Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You've got more in you...

Aron recounted a story upon returning from Catalyst that one of the speakers had told. Now this is second hand, but I'm going to attempt to retell it as best as I can, because God has really been using it to call me out lately.

So this dude named Craig Groshel (who started a pretty amazing church called was on vacation early in his ministry. He was poolside swimming with his kids, when this guy swam up and challenged him, "I'm a swim coach...its what I do for a living, and I bet you I can hold my breath longer than you."

Being a man, he couldn't not accept the challenge. The coach allowed him to go first. He submerged himself...and lasted approximately 1:20. When he came up, gasping for air, the coach said, "I'm pretty sure you can do better than that. Now I want you to try again. This time just submerge your face, and listen carefully to my directions. Do everything I tell you."

So he tried again. This time, instead of moving all extremities to stay afloat, he was coached to hold perfectly still. "Okay, you're at thirty seconds," he coached...but he was really at 45 seconds. "Now in a few seconds your going to feel your lungs burning, like they're going to explode. They're not going to explode. That is just your body's way of telling you you're running low on oxygen. But just stay calm. Let out a little air. 1 minute."

He continued on. "In a few seconds you're going to feel the urge to take a gasp. Stay calm. Rest through it. Your body is protesting, but you've got more in you. 1 minute 30 seconds.." He was at 2:00 minutes. The man continued to coach him through until he finally could bear no more. When he surfaced, gasping for dear life, he couldn't believe his time...2:3O - MORE THAN DOUBLE his previous time.

Then the coach said to him, "Mr. Groshel, I've been following your ministry for a while now. And God has sent me to tell you, 'You've got more in you.'"

God was calling out his potential.

So this is where I have been the past few days. I feel God calling me out... I know I haven't been living up to my potential, and the unrest is growing day by day. I don't what the end product looks like, but I know little steps I can take to get there.

1. I need to step up my prayer life.
2. I need to begin reading again. And by this, I mean idea books. Books about the nature of God or that offer insights to the inner world of the heart.
3. I need to do a better job of taking care of my body. I never felt more alive than when I was working out 4 to 5 days a week and eating healthfully.

So that is where I start. I'll keep you updated about how I'm doing.
all my love, friends

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our amazing weekend...continued

We LOVE to carve pumpkins...Aron & I have done it together since we were 15.
Josh & Aron, with the supervision of Isabelle, cleaned the pumpkins while Kim & I made cheesy-potato soup.
Belle was quite disturbed at the sight of this and said, "No, daddy! Don't eat it!"Choosing our designs...
Aron & Josh both chose a Turkey. Belle was thrilled to see Sleeping Beauty's Aurora on mommy's pumpkin. I was going to carve the 3 fairies as well...but that was a little ambitious for one evening! Kim carved a happy jack-0-lantern.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

we love our josh & kim

We have had such a blessed weekend...just awesome!Aron's cousin Josh, and his new bride, Kim, spent the whole weekend in MI with us. Growing up, these two boys were two peas-in-a-pod. Not much has changed...except the two exceptional women in their lives...(if I do say so myself!)
Josh & Kim's story is nothing short of a beautiful "God-thing", and we couldn't imagine a more perfect woman for Josh!
Kim is as compassionate and authentic as she is beautiful. Her passion for Jesus and her pursuit of people are such an inspiration to all of us! We just love her (can you tell?)!So we went to an apple orchard cold, but so much fun.

They may look all grown up,but I'm pretty sure the boy is still inside those manly shells!
Belle found an itty, bitty apple just for her.
And she loved sampling as we went along.

We ended Friday with a trip downtown to watch the Detroit Redwings hockey game (thanks, Mark, for the tickets!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

the soundtrack of our life

Below is a clip of the soundtrack of our life the past few weeks. We are singing "Once Upon a Dream" in our sleep as of late!

For those of you who don't know, this is the themesong to Sleeping Beauty, and our little Belle is enchanted with Princess Aurora.

