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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another Journey Group

I love it when dreams come true.

Tonight we launched our second family journey group in Anna. We planted The Crossroads with a very clear notion of it being based out of small group ministry. We planned to have small group in our home to begin and then to launch into other homes as soon as services began. Then there was a tiny glitch. Our home did not sell, and we did not live in Anna.

We have waited much longer than we had anticipated before launching journey groups. However, this week I have seen that God has perfect timing. I am seeing families connect and catch the vision for The Crossroads. I see them seeking to support each other and sacrifice to help other families they know that have great need. I see very unique and different people bonding and loving each other.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

God is amazing.

Cadbury Eggs

In our first church staff position we made $9,000. We were in school full time and struggling hard to have food on our table. In fact, on more than one occasion, God provided groceries for us that we had no money to buy. Every dime was counted, and we collected and saved our extra pennies to be able to eat out. Somewhere along the way, Shawn heard me talk about loving Cadbury Eggs. I did not have them often growing up, but they were one of my favorite treats.

One Easter in our early marriage, he showed up at our little apartment with a Cadbury Egg in hand. Just one, because we could not afford two. It was for me a very incredibly beautiful act of love. I knew that he bought it on a whim at the checkout stand, just because he knew that I would enjoy it. A sheer unselfish act of love.

We spent many years in absolute poverty, adding children to the mix as we went. He made it a tradition every Easter to make sure that he brought me the first Cadbury Egg of the season. Times are much less tight for us now. We are able to afford a few special treats now and again. The Cadbury Egg gift is still sweet, but I had forgotten the depth of meaning behind it over the years since it is no longer such a sacrifice.

But Tuesday was a very hard day for me. I had a tough day at work, a really bad migraine, and was struggling with how God wants to use me in the future. I had not had time to talk to Shawn about any of this. I walked into the house very done and frustrated and exhausted. Then the smell of fresh, hot coffee assaulted my senses. Then I looked at the mountain of clean laundry in my living room. All the sheets were washed and dried. And my husband was sitting on the couch grinning like a Cheshire cat. Yep, he had found it. The first Cadbury Egg of the season and brought it home for me. Just one. Just for me.

All of a sudden I remembered. I remembered where we have come from. I remembered our story of a marriage redeemed. I remembered all the times God has provided for our family in miraculous ways. I remembered all the sacrifices that it has taken to create a great love. And I was grateful to be home to the best part of my day. My husband.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smurf mortal combat

No moral lesson today. I just laughed at this so hard, I decided it deserved a blog.

It was just me and the two oldest on the ride home today. We were having our normal after school discussions such as: "How was your day, how was lunch, you should reapply your deodrant after football practice, etc."

Out of the blue James (13) says, "Smurf mortal combat - now that would be a great spoof". My incredulous response, "What are you talking about?"

So James goes on to tell me this detailed story line of famous people and charcters spoofed as smurfs. He suggested Schwarzenegger smurf, Gandalf smurf, and Chuck Norris smurf (just to name a few).

He outlined some great movie moments for me, while I screeched with laughter and tried hard to hold the steering wheel steady. Schwarznegger smurf would walk away from the fight, "I'll smurf back.". Gandalf would swing his staff around to guard his territory, racking himself, and yelling "oh,smurf!". James said that Chuck Norris would win the battle "because he's just smurfy."

The longer he went on, the harder and harder I laughed. Gosh, I love that kid. I'm sure it was much funnier in person with him doing all the voices and impressions, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, if you really use your imagination you might catch a small glimpse into my crazy life.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Morning Update 1.18

Another weekend has flown by. This time it was even a three day weekend, and I still accomplished very little on my to-do list.

We had a good day at The Crossroads. Shawn started a new message on money. This will be interesting to see how new believers respond to messages about God's perspective on money. I would guess that money management is one of the most challenging, and screwed up things in people's lives.

I definitely missed our drummer this week as she was working kid's cove, but I think worship was fine anyway. I liked the new Crowder song this week, "Never Let Go". It seemed very appropriate with the pain and suffering in Haiti.

We began our first family journey group in Anna. Shawn went through some of the peak 1 class material with the group. I wound up babysitting. I decided that since I have heard the material many times before, that it was more important that I watch a couple of very young children so that their parents could concentrate on the curriculum and on getting to know other believers. I appreciated my daughter, Grace really stepping up on this one. I needed a second set of hands so she had to give up playing with her friends to help out. She never even whined, and she worked hard all evening.

I am looking forward to a second new journey group on Thursday night. I am excited about how God is going to move among our congregation and how He will use those groups to grow our people spiritually and to bring new families in.

Please pray for our family. We are trying hard to get our house clean enough to put it back on the market. It would be nice to live in the town where we are ministering, instead of commuting - often several times a day. Cleaning is an overwhelming task to me. I cannot find a way to stay ahead of my children. Even in trying to enlist their assistance, it still is a bigger task than we have been able to accomplish - in part because we are never home - because of the commuting to Anna several times a day. Then once the house is listed, trying to maintain perfection with four kids is miserable. Pray that I would not be discouraged.