Selah~Day Twenty Four

I type words, then I erase them. I don’t quite know how to use words to express the events of the last 48 hours. I remember the vivid images of the May 3, 1999 tornado. However, I was a college student and lived 3 hours from the impacted area. Now, May 20th, 2013, I live about two miles from some of the area hardest hit.

Yesterday, we knew that there was a possibility of storms. However, I was still caught off guard with how quickly this storm developed. From the time I received a text from my mother-in-law and a phone call from my husband, both telling me to take cover because “this is for real,” I had 15 minutes to get Judah and the other kids to the choir room at the church. Once there, we turned on the TV and watched the utter devestation of a violent, slow moving, F-5 tornado. What took several minutes to pass, seemed like an eternity in time. Homes, businesses, schools, signs, a theater, a bowling alley, banks, gas stations…anything that was in its path, destroyed. When I was finally able to go home, what usually takes about 10 minutes, took an entire hour. On the way home, I watched a man performing triage in the back of a pickup truck that was speeding down the road to a hospital.

My husband spent the majority of the afternoon/evening searching for victims. Thankfully, he didn’t have to pull out anyone who didn’t survive. Today, we had the honor of helping organize disaster relief efforts through our church. Hundreds of donations poured in all day long. We idetified all the families in our church who suffered substantial loss. All of them are safe tonight. My heart is broken for the ones who have lost not only posessions, but precious loved ones. There is still so much shock, but also a resolve to move forward. And, that is what all Oklahomans will do…Move Forward.

My 28 Thanks:

1. I began my morning reading out loud Psalm 34. Once again, it gave me great Peace and Comfort during a time of utter despair.

2. Over 100 people were found alive in the wreckage over night.

3. All of my kids are accounted for and safe.

4. We were able to identify all the families within our church who have suffered substantial loss.

5. The database we have that helps us identify and keep track of 100s of families.

6. I saw Ali Hatton today. She was pulled from the wrechage at Plaza Towers elementary.

7. She was smiling. She had no broken bones.

8. A little girl, probably 5 yrs old, brought in her piggy bank change and donated it to the relief efforts today.

9. Even though many many homes were completely destroyed, our church family didn’t lose any lives.

10. We had porta potties at the church. There wasn’t a working bathroom within miles. But, we had porta potties.

11. We had so many volunteers show up to offer help today.

12. Pallets and Pallets and Pallets of water were donated.

13. Today, people brought over $2,000 dollars in giftcards to purchase supplies.

14. Over 800 boxes were donated.

15. 25 mattresses were donated by Mattress Firm.

16. The storms today were not as bad as one might have feared.

17. The attitudes of the people of Oklahoma are beautiful.

18. First Responders are heroes.

19. Everyone wants to help. People just want to do something to meet a need.

20. People are sending supplies or coming to Moore from all over the United States.

21. My family was able to house a family who lost everything last night.

22. In disasters, people put aside their differences and unite for the greater good.

23. Social Media has made it really easy to contact people and check on them.

24. People are being the hands and feet of Jesus today.

25. We took meals for an entire nursing home facility today. They had no food and no power. Our team showed up and they were well fed.

26. You can always start over.

27. The Righteous suffer many afflictions, but the Lord rescues them from it all!

28. I am an Oklahoman.

Advertisements

Selah~Day Twenty Three

Crazy Oklahoma weather makes me anxious. Tonight, we were surrounded by wall clouds, circulation, sirens sounds, hail, and animated weather men. I had to get a hold of myself today. Even though it is really important to use wisdom, it is also important to not allow fear and anxiety to control you. As I sit to reflect on the day, it has become clear to me that I often have to battle anxiety when I am put in situations that I can’t control. It is during those times that the Lord wants me to run to Him and find rest. He wants me to run to Him and find shelter. He wants me to run to Him and find peace.

I will find rest in the shelter of the most High God for He alone is my refuge and my place of safety. He is my God and I DO TRUST HIM.

My 28 Thanks:

1. The Lord is my shelter. My place of safety.

2. I don’t have to be afraid when I am NOT in control.

3. I can trust the Lord.

4. The storms went all around us.

5. Our car was not damaged in the multiple hail storms today.

6. Church was awesome in the AM and PM today.

7. We had an awesome lesson about obedience this morning.

8. Obedience Brings God’s Protection

9. Kids responded to the altar for salvation and to have a more obedient heart.

10. Many youth were celebrated in the graduation service today. Yea…MR. Zach and MR. Aaron. We are proud of you two awesome men of God.

