Hope Through Unity

Several years ago my oldest daughter and I had the opportunity to travel to Acuña, Mexico with my husband’s aunt and uncle. We were joining up with men, women, and children of all ages from all over America as part of a missionary group with an organization by the name of Casas Por Cristo (Houses for Christ). Their main goal is to share Jesus’ love by blessing and serving a family in need through a house building project in one of their designated building-locations.

When we all arrived in Acuña we had a large group of around 100 volunteers with a gymnasium that served as our gathering hub for sleep, food, cold showers, and devotions. We were split into even groups on the first day so a total of five homes would be built in Acuña over a four day period.Our team of twenty-ish made an immediate connection with the same like-minded purpose — to mesh work and Jesus’ love through building a house for a sweet Hispanic family…and goodness the family was precious.

The father and son worked on what would become their new home right along side our team, while the mother and grandmother made it a priority to fill us up everyday on authentic local dishes and Mexican hot cocoa and donuts. Side note: If you’ve never had Mexican hot cocoa you’re missing out! It’s actually available in Walmart stores so make sure to treat yourself!As we came to the end of our mission trip, with the house nearly completed, there was a moment where we all gathered for a dedication ceremony.

David, our Casas Por Christo team leader, translated what the Hispanic father wanted so desperately for our team to know. He shared that in the time before our arrival he and his wife had been struggling with their son’s emotions and depression. This eleven year old boy had been contemplating thoughts of suicide, which unfortunately in that area is quite common for that age group. But when our team arrived to help build them a home his young son’s happiness had finally returned.

Both the father and son had been given a chance to truly experience self-worth by visually seeing how their hands and a remarkable end-goal could help create something of great value for their family.And then David translated something I’ll never forget—

The dad had noticed something within our group that struck him.

Unity.

Our group of twenty, meeting for the first time — some from D.C. to California, others from North Dakota and Kansas, and a mama and her little girl from Nebraska — had come together with evidence of unity to spur us along. Even this native man could sense and had witnessed the unity that had formed in our group without at all understanding our language.

It was finally clear to me that while building that house in Mexico, a structure wasn’t the only thing being made…

I share this story with you because we’re living in a time where uncertainty is prevalent.

In our world things are messy right now…things feel unstable to some, meanwhile others are firmly gripping fear.

And I think deep down many of us have this yearning to be understood…to express our feelings, to be heard…to feel unified…whether we are politicians, doctors or nurses, students, working fathers, stay at home moms, elderly, laid-off or working from home people — we desire connection.

Unity can be described as oneness, one in spirit and like-mindedness. It’s not something that just happens, but it’s something that can be learned when we communicate well with one another to know and understand our hopes and expectations.

The unity that took place amongst two by fours, homemade stucco, and a group of Jesus lovers during my time in Acuña is the same type of unity that our nation and world need to strive for in the midst of the current chaos; even if it can only happen emotionally and spiritually right now.

Unity was formed in the book of Nehemiah thousands of years ago with the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem, such a motivational and powerful story. This would be a great place to start reading your Bible if you’ve never done so before, or even if you just need a refresher on this story.

We also see unity throughout the book of Acts when the first church is established. In Acts 2 verse 44 we read, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”

Unity.

With Easter among us it’s such an amazing time to remember perfect unity is truly a gift from God. He longs for us to be united with Him, pouring out His love for sinners through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. Sweet victory proclaimed, when up from the grave Jesus arose giving us prime unity with His Father as we make the choice to believe, trust, and follow while receiving the Holy Spirit. May our example of faith in Him be a true example of unity to those watching in a way that points to God…For His Purpose.

That daughter of mine that I shared a trip to Mexico with still talks about that experience and begs to go back again one day…in due time…when finances and plans make sense…she’s fourteen now and last week with a fire in her soul said, “mom wouldn’t it be awesome if this coronavirus brought about a spiritual revival!?”

“Ya it would Baby Girl…ya it would”…I responded with a longing hope of unity swelling within.

I pray unity through understanding, relationships, and God would bring us to a lasting celebration of that sort sooner than later.

DIY #3 Coffee Mug Holder

I am such a procrastinator!!!…even with what’s supposed to be a slower-paced time. Here we are the end of March already and I’m just now getting my DIY post out.

This month’s project is super simple and serves a practical purpose.

My husband happens to be a coffee connoisseur to the point he has a monthly subscription for his fancy coffee to be shipped to our house from Black Rifle Coffee Company. (btw we’re not getting commission off of advertising for them, although we should as much as we buy from them each month😅) Nate also adds new means of brewing methods two or three times a year. With that in mind his coffee obsession was overtaking my countertops and driving me crazy so I created him his very own coffee space…and yes everything on that table and the shelves is all coffee related!!

Now a coffee bar wouldn’t be complete without a coffee mug holder…I had my eyes set on a metal one at a boutique store downtown a while ago but my penny-pincher self wouldn’t allow a purchase sooooo I got crafty and thrifty and created my own. This month’s diy “perk” will show you how you too can make your very own coffee mug holder!!! Super easy!!! Let’s get started! Continue reading “DIY #3 Coffee Mug Holder”

Be Alert and of Sober Mind

Note: All of this is written with the respect of prayer for those who are suffering firsthand with sickness or loss of a loved one due to Coronavirus. My hope is that this is all quickly resolved to alleviate the added stress that has impacted many.

