Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Recent events where I have been deceived by the enemy have me asking God for confirmation at every turn. I am not particulary fond of being deceived - I'm guessing nobody is. I want to know God's will so I can be in it. I don't want to take a step that isn't His desire. Life is sooooo good in His will, I never want to leave.

I have been told and read that one of the ways we can know that something is from God and His will for us is to get confirmation from other believers so that's what I've been asking for. And wouldn't you know it, He's been bringing it through my husband, through friends, through circumstances. Many things are on our plates right now and it looks like change is coming.
And He's right there directing our steps. I'm thankful everyday for a husband who also loves the Lord.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

Philippians 4:13

I don't know that I've mentioned previously that I have been in business all of my adult working life. At any time if I didn't have my own business, I was studying business or helping someone else start one or grow one. My undergraduate degree is in business management and my "fun" was reading books about business - how to start them, how to improve them, how to lead in them, how to manage them. I thought for sure I'd be in business all my life. Then I got to leave the business world and just be a mom and a wife, and I liked it. After I discontinued selling Tupperware a year ago (May 2009) we realized we didn't need for me to bring in any income and I settled into my new role as VP of Household Affairs. It was a transition that actually took almost 3 years for me mentally.

When my husband and I met in 2000, I was supporting myself and our oldest. I had been doing that alone for 12 years. I don't mean that no one ever helped me care for my son. I couldn't have gotten through without relatives and friends. But financially, for the most part, I was it. When my son was little I worked and went to school, thinking education would be our only way out of the poverty I grew up with. Eventually I got a job that paid more than I hoped to make out of college and quit school. And that's where we were when I met Dennis and we got married. So when our daughter was born in 2005, I wanted to be home with her more than anything, but my mind had difficulty letting go of being a provider. I had a few different businesses from home but when Tupperware ended I was ready. I love being home with her and never missing a thing. I love seeing her personality grow and develop, and I love knowing she is getting more of the stuff we want her to have (hugs and kisses, love, Christ, the Bible) and less of the things we don't. It's a good time. Then I went to the women's retreat with church.

During the second night at the retreat, I was up from about midnight to 5 a.m. with God, working out "stuff". And the Holy Spirit said "What if you were made to be a business woman?" And it came out like "What if God MADE you for the purpose of being a business woman?" That kind of upset my apple cart. Once again, I didn't say "OK God, if that's the way you want it, I'm in." I wish that was my first response. That's my heart's desire - to always want the things He wants for me. But the reality is I'm human and I wanted to just stay an at-home mom. I didn't want anything interfering with my relationship with Him and I didn't want to engage in anything that took time from my family. I can't say too many times how loving and patient He is with us. I did come to grips with it and not long after the retreat, He gave me a wonderful picture of what business as a ministry could look like for our family.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Yesterday I went to Iowa to serve with the Gateway at the shelter. I seem to be in this season where God is working with me on "stuff". I won't bore you with the details of the stuff, but I got the opportunity to stare down my own selfish ambitions.... ouch. Didn't see that one coming. And I realized, as much as I try, I still don't go to God immediately when I need to. I think I can handle it. In my case, it gave place to the enemy and compromised my witness. But our God is so good, so loving, so gentle with us. And He reasurred me today, twice, that even in my failings He still loves me and will still use me to serve. A third thing I was reminded of on the trip was that God wastes nothing. Even in the middle of a situation that was not in God's will for me, He redeemed it and brought fruit from it. He astounds me with His grace and mercy.

What about the actual serving part at the shelter? I met some wonderful people - homeless and not homeless. As I was driving into Des Moines it was raining. I thought about how the people who'd come for lunch would have to be in the rain once they were done eating. If you don't know, dear reader, they don't usually get to hang out in the shelters during the day. They can be there for meals and to sleep if they get a spot and then they are out. Also, on the way down I chose to eat an orange for breakfast and drink water only and I realized that the homeless can't even necessarily get water when they are thirsty. Seriously, what do we know about this life and the plight of others??? I realized that homelessness definitely has no "one size fits all" solution. Some of the issues these people face - mental illness, spiritual attack, lack of education, lack of family, lack of resources, lack of so many things, makes it a formidable task to help them out of that situation. I gained a new appreciation for shelters, even though most of what I've read makes them a place I'd never want to be. And honestly, I thought the shelter we served in was so decrepit, I cried. It looked nice on the outside and once you got in, it smelled bad, the kitchen was gross and dirty, paint was peeling. I wondered how the state wouldn't close that kitchen because if it was a restaurant they sure would. I felt that the people we were serving deserved better than that. And yet, at least someone was providing them a meal when without it, many of them would go hungry.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Crazy Love

I finished reading a book called "Crazy Love - Overwhelmed by a Relentless God" by Francis Chan who is a pastor in California. It's the kind of book I think I'm done with and then I pick it up again and something resonates with me. It also reminds me of the church in Iowa. At the end of the book, Francis Chan talks about different people who have sacrificed in "crazy" ways to show others the love of Jesus Christ. He also talks about how his church gives away 55% of what they receive. It reminded me of the Gateway because they too are constantly in the community and I believe they give alot for such a young church. I'm impressed and encouraged. There are models all around for insane levels of giving of our time, our treasures and our talents!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Upcoming opportunities

I decided to do a second post today because this one is actually FUN and the first was a little heavy. Hopefully you've read an earlier post where I talk about serving some church planters. The church I'm supporting is in Iowa and I called to ask how I might come and physically serve. I've been praying for them for weeks but I was hoping to come and set up for a service or help them in some other way. I had checked out their website and found that they are a very missional church, meaning they spend alot more time OUT serving their community than most churches I know of. Very cool. And then I found out that they are supportive of church planters - so much so that they set aside 10% of the offerings they receive to financially support church planters. This is too much fun! What a great match! So last week I called and spoke with the pastor and he said they had an upcoming Easter egg hunt in Des Moines that they were working on and could really use help with. Easy. I'll be there! I expressed how excited I was and wished it was sooner. He then mentioned that the 2nd weekend in March they were doing a HOMELESS outreach. And the 2nd Saturday in March I was available. I hope you are seeing how beautifully God can orchestrate things. It is AMAZING.


This past weekend was a women's retreat with our church. Retreat...doesn't it just bring to mind a picture of rest, relaxation and good times? That's what I was hoping for and that is apparently not what I needed. The theme was "Image Is Everything" and what that meant was that the image we present to others is the sum total of experiences we've had. Image is neither good nor bad, it just is. We were encouraged to ask Jesus to bring to light all the things about our image we should leave there at the retreat and all the things we should take with us. It was in essence, a time of healing, at least for me. I was asked many times toward the end "Did you have fun?" and I always hesitated, not knowing what to say. FUN - heck no! Fun is not the word I would use to describe sleepless nights, wrestling with yourself and your anxieties, and staring down the most painful things of your life. Was it good - yes. ABSOLUTELY. Was it fun? Honestly, it was the farthest thing. Would I go again? In a heartbeat. How could you not want freedom from your chains? How could you not want lies you believe about yourself to be uncovered and the truth that God loves you and thinks you are beautiful to penetrate to the deepest parts of your soul? If God thinks you are lovable, beautiful, worthy and you see Him as the final authority for your life - then absolutely NOTHING anyone else can say about you matters. I hope every person that ever reads this believes that. And my prayer actually is that as you read this, God starts the process that helps you come to know it at the deepest parts of your soul too. The journey might be painful, but I encourage you to hold on, press into Him when it hurts, and let Him do His work in you. I believe beyond on a shadow of a doubt that this part of the journey was necessary for me to be in ministry.