Friday, July 27, 2012's what's for your life!

I not only love the idea of grace, I love the reality of it.  I love being a recipient of grace.  God has given me so much...lavished it upon me.   I don't even come close to deserving what God has given to me. 

I try to live worthy of what I have been blessed with, but I fail miserably.  I am ugly, mean, judgmental, opinionated, rude....well, the list could go on probably forever.  I WANT to be a mirror image of Christ.  I WANT to be an ambassador for the kingdom of  God.  I WANT to be a person of grace.

So...I will continue in my endeavor to be the bearer of grace. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yoda would say, "Chicken, you are!"

I have realized that that statement is very true!  I am not brave or courageous.  Instead, I am a great avoider and a giant chicken.

I hate going to see my Daddy where he now lives.  Almost exactly a year ago, Daddy was placed in an assisted living facility because of his progressing Alzheimer's.  He is gentle and kind and very easy to be with.  But I find that as I leave his new home, I am extremely sad and can't seem to stop myself from crying...every time...even a year later.

It's not really about me.  I know this.  It is about all the things Daddy has done over the years to be the best dad ever.  He sacrificed.  He got out of himself to do the best things for our family.  He doted on me and pretty much gave me everything I have ever wanted.  He loved me dearly and I have never questioned that.  When all other things in my life have been in upheaval, the fact that Daddy loved me never was.  He was true blue.  Steady Eddy.  Gentle giant of a man.

I have much maturing to do in this area; to live my life as he has...sacrificially, outside of myself for the betterment of my family, wholly devoted to others. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Grace Awakening: Believing in grace is one thing. Living it is another.

I haven't been accused of encouraging licentious behavior....and that bothers me! 

What?, you are asking.  Ben read the book Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll for one of his seminary classes.  He was so effected by that book, that he suggested that I read it.  Well, I did.  And it has had a profound effect on me.  So much so, that the day after I finished reading it for the first time, I started reading it again.

Part of what the author states is that if you, or your church, have not been accused of encouraging licentious behavior, then you are not preaching grace.  I love the idea that I have been given so very much grace that I should be doing all I can to spread that grace to others! 

I want to be that kind of person!  I want to share the grace I have been given.  I want to ooze out grace in every word I say, in every action I take, in every thought I think.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I was scouring the hoard of kids running towards us, looking for the three sweet faces that belonged to me.  I found one....then another one...where was the third one?  There she was!  I finally found her.  My eyes watered.  My heart beat fast.  My smile was from ear to ear.

Last week our three little ones had the opportunity to attend T Bar M day camp.  It was amazing!  They heard the word of God, made new friends, played all day, and were generally worn out at the end of every day.

On Friday, instead of the normal pick up routine, there was an end-of-week ceremony.  Ben and I were sitting in the audience waiting with all the other parents for the kids to come in and do their thing.  For just a moment, I watched the parents and saw the same thing on their faces that I was sure was on mine!  Where is MY child?!  With just looking at the parents' faces, I could instantly tell when they saw their child.  Smiles, shoulders relaxed, cameras brought up to their eye...all the tell tale signs of pride, love, belonging, safety....ownership (if you will allow the term).

It hit me that this is what God must do constantly all day long.  He sees me, searching the faces for mine (or any who belong to Him).  He spots me.  A smile breaks out on His face knowing the amount that He loves me.  How much He is proud of me.  How I belong to Him. 

What a great feeling knowing that I belong.  I am safe.  I am loved.  I have made my Daddy proud....just by being me.  Nothing special that I have done.  No special way I look.  No special words that I say.  He is the Great I Am....and I am His great love!

I was able to watch the ceremony being wholly content.  The love and grace I have been shown by God is just what I am attempting to show to my kids.  I love that!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ben turned 50 on Saturday and we threw a bash I hope was worthy of achieving such an accomplishment!  Every table was decorated with his Van's shoes and, as you can see above, the cake we had made was Van's themed as well.

I am so very proud of my husband.  He is the most amazing person I have ever known.  I love him with all my heart.  Happy birthday, my sweet!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

We take service seriously in our family.  I love that we do!  I try to find ways for my children to serve and Ben and I do our best to serve wherever and whenever we can.  In fact our family motto is:  Love God, Serve Others.

Service has been a theme lately around here.  A friend of mine and I were talking the other day and she said she was challenged recently by someone asking her, "Are you raising your children to serve or to be served?"  Interesting question, isn't it?''

Well...I am always grateful for the opportunities that God provides for me to serve others.  Yesterday was that day!  I was able to go to a sweet friend's house and help with her 4 little ones (ages 6 and under).  What a fun time.  I was able to run to the store for her and get a couple of things; and then helped as the kids made cutout cookies. 

While at her house, I received a text saying that another friend was sick and asked if her kids could spend the night.  Her husband was on a mission trip and she was single-parenting it for a couple more days.  She had a bad stomach bug and would have had a hard time being a mama to her three kids (8 and under).  We had a great time with them at out home last night.  They were terrific!

I am sure that those women felt like someone was there for them and appreciated the help, but the biggest blessing was for me.  To be able to serve, help others in need, and lift a small burden from them....well....all I can say is thank you God for that opportunity.  I love when I say YES to God!