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Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Fall and A Little More

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Happy Fall from our home to yours!

It has been a busy time, but I’m finding, most times are!

God is so reminding me of our blessings every day that I wake up in a warm home and have clothing to wear and food to eat! He’s our provider and our sustainer and we are so blessed everyday!!

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This month has been busy as we continue to put finishing touches on the clothing ministry and serve families in our community. Last week alone we saw 28 families come through and everyone of them so grateful for a shirt or pair of pants as cold weather approaches. Many of these families first visit our food pantry and are in need of more than we could ever provide, but we do what we can and we pray! God has given us many opportunities to pray with people as they seek to have their needs met and lives changed.

One mom had 5 children and she did not speak English. We soon figured out that she was married and that her husband was working when and where he could but ALL of them needed clothing. We were able to provide each person in their home with items so that everyone would have something warm to wear. It was incredible to see her find things for each one… almost like the loaves and fishes story in the Gospels. Our clothing supply seemed low to the human eye, but she left from there with something for all 7 members of their family!

Another mom came in and there was so much shame in her face as she filled out the forms for me. Her friend told me that she had recently lost a child 13 days after it was born to a genetic disorder and she was still very distraught. I asked if we could pray with her and she wept as she told me that she had to be strong for her other children and she had to try to provide for them in the middle of this storm. I found out that she had prayed to receive Christ recently, and I was able to pray with her and encourage her through scripture. 

There are MANY ministry opportunities all around us. It’s really amazing that God has opened this door for me and the other volunteers to be able to be IN our community on a weekly basis sharing the love of Christ with them.

It is sometimes so easy to look at what we don’t have and we forget that God is taking care of our every need. We are not hungry (have you seen me?) and we do not have to worry about being cold. We may not have the newest clothes or the best decorated home on the block, but we don’t live in fear that we won’t have something to wear or a roof over our head.

I think living in America makes us have tunnel vision. We are so blessed and we have more than the majority of the people in the world, but we get focused on the few who are beyond wealthy and compare ourselves to them. It’s not healthy.

This is the month of Thanksgiving and God is showing me that I have more to be thankful for than I could ever imagine!! I can’t wait to share pictures and stories as our journey continues.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not a Clue

I truly believe that when God calls us to something that is new and outside of the box of our norm it has a two fold purpose. One is to fulfill his plan for us to be in a deeper relationship with Him through obedience to His call. The second purpose is to help us see more of what He sees and fulfill the call to get outside of ourselves for a greater good, namely bringing others to Him through salvation.

Being a part of something that is mission minded on a weekly basis has helped me to see that I do not have a clue about many things in this life.  Up until now my goals have been pretty much like those of most Christian Americans. It goes something like this:

Go to college, get a good paying and steady job, marry someone who loves Jesus, is reliable and will take care of me,  afford a good house in a good neighborhood, have a kid or two, make friends and be involved in church and grow in my walk with God.

Nothing about those goals really involved anyone but me. My view has been completely self-centered and, frankly until recently, I’ve been perfectly fine with that.

After years of teaching Bible studies and being involved in every church activity imaginable I found myself in a very unusual place: unfulfilled. Most of the goals that I’d set for myself had come to some sort of fruition. Not everything was perfect (because it’s just not) but I really had about every blessing that a girl could have, and then some.

So why was I so unfulfilled?

The Lord started showing me through some local missions days in our city that my focus, while it had been on Him and His Word, was MORE on myself and those around me that are just as blessed as I am.

The last 5 weeks of serving in the clothing ministry have shown me that I am WAAAAY to consumed with myself and what I DON’T have. Seeing those in need for simple things have really made me sit up and take notice of how blessed I am.

I’ve really not had a clue that people right around me have MAJOR needs.

Things like:

Families have no winter clothing. Like the mother of 5 who came in the other day with a tank top and a t-shirt layered over it when it was so cold… and she was asking for clothing for her kids. Not herself.

Some have no ability to fill out a simple form as they enter because they can’t read or write.

Men are in need of a pair of pants because they’ve been out of work so long that they have nothing to interview in when finally being considered for a job.

I am not so na├»ve as to think that there are NO needs around us. Obviously we are in a time of recession and joblessness is running rampant. No one really has it easy right now… including us! It’s just that I never really put myself in their shoes and considered what that must feel like to feel hopeless.

I am so grateful for Jesus. The hope that He brings and the fact that I can offer a pair of pants and shirt, and explain that those temporal things will wear out, BUT GOD… came to bring plans to prosper us and give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) through the blood of Christ is just such an amazing gift to those with no hope!

Living in America with the American dream and the American church sometimes brings a level of protection from the real world. If you are like me you understand. We really have NO CLUE until we get out there and live it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Dreams He Dreams

When I was a little girl I had several dreams. They weren’t crazy dreams like to be a super hero or to become president, but I did struggle with how I would do it all… because I was determined that I WOULD do them all! I wanted to be an interior decorator. I wanted to be a teacher and I wanted to own a store of some sort. Like a cute store. We’d have gifts and cute things to wear and something just…cute!

Well, my mom wanted me to be a decorator. She thought that was just the coolest thing and that I would LOVE matching things and making things look good… and spending other people’s money! Which actually all sound very appealing to this day.. I must say!

God, however, had another plan and He would not let my heart get away from teaching. I just knew that I was going to be a special ed. teacher from the time that I hit high school and now that I have a child with some special needs… well, I now know why He would not give in… though my mother prayed in earnest that He would! (What is with praying against God’s plan for  your child, mother?! So funny how that works sometimes.)

Well, I taught special ed. for 4 years, regular ed. for 4 years and then I had my daughter who needed me to stay home. Now that she is getting older God is allowing me to dream one of my dreams again, but it’s through HIS lenses and not my own… and I LOVE IT! 

About a year ago I was cleaning out our daughter’s clothes and trying to figure out how I could bless someone that might be able to use them the way that others have blessed us over the years! I prayed a simple prayer asking God to show me who I could potentially help and not just do the ol’ drop off at Goodwill. Not that I don’t LIKE Goodwill! They do a lot of good!

