Sunday, August 24, 2014

Come on Everybody...Let's Do the HOP!

This is my very first Blog Hop. The idea is to answer these 4 questions and then introduce my readers to a few of the blogs that I hopes that you will check out those blogs as well. I was asked to do this by my very good friend Joyce over at A Cup of Herbal Blessing. So, now it is my turn to share!

1. What am I writing or working on?
Presently I'm working on editing my book. (It's way too long for a devotional.) I have an editor, but I really need to edit it before it gets into his hands. I have already written a book, entitled The Stolen Truth Adventure Guide. It is a work book to accompany another author's adventure/mystery series based on Creationism vs. Evolutionism. It has not been published yet, and I'm not quite sure as to why? (When you work with other people...and you haven't invested an upfront just have to wait - and I have no problem with that!) As far as my blog started out as a journal of my journey and adventures as a mother to 3 of my favorite superheros! At times, that is still exactly what it is. But as life would have it, it has become a source of therapy for me. There are times when I begin to write, not knowing how it will end, hoping that the Lord will answer the dilemma or issue of my heart at that moment. He is so faithful. Then of course I write whatever, God has placed on my heart. It is my greatest desire to be a source of encouragement. At first I thought it would be just for "Moms" but as He would have it, men, women and even teenagers seem to leave comments and enjoy what they find here. (There is that other blog I work on, not often, but just for fun. It's called Kyrpton's Kitchen. You can check it out!)

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
As I stated above. I am not sure how different it is from other "Mom Blogs" except that I'm also sharing the lessons I'm learning as a child of God, wife, teacher, leader... Often what I write has really been my closest moment to God that day or week. Other times it is just what's going on in the "Engel Zoo". Then other times, I journal memories. This is my place to be open, honest, encourage others, share any kind of wisdom and work through some issues. It's basically a diary that I've left open for the world to read.

3. Why do I write what I do?
Again, not to sound redundant, I write to journal my thoughts, ideas, lessons, plans, hopes and happenings as well as any encouragement that I can be to others. My blog is kind of like a memoir. However, there are those times, as I mentioned above that I write for therapy because I'm working through some "stuff". You know sometimes when we are working through issues, it is nice to have advice from others, but then there are times when I really don't want to be clouded by other's views, perspectives and ideas...I just want to hear from God. That's why I write.

4. How does my writing process work?
I'm a lover of words and a lover of The Word. The ideas, memories, or simply words begin in my heart and they travel to my head and then basically out of my fingers. I love pictures and try to use them often. It is true what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. The other thing I think that you may notice about my writing is that I'm writing directly to you. It's always conversational (well sometimes I write directly to God and let you listen in), and I'm a huge fan of pausing....using my It's really called an ellipsis, but just so you understand, I don't actually use those as defined. I use the dots to show a literal breath as if we were actually know for dramatic purposes. (I know commas are suppose to do that, but we don't always breathe at commas if we're really honest) :)  Perhaps I need to create a new word since I don't really use the ellipsis as it is truly designed to be used.

I guess that is all I have for the 4 questions above. This is my favorite part: I'm excited to introduce you to 3 of my very good friends who blog. Each one blogs for different reasons, and I really encourage you to take some time to go and visit.

Monica Kaye Snyder is a dear friend, a sister of my heart, but one I've actually never met in person. We met right here at The Journey of A Superhero Mom. Somehow she stumbled upon me and we've been sisters since. She is a redeemed child of God, lover of Jesus and ever learning just how powerful the Spirit of God is. She is mother to two daughters, Delaney Jayne and Danica Jean and married to her prince, Dan, for almost 14 years. She is a full time warrior in a battle with a painful and disabling genetic connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and all the conditions that accompany it. She has been writing about this journey at since 2010 when her daughter, Danica, was diagnosed with Chiari and had her first brain surgery fail at just two years old. Before this she wrote at She loves how God uses narrative through Scripture to show His saving Grace. She believes each one of our stories matter. This is why she writes.


