Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dinner Conversations

We have had some of the best conversations with our kids this past week. I think the biggest part of this is that I have decided to go back to making a two week menu and posting it on the fridge - the kids like going and looking at the menu and talking about what we will be eating that day and for dinner especially. So, we have had some excellent family time around this table this past week.

A few nights ago, the topic was about how old Jesus was and what was here before the Earth. We decided that Jesus is like infinity - no beginning and no end and that there was just darkness and void before Creation.

Tonight, Hannah was on the Bible topic again. She had been randomly reading parts of the old testament today and was just chatting about what she had read. She then turned to Joel and said, "Dad, who's your favorite Bible character besides Jesus and Joel of course?" We all chuckled and then proceeded to go around and say who our favorites were and why. Here were the conclusions:
Joel: Liked Joshua because he was faithful to God and his people regardless of the circumstances.
Malachi: Liked Obadiah because it was a cool name!
Hannah: Liked Rahab because even though she had led a life of sin and prostitution; she was still able to turn around her life and be obedient to God in a time that really mattered.
Ronnie: I like Esther and David equally. David because despite his failure and shortcomings he was STILL considered a man after God's own heart and Esther because she totally ROCKS having the courage to go before the King uninvited despite the way women were treated at the time.
Tyler: Liked Jesus because he made lots of food from fish and because Jesus loves him (I know, heartwarming!)
Kestra was actually exhausted and barely had enough energy to eat but I do know that she likes Esther because she is a Queen!

These are such PRECIOUS times with my kids and I love it! There are lots of "cute" things that kids do as preschoolers and early elementary ages but I really am blessed by these conversations that come up and revolve around the Bible as the kids get older. What a treasure to know that without Joel or I bringing these things up - our kids are thinking about them!

This raised a challenge for me: Do I randomly talk with my friends and family about the Bible? Sure we talk lots about daily life challenges and occurances but do we talk about SPIRITUAL insights on a day to day basis? I was challenged to just sit with my friends and family about things that REALLY matter!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An example of the widow's mite...

Kestra is my totally girly, totally sweetness, and totally random child. She can come up with things at the spur of the moment that make you go "Wow, where did that come from?" For example, one time Joel left the kids in the car while he ran into Walmart to grab something really quick. When he came back, he asked "Were you good?" without skipping a beat Kestra replied "Daddy, we were as good as ice cubes in the desert!" She is so random and so funny.

However, last night simply touched my heart to the core! I have had an emotional roller coaster of a week to be honest. It has been tough to be in a stressful situation, it has been heartbreaking to watch a dear friend suffer hurtful attacks, it has been physically draining in that I got shots on Tuesday for my trip to Africa and have had some mild side affect, my spiritual being has been torn and drained. So, last night I was sort of in that "I'm really drained all around" mentality.

Joel and I had come home from prayer meeting and had sent the kids to bed for the night. I was ready to just "veg" and watch a movie. Well, Tyler kept getting up for various nonsense reasons and we would send him back to bed. Then Kestra came out, totally unusual for her, and said "Mom, I need to give you something." I sighed thinking okay, another ploy to not go to bed here we go. She then proceeded to open her hand and hand me some change "This is for your trip to Africa, because I love you." Talk about PRECIOUS and wiping away a million stresses of the world! It was a simple small gift of $0.49 but to me it was the greatest gift EVER! I have been blessed with many gifts of money toward my trip - some large, some small but never one as precious or as heartmelting!

This brought to mind the story of the widow's mite. This small lowly widow gave ALL she had to the Lord for His service. Yes, it was a monetary gift and I think in some regards that was part of the point the Lord wanted us to see. However, there is a bigger picture, one of us literally giving EVERYTHING we have for the Lord's service - emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. As I pondered this, I realized the burdens and stresses that I am carrying right now are still so far from my ALL! To serve my Lord, I can stand beside a hundred heartbroken friends, I can handle a hundred shots (I pray I don't!), I can wait weeks for a return phone call in regards to my trip, I can be patient with those that I honestly don't like very much...if that is what it takes to give my EVERYTHING to worship and serve Him then Lord bring it!

May I learn from the heart of a 10 yr old girl, that gave her mom $0.49 for a trip to Africa, that the smallest thing I can do for a person is sometimes the thing that means the most to them and perhaps others! Now I am off to take a certain $0.49 to the church for my Africa fund!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Unity and Reconciliation

The word "unity" is a unique, small, and yet so powerful word! It stirs up so many emotions in us. For example, we want to have unity with our family - no strife, no stress, no fighting, etc. We desire unity in our marriage - often symbolized through a Unity Candle at a wedding ceremony. We long for unity in our friendships, at work, really in every relationship I think that we all desire or wish for unity.

