Thursday, May 7, 2009

2 Chronicles 7:14

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Today is the National Day of Prayer and I believe with all my heart that our country needs prayer. We need to ask forgiveness for all the many ways that we have sinned against God. We need to pray for our leaders, that God will give them wisdom as they deal with the problems we face as a nation as well as dealing with other countries, both friend and enemy. We need to pray for our military, that God will protect them both physically and mentally.

God's Word assures us that He will forgive our sin and heal our land but we must do our part first. Please join me today in praying for our country.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall

I don't like what I see at all.

Self image is something that I believe all of us deal with at one time or another. You'd think that I'd move beyond that at my age but just this morning I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw looking back at me. So, how am I supposed to instill self esteem in my children, especially my daughters? Fortunately, the answer is simple: turn to God's Word.

1 Samuel 16: tells us of how Samuel was on a mission to find the one who would be king of Israel. He was certain that he had found the one the Lord wanted when he cast his eyes upon Eliab but God told him differently. He told Samuel in verse 7 "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

What precious words to remember in times of not liking what I see in the mirror! And how I want to instill them in my children's minds. The next time I look in the mirror, I want to hold up a mirror to my heart as well and make sure that what is there is pleasing to my Lord.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Leaving a legacy for my children

Deuteronomy 6:6&7 says "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Growing up, I went to church every Sunday. My brother and I would go to Sunday School while our parents went to church. However, that's where it started and stopped. I don't recall ever talking about God during the week, nor do I recall ever seeing my parents read the Bible or pray. I didn't have the assurance that no matter what happened, my parents were praying for me. No one asked me how my walk with the Lord was going and once my brother and I were confirmed my parents quit going to church.

I want so much more for my children. I want them to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their mom is praying for them each and every day. I want them to remember going to worship the Lord together as a family and how we looked forward to it instead of dreading it as just another obligation. I want to make learning about the Lord an exciting adventure, to make Jesus so real to them that they will continue to love and serve Him long after they leave our home. I believe with all my heart that the Lord will help me with this but I have to do my part as well. So many things compete for our time and it's time to make Jesus the top priority. After all, He has made us His.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1 Thessolonians 5:11

Since I'm relatively new to the blogging world, I don't know how to find awards to give to people. So, I'm going to create my own.

1 Thessolonians 5:11 says "Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

Diane, over at is such a person. She always has a kind word for people and no matter how rough things can get, she can always make me feel better. Despite what may be going on in her own life, she is always there to lend an ear or build people up, encouraging them to live up to their full potential in the Lord.

So, I'm dedicating this post to Diane, my friend and my sister in Christ. I love you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Life is slowly getting back to normal

Businesses were allowed to reopen last week and the schools were in session today. Porta potties still line the streets of my town but even there people are making the best of it. Many of them are decorated with Christmas lights, flowers and reading material hung on the doors. The river is continuing to go down despite the snow we received yesterday. (it is April, isn't it?)

Throughout all of this, God has continued to be faithful. Neighbor helping neighbor and strangers pitching in as well. This was spreading the Gospel through actions rather than words.

We had church yesterday and what a service it was. Brothers and sisters in Christ, lifting their voices to God the Father, praising Him for His protection. It felt so good to be in His house!!

It also feels good to be back here again. I missed my blogger friends! I hope this post finds all of you well!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever

This is a picture of what residents of my town now have to use. Our sewer system has failed so there is no water usage of any kind. Porta Potties like this one have been placed all over town. School is cancelled for another week and alternatives are being checked out for the remainder of the year as our sewer could take a month or more to fix. The mayor is begging people to leave town but that's not an option for everyone.

