Tuesday, July 31, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Things Change

LIFE LESSON: Things Change
by Toni Spaulding

I have prayed this prayer many times over the years. It brings me peace and comfort.

Change. It can be good, but then again maybe not so good! Just thinking about change brings instant anxiety. I am a creature of habit, organized and methodical. I like routine and the old saying “same old, same old” suites me just fine. I’m also a realist. I know that every single day I have to face the fact that changes will arise. My day will not go as I had perfectly planned!

As I write, I find myself in what I call “The Middle of the Grease”. Things have me hoppin' and poppin' like popcorn in a hot skillet. I am smack in the middle of some serious changes that have been imposed upon me. I am scrambling to meet business deadlines and I have no choice in these matters. Frustration is mounting if you know what I mean!

Serenity. If I ever needed to pray this prayer with fervency it is now. I need a sense of peace and calmness. I am reminded of Ephesians 2:14, “He Himself is Our Peace”. Lord, I need less of me in these situations and more of you. I need the Lord to give me grace to accept all of these changes, which are out of my control.  Are you right there with me, in “The Middle of the Grease”? Take a moment to pray and ask the Lord to fill you with His peace.

Courage. I need to make some very difficult decisions, and soon! I have to be courageous, and that doesn't come easy for me. I am a people pleaser far too often. Yet I find myself swinging a double-edged sword. Sometimes, I am too blunt, which comes across as “nasty”.  More times than not, I find myself doing the “hot potato dance” so I don’t step on toes.

Do you find yourself saying "Amen" to that? As Christian women, concerned that we will appear unlike Christ, we delay making any decision at all. This only brings further anxiety. The reality is, sometimes our decisions will cause heartache and sorrow for others. Our prayer then needs to be, "Lord bring healing to the hearts and minds of those who are affected by our decisions."

It is not easy, but In Isaiah: 26:3, the Lord told us that He will keep us in perfect peace if we keep our mind on Him. He’s the only one who can give us the courage and ability to do what is necessary and needed.  Take a moment to pray for the mind of Christ for me, please, and also for you.  Pray for peace and courage.

Wisdom. Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom." I fear God, but love and trust Him more. I have found his promises to be true and trustworthy. So I leave you with this promise in James 1: 5,
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him.”
Will you join me in making a commitment today? Let's agree to
  • Accept Change Graciously,
  • Be Courageous
  • Just Do It!
  • And pray that all of our decisions are Father-Filtered.

This is a beautiful prayer sung by Mandisa, something we should all be seeking, Oneness with Christ. Let's commit our hearts anew to Him. No matter how close we are to Christ, no matter how much we already know of Him, there is still more! We have so much growing to do!
I am praying for us to be the answer to the prayer of Jesus in John 17, to be ONE as He and the Father are one...Love is the answer! ~Cindy

The Serenity Prayer, by Mandisa


It's a pleasure to introduce you to Toni. Our paths have crossed in many arenas over the years, most of which were ministry opportunities. I know for a fact that she cares deeply about others and loves to serve God. She is an active servant of the Lord.

Toni has been married to Dave for 43 years and a pastor's wife for 32 years. They have two married children, Dawn and Jonathon, and four grandchildren.

Toni has been the owner/operator of Curves in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, for the past 12 years. Curves has been an amazing ministry opportunity, allowing her to reach out to women in need. She also serves as Director of Women’s Ministry at Mount Vernon First Church of the Nazarene.

She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!
Thank you Toni! We look forward to hearing more from you ~~Cindy

Monday, July 30, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Riding the Waves

LIFE LESSON: Riding The Waves
by Kathleen Benis

"'Lord, if it is you,' Peter replied,
'tell me to come to you on the water.'
Jesus said, 'Come on!'
So Peter got down out of the boat,
started walking on the water, and came to Jesus."
Matthew 14:29ISV

“Lord, if it is you...”
Peter models what we usually do. "Lord, I know it is you, but....Lord, I know you are sovereign, but...Lord, I trust you, but...".

I am a new Grammie, A “Glam Gram”. I feel if Hollywood earns a “Grammy” for their hard work, a momma can sport a title for her star role as well!

I think of the “waves of motherhood” as I watch my only son become a father. Seeing him holding his new baby boy, I think of all the precious moments I had as a young mom stepping into the unknown joy of parenting. My husband and I catch glances of joy in each other's eyes, as we watch our “daughter-in-love” and son navigate this uncharted water.

I watch the tears flow from his eyes as he holds his sleeping baby. I think of the tears I wiped from his cheeks as he struggled to reach so many goals to get to this day. I see God's colorful grace in each of those places, setting His plan in place according to His way, His will, His timing.

I think of how we wander out into the waters of life. Much like Peter, one minute we believe we can walk on water, the next minute we fear we might drown. All the while, we are testing the water, trusting God's promise that He will care for us and carry us, yet wondering about all the "but-if's" of our present circumstances. He promises to navigate the waters when the waves become choppy and we lose direction, when our faith falters.
"But when [Peter] looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, 'Master, save me!(vs. 30)"
Are you in a waiting pattern? Are you struggling, feeling God is not watching, not saving you? He saves us again and again. Even in the midst of your current circumstances, He is your Savior and Redeemer.

Don't get stuck. In your walk on water, you may be just one step away from calm waters, where He will unveil yet another rainbow color of His grace.  Don't be afraid to cry out, "Master, save me!" Remember: God sent Jesus to save YOU!

This writing was inspired by the birth of my first grandbaby and by one of my favorite country songs, "Wave Upon Wave" by Pat Green. I pray you will ride the waves of life with Jesus, in faith that He is charting your course!