The church (meaning the fellowship of believers not an individual church building) is no different. The ultimate goal is UNITY! Our family was blessed to witness and be a part of an amazing act of unity this past year and half as our church underwent a building project. There were many business meetings and decisions and through it all we witnessed 100% unity on almost everything! It was truly an amazing feeling and a sense of joy and amazement filled my heart.

August first, we had a dedication of the building that we had built. What a testimony! However, now that the it is built I desire for that same sense of unity among the family of God! Why? Because Romans 15: 5-7 says, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, SO that with one heart and one mouth you may Glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus."

God longs for the body to be unified in order that we may glorify HIM. However, we allow our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and all to overtake us and then before we know it - to use my Pastor's term - a wedge has been placed between this member and that member and then another and another until there is disharmony and strife among the family of God!
Okay so we know that none of us are perfect, we know that disagreements and arguments will arise, what are we to do? We are to get that hammer and dislodge that first wedge! We need to intervene before it is too late. We do this through prayer first and foremost, then we have the COURAGE to go to someone who we are upset with or who has hurt us and we attempt to work through it, if that doesn't resolve the issue or problem for whatever reason then we need to go to one in authority such as a pastor or leader.

Okay - so I know you are thinking "Um Ronnie, this is a good sermon and all but why are you blogging it?" This is why - because this is something that I have struggled and prayed through, cried over, sweated over, etc and have been hurt by and most recently have watched a dear friend suffer through. It is WRONG and it will tear up not only a person but a church quicker than anything I know of simply because we are too scared, too proud, too sensative, etc to go to someone and say "Hey, I have a problem can I talk with you so we can resolve it?" We as brothers and sisters in Christ cannot afford to allow wedges in the body. We need to get to work, dislodge them and become unified.

I can tell you from my personal experience as well as from witnessing my friend suffer through it - that it truly hurts when you do EVERYTHING in your power to reconcile with a believer and then they will simply not do anything about it. It eats you up physically, emotionally, and spiritually - you get to the point where you don't want to go to worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, you want to go into hiding and runaway from it all, you even may get to the point like I did where you say if this is what serving God brings I am not sure I like it. At this point, when you have done everything, then you need to go to that person in authority - ask for intervention - and allow them to take it! I witnessed this today and oh what a glorious feeling knowing that the burden wasn't mine alone any longer!

Failure to reconcile not only hurts the person you have the problem with, it hurts you, it hurts your family and friends, and most of all it hurts your walk with the Lord. Matthew 5:23-24 says, "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the alter and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the alter. First go and be reconciled with your brother and then come and offer your gift." You see, we aren't even supposed to come to the altar of worship until we are reconciled with one another. We need to be right with our brethren and then we can be right with the Lord.

Tonight, my heart is honestly at peace. Yes I am a "fixer" by nature. I want to fix any and every problem but I can't. I can't say that I know of a problem for sure that someone has with me but I do know of a broken and hurting friend who longs to be reconciled with another sister in the Lord. Tonight my prayer is that for BOTH of these ladies healing and reconciliation will take place. If I have hurt someone or done something against them - I pray that either they will come to me or the Lord will show me that I need to go to them.

Let's not allow wedges of disunity divide us. Instead, let's promote unity and acceptance in the body of Christ!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Decisions and Direction

I must be the first to say, I am not good at making decisions nor am I great on focusing in a certain direction when it comes to life or ministry. Seriously, I have so many grand ideas, or see potential for so many things but making the right choices or staying headed in a certain direction is a bit hard for me!

However, God is showing me more and more the need to streamline in certain areas of my life. I guess He is making me realize that despite my ambition to be "Super Mom/Wife/Ministry Asst" I cannot possibly juggle it all. I think someone once said something to the affect of "It's better to do a few things well, than to fail at many things" or maybe I just made that up but either way it is the point I am at. I want to do the "few" things God has called me to do WELL and not fail at many.

So, here I am at this point of needing some direction from the Lord in making the decisions on what to "give the axe" and what to stand firm in and do well. Wham! It hits me over the head like a beam! "Do what you are passionate about!" Duh!!! Primarily this is in terms of involvement in ministry and in the church but also in some other things as well. Of course, I can't just stop being a Wife and Mom and yes I am passionate about being the best in those areas as I can. However in ministry, it's different. I see a need, I know that I CAN do it, so many times I do - but it may or may not be where my passion is. For instance, I CAN work with preschoolers and children in our church but this is not where my heart lies. I CAN organize or help with church meals but this is definitely NOT where my heart is!

