Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tom Sawyer and My Own Handful of a Boy

My mother in law bought Tucker the book "Tom Sawyer". The abridged version, but still.

Tucker was fascinated by her own personal testimony of how the boy reminded her of himself and that she was sure he would LOVE it. Grandma.of.the.year.

So now we are 6-8 chapters in and Tucker wants nothing more than to spend his entire school day reading the tales..the tall tales of Tom Sawyer. And I wonder just how healthy this is, for a boy like Tuck to be hearing the prankings of a boy much like himself. We already struggle with his insatiable desire to trap his parents, scare his sister and prank call his grandmother (yes...the same one that he got the book from....perhaps she is bringing some of this on herself???)

I love Tucker's creativity, his humor and his laughter. He truly is a boy after my own heart. And on days while he's acting more like Tom than Tuck, and I think he might not make it to 18, I don't even things about stopping to list all his wonderful qualities, his unique abilities and his God-given gifts--I'm doing good just to stay afloat...alive...untrapped!

My heart may be more drawn today than most to think of my son in a sweeter sense. A recent suicidal tragedy hit our small town and it probably has all the momma's holding their boys a little closer and more fondly. All the silly tricks and prankings and messes and forts and traps and dirty projects Tucker brings to our family would be welcomed to a mother who lost her son. So today as I watch over my own, these precious treasures God has given me, I hope I'll remember how quickly these days will pass and instead of being exasperated by boyish shenanigans that I'll embrace these fun times with less worry, more love and patience and an extra helping of hand sanitizer. Because there's a mom out there today and every day that won't get that chance.

Praying for a momma I don't even know as she walks these hard hard days. May her sweet memories of her son bring her some joy in the future and in the time in-between may she be drawn to a peace that exceeds anything her heart has ever know....First peace with God, then the peace of God.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

This Week's Top Ten Goals

- Daily Personal and School Quiet Time

- Work in the yard and clear front flower beds

- Spring Clean all closets

- Write Thank You Notes

- Read Tom Sawyer with Tucker

- Order household supplies from Amazon

- Finish embroidery project

- Can Salsa

- Take kids to the library

- Start curriculum planning for next school year

What does your week look you set goals or have a to-do list that keeps you on track? Using our minutes wisely is not only a good habit but it's also biblical. The Proverbs 31 woman was a mastermind at this. She used her days and nights to glorify God with her time and talents. I want to get better at that. I want to fill these hours each day in such a way so that in the end I can honor God with what He has given me.

Let's see what I can do with my time this week!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ga Trip Recap

Warning...lots of family pictures've been warned...proceed at your own risk!

See...I warned you! 

Can't wait to go back! 

What To Do When Your Server Is Down

Computer problems are a hassle, inconvenient and frustrating. I remember about 7 years ago when I sent my first text (yes, I was behind the times) I wondered how anyone could be so dependent on technology and now just a few years later I find myself tapping my computer when the high speed just isn't fast enough. And when the server is down...well pass the ice cream because between two kids and Bruce and I...somebody is going to be stress eating. We are such first world people. Thankfully we have a couple of genius friends who know just about everything there is to know about our gadgets that when we are down...they get us up and running pretty quick. Bless them.

But lately it's been hard not to notice that physically my "serve" has been hit or miss. Oh...don't get me wrong, I've been doing and going and accomplishing but my heart has been tired and worn and I've been depending more on me than on the One who never fails. So last week we went to GA to visit my family and I had some time to think about and pray about my attitude and my serve. And here's what I was reminded of:

--Jesus was the ultimate example of "serve". And yet, even He had to take time away to recharge with the Father. He went away to the garden, to the mountains and who knows where else during his earthly ministry, for the purpose of rest and renewal. Close, intentional communion with God will do that. But He didn't stay gone forever. After His 40 days, He came back ready and willing to do whatever God asked Him to.

--My attitude is important as I serve. His word says, "Serve the Lord with gladness", in Psalm 100:2, is a command ...not a suggestion. I normally enjoy serving my family, my church and my community. But when my attitude isn't plugged into the joy found in Christ, I'm miserable. I find myself complaining about mundane things...laundry and dirty socks and hair in the sink and emptying the dishwasher. What I was reminded of on my getaway is that there are no mundane tasks assigned by God. I'm a wife and mom..that's my job description...and my service to my husband and children should be with joy filled gladness even when there's spilt milk and crumbs on the table.