11. Our church hosted the Baccalaureate service for Moore Schools. Glad we can be a blessing to our community.

12. Dr. Mark Rutland spoke for both the Baccalaureate service and for our Sunday PM Celebrate Pentecost service.

13. Today is the birthday celebration of Pentecost…the birthing of the church.

14. The fire of God.

15. The Holy Spirit.

16. The living, acting, healing, helping, comforting…move of the Holy Spirit.

17. LOTS of people responded to the Altar call today.

18. My schedule was FULL today and I made every appointment and on time.

19. I got to shake Dr. Mark Rutland’s hand and thank him for coming to Crossroads. He is a brilliant man who is used big time by God. I am so “jealous” of his Biblical knowledge. It really challenges me to learn more, read more, study more…

20. So far, I have not heard of any casualties from the multiple tornados that hit the Metro today.

21. Had a nice lunch with some of the KidMin team.

22. Cherryl watched Judah and Morgan and Abby for us today so I could go to the funeral with Gary. Cherryl is such a sweet blessing to our family. She has such a servant’s heart.

23. There are so many teenagers in my life who have such servant’s hearts. They love to serve and help others.

24. So thankful that I am with my baby boy tonight. It has been a really busy weekend and I have missed him.

25. Even though I missed the first 30 minutes, I got to sit through the entire preaching of the Word tonight in service.

26. The book of Acts.

27. The Pastor who ministered at Jayme’s funeral spoke a sweet message of Hope today. The Lord is our Hope and Hope is truly all one needs.

28. We ministered to 8 new families today in Kidz Ministry. Growth is the Will of God.

Selah~Day Twenty Two

I heard this question asked of someone tonight, “What are you passionate about? What drives you?” It wasn’t asked of me, so I didn’t answer it at the time, but I thought I would take a few minutes and answer it now. I think it is important to ask ourselves often what drives us or what we are passionate about.

Life change drives me. My husband and my son drive me. I am passionate about being the best wife to Gary and the best mom to Judah. I am passionate about people discovering their purpose in life and then walking in that purpose with all of their heart. I am passionate about people realizing who they are in their Creator and walking that identity out with confidence and joy. I am passionate about young people realizing that there is more to this life than what is right before them in the now. I love when they realize that immediate gratification is fleeting, but to hold out for what is best is eternal. I am passionate about ministering to kids. I truly believe that there can be a generation of young people who grow up and say, “All I have ever known is JESUS!”

My 28 Thanks:

1. I was able to spend the morning resting at home. We didn’t have any early morning plans.

2. All laundry is caught up and put away.

3. I had a wonderful conversation today with a friend that I had lost contact with for the past few years.

4. I was able to give her an encouraging word.

5. She has no idea that her strength through storms, spirit of perseverance, and commitment to love, really really ministered to me too today!

6. Her mess will be a phenomenal MESSAGE!

7. I am passionate. I hate apathy and mediocrity.

8. I want to do something with my life that makes a difference.

9. I want to become a better wife and mom. I don’t want to always stay where I am, but I want to grow.

10. Picked out more paint today at the paint store. Now, the guys know us by name.

11. We picked out a blue and an orange color for Judah’s room. He got to help paint the samples and loved it.

12. My in-laws took a longer motorcycle ride today. They returned home safe and sound and dry.

13. Judah got to play with Madi and Molly today.

14. He had a blast trying to squirt them with water. I love to hear him laugh.

15. Gary and I tried a new restaurant today…Iron Star Urban BBQ…it was really good.

16. After dinner, we went to Kaisers downtown. It was AWESOME. We will definitely go again.

17. They made a mistake with Gary’s ice cream flavor. So, instead of throwing it away they just put an additional 3rd scoop on his cone. He was in heaven!

18. Gary ate every bit of his enormous cone and he won’t gain a pound!

19. We got to eat at Kaisers with our amazing lead Pastors, Ted and Tami. They can make any experience over the top! Pastor Tami likes ice cream as much as Gary. They share a love for Bluebell Homemade Vanilla.

20. KidMotion is set and ready to go for an awesome May 19th service. Kids are going to understand that Obedience brings God’s Protection.

