Saturday, January 30, 2010

Groundhog's Day Family Fun & Random Updates :)

Happy Weekend to you!! I hope you've had a fantastic, fun-filled week! :)

Tuesday morning I had the chance to share at SisterTime, a local Mom's group in the area. The women were very kind, passionate, and a ton of fun! What a fantastic morning! :)

During my message, I talk about "parenting within your personality" and discovering (or re-discovering) what brings you JOY! (More information here). It's always a blessing to ponder how God has uniquely designed each one of us, and the different activities and hobbies that bring JOY to our lives.

For me personally, I love to celebrate. I love "marking moments", making ordinary days "extraordinary", and finding simple ways to brighten up our everyday lives. I truly believe, "Life should not just lived, it should be celebrated!". It's just how God made me ~ and I love it!

Thus, the reason I am thrilled February is almost here!! Valentine's Day is one of my all-time favorite holidays! Plus, I've been waiting 4 years to have another "Let the Games Begin" party (for the start of the Olympics). I have two special family member's birthdays to celebrate! Our new Magnificent Monday Bible Study starts on February 8th (Woo Hoo!).

And, let us not forget, this Tuesday, February 2nd....Groundhog's Day. :)

Now please know, I really don't care if the Groundhog sees his shadow. I can never remember "which" means "what" anyway (shadow/no shadow, 6 weeks of winter ~ you know what I mean)! Who cares. :) We just started having Groundhog's Day parties a few years ago just for the FUN of it ~ and you know what, we have a ball!

How can you resist a cute little cupcake like this?? (Recipe here)

At the party, we also like to look on the internet to see if the Groundhog saw his shadow. Again, we know Who decides how many weeks of winter are left, but the kids get a kick out of watching the news report.

And what party would be complete without crafts? You can get some great ideas here or here.

Unfortunately we'll be celebrating a day early this year, our "Terrific Tuesday's" are filled with ballet, hockey, and gymnastics. (I like fun ~ but I'm not crazy). We'll just have the cupcakes ready to go for Tuesday!

What about for you?? Anything special you'll be celebrating this February?? I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by She Sparkles! Have a super, JOY-filled weekend!!

Many blessings to you~

P.S. A few weeks ago, my little Benj said, "I know Mom, today should be "Sing along Saturday" ~ and we proceeded to sing songs the rest of the day! I love it!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday ~ Tea Time!

OK, true confession time...last year I dreaded afternoons. Especially from about 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM. The big kids would come home from school hungry, the little kids were whiny and irritable, and no one wanted to talk about school. Afternoons were no fun around our house. :(

This school year, I resolved we'd try something different. I decided we'd call it "Tea Time". Now you need to know, we don't drink tea. (I couldn't think of anything else "catchy" to call it). And then I set out to make "Tea Time" one of the highlights of our day!

I purchased a fun, colorful tray and little appetizer plates from Target. I stocked our refrigerator with yummy, (semi) healthy snacks, and juice boxes. I shared the vision of Tea Time with the kids, and announced that this year, every single day after school, we would have "Tea Time" immediately when the kids got off the bus.

And you know what?? It's worked!! My kids walk in the door and say, "What's for Tea Time, Mom?". If their friends are over, they join us (and comment, "I wish we did this at our house"). We share snacks and drinks and highlights from school and lots of laughter. I learn about what happened at recess, on the bus, in class. I treasure this time with my kids!

Most importantly, my attitude has changed. I look forward with eager anticipation to 4:00 PM. I delight in thinking what fun snacks I can prepare for my kids. I don't answer the phone during this time. Tea Time is a special, sacred part of my day!

Now I do recognize, it won't last forever. My high schooler Jake has hockey practice after school, so he doesn't make it for Tea Time very often anymore. But for my 'little ones' (Benj is 8, Amanda is 6 1/2, and Sarah is 6) ~ we are building priceless memories!
And hopefully when they think of 'Tea Time', they'll think of a home filled with love, warmth, beauty, and belonging. A mom can dream anyway...