"I know you, I've walked with you once upon a dream.
I know you that gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam"

(I've translated her singing for you...she's a bit hard to understand)

Once Upon A Dream

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the dishonesty is disgusting

Give me a minute to let this out, and I will be done. I grow more and more aghast at the audacity of the main stream media & news organizations as the days go by. It is not that I disagree with them regarding their ideas that makes me angry...because I do disagree. But it is the fact that they perpetually misconstrue and misrepresent the facts so as to forward their agenda. For a news agency, this is despicable.

I could write a lengthy post about examples, but I'll just give you one to watch. I can't embed the video, so I'll give you the link: Be sure to watch the October 22 Talking Points about CNN's Drew Griffin's interview with Palin and his extremely dishonest representation of a quote of Byron York.

Now, I don't always agree with O'Reilly. But on this one, he's right. Yet you'll never hear about it unless you happen to catch a piece of honest, agenda-free reporting...and you won't hear that watching CNN or ABC (to name only a few of the guilty).

I'll close with this. Its okay for you and I to disagree politically. Its okay for us to disagree about social issues. It is never ever okay for dishonesty to be utilized as a means to an end. And if it is used, you have to question the integrity of the people who are feeding you your information. And what their true motives are.
okay, rant over.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

call me old fashioned....

but where I come from, this is called pumpkin price gouging. I guess its economics & demand (and we don't exactly live in the middle of pumpkin patch land anymore), but $8.00 for one pumpkin big enough to carve??? Luckily Meijer is closing their surplus out, so I only paid $4.00, but even that hurt.And in other fall fun news, nothing like a little corn maze to make a Saturday afternoon bright.Or racing to see who can devour donuts on a string the know Aron had that one in the bag!
And last but not least, a little tea party hosted by Princess Belle for Princess barbie and baby princess.
The table you are viewing is tangible evidence of my love of Craigslist. A pottery barn kids table for $10.00. I've been watching Craigslist like a hawk for months. And I found it! I purchased the chairs brand new, but you can't beat this deal with a my husband would say.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the KazooKeylele

Pronounced Ka-zoo-key-lay-lee, a combination of a Kazoo, Keyboard, and Ukulele. I am humbled by this young man's talent. Watch the whole video, it just gets better and better.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Phil Wickham

This is an awesome song called "True Love" by Phil Wickham. My favorite is when it's just Phil and his acoustic guitar. Enjoy:


Friday, October 17, 2008

Catalyst Conference

It was quite an experience. Here's a few pics:
4 DJ's scratchin' on 60's & 70's funk music kicked off the entire conference.
1 piece of "Floam" in my hand.
12,000 pieces of "Floam" smashed together in front of the stage (it's the big blob thing in the middle of the pic)

There were other things I wish I had pics of, like the elephant they brought out onto the floor of the arena and the school bus they drove down the aisle. The entire conference was exhilarating and definitely a catalyst for my ministry and leadership.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Daily Blessings

When Belle goes to Bernie's for the day, yummy things these two adorable little apple pies!
And cute little crafts. I just adore Princess Pumpkin Belle. What a cute idea!
I sure hate being away from my baby. But knowing she's creating and delighting in her day makes it so much easier. What a blessing.

and I present my second piece of evidence

a girl's gotta love a little lipstick

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stone Mountain

While in Atlanta last week for the Catalyst conference I hiked Stone Mountain with my commrades. Here are a few pics:

It's basically a ginormous rock and they carved a relief of General Lee in it a la Mount Rushmore.
The steep and upward way up the mountain.
The 4 commrades at the summit.
You could see as far as possible in all directions from the summit. Here's the Atlanta skyline.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Ministry of the Word

I have to comment on the previous blog by my wife (the most important video). If you watch the video you will realize the atrocity that is abortion. When I watched it I was outraged. I wanted to go protest or yell at doctors as they walked into clinics. I wanted to do something to wake up our congressmen to change legislation.

