Monday, June 30, 2008


The sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out ... he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. John 10:3,4

This is what we have to do, dear mother. We must not drive our children. It only leads to rebellion and defiance. We walk in front of them and lead the way. Jesus beckoned each of his disciples to "Come, follow me." In the same way, we tell our children, "Come, children, follow me. I'll show you the way to go. I'll lead you on the right path. You won't stumble if you follow me." (Jeremiah 31:9)  Nancy Campbell

How am I leading my children?  What kind of example am I leading my children with?  Can they follow in my footsteps?  

Those things which ye heave both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.  Philippians 4:9

Father, how I need you.  I need Your grace... my children need Your grace.  My hearts desire, Father, is to be able to say... those things that you have learned, received, heard and seen - do these things, follow me.  Yet, I know how many time I fail, I know the ugliness of my flesh. 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2 Corinthians 12:9  

I want our children, by Your grace, to be able to follow me, to follow us, as we follow You.  I want them to desire You more as they see us desire You.  As they see us walk with You, may they desire to walk with You.  

May our lives be fully surrendered, may we be fully abiding in You so that they see and desire that.  Father, help us to
... give them vision. Inspire them to greatness. Motivate them to godliness. Encourage them to dream great dreams. Stir them to fulfill their destiny which has been marked out for them before the foundation of the world. Nancy Campbell

May they go even deeper and farther then we could go.  

Transform us.  Transform them.

May Your grace fall on us like rain as we say, "Come, follow me."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A sweet girl...

... wearing a dress her mommy wore.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flowers For Momma

A sweet little boy of mine picked flowers and placed them in the vase as a gift for me.

treasureing these days... so much to be thankful for...   recording this for when we have days like this...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Goals

Now that summer is here I've been thinking a lot about how we will spend our time.  :)  
Charlotte Mason says, " The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days."

For the kiddos

:: I have been so challenged and inspired with Ann over at Holy Experience and her Endless Gifts that I wanted to start one with John-John and Benjamin.  I got each of them their own notebook and we will be creating a journal for all that they are thankful for this summer.  Our first goal is 100 different things.  They can write down, take pictures, paint, draw or ...  to record all that they are thankful for.  I am so excited about this project!

:: Continue to work on chores - we are adding a couple of new chores to their list.  We will be working on a joyful heart while they are done along with how well they are being done.

:: Even though we are not doing school, we are still working on reading and phonics.  :)

:: Daily Read Alouds 

For Me

I find it a little more challenging to get certain projects done during the school year so I just end up saving them until summer time.  

:: Finish knitting projects.  I'm wanting to make several scarfs for Christmas presents.

:: Get caught up on photo albums

:: My Summer Reading  
The Divine Conquest by A.W. Tozer
Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris
Family Driven Faith by Voddie T. Baucham Jr.
The Hidden Art Of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer
The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot
I actually only have one of the above books so we shall see...  I guess you could say that this is really just my wish list. 

I plan to reread 
Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook

All of this along with some fun trips, lots of play outside, daily walks, swimming, time with family and friends...  and we will have a beautiful summer!   

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Where we are now

This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.  Psalm 118:23

It is simply amazing to look at all that happened... all that God did.  It was a hard journey at times - questioning and wondering what was going on. Did we need to stop, what needed to be done different...  we had so many different thoughts, uttered so many prayers. There were so many times when we wanted to take things into our own hands and yet we couldn't and we knew we didn't want to... 
God was using this time to cause us to die... to cause our ideas and plans to die.

But it is in our death that He brings life. Life Abundantly.

The move, the timing, the details... simply everything was orchestrated by God.  
We look back now and know fully and completely that this is where He wanted to bring us. There are no questions in our mind such as did we do this in our own strength.  God called us here,  He brought us here...  

We sit on our deck relaxing, breath in the warm air on our walks, behold the beauty while driving and simply we are in awe.  This is where God wants us...

