Selah~Day 241

My 27 Thanks:

1. I am one day closer to complete healing.

2. I felt much better today than I have felt in the last 3 days.

3. Even though I accidentally shot a nasal steroid spray into my eye, I suffered no side effects!

4. Pharmacist who are easily accessible.

5. Judah went back to school today and had a wonderful time.

6. Gary and Terry came up with a better idea for our Robot’s feet. They look awesome.

7. Gary worked all day on the new idea for robot feet. He did a wonderful job!

8. I was able to go back into work today.

9. Even after missing 2 days of work, I am not too behind. I was still able to check off several items on the to-do list.

10. We had a memorial service at the church today to honor a precious woman of God. She lived a long, wonderful life. Her family was served a most wonderful dinner at the church. Funeral dinner ministry is a wonderful blessing.

11. The people of our church who serve in funeral dinner ministry are amazing servant leaders.

12. Lynn Steele does an amazing job leading that team. I am so thankful for her heart to serve others. This ministry definitely brings a joy to families during a tough time.

13. Outreach ministries.

14. One of my kids was super excited to let me know that he remembered the power verse from Sunday. He told several of the leaders and then he shared it with the whole group. I was super proud of him.

15. My kidmin team enjoys serving together.

16. One of my kidmin leaders, Jay, is doing so much better after visiting the dentist. We are all so glad that Mr. Jay is back to his normal, fun, crazy self! Tooth pain is no joke!

17. We had great discussions about leadership in the Adventure Rangers class. My participation was spontaneous, but I was glad to be a part.

18. I enjoyed walking around and observing all the different ministry rooms. I love seeing kids excited about Jesus!

19. My preschool leads and I shared a most wonderful laugh. They are such a great, fun group. I am glad they are in my life and I am really glad they discovered the sticker page that NEVER should have been in our preschool sticker bin. Still wondering where those stickers came from??????

20. Our new Connect groups kicked off well. I am super excited about the different options offered this  semester…

21. Discipleship.

22. People have the opportunity to connect to God, connect to the Word, and connect to others at our Church.

23. I enjoyed a nice, quick chat with Pam Walker. She is a beautiful woman of God.

24. Gary warmed the car and pulled it up under the awning for me.

25. I am learning to be quiet and allow God to speak.

26. Gary leads our family well.

27. God talks to His kids.

Selah~Day 240

My 27 Thanks:

1. I woke up and felt so much better today. The fog finally lifted.

2. I have a great family doctor.

3.  Even though I have a bad sinus infection and bronchitis, I tested negative for both strands of flu as well as strep.

4. Gary went to the doctor with me. He is my best friend.

5. The doctor said Judah’s lungs were clear too. His cough is mostly related to allergies.

6. Dr. Rodgers always makes us all laugh. He has the best “bed-side” manner of any doctors I have ever used for care.

7. Healthcare.

8. Great Insurance.

9. I have lost more weight. At the doctor’s office today, I weighed in at a weight that is very close to my weight in college! I only have about 5 lbs to go.

10. Goals are great, but systems that help you achieve those goals are even better!

11. Figuring out systems!

12. Today is Mr. Bob’s birthday. He is an awesome kidmin leader. The kids love him big time. He is faithful and so caring. Gary and I are honored to serve with him.

13. Abby ordered our NEW kidz ministry t-shirts today. I think the team will love the new style of shirt and design.

14. Pastor Ted had a great meeting today with a team of men who are all working together for an awesome men’s event in our City this year. I am excited too.

15. Gary knew that my inability to pay attention to the cleanliness of my home was bothering me. So, he picked up the house, vacuumed, and cleaned the kitchen.

16. My house is clean.

17. We had a quick, fun family game of chase. Judah loves for one of us to pretend to be a monster and chase the other two around the house. I just love to hear him laugh.

18. Judah and I spent time in his room racing cars and building blocks.

19. Gary got to play his music and have some personal time doing something he loves.

20. For about 5 minutes tonight, Judah let me hold him in a cradled position and rock him like a baby. I miss those days!

