Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Changing of Seasons...

As some of you know, our time in Louisville, KY, is coming to a close. We will be moving our family to Colorado Springs, CO, in a matter of just a few weeks. It's all coming together rather quickly and feels somewhat like a whirlwind, although we have an immense amount of peace. 

There are so many feelings that come along with one season ending and another beginning. Feelings of loss and great sorrow over relationships invested in that will be changed by distance; feelings of joy and excitement over possibilities ahead. There are all of the "what could have been's" and all of the "what may be's." There are relationships that will stand the test of time and distance; there are relationships that will prove to have only been for a season.

In all of it I'm realizing over and over that "it's okay." 

So much of this journey over the last couple of years of moving to Kentucky, living here, and now moving all the way back across the country doesn't quite make sense.

Why did we come all the way out here just to move right across the Rockies from where we were living before?

Why did we come here to invest in building relationships with beautiful, amazing people that we would just have to turn around and say goodbye to?

I don't have all the answers. And I'm okay with that. Here are some things I do know:

God is good. His timing and plan and way are good and I can trust Him.

Our time in Louisville has been incredible and beautiful and meaningful and rich and hard and memorable and trying and healing and life-changing and all around worth it. 

We found here a grace and space to grow and heal in ways we didn't even realize we needed to and we have been surrounded with loving people who have encouraged and supported us. 

We have done a lot of growing up in this season, as we have made many adult decisions on our own. 

Our family is closer and full of more love and thankfulness and will continue to function out of more peace and joy. 

We have realized some of our strengths and sought growth in areas of weakness. 

Our marriage is richer, our parenting is more gentle and purposeful, our family as a whole is stronger.

My heart aches over leaving.

My heart leaps for joy over going to Colorado Springs.

In all of this I am unspeakably grateful. Grateful to the people who have invested so much in us. Grateful to the Father for knowing exactly where we needed to be. Grateful for the time we have had here. Grateful for the hope we have for the future.

There are still many details we are trying to sort out as far as logistics for our move. We do know that Tom has a job he will be starting on December 9th and the mini people and I will join him after the girls get out of school December 20th, hopefully finding ourselves together in time to celebrate Christmas in our new home.

The mini people are all expressing many of the same feelings I've expressed to you here. Although they are sad to have to leave friends and schools and teachers and church family, they are excited for what's to come. Thankfully we have many friends in Colorado Springs and they are looking forward to getting to be close to them. There's of course the added bonus of living closer to Grammy and aunts and uncles and cousins! Five hours driving sure beats 3 days...

We aren't entirely sure what Jesus has in store for us in this next season, but we're excited to find out. We're looking forward to immersing ourselves into a community of believers in the Springs who are living a Kingdom lifestyle that we have longed to be a part of and understand. We're not sure how long we may end up living there or what may come after our time there. 

Our life is an adventure.

Sometimes that's uncomfortable for us; sometimes that makes others uncomfortable.

In all honesty, I think it's kind of thrilling.

Please Pray!

I cannot end this post without imploring you to pray for our family and this transition.

Please pray for the details to fall into place. We still need to find a place to live and work out how to move our belongings.

Please pray for our hearts. As natural and healthy as all of the emotions we are experiencing and will experience may be, they can still be difficult to navigate.

Please pray for Destiny Church. There are still so many needs in the fellowship we came here to be a part of and we fully believe that Jesus has great things in store for the beautiful people who worship together here. Pray for encouragement for the leadership team and for people to rise up and serve as they are called. Pray for creativity and innovation as they continue to live out the vision the Father has given them for the Highlands and Louisville.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Humbling Lesson

I learned a beautiful lesson of forgiveness and contentment from my sweet Kylee this week:

She had been saving up her money for the school's book fair for a couple of weeks and already had a book picked out. She brought her money to school the day of the book fair - the exact amount needed to purchase the book: $3.99.

Before she was able to go to the book fair, someone stole $3 right out of her backpack in her own classroom.

As she was telling me what happened, anger started to rise up in my mama heart and a feeling of needing to find justice for my daughter.

Kylee's response to the situation? "That's okay. I have plenty more money at home."

**picks up jaw from floor**

I was blown away.

The librarian had set aside the book Kylee wanted and we were able to pick it up that evening (Kylee insisted on bringing more of her own money to pay for it).

Her teacher was able to recover some of the money that was stolen, but not all of it.

This mama is very humbled by this beautiful display of selflessness and lack of worry over unimportant things from the overflow of my sweet daughter's precious heart.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I Want to Be Famous

My Chloe keeps telling me, "Mommy, you're the most famous girl I have ever known!"

I almost don't want to correct her word usage because, frankly, it's kind of awesome to be told I'm famous! (For the record, I have talked to her about the definition of the word and the fact that it might not be the word she's looking for. I asked her why she keeps using and she told me she likes the sound of it (haha!). I don't think she grasps the concept still...)

I think I've always had this underlying desire to have fame and fortune. I wouldn't have admitted that until just recently, but I can't remember a time when I didn't daydream about being "discovered" and becoming a household name, wanting for nothing because my fame has brought me fortune.

Now here's my beautiful, precious little girl looking at me with a giant grin and a sparkle in her eye, telling me I'm the most famous girl she knows. I'm realizing that's the best kind of famous to be!

