Saturday, January 31, 2009

Preach it sister...

All too often I think I was born in the wrong region of the United States and that the Catholic church I grew up in was the a displacement of where my roots should have started. Or God has just saved my passion and "soul" for worship... for now... a time when I can experience it with God full on... mano y mano, in the coolest most closest way. I've been cooped up for too long!

I think I should have grown up in the south in a Baptist church with all of those awesome cool women with their sweet Sunday "best" on (i especially like the hats). Waving their fans... telling the preacher to "PREACH IT." Shaking my head when I agree.. giving a proper YES SIR! And praying that the holy spirit fall upon us all... there is nothing like it.
When the truth is being spoken out loud... when the truth about God's love is passionately told to you and you can feel the Holy Spirit stirring your heart up. It is perfection and totally God.

At our church, we have an awesome worship band and they play modern Christian worship music, we have passionate people in church who worship God and sing to Him with all their hearts and a pastor that preaches from his heart which is totally awesome.
But I must admit... when the occasion comes...and my heart is stirred and I BELIEVE what the preacher is saying and I feel like I need a WITNESS... I'll give a little shout... a little hoot a little holler... and round it off with a clap for God.

My husband and brother (I think ) were at first mortified by my outbursts... (now they are used to it) If your visiting with us for the first time to our church, I would not act this way so I don' t scare you. But I think to myself... if I can scream at the top of my lungs for performers like Kenny Chesney, AC/DC, Def Lepard and Prince.... then why not give a little shout to the Lord he deserves all the glory. And I know it makes him smile :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hanging with the Girls...

Remember how I talked about "blowing the stink off?" Well, just like my family needs time out together and time to get out.. there are times when I start to feel... I am not sure how to say it... but kind of blah... I am thankful for all of my blessings, I love my life... spending time with my husband my kids and God... it's all great.

But there is something very special about women hanging out together. I picture this little flame inside of me gets smaller and smaller the more I ignore time with my girls. God created me as a woman who loves girly things, getting my nails done, watching a romantic movie, going shopping, eating yummy foods and chatting with other chicks. Being in relationship and friendship with other women is something I cherish and I am so blessed to be surrounded by many awesome chicks her in Durango.

Before kids this was something I spent a lot of time doing. I would call friends, plan weekends away, or nights out. I would meet a friend for dinner and a drink or just go to their house and hang out for a night. Sometimes we would have sleep overs... etc.etc. Family life has stretched me to try to balance it all out. Make time for it all.... and I have to say that these times for me have been put on the backburner.

I think guys like to compete. Whether they play or watch video games, golf, basketball, football, they fish they hunt... they have things that just fuel them.

Well, girl time does that for me. Not because I am unhappy or sad, but because I just have neglected that part of me and it is something I am working on. Being depleted is no fun. I think one part of becoming the woman God wants me to be is also knowing when I need to take care of and love and do things for myself. (not in a selfish way) But just do some things I enjoy with other women.

So... calling all my girls... I would like to plan a Girls night out... end of February. Please let me know what date works best for you and I will get the word out. This will be something simple, but fun. But let's take some time this Valentine month to pamper ourselves, enjoy each other and fuel that flame that God puts inside all of us to be the women he created us to be.


Monday, January 26, 2009

An inspirational Friend... and his adoption story

My friend Lynsay and her husband Bill are currently in China working on building a foster home there for orphans in China with Down's Syndrome. Lynsay is a nurse and an awesome woman who blows my mind with her faith. Her husband Bill was adopted and shared his story last year. This story has touched my heart more than they will ever know. God has placed a big soft spot in my heart for kids who do not know a loving awesome family and home and adoption. I'm sharing it on my blog in the hopes that you too will be touched.

Please keep in mind that "Bill" is not my Bill... he is Lynsay's husband and a father of two beautiful adopted daughters. Read on friends.