Through it all, I have to remember to praise the Lord. Praise that very few houses have been lost and no lives as far as I know. Praise that the river seems to have stopped rising although it will remain high for at least another week. Praise that the Lord brought just the right people to help out. Praise that my family lives out of town so we still have running water and a working septic tank so we can offer our home to those who need a shower or to do some laundry. Most of all, praise that despite how it looks, God is still in control and is giving us His strength to deal with all these issues. We are not walking through this alone.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

God is still in control

April 15th
The U-S Army Corps of Engineers has revised its flood crest prediction for Valley City and now says the Sheyenne River may have already crested at 20.63 feet on April 13th.
The above news release raised everyone's spirits last night. Maybe the worst was over and we could rest just a bit while still being watchful. Below is what I saw when I checked the weather this morning. Maybe we're not out of the woods yet. Regardless of what the future holds, it won't come as a surprise to the Lord. He alone controls the water and He will tell the river where to flow. "Great is His faithfulness, His mercies are new every morning."

The pictures I posted show how our town is beginning to look like a war zone. We are all so grateful for the National Guard and all their hard work. The Black Hawk helicopters are truly a sight to see. I live about a mile from the Barnes County airport so we were able to see them take off and land. It's an awesome sight to behold.
Half of our town has been asked to evacuate but there's no word yet on how many have complied. Traffic is very light in town so people are staying off the roads. Many non essential businesses have closed to save water and stress on the sewer system. An announcement will be made tomorrow regarding when the schools may start again. Valley City State University has closed the campus for the rest of the semester and the classes will all be finished online.
So, that's the latest from Valley City. I have truly seen the hands and feet of Jesus thoughout this whole ordeal.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Preparing for the flood

The first picture is of one of the parks in my town. The second picture is of the only bridge left open in Valley City. The river is expected to crest tomorrow night or Wednesday. We've had 2 levees with leaks so far and school was cancelled today. The southwest part of town was urged to evacuate earlier today while they worked to repair the breached dike. We had Blackhawk helicopters dropping 1,000 pound sand bags on the dike and the National Guard was out covering manhole covers with sand. It looks like a war zone but through it all, I know that God is in control.
I will try to keep you all updated as much as possible.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He's Alive

Sin couldn't keep our Lord on that cross but His love for us did. The devil only thought he had won but Jesus rose from the dead! He conquered death and sin and now we'll spend eternity with Him as long as we believe!! As the old song says "We've only just begun."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday.

Because of what Christ did on this day, I know I'll be spending eternity with Him

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How high's the water mama? 18 feet high and rising

This is a picture from one of the parks in my town. It's our turn now to worry about flooding. They have diked all around our hospital and closed all the bridges except for one. I have a friend who lives right by the river and the water is almost up to her second story. It's been sandbag central at her house for the past few days, with many college students helping to build a sandbag dike. High school students are sandbagging also and people are volunteering to direct traffic so that the dump trucks can keep going instead of having to stop at traffic lights and stop signs. As of right now, school will still be in session next week but that could change at any moment.

I can't help but think that this couldn't happen at a better time. Sunday is Easter, when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. No human, on his own power, could come back to life. But our God, who can do immeasurably more than we could ask for or imagine, has the power to raise people from the dead. He parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites and He can perform a miracle here too. We already saw what He did in Fargo and I'm believing for a miracle here as well. God has already used this flood to bring people together, working side by side with strength that can only come from God. He is working in this situation and I will continue to trust Him with the safety of the town that I call home.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Love Story

My friend Di over at has asked that some of her friends blog about how we met our husbands. So, here is my love story.

I was a single mom, raising my daughter Mandy. We lived in a neighborhood with lots of kids who always seemed to be playing football, softball, kick the can, etc. Every weekend they were joined by a handsome guy from across the street who would pull up in his semi and run and jump with the best of them. I watched him spend hours teaching Mandy just the right way to hold a baseball bat or throw a football. One day, a toy of Mandy's broke and she brought this handsome guy over to our house to fix it. The rest, as they say, is history. We had our first date on May 19th, he proposed on July 28th and we were married on September 26th, 1992. Mandy was my flower girl.

Tony never treated Mandy as a step daughter and in May of 1995 he legally adopted her. It took that long to track down her biological father.

I love the way that one of God's most precious gifts (Mandy) introduced me to another one of His gifts to me. I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ruts in the driveway tell me spring is here

One thing I don't like about living in the country is the mud. As soon as the snow melts our driveway turns to mud. I'm not talking nice little mud puddles but the type of mud that will suck in a vehicle in 2 seconds flat. Each day we have to leave the house we pray that the Lord will keep our vehicle in the tracks that have already been made. The mud tries to pull us in one direction or another but we're safe as long as we stay the course.

