Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Cheer

Christmas Cheer!
I thought I'd wish you a wonderful Christmas Break and I so hope you are enjoying your time with loved ones.
Below is my mom's Christmas design and her friend Nancy's Annual Christmas Tea. 
I love the picture with my mom and her friends, daughters and granddaughters, daughters in law et all. It was a beautifully done tea and Nancy has always been so kind to my daughter and I. I am so thankful for my mom and all her friends (a few who were off getting cookies and didn't sit for the photo!) because they are so lovely and so VERY kind and good to each other.
I wish you days of joy, comfort and hope.
I wish you days of slow, unhurried, uncomplicated time with those you love.
I will be spending some time in the snow doing just that: sitting & snuggling inside, while the boys do all their sports things... (My dad and my son getting ready to cycle around Newport)
Hannah, my mom and I will be designing up some "Crowned" themed goodies for our retreat in late January! (Mother-Teenage daughter retreat) It is so fun to  design things for amazing women like you! Plus, the good news is these will all be very affordable!
oxoxxo Love you all!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Inspired to shine and be brilliant light, Ruthie Marek, Teri Sangster and Inspired News

What a perfect title for this blog~28 pictures of light and life, from top to bottom...below: Because the two friends who are the women who have created these beautiful homes are just examples of the light that shines through when Christ is at the center of your life, I am sharing their home, now and in our next book (yea). When you browse Ruthie Marek's home, then Teri Sangster's you will see so many touches that bring blessing upon those who enter. (I was the happy recipient of that blessing last week) Ruthie is amazing for a variety of reasons (and I am only a newer friend) but among other things she is doing this while doing chemotherapy. While cancer is no part of WHO she is, its all about WHOSE she is, it is part of her story. I'll share more on another blog entry all about her, but I wanted to get this blog out, as my Christmas preparations are well underway...
     Did I also mention they are doing a breakout on "the home" at our retreat?
     Next home is Teri's, beginning with the open bible, whose home is fresh white, warm antiques and filled up with stories of God's grace and provision for her and her family. Special side note is she has the same floor plan as my mom's late best friend Ginger, on the same street a few houses down! I love her ability to take what she calls her "rental/tract" house and makes a gorgeous home, welcoming, enveloping and that "thing" I always talk about that some homes that just "have" JOY that springs eternal! Also, known as Abiding Faith! Again, another whole blog entry, but this is a teaser!
     Lastly, our Inspired girls where light shines through them truly brilliantly...this was our prayer session on Friday for an hour and half where we prayed over our Inspired girls! Kenzie Mae is our darling 19 year old worship leader, and the other girls are our Inspired Girls, Kristen, Marta, their girls and some new fabulous early 20's girls, home from college! Julie is our newer PR girl and Kristen's darling daughter Kylie made these fabulous I made her :) pose with one!
    There are so many exciting new things going on with Inspired, Our first retreat Jan 18-20, our National Inspired Tour with Dannah Gresh's, and our first ciriculum and new book "Holy Hospitality/the working title" under construction, design and prayer!!!
    Holy Hospitality will be written by Hannah and Roxanne again, but will feature artwork from our moms and daughters, and the two homes featured below! I'm so excited, I'm over the moon.
    Our ciriculum will be written by Kristen Cummins MFC and her daughter and they are equally excited about the joy they are experiencing working together. Kristen brings a wealth of experience from not only her years working with kids in the inner city of New York, but her years of practice with teens and teaching scripture/bible locally. She is new to our Board of Directors and a huge piece of where inspired is going, along with darling Kylie. Kylie has a sweet and royal spirit that lights up a room when she enters. She, along with her mom, adds a large piece of the puzzle that the Lord has lined up with Inspired!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

10 Things To Do Today To Encourage

10 Things to do to Encourage Others TODAY
1. Pray for them.
2. Send an encouraging word/scripture/quote
3. Make a phone call with sincere and kind words
4. Tell someone, just one person, you love them
5. Write a note to your kids and leave it under their pillow
6. Write "I love You" on your husbands mirror, with lipstick
7. Put a scripture/kind words in your neighbors mailbox
8. Put a scripture/kind words on the windshield of the car next to yours at work
9. Let them know you sincerely took time to pray for them today (after you did!!)
10. Tell a complete stranger at a store or place of business something wonderful/good they did.

We can BE the change we wish to see in the world,
one kind word and deed at a time...Share with me the results

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Monday, December 17, 2012


Dear Inspired friends and readers,
      As I have been praying, pondering and truly weeping over the events of the last few days, I am left as I imagine you have been, with a sick feeling in my stomach. My son Justin celebrated his 16th birthday yesterday by studying for finals all day. Even so, it was a blessing to look down the hall, hug him, make him dinner, give him a hug. A luxury not afforded to the 26 families in Sandy Hook. 
      Why? Why, such darkness? Lord, why did you let this happen, I have heard asked...this side of heaven, we will not have clear answers. Working with teenagers and their moms over the last few years, I do know this: we need HOPE. True hope comes from relationship with our maker. 
     I am deep in prayer...for the last few days and on indefinately for those families.
     First and formost, I am mourning with those who mourn...

