Sunday, August 21, 2011

When My Heart is Overwhelmed

Today was a very FULL day for me emotionally.  Has your heart ever been so full of so many things that you can't begin to even express is one of those days, so if this blog post seems a bit jumbled you will know why.
First thing it hit me that today would of been mom and dads 35th wedding anniversary.  Daddy was always up to something and he usually pulled me into helping him plan something.  Last year he was in Charleston starting radiation/chemo and they came home on their anniversary weekend so daddy called me and had me get 34 roses and have them on their dining room table when they came in.  Lots more sweet memories I could share.  I do know that I am thankful that God gave me parents that showed me what it looked like to be married through the thick and thin of life.  I see now days that our culture preaches such a different message.  Marriage is work, but when you work at it, it is a very rewarding thing!
We went to church today to our next to last service at Grace Church.  Let me just say that when we first walked in the doors of Grace Church approximately 11 months ago I had no clue what God would have for us in this past (almost) year.  When we stepped away from our position at our former church in complete faith that God was moving us to something different I could not even begin to tell you how scary, yet empowering it was to know we were following God completely!  God has taught us so many things through that process and I am thankful everyday that even though some may never understand it, it is the best feeling to know we are in God's perfect will!  I have grown so much being under the teaching ministry of Grace.  The application to my life personally has challenged me, stretched me and grown me in ways that I could of never thought possible!  I saw church in a different light and my life will be forever changed because of it.  For once in my life I don't feel pressured to meet someones standard of acceptance, but I am accepted through my faith in the gospel.  I don't think the gospel has ever been so true to me in every aspect of my life.  I really don't think I have ever come to such reality of how truly broken I am on a daily basis.  I mean we all try to talk ourselves into how good we really are (we don't do this or we do do that) right?  But seeing things in a different light made me realize that we are all so broken and in need of the gospel not just once when we get saved but everyday that we breathe!  There are so many people at Grace Church that welcomed us with loving arms and showed us what practical Christian love and generosity looked like.  They have blessed us beyond words.
We had our "going away party" with our small group tonight.  When we signed up to join a community group (Grace's technical term) I wasn't really sure what exactly a small group was, but had heard different things.  We walked into a group of 13 other people who accepted us with open arms and loved on us at a time when life was a bit difficult.  They gave us meals, watched our kids, sent us out on a date night, more meals, more childcare, but best of all encouraged us and cried with us and weren't afraid to meet us where we were.  I will forever be changed by their example.  When we were first accepted to Harvest Training Center I didn't really think it would be this hard to walk away from our church we have proudly called was a bit emotional for me.
Finally, I am feeling a bit anxious about what it will be like to walk away from what has been our "routine" for the past 11 months to some unknown waters and territory.  We are so excited about where God is placing us and how He is going to use us.  If I could explain all He has done over the past few months to confirm in our hearts that we are exactly where He wants us it would blow your mind!

"From the end of the earth will I cry unto you, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I."  Psalms 61:2

Thursday, August 18, 2011

15 days....

My kids ask us just about everyday, "how many more days until we leave for Chicago?"  So, we made a countdown on our calendar in attempts to keep the nagging at a low.  I am reminded how soon we will be leaving South Carolina for the north!  I know we will only be gone for 5 months, but I also know that things won't be the same when we return!
We took a trip to the cemetery yesterday evening.  The kids have been asking pretty often about going to see papa.  Their different responses were pretty interesting.  Ashlyn (4) immediately asked if we could dig him up.  Madelyn (3) kept saying, "Papa is in heaven." Bryson (8) was fairly quiet about the whole thing.  Landon (6) who seems to be the most outward with his grief spent a lot of time just standing there at his grave.  He picked up a rock and drew a cross in the dirt and wrote "Love Papa."  He hugged me for a long time and kept saying, "I miss Papa and love him so much!"  He said can we get some food and sit right here and have a picnic.  I reminded Landon that Papa's body was buried here, but he was really in heaven and that if we trust Christ we can see him again one day.  I pray that God will continue to work in his young heart.  I have to say the last few weeks have been hard at times.  There are times I want to talk to daddy so bad or just see his smile or touch his hand, but I know that won't happen and some days that is so hard to swallow.
Our days are pretty much filled with last minute doctor and dentist check ups for the kiddos, laundry, packing, trashing, sorting, meeting up with friends, etc.  I have to admit that the closer it gets the more anxious I become about this new step.  I do know however and have the confidence that God is right here with me and knows exactly where I am going.  Church planting is no easy task!  Details seem to cloud my mind and then I become scared, anxious and fretful about how it will all come together....when will I learn?  I just need to rest in God's plan and know that He has everything under control!  I look over the last year and can see His hand so evident in our lives!  This also brings great comfort and peace to me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thought I would finish out the story of the van.  To make a long story short, really short, someone called Sam last week and through a series of events gave us $1000 more dollars to fix our van.  So, we now have our van in the shop with $2000 to work with and should have a newly fixed van any day now!  It is funny how when you think God is going to work something out a certain way, He always has a bigger plan and what He gets glory through.  I am amazed at how He has worked out so many details for our upcoming move and adventure in faith!  There are still a thousand and one other things that need to come together, but I have confidence that in HIS timing and HIS way they will all be worked out by September 2nd....that is the official move date.
I have seriously considered throwing away all the kids clothes and starting over....but, I know that would be foolish, but it is VERY tempting, let me tell you.  When I started having kids, I didn't realize the amount of clothes and socks they produced.  : )