This is a lot like life. The evil one will try to pull us in one direction or another, tempting us with what the world has to offer. Without the Lord, it would be so easy to veer off the course and into the mud hole. But like driving our vehicles through the mud, we'll be safe as long as we stay the course and keep our eyes on Jesus.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My First Award

I received this award from Roberta Anne over at Little House in the Desert. I am so very blessed to call her my heart friend.

In order to accept this, I have to name 10 things about myself so here they are.

1. I love Jesus and strive to have Him at the center of everything I do, although I fall short often.

2. I'm a mom to 3 wonderful kids as well as many of their friends.

3. I'm married to a hard working, over the road truck driver.

4. I used to work as a correctional officer at a medium security state prison.

5. I have one brother.

6. I'm technologically challenged.

7. I love my pups so much that one of them eats at the table with us.

8. Kettle Potato chips are my favorite snack food.

9. I quit smoking 2 years and 3 months ago.

10. I have the best church family in North Dakota and possibly the entire United States.

Now I need to pass this on to 3 others; here are my choices.

Samantha at Sweet Southern Journey

Chari at Happy to Design

Athella at OCDesigner

Friday, April 3, 2009

Crying out to the Lord

Isaiah 40:29-31 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

These verses are among my favorite portions of Scripture and I'm hanging onto them for dear life today. After Bible Study last night, my van wouldn't start. My friend and I prayed over it and it did start but it wouldn't stay running. My husband and son came to pick me up in my son's car which also has problems. We went back to my friend's house this morning, I prayed over it again and it fired right up. As of now, it's still starting although the check engine light is on.

There was a news conference on an hour ago letting us know that the Red River will be cresting again and there's a 75% chance that it will crest higher this time. The people of Fargo and Moorehead are certainly weary but God's Word promises us that He will give us strength. As the worship song says, "My hope is in You Lord, my strength is in You Lord."

I believe with all my heart that the Lord honored our prayers and that's why my van is running. I also believe that He held back the floodwaters of the Red River and that He can and will do it again. If God is concerned about something as small as a motor vehicle, how much more will He answer our prayers regarding the salvation of a loved one, illness, or any number of other needs that we have. Just as parents we're concerned about our children's lives, so is our Father concerned about us.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Mandy

Today my oldest child, my miracle child, turns 22. From the time I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a mom. When I was told at 18 that I could never have children, I was devastated. But, God granted me the desire of my heart and 11 years later He blessed me with Mandy.
Where has the time gone? I remember so clearly her bright blue eyes looking up at me as if I had all the answers to life's problems. I remember her first day of preschool, climbing on that big yellow bus that was taking her away from me and telling me not to cry.
I remember her lunch dates with my dad when he would take her to Perkins for pancakes. I remember watching "Wee Sing in Sillyville" over and over and over again. She knew all the words to all the songs and I loved watching her sing and dance.

I remember her first day of Kindergarten when she told me not to hug her in front of her friends. How did she grow up so fast? I remember how she couldn't wait to come home and tell me all about her day and what she had learned. I remember the days playing football with her dad and all the other neighborhood kids each night until it got too dark to see. She still is a marvelous quarterback.
She's grown up so fast but she is still my first baby; my miracle child. I love her, worry about her and pray for her every day. She has a kind and compassionate heart and a love for people that is so refreshing to see.
Happy Birthday Mandy. I love you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

There's Snow place like North Dakota

Yep, we're in the midst of another winter storm. When it's all said and done, some areas will have received 20 or more inches of snow. Fighting the flood is now taking place in blizzard conditions. This storm is expected to last through midday tomorrow with another possible storm entering this area over the weekend. How much does God expect us to handle?

