About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WEDNESDAYS ARE FOR WAITING

Today is the long awaited day. I am traveling to Santa Fe. I love, absolutely love, did I say I enjoy and am thrilled to travel. Today I am traveling with a purpose. That makes my flight even better!

I can’t wait to see what God will do with my time while I wait in the airport!

I can’t wait to greet that poor soul who will sit beside me in the airplane – two different people. I am praying for them tonight. I hope the Lord has a God sized encounter planned.

I can’t wait to hug my favorite people – my mother, aunt, uncle, and sister!

I can’t wait to see what God will do on Saturday as women come together to struggle with their trials and leave at the end of the day soaring on wings like eagles because they have leaned that the WAIT God calls us to is a good thing!

Last week I mentioned the radio interview. Dr. Deb the show hostess asked me several great questions. I am going to answer them over the next few weeks. Here is the first question:

Why do women find waiting such a hard thing to do?

We fear the unknown. We don’t have time to wait. We have no patience. Our society has no room for slackers. We are judged by the amount of territory we cover - by the number of chores we accomplish…

If someone were to ask you how you spent your day and you responded, “Oh today I waited on God.” No one would be too impressed, now would they?

And what about you, friend. Do you find waiting a hard thing to do?

Psalms 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation. For You I wait all day
Monday, February 23, 2009

MOVIN' ON AFTER MOVIN' IN MONDAYS

May It Be To Me As You Have Said

In Him we in him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28


“An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you.’ ”

Here we go again. Joseph had to tell Mary to pack up. It was time to move.

I wonder if I had been told by my husband, “An angel told me to move” would I have received the marching order any better than the way I did.

Fact is, nothing happens on earth that God has not allowed it. So in His economy whether an angel appeared in his dream or a boss walked into his office, God’s plan would be worked out.

The Waltons would be moving again!

Moving is never easy. Moving with a baby- can be a trial.

Aaron was 18 months old when we left south Texas. The drive to Kentucky was a hard one. He woke up in the middle of the night before the move with a low grade temperature.

Teething.

I sat in the back seat through four long days feeding him little pieces of ice to soothe his gums.

He cried, slept fitfully, whined, and complained.

His mommy cried slept fitfully whined and complained.

We were in a rolling, protected from the elements, heated with a comfortable back seat car.

Mary was either in a cart, on a donkey, or walking!

What do I have to complain about?

Why did Mary have to move --- AGAIN?!!!!!!!!!

Clearly – we know the move to Egypt was an act of protection.

God in His mercy was protecting this young holy family.

I look at my moves and slump – oh no! Not AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

I blame today’s corporate lifestyle, our economy…

Truth is God uses our circumstances here on earth to work through His plan for us.

One day I realized it wasn’t the high and mighty corporation that was constantly moving my husband and family.

Almighty God was moving us. He had a plan. In some cases his plan was to protect us. In other situations His plan was to provide for us. Often His plan was to use us to protect others or provide for people we would only know once we came to settle in our new strange home.

Oh to be like Mary and trust my Father with my life – all of it, from the smallest of inconvenient changes to the grandest of moves.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WEDNESDAYS ARE FOR WAITING

I can't wait for She Speaks!



I've got another, "I can't wait for..." This time next week I will be winging my way west! I can’t wait.

I have a speaking engagement in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While visiting Santa Fe I'll stay with my aunt and uncle and get to see my mother and my sister.

Saturday I had a radio interview that introduced me as the speaker for the women’s retreat at Christ Church.

Dr. Deb of Walking in the Way Ministries and I spent close to an hour discussing the idea of waiting. She asked me lots of questions.

How would you have answered?

Why do women find waiting such a hard thing to do?

Does God “command” us to wait?

What possible good comes from waiting? After all, it only serves to frustrate and frazzle us, right?

What insights have you gained from your time in God’s Wait Room?

Next week I will post some of my answers.


Just in case you find yourself in His Wait Room right now with a wait you can barely endure, whatever you are doing, turn on the Praise Music. Lift your hands to God. Let go your time trial, worship Him.

