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!

FacebookFriend Van on Facebook

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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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Time Trials

Last Saturday I spoke in Pinehurst at the Village Chapel. The ladies planned an all day retreat at the Country Club of North Carolina and invited me to speak. We chose the topic:

                             Wait Management
So of course I spoke on waiting. Although the Bible teaching was deep and my stories seemed to be relevant, I got lots of comments about the practical suggestion I made- a “gym bag” to take to God’s Wait Room. I suggested that the ladies create their own little tote bag and fill it with items that would help them survive their time trials. The bag I showed them can easily be stowed away in a big purse or under the car seat to be used when our lives are put on hold- you know, when a child runs late and you are stuck waiting in the parking lot or when an appointment runs over and the doctor or hair dresser puts you off a few minutes or half an hour!

I have found that when I have something worthwhile to occupy my time I am less likely to lose my patience or become frustrated.
In my Wait Management “work out bag” I have a small Bible, a notebook, pen, highlighter, note cards for writing notes of encouragement, a devotional, pictures of my favorite people so I can pray for them, a collection of my favorite quotes, Bible verses, the latest P31 Magazines – sometimes I even give them away in waiting rooms!
Why not make it a priority to make yourself a work out bag and prepare yourself for the next time you are in the Wait Room or better yet- create a few to have on hand and give away to friends whose lives have ground to a halt and be a blessing to someone who needs encouragement. Be a meaningful blessing and
Shine! .
Sunday, April 25, 2010

Movin' on Monday

MOVING CLOSER TO YOUR DREAM 

Normally, on Mondays I write about moving. Today I will continue my moving blog- but in a unique direction:

I want to encourage those of you whose names were not drawn for the She Speaks scholarship to keep on movin’ on --- in a new direction. Get creative about how you can design your next “move” toward your speaking and writing ministry- mainly getting to She Speaks.

First let me mention that I would like to say to all the ladies who posted comments on my blog last week, you ladies whose big dream right now is to attend She Speaks --- I dreamed that dream once and I know that your dreams and plans are exciting ones. What a future and a hope you have. I encourage you to never give up until you get to She Speaks.

Now even though the scholarship winner has been announced and you are not her please keep the P31 conference a high priority and a future hope.

The first time I ever felt God’s nudge to step into any form of public ministry I couldn’t believe it. I was happily engaged in a career I loved, one which allowed me to minister day in and day out. I was a teacher. I continue to be a teacher.
So why was God adding to my plate by calling me to a new journey? Today, twenty five years later I understand – the call was the first step. For years I remained dormant as to the call. I continued to work, a second baby boy was born, my husband’s career moved us not once, not twice, but three times- and then we moved to Charlotte where I finally felt God place me on a fast track.

So why did he call me and then leave me to wonder???

He was preparing me! He was giving me material. There were details in my life that I didn’t understand 25 years ago. Bottom line – I was not ready. Even since I’ve stepped into speaking and writing, there have been times God has placed me in a holding pattern. I’m experiencing a pause right now!

We don’t always understand His ways, but we can trust that His way is perfect.

So dear one- don’t despair during this pause. Use this time to open your heart, fill your files and journals with stories, Biblical knowledge and spiritual wisdom.
And use this time to create and develop a scholarship fund for yourself.
I am reminded of Paul who, while he preached and traveled, while he spoke and wrote, he built tents!

“There he (Paul) became acquainted with Aquila and his wife, Priscilla… Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was.”Acts 18:2-4

Want to use this brief blip in your life to prepare for a speaking ministry- begin now to do what you do whether it be tent making or … to invest in your future. The Proverbs 31 web site has easy to follow directions on developing your own scholarship fund. Today is the best day to begin.


Why not let your friends, family members, co-workers, and people from your church know about your desire to attend the conference. Many women have been afforded the opportunity to attend in years past just by getting the word out. We have prepared a letter that may help you in your fundraising efforts. For a copy of please email Samantha at Samantha@proverbs31.org for more information.

Should you decide to raise support, you will need to register for the conference to ensure your spot AND send Samantha@proverbs31.org your mailing address. This is imperative to making sure your funds are allocated to you.

There are many creative ways to build your fund. In addition to letting others know you are working toward a really important goal in your life, take a look at your daily habits – a soda or Starbucks treat or fast food lunch or tall sweet tea (sometimes I am aghast that I pay $2 for a glass of tea!) What can you eliminate? Look for other opportunities. I know you can find them. It may take time, but what a challenging journey and how proud of yourself you will be when you reach your goal. The wait is always worth it.

How about letting me know what ideas you come up with so we can share them with all the other women looking for ways to get to She Speaks.

