Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How could I ask for more?

There is a song by Cindy Morgan that is an oldy but goody. The lyrics are absolutely beautiful and totally put things into perspective for this chick. You can listen to a video on YouTube by clicking here. I wanted to take a moment to list the things that I am most grateful for, things that I am so undeserving of but things that should not go another moment without being said...

Heavenly Father, forgive my "list format" but Lord thank you for all the blessings in my life, for those I have listed and the things I have forgotten...thank you, how could I ask for more?

  • My Salvation...the thought of spending eternity with you is the greatest joy of my life.
  • My husband...that Other Guy truly is my better half. He completes me in ways that only you could have knit together so wonderfully.
  • My girls...Curly and Moe give me a happiness that words couldn't describe. They are such a beautiful combination of Brian and I.
  • My "nationality"...I am blessed to live in a country where I can freely worship you and express my thoughts and opinions.
  • My family...I am grateful for the relationships that are there simply because you ordained them to be. Even during the crazy hold us all in your hands.
  • My church...Grace is everything I never knew I always wanted. Even when the "underbelly" rears it's ugly head, you are there and I thank you for an amazing place of worship, a place where I experience YOU through every pastor and staff member.
  • My "female" friends...How do I begin to thank you for the women of God that you have placed in my path. They all offer such wonderful colors to my life. They bring truth to the statement that friends are the family you get to choose.
  • My "male" friends...three in particular, thank you for those brotherly relationships. I love them dearly and love that I can be myself with them and we can all laugh about it. I thank you for the fact that they love me enough to sense when something is not right and either call me on the carpet for it or call their wives to do it ;0)

One of the best parts of the song is towards the end...So many things I thought would bring me happiness. Some dreams that aren't realities today. Such an irony the things that mean the most to me, are the memories that I've made along the way.

I can honestly say that had you asked me fifteen years ago what my life would be like, what would bring me happiness, what would be important...I would of had different answers. Thank you Lord for all of your infinite wisdom. Your reality for me today is more than I could have ever asked for...I praise you for your blessings and love you simply for you, not what you have given to me.

Peace Out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Much needed break...

Other Guy and I are in the Sunshine State this week. We are in Boca Raton Florida for a National Convention. It is BEAUTIFUL! I went to the beach and the pool today and actually have tan lines. I forgot what those were. (Eat your heart out Casi!!! hee/hee)

I wasn't supposed to come to this conference but Other Guy suggested it and I agreed. It is almost like I have taken a huge breath and let it out slowly. I feel more relaxed and it's only been one DAY!!!

I have to give mad props to the in-laws. They totally make things like this possible and I don't know what I would do without them. Our girls love them so much and were dancing around the house with excitement about Grammaandpapa (pronounced all one word) coming to stay. Now that is a cool baby sitter when your kids don't even care that you are leaving!!

Anyway, thank you so much Tom and Sandy! I could not have hand picked better in-laws or better grandparents. You ROCK!!

Peace Out!

Monday, October 13, 2008

"I said to myself..."

Growing up I was generally that awkward kid. I know it's hard to believe but it's true. I was tall and crazy skinny...not the "Oh wow you are so beautiful skinny" more like the "Is something wrong with you skinny!" I had HUGE glasses, trust me when I say huge that this is no exaggeration, and just to keep things kosher in the south, I had the Huge hair to match. My bangs (when I finally got them) had a wall of hairspray in them that could withstand a category 5 hurricane. Those babies weren't movin! Needless to say, I quickly found solace in humor.

I had this friend named Angel who totally got me in those days. We shared a love for big hair, beaches and boys! We would say some of the most ridiculous things just to get a laugh from our peers, our parents...anybody who was willing to listen. We shared a few classes in High School including Honors English...Mr. Bilderback. The way he would roll his eyes at our jokes just confirmed in us that we had something special.

Whenever we were telling a story to somebody and the need arose to use the phrase, "I told myself..." we would always follow it up with "Self!" For example, "I told myself, Self do not be afraid!" Let me guess, you are rolling your eyes right now like our beloved Mr. Bilderback?! Wow, I've still got it!

