Friday, November 30, 2007

Blessings of Thanksgiving

Ahhhh! A chance to scrap again! It felt so good to do this after an intense week playing mom nurse for our youngest who has influeza. I was able to scrap a layout of my 2007 blessings, which I wrote initially for The Blessing Box, but thought an AAM layout was a good idea as well. I won a collection of paper's from Flair (thank you Flair Designs!) from a contest posted on their blog.

I had lots of fun playing with Magistical Memories chipboard. I love that this chipboard is flexible enough and of a thickness that allows you to manipulate and alter it with little effort. I used frames from Nested Hearts to frame in a word on the patterned paper, and also created an accent piece. I used thin strips of paper to wrap around the frame shape, using tacky glue as I went. A tear here and there adds even more texture and the strips overlapped. I finished with a coating of mod podge sparkle medium - and the result in real life is just dazzling. Give it a try!

Isn't this turkey adorable? It was so funny how the inspiration came...I was looking in my clear pocket folder through all my MM chipboard, and a package of Sensational Dot flowers was sticking up behind some other packages. I saw only the top three petals, and immediately thought "turkey tail!". I proceeded to cut off the rest of the petals and made an adorable turking. Leaves from Flair PP provided the wings, and a little sparkle medium just adds to his charm. Now I realize I gave a Tom Turkey pretty eyelashes, but hey - I was doodling and having fun, and did not realize until I was done that hey - turkeys with pretty tails are all boys! (LOL) Oh well, with art there are no rules, right?

I am thrilled to get my blessings into a layout before November is completely gone. This year we joined a new church, it was a hard decision but so right for us. After Abby's accidnet I wondered who would pray for her, and was so blessed to seem my bible study group and her Sunday school leaders rally to be her prayer warriors. And of course there is Marv and Carol, our greatest prayer warriors who meet with us every Monday night for bible study. It is the best night of the week.

As I was in the surgical waiting area while Abby was having her arm fixed, I was reminded on how blessed we were that she only suffered a broken arm. Praise God! One of my greatest blessings this year was Kyle's attitude of helpfulness and wanting to learn. He asked if he could scrub the kitchen floor - oh yeah! He is learning to cook, do laundry, and was my greatest hero while we cleaned out the flower beds for fall and he did ALL the heavy lifting. Our children are such a blessing! And although my husband is not mentioned in my 2007 blessing layout - he is my greatest blessing of all. A pillar of faith and strength and getting us through difficult times. I am excited about the blessings 2008 will bring.
Enjoy preparations for the season of rejoicing, and keep on scrapping and loving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Count Your Blessings!

It is time to count your blessings, everyone! Happy Thanksgiving all! Do you know the story of Squanto? He is the Indian brave for which Thanksgiving really is all about. It goes way beyond pilgrims and Indians breaking cornbread together. We have heard the story before and it is a good one. Try to look it up. I know last year we ran across an animated version of the story when we were using the remote to flip through channels. Hoping it is on again tomorrow!

For the past week I have been reminding my family to think about what has happened this year that they are thankful for. The key is is that it has to be signifcant to the year, so that years later people will have an idea of what was going on in that persons life.
I told DS since he was thankful for animals last year - he needs to come up with something more original. Family, friends, house, food - are givens and not considered original.

My blessings are:
1. New church, great worship, support of small groups
2. Monday night bible study
3. UW Children's hospital and temporary-ness of a broken arm compared to what other families are going through
4. Kyle helping with yard work and household chores - thus saving me back pain

The Blessing Box was featured in Creating Keepsakes in the November issue. A great year of publications is another blessing I have had in 2007, but since I limit to four - the blessings affecting my family seem most important. I do thank God for every opportunity He gives me in the area of my creative passion.
I wanted to share two views of the Blessing Box not shown in the publication or the on-line feature.

The box opens up and a tray lifts out that contains our blessings. We pass this around at our evening dinner table and drop in our blessings for the new year, and reminisce about blessings past.

