Monthly Archives: February 2011

5 Reasons I Love My Ex


Important relationships that end with pain, misunderstanding, mistrust, and/or hate can make it very hard to form new relationships without baggage. One way to lose the baggage is to look honestly at that relationship. Yes, there was trauma. Were there also some positive aspects? Sometimes there are. Acknowledging these can help in the healing.

In the case of my divorce it wasn’t all the fault of one person. It was a mixed bag. Seeing the good in my ex has helped me have a more balanced view of our relationship. It has helped me heal. I have learned about myself, my ex, and My precious kiddospeople in general.

Here are 5 things I love about my ex that our divorce cannot negate.

1. Our children. Having our children is something I will never regret. I will always be grateful for his contribution to their being born and to the type of father he was while they grew up.

2. Memories. Even though we no longer do life together as a couple, I am grateful for many of the memories we made together. We laughed, grew, prayed, traveled, and did ministry together. We influenced some people because of our parenting and relationship.

3. My growth. I knew him for about 22 years. My ex was a major influence in my life. Much of that influence was positive. During my wacked out hormonal times, he’d remind me that we were on the same team. When I was under the influence of fatigue, he’d remind me that it wouldn’t always be this hard and relentless (raising kiddos). He helped me find balance and God.

4. My mom. My ex and my mom had a tender relationship. They talked about all kinds of things. He didn’t mind that my mom would come visit us several times a year and stay for 3 weeks or so. He was good to my mom.

5. His grandparents. When you get married you also get your new spouse’s family. Two people I got were his grandparents. From the first day I met them until their deaths, they loved me, accepted me, and spent time with me. Of course they did the same with our kiddos too. We are better people because of their friendship. They were special, special people and I miss them soooooo much.

I wrote a bullet point list of things I am grateful for about my ex here. Two items on this list (#’s 3 and 4) are also on that list

Your Turn . . .

  • If you are divorced, what are some things you love about your ex?
  • Or what are some things you love about an ex-friend,ex-family member, ex-room-mate, or ex-boss.

This is the 11th post in the 5 Reasons I Love . . .” Series.  Go here for the original post which explains how this idea came about.  The next post in this series is 5 Reasons I Love Travel.


Come to Retreat June 10-12 Because . . .


It’s a one time a year event. If you attend, you can refresh your relationship with God, others and yourself. Your chores and other responsibilities will be put on hold.

Therefore, the distraction-free environment(except for the awesome surroundings of Lake Tahoe) will allow you time to . . .

  • Worship,
  • Learn,
  • Play, and
  • Have solitude.

Sign up today. Click on the link for the Women’s Retreat Brochure 2011 or pick one up from the Secret sister bookcase. Fill it out and turn it in with your deposit. The deposit is due March, 2011.

Have questions? Contact me at or 635-5992.

Related Post . . . How to go to Women’s Retreat in 5 Easy Steps

Quiz Shows What Women Won’t Find At Retreat June 10-12, 2011

Draw a line from the list on the Left to the correct answer on the Right to see what women will NOT find at Retreat. It will  be at Zephyr Point Conference Center.

Long lines for the Women
Bunk Kill-Joy Women
Coin operated Schedule
Cliché Chores
Critical, And/or Kids
Jam packed Answers
Significant others Showers
Isolation from other Food
Household Bathroom
Bland Beds

Isn’t it great you won’t find these things at retreat?

But right now you will find Women’s Retreat Brochure 2011. Fill one out today and turn it in with your deposit ($90.o0). Or you can start making payments to hold your spot. Put Women Retreat Payment in the memo section of your check. Retreat cost is $180.00.

Go here to see why that’s a great bargain. Let us know if you have any questions. Contact me at the church at 635-5992.

Answers . . . Answers . . . Answers . . . Answers . . . Answers Below

  • No long lines for the bathroom.
  • No bunk beds.
  • No coin operated showers. Women will be staying in hotel style comfort with 2 comfy beds per room and a shower ensuite. These rooms typically house 2 women.
  • No cliché answers.
  • No critical, kill-joy women.
  • No jam packed schedule. Our speakers are real women who have found real answers. CNC ladies are gentle, accepting and fun. And the schedule is just the right balance between group time and free time, and between scheduled meetings and informal interactions.
  • No significant others and/or kids.
  • No isolation from other women. This is a weekend to spend on you. You choose how much alone time or group time to have. Because we will all be housed in the lodge, it will be easy to spend time with CNC women.
  • No household chores.
  • No bland food.You are forbidden to go into the staff laundry to take care of the sheets and towels. You are equally forbidden to enter the kitchen to whip up dinner. Instead, you will be pampered by housekeeping and cooks alike. You will enjoy the accommodations and tasty food.

