Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Couple of Bucks

I've been rethinking my position on giving money to homeless people standing on the street. Over the years I've gone back and forth about whether or not to give to them. You know the argument...they will just spend it on alcohol or drugs. And I've heard stories of people watching a "bum" turn around and drive away in a nice sports car. But the more I think about it, Scripture doesn't say to be kind and compassionate and giving IF you think you agree with where the money will go. That is out of my control. I am just to spread the love of Christ and let the results work themselves out.

So, on the way to work today, I stopped and gave an old man a few dollars. I've seen him standing with his sign on the street for weeks. The smile on his face was worth it. And it's cold outside...if he needs to warm himself up with a beer, I guess that's not my problem. :)

I don't know...what are your thoughts?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Going to the chapel...again

Yes, it's time...again! Yet another dear friend is getting married. I'm so excited for one of my best friends Jen, who recently got engaged to her boyfriend Earl Hammon. She asked me to be in her wedding....this will be #13 for me, and she asked me to be her maid of honor...this will be #4 for that job.

The fun times have already begun...we're going dress shopping tonight!

Can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for my sister in Christ and I know the next few months are going to be special and fun to spend together. YAY! for the way God works!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Serve at a Homeless Shelter for Thanksgiving

Some things on my list of thirty things to do before I'm thirty take longer than others...I've been working on it, trust me. But nothing has been completed enough to talk about, until now.

I did cross another thing off my list last week...serve at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving. And I did! I went to Church on the Way and served Thanksgiving dinner to people staying at the SanFernando Valley Rescue Mission.

It was an awesome experience! I've served there before...a few years ago, but forgot how much I enjoyed it. And My dad came with me too!

I got to meet so many wonderful people. Their smiles, thank-you's and sweet attitudes were a slap to my pride. It was fun to be their "server" and even more exciting that the gospel was presented so they received spiritual food as well as physical food. I pray the Lord will give me more and more a heart for the lost as I grow to love what He loves and hate what He hates.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Exercising My Civil Rights :)

Yes, Rick Holland would be so proud of me!

I had big plans for Saturday. My alarm didn't go off and I was running late, but I dragged myself out of bed, threw on jeans, a shirt, and a sweatshirt and headed out to the shooting range! I drove with a friend up to Sanfransiscito Cyn. in Santa Clarita. I love that drive, up the dirt road into the middle of nowhere until we finally came to the shooting range where I shot a pistol for the first time!

I have to admit, it was fun!

After a few rounds I got a feel for the gun and was hitting the target pretty much every shot by the time I finished off the amo.

But that wasn't the end. I got to shoot a rifle for the first time too. Didn't practice on that one yet...next time. But I did fire off two shots to get a feel for it. That's a lot of power in the hands of a little person like me. ;)

Thank you constitution of the United States of America. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Latte's and God's Sovereignty

Thank you, Coffee Bean, for the free ice-blended pumpkin spice latte and the chance to sit and have an encouraging chat with my friend. :)

I'm blown away by God's sovereign love and care. I see more and more that He orchestrates each detail of our lives (mundane as they may seem) to bring about His plan. Every choice I make, every phone call, every e-mail, God has strategically woven together in a intricate pattern to bring His will about in my life and even in the lives of others. He intimately knows and deeply cares about what concerns me. Nothing in my life goes unnoticed or untouched by Him.

That kind of detail shows a tender love I know I don't deserve.

Friday, November 06, 2009

People Are Crazy

I've done some stupid things in my life. But several days ago I think I topped myself! I blame the full moon.

When I got out of my car in the Rite Aid parking lot, I saw a poor little dog locked up in the car next to me. It was hot, 89 degrees, and the windows were up. The poor tiny pooch just looked at me and smushed it's little nose up against the window, panting. The dog looked like it hadn't been fed or bathed in ages. I couldn't take it!

Now here is where my lack of better judgement comes in. I saw that the car door was unlocked. So I quickly opened up the car door and rolled down the window so the dog could get some air. Then I walked over to Starbucks and got a cup of water for the dog. About 30 minutes passed when the owner finally came back. He was an angry man who cussed me out for thinking I was super woman and that I could save the world. After a ten minute rant, the guy finally left and took a picture of me on his cell phone as he drove away. HA! HA!

