Sunday Takeaways – September 27, 2020

Ray Vanderlaan focused on the story of David and Goliath today. The biggest lesson I took away from what was said was that we don’t have to be anything other than what God has gifted you to be to make an impact. David didn’t have to be a soldier to defeat Goliath. He used his skills as a shepherd to defeat the giant.

Our pastor was gone today so one of our deacons led the service using the illustration of knots and connecting them to God’s promises. I won’t be able to say it like he did but essentially there are 1,000’s of knots for many different situations – same with promises of God. 1,000’s. You have to trust the knot to do what it is going to do so you can rely on it. Same with God’s promises – do you trust God to do what He says He will do? He furthered this illustration by talking about climbers or those that use harnesses – they have to lean into the knot for the knot to do the work. We have to lean on God’s promises to make use of them. Some scriptures to note:

Hebrews 10:23 –  Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Psalm 50:15 – Call on me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.

Have a great week and remember to rest in the promises of God. Don’t know God? I’d love to help you with that. Reach out and let’s talk.


Refreshment in the desert

I’ve been on vacation since Monday and it’s been glorious. The weather has cooperated and it’s felt like summer everyday. I soaked it up Tuesday by having coffee in the park with a friend. Wednesday Philip and I went to Lincoln and ate lunch outside and were able to shop and browse in perfect weather. Thursday I had appointments all day but doesn’t fantastic weather make even an errand day better? Friday and Saturday have been a lot of lazing around home resting and doing little chores that never seem to get done. Those nasty, tiny, black biting bugs have kept me from hanging out on the deck and enjoying the sun but sunny days are always better than gloomy days.

It’s taken me about five days to feel really rested and recuperated. The past months have been crazy with packing and moving, changing library systems, hiring a new assistant, boys coming home for spring break and never leaving etc. You know what I mean, everyone has been affected by this in some way or another we just added in some extra things. We’re extra that way. So today I’ve actually done more and felt like doing more than any day yet and that feels good too in it’s own way.

One of my friends suggested a road trip during this week but I declined knowing that what I needed more than anything was rest. I feel like I’ve been running on fumes since June, thank goodness for amazing supplements that have kept me going, and every day has just been pushing through. I feel like I can go back to work now and not dread it and maybe have some excitement for it again.

Which is good because I also just realized I have a church board meeting tomorrow night, a birthday celebration for a friend on Tuesday and prayer meeting on Wednesday. Oh, and I invited the Sunday School class over for lunch next Sunday. Here we go again!

KidScents from Young Living

You might wonder why we have KidScents oils in our house – well, honestly – they were free. I’ve received every one of these as a monthly promo from Young Living at some point.

But, I’ll tell you this, when I researched the oils that were included in each one as I received them I was blown away! There are amazing oils in these?? Why haven’t we been using them? Why didn’t I know?

I’ve wanted to buy Dorado Azul for Aaron many times and here it is in Snifflease! Valerian is in Sleepyize? Perfect! Frankincense in Geneyus? The list goes on.

I guess I thought when I heard these were prediluted and safe for kids that they were watered down oils or something. More mild. Probably didn’t contain the heavy hitters. I was so wrong.

Maybe you think that too. I urge you to check out the KidScents line. They are not just great for kids but adults too! Powerful oil blends ready for use. Pop a roller top on them and you’re ready to go. Or for more convenience buy the new KidScents Roller collection.

You can now open an account with Young Living by purchasing a KidScents Premium Starter Kit. All the KidScents oils and the new one – KidPower + Feather the Owl Diffuser. Too cute. Moms, these are ready to use bottles of oil that you know are safe for your kids-can someone say easy button?? Let me know if you’re ready to jump in.

Sunday Takeaways

I decided today that this will be a regular feature on here-what I took away from my time at church. Do you attend church regularly? Do you remember what impacted you the most once you leave the building? I leave with these impactful statements written on a bulletin that I never look at again. This series is my solution to that.

In Sunday School we are watching the Ray Vanderlaan series, “That the World May Know.” This series takes you to different areas of Israel and explains how the geography or culture of the times impacted what we read about in the Bible with faith lessons interwoven.

Today we talked about Samson and how his failure wasn’t just in violating his Nazareth vows but in failure to fulfill the role God had given him. Faith lesson: Failing to carry out a role God gives you leads to problems. This also circles back to the fact that the Philistines would not have been where they were if the tribe of Dan had killed all the Canaanites that were residing there like they were told to when they given the land by God.

Secondly, Samson was attracted to the culture to the culture he was supposed to confront by being set aside for God. Faith lesson: We are to live in confrontation of the culture around us – not assimilate to it. We are to be an example of being set apart for God bu being different than the world around us.

During the opening of service Joel shared a post about harvest he had read this morning and then challenged us to think about God‘s harvest is here, what is our role in that harvest? Are we in the tractor? Keeping the home fires burning? Support staff? Jump in and help as needed? What is our role in the harvest?

