Sunday, September 30, 2007


We celebrated the September birthdays today - Meeley, M, and Chad. M (my niece and goddaughter) is a huge Hannah Montana fan. I couldn't wait to take pictures of her rockin' out on her new dad-built stage. To top things off, M received a guitar and wig as gifts to complete the look.

There were so many cute photos, it was difficult choosing which one to post! I thought this to be the most glam of all.

Happy 8th Birthday, M!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

In theaters October 19th...

I just heard about a new family flick, soon-to-be in theaters. Check out this promotional music video featuring Jeremy Camp:

You can watch the movie trailer and find more information by clicking HERE.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

enough already...

I introduced Ren to Scrabble tonight; it was fun for about 10 minutes.


A recurring theme this week. Here's how the word is defined:

co·in·ci·dence [koh-in-si-duhns]
A striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance. [The antonym (or opposite) of this word is "design, plan."]

Another word worth looking into:

ran·dom [ran-duhm]
Proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern. [Antonyms for this word are "guided, premeditated, directed, designed, planned."]

So when does something move from being chance to a purposeful design or plan?

We have all experienced "WOW!" moments at one time or another, most likely shrugging them off as coincidence. In my life, those moments (although exciting) seemed random and haphazard. It wasn't until I began writing them down that I noticed a pattern.

Talk about a WOW! moment. It all started with a prayer album. I was interested in dipping into the whole "faithbooking thing" after hearing much about it from Creative Memories co-founder Rhonda Anderson. I wasn't even sure where I was in my own faith but was quite versed in "Help me!" prayers. What began as an experiment turned into an explosion of faith! There were so many coincidences, so many detailed prayers answered. The Lord opened my eyes and taught me how to read the story of my life. He'd been there all along I simply hadn't noticed.

I love sharing these stories of God's hand in my life. They are sprinkled throughout my albums and journals: answered prayers, stories of healing and rescue - perfectly orchestrated moments so obviously planned and prepared. He is here, actively guiding and directing my life and yours. Get to know Him, I promise you will not be disappointed!

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21

Journaling Ideas: Begin writing down those WOW! moments as they happen, big or small. If you're new to the Bible, try watching Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore and write down anything that leaps out at you. Pray before you read the Bible and ask God to give you understanding; write down anything that catches your eye. Pay close attention to people He brings to mind - it may be a friend, relative, or neighbor in need. Write it all down and in time, see how He connects the dots!

A random shot.

This my absolute favorite time of year; unfortuately, our trees are no bigger than pencils! Fall in suburbia.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Double Digits

1. in play, 2. goofy close-up, 3. morning gift, 4. Entrepreneur, 5. a 9 year old w/glasses, 6. dig in!, 7. Go fly a kite!, 8. bat boy, 9. lita's house, 10. tough guy, 11. life's a beach, 12. meeley's find, 13. Meeley's tootsies, 14. meeley, 15. gold vs. red, 16. alien dudes

Can you believe it??? Meeley is 10 years old today! The hubby and I celebrated in our own way over the weekend, pouring over old video footage. There are so many sweet memories of him...
  • Sitting on the couch with a guitar draped across his lap, pretending to play along with the hubby's band on videotape;
  • Pulling himself up to the window ledge to hug Roxy, so gentle even at a year old;
  • Pretending to be injured so he could secure a Band-Aid;
  • Looking down at him with the camera and seeing those pudgy little hands reaching up towards me.

My only regret? That I would have made an effort to savor each second then, as I do now. It goes way too fast!

A week in review.

On Friday, my head was whirling "Where did the week go?" Here are some highlights:

  • Meeley ended up at the doctor with what I thought was a cold; we were sent home with an inhaler and another doctor appointment for allergy-related asthma symptoms (I had no clue).
  • A routine doctor appointment for me turned into a second appointment with a specialist for a mammogram and breast ultrasound. Everything turned out fine.
  • My hubby ended up in the ER on Tuesday with chest pains. Again, everything turned out fine.

Sprinkled throughout these "extras" were other miscellaneous appointments, customer events, the start of a new study, and football - everyday life stuff. The more I focused on the things around me (circumstances), the more frenzied I became. Then it dawned on me - it was impossible to avoid much of what was going on and instead needed to roll with it. I set my alarm clock a little earlier each day to spend extra time with God in my journal and in His Word. The "extras" kept piling on but I found peace in the midst of the storm.

"My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest," says the Lord. Exodus 33:14

Sunday, September 23, 2007

something I saw in church.

One of our pastors is from England. Today he shared this video clip from a popular British television show (a show that gave birth to American Idol in the United States). I guess it was all over the news here as well...