O my! Next time just remind me to call animal services. Again...I blame the full moon. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


My friends Wes and Rachel Smith lost their 3-year old son this morning to leukemia. My heart is breaking for them but I'm not mourning without hope. Christ conquered death when He gave His life on the cross and rose again--and we have hope that little Malachi is in heaven rejoicing with his Creator. And with my mom. Malachi means "Messenger of God" and this is God's message to me through Malachi:

God's Message

God said children are a precious gift—
Malachi is God’s messenger of that truth.

God said He works everything for good for those who love Him—
Malachi is God’s messenger of that promise.

God said He is the Great Comforter—
Malachi is God’s messenger of that attribute.

God said He knows every hair on our head—
Malachi is God’s messenger of that fact.

God said He loves the little children—
Malachi is God’s messenger, proof that’s true.

God said He gives us the grace we need for each day—
Malachi is God’s messenger to help us experience that grace.

God said He formed us and knew us intimately before we were born—
Malachi is God’s messenger, evidence of that care.

God said He is sovereign—
Malachi is God’s messenger, demonstrating that reality.

God said He can use the faith of few to increase the faith of many—
Malachi is God’s messenger to bring that to pass.

God said life is a vapor—
Malachi is God’s messenger, reminding us to live that way.

God said He is preparing a place for us—
Malachi is God’s messenger, causing us to dwell on thoughts of heaven.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Reason Why I Don't Internet Date :)

By: Brad Paisley

I work down at the Pizza Pit
And I drive an old Hyundai
I still live with my mom and dad
I'm 5 foot 3 and overweight
I'm a scifi fanatic
A mild asthmatic
But there's whole ‘nother me
That you need to see
Go checkout MySpace'

Cause online I'm out in Hollywood
I'm 6 foot 5 and I look real good
I drive a Maserati
I'm a black-belt in karate
And I love a good glass of wine
It turns girls on that I’m mysterious
I tell them I don't want nothing serious
I’m so much cooler online

When I get home I kiss my mom
And she fixes me a snack
And I head down to my basement bedroom
And fire up my Mac
In real life the only time I’ve ever even been to L.A.
Is when I got the chance with the marching band
To play tuba in the Rose Parade

Online I live in Malibu
I pose for Calvin Klein,
I've been in GQ
I'm single and I'm rich
And I've got a set of six pack abs
That would blow your mind

When you got my kind of stats
It’s hard to get a date
Let alone a real girlfriend
But I grow another foot and I lose a bunch of weight
Every time I login

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hair Cut

It's amazing to me that something as simple as a haircut can make you feel like a new person. When you feel like you need a change or you need to move on or past something, there is nothing better than a haircut. I say this only because I am too chicken to dye my hair or something even more extreme, so for me, a haircut will have to do. I high recommend it. If you're having a bad day, try it out. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Change Something About Myself That I Don't Like/Plant Some Flowers

The closer I grow to the Lord, the more I see my sin, and the more I hate it. Sometimes I feel like I have so far to go, but as I fight my sin with the Lord's help, each day I will be conformed more and more to His image. That's why on my list of 30 things to do this year, I said that I want to work on something about myself that I'd like to change. It wasn't a difficult choice. While I have many weaknesses I could choose from, there is one glaring thing I want to focus on growing in this year.

I've been this way my entire life...opinionated and strong-willed. I know how things should be and I know how I want things to be. Unfortunately that trait often lends me to unwittingly try to control my circumstances. It's out of a desire for security and stability. I want to feel like everything is nice and neat and in order. That's wrong. And it's my biggest, glaring fault. I realize that I can't control anything. God is in control. And the only way to feel that security, peace, and safety is to be settled in Christ.

Since recognizing the severity of this sin in my life, hopefully I've already come a long way. But I know practically I still have a very long way to go, and I'm taking steps everyday to put others first before my own desires and to trust in God and not my own wisdom.

And I did plant some flowers. My lovely friend Melissa gave me a plant of sunflowers for my birthday so I decided to plant them in the front yard. I've never planted anything before...it couldn't be that hard, right? I didn't want to get dirt under my fingernails and I know my mom gardened a lot, so I searched through my mom's gardening things in the back yard, and found everything I needed. I got gloves, a little shovel, and little pick for hard dirt. I picked my spot in the front yard next to some other plants and I dug dug, dug until it was deep enough for the plant to sit flush with the ground. I filled in the ground around the plant and gave it lots of water.

It's been several days and the plant is dead. Yes, dead. Dried out and shriveled up. I guess this attempt was not a success, I'll have to try again.

