Selah~Day 244

Sunday, January 19

My 27 Thanks:

1. I slept all night long without the TV on. Usually, I must have some noise, but tonight, I was fine in the quiet.

2. Progress.

3. Baby Steps.

4. We made it to church ahead of schedule.

5. Gary was so great to go and pick up our breakfast food for the 6th grade breakfast today.

6. We had a great morning of ministry. Things went smoothly and all the details fall into place.

7. Kids were super excited about church today.

8. I serve with a great team of men and women.

9. Pastor Marc spent the morning in KidMotion. He was an awesome guest.

10. We are making some great strides bridging the gap between kidmin and youth.

11. I am so thankful for our awesome youth ministry.

12. Our 6th graders felt so special and honored at the breakfast.

13. Gary and I enjoyed a spontaneous lunch with some of our team.

14. We had an opportunity to relax some this afternoon.

15. The weather was perfect for more work on Judah’s fort/swing set.

16. I helped share some of the work load and put a hammer to good use on a few boards. I love working alongside Gary.

17. Judah and I had a fun time playing on the slide and swinging together. I see so much fun in our future on that swing set.

18. Gary and I enjoyed sitting through an entire church service tonight.

19. I finally heard Pastor Tami sing the song, Oceans. Wow! I love that song…so powerful…so anointed…I am thankful for the words spoken in that song.

20. Pastor preached a great message of the Doorway to the Supernatural. It was a timely message for me.

21. I go to a church that believes in the supernatural power of God.

22. There is great excitement and momentum building for the awesome things in the works for 2014.

23. It is going to be a year of the supernatural.

24. We launched our Jesus > __________? campaign. I am excited to be a part of this campaign.

25. We had great turnout for our team meeting.

26. Simplified systems that help us better care as we grow are being put into place.

27. Gary hates feet, but tonight…he rubbed mine! They hurt so bad after standing so much of the day. Yep, I am loved.

Selah~Day 243

Saturday, January 18

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and I spent the entire day together.

2. We slept in.

3. Judah, out of nowhere, kissed me on the cheek.

4. I made a decision today that was best for my health.

5. Today is my last day on antibiotics.

6. I am feeling better. I am so glad this is behind me.

7. Abby is feeling better too.

8. My shampoo and conditioner was in stock. It truly pays to use good hair care products, especially when you have color on your hair.

9. Judah and I enjoyed lunch together at Panera Bread.

10. I love having conversations with my sweet 4-year-old. He processes information in the most fun way!

11. Judah made two people laugh in Wal-Mart. He is such a funny kid. I am glad he brings joy to others.

12. A sweet elderly woman kept teasing Judah in Wal-Mart. She kept saying, “I am going to kiss you.” Judah thought that was too funny and enjoyed playing this “game” with her.

13. Gary sent me a sweet text saying he missed me.

14. Judah took a nap.

15. I enjoyed some quiet time preparing for KidMotion.

16. During my prep time, I came up with a simple, creative game idea to illustrate a key point.

17. Laura and the girls came over for some evening play time.

18. The kids stayed in the same room with us the entire night. But, we enjoyed putting together puzzles.  I love activities that help your mind to focus.

19. I have been blessed with some really awesome sister-in-laws. I enjoy spending time with all of them. I am so glad that several of them live nearby.

20. I have a great relationship with Gary’s family. I am so glad that I have such a close, wonderful relationship with them.

21. Judah refers to his cousins as his brothers and sisters. What a blessing it is to have such close friends as cousins.

22. A friend prayed Psalm 91:1-4 over me today. Those words are so powerful. I am thankful for praying friends.

23. I can find rest in the Shadow of Almighty God.

24. He is my refuge and my place of safety.

25. He rescues me from every trap and protects me from deadly disease.

26. He covers me and shelters me.

27. As I lay my head down to sleep, I have peace.

Selah~Day 242

Friday, January 17

My 27 Thanks:

1. I woke up after a great night of sleep.

2. I slept all night. I didn’t wake up at all throughout the night. This is a huge win for me.

3. Gary and I had the day off together.

4. I enjoyed morning quiet time with the book of Luke.

5. I finally had enough energy to clean up my house.

6. Gary helped me clean.

7. Gary knows exactly when I need a great big hug.

8. Hugs.

9. We needed to run some errands, but instead made a spontaneous stop at the movie theater to watch “The Nut Job.” It was cute and we had a great laugh together.

