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Monday, April 14, 2014

Preparing Your Heart for Easter

I sat down this morning to write a little something after some time away.  With Easter quickly approaching, I wanted to write about preparing our heart for Easter and stumbled upon this amazing blog post by Allison Hendrix.  As I read through it I realized this was exactly what I wanted and desired to do with my family of 6 this week.  We will doing most of this with a few minor revisions (only to fit our family).  I couldn't have presented this any better then Allison and thank her for allowing me to use her post to share with all of you on my blog.  Our families prayer is that you take these activities and use them, tweak them if you must to fit your family.  We are super excited to begin this tonight and hope you join us.

6 Activities to spiritually prepare your family for Easter.

Jesus knew it was His last week on earth.

If you knew it was yours, what would you do?

Doesn’t it make you want to read the scriptures of that final week to see what Jesus did? I’ve been rereading Max Lucado’s book called “The Final Week of Jesus” which walks you through just that.

So this is my challenge, how can I prepare my heart and home to receive, and see clearly, all God wants to teach us this week? I have planned a different activity for each day of this Holy week. Today we start.


DAY 1 – Crown of Thorns


“The soldiers wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. “Matthew 27:29 “They mocked him and spit on him”.


Preaparing your family for the spiritual significance of Easter. Make a crown of throns from grass and toothpicks. (the house of Hendrix)
When I think of a crown of thorns, I like to imagine it differently. I don’t like to think about the blood dripping down Christ’s cheeks or the piercing sensation of constant pain.
I ask “What it means to suffer at school? Has anybody ever spit on you, hit you, insulted you?” How did you feel? Why did Jesus have to suffer?
We pull up grass from the ground and weave it together into a crown. We pierce it with our sin, toothpicks. The kids are both eager and reluctant to put on the crown.

A few minutes later, Campbell hurts his elbow. He comes to me sprinting. There was nothing I could do, but he wanted me to know his suffering.

We are each going to experience periods of suffering.  I take comfort knowing that God knows my human suffering first hand.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all of my tears in a bottle and recorded them.” Psalm 56:8

DAY 2 – Palm Frond Crosses

It’s Palm Sunday, a special day in our home because it is the source of our son’s namesake. When I was pregnant with my 3rd, with no agreed upon baby name, Lily came home from school waving a palm frond. She explained that the people waving palm fronds as Christ entered Jerusalem were called “palmers”. I went into labor on Easter and our Palmer was born the next day.

Today we are making crosses out of palm fronds. Now I do feel compelled to tell you that Palmer thought the crosses were more fun as guns. Bang Bang. Here is a great tutorial:
Day 3 – Simplify

I was inspired by an idea on Pinterest this morning called “Get rid of 100 things this weekend”.  Yes! Simplify our surroundings. Clear the clutter so that we can breathe…think…hear. This is where our family is starting; a practical exercise in simplifying.
I explain to my crew that God desires to be seen by us. He wants to be heard but sometimes our crowded and cluttered lives distract us from His voice.
We discuss the idea of simplifying; cutting back the stuff to make more room for God.  I propose the challenge.
Can we each find 100 things to give away?  It can be clothes, toys, books, toiletries. We set up bins for donations, consignment and garbage. We crank the music and begin.

Day 4 – Beauty for Ashes

About a month ago the forest immediately behind our home caught on fire. We watched as the fire moved from hundreds of yards away onto our property. As it crossed over our brick wall, I was advised to grab what I could.  A reverse wind came blowing the flames in the other directions permitting just enough time for the firemen to push it back. For a week the tall pine trees sizzled and smoke filled our home, but we were thankful.
For today’s project, my husband and children hopped the brick wall towards the burnt remains. They found the perfect logs.
With rope and humility, Jimmy ties the ash stricken trunks together. The mid-afternoon sky turns black. The skies thunder and gusts of wind begin blowing. We all race inside later learning tornadoes were passing over our area.
We talk about the parallel between our afternoon and that Friday in Jerusalem so many years ago when the skies turn black and the earth shook as Christ died. This cross, made from the ashy wood which absorbed the fire that could have destroyed our home, is now a physical representation of not only God’s sovereignty over our family but the freedom to live because we are not bound by our sin.
“He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory”. Isaiah 61:3
5. Resurrection Eggs
This activity came from my children’s school. In an empty egg carton, place 12 plastic eggs. Within each plastic egg, put a symbol about the Biblical story of Easter.