Here's 3/4 of my Tea Time Gang! :) Don't they just look like fun?!! :)

Tea Time has Worked For Me! What about for you?? I'd love to hear what has helped your family life run more smoothly.

And for more great tips, head over to We Are That Family.

Have a great week!! Many blessings to you!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Warriors not wimps!

Happy Weekend to you!! As many of you know, I am waist high in a number of exciting projects right now. My mom and dad were so gracious and offered to take all 4 kids last night for a sleepover. I planned to finalize some details, pray, type like crazy, and put finishing touches on a number of different assignments. Woo Hoo!!

Imagine my surprise when yesterday afternoon I suddenly came down with a horrible headache. It was awful! Aspirin didn't work. A skinny vanilla latte didn't work. (I had to make sure it wasn't a caffeine headache, right ?!) In fact, the coffee just made me nauseous. John came home from work and found me stretched out on the floor in my office overwhelmed with pain. So much for my plans...

In my time of discouragement, I came across a commissioning statement tucked away in my Bible written by
Beth Moore. I saved it for days just like this.

I pulled out the commissioning statement and prayed it aloud in faith. Boy did it help! I stood to my feet and read it aloud again as a prayer for a fellow blogger from Tennesse. And today, dear ones, I am praying it for you...

My Dear Sister/Brother,
The God of Glory
Has called you.
You have a ministry.
In Christ, you are enough for that ministry.
Never forget that showing God off is your ministry.
No matter what,
Keep your heart in your ministry.
Unveil your face
And serve others with authenticity.
Always remember
That the power is in God's Presence.
Let nothing
Come between you
And intimacy with God.
Keep moving forward
From glory to glory.
Let God thin that veil.
Remember, ministry is not about position.
It's about people.
Let name after name
Be written on your heart.
Do not seek great things for yourself,
Seek a great God.
As you leave this place,
Go in a fresh anointing.
He who turns water into wine
Turns wimps into warriors.
You have a ministry.
Go fulfill it!! ~ Beth Moore

We are warriors not wimps!! Oh I needed that reminder!! How about you??

Well, I'm headed back to my office. I'm still feeling like I've been hit by a truck, but I'm wearing lipstick :) Somehow that makes me feel much better.

Have a fun-filled, life-giving weekend!!
Many blessings to you~

P.S. I had to miss my little guy's hockey game this morning due to feeling under the weather. I told Benj to score one for his sick mom. Just received a phone call that he had a 'hat trick' (3 goals!). Way to go Benj! :)

P.S.S. Beth Moore's commissioning statement came from her blog (I think) many years ago. Sorry I don't remember more details or I'd link you right to it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Magnificent Monday Bible Study begins February 8th, 2010! :)

Magnificent Monday Bible Study begins Monday, February 8, 2010! Woo Hoo!!

Hello dear Friends,

If you live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and are interested in joining a Bible Study, I have the perfect one for you!! Beginning Monday, February 8, 2010, our Magnificent Monday Bible Study will be "re-starting" after our extended holiday break. All are welcome! This winter we will be going through the Bible study Me, Myself, and Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover. I would love to have you join us!!

I've had the chance to go through the Bible study before (just on my own) and it is awesome!! Here's more about Me, Myself, and Lies from the book....

"Words are powerful. Especially the words women speak to themselves. All too often, what they say to themselves when they lie in bed at night or look in the mirror in the morning is not even close to the words God wants them to speak to their souls. According to author Jennifer Rothschild, what we think about often has a ripple effect on nearly every area of our lives. This Bible study teaches how to replace the lies you may have been telling yourself with the truth from God's word."

