On the road again

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hi friends,

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be on the road again for the next 16 days, so I won't be posting for awhile.

Please check back in 3 weeks as I hope to share some great pictures and stories of my Greek adventure!

Take care and God bless....

A dream come true

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In 1996 I signed up for my very first Ladies Bible study. I was a new mom, a weak Christian, and an ignorant student of the Word. I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this class, but I trudged ahead, anxious to see what would happen.

We were working through Kay Arthur's book Lord, Only You Can Change Me, a study on the Beatitudes. It was the first time in my life that I had ever really studied the Bible for myself and it struck a chord in me like nothing ever had before. I couldn't wait to do my homework every day and I longed for the class each week. Opening my Bible and learning it for myself transformed me. It was then and there that I became a fan of Kay Arthur and her ministry.

Over the next few years I would do several more Kay Arthur studies, as well as become acquainted with Beth Moore and Community Bible Studies International, that would deepen my walk with God and create a hunger for His Word that is still insatiable today. I fell in love with the Inductive Bible Study method and faithfully followed Kay's teachings through TV, Bible studies and radio. Occasionally I would check her website to see what was new to study, and during one of those times, I discovered a dream.

I can't remember exactly how I found it, but as I was searching through the Precepts website, I saw that she offered tours to different countries to study the Bible in the places that they were written to (for example, studying the book of Ephesians in Ephesus). For me, that type of experience would be a dream! However, being a stay-at-home mom of very young children, I had to push that dream to the back of my heart and hope that one day God would fulfill it when the time was right.

Fast forward 10 years or so, to the Spring of 2009. I was browsing through the Precept website, again, and I saw that Kay Arthur was doing a Bible Study tour to Greece in September 2009. I'm sure you can imagine the blood pumping through my veins at that revelation! Living in Germany, Greece is a rock's throw away. What would be the chances that I could finally fulfill the dream that had been hidden away for a decade? I decided to pray about it. God would have to orchestrate all the details AND provide the necessary funds. I knew that the reality of it wasn't completely impossible, but I wasn't sure if it was the right time for me or part of God's plan. So I prayed. And prayed. And prayed.

By late summer 2009 I knew that the clock was ticking, yet I still didn't feel like I had a definite answer to my prayers. There were a few things that were falling into place: I had Clint's approval and support, the timing would work out well for school and Fall break, and there was still an available spot for me on the trip. Of course, the only thing that hadn't arrived was the money I needed to pay for the trip. I knew that without that part of the deal, I couldn't go. Although we had the money in savings, I couldn't justify spending a large chunk of it on myself. So I decided to wait a little while longer before tucking my dream back into the recesses of my heart for another time.

During my wait, I was blessed to have breakfast with a very dear friend. As we talked about the tough year I was having with my most recent move, she said I needed a vacation by myself. I agreed and told her that I had one in mind, and would love for her to pray with me about it. After giving her the basic run-down and the hope of a financial windfall, she boldly told me that I needed to step out in faith and sign up. She reminded me that even if I had to dip into our savings that God would take care of us financially and that I needed to trust Him with our resources. Listening to her, I knew she was right. So later that day, I wrote an email to Precept Ministries and registered for my dream! After all these years I would finally see what had been stored away come to fruition. It was too amazing for words!

Fast forward a few weeks later. We had come home from our time in the States and I was already starting to count down the weeks I had left until my trip, when Clint called me one day from work with a surprise. He had just received an email from our tax consultants that we were receiving a tax refund -- a shock to say the least! But what was even more shocking was the amount. It was EXACTLY the amount I needed for to pay for the trip, plus a few dollars more to cover my flight to Greece! I knew then and there that God was providing the last piece of the dream with an unexpected gift. Again, it was too amazing for words!

So in one week I will board a plane to Greece and spend 10 days with Kay Arthur touring around and learning about various books of the Bible. I'm thrilled beyond measure and can't believe that a dream I had held so closely for so long is finally coming true. But then God is the dream-giver and the dream-filler, so why shouldn't I believe? I can't wait to see what He has in store for me there. He has blessed me beyond my wildest expectations and I can only pray that WHATEVER comes of this trip, that it will only bring Him glory and honor.

