Posts Tagged ‘Indiana’

Small Group = Big Love

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Let me tell you about my small group.

It consists of a rag-tag bunch of individual people all working towards the same goal, Jesus. I told my hubby yesterday as we drove away from our church that before we joined them as members there….I would drive by and see the cars and all the activity – and inside my head, I would think MY FRIENDS ARE IN THERE!

Weird, I know.

But, I knew there was someone in there that I needed. Eagle Church in Zionsville, Indiana was just about a mile from my house (for the last 4 years). We visited a few times when we first moved there and really liked the service. Still, we made no commitment. The only way to my house or to the world outside my neighborhood forced me to drive right by Eagle. Never, not once did I drive by without looking over and thinking about who was in there that I needed. I know, you’re thinking I’m really strange.

One Sunday, my son and I were at morning worship when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to meet the warmest face. Instantly, we connected and she invited us to visit again and meet her small group. I couldn’t get home fast enough to share the whole conversation with my hubby. He had worked all night and was sleeping, otherwise…he would’ve been there too.

We took them up on the offer and from day one, we knew we were with our friends. The ones God kept nudging me to get in there and find.

I’ve been in many churches. I’ve met countless believer’s along the way. This group of people represents so much that it’s hard to put into words. I want to do them justice. I want to portray what they mean to our hearts.

They have LOVED with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31:3)

When I felt that tap on my shoulder that Sunday morning, we were at the beginning stages of the hardest road of our lives. These great Godly people opened their hearts and said, “Come on in!”.

They have KEPT TRACK of every sorrow. (Ps. 56:8)

Every tear, every sad rejection…this group of people offered up love and support. Not a single time did we get anything but encouragement from them when we were facing another letdown in the job search. They pushed us, with love & encouragement….they prayed like warriors and they BELIEVED in us and that GOD was (and still is) doing a great work in us. Note: When you walk through the fire, it is hard to see yourself victoriously! Find friends who can see and let them lead you on!

They have modeled STRENGTH and COMPASSION. (Phil. 4:13 – 2 Kings 20:5)

Who can you turn to when your life feels shattered? No matter how dejected or depressed we felt, our small group rallied like warriors around us. They cheered us forward, listened to our desperation and loved us in ways we didn’t know we needed. Every. Week.

They ANCHORED us to God. (Heb. 6:19)

During many of our lowest moments, these people carried us through prayer, encouraging words, a shoulder to cry on and remained steadfast & faithful! Sometimes when you’re hurting so badly you can’t see ahead, it takes the faith of another or others to hold you up and keep you focused on all that God is doing and can do in your broken life.

They have been MERCIFUL. (James 2:13)

Do you know how much shame and embarrassment is wrapped up in our social structure of life? Being unemployed and doing it for what seems like forever is not only heartbreaking, it’s embarrassing! It feels as though SOMETHING IS WRONG with you – and all the rejections that go along with that only make it worse. These folks have not judged us or looked down on us. They treated us with dignity and love! Put that on repeat. Over & over. Endless mercy.

They have been a source of ENCOURAGEMENT. (1 Thess. 5:11)

Times were hard. Friends don’t let friends stay in a hole. They grabbed their shovels of love and dug us out so many times. Who does that?

They have been a MOUNTAIN of faith. (Matt. 17:20)

We needed them, God knew it and He provided them at just the right moment. Nothing ever swayed them or their confidence in God doing what we needed just when we needed it most. My faith grew because they kept at it alongside us. They understand we are not where we want to be, but they know there’s no mountain God cannot move. We will see so much more clearly….when we look back.

They have given us their HANDS. (Is. 42)

Fumbling along, stumbling and sometimes even falling down…this sweet group of people stepped in and lent a hand when we couldn’t find our way. I’ve been around long enough to know that getting involved in someone’s struggles is life-sucking. It not only sucks it sucks the life out of you! With grace and kindness this small group of Christian soldiers handed us help in both simple and difficult ways. They are unstoppable!

I could go on but I won’t. I am challenged to be a better me because of them. When we drove away from them yesterday, I cried. Not only tears of sadness, thankful tears… filled with inspiration and DEEP LOVE! I KNOW – I KNOW – I KNOW, they are still right behind us (no matter how far we wander away from Zionsville) and cheering us on and praying as we discover whatever it is God is calling us to do.