Where is my passion and my heart when it comes to ministry? With women and specifically women of preschoolers and young elementary age children. I get excited about the opportunity to reach out to them and minister to them on a one on one basis and as a group. I simply have a heart to meet ladies wherever they are in their journey as mom and come along side them and help them. As a result, this school year this is where I want to focus my direction and I have made the decision to back out of as much of the children's ministry stuff as I possibly can. I was able to resign from AWANA (tough leaving those cubbies) and am working on getting off the preschool children's church rotation although we are already shorthanded so I really need to find my replacement first! I rotate in the nursery during Sunday School with our pastor's wife and hope to find someone there too. You must understand though - saying no is not easy for me but I am hopeful that through the grace and direction of the Lord I can make these tough choices so that I can be more intentional about serving the women not only in our church but also in our community!

The other area of ministry that I am passionate about is High School girls! I love them, they are awesome and I just cherish each of them so much! I am determined that this year we are going to have some high school girl only activities and we are going to grow together! Can't wait to see how the Lord uses that!!!

Today I am just thankful for clarity and direction to make the RIGHT decisions even though they are the tough ones!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I must say that I have been SO blessed to call many people my friend. There are different types of friends and obviously some are closer than others but I am blessed. I want to tell you a special story though about a few of my friends.

Being in ministry, it is hard to have close true friendships in which you can allow yourself to be TOTALLY 100% transparent. I mean, yes you go and do fun things together and you may chat about work, kids, receipes, etc but you can't just lay it all out there. This has probably been one of the biggest challenges for me as a minister's wife. I am a social person - seriously! I can't stand to be home more than like half a day before I am bored, I love to be with people.

While in college, I developed an AMAZING friendship. Sharon and I are TOTALLY opposite and yet we are so incredibly close! Sharon is quiet, likes Winnie the Pooh, loves to sew and cook. Ha ha me? I like to talk, watch action movies and sewing is meant for the factories and I am fine to pay someone to cook. Yet, for whatever reason we connected and have an amazing friendship in which we can share anything and everything. Sharon was there when I lost my sister, she was there a year later when our sweet friend Anita was killed in a car accident, she was there in my wedding, there for my first baby and we were even in the hospital at the same time with my third and her first! I can go for MONTHS without talking to Sharon, pick up the phone and it is like I saw her yesterday. The really cool thing is that Sharon grew up in a minister's family and so she knows the ups and downs of she even can relate to that!

However, after graduating from college and moving on, Sharon and I were separated by distance and so although we still talk we can't get together near as much as we would like! As we went from church to church and one ministry to another throughout the past 15 years - I prayed for a friend that would be in the same town as me that I could TRULY relate to and be open with. Joel joined me in that prayer that it wouldn't just be a friend for ME but another couple that would be truly friends with us and that we would share interests with, life with, etc. So many times I almost gave in and said "never mind, guess it isn't that important". Yet - God is faithful! He hears the cry of His people and He answers!

When we moved to Bayfield Colorado, we were so blessed to be in a church that had younger families and couples. There are many that we are able to do things with and relate with. However - God had not forgotten my prayer for a couple that we could be open and close with. He answered! Dani and Tony entered our lives through church. I can't tell you that I specifically remember the day we met - I am sure it was one of our first Sundays here. However I CAN tell you when Dani and I connected and had a bond. It was at women's retreat when we were trying to sneak in a window of another ladies room and Dani said something about "this is an immaculate conception!" We looked at each other and laughed and laughed and laughed some more! Throughout the next several months our families came to know one another and a special friendship was built. As it turned out - Dani and Tony were BOTH preacher's kids and knew what life in the limelight of ministry was like so once again we could relate. Having another couple that is friends with you and can relate to you in ministry is so unique and so incredibly special. I am so blessed that not only did the Lord see fit to answer my prayer for a friend - He gave me someone who was married to a man who could be a friend to my husband.

Others have special places in my heart. For instance, my friend Misty from Wayland is like a solid rock and inspiration to me. She has 4 kids similar in ages to mine, she has a husband that is battling cancer, and she loves the Lord with all her heart! My friend Olivia here in Bayfield is like the calm and quiet that comes after the storm...she has such a tender heart and loves to serve others from the background. Of course, my Phi Chi sisters have been there too and that is a bond that can't be broken either! Several others come to mind as I turn the pages of my life - don't get offended if I didn't mention you by name because that isn't my point in this post. This is just a post to say how much friendship means to me!

