Sunday, December 30, 2007


The house is so empty.
We begin the end of November, bringing Jesus out. Inviting Him to be a part of everyday. Inviting Him, and His life to be the center of our attention. The tree, lights, Christmas dishes, ornaments, stockings... are really dressed up balloons, crepe paper, and banners representing Jesus' birthday, representing that He is "Emmanuel God with us."
My life is affected by the fullness of His presence. I cannot ignore the fullness of His presence.
But now all the birthday decorations are tucked away in the attic, and the house feels empty.
I feel empty.
My life is affected by the emptiness. I cannot ignore the emptiness. I am faced with a decision. To let Jesus be present all year, or to tuck him away in the attic, miss Him for a while, but eventually get use to the emptiness. Getting use to the business, and over committing I do to ignore that emptiness. When all I need, and really want, all year, everyday, every moment is "Emmanuel God with us" with me.

Awaken what's inside of me
Tune my heart to all you are to me
And even though Your here
God come
May the vision of You be the death of me
And even though you've given everything
Jesus Come
words by Shane & Shane

Thursday, December 20, 2007


For the last 4yrs our family has done a Free Hot Chocolate stand. We do this at Christmas time at one of the local shopping centers. First, we set up a table, complete with hot chocolate (enough to serve 160), marshmallows, whipped topping, and candy canes. Then we go to work yelling, "Free Hot Chocolate!" to passers by. Many people stop asking, "what's the catch?" We reply, "no catch, it's just free hot chocolate, and Merry Christmas." Some try to give us money, but we refuse, kindly saying, " it's a gift, and it wouldn't be a gift if you paid for it." Others pass by multiple times refusing. Our favorites are the ones who stop and take their hot chocolate with the works (marshmallows, whipped topping, and a candy cane). We're especially thrilled when folks come back for seconds!
This has become one of the highlights of the Christmas season for our family. We enjoy this time together as a family, blessing our community. It is an opportunity to give a free gift, just as one was given to us that first Christmas. We see and meet people in our community, and pray that they will take Jesus with "the works," receiving the life in the full He came to give.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive

Did you ever think when you were a child, what fun it would be if your toys could come to life? Well suppose you could really have brought them to life. Imagine turning a tin soldier into a real little man. it would involve turning the tin into flesh. And suppose the tin soldier did not like it. He is not interested in flesh: all he sees is the tin is being spoilt. He thinks you are killing him. He will do everything he can to prevent you. He will not be made into a man if he can help it.
What you would have done about that tin soldier I do not know. But what God did about us was this. The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man- a real man of particular height, with hair of a particular color, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus inside a woman's body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.
The result of this was that you now had one man who really was what all men were intended to be: one man in whom the created life, derived from His Mother, allowed itself to be completely and perfectly turned into the begotten life. the natural human creature in Him was taken up fully into the divine Son. Thus in one instance humanity had, so to speak, arrived: had passed into the life of the Christ. And because the the whole difficulty for us is that the natural life has to be, in a sense, 'killed', He chose an earthly career which involved the killing of His human desires at every turn- poverty, misunderstanding from His own family, betrayal,
by one of His intimate friends, being jeered at and manhandled by the Police, and execution by torture. And then, after being thus killed-killed every day in a sense- the human creature in Him, because it was united to the divine Son, came to life again. The Man in Christ rose again: not only the God. That is the whole point. For the first time we saw a real man. One tin soldier- real tin, just like the rest- had come fully and splendidly alive.

from Mere Christianity
and A Year with C.S. Lewis, Daily Readings from His Classic Works

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Par um pum pum pum

"Little Drummer Boy"

Come, they told me (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
A newborn king to see (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
Our finest gifts we bring (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
To lay before the king (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
[x 3]
So, to honor Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
When we come

Little baby (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I am a poor boy too (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I have no gifts to bring (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
That's fit to give a king (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) [x 3]
Shall I play for you (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
On my drum?

