AAC Women's Blog

Frog Pose

Over the past two years my secure, predictable way of life has become uprooted. My future has become uncertain. Many roads lay open before me, but none of the pathways come with a guarantee. I like predictability. I like a good plan. Truth be told, I am a plan addict. I create plans purely for my own enjoyment. But I am currently at a crossroad in my life and I have no idea which road to take.

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A Jealous Scroller

I want to be happy for her, really I do, but as I scroll past her latest social media post a look of criticism spreads across my face. This week her children smile at me in their perfectly coordinated outfits with a beautiful oceanside view in the background. Last week I couldn’t contain my eye rolls as I scrolled through her son’s over-the top perfectly themed Birthday celebration complete with a homemade 3 layer cake.

Logic tells me that anything can be made to look a certain way through a camera’s lens, but doubt forms and jealousy grows… just a small seed at first, but my collection of these seeds seems to be growing lately and I don’t like what it is building inside of me.

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Expectations

“I am sorry,” the doctor stated, “we will not be able to do your daughter’s procedure this morning.”

I could feel tears begin to well in my eyes. I couldn’t hold them back. I had gotten up in the wee hours of the morning to arrive at the hospital. Elena desperately needed this procedure. In the past it had helped to prevent the pneumonias we were continually fighting back to back. I knew it would be a game changer for her.

What poured out of my mouth I am ashamed to say was not characteristic of a Christian woman and actually resembled an angry mamma bear.

I was expecting that things would go as planned.
I was expecting that my Elena would benefit from our scheduled procedure.
I was expecting that the long drive to and from Milwaukee would not be for nothing.

When we place our hope in the things of this world, we can often end up feeling frustrated and deceived when things do not go according to our expectation.

But as Christians we are called to place our hope and expectation in the Lord (Psalm 62:5) and in His many promises (Psalm 89:34).

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A Game of Hide and Seek

One Sunday morning in March, I was spending personal time in God's Word between services at Appleton Alliance. While I was reflecting on the passage in my journal, I couldn't help but notice two small children, no older than five or six, playing a game of hide-and-seek with their grandpa near where I was sitting. As I was writing down a prayer concluding my devotional time, my attention became fixed on this seemingly insignificant game before me.

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How Big Is God?

I don’t get out much.

As a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom, my comfort zone is a 1,500-square foot ranch. The same painted walls, the same piles of dishes, and the same precious faces make up the scenery of my days. My minivan travels to the grocery store, school, church, and occasionally Starbucks for a coffee date. Adventure for me these days is a stroll through the outlet mall.

I’m okay with that. In this season of life, I like to focus inward—on my family, my faith, my casserole recipe book. I don’t suffer from wanderlust because there’s enough to juggle in my six-room home.

My world is small. So sometimes I forget that my God is big—really, really big.

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Turning Misdeeds Into Miracles

by Katie Long

I remember Holy Week as a child: reading the Gospel accounts of the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection, attending Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, and discussing the stories as a class. If you asked me what I remember most about those studies as a child, I would love to be able to say that I was humbled by Jesus washing His disciples’ feet, or angered by Judas’s betrayal, or horrified that the crowds chose to have a violent criminal released to the public rather than Jesus.

But in all honesty…the part that most fascinated me was Peter cutting off Malchus’ ear in his attempt to defend Jesus. I mean, really…when you are eight years old, how great is that?!

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Grumpiness or Gratitude

What do we do with circumstances or people that legitimately cause us frustration, anger and sadness? We can’t go around putting on a happy face and pretend everything is ok. Grumpiness can’t be stuffed! (I personally think that would make a good bumper sticker.)

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Stuffed Animal

​My son has a favorite stuffed animal. It goes everywhere with him. In the car. To the store, the park, to Grandma's house. When he is scared or scrapes his knee, that stuffed animal is there to comfort him. He may need me too, but that little animal is what calms and soothes him. One look at this bedraggled stuffed animal and you know it is well loved; precious in the eyes of my little boy.

When my son fell the other day and hurt his arm, he reached for that animal, and it got me thinking. As adults, we don't have a favorite stuffed animal to comfort us (at least most of us don't - if you do, it’s ok! no judging here!). So, if not a stuffed animal, what do we cling to when we are scared or hurt? What do we reach for in the dark and lonely places? When everything around us seems foreign and chaotic, where do we turn?

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I Love to Read

I love to read. I tend to have a few books vying for my attention at any given time. I think the books we read reveal a lot about our passions, dreams and personalities.

I realize not everyone likes to read, but when it comes to ministry it is rather important to keep up on our reading so we can stay fresh, informed and motivated as we seek to minister to the people we are called to.

Having said that, I thought it would be interesting to get the top three books that have impacted some of our ministry staff. What are they passionate about? What books have influenced their faith and ministry? What would they recommend?

I received a lot of great information and I came back wanting to read everything on the list! So many books…so little time…

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