Monday, March 29, 2010

Monthly Challenge

Challenge 50

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Let Go: You are moving in the right direction if you are following the leader – Jesus Christ. To know Him is to love Him and to follow Him is life changing. The more you read, study, observe, and understand the life of Christ and then imitate Him, the more your life will be a reflection of Him.
Start Today: Ask yourself, “What are the detours and dead ends I’ve taken by trying to go my own way?”

Move Forward: This week examine the life of Christ by reading in the Gospel of John. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and to open your eyes to one way that you can begin to imitate Christ.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Class Spotlight- March 2010

Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Chandler, AZ
Class Leader: Vicki Tverberg
The Moving On After Moving In study has been absolutely life-changing for so many women who have participated. I have been leading the group for the past 4 years, and I still run into gals who have taken the class before, and they come up to me and say how important that class was for them! The gals in each group form a very special bond with one another, regardless of age or life stage, it seems. They have a common thread – moving – and work through some very deep and personal feelings alongside the other women in their group, so I think that helps them connect quickly. My current evening group has just met for 4 weeks now, and already they are connecting outside of class to hang out together, etc.
The class always helps gals connect with our mega church, and feel like they actually know someone among the crowd! It’s amazing how God works through the study, and really ministers to the tender hearts of each gal. They begin to feel a sense of purpose, start to memorize scripture verses, and hope in their future begins to flourish! As a leader I am always blessed by each group, and I enjoy watching the miracles that occur during our time together.
All for His Glory,
Vicki Tverberg

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Moving Story

Dawn in Arizona

A Texan in the desert...

On March 7, 2010 I will be celebrating my one-year anniversary in Arizona. The last year has been a roller coaster that I wasn’t prepared for. I’m pleased and so thankful to say that instead of hanging on waiting for the next unexpected dip, I am finally enjoying the view. Here is my story.
My name is Dawn and I’m from Texas. In November 2008, my husband came home from a business meeting very excited about a possible role change within his company. I assumed that it would involve more travel but never guessed it would include leaving Texas. I’d moved to Texas in 1991, 7 days after graduating from college and had built a life there: friends, church, marriage, babies -- you get the picture. I fully planned on living there forever.
After the initial shock that we’d be moving to Arizona, my adventurous spirit kicked in and I started looking at houses online, interviewing schools, and planning our relocation. During this time, my mother-in-law bought me the book, After the Boxes are Unpacked by Susan Miller. I politely thanked her and put it in my travel tote. We arrived in Arizona and, for the next few months, I was buried in unpacking our house, getting my children settled in their activities, and figuring out where to grocery shop. I started reading the book and soon realized while visiting Scottsdale Bible Church that Susan Miller taught the Moving On After Moving In class there. I immediately signed up for the class and could not wait for it to begin.
Each week I walked in that class after reviewing the chapter and I listened to Susan share deep truths about Christ and how looking to Him can meet our unexpected needs after a move. I heard stories from other women who were vulnerable enough to share and it became such a safe, encouraging place. I cannot describe how incredibly encouraging this was in my life. I realized that it was okay to grieve my old community, the intimacy of my old friendships and the end of dreams I had that involved living in Texas. I learned the difference between clinging and cherishing. This class was the first thing I did in Arizona for me. I felt like I was dieting all week and once a week I received a big, rich piece of chocolate. YUM.
I’m most thankful for what attending this class did for my relationship with Christ and with my husband. Neither of them was in his rightful place in my priorities. A fresh start in Arizona has deepened my awareness of how intimately involved God is with the details of our lives. It has also reminded me how crazy in love I am with my husband and that no matter where God leads him, I will follow.
Thank you, Susan, for following God’s call to encourage women and help them navigate unexpected feelings and experiences that accompany relocating! May God greatly bless your ministry!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

