You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Lena's (first) mission trip to
Haiti turned into our
Adoption Adventure!
Can't wait to see what God has in store next.....

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Dear Readers,
There are a series of blog posts coming that I fell compelled to share. (sigh)

I will share them somewhat hesitantly...not because I am embarrased, but because I fear that it may be taken in a 'tone' that I do not intend. That readers may misinterpret my passion and gratitude for judgment.

I do not write from a place of pride or arrogance that says "I am better than you."
I write from a place of brokenness restored.
I write to say that "I have walked where you are walking, through all kinds of trouble and pain and stress, and God met me there and He saved me."
I write from personal experience with a God of love, grace and mercy.
I write from a place of ongoing redemption and blessing.
I write with a heart so full of gratitude that it just might burst.
I write with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart.
Please remember that as you read. some of the forthcoming posts, starting with this one.


There is a song by the group Avalon, I got to see them live at a Women Of Faith Conference in Calagary. The song is called "Everything To Me" from the album The Very Best Of Avalon: Testify To Love

I grew up in Sunday school
I memorized the Golden Rule
And how Jesus came to set the sinner free
I know the story inside out
I can tell you all about
The path that led Him up to Calvary
But ask me why He loves me
And I don't know what to say
But I'll never be the same
Because He changed my life when He became…


Everything to me
He's more than a story
More than words on a page of history
He's the air that I breathe
The water I thirst for
And the ground beneath my feet
He's everything, everything to me

We're living in uncertain times
And more and more I find that I'm aware
Of just how fragile life can be
I want to tell the world I found
A love that turned my life around
They need to know that they can taste and see
Now every day I'm praying
Just to give my heart away
I want to live for Jesus
So that someone else might se that He is…

Repeat Chorus.

And looking back over my life at the end
I'll go to meet you saying
You’ve been…

Repeat Chorus.

You're everything to me
You're more than a story
More than words on a page of history
You're the air that breathe
The water I thirst for
And the ground beneath my feet
You're everything
Lord, You're everything to me

That song is essentially the story of how my faith developed. Every time I hear it, my eyes well up with tears. I am not one of those people who had a "conversion" event. It's not a date on my calendar or an anniversary I can celebrate. It just didn't happen like that for me. It developed over time.

God has been working on me, for a very long time. Alot, actually. Probably most of my life. It can be overwhelming at times. Even when I was not interested in cooperating with Him. Looking back, I can see how He protected me from myself on more than one occassion. And there were many occassions when I needed His protection from myself. I can also see how He was with me, and working things out in me, even when I thought I was in charge of my life. And I am so grateful, there are NO words to express it.

I've always known about God-known the stories....memorized verses, sang the songs, went to church camp in the summer, etc. I grew up going to church on Sunday but doing whatever I wanted the rest of the week. The Bible stories I heard in church were not talked about at home, nor were they lived out in any way that I noticed. My family is not a bad family and the church I grew up in is not a bad church. But somehow, I missed the point.

We (my husband and I) moved across the country in 1998, and went through a very difficult season, personally and professionally. My marriage was a mess. My finances were a mess. Basically, my whole life was a mess. I kept trying to "fix things" my own way. All I did was create more of a mess.

Around the year 2000, things started to change. God used a "seeker sensitive" church to get me back-to "woo" me, really. This is the first time I can recall hearing about how much God loved me, and that I was special to Him. To think that God cared about me?!? As it slowly sunk in, what a difference! I finally started to 'get it' and to get to KNOW God, instead of knowing about Him.

It became personal.

A relationship started.

Eventually, I was baptized. (and, that Avalon song above was the soundtrack to a video made by the church of said event)

Although I am no longer at that church, I will not speak badly about it, because God used it to get me back-and get my life back on track. I know there are many critics of "seeker sensitive" churches, but I'm living proof that they can and do get the real message of the gospel out and change lives.

More living proof from the changes God has begun in me:

It used to be "God sent to his son to save sinners (some other people, not me)."

Now it's "God sent his son TO DIE for ME. And, if I had been the only person on earth to be saved, God still would have done it. For me."

It used to be "I have to go to church." or "I should go to church."

Now it's "I GET to go to church." and "I want to go to church."

It used to be "They think I am going to give them my hard earned money?!?"

Now it's "I'm going to be a good manager of God's money." and "Everything I have, all that I have accomplished is because of God. Without Him, none of this is possible."

It used to be "______" insert whatever gripe/complaint/whine/negative/ungrateful statement you like in the blank. "I have to go to work." "I hate my job." "I don't want to get up, it's too early." grumble, whine, complain.

Now it's "I'm so thankful." "I get to go to work, I have a job, a way to earn income." "Thank you God for the gift of another day."

This gratitude in my heart is very hard to explain. The words seem empty. I am so thankful-so so so thankful. My heart is full of joy.

All I can say is that when I felt entitled (think spoiled brat who throws a tantrum when things don't go my way) my life was full of stress and anxiety and depression. All sorts of negative emotional and physical consequences to my choice to throw that temper tantrum. And then I would make dumb choices in an effort to make myself feel better and have even more negative consequences to deal with. The truth is, I don't deserve anything. I am here by God's design, God's power, God's choice. When He decides it's time for me to die-I will draw my last breath and die.

And so, I strive to live each day to the fullest. To me, the fullest doesn't mean doing it all, or seeking an adrenaline rush. To me, it's much simpler than that.

Living to the full means being thankful.
Living to the full means spending time with those I love.
Living to the full means building relationships.
Living to the full means studying and growing more like Christ-our Ultimate role model
Living to the full means surrendering to whatever God has in store for me.

What does living life to the full mean to you?

I believe that God is great.

All the time.

No matter what.

What do you believe?

Have you given it as much thought as which home or car to buy or what career to pursue? Or even what to have for dinner tonight?





1 comment:

Thanks for interacting with me thru my blog. I love hearing from you.

Thanks again!