That’s my small group. Small in size but big in love!

You orchestrate the most amazing experiences for your children. I consider my small group one of my greatest blessings. I pray for them, that rag-tag of humans all combined to make one big dynamic Christ-like force. I pray that you would bless them, keep them safe….push them forward while we are away and pour all over them the love they deserve. Each of them have a precious piece of my heart and I will never forget the kindness & love they’ve shown. My people, YOUR PEOPLE! Thank you for every single one of them!

Can I challenge you?

Tap someone on the shoulder, invite them into your life. You never know, they may be just who you need for such a time as this!

Camp Where There’s NO SIDE OF THE ROAD

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

So, we took our new camper out for a “trial run” camping trip this week. As usual, I scoured the news for weather just to make sure what we were up against should we have a rain or snow event. According to the news, snow was heading smack for us on Wednesday. I raced with my phone evidence to show my hubby and I laid down the law:

I’m not going anywhere pulling that big camper in a snow storm! If we don’t leave on Tuesday to beat the pounding snow, I ain’t going!

He agreed. We planned our trip for Tuesday, right after our dog Ms Lizzy finished up at the doggy parlor. We got up early and started a few important ‘get ready’ chores and dropped Ms L off at the dog salon. Hubby had ordered parts and whatever to change the brake fluid on our car. Great idea, only it took a bit of time to get the job complete.

The whole morning was dark, wettish and very coooooold.

Tick-tock, still waiting for the dog to get finished and the new brake fluid job. I ran around packing up, thinking of everything we might need for a short cold camping trip. I hauled stuff out to the camper, looked for ways to make us comfortable and not to weigh us down too much. We still have no idea how heavy our full load will be when we take off to cross America on our HEALING TOUR! That’s what we’re calling our journey out west. After all these months of what felt like the biggest struggle of our lives, we need some healing & restoration.

So, I loaded….lightly. A few pairs of pants, undies, socks and the minimum bath items we might need. I chose our down jackets and filled the fridge with good meal choices. Pillows, blankets and the last thing I grabbed was a snow shovel.

I really had no idea if we would even use it – so, I asked hubby….DO WE NEED THIS SHOVEL? He moved his head around and I yelled it again. Finally, I could see he was shaking his head YES! By this time, snow flakes are swirling all around us and we are still at home. Not even hooked up to go yet.

It’s so cold out, the dog is still at the salon and we are looking at late afternoon leaving. We don’t have dishes for the camper and need to stop at Target in town to pick up a set that I found online. I’m not really nervous but I am getting a little concerned.

Have I mentioned all my fears of pulling the camper yet?

Well, I’m a big chicken. Blame it on the last year plus of experiences. If it can go wrong (Murphy’s law)….

I’ve imagined us slipping and sliding all over the highway. Crashing, twisting and wrecking our home on wheels over the slightest roadway incident. I mean, come on. Pulling a heavy camper is dangerous! And I have a degree in WORRYING!

Finally, brakes are done, Lizzy is ready and we are hooked to go! It’s snowing. It’s freezing cold, darkish out and off we go!

Imogene pulls like a sweetheart. Everything feels good and safe. I’m riding high feeling good! Hubby’s driving us along as if we’ve been pulling this baby all year. In the busyness of the day, I had not eaten a thing. My stomach was starting to growl and I knew if we stopped we’d be pulling into the campground in the dark.

So, I kept quiet and rode along all the way into Brown County knowing I could cook in just a bit if I sat tight!

Within the 30 minutes it took us to arrive at the state park, the snow was falling hard and fast. As we pulled into the park the winding roads were covered, the trees along the side of the roads were blanketed down with heavy snow. We made it to the campground area and it was solid white. Nothing looked like a camping spot. We could see a few campers here and there but otherwise it was desolate.

My heart started to race, my mind went to work playing an imaginary trip over one of the many hills and us crashing our IMOGENE to her death and my hubby just kept going.

Once we reached a high point….we started sliding down the hill which of course made a sharp left turn at the bottom and we skidded to a very ugly stop. P A N I C time for me! I did everything to keep myself in check but inside I was riding on over the edge with the camper twisted in a horrible mess behind me.

Because HE’S NOT LIKE ME (thank you Jesus), he braked hard and thought it out.

I prayed to Jesus for help.

