Thursday, October 13, 2016



A purple streak of lightning flashes across the inky black sky.  Here comes the storm.  The dark clouds roll in.  The thunder shakes the house.

I love a good storm.  Well, as long as I am safely snuggled up in my house and all my people are accounted for.   At times, the storms make me anxious, but at times I find comfort in knowing that all that commotion out there is done at the hand of God.

Storms like that remind me of a favorite childhood memory.  Each year when we gathered at my grandparents' house for Thanksgiving, there were always a lot of people there.  My grandma went all out for Thanksgiving dinner and the day-after fish fry.  What an amazing cook she was, and what a great hostess.  The way I remember it, she invited everyone from three counties to spend the day with us.  I am sure it wasn't quite that many people, but the house was definitely full and a little crowded.  

When it got to be a little much for all the grandkids, we would sneak upstairs to the bedroom in the attic.  It always seemed like a special treat to be up there because it was the boys' bedroom.  My cousin Amy and I always had to sleep downstairs wherever we could find.  Anyway, I had memories of all of us being piled and heaped together onto one tiny feather bed.  We would watch out the window at the big storm rolling its way in.  I know we did this many times.  It seemed like there was always a big storm at just the right time.  And what a way to observe God's tremendous power than snuggled up all together with a bunch of cousins!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016



I don't know who picked this prompt, but it is pretty amazing that it coincides with my birthday.  I have so much to give thanks for today.

Thanks to my parents who raised me to love others and to be respectful.  Thanks to my parents for drawing a line when I was difficult.

Thanks to my older brother who gave me the ability to be tough and resilient.

Thanks to my dad and uncles and their endless teasing that taught me to laugh at myself when it is needed.

Thanks to all my extended family who have always loved and accepted for me who I am.

Thanks to my husband for loving me each and every day.  For putting up with me when I am a grouch, for helping me when I am stressed or worried, for being my best good friend.

Thanks to all the Tellmans for always making me feel like I belong.

Thanks to my children who teach me to be a better person both as a role model and by their big hearts.  Thanks to my children for the way that they teach me about God.

Thanks to my many, many sweet friends who took time out of their day to wish me a happy birthday either in person, a phone call, a text or Facebook message, or a card.

Thanks to my dear friends who spoiled me today.  What a blessing you are in my life.

Thanks to my thoughtful daughter who keep a birthday secret for well over a month.  Impressive for someone who once said, "But I'm a good secret teller."

Thanks to my son with the big, big heart for people who sometimes don't get included.

Thanks to the teachers and students at school who made a point to say happy birthday every time they saw me.

Thanks to my two birthday buddies at school who make it fun to have a special day to share.

Thanks to the fifth graders who spontaneously burst into song when I walked into the room.

Thanks to the polite kids who said "Thank you" when I shared birthday treats with them.

Thanks to Mrs. Campbell and her students who wrote me the best letters today.  "Thaks for mking me reb bedr."  (I can translate that for you if you don't speak first grade writing.)

Thanks to my Bible study girls who keep me on my toes, who pray for me, and who help me grow in the Holy Spirit.

Thanks to Laura, Julie, and Debbie for always being there when I need you.

Thanks to all the people who read these blog posts and offer me encouraging words that help me keep writing.

Thank YOU to everyone for making today a fantastic and amazing day.

Thank you to The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit for all over the above.  I am tremendously blessed!

Monday, October 10, 2016



There are a lot of unknowns in our world today.  As we face down the month leading up to the presidential election, it seems like everyone has an opinion.  There is little middle ground to be found between those who want one candidate and those who want the other.  There are questions about ethics and morality on both sides, and questions about who can we really trust.

While I think those issues are certainly important, I think there are some other perspectives that also be considered.  My faith comes from trusting in the One True King, the Creator and Sovereign of the world.  

When I start to fret about the political leader and climate of our nation at its current state, I have to remind myself that no one can come to power without it being part of God's perfect plan.

When Jesus was facing Pilate, the ruler said, "Don't you realize that I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"  Jesus replied, "You would have no power over me if it were not given you from above" (John 19:10-11).  If that were true of Pilate back two thousand years ago, I have to think that it is still true today.

Even if the outcome of the presidential election does not turn out like I hope, it is still part of God's perfect plan.  His sovereignty placed the candidate there for a purpose, and that purpose is to further advance the kingdom of God--even when that doesn't look at all like we think it should.

So, of course, I have a candidate that I support in the election.  But if not...

God is still the one who is really in charge.

Sunday, October 9, 2016



I'm throwing it WAY back for a fun and sweet memory today.

I came home from work and one day and find this note on my mirror:  You are my best good friend.

The next day I found another note:  I love you.

And another note:  I can always talk to you.

This continued on for a whole week.  Each day I would find a new note in a new place with a new message.  Each one was sweet and made me feel really good about myself and this man with whom I was enamored.

At the end of the week, we had a date.  I was all dressed up.  I guess I dressed up enough to make him suspicious.  His first words when he got home were, "Why are you all dressed up?"  I just wanted to look nice for our night.

That night we went to Alexandro's for dinner.  Pretty fancy place, but that's when we were young and single without all the responsibilities that we have now.

When we sat down, Todd asked me if I noticed anything different about our table.  I replied that I noticed our table had a rose on it, and none of the rest of them did.  I asked him if he had done that, and he stated that he had.   I smiled, and said thanks.