How has our country and our culture come to this place, of such darkness. 
Evil visited a school, and unspeakable darkness fell.
Candles were lit.
Light filled the darkness. 
Flickers of light broke the darkness.
Light entered in, at the request known as prayer.
Eternal HOPE exists.
Evil exists.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. From the King James Version: John 10:10....
All kinds of discussions can be had on gun control, mental illness, parenting, safety in school and more. 
Evil will still be evil. 

Can we do something?
Resoundingly, yes.
We can invite HOPE in.
We can share HOPE with others. 
Softly, kindly, with kind words, encouraging words...
Invite HOPE into your heart. HOPE not hope. Hope is the reason we celebrate Christmas. HOPE was born into a stable, his bed a manger, to give us hope for a future (Jeremiah 29:11). HOPE for an eternal life with Jesus Christ, God into your heart to guide you...God never guides to evil...He walks with you, carrying you when necessary, and keeps you. Invite God back into our schools, our homes, our relationships, our politics, our politicians, our hearts:  the very fiber of our being...

Hearts filled with the love of GOD...have HOPE.
Hearts that are open to evil...have no HOPE, no God, evil can enter and gain a foothold.

James 1:17

There are two ways of spreading light — to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. Edith Wharton
Will you be the mirror that reflects the light, the HOPE in Christ?

If you want to hear more about HOPE, we are sharing a weekend of HOPE on January 18-20 and because I don't want this entry to be about any kind of PR, please go to the site for

For some more encouragement:
Thoughts from Mike Huckaby, on WHERE WAS GOD?
From Joel Osteen
Isaiah 55:8
Isaiah 55:8
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My gratitude about Hannah,, DVD's fro Sheri

Dear Sweet Friends,
I am simply so thankful for the blessing of being mother to Hannah and Justin, without exaggeration the biggest blessing in my life, shared with my best friend: Scott. Thank you to God, from whom all blessings flow. 

After the long drive home (45min) from dropping Hannah off at Westmont, during which I sobbed, I went into her empty room and sat on her bed looking around. Although I had walked by this room filled with boxes, packed and ready to go, many times it was now without Hannah. My child was raised, this chapter was over. My sweet girl would no longer live under my roof. Thoughts drifted: Had I done enough, told her enough? Was I a good enough mom? I drifted off to sleep on her bed....

As you moms who have adults in college, this was a rite of passage.

Hours of introspection produced one thought...
Though I wasn't a perfect mom (duh!) I have an amazing relationship with my daughter, and the time serving the Lord together with Hannah in Inspired was a large part. In fact, looking back it was the single BEST thing I did with Hannah, beginning with our writing the book. Why? simply: time, serving others. (Sidenote: I do not write this with pride, there are clearly other ways to spend time together that are wonderful and blessed!) 

I do write this however, to encourage you: This matters.

This matters.
Mentoring, hearing amazing speakers, other fabulous spirit filled moms walking beside my daughter, encouragement, crying with my friends, arguing with Hannah over little things, dragging her to a few things, scones, setting up and tearing down~6 hours per time, teenage friends that are a treasure now to her, God: it makes up the fiber of who she is.

This matters.
Dannah Gresh asked Hannah to write about her feelings about "boundaries" and purity for her blog. She did. HER feelings. (I'm a SHOUTY CAPS girl, btw) Wow, I read the two pages of her "boundaries". I cried. My daughter heard, soaked in, understood and has HER own viewpoint of what she will and will not do. When I asked her if she was ok publishing it, she replied a quiet yes mom, It's who I am.

This matters.
When she had a hard time with a personal issue she was crying to me on the phone, quoting back to me a speaker that I didn't even think was that great, almost verbatim. Although she was crying (HARD) I said...Wow, you were listening!!! Not only did she hear all 14 speakers we had before she went off "into the world" she HEARD.

This matters.
She was relating a conversation with her roommates at college, and in her dorm. Very personal stuff...She called me at 11pm (I was of course, asleep) because she had to talk to me: MOM, I love you, you are the best mom. I didn't realize how blessed I was or how hard mother daughter relationships were. I heard so many stories. I told them you were my best friend and I could tell you absolutely everything and everything (TRULY) I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you. (wow, to a moms ears is there anything more golden)

Lastly, this matters for eternity.
She goes to the scriptures for advice. When she is in pain, needs advice, direction: She prays and seeks God's will. 

I am grateful for because it is the fabric (not me, but the other women who make it work: Our Steering) of Inspired women that poured into my daughter and helped God make her into who she is today. 

Thank you. This mattered to me. This mattered to Hannah.

You matter. Your daughter matters. To me. To Inspired. To God.
Will you consider joining us for the retreat.
Sheri is offering $45 valued DVD on mother daughter relationships if you register in the next 3 days! FREE.
We are keeping $99. rate until Dec. 24
What better gift could you give your family, than the investment in your relationship?
I can't think of one!

With love, from the depths of my heart,

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