Monday, May 30, 2011

The kids are headed home...

We had such a nice visit with them this past few days. But it's so hard when they have to leave. And wouldn't you know it, just when they come, my silly phone acts up. I tried to get some pics this weekend on my camera phone and wasn't able to. I couldn't find our camera anywhere, but thankfully we got a couple of pictures with some family members' cameras. I will upload them as soon as I get them. :)

Anyway, we just had a really nice time. Matthew has surrendered to preach and we got to hear him Sunday afternoon. My husband was about bursting with pride. :) Matt has such a testimony and it was sad but wonderful to hear again. To hear how God has brought him from where he used to be, the lifestyle he once had, to where he is now. His story is much like my own husband's story. God truly is good if we just trust in Him and follow Him.

So, anyway, while they were here, we had a family get-together here (a cookout) , and a potluck at church, and the boys went frisbee golfing at one point while the girls went to the mall. lol. we just had a really full weekend. So today they're making the rounds and saying good-bye to some family members before they head back to Wisconsin. We sure will miss them. It's so hard to say good-bye when they leave or when we visit them and have to come home. I must say though, after all we did this weekend, I'm pooped. lol. I just want to relax today. What's funny, is as I write this, our daughter Hannah and I are watching "A Walk to Remember" and it's sad, and my dh is watching a movie (a comedy) on his phone on Netflix, and cracking up! LOL!

I know we're all thinking today also, of loved ones that have gone on, and of course, the fallen soldiers. I can tell you from experience life is too short not to cherish your time with your family. We've lost several family members that we were close to, over a period of about 2 years. So, we try to cherish the time we have with our kids, and each other. So enjoy your day today. Spend time with those you love. Thank a soldier. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting ready for Sarah and Matt to come!

I haven't posted much this week because we've been so busy. Between babysitting and trying to get the house ready for our oldest daughter Sarah and our son-in-law Matt to come in this Wednesday, and all, it's just been really busy. I must confess, most of my online time, has also been spent looking for ideas for our wedding vow renewal in May of next year! I know it'll be a small, intimate ceremony, and of course, not a wedding, but still we have things in mind that we know we want, and so I'm looking into things now. I found a place online where I want to order our wedding invitations, it's Invitation They actually have pretty good prices, and they had an invitation that was actually for a 25th wedding anniversary celebration. I tweaked it online, to include our wedding vow exchange, and saved it for my dh to see so now it's on to other things. :)

But the main focus of this week, will be of course, our kids coming back. I know the week will go by super fast but I'm just thankful they're coming back. I keep praying God will lead them back here. Maybe someday. :) So, enjoy your week! I know I will! :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spiritual Renewal (The Seasons of Our Spiritual Walk)

This was my devotion at our Ladies Spring Luncheon, Saturday, May 14, 2011

I have two favorite seasons; Spring and Fall. I love fall because of the changing colors and cooler temps. I love it when we’re just finishing up summer and after being so hot for so long, it’s just starting to get cool enough to wear a sweater. But spring is such a great season, with all the trees starting to turn green again, when winter is Finally over (or at least we think it is!!) and everything is made new again. We can’t wait to get outside because people start grilling again, and kids have baseball games, (which I have a tough time with, because I miss watching Nate play so much!), and you get to go swimming and fishing and you just can’t wait to get outside! Some folks plant gardens and enjoy watching them grow through the spring, and then getting to eat what they planted. You just think of everything being fresh again, and green, and it really is a time of renewal.

Well, since spring has sprung, we’re going to talk today about Spiritual Renewal. We know that we feel better in the spring than we do in the winter (it’s known as seasonal depression or blues in some cases). And our spiritual walk can have its own seasons.

1. One season that we go through is when we just get saved. We call someone who comes to know Christ, a “new Christian” or a babe in Christ. When you just get saved, just come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you can’t wait to take on the world! I heard it said one time, that it’s like you feel so good, you want to attack the actual gates of hell with a water pistol! You just feel so fresh, and so new that you want to share that feeling with everyone else!

2. Then, though, there’s the season of your spiritual life where you’ve been a Christian for awhile, you go to church regularly, you read your Bible, and do all the right things, and sometimes without meaning to, you fall into a bit of a rut. That’s a place where you start to become complacent about your spiritual walk. We all get busy and it’s easy to get wrapped up in our daily lives with all we’ve got to do, as wives, moms, daughters, employees, or even bosses. We just get so worn out with everything we’ve got going on daily, that our spiritual walk takes a back seat. Having a daily devotion time becomes something we do “if we get around to it.” And sadly, that time usually doesn’t come, because by the time we get everything done during the day, and everyone satisfied that we’ve met their needs, we’re too tired to meet our own, with our personal time with God. When we go through this season for too long, we become spiritually rundown and tired, and maybe doubtful of God’s blessings and promises to us. But, just as we long to hear our family’s voices every day, God wants to hear our voices everyday as well, and not just during a prayer thanking him for our meals. He wants to really hear us telling Him our woes, praising Him for all the wonderful blessings He’s given and things He‘s done for us, and just to spend that time with us! God never moves. He’s always right there. It’s kind of like the couple that’s in the car and the man is driving. And the wife is leaning on the passenger door. The wife asks her husband why they’ve grown so far apart. He thinks for a moment and then says, “I haven’t moved.” If we’re to have a good relationship with the Lord, we must make sure we don’t grow apart from Him.