As you watch this video and listen to the words, perhaps the meaning of today's message for you is this: "Who has Jesus placed in my life that needs to see Jesus through you? So many are drowning in their life circumstances, in search of answers to life's questions. I'm sure you have much more influence than you think! Pray and ask God to help you be an encouragement to that person who is riding the waves, in need of being saved. Then help point them to the Savior. ~Cindy

Ah! Kathleen! It's such a joy to announce that we have a new Grammy among us! In previous posts, she has shared this journey and now it has come full bloom. Oh how I love the Lord shining through this woman...now Grammy. Congratulations to you and your family, Kathleen. Our prayers have been answered. Your Woven Sisters are celebrating with you! We love you! ~Cindy

Kathleen's husband Larry has given her 31years of happiness and now a beautiful home in Newark, Ohio, near their son Nathan and daughter-in-"love" Michelle.

Kathleen loves the Lord and loves sharing insights from God's Word. She loves to help others walk through the hard times, celebrate the good times and give hope in the messy-ness of life.
She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!

Friday, July 27, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Precious Memories

Deronda with her Grandma and daughter

LIFE LESSON: Precious Memories
by Deronda Bryant

My grandmother will be 100 years old on July 29th. Her name is Trula. She was blessed with 11 children, nine boys and two girls (two sets of twins).

I often asked my grandmother how she raised 11 children. She has shared many wonderful memories of her children as they were growing up. They were born and raised in the hills of Kentucky. No real worries and family first. Her children were her joy.

My grandmother loves God. She prayed for her children to know God. God answered her prayers. She has three sons who are ministers and both of her son-in-laws are also ministers. At our family reunions, you could always expect lots of singing and playing gospel songs. The songs “Precious Memories” and “Will the Circle be Unbroken” are very special to me. I can close my eyes and hear the guitars and banjo. I see the beautiful faces of my aunts, uncles and cousins singing in harmony. I see my grandmother’s face light up with joy.

In a writing class I was given a prompt “She Made a Difference”. I set my timer for 15 minutes and started writing. I had no idea when I started writing it would become a tribute to my Grandma. I had never written a poem before. I usually write short stories. My grandma helped me through a rough time in my life. This poem poured out of my heart.

She Made a Difference
She made a difference in those she met
She made a difference most would never forget.
When life got hard and my pain ran deep
She made a difference, she let me weep.
When at times there were no words to say
She made a difference, she stayed to pray.
Some days were hard, some nights too long
She made a difference, she was always strong.
God gives us rainbows, God gives us sun
She made a difference, she was the one.
She was the one I could always depend
She made a difference, she was my friend.
Not just my friend, someone I could call
She is my Grandmother, she is my all.

As my husband read this he gave me the highest compliment. He said “Deronda, this could be about you”. I pray my grandchildren remember me the same way ~ with precious memories.
Happy 100th Birthday Grandma! I know our circle will never be broken.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her.” Proverbs 31:28 (AMP)
I discovered this beautiful video. What a perfect ending to a wonderful week of Life Lessons. I pray the Lord will flood your soul with "Precious Memories" today, that your heart will be blessed by seeing the hand of God woven throughout the tapestry of your life. Wishing I could give you a big hug right now. I'm thankful you are in my life! We are Woven in love...spread the LOVE!~Cindy

I am happy to introduce you to my new friend Deronda! Thank you Deronda for opening your heart and sharing your life with us!  So thankful for you, Cindy
Deronda grew up as a pastor's daughter. She loves God with all her heart. Her desire is to teach love, compassion, and mercy to the hurting.

Deronda and hubby Rick of 35 years live in Massillon, Ohio. They have two daughters; both married and work as RN's. They also have 3 grandsons, two of which have autism. Deronda is in a new stage of life, excited to see where God is taking her. She is writing a book about autism.

She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Living In Love

LIFE LESSONS: Living In Love
by Cindy Stiverson

This may sound morbid, but I truly enjoy performing funerals.

It's one of the things I miss most about being the pastor of a congregation: the honor of being included in the main events of people's lives. Births. Dedications. Baptisms. Communion. Crisis. Weddings. Funerals. Rites, rituals, sacraments. Walking through life's ups and downs as Christ's ambassador, loving on the families He has placed in our lives. Leading, loving on, the local body of Christ.

This week I had the privilege of performing a funeral for a woman I had never met. I only really knew one person there and only for six months. I had only met that person's husband once, who happened to be the son of the deceased. They were my only connection to this family. Yet, I walked away from the cemetary feeling as though my "family" had just expanded to include the forty or fifty people who gathered that day to say good-bye to their loved one.

I enjoy interacting with friends and family members as they share memories. Funny things that stick out in their minds. The attitudes, the famous quotes, the personality quirks, the things they loved about the deceased. In the midst of grief, there's so much laughter and celebration of who this person was, what they stood for, and how they live on in various ways. There's always a grandchild who "looks just like them" or a child who "acts like them" or a sibling who was "so close they could be twins".

Taking all of these things to heart, I return home to begin reconstructing the life of their dearly beloved into a message that will soothe the aching heart. Being an artist, these rank among the most beautiful works of art I have produced in my lifetime. Christ is in the midst of it, reminding me of the perfect passages of scripture to weave in, making it a masterpiece of love, sharing His heart for this family. And, in the end, always leading them to His side in their loss, always reminding them of the cross.

Sometimes it's a frightening thing to stand before a group of people, not knowing their hearts, not knowing how they will receive such a message. Knowing they have asked you to come and "say a few short words" (this always makes my heart smile), but are probably hoping you will do just that, nothing more. But, my boss is my Creator: the one who has numbered our days. My responsibility is to turn hearts toward Him. It's beautiful when hearts are open and truly do turn.

Such was the response in this case. A sweet, sweet spirit filled the room. Hearts were attentive, open, warmed by the words the Lord had given me. We lapped up the Living Water. We partook of the Bread of Life. Together, we celebrated this life and grieved this death. We hugged. We cried. We laughed. We grieved. Thanking me over and over, they praised this piece of art the Lord and I had penned.  And our hearts became a melting pot of God's love.
"God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us (I John 4:9-12NLT)."
I pray that you will live in love. I pray that if you've lost a special loved one, that God will be as close as your heart!