21. We don’t always have to go big for dinner. Gary and I are satisfied with simple, easy dinner decisions.

22. Simplicity.

23. Time to think.

24. I didn’t run fever at all today.

25. Judah went to bed early, so I am getting in some much-needed writing time.

26. I love to learn.

27. I have been on this journey for 240 days!

Selah~Day 239 “Things Always Appear Worse at Night”

I often have to remind myself, “things always appear worse at night.” I have actually said it multiple times this last week. I am sure that I am not alone in this thought.

Thinking back to the days of my childhood, this thought rang true then too. I loved my bedroom as a kid. During the day, it was a fun, exciting place filled with lots of light, fun toys, and  opportunities for adventure. But, at night, I didn’t want to be alone in there. In fact, I spent many nights trying to talk my brother, Kyle, into sleeping in my room with me. I remember saying often, “Kyle, don’t you want to sleep in my room because your room is scarier?” Kyle never fell for it. So, I would move into his room and sleep until the sun came up in the morning. Or, I think about how excited I was to go over to a friend’s house for a sleepover. I would pack my overnight bag and ask my mom a thousand times, “is it time to go yet?” But, when the time came for us to settle down and go to sleep, my joys for the sleepover soon faded and I wanted to be in the comfort of my home and with my mommy!

Night time can turn piles of laundry into big, scary monsters and make shadows of faces form on the walls. If you are sick, the fever always seems to get worse at night. If you are alone, the solitude is no longer your friend. And, small sounds become amplified to the max. My perceptions are usually more jaded at night and my fuse much shorter.

Science even provides some insights or answers to this question, “Why do things appear worse at night?” Here is one good explanation:

The relative isolation, quiet, and absence of distractions are probably the big factor here. During the day, we can use a variety of strategies to modulate these concerns, including taking direct action to address them. Lying in bed in a dark room, they become overwhelming and inescapable. (Source:Health.com)

When we lay down in bed at night, we turn off our external senses, hoping to fall asleep. Unfortunately, this gives our mind the ability to roam free from distractions and floods of daytime information and become very active. Our what-ifs swarm in, our worries grow bigger, and you begin to question, analyze, and rethink the days events.

I think that it is important to acknowledge that things seem worse at night. Then, we realize that it is mostly exhaustion and nighttime darkness that contributes to our feelings and NOT our inability to manage or move forward. I am a firm believer that the best way to defeat the dark is to shine the light! When you acknowledge the dark for what it is, you cause it to lose its power!

When I have trouble at night, I read Psalm 91 over me and my family. I particularly like Psalm 91:5 which states, “Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.”

My 27 Thanks:

1. To every night, there is always a morning.

2. I realize that things are always worse at night and I can change my perspective.

3. Psalm 91

4. Psalm 91:5

5. Light penetrates the dark.

6. Judah let me lay in bed for a little longer this morning.

7. Judah has been very understanding of my lack of energy.

8. My mother-in-law came by my house to pick up Judah to take him to school for me.

9. Judah cried…he didn’t want to go to school…he wanted to stay with me. I let him. He still has a rough, persistent cough and I didn’t want to take any chances. Besides, I love spending time with my little buddy.

10. Judah loves spending time with me.

11. He was content to watch movies on the couch for most of the morning.

12. I was able to get into the doctor tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.

13. Gary made me enough soup the day before, so I had some great leftovers to heat up quickly and easily.

14. Gary called and let me know that he got off for the second half of his shift. He came home to take care of me.

15. My mother-in-law brought the twins over to play with Judah on his swing set.

16. Judah was thrilled to go outside and play with his cousins on his new swing set. I am so glad he got to get outside.

17. Gary brought home organic lemons and honey so I could tackle my cold with some old-fashioned remedies.

18. Hot baths. I took 3 of them today.

19. Appearances are not always Reality. Things may appear to be worse, but they really are not at all.

20.  My brother always let me sleep in his room at night when I couldn’t sleep in my own room.

21. My mom taught me to pray scriptures over my life when I felt afraid or confused.

22. Pastor Marcia is covering staff chapel for me. She has so much on her plate, but is always willing to lend a helping hand.

