Thursday, June 28, 2012

Camp Nurse and Favorite Links

I am having a wonderful time at camp this week! I’m volunteering as the camp nurse at His Kids Camp, a camp for special needs kids at Camp Luther. I haven’t even been her for 24 hours and have already been touched by the kids, their buddies (each camper is paired with a buddy or two to help with activities, meals, etc.) and the other volunteers and staff members.

I’ll write a full post about His Kids Camp next week but for today I’m going to list some of my favorite websites. It’s a diverse group, and I hope you’ll enjoy them as I do. When I update my blogs I’ll be suggesting new links, so please let me know what your favorite links are, either in the comments or in an e-mail to

First of all, His Kids Camp. Click here for more information about the camp. If you know a special needs camper, or would like to be a buddy or volunteer, please contact Josh or Christina—contact information is on the website.

If you’re like me and you really don’t like to do housework, check out the Fly Lady at You’ll find hundreds of tips on clearing the clutter, organizing your home, and keeping it clean. She also discusses the emotional aspects of clutter and getting rid of clutter. On one page she says, Our FlyLady system is all about establishing little habits that string together into simple routines to help your day run on automatic pilot.” I don’t use every single part of her system, but I’ve found enough great information to make it worthwhile.

I am so thankful for the pastors that have been a part of my life. We don’t see the many, many hours they devote to shepherding their flocks of church members; they’re part of some of our happiest and saddest moments on earth. Today I came across a great article that reminded me to thank our pastors (priests and other church leaders). Read “WhatOur Pastors Wish we Knew” and encourage your pastor today!

For pro-life news that you probably won’t get elsewhere, go to LifeNews covers the topics of abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia, bioethic issues like human cloning and stem cell research, and campaigns and elections and legal and legislative issues.

One of the best books I’ve read recently is “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. The book documents her year of “Test driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons of popular culture about how to be happier.”
I’m happy in my life—don’t get me wrong! And Gretchen was happy in her life, too. She wanted to make sure she felt grateful every single day, in the ordinary things. She wanted to look past the little things that bugged her, to the bigger picture. She wanted to set a higher standard for herself in all of her roles—as mother, daughter, writer, and so on.

“The Happiness Project” will inspire and motivate you to consider what you can do to make your life a little happier. The website is full of great information to help you design your own happiness project. I have used many of Rubin’s hints and tips and some of her downloads. I also get her monthly newsletter. This is a book and site like The Flylady; you probably won’t use everything you read, but you’ll find enough useful information to make it worthwhile!

Please let me know what you think of my suggestions, and don’t forget to share your own favorite links! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

“And He will give His Angels Charge Over You”…in a Burning Tractor

by Shelly Burke

from Google Images
I ask God to protect my loved ones every morning. Unless they are traveling, it’s usually a general prayer, something along the lines of, “Please keep them safe in everything they do today.”

I said that prayer, as always, one morning last week.

A few hours later, Tim sent me the picture below. He had been driving the tractor to fill in a hole in the road and noticed it was overheating. He drove it off the road (thankfully not near any grass as it’s VERY dry here), got out to open the hood and see if he could tell what was wrong, and saw smoke, and then flames.

Thankfully he’d grabbed his cell phone when he got out, so was able to call 911 immediately. It took the fire trucks about 20 minutes to arrive, and by that time the tractor was a complete loss.

Tim sent the picture to my cell phone, and I didn’t realize how serious the situation was until I sent it to my e-mail (I still have a non-smart phone with a tiny screen!). When I saw how completely the tractor was destroyed, I sat down and took a deep breath. The situation could have been tragic had Tim not gotten out when he did…had he not parked the tractor away from anything flammable…had not God’s angels been watching over him.

I said a heartfelt prayer of thanks—thanks that God protected my husband, and thanks that I don’t have to list every possible situation in which my family might need protection.  .  

“And He will give His angels charge over thee, to keep the in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thee dash thy foot against a stone” (or burning tractor).
Psalm 91: 11-12

Thank You, Lord, for protecting my family, and especially for protecting Tim last week.  THANK YOU for giving your angels charge over those I love. Please guard everyone I love from every danger of body, mind or soul. Amen. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Words of Wisdom for Thursday

Just do it! 

