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  • Monday, June 17, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, June 17, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Recording the Days of Our LivesToday’s devotional is going to be a bit different. You see, in coming up with what to write, I was struck by the fact that if only I remembered more of my life, there might be experiences back then to draw from. (That’s “from which to draw” for you grammarians.)Alas. I simply do not remember big chunks of what happened along the twisting trails of my life and career. Trust me, young’uns, this could happen...
  • Friday, June 14, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, June 14, 2024 (Ashley)

    Summer is here!!! It’s always such a treat, isn’t it? But honestly, some years have me holding out for the fun-sun season even more deeply than others and this is one of those years! I just NEED the simple joys of summer in my life right now and I’m thankful they’re here!Morning walks, without being bundled from my head to my toes. Slow mornings of homeschool and work with the morning breeze blowing through the windows along with the sound of...
  • Wednesday, June 12, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, June 12, 2024 (Paula)

    “I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t even know how to pray…”Ever been there?I have! Specific times come to mind…I think of when my kids were little, when the whole house was sick and sleep deprived and fussy and life didn’t slow down…Or when parents were battling their final weeks with cancer, and we were realizing the end was so near…I think of some tougher days of marriage, when the struggles seemed insurmountable and the solutions were slow to come…Or when my...
  • Tuesday, June 11, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, June 11, 2024 (Aminta)

    The next step of faith.That’s what both of my boys did on Sunday evening at our home.They took the next step in their faith journey by getting baptized!It was awesome to be part of the experience and to watch them testify to their family and friends about their love for Jesus.My mom heart was so proud.It got me thinking about the faith journey… and how we have an opportunity every day to take the next right step of faith.Every day....
  • Monday, June 10, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, June 10, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    New GrowthSure, every season has its own beauty. Ah, but then spring comes along right when you think you’re stuck in an endless winter! I say there’s no contest when it comes to which season wins for being packed with hope and joy. Buds, blooms and new growth are everywhere you look in spring. It’s a season of renewal and packed with miracles!All that new growth is necessary. Because stunted growth in the spring is a sign of one or...
  • Friday, June 7, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, June 7, 2024 (Ashley)

    This weekend, our family is kicking off Summer with our annual mini vacation up north Every year we look forward to our time spent on the lake but truth be told, one of our favorite parts is the TRIP up to the cabin!It takes us about five hours when it’s all said and done to make the three-hour haul. We take our sweet time to stop for all the treats, leg stretches, and views. The entire experience wouldn’t be as special...
  • Thursday, June 6, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, June 6, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good Morning! A couple of days ago, the girls and I decided to do a little summer shopping and had a blast. This marked the beginning of our summer adventures.On our way home, we stopped at the Starbucks drive-through for a little caffeine boost. As we waited in line, the weather took a sudden turn for the worse. My daughter doesn’t do well in storms and said, "Call Daddy quickly!"Josh reassured us that we were okay and should head home. But...
  • Wednesday, June 5, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, June 5, 2024 (Paula)

    Encouragement: the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.There are so many things that happen during the week in each of our lives at home, at work, in school, sports, church- in any places that we interact with people routinely. These things we experience may seem so discouraging, so insurmountable and unmanageable and yet, they could actually be remedied by something very simple… like a touch on a shoulder, a hug, or a word of appreciation or encouragement from...
  • Tuesday, June 4, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, June 4, 2024 (Aminta)

    I love gardening!Anyone else?For the last several years, I have enjoyed planting shrubs and flowers; working in my yard to bring it back to life. When we bought the house, almost all of the landscaping had died. I carefully chose and planted new greens and flowers all last summer.This year, the amount of rain has caused everything to grow like CRAZY. Most of my plants have more than doubled in size, taking up way more space than when I planted...
  • Monday, June 3, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, June 3, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    A couple weeks ago, I drove a friend down to the City of Mayo in Rochester, Minn. (The size of this medical complex makes it seem like a city in itself.)I had plenty of time to people-watch (one of my favorite things) while waiting for her to finish her appointments. Turns out I was in a perfect spot — the lower level atrium of the Gonda Building. So there I sat — for hours! — watching seemingly endless streams of...
  • Friday, May 31, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, May 31, 2024 (Ashley)

