Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'm better.

Life is busy.

And, we're travelling to the US for the month of July.

After this month of vacation, I hope to have need energy and outlook for the blog.  :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Super Mario Bros Isn't Real Life

Imagine.

You try to do something a few times.  You give it your all.  You die trying.

No problem.  You reset.  5 more lives.

You get back out there and keep trying.

Wouldn't it be nice?

That's not real life.

And, that's not the part I wish were real.

I want to be able to save my progress.  Specifically, I want to be able to save my Spiritual progress.  My Jesus progress.  I want to save where I am in my walk.

During Super Mario Bros, you could stop, save, and shut down.  You turn off the Wii, and three or four days later, you can turn the Wii back on, put in the disc, and you pick up exactly where you left off.  Nothing has been lost.  Or forgotten.

You don't have to redo a level.

You don't have to re-earn you rewards.

You don't have to think about anything that you've already completed.  Because it's complete.

That's not real life.

Someday I'll share much more detail about the freedom I've received in the past 28 months.  I used to be frozen in fear.  Absolutely frozen.  I breathed fear.  I slept fear.  It was all I did.  I functioned in fear.  I look back at pictures and see times that were joyful, but, at the time, all I felt was fear.

Today, I feel joy.  And sadness.  I get to feel a spectrum of emotions.  That's what healthy people do.  And, I'm a healthy person.

But,

(Why does there have to be a but?)

I still have times- generally short, perhaps extended moments- of fear.

And, you know what?

Those times make me super angry.

I don't want to have to fight off the fear.  I want to be passed that.  I want to be beyond it.  I want to be above that.

And, you know what?

I'm not.

And, you know what?

I'm a healthy person.  I'm walking my walk with everything I have.  And having the Holy Spirit in me is a lot to have.

And, you know what?  (I promise not to ask again.)

I still have to fight.

In the book of Revelations, we get this amazing vision of Heaven.  Jesus is rapid-firing information at John, and John's recording as fast as he can.  We come to the third chapter, and Jesus has letters for some of the ancient churches.  In verse 1, He is speaking to the church at Sardis.  They have a reputation for being alive, but they are dead.  He tells the church to

"Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God."  

I'm not concerned that my faith is getting ready to die, but I do know that my walk has ups and downs.  (And, your does, too.)  Strengthening what remains means that we keep fighting.  Even when it's something we've been over before.

But,

(I like this but better.)

I think Jesus is okay with this.

The apostle Paul, when writing to Timothy, chose to use the metaphor of a running race.  I happen to like that choice.  Running races (track and field) take me to a warm place in my memory space.  He's says that we're supposed to run well the race set before us.  That we're to finish the race well.

In our 100-meter dash mindset, we like this race picture.

Run like crazy, never think about anything twice, feel no pain, and hit the finish line in like 10 seconds to the sounds of the heavenly cloud of witness cheering like crazy folks.

Sounds nice.

It's not real life, either.

This life race is long. (Actually it's short like a vapor, but we need to run it like it's long.  Like ultra-marathon long.)  As we run our race, we might come to similar issues on our course.  For me it's fear.  I slugged through too many years of fear mud.  I had an amazing breakthrough from that life-halting mud.  I'm not going to hit that kind of mud again.  I was freed, but it still rains on my ultra-marathon course.  And, there are still fear puddles that pop up.

Which means I have a choice.

Do I run around the puddles avoiding anything that might bring me pain and fear?

OR

Do I run through the puddle knowing that Jesus is on the other side, the Comforter- the Holy Spirit- is running with me, and that I'm being purified in the process?

Marching towards Heaven being purified on the way?

That's real life.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!


Happy Father's Day to the most important men in my life!  
 It is a privilege to be called your daughter, Dad, and your wife, Tony!
Thank you both for being amazing fathers!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Thoughts from Bed

Ok.  I've pretty much been in bed all week with a lovely viral thing.  Nothing major, but I will be happy to have restored health soon.  As I've spent entirely too much time on the computer and mindlessly sitting, I've come to a few conclusions.

1.  I am so thankful to have a fulltime maid.
This is a perk of Panama that I resisted for a long time, but I am so thankful for her.  It is great to be sick all week, and still have the all the laundry and dishes done.

2.  My kids are super easy.
Perspective makes the world go 'round, right?  Some of my kids are easier than other of my kids, but as a group they are easy peasy.  Yes, they've spent all week mastering Super Mario Bros, but they've been compliant and agreeable.

3.  People on Facebook are overly dramatic.
In full disclosure, I'm a drama queen in recovery.  I was cracking up reading statuses, pictures included, about the most amazing cheeseburger and fries.  For real?  It's a cheeseburger.  I don't mind an occasional picture and a heads up to the restaurant, but some of these statuses read like a middle-schooler's essay.  Way too many adjectives.

4.  According to the Internet, no one is capable of thinking for him/herself.
It's pretty much amazing the multitude of articles out there on the web.  Everything from why to breastfeed, how to punish children, what college degrees to skip, and where to retire.  Have we all become so reliant on being told what to do that there is now an answer for every question?  I want to know what it was like to think as an adult without the Internet telling you which way is up.

