Reading List

I mentioned in a previous post about a reading list I have for 2012.  While this may seem a bit type A, and it is, let me explain.  I LOVE reading.  While I do enjoy reading great Christian books – books that challenge me in my walk with the Lord, train me in ministry, help me to be a better parent, etc. – I found that what I had the tendency to do in the past was to read TOO many of these books.  Meaning, I would read them, feel burned out and mentally exhausted, and then stop reading altogether.  Months later, I would pick up a fun book (meaning a fiction novel, biography, organization, budgeting, etc.) and get reacquainted with just how much I love reading.  Then the cycle continued.

One day, I was reading Money Saving Mom’s website (I know, I have mentioned this site a gazillion times before, but its AWESOME).  If you know anything about Crystal (the woman who runs the site), she has a list and goals for everything.  Seriously – she has a homemaking binder that she uses to keep her home life organized with to-do lists, cleaning lists, etc.  Course, if I had 3 kids and a huge business, I might think that is needed too. While I haven’t started making lists and goals for everything, I did think it would be a good idea to make a reading list so that I could alternate Christian books and fun books so I wouldn’t get burned out.

So, I started that last year and I loved it.  When it came time to pick a new book, I just looked at the list and found one that I had been wanting to read.  When I heard of good books from others, I jot it down at the bottom so that I could remember to add it to my list for the next year.  Course, I also find that I add additions because new books come out that I can’t resist, and there have been a few dud books that I have had to put in the grave.

Without further ado, here is my list:

Christian Books:
Erasing Hell – Francis Chan
When I Lay My Isaac Down – Carol Kent
The Excellent Wife – Martha Peace
Adopted for Life
The Faithful Parent
John McArthur – Disciples book
The Grace and Truth Paradox – Randy Alcorn
The Scribe – Francine Rivers
The Prophet – Francine Rivers
The Warrior – Francine Rivers
The Prince – Francine Rivers
The Priest – Francine Rivers
The Mother At Home
Transforming Discipleship – Greg Ogden
Calm My Anxious Heart – Linda Dillow
Authenticity – Chad Young

Fun Books:
Money Saving Mom book
Save More Clip Less ebook
Freezer Cooking ebooks
Longing – Karen Kingsbury
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Stay Organized and Get Things Done
Clutter Free Home Living
Loving the Little Years
Karen Kingsbury – Unlocked
Rose Trilogy – Book 1 – Beverly Lewis
Rose Trilogy – Book 2 – Beverly Lewis
Rose Trilogy – Book 3 – Beverly Lewis
Karen Kingsbury – Between Sundays
Karen Kingsbury – Library List
Large Family Logistics – Kim Brenneman

I try to get as many of these as I can for free (from the library, on my Kindle I got for Christmas either borrowing from library or real cheap on Amazon (PS…I really absolutely love my Kindle!), from friends, etc.  So far, I have read Authentic Christianity, Unlocked, Rose Trilogy books, and I am in the process of reading The Excellent Wife and Between Sundays.

I have also started a list of projects that I want to sew (like curtains for our guest bedroom and pot holders) or make myself (like bread machine bagels and swiffer solution).  I will try to update you on how these projects go as well!

First, and hopefully, last trip to the ER

As I mentioned before, I love structure, routine, and having a schedule of what is going to happen during the day.  Well, what happens when all of that is just thrown to the wind?  You just go with it.

Friday was one of those days.  We had staff meeting, staff lunch (where we said goodbye to one of our team members Katy who is transitioning off staff 🙁 ), and staff planning.  All of these were planned.  Then, as we were getting ready for dinner, Kinsley threw up.  My first thought, after getting it cleaned up, was that maybe it was something she ate or something random happened.  Then, about 10 minutes later, she threw up again.  And then again.  And then again.  This continued for about 4 hours.  At some point in there, we decided we needed to call the doc to find out if she needed to go to the hospital for fear of dehydration.  So we did.   After she threw up twice in the 10 minutes or so we were talking to them, they insisted we take her in.  So we did.

They gave her medicine to stop the nausea and vomiting, then waited about 20 minutes, and gave her apple juice to drink to see if she could keep it down.  To avoid all the disgusting details, lets just say it didn’t work and I ended up drenched in the process.  They then decided they needed to give her an IV and fluids.  After this LONG process, they again gave her Pedialyte and juice, which she kept down so we could go home.  At 2:30 am, 4.5 hours after entering the ER, we arrived home.  First trip to the ER (that I remember).  Lord willing, last trip to the ER.   Please don’t judge my appearance, this was late and we had a very rough evening!