God is enthroned on the praises of his people and through his divine design your spirit will soar.

YOU RAISE ME UP
Josh Groban

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;


When troubles come and my heart burdened be;

Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,

Until you come and sit awhile with me.



You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;

You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;

I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;

You raise me up: To more than I can be.



There is no life - no life without its hunger;

Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;

But when you come and I am filled with wonder,

Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.



You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;

You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;

I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;

You raise me up: To more than I can be.







Monday, February 16, 2009

MOVIN' ON AFTER MOVIN' IN MONDAYS


BUT I DON'T HAVE A DOCTOR IN BETHLEHEM!
Mary didn't say it, but I would have.
When my husband and I were making some family planning decisions one of the thoughts we both had was- “We don’t want to move in the midst of a pregnancy.”

God blessed us with a move, followed by a pregnancy. Actually He allowed me the opportunity to move, find a teaching job, get involved in my church, make friends in the neighborhood, and…

We moved in August. School started almost as soon as I unpacked the boxes and I went to work. To tell you the truth I hardly thought about the baby in the making! I was responsible for 120 ninth graders.

Then one day, while walking around the classroom, bending over shoulders, pointing out successful work and mistakes, my tummy did a flip flop.

OOOOOOOOOOOOoh.

Later on that afternoon, while fixing dinner I had to remove myself from the kitchen.

I immediately blamed the artichokes in the dip I had devoured the previous weekend. My inlaws had come visiting with a new recipe.

When I didn’t get over the “upset stomach virus” I made a doctor’s appointment.

Soon I was hearing,

“Congratulations, Mrs. Walton. It looks like you will be having a baby sometime mid October.”

Unlike Mary I kept my news to myself. No one, except for my husband, knew for 4 months, I finished the school year and shared the news.

Surrounded with full-of-joy friends I began to prepare for the birth of my baby.

I wondered about having to move at this point in time – since moving was so much a part of our lifestyle. I thanked God for my doctor. I relished the long hours I had to sew, paint, and prepare, knowing that at least for the first year of my baby’s life we would be in one place.

How did Mary do it? She traveled during her last trimester. Doctors today advise against that.

I know that all Christmas cards picture Mary on a donkey. No where in scripture does is say that Mary rode a domkey to Bethlehem. I hope Joseph bought her a ticket on a cart!

How did Mary do it? We are lead to believe that she knew no one and gave birth all alone!

Although I attended childbirth classes, when it came right down to it-my husband and I were a mess!

We rode in a car, were met at the door to the ER with a wheel chair, had a ga-jillion attendants…

As I consider Mary’s moves and compare them to mine, I realize how pampered and ill prepared I am for life. I think about young Mary and how she moved to Bethlehem, became a mother, settled into a house, welcomed visitors and I understand something very true about me – I need to toughen up!

I need to toughen up by growing more dependent on my God. Mary survived her moves, I believe, because of her faith and her ability to submit to God.

Instead of fixating on my comfort I am going to start focusing on my Counselor.

“May it be to me as you have said." Mary
(Luke 1:38)
Thursday, February 12, 2009

WAITING FOR MY FRIEND

Can't wait for SHE SPEAKS? Register here:



She told me she would pick me up so we could ride together to meet all our girl friends for dinner. When I was ready to go I sat down to wait.

There by the window I could keep an eye on the driveway and run out the door. I didn’t want her to have to get out of her car and come get me

So I waited by the window.

Usually when my life is put on hold I become impatient.

I didn’t grow impatient. I stared out the window anticipating an evening with friends.

Too often when I have to slow down I become angry.

I didn’t get angry. I was happy that my friend was driving and I was not.

Whenever I have to wait, especially if I am waiting for something that feels the list bit unpleasant I find myself growing anxious.

I didn’t let anxiety take over. I trusted that my friend would either show up or call.

Sometimes waiting causes me to allow fear, dread, or doubt to surface.

I didn’t let any of those emotions control my moment of rest and stillness because I simply wanted to sit quiet for a few moments and be thankful for the few seconds of rest.

Eventually I saw my friend’s car pull into my driveway. I stood up from my wait and joined her for the ride to the restaurant.

