I saw the devil in Hobby Lobby

I walked into Hobby Lobby the other day and I saw a sight that blew me away. Christmas decorations. Yes, the employees in Hobby Lobby were already putting up aisle after aisle of Christmas decorations.

I all of the sudden felt rushed. I literally had to stop and tell myself that it was indeed only July and no matter what Hobby Lobby wants me to think, Christmas is not right around the corner, it is half a year away!!

Stores are always trying to get me on to the next thing. Like have you ever noticed the spring clothes that they put out in January? They are trying to capitalize on the excitement of what is coming next. Are you hot and bored of summer? Think about Christmas. Are you tired of your winter wardrobe? Spring is just around the corner.

The enemy does this to me too.

He tries to tell me that I want my 2 year old to grow up so our home will not be so chaotic.

He tries to tell me that I am ready for school to start because my kids are bored of being home all summer (and they are annoying me).

He whispers that your house is too small. Or your car is too old. Or you would be better off ending your marriage in divorce. Or that you would be happier in a different job. Or maybe happier at a different church.

The truth is contentment comes from Jesus. And Jesus wants me to enjoy each day that I have been given. 1 Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Always looking to what is next is a dangerous thing. Yes it is good to look forward to the future and plan for the future but I will never be able to enjoy my future if I can’t learn to enjoy today.

If I started decorating for Christmas now, I would be so sick of Christmas by the time it came around. In the same way, I must learn to enjoy the NOW because if I don’t, I won’t be able to enjoy tomorrow when it comes.

Best books… for kids!

Even though my stage of life prevents me from reading as much as I would like to, I truly love books. And I truly, truly love children’s books.  I want my kids to love books and love reading.  So we read a lot.

Today I thought I would share with you some of our favorite books, but I had a hard time knowing where to start.  Should I share our favorite picture books?  Or our favorite chapter books?  Or maybe our favorite spiritual books?  I could even share some of Elijah’s favorite series to read on his own.

Maybe I will come back and share all of these lists but today I want to start with my favorites… chapter books.  I got hooked on juvenile literature when I had to read Charlotte’s Web for my children’s literature class in college.  I read the entire book in two sittings.  Elijah was about 4 when we completed his first chapter book, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Graham joined in not long after that and we have completed many books since then.  And then somewhere along the line, my husband joined in.  Often we will both have a book we are reading to the boys although we do not read to them every single day.

So enough of all that!  Here are some of the books we have enjoyed.

Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary.  The boys and I have read almost all of the Ramona books.  I think I love Ramona because she is the middle child of 3 girls. But Ramona the Pest is my favorite because it is about her first year of school.




Holes by Louis Sachaar.  This book is in my top 5 books of all the books I have ever read.  I have not actually read it to my boys yet.  I am waiting until they are old enough to really enjoy it.  Oh Stanely Yelnats, the boy whose name is spelled the same way forwards and backwards.




Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.  This is a sweet story about the daughter of a preacher in a new town and a very special stray dog who helps her make new friends.




The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  I read this book for the first time aloud to my fifth grade class and got choked up while reading.  Then I read it to Elijah when he was 4.  This summer, my husband read it to the boys.  Elijah did not remember that I had read it to him (Ha!) and they all loved it.




Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.  Currently my husband is reading this book to our boys.  I love to hear him read it because he reads the whole book in a deep south grandpa accent.  It is a story about a boy and his two coon hunting dogs.


Monday Morning Commentary

What a weekend! My husband brought a powerful word that I think I would put in my top ten favorite sermons of all time. We are in week 2 of our series, This is Your Permission Slip. It is a series about the liberties found in Christ, how God is a God of permission, not restriction.

This weekend the sermon was based out of 2 Corinthians 1:19-20 where we learned that God is a YES God. My husband took us back to the original list of rules, the 10 Commandments. He taught us that God is a God who brought us out of slavery. He has no intentions for us to be enslaved to the law but rather to be free!

We learned that when you start with the “Thou Shalt Not” God will always seem like a burden. But when you start with the “That you may!” you realize that everything God asks of us is so that we may experience something even better.

God is a YES God! There is so much more I want to say about this but I don’t want to spoil it for you if you are going to watch it. And I hope you will. The concept of God being a YES God is something that, I hope, will follow me the rest of my life.

You can watch the message on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

Have a great Monday!





2 1/2 years ago, our church had a goal to serve 10,000 hours during our first LOVE week. Isn’t it amazing what God can do when a group of people unite under one vision? This year together, we served 58,720 hours in the US and Canada!!!

420,00 meals packaged for distribution to malnourished children in the US and around the world

6 Habitat home construction sites

500 school uniforms collected for homeless children

3,000 backpacks assembled for under resourced children

1,500 shoe boxes packaged for Operation Christmas Child

6 trucks of clothing donated

514 units of blood given, impacting up to 1,542 lives

Over $400,000 given away because of the generous givers at Elevation Church

And perhaps my favorite number, 3,664 hours served by kids. How exciting is it to know that we are raising up a generation of kids who love to serve others in need.

