings in close proximity to a man that can never be hers. If she turns him down, he’ll hire someone else – and that would be disaster. Because if someone else sifts through all those letters and finds out the truth, Tucker will discover her secret…That the person he’s trying to find is her.”

This is such a great, feel good, romance story. If you are a fan of such movie classics as You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle or even When Harry Met Sally, you will love this book by Denise Hunter.

This is a classic romance novel woven around the story of mistakes, love, and forgiveness coupled with the love of God. Once I received it from Thomas Nelson Publishers, I couldn’t put it down. I was immediately drawn into the story of Sabrina and Tucker and whether or not, theirs would lead to the classic, Happily Ever After Ending.

The story in set in Nantucket during the summer, as Sabrina is a waitress who has fallen for a man she doesn’t really know who she has been emailing for over a year. Tucker is pretty much a captain of a tour boat operation that provides the local tourists with boat trips around the island, who has fallen in love with a woman he has meet in Nantucket Chat room. Once you pick this book up, you won’t want to put it down until the very end.

Because I know you will absolutely love it, I am planning on giving away a copy to a lucky blogger on Sunday. To enter to win a copy of Seaside Letters, please leave me a comment and the lucky winner will be announced on Sunday, October 4th. Please make sure I have a way of reaching you so I can send you the book. I just know you will love it!

Random Dozen #1

I happened across this cute idea at Susan's blog This Day and thought I would join in the fun. If you would like to join as well just click on the picture and then add your own answers to the questions listed below.

1. Tell me the absolute best way to watch a movie. If its a new release, go to the midnight showing. You find the best people attending these and it's so much fun. I did this for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, 2 and 3 and it really makes the movie that much better. I am planning this for the next Twilight sequel New Moon in November.

2. Do you ever think about your own funeral? If so, do you have specific ideas about how you would like it to be? I think we all do to some degree. I told my husband, nothing special, just a pine box in the ground please, no tears! I want to be remembered and celebrated so I want a party with all my favorite music playing.

3. Are you more of a giver or a taker? I'm a giver all the way. I love receiving things, but there is nothing like giving something to someone and watching the look on their face. It truly is priceless!

4. Vacations: planned activities and schedules, or play it by ear? Seeing as our schedules change from day to day, we try to plan somethings in advance but it always ends up changing and someone is disappointed. Now we just go on the spur. It's a lot more fun that way!

5. What is one often overlooked item in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly? I think the kitchen pantry. Usually once I clean and organize it all, the occupants in my home like to mess it up again.

6. Name a cause that means a lot to you. Make a Wish Foundation. Primarily because these kids are living out their final days, who wouldn't want to help any way they can?

7. Do you eat a regular old peanut butter jelly sandwich, or do you customize it? And by the way, jelly or no jelly? Creamy peanut butter and Knott's Berry Farm Boysenberry Jam please. When I was a kid it was the Goober Grape jelly that already had the peanut butter mixed right in. Yum!

8. If we were having a conversation in person, how would I know if you were nervous? I look around a lot.

9. Do you have an elaborate bedtime routine, or just the basics of toothbrushing and jammies? I am a basics kind of girl. Love my jammies and a snack before bed.

10. Have you ever regretted something you wrote on your blog? No, it was meant to be whatever I felt that particular day. There are some really sad posts when I was going through some serious challenges, but I can look back at those and see how I made it through. Then again, I have some great blogger friends that always cheer me up!

11. Has anyone ever told you that you look like a famous person or celebrity? Did you agree?
On a couple occasions I was told I look like Helen Hunt. I guess it was the way I styled my hair back them. I didn't agree but I love her and took it as a compliment.

12. If you were going to dedicate a song to a loved one or friend, what would the song be and to whom would it be dedicated? Divine Romance by Phil Wickham that I would dedicate to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whom without His ultimate sacrifice, this life wouldn't be worth living.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Nan did this quiz on her blog momstheword and I thought it might be fun to do it too, so I borrowed her questions but wrote my own answers. Feel free to join in on the fun.

The phone rings. Who will it be?
If it is my cell phone it is my hubby just checking in or telling me he is on his way home. If it’s our home phone, its for my teenage daughter. No one ever calls for us.

When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
Yes, working in retail has a tendency to make you more self conscience of that and besides, some poor soul has to go out and get them. It’s a happy moment to make their day even if they are not aware of it.

In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?
I am a listener which gets me labeled as anti social. The interesting thing is you learn so much more by listening than you would engaging in a conversation.

Do you take compliments well?
I used to be horrible at it, because my father and my ex husband used to tell me I would never amount to much. After years of that, you stopped believing anything good applied to you. My current hubby has helped to restore that and given me a better outlook on life.

Do you play Sudoku?
I have tried it a couple of times and would do it if there was nothing else to do.

If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
Absolutely! I love watching all those wilderness survival shows so I think I may have just enough stored in my memory to help me to survive.

Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
Just day camp and it was a whole lot of fun. We got to do a lot of nature hikes and make all kinds of crafts!

What was your favorite game as a kid?
Hide and seek and freeze tag! We would wait until it was dark enough and cool enough to play both.

Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
No, because I believe in a solid foundation is necessary before you can ever begin your life committed to one another. Without God, its just what you two contribute and face it, we can all be selfish at times.

Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
I would prefer to be pursued, of course, we are talking romantically right? Yet I have always been the one to pursue. I am a hopeful romantic and feel the need to go all out if necessary. Sometimes guys just can’t get a hint, no matter how blunt you may be.

Use three words to describe yourself?
Creative, romantic, religious

Do any songs make you cry?
Yes, especially if they are super sentimental to me in some way. Most of the worship songs can get me to tear up too!

Are you continuing your education?
I guess so, working with my teenager and my 5th grade daughters helps me stay fresh in my academics. As far as college for me personally, not enough time!

Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
Yes as a teenager. Aren’t they silly!

How often do you read books?
Daily since I am now working on blogging for two publishers and love all the titles I keep getting, plus books I win at various other blogs. I think God can speak to you through those titles too!

Do you think more about the past, present or future?
More about my future since it is so unknown. You see so much pain and suffering in the world, you find it hard not to be concerned about making a difference to make things better.

What is your favorite children’s book?
All the Dr. Seuss books! I just love the rhyming words and the crazy things he thought up to entertain kids!

What color are your eyes?
Hazel, they change color in different lighting.

Where is your dream house located?
In the Pacific Northwest, set deep in a dark, lush, pine filled forest, in a log cabin, along side a beautiful river with my family!

If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed?
My family would already be out with all my yelling, but my laptop, and photos. Nothing else matters.

When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?
Probably a few months ago. My hubby loves the soup, salad and breadsticks!

Where was the furthest place you traveled today?
About 7 miles to pick my teenager up from school.

Do you like mustard?
It is my condiment of choice for most of my sandwiches and hotdogs!

Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
Sleep since it where I am not really bugged for anything and the dream world is all my own.

Do you look like your mom or dad?
People say I look like my mom!

How long does it take you in the shower?
About 5 minutes. I try to be water conscience.

Can you do the splits?
Not even close. Not even when I was a kid. But I can sure make a mean banana split!

What movie do you want to see right now?
The new Twilight sequel, New Moon. It’s been on my radar since I found out it was going to continue all the way through all her books.

What did you do for New Year’s?
Stay home, stay safe and head to be early. Too many crazy people out, but I have always wanted to attend a really great fancy New Years Eve party where people get all dressed up!

Do you think The Grudge was scary?
Yes, I hated that creepy kid who would meow like a cat!

Do you own a camera phone?
Nope, my current phone does not possess that unique quality!
What’s the last letter of your middle name?

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
About 8 if I am lucky and everyone else stays in bed at night and nothing goes bump!

Do you like Care Bears?
I did when I was a kid, I thought their message was good for kids to know.

What do you buy at the movies?
Besides my ticket, a big bucket of popcorn with lots of butter and salt. I have to share with everyone!

Do you know how to play poker?
Kinda of, but wouldn’t be good at it for career or big winnings. Just luck I guess!

Do you wear your seat belt?
Yes, always. It has saved me many, many times!

How many meals do you eat a day?
Usually two, I skip breakfast unless a large coffee counts!

Do you like funny or serious people better?
I like either, they have their strong points!

Ever been to L.A.?
Yes but I don’t care for it.

Did you eat a cookie today?
Not yet, it’s still like 8:10am

Do you hate chocolate?
Never, unless it’s bittersweet! I don’t care for that, but prefer dark chocolate.

Are you a gullible person?
Not generally, I tend to be a bit suspicious of most people.

Are you easy to get along with?
Most of the time. People have a tendency of judging me based on my quietness and therefore stay away.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Escaping the Storm!

Good Monday Morning every one, I've been away from my computer for a few days due to 3/4 of our family was down with the flu. I had the worst of mine over the weekend, but in recovery mode now.

I got this email story some time ago and found it inspirational to share with all of you this morning. Feel free to share it as you feel led.

by Grace Housholder

Earlier this summer when Dean and Brenda Rummel were traveling from Colorado to their home north of Kendallville, Indiana, they took a new route to avoid Chicago's traffic and potholes.

Dean is a real estate agent and Brenda is principal of Prairie Heights Middle School. Their motorcycle trips have taken them to every state except Alaska and Hawaii. However, on this trip, their motorcycle broke down in the middle of nowhere -- but really they were in just the right place.

The breakdown led to numerous new friendships. Terry and Pat Svetlecich brought them back home in their motor home and pulled the motorcycle on a trailer. They even dropped the bike off at a Honda shop.

"That's just me," Terry told the Morris newspaper. "Isn't that what you're supposed to do?"

In return, the Rummels insisted their new friends stay the night in Indiana and made them a home-cooked meal.

The Morris, Illinois, newspaper wrote about the Rummels' experience because Brenda sent a thank you note to the community. People who read her letter to the editor asked the newspaper to tell the rest of the story.

I found out about the story through a random Google e-mail alert.

* * * *
I called Dean and Brenda and told them I had read about them online in the Morris newspaper. They had not seen the article. Then Dean shared with me another story from the same remarkable journey.

The day before their breakdown they were whizzing through Iowa on I-80. Surprisingly, the low fuel light went on. Dean knew he shouldn't be low on fuel, but he also knew he couldn't ignore it.

There weren't many places to get fuel so he got off at the nearest exit and found a gas station.

When he "filled up" he found out the tank would only take about three gallons. It confirmed what he thought and the gas level was not low.

A shove on his shoulder made him turn around. It was a woman who seemed to have come out of nowhere.

"There's a storm coming. Power lines will come down. High winds," she said. "Get off the road."

Dean and Brenda were startled. The sky at the gas station was clear. There was no storm in sight. They did not understand the woman's concern and they decided to continue on I-80 to their destination 100 miles away.

The woman's tone was urgent.

"Folks, get off the road," she repeated. "Get off the road! There's a bad storm coming!"

The woman's persistence and her urgent tone made Dean change his mind and head for Iowa City, 12 miles away.

As they sped toward Iowa City, storm clouds suddenly popped up.

They increased their speed, racing toward Iowa City. With every passing moment the sky became more threatening. They found a hotel and quickly checked in.

The minute they shut the door behind them, the storm struck with fury. Raging winds threw tree limbs across the road. The storm was so strong that the electricity went out for 2-1/2 hours.

Escaping the storm's fury seemed like a miracle.

Looking back, Dean believes the woman who warned them and then disappeared must have been an angel.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Funnies ~ For those that take life way too seriously!

Deep Thoughts For Those Who Take Life Way Too Seriously

1. Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

2. A day without sunshine is like. Night.

3. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

4. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

5. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

6. Remember, half the people you know are below average.

7. He who laughs last thinks slowest.

8. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

9. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.

10. Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

11. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

12. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

13. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

14. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.

15. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

16. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

17. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

18. Every one has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

19. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

20. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

21. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

22. I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.

23. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

24. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.

25. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.

26. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ September 24, 2009

Ever stop and count your blessings? Each Thursday, thanks to Sonya at Truth 4 The Journey, we all do just that. We link to her blog and share the things during the week that we have been the most thankful for. If you want to join, simply click on her link above and join in the fun.

1. Love ~ I am thankful that God has blessed us with a heart of love to share not only with those closest to us but with family, friends and strangers. Jesus modeled the perfect example of love, unconditionally when He chose to die for all of us for our sins so that we might be saved.

2. Faith ~ I am thankful for my faith and belief in Jesus Christ. Without faith in this world, it would be pretty hopeless and there wouldn't be a point in the future. Faith allows us to see things that we know are real yet can't see. Faith is believing in something better and with God in our life, faith is something we need to get through our difficult days and storms that life presents us.

3. Grace ~ It is only through grace offered by Jesus as a free will gift to us that we have hope for a future. One without death, sin, troubles, tears or worry. We will have a whole new world and a new heaven to enjoy forever with believers in God and our Savior Himself. We can not earn grace it is something you get when you don't deserve it. God offered that free gift to all of us through the sacrifice of His Son to die for all of us. His grace is the greatest gift God ever gave all of us. Why do we choose not to accept it.

4. Trials and Tribulations ~ It is only through tough times, that we can truly focus our eyes upward and call out to God. These keep us humble and trusting in Him for everything. It makes us better people and able to help those that are hurting. We can share those experiences with others because we too have walked in those darkened, lonely and sometimes long valleys. We all come out of it stronger in our faith in God.

