Friday, February 12, 2016

Faith-filled Friday installment 2!

As part of our lovely Inspire Group's FAITHFUL FRIDAYS today I wanted to continue sharing the story i started last week.

As I mentioned... moving made all kinds of sense on paper... great job moving up the corporate ladder and Dad getting to work from home... best schools in the state, close to home but not too close... gorgeous home with a 4-car garage that backed up to wooded, never-to-be-built-on acreage behind us.

Yet we were slightly miserable all the time. 
And the only reason I can pinpoint is that it was where we were suppose to be. 

We went from church to church that year trying to settle.
One October day, a woman  - complete stranger - came up to us in the church of complete strangers we happened to be visiting that week... It was after service and here's where I digress and become less of the Christian woman I've been called to be.  I was totally miserable that day.  A new young youth pastor and his wife were being welcomed into the church and they were also leading worship.  They were clumsy and not very good.  I was terribly harsh & judgmental on them, but justifiably (not really) it was because I had come from a church with fantastic worship leaders that could seriously tour around the country.  During worship I kept thinking "If I just close my eyes, maybe I can imagine being back at our old church".  A few off-key notes later I was right back to reality.  It was just a particularly sad day for me that day, which is why this woman surprised me and caught me completely off guard.
She said "I feel like the Lord wants me to tell you something."  She then went on to clarify my feelings that I hadn't been able to verbalize until that moment:  "I feel like the Lord wants me to tell you, You feel like something has been taken away from you... but He will restore it all back to you, and more abundantly."  It was at that moment I burst into tears in front of total strangers like a blubbering full grown insane woman.
And in my ridiculous mind I thought... Lord that is so sweet of you to say, that you will get us back to building new spiritual relationships with new people but really, I want my old ones back.
I want our pastor back,  I want awesome worship back, I want our friends back, our ministry back, I want, I want, I want... but thank you Lord for the sentiment... it was very sweet of you, that's why I love you, because you care about what i'm feeling right now.

God is so graceful to little old fumbling imperfect me:)

What I realize - now that I can look back, is that when we came to know Jesus and became a family "young" in faith, God had a plan to grow us beyond what we even knew we could grow to be (and we are imperfectly growing still of course).    We were out in the middle of Nowhere, Ohio, for the first time out on our own spiritually, and had to learn to walk in faith, and depend on God completely as husband and wife, and family. We grew tremendously in those months we were in our desert.  We faithfully woke up to coffee and prayer and meeting the Lord together as a couple every day, asking him to lead us.  We didn't know why we were there, but chose to trust.

And it was a daily walk.  One perfectly ordinary day I was feeling so lost I spoke out "Please Lord tell me what I am suppose to do right now?!"
And do you know what I heard?
Be prepared, because its existential.....

Do the Laundry.
(what every husband dreams about right? Lord please tell my wife today to just make dinner and do the laundry, bathe the kids, and put them to bed, thank you in advance, Amen.)

So I humored the all mighty God of the Universe (who made Jupiter - hello! I always tell the kids), and I did laundry.
and I decided to listen to praise and worship on the radio while I was folding.
It was then that I heard words that came straight from heaven and into my  heart.  A divine appointment with a song that I had never heard before and never have heard on the radio again since.
It brings me to those blubbering tears every single time I hear it.

Here are the words, it's called Take My Hand by the Kry:

I know there are times
Your dreams turn to dust
You wonder as you cry...
why it has to hurt so much.
Give me all your sadness... One day you will know the reason why.
       {and there I go.... I'm blubbering as I type.}
 with a childlike heart... simply put your Hope in me.
Take my hand and walk where I lead
keep your eyes on me alone
don't you say why were the old days better
just because your'e scared of the unknown.
take my hand and walk

Don't live in the past cause yesterday is gone
wishing memories would last
you're afraid to carry one
You don't know what's coming
but you know the one whole holds tomorrow
i will be you're guide take you through the night if you keep you're eyes on me.
Take my hand and walk where I lead
keep your eyes on me alone
don't you say why were the old days better
just because your'e scared of the unknown.
take my hand and walk where i lead
you will never be alone faith is to be sure of what you hope for and the evidence of things not seen
so take my hand and walk.