Finally, Mike is doing a series on the prophecy of the end times. Today’s lesson was on the Antichrist with scripture from Matthew 24, Daniel 9 and Revelation 13.

Takeaways were: History is His Story-God is in complete control of present and future. The world as we know it does have an end set by God. This is why knowing God and accepting His free gift of salvation is so important. Heaven is real and so is Hell. Where will you spend eternity? John 3:16. Think about what the world is like right now-what will happen when Jesus returns and takes all the believers away? When there is no constraints on culture? Do you want to be here for that?

I felt like the lessons of the day came full circle. Someday the culture that we are called to confront will have no restraints. What happens then?

Our Helper

I feel bad that there isn’t anything in the “Inspiration” category when, quite honestly, this category and “Oils” will probably be the two biggest categories. So, let me tell you about today (because seriously, I could tell you how God works in my life everyday.)

Our boys are almost all in their 20’s (3 more months of having a teenager!) but I appreciate that they still reach out to us when they just need us to be parents. Today, as I sat down in my stylist’s chair for a haircut, my phone rings and it’s one of them. Not common in the middle of the day so I answer.

He had received one of “those” calls, the calls we are warned about. There are four arrest warrants out for you in Texas. You owe so much money in Texas. Blah, blah, blah. He kept his head in the moment and said, “This sounds like a scam.” The caller pretended not to hear him and then hung up when he repeated it.

That’s when he freaked. What if someone HAD stolen his identity? What if any part of this was true? So I told him to call the local Sheriff’s office to verify but yes, I was sure it was scam. He texted back in a couple of minutes that yes, they were sure it was a scam and since he hadn’t given them any information, he was fine.

Like any good mother 🙂 I took the opportunity to make this a teaching moment. I told him that he had absolutely done the right thing because he had listened to his gut. Always trust your gut. I’ve always been a trust your gut person. If I felt like I needed to take a different route or lock my doors in broad daylight I’ve always done it and never questioned it.

Recently our pastor took us through the book of John and in John the Holy Spirit is mentioned many times. We even spent one Sunday just focused on the Holy Spirit. And our Sunday School class studied Francis Chan’s book, “The Forgotten God” last fall. Through these sermons and studies I learned a lot about the Holy Spirit and how that gut feeling may be a whole lot more.

In John 14 verses 15-18 the Bible says, “‘If you love Me (Jesus is speaking), you will keep My commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or Know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you are orphans; I am coming to You.'”

The Counselor referred to here is the Holy Spirit. In another passage He is called the Helper. Three times in chapters 14-16 He is referred to as the Spirit of truth. He’s also referred to as the Comforter.

We were promised a helper, a counselor, a truth seeker, a comforter in the Holy Spirit when we accept God’s free gift of salvation through the death of Jesus Christ. I do not believe the gut instincts of a believer are just that. I believe they are nudges from the Holy Spirit. The more we seek God and draw closer to Him, the more receptive we are to the nudges of the Holy Spirit. And that is what I reminded my son today. He had no cause to freak out after. He has the Holy Spirit inside him. He was given peace and a level head in the moment and this is a great lesson in listening to those nudges. Those nudges that come from a Helper who will never leave us.

New Path

I have loved Facebook from the moment my sister introduced me to it. Twitter I never understood (then I listened to a Reply All podcast that basically said I never would) and Instagram I have love/hate relationship with.

I began this blog as an alternative to social media platforms. I know that any browser can shut me out or bury me but it feels a little more free than some other sites right now and I want to be my authentic self at all times and not hide behind emojis and bad spelling to escape the censors.

I’m taking my Facebook back to private and will let this be my public face.

My life is not monochrome and I don’t have the photo talent Instagram takes so I’m not going to try so hard there. I still love IG stories but most of my posts will probably just direct people here. I’m a writer at heart and I needed to do that. Not stress about my grid or my 9 or if I’m using the right filter to be attractive to others. I don’t take enough selfies either.

So I’m moving on to a platform where I can be more myself. Where I don’t have to worry (as much) about being shutdown because I want to talk about what worked for me the last time I got sick. Where I can use the gifts and talents God gave me and not try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

I know I already kind of did an intro post but I felt this gave a little more of the why. It gives you more of an idea of where I’m coming from.

Little Devil’s Tower Trail in Custer State Park

Saying “No” to Good Things

1 Kings 8:17-19
It was in the desire of my father, David to build a temple for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel. But the Lord said  to my father David, “Since it was your desire to build a temple for My Name, you have done well to have this desire. Yet you are not the one to build it, instead your son, your own offspring will build it for my name.

Sometimes we can have good desires or good intentions like David did here and God still stops you. That can be really hard to understand. Why wouldn’t that be what I should do? It‘s a good thing!

