Monthly Archives: September 2012



There are many things I question that show my “age” to my children.  Their likes and preferences.  Like, why does Kourtney insist on wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt almost every single day–she is a little girl, darnit!?  Or why and how do moccasins look good with sports socks and shorts?  Why do we wear really short shorts some days, and then really long basketball shorts other days?  Why in the world would you wear spandex underneath your jeans?  Why in the world does Kassidy wear a sweatshirt when it’s 90 degrees outside?  And why in heavens name does Landon wear shorts when it’s 32 degrees outside?  I guess the bigger question here is why do you let them, Mom?

Steve and I were driving home from the volleyball games last night and from our very insightful conversation, I realized I was going to have to do a post on this.  There is one pressing question that I just can NOT wrap my mind around.  Socks.  Socks that are a specific brand name.  Socks that fit just right above in the mid-ankle area–not taller, not shorter.  Socks that are neon yellow.  Socks that have pink on them (Landon’s current fave and Steve’s current mental issue).  Socks that have the Nike swoosh in the front.  And the socks that have the Nike swoosh on the side.  Socks that are made for basketball.  Socks that are made for football.  To tell you the truth, they look exactly the same to me…but what do I know?  And then there are the socks that have the label R for right foot and L for left foot.  And heaven forbid you get two R’s folded together.  And did you know that some socks even have an M for medium when you fold it down on the inside?  A direct quote from my daughter “see Mom, it makes it really easy when you’re folding laundry.”  WHATEVER!


More than anything, I am amazed at how important socks have become.  We have celebrated two birthdays in the last week, and both kids asked for, you guessed it, socks.  It is becoming apparent to me that we FIRST choose our socksand then we figure out the rest of what we are wearing.  What?!


I am here to tell you all…socks USED to be what we thought of as a “cheap” fill your stockings, buy some extras, Christmas and/or birthday gift.  NOT. ANY. MORE.  Socks have become what shirts used to be.  So I guess, if that’s what you want for your birthday?  And that’s what you’re spending your $$ on?  It’s their decision.  But I still don’t get it.  The reality of this post is, that I know I am not alone in this whole socks ordeal.  If your kids are not in to socks yet, first of all, go give them a hug, and then mark it in your gratitude journal and bask in the gloriousness of not having to worry about socks.

Now, after editing this post, I am wondering…is this really how you spell SOCKS?

choose JOY.

choose JOY.

Today in bible study, Beth Moore said something that just spoke such truth to me.  “Joy is our birthright in Christ.”.   Think about that.  How awesome is that?  And so often, we let others steal our joy.  It is NOT others who are to blame here.  It is us.  We are to blame if we don’t have that joy in Christ.  That is a pretty hard pill to swallow, isn’t it?  What???  It’s MY fault?

I am going to be real candid here in saying that I have struggled my entire life with being a “people pleaser”.  I can take a situation where someone was not as friendly to me as I was hoping, or as friendly as they usually are, and I can drive myself crazy with thoughts of I wonder what I did to them?  I wonder why she isn’t talking to me?  Did I offend them?  He must be upset with me.  That email message sounded like she didn’t care.  And the thoughts go on and on.  I think that as women, we have that tendency.  To take things personally and work something that was really nothing, into something.  Did that make sense?  I didn’t think so!

There is something about the FREEDOM of knowing that obeying Jesus is the key to JOY in your life.  It’s a l0t to think about.  A lot to grasp.  But, no one has the right to take JOY from you.  It is freely given to you.  The joy comes in knowing Christ and being known. 

With Kourtney celebrating her birthday yesterday, it gave me such perspective on JOY.  Take yourselves back to birthdays as a kid.  Was that not just about the best feeling in the world?  The feeling of your birthday from the time you get up until the time you go to bed (I’m talking as a child here, birthdays are not so much fun after 30!) is one I think most of us can relate to.  There is such joy.  A skip in your step.  Your siblings don’t bother you as much.  In fact, as Kourtney can attest to, I’m not sure she could have wiped the smile off her face yesterday.  A birthday breakfast complete with candles and singing. A new bike waiting for her in the garage.   A birthday lunch with her Daddy.  A birthday smoothie date in the afternoon. Birthday s’mores made and delivered by Grandma.  Birthday presents waiting on the table.   A crowd of kiddos and adults singing to her at Wednesday evening youth group.  Birthday greetings on the answering machine and special phone calls only to her.  And finally, a family birthday celebration with chocolate cupcakes before bed.  This is JOY.  We’ve got to bottle it up!  Jesus wants this very exact feeling…the feeling of a birthday as a kid, to surround us each day as we live for Him.  Can you imagine it?  Choose joy.  I am thinking it might just be contagious.