The 12 symbols are:
  • cracker = last meal of Jesus with the disciples
  • dime = Judas betraying Jesus with silver coins
  • purple cloth = they mocked him by dressing him in the royal color.
  • toothpick = crown of thorns
  • cross = carried his own cross
  • nail = He was nailed to the cross.
  • sponge/spear (drink sword)= a sponge filled with vinegar was attached to a spear and given to Jesus to drink
  • dice = The guards threw dice to gamble for Jesus’s clothes.
  • small piece of white material/or cloves = Jesus’s body was wrapped in spices and white cloth when he was placed in the tomb
  • rock = to cover the opening to the tomb to prevent Jesus’s body from being stolen.
  • Empty Egg – the resurrection egg. Empty because the tomb is empty.

6. Washing Feet

After reading the Passover Story in the Bible, my children decided to “Wash the Feet” of a beloved teacher as modeled by Jesus during the Last Supper. Read that experience here.  This is quite a powerful activity, particularly for the person receiving the washing. 
(The Wrights will be taking turns washing each others feet and sharing how this made each one feel as well as applying it to several stories in the Bible.)  

7. Colors of Christ Easter Egg Dying Printable

I just found this printable over at Detail-Oriented Diva and loved the idea of using the egg colors as a spiritual lesson. As you dye your Easter eggs,  use this chart to talk through the “colors” of Easter. You can print it over here.The colors of Easter

In addition to theses great activities The Wrights will be doing our traditional Good Friday.
On the Evening of Good friday, our family will feast together around our table as Jesus did with His disciples discussing what it may have been like the eve Jesus was crucified.  Make it as simple for the littles to understand.  Then after the kiddos go to bed, as we have done the last few years, the hubs and I will be watching "The Passion of the Christ."  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0335345/ Our oldest may be ready to join us this year.  Still up for debate?  We watch it not because we love it, but because it reminds us of the love that our Father has for us.  It is so incredibly heart wrenching to watch and I honestly dread it.  We are not completely in agreement with all of this movie, but do believe this paints a very vivid picture and a small glimpse of what our Jesus went through for us.  After that, we then take communion together. 


On Easter Sunday we party because JESUS defeated the grave!

Is there a special way you prepare your heart for Easter?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

We pray this blesses you!  Happy Easter and may you experience His love and grace as you prepare your hearts for Easter Sunday.  

To see Allison's post in entirety visit http://www.thehouseofhendrix.com/2013/03/25/preparing-your-home-for-easter/ or other great posts visit Allison's blog at http://www.thehouseofhendrix.com.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Sacrificial Love

When you think of love the first words that may pop in your mind are love at first sight aka (lust at first sight), butterflies, romance, love letters, saying “I love you” and strong emotional, intense feelings for someone. But all those can fade…

Most of you that know me know that I have always had a heart for the lost and broken especially women. In the last few months God has began to put a new passion in my heart for couples and marriages. I have been really struggling with the question over the past year of what my purpose is? Why did you Father create me? I once had and found great joy in changing diapers, doing laundry and cleaning house, but now?? Not so much! I still do it of course, but now that our four children are a little more sufficient, I find myself asking is this my only purpose? Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want anything more then to stay home and raise and take care of our family, but I want and desire for more. I am blessed, thankful and privileged to do so. I have begun praying boldly for Him to direct me and let me in to what my purpose is? I am still seeking His will and council and often wonder why certain people have been placed in my life? I'm sure you are wondering what does this have to do with love?
As I have been reflecting on my purpose and why certain people have been placed in my life it has started to become obvious that I am to love them.
His word says, “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (ESV) and “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12 (ESV) and “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 (ESV). Love is the greatest and most used commandment. So what does it look like to truly love?
I have heard countless stories from girls that they feel alone in their marriages. Stressed out all the time. Angry. Bitter. They don't recognize their husband anymore. Please hear me that I too have felt these feelings and every now and then one or all of these will begin to creep up and sometimes even blow like a volcano, spraying and sputtering hot lava that scars my husband, children and others around me. I am still a work in progress but I am trying to find the root that triggers it all. That is the question in waiting and that is the question to ask yourself when you begin to have those feelings.  Word of advice... Please STOP going to you girlfriends and social media to complain about your spouse.  Want a real, trustworthy, deep and intimate relationship?  Go to your spouse.  The one who should be your best friend. 
A couple months ago my husband and I were having one of our in-depth conversations and the whole love thing came up. He said something so profound that I can't seem to get out of my mind. So the other day he came home and I said something that triggered his “mood” and he said something that hurt my feelings. I quickly remembered that profound thing he told me a couple months ago and decided to put it to test. Instead of me putting up my wall, and punishing him with the “not so awesome” silent treatment, you all know what I'm talking about. I walked up to him and put my arms around him, hugged him tightly and said those words that he told me, “I'm going to love you even when you're unloveable.” That instantly softened the tension and shed light in a loving and nonthreatening way. TRY IT!
Love is a sacrifice. Just as our Father sent His one and only son Jesus, to show us what love looks like by dying a brutal death on the cross for us. Love takes daily work. It requires you to prune the garden, weed it, and from there, it produces a harvest. I pray that you desire a spouse that has a heart that loves Jesus first and from there I promise that you will find a love that you never thought was imaginable. We said in our vows that we would walk each other home (heaven) when it was time. I couldn't imagine a day without my husband and grow more in more in love with him by growing more in love with my creator. 
Yesterday, I sat in the silence while the kids were at school and our 2 year slept. I watched a video that my husband posted on Facebook and he commented on that he was so thankful for his Jamie (me). I cried and wept the entire way through the video, and not because it was sad but because I was so thankful that God had given me that… The desires of my heart.  A man that loves Jesus first.   Please take a few minutes and watch this video. Do so when you have some time alone and can truly soak it up. May it bless you today.