Adrienne Bolton and I have sat near each other every Sunday for years and years. Finally, a few years ago...we started to homeschool together. I so appreciate our friendship as she has been such an encouragement to me! Adrienne is a homeschooling mom of two and blogger at The Mommy Mess, where she writes with an honest voice about homeschooling, raising boys, and the mess of motherhood. Her writing has been syndicated on BlogHer and featured at The SITS Girls and Homeschool Blogging. She’s a follower of Jesus and an imperfect parent surviving on God’s grace and mercy. Her writing is always honest, sometimes sarcastic, and never perfect! You can also find her as @TheMommyMess on Twitter and connect with her on Facebook.


Allison Reynolds, is another sweet friend of mine. We actually have known each other for years. She is a fellow homeschool Mom. She is the kind of friend that would walk to my house while I'm still in my pajamas. (She actually has done that in the past...quite often...and I kind of miss it - my kids don't - but I do.) Allison loves life and all that surrounds her. She recently took the plunge and moved to North Carolina after years of dreaming about moving north. Originally from New York, she has lived in a variety of places...California, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Florida. Allison is mom to five children, including one son who was adopted. She has homeschooled for 13 years and is getting ready to graduate their first child in this upcoming year. She loves to write, shop, travel, hike, swim and most of all she loves to fellowship with friends. A believer and Christ-follower since 11 years old, her true desire is to walk out the destiny that God has placed before her. As she nears her forties, Allison is truly taking the concept, “seize the day” to heart. Come watch their crazy life on her blog,

Blessed by all the relationships I have in our virtual world of blogging!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I Can't See You!

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." Psalms 139:7-10

Have you ever felt like there are times in your life where you are super strong for God and then other times you feel like He has left you and you are running for your life? Crazy right? Those are the very feelings we see in David after he conquers Goliath. I recently heard a pastor tell the story again and so I went and reread the story of David and Goliath and I wanted to share what I learned from his sermon. So powerful!! You know, this young man, running towards this giant..all David has is a rock and a sling but he is running strong because God is with him and he knows it. He kills the giant, runs up and takes Goliath's sword and cuts off his head. Feeling pretty amazing at that moment. (Think about those moments in your life...those are powerful moments!)

Four chapters later, David feels like he is all alone, he finds himself going to the priest, so discouraged, running for his life, so alone, and just wants to see if the priest has anything for him.  Perhaps you've felt like this...even after a moment like the one above. We are a peculiar people. :)

The priest them shows him the very sword that years earlier young David had used in one of the greatest, most amazing battles in history.  "The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.” David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.” 1 Samuel 21:9

David first gets the sword when he conquers Goliath.  Four chapters later he feels like God has abandoned him, he's running for his life from Saul, he runs to the priest and what's waiting for him there? The same sword. 

God's promises are available whether you are running towards him or away from him because its not based on your performance. It is based upon a God who will ultimately fulfill all of His promises! (Remember David was anointed as a young boy by Samuel...he was anointed to be KING!)

The difference between those 2 stories of David was his awareness of God's presence. Because God's presence changes everything.

One of the greatest promises God gives us is His presence. If we are children of God, He IS always with us. That's the verse at the top...David in a moment of solitude, writes that verse because he realizes...that God is always with him...He's everywhere!

When things don't go as we imagine they should we think that God isn't fulfilling his promises for us. That's only because we can't see it. His presence is in us that means his promises are all available to us. Are you aware of God's presence in your life?

You may not see it, but you can always find it! Listen, God's promises are at times hard to see...but they are always available. The picture above is my boy Kyle when he was probably 4 years old. He wore that batman mask for a whole year. He thought that as long as he wore that mask nobody could see him. We would play hide-and-seek and he would hide in the open space and believe that he couldn't be seen. We would go along and say..."Where's Kyle?" "Hmmm? I can't see Kyle!" (meanwhile he is right in front of us!) and he would giggle so we would hear him and say..."OH I found you!!"

This is just how we are with God sometimes. God is right in front of us, we know his promises are there, but we can't see Him. We take the circumstances of life put it right in front of our eyes and block out the presence of God and his promises. We take the doctors report that we got and we put it right in front of our eyes and we ask God, why did you leave me, why is this going on, where are you, why is this happening to me? Or maybe we see our children are running crazy and not turning out they way you hoped and you say, where did I fail, why is this happening? What we don't realize is that God is right there...right there...something is obstructing our view because He's always been right in front of us...we might not always see it because these things in our lives can seem enormous, but we can always find it! 