He is at work here and He's working in our lives... teaching us, molding us, causing us to awaken, filling us with vision, teaching us to abide in Him.

Father, may all that you have begun to birth with bringing us here be brought to full fruition. May your power be reviled...  May we be made more like Christ...  May your glory shine so bright.  

We need His grace... grace to stay dead so that His life might flow from us.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Move Part 8

for with God all things are possible.  Mark 10:27

It was amazing that once we postponed the move for a week -

continually being still before Him... listening to His voice... and following His leading...

-there was a peace.  A peace that passes understanding.  We did not know what it was going to look like.  We did not know why the Lord was wanting us to not move for another week.  In some ways we did question it.  We did not understand but we had to trust.  If the Lord was calling us to Colorado He was going to have to direct our steps.  He was going to have to be at work because we could not do it in our own strength.  Nor did we want to do it on our own... our hearts desire was to abide...  to let Him lead.

It was Sunday evening and Brent had been spending a lot of time in prayer -  Seeking the Father - and the Lord let him to a job.  The Lord was placing Brent.  It was a job that fit him perfectly and after a few phone calls, he was hired without even an interview. 

Monday Morning comes and our house ends up being shown.  Tuesday Morning comes and we get a phone call from our agent letting us know that we have an offer on our house.  God was at work.

The Lord was beginning to open our eyes.  He's beginning to let us see,  to see not only why we needed to wait another week but He's allowing us to see that we can trust Him.  He is good.  

Waiting.  Being still another week allowed us to get the house ready for the new buyer.  It opened the door to the right job for Brent.  It allowed us to see His hand at work even more.  

Our trip, our drive, our move to Colorado is filled with God's grace.  I was eight months pregnant and had to drive the Suburban by myself.  God was there.  He carried me.  As much as I would have enjoyed traveling with my Mom, I would not have seen God carry me the way that He did if we had moved the week before.  

On the second day the axle of our car hauler broke in the middle of Nevada.  We had to wait for six hours until a tow truck could bring us another trailer...  yet God was there.  He brought us to a wonderful little rest stop that had a huge mound of dirt for the kiddos to play in...  we had the makings of peanut butter sandwiches...  it was not too hot or too cold...  We saw God's hand directing us, taking care of us, providing.

Amazingly we made it to Colorado just a couple of hours behind schedule.  Sunday morning a group of 12 joined us to help us unload the truck.  These were people we did not know... friends of Eric and Leslie.  What was an impossible task for Brent alone became possible because of His provision.  

He brought us here...  It was His hand at work...  to sit, be still and relish in all that He did in bringing us here is simply amazing. 

Yet we did not know the full extent of what He was doing.  
It simply was the beginning of a new door being opened.  

Friday, June 13, 2008

Take time

Take time.  Give God time to reveal Himself to you.  Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you.  Take time to read His Word as in His presence, that from it you may know what He asks of you and what He promises you.  Let the Word create around you, create within you a holy atmosphere, a holy heavenly light, in which your soul will be refreshed and strengthened for the work of daily life.

From Andrew Murray's The Secret of Adoration quoted in They Found The Secret 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Walking in faith - Our Move Part 7

For we walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7
Our house was up for sale and within two weeks we found ourselves in escrow.  It was amazing -- the housing market in California was going down hill and fast and to find ourselves in escrow was truly something He orchestrated.  We had a moving date and everything looked good.  

But sometimes the Lord has different plans...  Sometimes He wants to take us down a different path...  Sometimes He wants us to learn more about who He is...

We fell out of escrow.  The buyer just decided she was no longer interested.  We had peace but to say it wasn't frustrating would be a lie.  We now found ourselves with the house back on the market and the moving date was now in question.  Lord, we trust You.

There were different job opportunities...  State Farm brought Brent out to Colorado twice which led to another interview and job offer.  Father, we just want to be in the center of Your will.  Lead and guide us... Open and close doors...  