23. Abby is feeling much better, so she is holding down the kidmin fort!

24. I had friends praying for me today!

25. Prayer.

26. I got a lot of rest today.

27. Health is in my future.

Selah~Day 238

Sunday, January 12

Today was a difficult day. I was up all night with Judah, who was sick with a cough and fever. I also am completely stopped up with congestion. Nevertheless, even in days that seem to covered in clouds, rays of sunshine always beam through!

My 27 Thanks:

1. I made it to church.

2. Gary was off work today, so he was able to stay home with Judah.

3. Judah felt so much better than the night before. He was up laughing and ready to play.

4. Judah always bounces back quickly from virus’.

5. Judah is rarely sick. I am so thankful for his health.

6.  I have a fully staffed Kidz Ministry team today.

7. Because of my lack of voice and low energy level, Lorry Gail took my notes and rocked it out on stage.

8. Lorry Gail is on my team! She is prepared in season and out.

9. My friend, Angela, is celebrating a birthday today. She is sweet, kind, caring, and has a special knack for including others. I am so glad she is on our kidmin team!

10. My friend, Janelle, is celebrating a birthday today. She has one of the sweetest spirits around. Her beautiful smile and heart of gold makes any room sparkle.

11. After bad weather and busy holiday plans, our service attendance was back up in high numbers!

12. Growth is the Will of God.

13. The kids continue to love the Robots, Inc. series.

14. In small groups, they had to decode “robot language” to figure out the power verse. They loved the activity.

15. Kids were working so well together!

16. Cooperation.

17. Abby and I were both able to stay home tonight and rest and work on getting physically better.

18. Soft kleenex.

19. Gary is a great nurse. He takes such good care of both Judah and me. Today, he has made me soup and kept a fresh glass of cold lemon water by my bedside.

20. My mom and sister made it home safely.

21. A great opportunity has been presented to Gary. Now, we get to pray and get in on the Lord’s perfect will for us.

22. Gary is a well-respected man of God.

23. Favor.

24. Ear Thermometers…if you remember the days of all the other options…you would be thankful too!

25. The congestion is not in my chest!

26. Even though I work with kids (germ carriers), I am rarely sick!

27. I know the Healer.

Selah~Day 237

Saturday, January 11

My 27 Thanks:

1. My mom and sister made a quick decision to come to the City for a weekend visit.

2. Judah and I don’t have to spend this beautiful Saturday at home alone.

3. After a few days of swimming, I have worked out muscles I haven’t worked in a while. So, when I leaned down yesterday to load the dish washer, my back went out. Thankfully, My back is feeling better today.

4. I can walk today.

5. Epsom Salt baths. I had immediate relief after soaking in epsom salt.

6. All-Natural, effective health remedies.

7. We were not in a hurry to go this morning. Usually, when my mom visits, there is never enough time to do all that she needs to do, so we are rushed. But, not today! We get to have a nice, relaxing visit.

8. The weather is absolutely lovely for this weekend and the upcoming week.

9. Sunshine.

10. I drove to Penn Square mall like a champ. I used to hate driving into areas that I was unfamiliar with, but that was not the case today!

11. Confidence.

12. Judah stayed right with me in the mall. We went to Sees candy, rode the escalator, and then went and hung out in the car together. I can walk…just not mall walk yet.

13. Judah loved his vanilla lollipop from Sees candy. It made his day.

14. Judah’s smile.

15. Fun car conversation with Judah. He loves to yell at birds as they fly by.

16. My mom and sister found everything that they needed in a short amount of time and were ready to go home and relax.

17. I got to stop by the fire station and see Gary for a couple of minutes.

18. He let me have his awesome cough drops. They were super soothing to my throat.

19. Gary loves his job and is having a great shift.

20. We had Pei-Wei for lunch and they accidentally gave us two extra meals. So, we had a lot of extras.

21. Pei-Wei for lunch and dinner!

22. Haley and I enjoyed some older chick-flick movies.

23. Even though my sister and I are 11 years apart, it doesn’t seem to be that big of an age gap anymore!

24. Quality time with family.

25. Early bed-time!

26. As I lay my head down at night, I can sleep in sweet peace.

27. Jesus is a Dream-Giver.

Selah~Day 236

My 27 Thanks:

