Saturday, January 7, 2017

January Snow Day

 Around here, the mention of snow is cause for celebration and caution. 
Sometimes, when we get the prediction of snow, it doesn't come to fruition, so
early on, I tend not to pay much attention to the prediction of snow.  
But all week, the prediction of seeing snow has gotten stronger.
It started snowing about 3:30 yesterday afternoon with the biggest snowflakes I have ever seen falling from the sky.
It snowed for about an hour and then stopped giving us a little dusting of snow.
I didn't say anything to my kids, but I secretly thought that the dusting might be it.  
BUT - 
It started snowing again about 9pm last night.
(I still wasn't convinced that it was going to do much.)

I woke up this morning about 5:45am and saw in the darkness that it had snowed much more than I had anticipated.  

This is what the view from my front porch looked like about 7:30 this morning.

7 inches of snow!!! 

Around 8:30am, Brady and Lillie went outside to check it out.

Around 9:30am, I saw the first peek of the sun.....

but, it continued to snow until around 11am.

Then the sky started to clear.....

And everything just sparkled when the sky turned blue. 

The path behind our house. 
Winter Wonderland

Sunlight through snowy limbs is so pretty.

We did some cleaning, ate lunch, and then headed outside for some more fun.

They all love eating snow.

Even at 15, she loves the snow!

Not the best snow for sledding today. But they had fun trying.

Oldest and youngest. 

Lillie went to a friends for the afternoon.  They have a big truck and came to get her. 
Maggie is currently in Cozemel, Mexico swimming with the dolphins.  
CANNOT wait to share the pics from her 13th birthday trip.  

It isn't supposed to get over freezing around here until at least Tuesday around here.
Due to all of the roads that will turn to ice tonight, there will be no church activities tomorrow.
We will cozy up and watch some movies tonight and enjoy the time with family this evening.
 The snow that melts in the sun today will refreeze overnight, so,  if it isn't too cold tomorrow, maybe we can get out try and the sledding again.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Words

Most years I come up with words that are sort of a theme for the year.
Basically, they are my resolutions.
Here are my words and resolutions for 2017.

1. Faith -- I want to contiue growing my faith, always. But specifically in 2017, I want to "Let my Faith be bigger than my fears".  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I struggle with anxiety.  Over everything.  I desire to have Faith so big that I can choose believing God has this over fear every time in every situation.  I know that will take a lot of time and doing, but it is my goal.  I'm quite tired of worrying and being anxious.

2. Love -   I want to love God better. I want to Love people better.  All people.  The people who like me and the people who don't.  And I want to love my family better.  A lot of times they get the worst of me instead of the best.  I want to love them better.

3.Gratitude -  I can be quite negative.  Especially in my own head. And that leads me to be quite ungrateful a lot of the time.  A friend told me some time ago, that we have to be mindfully grateful.  That has stuck with me.  I want to be mindfully grateful on a regular basis.  One way I hope to accomplish this is to write in my journal each night the things that I can be grateful for that day.  Plus, I feel that if I am more grateful, it will help with the other two words above.  Being thankful can help me love better and help me have more faith.

Those are my three words for this year.
I do have at least one more goal for this year.  I used to run on a regular basis. Due to the stress on my joints that running provides, I had to stop doing that.  But because running was so efficient, I've gotten away from exercise at all.  I need to get back into a routine.  I would like to work on my strength and balance (both are horrible) as well as working on getting in those cardio days, too.

These are my resolutions.  
Here for all to see and read.
Help hold me accountable to these, won't you?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

2016 Christmas Card --

back of card

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Soul -stirring Advent

This Advent Season Ken preached on the names of Jesus and what He is to us in our waiting.  
He has preached on Jesus as Messiah  and allowing Him to be King of my life.
He preached on Jesus as Savior for us all - individually and corporately.
He preached on Jesus as Emmanuel.  God With Us.

On the second Sunday when the sermon was about Jesus as Savior, the praise band sang this song.
This song had me in tears and then the sermon did the same.

It was a powerful day.

Since then, I have had this song on my mind and in my heart. Every day lately, I've been reminded on my need for a savior.  My own humanity.

I hope you'll take a listen to this song and really ponder on the lyrics.
They are soul stirring for me.
 They bring back that Sunday morning when I was reminded so clearly of my need for a Savior.
An ongoing need for a savior.  

In these last few days of Advent, I'm reminded again that I need a Savior to get through each and every day.  
God , in His goodness, sent his only Son to be my Savior.  

Your Name is Jesus.
Your Name is Jesus.
You're the Wonderful, Counselor. 
My friend.
You're what I hold on to.
I know that You've brought me through
 all the days of loss
to the Cross You knew
That I'd need a Savior.

He knew -- He always knew that I'd need a Savior.  That makes this time of waiting to welcome Jesus as Messiah, Savior and Emmanuel even sweeter.  

Thank you God for knowing I would need a Savior, for sending Jesus and for the process of salvation that continues each day.  Thank you for Jesus.  Remind me always.  Amen

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ken's 50th

 Today is my husband's birthday. 
He turns 50!
Several months ago, my kids started asking to do a surprise party for this big birthday.  
I was on the fence about it, because it is very hard to surprise him.

