Friday, February 27, 2009

An Angel...

Today an angel came to my door. She was wearing a pastel pink t-shirt and denim jeans. She had beautiful blonde hair that was pulled up in a simple little barrette. She had a smile and a look of compassion as she handed me a decaf mocha with skim and no whip from Starbucks.

Today an angel called me on the phone. She had a tremendous British accent as she spoke of love and God's sovereignity. She read me a scripture verse and told me that I am loved. She hugged me through the telephone line.

Today many angels sent me a card. It said "Jesus Loves You" on the front and it was signed with many thoughts, prayers and smiles from the ladies in my life. I teared up to realize the amazing friends the Lord has placed in my path.

Today an angel brought dinner to my house. An amazing feast complete with pie and rolls. A dinner much more extravagant than my precious family would be getting right now and my heart sang as I thought of the preparation that this dear Sister put into making my day a bit easier.

Today I am overwhelmed...

Overwhelmed with the Lord's blessing in my life and overwhelmed with the Sisters God has given me.

My child threw up...

He doesn't have some life threatening illness.

He'll be fine anytime now.

The world will keep revolving...

But, my friends felt compassion.

My friends saw a bad day and decided to make it brighter.

My friends became my angels.

Thank you Lord for my angels.

Thank you Lord for my friends.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pity Party...

There's just no way around it....today I'm just venting...100% hissy fit....unhappy girl...venting.

My sweet 7 year old woke up at 12am puking his brains out...well, maybe not his brains, but certainly the nice lentel soup that he had at the special Ash Wednesday service at church.

Not only, lentel soup but lentel soup that caught him so off guard that he puked it all the way from his bedroom to mine (for those of you who do not realize the extent of this let's just say that his bedroom is upstairs and mine is downstairs). UGGH!!

Can anyone say carpet cleaner!

The stomach bug has hit full force.

The house is quarantined...the kids are under lock and key.

Elle had it a few weeks ago but not like this. Lord have mercy.

Of course, I was supposed to be at the parent's group that I co-lead today...nope, not gonna happen.

Of course, I was supposed to babysit for a friend tomorrow...nope, not gonna happen...

Of course, we had a youth meeting scheduled at our house for this weekend....

Of course, we had dinner plans with friends that we scheduled over a month ago...

And tragedy of all tragedies - I WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO IKEA TONIGHT WITH A FRIEND!

You see, Ikea opened in our town last week. I was planning on going when it opened but then we ended up out of town for the funeral. Sooo, plans got pushed back to this week....now this....

As a dear friend of mine says: "Kill me dead now!"

Now, I realize this isn't a tragedy in the scheme of major world issues (in fact, it's probably God sparing me from the pain of being at Ikea with no money to spend) but it still stinks!!!

Here I am....insane decorating fanatic and I haven't even been to ikea yet!!!

Oh yea, one other minor issue....we leave for Liberia in 7 days. Sure would stink to leave for Liberia while having the stomach bug. I would definitely pity the poor dude that gets stuck next to me on that flight!:)

So, if you think to; feel free to pray that we either dodge this stomach bug bullet or that Donn and I both get it NOW!!! Like, T-O-D-A-Y!! Like, I need to get off the computer and go puke kind of thing...I know it sounds like a dumb request but it would be better now than later:!)

Okay, venting over.... have a great day!:)

Me? I'm going to go rub my poor little guy's back while flipping through the Ikea catalog.

SIGH.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chaos...

Life is pure chaos here nowadays.

Praise God we have received every dime we need for our trip to Liberia. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support! God is SO GREAT!!

If you can believe it, we leave in 8 days!!

UGGH!!

I am overwhelmed with the amount of things that I still need to do before we leave.

The post-it notes are running rampant around my house (yup, I'm a post-it note gal).

Within the next few days I am hoping to have some time to sit and actually write down a brief summary of what we're "planning" on doing each day that we are in Liberia. Of course, the motto of any mission trip is always "Semper Gumby" (Loose translation: "Be Flexible"), but a schedule is always somewhat helpful.

In the meantime, if you think to, please pray for my brain to keep up with my body and vice-versa... sooooo many things to get done!:)

Liberia ~ HERE WE COME!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Home Again, Home Again....

We made it!:)

We're back home and doing well.

As weird as it sounds; despite the fact that we were going to NY for a funeral; we had an amazing weekend!

I don't think I could describe to you what a special funeral this was.

