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Praise and Coffee Summer 2012

Simply Summer!

Good Christian Girls Feeling Summer Guilt Packing the Perfect Summer Getaway Bag

A “Mary” Summer Yummy Chicken Salad! Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

The Praise and C

www.PraiseAn 2

Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Coffee Ministry 3

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Praise and Coffee Magazine A quarterly online publication. Founder and Editor

Sue Cramer

A short and sweet issue because it’s Simply Summer!


Denise Dykstra Submission Guidelines: 1. Anyone is welcome to submit articles or testimonies.

6| Praise and Coffee Nights 8| Editor’s Note ~ Summer Guilt! 10| Cultivating a Simple Life 16| Let’s Talk Marriage ~ Lori Byerly 20| Why Should We Wait? 26| Working Moms-Summer Fun ~ Ronel Sidney 28| Are Your Feet Sandal Ready? ~ Andy Paige 32| Get Simply Summer Crafty 42| A “Mary” Summer 44| Chicken Salad ~ Sarah Short 52| The Incident ~ Denise Dykstra

2. Submissions by women who have attended or hosted a Praise and Coffee event will be considered first 3. Testimonies can be personal or connected to your experience at a Praise and Coffee event. 4. Articles that will be considered are to be encouraging and inspiring. 5. Length of submission should be 400-800 words. This can be negotiated for feature articles. 6. Submissions will be read and considered among the Editor and coEditor. 7. We do not pay for articles, they are on a volunteer basis. 8. Submissions should be in “Times New Roman” #12 font. 9. Submissions need to be emailed as an attachment and include: Name Email Website (if applies) Short (100 words or less) bio 11. Email submissions to our Co-Editor:

Cover photo, and pages 20, and 25 courtesy of Karie Murray Photography. Thank you. For advertising info, contact Sue at:

Back cover photo courtesy of a good friend who prefers to be nameless. Thank you. 4

Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Summer 2012 Volume 2~Issue 4


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Praise and Coffee Nights!

Praise and Coffee Nights meet in coffee shops and at kitchen tables across the country. To learn more about them, check out our online ebook:


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Across the Nation and World! For where 2 or 3 gather together because they are mine, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20

Buffalo, Minnesota

Plainwell, MI (the original!)

Ephrata, PA

Reno, NV Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Henderson, NV Saginaw, MI


Prescott, AZ

San Diego, CA Anthem, AZ

Lynden, WA

New Hampshire

We want pictures of your events!! Email them to us or post them into the albums on the Praise and Coffee Nights page on Facebook!


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Summer: When Good Christian Girls Struggle With Guilt Hello Girlfriends! I’m just going to come right out and say it; summer can fill a good Christian girl with guilt. If you are able to jump into a summer Bible study and get back from the lake on Sundays in time to work your shift in the nursery then you might want to skip this whole article. But that is just not the honest reality for most of us, and our own hearts can beat us up with guilt.

For too long I focused on “what” happened to me instead of discovering “why” it happened and letting God do the work in me that would bring me to such a beautiful place of peace now.

Like Cinderella at midnight I was left with the torn tattered mess of my insecurities screaming at me in the mirror. I grappled with my identity and sense of worth. I desperately wanted to focus on my wounds and blame others for my pain. But I grappled I used to struggle with feeling like was always fruitless. Somewith my identity ittimes God was disappointed or angry the process of forgiving with me for not being a good and sense of worth. was messy and ugly, espeenough Christian, especially cially when I allowed anger I desperately through the busyness of summer. pour back in and darken wanted to focus to But now I understand that my my heart over and over relationship with Him is not on my wounds again. But finally I let myself based on how many times a and blame others be still and know that He is month I step through the doors God and I began a journey for my pain. of a church building, no matter of discovering Him, and findwhat the season. ing me. I was a good church girl and that was rewarding until I realized that much of my efforts were centered on pride. I felt good about myself and my Christianity because everyone else thought I was a good Christian girl, and by definition I was. Pastor’s wife, women’s ministry leader, worship leader, I appeared to have it all together. But it was a house of cards because many years ago my life took a hard left turn and all the titles that I’d worn so proudly collapsed around me. 8

Living loved is far simpler than the world I had created. It is honest and sincere. Not without pain, but worth every tear as God reveals Himself so beautifully as my Father and friend. I no longer equate the things that I DO for God with my relationship to Him. I’ve also abandoned the need for titles, instead I rest in knowing that I am His daughter, graciously loved and accepted just the way I am.