Mary nodded (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
The ox and lamb kept time (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I played my drum for Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I played my best for Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) [x 3]
Then, He smiled at me (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
Me and my drum

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs (done by Jars of Clay).
So, I know that Scripture has no mention of a drummer boy at the birth of Jesus. I know that on earth it would be impossible for an "ox and lamb to keep time" (but Balaam's donkey did talk).
But still, it is one of my favorites. A child comes seeing the treasure that Jesus is, and desires to give sweet Jesus his best. Every time I hear the words
"I played my best for him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) Then, He smiled at me," I believe that I am enough "Just as I Am," and that that smile from my Jesus comes because he sees that I get it! "The things of earth become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

We have gifts to bring to Jesus (He designed us that way!). I have been thinking today about what gift(s) I would bring. I'd bring celebration and a song.
I'd throw a big party for that baby Jesus, invite everyone, rent the biggest hall, get a band, dance floor, food, banners, balloons, lights... and I would CELEBRATE cause God with us is here! I see the smile on His face just thinking about it. Imagine dancing with the King!
And I'd bring a song. I would want to hold sweet baby Jesus. I'd find a quiet place, in a little room, with a rocking chair, and look into the face of the One who made the stars and the moon that fill that little room with light, look into the face of the One who fills my heart with Light. I'd take in every little finger,and those sweet hands (knowing His future, and ours because of Him), I'd smell him, and breath him in. I would hold Him (knowing it is He who holds me) and sing

I love you Lord And I lift my voice To worship You
Oh my soul rejoice Take joy my King In what you hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound In your ea

And you, what gift(s) would you bring?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Last night, while sitting on the couch, watching t.v., and sewing bears, I said to Michael, "I love Noah." He asked, "Why," assuming that Noah must have done something to cause me to say this. I replied, "no reason, I just LOVE him."
10yrs ago at Christmas I was pregnant with this sweet boy. We had our ultrasound that month, and baby had just begun kicking. I kept a journal for baby, a Christmas entry says, "Mommy's scared, and I'm so unsure of myself, what is God thinking."
I was 24, married just over a year, and wanting so badly for the future to never resemble my broken past.
Noah means- peace and rest. And in Hebrew- complete, whole, nothing missing, nothing broken.
God wrote Noah's name on our hearts 10 yrs ago, and He made a promise to us that the generations to come would be His.
As we think on Peace this week for advent, we recognize that we have this PEACE because of Jesus. I have a heart filled with gratitude to the promised One, who makes all things New, Complete, and Whole!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Our joyful anticipation deepens

Sunday we began the season of advent by lighting the candle of hope. Each evening, by candlelight, we have been speaking of the HOPE we have in Jesus.
This afternoon God took Michael's grandfather, Logan Young home. Tonight, we spoke of how grateful we are to have the hope that Grandad is with God, and that we will see him again when we get home.

The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
Romans 8:20-21
(The Message)

BEAR with me

I can't sew, not really. Okay, so I can...a little. I always wanted to sew, and just a few years ago my sister-in-law Lindsey (the creative one over at imperfect), helped me sew duvet covers for my girls,
and then sometime later she helped me make another duvet cover for Noah's room.
I was a straight line sewer, and after that added pillows, bed skirts, and shower curtains to our decor. Then it happened, BEARS! In autumn of 03 God took my grandfather home, and instead of packing up his clothes and sending them to a thrift store, I decided to take his shirts and make bears from them. I took 2 lessons, and then made 8 bears on my own. It was wonderful to surprise my grandmother, aunts, and sister on Christmas, to give them each a part of my grandfather to hold. I am sewing 9 bears for a woman who lost her father unexpectedly this summer, so that she too can surprise and bless her family with a part of him to hold this Christmas.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Alone time

Yesterday I was given 4 1/2 hours of alone time in our home. The kids were at a play with our home school teacher, who told me I could stay home, what a gift!

To prepare I cleaned the house Wed. eve., leaving no dish to be washed, no laundry beckoning me, no floor to be swept, no distraction. And, I woke up early Thurs. to be ready for the day once the kiddos were on their way.

