Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Passing by Crazyville!

I headed into the Christmas season saying that this year things were going to be different. I wasn't going to get all crazy and busy and hectic and fly right through Christmas. While this was my goal, yesterday I realized that I was headed straight into Crazyville!
I am kinda embarrassed to admit this, but yesterday I actually was sitting in my car thinking that I needed to write a Drive Thru Rule Book. Oh, yes I did!
I had a deadline looming over my head and I was on my way home and stopped to get a quick bite. The restuarant was crazy busy with the drive thru line wrapped around the building. As I sat waiting for my turn to order, I noticed that someone up ahead was causing a delay. And then I started thinking that I needed a rule book to hand them so they would not cause anyone else's blood pressure to sky rocket. Here are a few of my rules:
  1. Always looks straight ahead
  2. Never talk on your phone if its going to distract you from looking straight ahead
  3. Get your money or card out while continuing to look straight ahead
  4. The drive thru line is not the time to clean out your back seat, unless you can do it while LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD!

Were you able to pick up on the theme of the rule book?

Luckily I was able to get back to reality before I set up camp in Crazyville because no one wants to spend Christmas in Crazyville.

Do you know what happens in Crazyville on Christmas?

Well, the mayor of Crazyville gets you busy doing all this stuff that really isn't important only at the time you are doing it all it seems like the welfare of Crazyville hinges on you doing all this stuff. And then you wake up on December 26th and you realize that you missed it. You actually missed Christmas.

Oh sure, you were physically present for the events, but in your heart you totally missed the meaning of the day which is JESUS! And unfortunately, that is the mayor of Crazyville's whole goal. He wants to get you so distracted that you don't focus your heart on Jesus because he knows that life, hope, forgiveness, love, freedom, redemption, peace and joy are found in Jesus!

Oh Jesus, thank you for leaving the glory of Heaven and wrapping yourself in human flesh. Thank you for being born of a virgin to ultimately hang on a cross to pay the price for my sins. Thank you for offering me life and for pursuing me. Help me to focus my heart on You alone! Praise your Holy Name!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Maybe I'll Try Out for the Circus...

This week has been a juggling act for me. I had gotten really good at it until today and for some reason when that extra ball went into the air, well I just felt like everything was about to come tubbling down!

Do you have days like this?

You know, the kind of day where sitting in the floor crying seems like the most logical thing to do!

Yes, yes that was my day today.

As I was on my way to fulfill my volunteer duties at my children's school, I grabbed my cell phone to call my husband. I reasoned since I felt overwhelmed he should at least know about it. He answered the phone and without me saying a word said "Can I call you right back?" Which is code for "I have a customer in my office and I can't talk right now."

As I hung up the phone, I knew in my heart that God had planned it that way to teach me a valuable lesson. My first response shouldn't be to call my husband, mom, sister, girl friends or anyone else that will listen. No, my first response should be to cry out to the One that can actually help me.

Today I needed to be reminded that while I may feel overwhelmed at times, God NEVER feels overwhelmed.

I love back in Exodus 3 when Moses is talking with God and he says to God "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, `The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, `What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"

And God's response is so awesome! "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.' "

I really am trying to contain myself from shouting because I am so excited! (It's late and everyone in my house is sleeping!)

Do you know what God was saying here to Moses and that He is saying to us today? Basically He is saying that whatever we need, well He's that!

You need healing...I AM the Healer!
You need forgiveness...I AM the Forgiver!
You need peace...I AM Peace!
You need comfort...I AM the Comfortor!
You need love...I AM the Lover of Your Soul!
You need victory...I AM the Victor!
You need freedom...I AM the Freedom Giver!

You need ? ........ I AM!

Rest in knowing that there is not a need, circumstance or situation that can arise in your life that God can not meet. Oh, how He loves us!

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Heart Like His

Last night we had the opportunity to share with some of our friends about our trip to Africa. We shared our pictures and videos and told some of our favorite moments. Tears were shed because neither one of us can really talk about Africa without crying.

Before we left, my friend said to me that I looked so happy in all the pictures. And I was! I shared with her that none of the pressures that we face here are really prevalent there. I took four outfits and was gone ten days. (Yes, I washed my clothes) I wore the same outfit on the plane ride there and then also on the plane ride home. So I had three skirts to wear the rest of the time. There was no standing in front of the closet stressing over what to wear.

I also went all nat-ur-el with my hair. I have very curly hair that I flat iron every day. I had let my hair grow out preparing for my trip so I could keep it pulled back. I did not have a hair dryer, hair gel, mousse or hair spray. My pony tail plan did not work out because my hair looked all crazy. So, I would go to bed with a wet head and wake up in the morning and just have to go with it. And you know what the kids loved my hair. It was wild and crazy and they loved to touch it and I loved for them to touch it!

I did wear a little makeup because as my childhood pastor used to say "every old barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint." And I'll just be honest and say that I do feel better with a little blush and mascara. What can I say, I am my mother's child!

My happiness, that was evident in the pictures, was not because of what I looked like on the outside but rather what was shinning on the inside. As Beth Moore likes to say, "there is no high like The Most High!" James 1:27 says that pure religion is caring for the widows and orphans and keeping oneself clean from the world. I have never felt closer to the Lord than when I was in Africa because I knew I was doing the will of the Father.

I want to encourage you that are reading this to busy yourself doing the will of the Father. We as the church, the bride of Christ, have the priviledge and responsiblilty to care for the orphans in our world. No matter what you do to care for them, the blessing you receive far out weighs any effort you put into it.

God has sealed Africa in our hearts. Not a day goes by that I don't think about those sweet babies and all the other wonderful people we met. We love it and can't wait to go back. We want to go back next summer and take our children. Please join us in praying that God will provide the funds we need to be able to return. I know nothing is impossible for my God!

Couldn't you just eat this sweet baby with a spoon!

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