Saturday, May 29, 2010

66 Love Letters~ Book Review


66 Love Letters

66 Love Letters, written by Dr. Larry Crabb, is “presented as a dialogue between one man and God.” (dust jacket summary)  Dr. Crabb writes in a conversational tone about what God wants each of us to learn from the Bible.  He begins with Genesis, telling God what he got from reading that book. Then he asks God to show him what He wants us to learn from these words written so long ago.  Each chapter of 66 Love Letters is written this way with Dr. Larry Crabb asking and seeking God and God answering him with truths from the Word.

When I first started reading this book I was unsure about the whole format. I wasn’t sure I liked the way it was written or the frankness with which Dr. Larry Crabb sometimes “spoke” to God.  But, as I began to read each chapter carefully (and I mean carefully, there was so much to learn). I realized a bit more of Dr. Crabb’s life story.  Just bits and pieces, nothing majorly revealing, but enough to show me that this was a man who was being absolutely honest and open with his God.  He didn’t hold anything back.  His desire to love God more and grow to be more like Jesus shined through in each chapter.

It took me many months to read this book, a couple more months than I had thought, actually.  There was so much to learn, so much to ponder.

You will be irresistibly drawn to My love and able to give it to others when you discover in you own experience that the love I have planted in your heart can never be destroyed by rejection, betrayal, criticism, or any other form of unlove you receive. True love reveals itself as the strongest of all passions when your impulse to hate those who hurt you is fully felt (pg 141).

I have underlined and marked up this book.  So many parts jumped out at me, grabbed me, made me stop and think, deeply. 

Dr. Crabb suggests that you read each book of the Bible along with each corresponding chapter in his book, taking a week or two for each book of the Bible.  Since I was reviewing this book for Thomas Nelson, I wasn’t able to do this. But, I am going to read this book again taking the time to read the books of the Bible along with the chapters this time.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to dig deeper into the Bible.  It will open you heart and eyes to God’s Word.

*This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson Publishers to review.

Thursday, May 27, 2010






For the beauty of the earth,

For the glory of the skies

For the love which from our birth over and around us lies:

Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

Folliott S Pierpoint, 1835-1917

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Last week, during my visit with my sister, I picked up a book that was sitting on her end table, The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  The title had me intrigued so I flipped through the beginning pages. When I got to chapter two I decided to read a bit.  WOW!  I knew as soon as I finished the chapter that God was speaking directly to me through the words on those pages.

You need to serve.

Eight years ago my days were filled.  They were overflowing with caring for three little boys 5 and under.  There wasn’t time in my busy days, saturated with mommy, wife and household duties, for anything but serving those I loved.  I didn’t have a spare minute to crochet. I did have an hour to read a book just for me. And I didn’t have the leisure to plop down on the computer and write.  I spent my days giving and living for my family.  And most days it was a pleasure.

These days my children are more independent their ages range from thirteen to four.  They don’t need me to get them a drink every hour.  They can dress themselves, brush their teeth, do chores.  And I’m not changing diapers or potty training anyone.  In short, I have more free time.

However, what struck me as I read those words that day was that some how I had lost sight of an essential part of motherhood. Some where over the past couple of years I slowly took for granted my “me” time.  Tears came to my eyes and a heavy weight of failure settled in my chest as I realized my mistakes.  My guilt stared at me, glaring and taunting.

I feel I have not served my older boys as I should. I took for granted their growing independence. My eyes and heart became glued to my own desires, on what I wanted for me instead of what was needed by my sons.  I realized I need to ask my boys to forgive me. I need to make spending time with them a priority.  I need to take time to scratch that itchy back, to listen to seemingly endless chatter about cowboys, Legos, and Star Wars, to take that walk back to the fort to see the newest addition. I need to meet more than just their physical every day needs.  Most importantly I need to connect with them. To continue building our relationships, strengthening our bonds, drawing close to them so that as we enter the teen years they will feel able to come to me more freely.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45

Thankfully I have forgiving children. And a Savior who brings to my attention my sins, lovingly forgives, and wipes my slate clean.

Thank you Lord!  I’m ready to serve!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Its raining AGAIN.

I feel like Seattle weather has taken over.  Yesterday a strange glowing yellow ball was visible in the sky and every where you went people were staring up it, shielding their eyes and mumbling to themselves about what that thing could possibly be.

But it disappeared again so life is back under the clouds.

Yes, its been that bad.

We’ve had a hard time getting our garden in because of soaking down pours that last for days.

Thankfully we have a good amount of sand in our soil and we were able to get a good portion of our garden in on the one day last week when it didn’t rain.

This week the kids and I spent several days at my sister’s house.

lydia and lauren

It. Rained. The. Whole. Time.

That is until we left. Then the sun came out. 

Of course!

My intention was to get some great shots of all of the kids outside. It would have been a great learning opportunity for me instead I only got one of the two girls sharing a sleeping bag while watching Nick Jr.