I think that is how David may have felt in that story. When we find him going to the priest he probably felt like the Lord had abandoned him..."God's blessing everybody else, but not me". Then the priest shows him this sword...this sword that brought David's mind back to that battlefield and was able to remove the thing that was obstructing his view and he started to remember God's past faithfulness. It's like that "AHA!" moment.

He starts to relive that moment and remembers God's faithfulness, and maybe that opened up his mind to remember the times when he was tending sheep and killed a lion or bear with his hands because God always protected him or even before that, he may remember the oil being poured down his head and face as God anointed him to be king. Then He began to feel the presence of never really left him, it was always in him, but he let the circumstances of his life overwhelm him and he forgot about God's past faithfulness and His promises!

If you want to start claiming God's promises for your future...start remember his past faithfulness in your life! Thinking on His faithfulness, brings us right back into the reality of His presence. Can you remember where God provided? Where God healed? Where God showed up and made something out of nothing. If you are alone today, can you remember a time when you felt God's presence comfort your weary soul. You begin finding God's promises when you remember what He has already done!

God has never failed to fulfill one promise in His word..he is not going to start with you. Faith is looking what He has done in the past, knowing that he will do it in the present and believing that he will always accomplish it in His future! The Word of God is filled with his promises!

God responds to us is much like the priest in the story above...If you want it take it! God's promises do not come with expiration date.  

2 Corinthians 1:20  "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God."

What do you need today, because God's promises are available to you! Find it is His Word and write it down, put it on your refrigerator, write it on the bathroom mirror! Keep it in front of your eyes!

What is your response to God? Perhaps it will be like David in the scripture above: "Give it to me!" It requires an action. A present only becomes useful after it is opened. A sword only becomes a weapon after you pick it up and use it.  A promise can't be earned but it can be embraced. An unclaimed promise is a forfeited blessing. Listen God's word becomes active when we apply to our lives!

What promise are you believing God has for you today? Let me know!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Whatever You Did...

We had a wonderful day as a family traveling up to north Florida. It was very hot, and buggy (nothing a little insect repellent couldn't handle) but we were together and exploring some of Florida we've not seen before. We hiked nature trails, we discovered monuments to bloody battles of the 1500s and we conquered our 4th (out of 5) National Park in Florida today. It was a good day!

We are smart travelers. We pack some great snacks...pretzels, apples, bananas, watermelon...hard boiled eggs, so we know that if hunger strikes, we've got some good options (and we can stick to a very strict budget). Today as we came to a stop light in our car, we saw a man standing on the side of the road holding a sign that said..."Whatever you give will help!"

Shane has always had a heart for homeless people, for people in need. He seems to always understand the simple truth that God loves them and so should we. I LOVE that about him. He is thoughtful and mindful of others needs and wants to do something to help. We've done this before. My Little Man With A Big Heart shows this same boy 3 years ago wanting to do something for a homeless women we had met.

Today, he sees this man, sun burning his head, holding this sign and Shane says from the back seat. "We have to do something Dad!" "We have to give him something!" "We can't just ignore him like everyone else!" OH HOW I LOVE his precious heart. Mike explained that he probably wanted some money, and we didn't have any cash on us at all. Shane reminded his Dad that the sign says..."Whatever"! So, I reached into our snacks and pulled out all the pretzels we had left and I handed them to Shane. He rolls down the window and says..."Would you like some pretzels?" The man smiled, thanked us and took them. Then I handed Shane the bananas and he rolled the window down again, "Would you like a banana?" The man came over to the car and said, "Boy you really know what I love! Thank you so much!" He smiled, went into the shade and peeled that banana and suddenly the light was green. Shane sat back relieved and said, "Doesn't it just make you feel so good inside when you do that!"

He has been a witness to our family being blessed abundantly. He has had opportunities to help feed the homeless for years. He knows that Jesus loves matter what! He knows to be a Christian means to be like Christ. I was so proud of my boy today! I told him right after the car started to pull through the green light...

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’...‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25

Son, today you loved on Jesus! Today you fed the Lord! Today you offered did it for Him! I love you Shane.