Thursday, April 11, 2013

When the microwave overheats and your bedroom is a disaster...

We have entered a new season in our lives.  We have become part of a movement of faith that is somewhat housed at the Irish Bred Pub in the bar upstairs on Sunday morning.  It's a unique group of individuals all collectively wanting to see Jesus and serve others.  We are still figuring out what this all looks like.

Last night, we invited everyone from the Bred Pub and some other friends to join up at our house for a meal.  Casual, basic fellowship.  Very casual.  Very basic.  We said we would serve lasagna and for everyone to just fill it in from there...or just come and eat.  We did not add chairs or tables to our house.  We did minimal clean up.  I threw a lot of stuff into our room, and closed the door. We ended up with around 30 people.

This is something I am growing into.  Something that is very uncomfortable for me.  Something that God is working on in my spirit and my soul.  I want my house to be perfect.  I want it to be spotless.  I want it to look like a Southern Living spread.  It is none of those things.  But what it is...a place God has blessed us with that needs to be shared...a place where people came and sat on the couch or the floor or the porch and laughed and shared.  Exactly what it is supposed to be!  A place of grace!

This is the email I sent out this morning:

I just wanted to say thanks to all of you that came last night. It was a great night! I hope everyone had a great time...I had a ton of fun!

I wanted to say that what Jack was sharing about being casual and the state of your house not mattering has not come easy for me. My self-worth growing up was definitely in appearances. It was driven into us by the way we were raised. God has had to deal with me over and over on this issue and I've still got work to do. What I do know -deep in my knower- is that I'd rather have a growing deepening relationship with you all- than a perfect house where it is spotless. I'd rather you see and know my mess-the real me than have some fake friendship that has no potential.

So thank you for being friends who don't care that the food was microwaved (at least until it overheated), for being friends who simply love Jesus and love each other in this process.

Excited to bring some more folks into this!!


Ps the microwave came back on after everyone went home!

I pray we have many, many more times of fellowship in the place of grace!  Come join us!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's not who you are going to marry or where you are going to college...oh but it is!

I have a saying that I use frequently.  So frequently that at times all I have to say to one of my kids is "you know what?" and they will say "I know Mom,  it's not who I'm going to marry or where I am going to college so just make a choice."  I've used this for as long as I can remember.  "Do you want a ham sandwich or PB & J for lunch?", "What color shirt do you want to wear today?"  You get the picture.

This last week the tables turned on me.  Two years ago, Malone didn't know who we were, literally.  This past week we made our first college visit and it was wonderful.  The campus was beautiful, lots of great tradition, close to people I know and love, and the exact major that he wants.

Absolutely beautiful day for a tour.  Exceptional student tour guide.  Unbelievable food choices on campus.  Can not think of one downfall.

On the long ride home however, reality set in.  It's 5 and half hours away from home.  That's a long way.

So we are praying and seeking the Lord on what His best is, not just what is beautiful, exceptional and unbelievable.  We want God's best...and don't want to settle for less.

We continue to covet your prayers and pray for you!

Don't settle!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Santa, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, and love

A while back, T and I started a journal where we can write questions and answers to each other about things that she may want to know but not feel comfortable asking out loud.  It's been such a blessing and encouragement!  Last year she asked about her elves and Santa and the reality of them.  I pulled from several sources for my answer and this is what unfolded....

Dear Townsend,

You've asked some very good questions: “Is my elf really real? Do you move my elf around?" you are basically asking if I am Santa. I know you’ve wanted the answer to these questions for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her.

I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won’t make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. You need this in order to believe in God and that what He says is true. What Jesus did, he did for YOU! You are forgiven, redeemed, and loved.  This is about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.

With full hearts, people like me take turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.

So, no. I am not Santa. Santa represents love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

And yes we help with your elf too because it's important for all those same reasons. Its important for you to be able to believe in something bigger than yourself and to hope. Hope will carry you a long way in this world. It’s important to learn to hope and how to deal with change and disappointment. It’s important to learn how to care for something. The experiences with your elves have helped teach you all of that.

I know your heart and you always want to do for others. Maybe we can think about how we can spread this for other people next year...

I’m so thankful that out of all the mom’s out there, when God was looking for one for you, He chose me. I am very blessed! I love you and I always will.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tonight, tonight...

Tonight won't be like any other night we have experienced before.  Tonight will be different and yes, I may hold my breath a bit.

Two years ago, tomorrow night our lives changed forever and we would say for good.  You can go back and read on the blog the specifics but basically Malone received a blow to the head that would inflict brain injury and put us on a ride that would rock our world and drive us to our knees.

Tonight, just 730 days later, he will step on the basketball court again, for the first time in an organized competitive league.  He has been playing in PE and in the alumni game at his school twice but this is the first time in a competitive league.

It will also be the first time ever that he and his brother have been on the court together, on the same team.  That part I love!  And so I will cheer "Go Celtics" and pray for a safe game...

8:00 Frank Brown Rec Center - be there!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Desires of our hearts...

