Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Year of No Shopping

I did it! A whole year of not shopping! Well, almost. There were those few things that I knew I would be buying (bathing suit, walking shoes, long sleeved workout shirts, a few wedding gifts). And, the year isn't over for a few days (Can I resist the after Christmas sales?). 

When the crazy idea kept popping in my head over a year ago, I thought, "That's stupid...Why do it?...By October I'll be going nuts, wanting to burn all of my clothes."

Funny thing...I loved it! Something happened in my thinking along the way...
Wanting less...
Being content with what I already have...
Having no idea what's in style these days and not caring one little bit!...
Thanking God for all I do have instead of focusing on the things I don't have...
And, did I mention FREEDOM?!

Dad and I were sitting in our family room this morning, sharing what God has been teaching us. It came to me...I don't want to be remembered as that frugal woman who didn't shop for a year. Or, as that health nut who is always talking about what foods are healthy and what are not (need to work on this's still all so new and exciting!) Or, even that lady with the fantastic kids. :-) What I'd like to be known for is my passion for Jesus Christ, my love of God! Yes! TRUE FREEDOM!

Thank you, you three, for your support this past year! For cheering me on! For being such good sports as I got creative with birthday and Christmas presents! Have I told you lately that I'm crazy about you three?!

ps~I'm seriously considering another year...with a few exceptions...mostly bras.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


...that you, Gregory, were home for Thanksgiving! Possibly the last one for the next four years. (To whom do I write to say, "This mama wants her son home for every holiday! Does the army really need him at holiday time?" And, btw, I just learned that your great grandma actually wrote to the president of the United States to say that she needed her husband home from the war because she was going nuts with her seven kids. Urban legend? Who's to say.)

...for your, Ali, AMAZING culinary talents! And, all with a smile, a cute apron, great music playing! Delicious Thanksgiving dinner...every bite!

...that you, Nick, had the day off work! And, that you got to surf at 4:30 a.m. with your friends! And, surf again with your brother!

...for your dad...that he got to not work for a few days. That he works his (super sexy) butt off most of the time to take care of us!

...for dancing to Mumford and Sons in the kitchen before dinner! All five of us!

...that we all ate a super healthy, delicious dinner in two hours instead of five minutes! You all rock!

...for tasting delicious, special wines! For making ice cream for the first time!

...for lots and lots of laughing, for Dad's reading of that cool passage in Ephesians, for three kids that I am crazy about and love to be with!

...that Jesus Christ is the center of our home and of each of our individual lives! That He dwells within us! That we abide in Him and He in us! Yes...I'm thankful!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Seek Him

My Three Favorite Young Adults in the Whole Wide World,

(BTW, will I ever get my other three favorite young adults in the whole world?)

Back on track here...

I love how Jesus came "to seek and to save that which was lost"! (Luke 19:10) That which was lost was me. That was you. But, now we are IN Christ! Even then, though, He doesn't force Himself on us. "I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20) Though He dwells within us, He allows us to decide if we will walk in Him or in the flesh. But, His desire is an intimate, abiding relationship with us!

I wanted to share with you three some of the practical ways He has shown me to nurture that intimacy.

* Before I get out of bed, I start thanking Him. I thank Him for the day, for you three, for my warm cozy bed, for your dad, for being Who He is. (Sometimes I don't. You can probably tell those mornings. I REALLY need to start my day like this. It's just better for everyone.)

* Before I read anything else, like that newspaper we get every day, I love to read my Bible. Usually I don't have a plan. I'm a little ADD that way...All over the place. The last few weeks I've been reading through Acts. Some cool stuff! I've also been going through verses I want to commit to memory in this 52 year old brain. (I know what you're thinking..."Good luck on that one, Mom!") I write them down in my journal. So, I just love digging in to my Bible and seeing what God wants to reveal to me!

* Your dad and I have read some amazing books and devotionals over the years! We love to share with each other what God is teaching us through these! Intimacy with Christ, by Jeanne Guyon, Abiding in Christ, by Andrew Murray, The Indwelling Life of Christ, by Ian Thomas, The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life, by Hannah Smith. All of these books point me to Jesus as my Life, my Everything! I love that! My new favorite is Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young! (I can tell I'm getting a bit too excited here. Too many exclamation points. I'll settle down.)

* A gift in my life is friends that are as Jesus freakish as me! A friend that will call me out on not trusting God in a certain situation or not surrendering to His will in areas of my life is a good friend! A friend who shares my passion for Jesus and not religion! You know those friends. You're more in love with Jesus after being around them. That's a good thing!

* Sitting quietly and just listening to His voice is a discipline that is hard for me. But, the times that I have allowed Him to speak into my life (without me interrupting), loving on me, filling me with a strong sense of His presence...these are precious times!

So, Greg, Ali and Nick, my prayer for you three continues to be that you each have your very own intimate, personal, abiding relationship with Jesus! That you open that door, dine with Him and He with you!