I haven't shared much of my adoption story. I have never wanted any attention directed at me, but over the last few weeks God has placed a heavy burden on my heart to share it.Even though I was only 3 I remember my biological parents would leave myself and my two older sisters alone for days with very little food and no supervision. I remember my sister, who is only two years older then me, giving us baths, feeding us with whatever was there, putting us to bed, and mothering us. One day Child Protective Services came and removed us from that place. My biological mother was there and we were all crying because we were being taken away from our mom. The love God gives a child for their mother is amazing because she did not deserve it but it was there. There were many tears that day. We went to a foster family for six months and I don't remember much about it.I will never forget the day when the social worker came and picked all three of us up and we got in his car and he told us we were going to a place where we might be adopted. I didn't really know what that meant but when we got there it just felt like home. My Mom loved us and I can't describe what it felt like that day to be in house that really felt like a home. When my Dad came home he was a loving guy and we all went out shopping because we didn't have very many clothes or shoes. That weekend they even had to buy a car because all they had was one truck and we didn't all fit in that very well! We went from having nothing to having everything, what an incredible day that was.One year later they adopted us at the ages of 64 and 60 and I will forever be grateful for their unselfishness. They already had six biological children and the youngest had moved out 5 years before we came into the picture. I can not describe what it's like to have God remove you from a terrible situation and place you in a loving, caring home. They taught us about Jesus, the Bible and the need to serve Him. My biological dad died when I was 7, my Dad died four years ago at the age of 83 and he told my wife and I that adoption was one of the best thing he ever did in his life.My dad might have died while I was young, and my children will not meet him in this lifetime, but he left me with an inheritance. Every morning for as long as I knew him I can not remember one day that he wasn't in his chair praying and reading his bible. He loved the Lord and he was the most loving man I have ever met in my life. He left that for me and what more can I ask for? I plan on passing that on to my two beautiful adopted girls!So, from one who has been adopted, both by my parents and by my Heavenly Father, on behalf of the orphans who still need homes, please pray about adoption. There are only 118,oo0 children in this country needing homes and with well over 150 million believers in America it would take just a very small percentage of believers to step up and take these children in and love them and teach them about Jesus.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What they DON'T tell you about pregnancy

Well, I haven't had a pregnancy post in while, so I thought I'd keep you all informed. There are plenty of "symptoms" to pregnancy. A doctor can list them all but you will never fully understand them until you experience them first hand. I'll name a couple... and give you some very interesting life examples from the past three and a half months.
Please keep in mind, I am not complaining, as I have said before... with each very apparent symptom, I am super stoked to be pregnant and consider it a blessing. I just laugh at my own ability to block it all out. IF you have a weak stomach please stop reading now.

Moodiness -
As I chase our heeler mix around the yard when I am supposed to be leaving for church the blood shoots straight to my head, I can feel my pulse in my eyeballs, I drag her mercilessly back to the house and put her in the kennel. She is so lucky I don't have the super power of being able to make things combust by looking at them because she would be a pile of ash by now.

Another example is when you are out to dinner with your husband at a restaurant for his birthday and you hear the voice of the waitress at the table next to you and her laugh is like someone put a toothpick into your eyeball. You can hear her making small talk and hitting on a man who is with his wife and teenage kids. You stare at your husband and tell him if she says another word I am going to go over there and tackle her to the ground. (I didn't but... it was close)

Nausea -
Throwing up so hard and for so long... you pee. Hating the way food looks and also your nose because it is what you smell food with.

Water retention -
When you take off your socks and you have a nice little impression of the lines in your sock ON YOUR LEG. PS... it takes some time to go away.

Weight Gain -
You put your clothes on and pray that you can lift your pants up over your booty and get your legs through each leg hole. When you have the monthly prenatal visit and your biggest fear is getting on the scale to "weigh in."

Tender Ta's Ta's -
When you find yourself giving your husband about 10 titty twisters a day to help him understand how senstitive and fragile the girlfriends are. How Nursing bras and regular bras do not work for women who are "well endowed". These suckers are going to grow legs and walk on their own soon.

Exhaustion or Fatigue -
At approximately 2:00pm every day your eyes itch, your mouth is dry, you yawn every 3 minutes and the only thing you can think about is curling up into a little ball and getting into the fetal position and snoring and drooling.