Donn's grandmother was a true God-honoring woman and her funeral was nothing short of a celebration of her life of service to the Lord.

It was one of the most inspirational days of my life. Sitting back and hearing all of the stories of her lifetime and her devotion to God just rejuvinated my spirit.

Combine all of that with the fact that I spent a good 10 hours reading various devotional books while on my way to NY and it was the makings for an amazing time.

Sure, the trip was waaaayyyy too long (coupled with a few run-ins with snowy roads); but how can a person complain when they get to spend the weekend honoring the God who gives us life and then gives us eternal life....

there's just nothing better than that!

Happy Monday! Well, for 20 more minutes...then Happy Tuesday!:)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Black Hole...

Thanks so much for bearing with me this week. It's been a crazy week as we've tried to get loose ends tied up before leaving for NY in the morning (uggh...EARLY morning)!

Thank you so much for your sweet prayers and words for my husband and his family. It has meant so much to him.

Those of you who have read my blog for a while know that when I head to NY it's a bit like going back in time or into some black hole. Donn's parents don't have internet at their house so I will be MIA until next week.

As much as I dramatize the entire thing, I actually find it VERY freeing for a few days!:) On more than one occassion we have even turned our cell phones off when there (GASP!!).

I pray that you all have a great weekend and I'll see you on the flipside:)!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Heavenly Valentines

Valentines Day for us this year began with red, heart-shaped eggs and coffee made only the way my studly hubby can make it.
The day before Valentines, I had been in bed all day with a head cold, so it was a nice treat to wake up on Saturday morning to the scampering of little feet and Daddy walking in the bedroom with a yummy breakfast on a silver platter.

We spent a relaxing morning teaching the boys to play jacks on the kitchen floor and lounging around the house (ahh...sweet bliss!)
Unfortunately, later in the afternoon we got a phone call that Donn's Grandma in NY had just passed away. The last few days had been touch and go so we knew it was a possibility but it still shocked us (as it does when anyone you love passes away).

At first I initially thought about how sad it was to lose someone so amazing and dear to our family on Valentine's Day.

But then it hit me...

What a selfish thought that is...

You see, Donn's Grandma loved the Lord with her entire being and what better gift than to get to see the love of your life on Valentines!

On top of that, Grandpa died almost 8 years ago and Grandma talked often about how much she missed him.

What a blessed gift to join them both on the streets of gold for Valentine's Day!

Obviously, the day didn't go exactly as we had planned, though we did decide to go out on our hot date that had already been planned for that evening. We celebrated with a nice quiet dinner in a little Chinese restaurant (where we strategically went so that we wouldn't have to wait in line for hours) and then we ended the night going to a show of a Christian comedian and illusionist.

Praise God for a Heavenly Valentines - Praise God for an amazing Godly Grandma - Praise God for family.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday...

Not much to say today...well, unless you've come up with a cure for the common cold...then I'd like to talk to you.

In the meantime, here I sit with my toilet paper in hand (yeah, you heard me right)...We already used up two boxes of tissues today and I'm too tired to go to the store. Soooo, toilet paper it is.

So much for a nice Valentines:(

Tomorrow is supposed to be our first date since...well, I don't know since when.

I'm praying for a quick healing so we can still enjoy it!

Oh well; such is life....hope you all have a great snot-free weekend!

Us...we'll just sit here with our valentines and our toilet paper:)!

Happy Friday and Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today I Feel...

When I was a little girl I had a book that was titled, "Today I feel like a Warm Fuzzy."

I can still picture the cover of that book (it was ugly mustard yellow but had a cute little girl holding a teddy bear that I coveted).

Truth be told...I have no idea what the inside pages of the book looked like...I never made it that far (story of my life).

Well, in honor of this book (which obviously meant so much to me) I've decided to borrow the sentiment.

Today I feel like:

a mom who is completely unworthy of all of the blessings in her life.
a wife who is more proud of her husband than he'll ever realize.
a girl who just cuddled up on the couch under the biggest blanket known to man (with a book!)
a loser who is constantly seeking God's grace (and everyone else's for that matter).
a beloved who was rescued when my husband restored the internet access!
a maniac who almost lost it after wiping snotty noses for 3 days!
a daydreamer who stared out the window as the trees swayed in the breeze.
a puddle of mush who melted when her baby girl walked over and kissed her on the lips.
a proud parent who beamed when her oldest son cleaned his room and made his bed!
an undeserved princess when I sat down and had coffee with my Heavenly Daddy.