Cynthia K (Cindy) Stiverson

I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.

So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.

Loving God with all my heart, soul, strength; and loving and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Christ's Blood Shed for Me

LIFE LESSON: Christ's Blood Shed for Me
by Debbie Paxton

It was my turn to help serve communion in our church service. I held the cup. When each person came to me after having broken off a piece of the bread, I would say “Christ’s blood, shed for you,” as they dipped it into the wine. As I watched them line up before me….my family of believers, prayer partners, friends – I felt the emotion well up inside me. Christ’s love for His children flowing through the sacrament. His love for them touching off my own compassion for these people who have come to mean so much to me. It was a holy, divine time: serving them and feeling His Holy Spirit flow through the words I spoke to each one, as we remembered together His ultimate act of service for us.

“Christ’s blood, shed for you, Barb.” I whispered to my friend of twelve years, whose children go to youth group with mine, whose husband is a prayer partner and close friend. Barb, my friend with the lump in her breast which was just diagnosed as cancer, her second go around with cancer in five years. She looked into my tear-filled eyes and held my hand around the challis, “Amen, praise be to God,” she whispered back.

“Christ’s blood, shed for you, Hunter.” Hunter, who is home for good, having graduated after five years of college. Hunter, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and was raised up in the church by a village of family members in the body of believers. Hunter, who often interrupts our pastor’s sermons, but always seems to have something profound to say when you really listen to him. He smiled at me and dipped his bread into the cup, walking in that unusual gait I have come to love, “Amen!” he said, with gusto.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Chuck.” Chuck who was healed of MS on a church mission trip to Guatemala, but still carries the limp and scars. Chuck, who pulled me aside on that same mission trip and gently told me to give my daughter more space and let her spread her wings a little. And then told me he would hold my hand when it was scary to do just that. Chuck, who is the closest thing to an earthly father I have ever known. “Amen,” he said, grabbing both of my hands in his huge ones, “Amen.”

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Kyle and Melissa,” our youth pastor and his wife – so young, but with hearts that seek hard after God. Kyle and Melissa, who took communion together because they’ve watched my husband and I do that, always, each week. Kyle and Melissa, who have watched us parent and be husband and wife and do life and have learned and grown and joined us in it. Kyle and Melissa, who quite simply, own a piece of my heart.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Leah, Julia and Anna.” My daughters' love, most wonderful gift from Abba. I know it’s embarrassing that Mom is serving communion, and that you won’t quite look me in the eye, but Christ’s blood shed for each of you precious ones.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Aaron.” Aaron - young man who is a boy still, really. A boy who has captured my daughter's heart, a boy who seeks the Lord and loves Him, but is enticed by this world still. A boy I would like to shake sometimes, but whom I can’t help smile at, as he shyly dares to look me in the eye and say, “Amen.”

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Janet…and Deana and Bonnie and Amber.” Women who share the study of God’s word with me on Monday nights in Bible study. Women who pray for me as I also pray for them, who share my passion for Christ and also my know my failures. Christ’s blood shed for you, my sisters in Christ.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, John, Tonya, Julia, Jennifer and Josie.” Family of God who have three girls our own girl’s ages, gift from Papa to our family. Thank you for the sleepovers and movies and laughter on tire swings, for loving our girls and caring for them as we also love and care for yours. Christ’s blood, shed for you all.

“Christ’s blood shed for you, Vera.” Elder saint, who has gnarled hands and white hair yet remains open to the new things the Holy Spirit brings to her and this, His church, here on the corner of Chestnut. Who has never complained about new worship songs or guitars instead of the organ, but who goes with the flow and lifts her hand in praise to her God.

“Christ blood shed for you, David.” Husband of mine and gift from Papa. I love the way tears come easily to your eyes when you receive communion, the feel of your hand over mine on the challis and your whispered “Amen.” I love how hard you work for us and your laughter and the way you love me, no matter what, wounds and all.

“Christ’s blood, shed for me,” as I dip my own piece of bread into the cup. How is it that He did that for me? And all that He does for me daily still? I love Him, more than anything. Christ’s blood shed for me indeed.

Thoughts to ponder today:
How well do you know the people around you, the person sitting next to you on Sunday morning? Have you truly become the body of Christ?
How well do you know The One whose body was broken for you? whose blood was spilled out for you? Do you truly know your Savior?

Jesus, come and do a new work in me today. Let me truly experience your body and blood as my salvation; your body and blood as the living Christ, the Church. I want to be one with you, Jesus, and with the Father through your Holy Spirit. I long to be woven into a tapestry of your love, in touch with everything there is to know about you. Fill me, overwhelm me, with your LOVE and pour out your love to others through me!
In Jesus Name, Amen.
I love you and I am praying for you, 


It's a joy to introduce you to my close friend and personal prayer partner, Debbie Paxton. As you can tell, she has a deep love for the Lord. She is very gifted in the Spirit and a powerful intercessor. We are so different, yet we are so alike. Love you Debbie!

Debbie is very happily married to Dave. She set aside her career to raise her three daughters. This past year, she re-entered her chosen field of counseling, this time with years of life experiences through which she is able to help others. She loves to work out, ride her bike on the trail, and hang out with the Lord. She leads the prayer and intercession team at First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: What Have I Been Missing?

LIFE LESSON: What Have I Been Missing?
by Christine Clippinger

“And Jesus, when he came out, saw many people,
and was moved with compassion toward them,
because they were as sheep not having a shepherd,
and he began to teach them many things.”
~Mark 6:34

Every week, my cable provider sends me an e-mail with this subject line: “See What You’ve Been Missing”. I’m not a fan of television. If my husband and I watch it, we usually flip through channels saying, “600 channels of garbage.” Frankly, we don’t have time for much of it, and we would rather occupy our precious free time in more meaningful pursuits. Sorry, cable; we’re not ‘missing’ much.