Friday, September 25, 2009

30 Things I'm Gonna Do Before I'm 30

1. Finish writing my book
2. See Hearst Castle
3. Finish reading the Harry Potter series
4. See my nephew in person
5. Write a song
6. Finish reading the Chronicles of Narnia series
7. Eat at a restaurant alone
8. Go fishing with my dad
9. Pay for a stranger's Starbucks
10. Go for a 10 mile run
11. Eat something exotic (sushi?)
12. Wear a toe ring for a day
13. Watch a bull-riding contest
14. Wear a hat to church on Easter
15. Get a massage
16. Paint my dad's bedroom
17. Watch a monster truck show
18. Get a pet of some sort
19. Visit Francis Chan's church
20. Ride a horse
21. Write a note to my long lost uncle
22. Work on changing something about myself that I don't like
23. Laugh so hard I cry
24. Sit in the back of my car and look at the stars
25. Hold baby Luciano
26. See my friend Hollie
27. Serve at a shelter for Thanksgiving
28. Plant some flowers
29. Fix the curtains in the living room
30. Paint a picture

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sounds Like Life to Me...

Sorry for quoting a country song again, but it seems fitting to me today. It's a song about everything going wrong in someones life--he lost his job and just found out his wife is having another baby, and things are breaking around the house, among other things. And his friend gives him advice and says, not to be insensitive, but that sounds like life to me. And it's true.

I'm realizing...life stinks sometimes, but that doesn't change God's character. Even when I can't understand the way God works and why He does what He does, I still know He is trustworthy. And I know He loves me. It's back to the basics--Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.

I occasionally get discouraged by my sin that I try so hard to fight. It can bring me down and make me feel worthless and unlovable. But that reminds me...I am unlovable. That's what makes God's love for me so amazing! He saved a wretch like me. But even more, He has called me into His marvelous light and made me a coheir with His son. And He uses me to further His kingdom. It makes me want to shout, hallelujah, thank You Jesus, Lord You're worthy!

I am a broken and bruised reed, but that's a good place to be, because that's when He can use me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Jury is Out

Jury duty.
I don't dread it. But many do. I don't give excuses to avoid it, though many try. And I am not bitter and resentful during the process. But many around me are.

Perhaps that is why I got selected to be on a jury this past week after getting my summons to serve. But honestly, I found the entire experience to be enjoyable and educational. Forgive me, I sound like a ridiculous commercial for the positives of jury duty. But really, I did have a good week at the Van Nuys Superior Court.

Here are 10 things I learned this week while serving jury duty:
1. Always leave your house a few minutes early.

2. Never eat Quiznos for lunch two days in a row.

3. Don't talk to strangers who approach you and say, "hey there, little one."

4. You can carry a water bottle through security, no need to put it through the x-ray machine.

5. Never keep 13 people waiting for you.

6. Never use a DA, hire your own defense if needed.

7. Don't run from the police.

8. Use every opportunity to evangelize.

9. It's hard not to feel sorry for the guilty party, even though you know they are guilty.

10. People are crazy!

Monday, August 31, 2009


I watched the movie Julie & Julia and I was inspired. It's about a lady who decided to cook her way through Julia Child's entire recipe book in one year and each day she would blog about it. My birthday is coming up in one week and I will be 29. I decided, I want to do something special during my 29th year or as my friend calls it, my "year of becoming 30." I'm trying to think of what I should do to challenge myself and inspire my 3 blog readers.

My initial idea is this. I will think of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30 and I will attempt to complete them all. And I'll blog about it along the way. What do you all think? Have any better ideas?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Does This Sound Like Me?

ESFJ Personality Type

ESFJs focus on the outside world and assess their experiences subjectively. They largely base their judgments on their belief system and on the effects of actions on people. ESFJs are literal and concrete, trusting the specific, factual information gathered through their physiological senses.

ESFJs project warmth through a genuine interest in the well-being of others. They are often skilled at bringing out the best in people, and they want to understand other points of view. They are serious about their responsibilities, seeing what needs to be done and then doing it. Generally proficient at detailed tasks, they enjoy doing little things that make life easier for others. They value tradition and the security it offers.

Easily hurt, ESFJs seek approval. They take pleasure in other people's happiness. They give generously but expect appreciation in return. Sensitive to the physical needs of others, they respond by offering practical care. As expert people readers, ESFJs often adapt their manner to meet the expectations of others. However, they may have difficulty recognizing the shortcomings of loved ones.

ESFJs tend to be vocal in expressing their sense of right and wrong. Their value system derives from the external standards defined by their community, as opposed to a personal set of ethics. (This is one of the traits that distinguishes them from their ENFJ counterparts.) ESFJs raised in an environment of high ethical standards tend to display true generosity and kindness.

