Friday, May 30, 2008

An interesting start to the year - Our Move Part 3

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.  Ecclesiastes 11:5

It was now the beginning of 2007 and for all we knew our dream of moving to Colorado was dead.  

It's hard to explain how 2007 started off...  it was different though.  There was something different.

Brent had become president of a small company back at the end of 2003 and we had come to enjoy his role there.  He did a Bible study with the employees once a week and God's hand of favor had been on the business.  

We were also at a wonderful Church.  There was a young families group that we helped lead and Brent met weekly with the Pastor who was also his best friend.

There was a weekly prayer meeting for the business community that Brent was involved in...
we were busy and life was good.  

We were continuing to grow and be challenged in our walk with the Lord.  He was teaching us and instructing us.   God was at work where we were at and we loved it.

One late night in February after our three little ones were in bed we hopped onto Eric and Leslie's website.  Even though we now had no desire to move to Colorado we would still find ourselves checking their website and leaving them a phone message to see what the Lord was doing in their lives.  This night found us reading about a discipleship class that Eric was doing in Estes Park for a week.  Wow... I'm sure that would be good to go to.  

It got us thinking and praying about going.  We looked at every option for going... from driving out there to flying... from just Brent going to all of us.  How could we make this work?
It just didn't seem feasible though.  We would be in San Diego for a week after the dates of the discipleship.  To then think of adding on another vacation week, cost of travel, hotels, food...  it was just too expensive and too hard for Brent to leave work for that long.    

Then a couple of weeks later on a Saturday morning Brent was taking a shower and the discipleship came to his mind.  He needed to go.  The Lord was clearly speaking to his heart.  

Okay, Lord but I'm not bringing this up to Carrie.  You have to be at work here.  I really don't want to leave her alone with the three little ones for four nights...

And Brent left it in His hands, not saying a thing to me.

That night, as we were driving home from dinner at my parents house the Lord brought to my mind the discipleship.  Brent has to go. The Lord was speaking to me.  It just needs to be Brent. 

Hey hon, you know Eric's discipleship.  Umm... well, I think you need to go.    Just you.  

That night, after our drive home and relishing in the astonishment that the Lord had made it clear to both of us completely separate, we began to make plans for Brent to go to Colorado for five days at the end of May. 

If you have not read the start to this story, start here and here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What are we doing? - Our Move Part 2

A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

In July of 1999 we were married and still the thoughts of Colorado were right there on our mind.   Brent stayed in contact with Eric and we continued to bring them out to California.  But nothing seemed to be happening.  

The doors were not opening up for Eric and Leslie to start this school either.  Would they ever?

At this point our dream could have so easily died.  There was a lot going on in our life.  Brent's mom was going through a battle with breast cancer and Brent was doing really well at work. Why move?  

For some reason though, the Lord was continuing to stir that desire in our heart. Colorado was never far from our mind, and it was almost always brought up in quiet, late night talks.   Do you think it will look like this?   I wonder if we could move now?  

We would cry out to the Lord, asking Him to show us His will,  His plans.

And still the desire stayed.  

We looked at moving out here several times but always the door was closed.  Okay, Lord. We trust You.  We want Your will.   Maybe He'll open the door next year.  

When I was pregnant with John-John we began to very seriously look at moving.  We scheduled the flights, booked the hotel and began to look at job possibilities.  Was it finally time to move?

It was a wonderful trip.  Brent spent some time at Nextel in Colorado Springs, we had many long conversations with Eric and Leslie at a sweet little coffee shop and we spent hours walking through houses and driving neighborhoods.  

We prayed.   

Yet, somehow in that trip we were almost turned off to Colorado.  The Lord was shutting the door again and we weren't sure why.  Maybe the Lord really wasn't calling us to Colorado. Maybe it would look different then what we originally thought it would look like.  We were frustrated but the cry of our heart was Lord it's still in Your hands.  

Thankfully the Lord new that we weren't ready to move to Colorado.  It was still all about us... what we could do... how we could serve... being in the ministry... 

Yes, it had been the Lord who put that desire on our hearts.  It had been Him stirring us. There was a purity in our desire to be in the center of His will yet we still needed a refining to take place.  We had to die. Our plans and desires had to die.  We needed to be fully surrendered to Him and His ways.  In His goodness He was taking us down a path and it was not going to happen over night.