for this child, I prayed…


today, it’s been ten years.  10 years!  An entire decade.  Ten years that we have known and loved our sweet Kourtney Janae.  For us, she was our miracle baby.  The only pregnancy I ever had that was threatened.  The only time I’ve been told to prepare for a miscarriage.  The only time we’ve been told that there seems to be a problem.  The only pregnancy that was marked with multiple sonograms to check measurements in her brain that just weren’t quite right.  The only pregnancy that we cried and pleaded with God to give us a healthy baby.  The only pregnancy that when it came time to deliver her, that among the overwhelming flooding of love we had after each  birth of our children, we also experienced extreme thankfulness, gratefulness, relief, and exuberant joy that we had a perfectly healthy baby girl.

Each birthday my children have, it takes me right back to the night and hours before their births.  You can ask a mama just about anything about her pregnancy, labor and delivery, and I can guarantee you, if they remember nothing else in their life times, they WILL remember in significant detail, the story of the birth of their children.  And being a labor and delivery nurse, I think it may be a bit exemplified for me.  I love to hear these stories.  To relive the miracle of life.  Because that’s exactly what it is.  It is a miracle to have a healthy baby.  I know that Steve and I took that for granted.  I know that with both Natalie and Kassidy we never had a thought that we could possible NOT have a healthy pregnancy, labor or delivery.  With Kourtney, that changed.  And I have forever looked at the miracle of life as just that.  A miracle.

I prayed for this child  Kourtney, and the Lord has granted me what I asked.  1 Samuel 1:27.

what’s in a name?


I had the privilege of attending a workshop with Jim Tomberlin yesterday.  You can click his name to find out more about him, but essentially, he is a leading church mult-site consultant who is working with our church as we dream to reach more people by adding campuses in different areas, all the while maintaining that we are ONE church.  It is exciting and energizing to think of the impact we have in reaching others! 

When Steve and I were growing up, it was UNCOMMON to have others in our classes at school who did not attend a church somewhere.   In our school and community we were blessed to live in a community rich in Christian heritage.  Where on Sunday mornings the town bustled as we all hurried to get to church.  The social activity of the week for many was what the youth group was planning, and church was a common thread…for most.

There has definitely been a shift.  Our culture is ever-changing.  The busyness of our lives is in the forefront.  We are on the go.  Always.  Church is just kind of hard to work in.  And if you feel like you don’t belong, how hard are you going to want to work church in?

There were many things Jim Tomberlin said that were impacting.  But one that spoke volumes to me was how easily we can alienate the very people we are trying to reach, just in a name.  The name of a church can absolutely turn people away because right away, they may think “but we are not the same as them”.  What are we anyway?  I mean, what is the name of a church saying about the very people sitting inside?  It may be truth and it may not be.  The perspective from the outside is many times predetermined just because of the nameof a church.  That just seems wrong, doesn’t it?

Denominationl tags can say “we want our kind to come”.  And what is OUR kind?  Seriously, what is it?  The fact of the matter is, denominational labeling comes from man.  Right away, a name can exclude the very people we are trying to reach.  An artificial barrier to a place where all should be able to hear the Good News, where the ground is level at the foot of the cross.  This is not to say, that we water down what we believe.  But it is to say, we should be striving to live a life like Jesus.  Our perfect mentor.  The ONLY righteous man to have ever walked this earth.  And it’s going to be hard.  We’re going to mess up, it’s inevitable.  And only because of his saving grace, can we pick ourselves up again.  He cleans our slate new each day.  Everyone needs this hope in Christ.  Living without it?  Can you imagine?  It is real for so many.