All this to say - I am so thankful for the close friends I have been blessed with. For those that laugh, cry, and just sit with me. For those that hurt when I hurt and aren't afraid to point out my weaknesses or when I am wrong. For those that despite the curve balls life throws - are still there.

Just this past week, Satan challenged my friendship with Dani. It wasn't anything either her or I did but rather just some mean and hurtful things that were said to us and about us. I began to seriously feel guilty that I had made this special friend within the church - as though I didn't have the right to be closer to one person than another. However, I was reminded of this solid truth. Why would I question when God answered a prayer I had prayed for 15 years? Why would I feel guilty because the ONE who created me chose to love me enough to place a friend in my life? You see, the enemy doesn't want our happiness, he doesn't want us united with other believers - he wants us divided and angry and hurt. Thankfully, the Lord has blessed me with a David/Jonathan relationship and we were able to dodge the firey balls thrown from the enemy through prayer and acceptance of one another!

God knows our EVERY need. He created us to be relational, he created us to desire and long for close friendships and because He created us, He will bless us and meet our needs. Thanks Jesus!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Challenging Request from the Father....

As I began to pray about how to truly prepare for my trip to Zim (shortened version of Zimbabwe), the Lord laid several things on my heart. To begin with, having been in ministry I know the importance of spiritually preparing yourself for intense times of ministry such as a retreat, a missions trip, a concert, etc. I knew that I would need to get my heart and mind completely and totally focused 100% on Christ and this trip. Next I knew that emotionally I would need to prepare myself for seperation anxiety, heartbreak, etc. Finally, I knew that physically I would need to be in the best possible condition that I could be in.

The question came as to how could I best prepare for this? I thought of going away for a time like the Jesus did when he spent 40 days in the wilderness but I realized that probably wasn't the best idea or realistic. I considered just reading a book of the Bible through but somehow didn't seem quite right. I prayed about going on daily "prayer walks" around the lake near our home - not a bad option but just didn't seem to be what the Lord was calling me to do.

Finally, it hit me, I needed to fast. Christ led by example in fasting and it is mentioned several times in the Word that we are to fast. However, I felt led that whatever I did I needed to do it for the month leading up to my trip meaning that I would begin on Aug 12. Fasting from food didn't really seem like the wisest thing to do physically so I just asked the Lord to lead me and to show me what I needed to do.

The answer was simple: eat your normal meals but drink only water for the 30 days before you leave. WHAT?!!! Are you kidding me God? Can't I just give up like candy bars or ice cream or something like that? If you know me, you know that I am hooked on Coke/Dr. Pepper like most people are hooked on coffee! Okay - the day doesn't go good without that little boost of caffine! Yet - the more I prayed the stronger I felt that this was the way to go - I needed to drink only water for the month before the trip.

I share this with you not to brag or say look at me but rather to tell you that I know it will be a struggle and I would ask you to pray with me in this regard. I am confident that through this fast, the Lord will use it as a time for me to prepare spiritually, physically, and emotionally and even mentally for the trip. Tomorrow is Aug 12 and I will begin this prayer is to be committed and follow through for the 30 days unless released by the Lord to do otherwise.

Acts 13:2 Says:"While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart Barnabus and Saul for the work to which I have called.'" You see, it was through their time of fasting that God gave specific instructions to the leaders of the church. There are many times that I want to hear God and yet I don't and I think it is because I need to be more intentional about my worship and my fasting.

I like to challenge those I share with at times, so today's challenge is: What is God challenging YOU to do in order to prepare for service for Him?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Africa...are you for real?

As many of you may know, I will be headed to Zimbabwe Africa in just over a month. Although the trip itself is interesting and obviously will be something I blog about when I return, I want to share with you how the Lord has brought me to this point of even going.

The journey of the trip really begins many years ago in a church in Pagosa Springs Colorado with a much younger me. Growing up in church, we hear and learn about all sorts of missionaries - through Sunday School, Girls in Action, AWANA, sermons, mission offerings, etc. I was no different - I probably could have told you by the age of 5 what a missionary was and maybe could have even named a country or two where I knew there were missionaries.

