Another quote to add to your pieces of brave....

I use this quote when I am building up courage to take a risk. Jumping off an edge is easier knowing that even if you crash, it is worth it. In this life, falling is inevitable, so we might as well learn how to tumble gracefully. 


"Hi, may I speak to someone in the customer service department? I would like to trade my circumstances in for a new set".

"Hi, may I speak to someone in the customer service department? I would like to trade my circumstances in for a new set.  The ones I have are not a good fit. What other packages do you offer?  I am looking for a bundle that includes:

a great job
a nice house
healthy kids
good friends, that live close by
a good marriage
great church
and a good school

Oh, I can't have all that? Okay...... well, I would be willing to trade a great job for a good one if it's stable. I will take an okay house if it has great neighbors, but a good marriage, health and a good church home are non-negotiable.

Oh.. yes, currently, I have the Quality Family Time package. Yes, it has delivered lots of precious family time, but I didn't realize it came with un-employment, an un-certian future, squeezing into my parents house, moving away from friends, and homeschooling.

Yes, I am sure I would like to trade these circumstances in for different ones.  How long will it take before I receive my new set?". . .    

     Do you ever wish you could just call up heaven, speak to the customer service angel and order up the exact set of circumstances you want? There are many days I wish I could. I've spent a lot of time curled up on the couch, wrapped in my snuggy blanket of self pity, pouting. I enjoy it too. It feels much better than handling my present issues.

     Thankfully, God is in control and He has a plan. I don't have to be afraid, because He knows exactly what He is doing. Actually, it is my rotten set of circumstances that keeps me close to Him. He is using them to mold and make me into the woman He wants me to be. Even though it is painful, ultimately, being mashed and pounded around by my trials will make me into a useful jar of clay.

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7

     After all, who am I to question God? He is the creator, I am the created. He is the shepherd, I am the sheep, He is the potter, I am the clay.

20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "[h] 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Romans 9:20

     So, today, instead of pouting, I am going to do my best to be thankful for my circumstances. I will bravely get off the couch, drop my blankey, and walk hand in hand with my maker, right through the middle of my chaos.

Lord, forgive me for feeling sorry for myself. I know better. I know you have a plan and I can trust you. I also know that you, the potter have a better plan that I could ever think up on my own. Please give me the strength to live it out even though it's hard. Lord please distract me from the pain by keeping my heart occupied with gladness. Thank you Lord, for loving me. Thank you for using my messes for good. Thank you for making it all have a purpose. I love you. Amen



"I hope you last a long time Daddy"...Kaylee age 5


Happy Birthday Dan!

I can’t have a blog about being brave without honoring the bravest person I know,
My husband Dan

Dan’s life puts flesh and bones around the definition of Bravery. He is my living breathing example of living a life without fear.

Years ago, Dan surrendered his life to God. He told God he just wanted to serve Him, and he would do it whatever the cost. Any of you that know Dan, know that he meant it. Whatever Dan does, he does all out, full force. Now, Dan has a novel’s worth of stories about the amazing things God has done in his life, each one, the result of Dan being brave.

When he proposed to me, he promised me a life of love, security, and adventure. Only my Dan would put security and adventure in the same sentence. He has delivered on that promise and now I have 14 years worth of amazing stories too.

Dan’s risk taking ways are infectious. He rubs off on every life he touches. Dan and I are overwhelmed when we look at the lives of the people Dan has gotten to minister too and with. Again, the stories are countless about these precious people taking a lot of risk, mixed with a little faith, and turning it into sold out, purpose driven lives.

Dan insists on bravery from our kids. I am incredibly thankful he has taught them to live without fear. (Even if it’s caused some very uncomfortable social situations, and a few narrowly avoided heart attacks).

