What is a Mother?

Carol DunfeeMotherhoodLeave a Comment

A mother is someone who nurtures her children. Sometimes those children are biological. Sometimes they are legally adopted or are step-children. Sometimes they informally “adopted” as grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings, in-laws, students, or friends. No matter what kind of mothers you have in your life, the really good ones have a few things in common. 1. They love us. 2. They tell us when we are wrong. 3. They encourage us to rise to our full potential. 4. They applaud our successes. 5. They do what’s best for us even when it hurts (us or them). 6. They comfort us when we need a shoulder to cry on. This Mother’s Day, let’s take time to thank our special mother-figures. Reward their efforts with a phone call, a letter, or some special time. If your mother-figure is gone, do a kind deed in their name. The greatest thanks we can give them is to pass on that “mothering” to someone else. To my mom and other “mothers”, thank you for investing in me. Thank you for setting such a good example of motherhood. Thank you for caring so much! I love you more than I could ever express! –Carol

One rock

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

It all started with one rock. Now this wasn’t a tiny rock, but it wasn’t a huge one either. I’m sure we all know the story of David and Goliath and what an impact one rock had in that story. Well here’s another rock with a big impact for me. This one simple rock has had such an effect on the windshield of my suburban. (I know you are probably giggling or smiling a little, but I promise I have a point!) When this rock hit the windshield just under the drivers side windshield wiper of my car, it hit with full force and actually startled all of us in the car because of the loud noise it made when it hit. I was bummed to find that it had made quite a ‘ding’, especially since I hadn’t even had my car for 6 months. I thought to myself that I should probably get it repaired before it got worse, but talked myself out of it since there was a chance I would get more dings in my windshield as the winter season here in Alaska continued. Those rocks help vehicles grip on icy roads, but boy can they do some … Read More

4 Things To Remember When Other Marriages Seem So Perfect

Jen CudmoreMarriageLeave a Comment

When your marriage is failing, sometimes it’s hard to be around other couples who appear so happy. You know the ones I mean. They are free with PDA. They express nice gestures and brag about each other. They say romantic things on Facebook and post cute pictures. Their sweetness is just another painful reminder of what we don’t have in our own life. Sometimes seeing them makes us mad. Sometimes it makes us jealous. Sometimes it makes us lonely. And sometimes we just want to hide away and cry our eyes out. If, like me, you’re struggling in your marriage and every one around you seems to have a perfect relationship, don’t feel bad. It’s normal to cringe a little. But it doesn’t have to be torture. Here are some things to remember: 1) Right now we’re overly sensitive, and that’s okay. We need to accept that this is a season of life and we won’t be this sensitive forever. We just have to be careful not to let our emotions get out of control. We can’t be snippy or rude, because it’s not their fault we’re having problems.  2) Everyone struggles with something. So they got the marriage part … Read More


Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

Healing is a process.  Emotional healing is very complicated and difficult.  It is compounded by our desire to have someone actually care and walk the distance with us and the wake-up call that no one does (because only ONE can). Additionally, emotional healing cannot be “seen.”  If you break your leg – “Well, may I sign your cast?”   But if it’s your heart or your mind that is broken – “Just build a bridge and get over it.” When I was in Kindergarten, I lost my mittens.  After school, I dug through the lost and found box and found them. Consequently, I missed my bus.  Thinking I was bigger than I really was, I decided to walk home.  (Warning: this pattern repeated itself many times in my life..) I merrily skipped my way, oblivious to ANY danger, to the place where I knew I needed to cross the street.  Suddenly, I was trapped!  My parents had told me to NEVER cross the street if I could see ANY traffic coming from either direction …Well, no matter which way I looked – I could see a car coming…I obviously lacked the understanding of  the relationship between speed, distance, and time – and so there I stood on the wrong side … Read More

To Love or Devour??

