Category Archives: 1000 Gifts

Counting God’s blessings every day

Belle Glade Beautiful

The 5 Minute Friday topic:


and I immediately thought of our week in Belle Glade.

BG picture

No way to do it justice.
Not in 5 minutes,
Not in 5 lifetimes!

But I want to share some of the beauty with you,
so I will attempt,
knowing that some things,
even for one who loves words,
are best shared face to face.

It was Beautiful… to see 40+ (yes, really!) girls and leaders living in unity and fun,
sharing and praying together at day’s end


Yes, we did look like a tetris board completely filled up!
Yes, we got our exercise walking/jumping to and from our mattresses each day!


It was Beautiful… to see middle school kids learn, grow, and lead Sports Camp with excellence!


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It was Beautiful… to see God call me to something crazy – seriously crazy! – during the week
AND call my husband to something similar – without either one of us knowing!!


Then see Him confirm that call in His Word

It was Beautiful… to see God answer prayer!


It was Beautiful… to see 500+ students sing in worship and surrender

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and to hear them cry out to God in prayer,
a Thursday night etched in eternal memories


It was Beautiful… to be challenged by our Student Ministries pastors twice daily

prayer notes

It was Beautiful… to share the re-cap of the week together, even though it doesn’t touch the surface.


click to watch the Belle Glade service

It IS Beautiful… to see God continuing the work He started last week!!



It WILL BE Beautiful… to see others wake up and take the challenge!
You’ve got 2 to choose from – go for both! 🙂

Prayer Pocket Challenge

Awake 514 Challenge

I’d love the company!


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Honoring Fathers

I just posted on my Facebook…

My boys are so blessed!







and so am I




BBMom&Dad 50th

I’m so thankful for the gift of such a great Dad
who has his priorities straight
and provides an amazing example of living life for God
and of the joy of ministry!
What a legacy he has!

photo-66And I’m so thankful for Tim
and the example he provides for our boys
of how to love his wife
and walk humbly before his God.
What a legacy he is leaving!

Eichner-3 - Version 4

I am so blessed, and am thankful that my boys are too!

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Posted by on June 16, 2013 in 1000 Gifts, Family Fun


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Love Handles Wisdom

“Love Handles”
the theme of the last Student Ministry series
about how to handle relationships in a Godly way.

During the series there were some great points like…

“Don’t worry about finding the right person. Worry about BEING the right person.”
“God cares more about your soul than your status”
“Girls, you are worth the wait.”
“Guys, marriage is worth waiting for.”

But my favorite part of the series was the end.

All during the series kids had been sending in questions about relationships. The Student Ministry Pastors chose a panel of a single gal, a single guy, a dating couple, and a married couple to answer some of those questions.


Can I just say, that panel was AWESOME!! Seriously, I was amazed at the wisdom imparted to the students! Here’s an example: Question: “What do I do if I’ve found a great person, a really Godly person, but my parents don’t want me to date?” Answer: “If your parents aren’t for it, it’s not a Godly relationship. If you have to go against your parents, you’re saying it’s ok to lie and your relationship is based on a lie.” See what I mean?!?

But still, my favorite part was the end of the panel.
Because a spontaneous idea turned out to be amazing.

My parents “happened” (really, orchestrated by God) to be visiting us and wanted to observe a Student Ministry service. They “happened” to be there during the panel discussion. When I mentioned to Pastor Aaron that Mom & Dad had been married 51 years (and started dating in 9th/10th grade), he immediately asked if they’d be willing to share one nugget of truth to the kids at the end of the panel. Since Dad is a teacher and former pastor, it wasn’t too hard for him to say yes 🙂


So they went on stage at the end of the discussion as special guests
and gave the kids one word
to help them build a lasting relationship.


Faithfulness first to God, and then to each other. They challenged the kids to follow God’s design and not mess with Him. Then they prayed a prayer of blessing over the middle schoolers. Dad got a little choked up, and so did I.

What a special night!
One of those magical memories!
I loved hearing the kids cheer for Mom & Dad.


But the best was still yet to come. They were floored by the number of kids who came up to them – especially boys! – and thanked them for sharing. They got to talk with and pray with a group of gals who sought them out. It was so gratifying to them, and to me, too!


What a great exclamation point to their 50th Anniversary celebration last year!
And what a blessing to know they’re still being used by God!


Posted by on June 10, 2013 in 1000 Gifts, WOW! Only God!


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Doing Life Together

The topic was “View”

And I had a front row seat.

It was beautiful!

To see a mom re-united with her son for the 1st time in 2+ years.

He’s active duty military; been deployed to Afghanistan.


To see a wife willing to stay behind, share her man, and be content with watching on video.

