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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Monday, October 26, 2009

MOVIN' ON MONDAYS

on the MOVE with MOSES and the band of PILGRIMS he led across the wilderness...  

Today is my last entry for this topic: How did pilgrims survive their moves? 
They pray,
         invite others to join them
         love God and one another 
         grow
         rebuild
         imitate God and 

               MOVE    
When was the last time you heard God encouraging you to move? 

Not all moves include packing up and taking a journey across town or across the country. Most of our moves are spiritual in nature. They include obedience, service, sacrifice, discomfort... 

I recently moved. I moved from being a stay-at-home mom to two left-the-nest-years-ago sons. Now that is a backwards move if ever I heard one.

My move?

I moved back into the classroom. Yup- a move I never thought I would make again. You see, when I walked out of the classroom over a decade ago I believed I had retired. Then out of nowhere this time last year I began to feel that prodding, a gentle nudge.

"Who me? God, are you sure you have the right person. Most people are retireing at my age, not going to work." 

Yes, you.

I obeyed by talking to the headmaster of a little Christian school five minutes from my house. He was thrilled. He wanted me!

I signed a contract in April and spent the summer in denial. You see this move is a sacrifice. My husband is retired and we have spent 4 wonderful fun-filled years together after years of stressful work that has kept him away from the family for weeks and months, moves that have threatened to tear our marriage apart, projects like raising two boys, bulding houses and churches, and life... 

This move- going back to work has stretched me. I liked sleeping in and being lazy with my husband after so many years of dragging out of the bed at before-dawn hours.

This move has rearranged my ideas of servanthood. I have served my sons. I have served in the church. I have served the community. Now I simply want to serve my husband.

This move has been uncomfortable. How would I relate to kids of all ages after so many years of being out of the classroom? 

I can tell you - I simply said , "yes" and God has filled in all my doubts with confirmation that He who calls is faithful.

I am geting along just fine with all my students- ages 5 - 17! I teach Spanish to all levels and ages.

The staff I work with is a phenomenal group of people who puts God first, family and children second.

My co-worker - the other Spanish teacher is a regular comedian ready to bring a smile on anyone's face. 

Best of all - I teach in a Christian school. I get to talk about my favorite topic- God and His love for us,   every day. 

I can't wait to tell you about some of the conversations I have shared with my new friends.

For sure - I have been challenged with all sorts of moves. I don't think God looks at one move- a cross country relocation or a spiritual step in the right direction - as any different from the other.

I believe He is simply calling us to move like he called our forefather pilgrims -
Pray
Invite others to join you
Love God
Grow in godliness
Rebuild
Imitate Christ
MOVE in the direction God is calling you to go. 

When we do, our moves will be successful and we will

Shine!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WEDNESDAYS ARE FOR WAITING

I'm doing this crazy thing - a crazy carnival of sorts hosted by the other mama. This is what I find crazy --- I have a nightly visitor in my garden. I knew he had visited. He left evidence. What , who was he, it? He stole the screen out of my fountain - the screen I so carefully cut to keep leaves from clogging up the pump. He , it took out the decorative stones and spread them around my deck. Finally night before last, he woke me up splashing in my fountain. I tiptoed downstairs, flipped on the deck lights and spotted him - the cutest little racoon curled up on MY chaise lounge, all comfy and cuddly. I love wild life. I love that he snuggled into my chaise lounge next to my bubbling fountian. I'm not the only one who likes to sit under the vine on the trellis, enjoy the out of doors while I listen to water trickle. Welcome crazy little racoon. Come as often as you like.  

The Wait of the World

Waiting…


For the light to turn green, nervously tapping my thumbs on the steering wheel, inching ever closer to the intersection.



Yes! Green light. Go.



Waiting…


While three people ahead of me check out of the grocery store, anxiously checking the time, pushing my cart into another’s space.



Yes! My turn. Go.



Waiting…


As children file out of the school, wondering, “Where is my child? Why can’t he ever be the first?”



Yes! There he is. Let’s go.


Waiting…


As night gets later and later, pacing, looking out the window. Vacillating between fear and anger. He’s late, missed curfew. Phone rings.



Yes? “Mom, I’m in the neighborhood.” Relief… overwhelming love floods my moment-ago angry-at-him heart.



Waiting…


Spotless halls, bright lights, sterile smells, hushed voices, nurses scurrying, no eye contact. Surgery lasting too long.



Yes! White coat opens door.


No! A doctor’s disturbed face, sad eyes tell all.


Waiting…


Heavy, heavier, heaviest.



Waiting…



The wait of the world.



Will it ever end?

Yet, with God's help we,

Shine!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

WEDNESDAYS ARE FOR WAITING

Waiting to bloom

I have a gorgeous plant in my front yard. When it blooms – large foot-long trumpets open up, blast their perfume, and stand straight out – a mesmerizing display of beauty.