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

Over the past several years, I have observed a disturbing trend. It happens in the most conservative circles. It happens in the most liberal circles. It happens everywhere in between. It seems to know no boundaries of politics, race, or religion. It eliminates rational conversation and turns both sides into emotional train wrecks. Here it is: We devour those we disagree with. Anyone who holds a differing opinion is fair game for slanderous online comments, for vicious name-calling, and sometimes even physical retribution. We do it over breast-feeding vs. formula-feeding. We do it over schooling choices for our children. We do it over whether or not we believe in healing and speaking in tongues. We do it over which charities we choose to support or not support. We do it over gay rights vs. religious rights. We do it over racial inequalities. We do it over abortion vs. pro-life. I am not siding with anyone here. I see this on both sides of social issues. We convince ourselves that those who hold opposing views must be wrong…so wrong that they must be evil…so evil that they must be devouredby our indignation. Wait a minute. Aren’t those who disagree with us … Read More

Be Still

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

Happy Thursday to you all! Sorry that I haven’t posted these past two weeks! I wish I could say that I was on some tropical beach soaking in some sun on a family vacation, but I wasn’t. I basically was just really struggling to find something to share with you all. Every time I would think about it, I would draw a complete blank. I thought- “eh, I’ll just throw something together”, but I really didn’t want to do that. I wanted what I shared to be more intentional and more importantly, from the Lord. I was trying to think of what I could share from my life that God is doing. Unfortunately, I thought to myself that nothing really exciting is happening in that realm either. I guess you could say that I feel like I’m kind of in a rut. I’m in a rut mentally, physically and spiritually. I can see why many people escape for vacation during the months of February-April. But can I really blame it on the weather, the time of year? No, I can’t and so I’m not going to. So why do I feel this way? This past week, I spent lots of personal time trying … Read More

Monday Confessions

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

There are many patterns in Scripture. There are many patterns in nature (ie: vertebrates have at the end of their appendages five-boned digits as a hand, a paw, even a flipper).  There are also patterns in the way God approaches us.  For example the following verses all have a similar pattern:Isaiah 1:18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.John 4: parts of:16,17,18,26 (KJV)16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither…you have had five and the  one you live with … I AM He.John 8:10-1210 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  In each case, the Lord has positioned Himself in a place of authority.  He … Read More

When Mercy Meets Your Mess in Marriage

Jen CudmoreMarriageLeave a Comment

We’ve talked about the Unchained conference here before, but there’s one thing I must confess. It took everything in me to just to show up there. When I purchased my ticket, I was ecstatic! I had read 4 of Vicki’s books and couldn’t wait to actually meet her. Yet when I arrived at the Sheraton Friday evening, a little early so I could help with check-in, my heart was so heavy I had a hard time plastering on that fake smile. Because all week I had been struggling with a huge burden– I thought my marriage of 15 years was over. I was pretty unhappy with God for letting me endure so much hardship. I didn’t want to be in a room full of Christian women where I would have to pretend I was fine. I was not fine! I had reached one of the lowest points of my life, and I felt God had let me down. But I knew God wanted me to go to the conference, so I went. And I had a good time. Vicki gave some great tips on letting go of the fairytale women so desperately desire and the shame we harbor in our … Read More

The Healing Begins on Monday

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

Monday, March 16th, seems like a long time ago. In that blog, I said I would write of my journey from brokenness to health.  Since then, my husband had a stroke. He is back at work now. The only residual effect of his near death experience is the mountain of mail we are receiving from Providence Hospital as they attempt to squeeze blood from our turnip…Needless to say, I missed writing the Monday he was in ICU. The subsequent weeks I have written, not from the past, but from the present as God intervened and extended the health and the life of my husband.  Praise to the mighty King! I am so thankful!It is time to pick up where I left off as I share the journey to health:“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.”  Isaiah 54:1As I mentioned in the blog on March 16th, the LORD gave me the entire chapter of Isaiah 54.  I knew it was for me because every verse made perfect sense and literally jumped … Read More

It’s Monday – Thank You

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

My husband goes back to work today. He will be getting on a plane and flying to Kenai, then Nikiski, and then across the inlet to Trading Bay.  Two weeks ago he was flown from Trading Bay to Providence Hospital  – in a medevac helicopter, strapped to a backboard and unable to speak. When I saw him in the ER – two things went through my mind…First, I thought “life changing…” I had no idea at that time what the outcome of this situation was going to be.   As I posted last week, I have witnessed the loss of life.  I get the fragility of life and the finality of death.  The second thought I had was more of an experience with God.  For when I saw Kedge laying on the gurney with tubes and wires, 7-8 ER personnel all poking, prodding, and tending to every detail of his LIFE, I was overwhelmed with pure Love for Kedge and from God.  All shadows of doubt, fear, and bitterness were obliterated.I do not know “why” God had this in His plan for our lives these last two weeks. I do know that over 120 women were all praying for him from the moment I received … Read More

