Sunday, February 15, 2015

Unspeakable Joy Exchange Giveaway #2

If you are apart of the Unspeakable Joy Exchange Round One, you may enter in to the Giveaway. This Giveaway is for: Prayer Journal/ $10 Starbucks Gift Card/ 2 Coffee Cozies/ 1 Scripture Bracelet A winner will be generated based on the entries! Good Luck!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Journey of Faith

There once was a climber named Faith who was climbing Mt. Overkill. She carried alongside of her a piece of the Hopeful Heart. This precious gift of the Hopeful Heart was given to her from the Light above when Faith vowed to make the journey. She wore special shoes to make the climb called Peace. These Peace shoes allowed her to have steady feet and worked together with her Hopeful Heart. Another part of Faith's gear was her Rope of Salvation. As long as she held onto that rope, she would not fall into the Grave of Destruction below. With these things, the journey was not an easy one. She faced many hurdles along the way.

When Hurricane Crazy arrived,  it nearly caused her to loose her mind. Yet, Faith fought the urge to be overcome with the storm all around her and she journeyed upwards. Then, she stayed the course of the journey through Earthquake Panic Attack. With no warning to prepare her,  Earthquake Panic Attack almost shook her off.  Yet, she held on to her Rope of Salvation and was able to get through it.

Many times on the journey, Temptation Wildfire would arrive on Mt. Overkill and Faith would start to consider a different path. This path seemed more exciting, where a majority of the people were headed, and less work. But a Light was shining before her on the path she was already on, so she continued toward it instead.

Faith knew that the Light carried the rest of what she needed to be fulfilled beyond the Hopeful Heart, shoes of Peace, and Rope of Salvation.

Before much longer, heavy boulders would come her way carrying with them pains-of-jealousy as she compared her load to others who were on the journey too. She would wish she was journeying like another climber who faced less boulders along the way. In time, she realized that though she didn't always see them, they had their own obstacles they faced on the climb. With that knowledge, she was able to press on.

Further ahead still, Faith ran into more trouble. Feeling their prickle, sharp thorns would pierce her skin building up fear each step she took. She started to shiver thinking another thorn was ahead and proceeded much of the time with fear. And like the fear of thorns,  she felt her throat was dry. Faith thirsted for water but it was far above her. So she worried she wouldn't make it in time to get a drink before the water dried up. But her Peace shoes gave her the reminder she needed that she was not alone. She did not need to worry for the Light knew what would happen next.

After all that Faith endured through her journey up Mt. Overkill, she reached the top. The Light was there waiting for her along with others who made the same journey. Immediate relief was felt by Faith in the most amazing way possible. She made it and she was free.

Sometimes life is kind of like carrying the weight of a heavy backpack while climbing up a steep  mountain. The contents found within the backpack are often overwhelming as it's filled with grief, jealousy, anxiety, pain, helplessness, worry, fear, and sorrow. The longer we climb that victorious mountain, the heavier the load gets along the way. With age, comes more pain. With life experience, comes more sorrow.

As the climber, you find it harder to breathe. At any second, you feel as though you'll fall backwards into the grave of destruction. So you keep striving to climb, breathing harder, reaching further, and struggling deeper than you are able.

What if I told you that you don't have to face that mountain alone? What if I told you that the One who created you is right along side you, pulling you up the mountain, and wanting to give you relief? What if I told you that He is there with open arms, waiting to remove that backpack?  What if I told you that you just have to have a steady focus of the journey ahead, knowing that good things await for you when you arrive?

As you arrive, your heart bursts with joy bigger than you've ever imagined.  In this place, you hear the most glorious voices singing with purity, beauty, and grace. You no longer feel the contents you've been carrying around in your backpack. You are free to roam, free to love without pain, and free to be united with loved ones once again.

When you have that vision of hope, you can keep on climbing.  Even when the weight of the backpack gets heavier, you can persevere. You know what lies ahead is greater than anything you've ever known. All you have to do is keep on going.

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you've found the One who can help you on your journey through life. He loves you so much and the gift He gives of salvation is free. All you have to do is believe!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I Surrender All

When we look at ourselves as something to shout about...
When we think we deserve so much more...
When we think we are something when we are not...
When we want more "things" because we aren't satisfied...
When we don't understand life going the way WE want it...
When we try to take things into our OWN hands...
When we care about how the world sees  us...
 That is when we live for the world and not for Him.

2  Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old  has gone, the new is here!
When we live to serve Jesus not ourselves through Facebook statuses...
When we act justly, love mercy, walk humbly...
When we get through the persecution and keep doing what we've been called to do...
When we love others unconditionally...
When we never give up on things that matter...
When we persevere through the hard times...
When we let go, and let God...
When we trust without borders...
That is when we surrender to Him with everything we've got.

Want to be part of something incredible? Here's your chance. Join the Unspeakable Joy Exchange and share it with your friends. 