And when they were gone-
I had my coffee and bagel on the couch, with an old friend Lucy (
I Love Lucy).
I wrapped my mind around Christmas (yes, I am a bit behind this year, aahhh).
I sat in the sun light and read, read, read. I have been reading Devotional Classics by Richard Foster. Yesterday I was encouraged by Dietrich Boenhoffer, Julian of Norwich, and George A. Buttrick.
I sat.
I talked to God, we had some catching up to do.
"Therefor we may ask from our Lover to have all of him that we desire. For it is our nature to long for him, and it is his nature to long for us." Julian of Norwich
I listened to my breathing.
I played the piano (practiced, also had some catching up to do).
I had a cookie.
I had a spoonful of cool whip too.
I sang.
I prayed for others.
I took in the quiet, the stillness.

What would you do with 4 1/2 hours,
and the house all to yourself?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I was tagged by Jennifer Partin at Where the Heart Is to share 8 random things about me. So here are some things about me that all have to do with vehicles (i don't know why, it just kinda worked out that way).

1. I got my drivers permit on 6/7/89.

2. I bought my first car when I was 15, and paid insurance on it for 4 months before I could drive it.

3. It was a 4 door, red with white strip, 65 Ford Falcon.

4. The car belonged to a good friend. I called him the moment I saw him in something else.
He had a banner in the back with his nick name, "
CANMAN", when I bought the car his mom made me a banner for the back that said, "NEICIE."

5. I got my license on Valentine's Day. That morning my mom (who was at work) phoned me and said, "Denise what does red and white make?" I thought she had gotten me a cool V-day gift and was so excited, till she said again, "what does red and white make?" I said, "you hit my car?" She replied, "I hit your car."

6. I hit a car 2 weeks after I got my license, while
shang hi-ing a friend on his b-day
we'd get a friend out of bed super early, dress them ridiculously, take them to b-fast, and make them dress that way for school all day).

7. I got a speeding ticket the day I was
baptized. I got the ticket in front of Jones ave. (it was a sign, literally and figuratively). I cried! Thinking, 'you can't give me a ticket , I am white as snow.'

8. I have owned a car from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90, and 2000's. One of those cars had a working 8 track. Yep, and now I
reluctantly drive a mini van.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Real Men Bake Pie!

This Thanksgiving we decided to not travel central California, and to enjoy 4 days in our neck of the woods.
First, I have to brag on my husband because he is an exceptional husband, daddy, and now pie maker! Michael always "considers others better than himself." When he saw that making a fresh apple pie for Thanksgiving was not for me, he quickly took over, and invited the girls to stay up far past bed time to join in on the fun.

Thanksgiving a.m. our family joined friends for flag football. I gladly participated in the girls pyramid, ouch!In the afternoon we joined the Roger's family for a Thanksgiving feast. There were duelling turkeys, one traditionally baked in the oven, and another deep fried. My choice, deep fried!
The kids enjoyed the special attention they got from Mama Holly and Papa Dan (btw-"kids" includes me). Over the weekend we saw Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. This is a MUST SEE! It was wonderful and inspiring.
Mahoney asks, "What do you see when you look at me"... "Do you see a sparkle," Henry replies, "What's a sparkle?" Mahoney says, "It is something big inside me that is wanting to get out."
Do I have a sparkle? Sometimes I feel I do not. How I want people to see Jesus when they look at me.

We also spent the weekend getting to know Josh Rasmussen, who is leading worship at our church for the next 2 weeks. Michael and I met Josh at The Whitney Classic , where he was the guest worship leader. Josh lead with beautiful humility. I quickly invited him to lead for an event I coordinate each spring, The Feast of Tents (more to come Spring 2008). And, when we needed a substitute in the meantime, God placed Josh to fill that need. It has been wonderful to hear some of his amazing testimony, as well as follow his leading, and worship with him. Josh has an enthusiasm for God that is contagious.
Mostly, I have been blessed by my kids! I love the way they love others. They were quickly on Josh's lap, or playing, and showing affection. They embrace people as if to say , 'you belong to me.' What a ministry they have. Instead of awkward silence there are children. Josh seemed to enjoy being a jungle gym :-) Here he is giving Noah a guitar lesson.

