Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrate Spring with May Day ~ Sunday, May 1!

Celebrate Spring with May Day!

I can still remember celebrating May Day, the 1st day of May, when I was a little girl. We made May Day baskets out of strawberry containers, left them on our neighbors' doorstep, rang the doorbell, and quickly ran away!

Fast forward 30+ years, and I decided to make May Day memories with my family! Mostly the kids and I were bored one day, it happened to be May 1st, so we decided we'd celebrate May Day! It was so much fun it's now an annual tradition!

How do we celebrate May Day??

First, we make the baskets. We use the cone idea (here), but you could also make a paper plate basket (ideas here or here).

You may want to attach a poem (ideas here & here), or a little note saying "Happy May Day".

Fill your basket with flowers, chocolate or any other little treats. (hint: I use left over Easter candy).

You are now ready to deliver the baskets! (Yes, we use a hockey stick to help keep them upright!)

Put the basket on your friend/neighbors' porch, ring the doorbell, and run!! The trick is you don't want the neighbor to see you! If you get caught, you are supposed to get a kiss (which we've never done...but it does make them run faster!).

The kids have such a blast watching their friends/neighbors/grandparents try to figure out how the basket was delivered!

If you're really feeling celebratory, you may want to participate in a May Day Maypole (ideas here or here).

We tried a Maypole one year (streamers on our basketball hoop), but it was a little too complicated for my gang. We mainly stick with the baskets, and an occasional word search (here) and/or word mining activity (here).

Although this year we may try some May Day Hoop races (here) or a special craft (here & here). So many fun ideas to choose from!

What about for you?? Do you celebrate May Day with your family and friends?? I'd love to hear from you!!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*!! May your May 1st be filled with much love, joy, and celebration ~ whatever you decide to do!!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Hey Friends ~

Happy almost Easter to you! I pray your weekend is filled with much *joy* and celebration of the real meaning of Easter....our Risen Lord!

Personally, I am officially worn out!! I am exhausted, weary, and have landed "in a funk". I still need to recover after our fun Spring Break (my suitcase is still packed ~ and that was 2 weeks ago!) & my crazy, full week last week. Anyone else?? :)

All of that to say, I'm going to take some time off from blogging. I need to spend time with Jesus! The next few weeks are filled with wrapping up Red Hot, teaching opportunities, and lots of fun, family stuff (not to mention my birthday!) ~ and I need to be whole (emotionally, physically, and spiritually).

I am learning that I must stop and allow Jesus to fill me completely and tend to my weary soul. I never want to share with you, my dear ones, out of the leftovers and scraps. If I want to reflect Him well, I must allow Him to fill me with His peace, His presence, and His joy. And that takes time just being "still". (Which is not something I do naturally ~ but I am learning....)

Thanks for understanding my need for a rest. I will miss you ~ but look forward to connecting again towards the first of May!!

May your weekend be filled with much joy, love, *sparkle*, and laughter!!

P.S. If you haven't entered my Giveaway, it's not too late! Click here for more information! :)

P.S.S. For more Caffeinated Randomness, head over to visit Michelle and friends. You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TILT: (& $25 giveaway)

Hey Friends!

Happy "Things I Love Thursday" to you! I hope you are having a GREAT week!!

A few weeks ago, I taught a Bible lesson on "Gold Refined in the Fire". Soon after, a special Bible Study friend sent me a link to I had never heard of this ministry before, but my friend thought I'd enjoy watching this short, creative teaching on God's refining fire. (And she was right!)

Here's the quick thought-provoking video if you'd like to take a peek.....

I've definitely felt like I was on God's grill before (maybe even right now!). You too?! :)

Anyway....after watching this video, I wanted to learn more about! I soon discovered that their website is full of short, mini teachings on a variety of subjects ~ all very insightful and Truth-based.

Here's more about

For decades people have read daily devotionals. Now, for the first time a daily devotional video is available, designed into a Christian blog. is designed to inspire people with thoughts of God each day in the simplest way. The format for delivery is a video. People are moving away from printed devotionals to internet devotional blogs. represents the next step by delivering the devotion in video as opposed to text. We believe people will be eager to connect daily to because it gives them an easy quick thirty second video message from one of seven gifted speakers each day.

