Sunday, December 30, 2007

Remembering what God has done

Today is the final Sunday of the year and, as they did last year, Pastor Jeff and Pastor Joe did their tag team "end of the year" sermon. But before their sermon I stood in church singing Matt Redman's song "You Never Let Go," and remembering last year's "end of the year" sermon. First, let me back up and share with you the chorus of this great song.

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

You see, what made me think of last year's sermon was that at this time last year, I was walking through a bit of a storm myself. Not a big storm, just a small thunderstorm of sorts - the kind that rocks your boat a bit. During that time I was holding onto Jesus for dear life and wondering why I wasn't walking through this storm a wee bit faster. During Pastor Joe and Pastor Jeff's sermon last year they talked about how God takes the storms in our life and uses them for His glory. And sure enough, God has been faithful in that regard.

This year, Pastors Joe and Jeff talked about how, in Joshua 4:4-7, God called together the twelve men representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel to go into the middle of the Jordan river before the Ark of the Lord and pick up a stone. They were to bring it to the edge of the river and use the stones to build a memorial to remind the Israelites how the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord's Covenant went across. I like to call that "Old Testament scrapbooking."

Just as the Israelites are not to forget the miracles God did during the Old Testament times, I must not forget the miracles God works in my life today. It's important to remember. It builds my faith. I may not always scrapbook the storms of my life, and the way God walks me through them, but I can write them in a journal and look back every now and again to see how far He has brought me. He has been faithful to walk me through the highs and lows of life in 2007 and I know He'll be faithful in 2008. It's my job to remember and to share my hope with others.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Silent Night

Most of us have heard the story of how the beloved Christmas carol, Silent Night, was written. It was December 24, in Oberndorf, Austria and the church organ wasn't working. Father Joseph Mohr was obviously concerned as this problem would clearly effect the music for the Christmas Eve service. He quickly wrote the words to Silent Night and handed the text to his organist, Franz Gruber, who composed the simple tune that eventually became what is, at least, my favorite Christmas carol.

I have heard the story of Silent Night many times, but what I've missed came to my attention tonight as I was reading the story in the Women of Faith magazine. In Father Joseph's mind he had a huge problem. Sure, Christmas would have still happened, people would have still been able to worship, and the world would have gone on without the organ music that night. But God wanted to show up for, what some might consider, a seemingly unimportant issue. How cool is that?

Do we even take notice when God does that in our own lives? We have a problem that seems huge to us and God shows up and works it all out. We may think we solved the issue ourselves, or with the help of a friend, but did we really or did we just allow God to work through us?

I'm going to make it my goal to start looking more closely for God's working in my life this coming year. We all have problems that God can use as an opportunity to do great and marvelous things. I have a friend who, one year, made it a point to write down what God did in her life each day. She was amazed at the results as God worked each day. My prayer for 2008 is "Amaze me, God." Won't you join me in that prayer?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset

Yesterday, our son, Adam, married the love of his life, Heidi Auchtung. I sat at the wedding thinking, “Did I teach him everything I needed to? Did I forget anything?” I suppose I should have thought of that before he turned 25 but somehow it seemed more important as he was starting a life with someone else. I guess the important thing to remember is that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time, and the rest is up to God. In the end, it’s really not about me, or John, but about how Adam chooses to respond to God’s leading in his life. So far, he’s doing great and for that I’m most grateful.

I got an email from a friend yesterday that I read shortly before we left for the wedding. She reminded me of the times that we’d spent together with the kids going to the Christmas exhibits at Dayton’s (now Macy’s), Sesame Street live, and playing in the sandbox. I had to quit reading in the middle of the email so as not to ruin my make up with tears. As the song says, “Sunrise, Sunset . . . . quickly through the years.” Wow, they have gone by quickly but these are the moments you cherish. When you know that your kids are happy and ready to start on a new phase in their lives. All of our tears are tears of joy, and we are thrilled to welcome Heidi into our family.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lessons from a Fallen Angel

More than twenty years ago my grandmother gave me some beautiful and delicate little wooden angels. I believe they are imported from Germany and, at one point, someone told me they are quite valuable. I just think they are cute. The set includes about seven angels, all doing something different, like holding a star, or pulling a wagon full of gifts. Most of them are not more than 1.5 inches tall; micro angels, if you will.

