Tuesday, December 29, 2009

keep moving forward


10 pm December 26th...Lego storage unit falls apart w/a bang...and I do mean with a bang!

So, I've been looking at this storage unit, put together by yours truly over a year ago, slowly lean more and more. Telling myself, of course, each time, "I really need to tighten those screws." I walk by and make it lean less, promising to get around to it. This is also along with telling myself it's time to sort all those Legos and get some things rebuilt so that the storage units aren't as heavy for the poor unit trying to hold them all. Yes, some things have a way of taking care of themselves.

December 26th...boys fall asleep watching a movie with me in the living room. At 10 pm, I proceed to carry Alex to his bed, kiss him goodnight and turn to go back for Tim. Leaving the room, I see the storage unit leaning excessively to the right toward the door. I chuckle to myself and utter those famous words I said above, all the while reaching to make it lean less. Not 2 seconds after getting it to stand upright does the whole unit give way and crash (and I mean CRASH) to the floor spewing Legos and plastic containers onto the floor. I burst out laughing...tears streaming down my cheeks, kind of laughing. I mean, at this point, if anyone could sleep through that crash they can sleep through laughter as well. It was hilarious...and I'm cracking up writing about it even now. Some things strike me as funny and this event sure did. No silent night happening here...not now anyway.
I composed myself, I thought, and grabbed the camera for a picture. Nice time to try out my new camera. (I love it, btw). Then I return for Tim, who's sleeping soundly on the couch. Now, Tim awake is hard for me to lift off the ground...asleep, it takes all I can muster to accomplish. I get him in my arms, and the thought of what has just taken place causes me to start laughing again...only this time I'm trying to carry a sleeping boy who is too big for me to carry in the first place to his room while laughing hysterically. Yeah, it worked out...for a few steps. I made it to his doorway and had to put the poor guy on the floor so I didn't flat out drop him. So, I'm laughing, crying from laughing, and apologizing to Tim (who's still asleep) in the doorway of the boys' bedroom. I wake him up enough for him to jump back into my arms and I get him safely to his bed...kiss him goodnight...and turn to leave. I take a step and hear Alex ask, "So, Mom...what happened to the Lego shelf?" Needless to say, I start laughing again and sit on his bed retelling him the story of my last 10 minutes. We laugh and enjoy the story together. Priceless moments...

The movie we had been watching was "Meet the Robinsons"...in the movie the motto is "keep moving forward". Tonight, on my third day of sorting Legos and seeing a light at the end of my tunnel, I was helping Alex find pieces to his police semi. On a search for a particular piece, I hear him state, "Keep moving forward," as he put another one in place. He was very excited to get his semi back together...especially since he now has the police station...and kept telling me how easy I was making it for him to find the pieces. Lots of hugs and thank you's later, it's almost complete...bedtime came and we had to call it a night.

I laughed as the phrase, "keep moving forward", brought back my nighttime crash of Legos and almost Tim...but it also made me think that no matter how tedious things get, it truly is important to keep moving forward. Things don't get done well in the present by constantly looking in the past. As of late, circumstances be as they may, moving forward is difficult. Letting go, trusting, moving forward...it's a challenge. It's not that I don't like a challenge...but it's that I like the way things were, too. The Legos crashing brought about a couple of things I expected...fixing the shelf and sorting the Legos. What I didn't expect was the joy in spending time "playing" Legos w/Alex...I was sorting, he was building...and the good feeling to get the project underway and almost completed w/results of my tedious work happening right before my eyes. Now, if other aspects of my life were so easy to move on from...that's my prayer for 2010.
Keep moving forward.
Who's ready to see what God has in store?
I know I am.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Musings…Remembrances…Excerpts…


Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous

My thoughts as of late have been on friendship. Thinking of those special people in my life whom hold the title "friend", I cannot help but smile. Friends come in many varieties...God knows whom we need in our lives and the reason why. I do not believe friends happen by chance. A true friend is a priceless gift. "Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure." -- Jewish saying.