We ended up excepting the 2nd job offer and another moving date was put on the calendar but still the house sat.  

Lord, what do you want us to do?  We need you to bring a buyer for the house... Do we wait until after the baby comes to move?  Do we rent out our house?    

There were so many questions...  It seemed as if the Lord had opened up the door and yet how were we suppose to walk through it in a practical way?  We didn't believe it would be wise to keep our house in California as a rental - the housing market was going down and it would cost us to keep it.  

Prayer.  Seeking.

Lord, You, we want to be where you want us.  And if you are calling us to Colorado we need you to make the path clear... to open doors... to provide... to take care of the details...

Days seemed to creep by.  We were continually seeking Him. It came down to the fact that we believed the Lord had called us.   We believe it was time to move.   So, it was time for us to step out in faith.   Our house was still up for sale and we would keep it that way.  We would also start looking into the possibilities of renting it to another young family.   Our moving date was getting close, Brent was done working at the small company that he ran and so we began to pack up the house.  

Two weeks until we move... one week until we move...

The move was set - we would pack up the moving truck on Thursday and leave Friday.  My parents would be able to come with us...  we'd have plenty of drivers and my parents could help us unload the moving truck, unpack and get settled.  

This baby growing within me was coming in about six weeks.  

But then there was just something we were starting to question...  there was a lack of peace...

What is it Lord?  


We need to wait.

In our human perspective it did not make sense.  The baby was coming so the sooner we got to Colorado the better.  Dad and Mom could only help us this one weekend and we needed their help.  To change our moving date would mean we would have to make the journey by ourselves.

Okay, Lord we trust You.  We'll wait.  

We postponed the move a week.  A week.  What could happen in a week?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Summer is here!

We have finished school for the year and we are all so excited.  For our year end celebration we got out the jump house and spent several hours in their jumping around, having fun and enjoying the warmth of the sun.  We ended the day by going out for a special dinner.  

Now to enjoy the long summer days and get some of those summer projects done!  

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Completely Amazed - Our Move Part 6

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.     1 Corinthians 2:5

The following couple of weeks found us constantly seeking Him.  Even though our Pastor believed we had heard from the Lord, he began to question us.  It pushed us into Him even more.  He was our rock and our fortress.  

At the end of June we went on a family camping trip and we prayed about this being the right time to bring up the possible move with my family.  No, just let the Lord direct.   Friday night as we were all sitting around the camp fire my mom begins to ask about the trip to Colorado and what the Lord was doing.  Okay Lord, I guess it's now time.  

As my Dad slept in the tent, we began to share with my Mom, Eric and Kim about the trip and how the Lord seemed to be directing us to Colorado.  Surprisingly they all became excited and said they were ready to move.  They wanted to invest prayer into this but they were open and we were shocked.  As Brent and I went to bed that night we layed there completely in shock, completely scared and completely amazed at seeing the Lord at work. Completely amazed.  

The next morning as we were making breakfast we began to fill my Dad in on the conversation from the night before.  Without hesitation he said that he was in for the adventure.  A trip to Colorado began to be formed...  

Later that afternoon, Brent and Eric had a chance to connect over what fully happened in Colorado and then Eric begins to share how they had been looking at jobs in Colorado for the last month.  The Lord had showed them that Texas was not where He wanted them and He began to fill them with a desire for Colorado.    

The Lord was at work and it went far beyond this little family.

After we got home it was now time to call Brent's mom.  Brent was the son that had a paper route when he was 16 to help contribute money for their monthly needs and he could not go away to college because he needed to stay home to help support his mom.  She had gone through a long battle with breast cancer and we were there several times a week to help her with anything and everything. Brent's older brother lived in Arizona and for us to now talk of moving would mean that she would be without family close by.  This was a dreaded phone call... we did not expect her to receive the news very well.  The Lord was at work though and He had been preparing her for this.  She was able to respond with joy and enthusiasm, never once saying anything negative about our move.  Again, we were completely amazed.

