Monday, August 31, 2009
I attended a Beth Moore Simulcast this weekend and it was refreshing and renewing. But words cannot express the emotions that I felt when I walked into a room and I was surrounded by those women. It felt like I was home. I love where I am at now and I think that God brought me to this place to begin a new season. However, those women will always hold a very special place in my heart.
I learned so much this weekend that I cannot wait to share with you. Right now I am still processing it all and meditating on it. I want it all to really sink deep into my mind and my heart before I write about it.
The sun in shining in South Dakota and God is providing us with another beautiful day. Have a wonderful week.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
I read this scripture this morning and I am pondering this line. . .wait for the Lord. This little scripture says those words twice.
I am not sure what I am waiting on right now, but I am reminded to have patience in all that I do. And maybe someone reading this today needed to hear these words, too.
Praying you all have a wonderful day.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I have been thinking about this verse since I read it yesterday. I have recently stepped away from a volunteer position at the church and it has been hard. Especially because I know that there is a need in this area. However, I have felt led toward a different path. So, after reading this post I have been thinking about being a worker in the field.
All kinds of thoughts have been running through my head, Did I make the right decision? Is someone else going to take over this ministry?
I actually feel a lot of peace about my decision. After reading this verse, this is where my thoughts have gone. . .
The harvest is plentiful, and the field is a big one. There are so many people that still need to be touched by the love of Christ. Not all of these people will be touched by a structured ministry.
I have opportunities everyday to have an impact on so many people. I am choosing in this season of my life to go out into the field and try to make a difference.
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16
Next to the above verse in my Bible I have written in, "Balance between wisdom and vulnerability".
So as I seek balance in my life as a mom, wife, and everything that comes with those roles, I pray that God will provide me with wisdom and vulnerability as I head out to the field.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
What is SnazL?
"The power of snazL is that it lets us, the community, create Our Story in real-time. We can watch what’s been shared in sync and then respond by chat; by adding new videos, audio, and pictures live to the snazL story for the community to watch as part of the story; even by drawing. Community members can interact from multiple locations through the snazL: they can take any snazL to their own social networks, websites, and blogs for THEIR friends to discover and interact with. Any changes that are made to a snazL from one location or from snazL.com update automatically to every location where it’s located."--from the SnazL.com blog
I have had the opportunity to party with some of the coolest bloggers around over the last two weeks with SnazL. Heather from The Domestic Diva, Danielle from Extraordinary Mommy, Nirasha from Mommy Niri, Beth from Role Mommy and Susan from 5 Minutes for Mom all hosted parties that I was able to attend with SnazL. I was able to chat real time with them and share my stories.
Here is what I am asking you to do. Check out my SnazL below. Go to SnazL.com and register. On your account you can make an album of your back to school pictures and videos. Below is a list of some of the questions we are going to focus on that day.
It doesn't matter if your kids are in preschool or College. It doesn't matter if your kids go to public school, private school or homeschool. We all have tips to share. You might not even have kids, but I am sure you have stories of your own to share.
What are your morning routines?
How do you decide which activities your kids get to be involved in each year?
What are some of your favorite After School Snacks or lunch box secrets?
How do you prepare your children to deal with bullying?
Oh, and before I forget. . .there will be prizes. Who doesn't love prizes. Stuff for your kids and stuff for you! It is going to be a great party, I can't wait to see you there.
Any questions about how all of this works, send me an email at amy.thue(at)hotmail(dot)com. I can't wait to see what you have to share.
Next weeks topic. . .Marriage.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Chele asked me to write a guest post on marriage. I decided to share a story from early in my marriage. For any of you that know my husband, you will get a good laugh. My post focuses on communication between a husband and a wife. Let me know what you think. Have you had similar experiences with your spouse?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Happy Friday!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Then in December when I found the lump in my breast I quit exercising. I had my surgery to remove it and everything turned out o'kay. However, the exercising and eating healthy stopped. It has been almost nine months and I could not get myself motivated to start over. I keep telling myself I am going to run the 1/2 marathon again in October, but I have not even started training.
Well, last night I laced up my running shoes, grabbed my Ipod and started to run. I told myself that I had to run at least one mile before I walked. (I know for you runners out there. . .that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but for me it was huge). I was listening to praise music and trying to meditate on it while I ran.
I realized that listening to praise music while running can be dangerous. At one point I almost ran into the ditch because I shut my eyes and was worshiping God.
I knew exactly how far I needed to run to hit a little over a mile. There was a stop sign straight in front of me. I just had to get to it and then I could walk. I really wanted to stop running, but I didn't. Every time I wanted to stop I would listen to the words on my Ipod. "I am weak but You are strong" and "Lord with You there's nothing I cannot do". I kept running.
