Monday, May 31, 2010

Memory Day

Just yesterday I heard a teacher talk about asking a class of students, “What does Memorial Day mean to you?” She was surprised with the answers. “No school!” “We go camping!” “You remember people.” “We’ll go to the cemetery.”

Today as we explained things to our kids, I thought about the question. We didn’t have school, but we didn’t go camping either. We made our yearly trip to the cemeteries and remembered ones we miss. But I’ve also thought about things in a new way - earlier on the radio, the DJ was talking about paying tribute to the soldiers who have fought and sacrificed for our freedom. Ultimately that is what the day is about - honoring those who have fallen on our behalf. I thank God for the soldiers who have served and for those who continue to fight, protect and put their lives at risk today.

Then as he spoke of soldiers he took things a step further and reminded listeners that we are soldiers of Christ. Yes there is another battle going on and it’s not just in a foreign country; the LORD’S army is battling on US ground as well.

These thoughts have been on my mind and I’ve found myself turning to prayer. My 3 year old keeps calling it “memory” day and I’ve been asking God to help me remember. I don’t want to forget what others have done for me, the lives that have been lost, so I might be free. I want to remember the people who’s names are etched on the tombstones we’ve visited. I’ve asked God to help me share stories so my kids will remember their grandparents, a cousin, friends and neighbors.

As I was praying, God brought to mind the most important person I must remember - He was a soldier and a friend. He fought an opponent bigger than any army has ever faced; He defeated death itself. The victory He won, set me free; His life was lost, so I might live. But He was more than a warrior, He is a compassionate friend. On Memorial Day, I pause and remember all He’s done, the lives He’s touched and the difference He has made. And I’m humbled to pay tribute to Jesus - the ONE who lost His life for me!

I want to ask, "What does Memorial Day mean to you?"

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Will you call me friend?

My friends, people who have been important since my earliest years - the ones I’ve laughed with, played with and cried with. They have been my classmates and teammates. I've been in their weddings and they've been part of mine. Some of them I haven’t seen in years and others I see on a weekly basis. And now thanks to Facebook, I’ve reconnected with friends from days gone by.

Recently I’ve been thinking about friendships and how they change through the years - with graduation taking place I hear many young people say to one another, “let’s keep in touch,” “we’ll be friends forever” or something of the sort. I flashback and recall saying the same thing, but I really believed it too! I had spent years with these people and made memories - though others had told me and I had seen it happen, I was planning to be different - my friends and I wouldn’t drift apart.

It’s been 16 years since I walked across the stage, received my diploma and moved to a new chapter in my life. At the time I didn’t know what that all meant, but one thing I was certain of was a lifetime wasn’t too long to live as friends.

Well, it seems those who advised me things would change were right - nothing has stayed the same and that’s not all bad. Some friends go, others come, some return and a few friendships have grown stronger. Though I haven’t seen or spoken with some friends in years, I still count them as a friend, but I wonder if I will always be one they call friend.

Awhile back I read this poem (I apologize for not knowing the author - he deserves credit for great words and insight) and it has me thinking…

"My Friend"

My friend, I stand in judgment now,
And feel that you’re to blame somehow.
On Earth I walked with you day by day,
And never did you show me the way.

You knew the Lord in truth and glory,
But never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim;
You could have led me safe to Him.

Though we lived together here on Earth,
You never told me of the second birth.
And now I stand this day condemned,
Because you failed to mention Him.

You taught me so many things, that’s true;
I called you “friend” and trusted you.
But I learn now that it’s too late,
And you could have kept me from this fate.

We walked by day and talked by night,
And yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live, and love, and die,
You knew I’d never live on high.

Yes, I called you “friend” in life,
And trusted you through joy and strife.
And, yet, on coming to this dreadful end,
I cannot, now, call you “my friend.”

It’s true, my friendships have changed over the years - my best friend has a new name, Jesus, and He plays a role that will never change, Savior. This was one friend I never really expected, but am now so grateful for! He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24) and truly the ONE who loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17).

