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Monthly Archives: February 2011

It’s not about me.

I have been reading Max Lucado’s book…It’s not  about Me.
I know this is an earth shattering statement for some.
For others of us we know the words are true but they get in the way of our reality. So while we know it’s not all about us…we have a strong urge to live like it is.

One of his quotes is “if you think it’s all about you…and I think it’s all about me, we have no hope for a melody.”
When I think I’m the center of the universe I am more likely to live my life with expectations of others that they cannot meet. I will try to manipulate and control them. Because of course, I am at the center. I will selfishly relate everything to myself…how will this affect me? I only think of my own happiness..with no thought of how my choices affect others. I will lift myself up and push others down because they need to know I am the center, they are secondary.

I, in essence become my own Star. Full of self promotion and entitlement.

But believe it or not, it wears us out to be the pivotal force in the universe. We weren’t created to be this nor do we have the capacity to maintain it.

We were created to be more like the moon, is what Max writes.

What is the moon’s job?
The moon doesn’t get angry because it’s not the famous star of the show. It’s the secondary light. And it’s the job of the moon to reflect the sun.
I just wonder what may happen if we accepted moon status. If we would be happy, like the moon, to exist, to reflect the sun. People step on the moon. It doesn’t yell at them. It just continues to reflect the sun.

“God does not exist to make a big deal out of us, we exist to make a big deal out of him.”- Max Lucado

Perspective of this is key. God is committed to his own glory. Scripture is full of him. His Holiness, Bigness, Excellence, Beauty, Majesty, Love, Justice, Grace and Glory….The Earth is Full of His Glory!

Is that because God has an ego? Did he create us so he would have an audience to applaud him?

No, God wants us to recognize our position before him because he knows we weren’t created to be the star of the show. WE will need him to make it through. So he communicates to us that we can relax. Take a break. Rest in him.
He is HUGE!

If we were drowning and needed a lifeboat would we not want the captain of the ship to shine the light, hailing he is here. Proclaiming he can and will save us. Wouldn’t we want to know that he is as big as God is?~Lucado

Yes thank you! I do want to know that.

My mind keeps churning with this thought… If our thinking would change from
“my rights” “My life” “My pleasure”, to this, I exist to reflect him.

We. Would. Live. Life. differently. Not as victims. But how Jesus lived.
Joyfully participating in reflecting the Son. He did not live his life for his own sake but to bring glory to the Father. I may flinch when a rock is thrown at me, but my purpose here is not to stay in a fetal position licking my wound…my purpose is to bring God glory. In joy and pain…point to him.

I don’t have to make sure everyone is treating me like the Sun, because really… I’m the moon.

We can be replaced. If we aren’t faithful to the assignment he gave us, He will use someone to do it. He loves us. But the orbit isn’t revolving around us.

It’s really not about us at all.


On a personal note..

Dear friend,

I have been indulging myself in study lately. It’s been good. Exciting. And Powerful.

 I have been preparing for next weekend. I will be spending the weekend with some sweet sisters close to Columbus Ohio.  I am singing and speaking at their womans retreat. While I am very accustomed to singing….speaking is something I have not done in a formal way.( It’s no secret that I can talk an ear off informally!!) But the preaching is my guys department and I love to hear him. He’s been giving me some pointers. And I’ve  been pleading with God to make me supernaturally endowed with wisdom.  Without him and the spirit he pours I have nothing to offer.

But something special happened this week. Because of circumstances in my life the past few years I have absolutely not been able to write a song. It wouldn’t come. I would try!  I’d start something but I would inevitably get up from my piano walk away, frustrated and sad. I really had started thinking my song writing days were done. And I decided if God wanted to take that, well it was his and he could do what he wanted. But as I was sitting at the piano this week. Boom! A song hit me. I was like.. “really? You’re gonna let me do this again? Okay! Okay!I will get a pen.”

 I poured out my heart and although you can’t hear the melody I thought I’d share the words with you.

~ Who you are~

I didn’t plan for this.

I didn’t ask for that.

I never thought you’d find me here.

I don’t understand, all your sovereign plans.

All I know is that I’ve  found you….

Faithful, you have been faithful to me

Kinder, than I deserve.

Healer, you’re the healer of my heart.

I have come to follow you….For who you are.

In the fiery furnace

In the raging storm

In the lonely shadows of the night

I will not be afraid.

I will not raise a sword.

I have found my God is with me there.

And He’s faithful! He has been faithful to me.

Kinder, than I deserve.

Healer, He’s the healer of this heart

And I have come to follow him…

I choose to follow in joy and pain.