There was no one there to help us but God. No big trucks. The few campers we had passed didn’t even seem to be at their sites. Then, hubby remembered the snow shovel. There was no way we were going to get up the big hill without some serious shoveling. He tried and Imogene just slithered all over the place and back down the hill.

I admit, I cried a little. Mainly because I had woken up sick that morning with a sinus cold and my right eye running like a faucet. So, it was primed for the tears really.

He jumped back in and hit the gas…. up the hill we went. Slippy slidey!


Again, we slide hard to the right and nothing could push us up that hill. The snow is falling so hard we can barely see what the heck we are doing. More shoveling. Just as fast as he throws snow it falls right back down on this untreated drive. I can’t take it anymore and jump out too.

Standing there in the silent snowfall, I cry out to God for help. I recognize how powerless my hubby must feel and how he doesn’t want to wreck our new rig either. So, I pray for him too.

He shovels and shovels and hops back in and pushes that girl on up the biggest hill in all of Brown County state park.

By the time he makes it to the T O P…. I run after them and hope in too. We still cannot tell where or what are the camp sites. The snow is falling so hard it’s blinding us. He pulls forward to the flattest area he can find and just stops. He gets out and begins shoveling a place to pull into. I get out and start videoing the area and as I turn to the left, I see the road makes a turn there right in front of another camp site.

I say, “Hey….why not pull into this spot (beside the one he just shoveled)?” All he had to do was turn right into the lane and back straight back up into the camp site. He looked it over and agreed, it was perfect!

So, I grabbed the shovel and started clearing the spot for him to back her in!

It worked like a charm! We were backed in, hooked up and settling in — in minutes.

By the time I started dinner, we were in full snow storm mode. It fell hard and heavy but we were warm and safe. Not a scratch on Imogene and not a tow truck call to be had!

We lived to tell. Imogene was warm & cozy. Two good nights of a trial run and I feel much better about the future trekking across America!

We snapped a WE DID IT shot before leaving BC state park…

Because, guys!!!! WE DID IT!!

It’s Not Been a Holy Week

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

I’m sensitive about my faith. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not ashamed of it, I’m quite the opposite. I’m barreled over with pride and love regarding the One True God. See, my faith lies squarely on the shoulders of one man: JESUS CHRIST! Because of Him; I am forgiven, I am held and I am free. I’m assured of my eternity because of what He’s done for me.

He is my Redeemer, my Hope and my King.

I have felt many emotions over this last week and none of them have been holy. I’ve been embarrassed, I’ve felt angry and frustrated….I’ve even battled a ticked-off neck stiffening headache. Most of all, my heart has ached for the entire ugly scene going down in Indiana.

Did I mention….it’s Holy Week?

holy week

I’m smart enough to know that’s how satan works. He distracts, he frustrates and he torments right where he knows we are weakest. For me, my faith is a soft spot. I don’t like it when someone disses my beliefs or my God. I find it insulting when someone attacks my faith and tries to smear the name of Jesus Christ.

I guess you could say….I’ve felt a giant case of righteous indignation.

It’s Maundy Thursday and while studying up on the events of Jesus on this day, I felt a sense of relief. All the hoopla going on over Senate Bill 568 in Indiana is nothing more than a distraction. Yes, a distraction. Satan knows how to twist and connive better than anyone. How better to stir the pot of disagreement than to make the fight about believers vs. gays?

Isn’t he crafty?

How sad it is though that so many believe that it is. Indiana has taken a beating and it will not be going away anytime soon.

My opinion doesn’t matter whether or not this bill is a good one, but my attitude surely does. As does my heart. The night before Jesus was crucified, He held The Last Supper. During that meal, Judas quietly slipped out to do the ultimate in betrayal. Jesus knew all along that He would be betrayed by someone He loved. He continued on, in love…doing what He knew needed to be done. His lesson for us to love and show honor for one another with TRUE HUMILITY even when faced with sure betrayal is one I really needed reminding of.

Who am I to feel so danged angry?

I don’t want to fight about who can eat where and who will be turned away. I want to love, serve and know that because of ME someone else felt the love of Christ. If that’s not the gospel of my life….then I need to rethink my faith.

Do THIS in remembrance of me….

Sunday’s coming!


Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

I was watching the local news last night when the big story was a Christmas bandit robs elderly couple.  The yearly tradition for them was to cover their entire yard with Christmas decorations.  It was one of those busy decorated yards with lights and blow up characters everywhere.  Each year, they add more goodies to their collection to share with all who come by.  Except this year, somebody who thought a little more of himself than other's decided to steal what they had worked so hard with love, time & money to create.

The couple had surveillance cameras that captured the culprit in the act.  Not only did he steal once…but he came back again another night and helped himself to some more decorations. 

Who does that, right?  I can't imagine enjoying anything that I stole from someone else.  How do these people actually use what they steal?  What a sad state of the heart.

During the interview, they were asked what they would like to see happen to the criminal who stole their Christmas decorations.  Without missing a beat, the older man described how he'd like to physically beat the person up.  He wanted nothing more than to harm this person who hurt him by taking what was his.  A Christmas decoration.  The wife went a step further.  She told the reporter that she wanted to hit the criminal with a board full of nails, in the head.  Harsh!

I'm not in anyway condoning the stealing of anyone's lawn decorations.  I can't fathom finding joy or peace in stealing anything, ever.  But what caught my attention was the revenge they felt was acceptable.  No matter what offense comes our way….it's never a good idea to lash out with physical violence.  The need to go that far worries me.  What is our society coming to?  An eye for an eye?  Watching the story just hurt my heart.  I hurt for their loss and the meanness that went along with it and I hurt for the condtion of their hearts that would have them respond with such a payback mentality.

You and I don't have to live like that.  It's not necessary, ever.  God has all the wrongdoing stuff covered.  He can and will provide all the retribution needed.  We may not see it or know about it…but we can trust Him that he's got it handled.

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.  Romans 12:19


I pray for this couple who have clearly been violated by someone who chose to steal from them.  I understand the helpless feeling of being robbed.  Help each of us to see moments like this as a time to forgive and show other's how to do the same.  Stealing is wrong but so is revenge.  Forgive us for our wicked ways.


Thursday Friday

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Yea, for me! It’s fall here in Indiana which means time for a little break! I love living in a place that acknowledges the importance of enjoying the gorgeous leaves and chilly weather by taking a few days OFF!

Woohoo, baby!

So, I say all that to let you know (not that this is lifechanging information for you) that I’m all hopped up on YEEHAW vibes because today is my Friday at work! Yay, yippee….wahoo!

The only down side (if there can be one) to my fall break happy is that my hubby and son are departing tomorrow for the long journey across the US of A. My in-laws are moving and never coming back (just kidding) to Washington state, taking with them…everything they have left to their name. Which isn’t a whole lot. They have two vehicles and a camper full of belongings–imagine how freeing that would feel?

The trip begins on Friday and from what I can tell….they are trying to map it out to drive around 10 hours each day. My son will drive one vehicle and hubby the other. Each of them have their own idea of how this little adventure will play out.

Have you ever taken grandparents on a loooooong trip? If so, maybe you know a little about all this entails. They are excited, nervous and hopeful that they will arrive in time to catch their flight back to Indiana. Fingers crossed!

The girls and I are staying behind of course because we have jobs & school that frown upon 10 day vacay’s in the middle of life. 🙁

Washington is far, far away. I’m going to miss them! I know they’ll be in good hands with my brother & sis-in-law. I can’t wait to hear all about the new lives they are creating in such a beautiful place.

Who knows….maybe someday, I’ll get to travel there myself to visit!


Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

As a parent…that word is not one you’d want to hear associated with one of your children. For Lauren Spierer’s family it’s the new word describing their beautiful girl. She was last seen early Friday morning (around 4:30am) leaving a party with friends. She was walking home to her apartment not far away. In the sleepy little college town of Bloomington, Indiana.

What boggles my mind is that she’s been walking the same streets as my son. She may have sat in the very same class with him at some time or another. IU is a very large school but B-town is a homey fun town that crawls with excitement and people all hours of the day and night.

She shouldn’t have just vanished. Someone knows where she is and I pray they come forward immediately. Help this family find their precious girl. Now.

My heart is torn to pieces thinking of her and what could be. May God bring her home safely….very soon!

Dear Lord
Your power is neverending. I plead for direction for the many searching for Lauren. Lead them to her and do it soon. My prayer is that she’s safe and will soon be back with her friends and family. God, nothing is impossible with you.