Saturday, May 28, 2011

Confession 186: If Disney Ran The World....

If Disney ran the world, we'd all wear ears...

These would be the new faces of the President and First Lady...

Dinner would always be had with friends...

And there would be dancing...

Flip flops would rule...

Princesses would commune with the public...

Fireworks would light the night skies...

We'd all live in a castle...

And bedtime would be forgotten!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Confession 184: Summer is Short and So Is Your Patience

As we are going to be gallivanting through the realms of Disney World this week, I asked my fellow bloggy writer and friend Amy Sullivan to guest post this week. Amy has devoted this year and her family to the practice of gracious giving.  And in the process, she has pushed me to think more of and attempt to do more with all that God has given to me.  This post will give all of us mom's needing things to do a head start for the summer!!  Be sure to check Amy out at  Amy Sullivan!

When The Summer is Long and Your Patience is Short

After running through sprinklers loses its appeal and swinging and swimming grow old, your kids may be driving you insane  searching for something constructive to do during the lazy days of summer.

Seize this opportunity and bam! Hit your darlings with fun, service projects they can complete right from your home.

Check out a few favorites:

Make a Child Smile. Write letters and send words of encouragement to children who are chronically ill.

Plan an Almost Sleepover. Kids from every state in the USA are participating in an Almost Sleepover to help raise money for your child’s local charity of choice. Discover the details and start planning your own sleepover.

Feeling crafty? Check out one of Craft Hope’s latest projects. In Project 12, kids make bracelets to send to kids in Russia, and Project 13 encourages crafters to create security blankets for tornado victims. Not crafty? No problem. Step-by-step instructions are available.

Too little to craft much? Color A Smile collects and distributes crayon drawings to nursing homes and Meals on Wheels programs across the country.

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Here’s to helping raise souls generated by love and filling our summer days with purpose.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Confession 183: Little Hugs

One of the things you may or may not know about me is that I love shopping.  Don't worry, I'm not talking about some sort of Confessions of a Shopaholic syndrome.  I never go into "cool" stores.  If Kohl's doesn't sell it, then I'm not interested.  And, I refuse to buy anything full price.  That said, shopping can be a recreational activity for me.  So, this past year has been difficult as my shopping ability has been limited to the max.  No money = No shopping.  On the plus side, it's been an excellent lesson in discipline for me.  And, as Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey says, if you live like no one else now, later, you will be able to live as no one else.  That said, when I was invited to a "Lei Sophia" jewelry party, I knew I was in trouble.

As I was walking out the door of our house, my ever disciplined and self-controlled husband said to me, "Don't take the checkbook!"  I was okay at first.  I kept reminding myself of our upcoming vacation my in-laws are taking us on and that spending $30.00 here would be $30.00 less to spend at Disney World.  But the more I looked, the more the shopping fiend in me said, "it's only....., it's only....."  However, through it all I stuck with the plan.  I held my ground and didn't spend anything.  And when the ticket numbers were called for the two doorprizes (necklaces, both) my numbers were called!!  Of course, I only kept one of the necklaces.  And I felt so guilty about not buying anything that I booked a Lei Sophia party for July.  But I have to say, as I slipped that necklace around my neck, I felt like I was getting a little hug from God.  It was as if God was saying, "I know you, my little girl, and I've got you covered."  Silly...yes.  And, if my seminary professors read this they would absolutely cringe at my consumeristic, entitled, Westernized theology.  But in that moment, I felt God speaking.  And the message I heard was, "I love you."

So tell me, has God given you any little hugs lately?

Blessings and Peace,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Confession 182: The Sentinel

For mother's day, I thought I'd write a tribute to my mom.  She's impossible to shop for, always insists there's nothing she needs.  So, I thought this might be a better gift.  I love you, Mom!!

When I look in my rearview mirror, I see her standing there, a silent sentinel watching, watching, until the van turns a corner and is out of sight.  It has been the same for seventeen years now, ever since I made that first trip from home to college.  My mom, standing on the front porch, watching over her children until she can no longer see them.  A touchstone, a reminder that no matter how far I go Mom is always there, the northern star on which I set my compass.

This is the woman who held my hair back and stroked my face with a cool washcloth every time I was sick, who woke me up with songs in the morning while her fingers gently rubbed my back.  The woman who made Cream of Wheat while singing the Cream of Wheat song on cold winter mornings, who made my lunch even when I could have made it myself, writing my name on the brown bag in black Sharpie marker in her flowing cursive hand.  Another reminder that mom was there, even through the emotional upheaval that is junior high.

This is the woman whose arms are always open to me, who showed me that it's okay to just need a hug every once in awhile.  The woman who took my hand and led me to stand before my first casket, softly reassuring me that it was okay to cry as tears flowed freely down her cheeks.  "It's not easy," she told me over my grandfather's grave.  "But in this culture, we bury our dead."  We bury them, but we don't forget them, making the rounds every Spring to resting places that would otherwise be long forgotten.

This is the woman who taught me that in our house, we do the right thing, no matter how hard, no matter how popular.  The woman who stayed up nights with me, watching while I finished countless papers and projects, who would not let me put off until tomorrow things that could be done today.  The woman who trusted me enough to make the right decisions, but who left post-it notes on the bathroom mirror late at night instructing me to wake her up so she could make sure the choices I had made were, indeed, the right ones.

When I look in my rearview mirror, I see my mother.  She is always there, watching, waiting, letting me go, with the knowledge that her lessons and her love will carry me wherever I need to go.

Thank you, Mom.  I love you!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Confession 181: One Week Later

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit"....A week later, his disciples were in the house again... John 20:19-22, 26

 It's been one week since Easter Sunday.  One week since the church was full of people smiling, laughing, embracing and singing.  One week since the pews overflowed and the balcony door was thrown open.  One week since the "hallelujahs" and "amens" filled the air and we celebrated God's victory over the grave.  One week...a lot can change.  On Easter Sunday we celebrate our salvation, we commemorate our freedom from a life of sin and death.  On Easter Sunday we take hope in transformation, both of ourselves and the world through the love of Christ.   On Easter Sunday, we BELIEVE.  Yet, as my husband asked the congregation in his sermon this morning, "Where are you today?"  Where are you one week later?  Do you still believe?

Look carefully at the Scripture passage above.  On the first day of the week, the disciples had a transforming encounter with the risen Christ.  They had been given the gift of the Holy Spirit and were commissioned to go forth and continue the work Jesus began.  They were excited, they celebrated, they BELIEVED!!  Yet, one week later... Do you see it?  One week later the disciples were locked in the house again!!  They had SEEN Jesus, they had TOUCHED Jesus, they had IMBIBED the Holy Spirit and they still didn't believe enough to LEAVE!!  The disciples were stuck in the muck of their fear and despair.  The chains were broken but they couldn't bring themselves to open the door and step outside.  A world was waiting, and they were hiding out.  Praise God they didn't stay stuck in that room forever.  Jesus came back (he always comes back) and sent them forth once again.  But we do the same thing, don't we? 

For some of us, we find ourselves longing for the freedom Christ brings but are too afraid to step out of ourselves to claim it.  For others of us, we profess to believe in the transforming love of God but fail to take that love out to a world in need.  We leave the miracle of the Resurrection behind us in the sanctuary until next Easter rolls around.  Yet when we do that, we miss the entire point of the story.  Christ didn't live, he LIVES.  HE LIVES!!  It is now up to us, his disciples, to act like it.

Blessings and Peace,

My Family

My Family

My Family 2

My Family 2