30God is also an online retailer, providing a variety of items designed to trigger people to think of God during the day through their shop

I'm thrilled to announce the amazing leaders of are offering $25 worth of free merchandise from their ThinkGod shop to one blessed *She Sparkles* reader!! Woo Hoo!

To Win my
ThinkGod $25 Giveaway:

Click over to, then leave a comment in the comment section answering this question:

How would you spend your $25 at the

RULES: Starts today, Thursday, April 21st and ends Sunday, April 24th at 9 PM. Winner will be announced on *She Sparkles* during the week of April 25th.

Extra Entries:

•Follow *She Sparkles*
•Subscribe to *She Sparkles*
•Add my *She Sparkles* button to your blog
•Tweet about this giveaway including a link to this post
•Post this Giveaway on FB

Please be sure to leave me a comment to let me know your extra entries.

If your email address is not connected to your ID please leave your email address with your comment or email it to me at with the subject "Giveaway".

I'll leave you with one more quick video, from's founder, Coleman Moore.

What do you love this week?? I'd "love" to hear from you!! :)

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have a wonderful, joy-filled, purposeful week!!

P.S. For more Things I Love Thursday ideas, hop on over and visit Jill at The Diaper Diaries. :)

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this review and, as always, all opinions expressed in this post are fully my own.

Wordless Wednesday (and the picture I promised!)

Hey Friends! How are you???

It's a Weary Wednesday for me today!

I'm recovering from a crazy, full week last week (3 major deadlines + life with 4 kids) ~ so I'll experiment once again with "Wordless Wednesday" .....although, as we all know, I'm not very good at it!

First, some background Bible study this week, I shared the story of my dear friend Jen and her amazing journey.

Unfortunately the picture of Jen's baptism didn't show up well (the room was too bright ~ must have been all the video taping lights!). I didn't want my AMAZING Monday night friends to miss the powerful picture ~ so I promised to post it here on *She Sparkles*!

Here's my Wordless Wednesday picture.... (I'm in pink, Jen is in wet black)

I know the goal of Wordless Wednesday is to share a favorite photograph and go wordless.

But in case you are wondering why this baptism picture is so special to me ~ here's the powerful story of my friend Jen :)

Have you ever had a friend that from Day 1 you knew this friendship was going to be special??

That was me and Jen! At our first "coffee" years ago, we were already sharing real life. Jen's family had just moved to Michigan from California, only for her husband to lose his job. Jen and I kind of bypassed the small talk and went right into sharing our hurts, our hopes, our disappointments.

Then I asked the question, “Oh, so where do you guys go to church?”.

“We don’t” Jen replied.

I soon learned that although we shared a common love for family and for kids – we also shared many differences.

Jen wanted nothing to do with the Christian religion. Nothing. She prayed to a higher power. Believed there were energies in the world. Didn’t understand my love for God, and didn’t want to. It was as if her mind was veiled to God and His Truth (2 Cor 4:3-4)

You know what I did? I started praying for Jen and her family. Praying that this veil would be taken away. My Bible study started praying for Jen. My husband, our kids were praying. Friends’ friends that didn’t even know Jen and her family were praying. Praying that this family would know God's great love for them!

Jen and I continued developing our friendship and she became one of my closest and dearest friends.

After about a year of journeying together, I invited Jen to my Bible study. She said yes. I couldn’t believe it! That night I finally had the courage to ask Jen if she would like to invite Jesus into her life. Jen wasn’t ready, she said. So I asked her if we could we pray together?

Jen said that would be I prayed that God would take away the veil getting in the way for her and her husband – and that God would reveal Himself to them.

Soon after, Jen and her husband started attending church as a family. (I couldn't believe it!) And on Easter Sunday of 2008, as they were driving home from church, Jen’s husband Tom leaned over and said to her – "I met Jesus today". (Can you believe it??! Yippee!)

Soon after, Jen went on a women’s weekend retreat with her new church – and she gave her life to Jesus! (Woo Hoo!!!)

"Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." 2 Corinthians 3:16

It has been amazing to watch God work so powerfully in Jen's life over the past few years! God clearly has a very special and significant plan for Jen and her family! And she handled the trauma of
Tom's heart attack with such faith in God and tremendous strength in Him. She is truly an inspiration!

And I will never forget the day, just 2 months after
Tom's heart attack, that I was sitting between Tom and Jen at their church, waiting for Jen's name to be called, so that I could baptize her.

Only God.

Last fall, as we gathered in my home to celebrate Jen (and her mom) ~ my heart was so full of gratitude to the Lord! Jen and her family have such a special place in my heart...always.

I miss Jen terribly (her family moved to a different state last year ~ boo!) ~ but thank God daily for bringing Jen into my life and blessing of her friendship!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles* on this Wordless (cough cough) Wednesday!

May your week be filled with much joy, friendship, and life-giving moments!!

P.S. If you'd like to make today a Worship-full! Wednesday, take a minute and listen to my new favorite song! Perfect for this Holy Week!! I love it!!!

Click here!!!! :)

P.S.S. For more Wordless Wednesday, visit 5 Minutes for Mom. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Can Do ANYTHING! :)

Hey Friends!!!

Woo Hoo! I made it! And I didn't even wet my pants! :)

In case you are wondering.....what in the world are you talking about?!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post ~ last night I had an opportunity involving video taping, lights, and our Monday night Bible study.
(I also shared that "little Cindy" grew up not wanting to talk in front of people and would wet her pants all the time at school because she was so shy!!!)

However, I'm sick and tired of allowing my old fears to impact my new days!!

Anyone else???!!!!

So can I fill you in on a secret??

A few weeks ago, I was invited to meet with a local, very well-respected, international ministry about pursuing a project with them. I know ~ I'm as shocked as you are! :)

I'm absolutely humbled, in awe, prayerful, and can't wait to see what God is up to. It's one of those things that is so exciting that I start to cry when I think about it ~ but, on the other hand, I don't want to get my hopes up, in case this isn't God's plan.

So I just pray. :)

A few weeks ago, this amazing ministry asked if they could come in and videotape me teaching at Monday night Bible study. At the time I said, "sure, why not?!". Soon after, you have to know every insecurity, lie, and fear that I've ever wrestled with came plunging at me in full strength.

It may or may not be true that I called last week to reschedule due to my fears. Thankfully they said, "no thank you". :)

So last night was the taping. Here's proof I did not run in the opposite direction....

(Me pointing to the map of the 7 churches in Revelation....)

(...and picture above of volunteers representing the Lukewarm Church)

I am GRATEFUL to say not only did I get through it ~ I made it through VICTORIOUSLY!!! YIPPEE!!!

Now please know, I am not saying I was perfect. We all know me better than that!

What I am saying is that I did not allow the lights and camera to distract me from focusing on the Word and the lovely, awesome women I have the privilege of journeying with each week.

And most importantly, as much as I wanted to run and hide and not show up ~ I clung to God's promise that we can do ALL THINGS through Him. God has NOT given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, love, and a sound mind!!! (And that is some Good News!!)

What is it God is calling YOU to do???

Are you allowing your fears to get in the way of His plans??

How have you stepped forward in faith and courage into the dreams God has for you??

I'd love to hear from you!!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have an amazing, power-filled, lovely day!!

P.S. A HUGE note of thanks to.....

* My dear Magnificent Monday girlfriends for their love, support and prayers

* My family for their grace (and John for listening to my teaching over and over again)

* My prayer team (from around the world) lifting up the night in prayer

* My special friend April for sharing her red pen

* My friend L.C. who came just to sit in the room last night and pray the whole time

* My special neighbor who called to pray scripture over me

* And for Julie, for being who you are, and for helping us to the end the night right...

I could barely sleep last night I am so overwhelmed by the Lord's mercy, grace, and kindness ~ shown through you all. My heart is full ~ and I am grateful. God is so good, isn't He?! :)

P.S.S. I'm linking up today with Jen and friends at Soli Deo Gloria. Be sure to check out this amazing sisterhood of women! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Facing Our Biggest Fears

Please continue to keep the Derek Taatjes family in your prayers.