21. The new KidMotion set design looks awesome.

22. It doesn’t look like we are going to get any tornado activity tonight!

23. My rose moss has taken off. It looks beautiful.

24. Judah is going to share mine and Gary’s love for flowers and gardening.

25. One of my many many many superstar leaders, Mrs. Jen, is filling in for Mrs. Shannon so she doesn’t miss her son’s graduation service tomorrow morning.

26. I have awesome people on my team who ALWAYS help one another out.

27. Zach referred to me as the general tonight! I am thankful that he finally realizes my position. Ha Ha Ha

28. Thankful for today, but excited for tomorrow.

Selah~Day Twenty One

My 28 Thanks:

1. God is with me in the clear and the cloudy.

2. God is with me in the sunshine and the storm.

3. God is _______________. Whatever I need when I need it.

4. I woke up to Judah bringing me a book to read to him this morning.

5. It was a picture book of Judah and me. He loves to see the pictures of us together and for me to read the captions.

6. Today was Abby’s birthday. She is my two year old neice. She calls me Laura (which is her mother’s name) and calls Gary, Gee. She really likes Gary. Abby is a happy little girl and always has a smile on her face.

7. Abby loved the Superman PJs we got her. We also got her a cute summer dress. She threw the dress to the side and immediately put on the Superman PJs.

8. My sis-in-law, Meghan, called us early this morning and invited us to go to Jump Zone and to lunch.

9. I love unexpected hang-outs with the family. It was so nice to visit with Meg and to let the boys play together.

10. Judah had a great time. He was covered in sweat.

11. Gas prices are so high, but I am still able to fill up to a full tank.

12. Judah fell asleep this afternoon and Gary and I really needed to run some errands. So, my mom-in-law let us leave him with her while we ran errands. I am really going to miss this feature of living with the in-laws.

13. But, they are starting to paint my house now! I am so excited to move in.

14. Meghan finally got to see my house today and she loves it. She has a great sense of style and so her opinion matters:)

15. She helped me settle on paint colors.

16. Judah slipped and fell in the mud. He was covered. But, instead of getting frustrated, we all had a great laugh. Judah thought it was really funny. What little boy doesn’t like being covered in mud!

17. I got the cutest dress at Target today and it was on sale.

18. All kinds of birds have been visiting my in-laws home. From hawks to orioles to hummingbirds to woodpeckers and more, we have seen them frequent my mom-in-laws feeder. She grabs a camera and a bird book and gets so excited. My husband is in on the fun too. I love watching them watch the birds.

19. I love when people find beauty in God’s creation. He made it for us to enjoy.

20. We had dinner with some strangers tonight. They are now friends.

21. Our waiter at Saltgrass was awesome.

22. We got to invite him to church and he just might come.

23. Even though I had one amazing meal, I didn’t over eat!

24. Laura let Judah stay at her house tonight so he wouldn’t miss out on Abby’s birthday party because Gary and I had prior commitments.

25. Laura had Judah completely ready for bed when we picked him up.

26. Some very promising things happened today that could affect the future in a great way!

27. Got word from a good friend today that she and her family may be moving closer…like driving distance closer. I would love that. I have missed this couple so so so much! They are soul tie friends!

28. Even though the weather was gloomy and yucky today, my attitude wasn’t! I can choose my attitude and I choose joy! It was a great day.

Selah~Day Twenty

Judah loves showing us his artwork. Most of the time, I have no idea what it is. However, he can picture an airplane from a jumbled mess of scribbled lines or a puppy dog in a sort of square like shape. Because it is his artwork, he knows every detail and the purpose of every dot and the value in every scribbled line. Of course, Gary and I think it is adorable because our son drew it. But, lets be honest, his work isn’t quite ready to hang in the gallery of a museum. What I love most about Judah’s artwork isn’t the work itself, but rather it is Judah’s “ta-dah” moment or “Mommy, look what I did!” Judah’s presentation is the best. Why? He is so proud. He is so excited to share. He only sees his very best work.

Right now, as I type this, I am looking at a picture that Judah colored for me on Mother’s Day. It is a mom and her son looking sweetly at each other. The boy is colored solid ORANGE. Judah thinks orange is the color for boys. It is the funniest thing. The mommy is colored with multiple colors. Judah knows that I love a lot of colors. When I look at that piece, I don’t pay any attention to the fact that he didn’t stay in ANY line at all. He also didn’t bother putting any effort into coloring other parts of the picture. But, what I do notice is that Judah knows me. And, he was so excited to give it to me.

