Tuesday, May 31

If you want your man to help out, don't do this...

Read Ephesians 5:22-33

Borrowed from Lisa-Jo at GypsyMama.com

If you want your man to help out, make sure you don't do this...

Dictate in minute detail how the dishwasher should be loaded.

Oversee his diapering of your baby, double checking whether or not he applied enough Desitin.

Rattle off a list of to-do’s the minute he walks in the door from work. Repeat them again over dinner. Mutter them under your breath while you’re getting the kids ready for bed. Huff and puff them to yourself every time you walk past him. Then complain about how the chores are being done while he is in the process of doing them.

Compare how he gets things done to any other living being – including your father, your best friend, or Chuck Norris.

Request his help in the same tone of voice that your toddler uses when he can’t get his way. For those of you who don’t have toddlers, if only dogs can hear your request then that’s the tone I’m talking about.


Start Saturday morning out with a list of chores before anyone’s had breakfast or any fun.

Re-stack the dishes he already put away into their “proper” places. Ditto for re-folding laundry, re-ordering the pantry, or re-making the bed. Basically all “re’s” fall into this category.

Live like roommates instead of lovers. Forget to laugh. Believe what the neighbors think of your yard is more important than what you think of your man. Compare.

Because, wrapping a man around your finger…

begins with wrapping yourself around him first.

With words and arms and actions. Embrace your man. And, in my experience, he will willingly, happily, delightfully embrace you back.

You {and sometimes even your chores).


* There are amazing Christian writers out there and I enjoy reading their thoughts. They are striving in mothering and home-making. They are also wives. A LOT of time is spent on writing about the home and children, but what about those men?

I came across a funny and thought provoking author named Lisa-Jo. I started clicking on different articles, wasting enjoying time reading.... and reading some more. I was so encouraged by what she shared. I loved this one on how to make sure your husband never helps you with anything. Oh, I've been down this road. I hope you identify too and we can all strive to living more like Ephesians 5 encourages. -- Alysun

Monday, May 30

Memorial Monday

Borrowed from Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul.

"Twenty seven, Sir! A new company record!" My crew chief called over the intercom. A few minutes ago, we had been dispatched to the evac hospital from our base in Chu Lai, South Vietnam. One of our duties as an Army medivac helicopter crew, or "Dustoff" as we were called, was to pick up civilian casualties from the Army hospitals. We were to fly them to the provincial hospital at the city of Quang Ngai, about fifteen minutes flight away. Some of the casualties were from gunshot wounds, booby traps, napalm bums, or other war related injuries, and some of them were of other illnesses and injuries common to Southeast Asia. While loading the UH-1H "Huey" helicopter, I noticed many Vietnamese people of all ages, from the very young to the very old. When a family member was sent to the American hospital, the entire family went along, including the grandparents.

The helicopter strained to maintain a hover prior to takeoff. The power was redlined as we struggled off the hospital pad and nosed out over the South China Sea. As we gained airspeed, I settled back. The hard part was over. Landing to the open field by the provincial hospital would be easy. "OK, you take the aircraft" I told my copilot. "Be gentle. She's really heavy." Then, turning to the back, "Way to go!" I congratulated the crew. "It will be a long time before anyone breaks this record!"

Friday, May 27


Read Isaiah 55:8-13

Since this song was recommended to me twice this week and I heard it on the radio about 10 minutes after the first recommendation came--before I had even had a chance to listen to it, I thought I'd better share. The lovely song and performance are by Laura Story. If you are interested in the story behind the story, watch the second video too.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Thursday, May 26

The Gentle Gale of God

By Nancy Bentz as published at Wellspring of Life

There’s a commercial that’s been running on television the past six weeks or so. The few times I’ve happened to catch it I’ve thought to myself, “There’s a blog in there.”

The setting is the desert with sand as far as you can see. In one quick scene there are two four-drawer file cabinets sitting side by side, plunked in the dirt. In another few-second scene you catch a glimpse of a big desk with a person seated behind it. They are presumably conducting business in the middle of the swirling dirt stirred up by all the commotion going on around them in this ‘out of office’ experience.

Can you relate to the sense of disorder and confusion this scene evokes? Are you picking grit out of your teeth? Do your eyes ache from squinting through dust-filmed eyeglasses, making clear vision nearly impossible? Does the wind shift at whim and blow choking dust up your nose? If so, there is a reason…

Because some facets of who God is can only be discovered in the desert.

