Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nice Matters

My sister-in-law Jenn presented me with a "Nice Matters" award last week and I am just now finding time to post it. You can see it on the right. Thanks, Jenn, for thinking of me!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The WILDS

TJ and I visited the Wilds Christian Camp in Brevard, NC this weekend with some very good friends. Words cannot describe the sense of renewal and refreshment we left with on Saturday evening. It was evident that the Lord used various situations this past week to prepare us for this weekend, and coupled with the preaching we received, we left better prepared to lead lives pleasing to Christ.

Pastor Dan Brooks of Heritage Bible Church in Greer, SC preached several messages on love from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. I have read, been preached to, and even taught this passage several times prior to this trip. However, Pastor Brooks applied this message in a different, more appropriate way, and both TJ and I were convicted of sinning against each other in various ways within our marriage. Basically, Pastor Brooks preached the concept of living the gospel each day, not just the day of salvation. Now, if you are not saved, this won’t make much sense to you. However, if you are saved, it’s basically turning to the One who loved first: God.

It was because of God’s love for us that we are saved and find mercy and forgiveness at the Cross. When we are tempted to be bitter, irritated, etc. with others because we feel we have been wronged, we are to remember how God loved us. God is patient, God is kind. God does not boast. God does not rejoice in iniquity but rather rejoices in truth. God never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). By replacing the word ‘love’ with God in the above verses, we get a better picture of what the Lord requires us to do. Remember how broken you were when you got saved. You admitted your wrongdoing and accepted the forgiveness Jesus had to offer. God requires us to have that same repentant heart daily, and to extend it to others as He has extended it to us.

We also had plenty of time to reflect on God and His goodness. This time alone with the Lord allowed for us to make some decisions in our lives. One major decision I made over the weekend was to have more children now. I had always planned to have more but wanted to wait until I was finished with school. I have 1 more year to go (only 8 classes!) but the Lord has really been convicting me to have more in His time, not mine. Some verses used to convict me are Psalm 127:3-5. These verses compare children to arrows, and blessed (happy) is the man whose quiver is full of arrows. I haven't shared that with anyone, as most people in my family think I am crazy to want 4 or more children. We'll see what happens. Now that I've agreed, I may not be able to get pregnant again or it won't happen for a while. I don't really care; it's more of a heart matter between me and the Lord. The important thing is that I am willing to submit to God's control over my life instead of me trying to control it. I can't really describe it- I hope it makes sense.

Along with the preaching, we had plenty of free time to enjoy ourselves. Probably the most exciting time for me was the Giant Swing (see the pictures). It is 75 feet in the air, and is AWESOME! We also went on a hike, rode the “land trolley” and enjoyed coffee equivalent to that of Starbucks. The food was wonderful and the time spent with friends even better. TJ has promised me a return trip in February for a Valentine’s Day retreat; I can’t wait!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Time Such as This

I am writing to ask for prayer for me. Compared to what my friend Carrie and many others have recently experienced, my request is very minor. However, it is causing me stress and anxiety, and I am feeling extremely overwhelmed. The next week is very busy for me both as a wife/mom and student.

We are celebrating Th’s birthday at preschool tomorrow so I need to bake cookies to bring in the morning. Before going to preschool, however, I have a MOMS Club meeting and it is my turn to bring snacks, so I also have to bake a breakfast cake to share. I have to be at a local middle school tomorrow afternoon to teach an adapted physical education class to 4 students with disabilities. Tomorrow is my first day with this, so I am a little nervous about meeting the students and planning activities for them. Friday morning I have my weekly MOMS Club Bible study, and Friday afternoon TJ and I are leaving for our couple’s retreat. I still need to complete my lesson and make the handouts for Bible study. To prepare for going away, I have laundry and packing for us and Th, as he is staying with my dad-in-law. I also have to clean my house because my mom-in-law is coming to stay here with Ta and T.G. I have a test Monday morning that I need to find time to study for, and a group project I need to work on for Wednesday. To add to my load, TJ is working crazy hours because some new equipment arrived that was back-ordered. It needs to be assembled and computers and other electronic equipment installed. . . in 33 classrooms. I am now temporarily a single parent until he finishes all of his stuff at work for the next 2 days. I also have to go to the grocery store, and you know how it is when you have to take your children to the grocery store. I'd rather have my teeth pulled out one at a time without novacaine while sitting atop a pile of burning ash rather than take all 3 of my kids to the grocery store, but that's another story.