However - knowing ABOUT missionaries and missions is MUCH different than actually knowing a missionary personally. About the time I was 12 years old, a family from our church was called to be missionaries to a place called Kenya Africa. You must understand that our church was small and everyone knew everyone else VERY well. My family was close friends with the family of Bay and Peg Forrest who were going to Africa. I remember all to well MANY fundraisers for them (I still have a cookbook which was one of the fundraisers!) I remember hearing their story about being called and I remember Bay coming by our house the morning they were leaving to pick up some last minute supplies. This is when mission work and missionaries became a reality for me. Now, not only did I know about missionaries I KNEW missionaries! Bay and Peg and their three kids were real live people that I could identify with.

Knowing the Forrest family and hearing about their time as missionaries in Kenya provided me with a lot of knowledge and information about not only the life of a missionary but also about Africa. I will not say that I had a specific call to go to the continent of Africa in particular, but I knew that someday I wanted to be a part in missions and perhaps one day go on a missions trip somewhere overseas. However, it wouldn't be until the age of 17 that I would completely and totally commit myself to serving the Lord no matter where He called - that is another story but just noteworthy here.

After meeting and marrying my amazing husband (he paid me to say that!) and entering the life of ministry God revealed and opened up to me a whole new realm of missions that has ultimately changed my life forever. In the spring of 1997, God ordained it to where my path would once again cross with Bay and Peg Forrest. By this time, they had returned from Africa back to Pagosa and were Directors of a youth ministry called the Power House. Joel and I were in Idalou Texas where he was going to school at Wayland Baptist University and was youth pastor at FBC Idalou. We were expecting our first child and life was really pretty good for us. One night, in a phone conversation with my mom she asked me to be praying for Bay and Peg and the Power House because they were in desperate need of a Jr. High Director at the Power House. Let me emphasize - there was NO mention of US taking the position. It truly was a prayer request - however once I passed it on to Joel things changed. The Holy Spirit would not allow Joel to let go of the possibility of us going to be on staff at the Power House. There are lots of things that took place but suffice it to say, by July 1997 we were moving with our new baby girl to Pagosa. The Power House was under Focus Ministries which was a support based ministry and yes, you guessed it, we had to RAISE our support - just like overseas missionaries. It was about 3 or 4 months into it when it really hit me - I WAS A MISSIONARY! No, not somewhere far off and exotic like Africa or China or India but right in my hometown of Pagosa Springs Colorado. There is nothing liking raising support for your family that can teach you about faith and miracles!

Well, obviously we aren't at the Power House any more, ironically neither are Bay and Peg although they are still Focus Ministries and they do raise their support, but our relationship with them is still strong and they truly are our mentors in every aspect of our life from marriage, parenting, ministry, etc. All this brings me to the point of telling you, that although not specifically called to be a missionary in Africa (although we are always open to where God leads) Africa holds a special place in our hearts due to our connection with Bay and Peg.

Back to the mission trip though - remember I said that I knew SOMEDAY I would go on a missions trip? Well, I have had that opportunity to go on many missions trips within the US and also one to Juarez Mexico. However - God has never opened the door to go overseas until now. A little over a year ago, a trip to Zimbabwe was in the making and was mentioned to our church. Immediately I thought "I want to go!" However, at the time the only other person going from our church was our Pastor and I just didn't see that being a reality. Yet, it did not leave my mind that perhaps I COULD go soon!

Fast forward to April 2010 and a dinner with our VERY close friends Dani and Tony Vaughn. Dani had mentioned previous to the dinner that she and one of our youth were going to Zimbabwe in Sept. While at dinner, in a totally joking manner, I told Joel "Hey, I am going to let you take the kids and I am going to Zim with Dani and Tab!" We all laughed and went on with dinner. On the way home, not joking, Joel said something to the effect that he thought I should go. I told him it was a JOKE and he said "No, really you should go." So, I prayed about it that night, called Dani the next day I think and told her I wanted to go. Just when you think you have it all figured out - God has to throw a curve ball! I remember laying in bed one night and praying to God about the trip. I wanted to make sure that it wasn't just some whim decision or some "fun" idea that I had and I remember God saying "Go to Africa" and I made this comittment to go - "God, I will go to Africa EVEN if Dani doesn't go or Tab can't go as long as there is a way to go." Careful what you commit to - the next day I meet with Dani at the park and she tells me that she isn't sure she is going to go. After a month or so, she tells me that no she isn't going but she will help us prepare - God knew what we didn't and that was that she would be pregnant with their fourth child at the time of the trip. So - here I am, going to Africa with Tab (one of our youth) and a team of about 9 others from the state of Colorado.

