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

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!

Sometimes, You Just Have To… (oneword365)

Sometimes you just have to give up that nap.

Sometimes you just have to wake up and not hit snooze.

Sometimes you just have to be on your kids all of the time, so they will be humans that people will want to be around.

Sometimes you just need to sit yourself down, and write.

For the past couple of years, I have participated in OneWord365. Instead of several resolutions, that may or may not be around after a couple of months, you choose one word as your “theme” for the year. Two years ago it was CREATE. Last year my word was WORK. I know, some people (hi mom) think I work too much. Some people don’t think I work enough. I am not sure how I feel about it, honestly. I am one of those people who think about how others think about me, and that is part of my motivation of doing anything. Good or bad, there it is…that is what motivates me. This year I just concentrated on doing the things that I needed to do well, and not be lazy about them. I also tried to not be motivated by what others thought of me.  I was successful in some things, in other areas, I still need some work!

For example, this year our set designs for church and our TV program have been pretty successful. I am proud of the work we accomplished and the organization (SO MUCH DATA INFORMATION) that has started. Do I need to still work on that? YES. I am not good at organization. I am a hoarder of terabytes of data. I suffer from the “what ifs…” If I delete this, what if it is needed 2 years from now? So I just hoard the hard drive space and drive my coworkers (and IT staff) crazy. But…in my defense…there have been times when I looked for something and found out it had been deleted.

Work…on learning how to play piano better. Work on practicing. This one has been pretty fun! And challenging…but SO rewarding!

Raising kids is also work. There are days when I want to just lay down and sleep…and let the boys rule (destroy) the house. There might have been a few days of this happening, but, it takes work (all of the time) to teach them that when we go to someone else’s house, the boys for the most part, are to be respectful and helpful. This past weekend at my mom’s house was pretty evident that the work is paying off… 10887209_10152473687546196_2133542400710887303_o

My teaching job has been particularly challenging. For my “work” I needed to choose and order music quicker and start the practicing/learning process earlier so they had more time to have a successful concert. Music was chosen and purchased earlier than I have ever done! It’s a young bunch of students so I have a lot more work to do…Learning how to motivate/discipline/inspire this generation seems to be more work than I anticipated!

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This leads up to (if you have stayed with me this long) my word for next year.

EFFORT

I have been challenged to make more of an effort in the things I am doing. I am a bit more organized in my work and home areas. Great! Now I need to make more of an effort to do things well.

Make an effort to plan ahead.

Make an effort to clean.

Make an effort to focus on God’s word.

Make an effort to exercise and eat right.

Make an effort to follow through on the chore chart.

Make an effort to read more.

Make an effort with friends (this one is big for me).

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Make an effort to write thank you notes, call friends, visit family.

Make an effort to have friends over.

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Make an effort to make my kids practice their instruments. OY VEY.

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We are all busy in our days. Our kids, husbands, church friends and work take a lot out of us. And I think (contrary to popular thought these days) that is GOOD. Yes, spending time at home is wanted, and needed and required. So, when I am at home, make an effort to engage with my kids and husband. NOT turn on the TV/phone/internet. What is the point of being home with my kids if they are in one room watching TV while I am in another watching TV? I am not saying NO TV. I just need to make an effort to use the time I have with my kids and not opt for the easiest thing (find a movie to watch) as opposed to something else (play a game or read with them).

Make an effort to teach the boys discipline with their homework.

Make an effort to write more. Blog, email, write music.

Make an effort to figure out my amazing new keyboard.

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I think you get the picture.

It seems like a big list…and it is. But making an effort in all of these things will make my life, my family’s, and my church better. To me, that is what it is all about. My life as a sacrifice to my Jesus. How could I not make an effort?

So Much To Say!

Ok, so this is a catch up…so many things have happened and I am not sure where I should begin!

First of all, this is a picture of gma and gpa with us when they came to visit…Noah loves them so much, we just don’t get to see each other often! Bummer. We also went to visit them this week, and that was sooo much fun! Unfortunately, mommy messed up and didn’t take pictures of them together, but she did get me in front of gma’s pretty plants, and me on the rocking horse they got me!

This is me on the horse…I love saying Yee Haw!

Boy this horse was wild! He kept throwing me off! Gma and Gpa laughed and laughed…so I kept doing it over and over!

Next, open house. Amazing. We had over 1200 people there seeing firsthand what we do, plus eating a free steak dinner, not to mention all of the free stuff they get going through all of our booths (mmmmm…cheese and milk…and egg nog!!) Our guests were treated like kings and queens. That evening we performed for the masses of people. We had dancers, kids, bands, and video presentations. Usually I am not too stressed about Open House…I enjoy having the band play, even if it is an almost impossible song and I have to transpose all of the parts and even re-write some of the music. This year, we added video presentations also. We have different people that have been changed by Jesus b/c of this ministry get up and tell people what God has done in their lives. This year I decided that it would be cool to add video to these testimonies…make more of an impact with video since we are in a video world. It was hard work…of course I procrastinated and did them all at the last minute, but really I was stuck. You know how it is when you are used to doing something a certain way? That is me. I love doing the familiar, happy with the familiar, so doing this was putting me out of my box. Way out. I had to wrap my brain around doing something different, and being creative, plus honoring God through it all. Here are the videos…I think they turned out great, and have had a lot of compliments on it this week. What do you think?