ESFJs seek structured, controlled environments, and tend to be good at creating a sense of order. They generally feel insecure in an atmosphere of uncertainty. They value the rule of law and expect the same of others. ESFJs may be less interested in understanding the concepts behind the rules, tending to shy away from the abstract and impersonal.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Old Friends, Vanilla Lattes, and Carmel Apples

In a snap, ten years passed, just like that. My friend, who I haven't seen in years has been through a lot of changes in a decade. She's been married, moved twice, and had five kids in the process. The other night I went over to her house to hang out. It was so much fun! She is such a sweet mom. She made her girls "vanilla lattes." I kind of wrinkled my nose at this...a 2-year-old drinking a latte? But then I saw what she meant by latte...she steams milk and puts vanilla syrup/flavoring in it. Then she tops it off with whip cream. And voila...a vanilla latte fit for a 2- year-old. :)

And I must share...last night I made carmel apples for the first time. It was so much fun. And it's so easy. I thought it would be so complicated, but it's not! But this could be dangerous. Now that I know how to do it and how easy it is, I might make them all the time. While that's good for the taste buds, it's not good for the waistline. HA! HA!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Verizon Nightmares!

My cell phone stopped working. Took it in to the Verizon store. They confirmed it was broken. Didn't think it was the battery. Sent me a refurbished replacement phone. Realized my phone was working just fine. It was just the charger that wasn't working. Got my bill from Verizon. They charged me $267.10 for the refurbished phone. Called Verizon in a rage, but acted as nice and calm as possible, I am a Christian, after all. :) They assure me they will take that charge off my bill when they receive the phone which I mailed back this morning. Couldn't I buy a brand new IPhone for $268.10? But a REFURBISHED chocolate? Give me a break!

Am I the only person who thinks FAMILY SHARE PLAN assumes you will have 2 phones (at least)? Then why is the second phone only given to you with a $10.00 monthly charge for an EXTRA line? HA! HA! HA!

O, they joys of having a cell phone! Life was much simpler before them.

Friday, August 07, 2009


It was Sunday night. A warm, summer evening. And my friend Chuck had just been baptized at church. Several friends from Bible study joined Chuck at his apartment to celebrate the occasion. We talked, laughed, ate pizza and cake. And then we headed for home.

Ten of us were leaving at the same time. I declared that I was going to take the stairs while everyone else headed toward the elevator. Someone yelled out that there were stairs in their direction, so I joined them.

At that moment, the elevator arrived. Everyone piled into the tiny elevator and motioned for me to just join them. So I did. We piled 10 people into that elevator! It was squishy and hot, but we all made it.

As we waited for the ground floor, I joked. How crazy would it be if we got stuck in here? Then bam! We were stuck. Just like that. And it was hot. And we were cramped. We laughed, then realized this was no joke. The guys tried to pry the door open, but couldn't. We called the fire department. We sang "It Is Well With My Soul." And we prayed.

By then our rescuers arrived. They pried the door open with an ax. It took no time at all. We took a few pictures, thanked them for helping us, and laughed a lot more. We thanked God for protecting us. It was crazy...but fun. I didn't think being stuck in an elevator could actually be a somewhat pleasant experience!

Friday, July 24, 2009

On the Road Again...

Well, it's off to summer camp. :) Since I didn't go to camp last year, I think this is #6 for me. But honestly, it never gets tiresome. I love watching God work in the lives of the students as the lights go on and they are seeking, understanding, and obeying truth.

We leave on Sunday morning, bright and early, and will return on Thursday night. This camp will be especially special :) for me because the speaker is Ken Ramey. Ken Ramey was my high school pastor!

Please pray for us while we are gone. Safety and health, but more important that significant spiritual growth happens in the lives of the students and staff. And please pray for me personally as I lead my small group of girls.

The powers that be have asked me to be the official "camp blogger" so if you're interested, you can read all about 180 camp happenings on a daily basis at www.thecostcamp.com.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Decisions Are the Worst

Don't you hate it when you have to make really important decisions, but honestly don't have a clue what to do? Even after you've prayed extensively and sought wise counsel, sometimes things still don't seem clear.

I just recently finished reading a book called "Just Do Something." The book is about decision-making. And it's really making me think. I'm becoming more and more convinced that we have too many choices nowadays which actually makes life much more difficult.