Something Erica and I have realized as we've talked about it is that you can't legislate morality. In other words, even if abortion was illegal it would still happen and people would still want to do it. Or, as the Bible says it, righteousness does not come from the law. I don't want people to not be able to have abortions; I want people to not want to have abortions. That's a change of heart, and that's something only God can do.

God spoke to me as I contemplated all this and I realized the absolute priority of the ministry of the Word of God. In Acts chapter 6 the apostles were challenged with serving tables to make sure everyone was treated fairly. They said it would not be right for them to forsake the ministry of the Word in order to wait on tables. So, they selected others to wait on tables, but they devoted themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.

God's Word is what changes people's hearts by the power of His holy spirit. As christians, if we want to see this world changed, let's not forsake the ministry of God's word to lobby for legislation and political agendas. Let's lobby for love and changed lives through ministering God's Word to everyone in our lives. Let's humbly serve in the most menial positions in our churches so that our "ministers" can be free to study, pray, and minister the Word week after week without having to "wait on tables". Let's worship God in spirit and truth and let him change this world.

I'm not saying legistlation is not important. I'm just saying the ministry of God's word is the most important. We are the body of Christ, the Word itself. We're all in this together, and we each have our part to play.

The most important video you may ever see

This is a heavy one today everyone. But as you are about to see,

Here ends the apathy of ignorance. Here begins the responsibility of knowledge.

I will warn you, this will break you. So make sure you are in a position to get alone with God after you watch this. It's only 3 1/2 minutes...but it may very well be 3 of the most important minutes you will ever watch.

And when you are done, we want to hear from you. What can we do?

Here it is:

This short video may be hard to get through, but we cannot turn away. I encourage you to have the courage to watch to the end. Sometimes you have to stare injustice straight in the eye to be stirred to do something about it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

lip love

I just love my new super-power: magical kisses!

Aren't they amazing?! I never knew how much power was packed in my pucker (except where Aron is concerned...I kid, I kid!). Isabelle somehow hurts herself, and she comes running holding whatever injured body part that needs attention desiring a magic kisses to make it "all better". In fact, she just bit her tongue eating apples - and she stuck that cute little tongue right out waiting for me to heal it with a kiss.

As adults when we get hurt - be it emotionally, physically, spiritually - what is our first instinct? Is it to nurse our own wounds? It is to bury it? What about brewing on it? For me...I run to the people in my life that I think will sympathize or identify with my hurt. What if every "boo-boo" I encounter I immediately let out a yelp, hold it up anticipating a healing touch from my Father, knowing that His is the only touch that can make it better. I know I'd save myself a lot of heartache, a lot of worry, and needless pain. No wonder Jesus told us to have faith like little children.

Just a passing thought in my day. If you're hurting, I hope you'll allow God to give you a "magical kiss"...the pain may not instantly vanish, but I know that is where healing begins.
all my love

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday's Top Ten Moments

In the style of my used to be favorite comedian, David Lettermen (that was before he got all politically charged and made some really offensive, stupid comments)...I present my top ten moments of the day (My cousin, Kim, is encouraging me to live in the moment!)

1. Peaceful, un-interrupted time with God this morning
2. Followed by one of my fall favs...a gooey cinnamon roll with a cup of coffee
3. Our mechanic "fixed" our car (kinda...short of putting a 600 dollar part into a car with 238,000 miles) for $0.00.
4. Got to talk to my dad on the phone this morning
5. Paying $2.98/gallon for gas felt really good
6. Sipping a pumpkin spice latte on my way home from work was even better
7. Talking to my nephew, Eli, who amazes me. He is so good to call every few weeks, and he's only 11!
8. My friend, Becky Jo, who loves on my girl while I'm "on duty"...he he
9. the Brand spankin' new Target which blew my mind @ 9:00 tonight (Macomb have to go to the one on 59 & has so much stuff that the others don't...and really nifty carts & a Starbucks)
10. Talking to the hubby who has had a spectacular day at Catalyst. He gleaned from the likes of Craig Groshel and Steven Furtick...and tomorrow...Dave Ramsey. Yeah, I'm jealous as well, Becky Jo!

from the heart this morning

I sure miss my man, but God has been loving on me and speaking to me in the midst of the quietness. He has spoken peace over my fears, and truth to my unceasing questions. In my day to day, I am constantly asking the Father questions, "What did you mean by that?", "What do you think of this?", "How should I handle this?", "Do you want me to speak up or stay quiet?"...ect. God promises us if we lack wisdom, we should ask Him because he gives generously to all without finding fault (in James).

