Friday, November 27, 2009


This year I am thankful for so many things-
a family who loves me,
a tender sweet husband,
beautiful & growing daughters,
good friends,
good food,
a home,
warm beds,
a kitty to cuddle,
a car that drives,
books to read,
a library in town,
tv shows I enjoy,
a place to write,
plenty of beads to play with,
the fact that no-one in our house has had surgery since March!!,
art to explore & create,
schools & teachers I like for my girls,
extra money so the girls can take dancing,
time with God,
God's grace & forgiveness,
God's kindness and lavish love...
I am blessed beyond belief.

My husband recently read that there are over 800 individuals in our community who are homeless. More than 250 are children, most are adults. They live on the streets, flop on friends' couches, and hunt food. About half the children are escaping abusive situations, and the others left home because they chose not to follow house rules, were addicts or pregnant.

The adults are a mixed group. Some are addicts who have difficulty maintaining a regular job. Some lost their job and subsequently their home. Some are vets dealing with PTSD. Some have fallen into homelessness and cannot escape, and some have chosen this way of live.

Today is shockingly warm at +21 F. But it's been -20 lately... Can you imagine being homeless at those temperatures? Where do you go? You can't hang around in the library, or shopping centers. There is a shelter here, but it can't accomodate that many people. I don't even know if they can feed that many...

Without my mom we would be homeless. I find myself particularly thankful for her at this time of year...

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. We did!
Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Here were the girls costumes this year:

Abigail's favorite part was her tail, and Deborah's favorite part was her skirt. =)

My little kitty.
My little mermaid.

Yes, this is Alaska. October 31st occurred with snow, and temps below 0.

Our Zoo- The Otter

I highlighted my oldest daughter's lion tendencies, and thought I should also put the spotlight on my youngest.

My youngest daughter, Abigail Joy, is four years old which means her personality is not set in stone. However, I would say her personality is kind of like a river- she's got a definite direction in mind. It may wind a bit, but both she and I have got a pretty good idea which way it's headed.

She's my party girl- silly, witty, compassionate and enthusiastic. She does not like to be alone, and would rather that all of her loved ones were in close proximity. She loves enthusiastically, and dislikes with equal enthusiasm.

It's rare to find a picture of her alone- I found a couple from her 4th birthday. I mostly find Abigail cuddled up to someone, or playing with Deborah.

She hates it when anyone argues in the house, and has been known to say to us, 'you yelled at daddy! That's bad!' Also, she's my little one who will cry just as enthusiastically at being swatted once on her bottom or being spoken to harshly. Her heart hurts her more than any spanking ever could.

Her secondary tendencies, are gonna be a lovely contrast. =) She's got her some serious Beaver vibes going on. She's the 2 year old who used to organize her crayons instead of coloring/scribbling... She used to line them up in groups of colors. The blues here and the reds over here. She'd make a little nest for herself on the couch and organize the books instead of looking at them... And line the stuffed animals up around her like a little fence.

And while she loves a party and people, she can be very shy when she first meets people. I don't know if this one will be something she grows out of, but right now it can be very hard for her to be introduced to a new situation.

My lovely little party girl wants to be a dancer and a vet and a singer and a teacher and a jewelry maker.

God, you have given me a precious gift- This beautiful cuddly girl who wants my company so much. Please help me be the mama she needs. Please help me love her the way you would want me to, and direct her on the path you have for her. I am so looking forward to being part of her Spirit birth. Please grant her an enthusiasm for your truth, love and mercy. Plant a love of your word deep in her heart. Grow her in grace and truth.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Perfect Church??

"The power of the Church is not a parade of flawless people, but of a flawless Christ who embraces our flaws. The Church is not made up of the whole people, rather of the broken people who find wholeness in a Christ who was broken for us."
Mike Yaconelli

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Bazaars

Today we were at JoAnn's!
Yes, the store.
They were trying something new- having a craft bazaar inside the store.