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no longer let guilt or condemnation drive my decisions, about church attendance/activities or the way I live my life. I’ve found a freedom in letting God mold me and simply living my faith in the world He’s placed me in. Life is no longer about being a good Christian girl bearing fruit through my own efforts; instead I hope that my life and heart being changed is what produces the evidence of Him in my life. Is summer revealing this kind of guilt for you too? If so, I encourage you be still and know that He is God, and instead of allowing all the “shoulds” to rule your life, let His peace fill you and rest in the truth that He loves you and He’s up to a something beautiful in your heart. Live loved, summertime and always. I hope you enjoy this issue with a “Simply Summer” theme and have a simple but meaningful summer with those you love.

"We are called to be fruitful; not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress, and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness." Henri J.M. Nouwen


My favorite spot this summer, sipping coffee on my deck.

Sue Cramer Founder of Praise and Coffee

Connect with Sue online!

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You asked for it... Praise and Coffee Magazine is now available in print through MagCloud. Magazines can be ordered individually

but not by print subscription. Yet. The print magazines cost about $13-$15 each. To order a copy in print, go to


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

One friend

Praise and Coffee

Connect ~ Encourage ~ Inspire


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Cultivating a

Simple Life By Beki Hastings @ The Rusted Chain

So much beauty can be found in simple things in life. But as we all know, life is busy. Really, really busy. There are always jobs and meetings, appointments and activities to attend. We have to make a conscious effort to slow down sometimes. Summertime is a great time to start. 12

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Some ideas for you: ~ Rather than having fast food and dessert on a regular basis, make "ice cream dates" a special occasion with your family. With small kids, discuss it while you're eating focusing on the color, texture, and temperature of the ice cream. ~ Go for a drive. No really! Go out and drive around, with no intention of going anywhere. Open your eyes to see interesting or unusual buildings and landscapes. Discuss what the land would have looked like years ago. Talk about how different things would feel if you didn't have an air conditioned or heated car. ~ Find a flower, either purchased or picked, and study the details of it. Notice the colors, shapes, and seeds. If God put this much time and effort into creating little flowers, how much more care did He put into creating us?


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* Simple Life * ~ Be mission minded. Even if you can't go on a missions trip, you can get a better view of the entire world by looking at the websites of trusted non-profit organizations. Discuss how the price of one fast food kid's meal, could feed children for weeks in other countries. Recognize how blessed we are to have shoes, bug repellent, abundant food options, soft beds, video games and internet.

~ Go on a "theme walk". This is especially fun when you have a camera with you. Decide on themes you want to find and then start the hunt! Start with circles. Point out or photograph all the circles you find. Then about 15 minutes later, switch to a new theme. Lines, symmetry, arcs/crescents, a specific color, numbers, grids are all fun to find. You'll be amazed at how you view things differently when you're hunting for something. ~ Unplug. This is the toughest one. Choose one day a week, or even one evening a week, and decide that there will be no connections to the outside world. No internet. No tv. No cell phones. No handheld games. You will be surprised at what you can find to do! You may find yourself bored, but welcome that. Enjoy it. Embrace the stillness that we sometimes call boredom. Read. Study. Nap. Play. Craft. Do a hobby during that time. Carve out a block of time to unplug. All the emails and updates will be there when you get back.

~ Plant something. Even if you do it in a small space or a patio garden, there is something magical about planting something and seeing the results of it when it grows. Try tomatoes, flowers, green beans, even grass. Nothing great has ever been, or can ever be accomplished without hard work. 14

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Beauty is all around us. The more we look, the more abundant it becomes. Gratitude is recognizing that what you have is enough. We truly do have all we need. Intentionally cultivate a simple life, one little step at a time.

I like photography, blogging, living simply, chipped paint, rust, my 3 kids, my 1 husband, designing jewelry, peonies, God, and coffee. Not in that order. 15

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Let’s Talk

MARRIAGE With Lori Byerly of “The Generous Wife”


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Making your

Marriage BETTER! ...there are things you can do to make your marriage situation worse and there are things you can do to make your marriage better.


ears ago my spiritual dad said,

"There are things you could do to make your life worse, right?" I thought for a minute. "Well, yeah. I could try to rob a bank, kick my neighbor’s yippy little dog or not do laundry for a week." He replied, "Then, by default, there are things you could do to make your life better." I really needed to hear that at the time. I was feeling a bit beat up by life and helpless in the face of a couple of difficult situations. It 17

gave me the motivation to pray and ask God for direction for the things I could do. I was encouraged and my attitude improved ... and so did my life because I saw past the problems to my own choices. Later I made the connection to marriage. There are some real ups and downs to marriage. There are times when it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even downright unhappy. But just like any other situation, there are things you can do to make your marriage situation worse and there are things you can do to make your marriage better.

