Friday, May 30

Home Improvement

It's Home Improvement Friday...

Here are two ideas of ways for you to act upon what you've been reading this week:

Order the Love Letters to a Child book and starting writing to those in your life.

Or, write a letter to a loved one in your life (parent, grandparent, child) and send it in the mail to them.

Happy Friday and happy weekend!

Thursday, May 29

LOVE That Book!

I could have several long novels written by now if all my journal writing was ever published. I was a journal writer way back when journaling wasn't even fashionable or even heard of!

I wrote when I was angry.

I wrote when I was entralled.

I wrote to remember.

I wrote to sort things out.

But most of what I wrote was detached. I never considered myself a writer, I just wanted to remember, so I wrote things down. I wrote in journals, on the back of napkins, in my Bible, along side a picture, in notebooks and on calendars. I was lacking a plan as to what I was writing and where I would put my words.

Reading Love Letters to a Child encompasses all the different kinds of writings I did and channels them into a legacy that I wish I could point to with all my writings. The quick notes, the words of affirmation, the description of an activity together can all be captured for the writer to review and the reader to cherish by following Tracey Finck suggestions.

Tracey says to write what is true and what is positive. It took me a long time to realize when I wrote that way, my writing really taught me.

Love Letters to a Child is the perfect book for women. Whether you are a writer or not. Whether you are a mom or not. Every woman can and should speak truth and goodness into other peoples' lives and this book will inspire you to do just that!

Wednesday, May 28

Love Letters

For Mother's Day this year I gave Barb Love Letters to a Child: A Resource for Parents and Grandparents. I had been hanging onto it for about 6 months waiting to give it to her. I was so excited because I knew she would love it - and she does!

With the arrival of her grandson, this book is a fantastic resource to encourage Barb to write letters to Jonathan.

It is also a wonderful resource for mom/parents with children of any age. I have given it to numerous moms and each one has loved it!

The description on this book says: Writing a love letter to your child takes less than 10 minutes and is an easy and effective way to:
• Affirm your child’s uniqueness as a creation of God
• Bond with your child
• Celebrate and encourage character growth
• Document milestones in your child’s spiritual journey
• Establish a family legacy

This book doesn't tell readers to write lengthy letters to children/grandchildren that record perfectly all their activities and all your dreams and aspirations for them. It's about getting quick thoughts and stories on paper for children to read and know they are loved.

What a privilege to be able to affirm the little ones God has placed in your life today!

Tuesday, May 27

Really GRAND Memories...

Wow, our family made some memories this weekend. Baby Jonathan was born!! He was born early Sunday morning and his arrival captivated the rest of our holiday.

My husband and I became GRANDPARENTS.

Before his arrival, we were asked many times if we were ready to be grandparents. I have given it much thought, but it wasn't until I saw this little new life that I realized that grandparenting is like every other stage in life.

It doesn't just happen.

I hope I can...

1. Slow down and make time for the important things in life...not just the urgent. Get to know each grandchild and let them know I know what makes them special.

2. Be a good listener

3. Respect my grandchildren's parents' (my kids!). Give support more than advice.

4. Speak words of encouragement and truth into the lives of my grandchildren.

5. Share a skill, hobby or passion with each grandchild.

Sure, I can make a list of what I think is important, but my learning started long ago and like every stage in life, I now have to implement what I know...and keep striving to be better at what I don't know.

Becoming a 'Grand'-Grandmother is just another reason to become a wise woman today.

Any comments on what you think makes a 'grand'-grandmother? I would appreciate hearing what YOU think!

Monday, May 26

Happy Memorial Day!

My husband is off golfing this morning...he is living out his Fave Five!

Barb has had a very exciting weekend making memories...she'll update you this week!

Have you come up with a Memorial Day tradition for your family that is meaningful and memorable?

Give thanks to God today for the many lives given to ensure our safety and freedom. Blessings to you and yours this Memorial Day!

Friday, May 23

Home Improvement!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend...

Improve your home and pick one or more of the following tasks for your holiday weekend:

Make Memories

Clear your summer calendar and add activities wisely. Leave time for the fun stuff

Make Memories

List your 'fave five' activities that you WILL do this summer. Compare your list with your husband and kids!

Make Memories

Discover an old family recipe for this weekend's picnic

Make Memories

Assign a special theme to each day so your children can anticipate each week! ( See posting 5/19/08)

Make Memories and have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 22

Make Memorial Day Memories

I'm feeling sappy today. The reason?

