Just needed a quick Peek

You’ve probably moved once or twice.
And bought and sold houses?

Sign this.
Read that.
Call them.
Now go back and change this.
Send in those.
Text to confirm.
Schedule this, cancel that.
Oh, and don’t stop packing boxes!
Wait, do we have enough boxes?
Etc, etc, etc… .

My tiny brain quickly starts to twitch. Eeekk!

In the middle of all this I abruptly stopped and clicked over to a few webcams
of what will be my new home by the end of the week…
and sighed
and smiled.
This is what I saw:

It’s exactly what my heart does every day…
throughout the day…
in regards to the bigger picture:

Hebrews 3:1

And when I look at Him & think of His wonderfulness & beauty…
I sigh
I smile.

He’s worth it all!

“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Hebrews 12:1b & 2

Pride Makes a Great Ear Plug

We know the scripture…
When pride comes, then comes disgrace.”

But remember the second part?
But with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)

The problem is that you cannot have both at the same time.
If we want to have wisdom we have to repent of pride.
If we want to hear God’s voice we have to stop listening to
the “what if’s” in our own heads!

Pride makes a horribly effective ear plug that keeps us
from truly knowing what God is whispering in our hearts,
because our heads are busy playing out all the possible
scenerios of peoples’ reactions to us… and how everything
we affect us!

Pull out the earplugs of pride.
Obey… it’s brings such joy!
Be free from what other people think.
We don’t have to stand before them someday and
give an account of our decisions.
We’ll stand in front JESUS!
And I certainly would NOT want to see His face as
He speaks to me and then have to say, “Huh?”

25 Years – The List

25 Keys to a Joyful and Lasting Marriage
(in no particular order)


One of the keys to our marriage has always been to realize that we’re not experts and that our way may not be best for others. In fact, over the years, we’ve been asked to do “Marriage Retreats” and other types of events and we’ve replied (with a smirk), “One of the secrets to our marriage is not doing marriage retreats!” So, this list is not comprehensive or authoritative. But, rather just a quick, random, spontaneous list from Chilly and me as we sit together in Florida celebrating our FIRST 25 years of marriage… Enjoy!

1. Smile every day — often!
2. Talk (and listen) to God before you talk to each other.
3. Buy good toilet paper and roll it over-the-top.
4. Fight for your ‘sabbath day’ — and make it count.
5. Last one out of bed makes the bed.
6. Say I love you as often as you can! Also, compliment each other. Lots of eye-contact.
7. Don’t discuss important things when you’re overly emotional (angry, sad, depressed, etc).
8. Laugh… A LOT!
9. Don’t compare or compete with each other — revel in uniqueness!
10. Honor one another. Never tease or embarrass the other beyond what’s kind.
11. Live translucent not transparent. Yes, allow others to see inside but not every detail.
12. Live Amenable (even better than accountable).
13. Follow God’s dreams rather than expect Him to follow ours.
14. Make love not war (and everyone just went, “Oooooo!”)
15. Discipline in unity — be on the same team.
16. Be present (alert & responsive) not just around.
17. Take time away from ‘everything’ together and at times, alone.
18. Make sure God remains head of the home & marriage.
19. Don’t make your spouse your only friend — do different things with different people.
20. Live above reproach (opposite sex, computers, free time, interests, etc).
21. In disagreements or decisions, avoid words like: Always and Never.
22. Communicate LOVE the way your spouse needs it not the way you want it.
23. Raise your children as individuals — no two are the same. Enjoy their uniqueness!
24. Seek wisdom from those who have lived it — not just from peers, blogs & books.
25. Don’t think you’re an expert… EVER. Avoid writing lists for the first 25 years!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little random list. I’m confident that we left out some essential things that may have made you think, “what about this?” — we’re just happy that it’s got you thinking, laughing and reading. We’re SO THANKFUL for our marriage! We’re also thankful for all of you who know us and still love us! Thanks for praying for our marriage and family, for reading our blogs, for sharing in our crazy little world and for living such extraordinary lives. You inspire us and encourage us to FEARLESSLY go for God’s best!

Life, marriage and family are all wonderful ADVENTURES not tedious chores or mindless routines! Your path is planned by God and is filled with unexpected blessings and opportunities. IF you avoid the ordinary, you’ll live the extraordinary! This is our prayer for our lives and YOURS!