I’ve had this happen. Many years ago missionaries that we supported came to our church and shared a need to have house parents for the boarding school where missionary children in the country sent their children.  In Africa. This struck such a chord in me – we could do that! Even though they talked about having guards to keep them safe and I had three boys all elementary aged – I was ready! Send me! Philip was not on board with this as it would take us away from our families for three years but I was ready!

I remember very clearly being in our backyard, mowing the grass and talking to God about this. “God, I’m ready and willing to go to Africa for you.” And just as clearly, I heard him say, “But I’m not asking you to.” I was stunned. What? Didn’t I feel a very clear call to Africa back when I was young and I said, “uh uh.” I’m ready now!

A few short months later our middle son, Aaron, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was a scary time of hospital stays, learning blood sugars, counting carbs and keeping him alive.

At some point in that journey, it hit me, we could’ve been in Africa! If I had pushed for my way or ignored God’s voice that afternoon because I was sure my plan was a good plan – life would’ve looked much different.

We don’t always get an answer that clearly as to why God said no to a good plan but we can trust he knows what he’s doing. And if he says no, it’s not for you. Maybe if you insist on it, you are robbing someone else that God had in mind for that very thing.

Somewhere in Custer State Park

You’re Invited

Kitchen people or front door people

Our last house was an old house – probably close to a hundred years old! And I’ll be the first to admit that it didn’t look that great from the outside. I mean, it looked nice, don’t get me wrong, but it’s only if I invited you in and showed you the upstairs that you saw the real beauty. The upstairs had this beautiful hardwood floor and doorways and railings that were really the crown jewel of the house. But if I didn’t invite you in, really into my home, you’d never know.

Our backyard was another selling point. From the front of the house you’d never guess that there was plenty of room for a strawberry bed, rhubarb, and a sandbox! I’m not much of a landscape person, but I worked on it and it looked good. But again, you had to be invited to the back of the house to see it. You have to go through a not so great kitchen and usually a messy living room to see the real beauty.

Recently, one of our deacons opened the service talking about kitchen people or front door people. There are people that you invite into the front door and maybe let them sit in your formal living room, probably a place that you have cleaned before you invited them over, maybe stuffed some laundry in another room. And then you have kitchen people – those people that you invite to come on back into your kitchen. Maybe the kitchen where the dirty dishes are piled in the sink and there are crumbs all over the stove. But you invite them to pull up a chair anyway, sit, and have coffee, and share life and you both ignore the mess.

Many people look at me and see a good, Christian mom. One who’s always done the right thing, stood by her convictions, no major mistakes. If you only see my outward perfections, you miss the beauty of what Christ has done for me. You have to be invited into my life to see what Christ has done. That’s what this blog is about. Come, sit around my table. I’ll share my story. I’ll share what I’ve learned in the tough times and the good times. I’ll open my home to you. You are all invited in.

Throw Away the Plan

When I first heard this quote while watching “The Flash” I literally LOL’d. Snart is usually not someone you come to for advice or help, he’s kind of a mildly reformed bad guy with a dry sense of humor. Yet, there is so much truth to this quote that I had to grab a Post – it and jot it down.

I like to plan. I plan my meals, I plan my finances, I’ve even been convicted that I need to plan my days, but I’ve had to learn that sometimes the plan needs thrown out the window. Sometimes you don’t feel like making what’s on the menu for the night. With money, you can plan all you want, but you have to have an emergency fund for those unexpecteds. I think this is why I’ve never planned my day – I know it’s going to go off the rails at some point and I’ll be upset because I HAD A PLAN!

I think the point is that you can plan, but don’t become so committed to the plan that you can’t throw the plan away sometimes. Don’t be so rigid in your thinking that you can’t go with the flow of the day. Plan. Be prepared. Be prepared to throw away the plan.

Why Young Living

Why Young Living oils?

Over 25 years in the essential oils industry. Young Living has been the leader in the modern day essential oil movement. Starting from a home built distillery Young Living now has farms and distilleries across the world.

Our farms truly set us apart from other companies. Young Living has farm locations on six continents. We have our own farms so we know what goes in our bottles. Everything from the seed to the ground to the plant to the oil is strictly controlled by Young Living to meet their high standards of pure unadulterated oils.

Young Living also holds their partner farms to these same standards so you know what you are getting from a Young Living bottle. You can also visit any of our corporate offices or farms in any of locations. Everything we do is open to the public, including the distilleries on the farms.

Commitment to the Young Living, those around us and the world. Young Living is one HUGE family that I’m proud to be a part of. I’ve never been uneasy about anything the company does and have high confidence in our leadership and their transparency. Mary Young, our CEO and cofounder, is like a mother to all those that know her.

Are you ready to be a part of Young Living? Become a wholesale member today and receive member discounts, be eligible for our rewards program and be a part of our online community. Ask me how!