And the winner is….

Congratulations to…

Giveaway 1

Elaine, we will be sending your copy to you shortly!

I was blown away at how many of you entered this giveaway.  I hope that you will all go out and get the book (actually, I think you would do better to just get it off of Amazon because its kinda tough to find) anyway because it will truly enhance your marriage, ministry or not.

Crosses, Tulips and Eggs

When Elijah got in the car after preschool, his teacher told me that he was the only one in the class that knew the meaning of Easter.  Score!!

When I questioned Elijah about it.  He corrected me by telling me that he was not the only kid in his class.  After we cleared that up he proceeded to tell me what he told his teacher.  Here are the facts I learned…

  • Some really bad people who didn't like Jesus put him on the cross to die.
  • After he died, they put him in a tulip and covered it with a big stone.
  • The next day they came back the tulip to look for him and when they moved the stone, he wasn't there.
  • God made him alive again.
  • And that is why we celebrate a birthday on Easter.

Ok.  Well, we are getting there.  Obviously we have a little more work to do.

They also had an egg hunt at his school.  He came home with five eggs each one filled with a Hershey kiss.  Elijah ate one and then talked about how he was going to give two to Daddy, two to Graham, two to me, and two for himself.  (3 year old math is awesome).

Well, he ate one chocolate kiss, then two, then three.  Then he asked me if Graham and I could share our chocolate.  Of course I agreed.  So, sitting here on the desk, as I type, are two eggs left over.  One for me and Graham, and one for Daddy.  I am very proud of his generous heart.

Update… After Graham woke up from his nap, Elijah went for the Hershey kiss.  He asked me if he could have some of it.  He ate more than half and then rather reluctantly shared the rest with Graham.  Later when my husband came home, Elijah unwrapped the kiss, held it out to Steven and said "Daddy, do you want to share it with me?"

Ok.  More work to be done but some steps in the right direction.

Monday Morning Commentary

I skipped church yesterday.  Shh.  Don't tell anyone.  My husband skipped too.  Well, he tried to but he just really can't stay away.  He went to our 6pm service.

After three years of whirlwind ministry, we are finally learning the importance of rest. 

The first 18 months of our church we went at break-neck speed. No Sunday's off.  I don't even think my husband took a regular day off during the first year of our church.  We couldn't.  We were church planters.  Everyone on our team was working that hard.

As time continued we began to incorporate scheduled periods of rest.  The first thing we did is schedule Fridays as my husbands day off.  Then we began to periodically bring in guest speakers to give my husband a Sunday off.

Sometimes my husband takes a trip with a friend when he has a weekend off.   Sometimes he takes me to a hotel in town (we are not much for driving our rest time away).  Sometimes we visit family or even just stay home. 

It doesn't cost money to relax.  Sometimes the best thing you can do to relax is get a friend to let your kids spend the night at their house and relax in your own home and sleep in your own bed.

There have been times in our pastoral tenure that I have needed a rest almost as much as he has.

Of course some people in ministry take this to the extreme.  In the name of family they end up becoming lazy.  Ooh, that's way too confrontational for me.  Lets talk about something else.

So thank you Pastor Craig Groeshel at for speaking at our church.  And thank you Lord for whoever thought of video church since Pastor Craig was actually preaching at his church in body today.

PS.  Today is your last chance to enter the giveaway to win the book 25 Surprising Marraiges!

The Glad Game

Psalm 92:4
For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands

When I was a little girl one of my favorite movies was Pollyanna.  Ever seen it?  Its a movie about a little girl who touches the lives of everyone around her.  There's a scene in the movie where everyone is complaining.  Pollyanna keeps chiming in positive things that she is glad about.  She calls it the glad game.  The scene ends with her making everyone laugh.

Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity.  Everyone is entitled to a bad mood every once in a while, but often a simple, positive comment can bring everything back into perspective.

Sometimes when I begin to lose my perspective, and feel myself coming down with a case of the sky is falling, I get my pencil and journal and begin a list of all the things I am thankful for.  And while this doesn't erase the difficulties, it sure does put them in perspective.

To be honest, my afternoon did not go as planned (I am writing this to be posted in the morning).  Graham decided to take a very short nap and then attach himself to my hip the rest of the afternoon.  Since I have a quick minute thanks to  Disney Channel, DVR and Return to Neverland, I am going to play the glad game.

10 things I am glad about…

  1. Two healthy children
  2. Trader Joe's for providing dinner tonight: Ginger shrimp in black bean sauce stir fry
  3. The world's greatest husband is coming home in about an hour
  4. My nephew, Silas, turned 6 today
  5. Mother's Morning Out Preschool
  6. My friend Kathleen had a huge answer to a 6 year prayer, welcome to the world, Sydney!
  7. Grandparents who give the perfect gifts at the perfect time
  8. American Idol tonight
  9. Joy tea from Tazo
  10. Psalm 92:4 For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

Now its your turn.  Tell me one thing you are glad about today.  And judging by how many of you want to win my giveaway (which, by the way, its not too late to enter), there are a lot of you out there!

