Thursday, May 31, 2012

I want to be a Jesus Freak, but instead I'm a Control Freak

I leave in 4 days.

For Africa.

So, what am I doing in the days leading up to my 2 week odyssey?  Oh, you know, important things like:  cleaning out closets, cleaning under sinks, making hair bows for my girls, organizing clothes, making summer schedules for the kids, room-mom projects, researching birthday party options for Caleb, going through papers that have been sitting in a pile for months…

Basically any and every little thing I can find to do other than get ready for this trip and controlling every little thing around me.  And I mean every.little.thing.  Because that's what I do when I feel out of control.  Find something to control.


I have nothing packed.  And a ton to pack.  And I am totally overwhelmed...

With the idea of leaving my kids.

With the amount I have to fit into the smallest space.

With all that I “need” for 2 weeks away in a foreign land.

With the idea of traveling with a bunch of stranger to an environment I’ve only seen in movies.

With the details of leaving the kids for 2 weeks.

With leaving JMad – my comfort, security, sounding board and most days lifeline.

With not working out for 2 weeks.

With being out of control

With being out of my element.

With having to trust God.

Other than that, I’m really excited about this trip.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Sisters

Lily Kate!
My big 5 year old girl.   Gosh, mercy, how I love you.  I can’t believe you are 5!  It seems like we have been talking about it for months…we HAVE been talking about it for months.  Doing the countdown to your big day and now it is finally here.  You invited 8 of your little friends to Build A Bear for a party and you are so excited.  Lily Kate, I adore you.  Our family would be lost without you.  You help me keep this place running and keep everyone in line.  You really love to be my helper and second in command.  LK, you are a sweet, thoughtful, helpful, silly, kind little girl who loves to help me around the house, dance and make new friends.  You love to shop, wear jewelry and play with friends.  Your super excited about swimming this summer and Kindergarten next year.  You love Sunday school and singing all the songs you learn there.  When you pray, sister, it is so sincere and from your heart.  You love Jesus.  Lily, I pray that you always love Jesus and the songs you are learning take root deep in your heart.  I pray that people are drawn to you because of the light in your heart.  I pray that as you get older, you will look to Jesus to figure out who you are and that you won’t be easily swayed by the thoughts and opinions of others.  Little Kate, as always, I pray you marry someone like your Daddy – hard-working, generous, reflective and deeply in love with God.  I love you so much, little sister.  Happy, happy day to you!

Ella Grace!
Your BIG day is finally here!!!  You have been waiting so patiently for your birthday, counting down the days.  You actually woke up the last two nights in a row to tell me how many days left until your special day.  I love that you are not only happy it’s your day, but you also love that you get to share it with Lily.  Girl, there aren’t words to express to you just how much you love that sister of yours.  You don’t like her to be out of your sight for too long.  You love your family.  You tell me all the time that you don’t want to get married because you don’t want to leave your family.  I love you so much Gracie.  You are my baby.  When you kiss mama, it’s so full of passion and love that I want to melt.  And you know it.  You know the best way to get out of trouble is to start kissing me – it makes me laugh out loud every time.  Ella, you love to color, draw and read books.  You’ve come so far in school this year and your teachers are so impressed with your progress.  You love school and you really love to learn.  You are so excited to go to kindergarten so that you can learn to read.  Right now you are having a hard time being away from any of us, but I love hearing Lily Kate remind you that, “God is always with you in your heart!”  God is always near, littlest sister, never far from you.  Others will disappoint you, but God never will.  I pray that you always remember that, Ella.  I pray that whenever others make you question your worth, you always look at that cross and know that God died for you, Ella.  You by name.  And Ella, I pray with all my heart, that you marry a man that loves God like Daddy does.  A man full of integrity, wisdom, compassion and understanding and someone who will always cherish you!  I love you with all that I am sweet Ella.  Happy birthday!

Sweetest Little Twins, you have added more to my life than I’ve ever thought possible.   I pray that the bond that you guys have is never broken and only strengthened and encouraged by your love for Jesus.  I love you guys and am so thankful for the past 5 ah-may-zing years with you!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Anyone but Peter

Why can’t I be Paul??Or Timothy or Paul or Matthew or Paul…

I’ve always identified with Peter.  Passionate, fearful, outspoken, dramatic, rebellious, not the fastest learner on the team, full of hot air, prideful….

Yes, I’m more like Peter than Paul.

My quiet time lately has been so convicting.  As I prepare to go to Africa, God continues to lovingly work on my heart.  Yucky things that I didn’t think I have a problem with are surfacing.

I’ve always had a hard time receiving things from people.  I love having parties, but I hate getting gifts (except from you JMad – you’re not off the hook!)  I love helping others, but hate asking for help.  I have no issue doing for others, but am not too crazy about people doing for me.  I’ve actually told JMad, many times, “I had to ask so-and-so for help.  You know I was desperate if I’m asking for help!”

And up until recently, I’ve not seen a problem with that.

Then when I was considering going on this trip, My Michele says to me, “I think you should think about asking others for support for your trip.”

Um, what?  Ask others for support?  Uh, hello, my husband is a doctor.  We can afford it.  I would feel ridiculous asking others to help me when I can do it!  Chest puffed up, I don’t need help from anyone.

My Michele says, “Sometimes it’s about blessing others by letting them bless you.  Sometimes it’s about letting others be a part of God’s work through your ministry.  Sometimes it’s learning to be humble, put away your pride and ask for help.”

Put on humility.
Put away pride.
Yeah, that’s hard for me.

When reading the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet, in John 13:5-11, I’ve always thought Peters reaction was a little over the top.

5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Peter goes from, No!  Never!
Scrub me down Jesus.  Every inch of me!  And don’t forget my fingernails!

I never really got that.
Until now.

Peter had a hard time putting away his pride and humbly accepting the way Jesus wanted to show his love. 
I have a hard time with that too. 

Peter doesn't like the way it makes him feel to have Jesus serve him.
I can totally understand that.

Peter doesn’t like the feeling of someone doing something for him, while getting nothing in return.
I don’t like that either.

Peter had a hard time accepting that Jesus loved him unconditionally and Peter didn’t have to do anything or prove anything to him.
That one is really hard for me.

Peter eventually pulls it together and God uses him in big ways.
I’m hoping, by putting my hope in The One, that will be what the end of my story looks like too.