I just wonder, what in the world, if Jesus were leading a church, what do you think He would name it?  And went it really comes right down to it, Jesus is who we want leading every church.  The word ONE  sure takes on a new perspective, doesn’t it?

we shine you…


As I was preparing and praying for leading praise and worship for our Wednesday evening children’s ministry, I kept coming to a theme of “be the light for the world”.  Not a new concept, by any means.  By now you know how much I love the verse Matthew 5:16.  In fact, I think I could work this theme in to absolutely EVERYTHING!  What more perfect song than “This  Little LIght of Mine”?  Of course our version we use with the kids is a ton of fun—and a little more rockin’ than the typical.  But nonetheless, the message is the same.  Let your light shine!

We continued our “ONE” sermon series yesterday.  And can you guess what it was about?  Yes, being the light of the world.  I just love it when God works this way.  He weaves himself and the message he wants to bring and does it repeatedly.  It’s obvious that I am most likely a slow learner.  But He is definitely up to something with this being a light stuff.  What really impressed me was the question posed who is really the light of the world?  Of course, my first gut response is Jesus.  And that’s true.  But we are also the vessels that bring the light of Jesus to others.  So it’s everyone.  It’s Jesus.  We are in this together.  We are ONE. 

Don’t know about you, but I see some significant shining here in these pictures…

Possibly my new favorite song.  At least for this week…  You are the Light.

friday fave!


Yes!  It’s Friday.  And because it’s Friday and I’m on call waiting to be called in at any moment, and because my laundry is beckoning me (I am embarassed to say I’m not even sure what is clean and what is dirty, ever been there?), and because my house needs to be ready for a Blessings Gathering in 48 hours from now, I am going  to QUICKLY give you a FRIDAY FAVE! 

The last couple of weeks have just blown me away with meeting new people and sharing Blessings Unlimited.  It never ceases to amaze me how each gathering is beyond unique.  I would NEVER try to guess what product will touch the group of people who are gathering together.  It simply amazes me.  We are all created so differently—and it is so awesome to see how true that is in each and every gathering I have, and each and every person who attends.  It really is a beautiful thing! 

One of my favorite wedding gifts we received was this You are Special Today plate.  It’s something I’ve always displayed somewhere in my home and wasn’t used much before we had kids.  Sorry, Steve~I just assume you knew I thought you were special on your birthday.  Anyway, once the kiddos were born and able to understand, I started using this plate for special occasions, mainly birthdays.  My MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group had a special speaker one morning that completely inspired me.  She said that she uses her plate every single day!  What she did was look for the little things her kids, husband, or other family members did that showed being a light for Jesus in every day living.  For example, opening the door for someone, sharing toys, waking up with a good attitude, saying please and thank you, and the list could go on and on.  The dinner table would be set and one person would have this plate at their place.  How cool is that?!  I just fell in love with the idea of this.  Not only is she recognizing and lifting up her family, she is further fostering character traits and doing good through recognizing even the simplest things her children were doing.  I just have to think her kids were conciously beginning to think how they can bless others in what they say, do, and how they act each and every day.  I love the idea.  What a huge testimony of love she showed her family!

I have used this story many times in my gatherings because Blessings Unlimited has their own You are special plate.  Actually,  it is called a Celebration PlateYou can click here to see the product description in more detail.  I loved this plate from the first time I saw it, and for many of the girls at a gathering last week, they must have too!  I love sharing when something in particular touches people.  Many of these women were young moms and I pray they have many wonderful times blessing their families with the Celebration Plate.  Dinner time in their homes will be forever changed!

Now you tell me, who doesn’t want to hear…”You are special, loved, adored.  A gift from God, a sweet reward.  You smiles light up every day.  You bless the world–hip, hip, hooray!  You’re fun to be with, fun to love, a happy treat from God above.  So thankful He created you, let’s celebrate with much ado!” 

This is definitely a way to bring blessings  to your home!  (no pun intended…HA!)

thank you, beth.


This is what my house is looking like right at the moment…

I feel much like things are kind of starting to get out of control over here.  Honestly, I do not know where this week has gone.  It’s Thursday already!  Yikes.  Where is the brake?  In the past, Wednesdays were such awesome days for me at home, because technically, with church and youth activities in the evenings, I don’t need to make supper.  Which means that my kitchen can be and stay clean.  But, as you can see in the picture above, it did not get done this week.  Frustrating.  There really is no excuse besides the fact that I chose to do other things yesterday afternoon.  In the meantime, some Blessings orders I need to fill arrived.  So there is my front door and entrance to the house.  Welcoming, huh?!  I think it was just a week ago I was basking in the loveliness of a clean home.  Hmmm…

I started a Beth Moore bible study yesterday, and if you’ve ever done one, you know how awesome she is.  Her content, her delivery, everything.  I have not done one for a few years and I am so excited to get back in to it.  I NEED to get back in to it.  To have something intentional that drives me to get in the word. 