moving Tips- March 2010

Tips to take you through the stages of moving.
From preparation to becoming part of your new community...
Following Susan Miller’s guest appearance on the FamilyLife radio broadcast in 2009 with hosts Dennis Rainey and Bob Lapine, the FamilyLife staff put together their own list of moving tips. We shared many of those tips with you last spring and are bringing you 30 more. Whether you’re preparing for a move or adjusting to a recent move, you’ll find something here to help.
Thanks FamilyLife! These are great tips!
Preparing for the Move
  • Relax and trust in God’s timing instead of being concerned about things you are not in control of.
  • When you are preparing to move, have a sense of adventure. Look for fun and excitement in starting life in a brand-new place! Your success in adjusting to your new home and town will depend largely on your attitude.
  • Allow yourself to grieve the friends and home you are leaving.
  • If you have children, make the move an adventure for them. Keep them involved with the planning, deciding what to throw away or give away, and let them help with the packing.
  • When getting rid of things, ask the children if they would like to donate some of their belongings to shelters, hospitals, your church’s clothes closet, Goodwill, etc. The possibilities are limitless. You’ll be surprised by how much the kids will give away/share with others if doing this is their idea.
  • If possible, familiarize yourself with the dimensions and floor plan of your new home so you can tell the movers where to put the furniture and boxes.
  • Clearly mark the outside of each box with the location for the items it contains.
  • Color-code the boxes according to room. Include the location of small items (Ex: second drawer in oak desk).
  • Label the boxes by the room they will go to and by the essentials you will need (such as kitchen—dishes, silverware; or bathroom—toilet tissue, towels). You may want to include identifying information about the contents. Ex: bathroom/lower left drawer of vanity; master bedroom/top dresser drawer; baby’s room/sleepers and undershirts.
  • Think in stages. Mark boxes not only for room location, but also 1-5 (based on how urgent/early you will need the contents). The boxes labeled 3-5 will not need to be unpacked the first few days. Consider putting them in a garage, or somewhere out of the way, where you can go through them as time permits. Doing this will make your living areas more livable much quicker, and not stress you to unpack everything so quickly.
  • Label each box carefully and tape a list of contents inside. Load the truck so that the beds and bedding are packed last. That way, when you unload, you can easily set the beds up first so that everyone has a place to crash when they are tired.
  • Know how many boxes you have and put a number on each (Ex. 1 of 25).
  • For each day of travel, pack one suitcase with a complete change of clothes for every member of the family. Also, pack one overnight bag with toiletries and medications. When you stop for the night, you will only need to bring one suitcase (with clothes) and one overnight bag (with toiletries/medications) in to the hotel.
Moving Day
  • When the movers disassemble beds, tables, bicycles, etc., ask them to give you the screws, bolts, etc. Put each set in a separate bag and label.
  • Remember that the movers will pack everything as is. One friend found a kitchen garbage can filled with garbage when she unpacked.
  • If you move a lot, it’s a good idea to retain the original boxes for crystal, stereo equipment, punch bowls, etc.
  • Insist on a separate box for each lampshade you value.
  • Ask the movers to put any loose cushions for your furniture into boxes so they won’t get lost or soiled.
  • If you set up the children’s rooms first with toys, the kids can begin to feel at home while you work on the rest of the house.
Becoming Part of Your New Community
  • This is a chance to draw closer to God … allow Him to be your best friend for a while—then you won’t miss your other friends so much.
  • Focus on what you can learn in your new culture. Cheer for the hometown football team, try a regional recipe, tour a local art museum, etc. You will miss the “old,” but you don’t have it anymore. Be content with today, and look for the gifts God has for you in your move.
  • Get involved with a small group (for exercise, to study the Bible, volunteer, etc.). Involvement in a new community is key to resettling.
  • Bloom wherever you are planted.
  • When you move, you are not ending friendships; you are expanding them.
  • Smile, because people will smile back and be more willing to converse with you.
  • Get involved.
  • Accept all invitations you possibly can. People will ask you to do things when you’re new—if you say “no” enough, they will quit asking.
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbors … even when you’re sweaty and carrying boxes. Ask for their names and phone numbers.
  • Invest time and energy into building new relationships and be willing to let go of some relationships you left behind. Some people spend all of their time talking to friends where they moved from and not trying to develop new relationships in their new hometown.
  • Don’t expect similarity, accept God’s amazing differences

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monthly Devotional- March 2010