Wednesday, May 25

Choosing To Be Blessed [thankfulness]

Discontent, in all its ugliness, rears into focus. I can see nothing else.

I am the pampered mermaid princess with too many treasures to count. "Thing-a-ma-jigs? I've got twenty.... but I want MORE," the song throbs with emotion.

It helps some to remember how much I have as compared to the poor. Experiences in third-world countries play in my memory. I have so much. Comparing helps. Yes, indeed.

Until I compare up.

I have so little compared to some. Their things are nicer. Better. They have "more."

Tuesday, May 24

The gods In Our Lives

It's gone back to the beginning. Since I can remember I have naturally always looked for someone, something, to fulfill my empty heart. In the looking, gods were created.

There is a daily temptation - sometimes it's just a thoughtless, habitual process. . . to expect something or someone down here in this fallen world to be what only God can be to me.

I really don't want to make my kids my gods today. How do I know if I am?

  • I'll get frustrated when they don't act or do what I want them to do.
  • I'll get angry when they spill something, break something, do something foolish.
  • I'll get impatient.
  • I'll be humiliated when they scream in the grocery store or do something kids just do.
  • I'll be too strict or harsh when with all the little details.
  • I'll be insensitive to their wishes, only looking for them to fulfill mine.

"Don't have any other gods before Me. . ." 

[Exodus 20:3]

Monday, May 23

We're Still Here

Harold Camping had a number of people convinced the world was going to end on Saturday. At 6pm PDT, I was surrounded by amazing friends--the kind of friends sure to populate heaven when it all really over. At six pm, we looked around the room with each person and every ounce of chaos accounted for. No one was surprised. We all knew, as a Facebook friend posted earlier in the day, "It ain't happenin today - God would never share His Glory with the arrogance of man."

I loved being a part of a social network Saturday, because everyone so freely spoke of heaven and hell and the great glory of God Almighty. It was fun and interesting seeing each individual assessment of the "prophesy."

I found the following article particularly relevant to the recent rapture craze. I hope it encourages you to live here and now, fully engaged and full steam ahead.

By Joe Stowell as seen on Strength for the Journey

"You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." 
Luke 12:40

Periodically, current world events stir up discussion about the endtimes. While I believe in the importance of being ready for Christ’s return, I don’t put much stock in date setters who think they have the timing all figured out. After all, it has been almost 20 years since the book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 was published! In America, the book took Christians by storm, and, as the president of Moody Bible Institute at that time, I received dozens of copies from well-meaning saints who wanted us to spread the word through Moody Radio that Jesus was coming back on September 18. Since Jesus said that no one knew the time of His return, I dismissed the book as another Bible crackpot publication.

But to this day I’ll never forget getting up on the morning of September 18th. As skeptical as I was, I couldn’t help but wonder,What if the guy who wrote this book is right? What if this is my last day on earth? Our family talked about it at the breakfast table. And as my daughter walked down the driveway on her way to school, she turned around and said with a smile, “Hey, Dad—see ya in heaven.”

I couldn’t help but think how right that sounded. I found myself thinking that I should live every day as though this were my last day here—the day that He returns to take me home; the day that I will at last see Him face-to-face! I thought about how differently I would treat people, how interested I would be to share the gospel with friends and colleagues, how I would want to clear up past offenses and live to be really pure and ready.

As Jesus said in Luke 12, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home . . . . Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes” (Luke 12:35-37).

So here are four habits of hearts that are fixed on heaven:

• Be confidently riveted on His sudden return. Remember, He will come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2).

• Be pure. Throughout the New Testament, the strongest motivation for purity was always connected to the return of Jesus (1 John 3:3).

• Refuse to get stuck here. After all, as people of faith, we are “strangers and exiles” here (Hebrews 11:13).

• Invest in eternity. Commit your time and resources to kingdom gain and values (Luke 12:33).

God wants heaven to be the fire in your heart. As a friend of mine says, our lives here should be a sneak preview of the really big show to come!

See ya in heaven!

Friday, May 20

What Do I Know of Holy?

I made You promises a thousand times

I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life "its" name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy 
Performed by Addison Road

Thursday, May 19

Random Thursday: Never Be Thirsty Again.