So, each year during the Christmas season, I set them on a shelf in the bathroom. It may seem like an odd spot, but my shelf is the perfect size to show them off and keep them from getting lost. The problem that I seem to be encountering this year is that one of the angels keeps falling down. I’ll walk past the shelf and there she’ll be with her nose facing the shelf and the little star she is holding laying flat on the ground (of the shelf that is). So, I pick her up and set her back in place. It doesn't happen every day, but often enough. I suspect the hair dryer might be providing the gale force wind that is keeping this angel from staying upright.

After about the fifth time of picking up this poor fallen angel I got to thinking. I am, to this angel, what my friends are to me. You see, there are times when I’m down - not necessarily face down on the floor, although that happens, too – but down in the dumps. Some gale force winds in my life leave me depressed or out of sorts and I need a friend to come along and help me stand upright again. God has been most gracious and brought many friends into my life that I can depend on to help me up when I fall. They are one of His greatest gifts to me.

I have considered moving my little wooden angel out of the path of the hair dryer winds, but then I decided that each time I pick her up it would remind me to thank God, once again, for my amazing friends. I pray that you all have a blessed Christmas.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Seeking God

Today was a great day! During our worship service at River Valley, Pastor Rob preached on letting God interrupt our lives. Wow! While it seems like it should be easy to let God interrupt us and do whatever He'd like in our lives, it doesn't always work out that way. "Excuse me, God, but don't you see my five year plan here? That mission trip you're suggesting I take to Africa was on my planner for well, never, and you want me to take it now?" was about a year ago that God interrupted my life and told me to go to Africa on a short term mission trip. Was I afraid? More than even I realized (until I ended up in a puddle of tears at the end of the trip). But, I'm so glad I went! What a great interruption.

This afternoon we had the opportunity to have lunch with Ben and Susan Rodgers, their family, and some others from our Africa team. What a great time. Ben and Susan are one of the couples from Children's Cup that we worked with while we were in Africa last March. Actually, Susan was gone for a good portion of the time we were there, but we were able to meet her briefly at the end of our trip, and I've gotten to know her more through her blog. She is an extraordinary woman and I was so blessed to spend time with her today. Susan is incredibly real and shares her thoughts in a very refreshing way. I just love her!

But, Ben said something today that prompted the title of this blog, as I thought it was most profound. He said, "What I've found is that people spend a lot of time trying to seek God's will for their lives. What they should be seeking is God himself. As we get to know God more, His will becomes perfectly clear." I believe the more we find ourselves in His will, the more we'll desire to seek Him, and thus a fabulous circle of knowing God and doing His will begins.

Totally unrelated to Ben's profound thought, but still one of my favorite parts of today, was having Ben and Susan's four year old daughter lay her head down in my lap and fall asleep at the end of lunch. It has been years since that has happened to me and it was all I could do not to snatch her away from her parents and bring her home. So, so sweet!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Watching God do a miracle

I can't even remember how long ago it was when I first started answering phones at KTIS radio station in St. Paul for their yearly fundraiser. It has to be something like 15 years or more. It's no secret that I love to talk, and of course a lot of talking goes on when you are answering phones. But that isn't why I volunteer. I don't even volunteer because of an overwhelming need to be helpful. In fact, I feel somewhat selfish in my reason for volunteering. You see, when I go to answer phones at KTIS, I get to watch God do miracles. Today was no exception.

Last Fall when I answered phones, KTIS feel well short of their goal - the amount needed to complete the ministry they do each year. Other years, when I've volunteered, there were times that the goal wasn't met during the time alloted for the fundraiser, but online donations were made after the fact and the goal had been achieved. But, this September they were only a little over halfway to their goal and the situation seemed dismal. BUT GOD. But God, had another plan. In order to reach their goals for the year they added a "catch up" fundraiser, thus my reason for being there today.

When I arrived today, KTIS was still a few hundred thousand short of reaching their goal. The woman sitting next to me asked me if I thought the goal would be reached. My immediate thought was "there is no way" but what I said was, "I believe God is a God of miracles so yes, I think we'll make it."

It was an amazingly busy afternoon. I talked to loads of wonderful people. A sweet 80 year old woman was in tears when she called because she had been so touched by a story she'd heard one of the announcers tell. I told her that her donation would make her part of the miracle that God was doing today. She cried some more. So sweet! I also talked to an adorable little 10 year old girl who wanted to donate; and to a mom who was calling for her daughter who wanted to donate a $10 gift she'd gotten from her Bible teacher. I even talked to a woman who I realized, through the course of our conversation, works with our son, Adam. She just loves Adam, she told me. I told her that I did, too.