Read here if you haven't heard. It's so incredibly sad.

With the holiday weekend right around the corner I just want to write one thing after hearing about this tragedy: make memories.

Whatever you do this weekend, make memories.

If you work in the yard, breath in the fresh air and thank God you're alive. Then grab the sprinkler and soak a family member.

If you are heading to a cabin or going on a road trip (or heaven forbid going camping!), stop for ice cream, enjoy the beautiful sights and make your travel companions laugh - frequently.

If you are staying home, be intentional. Go for walks. Pack a picnic and talk to each other. Listen to those around you. Play...whether it's rain or sun. Have fun.

Make memories. Take pictures. Enjoy the long weekend. Spend time with those you love.

Wednesday, May 21

What Do You Do On Memorial Day?

Is Memorial Day more than a summer kick-off for you and your family? Barbecues, a long weekend, end of usually is a pivotal weekend that ushers in summer fun.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan. Different states claim to take credit for establishing Memorial Day traditions.

Early on, our family focused on Memorial Day as the beginning of summer. I didn't pay alot of attention to the real meaning of the holiday until my father passed away. He was a veteran and was buried at Fort Snelling. That introduced me to all the patriotic speeches and parades that were held at the cemetary in honor of fallen soldiers. I am sorry to say it took me many years to appreciate Memorial Day for anything more than a summer kick-off. I highly recommend a day trip to Fort Snelling for summer fun anytime during the summer.

In tribute to my father, we began taking our kids to the cemetary during the Memorial Day weekend. We decorated the grave and always read many different headstones. Looking back, I am so thankful that my dad actually left this legacy for me and my family. I don't think I would have been as intentional as I was. Exposing them to the miles of white grave stones each displaying an American flag was breathtaking.

We would come home from our visit and I would make my dad's favorite sandwich!

Olive/Nut Sandwiches
1/2 cup of green olives
1/2 cup of walnuts
Mayo to blend.
Mix all together and serve on a soft bread for a different sandwich experience! My dad loved these!

If you haven't given Memorial Day too much emphasis in your family, I would encourage you to re-consider and personalize it by visiting your relatives' gravesites and talking about their influence in your life. Maybe find a new recipe to share each Memorial Day that is exclusive to your family! Expand it by talking about our nation and the freedoms we enjoy because of the men and women who are willing to defend our country.

If you are like me, you will learn along with your family!

Tuesday, May 20

Fave Five

Have you seen T-Mobile's Fave Five commercials? They are marketing a calling plan that includes calls to your favorite five people.

My husband and I have been making our own Fave Five lists for years, but instead of our favorite five people it is a list of the top five things we want to do each summer.

Our lists might include trips we want to take, activities we want to participate in, places we want to visit (local or out of state) or summer hobbies to enjoy.

One way to ensure that you (and any present family members) get to do what you most like, is to have everyone write a Fave Five of summer activities. Fave Five lists might include: go swimming, take hikes, have picnics,
go camping, eat ice cream cones, take walks around the lake, go to concerts in the park, go to a bed and breakfast, spend a day at a water park, take bike rides (or learn to ride a bike), go to a parade, have a water balloon fight, go water skiing, read books....the options are endless.

Make your own Fave Five list. If you have a spouse give him a piece of paper and ask him to write his Fave Five. If you have kids, do the same.

Then keep those lists together or compile one big list and put it on the fridge. Plan ahead for the activities that need pre-planning. Otherwise choose from your list each week and have fun this summer!

Monday, May 19

Summer Fun

Memorial Day is this weekend! The weather has been so cool, it has snuck up on me. Are you ready for the summer? Whether you are planning a summer filled with kids' activities, a summer with your husband or a summer with friends, it all requires planning.

Yes, we are anticipating the long lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, but if they are going to be enjoyable, they need to be planned. Think about your summers. Think about your husband and/or kids and think about what they may be dreaming their summers will look like. It is very easy to become a drill sergent and demand that things go your way.

When my kids were little, I started planning early. Summer registrations for swim lessons, camps and Bible School were often closed if I didn't think ahead.

If you haven't enrolled your kids in a ton of activities, good for you. That leaves more time for you to interact with your children.

First, start with a large calendar with alot of room to write! Schedule the activities that are necessary to do and put them at the designated time slot. If your calendar appears too full, start eliminating activities. That's right! Open up time on your calendar to hang out and enjoy one another this summer.