The answer is, He doesn't expect us to handle any of this by ourselves. He is with us every step of the way. God is in control of the rivers, the rising waters and the snow and strong winds. He has already brought the river levels down much faster than anticipated. He's bringing this new moisture in the form of snow instead of rain which is a huge blessing. Neighbor is helping neighbor in an awesome example of what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

We can be joyful in the midst of trouble. I don't believe that God expects us to be happy that our homes are flooding or that our finances are tight. But we can and should be joyful that no matter what the circumstance, we know that it's not catching God by surprise. We can be thankful that God is with us and He's a big, big God. We can be filled with joy knowing that we can approach the throne of God boldly and talk to our Father.

So, do I want it to continue storming? Of course not. But, I can still rejoice knowing that God is in control.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear"

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand."

The Red River is going down in Fargo but that didn't stop one Lutheran School from being inundated by the flood waters. A dike was breached last night and despite an enourmous effort by the National Guard and other volunteers, it's feared that the school is gone. In my town, the Sheyenne River is expected to crest just below where storm and sewer drains will be closed. We're under a Winter Storm watch for tomorrow through Tuesday and that brings the possibility for more moisture.

I am hanging on to this verse and remembering that God is with me. I'm taking a new look at the part where God says "do not be dismayed." He's not only telling us not to fear but to not let what we see, the circumstances, bring us down and get the best of us.

Whether it's the flood or other "insurmountable" problems in my life, I'm choosing to trust God. If I keep my eyes on Him I won't be "dismayed." He will give me strength and help me. I've heard it said that those fighting the flood have superhuman strength and I believe it. The strength and energy to fill and place sandbags for 3o hours at a time without a break has to come from the Lord.

To me, the verse says two things. First, God tells us not to fear. Fearing something will not stop it from happening; it can however immobilize us so that we're unable to do anything.
Secondly, if the situation we fear does occur, the Lord tells us not to be dismayed; He is our God. He will be with us to strengthen us and help us. Nothing that occurs comes as a surprise to Him. I believe with all my heart that God has the power to stop floodwaters, heal disease, provide financial miracles, etc. But sometimes, for whatever reason, He chooses not to. But, no matter what the circumstance, He will always be there with us. What else do we need?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

God's vision for my life

Oswald Chamber said "When once we lose sight of God, we begin to be reckless, we cast off certain restraints, we cast off praying, we cast off the vision of God in little things, and begin to act on our own initiative.”

I don't want to lose the vision of God in the little things and I know all too well what happens when I act on my own initiative. When I lose sight of God, it's easy to spend less time in His Word and more time in front of the TV. When I cast off praying, my whole life becomes more chaotic and when trouble comes I have no idea how to handle it. I snap at my children and am short with my husband.

I want God's vision for my life; in the little things as well as the big ones. I want to act on His initiative, not mine. I want to stand firm in what I believe in and not water down the Scriptures.

I believe our country has cast off certain restraints as well. More and more behavior is accepted as "ok" and no big deal. This saddens me as I'm sure it saddens the heart of our Father as well.

I'm praying that God will show me His vision for my life. I don't want to waste a minute of the time He has given me on this earth. His will, not mine. I'm also praying for a revival in our country. We need God in all areas of our lives, not just in a church building on Sunday mornings.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I haven't written for a few days

I've been spending time with my kids as they had some time off from school due to weather. We've also spent a lot of time in prayer for the flood victims in my state. It seems that the news keeps getting worse and yet I know He is in control. The determination and optimism that I see on the faces of people fighting the flood should be an inspiration to all that see them. Their backs are seemingly against the wall yet they refuse to give up. A city council meeting was opened with prayer; how thankful I am to live in a place where that can be done without fear of someone making a fuss about it.

Apparently the worst is yet to come and yet I know that God will be with us. God doesn't give us a spirit of fear. I'm placing my fears and concerns at His feet knowing that whatever comes, He will walk it through with us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Flood

This is a picture taken just down the road from us. The water you see is actually supposed to be their front yard. Their driveway is washed out and they can't reach the house to continue working on it. Fortunately they're not living in it yet.
This is just one example of the flooding that is occurring all over my town and the entire state of North Dakota. In the western part of the state there's a blizzard with up to 2 feet of snow expected.

