Friday, November 30, 2012

How do you wonder?



Today I’m joining in with the community and writing with Five Minute Friday.  Today’s word is “wonder”.


Wonder is one of my favorite words.  I think it’s kind of funny to have “favorite words”.  Maybe it’s just me. 

God is the God of Wonders (which happens to be one of my favorite songs)  Jeremiah 33:3 reads, "Call on me and I'll answer you.  I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own." 

Oh, how I needed that reminder today.  Lately I’ve been trying to figure out my purpose but I’m guilty for trying to figure it out on my own.  I’m robbing myself of hearing those wondrous things.

So, I need to PRAY more.  God is a God of Wonders…the awe of who He is.  He never wonders if what he does is right or wrong.  He is not the God of uncertainty.

I am choosing wonder to be a word describing awe in the hope of God during uncertain times. 

Being intimate with God is being in silent wonder and radical amazement.

God of Wonders wants us to obey Him by not feeling uncertain about
the future and "everyday worries" but to trust Him and listen for Him so we will hear the "wondrous things He has for me, because we can't figure it out on our own." 



Praying that this weekend we will all have divine moments of silent wonder…

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Being invaded


Taking time this week to put joy all around the house.





Wanting that joy-reminder throughout out our home this upcoming month because things can get really busy.

This reminder is to say, “Take a deep breath.  Relish in the gift of anticipation.  Rest in the Story.  Purposely find joy in the midst of every day hustle and bustle in December.” 

Charles Swindoll said,


“When His joy invades our lives, it spills over into everything we do and onto everyone we touch.”


So, I want to be invaded so I can spill joy into everything and everyone this season.


How about you?  What do you want while we wait for Christmas this year?



Monday, November 26, 2012

Keep dreaming


I’ve never been a big dreamer.  Most of my life when I heard the word “dream” I thought of the type of dream you have while you’re asleep at night…with sugar plums dancing in your head, right? 

But over the past few years, I’ve been thinking more about the other kind of dream.  It’s the dream you think of during the day sitting at the stop light, or while you’re making dinner or especially while you’re doing something and wish you were doing something different instead.   

God created dreaming.  Did he ingrain that inside of us when we were first created?   Sometimes though we cover over those dreams with busyness, doubt or just downright ignoring them.

The Bible is filled with people who had dreams.  For example, Paul tells the Romans “his dream is to preach the gospel in places no one has ever heard of Jesus.” (Romans 15:20).  Wow, what a huge dream!   God manifested Paul’s dream a huge way!  And Paul probably didn’t even know his passion to disciple, teach, lead and write would become God’s Word and spread throughout the entire world for eternity while he was ministering on this side of heaven.

Do you have dreams?  What are they?   What are your passions?   Everybody has them!  They are gifts.

I have a dream to be a writer and a passion to help others (especially older adults) write their stories.  I have a dream that what I write (on a blog) can minister to someone and bring reminders and  encouragement.  I want to promote other ministries that’ll help increase God’s Kingdom.   Some are older and some are newer dreams.

Being honest here, lately these questions have been surfacing…What if your dream isn’t what God’s desire is for you?  What if you think you know what it is, but it’s not what God has in mind?  Or maybe it’s just not the right timing.  

We need to remind ourselves over and over to trust God and he’ll reveal those dreams, desires, passions, and even his plan to us. But in order to hear them, we must listen. We must make time to be still and listen.  It’s a challenge for sure especially when the questions of doubt or confusion can start to suffocate that dream.  The questions of “should I?”, “am I?”, “what if?”, “what do I do?”, “now?”, “later?”, and “what could it be?” can overshadow that dream. 

But remember…“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

(Thank the Lord for His promises!)

