Christmas in July

26 Jul




JESUS Luke 1:31 ~ “…and you shall name Him Jesus.”

J – JOURNEY  Our journey all starts from darkness to light when we become born again. Free from the guilt of sin, from darkness to light. What a great transformation for us, from death to eternal life. My life totally changed when I gave my life to the Lord in 1974 and what an exciting journey it has been ever since.

Titus 3:4-7
4 But when the goodness and kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared [in human form as the Man, Jesus Christ], (5) He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit, (6) whom He poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior, (7) so that we would be justified [made free of the guilt of sin] by His [compassionate, undeserved] grace, and that we would be [acknowledged as acceptable to Him and] made heirs of eternal life [actually experiencing it] according to our hope (His guarantee).”

E – EXPERIENCES  We all have a story and what stories they can be!  No-one I know has had the same walk that I have, everyone’s is different.  Our tests need to become our testimonies, trials, our stepping stone or tomb stone. I know God can use all our experiences and walks for His glory. Somehow He always manages to turn ugliness into beauty and death into life. He uses our past to help someone’s future.

Phil 3:13-14 “13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

S – SINGULAR  We are all called individually to do something that God has specifically designed for each of us to do in this life. Yes, we belong to the body of Christ and  yet we function individually with each of our gifting and call. Remember to walk in your gifting and not someone else.

Rom 12:4-8 “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

U – US  We need each other regardless of what we think. We are a family, the family of God and families hangout together. Gathering is very important as we find strength, build faith and become accountable to one another.

Ps 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord.”  There is blessings and peace there.

S – SPLENDOR  We have a hope and a future, both now and forever. We walk in the splendor of the earth and look forward to the majestic splendor of the heavens to come! Eternity is forever!

1 Cor 2:9 “Things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him, and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed].”


Jesus Exactly Suits Us Sinners


Christmas is coming….food, trees & games.

20 Dec

                                I have posted some of this blog before but thought I would post it again and hopefully hear back from some of  you…

We all have so many good ideas around this time of the year, celebrating the reason for the season, Jesus.  Reading and seeing what everyone does inspired me to ask you a question or two.

What would your ideal Christmas meal be?

We always asked the whole family what meats they would like and we change every year. Lamb is always my favorite (Jeremy and I are the only two that eat it) with a ham, and a Cornish hen or two. The mashed potatoes, peas, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and let’s not forget the corn and trimmings. Dessert would be a trifle for me  but no one in my house would eat it besides me, so we always go with the favorite chocolate chip cookies, pies and ice-cream!


Lamb Roast ~ Yummy!

Fake or real Christmas tree?

My hubby always wants a real tree but I win over in with this one as I really do not enjoy watering it and dealing with all the needles! My husband really just likes the smell so we usually purchase some real wreaths to hang in the house to help with that.


Oh Christmas Tree…

What is your favorite board games to play with family and friends?

Mexican Train, Sequence and Farkle of course! We love to play board games and everyone is really competitive so lots of fun is always had by all. Frosty was won one year when we had a game of Bunko! We have now added Left, Right and Center which is a blast.


Frosty the snowman.

Tis the season

10 Dec

Yes, it is that time of the year, tinsel, trees and celebrating the birth of our Savior. There has been a lot happening over the past three months. We celebrated Jasmines marriage, Charlotte came for a visit from England and the boys had lots of adventures in our backyard in their pool and  playscape. My trip to South Africa was so much fun with lots of different activities. I was very spoiled with homemade karingmelk buskuit (buttermilk rusks) and coffee in bed every morning that my sister Linda made. Samantha, my niece Bronwyn’s daughter, performed in the play ‘Cats’ which was excellent.  Rhys, my other niece Tracy’s son,  braaied for us at their home which was delicious. Michael had a very successful trip to Lusaka, Zambia along with Rob and a great team.  After arriving home it was time to celebrate August’s 4th birthday, with Peppa Pig and Chuck e Cheese, then off to Mexico on a cruise to celebrate the marriage of Shawn and Iris. Michael’s sister, Dayna, and her husband Gary, along with friends of ours, Steve and Pam Bostick, joined us ~ thus lots of fun was had by all especially seeing that both couples were on their first cruise ever 🙂  Two days after arriving home, I fell off a curb and broke my foot!  Having a boot on for 6 weeks was no fun but helped slow life down a little which I secretly enjoyed….  August did a round of gymnastics and both he and Caleb started attending Mother’s Day Out with Kristen and have enjoy every minute of it. Thanksgiving and decorating  is done and I love watching the awe and wonder as the grand babies experience such excitement and joy at this time of the year. Our annual visit to Wichita, Ks. was exciting as August had the time of his life driving the Corvette that Brad and Malinda bought for him.  Last night we went to Burnet and walked through ‘The Town of Bethlehem’ with friends and thoroughly enjoyed the lights and finding baby Jesus.  I can honestly say that it has been busy but I have enjoyed each and every minute of all the happenings.  At this time of the year I love reflecting on the divine interruption that took place 2000 years ago on this earth, fulfilling prophecy, and giving us the hope of glory. He gave us a gift that goes on and on. I thank God daily for interrupting my life nearly 40 years ago. Oh my word, that makes me sound old but then again I do have kids that are 34, 29 and 25.  God is awesome and so faithful ~ Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done as it is in heaven.

When little things get to us….

2 Sep

    No matter how crazy our day has been today, we are still loved and cared for.