The fundraiser was to end at 7:00 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. KTIS was still over $100,000 short of their goal. I have to admit to being a tad bit discouraged, but I, and I'm sure many others, was praying for that miracle I'd been counting on happening. At 6:50 p.m. we heard that a $50,000 matching gift had been offered. All of the volunteers were asked if they could stay and answer phones a while longer. We all agreed, and it was totally worth it. Not only was the goal reached, but it was exceeded. And, I got to be there when the miracle occurred. INCREDIBLE! I was flying high when I left. What an amazing privilege to watch God work this way.

I'm praying for another miracle at our church this weekend. I can't wait to see what God will do. But, you know what? I believe God does miracles everyday and sometimes our eyes are just closed to them. So, keep your eyes open and let me know when you see God do a miracle. I can't wait to hear what it is.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Grocery Stores

In general, I hate going to the grocery store. I live in a small town and our little grocery store has gone from bad to worse. I could drive 20 miles and go to Cub, but I can't think of a bigger waste of my time than to DRIVE to get somewhere to do something I hate doing.

On Tuesday morning, I was bemoaning the fact that I absolutely had to get groceries. Our cupboards were bare and there was a snow storm on the way. In fact, it had already started and, to hear the newspeople tell about it, we could be snowed in for days. To add to the drama, Tuesday is senior citizen discount day at the local grocery store and the aisles are quite full of seniors anxious to get their 5% discount. I love seniors, don't get me wrong, but let's just say that Tuesday morning is not the day to run in and quickly pick up a few groceries. So, I moaned some more as I made my list and as I moaned a vison came into my head. It was not a vision of sugarplums but instead a memory of the women I saw last year in Africa. They would carry all sorts of things on their heads transporting them to their homes.

At one of the villages we visited, Children's Cup (the organization we were working with) had put in a well. Up until that time, the women were walking for two to three miles to get their water, and then carrying it back on their heads! And, I'm whining about driving three blocks, and walking 50 feet in the snow, into a warm grocery store, to get whatever I want to eat? Don't get me wrong, I still didn't enjoy the trip to the grocery store, but it did put the whole thing into perspective for me.

Perspective is a wonderful thing. On senior citizen discount day at the grocery store, it reminded me to be grateful for all that I've got. What are you grateful for today?

Monday, December 3, 2007

I remembered

I have absolutely no idea how it happened. I was sitting in the Nordstorm shoe department this afternoon and I suddenly remembered the name of the book I read this year. Not the only book, of course, but if you read my previous post, this will make more sense. Seriously though, why is it when we are searching our brain trying to think of something, we are totally clueless and, at other times, when we are just sitting there trying to figure out how to explain to our husband why we need another pair of shoes, it comes to us?

So, I'm sure you are dying to know the name of the book. It's called Normal is Just a Setting on Your Dryer by Pasty Clairmont. It's an easy read book with a few nuggets of wisdom and plenty of funny stories, told only the way Pasty can tell them. Patsy is one of the regular speakers at Women of Faith - a yearly women's conference held all over the country. She has a fabulous testimony of how God healed her of agoraphobia. She tells her whole story in her book I Grew Up Little.

So much for books. Back to the Nordstrom shoe department. If you need boots, they have some fabulous ones on sale right now. And, in general, if you need some great shoes, in most any size, check out Nordstrom. Go see my friend, Marcy, in women's shoes and she'll set you up with everything you need. And, while you're there, who knows what YOU might remember.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Does anybody know?

For the past couple of years our pastor, Rob Ketterling, has made it his goal to read 100 books. We're not talking Kindergarten fiction here, we're talking serious books - interesting looking books. Pastor Rob is a reader. I am a reader wanna be. When I've traveled on mission teams with him, he'll take a walk around the plane about seven hours into a flight and say, "so far, I've written my sermon for next week, taken a nap, and finished three books." Oh please, I'm generally on page 50 by then and have taken two or three naps. (I think I take shorter naps than he does.)