Of all the content we studied today, the one thing that grabbed me, shook me, and slapped me right in the face was this:  do only what blesses and not what burdens.  Oh my—I love this.  She was referencing how to use and spend your time with this particular bible study.  But for me, I think we can take that right into our daily life.  When, what, and how we choose to fill ourselves is so important.  I can look at my day, week, and month in my planner and ask that question of myself.  What am I doing that is blessing others and/or bringing blessings to others?  What am I doing that is bringing burdens?  Or burdening my family? 

We have the choice.  It’s ours.  Thank you, Beth, for that nugget today.

birthday boy.


I can NOT believe it has been 8 years.  Eight years since God blessed us with something very different than what we have ever known.  Eight years since our blonde-haired round faced little boy joined our family and forever changed the way people referred to us as “Steve, Steph and the girls“.  You threw a wrench in to the whole girl thing, Landon…and we couldn’t be more blessed!

We were never going for that boy, as people liked to refer to it.  In fact, we were feeling pretty confident that we knew how to do the pink thing pretty well.  Landon Nathaniel was this baby boy’s name from the time we chose it for a boy.  Kyndall Addison if he was a girl.  I have to say, I LOVE the name Kyndall.  And our hospital bed had the name Kyndall on it so both Steve and I thought, yep, this baby is a girl.  And we were overjoyed with that.  I can not even put in to words the way we felt when Landon was born.  First of all, the miracle of birth in itself.  Never does a birth cease to amaze me, whether my own or those I experience with my patients at the hospital.  We will tell you, no matter boys or girls, we could not have been happier with the four children we were given.  But, you know when you think things just could not get any better?  That is what I experienced when Landon was given to Steve right after his birth.  A moment of extreme, I can’t even think of a word.  Extreme.  Our family was made complete.  And we knew it.


There is just something about little boys.  They start out different from the beginning.  Never before had I been peed on with my three girls.  And Landon?  Yep, in the first hour!  There is just something different about the way a Daddy talks to and holds a baby boy. I know for Steve, his mind started racing to all things tractors and farm related.  At the time, he was doing quite a bit more “part-time hobby” farming and it just excited him to think of all of the times he would take his boy and go.  The funny and irony here is that if you know Landon, farming wouldn’t be exactly his forte.  In all actuality, up until a few months ago, he really didn’t have much desire to go check out what Dad and Grandpa were doing on the farm.  Having a Dad that works at John Deere provided him with some significant benefits in the toy tractor and implement area.  Benefits we did not fully take advantage of because of all things, farming just wasn’t where it was at for Landon.  He is all things BALL  related.  Like over the top on this.  Whatever sports  season it  is, that is what you will find Landon doing.  This love of his works for Steve also.  It definitely helped ease the pain from the lack of farming love.  The bond Steve and Landon had was there right from the start.  And the Mommy and son bond?  Wow.  I love it.  Even though I have moved out of the “mommy” stage with him.  OUCH!!  That hurts my heart…






I don’t know why God blessed us and entrusted us with the kids we have?  That is the one thing I am completely overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratefulness for.  It is a privilege.  A huge responsibility that can not be taken for granted.

I look at them and remember back to the three girls sitting on the hospital bed with me, fighting over their new baby brother.  How times of changed!  Not so much the fighting, just what we are fighting about!  HA!  I just told someone yesterday that I remember Natalie (the oldest) turning 8.  And Landon was just 2, thinking, I can’t imagine what life will be like when my baby is 8.  Well, I can definitely imagine it now.  I am living it.  And 8 is GREAT! 

Happy Birthday to our Landon Man!  Disclaimer here:  Landon has taken up a new love for farming as evidenced by his strong desire for cowboy boots, which he got for his birthday.  (thanks John Deere)  But we still had to do the football plates…


good hello.


If you have a dog in your home, you will totally get what I am talking about.  Never have I been greeted with such enthusiasm, joy, and love as when I walk through the door and am welcomed by our puppy, Brinklee.  It could be hours since I’ve been home or just a few minutes since I had been gone, and the greeting is still the same.   A tail wagging 100 mph and jumping and hopping around with extreme giddyness.  As to say, I missed you so much and am so excited you are back! 