Abby is doing wonderfully - her spirits are high! Thank you for all your prayers. Now, we just have to keep her from reinjuring her arm. She is so active and will not receive a hard cast for another week. Will be glad when the extra protection is there! Yet, I looked in her closet and am rather sad at the pretty Christmas dresses she will not likely be able to wear because of the cast, and will have outgrown next year. Still hoping the cast will come off just before Christmas!

I pray everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving and wonderful time with family and friends. I think of the families still in that children's hospital and wonder what they must be going through. Terminal illness, severe injuries? I feel so blessed that Abby's injury was only a broken arm. I also learned that my nephew hit black ice driving home from Nebraska tonight for Thanksgiving. The car is totalled, but he is unharmed. Praise God!! I know that God is good all the time and His love endures forever!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Life Happens

Well, we are home - with one little tempermental and difficult patient!

Thanks everyone for your prayers. The past couple of days have been somewhat stressful and exhausting.

Abby climbed onto my swivel chair in the basement Tues. night while I was on the phone. Out of the corner of my eye I see her starting to spin on the chair -on her knees, and the next thing I know I heard her fall and cry. She must have landed hard on the concrete floor.

She was definitely screaming in pain and Jesse was gone for the evening. I called our best friend who is a nurse, and she said to take her to urgent care as they were open another hour. We arrived around 8:20- Kyle was such a big help for me.
Xrays showed her fracture was above the elbow and then curved in towards the inside of the arm. The pediatrician on call had not seen that before, so she consulted an orthopedic surgeon. While we were waiting for the consult, Abby, tearfully says, "Mom, I don't think what I did was such a good idea. I should have known better." Ah yes, wise words from a 5 yr. old, I think she learned something that night. The doc came in with news that the orthopedic doctor had contacted another and they wanted her brought into the university hospital right away for possible surgery.

Of course the word "surgery" pretty much freaked me. Kyle starts crying, Abby is screaming in pain, and I am on the phone trying to reach someone to keep trying our house to reach Jesse, as he was due home from his meeting in about 10 min. (Life without cell phones only stinks at times like these.) Fortunately my in-laws were home and could meet me at the hospital to take Kyle home to bed. During the drive to the hospital I have all these things going through my head about what could go wrong in surgery, i.e. excessive bleeding, aspiration, infection... do all mothers do this to themselves when their child needs surgery? I didn't even think about such things when I've needed it.

ER is packed and we're out there 45 min before they call us in to triage to take her vitals. Then they send us back out. I said an ortho surgeon was waiting for us and the nurse said nothing could be done until a room was available. Jesse arrived around 11 and we didn't get into a room unil near midnight. Abby didn't get a splint for relief until 12:30 -but I will say the 2 residents who worked on her were really good and she was observing and chatting by then. She noticed a triage crib in her room - had feet symbol at one end and head at other. I told her why and she said there was no way a baby's head could go by that symbol and their feet at the other end by the foot symbols - babies are just not that long. She had a point!

They returned at 1 am to say they should have a room ready for her in the hospital by 1:30. I couldn't stay any longer. Abby was in good spirits and I had to get home to relieve Jesse's folks from duty and get Kyle's back pack ready for school. They were hoping to schedule surgery at 7:30 Weds morning. I wasn't worried anymore. When I drove home from the hospital I just gave it up to God. Told Him I knew that Abby was too smart for Him not to have a purpose here to for serve other people. She's been saying for a long time that she is going to be a doctor someday,and maybe she will!

Kyle and I both overslept, but still got Kyle to the bustop early and headed in to the hospital. Jesse had "slept" in a wooden rocker with no padding next to her bed all night. Poor guy! The latest news was surgery at 11 or 2. Then it was 2 or 5. We kept praying all day that Abby would not complain about being hungry. She had an IV for thirst quenching, and praise God - she did not once ask for food. (This, our girl who cannot survive one hour without something to eat.) The nurses adored her and we were blessed with Tina and Kristen, who must have been fabulous baby sitters in their younger days.

It ended up that they did not come for pre-op until 4:30. The man who wheeled her down had adopted a little boy from Siberia, who looked a lot like Abby. As we went from hall to hall, wing to wing - everyone smiled at Abby and she undoubtedly heard the word "cute" a lot. We shared adoption stories with Jim and learned they would like to adopt again someday.