Years ago people really had no choice but to live where they were born and to do the jobs their parents did. There was no battling over "career choice" or where to move to. They also stayed at the church where they were raised. No jumping around to find a church that perfectly suits your style. And maybe there were 2 Christian women or men in town around the same age. So they married one of them. Life was simple. Life was easier.

Maybe there is something to be said for the way people lived 50-100 years ago.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Book Smell

Do you love your kindle, but feel like it’s lacking a certain je ne sais quoi? Spray it with "New Book Smell" and get that satisfaction you’ve been missing.

Smell of Books comes in four additional aromas: Classic Musty, Crunchy Bacon, Eau You Have Cats, and Scents of Sensibility, for Jane Austen fans.

“Now you can finally enjoy reading e-books without giving up the smell you love so much. With Smell of Books you can have the best of both worlds, the convenience of an e-book and the smell of your favorite paper book.”

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

All Quiet on the NeaNea Front

I've been reflecting a lot on what my life has been like the past 6 months. I can tell you one thing for sure. I am not the same person. I am not the same Christian. I say that because I've grown so much in my walk with the Lord, I can't even recognize the person I was. I feel like I've been through a crash course in practical Christian living that has matured me and made me more like my Savior.

I am starting to understand why Titus tells the OLDER women to teach the YOUNGER women. Now don't get me wrong, I know someone "young" can understand Scripture and give wise and helpful counsel. I don't look down on youth. But after seeing how dramatically my life has grown in just 6 months, I understand better that an OLDER woman has so much wisdom to impart to me. There is no substitute for gray hair and the time and life experience it takes to earn them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


When little things in life start changing, it never stops. Then one day you wake up and suddenly everything has changed--nothing seems the same. In my life, when change happens, it always seems to happen fast and abruptly and it can be overwhelming at times.

I often look back and wonder how I ended up where I am today. Working at Grace to You, living with my dad, my sister living in Uganda, and my mom in heaven. It seems crazy how nothing has turned out the way I expected.

But, in the midst of all the change, I know the One who never changes. I know the One who turns and shifts not. He is steadfast and I can anchor soul in Him, as well as anchor myself to Him in regards to my everyday worries, concerns, and thoughts. Praise God who is the alpha and omega!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

California Dreamin'

I had a dream last night.

I was in a wedding. It was Hannah Schoof's wedding, which is odd because Hannah is not Hannah Schoof anymore...she is Hannah Ledwell, and I wasn't in the wedding. In my dream, Hannah's wedding was in Malibu at 5 p.m. I was supposed to be there at 4 p.m. which is also odd, because if you are in a wedding, you are usually there more than an hour before it starts. HA! HA! And in my dream, my sister was making me late. It was after 4 p.m. and my sister was still laying on her bed with cucumbers on her eyes. I was furious! And my sister was mad at me for being so "uptight." Don't know if I ever made it to the wedding. I'm glad my alarm woke me up! I'm glad it was just a dream. And I'm glad Hannah is happily married and none of her bridesmaids were late. :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Reading to Think

I'm reading C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce and naturally, like all C.S. Lewis novels do, it got me thinking. I don't know if Lewis said this, implied it , or just sparked a thought in my head, but I was reflecting on how often unbelievers have relatively easy, comfortable lives. And how many believers endure some unbelievably insane trials.

And then I thought about the deceptiveness of Satan. What better trick than to lull nonbelievers comfortably into hell than to make them happy, content, and feeling full with their lives here on earth. Then they don't need a savior. Yet when a believer endures a trial, they are forced to wrestle with God until he blesses them (in a spiritual sense). They are forced to question and test their faith and come out clinging to God even more tightly than before.

And I realized--trials really are from the Lord! What a hard concept to grasp...but trials really are a love offering from our Savior to us. He could simply let us live a life of ease and comfort, but in His graciousness He gives us what is needful to make us His own for once in salvation and each day through sanctification.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Weekend in Boston

What a crazy and fast weekend. I went to Boston for my cousin's wedding. I left Friday night and flew back in Sunday night. Like I said--crazy and fast. Highlights of the weekend?