That night it happened. As my husband lay sleeping the Lord STOOD on my face!! I was just lying there and He laid out the whole plan of having a free clothes closet that would be “fueled” by our church through donations.  I could picture it in my mind… every detail of how it would go, what the store might look like, how we’d get donations, etc.  All I needed was a spot to put the stuff and a way to get the word out. He told me He would provide and I said, “OK! Please God! If you will get off of my face.. I promise I will do it!’

The next morning I did NOT tell my husband. He’d think it was another one of my hair brained ideas (I have no idea why he thinks things like that!) and so I decided to e-mail 4 friends to ask them to start praying. 

I went to my church and presented the idea to the missions pastor. He thought it was a great idea, but didn’t know where we’d put it.

A year passes.

A YEAR!

Now, I know that in God’s timing a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day so I guess in the scheme of things that is not very long.

Let me tell you… it felt LOOONG! LIKE a thousand years, I tell ya!  I prayed. I asked questions. I prayed some more. I talked. I begged. I prayed and asked my friends and family to pray. I drove myself, and others, almost to the point of drinking over this. I mean… MADDNESS!

Well, it has happened.

This past month has been a total blur but we have set up a FREE clothing ministry in a little building on our church property! I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT! It is SO pretty! We are still in the process of getting things done and once it is finished I will have pictures to share! We have dressing rooms and rounders with donated clothing and a sorting room and… it is just beyond what I thought it might be! It is SO cute!! (Remember my dream was for cute!?!) Isn’t that how God works, though!?

The “store” itself is really neat, but that’s not the best part.

The absolute, beyond awesome, best part is getting to see the faces of those in need come in and find a little something to wear and leave with tears in their eyes over God’s provision for them! BEST PART! HANDS DOWN! NO DOUBT! It feeds my soul just as much as it does theirs.

We’ve been able to serve approximately 64 families in just 6 days of being open!! We have had the opportunity to  pray with many of those and invited them to church!

I know that I, personally, would not have this chance to reach out to our community on a regular basis were it not for this clothing ministry. The demographics of the area around our church are not great and there are many who use the food pantry to get free food. There are many in need and this store gives me the chance to let them know that Christ CAN meet their needs and that He wants so much to have a relationship with them!

Now, don’t get me wrong. As with anything, there have been some difficulties getting to this place. We’ve had some road bumps and we’ve had those who have tried to take advantage of the fact that the items are free. God never tells us how bumpy the road will be once we are on the journey because He knows… we’d never take the journey.

HE IS SO SMART!

I just love that God can take our dreams and make them His. He can take what we think would be a great idea and turn it into something that somehow glorifies Him and points others to Him.

I don’t know what you are dreaming today, but maybe you could start praying that God would take it and make it something bigger and better than you could ask or imagine.  (Ephesians 3:20) Doing God’s will for our lives fills us just as much as being in church.. sometimes more! It’s that obedience that nourishes us and lets us know that we are being the people that God has called us to be!

God calls us to go into all nations… and on several occasions I have not been able to communicate with those that come through our doors because they are from other nations! We are in a battle for souls to be won for the kingdom of God all over the world, and it can start right in our own backyards! Being on mission can take on many faces.

Maybe He is asking you to dream something bigger than you ever thought you could do!

Jen Hatmaker, in her book, Interrupted says, “If we’ve been in church for years yet aren’t full yet,  are we really hungry for more knowledge? Do we really need another program or event? Do we need to be fed more of the Word, or are we simply undernourished from an absence of living the Word? If our faith is about us then we are not just hungry- our spirits are starving!”

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sometimes the Reality

Well, it has been a while since I've written an entry mainly because I have been so busy  I can’t see straight. We had kind of a slow summer, which I am realizing now was the phenomenon known as “the calm before the storm!” Basically, the day that school started was the day that I started running and didn’t stop until this week… where somehow or another I’ve contracted pneumonia. I guess the end-‘o-summer cold wasn’t good enough for me! I like to go ALL out when I do something, ya know?

Being in your house alone for hours on end gives you lots of time to think… I GUESS that might be a benefit of being this sick? Um. Actually, no. There are no benefits. So the time to think… it’s a by product. Where else am I going?

Here are a few thoughts I’ve had.

Day time T.V. =not a fan. They all report the same non-sense about the lives of celebrities that I just end up feeling sorry for OR they talk about silly trivial things that no one cares about and has no meaning. It’s really kind of pointless and I just don’t get it. Sleep is better.

Politics=not a fan. The fact that very educated and intelligent people get on different media outlets and say things about others like they are on the playground at an elementary school makes my stomach turn. It seems that our country’s leaders could make better use of their time by trying to use ALL of that intelligence combined to solve some of our nation’s issues rather than stooping to undercut the next guy. It’s just sad. And these are the people who are running OUR NATION? Sleep is better.

Driving yourself to the doctor because you don’t live with your mom anymore=not a fan. Driving with a 103 temp.  and feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck is not my idea of fun or safe. If I hadn’t been afraid of going to jail I would have run every stop light. Just sayin’.

Friends and family ROCK! I know, I’m too old to use that word. I don’t care. I have had so many texts and calls and offers to help that it’s quite humbling and extremely sweet. I am so blessed and I know that God is using this time to remind me of that. 

You never know. The longer I’m here trying to recover the more thoughts might come to me and the more entries I can make. Again, where else am I going?

Oh! Another cool thing about having this time? God’s Word.

“If you make the MOST HIGH your dwelling- even the Lord, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:9-11

God’s Word and His promises? BIGGEST FAN!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Winding Down

Well, it’s apparent that summer is starting to wind down. People are getting bored.  While we love summer time and the relaxed schedule.. well, we shall use that word loosely… there’s not really a schedule… we do also love a little structure and, well, a schedule.

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It also does not help that this week we’ve had a little summer cold and cough. That means that we don’t want to do anything at all, and yet we are bored. UGH!

AND, also, too… we went to the beach early in the summer with some friends (which was awesome and we loved) but when you do the vacay at the beginning the end seems long. Right? Right.

We have had a very nice time together, however! We’ve loved being together as a family and doing things that we don’t normally get to do. We’ve been to see the grandparents a couple of times during the week and we’ve been to the movies and we’ve been to the pool and we’ve hung out with friends… yep! We’ve loved it! We even went to  a new park in our town and got ice cream and explored a little. It was VERY fun.

