Tuesday, December 23, 2008

January CR Newsletter

res⋅o⋅lu⋅tion - 1.a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
2.the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
3.the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

This time of year people make "resolutions". I used to participate in this New Year's "tradition". However, I stopped many years ago because honestly I wasn't keeping them and then I struggled with this list of things that I hadn't accomplished. I was condemned by my own desire to do things but my inability to carry them out. You know I can relate to Paul in Romans chapter 7. The Message puts it this way (vs. 17-20) "But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time." Have you ever been there? Wanting to so something good, but not knowing how to do that very thing.

As the new year starts I would encourage you to throw away the lists of things that you probably won't accomplish. I would ask you to try looking into God's word for His lists of things for us to "do", "be" and "accomplish". These lists have eternal value and are even better then losing "x" amount of pounds (if you can believe that..hahaha!). Micah 6:8 says "No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (NLT). That list is a LOT shorter then the ones I make for myself. How about this list in Luke 10:27 (HCSB) "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

Be blessed as you enter 2009. Please know that if you struggle with wanting to do good, be good, change the way you are YET are not able to do so, that you are NOT ALONE. There is a place for you in CR. Join us on Tuesday nights as together with me and lots of other people we admit that (Janelle's version of Step 1) we are powerless over our hurts, habits and hang-ups, and that our lives have become unmanageable.


Janelle Flint

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dec. CR Newsletter Entry

What an odd thing. An upside down tree. From what I've heard and read these "novelty items" have been around for a few years. They HAVEN'T grown on me. Although I find them odd and somewhat disturbing I do find them an accurate depiction of the way we view the Christmas season. One of the premises of these upside down trees is "... just think how many more packages you'll be able to pile under the tree!". (from About.com:interior decorating). What a skewed view of the proper way to celebrate the most precious gift we have ever received...the Christ child.

I also find this "upside down" way of thinking relative to my recovery walk. I came to Celebrate Recovery thinking that I could be of service to those "hurting people". How lost and deceived I was. I was in complete denial of my own issues of pride, co-dependency and unforgiveness. The premise of my life was to try and fit as many "good" things as I could into my days. I thrived while pleasing man and knowing that I had done whatever possible to fit in to my surroundings. I was trying so hard to please God AND man and doing a miserable job at BOTH. Praise God that He opened my eyes to the reality of my life. I was living upside down. Although this lifestyle might have been "in vogue" with the world, it was SIN. Now I revel in the simplicity of my life. I praise God for Celebrate Recovery and the knowledge of the freedom that comes in living "one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time". I'm certainly not perfect. I have a long way to go. There are still upside down days where I struggle with self-sufficiency, pride, unmet expectations, poor attitudes, and unforgiveness. However I can now see those character defects for what they are...SIN. I submit them to the Lord, humbly ask Him to remove them and go back to living my life, HIS life in me. This Christmas realize that Christ came that you might "..have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10). Come and join us ANY Tues. night as we allow God to work in us and bring us back down to reality and out of the denial of our upside down lives. God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Grounded in Him,

Janelle Flint

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh the joy of family..

Here are some pics of the kids most recent trip to SC to be with Greg, Nathalie, Andrew and Wesley. They absolutely LOVE their cousins and it is a blessing for them to get to know their family. I am grateful that Greg and Nathalie don't mind taking ANY of them, much less all three at once. Hendersonville, NC is a nice half way point and we meet there for drop off/pick up. This trip was in July if I remember correctly. I've slept since then...lol. Hope you enjoy.

This trip involved a trip to the Greenville, SC zoo. There was a trip to Wesley's baseball game. They also went to Chick-Fil-A, Target and we ended up at Crack Barrel. There was also lots of hugs, kisses and tickles I'm sure.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Sweet Children

My mother-in-law has a new camera. It is so nice. Last time she was here she captured these moments. JoyAnn was modeling. Joseph was being...Joseph, and Jesse was showing his "boo-boo" lip to his Mimi. I know they are mine, but they are cute aren't they?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Life of Love

Sorry I haven't posted recently. Our family has been processing the death of my beloved Nannie. Nannie and Papa were married for 63 years. Nannie was an amazing woman. Grandmother to four. Great grandmother to six. Funny, compassionate, caring, smart, creative and thoughtful. She also was an incredible cook, pianist, singer, friend. I could list so many of her qualities, but I will stop by simply saying that she was a TRUE embodiment of a Proverbs 31 woman.