1. Judah and I had a great morning getting ready together.

2. He got to spend the day at mom-moms house.

3. Judah was so excited to play with his cousins.

4. We all had kids during the same year. I love that Judah has tons of cousins his age.

5. The Watoto’s African Children’s Choir is coming back to Crossroads Church. I love this group.

6. Angela is helping me execute this event. I so appreciate her help and her attention to detail.

7. Creative meeting was very interesting today. I don’t mind interesting.

8. I have learned to read the non-verbal expressions of some of my team mates. So, I love knowing what they truly think about an idea even if they never utter a word.

9. Quirks. Quirks are fun and endearing…most of the time.

10. Abby has brought a fresh, fun presence to my life and ministry!

11. I went to the KidMotion room to set up for Sunday and noticed that all the labels on our sound board had been updated and are now brand new. Wow! Aaron must have done it and I didn’t even submit a support ticket. Super thankful for our tech teams love and care for kidz ministry. Quality is in the unseen detail!

12. I gave Pastor Elias half of a package of cardstock paper to use to print some certificates. I totally didn’t expect any back in return. But, he went out and bought a brand new package to replace ours and all in the same day! He is a super thoughtful and great team-mate.

13. I have people in my life who believe in me even when I don’t.

14. I spent some time today writing out both personal and professional goals for 2014.

15. Jesus makes all things new.

16. When I picked Judah up from his day of fun at mom-moms house, he was still in his pajamas. He loves to have pajama day! I am so glad he had a fun, relaxing day.

17. Gary and I are so blessed. We have never had to use a typical daycare setting for our childcare needs. I have friends who own daycare facilities and they are awesome and so necessary for working moms and dads. But, I am thankful that I have had close friends or family who are able to watch Judah.

18. Judah left mom-moms house without fussing or crying or throwing any type of fit. Usually, he is so sad to leave, especially if we are the first of the cousins to go. But, he was perfect last night and as soon as I said “let’s go,” he picked up his stuff and headed to the door.

19. Obedience.

20. Judah and I had a very relaxing evening at home.

21. I had some quiet time and was able to read several chapters in the book of Mark.

22. I received the sweetest of all cards in the mail today from a friend.

23. People still send hand-written notes in the mail. I love this now “old-fashioned” form of communication.

24. The Lord laid my name on my friend’s heart. She is praying some specific things for me the entire month of January. Wow!

25. I love the stories of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and soon after fed another large group of 4,000. Jesus cares about ones spiritual life, but He also cares about your physical life!

26. Jesus cares about you as a whole person-mind, body, and soul!

27. Jesus is my portion. He is more than enough to meet every need.

Selah~Day 235

Wednesday, January 8

My 27 Thanks:

1. It is another great day filled with awesome potential to do something great.

2. I don’t have to drive in traffic to or from work.

3. I work with amazing, encouraging people who I call my friends!

4. Gary ran to the store and picked up cupcakes for Judah’s class today. It is the first day back and Judah is assigned snack duty. They told us that we could bring cupcakes and they would celebrate his birthday.

5. Judah was excited to go back to class and share cupcakes with his friends.

6. Gary came up to the church and installed the Robot heart for Abby and me. Each week, we are putting a new part on our Robot.

7. Power tools. What did people do before there were power tools?

8. Abby really thought outside the box on some of these Robot parts. She did a great job!

9. Lori, Abby, Starla, and I had a great meeting discussing a new curriculum option. After 3 years of discussion, we are going to finally be able to execute some really neat changes this year in our curriculum. This change will bring great alignment to what we do as a ministry.

10. Several long-range goals have been sitting on the sidelines of my goals list and now they are finally coming up for execution. I am excited to get them off of the sidelines.

11. Goals.

12. Due to meetings, I wasn’t able to slip out and pick up anything for lunch. But, my sweet husband picked me up something and brought it to me.