But you can tell. It’s time.

Time for school books and school friends and teachers and assignments and no brain rot.

It’s time for less video games and more reading and adding and subtracting and accomplishment. Yes, that’s what we need! A sense of accomplishment.

We love summer! We also love when our brains are engaged and we are not bored out of our gourds.

The end.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Just Wonder

What if those who are rejecting Biblical values came into contact with someone who really loves Jesus? Would we be ANY different from anyone else?

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I wonder what would happen if we genuinely LOVED those who persecute God’s people and their values and helped them to see that the God of the Bible is such a loving and Holy God?

What if we stopped calling them “morons” and took a moment to see that they are people who sin.. JUST LIKE US.. and who need a Savior?

How will they know that Jesus died FOR THEM if we are not faithful to tell them and stop pointing fingers?

You know, when I didn’t have Christ in my life… I was an unredeemed sinner who didn’t get it. Still, today, I make so many mistakes and sin because my flesh is so strong!! I know I can not make it one day without the Holy Spirit directing me to make even ONE good choice. I’m not sure how we expect someone to live a life that honors God if they don’t know Him.

I don’t condone the behavior of anyone who isn’t kind, but I just don’t think we really get it. Whether you are a mayor, movie star or stay at home mom… the fact of the matter is without Jesus Christ’s power of redemption and salvation from our sinful natures we are going to live, act, react and make decisions based on that sinful nature and not on values that reflect God and His Word.

I wonder what would happen if we, as Christians, started obeying God’s Word ourselves and started living the truth of God’s love in front of EVERYONE we encounter on a daily basis to make them wonder what makes us different?

“…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree can not bear bad fruit and a bad tree can not bear good fruit… Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:18-20

“But I tell you; love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. If you love those who love you what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” Matthew 7:44-46

It just makes me wonder…

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Influence

Lately there’s been a lot of attention on people/items/media of influence in our world.

Sadly, many influences are not good ones and they effect our hearts and minds in some negative ways. There are a few that have recently struck me to the core and I suppose I will not be popular with some of my thoughts, but I just can’t sit by… not any longer.

Now, I guess everyone is not going to agree with me, and I REALLY HOPE you hear my heart,  but I have just have to say this… and you will have to forgive my apparent nerdy-ness here, but the Magic Mike movie? The Fifty Shades of Grey  book? HOW have we as Christians embraced this? How have we allowed this to be acceptable in our lives when we know that God’s Word clearly states that our lives to be set apart? Is it just me?!?

I just struggle with the idea of Christians spending our money to support things that we KNOWINGLY  buy or pay for and they are labeled as “soft porn”.  I am SURE that as we are in God’s Word and as we see His people turn from Him and the wrath and judgment that He brings on them that the same judgment (or worse) is headed our way!! Why do we choose to go there?!

Perhaps because these media venues are so popular right now my attention to it is piqued. So does this mean that on a REGULAR BASIS people who claim to follow Christ are choosing this type of media? Or have lots of us just decided that “this one time” it’s really ok?

1 John 2:16 says, “For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father, but from the world.”

I KNOW we ALL sin. It’s the entire reason that Jesus came and died, but once we accept Him and His forgiveness He calls us out. We are to be different from the world. RIGHT!?

Oh, I hope I’m not sounding mean. I hope I am not sounding like I am casting my own judgment. I think I am just so taken back. I must be living in the dark ages.

I am just so sad.

Well, fortunately there are also some amazing influences around. This precious lady…

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was a founding member of our church and she recently went to be with Jesus. There was not ONE person who came into contact with her that did not experience the love that this lady had in her heart. She served at our church with the BEST attitude and influenced hundreds of kids to follow Christ. She was a Sunday school teacher, a choir member and a food server on Wednesday nights for more years than I have been alive!!

At her funeral the entire left side of the bulletin was filled with Proverbs 31. As I read through it I could identify her with every attribute of the Proverbs 31 woman!! NO LIE!

As I sat there listening to the pastor speak it challenged me. I had to ask myself if I had that kind of love. I needed to think about how I greet EVERYONE I meet. I needed to ask if I am willing to serve all the days of my life. This sweet lady’s influence stretches far and wide, and I wondered if I could do that?

I don’t know. I guess we all have to decide what kind of influences we want to sit under and what kind of influence we want to be. To me.. sitting in this sweet lady’s funeral service helped me make up my mind! If I can point someone to Christ and His saving grace then THAT’s what I want to do. If my choices cause others to stumble or think differently of me and the Jesus I follow then I want to stay FAAAAR away from them. I know I will mess up. I am so human!

What kind of influence will you have?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Dreams He Dreams

Not long ago a few of my friends and I met with some recent graduates to do a book on prayer. These girls are so much more spiritually mature that I ever dreamed of being at their age! We wanted to meet with them to let them know that we’d be praying for each of them as they moved to the next intimidating, exciting, overwhelming and interesting part of life. We also wanted to give them a tool to use as they move into this new phase of life so that they will have a strong prayer life moving into adulthood.

One thing that the book pointed out was to continue to pray for your dreams. We went around the table and each girl shared their dreams for the future. They were precious! Some wanted to be wives and moms. Some wanted to travel the world and live on different continents and some wanted to lead worship! Some were silly (be a pop star… even though I can’t sing!)  and some very serious (go to seminary to study God’s Word in depth so that I can be a missionary) , but all in all they are dreams that make these girls precious and hold onto the fact that GOD has a future in store for them.

We challenged the girls to hold onto those dreams, but to also let God have them. It’s really amazing what God can do when we take what He puts in us and hold it out for Him to do as He pleases. With God.. the sky’s the limit and we want to see these precious young women just soar!!

Now, I am obviously NOT a young chick anymore but when we got around to me the question was asked, “What are YOUR dreams.” It kind of took me off guard. Once you are a wife and mom you get a little consumed with what’s in the here and now. Dreaming about the future really takes a backseat to what you hope your kid achieves.

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Never the less, I do have dreams! I’ve dreamed of owning a store of my own for SO long. Recently God is bringing some things about that might help that dream become a reality. It’s funny though… that dream is now seen through HIS lenses. It’s not really a store that I could own so that I can be RICH! It’s more of a place where I could bless others and see His hand at work.