At her funeral we did "rise up and call her blessed". All of her grandchildren sang. All of her great-granchildren (except the one year old) sang. Her son-in-law sang. It was beautiful. I am blessed to have had her in my life. I am a better person because of her. The greatest legacy she left to our family was a life WELL lived. A heart for Christ and an understanding of her proper place in the scheme of things. She loved the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength and her neighbor as herself. She submitted to her huband and loved her daugther. She honored God in all she did, and I pray that I will always remember her love.

She was buried in red. We ALL wore red. We sang, we laughed, we cried, we laughed and then we all ate. That's what Nannie would have wanted...lol. I even think most of us had an oatmeal creme pie in her honor. She will be missed, but I IKNOW I will see her again in heaven. Thank you Lord, for your hope.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer Time Fun

Here are some pics of my kiddos enjoying a visit to Mimi's house. They spent the day playing in Mimi's sprinkler and laughing. If I remember correctly this was in July. See how my mind is leaving me?

I hope you enjoy the pics. They had a BLAST!!!

Sept. CR Newsletter

I am a compulsive list maker. I make grocery lists and lists of books I want to read and songs I want to learn to sing. I make lists of people I need to call, email or send cards. I make lists of things I like about myself and things I don't. I make lists of things for Nathan to do around the house. Then there is the every day "to do" list. Through CR I am learning that God makes lists too. However, his are much shorter and more managable than mine. Micah 6:8 says "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." I can only do this through His spirit that lives in me. So even with a sink full of dishes, an empty fridge and three screaming kids I can accomplish God's list. That's progress. Recognizing this fact is freedom for me. Just one of the many things I've been learning in CR. So scratch something off of your "to do" list...VISIT CR. CHECK!!! You are ALWAYS welcome.

In Him,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"Good Fences"

"Good fences make good neighbors.", at least that's what Robert Frost said. Well to be honest if I saw a new fence being built in my neighbor's yard I would be offended. I struggle with co-dependency. I wonder what people think of me and I want to please ALL people, ALL the time. I would wonder why the fence was being built. I would dwell on the fact that they think I'm not a good neighbor. Do you see the skewed thinking pattern? Maybe the fence is to keep their children in, or their animals. Maybe it is simply a boundary. I'm learning a lot about boundaries these days in CR. I am learning not to view fences as negative things. I am also learning that it doesn't matter what's on the "other side" of the "fence". My life is on THIS side. I am to take care of MY OWN "yard". My life is MY life. Sounds like a simple thing to some of you, but it is a BIG thing for people like me who struggle with co-dependency and people pleasing. You know the "grass is greener..." mentality really isn't doing anyone ANY good. Do you know why the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? Maybe it's all the manure over there you just can't see? I say all of that to say, I'm grateful for my life. I'm grateful for CR and I'm grateful for the boundaries I'm learning to recognize AND make in my life. CR is a safe place. There is a "fence" around the information that you share on Tuesdays. It is a confidential place to share life together and to grow and change. Why not see what's on THIS side. You're welcome....

Still growing,

Janelle Flint

April Newsletter

Spring cleaning is a task that most of us dread. It seems daunting and overwhelming but when completed brings a sense of relief, joy and accomplishment. That is very similar to the journey through recovery. It could be (with both cleaning and recovery) that you don't know where to get started, so you avoid it altogether. Well, taking the first step is the hardest. Coming to recovery is THE first step. The "cleaning" of the rooms of your heart certainly cannot and will not occur in that first night, but it is a step to opening your heart to the cleaning power of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:1 says "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Take that step, allow God to start cleaning your heart, setting you free and you WILL experience joy, freedom, relief, contentment and happiness as never before. Be blessed. We hope to see you in CR.