I  final agreed and decided that it would be fun. I
 enlisted the help of some wonderful folks from church as well as a friend who got Ken out of the house for the morning and it was a go.  We had the party about 3 weeks ago, because as you all know, Advent is an extremely busy time in the church.  

I wanted the decorations to be pretty masculine  so I went with  navy and green and rustic.
 My mother in law made navy/green plaid table runners for me. 
This is the serving table before the food was put on it.   

I borrowed some lanterns from a friend, asked my dad to make me some wood slices, my mom brought the moss balls.  Added some green pears and we had centerpieces.

The food was all of Ken's favorites.  It included oreo cupcakes, bacon wrapped cocktail wieners, egg salad sandwiches, nuts, olives ham and cream cheese wrapped pickles.  I had a small cake made so he could blow out candles.

And we had a popcorn bar.  Lots of fun sweet stuff to add to bags of popcorn.
I think it was the most popular spot of the day!

Some very kind friends from church made me this wooden backdrop and my girls put together the '50' out of pictures throughout Ken's life.  

I sent out invitations to friends far away and made a private facebook invite for our church family.
Ken thought we were going to an Anniversary party for a couple from church. 
This is him when we first walked in.

There were a lot of people singing Happy Birthday and he still didn't know this was for him.
He thought they were practicing for when the real folks came in. 
This is me telling him that this party was for him. 

The realization......

It was a wonderful party!  Lots of great friends & family from far and near came to celebrate with us. 
I think he really enjoyed it.

Dear Ken,
I hope that you loved your party and I hope you know how much you mean to me and our family.
The kids were so excited to be doing a party for you.  They were thrilled that we really got you. That you were so surprised.  
Thank you for loving us and for leading us.
Thank you for being the calm presence to my worrying self...
 It sometimes drives me crazy that you are so calm,  but, it is exactly what I need.  
God knew what he was doing all those year's ago at camp.  I'm so thankful that He brought you into my life and that we get to travel this journey of ministry together.
He has led us to several places to be in ministry for Him these past 16 years, and I am glad that we always get to do it together.  

Happy 50th Birthday.  I love you!, Mindy

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What is Love?

1 John 4: 7-21
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

I had an experience this week that has left me feeling a bit...... bitter?  I'm not sure that is the right word, but I haven't been able to shake it. Haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

I am not going to share the details here, but after the experience, I was left wondering once again what loving people the way God does looks like in REAL life. What does it look like in the everyday, real, messy, imperfect relationships ?

The scripture above was my reading this morning.  It definitely resonated with me.  
So, I did a little research on love.  God's real {Agapeo} love. How he wants me to relate to others.      I took notes in my journal.  
Here is what I wrote down about God's love.

* Love others as Jesus loved us. (that's even more than I love myself!!)
* Patient
*Not proud 
*without envy
*Doesn't behave rudely
*Keeps a good record of the good (rather than the bad)
*Doesn't take pleasure in the downfall of an enemy or competitor, rather gladly hails his success.
*Forbearing - endures the things that have to endured, such as the weaknesses of others
*Love our enemies -- not rendering offense for offense - rather we should BLESS.
*Supplying the needs of friends and enemies.
*Without hypocrisy
*No pretense  - not just saying you love, but lived out in deed and in truth.
*Lived out in service of others (think Jesus washing the disciples feet).
*Doesn't work to please self - works to please others.
*Surrenders things that may be innocent in themselves but could be a stumbling block for others.
*Gladly forgives 
*Honors all before self.

Here is the thing.  If I am honest, I like to THINK that I am a loving person.  But really, I don't do any of this well.  Not in the real life messiness of relationship.  Because in relationship to other people, I have to contend with humanness.... My own humanness -- the desire to look out for myself, protect myself, my desire to be selfish rather than selfless. My desire to be prideful and make sure people sees me as I want them to.  There is also  the humanness of others to contend with with....  When they aren't being loving to start with or even in return.  
When I feel like the love and putting others first is one sided.

This morning, I was reminded that it is one sided. At least to start with . God loved us and gave us his son to die for us before we ever loved or chose Him.  He did it REGARDLESS of whether we were going to love him in return.

I am also reminded of my need to be aware of his spirit within me each moment of every day.  I am reminded of my need to pray continuously so that I can be loving as he is. And I'm reminded that I need to sit with him in silence and in prayer in order to know him more and more.

Lord, help me.  Help me love as you have loved. Help me be fully aware of  your presence as I go through this day.  Help me live in a state of continuous prayer.  Continuous communication with you.  Continuous awareness that you are with me.  Keep me close so I won't wander away as I am prone to do.  Remind me also that love is more than fuzzy feelings of warmth for people. It is a choice to live out your ways  -- especially when I am no feeling those warm feelings about people.   Amen  

Advent - Days 3 and 4

Sharing the things that are jumping out at me as I wait on the birthday of a Savior this year.

Day 3 --  the longing in this song resonates with me.
Rejoice, Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, Oh, Israel. 

Day 4 --  this scripture.  Praying today to have more and more of  that God-willed heart rather than  self-willed one.  

Ezekiel 36:24-28
 “‘For here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!

Would love to hear about your season of waiting!  What is God speaking in your heart?