We began to make plans.  Those plans involved making lists and starting projects on the house. If things continued to progress, we would be putting the house up for sale about two weeks after we got back from Colorado.  

Our trip to Colorado was a quick trip with early mornings and late nights.  I remember Eric saying that it didn't feel like we were on vacation, it just felt like home.  How true.   

We had friends standing with us in prayer and the encouragement of those we loved and respected.  Yet, Adam was still having a hard time with the thought of us moving.  He was continually questioning us. We respected and valued what he had to say, we thought about his questions and tried to answer them the best that we could, we wanted to hear his wisdom yet it was an intense time.  It seemed so clear that the Lord was now opening the doors but we were trying to process all of these questions.  Some of which we did not have an answer to.   It was hard, frustrating, intense...  Lord, we need You to make it clear.  

Brent finally had some time to talk with Adam's Dad and seek his council.  Dennis took some time to pray about it with his wife and they came to us several days later to let us know that they fully support us and believed that God was at work here.   

We look to You, Lord, to provide a home and job. 

A Mother's Responsibility

As a mother, I am called by God to provide for my children an authentic example and biblical training with a tender love, so that they might receive and reflect the gospel. Carolyn Mahaney

Here is a great message by Carolyn Mahaney.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It became clear - Our Move Part 5

Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept thy will for my life.  I give myself, my time, my all, utterly to thee to be thine forever.  Fill me and seal me with thy Holy Spirit.  Use me as thou wilt, send me where thou wilt, work out thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever. Betty Stam

The trip to Colorado was finally upon us and  our days were full of trips to the swimming pool, time with family and getting ready to spend the following week in San Diego to celebrate Brent's grandma's 90th birthday.  

Brent was thoroughly enjoying his time in Colorado.  The teaching was good and with all that we had been going through and all of the questions that were on our mind, Brent was spending a lot of the time in prayer and fasting.  We desperately wanted to know the Lord's will for the next season of our life.  Thy will be done, Lord.  Thy will.

As Brent was spending time with the Lord, it slowly seemed to become clear that it was time for us to move to Colorado.  Lord, take this desire from me.  We don't want to come to Colorado, you made it clear that it was a closed door.  I surrender it.  Take *me* out of this. And as soon as he uttered those words, the Lord began to speak to him...  It's not you, it's Me.

I was finishing up at my first doctors appointment for the coming little one and I get a call on my cell phone,  Hey hon, I think it's time for us to move to Colorado.  
I honestly can't say that I was thrilled...  I was very reserved to the idea.  We had been down this path and I didn't want to get too excited.  

On the last night, Brent was able to drive Eric from Estes Park to his house and then spent a night at the local hotel.  He ended up spending most of the night with the Lord and during those hours at the Lord's throne it became radically clear that it was time.   It was time for our family to move...  it was time for Brent to be transitioned out of running the business...  it was time for the Lord to open the doors and for the Lord to direct our steps... for the Lord to place us...  it was time.

The amazing thing was that in Brent and Eric's drive back to Estes Park the next morning, Eric began to talk of *this discipleship school* that they were finally getting ready to start.  

The Lord's at work here and it goes far beyond our little family.

Brent flew home late Thursday night and we were so blessed to be able to follow up his time in Colorado with a week long vacation in San Diego.  We left early Friday morning and spent much of the drive in prayer.  What was the Lord doing?  Was it really time? 

Finally one night, Brent made the decision that it was time to call Adam.  It was going to be a hard phone call not only because Adam was our Pastor but also because he was Brent's best friend.  We wanted his council.  We wanted to make sure that we had heard from the Lord.  If we had heard from the Lord, which we believed we had, then we would want to walk this out with him.   The call was made and it really ended up being a good phone call. They were still able to laugh together.   

The Lord was beginning to awaken the desire for Colorado again.  It was finally His time for us to move.  Could it be possible?   Yet, even as He was opening the door it was still going to be a walk of faith.  