Talking about dreams really made me think about this old song from Avalon. It’s so true. When we open our hands and let Him author our dreams… Oh what they can be!!

(and I am having trouble downloading the video- of course! But here are the lyrics that speak so loudly to me!)

The dreams I dream for you
Are deeper than the ones you're clinging to
More precious than the finest things you knew
And truer than the treasures you pursue
Let the old dreams die
Like stars that fade from view
Then take the cup I offer
And drink deeply of
The dreams I dream for you

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dump It at the Dump!

Every week (in an effort to save a little dough) our family has chosen to take our trash, recycling and whatever else to the landfill (or the dump!) ourselves instead of having the garbage guys pick it up.

At first it was mainly a trip for my hubby and our girl. SO funny how she’d always talking about “Dump Day” on Fridays. She actually looked forward to the, sometimes smelly, little trip!

Recently my husband has worked more than usual and so our family time on Saturdays is pretty important to all of us. We try to be together and do as much together as we possibly can. They usually beg me to go along and sometimes I find other reasons to stay home and out of the SUV with the smelly trash in tow.

I guess it was about two Saturdays ago now they asked me to go and I decided to humor them. I got in the car and as we were riding down the road the following conversation started.

Hubby- “Ok, so remember, as we ride to the dump I want you to think about which attitude or sin you’d like to leave behind. Is there something that you feel you need to leave at the dump along with the trash?”

Caroline-“Actually, yeah. Remember when I got so mad because I couldn’t get the Wii to work and I cried and got sent to my room? Well, I think I need to leave that at the dump.”

Hubby-“Ok, well, I think I need to leave an attitude at the dump, too. Last week I felt bad about something that really was a blessing. I need to stop looking at myself and start looking at the blessings that I DO have. “

And then they asked…

“Ok mama! What about you!? Is there something you need to leave at the dump?”

OH. MY. WORD-ah!!!!!!!

First of all… how about I am not prepared to spill my guts in front of my family about my terrible attitude, my lack of trust in the Lord or my feelings of lack of purpose some days!?!? We were going to the DUMP for the love of garbage!

Second… REALLY!?!? You made going to the dump some sort of spiritual experience!?!

After a long pause I decided to share that even though I know that God has a plan for me to not work full time right now so that I can be home for our family, it is still hard sometimes for me to not always feel that I have a real purpose. I know that is a lie from the enemy and so I need to leave that… at the dump!

Once I said it my husband started praying in the car for all of us. He asked the Lord to take each one of our smelly sins and forgive us so that we can come away from the dump knowing that we are clean and forgiven.

We got to the landfill and it’s actually like a recycling center. It’s very organized and clean (for a dump) and it’s not what we’d normally picture…

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but getting out of the car to help unload made me have a greater understanding.

There was a smell. It was hot. People working there wore masks and they were so hot standing out there helping people unload their smelly, yucky trash. I was ready to get the junk out of our car and into those bins so that we could high tail it out of that place!

Suddenly it made a lot of sense to me. My husband wanted to paint such a clear picture for our daughter. Our sin is so gross. It is a stench in God’s nostrils. He can’t tolerate sin in His perfect and Holy presence and He suffered and died a terrible death so that we might have that terrible funk taken away from us, too.

Once we left the dump our Caroline said, “Ahhh… doesn’t the car smell better? We got rid of all of that trash!”

“Yes, and our hearts are cleaner, too!” said my husband. “Don’t you love going to the dump? We leave a lot more than trash there, don’t we?”

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Busy and Questions Galore!

This has been the busiest summer so far! I keep thinking I am going to download all my pics and tell you all about everything, but that’s not happened yet!

We’ve had VBS (where I led the worship rally for the preschoolers) and we’ve been to the beach with friends. Our daddy didn’t go but we still had a good time. We are leaving today to head to my parent’s house for the 4th and next week is my sister-in-law’s birthday so I know there will be more pictures. Hopefully one day I will get to share our adventures… soon!

Being busy is  fun for me, but sometimes my girl gets really tired. I am not sure if it’s trying to work to process it all or if physically it just wears her out, but we’ve had several days of absolutely NOTHING and she’s been good with it. No pool, no errands, no friends… just home and she has seemed to enjoy the quiet. 

Going on the trips sometimes causes her to get into question overload. She will ask me (or whomever we are with) hundreds of questions about where we are going (even though she knows), when we will get there, how we will do whatever we are doing and who we will see while we are there. It’s sometimes overwhelming for everyone involved.

A long time ago I had a daily schedule for her that was typed out so that she could read it and know what to expect.Now that she’s  older I have tried to do without the written schedule since we do many of the same things each day and she seems to understand more.  Sometimes, though, when things don’t go well she just has a melt down.

Going to the beach with friends is fun, but the questioning makes me go into “protect all friends from all the questions” mode and I start compensating for her. I don’t enjoy the time away because I am on guard that she’s taking over everyone’s down time with all of the “needing to know right this very second.” While at the beach my friend asked me about a written schedule for the times that we go places. Maybe it will help with so many questions and she will know what to expect. I thought it was a great idea SO… here we go! We’ve come up with a little plan for going to see mom and dad…

Tuesday

o Leave around 3:30-4

o Play DS game, read or rest in the car

o Arrive and have dinner (make good choices and eat really good)

o Go for a little walk

o Get a bath and put PJ’s on (NO COMPLAINING!)

o Go to bed

Wednesday

o Wake up

o Have a good breakfast (including some sort of fruit)

o Do a couple of workbook pages

o Get dressed

o Be ready to go with the family to the Peach festival

o Have lunch

o Rest and help get things ready to come home

You can help make this a fun trip by listening and helping!

 

Hopefully putting in some reminders (like “No Complaining” at bath time and “including some sort of fruit”) will also help with the little battles that we face on a daily basis.

Funny! As I am typing this she’s reading her copy out loud to herself. She just said, “When dad gets here I can check off the “leave around 3:30 or 4,” right?” I guess we will see how this goes. If we have a schedule she might know what to expect, but if the schedule doesn’t work out… well… it could be a whole other story!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Little Progress in a Few Ways!

Don’t you just love when a plan… that you THOUGHT might start coming together.. actually does? This has happened in a couple of ways for us lately and I am really thankful!!