As I think about what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving it is God's grace, compassion and mercy. I am thankful that I recognize that I need it (uh huh, there was a long, ugly time I didn't see that I did). I am also thankful that I now have it to give, as I have wasted too many years holding on to pride, justification, and anger.
Father God, "Magnify Your mercies on me," MAGNIFY Yourself in me. I am nothing without You. You are my sparkle- shine, shine, shine, light the world, SHINE! And make me like a child, embracing people with love, kindness, acceptance.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wind Beneath My Wings

"Did you ever know that your my hero, your everything I wish I could be, and I can fly higher than an eagle, you are the wind beneath my wings."

I sang this song too many times in high school. Did you have a person to dedicate this song to? I did, Nicole Fortner.

Nicole was in my class growing up. She had auburn curly hair, freckles, and a personality and confidence like no other. What I admired most about Nicole was that she was friends with everyone. Nicole was friends with the popular people, the geeks, the partiers, the Jesus freaks, the athletes, cheerleader, brains... and she was friends with me.

Here are a few favorite memories of Nicole-

In Jr. High she felt she needed a new out fit, she discussed this with her mom (who worked at a local clothing outlet store), her mom (Amy) told her she had plenty of clothes, enough to make a different outfit everyday for a month. Everyday for 30 days I looked to see what Amy had put together for Nicole.

In high school Nicole had acrylic nails. Her mom was a manicurist. I can hear Nicole's nails "clackity clakity clackity," and see them in all their festiveness, appropriately decked out for holiday, school spirit, or prom.

I remember one halloween party when she came dressed up as Cherry 7 UP. She had a Cherry 7 Up can around her body with pink balloons fizzing out the top.

I smile at the memory of us in Capitola, Sunset beach, and at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

I recall Oakdale's Jr. Miss. I had always wanted to be in it, but was so afraid. Nicole agreed we would do it together. She did an unforgettable monologue of "The Letter" by Amy Grant.
She won runner up. I won Spirit and Presence & Composure (which was a shock).

I think on when we painted our legs for school rallies, she was the best!

I giggle at houses and getting caught by a very nice cop at 3:00 a.m. My red 65 Ford Falcon wasn't a great get away car.

I recall my broken heart after a break up, and Nicole comforting me by doing donuts in her car in an empty parking lot. My tears turning to laughter.

I think of her heart for God's best, and once when she just wanted to drive. She talked, "I love Jesus, I do... but the things I want to do, I don't do, and what I don't want to do I do."

I remember her rescuing me from the chaos at my house, safe at hers.

She brought me out into life.

I was a bit on the intimidated/shy side before Nicole. Wanting to LIVE, but afraid too. Nicole became a Christian freshman year, I did that summer (but was still very unsure). Nicole invited me countless times to Campus Life and to church. Midway through our sophmore year I agreed to join her at Campus Life, and finally after countless invitations I joined her at church our senior year. At Campus Life and Oakdale Church of the Nazarene I formed relationships that have had a lasting impression on my life. Nicole was Jesus tangible, and shared Jesus to so many. Her own parents and siblings came to Christ because of her. I would not be who I am in Christ today without her presence in my life.

And I remember her standing outside my apartment one fall day in 93, I looked at her and said,
"Nicole you are so beautiful," she looked at me, smiled, and said "I love you, " I replied, "I love you." And she drove off.

A few days later on Nov. 20th 1993 she was gone. She made a bad choice, a childish 19 yr old choice. She drank and drove. She drove her little car into a telephone pole, and her life here was over.