5.  Being sick is pretty much the worst.
I am so over this virus.  It's ruining my week.  We had so many plans to get ready for our trip to the States, and they've all pretty much been pushed aside by fevers and Kleenex.  I am so thankful for our normal level of health!

6.  Candy Crush only remains interesting for so long.
And thank you to those who took pity on me and gave me more lives!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Someone Turned 4 This Week!!

Coralynn Mae is officially a "big girl" now.  We know because she tells us 4-5 times a day.  Our tiny baby has become a bundle of personality, and we are so thankful for her!















Monday, May 12, 2014

A Word.

Worst kept secret:  I love words.  I really really love words.

Even more worst (hmm) kept secret:  I love my husband.  I really really love my husband.

Worst worst (time to stop) kept secret:  I'm obsessed with Jesus.  Totally obsessed.

There is nothing greater than the combination of the three.

And that was what took place Sunday morning.  Mother's Day. Such an unexpected gift.

Saturday night, we went out to eat.  Late Saturday night, Coralynn and Chloe began their fight with food poisoning.   Sunday morning, I got to deal with their illness while Tony and Camilla headed off to church.  (Carson was away at camp missing all the fun.)

I was so disappointed because Sunday was elder ordination Sunday, and Tony was going to become an elder of the church.  He's been a deacon before, and I don't pretend to understand the nuances between the roles.  What I do know is that this was different.  Early in the week, I got a real sense that this wasn't just a committee thing.  Or a we're-supposed-to-so-we-do kind of thing.  I was fully expectant that the Holy Spirit was going to show up big.

And I was home with pukers.

Happy Mother's Day to Me.

I sent my dear friend a message asking her to take a picture of the ordination for me.  But, she's Becky, and she wasn't just taking a picture.  She took multiple pictures and sent them to me "live."

Tony being prayed over.

*********************
For those who don't really understand, here's what happens:

Rich, a missionary in Panama, and Pastor Bill prayed over each elder.  Oh, and Rich's son, David.  As they pray, they ask for the Holy Spirit to give them "words" for each person.  Those words are encouragement and edification.  They also can confirm what the Lord has already shown you.  Make sense?  Perfect!

(Neither Rich or David know Tony, and Pastor Bill has only really known us for a few months.)

*********************

Tony being prayed over.


When it was Tony's turn to be anointed and prayed over, Becky sent me the words that were being prayed:

"Tower of strength"
"Humble strength"
"Wisdom for decisions"
"Total peace"
"God is breaking down all limits now."
"Bringing others into the fold."
"Great freedom."
"Fountain of Truth"
"No barriers."
"Eyes are toward babes in Christ."

I was totally in awe.  I cried.  These words speak to whom Tony is, whom he desires to be, where the Lord is taking us.  A person who had never met him spoke some of these.  The Holy Spirit was moving!

I wondered what Tony would have to say about the whole thing when he got home.  You know, he can be on the mellow side.  (worstest kept secret?)  But, he wasn't.  He was as excited as I was which, of course, made me even more excited.

In the past three years, we have walked a spiritual journey that is hard to describe, but I'm so thankful to still be walking it.  I just can't get over how good this God is.  How sweet His Spirit.  And the unfailing nature of Jesus' love?  It brings me to my knees.  We're so unworthy, but He's so worthy.

Words about Tony from the Holy Spirit.

Definitely the best Mother's Day present ever.

(And the girls are all better.)




Monday, May 5, 2014

I want to tell you.

I want to tell you how much I appreciate each person who the Lord has brought across my path.

I appreciate you.  Each of you.  

I've been pondering a lot lately.  "A lot" in frequency and in quantity.

In the past few months, some very important relationships have ended.  Nothing dramatic or angry.  Just over.

Some of us will walk the same path forever. My family and closest friends are on this path for the long haul.  We'll be in relationship as long as we have breath.  Praise Jesus for you!

Other people in my life were in for a fleeting moment- to say the right thing at the right time, to love on us just as we needed it, to hold a hand when no one else was there.  I'm so thankful for your impact on our lives!

What I didn't know until recently was that some relationships last beyond a season but end before eternity.  People whom I spent much meaningful time walking with, and whose path split from my own.  It's a gradual process really.  A little distance.  A little space.  A loss of commonality.   In truth, it's people following the Lord's will for their life.  And us following His will for ours.  In what I imagine is a natural process, the relationship ends.

I'm sure it's normal.

I'm even more sure it's painful.

The experience has given me reason to pause and reflect.  I am so excited about what my tomorrows bring.  I try to focus on living in the now, looking forward to the next thing, but I've been looking back.

I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for what I see, remember, and know.

The Lord has been so kind to us.  He's always made sure we had the exact people in our lives that we needed to learn what He has for us.  And, I've loved those people so much.

I want to tell you, "Thank you."  Whether we've met just for a moment or online only, thank you for your impact on my life.  If we've been through this life together for decades, thank you that you love me today as you did yesterday.  I love the confidence that you'll love me tomorrow.  And, most importantly, for those who walked with me for a season plus, but have now found our paths separated, know that today's distance does not diminish the love I feel for you.   It does not take away from whom you were.  You were, and are, loved.