But, through it all, I know that God is with us. I can see Him in the faces of all the volunteers that are sandbagging, filling sandbags and bringing food to the volunteers. I can see Him in the optimism and high spirits of people who are facing possible devestation. Thank you Lord for your protection.

Monday, March 23, 2009

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

The last few days have not been easy ones in our household. Our town is in danger of flooding, along with much of the rest of our state. We have water in our basement, my son's car won't start and the power steering appears to be out in my van. Our 2 dogs got out together last night and they're still not home. Except for the flooding, none of these things by themselves are all that serious but put together they add up to more than I think I can handle. I'm afraid to ask "what next?" because I don't want to find out.

Last night, while I was crying out to God, He reminded me of the these verses.
" We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

I so needed to hear these words! Things are tough and may get tougher but my God will not abandon me. He will not let the enemy destroy me. Isn't that the best news of all?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A House Full of Boys

Just one of Randy's friends who calls me Mom. Gotta love that cookie dough!

On Friday nights, my son's friends always spend the night here. Strangely enough, it's one of the high points of my week. I never know exactly how many there will be; last night there were 4. It's music to my ears to hear "Hi Mom" four times as they walk through the door. (5 times if I count my son's.) I love the way they feel so at home here that they think nothing of opening the fridge to see what's in there. I love the laughter, conversation and good night hugs. I love seeing them in the morning as they stumble sleepily up the stairs to see what we're having for breakfast. Most of all, I love knowing who my son hangs out with.

It's been said that it takes a village to raise a child. Randy's friends know that they're always welcome here just as Randy is always welcome at their homes. What a blessing God has given us.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Words can cut like a knife

Yesterday I posted about how I want my words to be kind, used to build people up and not tear them down. Sadly enough, there are many people in this world who think nothing of saying unkind, hurtful words to others, never realizing how badly they can cut through someone's soul. My daughter Julianna is going through something like this right now. There are all sorts of rumors flying through her school about her and I can see the hurt in her eyes when she tells me what's being said about her.

My Thursday night ladies Bible Study is going through Beth Moore's "Believing God" and last night's lesson was on the power of the tongue. Don't you just love God's timing? She talked about the power that unkind words spoken to us can have over us. Then she goes on to say "Most of us have bought more of what others have said than we'd like to admit. Dear one, the time has come to believe God. The time has come to renounce words others have spoken over us that don't line up with the truth of God's Word."

I came home from Bible Study last night and was able to share that with my daughter. She knows she's a child of God and that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. That's what she needs to take hold of; who God says she is. This isn't to say that unkind words won't still hurt but now she has God's Word to help her not to believe them. She has a tool to help her define herself by what God says about her, not unkind words from other people.

How about you? Are you still hearing unkind things that may have been spoken to you or about you? I am. Today, let's start thinking of ourselves the way God does. We are daughters of the King!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Proverbs 16:24

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

My daughter Julianna is someone who always tries to live by these words. It's not something she does intentionally, God just created her this way. I believe that if more adults would take these words to heart our world would be a much better place.

Scripture is filled with warnings about the tongue and the damage it can do. Proverbs 11: 9 says "With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape."

Proverbs 10:19 says "when words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."

I want to take a page out of my daughter's book and speak kindly to the people I come in contact with today. There's something to be said about "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A lesson learned

Last night Julianna tried to make oatmeal but she didn't measure the water correctly so it didn't turn out. Instead of dumping the pan in the trash, she rinsed it out in the sink. Of course, that clogged up the drain. She tried her hardest to unclog it but nothing worked. Up until that point, I had no idea all of this had happened. After she had tried everything she could do on her own, she came to me for help.

How many times have I done that with God? I face a problem and try to fix it on my own. After I've done everything humanly possible to make it right, I go to the Lord and ask him to not only fix the original problem but also what I've inevitably made even worse. I can almost picture God shaking His head and asking Himself "when will that child ever learn?"

