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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Redeemer

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He Makes anything New!

What a Beautiful hope we have!

Have a wonderful day my sweet friends!!

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Flash Back

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The other day I uncovered  a treasure chest of old memories. It was not the kind that you might find on Antique Road Show but it was the sum of my childhood. The thing that I spent probably more time at than anything else.

I found my old paper dolls.

And I introduced little one to them.

Like Stella here…Awhh I loved Stella!

Or the Pork n Bean  Twins…

I remembered many of their names and some of the clothes as well.

Denim Deb…She was the whole package! I wanted to look just like Deb when I grew up. She had the prettiest clothes and Red hair you ever did see!

The Gingham sisters in their petticoats.

You will notice many of the dolls had neck issues. Many of them had already been decapitated because of weak necks. So most wore braces to support the spinal column. Tape worked beautifully for that.

The Sunshine Family. The baby was my favorite. I had both sets of sunshine families. African-American and Caucasian. I can’t seem to find the granny from the White Family…May she rest in peace.

It was a warm feeling. Not the kind that makes you worry you may have wet your pants but the kind that embraces you in a big envelope of a pleasant memory. The kind that makes you feel nostalgic and wish for one more day of childhood.

And as I watched little one play and sort and oooo and ahhhh I grinned. And when she took them and played with them for several hours I smiled in remembrance of how I would go off alone and play make believe. And I hoped that one day she will feel warm and child like when she uncovers her boxes of  by gone memories.

And she will have boxes…she’s a saver that one is. Even of questionable items such as straws and discarded gum wrappers. I hide things from her… or she will pack it away as a treasure in some location. 🙂 I’m sure her sentimental streak comes straight from my gene pool. I have no question about that.

So I relive as I see her live out her childhood.

And I smile.

Let Freedom Reign

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We talk a great deal of freedom here in America. We are free to think, choose where we live, how we live, and where we go.

It’s freedom when a teenager gets their license. (which btw…I tremble at the thought of…Freshman can officially apply for her permit today.)

Freedom. An opportunity to gain independence and liberty to be anything we work at hard enough.

This week Pastor talked about living freely. There is only one way to do that according to John 8.

Is it by declaring it? Claiming it? Shouting everyone down to receive it?

No. It is by faith Believing the TRUTH and OBEYING it. This leads to freedom.

Think about it. If we embrace the truth only but don’t obey we will have theology but it won’t line up with our reality.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my son last week.

He: Mom is it better to just live what we believe or tell people.

Me: Well I think it’s both. We must listen and be ready to obey when we are supposed to say something.

He: Well what’s more important though?

Me: Well if you don’t live it you shouldn’t speak it. If you aren’t living what you tell people they should do then they will never believe that you’re legit. If you would see dad and I telling you to be kind but we are rude and mean to each other and you then what good does it do to tell you to be kind? It would be hypocritical of us. So in order to ever be able to speak it you must live it consistently.

He: Oh, That makes sense.

Does this mean we will always get it right? Nope. It means that when we get it wrong we say “I’m sorry. I should have been a better  follower of Jesus. ” That action speaks just as loud as  doing the right thing the first time does.

Jesus says ” If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31

So if we believe the truth and walk in the action of obedience ….Freedom follows.

The true freedom of living life without chains tied around our hearts. The Freedom that sets us free from captivating thoughts and unhealthy attachments. Freedom that brings a peace in our hearts in the middle of troubled times.

Freedom is living life fully aware of our own need to stay close to the Father because we are weak on own.

Not independence from him but a dependence on him.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

You had me at Hello….

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Jason and I spent 36 hours rekindling the flame…. I love that we can be alone together and still have so much fun. We kind of get each others humor. That helps!

He came home with a surprise of 17(actually 24 cause its cheaper by the dozen:)))roses.

So I packed up a couple of snacks for the road.

And left a couple of kisses for the people we were leaving behind.

And we hit the road. Straight to Chicago we drove getting there and driving through the city was a blast!

Us country folk don’t get out much so we just gawked at the city slickers in their black suits, ties and well other things…This I know….If you wear any other color coat we will be able to spot you as a probable tourist. If you’re smiling and laughing to another person who is also wearing another color we will know with 90% certainty that you are indeed visiting the city. If you motion for a vehicle to move in front of you in line you ARE without  a doubt an out of towner.
We ate at the melting pot for dinner. It was a delish and an event all in itself. We spent 3 hours…dipping and eating.

And the next morning we ate at egglegtic cafe. A yummy little joint in Shaumburg.

Serious food here! So we split one stinkin meal.

And  this is the where the story gets good….

We went to IKEA with the intention of picking out a bed.

 Last summer we had been at IKEA and picked out a bed we liked. So we went down to the bins and picked out our bed. Jason got straps and cords to try to fasten it to the top of our van. After spending 3 hours in the store and 45 minutes loading we were ready to leave except my receipt just seemed too high. So I checked it closer and found we had actually purchased 2 beds and neither of them was the correct bed we were after….GRRRR! We unfastened everything and returned the beds with the promise that we would go get one in a few weeks. That was in August. We never made it back. But now I know why.

