Friday, December 17, 2010

The pressure's on

For a few years now, Tim and I have felt a sense of homelessness.  We felt it even when we were still living in the duplex.  It never truly felt like home and we never really settled in b/c we knew we would be moving on from there shortly.  The places we have lived over that past few years have always felt transitional, especially as we were prepared our hearts to receive Senegal as home.

Here we are, on the cusp of moving into a real home, a place that will be ours, where we can raise our boys and settle in.  The mere thought of that reality truly overwhelms my heart.  I want to settle in and cultivate a home my family so badly I can taste it.

Yet almost from the moment our offer was accepted and the purchase agreement signed, the enemy has been trying very hard to steal our joy in this process.  The hits just keep on coming, from stressful family situations to major health insurance problems to hefty car repairs.  All with Christmas and Jackson's 2nd birthday around the corner as well!

I don't think it's any coincidence that as we are ready to launch into an exciting new season of our life together, Tim and I are struggling to make sense of some of our circumstances.  The Lord was faithful to remind me this afternoon that it was He who established the earth and it is He who sustains us.  Who do I trust in, my bank account or my Savior?  I can't control any of these situations and quite frankly, I feel very out of control and powerless these days.  But He is faithful and He will be faithful to us and will provide all that we need.    

We have a friend who often says that God makes the man before He makes the ministry.  We may have stayed home from the mission field, but we are still living in expectation of a powerful and annointed ministry.  So, it looks like God is "making us" into what we need to be b/c it sure feels like the fire is being turned up a notch.  Praise be to God!

Monday, December 13, 2010

excitement is mounting...

Can I just say that I am really excited to meet these little boys that are inside my belly?!  I can't wait to kiss their sweet little cheeks and snuggle them.....oh, baby love.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh MN, how you disappoint me.

I must be a little out of things, b/c I finally just heard that Dayton won the gubernatorial race in MN last week.  Not that I loved Emmer, b/c I did not, but Dayton's plans for our state are frightening.

Well, MN, you disappoint me once again with your severe lack of care for both the unborn and for the middle class.  Sigh.  Tax the rich, kill babies, pour more money into schools that aren't working, and start state run casinos.  Wowza.

At least my God is in control.  Praise be to God!

Friday, December 10, 2010

the name game

December already, time flies.  Especially when you are busy.  Tim and I continue to struggle with settling on names for these 2 treasures in my belly.  We have actually been talking boy names since Jackson was born, since his was difficult.  Girl names are easy for us, but not names for little princes.  You'd think 2 years would be long enough to decide.  If you have any good ideas, let us know!  We have one picked out, but #2 is proving tricky.  Happy Advent season!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Offer accepted!

I guess we haven't posted anything on here about our search for a new place to live yet....  Seeing as how the purchase agreement has been signed, I think it's time!  Once Tim started his new job, we redid our budget and pretty much started looking right away for a place to call home.  At first we were just casually looking, taking our time, seeing what's out there.  Then we discovered we were having twins and we ramped up the search big time.  I am very excited to get a place ready for these babies.  I never really decorated a nursery for Jackson, so I am pretty pumped to do it for the twins :)  

After scouring websites and MLS listings for hours at a time, I would go out and check 'em out during the day.  We basically looked in almost every part of the city.  Frankly, it was a little disappointing.  With what we could afford, there wasn't much out there that we wanted to live in.  But we continued to trust in God that He had a place for our family, a home of our very own. We placed 2 offers on two houses that we didn't get and then we found the "one" on Friday afternoon.  Our counter offer was accepted verbally late last night and everything was signed just this afternoon.  At this point, we are planning to close in December.  The sooner the better!  I am ready to nest!

I cannot wait to finally have a chance to set up a home for my family.  Tim and I have basically felt like we've been in housing transition since we got married (6 years ago) and it's time to establish some roots and settle in.  My heart is ready for this step in a way that I can't adequately describe with words.  I don't think it has truly sunk in yet, that we are actually on our way out of my mom and dad's.  It has been over 18 months since we moved in while we are SO thankful for all they have done for us, we are ready to be on our own again.

