Monday, December 24, 2012

Our son's wedding in November


Our son, who is our "middle child", got married this past November 17th to a wonderful young lady. They're perfect for each other. Just thought I'd share some pictures. A HUGE thank-you goes out to Tim Rose (our son-in-law Matt's dad) who took the pictures!


Nathan (Nate) and Stephanie Pielstick

From left to right-
Kengy, Shannon (the bridesmaid), Steph, our oldest daughter Sarah and our youngest daughter Hannah.
 

Love this one at a local park!
Front to back-
Johnny (ring bearer), Hope (flower girl), Steph, Nate,
Shannon (maid of honor), our nephew Cody (best man),
Our daughter Sarah, and her hubby, Matt, Our daughter Hannah, and Chance, Kengy (Chance's sister) and Cody (Steph's brother) and Chris-Chance and Kengy's dad-he was also the one who walked Steph down the aisle, as her dad passed away about a year ago. 

My pastor-hubby Brian and the kids during the ceremony

Beautiful

 

Left to right-
Dad (my hubby Brian's dad), Me, Hannah, Steph, Nate, Brian,
Sarah and Matt


I love this pic of nate watching his bride come up the aisle. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

What an Amazing weekend!!

We had such a great weekend!! Our Chili Cook-off was yesterday and we had SOOO much fun! We had 9 chilis entered in all and had homemade breads, sandwiches and desserts too! Everyone enjoyed test tasting all the chili and then getting to actually eat a bowl afterward! We definitely learned some things along the way, but oh, what fun we had!


From the far end of the table, we have our son Nate, our brother-in-law Jeff, and Todd from our church all filling up sample cups to put out on the tables. This was great in theory, but we somehow got some of the cups mixed up and some places didn't get cup #5 or #2 for example, but we made up for it. lol



 
As you can see, a fun time of sampling all the chilis was had by everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Busy weekend ahead...

 
We have a really busy weekend ahead, but I think it'll be fun. Our church is having a workday tomorrow to winterize the building and get some other stuff done.
 
Then, Sunday, we're having our first ever Chili Cook-off! I think it'll be fun!
These are the Individual Voting Ballot and Award I came up with using some free graphics off the internet and a font I downloaded for the title-"Smokum".
I thought I'd post these in case someone could use them. I know I looked all over for stuff, till I found these! Well, I'll post pics of the cookoff as soon as I can!
 


  
 
 
 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted. But my life has been turned upside down in some ways. Some good, some not-so-good. First off, my mom just passed away from breast cancer. We knew it was coming, and yet it's been so hard losing her. I really miss being able to talk with her, and visit with her, but at the same time, I'm so thankful she's not in pain anymore. She also had gotten so confused toward the end, and I'm thankful she's not still going through all of that. And to be honest, I'm thankful I no longer have to watch her go through it. It was so painful to watch her be so upset. I'm also thankful that I know I'll see her again someday. She accepted Christ as her Savior many years ago and I know she's in Heaven with Him now! I rejoice in that fact!! I'm also thankful that our oldest daughter Sarah and her hubby Matt were able to be here the weekend that Mom passed away and they were able to stay for the funeral. What a blessing it was to have them here with us! I just am so grateful to all my family for their support! I was so glad to have all our kids with us during this time. We decided since we knew mom's funeral would be a small one (she didn't have any outside interests but church), we opted for just an interment basically, and I'm glad we did. We knew it would be much less stressful and so Brian (my hubby) preached the service which I know was hard for him. And we had a nice group of folks that came out to pay their last respects and God just gave us such a beautiful day for the service also. So, even in the sadness, He made it so much easier than it could have been for us!

On a lighter note, our son Nate is getting married this November, the weekend before Thanksgiving! He met a wonderful young lady named Stephanie and we're just so excited for the two of them! Plus, our oldest daughter Sarah and her husband are coming back for the wedding if all goes well weather-wise. Between our weather and Wisconsin's only the Lord knows for sure how travel will be.

Our youngest daughter Hannah, has quit her job to stay home and get caught up on some schoolwork so she can graduate this coming spring! I can't believe all my "babies" are grown up! I feel so old! LOL!

Anyway, that's how life has been for me, lately, the good and the bad. With my hubby being a pastor, we've also had lots of activities and such at church going on, and we're currently putting our church cookbook together! I'll try to post pics of it later on.

