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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

summertime and such

If you are like our family, you are into the full thrust of summer fun! Sports, swimming, camping, fishing...sleeping in occasionally... oh, how I love summer! It has seemed to fly by this year, more-so than in years past. I know, it’s always the same amount of days give or take a couple with school, but there are some times in life that seem to fly by much quicker than others! We will leave for a two week vacation pretty soon and I am so looking forward to it. The last family vacation we had was two years ago under difficult circumstances and a time of transition in our life and, quite frankly, did not feel like a vacation! I am so looking forward to spending time with my family and some dear friends and soaking in the sun on the beach.

Growing up, we vacationed EVERY summer. It was a very scheduled part of our life. Our life was very scheduled...I think maybe my dad had OCD...but that is for another day!

My dad was able to take 3-4 weeks off and we spent it camping in the mountains of Colorado. I cherish the memories I have from those times. I know I was not always the most cooperative kid on those trips, but looking back I wouldn’t trade them for the world. No bathrooms, no showers, no makeup...but we did have a campfire every morning and every night, card games as a family, story-telling, hiking...I hope my kids can feel the same about our family trips, even if they aren’t as frequent as the ones I took growing up.

I will have a freshman in high school this year. That is hard to stomach. It is a mixture of sadness and excitement that I have for him. I, quite honestly, was not a big fan of high school. I got good grades and had some good friends, but beyond that, I could have done away with the clicks, the cattiness, and the bullying. I can only hope that his experience will be better than mine. One good thing came from my time in high school, my husband! Can’t say that it wasn’t worth it I guess!

My point in all of this is, time goes so quickly. I know everyone always says that, but I think each of us reaches that reality check moment in our lives where we truly step back and is really going by too fast. What have I missed? Where have I wasted time that I could have spent hanging out with my kids, my husband, my family? Does all of the little stuff really matter?

James 4:14 Says:

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

I remember my husband preaching a sermon a couple of years ago about this. He tied a string from one side of the auditorium to the other that represented eternity. The line stretched out several hundred feet.  He then marked on it a tiny little spot to represent our entire life, our impact in all of eternity. It was such a great visual of how very small our time is in respect to all of time. What are we doing with it? Are we doing the things that will have the most impact on our kids, family, community, world?

Think about that today as you toss a load of laundry in and then go out and play with your kids, or have some coffee with your spouse. Enjoy. Soak it in. Don’t be so busy that you wake up one day...and you’ve missed it!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wendy Jo

Friday, June 8, 2012

reality check

I write today with mixed emotions. This is not easy for me to write, because I don’t like to talk about the bad, the ugly stuff. I probably shouldn’t, or at the least I should tread lightly. I am known for saying what I am thinking...quite plainly! It’s been a difficult few days for me. My emotions have been a bit out of wack. Dreams seem to mix with reality and reality seems more like a dream sometimes. I have learned to live my life one moment at a time. (Psalm 31:14-desperate I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand...)

I have come to realize that the reality I once knew is no longer my reality. At least not for now. That is really hard to wrap my my mind around. I think it is human nature to just assume that your life is what it is and will always be that way. When things change, it throws us for a loop. I think I have spent the last couple of years waiting for life to get back to normal...not realizing that I am living the new normal. How do you go about learning to like a new normal, a new reality? If you know me at all, you know I don’t like change a whole lot! I guess God thought this would be an interesting lesson for me to learn. Ugh.

As I was reading today this scripture came to my mind.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted 
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Of course, I can’t help thinking to myself that possibly, had my heart not become so hard, it would not be broken, but instead, pliable like clay in His hands...but I still believe that, even as I write with a heavy heart, that God can repair what has been broken, for nothing is impossible with Him. Maybe I will just have to be a mosaic of the pieces instead of the original piece of art that He was working on.

I know this is short today, but I just don’t have much more to say that can be said from fact...not emotion.

I am listening to switchfoot as I write this and "I dare you to move” just came on. This may not be your style of music but I love what it says...

"maybe redemption has stories to tell, maybe forgiveness is right where you fell, where can you run to escape from yourself, where you gonna go, where you gonna go, salvation is here!"

I dare you to move!

We truly do have to move from where we are now, to be where God wants us to be in the future. (possibly it’s just emotional movement, or maybe there is some action that we need to take) If we don’t move, if we don’t make an effort, if we don’t lift ourselves up off the floor, we will still be sitting in the same place 10 years down the road, wondering why God hasn’t done anything to change our situation, when all along He has been waiting on us to make the first move...

Thanks for stopping by,


Wendy Jo

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Do you remember the childhood game where you intertwine your fingers with a friend and then frantically try to bend each others hands back until someone can’t take it and cries mercy? Or maybe you have been in a tickle, a battle...where the loser must cry mercy in order to escape and find relief...

Whether we have been involved in one of these epic battles, or a battle of a different kind, we can all appreciate the power of mercy. The relief that the word immediately brings.

On Sundays, our pastor has been preaching through the beatitudes and this week he preached on mercy. It hit me hard. Have you ever considered the fact that just because we have forgiven someone we do not necessarily show them mercy? Come on, you know you’ve been there...”I forgive you...but secretly I hope your life is one of misery and bad things come your way on a daily basis...” I know I have.

Being merciful means being sympathetic or compassionate. Not an easy feeling to have for someone who has wronged you! I mean, sometimes it’s hard to show mercy for the people you really like...let alone those that don’t make it to your “my favorite people” list!

Over the last couple of years, I have found myself struggling with complete forgiveness. (I know I’ve discussed this in another post so I won’t go into it here). This sermon really got me to thinking though...maybe complete forgiveness, or the next step in the process is mercy. *sigh*

The mental battle begins...

”But God, I don’t want to have mercy!”

“They don’t deserve mercy”

“Can I at least give them one good tongue-lashing and THEN show mercy?”

I wonder if Jesus struggled with these thoughts as he spoke the words “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”...He was human after all.

Mercy is a hard one to wrap my mind around. The Bible does promise us that if we show mercy to others, we also will be shown mercy. A promise. One that I definitely need on a daily basis, and if I need it, how much do others need it also?

I have made it through the mental battles by simply telling myself I can forgive someone, but that doesn’t mean I have to talk to them, be friends with them or anything of the sort...maybe, I have been wrong. What if I took the upper road? What if I showed mercy, even when someone didn’t deserve it or show it to me... I mean, really, do any of us deserve mercy?

James 2:13 says, “but judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment."

YIKES! Now I don’t want to be scared, or scare anyone else into being merciful...but I do think the Bible is pretty clear on this one. I know that I desperately need mercy shown to who am I to not show mercy to others?

I know this is going to be a process, as all things are with this walk.  But I truly believe that this may just be the final step in a long healing process for many of us...or at least for me.

His mercies are new every morning!

Thanks for stopping by (after such a long break!)


Wendy Jo