Friday, February 28, 2014


Solve Problems with One Word

Submitted by Pat Schwieder, "This is a blog from Dr. Melanie Wilson. She was the first speaker for the Women's Day of Renewal 14 years ago. I love this concept of asking yourself "why" 5 times when you have a conundrum."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Beauty and the Beast

Have you ever felt like you have a war being waged inside your body? Maybe a fuzzy brain some days when you just can’t remember why you walked into a room or dialed a friend? Have you ever felt icy cold and blazing hot at the same time? Do you ever feel like the bathroom scale takes two steps back and three steps forward? Have you ever been so irritable that if you could get away from yourself, you would? Welcome to menopause!
I had a partial hysterectomy in 1999, and it took about a year for me to start having out of body experiences. At first, they were quite subtle. Unusually irritated by other drivers. A writing campaign to the producers of the movie “Message in a Bottle” because Kevin Costner died at the end. I noticed that I was complaining about how warm it was in movie theaters, said no woman ever! Concentration becoming so difficult that it seemed like staticky elevator music in the back of my head.
Then, every little thing annoyed me. I got to the point that I was annoyed at always being annoyed! So, you can imagine how my husband felt. We were in business together at the time this lovely journey began. He tried to be very patient and always had helpful hints at how I could combat such behaviors (she says sarcastically!). He did not quite understand what was going on and longed for the day to have back the woman God gave him so many years before.
I went to doctors, nutritionists and pastors seeking guidance. I spoke with other women who had already gone through this exciting period of time and the best advice they gave me was…just live through it. I prayed that God would give me the wisdom He talks about the older women having because I thought that might be a perk to all this ugliness. My husband told me that maybe I wasn’t old enough (I was 39) to get the wisdom God speaks of. Maybe I had to work a little harder at the “living through it” part, then I would be old enough for wisdom.
Well, have heart fellow menopausal women! It does get better with age, or maybe your brain just gets fuzzier so that you don’t remember so much about it. As far as the “wisdom” thing goes, I must have gained some wisdom because I have decided “living through it” isn’t so bad. 

By Pat Schwieder 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I've Never Had the "Lighting Bolt" Moment

For years I listened with envy to dramatic testimonies and wondered what was wrong with me? How did I miss this? People could list the date and time they opened their hearts to Jesus and they were saved. This had me wondering, “Was Jesus not really in my heart?” “Why was I not saved?” I grew up in the Methodist church; I attended Sunday school every week; I sang in the Children’s Choir; I was baptized and confirmed; I was even an acolyte. How did I miss my moment? The personal accounts of how God brought them to their knees and their heart was filled with the love and joy of Jesus…all in a lightning bolt moment. Where was my lightning bolt? There was a time when I was in grade school; Reverend Carlton cupped my chin in his hand, and he stroked my cheek with his thumb. I honestly felt like Jesus was touching my cheek, and I was lost in his loving gaze. I don’t think I washed that cheek for a week. Was that my moment?
Thankfully, God guided me to a room full of beautiful Christian women, who over the years, would mentor and mold me into a loving sister of Christ. And in this room, God allowed me to ask about the “lightning bolt” moment. As it turns out, I do have Jesus in my heart! You see, there are just as many of us who aren’t brought to our knees on a specific date and time. Instead, Jesus just slowly takes hold and is quietly there…always there. And we just know it. I’m kinda hoping to still have some type of lightning bolt moment, but until then, I will just carry on with Jesus and be happy knowing he truly is right here in my heart.
By Deb Ellis

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Goal Enactment

After reading woman blessing Julie Ford's Happy New Year Lovelies!, I felt motivated to set some goals.  Realizing I had somehow allowed my gratitude journal to slip from daily use, I invested in a journal I would want to write in daily.  
I love finding slightly imperfect journals at T.J. Maxx.

As Julie had written, I am still an avid fan of pen to paper writing, so I wanted a journal which would, in essence, call to me each evening while resting on the couch or right before bed.  Each night I write ten occurrences in the day for which I am thankful.  This may range from a kiss from the hub before he leaves for work to the giggles of my girls in the evening, doing anything to avoid hopping into bed at night. . . gratitude at finally being able to grab ahold of that annoying chin hair with my tweezers or the healing of that prominent pimple on my cheek (aaaah, the rewards of hormones in my 40s).  Thus, not gratitude for material items, but for the everyday happenings which matter the most.