This process only took about 2 months up to this point, which I know is VERY short compared to what others have spent, but it sure felt longer.  The Lord has taught us much about His provision in this time and has challenged me to consider where I find the source of my security and contentment.  I stand humbled once again before Him.  He is good, whether you live with your parents or not.

As things begin to unfold, we will update you and soon the postings will probably be all about the challenges of having twins.  With all this housing stuff going, prepping for the twins has taken a back burner, like most everything else.  Time to get cracking on that adventure!

If you happed to be looking for a great realtor, we used a friend of mine from college and she's been fabulous!

Well, I'm to toast God's provision with some sparkling grape juice.  Cheers!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jackson, in all his cuteness

Trick or Treating.  He loved it once he realized people were going to give him candy at each stop.

Our little lion.

When we tell him that he cannot bring his Lovey, he hides it behind his back.

Dinner time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


On Friday we went to the doctor for an ultrasound and to hopefully find out the gender of our new baby.  After a few minutes of looking, the tech asked us if we could see what she is seeing.  We both looked but had no idea what she meant.  After a moment, she said, "I see two babies in there."  Heidi and I had both thought a couple months ago that we were having twins but the doctor at that appointment was sure that there was only one baby.  What a shock.  Twin boys.  It is rare for people get to 20 weeks before they find out about twins.  We are incredibly excited but a little scared at the same time.  Wow.

There they are!

Friday, October 22, 2010


This post is a long time coming, but here it is, so that's what matters.

For the past 7+ years, Tim and I have been blessed by a great prophetic ministry called Harold Eatmon Ministries International (HEMI).  We have had the privilege of attending 3 sessions of School of the Prophets and have learned SO much about how God works through prophetic gifting in biblical ways.  The last school we attended was early this year and it was pretty sweet.

Towards the end of our sessions on Saturday afternoon, we moved into a time of activation, a time to "practice" what we learned in a safe and orderly environment.  So far the activations all weekend had been pretty painless, not too scary, just a chance for everyone who wanted to to offer themselves to the Lord to be used prophetically to bless another.  It was very cool to see people experience the joy of being used by God to prophetically speak truth and encouragement to one another.

Well, the last activation was definitely a little scarier than the others b/c we even didn't know what it was when they asked for a few volunteers.  You should know that I don't like being "up front" (ever, never ever, no matter what), but I also knew in my spirit that God was asking me to make myself available to Him, to raise my hand and volunteer.  I think the exact words He used were, "If I want to use you as My mouthpiece, who are you to say no?"  To that I said, okey-doke, and my hand went up.  I knew if I volunteered, I would be chosen, and sure enough, my hand went up and Joe called me up front.  They had set up 8 chairs on the stage, in two rows, facing each other.  I sat down and waited as the other chairs in my row were filled up.  Then came the blindfolds....

They blindfolded us and then silently chose 4 people to sit across from us.  We were to prophecy over the person sitting in the chair directly in front of us.  If we felt confident enough in the gender of the individual, we could include that in our word for them.  Well, I will give you one guess as to who got to go first.  You guess it, me.

Joe handed me the microphone and told me to take my time.  I would like to insert that there were probably at least 100 ppl in the room - yikes.  At least I couldn't see them!  I would also like to say that this is an anointed ministry and dozens of very anointed, very prophetic people were there that weekend.  And they were all praying for me, all praying that God would give me a powerful word for the person in front of me, for their benefit and for mine, that I could be blessed by the opportunity to be used of God in this way.  So really,  there was such a powerful anointing present that anyone could have prophecied in that setting!

I won't bore you with the gory details of the word I got, but I will tell you that the experience was amazing.  God gave me a specific and detailed word for the man of God that was seated before me and I pretty much wept through the delivery b/c of how moved I was at the Lord's heart for this man.

After the 4 of us in my row had all given a word, we were able to take off our blindfolds and see who we had ministered to.  To top it all off, the person sitting in front of me was my brother!!!  Wow.  There are no words.  Amazing.  God showed up and I was blessed to be there and be a mouthpiece for Him.    