I guess you could say, "today I feel like a warm fuzzy."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

God and me...

Do you ever just struggle with this whole God thing?

Do you ever wonder where He is?

Praise God, I have been in a real relationship with the Lord for over 10 years now.

Sometimes I think people hear statements like that and they assume it means I have everything all figured out and my days are spent singing hymns as I vacuum the floor. HA!

To tell you the truth; I've been fighting very hard lately to really feel God. For a few months now I've been praying the same old prayer, "Lord, I know you're there...please let me feel you."

Sure, I've seen little glimpses here and there, but for the most part I've felt like I'm in a funk (to borrow a nice phrase from my Dad).

So, here I am; me and my funk...and quite frankly I'm just sick of it.

I miss the mountain top...I miss the exhileration of having just felt alive in the presence of the Lord. I miss the intimate conversations when I've actually felt like God is sitting across the table from me.

Well, a few weeks ago my husband was talking to the students about this kind of feeling. He put a picture up on the screen of Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel. The picture depicts Adam and God.

If you look at the picture, you can see God flexing each and every muscle in his body in attempts to reach Adam. He is clearly straining as he leans toward his precious son with all His might.


And then we see Adam...

There Adam lounges...his arm carelessly lifted up with absolutely no effort put in.

And then you notice one very important thing...

All Adam would have to do to reach God is flex his finger!

That's it!! One simple motion and Adam would be touching the very hand of God! The hand that gave him life....the hand that gives him hope!

Of course, it got me thinking..

I say how much I want to be close to God.

I say how I long to feel His presence.

But really; am I sitting there like Adam is?

Am I expecting God to meet me without putting any effort in of my own?

Am I ridiculously close to touching my heavenly Father but too lazy to simply stretch out my finger?

Hmm....

It's been on my mind a lot lately....

Monday, February 9, 2009

We Finally Got It!

video

Here's our little girl getting big TOO FAST!!! We're so proud of her!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Only 4 Weeks Away!!!

In just a few short weeks we will be leaving the kids behind with Donn’s family and heading off to Liberia, Africa to serve over 400 children in an orphanage.

I would be lying if I said that I was absolutely excited.

I am quite excited, but I must also admit that I am nervous.

Nervous about leaving the kids. Nervous about both Donn and I being so far away, and nervous about whether or not my in-laws will be committed to a looney bin by the time we return (sorry Mom….just being honest)!:)

I guess I am writing all of this today to ask for your continued prayers. God has been incredibly faithful and has provided almost all of the finances that we need for the trip. The visas are on their way, the malaria medicines have been ordered. Everything is absolutely on track, but I know that Satan is also very involved.

I know that the closer we get, the more active Satan will become and I know that as a Mom I will be prone to many rising fears. I have left my kids behind many times before for youth events etc, but it has never been longer than a few days. More importantly, it has never been more than a few hours away. This will be a stretch.

Most of all, please pray that God will transform many lives through this trip. I am certain that He will transform our hearts through what we will encounter and I pray that He also transforms lives of the Liberians that we come in contact with.

I am so grateful for the support that many of you have shown us as we’ve geared up for this adventure and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your prayers. God is SO GOOD and I can’t wait to see what He has in store!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Quilt of Holes...

I wish I could say I'd written this, but we all know that my brain is just not this deep right now...it's well worth the read though. And, to whoever did write it I am very grateful for the reminder.

A Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us was laid out our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that was our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life.

I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all. I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune.

I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together - threadbare and empty - like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up for the scrutiny of truth.

The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.

My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame.

I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes, but I had had love in my life, and laughter.

And there had been trials of illness and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again.

I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now I had to face the truth: My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then I looked upon the tapestry before me.

Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ.

Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, 'Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.'

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Heaven...

Today I saw Heaven...

Today I saw Heaven in the eyes of my hurting friend.

Today I saw Heaven in the arms of my sisters that reached out to her.

Today I saw Heaven in the renewal of my own spirit as I walked away knowing that God had touched my heart as much as He had touched hers.

Today I saw Heaven...

Today I saw the Body of Believers step up to the plate.

Today I saw tears wiped away and hearts mended.

Today I saw Heaven...

Lord, thank you for this glimpse of Heaven on Earth and thank you that you are SO real!

And to my sisters out there who shared this glimpse of Heaven with me; I am honored to be your friend - may we have many more days of glimpsing Heaven together.