I spent the early morning working out day one of my 5k running plan. I spent the rest of the morning educating youngsters. I made lunch. I spent the afternoon frolicking in the sunshine--and by frolicking, I mean I mowed the lawn and pulled weeds. I made dinner. I spent the evening in a meeting (a super fun one, I confess, but it was still business). I returned home at 10:30pm to discover everyone asleep and no one wrote tomorrow's Drop for me. Can you believe it? No one knew what to do with that giraffe picture that has been sitting open on my desk top for the last two days. Unfortunately, I don't know what to do with it either.

It'll preach. Eventually. I'm pretty sure. But for now, I'm done. I haven't got a single ounce of creativity or inspiration to spare. I need beauty sleep stat. I'm all dried up. Which brings me back to the beginning.

The following is our very first drops post. The one that started it all. Many of you haven't been around since the beginning and don't know what we're doing here. This is it. Some of you have been around since the beginning, but, like me, maybe you need a reminder.

Thank you for sticking around. I promise not to make recycling a habit. Well, except for cans and bottles, I'll still recycle those, just not gently used blog posts.

The sun burns high, hot and ruthless over the land below it. The land does it’s best. A few plants and animals have managed to survive under the sun’s constant and ruthless glare. Cactus stores up water inside it, greedily sucking up any liquid that it comes in contact. Some cactus bloom after they have had something to drink. All have sharp needles that serve as pointed reminders that the cactus is not willing to share.

When the rain does come, the desert sees no relief. Instead, black clouds dump water onto the land at such violent pace, the land cannot keep up. While the ground tries to inhale welcome water, the torrent proves too much and the water rushes over the top of parched ground ravaging everything in it’s path.

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again…

When too much water hits the ground at once, all could be swept away. A drop at a time though. A drop of water at a time can renew. One drop evaporates. But when it’s followed by another… and another… and another… That sort of thing can lead to an oasis.

…but whoever drinks this water I give him will never thirst.

As moms, we’re booked solid 24/7. The constant demands of motherhood tend to suck us dry and leave us feeling as prickly as cactus. Drops is designed to bring a little refreshment to your corner of the desert. We provide a daily Drop for you to use as you wish: first thing in the morning, last thing at night or anywhere in between. Each drop and the accompanying Bible passage can be read in about 10 minutes. The Drops are made up of original and borrowed writings directed specifically at helping busy moms discover abundant life through Jesus Christ.

Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water, welling into Eternal Life.

John 4:14

Posted by Andrea Lunde

Wednesday, May 18

They Ignored You

Borrowed from [in]courage.me, by Tammy

You’re head knows the Truth but try telling your heart. That our lives are seen when no one else notices. Straight from our farm this week He showed me how love hurts.

It wasn’t a typical morning. This day, I was cow-herding with our neighbor-dairy-farmer friend who was here as a favor. One lone cow was all I needed but this is tricky business. Made especially harder when you have little helping cowboys.

And I have one wrangler who moonlights as a knight and he took his position on the trampoline near the commotion. Sword saber in hand, imaginary battles commenced as he jabbed, twirled and pummeled the “enemy”.

But the battle was near nervous cows.

So a cease-fire was ordered and he made a dejected but grumpy retreat while I wrestled the cow away to its trailer. Then, I went and found my son standing silently in the house, scowling and downcast.

And I wrestled with my impatience. I wanted to hurry and get back on track. Try create some sort of order from a schedule that was now out of whack. Instead I’m dealing with a skirmish and I wanted to wave the white flag, or fire some rounds.

But then I caught a glimpse on his face, a telling sign I’d missed earlier and recognition registered.

His knightly battle display on the trampoline was really his heart up on a stage, putting on a show just for us.

His sad eyes told the tale. How I’ve been mirrored there. How we’re all mirrored in there one way or another.

We’re kin to David and threaded to the throne of Christ because we’ve known a day where “scorn has broken my heart… I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.” Psalm 69:20

We’ve twirled something special for someone to notice. Poured our heart into it and quietly waited on the sidelines, because we did it for them. But a comment, a situation, or silence comes along and we ended up feeling like we’re just bothering cows.

Being un-noticed doesn’t take much to hurt.

It could be friends getting together without you. Or everywhere someone is having a baby, except you. Or you need to be where they are because you’re missing it.