I didn't stop until I got to the stop sign. Of course the next song on my playlist was "Praise the King" by Cindy Morgan. And believe me I was praising God for getting me to that stop sign.
This post may sound really silly to you. I know it was only one mile of running. (By the way I did still have to get back home so I did go over 2 miles) But to me, it was starting over. It was getting through that first run. It was a run to praise God that the surgery that stopped my running ended up being nothing.
God is so good. There really is nothing that we cannot do without Him.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I recently finished a book that I can't wait to share with all of you. It caught my eye the first time I saw it and I couldn't wait to get out my highlighter and tabs and dig in. The title of the book is GOD'S GIRLS IN SPORTS - Guiding Young Women Through the Benefits and Pitfalls
Being a mom of three girls and a former athlete this book intrigued me. My girls are still young, but I found out this summer, guiding them in athletics starts as soon as they begin to compete. My oldest daughter is 8 and she has already seen coaches and parents at their worst. This book has given me insight that I may never have realized about girls in sports.
God's Girls in Sports was written by former collegiate athlete and coach Holly Page. She currently teaches elementary physical education at a small Christian school in Texas. Her book takes you into all aspects of girls in sports.
Holly focuses on the benefits and costs of interscholastic athletics. She does an excellent job of stating all of her views and guides you as a parent in determining what is best for your daughter.
My favorite area of the book is Holly's ABC's of communicating with coaches. This was so insightful to me and I think every parent with an athlete, boy or girl needs to read this chapter. This book also focuses on coaching girls. My husband and I are involved in coaching our girls as volunteers and this book guides all levels of coaches on how we can coach girls effectively.
There are so many aspects of this book that I will use as my girls grow and develop into athletes. God's Girls in Sports is a book that every parent or coach of girls should read to help our girls have an excellent experience as an athlete.
In one chapter of the book Holly states, "I spend a lot of time in my PE class discussing how to play with integrity, win with humility and lose with dignity." This statement sounds so simple, yet in the world of athletics becomes so much more complex. It is my prayer that if our girls choose to be athletes we can help teach them to play with these characteristics.
I highly recommend this book. It is one that I am positive I will keep going back to for many years to come.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
They are super excited to go and be able to spend the day with their friends instead of spending it with me. They are young enough that they still love the learning part, too.
It is sad to see our carefree days come to an end, but I am a mother that loves a little structure, so I am really looking forward to tomorrow.
This past week while we were away I had a lot of ideas swirling through my head on posts I wanted to write when I got back. One post idea came from my husband. When we were driving in the pickup back to the campground after one of our fun filled days and our girls were not on their best behavior, he had a revelation. He said, "As a parent, we get a little glimpse of how we must make Jesus feel. We are never satisfied, we always want more."
What brought on this conversation? We had just spent the day spoiling our girls with fun and quality time together as a family and they were acting, well, spoiled rotten. They were fighting with each other in the pickup. You know the "she is touching me", "she hit me", kind of bickering. Then they said, "What are we going to do when we get back to the camper?"
We were exhausted and we were ready to sit by the campfire and relax. They had just been entertained for the last 6 hours and they wanted to know how we were going to keep entertaining them.
My husband and I talked about how as adults we are never satisfied either. The world teaches us that there is always something bigger and better just waiting for us to go out and get. We have to consciously take the time to slow down and enjoy all of the blessings we have already been given.
We have already received the biggest, best gift we can ever dream of receiving. I am taking some time this morning to praise God for that gift.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Saturday, August 15, 2009
We have had our ups and our downs, just like any family spending 24/7 together in a 29 foot camper. The ups have far outweighed the downs and we can look at the downs and laugh already.
I have a lot to share about this vacation and the quiet time I have spent with God. I love to sit outside in the still of the morning to read and pray.
Today, however, I have a scary, funny, Praise God story to share that will hopefully brighten your day.
A couple of days ago we decided to load everyone up into the pickup and take a nice scenic drive through the Hills to explore the beauty that surrounded us. We stopped at the campground office to grab a map. Hubby made a comment about needing to get gas, but we would get it later. (note to self: always fill up your tank if you have an opportunity to do so).
We headed down the road until we came to a beautiful lake. We explored and took pictures, it was so much fun and so beautiful. As we left the lake my husband said again that we needed to get some gas. Of course, there was nowhere to get gas at the lake. (note to self: do not head up a mountain when you are almost out of gas).
So we loaded back into the pickup and took off up the mountain through Needles Highway. We got closer to the top and the gas tank said 21 miles left until we were empty. I could tell that my hubby was starting to get a little nervous, but we knew we couldn't be too far away from civilization.