And… continue to, “Give thanks always. Pray continually.  Give thanks in all circumstances.”  (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

So, I’ll keep dreaming, listening and giving thanks…

and this past week I’ve been thankful for:

#1067  A listening God who keeps his promises

#1068  dreams

#1069  a beautiful day to give thanks with family on Thanksgiving


#1070  the little fuzzies floating all around in the air that made it look like snow on Thanksgiving


#1071  the kids having fun running through all the little fuzzies

#1072  Thanksgiving having a whole new meaning this year

#1073  my grandmother’s recipe of potato salad


#1074  warm apple pie topped with melting vanilla ice cream

#1075  mom and sister who listen and pray and encourage

#1076  watching a hawk with my nephew


#1077  watching our kids and nieces and nephews play the game “Sardines” and riding scooters and rip sticks together


#1078  Daddy Mac grilling burgers and Gran’s homemade French fries!




#1079  taking boxes out of the attic filled with Christmas decorations

#1080  setting out the nativity scene

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What are you thankful for?

This year Thanksgiving has new meaning.


Even though it seems like Thanksgiving is skipped and ignored more and more as each year goes by, I will give thanks more.

I’m counting and recounting thanks because He is the One to thank for everything.

I’m thankful I have no desire or plan to stop giving gratitude to God.

What are you thankful for this year?  Is there something you’ve never been really thankful for before but you are now?  Please share it with me by making a comment below!

May you be blessed with laughter with family, your favorite and  traditional Thanksgiving food, sweet memories made, good left-over turkey sandwiches and a nap.  Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Filling tummies and hearts


It’s come to the point we’re to show our thankfulness by filling our tummies until they almost pop with turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries, rolls and pies to name a few.

This year, I don’t want Thanksgiving to be looked at as being just that.  Think about what we truly should be thankful for. 

I had no idea last Thanksgiving that this Thanksgiving I would have kept a count of thankfulnesses.  Wow…over 1000!   Starting this journey is definitely something I’m thankful for.  I’m so thankful for my husband, children, family and friends.  I’m so thankful for our good health and our home, my husband’s job and me being able to stay home.

But here are some things we can easily forget to give thankful for and when we become thankful for these things, then all the little things become obvious gifts.

So, let us give thanks the most to the One who gave us everything to be thank-full for: 

“We are loved unconditionally.   We have been chosen.  We have been granted mercy.  We receive good gifts.  We are given encouragement.  We find hidden stores of patience (yes it is possible even when we don’t think we can!).  We enjoy the kindness of our sisters and brothers in the faith.  We have peace that passes understanding.  We are never alone.  We know abundance.  We witness God’s miraculous working in our lives.  We have been awed by God’s majesty.  God’s Word is trustworthy.  God provides for our every need.  God’s Spirit abides in us.  God is always faithful.  God keeps His promises.  Prayers have been answered.  Faith has been strengthened.” (from Hope:The Anchor for Your Soul by Women of Faith) 

So, as we prepare and begin to set the tables, lets set our minds on the abundance of God’s goodness in our lives and start thanking.


Counting thanks:

#1059  God wills for me to live by His Word,

#1060  relishing in God’s promises

#1061   “Be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances.”               1 Thess. 5:16-18

#1062  special evening with my girlfriends over fondue and conversations

#1062  weekend with my sister and her family

#1063  sunrise over soccer field

#1064  excitement in face and sound of my boys watching go-carts race

#1065  watching son and his team play soccer

#1066  God’s joy is also our joy

Friday, November 16, 2012




Almost all the leaves have gracefully fallen off the trees and twirled to the ground.  The drawers with the summer clothes won’t be opened for a while, and it’ll probably be next spring until we buy popsicles again.  So…

…the holiday season begins.

Our kids don’t really have any ideas of toys they want to write on their Christmas wish lists this year.   That’s a good thing that they’re not thinking they want everything on the shelves in the toy store but it makes me see that they’re not as young as they used to be and not having to have those “hot Christmas toys” anymore.  (and hey, that means I might not have to go out on Thanksgiving night or at 4am the morning next week to go shopping!)  But it shows me that things just change.  Not for better or worse…just different.

Things just don’t stay the same.  And what a gift that can be, but a gift that’s sometimes hard to open. 