So, above is my “To Do” list for the next 5 days. Here are specific ways you can pray:
· A good night’s rest so I can wake refreshed, ready to serve the Lord
· Clarity of thought so I can prioritize my list
· Patience and self-control as I care for my children amidst my craziness
· Time to complete all of my tasks
· For me to remember not to worry (Matt. 6:34)

Thank you so much, and if I don’t write here in a few days and you're wondering why, re-read the above post.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Carrie Update

"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers" ~ 1 Peter 3:12a

Praise the Lord! God has heard and answered our prayers regarding Carrie. She made it through surgery well and is very responsive. The doctors found that the tumor was not cancerous and were able to remove all of it. She still has a long way to go for recovery and needs to be very cautious so that she does not get any infections. Her husband said she was up and talking and it was like she never even had surgery. He wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and will give more information as it comes. This is a HUGE answer to prayer, and although I am crying, the tears are tears of joy. Thank you all so much for the support you have given this family through prayer.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Surgery

Her surgery was at 1PM today. I have not yet heard any details, but please continue to pray for Carrie and all who will be caring for her as she recovers. Also, pray the tumor is not cancerous, and if it is cancerous, that it has not spread. Also pray for her family as they are split between caring for her son and being with her in the hospital. God's hand has been sustaining Carrie thus far, and I know He will continue to do so. He is the Ultimate Physician and can heal any ailment or affliction. I thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement; they are greatly appreciated!

Specific ways to pray:

  • God's will to be done and for Him to recieve all the glory and honor in whatever happens
  • Carrie's spritual, emotional, and physical strength as she faces the unknown
  • Ken (her husband)- his spiritual, emotional, and physical strength as he goes between home and Duke to care for Carrie and their son; travel safety as he goes back and forth; for him to be strong for Carrie; insurance and finances to go smooth
  • Ken & Carrie's son- to adjust to staying with his grandparents for the time being; to not question too much where Mommy & Daddy are; to be an encouragement to his family
  • Doctor's wisdom as they perform the surgery and decide best treatment
  • Nurses and other healthcare workers- to speak encouraging words to Carrie and the family to help calm their fears; patience in caring for Carrie; wisdom in healthcare decisions
  • Carrie's family as they make healthcare decisions; physical and emotional strength as they watch their daughter going through this
  • Ken's family- wisdom and patience as they care for their grandson; emotinal strength as they minister to and support Ken
  • The MOMS Club- for us to come together to support a fellow mom who is facing such a dramatic life circumstance; wisdom as we decide how to best support and encourage Carrie
  • West End Baptist Church- Ken and Carrie's church- discernment related to supporting the family during this time

Please pray as you feel led by the Holy Spirit. Already, God has used this to draw so many to Him, and that in itself is such a blessing. Again, thank you very much.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

God's Promises

I literally just checked my email and received some news I definitely was not expecting.

A friend of mine from the MOMS Club just found out she has a tumor on her brain and is undergoing surgery at Duke University. She and her husband have a son who will be 2 in October, so I'm sure this is especially scary for them. HOWEVER, it is times such as this that, as a Christian, I MUST turn to the One who ordained every circumstance in this young couple's lives. Here are some promises to help me, my friend, and all of you in cyberspace get through various trials in life. Please keep them in your prayers, and also us as a Club so we can better know how to serve her family at this time. Thanks!