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My husband is an optimist (the sing (loudly) in the morning kind of optimist), but when he is down he is really, really down. It's hard to reach him. It's hard to be happy around him. It's hard to breathe around him. Thankfully he's only been down about 15 minutes our whole marriage (did I mention he was an optimist?). However, I did learn something from him because of this. Our attitudes significantly impact us and those around us. I didn't want to be guilty of making it hard for my husband to breathe. I could improve my marriage relationship and the atmosphere of our home by letting God deal with my attitudes. That is not a passive kind of thing for me. I read the Word and let God talk to me about it. I read blogs and books that challenge me to grow. I talk to people who have good attitudes and try to learn from them (and conversely I learn what not to do from folks who are chronically grumpy). I’m actively pursuing better attitudes.


Words are powerful. You can build up with words or you can tear down. From time to time I make a practice of considering what I say and how I say it. How is my tone of voice? What do I really want to communicate? It helps to talk to your reflection in a mirror. Yes, I know it’s more than weird, but it’s a great learning tool (though my son did worry about me for awhile ~ all that talking to myself in the bathroom). I noticed that I frown too often. I decided I needed to smile more too (even when I felt pleasant or happy they just weren’t showing up on my face often enough). I often had to rethink what I wanted to communicate and I realized that a lot of things just didn’t need to be said at all (love can help you overlook an offense or a moment of carelessness).

...I realized that a lot of things just didn’t need to be said at all (love can help you overlook an offense or a moment of carelessness). 18

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That’s really hard to own, but facing it helped me grow up and make choices that built my marriage and made it better.


How I spend my time speaks about my priorities. I make time for the people and things that are important to me. If I want to make my marriage better I need to invest time and energy in that relationship. The thing that has challenged me the most when thinking about my actions, was not so much what I actually did (though I can always improve there), but rather what I did not do. Over the years, I’ve probably looked pretty good. The dishes were washed, meal on the table, and clean clothes hanging in the closet, but hiding behind that were avoided conversations (so that I didn’t have to deal with tough issues) and busyness (that I used to ignore his needs and wants).

Are you your husband's best friend? Lover? Confidant? Partner in life? #1 Supporter and encourager? How can you show that with your actions?


he Bottom Line

You have more impact on your marriage relationship than you might suspect. Think it through. Be intentional about building and careful not to tear down. You can’t change your husband (or the neighbor’s yippy little dog or the onslaught of laundry to be done), but you can, by your choices and influence, make your marriage better.

Sign up to receive daily email encouragement!

Lori Byerly is married to The Generous Husband and lives in the beautiful Northwest US. She is the mom of two and has a lovely new granddaughter. She works for two non-profit ministries, and ministers in the area of marriage and small group church expressions.


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the story of the wedding song by jeremy & kaci neely hat little girl doesn't dream of growing up to be a Princess? In the midst of the self imposed darkness that sexual sin put on our marriage (which is a whole separate article) we had the blessing to witness a Woman who realized the dream of being the Princess and a Man who became her Prince Charming. At 36 years of age my Sister, Kelli, had exciting news for us. She had found the man of her dreams, David Hamilton. Dave was a 31 year old F-15 Strike Eagle Pilot stationed in Idaho and Kelli was a Missionary to Albania. Needless to say technology played a huge role in their courting\dating process. Of course the very next thing Kelli said to us was, “Would you guys take care of the music for our Wedding?” At this point we have a beautiful story going on here. God connected two like minded, like hearted people via the Internet. But really what's so unique about their story? Here's the kicker: Both Dave and Kelli knew what God desired for them on their Wedding Day and had stayed pure. Yep, pick up your jaw, BOTH of them! And God was not done. The moment Kelli asked, “Would you guys take care of the music for our Wedding?” God laid a heavy burden on Jeremy's heart. He would write a song for Dave and Kelli's Wedding Day that would honor their commitment not only to God but to one another as a gift. 21

There were many days of struggling over lyrics. The stress of searching for chords and melodies that could honor this beautiful occasion was sometimes overbearing. Yet the song was finished, kept secret from the family, and unveiled at their Wedding on a beautiful fall day in 2009. And God was not done. A few months later, playing a Concert somewhere in the Central Region of the United States, we were running out of material. Most of our acoustic concerts are “story telling” events as to save our voices and to help an audience, who often has no idea who we are, connect with our music. So we threw “Complete”, then known as the unnamed Wedding song, into our set list. We told the story and shared the song. The response blew us away! You see in our oversexed culture our kids still are fighting. They still have hope that they can have that fairy tale ending. They are wading through all this misinformation and peer pressure waiting for some glimmer of hope to cling onto with all they have. They want hope. None of us want to admit that we were “that guy” or “that girl”. So many of us still wear that black dress we put on so long ago, emotionally on the inside. The emotional pain of giving ourselves away intimately to the wrong person suffocates us into submission. So we put on our happy Christian face and ignore the subject altogether or condemn those who enter into such acts with a ferocity that we hope would deter our young ones from making the same mistake.