It was a journey.

In the following years we would still talk of Colorado but it became less and less frequent.  We wanted to be where He was calling us.  We wanted to be doing what He wanted and it just seemed like the door to Colorado might not open up and somehow we were beginning to be okay with that.

You Father, we just want You.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Where it all began - Our Move Part 1

To tell the story we must start at the beginning, the very beginning.  Even then I have to ask myself is that really when the Lord began to work or was He at work even before we realized?

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desire of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

We had both read the book His Perfect Faithfulness by Eric and Leslie Ludy when we were just becoming friends.  We had Eric and Leslie out to California for seminars; we loved their ministry and what they stood for and Brent would occasionally talk with Eric on the phone.  I would never say we were close friends...  friends, yes but we did not know them intimately.

Then one day in November we got a letter from them.  It wasn't a personal letter to just us but a letter to all who had supported them in their ministry at some point in the past.  Brent came over to my parents house that night after a long day at work and we sat in their living room to read the letter.  

It was at that point something happened.  Eric and Leslie began painting a picture of a discipleship school that they wanted to start...  "the ranch" was the first name that it was given almost ten years ago.  Somehow while reading the letter, in those brief minutes, the Lord began to awaken a desire within us.  A desire for Colorado.  A longing to be a part of this "ranch".  After we read this letter we put it down and just looked at each other.  We started talking and in amazement the Lord was speaking to both of us about Colorado.  

We didn't know what it would look like at that moment.  But we knew that we wanted, needed to be a part of that dream.  Somehow, it was no longer just their dream but it became our dream.  

The following days, weeks and months would include talk of Colorado.  The Lord had filled us with vision for this school and we would often wonder what our role in it would be.  Would we really end up moving to Colorado?  When?  How?  

Monday, May 26, 2008

So Thankful

It is heart breaking to drive through the neighborhoods that were hit hardest from the tornado and so sobering to realize that it was so close - it wasn't in the next town over and it wasn't on the other side of town, it was BLOCKS away. We have so much to be thankful for!!

We've had a chance to drive around in those neighborhoods and while I did not feel comfortable taking pictures as they were going through all that was left of their personal possessions, you can see more pictures here.

As we were driving I was thankful that it was only their personal belongings that they are going through and not a search for loved ones. But, still I whisper a prayer for these neighbors, our neighbors, that they would find hope even in this.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Tornado!

I had checked the weather report on Thursday morning and we had a possibility of thunder storms in the late afternoon - no big deal - we were spending the afternoon doing chores and cleaning because we were having a baby shower at our house on Saturday.  

Then around 11:30 am it started raining.  It did not faze me one bit... since moving to Colorado I have learned that weather here can change quickly and frequently.  :)

But then it started to hail... 

We stood at the back window and watched.  Then we started seeing marble size hail fall. 

"Boys, let's go get Dad. He's got to see this!"

I grab the video camera and Brent comes up from working in the basement.  We stand watching out our slider as the marble size hale turns into golf ball size hale.  

Oh. my. goodness.  

So... we're standing there at the back door video taping the hail and wind when all of the sudden the wind starts picking up and nearly 80% of the fence is blowing over.  It is getting intense.  

Still having no idea that we were in the midst of a tornado we head down to the basement for safety.  With the strong winds we did not want to have anything blow into the windows and hit us...  we thought we'd be wise.  What we didn't realize is that we should have gone down there much sooner.   

We come up not three minutes later to find a broken window and our yard a complete disaster. After talking with neighbors and listening to the radio we discover that we had been in a tornado.  

A tornado that was categorized as an F3 with winds up to 150 MPH.


We saw miracle after miracle take place.  We serve an amazing and powerful God!  


Our backyard

Broken Window
2 blocks from our house
Again, about two blocks from our house

The following pictures were taken by a sweet girl from our church

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


If thou shalt say in thine heart, these nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?  Though shalt not be afraid of them, but shalt well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh and unto all Egypt.  Deuteronomy 7:17

Oh Father, what is that I'm saying to my heart?  What am I questioning?  What is it that I'm trying to do in my own strength?  

