Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If...

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray...

Orphans will find a home.*

Marriages will be restored.*

The hungry will be fed.*

...and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways...

Lives will be transformed.

Justice will prevail.

Grace will be shared.


...then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land...

Mountains will be moved.

Evil will be destroyed.

His kingdom will come on earth, as it is in heaven.

2 Chronicles 7:14

*Click these links for urgent prayer needs around the world.*
Pray Now.
Pray Bold.
Pray Big.
Pray Often.

If My people will pray...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No Fun

"No fun Mama! No fun!" is Nathan's newest way of expressing himself. Having anything BUT hot dogs for dinner...No fun! Eating anywhere other than Chick-Fil-A...No fun! Needing to take a bath...No fun!

Pneumonia...No fun Mama! No fun!

Yup, little man has pneumonia. It started over a week ago with him waking up with a junky yucky cough each morning. I dismissed it as allergies. Then he was up with the cough a couple of nights. (One night he coughed so hard at one point that when he stopped, all we heard was this little pitiful "ow." How to break a mama's heart!) No fever, no cold symptoms. Just a cough that would not go away.

Fast forward to Sunday...we decided it was not a good idea to take Nathan to church as we figured some of the moms would stone us upon hearing that cough around their sweet little ones. I thought it might be a good idea to have little man checked out. I went off to teach Sunday School and David took Nathan to the doctor. I called between services to find out that it was a classic case of pneumonia. I truly thought David was joking with me. But no, no he was not.

And I felt about this big of a mom, letting my little one go around with pneumonia unchecked for the last week. "No Fun Mama! No Fun!"

The antibiotics have kicked in and and Nathan is doing somewhat better. He still has the junky yucky cough and is still quite irritable and fit-pitching-prone, but it is getting better...I hope.

One might say, "Pneumonia? No Fun Mama! 2 year old with pneumonia? NO FUN Mama, really, really NO FUN!"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are You Excited?

"Are you excited?" has became a regular mainstay of my conversations lately. With a little over two weeks left before my departure for Africa, it is an understandable and good question to ask...I just wish I knew how to answer it a little better.

Excited. Hmm. That is kind of, maybe, sort of, but not really all that much what I am feeling most days. If I unpack the bag of emotions that is growing quicker than my physical packing list, I am sure excitement is down there somewhere. Along with trepidation, anxiousness, a small dose of fear, a little bit of sadness, a whole lot of eagerness to see God at work and one big emotion that I can't think to call anything else but "Oh my goodness, what have you gotten yourself into now!" All of those, along with excitement (and more that I have yet to put my finger on) make up the feelings that I am beginning to develop as the trip comes closer.

Thinking through all this, I began to realize it is very similar to how I felt right before Caleb was born. In those last few weeks, people asked "Are you ready?" more times than I could count. But how could I be ready? I had read of and heard of others experiences, but I truly had no idea what to expect in my unique birthing experience. At this point, going to Africa is kind of like giving birth the first time...stick with me...I have read of, heard of and been blessedly prepared by other experiences, but I truly do not know what to expect on our unique trip. Hence the huge "Oh my goodness, what have you gotten yourself into now!" emotion.

Moreover, after reading and thinking through a really interesting conversation on short term missions, I have had to ask myself again and again why I am going and what do I expect out of the trip.

Here is what I know:

God is working in the villages we will be visiting. He has been working there long before our church arrived and will work long after we leave. He has blessed me with the opportunity to join in this work for a brief moment, not because of any great talent I have or because I am any more special than the next person, because trust me, He is showing me over and over I am not.

God is letting me join in simply because He loves me and thinks it is a good idea for me to see Him working.

God and I have an appointment in Africa and not only is He going to show off a little of the work He has been doing, but He is going to let me join in that work for those few days.

Hmm...now I am excited!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blessed By a Root Canal?

No one likes I root canal. No one. Even I, who considers myself somewhat of an expert on root canals after having five in five years, do not like root canals. Surely, I was not looking forward to going to the root canal doctor on Friday and my spirit and attitude were grumbling away:

"God, I really don't have the time for this. Remember, I am going to Africa in just a few weeks?"
"God, I really can't afford this right now. Remember, I am going to Africa in just a few weeks?"
"God, now BOTH sides of my teeth are hurting. There is no way I can do TWO root canals right now. Remember, Africa in just a couple of weeks?"