15 years later I remember. 15 years later I miss her and wonder. 15 years later I am grateful that God gave her to me- to move and grow me, to bring me out into life, to encourage me to spread my scared, but wanting wings and fly.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pie- part 2


These are some of the emotions I have had over this weekend. These emotions always come with tears- happy tears, and with wonder. "Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what He has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; when times are bad consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his own future." Eccles. 7:13-14
It has been one of those weeks where I wanted the crooked things to be straight, and I fought (thankfully mostly God) because they are not. I do not understand, I cannot say I like it, but God is good, VERY GOOD!

And Celebrating God's Faithfulness-

This weekend our church Sierra Vista Presbyterian, celebrated "21-derful years." We had a dinner Friday evening, and all those who began, or were charter members of the church were invited (My hubby is a charter member). Former pastors and staff were invited. This was a wonderful time to celebrate those who had a vision-who began the church from a bible study,then bought an old farm house with property and worshiped in a remodeled garage, later built a small church, and again in 1995 built and moved into a larger sanctuary, which we have outgrown. This was a wonderful time to celebrate those who had visions of ministry, and of glorifying God, and who so many times have stepped out in faith.

Saturday evening we had a Harvest Celebration (I coordinated this event). Nearly 300 joined in on the fun which included a Chili cook off, Pie contest, face painting, Bow-Tie the Clown, a caller and square dancing. I cannot tell you how I LOVE to CELEBRATE! How I love to see the body, young and old together- dancing, laughing, loving , fellowshipping, enjoying . I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! Tastes like heaven.

And when it was done I had pie :-

And Today, Dr. Rev. Bill Welch who was pastor at SVPC for 18yrs gave the message. In many ways God used Bill to raise the church to adulthood. Today it was beautiful to have him at our 21st birthday to give each of us a blessing with his message "Who You Really Are."
From Matt 5, "You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world."
Jesus is talking to the disciples, the church, the Christian community. He is stating a fact, giving a compliment- You are the salt of the earth. He isn't saying you should be, ought to be, will be, but YOU ARE. Salt does not exit for itself. No one says, "mmmm, that's good salt"
We aren't to be salt piles, or to stay in the salt shaker, salt (disciples) exists for the world.
Jesus said "You are the light of the world," the witness of the church is visual, and God gets the glory.
At one point we were asked to close our eyes and picture ourselves at a dinner, with our favorite people, you've never felt so alive, and Jesus is there. Dinner is over and Jesus leads you off, arm around you, smile on his face, and says, "you know how I love you, I'm proud of you, your representing me well, keep it up! I'm in you remaking you, it's my power working in you. Things are different because you are at the table... Be generous with your life, when you're generous people will see me, and my Father will be glorified." (tears)

Father God thank you for reminding me who I really am, I forgot again, help me to be who I really am, to be the salt and light I am. I need YOUR power to be at work in me, I see that it is, sometimes that hurts, it doesn't look as I think it should, I want to straighten out all that seems so crooked. How I wish life were lived in hindsight, thank you for your crooked ways, they make me know you, love you more..I want that. Help me to be generous with my life, to give myself up for you, which is scary. Thank you for giving your whole self up for me. I want to spill you. I want you to be glorified, I want you to have the BIG glory. I love you (tears), I love you.

As 21 year olds, we at SVPC have new vision for the church, "To be a Christian community that exist for the greater community." We are stepping out on faith, we want to be "about our Father's business," and have great expectations for how God will grow and move us.

BTW-Journal entry from 1994 (age 20), "I have been going to Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church. I work with the youth group there. It is a nice church, but it will never be my home."
Ha, God must have laughed!

Friday, November 16, 2007

last night before bed i made my rounds to each child's bed, and there i gave out the last of my 33yr old kisses. Surprisingly i had quiet a few left. Kisses that sweetly wake happy dreamers just enough to get smiling faces and "i love you mommy."

it's my happy birthday.
today i am 34.

Thursday, November 15, 2007



These are the emotions I have had for a week now. I do not know how to rid myself of them. These emotions always come with tears. It is the same old things, bringing up the same old things. The same old things will not change. That hurts. I have to. Don't know how.

