Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.

Ok, I kinda put the pictures together…This swing is outside our front door, we are blessed to live in the country on about 2.5 acres. Together we have 6 kids, kinda the Brady Bunch thing, but no Alice! My husband, Bob, put the tire swing up last year for the kids. My dad gave us the wooden swing, it used to be at their campground. The pictures are original artwork made by my two oldest daughters, Jenny & Amanda. Jen is 24, Manda is 21. The pictures both hang on the wall in our living room. The connection? Jen and Manda are all grown up and on their own now, hence the wooden swing and tire swing are empty.

This post got me thinking about how quickly time passes, and how quickly our kids grow up. I still remember the girls and their turtle sandbox, the spaghetti in their hair, and the mud pies outside. And we would put on Stevie Ray Vaughn CD and dance in the kitchen. Then, in a blink of an eye, they are out of the house and on their own. I am constantly amazed at how beautiful and talented they both are. And smart, did I tell you that yet? I am so proud of both of them. They have overcome some amazing obstacles, and they are both such strong, independent women.

You see, they didn’t come from the “picture perfect” family. Life at our house was less than peaceful. Their dad and I divorced when they were 6 and 3. There was a 2 year battle for placement, I lost, and and they grew up living with their Dad. I lived in the next town over, but it wasn’t the same. Then, in my anger I went on my own little “spree”. I moved to NV, Maine, and Minnesota all in about a 3 year period. I was running from myself in those days. Let’s just say I was not the best mom in those days. I was not consistent. I tried, but I had alot of emotional and mental baggage I carried around from place to place. And no God, I was not a real believer yet.

Yet, despite my weaknesses and failures, they overcame. They did not let their past dictate their future. They are beautiful, talented, smart, and have amazing things in their future. Jen is getting married this year, Amanda is going to college…

Even though I am the mom, I think I have learned more from them. They taught me that your past does not determine your future. They taught me about forgiveness, when they “let me back in” their lives after my galavanting around the country. They taught me how hard work and tenacity pays off. And they taught me about love and forgiveness, and that’s it’s okay to make mistakes. They taught me that home is where the love is. They taught me about standing up for myself, about not being a “doormat” or a victim. They are both so strong, and I admire them so much. Thank you Jesus, for children, that teach us and love us despite everything. I love you Jenny & Amanda!


1 Corinthians 13  The Message

The Way of Love

13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

8-10 Love never dies.


Dear Lord, I ask you to watch over and bless our children.  Heal any hurts that we or others may have caused them.   Restore them in all ways.  Turn their sorrow into joy, and their mourining into dancing.  Fill them with love, peace, and joy.  Bless their coming in and going out,  bless the work of their hands. Bless their relationships.   Guide them, lead them, and protect them from the evil one.  Give them a double portion,  for surely they will see the goodness of the Lord  in the land of the living, in Jesus’ Name.