Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Weekend

This past weekend was so fun. Thursday, our friends from MS, Tracy and Darren, came to see us. We love the Short's so much that it's going to require a list for me to explain why.

Why we love the Shorts:
1- Because they are fun -We can have a blast with them no matter if we are out and about, or just chilling in an empty room and laying around on air mattresses

2- Because they're the real deal - They aren't "sometimes" people...you know the ones that act like your friends sometimes, but only when it benefits them

3 - We share that spiritual comfort - We can talk spiritual with each other without feeling uncomfortable about it

4- They don't judge - They know about all our issues and dysfunction and they like us anyway

5- They're a great fit- I have great girl friends, and Greg has great guy friends, but I can count on 1 hand great couple friends. It's rare to find great couple friends where the wives are friends, the husbands are friends and the kids are friends. We are grateful for our couple friends

6- We have lots in common - Darren and Greg love the Saints and Tracy and I love spiritual conferences

7- Cole - Their precious little boy and Kirsten love to play with each other

I could list hundreds more, but I'll move on with our weekend. Thursday, Tracy and I got less that satisfactory spray tans, but they were only $15 so I guess we got what we paid for. The tans were streaky and splotchy. Friday was Tracy's Birthday. We took the kids to Jump 4 Joey. We all had a blast. My parents met up with us around lunch time and we went to eat at Fabiano's. Fabiano's is a fabulous pizzeria in Downtown Douglasville. They have the world's best pizza. We finished up the night with Cold Stone cupcakes and hanging out.

Saturday was a huge day. Tracy, Candy, my Mom, and I went to see Beth Moore speak at FBC Woodstock. This was so awesome. The worship was amazing. It was so beautiful and powerful to hear 5500 women singing Revelation Song while being lead by Travis Cotrell. It was probably the most gorgeous thing I've ever heard. I started crying like a baby when I heard the 5500 voices and pondered the lyrics, "With all Creation I sing, Praise to the King of King's. You are my Everything, and I will adore You." I realized that around the world 300,000 women, and in Heaven all creation was singing those words in synchronization. How powerful is that?

Beth was fabulous and precious all rolled into her 5 foot, 90 lb. frame. Her blouse was so cute, and her message was life changing. She assured us that our strong-willed children will grow up to be future leaders, and could be dangerous (in a good way) for the Kingdom of God. She gave a better understanding to our insecurities, what causes them, and how to rid ourselves of them. I recommend buying her book, So Long Insecurity. It's a must read, and a must own.

Little did we know that while we were listening to Beth, Yazoo City, MS was being destroyed by tornadoes. My husband sent me a text that these tornadoes were happening and no one could find my sister, Hayley. He said my dad was freaking out. I knew better than to tell my mom because to say she worries is like saying Oprah has some pocket change. I thought there may be some family drama going on between Hayley and the parents, because, well, there is always drama between Hayley and my parents. So, I texted Hayley and told her to let me know she was ok. After I sent the text, I started to pray, and before I could finish, Hayley called me. Praise God she was ok.

While we were at the Beth Moore event, the men were working on moving us into our new house. They got a lot done. It was so nice to return to our real home. No matter what kind of mess it's in, it finally feels like a real home. I am so grateful to now have a set home and great family and friends to help us out in the move. We still have lots and lots of unpacking to do, but I won't complain. It's been a pleasure being able to unpack and actually have a place for everything. I'm getting a workout on my legs by climbing the stairs, and I can keep Kirsten entertained with Direct TV.

I'll post some pics as soon as I can find some batteries for my camera.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

As I've been spending time with God, He's revealed the many many prayers He's answered for me. Most of the time, prayers are answered after a period of hardness. Or, maybe they come through a change of life, or a journey. What would we learn if God just gave us what we asked for on command? How would we grow, and most importantly, how would we grow in Him?

This past year has honestly been one of the hardest challenges of my life. But, the difference between this time and other hard times, is I trusted God through this one first. I didn't wait until I could do no more, then turn to Him. I am so grateful to God for holding my hand, and carrying me through this journey. I have stumbled and doubted Him at times, but He would always reveal that He never gave up on me and He never will.

During this season, God has blessed me with two deeply appropriate Bible Studies. It amazes me how perfect His timing is. He taught me what I needed to learn when I needed to learn it. This is what I believe Scripture means when it says, "We'll go from strength to strength."

A quote I've held on to from one of my studies was this, "Salvation delivers you out of Egypt, but the wilderness is designed to work Egypt out of you and replace the prominence of its influence in your life with God's." Wow, so true. What a humbling perspective.

God has answered so many of my prayers through this move. My studies have shown me His ways in answering them. In the beginning, I would never have chosen this to be God's way, but as Scripture explains, "my thoughts are not His thoughts, and my ways are not His ways."

I consider my Mississippi time as training for why God brought me to Georgia. God immediately answered my prayer of finding a wonderful church where we can serve Him. West Ridge Church has been nothing less than a blessing. To say they have welcomed us with open arms, is an understatement. The girls from my Bible study are some of the most amazing women I've ever met. The love shown to us here is so accepting and gracious. These friends have been perfect examples of being lights for God.

"The wilderness is designed to work Egypt out of you." I have prayed for years for a deeper relationship with a loved one that hasn't had interest in sharing this with me. Until I moved, I didn't consider that this deep relationship I've longed for, may not be what God has planned....not now anyway. I didn't realize how much time and effort I put into trying to have this. I would neglect my friends, my husband and daughter to try to pursue a chance at even having meaningful chats with this person, only to be left with disappointment and hurt feelings. I'm not saying it's not worth it, I'm just saying, it's not in God's plan, or it might just not be His time. Through my wilderness, God has shown me who He has given me, and my focus should be on building relationships with them.

Another prayer I prayed was for God to show me who I was, and who I am in Him. The first part was ugly. I am a sinner, I have my issues, I have my faults, and I have my insecurities. I've prayed for God to come in, and consume me from the inside out. This made the ugly come to the surface and it forced me to deal with it. This was not fun. It's amazing how much you can hide inside yourself and forget about it. I've been doing some internal spring cleaning, and I've been getting rid of the clutter I've hoarded for a long time. It's necessary to detox myself and get rid of all the garbage, so God can fill me with His fuel.

While camping out in Scripture, I've noticed that God really uses those who have been through a wilderness. Moses, Abraham, Paul, Esther, Daniel, Noah, etc.....What lies ahead? What's our true purpose here? I have no doubt that God will reveal this to us in His perfect timing. Until then, I will keep pursuing God and growing as a Christian. "Who knows? Maybe we've come to this position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14b)