The only catch was we could only set out items we'd made from JoAnn's products. A good idea actually. We had a couple people ask what we used, and we were able to encourage them to try out JoAnn's stuff. Plus, people could see you can make really cute and unusual jewelry with what's available right there in the store.

We didn't make very much money, but they didn't charge us anything to set up. So, hey. No outlay, just income. =) I sold 2 things and Beth sold one.
Not bad for a day we would have otherwise spent at home.

Look for us next weekend at Pioneer Park/Alaskaland!!! We'll be there Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cats Sitting

This post cracked me up.

She has way more pictures of cats sitting in very non-cat ways... Very silly.

Monopoly money

Replace fear of the coming winter with faith in the living God. After all, it's just Monopoly money. It all goes back in the box.
Max Lucado

A reminder for me that everything belongs to God, and that He is the one who provides. We all fight to own the best things we possibly can, but the truth is that it will all pass away.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
Psalm 20:7

I guess a good modern version would be: Some trust in their mansions and some in fancy cars, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our Zoo- The Lion

Here's the thing about the Smalley/Trent personality profile- those people (lions, tigers and bears, oh my) have to get along. And most homes are little zoos with every animal trying to get along. Lions trying to command, Otters trying to play, Golden Retrievers trying to get along, and Beavers trying to organize everyone...

Our home is certainly no different.
The crazy, wacky thing about our home is that two golden retriever/otters gave birth to a LION.
A roaring commanding, demanding lion.

Our first-born daughter knows exactly how everything should be done, and believes that she is totally right in all things. I often think of this Bible thought in conjunction with her- 'And each one did what was right in their own minds and hearts'. Deborah will fight til the last breath to have her own way. I can certainly see the value and strength of her behavior, but it is very difficult to deal with a 6 year old who is absolutely convinced that she should have something or be able to do something when she is wrong. And it is difficult to deal with a 6 year old who will fight with her words, body and temper to get what she is convinced she should have.

Deborah is a wonderful, sweet, difficult, strong-willed, little girl. Her quick & vicious temper gets her in trouble regularly; however, I see the light. I see the potential of her practical leadership. I see the possibilities in her decisive and productive leadership. I see the joy that her intelligence, quick-wit and delight in learning could bring her. If we can just get her determination and stubbornness bent in the right way- in God's way. Oh, please help us do that, God!

With a full seasoning of God's love, grace, patience and kindness. Both poured over her through her families' hands, and poured through her by His Spirit.

I've already had the amazing gift of getting to participate in her Spirit Birth- the day that she asked Jesus into her heart. And I have seen a difference in her since that day. I've seen God's Spirit causing her to see people in a new light, with his compassion and grace tempering her will. We've fought many battles, but I believe it would have been much worse without God's spirit dwelling in her. And without her hunger and passion for God's word. (She makes sure she gets her Bible story every night, and she has tons of questions about why things happen the way they do during those stories.)

Much as I love her, I dread the day she hits puberty! Man, the battles my mom and I had! And though I am stubborn and strong-willed (just ask my husband!), she's got me beat hands down. I went through a time as a teenager when I fought my mom over so much... I fear that my Deborah and I will also do battle.

God, Thank you for my beautiful Deborah. What a precious, sweet, amazing gift you have given me. Far beyond what I could have imagined or dreamed. Please help me be the mom I need to be for her. Please help me channel her energy, intelligence and will in the way you would have her go. I pray over her these words- 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path." May this be the cry of her heart.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Personality Test

One of the lesser known Personality Profiles, was developed by Dr. Gary Smalley and Dr. John Trent. They base their personalities around animal characteristics. While these personality types are certainly broad categories, they are easy to remember and communicate. Thinking about people in this way can be helpful when dealing with family members, employees, and/or people in general. Understanding what makes people tick can make the home, work environment, meetings, and projects run much smoother.
Listed below are the characteristics of each temperament and how they line up with Galen’s and the DISC for comparison:

Lion (Choleric/Dominance)
Strengths– Visionary, practical, productive, strong-willed, independent, decisive, leader
Weaknesses– Cold, domineering, unemotional self-sufficient, unforgiving, sarcastic, cruel

