It’s Time to Look Up!

Somedays are better than others.  I don’t know why, but it sure seems to be true.  I’ve never known life to be boring, but it sure has been happy, sad, confusing, terrifying, repetitive, and overwhelming, and sometimes all at the same time.  The best part about it is that God is unchanging.  That is so funny to me though, because I am made in His image.  I look a lot like Him!  I think that is spectacular don’t you?  Me feeling so changeable, and yet I’m made in the very image of the unchanging One!  That just gives me hope! [Read more…]

Three Powerful Phrases for Your Home

IMG_5930_8x10We all know that the things we say matter.  Like really matter.  Words have the power to bring joy to others or absolutely ruin their day. 

I’m really big into keeping things simple, because to me when things are simple they are also sustainable. 

I have eight kids and one adorable husband, and if I get too complicated in my ideas and plans, they simple DO NOT happen.  They get lost in the whirlwind of socks, bagels, and crayons that fill my ordinary days.  Are you longing to breathe a little fresh air into your home?  Well, I have a couple of simple, doable, common-sense ideas that, when applied liberally, may just change the very atmosphere of your home. [Read more…]

Remembering Family…

 

Sun rays in the gardenLast night I had the honor to be at an event where about 3 people knew what the Family Restoration Project was all about.  As the 200 attendees were milling around and ‘shopping’ at the booths scattered around the room, I had the opportunity to share with many, many people about who we are and what the Lord has placed upon our hearts.  I could feel my preach coming on and all the passion for why we are doing what we are doing rise to the surface.

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Out the Mouths of Babes…

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When my grandson, Gabriel, was about three years old, we went to a playground at a park on a glorious spring day.  He loved to be pushed on the swing, and his nimble body appeared to be flying with the wind, as he soared into the bright blue sky.  Although this golden moment happened almost 26 years ago, it is captured as an indelible picture in my mind.  His head was thrown back, his white-blond dutch-boy haircut was flowing behind him in ripples, and his feet were pointing upward to the sun.  [Read more…]

Help, I Need Somebody

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Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself!  If you have ever heard our message, you will know that we are not big fans of independence.  Our whole parenting message can be summed up by saying that the goal of parenting is NOT to raise independent children, but to raise children who are dependent upon hearing the voice of the Father.

This is absolutely true and I believe it with all of my heart!  I never want to be independent of His voice – ever!  The funny thing about independence is that I truly like to be independent in the care of my home, the raising of my children, etc.  In fact, now that the Lord is calling us to go to the nations, I am having to learn to let others help me.  (insert bug eyes here:) [Read more…]

Family – Why Does it Matter Anyway?

I remember back to when I was in medical school and doing my surgery rotation. I was scrubbed in on a case of a bowel perforation.  Bowel perforations are ominous findings not only because there is an anatomic injury, but the contents of the bowels can leak into the abdominal cavity  setting up a massive inflammatory and infectious environment. (Welcome to my world.)  The surgeon successfully closed the perforation and at the conclusion of the surgery began to irrigate the abdominal cavity.  I poured in what seemed to be gallons of antibiotic solution a little at a time and then he slowly suctioned it out. He went on to explain to me that the “solution to pollution is dilution.” [Read more…]

Legacy: Learn How Your Breakthrough Can Become Your Child’s Launchpad!

Everyday, ordinary family-life is the perfect place to focus on what we believe.  So many of our actions and reactions are a direct result of something that we believe to be true that simply isn’t true.  As parents, establishing a culture of truth in our homes should be of primary importance.  I want my children to respect and honor their siblings and us, but more than that I want them to believe like Jesus – about both themselves and others.  Most of the everyday scuffles in our homes find their roots in common, household lies that seem so ‘normal’ that it is easy to miss the root and simply trim the branches in our homes.  [Read more…]

Is Our Family “Normal”?

I am a small town family medicine physician. Last winter I was seeing many patients with coughs, runny noses, and headaches, as is typical during the winter months in the state of Minnesota.

During one of these routine visits a patient asked me if these symptoms, that were making her feel miserable, were normal. I hesitated in answering her and then tried to clumsily explain that the symptoms she was experiencing from the virus were common, but that a virus attacking the cells of her body was not normal.

We laughed when I said, “I guess that’s why they call it the common cold.”  I reassured her that her symptoms would run their course and would require no further treatment.

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(Jonny wrote this blog for our dear friend, Dawn Williams.  The link above will take you to www.IThinkWeCouldBeFriends)

Two Simple Principles That Could Make This Your Merriest Christmas Yet!

I like to keep things simple.  Straightforward.  Uncomplicated.

IMG_9485So often we fail to accomplish our hearts desires because we make things so much harder than they need to be.  Take Christmas family gatherings, for example.  Food, presents, and sugar cookies should be a guaranteed recipes for a good time, but oftentimes it can become exactly the opposite.

When Jonny and I were newlyweds (twenty years ago now), before we went home on our very first Christmas break as a married couple, we made a decision while driving that has served us very well over the years. [Read more…]

A Current Encounter with the Goodness of God

Last Thursday evening, I drove down to the YWAM base in Minneapolis where our oldest, Jacob, did his Discipleship Training School (DTS).  That evening he, along with a group of young people, were being commissioned to go to Argentina for a two month long mission’s trip.  It was so much fun to be able to be there, lay my hands on my son, and be apart of sending him off.

Honestly, my emotions were doing okay.  I knew that I wasn’t going to see my boy again for two months, but I also knew that he was doing exactly what the Lord was calling him to do.  Knowing that made me feel deep excitement more than sadness.  I love that, because as a mom, I knew that was a touch from my loving Heavenly Father; keeping my perspective in line with His!

After the teams were prayed over and released to do all that the Lord has given them to do during the next two months, two little babies were dedicated that evening as well.  It was a fun combination!

As I sat beside Jacob hugging him during the dedication, suddenly the day we dedicated Jacob to the Lord flashed before my eyes.  I went from a peaceful, calm momma to one filled with tears.  It happened in an instant.  The week that Jacob was to be dedicated to the Lord, also marked the anniversary of his very first hospitalization.

Thursday he was admitted to the hospital for testing, and Saturday afternoon he was discharged; not because they fixed what was wrong, but because all the testing had been done, and now we had to wait to find out his diagnosis.  Everything simple was ruled out, and only ‘big’ problems remained a possibility.

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When Jonny and I brought our little baby boy to the front of the church that Sunday morning we truly were dedicating his life to the Lord.  We didn’t know if he would ever see adulthood.  Our future as a little family was completely uncertain, and our hearts knew a grief that before that week we had never known.

So, as I stood, eighteen years later, with my arms around my man-child, I was once again overcome by the outrageous goodness of my God.  My tears were not tears of sadness.  My tears were not tears of grief.  My tears were tears of joy!  Only a very good Daddy would coordinate such a reminder for this mother’s heart; reminding me yet again that He holds my entire world in His hand.

Jacob gave his testimony tonight at a church in Argentina.  My heart is full!  The Lord makes all things good, and it is a delight to watch and see His display of goodness in what could be looked at as a tragedy from any other lens but His!

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:13