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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Christmas in June



'Twas a steamy day in June, when all through the house
All the kiddos were stirring, just as busy as a mouse;
With light sabers drawn and swinging without a care, 
And syrup from breakfast all up in their hair;

The children had wrestled around in their bed, 
While chaos and disaster ran ramped in my head; 
So this mamma still in pi's put on her thinking cap, 
And thought we better do something before I say “NAP”.

When out of nowhere I thought of some batter.
I sprang from to my feet and said “I want to make it matter.”
Away to the kitchen I flew like a flash, 
Tore open the cabinets and threw out some cash.

So I whipped up some treats and grabbed a cup of joe
Gave the kiddos a holla, and said come tie a bow.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Goodies and smiles, so we all gave a cheer,

With a little instruction, planning and prayer, 
I knew in a moment it must be His care.
So we sought out to make it more like a game, 
In hopes that some saw His love by His name;

“Now, Emma!  Now, Olivia!  Now, Jacob!  Now, Jillian!
On, Mommy! On, goodies!  On, flowers!  On to the van! 
To one town to the other, up and down the halls! 
Now give away! give away! give away! Y'ALLS!!!

We went all day long from crack of dawn till dinner time handing out goodie bags, flowers and even sticking a dollar bill in our mailbox for our mailman. (Which by the way, his face was priceless as we watched him drive up through the blinds.  He sat there for a minute thinking if he should take it or not.  He did! :) )
Our first stop was the hospital. We wanted to give flowers to all the volunteers working in the shop and at the information desk.
Then, we were off to stick a dollar bill with a post it saying "Enjoy this act of kindness," on a vending machine down the hall.
Then, we had to make a quick drive by drop to a pastors house. As we were there we saw a man's truck with his window cracked. So of course we had to drop a few treats in. I failed to mention this man has one of the biggest hearts to serve anyone and he does.
Next on the list was a stop by our town fire station to love on the firefighters and paramedics. They were so grateful that they gave the kids a tour of the station and a good look over all the trucks. The kiddos loved every minute!
And, next of course was a stop by the police station. They were in awe that anyone would take the time to think of them. She whispered to us to come to the side door and she buzzed us in to show us around. I have never seen my kiddos so still and quiet! Not sure if they thought they might be thrown behind bars if they made a peep or just the thought of maybe they might see someone really scary. Either way I LOVED IT! :)  
On we went to the assisted living home where we saw and visited several beautiful people both living there and working there.
After we left, we passed our hairdressers shop and couldn't resist to stop and put a flower on the windshield of her vehicle. Totally anonymous!
As the hours flew by, we all started to grow a little weary and decided to head to the hood, our neighborhood. We packed up some goodies and walked across the street to the widows house to visit. Every time I leave his house I tear up because I see his pain and how much he misses his wife. I also see nothing but total gratitude.  As we were walking away he said over and over, "Thank you!"  
Then, we headed next door to drop a plate of goodies. Well, just because we LOVE those neighbors. They have become good friends and in a way, family.
Lastly, we headed down to the end of the street with a pineapple in hand. I know, you say “PINEAPPLE” and that's exactly what she said. You see I lived in Hawaii for a few years growing up and pineapple was a way in Hawaii of saying welcome. So with a new family in the hood and finally after years of praying for some great kids to move close for our kids to play with, my prayer seemed to be answered. So WELCOME to the hood family!
So after a very long, emotional and beautiful day, we headed home. We sat and discussed our favorite part of the day. I was floored by the responses from the kids, one even asked “when can we do it again? We missed so many.” It felt like Christmas! I was truly BLESSED by today!