I have to admit, I didn't handle this well last night. I was tired and was heading to bed when Julianna came to me. The sink did not want to unclog, I knocked over the sugar container and spilled a cup of cold coffee all over the counter. I was grumbling louder than I thought because Julianna heard me and thought I was angry with her. I told her that I wasn't angry at her at all but I could see how she might think that. I'm so thankful that God handles our mistakes and mishaps so much better than we do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Correction with Justice

Today's verse of the day is one of my favorites and I love the way God chose to use it today on my blog.

This is something that I always try to do when disciplining my children (not that they ever need it, HA!) When I first discover that one of them has done something wrong, my first reaction is to find out how I can ground them and their future grandchildren as well. I'm angry and I feel betrayed. However, my heart knows that this is not the way to handle the situation. I want God's mercy even in the midst of my sin and the best part is, I know I'll recieve it. Why should I do any less for my children?

They need correction, just as we need God's correction. But, discipline out of love, not anger. Take some time to calm down before throwing the book at them. Remember that the purpose is to correct their behavior, not to crush them. These are things that I need to remind myself of quite often. How like God to send me a reminder on my blog.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Presenting Julianna and Princess

This is my youngest daughter Julianna with her new bunny Princess. We found an ad for someone selling bunnies and knew we had to let her pick one out. She won't replace Romeo but Julianna adores her already. Ann had suggested gettting another bunny for her and she was absolutely right.

Julianna is perhaps the sweetest 12 year old that I have ever met and I don't think I'm just saying that because I'm her mom. She loves Jesus with all her heart and always has a kind word for everyone she meets. She asks her teacher on a regular basis if there is anything that she can pray about for her. ( she goes to public school) Her feelings are easily hurt when someone says something unkind about her because she doesn't understand how people can be like that. Her first thought when she has a problem is to pray about it. I'm learning more from this little girl than I could ever begin to teach her. She loves life so much that she made her appearance 2 months early. She is my final miracle from God. I am truly blessed.

Thank you for letting me introduce you to my family. They are the reason for most everything I do. I love spending time with them; there's no place on this earth that I'd rather be than at home hanging out with my husband and my kids. God is good all the time; all the time God is good.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Meet Mandy

This is my oldest daughter Mandy, my gift from God. All I ever wanted was to be a mom and when I was told at 18 that I could never have children, I was devestated. But, God granted me the desire of my heart and Mandy was born when I was 29.

Mandy has strong opinions about things and she's not afraid to let others know what they are. She has a kind heart and would do anything for a friend. She works in a nursing home as a CNA and that's the perfect job for her; her compassion is strong and her capacity to love is even stronger.

We've had some rough patches along the way and will probably have more but yet we have a strong, close relationship and talk almost every day. I know that when she gives her heart to the Lord, it will be wholeheartedly and without reservation. My prayer is that that day comes soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My family

My family means the world to me and I want to introduce them to you. I'll start with my husband and my son. Tony is a wonderful husband and father. He works hard so that I'm able to stay home with our kids. He's funny, caring and generous. Most of all, he puts up with me when I'm being less than lovable. I thank God every day for sending him to me.

Randy is my 15 year old son. He loves the Lord and is planning on going to college to become a youth pastor. He felt God calling him to that when he was 12 and he hasn't wavered from it since. He has an awesome sense of humor and is a fantastic cook. He's a joy to be around, even during the "dreaded" teen years.

These guys are 2 of the most important people in my life. Thank you for letting me introduce them to you. I hope everyone has a blessed day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Worry: What God says about it

It's hard not to worry in these tough economic times. In the Andren family, our income has dropped even though my husband is still working. He's a semi driver and gets paid by the mile. If he doesn't drive, he doesn't get paid. People are buying less which translates into less freight needing to be moved. Layoffs are common all over the country and people are losing their homes. So, as believers, what should we do?

Matthew 6:27 asks us "who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Yes, we're going through tough times but worrying about them won't change anything except possibly making us sick.
Verse 33 gives us advice on what to do "But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." So many times I have asked God for things but have skipped this very important command. We're to seek Him first. To me, that means spending time with Him every day, not just when I'm in trouble.

Finally, verse 34 tells us "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
How many nights have I lost sleep worrying about something that may not even happen?