Nesting -
When you look around your house and panic, picturing your new baby coming home to a house that looks nothing like you see in your Company Store or Pottery Barn Kids magazines. (I can't even look at those magazines anymore) You break a sweat at the thought of bringing them into the messy unorganized chaos... and begin to have a wonderfully productive loving conversation with your husband about moving forward with HOUSE PROJECTS!

Cravings -
Once the nausea passes, you eat everything that is put in front of your face. It does not matter what it is, how many calories, what the serving size might be... if it is edible, it is done for!

The "baby"blues -
When you are at your daughter's Monday morning meeting at Elementary school (a little assembly every week) and they sing "You are my Sunshine" and you start crying.

and finally... (this one is kind of gross) Constipation - When you completely undestand and appreciate one of the phrases your friends 5 year old daughter used when she first started going poop on the potty... You want to scream at the top of your lungs... to help in the best way possible - "POO POO COME OUT!"

Have a great week friends!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Keep 'em comin.. Toby

Well, I vowed that I would be working out in this pregnancy... and I'm not. I am seriously so stuffy, so tired and so B.I.G. that I just don't feel the motivation to hop on our treadmill yet. I am praying in the next week or so... the motivation will fall upon me like the Holy Spirit... (a girl can dream can't she?)

Well, my son has given me all the motivation I need. Two days ago I was sitting at my computer and he came in the office and started clapping his hands around my biceps... like I said, he is all about touching and hugging. I let him clap my arms in his hands for a bit and then he said, "Mommy, your arms are SO FLUFFY!" I said, " What?" He said, "they are FLUFFY" kind of giggling. So I flexed my bicep and said, now try... he clapped them again... and said, "nope.. they are very FLUFFY."

Oh Toby... your so blessed that I love you so. But truly this is all the motivation I need to get out my weights and get on treadmill. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blow the stink off....

PS. The first song on my playlist is dedicated to my awesome husband. This is "our song" the one we didn't play at our wedding but had planned to... because I was a freak! :) Love you BK!
The SECOND song is the actual song (I found it) that we danced to at our wedding. Here it is BK!
Did you ever get to the end of a week and think... what is with my family? Why is everyone so crabby... what's with all the attitude? Billy's Dad used to tell him to go outside to "blow the stink off of him." What I've realized in my family life is that when we are all cooped up inside for so long... we just need some time to go blow the stink off of us. Get out, get in a new environment, spend time together doing something fun. So, the Kline family decided to get out this past weekend and go ice skating. We have this great little ice skating rink in town. The kids are getting old enough where they'll try anything. No fear... which is good. It amazes me too how after eight years of marriage I am still learning things abou tmy husband I never knew. Like he had NEVER EVER put a pair of ice skates on and skated until this past weekend. What a trooper. We took breaks when our ankles felt like they were going to snap... and had some hot cocoa. It amazes me how simple things like this bring me so much joy.

My grandma Hohnke used to take me to a mall in Milwaukee that had an ice skating rink. So this trip made me remember her a lot. (the tears are coming) I was probably 8 years old or something like that. My Grandpa would go too.. and sit and watch us skate while he drank hot cocoa or coffee or something. Even though I was pretty novice at it... she bought me a red leotard tutu. It seriously is one of my most favorite memories. I was impressed with myself that I felt pretty comfortable still on the ice... after many many years of being off the ice.

I even showed off a little to my kids and did a little twirl. :) Have a blessed day friends... and if you have a little cabin fever... get outside and "Blow the stink off." lv, jen

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Saunders Family - my family my friends

I am writing tonight about my pastors and what has happened to their family... and when I say their family... it feels like I am saying... my family. I am burdened for them... I am sad for them and I love them.

Since Bill and I moved here from Durango about 3 years ago. We have been blessed by them. Dwight, a former lawyer from New York decided to leave his practice and make an awesome case to live for Jesus. He teaches to live to deepen your relationship with God, live to love other people, live to help orphans and those less fortunate. He teaches about living to leave a legacy in life... that will follow you into eternity with Christ. He challenges us all to do that day to day and he has impacted me greatly in reflecting on my own life.

