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  • Monday, March 4, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, March 4, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Mending FencesBy any demographic measure, I fall into the “Elderly” category. (And in falling, possibly breaking a hip.) To lighten up, I use these two borrowed lines a lot: “People often mistake me for an adult because of my age.” and, “I thought it would take a lot longer to get this old.”Both true, but I digress.Bottom line: I have lived long. And trust me, you young whippersnappers, when you get this old you do tend to reminisce on all...
  • Friday, March 1, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, March 1, 2024 (Ashley)

    Good Morning and Happy MarchThis week, we celebrated our daughter's seventh Birthday, and what a joy it was  I’ll be honest with you when I say that I sometimes feel like I’m living in the past when I retell our infertility journey. But the truth is, it is much more than just our story. It’s a true testimony of God’s faithfulness. And sharing God’s faithfulness never gets old!Our story in its entirety is far too long for a devotional post and...
  • Thursday, February 29, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, February 29, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good Morning, Ladies! ️Today's post is a shorter one, but I hope it leaves a lasting impression on your day!Are you familiar with Ben Fuller's song "Who I Am"? It has become my anthem, especially the chorus: "It's who I am (I'm a child of the most-high God, and the most-high God is for me)."Even as I type this, I get tearful; it's such a powerful declaration! What brings me real peace, especially during some recent tough weeks, is knowing "the most...
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, February 28, 2024 (Paula)

    This verse from Colossians holds ME together when I am reminded that in Him all things hold together!I presently have a senior in college, a sophomore in college, and a senior in high school. These are big impact years, a lot is at stake, and this season is filled with a lot of unknowns for these young adult children of ours!I’m tempted to drift into the worry ditch if I’m not intentional about rehearsing Truth to myself.The surrender of control...
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, February 27, 2024 (Aminta)

    Well… for the last week the stomach flu has taken a toll on my family.I haven’t slept through the night in many, many nights and I’ve had the “opportunity” to clean up a lots of messes. In fact, just this morning I was cleaning up when I wanted to be posting this blog.Not so fun.But I have clung to this verse and I recite it whenever I feel discouraged:Psalm 33:20-22 NLT“We put our hope in the LORD.He is our help...
  • Monday, February 26, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, February 26, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    The What-If GameA few weeks ago in our RCC Bible study we talked about how self-defeating two little words – what if – can be. Especially when we use them to agonize over our past mistakes/sins and obsess over what could have been.For instance, I might dwell on, “What if … I had taken better care of my health when I was young? I wouldn’t be having all these problems now.”Or, “What if … I had ended that destructive relationship...
  • Friday, February 23, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, February 23, 2024 (Ashley)

    There is a little lake by our house that we enjoy fishing on. We’ve been wanting to get out there this winter but it hasn’t happened yet. When we drive by lately, we constantly see people walking out on the ice fishing. So one afternoon this week, we decided to grab some bait and go see what all the fuss was about… safely from shore I might add “It’s not worth falling through the ice for a couple of crappies”, my...
  • Thursday, February 22, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, February 22, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good Morning, LadiesI just wanted to start off by saying, thank you for being here! You matter to us.Peace has been my word. It’s been my constant prayer and need in this season.In the midst of many uncertainties, I’ve found myself playing the “what if” game. We all know how this game ends….with fear, confusion and anxiety taking up residence!Well that’s where I was last night.Please know I share this, because I know I’m not alone. The enemy prowls around...
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, February 21, 2024 (Paula)

    There’s just something remarkably inspiring about standing on the shore of the ocean observing the rhythmic and powerful waves crashing in, with a sunrise peaking over the horizon or the sun bowing the the end of the day like a curtain call.I can’t help but be drawn in to the majesty of our Good God! I respect and love our Creator for his sense of instilling wonder and awe into His universe.Standing on the shore of the ocean makes me...
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, February 20, 2024 (Aminta)

    Don’t give up.Thats what the verse I was reading yesterday morning said.Don’t give up.I paused mid-verse as my eyes welled up with tears and spilled down my cheeks.Why?In all honesty, this week I have felt like giving up… on prayer. Maybe the last couple of weeks actually.I feel discouraged. And a little (A LOT) weary of praying the same prayers and not yet receiving answers.It feels like it doesn’t matter that I pray.My circumstances are not changing.Have you been there?I’m...
  • Monday, February 19, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, February 19, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Ready … Set ….Monday night. Winter. Dark and cold. You drive up to Rachel’s Closet for Bible study.All the lights are on. The door is open. There’s welcoming warmth inside. But so much more.That last-century Gaither song nails it: “There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place. And I know that it’s the Spirit of the Lord. There are sweet expressions on each face, and I know they feel the presence of the Lord.”Yup, I’m waxing a mite poetic today,...
  • Friday, February 16, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, February 16, 2024 (Ashley)