God's presence -- "I will never leave thee" (Heb. 13:5)
God's protection -- "I am thy shield" (Gen. 15:1)
God's power -- "I will strengthen thee" (Isa. 41:10)
God's provision -- "I will help thee" (Isa. 41:10)
God's leading -- "And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them" (John 10:4)
God's purposes -- "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil" (Jer. 20:11)
God's rest -- "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28)
God's cleansing -- "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)
God's goodness -- "No good thing will He withhold from them that work uprightly" (Psalm 84:11)
God's faithfulness -- "The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name's sake" (1 Sam. 12:22)
God's guidance -- "The meek will He guide" (Psalm 25:9)
God's wise plan -- "All things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Date Night

I'm still here. I have been busy with school, and this past Saturday TJ and I went on a "date" to Carowinds. A girl from our church offered to babysit free of charge, so TJ and I took advantage of her offer and spent a couple of hours getting back in touch with each other and our childhood.

We had such a good time! We went on rides that we hadn't been on before, even testing some rides for future trips with Th. When we left the park, we went to dinner and shopping for a birthday gift for Th. It was pleasant, yet very strange to be out and about without a stroller, diaper bag, or even kids for that matter! It was such a blessing and I am so thankful for this girl's attitude of service. We've not been out together alone in over a year (not even for dinner)! I am looking forward to our overnight getaway coming up in a couple of weeks!

I am still working on finishing my "life story". I like to work off-line but I have several papers, tests, and projects for school that I need to complete before finding time to work on my blog. I haven't forgotten about it, and will try to work on it some the remainder of the week. In addition to school, TJ and I are having a yard sale Saturday morning, followed by a birthday party for Th Saturday afternoon. I need to finish getting everything done for both of those events.

Oh, by the way, I quit my job yesterday, although technically I never worked. Reality hit me and I realized I was nuts to think I could squeeze in time to work.

One day maybe, but not now. For now, my job as a wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, and student keep my pretty busy.

Friday, September 7, 2007

At the Cross






Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, there will always be sunshine, after the rain ....
Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall, But God's always ready, To answer your call ...
He knows every heartache, sees every tear, A word from His lips, can calm every fear ...
Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night, But suddenly vanish, dawn's early light ...
The Savior is waiting, somewhere above, To give you His grace, and send you His love ..
Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, "God always sends rainbows .... after the rain ... "



I received the above in an email from a friend of mine after sharing some of my life's circumstances with her today. She included this encouraging message to me:

We trust in God to get us through whatever it is that He has planned for us, no matter how heavy the cross might be, but it is there for a reason, to get us through something else perhaps or to be a light for someone else. Notice in the cartoon when God is asked to lighten the load for the man, who actually does lighten the load....we are definately never forced to follow God's will, it is always a choice.


It makes me think of the hymn, "At the Cross" . Tis true, it was at the cross where I gave my burdens to my Savior, 10 years ago today. My life has been full of ups and downs, and I've shared my load of burdens, but through it all, the Lord remained faithful and God is so GOOD!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

All Work & No Play

I've not posted in a few days because I've been crazy busy with school and life, plus I started to not feel well yesterday morning. I also got a job on campus and tonight was my orientation. I have training Sunday afternoon between church services and I officially begin on Tuesday evening. I am going to be calling University alumni to update their personal information. . . and while I happen to have them on the phone, try and solicit a monetary donation for scholarships.

Now, I am not too sure how I'll do at this job, but thankfully it's only for 6 weeks. Just long enough for me to tolerate the schedule (Tuesday and Thursday evenings) and save up a little bit of cash for the holidays.

If I call you, please don't hang up on me!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Surprise!

I just want to tell you what a wonderful husband I have! I had class today (yes, on Labor Day) and when I got home this afternoon, I found TJ had cleaned the downstairs of the house for me. He cleaned the bathrooms for me yesterday while I was working on a paper for school. It was such a blessing to come home to that surprise! I was able to better concentrate on my paper today because I wasn’t focusing on all I needed to do around the house. Thank you, TJ!