Today, however, that line caused me to wonder, “What am I missing?” My busy schedule and life’s distractions often keep me from doing things that I know I should do, things that God is calling me to do. Sometimes I worry that I fail to notice the opportunities that God is placing directly in my path.

I love special occasions that bring family and friends together, but there is rarely enough time to spend with every person in attendance. Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a vow renewal. Loved ones were invited, and we hired a photographer to chronicle the event.

When viewing the pictures weeks later, a few images stood out. In these, my attention was diverted from the photographer’s main subjects and toward individuals sitting alone in the background. At the moment those photos were captured, I was enjoying the celebration, making sure everything was progressing, or sharing conversation with well-wishers; so I fear I may have overlooked a few people. Did I miss an opportunity to reach out to someone I care about in their time of need?

If snapshots were taken of every moment of my life, what would they look like? Would they capture people unseen, those I had neglected to help? Worse yet, would they contain the image of someone I had noticed but ignored?

When we moved to Missouri, we had difficulty finding a church. At one, we felt alone in a sea of people, and we seemingly went unnoticed for several weeks. We prayed that the next week would be our last if nothing was said to us. That Sunday, several church members approached us to introduce themselves. God had heard our prayers, and moreover, faithful people had followed God’s prompting.

When thoughts that I might be missing someone God cares about occasionally overwhelm me, I am reminded of my singular inability to reach every needy person. Instead, I make it a point to speak this prayer each morning: “God, show me the person that you want me to love in your name today.” This allows God to work in place of my worry and human inadequacies.

God gives me his eyes and directs my vision toward the needs that he has equipped me to meet. While it may be impossible for me to personally reach every oppressed person, it is more than possible for God to do it through each one of us. We are charged with the simple acts of being attentive to his prompting and maintaining open hearts in order to notice that one person God has ordained for us to help each day. Those are his snapshots of love, and what a wonderful, heavenly photo album they will make!

Who will God place in your path or on your heart today? Have you taken the time to ask Him? Will you be prepared to do what He asks you to do? In our prayer time today, let's breathe that same prayer that Christine shared,

"God, show me the person that you want me to love in your name today."
I pray that each of us will be the hands and feet of Jesus, and weave His love into the lives of those we encounter today, and every day. Bless you! ~Cindy

What a joy to introduce yet another beautiful woman of God. I met Christine years ago in one of my community outreach ventures, "Baskets of Blessings". Her heart for people was evident then as it is now. God has reunited us and is weaving our hearts even more profoundly. Thank you Christine, we are excited to hear more from you! We are Woven into a tapestry of love! ~ Cindy
Christine Whitehead Clippinger is a former Navy Engineering Aid, Commercial Interior Designer, Homeschool Educator, and Decorative Painter from Springfield, MA. Christine currently enjoys studying the Bible, watercolor painting, photography, volunteering as a Budget Counselor for Hillcrest Transitional Housing, and being a student of life with an undeclared major. She currently resides in Kansas City, MO with Mike, her best friend and husband of 25 years, and Max, her enthralling cat of 11 years. Christine and Mike have two adult children, Chelsea and Alex.

Monday, July 23, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Fast? or Not?

LIFE LESSON: Fast? Or Not?
by Toni Spaulding

To fast or not to fast? That is the Question!

I don’t know about you but I have not missed too many meals in my day. I like to eat and the only way a meal is usually missed is if I choose to do so. Recently, my mother-in-law and I began fasting Tuesdays at lunch for a special need in our family. We began to see amazing results in a very short time. We continued our fast for several weeks, but then the situation changed.

I must confess that I stopped being faithful in my commitment to fasting. I guess I really had not equated the  two:  1)problem arises and 2) fasting brings results.  This past week I had an "Ah-ha!" moment. Things turned bad and ugly again and the Lord reminded me of my commitment to fast. "Maybe this fasting thing really does work," I thought to myself.

I thought of the story in Matthew 17 about the father who brought his epileptic son to Jesus for healing. Before bringing him to Jesus, the man had taken his son to the disciples but they could not cure him. Jesus, however, healed the boy immediately. Jesus then began to talk about faith and unbelief. Tiny mustard seed faith! I have thought about “mustard seed faith” over the years, as I am sure you have. Like me, you have probably said to yourself, “I believe” and “I might not have BIG faith but I do have faith at least the size of a mustard seed.”

At times, I fear that if I admit my faith is small, it makes me seem less spiritual. What a crazy idea! If Jesus said that all we needed was to believe and to have this tiny amount of faith to see great results, then my mustard seed faith will be good enough. But here is the catch. Jesus says in Matthew 17: 21:

“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

I have found that problems come and problems go. We can either choose to work through these on our own and in our own strength, or we can seek our help and strength from the Lord. Just like the disciples I often find myself feeling powerless because I have not prayed or fasted as often or as much as I should.

Missing an occasional meal never hurt anybody! I have recommitted to the Lord to begin fasting for this situation. With great expectation, I am praying and believing for an amazing healing. Will you commit along with me?
  • To believe when you pray.
  • To trust and have faith.  
To fast or not to fast? The question has been answered in my mind. I trust it’s been answered in your mind too. LET'S pray and FAST!

"Jesus told them, ...I tell you the truth,
if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”
~Matthew 17:20 NIV1984

Have you seen results from fasting in your life or those you have prayed for?
Please share your thoughts, questions, experiences with fasting.
It's a pleasure to introduce you to Toni. Our paths have crossed in many arenas over the years, most of which were ministry opportunities. I know for a fact that she cares deeply about others and loves to serve God.

Toni has been married to Dave for 43 years and a pastor's wife for 32 years. They have two married children, Dawn and Jonathon, and four grandchildren.

Toni has been the owner/operator of Curves in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, for the past 12 years. Curves has been an amazing ministry opportunity, allowing her to reach out to women in need. She also serves as Director of Women’s Ministry at Mount Vernon First Church of the Nazarene.