    Hang on Tight!After finally getting some snow this winter, yesterday we decided to get outside and enjoy it! My husband tied a sled with a rope to our side-by-side and we pulled the kids around all afternoon. From whipping them around the yard to long rides down the nearby dirt roads, giggles were loud, cheeks were rosy and hearts were full!Every once in a while, I would look back and notice one of the kids getting a little too comfortable,...
  • Wednesday, February 14, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, February 14, 2024 (Paula)

    Happy Valentines Day, friends!Taking a little time this morning to remind you of some unchanging truth!God message is always consistent! He says, “BE MINE”. God says;Be my daughter.Be my object of affection.Be my child.Be my blessing.Be my beneficiary of faithfulness.Be my love shown to others.Be my recipient of salvation.Be my receiver of unconditional love.And the Lord’s “BE MINE” list goes on!!!He invites us to “Be His” above all other relationships in our life.Amidst our culture of heart shaped chocolates, long stemmed...
  • Tuesday, February 13, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, February 13, 2024 (Aminta)

    Todays post is short and sweet.It’s almost Valentine’s Day so I wanted to remind you that no matter what your life is currently like, you have a valentine.It’s your Heavenly Father.God loves you so much. God sees you.Yes, YOU.He made you.He has a plan for you.He’s got good things in store for you.He thinks you are precious and special.So many days, the world comes at us with messages about how to make ourselves better… to be prettier, to be thinner, to...
  • Monday, February 12, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, February 12, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Fill ‘er Up!The photo is not of an unfortunate incident at Carol’s (my fave), or at any other restaurant, for that matter. It’s to represent King David praising God in Psalm 23, saying, “My cup overflows with blessings.” Or, for some of us, the more familiar, “My cup runneth over.”Certainly, David was greatly blessed by the God he served. As a shepherd boy, he demonstrated his heroics early-on when he … um … killeth that big, bad giant Goliath. Later,...
  • Friday, February 9, 2024 (Ashley)

    Sacrifices. We all make them. Every single day, we make them!Working moms sacrifice their time.Stay-at-home moms sacrifice their income.If you’re older, you may be sacrificing money for flexibility.And if you’re younger, you may be sacrificing time for opportunity.Stage of life and circumstances may change, but we’ll always be sacrificing something. This can sound discouraging but I think that there is a lot of power in this knowledge!It takes the pressure off of us!We need to STOP thinking we can have...
  • Thursday, February 8, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good MorningA couple of nights ago, I was dealing with some high anxiety. I reached out to a friend and asked for prayers. She responded by sharing Philippians 4:6-8.I’m sure many of you have read and studied this verse, but I wanted to share it in The Message Version.Often times I’ll look at different versions of a verse when I'm struggling. A specific word or sentence can really help me stay focused and often times speak strongly to my weary...
  • Wednesday, February 7, 2024 (Paula)

    The other day when my husband and I were out for our early morning run, I decided NOT to take my headlamp along.I know my route so well I told my hubby “I could do it in the dark.“ I do enjoy the dark and peaceful moments right before the sun rises and emerges on the horizon. Such a serene calm and quiet time. But it is really dark.Did I mention that my husband is a much faster runner than I...
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2024 (Aminta)

    I live on the Mississippi River and I know one thing for sure: it’s always windy along the river.Always.It was one of the things we noticed after living here a short time. In fact, there’s so much wind that it’s usually 10 degrees cooler in the backyard than in our front yard. That’s great on 90 degree days but a bummer on 70 degree days!Sometimes, you can hardly talk or sit back there because of the strong winds. Then, if...
  • Monday, February 5, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, February 5, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    What are you afraid of?There are so many fear options to choose from these days, it’s hard to pick a “favorite.” And every day, more and bigger reasons to worry seem to rain down on us.Fact is, we will not run out of fears or anxieties this side of heaven. Jesus told his disciples (and us), “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” Then his promise: “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33So...
  • Friday, February 2, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, February 2, 2024 (Ashley)

    A couple weeks ago I realized I had an addiction… a bread making addiction  I started making a loaf a day to perfect the art of my sourdough skills. But I soon realized I couldn’t stop! I would find myself preparing bread in the morning while still staring at a loaf from the day before. At first, I have to be honest, I coveted the bread. I had spent so much time on each loaf, I didn’t want to cut into...
  • Thursday, February 1, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, February 1, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good Morning, Ladies!!We started a new Bible study, called “The Hard Good”, showing up when you want to shut down.This title hits close to home for everyone!And if some of you are thinking, ‘I’m there.’Well, listen in closely, because I wasn’t sure what to post today, and this one is for you!”On Monday, we read a powerful verse that spoke volumes to me!!Romans 8:28 in the Amplified Version. The word that echoed in my heart was 'ALL.'Let me share it...
  • Wednesday, January 31, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, January 31, 2024 (Paula)