Why can’t I handle all my waits like that?

God is in my future. He has promised me an abundant life. He will never forget me. I know he is my “driver.” He will take me where I need to go. I know I can trust God. Knowing all that why don’t I simply enjoy the rest, the stillness, the quiet when He keeps me waiting.

I just can’t believe that I wait patiently for my friend when she takes her time, but get anxious when my Lord is slow!

I think I have my priorities mixed up.

Time to wait focusing on His promises, setting aside my predicaments.
Monday, February 9, 2009

MOVIN' ON AFTER MOVIN' IN MONDAYS

MARY'S RETREAT TO THE HILL COUNTRY

Mary moved four times in a matter of a few short years.

Move number one: She moved from her home in Nazareth to stay with Elizabeth, her cousin who was also pregnant due to a miracle.

God may call us to move into hard places. I have learned through my moves, though, that He makes a way. He provides in the midst of difficult circumstances.

So Mary and Elizabeth had each other.

Some may not call the move Mary made to visit Elizabeth much of a move. I know women who have packed up belongings, mourned and grieved the good-byes and the left-behind memories. It is hard to fathom, but they moved, unpacked, were in the process of settling into their new home and poof – the edict comes down from corporate. A change of mind has turned an employee into a pawn to be moved across the checker board of life! Amazing!

Mary’s move/visit to stay with Elizabeth was temporary, but it did signify a move. She left her child hood home. When she returned she was changed, grown up, a woman.

Do we know the significance of Mary’s time with her older cousin?

For sure it wasn’t a time to learn about child birth and parenting. This was Elizabeth’s first pregnancy too.

While reading the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke, we are told that as soon as the angel left Mary, after announcing the birth, Mary went – in a hurry to visit Elizabeth.

Was she looking for a safe place?

Was she running away?

Was she certain that Elizabeth and Zacharias would shelter her?

Why did she go “with haste?”

I think she went on a retreat – to the hill country.

There she heard her cousin’s words of greeting, joy, and acceptance.

There she was able to open her heart and mouth, tell the truth, not be judged.

In the hill country on retreat she spoke the words of the Magnificat:

My soul rejoices in the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior. For He has had regard for the humble stare of His bond slave. Luke 1:46 – 48.

I am completely convinced that God has moved me to take me on a retreat. He has set me aside from the world to force me to look at Him, to seek Him, to depend on Him.

After three months Mary returned home, only to get on a donkey and make an even more amazing move. Move number two.

We’ll talk about it next week.

Meanwhile – go on a retreat – if just for an hour or two. Move toward God and sing him a song.
Thursday, February 5, 2009

ROAD BLOCKS, DETOURS, SPEED BUMPS, DEAD ENDS

Take a detour to Charlotte, North Carolina this summer and join the Proverbs 31 Team. It will be the greatest side trip you ever experience!


I rarely leave home, even to go out for a few errands, that I don’t encounter a road block, detour, speed bump, or dead end. Construction crews reign in Charlotte!

I live in a neighborhood within a neighborhood. While there are a few through streets in my larger neighborhood, once you make the final turn into the section where I live an area of about eight streets, there is no outlet. My neighborhood is a dead end!

Dead end neighborhood – the street I live on is a dead end street.

Regardless how that sounds, I live in a very secure corner of the world. I like it. No thief or vandal is going to drive through and wreak havoc because there is no easy way out.

Dead ends may be good – my dead end neighborhood is a safe place.

The only way to get to my house is to drive down a long 2 – 3 mile road. All along that street speed bumps have been placed. “Slow down,” they scream at the traffic. I am sure the speed bumps have saved a few lives – well maybe at least they have saved a few bones from breaking, several pets from being hit, and walkers and runners from being run off the road.

Speed bumps serve a good purpose – cars tend to gather speed on long stretches of road.

My neighborhood is decades old. Recently some of the streets had to be torn up to replace water lines. For weeks I detoured through different unfamiliar areas. I admit it was inconvenient – a real pain. But when the repairs were finished, the roads looked really nice AND the part that couldn’t be seen the new water lines added value to our neighborhood. .

