What’s floating around in here?

September 18, 2008 at 10:56 am (Uncategorized)

Intensely personal, mostly private & always telling … a woman’s purse is all these things, wouldn’t you say? 

It carries what we consider ‘essential’, makes a statement about our sense of style, hides our secrets, and even our trash. 

The Prodigal Purse blog is just a peek into my purse, and therefore my life.  I’m hoping you find a bit of encouragement floating around in here.


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Tonight’s Devotional

May 22, 2009 at 1:46 am (Uncategorized)

Tonight’s devotional was about how God’s Word is like an anchor in our lives – which was sweet in a sentimental kind of way. 

Earlier today I ran out of the house and threw the Littles in their car seats to go pick up Simond from work.  In the midst of getting ready for our camping trip tomorrow, I had forgotten that I had to pick him up.  As I drove down the road shoeless, I passed our old church – and noticed they were having a yard sale. 

After we got Si, the kids and I stopped – pretending we didn’t have a million things to do (and I still shoeless).  I was watching the kids playing in a heap of junk toys, enjoying the day, and I heard our old pastor’s voice, Skip Hathaway.  From the moment I heard it, I couldn’t help but be transported back 12 years to him baptising me “Buried with Christ through baptism, and raised to walk as my sister in Christ.” 

I almost didn’t speak to him, certain that he wouldn’t remember me.  Honestly, part of me was terrified that he would.  Here I was, unshowered & shoeless shifting through junk.  I went back and forth in my mind trying to decide if I should say hello.  For some crazy reason, I just wanted to tell him that I’ve grown up in Christ, not the same dysfunctional girl he drowned in the water that day.  I just wanted to see him grin at the living proof of God’s promises fulfilled, arms overflowing with blessings.

I spoke – and he didn’t remember me.  We chatted briefly about mutual friends, w/out ever even mentioning the One who tied us together, the Anchor who made us known to each other.  But He was there. 

There is no reason that we should know each other – me, a SAHM madly in love with a sailor and his children – him, so smart people call him Dr., with hands that bury sin and raise saints.  Only the love of Jesus we share, our anchor.

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December 2, 2008 at 7:11 pm (Uncategorized)


I got out of bed

on two strong legs.

It might have been

otherwise.  I ate

cereal, sweet

milk, ripe, flawless

peach.  It might

have been otherwise.  I took the dog uphill

to the birch wood.

All morning I did

the work I love.


At noon I lay down

with my mate.  It might

have been otherwise.

We ate dinner together

at a table with silver

candlesticks.  It might

have been otherwise.

I slept in a bed

in a room with paintings

on the walls, and

planned another day

just like this day.

But one day, I know,

it will be otherwise.

Jane Kenyon 1947-1995

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Apple Picking

November 5, 2008 at 6:30 pm (Family adventures, parenting)

Another memory has been built in the Rucker Family’s minds:  Apple Picking at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, VA.  I totally dig this kind of stuff and am so excited to share this with my children.  While the adventure itself was fun, the words God spoke into my heart while we were there, over the top precious.

The orchard itself is about 3 hours away and while I have been looking forward to the trip, I was anxious about the drive itself.  Were we crazy for dragging 2 babies in diapers, a preschooler and a teenager out to the middle of no where for some apples that we could buy at the commissary?  Maybe … ? 

Wally and I were in no mood to spend long periods together in the car.  It’s been a rough few months in our marriage, as he continues to be away from home doing a rigorous workup cycle on board the USS Eisenhower.  Only being home for 5 or 6 days at a time is pulling us in separate directions & financial worries on how to get our budget under control are weighing on us both heavily.  The further we were away from home, we were able to tie some heart strings tighter and enjoy each other again. 

I was completely overwhelmed with the Orchard – I know, I know, I always am with nature.  But it was just such a timely trip as God showed me real life examples of His provision.  The trees were beautiful – heavily pregnant with every kind of apples you could imagine.  Lots were just rotting on the tree, left unclaimed.  Tons had fallen to the base of the trees, and even more in the paths making our hike quite squishy at times 🙂 .  img_0874

These little adventures of mine are only tolerated by Wally, for my sake only 🙂  He’s a good man.  When he saw the roadway up to the orchard, he was totally serious when he said, “Should we drive up there?’  lol  We walked, carrying Belle on my hip and Wally pulling Asher in the wagon.  He was very purposefully handing out orders on picking while the kids and I just ran willy nilly, playing around. 

