Rest

Our church, our community has had a rough year. We have had pillars of our church family pass away, men of God that touched many lives around them. Then our Pastor passed. He had been battling sickness and age for so long, but it was still a surprise.

16426082_10154139296116196_15213510189007622_nPastor Charlie loved God like no one I have ever seen. Passionate. Unapologetic. Generous. He challenged us often and since Daniel and I had served with him for almost 18 years, he was like a father/grandfather figure to me.

There were so many things happening at once it felt like everything was spinning. I knew that God was in control, but it was hard to see Him through the practical. My sister passed away from cancer during this grieving period also. It’s been a rough year.

It has been only 6 months. Somehow I feel like I’m supposed to be up and happy and ready to move but honestly, it’s hard. Transition and change is slow going and extremely fast at the same time. How does this happen? Yes, this needs to change…but wait! I don’t think it really has to RIGHT NOW, right? What do we change while still honoring our Pastor’s legacy? Admittedly I don’t have to have the answers (or want to try).

So I pray. And write. I’ve been working on this song now for about a month. I’m not sure if it’s finished yet, but as I was reading through Scripture I found a couple of things. They are simple, really, but meant something big to me.

When I looked up “rest” I found Matthew 11:28.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I’ve been hanging onto this verse this year. For awhile I didn’t think I needed to rest. God’s in control, I’m good…

I’m so wrong. Fighting and working and fighting some more. God doesn’t want that from me. Rest.

Then I went to Roman 15:13 last night.  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The main thing for me? When I rest, He restores. I know that is simple. You probably don’t even think that is significant. I could finally breathe last night. When I rest, He will restore. I’m getting there. Our church is going to have to rest (in Him) while He restores. What peace that brings!

Excuse the recording. I would wait, but waiting until it’s perfect is a bad procrastination issue for me!

REST

You’re the God of hope that fills us with joy

You’re the God of joy that fills us with peace

I rest in your peace

I rest in your grace

Your mercy comes when I see your Face

I rest in your love

That comes from above

You’re hope comes when I trust in Your love

You are for us, here

When we can’t see through the night

You are with us, here

With the promise of Your light

Restore us

Music Olympics! Part 1

I absolutely love the Olympics! I love the stories of so many people working  hard to reach a goal. It’s quite inspiring. So, I thought having a little bit of Olympics here in the middle of a cornfield would be a great way to review musical concepts and have a blast while doing it!

First was the Javelin throw. It was tricky at first, but we got the hang of it pretty quick!

When Normal Is Extraordinary

Bocks of Rocks

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I work in a ministry in the middle of a cornfield. The thing that gets me EVERY time?

When families torn apart by drugs and alcohol are somehow, miraculously put back together. It’s only something that God can do. Every circumstance points to suffering and destruction. And instead there is healing and restoration.

My son Noah plays summer ball. I love it. I love watching him work with a team and getting coached by someone who is passionate about the game. This year, we have a newer kid that came and joined the team…here at Heartland because his family is getting restored. His father should have been in prison. He made some bad choices in his earlier days. Drugs ruled his life…and destroyed his family.

And then…God intervened. Seriously the best words ever.

God changed this man’s life. And his wife’s life. And their families’ life. They got…

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5in5 Day #2

We’ll just pretend it’s day #2, OK?

OK. Good. Glad we got that taken care of. I had fun with this one and see a few more verses in here. I also hear some brass stuff, but alas, no one has the chance to listen to the things in my head. (Probably best for all of us, I know…)

Clicky Clicky here people!  SEND DOWN THAT FIRE!

 

5in5 2016

It’s 5in5 time again! I love/hate this week. I’m a day late, and I could write a song about everything that happened that made it difficult to complete, it would be a country song. So, I won’t.

This is written to several of my friends and family going through some very difficult times right now. Another mass found when there shouldn’t have been one. Cancer treatments have begun for 4 of my friends. A divorce for another one is inevitable. A wife left alone to raise children without her best friend and love of her life. I am touched by all of these people and their fight as they trust in God, even when it really doesn’t make sense.

God simply states in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me and I will give you rest.”  He also says in Isaiah 42:10, “I will make you strong.” I am praying that over my friends constantly these days.

The Victory is His. AMEN

Click here on this link: “Come To Me”

 

 

Saying Goodbye

This is a post from an older blog that I have been looking for and it just came up on my Facebook memories. This was written when I found out my OB was moving. Daniel and I dealt with infertility for 6 very long years before Noah was conceived. That is 6 years of baby shower after baby shower (seriously, if you knew our church you would understand. There is usually 5-8 women pregnant at a time). 6 years of watching mothers choose drugs over their children. 6 years of watching all of the baby dedications. 6+ years of raising other people’s children. 6 years of fighting the “why me?” And celebrating the “I’m so glad He chose you to have a child” instead. I love celebrating children. They are a gift! No matter if you adopt or do finally meet your child with the miracle of birth, it is a gift! So I choose to celebrate.

Here is our story…
Ok, guys, I know that I am a cheesy sappy person, but I had to say goodbye to a very special person today. Let me start out by telling you our journey. Maybe then you will understand how significant this is to me.

Daniel and I have been married now for 10 years. After our first two years of marriage we started to get pretty eager to start a family. It wasn’t like we were passionately pursuing the baby thing, but we were excited to see when God would start blessing us with children. The joke was, we were going to have at least 12, and name them after the 12 tribes of Judah…just in two shots, though…two sets of 6. See, we weren’t serious, but we were very hopeful and excited!