Your Turn . . . Go ahead and sign up today. Deposit deadline is March 6, 2011.

Related Post . . . No Matter How Hard You Try, These 6 Things Will Not be at Women’s Retreat

5 Reasons I Love My Support System


Womb babies can suffer great distress when their external environment is chaotic and unloving. Infants can die without adequate nurture and touch. Children can develop severe personality disorders when affection and protection are withheld. Many adults can’t distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationships when they’ve suffered a lack of continuous, positive companionship. In summary, all people from pre-birth to death need a support system in order to live (physically and emotionally).

This is a 5 point tribute to my support system.

I love my support system because . . . 

1. My support system is made up of blood-family. Not all blood relations are part of my support system. Some  I’ve never known well. Some I’ve lost track of or they’ve lost track of me. Some are not safe people. But a few certainly qualify as support “staff.”They have known me the longest and seen me grow the most. And they are still around. They are faithful to our relationship. They keep me grounded and bring out the best in me. I love them because they are part of my past, present, and future.

2. My support system is made up of adopted-family. Because of moving around so much, I have few friendships older than 20 years. I have many friendships in the 1-10 year range. Some of these friendships (old and newer) have moved into “adopted” family. They help me debate my internal lies and tell me when I need some growth in an area. They help me play and work well. I love these folks because they accept me for who I am today not for who I will become tomorrow.

3. My support system includes God. The Triune God has a vested interest in how I behave today and tomorrow. He has given me talents, skills,and interests in order to pursue a specific, good future. God knows ALL about me (even the parts of me I deny, don’t know, or flat-out ignore). And still He loves me and in fact will never leave or forsake me. I love God because He first loved me. He showed me how to love and then He empowered me to be able to do so.

4. My support system includes mentors and characters from books. I have always been a reader. I have always been affected (good and ill) by what I read. These mentors, heroes and heroines (real and fictional) have shown me how to keep loving God when life is full of horror (The Hiding Place) and how to rejoice when life is full of promise (Little Women). They have given me ideas I never would have thought of on my own (The Knowledge of the Holy). They encourage me to persist (Fox’s Book of Martyrs). I can learn from their mistakes and good choices. I love these people because I can learn from them what it means to live life well.

5. My support system also needs to include me. I can be my worst enemy even when surrounded by the best of all support systems. I can be my greatest aid and cheerleader even when surrounded by neglect, hate, and harsh actions. I need to recognize, except for God, none of the other support staff will be able to give me 100% support 100% of the time. Nor can I do that for anyone else 100%  of the time. But I am the one who determines how beneficial the other 4 groups on my support staff are. I belong to God and I want to treat His daughter and “property” well. So choose to love me because I’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose.

I truly am blessed by a marvelous support system. I pray that I stay attuned to this blessing until the day I die.

Your Turn . . . Who is part of your support system?

  • Who would you like to thank?
  • What surprises have you come up with in thinking on this topic?
  • What books have meant a great deal to you and why?
  • Is God part of your support system? Why or why not?

This is the 7th post in the “5 Reasons I Love . . .” series.  Go here for the original post which explains how this idea came about.  Tomorrow’s post is 5 Reasons I Love My Hobby.

Related Posts . . .

Five Reasons I Love My Job


I haven’t always listened to God regarding His will for me. But I know without a doubt that right now, I am at the right place (job-wise) at the right time. My job is challenging, busy, and a faith-stretcher at times. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Read on for 5 Things I Love About My Job. 

  1. Staff. There are 8 folks on staff. We have dozens of volunteers. Together we cover the program and administrative needs of ministries to children, youth, college, men, women, 55+, small groups, and outreach into the community. Each person is very passionate about their area of ministry. And each person is committed to following the Lord’s will for that ministry at CNC for this time. We are unified.
  2. Travel commute. I love that my commute is 10 minutes. I feel blessed that I get to work in the same city that I live. Of course, my present commute doesn’t compare to the one I previously enjoyed. For several years I lived in the house the church owned. At that time my commute was 30 seconds.
  3. Office space. The church house has been transformed into the church office. This is where the staff “lives” during the week. Roberta and Ray did an awesome job with the remodel making sure our needs were met in both form and function. Our previous office space in the church building is now used for small groups on Sundays and during the week. As I oversee the small group ministry, this makes me very happy.
  4. Variety. I oversee ministries to children, small groups, and women. On a weekly basis I get to use all my spiritual gifts (administration, teaching, mercy, leadership, shepherding). I get to oversee and be involved in many programs. I get to know, pray for, encourage, and train many volunteers in these various programs and ministries. There is never a dull moment. There is always opportunity to trust God and to see answered prayer.
  5. Leadership. The leadership of our senior pastor, elders, and governing board has been a blessing. They have done an honorable and consistent job of balancing individual needs versus corporate needs according to the direction of the Lord’s will. One thing I am sure of, these men and women are acting on God’s behalf. I pray for them. I encourage them. I trust them. And finally I trust that God will continue to lead His church through these willing, prayerful, committed people.