I am so thankful to the Lord that it was nothing serious and that although she had one small relapse Saturday, she is feeling much better today.  I am also thankful for Kinsley doing so well in the ER despite it being her time to sleep and that she actual slept to and from and while in the ER for a little while.

In other news, although the MOMS club thing didn’t go well (no one showed up!), the baby shower today went well.  We were able to celebrate with Amanda the coming birth of her baby boy, Thomas through gifts, games, food, and prayer.  As promised, I am attaching a picture of the crafts that I made for decoration as well as the diaper cake.  They turned out way better than I ever thought they would!  Keep in mind, I stole this idea from  One of the things you should know about me (if you don’t already) is that while I appear crafty, all ideas are not my own and merely borrowed from others.  Seriously, I can’t think of anything that is original.  The Lord gives some people the gift of thinking these things up, but that is not me, and I am okay with that. 🙂  Hope you enjoy!!
























Could it be true??

This is what I have asked myself multiple times the last few days.  Could Kinsley really be potty trained?  But, after 4 complete days of no accidents, I think it is safe to say that she is!!

How did this happen, you might ask?  I honestly don’t know, other than the good Lord.  I remember pulling my hair out just last Wednesday or Thursday, having a conversation with my mom on Thursday about whether to stop training, and then making the decision to stick it out for 4 more days (which would be a total of 7 days).  Then, it was like a flip switched on Friday and she started holding it and going in the potty every time.  We prayed earnestly for her to “get it” and even having all of you praying with us, we are confident the Lord made it happen!  We have even taken her to the store, church, restaurant, etc. and she has used the “big girl” potty multiple times…..which means it is a real success!

In other news, I went to the chiropractor last Friday, and he adjusted my back and it started feeling better almost instantly, and continued to get better over the weekend.  I am continuing to go to him for adjustments and taking it easy (which means no hard-core exercise which totally messes up my diet plan) in hopes of kicking this pain altogether.  I am so thankful I can bend down, sit, and even put on my pants and shoes without someone helping.  It is crazy how much we take for granted until it is taken away temporarily. In the midst of the potty training and the back problems, the Lord has taught me so many things (some of which I shared before) and my prayer life (especially being thankful) has definitely increased through all of this!

We Ed (I couldn’t hardly move, much less ride a long distance) attended a faculty/volunteer training session this past weekend for our faculty/volunteers that work with us on our campuses.  Last year, 2 faculty came.  This year, we had 6!  It was a great time to train them on how to share their faith, lead Bible study, find student leaders, disciple student leaders, etc. and just to fellowship with each other as they shared how the Lord was moving on their campus.

This week is going to be busy, with just starting ministry full swing this semester.  But, besides that, some other things I have added to my agenda that I hope to update you on – attending a MOMS club outing for the first time, reading (I hope to share with you my list of books I want to read this year), and helping to host a baby shower at my house for Amanda (her husband is part-time staff on our team).  For the baby shower, I made a diaper cake (for the first time ever!) and am hand-making a lot of the decorations.  I will post pictures to show you how they turn out – I am little lot excited, can’t you tell?

When life throws you curve balls…

I am a planner.  Shocker, I know!  Well, life has thrown me two big curve balls….

#1 – So, for months before Christmas – even before we moved to North Carolina, I have been planning on potty training Kinsley after Christmas.  Due to traveling to Encounter, I waited until the New Year.  I had heard many friends rave about the Potty Training Boot Camp – do it in one day, makes potty training so easy, and so on, and so on, and so on.  We picked this past Monday as our start date – I read and then reread the Potty Training Boot Camp ebook, we bought rewards, I even informed Ed on what to expect.

While I know you are dying to know how many accidents and how many successes Kinsley had each day, I will save you all the fun, and not-so-fun details, and tell you where we stand at the end of day 4.  Kinsley is still having a few accidents each day, but has more successes (hitting the target) than accidents.  She is still not self-initiating (telling us she needs to go) by herself, but the Potty Training boot camp has said that can happen anywhere from Day 2 until Day 7, or perhaps later, depending on the child’s age, especially the younger they are.  So, I am determined to stick it out until Day 7 and pray fervently for an “aha” moment where she tells us herself and has very few accidents.  Maybe tomorrow?