Many years ago, I was at a MOPS meeting (Mothers Of Preschoolers) and we had a speaker who touched me with her words.  She challenged us to show our kids and husband a face that lights up each time your child walks in the room.  As to say, I have SO missed you and love you so much, I will stop what I’m doing and rejoice that you walked in to the room.  This challenge has stuck with me.  And I have gotten LAZY.  I am convicted.  And having Brinklee welcome each of us as we get home has shown me what I am missing and need to do to give my kiddos a “good hello”. 

I am always excited to see them when they walk through the door, but do I really show it?  No.  Not like I want to.  I know they don’t feel the excitement or see giddyness on my face when they walk in through the door like they feel from Brinklee.  And yes, she’s a puppy.  I get that.  And I get that God is trying to teach me something here through her.  We are given these precious gifts here on earth.  To take care of and to show the love of Jesus to.  I’m pretty sure I know how Jesus would welcome each of his children home…

So, guess what I did on Friday?  The older girls did not have practice after school, so I had all four of them making their way home.  I decided to be intentional in the welcome home!  Honestly, I think they thought I had lost my mind.  Seriously.  I ran to each of them and if I had a tail, I would have wagged it.  I exclaimed to each individually “so glad you are home” and showered them with hugs and a big kiss.  Brinklee had NOTHING on me!  Obviously, I was a bit over the top, but the kids couldn’t help but smile.  They couldn’t help but giggle that their mom was acting a tad bit crazy.  And deep down, I think they couldn’t help but feel love and see the excitement and joy in my eyes from the welcome I gave them.

I have been convicted.  The light has to shine for these kids when they walk through the door.   They have to not only know how important they are to me, but they have to feel it.  If you are doing this already with your kids, you are awesome!  And if you’ve gotten lazy like me, just try to be more intentional and see what happens. You will be blessed and so will they.  And now this week, I’ve got to show Steve a good welcome.   This should be interesting…

pay it forward weekend.


Blessings are all around us each and every day.  Some hard to see.  Some hard to find.  Some just jump out at us and take us by surprise.   Some we don’t realize until a much later time.  Some are screaming our names too loud to ignore.  Some we may never understand until someone points it out to us.  Blessings are everywhere.  God is with us in everything to be using the good, the bad, and the ugly for His glory. 


A blessing that completely screamed my name at me this particular week was receiving a card from heart to heart with Holley, Holley Gerth’s line.  Holley Gerth is becoming a very popular name on this blog, huh?  I apologize.  I just can’t help it.  Her words SO resonate with me.  This card SO resonates with me.  And I am so blessed to have received it.  So blessed and touched by this card and let your light shine wall hanging I got earlier this week, that I just couldn’t stop there.  I HAVE to bless others with the words of the Lord spoken so beautifully through Holley Gerth.  Wouldn’t you love to be the person that “blesses someone’s socks off?” 


Starting RIGHT NOW until midnight tomorrow night (Sunday) I am offering Holley Gerth’s card pack from Blessings Unlimited for $10 a box.  No need to figure tax, shipping or handling.  Just a straight $10.  Limit 2 per customer.  For every 25 boxes sold, your name will be put in to a drawing for a box of free cards!  You will receive 12 beautifully written, meaningful cards that will bless the socks off of any one who receives it. Over a 55% savings on these boxes of cards.   To read a description and see the line of cards, click HERE

I know I am not the best at math…but it comes out to $0.83 per card.  Do you need some of your own?  Leave me a comment with your name and email if interested.  For every 25 cards, your name will be put in a drawing for a box of free cards.  Because it’s Landon’s birthday on Monday, he’s the lucky one who gets to choose the name out of the hat.   He can’t wait!


You never know how life is going to turn out.  It’s unpredictable, unexpected.  But no matter what happens you can know God’s Got Your Back.  And not just your back–He goes before you.  (Deuteronomy 31:8)  He’s right beside you.  (Hebrews 13:5)  He surrounds you on every side (Psalm 125:2)——Holly Gerth

Just a sample of her precious writing.  What a gift she has.  What a gift you can give.  The power of blessing someone with the written card.  Something we just don’t do much of anymore.

offer expires Sunday, September 16th at midnight.