Hi Friends!

I'm curious...what is it you are most afraid of??

For me, I join the millions of people in the world with a fear of public speaking.

When I was little, I wet my pants at school all the time because I was too afraid to raise my hand in class. (I'm not kidding, you can even ask my mom).

The thought of everyone looking at me was just too much for this shy, insecure, red haired little girl. My face would turn "beet red" when all eyes were on me (still does!) ~ and I dreaded ever being the center of attention in class. Ugh.

After I came to know Jesus, I sensed God wanted me to share my testimony for His Kingdom purposes. I was terrified.

However, after years of living in rebellion, I was more terrified of not obeying Him than people looking at me. I would go with fear and trembling whenever a church would ask me to share (but trust me, I never went out seeking opportunities).

In 1999 I was hired to work as a ministry leader at a Grand Rapids area mega-church. Only the Lord would provide opportunities for this shy girl to share ministry updates in front of 10,000 people on Sunday's. (Did you notice I said TEN THOUSAND people!)

Only God.

Since that time, God has been stretching me in this area. Thankfully I no longer wet my pants when people look at me (whew!) ~ but not one time do I head somewhere to speak where it comes "naturally".

My stomach is always in knots, I usally can't sleep the night before, and not only do I "pray like crazy" ~ I have a whole team of prayer warriors who pray me through each and every event.

So you'll never believe what God is asking me to do tonight. Once again, only God.

I'll give you a hint ~ it has to do with me, a video camera, lights, a team of people, and our Monday night Bible study. Can you feel my face getting blotchy already??

However, God's Word is clear...

The Lord has not given us a spirit of timidity or fear, but of POWER, LOVE, and SELF-DISCIPLINE (2 Timothy 1:7).

And I refuse to bring my old fears into this new day!!
I will be there tonight ready to face my biggest lifetime fear....and hopefully, Lord willing, I won't wet my pants :)

How about for you...what are you most afraid of??

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Are you allowing "old fears" to creep into your "new days"?

May we keep our eyes fixed on Him and watch Him work ~ He is a God who can make the impossible possible!! And as Beth Moore says, "Let's do it afraid!"

Have a wonderful, joy-filled week, my dear bloggy friend! I treasure you!!

In His Sweet Love,

P.S. The winner of the Mandisa giveaway is Meredith Moore. A huge thank you to all who entered. I wish I had copies to give to everyone ~ it really is that good! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

What Should I Say? (Responding in the midst of grief)

It's not too late to enter my Mandisa giveaway. Winner will be selected Sunday, April 16th!

Dear Friends ~

If you live in the West Michigan area, you've heard of the local tragedy that claimed the lives of Derek Taatjes, a youth pastor, and his infant son Dylan.

Derek, age 31 and Dylan were killed in a fire in their home last evening, while his wife and two daughters were visiting family in Florida. Our whole community is in shock and mourning this painful loss.

Whereas I don't know the Taatjes family personally, I have been praying for Derek's wife and family all day. Unfortunately I remember all too well the day I received a call that my "soon-to-be" husband David, also age 31, had been unexpectedly killed in a tragic accident.

I can still vividly remember heading to the visitation, in the midst of intense grief, getting ready to stand before David's casket to greet friends and family. I asked my friend Betty, "What in the world am I going to say to everyone?"

Betty said, "Cindy, you don't have to worry. Right now everyone is wondering what they are going to say to you."

Somehow I made it through the vistation and funeral, and now, having journeyed through "the valley of grief" ~ I've learned a little bit about what is helpful to say/do in the midst of a loss.

Here are some of my ideas...

Things to Say~

* I am so sorry for your loss. (this is my all-time favorite)

* Please tell me how I can help. I want to be here for you.

* May I give you a hug?

* Please tell me what you are feeling right now ~I have never been through something like this.

*_______ was such a great________. I will really miss him/her.

*It's ok if you do not feel like talking right now. Just know that I am here to listen whenever you are ready.

Things NOT to Say~

*"I know how you feel." (This would make me want to scream, “YOU don’t know how I feel, no one knows how bad I feel!)”