Then there’s the friend who never has time for you. Or isolation all day with a silent phone and dead quiet. No text, no email, no tweets, no Facebook messages (or the fact you don’t have Facebook while everyone else does). Like everyone’s communicating in a code you’re not privy too and you fell into a black, friendless hole camouflaged by a life passing you by.

But you are noticed. Perhaps the group we feel excluded from is more about our hunger for a True Friend. Perhaps the unborn baby isn’t just about the womb, but how we’re a Spiritual birthing place for those around us. Perhaps all the empty social media plugs is more about our need to communicate with Love. The possibilities are endless with “..the God who sees me”. Genesis 16:13

All our un-noticed moments are turning points back to our first Love. A time for detours and go where love burns. It’s more than bossing our hearts around, it’s about striking the match and becoming part of the Flame.

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” Song of Solomon 8:6

Monday, May 16

Pray It Like You Mean It.

Read Ephesians 3

I so often feel inadequate for this task of "helping busy moms discover abundant life through Jesus Christ." What do I know?

It reminds me of my first time on the ski slopes and my "teacher" had never skied before either. I heard a lot of "I'm pretty sure you are supposed to do it this way...", and "I think it would work better if you did ______." Some experience and knowledge would have been greatly appreciated.

I constantly ask God if he could use me later... say when I am full of wisdom, learned all life's lessons, have adult children who call me "blessed" (Proverbs 31:28), and have more than 5 minutes to rub together at one time. He reminds me time and time again that I have something to share now -- even if it is just encouragement from one haggard mom to another deep in the mucky trenches.

One thing I am trying to figure out right now is prayer. Do you want to figure it out with me? Kinda like the blind leading the blind, but only if we forget that God is guiding all of us.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; 

knock and the door will be opened to you. 

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; 

and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Matthew 7:7-8

(Read this compiled list of Scriptures related to prayer and be inspired!)

Growing up in church, I should know something about how to pray, but it often comes out as head knowledge instead of heart knowledge. I know "how" to pray a good prayer and I can even can say with eloquence and feeling, "I'll pray for you." Do I mean it? Prayer isn't meant to be flippant. I want to be sincere in my prayers.

When I say, "I'll pray for you," I don't want it to be empty. But so often my prayers are rushed and I whisper, "God bless so-and-so" and move on to the next topic.

Is that good enough? Does God get that I care, but I just don't have time? I thought so for many years until I read these verses in Ephesians (possibly for the first time without blinders). This is how Paul prayed for his friends:

For this reason I kneel before the Father

from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power 

through his Spirit in your inner being, 

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 

may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, 

to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 

and to know this love that surpasses knowledge

that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God

[Ephesians 3:14-19]

Whoa. Paul takes prayer for a friend to a level far beyond, "God bless so and so." I was deeply convicted to pray differently for my loved ones.

I learned a great way to pray from Bible study this last year. We closed each meeting in prayer for each other (a group of about 10). Our teacher handed out notecards and we were to write down a need or a praise in a few descriptive sentences. Then, the cards were shuffled and we each prayed for someone else. It was deeply meaningful to pray for other in that way. What impacted me most was carrying a note card home each week. Neatly tucked in my Bible, I remembered to pray for those specific prayer needs. It was totally awesome to see how God answered as the weeks went by.

This morning I finally decided to make some notecards of those "I'll pray for you" people in my life. I want something deeper in my prayers to God. I feel that my general prayers for family and friends are limiting my all-powerful God.

I started writing note cards for all the people I remembered I wanted to pray for. I wrote specifically for their needs. In less than 20 minutes I came up with almost 20 cards. You can imagine that once I started thinking about it, I had a whole lot more to write than "please bless so and so." I was inspired by Paul's deep words.

God has so much to show me about prayer. I'm like a non-skier trying to be an instructor. But in this case, we rely on an always true source for our how-to on prayer. Be encouraged to pray more earnestly, take more time, and be more specific.

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him 

and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; 

the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. 

The prayer of a righteous man is 

powerful and effective.

[James 5:13-16]

Wednesday, May 11

Asleep on the Job

Read John 10:1-18

By Karen Huber as published at (in)courage.me

It only took me 12 years – ironically, the lifespan of the wild three-toed sloth – to see that I was asleep on the job.