1. NEW FLOORS! YAY! I need to get my pics into the computer so I can show you! We’ve finally gotten our new floors in and they look great! It makes our home look like a different place!! It’s so much cleaner and I am so excited to have a little more updated home.

2. A few new things my girl is learning that we thought might never be! It seems kind of trivial, but we’ve always tried to work on word searches with her. It’s such a good visual motor and brain exercise and the OT’s have encouraged us to practice. Yesterday in the car she found all of the words in a word search by herself!!

There’s also just some day to day things that seem a little easier for her and things that we’ve worked on for years that she is finally doing well. It’s very encouraging to see a few little things come along and it gives us hope as we move forward that growth will continue to happen for her.

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3. In the last post I talked about how God had shown me how He wanted me to be still and focus on things with Him a little more. Last night I had the ladies in my Sunday school class here for a little girl time and Bible study. It was such a good time and we all felt so encouraged by one another. It’s just nice to know that you are not alone and that God is at work! It was further confirmation that what He’d shown me about being a little more still was a good thing and that we can move forward in confidence that He will direct our every step… IF we let Him! So that’s the plan. A LOT less of me and my plans so that HIS can become the only plan that’s followed!

The following is a pic from a retreat a couple of years back. Most of the girls are still with us and I am excited to see what God has in store!

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It is good to give Praise to God when you see His hand at work! I can’t imagine wanting anything less than to be in His plan.

“We give thanks to You, O God: we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.” Psalm 75:1

Monday, June 4, 2012

Be Still… but Don’t Fall Asleep!

This year (literally since January) I have been in a season of trying to be more intentional about being still before God. I had been very busy with a lot of things and honestly felt like I was just being busy for the Lord. While the things that I was doing were good things.. things I enjoyed and things that I felt that God had gifted me to do.. listening and being intentional were really not a part of what I was doing.

So I prayed and asked God what being still might look like and I felt very strongly that it involved:

1.  my physical body being at home a little more. This even meant from church activities. Now don’t get me wrong! I LOVE being at church and I know that you can’t be fully fed without the Body of Christ, hearing God’s Word proclaimed and worship. I just have not been there every single time the doors are open.

2.  me journaling my prayers more so that I really thought things through as I communicated with my Father, and being specific about praying through some thing that I feel He’s putting on my heart.

3.  me reading through the Bible this year with my church family.

4. being more quiet and LISTENING! (Imagine that!)

So to keep it real… here’s what’s happened. While all of those are definitely things that I’ve needed  (especially being a little less on the go)..  and have honestly helped me not to feel so overwhelmed in life it can also be a little… shall we say… easy to let things get a little lax!

While I have kept up with my reading (and I love it!) and I have been more intentional about journaling my prayers and trying to go to the Lord FIRST when my heart hurts or I’m struggling, and we’ve continued to teach our young married adult Sunday school class  … it sometimes gets easy to get out of the routine of being at church and being AT church brings accountability!

Before you get ALL excited and wonder what in the WORLD I’ve done… “oh! She hasn’t had accountability!? This is getting juicy!” Just hang on a second, sister! It’s not that I’ve changed my behavior or that anything drastic has happened. (Maybe I NEED to change my behavior!) It’s just that when we are not with God’s people and under his Word being preached on a regular basis you find yourself not feeling as close to the Lord as maybe you once were.

Now, I KNOW that my walk with Christ is completely based on faith and not a feeling! I do know! However, there are times when we sense His presence more than others and this has been one of the times that my sensing Him has waxed and waned.

Yes, this can happen when I am in church every time the doors open, too! Yes, it can happen whether I am there or on the mission field or at home. I am just saying that when we are still before the Lord we need to be extremely careful that we keep our eyes on Him and that His Name is still the one that we proclaim no matter where we are! We have to be so careful to not be so still that we fall asleep!

Our Pastor has said several times, “Don’t waste the waiting!” And that is so true! While we wait on God to answer our prayers we also have to use the waiting to pray, seek the Lord, love on others and be His hands and feet where we are. It’s not that being still is a bad thing at all! It’s just that we can’t be so still that we are of no use to Him or His kingdom!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recycle Much?

Well, let me just start by saying that I am not usually a big “Earthy” kinda gal and this is really not like me… usually. Unfortunately, I have not always been great about trying to be a good steward of what God has given us when it comes to our natural resources. When I clean I use all manner of chemicals and I’ve not always wanted to go to the trouble to walk to the garage (because that’s an extra 5 steps!) to put things in the recycling bin.

Lately, however, I’ve been seeking out more ways to save money and a friend of mine directed me to  this website! It’s a way to become a little more aware of ways to help the environment AND save money!

It’s called Recylebank and when you join you read articles, learn things and find ways to recycle and help be more earth conscious. I KNOW! You are probably rolling your eyes right about now because we are all a little over the whole recycle campaigns! I was kind of doing the same thing, but HONESTLY! This is a really neat thing!

Ok, so if you go to the site and begin to read and all you earn points.  As you earn points for just reading (hello! we can so do this!) you can also earn coupons for groceries, restaurants and other fun stuff!

I think the one that I was most excited about was the one to…

$10 off $50 or more

If you earn 100 points you can get a $10 off $50 coupon and THAT will help me with meats and fruits and veggies! Thank you very much!

There are others though! You can get $10 off a $50 purchase at:

$10 Off Your Next $50 In-Store Purchase

for just 50 points and

$10 Off $30 or More

for 100 points.

It’s not really hard to earn points either! I’ve only done this for about a week (and I have not done it everyday) or so and I’ve already earned enough for the Harris Teeter  coupon! YAY!

The other cool thing? Most of what I earned the points for is for things I already do… like..

Not use plastic water bottles when I go to workout and use recycling for card board and other things that I know can be recycled. All I did was read the articles, answer a few questions about what I read and VOILA! I earned points!

I am sure you are JUST like me and want to find ways to save a buck! So don’t roll your eyes… just go check it out! Smile

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Graduates, Brides and Birthdays! Oh My!

I think that almost everyone I know has something that they are celebrating right now! We have had more invitations to graduations, weddings and birthdays lately!

Even in our own family… I am in charge of the graduation at the pre-school where I work …

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(don’t they look like they are ready for the world!?)