With amusement parks shut down due to Covid-19 I’ve been thinking who needs Disneyland anyway when there’s a wave of roller coaster emotions right in my own home!?

After I hit publish on last week’s post I was bound and determined to keep my positive upbeat vibe going that I was feeling, but Satan came in quick like a wrecking ball…man I get tired of him. I’ve intended to enjoy this downtime, making the most of it by spending time creating memories of healthy bonding with my family.

A far cry from reality…

Since that last post I’ve dealt with lots of unexpected..a mess of canceling travel plans through Expedia, transitioning my grandma from her home into a nursing home, and trying to figure out and set up my kids new elearning school schedule…holy moly that last challenge has brought full assurance that I am absolutely not tech savvy at all! Surprised I can even maintain this blog!

Overall I have the choice to keep a positive attitude regardless, but sometimes I get overwhelmed with change and forget to take my stress to the Lord immediately. On the other hand I neglect to remain aware that Satan is always on the prowl, even when (actually especially when) I’m at my highest points.

The other day I was thinking how in the world did my household dramatically go from happy, silly, and dancing like no one was watching last week (see last post with video) to whining, bickering, and a lack of mercy and grace with one another in a matter of one day…??

With perfect timing the words “he prowls around…looking for someone to devour” quickly swept in over my thoughts so I pulled out my trusty and faithful “Thought-navigator” and turned to 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” This was exactly what I needed reminded of — to consciously stay alert of Satan’s scheme-filled tactics 24-7.

I couldn’t just cut that idea off right there, I had to read the entire context of the passage.

The words surrounding 1 Peter 5:8 are so encouraging and applicable to what we’re all dealing with that I’m super excited to share them with you: Continue reading “Be Alert and of Sober Mind”

In Honor of 9/11

***If time is an issue don’t even read my blog post, just go straight down to the video and be sure to watch the whole thing; it’s an incredible testimony of a man (pilot) who was originally scheduled to fly the first plane to crash on 9/11.***

When Nate and I first began homeschooling our kids we attended an annual homeschool conference every Spring. We had some best friends who would also go and we’d all make a long weekend out of it, enjoying adult company with one another. Some of our best memories have come from those days.

During the time that we’d spend at the actual conference I’m pretty sure the guys found most of their entertainment counting the number of pregnant women and sneaking catnaps hoping us wives wouldn’t notice. Each year the homeschool conference would host a guest speaker and to be honest some years were better than others depending on who was speaking, so I could actually understand the catnaps — but when Nate snores it’s loud…and in a room filled with scholarly people it’s embarrassing and not acceptable regardless of whoever’s speaking.

One year a husband and wife, Steve and Megan Schneibner, shared the stage and gave advice from their own experiences as homeschool parents of eight. As a couple they travel extensively — teaching on marriage, parenting, and discipleship and have authored several books and studies. I recall their talk-sessions as humbling, motivational, and filled with wisdom and if I remember right their talks even held my hubby’s interest!

But what has stuck with me the most was Steve’s remarkable story; I’ve attached a video — an interview where Steve describes the direct impact 9/11 had on his life.

***Info collected from familyconferences.org***

‘Steve Schneibner feels like he is living on borrowed time. He was initially scheduled to fly AA flight 11 on September 11, 2001, the first of four planes to be hijacked on that fateful day. Through a divine set of circumstances, Steve was bumped from that flight the night before by a more senior pilot…’

Schneibner’s strong Christian character and Biblical worldview make his experience an inspiring, heart-warming testimony to his faith. The video interview is about ten minutes long — well worth the time and honor to the 9/11 event.

I hope you’ll take time to watch!!❤️

Furry Pinball and Faith

My girls spent the past week at church camp with my mom…in return I watched my (special needs) brother for her…and her crazy, wiry, ball-of-fire dog.

**don’t let his cute looks deceive you**

My brother was the easy part, but the dog (Beardsley) exhausted his stay after the first five minutes when he marched into my home like he owned the place and wanted to mark his territory. That was Friday evening.

Saturday he barked most of the day.

Sunday, before church, my husband and son went on a high speed chase after him on foot for 45 minutes; he’d slipped out the door and thinks this kind of thing is a game. In reality the only one enjoying their self is the dog.

Early Monday morning we put Beardsley out to potty and within minutes the neighbor pounded on our door like the police to dramatically inform us the dog was obnoxiously barking…thank you Captain Obvious. Continue reading “Furry Pinball and Faith”

I’m So Glad You’re The One Taking Care Of Me Today (PART 1)

Warning: Sensitive material for some

It’s been eighteen years (today) since my dad died. It’s hard to even put those words together. He’s someone who hasn’t made it easy to ‘just get over.’

When you love someone so much and then lose them, it changes everything.

I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts the story of my dad, but for new blog followers and my own thought process (and anyone else) here we go…. Continue reading “I’m So Glad You’re The One Taking Care Of Me Today (PART 1)”

I’m More Concerned Over Your Heart

This will be a vulnerable post—but since I’ve gone down the “vulnerable path” in many of my other blog posts I figure what’s another? Besides, most generally, I get someone who thanks me for being real and raw and for helping them sort out some part of their own mess, plus writing out my thoughts helps me process…and if there wasn’t a devotional reflection to go along, I wouldn’t bother making a post at all.

With that, here it goes… Continue reading “I’m More Concerned Over Your Heart”