Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

God’s love~if you will let it~can fill you! Come thirsty~and drink deeply!

Merry Christmas 2011 to all our special friends and family!

Praying you are all well! We hit the ground running last January with a trip to Florida where Emeline and Zachary played in a 3 v 3 World Championship soccer tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. Let’s just say we had a “BALL!”. We also took our first trip as a family to New Orleans for a wedding, returning home from NOLA with 7 lizards. Guess who had to walk through security with them, praying they would go unnoticed? We then did our usual fun trips to the Adirondacks, and Nantucket. Emeline and I visited my dear friend Bridget in Oregon while the boys were away at camp.

We love our family time together. The kids are at a great age. They are all old enough to keep up with each other, and they still think Steve and I are pretty cool. Whether we’re water skiing, fishing, hiking, quadding, playing a game, or a round of Frisbee golf, we love having fun. If Zachary and I are teamed up, we are often accused of cheating! Steve forces me to STOP…and PLAY….Thank you Steve!

“Andi's Antics, A Girl’s Adventures with ADD” was released last March! We were invited to be guest authors at Book Fairs, and an ADHD convention. I spoke at a Writer’s conference, and was invited to be a guest on a radio talk show. It’s been busy and fun. My mom and I have enjoyed our journey together. Thank you all for your loving support through this special time!

Emeline ~ I call her my “Mary”, I’m definitely “Martha”. She encourages me to slow down and enjoy the moment….what a gift she is to me… daughter. She is doing well in Middle School, and still loves soccer. Emeline played on two teams last fall, and guest played a few times for the boys MS soccer team, what a thrill for her to play all that soccer! She may take her first soccer missions trip to Costa Rica next spring. Girl Scouts and Bible Studies also keep Emeline busy and growing. I thank God for her “pleasantness”.

Samuel ~ won first place in the school art contest for his grade…who knew? I think it shocked Sam more than anyone; he couldn’t even remember what he drew! Nobody can make me belly laugh like Sam, he’s got quite a whit about him. We love our Sam, and we know that God has a very special plan for him. Lacrosse and Football are Sam’s “Fave” sports. Basically, any contact type sport is right up Sam’s alley!

Zachary ~ the little brother, who is not afraid of his big brother! Zach is still Zach; he just loves life and sports, preferring football and soccer. He broke a ten year record this past summer on the swim team. He is a fierce competitor with quite a drive…..our challenge is to keep Zachary humble and remember “…….It is in Him that we live, move, and have our being.”

Steve ~ after many challenging years with his business, God has shown favor, turning the company in a more positive direction. Steve has surrounded himself with several smart, loyal employees. There’s still a lot of work to do, but Steve is a hard worker always seeking to honor the Lord in all he does. He is a wonderful father and husband. I thank God for him each day.

Me ~ after 12 ½ years, I accepted a job offer, thrilled for the opportunity; it was like a dream come true for me in many ways. Steve also asked me to come work for him. That was NEVER an option for me, I thought it was a unique, special wife who could work for her husband and it wasn’t me! After prayer and a few tears shed, I told Steve I would come work for him. I was sad to leave my dream job after only working one day! Yet, I’m enjoying working for Steve, I really am! I only work part time, so my other activities and being a mom doesn’t get in the way. It’s better than a dream job! Last June I had surgery on my elbow…OUCH! I continue to facilitate a community Bible Study, what a lovely group of ladies, and I am eternally grateful for the local Bible Church who covers this group of women and me in prayer. My walk and relationship with Jesus has grown much deeper, and sweeter than ever before. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. And I love all my girlfriends 

“…….And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

In closing, we pray for God’s blessing on your families. Please take the hands of those you love, look into their eyes, and tell them how much you love them.

By His amazing grace……..Stephen, Debbie, Emeline, Samuel, Zachary

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Unseen Reality"

Saying goodbye to a loved one begins a journey that no one can walk with you. Losing my dad 18 months ago has proven to be life changing. Heaven has become more of a reality for me, and my faith has grown to a deeper understanding of how much God loves me….