Linn is a pastor's wife, she too has a heart for children, the plight of the orphan and her family and friends. I am glad to call her my friend. Her love of her family, her husband, her kids and her ministry is one of the most amazing examples I have ever witnessed. Every single thing she has ever struggled with in life... points directly back to the God who loves her. She has a memory box that during tough times reveals how God has been faithful to her. She homeschools all ten of her children... and finds joy in everything they do... and she wants to be an awesome Mom to even more children. She is all out living for the Lord.

The past week has been a terrible tragedy for them. They have lost everything in a horrible fire. Thankfully, because of Linn's bravery and quick thinking, all six children who live in the house were able to get out to safety. She is truly a hero. They are a busy family, they pastor our local church, are in the midst of planning missions trips to go to Africa to help the orphans, they are also in the process of adopting a baby girl named Jubilee from China and have brought home two children (Elijah and Elizabeth) from Africa to be in their forever family. They rock.

Right now, they are devestated and understandably so. They know and love the Lord. But they are going through one of the most traumatic times in their lives... so I began to put myself in their shoes.

Linn said today at church that someone had said to her, "well, I guess now you get to have all new things... " to try to make her feel better. She does not want new things. She is too sad about all of her precious things she had. Her house, her home, her stuff... her life.

I think to Linn and Dw, their home was their sanctuary, a place of total peace, a place where they could be themselves. I think pastoring although a complete blessing, can also take it's toll and there are certain expectations the world puts on very "human" pastors.

I think the Saunders home represented a place where they could worship the Lord, be together, grow in relationship with one another and make awesome memories with friends. Their home represented "family" their home was their favorite place to be. Linn taught all of her children in her home, the little things, gifts, items she had hanging around were special to her because she saw each one represented a relationship that God had put in her life and she views her relationships as something special. She mentioned an awesome quilt she got on sale for $40.00 that she missed a ton. I believe she saw that purchase as a gift from the Lord... so it also represented all God had blessed her with.

So, I ask myself... do I see everything I own as a gift from the Lord? Do I operate that way? Do I view my home and the things the Lord has blessed we with as precious treasures? I know... stuff is stuff... but when you live your life with the understanding that the God who made the universe has given you all that you have... is it more devestating when it is all taken away from you?

I am not sure people on the outside looking in understand or can know what it felt like to live in that home. What a place of love and fun and excitement it wasfor all who live there.

Linn loves creating memories in her home, I've heard stories about awesome "food fights" she would have just to have a blast in her home. To Dw and Linn, their home was their sanctuary. They would probably rather sit in their home watching a movie with their family than take a trip to someplace extravagant and tropical to stay in a hotel. And if they had to leave to go somewhere on a trip... I can guarantee their favorite part of the trip was coming home and being in that cozy, cool place where they could just enjoy each other.

I wonder if we all view our homes the same way?

So today, I am reading my Bible, praying specifically for each family member and thinking about what God would have me do to help them through this tough time. I know God put these awesome relationships in my life... for a good reason. I know that God will turn this tragedy into something that will completely glorify him.

But today I am praying... and my prayer is simple.

Lord let me see YOUR compassion for this family. Show me what YOU would want me to do to help them... and most of all Lord... let my legacy and my family reflect your heart for me... in all of it. Please join me in praying for our awesome pastors. Please also join me in continuing to learn from their example, please join me in lifting them up holding up their arms and loving them through all of this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ain't nothing gonna break my stride...

I love this song. I child of the 80's I am. If my life were musical it would be a mix of worship music and 80's music. I was watching tv the other day and I don't even remember the show or the person who said it but someone referred to another person as being "tightly wound." That just sounds so painful. But I started to think of the ways I am "tightly wound." I worry too much, I plan too much, I wish I was the Wizard of Oz controlling it all... but I'm not... and that's a REALLY good thing. My goal, resolution, and prayer for this year is that I just take it all in stride. That I enjoy my life, that I worry less, love more and walk through each day trusting in an almighty awe inspiring gasp giving God who loves me.

