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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Saturday, March 27, 2010

If You Think Kids Say The Funniest Things...

listen to what my teens shared with me today in class:

Teaching in a Christian school has its advantages. I am encouraged to weave spiritual lessons into my classes.

Today I introduced my teens to Resurrection Eggs- in Spanish!

Resurrection Eggs? Plastic eggs filled, not with candy, but with symbols representing different stages of Holy
Week.

Examples - a little donkey or a picture of a donkey. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.


Another example: three nails. Jesus was nailed to the cross.

Example number three: praying hands. Jesus prayed the night before he was crucified.

And I asked after one of my students opened his egg, said "praying hands" in Spanish and then explained the significance of praying hands. I asked, " Where was Jesus when he prayed the night before his crucifixion?"   




Pause. Students thinking.  "Uh...."  Head shaking back and forth. "Dunno."

A hand flew up. "I know. The garden of ---- Eden. Eden, that's it, right?"

"Yeah," another chimes in. "The garden of eatin'." They had just finished eatin' the last supper."

Now they were on a roll. They had it! Or so they throught.

Talk about the blind leading the blind!

"No way, not the garden of eatin'," came another voice. "The garden of Eden, dude."

Then discussion, debate, and corrections developed around the garden of eatin' and the garden of Eden.

I sat still, observed, and listened   ---- amazed.

"That was Adam and Eve in the garden of eatin'. They were eating apples! Long before Jesus. Get it? "

Confusion ----on many faces.   "Well WHERE was he then?"

Mind you this is a Christian school.

But before you get too judgmental, let me tell you that the school where I teach is an out reach school. Families do not have to profess or practice Christianity to attend, they only have to agree to allow their children to be exposed to Christianity.

I love it!

So I wasn't too aghast as I observed the young teens talk about a topic they thought they understood.

Remember - they are battling Easter bunnies and Easter eggs - and what do they have to do with Holy Week and the resurrection? These kids have every right to be confused! 

Yet, they were interested and searching for truth and the facts.

I explained - about the Garden of Eden - Adam and Eve - and sin.

I described - the Garden of Gethsemane - Jesus - and forgiveness and redemption.

"Ah --" I get it confused face responded. "Thanks."

"Jesus prayed for you in the garden." I explained. "He prayed that you and I would step into relationship with him and the Father. That is what he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane."

Before they left I prayed with them, for them -- to get it, to understand the message. It's not new or foreign. They are invited to come to Jesus each week during chapel. I prayed that Jesus would become real to each one over the next week.

I'm praying tonight that lives will be changed.

I love my job. I love those precious kids, their honesty, their innocence, their curious minds, and their willingness to open up. I'm honored that God has invited me to

Shine!








Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Life

For me - now, a working woman, today is the first day of spring. Oh yes I have experienced the warmer rays of sunshine that come in through my classroom window and I have heard the cries of my students who beg to go outside and "have class" on such a beautiful and warm day. I am telling you - they are so engeniuous. They can find a million ways to convince me to have "class" outside. So I caved in and took them outside. It paid off. They were so appreciative, they complied with each of my assignments.  I love those kids!

Yet when I was sitting soaking up the rays, I was working, on task. Today I am going outside to experience my own version of "class outside." I know God is there- calling me to join Him- to teach me lessons as He always does when  I dig around in His glorious creation...

On a sadder note- I set about to write about new life. It may be the spring of the year, but in my life right now I am, along with some of my dear sisters,   experiencing dark days for you see the sisterhood of Proverbs 31 is growing up and with growth comes the aging of parents. We are losing the generation that gave us life and it is heart breaking, gut wrenching, buckets-full-of-tears sad. NOt only that- but our children are growing up and they are beginning to face the gut-wrenching stuff that comes with being adults. And our husbands are also aging - so are we. And with that comes challenges we would rather not have to deal with!

Oh how hard it is to watch the strong ones who rushed to our sides to pick us up- how difficult to watch them fade into nothingness, to watch them in pain, to see them suffer- especially when they did everything to keep us from having to experience the suffering life doles out. It is impossible to have the strength and the know how to wrap our feeble minds around "How do I comfort my daddy who just lost his wife,"  or "Do I drop everything and fly far away to help my parents understand medical care? or "Who will understand me and fill those wonder filled moments spent with mother when she is gone?" or "God give me strength! I am a mere human - I can't be everywhere, all things to all people. Can't you see I am exhausted?!?

We are grieving. My heart is heavy for my sisters and their families.

In my heart break I fall in my face and pray for mercy and compassion for a ray of hope and sunshine, yet I am reminded of an old old song I used to sing all the time

- Why does the sun go on shining?

   Why does the sea rush to shore?
   Don't they know it's the end of the world

-Why do the birds go on singing?
  Why do the stars glow above?
  Don't they know it's the end of the world
  It ended when I lost your love
-I wake up in the morning and I wonder  
 Why ev'rything is the same as it was
 I can't understand, no, I can't understand
 How life goes on the way it does!