"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."  Galatians 5:13-14 NIV
Merry Christmas in June to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Here's To You Momma

     It comes from a sincere heart of gratitude to all you mommas out there that do what you do everyday.  To the momma who has already been through the child rearing season, to the momma currently in the season, and to the mommas to be…
THANKS,
To the momma who slaves over a stove to prepare a lovely meal that sometimes takes hours to prepare only to be inhaled by all who gather at a record speed.
To the momma who is on her third or fourth load of laundry for the day... after the fact that she had to find some of the garments to begin with.
And, to the momma who sweeps and vacuums the dirt that falls off of our loved-ones' feet.
To the 998 thousandth dish that was washed, dried and put away.
To the sinks, surface tops and toilets that are scrubbed.
To the momma that has wiped dirty bottoms both young and old and changed a million diapers.
To the momma dealing with toddler tantrums and teenage testing.
To teaching, shaping, molding, and counseling.
To wiping tear-stained cheeks and scraped knees, as well as kissing boo boos.
To finding lost shoes and keeping peace between the moments of mass chaos that erupts especially on Sunday mornings.
To mommas that tie up piggytails, play princess and have tea parties with her.
To listen patiently to one more story and answer one more question.
To mommas that pitch a ball just because he asked.
To the momma who humbles herself when we blow it and know what needs to be done after.
To love unconditionally as Christ loves us is a tall order but we strive to love them despite…

To momma who consoles a broken heart.
To all the grace given and love extended even when exhaustion sets in and you feel beat down as if you can't possibly give one more ounce because you have already put in 60 hours by mid-week but find the energy to go another 60.
To the momma who gives life in so many ways, from the pain of childbirth, to the obstacles of adoption, to the pain and neglect of the foster child.
To momma who turns the sheets down just right and prays over that sweet angel.
To teach, instruct, and discipline with grace.

To the momma who wears a thousand hats and juggles 10 thousand balls in the air all at one time and so afraid to let one drop because they all might come crashing down.

To momma who pretty much feels like a taxi cab.

To the momma who wants to quit when it gets rough but knows that's not an option.
To find joy in the midst of mass destruction.
To the momma who will risk it all to jump on that trampoline even though she has no bladder control anymore but knows that she is building memories, bringing smiles, and deep belly laughing.
To the momma who gives everything sacrificially without a thought.
For all the no thank you's, ungrateful hearts and attitudes. This too shall pass and someday they will see…  

To the momma who has or is battling cancer or disease and finds the strength to fight just for them.
To momma who would lay her own life down.
It amazes me to know that you momma are not the only servant. You not only serve your families and Christ, but may you find peace and rest in knowing that He serves you.  It is Jesus who came into this world not to be served but to serve others and to freely give His life for you. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:45.

     Mommas, we have some pretty big shoes to fill and with that comes great responsibility.  It has been my honor and privilege to have been entrusted with the greatest gift of all… His kids!!!  We are not promised a tomorrow, so take everyday and see the gift, find the joy, and be thankful you are a momma.  
     To my momma, momma in law and birth momma, my heart explodes with love, thanks and so much appreciation for all you have done and will do.  THANK YOU!
THANK YOU all mommas!  You are loved, appreciated and adored!!!
XOXO

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Going Rogue Against the Bunny, the Basket and the Easter Dress