In addition, I pledged the creation of more cards to send to loved ones or those in need.  Although I do not have the artistic card talents of women blessings Deb Ellis, Angie Henshaw, or Cathy Lynn, I can still (and will always) strive for that level of expertise and embrace the process for the joy which it brings to me, and I hope, those who receive my cards (or, at the very least, a chuckle at my attempts).

How are you coming along in your New Year's goals?

By Courtney Winkler

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Don't Wanna!

Having three young girls is often times very exhausting.  Homeschooling them adds a unique stress to that too.  There are many times that I wake up in the morning with at least two of them screaming or crying, and I think "I don't wanna!!"  I don't wanna spend all day correcting their poor behavior.  I don't wanna nag them to do their chores. I don't wanna nag them to do their schoolwork.   I don't wanna break up another fight.  I don't wanna clean up another mess.  The list seems endless. 

However, every single day something will happen that will make me realize why I do what I do.  For instance, yesterday was a crazy day.  We have been snowed in for a few days, and we are all starting to go a little nutso.  The girls have been fighting more and are moodier than usual.  We had had a LONG day of homeschool, and this mama was ready for a break!  So we agreed that we would each do one chore to tidy up the house, get in our pjs, pop some popcorn and watch American Idol together.  And so we did.  But in the bustle of getting all of the above accomplished, I heard my 3 year old say "My sister is so kind!" speaking about her oldest sister who is 10.  It was the sweetest and most sincere thing I have ever heard.  We had a very nice evening together relaxing and spending time together.  When it was time for bed, I found my middle girl who is 6 kneeling in her bed silently saying her prayers all by herself.  It brought me to tears. 
Life as a homeschool mama of 3 girls is tough.  It ain't for wimps!  Raising three girls to love the Lord, respect their elders, care for the poor and needy, love the unloved, honor their father and mother, treat others with love and kindness, work as unto the Lord (even in their schoolwork), take care of what God has given us, and still have fun and enjoy being kids, is EXHAUSTING!  But in those glimpses of time when I see them stopping to help others, giving hugs to strangers, telling each other "I love you" and really meaning it, praying the prayers that only a childlike faith can pray, and seeing a glimmer of what kind of God-fearing young women they are becoming, it makes me say "I WANNA!" I wanna invest time and love into them now so they can grow up to become everything God has for them.  It ain't easy, but I wanna!!

Proverbs 13:24  Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

Proverbs 29:17  Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.

Lisa Powell

Friday, February 7, 2014

Becoming the Woman God Designed You to Be

My daughters always tease me about never using recipes when I cook. I’m not crazy about reading directions and recipes are directions. I don’t like using a pattern when I sew either. It takes too much time to cut it out and read it. And then there’s the measuring…oy the math!

It has taken me a long time to realize that God has a recipe for my life. He already decided who I am and who I will be as I grow older. I really want to be on that same page of the recipe that He is, but I can’t be if I don’t read the directions and pray about it. He has an entire book to help us lead our lives and become the women He has designed us to be. 
Every day, part of my daily prayer is that God will reveal more to me about becoming the woman He designed me to be. Some days I am so busy being the woman I think I should be, or my sinful nature takes over and I am who the World wants me to be that I don’t hear Him. Also, I should stop telling Him how to do his job while I am praying. He does a pretty good job at His job without my help.
Sometimes it is hard to know how to pray to Him effectively so I’m not just rambling about what I want and how I want it. God gave us a simple recipe for effective prayer. I decided to really put the emphasis on Him when I pray it, like this:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be
thy name.Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us
this day our daily bread.
forgive us our trespasses,
as we
forgive those who trespass against us.
lead us not into temptation,
deliver us from evil.
thine is the kingdom,
The power
And the glory.
Forever and ever.

Please join me at the Women’s Day of Renewal 
at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Collinsville on March 7-8th as we explore 
“Becoming The Woman God Designed You To Be.”
By Pat Schwieder

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chicken Dinner to Benefit Main Street Community Center

We would love for you to join us for our annual 
Chicken Dinner*
to benefit
Main Street Community Center! 

*Bonus:  I will be serving behind the counter.  Since you are my friend, I will slip you some extra green beans!
Submitted by Deb Ellis