Chase Fireflies

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Enjoying Life After Christmas and Castle Weekend (Prayer Request)

This week has been lovely….

Not often getting out of my pajamas
Swimming with the kids
Time spent with Paul

Back to running
Laughing over new games
Rearranging our home
Sleeping in

Tomorrow we head away for our annual Castle Retreat. Paul’s been busy planning forever to have teenagers and college students and beyond descend upon a castle for a weekend away.

Would love if you would take a minute to pray for the following:

Students hearts to be receptive and open to God’s leading.
Relationships to be built and centered around Christ.
All of the details to come together.
A safe weekend for everyone.
That God would be honored in our speaker, worship, games, hanging out, prayer room, room assignments, late night talks, meals together, movies, everything. 

I am really anxious to see what God will do.  Happy New Year’s Friends!  Thanks for praying!

Anything I can be in prayer for?  Email me.  Thanks!


The Cards in the Tree (A Christmas Gift Idea)

Every Christmas morning, there are two envelopes hidden somewhere in our tree.  One for Paul and one for me.  But neither are really for us, which is the cool part. 

They are gifts given somewhere around the world, on behalf of the other. 

The hurt is there.  The hunger is there.  The injustice is there. 

But greater is He in us than he who is in the world.

The opportunity is 0urs.  To heal, to feed, to love in His name.  Because He first loved us. 

Maybe the person receiving the envelope is an educator.  Give books on their behalf.  If a pastor, give a Bible.  If a counselor, give aftercare counseling.  If a cook, give food.  Extend their heart and passion around the world. 

So here are some ideas, ya’ll.  Give and love much. 

Gifts of Freedom:  IJM Holiday Gift Catalog

Equip Churches to Seek Justice $25
Urgent Aftercare Package for a Trafficking Survivor  $40
Legal Representation $65 
Bicycle for a Former Slave $72
Transform a Life with a Scholarship $330

Gifts of Compassion:  Compassion International Gift Catalog

Soccer Ball for $13
Art Supplies for $20
Clean Water $25
5 Ducks for $30
Dental Care $38

These two organizations are just ones we have worked with in the past.  I love them and wholeheartedly believe in their work.  But there are countless like them.  If you know of other worthy organizations, I would love to hear of them here.  Thanks!


Love is…. Photo Book (A Christmas Gift Idea)

Love is…

One of my all time favorite photo books we’ve made is this one:

Find favorite family photographs that coincide with the words in 2 Corinthians 13:4-8a and 13.  Put one photograph on each page with one line of coinciding text:

Love is patient

and the rest would follow as such:
Love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others. 
It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails….

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.

It’s simple.  Quick.  The text is awesome.  And the pictures represent LOVE in Action. 

I am ever so grateful for everyone who has loved me (and our entire family) well… Love has been lived before our eyes often.  Friends and family, ya’ll know who you are…  Thank you. 

Because of Jesus,


What I See in You (A Christmas Ornament Idea)

A box of ornaments is a treasure chest of memories. 

The porcelain ballet slippers I got the year I fell in love with ballet.
The Sunday School craft I made when I was 9. 
The Korean tassles from friends and family. 
The wooden Brazilian guitar we bought on a mission trip.

When we decorate our tree, we talk and remember.  They’re not really just ornaments after all.

So I am hoping to start a new tradition this year with the kids.  I want to give them Christmas ornaments that personally


Them to be more like Christ and who He made them to be with their unique gifts, sensitivities, and strengths. 
(Now to think of something beyond baseballs and long strands of Rapunzel hair.)


Our Family’s Top Ten Favorite Comfort Foods

This week has been a week of comfort foods for us.  The kids and I have been in New England, helping my family through a stretching time. 

In preparing to come, I needed a menu plan that would appeal to everyone.  I also needed the meals to be easy, fast, full of comfort, inexpensive, feed an army, and be freezable.  Most of these fit that description.  And with a salad and steamed veggies, most everything looked healthier than it probably was. 

If ever you are in need of a little comfort food, I hope this list helps. Thus far, my little elves and I have received rave reviews.  (Which, for me in the kitchen, is something to be proud of.)  I really hope these recipes can be used to encourage someone who needs it.  Enjoy, friends.

1.  Classic Baked Ziti

2.  Sweet and Sour Chicken

3.  Best Sloppy Joe’s Eva

4.  Classic Chicken Pot Pie

5.  Vegetable Tortellini Soup

6.  Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken 

7.  Marinated Steak and Chicken on the Grill 

8.  Twice Baked Deviled Potatoes

9.  Apple Crisp

10.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Pie


Barnabas Bear (An Idea for Classrooms or Families)

Meet Barnabas.  A rather humble little bear with a propensity for travel.

Barnabas was the creation of a first grade class I had 13 years ago.  He was our mascot and travelled everywhere with us, my students, their families, etc.  He carries a backpack that documents his adventures in a journal and with photographs.  Back in the day, we created  a bulletin board in his honor, charting his travels across the states or world. 

Since the kids and I are homeschooling this year, we have dug poor dusty Barnabas out of the basement.  (I love Barnabas for social studies especially and he wasn’t learning too much in his confinement!)  So now he is back at it again, pen in hand, ready to document his adventures. 

In fact, I caught him eating clam cakes last night and double fisting it with a Dunkin D’s in one hand and a Del’s lemonade in the other.   Hmmmm…. where on earth could he be? 

Read more up on how Barnabas can be used for Family Ministry here.


Red Letter Words (Canvas Art: A Christmas Gift Idea)

Last year, I happened upon Red Letter Words: Faith Inspired Art. 

As soon as I saw her site, I loved her work.  I especially loved the word of God – like this canvas art and this greeting card set for youth group girls.  But then I wondered if she could design a custom print for me – one of all of the places God has allowed us to serve since Paul and I got married.

So I contacted her, placed an order, and she was sooooo sweet about creating this canvas.  The cool thing was – she was just as excited about this idea as I was!  She was great to work with, personable, and a complete blessing.  

This was the only Christmas present that I almost could not wait to give Paul.  It hangs in our home so that we see it every time we head out the door.  It’s a reminder of how God has been faithful through ordinary us (even though we are I am terribly inept at times!)  It also helps us to remember the missionaries still serving at each location.

Now I need another good idea for him.  Anyone?  What have been some of your favorite Christmas gift ideas?

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Christmas in Focus

Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace.

If you refuse to be hurried and pressed,
if you stay your soul on God,
nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace.
In that stillness you will know what His will is.

Amy Carmichael

Perfect peace have they that love Your law and nothing can make them stumble.
Psalm 119:165

May peace be yours today, as you stay your soul on God.
Because of Jesus,