I needed a break from it all, from the constant ramblings in my head, from the to-dos, from the hurt. So I had pie.
Noah is sick. And it was just him and I yesterday. Me in tears, him coughing. I'd had enough,I needed something good from this day, one thing good. " Noah you wanna get pie?" (Noah loves pie) I said, "I think pie is probably good medicine for a cold." Noah agreed.
God I'm gonna have pie with my boy right now, and I need you to let it be just him and I right now, turn everything else off.
Hot apple pie, ala mode and time just looking at my boy. "Mommy, your right pie is good medicine," he says as he looks at me with those big brown eyes. "Yes Noah, pie is good medicine."

Saturday, November 10, 2007


We had great Jones family vacation in Mexico!

The kids loved playing with all their cousins, swimming, body surfing, snorkeling, giant sea turtles, and late nights.

The adults enjoyed lazy days filled with tanning, margaritas, chips and salsa, shopping at the marcado, playing 10,000 and speed scrabble.

Highlights from the trip
Watching the kiddos enjoy their cousins
Parasailing (uh huh, I flew!)
Cooking together -yummy garlic shrimp!
Counting freckles at bed time
Speed/travel Scrabble
Necklace shopping with Cindy and the girls
Giant Sea Turtles
Madonna makeovers
Being sung La Bumba at El Vira's
Dinner, a stroll, and ice cream with Michael (thanks to generous sitters- Nana and Aunt "Jennifuh")
Nana helping Emilie learn to dive
Gramps helping Josie swim
Noah's excitement boogie boarding

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Via Con Dios!

My friend over at Family Jules invites you to post at "Mr. Linky" what you will be for Halloween. We are going to be Vacationers to Zihuatanejo, Mexico!
Michael's parents are taking the entire Jones clan (10 adults and 8 grandkids) on a family vacation.
I have been so busy preparing, packing, cleaning, and over thinking, that I forgot we are going on vacation. VACATION!! No laundry, no cleaning the casa, no telephones, no internet (I'll miss you, and Jennifer Partin there better be baby news when I get home :-), no taxi'n, no must dos- just vacation! Tanning, eating, swimming, eating, sandcastles, eating, reading, eating, laughing, and did I mention eating!

Balar, balar, labumba!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
Acts 17:24-28

Father God thank you that you are God, there is no other, you are God there is none like you. I want my life, breath and everything else to come from you. I'm sorry that I look for it in other places (people). You have and are everything I need. I do not understand why you set me in this place for this time, I feel I do not fit. Help me to seek you, to reach for you. Thank you that you are not far, I forget that. I want my life, and moving, and being to be found in you, and in nothing or no one else but you. Thank you that I am your offspring, your child, that my identity is in you. Help me to live out the hope I have in you.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

And The Winner Is...

So, I just phoned my neighbor Steve and asked him to pick a number between 1 and 50, he chose # 49.
Congratulations Earen from Faith in the Journey.
Email me at with your address, and Bebo will be on his way!

I Love Give Aways!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Give Away!

Michael and I got a much needed date on Tuesday evening. We had dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen (so yummy), and saw Bebo Norman and Shane & Shane in concert.

Shane & Shane said this , "It isn't the words or these songs that change the heart, it is only the Holy Spirit who can change a heart."
As a worship leader I needed to hear these words again. Nothing I sing can move or stir the heart of the listener, it is only the Holy Spirit who can move or stir the heart. Holy Spirit move, stir, grow, the body.
As a mommy I need to hear this. Everyday I pray, fight for these kids. Everyday we are teaching them truth, and walking beside them answering questions, watching the shaping and molding take place. I feel the pressure to stir and move them, but that pressure is not mine, it does not fall on me, but falls on the Holy Spirit- relief! Holy Spirit move, stir, grow my children.
As a believer I need to hear this. I am never enough- this is what I battle with. I am always attempting to cause the stirring (wing flapper). I want to read Gods word because "I delight in it." I want to be a worshiper in every area of my life because that is full life to me. I want to cloth the naked, feed the poor, love the orphan, and help the widow because it is my joy to give
back to God what he has so graciously given to me. I don't want to do any of it to gain man's approval. And I want more- more of the Word, more worship, more of Jesus poured out of my life. So Holy Spirit move, stir, grow this child.