Forgive me Lord and help me, give me the grace to keep my eyes on all that you have done.

To Remember.

And to not be afraid.

For You are good.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Joys of a newborn

A precious friend is getting ready to have their first little one.  She's asked about what's really needed and it got me to thinking about my favorite newborn items.  

The first would be my moby wrap.  It was a lifesaver those first couple of weeks when she only wanted to be held.  It enabled us to get back into the routine of school and for chores to actually get accomplished.  Besides, who wants to put down there little one when they are so new?  The moby wrap enabled her to snuggle in close to mommy's beating heart.  :) 

Now that she's a couple of months old and sleeping in her bassinet at nap time we still use the moby wrap when she's awake and wanting to be held.  
I absolutely love having her that close to me! :)

My second favorite item would be this blanket.  It is a  swaddle designs receiving blanket and while it is the perfect size for swaddling your little one it is also the perfect nursing cover.  :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Praying for my beloved

  • Help him to understand his role as a man of God.  Give him strength to lead (Joshua 1:7) and a passion to manage his family (1 Timothy 3:4).
  • May his delight be in your Word, placing within him the desire to meditate on Your Word day and night (Psalm 1:2).
  • Prepare him to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all (Titus 3:2).
  • May he receive the mind of Christ and bring every thought captive under Your control (1 Corinthians 2:16)
  • Provide strong Godly relationships with other men and may they be as iron sharpens iron (Hebrews 10:24, Proverbs 27:17).
  • Teach him to love me as Christ has loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).
  • May our friendship grow as husband and wife (Song of Songs 5:16).
  • May we be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement (1 Corinthians 1:10).
  • Place within him the strong desire to teach and model a godly lifestyle for our children (1 Corinthians 11:1) .
  • May he be like a tree planted by the stream of water, which yields its fruit in season (Psalm 1:3).  

Praying for my girls

graphic from Allposters

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Papa and Nana with all the grandchildren

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fill Me

C.S. Lewis describes our Martha problem and solution this way:

It comes the very moment you wake up each morning.  All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals.  And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back, in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.  
From Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Father, I want your life to come flowing in.  I want you to fill me.  My hearts desire is that You would overflow from me.  

Monday, May 12, 2008

Children's Book Monday

The Pony Ride Business
Written by Dianne
Illustrated by Dolores
Uselman Johnson

"An inspiring story about responsibility and young entrepreneurs".

Brandon and his sister Lauren live on a farm and Brandon loves ponies. He desires to have his own pony, so he works with his family and figures out a way to earn the money needed to possibly get one. You watch them work and save money during the summer for Brandon's goal. Once they reach their goal they create their Pony Ride Business to earn money for the grain, hay and saddle. Brandon and Lauren get an extra surprise at the end of the summer. :)

The pictures are cute and it is fun seeing the family work together in finding "jobs" for Brandon to do. The brother and sister help each other and show love in their actions. Brandon and Lauren learn about working diligently and saving money.

My two boys love to think of different ways to earn money, trying to create different little companies, so they adored this book and it quickly got them thinking about what they could do. It was a wonderful book and helped to encourage that entrepreneurial spirit.

Go see
A Path Made Straight for other book recommendations!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

To Bring Life

As mothers the Lord has called us to be
gate-guarders.  But how do we bring life to our family when we are constantly guarding the gate?  What do we allow into the home?  How do we spend our time?  How do we know what our children's friends are like?  

To start, my goal for my children is that they would find their best friends within our family unit.  My sister and I were raised with parents who would not let us have play dates with our friends if we were not able to get along with one another and we are carrying that down into our family.  Yes, my children will always have friends outside the family but the Lord has placed us within a family unit for a reason.  There should be a different intimacy with one another then we have with our friends.  My prayer is that we would all be able to challenge, encourage and pray for each other as we all know each others strengths, faults and dreams.

So we take walks... ride bikes... play games... read... have a movie night... make pizza together... work in the yard together... and so goes the list.  

We enjoy life together.    

