To Read on the Journey

Friday, April 30, 2010

Come, Lord Jesus, Come

there are too many words, and strangely none.

too many thoughts, and yet my mind is blank.

Discerner come.   

i fear myself.  i've been destructive.  opinionated.  self- seeking.   

dwelt in the strong grip of pride.

but i have tasted grace.

Grace come. 

i'm unmotivated. checked out. lazy. 

i long for passion.  i long for stirring.  i long to be used for his big glory.

Passion come. 

i want change. 

i want dreams.

i want purpose that is visible. 

i feel invisible. but maybe that is the way it is suppose to be.  humbled.

Humility come. 

i want to kiss the Sky. 

i need the Sky to kiss me back.

i long to lose myself in Him.

Intimacy come.


Monday, April 26, 2010

wet t-shirt contest

i'm baffled by this camelback tank.
it's  designed to be filled with water which is stored in the backside of the tank. 

wouldn't the water retention cause one to look like they were sporting a few extra lbs of back fat?
would you wear this?

Friday, April 23, 2010

How To Train Your Child

How to train your child collage
To melt you with a smile.
wii head josie collage
To embrace you with a look.
cute kids collage
And to leap...
to leap into your heart
right into...
leap into my heart 2collage
your heart!

into your heartcollage

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Point your kids in the right direction-
when they're old they won't be lost.
The Message

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Letting Go, ready or not here i come.

8 years ago i fully intended to send all my children to traditional school.

before noah entered kindergarten i visited the school he'd be attending to observe in his future  classroom, and to enroll him for the following school year.

after observing, and with enrollment papers in hand, i returned to my van and proceeded out of the school parking lot.  however, the enthusiasm i felt as i arrived at the school had vanished (btw- the school was idea. across the street, less than 80 students k-6, and the teacher was a friend).  i recall thinking, "i can't do this."  i was experiencing normal mommy emotions, and wasn't ready for my baby to leave the nest. but i was far less ready for what came next as God said, "your NOT doing this." what did God say?  what was he proposing instead?  NO!!!  tears mixed with panic, as i heard him say, "denise, your home schooling." the levies that held back my fearful tears broke open, and i cried, "please don't make me do this!"

i've been home schooling for 7 years now.

home schooling has been a blessing.  singing "this is the day the Lord has made" everyday, followed by reading God's word, and the encouragement that comes from their childlike faith and challenging questions has grown me.  teaching my children to read was a highlight, their first words read were as exciting as their first word spoken.  watching them wrap their minds around concepts and embrace learning has been exciting.  we've spent hours together that i would have lost had they been in a traditional school, and made more memories together than i can count.

i am grateful that God made me do this.

we have approached each school year by asking God his will for each of our children. each year God has told us to continue home schooling, but as we have been praying for the coming school year we believe God is leading us to place noah in traditional school next year...

and i find myself saying to God, "please don't make me do this."

i'm not ready.

what most parents feel when their children begin kindergarten i have postponed for 7 years.

i'm emotional.

absorbing the reality of my boy heading off to jr high has made me a pressure cooker of emotions.


God causes me to think back to the times i pleaded with him, "please don't make me do this."

one of those times landed me a job at a summer camp, where i met my husband.
one of those times i was holding a positive pregnancy test in one hand, and my 8 month old in the other. our sweet emilie has been a blessed surprise everyday since.

i'm reminded that each time i've pleaded with God, "please don't make me do this," God has surprised me.  every. day.

so i'm counting on God to do it again.

i'm trusting Him.

letting go, ready or not. 

counting on the Author of our lives to surprise me again...

and to surprise noah too.