I choose to trust, that you still reign

I choose to know you for who you are.

It’s here I’ve found you are…

Faithful, you have been faithful to me.

Kinder, than I deserve.

Healer, you’re the healer of my heart.

I have come to follow you, for who you are!


The context of this song is simply this… It is so easy to believe Jesus to be whoever we want him to be. But perhaps not the Jesus of the Bible. I want to know him for who he is not who I have dreamed him up to be.

We must recognize that the God of the Bible is not just a Santa who hands out our favorite things.

And so when we face troubles. When we are alone. Or in a storm. ….He is a God who goes into the storm with us and when we come out with him on the other side of that giant wave that threatens us… he is with us still. But sometimes we get lost in the wave because we are so mad at him for letting us face it. Or, we drown in our own sorrows and forget that he is still holding on to us… we have just lost our grip of him.

The People of Jesus day didn’t recognize him as the Messiah either because they thought the Messiah would be a different looking God. They thought when the Son of God comes he would take away the pain. The Yolk of slavery. The bondage of the government. They had read the scripture incorrectly.

And so they didn’t recognize him.

He came to heal the pain. But he didn’t promise to wipe out their oppressors. He instead, forgave all who would come to him. His mission was to be one of Uncommon Kindness and love.

And If I say I follow…I should go in that direction…Uncommonly Kind.

And if I say I want to know him…Then I must know all of him. Not just the fuzzy feel good parts. But the rough and firery furnace parts as well.

If you think of me and the room of women that will be present could you pray for us? I know God can use any cracked pot he desires. I so want to honor him  and speak what he wants spoken.

I know some of you have already been praying and I am so so grateful!

Thank you! Thank you for taking time to share in what’s personal to me!

Love you,


A night in Hawaii

This is the time of year when people in Indiana have to fight cranky thoughts of people who are living in weather that is room temp.

Every year we get to this point and we as a collective group would just like to say that we know that you who live in the tropical south have it really nice right now….Let’s talk again in July. 🙂 I’m funning you. That’s all. No hard feelings. All in fun!

Sometimes we have to get a little creative to make the February living more bearable.

So why not throw a party… A festive night of Hawaiian music, tropical food, and games.

It was so simple! All we had to do was show up dressed in way too little for February temps and eat and laugh until our cheeks were sore. It was so fun!

And that is just what my Brother and Sister in law did for us on Saturday night!Appetizers.
Fish. Chicken and Shrimp Kabob’s.
Rice. Cesar Salad.

And Our very own personal Barista…Tropical Drink Maker…

We did miss our parents. They like to take an extended trip to Florida during these months so we just speaker phoned them.

What  a refreshing evening!

Thanks Tiki Tony! 🙂

Little one had her birthday today. After her party this afternoon we took her temp because she felt warm and sure enough she was just a little over a 100 so instead of going with all her cousins to another house she had to come with us. Many tears and comments of Unfair were uttered to her father and I. So sad it had to be on her birthday! But after she saw that the “boring adults” were having so much fun she simmered right down.

How fun to be at the party in your robe.

The next day we did get a little note from her saying….

“Mom and Dad, I just wanted to say I understand”. Awhhh! Thanks baby!

We laughed hard. And it felt so good to just be crazy with the ones I know the best.

 Thanks Jim and Shirley!

I not only love my family. Nights like this remind me that I like them a lot too!

Sunday School

I have spent many years in Sunday School.Probably even before I have memory of it. It was one of the many things my parents did right. I learned Bible stories and songs. I learned the books of the Bible and how to make glue balls. And other things like learning to sit and taking turns talking. I learned that if you crossed certain teachers you’d have to sit in the hall outside the door until the superintendent would take you to your parent. I learned to pray and sing little choruses like Jesus loves me and This little light of mine.

I still go to Sunday School. 

 I especially like the class I have been in for the past 6 months. There are tables set up with approximately 50-75  people in the class. The teacher has to be one of the greatest teachers I have ever sat under on a weekly basis. He was my husband’s professor. He has a gift and he uses it well. His class is called “Going Deeper”, and we do. Every week. I walk away feeling fed and inspired. And he challenges me not because he’s so smart(although it appears like he is) but that he has the ability to take scripture and open it up. He pulls out things that I don’t see on my own. He makes the text come to life. I scribble notes as fast as I can.  He apologizes for speaking to much. I’m glad he does.

He’s a teacher. Not the pastor. He isn’t paid. But it’s obvious He loves Jesus. And he spends time with him. I love when I see faithful workers just going about what they are gifted at. Doing their  best with what they have been given. Living lives that are worthy of what they have been called to.

