Thursday, June 26, 2008

Teachable Moments

This morning before Hannah and I left the house, I read Lisa T's blog. She wrote about how she challenged her kids to come up with 7 life lessons from the movie Kung Fu Panda. I wish I had thought of that idea! What a great way to tie even a secular movie back to our daily walk with God. Well, I'm certainly not above borrowing a great idea! Hannah saw Kung Fu Panda earlier this week with her grandma and cousins. Life lessons here we come!

As Hannah and I drove off this morning I asked her to think of some life lessons from the movie. I haven't actually seen this movie so I was completely in the dark, but I thought it would be a good challenge none the less. Hannah quickly came up with several life lessons. One of her lessons was "don't think you are a wimp, think you are a warrior". This statement made me think of David. I talked with Hannah about how God used an ordinary shepherd boy to bring down a giant. Apparently this is much like how Po the Panda was used in the movie. Po saved the townspeople from the evil leopard! Hannah knows the story of David and Goliath well so she was finishing my sentences for me! I explained that David knew he was one of God's warriors and with God's strength he could defeat Goliath. I asked her if she thought God could use an ordinary girl like Hannah to do great things for His kingdom. She, of course, said yes! This conversation was short and sweet, but an ordinary moment was transformed into a teachable moment to bring God's word to her life in a meaningful way. This was an awesome way to start the day!

Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June in Pictures

The busy month of June will soon be over. We still have a few days of the month left, but I now know what that silly energizer bunny must feel like. We kept going and going and going!
We had dancing

And more dancing

A mini vacation

And lots of softball

And more!

June has been a whirlwind of a month, but we have enjoyed every minute of it! Look out July, we're headed your way!

Monday, June 23, 2008

She Spoke

I am on a plane headed home after the She Speaks Conference. Technology is amazing! I can't believe I am flying across the country typing out my blog post. Talk about a way to make time fly! Don't be alarmed by the date of the post because most likely I won't be able to actually post this until tomorrow (Monday).

The weekend had highs and lows as well as both laughter and tears. I'm not sure what my expectations were except that I wanted to learn, absorb everything from these amazing women, meet new people and most importantly I wanted to hear from God. I had heard this was a life changing event and I was ready to experience something life changing.

The first night was discouraging. My last session of the night was taught by a literary agent who vividly described the harsh realities of the publishing world. Although he sprinkled in some hope here and there, his message was bleak. I appreciate his honesty, but it was discouraging. After the discouraging words of the literary agent, I turned my hope to meeting and connecting with my roommate. I had imagined us connecting through the gazillion things we had in common and of course becoming forever friends. When I went to my room that first night I had not yet met my roommate. I had scanned the conference looking for name tags carrying her name but had not found her. When I reached my room she was ready for bed. We said our introductory hellos and both turned in for the night. I was discouraged to say the least. There would be no all night bonding session talking through all the things we had in common. I knelt beside the bed as tears streamed down my face and silently cried out to the Lord. Why am I here? I had felt so led to attend this conference, had I misinterpreted? I wondered if I had made a huge mistake.

Saturday morning was brighter. My roommate and I chatted as we readied ourselves for the day. Although we didn't have a lot in common, we shared good conversation. We had a wonderful breakfast together and I felt the heaviness of discouragement melt away. Encouragement shined on the day. I learned more than I ever imagined possible. The writing sessions were all rich with information, advice and most of all, hope.

Unfortunately I struggled with a headache both Friday and Saturday. The employees in the gift shop had to wonder why I kept purchasing more medicine! I tried Sudafed, DayQuill and finally Excedrin Sinus Headache took the pain away! On Saturday night, the amazing day of absorbing everything I could, was capped off by one of the most powerful messages I think I have ever heard. Renee Swope gave the message entitled "Beyond the Shadow of Doubt". Her words spoke straight to my heart. I struggle with doubt and that is exactly what Friday had been about....doubt! God did lead me here, God does have a plan and I am humbled to be a part of it. God can do the impossible if I'll just surrender to His will! The evening concluded with an invitation to come bear our struggles at the cross. As I stood there during the invitation time, my eyes wandered across the room. I saw women hugging and loving on each other; crying together and praying together. I longed to reach out to someone, but that is just not my personality. I stood there wondering why I can't connect. It seems that some women are so comfortable with strangers. They can instantly bond and share an intimate connection so quickly. I can not. God didn't make me that way. I stood there hoping someone would come up to me, but they didn't. I had met a lot of special women including many of the great bloggers I read on a daily basis, but this evening concluded with just me and my Lord...connecting with Him. The weekend was a roller coaster of emotion.

Sunday morning was awesome. The message again spoke directly to my heart, and the service ended with us sharing communion together. God's presence was undeniable and my heart was once again flooded with emotion. One of my favorite things was the promises we each picked up at the cross. The Proverbs 31 team had put specific scriptural promises on cards and laid them at the foot of wooden crosses. I picked mine up on Sunday morning and believe that this specific verse was given to me by God. I left the conference encouraged, strengthened and excited about the future.