So, how's life treating you lately? God bless! Gwen

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"A Woman of God" Devotional

A Woman of God Devotional

I gave this devotion at our Ladies Brunch May 19, 2012 at our church

If I were to ask you what it means to you, to be a “Woman of God”, I’m sure you would all come up with different answers, and most would probably be based on Proverbs 31. I have the passage printed out for me but if you have your Bible and would like to follow along, we’ll take a look at some of the qualities listed.

 

If you’re like me, some days I don’t feel much like a Woman of God. Maybe you didn’t sleep well, or life is just stressful. I read a book called “Life in a Fishbowl” about being a preacher’s wife/family and they likened it to a fishbowl because everyone is watching you-how you react to things such as stress, bad news, etc., what you say, what you do, how you dress, where you go, what music you listen to or what shows you watch on tv, etc. but let me just say that while that is true, it’s true not only for pastor’s families but in general for all of us as Christians. You and I never know when we might influence someone in a positive way so that they’ll want to get saved and serve Christ, or when we might influence someone in a negative way, so that when they look at us, they think “if that’s what being a Christian is all about, I don’t want to be one.”
Years ago, when our kids were little, I worked at Kmart as a checkstand supervisor. Everyone there knew I didn't work Sundays or Wed. nights, because of church. One day while at work, something happened that made me angry. I foolishly slammed my fist down on the counter and a lady I worked with told me, "your halo just slipped." At that time, I felt upset for several reasons when I heard that comment. I was upset because like I told her, I'd never said I was a saint (although God considers us saints when we get saved and are His children) just a sinner saved by grace. I was going to make mistakes, which I definitely did! I was also upset with myself because any credibility I had, went out the window in one fleeting moment. She didn't want what I had. I had ruined my testimony, at least, where she was concerned. I'm not saying that as Christians, we can't have feelings-we do, but I am saying that we ALL need to be aware of those around us, watching us and we need to be careful about how we react to situations.

She is Loyal to her husband. “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall 

have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” V 11 and 12

One of the first points Proverbs 31 makes is that the virtuous woman is one that is loyal to her husband. If you’re married, you have the obligation if you want to look at it that way, to be loyal to your husband, to support him, and be there for him. Some people look at my family and they’ve even accused my husband of holding me back from what I could be as a person, or ruling me with an iron hand so to speak. First off it’s biblical that if you’re married that your husband is the head of your household, and he makes the final decisions. Now, I know that may not set well or be a popular thought, as most of us are pretty independent thinkers. But, nevertheless it is biblical. In our relationship, my husband has never abused his position as head of the household. He always asks my opinion on things, or I just volunteer it. Lol He doesn’t always take my advice, and I’m honest with him in as respectful a way as I can be, if/when I disagree with how he handles something. But the bottom line is, our men will answer to God for how our household is run and for our spiritual conditions. (Honestly, I’m kinda glad it’s on his shoulders, not mine.) So we need to be the kind of wife that is supportive, loving, kind, and encouraging, not one that is constantly trying to get her way, or undermine his authority at every turn.
Now, if you’re a single mom (which mine was and my huband’s mom was for awhile), or if you’re a young lady who’s not married yet, and you hope someday to find Mr. Right, let me encourage you to look for a man who’s godly, who loves and wants to serve the Lord, and who is willing to be the head of his household. If you marry someone who is weak, or gives in to your every whim and doesn’t help you, trust me, it may seem nice now to get your way, but in the end, when serious matters come up, you’ll want someone who can help make a godly decision and be there for you. And once you find that man, then again you need to be as loyal to him, as the Proverbs 31 woman is.  

She’s not lazy. “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a 

portion to her maidens.” V 15

Obviously none of us here has servants or maidens on hand to help with things or to feed, but the basic thought is she is not lazy. She spends her time trying to care for her family and her home in any way she can. She has a servant’s heart. I was talking to someone last month about our schedule at home, and he was surprised to hear that I get up every morning whether I have to babysit or not, to spend time with my husband before he goes to work. I make sure he has a shirt ironed and his lunch made. I’ve been doing it for the last 10 years or so, since he started days at Cabela’s. Now, I’m not saying this to brag or to try to make myself look good; it’s just something that the Lord burdened me to do. You never know when the last time will be that you’ll see a loved one. The attack on 911 really got me to thinking, when I heard victims’ families comment that they’d stayed in bed that morning, when a husband or wife got ready and left for work, and they didn’t get to say goodbye. Well, I’m not trying to be morbid, or think the worst all the time, but I just know I feel better when we get to talk and say goodbye before he leaves. I treasure that time, even if I’m tired. J I just want to add here, that as women, we expect our men to do things for us, to help us, and be there for us. But it’s not all about us. It’s a two-way street and if you want to have a long, happy marriage, as a woman, you need to put your husband first, and do things for him, and be there for him. You will be rewarded for it. 
Talking about feeding the household reminded me of this little story I heard:
A lady invited several people to her home for dinner.
At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,
“Would you like to say the blessing?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.
“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” she answered, smiling.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
“Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