Detours allow much needed repairs and updates – my older neighborhood is now newer.

Because of the recent economic downturn I try to stay home a couple of days a week to save money on gas. I have found that I don’t need to venture out onto the roads to meet obstacles. I find them in my house, in my life, all the time. Just like the road construction that takes place outside my house serves a good purpose so does the spiritual construction that seemingly slows my life down.

If you knew that each road block or detour thrown in your path was meant to protect you or improve your life would you deal with the emotional and spiritual traffic slow downs’ the way you normally do?

Can you think of a time in your life when frustrated beyond imagination, you turned around and angrily traveled in a new direction, questioning, maybe swearing, possibly yelling? If you take a closer look, is it possible to see that the road block was really a life saver or an ultimate improvement?

How you gonna’ deal with your next "detour"?

Embrace your roadblocks!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WEDNESDAYS ARE FOR WAITING

WAITS PARALYZE

The deal about waiting is we become so focused on the object of our wait, we slip into paralysis. Do you know what I mean?

The first time I became aware of this my daddy had called to inform me about his open heart surgery.

Oh no – not another health issue! I secretly thought to myself.

He assured me all would be OK, yet I detected exhaustion in his voice. A diabetic, he had recently undergone prostate treatments. It had been ten years since his successful angioplasty. We were aware heart surgery might be a reality in his life one day.

To make matters worse I could not be by his bedside to offer solace or comfort. I could not leave my sons because my husband’s job didn’t allow time off.

I remember calling the pastor of my church – I was Christian Education Ministry Leader at the time – to tell him I would not attend the spring extravaganza, an event I had planned to celebrate Christian education in the church.

I spiraled into paralysis as I waited through surgery, post op, and recovery. Guilt, fear, concern, sorrow… consumed me.

I spent my time praying and fretting. Not once did it occur to me to give my daddy to God and get on with life.

God had called me to His Wait Room and I dropped the waits. I stood there staring at the wait allowing it to incapacitate me.

Fact is I didn’t accomplish a thing – fretting, pacing, worrying.

Had I trusted God with the wait, the outcome would have still been the same.

I could have been a more involved mother. As it was, although I didn’t rush to Daddy’s hospital bedside, I also performed minimally for my family - no good anywhere while the wait wore me down.

I could have been a more productive worker in the kingdom. As it was I handed over my responsibilities to others in the church and sat home in a catatonic state.

Since that experience God has called me to His Wait Room more times than I can remember. Slowly I began to realize,

God gives us waits so we can practice giving them back to Him. We have no idea what to do with those heavy joy robbers, except to hold on and try to lift them all alone.

Even those athletes the heavy weights – weight lifters working out in the gym, ask a spotter for help when the weight gets too weighty.

Psalm 37: 3-5, “Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (NASB)

See – this is what I mean! We are to trust the Lord and, AND do good, meaning go about life while trusting God.

Had I trusted God with my daddy, I could have been an example to my sons rather than a mournful frightened mother and daughter. Also I could have spent quality time with my guys and been an example (which is a mother's role) illustrating what it is to rejoice in the Lord always - even in the midst of the storm. But no – I didn’t do a very good job at wait training.

Had I remembered that I had been called to cultivate in the land where I dwelled I might have rejoiced at the fruits of my labor. But no – I missed out on a joyful event, one my dear daddy would have never dreamed of keeping me from attending. I failed my time trial.

Now when called to God’s Wait Room I try to remember this wise quote from an unknown author. (if you know who penned it – let me know, please)

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its joy.
With all that said, stop what you are doing right now, in the midst of your trials and praise God. Take Him your waits and lay them down.

Trust Him.


Dwell in the land and cultivate!


Click here for a rich moment with your Father:

Glory Glory Hallelujah, I’m laying my burdens down…



Monday, February 2, 2009

MOVIN' ON AFTER MOVIN' IN MONDAYS


GIVING UP OUR DREAMS

I never bore reading the Bible. There are too many angles from which to view it. On Mondays I enjoy studying the moves that took place in scripture. Right now I am following the women, from Eve to who knows who, who’ve been instructed by God to move.