We had a wedding, then a marriage, then a baby, then a family… all of it spread out over time, but passing me by in a blur, simply because I let it be that way. Living intentionally as a wife and mother was something I assumed would come naturally, like singing harmonies or delivering punch-lines at parties. And when it didn’t come naturally – when I saw how hard it was just trying to look like I was keeping it all together, let alone actually succeeding at it – I preferred to close my eyes and let it all happen around me. I allowed the surge of domestic life to draw me in beneath the waves, coming up for air only when I hit the shore of my pillow.

Years went by, the children began to grow, and the only evidence of my drowsiness was the cracking of my soul. I may be over-dramatizing here, but the word “funk” and “rut” don’t really do justice the extreme angst that was welling up inside almost as fast as the tears that accompanied it. “Failing” was what I was doing, but it wasn’t so much failing at motherhood as it was failing to live, thrive, or enjoy the good gifts God had given me.

The easy answer to this early-mid-life crisis was prayer.

Cries of help.
Cries of repentance
Cries of joy.
Prayers for strength in my weakness.
Prayers for rest in my restlessness.
Prayers for contentment in my chaos.

Not so easy to pray for all those things, I suppose, but the answer doesn’t lie so much in the praying as it does in the One who hears and loves.

We are a couple months in, now… the slow, delayed start of living intentionally. I’ve been playing more, with the children and the husband, but also on my own. There have been coffees with friends, and books on the nightstand, journals with words written in ink. There are words whispered in the night, between the three of us: husband, God and me.

And there is purpose.

We’ve been tossing around for weeks the idea of a family purpose statement. Having been in ministry for nearly a decade now, we’ve got the work missions statement on prayer cards and in power points, but the daily purpose of our little family has gone unwritten.

Until today.

In our family, we want to honour GOD and protect the good gifts He’s given us;
Valuing PEOPLE over things
Practicing CREATION care
Walking closely with JESUS CHRIST, and inviting others to join us in knowing Him

I wish I could tell you what seeing these words in writing does for my soul. The cracks formed during my slumber begin to fill with the intention of loving and serving and protecting the good things God has blessed us with. It’s a high calling, to be sure, but for the first time, I’m not even tired thinking about it!

Remind Me To Play

Read II Corinthians 12:1-9

Written by Alyssa at Resolved2Worship (borrowed with permission)

Mothers' Day has come and gone once again. I cannot express how much I love these children God has given me. Each one is so unique, such a completely different little package of His creativity and wonderment. Each one is a reflection of God in a different way. Each one is a piece of me and holds an equal piece of my heart.

Today my hair is full of the sand because of joining in the kids' sand fight wasn't an option, it was an impulse I could not restrain. Why as moms do we so often watch and not join in? We miss out and so do our kids.

There is a wonderful element of relaxation that comes with the ocean breeze and view, but mentally, I am a full time lifeguard - there is nothing really relaxing about that occupation. That's ok. . .

Because there is something spectacular about it. I watch them, one then the other, then the next and back around again. Every other minute or so my voice calls out, "Where is . . . ?" And someone will answer typically about the same time my eyes spot that little blonde headed child of mine.

I see their expressions, their mannerisms, their fears, their passion, their exploration. I see them living life. I am living it with them. Right now I am.

Tuesday, May 10

Promises, Promises

Read Joshua 24:14-28 and Judges 2:6-15

I am a highly motivated person. (Why are you laughing?) No really, I am. Late in the evening when the kids are in bed and the world is quiet again and I am watching television, I make vows.

Tomorrow, I will exercise, I say. I will find my running shoes, get up and do a few stretches and head out.

I am inspired and motivated. This will be a good thing for me. Being active myself will not only have untold health benefits, but will show my children by example that movement is important. I can do this, I say. Think of all the time I waste in a day. If I just consolidate it, there is plenty left to squeeze in a little jazzercise. Yep. First thing tomorrow. I wonder where my pedometer is?...

I am reading the story of the children of Israel pieces at a time (because I am adding a whole new dimension of slowness to the Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers). I get annoyed with them. I know the story, and I try to be sympathetic, but really people. Will you ever learn?

The deal God made with them is a simple, straightforward one: Obey me and I will bless you; disobey me and you will face the consequences. I estimate that some variation of this arrangement appears at least 923,000 times in the Bible. (Don’t quote me on that. Math has never been my strong point).

Monday, May 9

WWJD | In the Drive-Thru

Read Romans 3:21-31

The phrase "What would Jesus do?", abbreviated to WWJD, was wildly popular in the 1990s. WWJD was on everything from necklaces to bumper stickers. You were really cool if you had it tattooed somewhere. It was a personal motto for Evangelical Christians who used the phrase as a reminder to act in a manner that would demonstrate the love of Jesus.