    Have you ever been in a place in your life where you just feel stuck? Nothing is moving forward and you sure as heck can’t go backwards. As my niece would say, you feel as though, “you’re stuck like a duck with no luck!”  I have no idea where she ever heard that saying but it will stick with me forever Open-heartedly, I’m sitting in that space right now. My husband and I have been in a place of waiting for many...
  • Thursday, May 30, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, May 30, 2024 (Rachel)

    GOOD MORNING Today, I want to share something that has deeply inspired me all week. Our girls had the incredible opportunity to meet Amberley Snyder, a professional barrel racer who is the only one in the world to race while being paralyzed. This has been their dream to meet herWatching my girls listen to Amberley’s  testimony, I was tearful the whole time. She has overcome some huge challenges—saddling and loading her horse, and driving a truck and trailer—all while being paralyzed....
  • Wednesday, May 29, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, May 29, 2024 (Paula)

    Occasionally on my hikes at the cabin, I’m lucky enough to see a newborn fawn this time of year.This little honey was hidden in broad daylight. Born without a scent. Momma deer leaves her baby to help protect it while it is too tiny and clumsy to run along side her. Trouble’s nose can’t find it.It stays hidden and waiting.We may not have white spots that help us stay camouflaged from trouble, but as Christians we do have “the Secret...
  • Tuesday, May 28, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, May 28, 2024 (Aminta)

    Life is fragile.I was reminded of this truth last Tuesday morning. My world came to a screeching halt when my oldest son called from work to share about a tragedy that had just happened.My son was ok physically, but the rest of the week was spent at the hospital, praying and praying for a miracle for one of his friends. On Saturday, that friend went to be with Jesus. Our hearts are so broken for the family and my son...
  • Monday, May 27, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, May 27, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Freedom isn’t free; it has come at a very high price.More than 1.1 million American soldiers have given their lives in fighting our country’s wars!So today, Memorial Day, 2024, we remember them and how much we owe them. Or at least we should. Now many can debate — and often do — the wisdom of some of those wars, but we can never ever debate the bravery and sacrifice of so many. For us.As Americans, we historically credit God for...
  • Friday, May 24, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, May 24, 2024 (Ashley)

    Today is the kick-off of the beginning of a long holiday weekend – Happy Memorial Day!!!Many of you are packing up or have already arrived to spend some time away from home. Maybe you’re vacationing at a family cabin, or you’ve rented a campsite for the weekend. Either way, most of you probably have some sort of traditional plans… honoring loved ones, taking that annual flower shopping trip, or just simply barbecuing with friends and family. I am truly wishing...
  • Thursday, May 23, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, May 23, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good Morning!!Josh and I have been reading a book together called "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work”, by John Gottman. If you're married, I highly recommend this book; it's really good!Principle 2 is to nurture your fondness and admiration. It includes an exercise where you practice cherishing your spouse by writing ten qualities you love about them and when they demonstrated those qualities.As I started making this list, something dawned on me: I need to do this exercise with...
  • Wednesday, May 22, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, May 22, 2024 (Paula)

    Yesterday, I got to spend some quality time with my two nieces.Despite the weather forecast of immenient rain, we decided to keep our plan to go for a run in the park!We’ve all heard the somewhat cheesy saying “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain,” right?I’ve said it… perhaps you have too. But yesterday, we didn’t just SAY it, we actually DID it.Our arms outstretched, our faces turned to the sky,...
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, May 21, 2024 (Aminta)

    Last week, my breakfast club had its final meeting of the year. We fed over 170 students and even got to do a send-off tribute for over 50 seniors who were graduating. Praise God for all he is doing in the next generation!As I thought about the last message I wanted to share to the students being sent into the world, I decided to share with them the advice my dad gave me in high school. It has served me...
  • Monday, May 20, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, May 20, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    And so it begins. My annual trips to area garden centers in search of victims.Every year it’s the same: No vision. No master plan for color coordination. No thought to what might work well with existing perennials and shrubs.So I roam the aisles with a cart full of good intentions. (Is it my imagination or do plants see me coming and try to wilt so I won’t pick them up? Cowards!) Regardless, I am easily distracted. Lime greens! Purples! Reds!...
  • Thursday, May 16, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, May 16, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good morning!I hope this post fills you with a sense of possibility and hope. I want to share a story about our daughter, Cora, who recently had a breakthrough with her new horse.Cora has been riding for four years, starting with a little pony. For the longest time, she was afraid to try jump. We always encouraged her, saying she could just walk over the jump until she felt ready.Fast forward to this year, Cora is riding a 15-hand horse...
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, May 15, 2024 (Paula)

