Night Light

 by Joy Hutzler

Image result for light bulb at night

It’s dark. I am awake and the clock is glaring a set of numbers that tells me I should really be sleeping, because I have to get up before too many more hours pass. But my mind is spinning a hundred miles a minute, and some concern is boring its way into my soul.

What is it about the middle of the night that has a way of magnifying your thoughts? Why do problems seem so much larger when it’s dark?

 I breathe a sigh of relief and frustration when the sun begins to rise- relief that the long night is over. The light of day eases my fears and concerns, but frustration creeps in because I didn’t get the rest I so desperately needed.

 In my experience, whatever it is keeping me awake in the middle of the night won’t seem so bad by tomorrow’s light. If it’s wrestling with the Lord I’m doing, I’ve learned to just submit and obey.

Last night, I was awakened by a hungry baby. As I lay trying to go back to sleep, some cares of the day before began to overwhelm me. I felt the familiar fears and nighttime overreaction coming on, and the Holy Spirit gently reminded, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” I couldn’t remember exactly where that verse came from in scripture, but I knew it was Jesus talking. When I looked it up later, I found it in both Luke 12:25 and Matthew 6:27. In these passages Jesus is reminding his followers that we can’t worry about tomorrow. If the Lord takes care of the ravens and the lilies, then he will provide what we need as well. Those words in that moment in the night were balm to my soul, and I let the peace of Jesus wash over me, which allowed me to rest again. Thinking how sufficient that verse was for me in that moment in the dark, another scripture came to mind. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

Next time you find yourself getting worked up about life in the darkest hours of the night, remember that your Father is already in your tomorrow. His hand is already working out provision, guiding your steps. Submit your cares over into his capable hands; confess and repent if needed; listen for his gentle reminders; and rest your weary head, “casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.”



Messy Monday Milkshake Madness

Image result for Jack's milkshake

by Kim Hamm

The month of April came and went like a whirlwind. It came in and turned our house upside down. After ten years, it was time to do some home repairs and remodeling. Everything we owned was moved out of the house and stored in the basement and garage so that the work could get done without interruptions. Needless to say, five people living in the basement for three weeks can cause quite a few stressful moments! There were many “spilled milkshake” days.

Let me explain. It had already been a very stressful weekend. Let’s face it. Getting ready for church on a normal Sunday can be a challenge but when all the clothes that your entire family own are dumped in the basement, it can be downright scary. Our new living arrangement started off nice and orderly. All of the clothes were stacked in neat piles and everyone had their own area to keep all their “stuff” organized as much as possible. The problem was that after three weeks of stacking everything neatly and living out of storage bags and bins, all the mountains of clothes started falling. Everything became a huge mess. So, to get the week started off right, after school on Monday, I decided to go through Jack’s drive through and get Kayla and myself a delicious milkshake.

We were having a great time talking, singing to the radio, and enjoying our milkshakes when it happened. As I turned onto our street, Kayla’s milkshake spilled … no, exploded everywhere! One moment I can see beautiful blue skies. The next moment all I can see is milkshake running everywhere. It was dripping down the front of my windshield and onto my dashboard. It was running down my face from the top of my head. I couldn’t see so I immediately turned on my wipers which did nothing to help the situation because, obviously, the milkshake was on the inside, but who can think logically when a milkshake has exploded all over the inside of your car … not me! We had no napkins (I can never remember to ask for them when I need them) so I started grabbing jackets from the backseat to throw on my dashboard to absorb the gooey, sticky mess. I pulled into a driveway and sat there with milkshake in my hair and all over the car. Kayla and I just stared at each in shock and disbelief.

I would like to say that I remained calm and cool at that moment, but I would be lying. I let out a scream, more out of shock than anger. I could just imagine my car smelling like sour milk all summer long. As I looked at Kayla, I only said two words … “How?” and “Why?” I wasn’t really expecting her to give me an answer because how can you explain an unexplainable accident. She just shrugged her shoulders in confusion as milkshake dripped off our hair and faces. Later, as I was cleaning up the milkshake mess, it hit me.

The entire month of April we had been living in a messy state of total disorder and displacement. All of our family routines were halted and our lives were thrown into chaos, mess, disorder and stress. It was just like the messy milkshake that had been thrown all over my car. I realized that life is exactly like that milkshake explosion – messy, unexpected, surprising, stressful, exciting, and chaotic. When you are in the middle of a terribly difficult situation, you can’t see the end results. That’s when you have to let out a scream of frustration (at least I did) and then put your car back in drive and just keep going forward.