1. Breakfast with my Dad at Cracker Barrel

2. Groom and groomsmen in kilts

3. Bride with a rip-away skirt/train (shorter dance dress underneath)

4. Tour of Notre-Dame Church

5. Three hour nap on Saturday morning.

6. Seeing my family/cousins I haven't seen for a while

7. Finishing 2 (almost 3) books I was in the middle of reading

8. Meeting a famous movie producer on the plane on the way home

9. Seeing baby Eli

10. Having dinner at The Melting Pot with my sweet boyfriend, J.T.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Living Out Christ

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to live a life totally dedicated to Christ. And I think in many ways I've got it wrong. I get so concerned about "doing, doing, doing" that I forget the one needful thing--to sit at the feet of Christ. It's so much easier to be a Martha than a Mary. It's good to be involved, it's good to help. I love being involved in ministry...it's who I am. But I have to remember that ministry takes different forms. I can be "in ministry" no matter where I am and what I'm doing. In fact, I am commanded to be a light of the gospel whether I am in California or Uganda. I have to remember, God's calling for my life may be different than I've always thought. I just want to be faithful. Faithful to the gifts the Lord has given me and the desires he has put in my heart.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How Do You Say Goodbye

Tonight at Bible study is our last Wednesday with our shepherd Bryan and his wife Lindsey. Bryan graduated from seminary on Sunday and they will be moving with their son Nathanael and their little boy on the way. They'll be going to Chicago to be trained at Harvest Bible and then they will church plant in Texas. So, it's bitter sweet, because obviously I am so excited for them to pursue this wonderful opportunity, but it's also going to be hard to say goodbye.

The Paynes have just been a great example of trusting in the Lord, even in hard times and I've seen the Lord's faithfulness in their care for me, especially through my mother's death. Bryan was so faithful to pray for me and even with me and to point me where my mind needed to be. I am so eternally thankful for the Paynes!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mother's Day

I have a charge to give you, at least those of you who are reading this. I'm sure you've realized this Sunday is Mother's Day. And I can't tell you how many times I let mother's Day pass without truly being thankful for my mom. Of course I would give her a gift or a card or take her to eat, but so often I neglected to be TRULY thankful.

So I just want to encourage you all, appreciate your moms. Go out of your way to do something memorable and special this year--it's not too late. Don't take your mom for granted because you never know how long you have with her--time really is short and the days are evil. We have to make the most of them by being obedient to Christ's command to hold our parents in high honor and respect.
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

La Vida Loca

Tonight I'm going bowling with 50 highschoolers, dressed like I came from the 70's.

This weekend my coworker is having a themed dinner...the theme is pandemics. The menu is mad cow, avian water (avian flu), pork (swine flu), and spinach with tomatos. Dessert is jello and pudding.

Saturday I am attending my 5th wedding in a span of two months.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


From World Magazine: 4/25/08

After use for years in Africa, officials in the United Kingdom may have a new tool in the fight against lost landmines: rats. Handlers at the Porfell Wildlife Park in Cornwall recently imported a Gambian pouched rat named Kofi that, according to trainer Wendy Winstanley, could be useful to British army and police for bomb detection. Already used by locals in Mozambique, the rats have proved themselves as valuable mine detectors. With a nose more sensitive than most dogs and a weight that allows them to run through a minefield without detonating anything, a trained Gambian pouched rat can clear 1,000 square feet of a minefield in about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lemon Yogurt and Such

This world is so fallen and sinful, I'm surprised "bad" things don't happen more. But that just makes God's grace so apparent and all the more lavish to me.

Little graces have been jumping out at me since last night. It started with my friend giving me a home-grown strawberry from her little strawberry plant. It was perfectly red, perfectly shaped. I'd never seen such a picturesque little strawberry! And it tasted as good as it looked. It was sweet and juicy. And as I ate it, I thought of God's common grace to mankind. His patience. His longsuffering. I don't deserve to enjoy a strawberry like that.

And even now. The fact that I can sit here at the computer with my Trader Joe's lemon yogurt and enjoy each sweet, creamy bite boggles my brain.

What a truly good and generous God we serve. Even when things go wrong, I still see how God's hand is merciful and gentle. And it goes way beyond strawberries and yogurt. The more I reflect on the work Christ did on the cross, the more I realize that my life should be characterized by thanksgiving. How could it possible be anything less?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stream Of What?

My palms are sweating and my heart is pounding. It's Wednesday and I still don't know what to write about on my blog.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. My palms are not sweating and my heart is not pounding. When I began typing this blog 4 sentences ago, I didn't know what I was going to write about, that part is true.

Have you ever heard of stream of consciousness? It's a form of writing where you simply follow the thoughts in someone's brain. Naturally this makes for more random and less connected writing when you let your thoughts control the flow of the writing. So I think I'll write a little stream of consciousness for a minute and let you follow the thoughts in my brain.