I was able to done the pretty green hat and yellow coat and go into the operating room with Abby while she was anesthetized. An organization called Child Life comes to the surgical area to give the child a toy and walk parents to and from the various rooms in the surgical wing. I thought this was a pretty cool program, and certainly helped us out in a big hospital at an overwhelming time.

When we went into the surgery waiting area there were so many families. Some talking to hospital staff, others sleeping. I had to wonder what they were all there for, undoubtedly for something worse than a broken arm. Cancer? Reconstructive? Had anyone just received bad news? I found myself saying a little prayer as we walked by each group. I felt very fortunate at that moment.

Surgery went well, and fast. Abby was in recovery shortly after 6 pm. The surgeon told us she could actually go home that night around 8 or 9 if we wanted. Why would we want to?! Our daughter's first surgery and what would we do, inexperienced with this, in the middle of the night when things get out of control? The post op nurse had a bedside manner leaving something to be desired. "Well, there is no reason she can't go home tonight. You just handle it like you would any sick child." Yeah, right.

Back in our room at the children's hospital the nurse assured us we could stay over night. We ordered some food and Abby ate a tiny bit of jello and applesauce, and didn't have any problems keeping it down. The morphine in the IV at post op didn't seem to be doing much good for her pain. The nurse got her Tylenol with codeine. The stuff must taste awful. Abby fought as hard as she could not to take that med, and when they got it in her she was so upset that she almost worked herself into throwing it up. We quickly popped the television on for CARS to get her distracted to calm down, and it worked. She got tired and I headed home around 9:30.

I returned this morning to bring our girl home. Abby didn't want to leave the hospital today, and no wonder as nurses cater to her every need. She was actually mad at me for coming to pick her up to take her home. She wanted me to leave the room yesterday as well when she had to go to the bathroom. Just wanted dad and the nurse to help her. I could have let her words stab my heart, but I know she was just out of sorts and not herself.

She screamed and cried all the way to the car this morning, but once in it actually had a nice conversation about things she was seeing along the drive. Abby can be fine and laugh watching a movie, but as soon as she has no distractions, or gets in a mood, she is focused solely on her arm and fusses about it.

Abby doesn't want to be moved (trying to adjust her from a weird angle on the couch), touched...etc. Often we can't do anything to make her happy or do anything right. I gave her Tylenol with codeine and even an hour later she cried and screamed at the top of her lungs. I think a lot of it is fear vs. real pain, as she remembers that it hurt before when she moved it. I really thought she would be a happier kid after surgery. They made it sound like it would really take the pain away. Jesse wonders if the pins in her elbow are bothering her. It is hard to tell when she is in real pain and when she is manipulating us.

If Abby would only realize that she can resume life much as it was before the surgery, just one arm less to help with motor skills, her attitude would turn around. She also seems certain that walking causes her arm to hurt, and we have been having a battle with that. As I type this we just finished a half hour battle to get her to take medicine. Maybe even longer - if only they did not fight it so life could be much more pleasant more quickly. Now she is having a cookie and is all smiles.
I just pray everyone gets a good night's sleep - especially poor Jesse. The cot at the hospital was like a rock, there is no way he could have had a decent night's sleep. With nurses in every 4 hours to check vitals, that wake up would just mean he had to resettle Abby each time.

We could still use prayers - we have a patient with an attitude to boot. (LOL) Hoping tomorrow is an easier day. I feel bad that I have to go to work in the morning and leave Jesse home to deal with her alone again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sisters - Take Two

Just a bit more on my long weekend with my sisters. Do you have sisters? Do you get together for a couple of days, without husbands, children, just to reconnect?

I loved growing up with my sisters. Diane and I would play with the farm animals together - dressing up the calves and leading them around the yard. We didn't have Barbies, so we used our imagination and the poor critters who were subject to our affections. Teresa, as the eldest (note I did not use the word "old"), was the one I looked up to. Two years ahead of me I strived to follow in her footsteps. In someways I did, but I certainly set out on my own path when finding my niche in highschool. I remember sharing the dresser mirror, getting ready to go to a dance, discussions on hair styles and make-up - sister talk!

