A Life Interrupted…part 1

I was asked to speak at a ladies conference recently which is totally out of my element. It definitely stretched me. The following four blog posts are a result of some of the message I gave at the conference. I will be posting the rest over the next few weeks.

God interrupted my life. He came busting in on a pencil given to me at Christmas from my third grade public school teacher and a little tiny Bible that I received at a carnival. You could look into the end of the Bible and see magnified inside Psalm 23.
The little Bible I kept under my pillow as a child it made me feel safe. I would take it out and peer into it.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


The pencil had printed on it, in tiny lettering, Luke 2:10-14

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is [a]Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a [b]manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”


As a child, my family went to church on occasion. We were not what I would call regular churchgoers. My family consisted of my mom and dad and my brother who was six years younger than I was. I blame the unstable church attendance on the account of my family moving a lot when I was a child. I had moved to six different cities by the time I was thirteen. I was accustom to change and kind of enjoyed it. I never really had close friends. We never stayed anywhere long enough for that. However, all that changed when we moved to a small town in Tennessee. God stepped in and interrupted my life.
A new pastor had come to a church not far from my home and he was going door to door meeting those who lived right around the church.  My parents invited him in and it was on a couch in my living room that the writings on the pencil and the little Bible’s words would become more than words.

Jesus interrupted that day and forever changed my course. My brother who was about seven sat on the same couch and said the same prayer, but things turned out much differently for him. Fast forward to a few months after my brothers 39th birthday and you will find him shot in the chest dying on an apartment complex parking lot. Many bad choices led him to this place. The few months prior to his death he had begun to make some positive changes in his life. He had left behind some things that had entangled him. I had recently been told he made a profession of faith. But that night in May when a neighbor ran to his apartment and told him someone needed help he walked out his door and confronted another 39-year-old man. This man was a drug dealer who was trying to make his escape. My brother called for him to stop and the dealer turned and shot him.

The enemy interrupted my life the day I got the news. He interrupted with the power of regret.
Regret that I wasn’t a better sister.
Regret that I didn’t make sure he was truly converted.
Regret that I let long periods of time pass before I talked with him.
Regret that I didn’t love him, as Jesus wanted me to.
There are more layers to this story and the events leading up to my brothers murder, but this is the bottom line: A life gone, a sister wishing she had done more. I wanted a do-over, but there are no do-overs. Only painful memories of how it should have gone. And the enemy used every single one of them
But, God who has defeated the enemy interrupted

Regret is a powerful tool in the hand of the enemy.
The enemy tried to take hold of my mind that day, but the grace of God stepped in.
The enemy is powerful… as Scripture says… seeking to destroy, but God is greater.
Let God renew your mind, let your mind be steadfast on him.

I cannot do anything about the past now, but I cannot be immobilized by the enemy. I cannot get stuck there. After many years in ministry I have seen that many believers are stuck somewhere in the past. Jesus did not die for us so that we could be stuck. He has forgiven us, we need to recognize our sin, ask forgiveness and MOVE ON.

You cannot give the enemy control of your mind. Isaiah 26: says…
You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.”

Romans 12:2 tells us “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

How do you renew your mind? You stay in the Word everyday. You let it sink deep into your soul.
Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.” Psalm 119:97

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Colosians 3:16

Love the Word. It will hold you when the enemy wants to use your failures to sidetrack and destroy you.

Part 2 coming soon.

Essential Oils…I love them

Yes, I was a skeptic until I tried them. My friend Tricia introduced them to me and I will forever be grateful.

She has many great blog posts about using them with her children.

I love, love to use my diffuser to mist lavender, lemon and peppermint in the house for our spring time allergies.

The flu was rampant at our school back in the winter. One of my children caught it. I called my friend and she sent me over a sample of thieves. I used it on all the other children. I diffused it in the van on the way home from school everyday to help boost the rest of the family’s immune system. So far so good, no one else in the family has gotten the flu this season.

I’m not a doctor and I’m not making any claims that essential oils preform miracles, but I sure have seen a difference using them. I would rather start with something natural before running to the drug store, or doctor’s office.

I am looking forward to using them more.

If you want to give essential oils a try you can most certainly buy them individually, but if you like to save money like me, you might want to become a wholesale member and start with the premium starter kit.  When you become a wholesale member you only have to purchase $50 a year and guess what…you don’t have to sell the oils. There are other kits you can start with, but the premium saves you the most money, gives you the most oils, and includes a home diffuser.

If interested you can click on the picture below to check it out or sign up.

Essential Oils Comparison - Retail versus Wholesale Savings

Young-Living is a MLM company.  I am not into all that, but I do know I am buying at least $50 worth of lavender alone this year, because I’ve got college age kids,  teenagers , children and a grandbaby.  Plus, I’m a pastor’s wife, and work with children all day.

Soooo… since lavender is for calming, stress relief and relaxing I’m buying a case of that stuff.

I also hear Frankincense is for…ummm… aging…

or should I say not looking like you are aging, so I might be buying more than a case of that wonderful oil.  :)

Advent resources and gifts…

I wanted to share some Advent resources we have used, or come across over the years. These resources have helped us as a family stay focused on the true meaning of the season.

In the area of gift giving to help us stay focused…

we base the gifts we give our children on the three things presented to Christ by the wise men.

The “gold” gift is the fun item, for the little ones it is usually a toy. The “myrrh” gift is some type of clothing, or something they need, and the “frankincense” gift is something for their spiritual growth, a new bible, a new devotional, or a book. For the little ones it could be something along the lines of a Christian CD,  or a new Adventures in Odyssey.

For many years, we have used these advent stories.

