Wednesday, September 29, 2010

True Woman 2010

So last weekend I was blessed to be able to go to a conference in Indianapolis called True Woman.  It's put on by the Revive Our Hearts ministry - which is run by Nancy Leigh Demoss (who happens to have written my favorite book, Lies Women Believe and the truth that sets them free).  So there's all the credentials.  Oh yeah, and I'll throw in there that Marie Nesbitt and Laura Dewhurst were both promised to go - so how could I lose?

We met at Cornerstone on Thursday morning.  9 women of all ages and back grounds, 2 huge vehicles (one of which I drove almost the whole way), and 3 days ahead of us.  The ride there and back was one of the high lights.  We talked the ENTIRE way, both ways.  We talked about scripture, families, raising kids, movies, jokes, all kinds of things!  I had forgotten how fun and encouraging and life giving a good road trip can be.  Once in Indianapolis, we checked into the Hyatt and headed to the conference along with 6000 (yes, six thousand) other women.  Through out the weekend I figured I had heard over 15 speakers.  They spoke on a wide range of topics including, but not limited to, prayer, motherhood, suffering, marriage, the gospel, hospitality, emotions, and submission.  It was a little like drinking from a fire hose. I took notes as fast as I could and am still today trying to talk through and process all that I learned.  God used this weekend to work on a few walls I had built in my heart, and is also using it to shape my ministry with high school girls.  I wish I could share it all, but I'm sure it will seep out slowly as I begin to put things into place my life.  So, here's the best I can do - a few highlights:

- Crawford Lorttis: "Worldiness is the celebration of SELF.  It's all about MY longings, My cravings"

- Nancy Leigh Demoss: "Your life either proves or disproves your faith"

- Joni Earkison Tada: "God uses our lives to teach something about God to EVERYONE - including angles and demons.  The spirit world is watching us and learning about God's glory every second."
"Your suffering prepares you to meet and relate to Jesus"

- On marriage: Be intentional to grow together.  Remember to ask yourself "what does Jesus think of my husband?"  Pay a babysitter if that's what it takes to get out together.  Remember the things you did at first and do them again. Enjoy conversation that isn't about kids or ministry.

- On family: Say no if you need to.  Someone else can _________, but no one else in the world is called by God to raise MY family. Enjoy the season you're in and take in everything God has given you to learn in this season.

That's a wrap.  For now.
PS Thanks to Travis for being wonderful enough to fork out the  chaching for me to pay for this trip AND for taking care of Savannah for 3 days alone.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I felt it was probably time for another update on our wonderful little "YaYa" as she calls herself.  :)
So here ya go.  Savannah:
-Is 2 years and 4 months old.  For those of you that are like me and don't like doing the math,  that's 28 months. 
-Is super super busy.  The other day Travis picked her up from the nursery at church and the workers there old him "Uh, she's really active. Really active." -He said that they looked like they were pretty worn out and were trying to tell him that it was from her.  And that was after she had already been in the nursery for 2 hours prior to their shift (long morning at church!).  She just runs everywhere.  Always talking, always moving, always playing.  

- Unless she's watching a movie.  It's a new favorite past time of hers.  She LOVES zoning out on Cinderella these days.  Or whatever we put in.  But she always requests Cinderella. 

- Savannah's diet these days is mostly peanut butter toast/sandwiches, cheerios, pineapple,  cheese, pepperoni, spaghetti, and if I'm lucky, broccoli. She's just not that into eating.  Oh, and Granola bars.  She's obsessed with them, even though I hardly give them to her when she asks. 

- Something else fun is all the new lingo she's using.  She's a chatter mouth! I can't believe how fast she has picked up words and can make long sentences.  My favorite lately is how she's started asking me "Who dat mommy?" or "Where going mommy?" or "What doing?".  It's awesome that she has figured out how to ask about the world around her. 
- Savannah can count to 10!  I dont know that she's really counting, as much as repeating 1 - 10 but it's pretty smart I think.  She can also remember some of the ABC song.  
- We started praying (talking to God) with Savannah out loud at nap time, dinner time, and bed time about 6 months ago - and sometimes we lead her in a prayer where she repeats what we say.  She's pretty good to clothes her eyes at least and pray with us.  The other night Travis asked her "Savannah, who do you talk to when you pray?" and she replied "Yaya talk to Papa! (my dad)"  So she might be a little confused on what's happening there.   

- She has become one of the bigger kids on the play ground when we go out in the mornings.  She can now swing on her own in the regular swing, climb up the slide, climb up most ladders, and jump off of really high things that she shouldn't be jumping off of.  Other parents often feel the need to catch or try to help her.  :)  I just sit back most of the time. 

- We love her.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Got Joy?

Travis and I have been doing a lot of talking, thinking, praying and seeking on the topic of joy lately.  We have been so fortunate that God has blessed us with hearts that are easily taken to joy - but that's not so for some of those around us.  It seems like so many people these days are given to some kind of depression or sadness.  So much of the time they don't even know exactly why.  So this is just one of what will probably be a few to come, blogs on what we're learning about God's desire for our joy.  

I've spent the last 3 days listening to Mark Driscoll's recent sermon about joy.  He hits a lot of good points about where our joy should come from.  Then he lays down this top 10 list of ways to get joy from the Holy Spirit.  Here's the link to his talk (it's an hour long, so make some time!) and the top 10.  EnJOY!