As our families gather at holidays rarely does "sister talk" come into play. Our weekend away was a time to reconnect on this level. We admired the very expensive clothing in the tourist town stores of Door County, and there were some bargains to be had. We talked about colors, you know...are you a "winter", "summer", or "autumn" kind of gal. What color makes your face light up, or as I like to say "pop" (kind of a carry over term from scrapbooking). Diane's clothing choices are fine, but what we really noticed is that she lights up in burnt orange and rust - the woman is a definite "fall" and she had been mis-lead to believe she is a "winter". My own shopping acquistions included finding a few things for the kitchen, including a cool clip on spoon holder - perfect to hold the soup ladle for a large pot of soup.
On Friday night a local art studio, called Hands On, opens up to the adults of the community. From 6:30-10 p.m. adults only are welcome to come in, bring wine, soda, snacks, whatever you want, and try out a new art medium. You can choose from glazing greenware, metal art painting, glass, and mosaics. I am not sure, but I beleive I saw a pottery wheel as well, but that may not be an option for Friday evenings. I opted to work on a project with mosaic glass. I've always admired it, but hadn't tried it. Although I would have loved to cover a toilet seat lid in mosaic tiles (the sample was awesome!) - we only had a few hours, so I chose a trivet as we could use a nice trivet at home.

Rather than do something simple, as in rows or borders of glass all set in a symetrical pattern - I saw green "leaf" shaped glass and white iridescent circles that made me think of flower parts. I created a floral design in my favorite scrapbooking colors of red and aqua. I had some trouble cutting the glass as I envisioned it, but realized that art does not need to be perfect. I was running out of time, and had to just let it happen as our group closed the place down because of my tedious project. I have to say, however, that it was worth the time - I love how it turned out. I have to thank Mitch and Hilde who at times took pity on my slow progress and helped cut some glass. (LOL)

At any rate, I think the Hands On Art Studio was one of my favorite parts of our Door County trip. If I vacation up there with my family, and we get rained in and are not able to go bird watching - I am pretty sure that all of use could happily spend the day there. I would do another mosaic, Abby would paint a plate, Kyle might paint a metal salamander, and if Jesse could operate a potter's wheel - he would!

You may wonder, did I scrapbook on my 4 day weekend? I actually had not planned to, but when Teresa told me she was bringing her new Cricket along so we could figure out how to use it together I packed up some supplies to make a few Thanksgiving cards and start a mini album I plan to give for Christmas. The Cricket was pretty straightforward, and for a person who likes to attend crops, its portability is perfect for my sister. I did share the tip about Krylon repositionable spray on adhesive. It seemed the manufacturer of Cricket wants to sell you a new mat everytime it loses its tackiness to hold the paper medium. Since my own Element advocates the Krylon, I am sure it will work for the smaller version of the Cricket. I did manage a few cards and got a start on my album. If I had not gone away to do this I am not sure I actually would have got this gift done for Xmas, but now I am certain that I will.

Have sisters? Arrange a weekend away. You will be glad you did. God gives us sisters so we will have best friends throughout life, no matter how many mistakes and wrong choices we make. Be sure to find time for sister time only, you will be glad you did.

(note - this post has been sitting as a draft for a few, waiting for me to add that photo. We've been spending day/night at the hospital since Tues.night. Guess what I am blogging about next?)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sisters, a quarry, and pileated pursuit

Sisters time away – what a great couple of days I had! For the past several years I have been hoping to get together with my sister and mother for some special time away. Why is life always so crazy? But finally, we did it! Dianne had a realtor’s conference to attend in Door County, Wisconsin and asked if we wanted to go along. Early November is good timing for me. The family birthday parties are over and I have not yet begun the flurry of making Christmas gifts (although if I had perhaps it would not be an annually flurry, right?)