    Yesterday, a few of us from the RCCares ministry had the opportunity to visit women at MN Adult + Teen Challenge in Minneapolis. There were about 70 women in the long-term program- all at various stages in their 12 month recovery process.These troopers were intentionally putting on new lives:surrendering their former lives…fighting for freedom from addiction…believing God is still writing their story….hoping for a healthier, healed life…working intentionally on their physical and emotional health…and studying about a Savior who knows...
  • Tuesday, January 30, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, January 30, 2024 (Aminta)

    My husband and I have been reading the Bible together at night, in lieu of watching TV. It’s part of what we are doing for our church fast in January.We’ve been reading in the Old Testament and my husband pointed out something that struck him.When the Lord called Abraham’s name in Genesis 22 to ask him to travel to a mountain and sacrifice his only son, his beloved Isaac, his response was “Here I am.”It was much more than a...
  • Monday, January 29, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, January 29, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    It's Monday!  It's Mary Ann!I was doing a lot of reading this week, actually looking for something to write here. And I came upon a phrase that I guess I’ve seen a lot but never thought about.BUT GOD ….Time after time, throughout the Bible, those two little words about our big God change everything.Consider Noah. After he floated in an ark for five long months we read, “BUT GOD remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him...
  • Friday, January 26, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, January 26, 2024 (Ashley)

    For the last nine months, my husband and I have been supporting a family we love, walk through some very difficult things. There is absolutely no way that nine months ago we could have predicted the way things would be today. Which means, today there is absolutely no way we can predict the way things will be nine months from now!The truth is, I don’t understand what is happening with this family. It doesn’t make sense to me! Some things...
  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, January 25, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good morning, Ladies This photo might not be the best, but it carries a special story I want to share! I hope it serves as a reminder to you and gives you some encouragementSo, last week on our market trip, one of our girls was feeling a bit uneasy about us leaving, especially at bedtime.So Josh, took his late mom’s wedding ring and turned it into a necklace for herHe said, “Wear this at bedtime and know I’m with you.” I...
  • Wednesday, January 24, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, January 24, 2024 (Paula)

    Yesterday was a full and busy day and by the time my head hit the pillow I was o-u-t!  I had a list a mile long and wanted to do absolutely everything on it… but that didn’t happen. And once again, my alarm went off at 5am this morning. I rolled out of bed and onto my knees, asking God to direct my steps… including those I would soon take to my Keurig! As I brushed my teeth, I contemplated the notion...
  • Tuesday, January 23, 2024 (Aminta)

    I was talking with a mentor last week about some decisions that my family needs to make and I was also asking for her advice. My husband and I had been praying and discussing options for weeks, but the solution just didn’t seem clear to us. When that happens, we like to seek wise counsel.Have you ever been there? Where the problems feel complicated and no solution seems great?My mentor displayed some amazing wisdom in her response to my questions....
  • Monday, January 22, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, January 22, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Good morning friends! Here's more inspiration from Mary Ann...Roadblocks. Pains. Griefs. Challenges. Heartaches. Difficulties. Brick walls. Disputes. Troubles. Dilemmas. Illnesses. Complications. Pickles. Quandaries. Doubts. Botherations.Any of you have any of these going on? Well bless you, Sisters, I see those hands!“Such is life,” some people sigh and maybe this is why through the ages humans have come up with a whole thesaurus-full list of words for those problems that can beat us down. These are the “things of earth” that...
  • Friday, January 19, 2024 (Ashley)

    I’ve recently jumped on the sourdough “breadwagon”… anyone else?I love so many things about COOKING The preparation, the creative outlet it provides, the strategy in what needs to be used up and when, you name it, I most likely enjoy it.But BAKING?! Baking is another monster in my opinion. There are so many rules and calculations, little room for error, and let’s not forget about all the dishes! With all of the time consuming steps of BAKING sourdough bread, you can imagine...
  • Thursday, January 18, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good Morning, LadiesLife has its challenges, right? Whenever things get a bit much, I find so much comfort in the song "Strong" by Anne Wilson.It reminds me that I'm not alone, and I don't have to figure it all out on my own.“Cause hard, nobody told me life could be so hardA weary soul with a worn-out heart that's barely beatingBut every time I get that feelingI hit my knees with my hands held highSaying dear Lord Jesus you know...
  • Wednesday, January 17, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, January 17, 2024 (Paula)

    One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of David and Goliath… we all know the little shepherd boy and the giant, right? This is a picture I took in Israel a year ago in the Valley of Elah where this famous battle actually took place.I’m a sucker for stories where the underdog wins… (Rocky, Rudy, Cinderella, Shawshank Redemption, Karate Kid, Sea Biscuit, etc) I mean… I love those movies!!But the under-dog theme is not what I love...
  • Tuesday, January 16, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, January 16, 2024 (Aminta)