To see a life group doing life together.

To see everyone working together to make a milestone birthday surprise happen.

To hear all of us saying, “This is why we do life together.

No one person could have pulled this off alone.


To see someone have an idea

share that idea with another

who mobilized a group of people

to give, plan, and prepare

and every person’s input was crucial to the success.

To see each person thinking through different details that would have been missed by another.

To hear numerous phone conversations

and see texts flying back and forth as we gathered together.

To see adults giddy with the excitement of anticipation!

To hear boys planning ways to reveal the surprise:

“Let’s paint our faces black and belly crawl through the grass!”
“Let’s rappel from the roof!”
“Mr. Nate can be the window washer and wash her window.”
I told you he was active duty military! 🙂
He was also their life-group leader a few years ago, so he trained them well!


To see Mr. Nate lead and manage the boys,

giving them reconnaissance duties
(this did involve the roof),

and entry-point duties

which they loved, and also helped them feel a part of the event.

To see my boys experience the thrill of giving

even though they don’t really know the mom, just the son.

To hear, “Next time there’s a surprise like that I’m in!” from my boys.

To see strangers appreciate the experience.

To realize how blessed we all are to do life together!

I don’t know which was the better view –

all the planning and excitement beforehand,

or witnessing the joyous reunion!

It was beautiful!

The perfect beginning to Memorial Day weekend!


Posted by on May 28, 2013 in 1000 Gifts, WOW! Only God!


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1000 Gifts March

682- A free Starbucks coffee!! They didn’t have what I ordered, so I got it free. And I had great conversation with Sandra added to this blessing! What an encouraging time!

683 – Went to the Boynton Commitment service. Prayed about what God wanted us to do and did it. 5 days later Tim got an opportunity to teach summer school! Classes still have to make, but we both were encouraged.

684 – Prayed for increased income. Found 6 pennies on the ground 🙂

685 – Prayed more specifically for denominations of 10. Kerri found a dime for me while running at HEW! 🙂

686 – Being able to keep windows open. It’s so nice to have that fresh air in the house!

687 – Michael & Nathan are excited about Belle Glade missions trip coming up. We’re glad to be able to participate this year. You can read about last year here.

688 – Being able to guest post at Hip Homeschool Moms!  Hip Homeschool Moms Button

689 – Unexpected cool weather! Yea for bringing out the jackets and jeans again! I really didn’t think we’d have much winter back in December and early January!

690 – Boys encouraging other kids to do the right thing during worship.

691 – Looking out the window and seeing the sky full of stars

692 – SPECIFICALLY fasting for positive interactions, and last night it happened!!! Praying for more to continue!

693 – God’s Word purifying my heart

694 – Learning to practice living by God’s Word!

695 – When the HEW Coach says, “Good squats, Michelle” and really means it! 🙂

696 – Learning how to do a handstand push up. Not that I can go all the way down yet, but I will get there!

697 – Climbing up one more knot on the rope at HEW!! (Big blessing for the short ME who’s afraid of heights when I’m climbing. Roller coasters are fine, but I’m not the one climbing those! :-))

698 – A wonderful phone conversation with a wonderful friend, who just happens to have a wonderful name. Thanks, Michelle 🙂

699 – Seeing answers to prayer during the fast


700 – getting $10 in the mail

701 – finding a dime and a quarter on the ground

702 – An UN STINKIN BELIEVABLE! display of God’s hand at work!! Seriously, you HAVE TO READ that post!

703 – David bringing me a nickel he found on the ground saying, “Mommy, you’ve been praying, right?”


704 – A perfect weather day yesterday. Seriously, I don’t have enough adjectives to describe it.

705- Coupons so we could have Chick-Fil-A and pay $0.00!! 🙂

706 – BookIt!

707 – Finding a quick new recipe on the back of the rice box

708 – Michael’s decision to be baptized. No Greater Joy! (ya gotta read that one, too! :-)) Seriously! That adds about another 20 blessings to this list!!

1Michael out

709 – Friends who went in the water (even though it was freezing!!) with him to stand with him and support him.

710 – Amazing youth pastors who braved the cold all evening for the joy of baptizing students!

going in

711 – Youth pastors who call up the youth! Who encourage boys to step into all that God has for them. But not just by saying those words, by giving them the opportunity to actually do it! And then encouraging them that “it’s the first of many”. A blessing beyond words!

712 – That Nathan realizes what a blessing it is to have Pastor Ryan encourage him to baptize his friend! (see #711)


713 – A friend who took great pictures of the baptism so I could be in the water with Michael and video tape. Thanks, Kadi!