13. Gary has such a servant’s heart. He loves to serve others.

14. Swadley’s restaurant. They are a great, family owned company with awesome food, awesome service, and awesome Godly principles that guide them.

15. We opened up Wednesday Night Kids Ministry with a review game from Sunday’s message points. I was thrilled to watch as the kids excitedly answered questions. They knew every one of them.

16. Kids love to learn about Jesus.

17. The energy was great in Kids ministry.

18. Crossroads Youth Ministry had a great service in the Main Sanctuary.

19. Great things are happening and Greater things are in store for our Youth ministry.

20. Some friends of mine from my hometown now live in the City. They came to church tonight. I was completely surprised, but so excited.

21. They have two little girls. They absolutely loved the nursery and it was a great experience for all involved.

22. Rochelle and Ava and my other check-in hosts are amazing. They truly know how to roll out the red carpet for guests.

23. All of my leaders were out of the church building by 9:00 p.m. I set a personal goal every week to make sure my leadership team is out the door by 9:00.

24. My preschool leaders are so kind, caring, and do a great job teaching the Word to little ones.

25. On the way home from church, Judah told me the whole story of Jesus healing Blind Bartemeus.

26. Judah knows that Jesus cares about us.

27. Jesus cares about me.

Selah~Day 234

My 27 Thanks:

1. I got ready for the day rather quickly! I woke up super-charged!

2. Gary made me toast and coffee while I got ready for work!

3. My morning routine is so scripted! But, I don’t mind. I like routine for the most part. Almost every morning, I get ready the exact same way and I eat one apple, two pieces of Ezekiel toast with all natural strawberry fruit preserves, and I drink about two sips of coffee or tea. It warms my core! I love quirks and I have them!

4. Gary has some of the most fun quirks. We love to laugh about each others peculiar strands!

5. We had a fun discussion in staff chapel today. I loved today’s leadership lesson.

6. My team makes me laugh. We have fun together.

7. The possibility of scratch and sniff bulletins. (Don’t you think it would increase readers?) Ha Ha…it won’t happen, people. But, it was one of my best creative, off the cuff brainstorms. Ha Ha Ha

8. Progress. We are unrolling some new procedures that will help us be more effective in our work! I love progress.

9. Opportunities.

10. Starla and Abby helped me take down a Christmas Tree today. With their help, we had that tree down in 15 minutes!

11. The first quarter of the year is packed full of great things for our church. Excited to help execute.

12. I received the rider for the Watoto African Children’s Choir today. I am so excited to host them once again at our church in March.

13. God just works things out on your behalf.

14. Abby ran and got me lunch today since I was stuck at the church.

15. Patrick Sims blessed kids ministry with a heaping load of snacks! Our kids love to eat. Super thankful for Patrick and Rochelle and their generous hearts.

16. I had a great conference call with an “Orange” specialist today. I am looking at ways of incorporating some of this fantastic curriculum in our kids ministry design plan.

17. My friend Holly only suffered a sprain in her knee and it will heal without surgery.

18. One of my kids, who has been struggling in school, called me today and told me that he had a great day and he even answered a really tough math question that no one else in the class could figure out! He was also excited that the Principal of the school happened to peek into his math class while he answered the question.

19. Grace.

20.  Gary and I met each other at the YMCA after work. They are offering a 10 day free trial to check out their facility.

21. We went swimming together. It was so cold at first, but then felt really relaxing.

22. Exercise truly does a body good.

23. Gary and I both worked together to make an incredible dinner. It was so yummy.

24. We both prefer healthy eating habits.

25. Judah and I had lots of fun playing with legos tonight. He built a car that turned into a submarine. Watch out world…

26. My fireplace.

27. Time to sit, relax, and reflect.

Selah~Day 233

My 27 Thanks:

1. The miraculous stories of Jesus never grow old.

2. The book of Matthew.

3. Garage parking-I am thankful for this everyday of the week!

4. I tried out a new style of clothing today and got several compliments.

5. Abby gave me peace of mind before I actually wore the outfit though. She is handy for many things, including style!

6. The excitement that comes from trying new things.

7. Spontaneity.

8. Judah is got to spend the entire day with his daddy.

9. Gary took Judah to the library and they had a fun time checking out books.

10. Judah checked out 6 books and they all have some form of a really big truck as the main character. I love my sweet little boy!

