Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sick Day

I didn't go to church today because I had a stomach bug.  The last time I laid on the couch all day was . . . well, I don't remember.  I hate missing that time of washing on Sunday mornings.  The past four weeks have been so powerful.

I started thinking of how blessed we are that we get to go hear teaching from the Word and hug people we love.  It is a blessing we take for granted far too often.

Just today on the news I heard of an American pastor sentenced to 8 years in prison in Iran.

This morning there were men and women who chose to not be a part of a body of believers because they "don't like him" or "she was rude to me", or "they are all just hypocrites".

Today I know that the rude, unlikeable hypocrites might have been the ones who received a blessing and the "victims" were robbed.

I also know that this sometimes rude, unlikeable hypocrite does not want to miss again.


Please pray for the pastor and his family, and others who are imprisoned and tortured because of their love for Jesus.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Whole Lot of Blessed

For several days after Christmas, we had all of our kids home.  We went to the park to take a few pictures.  Michael and I actually got in the pictures this year.  

I don't know what I love the best:  cooking for all of them for several days, reminiscing over when they were all still living at home, the laughter, their clothes in the washer, hearing "momma" from more than three, hearing "Lollie" from two, having the kitchen tables pulled apart for games, or stepping over sleeping bodies in the floor every morning to start breakfast.

 Can't even find the words . . .

 Kyle, Jade, Eli and Journey

Kayla and Kevin

Hannah and Hugh

Leah and Rachel (!)


 Our boys.

 I can't hardly stand it.  There is a whole lot of
"blessed" going on.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Monty and Cathy's Family

It was freezing outside, but Cathy had all her kids together so
we had to get a few shots. 
Kimberly and Penelope both felt bad, but weathered the cold to get something
for Cathy's wall.   

Perfect place for this family picture!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Think I Am Back

Last year around this time I talked about my word for the year.  The word I felt like I was supposed to own was SACRIFICE.  I wanted to be stretched.  Whew.  This time of year is normally a time of reflection over the year past and anticipation of the year future, and I have been doing just that.  Honestly, I do not believe I owned the word SACRIFICE very well.  That makes me a bit sad.

I did give more to needs that I was aware of than I had ever done before, but I feel like it was just what I was supposed to do;  it wasn't above and beyond what I should have done.  Poo.

I wish there could be do-overs with my word SACRIFICE.

The year 2012 wasn't what I would describe as a fun year for me.  At times I didn't like it very much.  BUT.  There were a lot of really sweet things that took place: several came to know Jesus, and I saw growth in some girls I have prayed for.  A dream was fulfilled and we now have a place for widows to be able to live out their days with dignity.  What a blessing that is.

Overall, though, it was tough.

There was hurt that couldn't be shared because it was so personal.  I was afraid to write about disappointment and disillusionment because I didn't know what would come out.  I couldn't trust myself to write.

I wept over messed up marriages and barren wombs.  I beat myself up over my parenting skills, teaching skills, and leadership skills.  I would wake up early to pray for those whose hearts had turned from the Lord, and be in prayer for days on end as I went through daily routine. I stayed away from baby aisles in Walmart and Target because I didn't like that it wasn't time to buy.  There was no baby.

My heart seemed to be in constant communication with Him - because it had to be.

 I looked for Him everywhere so I could make it through days.  To make it through days without having to explain to anyone what was so heavy inside.   Conversation was constant between us.  I saw little glimpses of God because I needed to see Him.

Starting out this year, all of the hard things have not gone away.  I am not asking for stretching this year because I think it is still going on and I want to get through with this one first before I add another.

My word this year is not just one word.  It is three.  I had to use it before the year actually started so that I could serve with joy when asked.  My three words this year are GIVE MYSELF AWAY.

To me that means more than to just do things for people.  It is to give my pride, my selfish desires, my wants and needs - whatever is asked - unless the word stretching is involved (wink).  It means to be on my knees, willing to be used, ready to praise.

I was in Walmart about a month ago and my shopping cart turned on to the baby aisle.  I went there because, finally, after several years of no, we had yes.  We have babies coming!  I was looking at the car seats and I couldn't stand any longer.

I went to my knees right there on the baby car seat aisle in that huge store.  

I don't know who saw me or what they thought.  It doesn't matter.  There was no other place to be but on my knees.  It wasn't something I thought about doing.  It was an overwhelming sense of gratefulness that wouldn't let me stand.  Tears of thankfulness fell to the floor right there in my giving place.

So I am sort of glad it wasn't an easy 2012.  I became so much more dependent on Him that I believe I am better prepared to take on the next 350 days.

I am ready to see what it looks like to GIVE MYSELF AWAY.