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ut they need to know. They deserve to know. No one is telling them why God says, “No”. No one is telling them why God says, “Wait”. And every moment we are silent one more glimmer of hope goes dark. For years during our concerts we have weaved our individual stories into our songs telling thousands of people of the long term consequences of premarital sex. And at this point what you didn't know about us is that we don't label ourselves as “Christian Artists” because God has called us to be “Musicianaries”. Not only are we singing our music (which is inspired by our faith in Jesus Christ) and sharing our testimony to people sitting in Churches, but to people at State Fairs, in Bars, in Wineries, and...well, any place that will let us sing actually!

However, In 2009 everything changed. Not only do we share about those horrid consequences but now we share the glimmer of hope that a 31 year old fighter pilot and a 36 year old Missionary to Albania gave us. Young people are sending us messages saying they were about to give up hope then they heard this song. People who are not Christians are opening dialogue with us about Jesus. People who are living in sexual sin are being convicted and questioning their life choices. And God was not done.

Jeremy and Kaci Neely are a HusbandWife Rock Duo based out of Nashville, TN known as NEELY. They travel the United States, along with their 4 Daughters, playing events inside and outside the Church. For more information about NEELY and their music visit them online at:


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Some of our Summer Pinterest picks. Click here to follow and find these!


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012


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I said to myself, "Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling." Psalm 116:7-8 25

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Encouragement for Today with

Ronel Sidney Working Moms have to be

INTENTIONAL about making time for summer fun! As working mom guilt has increased NOT decreased so I take the guilt and remind myself the house does NOT have to be spotless or vacuumed daily during summer break. Another trick we have learned is instead of turning on the TV in the morning if we are done getting ready early Over the past few years I have gotten increaswe instead empty the dishwasher, start laundry ingly more creative with summer time activities or do a quick pickup so we can relax and enjoy in order to fully enjoy the time with my now our afternoons as a family. eight year old son. I usually plan in a few three or Life is so busy and fast paced today that we four day weekends in order to take him to the have to be intentional about how we spend our breach, Sea World or the Zoo. I also schedule play dates with friends who have kids around the time. Anytime we can get outside and run, bike or walk as a family is a good time. same age. Investing in day trips at a theme park, fair or I think my son’s favorite time has to be on the community pool can make summer more fun. weekend when we wake up early go for donuts Far too often as moms we are hard on ourselves and hold ourselves to unattainable standards. For myself I have always dreamed of being a stay at home mom yet it just was never the “right” time.

and travel to the beach or lake for a bike ride. I know these moments will pass faster than I would like but I have to make the best of the time God has given me.


Investing in relationships with other families is another great summer activity. Finding projects and activities that are inexpensive like a bird feeder or planting in the garden.

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I try making it a habit to say yes once a week to my son’s requests. I enjoy surprising my son by saying yes to an ice cream run especially when he thinks I am going to say no. Movie night or the drive in when the kids’ new releases hit… invite other families and bring your own snacks. Instead of spending your summer in a gym by yourself get your family involved in hiking, biking or running. Make a jar of fun things your kids would like to do and pick a random thing to do once or twice a month.

I’ve had the awesome opportunity to share tips and encouragement for Real Moms on STAR 105.7, a secular radio station here in West Michigan.

Order your child new fun summer books at the beginning of summer to keep them interested in learning during the break from school. Find free activities at the local community parks, libraries or recreation centers. Whatever it is you do make it fun and adventurous. I use to pick an animal my son liked and would go to the library and pick books about the animal or theme and we would make a picnic out of it… for example Dinosaur or Pirate Picnic. Find an indoor playground for the super hot days! The list could go on and on yet I think the most important thing is to make lasting memories with your children despite financial struggles, work obligations or hard circumstances you may be facing this summer. Get creative and have fun with your little ones before they are off and running without you by their side.

We talk about everything from bullying to tips for dealing with teenagers. If you’re not in West Michigan you can listen online at iHeart radio. Check out my webpage for more info, links to the segments we’ve recorded and ways to connect with Tommy and Brook! @TommyAndBrook

Ronel Sidney is the National Director for Praise and Coffee Nights. Check out her blog:

Contact her: 27

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In a thrifty chic carry-on, throw in:

How to Pack the Perfect Summer Bag

for a


Away! S

ummer is here and we are all ea-

ger to relax and enjoy some time away. Effortless summer glamour can be had with just a few strategic items tossed into a roll-aboard, so don't sweat the packing, just get going.

a wrinkle-proof sundress - a skirt - one pair of shorts - one colorful tank top - one sexy flow-y top - crushable hat - large cotton scarf - swimsuit - flip-flops - heeled sandals - evening earrings - nighty/undies - evening bag - zip-out travel bag for the beach and souvenir shopping You should travel in: - colored jeans - feminine belt - tank top - cardigan - modern fem flat - colorful wrap (worn as a scarf and used as a blankie) - statement watch - striking, colorful earrings - sunglasses - a great handbag This simple collection will offer you more than 20 looks and will see you through any event or occasion while you are away. You are all set for a fabulous weekend of sun, fun and effortless style. Have a fabulous time!!


