Friday, January 27, 2012


What a beautiful thing family can be.  Families are formed in so many various ways.  It’s not even just about the ones that you’re related to by marriage, you can form an amazing family by heart connections with the most amazing friends.

I am blessed to have an abundance of all of these things.  I not only got the BEST in-laws ever but the Lord keeps giving me the most amazing friends ever.  They so are my family too!

I grew up with a God-smack of cousins (yes God-smack) because only He can bless a family so abundantly.  We had our ups and downs and we’re spread all across the country, well around the world too, but who cares, you’re only ever a heartbeat away from family anyway.  We’re all so different, but the same, connected because two people (technically four – Joe & Betty and Don & Helen) fell in love.  I have more than 35 cousins and on one side of my family we have nearly two dozen great grandkids as well.  My grandparents on that side of the family just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.  It is such a blessing to see them still celebrating and walking through their lives together.  My other grandparents celebrated their 54th last year, also such an amazing blessing!  God is so good!  It does a heart good to recognize these things on a regular basis.

I came into writing this because I want to acknowledge the family that I tie to myself by choice.  My friends.  The ones that I don’t have any obligation to because of blood but yet I feel almost even more blessed by because they love me as I am, because they chose to.  I had the awesome privilege to spend time with two of my favorite women last weekend.  They are my soul sisters, the sisters that your heart recognizes.  The kind that you can go without seeing or talking to for weeks and yet you pick up right where you left off just as if it was yesterday.  They are the peas I want in my pod when I’m wrapped up under pressure, they are the monkeys I want in my cage when I just need to let loose, they are the ones that I know will be there if and when I need them.  There is NOTHING like the family of your heart.  Like I said, I love them exactly as they are, because of who they are and I am thrilled to spend time with them, laugh with them and love with them.

Family means so many things to so many people.  I love being part of God’s family and enjoying all that He has planned for me.  I couldn’t do this any better than He already has.  He has already given me so much and yet I know that there is so much more in store.  It’s that feeling in your bones that tells you “God so loves you!!!”  I know this in part because of the family He borne me to, also in great part because of the family He married me into and lastly because He has given me a heart-family to be loved in.  Little sisters, soul sisters, big brothers, oh yes, so blessed am I!!

LuvNHugz – SupportNPrayerz


Saturday, January 21, 2012

In-Laws or Out-Laws

In-Laws and Out-Laws
I am blessed to have the most amazing in-laws. I’m sure that 12 years ago none of us imagined we’d be where we are but just the same God makes great plans that we aren’t privy to. This time twelve years ago Jayme and I had been dating not even two months. God is amazing at little surprises and by March we were planning a wedding. I could’ve been ruled quite the out-law (maybe I was) at the time. Even then Wynne and Patty jumped right in with us and helped pull it all off. I spent most, maybe all, of my wedding ceremony in tears. Standing in front of our families and friends, making vows of for better or for worse, starting down a path that we couldn’t begin to fathom what it held. I remember looking down on two people that I didn’t know but could already tell were pretty amazing. I swear my eyes weren’t the only wet ones.
Today those two people are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. I repeatedly say thank you at their house. It probably sounds fairly routine to them, but I honestly could never say thank you enough. They are my go-to sitters for kiddos, if I need help with anything the number I dial is theirs. They inspire me in so many ways and really are Dad and Mom. We can go to them for advice and they’re so good about listening and giving perspectives and yet not telling you what to do.
Wynne is an amazing grandpa, I love that he takes the boys in the tractor and teaches them things about farming and being Iowa raised and a faithful servant, because of him they dream big, work like farm kids should and play harder. I’m always happy to say that he’s my father-in-law. Patty is a grandma that all kiddos dream of, who doesn’t want to go to grandma’s for cookies? She truly is valued far above rubies in my book, a mother-in-law women dream of. A mom to my heart and a loving pair of hands that serves Christian love in all that she does. I always say I’m so spoiled and it’s simply because I have the best in-laws ever living just across the way.
I write this because I’m willing to tell the whole world just exactly how awesome I believe these two are. They inspire me to parent my children with Christian ambition, raising them to have servant hearts and being the gentle guides and holds of the hand that any person is ever looking for. I could never thank them enough for everything they do. I could never thank God enough for sharing them with me. These two and the last twelve years of crazy that we’ve shared with them is absolute proof that God is absolutely amazing and good in all that He does. Definitely not out-laws but in-laws here!

Wynne and Patty,
I wish you, my in-laws, a blessedly beautiful 35th anniversary from the bottom of my heart. I can’t wait to celebrate dozens more with you. I love you Mom and Dad, well to be honest all seven of us do!
Jayme, Nicki, Jayden, Andrew, Mackenzi, Madeline and Quinten


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gone Too Long

It's been ages since I grabbed time for penning words. Inspired I am this morning, so here I am. A short one it's likely to be as I don't really know what to write. I just know it is nice to be back. Here in my space, where I can ramble and capture whatever is in my head. So much happening yet sometimes it feels like I've accomplished nothing at all. Surely I'm not the only one with days (or weeks) like that.
The chaos and crazy that is life as we know it. Coming and going, losing and finding, climbing and falling, dirtying and cleaning. It is sometimes quite the vicious circle. Oh, well.
Refocusing and returning to the ultimate guide. GOD. Taking the time to quiet myself so that I can listen to Him. He is always there for me, I just have to remember to quiet myself enough to let go and let Him do what He does best. Love me and lead me.