I am excited and yet VERY nervous about the trip. The preparation hasn't been smooth, it has been very different being on the side of just a member on the team versus the planner, I don't know any of the other adults that well, I have to leave my 4 kids for 15 days, and most of all my best friend and partner in ministry (Joel) is not going with me. However - despite all this - God continues to assure me and encourage me that this is HIS will and He has something in store for me!

So, why Africa? Simply because God said, "Go". I asked MANY people their thoughts and opinions about whether or not I should go and I received a 100% yes (I think I was secretly hoping SOMEONE would have a red flag).

Please pray for me as I am now one month away from flying out on Sept 12. Pray for peace about leaving my husband and kids, pray for my physical health - this is HUGE to me, pray for my spiritual health, and pray for the people of Zimbabwe Africa that I will be meeting and sharing the Gospel with. I have taken all the "precautions" that have been recommended to ensure a healthy trip but even with those there is a risk of getting sick - I believe that God is in the business of protection and I believe that through the prayers of His people - I can and will remain 100% healthy before, during, and after the trip.

Tomorrow will be another post about an challengin calling God has placed on my heart....

Friday, August 6, 2010

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Resurrecting the blog

So, I must admit that journaling has always been a struggle for me! I know that I should do it, I see the value in it and yet I still struggle with it. I think it is mainly because at times my mind just goes too many directions to stay focused! I sit down to write or type and then the phone rings, the kids call, dishes need done, laundry is calling, etc. You get the idea.

However - the past week or so the Lord has kept urging me to just write down my thoughts and my feelings SOMEWHERE! So, since I seem to enjoy the computer the most I have decided to get better about my blog!

One thing I think that has prompted this is simply that I have blinked and life has passed! Seriously! In two weeks, school will be starting again and this is a mile-stone year in a lot of ways. We will have TWO of our four kids in Jr. High! Holy Cow - weren't they just babies crawling around the gym at the Power House? Weren't they the ones I rocked to sleep? Now one of them is 13 and 5'6" tall and the other is 12 and learning how to use a combination lock for his gym locker! Don't get me wrong - I do enjoy the independance that being older brings, it's just that it is hard to swallow the idea that they are growing up!

In addition to that, Kestra and Tyler are changing more and more too! I mean, if the other two have to grow up okay but seriously, do my "babies" have to grow up? Kestra just came in the room and asked me to straighten her hair the first day of school! What happened to pony tails and bows....sniff sniff. Tyler isn't any better as he literally cooked half of dinner tonight with me!

As all four of the kids grow up - I have this incredible sense of urgency. It's as though I realize that truly the time is short for me to instill in them values and morals that are godly and pure. I know some of you are thinking - hello? Your husband is a youth pastor of course they are grounded spiritually. However, I can't help but question if I REALLY do enough. This week, there was this major discussion on my Facebook page, yes I admit I am a FB junkie, about homosexuality. I was amazed to discover that young people who I know are Christians really wonder if homosexuality is a sin. It made me question - am I raising my kids to take a STRONG stand for righteousness or am I allowing them to learn to be 'tolerant' of those who are different. This is just one example of things that I hope I am teaching them. I did ask Hannah her thoughts on the Facebook discussion - she said that she admits and knows homosexuality is wrong but it's complicated. She is pondering and reading the Word though and I know it will speak truth to her.

The other thing that I am really struggling with right now is that I don't have a close friend who is in this same stage of life that I am in. Please don't get me wrong, I have some AMAZING friends in my life and very close ones both here in Bayfield and other places. My struggle is that they either have young preschool kids (Lord bless them!) or they have already raised their kids and want to pass on what worked (which I TRULY do appreciate) but there are days that I just want to talk to another mom of a teenager and say "don't you get sick of them sighing and rolling their eyes!" or to have be able to talk about what it will be like next year with one in HS. I know that there are these people out there and one of the things I have set as a personal goal this year is to seek them and take the time to get to know them! Don't we all just get too too busy we forget about relationships? Anyway, don't mistake me, I LOVE where we live the people we serve with and all of it but when you are past the diapers, potty training, kindergarten, etc it's nice to know that you aren't alone! I DO love my preschool mom friends dearly and I know what it is like to be there - remember I had 4 under the age of 4 in my house!

Okay - well there is something else on my mind but I am not sure I am ready to type about that yet. Perhaps it is better left for an actual journal or another day because I am still processing it in my head. So for now, this will suffice as my journaling!