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Andy also has weekly style tips on Star 105.7 in West Michigan! With her international best selling book, STYLE ON A SHOESTRING and more than 100 "fabulously frugal" makeovers on over 200 episodes of television airing in 14 countries, Andy Paige has earned the title "The Budget Bombshell" honestly. Andy’s extensive work on NBC’s Starting Over, TLC’s Ten Years Younger, STYLE Network’s How Do I Look, SOAP NET’s Soap Talk, and countless local network style segments have all made Andy the charming and sassy go-to gal for "thrifty-chic" fashion fixes and budget beauty help. You can also see Andy exercise her “Cents of Style” muscles every week on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, where she oversees hair, makeup and wardrobe for Donald Trump’s cast of celebrity characters. Andy inspires thousands of radio listeners all over the country each week with playful and entertaining bargain beauty and style tips on KJOY 98.3 in New York, STAR 105.7 in Michigan and the syndicated Kim Iverson Show. You can also find Andy's advice on economic beautification in the pages of Soap Opera Digest, The National Inquirer, Woman’s Day, First for Women, Cutting Edge, on countless websites, and on her own wildly popular website, A celebrated, funny, interactive speaker, Andy recently completed a 50-city speaking tour reaching over 30,000 women, helping frugal girls "find their foxy" from coast to coast. Her dynamic message is clear and feeds the hungry ears of fashionistas worldwide, "You do NOT have to spend a fortune to look like a million!"

Appreciating that most gals live on a budget and still want to turn heads and drop jaws, Andy created her own line of affordable, allnatural-hair ANDY PAIGE COSMETIC BRUSHES™and launched CENTS OF STYLE® ACCESSORY SUITES™ – thrifty-chic accessories bundled together for an immediate style boost – to help make looking spectacular fun and easy! Both Andy’s cosmetic brushes and her Accessory Suites™ have been incredibly successful, selling out within hours of their launch and gathering fans and happy customers across the globe. Much of Andy’s gumption and know -how comes from her years as a Ford and Wilhelmina Model, a professional fit model working with more than 40 designers, a trained makeup artist, and her broad education, including a master’s degree from the historic New School University. Andy simply knows what it takes for every woman – no matter their size, shape, shade or salary – to look and feel gorgeous. Andy’s passion for her work shines. She is undoubtedly a sweet force of originality, leading the way and waving her fashion flag that reads, "Enjoy Being Thrifty!" 29

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Lysa TerKeurst admits that she, like most women, has experiences where others bump into her happy and she comes emotionally unglued. We stuff, we explode, or react somewhere in between. What do we do with these raw emotions? Is it really possible to make emotions work for us instead of against us? Yes, and in her usual inspiring and practical way, Lysa will show you how. Filled with guthonest personal examples and biblical teaching, Unglued will equip you to: * Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships. * Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended. * Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your communication. * Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode, or react somewhere in between. * Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control.

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of 15 books, and encourages nearly 500,000 women worldwide through a daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children. 31

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t e G Simply



With Korene VandenBerg


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Korene VandenBerg lives on a dirt road in western Michigan with her husband, John and two sons, Canton and Maxwell. She and John discovered their oldest son had neurological issues in the fall of 2006. He was struggling with school and social interactions. Korene and John decided that one of them would have to stay home to work with their son and take him to therapy. As a result, the household income took a hit. The family made the most of the situation, though, by getting creative. Korene turned to her craft background for many gift ideas. For instance, one very financially lean Christmas Korene took a poem she wrote in the fifth grade, developed illustrations to go along with the poem and gave it to her sons for Christmas. That children’s book entitled ‘If I Could Be’, became published. You can check out the book at ‘’, keyword “VandenBerg”. Korene speaks at area schools and libraries to discuss the “6 Traits of Writing” and drawing/illustrating to local children. Korene is also the coauthor/cocreator of the craft blog ‘’. Korene and her grade school friend, Katie Wettlaufer, started the blog in late winter of this year. Most of the crafts on the site focus on recycling or repurposing. “The blog is still in its infancy”, states Korene, “but hang on, we have a gazillion more craft ideas, recipes and tips waiting to be posted!” Crafts were a huge part of Korene’s childhood. If fact, crafts were the reason why she and Katie met. Korene’s mom (Ardith) taught ceramic, pottery, macramé clas ses and Katie’s dad (Bob) worked for the Adult Ed at their local school. Bob hired Ardith to teach Adult Ed craft classes. Korene and Katie met, they were in kindergarten at the time, and have been friends ever since. “My path has certainly changed. I started off as a stressed-out graphic designer in the city and ended up a very happy, crafty momma in the country. When you finally let go and let God take over, a huge burden is lifted. In the past I didn’t have a good relationship with God, I was too busy just keeping up. Having a child with any type of issue is heart wrenching. When we first discovered our oldest was having problems I started to talk with God, asking Him what to do. This was the first time in my life, I had ever done such a thing. Many of these talks were outside in the parking lot of the speech therapist. I would pace back and forth and physically speak to Him OUT LOUD. Many strangers heard our conversations. He directed my life down this unfamiliar road and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me!” 33