--I serve the Worthy One. On earth it's easy to think about who deserves our service- family, church, friends, country, the poor. But the truth is, our service should be to the Lord. Whatever we are whoever we are doing it to...for whatever reason we are doing it. And when my eyes are fixed on Him and I am filled with His Spirit to walk and do the things that He has scheduled for me to accomplish, I'm unstoppable.

A couple of practical things to do when your server is down:

1. Get in God's word and be encouraged.

2. Stay faithful in fellowship with your church.

3. Confess known sin.

4. Ask God to reveal unknown sin and ask forgiveness as He does.

5. Fellowship with Godly people who will encourage you.

6. Recharge. And then get busy again...(Repeat as needed)

7. Ask God to show you His plan for your service. We can't do it all. He has a place designed where you'll be most effective.

8. Remind yourself of what you've been saved from.

9. Defeat Satan by quoting scripture

10. Ask God to stir you up to do good works. Why? So others will be drawn to His spirit in you.

I've returned....revived and recharged to serve my family, friends, church and community by doing the things that God wants me to be busy doing. I have the ability to say no to the things that God does not call me to. And I have the desire to say YES to the many things that I can do. He's gracious to give me so many opportunities to share His love and care for humanity. I'm thankful to be His hands.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Real Ministers

In the ministry, pastors get a lot of credit for how the church takes care of each other, visitors and missionaries. I know because Bruce and I get credit for tons of things that others do in the name of servanthood and Jesus.

Over the last week there's been a lot of that going on so I just want to take some time to set the record straight...give credit where credit is due...and give thanks.

We've been in the throws of Missions Conference and in a church our size, there's no way that two people could do everything. Months and months ago, planning started for this week. Prayerfully considering participants and planning for stellar missionaries to join us. Our new Missions and Communications Minister, Mitchell, started preparing then...months ago. And he started developing ways to get many people involved. His wife, Wendy, don't let her fool you...she's a genius who works behind the screen...yes, screen...the computer. They are an extraordinary team.

Then we had ----

A Dr. who saw and gifted two of our missionaries with examinations and medicines
A family of 4 and a family of 2 who served the get to know you meal
Staff ladies who prepared salads and some incredible desserts
A lady who set up a tab at her hairdresser's and gave the missionary wives a color, cut or whatever they wanted!
2 Men who took time off from their paying jobs to prepare ethnic meals for our missionaries and staff...yummo!
3 ladies who diced and sliced and grilled and trimmed and served the Tuesday meal
A group of senior citizens who outdid themselves with mini s'mores muffins and homemade potato salad and other goodies.
3 more ladies who fried spring rolls, served and cleaned up Thursday's lunch meal
4 amazing host families....2 of which had the missionaries in their home for 7-8 nights!
4 amazing church families that invited our missionaries to dinner Friday Night.
4 amazing officers who treated those missionaries to lunch in the sleet and ice on Sunday!
9 ladies who made restaurant quality delicious desserts for meals
3 ladies who worked the nursery during the daytime sessions so that 50 people could attend the Bible Appreciation Class taught by one of our missionaries
Visitors who hosted us to a night of food, fellowship and great music and who warmed our hearts with their own passion for distributing God's Word. Their own parents and friends helped them!
Staff who set up, tore down, cleaned up, picked up, cheered up, helped out
The CPA who gave some advice to one of our families
The two ladies who dropped off food...just because
Kids who friended the three missionary kids
People who gave monetarily so that we could give generously to the missionaries
Car Tune-ups and Van Overhauls done by mechanics
Youth who brought visitors
People who asked thoughtful questions during Q and A
Youth that helped watch little ones for meetings
Prayer Warriors who for months prayed for this meeting

And I know I have left someone out....because it truly does take an entire church...every member ministering in the way God has called them to. So, thank you CBC family. Thank you for praying and working and ministering ...for being the church to these missionaries. Thank you for working even if I missed it...because God didn't miss it. He saw everything, heard every prayer.

Because it's not the pastor or even the staff that ever does ALL the work. There are faithful ministers, helping, serving, emptying trash cans and filling Styrofoam tea cups and grilling hot dogs, and praying and paying for haircuts and repairing vans....behind every good pastor. That's what CHURCH is all about.