I am going to take these verses and apply them to all areas of my life as I worry about a lot more than finances. I worry about my 21 year old daughter's relationship with Jesus. I worry about my 15 year old son and the peer pressure he faces while trying to walk with the Lord. I worry about my 12 year old daughter and the rumors that are flying around about her. I worry about my husband's safety out on the road. God's Word tells me that I can't change a thing by worrying. What I can do is lay these burdens at His feet and then quit trying to take them back again. So, instead of worrying, I'm going to go to the Throne of God. I know there will be times when I'll still worry but hopefully I'll remember these verses and nip it in the bud. The enemy has stolen way too many nights of sleep from me. It has to stop.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Psalm 139

Self esteem is something that I've struggled with for most of my life. I'm guilty of looking at others and thinking how I'd love to be more like them. They have it all together; they have a better prayer life; a better grasp of Scripture, etc. Of course, there are also the physical comparisons. The bottom line is that I don't always like who I am and I wonder how God could possibly love such a messed up person.

It's during times like these that God directs me to Psalm 139. I love reading this Psalm in The Message, particularily verse 14. "I thank you, High God- You're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made."
Inside and out, body and soul, I am marvelously made. Inside and out, body and soul, you were all marvelously made as well. I think this is something that we all need to hear and definitely something we need to instill in our kids, nieces, nephews, and other children we come in contact with. Verse 5 tells us "I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too- your reassuring presence, coming and going." God is with us always. He created us with His blueprint; the final outcome was not a surprise to Him. Who am I to criticize His creation?

God loves us just the way we are. Are we ready to do the same?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Mountains in our Lives

Yesterday I posted a picture of my daughter standing in front of a snow drift in our yard. Throughout the day, that drift continued to get bigger and bigger until it seemed like a mountain. Getting out of our house would be involve either shoveling it or climbing over it, neither of which option was very appealing.

Today we woke up to sun shine but the mountain is still there. I went out to the garage in the hopes of making tracks over it so it would be easier for my kids to climb over tomorrow when the bus comes. One step into waist deep snow put an end to that idea. Looking around for a shovel , I noticed that our dogs had left no paw prints over the top of that mountain. They had been outside many times so where was their trail? Investigating further I noticed that there was a tiny path that led around the mountain of snow. By following that path, I was able to reach my van and actually make it to town.

When I returned home I started thinking about how that mountain of snow is a lot like the mountains we face in our lives. We look at them with our human eyes and wonder how we will ever be able to move them or climb over them. They're too big; we can't possibly climb them. They're too massive, we can't possibly move them. Looking at impossibilities such as these can be discouraging and lead to despair. Fortunately for us, God will provide a way. He provided a way around that mountain of snow for me and He will provide a way around the mountains in our lives as well. We just need to take our eyes off of the problem and instead, focus on the One who has the solution. Is God capable of moving our mountains? Absolutely. However, sometimes I think He just wants us to take the long way around and spend some time with Him along the way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


When I heard about the blizzard heading our way, I wondered how long it would take before we would be able to get out of our driveway. Now I'm beginning to wonder how long it will take before we're able to get out of our house.
We go in and out of our garage and the picture above shows how high the drift is in front of our garage door. That's what we would have to climb over (through) to get to our driveway and our vehicles. Snow always drifts behind our garage doors so we don't park our cars in the garage when a storm is coming. Little did I know we'd have to worry about getting ourselves out of the garage!
Two-thirds of ND is shut down due to this storm and tomorrow doesn't seem to be looking any better. We knew at 8:30 last night that school was cancelled today so we made popcorn and stayed up late watching the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. What a treat to be able to stay up late on a school night and just hang out with my kids. My husband is on his way to California so he's missing all the fun.
Today will be spent playing games, watching movies and maybe taking a nap. Maybe God gives us days like this to force us to slow down. I know that here in the frozen tundra otherwise known as North Dakota, I'm going to do just that.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The death of a pet