Sometimes circumstances are against us and miles may separate us, but friendship amazingly can remain. There's nothing like the moment two friends are reunited and they pick up right where they left off and it's as if no time has passed at all. I look forward to a moment like that...

Remind me of a time with laughter and I will have most likely spent it with a friend. The sweetest memories are those that are shared. Remind me of a time with sorrow and I will have most likely wanted to or have gotten through it with a friend by my side. Burdens are divided and therefore lessened by a friend's shoulder to lean on. Remember and realize life is better because of someone sharing it with you.

Examining my own journals and notes from friends, I find these...
"Wow...you made me smile." "I thought of you today..." "Come and visit. There's always room for you." "Only you would truly appreciate that I just had to wait for a duck to cross the road in front of me." "It's been a long time..." "Teen idol alert!" "You were there and I wanted to talk to you." "THANK YOU!" "I'm praying for you." "God is good...all the time." "Those who love the most hurt the most; because they have the biggest hearts." "Remain a blessing to those around you." "Big electric cat!" "Half my heart is in Alaska." ":)" Even more remain in my heart, but from these listed the varying differences in experiences are evident. Thank God for friends! They make the hardest of times bearable and the best of times better.

Yes, I love...need...and miss my friends...life isn't the same without them. No matter what, though, true friendship can endure the test of time.
Always love God first and foremost...give Him the glory due Him and everything else will fall into place. With God's help even the biggest problems can be worked out.
Practice being a friend to those you meet. You never know when friendship's going to happen...it may just surprise you and end up being the best thing ever!

"Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends."- Mary Catherwood

Saturday, December 19, 2009

light and dark


"We are like a candle that holds the flame, burning strong and bright the light of Christ. We softly give ourselves away in worship of Him and service for Him, that we might become less and less, and that He might become greater and brighter through us." Mary Fairchild

"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." John 1:3-9

"He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it give light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." Acts 26:17b-18

Because Jesus himself bridged the gap between darkness and light on the cross, as Christians it is now our act of worship to shed His light to those lost in the darkness of sin. Sometimes it seems as if we are just standing on the edge of darkness in order to reach those around us with the Gospel. Not everyone is going to grace the walls of a church in order to see the light...it could be that we are called to go out into the darkness where they currently are in order to share God's light and love with them. It's a fine line to hold...between light and dark...may we never get so comfortable in the light that we forget about those still in the dark and may we never stray too far into the darkness that we dim our own testimony's light.

May we all share the light of Jesus with those around us in all we do and say starting this Christmas and continuing into the New Year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Alaska: Take 3


"O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth - you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way." Solomon (2 Chronicles 6:14)

Looking ahead to summer of 2010...and loving just the thought of returning to Alaska! So excited to hear today that my dream is again a real possibility! Lord willing, July 17th-31st, I will be in Alaska on staff for two weeks with GraceWorks. How awesome is that?!! Different role this year, but still serving in Alaska...praise God for this great opportunity!

Is my excitement evident yet or should I add a few more exclamation marks?!! :)
Who knew my heart would be drawn to a specific place so much so that I would want to return again and again...and that God would provide the opportunity and finances to do so again and again. I thank God for His many blessings!

May I continue to honor Him in all that I say and do so that others around me will see and experience the love of God in and through me. Be glorified in my life, Lord!

Thank You for Alaska!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas...love in action

"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." Dale Evans Rogers

Truly, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year...it's especially so since being blessed with Alex and Tim. The excitement they add to an already special season is priceless.
Asking November 1st when the tree is going up...wearing Santa hats just because...singing Christmas carols with all the gusto little boys can muster...enduring Christmas card picture day...telling me the best gift at Christmas is Jesus...getting up and dancing around every time we hear a favorite Christmas song on the radio...yes, we do enjoy Christmastime.