Now... part of my faith (which I am totally thankful for) is that I do give myself some "grace" or understanding that I am human and I may resort to these things, but I am going to make a more prayerful and dedicated effort not to do it. I am realizing that this pregnancy, the new birth of a baby are all things I have forgotten, things that are going to blow my mind... and make me go... WOW... I totally forgot about that part of raising a baby! But my life is a gift, this life inside of me is a gift and what a cool journey it is going to be. Wish me luck on "loosening up" or as they say in Hawaii "no worries" or as they say in California "Whatever dude". I am taking each new day in stride... and loving every minute of it. I can use all the help I can get... so any prayers or encouragement is greatly appreciated. I look forward to this new year with anticipation and excitement. Thank you Lord for 2009.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Kline family is "Going a little bit Green"

When I first moved to Colorado it was a bit of culture shock. Durango is a very liberal, tree lovin, granola munchin... garden growing town. We have a good mix of people who are "hippies" if you must who just live off of the earth and recycle reuse and that is what their life revolves around (which is cool, but just totally not me). For every one regular grocery store we have about 2.5 natural food stores and a variety of Herbal retail store where you can buy tinctures and oils and herbs to help cure any common ailment.

BK and I recycle, but that has been about it. We understand how to sort out the plastic from the glass aluminum etc. Recently it has been more of a focus to Bill that we take care of the earth. He even asked if we could "compost" this summer. I was like.. WHAT? What am I going to do with all the scraps and junk for a compost and more importantly where are we going to put it and ALSO, what if the deer and dogs eat from it...ewwww! But Grace piped in because she is learning about recycling and taking care of the earth at school and she listed for me all the reasons why you SHOULD do this and how it is good for the earth etc.etc. To me it just sounds like more work for me. (what a whiner I am)

But this summer we took a rafting trip with some friends... and on our way back we drove past a landfill. Now, mind you... I"ve seen them from far away... and not really thought much other than they should make it into a ski hill... But when we drove by the landfill and there were dozens and dozens of grocery plastic bags flying all over the place... it hit me that our garbage is not "good" for this earth. I began to look at the number of garbage bags I bring out to the garbage can and I began to wonder how long it would take for all my trash to decompose... That landfill grossed me out and I felt bad, that God created this beautiful place for us to live and I am not doing something about taking care of it by not stockpiling my garbage on it. That I am just piling my "stuff" on it... not really paying attention of what goes where and how I might be able help take care of it.

So, we began our compost pile. I collect, eggs, greens, coffee grounds, and any natural scraps and we put it out in the pile... We put our pumpkin guts and our old pumpkins in the compost. I am also concious of what can be recycled. Now I have to be honest... we do not have a good system for this right now which makes it a VERY painful endeavor. We keep the recycleables under our sink... so they spill over onto everything and it takes BK some time before he goes tot eh recycling place behind our grocery store to sort it out... But it feels good to go there and know that we are taking care of the earth and showing our kids how to do this as well.

Billy told me one day that he was reading his Bible and something he read in it made him feel like this was something important to do. I looked up some verses and found this one to back up his story.

Genesis 2:15
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

I am a little surprised at how much I am beginning to care and want to "take care" of the earth. I posted this blog because I believe it makes a difference... and if I can do it... anyone can.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Stuff I've done is in BOLD!

Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse

29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run (if softball counts)
36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched whales
42. Had amazing friends
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing

49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs (and DVD's, and...)
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day

60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight (heck no!)
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on a television news program as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (working on it...)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking with the windows open
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (yes, oh the guns...)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Devotions, bedtime and Grace's faith

I am blown away at what happens to my children in the span of one year. When I think back where my daughter was one year ago... I am blown away. What she learns in school, how she is concerned about homework, communicates when she needs help with something and wants to feel comfortable with her school work and her projects in class.

Now... because she is my daughter... she inherited my love of relationships and being a tad on the "social" side of things. She loves to chit chat with friends in class and tell them loads of fun things. I once had a biology teacher who called me a "hiccup in a windstorm" because of the way I would buzz about the classroom conversing with all... yep... Grace has got it.

We have been giving Grace a yearly devotional book that she reads before bedtime. We read it to her and then there are good questions she can ask herself about God and we get to talk with her about it before she goes to bed. As much as she loves schoolwork and as much as she loves her projects in school. Her devotional is her favorite part of the night.