This weekend, a friend said goodbye to her 20 year old son. What do you do with that? There are no words. As I received the news last Friday, the overwhelming thought I had is how my friend’s life is now changed forever. When I saw her two days prior, her life was one way, and now it is completely different.

I’ve been called a “fuser”. Someone who cares and feels deeply for others. My heart ached and bled all week for my friend. I felt guilty for having a life when I knew hers was and is in shambles. I believe God doesn’t allow anything that we can’t handle, but how does one recover from losing a child?

I have facilitated a community Bible Study for many years now, and my friend attends. It was amazing for me to watch these ladies rally around our very broken, grief stricken friend and mother….

Brad was an exceptionally bright boy. I’m not just saying that because he is gone…he was brilliant! He had more accomplishments then most of us will have in a life time. As I attended the memorial service yesterday, I observed many who flocked up to the front to share what Brad meant to them. He was smart, funny, a leader, debater, loved his family….. And did I mention smart? A pastor concluded the service with a few thoughts on heaven. He addressed the many teenagers present in the room. He told everyone that Brad had an “Unseen Reality”. He shared the reason Brad was the great, confident, smart person everyone knew was because he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. He also assured everyone that this was not a haphazard decision by Brad, this was a well thought out decision that he concluded, there was really only one way to heaven. And because of this decision, Brad lived in a reality unknown to those who don’t believe.

Being a Christian for many years, I had never heard it explained this way before. It was simple and made so much sense. I pray God opened hearts of many yesterday especially to those who do not personally know Him and live in that “Unseen Reality”.

“For God so loved the world, that HE gave His only begotten son…whoever believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Many blessings,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy days of Summer?

This past week was by far “crazy”…no laze or haze in sight! To set the stage, sports training camps started last week. My three kids were in five different camps throughout the day. Add to that my mother having hip surgery (running back and forth to the hospital), being in physical therapy myself for my elbow, oh and a writer’s conference toward the end of the week. All to be topped off by me being asked to speak for the first time EVER about my book on Saturday morning at the conference. I was scared to death to stand up and talk for three minutes about what I wrote and why! Three minutes is a long time when you don’t know what to say! And my audience was the last group I wanted to speak to! This was a group of many well accomplished editors, authors, publishers, agents, speakers, etc. As I sat in workshops listening to many speakers, I would just pray they would sleep in and not come to hear me speak on Saturday morning! I’m actually kidding, a big part of me was excited, and thrilled for the opportunity to speak. It has been on my heart to reach out and talk on the subject of ADHD, encouraging kids who struggle to fit in AND parents, letting them know they are not alone.

When Saturday came, I felt that stage fright, the butterflies…. I kept praying asking God to help me be calm and just be “Debbie”. That was what two of my friends encouraged me to be….ME. As I arrived at the conference, when I walked in, a friend was waiting for me; she was like an angel. God used her that moment to encourage me, pray with me, and walk that small little journey with me. She sat right next to me up front. I was amazed by her love and kindness, that I was distracted from my anxiety of having to speak!I saw her as a gift from God to me.

The time came for me to speak; I was announced and approached the microphone. I looked out at the crowd and knew I wasn’t alone up there. It all went well, and I’m thankful for that. What blew me away was how God provided for me at a time when I was tired, worn out from the week, and felt insignificant. It’s just like God to do that isn’t it? He cares about all the things that concern us. He is always faithful.

“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

Grace & Peace,


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Does he really care?

Birthdays are so much fun! I celebrate mine as long as possible. This year I hit a milestone birthday, and I’m still celebrating! I teach my kids to do the same, after all, no one should have only one day, it should extend at least a month, or longer!

Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have turned 83 today. We said our goodbyes nearly 11 months ago. It makes sense the first year would be the hardest, getting through all the holidays and special occasions for the first time. Had I known last year it would be our final time celebrating his birthday I think I would have done things differently. I would have pulled out all stops to celebrate his last birthday with us. My dad was a guy who had all of what he wanted, so gift giving was tough. My last birthday gift to him was a neck pillow for him to use on an airplane…I know really lame, but he liked mine and wanted one! Certainly knowing now what I know I would have gone for a better gift, the sky would have been the limit. I’m thankful I was able to take him out for our weekly cup of coffee and muffin. I DID treat him on his birthday!

