What’s that smell?

For the last ten years I have worn the same perfume.  Cool Water for women.  I think I went through 1 1/2 bottles during that time period.  I am not big on perfume but my husband is, so I try. 

For Valentine's day, my husband got me a new bottle of perfume, Calvin Klein Euphoria, he picked it out himself.  I love it.  There's only one problem.  Every time I wear it I feel like I smell like someone else.  Periodically I wonder, what's that smell I keep smelling? Then I realize its just my new perfume.

I am pressing through this challenge.  I know that after a few weeks of constant wear I will barely even smell it.  Its funny how I never even noticed the scent of the old perfume. 

I wonder what other things there are in my life that I no longer notice I do.  Some things like this are good, like praying throughout the day.  Other things need to stop like complaining.   Habits take time to form and even more time to break.  Don't be so hard on yourself if you have a habit the Lord has told you to break.  Be patient, be consistent, eventually you won't even notice that you're doing it right.

Would You Rather?

Most evenings after dinner, one of us takes the kids up and does the whole bedtime routine.  You know, bath, teeth, pajamas, book, bed.

The other one usually does the kitchen clean up.

Some nights, I love doing bed time.  Kisses and hugs at this age are endless.  And then, to come downstairs to a clean kitchen is just an added bonus.

Other nights I am done.  Lets just say I have had my fill of hugs and kisses and the endless part seems more like stall tactics than an actual expression of love.  These are the nights I would rather clean the kitchen while listening to music on my ipod in peace and quiet.

So, the question is, if you had to be locked into one of these jobs for an entire year, and there would be no judgment passed on you no matter what you chose (in other words, you would not lose your nomination for parent of the year if you chose kitchen clean up), which would you choose?

Oh, and if your kids are grown, you can think back, and if you don't have kids, you can think forward…


Kitchen or Bedtime?

A photo journal: Play dough

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1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tsp cooking oil
liquid food coloring

1.  In a heavy sauce pan, combine flour, salt, and cream of tartar.  Pour the water and oil into the dry mixture and stir well.
2.  Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until dough forms (will pull away from the sides of the pot)
3.  Let it cool in a bowl covered with a wet cloth for a minute.  Add 10-12 drops of liquid food coloring and knead until smooth and blended.
4.  Store in an air tight container.

Warning: Don't let your children eat this or they will look like Graham in the 4th picture.  Actually, I am not sure if he was crying because it tasted bad of because I took the play dough out of his mouth.

The Cup Hunt

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Every night at dinner time I ask the boys to bring me their cups.  And every night they tell me that they can't find them.  Here I am, dinner is on the table and I can either go search for their cups or dirty new ones.

I hate this.  I usually search for a few minutes and if I can't find them, I make a new cup.

January 008I think sometimes sippy cups are more trouble than they are worth.  All of mine leak (some worse than others).  We've tried all different brands. 

 When I was a kid, we were not allowed to take our drinks out of the kitchen.  Maybe I should just make a rule all cups must be left in the kitchen.  I think its too late for that.  There might be a mutiny in this house if I tried that.

Monday Morning (or Afternoon) Commentary

Yesterday we wrapped up our series with a message from Dwight Robertson.  I thought the message was amazing.  There was no one under the sound of his voice who could not apply that message to their life.

I think my favorite thing that he said was that Jesus' up close ministry was more important than his upfront ministry.

I think so many times we fall into the trap of believing that the ministry God has given us is not as important because it does not happen on a stage.  So often our greatest ministry is directly in front of our face.  Our children, our neighbors, our coworkers, our children's friends.

The times in my life where I have been the most satisfied have been the times where I was ministering to the people right in front of me rather than anticipating the people God was going to bring my way one day.

So I think the question for today is, who has God called you to minister to today?

Coach before, encourage after

Once a month I take some of our staff wives out to lunch.  After a very long break, we finally got together this past month.  Maybe I should move our meetings to every three months because we had some really great conversations.

We were talking about how to walk the fine of balancing constructive criticism, that our husbands do want to hear, with encouragement.  If all we every did was encourage, it wouldn't be real.  If all we ever do is criticize, we would crush our mates.

I have learned (the hard way) that 90% of my coaching (a much better word than criticize) comes before and encouragement always follows.  For me the way this looks is coaching on Friday and Saturday night, encouragement on Sunday afternoon.