Our Magnificent Monday group meets at Sunshine Community Church at 7:00 PM. (Although we meet at Sunshine, women from all different churches in the area attend). We will begin with a large group gathering, break up into small groups, and then come back together and I'll teach for about 30-40 minutes. We end at 9:00 PM. We'll be meeting every Monday until March 22 (just a quick 7 week study ~ perfect!). In the fall, we had 80 women in attendance. What fun! :)

Oh, and did I mention we serve yummy coffee and treats?! :)

If you would like to register or have any questions about the study, please leave a comment or e-mail me at I'd love to have you join us!!

Many Blessings to you~

P.S. If you do not live in the Grand Rapids area, I'd love to hear more about your Bible study. Are you going through a study guide? What is your favorite part of your Bible study?? Share with us please :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mailbag Question: Prayer Resources

Hey friends!! I received the following Mailbag Question today...

Hi Cindy,
On your blog, awhile back, I pulled off a list of ways to pray for your husband, and one for the children. I had them printed, but in my organization lost them—is that possible? Haha! Anyway, I didn’t see a search button on your blog, do you remember which post it was in and could you let me know?

Thanks! C.S.

Dear C.S. :)
You have a good memory! My Prayer Focus month was in July of 2009. For a quick review of the original post, you can click here. I've also put new Prayer Resource links at the bottom of today's post. And remember...
When men work, men work
but when men pray....God works!!!

Prayer Downloads for You...

A Prayer for Women by John Piper (click here). I love praying this aloud ~ this is the woman I desire to be!!

Prayers for Spiritual Growth by Joyce Meyer (click here).
May I encourage you to tape this to your refrigerator and pray it for yourself and your loved ones each day!!

31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children (click here).

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband (click here)

Intercessory Prayer for the Lost by Dutch Sheets (click here)

I've been looking for a great resource to lift up the crisis in Haiti each day in prayer. Clearly we need to pray for many miracles for Haiti and its precious people. If you come across a resource, prayer calendar, or want to make one to share, please let me know. I'd love to pass it along!

Do you have any prayer resources that you have found helpful? Books that have encouraged you on your prayer journey? Stories of answered prayer?? Share with us please!!

I'll close with one of my favorite quotes on prayer...

"When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When she stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When she stops praying, the devil shouts for joy. "
~ Corrie Ten Boom

Let's stay on our knees praying!! Prayer is the work!!
And may the Lord bless you with a fresh measure of His presence and His peace!

P.S. Speaking of prayer, I am knee deep in a number of significant writing/speaking opportunities. If the Lord brings me to mind, would you mind praying? I am asking God to prepare the hearts of the women, to know specifically what He wants me to say to each of the gatherings, and for health and protection for me and my family. I would be so grateful! How can I pray for you?? :)

Wordless Wednesday ~ My Hope

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's that Time Again...Another Weekly Random Dozen :)

Happy Friday to you!! I'm participating in the Weekly Random Dozen again this week. It's been a FULL week for us with school back in session, so I thought a little "randomness" would be a fun break. Hope you enjoy!! :)

1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave?

The food I crave most is usually something Mexican ~ chips & salsa, a yummy salad from Qdoba, chicken chili, etc. Unbelievably, I haven't had any Mexican food since Sunday. (It's been a full week, but not stressful). I must confess, on those hard weeks, sometimes we have tacos 3-4 times a week. :)

2. M & M's or Skittles?
Neither. Sour Patch Kids. They are my favorite!! :) Other than that, I'm not much of a candy girl.

3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through?

Yes, but not using a specific Bible reading plan. I just love the Word!! :)

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?
Awhile. I'm definitely NOT a morning person. Coffee helps, but Prayer works!

5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to?
No cruises. No desire. My next vacation will hopefully be to Cairo, Egypt. I'm dreaming (and praying) BIG! :)

6. Who is your favorite actress?
None really. I liked Sandra Bullock a lot in Blindside. I like Julia Robert's smile. I don't really have a favorite actress.

Now favorite Bible teacher...that's a different story. However, on a side note, I've been so excited that Beth Moore is coming to my town this Spring. Woo Hoo! She's coming the same month as my 40th birthday (so I'm sure to get a ticket as a present, don't ya think?). But now I just found out my little girl Sarah's dance recital is the same day, same time!! My son Benj said, "I'm sure Sarah will understand." smile.