AND YES! There is a give away- Bebo Norman's C.D. "Between the Dreaming and the Coming True."
Simply pick a number. Yes a number between 1-50. The winner will be announced on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

God Loves a Cheerful Giver

Last week in AWANA's the children were encouraged to help raise funds for Adopt-A-Club (the kids have adopted a club in Nicaragua. Funds are provided to help them start, and fund their own AWANA program). The kids were encouraged to collect cans and/or bring in their change to raise support.
When Noah heard of the need he thought there would be no way he could collect enough cans to raise support, he then thought about his large jar of coins he has been adding to for years, he firmly decided he would give all that was in it-$82.62
He came home, told us of the need, and of his decision.

I'm going to be honest, he'd been putting that money away for a while. He had even added birthday money to it. My first impulse was to say, "just give a portion" or "don't you want to keep some of it." I didn't say anything. My second impulse was to let him do what was in his heart to do, and to be overwhelmed that my boy is a "cheerful giver" on his very own. I did that.

Today he took the money to AWANA's.

In a conversation with his dad tonight Noah said, "If I spend my money on toys they don't last forever, but if a kid asks Jesus into his heart that will last forever. If that kid dies before I do, God may tell him that some little boy hundreds of miles away, no states away, no in another country, gave his money so that he would know God."

God loves a cheerful giver -and so does a mommy!

I want to be like Noah when I grow up!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oh the Thinks You Can Think

Yes, 2 posts today!
I was visiting over at Earen's blog Faith in the Journey, where she shared about her son Caleb and the "thinks" God puts in his head.

For days I have been recalling sweet moments from when my children were younger. Sweet "thinks" God has placed in their heads, and conversations we have had because of them.
So if you will indulge me, I am going to rewind from time to time and share these. I will label
Oh the Thinks You Can Think!
(Dr. Suess)

March 2001
Noah (2yrs old) "Mommy I have Jesus in my tummy."

July 25th 2001
Noah (3 yrs old)- Noah was running around the house, when he came to me and said, "Mommy I can hear Jesus in my heart!" I replied, "well, what is he saying?" Noah looks at me puzzled. I said, "is he saying, knock, knock knock, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door of his life I will come into him." Noah replied, "did he come in?" I said, "did you ask him?" Then Noah lifted his shirt, and shouted "Come in!!!"

May 13th 03
Noah (5 yrs old) In the car on the way home from t-ball. Noah says,
"Mommy turn on our songs" (not kid songs, but Third Day) a few moments later Noah yells,
"Mommy, Mommy!" I turn the music down to hear him. "Mommy Jesus is dancing in my heart."

Praise is who I am, Praise is what I do

"To worship is to come towards to kiss." 

I sing. I love to sing.
When I sing; I turn my eyes from myself to Jesus.  I meditate.  I enter the mystery. I surrender.  I move. I build.  I fight. I believe.  I fly.  I embrace.  I kiss... the two become one, and I am found in Jesus.
I love to sing.

When she opens her mouth to sing, 
she becomes a channel raw and plain. 
The notes come from the Lord who sings inside her.  
She opens her mouth and lets the Lord out. 
It's like calling from the mountains. 
Anne Lammott

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mama Holly is 51!