We planned our Sister’s Time Away months ago. Not long before the date, Diane’s friend Hilde, another realtor with First Weber, wanted to attend as well, and has friends who are building a unique vacation home in Fish Creek, Door County called Quarry House.
The place is just incredible – Mitch and Mary had a vision for an empty rock quarry, embraced the land and worked WITH it, making it a part of their dream retirement home, rather in the fashion of Frank Lloyd Wright. One portion of the home is a guest house, a rental for vacationers to Door County. The accommodations are top of the line, and a great place for romancing couples, couples who enjoy vacationing together, or for families. Quarry House is not yet complete, but the guest house was very much ready for us, and Mitch proved to be a most gracious host, periodically checking to be sure we had everything we needed. I look forward to returning to Quarry House with Jesse, hopefully for our anniversary next October when Door County colors are peak.

When Mitch told me that pileated woodpeckers have a flight path across the front of the quarry to the woods behind the home I about fell over. Why? Well, for those who know me well Jesse and I are bird watchers. Jesse introduced me to this when we began dating and we love it, and our children enjoy it as well. Birders often have “life lists” and keep track of all the species of birds they have seen in their lifetime. I also happen to have a wish list – and the pileated woodpecker is at the top of my pecking order.
I loved Woody the Woodpecker as a kid, and this cartoon was fashioned after Woody. I have been in pursuit of the pileated for years. I have heard it call in the woods up on the hill, many years ago before the land was developed. When Jesse and I honeymooned for our 5th anniversary in the U.P. of Michigan we spotted a silhouette one early morning in Seney Wildlife Refuge as it flew across a field. Well, Jesse actually saw it, not me (he can recognize the bird by the flight movements). Saturday morning I headed out to the woods early. Mitch had shown me a tree the day before pot-holed by the pileateds, which is very distinct from holes made by other woodpeckers. I heard pecking sounds in the distance, but nothing that drummed like a pileated would. Figuring I would not likely get to see this bird I took a self portrait of myself next to a tree where it had obviously been. (LOL)

Later on both Teresa and Diane joined me and we headed down the trail Mitch had shown me, which brought us out onto Spring Road to head back to the Quarry. I can’t recall if I was still climbing down the bank onto the road, or what I was looking at, but Diane yells “did you see that huge bird?!”. Well, no, I had not. She described it, and it was undoubtedly a pileated. Wouldn’t you know – I have spent the past 18 years hoping to see this bird, and my sisters who had only heard of it 36 hours before, both got to see one. Mitch came out of the house and we pursued the bird into the woods across the road. (Apparently you can just climb down any bank up there and go onto people’s land to chase a bird – totally different way of life in the peninsula!) As you may guess we never did see the pileated.

Lighthouses were hot on our list of sites to see. Because the weather was not exactly warming, we made a point to find Cana Island Lighthouse Thursday afternoon, which turned out to be the most picturesque.

While searching for the lighthouse we came upon the back side of Ridges Sanctuary and headed down the boardwalk. Of course I was watching the woods on either side for wildlife, and found a tree riddled with pileated holes, and made a mental note that Jesse and I would return with a blind and binoculars when we came up to go birding.

More on our Sister’s Time Away another day. I will say that although Hilde was not a “sister”, she was a welcomed new friend. I really enjoyed talking to her and learning just how small the world is when I mentioned Jesse’s interest in finding a used hammer dulcimer, and Kyle wanting to learn to play bagpipes. Speaking of Kyle, he accidentally got into the school spelling bee on Friday. He just happened to finish in the top 4 of his 4th grade class even though he had not opted to take home word sheets to study. Since he does not like to get up in front of crowds, he was pretty upset about it but I think Jesse helped him to relax and feel better. One of those moments I missed while I was gone. I enjoyed time with my sisters, but sure am happy to be home with family. They are my blessing in this journey.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Build it...and they WILL come!

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day for us. The church, Blackhawk, moved into its new building. Fortunately for us, the new location is half the distance to our home. We love that fact!