Well, it’s back to the beach for us!

CHECK BACK in 25 years for our next list!

More IN Love than EVER,
Chilly and Netta

That’s What He Said

If you read my post yesterday you know that our garage
was broken into and our daughter’s awesome bike was stolen.
That happened on Monday.

Fast forward a couple of nights…
It’s bedtime.
I’m praying with our boys as I tuck them into bed.
We prayed for all the usual needs and safety…
just like any other night.

Then my 6-year-old prayed, “Jesus, help the person
who took Zoe’s bike to know that they should ask You
to forgive them and ask you into their heart.”


Psalm 8:2
“You have taught children & infants
to tell of Your strength,
Silencing Your enemies
and all who oppose You.”


Dreams fulfilled

I wrote the following things in my journal last week when I was thinking about
“dreams come true.”


Dreams are fulfilled in relationship, not accomplishments.

Relationship with Jesus, Chilly, my children, family and church, etc…

It doesn’t mean that these people fulfill my dreams-
that would be setting us all up for failure.

But rather, it means that the joy of
loving them,
serving them
and having them in my life is enough for me!

I’m livin’ my dreams!




Wordless Wednesday, Rapture?

I snapped this picture on my cheapy phone in Siesta Key, Flordia, last week. It seemed like it would have been a perfect backdrop for Jesus to return for those who faithful serve Him… aka, “The Rapture!”  It was SO beautiful! My heart is ready!



wordless wednesday

wordless wednesday


In an unrelated thought… stay tuned… next week I’m giving away a GREAT BOOK that I’ve LOVED reading!


Something Love Doesn’t Require

If you asked someone to define love they’d probably mention the word trust somewhere in there. But that’s not actually true.

(But before I go on I must say that I’m NOT talking about the kind of love that would lead to marriage! Single People, Don’t even look twice at someone if they’re not trustworthy! And dating should never be a consideration if they aren’t honest!)

One evening not too long ago, as I was praying (and crying) to God about the many people over the years that I’ve made myself vulnerable to, loved freely and then been hurt by, I said, “Lord, I don’t know if I can keep on trusting people.”  He gently replied, “You don’t have to trust to love.”

Loving someone we don’t trust sounds ridiculous! Stupid, in fact. But it’s true. Jesus told us that the greatest kind of love is the one that gives up his/her life for someone else. (John 15:13)  That’s what Jesus did for us… we are certainly not trustworthy… especially when compared to God’s trust-ability!

Giving & living LOVE means we open up ourselves so we can speak encouragement to others, find the good in them, believe the best in them, cheer for them, pray for them, rejoice with them, be ourselves around them, laugh, hug, etc…. Easy enough if the people are trustworthy. Not so easy if they’ve hurt you, taken advantage of you, stabbed you in the back, talked behind your back, took their knowledge of you and made themselves gain something while you lose it. NOT EASY!

So, what was my response that evening during prayer when God assured me that I don’t have to trust to love?  Well,  honestly, a couple of embarrassing whimper noises and few more tears. Then a huge sigh of relief and joy!

Giving love = joy!


I Want a Star!


The “Christmas Star” was a sign, a miracle, a guide, an answer to the questions. Could you even count the number of times you’ve asked Jesus for same thing; “Lord, I really need a sign, a miracle, your guidence & some answers! Please!” Yesterday morning as I was saying similar words I realized some things about that special star and how it was similar to the “miracles” that I’m seeking.



THE STAR (miracle) is…

Normal, yet extraordinary– Many people see stars, but not everyone looks closely enough to notice it’s magnificence or it’s power. They look right at it but never recognize that it’s a direct act of God.


THE STAR (miracle) is…

Something only God can do– No one else makes stars. Committees don’t. Influencial people cannot do it. Only JESUS!


THE STAR (miracle)…

Was expected – The wisemen noticed the star because they kept their eyes up; they knew the scriptures and they realized when it actually happened. NOTE: This does NOT mean that it appeared as they’d expected nor does it mean that they totally understand what it meant.