7. ______ is something that I will just never understand.

I don't think I can answer that question. At first I was trying to think of something hard like Math or Computers or another language. But, I think if I put my mind to it, I could learn. I mean, who would ever think I could learn about the Bible and the Greek language, etc..

So then I was thinking about addictions. Like why people might drink or do drugs or make other poor choices. But I get that. I lived that life. And I know what it's like to feel so badly about you have no worth or value, yet so desperately want to be loved ~ that you make poor, self-defeating choices. I get that too.

I guess I could answer "men" or "kids" or something like that ~ but I love exploring and understanding how different people think and what causes them to make the choices they do (I have a Psychology degree, can you tell??)

So I'm left without an answer. Help me please!! How would you answer that question.... __________ is something I will just never understand.

8. How much of a technology junkie are you?
Not much. I don't text or use Twitter. I like to surround myself with people who are tech junkies (like my son Jake and my brother Kevin). They help make me look much smarter than I am. :)

9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you?
I love selecting greeting cards for people. LOVE IT! I always have. I still send out quite a few cards a month. I love praying and asking God who could use an encouraging word, and then sending that person a card in the mail. I also enjoy receiving cards (hint, hint John) !! :)

10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?
This week! It's not much different, my stylist Sarah (yes, my daughter is named after her ~ long story) just straightens it for me. My straight hair doesn't last long. I barely have time to shower these days. :)

11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?

My # 2 answer would be practical things for our house. I love going to Target. (Anyone else?!). I love stocking up on ketchup and toilet paper and light bulbs and other random household things, so that when we run out of something, I can pull it out of a cupboard. It makes me feel like Super Mom! :)

12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house?
Did I put our trash container on the counter so our dog Rocky will stay out of the trash!!

Thanks for staying with me through all 12! I'm off to get ready for our "Fantastic Friday Fun Night!". I'll be honest, I bribed our kids this week. If they would go to bed on time and stay in bed (no getting up unless there is blood!) ~ they could invite a friend over for our F3 Night! I made a little chart and everything to keep track. Would you believe they ALL stayed in bed? Woo Hoo!! Except now I need to come up with a Fantastic, Fun plan for 8+ kids. Any suggestions???

Have a BLESSED weekend full of much fun, celebration, peace, joy, and love!!

P.S. As always, a special thanks to Linda at 2nd cup of coffee for sponsoring the Random Dozen! :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

How Embarassing!!

Have you experienced one of those moments that made your face turn BRIGHT RED with embarassment?? That was me Friday night!!

You may remember, in my last post I mentioned I was headed out for an "over-night" all by myself. I have quite a full teaching/speaking schedule in the next few weeks, so John gave me the gift of a night off to pray, study, and prepare. (Thanks, honey!)

My room was perfect! I had a beautiful suite with a full kitchen and fireplace. (All of this from ~ thank You, God!). It was a wonderful environment to study and meet with the Lord. (And I didn't go to the Starbucks next door even once ~ can you believe it?!)

Well, as I mentioned, the room had a fireplace. So Friday night, after studying in a loft at the hotel's gatehouse, I thought, “Oh, I should build a fire when I get back to my suite”. Granted, it was midnight…but I still had lots I wanted to accomplish, and my work area in the suite directly faced the fireplace. I thought the fire would be a nice touch while I prayed. Sounds like a good idea, right?! :)

So I bought the necessary log at the front desk. I asked the receptionist for directions, and he said it was simple, gave me the matches, and I was on my way.

There was a sign on the fireplace that read, “Make sure the flue is open or alarms will go off”. I thought I had the flue opened. It wasn’t latching great, but I tried my best. I lit the log and settled in for a great prayer time.