The best part is, the love doesn’t stop with LOVE week. There are so many ways you can get involved on an ongoing basis with your kids, your spouse, your eGroup, and more. Check out ElevationOutreach.com for ongoing opportunities.

I’ll leave you with a picture of my kids last Sunday, excited to go to Ekidz to turn in their LOVE week logs and collections. Have a great weekend!!



The boy who changed my name

8 years ago today this boy changed my name to mom.  He is a lover of Dragonvale (tomorrow we find out if he successfully bred a double rainbow dragon!), a champion Bey Blade fighter, and extremely lucky when playing cards.  I am so glad to have boys who could introduce me to a whole new world that I barely even knew existed.

Happy Birthday Elijah!

Glorious Surrender

Our worship team at Elevation has been working on a new album. I am so excited about it. I have so loved singing the new songs in church.

There’s one song in particular that we have been singing called, Grace So Glorious. It has a line that I just can’t stop think about. It says,

“To know the Savior’s love surrounding our surrender.”

This line totally revolutionized the way I think about surrender. Most of the time, I think of surrender as a negative thing. Like I lost the battle and surrender means I will be take prisoner. And often, in my walk with Christ, I cling to things, because I subconsciously think that if I let go and give it to God, I will be losing something.

Like if I forgive that person, I am letting them win and they will be free and I will resent them.

Or if I make a conscious effort to stop gossiping and complaining, I won’t have anything fun to talk about any more.

But the crazy thing is God is not a prison warden just waiting for me to finally surrender so I can be his prisoner. In fact, the opposite is true. When I take the first step of surrender, God rushes to me with the grace to follow through with that decision.

God is a God of love. The things He wants me to surrender are simply because He has something better for me.

And yes, I know, it is not that simple. What if the thing you are surrendering to is a huge process. Like God told you to stay in your marriage, and you have to daily surrender to forgive and love and give grace to someone who may not “deserve” it.

But maybe it is that simple. God’s love surrounds my surrender. And whether it is a one time surrender (not likely) or an issue I have to surrender to for the next 5 years, I will be able to look back after those 5 years and say that I experienced God and His grace like never before during that time.

I dare you to try it. Ask God what He wants you to surrender today, and experience his love and grace to the fullest.

Monday Morning Commentary… He’s Back!

He’s back and he’s on fire!  This weekend we began our new series, This is Your Permission Slip.  It is a series about how God is a God of permission not restriction, and it is amazing.

This weekend my husband set the series up with a sermon called God at the Gate.  He talked about how what we think about when we think about God is the most important thing about us.  Most of us picture God at the gate of the garden of Eden with the flashing swords keeping us from entering in.  But God is not that God.  He is the good shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep.  I am the sheep and I am inside the gate, inside of his protection, not outside.

John 10:10 remind us that He came so that we might have LIFE!

You can watch the message on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.

It’s great to be back.  Have a great Monday!

Girls Night Out

Last night was our 3rd annual Girls Night Out.  It was a night where select girls who participate in One7, Right Moves for Youth and Safe Journey get to come and be pampered, loved on and encouraged.  The girls arrived in limos, ate delicious desserts, had their make up and nails done, danced and got to hear about Jesus too.  It was such a fun night for everyone involved.

Tonight is our live Elevation Worship recording.  I am so excited.  Everyone is welcome, but you better get there early.  We will be collecting school uniforms for kids at the door.  More details here.

If you want to get involved tomorrow, there are still plenty of openings.  You can serve at a free medical clinic, cook for people, do building renovations, grounds clean up and more.  Just head to our LOVEWeek2013 site and sign up.  (And don’t miss the little button in the right hand corner that takes you to a new page).

It is not too late to get involved for the first time or do more!

Books, Books, Books

Yesterday we served at Promising Pages, an organization that gives books to kids in need.  The kids made bookmarks while the grown ups sorted  and wrapped books to be given out later.  The books are distributed at local schools and shelters.  Promising Pages has an audacious goal to distribute 1 Million books this year!  They are ALWAYS collecting  new and used books.

Tonight I am serving at Girls Night Out.  A night of fun for high school and middle school girls served by our partners, One7, Safe Journey and Right Moves for Youth.  It will be a night full of glitz, glamor and pampering.  I can’t wait to share pictures with you.

Tomorrow night is the Elevation Worship LIVE recording at Blakeney, everyone is welcome (hint: get there early!). And this weekend EVERYONE can participate in opportunities on location after worship experiences on Saturday and Sunday.  Check out ElevationOutreach.com to see more opportunities to get involved.

Servants with a heart

Last night we got to serve as a family. Servants with a Heart is an organization that provides food for hungry children all over the world. You may have seen a lot of pictures of people packaging this food this week because we have a goal to package 350,000meals by this Sunday and we are well on our way!

This is a fun activity that everyone in our family enjoyed. Together with other families, we formed a line to assemble bags full of rice, crushed soy (protein), powder with vitamins and flavoring, and dried veggies. The bags were then weighed, measured and sealed. Tonight we even got to taste the stew cooked and it was delicious!

















If you’re frustrated because many of the sign ups are full, keep checking the LOVEweek site because we are adding events daily!