Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Snow... Last Winter

I read a few of my own blog pages the other day... WOW, do I ever sound like a bucket full of laughs! HA! :0) It's been a weird month, friends. Between losing a family member unexpectedly, my sister's wedding, a holiday and a move on the horizon, my mind and heart have been so occupied.

We experienced our first snow of the season about a week and a half ago. It's been so cold since then that there is still snow on the ground. Not a huge amount, and of course now it really isn't snow, (it's ice) but it's still pretty to look at. I was driving home from errands today, and as I looked out at the pretty sights, I thought it was time to finally put into words here what all of this doom and gloom stuff here has been about.

We are putting our house up for sale this week. The reasons are many, and it's definitely a BIG picture, not a small one, but it is the step we are taking. It's been a very hard decision. It's been a decision that has been prayed over countless times. With that prayer has come confirmation that we are taking the journey that He wants us to take. We are on the right path.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about all of this. Mainly, I feel like I will be leaving much behind. It's more than leaving precious friendships behind. I know that the ones that are dear to me, and I to them will remain that way. We are only moving about half an hour away. The sweet memories are what I will leave behind. Our boys have grown up here. Their little red wagon is still in the back yard (I already informed J that it WILL go with us... even though nobody rides in it anymore). Their tree fort is outside my kitchen window. The garden that we have re-planted every year sits patiently waiting for us to turn the soil once again in the spring. The cozy wood stove where I have snuggled countless times with the boys while reading to them can't go with us. Neither can the full wrap around deck from which I have watched them all learn how to ride a bike, run through sprinklers, and almost kill themselves on skate boards. I don't feel like I'm just leaving these memories behind... I feel like I'm leaving my three boys' young childhoods behind. I know, it's weird, but I'm a woman... I'm a mom. We are strange creatures.

With all of this being said, I also feel comforted about this change. Like I said before, I feel HUGE amounts of confirmation about the move. I know God has some great things in store for us next. The bounty will be different, but it will still be bounty. I have spoken here before about not putting off the joy that God wants to bless us with. In my heart, I know there is such joy coming. I already feel the joy. It is currently mixed with fear, but it is there even still.

I can actually say that I am excited. So those of you who don't know me very well don't know what a HUMONGOUS statement that is, but even 6 months ago I was still a person so paralyzed by any kind of change (or prospect of it) that something like this would have sent me into a coma!! God is growing me. He is working on those little (or big) areas of my life. That feels good.

I feel like I'm growing up all over again.

I have started praying for this next home of ours. I do not know exactly where it is. I do not know what it looks like. I do not know anything about it except this... It will be perfect.

It will be perfect because it will be right where God wants us to be. There will be purpose there. It will be a home that will bless us, and it will bless others.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So Grateful

I have a white antique platter on my mantel. Some might think that's a strange thing to have on a mantel, but the very cool thing about it is that I use it to display meaningful words. They might be words on my heart, they might be words of the season. At the present time, the platter has black beautiful letters that read:

So grateful.

During this season, it's easy to think of all the things we are grateful for. The lists can get quite long. I talk to God every day and list for Him what I'm grateful for. I speak intimately with Him about these things. On my mantel though, all that needs to be said is simply, So grateful.

We went to the movies this weekend. We had our first snow of the season, and ALL the boys had colds. It was cozy inside, but then we lost power (typical). The wood stove kept us warm, but what do you do with four boys with colds when they can't go out and play in snow and there's no power for movies by the fire?

You go to the movies.

The older ones went to Harry Potter, and Caleb and I went to see Secratariat. I maintain that Caleb and I got the best show. It was an awesome movie!! The movie started with scripture. From Job 39:19-24...

Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking with his proud snorting? He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. ~

This morning I am grateful that God has created me to be much like this animal. I crave to be like the horse. With everything that I am blessed with, I will laugh at fear of the unknown. I will stand in excitement over the possibilities that God has for my life,and the life of my family.

I will not stand still as the trumpet sounds. I will charge the gate, for there is much to be had... Much to be done.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coming Up For Air

For the past almost month, I have felt like I've been treading water. My legs have been kicking, my arms flailing, my mouth gasping. If you could see inside of my brain, it would look like a bunch of jumbled up thoughts, to do's... a WALL of emotions!! Almost nothing on my regular everyday list of things to do has been completed { with the exception of laundry, because we all have to have clean clothes to wear }.I go to bed at night thinking that the next day will be different. I will get up and tackle the day as I'm so used to doing. Then.... the wall floods me.

Today is different. Today I feel like the flood is starting to subside. I am up and I am dealing with the emotions in a healthy way and I'm determined to take baby steps toward "normalcy". I have a long list to tackle now, so I have to accept the fact that I'll be behind for awhile, but I will get to the end of that list... soon.

