Selah~Day Thirty One

 

My 28 Thanks:

1. The Oklahoma Sky can not be beat. The sky was beautiful tonight.

2. I got to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful breeze and the lovely shades of the sky tonight.

3. I got to watch Judah play in the water with his cousins.

4. Morgan and Judah listened to me tell another bunny F0o Foo story outside on the grass under the tree.

5. Then, they looked for bunny Foo Foo and Thumper for several minutes. It was so cute to watch them walk around the yard yelling for them.

6. We had a nice visit with Laura and Robert tonight.

7. I got to come home from work a little early today and enjoy more of the evening with my family.

8. Judah has such a fun imagination. Just today he has escaped from lava, saved a train from a river of crocodiles, and ran from fire in the play room.

9. I love bright green lawns. Everyone on our street has nice lawns.

10. My mother-in-law is having a nice visit with one of her sisters. They even went to the Outlet Mall today (Big Outing for my MIL).

11. Quick, but semi healthy, meals like peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches really save time and money. Glad I had one today and didn’t miss lunch or time devoted to work.

12. I was a part of a successful Creative Team meeting today. Father’s Day is planned!

13. The lady at Knob Hill was really helpful. There were so so so many choices, but she helped us pick out our package within 30 minutes.

14. My friends, Rony and Danielle, got to get away for a mini vacay today.

15. Once again, the storms were not as bad as they could have been.

16. When the tornado sirens went off again today, I didn’t get scared.

17. My husband makes me feel really safe.

18. I had a fun texting chat with my friend, Angela. So glad that she is feeling better today!

19. Tonight, I am thinking about all my life long friends. So thankful for the impact they have made on my life. Even though time and distance has separated us, our memories and times spent together keep us close. When we do get to talk, we can just pick up right where we left off and it is as if no time was lost! I am thankful for Kristi, Jahni, Jenny, Valarie, Lindsay, and a host of others.

20. My sweet honey marinated a piece of chicken for me tonight and grilled it for me. He did this on his own accord. He told me, “I made you a chicken breast because I knew you wouldn’t want to eat frito chili pie.” So sweet and thoughtful.

21. Then, he drove to 7-11 and got a root beer for us to share with our popcorn.

22. My dishwasher.

23. My husband loves Judah and I with all his heart. He tells us and shows us too all the time.

24. Judah has started singing songs all the time. I love to hear him sing a song…I especially love when he messes up the words.

25. Excited to have Skyler Coles on our Creative team. I am looking forward to the insight he will bring to the table.

26. June KidMin calendars are done!

27. Off the Rails t-shirts are ordered.

28. God is so good to me.

 

 

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Selah~Day Thirty

A person’s influence, good or bad, is a powerful thing.  I just sat down to type out my list of 28 Thanks tonight and this idea about influences popped into my mind. Random…maybe. But, I am thinking right now about the power of influence. Do I influence people? If yes, am I a good influence? Or, are some of my actions, attitude, and responses to situations a bad influence? Now that I am a parent, I see more and more how powerful my influence is on my child. It is critical that I am a great, Godly influence in his life. Furthermore, I think God wants all of His kids to be an influence on others. He wants us to showcase Him and all His Glory. I am ready for His kids, the church, to influence society/culture and cause us to be the trendsetters! We have the ability, the creative genius, the intelligence, and the favor to influence our world with the Glory of God!

My 28 Thanks:

1. Great, Godly people have had an influence in my life.

2. I have been protected from bad, negative influences.

3. I am a person of influence. I better make sure it is always the best.

4. I have been told by two people this week that I have inspired them or influenced them to write 10,000 reasons blog too. So cool! The Lord deserves to be praised by every mouth!

5. I had a nice, relaxing, not rushed morning while getting ready for work.

6. I made an early morning meeting with my home builder and made some decisions for our house. And, I was all by myself. I am a big girl now…I won’t lie though-I called Gary and made sure he was cool with my decisions!