In Him,


CR Article for March

I realize it's NOT March, but I'm just sharing some past work. Hope you enjoy.

Merriam-Webster's Online dictionary states that CELEBRATE means to observe a notable occasion with festivities. It goes on to say that RECOVERY is the process of overcoming a disorder or shortcoming.

So...why would anyone want to gather to have a meal, worship and share a time of festivity about overcoming their shortcomings? It almost seems as if Celebrate Recovery is an oxymoron or a contradictory term. Yet, Praise God it IS NOT. John 8:36 (HCSB) says "Therefore if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. Galatians 5:1 (HCSB) says "Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don't submit again to a yoke of slavery." So, we "party" each week because of Christ's work, NOT our shortcomings. We celebrate together knowing Christ is the One who is doing the recovering. We are simply working the principles and steps to allow His victory to be realized in our lives.

Easter is this month. There is so much to celebrating Easter. When I think of this day it brings up images of new shoes, fancy dresses, LOTS of candy. It also makes me think of too much food with family and friends. We are one of those families that does ham and chicken because we can't decide. And are they called "deviled" eggs because the evil one wants us to gain weight? I've always wondered. I know I will be attending a glorious service with music and celebration of Jesus' resurrection. I will even be attending a wedding this Easter Sunday. Easter means giving AND receiving. We receive Christ's love for us so we can give it away. That's the 8th principle "Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words."

I can't think of a better way to realize God's salvation plan than to come to Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery IS an Easter celebration. The American Heritage dictionary says this about Easter. Easter is a Christian feast commemorating the resurrection of Jesus. We do this EVERY Tuesday as we gather to give thanks to God for His Son Jesus Christ and the work that was done on Calvary. As I answer my questions, work the steps and principles in my small group, I'm practicing Easter. As I sing praises in the time of worship, I'm celebrating Easter. As I hear a testimony and hear of God's work in some one's life, I'm celebrating Easter. As I meet with my accountability partner to pray and share life WE are celebrating Easter. As I learn to live a life of victory in Christ I am celebrating Easter and CELEBRATING RECOVERY. See the connection?

Happy Easter. Why don't you come join us? You can even wear your new "fancy" church shoes. We always have sweets and I bet I could arrange a plate of deviled eggs. Be blessed in the month of March and know that you are welcome each and every Tuesday night for an Easter party!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


This is my first newsletter entry for Mtn. View's monthly publication. I get the privilege of writing each month as a CR participant. I thought I would share these with you and get some feedback. I pray they are a blessing to you.

"De-Nial...It's NOT just a river in Egypt". Ha! Ha! That's something we say at Celebrate Recovery. Yet, I say it not tongue and cheek. Denial is something that all of us face. However in Jer. 6:14 (TLB) it says "You can't heal a wound by saying it's not there!"

I just want to share a BRIEF synopsis of my journey OUT of denial. Back in the early summer of 2005 I was asked to come and help facilitate worship at a Celebrate Recovery meeting with my husband Nathan. We agreed readily. We love to sing and to help out with worship. It also was a blessing to be a help to "hurting people". So Nathan and I went to help "lead". We went several times subsequently and enjoyed helping "those people". Well after several weeks of this we both were being convicted by our loving Holy Spirit. At different times and in different ways Nathan and I were becoming aware of OUR need for Celebrate Recovery. It was a few months later when Nathan and I had a talk and agreed that we needed to stay for a CR meeting and not just scoot out after worship. We stayed and the rest is history.

Almost three years later and after completing a 12 step study, Nathan and I are BLESSED to be some of "those people". What kind of "people" are they who come to Celebrate Recovery? Those with hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Those with struggles with chemical dependency. Those with problems and struggles of depression, loneliness, doubt, anger, and people pleasing. Those with "x" amount of extra pounds they carry around because of life's hurts. There are EVERY kind of people in CR. I feel so blessed to have stumbled into such a safe place. A place where Janelle can be Janelle. I can come just as I am and know that's all that's expected. It's the truest representation of the body of Christ I have EVER experienced.

