Intersecting Life and Faith

Category: Family/Pictures/Husband (Page 2 of 35)

This Girl!!!

Remember the show That Girl? Ok, so this show dates me since it aired 1966-1971, but it came to mind as I wanted to write about another girl. This girl… Kelsey. Hopefully we will still be friends after posting a picture I didn’t have permission to use, hey, I’m the mother here.a0a94c15-01f4-4800-8a43-48beb1274f86



I don’t often write about my family. Their story is not mine to tell and they may want to tell it themselves someday. In light of the upcoming celebration of mothers on Mother’s Day, I want to shed some light on those who made me a mother and call me mom, or in some cases mama!

Justin will be always known as our firstborn and only son and will have the added badge of making me a grandma for the first time in August. Hannah is our second born but the first daughter, Kelsey came along two years later, not much of a badge of honor is it? Lauren, our fourth, was born as our last child and gets the title of baby of the family. All four, with a fifth in heaven, have made me the woman I am today. They call me Mom, but they have all played an instrumental part in the forming of how I view the world today.  I love them to the moon and back(not sure what that really means, but sounds good!!) But I wanted to tell you about this one who doesn’t have a particular motto in the pecking order of the Gates Family.

What to say about this girl?


She invited me to Albany to celebrate Mother’s Day last weekend. She took the time out of her busy schedule of a full-time job and going to school, to plan Friday and Saturday just for me. Ethiopian food, homemade brunch on Saturday morning, a walk through Washington Park and along the Hudson River were highlights. Off to the mall for a pedicure and new shoes to show off my new nail polish were the best way to end our afternoon together. And, yes, there were several cups of coffee to keep us going.

Her card to me in essence said thank you for never giving up on her. In fact, it was a music card, when opened, played,

I will Survive. Because some days…ok, a lot of days, motherhood is a matter of just surviving until the kids we love so much…are in bed.


And that is what I want to leave you with. Even though many days it seems all you do as a mother is survive, we do in fact survive. We can do more than survive whatever season of motherhood we find ourselves in. We can thrive. We can do the next thing, we can serve and love and then love some more.

Because the writing in the card thanked me not for the clothes I bought her, or the phone I paid for, or the countless loads of laundry washed or food on the table day in and day out. Yes, those practical acts of love and service do count, but what Kelsey often thanks me for is the unconditional love I(and her dad) have poured into her life. And when I was loving her day in and day out despite what may have happened that day, I wasn’t loving her because I knew the outcome. I was loving because Someone had loved me that way. I know first hand the unconditional love of a Heavenly Father, poured out to me, which I then poured into her and Justin, Hannah and Lauren.

We aren’t, as mothers, promised a certain outcome when we parent to the best of our ability. We press on each day, doing the best we know at this job of ‘mothering,’ and leave the results with Him.

This girl makes me smile…that’s her badge!

Betty is in the House

Except for this past Monday, I haven’t had time to sit down and write. Betty Nicholson, my mom, is in the house…literally. And there’s never a dull moment when she is here, unless we are both taking an afternoon siesta, which we both love to do, maybe I got it from her.  She made her way from Iowa, arriving Tuesday night just in time to see Lauren play varsity volleyball last night.

Columbus Day weekend is huge here in Lafayette, NY with the annual Apple Festival. If the weather is gorgeous, thousands will descend on this small community. Beak and Skiff Apple Orchard is just down the road from us, and was recently voted #1 apple orchard in the United States. It is a beautiful time of year here in upstate New York and my family and I along with my mom plan on taking in the festivities this weekend.

Her favorite things are to drink tea while I drink coffee, spend time with her grandchildren and tell me how to drive from the back seat where she likes to be chauffeured!! haha…just kidding mom…kind of!!!

This isn’t the greatest picture of us. It was taken this summer when we were all together at the farm in Iowa and we were celebrating Justin and Melissa’s marriage, they had eloped a year ago, so we had a big party for them!! Have a fabulous weekend, and maybe next week there will be a blog post about apples, wagon rides and my mom!!


How Does the Bible Transform Us?

On our way to Lynchburg, VA so Rob can officiate at the wedding of a young man who has grown up under Rob’s ministry. Wanted to use this opportunity while we are gone to re-post some of my top blog posts. Written originally in 2012.

Pastor Rob preached a fantastic message,  How Does the Bible Sanctify Us? I have included some of my notes to encourage you to listen to the entire message. Even though Pastor Rob is my husband I still say he is one of the best pastor’s I know and listen to.

The word sanctify and transform are used interchangeably.

3 Ways the Word of God Transforms me:

The Bible transforms me by being the instrument of my salvation.

                  1 Peter 1:22-23 tells me I am born again by the Word of God.

                 James 1:18 God sustains and transforms me by the Word.

The Bible transforms me by being the primary instrument of my spiritual growth.

                Romans 8:26; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Peter 2:1; Proverbs 27:17

                God uses trials, my weaknesses, the devil and suffering to transform me.

God’s Words root out wrong thinking. Isaiah 55:8-9

Let the mind of the Master be the Master of your mind.

Do I have a desire for the Word of God? If not I can pray Psalm 119:36- God incline my heart to your testimonies.

Incline=to bend;

Bend me, stretch me towards God and His Word

Rev. 1:3 Read, hear, keep God’s Word

Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults. –John Calvin







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