Last May after my dad passed away, I started to have a lot of questions about heaven; I needed to know what my dad was doing. It was hard for me to believe he wouldn’t be sad up there (or wherever heaven is) without my mom. He adored her. I couldn’t imagine him being happy without her, or not worrying if she was o.k. In the Bible, Genesis 1:1 it says “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.” But where is heaven and what do you do there? It must be crowded! So many questions flooded my little mind as I started to grieve the loss of my father. I believed heaven will be wonderful, but still…..“No one has ever seen this. No one has ever heard about it. No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. So, God is telling us we can’t imagine how wonderful it will be. We cannot fathom what it would be like to be around God all day long! Oh, and no aches or pains, no suffering, no hunger, no wars….not even a disagreement! No more conflict resolution! I hope there are tennis courts there!

Could it be so wonderful that my dad doesn’t care that it’s his birthday? Today as I read my Bible and prayed I felt silly but asked God if at all possible to tell my dad I said hi, Happy Birthday, and I love him. In my heart I don’t believe my dad cares, I believe he is in such constant awe of where he is, there is no time to think or be concerned about us or his birthday. I don’t take offense to that (maybe jealous), I’m happy for my dad. Sad for us…..happy for him.

In the Bible, the apostle Paul tells us, “The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.” Revelation 21:19-21

WOW! Seems like we would definitely need our Maui Jim sunglasses in heaven!

“Death is……deliverance to life beyond your imagining.” Joseph Bayly

“Heaven is so peaceful that the storms of earth are there unknown, the stirrings of the flesh are never felt, and the howlings of the dog of hell are never heard. There all is peace and purity, perfection and security forever.” Charles Spurgeon

Happy Birthday Dr. William Doyle!! – I had to say it anyway!! We will celebrate as a family eating all of dad’s favorite foods! Thank you Karen for sending dad’s favorite pies, we will miss you there, and Glenn we will miss you too! Love you!

By His grace,


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hermosa Beach 2011

Life can seem overwhelming at times. No matter how I try to simplify my life, having three kids (11, 10, and 8) keeps me continually hopping. If I’m not making doctor or haircut appointments, I’m running them to their favorite activity or doing homework. Being married to a man who owns his own business and deals with daily challenges forces me to be independent and a “Can Do” kind of gal. While the kids are at school I struggle keeping up with the big house we live in and the relentless laundry that won’t go away!!

A special morning or afternoon for me is spending time with a girlfriend. My social life is so limited but I love the fellowship of just sitting and talking (or listening) with a friend. As I look around me I am blessed to know and have so many special women in my life. My frustration is keeping up with all the girls I love. Sometimes I wish I could gather them all together and spend a weekend with them all.

Every January I do just that…I take time out of my busy life and head west to Hermosa Beach in Southern California to spend time with girlfriends. This is my one weekend a year I take time out for me……soaking in the sunshine, walking the strand, drinking lots of coffee, eating breakfast at Martha’s, and of course solving al the worlds’ problems like only us girls know how to do!

This year I headed out with a heavy heart…for many reasons……yet after 24 hours of being with women I have known for years and who love me unconditionally, I could feel the layers of pain start to peel off. Long talks with wise women who are walking in my shoes was medicinal.

We all need to feel validated in life. There’s nothing like talking to someone who is walking a similar journey. We girls are all in different places in life, but we have one thing in common…we are pressing on, toward a higher calling..Slowly but surely…accepting the love of Christ in our hearts. Trusting in Him, and in all our ways acknowledging Him……God promises to direct our path…..

After many laughs and tears over the course of four days, I made my journey home today. Leaving warm sunny skies and the beach was bittersweet. Yes, I was leaving those I love and will most likely not see for a while, but I came home to my family, the people who also accept me just as I am. The good, the bad, and the ugly! I was ready to come be a mom and wife again. Of course the house was chaotic when I arrived home, but that’s my norm….my life…..and I love it!

Bridget, Nancy, Marguerite, Carolyn, and Peggy, I love you and my life is richer for knowing each and every one of you! Susan and Jillian….we missed you and love you too!