This is the 6th post in the “5 Reasons I Love . . .” Series.  Go here for the original post which explains how this idea came about.  Tomorrow’s post is 5 Reasons I Love My Support System.

5 Reasons I Love My Church


Whenever I have lived in this city, I have attended Cordova Neighborhood Church (CNC). Whenever I have lived in other cities and needed to find a home church, I have always looked for a church like CNC. While I do not believe that there is a perfect church. I do believe that CNC has been a good fit for me. Read Eight Surprising Things You’ll Find At This Church.

Here are 5 reasons why. 

  1. Acceptance. Sitcoms like Cheers and Friends have been popular because folks want to belong someplace. I have found that at CNC. When I was a young mom of 2 toddlers, I found acceptance and a ministry outlet that fit (edited the monthly newsletter and taught 2’s & 3’s). When I was a mom of preteens, I found CNC folks who accepted how God led our family (homeshooling), and I found encouragement in this task and my faith. When I came back to CNC marked with the shame and pain of divorce, I found healing, teaching, and prayer. And of course, I found acceptance once again.
  2. Biblical teaching. CNC has had 3 pastors and 1 interim pastor in its 50ish years of ministry. I find the teaching to be sound and applicable to life. The Bible is the foundation of all teaching.
  3. Friends. I have found more than acceptance at CNC. I have found people who continuously pray for me, who send me encouraging notes, texts, and phone phones, who give me wise counsel when they see me straying, who invite me to “play,” and who like me. CNC is home to some precious souls also known as friends.
  4. Intergenerational. For a seminary assignment I had to attend another church and grade the experience. I was excited to attend a particular church (not in my immediate area) because I heard great things about its pastor.  The church was young, hip, and friendly to the younger people. I am (and was at the time of the visit) old. No one wanted to engage me in conversation even when I went to the small groups and women’s ministry tables for information. This pastor’s teaching was excellent, but I gave the church an F. However, CNC welcomes all ages. All ages are welcome to participate in and receive ministry.
  5. Missions minded. CNC is not a collection of people intent on keeping their talents, time and money for themselves. This is a very mission minded church. We not only give to our city, we give to our denomination to help support workers all over the world, and we give money to specific worldwide ministries.

Your Turn . . . There are other excellent churches around. Please share why you love your church.

This is the 5th post in the “5 Reasons I Love . . .” Series.  Go here for the original post which explains how this idea came about.  Tomorrow’s post is 5 Reasons I Love My Job.

Five Reasons Women’s Retreat is a Bargain!


1. Q.   How much is it and what do you get for the money?

A.    Women’s Retreat 2011 is $180.00. It is 2 nights and 3 days at Zephyr Point. The rooms are hotel style and have fresh sheets, plenty of hot water, and a bed for each woman. The majority of the rooms sleep 2. Check in is 4 pm on Friday.

2. Q.   Anything else?

A.    You get six meals: Friday night dinner, 3 meals on Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Sunday. There will also be snack provided on Saturday afternoon and evening. If you have food requests (like vegan or lactose-intolerant), the kitchen will accommodate you. Be sure to mark that on the registration form.

3. Q.   Is that it?

A.    Of course not! The teaching and worship time will be top-notch. This year we’ll hear 4 women share how God was their strength in various aspects of their lives and how you can have the same. As always the schedule is not jam-packed, so you’ll have some free time too.

4. Q.   That’s a lot for $180.00 That’s it, right?

A.    No way! Each woman will also receive a notebook that has lots of room for note-taking, exercises for quiet time, and resources to continue the learning once home.

5. Q.   Wow! Surely this is it?

A.    Oh, no. The Women’s Ministry Team always spoils each attendee with a bed treat. This secret item is different every year. The only way to get one of these gems is to attend the Retreat.

Q.   Count me in! How do I sign up for the Women’s Retreat this coming June 10-13, 2011?

A.    Fill out a registration form which is located on the bookcase by the Women’s Ministry Bulletin Board. You can also download a Women’s Retreat Brochure 2011 here. Turn it in with your deposit to the office, put it in an Offering Box, or mail it. Do this today. The spots are limited. Deposits are due March 6th.

If you have a question, contact Pastor Susan at  or 635-5992 x14.