    My 9-year-old, Zeke,  plays in a basketball league for our city in the winter. My husband coaches his team and every Saturday night for the next few months, our family will be in the gym.I have tried my hardest to sit there quietly and cheer politely… but I gotta admit, I’m a bit of a loud fan. I find myself cheering and jumping up and down very enthusiastically.I have tried to remind myself, “It’s only third grade Minta, you can...
  • Monday, January 15, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, January 15, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Psst.Yeah, you! Over here ….Looking for an inflation-proof, guaranteed investment that even the IRS can never ever touch?God has an unbeatable deal for believers: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:20-21 NLTWell heaven should be secure enough, but what treasures are we talking about?First of all, we’re not dealing with...
  • Friday, January 12, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, January 12, 2024 (Ashley)

    I like New Year’s resolutions, do you? I know the data isn’t great about their outcomes but I think it’s a fun excuse to implement some new habits and goals!One of the habits I have put into place since the new year is “sky before screens”. The act really is as simple as it sounds, before I look at a screen, I look at the sky. There is research and more details about this but my brain doesn’t store information...
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, January 10, 2024 (Paula)

    Happy Wednesday, friends!This past weekend my husband and I were out on the trails on our acreage near our cabin. There was an “all call” to action by my husband, “Mr Weekend Warrior”. “Grab the chain saw, hook up the wood splitter, we’ve got work to do.”You see, late this fall, there was a HUGE oak tree that came down and crash-landed itself right across one of our main trails.(I wish I would’ve taken a picture  b e f o r...
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, January 9, 2024 (Aminta)

    The pursuit of….How would you finish that sentence?In other words, what are you pursuing in 2024?Do you have a fitness or health goal?A relationship goal?A work goal? A vacation goal?A financial goal?Last Sunday, our Pastor read us a passage from 2 Timothy 2:19-22 and it got me thinking about what I am pursuing:2 Timothy 2:19-22“But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: "The LORD knows those who are his," and "All who belong to the LORD...
  • Monday, January 8, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, January 8, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Good morning, tribe. Our lesson today is from Paul. No, not the Apostle Paul, my brother Paul.You see, I wrote most of this last week on a plane on the way to Texas for his funeral. So, before the lesson, we need to know two things about Paul: He was 85. He was quiet.Really quiet. Didn’t say much. Stoic. Very Norwegian. So while words weren’t his strong suit, his actions were. He helped people. He volunteered. He didn’t make a...
  • Friday, January 5, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, January 5, 2024 (Ashley)

    Good morning, ladies and happy Friday!I don’t know about you but it feels like life is settling back into a routine and I, for one, am loving it. As I’ve been getting back on track with the day to day, I have also been evaluating all sorts of areas in my life. Things like diet, exercise, hobbies, decluttering, relationships… you name it. Today's big task is to recalculate the family budget… and I’m actually excited about it  Any other nerds in...
  • Thursday, January 4, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, January 4, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good Morning!Today’s post is simple, but I hope you find encouraging:)I'm throwing down a challenge for you: Learn something new.Last week was a bit of a rollercoaster for me.Our family wasn’t feeling the best, and we had some tough decisions to make.Truthfully, finding joy was hard.And what seemed even more painful, was my kids sensed it.Now insert Josh.My patience and gracious husband!He had a challenge for me-learn something new with the girls today.This was the last thing I wanted to...
  • Wednesday, January 3, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, January 3, 2024 (Paula)

    “Living sacrifice.”What in the world is this kind of language?I love the writings of the apostle Paul because he formulates deep theological concepts into the practical!It’s the New Year, afterall, and we are hearing so much about setting new intentions, better habits, and healthy resolutions, right?How about trying Paul’s life coaching suggestion as stated in Romans 12:1?“Therefore, I urge you, in view of God‘s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is...
  • Tuesday, January 2, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, January 2, 2024 (Aminta)

    Taking a step of faith.That’s what one of my breakfast club students is doing this week. He graduated last spring and today he leaves for a trip with Youth With A Mission, or YWAM. Braeden will receive training in Hawaii and then head to Asia for missions work.It’s a huge adventure, exciting and scary. He will be on his own for the first time.We had the honor of going to his house this weekend to pray for him before he...
  • Monday, January 1, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, January 1, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Admit it, you’ve made yet another list of new year’s resolutions, haven’t you? Lose weight. Get fit. Organize the office. Shop at Rachel’s. Oh wait … those are mine. How’d they get in here? I digress. In a way, our cycle of resolution-making on January 1 and resolution-breaking sometime before Groundhog Day is curious, isn’t it? Yet we do it over and over every year, maybe because we yearn for do-overs, second chances, reset buttons. We know things – or...