A Story to Tell


Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their children but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.” We all have a story to tell and it is commanded by the Lord that we share what He has done in our lives.

One of the stories in my life goes like this.  Many years ago in the small town of Cedarville, Ohio a young couple who were students at the then Cedarville College felt led by the Lord to start an AWANA program at Grace Baptist Church.  Not far down the street from Grace Baptist was a little girl who was about to enter 3rd grade.  People from the church came around knocking on doors and inviting the children to come to their AWANA program.  I went to a different church, but my parents sent me to that AWANA program.  After three years I earned my Timothy Award and three years later I earned my Meritorious Award.  I heard the program went on through high school, but Grace Baptist did not have AWANA into high school.  I did the next best thing, I worked in AWANA for as long as I could.  Move forward a few years and I grew up, got married, and had three daughters.  We moved to Rochester, MI.  We heard about First Baptist Church of Rochester (FBCR) from our friend Vicki and also found out they had an AWANA program.  Since AWANA had such an impact on my life, I wanted our daughters to be able to attend AWANA.  What a bonus for us.  AWANA started at Cubbies (3 years old) and went all the way through high school.  I had always wanted to earn my Citation.  It was one of those things on my bucket list.  I asked about being able to get my Citation and found out I could do the work needed and earn my award.  Finally, a few years ago I started learning my verses and doing the other work needed so I could earn my Citation.  It was a joy to do the work my daughters were doing and also to say verses each week to the T and T girls (3rd -6th grade) that I was working with.  They were not easy ones to say verses to either.  They never gave me any slack and if I had one word wrong they were sure to make sure I knew it.  They held me to a very high standard.   Even though we moved to Grand Rapids last June, I still so desperately wanted to earn this award so our youngest daughter and I continued the work.

A few years ago, God led a couple to attend FBCR that had a love for AWANA and now Chad is the Director of the AWANA program at FBCR.  Remember that couple I mentioned who started the AWANA program in Cedarville, Ohio so many years ago.  That couple happened to be present as I received this award.  Chad’s in-laws started that AWANA program so many years ago.  Who would have ever thought that a dream that I have had for so many years would result in me finally receiving the Citation award with the couple present who started the AWANA program that started my love for AWANA and for God’s Word so many years ago.  Only God could orchestrate such a thing.

The moral of this story is to be faithful to the work of the ministry and watch God work.  That AWANA program produced a love for AWANA in my heart.  I now have my Citation along with my three daughters.  Thank-you, Mr. and Mrs. Pycraft for your love for the Lord and His Word.  After the Israelites crossed the Jordon River, they picked up stones from the middle of the Jordan River.  The purpose of the stones was so the children would ask “What do these stones mean to you?”  Again I want to remind us all, we all have a story of God in our lives.  We are commanded by God to share it.  It seems fitting that a picture frame from Cedarville University would be that “stone” of reminder.  To God be the glory!




A state of peaceful happiness and satisfaction


This the fourteenth and final “word on the wall in our kitchen.”  There are many thoughts and emotions wrapped up in this word for me this morning as I sit here and write this.  Last Friday, I had to take all the words off the wall.  We are moving to Grand Rapids this summer and the realtor told me I needed to remove the words before putting our house up for sale.  We had our first showing last week, even though our house is not officially on the market, so I took the words down.


Everyone in our home has a range of emotions when we talk about the move.  Our youngest daughter is having the most trouble with it because it will affect her life more than her sister’s.  They both leave for college in August, but she stays home and has to find a new church, make new friends, adapt to a new skating coach, and the list could go on.  My husband is elated since he will not have to drive to Grand Rapids a few times every week.  The best label for my emotions is “content.”  I have a peace about this move, though I too will have to make new friends and find a new church to serve in.


I have found in this process that contentment is not something I can strive for, rather it is something that comes from my heart.  It is a steadfastness that God is orchestrating the details of my life and in the midst of change, I can trust that he will take care of the unknown.  Please know that I am going to miss my church family here in Rochester.  Since we have no family close by, they have become our family.  I am going to miss the familiarity of being in a place for 16 years, but I have moved in the past and know that the familiarity will return.  Since God is orchestrating this move, I know He has a church home for us with a new church family and a new ministry to be a part of.


Whenever details seem to bring worry into our home, I am quick to remember that this is God’s plan and He has the details figured out better than I.  When we moved here we looked at over 50 houses.  My poor realtor.  I was pregnant, so maybe that explains it.  With the advent of technology, we looked at many more than 50 houses online.  We only looked at five houses this time, but kept coming back to the same one in our minds.  The one that we bought has been on the market since September of 2014.  We feel like God was saving it for us.


When we first talked about moving 2 years ago, I held very tightly to the AWANA ministry I am a part of.  I am the director of the 3-6 grade girls and I love the interaction I have with them and the lessons I teach them each week.  I love this ministry and I love the young girls that are a part of it.  Slowly over time, God has given me a peace about leaving this ministry knowing He would have something else and someone else to minister to. One day I realized that the tight grip with which I had held onto this ministry had relaxed and I was now content with surrendering something so precious to my God.


There are verses of contentment in the Bible, but in my experience contentment is a by-product of faith.  The more I trust my God, the greater my contentment is.  Life is much more enjoyable when we trust God’s plan for our lives rather than try to orchestrate it ourselves.  “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)