So, if you are ready to step out of denial and discover YOUR need for Celebrate Recovery then I welcome you!! If not, and you just want to come and see why people like ME need Celebrate Recovery, one of "those people", then I welcome you also. Oh, that was sarcastic wasn't it? We'll that's one of the things I'm working on in my second 12 step study. Guess I still need CR.

In Him,

Janelle Flint

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A John 10:10 Life

The New Living Translation of John 10:10 states "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." Last Sunday, April 20, we had the experience of that kinds of life.

After attending worship we came home and got ourselves ready for the Mighty Kite Flight 2008. We piled in the Surburban and drove to Flat Rock, NC for this free kite flying event. Jesse has just recently become obsessed with kites. He has a thing for items that go up (umbrellas, balloons, kites). It is quite cute. He used his own birthday money to buy a Buzz Lightyear kite from Target especially for this event. We took our other kites that MeMaw purchased for us and were looking forward to the day. God blessed us with clear, beautiful, blue skies and plenty of WIND!!!

ALL of us had a blast. The kids had their pics taken by two different photographers (which was a blessing since our camera battery died at the event). Jesse has "kite face" from looking up into the sky for 3 hours. He doesn't even mind the sunburn. Joseph tried flying a kite and Jesse and JoyAnn worked very well as a team. Nathan thouroughly enjoyed himself also flying both his bi-plane kite and Jesse's Buzz kite. We met a delightful famly from Table Rock, SC and exchanged information. They had three gorgeous girls very close in age to our own kiddos.

What I am getting at is, God desires for us to enjoy Him. That is what we did that day. We didn't care how much gas cost. We didn't care if the kids made a mess, had an accident or got sick. I wasn't afraid of the crowds. We completely and passionaltely enjoyed ourselves, our family and the creation that OUR God had made. It was "life to the fullest". I treasure the memory and pray for many more days like this!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This song is a beautiful reminder that life is more then just what happens in our own little corner. I have never had the opportunity to go overseas on a mission trip and have NEVER been to a third world country. Yet, watching this video made me realize that I have so many fears. I have so many selfish, irrational thoughts. I feel entitled sometimes to a life of ease and privilege because of who I am and where I live. How utterly disgusting is that? How unlike Christ is that attitude? God forgive me for thinking that I somehow have achieved something, earned something, deserve something.

My heart is pricked by this video. My mind challenged. My faith tested. I hope you enjoy the video. Sara Groves is one of my FAVORITE artists. Have a good day.

Here are the lyrics to I Saw what I Saw:

I saw what I saw and I can’t forget it
I heard what I heard and I can’t go back
I know what I know and I can’t deny it

Something on the road, cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
your dream inspires
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I’m afraid of
(what I am made of)
and what I know of love

we’ve done what we’ve done and we can’t erase it
we are what we are and it’s more than enough
we have what we have but it’s no substitution

Something on the road, touched my very soul

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I’m giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction

Something on the road, changed my world....

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

God's watch is NOT broken!!!

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis you know that I love the song God Speaking by Mandisa. It acutally made it to a blog post back in December. I had another "God Speaking" moment though recently and it's too good NOT to share. This time praise Him I heard him speaking and I answered appropriately. This doesn't always happen, but that's another blog...hahahaha!

A dear friend of mine came over last Sunday night after a wedding reception she had attended. She mentioned something that was on her heart. She wanted to get her son a pocket watch with a train on it. Her son had just made this request known. She wasn't quite sure how this gift was going to come to pass due to the time constraints and other issues. I just listened but was prompted by the Spirit to check on something after she left.

When she left I went and begin to dig through the desk drawers in our computer desk. I found a pocket watch WITH A TRAIN ON IT that Nathan had owned for who knows how many years. I asked him if I could give it to these friends of ours. Nathan agreed willingly. So I gave her the watch the next day. I had not found the chain, but told her I would continue to look. She had the watch cleaned and put in a new battery. When she brought the watch back to my house to keep it in safe hiding I was able to give her the CHAIN. The Lord had directed me to the chain. It was in a different place than the watch had been. Cool, huh? So she had the chain cleaned and returned it to me the next day.