One thought that has kept me going is this:

Don't postpone JOY.

I saw these words on a bumper sticker when I came out of my uncle's memorial service. They resonate in my heart. I have written them on a framed chalk board that hangs in my dining room. These three words say a lot. They tell me to hang onto every moment. They tell me to stop putting off what God has called of me and my family. They say there's always reason to be happy, especially when it's the hardest thing to be. These words have become a part of me and I hope they always will be.

I believe that if I believe in these words, and I live my life as one who doesn't discount the joy that God graces my life with every day, then I will be a better person. I want to be a better person. I want to be the kind of person that shines light in this world. I want to stop treading and start swimming.... with a broad and even stroke.

Don't postpone JOY.

Monday, November 8, 2010

K-LOVE - Jason Castro "You Are" LIVE

So much continues to be on my heart. I heard this song this morning on my way home from the grocery store. It was too good NOT to share! Jason Castro calls this song his first "Love Song" to Jesus...

May he write many more. ~

** Remember to go to the bottom of this page and pause the music that's already playing. **

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Uncle Harold

I have been absent from my blog for over a week now. In a lot of ways, I feel like I have been absent from life for the past week.

I received a real shocker of a phone call from my mom last Thursday. The phone call was one that came as a very REAL reminder about a few things. These things have been heavy on my heart, so I figured it was time to record what's going on in this brain of mine.

My Uncle Harold very suddenly passed away in his sleep last Thursday. This just five days after we spent our Saturday night as a family watching the Giants play on Television. It still doesn't seem real! He has left behind a wife who is experiencing HUGE heartache, as well as a daughter just a few years younger than I that has suddenly lost her daddy without even a chance to say good-bye.

I know God hears my heart as I have been begging him these last few days to PLEASE let me have the opportunity to say my final good-byes to both of my parents before He takes them. I know this because I have heard His voice speaking to me distinctly. He has reminded me that I should always live each day like it's my last. I should tell my loved ones EVERY DAY how much they mean to me and that I love them dearly. Our lives are not our own, and because of that... we do not know when we will take our final breath here on this earth. We do not know when we have heard the last words from one of our loved ones before they are taken from this place.

I was also reminded that sometimes... I just need to stay out of God's way. Just a few short weeks ago, J was out dropping off our van to be sold in a parking lot about 45 minutes from our house. He was waiting to get a ride back to his car so that he could get home to me { anxiously awaiting his arrival so we could go out on our date }. He couldn't get in touch with my step dad for a ride and he was stuck in this parking lot, so I begrudgingly told him I would travel down to get him. He told me to just wait... hang on... He knew something would work out. I sat { more like paced the house } and fumed inside! Ugh... I was supposed to be leaving the house RIGHT NOW for my long anticipated date!!! J called me about ten minutes later and told me that he had "run into" my Uncle Harold in the same parking lot. He was there dropping off his truck to sell. My aunt was supposed to stop by and pick him up on her way home from work. So... she would pick both of them up now and give J a ride to his car. Our date would be pushed back an hour or two, but better that than no date at all.

It wasn't until last Thursday night that I learned that even in situations like this one, God has purpose. As J and Uncle Harold waited in that parking lot, they talked about all kinds of "guy stuff". They talked about cars, about politics (my uncle LOVED to talk politics) and they talked about GOD! Yes... J didn't share this with me until learning about Uncle Harold's death last week, but somehow, in the craziness of that day, in this very crowded parking lot full of men and their cars, boats, RV's, and motorcycles... J and my uncle talked about God. The reason this is so cool, and so extremely significant is because all of my life, I haven't known my uncle to be a believer. His wife and daughter have always been, and they go to church every week. Uncle Harold would usually gift them with his presence on Easter Sunday and Christmas. In this conversation, Uncle Harold shared with J that he knew there was a God and he even considered himself to KNOW God, but he just didn't believe that he needed to be in a church to know Him. He saw how God had blessed him in the every day things around him and the things that he loved about life.

I am so proud of my hubby for acting on this nudging to talk about God in the parking lot. God already knew that just three weeks from that day, Uncle Harold would no longer be with us. J obviously didn't know this, but acted on a prompting that would later make so much sense. I only wish that I would have acted on my own prompting to be still when waiting for my "date". Sometimes... God is taking care of more important things.

Please keep my aunt and my cousin in prayer. They are experiencing such pain right now. I pray that they are left with the knowledge that my uncle loved them both so much. It's always been easy to see that both my aunt and my cousin hung his moon in the sky. I pray that there will be reminders for us all of how important it is to live each day like it is the last... That we not let anything stand in the way of sharing life, and sharing Jesus.... Even if it is on a Friday night in a crowded parking lot.