*“Time heals all wounds.” (Not true, not true!)

*“You’ll be ok. God knows what He is doing” (Whereas it is true God does know what He is doing, these words are not often helpful to someone grieving a loss.)

*"Just call me if there is anything I can do." (Trust me, in the midst of grief, you can’t think straight and you have no idea what you need.)

My best advice for helping....fill the home with Kleenexes, food (although those grieving probably won't want to eat it, so simple, healthy options are best), and be available and ready for anything. Look through picture albums. Come over in the morning with hot coffee.

One friend would come over every Thursday night and watch ER with me. Her presence, listening ear and patience was invaluable. Be there.

Also, the next year following a loss is extremely painful. If you know someone who is grieving a loss, mark your calendar with their name on the major holidays, and be sure to "check in" on the first Easter, Fathers Day, Christmas, etc.. Keep them in your prayers.

Lastly, although everyone is different, my encouragement would be to not be afraid to bring up the deceased person's name. I still wanted to talk about David in the weeks and months to come, but I could sense others didn't want to "upset me". I've found many times this is the case when a death takes place.

I know this post is a little "heavy" for the weekend (sorry!) ~ but I would love to hear from you. Have your journeyed with someone through grief? Been through the grief process yourself? What was helpful/not helpful for you??

Let's learn from one another, so we might be a source of joy, comfort and hope during difficult times.

Most importantly, would you please pray for the Taatje Family? Derek and Dylan leave behind a wife/mom and two young daughters/sisters. May they sense God's comfort and peace each and every moment during the hours, days, weeks and years to come.

He (God) comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 MSG

In His Great Love,

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Mandisa (& Giveaway)

If you haven't seen the new Easter Flash mob ~ "Rise Up", be sure to check it out! Love it :)

Hey Friends!

I'm so excited to share something I love, love, love with you ~ Mandisa's new album, "What If We Were Real". It is amazing!!! :)

You may remember, a few weeks ago I shared a clip of Mandisa's new song, "Stronger". Her song came out during a time when it felt like my world was caving in, and I would sing Stronger at the top of my lungs over and over again!

Just in case you've not heard Stronger, check it out....

Thankfully today, after making it through the crazy challenges of February 2011~ I'm pleased to share I AM STRONGER and my circumstances did not destroy me! Woo Hoo!

Imagine my delight, when I was asked to review Mandisa's new album, "What If We Were Real", containing, "Stronger". Of course, my answer was yes!

Can I just tell you that it is POWERFUL, AMAZING, and A MUST HAVE FOR EVERY WOMAN?!

I thought I would like it...but my goodness, every song on the album so identifies with a woman's heart. I don't just like it ~ I love it! I said to my friend Julie this week, "If I had all the money in the world, I would buy a copy for every single woman I know."

It's that good, friends. Promise.

Here's more about Mandisa's new album....

"The concept of the album came to Mandisa as she bared her soul to her more than 20,000 followers on Twitter (@mandisaofficial).

“I was really amazed at the responses I’d get when I’d Tweet that I was struggling, or needed prayer with something, or having a bad day,” she explains. “People said, ‘I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.’ Or ‘I need prayer for that too.’ It surprised me that people thought I had it all together. The truth of the matter is I have bad days too.”

That learning curve is evident on the vulnerable but empowering What If We Were Real.

“I will always struggle with my weight,” Mandisa says, recalling how a disappointing morning on the scale prompted her startling online confession that things are not always rosy. “I had gained weight and was so frustrated at that moment that I said so on Twitter. I said, ‘I’m fed-up and over it.’ I was feeling embarrassed and ashamed. I realized that I had only talked about how great things were. I never let people in when they were not. It was then that I decided I’d talk about the bad things too—that I’d be real.”

And so she is, through 11 songs of struggle, worship, and redemption.....

I would love, love, love to share this new CD with you!!

To Win my Mandisa Giveaway: Leave a comment in the comment section answering this question:

Why would you like to win Mandisa's new CD, "What If We Were Real"??

Extra Entries:

•Follow *She Sparkles*

•Subscribe to *She Sparkles*

•Add my *She Sparkles* button to your blog

•Tweet about this giveaway including a link to this post

Please be sure to leave me a comment to let me know your extra entries.