Monday, April 19, 2010

ready or not, here i come.

today i went with a casual look. 

i wore my favorite cargo pants, a casual tee, my nicest zip up hoodie, and a slip on shoe.

but i should have worn my boots.

and with my boots i should have worn dark jeans, a nice blouse, and jewelry. 

i would have stood taller.

i would have carried my self like a grown-up.

today i needed to stand taller and feel grown-up. 

because today i was making grown-up decisions. 

decisions i am not ready for, but are ready for me. 

decisions that are better made when i wear my boots.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


i suffer from stainphobia.

stainphobia: an unreasonable sort of fear that can cause anxiety and panic when an item of clothing or a material good is soiled, spotted, or discolored.
this is no laughing matter.  it is very serious.  stains affects 2 out of 5 items of clothing.

there are many who suffer privately from stainphobia.  many who feel hopeless when clothing or material goods are soiled.

this is my story-

i have suffered privately from stainphobia for more than 12 years.
symptoms began when i was pregnant with my first child, during the nesting stage.

symptoms became increasingly worse when my first child, noah, began eating baby food.  he has been eating solid foods for 11 years, but i still cringe at the mention of gerber bananas, blueberry buckle, and butternut squash.

i learned early on to mask my tear stained responses. for example, though it appeared i was crying tears of motherly joy as my child experienced his first baby food.  the reality was that the floodgates flew open due to the devastation of his "i ♥ mommy" bib being destroyed!    

since then i have grown to be terrified of mustard, marinara sauce, butter, olive oil, and salad dressing. 

i. hate. stains.

just the other day, 3 hours of my life was consumed as i vigorously scrubbed a child's garment to remove a stain.  after beating the shirt into submission,  and wearing the top down to threads, the garment waved the white flag of defeat, and i proudly claimed victory over the stain.

in addition to hating stains, i'm cheap!

so cheap you'll often find my children wearing aprons over their $3 wal-mart shirts.

so cheap you'll find clothes pins in my purse (no, not so i can immediately battle freshly stained items of clothing, and then line dry when we're on the go... although that isn't a bad idea).  clothespins serve as makeshift restaurant bibs; take a cloth napkin, hang it around neck, and pin in the back.  it's genius really.

and just in case food is shoveled onto clothing instead of into a  mouth i've got a tide stain stick on hand   
(this is my tide stain stick testimonial- one sunday, while leading worship, communion grape juice missed my mouth and landed on my cotton candy pink shirt. between services (i still had one more service to lead) i ran off to the ladies room,  where i grabbed the tide stain stick and generously worked it into the stain.  i prayed fervently,   "please Jesus, please remove this stain." the stain was removed!) 

i told you, i. hate. stains.

so you can imagine the nausea i experienced this past week when one of my children got oil on not one, but TWO ITEMS OF CLOTHING!
i pretreated the clothing with a stain remover, washed, and lined dried both items, BUT THE OIL STAIN WAS STILL THERE!

i tried to control the feelings of anxiety and panic that rose up inside me! i attempted to hold back the tears, the hopelessness of feeling all was lost.

i accepted the reality that i would have to wave the white flag of defeat....UNTIL

YES, Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner!

"they work hard so you don't have to," and not only on your tubs and showers, but on your oil stains too!

simply apply to oil spot, let absorb for a few short minuets, wash, line dry, and voila, THE STAIN IS GONE! (insert the "Hallelujah" chorus here).

thanks to Scrubbing Bubbles, the cost for psychiatric care for my children has decreased... well, a little... i also suffer from germphobia (fear of germs), clutterphobia (fear of clutter), and wrinklephobia (fear of wrinkles. yes, i iron everything).

Do you have any stain removal cures?   

What are your phobias? 

Monday, April 12, 2010

there's no place like home

Easter break began with a Thanksgiving feast on Good Friday.
t-giving in spring collage
i can't think of a better way to celebrate Good Friday than with good friends, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, homemade apple pie (and a handful of other "dishes" that might have been camouflaged casseroles), games, and a lot of laughter!

the remainder of  Easter break was spent  "home-breaking." 
which translates into staying "home" (with the laundry, taxes, sticky floors, and yard work), and taking a  "break" from schooling (well mostly, there was lesson planning and unfinished math work to tackle).