We left early. In the past we attended the first service at 8:00, but in the new location the number of services are reduced due to larger worship venues. Both the main sanctuary and the video cafe, which attracts the younger generations, are about double in size. Our new service time is now at 9 a.m., which is a blessing as we actually have time to relax and feed the kids before worship on Sundays.

I admit we were a bit surprised by the number of people and crowds already gathered on the lower level to check children into early childhood ministries. The lines were long, there was some computer glitches, but "geek angels" were right there getting things worked out. We made it upstairs to the sanctuary with 15 min. to spare, and really had to go looking for a two seat opening. A sign of things to come? We actually had a third seat, and were happy to see our friend Rick, whom often sits with us at the old location. You know how people kind of get used to "their spot" in the church pews, well, this was a whole new ball game. With people from the first two services combined there were many new faces. I would guess that the entire row in front of us was comprised of college aged students - the number of young people was really amazing.

Even more so, was that the place kept filling. People were asked to move to the center of the rows, just like we did in "project CRAM" at the Whitney Way location. The main sanctuary filled. The video cafe filled up as well. Prepared or not, the gym was set up for the overflow. After worship it was announced that over 300 people were in the gymnasium - standing room only. WOW! I got teary eyed - God is so moving in this place and it is my prayer that the heart of every individual, even those who are coming out of curiousity to see the huge building that had been under construction for the past 18 months, be touched by God's love. Blackhawk has and continues to be a place for seekers. It is a place where mission has, and continues to be, at the forefront of its value system - taking care of the poor both locally and abroad. It is a place to grow in relationship with our Lord and Saviour. The walls of the building may have changed, but the Christ's Church, the people of God, have not. The same hearts, the same giving spirits, the same souls hungry for God's infallible Word, will be coming through the doors each and every day of the week. Blackhawk continues to build a loving communiity in order to reach a community that is lost without Him - no matter where the walls are planted. Blackhawk is NOT a huge building off of Mineral Point Road, it is people.
Yesterday, during worship, God replanted an idea in my head for adoption ministry that I had had years ago. I never knew what to do with my idea, but as Pastor Chris talked about the builidng simply being a tool for ministry, the path became much clearer. I really don't know where to start, so I please ask for your prayers that He will guide me and point me in the direction I am to go to follow His call.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Celebrations!! Welcome November

October is over - how it flew past!! All of our family celebrations have made me look forward the quiet month of November. (Ha - time to start making those Christmas gifts!)

Tomorrow, November 3 is National Digital Scrapbooking day - and you know what that means? HUGE specials and freebies from Kjoi Studios! Please stop by and see what the Kjoi designers have been making - you won't be disappointed!

Guess what? This morning Abby was helping me create a digital page! Yep, 5 years old - a digi scrapper in the making. She thought it was lots of fun to use the mouse and drag and drop elements onto my layout. I pointed, she dropped them there, and even held the mouse clicker down to move it back and forth to get it just where I wanted. NOW that is a tidy way of scrapbooking with the young ones in your family. Give it a try!

October flew, as I mentioned. I had very much wanted to share a tribute page I made to honor two special ladies in my life, but wasn't able to. In honor of breast cancer survivors everywhere, I wanted to share my aunt's testimony about the healing power of faith and prayer. My cousin is also an inspiration, dealing with a number of physical ailments. These two women are living examples of perseverance.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness I also altered a cute Campbell's soup can into a pencil holder, complete with glittering angel of hope! When I saw these cans I fell in love with the pink label, and we needed a new pen holder by the computer. The angel shape is from Magistical Memories, and are sold as a fund-raiser for Crystle's nephew Rhys who is battling cancer. It just seemed a great use for Rhys' angel to be a symbol of hope for women. I used my Crop-o-Dile, which most often sits in a drawer, to punch holes in the can and weave ribbon around the upper edge. I hope you like it as much as I do!