This is a blog post that has been brewing for some time.  For several weeks now I have been putting off the Easter attire shopping.  Here it is just a few days away and nothing.  Was it that I wasn't into the fancy dressy dress anymore and not to mention the unnecessary money spent on that once a year attire?  Absolutely!  It just wasn't sitting well with me at all.  So as my hubby and I were getting ready for bed it occurred to me… "Denim" I shouted out!  "We are wearing our denim blue jeans Easter Sunday to church this year.  After all, it is still freezing out and they are predicting rain."  My husband stood in the bathroom brushing his teeth silently listening to me go on and on as I began to unveil my feelings and heart on the matter.  We wear them all the time to church so why should this Sunday be any different?  Why was I stressing out over getting all six of us dressed to the hilt in matching Easter outfits?  Don't get me wrong, I like to look nice in all but I was seriously freaking out over this.  So denim blue jeans it will be!  Awwww that feels great just to put that out there!  Pressure off!  Please know we will not throw rocks at you if we see you dressed to the T or even think anything.  Really!  Please hear my heart, that this is just an area right now that He spoke very loudly to me about.  No wonder why people feel they can't go to church when the stakes appear to be high and we paint this picture that Easter is what we wear.

My hubby Bob Wright expresses his thoughts this way:
Let's be honest guys... every Easter we go through the same routine: It starts while looking in the mirror, dressing for church on Easter Sunday morning. At some point during that process you think to yourself, "I know it's Easter but where did this pink shirt come from?!" The answer to that question becomes obvious when you see the rest of the family's color coordinated clothing for the day, neatly hanging and pressed. By the time you are picking up the keys to leave you start wondering things like, "when have I ever worn this color... ever? ...and why do I feel like I should be checking my Man Card at the door to look like this?" After all, real men don't wear colors found at an ice cream shop... they wear primary colors, manly colors, colors that you can stain and not even notice, right? Then you arrive at church to a sea of pastel colors and you realize you are not alone. And when you approach your buddy who's sporting a new "mint green" button-down shirt, you can't help but want to jokingly say, "you got that shirt out of Jane's closet, right?" But of course you can't because he's staring back at your pink polo.
How in the world did Easter or any holiday for that matter get so over-the-top commercialized?  How did the bunny, the basket, and the clothing get bigger than Jesus?  We do all of our traditions year after year and get all dressed up to go to church and all for what I have to ask?  My heart has been broken over and over just thinking about this.  I too am guilty!  You see the picture of the bunny and the cross at the top of the page.  That is what I put out on our living room end table.  Didn't think a thing about it… The bunny from Granny's and the cross from an old MOPS meeting.  They go out every year but this year in particular they went out side by side.  No reason at all.  The day they were put out my hubby came home and said "a little sacrilegious" with a smile on his face?  I have been thinking about that ever since.  What have we done?

There is NOTHING that has overwhelmed my heart so much as when I think about how much He loves us.  Sitting here looking at that cross that sits on my end table and thinking about the betrayal, hatred, mockery, beating, spatting, broken and bruised, bleeding, crown of thorns, whipped, crucified and left to die…  ALL for us!  Oh how my heart shatters into pieces every time I think about that.  I sit here sobbing at the very thought of our Father standing back and giving His son freely for us, watching them beat His Son.  It so breaks me to even think about my own child going through that.  Unimaginable!!!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16.  Yes, we all have heard it before but just take some time to think about that.  Just marinate in it for awhile.  It will blow your mind!!!  He loves us that much! I have totally been like a blubbering baby lately pondering this.  And forget about the words to the basic children's song "Jesus Loves Me" that my mother sang to me when I was little and I now sing to my kids and baby at night before bed.  "Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.  Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me for the bible tells me so."  The BIBLE tells me so!!!   If you get anything for Easter this year let it be that.

Father, please give me a child like faith and abounding love for you and your people...

So how did Easter become the "Bunny" holiday anyway?  And really, bunnies lay eggs?  Where did that come from?  Had to have been some bunny over at the egg shop that had the bright idea to smash it all together and say let's celebrate it.  Well, I'm done putting the bunny at the front of the wheel.  Bunny, get in the back, there's an new driver and His name is Jesus!  No, people before you crucify us, we will not totally crush the dream for our kiddos just yet.  You can take a sigh of relief!  We just won't let that be the focus of Easter.  We will have a basket full of goodies, dye eggs and even have an egg hunt, after all I am a big kid at heart.  There just has to be a limit.  Each year we seem to be trying to out do it.  The baskets get bigger and more extravagant some with themes.  With this comes immense stress.  The ante has been raised, a precedent set.  Oh how the pressure is too much for this mom.  A mom of four… That means times everything by four.  Dollar signs.  Yikes!!!