img_0885Asher (almost 2 YO) was hilarious – his tree trunk legs would not keep up with where his heart wanted to go (I, too, know his dilemma).  He fell onto the soft padding of grass every 5 seconds.  He was also in heaven because there were apples all over the ground, and he would pick one up – munch on it a few times, and then throw it down only to move on the the next one.  The kid ate his weight in apple bites while we were there.  Several times I made note of how careless he was – never holding on to his beloved blessing with sweaty fists as I often do.  If he dropped it, and returned to look for it again, finding it gone, he didn’t care.  “Blessed be the name of the Lord …He gives and takes away … He gives and takes away … My heart will choose to say, Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Asher didn’t care if his beautiful sweater was ruined by the adventures in the clay mud, because he put more value in the adventure than the sweater.  I can learn much from these blessings of mine.  miss-belle-eating-apple

Annabelle was a perfect baby.  We could not have asked for a more content and flexible child.  She had no idea where we were going, when we would get there or if it would be to her liking.  She trusts in her parents utterly and completely.  She took advantage of the long drives by sleeping there and back and was the talk of the orchard with her gummy smiles.  I am enjoying having a daughter … and such a beautiful one at that. 

job-taking-a-break1Always ready for an adventure, Job ran through the hills like a sandpiper bird on the beach.  He liked being a few rows over from us, enjoying a little independence.  I’m enjoying being able to place some trust in his ability to obey and return when we call.  Sometimes I forget that he just turned 4 – a brand new 4.  He really enjoys contributing to any effort of the family and was very proud of the number of apples he could reach and pick.  While I can see a good work ethic developing in him, I also see him enjoying deliberate rest.  Another attribute I would be blessed to learn.  If every second of my day is not accounted for and given to purpose with something to show for it, I deem it lost.  Not a biblical perspective at all, and I see that I need to work on slowing down to the speed of love.  I have a friend named KC, that moves at the speed of love.

Simond … I just want to bawl when I think of his servant’s heart these days.  It may come as a surprise to img_08991some of you, but it’s been a deliberate effort of his to choose service over selfishness.  I’m overwhelmed at his victory sometimes.  He’s really adapted to a ‘get it done’ attitude, and I can almost see him slaying his flesh when I ask him to do something he doesn’t enjoy, and doing it with a happy heart.  Recently I had to discipline him, and it was difficult.  I hate it!  God chose that moment to remind me of how He hates disciplining me too, but that it’s always for my betterment.  

I want to be honest about our family, and real about each one of us.  Re-reading this, we sound like the Spritiual Brady Bunch, and those of you who know us well can testify that it a lie!  Asher was RIDICULOUSLY naughty on the way up to the orchard and back, totallying about 6 hrs of terrible twos.  Job’s enjoyment of rest went a tad too far on many points of the hiking, and I considered dragging him.  Miss Belle’s slobbering on the apple was cute for the first 10 minutes, and then we both were soaking wet for the remainder of the crisp trip.  I felt like I needed to remind Simond that he is NOT an adult, indeed still a child, about a million times.  Wally’s lack of matching my enthusiasm was at times, a bummer.  And maybe, my singing “Thunderstruck” off key at the top of my lungs might have gotten on some peoples nerves … 😉 

But we’re growing … as a family and individually, in God’s amazing grace.  I personally have the trip filed in my mind as a real life example of God’s provision in my life.  I came home seeing how my life is overflowing with blessing, when I had left grumpy and feeling sorry for myself for the convienances recently cut from our budget.  He opened my eyes to many ‘apples roting on the tree, and at our feet’ in our family’s life, and renewed a sence of graditute in my heart. 

Yesterday, Simond and I only did a 1/2 day of school and made our first 3 apple pies.  It was fun to take a break and figure it out together, making many mistakes along the way, and enjoying the fruits of our picking.  We hung out in our jammies and sang “Thunderstruck” at the top of our lungs.  🙂 

Check out more pictures on the Carter’s Orchard page: https://theprodigalpurse.wordpress.com/carter-mountain-orchard-pictures/

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New Song

October 27, 2008 at 12:17 pm (parenting, Quiet Times) ()

Psalm 33:2-3

Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to Him on the ten-stringed lyre.  Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy.

What ‘new song’ do I have for Him today?  Will I push the default button & raise my family on the sinking sand of generational sin?  Or will I purposefully turn around, face the wind & learn the words and ways of my God? 

Help me turn around, God.

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Finally …!

October 19, 2008 at 5:46 pm (Good Deals, Weight Loss) (, , , )

… I’ve found something that “They say…”, that really works!  First of all, let me go on record that I don’t know who “They” are, but I hate them.  You know ‘them’ …

“They say that cloth diapers are the best …” 

“They say that too much TV ruins your children …” 

“They say that you should never let your baby cry it out …” 

“They say …” seems to be a way for someone to add their personal opinions on your life choices without actually have experience in that area or being held accountable for the comment.  Who are “They” supposed to be anyway?  The baby mafia?  The Parenting Police? 