She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!
Thank you Toni! We look forward to hearing more from you this summer! ~~Cindy

Saturday, July 21, 2012


by SallyAnne Trissel

I have always wanted to write. Having made several attempts over the years, I became very frustrated. Who am I, that I would ever become a writer? I mentioned this to a friend. She prayed with me, asking God to remove the block which was preventing me from writing. A few weeks later, my friend Nancy couldn’t wait to tell me about a writer’s group she had heard about. They told her they would love to have me join. I was so excited.

The group meets once a month to encourage each other in their writing...and they were meeting that same week!  I decided to go, even though I didn’t know any of these women. Knocking on the front door, I was greeted by several women who hugged me and took me in. I have never felt so welcome as I did when they introduced me. These women were so spiritual and loving, I felt like I had known them forever.

We practiced some “prompts” to get us started. A prompt is a phrase to stimulate you to write whatever comes to your mind in the next fifteen minutes. It becomes a short story which we then have an opportunity to share with the group. It was so much fun. The stories were all unique and so different. Later they talked about an upcoming Writer’s Retreat. My mouth dropped wide open. I knew I would absolutely love that, so I signed up!

The next month, there I was, staying with these wonderful women at the Writer's Retreat. We spent five day and four nights. No cooking, just writing! The facility was located on 500 acres of woods and a lake. Talk about inspirational! God was everywhere. These women became my “soul sisters”, my newfound friends. I also got a jump-start on my book. An added blessing: I met Cindy Stiverson there and love being a Woven Woman!

All of this leaves me asking, Who am I, that God would go to such measures of answering my prayers and longings to write? I am HIS!

What about you? What are your dreams and desires? What is God prompting you to do? The God who calls you and knows you by name, will lead you and open a way for you to accomplish the God-given desires of your heart.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1


It's a joy to introduce you to SallyAnne! You will enjoy her spunk and cheerful nature.
She is a sweetheart and dearly loved!
Thank you SallyAnne! Love you!~Cindy

SallyAnne has been happily married to Bill for almost 9 years. She has two grown sons and three grandchildren. Bill and SallyAnne have 4 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels which are very spoiled. Retired from working with disabled folks, she enjoys painting in her studio and writing. She loves being part of Woven Women and encouraging people to follow the path which God created for them.

Friday, July 20, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Power Outage

LIFE LESSON: Power Outage
by Cindy Stiverson

My hubby and I watched from our sliding glass doors as the wind reached 70mph. It blew in a circular motion. I called it a rain blizzard. We couldn't see past our own back yard. Our closest neighbors' homes were blurred by the storm. Within minutes the lights began to blink. We groaned. Our groans were greeted with exactly what we were groaning about. The power went out. That was only the beginning of our groaning! That storm left us powerless for six days.

The outage extended over fifty miles. Stores and businesses were closed. Very few gas stations or grocery stores were open. Most only accepted cash. Long lines formed to fill gas tanks and gas cans to fuel home generators. It was a strange feeling to shop for groceries in the dark, to see empty produce displays, to hear the announcement that it was not safe to purchase remaining dairy, fruits, or vegetables. Our world suddenly became very small, even a bit frightening.

Imagining a world without power is very hard to fathom. Discovering our dependency on electricity was a rude awakening. It's frightening to think how our lives would change, how people would respond if we faced a wide scale black-out. What would we do? How would we live? Our minds cannot even go there...it would be so different.

During those six days of discomfort, life felt out of control. Emotions were triggered, confidence was shaken.  We were no longer self-sufficient. We had to rely on each other to get things done. We couldn't do what we wanted to do or what we would normally be doing. We discovered we were really never in control to begin with. Even the hum of the generators became an annoying reminder that life as we know it had been suspended. Faith in our self-made world was shaken to the core.

The power outage reminded me of the many ways life leaves us uncomfortable. It stirred up memories of times I have felt powerless. Abuse. Controlling or broken relationships. Sickness, disease, chronic pain. Joblessness. Loss of a loved one. Financially, emotionally, physically drained. These hardships drew me closer to my Power Source.

When it feels like life is spinning out of control, I am so thankful that God is sovereign. He is in control. He brings my life back into perspective and gives me peace to face each day. But I must seek Him first. I must go to my prayer closet, journal, pray, read His word, listen to His voice, and do what He asks. Then my heart, mind, soul, and spirit are aligned with His will and I am at peace, ready for whatever that day may bring.

When everything around us changes, we are not left powerless. God is still in charge and His plans are "not to harm us, but to give us hope and a future. You will find Him "when you seek Him with all your heart (Jer. 29:11-13)."

"...we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverence; perseverence, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:1-6NIV)."

"He was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him yet by God's power, we will live with him to serve you (2 Cor. 13:4NIV)." 

"I raised you up for this very purpose,
that I might display my power in you
and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth (Romans 9:17NIV)"

Cynthia K (Cindy) Stiverson
I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.

So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.

Loving God with all my heart, soul, strength; and loving and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Divine Order

LIFE LESSON: Divine Order
by Kathleen Benis

“For we are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10

I have this habit of writing affirmations on little pieces of paper and sticking them in odd places, only to find them later, just when it's exactly what I need to read. My latest find,
“We must identify and understand that which threatens our ability to flourish!”
This just sounds like it should be announced standing on your “soap box”, crown on head and scepter in hand. This saying commands things to come to order!

I am a planner. I struggle when my life becomes too busy to bring order to my day. More often than not I become frustrated and lose my peace. I am no longer content.

Webster defines contentment as "being satisfied to the point where nothing disrupts you." Paul teaches in Philippians how to be content whether in plenty or in need. His secret was drawing on Christ's power for strength. Contentment shouldn't come from having my day under control, but so often I find this is the case for me. Jesus tells us to allow the power of God to establish divine order in our day.