Judah’s love for his artwork reminded me of this verse.”You created the deepest parts of my being. You put me together inside my mother’s body. How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well,” states Psalm139:13-14 (NIRV) We are God’s greatest works of art. And, Oh how He loves us. Like Judah knows the details of his rather interesting work, God knows every detail, the purpose of every dot, and the value in every scribbled line of His work. He knows us and He is excited to present us and call us His masterpiece.

My 28 Thanks:

1. I am God’s masterpiece.

2. God knows every detail, the purpose of every dot, and the value in every scribbled line of His work. And those dots and lines aren’t blemishes…His work is perfect.

3. God put me together.

4. Everything God made is amazing and wonderful.

5. Quality is in the details.

6. God is so proud of me that He is proud to call me His own.

7. Judah is so aware of others. Even at the age of 3, he knows details of mine and Gary’s likes, dislikes, favorites, etc…

8. Judah can find so much joy in the simplest of things.

9. Gary made me oatmeal for breakfast. It was a nice change from my morning toast routine.

10. We covered a lot of ground in creative meeting today and got out early!

11. Glad Rony and Danielle are on our team. They are super sweet, creative, and full of life.

12. Angela made it through surgery so WELL! She is doing great.

13. She sent me a sweet text right before her surgery too. Wow, always thinking about others.

14. Praying for a friend today. Thankful in advance that God is going before her and her family…He is working all things together for good.

15. Dori’s husband, Danny, continues to shock the doctors with his awesome recovery after bypass surgery.

16. Gary and I tackled a massive closet clean out today. We purged years and years and years of junk.

17. Judah had a lot of fun playing with his friends from church today.

18. Journey is so excited about getting to go to Sports Camp this year. She ran to me today and asked how much longer until she could go. Then, she told me that she wore her sports jersey today because she is so excited.

19. Free Chick-Fil-A today.

20. Gary, Judah, and I enjoyed a nice dinner out tonight.

21. Charleston’s came up with the most creative pre-meal distraction for kids. Instead of colors, (which Judah breaks immediately) they handed out wikki stix. They were wax like strings that could be formed into multiple shapes. Judah was entertained and had so much fun with those.

22. This has been a very long, but productive week. I am so glad it is almost over:)

23. I think I have finally decided on a paint color for my master bedroom. Remember, I love color…all kinds of colors. But, I especially love green… all shades of green. I am not putting green in this house though. I am branching out for change this time.

24. So many of my kids are receiving honors at the end of the year school assemblies. So So So proud of all of them. God wants His kids to excel in every area of life. Many of my kids have worked hard to pull up their grades and do better. I am so proud of all of them.

25. Pentecost Sunday night service is fully staffed!

26. Two of my friends celebrated birthdays today. I am thankful for my friend, Amy. She is so kind, caring, laid back, easy going, a great mom, has a beautiful smile, and is a behind the scenes life savor friend. Brandon is relentless, determined, driven, hard-working, and has a big soft spot for people.

27. Gary, Judah, and I had the most fun in the car this evening. We laughed and laughed and laughed while making funny noises. We asked Judah, “what noise does a cow make?” Judah replied, “honk-honk.” Then, he laughed for what seemed like 5 minutes. It was truly a great time.

28. Laughter is truly the best medicine.

 

Selah~Day Nineteen

Have you ever been so busy that you didn’t even allow the Lord time to speak to you? I feel like I have been in this exact place for the last two days. Unfortunately, I have allowed my schedule to control me, instead of me controlling my schedule. When I allow my schedule to control me, my priorities get out of line. I think the enemy loves to keep us busy and tired. When we are busy and tired, we can easily become anxious, discouraged, and emotional. Thankfully, I quickly realize this state and work hard to get out of it and not stay there long. In these moments, I reflect upon the Word which reminds me to cast my cares on the Lord because He cares for me. The Word also tells me that the Lord directs the STEPS of a righteous man. He doesn’t expect me to jump leaps and bounds everyday, but rather walk it out in steps. I also know the the Lord is my portion, He is more than enough for me. He gives me just what I need each day. He is my stregth for today and my Hope for tomorrow.

If you just speak the WORD of GOD, you can talk yourself right OUT of anxiety, discouragement, and emotional moods.

