Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It Isn't Always Pretty

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Thanks...but don't come in.

It is almost Easter! This is one of my favorite holidays! There is no other service that can bring me to tears as often as Easter. I always find it a struggle to hold myself together through the songs, music has always spoken to my heart, to fully grasp the sacrifice and power that was lived out on our behalf.....but more on that another time!

I don't know how you celebrate at your house but in my house we never made a big deal of the Easter bunny. Really it all started with Meridith who was terrified of the Easter bunny as a 2-4 year old. In fact, we couldn't even go to the mall from March - April for fear of bumping into him (no really she was hysterical)! So the Easter bunny was never allowed in our house. We had to post a sign on the front door which read "Thank you for the treats but please dont come in". He would "leave" the goodies on our front porch and we would hide them that day. As the girls got older and our roles at church on Easter morning increased, the secular celebration of Easter took a smaller and smaller role.
This year as we were talking through the details of Easter morning, Rachel said,"Come on mom you can tell me the truth, I don't think there is an Easter bunny. What do you think? What's your guess mom?" after reflecting the question back to her a few times (also how we deal with Santa, who may have seen his last Christmas.....sniff) I finally asked her if she really wanted me to answer her. "Ha! I knew it!" she exclaimed, " that never made any sense to me!" She then followed up with, "I bet there is no tooth fairy either, that one always seemed crazy to me!" Then a moment later "We still get the stuff right?"

That kid cracks me up! As sad as it can be to see them letting go of the fairy tales it excites us to no end, to watch them begin to grasp the true significance of these holidays. What a gift is that child-like faith Christ called us to!

If you don't have a church home why not join us for Easter... Hope4Easter.com.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Tears

I am a big sap.

It really is true I can shed happy tears over anything! I often thouroughly embarrass my children because the mere mention of their grades in school can send me reaching for the tissues.

I was recently the guest reader in Rachel's first grade class. Choosing the story was no easy task, apparently I am FAR too dramatic when I read "Don't Let The Pigeon Stay up Late"! She was quite worried I would make her the laughing stock by actually yawning, rather than just reading the word "yawn". But once I began reading (and yes i actually yawned),she was so excited; smiled from ear to ear as the kids giggled and laughed along with the story. Watching her little face it was all I could do to keep from completely humiliating her by bursting into happy tears.

The same thing happened last weekend as I watched Meridith take long and sleek strokes down the length of the pool (nearly plowing over her swim coach). Remembering a few short years ago when the thought of the deep end would send her to fits of nail biting which would leave her bleeding, I sat on the bench desperately trying to hide the tears from my daughter's glance. I didn't worry about the other moms, I know they understand, something about being a mom,blessings bring us happy tears.

I think about how Mary must have felt as the shepherds, wiseman and prophets paid honor to her son. On some level she must have known all He would do for us. The bible tells us she treasured all things in her heart. I bet she cried happy tears!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Condo with a view of the sea

So I have recently acquired a condo with a view of the sea.  Sounds lovely right? It might be were the address not in Crazy Town over looking the Sea of Despair.  Maybe you've traveled there too?  One minute you are walking along, everything is fine and then boom a train comes by and before you even know what hit you, you are on it. You know how it goes, one thought leads to another and then you are an official resident of Crazy Town, your condo even has a welcome mat with your name on it!
I find that often the trip starts with a single thought,  it seems innocent enough, but before long that thought is a scenario, and that scenario becomes an expected reality and if you are crazy like me somebody ends up dead. (hmmm did I reveal too much there?)
So my most recent trip revolves around an actual trip.  My in laws have been gracious and generous enough to take my husband, children and I on a cruise with them this summer.  PLEASE do not mistake my insanity for ingratitude I recognize what a generous blessing this is for my family!!
 I have always had water issues, for as long as I can remember, but I've always pushed through them, until a year and a half ago when Meridith and I almost drowned.  Not a cutesy, splash around and be scared near drowning, but a call 911 half of the force responds, mommy lands in the hospital kind of drowning. (This is a blog for another time).  Anyway suffice it to say my water issues have taken on a life of their own.  So while the idea of a cruise caused that all too familiar creeping feeling of anxiety to rise up in my chest, I also knew this was an awesome opportunity and once there I was sure I would have fun!
So I moved on, every once and a while I'd see a train approaching (is the ship really safe, what if my kid falls overboard- told you it was crazy) but I'd recognize that this was not a train I wanted to ride.  I would counter these speeding thoughts with common sense- Ships are safer than driving a car, the kid will not fall off the ship. Besides if she did she'd float cause she will be living in a life vest and floaties the entire trip (oops I may have detoured to crazy town again).Back on point, I could talk myself through the oncoming trains and rest assured that all would be fine. That was until the Italian Cruise ship this weekend. . . . .  I made it to crazy town in record time, in fact they may have named me Mayor.
I have to say I am still walking back and it is a much longer and slower journey than it was to get there.  But I recognize that I can't do it alone.  I am going to have to lean on God.  I am going to have to trust that He will never leave me or forsake me.  He gave me Isaiah 43:2 the other day, " when you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers they will not overwhelm you."  Now I realize Isaiah was prophesying about Moses and parting the Red Sea but I am going to trust Him to part my Sea of Despair as well.  I am going to trust Him to be my true companion on this long walk back and as we set sail, for what I am sure will be a joyous and blessed vacation.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sitting in my puddle