However, I did get some beautiful pictures of my sisters flowers.  She has the most gorgeous gardens.

clematis foxglove pink iris

snake wort poppie

Back at home we have a bit of spring that has sprung…

bunnies turkeys

Baby bunnies and turkeys are being cared for on our little farm and the garden is growing.


There will be salads with 5 different types of greens before long!

Even with all the rain and dreariness.

Spring has Sprung!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Girl


My blue-eyed beauty how can it be that you are four already?

As I watched you celebrate your birthday, this weekend, I thought back to the day I first saw your beautiful face.  What joy you brought into our lives that day and each day since then has been full with your sunshine.

You are full of sparkle and laughter, poutiness and attitude, life and princess.

You are a treasured gift from God.

LaurenB-D-5 LaurenB-D-8 LaurenB-D-9 

Each day I thank the Lord for the frills and the bows, the tea parties and dollies, the painting of toes and swirly dresses. 











You have made this momma’s heart soar!


I love you baby girl!

Thursday, May 13, 2010



Back in January our van decided it had been faithful long enough or maybe it had had enough of our rambunctious crew. Either way it blew its engine.

So, Joel being the resourceful firefighter that he is, decided that our former mode of transportation would make a great training tool for his fellow firefighters.  He hauled the old girl down to the fire department and hauled her back looking like this. 100_7818 I can’t imagine any of those guys had fun cutting this up with the Jaws of Life, can you?

For about a month afterwards I was without a vehicle, which honestly wasn’t a problem for this home body with dysfunctional feet.  Especially in the dead of winter.

We tossed around the idea of getting another used van, but the thought of getting into a monthly payment made us uneasy. In light of the underemployment issue we are now dealing with, I know with out a doubt that those feelings were straight from the Lord.

Our dear neighbor lady, who Joel helps out when needs arise, and who I feel has adopted Joel as a family member since all her immediate family is deceased, offered us her car. Her generosity to us is amazing.  I know that this car has quite a bit of sentimental value to her.  Several people have offered to buy it from her, but she refuses to sell it even though it has sat in her barn, unused, for almost two decades.

At first I balked a little at the idea.  I just wasn’t sure how I could go back to driving a car after the convenience of a van. Plus the coolness factor was an issue. I let my vanity get the better of me.

All I could picture when I looked at this car was the classic grandma grocery getter.


You know, hair in rollers, house coat, brown leather tie up shoes, white socks and a huge purse.

Obviously we accepted our generous neighbor ladies offer. We couldn’t turn it down.  How awesome was it that she wanted us to have this car, a car that meant so much to her.  Joel did a bit of work on it, but not much.  I was surprised that it actually run!  A major bonus was that it only had 16,000 miles on it.

To ease myself into the idea of driving this older car, I began to call it my VINTAGE RIDE. That makes it a little cool, right? I mean vintage is in.

DSC_1758 What do you think?


In all seriousness, I am thankful for this car and for the wonderful generosity of our neighbor lady.  I learned something about myself through this whole process.  I still care a little too much about external appearances.  It does not matter what I drive or wear.  I do not need to own the latest and greatest.  It does not matter what others think about my vehicle. 

What matters is the love shown us by a dear sweet friend.

What matters is the condition of my heart. 

The Lord has taught me another valuable lesson.  One that He seems to remind me of often.  He is concerned for the beauty of my heart, not external and temporary items.

I have become quite content with my vintage ride, she gets me where I need to go very dependably and I’ll let you in on a little secret, she’s got a V-8.


Not that I would know anything about all that power and speed!

Really! :)

Monday, May 10, 2010



My thoughts are scattered lately.

I have tried to think of a poignant, wonderful, mind-blowing post.

It just ain’t happening! (Yes, I know ain’t, ain’t a word, spell checker is freaking out, but I ain’t carin’.)

A few of the things on my mind:

~This is our last week of school!  Let me tell you the kids aren’t the only ones cheering.Schools Out

This momma is welcoming summer break with open arms. 


~My back is threatening revolt again.  Therefore, this past week I spent a good portion of each day laying on the couch doped up on ibuprophen and freezing my lower back out with an ice pack.

~Did you have any luck getting a good Mother’s Day picture with your kids?  I only had two with me on Mother’s Day and I asked Joel to take a picture of us.  Let’s just say it was not pretty.  There was one of us refusing to cooperate. Can you guess which one? I gave up before I blew up.


~The Columbines are in full bloom here.  Last week on a warm day I found a spot in the grass to lay down, while my children ran around in absolute chaos throwing buckets of water on each other.  They were well warned to stay far away from me.  As I watched them drench one another I took a couple pictures of the flowers by my head. I then did a bit of editing in photoshop and came up with this.  I think it would make a beautiful card. I’m wondering if there is any way to make money doing this photography thing?



Well, there you have it. 