5. Salvation ~ It is my ultimate passport and luggage all rolled into one for my eternal home yet to be seen, but constantly being worked on because the Lord has not come home for us yet. So whatever He has been working on for almost 2009 years has got to be something. I mean God created our heavens and Earth in 6 days, imagine what our future home is going to look like after all this time?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gone In A Flash

This story arrived in my email this morning and it moved me to tears I knew I just had to share this with all of you amazing bloggers. Enjoy!

Michael Smith

The sun dropped below the horizon. The sky turned dark. The first stars of the night began to shine.

It was the peak night for the Perseids meteor shower. We gathered our grandchildren in the backyard. Some sat in chairs and others stretched out on blankets. No street lights were nearby to hinder our view.

"There's one!" Seth, the oldest yelled.

"I missed it!" I whined.

"There's another one!" Josh yelled.

"I saw it!" Ginny and I said together as a streak of dust burned across the sky and faded into nothing. The youngest, Benny, sat in a chair beside me.

"Are you watching, Ben?" I asked.


"Did you see that last one?"

"No!" He sighed. "I missed it."

"Then you weren't watching, were you?"

We cheered and pointed each time a meteor lit the night sky.

"Poppa Mike?" Benny asked.

"Yes, Ben?"

"Clara is the loneliest train, you know?"

I had no idea what Benny was talking about or where the thought came from, so I just played along. "Is that so?" I asked.

"Uh huh?"

"Why is she lonely?"

"She has a boyfriend you know." He paused.

"But she's still lonely?"


Another meteor made a white slash in the night sky. "Wow! Did you see it, Ben?"

"No, I missed it again."

A few weeks later, a lightning storm slowly crawled across the western sky. We watched the bolts of lightning streak diagonally from north-to-south. It was a spectacular display of nature, one we safely watched from a distance.

"Wow! Did you see that one boys?" I asked my grandsons.

"No! We missed it again."

"Guys, you have to focus, these things happen fast. If you don't focus, you'll miss them."

Later that night, after the boys went to bed, I sat out on the deck while Ginny, her daughter, Heather, and her son-in-law, Nathan, watched a show on TV. They laughed each time I screamed, "WOW! That was a good one."

Alone with my thoughts and the lightning, I remembered the meteor shower. The lightning was the same. The flashes of light were gone in the blink of an eye. I asked myself, "Mike, how many of life's meteors and lightning bolts have you missed because you weren't paying attention?"

I had no answer to the question, for if I knew, then I wouldn't have missed them. How many times have I come home from work too wrapped in my own thoughts and missed those "daddy's home" smiles of my children? Those little smiles are lost forever, as I walked right by them.

How many opportunities did I miss to praise my wife or my children? How many chances to say, "I love you" to my wife did I miss?

I made a pledge that night to pay more attention to those around me. When I arrive home from work, work stays at work and my attention is on my family, because those opportunities -- those
streaks of light -- don't last long.

They're gone in a flash.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Acknowledgement, Recognition, Kudos, Woo Hoo's and Congratulations!

It's that time again for me to thank all the beautiful souls that have been so kind as to nominate this blog for awards. I apologize that it takes me so long sometimes to post them, acknowledge your kindness for receiving them and also to pass them along to inspire and encourage others.

1. The Mother of the Week Award ~ It was created by my creative and lovely husband to Steve. He has an idea one morning to create an award dedicated to the love, caring, compassion and hard work that goes into being a great mom and wife. He was nice enough to award it to me and I am truly honored. He will be passing this beautiful award on once a week to a mom that he will bless due to her hard work and dedication to raising a family. If you have never stopped by his blog, please do and give him a word of encouragement. Its so hard to find dedicated men who will blog as often as they can and one worthy of followers as well at Gotta Have Faith.

2. Beautiful Blessings Award ~ Given to me last week by Christina at Luvin This Life who was also the highlight of this weeks, Blog of the Week Award if you missed it on Sunday. It is given to blogs whose posts encourage and bless readers that stop by. This is what Christina had to say, "While her comments are always uplifting and encouraging, it is her blog, the thoughts that she shares, her incredible insights, that are truly a beautiful blessing." So it is with great pleasure that I pass this beautiful award on to the following people whose daily messages inspire, encourage, motivate and bless not only me but others that stop by as well.

1. Kathleen at Sassy Granny
2. Tiffany at Tea with Tiffany
3. Lisa at Sharing Life with Lisa
4. Candee at Encouragement for the Journey
5. Rosel at Off the Beaten Trek

Please visit them and encourage them with your comments today as you stop by and visit. Ladies, please pass this along to 5 bloggers who really inspire you each day.

3. Friendship Award ~ I received this beautiful award from Debbi at For Your Tears, who has a beautiful ministry for parents of children that leave our earthly homes far too early. If you have never stopped by her heartwarming blog, please do so. You will find solace, peace and blessings when you do. For those receiving this award it is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award. So without further hesitation, here are my selections:

1. Steven at Gotta Have Faith
2. Greg at Greg's General Store
3. Loren at The Magoos News
4. Kat at Art's Chili
5. Daveda at Grace Talk with Daveda
6. Susan at This Day

Ladies and Gentlemen, please pass this heartwarming award on to those who fit the criteria for this award and bless them with this beautiful gift of friendship.

Have a glorious and blessed Tuesday and make a difference in the life of someone today but offering them a random act of kindness, whether it is a smile, holding the door open for someone, or offering a passing Hello to a neighbor!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Had A Bad Dream...

All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you." Mark 11:24

How many times do you recall a child who wakes up in the middle of the night because they have had a bad dream and the first place they will come is your room. Why? Because they want you to put their fears at ease, to talk about the dream, get a hug and a kiss and have someone to put them back to bed and reassure them that everything will be OK. Finally before you turn off the light and head back to dream land, you sit with them and pray that God will be with them during the night and keep the bad dreams away.

A child trusts their parent when they come to them at night, they know mom or dad will handle it, without question. Do you ever remember your child doubting whether or not that bad dream will come true or the monster in the closet really does exist?

We are exactly like that child with a bad dream, when we take our cares to God and ask him to remove our worries, our anxieties, our fears and even our sickness. We should be like that child that never doubts their parent, and realize without a doubt that He will take care of it and peacefully go back to bed or back to our lives.

"The the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you or forsake not fear." Deut. 31:8

Imagine carrying a 5 pound bag of potatoes. For the first 60 seconds it is heavy. After about an hour, our arms would begin to ache. If we were to do this all day, it would be unbearable. The longer we hold it, the heavier it becomes.

Such it is with worry, the longer we carry the burden, the heavier it becomes until it is too difficult to bear.

Would you believe that success is not determined by having been dealt a good hand in life? It is determined by taking the hand you were dealt and utilizing it to the best of your ability.

Just when it looks the darkest, the clouds will always part and the sun will coming shining through. Trust in HIM.

God will never ask us to endure a trial without having a purpose behind it. There is no task you can't handle it you can break it up in to little pieces and tackle it a little at a time.