Meanwhile I have prayed for each of you who have left a comment on my blog. Thanks for coming over to visit. I hope you come back often and as you begin your move toward Charlotte for either this year’s or next year’s conference let me remind you to

Shine
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Win a Scholarship to She Speaks

Reading has been one of my favorite pastimes since I could pick up my own book and make sense of the words. I grew up in a storytelling family surrounded by lots of communication, so not only did I like to read I liked to talk. My reading and speaking led me to study education in college and eventually, I  landed in a classroom teaching.

One day I saw my life's experiences coming together- God was using what  he had allowed in my life to begin a new thing in me --- I moved to Charlotte where I met the P31 women. One day Glynnis asked me to write an article for the magazine - a simple article to encourage women in their moves.

That was before She Speaks had  been conceived.

A couple of years later after volunteering in the office, after having stepped out of public school teaching and into women’s ministry, especially facilitating Bible studies - I was privileged to attend my first She Speaks Conference . Since then I have learned so much about writing and speaking and good books and leading women to God’s heart and most importantly I have learned to look to God as my guide as He develops in me a unique passion to glorify Him.

Have you by chance felt God’s calling to speak or write or lead or develop a personal ministry. Maybe She Speaks is the place for you!
Proverbs 31 Ministries is giving away scholarships to this year’s conference. We invite you to a tour of our blogs: visit us (listed on the side bar), leave comments and we will be gathering your thoughts. The tour ends Friday night. Monday the winners will be announced.

While you tour I invite you to visit our Shop 31  store. You will be surprised and amazed at the wonderful encouragement you can find tucked away in our resources.

Hope to see you at She Speaks and until then,

Shine!
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Time Trials

I have decided to rename my posts about waiting. I am moving to Thursdays where I will discuss the timely trials placed before us. Time? because waiting is all about time- “How long must I wait?” Trials? Because almost inevitably one of life’s waits comes with a test. “So how do you pass the test?” you might wonder.

There are two bench marks, I believe

1- Endure~ with God’s grace, clinging to Him

2- Behave~ by God’s grace, shining so the world can see that all things are possible for those who love the Lord.

Endure means we continue on with faith, practicing what we say we believe, giving each wait regardless how light or heavy – to our loving Father who asks to carry our burdens.

Behave means to live as if God had already come to the rescue. We live confident knowing He is working, even though we don’t see it or feel it. We treat others with dignity and kindness. We smile. Yes we can grieve and cry out to God, and while we do, the vulnerable in us shines, encouraging others to persevere.

So while we practice endurance and good behavior we have a choice in the midst of our time trials. We can despair or we can be desperate.

The March 25 entry in Streams in the Desert encourages those of us training in waits to “be desperate for God.” Despair gets us nowhere.

When obstacles and trials seem
Like prison walls to be,
I do the little I can do
And leave the rest to thee.

And when there seems no chance, no change
From grief can set me free,
Hope finds its strength in helplessness
And calmly waits for thee.

Shine!
Monday, April 12, 2010

Movin' on after movin' in Mondays


Moving through The Gate

Hello- chances are- if you are purposefully reading this post today- it is because you know that I regularly write about moving on Mondays.

Welcome- sisterhood of move-hers.

Even if you think that you are not on the move- better get up and start movin' - don't want to linger and stangnate! 


Jesus says in Matthew 7:13, “Enter by the narrow gate.”

 
Jesus goes on to describe the narrow gate as being small and one through which few pass. In verse 21 he explains, “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of My Father.”



Are you going to be moving around today? I know you are. Some of you are actually in the midst of a move- cross country, to the mission field, a military deployment, maybe life is changing and along with the changes you simply are moving out of your comfort zone- or across the hall to a new office.



Wherever we move, let’s be diligent to move through the narrow gate, always remembering to ask God- “What is Your will for me today?”  When we walk through the narrow gate- we can't go wrong.



God’s will is that wherever we go, whatever we do, we move through His Son who said to his disciples:


“I am the gate for the sheep. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.”



“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Jesus John 4:6



Come, walk through the Gate with me and together let’s

Shine!
Friday, April 9, 2010

Potholes in the road

Welcome, those of you who have ventured into my life from today’s Encouragement for Today. I am praying for you. I pray God be with you to lift you and give you courage, strenghthen you and give you joy for today's journey.
It’s that season of the year, post winter roads pitted with potholes.

Years ago, when I was young and totally naïve about cars, the front end of my car literally fell into a huge pothole. I mean my teeth rattled. I was actually surprised when I maneuvered my car out of the deep rut. I remember the feeling of relief and elation – I drove away and all seemed well.


…until months later when I took my car in to have it serviced. The mechanic asked me too many questions, and it was then I recalled the massive hole in the highway. No longer did I feel so proud because I had to pay for neglecting my front end.