7. I completed payroll and turned it in before my morning deadline.

8. I got a lot done today in a short amount of time.

9. Zach was a big help transferring some really awkward, heavy boxes and working on some other tasks.

10. A big money donation came in today for Disaster relief.

11. More and more people are being helped everyday through our disaster relief efforts.

12. Gary had a great shift at the fire station today.

13. He cooked dinner tonight for the station and it was really good!

14. The girls loved the pizza, ice cream, and movie night that we had tonight.

15. Most of my leaders braved the storm and came to church tonight.

16. The storms were not as bad as they could have been.

17. The Ranger Badge Ceremony and GMA ceremony was great. A lot of people showed up for support.

18. Jennifer Sweeten put in a lot of work to make the ceremony really nice for the boys. She is a great administrator and leader. I am glad that she is on my team!

19. The boys were really honored for their accomplishments this year. I love how excited the boys get when their name is called and they receive an award.

20. I have a great team of Ranger leaders. They have such a heart for boys ministry.

21. Commander Frog said some really sweet things about me tonight.

22. A really awesome mom of 8 kids gave me the sweetest compliment tonight in the hallway.

23. My healthier eating habits and portion control for meals are working. People are beginning to notice my weight loss too.

24. Judah asked me to tell him my Bunny Foo Foo story again tonight.

25. Jose’s wife, Katie, is now here in Oklahoma with him. Jose is my new friend who is in the Air Force. He and his new bride had to spend a few months a part while she finished school, but now she is with him and they are together.

26. Together is a wonderful place to BE!!!!

27. Gary is off work tomorrow and we get to pick out some of the last items for our home.

28. When I came home from work today, Judah saw me, screamed my name, and ran full speed ahead into my legs. He held me tight for a moment. That, my friends, is a greeting.

 

Good night!

 

 

Selah~Day Twenty Nine

I try to watch Joyce Meyer on TV every morning at 7:30 while I am getting ready for work. She always delivers a fresh, fun Word that speaks to my spirit and challenges me. This past week, she has been ministering from her new book on habits. Today, she talked about the power of excuses and how they are the worst reasons why we shouldn’t accept responsibility. She said, “Commit to stop making excuses. When we make excuses, we lie to oursleves and continue bad habits.”I had to check myself and ask, “Am I a person who has a habit of making excuses?” Do I excuse my behavior? Do I make excuses for avoiding responsibility? Do I excuse the behavior of others because it is easier than confronting it? Wow, when you really start thinking about the role “excuses” play in your life, you can really see how they are habit forming. As a collective whole, if we would all stop making excuses and just accept responsibility and work at our responsibilities with a spirit of excellence (doing the very best with what you have) we could truly change ourselves, impact others, and change the world. Let’s attack this bad habit of EXCUSES!

1. Joyce Meyer ministry is fresh, relevant, and always challenges me.

2. Joyce has so many life experiences to share to help others in life.

3. Pastor Marcia shared one of her life experiences with me this morning. I learn more and more about this woman each day and I am so glad she is in my life.

4. I am so glad that I don’t have any dangerous addictive habits. However, I do twirl my hair. But, I love twirling my hair.

5. I can twist my hair into all kinds of funny shapes. It makes other people laugh.

6. I am becoming more aware of areas in my life where I make excuses. Got to weed out those areas.

7. Found out today that a couple more people started 10,000 reasons blogs.

8. My parents are hard working people.

9. They taught me to work hard and do my very best.

10. You get rewarded for doing your best.

11. Had a meeting this morning with an awesome group of ladies who are going to help us manage all of our disaster relief phone calls.

12. Dorothy always treats me special. She always brings me ice cold water, cheese sticks, crackers, or anything else I might want during a meeting. She spoils me big time!

13. Terry and Pam and Linda and Mary have all been painting on the new KidMotion set today. It is going to be an OFF THE RAILS experience for our kids.

14. The outside of my house is painted and it is beautiful.

15. Judah got to stay home today and play with his cousins.

16. Didn’t eat any fast food today.

17. Gary brought me a healthier food option from home today and I was able to work through lunch and get much needed items accomplished.