Today I wonder, will those who called me friend in this life say the same in the next? It’s not enough for a social network to say we’re friends…remember another line in the song? Friends are friends forever if the Lord is Lord of them!

Though I didn’t believe it years ago - friendships do change, but they can last forever! That only happens though when we share the same best friend! Jesus isn’t like the friends from junior high - He is big enough to be friends with us all and though He’s my best friend, He can be yours too!!

Someday just like our time together in school, on a team or in a town our time together on this earth will be over and I wonder, “will you call me friend?” I pray you will! And friend if you’ve read these words and have questions, want to know more or are curious how Jesus can be your friend please let me know! Email me at If these are words you’d like to share with a friend, please do!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

When a Child has to Wait

“I want that!” “How much longer?” “How many days til Christmas?” I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea - little ones have many responses when it comes to waiting. Though the questions can change and topic can vary the struggle is usually the same - waiting is hard. It’s never something my little ones choose to do - if they WANT a cookie, they want it now; if they want to call Grandma, they want to do it now; if they want me to read a story, they want it read NOW!!

I’m not sharing this because I have demanding kids, they really are no different than the average child - one who has wants and needs and longs to have them filled. When the average child has these needs it’s natural to think they need to be met immediately. They don’t want to wait, it’s hard, it requires patience and sometimes even sacrifice.

This struggle can sometimes lead to not so pleasant results - the child who has to wait can become whiney, naughty, angry, demanding. We’ve all seen the child at the check-out counter have a tantrum as a result of being told, “No, you have to wait!” It’s not a pretty sight!

Recently life has shown me, though I’m no longer a child, sometimes I still have to wait. Nearly eight months ago, I was waiting for our baby to born - anyone who’s been there knows, waiting is hard!! I’ve waited for friends and family to get medical tests results, sometimes waiting is scary. I’ve waited for God to show me what comes next, sometimes waiting can be confusing.

But as I wait, God works - eventually our little man arrived, the tests results are revealed and God’s plan unfolds. Still though the waiting really never ends - we wait for a friend’s baby to be born, someone else has Dr. appointments and though God gives me a glimpse of what lies ahead, He says, “Not yet.”

Sometimes the “not yet” wait is the hardest - just ask my little girl who wants a bowl of ice cream thirty minutes before supper. She just knows it will be so good and she’s had to wait all day already, she just can’t wait. At times I can see what God has for me and I relate to Joy - it looks so good, I want it, it’s tempting to reach out and grab it on my own. But then I hear God change my words a bit, “Daughter, remember Your FATHER knows best!”

Those words can be hard to hear - it can be tempting to regress and act like that child in the grocery store, but as a child of God that’s not how my DAD has trained me to react. No in place of the tantrum, He wants me to trust and instead of me making things happen on my own, He wants life to happen on His time. And finally rather than me creating things by myself; He wants to use me in ways that are better than anything I could do on my own.

Though I’m all grown up, I’m still a child who has to wait and though the game is still hard, I’m thankful my Father really does know what’s best!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


In the final home basketball game of my high school career, the game was tight with the conference title on the line and I came up with a steal. I grabbed the ball and headed to the other end, I put up a shot that would give us the lead only to have it rejected.

Rejection - it’s never fun on the basketball court and the effects of it in life are even more painful. This hurt can come in various ways - being rejected for things you do, rejected for what you believe, rejected by those you love… Sometimes this rejection is real and others it’s created by our, or at least by my interpretations.

Let me explain - my child disobeys, so I teach and re-teach, discipline and model only to have them repeat the act of disobedience. At times it can be easy for me to feel rejected, like I’m not accomplishing anything, but I need to remember my little one is a work in progress. There may be times they flat out reject my teaching, but with God guiding and strengthening me as their Mom, I pray they won’t reject me.

Then there can be seasons of drought in friendships when my mind can play the guessing game and return to the days of junior high, “what did I do wrong?” The lack of communication can leave me feeling rejected. Thankfully God usually doesn’t let me waste much time with these worries and the phone will ring or an email will arrive to remind me life is busy, friends are friends with words…and without.