    Recently, my hubby and I attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) night of Champions at our son’s college.This is an outreach ministry that includes equipping student athletes to become disciples of Jesus and lead others this way as well.One of the highlights of the night was when they passed out bracelets at the banquet tables and had the student athletes at each table explain how this tool is used to simply share their faith on and off campus. Wear...
  • Tuesday, May 14, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, May 14, 2024 (Aminta)

    Did you see the beautiful northern lights last weekend?I did! I was so excited because I had never seen them before.It was breathtaking!I couldn’t help but think of this passage:Psalm 19:1-4 declares:“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the...
  • Friday, May 17, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, May 17, 2024 (Ashley)

    Last Monday we wrapped up our Spring Bible Study, “Good Boundaries and Goodbyes” by Lysa Terkeurst. I deeply enjoyed this study and can’t wait to start our Summer one – stay tuned for that announcement very soon! Throughout Lysa’s study, she mentioned a particular concept that really struck me. Lysa says that we endure many deaths in life that never receive a proper funeral. Deaths like divorce, loved ones moving away, or relationships that shift and change making them no longer...
  • Monday, May 13, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, May 13, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Lately I’ve been wrestling with questions about what I believe is a gift from God. I’m asking how did this come about? And why? Little words – how and why – but they open up big questions about God and how he works. Still really, how much can we know of the how and why of Almighty God?How ….How does God work in our lives? In mysterious ways, we’re told, his wonders to perform. God wants the best for us...
  • Friday, May 10, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, May 10, 2024 (Ashley)

    This picture makes my heart sing! I snapped it yesterday afternoon and it sums up summer life at our house perfectly Many of you are aware that my husband and I have struggled with infertility. In fact, we struggled for four years before our daughter was born and have continued to ever since. My husband's brother, on the other hand, has five kids who happen to live right next door. I’m not going to lie, my heart was pretty heavy as...
  • Thursday, May 9, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, May 9, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good morning, Ladies!This week, the word that’s been on my mind is “trust.” I’ve been tested, particularly in a family situation where fear, worry, and negativity took over.Despite my struggles, my patient husband stood by me, encouraging me to lean on him and trust him to carry the burden.He asked me a question that really hit me-Why do I trust him in so many areas of life but fail when things get really tough? It’s a bit embarrassing to share...
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, May 8, 2024 (Paula)

    Well, this is it! We’ve finally made it to the week of our half marathon. I have a couple more short runs to fit in this week and then Saturday is the big day!I’ll be joining my husband, my son, and his girlfriend on this multi-mile adventure. What the smoke ever possessed me to sign up for this?? I seem to have forgotten!In all seriousness though, I have been reflecting on the hours and miles of training over the past months. It...
  • Tuesday, May 7, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, May 7, 2024 (Aminta)

    Every morning my husband and I do Bible reading together and then we pray. We read a Psalm, a Proverb and a chapter in the New Testament. For the last couple weeks, we have been reading in the book of Revelation.One thing that has really struck me about the book, which is a portrait of the final battle between good and evil and of God’s ultimate victory over the evil one, is that in every account of him being seated...
  • Monday, May 6, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, May 6, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    What obstacles have we built that keep us from doing things God wants us to do?I’m not necessarily talking about forsaking everything loved and familiar, packing up and shipping off to deepest, darkest ___________ (fill in the blank with your scariest missionary destination). No, I’m talking about what God might have on the docket for us right here, right now. Today, even.Some possibilities?•       Oh, how about setting aside a quiet time and diving deep into God’s Word?•   ...
  • Friday, May 3, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, May 3, 2024 (Ashley)

