Friday, January 13, 2012

A story is told...

My girl texted me the other day "I am going to be the best violet I can be" and it was so encouraging after the argument we had had. I thought you might like to hear the story as to why that is a "motto" in our house. It puts things in perspective sometimes when we are feeling discontentment.
"A story is told of a king who went to his garden one morning, only to find everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree that stood near the gate what the trouble was. The oak said it was tired of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine tree. The pine was troubled because it could not bear grapes like the grapevine. The grapevine was determined to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and produce fruit as large as peaches. The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac.
And so it went throughout the garden. Yet coming to a violet, the king found it's face as bright and happy as ever and said, " Well, violet, I'm glad to find one brave little flower in the midst of this discouragement. You don't seem to be the least disheartened." The violet responded, "No, I'm not. I know I'm small, yet I thought if you wanted an oak or a pine or a peach tree, or even a lilac, you would have planted one. Since I knew you wanted a violet, I am determined to be the best little violet I can be." Author Unknown
Life just keeps rolling, but God does what He does on purpose. God bless you, today and may you be the "best little violet you can be".

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oh, How He Loves Us...

"The whole point of the cross..."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Back from the dead...with a bit more "Belief".

I love how I can wake up with a plan, a course of action, an agenda for the day- and within hours, everything can change with a single phone call. Even yesterday, I got a text from one of my girls wanting to spend the evening together, and it was such a perfect opportunity to love on her and catch up after Winter Break. It doesn't seem like much, but for the last couple of months I literally have been dreading the phone so this week's awesome phone calls made me jump for joy!
For weeks, every time my cell buzzes, I flinch- just bracing for impact. I keep expecting another call from an angry family member, a frustrated parent, a depressed teen, or even just a reminder that I forgot something I was suppose to do. I know, what a Debbie Downer I am. I keep turning the worries over to the Lord, but then the sad text or call comes in and the anxiety starts all over again.

Well, Thursday changed my mind! I got a message from a friend to call back ASAP, and it was SO GOOD! Let me start at the beginning-
Sunday morning, New Years Day, we got to church early because my boy was playing drums and I always like to sit close if I can and make faces at him. As we were waiting for church to start, an elderly gentleman behind us literally stopped breathing, and didn't have a pulse. No joke. Long story short, one of our pastors helped me carry him out and we had to preform CPR and attempt to resuscitate him while we waited for the ambulance. It was so sad for me to have to work on this guy with his friends watching, because I know how traumatic chest compressions look to a bystander, and the whole setting was just wrong. If people cry and freak out in the ER when you do CPR, imagine watching the same thing in your Sunday School classroom.

We finally got a very weak pulse, but not a perfusing rate, and very ineffective breathing, so in all honesty, I didn't have much hope. The paramedics arrived, and although they took him to the hospital, I waited all week to hear that he had passed. Then Friday morning. Woohoo! My friend had called to let me know that this sweet man had come out of his coma and was alert, oriented and totally recovering! Seriously, I could not have been more surprised or excited.
I had spent the last couple of weeks worrying about everything- and I felt like the whole crazy Sunday morning miracle was like God saying "Hello! Why do you doubt my strength and my goodness to you? You don't know what to do to help your husband grieve over his loss? I got it. You don't have the money for the Uganda Mission Trip? Trust me. You think your kids are going to grow up and end up homeless or on welfare because of stupid choices? Let me deal with them. You want to be a better person and have more faith? Let me show you how it's done, beloved."

Oh, What a God we have! I just still am reeling at how awesome our God is and how much He wants to teach us and show us a new way of living. I was hanging out in Exodus and reading about Moses and I just kept remembering how often I think, "Lord, I have been trying for like TWO WEEKS...why am I not perfect yet?" And yet here I see Moses, who was 80 before he was ready to go back to Egypt to help free his people, and then still spent another 40 years wandering around the desert trying to figure life out before God finally said, "That'll do" and took him home at the age of 120. So why on earth should I feel I have to have it all together now?
Such a great week of God Stops, and reminders that God is on His throne...and thank God I am not! His ways are wonderful, His timing is perfect and the laughter and joy He brings to our days is priceless. Oh, thank you Lord for helping me "BELIEVE" better and bigger of You, and bringing us back from the dead- sometimes both spiritually AND physically! I can't wait to be perfected by you, Father. But in the meantime, keep changing me and teaching me...make me look more like you. <3
"Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

(Pictures are just for fun- back in 2006. Reminds me how much things are always changing, and how much we continue to grow. )

Monday, January 2, 2012

A year in review...sort of.

2011. Gone already? As I listen to people's New Year's Resolutions, and think about all the good, the bad, and the crazy of 2011- I can't help but think how fast it all went. Here's a snapshot of 12 months of controlled chaos. Even when I thought life was insane, God was never taken by surprise! Thank you, Lord for every minute of every day!

What I learned in 2011:

January-Cherish every minute. It's only 60 seconds before it's gone and you will never get the time, the words, the moment back.
"Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." James 4:14

February- You can never have enough "spirit"- love people bigger than you ever have before.
"...because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. " Romans 5:5

March-Life is a gift. No matter what, how or when it comes, it is a GIFT.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

April-Find friends to walk with through life. It makes the good times great and the "ugly" times...not so ugly.

"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:23

May-Right when you think your plan is in place, KNOW that God is going to change everything. :)

"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

June- Be loyal to those who love you no matter what, and tell you the truth even if you don't like it.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

July- Surround yourself with people who know how to laugh at the future and have fun in the present.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life...neither the present nor the future...will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. " Romans 8:38-39

August-Stay out in God's Creation as much as possible. Way cheaper and more effective than any therapist will ever be.

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made..." Romans 1:20a

September- Be intentional about meditating on the GOODNESS of God, trusting Him with everything...EVERYTHING.

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11

Always make room in your life for people you can have fun with and love. It just makes life so much sweeter.

November-Find what is valuable- and fight for it with everything you have. Never quit, keep on keepin' on and hold it close.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

December- Tell the people around you that you love them, and Jesus loves them so much more. Every day count your blessings and leave the rest to God. He's got your back.

"Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come." Isaiah 46:10-11

What a comfort it is to know that no matter where I am, what is happening or what I plan for- God is completely and totally in control, and He is my Papa. He is taking care of me, teaching me and changing me to be more like Him. Miracle of miracles. Happy 2012, friends.