"Remember?"

He remembered and I can say I truly walked away from the root canal blessed. You know, it is funny to think about being blessed by a root canal, but I was.

I was blessed by the nurse who got excited hearing about me going to Africa and shared with me about her sister's upcoming mission trip to Mexico. I was blessed by her saying she would pray for our trip and to be able to pray for her sister's trip.

I was blessed by the dentist who shared a little about his missions experiences in Jamaica and Haiti. I was blessed when he actually thanked me for going to Africa.

I was blessed to find out that the pain on one side was sinus related and that I only needed one root canal instead of the two I feared. (Paying for one root canal doesn't seem nearly as bad after thinking about paying for TWO of them.)

In this little episode of life, God had gone before me, making the way so much easier than I thought it was going to be. (But, I have to say, the recovery started out a little rough and I am still dealing with some pain issues. Again, no one likes root canals.)

Still, I no longer am asking God if He remembers me. I truly know and I am truly blessed by the One who always remembers me and who is always going before me to bless me- even in a root canal.

Monday, March 14, 2011

For Japan


Lives shattered, broken
As the earth ripped, water poured
Unending prayers.



Saturday, March 5, 2011

40 Days Full

"You would think her roommate would have told her there is something on her forward."

I can remember thinking that as I walked across the Georgetown campus one blustery Wednesday during March of my first year. The poor girl had obviously smudged something on her forehead and no one had the guts to tell her.

"But wait, that boy over there has the same thing."

By the time I had crossed campus and sat down in my class, I had seen several people with the same cross-like smudge on their foreheads. Later, I my ignorant-Protestant self was informed that this was Ash Wednesday and that those with the ash cross had been to mass that morning to celebrate the beginning of Lent.

Lent? Like the stuff that clogs a dryer? No, not that kind of lint. Lent is the time in the Christian church in which believers traditionally begin to prepare themselves to celebrate the holiest and most magnificent day of the year, Easter.

Last year, I remember bemoaning the fact that Easter had sneaked up on me and that I did not feel ready to truly celebrate the risen Savior. Last year, I did not take the time to celebrate Lent nor to have my heart prepared for Easter. Unfortunately, with my Baptist/Protestant background, Lent (and Advent at Christmas time) have always been a sort of optional take it or leave it, not really all that important, holiday season. I think this is one of the things we Protestants really miss out.

Lent, for me, is a time of reflection and preparation to truly have the correct heart attitude come Easter Sunday.


Still, Lent is only as important as you make it. I can remember friends in college trying to decide what they would be giving up. After becoming a Christian my sophomore year, I too joined in the conversation. More often than not, for me it turned into some type of diet tool. "Sure, I will give up sweets for Lent. What a good way to be spiritual and lose a couple of pounds to boot."

Lent become more about me and my desires- what I was willing to do for God, not celebrating what He had done for me. I do not think the early church fathers or God desired Lent to be a time where we serve our own interests. Instead, it is a time of sacrifice to remember the One who sacrificed everything for you.

This season of preparation, I am excited to join in with a great organization, Blood:Water Mission in their 40 days of Water. 40 days in which I will do my best to sacrifice all beverages except water.



40 days in which forgoing my morning orange juice will draw my heart closer to my Savior and skipping a sweet tea at lunch or dinner will draw my heart closer to those around this globe who never have the option of anything other than water, and more often than not water that is not truly clean.

Maybe for you, 40 days of water is not an option.

What is
?


Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent begins this week. Are you willing? Are you ready? Can you handle 40 days?

40 days full of...

reflection
sacrifice
preparation
surrender

40 days full.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring

As a faithful friend


Returns from a long journey,


Exclaiming with joyous abandon,


And whispering of even more lovely things to come,


So is Spring.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Playing Around

The spring bug bit me today...

and instead of posting about one of the things I wanted to write about...

like making the choice to develop a relationship with a person instead of my filthy kitchen...

or the exciting idea of 40 days of water...

I spiffied up the old blog (great pics courtesy of Light of Mine Photography)....

and must now go teach my almost kindergartner...

I hope you like the new look and will stop by later this week as I get around to writing instead of playing around.
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