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You will need: • Decorative picture frames (Check local yard/garage sales, resale shops, second hand stores, etc - I found my frames at a church rummage sale) • Spray paint • Fine Sand paper (On the back of the sand paper there will be a number, that is the grit of the sand paper. The higher the number (grit) the finer the sand paper. (You can feel the difference by rubbing your fingers over the sandpaper. You’ll want to pick a paper that’s smooth, similar to fine beach sand. I used a 220 grit sand paper) • Brown paper bag, optional (Sometimes I use brown paper bags in place of fine grit sand paper) • Old, clean rag • Drop cloth • Pliers • Screw driver • Wooden blocks, optional (Or something to prop up your frames while you’re painting them)


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Instructions: 1. First, remove all the backing paper from the frames. Be sure to remove any staples, nails or other items used to hold in the prints. Remove print (if any).

2. On the front side, lightly rub the picture frame with fine grit sand paper or use a section from a brown paper bag. This will give the spray paint something to adhere to. Don’t go crazy, just quickly go over the surface. I’ve used brown paper bags in place of sand paper many times. It’s great for a situation when you’re in need of fine sand paper and don’t have any on hand. It can be used as something to simply buff off the shiny surface.

3. With your rag (I used a sock) rub the front surface of the frame to get rid of the dust and any other particles.


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Instructions cont... 4. Spread out your drop cloth and position your frames so you’ll be able to easily maneuver around them while spray painting. I elevated the frames with wood scraps, which allowed me to paint everything in one shot (front and sides). 5. Inspect your masterpiece, it may need a second coat. When project is fully dried, find an excellent spot in your garden to highlight - the perfect flower, a special garden feature, a fantastic rock, anything you fancy. Prop up the frame in your chosen area by moving the ground cover around or borrow rocks from other areas in your yard to sandwich the frame so it won’t fall down. Most important . . . get creative, use your imagination.


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Modern. Trendy. Beautiful. Contemporary handcrafted sterling silver jewelry for today's modern woman! I use recycled silver, copper, gold and gemstones to create wearable pieces of art jewelry.

Featured in Grand Rapids Women’s LifeStyle 37

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POTSC Campaign “Labels Lie: Don’t Accept Them. Don’t Use Them.” The campaign’s focus is on being liberated from the prison of societies’ labels. We don’t have to live with the shame of what people have said about us. We don’t have to accept these statements as our true identity. When we judge, label, diminish and criticize each other, this becomes the fuel for shame and guilt to fester in our souls. A label says we are unworthy, flawed and unacceptable. Sadly we live in a society driven by stereotyping, gossiping, labeling and blame…and it is destroying us. Words like ugly, stupid, adulterer, addict, illegal, failure, ex-con, slut, fag and other dehumanizing labels are thrown around with no regard for how they damage. It is time to talk about shame and the toxic labels we believe about ourselves. It is time to be liberated from the lies of labels and experience the powerful truth of who we really are…Loved… Worthy…Beautiful…Accepted.


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

To learn more about POTSC and this campaign: Twitter: @POTSC Facebook: People of the Second Chance 39

Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Praise and Coffee RUNS!

We’ve partnered with Run With Endurance to encourage women to connect with each other and start a RWE chapter in their community!

Check out Run With Endurance at: or click here for a direct link: Run With Endurance

Casie Dussia is a small business owner and a personal trainer that ministers to women’s soul, mind and body and is the founder of RWE~Run with Endurance. She lives in Southwest Michigan and enjoys life with her husband John and son. Casie is a team partner to the Praise and Coffee Night ministry in Plainwell, MI. 40

Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Connect with Praise and Coffee online!


