Uncle Max

Vacation 08 110

My husband's brother, Matt, is in town.  We call him Uncle Max (long story).  Uncle Max is in the Air Force, stationed in Japan.  Every now and then Elijah will make statements about how he wishes Japan was closer.  The picture above is from our vacation last summer (I guess I need to get my camera out today.)  My boys love their uncle.

Yesterday they each got special time with him.  In the morning, Max took Graham to the park and ChickfilA.  The afternoon was Elijah's.  They spent their time at Monkey Joe's jumping around.  They had a great time. 

I spent the evening filling Uncle Max's belly.  We had meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans, and strawberry shortcake for dessert, I also made a chocolate oreo cheesecake for later this weekend (if it turns out good, I will post the recipe).  I am so thankful for the great relationships my kids have with all of their extended family.

Mother’s Day Give Away (Its a big one!)

I am not sure how far it has leaked out but I am going to be preaching at Elevation on Mother's Day.  Yes, I am very nervous about it.  Yes, I already have my outfit picked out.  And yes, I need your help.

I want to read a good list of "You know you're a mom when…"  I am sure you have read these before.  You know like, "You know you're a mom when you think you slept if you slept til 7:30 am" or "You know you're a mom when your kids are dressed better than you are"  I am not going to give you any more examples because I want to hear from you.

Next Tuesday I will be meeting with some of our lead staff wives.  They are going to my sounding board for my message.  Together we will choose the list of "You know you're a mom when…" that I will31fwzsskW7L._SS400_ read on Mother's Day.  Our very favorite entry will receive an awesome Mother's Day gift… A pink Flip video camera!

Here are the details…

    -Leave a comment on this post submitting your entry.  Be sure to include your name and email address in the comment.  Like this:

                        Jane Smith
                        "You know you're a mom when…"

    -You have to leave your comment by noon on Monday, May 4

Pretty simple!  I think this should be fun!  I can't wait to hear from you!  Please be in prayer for me over the next two weeks as I prepare what I am going to say! 

Monday Morning (or Afternoon) Commentary

Yesterday we continued in out series, Healer.  My husband interview Ted and Gayle Haggard.  Many people were curious to see what our angle was going to be with this interview.  As I said yesterday, we just wanted to tell a story.  A story that exemplified Jesus' message to us, that of love and forgiveness.  There were a few things said that will probably stay with me for the rest of my life.

Ted talked about the power of darkness.  He said that sin is a powerful darkness that can over shadow 30 years of light.  What a sobering thought.  Ted Haggard had 30 years of ministry but because of his sin he will not be remembered for any of the good he did.  Only the bad.  Its the same way with lots of things.  A divorce can overshadow 25 years of a good marriage.  A lie can cause years of trust to be shattered. 

He also talked about the power of a secret.  He said, the more you let it build up, the more power you give it in your life.  My husband and I are constantly reminding each other that we never keep secrets from each other.  Honesty and openness can be painful, but it is never as painful as a secret revealed.

My very favorite part of the weekend was getting to know Gayle.  What an amazing woman of God she is.  She is a woman who did a difficult thing, forgive, and in the process she found healing.  She said "She did what Jesus teaches us to do: love and forgive."  And when she obeyed, even though she was angry and hurt, she found healing. 

I think of so many people who quit when they face a difficulty in a relationship.  Its the American thing to do.  My generation started practicing this in middle school when we would "go-out" with a boy/girl for 2 weeks and then "break-up" when we decided we no longer liked them.  This pattern, over and over, caused my generation to be a group of people who do not work at relationships.  Ironically, we have become a lonely generation because we don't know how to work through relationships.  The thing is, when you work through a crisis with someone, your relationship becomes stronger and you become stronger.

I hope at the end of the day people walked away from our church knowing that sin is serious, God hates it, and there are terrible consequences for our sin.  I also hoped that people walked away knowing that we are all sinners who need the love and forgiveness of God and each other.

Just in case you missed it…


Many of you know that our church is interviewing Ted and Gayle Haggard at our church this coming Sunday.  There has been quite a buzz around town about this from what I can tell.  I think people are just genuinely curious as to why we want to tell their story.  Its a story of love and forgiveness, a story of grace and truth, why wouldn't we want to tell that?  Here is more from our church about this

Earlier this week my husband was on Fox News Rising.  You can watch the interview here.  He did a great job, even at 6:30 in the morning, my husband is about as sharp as they come.  I was very proud.

Elevation Ladies Night

Last night I hosted an Elevation Ladies Night.  It was for all female staff employees and staff wives of Elevation.  As our church has grown, our staff has grown.  Many of the ladies had never met each other before.  We had the best time.

Our creative pastor, Larry Hubatka, helped me design some activities to keep the ladies moving and talking.  The night was filled with desserts, door prizes, games and questions to keep the conversations flowing.  The restaurant we chose had five different mini dessert courses.  Each time we switched tables, a they brought a new dessert out.  Larry designed the evening with a game card that told you how to switch tables.  Each time we switched, we were at a table of different people.

I had so much fun hearing the ladies answer questions like "What is your favorite moment at Elevation?" and "In order for you to really know me, you must know…"  It was so much fun to hear from each person.  We will definately do it again.

A special thanks to Rickell and Larry for making it happen and to all the ladies who attended and shared with each other.  I appreciate each of you.

April 011 April 017 April 018 April 012

Thank God for Claritin

909939_tissue_box I am so glad that somebody thought to invent Claritin and make it an over the counter drug.  I have had what I thought was a cold/sinus infection for the last month.  You know yellow snot, headaches the whole thing.  I have dealt with allergies in the past, but usually mold/mildew issues, not pollen.

Three days ago I decided to try some Target brand Claritin.  I tried to get Claritin D but I did not have my driver's license (long story).  And I know, Graham and I together in Target with a basket full of diet sodas and paper towels are cause for suspicion of a Crystal Meth lab.  I didn't want to break any rules so I opted for the plain old Claritn (I figured I could wash it down with some Sudafed from home). 

So $4 and 3 days later, Holy Cow.  I am a new woman.  Thank you Claritin.  Thank you Target.  Thank you God.

Monday Morning Commentary


Yesterday we continued in our series, Healer.  My husband preached from Psalm 103:1-5.  The message was such a contrast from last weeks message.  Last week was so heavy, so convicting.  This week was light and encouraging.  I love the way God speaks through my husband in a variety of ways.

After the 8:30 service I told my husband that I took really good notes for him because he will hear that from me again.  Sometimes I have to preach his sermons to him during the week.  I guess I am his preacher and he is mine.

My favorite point was praise is the prescription for your pain.  Its so simple yet so true.  A good dose of perspective will help you through any pain.  In our house, when we are faced with a hurtful or difficult situation, I will start to place verses around our house.  On the fridge, in the bathroom, and recently, on the wall in the shower. 

When I praise God, I remind myself that he is in control.  I remember how He came through for me in the past.  I remember that I am not alone, that He is with me.  Does my pain magically disappear? No.  But it gets put in the shadow of a mighty God who is very much in control and who I can trust.

You can listen to the message later today here.  In the mean time, let the words of this Psalm soak into your heart.

Psalm 103:1-5
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
       all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

 2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
       and forget not all his benefits-

 3 who forgives all your sins
       and heals all your diseases,

 4 who redeems your life from the pit
       and crowns you with love and compassion,

 5 who satisfies your desires with good things
       so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.