    Something happened this week that exposed a bad habit of mine. Don’t you love it when that happens? You are just walking along, minding your perfectly perfect business when the Holy Spirit swoops in and knocks you right on your sinful butt!What I was recently convicted of is the habit of overlooking people. Now, in my defense, I’m a very polite person. My husband even makes fun of me for being overly cheery when engaging with cashiers, clerks, or other...
  • Thursday, May 2, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, May 2, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good morning!A couple of days ago, our girls switched up their horses. Both of the girls' horses have completely different styles and purposes. So, we wanted to encourage our 12-year-old to learn on a new style of horse.Initially, things went well. She had her controlled and was just working on slow work. However, after about 10 minutes, the horse wanted to go faster, and my daughter started feeling a bit anxious. She didn’t want to go beyond a trot because...
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, May 1, 2024 (Paula)

    Time.Having a couple kids in the peak of their track seasons right now reminds me how much every second matters!We have one running in college and one running through the spring season of her senior year of high school. (A Tom Cat and a Lion)There seems to be a daily chatter around our house and on our family group text about how much “time” matters…“Our relay team beat the school record by 1.2 seconds!”“I missed my PR by less than...
  • Tuesday, April 30, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, April 30, 2024 (Aminta)

    For over a week, I have been in a battle with some robins. It’s a territory war. They want to build a nest above my garage and I say no. But those crazy robins won’t listen.At least 8 times a day, they build a nest and I take it down.Over and over.And over.Those birds can build a full nest in 10 minutes flat. I’ve tried to talk nicely to them but I’m getting fed up! My hubby said we should concede...
  • Monday, April 29, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, April 29, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Made to FlyWe break a coffee cup, we throw it away because now it’s worthless. But what happens with broken people? Do we – does God – give up on any good coming out of a broken person?Well, of course not. For one thing, brokenness has been a universal human condition ever since Adam and Eve tasted the forbidden Honeycrisp. What are some of the lines from that Danny Gokey song? “We’re all broken people …. We’ve got stuff we...
  • Friday, April 26, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, April 26, 2024 (Ashley)

    Our Wednesday night children's ministry at church, BLAST (Building Lives Around Sound Truth) is wrapping up for the school year. This past week, I got a sneak peek of the kids practicing for the closing ceremony performance. My heart swells even now, thinking about it... Remind me to pack A LOT of Kleenex because this mama is going to need them “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”– Matthew 18:20As I walked in...
  • Thursday, April 25, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, April 25, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good morning!I wanted to share a precious picture I took last Sunday—it's of my 8 year old daughter with her "church buddy," (Cora came up with that title) Beck Beck, whom many of you know. I’m sharing this because it affirmed to me the incredible way God works in our lives!  These two share such a special bond. Cora always runs to hug Beck Beck at church, they always sit side by side, and they exchange phone calls and homemade gifts...
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, April 24, 2024 (Paula)

    We are going to talk about the shield of faith today.In the New Testament, Paul uses the imagery of something that would have been familiar to the people in Ephesus. The armor of a Roman soldier!The city of Ephesus was part of the Roman Empire. When encouraging the believers in this area, Paul illustrated the importance of putting on “divine armor” to take a stand in this world.I’m here this morning to reacquaint you with one particular item mentioned in...
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, April 23, 2024 (Aminta)

    I am officially exhausted.It feels like I have been running a marathon, when in reality it’s just been life:Working on the remodel.Taking care of the kids.Doing ministry.Cooking, cleaning and laundry.Making meals.Paying bills.It has been so much. Last Sunday, I hit the wall. Have you ever done that? I don’t mean literally! I’m talking about when you get so tired that the thought of trying to get another thing done makes you want to cry.That was me. Crying. A lot.So when...
  • Monday, April 22, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, April 22, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    How do we live?“Oh, she’s so heavenly minded that she’s no earthly good!”Variations of that old criticism have been rattling around in my old brain lately. I mean, what’s so wrong with being heavenly minded? Is there a right way to be heavenly minded and still do some earthly good?Let’s start with our pop quiz question for today:Who, in all of human history, was the most heavenly minded person who did the most earthly good?Times up! Put your pencils down.The...
  • Friday, April 19, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, April 19, 2024 (Ashley)