It was so popular that I think everyone got burned out on WWJD and the abbreviation failed to signify anything important.

The concept is still true and necessary. What would Jesus do? If we claim to follow Christ, our actions should mirror his. I remembered this as I was sitting in the drive-thru waiting a ridiculously long time for icecream.

You might be thinking that Jesus would never go to a fast-food joint because of the unhealthy eating options. But he ate with tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:13-17). I'm going to stretch that to say Jesus would go with me to the Dairy Queen after a hard day of work. My treat, of course.

So, there I sat in my mini-van with kids screaming in the backseat and I was really annoyed that it was taking so long. "Why is it taking so long?!! These incompetent prepubescents! Apparently they are the last people on earth to hear of the rising gas prices and the money that is just IDLING away right now," was going through my mind. I know I didn't have the most pleasant look on my face. I know it for certain because one of the employees glanced out the window at me and visibly drew back with a shudder. I scared the poor girl half to death. My face reflected the anger and impatience of the world and a hard day that didn't go as I planned.

Jesus was nowhere to be found. Shame washed over me. What would Jesus do? I have failed so much I wouldn't even know.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

But read on.... there is hope.

"...and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24)

By his grace I have another chance. When I fail badly at representing Christ, I can try again. What a gift! I don't deserve it. But I was humbled in that drive-thru line and I prayed for a different perspective on life's normal frustrations.

When it was finally my turn to pay and get my food, the girl handed me my sack with fear and trembling. "S-s-s-orry for the wait," she muttered. I smiled with what I hope was a pleasant expression and replied that it wasn't a problem and that it looked like they were having a busy night. With a tentative nod she shut the window.

She was probably more baffled with my major mood change than my reflection of Jesus.

What would Jesus do? He would continue to show love (John 1:1-14). He would continue to show compassion (Luke 7:13). He would continue to serve (Philippians 2:5-11). My testimony of Christ is far from perfect, but still he chose me to represent him. He. Chose. Me. And he chose you too! He delights in our attempts and our desire to follow him.

"Then he said to them all: 

'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves 

and take up their cross daily and follow me.'"

(Luke 9:23)

[photos courtesy of the make-up-less, Christ follower, sometimes stumbling, author of this post]

Friday, May 6

Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

We post songs on Fridays. It's not because we're lazy, I promise. On Fridays when you come by here, we want you to leave refreshed and inspired. Well, we pray that happens ever day, but by the time Friday rolls around, most of us are tapped out. The week has sucked the enthusiasm right out of us and we have a weekend ahead of us consisting of t-ball practice, concerts, church, birthday parties, household projects and dinner guests. So on Fridays we leave you with music. 

Music has a way of sinking into subconscious and popping up out of nowhere. I love the words as much as the melody, although I find I seldom remember the words and just go with the emotions of the music. That's why we post the lyrics. Read them as poetry, then listen to them as song. The combination will move you.

Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus is one of my all time favorite hymns. It was written by a man named Samuel Trevor Francis. One dark and stormy night he found himself looking down on the churning waters of the Thames River with a choice: should he listen to the dark voices and jump in letting the river pull him down into oblivion, or keep on. he kept on and came to an understanding of the mighty love of Jesus. 


O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o'er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o'er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
'Tis an ocean vast of blessing, 'tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 'tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Thursday, May 5

One Better

Read Romans 12

By Angie Smith as posted on (in)courage.me

For the record, it was Todd’s fault.

I don’t even remember the specifics of our “disagreement,” but I am quite confident he was in the wrong. I don’t back down as readily as some of my “really good at being submissive” friends, and I recognize that it’s something I need to be better at doing. For some strange reason, I seem to forget this factoid when I am knee-deep in self-righteous bickering and convinced that I am one witty comment away from victory.

But this particular night, I bit my tongue. I stepped on my pride momentarily and offered the kind of olive branch that was (sadly) uncharacteristic of me when I am mad (and also, right. Just in case you hadn’t picked up on that part).

I saw Todd’s face settle, assessing me in order to see if this was just a gimmick to lead up to my final blow, and it made me cringe. He knew that I could, and he was waiting because he assumed that I would.

But I didn’t.