Her son had been praying for a pocket watch with a train all week long and on Thursday he was able to open up the chain. His mother has been praying for a renewed faith and for God to continue to show Himself true to her and her family. Guess what, BOTH prayers were answered. God is faithful.

I guess for once being a pack rat paid off! Thank you Lord for speaking to my friend, prompting her to share a need. Thank you for speaking to me that I could be a blessing. Thank you for showing yourself faithful to a young man. Thank you for blessing EVERYONE at the party last Thursady night who knew the story of the "watch". Thank you for blessing and encouraging those reading this blog. "He'll do and he'll use whatever He wants to. To tell us I love you. God is speaking, I LOVE YOU!". Be blessed....

Gratefully His,


Friday, March 28, 2008

Pics of the Birthday Party

Here are pics from last night's event. It was a HUGE success! Big thanks going out to my Mom, Dad and brother Tyler for helping to decorate. Big thans also to "uncle Ben" for his contributions to the goody bags. Thanks for checking out the pics..

Celebrate Good Times Come On!

Ok,so it’s not that kind of party, and my nightflife consists of washing dishes, doing laundry and playing online family fued. Pretty sad, I know!!

But....tonight is the LONG awaited birthday party for Jesse, JoyAnn and mommy. We even invited a friend of ours Carey to join in the party. In all there will be twenty people gathering together tonight at the food court in the Asheville Mall. We will eat our respective meals and then enjoy fellowship over cake and ice cream. Afterwards the kids will play themselves silly on the playground and then we will trudge up the mall to the trampolines. They will bounce themselves silly and hopefully avoid vomitting!!!

The food court is the PERFECT option for a party. We tried it last year and will do it as many years as we can. You don’t have to pay to rent the place. You don’t have to worry about mopping/sweeeping etc. Everyone buys their own meals. You only have to provide cake/treats. The playground is FREE! Bouncing is optional. It’s just an easy, cost effective option for our family. Plus it’s roomy enough, easy to find and there’s so much noise that my CRAZY family just blends into the chaos!!!

I do have quite a few last minute details to take care of today, so think of/pray for me. Thanks...I hope to capture this madness on film and post pics tomorrow.

God bless,


Thursday, March 13, 2008

True Freedom

This past Tuesday night I was able to finally share my "testimony" with my Celebrate Recovery group. Dictionary.com defines [test.ti.mo.ny] as-open declaration or profession, as of faith. Usually testimonies. the precepts of God.

I have been extremely nervous thinking that I didn’t really have anything to say. I am not going to get into all the details here, but I will say that my Celebrate Recovery group is the ONLY place where I have felt safe enough to REALLY be myself. I feel so completely liberated after sharing. I feel free. I feel loved. In fact, I feel MORE loved after sharing the skeletons in the closet of my life then I did before. Isn’t that an odd thing to say? I don’t understand God’s grace but I praise Him for it! Lamentations 3:22-23 (AMP) says "It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness."

So, now I really feel free to dance, free to run, free to play!!! It is my prayer that all whom I love can and will experience this freedom someday!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Even God Likes Little Debbie

So today I was blessed AGAIN by my children. I was blessed by God’s provision and by God’s ability to bless those he treasures with good things.

After Bible study I took the children and a friend of mine to Subway in Swannanoa for lunch. As we were standing in line I was a little distracted by all of the noise from the children, people in the gas station, etc. Joseph says to me "It’s I Can Only Imagine". I said "what?". He says it again..."I Can Only Imagine". My friend Angie confirms that is what is on the radio. Then my sweet little boy begins to BELT out this song in the middle of Subway in perfect pitch. For those of you who have had the joy of worshipping with Joseph (that’s really what is was), you know he holds NOTHING back. I also thought it quite amusing that his baby sister sat on the packs of canned drinks and drummed in perfect rhythm for him to sing.

He sings the remainder of the song as I place orders. I don’t even worry about what people are thinking. I don’t try to "shush" him or make him stop. In fact I encourage him that his singing is beautiful. For those of you who know ME you know that is a miracle. I’m ALWAYS worried about what people think, especially about Joseph.