Me and my "little" bro, the man of God.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

snip, snip

I have had very long hair for over 10 years.  The last time my hair was short was in ninth grade, 17 years ago.  Yesterday afternoon, I chopped it all off!  Well, most of it.  I was really rather nervous about it, but I am really happy with how it turned out.  I normally cut my hair myself, but this special occasion called for a professional.  
Here's me, a happy customer, leaving the salon.
Damon, at Belli Capelli, in Adover, did a great job.  I even hugged him afterwards :)
He was so great.

It was time for a change and I think this counts as a change.  It's a bit shorter in the back, angled to the front and longer on the left side, so fun!

Here's all the hair they cut off for Locks of Love.  It was a little scary for me once I heard the first "clip" and knew there was no going back, but it was totally worth it.

So the back story on this big change is that about a month ago I just felt like it was time for a change.  I love tattoos, but since I'm pregnant, that was out.  I told Tim I wanted to cut my hair and he wasn't so sure about it.  The more thought I gave it though, the more it felt right.  God has done such a dramatic transformational work in our lives in the last 2 years and has truly shifted our thinking in so many ways that I wanted to make a shift that was outwardly obvious.  Not necessarily for others to see, but just to be an outward symbol of all God has done in this season on the inside.  I have been changed by our experience and it was time for me to look a little different on the outside as well.  So there you go.  I'm usually not really into symbolism, but this felt right.  And it enabled me to help out a great organization that makes wigs for children with cancer.  How can you go wrong?!  So while I happy about how my hair looks, I am even happier about what it means to me:  God is transforming me for His glory from the inside out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Job

In May of this year, I accepted a job at Volunteers of America and I was certainly grateful for the work and the income.  During the last few months I continued to look for another job because the VOA job did not pay all that much.  Last week I accepted a job offer from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).  My position title is Member Specialist and it would take too long to describe my responsibilities so I'm not going to right now.  The office is located in the International Market Square, which is just to the west of downtown Minneapolis about a half mile.  It is a good location and now we can move out of the in-law's house.  I am excited for this opportunity and grateful to the Lord for providing it.

On another note, today marks seven years that Heidi and I have known each other.  I was nervous when we met but she was nice and gave me another chance.  It's been the best seven years of my life.  Love you, baby.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

the Dream

I don't often get dreams that mean anything, but a few weeks ago, I had a pretty cool one.  It came the night that I was feeling so discouraged that I basically cried myself to sleep in despair.  I'm sure part of it was all the extra hormones from being pregnant, but Tim and I were feeling fairly discouraged about our duplex at the time.

In my dream, Tim and I had just picked up a huge load of fresh food from a local farm and were dropping it off to be stored.  We were leaving it at a friend's place until it ran out, keeping it in a space like a root cellar. We unloaded everything and the food completely filled up the entire space.  Throughout the Fall, as we would return to get a load each week, the amount of food never diminished.  The space was always as full as it had been the first time, just brimming with fresh, unspoiled food.  We started giving it away and sharing it with others to use it up and it never ran out all winter long.  

On the surface, this was obviously a deeply encouraging dream about God’s ability and desire to multiple resources and to bless His people with abundance.  Especially since my sister in law and I had been praying recently for God to multiply our resources.  

As I prayed about this dream, God showed me a few things.  He reminded me that He is a God of multiplication, abundance, and restoration and that His idea of restoration looks far different from our idea.  (Restoration is the theme for our church for 2010.)  When I used to think about what restoration meant for me this year, I would think about God restoring Tim into a good job, about the restoration of relationships that have faded with distance, or the restoration of a dream for a new ministry.  All I thought about was God restoring the things that Tim and I used to have.  

But His idea of restoration includes so much more!  Rather than merely restoring to us the things we used to possess, He showed me that He desires to restore us to His promises, His covenants with us.  All of them!  It’s not about restoring pieces of our lives, it’s about restoring into our lives everything that He offers us in His Word.  Every promise in it’s fullness.

He desires to fill our store house (or root cellars :) with salvation, with healing, with calling and with new ministries, with provision and abundance, and with the manifestation of every single one of His covenant promises with us.  It’s time to broaden our scope and ask with faith for the restoration of big things!