Happiness keeps you sweet,
Trials keep you strong,
Sorrows keep you human,
Failures keep you humble,
Success keeps you glowing,
But only God keeps you going.

"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion". ~ Philippians 1:6

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Blog Award of the Week ~ Luvin This Life

It's Sunday and it's time to once again share with you a hidden treasure among the blog world. Too often we are so busy with our reader list that we miss wonderful blogs that are out there ministering God's wonderful word and at the same time encouraging one another through dedicated comments. I came across Christina at Luvin This Life a few months ago, and have been so blessed by her warm friendship I wanted you all to meet her.

1. How did you begin blogging?

I actually started blogging on MySpace. Sharing my thoughts and feelings opened an avenue to clear my head and to get to know myself better especially once we moved to Hawaii where I felt very cut off from everyone. I started Luvin This Life because I could be much more creative and I think reach more of my friends and family who were not interested in joining myspace. I have been blogging a total of four years, and my move to blogspot has opened the door to new friendships that have encouraged me to keep going, who have challenged me to become a better person, and inspired me to think about things I wouldn't have before.

2. Where did you get the title for Luvin This Life for your blog?

I chose Luvin This Life because I have noticed that in our world today there is zero emphasis, even in alot of our modern churches, on taking what we are given and making the most of it. Luvin This Life is (I hope) about seeing the silver lining even when we are in the midst of a strife ridden economy, a politically torn country, and a watered down Faith. Luvin This Life is not exactly ALWAYS where I am, but its a reminder to me to look and my priorities, look at what we have been blessed with, and find contentment.

3. How did you discover God?

HA.... more like how did He find me? I was raised in a Christian home, with an amazing prayer warrior for a mother. We were members and faithful church-goers at a local Lutheran church. However, I was in the 3rd grade and went to a Passion Play one Easter at the big Baptise Church in town. I had never seen or heard of an invitation to faith, an invitation to accept Christ until that night. With my mom, who is still convinced that I was saved at my infant baptism, shocked at my insistence, I went forward in answer to a tug on my heart like I was being physically pulled to the altar. I remember saying a prayer, someone touching my head, and a feeling of peace... I recall very little after that... However, while going to church was a drag before and reading the Bible was absolutely no fun, I suddenly found a desire to serve, to learn more, to be faithful. There have been moments throughout my life where doors have opened or closed, tugs on the heart have been so strong as to be felt physically, and even some miraculous moments that have highlighted my life and my family ever since.

4. How did you and your hubby meet?

DH and I were both in the Air Force. We actually went to the same technical training school and shared many of the same friends, but didn't meet at that time. We both got re classed into two different jobs, and yet ended up in San Antonio together. There we met for the first time through a mutual friend. After a couple months of seeing each other at random places, and each time he was with a different date, I guess I had enough! haha Somehow, at a mutual friend's party, I was able to monopolize his time and his attention, and we have been together ever since! I think the best part of my love story is that several years ago when I was at college, I had made a list of all the qualities I wanted in the man I would marry. I had decided that list of 44 things was a must have, and I would not settle. So there I was 26 years old and about to marry DH when my little sister reminded me of this list. In going over it, he fit every single one and then some! The Lord's handiwork.

5. What are 5 of your favorite things?

The Sound of Music??? hehe Just kidding...
~I LOVE old movies, especially musicals, Cary Grant movies, and Audrey Hepburn movies.
~I love Disney movies, especially the old ones like Old Yeller, Pollyanna, In Search of the Castaways.
~Green... in all its various shades and thus any excuse to go out and enjoy nature.
~My cat, which was my hubby's anniversary present this year, a HUGE compromise on his part as he hates indoor animals... ;-)
~My collection of books.. its quite eclectic but there is nothing like curling up with a good book!

6. If we can to visit you in your state, what are three must sees or do's we can't miss while we are there?

In the entire state??? Hmmm...Kemah south of Houston. I was able to see this beautiful little coastal boardwalk when my sister lived in Houston. Truly charming. Then there are The Stockyards in Ft Worth. A bit of modern, a bit of history, complete with a 'bull run' every day. Not uncommon to see cowboys and cowgirls in full get-up. And last but not least, my favorite city in the US- San Antonio. The River Walk, the Alamo, the country dance halls, the Missions (baseball), the Spurs (basketball), the surrounding towns where you can find bull-riding, roping, barrel racing, country fairs and festivals and can just stop in anytime and never meet a stranger.

7. What advice do you hope your kids learn from you?

Like I learned from my Mom, I hope my kiddo learns how to pray without ceasing. To learn how to have an ongoing conversation with our Lord is a great blessing. To leave the doors of communication always flowing to our Lord is to have a door of communication always flowing into us! My own experiences with this form of prayer is absolutely something I hope he sees and learns to do as he grows and as he develops a relationship with our Savior.

8. What is the biggest valley you have had to hurdle and how did you handle it?

In general, mostly because I am still coming to grips with a recent betrayal, I am learning to handle my disappointment in people. I tend to expect from others the same things that I expect from myself and I take it very personal when those I would consider to be close friends do not live up to those expectations. It is my own stuggle and its all to often a painful one for me. I am learning, and the Lord is putting people in my path who push the limits with me and who are helping me learn to look at HIM and HIS expectations rather than my own. (its so not easy!)

9. What are your three favorite smells and why?

ooh... smells. Lots of smells will literally throw me down memory lane, often faster than an old photo... But my favorite smells: freshly cut wood (takes me back to moments spent with my Daddy), freshly baked ANYTHING! haha ( I bake cookies almost every day just for the smell, horrible isn't it?) and real plumeria (we had a tree in our back yard in Hawaii... real plumeria smells soo much better than any reproduced in soaps or colognes!)

10. What do you do during your down time, hobbies, books you're reading, music you listen to?

I have mentioned that I am rather electic, right? In my spare moments, I crochet, scrapbook, make cards, and paint. I am also working on a fiction book, so spare moments often go into adding a few paragraphs or jotted down ideas. I also like to get my hands dirty in my garden or flowerbed. If I really had the time and the right vehicle, I would be off-roading and mudding every chance I could. I am never without my camera so I do spend alot of my spare time messing with pictures. Then, of course, I am a book worm. Currently, I am reading three books at once...sigh..."Beautiful Mess" about Diamond Rio, "Dragonfly In Amber" which to be honest I am not enjoying as much as some friends assured me I would, and "Twilight" for the second time cause, yes, I admit, I have been caught up in the hype. hehe

So you can see, Christina is definitely someone you want to follow just through her blessed words that she truly is Luvin This Life. Please stop by her blog today at Luvin This Life and leave her some kind comments and let her know what her interview meant to you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Difference Do It Make? ~ Book Review

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. The King will answer and say to them, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." ~ quoted from Matthew 20.

My most recent book that I have just finished reading literally in a matter of hours was a great true story called, "What difference do it make?" Yes, I did not make a typing error, that is the correct title for the book. It is written by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent from Thomas Nelson publishers.