Today I would like to honor those Sunday School teachers who are getting ready to teach.

Thank you for what you do. Thank you for taking time to prepare. Thank you for your service.

It will not go unnoticed! Even if the children you teach don’t seem that interested or the adults are falling asleep.

God sees what you are doing.

 And he is taking notes.

 Yes, he is scribbling notes about you!

It’s a slumber party!

It’s Friday night. The weekend lies before you. Welcoming you like a cool breeze. When you’re 15 it feels like Friday took forever to get here. It means freedom from books and routines even if for a couple of days. And there is no better thought than to spend your friday night at a slumber party.

Definition of Slumber party? It most certainly does not have anything to do with slumbering.
Can you remember what it felt like? The excitement of being invited. The late night snacks. The pranks. Games. Incessant talking. Movies. Mom’s calling down the steps to “simmer it down”…others are trying to sleep. Morning headaches from little sleep. Sore necks from falling asleep on a chair.
It’s all coming back.
I remember the parties. I remember. The Toilet Papering. The boy talk. The fits of giggles.
And now..
Now I have a 15-year-old. Who is doing the same thing. Except now I am the one who is making the food. And I am now the mom who “texts” her numerous messages of quieting down. Only to find out the next morning freshman can’t find her phone.
I LOVE that she wants her friends to come over. I would prefer a night of sleeplessness over not knowing where she is any day.(Because let’s be honest, if I didn’t know where she was I wouldn’t sleep at all!)
And as they work on a project together the next day with the little one closely watching and participating when she can. They listen to their “teen” music. And Taylor Swift comes on singing…Oh darling don’t you ever grow up….

I quietly try to refrain from allowing my sentimental tears to drip down into the soup I am stirring. I remember that we have guests in the house and I wouldn’t want to scare them with my sobs and snot.
The little one hums along.
I know the day is coming when they will be all grown up. And I will be left with sweet memories echoing through our home. Dancing in my mind, transporting me back to a time when life was busy and full and I will miss the noise.
I realize I only have about 3 1/2 years left of high school memories with Freshman.

 I Don’t want to  miss a thing.

I am thankful for today.
For this moment.
And I intend to eat it up and lick the plate clean when I’m done.

Look what showed up at my house!

“I’m so glad you could come”. I carry on as my guests arrived. They carry in French Silk Pie. And my mouth waters.
It is such a cold, snowy night and yet they came. Waiting for them is Homemade pizza and Loaded potato soup, plenty of Chatter and Cards.
One child is missing. A fever. On the couch. We feel bad for him and will miss him.
“We have been so lucky to have made it through the season without any sickness”. I say.

As the evening carries on there is plenty of laughter and banter.
We say goodnight and lock the door behind.

Sunday we wake ready for church. As we enter the sanctuary and I usher my little flock into the pew. When suddenly out of no where a tickle appears in my throat. How strange. All through church I try to stifle the cough. But it’s not working.
Where did THAT come from?
That evening we have Super Bowl plans. After getting our children off to their own parties we arrive at our friends. It is there that I realize my stomach is feeling a little shifty. And by the end of the evening I have indeed come to terms with the fact that I am coming down with something.
It is now Tuesday. And I have been running a fever…banished mostly to my room for the last 36 hours.
It has been miserable. I have to pull the shades because the bright light makes me cry. Which is a shame because the sun is finally shining. We haven’t seen that ball of fire for a while and it’s too bad I have to block it out.

 My main staple has been cream of wheat.
I heart Cream of Wheat. It’s even better with some chocolate chunks melted into the milky, smooth cereal.

Why or Why do I make comments like “We have been so lucky to not have gotten any of those nasty bugs”?
When I’m sick I wonder what feeling well would be like. I refrain from embarrassing outbursts like “I want my mommy”.
I do not wonder how I look because my children laugh like hyenas at my hair. Little one points and laughs hysterically encouraging all to come look, as though I’m a caged animal.
I don’t care. I just want to stop chilling. Let them laugh. It brings a little humor to the situation.

And than I read my friend Carrie’s story. 

 She has 2 of her 3 young sons in the hospital for pneumonia. The one that is at home with grandma has an ear infection. And did I mention, Carrie is not far from delivering her 4th child.  Hubs is sick as well and one more thing…Carrie now has developed pink eye in both eyes!!! What  a sad story! I am committing them to the Father and would invite you to do the same.

Tomorrow I plan to get up and act like none of this ever took place.

I did not invite this guest and I am ready for him to exit the building!
Hopefully Mr influenza is on board with that.