Some people love to rip open a wrapped gift with gusto as fast as they can with excitement to see what’s inside.  Others are very particular and take the time unwrapping the pretty paper, not wanting to tear or mess it up so they can hold onto it.  They might be skeptical thinking what’s inside isn’t what they really wanted, or didn’t want to end the fun time of the anticipation prior to that moment.

How do you like to open gifts? Is that the same way you open the gift of each day?  Is that the way you open the unknown?  Is that the way you open the gift of change?

Whichever way you open your gifts, keep this in mind:

The one gift that is perfect to open, and necessary to open, is the gift that stays the same.  It is the unwavering, profound and unconditional love Jesus has for us.  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow,” (Hebrews 13:8)…and that will not change. (Malachi 3:6)


I hope you have a weekend filled with that reminder!


Joining in today with 5 minute Friday and today’s word was STAY.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

“Hey! Be tough! Be tough!"

It’s finally here!

The smell of newly a waxed floor.

The squeak of shoes on the floor.

The thump of a ball bouncing.

The swish of a ball going through the net.

It’s basketball season!!!

Can I say I’m just a little bit excited?  I’ve loved cheering for the basketball team ever since I could wiggle my stretched-out fingers reaching over my head. 

I’m sitting here on the gym floor watching my 13 year old son at his first basketball practice since he was about 7 years old.  He wasn’t very interested in it back then until this year.  Maybe because everyone asks him if he plays because he’s so tall.  Maybe he’s just grown interest.  (Maybe it’s because the Spirit is leading him to because his mom has been praying he’ll play basketball because she loves it so much!)

As I sit here listening, smelling and seeing lots of gangly boys on the court, I remember when I was a very awkward 13 year old girl who thought I needed to impress the world…or at least the people in the gymnasium at my middle school.   I made the cheerleading team.


Its was then when I started believing that I had to shout real loud to get attention, that I had to be known to feel accepted, that I had to have people cheer for me to get approval as I cheered for the team.



I don’t think those feelings have changed much even though it’s been almost 30 years later. 

Isn’t it funny how you remember some things?  I have a friend who’s really good at it and I always go her when I need some childhood and teenage memories to make me laugh.   I’m surprised I still remember some of the cheers we chanted many times:  “Hey!  Be tough!  Hey!  Be tough!  Be tough!”   (or maybe I remember them because they’re in my scrapbook :))

But even though I can’t do a split or a Russian jump any more, I’ll still be cheering.  I’ll be cheering my son on to go for his dreams.  He’s at the age where he’s taller than all his friends, his voice doesn’t sound like it did just a year ago, and he can empty the pantry by eating everything in it in one sitting.  

I want him to know that I’ll always be his cheerleader, not only on the basketball court or soccer field. 

I’ll cheer him on to do his best at everything he tries.  I’ll cheer him on when he’s made a good choice after a hard decision. I’ll cheer him on if a friend’s back turns the other way.  I’ll cheer him on as he fails and misses the mark.  I’ll cheer him on to know Jesus more every day… and I hope and pray he’ll think I’m a good coach.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Am I the only one?



Being  “Beth” is harder some days than others.  I know a few different Beth’s.  To name a few, I know the Beth who feels blessed to be a wife of a man who strives to do and be the best for our family.  I know the Beth who tries really hard to be a “good girl”.  I know the Beth who has high expectations of herself.   I know the Beth who will apologize for everything… even it if isn’t her fault…just so everyone will be happy.  

As a stay-at-home mom, I feel because that is my “job”,  I need to be the one responsible for all the day-to-day duties, chores and routines.  I think I feel that I don’t have any accomplishments made if I’m letting, or asking, anyone else to do them instead of me.

I still make my kids’ lunches each morning before school.  I do all the laundry myself.  I dust the furniture and I sweep the floors.  I clean the tubs and toilets.  I even pick up the clothes and toys off the floor in our kids’ room! 

Now they’ve done all of those things…occasionally.  And they set the table, take out the trash and make their beds every morning.   Please don’t get me wrong that I do everything for them, because I don’t, but why do I have a hard time instructing them and training them to do other chores themselves?  Am I the only one?!   I want them to learn the importance of why we have to do those "not-fun-to-do-things” and to learn about responsibility and about being thankful for the things we have to take care of, so why do I still do them?