I'm crazy about you!

ps~You three have given me plenty of opportunities to really test whether I am abiding in, trusting in, completely dependent on Jesus or not. :-) Thanks!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Just Stop Asking!

Instead of asking Jesus to be with you...
   Thank Him that He is always with you, in you, under you and above you! (Matthew 28:20, Colossians 1:27, I Corinthians 3:11, Acts 2:33)

Instead of asking God to bless you and others...
   Thank Him that He already has blessed you and others who are in Him!...With every spiritual blessing! (Ephesians 1:3)

Instead of praying to God for strength...
  Thank Him that He is your strength! (Isaiah 12:2, I Peter 4:11, Ephesians 6:10)

Instead of asking God to forgive you your sins...
   Confess and thank Him that He has forgiven you, every sin, once and for all! (Hebrews 7:27, 10:12, Colossians 2:13. Side note: When Jesus was sharing with His disciples a pattern for praying to our Father, He had not yet died for our sins.)

Instead of asking Jesus to give you His peace and joy...
   Thank Him that He gave all of us who are in Him, His peace and joy! Yes, just accept and believe what He has already given you! (John 14:27, 15:11)

Instead of telling God that you want more patience, love, kindness, gentleness...
   Thank Him that you are indwelt by His Holy Spirit! These characteristics are His fruit! We do not produce them; we bear them! Then continue to walk in His Spirit! (Galatians 5:16, 22, 23, 25)

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful." ~Colossians 3:15

I'm crazy about you three!

ps~Nick...Haiti?! So excited to see what God does!
Ali, no more stylish blue boots! Yay! You are a tough cookie!
Greg, in any more weddings? 27 Tuxes?! :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Life Here & Now

A habit is developing...

Heading out on a trip tomorrow...

Lots of things to do, errands to run, bills to pay, clothes to pack...

Here I am at my computer, sensing an urgency to share with you three.

Sermon #5:

"always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." ~II Cor. 4:4

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." ~II Cor. 5:17

"Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." ~Rm. 6:4

So...what does Jesus being manifested in our bodies, this new creature, this newness of life look like?

FREE! "and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free." ~John 8:35

LOVING! "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." ~John 13:35

SATISFIED! "Jesus said to them, 'I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'" ~John 6:35

EXPERIENCING ABUNDANT LIFE! "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10

PEACEFUL! "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." ~John 14:27

ABIDING IN CHRIST! "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." ~John 15:4

FULL OF JOY! "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." ~John 15:11

A HEARER OF JESUS' VOICE! "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." ~John 10:27

NOT OF THIS WORLD! "...they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." ~John 17:14

So...this is the life that is available to all of us who are IN Christ! Not just a promise for our future life, but NOW! And...this just from John's gospel! I could go on and on! (But I won't.)

Closing hymn:

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest and joy and peace!


ps~Ali, yay! Your feet are healing! You have been an amazing trooper! I thought I was going to die when I just had one foot, on one side operated on. My prayer is that you listen to your Guide (Ps. 73:24) as to your future plans. He knows best!

Nick, have so much fun celebrating precious Maryann's 21st birthday today! So excited for you if your trip to Haiti works out! I praying for God's will in that.

Greg, I love that you have been so intentional about spending time with us, knowing that for four years you will most likely be far away! My prayer for you is that you have your flesh under control during soccer games. :-) Just kidding...I pray that daily you are sensing the presence of God in your life!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hau`oli Lā Hānau

Greg...26 today!
Right now, are you surfing, eating, dentisting? (Maybe watching soccer?)
Every year, on your birthday, I am reminded of God's goodness,
Grateful to Him for YOU! (One of my favorite people in the whole world.)

Wish we were together today. at the Wrights when you get home! (5 of us. Is that a party?)
I want you know (in case I haven't told you)
God gave us one of the best gifts ever on June 20, 1986...
He gave us you! (And, you have been a blessing every day since.)
Today, we celebrate YOU!

Happy birthday, Greg!

Love and miss you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

24 Candles!!!

Always wanting to learn
Lovely inside and out
Intelligent, kind and beautiful (you is!)

Wonderful daughter and friend
Radiates the joy of Jesus
Infectious laugh
Gifted at cooking
Hilarious (whether appropriate or not)
Totally a gift in my life (and others')!!!

Happy 24th birthday, my Boo (without an h)!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Prayer

My Three Favorite Young Adults in the Whole Wide World,

Throughout the years, your dad and I have had the privilege of sitting in on a few of Bill Roth's (our dear friend) mini-seminars on contemplative prayer! We love listening to and learning from Bill! Right, Ali?! In the most recent series, one of the homework assignments was to meditate on one of Adrian van Kaam's prayers. The prayer is beautiful! And, I did meditate on it!

Being authentic to what God reveals to ME, I had a strong desire to write my own meditative prayer. So...that's what I did. Here it goes...