All my life I've longed to be known and adored and loved - and all of these dreams can be met in my own home. And that's good enough for me!

If my children are the only ones who ever know my name and are impacted by my life and gifts, my joy will be full and my fame will be had and my fortune will be very great.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thankful Hearts

A crafty post, hooray!!

As a family we seem to keep coming across this theme of thankfulness. I'm noticing my lack of thankfulness has rubbed off on my mini people and I want to help them learn this lesson of being thankful in everything now.

So I came up with a way to help give them a picture of thankfulness: I made a jar we can fill with "thankful hearts."I'm actually pretty excited about this idea and had a lot of fun making it. And with Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought it couldn't be more perfect timing and I can share this with the world (or my world, at least), too!

So here goes...

The supplies I used:

  • 11" x 14" poster board (bought a pack of 5 at Hobby Lobby for less than $2)
  • pencil
  • Medium tip Sharpie Pen (my favorite pen ever!)
  • Colored Pencils (I bought a whole pack just for myself)
  • Red and pink construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

I took my pencil and a sheet of poster board and freehanded a jar (I'm no artist, so it isn't anywhere near perfection, but I'm sure my loving children will think it's awesome! ;) I also found myself saying in my best Captain Jack Sparrow voice, "I got a jar o' dirt." over and over, much to my husband's entertainment). 
I freehanded some fun letters so it reads: "A thankful heart prepares the way for the Lord," which is based off of Psalm 50:23 and an Enter the Worship Circle song called "Come Fall on Us." 
I went over all of my pencil lines with my favorite pen so they would be darker and more visible.
I added a little color to spruce it up in an attractive-to-the-small-ones kind of way.

Then I cut out a bunch of little hearts from the red construction paper.

I made 20.

I used my favorite pen to write "thankful" on each one.

I was in a goofy mood...

I used the pink construction paper to make a cute little envelope to hold all the little hearts. I could have used a baggie or a regular envelope, but I was feeling especially creative.

Now I will sit down with the mini people and explain to them the Father's desire for us to have thankful hearts so He can use us and bless us as He sees fit (because, after all, that's what any good daddy longs to do). 

They can earn the hearts by responding to not getting their way with thankfulness instead of throwing a fit; or by being selfless with their things, including time, toys, treats, etc.; or by being particularly thankful in any other way their little hearts dream up on their own! Each time they earn a heart we will tape it to the jar. 

When the jar is full of all 20 hearts we will get to have a special treat - like going out for frozen yogurt or spending extra time at the park or having a friend or two over for a celebration... 

And what's to say we can't start filling it all over again??

I'm incredibly excited to do this with my precious little ones. I'm more excited for what the Father is doing in all of our hearts as we seek to walk in thankfulness to Him for all He so graciously provides and does for us.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Singing to the King Himself

As I was spending some time worshiping while cleaning tonight, this song came on my playlist and I found myself on my knees, weeping.

Let me back up some...

I LOVE to sing. It is something I've done for a long, long time. Over the years I've gone through periods of stupid jealousy, ugly pride, false humility, sweet surrender, and holding back regarding my voice.

A month or so ago I was struck with the great revelation that I connect to the Lord most easily through worship - and that's okay! I don't know where I got the notion, but for several years I had believed that worship through music was somehow a less worthy method of connecting to my God than other methods such as reading the Word and praying for hours on end. I would almost feel guilty for enjoying worship so much and needlessly reprimanded myself for getting emotional during songs.

Stupid, I know; so glad that's not how I'm thinking any more! Of course those other methods are just as important and using all areas of life to worship God is most beneficial, but that's another post for another day.

So tonight as I was sweeping the floor and singing at the top of my lungs, my mind was clouded with the many things that often cloud my mind when I'm trying to sing to Jesus:
"I better not sing too loud because that might be prideful or someone might be distracted..."
"Gotta make sure I don't sing off key because that would be embarrassing..."
"Oh wait, no one is around, I can just sing freely without thinking about what anyone would think..."

And before I had a chance to think about how ridiculous and distracting my own thoughts were and before I could make the decision to bare my heart before my God in worship and adoration, it hit me: The chorus was playing and the lyrics are, "Sing out, sing out, the King Himself is coming now..."
I suddenly pictured myself among a large crowd, awaiting the arrival of the King, everyone shouting their praise kind of like when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was welcomed warmly.
I found myself planning to hold back my voice to keep from overpowering anyone else trying to bring their praise...
I stopped in my tracks.
NO!!! That is NOT what the King desires from me. He desires my everything, my full volume, my reckless abandonment to praising Him with all of my being!

This is when I dropped to my knees and wept.
This is when it finally clicked: I sing for an audience of One.
This is when I fell to pieces, but knew that I was whole.

When I'm worshiping through song, I am in the very presence of the King HIMSELF! Nothing else matters. No one else's opinion matters. My performance and perfection does not matter.
I can sing out my love for Him and make my praise known to Him!

Last week we were talking about our vision as a church fellowship for 2013. One item we covered was stepping out in our gifts and not "sitting on" them, so to speak. (You can listen to Destiny Church's vision for 2013 here!)

I've always considered singing to be a gift and dreamed of having some way to use this gift to bless the Bride and, therefore, bless the Lord. I have no idea what that looks like, but I really don't care. I'm just going to sing my heart out to my King!