Only God could think up such entertainment.



I plant my Gideon’s Trumpet or Angel’s Trumpet in the spring. It is a short, one stemmed plant.


And I wait.


First signs that a flower is on the way are the pods that appear – a promise of hope. I know the flower is on the way.

 


Slowly, slowly the bloom begins to emerge.




A show of white…




             and then






The trumpets burst forth.





For me waiting bears a resemblance to my favorite plant.

I feel trapped inside a pod, knowing this is not what life is meant to be, wanting freedom, beauty, joy…



But I am forced to wait, until just the right moment.






In God’s economy everything has its perfect timing.



Meanwhile I wait and


Shine!







Monday, October 5, 2009

PILGRIMS REBUILD

We have been on a journey over these past few weeks- comparing our moving lives to that of the pilgrims Moses led out of Egypt across the Sinai and into the Promised Land. We have learned that...


Pilgrims


Pray


Invite others to join them


Love God and oneanother


Grow


REBUILD


Rebuilding after tearing it all down to move it to a new place is plain ole stinkin’ hard work. Rebuilding though, is God’s way of allowing us to begin anew, start fresh…


The Old Testament Jewish nation moved. They followed flocks and fled famines They were driven from their homeland and forced into captivity. They were freed and allowed to return to the land of their fathers.

Settling into routine required them to


“rebuild the ancient ruins,… raise the age-old foundations,… repair the breach,…and restore the paths…” (Isaiah 59:12)


The mover can relate to the actions in Isaiah. When we unpack, we begin the process of rebuilding our former life, only without the same old mistakes. Hopefully we build stronger.


Raising age-old foundations is the beginning of reviving family traditions. Each move is accompanied with pain. There is mourning for what has been lost and grief over unexpected change. Repairing the breach is the beginning of the healing process. Finally, the paths are restored and the contemporary pilgrim returns to abundant life in God’s will.
Do you need to tear down some old walls and rebuild.


Know what I love about my relationship with God? He allows us to start all over.


What’s new in your life today?


Shine!
Friday, October 2, 2009

WHEN HE SAYS SO

¡Bienvenidas!

Welcome – those of you visiting from Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today. I'm honored you have dropped by for a visit.


Today's devotion describes some very special ladies who have said, “Yes,” when each one heard, “Come follow me, let down your nets.”



I must say when God calls His girls to follow Him we find out the adventure He has set before us is one amazing journey, something we could have never - in our wildest dreams - concocted! 


Throughout October I’ll be blogging about Proverbs 31 Hispanic Ministry called



For those of you who need a translation:

Saved by Christ


Loved by the Father


Lifted by the Holy Spirit


Set apart to glorify God


Adequate to share the Good News


Today I want to introduce you to the incredible team of women who works with devoted dedication to make sure women who read in Spanish have the same opportunity as all of you who experience spiritual insight and daily joy while you read Encouragement for Today.

 
Let me introduce you to each one of my wonderful friends. They are my friends and friends of God. (Come back later on to read each incredible testimony!)

 
Drum roll, please.



Meet Angela, from Colombia who moved to Charlotte and has now returned to South America with a vision to plant a seed of Proverbs 31 Ministries in her native country.

Meet Ana, whose native country is Guatemala but who now lives in Arizona.



Meet Judith who moved to the United States from Colombia and recently celebrated her one-year anniversary as an American citizen.







Here’s Laura and her precious baby girl, Sofia. Laura is Puerto Rican. She recently returned to her beautiful island after having lived in NYC for a couple of years.






And this is Wendy without whose editing expertise we would not reach the level of excellence we strive to achieve. She lives in Miami.



This is Lupe our most recent addition to the team. She is from Ecuador and lives right here in Charlotte! 


Have you ever seen a gathering of more lovely ladies? Each has so selflessly dedicated herself to writing, translating, and editing daily devotionals for the Hispanic portion of the P31 website.

You know what the most exciting aspect of this group of ladies is? Only God could have brought us together from across the states and from so many countries.Can you believe that I have never met in person two of these ladies, yet their presence with the ministry is very real? I stand amazed at our faithful God who loves us so, He would bring total strangers together from all corners of the earth so His Word could penetrate women's hearts and fill each soul with real purpose for living. Who would have known that He would reach down from his heaven and move each of us into one ministry – all because each one said,



“If you say so, Lord, I’ll do it.”



Let me encourage you to ask God to repeat his calling to you – just in case you said “no” the first time. Then let Him know- you want to cast your nets.



He’s calling you, “Come follow me.”


He longs for your answer.

Meanwhile, can I ask you to pray for your Latina sisters. They seek the same God you have found. The longings of their hearts are no different from yours. Pray for dedicated workers to bring God's peace, purpose and perspective into the Hispanic community,

... oh and don't forget to~ 


Shine,