Life is all about change. When you trust an unchanging God - you have the ability to embrace change and trust Him in the midst of it. Join me as the Lord leads me through a new phase of my journey.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Musings ~ Resurrection Life

Wow - life has been so full and so good.  My days have been full caring for sweet baby Ezra.  He brings me such great joy - just like his Mom and Dad!

Chicago Public Schools had their spring break this past week, so Ezra got to spend the week with his Mom - 24/7.  Since they were having such a fantastic time, I took last week to begin work on a mural at Hamilton Elementary.  I thought I could complete it in four days, but it was a bigger project that I thought!  I had a blast, though, and I'll work to finish it up in the next few weeks.  It was nice to have all day to work.

I still have quite a ways to go - but it is getting there!  It was so much fun to paint.  Hamilton students vote for two 8th graders each year to receive the Patriot Award.  It is about character, service and leadership.  Their names will be on this mural. 

That leads me to Easter Weekend.  Our church put on an Easter egg hunt Saturday morning.  We had around 100 families participate - most of them from the community.  It went so well and was a lot of fun.  Friends of ours, Stacy and Cameron Hurd, along with their 10 month old daughter, Joanna, stayed the weekend with us.  It was fun to have a baby around!  We enjoyed catching up with them.  My neighbor, Courtney, went to Easter service with me and then she and her husband came along with Alan and I to our friend, Ray's, house for a get together.  It was great fun.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful church family here.

The scripture for today was out of Hebrews 1.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.

I love that passage. 


He is the radiance of God's glory.  

He is the exact representation of 
God's nature.  

He upholds all things by the 
word of His power.

I am grateful for this every day, but Easter calls our attention to our Overcoming Savior.  He beat death.  He took on all our sin and rose victorious. 

That same resurrection power is available to each one of us!  We do not have to live a defeated life.  We can tap into the power of the resurrection and live our days with purpose and direction.  Oh, friends, if you do not know Jesus - please check Him out!  It is the best decision I have ever made and it has dramatically changed my life.

He has risen.

He has risen, indeed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday Thoughts ~ Suit Up!

My small group is wrapping up for the semester.  We are discussing chapter 6 of Ephesians tonight.  What a joyful journey it has been to study this incredible letter of Paul.  I have studied it many times - and I learn something new and am challenged and encouraged in amazing ways every single time!  I gave out an assignment this week to think of a personal/modern day way to communicate the armor of God.  I thought it would be fun to share what I came up with this time around.  You might be able to tell that I am in Chicago!

Here is the scripture:

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

When I thought about how I could tell someone else about this with a picture that would make sense here in my city - I thought about being prepared for our very cold winter!

Girding your loins with truth (don't you love that phrase!)  became putting on that long underwear or leggings.  It is foundational.  On our coldest days, winter clothing alone is not enough.  You need that long underwear as a foundation under your clothes to truly stay warm.  God's truth is foundational to everything we are about.  We have the truth of the gospel as a solid foundation in our lives.

The breastplate of righteousness became those other warm clothes. It is about building layers of warmth.  Those individual lighter layers give much more warmth than one thick layer.  They protect from the cold.  That breastplate of righteousness protects our heart.  Those layers of the Righteousness of Christ protect my heart from the damage that the enemy would like to inflict.

Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace becomes my snow boots.  Good snow boots are essential here in Chicago.  You are going to have some very cold feet without them.  They also give you traction on the slippery sidewalks.  Understanding the gospel and being prepared to share our faith is truly the "feet" of our faith.  Knowing those things is great - but if we are not willing to put those shoes on and walk it out among our coworkers, neighbors, friends and family - it is of little use.  I think one of the qualities that stands out most when you meet a believer is peace.  The gospel brings peace because it reconciles us to God.  

The shield of faith becomes my Patagonia coat.  This coat is amazing.  In fact, it is so warm that I have to take it off immediately when I go inside or I will start sweating!  It is a long coat that comes below my knees.  To say it has been a life saver during this extremely cold winter would be an understatement!  Just as it shields me from the extreme temperatures and frostbite, that shield of faith is my weapon against the attacks of the enemy.  My faith is growing all the time as the Lord demonstrates His great love for me and His steadfastness.  I have learned that He is indeed trustworthy and with each experience, my faith is strengthened.

The helmet of salvation becomes my hood or hat.  I can tell you right now that if you only have your coat on and do not put anything on your head, you will be cold.  Body heat escapes through our head.  If you put up your hood or wear a hat, you keep that heat in your body and it helps to keep your core warm - not to mention your ears!  How essential this helmet of salvation is to our faith.  It protects or mind.  The knowledge of the reality of salvation in Jesus covers me and allows me to share that truth with others.  Just as Jesus is the head of the body, I am covered head to toe by His salvation, righteousness and truth.

The sword of the Spirit becomes my gloves.  Again, even if you have your coat on, if you don't have gloves on you will be cold!  Our fingers don't have great blood circulation anyway - so when they are exposed to extremely cold temperatures, it only takes minutes for them to actually hurt from the cold.  It is not a good feeling!  But, if you have a good pair of gloves, you can stay warm and your hands are equipped to function and work in the elements.  The sword of the Spirit - which is the Word of God is what equips us to live out our faith.  It is essential.  Knowing God's word supplies me with everything that I need to live out my faith and to share His Word with others.  God's Word is my weapon against the attacks of the enemy. God's Word brings life.  I want to be well trained and equipped to share it.

I am so grateful for a God who equips me for everything that comes my way.  He doesn't throw me out there without giving me everything that I need.  Of course, I have a choice when it comes to arming myself.  

I see plenty of people running around Chicago without the proper winter clothing.  Most of them have access to it - but just don't want to wear it.  Maybe it is a hassle or seems unnecessary, but I see them shivering and know that they made a reckless choice! 

I want to be intentional about arming myself each day with all that the Lord has so graciously provided me with and use it to His glory.

I'm going to choose to SUIT UP!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thankful Thursday ~ Random Thanksgiving

Right now, I am thankful for ~

grandbabies on the way

temperatures over 30 degrees

workouts with Marifran

fun days with Ezra

my neighbors

good friends near and far away

small group

God's Word




my sweet, hard working husband

big parking spots

phone calls with my daughters

my church


chocolate and peanut butter

coffee with lots of cream

warm blankets

baby clothes



Hamilton Elementary

big cities


crazy Chicago driving

lake Michigan

text messages

missionary friends


riding the EL (well, most of the time)

my neighborhood

Jesus - who gives me all of this and more.

What are you thankful for?