So on  this day, we walked through the gigantic warehouse finding the exact #’s this time. After 4 hours we finally reached the basement where we would search for the right bin…but decided to walk through “scratch and dent” first. Well that is like a paradise for J and I.

I find. He fixes. Perfect!

And find we did. In fact we found a head-board and foot board of the bed we were planning to purchase at the bargain price of $200. Except in the scratch and dent section they were $10 A PIECE!!!

One catch…It was a king head-board. And we have  a queen mattress.

Well after some thinking about how that would work and if it would be possible to do MR. Fix it said. “Yep I think I can!”

And when that happens I suddenly hear angles singing and flowers opening their blossoms right there in front of me. It was glorious I tell you! Glorious!

We got home on Saturday evening just in time for him to spend an hour or so cutting it to size. We slept in it yet that night!

Happy Dance! And that rug? $20 as well! It was such fun!

I think God may have been smiling on us this day. It sure felt like it!

What a gracious Father who brought us together and has held us together through many valleys and mountain tops.

 I love so much about you!  I love the way you father our children and nurture me. You are serious but not too serious. I like the well balanced approach you take to life. And how easy you are to talk to. I love your inventive mind that always thinks outside the box.You forgive as fast as anyone I know. I thank my God for you!

And you know what?

You had me at Hello!

My starlight gal

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We have been spending numerous weekends and evenings getting freshman to her great love…..

 Show Choir.

She has become passionate about it. And she does well. I’m glad she has something she loves. The group of ladies are very talented and they have gotten progressively better with each performance!

Over Spring Break they will travel to New York City to compete. Freshman is beyond herself with excitement! It will be a trip of a lifetime.

Here are some pictures I captured of their performance and after shots last week.

Yes Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Dale, Cousin Jasmine and hijacker Gene. Gotta have one hijacked picture! 🙂

Marriage in the making

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It was almost 17 years ago. The day I had dreamed of since I was just a sprout.
My wedding day.

It was going to be perfect. The wedding. The marriage. The Life.

 I was full of dreams and expectations. While in my head I knew there would be hard days ahead, because fortunately for me, many well intending married people who saw my jaded eyes were very quick to advise me in these ways… “He brings you flowers now? Well that will change!” OR, “You just wait until you’ve been married as long as we have, then we will see how starry-eyed you are”.
It made me anxious as a young engaged woman. And also a bit soured at the bearer of the negative, rain on my parade, elder. I would say to myself… “Posh, they only tell on themselves”.

I dreamed of bridesmaids dresses and unity candles. I was single focused on chicken salad and wedding music. I didn’t need anyone bothering me with their negativity about the union I was about to commit to.

I was sure that it would be different for us. It would all be sort of like a marathon of sleep over’s. We would stay up late and share our dreams and secrets. (Of course we couldn’t talk about boys like I did at my childhood sleep over’s) But it would be a grown up sleep over and we would share our feelings. It would all be very deep and fun. He would know that what I need is undivided time and attention. It would not be perfect I knew…but it would be bliss.
Why else were so many people doing it?
On March 26, 1994 I looked that guy in the eyes and said “ I do”.
I do.
I will respect you. I do. I will honor you. I do. I will bring you good not harm. I do.
Till death do us part. I do.
And I am so glad I did!

My guy is exceptional I will be the first to tell you the truth on that.

He is sensitive and kind. He is helpful and encouraging. He is tender and funny. Faithful and honest.
I’m not just saying that because he will read this.

My love for him runs deeper than ever!

It’s not because my expectations of marriage were accurate. In fact, after the first week or two of him falling asleep in the middle of my late night chats I realized that I may have to lay down the expectation that he would be like my girlfriends and chatter on with me about his feelings. After all, how far can we get when I have asked my best questions in attempt to open him up and he responded with phrases such as, “I’m fine”. “It stinks”. “That’s nice”. “I don’t know”. “I’ll try”. And “I’m tired can we talk about this later?”
I had waited 22 years to hear my knight in shining armor say that?
The realization came to me after about year 3 that I hadn’t married my girlfriend and maybe I should stop trying to turn him into that. Maybe he didn’t like to shop with me. Or notice my shoes. Perhaps he had not been gifted at mind reading and guessing what social cues he had missed. Is that why I married him? So he could be like me?
Respect him. Was I?
How about all the disappointments over expectations that I had logged somewhere back in the shelves of my mind. Those things that I didn’t speak, I just assumed everyone knew. The feelings that I didn’t want to express because if I told him how badly I needed him to fill that void he would do it only out of obligation and that would feel forced and manipulative.
Honor him. Did I?
In marches baby 1, baby 2, and baby 3. With that came new challenges and as soon as one expectation was laid down it felt like I faced another. I had this overwhelming feeling that the life was being sucked right out of me as we entered year 7. It was difficult and I was turning 30. I loved mothering. I loved being a wife. But I was struggling with identity. I didn’t know who I was. I wanted him to fulfill me. Tell me who I was and offer me all I lacked. I was looking to him for happiness.
I will bring YOU good. Not harm.
And then…. One night I met someone who filled all those holes. He romanced me. He loved me unconditionally. He listened to me as long as I wanted to talk. He never fell asleep. He whispered the words I longed to hear, even before I asked him to say it. He gave me confidence and purpose. He let me dump on him and never told anyone my secrets. I fell hard.
I had known him all my life but I didn’t know how wonderful he was at love. He was my first love and I had come back to him.