RULES: Starts today, Thursday, April 14th and ends Sunday, April 17th at 9 PM.

Winner will be posted on my blog during the week of April 18th. If your email address is not connected to your ID, please leave your email address with your comment or email it to me at with the subject "Giveaway".

I'll close with one more quote from the beautiful, gifted Mandisa....

“A struggle is a struggle, and Jesus is there through it all. He is there in compassion and grace. I have found that what He has spoken to me through these songs has been encouraging and I think that’ll be true for other people who are going through their own hard times...”

Amen, Mandisa, Amen! :)

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*. Have a wonderful, strength-filled, empowered day!!

P.S. For more Things I Love Thursday ideas, hop on over and visit Jill at The Diaper Diaries. :)

Disclosure: I was provided with one copy of Mandisa's new CD, "What If We Were Real". I was not compensated in any other way for the review and, as always, all opinions expressed in this post are fully my own.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dance Your Shoes Off

Hey Friends! Happy "Wordless Wednesday" to you! :)

I'm knee deep in the study of "eye salve" this week~ so I thought I'd experiment again with "Wordless Wednesday" .....except, as you know, I'm not very good at it!

The goal is that you share a favorite photograph and go wordless.

But how can I not say "something"?! I'm trying, really I am... and, I'm hoping, an amazing video will count as Wordless, because I just cannot resist showing this amazing video to you! Please take a peek!

Makes me want to be in a Flash Mob!! Any joiners?? :)

Don't you just love the ending too?? Each "Rise Up" participant left a new pair of shoes on the field for those in need. I love it!

I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts after you watch this joy-full, praise filled clip! :)

Thanks for stopping by my (kinda, but not really) Wordless Wednesday!!

Have a Wonder-filled day! :)

P.S. Thanks so much for praying for the West Branch MOPS luncheon yesterday! I had such a wonderful time with this fun, game-playing, beautiful group of women ~ and the feedback I've received has been very "fruit-full"! Thanks for your prayers!

P.S.S.For more Wordless Wednesday, visit
5 Minutes for Mom. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Are you thirsty?

Hey Friends ~

Ever feel frazzled and anxious?? I'm afraid that was me yesterday! :(

I was telling my friend Julie today that I feel like I'm trying to spin one too many plates this week. I'm asking God to empower me, remind me it's ok to say "no", and to not let all my plates come crashing down!

Thankfully the Lord blesses me with sweet friends and family who send me Truth, amazing devotions, and words of encouragment. Here's a favorite devotion from a special friend. May it encourage you as well...

"Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

Jesus knows that we hunger and thirst for more than this world can offer.

He created us this way so that we would be in constant fellowship with Him.

When Jesus saw a great multitude of 4,000 who had followed Him for three days, He did not want them to leave hungry and was moved with compassion for them. There were only "seven loaves and a few little fish".

BUT, it says that they "all ate and were filled" AND afterwards, "they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left" (Matthew 15:32-38).

There was more than enough! There was even some left over!

This is what He wants to do for us. He moves with compassion for us. Daily, and moment by moment, we can call upon Him for more. Jesus always had more than enough.

Jesus was overflowing because He was in constant fellowship with His Heavenly Father.

He said He did nothing on His own initiative, but only did what He saw His Father doing (John 14:10). We can walk through life in this same way.

Nowhere in Scripture does it say that we should be famished, full of disorder, filled with negative thoughts, and live a dreary life.

Jesus says in Luke 11:13 that our Heavenly Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. It's true! Let us seek our God who lavishes His love upon us by giving us access to the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus had. Let us be imitators of Christ Jesus.


By the power of the Holy Spirit.

Are you thirsty? Do you long for more?

James 4:2 says, "You do not have because you do not ask." Call upon Him. He hears your cry.

Ask God for more of Himself today. (By Brigitte Straub)

Let's pray...Oh God, THANK YOU that You are a God of more than enough!! Would You please fill the empty places of our hearts with more of You?? Would You please infuse us afresh with Your Spirit? Would You please encourage us and strengthen us and fill us to overflowing? THANK YOU that You alone, Lord, are all that we need! Help us to live Red Hot for You !! In Jesus Powerful Name. Amen :)

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have an overflowing, filled to the top, power-full day!