A Word Behind You

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

In college, I was a music major and had to play several piano pieces each semester from memory. The thought of having to remember up to 8 notes at a time, several times a second, while in front of an audience would send me into panic mode. In fact, one of my most common nightmares as an adult is that I have to play a full recital in a week and I don’t know my music. I guess you could say I suffer from “memorizedperformance anxiety”. By the time my graduate recital rolled around, I was carrying around 3×5 cards with Bible verses on them. I memorized them, said them to myself while falling asleep, and read them before practicing. I knew I would fail if my fears took over, so I reminded myself of His promises again and again. One of my favorite verses from this time came back to me again this week. I was pressed for time as I was prepping the monthly verse for our MOPS group. I said a quick prayer asking God to show me the verse He wanted for this month. The first verse that came to mind was…. Your ears will hear … Read More

How Can It Be

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

Happy Thursday! Last week I shared that my next three posts would be regarding things that stuck out to me during the Vicki Courtney ‘Unchained’ women’s retreat. God broke so many chains that weekend!! He sure stirred my heart in more ways than one. Vicki Courtney shared out of 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf. Be reconciled to God.”     Then she asked the questions, “Why don’t we talk about the messy parts of our lives?” “Why do we only give the highlights?” “Why don’t we share what brought us back to the auction block where God had to buy us back?” Well, let’s just say that these scriptures along with those questions really hit a note with me. I know … Read More

Why We Must Experience Seasons of Suffering

Jen CudmoreTrialsLeave a Comment

Have you ever heard the expression that we must thank God for the bad things in our lives? Ha! Does anyone else think that’s just plain wierd? And yet, maybe there is a grain of truth in there somewhere. Because it’s the bad things in life that teach us how to be better people. So why not thank God for those experiences, no matter how painful they may be? Suffering for Christians is inevitable. If you love God and have made the commitment to serve Him, be prepared for some hard things to come your way. Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). It’s coming. The question is, how will it come at you? Many people wonder why God allows bad things to happen. Here are some reasons I’ve collected during my seasons of suffering.  Why we experience suffering: 1) Sometimes it’s due to sin we haven’t dealt with. All sin has consequences, and unconfessed, hidden sin festers inside our hearts, holding us back from the abundant life God promises when we abide in Him. We need to ask God to forgive us and confess what we’ve done … Read More

Monday Like No Other…

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

THIS Monday after THIS Resurrection Sunday is more precious to me than any since I have come to know the Lord.  Why? Because, today I go to work having experienced the power of the resurrection – for it is the power of God for the salvation of man.  How accursed are we – this race of man?  How completely void of goodness is the heart of man?  The evidence of our depravity shouts out from the streets from every corner of the world. Man’s inhumanity toward man is beyond our understanding.  There is no way we could save ourselves – and that Jesus was willing to take all our sin on himself and be judged by a Holy God in our place  – is also beyond our “understanding.”  All we can do is accept what He did for us.  We cannot grasp the depths of our own depravity – do we not all think of ourselves more highly than we ought? We do – and we do so because we compare ourselves to others…which is really quite comical because we compare our best side to someone else’s worst side…not quite fair.  My worst deed is no worse than your worst deed – and my … Read More

Too Busy for the Best?

Carol DunfeePrayer & FastingLeave a Comment

Several of us ACWM bloggers have written about the Unchained Retreat with Vicki Courtney. Vicki’s talks hit my heart in many areas, but I’d have to say that one of my favorites was a quote from Sunday. But first, here is the back-story…. Mark 1:21-37 records a single day in Jesus’ life. It shows Him teaching in the Capernaum synagogue, healing a dsiciple’s mother-in-law, and then standing outside her door healing the sick and oppressed who were brought to Him. The very next morning, Jesus retreated to a “desolate place” to pray. The disciples finally found him and begged Him to come back to the Capernaum because people were looking for Him. Instead, Jesus announced they were moving to the next town to teach and heal there. And here is the quote that stopped me in my tracks: “Jesus declined their summons to fill the role they wanted for Him.” Wow. Stop a minute and think about that. The people wanted Him to come heal needy people in Capernaum. They wanted Him to raise more people from the dead. These are all good things…important things!!! Why didn’t Jesus do these extra things? His priority was living in unity with the … Read More