Well we are enjoying our meal at Subway (by the way the pizzas are very good, the children enjoyed them). I had noticed earlier that the Little Debbie vendor was there restocking shelves, but didn’t think anything of it. Then he comes over to the table with a HUGE box of Oatmeal Creme Pies and another of Nutty Bars. He places them on the table with a HUGE smile on his face and says...."maam I wanted to give these to your children because I so enjoyed your son’s singing". You should have seen Joseph’s face. Creme pies are his favorite. We were all so excited, so blessed and I was pleasantly reminded that my child IS special. Special in a BLESSED way.

Psalm 84:11
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (NIV)

Now I am certainly not implying that I am blameless or that my walk as a mother is perfect. I am also not saying Joseph is a perfect kid (or the other two for that matter). However, I believe that God loves to bless His children and I can tell you that I am seeking His face and trying diligently to show His love to my children. I praise God for his favor. I praise God for his loving kindess that would bless some kids in Swannanoa, NC with junk food just because they worshipped Him with a pure heart.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Growing Pains

So as I'm growing daily in my faith, I am being reminded that the RIGHT thing is more often than not the HARD thing. Seeking God's face, knowing His will for decisions large and small is a moment by moment process. Nathan and I have been through so much in the last few months. My prayer is that of Psalm 119:133 "Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil." (NLT) I have been spending more time in God's word looking for HIS guidance on decisions, and not spending time and energy worrying/fretting about what I think is right or more importantly what I think others think is right. We are making the hard decisions, the right decisions for OUR family. I am not in any way implying they are the RIGHT decisions for everyone or anyone else. However, I am simply writing this blog to give God the credit for guiding the Flint family through the tough waters of life and praising Him for the exciting life to come. Isaiah 43:2 (NLT) "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Praise God for His grace!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


So, I've decided that being depressed, overwhelmed, afraid, sad and tired SUCKS. So as of 9:48 am (official Janelle time) I am OVER IT!!! HAHAHA!

I know that ONLY Christ really can do a deep work within my heart and soul. I do know however that his word says in Phil. 4:8-9 (the Message) "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. "

I do know that I can do my part by allowing Christ to work in me. I can focus on His word, His truth, His goodness. I can change some of the external things of my life, but He has to work out transformation in me by His Spirit! I have a list of things I am doing to work toward the "perfected life", but in the meantime "I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back." (The Message Phil. 2:12-14)

Here's to a Gloriously difficult day! Be encouraged, I know I am!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

God's Promise

The Message states in Genesis 9:12 "God continued, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you. I'm putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth.'"

Yesterday on our way to church we saw the most breathtaking rainbow I think I've EVER seen. I hope to have Nathan post pictures of it soon. Although they absolutely WILL not do the experience justice. It was the brightest complete, DOUBLE rainbow that I am aware of seeing. The children were all surprised. I take it for granted that at the ages of 3 and 6 EVERYTHING is a gift to them. JoyAnn especially thought it was interesting and even metioned that she had never seen "a rainbow like Noah before". After the rainbow there was the most interesting and uniquely beautiful sky. Although it did mean that somewhere a tornado was happening, for us in the areas of pink, green and yellow with this fog rising it was quite breathtaking.

Although it lasted for just a brief moment in time it was a much needed reminder to me that God is faithful. That he keeps his promises and that his covenants are still binding today. It also reminded me that we can see God's glory and majesty all around us daily if we just look at our creation as a gift. We can see through the eyes of a child and find everything wonderous if we just slow down long enough to do so.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Our Weekend

Nathan, Joseph and I had a special weekend together. Yesterday we went to the Fun Depot. He loves to play 18 wheeler with Dad. We always eat cheese pizza and he rides the Go Karts. Yesterady Roy met us and we had lots of fun. Jesse and JoyAnn were NOT with us (I'll explain later). Then after we returned home I went to work and Nathan and Joseph played Wii and ate hot dogs (one of Joe's favs). They played and enjoyed "guy" time.