Feelings of rejection can even take place in marriage - let’s be honest, after the wedding things change and with 4 kids they really change! Time together is not easy to find; dates can quickly become a thing of the past. Though feelings can make me feel rejected that is not the case, the truth is our lives are different and time together becomes more precious.

Really there can even be times when we, or at least I, feel (there’s that word again) rejected by God. Times when we expect things to play out a certain way and they don’t. Or when something or one is taken from us, our minds can wonder, ask “Why?” and then listen to satan answer, “Because He doesn’t care.” During these moments we must remember that feelings and emotions are things that come and go, they change with circumstances, truth on the other hand is real and stable. God is truth, His love and acceptance is real.

Yet bad things will happen, we will hurt, we may even feel rejected, but we must remember Paul’s words in Romans 11:1,2, “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject His people, whom He foreknew.” That was true then and it still is today!

So with God on our side we must not forget that when those feelings of rejection come (and they will) life really isn’t much different than a basketball game. In that game years ago, emotions were strong, fans were loud and the game was tight. When my shot was rejected I couldn’t quit, we’d been coached to persevere. And our team did just that, so much so that in the final seconds of overtime, I got a steal and a second chance and a new result - in place of rejection, two points and a victory for the Wildcats. So it is in life, we must keep playing, stay focused, listen to our Heavenly coach and trust there will be victory in the end!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

We have a winner!

Thanks to all who left comments and shared the link to my book give-away! The winner is Amy from Reading it Daily! Congrats!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"My Friend, A Mom"

You’re a diaper changing,
Meal makin',
Clothes foldin',
House cleanin',
Fight stoppin',
Bill payin',

But as your friend,
I know there’s even more –
You’re a kid lovin',
Future changing,
Home makin',
Marriage building,
Difference making,

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Mother's Day Give-Away

It's Mother's Day once again - a day to celebrate those who love us, care for us and raised us up. Now as a Mom myself this day takes on a whole new meaning - I understand the job - the daily demands and the tasks that don't always bring thanks. The work that it entails - jobs you can finish today, but will be back tomorrow and often times sooner!! I appreciate all my mom did for me, the sacrifices she made, gifts she gave, support she provided and the lessons she taught. She helped me become the person, and Mom, I am today!

This weekend I will also acknowledge "other Mothers" in my life - those who have loved me and touched my life in a motherly way. One area in particular is with my faith, those I like to refer to as spiritual mothers.

In John 3:3, Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

Then Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council says, "How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."

The idea of being born again was confusing for Nicodemus and it may be for you as well, but as Jesus said, "the Spirit gives birth to spirit." Somethings are not for us to understand; faith is all about trusting God! A child knows when they are born, the newborn cry shows they are aware things have changed and in a similar way a child of God knows when the old has gone the new has come!

When an infant enters the world they are dependent, primarily on their mom to provide for their needs. As they grow and mature these needs change but still there is the need for someone to instruct, guide, nurture and love. The same is true in a spiritual sense - when we come to know Christ, we are new believers and we too need someone to instruct us in His Word, guide us in His ways, nurture us with His touch and love us like He does. In other words, we need a "spiritual Mom."

I have been blessed by others who have played this role and through them God has touched my life and strengthened my faith. I have been privileged to watch my children grow physically (and spiritually) and my spiritual moms have witnessed similar growth in me as a child of God.

Life is a journey and just as we never stop growing and learning physically the same is true for our walk of faith. As you celebrate Mother's Day, I pray you will take time to thank those who have touched your life in a "motherly way!"

Perhaps you will be selecting a gift for these special ladies and today I'd like to give you the opportunity to win one for yourself. Leave a comment, perhaps words about your spiritual mom and you'll be entered to win a copy of "Letters from Leanne - The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship." If you don't have a blog you can comment anonymously, just include your email for contact info. Finally post a link to the contest on your blog or Facebook page and increase your chances to win - just leave a second comment saying you did just that! Check back on Monday to see who the winner is!!

Finally I pray you have a blessed Mother's Day - celebrating those who have touched your life and appreciating the lives you are blessed to touch!!