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God’s Promises

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

 

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 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

My Beloved

Tomorrow is my beloved’s birthday.

My boyfriend is a driver. He pushes himself and everyone around him. In his life he has had three careers, we have moved quite often and now we are taking on the task of building a house on a mountain in the west, where he dreamed of living.

I believe our fifteen year marriage is the best of Dennis Wayne Dunning with exception to his two beautiful children, Brett and Erin. I got the best!

We were both wrecks entering this union with our insecurities that manifested in different ways.  He has taught me to complete. When he drives, he accomplishes. He admits his short comings and strives to improve. Oh sometimes it pains me to admit mine 🙂 Together we have learned unconditional love. John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

He is not afraid of the future, he trusts God. Matthew 6:33-34  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Together we have faced trials, oh some doozies! We have come through them just as God promised with renewed strength.

 James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Dennis Dunning loves quietly with precision. What does that mean? Well just like Jesus taught us, love is not a feeling it is a decision. Dennis loves as he studies, works and plays with definitive decision and passion to make it right and good.

What an honor it is to be Mrs. Dennis W. Dunning. He is a true friend, confidante, kite flyer and leader of our beautiful family. 

 

 

 

Song of Solomon 7:10 and a tad of 11   I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is toward me.
Come, my beloved

 

Thank you for pushing us Dr. America! Oh how I love you.

Thankful ~Susie

 

November

It turns out November in Kingman, AZ is chilly but maybe not so ugly as November in Grand Rapids, MI.

Morning snow

One week ago Dennis and I were waking up at a Marriott Hotel in Las Vegas. Dennis had an early morning meeting up there so we decided to drive in the evening, have a nice dinner, spend the night and I would wander to a coffee shop and write while he was busy until about 3:00 pm. I dropped him off, drove his car about 5 blocks and my quiet day was shot. The car stalled, right in the middle of Desert Inn Drive. Luckily it had enough coast left to make into the driveway of the nearby Liquor store which also houses slot machines. I’m thankful for cell phones and AAA. Car towed, I wandered around Henderson, NV waiting for results of the damages. Don’t feel sorry for me, I was cozy at a Panera with wifi, coffee and a bagel. Then there was the Loft, Williams Sanoma, Pottery Barn and the Crescendo….. Gymboree!

Exactly 12 hours from the stall on Desert Inn Drive we drove off the showroom floor with a new car on our way back to Kingman, AZ. It wasn’t really that impulsive. We had been discussing getting a new car. 😉

Sunday we were back in Vegas collecting Micki! Micki and I spent 3.5 days together. It was terrific. We worked hard at choosing and gathering things for our new home. We enjoy one another, just being.

Working hard or lunch at Cheesecake Factory

I love that Micki got to see a taste of our life here. I think she left thinking we are crazy! God always puts us where we need to be, when we need to be there. Life is good. God is so gentle.

Phil 4:9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Loving God ~Susie

 

 

Pink

I love pink. Well what I really love is fuschia. Back in the 90’s when I sold Aloette cosmetics I wore French Raspberry lipstick, it was the favorite for years. I think fuschia is a good color for me, I like bright. Samantha shares the love of pink. She loves to wear it, live in it, snuggle in it and we like the connection of our bright hued PINK.

Today Samantha celebrated her graduation with her Nanny, aunts, cousins and friends. Samantha’s friends; She guards her heart and only allows a safe few in. She is a joy. She fears rejection and she loathes disloyalty.

Samantha loves GLAMOUR!

Graduation!

Samantha’s best friend, outside of Muah, is Erin Jean. Erin and I got to be a part of her graduation in Panama. That was joyous!

one of my favorite pictures of my girls

The three of us had a wonderful time together in Central America!

80's slicker pays off in Panama

This time Erin and I shared the joy from miles away.

Does this diminish the joy of the work Samantha accomplished? Oh no, not at all. Instead, Samantha celebrated with the closest women around her (and Uncle Roger). These women have all, at some point in her life been a lifter of her head, an encourager and confidante.

No Samantha, it is not the same but it is real and it is fun to see you from a distance get celebrated and applauded for completing a huge step in your dream!