10. Judah had fun and sat on my lap during the movie. I love snuggling with that little boy.

11. Judah laughs all the time.

12. “The Nut Job” had a great storyline about selflessness. When you learn that it isn’t all about you, great things happen.

13. The power of friendship.

14. Clean, public restrooms. I love when businesses care enough about their customers that they employ someone to make sure the public restrooms are clean ALL the time. It says a lot about quality.

15. I had a catch up conversation with a good friend today. Amazing things are falling into place for her family and their future. I am so excited for what lies ahead for them.

16. The $4 tube or iron cleaner worked. Now, we don’t have to spend $30+ for a new iron.

17. Even when I wear minimal makeup and my hair in a ponytail, Gary tells me that I am beautiful.

18. Gary always says kind, encouraging words to me. In the 10 years I have been with him, I have never felt anything less than a princess.

19. The days seem to be getting longer. Spring is approaching.

20. After watching the evening news, I am so thankful that I don’t have a sketchy past or future. I am so thankful that my family, or anyone that I know isn’t involved in crime. My heart breaks for those who only know that type of life.

21. My friend had a great report from the doctor today.

22. Judah fell asleep in my arms. I love experiencing those moments in life.

23. Gary and I shared a heartfelt conversation. It feels really good to share deep thoughts with your best friend.

24. Yesterday, my nephew Gage celebrated his 7th birthday. It seems like yesterday we were headed to Dallas to welcome his arrival. He is the oldest of the Ellison grandsons. He is full of adventure and loves to tell jokes. He is a fun kid!

25. Today, my dear friend Bethany is another day older. I miss her more every day. We had so much fun together. We laughed, we cried, we dreamed, we made messes, we planned, we executed….we were a great team! Happy Birthday, Bethany! I am glad God created you.

26. Birthdays.

27. God is for me, not against me.

Selah~Day 241

My 27 Thanks:

1. I am one day closer to complete healing.

2. I felt much better today than I have felt in the last 3 days.

3. Even though I accidentally shot a nasal steroid spray into my eye, I suffered no side effects!

4. Pharmacist who are easily accessible.

5. Judah went back to school today and had a wonderful time.

6. Gary and Terry came up with a better idea for our Robot’s feet. They look awesome.

7. Gary worked all day on the new idea for robot feet. He did a wonderful job!

8. I was able to go back into work today.

9. Even after missing 2 days of work, I am not too behind. I was still able to check off several items on the to-do list.

10. We had a memorial service at the church today to honor a precious woman of God. She lived a long, wonderful life. Her family was served a most wonderful dinner at the church. Funeral dinner ministry is a wonderful blessing.

11. The people of our church who serve in funeral dinner ministry are amazing servant leaders.

12. Lynn Steele does an amazing job leading that team. I am so thankful for her heart to serve others. This ministry definitely brings a joy to families during a tough time.

13. Outreach ministries.

14. One of my kids was super excited to let me know that he remembered the power verse from Sunday. He told several of the leaders and then he shared it with the whole group. I was super proud of him.

15. My kidmin team enjoys serving together.

16. One of my kidmin leaders, Jay, is doing so much better after visiting the dentist. We are all so glad that Mr. Jay is back to his normal, fun, crazy self! Tooth pain is no joke!

17. We had great discussions about leadership in the Adventure Rangers class. My participation was spontaneous, but I was glad to be a part.

18. I enjoyed walking around and observing all the different ministry rooms. I love seeing kids excited about Jesus!

19. My preschool leads and I shared a most wonderful laugh. They are such a great, fun group. I am glad they are in my life and I am really glad they discovered the sticker page that NEVER should have been in our preschool sticker bin. Still wondering where those stickers came from??????