Even if you feel average, God has something special in mind for YOU!

any takers?

I mentioned this in an earlier post but Hosanna! is hosting a church-wide event called, "Be the Miracle." Do you know God's call on your life? Are you serving in your sweet spot? Are you living a life of purpose and meaning? I would consider hosting a "Be the Miracle" small group here in Rosemount (one morning each week) if any of you are interested in participating. The last host training is on Thursday so let me know ASAP.

If you'd like to learn more, check out the recent sermons HERE. As always, you do not need to be a Hosanna! member to participate.


Here's a hint for the theme of our October Faithbooking Lesson...

Our next Faithbooking Crop will be on Saturday, October 13 from 9:00 am-9:00 pm at Hosanna! Lutheran Church in Lakeville. The crops are FREE and include snacks, beverages, and make-and-take supplies. Feel free to work the crop around your schedule, just let me know if you plan to attend and I'll be sure to have a spot ready for you.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's pretty clear I have issues...

These are my journals. I have zillions of them, dating back to high school. The ones pictured here just happen to be some of my favorites!

It is an amazing thing to look back and see the tranformation that took place in my life. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, here is a poem I'd written in the summer of 1989:

Torture pain death.
Pain death.
Where and Who am I?
What am I doing?
Running in circles
and circles
in pain.
It lingers where it can't be found.
Clutching my heart and soul
feeding on itself.
It doesn't end won't end.
It's me. It's Who I am.
Prisoner of myself.
Prisoner of my pain.

What a vivid reminder of where I once was! Trapped by my addiction, the eating disorder had taken over every area of my life - relationships, finances, job, and education. It was then that I turned to the Lord.

"Please help me, God!"
"I need You."
"Show me Your way."
"Help me to see You."
"Help me to follow You."

He led me out of that dark place to one of hope and joy! He has revealed much to me through the process of journaling - it's no wonder I am where I am today! The Lord took that huge mess and turned it into something beautiful; it was all part of His purpose and plan. Looking back at the pattern of my life, it all makes so much sense now.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me...
To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:1, 2c, 3 (NKJV)

Journaling Ideas: If you haven't made it a habit of jounaling, begin today! If you have old journals or diaries tucked away somewhere, dig them out. Spend some time looking back. Do you see any emerging patterns or themes? Is there a direction that God appears to be steering you towards? His specialty is trading beauty for ashes - spend some time mulling over the ashes in your life. He will use them (use you) to reach out to others in their place of mourning.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

i've resorted to this.

Posing food. Not that it wasn't deserving (it certainly was delicious). It's just that food doesn't smile, move, or do cute things.

I am desperately seeking living, breathing things to photograph. Children. Pets. Families. You. I'll even help the digitally disabled create a holiday photo card. My time is free; I'm just looking for some other subjects to practice on! If you're interested, just let me know by email.

I finally have a *THING*

For three years I have searched, looking EVERYWHERE for something to go above our fireplace. A photograph? Art print? Wreath or mirror? I figured when the time was right, we'd find that special thing.

Found it...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fall Bible Study Kickoff!

Yesterday was the first day of our new study - it's good to be back! We did it up BIG with lovely fall decorations and lots of tasty dishes (including a chocolate fountain). There were several new faces in addition to the many familiar; I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us! I usually wait a couple of sessions before getting all leaky but couldn't hold it in. Beth shared a powerful story (along with photos) about a friend who recently died in a head-on collision. I wish there were some way for me to share it with you but my journaling simply wouldn't do the story justice.

By the way, here's a promotional clip for the study I found online (ignore the contact information at the end, that is not for our group):

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

found *this* in his room today

I was deep-cleaning my son's room today when I stumbled upon something unexpected... empty cereal boxes. Actually, miniature cereal boxes (which is exactly why he saved them). Meeley loves to find and save treasure; one swoop through his room and the evidence is clear: button batteries from some old toy, an unopened bandaid, a piece of onion skin, assorted rubber bands, notes from friends and teachers. Important things full of meaning for him. Moments to cherish. Life through Meeley's eyes.

and the winner is...

Kamy said...
I really enjoy Fall too. I just love this weather. Wearing big soft sweatshirts and drinking hot cider or hot chocolate. I love pumpking patches and apple orchards - girls and I went to one last week. Love carmel apples! These are just some of my favorites for this season!
September 17, 2007 4:46 AM

I'll connect with you by email Kamy to work out the delivery details. Thanks for playing!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

speed bumps

Renifred worked on this "speed bump" for two days and was quite proud of its completion. He even signed his name to the masterpiece.

