Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankfulness Today

On this Thanksgiving Day my heart overflows with gratefulness to the God who loves me with an everlasting, enduring, conquering love. I'm thankful for so much, but here is a sampling of what is in my heart. 

Family - The ones God places closest to us to sharpen and soothe us, to challenge us and comfort. They bring us our greatest joys and deepest sorrows in life. Birth and death, success and failure, growing and changing are all interwoven in this vapor of family life. There's a reason God calls us His children, we are all in this family together.

Laughter and levity - Makes life both FUN and bearable. My husband makes me laugh more than anyone else. I love that man!

My treasured husband Doug - Adventuring, brave, confident, visionary and persistent man. His strength and leadership give me security and confidence. 

My kids - they are AMAZING. So many times they are the ones who pitch in taking up the slack for the sleepless nights. I treasure this time with them all under one roof because I truly believe the days are long, but the years are short. 

Emily - my organizing confidante and Starbucks and girl food buddy
Travis - my artistic, creative, playful young man, who is so good with younger sibs
Hannah - my burning star, full of life and passion
Natalie - my quiet helper
Abigail - my full of life and laughter baker-girl
Benjamin - my growing bundle of energy
Sarah - my snuggly, energetic, helper girl
Lily Anne - my growing talkative toddler
Caleb - my laughing, playful, nonsleeping, sweet snuggly boy

Friends - Relationships that enrich us bringing balance to our strengths and weaknesses. Having friends who are good listeners and who pray is a treasure, truly. They see me at my best and my worst and love me anyway. 

Anne - unconditional love, understanding, and acceptance and loyalty
Fiona - dependable, faithful, resourceful friend

GRACE - If there is one provision of The Lord I appreciate with all of my heart this would be it. Unmerited favor with The King, The Creator, My Dad God. I pray for more grace every single day. I pray that his GRACE would abound to me more and more and that I would, in turn show this grace to those around me. 

Renewal - a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in my life - If you've ever seen a picture of the brown, cracked, arid desert ground, you've seen what was me when we left Houston. When we arrived in Washington it started raining on my soul and has not stopped. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Prayer - Our way of communicating with God, talking with our Dad, thanksgiving, requests, and worship.

Change - Yes this is on my thankful list ;-) See, leopards do change their spots! I don't know that I'm the agent of change, but I'm learning to appreciate it more and more. I can get stuck, this trip has unstuck me in so many wayside I'm truly thankful for it.

Experience - Having lived long enough to see God work in the good times and bad gives me confidence in His character and trust in His timing even when it's different from mine. 

Finally, I'm thankful for time to write this morning, I don't always get it but when I do it's precious. I don't take it for granted!

Happy Thanksgiving Day my friends, maybe truly be thankful as we continue through this Christmas season to the One who gave all so we could abundantly live.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Big News from Washington...

God has brought about an amazing bend in the road of our Great Adventure.  Perhaps it’s a Divine Detour, however we are beginning to think it’s the Divine Destination.

When we started out on this adventure it was presumably to be out of our house in Houston so we could sell it and to do some traveling with our children before they grow up and out of the house. It would seem that God had bigger plans, like He always does. 

We have now been in Washington going on three months. When we arrived here it was intended to be a two week stay on our Great Adventure Trip.  That first Sunday here a good friend was the guest speaker at Victory Foursquare Church and we decided to go and heckle him from the back row, just for kicks.  What miraculously happened next none of us could have imagined in our wildest dreams.  God showed up.

From the first note of the first song Doug and I were touched.  I cried. I always do when the Holy Spirit is present.  And Doug was deeply moved.  During worship God was glorified visually, expressively through songs, flags, scripture and words.  The sermon, simple in its message, “God doesn’t just love you, He LIKES you” touched many of our children who have grown up in church in a way nothing else has.  God was beginning a work, or rather carrying on a work He started long, long ago.  After that service our heads and hearts were spinning. What was God up to? 