I think this is our fourth time to read this series. Each day the story ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the children anxious to read the next part the following evening. The first time we read the first book in the series with our children I will confess, I had to peek and see what happened. I could not wait until the next evening to find out. This has become a wonderful way to end the day. Before we read the story, we try to have all the children ready for bed; we turn off the lights in the house, except for the area where we are reading the story. The children take turns lighting the advent candle each evening. After we read the story, we pray, then the children take turns lighting their own candle from the advent candle. They quietly walk to their rooms; we come up, tuck them in and blow out their candles. When I had pre-schoolers in the house they would carry flashlights, or we could carry them up helping them hold their candle.

Ann @ aholyexperience also has Advent Devotionals that looks wonderful.

May your family have a blessed Christmas.


 Updated from original publication from November 18, 2008.

Feed Your Soul

You are what you eat…

So, it really does matter what you feed your soul…

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? ~Jesus 

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. ~Paul

Be discerning, use wisdom, please him

Feed your soul with…

The Word…

Music that draws you to Him…

Books that grow you in Him…

Places that magnify Him…

People that point you to Him…

You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. ~ Jesus

All growth that is not toward God, is growing to decay.

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.

~ George McDonald


This Year… Just Please Him

I am not big on New Year’s resolution, but I am in favor of taking time to pull back from all the busyness of life to examine ourselves and our families before the Lord.

The older you become the more clearly you see God’s picture is grand and we are but a brush stroke in eternity.

Thou dost sweep men away; they are like a dream, like grass, which is renewed in the morning: in the morning, it flourishes and withers. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90

So, on this day I ask myself what I have done with the time that He has given me, and I ask Him to grant me wisdom for the upcoming year that I would use the time that He has blessed me with to please Him.

Maybe just maybe if God’s people would pull back from the world for a bit and ask ourselves what would please Him this year, not what would please us. In that moment we might just hear His voice whisper words that will set us free from those things that have entangled us.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us ~Hebrews 12

Maybe just maybe we will throw off the things that do not please Him, and maybe our brush stroke will become clear again.

Maybe we will finally realize that all it is really about is glorifying Him in every choice, in all the little moments of our day.

Maybe we will repent of stealing His glory, maybe we will repent of our wasted time, maybe just maybe we will step away from the world enough that we can refocus and bring glory to Him instead of trying to be cool enough, so that the world will love us, then maybe love Jesus.

Maybe we will discover it was not bad things that kept us from pleasing Him, just not the best things, The enemy is clever my friends, he is a master at deception, distraction and getting us to take what is second best, an imitation.

for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. ~2 Corinthians 2

This year will you also not just make another resolution that will fade in a few weeks, but examine the areas of your life and boldly ask Him to chisel away the things that do not please Him.

I do not think God makes things really complicated. I think we make things complicated. Let us keep it simple this year and everyday in every moment just simply… please Him.

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him...  ~ Paul

You can teach your children to write.

Teaching  your children the skill of writing can be a daunting task, but I want to encourage you, that you can do it. You can teach your children to write.

They can start as early as Kindergarten using pictures to organize their thoughts.

One suggestion to consider would be to use something like Four Square, which is a method not a curriculum.

Four Square Writing Method: A Unique Approach to Teaching Basic Writing Skills for Grades 4-6


Another way to teach your children how to write is to introduce the four types of essays: persuasive, expository, descriptive and narrative. This is great for families who homeschool multiple children. All the children can work on the same type of essay, and maybe even the same topic at once, which makes it so much easier when homeschooling multiple children.

Whether you homeschool, have your children in public school, or private school here are a few resources that might be helpful…

Purdue Writing Lab

The Research Paper

How to Write an Effective Thesis statement

How to Evaluate a Five Paragraph Essay

Four Square Book Report

Essay Map

Sweet Search

PaperRater – grammar check, proofreader, plagiarism detective, and writing suggestions.

The Elements of Style ~ William Strunk Jr.

What I do…

Though getting into the school routine has been an adjustment for our family I have really enjoyed starting a new program at our school.

I recently started a blog to keep the K-5 parents informed about what we are learning in class. My first blog post has a few pictures of my classroom and a little info for my K-5 parents.

Throughout the week I teach about 23 students from K-5 – 8th grade. My K- 5 class comes five days a week and most of my other students see me two or three times a week.

Two of my students are my own children. My son is doing so much better in his reading and writing since beginning the program. I am also seeing a lot of progress with my K-5 daughter.

The Lord has been so gracious to us to allow me to be where my children are in school, and it has been a blessing to see  my students begin to read and spell with confidence.

Mosaic @ Praise 

fundations 4

room photo

What’s for supper…

If you have read my blog for any time, you will know that this year held a few changes for our family. After 16 years of homeschooling, graduating the two oldest into college, the Lord opened a door for the younger six children to attend a small Christian school in our area. He also opened the door for me to have the privilege to teach there. I will not tell you that it was an easy transition, because it took us the first nine weeks to begin to adjust. Four of my children love school the other two would rather be home, but for now, this is where the Lord has us.

With all the changes this year the one thing I determined would not change was our evening mealtime. The crock-pot has become a good friend to me. I have always loved to use it, but now it is more important than ever. I try to have at least three crock-pot meals a week lined up.

Here are a few of my favorites that I have on my blog, and below is my menu for this week. I also still use emeals. There is usually at least one crock-pot meal on the meal plan each week.

So,what’s for supper this week…

Beef tips and rice – crockpot recipe

Stuffed shells – the only thing I change in this recipe is that I add mini pepperoni, and any brand of shells will do.

Chicken and Italian dressing – crockpot recipe

Baked Spaghetti

Meatloaf- crockpot recipe

Pork loin roast – I buy the sea salt and cracked pepper pork roast place it in the crock pot in the morning and let it cook all day.





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