Here is part of what you are supporting through the Unspeakable Joy Exchange. The children in the orphanages, and the communities in Guatemala need the medical missions team to provide care and healing. We have so many comforts here that a little support goes a long ways in other places. These are pictures from last month when some leaders went to prepare for this summer's trip. To find out more about how you can help, go to:


Thanks for checking it out!
***Do you enjoy writing? Do you have a blog? Come join the party. Every  Friday, you are given a word/topic to write about on your blog. Spend five minutes (or in my case more), and link up your blog at

Unspeakable Joy Exchange Giveaway #1

This giveaway is ONLY for those who have signed up for the Unspeakable Joy Exchange!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hodgepodge Wednesday #1

1. Have you ever written a love letter? Have you written one recently? Had one written to you? Did you keep it?

 I 've written many love letters to my hubby! He and I used to write to each other often  when we were first dating and through college. Since we were long-distance, that was our way of staying connected. Comically, it was before the cell phones had texts and quick access to chatting. We'd go all out and even add stickers to our letters. :-) And yes, we kept them in bins in our garage.

 2. What's a movie that ends in a way you especially love?
You've Got Mail is my favorite romantic movie. I just love the very end when they meet at the park and get very giddy every time I watch it.

 3. Something that makes your heart sing? And for those of you who are parents, I mean something besides your children that makes your heart sing?
Haha! Before, I read the second part of this question, I was thinking my answer would be children. So besides my husband and children, I would say the sunshine and being outdoors makes my heart sing. I particularly love exploring God's creation and being able to stand in awe of something incredible that He made.

 This was on our CA property when we lived there. Oh, how I miss the amazing views and wildlife that came up close. It was pretty amazing!


 4. What's the last event you had to attend, phone call you had to make, routine task you needed to complete, or meal you had to prepare, that you did do, but only half-heartedly?
The laundry pile last night was getting pretty bad. The clothes were already washed but needed to be folded and put away. I definitely folded them  half-heartedly, not very nicely, but just kind-of, sort-of good enough. Uggggg, laundry!!!

 5. Tuna fish salad-yay or blech? If you said yay, how do you like your tuna salad prepared? Hey, this is the Hodgepodge, right?

I will sometimes eat a tuna fish sandwich with tuna mixed with mayo and relish. But I haven't had a sandwich in forever as I seldom eat bread.

 6. What's something you 'know by heart'?

1  Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always. Pray continuously. And give thanks under all circumstances as this pleases the Lord. This is sort of my life verse that I try to live by.

 7. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, what two or three word phrase would you write on a conversation heart for someone you love? That someone could be a spouse, child, parent, cousin, bestie...anyone at all whom you love.

"Owl" Always Love You! - Okay, that's four but I like that one! ;-)

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

 Two random thoughts. First, come join the Unspeakable Joy Exchange Round One!!! And help spread the word, please!  Details are here:

And Second, after talking about  You've Got Mail, I am thinking of this scene:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Unspeakable Joy Exchange (CLOSED)



The Rules:

     To be entered into the exchange, you will pay a $5-10 donation which goes to

Christians-In-Action to support some missionaries leading a medical mission to Guatemala this summer 2015 ( The funds will go towards  medications and supplies needed for them to do their outreach.  Please be sure you do the step of donating first .  This is important as this is the purpose behind the fun. :) After you have donated, you will then submit your entry to the exchange. To be apart of the exchange, email me at with your name and address by February 14, 2015. I will pair you up with another person and you will send them a package in the mail filled with goodies for them under $20. Ideas are: coffee mugs, scarves, notecards, journals, notepads, pens, jewelry, something you made, etc. The package will need to be mailed on March 3, 2015. If you live overseas, you are more than welcome to participate. Just give me a head's up and I will let your person know that their package may take a few days longer to receive. You will also be praying for the person you are sending the package out to for this exchange.

Step 1:
Donate $5-10 to the missionaries, Ron and Virginia McCabe, at

Step 2:
After donating, email me at Please include name, mailing address, and email. If you want to be connected with your new Sister in Christ through social media, be sure to include that info as well so they can find you.  Sign-ups for this exchange ends February 14, 2015.

Step 3:
 You will receive an email NLT February 17, 2015 with the person’s name and address who you will send a package to in the mail.

Step 4:
Get a package together for this person and pray for them over these two weeks.

Step 5:
Mail the package on March 3, 2015.

NOTE: Please don’t sign up and then not mail a package to your person. The fun part of this is getting to pray for another sister in Christ and also being able to help fund an important mission to help others in Guatemala.  
                                                              HAVE FUN!

