Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Scripture Studies

Time to join and her friends for 31 days of blogging.  I joined in last year and it was quite fun and I'm quite excited to take part again this year.
I was struggling to come up with a theme for my 31 days and in pondering what it was that I need to "work on" the answer became clear.  I want to be better about my morning "time" - as in getting up and spending time studying scripture and preparing for a GOOD day instead of the standard OKAY day.

So, here's my commitment to you, to me, to Dad, so hold me accountable people, I deserve it.  I deserve to "Maximize my Morning",  I deserve to start my day side by side with my Father, I deserve to begin my morning grounded in the truth, my family deserves it, my home deserves it and last but not least, by Father deserves it.

We all deserve nothing less!!

I even had some fun creating the button to go with this.

So, how am I picking the scripture to study?  Simply by using the one that is given to me through my daily scripture reading on the YouVersion app on my phone.  Then, I can read it multiple times a day, pray over it and take time to dive deeper during my "study time" of the day.  I've enjoyed the daily scripture for a while now and love to mull it over and pray on it throughout the day so taking it a little deeper will be fun as well.  I can NOT even think about making this complicated, it has to be ASAP (as simple as possible) for me to have success with this.

As I go along I will also copy the new link for each month into the "comments" section here as I'm not so advanced as to have linky stuff set up over here.  It will be so much fun to do this with you all, such a blessing as well, I'm sure.

Deo Volente - Nicki


I am encouraged because of my Father's amazing live and (in) reminds me regularly, of this I am so thankful!
I happily stop over at for regular reminders that I'm not walking alone in this crazy life of mine.  I have sisters all around the world, walking this life of faithfulness and grace because our Father loves us.

By doing so you will not only feel the love of your God-family, but you will also get chances to participate in giveaways, book club studies, preview great deals and participate in great "community" things that you will not find anywhere else.

Something like this.  The offered to send me a bundle of cards and all I had to do was commit to sending them out to people that I want to shower love on.  I couldn't pass up on that, not for anything.  Gotta love those (in)spired deals!!

The Redeemed Card Collection that I received.
Simple and yet, so beautiful!

Pictures from - - since I didn't take time to do it myself.  THANK YOU!!

So much fun to bless my loved ones with these!  My grandparents that are dealing with health issues and the weariness that age brings with it.  A dear friend that I haven't spoken to in years but love like a mother anyway, I hope it was a wonderful surprise.  One was fitting as a sympathy card for a family that lost their husband and father, a good man.  I even plan to hide one this weekend for my husband to find as I leave for a couple of days to a Women of Faith retreat with a girlfriend.  After dealing with five kids, I'm sure he could use a smile, I know, I do it every day.

This quick "challenge" has reminded me just how much fun it is to send a card to a friend.  It is such a sweet moment when you receive a card in the mail, no matter the occasion.  Off to figure out who's week I can brighten starting tomorrow.

LuvNHugz - SupportNPrayerz
Deo Volente - Nicki Veenstra

Friday, September 28, 2012

Takin' Five on Friday - Grasp

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

It's been a while, but here we go..


Grasp, it's within grasp, it's just so hard to grasp, the thought of grasp is hard to grasp today.

Life is downright confusing some days and then you toss in dreams and the things around you that are happening, known as harsh reality and it's hard to grasp what's what and even why things happen the way they do.

The only comfort I have some days is that I am always safe in my Father's grasp.  He holds tightly to me, my heart, my cares, my dreams and lifts me up when I am falling.  I am not alone, I have a comforting hand grasping mine and guiding me through these days.

I look around and see that there are beautiful things all around me and that if I don't slow down to see them they'd be but a blip in the radar of life.  They can be so much more, I can sit back and grasp in my mind the beauty of the sunset, the happy sound of combines and tractors rumbling along in the midst of a harvest season.  I can enjoy the children running around like maniacs because the sound of their giggles is something that lasts only an instant but can remain as a memory for years to come.

Grasp this life with both hands.  Holds tight to the preciousness that it truly is and enjoy it.  Don't hold tight to the stress, drama and worries of this life, but hold tight instead to the comfort that comes from the love of your Father.  Feel the love in the grasp of His hand.