18. The two newest members of the KidMotion team, Flip and Zip, arrived today in a box. They look awesome and are going to fit our new puppet characters perfectly.

19. The June calendars for Kids Ministry are complete and have been sent out!

20. The response from people when they find out that we had to cancel Sports Camp has been kind and understanding.

21. I am really thankful that people are going to miss Sports Camp this year! We love that event and can’t wait to host it next year.

22. My brother Kyle worked me in for a back adjustment today.

23. I met two really neat people in the waiting room at his office. They both told me awesome survival stories from the tornado.

24. I met a really neat, sweet, young family in my new neighborhood tonight. I have already been invited to the Rockport Neighborhood Association facebook page. I guess I am official.

25. Deborah Fulton’s birthday is today! She is such a fun friend. She loves people, is very friendly, a great mom and wife, and a great writer too.

26. My sweet Paisley Stimson also has a birthday today. I can’t believe she is 14! She is a beautiful young woman! Like her mom and dad, she has a fun sense of style. She is more than responsible for her age. We love our Paisley.

27. I think the Lord is up to something. I feel something brewing in my spirit and I don’t really know what it is yet.

28. Judah loves for me to tell him bedtime stories. Not stories from a book, but rather stories that I make up on the spot. I have to admit, I enjoy telling them too. Every night I challenge myself to tell a better story than the night before. He loved tonight’s story. It involved a garden, lots of orange vegetables, and a family of bunny rabbits who ate all the carrots and strawberries. I love going on an adventure with my son every evening…

Selah~Day Twenty Eight

I drove through the most devestated areas of the tornado’s path today. It was the first time I experienced the devestation through my own eyes and not just through the lens of someone’s camera. It is even more real and more devestating when looking at it face to face. It would be easy to look at the miles of wreckage and become overwhelemed. When we were driving through, the song line from Finding Nemo “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” hummed in my head. Cleanup will take months. However, the outpouring support from the community, the state, and the nation is OUTSTANDING. At every church, on every corner, beside every store front, on every sidewalk, and in every park there are PEOPLE serving other PEOPLE. I have never in my entire life seen such a spirit of unity and a heart to help. I pray that this spirit and heart continues even after the last piece of rubble is hauled off. What a powerful force mankind would be if they would stand united under the Godly principles of unity and service. I am so honored to get to be a part of this great state and this great community.

Out of all the destruction, Judah actually noticed that our bank is NO LONGER where it should be. It was located directly behind the Moore Medical Plaza and was also leveled in the storm’s path. Judah asked from his car seat, “Mommy, where are we going to put our money at now?” Thankfully, my son’s only concern is the bank and he is not having to ask questions about his home, his bedroom, or his toys. His surroundings, for the most part, are still intact.

As I wrap up this day, I have thought a lot about the lesson we discussed in KidMotion yesterday. “Even though bad things happen, God is good…like ice cream!” God is good. And, He is faithful. Joseph said it perfectly in Genesis 50: 20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Joseph suffered many bad things, things that he didn’t deserve. However, God turned it all around for His good. In the midst of tragedy, I have already seen so much good. I am excited to see the good even a year from now, aren’t you?

My 28 Thanks:

1. God turns bad things into good.

2. God is good.

3. Ice Cream is good.

4. The kids loved having an ice cream party in KidMotion and Training Wheels yesterday.

5. I have already seen so much good in our community since last Monday’s devestating storm.

6. People are serving other people.

7. The beds of every pickup truck I have passed have piles of people in the back of them headed out to work.

8. Gary and Bob were able to cover Mary’s roof yesterday so the inside doesn’t get anymore rain damage.

9. Disaster Relief teams continue to pour out of Crossroads Church parking lot every morning.

10. Convoy of Hope and Christ in Action are working great at Crossroads.

11. We played in the water with Judah today. It was so cold, but he didn’t care. He loved it.

12. We setup his little inflatable swimming pool. He kept saying over and over and over again, “Mommy, this is so exciting!”