This has really encouraged me and I hope it does the same for you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall in MN

It's fall in MN, my favorite time of year.  The leaves have not turned yet but soon the brilliant colors will be everywhere.  Every fall I wear a sweatshirt with shorts and start to pull my coats and vests out of storage.  I love running in the cooler weather and since my car has no air conditioning, my commute has become much more pleasant.  Heidi and I already took Jackson to an apple orchard, which is a Minnesota fall tradition for most people.  You pretty much walk around and pick/eat apples but somehow it's fun.  Fall in MN is great but winter is coming and that isn't much fun.  

So far my Denver Broncos have started the season poorly with two losses in games where they played sloppy and made multiple mistakes.  I am hopeful that my boys can pull it together and make the playoffs for the first time in five years.  In other football news, I returned to Fantasy Football after a year off.  My team is terrible and I have yet to win but it is fun.

Jackson continues to grow and pick up new skills all the time.  He loves his little blanket, Lovey.  We make him leave Lovey in his crib but we will often notice that he has disappeared from the first floor, only to reappear a minute later with Lovey held behind his back.  Every day he picks up new words and his sweet little voice is the best.  The kid loves to laugh and especially loves behind held upside down by his Mama.  When I do it, he does laugh some but then points at Heidi to have her do it instead.  The kid is such a joyful child and has a sweet spirit.  Lately he has decided he does not like to eat so we hope that phase ends soon.  Hopefully baby #2 will be as easy as Jackson.

My Financial Peace University class is going well.  There are a dozen people in the class and everyone is participating fully, so that is great.  I am glad to have this opportunity.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We have tenants!

Finally, after 2 months, we have tenants again in the upper unit of our duplex.  Apparently the housing market is not just bad for sellers but also for landlords, so it took a long time to get people.  A month or so ago there were two guys who wanted to live there but their current landlords called them "the worst tenants we've ever had and no one comes close", so we passed on them.  Even though we did not want to take Section 8 (paid for by our tax dollars), we felt that we did not have much choice anymore and the family that moved in on Friday is a Section 8 tenant.  The advantage of Section 8 is that the rent is guaranteed by the government but the disadvantage is having to deal with government regulations.  When we first tried to get approved for Section 8, the inspector gave us a list of things wrong with the unit that needed to be fixed.  We thought is was super nit-picky but did everything anyway.  Now it's done and we are good for a year or so.  It was painful to see our savings account get beat up like Rocky Balboa but now we can get a break for a little while and try to save up some money again.  We are grateful for the Lord's favor to get this done.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

This picture pretty much says it all.

Baby Chase #2 is due late March.  We're pretty excited.

The little guy

It's a helmet!

Jackson has learned how to impersonate his Momma when she barfs.
It was so cute we needed another picture.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Financial Peace University

It's a funny thing that I have become passionate about finances in the last few years.  I did not grow up with money and I am a lousy math student but I love talking about money.  Most Americans are drowning in debt and live with so much stress in their lives that is just unnecessary.  Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course has helped many people to get out of debt and get their financial house in order.  For a while I had the desire to teach the class at my church but there was never an opportunity.  When I found out that Pastor Sam, who taught the class last fall, decided not to do it again, I volunteered to take over.  The class will start on September 15 at the Minneapolis branch of Bethel Christian Fellowship and run each Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.  The address is 2727 Central Ave in NE Mpls.  There is a meal provided beforehand and childcare as well.  If you are married or single, in good financial shape or poor, come to the class.  All are welcome.  Leave a comment or get in touch with me directly if you have any questions.  I'd love to see you there.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pictures of Jackson

What is cuter than a super cute little boy?  A super cute little boy in a cape.

Jackson is playing with his cousins, Chase (right) and Carver (left).
Jackson loves his mama.

We sure love our little guy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


We moved back from White Bear Lake (WBL) on Saturday.  Neither of us had spent much time in WBL and we found it to be a charming town/suburb.  It feels like a small town but is close to downtown St. Paul, making it a unique place in the Twin Cities.  On our last night in WBL we invited our friends, Brad and Karyn Carlson and their children, to walk around the downtown area and visit the Cup and Cone for some ice cream.  The C & C is a fantastic little ice cream shop and a must visit in WBL.  The prices cannot be beat.  We will be back.

