September 19, 2010

The Changing of The Season

I love the changing of the Seasons. I was thinking today about my relationship with Tim and the many seasons we have been through.

I wonder who this is?
 We have recently intentionally slowed our life pace…You wouldn’t believe it by looking at our calendars, but we have. We are more intentional about doing things that bring rest to our souls and nourishment to our relationship. We looked over our marriage budget and realized there was way more outgo than income. This happens to us all occasionally and by making a few adjustments we can get right back on the path to relational freedom.  One of the things we decided to do as a source of income was attend a Marriage Seminar (that would be one other than the ones we conduct). So last weekend we drove to Dallas and sat under the teaching of Dr. Dan Alander.  After we got over the trauma of doing the ‘hard work’ the seminar challenged us to do, I think we would both say it definitely went in the income category. It’s so important that we are continually learning and growing otherwise we will become stagnate and we all know what happens then. I’m encouraged and challenged by what Solomon said in the Book of Ecclesiastes,
 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (KJV)

Oh…how seasons change!

What about you…Are you transitioning  into a different season in your life?  Have you done any relational evaluating lately? Remember change equals growth-growth equals change.
GRACE-WORKS!

July 1, 2010

True Woman | Shedding some Light on Twilight

I have to admit I have no attraction to the Twilight Series but have been amazed at how many women are enamored with them. I admittedly have not even taken the time to find out what they are all about. I have concluded that they have something to do with Romance, vampires, darkness, and secrecy based on movie previews. I stumbled upon this article from a trusted blog that I read and it sounds pretty credible. If what the author says about the series is true, her insights are worth reading and I wanted to pass them on to my readers. I think we fail one another sometime by not sending out the warnings we should. Besides, I am told that blogs are boring if they don't have anything controversial in them so here is my attempt to share something controversial. Remember...Grace-Works!

True Woman | Shedding some Light on Twilight

June 3, 2010

Wildflower


My "Italian man" and I took a little trip last month to the Hill Country to view the wildflowers and to visit our daughter and her husband. I have lived in Texas for almost thirteen years and have visited the Hill Country annually to view the wildflowers. I have to say that this year was definitely their most glorious year!

Whereas in the past there were mostly bluebonnets and Indian paint brush, this year there was a myriad of varieties. The plentiful rain has brought much reward!
It was a breathtaking experience to see God’s splendor in His creation!
Each species, gifted with their own measure of beauty, stood as one great body.

It seemed as if they instinctively knew that their individuality would be most glorious in concert with their brothers and sisters. The closer I got to them the more obvious their distinctions.

As I gazed on each one I marveled at its uniqueness but surmised that their strength of beauty was most revealed in their humility as they seemed to defer to one another as they danced as one body in the wind.


The only response that seemed appropriate was praise to the creator for enriching my life with such splendor…and then I thought of His body…
Romans 12
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

My prayer is that those of us in the Body of Christ would bring glory to our creator and reveal His great splendor as we play our individual part as members in this great body of gifting. Oh, that we would humbly think of others more than ourselves, so that the whole can bring Him much honor. In humility there is great beauty! To God be all Glory!
Grace-Works

April 1, 2010

Watch and Pray


Our Church family is reading through the book of Mark in preparation for Easter. As I read Mark chapter 14 this morning I was reminded of a plaque that hangs in my bedroom. It reads, “Every life needs it’s own quiet place.” As I read about Jesus and His time in the garden praying right before His arrest, I was reminded of how prayer is definitely good stewardship for the soul. I think one reason Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to watch and pray with Him was because He knew what was about to happen and wanted them to be prepared. Is this a lesson to us as to how important prayer is in keeping us from entering into temptation? I wonder if these disciples may have responded to the difficulty they were about to encounter differently had they spent the time with Jesus in the garden praying rather than sleeping. Read this segment of scripture with me.
Mark 14:33-46
And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch." He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. Then He came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. "Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."
And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely." As soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, "Rabbi, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him.(NKJV)

The Garden of Gethsemane



If you continue reading you will see how the disciples responded to this turn of events.
How might our lives be different if we watched and prayed instead of slept?
As I prepare my heart to celebrate this Easter season, I am reminded of the importance of a daily, moment by moment relationship with Jesus through prayer! Do you have your own quiet place and when was the last time you spent time there? Grace-Works!

March 8, 2010

Judah David is Born

I know I've been gone for awhile but I am back with big news! Our grandson was born at 7:59 this morning, weighing 9lbs and 8.5oz. I hope you enjoy the pictures! I will be back soon!