13. Judah is safe and doesn’t have a reason to fear storms.

14. I saw a picture tonight of Serge Ibaka, a Thunder BB player, surprising my friends who lost their home in the Tornado. Not only did he pay them a visit, but he also gave them a Wal-Mart giftcard. They looked so happy.

15. Donations keep pouring in to help those affected by the Tornado.

16. So many of my friends who were affected by the storm are doing remarkably well.

17. The Fields family’s home was leveled and they were in the home. But, they were unharmed.

18. I am thankful for helmets that protected several of my kids who were in the tornado. I am so getting Judah a helmet!

19. I watched Despicable Me with Judah. He loved it and laughed so much!

20. The heart of giving has sky rocketed since the storm.

21. My friend, Danielle, is starting her 10,000 Reasons blog tonight. I know great things will come from her writings. She is so creative.

22. Danielle always sends me the sweetest personally made cards in the most fun of all envelopes.

23. Hand written notes can’t be beaten by any text or email…EVER.

24. Judah is playing with his Manger scene right now. He told us he wanted to play with his Angels. I love that He loves the things of God.

25. I am so thankful for the teachers who prayed over their kids in the storm. Last night, I heard the account of the teacher from Briarwood. She was precious and made me miss being in a classroom!

26. The Govenor of Oklahoma loves God and serves God.

27. John Stimson found my computer charger. I thought it was lost and my computer was dead! But, he found it today and my computer is alive once again.

28. I serve with an awesome group of people who love God and love others.

Selah~Day Twenty Seven

Bodies are weary, but spirits are high and hopeful. I took a walk this morning and was very aware of my lush surroundings. I know that the surroundings just a mile or two away from me are not the same.  I have so many things to be thankful for today.

My 28 Thanks:

1. I was able to rest some today.

2. I got to take a walk this morning by myself.

3. I got the chance to share my heart with the Lord.

4. He cares about my heart.

5. My street has green grass.

6. Our mailbox is still standing.

7. Our trees are lush and green and growing.

8. The landscaping is still in tact around the house.

9. My garden is still growing.

10. My plants are still in their pots.

11. All of our vehicles are safe in the driveway.

12. I saw my family for a time today.

13. We were able to eat dinner together.

14. Judah had a blast playing in the pool with his cousins. He was turning shades of pink and blue, but didn’t care. He loved jumping into the pool.

15. We celebrated my brother’s birthday with an amazing ice cream cake. And, I only tasted the cake…didn’t eat a whole piece.

16. I don’t have much of an apetite right now.

17. A group of people helped the Fields family clean up today.

18. A group of people helped the Hatton family clean up today.

19. A group of people helped Mary Friday clean up today.

20. My friend, Anita, called and told me…”Kara, you would not believe the clean up progress that has taken place since Tuesday morning.” She then went on to say how incredibly generous everyone has been to her family.

21. My parents drove in to the City from Durant, Ok today. They told me they passed a caravan of people from Texas who were coming to help with cleanup efforts. All their vehicles had “Texas loves Oklahoma” on their car windows. I cried when I heard that story.

22. We are Oklahoma Strong.

23. Our roof is strong and there is no damage to it at all.

24. Our house is on its foundation.

25. I have a house.

26. Purchased all the ice cream for KidMotion and Training Wheels tomorrow. We are going to have a big party. It has been said that you can’t cry when eating ice cream. So, we are going to eat ice cream and share our stories tomorrow morning. I am also thankful that I was able to purchase all 200 cups of ice cream at Crest. I didn’t have to go to multiple stores.

27. So Proud of the 2013 Grads! Zach, Aaron, Zak, Morgan, and the list goes on.

28. My kids ministry intern, Zach, graduated today. He only spent one year at Southmoore High School. His family moved to OKC last year, his senior year, when his Dad took the position of our Senior Pastor. Zach didn’t complain or fight against the decision to move his last year of high school, but rather, he embraced the move with an open heart and mind. Throughout this year, he has made friends, made memories, and served others. He quickly became a part of this Moore community and a Southmoore Sabercat GRADUATE! Congrats Zach~the Hendricksons love you and are proud of your accomplishments.