Some of my favorite brave acts Dan has done are;

• Follow hard after Christ

• Accept the call to ministry

• Sky Dive

• Live single for 34 years

• Conquer lots of raging rivers armed with a raft, an ore, and brute strength

• Marry me

• Stand up for what he believes in

• Gamble in a poverty stricken, gang run country

• Tell the truth… always… (even if it means admitting that my butt does look big in these jeans)

• Give up everything for God. All of it, money, reputation, safety, comfort, friends, you name it.

• Invest in “real” “deep” long-term relationships. The kind you get hurt from.

• Drive 30 hours with 1 wife, 4 kids, 2 cats, and 1 mouse

• Walk away from a job and into unemployment, during a bad economy because morally it was the right thing to do.

• Work with teens for over 27 years!

• Confront those who need to be confronted

• Love those who need to be loved

• Have 4 kids in 5 years

• Start over from scratch…. Repeatedly

• Put his neck on the line just to give someone a second chance

• “Hook up” people which led to tons of marriages! Whoo hoo!

• Pave the way for youth ministry and missions in many churches

I could go on and on….. Instead I want to invite you to help me celebrate Dan’s Birthday by leaving a comment for him. If you have a story about something brave or risky, funny or serious, that you got to experience with him, or that you are thankful for, I would love to hear it.

Thank you Dan, for being you. Thank you for being a strong tree of support, protection, and provision. Thank you for teaching me to be brave.

Blessed is the man who trusts the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes’ but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit

Jeremiah 17:7-8


Rules Worth Singing About

My smoke’n hot aerobics instructor once told me, she would trade her body and the grueling work she had invested in it, just for a nice voice. I have to say I would do the same except, I am missing a hard body to use as collateral.

Technically, my voice is okay. My problem lies in the area of pitch. Thanks to my husband’s gift of honesty, I am aware I have a tone deficiency. My mind knows songs require specific notes, but my vocal chords prefer to choose their own.

My grandmother tried to help, by funding voice lessons during my high school years. To her dismay, my one and only concert was terrifying for me and the audience. Consequently, I decided to implement a set of rules regarding acceptable singing practices. I adhere to these rules religiously, they have served me well.

1. Never, under any circumstances, sing without back up music unless you are alone.

2. Happy Birthday completely is off limits. Mouth the words instead.

3. If you must sing in the presence of other people, do so quietly.

4. On the rare and wonderful occasion a band is blaring, you are standing next to family, and no one is in directly in front of you, you may sing loudly.(ex: an actual concert or the youth group worship service)

5. Under all costs, avoid risky conversations about favorite songs that could require a rendition of the song in order to jog the other person’s memory. (They wouldn’t be able to identify it anyway)

6. Only lullabies, Sunday school and silly kids songs, sung to children under the age of 10 are acceptable.

A few Sundays back, God decided I needed to fine tune my thoughts on the whole singing matter. Worship service had just started. Following the worship teams lead, I opened my mouth to sing, when I heard a woman’s voice screech the words “Holy, Holy, Holy”. I almost choked on my gum. It was obvious this wounded crow was unaware of “the rules”. Once I regained my composer, I felt sorry for her. She was embarrassing herself and making me uncomfortable. "Merciful and Mighty" bellowed over my shoulder causing me too long for a purse size BB gun, so I could put her out of her misery. Then, during “All the Saints Adore the” God had a talk with my heart. He let me know, if there were actually singing rules, I was the one breaking them. The precious soul behind me sounded like a lark to Him. He was beaming at her decision to praise Him full force, despite what people might think. I softened and pictured Susann Boyle singing her heart out in front of the entire world. Suddenly, the bold voice coming from behind sounded like a lark to me too. I want to be a lark.

I have a new hobby. I thoroughly enjoy shocking unsuspecting church go-ers with my squawks of praise, despite the red faces of my family.

 Worship the LORD with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs

Psalm 100:2

Lord, forgive me for being full of pride. I was so worried about what others thought, I didn’t give you the praise you deserve. Thank you for placing a beautiful lark behind me, teaching me what true worship is. In Jesus name, Amen