I'm tired.
Can't wait to clean the Green's house tonight.
Glad I got directions, hope I can find it.
Hope Jen is not so stressed out today.
I think I ate too much at lunch...my stomach hurts.
Shoot, I forgot to put $5 in the basket for dinner last night. I'll have to pay Ann on Sunday.
I can't believe it cost $51 to mail my sister's package to Uganda.
If she doesn't get it I will be so upset.
My mom's rings are so pretty.
My hands got so dry from doing all those dishes this past weekend.
My foot is killing me today. I really hope it's not a stress fracture.
Why do I keep checking my email, calm down, Janea.
I can't believe Hannah is getting married on Saturday.
Saturday is going to be so busy...
I feel bad Amanda is so sick.
I need to work on Ephesians.

Alright, alright, you get the point! If I keep going, it could get scary!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Confessions of a Blogoholic (not really....I read like 3 blogs)

So, I have a confession. It's been driving me crazy lately to read other people's blogs. Everyone has cute, funny, silly anecdotes about things their kids are doing--like writing with crayons on the walls, or saying things that only kids say. Well, sorry. I don't have kids. So you won't find any cute stories like that on my blog. And I don't want my blog to become depressing, so I don't just want to talk about my trials like I have been for the past few months.

A friend who reads my blog was surprised to find out that I have a sense of humor (now that is sad). I was told that if you only know me from my blog, you wouldn't know what a goof I am.

So, dear readers (yes, all three of you), I am on a quest to find myself...my blogging self that is. To decide what my next blog should be about and what direction it should take. I'm open to suggestions. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cheesecake and News

For many months now, me and a group of old friends have been trying to find a time to get together for dinner. We all live so far away from each other, scattered around, so coordinating our schedules was not an easy task. But it finally happened! Last night we were able to meet at Cheesecake factory. I am so thankful to the Lord for putting ladies in my life that I've known for a long time--ladies that will always be dear friends no matter how long we go without seeing each other. Everyone needs people in their life like that.

God is so good! I just marvel at His timing. It seems like almost everyone in the group had some sort of big news--engagement, baby--whatever it may be. And if we had been able to meet when we first wanted to, we would not have been able to share all the news together in such a special way. Last night was a night of catching up and rejoicing.

Nights like last night remind me that friendship is a unique gift from God and I praise the Lord for that!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

It's hard to believe that in 2000, exactly 9 years ago today, I was in Belfast Ireland with my mom. We had a couple of days of not sleeping because the Irish were preparing to celebrate. "Preparing to celebrate" means having a party every night for the entire week before March 17th, getting drunk, and making lots of noise. So, that "lots of noise" kept my mom and I awake 'til the wee hours of the mornin'.

I remember being amazed at hearing the TRUE story of St. Patrick for the first time. I had no idea that St. Patrick has been kidnapped as a child and many, many, years later escaped. Then he decided to return to Ireland as a missionary to the people who had kidnapped him. They don't teach that in elementary school. :)

I saw the Great Causeway...the most beautiful landscape I've ever seen--on the northern coast. Words can't even describe the beauty of the crystal sea crashing into the cliffs that were carefully, craftily, carved out by the Lord--for His good pleasure. That we might see and know that He is God. Even creation declares His majesty.

As beautiful as God's creation is, it is nothing in comparison to heaven! I can't even imagine the glories that await me--the glories that my mom is experiencing right now! If she remembers what we saw in Ireland, I know she's thinking, "you think that's pretty? Just wait, Janea, just wait."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Last Three Months

Wow! What a journey...and it's not over. The last few months have been such a whirlwind...so much has happened. It's difficult to process it all. My friend's mom died of cancer also about a year ago and I remember reading his blog soon after she went to be with the Lord. He said he's learned that it takes a lot of courage to die of cancer. I never fully grasped how true that is until the last few months.

I've talked with my mom's closest friend and she shared a conversation she had with mom about death. She asked my mom if she was afraid. And while my mom was honest...that yes, it is scary, she told her friend that now is when faith becomes real. My mom shared with her friend that she believed God's promises, she believed the truth about heaven and she shared how she was clinging to her faith in all that God has declared in His Word. My mom's faith never wavered. She fought the good fight and she endured until the very end. My mom was the most courageous woman I've ever known.

So now, I seek to live my mom's legacy. I want to receive the crown of righteousness--the same crown that my mom is wearing right now as she worships her Lord face-to-face. I don't want to waste this trial. I want to make the most of it...to let the Lord work in my heart and in my life and to shape me and make me more like Him. I want to let this trial do it's perfect work to make my faith complete and mature, lacking nothing. And I want be able to say with everything that is in me--I AM THANKFUL!