There comes a point at which we having nothing left to try but God.  The day, week, month, maybe even the year, has not gone as planned.  Jobs lost, friendships damaged, children sick, finances looming, everywhere we turn it feels like there is another hurdle to overcome.We ask ourselves why is nothing easy?

 I hate these times, I hate feeling powerless and overwhelmed, not knowing our next move. But I have come to see there is a blessing in them.  It is these times when we rely most on the Lord.  It is often only in our desperation that we completely lie before him and ask him to fix it - whatever it takes.  I find that up until this point my prayers are usually more like suggestions to God about the best way to fix it or I am so frustrated with God (or even embarrassed) that I just don't pray at all. I often will cling to Isaiah 55:8, "'For my thought are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways' declares the Lord." I also remember that He promises when we are weakest He will be strong.   

Sometimes I think God allows me to "sit in my puddle" until I am really ready to listen to Him.  Ready to bend my will to His and take things one day (sometimes one minute) at a time. In fact, in my life He has rarely, if ever, let me see more than one step at a time.  What is the next decision, next conversation, next move? Not what could happen a mile down the road.

He always gets me where I need to be, but one small step at a time.

Monday, August 22, 2011


I have officially hit that point in the summer when I need school to start back up.  It isn't because of the kids bickering (although they are), it isn't because I am staying up way to late (although I am), and it isn't because we have exhausted all of our fun money (although we have).  It is simply because I need structure.  I recognize about this time each year the God created life with a certain rhythm;days and nights, seasons, weather systems sleeping cycles, body cycles, and even lunar cycles, all have a certain predictability and rhythm to them. The summer however, at least in my house, does not.  Each day is different and either packed full or dangerously empty (if you are a parent you understand why empty can be dangerous)!  I find my time with God can easily get pushed to the side; setting my alarm at 6 to get up when I don't have anywhere else I have to be, just doesn't happen. Getting back into the swing this past week (Meridith had drama camp and so we were at the church by 8:30 every day) has actually been freeing.
At the same time, the days are creeping ever closer to when I have to send BOTH of my girls off to public school. This is a first and really hard for me.  I love having them home.  I love the attitudes they have when they are with us all summer.  I love that we are still the primary influence on them both because of priority (we rank over friends right now) and the number of hours we have with them!  So I am realizing as I write this now that I best start setting my alarm for 5 am this year - I think I will need the extra time with God, I am sure I will have lots to talk about!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You and Me

Working in a church is one of the greatest blessings I can count in my life.  To be constantly surrounded by others with the same goal - growing in Christ and advancing His Kingdom! I recognize regularly how blessed I am to work with people I love and to be constantly surrounded by God's word.  In many ways it is easy to keep God in the forefront where He belongs.  It is certainly easier to guard one's words, thoughts and deeds!

But surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly if you know me well) even in this environment it is easy to get off track . . . to let emotions rule reason . . .  to focus on our own agendas rather than Gods. 

One of the areas I struggle with this is in my private time with the Lord.  I love to get up early (ok I don't love it, but if I don't do it I am not such a nice person)!  I need that hour (today was only 30 minutes, I was really tired) of alone time before my house explodes into action for the day.  That is my time with God, my time to center myself on His will.  But it is not uncommon for that time to get eaten away at by "good things".  I check my email - send off a few encouraging words, or pick up a book (currently Activate by Nelson Searcy), or search through devotionals for just the right thing to share with my staff that day.  None of these are bad things, quite the opposite they are good and necessary for any ministry to grow. But, they are not "best" for my early morning time with God.  He repeatedly reminds me that He wants it to be "You and Me".  Yes, prayer is imperative for our ministries to grow and thrive, but first we must be plugged in to the source of that growth.

Psalm 46:10 reminds me that I must "be still and know that I am God".  I need to guard my morning time, lay it before the Lord as an offering, seek His forgiveness, guidance, wisdom and peace.  Any relationship needs alone time to grow, to get to know each other, discover more about each other (and by default ourselves).  So today I will remember to Seek Him First, and find some You and Me time.