Anyway, another great past time of mine now that I have gotten older is beating myself up or judging myself. "It's a fear that keeps me wide awake, in the middle of the night. When the expectations are too great and the bar gets raised to high. So I do the best with what I've got and hope that no one knows. That I strain to see how high I can try to stand on these toes until I've measured but you know thank you Jesus even when you see us just as we are."

Shockingly these are song lyrics. It's like this artist peaked into the deepest, darkest parts of a mother's thoughts and some how put them into words. In my bible study this morning it talked about scattered emotions. Days when you are all over the place. However, I discovered something beautiful, something truly amazing in God's word today from the book of Isaiah.

I was reading about how we are the sheep and God is our shepherd. I learned about the reasons we are so like sheep and the different ways that he shepherds us. Isaiah 40:11 says the following, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." Did you catch that last part? He gently leads those with young children. Oh my gosh!!! The creator of the universe gets it!! It's like he made us himself.

So today I said to myself, "Self, stop beating yourself up! You'll figure out this parenting thing! Just look to the greatest parent EVER...the heavenly father and he will gently lead you."

Peace Out!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Is my hair out?"

I just love the Disney Movie is classic humor to which I laugh out loud. One of the main characters, Hades, is voiced by the actor James Woods. There is a part in the end where there is so much chaos going on that Hades doesn't even realize that he has NO hair (in the movie his hair is a constant blue flame.) Suddenly, he stops and says, "Hey, whoa, is my hair out?!" I just die laughing at that part...not sure why it is so funny to me but it is.

I will say that I can finally relate to that statement. No, I haven't done anything drastic to my hair but my life is so chaotic right now that I'm not sure I would even notice if somebody were to sneek into my bedroom tonight and shave me bald.

We truly enjoyed being abroad and it was so nice to just be a family but then we came home. Now stop for a minute and let me clarify...I am THRILLED to be home, wouldn't trade it for the world. However, I am having difficulty adjusting to life here in the good ole USA. Life seems to have snuck up on me and I haven't figured out how to put it all in balance. Is there a lesson in all of this, is God trying to teach me something or force me to grow in some area? I'm not sure but I want to feel like myself again. My friends keep mentioning that I don't seem right and maybe they are right. But how do I find that balance again? I'll keep praying, you keep praying and I'm sure between the two of us (or three or four or eight) He will answer me and life will return to normal.

I will say that I truly believe I have caught a glimpse of what heaven will be like. Have you ever noticed that heaven is always refer to as "going home?" There are so many Christian songs whose lyrics say it so beautifully:

  • Nichole Nordeman - "When life had begun, I was woven and spun. You let the angels dance around the throne. And who can say when, but they'll dance again. When I am free and finally headed home."
  • Mercy Me - "I close my eyes and I see your face, if home's where my heart is then I'm out of place, Lord won't you give me strength to make it through some how, I've never been more homesick than now."
  • Mark Schultz - "So when it comes the time That heaven calls They'll come running to see the ones who've gone before, And made the journey home to find waiting for them at the finish line, Cheerin happily they will run and they will see "

And one of my personal favorites...

  • Philips, Craig & Dean - "I know there is a place Where arms of compassion welcome me home Sweet mercy falls like rain I know there’s a place called grace"

The people of Grace allowed me to see that glimpse of what heaven will be like when I go "home" someday. There were people with hands held high praising God without pretense or whatever you want to call it. They all welcomed me "home" after a long journey and have helped me regain my footing.

Even tonight, after leaving Ignite, I just PRAISE GOD for my family at Grace. Just as David Phelps sings, "Now they say the only time God sings is when a lost soul believes. And they say that there’s a celebration there beside the Crystal Sea. And God, Himself, directs the choir and the welcome band. And then He sings out once again. Open up the Pearly Gates of Heaven. Build another mansion next to mine. Everybody dance and shout for joy around the throne. Set another place at the table. Sound the trumpet loud and clear this time. Hallelujah, my child is comin’ home."

Chaotic or not, I am happy to be home and I get chills at the thought of having a slight glimpse of heaven. If you are ever in KC and want to catch a glimpse for yourself...come on home!

Peace Out!