I can see that I’m coming across as a little jaded this afternoon… I’m sick 😦 I’ve got the worst cold I can remember in recent history.  Anyway … back to my purpose.

They say increasing your fiber intake helps control your appetite.  It seems to be true.  My new favorite product is Benefiber Drink Mixes. [benefiberstick.jpg] I initially bought them because I was able to get a box of 16 packets for $1 (see end of post for how, and run out and get a ton of your own!)  I’ve been having 2 or 3 of these little gems daily, not really interested in the fiber, just a cheap flavored drink.  Yesterday, this cold of mine swept me off my feet and didnt’ have any and today … you guessed it:  My appetite is RAGING.  If my kids sat still long enoungh (no worries … they don’t) I would nibble on those cute thighs.

I’m ashamed to say that 3 kids in 4 years has packed on more pounds than I care to admit.  My struggle to drop more than a few continues with running, taking Hitler designed group exercise classes at the YMCA & experimenting with various eating plans (ie South Beach & Weight Watchers).  All these things are helping, but it’s diffiuclt to do them when your tummy is screaming “FEED ME!” like an impatient toddler. 

Finally, something “They” say, works!  Now you can say, “Amy said …”  🙂

Here’s how to get yours:  In the October Walgreens Easy Saver Catalog (located at the front of the store w/ their sale papers), there are coupons for $5 off the Benefiber Kiwi Strawberry Stick Pack (16 ct.)  Couple that with the $2 off any Benefiber product manufacturer coupon in recent papers, and you get the box for $1!  I think I got like, 10 boxes of these, giving quite a few to friends to try.  Enjoy! @

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6 Word Memoirs

September 27, 2008 at 3:25 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

A podcast I was listening to recently has turned me on to 6 Word Memoirs – and I’m DYING to know what yours would be! 

Hemingway was once asked to write his life story in only six words. After weeks of seclusion, he emerged with “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”  Last year, an online magazine challenged their readers, asking them for their own six-word memoirs. Some of the responses were: 

“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”     “I still make coffee for two”   “Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”   “I like big butts, can’t lie”  “He was careless, she was killed”  “A traveler homesick for bigger skies”  “I love Him, but I”m scared”

In the podcast, the pastor’s assignment was to write your own memoir in exactly 6 words.  His twist on the challenge was to suggest that you do 2 – one for you life up until now, and one for what you would hope to be read at your funeral. 

Just the thought of assigning 6 words to my life was daunting –  so I’d like to ask my friends to just submit comments for good ones that come to mind, but do the before and after thing if you can/want to.  I just asked Si and his friend to do it, and they are acting like it’s going to be engraved on their caskets, lol … Make it fun and enjoy doing it with your families!  What a GREAT table topic for supper time! 

As a reward for time and thought, I’d like to offer my favorite comment a $25 gift certificate for A Prodigal Purse (www.members.cox.net/watchingandwaiting) You could totally get a free purse for $25! or a super fab bag – for way cheap with your gift certificate!  Leave your comment, and I’ll pick a winner on Thursday, October 30 and post it on my blog.  Send this link to your friends: www.theprodigalpurse.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/6-word-memoirs, and hopefully we will generate a lot of good ideas on how we would like to live our lives:  Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Blessings, friends. 

Start with the end in mind!  @

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Truest Love

September 26, 2008 at 1:55 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I saw true love today

Not on a movie screen –

No passion clogging reason,

No clinging to be seen.


 I saw true love today,

Walk through a waiting room

Where I was sitting by myself,

Disguise it did assume …


An older man, an ugly man

Tall figure worn and bent;

No dashing prince with golden crown

To beauty’s side was sent.


A woman who was fat and grey,

No fairy princess she!

Moved by the side of that old man –

She wasn’t much too see.


And yet they caught my notice,

The quaint and ancient pair.

They took my full attention

Though they were unaware.


For as they lingered by the door

He held her coat for her.

And then he went and fetched the car –

The ice made her footing unsure –


And when he brought the car around

For her, the door he gained

And placed a step before it

That her body not be strained.


They drove away that morning

And though they could not know

They left me with a picture of how true love should go.


I saw that day no handsome prince;

No princesses were seen

But in the realm of Truest Love

I saw the King and Queen.

~ Mary Beth Havckett

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Natural Born Sinners

September 24, 2008 at 2:46 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Man … I dont’ know why Biblical accuracy surprises me, but it still does, daily.  “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…”   All includes sweet little blond boys with their Daddy’s eyes …

Job, my 4 YO little blond tornado, has started AWANA this year.  Let me begin by stating that this has been a long awaited privilege as he has longed to go, seeing Simond participate weekly in memorizing verses.  Last year, it was a potty training issue, but now that we’ve mastered that, Job has entered the elect circle of "Cubbies" in AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed).

