Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Praying for the People of Joplin

It's crazy how there seems to be so many weather anomolies lately.  We have record tornado activity in the south, massive flooding and complications from that flooding, finally, a tornado of destructive proportions in Joplin, MO.  It's so weird to think we were just there! 

The day before the tornado hit, we were in Joplin at Ozark Christian College for Austin's graduation!  2 days before, we ate on Rangeline. 

More about Austin's graduation later.  For now, my heart cries out to the people of Joplin.  I pray they all will find comfort in our Lord today.  I pray that more people will be found alive.  I pray that they will recover quickly. 

Monday, May 9, 2011


Related to Graduations
1.  Make Cream Cheese Mints
2.  Finish Sr. Portfolio
3.  Start and Finish Graduation Video (which means scanning a lot of photos)
4.  Plan menu for the weekend
5.  Clean Bedrooms
6.  Prep. Bedrooms for guests
7.  (While I'm at it, I ought to clean my own bedroom :-/ )
8.  Print the few pictures I forgot to print
9.  Find 2 more frames

Not related to Graduations
1.  Clean house and prep it for small group on Tuesday Night
2.  Clean house and prep it for small group on Thursday Night
3.  Write 11 Youth Group Lessons so I am through the summer schedule
4.  Finish filling the binder for swimming lesson Instructors
5.  Go into work on Wednesday and finish laying dri-deck
6.  Laundry
7.  Pack for Austin's graduation from Ozark CC
8.  Clean house and prep it for Jed (person who is house-sitting our fish)
9.  Pull weeds one more time before we leave
10.  I know I'm forgetting something

The best part of all of this?  Realizing that in the grand scheme of things...I'm blessed to need to do every one of these things!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Today is Mother's Day.  After church today we ate a sack lunch and headed out to a neighborhood that was about 3 miles from our old Kimberly Ln. neighborhood.  Trees laid like toothpicks all over that neighborhood.  Houses were destroyed by falling logs.  I always thought one of the most beautiful parts of Alabama is the trees.  They are like giants!  HUGE!  Trees you cannot put your arms around.  They are so tall they almost touch the sky!  When they fall....   Shear destruction!

The blessing in this?  After stopping at several homes where noone was home, (I'm sure they were all celebrating Mother's Day) we finally had an opportunity to help. I think several are becoming skeptical about help.  We watch *warnings* all over the tv.  Be careful they say, make sure you know who is offering to help.  Watch out for scam artists.

 A gentelman and his children were going from their home to his neighbors homes cleaning up debris.  He allowed us to help him.  So, a group of maybe 10 (us included) began working with a resident going from his neighbor to neighbor.  In the end, it turned out, they homeschool their children through CCA.  Their son is Alex's friend from drama.  In the process, we made a connection with him, and we helped at least 3 of his neighbors, 1 of which was a single mother and one an elderly couple.  All this, on Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Silence Ends Here!

For the last several months I've avoided looking at my own blog.  Why you ask?  The answer is simple.  Fear!  LOL!  I know it has been nearly a year since I've written anything.  A year of Silence.  And what a year it has been.  My last post recognized the growing I knew would come.  This post represents the faithfulness of my Lord!  It represents His love, comfort and guidance.  I write amazed at what He has done in me, and in my family.  God is Good!

I am happy to say, we are settled and serving.  This is huge if you could understand where I've come from.  My heart has slowly worked through anger, bitterness, selfishness, frustration, acceptance, forgiveness and renewal.  I think over the last year and I can't believe how far we have come.  So many things have changed about who we are and how we do life.  One thing remains the same...we still know WHOSE we are. 

Austin will soon finish his Associates Degree at Ozark Christian College.  The next phase of life for him will be figuring out what he wants to do next.  His current plan is to get a certificate for a sergical technician.  With the plan of moving forward in the medical field.  He is coming home for a time.  I am thankful.  I pray daily for his future.  I pray he will not have struggles, although without them, how will his character be built?  So, I will settle for being the most supportive parent I know how to be and I will lift him before my Lord.

Alex will soon  graduate from highschool.  This is a big one!  He has already worked through so many struggles.  He plans to begin classes at Calhoun Community College.  His intention is to transfer to UAH after a couple years.  Currently, his plan is Engineering.  God has truly blessed us with children who love Him.  We are thankful.  Alex has come through the last year with flying colors.  He is serving again.  He is active in youth group.  And he once again is full of joy.  It's been rough for him, but he has remained faithful.  What more could I possibly ask for.

Aaron has struggled as well through the last year.  He has watched good friends move away.  He's had a shake up in his church family.  I'm happy to say, he is in recovery as well.  He has figured out how to keep in touch with his closest friends.  Plus, he's started getting active!  Baseball, Soccer, Classes at CCA, Youth Group, Serving opportunities!  He once again is all smiles and joy!  I'm so proud of him for not complaining and for hanging tough! 

Adam and I are plugging in.  We've joined a small group within our new family!  We are excited about where the leadership is leading our church family!  They have been so welcoming!  I am already serving in the youth ministry and using my talents there.  I didn't know how much I missed it until I started getting involved again.  In March I was invited to a church in Indiana to speak at and lead the leaders through a girls purity retreat along with providing a teacher training workshop for them.  That process began last November and really woke me up to what I was missing.  It was amazing to see God work through all of the little details in planning it.  It was like He used everything I've ever done (and loved) with youth and youth leaders to put together an event that I believe touched a lot of lives.  Youth and Adults!  I am excited and prepared to take that retreat and workshop wherever God asks me to take it!  Many people prayed for us through that whole process!  What a blessing in a time of darkness! 

Currently I am working with the leaders at Summit Crossing Community Church!  I have a small group of High School girls who I call my own!  What a blast and right up my alley!  I am also writing the small group curriculum.  It's really just discussion questions taking the students through the book of John.  Again, right up my alley!  I feel like God has plucked me up out of a struggling situation and dropped my right into a place where exactly what I have to offer is exactly what is needed!  Only God could do that!

So as you can see, I am back on the grid.  There are still areas that need improvement.  I'm still working on some of the remnants of bitterness and unforgiveness.  However, I feel like that gets better every day.  It is easier to speak certain names and not feel sick.  Mostly, I pray for those that I think about.  I know in my heart that God is with them.  I can say that I love them and will continue to pray for my brothers and sister in Christ! 

On to another year.  You see, this is a turning point.  We - I have grown a ton over the last year!  I'm so thankful for God's faithfulness!  I am thankful to be able to have Him to lean on!  I am thankful for my husband, and my family!  I will continue to serve Him with my life.  I am determined to hear the words "Well done, good and faithful servant"!  So with all my heart I will love Him and His people! 

All of this on the wake of terrible tornadoes that destroyed a good chunk of Alabama.  This has been a wake-up call to all the things in life that we put importance on.  I believe we are missing the mark.  We - I have to do better!  You will hear more from me.  You will hear how these storms have impacted my community.  You will hear stories of those who are reaching out to the hurting.  You will hear stories of thankfulness.  The things that were important to me even 10 days ago, no longer matter, they don't even register.  So, pray for them with me.  Tomorrow our family will be serving them.  Monday, I will be serving them. 

Stay in touch.  I can't wait to share what God does next!