11. I got to read some of the Bible during my lunch break today. Usually, I don’t take a lunch break, but today I did and I enjoyed the Word.

12. I am excited about reading the New Testament in 40 days. I am already through the book of Matthew.

13. Leftovers. The chilli I made from the night before tasted even better today.

14. Abby, Starla, and I enjoyed some really funny conversation today.

15. I work with two really good friends.

16. I have a normal last name. I am so thankful that my last name isn’t funny, embarrassing, or material that could be used for a joke!

17. Starla is making the nursery rooms “sparkle.”

18. Judah gave me a great big hug and kiss when I got home from work today.

19. Gary and I worked together to switch out two bedrooms tonight. We moved Judah downstairs. One more project off of our to-do list.

20. We have room in our house to spread out.

21. Judah climbed up on my lap after dinner and wanted me to read him all the books he checked out at the library. I love lap time with my boy.

22. I learn new things while reading books to Judah. For example, did you know that a bucket wheel excavator prefers to work in environments with loose soil. The things you learn while reading to your 4-year-old.

23. I read a book called, “I Stink,” to Judah. He laughed all the way through it. It was a book about a garbage truck. Judah thought it was especially funny that the garbage truck ate trash like, poopy diapers, kitty litter, and dog poo. Poop is really funny to a 4-year-old boy, but I really enjoyed the belly laughter.

24. Judah fell asleep hearing me tell him the story of David vs. Goliath. I am so glad that I was taught the real-life events of the Bible. And, I get to be the teller of those events both at home and at my job!

25. Judah is finally forming better sleeping habits. Because he is no longer taking an afternoon nap, he goes to sleep at a decent hour!

26. My family is healthy.

27. I am loved.

Selah~Day 232

My 27 Thanks:

1. When Gary got up this morning, he no longer had a fever. I am so glad he is feeling better.

2. My earache is gone. I can still feel some pressure, but the pain has subsided greatly!

3. I am so thankful that my car stays parked in a garage. It gets warmer so much quicker on these incredibly cold mornings.

4. Several of my teammates were either sick, away on trips, or didn’t want to get out in the arctic blast. But, my team pulled together, we merged some rooms, and all was covered!

5. Flexible people.

6. Jacob Werner was my helper this morning during Sunday school. He is such a smart, funny kid. He was thrilled for the Robot series. I love seeing him excited.

7. Abby did a great job helping launch this series.

8. The kids loved it! Several of them want to build a robot.

9. I can love because God loves me!

10. Jeremy is back from Germany! We missed him. I am so glad that he is back.

11. The service ran so smoothly.

12. Big church had an awesome special guest who brought such a timely message. He talked about how to successfully be an intergenerational church!

13. In the last days, God will pour out His spirit on ALL flesh.

14. Gary dropped me off at the door, under the awning, for both church services today. The less I have to walk in the frigid air, the better!

15. I made an extensive to-do list to help me get my week off to a productive start. I love lists.

16. We had a relaxing afternoon and I got caught up on some reading material for work.

17. The youth group made it back safely to the church. It appeared that everyone had a super awesome time!

18. A friend asked me to write a recommendation letter for her. I was honored to do so and had time today to work on it.

19. Friends.

20. Pastor Marcia preached the Word tonight! Her message was timely for me.

21. Tonight was my first night to sit in a church service since October. During Christmas Production time, I am given permission to practice during the Sunday PM church service. It was nice to be back in a service.

22. I made a mad dash into Crest on the way home from church. I forgot my list at home, so I went in to the store with a mental list only. Once home, I realized I only forgot 3 items! Go me!

23. I had the chance to have a “heart-to-heart” conversation with a friend tonight.

24. Judah popped up from behind the couch with a great big smile on his face. He said, “Hi Mommy!” I love seeing his smiling face.

25. Conversations with Judah.

26. Pastor Ted is in Cuba. Excited to see what doors are open for that area of ministry.

27. Missional people.