 “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?” Matthew 6:25-26

I loved reading this scripture today as there has been so much going on in life lately and sometimes you just have to sit back and breath in the word of God. Getting ready to visit South Africa, packing and making sure everything is taken care of, breathe. I find myself thinking, do I have enough clothes packed (not a problem there), who will water my plants, will my bird miss my morning hello, does my case weigh too much, did I pack the right snacks, will the storm affect my flight, and on and on it goes. Really? This is not the first trip I have ever taken across the ocean, time to chill out. Things that are heavy on my heart are friends dealing with disease, lack and uncertainty but that is where I know God is faithful and I can turn to the scripture like the one above. Knowing that God knows it all and takes good care of His children. I need not to fret the small things and trust God with everything, big or small. Besides all that, lots of fun stuff and blessings have been happening around here. We were blessed with an awesome playscape for the backyard (grandkids will love it), helped Kristen open up a Mother’s Day Out program, going on a cruise in October with amazing friends, August loves MDO and Michael is going to Lusaka to do a leadership conference. Oh, and Caleb started walking 🙂 Praise the Lord! Last but no least, I am hosting an online bible study, starting September 5, on Facebook, studying the book of Joshua. If you should like to join in, here is the link. I’m on the road for a month or so, but still around 🙂



Me and my Shadow

22 Aug


“I have called upon You, for You, O God, will answer me;
Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.
Wondrously show Your [marvelous and amazing] loving-kindness,
O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand
From those who rise up against them.
Keep me [in Your affectionate care, protect me] as the [a]apple of Your eye;
Hide me in the [protective] shadow of Your wings..”

We CALL Him and He ANSWERS ~ We TRUST Him and He is shows us the wonder of His LOVE ~ We ask for PROTECTION and He COVERS us, under the SHADOW of HIS WINGS ~ He KEEPS us as the apple of His eye, always WATCHING, LOVING and CARING.

On Sunday evening, as August was leaving from a fun visit at our home, I saw him walking from side to side as he made his way to the car. I asked, “August what are you doing?” He answered, “Nana, my shadow is alway with me, look, see!” It immediately reminded me of walking under the Shadow of the Almighty, One who is always with us, keeps and covers us. Where can I go, where He is not?

Version 2



20 Aug

Life is a precious thing and we are so grateful for the journey that we walk daily. Here are a few updates for you in picture from seeing that I have not blogged for a while. Some highlights of Nate and Sarah’s wedding, grand kids and family.

Summer Picnic Time!

16 Jun

Tree of Life Church Picnic April 2015

I wanted to share this as we had so much fun and wanted you to enjoy it too!

Going to the chapel…soon

23 Mar

What an awesome celebration it was! Thank you to everyone who made this the most beautiful and wonderful bridal shower for Sarah and our family. I wish everyone in the whole world could have been there. Many said that it was so beautiful she could just have married there! Special thanks to my faithful friend forever, Laura Schnucker, who helped put it all together with my wonderful daughter, Kristen, who spend many hours shopping, buying goodies and expressing her love so graciously to her sister. It is so inspiring to see my children when they speak and interact with people and each other, they are just blessed with grace, honesty and love.  I thank God daily for all three of them. Now, Mike and I have an a amazing son-in-law, Jeremy, future son-in-law, Nate plus two fantastic grand sons, August and Caleb to love too! Counting my blessing……

The Bridal Shower Album


Sarah enjoying her Bridal Shower.

Time of reflection…

19 Mar

Time is drawing close to my youngest child getting married in May and there are a lot of emotions flying around in my heart. As many of you know, she is a miracle child and for me to see her maturing and growing in so many ways, is a blessing and yet a little unnerving. Many of you know the story of Sarah, how we nearly lost her 7 years ago to the chronic illness of Takayasu Arteritis. Well, God brought her through a very trying time and is continuing to heal her daily. For me to see her taking steps forward in life can be tough at times, but I know that God has blessed her with a wonderful, Godly man, who is to be her future husband. Saturday is her bridal shower at the church and I am just so blessed to celebrate, not only her marriage but her LIFE! It’s not about the gifts and everything having to be perfect, just the fact that we have this to celebrate together, is a blessing!   God has shown Himself faithful in so many areas, I cannot even begin to explain and I know that He has a plan for her and Nate’s future. We all have dreams for our children to grow up healthy, happy and fulfilled and to see this in her life is amazing and I thank God daily! 

IMG_5680 - Version 2

Nate and Sarah.


Enjoying the engagement party.


Showers of blessings!

Happy New year…a little late.

4 Mar

Yes, it is a late start to my 2015 as far as blogging goes. I really wanted to do this once a month but that has not happened. Never to late to try again, right? So much has happened since last August….birthdays, thanksgiving, Christmas, a Colorado vacation, a new grandson and the list goes on. One other thing ongoing is that I am training for a 5K! Yes, you read right. I always wanted to run some kind of race and planned on doing it before I turned 40, well now after turning 50, here goes! I joined a running group and my run is March 22nd, so far I have managed not to die trying and I am determined to finish the race well!  Sarah and Nate’s wedding is approaching fast and we are so excited. He bridal shower is March 21st and lots of fun is planned. We are so blessed to have my sister, Ann and her husband Rob, from South Africa, here to celebrate the wedding with us too! Baby Caleb Robert Sistrunk was born February 3rd to Jeremy and Kristen, we are blessed to have our second grandson here to enjoy alongside August. God has been so faithful to us, the phrase that He shared with me for this year is: ” I want to love you more.” At first I thought, how can God love me more, He already loves me as much as He can? Then He showed me that it was for me to say as I walked through each day ~ love needs to increase in my heart towards those around me, as He loves me, I need to love others! I pray that I see people the way God sees them, I need the Fathers heart beating in me. Please share your dreams and hope with me as we walk out this year together!

Here are some pictures to look at: Christmas 2014  Caleb’s Shower August’s 2nd Birthday