Don't get me wrong though, my reading issue only pertains to non-fiction books. Set a novel in my hands and I'll read until I need to hold my eyelids open with toothpicks. I don't even allow myself to read fiction at home because then everything falls apart until I'm done with the book. I save fiction reading for trips, which makes traveling even more fun. I LOVE fiction books. Still, I'm a painfully slow reader.

At the beginning of 2007 I decided to set a goal for reading non-fiction books. I have a few dozen on my shelves as I purchase them regularly with great intentions of reading them. And, in my defense, I have read parts of many books but, generally I get side tracked part way through. I'm sure you are wondering what my goal is for 2007. It's four. I know, I know, not too many but truly, this is a lofty goal for me. Oh, and my rule is I have to read them from cover to cover.

So, the good news is that I know I've finished FIVE books as of this evening. The bad news is, I only remember the titles of four of them. This is driving me nuts! So, if I shared with you (probably this summer) the name of a book I was reading would you let me know what it is? Seriously, how can I forget the title of one of FIVE books? I can see forgetting it's general content, but the title? Aagh!!!

Here are the ones I remember reading:
Every Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
Bonding with the Blonde Women by Ellie Lafaro
90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

I still have a few chapters left in a Beth Moore book and I'm halfway through another book by Kay Cole James. Both are great books but I seem to be experiencing my typical reading A.D.D. with them. With some perserverance I'll finish the Beth Moore book by the end of the year, getting my total to six! That is of course, if I can actually count the one I don't remember.

I have a stack of books waiting for me to read in 2008. I'll set a higher goal for next year but it still won't be 100. I'll leave that for Pastor Rob.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fancy meeting you here. . .

I attended a conference at our church yesterday for pastors and other leadership people. It was a great conference, but that's not what my blog is about. There were a number of women at the conference and during each break I managed to find myself in line with all the other women needing to "rest" in the restrooms for a moment. I attend a fair number of conferences each year and truthfully, the amount of time I spend in line for the restrooms would equal many days of my life. So, I figure that since I'm taking precious time out of my life to hang out in line, I should get to know the people there. I've met some fun and fascinating people in restrooms over the years. Yesterday was no exception. Yesterday, a woman walked into the restroom behind me and she looked like someone with whom I could strike up a conversation. Not everyone wants to talk while in line. I can't figure that out. Seriously, what else are they going to do? Contemplate the urgency of the situation? Anyway, this woman looked friendly enough so I asked her what church she was from. She told me she was a missionary to Thailand. I happen to know a woman who is a missionary in Thailand. I met her four years ago, we chatted back then, she bought a few Creative Memories products from me, and then headed back to Thailand. We've emailed a few times over the years but obviously don't see each other much. So, I asked this woman if she knows my friend in Thailand. Not only did she know her, she WAS her! What a hoot. Neither one of us recognized each other - apparently, we'd both changed more in four years than we thought - but it was fun to run into her and catch up. Later in the day, I met a woman whose son is on the deacon board with me. She was a lovely woman and I enjoyed getting to know her a little. So, it turns out, all of my time in line yesterday was not a waste. It makes me wonder how men ever get to know anyone. There is never a line for their restroom.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A standing ovation. . .

Generally speaking, standing ovations crack me up. At the end of every concert, regardless of who is performing, the "star" says good night and walks off the stage. The audience erupts in applause and comes to it's feet, encouraging the performer to reappear and do a couple more songs. Of course, the "star" reappears and continues the performance and everyone in the audience is excited, with the possible exception of those who are really tired, or who have to leave to take the babysitter home.

Today, I wanted to give a standing ovation to a different type of star. A real hero in my book. At MOM's group at our church this morning, it was announced that Nancy Dickey had returned from a one-year stint overseas in service to our country. I don't know Nancy well. We've talked only a couple of times, but I remember how sad I was when I heard that she had been called into active duty, which required her to leave her family (a husband and 3 kids.) I don't know that I could have done that when my kids were little. I'm sure she missed a lot of ball games, concerts, and just plain fun with her family in her effort to protect mine.

I don't know what stopped me from my standing ovation this morning, but Nancy, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You, and the rest of the service people, regardless of where they serve, are my heroes. Whenever I see you, remember that there is a standing ovation going on in my heart. You are a true "star!"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A day of celebrations

Yesterday was a day of celebrations. It started with a bridal shower, held by my friend, Debbie, for our soon to be daughter-in-law, Heidi. What a great time! I am blessed to have so many family and friends who could come and celebrate Adam and Heidi's upcoming marriage and bless Heidi with beautiful and thoughtful gifts.