20. Our new Connect groups kicked off well. I am super excited about the different options offered this  semester…

21. Discipleship.

22. People have the opportunity to connect to God, connect to the Word, and connect to others at our Church.

23. I enjoyed a nice, quick chat with Pam Walker. She is a beautiful woman of God.

24. Gary warmed the car and pulled it up under the awning for me.

25. I am learning to be quiet and allow God to speak.

26. Gary leads our family well.

27. God talks to His kids.

Selah~Day 240

My 27 Thanks:

1. I woke up and felt so much better today. The fog finally lifted.

2. I have a great family doctor.

3.  Even though I have a bad sinus infection and bronchitis, I tested negative for both strands of flu as well as strep.

4. Gary went to the doctor with me. He is my best friend.

5. The doctor said Judah’s lungs were clear too. His cough is mostly related to allergies.

6. Dr. Rodgers always makes us all laugh. He has the best “bed-side” manner of any doctors I have ever used for care.

7. Healthcare.

8. Great Insurance.

9. I have lost more weight. At the doctor’s office today, I weighed in at a weight that is very close to my weight in college! I only have about 5 lbs to go.

10. Goals are great, but systems that help you achieve those goals are even better!

11. Figuring out systems!

12. Today is Mr. Bob’s birthday. He is an awesome kidmin leader. The kids love him big time. He is faithful and so caring. Gary and I are honored to serve with him.

13. Abby ordered our NEW kidz ministry t-shirts today. I think the team will love the new style of shirt and design.

14. Pastor Ted had a great meeting today with a team of men who are all working together for an awesome men’s event in our City this year. I am excited too.

15. Gary knew that my inability to pay attention to the cleanliness of my home was bothering me. So, he picked up the house, vacuumed, and cleaned the kitchen.

16. My house is clean.

17. We had a quick, fun family game of chase. Judah loves for one of us to pretend to be a monster and chase the other two around the house. I just love to hear him laugh.

18. Judah and I spent time in his room racing cars and building blocks.

19. Gary got to play his music and have some personal time doing something he loves.

20. For about 5 minutes tonight, Judah let me hold him in a cradled position and rock him like a baby. I miss those days!

21. We don’t always have to go big for dinner. Gary and I are satisfied with simple, easy dinner decisions.

22. Simplicity.

23. Time to think.

24. I didn’t run fever at all today.

25. Judah went to bed early, so I am getting in some much-needed writing time.

26. I love to learn.

27. I have been on this journey for 240 days!

Selah~Day 239 “Things Always Appear Worse at Night”

I often have to remind myself, “things always appear worse at night.” I have actually said it multiple times this last week. I am sure that I am not alone in this thought.

Thinking back to the days of my childhood, this thought rang true then too. I loved my bedroom as a kid. During the day, it was a fun, exciting place filled with lots of light, fun toys, and  opportunities for adventure. But, at night, I didn’t want to be alone in there. In fact, I spent many nights trying to talk my brother, Kyle, into sleeping in my room with me. I remember saying often, “Kyle, don’t you want to sleep in my room because your room is scarier?” Kyle never fell for it. So, I would move into his room and sleep until the sun came up in the morning. Or, I think about how excited I was to go over to a friend’s house for a sleepover. I would pack my overnight bag and ask my mom a thousand times, “is it time to go yet?” But, when the time came for us to settle down and go to sleep, my joys for the sleepover soon faded and I wanted to be in the comfort of my home and with my mommy!

Night time can turn piles of laundry into big, scary monsters and make shadows of faces form on the walls. If you are sick, the fever always seems to get worse at night. If you are alone, the solitude is no longer your friend. And, small sounds become amplified to the max. My perceptions are usually more jaded at night and my fuse much shorter.

Science even provides some insights or answers to this question, “Why do things appear worse at night?” Here is one good explanation:

The relative isolation, quiet, and absence of distractions are probably the big factor here. During the day, we can use a variety of strategies to modulate these concerns, including taking direct action to address them. Lying in bed in a dark room, they become overwhelming and inescapable. (

When we lay down in bed at night, we turn off our external senses, hoping to fall asleep. Unfortunately, this gives our mind the ability to roam free from distractions and floods of daytime information and become very active. Our what-ifs swarm in, our worries grow bigger, and you begin to question, analyze, and rethink the days events.