A bit stunned and probably perplexed, he asked me if I noticed anything else.  After looking for what muse have seemed like a very long time to Todd, I noticed the ring all shiny and sparkly on the rose.  (Observation is not one of my superpowers!)  Once I finally caught on to what was going on, Todd got on a knee and proposed.  I don't remember all the wonderful words he said that night, but I do remember that he used each and every one of the sentences from the scattered Post-It notes throughout the week.  How perfectly perfect for him to plant those seeds all week and then tie it all into his proposal.

I love you, Todd Tellman!

Saturday, October 8, 2016



I don't have a lot of associations I can draw on for the word muddle.  The only thing I can think of is "muddle through."  Muddle through is not a super positive association.  For me, it means that you are going to do something, even though you don't feel comfortable with it or you really don't know what you are doing.

That is exactly how I have felt the last couple of weeks.  Each Thursday morning, I meet with some beautiful and wonderful friends for an early-morning Bible study.  We are doing a really thought-provoking study right now.  We are in the middle of Forgotten God by Francis Chan.  This book is really making me examine some of my thoughts and beliefs and even my desires.

But I feel so under qualified to lead this study, especially the last chapter we have been working on "Theology of the Holy Spirit."  I don't feel like I know much about the Holy Spirit, and I certainly haven't been trained in theology.  Now I do my homework, and I prepare a lesson each week.  But still...

When I am getting ready for each week's lesson, I feel like someone else should be leading it because I just don't know enough.  I just have to muddle through it.

I have shared those feelings with my group, and they know where I am in my walk.  Each week I pray over the lesson and the people in the study. I ask, with all my heart, that the Holy Spirit will be present to guide our discussion and to fill in where I fall short.  

And you know what?  He has delivered in a way that only He can.  It's not about me.  It's all about Him.  I think our discussion the last three weeks have been far better than when I feel more confident.

I guess I will just have to keep on muddling through...and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Thursday, October 6, 2016



What do you collect?  I used to collect all kinds of things as a kid.  I collected rocks and postcards and stamps and stickers and coins.  Not that I was a professional level collector by any means, but I definitely had stuff.  I even collected business cards.  What kid does that?  Why I thought I needed business cards from every place in the greater Kansas City area, I'm not sure.  But I had a pretty good stack of them at one point.

For a while I collected ceramic bunnies as an adult.  They are cute, and I had several with sentimental value.  Then my shelf where I keep them got full, and I decided I didn't need anymore.

So what do I collect now?  You could probably make a case for me collecting yarn.  I have a whole closet full of it.  I collect ideas for projects... on Pinterest and etsy and Ravelry and Facebook.  I collect ideas for people and what I want to make for them in an ongoing spreadsheet.  

But does this matter?  What I need to collect are things with eternal value.  Jesus said, " Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.  Where you treasure is, your heart will be also."

How do you store up the eternal?  What helps you focus on that and not on the worldly, materialistic things all around us?  One way that I focus on the eternal things is to surround myself with Scripture.  Maybe that's what I collect now.  I have Scripture in almost every room of my house as little reminders.  I have friends who send me encouraging verses to get me through the day and remind me where my focus should be.  I listen to Spirit FM so I can get the Word through song and through their two-minute devotional blurbs that they share.  

It really helps me to have those little reminders around me.  Not every day is great, and no days are perfect, but when I see God's Word in front of me, it changes my perspective just a tiny bit.

Saturday, October 1, 2016



This prompt was a bit of a stumper for me.  It took me a while to have an idea.  Here is what I came up with.

The world fills us full of lies about who we are and what we should believe.  I can't quote all the chapter and verses of these ideas, but here is a bit of truth for you.

You were created.  You were knit together in your mother's womb.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

God is always with you.  When you go to the heavens or down to the depths, He is with you.

You don't have to be afraid.  He is with you.

He loves you so much that He sent his one and only son to die for your sins so that when you believe in Him, you will not die but have everlasting life.

Your sins are forgiven.  He casts them as far as the east is from the west.

You are sanctified.

You are a royal priesthood.

You are chosen.

God has a plan for you, a plan to give you hope and a future.  

You are a child of the one true King.

God's Spirit lives in You.

You have a Counselor.

You are the salt of the earth.

You are a light on a hill.

You are redeemed.

You are blessed beyond measure.

He cares for you so you can cast all your anxieties on Him.

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

You don't have to lean on your understanding.  Trust in God with all your heart.

He will fight for you.  You have only to remain still.




That brief and fleeting moment in the morning when I am awake and no one else is.  My house gets pretty loud sometimes.  I have only two children, but sometimes they can make a cacophony that rivals a jumbo jet.  I love them to pieces, but it sometimes seems like all of life is done at forty decibels or more.

Especially my darling daughter who will nearly yell, "But this is my quiet voice!"  She once told some friends that she has three volumes: Loud, Louder, and Loudest.  Oh dear.  She summed it up pretty well;  that was a pretty good self-assessment.

So I really enjoy a few minutes here and there of silence.  That is why I get up at 5:00 every morning.  So I can have a few minutes to get my thoughts together.  I just need that little bit of silence every day to get myself going.  

This time in the morning is when I read my daily devotion, when I work on my Bible study that I am leading, and sometimes even when I write.  I cherish the silence, but it's not actually silent.  This is when I spend some quality and (sometimes quantity) time with my God.  I need the silence in the house to be able to hear His voice.  He guides me and directs me through His word, through a prayer, through a new thought, a nudge to reach out to someone.  This is when I might write an encouraging note or send someone a text of a verse that made me think of them.  

I really need this time every day, and I can always tell in the outcome of my day when I don't take the opportunity for it.  This space of time when the house is peacefully sleeping is really important to me.

Silence really is golden!