In June we learned from our property management company that the tenants in the upstairs unit of our duplex had not paid their rent.  They were put on a payment plan for July but still did not have the money, so we had to evict them.  We felt terrible about it, but there was not much choice.  They were finally out on August 9, and we set about getting the place ready for new tenants.  Fortunately they left the place in good shape, so there was not a ton of work.  My father in law helped me paint a room and do some touch ups and my buddy Jeremy helped me with some cleaning.  I still need to return one more time to paint a stair railing that needed replacement but the place is ready for new occupants.  We spent some time last night praying over the property and part of that time was spent praying for the family we had to evict.  Our prayer was that the Lord would show them favor and give them a new place to live.  The financial hit that we are taking by this is not small and we are trusting the Lord to provide for us.  We are asking people to pray for new tenants and a way to refinance our payment down.  If the Lord decides to provide for us in another way, that is good, too.  We hope to get some good news about refinancing soon and we'll keep our blog readers posted.  God is good and we are still in a good place of trust.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back on the move

Well, once again we are dogsitting.  Tomorrow we will start a week in White Bear Lake watching the dogs of some people that are friends of friends.  They have a sweet house with a home theater and the location is much closer to my work, so that will be nice.  A little extra cash won't hurt, either.  At the end of August we may have another dogsitting gig in St. Paul and after that we don't have any planned.  Some day, when we have a place of our own again, we will stop dog/housesitting for all our friends, but until then, these times provide a nice break from living with the in-laws in outer suburbia.

Jackson is becoming more vocal all the time.  Instead of saying yes, he says, "yeah, yeah" very quickly and nods his head.  When he says no, it mostly sounds like an o without the n, but we get the point.  He is an opinionated child who knows exactly what he wants and is not afraid to ask for it.  (He must get that from his mother.)  Every day he learns something new and is such a fun kid.  We are so thankful to God for him.

My job continues to go well.  I learn something new all the time.  A week or so ago I decided that I need to better understand what it is like to be in prison, since I am teaching classes to people who were just released. I watched some videos from the discovery channel about prison, which helped a little, but mostly I have been asking the residents.  Some of the guys that have some hard time in federal prison roll their eyes at my questions, thinking to themselves, "how does anybody not know that?" but I keep asking anyway.  I have to remind them that is is normal to have NOT been in prison and not the other way around.  Lately I have had a few openings to talk about things of the Lord and that has been cool.  My job can be tough but I like it and every day I get a little better at it.  Hopefully some of the teaching sticks and these guys are able to make it back into society.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dance Party

I would be lying if I said that I haven't been feel very discouraged lately.  Though it's been a year since we heard God say "stay," we have not truly been able to settle back into life.  We love my mom and dad and are SO thankful for them.  Without the blessing of being able to live with them, I don't know where we'd be right now.  Probably crashing on your couch or camped out in your driveway!  

That said, their house doesn't feel like our home and I don't think we will ever truly feel settled here.  We still live out of boxes and that takes its toll after a while.  More than that, we still feel an empty place where a dream used to be.  Healing from a broken heart takes time.  This is a process I am learning well and no matter how I feel,  with a little one at my heels, I still have to pull it together and get through each day with a smile.     

Tim and I recently listened to a good sermon on choosing to rejoice when you don't feel like it.  The speaker gave the Hebrew definition of the word rejoice, which basically includes the physical actions of smiling, jumping and spinning.  It's challenged us to make that choice to rejoice even when we don't feel like it.  So we have decided that we are going to have a family dance party EVERY night until we get our breakthrough.  Lately, we have been rockin' to the song with the chorus 'this is how we overcome'  (I can't remember the song name, but it's a good one.)  Jackson absolutely loves it and runs to the living room as soon as we say the words dance party, it's very cute.  We all smile big, spin, and jump around and it's been really fun.  Even if I don't feel like it, I always feel better afterwards.  And I find myself singing the song throughout the day, which is a great encouragement. 