I have noticed that God is changing our families hearts radically and drastically.  This is huge because I love holidays and traditions and will continue to but not at the expense of my Jesus.  We now long for the attention to be focused on Jesus not the holidays that will come and go but on a place that has everlasting permanence.

Happy Easter to you all~

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Get Real


I just finished up with a 20 day social media fast and God has really opened my eyes to some major areas that I need to reshape.  Areas that I have concealed, covered up, hidden away, and tried to all together pretend that everything was perfect.  We just finished up with our Crowns Women's Conference www.crownsministries.org a little over a month ago so that's why the social media fast was very necessary.  Very worth it all but very mentally and physically exhausting!  That was an incredible weekend about LOVE and one that I will cherish and never forget.  My life has been drastically changed and reshaped altogether.  I won't regurgitate all that I learned from the conference because that would be a book on it's own.  So I will spare you.  In a nut shell…  I will no longer have to live for the love and approval of others.  His love is sufficient for me.

So why the fast?  I honestly needed a break and I really needed to refocus my attention on Him and my family.  I went in to this fast ready for complete rest.  Hungry for more of Him.  Hungry to be so incredibly close to Him.  To know Him like never before.  I wanted Him to expose my sin and short comings.  I wanted my eyes to be open to change and improvement.  I wanted to know what was next.  Then one night as I sat in the still and quiet He revealed a few things to me.  Why did I want to change?  Why do I want to "get my act together"?  "Get and keep it all together"?  That's when He revealed it all to me.  I don't have to get and keep it all together.  I am who He made me to be.  Even with all my quirks, insecurities, and failures.  That doesn't mean I can't improve.  I always thought "ministry" work you had to have it all together.  Nobody can see you have any problems and you can never fail at anything.  Our family had to appear PERFECT.  Put together on the outside meant put together on the inside.  Right?  NOT!!!  I'm done with the Fake Family.  I want to GET REAL!!!  I now understand that it is very necessary even with insecurities and failures even with all of its darkness and shadows.  Ministry leaders need to be authentic, real and reveal their junk.  Maybe not every intimate detail but we do need to expose more of our ourselves.  He has revealed to me that people need to be able to relate.  People need ministry leaders to be authentic and real.  I mean seriously, how else can people figure out how to follow Jesus even in the joy and wreckage of life?  I just want to get real and be real.  So here I go…

We don't have it all tougher not by any means.  We fight, we argue, pick on each other and even make each other cry at times.  Ok, maybe the girls in our fam cry more often then our guys.  Just recently I remember driving to church with the fam.  All 6 of us lined up in the mini van.  Kids sitting quietly but mad because we were pressed for time and rushing out the door to go to church.  Everyone had just been yelling at each other to hurry up.  Everyone had made each other late and mad.  This never happens to any of you right?  Ha!  So we arrive at church early to set up this some what new church plant but late to set up.  So my husband and I are sitting in the parking lot picking at each other.  Arguing about the silliest thing.  Now as I look back it was silly.  At the time, over my dead body.  I was willing to die on that hill over that matter.  Today, I honestly can't even remember the subject of the argument.  See what I mean?  Silly right?  I stood my ground and told him that I wasn't going in.  I wasn't about to let on and let people especially other ministry leaders see that we were upset with each other.  That can't happen!  Right?  Ministry leaders have it all together.  They never argue, hurt anyone and never make each other cry.  NOT!!!  We ALL have moments of insanity.  I don't care what others say.  We all fail and manage to hurt each other from time to time.  We all tend to get under each others skin.  Let's face it, when you spend that much time with each other our quirks are going to tend to annoy.  What matters most after the storm has just hit is how we repair the damage that was done.  How we clean up the wreckage.  Did we talk it through and apologize?  Did we truly forgive each other?  Or will it resurface in the future and rear its ugly head?  The bottom line is that we love God and our family loves each other no matter what.  We recognize that we will fail and disappoint each other from time to time and we do sin daily.  