When they do want to play with their friends, our desire is to make our house a place where they can bring their friends - a place of activity, fun, encouragement and life.  When their friends are in our home we know what they are doing, what their attitudes are like and if the friendship is bringing harm or life.  I'm able to observe and I would not be able to do that if they were off in a neighbors backyard playing or in someone else's room.  

We also love having their friends families over for dinner thus providing good fellowship for everyone.

When we have another family over for dinner we are able to serve together as a family as we clean the house and get the meal ready.  I want my kiddos involved in each step of the preparing so that they know they have contributed to the evening.  I want them to be able to partake and to give life.  Then they learn to serve their friends and they learn to work together as a family in serving their friends.

I must guard the gate of my home yet we will have a home full of life.

graphic from

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Being A Gate-Guarder

Nancy Campbell wrote: In Bible times the gates of the city were more than an entrance way. They were the busiest place in the city. They were a hub of activity. It was here that the elders sat to rule and direct the affairs of the city. It was here the judges and officers judged the daily matters of the people. It was at the gates the soldiers stood sentinel to guard and protect the city. It was here the people gathered to hear the prophets proclaim the Word of the Lord. Just inside the gates the markets flourished.

But where were the women? They were not in the city gates. They stood sentinel at the gates of their home, watching and guarding against any intrusion of the enemy. They used their God-given authority as mothers to direct the affairs of their home. The men were the city gate-keepers but the women were the home gate-keepers. This is still God’s principle for us today. As mothers, we are to be gate-builders, gate-guarders, gate-protectors and gate-repairers.

One of my roles as a mother is to be a gate-guarder. I am to guard the gate of my home, my children's lives and my life. 

My children are not at a place of maturity to discern good and evil. They do not know yet what will harm their spirits.  So, for my children - what am I to guard... to watch... to be aware of... and to not let into our home?

I need to watch and be aware of who their friends are and how much time they are spending with their friends. Is there a friendship that is bringing more harm then good? Then it might need to be ended.
I need to be aware of what movies they are watching and not let quite a few into our home.
I need to guard what books they are reading and what websites they are going to. I need to know who or what is influencing them.

The same goes for my life... I need to be careful what movies I watch, what books I read and who my closest friends are. Do they have sound doctrine? Are they encouraging me and challenging me in my role as a wife and mother? What am I letting influence me?

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
For he that
biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 1:10,11

We've got to be careful with whom we let into our house, our lives and the lives of our children.

Thankfully, it doesn't end there. There is so much more...

There is a great post over at Biblical Womanhood today...  Go check it out!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Praying for my little girls

  • Open her heart to accept the message of the gospel (Acts 16:14)
  • May she become sensitive and responsive to you at an early age (1 Samuel 3:1-4)
  • Help her to honor us as her parents by listening and heeding our instructions (Proverbs 1:8)
  • Place an understanding within her about the importance of inner beauty.  May she strive for the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3-4)
  • Let our daughter be as a corner pillar fashioned as for a palace (Psalm 144:12)
  • May she work with her hands in delight (Proverbs 31:13)
  • Create in her a pure heart, letting that purity be shown in her actions (Psalm 51:10)
  • May she walk in your truth (3 John 1:4)
  • Mold her into a creative and confident woman who speaks with wisdom (Proverbs 31:24-26)
  • Place within her a vision, helping her to realize that like Esther she was created for such a time as this (Esther). 

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pizza Night

I found this recipe at Biblical Womanhood and absolutely love it.

It's quick, easy and tastes wonderful!

Pizza Crust:
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 Cup warm water (105 to 155 degrees F)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix.
Put on a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough (five minutes or so).
Roll out and place on a greased pizza pan. Add toppings.
Bake at 450 degrees F for around 15 minutes.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Do you want to laugh?

Last night as we were getting ready for some friends to come over the doorbell rings.  The boys usually run to the window to see who is at the door which is usually fine as it's Papa or Nana. 

Benjamin runs to the window and looks out.  Just a side note - yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day in Colorado and we had all the windows wide open.  So.... he says,

"It's a girl with a beard"

(the college student that was at our door had long hair)

Of course the window is ALL THE WAY OPEN and of course this young man HEARD him.  

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

Thankfully the young man was able to laugh about it.  

And it provided some good laughs when our friends were over later in the evening.