I managed to scrap quite a few pages in October, what with challenges at various sites and a month long crop at the Scrapbook Playground. I haven't added up how many pages total, but likely more than a dozen. I had my first pet, and letter sized, scrapbook page picked up last week by Simple Scrapbooks for their March/April issue. Kyle is thrilled that his lovebird will be featured in a magazine. The editor sent me some fun and interesting questions to answer. Of course, having raised parrots, my answers kind of became a 101 class in parrot psychology. I will be curious to see what makes it into print. (LOL)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Change Like Shifting Shadows

By Rita Shimniok

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Change is a part of life. Each day I awake, I am changed, and even though it may not always be apparent on the outside, I can see that God is continually at work in me, changing my heart and drawing me closer towards Him. Every single one of us is a work in progress.

With the leaves changing colors on the trees around us I am reminded of the verse from Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” When I think back through my life and all of the changes I have incurred, I can see all the seasons I have been through. There was a season of ignorance, a season of indifference, a season of rebellion, season of longing and searching, season of desiring to change with continual failure, and finally, a season of growth in Christ.

It is my last and current season in which I have found true joy in my heart as I have come to know the Lord on a much more personal level. Life has been somewhat unpredictable, and as I have grown in Christ I have learned how to handle change with a sense of calmness and reliance upon God. Prayer plays an important role in my life when going through change of any kind that may be stressful.

About a year ago a huge change in our lives was that of switching to a different church. It was a most difficult decision, in the making for more than a year. We had been married in our church, and had been active for more than 18 years. Our little church was family. My husband and I both needed spiritual feeding through a style of worship that allowed the Holy Spirit to move us through praise songs and time for reflection. As we grew in Christ we became more firm in the values set forth in the bible. We truly believe that the pages of the bible were God inspired, God breathed. Our former church was not always teaching in this manner, and it caused inward struggle and even frustration at times. The word of God never changes, through generations, and 100s of years, God is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. Gods’ Word was written to a people of a certain time in earth’s existence. As modern day Christians we need to remember that the Word was not written to us, but for us. Keep this in mind and it will make a difference in your bible study.

Thus we began calling Blackhawk our home, moving from a church of approximately 200 in Sunday attendance to one of nearly 3,000 was a monumental step. God gave us so many signs that this church was where we belonged, however, and we have begun the process of getting to know others through involvement and small groups. Each and every Sunday I am lifted up, and as many of you may know – inspired as well and the inspiration often finds its way into my Selah devotionals and scrapbook pages.

This past Sunday was the start of yet another change in our lives. We said good-bye to the building in which our worship services have been held. On November 4th we say hello to a newly built place of worship and gathering, and I will just use the word HUGE to describe it. Finding our way around may seem daunting at first. I admit, I SO look forward to LEAD Bible Study meeting on Wednesday nights and having a table on which to lay our bibles in a spacious room, versus eleven women cramming into a cozy, oversized storage room used as an office for three. The new building will be such a blessing for the church staff, who has endured major growth pains and kept scrunching together until there was no more room to scrunch. We are excited about the move and potential growth as more people are reached for the kingdom. Abby has been counting down the days all week, excitedly telling me Sunday is the day we go to our new church building. I love that my children are excited to go to worship. It gives my heart and soul such joy.

Change is constant in our lives. Selah began as a devotional blog, and today it fledges as its own web-site. This change is a huge step of faith. So much time and energy has gone into this project, because God gave two followers a vision who have carried it through, despite a year of trials and tribulations. This is an exciting time for all of us who have been a part of the Selah team. We pray that Selah will bear fruit for the kingdom. This post was originally for the blog. It has become routine for me to post on Thursday mornings, and since I had written this for today I thought I would share it here. Selah has gone live this morning - please check it out!

Change is often exciting and wonderful, but there are changes that cause us to weep as well. Difficult times of change remind us how temporal we are, for this life, too, shall pass. When you are going through times of change, good or bad, always keep in mind that which does not change, and that is the Lord, our God.

My prayer for you today:
Lord, we know that change is a part of life. As we go through the seasons of our life help us to remember that there is a time for everything. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, and a time to tear down and a time to build. As we lose those we hold dear, or face new situations and perhaps new places, help us to realize that you are in control Lord, and that you alone are powerful, and mighty, and never changing. You alone are our Rock and our refuge, help us to stand firm on our faith and seek to share the love of your Truth to the world. Amen.