Is it because I don’t want to hear the whines?  Is it because I don’t have enough patience to wait for them to do it?  Is it because I simply feel responsible for it?  Is it because I hope that if they’re watching me do those chores that one day it’ll magically click and they’ll do them every day without me having to ask them?   Is it because I’ll feel useless if I’m not doing those things?

I have many friends of whom I admire for how they train their children when it comes to chores and duties and responsibilities.  They enforce those house duties and are pretty consistent with it so I know it can be done.

I know that parenting isn’t easy. It’s learning in progress…and it’s not only just children learning, but their parents also.  I’m so thankful for our church family who’s holding special classes for training and how to do that with extra love.  I’m thankful for friends who support each other because we’re not doing this alone.  I’m thankful for our parents who raised us and we turned out OK. 

I’m thankful for the only Perfect Parent who has so much grace and patience and love that is unconditional.  Those promises are what keep me going!


Many thanks to God this past week for

#1044  celebrating my husband’s grandmother’s 90th birthday



#1045  our niece’s baptism and being with family

#1046 gift in window…sunny, blue sky day after many days of clouds

#1047  our freedom as Americans

#1048   freedom from bondage only through Christ

#1049  our country’s foundation…in God we trust

#1050   the start of a new discipleship journey

#1051   gift in window…green plants from summer on porch now in sunroom

#1052   gift in window…seeing birds come to get food now that colder weather is here (but a few have flown into our window after getting something to eat!)

#1053   helping with my daughter’s science fair project baking cookies and giving neighbors and friends taste tests


#1054   starting a new discipleship journey

#1055   talking with Grady and Libby about election and government and our faith as believers in relation to it.

#1056   the challenge to lead bible study…prayer needed!

#1057   kids playing in the raked leaves


#1058    revival at church and seeing in the row in front of me people from age 5 to 85 and from at least 3 different nationalities.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Re-gift quiet


I’m joining in with Five Minute Friday and today’s word is


In the world, in our town, and even in our house there’s rarely quietness. Just this past week there’s the noises of the washing machine and dryer rumbling, the dog barking (a lot) at the squirrels burying nuts in our back yard, our son listening to music with the volume cranked up and the thump that seems to shake all the walls in our house, the whirling of the mixer as our daughter is making cookies for a science fair project, laughter, a few whines, hearing stories from school and days events at the dinner table. It seems there’s always TV or iPod playing music…some kind of noise.

All sounds I love to hear. But I still need that quiet, still space.  Quietness is a gift.   I remember reading something Frederick Buechner wrote that said,

“Silence is a given, quite a gift.  Silence is the absence of sound and quiet the stilling of sound.  Silence can’t be anything but silent.  Quiet chooses to be silent.”

This past summer a certain Scripture just “showed up” several times.  Isaiah 30:15  It obviously was something  I frequently needed as a reminder because it’s so easy to be caught up in the noise of daily living.

“In quietness and trust is your strength” 

I hope in the next month and a half we’ll all make time for quiet.  There’s already Christmas music playing in stores, on commercials, decorations are even up on some downtown poles already.  So early!  Think of them as reminders to be quiet.  Even if just for a moment. 

Accept quietness as a gift.  Then re-gift that gift and give quiet back to God.  Be still.  Be silent.  Listen.  Rest.  Be quiet.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Still chewing and pondering




I’m still processing what I heard at Allume.  There was so much to learn and I need to read over all my notes many times to soak it all in.  There’s so much I’ve wanted to explore, change and create since then but really I’ve felt a little overwhelmed and not even knowing where to start. 

But I know over the past two weeks there’s been other things that I’m thankful I could do since then.  It’s been a gift to celebrate my husband’s grandmother’s 90th birthday, our niece’s baptism, helping with my daughter’s science fair project, starting a new discipleship training, and talking with the kids about election and government and our faith as believers in relation to it.   And while I’m in the midst of all those things, down in my heart I’ve had time to ponder and marinate some of what I learned. 