AND my daughter turns 11 on June 1st!

It seems like 5 minutes ago she was graduating herself… From pre-school that is!

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Now here we are, years later getting ready to head to 4th grade!

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I have friends who have kids that are getting ready to go to college and I seriously can’t believe that these kids are old enough to leave us!

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While we are SO proud and happy for them… well, let’s just say that those of us having to let them go are not so excited… for US! WE can’t be THAT old, can we?

We even have one friend who’s daughter is graduating and then she is going to AFRICA to serve the Lord and those living there! Seriously… we all need a BIG OLE VALIUM over that one!

On the wedding front… we have been friends with one family for YEARS… and they’ve had both of their kids get married within the last 6 months!

Their son got married in November of last year…

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and then in April their daughter tied the knot!

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I knew these kids when they were LITTLE! Oh my! I may need to lie down.

Honestly, it’s really fun! It’s awesome to see our kids growing and it’s so fun to see how God works things out for each of them to be the people that He has designed them to be.

So… let the party continue! We’ve got lots to celebrate!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Passed By

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Sometimes we feel like we’ve been passed by in life.

We’ve prayed and asked and begged and waited… cried, kicked, screamed hollered… and waited on the Lord, but sometimes He’s still. He’s quiet and we don’t see how in the WORLD He might be working in our lives.

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We can’t imagine that the circumstances we are enduring could be for ANYTHING good. NOT one thing! The load is heavy on our minds and hearts. We can’t get away from it no matter where we go! We don’t really understand why He’d allow us to hurt, wait and simply long for Him to “work all things together for our good!’ And we continue to feel as if He’s forgotten.

But then I think about the times…

When my friend waited and waited for God’s answer for a husband.  I mean she prayed and prayed and so did her parents! But after the waiting she met a man and she got married. At 45 she married the man that God had for her and MAN did the waiting pay off!? He loves Jesus! Owns his own business and is VERY well off! I mean serious bling!

When my aunt and our family prayed and prayed for my uncle. For YEARS we asked the Lord to do a work in his, seeming impossible, hard heart and finally… it happened. He asked Jesus in his heart and it’s amazing how transformed his life and heart have become! No more violent outbursts! No more cursing. No more disregard for family! I mean LIFE CHANGING CHANGE!

When several families that I know could not have children and waited and waited on God to send the perfect child for them to adopt! I mean some of those kids look JUST LIKE their parents! It’s so amazing!

When families of kids with special needs pray and pray for their language to start, their basic growth and development to increase or their circumstances to change in some way and then… it happens! Kids start talking at 8 years old! Kids start reading when no one thought they ever would! Kids start doing things that no one ever dreamed they’d attempt much less accomplish!

Maybe today you feel like you’ve been simply passed by.

There have been many days in my life where I have felt that God has simply forgotten me. But you know something amazing? Sometimes I think I am being forgotten in one area only to find out that He’s been working in another that I had prayed about a long time before! It’s so true that His ways are not our ways and FOR SURE His timing is not like ours! His Holy time piece looks NOTHING like our clock!!

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Here’s the key. Do not give up! It simply is NOT an option, sister!

Sometimes the waiting is the HARDEST thing! BELIEVE ME! I know!

But everyday I wake up and my old heart is still beating. My sweet family is still here and my Almighty God is still on His perfect throne!

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It isn’t that He has passed us by. It’s just that He’s waiting on us to FULLY trust Him with all that we have and all that we are. He’s blessing us beyond measure in more ways than we realize. Maybe we aren’t ready yet. OH! WE think we are, but remember, HE is God! He sees the past, present AND future and He’s already there. We are so finite and can’t see past the noses on our sweet little faces!

If you have kids you know what it means to tell them to wait. Man, they kick and squirm and huff and puff and act like that 5 minute wait is going to be the death of them! Well, I’d like to submit that sometimes we act the exact same way!

I’m not trying to be hard hearted. I know that there are some sensitive issues that we face that really do hurt us deep down inside. I know because I’ve experienced those deep down hurts. Maybe they are different from yours, but they’ve still hurt me to the very core. It’s just that I’ve learned that wasting the waiting is really… well, a waste! In the waiting I could have been noticing that He’s at work in other ways that I never even thought He cared about. Looking back I see that I wasted precious time at His feet that could have been spent in sweet communion with Him… listening, growing, preparing…

… for the time when He makes the waiting go away and He brings

the blessing!

OH! I can’t wait!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Change +Laundry=Love

 

A while back I shared about a local missions project called Laundry Love.

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In March we spent some time in the Laundromat across the street from our church with people from our community.

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We joined up with the Laundromat’s neighbor, a day care center, and we utilized both places to help love on parents and their children through laundry,  arts and crafts and a little dinner!

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I think that the really fun part is when someone walks in to do their laundry and you tell them who you are and why you are there! They usually say, “You are kidding, right!? YOU want to pay to do MY laundry?!”

This lady really had a hard time grasping the concept, but what a blessing it was to love on her a bit!

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We were able to feed her and her daughter and then found out that she’d been struggling with the loss of her mom. What a great opportunity to just talk to and pray for her and to see her be encouraged!

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It is awesome to see people of all ages join together for one purpose. God is able to use each one of us to bring someone to the knowledge of Christ and we loved working together for one common purpose!

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Here we are with the Laundromat owner…

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Our youth helped play with and feed the children…

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… and we had a chance to share with a man who is of the Hindu faith. He had many questions about our faith and about our church so we were excited to share with him.

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We got to interact with about 13 families that night. We pray that it made an impact on them and that they will see the love that the Body of Christ has for them. We didn’t see anyone pray to receive Christ, but we know that seeds were planted. Now, we wait. We are asking the Lord to water and nurture those seeds so that lives might be changed for Him!

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” Psalm 37:7

More and more I am realizing that God does NOT NEED me to make things happen. He does, however, INVITE me to join Him in making a difference in the lives of those around me. I am so slack in so many ways and I really have nothing of worth to say on my own! As I continue to walk with Him I am realizing the value of being still… listening… waiting on Him. People are becoming more valuable to me and things are falling by the wayside. Don’t get me wrong! I love a cute shoe with the best of them! It’s just that they aren’t the first thing I look at anymore… He’s changing that in me.

