Thanksgiving Weekend 2016

Snow. White. Fluffy. Beautiful. Accents the green pine trees in a very beautiful way.

The only downside to snow is that when one is driving across the mountain passes in the winter it makes driving interesting AND sometimes detours well made plans for the holidays. Thanksgiving 2016 is one of those years. A truth God is really teaching me and I am working to accept is the thought that when He says no there is a reason why and I need to look for how I see Him show up in the no of what I wanted. We saw an abundance of rain and the passes got an abundance of snow!

Thanksgiving weekend starts the Christmas Holiday season for us. Holiday meal on Thursday. Shopping on Thursday evening and Friday. Sunday evening is filled with a preview of the musical I have been practicing for since August (and opens this next weekend) and the Christmas tree Lighting at church. Followed by each evening practice to get ready for opening night of the musical. Christmas music playing in the background everywhere I walk. Finishing up Christmas shopping for family. Besides all the “fun” pieces of the season, its also a season of reflecting, adjusting, and preparing for the new year. Reflection is not always an easy or pleasant thing to do but it is worth it if I don’t short step the process.

Our Thanksgiving plans did not go as planned, we had beef pot roast, a paleo sausage apple stuffing (yum!), the pumpkin pie my eldest son made, and scalloped potatoes BUT we were safe, and thank to technology we were able to video chat with family this weekend.

The past few months have been busy practicing (I am the rehearsal accompanist) for the musical (Christmas Dessert Theater) at church, reading, homeschooling my youngest, managing the house and spending time with the family. Below are some links to what I have been reading and the latest on embroidery projects.

Finished Books: us-flag
Vision and Beyond by Bruce Wilkerson
Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview by Jason B. Ladd: click here for the review
She Believes by Debbie Lindell: click here for the review

 
Embroidery Project Updates:
5

 

The Rubik Cube: Finished with glow in the dark paint on the frame – Here are the pictures

 

 

11292016b

 

Update on the Rocky Mountain Christmas Project – I am almost finished, less than half a page left

 

 

Books to Read:
Twilight’s Last Gleaming by Robert Jeffress
The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp
Listen. Love. Repeat. By Karen Ehman
What in the World is Going on? and Is this the End? Both by Dr. David Jeremiah
Living Forward by Michael Hyatt

For Advent This Year:
Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado
The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
Book of Luke Study with the Time Warp Wife

Links:
Christmas Dessert Theater @ GracePoint Church
Paleo Apple Sausage Stuffing
Time Warp Wife’s Blog

*Snow Photo was taken early 2012…….found snow when we were on a family vacation*

The Peace Jesus Brings

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give just as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Peace.

Your peace.

Your magnificent amazing peace.

A gift to me.

A gift for me.

A gift that is difficult to understand. To comprehend.

Various things make the heart troubled….

A heart troubled at:

  •            World events
  •             Work Tensions
  •             Sickness
  •             Death
  •             School
  •             Relationships
  •             Dreams
  •             Next Steps
  •             Regrets
  •             Finances
  •             Choices
  •             Others Choices

The beauty of Jesus, the beauty of Him being our salvation, our strength; His peace.

A peace the covers all the heart troubles.

A peace that calms fears.

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.“
Isaiah 12:2

A Sweatshirt, An Auction and A Piano

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31 (ESV)

It was an auction. An auction marathon, my husband called it. Three days of storage containers opened and treasures to be found. As I saw the contents, I couldn’t help but wonder what was the story. Why had these been left for so long? Why had the owners not been able to retrieve their contents?

The way this auction worked is you saw what you saw and could not open the contents till you were home. You would have to take a risk on whatever you bid on concerning its quality and often times, content. Could be treasure or it could simply be garbage. It is an interesting people watching event because you can begin to see who are there to try and make a living and who was there for fun. We were there for fun.  The second day we ended up with a mystery box lot – treasures to be gone thru and then another treasure, which I will talk about later.

The box lot was interesting – it had a mix of things but what I was struck by was that you could see what this person’s interest was. If you were to take a global fly over of my life – what would be seen. What would my stuff tell you about who I am, what I believe in, what I hold close to me. It would show some but it would miss a critical piece of the puzzle. Me. Without the person in the story we don’t have the full story. All we have is our assumptions.

How often I use my assumptions in making a judgment on who I talk to, who I interact with, what I will or will not do. As a gauge on how I respond or should respond. My assumptions take out two critical components; the other person and Jesus.  I am walking with Jesus. He has invited me into His world and asked me to join him on His mission. That means my lens needs to be cleaned and often times changed.  And then there is the other person – when I allow my assumptions to win I miss out on the other person’s story, on an opportunity to see Jesus, be His hands and feet, or vice a versa. And that brings us to the sweatshirt.

On Sunday, I wore my turquoise Special Olympic Sweatshirt to the auction.  I wear it with pride & and for awareness. Rarely do I receive any kind of acknowledgment to the fact I am wearing it, today was the day that would change. We stood at the back of the auction-eating fries & listening to the bidding and a woman across the way got my attention. She gave me a thumb up but I was not tracking exactly what she was talking about. She walked over and starting talking. What proceeded was her sharing a piece of her story, almost tearing up and telling me a little bit about the Native’s perspective on special needs.  The conversation ended with a “God bless you”. I spoke maybe 10 words. The experience has stuck with me and was the highlight of the entire auction.  I was left wondering why God orchestrated this encounter.