The book is based on a true story of Ron and Deborah Hall, along with a wonderful man named Denver Moore, who was a homeless man that Ron and Deborah befriended in their mission to do more than just walk by the homeless people they saw day after day.

Deborah has since passed away from cancer in 2001, and her husband Ron and Denver Moore have been fortunate enough to witness the seeds that she had planted so long ago to help the homeless begin to bear more than enough fruit from her simple example of just making a difference. Since then millions of people are personally taking up Deborah's challenge to make a difference and those stories are all contained in this book.

The book is designed to share their personal stories from beginning to end of how their lives were completely changed by God in learning to serve the needs of the homeless. Since their first book was published it has begun to change the lives of other in prompting the need for us to get involved with helping the homeless.

Most of us see them on the street, see them holding the sign asking for help or donations or even a free meal. How many times do we pretend not to see them and go about our business? What we need to be doing is blessing these people not just with our money but how we can go about helping them with the unconditional love that Jesus gave all of us. We also need to stop judging these people about how they got there, what are they really doing with the money, and just bless them with whatever help we can provide them, and leave the rest up to God.

You never know whose eyes God is watching you through. It might not be your teacher, your preacher, or your Sunday school teacher. More likely it's going to be that bum on the street.

This is a definite recommended book to read, especially if you are looking for that purpose in life so many of us seem to be missing. Once you read this book, you will want to be out there making a difference in someones life.

Thankful Thursday ~ September 17, 2009

It's the culmination of almost another week that has managed to almost sneak by us. This is Thankful Thursday meme that was created by Sonya at Truth 4 The Journey. If you haven't participated, please consider joining. Not only will it make you stop and appreciate all the blessings that have been poured out to you over the week, but you will bless others when you stop by and enjoy theirs as well.

1. I am thankful for my sight. I can see the beauty of the things created by our Heavenly Father, all packaged up nicely for us to enjoy each day. I can see my loving family and see how life has been a blessing for them as well. I can enjoy the blue skies above, the endless oceans, the towering, green pines, and the soft sands of the deserts. I can enjoy a hummingbird mid flight and see the bees at working diligently pollinating our flowers. Best of all I can enjoy reading God's diary each and every day and begin to commit each word to memory to hold in my heart.

2. I am thankful for my hearing. The best part of it is sitting in church and lifting our voices of praise and worship to God in Heaven and joining in the harmonies that must be pleasing to His ears. It is the most wonderful sound to me, and each time it happens, I cry tears of pure joy. I can picture Him sitting up in Heaven smiling down at all of us, like a proud parent would watching their children. I am thankful for the "I Love You's" I get from my hubby, Steve, my great kids, and even my amazing friends.

3. I am thankful for my voice. I can talk and sing praises to God. I can pray out loud, unashamed of my faith and love for Him. I am thankful I was able to ask for salvation and completely turn my life over to Him for His will and His glory. I am able to ask for forgiveness when I fail and thank him when I receive His blessings on my life and my family. I am thankful I can offer words of encouragement and hope to those hurting in a dark and lonely world.

4. I am thankful for my touch. I can reach out and feel the softness of a baby wrapped in a blanket, the sandy feel of the sand when I walk upon the beach, when I hold the hand of a believer and we lift up our needs in prayer, when I hug a friend who needs comfort, and kiss those that I love with all my heart. Thank you Lord for the ability to feel the love and compassion of a willing heart.

5. I am thankful for my ability to smell. Not only the smell of great food, but also the smell of tall, crisp, green, pine, trees, the saltiness of the ocean, the perfumed fragrance of Your glorious flowers, the never forgetful smell of the cleansing rain that falls from Heaven, and best of all I can smell the beauty of the world around us that you have so lovingly created for us to enjoy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No More Left Overs Please!

Ever wonder just where all the communication goes when you have been with someone for quite awhile? It could be 5, 10, 15 years or even more than that, but it just seems like when you were first dating your special someone, all you wanted to do was talk to them. You would talk for hours, stay on the phone and sometimes even fall asleep with the phone between you and your pillow just listening to the other person breathe.

Then one day you realize just how little you do talk. You go about your day and he goes about his, sometimes you discuss things when you have a chance, the kids, school, work, bills, money and things around the house. Yet whatever happened to those conversations about anything that would just make us smile just knowing who we were talking to.

Next we find ourselves in our own world while they are in theirs. When did two people suddenly become such strangers?

I believe once the communication goes soon it begins to follow a similar pattern. Much like a mudslide. First you have heavy rain until it saturates the ground so much it can't hold any more water and then the hillside gives way.

So why then do we do that very thing with our relationship with God? Call on Him when we can remember, or definitely when things are looking bleak and hopeless.

Do you know that if we remained faithful in our tithing, we would owe God 2 hours and 24 minutes of our day? How much time honestly do you allocate for him? Do you wonder then why your relationship with Him isn't what you would like it to be?

I believe we owe God this time. We are after all going to be spending the remainder of eternity with Him so shouldn't we begin to build on that relationship instead of merely praying at church, at meals and when things get tough?

If we truly desire a real relationship with Him we have to be willing to put in the time just like we invest time in our relationships at home. Once the communication dies, soon everything else begins to head south as well.

The trouble with most of us, I believe is our ever busy and frantic lives. We simply task God for whatever time we have left in the day. Perhaps during the shower, or while we are heading to work, or maybe just before bed.

How would a real relationship stand if that is all you were willing to invest in it? I would honestly have to answer, there wouldn't be much if any. So why then do we believe that our relationship with God is any different?

He is interested in knowing what you are thinking, what your frustrations are, you loves and your deepest dreams. He is the person on the other end of our life just waiting in anticipation for us to turn to Him and talk. He is always willing to listen, always available and is so interested in what you have to say that He stops everything He is doing just to listen to you. Wouldn't you love that in a real relationship?

I challenge all of you today, to begin to build on that relationship and begin investing your time wisely instead of the things that will wither away and not matter or make a difference. I am so confident once you increase this communication, you will notice some profound changes in your life and your relationship with God.

Prayer is the answer! Let's begin by talking to God throughout our day and not just when we have time. Let Him truly be our first priority in our lives instead of left overs. He is ready when you are.

Psalm 6:9 "The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Give Me Five!

I found an interesting post when I stopped by Mari's blog, My Little Corner of the World and she was doing a post based on five words she was given. She invited us to play along if we wanted and you know me, the avid gamer, I asked her to send me my 5 words. If you too are interested, leave me a comment and your email address and I too will send you 5 random words.

1. Music. I have it on most of the time throughout my day to 88.5 which plays Christian contemporary music and occasional devotions. It helps keep God going throughout the day and keeps Him ever close to my mind. Sometimes it can completely change your day for the better as well. Some of my favorites are The Motions by Matthew West, Otherside by Mikeschair, anything by Jeremy Camp, Third Day, Never Going Back to OK by The Afters, and my all time favorite the Fray!

2. Family. This is the most important thing in my life next to my relationship to God. I've been married twice, and on the second try God bestowed His greatest blessing on me, with my best friend, soul mate, and husband, Steven. I had a daughter from my first marriage and it was the very best thing to come out of the fire. She is 16, a Junior in High School and very active in church with her faith. Her name is Caitlyn and she even has a blog if you want to stop by and check it out. It's called Teen Life. Steve and I were blessed by God to have a daughter of our own, and she is our strong willed and determined 10 year old Kailee. She never ceases to amaze me with her natural ability to pick up on anything technical. We share our 2 story home in the high desert of Southern California with three cats, Moo, Tosh and Bella.

3. Faith. It is the greatest gift God has blessed all of us with. Without it we wouldn't have hope in the things we can't see but believe in anyway. Many times we think that we must see it to believe it, but God says you have to believe it, and then you'll see it. Thankfully I know that no matter what happens to my family in this life, I know without a doubt it doesn't end there for us. I will be reunited with them once again in my eternal home in Heaven.

4. School. I have to admit I was your A typical nerd in school, the book worm and the geek all rolled up into one. For years I was the pride and joy of my parents. Then when I entered highschool things changed, people looked to me for the quick answers to last minute homework or quizzes. I hated it. I hated that people only needed me for their lack of discipline.

When I received my CAT test scores that year, they were off the chart and the school asked for a meeting with my mom. They explained, I would be bored during the next 3 years of my school and there was nothing further to teach me that I didn't already know. They asked my mom to provide me with the GED test so I could graduate early and move on to college. My mom said no. She wanted me to finish.

I felt betrayed by her and so I controlled the only thing I could and began to fail all my classes. I was sent to continuation school and before the Board of Directors but I was bound and determined to prove them all wrong. My mom in her frustration, gave me an ultimatum which was work or finish school. I chose to work. It wasn't until I was in my 30's that I took my GED and rated 98% in most of my subjects nationwide. Sometimes you just need parents to trust you.

5. Thankful. I am thankful for so many things in my life. I am thankful for my salvation in Jesus Christ so I know my life doesn't end here and He continues to work in my life at all times, even when I don't think He is. He has walked and carried me through the darkest valleys of my life and saved my mortal life on more than one occasion. I am thankful He has provided me with an amazing family, a home to live in and the finances to get us through each day. I just need to remember to give thanks to Him even when things are going badly.

Once again, if you want to participate, leave me a comment and your email and I will randomly select 5 words for you. What a great way to learn just a little bit more about each other and have fun sharing our lives with you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stress Reduction: Spreading Out the Workload

I got this message in my email this morning and had to pass it along. I have been reading about too many of you with too many things on their plate and either not enough time or not enough help. I hope this message by Charles Swindoll helps to put some perspective on this, and enjoy!

Stress Reduction: Spreading Out the Workload
by Charles R. Swindoll

Exodus 18:13-27

We've been talking about the very common and very real problem of stress. Today I'd like to tackle a practical suggestion for stress-reduction: spreading out the workload.

There is a side of stress that is easily overlooked, and that is trying to do too much ourselves. All of us have a limit. If those huge freight trucks on the highway have a load limit, you can be sure each one of us does, too. When we try to do more than we were designed to do, our level of anxiety immediately begins to rise.

Moses is an example of one who fell into this very trap. He was surrounded by an endless number of needs, people, demands, requests for decisions, and problems to solve. On one occasion, his father-in-law, Jethro, paid him a visit and witnessed the load Moses was living under.

Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone." (Exodus 18:17-18)

The classic account of an ancient workaholic! This wise father-in-law comes right out and faces Moses with the truth: "It isn't good . . . you'll wear yourself out." Jethro saw the whole thing objectively. He saw his son-in-law on the raw edge of exhaustion. The anxiety brought on by that much work would soon take a toll on Moses. He couldn't continue doing it all alone.

Before we proceed, let me ask you: Does this sound like your biography? Are you the type who tends to take on too much . . . to handle the demands all alone . . . to hang in there without much thought of passing the load around? To quote Jethro's counsel, "The thing that you are doing is not good." Perhaps this is the bottom-line reason you've become so anxious in recent days. Be honest enough to admit it if it's true. That's the first (and most important) step in the process of change.

As Moses listened, Jethro continued:

"You shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain. . . . Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. . . ."

So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. (vv. 21-24)

Moses was smart to listen. He was hearing the advice of a wise man. Now don't misunderstand. The plan was not that he should back out of the scene completely. No, that wouldn't have been best. His presence was still extremely valuable. But he was to determine those things he should handle---the really weighty issues---then pass around to qualified people the balance of the workload.

Did you notice that those who were to help him needed to be well qualified? Read again the specifics in verse 21:

  • Able men who fear God
  • Men of truth
  • Those who hate dishonest gain
  • Leader types

Had Moses chosen the wrong kind of delegates to help handle the workload, his stress would have increased, not decreased.

He did as Jethro had suggested:

Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. They judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. (Exodus 18:25-26)

This, no doubt, enabled him to have many more effective years of meaningful leadership. We would do well to follow his example.

But What about You?

The real issue, however, is not the anxiety of Moses. It is you and your stress. What is it that makes you think you are capable enough to handle more than you should? Why do you feel the need to continue living under the heavy weight of anxiety when it seems so natural to spread the work among several others?

I challenge you: Release your grip on all those details! Find a few qualified people to help you get the job done.

This same principle works when you are under the pressure of an intense trial in your life. No need to tough it out alone. Share it. Let a few people enter into that lonely experience with you. They can stand by you and provide an enormous amount of support, relieving much of the stress you would otherwise be enduring alone.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blog of the Week! ~ Gotta Have Faith

My family who also blogs had asked me when they might be interviewed for the Blog of the Week award that I share with each of you each and every Sunday. So today is the day you get to meet one of the most important people in my life, my husband and best friend Steven.

I think it's great that he blogs when he has time. He is super busy being our sole supporter in our home so that I can be at home and take care of things here so it's one less thing he has to worry about. For quite a few years we both worked and it is so difficult when your child is sick or has a family function to decided how you can work being there for them. Work isn't generally very understanding when it comes to the needs of family over work.

I think we both knew we were destined to be together after spending almost 3 years as best friends and seeing each other through some of the worst times imaginable. He saw me through a bad divorce and child custody issue and I was there for him when his beloved Grandmother went home to be with God. We both had relationships going with other people during those years but someone I believe God wanted us with each other because it was His plans for us. He was going to use us together for His glory.

It isn't often we come across some amazing men that blog and walk with God so when I find them I really am excited to share them all with you. So today I share his interview with all of you and hope that you decide to become part of his followers today at Gotta Have Faith.

1. Why did you first begin blogging?

I first started blogging back on May 30th if this year, as a way to have a hobby and write about my life, interests, and walk with the Lord. At the time, I was so very busy with work I could not see where work ended and life with my family began! It was just one BIG Blur! For the Past year I had been traveling all over the country working 70-80 hours a week! NO JOKE! I was gone so much around 4-5 weeks at a time, then home for 4-5 days then back out again for another 4-5 weeks that my wife and children were starting to forget me.

By the time I was finally able to stay home and work locally, my wife started blogging and just loved it! It was a way for her to stay busy while I was gone so much! She suggested that I start my own blog as a way to stay in touch if I was going to be gone more and to write about whatever I wanted. So my first Blog was about Time Management, something I still struggle with ha ha. Now I blog as a hobby and try to keep up with her ( Impossible!), she is so well organized and has so much imagination it isn't even fair! Okay, next question.

2. Why did you name your blog, Gotta Have Faith?

I named my "Blog Gotta Have Faith" because at the time, my wife and I were going through some really rough times. I had to put my faith in God that we would be able to weather the storm together while I was working so much! I could not imagine life without her! I had somehow put my work before my marriage and as we all know that can end in disaster! So anyway, that is why I named my Blog, Gotta Have Faith.

3. What are your three biggest achievements in life?

  • Giving myself over to God at the Calvary Chapel in Riverside in front of Pastor Greg Laurie. He is such a wonderful speaker that I feel God is talking through him. I felt so at ease when I was at his Church and even now that I am at Calvary in the High Desert.

  • Finding such a wonderful woman and getting married to my best friend, and soul mate! She might not know it, but she has saved me in so many ways! I don't think I am ever good enough for her. She is my rock and keeps me grounded.

  • Buying a house together so we could raise our family. Somewhere where we could plant roots, feel safe in this crazy world, and grow together as husband and wife, mother and father.

4. How did you know God is real?

This kind of goes back to the Gotta Have Faith in question 1. I learn more every time I go to church based on the writing of the Old and New Testament. Learning how there were so many people present when Jesus Christ performed so many miracles, and yet he was still crucified for what? Loving men and women and showing how to walk a righteous path! It is my faith in God that keeps me knowing that he is real.

5. What is the greatest advice you can give as a husband?

Be Humble and put your Wife first! If you try to put your wife first, everything else will work itself out. I need to put myself in her shoes, try to understand what she is going through. I still have problems with this as well, but I am a work in progress...Go Figure!

6. What is the greatest advice you can give as a father?

Listen, learn, be firm without being angry, and being a role model for my children. My family trait is to yell first and listen later. I have had such a time learning patience, listening before I give advice or help answer their questions or problems. I pray that I will have taught my children all they need to know before they brave this world on their own.

7. What are you three favorite smells and why?

  • The Ocean! There is just something about catching the scent of the salt and beach.
  • The Forest! Smelling pine trees, a river, it smells so clean and fresh!
  • The Rain! Just before and when starts to rain, you know that smell I am talking about.

So if you find yourself being led to pay Steve a visit, become a follower of his as well and encourage him on his journey to do what I believe God has asked him to do at Gotta Have Faith.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Day After

A man from Norfolk, VA called a local radio station to share this on Sept 11th, 2003, TWO YEARS AFTER THE TRAGEDIES OF 9/11/2001. His name was Robert Matthews. These are his words:

A few weeks before Sept. 11th, my wife and I found out we were going to have our first child. She planned a trip out to California to visit her sister On our way to the airport, we prayed that God would grant my wife a safe trip and be with her. Shortly after I said 'amen,' we both heard a loud pop and the car shook violently.. We had blown out a tire. I replaced the tire as quickly as I could, but we still missed her flight. Both very upset, we drove home.

I received a call from my father who was retired NYFD. He asked what my wife's flight number was, but I explained that we missed the flight. My father informed me that her flight was the one that crashed into the southern tower. I was too shocked to speak. My father also had more news for me; he was going to help. 'This is not something I can just sit by for; I have to do something.' I was concerned for his safety, of course, but more because he had never given his life to Christ.

After a brief debate, I knew his mind was made up. Before he got off of the phone, he said, 'Take good care of my grandchild. Those were the last words I ever heard my father say; he died while helping in the rescue effort. The joy, that my prayer of safety for my wife had been answered, quickly became anger. I was angry at God, at my father, and at myself. I had gone for nearly two years blaming God for taking my father away. My son would never know his grandfather, my father had never accepted Christ, and I never got to say good-bye.

Then something happened. About two months ago, I was sitting at home with my wife and my son, when there was a knock on the door. I looked at my wife, but I could tell she wasn't expecting anyone. I opened the door to a couple with a small child. The man looked at me and asked if my father's name was Jake Matthews. I told him it was. He quickly grabbed my hand and said, 'I never got the chance to meet your father, but it is an honor to meet his son. He explained to me that his wife had worked in the World Trade Center and had been caught inside after the attack.

She was pregnant and had been caught under debris. He then explained that my father had been the one to find his wife and free her. My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of my father giving his life for people like this. He then said, 'There is something else you need to know.' His wife then told me that as my father worked to free her, she talked to him and led him to Christ. I began sobbing at the news.

Now I know that when I get to Heaven, my father will be standing beside Jesus to welcome me, and that this family would be able to thank him themselves. When their baby boy was born, they named him Jacob Matthew, in honor of the man who gave his life so that a mother and baby could live.

This story should help us to realize: God is always in control. We may not see the reason behind things, and we may never know this side of heaven, but God is ALWAYS in control.

Please take time to share this amazing story. You may never know the impact it may have on someone. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.” ~ Psalm 136:1

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Nation Under God....Indivisible!

Yup that is the part of the Pledge of Allegiance all of us should make sure is included as we take our oaths whether at school or an event such as a baseball game. Too many people are offended by those words yet just 8 years ago it is where every American citizen found themselves praying that fateful September day.

It was the one day, prayer was back in schools again, in homes, and in government buildings. There was no one to argue whether prayer was in the wrong place because simultaneously everywhere that day everyone was praying. Praying for answers, praying for hope, praying for understanding amidst the deep and sometimes inconsolable loss. Yet we were all lifting our voices up as one united country that for one solid day stood indivisible!

We would not be victims of the worst terror attack on American soil, we would rise like a phoenix from the ashes and become victorious. We would as a nation unite like never before to find our enemies that wished us harm. We would unite to help those tragically affected by these events. We would unite as families and draw closer to one another. Neighbors actually spoke to one another and in some ways we began to look out for one another. American flags were everywhere. Races and religions were united that day, the day when everything stood still and silence filled our skies and roadways. Fear was brief as we all remained confused and lost for answers at how this could happen. Yet hope prevailed and prayer were answered. People came together as never before in this blessed nation to rebuild and to remember.