But these are some quotes from speakers I heard that really stood out to me.  These are some of the words that had big stars drawn beside them in my little spiral notebook. 

I can find a little thread connecting some of these quotes together that maybe God was pointing out specifically to me:

~Live by God’s Word first :

God calls us to have muddy lives. We must have a clean heart but dirty hands. – Mary DeMuth

“If you aren’t studying the Word and pondering Christ, you won’t have a mind worthy of communicating Christ.” – Sally Clarkson


~Keep on writing:

“Writing is a muscle…you need to keep practicing to get stronger.”   Darcy Milder

“Write on people first, then write on screens.” – Ann Voskamp

Be a word servant. ~ Mary DeMuth


~Be a disciple:

“Jesus’ life was local and personal.” – Sally Clarkson  He will spread your message according to His will.

“Jesus wants us to show our authentic journey.”  Logan Wolfram

“We are making disciples: if we have readers, we are discipling.”  Logan Wolfram


~Be yourself:

“Comparing yourself to others insults God.” ~ Jessica Heights

“Be wise and speak from the area of your giftedness.  ~ Logan Wolfram                        God says, ‘I don’t need another Sally, Ann, Emily or Mary.  I need a Beth.’”  


~An added sweet treat:

“Always eat your mudcake without a fork!”  Darren Rowes                                               Dive into your dream!

And I’ll end this with this quote I was given at the conference and I set it up right above my computer:

She knew who she was in Christ and she dared to dream big.”


I’m still chewing and pondering those simple reminders.


(photos at top from Smile Booth)

Monday, November 5, 2012

A reminder the eve before elections



"Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules.  Treat everyone you meet with dignity.  Love your spiritual family.  Revere God.  Respect the government."                   1 Peter 2:16, 17

A friend took a photograph early it the morning and sent it along with a note about what she just saw. I thought it was beautiful truth and I wanted to share it this day before a big day of elections.

I took this photo this morning and loved how the light was illuminating the American flags but mostly how the Cross was standing out against the morning sky and so large compared to the little flags.  It made me think about the upcoming election and that this is what our thinking should be in relation to how we vote. 

As 1 Peter says, we need to ‘Revere God and respect the government,’  but we also need to ‘treat everyone we meet with dignity.’  May we be not only filled with conviction but also with compassion.”

Please take extra time today and tomorrow (hey…why not every day?!)  to pray for America’s leaders, elections, voters and to go back to it’s roots and foundation on which our country was formed.

(Thank you Pam Bonney for that good and needed reminder this eve of elections and for letting me share your heart and wisdom today!)


Friday, November 2, 2012


It’s “5 minute Friday” and I’m joining in with the others and today’s word is “root”.


It’s time to pull up the roots.  It’s getting to almost freezing at night and there’s still little green tomatoes on the branches amongst the last few red ones.  It’s time to pull up those mean roots of those pumpkins, or gourds, that took over our garden this summer, even though there’s still some baby green gourds still starting to grow.

Those roots are everywhere and we won’t know until the spring if we got them all up or not…we obviously didn’t last year.

Roots grow deep. Sometime those roots need to come up and it’s hard to pull them out.  Sometimes we have to dig deep to make it loose that grip.  Like the deep roots of a tree, there are times we need to loose the grip holding onto deep roots of guilt, resentment and fear.

But roots are essential.

The roots of your family’s story is part of who you are.  There are roots of friendships that have stood the test of time and you could hardly live without.  The roots based on the Truth, faith and love, we pray, are embedded in our children’s hearts to never be uprooted. 

Where are your roots?





Joys this week:


#1037  fresh and crunchy caramel and chocolate covered apple

#1038  husband’s homemade mashed potatoes

#1039  Gran’s meatballs recipe

#1040  fellowship with friends Oct.31




#1041  Coach Nana’s chili and rolls



#1042  sharing my Allume experience with friends at home

#1043  daughter’s impromptu snow skiing costume