As I sat in the gathering that evening listening to the message,  God showed me some things I had not seen before. As I have chosen to simply be in my community, to be a part of my community connections are made. Connections that may not be made anywhere else, I don’t know if anything more will come from the encounter but I know that I learned two valuable lessons.   God uses strangers to encourage us, I was encouraged from this encounter. We connect with people by being around people, not shoving an agenda, a program, a rule…..rather simply be a part of what is going on.

It was risky to reach out even to listen but well worth it.  Faith is risky & causes radical obedience…..and that leads us to the piano.

Listening to Jesus is an adventure & Saturday night I took a risk that I didn’t think I would do. I bought a piano. I didn’t see the piano before I bought it. I heard them auction it and said a prayer and went for it.  It was a risk that I am still wrapping my head around.  Playing the piano is something I enjoy but had gotten to a point where I was content that it was a season that had passed.  I would not have bought a piano, I had not even thought of getting one again; but God provided the opportunity and I listened. God orchestrated the details.

I came home from work today to the piano in place and my music books available.  My husband told me to put my things down, head downstairs and check it out. Not until the keys were beneath my fingers and I was playing songs of praise did I realize how much I had missed interacting with music on a very real and personal level.

God redeems and heals each area of our lives if we will let Him. It takes action of faith, taking risks at times, overcoming fears and listening to the voice of Jesus. Hands open – palms up. God is good. Who knew a sweatshirt, an auction, and a piano would bring so much.

IMG_0707

The Face of Jesus and a Bowling Tournament

Today was the regional bowling tournament.  Let me paint the picture, the bowling alley is completely filled with Special Olympic Athletes, their caregivers, family and community members. In the air is excitement and joy, anticipation for a day of fun and impatience that its taking to long to start. Opening Ceremonies – the National Anthem and the presentation of colors, an emotional moment where I am filled with thankfulness and joy. Thankful to be able to see these athletes compete. Thankful that God has redeemed me because He loves me. Thankful because I am beginning to see Jesus in the face of each of these.

My eldest son is a different learner. He has high functioning autism, sensory integration issues, attention difficulties, the list goes on – suffice it to say, until he was 4 you could not understand him and even then it took years for conversation to be easier. Even now texting is easier for him then verbal communication.

Bowling was the first sport that Zach did in Special Olympics. I remember feeling awkward and just out of place. I also remember looking around me and sadness filling me over how little family & community I saw surrounding these athletes. God had been stirring in me since the time Zach was little that there was something bigger than us He wanted in the special needs community.

After reading Love Does, the concept of a “big idea” versus “my plan” is playing over and over again in my mind. God has given me a “big idea” but is very quiet about “a plan.” I like plans but that does not require a lot of faith an idea though is going to require a lot of faith, risk, and obedience.

One of the things that strikes me about Jesus is how he went to people and met their needs. It was about community. I don’t have a lot of extra time, I am a mom to three active boys, 2 teenagers and an elementary student. But what time I do have, am I using it wisely? I tend to use my time selfishly – use it to unplug, stay at home, but not as involved I sense I should be. God is stirring in me a desire to be involved, not a bystander but involved.

Image

My eldest son (15) and his brother (9) were unified partners and bowled together. The boys took Silver today. The joys on their face because they worked together and worked hard brought tears to my eyes. When I look at their faces I am reminded of the fact that life has ups and downs (the games alone had moments of joy & almost tears). I am reminded of the fact that Jesus calls us to love these. I see the face of Jesus in these athletes and their families.

I want to see Jesus in the faces of all I meet and to be able to see what God is up to in their lives. I don’t want to just go thru life as a bystander…..I want to to be an active part of what God is doing.

November 1, 2013

It’s been a while since I have sat down and blogged, but I am hoping to do it more consistently. I am a redeemed prodigal, learning how to follow Jesus in the moment to moment of my every day life. Its not easy, and having grown up in the religious bubble – I find it extremely difficult to not get caught up in doing “all the right things.”

Lately God has been working the same theme in my life, multiple different ways. Moving out of my comfort zone and following Him where He leads me. It’s easy for me to hide behind the lie that because of my past I am unqualified. It boils down to fear; fear of leaving my comfort zone; fear of what others think; fear of failure.

Two books I have read in the past few months and they both weave together; Love Does by Bob Goff and Anything by Jennie Allen. I have been challenged to let go of what I see as “normal” and the typical Christian life to walks as Jesus did. Its not a new theme, I have heard it over and over at church – but in the past few years and in recent months, God has been bringing me a to a place where I must wrestle with this tension. Do I want the typical, non-radical faith walk OR the adventure of joining Him where He is at? Do I want to live a life that is focused on going to work, making dinner, cleaning house OR a life that is seeing Jesus show up in the daily activities, God divined interruptions, re-arranged schedules, a messy life being redeemed and Jesus seeping out of every crevice. One sounds exciting and like the Gospels, the other seems rather dull and not full of life.

One way that God is helping me shake things up is by taking the Joy Dare that Ann Voskamp’s, author of One Thousand Gifts has over on her blog:  (http://www.aholyexperience.com/joy-dares/) . Today’s Joy Challenge was 3 Gifts Eaten ||

  1. Baked Apples,
  2. Toast
  3. A Slice of Pizza……God has provided food on our table.

Join me as I work to count the gifts God has given &  follow Jesus with abandon.

%d bloggers like this: