Thursday, December 30, 2010

Earaches And Heartache...

My little man, Noah Keith, out of no where this evening came down with a painful ear ache. Tears streaming down his face he gripped his ear crying, "Mommy it hurts." His weeping just crushed my heart. This was a "boo boo" I knew my kiss would not fix. Even at the age of 7 he was not too old for me to scoop up into my arms and hold close. You moms out there with little boys or girls know exactly what I am talking about ;o) I just cannot explain the miserable feeling I had tonight watching him hurt. While driving home, my anxiety grew listening to him whimper in pain. All I could think about was getting him home and getting him some pain reliever. Each cry was so heavy on my heart and brought me to tears.

Through all of this tonight I couldn't help but reflect on the love God has for His people. The heaviness my heart felt for Noah tonight....over the pain he felt in his ear....I just cannot imagine the heaviness the Creator feels for His children who have "aching hearts". As much as I know God loves me, this humbles me greatly. Noah longed for me, his mom, to hold him and comfort him through his pain. How much more does our Abba Father long for us to run to Him when we hurt physically, emotionally, or spiritually. My heart is thankful tonight. I am humbled to know I am never alone and that my God hurts when I hurt and longs for me to take comfort in Him. He like me, is blessed to hold his child, even when it is the minor things in life, like an earache. Whenever you doubt the love of your God....think of how much you love your children and the depths you would go through to bring them comfort.
I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with God's presence, and no matter how much I KNOW something to be true, when God shows up and reveals Himself to me, it is always a NEW and refreshing feeling that I just cannot get enough of...and He always leaves me hungry for more.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I am not sure where my fascination with Animal Planet has come from, but it seems like whenever I am relaxing in my nice comfy bed channel surfing my television, quite often I find myself glued into some animal documentary on channel 34. Who knows, maybe that had something to do with the infamous "possum dream" and why God seems to reveal His love to me through animals that normally would have no significance to me otherwise. I have asked God for more dreams...but it has been silent in my world of dreaming....but every night I find myself still excited that just maybe....just maybe He will speak to me again.

Anyhow, I recently was channel surfing while waiting for Rusty to get home from work and I came to a zebra documentary on Animal Planet. Glued in intently....I watched this Hyena on the prowl looking to find something for lunch. He came across a herd of Zebras...and antagonized them a bit....but he knew he was no match for a Zebra. One Swift quick would be enough to knock him unconscious. But out of the corner of his eye, he noticed far off in the distance was a straggler. This zebra was wounded with a limp leg. I don't know if it was broke or not, but he put hardly any weight on it. But, he was having a hard time keeping up with the rest of the herd and was falling behind. This hyena saw an opportunity for lunch! So, he makes his way over to this Zebra and starts nipping at it, antagonizing it trying to get it down. This "wounded zebra" still was pretty powerful and the hyena knew he would not be able to take it down alone. So he made a call for the other hyenas. This "wounded zebra" stood NO chance against 4 or 5 hyenas. There was no way for him to overcome them. His fate was sealed. The pack of hyenas start luring and bullying this defenseless zebra farther and farther away from the herd of Zebras. He was going to be their lunch. BUT! Then, when all hope was lost, off in the distance, in the herd of Zebras stood 2 zebras watching and they saw what was happening. They both come CHARGING after these hyenas in the "wounded zebras" defense. The mean hyena's take the hint that this wounded zebra has back up.....and they flee!

Out of nowhere I had this heavy feeling hit me....I couldn't help but see this "wounded zebra" as SO many "wounded Christians". Beautiful followers of Christ who hold so much potential, but at some point in their walk, they were wounded, and it has affected their walk making it difficult to keep up with other believers. Falling farther and farther behind. And like the hyena, the enemy of God comes lurking to make lunch out of the "wounded"....because he knows he stands no chance against a fully armored Christian.

