My classroom called life…Kingdom lessons

My desire is to abide

Kingdom Christmas… December 3, 2008

Filed under: Family Spotlight,Power of Prayer,testimony — charredsmore @ 5:05 am

I am thankful my mom is taking a different approach to Christmas this year. She wants to focus more on the family and less on the preparations, food, presents, commercialism…this is breakthrough! I praise God for what He is doing in my family. I am thankful for each one of them and the journey they are on with the Lord. For some it is very personal and private, for others, shared openly. Either way, I trust the Holy Spirit is working on behalf of my prayers of intercession (for the past ten years) even when I don’t see it or get to be a part of it directly. I trust in Him.

Back to Christmas. I am not sure where we are celebrating this year with my mom’s side, but it doesn’t really matter, as long as we are together. Usually we draw names and purchase a gift for about twenty five bucks, this year my mom wanted to do something else. She wanted us to purchase gifts for each other – IF we wanted to, IF we saw something a person would like. I bless this idea! Truly one of my love languages is gift giving, so this expands my territory in lovin’ on my family. Not that I couldn’t do this before, but I decided to get each of them a gift. Something more personal, something from the heart, something homemade, something from me. I am excited to see where this Christmas will lead our family in future years. I have been praying for new traditions in our family – traditions that don’t center around greed, consumerism, gluttony, Santa…you know, focus back on the Savior, the whole reason we are celebrating in the first place.


5 States in 5 Days November 23, 2007

Filed under: Family Spotlight,Travel — charredsmore @ 8:50 pm




As for this Thanksgiving, I will be traveling through five states in five days.  I wanted to share with you what my Thanksgiving has looked like so far.

  •  Left Cairo at 4:30 am!  I love the morning hours, when hardly anyone else is awake. 🙂  Drove with Heather, Stacy and Melissa to Saint Paul to meet my sister in order to travel further north to our parents new log house in Grantsburg, WI.  Before we headed off to our parents, we made a few stops.  I had to pick up a guitar tuner at Schmidt Music, then we stopped off in WBL (my home town) to meet up with an old high school friend.
  • Finally made it to my parent’s house, after driving over 15 hours!
  • Hit the pillow for a great sleep in the north woods cuddled in my warm PJ’s.  Strangely I awoke at 6:18 – which has been the norm for the past few weeks (waking up before 6:30 without an alarm).  I feel a bit like Evan Almighty – is God trying to give me a message through numbers?!?  I think it is because I am living in Matthew 6 – each verse has significance.
  • After running some quick errands I was surprised to see my oldest nephew come to the door.  They are early!  Kelly, Jon and the boys came earlier because they had to also go to his side of the family to celebrate.  She brought some delicious breakfast foods with her.  Egg bake is a familiar dish that we also serve to our visitors when they come to Cairo, but she also brought a french toast dish that I must try out with my Cairo family.
  • My dad ran to the store to pick up some last minute items, including a couple ingredients for my sweet potato pie.  Yay, the store is open today!  I can make my pie for the family.  Thanks to Clarence for giving us that ginormo box of sweet potatoes.  This northern girl is not used to such foods.  Most of my family had NEVER tried sweet potato pie, and thought they would dislike the flavor, but were pleasantly surprised to have yummy sweetness melt in their mouths.  Yes, if you can’t tell, I am a bit proud of my creation. 
  • I trained my two older nephews – Talon and Andrew to be my little photographers for the day’s festivities.  They took all sorts of great shots.  I will post some when I get back to Cairo.
  • I was greatly appreciative that my cousin Cole came this Thanksgiving since I have not seen him in over a year.  He just recently became a father – his daughter’s name is Zoe Alexis.  We connected over guitar – he has some amazing guitar playing skills.  He also helped me bake the sweet potato pie.  Who knew he wanted to go into Culinary Arts? 
  • Great convos with my mom, grandma, and neighbor Carol as I was really honest about my relationship with God and about living on faith.  I wanted to tell my parents in person, rather than over the phone.  Of course, they aren’t pumped about it, but I think they are starting to understand.
  • Currently I am at my sister’s place in Saint Paul, waiting for her to get up so we can get some Christmas presents.  I know, I hate black Friday too, but I might as well get some of my presents today.
  • Later today I will be heading out to spend the night at Heather’s family’s house.  Corrine and Greg are amazing hosts and love to bless people with food and kindness.  This will be a treat!
  • On Saturday morning we are heading out for Sioux Falls, SD for Joel and Kristin’s wedding.  We lived across the hall from Joel during our GreaterWorks Internship.  It was such a blessing to watch their relationship unfold and now they are getting married!
  • Still don’t know where we are spending Sat. night – but I know God will provide a place for these travelers.
  • Heading out to Kansas City, MO to divide up our trip on Sunday.  Staying with my old college friend Amy, then heading back to Cairo on Monday.
  • That’s  my trip – 5 states in 5 days.  Good times!

PS  I am looking forward to reuniting with my good friend Amanda Dums on Tuesday, as she is returning from her year long trek around the World (as a missionary with AIM – World Race)!  She is coming to visit us in Cairo.  You can read about her travels by clicking on the link to the right – Amanda’s blog.