Selah~Day 335 “More Beautiful for Being Broken”

I have never received a gift that was broken. But, today my sweet friend Abby presented me with a broken gift. It was a small green vase that possessed a big crack through its gentle frame. However, around the crack, beautiful pieces of gold were exposed. As she was presenting me the gift, Abby began to share with me the story of the art piece. 

The story of Kintsugi Art may have begun in the late 15th century, when the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China to be fixed. It returned held together by random pieces of ugly metal staples. Ashikaga thought it was an unacceptable fix. So, he challenged his Japanese craftsmen to find a better way to repair broken pieces and make them look as good as new or even better. They pulled all the staples from the bowl and repaired it using pieces of gold. To his surprise, the bowl looked better for being broken.

The Japanese art of Kintsugi repairs brokenness in a way that makes the object better for being broken. There will be times in our life when we experience brokenness. There will be hurt, fears, despair, failure, loss, pain, etc…that will leave scars or brokenness in our lives. And no matter what we do, those scars remain with us.

Throughout my times of brokenness, I have learned that I can either repair those breaks with ugly metal staples or with pieces of GOLD. With God, beauty always comes from ashes. He always uses the very best to mend a broken place. Through Him, we can look for the GOLD in our lives to connect and repair the breaks. When we do, we will discover that we are better, we are stronger, we sparkle, and “we are more beautiful for being broken.”

It is through the breaks that allows the beauty to shine through.

Wednesday, April 23

My 27 Thanks:

1. Good news. I began my day with some really good news. 
2. All things work together for good for those who Love God!
3. God is faithful.
4. His promises are yes and amen!
5. It is a most beautiful day.
6. My strength is renewed in Him today. 
7. Hope is alive.
8. My friend Debby cares so well for others. She has been helping a fellow friend who is going through a most difficult time. I am so glad we have Debby in our lives.
9. We had some family time this morning before heading to work and school.
10. Gary went grocery shopping for us today.
11. Today is my last working day of the week.
12. Even though I have had a short working week, I am caught up on my work…for this week anyway. 
13. Abby and I work well together. She makes my days at work even more enjoyable. 
14. I am surrounded by people in my life who just make life brighter and more enjoyable.
15. Possibilities.
16. We opened our Wednesday night service with a game to promote our offering challenge. It went well and the kids were so excited. 
17. The girls jumped in the lead tonight on the offering challenge. Frog may be buying them pizza after all! 
18. We have weekly opportunities to build relationships with kids.
19. Even though I hate conflict, I am thankful for it as well. Healthy conflict builds character, uproots bitterness, and brings to light anything the devil may be trying to brew in the dark. 
20. A soft answers always turns away wrath.
21. God has a way of exposing us. I always desire for my true character to be one of integrity and love. I appreciate moments when I am tested, then I can see areas that may not line up with where God would have me be or how He would have me respond. 
22. I don’t run away from conflict. I have grown in this area. I usually meet it head on and solve it before the day ends. 
23. There is wisdom in a multitude of counsel. 
24. We are getting much-needed rain.
25. Abby gave me a most sentimental birthday gift. It made my heart smile. She presented me with a green (my favorite color) vase that is broken. But, it is more beautiful now because of its brokenness. 
26. Beauty comes from brokenness.
27. We are stronger and more beautiful for being broken. 


Selah~Day 334

Tuesday, April 22

My 27 Thanks:

1. I woke up feeling rested.

2. I can put on peace. I walked through an event today and had peace.

3. Judah was so excited to know he got to spend the entire day with his daddy.

4. Several people told me today that my little boy is so cute and sweet!

5. Kind words from strangers.

6. Gary, Judah, and I had lunch at McAlisters together. We ate outside.

7. Gary and I so enjoy conversations with Judah. He makes us laugh.

8. I am already receiving sweet birthday greetings on Facebook. People are to kind.

9. My mom and I got to talk several times today. She is so sweet and caring. And, she is coming to see me this weekend.

10. I enjoyed a smooth day at work.

11. Sam helped us get a better quote on our car repair.

12. It is a most glorious day filled with lots of sunshine.

13. Trees and flowers are in full bloom. I love watching God’s rich creation come to life.

14. We played outside together. Judah and Gary took turns doing flips in the grass.

15. We have tons of playtime as a family. I am so thankful for both the quality and the quantity of time we invest in one another. 

16. Gary grilled steaks.

17. We had dinner on the patio.

18. Judah ate meat!

19. I had to give some blood today for a routine check up. The lab tech was awesome. I so appreciate skilled medical professionals. 