    A friend and I were recently chatting about decisions. They can feel so daunting, can’t they? “Should I do this or that? What if I do that and this happens? What if I don’t do this, and that happens?” Round and round our minds go, only spiraling us further and further from landing on a confident answer. As I prayerfully considered this topic on my evening walk, I came to a fork in the road with nothing but this road sign...
  • Thursday, April 18, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, April 18, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good Morning, Everyone!!On my way home last night, I heard Katy Nichole's song "Hold On" in a completely new light.This Christian artist was navigating a very challenging season and felt the Lord whisper, "Hold on."Those lyrics really hit me last night for some reason.So, if you're facing a tough season, I'm here this morning to echo those words to you: Hold on!“Smoke cloudsAll aroundCouldn't see Your faceDarkness consumed meStuck in the bitternessBut I know there's a lightThat's waiting up aheadSo...
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, April 17, 2024 (Paula)

    My husband and I completed our annual tree planting this past weekend.We were able to get another 200 trees in the ground…and we weren’t too sad about the long gentle rain that fell yesterday and last night!We have grown to love this project each spring. I’m always astonished by the baby bare root trees- they have a remarkable root system- and we are so careful about getting them into the ground and protecting those precious roots.We all know that there are...
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, April 16, 2024 (Aminta)

    Sometimes, living out what the Bible tells us to do isn’t easy.My son, Zeke, is learning this lesson at school! The picture today is of him, my favorite 9-year-old. There are a couple kids in his class that have been making recess not very fun for him. They make fun of him, leave him out, and try to make him feel bad.It’s a bummer.When I pick him up after school, he shares what happened and we often hug it out and...
  • Monday, April 15, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, April 15, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    From weeping to rejoicingHad a good cry lately?Hurts, frustration, grief, illness, pain, and all the way down the list to burnt cookies, piles of laundry, crying kids and bad hair days can trigger floods. Are you with me here? Face it, Sisters, we can be emotional messes. But when it comes to crying, we are certainly not alone.Consider that when Jesus’ dear friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept. (John 11:35) Consider all the pain and sorrow Jesus felt on the cross...
  • Friday, April 12, 2024 (Ashley)

    Friday, April 12, 2024 (Ashley)

    For those of you involved in our Monday night Bible Study, I hope you have been enjoying this week's homework as much as I have! We are currently going through “Good Boundaries and Goodbyes” by Lisa Terkeurst and per Lisa’s teaching, I have been digging into Genesis about the fall of man. Revisiting this account in history, Lisa ties together that Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, really was the first broken...
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024 (Rachel)

    Thursday, April 11, 2024 (Rachel)

    Good morning, Ladies!My daughter and I have been reading a book called "Sleep Psalms" at night. I highly recommend it; it’s so comforting!A couple of nights ago, we read something that really stuck with both of us:“As you wind down the day, imagine God between you and your opposition, your struggle, or your difficult circumstances. See him as your shield!" I have reread this a thousand times!Isn’t that so comforting?!! We literally drew a picture of our struggle, with God in the...
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2024 (Paula)

    Wednesday, April 10, 2024 (Paula)

    Headlines. We see them everywhere! Headlines are important. The GOSPEL is the bible’s attention getting headliner. It means “Good News.“But as we know from headline news, context is everything! If we ignore the context and the backstory, we will certainly not be riveted by the headline!What makes the gospel the “Good News” is actually knowing the bad news. All of us- every single one- have sinned and fallen short! We don’t deserve (or earn our way to) heaven. WE are the...
  • Tuesday, April 9, 2024 (Aminta)

    Tuesday, April 9, 2024 (Aminta)

    For the last couple of weeks, I have found myself whispering this psalm during the day.I recite it when I feel overwhelmed by all of the changes and big things happening in my family.It always helps me to feel better, and for that I am grateful.Psalm 61:1-4:“O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed.Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for...
  • Monday, April 8, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    Monday, April 8, 2024 (Mary Ann)

    https://www.facebook.com/reel/2042014969515685?fs=e&s=TIeQ9V&mibextid=0NULKw Come what may …. Good morning, Tribe! This is a bit of a departure, but a friend of mine recently shared this amazing TikTok video on Facebook, and I just had to pass it on to you. Dementia is a cruel reality for many people and their loved ones. For many of us, watching this woman in late-stage dementia is painful. Described as “the long good-bye,” dementia empties a person of memories and cognition bit by bit until families...