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Saturday, December 20, 2008

An Awesome Day

What an awesome day! It started with my amazing husband cooking cinnamon toast- french toast. Yum! Then we did tons of laundry in the newly repaired dryer. Yeah! Have to say that watching him fix the dryer was a real turn-on.

Next was band practice. Always the highlight in my week. Love hanging out with the band and playing music. It's just incredible every week. I wonder how long it will take me to stop being awed by the talent God has placed at the Crossroads. Whether it's amazement at the musician Jake has become as an adult (we've been playing together since he was a young teen) or the incredibly gifted worship dude who's definitely the best vocalist and most talented musician I've ever had the opportunity to work with....I always leave practice just a little bit overwhelmed by what a big God I serve.

Then I was pleasantly surprised by visitors this afternoon. I love when friends just drop by. It's so awesome to not have time to stress about cleaning or anything ahead of time....just free to enjoy the friends. Our church planting intern came by and then Grrr stopped by on his way home from basic training. Loved hearing his stories and catching up with him.

I am so blessed with good relationships. How beautiful is God that he has designed so many unique friendships between very different people!

Tomorrow's a big day at The Crossroads. We have snow coming in at the park. The band is going to play. I'm already nervous. But I am also stinkin' excited about the day. I think we will meet tons of new people and hopefully see some more growth as a result.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Holiday Spirit

I was out late this evening doing a bit of Christmas shopping. It is interesting to see the other shoppers wandering the aisles. I spent a long time at Wal-mart tonight. And these are my observations.

There are lots of confused and bewildered men. They wander aimlessly up and down the aisles at a total loss as to what to buy their special someone. If they are in the lingerie department, they carefully avoid eye contact with the women around them - it seems a bit awkward to ask a stranger for her opinion on the black or the red item. When shopping for chick flicks, they do extensive opinion polls - asking the other women on the aisle, "Have you seen this one?" Or in jewelry - asking the sales clerk, "What do you think my wife would like?" (Cause the clerk knows your wife so well.) Then there are the desperate and determined men. You can hear the tension in their voice. They are going to buy something worthwhile and wonderful, no matter what, darn it. (edited for you, honey!) And it's going to be the first girly item they see - then they are running for the door.

Grandmothers. God just did something unique when he created them. In the toy aisles, the grandmothers are slowing browsing. They discuss amongst themselves what their grandchildren want for Christmas and swap recomendations. They are excited about their families coming home and are trying to make the holiday perfect. Grandfathers. Most of them tonight were leaning against the buggies with vacant expressions while the grandmothers chatted.

Moms. We are - on the whole - frazzled. There were moms with lists. Lists of special ingredients to prepare special foods for the holidays. Lists of who wants what toys. There were moms yelling at spouses or children as they shopped. There were lots of moms like me wandering the aisles and randomly chunking stuff in the basket figuring somebody would like it.

Young couples. They were holding hands and going ga ga over buying their first decorations and shopping together for Christmas presents for the first time. Lots of hand holding and giggling. Rather cute.... I suppose.

So there's Wal-mart. Quite the interesting study in human behavior.

*By the way - want to know how to totally stress out a church planter? Let him realize the night before a mailer goes out that it is not printed with date, time, or contact information. We printed and stuck labels on cards forever!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Day

I remember snow days when I was a kid. Waking up and feeling the chill in the air in my bedroom. Maybe a bit of frost on the windows. (Since we did not have central heat) I would run to the front door and look out to see snow blanketing the ground. It was such an exciting event.

Dressing took on new speeds. I could throw on layers faster than anything. I remember well my two brothers and all the neighborhood boys pouring into the yard and choosing up teams for snowball fights. We would slip under the fence and sled down the big hill next door. I remember the freedom and exultation that I felt throwing my body onto the sled and zipping down the hill and across the frozen creek. It was cold. And fun. And wonderful.

One of the best snows I remember was when I was 17. I had gone to stay with my brother Jon and his wife Lori over spring break and got snowed in. Jon and I had so much fun throwing snowballs, making snowmen, and teaching his little girl how to make snow angels. For a few days, we were just kids again with no worries. Just carefree. It's one of my best last memories with Jon.

Somehow, I've never lost all that excitement. So today when school was called off, I felt that familiar tingle of excitement. is just not as awesome as snow, but I still loved the day off. Things have changed. Now it is my children bundling up and running out in the yard to play while I stay warm by the fire. It was great to just relax, regroup, and get ready to face tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Morning updates - on Tuesday

Yes, I'm a day late with the Monday Morning Update blog. Don't panic, I'm just a wee bit busy here with the holidays. I've not given up blogging.

We had a super day at The Crossroads. Love being a part of a church plant. Is it hard work? Absolutely! Is it exhausting? You bet! Is it worth it? Every second! It is way cool to continue seeing returning faces, and new ones as well.

Shawn survived preaching, but is pretty hoarse and raspy. He gets to preach one or two more times before his enforced silence goes into effect. We'll see how that goes. It should be interesting since he does most of the talking around our house.

Enjoyed the worship set. After the tough practice, the set did come off really well. Very impressed.

I will confess that this was a week that emotionally, I felt a bit overwhelmed. It seems like God has called us into such a huge task, and I feel pretty inadequate. I am expecting big things from God, but it is really hard for me to be patient and wait for them.

Oh...we also went to a community-wide praise service Sunday Night. It was neat to go in and recognize people from the community and to realize that just a few months ago, I knew no one. As I listened to the wide variety of music from the different churches, God spoke and reminded me that He inhabits the praises of his people. I began thinking about that. How God loves hymns, choruses, choirs, bands, young people, old people, all ethnicities, all languages........And more than that.......somehow, when we praise God through song we are able to enter into his very presence. I was reminded that music does not have to be my style, my preference, or even in my language for it to be beautiful before God. I am so thankful that I serve a God like that.

*Just a note - will you pray for me this week....tough week at school....I need a lot of wisdom.