Tim and I are trusting God for some big things and are really praying that God would dramatically broaden our scope.  We know He didn't keep us back from Senegal for something less and we want to believe for something even bigger, more than we could ask or imagine.  But it's hard.  Anyone who tells you it isn't really, really hard is lying.  Seeking God for a God-sized calling is tough.  I cry a lot.  And I cry out to God a lot.  A lot.  Lucky for me, He is faithful to answer.  We may not have a new dream to fill our empty hearts yet, but we still have a solid grip on the "dream Giver."  And He is good.  

So I end this post with a challenge for you.  Have you chosen to rejoice today?  If not, and you don't think you have the strength to do it alone, come on over and join our dance party.  It may sound cheesey, but there is power in praising God.  Check out the Psalms.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Still on the move.

We finished our stay in North Mpls, returned to Rogers for Jackson to take a nap, and repacked for a weekend in Northeast Mpls.  The weekend of the 4th of July was spent doing a Stay-cation with our friends Peter and Julie at their house.  We ate a lot, Peter and I played some Disc Golf, and watched some episodes of the show Freaks and Geeks on DVD.  Never having done a Stay-cation before, we had a great time and hope to make it a tradition.  We then returned to Rogers in time for Jackson to take a nap, repacked, and moved on to White Bear Lake, to stay at the Showers house while they are visiting relatives.  My drive to work is short and we are enjoying their nice house and great yard.  It is getting a little old moving around all the time but we appreciate our friend's willingness to let us crash at their houses.  In a few days we will be back in Rogers for a while.  That will be okay, too.

I will add a couple pictures of Jackson, just because he's so cute.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kickin' it, Northside!

I lived in South Minneapolis almost as long as I lived in Aurora, Colorado.  It seems strange that I have now spent more years living outside of Colorado that years in it.  South Minneapolis, despite being in the Hood, is a place of comfort to me because I know it so well.  This week Heidi and I are staying at some friend's house in North Minneapolis, which is totally foreign to me.  They live a couple miles from the tough part of Northside in a quiet neighborhood near a major freeway.  Our friend's house is peaceful and well decorated and we are enjoying our time here.  It has been great to save so much drive time on my commute to work and to go running in a new area.  Shingle Creek is two blocks away and has a trail alongside it that goes for miles.  I did not know that it existed before this week and I have enjoyed running there the last few mornings.  We do think about how we long to have our own place again and hope for the day when we can move out of Heidi's parent's house for a place of our own.  Until then, we remind ourselves to keep our heads up, trust in God, and keep saving money.  It is a huge blessing to be back in the city, even if it's for a short time.  Thanks, Snyders!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thoughts on my time of unemployment.

From September 1, 2009, until the middle of May, 2010, I (Tim) was either unemployed or underemployed.  For 6 weeks over the holidays and all of March and April, I worked at Costco part time.  The rest of that time I was without a job at all. (I did watch some great kids on Wednesdays and got paid $50 each time, which was nice.)  My daily routine was to run in the morning, have a quiet time after breakfast and then spend much of the rest of the day applying for jobs.  I had two group interviews, four or five phone interviews, and about 8 or so face to face interviews during that time.  I applied for several hundred jobs.  When I finally got a job offer, it came from the same place that had turned me down for a different position.  I didn't take the interview seriously and almost turned down the second interview but now I am glad that I did not.  In fact, I prayed about going to the interview and felt strongly that I should go.  When they offered the job, Heidi and I went to different rooms and prayed about it for a while and both felt that I should take it.  We both heard from God that it was a prophetic act to take this job.  (In the Bible, prophets often did unusual or counter cultural things to show people what the Lord had to say about certain situations.)  While the Lord is giving us installments of understanding about the prophetic act, we still don't understand completely and are waiting on Him.  I get to work with people in a vulnerable state who need a tremendous amount of encouragement.  They are all in the beginning stages of finding a job, which is a tough place these days, and my recent experiences make me better suited to empathize and encourage them.  I am glad to have a full time job again and excited to see what the Lord has in store.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Our little peanut

Here's a few pics of Jackson

                                                                                                Trying ketchup for the first time!