It was a match made in heaven.
The funniest thing happened to me after that. My expectations of my earthly groom who I had promised to love in sickness and health started to change.

He didn’t.
I did.
I realized that those negative Nelly’s that told me how dreadful my future looked were right.

When our focus is on our imperfect mate and keeping track of what he does or doesn’t do for our pleasure, we will live in disappointment and anger. 
There is another.
Anything our earthly partner does for us is extra.

 When we meet the ultimate romancer we can live fulfilled without flowers and poetry because he is the only absolute love we will ever encounter. The amazing thing is even though he’s my eternal flame, He can be yours as well!
Maybe you need to hear that there is one who will fill all the holes in your heart. The fulfilment of your highest expectations will be met in him. You may even find that the things you thought were so important will dim as you dance with the one who knows how you were formed.

The molding of your heart to his.

A marriage in the making.

Get out of that boat

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It could be classified as one of the worst days you had to face. The most awful nightmare had happened.

Your cousin has been arrested and beheaded. I don’t know how to type that any kinder. It was horrific! The one who you were close to in so many ways. The one who really got who you were and what you were about. The news is hard to swallow.

And so Jesus removes himself for a few moments from ministering to people in order to be alone to grieve. But they follow him. They beg him to heal their sick and meet their physical needs. Some had traveled for miles.  Jesus has compassion on them so he begins to heal them. But it’s getting later and the people are now hungry. The people were far from home. He feels mercy again. He tells his disciples, “You feed them”.

As it ends up the disciples bring him five loaves and 2 fish. Jesus blesses the food and it multiples.
After this Jesus sends his disciples across the lake in a boat and tells them he will meet them later. He needed time alone with his Father.

So the disciples head out. Only to encounter the storm of their lives. Waves are rocking them silly. They may have likely been thinking of their impending death. It was out of control!

And then Jesus enters…on the water.

He tells them who he is and encourages them not to be afraid.

Peter feeling brave with Jesus so close calls out, “Can I come to you?” And Jesus says “Yes come”.

Peter hops out, and starts to walk on the water. Maybe he was waving and smiling. And then…oopsie daisy… he realizes he is doing the impossible. It is at that point he starts to go down, down, down.

He yells out asking Jesus to Save him. And Jesus reaches down and pulls him up.

 Chiding “Don’t doubt. My faithless child”.

Do you see that picture in your head? I mean here is this grown man hopping out of a boat with full confidence. I’m sure there was some adrenaline pumping. And who knows maybe the boat was taking on water. I’m picturing a pretty wet scene.

Here comes Jesus the one who had been healing people all day long. Peter had helped gather food and then watched as the Master instantly produced more right in front of his eyes. So walking on the water was just a great way to end the day!

 How many more miracles would Jesus have to do in order for Peter to fully trust his power?

How often do I lack full confidence as I step out of the boat because in my heart I’m afraid this may be the time that Jesus forgets to help me with the impossible?

Or Maybe this

Am I putting my faith in my own ability instead of his? And how’s that working for me?

I watched a video of someone explaining this chapter one time. He raised the question… was  the reason Peter sank  because he didn’t believe in himself? Maybe Peter didn’t have enough faith in his own ability. Jesus has faith in us. 

Does that make any bells go off in your head?

Yes. Mine too.

Jesus has never told us he has faith in us. That’s the point of him being the Savior. I don’t have a fighting chance in this journey if I am dependent upon my faith in what I can do apart from what he does through me.

 “I can do all things….Through Christ….Who strengthens me.”  phil 4:13. It’s Key.

I have been Peter in many ways. This area not withstanding.

 It is real in my life.

When I stepped out of that boat I sank down to a watery pit. I truly believed I was going to drown. And I truly believe I would have. Except for Jesus.

I cried out to him at the top of my lungs. I asked him to save me from the pit I was in. He gently picked up my broken, body and said, “My precious girl, have faith in me”. I literally laid the Bible over my chest to the passage he gave me as His promise to me.I read and reread his words of hope and rescue.

It is what brought me healing. It is what saved me from the pit I was in.

No amount of talking myself out of the pit helped.

Only Him.

He has been my Salvation and I can’t help but put my trust in him.

Is he asking you to step out of the boat today? Do you trust him enough to run across the water to him?

 If you start to sink do you know that you can’t save you?

No amount of faith in yourself will make you walk again. Only your faith in the person of Jesus Christ.

He will be your only rescue.

I tell you all this because I not only read the words in Matthew 14, I have journeyed them. And I will again.

Hopefully the next time Jesus tells me to step out I will skip across the waves knowing that he is in full command of the threatening force.

I have learned to trust him because of the waves. Not in spite of them.

He showed me that he is Mighty to Save.

So The question I ask today is this…

How many more miracles would Jesus have to do for you to fully trust his power?