It’s not much, but I warned you!

Sometimes you just have to blog about life and reality.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

George Has Got To Go

Last summer all the kids from our church were playing out in the church yard after Sunday morning service.  I was standing on the sidewalk talking when all of a sudden my daughter started screaming. 

It was a scream of sheer terror.  Like something you would see in a horror movie.  She stood, unable to move, arms at her sides with her fingers splayed out. Her mouth was wide open, high pitched screams came out in a steady flow.  Her eyes wide open, whites showing, stared at her brothers hands.

Innocent hands that had come to show a little sister a super cool, huge toad. 

Sad to say, I couldn’t help her.  I stood, unable to move, laughing.  I have never seen anything like it! I was eventually able to remove her brother and his toad from her presence, but I couldn’t stop laughing over the display I had just witnessed.

I’m not sure where her intense fear of toads came from.  She certainly didn’t get it from me. I used to catch them all the time when I was a kid. Not only does she freak out over toads, but you can hear her screeching multiple times throughout the day because she has encountered a buggy.  She even screams over ladybugs.

The other day she was out back playing on the swing set when I heard a blood curdling scream.  My heart jumped into my throat and I ran for the back deck, I pictured blood and broken bones.  What I saw was my three-year-old in a tizzy over a tick that was traversing up her leg. 

So imagine this, a little girl on the potty spots an ant.  Panic ensues.  She is stuck on the pot and there is a bug traveling ever closer to her.

“Buggy, buggy, KILL it Momma!”

Just as I’m about to answer I hear Joel say, “No, you can’t kill my friend, that’s George.”

A long drawn out conversation ensues highlighting the benefits and innate evils of the ant George.  In the end, sad to say George was squished, but not before he had summoned all his friends and family members.

Now several times throughout the day I hear high pitched appeals for help.

“Mom, George is back!”

“Mom, there’s a George in here!”

“Momma, come kill George!”

Thank goodness our neighbors don’t live too close or I’m pretty sure I would have flashing lights sitting in my driveway and men in blue uniforms knocking on my door!

Gotta go!  I hear the call.  I must go annihilate George!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Change Happens

Change happens.  It most certainly does.  Life would be dull, monotonous and boring without it.  The time has come for change in our lives.  I guess the Lord thought we needed a bit of a challenge to shake things up a bit, keep us on our toes, take our lives to a different level.

For the past couple of months we have been waiting to find out if Joel would be laid off from his job.  At first mention of the possibility I felt the fear of the unknown grip my heart.  For several days I played the “what if” game.  Then  after stewing over it I decided I better just give it to the Lord.  I surely wasn’t going to be able to do anything about it.  My days continued on and I pushed the whole problem to the back of my mind.  Until last Wednesday when Joel came home telling me he had heard that his position in the plant would be gone on Friday.  Anxiety about the future took hold.  It was all I could think about.  How were we going to manage this?

Friday came.  Friday went.   And life continues.

Joel still has a job (in a different part of the plant) but he will only be working 20-25 hours a week.  We are going to have to get creative and find some other ways to earn some money.  As you know part-time work doesn’t pay the bills no matter how simply you live.  Thankfully we do live simply and do not have outstanding debt on anything except our house.

I am going to be looking into tutoring some students.  I haven’t done it for the past 7 years, but hopefully I can find some students who are in need of a little extra help.  I already have one student lined up for the summer.  The search begins for a few more.

Thank you to each and everyone of you who left me comments, e-mailed or called (thanks Bevy).  I appreciate all the support. 

We are keeping our eyes on the Lord.  He is our strength and He alone will guide us through the days to come.  Without Him this would seem insurmountable.

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come…’        Isaiah 35:3-4

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dwelling In His Presence~ Book Review



Dwelling In His Presence by Cynthia Heald is a 30 day devotional for women.  In her newest book, Ms. Heald explores intimacy with God.

In this inspiring devotional, popular author and Bible teacher Cynthia Heald guides you into God’s Word to explore His relentless, passionate pursuit of those He loves. (Back cover)

Cynthia Heald takes her readers through God’s invitation to us to come to Him, to abide in Him through our need to acknowled ge Him and invite Him into our lives. She writes about living without fear and trusting fully in the Lord.  She talks about the importance of daily communing with the Lord and dwelling in His presence by reading the Bible and praying fervently.

One of my favorite days was Day 19. This day focuses on Jeremiah 6:16 which talks about looking for the ancient paths that lead to good and going that way.

The path that is paved with truth and leads to goodness is the path that Jesus trod.  Jesus emphatically proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NLT). The only path worth choosing is the eternal path that leads to God.  The only path that offers rest in the one to His heart (pg 113).

I have always enjoyed studies by Cynthia Heald and this one was no exception.  If you are desiring to draw closer to the Lord, this devotional, along with your Bible, is a wonderful foundation upon which to build.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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