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

As I woke up this morning, I could hear my son count down the days until pre-school graduation. My oldest daughter was helping him count correctly as her voice grew shaky with excitement. “No!” I groaned as I rolled over and buried myself within the confines of my comforter, before all three kids came bouncing in to tell me we have 28 days left. Summer! Moms dread it, kids love it. It’s coming—our spirits are picking up on the vibes, our kids are getting restless and dreaming of the last day of school. I am not a fan of summer time, it means twelve hour days of being together with the kids. It means finding entertainment, more carpooling, no MOPs meetings, very little adult conversation and shorts. Shorts, have I mentioned that I’m pasty white and shorts are scary? Oh there’s swimsuits, let’s not even go there. Someone save me please! Simply summer? I think not. This woman needs to maintain her sanity (Coffee generally helps). What am I supposed to do with three highly energized kids? What about my office work, quiet time, keeping the house clean and keeping my kids entertained? After I got the kids off to school and my youngest entertained with play dough, I nursed my hazelnut coffee and sulked while thumbing through my devotional, Having a Mary Heart In A Martha World. Suddenly a thought hit me full force. “Heather, you hate summer because you are too busy being Martha.” “Martha? God—what’s that supposed to mean?” Silence, followed by another fresh thought, “You’re too busy maintaining schedules, keeping boundaries, ensuring routines and bedtimes, you’ve forgotten what the joy of summer means.”

Ouch, that hurt. But you know God was right on target as usual. Summer used to mean, relaxation, lazy days, enjoying the moment with a glass of iced tea… then I had kids. As a matter of fact I had three kids, one with Aspergers, another with A.D.H.D and the youngest came with an iron will. Because of my children’s special needs, summer turned into a game of chess, I was busy maneuvering the board to avoid more work and keep the peace. As I shuffled over to my window seat, I smelled the fresh cut grass and lilacs floating on the breeze. Summer was around the corner. After I pondered God’s words, I realized, it’s time to simplify. The season we are given is meant to enjoy the progress of our labors, watching our children grow, engaging in the freedom of long warm days. Instead, I was too busy thinking about duties, obligations, and chores. I forgot how this season gives me more time to sit in God’s presence, cherish my children’s hearts, and get a tan—well sunburn. I created a new routine which included more downtown and was avoided signing my kids up for activities. This summer is going to be different, fresh, simple. This summer I will enjoy playing with my kids and ignore the laundry. This summer I will breathe deeper, move slower. This summer I will sit at Jesus’ feet and enjoy being in his presence while I drink my latte. Heather Riggleman is the author of Mama Needs A Time-Out. When she isn’t putting herself in timeouts, she can be found sipping Hazel Nut Lattes, speaking to mom groups across Nebraska, and writing on her blog. Mama Needs A Time-Out is available in major bookstores, including Christianbook, Barns & Noble and Amazon.


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Praise and Coffee Cooks

love chicken salad. Especially during the summer months.

arah is a freelance corporate photographer and recipe developer who started her blog,, in May 2007. She chronicles her life as a frazzled mother, shares her favorite recipe creations, and marvels at God's amazing work of grace in her life. When not blogging, racing to basketball practice, or sitting in the Starbucks drive-thru line, you'll find her curled up with her family cheering on the Baltimore Ravens. Sarah lives in Raleigh, N.C. with her husband, Jason, and four boys Jack, Max, Lincoln, and Whitman. 44

But, I rarely order it out or purchase it from a deli. And, for one reason. Most chicken salads you get out are swimming in mayonnaise. A particular chicken salad might have the most delicious combination of unique flavors, but if they're hidden in a sea of mayonnaise, I have a hard time enjoying it. As I've made chicken salad time after time over the years, I've come to the conclusion that I actually prefer a chicken salad with no mayonnaise at all. Instead, I now use whipping cream. (Not Cool Whip. Heavy Whipping Cream.)

Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

y recipe for SG's Chicken Salad is made with roasted chicken, chopped celery and red onion, grapes, dried cranberries, and toasted almonds. Each of these flavors gets to take center stage because instead of being masked by mayonnaise, they're combined together with heavy cream that's been whipped into heavenly deliciousness.


Served on croissants, this chicken salad makes the most wonderful lunch or picnic fare! It's fresh and chunky, and so very simple to pull together.

Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

First take one small package (1/2 cup) of sliced almonds.

And, toast them at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes. (Toasting them really makes the flavor so much better!)

Next, add 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream to a mixing bowl, and beat on high with an electric mixer until it sticks to the whisk. (You can use a hand mixer, too.) Set it aside.


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Place 4 cups of roasted, chopped chicken breast into a medium bowl. (I almost always use chicken I've roasted earlier in the week. HUGE time saver.)

Add two stalks of chopped celery.

And, 1/2 of a chopped red onion. Stir together.


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Next, add 1/2 of the whipped cream to the bowl.

