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Friday, August 29, 2008

Surrender All

Last night our band from The Crossroads got together to practice for our launch service on Sept. 7. The worship set this time starts off with a really alternative, grungy guitar thing and frankly, I was not sure we could pull it off. In fact, I had the music for plan B with me just in case. We were trying this particular song just because the preacher wanted us too. I even rolled my eyes at him when he suggested it. That's my level of faith - right there - eye rolling at the preacher.

So we listened to the CD a couple of times and then the electric guitar kid takes off with the intro and the other guitar guys found their grooves and the organ sound that worship dude made me attempt on the keyboard slid into the gaps and WOW! One of those musical quantum leaps occurred. Suddenly the band was doing stuff that made no logical sense and could only be explained by God. At one point late in the worship set I very literally had an almost out-of body experience. I was playing the keys and watching my left hand cross over my right hand and play some cool thing up in the high register. I remember thinking - where is that hand going - what are those notes- this is really a little weird? I don't know what God has in store for The Crossroads, but He sure is taking care of the music and doing stuff that should be impossible for a new band to do.

On the way to school today, I was listening to the worship set on CD to try to learn some of the stuff that we didn't practice. I had such a strong sense of God's presence there in my car. He has been fairly silent with me for some time (probably because of my rebellion and refusal to surrender fully), but today He spoke again. As I was praying for the block party and the preview service, I had such a strong sense of the hugeness of what we are doing. God showed me that he is doing the loaves and fishes thing with us. In many ways - there's food in my freezer, my crockpot seems bottomless when company arrives, we have a new band that is doing incredible things, and a church plant that is about to launch. Today God showed me the scope of the future of that plant. I am so overwhelmed and humbled that my life gets to be intertwined with this great and mighty venture.
Then on a much more personal note, I began to beg God to free me from some stuff in my life that is keeping me from being fully surrendered to Him. That's when He spoke. (Not out loud, though I did look at the passenger seat just to make sure, it was that clear in my head.) "My beautiful, beautiful baby, when will you understand that I have made you weak so that I can be your strength! I LOVE YOU!" I did not like that answer. I want to be set free, but I loved that God finally explained why I am not free. There in that moment on Mantua Road this morning, I gave up fighting and rebelling (at least for today) and surrendered all. I had to spend some time in the car pulling myself back together again to be able to go to work today. God is doing great things and I am amazed that he is willing to use me. I can't wait to see the rest of the adventure. Who wants to come along for the ride?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Time runs in fast forward

I'm not sure how it happened, but tonight I finished shopping for my daughter Grace's school clothes - in the teen department. I still remember when she called hiccups, "teacups", and wore her hair in a fountain on top of her head. Suddenly I am the mother of a pre-teen with all that goes with it. The emotions, body changes, and acne. I am not ready for this. In fact, I am terrified. I made a lot of really bad choices as a teenager. I am praying hard that she will have much more wisdom than I did.

I am so proud of how she has leaped into her new school situation and embraced the changes. She was very angry just a week ago about the move, but now is loving it. She has made friends and God has blessed her with excellent teachers that love her already. I am trying hard to be as relaxed as I can with her and turn over more of the decision making about her life to her. It was hard while shopping to let go and say - whatever - as long as it is modest. I want her rapid body changes to be as positive an experience as possible and part of that is her having the clothes to wear that make her feel confident.

When she was a toddler, I thought that time would never pass, but now that she is big, I wish that I could slow it down. Tonight she ordered a salad from the grown-up menu at panera! When did she out grow the kids' menu?

Pray for me to have great wisdom and patience in parenting a pre-teen. I want to guide her through the teen years to exit out on the other side confident and ready to face the world. It is hard for me to relax and let go of my baby girl.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Random Updates

Since my brain is too fried to create original thoughts, I thought I would add to/update some of the previous blogs. So if you are clueless, you may need to go back and read some of the archived stuff.

Anna update: Awesome first day. I had about 11 minutes for lunch, which is great for the 1st day, I usually don't get to eat at all! I enjoyed the kids, and I work with an incredible team. The hardest part was going through caffeine withdrawal. I did not have time to refill my coffee cup all day and had a miserable headache by lunch time. The migraine pills did not work on the withdrawal headache. I may need a coffee pot in my room! :)

Zechariah update: Yes, I did it! I finished Malachi. I have now read through the entire Bible. Where to go from here?

Rain update: I know my commuter friends are relieved that the rain has ceased for now. However, it has been one of the coolest spiritual experiences of my life to drive to work in the rain as I was praying for God to rain down his Spirit on Anna.

Just a swingin' update: The friend who's never written a song and turned out two pretty good ones talked to me the other day. Now he's written a third song that he wants me to check out. He may have a hidden musical talent that he is just now discovering. It's exciting when people discover their hidden musical passion.

Fashion Abomination update: I have never been so surprised by the excitement and buzz about something I've written. What started as a joke has become a buzz word with regular readers. I daily have people submit new abominations for consideration. Here are some of the best that I can think of right now.
1. Spandex should only be sold in a size extra small. Even then, it should be worn with great caution.
2. Bikinis are another item that should only be sold in small sizes. The friend who shared this with me thought it was hysterical that I own a bikini. (Bought and worn for a joke, in case you were wondering - never publicly)
3. Rat tails. Remember this from the 80's?
4. Mullets. Also from the 80's. Guys who permed their mullets were especially hot.
5. muscle T-shirts - From the 80's when the guys cut out the sleeves and most of the sides of the shirts. Especially faux pas when worn too short and stomach hangs out from underneath.

Surrendering update: Not going so well. Sunday I still couldn't sing the song at church. It is just awkward to sing I surrender some. Even I surrender most doesn't quite get the job done. Pray harder for me. I know better than to walk in a rebelious spirit.