One thing I noticed during all this, was the 2 zebras that came to the "wounded zebras" defense. They were surrounded by thousands of other zebras. Some were witnessing what was happening to the the wounded and others were oblivious. I am sure some of them watched mortified, thinking "awwww poor guy" or "I can't believe this happening, somebody do something!" The body of Christ at times I think, sits by and feels horrible for the wounded. But just sitting by feeling bad, but not charging the hyenas does the wounded no good. It doesn't bring them back safely to the herd. It won't save their life! That wounded zebra is only alive because of the 2 that acted and charged the enemy who was attacking a part of their herd. This has made me wonder about myself. I know my heart says to charge and defend the wounded. I can be bold and preach this til I am blue in the face. But too many times, I find myself thinking "It's too risky"...or maybe "I should probably just mind my own business". BUT...then the nasty side of me thinks..."That zebra wounded itself out of its own ignorance and arrogant thinking. It's the dumb zebras fault for breaking its own leg" Ugh...I know I am pitiful, but I am just being honest for those who may be thinking I write this out of a "higher than thou" "bible thumping" attitude. There are people in the body who are only wounded out of their own doing and then expect others to fight their battles for them. When it comes to dealing with the consequences of what they have done or spewed....and nobody comes to their defense.....they pout that they are an outcast and the church has failed them! I am sure I am the ONLY heathen who lets their mind take this route right? Why should I come to a wounded zebras defense over and over and over again.....when it keeps breaking its leg and throwing itself in a pack of hyenas?

Shame on me right? I feel this way at times. But them 2 zebras in this documentary gave no thought to whether or not the wounded deserved it. It gave no thought to its own life, but CHARGED the enemy full force. I even saw the defensive zebras give the wounded zebra a love tap on the neck (almost like a hug) to let him know they were their and had his back....and to keep "truckin" along. I have to ask God to forgive me for not showing mercy and compassion to the wounded like I should. Deserving or not.

A different analogy, so often we drive by those who hold a sign at the end of street corner....saying they are homeless and need help with money, food, etc.......Be honest.....what is the first thing you think? What is the first thing that comes to your mind that keeps you from stopping to give them whats in your wallet? Be honest......"They will just spend it on booze"? "They are lying"? "You just don't know if they REALLY need or deserve it"?

The bible says to give and to give generously....not just to the nice family whose house burned down losing everything they own. Not just to the sweet family who lost their house in a tornado....It says to give to ANY and ALL who are in need....those who are in need and those who DON'T deserve it. Jesus said "what reward is their in loving only those who love you back". So my little "why help the zebra who breaks it own leg continually" theory.....God pretty much makes it clear.

The moral point of the story....Be bold! Help the wounded and defenseless. Deserving or not. The church has got to stop preaching forgiveness and compassion and start acting on it. We have sooooo many hurting and wounded in the body....we have to have a healthy body (zebra herd) to be effective for the kingdom of God. Leave the thousand and go save that one "wounded zebra"!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Possum Dream

I know with my last blog that I wrote "What's Your Purpose", everyone is just dying to know about my possum dream comment. I was never too sure about sharing this dream, lol. But, I find myself going back to it often....even MONTHS after having it. So, if you are wondering what in the world I am talking about, go back and read "What's Your Purpose?". Both dreams were back to back.

January 28th I journaled .....

.......My dream began on a farm....or something like that. There was a barn with a small waterhole next to it. There was this possum laying above the waterhole somehow and she was in the process of having babies and everytime she moved these babies would drop into this waterhole and begin to drown. The water was dirty and I was not able to see through it. I frantically searched for these babies reaching as far as I could into the water to grab them out. This sounds so bizaare I know.....but I cannot describe the "desire" I felt to save these guys. There were so many babies falling into the waterhole. I don't remember ever stopping the search for these babies but remember finally reaching one. And yes, gave it CPR.

Then my dream shifted. I don't know where I was....but I had this possum by my side at all times. I don't know if it was a pet or something, but I had a lot of love for her. She was soft and in my eyes so beautiful. (Ok if you are laughing I understand, but I really did care about her). She was so soft and I really enjoyed her company. Everyone around me gasped when they saw me with her. I kept telling them she was so sweet and they should just give her a chance....but they continued to make hurtful comments about how gross she was and that she was just a gross possum and nobody befriended a rodant.