Sunday was a beautiful day (literally and figuratively). After church we were able to have lunch with Joseph and then head to Pack Place for a concert in the Diana Wortham Theatre. This was a special gift to the three of us from Nathan's parents. Not only did they pay for the tickets, they also kept Jesse and JoyAnn for two nights so we could focus on Joseph for an entire weekend. We loved the concert. It was a concert entirely of Celtic music. The highlight for all of us was the guest harpist/composer/performer Billy Jackson. Billy is Joseph's music therapist. After the concert Joseph went up and spoke to Billy. It was a treasure to be with our boy and have some fun with him. I'm at work now, but he is at home with Dad once again playing Wii and eating vanilla ice cream. What a treat...

I hope we can have more weekends like this with Joseph. He was truly engaged and overall his behavior was EXCELLENT! He is making progress. I am blessed to be his mom.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My Amazing Day!!

I won't go into all of the details (if you wanna know just ask me) but yesterday I was gifted with the most amazing day I think I've had in YEARS. The most amazing part of my day is I was blessed beyond measure with the reminder of God's AMAZING and UNCONDITIONAL love for me.

The punchline of the story is I was sitting in a bathroom stall in the Inn at Biltmore crying my eyes out because I was completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed at what you might ask. At God's glory and majesty. I had seen it and experienced it ALL day. In nature, in people's faces as they smiled at me, in the conversation with my friend, in the love of my husband to let me have a GIRLS day and watch all three of the kids AND not bother me once by phone....I truly could go on and on about it.

Of course song lyrics speak to me (I wonder why..hahaha!) so here's one for you...

"How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure"

I felt treasured yesterday. I felt beautiful. I felt like a beloved child of God. It was amazing, it was incredible, it was a gift, and I pray that I remember it always!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


So I feel as if I am shrouded by a thick fog. I can't seem to get free. My mind is unclear. My feelings are conflicted. My heart aches with a deep and painful sense of longing. I am anxious and overwhelmed quite often. I feel lost. If I could just find my way out of this fog...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

How do you spell "No"?

Do you remember that old Rolaids commercial? The one where the man says "How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S"

Well how do I spell "no"? Believe me, this sounds easy. However I have more trouble saying this two letter word than ANY other word in the English language.

I spell no this way: "sure I can do that","yes I'm available", "I would love to help you", "It will be tough but I'm sure I can squeeze it in", "thanks for thinking of me", "I'm honored you asked", "maybe", "I'll check on it", "it shouldn't be a problem", "let me get back to you", "yes", "sure", "absolutely", "how soon do you need that"....do you catch my drift?

I can't say no. I absolutely cannot say it. I'm like "Fonzie" was when trying to say "I'm sorry". I am paralyzed with fear, doubt and guilt everytime I try to say no. It's a sickness I tell you, but it is one that I'm working on overcoming. I HATE being a people pleaser. I HATE being someone's "yes man" and I HATE feeling afraid, anxious, guilty, sad and stressed the majority of my life.

Enough said....I'm exhausted!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A State of Being

For as long as I can remember I've been something....

~Jim and Brenda's daughter...

~Philip or Greg's sister

~The flute player

~Drum Major

~A wife

~A mother

~The singer

~The choir director

~The praise and worship leader

~The one who makes everyone laugh

You see the point....It's always that I've been something. Now I'm certainly NOT implying that this is an outside expectation solely. I know that I have become defined by WHAT I am instead of WHO I am. It's a trap that us people pleasers fall into quite often. However, this train HAS to stop. If it doesn't stop here I'm afraid it's going to crash. So, I'm goint to stop being something and just start BEING! What is that going to look like? I'm not sure. What is that going to feel like? I really don't know, but I just want to be Janelle. I just want to relax. I want to live life instead of just letting life happen TO me or around me. I want to engage mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically in the process, the journey of life.

This means embracing the reality of who I am, who I was and who I might become. It also means embracing the reality of who I'll NEVER be and coming to grips with that. Reality also means knowing that my situation cannot change instantly and making plans for changes. It means a paradigm shift in almost all areas of my life. My thinking, my eating, my activity level, our financial picture....and other things.

So, here's to a new day. A new opportunity. I praise God that "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23)