Jesus Rejoices in the Holy Spirit

1. Spend time in the scripture.  It is a major way that the Holy Spirit fills you. 
2. Repent of sin.  Sin gets in the way of the Holy Spirit and our joy. 
3. Serve using your spiritual gifts.  You might think what you need to be happy is people serving you, but really what you need is for you to serve people.  What has the Holy Spirit given you to do?
4. Forgive those who have hurt you and pray for your enemies. Bitterness gets in the way of the Holy Spirit, and our joy. 
5. Enjoy what you have and give generously.  God loves a joyful giver.  
6. Check your health. Need more sleep?  Too busy to rest? Too busy for God? Sick?
7. Realize that joy is just ONE emotion that God has given us.  Grab it when it comes!
8. Rejoice in the joy of others.  Someone else gets something good - be happy!
9. Respond physically, trusting that the emotions will catch up.  You don't feel like singing, sing anyway!
10. Plan fun!  Make opportunities to have a good time. Invite the Holy Spirit to come along and make fun.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the zoo zoo zoo

Last weekend we took Jasey to the Omaha Zoo for her birthday.  We wanted to give her the best gift we could think of and what could be better than an adventure with us?

Jasey spent the night with us Friday night so that we could leave really early Saturday.  So I saw what she was wearing that day before I got dressed.  Then I thought I'd be funny and go upstairs and put on the same outfit.  It was pretty funny.... until Travis went and put on the same outfit.  Then the two of them decided that they WANTED us to all wear matching clothes.  I didn't want to, but I went with it.  Oh my the turn tables.....
My camera broke right before we went, so I had to use my old camera which doesn't take the greatest pictures, so here's just a few that turned out okay. 

Jasey pretending to be an elephant.

Savannah found this bird that would peck at her through the fence. I probably shouldn't have let her play with it but it was super fun!

It seems like Savannah said something funny here.  I don't know what it was, but must have been good.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Our camera broke over the weekend and I haven't put any new pictures up of Sav in a while so I thought Travis would appreciate this usage of the PhotoBooth program on our mac.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The worst thing I have ever done.

Preach the Gospel to yourself e everyday.
I've heard that so many times.  I've heard it from books, from sermons, and from friends.  I think I've even attempted to do it a time or two.  Problem was, I didn't really know what I was doing.  So lately, God has been teaching me about what the Gospel looks like in my life daily.

Last night at small group I asked my girls "What is the worst thing you have ever done? " I was a little apprehensive to ask them.  I asked myself that question a few weeks ago and I actually had to work at letting myself remember.  Funny how we work so hard to forget those things, but they're always there.  When I let myself remember fully the worst thing I have ever done, I felt like only then was I able to start understanding the Gospel.  The worst thing I have ever done is only a glimpse of the evil I am capable of.  The worst thing I have ever done is likely only a window into the kind of things I would be doing today if Jesus had not stepped in and saved my life.  The worst thing I have ever done describes the kind of person I am when I am alone, and with out God.

 Psalm 36 says this of the wicked man:
There is no fear of God in him, he loves himself, he cannot see his own sin - let alone hate it, the words of his mouth are lies, he doesn't do good, he plots and plans out wrong things to do, and he pushes away the good things he should do.

This is what each and every person looks like when they stand on their own.  When they refuse to listen to God's voice.  When they wonder out from under God's perfect authority. With out Jesus, I am only as good as the worst thing I have ever done.  Ask yourself, What is the worst thing you've ever done - and meditate on that for a while.  You will be in your proper place before the God of Grace when you let yourself sit there.

Maybe tomorrow I'll write about how to access that grace :)

(And no, I do not plan on actually stating the worst thing I ever done on my blog - trust me, it's bad.  You don't want to know)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This is where I belong....

Yes.  Roller Derby.  
Last night Travis and I watched the movie Whip It (on recommendation from Jasey and Hayley - Thanks Girls!).  It was super good.  It's directed by Drew Barrymore and stars Ellen Page (the girl from Juno).  It's the story of an artsy high school girl in a small town outside of Austin, TX who "finds herself" in secretly joining the Roller Derby.  Of course there's all kinds of drama with boys and friends and parents, and it's pretty funny too.  Jimmy Fallen and Kristen Wiig (from SNL) are in it too.  Definitely worth watching. 

But here's the catch - I've been thinking about Roller Derby all day.  I've been complaining for years about how I'm not really great at anything - like I don't have my "thing" that I'm good at.  In the movie one of the characters (played by Juliette Lewis) explains how SHE wasn't good at anything either until she found Roller Derby, when she was 31!  It's not too late!  Plus, I'm actually pretty good at roller blading (I could remember how to skate on 4 wheels pretty fast), and I already have the tattooed image required for killing it on the "flat track".  Travis is claiming that I'm not tough enough to play, but I bed to differ.  I mean, just because I'm not aggressive in regular life doesn't mean that I couldn't step it up in the rink.  Come on - I can get CRAZY!  I checked into it tonight and it turns out that there actually is a Roller Derby in Des Moines.  They have open practices and if you attend %60 of the practices, then you can try out for the team.   They are even recruiting right now!  If you can't tell by all the exclaimation points, I'm really excited about this.  Unfortunately for me, we are all booked up.  I don't have time to go to practices in Des Moines all the time.  However, if Roller Derby ever comes to Ames, and if I happen to be more freed up at that point... I'm SOOOO in!  

PS - The girls in Roller Derby all get awesome names... just another perk!  Go here to find one for yourself!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


When I was in high school I had stickers all over the inside of my car. My friend Joe Sines took some letter stickers and spelled his name, wrong, inside one of the doors. He went to a different school so every person who got in asked me "Who is Joe Sineses"? Here's his latest...

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