Last week, our pastor was talking about being totally sold out to God. His sermon covered how everything comes from God, everything is about Him and exists only for the purpose of bringing Him glory. When he talked about remembering that everything comes from God, he said something that made me look at life a little differently. He said that we don't need to sweat the small stuff because God is in control. That I'd heard before, of course, but then he kept talking. If you have a problem and you've given it to God, its His problem. If your refigerator breaks and you give it to God, its now God's refrigerator to fix. God's kids need shoes. God's car needs gas. God's computer needs to be fixed. And, a personal story from our lives, God's truck needs tires. Our Dodge needs tires and we don't have the money right now to get them. They're really expensive. But the tires that are on the truck now are completely finished... So, what are we going to do? Lowell has to be able to go to work... So, I've been praying about it - God, your truck needs tires. Lowell has been stressing about it. Really stressing... And so I've been praying for him. I'm praying for his level of faith and for his stress level. And I'm praying for God to move in a big way and for Lowell to be shown how God can move in amazing ways. So, if you will, join with me in praying that God will provide tires for His truck and will show Lowell how amazinly He can meet our needs.
A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ, that a man should have to seek Him first to find her ~ Maya Angelou This quote was attached to an email I got from the my volunteer leader at church. Isn't it fabulous?!! I want this to be true of both of my girls. I pray that their first love will be Christ and that He will draw them together with a man who loves Him just as much as they do. Since my girls are only 7 and 5, you might be asking why I'm even thinking about their husbands. Well, first of all because I believe that I have to be a good model of loving Christ for them and also that Lowell is a model for them to watch of the type of man to marry. Also, I've already begun praying for their future spouses - Chloe and Jillian's husbands as well as Nathan's wife. I am praying for them to keep their hearts turned to God and to remain pure - just like I'm praying for my own kids. An additional reason why marriage is on my mind today is because this is my 10 year wedding anniversary. It seems like so long ago... I have such good memories of that day... My wonderful friends made the day so special for me. We had friends who came from Washington, Colorado, New Hampshire, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona at our wedding! We are so blessed!!! And we had family members who really pitched in with sweat equity to help make our day possible. It was a beautiful day. Mostly, however, that day was perfect because of the man that I married. I'm so thankful for my husband. I have been blessed with a man who loves me absolutely unconditionally. He has stuck with me through all - we've been poor, I've been sick, we've had three (beautiful) kids, we've moved and moved and moved... And we're still together. And he still loves me. Lowell is giving and thoughtful, he's playful and a wonderful father... He's committed and honest and a Godly man. I am sooo blessed.
I started thinking about a legacy today. I am a little terrified by the idea that my children are going to remember me as a "...." fill-in-the-blank mom. I don't know how they're going to remember their childhoods... On a larger scale however, I'm also leaving a legacy with the people I work with, with my church family, my biological family and even the people I meet in the grocery store. Because I'm working on living for the Audience of One, its not that I'm concerned about what these people will think of me, its more that I'm concerned with the impact I can/will make on their lives. I strongly believe that God has placed me where I am right now in an effort to use me to impact the lives of those around me. I've been given a sphere of influence and I'm going to be held accountable for how I loved these people. How well do I love my children and my husband, how well do I demonstrate God's love to the people at work, the people in traffic and those standing in line behind me at the post office? How much of an impact am I making for the kingdom?
If my focus is not on what people will think of me, and instead on living each day with the goal of doing the right thing, and to see people how God sees them, I will be more apt to notice that the cranky woman at work is really hurting. I will be able to see the pain instead of the behavior and be able to demonstrate grace to her. If my heart only wants to please my Solitary Audience, I won't hesitate when I feel led to comfort a complete stranger because I know that He knows the heart of this person and will guide me to meet their need. I believe that I've been called to be the "hands and feet" of God here on earth, and when my heart is focused on loving as Christ loves, and on seeing my world as He sees it, I won't see the "ugly" exteriors, but instead the beauty of the person that God has created.
I have the opportunity to help people at work. I'm being a part of people finding employment and getting their GEDs. These are tangible ways that I'm giving back and I really feel good about them. I also have times where women will sit in my office and cry or talk and share their experiences with me. I don't see the results of these times, but I believe that they are just as helpful (if not more so) as the other ways that I'm assisting the ladies here. My job is basically 8 hours of opportunities to see people with the eyes of Christ because they are all hurting and all struggling. It can get overwhelming at times, but then I am reminded that God will give me strength. I can fly like an eagle, I can walk and not faint, I can run and not grow weary... I have a promise from the living, loving God of the universe. What more could I possibly need??? So, I'm loving and helping and failing and learning. And looking forward to seeing how I've been used by God to bring Him glory. That's what I want my legacy to be - that I brought glory to God in every area of my life by living only to please Him. My audience of one.
I don't even know where to begin... This week seems to have been punctuated with moments of absolute joy and still cluttered with times of stress and frustration. On the joyous side, our church had its first week in the new building. The service was completely fantastic and the sermon was incredible as usual. Also, I talked to Jillie about who to believe when multiple people in authority told her conflicting stories. For example, if her teacher told her that she couldn't wear any shoes that weren't black, and then Mom said is was okay to wear zebra shoes to school - who should she listen to... She didn't know the answer to that question but when I re-worded it to "What if one of your teachers told you that there isn't really a god? Then who would you believe?" Jillian said with passion, "But that's wrong because I know there's a God and He loves me!!" It brought tears to my eyes how completely sold out she is - I was soo proud! Soooooooo proud!!!! Also, we temporarily lost both of the ferrets, and both of them have returned home - safe and sound! As for the bumps in the road, I'm not even going to mention them because they are, as they say, a part of life. And I'm remembering that in my weakness, Christ is made strong. These are the times when I can hang on and watch Him move - watch Him comfort and encourage, and watch problems be taken care of. And then I get the chance to give glory where its due -- To the only one worthy of all honor, and power and praise.. Thank you Father!
May 30th was Chloe's birthday. She turned 7. Very hard to believe. Sunday the 30th was also our first day at our new church. Our church recently purchased a building and has been working on getting it ready for services. The 30th was Open House. Everyone from the church was invited to come and see the new facilities as well as taking the time to pray over the new areas. The church members were asked to pray over each chair and to read scripture in the sanctuary so that God's word would be proclaimed. It was very special for us to pray together as a family and to read scripture together. After church, Chloe had some friends come over for cake and ice cream and presents. They all had a good time. Chloe got birthday phone calls from my dad, from Mamoo, from Grandma Hippo and from Grandma Who. She got a birthday package from Auntie Leeda (a very cool book of paper doll fashion designing) and from Mamoo (a beautiful pink dress and a handmade bracelet with two math books). Here are some pictures of the day.