Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Girl and Her Dream

Five years ago my husband, John, suggested that we go, with a group from our church, on a mission trip to Swaziland, Africa. I suggested he was crazy. All I could think of were bugs, snakes and heat. But, the Lord go a hold of my heart and sure enough, three months later my heart was wrecked with a love for the incredible people that we met. Since that time, our church has taken many more trips to Swaziland although we've not yet returned. We've been on other trips, including one to South Africa, but haven't been back to Swaziland. And yet, there is a part of me that will always have a heart for the Swazi people.

What I want to share today though, isn't about me, it's about a sweet little 9-year-old girl and HER dream to do something for the people in Swaziland. Sophia is the daughter of a friend of mine from church. She has never been to Swaziland but has heard about the Swazi kids and their need. I can assure you that Sophia's heart to help the hurting is either directly inherited, or learned, from her mom, Kirsten. What an amazing thing to pass on to your children.

Sophia didn't just talk about wanting to help the kids in Swaziland, she came up with a plan to sell hot cocoa to raise money.
I could tell you the whole story but last Sunday it was aired on our local FOX news station and I think it's just best if you watch it yourself. I'm so proud of Sophia. She may be little but she has dared to dream big and because of that lives were changed. Incredible!

Lakeville Girl's Cocoa Stand Builds Home for African Family: MyFoxTWINCITIES.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One Little Word - 2012

In my last blog I told you that I had more to share about my New Year’s Day planning and dreaming session. It’s finally here – the next installment regarding my dreams and plans for 2012. Yesterday, after reading my New Year’s blog post, my friend asked me what I was doing, specifically, to put myself in the “ready position” for all that God has for me. (She has a knack for tough questions!) When I talked to her today I told her that besides being more intentional about spending time reading my Bible, I’m also trying to be ready to say “Yes” to the things God asks me to do instead of “Let me get back to You on that” which, if I’m honest here, is sometimes my response.

I started 2011 by choosing one little word instead of writing down a bunch of resolutions (or goals) that would most likely be forgotten by January 15. I liked the one little word idea and clearly it’s becoming quite the trend because I’ve read numerous blogs about it already this year. Here are links to a few that I enjoyed reading:

Usually, I’m the last person to the “trendy party” so the fact that I got on board before the ship sailed is pretty exciting to me.

You’ve probably already guessed that my word for 2012 is Trust. It’s funny . . . that isn’t what I was planning on it being. I was sure that my word was going to be Celebrate. Celebrating sounded like fun. But on January 1, as I was writing in my journal, I prayed that God would help me learn to trust Him more. I had been encouraging a friend (who may or may not have asked for my advice) to completely trust God with her life situation by saying “Who do you think is better at planning your life; you . . . or God? (That may not sound all that much like encouragement but, believe me, that was my goal.) We all know that the correct answer to the question I posed is God but how does that play out in our everyday lives? It occurred to me, that I might lack a bit in giving God free rein in planning my life which, it seems, might possibly stem from my own lack of trust in His ability. And thus, my word for 2012 is Trust.

Pastor Lindsay Willis gave a sermon at our church on New Year’s Eve about choosing a Bible verse for 2012 – throwing it out like a fishing line – grabbing hold of it – pulling it taut – and not letting go! I like having a verse to go along with my one little word and believe me, there are a plethora of verses about trust in the Bible, but the one I chose for this year is from Psalm 143:8. "Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk for I give myself to you." It's been thrown out, grabbed hold of, pulled taut, and I'm not letting go!

Did you pick a word for 2012? I'd love to hear what it is.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Fresh Start

I can’t remember a time when I’ve been so excited to welcome a new year. I have spent much of today thinking, dreaming and planning for 2012. This is not typical for me. I’m more of a “let’s see what happens” kind of a girl. But, not this year. This year, I am placing myself in the ready position (as our pastor, Rob Ketterling, calls it) for all that God has for me.

The first thing I did this morning was pull out the new Bible I bought last summer. I know it seems odd to buy a new Bible when you already own a perfectly good one, but I had two reasons for doing so. First off, my current Bible has been written in for many, many years and while that is comforting to go to when I’m looking for something specific, it also allows me to get kind of lazy when I’m reading the Word. With a new Bible, I can see things with fresh eyes.

The second reason I wanted a new Bible is that I specifically wanted a Bible with pink on it. I know; crazy right? I mean, who chooses a Bible by its color? But, that’s what I wanted; either pink and brown, or pink and black. And, it had to be the New Living Testament because that is my favorite version. Someone once told me that if you find a version of the Bible that is easy for you to read, buy it. You’ll read it more often if you can understand it. Once I found the version I like, in the color I wanted, I bought it right away and tucked it away just for today.

I also pulled out a pink pen for underlining and writing in my Bible this year. (I love pink in case you can’t tell.) I use a different color ink to write in my Bible each year and note the year on the inside cover. It’s just one of my little quirks. As a side note, I use my Creative Memories fine-tip markers in my Bible. They don’t bleed through the pages and come in a plethora of colors.

The last thing I pulled out for my devotional time was a new book (to me at least) by Sarah Young. Last year I read her devotional book, Jesus Calling. Since I loved it so much, I bought her book, Jesus Lives, for this year.

There is so much more to tell you about today; my word (see last year's blog) and verse for the year, and goals set, but it will have to wait for another post. I know that my firm foundation is in the Lord. He has great things planned for me, and for you. I am ready! I am excited! Are you?