So like a young child...I ask, ask, ask. I have to giggle and wonder if God ever rolls his big ole' eyes (hypothetically, of course) and exasperated says, "Because I said so, Erica. Because I said so...geez. That was enough for life to come into existence and storms to obey...but you, my child, you seem to require a bit more explanation!"

I spoke with Aron last night, and already God is moving in his heart. "Stirring" him, as he put it. Aron & I have been searching how we can best live out of our "sweet spot", if you will. That is, living life in such a way that we are most able to utilize the specific gifts God has invested in us. I believe God is already using this week to speak to Aron specific ways to accomplisth this.

So if you have a moment, pray for him. Pray that God would grant him discernment to hear his voice and the specific ways God is calling him at this season in our life. Pray for him as he courageously leads our family...and for me as I learn to follow his lead. Pray that I might know how to call out his strengths and encourage him and help him in his weaknesses.
Thanks so much for your love, everyone. We are undeserving, but ever grateful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


So today's Wednesday. Why do we pronounce Wednesday the way we do? I mean, it's spelled Wed-nes-day and somehow we pronounce it Wins-day. This has always bothered me because I've always struggled with spelling Wednesday correctly. Just thought I'd throw this out there so it can bother you, too.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

All is dark on the home front...but I will not fear

Belle & I are approaching night 1 home alone this week. Its a very big step for me, because...well, you see, I'm 24 years old and still afraid of the dark. Yep, its true. Aron was gone Friday night and I slept with the lights on.

Its a fear, that by God's strength, I am learning to conquer, and its about time. Because I have let it conquer me for many, many years. In fact, the last time we went home, we stayed at Aron's mom & dad's home (mind you, we did live there for a year), and I woke him up 4 times and made him go downstairs to kill the intruder I kept hearing. Turns out the intruder was the water heater. I forgot how noisy that thing can be.

One of many fears I'm learning to release. At many seasons during my life I can best describe myself in two words: I fear. I'm longing for the day when I can sum me up like this: I trust. I do not fear, I have no fear, I will not fear because I trust in a God who is bigger than any fear I encounter.
So now that I given myself a pep-talk, off to bed I go!
much love

Monday, October 6, 2008


I'm heading off to the Catalyst conference in Atlanta tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to hearing Andy Stanley, Craig Groeshel, Billy Graham, Dave Ramsey, Steven Furtick, etc. in person. I'm hoping God will use this experience to shape the way I lead people in loving Him. I sure will miss my ladies, though, so drop them a line or just drop by the condo (if you're in the Motor City) so they won't miss me so much (Erica's off Tuesday & Thursday).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Wedding Weekend

It's been a busy weekend, but filled with blessings. Aron left Friday for Lake Erie; his college roomate, Jeremiah, got married, and Aron got to play 5 of his original songs for the ceremony! After the rehersal Aron, Jeremiah, & Brett retreated to a cabin right on the water for some guy time.

Belle and I made the drive on Saturday to go to the wedding (I had to work Friday, so I couldn't go with Aron), and we had an awesome time just enjoying old friends and the beauty of coastal Ohio.

Belle and I were definately less than thrilled that this man was walking a WOLF on the beach...some things are meant for the wild!
We didn't get to bed until 2:30 last night, but it was well worth the late night to be there for our friend's big moment.

We're trying to soak in lots of family time today before Aron leaves for Georgia.
Thank you God for the way you love us through family and friends - far and near. Thank you for loving us in sunsets and breezes and water lapping on the beach. May your presence fill us this week as the cool air fills our lungs. May we walk with you, our friend, our King.