One of the definitions for speed bump is "a traffic calming tool designed to slow traffic or reduce through traffic." Hmmm... sounds like a faithbooking lesson here: How many of us could use a few more speed bumps in our own lives?

As I look at my calendar, I see an awful lot of "traffic." About a week ago, I was at an auto body shop working out the details of a repair. When I flipped open my calendar, the auto body guy said, "Whoa, now that's a full calendar!" Granted the color-coded system looks a little overwhelming, but I am managing more than one schedule! Nevertheless, his comment has continued to gnaw at me.

I always talk about slowing down. Perhaps adding a few speed bumps would help, intentionally leaving a openings on the calendar no matter how tempting it may be to fill them. God's way is not crazy - if I am living my life that way, I am not doing things His way.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For my yoke is wholesome (useful, good - not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
Matthew 11:28-30 (AMP)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

cool new photos

We were at another football game today and sitting near me was a boy and his dog. They were so sweet! Needless to say, I couldn't resist snapping a few...

Meeley couldn't play. I had taken him in after a night of wheezing and coughing, thinking it was a cold gone awry. It turns out he might have asthma!! No football for at least a week - doctor's orders.

He was a pretty good sport about it, despite the fact his team was short several players. The coach still had him involved from the sidelines, which was pretty cool.

It left me free to roam a bit more with my camera. I share a few of those shots later...

Friday, September 14, 2007

i love surprises.

It's time for another giveaway!

To be included in the prize drawing, just post a comment to this entry sharing your fall favorites - it could be one thing, it could be many!

I'll post the winner Monday evening...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

one of *those* friendships

I met a longtime friend today for lunch. Instead of making excuses for fear of looking like a dork, I brought along my camera. Looking at this photo, I am so glad I did!!

Kris and I went to high school together but didn't know each other until the college years, when we became roommates. Kris is one of the few friends who knew me before I got my act together; she has seen me at my worst. Kris is also one of the sweetest friends I've ever known! Her way is quiet and gentle yet with a great deal of strength and wisdom. She has always been like that. During my years of chaos and inconsistency, she was there - never judging, always patient.

We have one of those friendships. You know, the kind where you can go months or years without seeing each other and yet easily pick up where you left off. Not that I enjoy spending that much time away from her! It seems there is always so much to talk about and so little time to do it.

Ours is a friendship to be treasured.

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

Journaling Ideas: Think about a long-term friendship in your life. How has it been a blessing to you? How have you changed over the course of time? How has your friendship changed? What do you treasure most about that relationship?


I just posted my entry for today and then popped over for a quick visit to a couple of my favorite blogs. "Nitty Gritty" is one of them; you must read Jody's entry for Wednesday, September 12. The link for it is HERE but you can always find it on the left-hand side of the page under "Faithbooking Resources". Keep in mind I didn't see this entry until AFTER I posted my entry entitled "_______ was here." This is exactly what was on my heart when I wrote the post!

During a Reader's Digest interview, Billy Graham was asked "Why do we need to accept each day as a gift from God?" He answered:
The Bible says we ought always to be "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:16, KJV). The older I get the more I realize that life is short, and we need to treat each day as if it were our last -- for someday it will be. We also need to accept each day as a blessing from God's hand -- another opportunity to experience his presence and enjoy his good gifts, and another day to serve him. And if we have ignored him, each day is another opportunity he has given us to accept Christ's love and forgiveness before it is too late. The Bible says, "Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2, KJV).

We have a tendency to take so much for granted while we are living it but those same precious details mean the world to us when life is turned upside down. Enjoy them NOW, live them NOW, for each day is a gift.

______________ was here.

Stop and take a look around. What do you see? A pair of shoes on the floor, smudges on the refrigerator, or toys in the middle of the living room floor? Perhaps instead you'll find a dozen catnip infused toys scattered about, your favorite pair of pants draped over a chair, or scrapbooking supplies consuming your dining room table.

These are the things of life. Reminders of the everyday. Details that go unnoticed or those we take for granted. Signs that you (and your loved ones) were here!

It is during times of upheaval that we most long for the way things used to be. Don't spend your present in the past, enjoy each and every moment while it is here! Savor the routine and ordinary things of life.

Journaling Ideas: Create a scrapbook page entitled "Signs of Me" or "I was here" (you can create this page about anyone you live with, just substitute their name for yours). Take pictures of everything that reminds you of that person, paying close attention to the details that surround you in a typical day. How do those things reflect your (or your loved one's) personality?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

birthday wishes...

to my friend/neighbor Tilly and to my hubby's brother today!!!

As I was looking for photos of them, I realized I need to do a much better job of taking pictures of the important people in my life. I am often so focused on the children that I miss everything and everyone else. Consider this a warning: I will be taking more pictures at future social gatherings!!