THE STAR (miracle)…

Prompted Action– When the miracle/star appeared, the wiseman acted. They left the normal & travel into the unknown. But the result was seeing the Savior’s face and the joy of being compelled to worship Him.


I don’t want to ask for a miracle if I’m not willing to see it, whatever it looks like, and and to do whatever it’s reality requires of me.


(Another Christmas-ish article that I wrote last year was featured on a Nat’l Church Planters website.  Click here)




It all happend before lunchtime…

It happened just this week. It was noon.  A friend had texted me to say “Hi,” and innocently asked how my morning had been. I couldn’t possibly TEXT it all. I was feeling like, well, like the crazy picture of me at the top of this post. So I sent her this email below. I thought you might enjoy a little laugh & a bit of encouragement!

It’s noon and so far…
– An entire bottle of hand soap hit the floor in the bathroom (ever tried cleanin’ that up?  Sticky goo)

–  No lesson plans this week for Max & Chase… just wingin’ it through their books…

– Laundry pile has eaten the remaining clean clothes in my closet

–  I’d straighten up my house but I can’t find the furniture, it’s hidden under several layers of dust

– There’s a national fruit fly convention in my kitchen AND bathrooms!

– I’m NOT wearing any make-up yet

– Pretty sure I could really use a shower

– Kids haven’t eaten any fruit or veggies today

– and I’m stuffin my face full of tortilla chips!

But… I spoke with Jesus about all this and He doesn’t seem upset by any of it… so I’m trying NOT to be either!  🙂

One of those Minions Spoke Up…



Last week I blogged about my “Minion Kids” who learn to do chores at a young age. While I was writing that post, my 15 yr. old daughter, Courtney, was standing over my shoulder making hilarious comments. It seemed “only fair” that she would get to “add her two cents” worth … so here’s my original post with her comments added in Bold Red Italics!


A couple of days ago a couple of my friends tweeted that they wished they had her own minions to do their work or go get  sushi.  I cracked up… and then realized… wait a minute… I DO have my own minions!  My kids!

Not exactly minions, but just as cute (well, cuter cuz they’re real) and they actually do my work for me… OK, they do SOME of my work for me! “We do all of it; let’s not kid.”

You see, since they’ve been young I’ve included my children in the many tasks that a family & home require. “Training them young helps them to grow accustomed to a life of labor.” As toddlers & preschoolers they LOVED it cuz it made them feel grown up. As they get older it kinda loses its appeal, but it’s already a part of their lives, so they do it anyway. My little minions are good workers… and don’t usually complain too much.

When they’re really little they’d do things like take the napkins to the table, put the shoes in the closet, toys in the box , etc… “Meanwhile I could get important things done such as painting my nails, talking on the phone and sleeping.”

Preschoolers & Early Elementary children clear the table each meal, push in the chairs, empty small garbage cans, dust window sills, feed the dog, put their clothes away, bring laundry to laundry room, clean light switches, even vacuum, etc… “They can also clean the chimney, scrub your feet, and park the car.”

Upper Elementary & Jr. High kids can do the dishes, dust furniture, pick up dog do-do from the yard, prepare simple meals, clean bathroom counters, sweep floors, do their own laundry, clean their rooms, wash & change bedding, etc… “Basically you could send them off to college now and they’d do perfectly fine.”

High School students can really do just about anything around the house, and should. Includingcook meals. “But in all reality, they’re too busy doing everything else in the entire house to have time to do your only job.”

Hmm, now that I’m looking at this list I realize two things

1. I sound like a total slave driver “Which is completely accurate.”

2. With all this help (I have 5 kids) I should have a spotless house.  Oops, I just made myself look bad!  ha!  “But you all like the idea of slave children already so it doesn’t matter!”

Being an effective parent will always require work… in every area!  But teaching our kids to help out not only gives us opportunity to have minions – hee hee- but to develop responsible, hard working kids that don’t expect everything given to them or done for them. “They’ll even offer to make their own soup if they ever come down with influenza.” It takes time to teach them… twice as long as if you were doing it yourself… but in the long run it’s well worth it… for THEM (and you, too).

So, Gru, get to makin’ that chore chart. “And don’t forget to make them massage your head, re-shingle the roof, make Christmas dinner, and wash your delicates.”

(I laugh every time I read this… she’s hilarious!)