Moving to a Place of Trust
Kim wrote me a letter to tell me the news. Her husband was with a large company and they were being transferred to another country. She had never moved out of the city limits and now she was moving halfway around the world. Kim was excited about the opportunity, but anxious about all the unknowns that faced her family. She was leaving a job she loved, her extended family, and a town where everybody knew her name.
As Kim described her feelings of sadness about leaving so much behind, I noticed how she kept coming back to the word trust. “I trust God in all of this,” she wrote, “I’m anxious about the housing there, the kids’ school, the language barrier—but, I trust God to work out the details. He’s been faithful to us in the past, so I trust Him for our future.”
I couldn’t help but sense her calm spirit and inner strength through her words on each page. I knew, even with the adjustments ahead, she would be okay. She had already chosen to move to a place of trust in God. “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God,” said Corrie ten Boom.
How about you? Are you afraid to trust your unknown future to God? At a time when everything around you is changing, put your trust in an unchanging God who will not fail you or leave you, and who even prepares a place for you. “In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.” Psalm 56:4
(Exerpt from But Mom, I Don’t Want to Move! By Susan Miller, a Focus on the Family Book)
Scripture to Remember: But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord…My times are in Your hand.” Psalm 31:14-15
Question to Consider: Have I moved to a place of trust with my circumstances?
Prayer: Lord, I feel so worried and anxious! Help me to release my fear of the unknown and trust you each day for what lies ahead. Give me a calm spirit and an inner peace. Amen
Thought for the Day: Today, I will choose to trust God in ALL things!
-Susan Miller

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Heart Talk from Susan Miller

I never know what story will unfold, or what people will cross my path to leave a memorable imprint on my heart, impact my life with the presence and power of Jesus, and thus become my “Heart Talk” for the month. Writing from my heart to your heart is always personal and “in the moment” as God reveals what He wants me to share with you. This month, it all began in the prayer garden at our church. As always, God’s perfect timing is unpredictable and unexpected.
It started with a little something I wanted to do without a lot of fanfare that would bring me joy in the midst of the great sadness I feel with the loss of my beloved Bill. In the prayer garden, there is a wall that displays individual bronze plaques--with name, date of birth and death imprinted on it--honoring those who have gone on to be with the Lord. Bill’s plaque is the most recent one placed on the wall. I thought how lovely it would be to have two large planters at each end of the wall, planted with flowering geraniums and white alyssum. I would furnish the planters, the dirt, and the flowers, take responsibility for watering them, and for changing out the flowers each season. The planter on the right side would sit beneath Bill’s plaque. Knowing how much I love to garden, I knew Bill would be pleased with my little prayer garden endeavor.
I called the maintenance department at our church, got permission to do this, and asked for someone to meet me there to help unload my car. As I walked into the prayer garden, looking for someone who would show up and help me, I saw to my surprise, two of our maintenance staff already there, busily weeding the area. I introduced myself, and told them what I planned to do. With eyes of recognition, one of the men asked, “Was it your husband whose funeral service was held here months ago? Was your husband that Bill Miller,” he said as he pointed to the plaque. “Yes, yes,” I replied, my eyes brimming with tears, “that’s him.”
There was excitement in his voice and a big smile on his face as he shared how he remembered Bill and the devotion he gave to all the men in maintenance shortly before he became so ill. He shared how much Bill’s words meant to all the men, and how he made them feel important for who they are and what they do for our church. “We still have the nails he gave each of us,” he said. (I remember so clearly the preparation and prayer that went into that devotion. Bill was excited to have the opportunity to minister to these men, and so wanted to impact their lives with Christ. He gave each one a big nail, as a reminder that every person has value in God’s kingdom, and no job is insignificant when done with an attitude of serving Christ.)
As I fought back the tears, I smiled and thanked these two men who “just happened to be there” to offer a helping hand, and an act of kindness. (They even ran a water line to my planters so I wouldn’t have to water the flowers with a watering can.) I couldn’t help but notice they had an attitude of serving, and there was a glimmer of value and significance in their demeanor as they worked…
And, I thank my God, who in His infinite wisdom and perfect timing, once again ministered to me in a most unexpected and surprising way to soothe my heart when I needed it the most.
May you too, my friends, discover God’s compassion and kindness in unexpected ways when you need it the most!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Save 15% this month on the Scripture Flip Book

Scripture Flip Book

We're celebrating 15 years of ministry!

Take 15% off the regular price during the month of March! Normally $10, now only $8.50.

Scriptures for Women Who Move
Spiral-bound flip book features all the scriptures referenced in 'After the Boxes are Unpacked.' Smartly organized into 3 sections to provide women with encouragement as they learn to Let Go, Start Over, and Move Ahead after a move.

These scriptures will minister God's hope, comfort, and encouragement to you during a time of transition in your life or in the life of someone you care about. A wonderful way to read and memorize scriptures that will soothe your heart and bring peace to your soul.

Go to Just Moved! to purchase