I love them

You are finished with cosmetology school. Never to be a #beautyschooldropout, Only to be an artist with the license to make BEAUTY!

One word describes Samantha Margaret Hosman and that is BEAUTY. She longs to be smack dab in the middle of it! And from her eyes, her smile, her heart, her desires all equal Beauty.

Years ago we were celebrating a victory and we loved these two verses because God saved us out of the ashes;

Isaiah 61:3 To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

And

2 Timothy 1:5-7  when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Virginia and your mother Susie, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Oh my dear Lucy, I love you so!

Celebrating Thankfully~ Susie

Promises and Choices

Or should this title be Choices and Promises?

Hebrews 3 recounts psalm 95 “Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in rebellion.” It goes on to say the Israelites wandered in the wilderness because of their hard hearts, they did not have rest for 40 years. 

Hebrews 3:12-14 Message  So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.

We’re in this for the long haul. Today, hear Him, listen to someone else you know who grips on to Jesus. The promise here is REST (ch 4:1).

The writer of Hebrews call unbelief evil. Whoa!

See, I wanna walk with friends that sharpen my iron. I want to live a life of rest, peace, joy. Even in my darkest trials, when I’ve kept my eyes focused on Jesus I find rest in His arms. The other night I was reading Hebrews 10 (thank you brother!). There is some strong language about our promises and what we can do! We can have confidence, boldness to enter in and be close to God if we keep our grip on Jesus.

Our promises: More than we can ask for or imagine, exceedingly, abundantly, provision, health, rest, victory! And on and on.

Heb 10:23 hold fast to our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful! 

Today, we have a choice. Don’t harden your heart. Harden your heart, you wander like those in the desert. Gripping Jesus, you have rest, victory and God’s promises fulfilled!

Today, choose LIFE!

Holding on to promises ~Susie

Words

I’m reading a book right now about being silent. It seems to be a common theme in my life these past couple of years. I started thinking about words; they can sting, tear apart, be empty or encourage and build.

My friend, exercise partner and cheerleader, Kirsti and I are both going to run a marathon in winter of 2012. We are running seperate races, that is a for another blog.

Before our 25K

Kirsti was taken to a track by her husband Mike and son Noah to be timed in a one mile run. So when I return to Grand Rapids Kirsti wants to time me. There is some calculation for how fast you will run a marathon 🙂 I told her I was slow and I have always been slow, my time will be not be faster than her’s. She thinks differently because the difference in the length of our legs is substantial.

Dennis overheard our conversation. When I hung up he said, “Well that is a defeatist attitude.” I said, “No, it’s the truth. I have always been slow, swimming, running, anything.” He quipped, “You were told that before you were 12 years old therefore you have never pushed yourself .” Ouch!!

I have also been told I was stupid, lazy, good for nothing, wouldn’t amount to anything, whinie (this might have been founded) and on and on. I purposely sought God and asked Him to help me forgive these words and show me who He created me to be. He showed me I am smart, good for what He wants of me and I am a princess, that is something!

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give me the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

Hmm, it makes me wonder why have I hung on to this confession while working so hard to change my heart and mind about who I am as Christ sees me mentally and spiritually.

One thing I have heard my whole life is that I am pretty. Well, I like that one! Of course for most of my life I thought that was all I had going for me. Well, I’ve been able to be slow and pretty, slow and smart, slow and kind. I’ve never had to push through the physical act of being slow. Slow has always entered the scenerio; slow to think through a situation, late for appointments, etc. Have you ever seen me make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!? Seriously, my husband must really love acts of service because he always waits patiently for me to complete preparation.

Well then. Slow is a new word to shed from my vocabulary and my description of myself. God made me to be swift to think and slow to speak. I think I have practiced the opposite. Swift and victorious will be my thoughts. I will have to train for that too.

Longest run ever! In Aug 2010

Hebrews 12:1-2  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,the authorand perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Kirsti and I finished our 25k! Now that is the longest May, 2011

Joshua 1:7-8

 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Strong, courageous, swift, lover of God’s Word. That is who I am in Jesus Christ!!

Runner ~ Susie