Secondly, make a list of all the fun things that are a possibility for you to do this summer. Summer concerts, canoeing down the creeks, making ice cream, identifying midnight stars, sleeping in your backyard...keep this list handy and add to it as ideas come to mind. Refer to this list on those days that you have 'nothing to do' or an afternoon that opens up for you.

Finally, assign a special task for each day of the week. Pat Mersiowsky is a mother of four. I love her idea! She named each day in a fun way so her kids could anticipate what each day would bring:

Monday...Music Monday. Enjoy some form of music during the day (hands-on for kids!)
Tuesday...Tasty Tuesday. Time for cooking, tasty new treats, improving your diet!
Wednesday...Wacky Wednesday. A time to be a kid...crazy jokes, backward clothes, etc
Thursday...Thoughtful Thursday. Think about others. Have a secret sibling to care for.
Friday...Field Trip Friday. Walk a new neighborhood. Play in a new park. Nothing big, just get out and see something new!
Saturday...Skillful Saturday. Learn a new skill. Make crafts. 'Create stuff' with dad

Summer with friends, your husband or a pack of kids requires planning, but that is what will make those lazy,hazy, crazy days of summer memorable.

Friday, May 16

Home Improvement

We've talked a lot this week about to save, how to spend wisely, how to plan, how to live intentionally with regards to your income.

Today's homework is to look through the postings from this week and choose at least one idea, if not two or three, that you would like to consider implementing this summer in your home.

Maybe it's how much you buy, or what you buy, or where you buy. Maybe it's tips on reducing costs in your home.

Maybe it's an idea on how to train your kids about how to wisely use money and the habits you are developing in them when shopping and going out and about.

Maybe it is scheduling a time to talk with your spouse about how you will spend your rebate check.

Living intentionally means that we do so in ALL areas of our lives - including finances. Stretch yourself this summer to grow in a new way. Like The Compact group, maybe your life will never be the same again. Or, maybe you'll develop life-long healthy habits like Barb and her kids did years ago.

Post a comment and let us know what ideas you might implement this summer with your family!

Thursday, May 15

Money-Saving Tips...My Family Learned Together!

Raising a family while being self-employed has given me alot of opportunity to learn lessons! Not the least of which was what to do when our income didn't match our expenses. I had to learn quickly how to cut corners and be mindful of how and why I was spending.

Our kids were quite young when we first felt the pinch in our finances. We developed new habits and fun activities as a result:

1. I made a summer and winter cookbook. I cooked only recipes that could be made on the stove-top or didn't need to be heated at all. In an effort to conserve energy, I kept the oven off practically all summer. There were days of rain or cool temperatures when I would turn on the oven just for variety, but I don't think that was more than a day or two! This plan was so successful, I followed it for years. It really made summer and winter take on a whole new look in our home.

2. We planted a huge vegetable garden. We ate most of our bounty and occasionally the kids would set up a 'produce' stand and sell the excess at the curb! They got to keep the profits!

3. I got in the habit of always packing a lunch before we headed out for our day trips. McDonalds and Burger King were a rare treat. Not only did we save money, the kids ate healthier and never really expected a treat along the way.

4. I started giving the kids an allowance. They became very proficient in spending their own money if they wanted something special. They were taught to divide the allowance into 4 parts; savings, church, gifts and me-money. All three of our children are good money managers today!

5. Occasionally I would give them $5.00 when we went to the grocery store and I challenged them to shop for what they see if they could stay within $5.00.

Simple activities, but they built good habits in my children as well as me!

As gas prices and groceries continue to go up in price, maybe this is a good time to re-assess your family's finances and see if you need to encourage new activities and habits!

Have fun while you are at it!!

Wednesday, May 14

$600 (or more) in your pocket?

Have you received your check(s) in the mail yet? Your $600+ economic rebate check?

If not, I've heard they are on the way.

This leads me to another question: have you decided what you'll do with that unexpected money? As wise women striving to live intentionally, we should consider what to do with it before we see it in our hand or bank account, and decide on a whim to take friends or family out to dinner!

A CNN/Opinion Research poll found that 41% of respondents plan to use their rebates to pay off bills, and 32% will put the money in savings. Just 21% of those polled intend to spend the money, while 3% said they will donate the extra money to charity.

Our government is telling us to spend, spend, spend to get the economy moving. But I imagine that there are plenty of people who don't need any encouragement to spend this extra money.

So I'm going to challenge you to do something counter-cultural.....give it away.