Even today, though those united feelings may have changed and those patriotic ways are now tucked away like our flags we once flew, it is time to remember. It is time to unite once more. It is time to fly your flag and let your neighbors everywhere know you are proud to be a American and this will remain one nation under God....Indivisible....forever!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ September 10, 2009

We have always been told to count our blessings but it's even better to put them in words to share with others. Sonya at Truth 4 The Journey has done just that with Thankful Thursdays. It's never too late to participate, so come on and join in thanking God for all that He has done for us this week.

1. I am thankful that God allows me to sit at His feet and become closer to Him through reading my Bible, prayers, church services, reading devotionals, listening to praise and worship songs on the radio, and just encouraging my fellow believers. "He who refreshes, will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25

2. I am thankful for a hubby who completes our family and does all he can to provide our family! It is so amazing watching him grow in his faith and I am hopeful that he will make a difference in his work life as well by walking in his faith.

3. I am thankful for fall weather just waiting to begin to change our leaves and usher into cooler weather. I can't wait for crisp, cold mornings, colorful leaves, pumpkin pies, caramel apples, hot apple cider, flannel sheets, sweaters, gloves, scarves, and the preparation for the winter yet to come.

4. I am thankful for my daughter Caitlyn that even though she came back from Bible camp with a sprained knee and on crutches for the next 4 weeks, she got the opportunity to get baptized by our amazing youth pastor, Casey in front of 500 teens. It was one of her life wishes! In addition to that, God spoken clearly to Caitlyn on her last day through the very last speaker of the day before heading home and confirmed not only God's hand in her life, but what she needs to do about dating. Thank you God for proving just how real you are and how much you really care for her. She has an absolute peace about it. I will be forever thankful for this entire experience for her.

5. I am thankful for God that He never fails to provide for our daily needs and answers our prayers. Thank you to some many of you that let me know that you are following and leaving me comments. Thank you as well dear friends, for the many awards you have bestowed upon this blog which is dedicated to God's glory. I am humbled and honored to receive them for Him and pass them along as well.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Last Minute Awards

Just so I don't fall behind and get so busy with school, family and church, I wanted to pass along some last minute awards I had received and then picked up today. It is a great feeling when you receive these and I apologize for no long speeches about why each of these bloggers is truly deserving but I wanted to know I personally thought of each of you before bestowing them upon you.

Rosel at Off the Beaten Trek had hand created this award above and I was positive I had passed it along before but after searching through past posts I see I haven't. She designed this award for all those who prayer daily for all our needs and last minute requests.

1. Beth at At His Feet
2. Tiffany at Tea with Tiffany
3. Lisa Shaw at Sharing Life with Lisa
4. Mari at My Little Corner of the World
5. Laurie at Supernatural Living
6. Edie at Rich Gifts

If you have never stopped by any of these ladies blogs, you are missing out on the power of prayer and just what God is capable of. These wonderful and blessed women are praying daily for the needs of everyone and will even pray for you and someone if you need it.

I received these next two awards from Audrey at Country Mom. She is a wonderful woman who really has a beautiful blog and there is so much love when you visit her blog.

The Your Blog is Over the Top Award is bestowed upon those in my opinion who faithful bless those who stop by and they also are diligent comment posters as well.

1. LV at Thoughts from Meme's Corner
2. Denise at Free to Be Me
3. Beth at Outnumbered, Three to One
4. Andrea at Arise 2 Write
5. Moms the Word

The Blogger Buddies award is my favorite because it is for those you have made a special connection with and you consider them more than a blogging friend but more like family.

1. Loren at The Magoo's News
2. Kat at Art's Chili
3. Elle at Kitchen with Kids
4. Steve at Gotta Have Faith
5. Rosel at Off the Beaten Trek

So please if you have received one of these awards, please pass them along. It will really change someone's day for the better and it's nice to get something and be linked on other's blogs as well. Pass them along to 5 very special people and link them up to your post. Then leave them a comment so they know that something is waiting for them. Who knows perhaps these will make their way back to you once again. So keep the blessings coming to all of those you know.

Happy Windsday!

Good morning and Happy Winds-day as Winnie the Pooh would say to piglet! Of course it is not really a blustery kind of day but I do have a lot of things to post about today, so it could be considered a blustery kind of post!

Update on Kat's Mom: As some of you know my mom lost her brother, my uncle, a couple of weeks ago and I have had several emails and comments asking about her. Funny thing was I had so many yesterday it brought me to at least address this. By the way she also called so the update is pretty current. She has her high and low days and yesterday, her older sister called and was pretty harsh with some of her comments to my mom about their brother. "He was a good kid!" was the comment used to my mom. I just explained that some people deal with grief differently and perhaps she doesn't know how to process her feelings well. It didn't help much and she still remained down. I did want to pass along her personal thanks to the many of you that sent her cards. These are what she looks at when she has those down moments in her day. It's a reminder from all of you that you care! Keep her in your prayers please!

Prayer Requests: I do have two prayer requests to add to the many we are all writing about. My friend, Jacquie called yesterday to ask me to add her daughter Charity to our prayer lists. She is going to a neuro-surgeons appointment on Monday, the 15th for some massive pain in her head and she is hoping it won't involve surgery.

The second is for a super nice lady my brother is dating named Dawn. Her mom has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, stage 3. There are giving her between 6 months to 5 years depending on how she responds to treatment. I will get her name so we can create a button and keep her close to our prayer list.

I wanted to share some positive news to end this post and tell you all that I won a copy of Mary Moss' books today at Crayon Chronicles. She was the bright spot in my morning with an email notifying me I was honored to receive such a blessed gift from her.

Honors, Awards, Recognition and Congratulations: I do also need to thank and recognize some lovely ladies who have bestowed some lovely awards my way on the last weeks and I haven't had time to acknowledge or thank them here. I want to personally thank Audrey at Country Mom, Andrea at Arise 2 Write, Lidj at Crown of Beauty, Kat at Art's Chili and my latest LV at Thoughts from Meme's Corner.

So here are the awards and here are the blogs I am highlighting to pass them along to!

True Heart Award

1. Kurt at Some Things I Have Learned
2. Beth at Outnumbered Three to One
3. Beth at At His Feet
4. Teresa at Grammy Girlfriend
5. Jane at Jumpin in the Jungle

Loyalty Award

1. Luvin the Life
2. Collette at Jesus Loves Mums
3. Sandy at One Day at a Time
4. Amy at Filled with Praise
5. Mich at Mich

Circle of Friends

1. Loren at The Magoos News
2. Kat at Art's Chili
3. Lidj at Crown of Beauty
4. Greg at Greg's General Store
5. Mari at My Little Corner of the World

Humane Award

1. Steve at Gotta Have Faith
2. Caitlyn at Teen Life
3. Dawn at Dawn's Cottage Corner
4. Sitka at All God's Creatures
5. Rosel at Off the Beaten Trek

Please take the time and congratulate all these beautiful people and become part of their families! They are all part of mine and is why I am so blessed!