She is smart. “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a 

vineyard.” V 16

Now, I don’t know about you, but I would not buy a field or any major property without discussing it with my husband first and making sure we had the money to make such a purchase and that we were in total agreement. Afterall, that’s a huge commitment. But again we can take away the idea that she’s smart. No matter how old we are, we need to always be learning and growing not only spiritually but mentally as well, and then applying it to our everyday lives. The second part of that passage says “she planteth a vineyard.” I think here, we just have to realize the time frame this passage was written in and I don’t believe that God expects us women to plant vineyards. But, again I think the analogy here, is that she is smart and capable.

 She’s a strong woman. “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” 

V 17

We may not be able to run triathlons, but we can still work on our physical and spiritual strength. The Bible tells us that our bodies are the temples of God, and we need to care for them like they are. Our spiritual lives also need to constantly be fed and renewed as well. If we read our Bible and pray daily for our family, friends, and the lost, it shows. We need to exercise our bodies and our faith.

She tries to help those that are less fortunate. “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, 

she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” V 20

She tries to minister to the needs of those around her, those that are less fortunate than she is, whether it be food she gives, comfort she lends, prayers she says for that person or whatever she’s able to do, she tries to help those in need.

She is brave. “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed

 with scarlet.” V 21

I’m obviously not saying we have to be brave in every situation. Men aren’t even brave all the time. But the Proverbs 31 woman is not worried about her family being taken care of, because she knows the Lord is watching over them. As women we especially tend to worry about our families and if they’re safe or not, if they’re not in our sight we worry about whether or not they’re eating right, if they’re healthy, etc. But, hard as it may be, the bottom line is that we need to be brave enough to turn these situations over to God in prayer.
Queen Esther was a brave woman. She helped save her people, the Jews when Haman, the king’s right-hand man tried to have them all killed. She requested a time to speak with the king and even though she was married to him, that act alone could have had her killed, but she did it anyway. The king loved her and respected her enough and the way she handled it, bravely but humbly, that he had Haman executed on the very gallows that he built for Esther’s cousin Mordecai and the rest of the Jews! Had she not been brave enough to talk with the king, the Jews would have all been executed, including Esther.

She’s Thrifty. “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.” V 22

Now, I do not sew. I can do simple things like buttons, and hems. And I have made at least one dress, but I don’t really sew. I’ve made a few crocheted things or cross-stitched items in the past, but that’s about it. But what I take away from that part of the passage is that she’s thrifty or tries to be, by making clothes for her family. These days there are other ways a woman can help out her household expenses other than making clothes for the family to wear. Watching our buying habits, looking for bargains, realizing what a need is and what is something we just want, are a few  ways we can help out with the finances. We need to look for those ways and incorporate them when we can.   

 She is kind. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” 

V 26

We see here once again that she is smart or wise. But she is also kind. That doesn’t mean she’s a doormat, just that she’s kind to other people, especially to her own family. A kind word spoken, a simple “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” can work wonders in a relationship. She puts other people and their needs ahead of her own. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t at some point, take time out for ourselves. We have to, or we’re not able to keep up with all that surrounds us daily. But it just means that she is caring; the things she does on a daily basis are done with her family and friends in mind, as to how she can help them.
The virtuous woman is so many things, she wears different hats at different times, and as ladies, we all know what that is like. But the basic thought I want you to come away with today, is that the Proverbs 31 woman puts her relationship with Christ first, and He rewards her for that.   

She is thought highly of: “Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

 V 29

So, in conlusion, How are you doing compared to the Proverbs 31 woman?
How do you feel your family and friends see you?
What areas of your life do you feel you need to work on? Commit these areas to the Lord today and He will help you become that virtuous woman we all want to be.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hannah's "Duck" Tape contest entry

Wow, it's been a little bit since I've posted and now Blogger has this whole new look!
I'm gonna have to get used to it! lol

Our daughter Hannah, is participating in a contest Hyvee and Duct Tape are running right now, on Hyvee's website. The contestants had to make something spring related out of duct tape and she made a picnic blanket and basket. Please vote for her, if you don't mind!
You can vote every day till May 23rd! She worked really hard and is very excited.
Find the one with my name, Gwen P. and click on it and vote! Thanks!!


Monday, April 16, 2012

The Storms of Life

The Storms of Life
Gwen Pielstick
(Devotion I used at this month's ladies meeting)

I don’t know about you, but even though storms are fascinating, they always scare me because I worry so much about tornados. Even when we lived in Texas, since it’s kind of in that “belt” they talk about, I always worried about a tornado touching down and I have been it at least one.

Life is like that sometimes. Things will go well for awhile and we feel on top of the world, then suddenly things change-a storm comes rolling in. Maybe we lose a job, or someone we love moves away or passes away…whatever we know as being secure and normal, changes. Change isn’t always a bad thing, for we grow during change. Often, when we’re on the “other side” of the change, or when it’s over, we realize why we went through it, but while we’re in the process of it, we often can’t see God’s hand, His reasoning. One statement that I’ve heard made throughout my lifetime, that sometimes has puzzled me, is “God knew this was going to happen. He put His stamp of approval on it.” Another one my husband likes to say is “Did it ever occur to you, that nothing ever occurred to God?” God isn’t surprised by what we go through-He knew it was coming, even though we didn’t. And if He “oks” it, so to speak, He has a reason. But, sadly, much like the disciples when they were in the boat with Jesus and the waves became so strong, we worry and have a tough time trusting Him fully to get us through the storm we’re facing.

In Mark 4, Jesus had been teaching the disciples throughout the day, and starting at verse 35 it says:
35And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Jesus knew that this storm would come up, while they were in the boat, yet He still told them to get in and go to the other side. It’s easy for us to criticize the disciples and think they should’ve known they’d be ok. After all, they had Jesus with them, in the boat. But I would imagine that at this time, since they were still learning from Him, they didn’t always trust Him immediately, either. I’m sure that if I’d been in that boat, I probably would’ve grabbed Him and begged Him to do something too!

But just like the song, “God on the Mountain” says:

“But the God on the mountain is still God in the valley. When things go wrong, He’ll make it right. The God of the good times is still God in the bad times. The God of the day is still God in the night.” We may go through storms in our lifetime, but God wants us to fully rely on Him to take care of us, and if we never went through any storms, if our lives were always good, always the way we wanted them to be, we wouldn’t need the Lord.

I said change isn’t always bad, and it isn’t. We all need to keep growing and changing as Christians. As I told one of the Seekers girls Friday night, we have to watch how we react to certain situations, because sometimes we may be the only Bible someone else can read. They may look at us, and how we handle ourselves in certain storms of life, and if we can come out with a good, humble but trusting attitude, then we’ve set the right example for others. If on the other hand, all we do is grumble and complain and take on a “why me?” attitude, then those that are watching us, will not want what we have.

Even though we’re bound to have different storms in our lives, like the disciples in the boat, we just need to let go of our cares, and give them to Him, and trust Him to get us through.

What storms are you relying on God to handle?

God On The Mountain by Tracy Darrt

Life is easy when you're up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind like you've never known.
But then things change and you're down in the valley.
Don't lose faith for you're never alone.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

You talk of faith when you're up on the mountain.
Oh but the talk comes easy when life's at its best.
But it's down in the valley of trials and temptation
That's when faith is really put to the test.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times.                                  

The God of the day is still God in the night.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Messin' with the settings

Hope I don't drive anyone nuts trying to view the blog. I'm just messing around with the design a little bit. Hope you're all having a wonderful evening!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My life lately...

Well, I haven't posted lately, because life has gotten even busier for me, and a little sadder. My mom has breast cancer and this past few weeks, she's battled a virus and some other issues. A week ago Friday, we got her started with Hospice. Of course, it's gonna be a sad few months ahead, or however long she's able to be with us. But I must say, I'm glad we have help through Hospice. The Hospice nurse's aides are nice and she has a regular nurse that sees her twice a week. We also had issues with her doctor, but we've gotten her with a different one, for which we are thankful. Anyway, I'm also thankful that she knows she's Saved, and going to Heaven when the time comes, and I'm thankful that I will see her again someday. 

In other news, lol, we've just been busy with church and life, and kids and so on and so on...I will try to post some new recipes soon. Hope you are having a wonderful new year!