Browse Month

December 2011

Abundant Life

I’m finishing a book about a woman who finds and keeps her faith and intimate relationship with God even though she is being taught about a different God who wants us to suffer and sacrifice rather than be abundant and victorious. Following is a little chunk of her soliloquy in the end;

“Mother my God isn’t like yours. Your God is Jesus crucified. My God is the God of the resurrection- the God who says, “Enough of this suffering. Let’s heal the world.” My God says, “I came that you may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).”

Life ~ Bios is being a living creation: Life ~ Zoe is life more abundantly in Christ.

In Deuteronomy 30:19-20 God gives us a hint, “choose life”. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.

What does choosing life look like to you today? What adventure or challenge is set before you? 2 Timothy 1:7 (msg) God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. NKJ uses Fear vs. power, love and sound mind.

Do not be afraid. Fear keeps us stifled. God wants us bold! Go after your dream, God puts those desires in us so that we can chase them. Chase Away!

Running after my abundant life ~Susie

The waiting game

Christmas is over, our property is ready for our build and we are waiting on the bank. This has been the longest loan process we’ve experienced. We are so anxious, ready and willing. The builder, subcontractors and suppliers are ready to order.

We’ve never built before, I’m sure this won’t be the last time in this adventure that I feel frustrated but it just seems that bankers, mortgage lenders and appraisers should be happy for the business. Instead, appraisal takes longer than we’ve ever waited for an appraisal, a pre-approved loan ends up taking longer than any non pre-approved loan we’ve ever gotten.

So color me frustrated and impatient. Oh and did I mention our Landlord wants his house back in 5 months. Hmph! 

Waiting and longing for our new home with a view

Blessed~ Susie


As a little girl Christmas was so special. My mom and dad loved Celebrating and they are both gift givers. As you can imagine, being 7th of 8 children it was chaos from Christmas Eve until Christmas night.


  • My parents couldn’t wait until Christmas morning so Santa would come while we went to midnight mass or shortly after we were tucked in for the night. 
  • My mom made stockings for each of us,
    The stockings were hung

    I wish I had one of her old photos to show how she hung them every year. These simple felt and rick rack stockings reflected her love for us.

  • One year, while sitting on his lap, I asked Santa for a “snuffed snake”. I saw one hanging at Circus World, the equivalent of Toys R Us when I was a child, and it was huge. I kinda didn’t believe in Santa any more but when I opened it up on Christmas morning I once again became a believer.
  • I’m not sure if this is a highlight but after the bedlum of Christmas Eve and morning my Grandparents Schmitts would come over. We rarely saw them and they loved giving us presents. We would have to clean the house as if we hadn’t opened any gifts yet. I’m not quite sure why we had to clean and pretend but we did. They weren’t real keen on messes and 8 children in one morning.
  • We always had spares. Spare people. My mom included broken hearted, misunderstood friends in our festivities. They always became part of our family.
  • Leo. Leo and Joan became part of our Holidays when I was young, after dad left, I guess. I’m not sure, maybe always. He entertained, made us smile and SING and unconditionally loved us.
  • We always sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with an Angel Food Cake of course 🙂  
    Happy Birthday Jesus!

    My mom makes sure we know the meaning of Christmas and of course we have fun celebrating. I love Christmas. Stay tuned for Christmas with the Dunnings’.
    Filled ~Susie

The Countdown Begins

It is 11:31 am. I was up at 5:30 am. I did some administrative things for Dennis (I adore him, hate administration), made a shopping list for the Christmas party, cooked for our Christmas party and really wanted to skip running or any sort of exercise. It would be so much easier if we could have “Instant Fit” or “Flat for Life” stomachs or somehow to just burn off calories so we could snack and not worry about a thing. But nooooo! Instead, I wait for my running pants to dry in the dryer because I only have one pair I prefer to wear in the chilly weather, I put on my puddy-like sunscreen because running in the sunshine everyday (ok maybe not everyday) has left me with some nice size “freckles” aka age spots on my face. I now am wearing D’s socks because my terrific running socks are the real short kind and my pants are too short because Nike doesn’t make TALL so I get a cool drift on my ankles and I can’t stand it but the media pocket on the butt is perfect! Get all my running gear on, stretch and away I go! The day is half over and I finally complete my run!

We’re heading into a fun and stress filled Christmas. Oh we add stress to our lives that is so unnecessary.

I’ve done all my Christmas shopping via the internet. I have two presents in my guestroom, one I have to send to Erin and one to take to a friend in GR. I didn’t decorate except our beautiful Nativity we purchased in Bethlehem. It’s a strange Christmas and such a Christmas of change. I’m enjoying it although I am missing being spoiled by my children this year.