Just got done with Malone's senior photo shoot.  Amazing, remarkable and healing are all words I would use to describe the time we spent with Scott and Deb Fillmer out at their farm.  Malone laughed and joked in his dry sense of humor like I haven't seen him do in a long time.  I do believe there has been so much healing and that he is breathing somewhat of a sigh of relief to finally be starting his senior year.  It's like we were in a holding pattern all of last year.  I want to get impatient and I forget that the Lord is always up to something during these times.

I have been praying for a long time for all of our kids not only that God would give them the desires of their heart, but that their hearts would be aligned with His heart for them.  Not gonna lie...the past year and a half have been overwhelmingly difficult,  mostly for Malone but also for those closest to him.  His heart has beaten the beat that matched the dribbling of a basketball for a very long time. Like since he was 5.  He literally for awhile, slept with a basketball in his bed.  He has had dreams of still moving forward with basketball big in the picture.  This is where it becomes hard as his Mom not to dash his dreams but also help him to be realistic...and so I said nothing.  To him.  I just prayed and prayed.

And the other day Malone said two things to me and one of them was "Mom, I just don't have the passion for basketball that I did before.  I don't hate it or anything but it's just not as fun."  Thank you Lord for hearing this mom's cries and doing "more than we can think to ask."  That is huge healing in him because I believe it's a release of a thing that was still having a hold on him.

The other thing he said that ranks about the same on the remarkable scale was "Mom, I like school.  It's not hard like it was last year."  Again, thank you Lord for answered prayers.  I watched Malone Friday run in with the LSA flags on Friday at the pep rally (there are no pictures because I apparently had something in my eyes that was making them water).  More healing as he is happy to be at his school where he is in his 15th year, surrounded by people who love him and are FOR him.  Just like Jesus "If God is FOR us, (and He most definitely is) then who can stand against us."

May the Lord grant me the desires of my heart, but first align them with His heart for me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How Great Thou Art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

It's been a few months since I've been on here.  I've needed some time to step away and reflect and some time to let some things settle.  God is stirring in me...always stirring.  It seems lately it's a "KitchenAid blender on 10" kind of stirring...other times it's a slow "wooden spoon in the sweet tea" kind.

Almost 22 years ago we had "How Great Thou Art" sung at my dad's funeral.  Funny, I didn't think God was so great that day. (don't's ok...God can handle it...He doesn't need my approval)

The words have come to mean so much to me over the years.  

The stirring God has been doing is in my burdened soul. I find myself burdened right now for many things.  I'm burdened for a childhood friend fighting cancer, for my own sweet 10 year old who is battling migraines, for my 14 year old bonus who deals with Chrohn's, for my 15 year old and my bonus 15 year old just being challenged with walking in this world but not of it, for the amazing 18 year old that continues to heal day by day, little by little and amazes us all, and specifically today for a sorority sister whose son was greatly injured in a golf cart accident that took the life of his best friend.  I could go on and on and on...

God spoke in the stirring this morning and all I could remember of the song was "my burden gladly bearing."  To be honest, at that point I couldn't even remember what song it was from.  I had to google it.  But God spoke in the stirring and said to my heart that it wasn't just my sin that he gladly bore on the cross, but the everyday burdens.  The big and the little burdens.  The major and the minor burdens.  He gladly bears them.

For some reason, it made me think about when I come home with a car full of groceries and I yell in the house for everyone to come help.  Some come willingly and gladly.  Some, not so much and need much prompting. (It changes each time who it is and that's not the point.)  The point is this...God gladly bears it ALL.

gladly : acquiescently, ardently, beatifically, blissfully, blithely, cheerfully, cheerily, contentedly,cordiallydelightedly, delightfully, ecstatically,enchantedly, enthusiastically, felicitously, freely,gaily, genially, gleefully, gratefully, heartily,jocundly, jovially, joyfully, joyously, lovingly,merrily, paradisiacally, passionatelypleasantly,pleasingly, pleasurably, rapturously, readily,sweetly, warmly, willinglywith good grace, withpleasure, with relish, zealously, zestfully

I love the synonym that says "with good grace" because that's what he does for you and for me...with all our burdens.  I know He will keep stirring me and I hope He never stops.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

And so we wait...

"And we watch and we wait and we hope and we pray You will come and make all things new!
And we won't be afraid as we long for the day you will come and make all things new!"

I keep reciting this as I know that God can do all things. I am in a season of...I'm not sure what to call it right now except close to the edge of overwhelmed.

After a conversation with a friend about my blog, I reread last night and this morning about this journey and this jumped off the page at me "God knows how long.  God did not doze off on us.  He did not accidently look away.  He was not texting and not paying attention at the time.  He knew.  As Max Lucado says "He authors all itineraries.  He knows what is best.  No struggle will come your way apart from his purpose, presence, and permission."
Such comforting words in this season...on this journey."

This is still true...I guess I just didn't think it would be this long and with some other other things piled on top. As my sweet cousin reminded me..."God doesn't give us more than we can handle...doesn't mean you want to hold it all."

I am thankful for those who shore me up and continue to pray for us. We will continue to watch and pray. More doctors appointments this week...