The piece from Cody
Yep, what the Nike ad says. Sometimes when you've had something on your to-do list for weeks, something you've been dreading doing...the best thing is to just do it!

I started the week with a pile of papers to file, a bunch of computer files to get organized and cleaned up. I keep a Word document of all the articles that go into the paper (I'll admit I'm a little compulsive about keeping the documents "just in case...)  and this comes to 40 or 50 documents a month...and it's hard to find a particular one when they're in no particular order in my documents.

I also had some catch-up things to do for the paper; I keep a list of articles I use every month to be sure I cover a variety of topics, and I also keep a list of writers who have given me permission to reprint their articles.

The one from Morgan
It's easy to put off these tasks; I don't "need" to do them, but when they're done and caught up it makes the process of getting the paper ready a lot easier. On Monday I was ready to tackle these tasks, planning to spend all day Monday and most of Tuesday to complete them.

My (fairly) neat desk...with
the art pieces above the
bulletin board where I see
them all the time. 
Imagine my surprise when they were all done by late Monday afternoon...and I'd even had time to clear off my bulletin board and hang up the really neat art pieces Cody and Morgan had given me for Mother's Day! I'm sure putting the paper together next week will go MUCH faster...and I've renewed my resolve to "just do it" when faced with those nagging tasks.

What nagging task are YOU going to do today or tomorrow?

"You'll never regret doing a workout"

These words of wisdom are from my sister Becky (Happy Birthday, Becky!) who has inspired me with her commitment to working out. I really didn't feel like running today and could have found plenty of reasons not to...but I remembered Becky's words and did go for a (very slow!) run. I don't know if I feel better now...but I do have the satisfaction of knowing that even if I don't accomplish much today, I did work out! 

And most importantly, words from our Father: 

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 

What words of wisdom would you like to share today? 

Monday, June 11, 2012

We do not Lose Heart!

By Shelly Burke, Editor, Nebraska Family Times

(from Google Images)
Several months ago in a post titled "Lifting Up in Prayer"  how my prayer list just seemed to grow longer and longer. Since that time God has answered several of those prayers; several people had follow-up tests to see if cancers had spread and they had not, and one very specialized scan found absolutely no tumors, when the symptoms indicated the worst. There were many prayers of thanksgiving on the days of those positive results!  

However, since that day more people have been added to my prayer list and the lists of  many others. Friends and acquaintances continue to experience medical problems, financial problems, and personal problems. It is difficult to see others suffer in body, mind, or spirit, and it’s very discouraging to realize life isn’t turning out as we had planned, especially when we can’t see how things are going to work out.    

I know that I am not the only one to grow disheartened by a growing prayer list and circumstances that affect friends and family members. As Paul told the Corinthians (and therefore, us), “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (1 Corinthians 4:8-9 and 16)

Life is unpredictable. But these words tell us that we do not need to despair; we won’t be crushed, we won’t be abandoned, we won’t be destroyed…we do not lose heart, because we are sure of our faith. We can be absolutely positive that our Father in heaven will never, ever leave us!

(from Google Images)
Although we may be wasting away—literally or figuratively—inside, our heart and soul and mind are being renewed every day (2 Corin. 4:16) through our Bible study, prayer, and worshiping with other believers. The things we are facing today are “momentary”—lasting only while we are here on earth. When we believe that Jesus died and rose to forgive our sins, we know that through His grace, we will experience “the eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corin. 4:17).
Renew yourself today. Read a few chapters in your Bible. Pour your heart out to the Lord in prayer. Know that He is with you and hears your words. Feel joy that you will experience eternal glory beyond all comparison.

“Give ear to my words, o Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my king and my God,
for to You do I pray.”
Psalm 5:1-2

Lord, You know what we each are experiencing today. You know our troubles and our worries. Thank you for your promise of eternal life! Amen.

I’m also blogging at Home is Where the Mom Is.
Check out today’s post, titled “Teach Your Children Well.”