You are welcome to take pictures of your packages that you send or receive to post on social media. Be sure to include the hashtag #unspeakablejoyexchange2015

AND... please share this page with others. You can share it through social media,  email, word of mouth,  etc. Let's get the word out! The more we have involved, the merrier it will be.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Keep Pressing Towards the Goal

It's Confession Time!
I have a bad habit where I keep referring to the could-have/would-have/should-haves in my mind. If I could-have anything right now, I'd want this to work out. If I would-have worked harder on this or that, things wouldn't be as difficult as they are in my current situation. I should-have said this to that person instead.  It's like I keep this conversation going in the back of my mind, analyzing my everyday life with these regrets. Unfortunately, this negative self-talk is causing self-destruction.

What can I do instead?
  •  I can keep reminding myself that what is in the past is in the past. 
  •  I can use what I've learned from a situation and improve on it.  
  •  I can ask for forgiveness from others I've hurt in the past.
  •  I can work harder on whatever it is that needs to be done differently.
  •  I can try something different to an approach with something or someone.
  •  I can love others the way God calls us. 
  •  I can press on.                                                                                         

Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

What do I not want to do?
  • I don't want to keep tallying up my mistakes because goodness knows, there are a lot of them.
  • I don't want to keep worrying about something that affects my well-being.
  • I don't want to be so regretful that I can't press on.
  • I don't want to be stubborn.
  • I don't want to listen to the enemy's lies.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I will keep striving toward the goal of my faith in Jesus. I will realize that certain situations are used to make me stronger. I will let go of the past and let God be in control of the future. Have a blessed week, friends!!!

"Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them." - Charles Stanley

***Do you enjoy writing? Do you have a blog? Come join the party. Every  Friday, you are given a word/topic to write about on your blog. Spend five minutes (or in my case more), and link up your blog at

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why Children Are a Joy

I have received many outspoken comments from strangers and close-knit people over the past couple of years about the size of our family. Often times, I feel tempted to answer boldly to their often outlandish statements. However, I try to hold my tongue against it.  

For fun, here are some of the comments I've received and how I have considered answering:
Hair Stylist cutting my daughter's hair: What? Six kids? I would kill myself.

My Secret Response: Oh geez! Suicide? Really? You'd rather kill yourself then experience the joy of raising a family? Wow! Well, if you ever do get to that point and end up with six kids, which we hope not, let me get you the number for the Suicide Hotline.

Lady at the Dentist Office (when we had four): You know with that many kids, you are overpopulating the Earth. You should consider the effect it is having on our Earth.

My Secret Response: Actually,  God's in charge of population size. Have you seen all of the empty space we have across Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico? And that is just a small portion of God's great world without anything in it. Besides, God wants His people to multiply. Oh, and one last thought, didn't you drive a car here today? Why not ride a bike instead?
Stranger at Walmart: Are they all from the same father? (And yes, this was asked in front of all of the children.)

My Secret Response:  Nah, that'd be boring! (Just kidding, of course!!!)
Stranger at Target: Are they all yours? Yikes, you've got your hands full!

My Secret Response: Oh, I actually just found some kids in the parking lot and asked them to come shopping with me. Thank you so much for asking me this question as I check out and the kids are ready to go. It's very helpful.
Relative: Do you know what causes this?

My Secret Response: Hmmm, I'm not sure. Do you?
Stranger at Store: You are done now, right?

My Secret Response: Not until we get an ugly one.
Relative: Is this one your last?

My Secret Response: Well, we have room in our van for four more. :-)

Another Stranger: Do you have a TV?

My Secret Response: Uh... TV??? What's that?
Relative:  Isn't it time for your husband to get fixed?

My Secret Response: Apparently nothing's broken.

Random Guy at Church: Six children? Do you need donations?

My Secret Response: Actually, these six children will be paying into your social security. So I think it's the other way around.

Lady at grocery store: Are they all from the same father because I wasn't sure if this was some kind of boho?

My Secret Response: Yeah, you know. Being married only once while also being very much in love will definitely lead to being "boho."

All joking aside, our society has become a place where children shouldn't be seen nor heard. But why? We are so repulsed by the appearance of seeing many children that we act as though they are life's greatest burden. The comments people make in regards to large families are not only speaking volumes to the next generation who hears them but they are also creating an atmosphere that children are a bad thing. The next generation will begin to think poorly about the idea of having families. Sadly, the worst of the comments tends to come from people within the Christian community.

But what does the Bible say about children?

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Jesus doesn't say that children shouldn't be seen or heard. He doesn't say that children are a hindrance to society. Rather, He says for them to come to Him. They belong in the kingdom of heaven.

With this, shouldn't we be excited for more children being raised up for His kingdom? Shouldn't we encourage the presence of children in a Christian marriage, especially when it was part of God's plan? Shouldn't we realize that God is possibly trying to expand His kingdom with more Christians having larger families?

Sure, every family size is different. God has different plans for different families based on their size. But what our world needs is more encouragement to those larger families. Let's be thankful for the way God grows the community of believers.