Monday, April 29, 2013

the best medicine

20130416_100832"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with a shout of joy." Job 8:21

Today, I had the wonderful pleasure of sharing lunch with some wonderful ladies I am privileged to call friends.  During a time in my life where I was feeling very "alone in a crowd", they welcomed me in with open hearts and arms and surrounded me with love, joy, prayers, and laughter.  Tons of laughter.
I am all about being thankful for modern medicine when it is necessary, but laughter has once again lifted my spirit to new heights.  No medicine can bring such joy and relief as the stories, hugs, and tears from laughing so hard did for me today.
Thank God for my friends...and thanks to my friends for being such a blessing to me!
You are loved!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

no words spoken

As we were riding home from Alex's baseball game, talking of the game, the memory of the defeat was lingering like a thick fog around us.
A soft, gentle voice from the backseat was heard, "My spirit hurts."  
My firstborn.  
Lover of baseball.  
Excited player of a "real" team.
Defeated pitcher.
Last man at the plate. 
My reply, "Mine does, too, Sweetheart."  And, it does.
For him, the team, our football team (but that's a whole other story unfolding).
He tries so hard at games.  Practices hard.  His heart is in it...and, so far, nothing has paid off.
Before, I would encourage him that even the pro players get walked (and stranded on base) or strike out more times in a game than get a hit or a homerun.  
Tonight, I offered hugs and a little extra "me and Mom time" after everyone else was asleep.
Some hurts heal best with no words spoken.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MtR: me vs. first aid clinic

our First Aid clinic mascot

I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.  
Jeremiah 32:40-41

Preparing for Alaska last year, there was something new on our agenda.  Tuesday evening had a new item.  A "clinic" would be held back in our community park after dinner.  I read the list of clinics going to be held...they all sounded fun and exciting.
All except one...First Aid
Guess which one was during our week.
First Aid.
I was paralyzed in wonderment at what we could come up with to tell about First Aid and be fun and exciting for the kids to enjoy.
I Googled "First Aid for Kids" and was given many links to coloring sheets and "what to do if" lists.
I borrowed a First Aid kit.
I went with my team to the park...defeated before it even began, trying not to show it too much.
My team came through with funny stories to go along with my boring "what to do if" list and saved the day.
God's good like that.  He gives the words when we need them.
This year, I knew we were going a week earlier than last year, so I was praying and quite confident that the First Aid clinic would be the joy of some other team this summer.  I just knew we'd get the fun and yummy healthy eating clinic and get to serve snacks.  Or, maybe, the art clinic where we got to draw self portraits with finger paints or chalk or shaving cream or pudding.
Week 5:  First Aid
My heart and spirit sank.  Way down.  Defeated already, only this time months in advance.
Now, after all these wonderful years walking down life's trails with Jesus, I know better than to ask, "Why?". "What now?" my heart whispered, more as a prayer than a question.  How was I going to even the score with this dreaded First Aid clinic?
"Help!"  Another prayer...
P1170512 P1170534 Some time later, having allowed myself to finally think about this up and coming First Aid clinic for more than half a nanosecond, God gave me an idea...BooBoo Bears!  (For the record, I do not watch a certain tv show that may share a certain part of the name.)
Teddy Bears or other stuffed animals give comfort to hurting children.  Wrap a few bandages (recycled white T-shirts) around arms, head or legs of these bears, and you have a "BooBoo Bear" that the children can take home with them.  Better yet, have Scripture verses on these white strips used for the bandages, and you have something that will remind them of Jesus' love and healing power over pain in our lives.  I am believing this idea will enhance the normal First Aid basics that will be covered and make it a wonderful time!
Oh, but God did not stop there with the inspirational roll we were on!  It became even sweeter.
How do I get enough small stuffed animals to pass out to the children who come to our park? The answer:  ask for them.  Although asking for things is difficult for me, ask, I did.  I asked our AWANA director if she thought the AWANA kids in our church could donate gently used stuffed animals for us to use...and she said, yes!
The animals have piled up and I feel extremely blessed to be inspired by an awesome God and encouraged by the willingness of children to bless others with stuffed animals from their personal collections.
God allows me to be in overwhelming (and underwhelming) situations for one main purpose: For His Glory.
Only He could provide the solution to the First Aid clinic dilemma   He has come through in a mighty way and I thank Him for all He is doing to make this the First Aid clinic a more memorable and kid-friendly part of our week.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

At sunset...

perfect ending


"At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, 
and laying His hands on each one, He healed them." 
 Luke 4:40

This verse sums up how I feel when I am able to enjoy a beautiful sunset!  
As if Jesus is laying His healing hand on my weary body and soul...and, I know, He is.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

more than conquerors

One afternoon after having enjoyed our morning on the beach while Spring Break-ing in FL, we decided to take the boys to a place where they could experience something new for them.  A place in Sandestin had a kid-friendly area where they could zip line across a pond and back.
Alex geared up and was ready to roll (or glide)....Tim, yeah, not so much.
But, he conquered his fears and took off.
After the zip line, they conquered the ropes course.
Watch out world...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Respond to the Resurrection

Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.  Hebrews 10:19-25
P1170312Easter was celebrated with friends over for an afternoon, family coming for a stay with us, and a Sunday filled with worship and celebration of our Risen Savior.
Over the past few weeks I have seen many Facebook and blog posts about the "do's and don'ts" of Easter.  Do focus on Jesus.  Don't call it Easter, but Resurrection Day instead.  Do Easter baskets...don't do Easter baskets.  Hunt Easter eggs...Easter eggs are pagan.  There are all kinds of opinions out there.  All kinds of reactions to this holiday we call Easter.
On Sunday morning my heart was encouraged by the message preached from Hebrews 10:19-25.  It spoke to my heart and reminded me to listen to God through His Word above all the other noise.
In his message, Pastor BJ encouraged us to respond to the Resurrection in three ways as found in this passage of Scripture...
Let us draw near to God.
Let us hold on to hope.
Let us encourage one another and work together.
As I heard the message, it resonated in my heart that responding is often the better choice over reacting.  Reacting can be quick and not well thought out.  Responding gives way to thoughtful processing.
Now looking at Easter, I am believing that if one first responds to the Resurrection, the tendency to react to Easter will fall away...and the chaos of what to do or not to do, along with it.