Do you need these words today? I sure did in that moment, and every time I happen upon it in my iTunes i see it as a divine appt yet again to remember that the Lord SEES ME.  He is the God  of the Universe... (who made Jupiter )

and who sees me.

and who sees you too
He loves you, has plans for you right where you are.
My encouragement for today is that you would ask for a divine appt with your Creator.
To talk with him and receive what he has for only you... to remember that HE SEES YOU right where you are... in the middle of messes, in the desert, in the middle of crazy mommy bliss where you can't remember if there's a world around outside that has humans that don't walk around in hazy sleep deprived and look good.... in loneliness when mommy bliss is replaced with emptiness of empty nest... He Sees You.

 Psalm 139  says it all.

Meet you next Friday for a coffee and rest of the story!
 and may He renew your strength.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Making Valentines

It's always surprising how much I still love Valentines Day.  It actually means very little in the whole scheme of LOVE for me because our aniversary is this month too.  After all the years of class parties...preschool to grade school to Latin class, you might think I would be glad to opt out, like some "mom of grown up kids" rite of passage and V Day would pass gently into that good night.

But alas, having kiddos in college makes the heart grow fonder, and unsuspecting older kiddos still at home makes it a really perfect time for the Love Bug to strike.  So behind the scenes... when no one is looking,
I bake cookies, and decorate...dip strawberries, make cheesy valentines and crochet hearts.  I think I probably always will because sooner than I suspect, grandkids will come into the picture and whoa - lets just stop right there shall we?
I guess I just love Valentines Day after all.

So here is my first video, please muster some grace with watching I'm sure it will be less than professional, but I hope you enjoy it anyway:)

Here's to spoiling unsuspecting people you love!
Happy Hearts Weekend to you!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Faith-filled Friday!

Our lovely Inspire Group is celebrating FAITHFUL FRIDAY today and I thought I would share here as a way to kick start the updated blog.

{For more Heart Inspiration check out Inspire's website too}

 As you may or may not know, we moved out here about 15 years ago, with certain plans to move back home some time before our oldest was in middle school - that being the perfect time for friendships to be built anew, and everything else my child development background was telling me about adolescence and positive social growth.
Perfectly timed, my husbands job moved us back, close to home when our oldest was graduating 5th grade.
But moving back was a lot harder than it would seem. We moved back closer to family, but family was still two hours away ...and the distance didn't seem to get us visiting them or visiting us as much as we wanted to, especially with busy kid schedules.  The house of our dreams that we were settling down for the rest of our lives in didn't quite fit us.... we couldn't settle on a church family for a long time... We were terribly discombobulated and could not feel settled.

Hindsite is beautiful.

You see we weren't suppose to get comfortable.
God had a plan, (He always does - for which I am SO thankful)

and part of it was keeping us unsettled.

When we first moved out to the show-me state, we were a young family leaving our bigger family unit.  We had to learn to walk on our own, depend on each other completely as husband and wife trusting and fully owning our decisions.  We grew tremendously as a family those years - they were golden - babies, preschoolers and school-agers, crafts and class parties, birthday parties and little league, and a fantastic sledding hill that we used to upturn the 'little tykes' picnic table for and turn into a "stagecoach" that sent four or more people at once barreling down at top speeds to sudden death by snow, heaped in a mass at the bottom of the hill.  Boy do I miss those days!

We also found our faith.  Our faith family - a beautiful church of beautiful people who loved God and others, whose faith was lived out daily in acts of love, service and connection.  They built us up and fed us spiritually.
And that is where it all came to a grinding halt.

All of a sudden we were facing a job change.   Everything was so good, and we had to leave it all.  It was the plan all along, but now I didn't think I wanted to go.
I prayed about it and for one of the first times in my life I felt the Lord say something to me..."Go"....
So who am I to argue?

It all made sense on paper... moving up the corporate ladder and Dad getting to work from home... best schools in the state, close to home but not too close... gorgeous home with a 4-car garage that backed up to wooded, never-to-be-built-on acreage behind us.
i mean really WHAT MORE COULD WE WANT?

We were slightly miserable all the time.
And the only reason I can pinpoint is that it was where we were suppose to be.

Unfortunately, the rest of the story will have to wait.... it's time to taxi!
But please join me next Friday as I share the rest of my story.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Hey Beautiful!!!
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