Sure enough, within minutes, my room started to get smoky, and the fire alarm started wailing. I mean loudly. The front desk guy quickly came over to my suite to help me. (He probably thought I was crazy….I had moved all of the furniture, had huge hanging posterboards of scriptures and prayers hanging in my room, etc…). He was very kind, fixed things up, and then...

10 minutes later…wouldn’t you know the alarm is going again! This time I almost started bawling. Ahhh!! I'm on the floor, trying to hand-hold the flue open in position. The front desk receptionist had to come again, and this time he just left my smoke alarm unhooked!!

Fortunately, Jake and a friend were out late coming home from a hockey game. They drove right over and helped me ~ by this time I was so frazzled!! They were able to get the flue to latch and helped air things out. What an ordeal!!!

As I sat on the floor that night, smoke in the room, with my hand holding open the flue (which I determined I could not do for the next 3 hours!) ~ I just thought, “Oh Lord, how can you waste your time with such a messed up, crazy girl like me??”. I feel so ill-equipped for all of the tasks over the next few weeks. But He reminded me (through the fire!) of how Big and Powerful and Mighty He is!!

It was still a painfully embarassing experience, none the less!!!

What about for you?? Do you have a fun, embarassing story to share with us! I'd love to hear I'm not alone!! Share with us please!!

Have a GREAT week!!! May the Lord bless you and keep you and fill you with His peace!

P.S. My friends have been so funny...saying things like....

"I guess your story proves you really are "on fire" for Him :)" or

"Sounds like a "Red Hot" night to me :)"

Glad to laugh about! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Weekly Random Dozen ~ 1st of 2010!

Happy Friday to you!! I'm participating in the Weekly Random Dozen again this week. It's been a FULL week for us with school back in session, so I thought a little "randomness" would be a fun break. Hope you enjoy!! :)

1. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a cranky-baby-hissy-fitter, how much of a complainer are you?

I really try not to complain much at all. This is hard for me to answer. I'll ask John and share what he says. (He says I'm a 2, if that ~ whew!).
2. When someone else is talking, do you listen, or are you thinking about what you're going to say in response?

I'll be honest, if it's my kids, I'm probably 3/4 listening (and the other 1/4 thinking about our schedule, what's for dinner, etc..). I'm also working on this. I want my kids to have 100% of my attention. (Maybe next week I'll share my new "after school idea" to help in this area. It's helped a lot!)

As for adults, I'm listening. Pretty fully and completely. I might be thinking of how I can pray for this person, or if there is an encouraging word I might be able to share with them ~ but I really try to be 100% fully present with them.

3. I just deleted 1062 messages from my email account. Do you have any plans for a clean sweep this month--of anything?

I am planning a pretty clean sweep of my mind!! It's time to clear out all the clutter and misbeliefs in there! My girlfriend and I are working on memorizing a whole book of Scripture to fill up the space.
4. Tell us about your perfume. Was it a gift? What does it remind you of? Do you have a signature scent?

When John and I were getting married, I received Victoria's Secret "Pear" as a wedding gift. He loves it. So, that's all I wear. If I try anything different, he knows and doesn't like it. So I stick with Pear ~ the spray, the sparkly powder, the lotion, etc.. I've got it all. It's a simple way to make John happy! :)

5. What is your best organizing tip for the new year?

At first I thought this was a hard question...but now I know! I organize all of my different holiday stuff with holiday bins. I have a different bin for all of them ~ New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Pat's, 4th of July, etc.. That way, I can put the left over napkins, confetti, etc.. in the bin and it's ready to go for the next Celebration! I've had friends come over just to check out my holiday bins. Nothing special...but keeps the Celebrations easier to plan.

6. What is your favorite comic strip?
My husband John is a huge comic strip fan. I'm not. I might peek at Baby Blues, but that's about it. John, however, reads them all (my son Benj too!)

7. Do you sleep with a fluffy or flat pillow?

I sleep with two, long thick pillows.