20. Romans 8.

21.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God. 

22. Because I belong to Jesus, the power of the life-giving spirit has freed me from sin. 

23. The Holy Spirit helps me in my weaknesses.

24. Words can’t fully express or capture all the wonderful things about my God.

25. God himself has given us right standing with Him.

26.  Victory is mine through Jesus Christ.

27. Perfect love casts out all fear.

Selah~Day 333

Monday, April 21

My 27 Thanks:

1. Pastor Ted gave us the day off.
2. Time to rest.
3. We stayed in bed until 9:00 am!
4. Gary, Judah, and I had a great morning together.
5. I finished reading the book of Acts this morning. We have been reading it as a team. It is so rich with church growth information.
6. The Bible is the inspired Word of God!
7. God is Faithful to his Word. He is Jehovah Jireh our provider.
8. Appointment reminder phone calls.
9. Days free from to-do lists.
10. We finally got a quote on fixing the door on my 4-Runner. The guy at Malibu’s was so helpful and professional.
11. Gary and I enjoyed a nice, quiet lunch together.
12. We held hands while we drove around and tackled errands.
13. There is so much rebuilt after the devastating tornado damage last year. I love to drive through the area and see the process!
14. God makes all things new.
15. Judah was so excited to see me when I picked him up at school.
16. My family is healthy.
17. At one point this afternoon, all 3 of us were building dirt castles in the dirt pile.
18. Gary is a great playmate for kids!
19. Morgan and Abby came over to play for a little bit.
20. I love listening to kids have conversations with one another. So cute!
21. Pretend Play!
22. Laura brought us dinner when she came back to pick up the girls!
23. We had family movie night and watched Hop!
24. Judah is finally getting on a bedtime schedule. He is consistently going to bed at 8:00 PM without much fuss at all.
25. My nice, King-size bed.
26. When I lay my head down at night, I sleep in peace. 
27. Today was a beautiful day.

Selah~Day 332

Sunday, April 20

My 27 Thanks:

1. My God is NOT dead.
2. Jesus is Alive.
3. My Hope is in a living God.
4. He is the Word of life.
5. It’s Easter Sunday. I love this day each year!
6. I woke up super sick. I was very concerned as to whether or not I would even be able to make it to church, but God is faithful and I made it through.
7. Gary was a huge help while I was sick all night and in the morning.
8. He cares so much for me.
9. We were able to do a service run through with Amena before our Easter service.
10. My kids ministry team is amazing. 20 of them committed their Easter service to kids ministry.
11. We kicked off our new song, “This little light.” It was awesome and everyone loved it.
12. Mrs. Debbie can hang with the best of them when it comes to dance. Who says that there is an age limit to dance!!!
13. We had record numbers in kids church this morning.
14. I met lots of new families.
15. People come HOME during celebrations.
16. 15 kids raised their hands to accept Jesus as their Savior on Easter Sunday.
17. The kids left with huge smiles and lots of fun goodies in our Great big Easter Giveaway!
18. We play games in kids church.
19. Magic paper…it helped me make an awesome illustration today!
20. We have the evening to spend with family.
21. We spent the entire afternoon with Gary’s family.
22. We dyed eggs, hid eggs, hunted eggs, and had lots of fun.
23. Mom-Mom made a spectacular roast and we all splurged on apple and blackberry cobbler.
24. The rain held off and we had a great time outside.
25. Judah fell asleep as soon as we got home, so Gary and I enjoyed a super cute hallmark movie to end the night.
26. Lives are still changed today because of what Jesus did for us on the cross over 2,000 years ago.
27. He is the Ultimate Sacrifice. There is no greater act of love or humility!

Selah~Day 331

Saturday, April 19

My 27 Thanks
1. Oklahomans remember well.
2. I am so thankful for memorials that honor well those who gave so much! 
3. Tragedy brings people together!
4. Beauty comes from the ashes.
5. Judah and I had a lovely morning together.
6. I got off track in the automatic car wash. Judah and I remained calm and thankfully a worker rescued us quickly.
7. He gave me a free, upgraded wash!
8. My in-laws watched Judah for me while I made an airport run to pick up our special guests for Easter.
9. Abby came with me on my airport run. She is airport savvy and made my trip successful. 
10. Matt Owen and Amena Brown-Owen are awesome. I loved hosting them and learning their stories.
11. Poetry.
12. Words. Words are powerful. 
13. I have awesome friends and family who are a huge help during busy working weekends. 
14. Friendships. 
15. Pastor Tami and Maci came over to my house and watched Judah for a short time before Cherryl could get there. 
16. Cherryl watched Judah for us tonight and she is spending the night. We love our Cherryl. 
17. My crazy schedule worked itself out today!
18. I enjoyed meeting and working with the African Christian Fellowship group at OU. They are a really neat, highly motivated group of young people. 
19. Our church provided free food for the event. It was a nice night of fun. I got to pretend to be a young college student again. 
20. Matt and Amena’s piece, Breaking Old Rhythms, was awesome. I loved it! 
21. Gary and I had a great time with friends. 
22. Light-hearted conversations.
23. God protected us. We found ourselves in the middle of a high-speed chase. It is but by the protection of God that we didn’t get hit by the escapee and the 10 police cars chasing him. It was so scary. 
24. Gary is an amazing driver and remains calm under stress!
25. We don’t live a criminals life, nor would we ever do anything that would cause the police to chase after us. 
26. Psalm 91. 
27. Protecting Angels. 