Local missions is becoming more and more a part of me and my own mission in life. I LOVE IT! Seeing the light in people’s eyes when you say, “I’m here to help!” can give you a hunger to serve like never before! Funny how that works! That whole, “Love your neighbor as yourself” thing. You know? God is pretty smart.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bloom Where You Are Planted

We have a friend that has cancer. It’s pretty aggressive, and treatment is just starting so it’s going to be a long road. Today on his Caring Bridge Site his wife posted a “tribute” to the parking attendant at the cancer center. Yes! The PARKING ATTENDANT! Not a nurse. Not a doctor. Not a person administering chemo and radiation… all of whom are working to save his life, but the parking attendant. Can you imagine?! Apparently, this man makes such a difference that he was even featured on the news because of the impact that he is making in the lives of those dealing with the terrible reality of cancer. Here’s what the news said about Dale King, the parking attendant:

Dale knows just about every patient in the center. He salutes them all as they drive in because he says, they're his heroes.

Recently, he started asking for photos of patients. He only keeps the photo a few days before turning it into a chalk pencil rendering that is in turn, given back to the patient as a gift. "I just come to show them some love, they make me want to come to work," said Dale.

From the hugs he gives, to the smiles he hands out, to the lives he touches before a doctor ever does, Dale King is the reason many visitors say the cancer center isn't unbearable after all.

Pretty awesome, huh?

Sometimes we get in such a rut. Our jobs are boring and we have long days. We feel overwhelmed by being a parent or are tired all the time from just doing the day to day stuff. I just thought it was so inspiring to see someone, who COULD allow his job to be really depressing, turn his job into an opportunity to be a blessing to someone…. Ok.. LOTS of someones!

Here’s the key. His eyes are not on himself. He’s not mumbling about how he hates standing in a parking lot everyday in the heat, cold or rain. He’s not spending time thinking that he could be doing something else that HE wants to do. Instead, he is considering what those who enter that parking lot are going through and he’s determined to make a difference.

AND another thing. I don’t know if this man knows Jesus or not. Let’s just suppose, for a minute, he does not. How sad is it that the Christians of this world are NOT making an impact like this where ever we go? Our attitudes are JUST LIKE THE WORLD’S in so many ways. We have our eyes on ourselves and we think about what is best for US when there are millions of unsaved and hurting people all around us! We are keeping the best news in the world to ourselves. JESUS SAVES! He loves YOU! He has a plan for YOU! He wants to help YOU be all that YOU can be! He is here and He is ready to hear your prayers! We could be shouting it from the rooftops just by living it out each day!

Ok, so let’s suppose that Dale, the parking attendant who is making a huge difference, IS a Christian. THAT, my friends, is how you do it!! He is living out Lamentations 3: 22-24

“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed. For his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”

When people pull into that parking lot full of fear, questions and pain Dale can (if he’s doing it for Christ) have the opportunity to share about the love of Christ, the compassion that never fails and His faithfulness to carry us through each day.

Honestly, if he’s a Christian or not….  I am extremely ashamed of myself for not living my everyday like Dale does. I DO have the hope of Christ. I DO have the knowledge of God’s Word and I DO have a place where I can make an impact every single day for Him. EVEN if it’s just in my home I can decide to get my eyes off of myself and onto my family who has needs and who need encouragement.

So… here’s to Dale! A man I’ve never met, but one who has inspired me today! I pray that I’d live my life in such a way that it makes people sit up and take notice all for the fame of Christ!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May We Present….

The girl caught Doing the Right Thing!

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And the Principal of her school!

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As she was awarded the “Do the Right Thing” award for her kind heart, caring attitude and her sweet spirit when it comes to being kind and caring for others!

AND…

For meeting her reading goals…

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she was awarded a ribbon and recognized in the school assembly with her peers!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Mom of That Kid

You know “that kid” that always says hey to everyone and tries to be friends with everyone? You know the one… they remember names REALLY well and they try to talk to people when they sometimes just want to do their day and not talk? They ask a lot of questions and they don’t really mean any harm, but they sometimes don’t know when enough is enough. The can kind of make you feel a little awkward and you may even try to avoid them because they are just a little overwhelming. You know the ones?

Well, I am the mom of one of those kids.

She is so sweet and she’s really funny if people were to get to know her, but she sometimes overwhelms those people from the get-go. She asks questions that are not always relevant and so she sometimes makes her peers (and some adults) want to go in the other direction, and to be honest, who can blame them!?

Believe me! We talk and explain and encourage and try so hard to make her understand peer and personal boundaries. It’s just that in her mind she WILL be nice to you by talking to you (no matter if she has to make up a topic to discuss)! She WILL understand why you are carrying that book bag, have that bandage on your knee or need to go to the health room. She WILL say “hi” because that’s what friends do.

Honestly, as the mom of one of those kids it’s hard to watch.

We are REALLY realistic at our house. We call a spade a spade and we are not blind to the issues that our daughter has. We LOVE her so much and we try really hard to help her be all that God has intended her to be. We talk, talk, talk about the importance of personal space, both physically and conversationally. We really try, but in the end she is who God made her to be and we can’t change her. We pray for maturity and for growth in all areas just like any other parent. We give direction and we coach her all that we can, but she’s not with us 24/7 and so somehow there’s going to have to be a level of letting go.

When you have a kid with special needs your dreams for that kid change. Before we had her we were talking about saving for college and how she’d love to play softball or be a gymnast. We made plans for how life with a kid might be, and those things have not happened. Now, we pray that she’ll one day be able to be independent and possibly live in a group home or have room mates that can all help one another. We pray that she might have a skill and have a job that would help her feel a sense of accomplishment in this life. There’s just a more realistic plan that comes into view when you realize that the path that you are on is different than the one you thought you might travel and so it takes some adjusting along the way.

Let me be clear. WE are SOOO proud of our girl. She makes us laugh every single day. I am honored that God entrusted her to us!! I am proud of her abilities and the fact that she WILL be kind to you whether you are kind in return or not. We have learned so much from her and I would not trade our life for one minute.

It just hurts my heart to see the reaction of others because she doesn’t sense when she needs to stand back. She doesn’t have the ability to read when someone needs space. How I wish I could put a little sensor in her ear that said, “Not this time, honey. Just keep walking.”