Monday, February 23, 2009


I can't even tell you how overwhelmed I am by the body of Christ. I've seen it at work before in the lives of other people--how the body comes together to support, uplift, encourage and help each other. But never before have I experienced such an outpouring of love. To be on this side of it is such an amazing experience. As cliche as it may sound, I really feel Christ's love being shown to me through so many of you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Averill Brown

“I’ll love Thee in life and I’ll love Thee in death
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath.
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus tis now.”

On February 10th, 2009 at 6:35am Averill Brown’s faith became sight. After a bout with breast cancer in 1994 and a painful battle with bone cancer for the past 5 years, the Lord called her home to rest. She endured faithfully until the end and the entire family was able to be there by her bedside when she passed on to glory.

We’ve spent the last few months taking care of Averill as the cancer left her bedridden and unable to move. As a family we’ve experienced many ups and downs during this time, but a constant theme resonated—TRUST THE LORD! James--trust the Lord to provide. You are the man and provider, but I can provide for your family’s every need better than you. Caleb, Alair---trust the Lord with Nicholas. I am the father to the fatherless. (Nicholas is the adorable little boy Caleb and Alair are adopting and had to leave in Uganda). Janea--you won’t find security anywhere but in me. Trust the Lord with your future.

We are thankful for all of the love and support so many have shown us these last few years and especially these last few months. We have seen the hand of the Lord throughout it all. We write this letter, not as those who mourn without hope, but as those who have a glorious hope realized in Christ Jesus. And we trust that you will rejoice with us as we celebrate the home-going of a vessel of God’s glory.

James, Caleb and Alair, and Janea

A memorial service will be held at Grace Community Church 13248 Roscoe Blvd. Sun Valley, CA 91352 on Friday, February 20 at 5:00pm. in the chapel.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Makes Me Smile

My cute little nephew Nicolas. Don't you just want to pinch him and hug him and kiss him and squeeze him? He's in Uganda...so that will have to wait. :(

Monday, February 02, 2009

Fresh Air

This past weekend two of my sister's friends from Indiana came to stay with us and help out. One of the ladies is a nurse, the other an eager servant. It was nice for my sister to have some friend time and it was really nice for me to meet two wonderful sisters in Christ and to pray with them and fellowship. They were so helpful with my mom. It was such a nice break. I'm so thankful they were willing to sacrifice their time to come, use their unique gifts, and just love on us. Praise God for the body of Christ.

My mom is pretty much doing the same physically, she was in a lot of pain today though. But there is a praise. For the first time, she seems really ready and desiring to go to heaven and see Jesus. I've seen a peace in my mom the past few days that I haven't seen through this entire process. It's a joy and I'm praising the Lord!

Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


So many ups and downs...

Today my mom had an "episode." She was just screaming and it's impossible to comfort her. And since it's not possible to make sense of what she is saying, it's hard to know how to help her. We just sing and pray and try to ease her anxiety.

Praying for wisdom to know how to best help my mom.

Praying for an understanding for what she's trying to communicate.

Praying for peace.

Praying for God's timing.

Praying we are all learning whatever lessons God intends for us to learn through this.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I have to apologize for not updating my blog sooner. It has been way too long, I know that. And I know that some people actually do check it to see what's been happening with my mom--thank you for that and I apologize for dropping the ball on my blog. The road has been long and has been filled with ups and downs. I came to Connecticut before Christmas and I am still here. Though my mom's body is like a shell, the Lord continues to sustain her life. Even though my mom is a strong woman and a fighter, I know her life is sustained right now by God alone, not by her will and it's for an eternal purpose. And the Lord in His infinite wisdom is choosing to wait to take her home.

The last few days my mom hasn't eaten much at all, it is hard even to wake her to eat anything. And she has not been responsive or really able to talk at all. So it could be soon now that the Lord takes her home. That's what we've been praying...that the Lord will take her peacefully and quickly. And trust me, that's not an easy prayer to pray. But the more I meditate on things eternal and see how frail life is and how much pain my mom is in, the more I long for her to be in heaven with her Savior. I believe the Lord is using this time to prepare me as much as He is preparing my mom.

I've been praying a verse from Colossians each night for my mom before she goes to bed...that she would be strengthened with all might, fully pleasing Him being fruitful in every good work, according to His glorious power, who has rescued us from darkness and qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Please pray the same for me, that I would walk in the Spirit, being kind and gracious to my family and that my longing to be home in CA would not be too overwhelming.

Until next time, faithful readers!