Selah~Day 330

Friday, April 18

My 27 Thanks:

1. It’s Friday.
2. I do my best to protect my Friday, they are my sabbath!
3. When Gary got home from the fire station, he kept Judah busy and let me rest a little longer.
4. We all ate breakfast together.
5. Relaxing mornings.
6. Gray is working hard on leveling out our backyard.
7. I planted  more flowers. I love having my hands in the dirt. 
8. Haley and I laid out on the back porch together and had a nice chat. 
9. Haley had an interview for a job today. She did well and was offered the job on the spot. 
10. I played in the dirt with Judah. He loved having me on the top of the dirt pile with him. 
11. Judah had so much fun getting dirty. He thinks mud is as cool as anything else out there. 
12. The sun in shinning brightly. 
13. The Word of God is living and active!
14. The Word of God is fuel for my life. It feeds my spirit. 
15. Laura helped us out at the last-minute and watched Judah for us so we could go to the ballet.
16. Judah loves getting to go play with his cousins.
17. Our family lives close together.
18. We enjoyed a nice dinner together before the ballet.
19. We had great food and service.
20. Gary found us great parking at the Civic Center.
21. Our seats were awesome. We got perfectly centered seats.
22. Usually, I hate feeling trapped or boxed in-it makes me super anxious. But, I did great tonight and I was surrounded on all sides by people.
23. Gary even goes to ballets with me.
24. We held hands and dosed off a couple of times during the ballet. We are growing old together.
25. I enjoyed a night out with my handsome prince. 
26. Gary and I enjoy just being together. We are easily entertained. 
27. Jesus willingly went to the Cross and took my place! 

Selah~Day 329

Thursday, April 17

My 27 Thanks:

1. Jesus is Alive Right Now. 
2. Peppermint. 
3. Judah went into childcare today without a huge display of sadness. 
4. The admin team put together an Easter Egg hunt for our staff kids since they didn’t get to participate in the Egg hunts the last weekend. 
5. We catered Swadleys for our staff luncheon. It was so yummy!
6. We had a staff kids egg hunt inside the Welcome center. It was so much fun for the kids.
7. Judah showed other kids where eggs where at. I even watched him find two eggs and give one to his friend!
8. Judah is learning to put others before himself.
9. There are more blessings when you learn to give rather than always receive.
10. I ate lunch with my buddies, Debby and JaQuisha.
11. We enrolled two more kids into the Jr. Academy.
12. Abby and I got everything setup for our Easter service.
13. Abby made the Wal-Mart run for us!
14. I got to work with my friend, Chad, again.
15. He helped us shoot our Easter announcement video!
16. We finalized our Jesus > outreach collaboration video and it is awesome!
17. The new family who came to church last night called to tell me how awesome our kids ministry team was to them. We made them welcomed and comfortable.
18. They are going to consider coming Sunday!
19. Haley made it safely to the City.
20. My lil sister is staying the night with me!
21. Abby and Haley both helped me put together 150 eggs for my Easter message illustration.
22. We watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs together while working. Judah loved that we enjoyed one of his movies.
23. Judah snuggled on the couch with his aunt Haley. He is a snuggler and I am glad he is getting to spend time with Haley.
24. Haley picked up Chillis to go for us and it was yummy.
25. Today is Miss Lorry Gail’s birthday. She is a super star Kidmin leader.
26. Lorry Gail has a special gift for working with special needs kids.
27. Committed leaders.

