There it is, in Acts…

Things become clear to me when my heart rate is at its maximum capacity in beats per minute. Unlike most people, I think best when I am moving and usually in a beaded sweat. Relax and think? Not so much. Not for me. Tonight, after getting Noah in bed, I worked out so hard that I actually threw up and that has not happened since high school when I would train for softball. Nothing beats the feeling of pushing your body’s limits. I forgot what that felt like. Anyway, I am inspired to write tonight about a recent revelation I have had. Acts. The Books of Acts in the Bible. I will be absolutely transparent and admit that the subject of the Holy Spirit has always been a fuzzy area for me to comprehend. Father, YES. Son, YES. Holy Spirit, Yes…I think…kinda. Let me sort out why. First thing is first, I need to take my shoes off. (I cannot write with shoes on).

I am going to start by giving every bit of credit to Pastor Beth Jones and her book, Getting a Grip on the Basics. Tonight in my class at church we were going through chapter nine in the book, “How to Be Sure You Are Filled With the Spirit.” My first thought, when I went through the material and studied all the scriptures LAST WEEK was, “Well, yeah. I am. I am solid in my faith and I believe it all. Everything. Not just pieces and bits. I pray and sing praises to the Lord daily.” I had already been through the material because I simply could not wait to find out more about what His Word had to say about this topic. I didn’t want to wait. Something kept prompting me to read Acts. I was hungry for Him and His Word. Well, this chapter and the entire Book of Acts made it all crystal clear to me. You should read it in its entirety.

I need to first tell a little story that has been on my heart for years. When I was in college, I had an experience that I have NEVER been able to make sense of or process in my mind. Now I know why, my faith is not based on information and feelings that the brain can produce. I found myself one morning, at a church with my family for my nieces dedication. I knew right away that it was not like a church I had ever been in before…and the church was decided on by my nieces mother (whom is no longer part of her life). I will say that I was in a season of life that usually led to me feeling like I got hit by a bus, often in the mornings. I have never used a drug in my life, but alcohol used to be my weakness. I didn’t drink it often, but when I did, I would drink too much. The idea of limiting it was unclear to me. Anyway, I was at this church with my family waiting for my nieces dedication. The pastor did it and I think everyone thought we were getting ready to go. All of the sudden, out of the clear blue sky, the Pastor says, “You there, in the pink sweater. Can I pray for you?” Ps. I was wearing the pink sweater. I was mortified. First of all, I had a pounding headache due to my poor choice the prior evening. Secondly, I was not at a good season in my life. I was confused and unclear about the future. Needless to say, my heart was not 100% set on my faith and the God I had grown to know and love. So I stood up and let this man prophesize to me. He went on, and on, and on about how the Holy Spirit was talking to him about ME. Why me? I was thinking, “Why did he pick ME out of all the people in the room.” He said, and it stuck with me to this day because I think about it often still wondering, WHY ME, “You are a leader. You have power to make changes and to make a big impact. You are a leader. Lead. Run and lead. I know you will lead. There are big plans in store for you.” WHAT?! What was this guy talking about? At the time, I sat there thinking, “What a total joke! Did the Holy Spirit mention to this guy that I am still under the influence of alcohol from last night? I sure hope God can’t see me today. I just wanted to go to bed and hide.” Then, it happened. He started to speak in tongues with his hand on my shoulder. My left shoulder. I really left thinking he was nuts as I had never been in a church that spoke in tounges! I also knew enough about God to go home and ask for forgiveness in prayer. I will NEVER forget that experience.

I share this story with you because I have finally reached the point in my faith to realize that the Holy Spirit is very real. I always knew he was, but I was just unclear about it. WHere exactly was He? He is real and He is Alive inside of me. I am SO glad! What a relief! I now can explain to people “where I get all that energy” and “why I am always so happy” because I was not really sure. Why did Steve and I not shed one tear, conquer the fear and beat all odds when he suddenly lost his job unexpectedly? What prevented us from a season of major depression, confusion, and worry? It is God. God did that. Our faith. I am living for an audience of ONE. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is something one simply receives by faith. Reading through Acts and 1 Corinthians has made the purpose for praying in the spirit perfectly clear to me. It answered my questions and filled that spot; that wonder. I have learned that speaking in tounges is not necessary to be filled with the spirit and that every prayer language is different. For me, it is a song. It is praise, worship and melody straight from my heart. Maybe tounges will come later, I don’t know. But for now, I plan to master prayer in my native language. Not to say whether of not the pastor I encountered as a college student was the real deal, but one thing I do know is that I have found myself the past several years trying to figure out what it is he was talking about. Until next time, I will keep living in Crazy Faith. My friends and family already think I am crazy, so why not keep up the expectations?! All my thanks and gratitude to Valley Family Church, Pastor Beth and Jeff Jones, and The Basics!

My book mentioned one that stuck with me. 1 Corinthians 1:27, But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.

Going forward after my recent revelation, I am going to spend much more time in purposeful prayer. Real prayer. Not just the boring and repetitive mutterings. No more trailing off in prayer and falling asleep before I am finished. I now know what God intended for us in prayer. I cannot wait to see what our God has in store for our future.

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Pumpkin Playdoh Recipe

I have had many requests to post the Pumpkin Playdoh recipe, so here it is! Enjoy it with your little one(s), as that is always my intention. This is a great lesson in coloring blending and science! I love sharing ideas. Happy harvest to you and your family!