It was a very sad day

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Last Saturday a very tragic thing happened at our house.  We are not quite sure if the cause was a rock star who had an accident while climbing onto the coffee table or a rock star who wanted to slam his guitar on the coffee table.  There was not an adult in the room at the time.  Nonetheless there were many, many tears shed (and yes, his mother just had to get a snapshot of the tragedy).  Good thing July 25th is not too far around the corner.  Maybe the aspiring rock star will get a microphone and mic stand for his birthday too.  In the mean time he seems content to be a rock star who plays the keyboard, drums, or just sing.

1st Ever Giveaway

Recently I have been making my way through this book, 25 Surprising Marriages by William J Peterson.  The book showcases the marriages of 25 famous Christian couples such as Billy and Ruth Graham (world renown evangelist), William and Catherine Booth (founders of the Salvation Army), Hudson and Maria Taylor (considered the father of the modern missions movement) and so many more.

I have so enjoyed reading about the ways these couples truly loved and supported one another.  One of the most interesting similarities is how the women completely embraced their husband's ministry as their own.  Everything they did, they operated as a team.  Each in their own unique way, but always as a team.

I think this book should be a requirement for any woman married to a man in the ministry.  It is inspiring and encouraging.  I recently bought a copy for all of the wives of our lead staff.  When we get together this month, we will all discuss the chapter on Charles and Susannah Spurgeon.

Ok, so I am giving one away.  Next Tuesday I will do a random drawing to select a winner.  If you would like to have your name entered in the drawing, leave your name and email address as a comment on this post.  Good luck!

Monday Morning Commentary- The Calories Don’t Care


Yesterday we continued our series on the book of James.  My husband preached a challenging message on temptation.  I left feeling convicted, challenged and inspired.

He really drove the point home for me when he asked the crowd, who had a weakness for chocolate, he referred back to a conversation he had with a woman who was 40 pounds over weight who told him "Chocolate isn't my thing," as she chowed down on a bag of Doritoes.  Then he said "The calories don't care."  This seemingly obscure comment really rang true with me because I am a good girl.  It is easy for me to think I am ok because I don't struggle with some huge sin.

The reality is everybody has their own proclivity towards sin.  Mine may be materialism and gossip, yours may be lying and anger.  The fact is, its all sin.  We are all tempted and temptation is not a sin.  But giving into temptation is.

The key to overcoming temptation is knowing the enemy (which sometimes is my own self).  If the enemy knows he can knock you out the same way every time, he's gonna do it.  When you're tired, when you're alone, when you're feelings are hurt, when things don't go your way.  As my husband said yesterday, the first stage to freedom is knowing your own proclivity.

The good news is that God has given us a good and perfect gift, Jesus, who was tempted in every way and who has given us the power to overcome every temptation.  Amen!

A date with Daddy

Lately Elijah has been obsessed with his daddy.  He won't wear anything that daddy doesn't wear.  One day this week I had to take him to my husband's closet to show him that daddy had a long sleeve white t-shirt in order for Elijah to wear the clothes I had set out for the day.

This morning Steven took Elijah on a breakfast date.  Elijah was really excited.  He had to dress as much like daddy as possible.  We found his gray sweats, a blue t-shirt and a track jacket. 

When he was all dressed Elijah said "There's only one thing missing, a hat!"

I hope Elijah will always want to be just like his dad.

A tribute to the tire swing

Today is my dad's birthday.  Last year, on his birthday I wrote about what a wonderful man and father he is.  I failed to mention what an amazing grandfather he is.

One of my kids favorite things to do is to call my dad and ask him to talk in his pirate voice.  Graham can even say, "Hi Pa."

There 6 children, so far (obviously my sister is taking care of the majority of those children), who call my dad Pa.  He plays with them, takes walks with them, feeds them and even changes diapers.  He and my mom make a great team when babysitting.  My kids always look forward to playing with him. 

Not too long ago my dad hung a tire swing in their yard.  My dad and his grandkids have spent countless hours swinging on this swing.  There have been visits where my dad and Elijah were at the swing at 7:30 in the morning.

I never really had a relationship with either of my grandfathers.  I have very few memories of them.  It means so much to me that my boys have a wonderful relationship with both of their grandfathers.

So Pa, Happy 58th Birthday.  Thanks for being such an amazing grandfather.  We got you an awesome  birthday present and can't wait to have a little party Sunday night.  We love you.

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Tire swing