Selah~Day Twenty Six

I came home at 6:00 tonight. Today, my body is telling me that it better get some rest. I can’t imagine the impact this event has on those who actually lost everything. The load is so heavy, but together we can carry it. Through it all, I can still find reasons to Praise my Lord.

My 28 Thanks:

1. Judah was able to stay home with his daddy today. I am so thankful he had some normal routines today.

2. The rain and storms finally cleared out late this morning.

3. We were able to send in 10 teams to the hardest hit areas.

4. Teams from Church of the Harvest in Edmond, Peoples Church in OKC and Midwest City, New Journey in Sapulpa, Guts from Tulsa, and a host of others joined our efforts today.

5. The sun came out and the weather was nice today.

6. We had little difficulty getting into areas that needed great need.

7. More and more people are getting their electricity and water turned back on.

8. Aid continues to pour in from around the nation.

9. Gary took care of our personal life today.

10. He washed our bedding.

11. He went grocery shopping.

12. He cooked a wonderful homemade chicken pot pie.

13. We have some amazing volunteers working as the first impressions of our operation.

14. Pam Walker-she is a delight to everyone who meets her.

15. Danielle Renfrow-she make everyone smile and has a contagious laugh.

16. Heather Draper-loves people and is always willing to serve others.

17. Kids were able to go to their schools today and get their belongings and say goodbye to their teachers.

18. Teachers are heroes. So many stories are pouring in about the teachers who covered the kids with their bodies and covered them with their prayers.

19. Kids sent the teachers lots of thank you notes today.

20. Ava told Allison this morning that her friend, Emily, didn’t survive the tornado. Allison responded, “That’s okay mommy. Emily is with Jesus and He has built her a more awesomer home!” Wow…I want to be able to respond like my sweet Allison.

21. Donations of ICE have been a huge help. Cold drinks are so appreciated when you are cleaning up wreckage.

22. We were able to meet for a short time today as a staff team and plan a really nice service for Sunday in honor of both our veterans and torando victims.

23. Someone told Pastor Ted today that we are the most helpful, organized Disaster Relief Team in the Metro.

24. Teamwork.

25. Everyone has a great, helpful attitude.

26. My father-in-law surprised my mom-in-law with a brand new camera for an early birthday present. She has been taking pictures all evening. She was so surprised and excited.

27. I found out tonight that my dad will be receiving one of the top awards in his career tnext Friday. Super proud of my dad. He is one dedicated, hard working man.

28. Today is the 31st birthday of my brother Kyle. I am so proud to be his big sister. When I called him today to wish him a happy birthday, he was busy playing with his brand new pet, a giant MULE! Yes, that is right. My brother bought a mule. He is a chiropractor by day and a Jeremiah Johnson wanna be by night. He is a wonderful man, a great dad, and I am glad he is my brother.

 

Selah~Day Twenty Five

When tragedy strikes, an amazing spirit rises within the people. I have never been a part of such a unified body of people, all different ages and races, who are driven to greatness by one common goal-the desire to help others-then I have been in the last 3 days. I heard so many stories of survival, as well as tragedy, today. I worked through many tears today as I listened to different accounts of survival and heroism.

The workers and donations flooded in, I mean flooded in, starting early this morning. At times the support was overwhelming. Literally, I have not been able to keep up with phone calls, text messages, facebook comments, email, and drop by questions. I am sure that I have not responded to some and I hate that. Everyone is important and their heart to help deserves to be heard. We are trying to catch up.