Simond was in the living room working on verses with Job.  Every time Job said his verse, he got a mark on a piece of paper that earned him an M&M, which Simond was keeping track of.  I really was rejoicing in my heart that Word was accessible at such a young age as this was going on, sewing at the dining room table. 

Job and Simond are later called into dinner and I marvel at how many M&Ms Job has earned, joking that I’m going to run out.  We eat our dinner, missing our Daddy sorely, trying not to focus too much on his empty chair.  Still praising Job for the verse that he learned in just one day …

The craziness of getting 4 kids ready to go out the door settles in on our house.  Of course the phone rings and someone is at the door trying to register me to vote … “I am registered to vote … “This is just not a good time…" doesn’t seem to phase the lady at the door and the phone goes to voicemail. 

Annabelle nursed … check!  New diapers for Asher and Belle … check!  Book found for Job … check!  Then in the background of the chaos, I hear Simond chastising Job, and I tune in …

Apparently Job,  a brand new 4 YO, was found at the dining room table, marking extra check marks for verses he did not say, in order to get more M&Ms than he earned.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  This is pretty ridiculous, but I am TERRIFIED to think of what shenanigans the kid will get into at 16 YO! 

We are saving for Simond’s college & Job’s bail… @

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One Proud Mama

September 23, 2008 at 2:05 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

The Littles (Job 4, Asher almost 2, and Annabelle 5 months) and I just returned from watching Simond’s (14) basketball game, and I’m not sure that I’ll be able to sleep tonight, I’m so jazzed about it. 

For those of you who don’t know my Si, he’s about 2 feet too short to be recognized as 14 YO.  😦  I was recently very excited to see that he had broken 80 lbs on the scale.  It’s always been a source of contention, but I’ve definately seen him struggle with it more and more over the past 6 months.  To make matters worse, his best friend is the size of a full grown man, so the issue is magnified quite a bit when they are together. 

Simond decided to try his hand at basketball this season, and when he asked if he could play, I really cringed.  Even though it’s a church league (Upwards), these kids have been playing for years and Simond has never played a game in his life.  He didn’t even know the rules.  I was able to attend the first few practices and could see that he looked like a fish out of water, but resilient. 

Tonight I ventured out to watch the game, and it was exhilarating.  Simond didn’t get much time on the court, but when he did, the Little boys and I cheered our hearts out.  I’m sure the other parents were getting tired of us.  Asher would stand on my lap and we would yell, “Hands up!” and Asher would raise his little bear paws.  Job would yell, “Your my he-ho, Simond!”  Miss Belle did her part by sitting quietly in a friend’s lap.

There came a point in the game where Simond got the ball.  A huge kid from the other team tried to take it from him, but Simond crouched over the ball like a pregnant lady in contraction.  He knew that if he took a step and tried to dribble, all might be lost, but he very wisely stayed put and held on with all that he had.  The entire crowd cheered for him, and I could see by the look on Simond’s face that this guy had bitten off more than he could chew.  Sheer determination washed over Si’s face and he held on until the ref fouled the other guy out. 

I’m so proud of him, I can’t stand it!  And I wonder how often I dismiss my own personal tiny victories, that all of heaven rejoices with my Father?  Just because the stadium of life is quiet, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a cloud of witnesses cheering for every tiny step I make in the journey of regeneration. 

Friends, I am tired.  Wally (my husband/fearless leader) has been gone a week and I’ve got 3 more to go as a single parent of 4.  Every mistake or foul, I wear like I’m 2 feet short of being called a “Good Mother”.  But tonight, I’m ‘snuggling up’ as Job says, in the fact that God is cheering for me every step of the way.  More than anything, I want to share that encouragement with you, and pray that you are feeling same.

Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

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What was your favorite book this year?

September 19, 2008 at 1:20 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I often have a book tucked away in my bag for those rare moments that I can read on the run.  My recent fav was ‘Crazy Love’ by Francis Chan.  WOW!  I wish I had could give it to everyone I know.  Check out it’s companion site:  www.crazylovebook.com  I have also really enjoyed ‘I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy Tee Shirt’ by Vince Antonucci.  You can check him out at www.lousytshirtbook.com

I really liked ‘The Shack’ by William Young.  It was a great story, but I enjoyed it so much because it made me realize that not everyone experiences God the same way that I do.  My sister was in tears at the concept that God wasn’t disappointed in her … that He loves her.  I came away realizing that I need to do a better job describing The Love of My Life.  🙂  It’s also all the buzz in the Christian Communtiy, so it’s nice to be ‘in the know’ about something.  🙂  www.theshackbook.com 

What was your favorite book this year?  Leave a comment and let us know! 

Forever changed, @

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