Selah~Day 328

Wednesday, April 16

My 27 Thanks:

1. Today is my niece, Morgan’s, 5th birthday. She is such a fun, sweet girl. Judah calls her his sister.
2. We are getting to watch the Hoover boys today for Tom and Amy. Judah is excited.
3. Tom and Amy trust us enough to keep their boys:)
4. Judah’s Easter program at his school is today.
5. Christian Education that allows Jesus in school.
6. Judah did so well in his program. He sang and danced to every song.
7. Every time he saw me, he gave me a big smile and wave. I am so proud to be his mommy.
8. We had to wait 45 minutes for the program to start. Asher and Jairus did great waiting. Thank God for games on cell phones.
9. Gary went to Sams with me and helped me buy supplies for our Great Big Giveaway Easter service.
10. We met a group of Norman Firefighters. They were so kind and talkative. They showed Gary their rig. I love being a part of the fire fighter community.
11. Because we were in Norman, we got to go to Pei Wei for dinner!
12. The surprise going away party for Mindy went well and she was truly surprised!
13. Our school is on track to open in September. Today, we completed some big tasks for its opening.
14. Favor.
15. A new family, whom I spoke with earlier today on the phone, came to church tonight.
16. The single mom, who works nights, is trying really hard to get her boys back into church.
17. Rochelle is an amazing first impressions host. She makes every one feel super comfortable and welcomed!
18. I spent the evening in our preschool class. I enjoyed my time with those sweet kids.
19. My preschool team does an amazing job leading preschoolers.
20. I am amazed at how much preschoolers learn. They know so much about the Bible.
21. Most of My Wednesday night team comes straight from work or cooking dinner for their family or working with kids and homework. I am so thankful for my team.
22. Retha helped me count the offering tonight. We had about $10 in pennies to count.
23. The kids are really excited about April’s offering challenge. Boys are winning, so I will probably be buying pizza for the boys.
24. I met the pastor of Victory Norman today. He expressed how awesome he thought are Jesus > _________ campaign is going.
25. Gary stopped on the way home from church and filled up my car with gas. 
26. Gary does big and little things to always put me first. 
27. A long, busy day is in the books.

Selah~Day 327

Benjamin Franklin said, “The only thing certain in life are death and taxes.” There is a great difference between death and taxes, however. Death happens once, but taxes occur every year. I have read many posts in regards to tax day. So, I thought it would be neat to find at least 27 reasons to be thankful for paying taxes. Here it goes:

Tuesday, April 15

My 27 Thanks:

1. Education
2. Libraries
3. Research
4. Police and Fire Protection
5. Food and health services for those in need
6. Our Courts System
7. Our Government
8. Roads
9. Bridges
10. Military Services
11. Coast Guard
12. National Parks
13. Search and Rescue Efforts
14. Environmental protections
15. Prisons
16. Social Security
17. Public Safety
18. Public Transportation
19. Universities
20.  Programs for the elderly
21. Natural disaster response
22. Teachers
23. Maintaining or Rebuilding infrastructure
24. Elected officials
25. Medicare and Medicaid
26. Sidewalks
27. Parks

Selah~Day 326

Sunday, April 13

My 27 Thanks:

1. Today is Sunday Funday. Every Sunday is fun when you serve in Kids Church!
2. Jesus’ plan is always better than our plan.
3. Kids learned today that we can serve others by letting go of what we want.
4. Two new people are joining my KidMotion team.
5. They loved the Kidmotion service.
6. Our kidcrew ministry has grown to another level of excellence.
7. Jesus willingly went to the cross for us.
8. The last miracle Jesus performed was on His enemy. The servant of the High Priest came to arrest Jesus and Peter cut off his ear. But, Jesus always puts others first. He healed the man’s ear. 
9. Jesus is the perfect example for us to follow for putting others first.
10. Miss Cherryl came home with us after church. She is such a great girl.
11. We had steak for lunch. Yummy!
12. Judah ate meat.
13. Gary went back to church early to work with kidcrew. He had a blast.
14. The kids are so excited about our new songs.
15. I was able to take tonight off to recover.
16. Online church.
17. Zach, Pastor Ted’s son and a former kidmin intern, spoke in service tonight on behalf of his master’s commission team. He spoke with such boldness and confidence. I am so proud of him.
18. Pastor Ted filled in for me during the guest welcome spot.
19. Judah and I enjoyed lots of snuggle time.
20. Gary helped me with the mounds of laundry.
21. We have clothes to wear. Lots of clothes.
22. I saw great growth in many of my teammates today!
23. Lori and my Preschool team rocked it as usual!
24. Starla called to tell me how amazing ministry went in the nursery this morning.
25. Everyone is really enjoying the results of our new curriculum design. Even though we are working harder than ever before, the results are SO REWARDING. 
26. Change. 
27. Willingness to change.