After the shower, we went out to dinner with Heidi, Adam, Heidi's parents, and our other daughter-in-law, Erin (married to Paul who was out of town working.) Erin recently had a birthday, which we'd not had time yet to celebrate, so at dinner she opened her presents from us. Good thing we gave her Sara Groves' new CD. She was planning to buy it at the CD release concert that we were headed to after dinner.

We ended the day at the concert. Sara is one of the most real performers I've ever seen. She's honest, sweet, and has such a great heart for the Lord.

Throughout the day I couldn't help but think how blessed I am to soon have two wonderful daughter-in-laws whom I love, who love me, but more importantly love the Lord. I am doubly blessed!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Can't I pay someone to do this?

I haven't blogged for the past few days because of computer issues. Numerous problems really. The keyboard went gimpy on me. The space bar would only work if you hit it on the left side. I never really thought about how I hit the space bar before but apparently, since I'm right handed, I hit it, generally, with my right thumb. Everything else worked but for a couple of days I had to hit it with my left thumb and it really slowed me down and messed me up. Not only did it slow me down, but I started actually typing backwards. I'd type "ot" for to, and "ti" for it. It probably would have created new brain waves had I continued with my old keyboard, but seriously, I don't have time for that.

In addition to my keyboard issue, my printer seemed to be developing a major attitude and quite frankly, I'd had enough. So, last night, I went out and bought a new printer, keyboard and mouse. My other mouse worked just fine but I found a new "ergonomic" mouse that is supposed to be better for your hand and wrist. Since my chiropractor suggested it, I decided to make the switch all at once. Today was the day I had set aside to deal with electronics. I had hoped to quickly install the new printer, keyboard and mouse and then spend some time getting to know my new cell phone that has been sitting in a box for a week.

I started with the printer which required first that I get it out of the box. This process alone required some major tugging and pushing, and I set the "additional pieces" on the floor around me as I unloaded everything. I finally freed the printer from the Styrofoam in the box and set it on the desk. It had strict instructions NOT to plug in the USB cord until I had completed the rest of the installation. This wouldn't be a problem because I hadn't bought a USB cord. I mistakenly made the assumption that since I already had a printer, the cord connecting to the computer would be the same as I would need for this printer. This was the first of many bad assumptions. After a trip to a local computer store for a USB cord, I was back in business. Now where was that printer driver? Oops, it was now sitting on the floor, UNDER my desk chair wheel. Fortunately, it is strong and still in working order when I found it.

Next, I put the CD in the computer and started the installation process. All was going well, it was 96% complete when I was instructed to plug in the USB cord. This began the first of many trips under the desk. In order to plug in the USB cord I had to turn the computer so I could see the back and find the spot. In the process, I accidentally pushed the eject button on the CD drive, thus stopping the installation process! The other problem I noticed was an extreme amount of dust building up on the back of my computer. That can't be good for it, so I decided I'd need to go get the vacuum and clean it up a little bit. So, vacuuming completed, and USB cord in, I decided to try the printer to see if it works in spite of the disk ejection issue. I quickly typed "help" in MS Word and pushed print. It worked great so I decided not to worry about the fact that I'd disturbed the installation process.

Now, onto the mouse. My next incorrect assumption was that since I'd be installing a new mouse and keyboard, the old mouse could be unplugged. What was I thinking? Back under the desk I went to plug the mouse and keyboard back in. I wasn't counting but I think this about my 15th trip under the desk. In addition to the general pain of crawling under a desk, getting a flashlight so I can see, finding some glasses to help my aging eyes, and hitting my head on the desk as I climb back out, there was about 8 layers of dust that had piled up (seriously, it's hard to vacuum around cords and the like.) So, by now, I'm starting to itch from the dust, but I must press on. The mouse installed quickly and easily but required that I restart the computer to complete installation. That seemed easy enough, until it started up again.