My 28 Thanks:

1. I realize when I am too busy.

2. I am understand how important it is to hear from the Lord.

3. I can decide to take control of my schedule.

4. When I was young, my mom taught me how to pray using scripture.

5. I can recall several power verses when I am praying.

6. The Lord is my portion. He is more than enough for me.

7. He directs my steps.

8. He is my Hope for an even better tomorrow.

9. I didn’t sleep well at all last night. But, I still had an unusual energy for a very busy, taxing day. The Lord is more than enough!

10. I was able to have lunch with a good friend today. It had been a lunch on hold for almost a month!

11. Although it rained again on a Wednesday night, we didn’t get any severe weather.

12. Judah gave me an awesome kiss and a hug when I was getting ready to leave for work this morning. Then, with a really cute grin on his face he says, “Mommy, I gonna wash them off when you leave.” He is such a cute kid:)

13. I can breathe out of my nose today.

14. The IRS is being investigated for targeting conservative non-profit groups. I hope every evil motive is exposed.

15. Gosnell- GUILTY of first degree murder.

16. Tonight’s kidz service went really well.

17. Brandon, my co-worker, played a REALLY funny joke on me today. I totally fell for it. It was a good one.

18. I just saw a post from my friend, Dori. Her husband is out of surgery and doing well!

19. Mr. Matt helped me out tonight in a Ranger class. He is such a good teacher.

20. The boys learned an awesome lesson on trust. They recalled so well during the debriefing.

21. I have many people in my life that I can truly trust. Some who I would even trust with my life.

22. I had a great conversation with Maxton today. He is such a good young man, who loves the Lord. He gave me some good insight into Kidz Ministry from a kids perspective.

23. I processed 3 more people to serve in kids ministry.

24. For two weeks in a row, the girls have one the game competition. This never happens. It is a great boost to their morale.

25. Every day brings me closer to the day I move into my new home.

26. I will have a special place in my new home to write and reflect.

27. Judah and Gary are healthy and happy.

28. Gary made me the sweetest and most thoughtful gift that I have ever received. He spent hours creating a photo collage book of Judah’s first 3 years of life. He wrote all the captions and the words reflect prayers that I have prayed over Judah and statements that I have made! It just came in the mail tonight! So blessed.

 

Good Night.

 

 

Selah~Eighteen

Keeping it simple tonight. God is a good God and every good thing comes from Him.

My 28 Thanks:

1. Judah woke in a great mood.

2. He immediately asked me to build him a tent in the game room. He remembered that part of the story from the night before.

3. We made a tent and played for a few minutes before I had to get ready and go to work.

4. Gary made me breakfast.

5. We sang 10,000 reasons in staff chapel today.

6. Learned some  great lessons on High Performance Team building today.

7. Gary made the preschool puppet stage much more useable.

8. We started on the new set design for the KidMotion summer series.

9. Even though it was quick, I got to leave church for lunch today.

10. Several people commented on my cute dress. It was 2-toned blue stripped dress and I added a yellow cardigan. I like to call it my Dori costume.

11. My friend, Terry, found out today that he won’t need a 2nd knee surgery.

12. Heard several praise reports in staff chapel today.

13. Miss JaQuisha saved Judah a sprinkled donut today. So thankful that Judah has people in his life that love him so muhc.

14. Mrs. Mindy and Miss JaQuisha are doing amazing things with our staff childcare kids.

15. Found favor with our summer camp. They gave me some additional discounts today.

16. Ordered everything we will need for our Summer series, Off the Rails.

17. After 5 different paint samples, I think I have decided on my master bedroom color.

18. Met our new neighbors tonight. They are going to be awesome.

19. Have a lovely, take-out Chinese, dinner outside tonight.

20. I was able to speak life into a person’s life tonight.

21. Judah went to bed by himself tonight.

22. Judah got to help Mom-Mom in the garden again. He had so much fun helping her plant.

23. Starting to mentally plan time off. More than one-day time off!

24. Even though my nose is completely stopped up, I can still taste food.

25. Overheard Pastor Marcia telling her “diabetes diagnosis” testimony to someone today. Afterwards, she told me and Dorothy, “I don’t ever want to miss telling someone how good my God is to me.

26. Dori’s husband, Danny, has great peace about his 2nd bypass surgery. We are believing with him that it is going to be alright!

27. Pastor Elias helped me carry some extremely heavy boxes today.

28. Great, deep, uninterrupted conversation about the future with my husband tonight. That is a rarity anymore.