Thank You, Jesus Christ, for this beautiful day, in which You call me to empty myself, to be clothed in You, to walk in Your Holy Spirit and to set my mind on the things above, on You! May Your Life be displayed through me to my family and to those with whom I come in contact. May I always be filled with the joy of being in Your Presence! Thank You for offering up Yourself once for all my sin! Through the work of Your Holy Spirit in my life, cause me to rejoice always, to be in constant conversation with You and to give thanks in everything. I want knowing You to be everything to me! May my heart's desire be to love You above all else and with Your Life in me, to love others! I love You!

(References I used: Phil. 2:7, Romans 13:14, Galatians 5:25, Colossians 3:2, Galatians 2:20, Acts 2:28, Hebrews 7:27, I Thes. 5:16-18, Phil. 3:8, Matt. 22:37-39. Again, just jotting down a few of my favorite verses together and then making it in a prayer to my Lord Jesus Christ!)

Ali, Nick and Greg, I'm challenging you to sit still for a few minutes, listen to your Shepherd's voice and come up with your own meditative prayer!

I'm crazy about you three!

ps~A few minutes after writing this, while on our way to work, a really bad driver almost rear-ended us, then cut in front of a long line of waiting cars. I, just the passenger, made sure I gave him a look that let him know what an idiot he was being. Yep...Jesus, I need YOU!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Third Son, Part II

Greg and Nick,

I'm sure you understand...Sometimes there are people in your life that are just so extra special, that you feel like they are a part of the family. Just wanted you to know that your cousin, Brad, is that special to me. He is definitely like a third son to me.

So, you can call him your cousin, your brother, whatever. But, to me, he will always be like a son.

Love you both,

My Third Son!

Maybe...someday...if it's God's plan for you, Ali, I will get a son-in-law! Months ago I shared with your brothers my thoughts on their future wives. Today I wanted to jot down my desires and dreams for your future husband, my little Pooh!

You know this one...Above all else, I pray that your future husband loves the Lord Jesus Christ passionately! That he desires to be walking in the Spirit! That he is in awe of our God!

And, (you already know this, too) that he has a teachable heart, eager to grow and learn, to allow the Holy Spirit to change him.

I hope you marry a man and not a little boy. (You already know this. Hmm...wondering why I'm even writing this...) A man who has already been taking care of himself, is independent, makes his own decisions, ready for the responsibility of joining himself to YOU! Yes, my precious one, I pray that you marry a man!

Ali, you are darling! You have a very unique, a bit quirky personality. I want your future husband to cherish that about you! To laugh at your little "Ali-isms"! (And, to gently cover your mouth to protect you and those around you from some of those things that pop out of your mouth. I'm thinking of an evening around the dinner table when Kim was over. And, a few other instances come to mind. Makes me smile. And, squirm just a bit.) To sing with you when you do your funny singing-instead-of-talking thing. Or, at least to smile and not tell you to be quiet. :-) To dance your little sprinkler or going-under-water dances with you! To belly ache laugh with you! Or, at least to smile at you when you laugh that laugh! To stoop with you when you are pretending to tie your shoe lace (even if you are wearing slip-ons). And, I pray that he knows how to hold you in his arms and just comfort you when you are feeling sad. That he tells you you are beautiful and that above anyone else in the world, he has chosen YOU to be his wife!

A talker would be good...maybe. A good listener and a good question asker would be a plus!

A man who will truly appreciate your gift of cooking healthy, delicious meals!

And, someone who loves your mother and likes to hang out with your family! ;-)

Can't wait to see what and/or who God has in store for you! And, if your choice of a first (almost) boyfriend is any indication, you have great taste!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Changing the Words

There's this thing I do, to make sure my words match what is in my heart...

When I am singing a song, in church, in the car, in my room, and the lyrics don't match my beliefs or place in life, I just sing my own words!

For example:

When we are singing this song, and we get to the part, "In all I do, I honor You," I change it to "In all I do, I desire to honor You." (I definitely do not honor my God in ALL I do. Take, for instance, my driving.)

And, then there's the song with the words, "I'm so broken." I change those words to, "Thank You that I am complete in You!" (Kind of weird to anyone around me who hears this. Doesn't even come close to the original words. But, I sing very softly.)

Then there's the ever-popular, "I live for You". I know you three could shout out in unison how I change that up! "I live IN You!"

What about you three, my precious children? What words do you change to match what God is revealing to you about Himself, who you are IN Him?!

I love you all so very much!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nicky is 21!

Never too late to wish you a happy 21st!
I wish I would have posted this on your actual birthday.
Can you forgive me?
Kept procrastinating...
You will forgive me, won't you?!

Want you to know what I love about you...
R U embarrassed yet?
I think the list may be long...
Great smile, sparkling eyes, big hugs,
Huge heart, caring, sensitive, kind,
Thinker, loyal, dedicated and lover of God!

Happy 21st, Nick!

ps~Told you I wanted to do an acrostic. :-)
Didn't know where to put in "surfer", "chemistry nerd", "soccer fanatic", "best brother" (besides Gregory)...