This year two special memories thus far have been hearing Alex singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" in the shower and Tim proudly telling me, "I made the lights stop blinking and music-ing." (one strand of lights plays Christmas carols and blinks when you plug them in) However, they carry out the spirit of Christmas all year long. They, to me, are love in action. Beyond the hugs and kisses...they express love to others in unique ways; ways that make people feel special.

Alex...thinker, perfectionist, lover of routine with an occasional spontaneous notion...has a smile that lights up even the dreariest of days.

Timothy...dreamer, contented one, winner of hearts with one look from those big blue eyes...has a way to make friends like no one else I know.

With Alex and Tim, everyday is Christmas.

I wonder if they think the same about me...
top pic...Tim, one week old Christmas Day 2003
bottom pic...Alex, two months old Christmas 2002

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Emmanuel...God with us

I was reminded tonight that on that silent night of Jesus' birth, He was giving up so much just to dwell with man, so that man might eternally dwell with Him. Third Day sings it so well in their song, "All the Heavens"..."All the angels exalt you on high; What a Kingdom to depart! But You left Your throne in the sky just to live inside my heart." What a gift of love, indeed, is Jesus for each and everyone one of us. Oh, that I would not take Him for granted...nor any of the blessings He showers me with on a daily basis. His mercies are new every morning. There is so much for which to be grateful. Thank You, my God and my Savior, for the greatest gift of Your Son.
I have been reading "Revolution in World Missions" and thoroughly enjoying it! My purposes are to be about God and salvation provided by His Son's birth, life, death and resurrection. I am good to no one if in my own life I lack in seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. What better gift could I give to someone this Christmas, than that of the news of the Gospel? This gift comes with an eternal warranty.
If you are browsing this blog and do not know Jesus as Your Savior, let me introduce you to the One who came to earth as a baby Christmas morning...lived a holy, perfect life as a man on earth...who came to die in our place and took the punishment upon himself for our sin. (John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.") He overcame sin and death by resurrecting on the third day. (Luke 24:6-7 "He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and on the third day be raised again.' ") You, born into sin, are a sinner (Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God") in need of a Savior. Jesus is our Savior (1 John 4:14 "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world"). He is the way, the truth, and the life. John 14:6 says, "Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me." Romans 10:9-10 says "that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." I do hope that you trust Jesus and do grow in a personal relationship with Him. He doesn't promise it will be easy or that there won't be problems in your life, but He does promise to never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). The greatest gift we can receive is eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas!





Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

December 1st...finally! November seemed to last an extra long time. The boys make the whole Christmas season brighter. We sing along with the Christmas songs with a smile and we dance around the house alot, too...with such great tunes as "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree", "Feliz Navidad" and "I want a Hippopotomus for Christmas"...who can resist the tapping of ones toes?

The big debate the past couple of days has been how many days of Christmas there actually are. One of the boys' favorite songs of course is "The 12 Days of Christmas"...but they also reason that the 25 days leading up to Christmas is "Christmas" as well, so that gives us, according to little boys' mindsets, 37 days of celebration. I am so okay with this...and proud to be their mama!

Knowing the real meaning of Christmas has always been of utmost importance to teach the boys. I have never been an advocate of the whole S.C. scenario, so it's fun to just have fun without all the pressure of the man in red coming through with big ticket items. Christmas morning is so much fun...but just as fun is the first day of getting out all of the Christmas decorations. They open those boxes as if there's a gift in them like on Christmas morning. It's so fun to decorate with them helping set up the Christmas village, the tree, and all the other little odds and ends around the house. I make homemade ornaments each year for us, too, so they look forward to hanging them on the tree and going over each one year after year. The only one that's not fairing so well is the "Gingerbread House" ornament I made the year we bought our current house. Tim's kind of sad the beads keep falling off...and I agree they need some attention...one day. :) This year's ornament is going to be a Gingerbread Man...made from felt, not foam, so the decor will stay on better (I hope!). In fact I need to get going on them...need to make ours and the ones for the youth tree as well. I love making them their ornaments for the tree in the youth room. Hope they like them again this year.

Only 24 more days until Christmas...let the countdown begin!