8:46 - ran a bit over, but HAD to finish the thought.
Have a blessedly beautiful Friday!!  I'm spending the afternoon with the school kids on a bike ride for Go The Distance Day.  Gonna be GREAT!!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Get Out of Your Own Way

I've seen this before and I love it, so for safe keeping I'm, saving it here.  A great one to look back on when I get frustrated!!

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it:
Your words, your dreams, and your thoughts have power to create conditions in your life.
What you speak about, you can bring about.  If you keep saying you can't stand your job, you might lose your job.
If you keep saying you can't stand your body, your body can become sick.
If you keep saying you can't stand your car, your car could be stolen or just stop operating.
If you keep saying you're always broke, guess what? You'll always be broke.
If you keep saying you can't trust a man or trust a woman, you will always find someone in your life to hurt and betray you.
If you keep saying you can't find a job, you will remain unemployed.
If you keep saying you can't find someone to love you or believe in you, your very thoughts will attract more experiences to confirm your beliefs.
Turn your thoughts and conversations around to be more positive and power packed with faith, hope, love and action.
Don't be afraid to believe that you can have what you want and deserve.
Watch your "Thoughts," they become words.
Watch your "Words," they become actions.
Watch your "Actions," they become habits.
Watch your "Habits," they become character.
Watch your "Character," for it becomes your "Destiny."


~Author Unknown~

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Things Lost

It's one of those times when you long for that which has been lost.  Whatever it may be, we all have those things that we lose and long for it's return.  I have a couple things missing.  One is a necklace that Jayme gave me, it's just a simple chain but it rarely left my neck.  It had two pendants on it, one a sapphire (a gift the Valentine's day of 2003, the same day I first miscarried a precious child) and a diamond pendant that he gave me Christmas 2010.  They're just pendants but they meant so very much to me.  The chain broke one evening and I set the whole thing up and it hasn't been seen since.  Over a year and it has yet to turn up.
Just last week I was going to print some pictures from my old phone's memory card.  I had it in my pocket and somewhere through my day it was lost as well.
While I am sad and pray for the safe "finding" of these things I feel somewhat silly as well.  My grandparents reminded me that I can pray for help from Saint Anthony for such things.  He is the patron saint of all things lost.  Now I lay in bed praying over such things and this is what makes me feel silly.  "Dear St. Anthony, please come around. To find something that can't be found."
I'd much rather pray for my friends that "lost" everything in a fire but I'm quite positive that doing so will not return the locks of hair, pictures, wedding band, cherished items and memories that are missing.  Can you put into words how to find the security of "home" once it's gone.  This has become a challenge for me as that which I am searching for is minor in that which I see others facing around me.  I know I have faith and I'm quite willing to "let go and let God" but I have my moments of feeling lost in life and wonder if I'm doing it "right".  To take the road less traveled by, to forge a path where no road has been paved, to let go and let God is a far cry easier to say than to do most days.
Searching for things lost, really is about far more than a few minor possessions, it's about life.  It's about finding the faith that will get you through when things get rough.  It's hoping you're doing the "living" thing well, being God's servant, a supportive wife, a leading and teaching mother, a caring family member, a helpful friend.  We all get lost on these paths, feeling alone in the scary backwoods of life.  When "life as we know it" crashed around our ears in the blink of an eye with any number of things that shake the ground we stand on.
So in all honesty whether you're looking for something and praying for Saint Anthony's help or if you're just crying out to God for some peace in your day, you are NEVER alone, NEVER.  We are His sheep and we can get separated from the flock but The Good Shepherd always knows where we are and is only just a quick prayer away.

We all understand these words - I once was lost but now am found.  Oh yes, no more beautiful thought than this.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,  That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,  Was blind, but now, I see.
So face those moments of things lost in this life because we have been found by a Father that loves us beautifully and tenderly, unwavering and true.  You need only ask and He will be there and even when you're in a dark and lonely place there is always the light of His love to warm you and guide you.  Trust in Him the One that will never forsake His precious child, You.  Never lost but always found, always, in the watchful eyes and loving arms of Our Father.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mended Through my Father