If you have been on this journey with me you know we began our travels with Eve, floated around the top of the world with Mrs. Noah, left Ur with Sarah, crossed the dessert with the women in Moses’ family- his wife, sister, and mother. We welcomed the foreigners into Jericho with Rahab, moved into Bethlehem with Ruth and Naomi, and most recently followed Esther as she prepared for her move into the King’s palace. Lots of movin’ goin’ on in the Bible, don’t you agree?

Although the story of Esther is found in the first half of the Old Testament, she actually lived during the later days of the Old Testament. After the captives returned to Jerusalem and began its reconstruction very little else is said about the history of the Jews. In reality God became silent and didn’t speak again to his people until Jesus, the promised prince of peace arrived on the scene.

The next woman mentioned in the course of history after Esther is Mary!

Mary moved emotionally, spiritually and physically. I am going to take the next three weeks to consider Mary’s moves and what they teach the contemporary corporate pilgrim – you and me.

This is how I imagine her first move. It was an emotional one.

I’m not sure where Mary was when the angel visited her. Being a garden kind of girl, I like to visualize Mary in her garden or possibly in the orchard walking among the trees gathering almonds, oranges, or olives. Suddenly out of nowhere she hears, “Greetings.” Seeing no one she becomes a bit fearful. I would!

“Don’t be afraid,” the angel comforts her.

Then he proceeds to tell her the news.

I think she sat down.

What on earth went through her mind? How long did she stay in that one position before she accepted the reality of her condition?

I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions that cruised through her mind, heart, and body. Did her hands tremble? Did she try to sake it off? Was there any denial in her thoughts? Did she cry when she realized there would be no wedding? Think about it – every girl dreams of her wedding day. Now Mary would have to give up all her plans for that one day of her life when, her bridegroom would capture her heart, steal her away, and in a glorious and joyful procession and feast take her to the life of happily ever after.

She was being asked to give up her dreams!

Some girls would have experienced anger at this turn of events.

Not Mary.

It seems she was pretty calm about the whole encounter. She responded,

“I am the servant girl of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say.”

She submitted to God’s moving in her life.

WOW!

I am not submissive. Emotionally I would have fallen apart.

I kinda’ sorta’ relate to Mary’s situation. I said kinda’ sorta’. OK?

My husband, when I am least suspecting it, shows up – maybe early from work. He says,

“How’s it going?”

“OK?” I respond, a bit nervous, sensing change in the air.

“Uh. UMMMMMMM. You know, I told you the company is in the midst of reorganizing…”

I don’t want to hear this. I am afraid. I am confused. I am in denial. Yet the news comes fast:

“My boss called me into his office today and, well, uh, we have been transferred.”

Do you think I said, “I am my lord’s servant. Do with me as you like?”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I’m happy right now. I am content with my life just as it is.

My husband tries to be an angel. He knows I need his encouragement and support. He says,

“Don’t be afraid. God has ordained this. It will be a great adventure and we will gain so much from this experience together.”

Yeah, right.

You see I am no Mary, no mam, not sweet, kind, or submissive.

Looking back on my moves, I wish I had been more compliant, more thoughtful, more trusting of God.

I wonder what He could have accomplished in my life, had I settled into his plan instead of moving kicking all the way.

Oh well. That was then. Today is a new day.

Even though I didn’t much cooperate, God still taught me so much. He was faithful and gentle.

Today, as I look back on 13 moves, I see how necessary each relocation was.

I’m more emotionally secure and mature. I’ve come to realize that God was not taking anything away from me; He was adding to my life’s story.

And as my dear husband reminds me each time we move,

“Which place along the way would you want to remove from your list of life’s experiences and adventures?”

None!

Mary knew her God. She knew if his plan was to move her out of her emotional comfort zone, His ways were better. She joined Him in the journey and today everyone calls her blessed.

Have you been called to exchange your dreams for God’s? Are you doing Ok with the great gift exchange? Maybe you could share some insight witthe rest of us who are headed toward God's promised
land.