We were receiving calls from all over the United States. We even had a group of men drive for 27 straight hours and showed up to help us this afternoon. We had groups from Kansas, Virginia, and ORU. Then, Convoy of Hope showed up with 4 semis and loads of relief. However, my favorite part of today was when a man from Georgia who was working here temporarily walked over from the apartment complex next to the church. He came into our “basecamp” and handed me the keys to his fully furnished (fully furnished meaning- towels, linens, kitchen supplies, and furniture) apartment. Then, he added that it was paid up for an entire month and he was going out of town for an extended period of time and wanted us to bless one of our families with it. He even worked out all the details with the apartment complex. Tonight, one of our church families who lost EVERYTHING is sleeping in a nice, fully furnished apartment.

Today, I also spoke with the Oklahoma City Police Department Chaplain. He had some specific requests and wanted to know if our church could meet the need. I told him that we were inundated with help right now. He was so thankful, but made a really great point. He said, “Everyone wants to help immediately. But, we will need help in 6 weeks as well. I hope they will be here then.” Thankfully, this is my first experience with a disaster, but in the past 48 hours, I have learned that he is so right. We will not be able to solve this tragedy, nor clean it up, this week. This is a long, long, long process and it will take weeks, months, and maybe even a year to fully rebuild. There will be plenty for people to do and plenty of time to help.

We ended the day with a prayer service at church. In the service, I prayed for the kids who have been affected by the disaster. I read Psalm 3:3-5, “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. With my voice I cry to the Lord, and He hears and answers me out of His Holy Hill…I lay down and slept; I wakened again, for the Lord sustains me.” I love to rest in His Word. He is the lifter of my head. And, when I cry to the Lord He hears me. He hears our kids. He is their encouragement, strength, guide, comforter, shield, and love.

Finally, I am encouraged by the words my Pastor spoke tonight. “This tornado was not an Act of God, nor His judgement. God is a loving God! This was a natural disaster.” The Bible is very clear that it is GOD’S LOVE that leads His people to repentance. He is a God who loves and He is a God who will bring beauty from the Ashes.

My 28 Thanks:

1. The Lord is the lifter of my head.

2. God is a God of Love.

3. The Lord hears the cries of my heart.

4. Unity

5. Sam Walker and Brian Bobek have added some great leadership to our disaster team.

6. My friend, Holly, sits right next to me in “basecamp.” She has done a wonderful job caring for people. She spent hours helping one lady sign up with FEMA today. Holly has a big heart.

7. Volunteers flooded in from everywhere. So many teenagers wanting to lend a hand.

8. We have received donations from so many places. Wal-Mart, Zios, Johnny Carinos, Rib Crib, Mattress Firm, and on and on and on and on. They just keep coming.

9. Convoy of Hope arrived with 5 semis today.

10. We were finally able to get to the worst hit areas and delivered much needed supplies to people in need.

11. Cody Pyle did a great job mobilizing teams to go out today.

12. Scott from Georgia-he just gave his apartment away today.

13. I didn’t feel well at all this morning, but by the afternoon, I was feeling much better.

14. I have a new appreciation for google maps. It is amazing what you can do with it!

15. Judah was well taken care of today by Miss JaQuisha and Miss Mindy. It is easier to work when you know your baby is doing well.

16. The weather was really good today for clean up efforts.

17. We were able to send truck loads of supplies to help with the damage in Newcastle.

18. The countless vounteers from our church who took off work this week just to help us get basecamp organized. Jamie has rocked it in the kitchen relief. I can’t even describe the amount of volunteers who have come through the gym doors.

19. Gary was able to take 2 hours leave and be at the prayer service tonight.

20. Prayer and Praise service.

21. Greater things are yet to be done in this City.

22. We will rise up and be greater than we have ever been before.

23. After watching the footage of the storm, I am so amazed that some people survived. Thankful for every survival story.

24. People are being reunited with lost pets and pictures and other memories.

25. Judah asked me if he could help any of the “boo-boos” on people from the tornado. He has such a sweet heart.

26. Had a meeting with save the children today. What a sweet organization. They are wanting to base out of our church too.

27. Pastor was able to share messages of Hope today with media venues.

28. Judah is sleeping so sweetly next to me.