"What? Give it away?!" I know it sounds crazy, but why not? You got an unexpected check in the mail. There are people in real need....give them a surprise gift! Send someone a Cub gift card. Mail a gas card to a family in need. Send a Target or Walmart gift card to friends in need. Adopt a child in another country - at $30 a month you could feed him or her for an entire year. Write out a nice check to the local food shelves. Give to a non-profit organization that is hurting due to a rough economy. Send some money to a family who is struggling to pay their bills.

Whatever you do, use it in a way that reflects your values and priorities. If shopping is a value then maybe we need to have a one-on-one discussion about priorities :)

If you're interested in reading about different ways people are planning to spend their money, check out this article: What will Americans do with rebates? While there are some unique and honorable ideas mentioned, it states that 70% of people are planning to pay down debt or put the money into their bank account.

This local video gives us taste of what Minnesotans are planning to do....

I challenge you: Is it about saving the economy or is it about contributing to a cause bigger than yourself? Pay down a little debt if that is the financially wise thing for you to do. But if you've got a roof over your head, food in the fridge and your bills are paid, why not use some or all of that money on a cause beyond yourself?

Tuesday, May 13

Could You Give Up Shopping for a Year?

I just read about a group of friends who decided to do just that! Ten people in San Francisco were having dinner in 2005 and they discussed what it would be like to go a whole year without buying anything new!! What would it do for our planet? What would it do for our resources? What would it do for them as individuals? They decided to find out by pledging to agree to refrain from shopping for a year. They called themselves, The Compact.

They agreed they could buy essentials…food, toiletries and health and safety items, but that was all.

One participant said at the end of the year, “I have a completely different relationship with the things in my life. I appreciate the stuff I have more."

At the end of the year, they were ready to stock up on a few essentials and then go for another year!

After reading this article, I recalled years when business was tight for my family and we really put a stop to shopping in our family. The trouble was I didn’t label it a ‘challenge’…I labeled it a ‘bummer’. I failed to see it as a lesson in progress until after some time passed and I could look back and see how it changed me for the better. I came to realize it was a blessing for me to do away with old habits and learn along with my kids how to fix things we had and be happy with what we owned.

Our economy is such that I think many of us are once again on a ‘no shopping’ resolution…or at least we should be! I challenge you to look at it as a time to ‘appreciate your stuff more’.

I am not writing off shopping completely, but I am returning to many of my habits that I had during my ‘no-shopping’ year. This time, however, I am excited about the lessons I will learn along the way.

Check back in the week for a few of the habits I learned during the lean years!

Monday, May 12

Summer Savings

Summer is just around the corner (hopefully?!).

I thought this week would be a good time to talk about some summer savings tips.

Actually I think they are tips for most any time of the year, but summer savings sounds fun....doesn't it?

Most Farmer's Markets are up and running by this time of year. Look up a local farmer's market in your area and put it on the calendar. Not only is it a fun outing, it also provides a much cheaper alternative for grocery shopping. In my experience, fruits and veggies are cheaper when you're buying directly.

Spend the next 3 weeks trying to use up food in your pantry, cupboards, freezer and fridge. When I moved I found I had lots of expired food. I used them anyway (mostly things like cake mixes, cans, etc) and we lived to tell about it :) It is so freeing to have a smaller amount of food in my cupboards. You'll love having extra room in your fridge and freezer for summer meals or left overs. As you are working to clear your cupboards, you'll buy less when you're out (just fruits and veggies at the farmer's market!). So maybe you'll eat a few odd meals, but it will make great memories (popcorn and cheese & crackers is quite sufficient for a Sunday night dinner). Plus, we tend to eat less in the summer....remember that when shopping!

Try not to buy a single house-hold cleaner all summer. Use up what you have (I was horrified at the number of cleaning products I had when I combined them from all rooms around my home) or look online for home-made cleaning products.

Grill or make meals that are will keep everyone cooler and your house too!

Use fans instead of AC for as long and often as possible.

Only run your dryer, dishwasher and oven when it's cool out or at night. (Or, use a toaster oven when necessary).

Turn off the lights and if you have kids teach them to do the same!

Consider carpooling, walking or biking to nearby locations. Call up a friend or neighbor and offer to drive her (or the kids) to a scheduled outing or event. Consider cutting back or saying no to activities that will require you to drive longer distances. Combine appointments, errands and other to-do items to one or two days a week.

Go the library rather than buying movies and books this summer. It's a cheap outing, it's relaxing to sit and read (especially on a hot day if your AC isn't on) and you won't be tempted to buy anything!

