Gifts That Touch the Heart – Jill Savage


I thought it was the perfect time to share with you this wonderful article Jill Savage wrote when searching for the perfect gift for her husband.  Perhaps it will help you re-focus and give the give of yourself – the one that really matters most.

It’s hard to believe that the Christmas season is upon us. During this season I tend to move into overdrive with shopping, wrapping, baking, and entertaining. And often I accomplish my “to do” list to the neglect of my marriage. Have you been trying to figure out just the perfect gift for your spouse this year? I have. But today I changed my perspective. Today it struck me that my husband doesn’t really need another sweater, what he needs from me are real gifts from the heart. [Read more…]

Our Adption Story – Jill Savage


Our family in 2003, right after we adopted Kolya. From left to right in back: Erica (12), Anne (18), Jill, Mark, Evan (16). From left to right in front: Austin (7), Kolya (9) (ages at time of our adoption).

With it being National Adoption month, I thought it was perfect to share this story with you – re-posted with permission from Jill Savage. As you may know, our family waits for placement of a child that God has chosen to come to our family for a FOREVER home through Foster Care – it is hard to wait, but these types of stories help me be patient and wait on God’s plan.  🙂

Our Adoption Story

Over the years, Mark and I have talked on occasion about becoming foster parents. As the parents of four biological children ranging in ages 6-18, we’ve enjoyed parenting and have a heart for raising children according to God’s truths. On occasion we wondered what it might be like to extend that passion beyond our biological family, however we had never considered adoption as a way of doing that. [Read more…]

Learning To Say No – Jill Savage


“So how do you do it?” she asked. “Do what?” I replied. “How do you say NO?” she questioned. “I just say no,” I answered. “No, I don’t mean like that. Do you say no and offer an excuse or do you just say no? I feel so guilty when I say no.” Thus began a recent conversation with a mom who called and asked how we keep our balance between volunteer activities and family responsibilities.

As mothers at home it is not work and family we need to keep in balance. For many of us it is balancing volunteer positions (church, community, and school) with our family responsibilities. Some of us figure a home business or part-time job into our schedule, too. We can easily put ourselves back in the position of working full-time outside-the-home hours without bringing home the pay. We must learn the “N” word and how to use it effectively. [Read more…]

Dinner Date with God – Jill Savage


I am on vacation with my family from July 21st – August 9th traveling in our RV to Yellowstone, Glacier National Park and a few spots in between. I will be sure to have some adventures to share when I return, in the meantime enjoy a post from columnist Jill Savage:

Last week I asked if some of you would be interested in learning more about the concept of snacks and meals with God. (If you missed the original post click here.) I asked if you would like to get serious about planning some extended time with God. I’m thrilled that so many of you have followed up through the blog or Facebook or Twitter saying “yes, I want to plan some meals with God!”

The theme verse for this endeavor will be Isaiah 58:11:
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs…and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

After all, what mom doesn’t need strengthened???

Here are some steps to make a reservation for your first dinner appointment with God:

1) Decide on dinner time. It can be the first 15 or 30 minutes of your child’s naptime. It could be the first hour after the kids get on the school bus. The amount of time is not as important as making the reservation and sticking with it. It could even be the third Thursday of every month! If you’ve never done something like this, 15 minutes may be the perfect timeframe for you! If you’re used to reading the Bible or talking with God, setting aside an hour or even an afternoon may be just the right amount of time for you.

2) Put together a “Dinnertime Basket.” In the basket you can put anything you want to use for your time with God. I have my Bible, a devotional, a notebook, a pen, some index cards, and a highlighter. I also have my “to do” list with me when I do a mealtime because when I sit down to be quiet I think of all the things I need to do like “thaw hamburger for dinner” or “call Austin’s math teacher.” Once I write them down they are out of my head!

3) Turn off the phone or make a decision to not answer the phone during your dinner date with God. Just check messages on your machine or voice mail after you are finished.

4) From this point on you can use your time any way you want.

  • I like to start my time reading the Bible. I am using The Message Bible these days and I absolutely love reading God’s word in today’s language. If you don’t know where to start the first time, read the Proverbs chapter that corresponds to the day of the month it is. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are also good places to start. I jot down verses that are important to me in my notebook. If there’s a verse I really want to be reminded of, I write it on an index card so I can post it somewhere in the house. Don’t hesitate talking to God aloud or silently as you read. This time is designed to be a conversation with you and God. He’s talking to you through the Bible and you’re talking with him about what you are reading…that’s prayer!
  • I usually use a devotional to continue focusing my thoughts and guide my conversation with God. Some of my favorites are books by Jane Rubietta. I’ll share some others in the future.
  • After I read, I write out my prayers in my notebook long-hand. You certainly don’t have to do this…you can just talk with God if you’d like. I like to write out my prayers because it keeps me focused and it serves as a diary of sorts. I can look back and see how God has answered my prayers! The notebook also gives me a place to write prayer requests so I can really remember to pray for someone who asks me to pray for them!
  • If I have time, I then spend some time just listening with a pen in my hand and my notebook open. Sometimes God impresses something on me and I write that down. Sometimes I just experience God’s truth in action: Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

There is no right or wrong way to do a mealtime with God. Some days I do nothing but sit and read the Bible. I get so wrapped up in my reading that I just can’t put it down. Other days I spend only talking with God by writing down my prayers. Your time can be whatever it is that you need.

Most Tuesdays I’ll post about different ideas for successful Dinner Dates with God and I want you to share your experiences as well!

As moms, we need God’s truth to build us up and we need His strength to get us through our crazy days.

Originally posted on Jills site, September 22, 2009

Taking Time…… for Me – Jill Savage


“I am so impatient.” “I’m exhausted and so low on energy.” “I feel like I’m at the end of my rope.” “I don’t know what to do.” I’ve made those statements and I’m sure you have, too. I hear them from other moms all the time. The demands are draining, the responsibilities are overwhelming, and the 24-hour duty just about wipes us out. It seems we never get anything accomplished that isn’t undone in an hour. So how can we make it better? How can we learn to survive this season of life when the demands of children are unending? How can we take some time for ourselves? The answer is simple, yet difficult. We ask for it and plan for it. [Read more…]