Finding the Truth in the Midst of the Storm

Jen CudmoreFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you’ve been boiled in hot lava and then tossed off a cliff onto a pile of sharp rocks? Then when you muster the strength to try to get up, a stampede of buffalo tramples on what’s was left of you? When things in your life get out of whack and it’s literally all you can do just to get out of bed, it’s hard to hold onto hope. So what do we do when life is falling apart at the seams and we don’t even know how to pray?   We must remind ourselves of the truth: We don’t have to face life’s storms alone!  We have the help and the comfort of an amazing God! We simply have to claim what He offers. Here are some truths I’ve been trying to focus on for the past few days. When I study God’s word and pray without ceasing, I always feel my chin lift a little. I hope you find these truths encouraging when the rain comes your way! –  My flesh wants to run and hide, but God wants me to stay put. I may want God to change … Read More

Lose YOUR Expectations

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

Today, over one hundred women will gather at the “Unchained” retreat hosted by Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry. Vicky Courtney will talk to us about breaking free from our expectations. In preparation, I have been thinking about how my expectations have caused issues in my life… Several years ago, we took a Spring break vacation to the Oregon coast. It was a six or seven hour drive from where we lived. I was itching to get out of town so we could start our vacation. (Although, I’m not sure how much vacation happens on a road trip with kids aged 3 months, 4 years, and 7 years!!) The night before we left, my husband reminded me that we were on VACATION and that he wanted to sleep in and get on the road at a leisurely pace. This rubbed my ”git-‘er-done” mindset the wrong way. In my mind, vacation didn’t start until we were out of town. In his mind, vacation started the night before when he got off work. When my husband voiced his expectations, it gave me the chance to get my expectations readjusted. There was nothing wrong with getting on road leisurely. There was nothing wrong with getting … Read More

While You’re Waiting On The Promise

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

Has God ever promisedyou a blessing and then made you wait for it? I knew when I boarded the plane for Denver in 2010 that God had a purpose for me at the conference hosted by the Christian Writers Guild. I was certain I’d find a publisher for my western romance series! But I left the conference having received interest from only one publisher, who eventually turned me down. I went home confused, because years earlier God had called me to be an author. So why wasn’t He making it happen? Or maybe I had heard him wrong. I began to doubt ability to write well and my ability to hear God.  I tried to remain positive and patient. Many people in the Bible were given a promise and then had to wait for the blessing. My husband reminded me it was years before Jacob married Rachel, before Joseph was released from prison, and before David was crowned king. Eventually I began to see that when God tells you to wait, He really means w … a … i … t. So why the wait? Because the Christian life is about developing faith and coming to know God on a … Read More

It Is Always Darkest Before Dawn (Part 2/3)

Guest BloggerTrialsLeave a Comment

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. ~Deitrich BonhoefferThe beautiful thing about being broken is that you recognize that you are powerless. You recognize that you are unable to manage your life as you know it. You recognize that there HAS to be something outside of yourself that can do what you cannot do for yourself. Lying in the dark, curled up in fetal position, blinds drawn, tear stained cheeks, broken heart. Suffocating in my regrets, ashamed of falling once again. I cried out. I couldn’t anymore. I knew that if I didn’t receive help from something outside of me that my life path would ultimately lead to death. I was afraid. It was like I sat at the crossroads, looking both directions, both scary, both unknown.  I heard the whisper in the dark. I heard God calling me. I truly believe that that hardest part of the battle is surrender. Surrendering is just yielding to the power, and control of God. At that specific moment I didn’t know that it was God that I was surrendering too. I was just throwing up my hands in surrender praying that something  or someone would save me. I think … Read More

A song in my heart

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

Happy Thursday ladies! When I was first asked to contribute to this blog, I was really worried about having things to share each week. I was told to just share things that God might be showing me or doing in my life. I am continually praying for direction of each and every post I share with you! It’s amazing how God has blessed me personally through preparations to write each and every post. This week was no different. But instead of a scripture or personal experience, this time it’s all the words of a song! I am currently doing a personal bible study based on the season of lent. It’s been great to dive into God’s word even more as Easter approaches. It’s been amazing to think on the events that led up to the day that the ultimate sacrifice was made! This song is one of my favorites and I came across it again today and just felt like it needed to be part of my post for this week!  I pray these words bless you this week as well!! How Deep the Father’s Love For Us How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure, That He should give His only Son, … Read More