By His Grace, Debbie

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1

Merry Christmas 2010! We love you, and thank God for each and every one of you!

A little girl was taking a walk with her father one evening. Looking up at the stars she exclaimed, “O Daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side be!”

On May 19th, 2010, my dad went home to be with Jesus. A musician his whole life, he is now presented faultless, in perfect harmony, to our heavenly Father. We are getting use to “The new norm,” without my dad. I miss our Friday morning coffee hour together, just him and me. My sister, brothers, and I now have the honor and privelidge of taking care of our mom and helping her adjust to life without the man she spent 54 years with, the guy who adored her! Thank you for all your prayers, and for the outpouring of love to my family. Many of you interrupted your own lives effortlessly for a month and walked us through a difficult trial….making meals…taking my kids….visiting us in the hospital…praying with us…we are eternally grateful. God’s grace was truly sufficient….moment by moment…..

The Book my mom and I wrote was accepted for royalty publication last January! It is in the final stages of production, ready to go to Marketing. What a fun journey this has been for mom and me. The title of the book is Andti’s Antics. It is a story about a girl (Emeline) who struggles with ADD. Feisty Andi tells her story with a tender touch, sharing how she “ADDs” pizzazz to her world, hoping to send a message that God has created all of us special! Please pray for us as we reach out to many girls (and boys) through the book!

Other highlights - As a family we just like to have fun! Each day we begin with devotions, thanking God for all we have, praying that He will show us opportunities to serve Him. I insist the boys pray that they will be nicer to each other or at least stop beating each other up!! Traveling is in our blood, so any opportunity we can go..we do!! We love camping with our friends, my favorite activity is when the parents play flag football with the kids…..yes us moms jump in too!! Then of course there is the beach, Camp-of-the-Woods, and Nantucket, my personal “fave”…..where we go turtle hunting, squid hunting, watch sunsets on the beach, and make daily stops at “The Dump” where you get all kinds of junk for free!

Emeline – Jersey #59. She still loves soccer and soccer loves her! Her soccer travels will take her to Orlando in January and Virginia in March. We continue to encourage her to enjoy the game, have fun, and be a light to her teammates. So far…so good. School is going quite well for Emeline, she loves to work hard. She also enjoys serving our community with The Girl Scouts (I think her leader is an angel..seriously). She enjoys Junior High activities at church which includes a Girl’s Bible study (LJ3), and an additional Bible study with a small group of lovely young ladies seeking to grow and mature in Jesus. Emeline has raised support for materials to make blankets for the homeless this winter. We have started delivering the blankets as a family. Heading downtown Philly made us all nervous at first, now we can’t wait to go back! Check out our blanket adventures,

Samuel – We are both in fourth grade this year! Sam seems to be smarter than me! He is doing well. Recently he was asked to write a bio on himself. He wrote “I’m neat, I’m kind, and I love Jesus with all my heart.” He is so sensitive to what is right and what is wrong….we all need a ‘Sam’ around us! Sam loves to play Tackle Football, and Lacrosse. This year he ran the ball successfully quite a bit, scoring many touchdowns for the team. I’m always thankful he comes out of it alive every week! Sam’s latest hobby is “Trash Picking”. He has found some real treasures, and even sells items on e-bay to raise money for the Go-cart he would like to purchase. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Zachary – Is in second grade, ready to set the world on fire! Anyone who knows Zachary will tell you that he always has a smile on his face, and he is always ready to have fun! Sometimes that gets him in trouble. Zach is also on a travel soccer team, and loves the game. My challenge to Zachary is to always honor God with every goal he scores, because “it is in Him that we live, move, and have our being…”. Both boys participated in a Kids Triathlon last summer. They finished the race within a second of each other. Sam was just one step ahead of his little brother.

All three swam for LMT Swim Team this year. It is my favorite sport they do! This year I accepted the position of Co-Meet Director. What a big job…but oh the fun we had! Emeline participated in a relay that broke an LMT record….the thrill of it all! I LOVE our community!