As divine order takes hold in my mind, disrupting thoughts are stilled. Peace and harmony begin to shape my day. I stop trying to monitor my responsibilities and let God influence me to move beyond my plan to His: the divine plan He designed just for me.

Opening my mind and heart to God wards away the worries, allowing me to see my potential. The fog of concern lifts. I am inspired and energized!  My newfound confidence allows me to flourish for Jesus and feel content. I am once again grateful for who God has made me to be and all that I can accomplish through the power of His strength.

Today, let's decide that we don't mind being inconvenienced or interrupted. Let's keep our eyes on Jesus, listen to the Holy Spirit, and be obedient to His tug on our heart. Then God can use us to be an influence in the lives of those around us...even to the ends of the earth!

Jesus, Forgive me for allowing other things in life to rob me of my time with you. Still my thoughts and infuse me with your peace and order today. Help me to clear my mind and stay focused on you, no matter what my day may bring. Teach me to stay in step with you. Give me your assignment for my day. I praise you and love you, Amen.

I pray you will worship the Lord in total abandon today.
He loves you so much...love Him back!
I love you too! ~Cindy

Kathleen's husband Larry has given her 31years of happiness and now a beautiful home in Newark, Ohio, near their son Nathan and daughter-in-"love" Michelle.

Kathleen loves the Lord and loves sharing insights from God's Word. She loves to help others walk through the hard times, celebrate the good times and give hope in the messy-ness of life.
She is a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Share Your Life Song

LIFE LESSON: Share Your Life Song
by Kim Dent

I just returned from a wonderful vacation at Ocean Isle Beach, NC. I love everything about the beach. The sand, the smell of sunscreen, the crashing waves and being tumbled in the surf under a monster wave! I love seafood, searching for shells, and of course the ice cream each night after dinner! But the best part of my beach vacations come just before dawn...when the world is still sleeping and the beach takes on a  gentle pinkish-purplish glow. If hope was a color, I am certain it would be the hue of an Ocean Isle sunrise!

I snuck out around five a.m. on one of these “hope colored” mornings. I closed the screen door quietly behind me and tip-toed down the weathered grey walkway through swaying sea oats past the sand dunes. I stepped into the sand, indulging in this luxurious coolness under my feet. Ahhh... this is worship! I popped my earbuds in, cranked up my iPod and set out at a fast clip toward the surf.

Thankfulness and joy overwhelmed me. The words and music were in perfect rhythm with the waves! I began to leap and twirl as I praised my Creator. Dancing  down the beach, startling a few sea gulls along the way, I was loving every minute of expressing the life song God has given me: to dance!

I remember that not long ago, I would not dare expose my heart, my soul, my life song, so freely in public. I remember vacations past when I preferred to go late in the night to dance along the shoreline. Insecure, I danced in darkness, hiding my light.

Jesus said we are not designed to hide our light, but to let it shine brightly in a dark world.

"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand shine! Matthew 5:14-16(MSG)"

What song has Jesus placed in your heart? In what ways are you expressing the life song God has given you?  I dance. Maybe you paint, sing, encourage or write. Maybe you shine best through photography, sculpting, gardening, serving or teaching? The ways of expressing our life song to the Lord are as numerous as the sands on the beach. 

Girlfriend, YOU were designed to SHINE and sing your own special life song...in what ever way He has gifted you to do so!  So, go ahead! Let your life song SHINE!

Lord, You are my joy and my delight,
I want to bring honor to you.
May my life song bring you glory and praise
as I shine my light for you!


Kim shines so brightly for the Lord. I can't imagine her ever hiding in darkness. Beautiful friend, I love you! So thankful for the day our paths crossed. Love spending time with you!~Cindy

Kim has been married to her high school sweetheart for 26 years. She and Mark have two beautiful daughters, Kaitlyn and Emily, a rescued mutt named Otis and a pleasantly plump cat named Oscar.

A former social worker and real estate agent, Kim now serves full time as Women's Ministry Director at High Mill Church in Canton, OH. Her mission is to inspire women toward courageous authenticity and freedom in Christ. She desires to be a woman who lives and loves like Jesus.

She is a Woven Women: a Woman of Virtue!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Angels Unaware

LIFE LESSONS: Angels Unaware
by Cindy Stiverson

"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers,
for by so doing some people have shown
hospitality to angels without knowing it."
~Hebrews 13:3

Since taking my first spiritual formation class at MVNU in 1999, I have made it a goal to live this passage. It is actually the theme of my Woven Workbook Season II: "Entertaining Angels." The concept is that we can practice spiritual hospitality anywhere at anytime. The Greek word for hospitality is defined as “love of strangers”. It's not just about opening our home. Spiritual hospitality is about opening our hearts to God and to others.  It encompasses our words, attitudes, and actions toward other people, even complete strangers.

Our Woven trip to NYC was an opportunity to offer hospitality. We were on their turf! So, we obviously could not open our homes to them, we had to open our hearts. We were there to love people right where they're at. Geographically, yes, but also spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. We especially wanted to be Jesus to the patients at the AIDS hospice. What we weren't expecting was how effortlessly they revealed Jesus to us.

We were amazed at the patients who clearly loved the Lord. Despite their handicaps, their faces were aglow. One woman especially touched our hearts. She was so excited to see us that she would just squeal with delight...very loudly! It was her only way of communicating. And yet, when she was invited to sing about Jesus, she pronounced every word of the songs!

Imagine how moving it was, when this woman who could not speak, was asked if she remembered me from the day before. She nodded and repeated my name as clear as a bell! My heart melted. Suddenly I was the one who could not speak.

A bit later that evening, a few of us were on the elevator. It stopped on another floor. We waited as a few people boarded. My friend Dustee, who leads Gifted Hands ministry, referred to one of the patients as Tyrone. When I heard his name, he seemed so familiar, as though I may have met him before. But I could not really remember. If I had, I knew it had to have been years since I had seen him. He appeared incapable of carrying on a conversation. Dressed in a robe, he walked slowly and deliberately into the elevator and directly toward ME!