"there's no place like home" when it is spent:

 eating pot pie (all those thanksgiving leftovers needed to go somewhere).

playing board games

eating chocolate

learning to sew
sewing collage

throwing a frisbee

venturing off to our favorite local lake to skip rocks, share a picnic lunch,
and lure  ducks with  stale bread
lake collage

eating more chocolate

blowing bubbles

going to a [free} local audubon event

a sleep-over for my big girl

playing with Stella, my guitar

filling sick from eating too much chocolate

cooking meals from my new cookbook
chicen parm
Now Eat This is 150 of your favorite comfort foods for less than 350 calories!
(this chicken parmigiano had 9.3g of fat and 332 calories per serving.
a typical chic. parm. has 49 g fat and 1090 calories per serving).

hugging. lots.
hugs&kisses collage
kissing too.

and perfecting the art of just hanging around. 
hanging around 2

hanging around collage
old swing

And the winner is.....

DRUM ROLL.......

 and the winner of Victory Road's Blogiversary 
Give Away is...

Winner chosen through number generator at


And for all of you who participated in the Blogiversary Give Away
your in luck...
Katherine is currently hosting a
at her blog!
i hope one of you terrific ladies wins!

And finally, ThAnK YoU for all your delightful comments!
It has been so fun to "meet" you.
I look forward to our blogging future :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

birth story

Originally posted March 13, 2009.

i was scheduled nearly a year ago to speak for a MOPS group this week.
i'm not a public speaker. i think people can be confused by the fact that i love to sing and lead worship. i think they get confused because i am a public talker (uh huh, i tend to have lots of thoughts and opinions).  just because i sing publicly and talk publicly doesn't mean speaking publicly comes naturally to me.  it doesn't.

i figured with almost a year to prepare i'd have something inspiring and God-moving to say to these mommies, but as the week drew near i had nothing.  at least i thought i had nothing.

the same friend who asked me a year ago to speak, encouraged me to share my testimony.  i didn't want to.  i believed  the story of how i came to Christ was becoming a tired, worn out, over-told, useless story.

however, there use to be a time i couldn't keep from sharing my story. I couldn't keep quiet about how God had rescued me, and had become the Father i longed for.  i couldn't contain the joy of what living in the embrace of His deep love meant to me.

but at some point i decided people were tired of hearing me.
in the past few years i have grown more and more reluctant to share.
because of this i have held back on sharing my birth story.

my dear friend spoke truth to that lie, and said, "that our stories of when we came into a relationship with Christ, are our birth stories."  she related it to how we mommies love to get together and recount all the details of the births of our children.  she said that "God loves to tell the story of how we were born, again and again, but the only way He can do this is through us."  isn't that a sweet thought?

so i shared, hoping the story of my birth would be used again for God's glory.

and it was.

and that is a whole other story. :-)

As a result of this blog post, i am beginning a new post series here on Victory Rd.  
The post series is of Your Birth Stories!  Yes, you read that right. Victory Rd. wants to hear, share, and encourage others through His story of your birth in Christ. 
To share your birth story, write or video your story and send it to me via email to 
maybe your story will bring someone to theirs. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fertile For the Changes

To continue celebrating Blogiversary week I'm going to share a few favorite posts from the last 3 blogging years. These are some of my favorite words, originally posted Thursday, May 17, 2007.

From Donald Millers book "Through Painted Deserts."

I could not have known then that everybody, every person has to leave, has to change like seasons; they have to or they die.

The seasons remind me that I must keep changing, and I want to change because it is God's way. All my life I have been changing. I changed from a baby to a child, from a teenager to drive a car, into a worker to spend money. I will change into a wife to love a man, into a mother to love a child, change houses, friends, keep changing with my husband, getting our love so it dies and gets born again and again.
Everybody has to change or they expire. Everybody has to leave, leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons. I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it is time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago. Only a good story has a character different at the end than it was in the beginning.
And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home. My hope is that your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you.
It might be time for you to go, time to change, to shine out.
Leave, it is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.
How is the character in your story different than it was in the beginning?  