Steve – is busy with the Snow business. He has a great team of “Snow People” working for him! I always pray for less stress for Steve, but there’s a part of it that he thrives on! Steve is the most amazing dad to our kids…..he plays, teaches, prays, and guides them daily. All three adore Steve. He just arrived home from a quick trip to Germany to celebrate a family 60th wedding anniversary. I was happy he was able to go, but happier when he came home safe and sound. The fall was busy for Steve with coaching Sam’s football team, and he enjoys attending a Men’s Bible study throughout the year.

Me – I celebrated a very large (really BIG) birthday this year! Friends came from near and far to celebrate this “Birthday girl”, yet I was celebrating them. I wanted to thank them for being my friend, for seeing the best in me, standing by me, laughing, and crying with me. For letting me be “real” with them…and still loving me. “A friend loves at all times.” Thank you sweet girlfriends! My life is richer for knowing each and every one of you! My ordinary days include interruptions to interrupt the interruptions! I hope to continue to substitute teach, I love working with kids! The Bible study I co-facilitate is going well; we are all growing and learning about God’s will in our lives. My daily goal for each day is to rest in Him, and His Word alone. Life is still utterly chaotic, yet we are utterly o.k.

In closing, I pray for God’s blessing on your families. Take the hands of those you love, look into their eyes, and tell them how much you love them! May your desire for 2011 be…”Reaching forward to what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal.” Philippians 3:13-14

By His Amazing Grace………….Stephen, Debbie, Emeline, Samuel, and Zachary

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It Was Chilly In Philly!

We set out on Saturday night to deliver blankets. It is a busy time of year, and other events were tempting us not to go.

We were all so nervous, especially Emeline! As we parked the car we all prayed and asked the Lord to calm our nerves, asking Him to help us minister to these people in need.

The first person we spotted was on the street sleeping. Steve insisted we first go buy him a cup of coffee. By the time we found a McDonald’s, the kids were hungry so we fed them. As we arrived back to the spot, the person was gone. We were disappointed, but trusted there was a reason.

Our next person was on the street covered completely except the top of her head. I approached her asking if she could use another blanket. Looking over the top of her “Heap”, she said “No”. There was so much fear in her eyes. The kids were disappointed to be turned down but we explained to them that some people are fearful and don’t want to interact in any way.

After driving around a park, we spotted a woman playing a flute-type instrument. It looked like something you might purchase at the dollar store. She was playing her instrument for money. The kids and I jumped out of the car and approached her. Soon we realized that Sheila was blind. Sam dropped a dollar in her cup, and then we asked her if she would like a blanket. What she needed from us was to help her. She was on a corner that was too cold for her; she wanted to move but needed our help. Sam grabbed her cooler filled with her belongings, and I extended my arm to walk her to a less windy spot. It turns out Sheila is a Christian, and loves Jesus. She has been blind since birth, and has no family at all. She earns money by playing the instrument on the street. We bought Sheila hot apple cider and a cookie (that is what she wanted), and we gathered around her, held hands, and prayed with her. My boys especially did not want to leave Sheila, it broke their heart, and they kept hugging her. Sheila loved the blanket. For her the softness of the blanket, and “touch” is what blessed her. She knew it would be nice and warm!

After a decision to not stop for a guy who seemed drunk and obnoxious, we found our last person on the street covered with a blanket trying to keep warm. This gentleman Russell has lymphoma and is dying. He has a daughter, but does not hear from her. Russ said the shelters are dangerous; he would rather sleep on the street. He told us that drugs destroyed his life and he spent 10 year in prison. We shared Jesus with him and prayed with him. With tears in his eyes, he thanked us for the blanket and the Bible. After getting back in the car we wanted to go buy him some soup, so Emeline and I returned with soup, bread, and hot apple cider (the homeless like the hot cider!). As we approached Russell with the food he was reading Emeline’s letter she wrote…..the inspiration behind the blankets.

We returned home that night with happy but heavy hearts. We were happy to serve these people, but sad for their life. Our home, heat, bed, blankets, and food seemed so extravagant that night. We praised and thanked God for all He has provided for us. We can’t wait to go again!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

By His Amazing Grace,