January 29, 2010

Heart of Motherhood Enrichment

Motherhood is an opportunity for us to live for God's glory before our children and what better way to do that than use the tool God himself ordained. Marriage is God's picture of Christ and the Church and through this amazing institute we display His love to our children and the world around us. Come join us at the Heart of Motherhood Enrichment Feb 5-7 and hear more about God's plan for motherhood. You can register by contacting Julie Zesch at heartofmotherhood@gmail.com.
Enjoy the video! Grace-Works, Elaine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kx9F-YOBfE

January 21, 2010

Three Big Events!

Much going on these days! I am currently planning three big events!
For those of you who live in West Texas there are some exciting things happening! First things first…The 2010 West Texas Bridal Showcase is Jan 31st from 12noon til 6pm. Be sure to attend and stop by for a visit at Rachel Russo’s Photography booth. Rachel will be offering some amazing specials on wedding packages for those who book a wedding. She is also giving away some really neat stuff. Rachel’s photography business is booming and taking her to places like Canada, South Carolina, and hopefully Hawaii soon! She is an amazing photographer and an amazing woman! You wouldn’t want to miss having her involvement in your special occasions. You can visit her website at RachelRussoPhotography.com
Here are just a few pictures of what we are working on for her booth.


Next on my agenda is the Heart of Motherhood Enrichment, Feb. 5-7. This retreat has been going on annually for about ten years. I am honored to be one of the speakers this year. If you need a bit of rejuvenation along with a dose of inspiration be sure to sign up for this event. The team has been planning and praying for quite some time now and I'm sure that it will be an event you wouldn’t want to miss. It’s for mothers of all ages even grand-mothers are welcome. If you are interested in attending the retreat or for more information contact Julie Zesch at heartofmotherhood@gmail.com.
Here is a taste of some of the projects we are working on to make the weekend enjoyable.


Lastly but not the least by any means… mark your calendar for Friday, February 12th, Valentine weekend, for Rhythm and Romance!

This is going to be an amazing evening of dinner and music that you don’t want to miss! Every year Winning Families hosts an evening of awareness for the organization. It’s a time to let the community know what we do and why we do it as well as raise support for our ongoing work. This year, the director, my husband, Tim Russo, will be putting his musical ability to the test as he presents an enchanting evening of music from several genres. We will hear a little Frank Sinatra, some Temptations, as well a Brad Paisley tune or two. All the songs were hand picked by Tim and will convey a message of inspiration to those in attendance. Believe me, you don’t want to miss this! Oh, and let’s not forget the amazing dinner that will be prepared and served by Sister’s CafĂ©! For more information or to purchase your tickets go to McNease Convention Center . You can also purchase tickets at Blair's Western World; Elite Physic; and the Stock Show and Rodeo office. Hurry and get your tickets…space is limited and we are expecting a sell out! What better Valentine gift for your sweetheart than to take them out for a romantic dinner with music and all the while supporting an organization that strengthens and encourages families.

January 11, 2010

True Woman | Mary Daly Dies

I thought I would share this with you today. I hope you will be inspired to live with passion for a cause that would honor God! Though this woman was passionate, her cause was futile. Do you live your beliefs with conviction? Click on the link below to read the story. Grace-Works!

True Woman | Mary Daly Dies

January 5, 2010

His Glorious Will

I awoke around 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I have been doing quite a bit of thinking the past few days. The beginning of a New Year will do that to me. It sends me on this path of self evaluation. I’m not sure why but I am resisting setting goals for the New Year apart from the goal and desire to glorify God. I’ve been thinking that I have spent a lot of years pursuing good things in the name of doing God’s will, but I am challenged as to how many of those good things were His will or mine. More time will be given to His word, listening to His heart…what does He really want from me? What does He want to do with this life He created from the clay? It is His to do as He pleases, but of course there will be a struggle. My will is way too strong, but I am confident He knows how to shape it in the most gentle of ways. He knows me well! I hope the beginning of this New Year finds you in a state of reflection and anticipation. Not so much so that you will prosper (I hope that too) but so that God’s kingdom would be advanced. Are you in a place where you can hear His voice when He speaks, or is your life crowded with your own pursuits? Do you really want His will to be done on this earth, or is it most important that you have your way? I invite you to join me in a fresh surrender of your heart to His! The beauty of this life can only be found as we see through His eyes. I pray this day will signal a fresh start for you and that you will be found on your face in His glorious presence. John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (NKJV)
Grace-Works
Just because I needed to put some pictures up:
Me and My very sweet Man!

My Precious Family!

One of Our Sweet Jewels!