Now this was a large, hospital-type elevator and I was standing along the back wall. His eyes were locked with mine and he did not look at anyone else, nor did he stop walking until he was close enough to reach out his hand to me. When I shook his hand, he said only two words: "You're Cindy." I was stunned. I could not believe it! He knew my name! It still baffles me as I write this. I cannot explain how he could possibly have known my name.

When I reflect on our time with these people who were strangers to us, I am amazed at how very present the Lord was. In this place of disease, disability, death, dying, God was very much alive. We went to offer mercy, hospitality, Jesus. But Jesus had already been there! They didn't seem like strangers at all. To our surprise, we were "showing hospitality to angels without knowing it"!

I am reminded that in times of disease, death, disability, distress, or disappointment, we often wonder where God is. We focus on our pain. We close our hearts. Yet, if we just open our eyes, we see that God is all around. He is everywhere, even in angels unaware!

Are you struggling to trust Him today? Open your heart to the One who knows you by name, the One who has opened both his heart and his home because HE LOVES YOU!

Enjoy this music video, "He Knows My Name", as you worship Him this morning.


Cindy Stiverson
I am a speaker, writer, artist and an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. I lead the women at NewarkNaz in Newark, Ohio. In 1998, God gave me a vision for Woven: Women of Virtue Network. It's a blessing to be involved in so many women's lives. Sometimes I think my heart will burst.

So very thankful for my hubby Mark. Extremely proud of my daughter speaker/author Nicole and son-in-law Matthew Bromley. Love my grandsons Jude and Isaac beyond measure.

Loving God with all my heart, soul, strength; and loving and leading others to do the same is the greatest joy of my life.

Monday, July 16, 2012


LIFE LESSON: Do You Love Me?
by Kim Miller

I really love Mike! We have been married thirty years. Our sons told us we were freaks! 

Zac and Jake both attended Kentucky Christian University. They took a class which talked about family dynamics. We were told that the fact that Mike and I were married right out of high school at the ages of 18 and 19 and were still together was a freak of nature. They wanted to know if we understood the odds of our staying together in today’s world. This just doesn’t happen today!

For Mike and I, divorce was never an option. We decided from the beginning we were going to stay together. We’re both pretty stubborn. That does not mean our lives together have always been rosy! We’ve had our ups and downs. I had Zac when I was twenty. We were kids raising kids!

When you have two completely opposite people living under the same roof, you are going to experience problems. I am very outgoing and affectionate – Mike, not so much. He is introverted and private. I expected him to be more demonstrative. If he wasn’t, then I just knew something was wrong. Why do we need other people to validate us and our relationships? It took me a long time to realize that if I put God first, my other relationships would fall into place.

Recently, at our Woven event in NYC, I spent some time with some older Chinese women. We were there to serve them, but they were determined to help us do it! One could speak a little English and the other none at all! One of the topics discussed was our relationships with our husbands. One of the women said that people in the United States are bold with their feelings. We touch more and verbally tell each other how we feel. In her culture, she said that when her husband comes home from work, there is no need to tell him she loves him – if she hands him a cup of tea and puts his food on his plate, that tells him how she feels. Some of the younger women described this as “old school”. However, it works for these older couples.

When Mike and I were younger, I wanted him to tell me all the time how he felt. Sometimes he would say, "Well, I’m here aren’t I?" This always made me mad! I thought if he didn’t tell me, then he didn’t feel it. At some point in our marriage, this changed. When I started putting God first in my heart and in my life, I stopped demanding. I was no longer needy for love. God became my first love, and Mike started treating me differently. I've stopped asking him how he feels. After all, he’s been here for thirty years! And now: he tells me several times a day how much he loves me. 
Lord, thank you so much for the man you put in my life! Thank you that before either of us acknowledged You, You were with us and have been with us every step of the way. Help me Lord to remember that when I put you and our relationship first, my other relationships fall into place. You are more than enough! I give You glory for all that You have given me; all that You have done. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Let us love one another, for love is from God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

Our human love is so limited.
The love we crave is the love of Jesus Christ.
He promises to never leave us or forsake us.
In fact, He has chosen to live within us through the Holy Spirit.
When all others fail to love, Christ is there,
loving us more than we can comprehend!

Kim Miller makes me smile just saying her name. She is a vivacious woman of God. It's so wonderful to have her on my Woven leadership team at Newarknaz. We are still unwrapping her many gifts. Love you Kim! ~Cindy

Kim and her best friend Mike have been married for 30 years. They have been blessed with two sons, Zac (married to the amazing Jackie) and Jake. They also have two rambunctious dogs, Jo & Dixie. Kim has been an administrative professional for 30 years. She enjoys encouraging and spending time with women of all ages.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

LIFE LESSON NYC: The Start of a New Beginning

The Start of a New Beginning
by Jennifer Cuevas

“Delight yourself in the Lord,
And he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
Trust in him and he will do this…”
Psalm 37:4-5NIV1984