I thank my God every time I remember you. Phillipians 1:3
I had this beautiful necklace made for Holly, with a jade rock we found together while beach combing at Moonstone Beach in Cambria last May. For you locals- the necklace was made and designed by Grace DePledge

On this day in Cambria, Holly lead me down to the beach like a mother leading her daughter into a place filled with wonder. We walked along the beach and she uncovered all sorts of mysteries.
Next, we began to comb along the beach looking for treasures. I felt like a child finding each new rock to be more amazing then the one before. As Holly and I combed we would share our finds with each other, delight in the other's rocks, and then Holly would fill my pockets with her most beautiful treasures.
As I think about Holly, I realize that she always takes me by the hand and leads me to places filled with wonder and mystery. She has walked me through God questions, marriage, motherhood, community, and homeschooling. I also see that she is always filling my pockets with treasures. The greatest gift and treasure she has given me is that she is my God-mommy. I am learning how to be a daughter, how to love a mother, and what my relationships with my girls can look like.

I love you Mama Holly!

It is right for me to feel this way about you, since I have you in my heart.
Phillipians 1:7

The Other Joneses

This weekend we enjoyed visiting with The other Joneses.

left to right, - John, Uncle Don, Bailey, Aunt Pam, Katie, Jeremy
bottom- Jessica & Ellie
I always enjoy Uncle Don's great laugh and Aunt Pam's sweetness. It was nice to meet the very nice guys in Jessica and Katie's lives. Our kiddo's especially enjoyed playing with John and Jessica's beautiful girls- Bailey and Ellie.
The time together went by too quickly!
And this is a big Hello to Gram, who has joined the computer world!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to listen to some of my favorite tunes, including the recently posted song I Am by Nichole Nordemon.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Am

Pencil marks on a wall
I wasn't always this tall,
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed,
You watched my team win,
You watched my team lose,
You watched when my bicycle went down again,

And When I was weak unable to speak,
still I could call You by name,
and I said “Elbow healer, Superhero,
come if You can,” and You said “I Am”

Only 16, life is so mean, what kind of curfew is at ten p.m.
You saw my mistakes, You watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I’d never love again

When I was weak, unable to speak,
still I could call You by name,
and I said “Heart-ache Healer, Secret-keeper,
be my Best Friend” and You said “I Am”

You saw me wear white, by pale candlelight,
I said forever to what lies ahead
two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
too much it might seem when it’s two a.m.

When I am weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name.
“Oh Shepherd, Savior, Pasture-maker,
hold on to my hand,” and You say “I Am.”

The winds of change,
And circumstance blow in and all around
us so we find a foothold that’s familiar,
And bless the moments that we feel You nearer
When Life had begun, I was woven and spun,
You let the angels dance around the throne, who can say when,
But they’ll dance again, when I am free and finally headed home

I will be weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name
“Creator, Maker, Life-sustainer,
Comforter, Healer, My Redeemer,
Lord and King, Beginning and
the End, I Am, yes, I Am.”

by Nichole Nordeman

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Uncle Pluto

This past weekend Uncle Pluto (Jeff Lane) came to visit. We met Jeff in 1998 at Emerald Cove Camp (where he worked with Michael). Jeff''s camp name was Pluto, but he soon became Uncle Pluto (sometimes Uncle Play-dough) to our kids.

Jeff has been a part of our lives since Noah was just 1 month old, and has been present for 1st birthdays, births (Emilie's or "tiny tiny" as he lovingly referred to her), pumpkin carvings, Thanksgivings in spring, Hoe downs, putting in lawn, stacking wood, Disneyland trip, trips to the Discovery Science Center (to name a few). He is a part of our family. We are so thankful that God, in his goodness, gave him to us. The wonderful thing about our relationship with Jeff is that he belongs to our whole family- he is a friend and work partner for Michael; a friend, help, encouragement to me; and a jungle gym, wrestler, tickler, playmate for the kids. Everyone should have an Uncle Pluto in their lives!

This visit was especially good because we got to meet Jeff's girlfriend Christy. None of us are use to sharing Jeff when he is here, and bringing a girl in the mix could have gone all wrong, but Jeff has the right girl! Christy has a great laugh, is playful, pretty and easy to be with.
Playing restaurant.

BTW- Jeff works as a production assistant for the show Carpoolers which airs Tuesday eve.'s 8:3o on ABC.