P.S. PRAISE REPORT: Thanks again for praying for my family when we were on vacation!

When we left Charlotte, North Carolina, our air conditioning went out in our truck. It made for uncomfortable driving, to say the least in 86 degree heat!

Thankfully the kids didn't really complain. We just stopped daily for ice cream and frappucinos from Starbucks!.

John went to take the truck in today, and it's not good. :( Big repair bill. Ugh! But the good news....the repair man said he can't believe the truck didn't overheat on us. Praise the Lord!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lukewarm and Loving It!

We are home from vacation! For a quick Spring Break recap, click here.

Hey Friends! Happy Monday to you!

As many of you know, one of the highlights of my week is our "Magnificent Monday Bible Study
" Bible Study. I love this amazing group of beautiful women ~ and it's fun to watch God show up each and every week!

We are in the middle of a season called "Red Hot for Jesus ~ Lukewarm is NOT the Norm!" (continuing teachings from the Red Hot retreat).

Unfortunately, due to Spring Break, we will not be meeting tonight. :(

My encouragement to my MM sisters is to watch Francis Chan's powerful teaching called "Lukewarm and Loving It!"

I appreciate Francis' authentic, vulnerable teaching from God's Word.

I decided to post it on *She Sparkles*...maybe you would like to watch it too! :)
(Nearly 200,000 viewers have watched it now!)

May God impress these Truths onto our hearts so that we, too, would be disgusted with Lukewarm living, and pursue Red Hot, power-filled, useful lives in Christ!

If you've read "Crazy Love" (and the profile of Lukewarm Living), or have a chance to view Francis' teaching, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

What do you think are the biggest challenges to believers living "lukewarm"? How would you counsel a friend living "lukewarm" who wants to live free?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have a glorious, joy-filled, Red Hot week!

Sweet blessings to you~

Sunday, April 10, 2011

home sweet home

Hey Friends!

Happy April to you!! :)

As I mentioned last week, we just wrapped up our Spring Break week here in Michigan.

John and I decided to skip our "stay-cation" ideas this year
, and head out for a family fun road trip! What a great time we all had! Woo Hoo! :)

Our journey included driving 876+ miles to visit our dear friends in Charlotte, NC. Thankfully my amazing Facebook friends shared lots of "traveling with kids" road trip ideas. What fun! :)

(And thank you, April, for sending personlized road trip games for my kids. What a blessing!)

Our trip included lots of fun and laughter.....

Great friends and trips to Starbucks (picture: April from Va, Erin from NC, and me @ Starbucks)...

We also spent the night at Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte, NC. Everyone insisted I have my picture taken with this video arcade game. Can you guess why???

John gave me the gift to spend one afternoon reading my Bible (alone) in the NC sun. EXCEPT I didn't realize the sun was so bright! See sunburn picture below. It was painful!.....

And on the way home, we spent three days in the Smokey Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN. Beautiful!!

My adventurous guys...

View from our wonderful hotel (thanks for the recommendation, Julie Sanders!)

Old Mill for lunch in Pigeon Forge, TN. Yum! :)

We even stopped by to visit my grandma and special aunt in Southern Indiana. :)

Thankfully during our time away (and many miles on the road!) ~ I had lots of time to read, pray, and study. I thanked God for *you*, my She Sparkles readers, and asked God to bless you in a very special way!!!

As much fun as it is to be away with my family, it's always good to be "home sweet home". Except now the "non-fun" job of un-packing!!!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! May God fill your day with much joy, love and laughter!!!

Sweet blessings ~

P.S. May I please ask...would you please pray for me? I'll be speaking at a MOPS Spring Luncheon in West Branch, MI on Tuesday morning at 10:00 AM. I'll be sharing my testimony. Would you please pray that God would prepare the hearts of the women who will hear my story, and that my words would bear much life-changing, Kingdom advancing fruit? As we know, prayer is the work!! THANK YOU so much! :) How can I pray for you????
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