Stir to combine.

Then, take a large bunch of grapes.


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

And, cut them in halves.

One of my favorite things in this chicken salad is the addition of dried cranberries. They're tart and sweet and the texture adds something unique and wonderful to this salad. You could also use dried cherries.

Add 1 cup to the bowl.


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Add the toasted almonds.

Stir everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste. The mixture will seem a bit dry at this point.

Then add the remainder of the whipped cream. This will pull the salad all together and combine everything into creamy, dreamy deliciousness.


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

One word: YUM! I almost always serve this chicken salad on croissants. They're buttery and soft and the perfect complement to this chicken salad.

As a side note, this chicken salad is great for children who have egg allergies and can't have mayonnaise. For me, I just really love this recipe because it's fresh and chunky and sweet and savory. I love this combination of flavors. It's one of my favorite things to eat all by myself - or to share with friends when they come over.

SG’s Chicken Salad 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, roasted and chopped

Beat heavy cream with an electric mixer on high until peaks form and it sticks to the beater. Set aside.

1/2 cup sliced almonds 1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Add chicken breast to a medium mixing bowl. Add celery and onion. Stir to combine. Add one half of the whipped cream and stir together. Add grapes, dried cranberries, and almonds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir together. (Mixture will be a bit dry.) Add remainder of whipped cream and stir to combine.

2 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 red onion, finely chopped 1 cup grapes, halved 1 cup dried cranberries (or cherries) salt, to taste

Serve on croissants, bread, or on lettuce.

pepper, to taste Toast almonds at 400 degrees on a baking sheet for 5-6 minutes. Set aside. 51

*I’ll often place a small bowl of mayonnaise next to this chicken salad when I serve it for guests. It can then be spread on the croissant or bread for those who might like to do so.

Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

the Incident

Denise Dykstra, co-editor of Praise and Coffee the Magazine. Denise is heavily caffeinated and joyfully married to her truck driving, farming husband. They reside in Michigan raising their four boys (ages 12 to 6) on a hobby farm that keeps them hopping busy. She updates friends on her sons’ latest escapades and caught snakes on her blog “Life With Four Boys...Coffee Please!”


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

Camping is a great way for us as a family to unwind and relax. We have taken it up in the last few years and have our favorite campground that we visit regularly. It’s the best get away because everything is slowed down and relaxed, I get to take the boys to the beach every day and the boys get to be as dirty as can be every day.

with his head hanging out looking around. So, just to give you an accurate picture in case you aren't totally with me here...... I am completely naked.

Occasionally the boys have to shower. At the campground there is a row of “shower rooms”. They consist of a dressing area and a shower in a tiny room with a locked door. Across from the showers are the men, women and family bathrooms.

When I opened my eyes I was looking directly toward the hallway that held ten or so complete and total strangers.

Our second year camping, our youngest was just a little tyke and the brother next up had decided he was big enough to shower with his two older brothers.

My son’s head was in the door way so there was no way I could just slam the door shut. However, I don't think he knew what happened the way I yanked him back and slammed the door so quickly.

My sister had caught our third son streaking – yes, completely naked – out of the shower to the bathroom. I sat the boys down and had a strict talking to them. It was basically this…It was basically this, when in the shower room, you do not leave the shower room unless you have clothes on. No naked boys leave the shower room. Period. Then next night we headed up to the showers again. My youngest son was with me in the shower room and some of my family was going to swing by and pick him up so I could shower alone – a blissful thing for a mother of four boys camping.

Somehow, I finished showering, quickly, and pulled all my clothes on. I told S4 he could now open the door. Guess what? The door was too slippery, he couldn't get it open. Now. The t-shirt I was wearing read “Just Another Day in Paradise” as I kept my eyes to the ground, my hand tightly holding my happily chatting away son, and beelined out of the public bathroom area.

But when I was done washing him up and had him dressed, I peeked out the door and noticed not any of my family out the door but a long line of strangers waiting for the showers. I instructed my son to sit on the bench and wait for me to be done. This is when one of the most embarrassing things of my life occurred. I simply refer to it as “the incident”.. I was just rinsing the last of the shampoo from my hair, step one in taking a shower, when I opened my shut tight eyes to get more soap I was shocked to see my son, standing at the door 53

Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

I was so concentrated on getting out of there that I don't know if there was anyone in the hallway or not. We have a few more shower rules now........

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Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

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Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012

“The whole point of what we're urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.” 1 Timothy 1:5 MSG


Praise and Coffee | Summer 2012 Pic from Dreamstime

Praise and Coffee Summer Magazine 2012  

Connecting, encouraging and inspiring women!

Praise and Coffee Summer Magazine 2012  

Connecting, encouraging and inspiring women!