Soon the whole baby thing became a worrisome thing. Nothing was happening. We were getting involved at our ministry by then, and soon God started blessing us with children and more children. It helped to fill a void…but being a mom and not being called a mom was beginning to wear on my heart a little. Finally I decided to go and see a doctor.

What an awful experience.

I called one on the phone, and her nurse just broke my heart. Her words were something like…”you can’t have an appointment here until you are 8 weeks along.” I cried out “how can I be 8 weeks along when I can’t get in to her see what is wrong!” The doctor there was no better. Just wait and if it happens it happens. The hope was disappearing. I finally decided after a lot of praying to go to a friend’s doctor that had just had a miracle baby. She was curt, professional and decided that I DID in fact have something wrong, and immediately started giving me medication. EXPENSIVE medication not covered on insurance. I was so embarrassed and hopeless (and broke) and after about 3 months we just stopped.

I waited a year or so and decided to see another doctor. He just basically did the same thing…medicine, see me later. The problem was that he prescribed the medicine wrong. I had already done a couple of rounds of this stuff (did I say expensive?) and didn’t want to do it wrong. I quit again.

Yes, I realize that this struggle was partly my fault because I kept quitting. I was so heartbroken and fearful, though, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. There were many times at church that we would sing some song about giving our desires to God that I had to walk out and gather myself. I knew somehow I was going to have a baby, I just had to wait.

6 years.

I went to a doctor for an exam (just a “make sure I am well” exam) and asked her about what I should do. I started crying and this Dr. was a Christian. She prayed with me there in the office and then gave me a new Dr.’s name.

I didn’t want to call. I didn’t want to be shot down again. I didn’t want to go through the pain of being told once and for all that in-vitro or adoption was the only way. I prayed and prayed and prayed. The first visit was good. She sat down with me and listened to me, and then decided to run some tests. The next visit she again sat down with me and had all of my charts from the other doctors and compared notes and actually explained things to me. I could actually wrap my brain around what she was saying. Then, in a matter of fact way, she said, “Well, I don’t think you have anything wrong with you…this shouldn’t take long at all.”

I could have burst right there. Hope? Real live hope? She did prescribe some medication for me, one the same as before, but the other one was new. It couldn’t be generic, either, but didn’t cost us the downpayment on a house. Daniel and I left with those scripts in my hand, a full understanding of what was happening and a lighter step. Could it be? Could this be all it takes for God to work? I know that God is a healer, but he also created some to be healers. He was working through this doctor for both Daniel and I.

Three months later and there it was. POSITIVE. I screamed for Daniel to come to our room. We cried and hugged and cried and hugged some more. The 6 year journey was coming to an end. Oh, I wanted to tell everyone. It was a Sunday morning, so telling the church would have been so easy. Everyone had been praying for us for soooo long. Who did we tell first? HA! Al Denson. So funny he was there leading worship for church that day. We could tell him and know one would know! He knew of our struggles, understood the pain, waiting for his little guy for 12 years.

God is so good.

So, Dr. Mona, you are amazing, and worth a trip an hour away to go and say goodbye to. You worked as a vessel of God and didn’t even know it. I pray that your move is smooth, your girls adjust well to the new school and your schedule wouldn’t be too crazy. I also pray that the nurses and receptionists will be patient with you as you take your time to sit with your patients and calm their fears and answer the pages of questions they have for you. (I always had a notebook). I also pray that you never give up letting a new mom experience the joy bringing a child into the world like you did me. I thank Jesus that you were there for me and caring enough that when I woke up in recovery you had pictures of my little boy there for me to look at. That was so kind and tenderhearted.

That’s why this day was so significant for me. Without her kindness, patience and skill I wouldn’t have this amazing little boy named Noah. This is the doctor that gave me hope when I had none. This was the doctor that God chose to show me His awesome power through.
Eliza at 9:24 PM

Missions 2016

Our annual Missions Conference is happening right now, and it has been a crazy/stressful week. I meant to post this earlier, but there isn’t enough time in my day, so I fall asleep instead! Here is a song I wrote along the theme of our conference.

A couple of things…the Story theme has really hit home with me and I wrote a piece that some of the writer’s guild thought maybe would work into a song. That is part of the bridge.
My friend Mark got up and spoke a long time ago about being a cracked and broken vessel, explaining his nervous issues one Wednesday night as he led worship. God basically said to him that the cracks are where His light can shine through. I have never forgotten that. That is part of the 2nd verse.
A lot of songs don’t mention the blood of Jesus and that that is the main thing that has changed our lives. I really wanted that in there, too.

“Here I Am”

Verse 1
Holy Spirit, we seek You now
Holy Father, we humbly bow
2x
You ask to give all I am
Because of Your cross I’m a part of Your plan

Chorus
Here I am, Lord send me
Here I am, Lord send me
Here I am, send me Lord, Lord send me

Verse 2
Holy Spirit, use my hands
I’m Your vessel, use me where I am
I lift these broken pieces to You
I want your perfect light to shine through

Bridge
When You taught at the temple, You were teaching me
When You healed the blind man, You were healing me
When you calmed the raging sea, You calmed the storm deep in me
Because of Your blood, poured on that tree
I have a story – You’ve redeemed me!