The one thing that stuck out in my mind before giving this dream any thought was how much I loved that possum. I look at a real life possum (egh they are not that bad when you look at them) ....but in my dream she was beautiful and I just couldn't understand why nobody else saw what I saw. God? Is this what you feel towards me? People in the world see my faults and shortcommings and at times see my "ugliness". But You....You see such beauty and potential. People may snicker at what they see in me, but You....You wonder why they cannot see me thru Your eyes. I saw past the prickly nose and nasty teeth of a possum and You see thru my failures and weaknesses. Am I not supposed to see the other possums out in the world thru Your eyes as well? Past their "ugly features" and see what you have created them to be. Love them beyond all measure? I fall short terribly with this and human nature tends to get the best of me. I tend to judge the outter appearance instead of looking at the heart. Although who but You can know the heart or judge the heart of any man. So silly a dream like this would remind me of the depth of Your love. And like the water hole and the babies that were drowning....and the baby I saved.....Is that not the measure You would go thru to save me or anyone You love? Never giving up....No depth of water would be too much for You to rescue me and not once would you just let me drown. Once drowning in my sin, You breathed new life into my soul and now I live because You live in me. Thank You Lord for loving an ugly possum like myself.

God is good to me. I love Him and only share my heart because I want other's to see themselves and others thru God's eyes. He loves us so much and sees nothing but perfection and beauty.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Operation Potty Training....SUCCESS!!!

Well, it has been a couple of weeks and the day I have so graciously and anxiously awaited for IS HERE! Bye Bye diapers...Hello big girl panties :o) Thank you Jesus!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Beef and Noodles

This is my all time favorite meal to cook. It is so easy and makes ALOT!

1 Beef Chuck Tender Roast
1 or 2 pkgs of Lipton Recipie Secrets Onion Mushroom Soup Mix
2 containers(32oz) Beef Broth (this amount doesn't come in cans)
2 pkgs Beef gravy mix
2 pkgs (16 oz) Homestyle Egg Noodles

An added family favorite is making potatoes fresh or boxed and dumping the beef and noodles over it. Salt and pepper to taste of course.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's Your Purpose?

This happened quite awhile back ago, but I feel like it is time to share. I am sure there will be those who question my intentions of sharing this...but when you feel led to share sometimes have to set aside the fear of what others will think and do what God tells you. This honestly was something amazing from a personal stand point....and I always hope that just maybe there will be someone out there God wants to hear this. it goes :o)

January 27th 2010....

I had this dream that I woke up lying in a hospital bed. I looked at my wrists and I had on hospital bracelets. Rusty was lying next to me with his arm around me. I asked him, "Why am I here?" He gave me this unsettling look that made me panick, but would not answer and looked away. He would not speak. I kept asking over and over, "Why am I here?" "Did I have a baby or something?" He would only look away with this sad face. I had that horrible feeling in my stomach something was wrong but NOBODY would answer me. My mother in law came into the room with Ruthi, my youngest daughter. I ran to her asking her, "Do you know why I am here?" She replied the exact same way Rusty did. Nothing! I was beginning to become furious by now along with panicked. Nobody would tell me why I was there. Rusty and Atha took Roo and our belongings down to the car for load up. I was up at the front desk going to check out of the hospital. I asked the lady up front if she could PLEASE tell me why I was there. She kindly said "yes" and started clicking away at her computer. And then that is when I woke up!

This was one of those dreams that bugged me the entire day...trying to figure out the answer to. I wouldn't say it depressed me....but I had a very unsettling feeling that just wouldn't go away. Even though I considered it one of those crazy "mind games" your brain takes you through in your sleep....I mean, the night before this dream, I was on some farm giving CPR to a drowning possum. Ha! My mind is known for going crazy places.