Pumpkin Playdoh

Combine in a large pot and whisk until combined:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup salt

1 t cream of tartar

Add and whisk until smooth:

1 cup water

1 T oil (any kind will do)

10 drops red food coloring

10 drops yellow food coloring (add more food coloring until desired shade of orange is achieved)

A bunch of pumpkin spice

Cook over low to medium heat until set; stirring constantly. Remove from heat and knead when it is cool. PLAY! RIp some grass out of the ground, go on a nature hike to find colorful leaves, acorns, walnuts, rocks, sticks and pine cones. All of these things can be used for creative play with the playdoh. Store in a bag or air tight container. Enjoy and SHARE!

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It has only been ONE month…

Wow! My last blog post was on September 9th (my launch announcement for Desire Boldness Scarves…which is going GREAT and it amazes me how such a simply idea can multiply our blessings) and I feel like SO much has happened since then. I might as well just jump right in…

On September 11th, my heart a soul started his 2nd year of preschool at PCCN. In every area that we had hoped, he is excelling from what we can tell. I love that he has the freedom to decide what he loves to learn. That is invaluable and in my opinion, where leadership qualities are born. He is so independent. I am so glad that he is loving school again this year. As we approach next school year, Steve and I have many decisions to make about what direction we will go with Noah’s education. We are excited for what is to come for this little guy! How did he grow so much in only ONE year?!

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The beginning of October was my best friend’s baby shower. I cannot wait to meet my nephew at the end of October! My heart is so patently waiting his arrival so I can see his beautiful face. He will be the first boy to carry on the Enders name; God has blesses our family.

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Something else that is so noteworthy! Steve started the last semester to complete his degree at WMU that he has been pursuing since before Noah was born. Some semesters were tougher than others for all of us, but it is amazing what love, teamwork, and faith can do. Steve has done great and he graduates in December. His degree will mean so much more to our family than it probably would to the average college grad. Everything we have been through together since 2008 is solid proof that we can conquer anything…together. We have had a baby, a beautiful wedding, and bought and perfected our first home all while he was taking classes and being awesome. I will be a tear-filled mess at his graduation because only I know how much work, heart, and effort went into him earning that piece of paper. He has made me so proud. I cannot wait to see him accomplish this and so much more in our lifetime. God has put a fabulous, faith-filled and God-led man in my life. His strength radiates it. I love you, Steve.

I also started taking a class at church around the beginning of September and it has blessed my life! It is called Getting a Grip on the Basics and the book is actually written by our pastor, Beth Jones. This book/class has been a fabulous refresher! I have known about God and Christianity for a long time, but this class is bringing me closer to God than I have ever been; I get the fundamentals. Pastor Beth’s teaching style allows you to relate and understand this material in a very practical way. She blows me away and her ability to reach the lost with GREAT NEWS is so inspiring and it truly would help ANYONE GET IT, regardless of where they were at in their faith! God meets you right where you are. I love this material and what it has offered my heart and my life. There have been several scripture references that have really resonated with me and I just love how God customizes His Word and speaks directly to ME. He cares about me. For that I am so thankful. Revelation!! Isn’t that good news?! Light bulb ON and burning bright! I am hungry and thirsty for more of what God has for my life and HE is my ONE man audience. I live to please Him. Now, my heart will yield! I can’t WAIT! And to think that I was unsure is I was “ready” for this class! Woohoo! I was SO ready!

Speaking of being thankful for God’s blessings in my life, something miraculous happened in our family the first weekend of October (we didn’t get back to Kalamazoo until 15 minutes before my class at church was supposed to begin). After 35 years of living in the same home and making many memories and facing many challenges, my parents have finally relocated. I made a prior post about how this was going to happen and I am so glad it has. My definition of legacy has nothing to do with dollar signs and material things because I learned when I was very young that those things don’t matter. Bricks, bank accounts and fancy shoes don’t follow you to Heaven. My parents are still as in love as they were the day they met eyes and that love is their legacy. They are my everything. They have given us such a clear definition of what marriage is supposed to look like. This weekend, we went to help them move. Saying goodbye to the home I grew up in was tough and I had mixed emotions as we loaded the truck. I did a final walk through; walked into my childhood bedroom, looked in the backyard, and took one more big breathe in and out. We were following the Uhaul and I was thinking to myself, “Where are we even going and how did they get here?” Well, I knew that truth in my heart. When we pulled up and they jumped out with the most joy-filled looks on their faces, I knew instantly that they made the right choice. My mom literally ran from the vehicle like a kid would run after a free cotton candy table. All of the sudden, my mom is BACK! She is herself again! She isn’t sucked up with everyone else’s problems, issues and worries. She has surrendored and released it all to God. She is BACK! I had a lump in my throat as we unpacked the truck. Every box. My mom and I carefully placed every trinket and every picture frame. I will say, her new white-wash hutch gives her 30-year-old-china a whole new look. Lake, hammek, a crane that comes to eat fish for Noah to watch, fire pit, cedar walls, a deep sink, and a 20 minute commute for my dad to work…all wrapped up in one address. They have found a home that will bring them such joy and peace together on a small lake in Middleville. The little lake cottage is now home. Good bye old home, hello new home. I am looking SO forward to celebrating this season of life with them!

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These last 30 days has been so busy, but SO great! Awesome things are happening for everyone I love, and that is a reason to celebrate, celebrate, CELEBRATE! There is so much to love about the fall in Michigan…beauty is everywhere! All credit and thanks given to our Heavenly Father who provides the fire that fills our hearts! Casting all else aside, all glory be to Him!