This is a picture of my youngest daughter and her rabbit Romeo. We came home from church yesterday and Julianna found him dead in his cage. We don't know what happened; as far as we know he wasn't even sick. The cry of pain that I heard coming out of her as she raced upstairs is not something that I will soon forget. We have 3 dogs and 3 cats but Romeo was Julianna's bunny. She fed and watered him and cleaned his cage. She'd sit on her bed with him in her lap and they'd listen to music for hours. She'd bring him upstairs to visit with the rest of the family and he'd watch TV with us. He was a member of our family.
Julianna asked me if Romeo was in heaven and without hestitation, I said absolutely. I believe that there are animals in heaven because I take the Word of God literally. Jesus told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them in heaven and a place for anyone in my family would include animals. So, I'm taking it on faith that there will be animals there for us to love. That didn't take away Julianna's pain by any means but it did make it a little easier to handle. Believing that Romeo is with Jesus assures Julianna that he's happy. That's something we all have to look forward to some day.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


God didn't create us to be alone. He created us for fellowship, both with Him and with others. The gift of friendship is something that I thank Him for on a daily basis. My very best friend is someone that I've known since we were both 12 years old. We live 300 miles apart now but we still get together every few months to catch up with each other. We meet halfway and have lunch, shop and talk, talk, talk.

I also have my friends from church. I know I can call them at any time and they'll pray with me. I see them at least 2 or 3 times a week and we never seem to run out of things to talk about.

Finally, I have my internet friends. Now, to someone who doesn't blog or use an email group of some kind, this may be hard to understand. All I know is that God has simply provided another way to bring friends into my life. I belong to an email group of women who are the greatest. I've "known" some of them for 5 years or more and have even met one or two. I consider them some of my closest friends although we've never met. I know about their families and have prayed for them and had them pray for me. We share each other's joys and sorrows and are there for each other. Isn't that what friendship is all about?

I'm also beginning to make some wonderful friends here as well. I so appreciate the kind words of those who have stopped by to make me feel welcome in this new endeavor of mine. Thank you for making me feel so at home.

Friendship... what a blessing. Make sure to thank God for His wonderful gift!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Winter in North Dakota

Winter is my favorite season so I definitely live in the right place. However, even for this lover of snow and blizzards, there comes a time when enough is enough. We were teased with highs in the upper 30's for a few days and all around town people were driving with their windows down and more than a few were spotted wearing shorts and sweatshirts. Sadly, this isn't going to last. There's a large storm headed this way; a storm calling for snow, cold temps, and wind. Apparently it is not yet spring in North Dakota.
So, today it's off to the grocery store to stock up on the essentials as well as what my family calls storm food. These are snacks that we normally eat only when it's storming outside.
Do I want this latest storm to come? No. But, am I just a little excited? I have to admit that I am. Hunkering down with my family is one of my greatest pleasures in life. So bring it on!! We'll be ready.

Friday, March 6, 2009

We had a revival at our church last night

God was present last night in a huge way. I feel like it's been a very long time since I've heard from Him but last night I heard His sweet, sweet voice again. He pointed out some things I need to let go of, things that are hindering my walk with Him. I don't want anything to stand in the way of my relationship with my Savior.
My son was at the altar last night as well; what an awesome gift.

Blood bought, spirit filled, sanctified child of God! That's me!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I have so much to be thankful for so why am I so sad?

I am normally a very upbeat person so this feeling of sadness is new to me. Of course I've been sad but there was always a reason; my parents' death, losing a pet, my husband losing a job, etc. The sadness I'm feeling now has no reason that I can put my finger on.
What is God trying to teach me? Why am I feeling so out of place, even in the church that I love? When will this end?
These are all questions for which I have no answers but I know the One who does. So, I'm going to count my blessings and at the same time give myself permission to cry if I need to. God will understand.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Learning what God has for me

God has shown me in the past few weeks that while He doesn't always answer prayer in the way that I would like, He is always with me and gives His strength to help me through whatever I may be facing.
Sounds pretty simple doesn't it? So why has it taken me so long to fully understand it? How many times has God shaken His head and wondered "what's up with that woman?"
The good news is that He has infinite patience and will lovingly teach us what we need to learn. Lord, thank you for being patient with me.