Thursday, September 29, 2011

The beach, kids and Nilla Wafers

Julie Jack & Ashley at beach

I can’t remember the last time I ate a Nilla Wafer. But this summer, we were visiting the beach and I had one. And guess what? Nilla Wafers are good! I’d forgotten that. I don’t know, but maybe it was just the fact that we were at the beach that made them seem so tasty.

My family regularly visits Destin, Florida, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. I’m not just saying that--the travel magazines will confirm. Anyway, I was there with my niece, my son and his friend, all over the age of twenty.

Some might think that going to the beach is only fun when you can build sandcastles with little kids. Not true!. I've been taking my son to Destin since he was six weeks old and can honestly say that it was as much fun going with a big kid as it was going with a little one. Maybe even more fun! I didn’t have to run up to the condo for bathroom breaks, clean sandy hands with wipes, and worry about sunscreen. It was actually most enjoyable.

I watched other younger mothers worrying about UV rays, jellyfish, and waves. Not me. I sat in my lounge chair and carried on a grown-up conversation about the next American Idol, the Royal Wedding, and the NBA playoffs. It was grand. Nilla Wafers in hand, at the beach, with my grown-up kid. Life is good.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hope in a house

H of H Auction

My friend Marilyn founded House of Hope in Kansas City, a residential treatment program for hurting teens. Last week my husband and I, along with eight friends, joined Marilyn for the annual Stars and Spurs Barbecue and Auction. Two young ladies shared their stories, and both received standing ovations. It's amazing to know that this is a place that's truly making a difference in the lives of teenage girls.

Here are some facts about teenagers I learned recently via the House of Hope website:
  • Fifty percent of high school seniors report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days
  • Seven in 10 girls have sex before age 14
  • The average age for a teen to start smoking is 12 1/2 years
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death of young people ages 15-24
  • In the U.S., it's estimated that one in every 200 girls between 13 and 19 years old cut themselves regularly
Thankfully, when a concerned parent is willing to do something about their rebellious teenage daughter, there is a place in Kansas City that can help. Check your community to see if you have a House of Hope. If you do, get involved!

P.S. Are you wondering what we purchased at the auction? My husband proudly bid on and won four tickets to Sporting KC (our local soccer team) as well as six car washes and eight barbecue sandwiches. I bid on and won a dozen roses. And our friends Becky and Doug purchased the centerpiece from our table and gave it to me!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Carly's Wedding

Carly and Susan

I just returned from my niece Carly’s wedding. What a celebratory time! Carly is twenty-two years old and I have been praying for her since she was born. And even though I didn’t know his name, I have also been praying for her new husband, Adam, for the past twenty-two years. My prayer was that God would bring to Carly His best choice for her. So for me, the greatest part of Carly’s wedding was to see how perfectly God answered my prayer!

Some of the especially happy things from the wedding:

  • dancing with my husband ( a slow dance and a fast dance)
  • holding baby Max and feeding him green beans during dinner
  • eating cake!
  • participating in the “girl’s dance” with Mary, Linda, Julie, Carly, Colby & Sherri
  • seeing Aunt Betty and cousin Carol

Sunday, September 18, 2011


New shoes

The other day I was in a store where I regularly shop, and they were having a sale. I was looking for a new top because I had just purchased some shoes and didn’t really have anything to wear with them. Rummaging through the sales rack, I came across a perfect blouse. Even though it was on sale, it was still a little pricey. However, I reasoned, “If I don’t get it, I won’t have anything to wear with the new shoes.” I tried it on. It was very cute. When I handed the blouse to the sales clerk, she commented how cute it was, which confirmed that I had made the right decision. But what happened next is every girl’s dream. When the clerk scanned the ticket, it rang up as half-off the sale price! Not only was my new blouse cute, it was a bargain. It was better than I had imagined. 

I don’t believe God works in terms of blouses and shoes, but He does love to do things for us that are better than we imagine. Ephesians 3:20 says just that. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” This is one of God’s promises for our lives -- when we dream big Kingdom dreams, God is prepared to do more than we can imagine on our own. In this verse, God isn’t promising great wealth, comfort or security. What He is promising is that a life with Him can be better than anything we ever imagined or dreamed. Why? God’s love for us is so great that He wants to be with us always and forever. He does that by taking up residence in hearts. The Bible says that Jesus, who is God, dwells in our hearts through the power of His Spirit living in us. God living in us is a privilege that is more than any of us could have ever imagined. 

So the next time you feel a little down about yourself, remember, God loves you so much He wants to take up residence in your heart. Or whenever you are unsure about taking a risk for God, know that He not only wants you to go for it, He wants to be the immeasurably-more power behind it. God is asking you to make God-sized dreams for your life. Your job is to imagine.