Archive for September, 2010

My New Favorite…



A delightful question popped into my head the other day, and the more I ask it, the more I like it.

There are endless possibilities for answers to this question!  In fact, each day you should discover a different answer.

If you’re like me, sometimes you find yourself getting “stuck in a rut” of praising the Lord in general terms and not really thinking about what you are praising Him for and why.

Our God is a very personal God. Every day He reveals Himself to us in specific ways. Every day He gives us another reason to love Him more.

My new favorite question challenges me to pay more attention and think a little deeper about my Lord. I want to have a fresh answer to this question always on the tip of my tongue, but that will only happen if He is continually the abiding place of my heart.

leaf 01 black edges

Sooo….let me ask you!

“What do you love about Jesus today?”

I’m sure you can think of lots of things to love Him for off the top of your head, but tell me something that YOU especially love about Him today!

Then, ask yourself the question tomorrow….and the next day….and see what new treasures of love you find in Jesus!

P.S. Go ahead and pop this question to the next person you see, too! It makes for an inspiring conversation. :)

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End of summer…


Life has been pretty steady and calm around here lately…which is unusual. :) Here’s a little peek at what we’ve been up to.

Hannah and Carinna making jelly

Carinna and I made wild plum jelly – delicious.

DSC_0077 copy

This is also the time of year to go ‘possum grape picking!

‘Possum grape vines are most often found in the middle of briar patches, growing right up to the tops of trees (or in the middle of poison ivy, as Benjamin discovered), making it rather adventurous to get them.

First, you pull on your grubby clothes, gather sacks and scissors, and pile into the van for a drive down the county roads.

Carinna, Benj

Once you spot a patch of vines, you leisurely pick the few that are within arms’ length.


Then you have MORE fun as you work your way up the tree to get the ones dangling over your head. Usually, all manner of pulling, bending, hanging, and stretching is required to retrieve the prized grapes. The more people helping, the merrier. :)

(These were actually growing by Grandma and Grandpa’s gate, and were much easier to pick compared to ones that we’ve gotten before!)

Charity Make sure you have someone along as the “blog picture taker” vs. “grape picker” :D

Once you get enough grapes for a batch of jelly, it’s time to head to Grandma’s to have a “pick ‘em off the stem” party!

everybody picking

Next thing you know, all those beautiful little grapes will be transformed into beautiful jars of some of the best jelly you’ve ever had.

And no, there isn’t anything ‘possum about them at all. According to “legend”, the grapes are about the size of a ‘possum’s eye. That’s why they’re called ‘possum grapes. :)

Last night, some of us went out to G-pa’s farm to fish, shoot trap, and have a wiener roast.



Charity shooting


Abbie shooting

Caleb and Abbie

Benj shooting


Dad roasting

Meanwhile, Dad roasted hotdogs and buns.

Caleb and Abbie

“No caption necessary”


Summer is fading fast…

This week, our family has slowly been shrinking. Mom left for a 6-day vacation with her mom and sisters in KY and John-Clay is in Texas teaching at a film workshop.

Then tomorrow, Abbie and Charity fly out to attend a Journey to the Heart – a 10-day retreat for young people in Michigan. Three of us have already been to one, and were tremendously challenged and blessed. It is a place to learn how to seek God with ALL your heart and experience deep, personal revival. Please be in prayer for the girls as they travel and spend this set-apart time with God. I’m sure they will have a report to share in a couple of weeks!

P.S. For those of you interested in Lamplighter Theatre, you can now listen to the first episode of Season 2 here!!

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Siblings :)


Caleb, Abbie, Charity, Maggie, and Carinna

We had to get a ‘5 teenagers’ picture (the most we’ll ever have at once!), before Caleb turned 20!

Caleb, Abbie, Charity

The curly kids.
Don’t let them fool you. They just look well-behaved. ;)

All together

Recently, I was reading through some of my old journals and came across several entries about when we kids had had a “big discussion” about our relationships with each other as siblings.

I remember those discussions.

They usually included tears, explaining misunderstandings, realizing how we had hurt each other, talking about other families who had such “perfect relationships”, knowing that we didn’t want our relationships to stay the way they were, and trying to figure out how in the world we could be best friends…someday.

Over the past few years, we have tried to improve in certain areas, but often it seemed like we would take two steps forward only to take two and a half steps backward.

But now, as I look at the bigger picture of where we were then and where we are now, I can truly see a difference! It’s a difference that came by God’s grace as we have taken opportunities to see the good in someone, to let the other person be right, to take the time to listen, to count another more important than ourselves, to be real with each other, to include everyone, to examine our own life instead of always pointing a finger, and to be an encourager.

Have we arrived at “best friends forever”? Well, we’re still working on that. Everyday there are multiple opportunities to build up or tear down, hold a grudge or forgive, insist on my way or yield my right, tell ‘em to “get over it” or show them I really care, etc.

Changing a relationship takes way more humility than you would ever think was necessary. :) It’s about taking your eyes off of the faults in the other person and asking God to show you what needs to be changed in your own life. It’s about dying to yourself, putting the other person first, and letting God take care of the rest.

You should try it. God did – Philippians 2.

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