#2 – I have always been super healthy with no big issues..PTL.  Last week, my back hurt a little but no big deal, life continued, and it went away.  Then, two days ago, it started hurting again, but I just laid off of exercise and kept living life.  Yesterday, it hurt still, but I thought maybe that would be the turning point.  Today, I woke up unable to move AT ALL, and writhing in pain with every move I made.  After medicine, rest, changing positions many times to no avail, having Ed stay home to take care of Kinsley because there was no way I could do potty times, carrying a toddler, and taking care of her when I couldn’t move, I am still hurting pretty badly.  I am so thankful that my mom was an office manager at a chiropractic clinic for 30ish years and could direct me about where to go, what to do, etc. I have an appointment at 7:30 (what doctors work that early?) tomorrow morning, and I am praying that he is able to do something to provide instant relief.  So, we will see.

The Lord has been really gracious in the midst of these small trails in many ways but here are two of the big ones –

On Day 2 of potty training, I was so frustrated with K for not using the potty and having accidents when she knew what to do and still didn’t do that.  When she went down for her nap, I spent some good time with the Lord in the Word and prayer, and the Lord really laid on my heart that I needed to show her grace just like he continues to show me grace.  How many times do I screw up and do things wrong when I know what is right and what the Lord has told me to do?  Yet, he continues to forgive, love, and show me grace, time after time after time.  It was a great, gentile reminder that allowed me to handle her accidents more graciously and continue to focus on Christ even in the midst of potty training.

I have learned a new appreciation for my husband.  He is my hero today, managing Kinsley, working out, spending time with the Lord, working on campus stuff, doing laundry that I put off until today and now can’t complete, tidying up for his parents’ visit tomorrow, and taking care of his complaining wife.  Every day I am so thankful to the Lord that he has given me someone to live life with and to lead me to the Cross, but today, I am thankful that my husband can be Mr. Mom without complaining.

Thank you Sandy Felkel!

Got a sweet Christmas card (which they pre-warned us would be late) from our ministry partners, David and Sandy Felkel.  The card was late because I failed to update our website with our new address.  Ahhh….can I blame the forgetfulness on being a mother?

Either way, it is updated so if you want to mail us something, we will now get it in a timely manner.  Thanks for bearing with my imperfections! 🙂


I wanted to post an update about how the Lord moved at our annual winter conference, Encounter.  This was my 7th Encounter and it never ceases to amaze me how the Lord shows up and moves in people’s lives, both staff and student.  We had 8 students attend from our Eastern NC schools which was a great size for our first year because we were able to get to know everyone.

Our students heard from amazing speakers like Rick James (author of “Jesus Without Religion”), Marion Jordan, Tim McKenzie, a professor from Penn State, and Roger Hershey (who I have heard speak many times and I ALWAYS walk away having learned and been touched by something).  They participated in seminars dealing with discipleship, determining your calling, apologetics, evangelism, etc.  They had a day of outreach where they went into a rough neighborhood in the community and delivered boxes of love which contained food and other items for them.  They had campus times where they talked about how the Lord was moving on their campus, were able to process how the Lord was changing their lives this week, and were able to talk about how they wanted to impact their campus next semester.  Plus, there were lots of fun things going on, like a HUGE new years eve party, swag (swing and shag) dancing, and much more!

Here were some fun things that the Lord allowed to happen that week:

    • For outreach, our group broke into two smaller groups and both groups were able to see someone place their faith in the Lord!  One of our girls was actually able to even give one of those people a Bible of their own.  Now, their contact info will get passed off to a church who will follow up with them (one of these people had actually just started attending a church but hadn’t placed their faith in Christ).
    • God led one student  to do a medical mission all his life, another to step out in faith and share the Gospel with his friend, another to serve the Lord overseas this summer in Lebanon, another to start a ministry reaching out to Native Americans since he is half-Native American and sees the need for a ministry to them (this is something we have been praying for! – Lumberton, the city that contains UNC Pembroke, has one of the largest concentrated populations of Native Americans in the country and a lot of them go to school there), and many others to follow Jesus wherever he leads the rest of his life.
    • One of the students we worked with at University of the Cumberlands wrote this on her facebook page:
      I don’t know how anyone can come back from this the same person. I’m new. I’m changed. And I’m not turning back.
    • One of the leaders that April discipled for three years at University of the Cumberlands, Kitt, got to see one of the girls in her dgroup place her faith in Christ at Encounter.  Kitt has shared the Gospel many times with her, but at Encounter, the Lord broke down her walls and drew her to himself.

Thank you for praying for for us and our students.  I don’t know why I am always amazed that the Lord chooses to show up and do big things….isn’t that what he promised?  Ephesians 3:20 – “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

First pIcture is of our Eastern NC group.  Second picture is of all the students at Encounter in the main meeting.