You know, if we don’t check ourselves after experiencing those unavoiadable emotional falls into  the deep pits of life, we may sustain damage – just like a car. And if we continue along as if nothing has occurred we may end up with irreparable concerns.

I’ve got to be honest with you: for too many years I kept on going after driving through potholes. Either I ignored the damage or I refused to check out the possible harm. I denied reality or suppressed truth. Consequently fear, anger, insecurity, bitterness, and lies slowly eroded my faith, trust, relationships, and joy. I found myself becoming…a bitter, weak, and whiny woman. Discontent ruled my life. The abundant life I longed for seemed like an impossibility.

I knew I had to make a change.

Potholes are inevitable. How we deal with them is up to us.

I realized that “driving around” with a scratch or a dent, mud on me, or splashed by spoils of the road was not a good practice. I needed to learn to take myself to the nearest “mechanic’s shop.”

For me that place of repair became God’s Word, prayer, Sunday morning worship, Bible study, and friends who are willing to hear about my smash ups and give me healthy perspectives on the inevitable destruction life doles out to all of us who are on the road.

Rather than ignore reality I slowly began to accept – potholes are everywhere! They can’t be avoided, discarded, denied. I had to find a way to repair the damage. I couldn’t procrastinate.

I’ve learned to no longer allow potholes to surprise me. They exist to threaten and thwart my progress. But I am not going to let that happen. Instead I choose to run to my Father for cleansing and purifying, to worship my God even when  I don't feel like it, to ask my friends for prayer even though pride would keep me from sharing all, and, because Jesus has told me I can, in the midst of the mud and dirt I strive to

Shine!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesdays are for waiting

I challenge you to entertain a conversation with someone - anyone and concentrate on the other person’s life. If you listen well, you will learn they are waiting. Their life is in a holding pattern.

Just this week I have learned of many waits:

A dear friend is waiting until Friday for a surgery that will determine if she has ovarian cancer or not.

An acquaintance who was wrongfully charged of a crime, must appear in court, and has no money to hire lawyers, and is scared.

Missionaries whose lives have been threatened are waiting on the predicted raid that will eliminate the gospel in the area where they preach.

I too am waiting…

I know you are also.

So what do we do as we wait? It seems like such a waste of time to sit silently by and wait. Is there nothing to be done to change the course of events?

I read Streams in the Desert as if it were the meal my day depended upon. The April 7th entry encourages the reader to sit still. The last line of the days devotion reads,

“ There is a perfect passivity that is not laziness. It is a living stillness born of trust.”

Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord and do not lean on your own understanding.”

For me, when the wait becomes so heavy I don’t believe I can stand it another moment, I turn to my Father in quiet obedience and whisper, “I trust You. Give me strength to wait for You to move.”

The idea that I am practicing obedience gives me the confidence I need to wait a little while longer, until I have to whisper again, “I trust You. Give me strength to wait for you... and as I wait, help me

Shine!





 
Monday, April 5, 2010

Movin' On After Movin' In Mondays

Moving Toward a Place Called BOLD


This week I celebrate a milestone in my life! As I head toward 60 one thing about me that stands out is my lack of roots- this week marks the longest I have ever lived in one place – 11 years to be exact. Never in my life have I lived in one place more than 10 years and now I have clicked over.

As I contemplate this new season- especially given the fact that we have just put another Holy Week behind us I want to MOVE forward with the life God has planned for me.

I continue reading the story of Jesus’ resurrection – don’t finish there because so much of the story is yet to be told…

The women return to their friends who have gathered to mourn and grieve. Breathlessly they announce “the tomb is empty! Jesus is not where we left him.”

Jesus’ disciples, after having witnessed the empty tomb and the risen Lord, moved out into the world:

Acts 4:13. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.


Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage.


2 Corinthians 3:12: …since we have such a hope, we are very bold.



Ephesians 3:12: Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

I want to be an eager announcer. I want to be bold in what I believe, not a brassy bold, or a pushy preachy bold, but a loving and kind bold, a secure and confident bold. I think we need bold people today to give others hope and encourage them along the way.

I know that I had a brush with the city of BOLD when I was a young woman – the women of BOLD boldly guided me through the rocky patches in my marriage making sure I kept the promises I made at the altar on my wedding day. Later, the women of BOLD encouraged me as I worked at being a mother, homemaker, and leader in my church. God bless these women for they planted security and confidence in me.

I have it in my heart that I am moving, that God has asked me to move - to a place called BOLD. I have begun to pack up, to get rid of the stuff I will not need for my next assignment, to “clean house,” to become acquainted with the citizens who live in BOLD,

According to what I read about these people I need to pack faith, confidence, hope, prayer, freedom, courage and invite the Holy Spirit to move with me.

So here I’m knocking on the door of a new place in life called BOLD where, with God's grace, I hope to

Shine!