3. The next season I believe we have if we continue with the previous one, is that of backsliding. That’s a tough subject to talk about, because in all of our lives at one point or another, we’ve all backslidden to a degree. Maybe we kept going to church and seemed like on the outside things were fine, but we knew better. We got to the point that doing things for Christ just didn’t seem to be as exciting as it was once. That’s a tough place to be. I know, because I’ve sadly been there. You may think it’s horrible that a pastor’s wife would feel that way, but I have. I’m not proud of it, but it just goes to show you that everyone can go through it at some point in their lives. This season needs to be a very short one. If you find yourself going through this time, please let me encourage you to first of all, ask the Lord for forgiveness and then truly seek Him and His will and He’ll show it to you. He’ll let you know what He has for you to do, if you just ask Him.

4. The last season is just as exciting, I think, as the first one. This season is the one where we start to come back to where God wants us to be. It’s a time of Spiritual Renewal. Just like spring, where everything is new again, our spiritual walk can be too. Sure, we’ll shed tears for the fact that we ever got away from God in the first place, but we will be so renewed, as we start having our personal time with God, truly seeking Him and His will for us, truly praying for His guidance and then relying on Him to show us the way we’re to go. Psalm 23, a passage most often used for funerals, says in verse 3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”. Christ wants to restore us-to restore our fellowship with Him, to lift us up, to encourage us, to refresh us on a daily basis. Just like the husband in the car, God hasn’t moved, so if our walk isn’t as refreshing as it should be, maybe we’ve moved away. If you’re in the season of your life, where you’ve gotten so wrapped up in daily activities that you’ve found yourself getting away from God and feeling drained, I want to pray with you, that you’ll find that place of coming back to Him, so that you can have that season in your life, where you feel refreshed, renewed and ready to follow Him.

If you have not ever made the decision to accept Jesus as your personal Savior-if you’ve never asked Jesus to come into your life,then I invite you to do that today, before it's too late.

Following are some pictures from our event. The ladies are playing "People Bingo". They each had a sheet of paper with 10 squares on them, and for each square there was a statement such as "someone who has blue eyes" or "someone who loves pasta". They then had to ask everyone these questions or look to see who had blue eyes, or ask who loves pasta, etc. and when they found someone, they'd sign that square. The first gal to have all her squares signed, won a prize. We all had a blast!

The lady in the pic below standing up, Dawn, decorated our event in colors that matched some coffee mugs and devotional books that we gave out at the end of the event (see pic below) 
 The colors were so bright and beautiful!

The coffee mugs had the same design on them as the books. The ladies that came to church on Sunday, for Mother's Day, received bookmarks and pens with the same design, then at the dinner, we gave out the books and cups. We got all of them from a company called CTA. They were all a big hit.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mother's Day and Our 24th Wedding Anniversary

Wow, what a week! Or should I say, weekend! This whole week has been busy. But I'm so thankful for so much! Mother's Day, we had church of course that morning, but we cancelled evening services, because we also had area graduations. We went to the Events Center in town to watch our nephew Bryon graduate. I must admit, I was dreading going, because I knew it would be crowded, and I thought it would be miserable, but it wasn't. In fact, it was really nice, since they had it there and not in the school gym. We actually had comfy chairs to sit on and a/c was going. And, even though they had over 500 students graduating, it really went pretty quickly. So, the rest of that day, we hit grad receptions, and finally went home around 8:00. Since we couldn't go out and do anything then, the kids took me out for Mother's Day on Tuesday night. We had USA Steak Buffet and it was really good. I enjoyed my time with them. 

Monday, was our 24th anniversary! My dh took me out to eat, at The Buffet House (chinese place-one of my favorite places). We really enjoyed the dinner and time together. But oh, my word! He surprised me! We got to talking on the way to the restaurant and he asked me if I had it all to do over again, if I would marry him. I told him, "of course, I would!" He asked then, "would you do it next year?"  So, we're renewing our vows for our 25th anniversary!! Needless to say, I'm excited! Can you tell? LOL! I've been looking online at cakes, and proper etiquette for this type of thing. Although my family has told me to do it how I want to do it, not how others think I should. lol So, we'll see. I was looking for a nice formal dress, and my sis-in-law actually offered to let me wear the dress her mom wore when she and dad renewed their vows. It's such a pretty dress, it's a royal blue, which works well, since our colors were/are silver and blue. The only concern I had about the dress really, was that it might upset dad. I just didn't want him to get to thinking about mom and get really upset. But like so many have told me, it's a nice gesture to remember mom during the ceremony. I don't know yet if my mom will still be with us next year or not, but I know she won't make it out for the ceremony if she is, so we might possibly just have dh's dad there, as far as our parents go. But, I plan to have pictures of us just starting out, and so we'll have old wedding pictures laying on some tables for the reception, and it'll be kind of like they're there in spirit at least. I do believe they are. I may be mistaken but that's what I'm holding onto.

Anyway, I've almost felt like a school girl again, getting married for the first time with all the plans we're making, but it's so exciting and so romantic. We've already decided to have our kids be our attendants (I know some ettiquette sites say don't have attendants but oh well! LOL!) so we'll have Sarah (23) and Hannah (17) for me, and Sarah's hubby Matthew (25) and our son Nate (20) stand up for us. We're going to ask our previous pastor (2 pastors ago lol) to officiate. We're good friends with their family, and they felt called to pastor in Omaha, but we still get to see them every so often. So, I'm pretty sure he won't mind doing the honors. We'll ask his wife to play the piano for us. We thought about asking our son Nate to play and we still might, but we want him to stand up with his dad. :) So, now we're looking at songs. I don't want to go down the aisle with the wedding march. Been there, done that, and wouldn't really fit. So we're looking around and listening to some other music so we'll see. Well, enough rambling. If you're still reading, thanks. lol!