Over the next few weeks it would become abundantly clear.  Our family decided to stay and participate in an evangelistic drama called, “Judgment Day” which would take place each day the entire week leading up to Halloween.   Each night they performed their parts over and over in this “Walk-Through Adventure” telling the story of Christ visually and tangibly. A thousand people attended the drama that week and many lives were touched. During the months of September and October God showed our family through all sorts of signs and circumstances that He placed our family here for His purposes.

We’ve known all along God wants to use our family to reach other families for His Glory.  We were all called long, long ago to make disciples.  For the past seventeen years, we have been making disciples of nine special people.  It’s time to expand that calling.  God has done such an amazing work through his Holy Spirit and through the ministry of Pastor Steve at Victory Foursquare.  We are called to work here with these people now.  How long? We don’t know. But we know it’s here and now.  We don’t know HOW this will look.

After we committed to moving here, The Lord led us to this AMAZING house for sale.  Sitting on nearly six acres at the base of a mountain with a waterfall and creek literally in the backyard, this home provides the space we need for WHATEVER God desires for our family.  We want to make an offer.  However…

It’s that “however” that’s the wrench in the works.  Doug’s company has given him a deadline to be back in Houston.  We are convinced we are to relocate to Washington. So we wait.  Waiting on the Lord, resting on his promises, we live one day at a time not knowing what’s next, but trusting it will be GOOD!

If you have made it this far reading about the next phase of The Great Adventure you are a TRUE friend.  Please pray for us. 

1.  Pray for the mountain to move, the obstacles to our relocation to be gone completely.

2. Pray for us to have wisdom to navigate the holidays and coming weeks. 

3. Pray for MORE GRACE as we wait on His timing. 

Please text or call or just get in touch to say, “I’m praying.” It would be so encouraging!  We have more questions than answers right now.  And I will share on my blog when the answers are more plentiful, but for now I share trusting that you will pray.  We WILL miss you all... very much.  But I know that friends can stay friends over long distances and long periods of time.  And when we get this amazing house, we will have a place for you to stay when you come see us! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

There's More... How Great the Father's Love for Us

God is teaching me about His great, unconditional, crazy Father-Love for me. He uses my kids frequently to teach me these lessons and yesterday was no exception. He is so good!

Yesterday we went out to eat after church and at the restaurant there were some coloring pages and a few broken crayons.  We grabbed some for the kids and they started creating. 

Not three minutes later a waiter came by with a box of crayons.  Now this place is packed, the atmosphere is buzzing, and it's not like he had extra time on his hands.  He stopped by Lily Anne who is three and opened the box of 24 brilliant Crayolas in front of her. Holding them out, he offered,

"Would you like some new crayons?"

She smiled shyly and looked over at Doug and I.  We nodded approval and she picked two crayons, both shades of pink.

The waiter leaned in. still smiling, "There's more." He said.  Slowly Lily Anne picked a purple then a yellow.  I noticed the colors because they matched her shirt.  He grinned, "there's 24 crayons here, you're only down by six, you better get some more!" She methodically continued selecting crayons until she had about half the box.  Then she looked down gently patted her line of crayons and said simply, "Thank you." 

Oh to receive from our Father like Lily Anne received those crayons.  He says, "there's more!" He loves us with an everlasting love, like none we have ever known.  I don't know about you, but I want ALL the colors He has for me. 

Jeremiah 31:3

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What If God Was Big Enough? - Orphan Sunday, November 3, 2013

I wrote this poem January 4, 2013.  My husband had just blessed me with an amazing Christmas gift, a trip to Maria's Big House of Hope in China. I was taking it all in and God was speaking to my heart. My prayer is that He would speak to your heart today through His word to me eleven months ago. This is coming to pass in ways I cannot even begin to describe.


What if God Was Big Enough?

What if God was big enough
To conquer all my fears
To give me the desires of His heart
Throughout all my years.

What if God was big enough
To bring heaven down to earth
By making me His hands and feet
To show little ones their worth.

What if God could grow His love
So deep within my heart
So that what appears impossible
Is really just a start.

We will find those who've been abandoned
And show them His great love
And reach and touch and love and give
Until they know their God above.

God, be big enough
To complete the work you have begun
Give me faith and hope and peace

As we watch Your Will be done.