Whatever situation you may be dealing with this week, this month, this year, be encouraged that this challenging season will not last forever. You may not know the outcome today, but you can rest assured that God can use any messy, frustrating situation to grow and mature us. Today, as Kayla and I look back on our messy Monday milkshake madness, we can both laugh. Why now and not in the moment of the madness … because God has a way of changing our perspective on the other side of the mess! Don’t give up when you are sitting in the driver’s seat, but you can’t see where you are going. Just let go and let God take control while you wipe the milkshake from your eyes.

Psalm 37:23-24, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Come on in and sit for awhile

What do you need? Advice? Encouragement? A listening ear? Scriptural wisdom? A mentor? Someone to affirm your choices and commitment to Christ in this increasingly secular world? Come on in! Come sit with us.

Grab some coffee and read, pray, meditate, respond,… be inspired.

We are inspired, breathed into by the Holy Spirit of God. We in turn hope to inspire you. As we start this journey, we are excited for what lies ahead! God is doing something NEW! Welcome to this new adventure! This morning sitting here at my kitchen table I must say I feel like I’m about to give birth! For a good portion of this year my focus has been on this new “baby”, and now within a week this project will be born.

Months ago – maybe years – God began working separately, but simultaneously, in my heart and in our women’s ministry leader’s (Sheila’s) heart. I had retired from teaching and nursed my mom through a year of declining health. So when Mom went on to Heaven, I abruptly found myself feeling I had no purpose in life. Around that time Sheila began meeting with a group of other ministry leaders and hearing of the ways they were using social media and current technology to reach out and minister.

During my season of grief, meeting with the Father as a sobbing, sad mess, He began to stir in me a latent gift – writing & editing. First it was journaling my sadness as a therapy for my soul. As I healed, it branched out into card & letter writing, encouraging texts, inspirational Facebook & Instagram posts, and lesson writing for women’s ministry and Sunday Morning Life Groups. I could sense that My Father was beginning a new thing in my life! I love modern technology and began seeing new ways it could be used for encouraging, teaching, and discipling. I wondered if blogging might be part of my future. So when Sheila approached me with the idea of starting a blog for our church women’s ministry, I knew without a doubt this was the new thing God was doing in my life.

From that point came Priceless – the baby. So, “What is this new thing?” you ask. “Tell me about your baby.” Ok. I will.

What is Priceless? Well, it’s a conversation (we’re a blog, actually) begun by a group of Christian women, written for women on all sorts of issues – Christian issues, women’s issues, societal issues, human issues… – and participated in by You as you react and respond to articles. Leave us a Hello in the reply box below if you’d like!

          It’s also a mentor. Many of you, like me, have probably thought to yourself, “I wish I had someone a little more experienced to mentor me.” We at Priceless blog hope to be just that for you! As women of all ages from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds we’ve been through a lot. We’ve seen a lot. We’ve learned a lot. We’ve read a lot of Scripture and had years of teaching and wisdom poured into us from other Godly women. So in return we are sharing that with you. We aren’t experts. We aren’t perfect. We are fellow travelers in this life offering refreshing, living water to those around us.

Who? We are a team of 14 authors, leaders, editors, and tech folks. We love Jesus! We love women! We love seeing failures redeemed, lives set afire with the Holy Spirit, and women growing in the grace and knowledge of their Lord Jesus Christ and living up to the potential that the Father placed inside them.

Why? Because we love Jesus Christ and long to proclaim Him boldly! We deeply desire to see the things the enemy has corrupted be restored and redeemed. We want to make known Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to pay the price for our sin. We want to proclaim the Good News! and offer to you what the Father has given us: freedom for captives, forgiveness of sins, adoption into the family of God, restoration for the years the locusts have eaten, and hope and help for any situation you face.

When? Starting Thursday, August 25, 2016, at 5:00 a.m. Priceless goes public! It is a regularly updated website with blog articles published twice a week – Monday/Thursday – right now. (As things develop we may go to more days per week.) We hope you choose to follow Priceless. Grab a cup of coffee, your journal, & God’s Word and make it a date with us!

Where? Through our Contact Us page. Find our church in the footer on the Welcome page.

How? This is the only answer to “How?” that you need.

For more info check out our About page.