-Why does my heart go on beating?
 Why do these eyes of mine cry?
  Don't they know it's the end of the world?
  It ended when you said goodbye

Now I know this song is about a frivoulous teenage puppy love broken romance - but I think it has huge implications for us adults as we face loss- indeed why, how can the world continue when the centers of our universe are removed?

It's hard!

For whatever it's worth- I am reminded of the incredibly insightful words my then 19 year old son spoke at my daddy's memorial - 10 years ago. He shared his experience with his pappy on the day his grandaddy died.

"Sitting with Pappy on the afternoon he walked into heaven was an honor. I sat by a man I loved and adored and watched as God perfected him. I was never closer to perfection than I was that afternoon. And how did that look. To the world Pappy might have appeared to be weak, feelble, stripped, and pathetic. I saw a totally dependant being, certainly not MY Pappy - not the strong man who had carried me on his back across pastures, not the life loving man who taught me to water ski, not the tought man who had disciplined me, not the wise and loving man who hugged me and told me the most wondeful stories. No I saw a shell of a man. But God saw a perfect man. For you see perfection in God's eyes is total dependance on Him. That was my Pappy - now prepared for eternity.

Will I miss Pappy?- Oh yes, but I wouldn't trade having watched God perfect him for anything. For now I know, before God takes us home, he has to take everything away from us so He can make us new!   

So I continue to pray for strength, mercy, comfort, peace... I pray that in the midst of these dark and sad times we would turn our eyes on Jesus and see his face-

Shine! 
Saturday, March 13, 2010

Around the world

I love to travel. I inherited the bug from my adventurous parents. When I was a little girl living in Colombia, my family traveled to the most exciting of places- hidden lakes high in the Andes Mountains, amazing canopied jungles deep in the backwaters of the Amazon River, remote beaches... and my favorite place- a city by the name of Cartagena. The city is charming! An old city, it is fortified and protected by a fort that holds mysteries and historical tales complete with pirates, Spanish galleons, ship wrecks... intrigue beyond any child's imagination.

Imagine my heartbreak when I heard from a loyal P31 Encouragment for Today reader that my favorite city is one of the world's capitals for human traficking.

I know life is already too hard for most of us. I know we don't need another reminder of the wickedness out there in the world. I know...

BUT WE NEED TO PRAY for deliverance, protection, release. Please pray for the children in the slums of Cartagena.

Shine
Thursday, March 11, 2010

What are you wating for?

Today my “baby” celebrated his 22nd birthday. He is on spring break skiing in Colorado. I am so happy for him to be able to celebrate doing what he loves.

I waited a whole long extra month for that child to be born. He was due around Valentine’s day and then a month later he made his grand appearance. Talk about waiting! We were all happy to meet him and he was worth the wait, has been all his life: a kind, patient, forgiving, caring child. So glad he is mine. So worth the wait.

On another waiting note.

I arrive home today from work to the wonderful smells of dinner cooking and found my husband leaning over the laundry basket folding clothes – mine!

For a fleeting moment I stepped back in time to the days when our marriage was shaky – to days when I even wondered why I had married him. Rough days!!
A godly group of older women surrounded me with their wisdom and kept my marriage stuck together.
Honestly there were times when I had lost hope.

I stayed in my marriage out of obedience to God. I had made a promise to Him and breaking it wasn’t an option.
God blesses those who obey Him.

What a blessing to come home to my DH today. I cannot imagine what a disaster I would have created had I followed the word’s advice and walked away from a promise. Today we celebrate a strong bond. We stand together facing the future. We smile at the days to come.

Are you struggling with doubts about your marriage? I would like to invite you to join my friend Melanie as she leads a marriage conference – on line. For more information click  What Matters Most 

Don't know what it is you are waiting for, but while you wait,

Shine!
Monday, March 8, 2010

Movin' on Monday

Last Sunday evening we had a couple over for dessert. We didn’t know them – at all. She and I had met in Bible study where I learned she had recently moved to Charlotte. In the course of our conversation it became clear that she was going to celebrate her birthday. She asked if I would join her for a piece of cake and a cup of coffee. I gladly accepted. Then I realized she meant – spouses too.

I remembered – 10 years ago when I had recently moved to Charlotte. I knew no one and I was getting ready to celebrate the end of or the beginning of a new (or old) decade. Had I still been back north I would have had a lovely evening with lots of friends. The thought of celebrating alone pierced my heart- I felt so truly lonely.

Then I decided – not going there. I had met a few ladies at the local Middle School Moms in Touch group so I invited them to join me on my back deck for an evening dessert and conversation. Three ladies accepted my invitation. That night I made life long friends. When they left I thanked them for celebrating with me! They were surprised.

I vowed to never let anyone celebrate a special day alone if I could help it, especially a fellow mover.

Last Sunday night my new friend and her husband – total strangers when they walked though the door of our house, came to our house for dessert and coffee. We spent a lovely evening getting to know one another.

In Jamie Buckingham’s book A Way Through The Wilderness -about Moses’ journey through the wilderness he explains that the law of the dessert is that noone would be allowed to remain on their own. True wilderness hospitality is that we invited fellow movers to come in.
When was the last time you reached out and made a new friend?

Shine!