Well, we started down the mountain. The road was really narrow, at some places only one car could get through a tunnel at a time. Now the gas light came on in the pickup and it would not tell us how many miles we had left before we ran out of gas. We started to get really nervous. We started to wonder if we were ever going to get down the mountain. There was nowhere to pull off the side of the road and we were unsure how far we were from the bottom of the mountain.
I laughed and said, "If God can move mountains, then he can get us to a gas station."
Well, we really, really started to get nervous. We thought for sure we were going to run out of gas at any moment. I said, "I have been praying, God please get us to a gas station." My middle child (my little prayer warrior) said, "You have been talking. I have been praying this whole time. I have been saying Dear Lord, don't let us run out of gas!"
After we got done visiting about how God wasn't going to let us run out of gas, suddenly the gas light went off and the gas range came back on. It said we had 39 miles until we were on empty.
Let me tell you, we started singing praise songs in the pickup. About 15 minutes later we pulled into a convenience store and filled up the tank. When my hubby got out to fill up the car we started to pray. Thanking God for filling us up. And we laughed. God is so good.
Our girls will never forget this vacation. Once again, God answered their prayers and they knew that He would. I think through it all God was teaching me a lesson, too.
That morning I was reading an entry in My Utmost For His Highest that said, "it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to trust Him, the crisis will reveal that we will go to the breaking point and not break confidence in Him."
I then turned to Matthew 6 and read, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life." Matthew 6:25-27
Oswald Chambers talked about our "elementary panic prayers" to God when we are in crisis. That day on the mountain when we were almost out of gas I remembered my quiet time that morning. I had complete confidence in God that He would not leave us stranded on that mountain.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
"The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26
For our five year anniversary Chad and I took a trip to Kauai, Hawaii. It was our second trip to the beautiful islands of Hawaii and I wanted to make it really special. I decided that I wanted to surprise him and renew our vows on the beach while we were there. Our wedding had been planned so quickly and there were so many people threre. Plus we had both found Jesus since our wedding. I thought it would be really special to say our vows again, just the two of us, rededicating our marriage to God.
It ended up being a not so nice day. It rained off and on and it was a little bit gloomy. We went down to the beach and started the ceremony. Just Chad, me, the lady officiating the vow renewal and a photographer. She started the ceremony and we went through our vows. She had asked ahead of time if I would like her to include some scripture in the renewal. I told her I did, but I didn't give her any guidance as to what scripture to include.
The sun had been hiding behind the clouds most of the day. When she started her scripture she said, "May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine upon you."
As soon as she said those words, the sun came out from above the mountain and God smiled at us. I will never ever forget that moment. If you haven't read our story, I shared a little bit of it here. We had a rocky start. Jesus was not the center of our marriage in the beginning. As we renewed our commitment to each other and most importantly to God, he made sure we knew he was listening.
Yesterday my good friend, Mike, our associate pastor, finished up a sermon series on these three verses in Numbers. It really spoke to me. Just a little summary for you. . .
God wants to bless us,
God wants to keep us,
God is smiling at us when no one else is,
God shows us grace, even when we do not deserve it,
God is attentive to us,
And God gives us peace.
Mike said, "If you do not find peace from God, you need to go back and start reading the verses from the beginning."
I am sharing this post today to encourage all of you. God is always here. Always. He loves us when it feels like no one else does. He loves us even when we mess up. God is smiling at you today.
There is a fabulous new website called (in)Courage that launched today. There are 20 wonderful women contributing to this site. I (in)Courage you to check it out!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
I opened up My Utmost for His Highest and jumping out from the page I read this:
"There is no room here for the Son of God just now, no room for quiet holy communion with the Father."
This devotional was first published in 1935. I think about the busyness of life, and the advances in technology since Oswald Chambers first wrote this statement. If people had no room in their lives from the Son of God in 1935. . .just think about what it is like today.
I will be the first to admit that it is so tempting to go first to the tv, the newspaper, or the computer when I first wake up in the morning rather than to God. That is why I cherish Saturday mornings. I am not the only parent in the house to answer to the call of my kids. I take the opportunity to sneak out to the front porch and have my quiet time.
I always wanted my kids to wake up in the morning and see me reading my Bible and putting God first. Unfortunately, lately the first thing they see is me at the computer.
I always want to leave room for the Son of God. I always want to make time for quiet holy communion with the Father.
As I spent time in prayer this morning, this is what I asked God for. . .
Help me teach my children about You.
Help me touch my friends with You.
Help me love my enemies through You.
Help me live my life for You.
Friday, August 7, 2009
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3 1-8 NIV
Oh how I wish it was always a time to laugh and dance. We have had a wonderful summer and it is quickly coming to a close. In less than two weeks our older girls will be back in school. One week later their younger sister will be going to preschool a few days a week.