8. What color is your kitchen? Why did you choose that color?

Our kitchen is a "tealish/aqua" kind of color. (I forget what it's officially called). We picked it with the help of our friend Allison. When we moved into our house last year, she helped pick colors for all of the rooms in our whole house. I just love color, so we picked lots of purple, and teals and more, and then had every room painted! My basement storage room is bright orange! :)

9. What’s the most interesting bumper sticker you’ve seen?

Not sure. What's the most interesting bumper sticker you've seen???

10. Do you prefer an expensive writing tool or whatever is lying around? (Are you a Montblanc or a Papermate?)
I am particular about my writing tools. My favorite is a black Uniball pen (is that what it's called??). Anyway, I love them! They're not super expensive. I get them from Staples with my ink cartridge refunds. (Is this too much information?!)

11. What chore doesn’t feel like a chore – you just enjoy it (at least most of the time)?
Feeding my kids and all their friends. I love it! In our new home, we have a counter in our dining room that we use for all kinds of fun stuff ~ taco bar, make your own ice cream sundaes, build your own sub, etc.. I love it when Jake and his high school buddies come over to eat. And usually my little ones have a friend or two here also. The more the merrier, I say!

12. If your parents often repeated themselves, what is something one of them said more than once?

Not sure. I should have listened to them much more than I did!! :)

And now, dear bloggy friends, I am headed out for an over-night all by myself!! I have quite a full teaching/speaking schedule in the next few weeks, so John has given me the night off to pray, study, and prepare. Woo Hoo!!

I "'ed" a hotel in the area. And would you believe...the hotel that was picked SHARES a parking lot with Starbucks. Yippee!! Is God good or what???! :)

Have a super, fun-filled weekend!! I'll be back on-line on Monday!!

Many blessings to you!!

P.S. Thanks again, to Linda, from 2nd Cup of Coffee for hosting the Random Dozen! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Moving Past Gym Class ~ Part 2

I am thrilled to share the winner of the Jesus Calling Giveaway (my favorite book from 2009) !! :) The winner is Angie!!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered! I loved reading your comments, and was able to get great ideas for more books to add to my library!

On my last post, I shared some of the "false labels" that I picked up in gym class, and through other childhood hardships. (For a quick recap, click here).

Unfortunately, I grew up believing I was...

Not wanted.

Not good enough.


No one would ever pick me.

Thankfully, in 1996 I met Jesus. As I began a new journey of life with Him, He began to fill me with His peace and His hope.

I also began to learn my real identity through reading the Bible.

God's Word says that I am...






I love that word "Chosen". In fact, it’s the Greek word "eklektos" meaning “chosen one, choice select, picked out, appointed by God to the most exalted office conceivable”.

You know what this says to me. It’s almost as if God is saying….

Cindy, I pick you for my team!! In fact, if I had a 6th grade kickball team, not only would I hand pick you – I’d appoint you captain!!! :)

(Just my "for fun" interpretation...but it sure brings healing to my heart!)
And the beautiful thing...what God says about me is true for you too!!

You are Accepted ~ just the way that you are!

Adopted ~ a precious member of God's family when you believe in Jesus!

Forgiven ~ regardless of where you have been or what you have done!

Loved ~ dearly, lavishly, and unconditionally!!

and Chosen ~ hand picked by our Great God for His team!!

I don't know about you, but I need to remind myself of my TRUE IDENTITY on a daily basis. The world screams, "You're not ______ enough. Thin enough. Pretty enough. Rich enough, etc... " And if I don't watch it, I can easily pick up and start believing the lies.

However, I now know who I am in Christ! And my worth and value is not in who people say that I am, but who God says that I am!!

Accepted. Adopted. Forgiven. Loved. Chosen. And you are too!! :)

Let's pray.... Oh God, we thank You for Your love and grace and faithfulness in our lives. Please shield us from the voices of this world that shout at us, and remind us afresh of the Truth of who we are in You. May we each live out of our true identity in Christ. May we be the people that You desire us to be, and live the full, superabundant lives that You have planned for us!! For Your purpose and Your glory alone!! Amen!