Please know that I am not writing this post to boast in any way. I am writing it, in hopes of encouraging you. Do you have a dream stowed in the depths of your heart that you're waiting on God to fulfill? Know that He can, and that when and if the time is right, He will! Just as He did for me, He can do for you. Believe it, hope for it, wait on it because...dreams do come true.

"Now to Him Who, by the (action of His) power that is at work within us, is able to (carry out His purpose and) do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we (dare) ask or think (infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams) - to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen." - Ephesians 3:20-21 Amplified Bible

One more list...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Since my last post was about my list of governing values, I thought I would continue the pattern and share another one of my lists (I promise no more lists any time soon!).

Today, I want to share with you the top 5 people I would love to spend an hour with. Why? Because I think it's important to have other people to look up to, to learn from. I mean if Joshua had Moses, Jonathon had David, and Timothy had Paul, why shouldn't you and I have someone in our lives as well?

So, in no particular order, here are the 5 people I would LOVE to visit with, and a short reason why I chose them:

1. Kay Arthur -- My all-time favorite Bible teacher (trust me, Beth was a close second); her depth and insight blow me away!
2. Kay Warren -- She may be best known as Rick Warren's wife, but I'm more impressed with her heart to help those in need in Africa
3. John Maxwell -- I love his leadership ideas and his desire to help people become all that they can be
4. Joyce Meyer -- Her practical Bible teaching has helped me become victorious in everyday life
5. Roger Federer or Serena Williams -- besides being GREAT tennis players, their mental toughness on the courts is something I could definitely benefit from!

So there you have it. My list of "role models". What about you? Who would you spend an hour with if you could? Have you ever stopped to think about it? I would love to know who you would spend some time with!

By the way, in just a few weeks I will be meeting with one of the five people I mentioned above! Seriously! Check back in a few days and I'll let you know who, what, when, where, why, and how -- stay tuned!!

My governing values

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

While searching for an article I had filed away, I came across a list I made several years ago. I had created the list after listening to a seminar on organization and planning. According to the tape (yes, that's how long it's been!) one of the key components to being well-organized is to have a set of governing values, those things you would consider to be your highest priorities, so that you can plan and guide your time and your life by them. As the speaker said, "If you aren't living by your governing values then you aren't living the life you want to have." So to make sure that I had the life I wanted, I came up with those governing values that reflected my highest priorities in life:

1. To have a deep and constantly growing relationship with God,
2. To have an intimate and joyful marriage relationship with Clint,
3. To be a loving and nurturing mother to Kayley and Abbey,
4. To have meaningful relationships with other close friends to walk with through life,
5. To have a home that is nurturing, welcoming and peaceful,
6. To be content with myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually,
7. To be financially comfortable and have the ability to share my money with others,
8. To have the opportunity to enjoy my life doing the things I take pleasure in: travel, reading, etc.,
9. To be an example and an encouragement to other women to become godly women who follow after God.

When I read back over my list after all these years, I was amazed at what I had written and how my life had actually played out. There was deep satisfaction in knowing that I hadn't veered off the path too much. Sure there are some areas that I would like to improve on and other areas I haven't been too successful in, but at this point I was happy to see where I was and to know that I was living by what was important to me. Most of all, I was glad to see that God had honored what I considered the most valuable things in my life and brought them to fruition. Thank you, Lord.

Do you have a list of governing values? Maybe you know what they are in your heart or in your head, but you've never really taken the time to write them down on paper. I want to encourage you to spend a few moments writing down your governing values. I think you will find it beneficial with your time and your purposes in life to have them in writing so you can sift all of your activities through them. If what you are doing doesn't match up with your governing values, do you need to be doing it? Life is fleeting, don't waste it on worthless things! Remember, "each man's life is but a breath." (Psalm 39:4).

If you would like to share your list with me, I would love to hear it. There's nothing greater than spurring one another on in the matters of life!