Here's the story of what prompted this blog post.
Now for the fun part!! :)
We want to know how God has mended you from a previous place of brokenness or a place of brokenness for which you are currently praying for mending. Let’s encourage one another by sharing our stories so we know that we aren’t alone. And, in celebration of Angie’s new release, Mended B&H Publishing is going to give one of you who shares your story a day at a spa near you for you and a friend! Get a facial, pedicure, manicure, massage . . . the whole works! Here are the details on how you can share your story and be entered to win:
  1. If you have a blog, write a post reflecting either on an area in which you have been mended or a place of brokenness for which you are seeking to be mended. Include the following text in your post an explanation that this is in celebration of Mending releasing and specify that “it can be purchased here or here.”
  2. If you don’t have a blog or prefer to share via video, record a video sharing your story of brokenness/being mended and upload it to youtube. In the description explain that this is in celebration of Mending releasing and specify that “it can be purchased here or here.
  3. Then, come back to Angie’s blog and add the link to where you’ve posted on your blog or youtube to the linky on this post. Each person who adds their link will be entered into the drawing to be selected at random. And . . . you may be able to be entered more than once! Each post/video will be checked by the publisher at the conclusion of the contest and for every 25 “likes” (Facebook) or tweets of your post by your readers, your name will be entered again! The more your friends respond, the more entries you receive!
  4. All submissions must be posted by 12:01AM on September 11. A name will be drawn and the winning post will be posted on Angie’s blog on September 13 as a way to announce the winner.
Here's Angie's (I LOVE her!!) story.

Here's my story.
Broken, yep, for sure.  I spent several years in a shattered state and I was quite clueless about it.
34 years ago two high school teenagers were dealt a circumstance that forever altered their lives.  A teenage pregnancy.  As a junior and a senior this young man and young woman had not really any kind of clue what life was really about.  They were quickly learning, very quickly.  In February the wed, at the prompting of their parents - it was the "right thing" to do at the time.  In May their baby girl was born.  An infant borne to two near children themselves.  There were times of struggle and trials and there were times of joy and celebration as well.
I was the child born to these two.  There were times that I felt very much the pain of being the "thing" that kept them from living their dreams.  I was the obstacle that stood in the way of their freedom.  I eventually had a brother and the two of us have experienced the love of family but we have also felt the pain of family.  Our parents did what they could and we are the result of those years.  I look back through the years and we had good times, we did.  The good times tend to be in the shadows of everything else that has happened though and easily forgotten.
I still carry these scars as my self esteem, worth, concept were extremely low for years.  I never measured up.  I was an inconvenience, a frustration and even a hindrance.  I rarely did something right and was more often in the way than a help.  I wasn't smart enough, hard working enough, good enough, anything enough.
My husband has been dealing with the repercussions of those first 20 years for the last 12.  My children also deal with them as well.  I know that things are better though.  Simply because my Father, the best Daddy ever loves me.  He loves me so much that He knew all of these things, knew what all of my days would hold and has always been there for me.
In the last 12 years He has spent endless hours mending all those broken places.  The scars are still there, will always be there but those are how I have the compassion, empathy and ability to love others through their pain and I wouldn't trade them in for anything.
He has brought me here where I can capture the thoughts in my head, share them, pray over them and use them in ways that I can only dream of.  He has brought me to communities like, Women of Faith, Inspired to Action and so many others so that I know I'm not alone.  He has given me "friends" like Angie Smith, Holley Gerth, and hundreds of others that I'll probably never meet but are my soul sisters, because God loves us all and we're all His children.
I have these days where everything falls apart around me.  I fall into the mire that life sometimes is and get bogged down by the sticky mud of life, only to sit and cry in the mess around me.  It is in those moments that I can rejoice.  I can rejoice because God's got it all.  I don't have to struggle on in this life, stumbling along and tripping over everything.  I can reach out for the hand He is offering and I can feel His love because I am His.

I can do anything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Imagine it, anything.  I can be an amazing daughter, granddaughter, sister, wife, mother, friend - I can do anything and I can do it well (amazing, beautifully and lovingly) because HE will give me the strength, tools and guidance to do it.
I am not what I once was because He has mended me and is making me into something beautiful.  He has always been working in my life, I know that now.  I will never, ever, doubt it again!!

Thanks, Angie.  This was a great opportunity because I have been getting mired in the muck and forgetting just how loved I am.  You are such a wonderful blessing!!

LuvNHugz~SupportNPrayerz to All of my God-Family!!
Deo Volente - NMV