Halloween Encounters

Today marks a special day for me. I’m not big on Halloween. My kids will dress up, knock on doors and ask the people who they think they are dressed up as (I will post pics of Supergirl and Indiana Jones later). That is about as cute as the day gets.

Today is special for another reason entirely.

11yrs ago today, I met my husband. I’m all about special dates but October 31st is easy to remember…and what an important day it turned out to be.

I thought a friend and I were just going to hang out at some church for a little bit. This is what bible college students do on Halloween.
Ok…so that is exactly what happened. What I thought, was what happened. What I didn’t expect then, was to be reminiscing about that fateful day every year…and smile.

We celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in May.

Time does a disappearing act. I look back at who I was then. That ripe old age of 19.

I was desperate for a life of adventure, having no real idea what I was talking about…but knew normal was out of the question for me and that God was leading me into something different. I was right.

God is faithful.

I can’t believe what these years have brought. Adventure was ahead of us then…it’s ahead of us now. I married me a great one. I married Ray. I married a determined and willing heart to follow where God leads. I am so grateful.

And it all started with a meeting…


Hot Mess Shout Out

The last few weeks have echoed many things. I am grateful for those echoes. The resounding joy, peace and encouragement in the midst of the day to day and in the amazing glimpses of what is to come. The seemingly mundane moments are far from it. They are laced, they are covered with the grace to dream, believe and know. Only grace and love can allow such things with conviction behind them. It is truth.

I am woman. Hear my hot mess roar.

There is joy in leaning on the sufficiency that is found in Christ alone. I am not…He is.

I want to encourage you to do something. Take a moment. Know.

Read.

Read Proverbs 31.

Don’t stop reading this post…keep going, I’m getting somewhere.

Read it backwards.

*For all of my overly ridiculously sarcastic friends…I mean verse by verse backwards…not the words. I know some of you. I couldn’t imagine life without you.

We are the hot mess that keeps this crazy train moving. Alone, we are nuts. Together, we form this thing that God has brought together. We are as imperfect as the day is long. We are found in Him complete, whole, loved and fought for. We find differences in each other that speak boldly of His creativity and the necessity of unity among believers (this means with other women…fear not).

It all comes down to “a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised”. When I don’t add up in my own head, I know there is one thing for me to do. Praise.

To quote my friend Tracy, “when God is on His throne everything else falls under”.

Amen.

All the impossible falls under Him, where it belongs and where it becomes the possible. Where the unexpected dreams start to find feet and joy is found in places never imagined.

The dreams, the hopes, the uncertainty, the weakness, the overwhelming inadequacies…they ALL fall under.

So shout out to you my friend, the hot mess. You are in excellent company. You are clothed with dignity and strength. May we see ourselves as such.

I’m a Sentimental Fool

I am what you call a sentimental fool.

I am not ashamed.

Yesterday our church honored us for Pastor’s Appreciation. Anthony talked about our conversation at his in-laws house where we casted the vision for Revive. The reflection was enough to make me wanna cry. I love my church and the incredible people we get to do life with. Anthony about killed me with “it may not look like we planned at this point but we are exactly where God has called us”.
Ok…I like reflection too.
Moving on.

There is a difference between being sentimental and being a hoarder. A big difference! I don’t have food wrappers or my kids umbilical stumps…that would be weird (and gross). I don’t have every piece of paper my kids have colored on. Ray isn’t very sentimental. I’ve saved cards that I gave to him. I don’t buy him cards very often anymore. Ha! Most of what I hold on to is contained in a small box. I cherish it’s contents. I also have post-it notes in a frame in my living room (Logan and Danielle…they are still there). Memories and reflection help to keep a heart of gratitude at the forefront. It’s a good idea.

How sentimental are you?

Careful! Next thing you know, you are 30 and still have colored pages from 13 and 15 yrs ago. I re-discovered some things yesterday. These “artists” are now 17 and almost 20. The proof is the following pictures.

Are you are sentimental fool?

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7yr Old Questions and the Simply Profound

It has been a couple of weeks full of the simply profound.

I thought it would be fun to share such wisdom. I give credit where credit is due. One of those people I have to thank is my 7yr old. He’s quite the smarty. He’s also asked questions like “when was Rosa Parks president?”. We are working on the attention to details. He asks a lot of profound questions on that three quarter mile drive (or walk) to school.

Cephas has been asking a lot of questions as of lately. In the last two weeks, he has done a walk for Stop Child Trafficking Now and the CASA Superhero Run (his first race and he did awesome). He wanted to know why. There was also the homeless man who came right up to our car window in a parking lot. I didn’t ignore the man. This had both kids talking. He sees them on the corner and under the bridge. He asks questions…real questions. He’s still talking about last years Christmas morning backpack outreach. Answering questions about child trafficking and abused kids who are now in the foster system is no light topic for anyone. I have keep it simple enough for a 7yr old to understand and not lose the weight of importance. Sometimes the best way to answer a question is to remember that the why behind our actions to help or prevent is simple…because it is.

He gets it. He is learning what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Some people need help, some people need love, some need a break, some need rescue, they all need good news…and we do everything that we can.

I’ve learned a lot with questions thrown at me by Revive Church’s younger crowd.

It’s kind of like the one Sunday morning when Danica asked what the communion table was for. She’s one smart cookie. Most 4yr olds don’t ask questions referencing the Passover. She did. The answer is simple. Our kids are watching, they are asking and our answers matter.

I went to a Visalus Challenge party last week. For more info on that, you can go here. I was riding in my friend’s car with a lady who does extremely well in this company. She asked if we had any questions. I asked one and her response was slightly profound. She said, “It’s simple. We work really hard but it really is simple”. Oh how we can complicate the simple.

We do a lot, we work really hard. We act based on what we believe, what we give our whole heart and life to. The reason why…it’s simple. We complicate it.

My kid gets it…he’ll continue to ask questions. May we continue to set the example and answer boldly and honestly. The why is simple. It may be really, really hard work…but at the same time, it’s simple.