A couple days later I went to worship team practice and shared with my sister in law about this hospital dream. Expecting a few laughs and "your weird" comments...she really responded in a way that I least expected. Her response went along the lines of "I really think those type of dreams mean something." I chuckled thinking what could it possibly mean? She said "Maybe in this dream it is like you are searching for your purpose. Searching frantically and asking everyone "why am I here" but the answer isn't there...when you really should be asking the only "Person" Who can answer." When she said all this, I honestly felt like crying. I know this might sound cliche` but I got this weird tingly feeling from head to toe. I instantly remembered a recent prayer I had prayed the night before. Asking God to show me my purpose. Asking Him "Why am I here". I was a tad bit discouraged that day, but I really was longing to feel needed and useful. I don't think Kristian had any intention of making her comment a "spiritual" comment or interpretation of my dream. But I do not doubt God used her to show me that He does have me here for a reason and that He is speaking to me daily...even in my dreams. If I learned anything from this particular dream, it is that I need to quit trying to find my purpose through others. People, including my children, cannot give me the answers or purpose I need. It's my Heavenly Father.

On an ending note, I did ask my sister in law, "Well, what do you make out of my reviving a dead possum dream the night before?" She laughed and said "I don't know about that one." Little did I know, there was signifigant meaning to this dream as well. But I will write about this one in a seperate entry later.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lego Girl

Ruthi, my youngest loves legos. She could sit and play for hours. I can't believe in 3 weeks she will be turning 3 years old. I just cannot believe this. Seems like yesterday she was in my belly giving me heartburn and giving my ribs a swiff quick to the left ;o)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Italian Artichoke Scoops

4 Cups Mozzerella or Monterey Jack Cheese
(I use Mozzerella)
2 cans of Rolands Artichoke diced
Black Olives
Green Onion
2-3 Diced/chopped Tomatoes or buy canned :o)
1 pkg of Good Italian Seasoning Dressing
(Make according to Pkg. Requires Water,Vingear and Olive Oil)
And of course Tostitos Scoopable Chips.

Again I eyeball EVERYTHING. I put as much of whatever I want. This is probably my most favorite dip ever! It's got a very unique flavor but extremely tasty! After one scoop I promise you will be addicted!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Texas Caviar

1 can of homney
2 can of black eyed peas
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 garlic clove
1 red pepper
1 red onion
1 Jalepenoes
1 bottle of Italian Dressing (or desired amount)

I kinda eyeball everything when making this. If I want it more spicy I add more jalepenoes. If I want it more garlicky, then I add more garlic....Honestly you can do whatever you want. I personally love cilantro and add quite a bit. I got this recepie from my step sister. Quite delish if you ask me. A very fresh tasting salsa. If you are a slow chopper like me, then slicing up all the veggies is a little time consuming...but well worth it. A guarenteed hit at your next party.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Yummy No Bake Cookies

1 Stick of Butter
1/4 Cup of Evap Milk
2 Tbsp Cocoa
1/2 C. peanut Butter
2 1/2 C. Oats
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 C. Sugar

Cocoa and Evap milk mix
Melt Butter in it
Heat for a minute + (Stir continually)
Add sugar and heat til sugar dissolves
Add vanilla
Add peanut butter and take off heat
Add oats

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Panama 2010

(February 19-27,2010)
I cannot believe how much time has passed since the Panama Missions trip. It seems like yesterday I was packing and unpacking my suitcase a gazillion times trying to make sure I had everything I needed and then wondering if I had packed over my weight limit.

When I first got back from Panama, so many people came up to me asking me how my trip was. Did I have fun? Every time I hesitated to answer, no matter how many times I had been asked before. I always asked myself, “How do I tell them, fun is not the term I would use, but it was still the most incredible experience of a lifetime.” The last impression I wanted to give my people back at home was that this was some vacation with a group of friends.