These two guys are getting married in December! God is soooo good!
I loved working on this one…got pretty creative on it.

This was the last one I did…you can tell I got more comfortable as I figured out different effects to do…Tom is a great guy and we are blessed to have him in this ministry, and have him as a friend of Morgan and Daniel’s so comes over for supper often.

Ok, so, the baby. We are so excited, but this one is so different sometimes I just don’t know what to do! I am now 16 weeks, 2nd trimester and things seem to be going well. I have been sick with this one. That gag reflex is SO OVERWHELMING sometimes that the only thing to do is lay down and concentrate really hard on not getting sick. It was really bad that first trimester, but now it is getting better. My appetite is still not quite there, so instead of gaining any weight I have lost a good amount. A GOOD amount. I am still wearing pretty normal clothes, sometimes throwing a maternity shirt on now and then just to remind myself that something is growing and going on inside there! It is really neat, though…with Noah I didn’t feel him moving or anything until the third trimester…I am already feeling this one flutter around. Sometimes even kick! The doctor isn’t too excited that I am losing the weight and wants me to eat more protein. JOY. ICK is more like it. Meat just doesn’t seem to sound appealing to me AT ALL! So, I have another appointment next week and I am supposed to bring a food journal of all I have eaten this week. Hmm…I suppose I should start on that, huh? Hopefully soon I will have a sonogram scheduled so we can see what this one is! The other mother’s to be that are around me seem to be having girls…we will see!

Last but not least! We have seen a miracle here at our church. Remember the little girl that was burned? It was horrible. She has been in the hospital in ICU all of this time. The Dr. ended up having to do some skin grafting from her back to her front, and she was a pistol with the feeding tube. They thought she would be there for another 4-6 weeks, and then after that was told they would have to do therapy in another facility for another 3 weeks or so. Oh my goodness! THEY CAME HOME TODAY! She came home, has to wear a burn cast, but still got to come home! No in-patient or out-patient stuff! They will have regular visits as expected, but ho my goodness they are all home. We serve a HUGE God! YEAH! Isn’t that great?

Monday

Well, it’s Monday. Have you ever did that whole…I am going to do great as soon as Monday gets here thing? I am going to stop eating like I am pregnant and do better on Monday. I am going to wake up early and get more things done on Monday. Monday is going to be different b/c I have this new-found sense of purpose and desire to do better, honor God more, be a better housekeeper.

And then it happens.

Monday comes. I’m tired. I’ve overslept. AGAIN. The room is a mess, I need to shower, breakfast? What’s that? Excercise. I laugh at myself in my head. Oh well, there’s always next Monday, right!?

We (editing staff and tech guy) just got back from a a trip to Oklahoma. My editor has been keeping tabs on this church there that is doing some amazing things. It is a very different concept, but works for the generation we are trying to reach. There is one church, but many campuses. Wow. So, we go to the OKC site…technology is a great thing. Then the pastor gets up and preaches. Almost like we were at a movie theater. LARGE screens. The cool thing was, at several other campuses in OK thousands of people were doing the same thing. All of these other campuses were worshipping with their own worship teams, but when the preacher came on, we were watching the same thing at the same time. Can you imagine the skill it takes for this to happen? The vision? Now, in my skeptical Baptist state I think…seeker friendly…not going to be a challenge…happy God who lets you do what you want. No, my friends…he was our Pastor (who is pretty blunt) about 40 years younger. I was impressed. I was excited. Oh Jesus help us to figure out what of this we can use and reach our hard hard teenage kids!

So, what does this have to do with being a mommy? Well, our pastor rocks so we got to fly down and back and not have to drive, so the 3 day trip was 2, and I got to spend the afternoon with my guy on the Saturday we left. So, I didn’t put him to bed, but I was there the next day to play with him. Thank you Pastor! I still struggle with wanting to be at home all of the time and knowing that I have to work in band (no one else to teach) and TV (some adult time and working on the creative side is MUCH needed). But, God is a great and good God, he knows my heart and I can rest in the fact that I am not going to be asked to do more than I can handle. This is my life, ministry, and God has his hands on Daniel and I. I am so thankful for that peace!

Please pray for us! We go tommorrow to the hearing for Lance!

Forgot to tell you…the church is lifechurch.tv
Go and check it out! Listen to the Urban Legends messages. Pretty good.