Now that she can read... she reads the story to herself and has us help her with some words. We work on the questions together and then after her devotional... she goes straight to her new Bible to look up the verse. She refuses to just read the devotional... she is determined to look up the verses. We have even given her a small flashlight so she can read her bible at night for a bit before she goes to bed. This is when I hit my knees and thank God for his love for my daughter and him pouring his light into her. BK and I never grew up with our nose in the Bible... my Mom used to read me a book called "little visits with God" that I LOVED, but I don't remember ever understanding Gods love.

Last night, Grace told me that God speaks to her. That she hears him in her "mind"... like the other day she was at school and they did not have first recess. She told me that she prayed at school... that she wanted to go outside for second recess... so she prayed. I know to some this might seem that she thinks she has an "order taking" God. But to me... it is awesome that she understands no matter how small or big the request, God cares about her desires and loves her that much to listen to her prayers and her needs. And that praying to God is important, no matter what you want to say. She also told me that she wants all of her friends who believe in God to raise money for people who don't have any money. It's funny too, because I have been praying about doing more service type projects in Chidren's ministry at church.

My daughter is a great example that although we need to "teach" our children about God and educate them... that God is the ultimate teachers aide... helping right along side us. We don't have to feel like we're doing it alone. Thank you Lord, for loving my kids more than I ever could. Thank you for your quiet whispers to their heart... (while I am doing dishes). My prayer is that you help me and my friends raise up little kids who grow into adults who simply love you with all their hearts.... and "bless it to my body" (toby's prayer salutation) Amen.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


The other day I was watching Extreme Home Makeover one of my most favorite shows. The show highlighted a woman who adopted four boys with HIV/AIDS. Her house was sinking into the ground so they built her a brand new home. She was working full time, going to school and adopted four boys with HIV/AIDS.

In this show they were working on two projects. The other one was a rec center for a camp called "Camp Heartland."

A camp for kids with AIDS. The funny thing is that Camp Heartland was started and founded by a friend of mine from High School named Neil Willenson. I had forgotten about Neil and this project he was working on. But I am blown away.

I was totally inspired. It all started because he knew about a boy... who was not allowed to go to CHURCH or camp because of his diagnosis of AIDS. So Neil decided to start camp for kids with AIDS. I am totally inspired by his story, his willingness to make a difference in the lives of kids who are discriminated against and how many lives his love and efforts have touched.

Maybe Lord... maybe this 2009... it's not about me... it's about what I can do for others. Check this out:

2009 - What's next Lord?

The coolest part about a new year is the fresh beginning it presents you. Last year BK and I decided our New Year's Resolution was to "get healthy?" stop eating all the junk. Start exercising and taking care of our bodies. We never really embraced it before as a "lifestyle" but know that our health is one of our biggest blessings and we can totally thank God for our healty bodies by taking care of them. It kind of blows me away that in our resolution BK was diagnosed with diabetes... it was seriously the biggest blessing to us. Bill has never been healthier, never been at a healthier weight, never more concerned about what he eats. He still has fun and gives himself treats, but hopping on the treadmill is a regular event for him. He looks amazing and has lots of energy. Perfect for our growing family!

I started working out in January and allowed myself one hour a day just to focus on getting my heart pumping and my body moving. Whether I did a DVD or got on our treadmill, I was focused on getting my body moving and shaking. Our kids even got in on it and would ask me... Mommy... did you do your workout today? I was afraid the time I focused on myself would take away from them... but they were motivated by my progress and the changes they saw in my energy, and my emotions. They were my cheerleaders. It was cool.

Billy just left to go to the store and before he left he said, we need to make some resolutions. For BK and I resolutions aren't something that looms over us or that we have to rise up to meet. They are just what God has put on our heart for the year. A question to God regarding... what would you have us do this year Lord. Guide us.

I love these conversations with Billy because when we set them together and talk about the next year, we do so with excitement and anticipation. We also can do it with empowerment because we include God in our plans. In the Bible it says that God sends the holy spirit to help us, comfort us and guide us. As we move into a new Year, we rest on that awesome knowledge that we are encouraged, loved and motivated into the next year by God. The God that made the mountains and everything beautiful is guiding us. What a cool thing to know. May everyone who reads this have an amazing 2009. Seek God in all of it...and watch how much he loves you.