Some have heard me mention Panama was not my first missions trip. I had the privilege of going to Argentina, South America 10 years ago. So, Panama was not really a HUGE cultural shock for me. More of a huge reminder to that wake up call I received 10 years ago. However in Argentina, I came back to a hotel with a shower each evening. Not to mention, running water everyday! I am embarrassed to admit, that after going to Argentina, and experiencing such a life changing ordeal… being compelled to change my life and not take for granted the things that I have and still do…I did slowly forget and fall back into my surreal mind set of how I live my life. Panama was a firm refreshment and brought my mind back to reality again.

The first few days of our trip was somewhat special for me. I got to experience something I least would have expected. Especially on this missions trip. Thanksgiving was when I told my kids that I wanted to go to Panama. They wanted to know why I wanted to go. So I told them about the Guaymi Indians. Their little minds were learning about the pilgrims and indians at they were THRILLED their mother was going to meet and help the pilgrims, HA! Around Christmas time, it was final that I was going to Panama. I was super excited and sharing with my mother’s side of the family my plans. My grandma Stimach, to my surprise shared with me that I had a third cousin who was a missionary in Panama. I knew right away she was talking about Ms. Judy because I had met her at the last 3 family reunions we had in Estes Park and South Dakota. But I didn’t know what type of missionary or where…..I guess I just don’t automatically connect Christian with missionary. A lot of good people do amazing work that don’t know the Lord. Anyhow, I immediately connected with Judy on facebook in pure excitement, to tell her I was coming to Panama and I wanted to know more about where she was at. She did live in Panama City and not too far from where our group would be staying at Ancon Hill. So we made plans to meet Saturday the 20th for a mini family reunion. Wahoo! What is even more crazy, is that Judy has been a long time friend of Pastor Kirk and Yvonne Jones. (Who are long time friends of Pastor Roy) I mean, seriously what are the chances of this. Well, it gets even crazier. Judy’s brother Bob, who would also be my third cousin, is the pastor of Crossroads Bible Church…the church where we went Sunday the day before we left for San Felix. Both Judy and Bob are the niece and nephew of my precious Great Grandma Schneider. Bob’s son, Steve gave the message Sunday morning. That would make him my fourth cousin, I believe. And of course his young kids would be my fifth cousin relatives. I have decided to just call Judy “Aunt Judy” …because as you can see, it just gets so complicated explaining our family tree. She’s ok with that. I think, lol. Who gets to meet that many generations of family. Maybe I am crazy, but I found it awesome!!! I was more blessed by the fact that I got to share it with my group of friends from church. This was an incredible way to spend my 28th birthday!

(Judy and I at the Panama Canal)

As for the rest of the week…it was my first camping experience. So I got a small wake up call with how much I should appreciate a warm shower, running water, and most of all a flushing toilet. Going without is what I needed and think we all need from time to time. I just don’t appreciate what I have until it is taken away. And to be honest…even in Panama, I didn’t go without as much as I could have. I still had shoes on my feet and an air mattress to sleep on. I say this with amazement...but I watched a mother lay her baby in the midst of the rocks next to the river while she bathed and did her laundry. It looked so uncomfortable, but that baby was completely out! Everywhere you walked, there were kids sprawled out on the gravely ground napping. Lol! And I complain about my bed being uncomforable, Lol!

(It was hard complaining about my feet hurting...I had shoes)

(I couldn't quite get myself to bathe in that river...So, Lucy kept me busy)