Once the computer came back on, a note popped up to inform me that my installation of the printer didn't go quite right. It would now automatically see if it could fix the problem. I tried to tell the computer it worked just fine but it forged ahead in its diagnostics. This looked like it would take awhile so I went to take a nap. A half hour later I returned to the mess in my office to the cheery note that they computer was unable to figure out the problem so I'd have to uninstall the printer and start over. NOOOOO!! It didn't leave me the option of telling it how stupid it was being so I just pressed the key to continue. When all was said and done, the computer said it had uninstalled the printer but the printer was still listed in the printer folder and when I typed "help" again, it printed it out in record time. Phew!

By now, I had to leave to meet a friend for dinner, knowing that when I came home, I'd have to start with the keyboard. That went well, and only required one or two trips under the desk. The new keyboard has some really cool features, my favorite is a button that automatically brings the calculator right up. I do use the calculator a lot so this could save me minutes in a year. I'm so excited!

All of this brings me to my title question. Can't I pay someone to do this? Would it be cheaper in the long run to get some geek guy over here? I don't suppose he would have taken the time out to vacuum along the way, nor would he have the same feeling of accomplishment. Romans 5 says that perseverance produces character. I'm sure I have more character tonight.

The phone? It'll have to wait for another day or two. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Spiritual Consumerism

I had the incredible privilege of spending some time talking with Sara Groves before she spoke for Chick Night at our church, River Valley Church, on Sunday evening. We got to talking about Africa and mission trips and how when you go to Africa it puts life into a different perspective. When you see children fighting over an empty water bottle, it changes you. As we were talking, Sara mentioned "spiritual consumerism." Yes, we have a lot of "stuff" in America, but we also have the incredible privilege of being able to openly read our Bibles, attend church, go to conferences, etc. and what do we do with that? What do we do with all we are able to learn about God? Do we share it, or keep it to ourselves?

One other thing that Sara shared while she was speaking was how people look at evil (or bad things happening to good people) and say, "where is God in all of this?" Wow, I've thought that myself. She quoted someone else's response to this question, and I wish I could tell you who, but the response was this, "Instead of asking where is God, our real question should be, where are God's people?" A powerful question!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My son, my son

Was it Jimmy Durante that used to say "my son, my son?" I can't remember, but I know it was someone famous like that. Anyway, my son, o.k. our son, Adam, came home for a visit this weekend. His bride-to-be is out of town at a conference so I guess we're his next best choice for people to hang out with. I'm perfectly fine with being #2 on his list. We still offer the cheapest accommodations, the best food (when Adam helps cook), and a free washer and dryer, which, thankfully, he's well trained in using. I realized when he came home that this will be our last chance to have him here for some quality time before his wedding. As we played cribbage on Friday night I mentioned that to him and said, "It's kind of sad, really." to which he replied, "well, not really." I'm guessing that the six weeks until his wedding won't go fast enough for him. We can't wait, either, to welcome Heidi into our family.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Don't quit

Writing a blog doesn't seem so difficult to me, but writing my first blog has proven to be challenging. It's like writing the opening sentence in my Christmas letter every year. How to start? Last night John and I watched the movie "Facing the Giants." This movie came out last year and I have to say, it'll never win an academy award. But, what it lacks in acting skill and special effects it greatly makes up for in spiritual truths. I ended up replaying parts of it this morning so I could take notes. "Facing the Giants" is the story of a losing football team and how they turned it around. I don't want to spoil the movie if you haven't seen it but there are three quotes from the movie that I want to comment on.

1. "Your actions will always follow your beliefs." - Wow, how are my beliefs limiting me? I have some big dreams but unless I believe they will come true, I won't even put forth the effort to make them come true. I'm not going to tell you what they are right now (this is just my first blog, afterall) but as time goes by I hope to share with you some of my successes.

2. "I resolve to give God everything I've got and leave the results up to Him." - I have to admit there have been times that I've let fear or fatigue keep me from giving God everything I've got. What more could I do for Him if I just gave Him my very best effort 100% of the time?

3. "Don't quit 'til you've got nothing left." - This was by far my favorite quote in the movie. I've actually had women tell me that they didn't have any dreams left, or didn't know how God wanted to use them, or that they were too old to have big dreams anymore. My response to them has always been, "when God is through using you on this earth, then He will take you home." Don't quit, my friend. God has great things in store for you. Imagine what He'll do with your life if you give it to him and DON'T QUIT! There are days when I'm ready to give up, take an extended nap, and let someone else do the work but then I remember that God has something planned for ME to do. I can't quit, I won't quit, I will keep doing whatever God calls me to do until the day I fall into His arms.