In some ways, the journey was just beginning.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Seeking Him - Our Move Part 4

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thine ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6

A year earlier Brent had the opportunity to make a trade for a really nice bicycle.  It was his dream bike and he had great aspirations of taking the bike out on nice, long rides.   Unfortunately, that never became a reality like he so desired it to.  Because of the season of life we were in with three little ones, our bike rides looked more like a long afternoon stroll.  It was just very challenging for him to get out on his own frequently to use this bike.  So at the beginning of the year he decided it was time to sell the bike.   We tried posting it on Craig's List several times but only ended up selling it about a week before that big Saturday.   I had told Brent that it was his money to use on what he wanted and he just wasn't sure.  He didn't want to just waste it...   
Then as we were making plans for him to go to Colorado it suddenly became clear what the money was to be used for.  It now had a purpose.

The plans were made.  The money had been provided.  God's grace was there, on me, in a super natural way.  We had never spent more than one night away from one another since we had been married and now to think of having Brent spend four nights away, it should have been unbearable.  But there was a peace.  I knew this is where he was suppose to be.  God had made that clear.  

The trip to Colorado was on the calendar and it was something we were looking forward to but it did not cause us to think, maybe the Lord is going to open up the doors now or questioning why He was wanting Brent to go to Colorado...  There would be good teaching there.  Period.

March came and the Lord began to work on our hearts in regards to having another little one. We had listened to a message given by Dr. Voddie Baucham and the Lord used his message to challenge our thinking and show us that we were not done having children.  We were now open to another little one... maybe not right away but we were open.  

April found us inviting a new niece into the family and finding out that same week that we would be welcoming a new little one into our family.  

God was at work.  He was doing something... there was now a little baby due on Christmas day but there was just something else.  We didn't know what it was or when it was going to come to fruition but that something was there.  It was in the midst of our everyday life.  

There were things that were beginning to go on at work.  Brent could see that there were changes within his industry that would be coming and it seemed like there needed to be some big adjustments made there.    Was it time to finally buy the founder of the company out of his portion of the business?

Prayer.  Lots of prayer.  Seeking.

Lord, what is Your heart in this?  What are Your plans?

Thankfully we had been continually walking in counsel with our Pastor and one of the elders. There was one afternoon when Peter called up Brent and they were going over some of the details and he says, "You know Brent, it might just be time for you to leave Procel".

Wow.  That had never crossed or minds and it was a hard one to swallow.  Lord, is it time? What are Your plans?

The cry of our heart was to walk in His ways and to be in His will.

Lord, however hard it is, we will lay it down.  We surrender it, we surrender our plans, we just want You.

What will this look like?  Do we buy the business or is it time to leave?  Do we find another job here in Sonoma County or do we need to look at moving?  So many things to look at... to pray over...  to seek counsel in...

Family.  Family is an important thing in our life.  The thought of moving without family was hard and because we new that Kim and Eric had looked at moving to Texas we thought that might be a good place to start.   

Texas.  There seemed to be plenty of job opportunities and the housing was very affordable. But during the 48 hours that we spent looking into a possible move to Texas we did not feel one ounce of peace about it.  The turmoil was amazing.  But, maybe we were just scared...  we brought it up to the family at a bbq and Kim and Eric kind of gave us this blank stare... they were quiet.  Then they started questioning our reasoning behind Texas.  What?  Not really the reaction we thought they'd give us when we brought up Texas.   
And then we slightly mentioned the idea to our Pastor's Dad that Sunday morning and he said very confidently, "no, you're looking down the wrong path."  
Okay Lord, it's time to close this door.  Your hand it not here and if You are not guiding us, we don't want to walk through it.  

What was the Lord doing?  What does He want us to be doing?  

Brent's time in Colorado was drawing close...  maybe the Lord would make it clear while he was there.  Maybe he needed that time in Colorado to be alone with the Lord.