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Friday, March 13, 2009


Way back when I was in third grade, one day the playground was really wet. We all had to play on the asphalt basketball court instead of the playground equipment. You remember that kind of asphalt? Black, bumpy... definitely not smooth, grey concrete. Playing tag with Brian Wardlow....that kid was one of my great friends and worst enemies. Always pulling my hair and stuff but we were also buddies. I caught my toe on a bump in the asphalt and plowed it up with my elbow. Even that young, I was pretty clumsy! I keep thinking I will outgrow it! Good thing the hubby likes clumsy. (Thinks I'm cute)

So I was thinking about this today.... it took weeks for my elbow to heal up and it turned every shade of green, yellow, and purple you could imagine. I still have a scar if you look closely enough. Even after it healed up, I was still much more cautious about running on the asphalt. Almost never would agree to play tag unless we played in the grass. I had learned my lesson. A lesson of fear.

Over the years, I have learned many more lessons about fear. It seems to be one of the hardest emotions to unlearn as an adult. It is very challenging to live riskier and not let fear dictate decisions. In church planting, I am learning that the choice that invokes the most fear in me is the most likely to be the right decision. Because of my personality, I am most afraid of rejection and failure. Living life and making decisions about church without considering those emotions is challenging, but freeing.

Recently Shawn went for his quarterly review. The more experienced guys at the meeting are predicting some rapid growth in the near future for the Crossroads. Who knows if they are correct...that's all up to God. But while I am certainly filled with excitement and anticipation, I am also filled with fear - nervousness, really. I finally feel like I have a handle on this church plant thing and am comfortable. I am not sure why the thought of rapid growth makes me nervous....but it does. That's just my true confession tonight.

But I also know that God is really talking to me in my prayer times about pouring out His presence on Anna. I have such a strong feeling that big things are on the immediate horizon. I am filled with anticipation. I will not let nervousness keep me from being involved with whatever it is that God has planned. I just can't wait to see what's next.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Praying for Anna - my city

Man, what a crazy day. It was pure chaos from beginning to end. Getting ready for Open House is insane. The first grade hall looks absolutely incredible. It is totally covered in black paper with stars on the lights and large astronauts floating all around. We are frantically scrambling to finish up some projects to throw on the kids’ desks to show off for the parents. I have been cleaning, and now last minute, hiding, my junk to make my classroom look good. It will be a mad dash to the very end tomorrow to finish all the preparations and then to get dressed up and ready to meet and greet all the parents. Today was also pretty crazy since I had a huge meeting in the middle of the day. Totally got 0 minutes for lunch. However, some of the first grade moms had brought in lunch for the teachers today, so I ate right in front of my students. This is not great manners, but it’s better than me being grumpy from lack of food. And there was sopapilla cheese cake. YUM! Needless to say, I’m very ready for Spring Break!

But my crazy life is not what I’m blogging about tonight. If I was guessing, I would say that most of my readers have lives that are equally crazy. You don’t have to teach to be busy and stressed and overwhelmed by your job. It seems that this is true of pretty much everybody that I know – whatever their career might be. So it is pointless to spend lots of time blogging about it all other than a rant now and then kind of clears my head so that I can write about more important stuff….like fashion abominations (see the archives).

I’ve rambled long enough…on to the blog…..

Tonight as I was driving home, traffic was moving pretty slow. I was thankful for this since my tires need replacing and tend to slip and slide in the rain. I threw in the latest CD from Worship Leader Magazine. The second song on the CD is “Floodgate” by Michael Neale. I’ll have to give it a second listen to let you know if it’s actually an awesome song or if God just used it to draw me into his presence tonight. The song is based on Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” I sincerely can’t tell you much about the song because before the first chorus I was so wrapped up in worship and prayer that I lost track of what the lyrics were or anything else about the song. Pretty sure I wouldn’t even recognize it if I heard it again.

As I was driving, I began desperately praying for Anna. As I prayed, I began to realize that Anna is MY city. My city that I have learned to love. Desperately and passionately love. I began to pray for my students and their parents, my friends and their families. I thanked God for connecting us with people in positions of influence in Anna. I prayed for our Easter Egg Hunt. I prayed for our launch team and the new members at The Crossroads. I prayed for our leadership, our staff. I was overwhelmed as I prayed with a strong sense of just how much God loves my city. He has beautifully connected us with people and developed relationships at speeds that I have not experienced before. Anna is no longer a spot on a map, or a city that I can quote demographics about, or a place where we are doing ministry. It’s a city that I am a part of. It’s a city made up of people that I am getting to know and learning to love.

As I cried and prayed, this is what ran through my head over and over, “See if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” God is bigger than my dreams and my imagination. Now I simply pray for God to reach my city and to let me be a part of that mission. However it is that He plans to do it. Just let me tag along on the journey. So cool to see God working.

Monday, March 9, 2009


The time change always makes me anxious for summer. I get spring fever worse than any of my students. Today I was excitedly telling the children that they would have a whole week off for spring break. They looked at me with sad eyes and wanted to know how come they couldn’t come to school. I answered honestly, but laughingly, “Because the teachers need a break!” They are also starting to get a little concerned about what happens to them after first grade. One student asked me, “Will you love your new class like you love us?” How do you answer that?

Oh, wait, I was talking about spring. I love spring. The leaves budding, the grass growing, the flowers blooming. Spring is such a refreshing experience every year. I love how spring comes after winter every single year. No matter how cold, or mild, or long, or short the winter is, spring always follows. (Yes, I know that’s a duh! kind of statement to make, but it’s going to get a bit deeper here in just a second!) It’s a reminder to me every year that good times and beauty and incredible growth follow closely behind tough times in my life. It seems that winter always comes before spring in my spiritual walk. I love that I have a God that is continually bringing newness and life and beauty into my soul. I love that God doesn’t make it winter forever in my spiritual life any more than he lets it be winter forever in Texas.