I told him I was sorry and that I didn’t think it was his fault (that part was kind of a white lie. As previously stated I am convinced he was in the wrong. Carry on.)

As I looked at his face softening, I thought about the day I walked down a long aisle to get to him, knowing he was the only one I would ever love this way. And what in the world was I thinking right now? That somehow me proving how smart I was would change our marriage and make him look at me the way he did from the other end of the church?

So I stopped myself. I took a breath and apologized.

And in my head I heard the words, “You can do one better.”

And I did. In fact, I did more than one better because as soon as I started going I couldn’t stop. All I desired was to feel like I had built him up and swallowed my own ugly pride.

It turned out well, as you can imagine, and I walked away from it feeling like I had done the right thing.

I’m not saying it’s easy, but these two words have helped me make some really good and life-giving choices over the past several weeks…

One better.

I walk through the family room and notice a cup on the floor. I absentmindedly pick it up and start to walk to the sink.

One better, Ang.

So I go back, straighten the pillows, quickly gather the books scattered on the ground, and deposit the kids shoes in the shoe bin where they belong.

My friend calls to tell me about her business trip and all I can think is that I have deadlines that are crushing me and I don’t have time for the details. I catch myself, close the computer, and tell her I want to go on the porch so I can focus on what she’s saying.

It was just one better.

My daughter comes to me after having her feelings hurt, and I have a great talk with her. I mention Scripture I think will help her, I hug her, and I tell her I want to pray for her. It was good, but I knew I could just do one better.

I asked her if she wanted to go get a hot chocolate at the coffee shop down the road. We had a blast. When we got home, Todd had started making dinner and I told him I appreciated it.

And then I deliberately walked over to him, took his face in my hands, and told him what a good man he was.

It’s hard to do everything, but it isn’t hard to just do one better.

Make a note to yourself today and hang it where you will see it. As you walk through the day, instead of feeling like you can’t do it all, just remember-you don’t have to.

You will not believe the way these two little words start to shape your hours and your heart…so go ahead…do one better.

I dare you.

No wait, I DOUBLE dare you (see? It works for everything!).

Tuesday, May 3

Royal Wedding

1,900 onlookers waited with bated breath as the music swelled, the groom waited, the doors opened and the bride made her entrance.

For months the world has been watching as Prince William and common girl Kate Middleton made their wedding plans. The date, the location, the plans for the first kiss were all announced prior to the big day. But the one secret, the one thing we were all just dying to see was the dress. For this would not be just any dress. This is the dress Kate would wear as she made the four minute march down the center aisle of Wesminster Abby where she would pledge her life and her love to the grandson of the queen, the son of the crown prince and become a duchess.

This dress was a big deal. A really big deal.

And it was beautiful.

Made of ivory and white satin gazar, the skirt resembled “an opening flower” with white satin gazar arches and pleats. The train and bodice are decorated with delicate lace applique flowers, handcrafted using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s. The dress has sleeves - appropriate for a religious wedding in the holy surrounds. Kate’s ivory satin bodice, which is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, draws on the Victorian tradition of corsetry. The veil, which falls to just below her waist, is made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle and is decorated with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers

And, direct from fairy tales, the couple stepped into a horse drawn carriage and a military regiment escorted the procession through the gates of Buckingham Palace.

70,000 packed out Hyde Park between the Abbey and the Palace to watch the ceremony on the jumbo tron and maybe, just maybe catch a glimpse of the royal procession. The experts say two billion people watched the royal couple say their vows.

A royal wedding live on television is about as close as many of us will get to real majesty. This side of heaven anyway.

Monday, May 2

Too Busy, Too Much

Busyness is a life full of things that may sound important, but make a normal women feel crazy. The beautifully photoshopped women in the magazines say “you can do it all, plus a little more, while looking fantastic (your children will look fantastic too!)”. This isn’t reality. I often need a reminder that I’m not super woman – usually I’ve just fallen on my butt when it comes to mind.

I feel so important when I am busy. A friend asks, “How are you?,” and responding “I’m SO busy,” elevates my status. We get things done, we pack our days with amazing things. La, ti, da....

No matter how frenzied it makes my family. Or that my health suffers. Or that I haven’t crossed “daily devotions” off my list all week. Or that I forgot to tell my husband about something going that needed his input. Or that my kids are acting terrible because I don’t have time for them. Or that my house is messy and dirty.