San Felix

When we finally reached San Felix, approaching that crazy steep hill, this camp was flooded with Guaymi everywhere. Their eyes were glued to our vehicles, glaring at us
through the windows. As if we were the most amazing creatures they ever set their eyes on. Their faces were firmly solace and didn’t change expression much….but if you looked at them and smiled refusing to change your expression, eventually they would crack a smile….and it was a glorious smile at that. If there is anything I will remember on this trip…it is their smiles. While driving back to our camp site, getting my first visual of my future home for the next 5 days … the overwhelming thought hit me. “What in the world am I doing here?” Look at all of these people. Look at all of these kids and babies. I don’t think it was the atmosphere that gave me all of these emotions. Like I said….I have been around this type of atmosphere before….but I have never been surrounded by "so many" people. The thoughts about giving to the poor….feeding the hungry….not turning the other way from them….how in the world am I to give to all of these people. I have 300$ in my pocket and some Oreo cookies. How do I give to a few and look at the rest watching me give, with not enough to give to them. I have to admit, I questioned God’s calling me to Panama at that moment. I don’t know how to help all these people here. I can feed a few of these hungry bellies in front of me, but they will be hungry again later after I leave. The group can give them the appropriate shelter to whoever we can….but what good is food and shelter to those who go away without knowing Jesus. While thinking of all of this I remembered the story in the book of Acts. The lame beggar at the city gates. Peter approaches him, and the beggar asks for money. Peter had no money to give and his response is something I held onto during this whole missions trip. Peter said “Silver and gold I have not, but what I do have, I give you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, RISE UP AND WALK.” My anxiety about not being able to fulfill this mission came to an ease, and I knew God equipped me and the entire group to feed these people not only physical food for nourishment…but give them the bread and water of life. I had a huge and mighty God to share with these people. That was the mission God sent me on. I was here to love them …and that took no effort at all.

(I couldn't resist grabbing me one of those babies)

(Corina stole my heart right away. We couldn't speak to each other, so we just gave a lot of hugs and cuddled)

Another defining moment came for me during worship services. Oh man, guys….you do not know church until you worship with the Guaymi‘s. They make us look boring when it comes to being excited to worship. WOW! I had no idea what the words were that they were worshiping to. The music was a little different than what I would call “my taste” …BUT IT WAS FUN!!!! For the first time ever, I realized I didn’t need words to worship or be ministered to by the Holy Spirit. The scripture verse in the Bible that talks about how when we cannot find the words to pray, the Holy spirit prays on our behalf….I didn’t know the words or have my preferred style music to worship with these people. But the Holy Spirit ministered to me thru His spirit and worshipped on my behalf. I can tell you that was an experience I do not want to let go of! An incredible feeling to know the Holy Spirit is my ever present helper and companion. Worshipping on my behalf when the world’s language barriers and distractions take my mind else where and bring doubt .

(I think these girls were enjoying themselves. They probably danced 45 minutes straight!)

It was hard for me, watching the Guaymi’s admire us as much as they did. I still don’t understand what it is they see. Here they live in the conditions they do, completely grateful and content. Living on faith and trusting God for their next meal. They contain more faith than I ever have in my entire life wrapped up. I admire them more than anything. If there was anything I wanted to leave behind in Panama, it was letting those I met get a glimpse of their worth and value in God’s eyes. They are truly amazing people.

(The Guaymi do not have mirrors and rarely see a glimpse of themselves. Our group set up a spot and took family photos for a few days. I can't tell you how many pictures we took. This young man is seeing his photo and a glimpse of himself for the first time in awhile...or maybe even ever.)

(The girls get a glimpse of their reflection as well)

After a couple nights of bagging beans and corn, we had a food distribution. I cannot remember the number of families we distributed to, but I know it was over 1,000. They distributed clothes and shoes as well. The line went back...and I mean WAY back to the river.

Our group took a 2 hour drive from San Felix to visit a school that was being built in Soloy. Pastor Juilo and Kirk are pictured here explaining how God has used this ministry to further God's kingdom.

(We had the privilidge of praying for the school director/teachers of Soloy. These people dedicate their lives to the Indians educating them and sharing the love of God with them.)

I wish everyone had the chance to go on a missions trip to a different culture. Our minds just cannot grasp it through television. Seeing it, smelling it, and touching a different part of life is just the only way it can sink down deep. I know it sounds clique’ hearing every missionary say “it will change your life”. I will still stress that statement….because it is true. I hope the pictures I posted gave you somewhat of glimpse and touched your heart in some way. It won’t move you like it did me, it just can’t….Not without you being there. But, I want you to come close to feeling what our group did.

Saying goodbye to Corina. She liked my diamond cross I gave it to her to remember all our time together and hugs.