I deal with spiritual depression.  What is that you say?  It's a dark foggy place.  At times I feel helpless as if I have fallen into a pit that I can't get out of.  I sometimes look at the past and see what I've lost, and don't know how to get it back.  I feel discouraged, heavy, hopeless and very alone at times.  I wonder where God is or why he would allow certain things to happen.  Can you relate?  Then you to have experienced spiritual depression as I have.  What I have learned and honestly am still learning through these times of spiritual depression is that my weaknesses are exposed.  In that time of exposure is when God is trying to step in and help, not hurt.  You see He wants our total dependancy.  Even if that means striping away all that consumes our attention.  And He will too!  In Isaiah 42:3 it says "A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out."  He does not allow trials and challenges to harm us.  I can honestly say that I would not trade one of my trials.  In each trial it was excruciatingly painful but I have grown leaps and bounds through them.  I now see why He allowed them to happen and will allow others to come our way.

Even though I know that we are to cast our fears on Him I still am fearful over many things.  To you, you might laugh or say really as you read some of my fears but to me these are real fears.  I am fearful of germs which is why I constantly carry germ x and wash my hands.  Snakes forget about it!   Fearful of the dark at times.  The creepy clown under the bed that I watched in Poltergeist when I was little.  I still run and jump into bed and won't let my hand or leg hang over the side. And with todays violence, I am fearful at times for my children's safety while they are away in school.   I know, crazy right?  So what can do I do?  Pray!!!  Pray constantly and surrender it all.  Trust Him!

I have always been one to say what is on my mind and how I am feeling.  Sometimes I admit it's hard for me to filter what comes out.  I have also been a people pleaser but I now want freedom.  I am tired!!!  The shackles are off!  Please don't think that gives me the right and freedom to expose others sin and idiosyncrasies because it does not.  I do not believe that is my job or anyones for that matter.  I am making a choice to be 100% totally transparent.  I just want people to know me.  The real me with all my failures and all my yuck.  I mean seriously, how in the world can anyone relate to anyone in "ministry" if you don't expose yourself and put yourself out there?  We don't have it all together and we never will.  We just want to do the best we can and to continue to show others His Love.
 
So,  where does that take me now?  Not sure, still waiting to hear from Him.  In the mean time, I promise no more fake church smile hellos and every things good.  Some weeks are going to be great and there will be big smiles and hellos and some weeks will be hard.  So if you don't see a smile it may just mean I'm tired with 6 and all, or it may mean I am in deep thought, or it's been a hard stressful day or week.  I long to be around real people and have real relationships.  I am still a huge work in progress and I'm super excited to start healing and start overcoming some of my fears.  I am imperfect but serve a perfect God.  So let's get real...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Good Bye Old… Hello New

As we say goodbye to another year I can't help but take a sigh of relief! This has been a whirlwind type of year jam packed with tons of change for our family. Change that has sweet memories as well as bitter ones. I will cherish the good the bad and count it all as many blessings. I have learned a lot through the years that Christ strengthens me and teaches me most in times of change and trial. I have grown more in my faith and walk with Him this past year then ever before.
We have experienced our children changing and growing before our very eyes. Some have been growing pains as well as precious memories that I will lock in my heart forever. Wish I could stop time for just a brief moment and keep them small! We have learned about new family, which has brought tremendous stress, pain and grief as well as some questions that have finally after 36 years been answered. Still unsure of what the future holds. We have experienced heartache and loss of friendships by stepping out in great faith by church planting and starting a non-profit Christian organization. They have both come with great reward and great stress. Now we wait and watch God move! That's when great faith comes in! When the pain is present and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. You feel as if you have been obedient and reverently in prayer for years and wanting nothing more then to follow His lead. When you feel alone! When your marriage is under attack and the stress that causes great stain on not only a marriage but on best friends. We have battled illness and fatigue as well as finical strain, uncertain of where my husband's job would would move us or keep us.
Looking back, I know that it is in those times that I saw miracles and prayers answered. I see the work of God and can trust that He is up to something BIG! Why else would satan show up? Must be good, don't you think? There has been lots of good and laughs through the year as well. New friendships have emerged as well as an overall healthy spirit that only He can give. There is great peace and joy in knowing that He has our back.
So Good Bye Old and Hello New! We will laugh till we cry. We will build up each other, diving into His word, staying in prayer and falling into His arms for strength, LOVE and guidance. Yes, there will be times it will seem that every time we turn around there is something else. There will always be pain and struggles, but it is up to us how we manage them in this new year. I have shed many tears and had much heartache and now I'm ready for healing and restoration. Our family looks forward to see what God will do this new year and how He will use us. He never said it would be easy to follow Him. He is indeed a good God. A faithful God! Thank you Father for your faithfulness and grace in my life!
Happy New Year to you all!