Blessings to you~

P.S. I just bought a new book today called "Sparkling Gems from the Greek". Have you read it?? Oh my goodness, I think this is going to be my new fave for 2010!! Where has it been hiding all this time?! You may want to check it out!! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Moving Past Gym Class...

OK, true confession time. I stink at New Years Resolutions. I make them every year, and usually 2 days later (or sooner), they are out the window.

This year is no different. I've already had Diet Coke, chips & salsa, and Starbucks lattes (things I usually try to give up). I've not been to the gym yet this week (something I usually try to do), and forgot my vitamin again today. Shoot.

Another reason I am so grateful for God's grace. :)

I will, however, live differently this year. Not because it's a resolution ~ but because I am determined to live as the woman that God has called me to be. I am committed to knowing and believing who I am in Christ ~ and not allowing false labels to define me anymore. Period.

You see, for me, it started in gym class. Many, many years ago.

I'm not sure how you felt about gym class as a kid, but I thought it was horrible.

And the worst part...the picking of teams.

I mean there anything more humiliating then being lined up along a wall, while 2 classmates hand pick who they want on their team.

I can still remember, nearly 25 years later, the pain and the humiliation of standing there – so desperately longing to be wanted – only to be the last one left again.

And unfortunately, I allowed gym class and other childhood hardships to shape my identity – and grew up believing that’s who I was.

It was like I was wearing a name tag labeled...

Not wanted.


I believed no one would ever choose me.

This became my identity, and I allowed these false labels to shape my life.

Thankfully, in 1996 I met Jesus. (Woo Hoo!!)

Jesus ripped off the false nametags I was wearing.
And the false labels weren’t just erased - but REPLACED with a whole new set chosen just for me. :)

And He has new nametags for you too :)

To be continued tomorrow.....

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year & Our Family Tradition

If you haven't had a chance to sign up for my Jesus Calling Book GIVEAWAY, please join the fun! (Click here for more information). You have until Monday, January 4th at 9 PM to enter. :)

Happy New Year 2010 from our home to yours!!

We hosted a fun, family friendly New Years celebration last night. We had 19 people (kids and adults) enjoying a taco bar, sledding, games, an ice cream sundae bar, tattoo stand and so much more! :) What fun!!

For today, we have a simple family New Years Day tradition. I'll bring out markers and paper, and then each family member draws two pictures. The first picture is a note reflecting on things for which we want to say "Thank You" to God. For example, here is my picture from 2002...
That year, I was thankful for John, my two boys (the girls weren't born yet), Harbor Clubs (a ministry at Church), the opportunity to serve in Africa, and growing as a disciple of Jesus.

Here's a fun example from my son Jake (shared with his permission). Jake is now 15, but here's his Thank You for 2002.... :)

Or here is Benj's from last year...

For our New Years Day tradition, after we share our "Thank You" page, we take a new piece of paper. On this paper, we write out/draw specific prayer requests for the coming year. For example, this is Benj's paper for 2009....

It is always so fun to see what the kids come up! It's also a blessing for me and John to put our requests on paper, and then watch how God works over the year! When I pulled out John's paper this year (I keep them all in a special New Years tub) ~ I gasped out loud. God answered every single item on his list (and they were big prayers!).

For my New Years Day prayers last year, I had written "opportunities to share Jesus with others". (I just love Him so ~ and want to tell everyone I can!) I had no idea at that time that God would open a door for me to lead a Bible Study of 80 women on Monday nights (and less than a month later, no less)!

God is so faithful, isn't He?! :)

I can't wait for our special tradition to get started today !! I've pulled out the paper and markers, but John just said first I can sneak off to the bookstore for a bit with my Bible, while the kids are still waking up after their late night. Woo Hoo!!

What about for you?? Do you have a special New Years tradition?? Share with us please!! I'd love to hear from you! :)

Happy New Year! May 2010 be a year filled with much joy, peace, health, and God's richest blessings!

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