I think that it is important to acknowledge that things seem worse at night. Then, we realize that it is mostly exhaustion and nighttime darkness that contributes to our feelings and NOT our inability to manage or move forward. I am a firm believer that the best way to defeat the dark is to shine the light! When you acknowledge the dark for what it is, you cause it to lose its power!

When I have trouble at night, I read Psalm 91 over me and my family. I particularly like Psalm 91:5 which states, “Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.”

My 27 Thanks:

1. To every night, there is always a morning.

2. I realize that things are always worse at night and I can change my perspective.

3. Psalm 91

4. Psalm 91:5

5. Light penetrates the dark.

6. Judah let me lay in bed for a little longer this morning.

7. Judah has been very understanding of my lack of energy.

8. My mother-in-law came by my house to pick up Judah to take him to school for me.

9. Judah cried…he didn’t want to go to school…he wanted to stay with me. I let him. He still has a rough, persistent cough and I didn’t want to take any chances. Besides, I love spending time with my little buddy.

10. Judah loves spending time with me.

11. He was content to watch movies on the couch for most of the morning.

12. I was able to get into the doctor tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

13. Gary made me enough soup the day before, so I had some great leftovers to heat up quickly and easily.

14. Gary called and let me know that he got off for the second half of his shift. He came home to take care of me.

15. My mother-in-law brought the twins over to play with Judah on his swing set.

16. Judah was thrilled to go outside and play with his cousins on his new swing set. I am so glad he got to get outside.

17. Gary brought home organic lemons and honey so I could tackle my cold with some old-fashioned remedies.

18. Hot baths. I took 3 of them today.

19. Appearances are not always Reality. Things may appear to be worse, but they really are not at all.

20.  My brother always let me sleep in his room at night when I couldn’t sleep in my own room.

21. My mom taught me to pray scriptures over my life when I felt afraid or confused.

22. Pastor Marcia is covering staff chapel for me. She has so much on her plate, but is always willing to lend a helping hand.

23. Abby is feeling much better, so she is holding down the kidmin fort!

24. I had friends praying for me today!

25. Prayer.

26. I got a lot of rest today.

27. Health is in my future.

Selah~Day 238

Sunday, January 12

Today was a difficult day. I was up all night with Judah, who was sick with a cough and fever. I also am completely stopped up with congestion. Nevertheless, even in days that seem to covered in clouds, rays of sunshine always beam through!

My 27 Thanks:

1. I made it to church.

2. Gary was off work today, so he was able to stay home with Judah.

3. Judah felt so much better than the night before. He was up laughing and ready to play.

4. Judah always bounces back quickly from virus’.

5. Judah is rarely sick. I am so thankful for his health.

6.  I have a fully staffed Kidz Ministry team today.

7. Because of my lack of voice and low energy level, Lorry Gail took my notes and rocked it out on stage.

8. Lorry Gail is on my team! She is prepared in season and out.

9. My friend, Angela, is celebrating a birthday today. She is sweet, kind, caring, and has a special knack for including others. I am so glad she is on our kidmin team!

10. My friend, Janelle, is celebrating a birthday today. She has one of the sweetest spirits around. Her beautiful smile and heart of gold makes any room sparkle.

11. After bad weather and busy holiday plans, our service attendance was back up in high numbers!

12. Growth is the Will of God.

13. The kids continue to love the Robots, Inc. series.

14. In small groups, they had to decode “robot language” to figure out the power verse. They loved the activity.

15. Kids were working so well together!

16. Cooperation.

17. Abby and I were both able to stay home tonight and rest and work on getting physically better.

18. Soft kleenex.

19. Gary is a great nurse. He takes such good care of both Judah and me. Today, he has made me soup and kept a fresh glass of cold lemon water by my bedside.

20. My mom and sister made it home safely.

21. A great opportunity has been presented to Gary. Now, we get to pray and get in on the Lord’s perfect will for us.

22. Gary is a well-respected man of God.

23. Favor.

24. Ear Thermometers…if you remember the days of all the other options…you would be thankful too!

25. The congestion is not in my chest!

26. Even though I work with kids (germ carriers), I am rarely sick!

27. I know the Healer.