Shut off the television, put aside the ads/magazines and enjoy the great outdoors. Ads and commercials increase consumer summer outfits, new summer decor, new sunglasses, new everything leads to more spending and less saving.

Putting into practice some of these tips will save money, benefit the environment and are sure to build good habits for the future!

If you have money-savings tips, please comment - we'd love to hear them.

Friday, May 9

Honoring a dear friend...

Typically Fridays are Home Improvement days where we assign weekend homework. But today I've got something else on my heart that I want to share.

With Mother's Day on Sunday it's only appropriate that we acknowledge this special day.
And this year I want to honor a dear friend of mine who deserves to be wished a Happy Mother's Day more than anyone I know.

She has been a foster parent to three little children this past year hoping to adopt them. God has had other plans and those plans did not include for her and her husband to become their parents. It has been heart-wrenching and so painful to see the road she has walked this past year as she longs to be a mom and has cared so graciously for the little ones God has placed in her arms.

So I've written her a letter. I commend her this Mother's Day. And I challenge myself, and all women, to strive to follow her example with any children we are blessed to encounter in our lives.

Dear Jeri Anne,

I’ve been debating about whether or not to send you a Mother’s Day card. I chose not to because I thought it might be tough to receive, but I truly believe that you deserve to have one. You have been a mother for nearly a year now to three different children! You have loved and cared and fought for their health and safety. And you’ve done it all without knowing the end of the story….and right now without having a little one of your own to care for.

You’ve gone beyond just meeting their physical needs. You’ve met their emotional needs as well and you’ve shown these little children what it’s like to be loved. I will never forget hearing Demi tell you "Jesus is alive!" after we taught her the resurrection story for the Sunday School lesson. It is because of your dedication and commitment that these children know that there is a God who loves them…even when their parents haven’t loved them.

You've lived out what it means to be a mom: doctor's visits, late night feedings, sick kids, scrapbooking memories, losing sleep, shopping for them, celebrating birthdays, teaching them, bringing them to church, and so much more.

You inspire me. You make me want to be the kind of woman who gives my all. You are selfless and courageous and tough as nails. I know some days it doesn’t seem like that, and some days the pain is overwhelming and your heart is raw, but beneath it all you have endured, persevered, and sacrificed.

I love you dearly friend and I’m praying this weekend that you would know that there are little children in this world who are blessed because God brought you into their lives.

Happy Mother’s Day to a woman and a friend who exemplifies all that it means to be a mom!


Thursday, May 8


Well, Dr Phil may say we all have 10 defining moments in our lives, but I tend to think I have alot more than 10. They aren't the big life-changing moments as he describes, so maybe I should call them 'mini-defining moments' that ultimately build habits in my relationships...for better or for worse.

Like the time I welcomed my husband home from work with a big hug and a kiss...only because I wanted to impress a friend of mine who was over for dinner. This was when I was a young wife but I remember to this day how I felt like a 'poser' immediately and had to search my soul as to why I didn't welcome him home in such a friendly way when no one was looking. That 'mini-defining moment' led me to change my ways and establish better habits. It probably wouldn't make my top-10 list of life-changing defining moments, but it ultimately affected my marriage and who knows what big defining moment came from having a better marriage.

Habits either separate or join me to another person. The point in time when I recognize whether an action is joining or separating is that 'mini-defining moment'! It is at that point when I decide whether that action is going to become a habit in my life or if I need to make some changes.

That point in time...those 'mini-defining moments' have been invaluable in shaping me into the individual I am today.

Wednesday, May 7

10 Defining Moments

I am not an avid watcher of Dr. Phil but I found two articles by Dr. Phil about one of his books titled, Self Matters. In Self Matters he says you can trace who you've become in this life to three types of external factors: 10 defining moments, seven critical choices, and five pivotal people.

You can read the articles about Defining Moments here and here.

Dr. Phil believes we all have 10 defining moments that have shaped us. We might have more than that, but 10 major moments. A defining moment is anything that has reshaped us in any way - either positive or negative.

Will I look back on my choice not to sleep on the couch as a defining moment in my life or marriage? Who knows. Maybe I will look back at it as a critical choice I made to honor my marriage covenant. Or maybe just a moment where a self-imposed lesson was learned.

At the bottom of Dr. Phil's first article you can follow an exercise and answer questions to help you determine the defining moments of your life thus far. He says this about discovering your defining moments: "When you know your defining moments, life becomes a little less unpredictable, irrational and confusing."