Otter (Sanguine/Influence)
Strengths– Outgoing, responsive, warm, friendly, talkative, enthusiastic, compassionate
Undisciplined, unproductive, exaggerates, egocentric, unstable

Golden Retriever (Phlegmatic/Steadiness)
Strengths– Calm, easy-going, dependable, quiet, objective, diplomatic, humorous
Weaknesses– Selfish, stingy, procrastinator, unmotivated, indecisive, fearful, worrier

Beaver (Melancholy/Compliance)
Strengths– Analytical, self-disciplined, industrious, organized, aesthetic, sacrificing
Weaknesses– Moody, self-centered, touchy, negative, unsociable, critical, revengeful

Often you’ll find that people have a primary character type and a secondary type. Take a look at yourself. Which one is your primary and which one is your secondary? Some naturally go together and make for a wonderful set of strengths. Also, be sensitive to the weaknesses in yourself and in others.

With thanks to Eric H. Brown at

Sick, Sick, Sick

It seems like I've had a cold forever... It's probably only been 2 weeks, but it seems like much longer. My cold turned into bronchitis last Wednesday or Thursday, and it has not gone away.

My doctor told me to do NOTHING. Arrgh. Do you know how much I hate beeing told to do nothing??? I hate sitting around. Although I admit climbing the six stairs to the bedrooms makes me winded right now...
I went out with the family on saturday for a couple hours, and then led children's choir on Sunday night.
Now, I think I'm paying for my determination to do those 2 things. I HATE being pinned at home.

I start coughing when I do pretty much anything:
Get up to go get the phone. Cough, cough, cough.
Get the girls' lunch. Cough, cough, cough, cough.
Talk to my mom. Cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough...

I've gotten bronchitis every winter for the last three years. It just wears me out. Time to move out of Fairbanks....

Monday, November 09, 2009

Known by their Words and Actions

I recently read a passage written by a Facebook friend, Bishop Liberty in Dakar Senegal:

When God truly calls a person to be a vessel for His purpose; it is not by their bank account that you can know them, the amount of children they have, the size of their churches, their impact in the relief giving world, preaching or teaching on satellite, their theological degrees, but He touches them in a special way that cleanse them and change their lives to produce the type of fruits that are from His Kingdom.

In the cases of both Isaiah and Jeremiah; their lips were touch. From that movement what came out was God own words. The Bible describes it like this: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, and sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Ps.24:3-5).

Does your Shepherd fit this qualification? Is your Shepherd hands clean when it comes to the message he/she preaches/teaches? Is he/her hands clean when it comes to money matters, women in the church, dispensation of justice and truth, not chasing/exploiting to gain things of this world/vanity above righteousness, or swearing in the name of God about things that are non-existent? Or is Shepherd is producing contrary fruits?

This struck me because of the scripture passage Bishop Liberty quotes. 'Who shall stand in God's holy place? He that has clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, and sworn deceitfully.'

The "holy place" David is talking about in the scripture was the Holy of Holies, the center of Jewish temple worship. Only one priest a year would go in that sacred place, and they would tie a rope around him in case he died from the holiness and purity of God in that place.

Then they could drag out his dead body. For real. Think about that one. The 'lucky' guy who gets chosen to go into the holy place has to have a fishing line attached in case he dies... Hmmmmm. Who really wants this duty?!!

I do. I want to sit at God's feet. Worship Him. Come to know Him. Dwell in His house forever.... The job/role/call/duty of the worship leader (or preacher for that matter) is to go to that sacred place and bring the entire congregation with her. To do that you must have gone before, alone... And the scripture says the only way you're doing that is with clean hands and a pure heart. Only those who do right for the right reasons, and those who do not worship anything (food, computer, drugs, alcohol, books, money...), or tell lies.

I want to be right with God, and to serve Him as He sees fit. I'm not sure what He is doing right now, but I will trust Him.