(4 days left o enter my Blogiversay give away!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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Happy Blogiversary!

i never would have imagined 3 yrs ago that blogging would turn out to be such a blessing!

keeping an online journal (or "journey" as my daughter emilie refers to it) has caused me to seek "blog worthy" moments. as a result i have embraced my daily life as wife, mommy, home school teacher, friend, and child of God with new eyes.

i have been overwhelmed by the depth, intentionality, and creativity of so many of your blogs.

mostly i've been overjoyed by friendship! the encouragement i have gained from comments and emails has been incredible! before blogging i was skeptical about relationships formed with strangers via the computer, but i'm a believer now!

meeting two blog friends, and developing real life friendships with sarah markley and kristen cheney, has been a blogging highlight.

and i can't tell you how i'd love to meet you!

to celebrate the blogiversary of Victory Road (previously known as Keeping Up With the Joneses), i'm giving away a covered notebook from the pleated poppy!

but that's not all! i'm also giving away my favorite chocolate chip cookies, made by my terrific blog friend, kristen cheney. these DELICIOUS cookies are going to put otis spunkmeyer out of business!

watch this short video (when kristen and i met up in portland, or.) to see for yourself how crazy i am about these scrumptious cookies!

you can enter 3 ways:

1- leave a comment, and tell me why you enjoy blogging.

2- become a follower; leave me an additional comment (if your already a follower, leave me a second comment).

3- announce the giveaway on your blog or facebook; leave a third comment.

the give away will close midnight sunday, april 11th.

The winner will be announced monday, april 12th!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

first breath

What was it like when Jesus took His first breath after death?

When God breathed resurrected Life into Him?

That moment isn't shared in scripture.

It takes place in the secret.

The beautiful rebirth.

The Father holding His lifeless Son.
The breath.

No longer separated.

Imagine the embrace.

That wonder-full moment. The beauty. Intimacy. Holiness of that moment.

I wonder what it was like when Jesus took His first Breath?

Feels like I'm born again
Feels like I'm living
For the very first time
In my life.
by Third Day

Born Again - Third Day

What was it like when you took your first breath?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

it's vlogging time!

On April 1 st, we camped out in line at a local arena waiting to see The Rock & Worship Roadshow. We couldn't miss the opportunity to see Mercy Me, David Crowder, Fee, and a few other bands for just $10 per ticket!

And yes, you read the title right, it's vlogging time! Since vlogging typically involves me shoving my camera in strangers faces and asking them random questions (new to my blog, see here, here, and here), i didn't want to disappoint you by doing anything other than that. Because it's Easter weekend, i thought the best question would be, "how did you come to know Jesus?"

So go pop some popcorn, and enjoy hearing some fellow line members share their birth stories, followed by a shout out to Victory Rd. from the band Fee.

Read my birth story here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Victory Rd.

Defeat of an enemy or opponent.
Success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle.
The state of having triumphed.

I was conceived on Victory Rd. My mother was 14, my father 18. I am certain that no one thought anything victorious would have come from that young girl being pregnant. But God did.

A legacy of sexual-immorality, drug & alcohol abuse, and emotional poverty was handed down to me, and to the generations that came before me. Defeat, struggle, and difficulty should have been my lifelong companions.

But God...

God once told me, "Denise, Your life began on Victory Rd., it was always intended for victory."

And you,
your life is intended for victory.

On that first Good Friday,
God wrote Victory into your life through Christ.

For God so loved the world
HE GAVE his only Son
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish,
but have everlasting LIFE!
John 3:16

My prayer for you today, and everyday is that you will live an abundant life in Jesus.
That your story will be a story of victory!