Jesus gives us so much to think about. As we head to see our families, friends, coworker, et al at different occasions are we spreading the joy of Jesus? Are we spreading the hope and love that we receive from Him?

I’m removing the stress and sharing the love

How can I resist?

My wish is to be so full of faith, that like Mary I will say, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

Stress be gone, Faith restored.

Practicing the two F’s ~ Fit and Faith! ~ Susie

Quiet and Busy

Here it is Christmas! We have been so spoiled these past few years having our children home for Christmas. This year we chose Thanksgiving because, well, other Moms and Dads need to have their children home for Christmas. Brett’s return from Afghanistan made us anxious to have everyone together.

We will plan an office Christmas party, attend a hospital Christmas party and then fly to Michigan for the Schmitt family Christmas. Thank you Micki for hosting all of us. It’s not the same. It’s not bad, just different.

Oh and after reading my blog Dennis said I was going to eat crow, because I made it sound like I was disappointed in going to the rodeo. I have to admit it was great fun.

Here’s what I learned spending the day at the Cowboy Christmas Show and the National Finals Rodeo; The Pioneer Woman was right the cowboys all wear starched shirts, my husband loves Bling, wait until you see my new belt :), Sitting in Row B next to the shoot is a lot different than the nose bleeds, eating a foot long chili dog for our anniversary dinner was delish, 15 years married to the Dreamy Doctor Dunning has definitely changed my life for the better.

Fun is the best thing to have ~ Susie


Rodeos and Anniversaries


Have I told you about this family? This is a family only God can create. We are a hodge podge of individuals that God mixed together and called us FAMILY. I wouldn’t trade a single second of it. There have been bumps and there have been victories but most of all our children; Brett, Samantha, Josh and Erin and Grandchildren; Zoe and Carter have been a source of joy. I am so thankful.

Dennis and I have worked hard together and by the grace of our sovereign Lord to provide a shelter and comfort for our children and one another. The key has been to do it for one another and then your children. If you come away with anything from my Blogs please come away with, TAKE CARE of YOUR SPOUSE.

This week on December 7 we will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. You will have to read my book to know the complete road that got us here! But we’ve had some crappy anniversaries, romantic anniversaries, nice anniversaries, anniversaries separated because of fellowship, busy because of school activities. Well this year will be a first. Yep this year….

Dennis and I decided for our anniversary we were going to Las Vegas, go see a show; Cirque, Phantom or something like that; have dinner, maybe spend the night. While looking for tickets for different shows I saw the National Rodeo Championships are going on for the next 2 weeks. They even have a cowboy Christmas sale in one of the largest Convention centers in the city. I mentioned it to Dennis, we looked at tickets and he said no way, we are not spending that much for a RODEO. OK good we are back on the Cirque thing 🙂 After spending the week in the cath lab, speaking to nurses and techs, they told him it is totally worth it! Most of them have gone because, “You have to see it at least once.” So, we are going to the National Championship Rodeo tomorrow night in Las Vegas. We’re going to sport our boots and tight jeans and blend in with the crowd!!

I’m telling you what, I never saw this coming. I married a guy who lived in East Grand Rapids, he wore polos and docksiders and blew dry his hair. Now I am wearing camouflage and cowboy boots.

We went to our first rodeo in Texas when we visited Brett. Well it was my first. I won a prize and got to have a picture with the rodeo clown.

I really enjoyed the Rodeo much more than I thought I would and we actually attended the local Mohave County Rodeo this fall in Kingman.
So tomorrow afternoon I will be donning my boots and hat and heading to Vegas to see the best of the best in the USA! It’s a little different than the evening of dinner, and a show but oh so much fun and the people watching will be out of this world.
Worn out at Grand Canyon
Back to my beautiful family. Because of this 15 year union we have been blessed by children and grandchildren that have loved and influenced our lives and created complete change.
Psalm 112:1-2
Praise the LORD!Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.


I tell you the truth. This marriage and this family has come at a cost. Jesus paid for it and we walk it out Trusting God. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us. (1 Thes 5:16-18)
Don’t give up. Push through anything you think might be too difficult, you will come out of the other end strengthed. Our marriages and inheritance of values, honor and integrity are key to our children and grandchildren.
I will end with this: Phil 3:13-14 forgetting those things which are behind  and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
How can you resist cousins in the bathtub!?
Blessed beyond all I could dream ~ Susie