In May of 2011, my dear friend Melissa asked me to serve on the worship team at a Woven Women’s Weekend. I had never really paid much attention to these events. As a single mom of two, I had little time for this type of thing! My life was filled to the brim with a full time job, playing on our church’s praise team, my daughter’s gymnastics competitions, my son’s football and track. Did I mention I was the president of the YMCA Booster Club? Oh, and by the way, there was the cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes…you get the picture!
Since it was a friend, I said yes, but it was hard to commit to rehearsal times and to the amount of time to actually be at the conference. “I will come and accompany,” I promised. I had learned to draw boundaries where I could. But as time drew nearer, there were choir concerts, year end banquets, school parties and field days. My calendar was full! I was thinking of ways that my anxious heart could get out of going to the Woven Weekend!
Needless to say, when I arrived Friday evening, my heart and mind were elsewhere. I felt guilty even being there, hoping it would end early. But God had other plans. I witnessed incredible stories from other women, women I had seen in church but never really known. One particular story stood out: a horrific tragedy a woman endured with her children. I’m still shocked to think of it. When I see her at church, I pray silently as I watch her worship the Lord.
In addition to meeting some amazing women, I met an interesting character, Dustee, our guest speaker. She shared her Gifted Hands Ministry in NYC and instructed us in a jewelry-making class. She explained how she uses these classes to build self-esteem, a type of therapy to help others.
NYC??!! I have always wanted to live in NYC, so she had my attention! As a single mom, sometimes dreams must be put on hold! But God was calling me to something different...something that had purpose and meaning, and was His work. It just didn’t have a name yet. I was hungry to know more about Gifted Hands. I asked Dustee how she arrived at this place of serving in the city, what her day-to-day life was like. At the end of the conference, we were asked to fill out a response card. On mine, I wrote that I would love to take a trip to the city and see Gifted Hands for myself.
On June 23rd, as I stood in The Lambs Church on Rivington Street, something special stirred within me. I was reminded that just a year ago, I had random thoughts about taking a trip to the city. I reflected on God’s promises and how much He changed me during the past year. I praised Him for teaching me to surrender to His will, for opening doors to make this trip possible. I became extraordinarily grateful for the leadership in my church, for these Woven leaders that allowed me to hang-out with them, even though I am not on their leadership team.
My NYC Life Lesson: Surrender. Gratitude. Praise.
  • Surrender: Surrendering my schedule to serve at the Woven Weekend in 2011 led to a deeper surrender that brought a spiritual change.
  • Gratitude: These changes gave me heartfelt gratitude for the deeper work God was doing to prepare me for this trip and gratitude for how He placed key leaders in my life.
  • Praise: When I filled out that response card, I had no idea God would honor it as a prayer of my heart. I praise Him for how He tremendously answered that unknown prayer and fulfilled my heart’s desire!

“May he give YOU the desires of your heart
And make all your plans succeed…
May the Lord grant all your requests.”
Psalm 20:4-5NIV1984

I discovered this flashback to 1976 NYC
and thought it would be fun to share.
My Life Is In Your Hands by Kathy Troccoli
Excuse the over-dramatization of the 70's! haha
I pray you will truly know how to live life In His Hands!

I'm so blessed to share Jenn with you today. What a genuine person she is! Her heart is made of gold.
Really thankful to have her on our team for this trip. She did all the research for travel, lodging, and touring. I am so thankful God (and Melissa) brought her to that Woven Weekend!
We share a passion for NYC and for the Lord.
Love you Jenn~Cindy
Jennifer Cuevas is the mother of two active teenagers. She enjoys serving by playing percussion and the bongos on the Praise and Worship team at Newark Naz. As part of the church’s small group ministry, she is a member of a long standing life group that serves each other as family in Christ and performs outreach in the community.

Her other passions include traveling domestically (especially to NYC!) and internationally, sharing stories and experiences through photography, and living spontaneously whenever possible. Most recently she has been focused on sharing her journey to a gluten, soy, and grain free lifestyle.

Friday, July 13, 2012

LIFE LESSONS NYC: Pleasure In the Plan

LIFE LESSON NYC: Pleasure In the Plan
by Karen LeMasters

Describing in words our trip to NYC was overwhelming. As I began jotting down notes on our way back home, I found that my hand could not keep up with my thoughts. How was I to express the joy that I had felt? As I continued to relive each day, Jeremiah 29:11 kept coming to my mind.

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future."

God's plan. What was His plan for me? What was I to share? What touched my heart the most?

The Sunday we returned, Pastor Wes' sermon was on Jeremiah 29:11--not just a coincidence! He reminded all of us that God has a plan for us. When we continue to pray, we will find pleasure in the plan He has for us. Well, I certainly had found pleasures in NYC!

Now where do I start?

As I reflected on our plans for the trip from the beginning, I remembered how we prayed that God would use us "to be the hands and feet of Jesus". We continued to pray that many times on our trip. As I thought more and more about that prayer, and as I looked over my notes, I realized that not only were we the hands and feet of Jesus--we were surrounded by others who were the hands and feet of Jesus! We were blessed as well!

The Lamb's Church, a small bilingual church, was filled with God's spirit. The passion they had for the Lord was throughout the church, from Pastor Gabriel and his Chinese and Spanish interpreters to the musicians and the congregation.

The Rivington House residents have illnesses that are extremely challenging. Yet  they have joy in their hearts and it shines on their faces.

Most of all, we were blessed to spend time with Dustee Hullinger--a precious servant of the Lord. What a gift she has! She has been serving the Lord for many years and began a very unique ministry. Dustee created Gifted Hands Ministry to help individuals facing challenges in life. Through the years she has introduced many types of art-based programs, inspiring countless individuals in the midst of hardship, disease, poverty, difficult life circumstances. We were all blessed to see her in action! The energy she has for the Lord and to serve is amazing!

My last thought was how all six of us were blessed. Sightseeing, shopping, getting to know one another...that was part of God's plan too! What God has engraved on our hearts during this trip will be there forever, a bonus for all of us to savor. As in our pastor's sermon--we found PLEASURE in God's plan!

What a great joy to introduce you to Karen! She has such a heart for others and truly does love being the hands and feet of Jesus. I love this woman more and more. How blessed I am to have laughed and cried with her on this trip. Love you dear friend! God has Woven us together. ~Cindy '
Karen is retired after a lifetime career as a public school teacher. She loves to serve God, the church, and her family. She was instrumental in establishing and overseeing the food pantry at NewarkNaz. She has been a Woven Leader for three years and oversees our Gifted Hands Ministry.
Karen is married to Steve. They have three daughters, one son, and many grandchildren. She is actively engaged in raising the next generation for the Lord!