714 – Celebrating the baptism with lots of students at Chick-Fil-A afterwords. And being able to help Nathan raise money for SLU in June.

715 – Lessons learned during the fast

716 – Breaking the fast with donuts and ice cream for breakfast!

717 – A nice cold weather snap, even though it came for the baptism. Michael won’t forget that day! 🙂

718 – Watching “The Bible” together as a family


719 – All the conversation and questions that #698 has brought!

720 – An amazing weekend of Easter services!

Easter 2013

thanks Stephanie Field for the pictures!

721 – That Nathan wanted to be at all 9 Easter services singing in the choir!

722 – A glorious sunrise to greet us on our way to church Easter morning!


723 – EASTER!! He is RISEN!! We have joy forever. Hallelujah!!

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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in 1000 Gifts


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No Greater Joy!

What a day!
And what a way to usher in
the ending of our fast and the Easter weekend!


Michael was baptized at the Student Ministries beach baptism
Juno Beach, 3/27/13

It was chilly!
64 degrees with a 10mph wind.
Pastor Todd said this group was the first Christ Fellowship Polar Bear Club! 🙂
But it was a special evening!

How special to share this significant step with people who have supported Michael and spoken into his life so consistently from elementary school on!


How special to be able to be out in the ocean with him! even though it was cold!!

1Michael under

How special to hear Pastor Tom encourage all those who were being baptized that they would influence their generation for Christ!


How special to have youth pastors who brave the chilly temps and high waves not just for Michael, but for all the kids who followed Christ in baptism yesterday!



How special to have those youth pastors speak into Michael’s life and encourage him. Michael says he’s being spoiled. 🙂

1Aaron Ryan

How special for Michael to have his friends support him in this part of his journey!



How special to have our friends share our celebration in person and in spirit!



How special to have a life group leader support Michael in spirit, and speak encouraging words into Michael on his special day.


How special to hear students worshipping unashamedly and singing praises to our God on the beach!




How special to have one of our friends take pictures for us!


How special to have Tim take part in baptizing Michael, and seeing Nathan’s joy for his brother!

1Michael baptized

1Michael Nathan

How special to have Michael experience the joy of obedience. Every time he watches the video he celebrates!

1Michael joy

1Michael out

How special!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4


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That’s just how I wrote it in my journal…


I’ve been dying to share this! So here’s the story…1pennies

We’re in our 21 days of prayer and fasting. One of my prayers was, “God increase our income.” That very day I found 6 pennies sort of scattered in the library parking lot. I started laughing out loud – literally! I said, “OK. I got the message. I’ll pray more specifically.”

My next prayer: “God, increase our income in denominations of 10.” And the next day – no lie – Kerri found a dime on the parking lot as we were running at HEW! We both started laughing! And I got the message to be more specific still.

1tenThird time’s a charm, right? “Ok, God, bills, not coins.” And, seriously, we got a $10 bill in the mail!! Not totally unexpected since family usually sends that amount at Valentine’s, Easter, and Thanksgiving. But the timing, and the fact that it was a $10 bill, not 2 fives or anything different. Unbelievable!
(but not UN STINKIN BELIEVABLE yet! :-))

Then the serious conversations came.

I have never had such a long, continual back-and-forth conversation with God before in my life.
I’ve also never heard God so clearly.
He was challenging me about my perceptions of Him.

I wasn’t at the point where I could ask for big yet.But I do remember praying that God would do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think a few days earlier. Still processing.

THEN I got a phone call from a friend who asked if we were home. Her son had a surprise gift for us. Her words were, “It’s not a puppy. If you decide you don’t want it, I’ll take it back. Don’t worry.” I’m thinking we’re getting a turtle cuz her son’s turtles had babies or something. Have to admit to being a little nervous. She pulls up with her son in the van. And from the back seat they pull out

a   flat  screen  TV!


I kid you not!!!

And I was speechless!!!!!!

Here’s our old TV.


Suffice to say that we needed a new place for the new TV!
And I had no problem KNOWING God would provide that!!
And HE did.
We just did some rearranging, which helped us anyway!

Here are a few last tidbits for you.

  • God rewarded Tim’s patience and discipline. He really thought about getting a new TV in the fall, but resisted the urge so we could be disciplined with our finances.
  • Nathan had been praying for a flat screen, so he got to see God answer in His perfect timing
  • The boys saw the opportunity to give God glory when they tell people the story. They see it clearly as a blessing.
  • We have a daily reminder of Who God Is – and How BIG He is!!
  • My friend was so encouraged to see the timing of the whole thing…which adds to the richness of the story…and is for another post.



Posted by on March 25, 2013 in 1000 Gifts, WOW! Only God!


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