It’s in these times that my mama heart hurts, but also has to trust that God made her the way that He did and He knows what He’s doing. He can and will be that still small voice that will lead her and use her to be an encouragement when maybe no one else will. He has a plan for this life… otherwise He would not have created it.. and so I have to trust that HIS plan is perfect and that the road we are traveling is the one that He intended us to travel. He does not make mistakes and so I am the mom of this kid and I am proud of it!

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

I’m a Complete and Utter Mess

You know, more and more I am all about just telling it like it is. Life is becoming something so different for me lately that I really don’t recognize myself anymore. And can I just say, “YAYYYYY GOD!”?

For a while I’ve wanted an EXTREME HOME Makeover with the “home” being me! You know, an Out of the Box life that does not look remotely like my old self? Something new and exciting. Something that isn’t complacent or satisfied with being on the sidelines.

So one night it happened. I was cleaning out some of my daughter’s clothes and I was kind of praying about it. “God, not Goodwill. I like them, but I want to really make a difference in someone’s life with these clothes. What do I do? Who could I help?” It was really a simple kind of prayer. Nothing real earth shattering. Just me and God kind of talking.  I love that.

I went to bed that night and was getting all settled for a good night’s sleep. I read my Bible and then got all cozy when it happened. It was the very night when God stood on my head. Yes. ON my head. Well, literally on the left side of my face. It was like, “You’ve asked me who you can help so now you are going to listen!”  And suddenly I heard it loud and clear… local missions, meeting the needs of clothing and food and the life giving gospel for others in my community, began to just flood my heart and mind.

Ok, hear me here. I don’t mean like a little still small voice. This was like drinking from a fire hydrant. When I say flood I mean a dam bursting, water gushing, overflowing with great destructive force, ruin your life, completely change who you are and what you look like in the mirror and in your heart FLOOD!

It has ruined me.

I am really not sure why I have never taken God at His Word before now. I guess in my little Christian life I have claimed the scripture that helped me and fit my little situations. You know? “I know the plans I have for you…” Jeremiah 29:11  and “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 because I NEEDED (and still need) those promises to help me make it through the day.

But what about “…look after orphans and widows in their time of distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27b?

Or “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith  but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister with without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” James 2:14-16?

Why haven’t I taken God at His Word?

Perhaps I wasn’t in a place where I could receive it. Or maybe I was so dang hard headed and hearted that I WOULD not receive it. Either way… it’s not an option anymore.

Sooo… there’s tons more to this story, but today my friends and I sang at a Walk-a-thon to benefit a local unwed mother’s home.

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Sorry my picture is a little small and blurry, but you get the idea.

I love EVERY single girl in this picture and every second of serving with them. They love Jesus and they love others and they want to see His Name honored and so do I.

I don’t have enough time to tell you how messed up I am. It’s all I think about and all I want to do. I want to meet needs and listen to stories and encourage and tell others that Christ died for them and that He has a plan for their lives… after I help them find clothing.

My husband and friends are sick of me. THEY didn’t sign up for this, but God is working in all of us and He’s up to something major! It didn’t just start with me…oh no! THEY love Jesus and THEY want to do what He calls them to, too. So we are all on this ride together! They are just sick of me talking about it, but that’s too bad! I’ll just tell God about them!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Things My Mama Did Right

Well, it has been a while since I have written a post. I know there’s lots to tell you but this hit me this morning as I was driving home from the gym.  Soon I will have to post some recent pictures of all that is going on around here, but for today I’ve been thinking about my mom.

There really isn’t a special reason other than recently we’ve sometimes disagreed on a few things. (Just keepin’ it real, people! And let me tell you… she keeps it real, too!) We are so much alike that we sometimes butt heads, but I seriously do not know where I’d be without her.

Growing up I guess I didn’t respect her like I always should have. Maybe you aren’t like me, but I went through a stage where I didn’t think she was very smart at all. She’d be glad to tell you about all of the ways that I let her know that, too. Just ask!

As I became an adult we’ve always talked but I am pretty independent so I ventured out on my own, started a teaching career and got married. Things were going along pretty smoothly until I had this  little girl. With mild special needs and being a first time mom, MAN did I need help!!?

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.. and suddenly she was BRILLIANT! I would have  (and would STILL) struggled much more without her on my team! That is FOR SURE!

She loves to dress up and be cute! She taught me to try to look my best at all times and to hold my head up high. She has always said, “Your family is proud of you. You be proud of yourself!”

She has always taught me to laugh… and she is hilarious!! I love that she cracks jokes, even in serious situations, and that she can crack you up with her dry sense of humor. She will say ANYTHING to anyone and it makes me and my brother just roll!

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She’s always taught me to laugh at myself…don’t take it all too seriously and “remember that everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time just like you do”. (One of her favorite quotes!)

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She works at the hospital in the women’s imaging area (breast cancer screening) and she is SO perfect to work with the doctors. They may be highly educated and highly paid, but they are people and she does not let those degrees or pedigrees intimidate her one bit! She treats everyone the same and she’s taught me to do the same.

She has also taught me to love unconditionally. While she has always worked outside the home to help take care of us she has ALWAYS been there through thick and thin. I have never wondered whether or not I could talk to her about anything! She is concerned and she cares about situations that our family faces, and she does not shy away when things are hard. Good or bad, she’s there.

She is there for her brother and sisters, too. When their mom died my mom has been diligent about calling to check on things back home. I love that she’d drop everything to help them if they needed her, just like she’d do for me and my family. Family is family no matter how far away and no matter how much time has passed.

Mom also taught me to love Jesus. She may not be a big evangelist or even read her Bible every day, but there is no doubt that she values her salvation and she’s quick to tell someone, “Well, you need to get your life right with the Lord! He can make it all so much better!” She prays for us and she tries to live a consistent life… one that isn’t wishy washy, but one that shows that she  trusts the Lord in all things. Not much seems to take her down.

I know things in this life will not always be perfect, but I truly do not know where I’d be without my mom.  She’s done a lot of things right and I don’t think that we always take the time to say it. We may not always agree on everything, but one thing we always agree on is that there’s enough love here to always overcome!

I love you Mom!