I love the season of life I am in right now. We have our days. . .but I feel so blessed to be a mom. The housework is overwhelming and the kids fight. But I remember the harried days of rushing around in the morning to get myself ready for work and three little ones ready for daycare. Those days were not so long ago, but they are already hard to remember. I need to put the computer away today and cherish these last moments of summer break with my girls.
I hope today is a laughing and dancing day in your house.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Yesterday morning I got up early to have a little quiet time. I had about an hour, but I wanted more. However, I am a mom of an early riser and she likes to have a playmate. She started in at 8:30, "I want to go through the sprinkler."
I said, "No, it is only 8:30." She is very persistent and she did not give up. I was really trying to be patient. I really did not do a very good job. We ended up waking up her sister in the process of discussing that it was too early to get out the sprinkler. Eventually she did get her way and they did have fun. However, it wasn't until late afternoon that I let her get her swimsuit on.
This morning my older daughters are both at a friend's house. They had a sleepover last night. This morning I got up even earlier and I had about an hour and a half all to myself. This morning little one was ready to pick up her sisters at 8:30. "Who is going to play with me?" I said, "me". So we started our day playing Polly Pockets.
I have a million things to do, but how do you resist this face.
I am trying to learn to have patience and just play.
Last week I ordered a t-shirt from Faith Baby. I think that I need one in an adult size for myself. I absolutely love it. Nadia does, too. And I think it suits her perfectly. You need to take some time to check out the Faith Baby site. My order came in a couple of days. Talk about great service. Thanks Steph!
Nadia found seven quarters this morning and told me she was taking her dad and I to Dairy Queen for lunch and she is paying. :-)
I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The morning before we headed for home we visited my husband's grandmother in the nursing home. She hasn't been in there long and she is still not very happy about being there. Unfortunately she is very weak and needed extra care. She has a hard time articulating what she wants to say and she gets frustrated when she can't get the words out.
One of the things she said that really stuck with me is, "people don't really care about relationships anymore". It made me really sad to hear her say it. But, I know that it is true.
We let our busy lives get in the way of so many of our relationships: relationships with family, friends and even God.
I had an interesting conversation last week with a friend about Salvation. How can you know when you are saved? I left the conversation feeling like I did a horrible job explaining my thoughts. All of the scriptures that I know, wouldn't come to my mind.
Yet really, it all comes back to one word, Relationship. No wonder it is so hard to explain this to people when all too often in our culture, we don't nurture the relationships we have.
I realized on Monday that I have some relationships that need some extra attention. I am not going to let the busyness of life get in the way. I am so thankful for all of you that take the time to read my posts. I am having so much fun developing new relationships with my readers and fostering the relationships I already had.
Have a fabulous Wednesday.
Monday, August 3, 2009
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2
Last week I was reading the beginning chapters in Matthew. As I read I came across a few different Bible Stories that brought old Sunday School songs into my head. As I was reading I had tunes and words running over and over. I thought about my experiences as a young child on Sunday morning. All ages would gather in the sanctuary and sing for 15 minutes before we went back to our classrooms for a lesson. These classic songs taught me many of my first Bible Stories that have always been with me.
I did not understand the importance of a having a relationship with Jesus until I was in my 20's, but I had learned a lot of the Bible as a child. I realize that a lot of those stories stuck with me through the years from the songs that I sang.
I think about my children and their knowledge of Jesus. They can recite verses and tell us all about how important it is that Jesus died on the cross. However, I don't know if any of them could sing all the words to Jesus Loves Me.
The songs that they sing are energetic and upbeat, they are Surfin' through Scriptures and praising God through contemporary worship songs. So, at home we have begun to introduce some of our old favorites. My little one loves to sing about The Wise Man and The Foolish Man.
Do you have a favorite Sunday School Song that you remember from your youth?
Here is a little from my personal favorite. . .
I may never march in the infantry,
ride in the calvary,
shoot the artillery.
I may never fly o'er the enemy,
But I'm In the Lord's Army.
MckLinky's Blog Hop is words of Encouragement. Check out more words of encouragement below.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I am writing this post on Friday as we are leaving today for a family reunion and camping fun. I wanted to make sure that I got this post done in advance. Hopefully it will show up on Sunday, I am not exactly sure how to do this.
What are you praising God for today?
- Baby Stellan's Smiling Face. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.
- Camping Fun with my family
- Smores and a campfire
- My blogging friend Chele and her amazing new blog.
- School Summer Break (the girls go back to school in a couple of weeks.
- Summer picnics with friends
Join me by linking up and sharing what you are praising God for today.