Passion + Purpose

pas·sion [pash-uhn]
A strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

pur·pose [pur-puhs]
That which a person sets before himself as an object to be reached or accomplished.

We were created to live with passion and purpose. "God has placed in each of us a strong desire to reach for something beyond ourselves - a natural longing to reach goals that are unreachable apart from His help." This topic very close to my heart! I worked for several years to figure out God's purpose and plan for my life. It was only by spending regular time in His presence and Word that I began to understand and discover God's specific call on my life. It has been an exhilarating ride!

If you are interested in looking further and have questions about God's purpose for your life, here are some great resources:

This will also be the topic of a 6-week sermon series at my church. You can learn more about it by clicking HERE. You do not neet to be a member to participate!

Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit].... Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody. 1 Timothy 4:14-15

havin' FUN...

and lovin' the Canon Digital Rebel XTi. We had another football game tonight; Renzy is so tired of sitting on the sidelines. He was whining and crying before the game was even half over so I gave him permission to play on a nearby baseball field. BIG MISTAKE.

He spent the evening filling the pockets of his new pants with dirt!!

I've added several more photos to my Flickr page which you can find by clicking HERE. Be sure to stay tuned for another prize drawing later this week...

Monday, September 10, 2007

out of the mouths of babes...

1. adorable, 2. sweet little thing, 3. little girl

I sent my friend an email to see what her daughter thought of Joyce Meyer (she was able to attend a bit Friday night). Amy replied:
After we left we stopped at Taco Bell and ate. I was asking her how she liked it and she goes, her husband puts his UNDERWEAR on the floor. That was one of the things that stuck with her. What a sweetie.

Joyce was talking about the bad attitude she sometimes has, using examples from her own life (i.e. the underwear story) and that's what stuck! Isn't that just precious?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

my new toy.

Okay, so it's not really my toy, it's our toy. Ours. Though I admit I was extremely jealous when it arrived while I was gone. The hubby had it all to himself for almost two full days!

He brought it along to Meeley's football game and captured these cool shots. Yes, it's a new camera!!! I still very much love our old camera but this one will allow us to do much more (including capture those far, far away football shots). It's a digital SLR - which means we have the ability to change lenses. I've only played with it a little bit myself, it feels like learning how to shoot all over again!

Here are some action shots - my hubby caught this tackle made by Meeley (he's under the guy in red). It was followed by the shot below.

In "sports mode" it takes quick, successive shots. Once we fully figure the thing out, it will be soooooo much fun!

we were HERE!

My mom and I attended her last conference three years ago and were so excited to hear Joyce Meyer was coming back to town! The conference itself was entirely FREE; seating was available on a "first come" basis so we decided to reserve a room and make a weekend of it. Mom and I scored some amazing seats - the photo below shows just how close we were to the stage at the Xcel Energy Center.

For those of you unfamiliar with Joyce Meyer, you can find her television schedule or view previous broadcasts online at her website. Click HERE for the link!

I first learned about Joyce six years ago. My mom had been watching her on television and was talking more and more about the Bible - I honestly thought she was going nuts! I began started secretly watching the show myself to see what my Mom was getting herself into. I was shocked to hear how practical and relevant the Bible actually was, and found myself looking forward to her teachings. It ignited a passion in me to learn more and I spent the next couple of years asking questions, digging, and searching for answers. Check it out, you might find yourself surprised!

Anyways, the topic this weekend was "Do Yourself a Favor and Forgive"; it was a powerful message. Here are a few things that really stood out:
  • It's not what happens to me, it's how I respond that makes a difference! Let every situation make you better, not bitter.
  • As we continue to bring up offense, talking repeatedly about those who hurt or treat us unfairly (spouse, kids, neighbors, bad drivers, boss, siblings, government) - we are harboring unforgiveness and only hurting ourselves. Continually revisiting the offense is like carrying around dead weight. Bitterness is like an infection that will spread throughout our lives.
  • Unforgiveness hurts you; it holds you captive.
  • Things don't have to be good to work out for good.
In addition to the inspiring message, it was FUN! There were t-shirt giveaways using a giant slingshot, awesome praise and worship music from Hillsong London, mock game shows with cool prizes, creative video clips, and powerful presentations.

Someone else took this neat photo of Hillsong London at the conference!

I was able to connect with my friend Amy and a few faithbooking friends! It was a weekend full of laughter and tears. There were new faces and cool stories, magnificent prayer and worship - I left feeling rested and refilled. Joyce probably won't be in town for another 3-4 years but when she comes back, YOU MUST ATTEND!!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous -- with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy! Matthew 5:7