Meanwhile I shall be right here on the couch awaiting his departure.

Shew fly…Don’t bother me!


I don’t know much about Catholicism. In fact I was raised Mennonite. I never talk about my denomination because I don’t really think it’s that relevant to what I write about here. I sometimes get weary with denominations. It’s often another way we divide ourselves from each other.

I’m not saying denominations don’t have a place in our lives. I go to another brand of church now but it’s not what saves me. I would say it can define where I came from or people I have found who I closely identify with theologically.

Here’s a little church history lesson for you.

If you know anything about the Mennonites and the Catholics, you may know that there has been some tension through the years. The Anabaptist movement was started by some Catholic priests who felt like the State church was in error with some of its teachings, one of them being the priesthood of believers. They taught that people actually could go directly to God with their confessions and did not need an earthly mediator, or a priest, to represent them to God.

I don’t know much about confessional except for what I’ve seen in movies and heard from my Catholic friends. I have been thinking about confession a lot lately. About how God likes when he sees his children walk humbly confessing our sins to each other. Because for me, it seems less intimidating to tell him how wrong I’ve been than admit it to the people I hurt. I know he will forgive me. I know he will not think less of me. But pride makes confession to other people who share DNA a little difficult at times.

Turn the corner with me to the world of the internet where everything can be as surface as we want it to be. In fact, If I wanted to I could make up a new name for myself, or post pictures of my neighbors family, claiming them as mine. I could tell you that I am a professional wrestler or a World Class Goat Farmer…and if you don’t know me personally you may just think that is the truth.

Or maybe we just tell half of the truth. The sunny side of our lives and not the uglier underneath that we don’t really like exposed.

Sometimes I think about that when I Send and receive Christmas letters(Please keep sending them..I DO Love them). You know, the ones that tell us how good Jonny is in school and how awesome Katie is doing in sports. How we have wonderful vacations and how beautiful our homes are. We give the best image of our selves.

I’m just sayin’ it’s natural to want to show the Kodak highlights and leave the “behind the scenes moments out”. You know the ones that we forget to mention like… I often have dishes in my sink overnight, and I don’t get up early enough most mornings which makes us run late and I have to work really hard at being sweet because I mostly hate mornings and I don’t want to send my kids off with a sour taste in their mouth about coming back home in the afternoon . You know, the honest truth of what really happens when no one is watching.

But even more than that..I think there is something good about confessing our wrongdoings to one another. And I think that as a representative of Jesus on earth I better be more aware of my sins and quick to confess.

So today I want to confess to you that even though I feel bad for the poor and sick and hurting, I don’t do near enough to take care of them. Some days I don’t feel like giving anything to anyone except myself and so I am selfish and buy and eat too much. I tell others to be who God has called them to be, but some days I wish I were someone else. I have thoughts that aren’t always honoring to Jesus when I’m driving and someone cuts me off. Sometimes while I try to be fair, I blame my kids wrongly. Some days I don’t feel like apologizing for the pride that I know has crept in. There are times my tongue can work faster than my brain and I regret what is said.

And while you may think followers of Jesus never should do anything bad…because we usually get labeled hypocrites and Pharisees for not always being who we profess to be, you need to know that we are people just like you. And while we say that we love others I am sorry that we have often looked down our noses when you were just trying to belong and we made no place in our lives for you.

We are people who realize we can’t save ourselves because we indeed are the worst of sinners. We are simply people who realize that Jesus is the only one that makes a difference between our life and yours. Just imperfect people who have a place to run when he shows us we have chosen a path of destruction. Travelers who have chosen the road less traveled.

And if you are one of the followers of Jesus that has trouble confessing your attitudes or actions which are not representing him well, maybe these words will give you the confidence to say along with me that we could all be a little less judgmental of others and own our own stuff a little more quickly. We could be more forgiving and less critical if we daily look inside our temple and see our own dirty heart.

We can come to him and ask him to keep changing us to be more honest and humble ambassadors. Confessing to him and asking him to clean up the filth we have once again dragged in. Broken and willing to admit our sinful actions to him and the people we wrong.

We walk blameless not because we are without blame but because Jesus has taken that upon himself. He is mediator, intercessor, forgiver, sacrifice, and Savior. It’s not a cheap freedom. It came with a price. And when I fully embrace that thought it makes me want to be more like him. To know him in ways I never experienced before. To work out in my own life the salvation that he offers freely.

 Beyond confession, It inspires me to represent the Jesus of the Bible more authentically to those around me.

1 John 1:9 (New International Version, ©2010)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.