I've been working through this exercise listing out my defining moments, critical choices and pivotal people. It's enlightening.

Won't you try it?

Tuesday, May 6

That Defining Moment....

I think marriages are made up of alot of defining moments...we just don't 'define' enough moments as such.

Stacy knew as she headed to the couch with a blanket and pillow in hand that she was starting a precedent in her marriage. If she plopped herself down there for the night, the next time she got angry with her husband, it would be alot easier just to bolt for the couch without a thought.

When I was a kid, I was told a story about the indians. I don't know if it was true, but it sure stuck with me. I was told that the indians believed that they had a type of spinner in their heads. I had it pictured as a wheel with many spokes sticking out. The spokes were very sharp and each time an indian did something that would 'prick' his conscience, the wheel would spin and the sharp spokes would twirl around in his head, alerting him to the fact that he should pay attention to what he was doing and change his ways. If an indian ignored the sharp pricks they would eventually wear themselves down and no longer make the indian uncomfortable. The indians were taught to be aware of the the pricks, heed the pain and change their ways so that they would grow up to be a wise indian chief.

I think a defining moment may be abit like the spinning wheel. If we don't pay attention to the little voice in our heads warning us to be wise, we will wear down our conscience and we won't continue on to become the wise women we are meant to be.

Monday, May 5

A defining moment

Last night I kinda lost it. Actually, I really lost it.

I flipped out over a power strip.

A power strip? Yep. Not one of my proudest moments.

I was tired. Our new home is a mess. We can't find anything and we had three things to plug into an outlet in the bedroom and I was angry at my husband for not finding the power strip in the midst of our boxes and bags.

I was so angry that I stormed out of our bedroom, taking an afghan with me, and plopped down on the couch. I did not want to sleep with my husband so I was sleeping on the couch.

Now for some of you, this might not be a big deal. But for me it was huge.

Not once in seven years of marriage have either my husband nor I ever slept on the couch due to an argument. Not once.

So as I threw myself down on my love seat (at 5 feet, 9 inches tall what was I thinking????), and laid there I began to think about what issue could be so big that it would cause me an uncomfortable and restless night's sleep on the couch. Was it really worth it?

And I realized the issue really wasn't about the power strip. It was more about what I perceived as a careless attitude.

I was still angry, but I knew that if I chose to stay on the couch it would be a defining moment for our marriage. And it would not be a defining moment that I would be proud of. I would wake up tired, achy and probably angry at my husband for 'making me sleep on the couch.'

So I got up, grabbed my afghan and crawled back into bed.

The best part of all? My husband didn't even realize I had intended to sleep on the couch. He just thought I had left the room.

When the next defining moment comes your way, may you choose your response purposefully and wisely.

Thursday, May 1

Waiting Requires Work

I always thought that waiting was a time of inactivity. After many periods of waiting at different times in my life, I have a different viewpoint.

Waiting Requires Hard Work!

Stacy and Ryan have been busy moving into temporary housing where they will wait until they find a new home. That means a double move.

Packing, Unpacking, Packing again, Unpacking again

Cleaning, Cleaning, Cleaning

They have to be mindful of what they need to use for a few months so it doesn't get buried in the POD and they have to be very thrifty in what they can get along without so they aren't crowded out of their temporary housing.

There are adjustments to be made. New laundry facility...less than adequate. No secure storage for their bikes. Someone else's bathroom...enough said.

The list goes on, it is part of the waiting period for Ryan and Stacy. It takes mental, emotional, relational and physical work, it is all part of the commitment.

As I wiped out the temporary refrigerator yesterday, I thought of the verse in Matt 7.

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you..."
(vs 7). I heard a pastor talk on this verse and he taught that the words, ask, seek and find were in the present tense in the Greek language. I don't pretend to be a scholar here, but his teaching has stuck with me. He said this verse implied 'work' in prayer. We are to KEEP asking, KEEP seeking and KEEP knocking as we talk with God. It is an on-going task.

As Stacy and Ryan wait in interim living, they are KEEPING ON in their enthusiasm for life. Their sense of humor and love for one another is ever present as they meet the next challenge with an attitude that they will work through this period of waiting and move on to where they really want to be .

For now, making chocolate chip cookies for the hired help, visiting their kitty who is also 'holed' up for a time and discovering new restaurants in their new neighborhood is giving them new appreciation for the small stuff.

I am encouraged as I observe their quiet acceptance of this waiting time. I am learning again the lesson of KEEPING waiting and in prayer.

Waiting requires work.