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January 2012

Sunshine

Growing up in Michigan I enjoyed small lakes as well as the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. I also love grass, waking to a layer of dew on the thick, green, plush yard or running around playing ball, tag are some other yard game in an open yard with soft grass. I am enamored with spring flowers especially the peach and apple blossoms that perform on “the ridge” every year without fail. ¬†Oh the push of the crocuses who make that first appearance to give us the hope of spring. These things I grew up with and truly relished.

Now I live in the high desert. There are no large grassy yards and no long days of winter for the crocuses to excite us. The beauty here is different. There are so many types of cacti and the rocks are astounding. Pansies love the “winter” months and thrive where planted. I’m sure I will miss the tulips and daffodils.

The most incredible thing about living in the desert is that it is sunny! The sun shines and shines and shines. We have cloudy days, super windy days, snowy days but they are all sprinkled between day after day of sunshine.

Kingman, AZ has approximately 280 days of sunshine. This is wonderful but it also means, there is not much rain, It’s The Desert! If you want plants you have to water them and up on the mountain, where we will live the pinion pines and junipers are not tall. If you want a shade tree you water it yourself ūüôā

Of course if mid-westerners keep moving to AZ and planting desiduous trees we may end up with more rain. That is a whole different blog!

So as I head out today to run, I slather the 45 spf sun screen on skin that is exposed. I am collecting what was once cute freckles on a little girl’s nose but are now called age spots on this 48 year old face.

Discovering ~ Susie

 

 

Training

I’m training for my first marathon. I am 23 days out. Of course while running and training I have a lot of time to think….. Sometimes this is dangerous. I also have been watching a prayer conference on line, today was sadly the last day, it was phenomenal and much needed for this girl.

Crim finish

1 Corinthians 3:5-8 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

I just love Paul, the truth and not acceptance was more important to him.

We have gifts and talents. God gives each of us something different. We have different desires. I love to run although I never thought I would run a marathon. There are many out there who hate it. My friend Kirsti¬†just attended the marathon olympic trials, the women who qualified ran under a 6 minute mile for 26. 2 miles. I can’t run ONE mile in under 6 minutes.

My favorite training partner and longest run to date.

No matter what we do, if we do it for the glory of God. He will give it increase. I look at this marathon not as just a personal bucket list accomplishment. This is an opportunity for me to do something with Brett. We’re training (he’s much faster than I). We are going to his house, spending time with Zoe and him. Running a race in Austin, TX¬†that is rediculously long and we can share the aftermath of the recovery. I’m trusting that God will bless this time.

As I read this over, and this is a Susie thought; I also believe God increases even when we use our talents and we don’t realize it’s going to be for His glory. He loves to show us how He loves us, for some, this will draw them in to His embrace.

Oh how He loves us all ~ Susie

 

Same today, yesterday and always

My mom is visiting. There is just nothing on earth as good as when your mom visits and you get to smell her, chat with her, eat the food she cooks. Oh and then there are the things she likes and I hate, for instance ironing!

My mom is a giver and a doer. When I was little I thought she was weak; she cried, she always seemed tired, she sat in the evenings and stared at the TV. As an adult I figured out my mom raised 8 children, the last five of us by herself. She worked at a job she didn’t much care for but was thankful to have in order to put food on the table in which she cooked everyday after a full day of work. She cried because it was so hard, she was lonely and in the middle of it all her mom died. Whew, not sure I have to go on. You get the picture of this incredible woman who at 80 she still presses on (as seen in the picture) toward the mark of an upward call of God. (Philippians 3:14).

She taught me that faith in God and forgiveness (which didn’t always come easy for her either) was what it is all about.

All of this reminds me that Jesus is the same yesterday, today (Hebrews 13:8). In our recent history, Jesus is the One who carried my mom through the trials she bore throughout her life. Jesus is the One who saved her when she cried for help. Jesus is the One who protected all of her eight “darlings” as she laid in bed at night praying for our guardian angels to protect us. She had to start at #1 one night and #8 the next in case she fell asleep in the middle she was sure to cover each of us.

Jesus healed, his disciples laid hands on the sick and healed in His name. We laid hands on my mom and she was healed from glaucoma. Her Dr. was awe struck as she told him, “My kids laid hands on me.” He confirmed and she needed no further treatment.

In Matthew 25:14-30 Servants were given talents. My mom is like the servant who multiplied his talents. She never hid them under a bushel. She Used her gift of hospitality and giving to reach so many. Multiplied by 8 I hope we use those same talents as examples to our children and to show others the love of Christ. 

Virginia M. Schmitt is a great example of what Jesus wants us to be in our lives. I hope at 80 I am still serving Him by serving others.

Oh how I love Jesus and all He has done in our lives, so thankful for a healthy Mom!

Awed by a never changing God ~ Susie

 

Anticipation

It’s 1 am. Can’t sleep.

I’m fasting this week. I’m not telling you I’m fasting so you think any certain way about me. I’m telling you so I can tell you about the crazy that goes on in life when you fast.

So I decided with my friend and my sister we would fast this next 2 weeks together. We all have prayers to pray, and needed that one on one bonding time with God that you only get when you fast.

In that bonding time, crazy stuff happens. My fast; no pleasant food (starbucks, sweets, bread), no meat. But I’m also training for a marathon so I needed to have a good carb/protein dinner tonight for my long run in the morning. So I did a complete fast from 6pm yesterday to 6pm tonight and ate dinner, chicken, sweet potatoes and corn.

Here’s the crazies….

I live in a truck stop town. Within 2 miles from my house there is Burger King, In and Out burger, 3 McDonalds, Carls Jr., Sonic, Kentucky Fried Chicken, well you get it. I’m not a fast food eater. I do love McDonalds’ fries and Carl’s Jr burgers, but on any given day I drive by with no regard to any of them. Yesterday I suddenly had this NEED for a Sonic burger. I mean, I needed it. I was hungry and this whole walnut, pea and brown rice mixture (which was delish) wasn’t cutting it! I made it past the Sonic without stopping but I’m telling you my body wanted a burger bad!

Today I got a barrage of thoughts, I was so overwhelmed. What about this? What about that? Oh my goodness, how can anyone do anything unless I jump in and help or give orders. I was treading water just about to physically spin around.

Whoa! Then my mind gets in line with God. I love how He reels me in. Do I find comfort in Him or not? Do I really trust God to see me and those I love through? Are the burdens I feel real or is it a distraction or the Holy Spirit provoking me to pray. Do I need to act or rest?

I find comfort in Christ. There is this picture I have over and over in my mind of falling into a large comfy hand, it feels like the best hammock you have ever sunk back into. This hand cradles, yet it is firm and ever so gentle and warm. After my reeling moment, I find peace.

In Paul’s epistles I find so much wisdom and truth about who, where and what I need to be. One of my favorite things to do is to pray these scriptures and reword them with the prayer being for my wisdom or Dennis’ or my children, etc.

Eph 1:15-20 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.

I want to know what God is calling me to. I want to recognize the mighty power God has given me to have authority over Satan and his guile to threaten my family. I want to be wise and understand All God has for us. We’ll never comprehend all He has for us, it is too much for us to imagine. I do know it is good (James 1:17), it is peaceful and God is longsuffering as He watches us and longs for us to ask. James 1:5¬†If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Oh my sweet, sweet Lord. I am so thankful that You take great care over the things we worry about and You teach us to ask instead of worrying. I appreciate your gentle ways.

Loved by the King of Kings ~ Susie