On Friday I may say something like, "Babe, last week, I really wished that you would have read the whole scripture first so I could have a little bit of context."  Sunday I am only full of encouragement.  I am always very careful about the timing and wording of my negative comments. 

Nobody wants to be criticized after they do something.  It is demoralizing and embarrassing.  As married couples, we protect each other.  Criticism is always for the growth of the other person, nothing more.  It works no matter what your spouse does.

Coach before, Encourage after.

Happy Birthday Baby

February 19, 2009

Dear Steven,
    Today is your 29th birthday.  Have I really celebrated
10 birthdays with you?  It has been an amazing ride, and you are only
    Today I hope you know that I am so proud to be your wife.
    Today I hope you know I love you with all my heart.
    Today I hope you that you are anointed by God in a very special
way.  You are anointed to be my husband.  You are anointed to be
Elijah and Graham's dad.  You are anointed to be the pastor of Elevation Church.  And you are anointed to be
the leader of a huge move of God.  I hope you know that God has given you
everything that you need to complete this assignment, Himself.
    Today I hope you know that you are a man of integrity. 
You practice what you preach.  And I don't have to say that.  I say
it because it is true.
    Today I hope you know that if our boys grow up to be half
the man that you are, they will be great men.
    Today I hope you know that I feel privileged to walk this
journey with you.  I can't wait to celebrate your 79th birthday and
reminisce about all of the amazing things we saw God do in and through our

                             Happy Birthday
Baby.  I love you,



New every morning.

    Lamentations 3:21-23

21 Yet this I call to mind
       and therefore I have hope:

 22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.

 23 They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness.

Its funny the things God teaches me through having kids.  Recently the Lord brought this verse to mind.  I was having some very challenging days with Elijah.  His attitude and behavior were the pits.  It seems like by the time bed time rolled around, I was none too happy to see my children gone for the night.  Funny thing is, no matter how angry or frustrated I was the day before, every morning, I was excited to hug and kiss Elijah when he woke up.  I always had this today will be a better day feeling in my heart.

There have been times in my life when I thought, really God, I just don't know how you can put up with me.  I don't know if I will ever get it.  But his compassions truly do not fail.  God is not a God of second chances, he is a God of new beginnings, every day.

Dress Up

Because I came from a family with three girls, I think I always thought that dress up was something only girls played.  Well as a mother of a child with a vivid imagination, I have quickly learned that this is not the case.  And although there is not the plethora of costumes for boys out there, like there are for girls, we seem to come up with many different solutions for the same few costumes around our house.  I have kept my camera close by over the past few months and snapped a picture every time I see Elijah dressed up.  Enjoy…

                      The Indian             The Cabin Boy            The King                    Santa

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                    Rain Pirate        Captain Jack Sparrow    Superboy w/ cape    Sleeping Pirate

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                     Frogboy                Shark Pirate                    Chef                  Captain Hook

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A few hours after I wrote this post,  Elijah came up to me dressed up in his third look of the day.  I asked him who he was, he said Ivan Spivan.  figuring this was some television character, I asked him what show Ivan Spivan was on.  He said, "Not a show mommy, its fwom Quest!"  His daddy took this picture, you can't really see the Batman cape or my fuzzy red bedroom shoes.  So for all of you in who work in Quest at our church, here is Elijah's version of Ivan Spivan….

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Monday Morning Commentary


Yesterday was week four of our our series the Purple People Leader.  Boy did my husband bring it!  He is right in his sweet spot when he talks about having a vision for you life.  His message was powerful and inspiring.

I think so many times I get overwhelmed with day to day life so much that I forget what my goal is.  I loved the line dress for where you are going, not where you are.  He gave the illustration of pumping gas while dressed up to attend a wedding.

I think so many times in my life I get bogged down with the details that I forget to think of the desired end result…
    -In parenting, I get so frustrated with trying to be consistent in disciplining my kids, I forget why I am disciplining them.  It not so they will act right in public and around my friends, its because I am shaping them into adults who understand how to obey authority (and the ultimate authority, God) because they understood how to obey their mommy when they were young.
     -In my personal life, I perpetually stay in maintenance phase when it comes to my relationship with Christ, rather than cultivating, learning, and growing every day.

The message was applicable to every person, in every stage of life.  You really should listen.  (Its week 4 of Purple People Leader, found here.)