Thank you to all the wonderful women at Proverbs 31 Ministries. She Speaks is an amazing thing!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Embarking on An Adventure...She Speaks

I can hardly believe that the She Speaks conference is in just a few days. Over the past few months since I registered for the conference I have been filled with such excitement. I have read many blogs from past attendees and the sentiment seems the same...."this is a life changing event". I am ready for something life changing!

Before this past February I had never heard of the She Speaks conference or Proverbs 31 Ministries. One of my resolutions for the new year was to start writing. Friends encouraged me to start writing a blog to strengthen my writing skills. In addition to starting a blog, I believed God had given me an idea for a book. Of course, I didn't know the first thing about writing a book, so I picked up some of the books from my shelves and studied how they were put together.

I picked up one of my many "single" books. I own almost every book written on the subject of singleness..books with titles like Single and Sassy, Single and Satisfied, If Singleness is a gift, what is the return policy and my favorite, titled I've kissed a lot of frogs but my Prince still hasn't come. I looked at how the writer arranged the table of contents, the number of chapters and the total number of pages in the book. On the back cover of one of the books was an endorsement by an author named Lysa Terkeurst. I wondered about this person name Lysa. Who was she? What had she written? So I did what I do....I googled her! The google search introduced me to Lysa, the Proverbs 31 Ministries and Lysa's blog. I started reading Lysa's blog every day. Through her blog Lysa mentioned the upcoming registration for the She Speaks conference, but I didn't think much of it at the time. But, then it seemed She Speaks kept popping up everywhere! I began praying about attending and here I am just a few days before I pack my writing dreams and fly to North Carolina.

But as the time nears for this life changing event, my excitement has been tempered with fear. My mind has been filled with whispers of doubt. Who am I to attend a writers conference? Do I really think God can use my writing? And then just as my fears started to settle in and stay for a while God sent a new friend and an email.

The email was from someone on the Proverbs 31 team about her first She Speaks conference and how her excitement had turned to fear. This email was written for me! This woman doesn't know me, yet she felt God leading her to share her experience. The email was truly a God send! In addition to the email, God sent a friend. I have met a wonderful woman named Kelley from my home town who is also attending the conference. We met for lunch yesterday and now I can no longer say I don't know anyone! Be sure to visit her blog!

Me and my new friend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Somebody's Jerry

This past weekend I watched the movie "P.S. I Love You". For those of you that haven't seen this movie, it is one of those must have a box of kleenex sitting next to you movies. I cried and laughed, sometimes within the same breath, which by the way makes a very interesting sound come out of your nose. I digress.

At one point in the movie Daniel, played by Harry Connick Jr, is revealing his true feelings to Holly, played by Hillary Swank. Holly is really not interested in Daniel because she is still grieving the death of her husband Jerry. Holly is still held by the grips of grief and is truly in the midst of the healing process. She is clinging to and idolizing the love she shared with Jerry. Sitting in a busy restaurant together, Daniel is faced with the fact that Holly doesn't share his feelings. He asked her if she thought she would ever find love again and she really couldn't answer him. The next line Daniel delivered to Holly pierced my heart and released a river of tears that probably had little to do with the movie. He told Holly that he wanted to be "somebody's jerry". Oh dear friends, I know exactly what he meant!

I have said that very line to myself! Immediately following my divorce I remember wishing somebody loved me the way it seemed my ex-husband loved his new girlfriend. He obviously loved her so intensely that he was willing to sacrifice his family. Of course, with hindsight what it is, his girlfriend probably had the same feelings about me. After all, I was the one that carried his name and shared his daughter. But in the throws of emotion I wished I could be "somebody's (insert name)". I cried out to God asking why can't I be loved?

Several years later I was dating someone who was newly divorced. I truly believed God had brought us together, but he, like Holly in the movie, was clinging to and idolizing the love he shared with his ex-wife. But unlike the movie, death had not separated this union and he held to the hope of reconciliation. Oh, how I wished I could be "somebody's (insert name)". I once again cried out to God asking why can't I be loved?

I would love to end this post by telling you that God has brought that special love into my life and I am now "somebody's krista". Or, I wish I could tell you that because of His love, I am content and no longer pine for such a love. After all, I am loved so much by my Savior that he gave His life for that is what I call love....agape style! But even knowing that I am loved by the God of the universe, the creator of all things, my hope for an earthly love hasn't been erased or removed. Oh, please don't misunderstand; I am in awe of God's love, grace and mercy. And, let me tell you He has poured out more grace and mercy to me than I can even fathom. Being single isn't a curse, and it isn't a death sentence. And if I am single for the rest of my life, I will thank Him for my singleness. As I cried through the end of the movie, I recalled my life verse Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. My God who loves me has a plan for me! But what about the next verses? Verses 12 and 13 tell us "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart".

So, today I rejoice that God has a plan and I'm in it! And I will call upon Him and seek Him with all my heart. Today I know that if I am never "somebody's krista" here on earth, the One that matters knows my name and because of Him I can look forward to an eternity of His love.

Father God,
I praise you and thank you today for exactly where you have me! Help me to be content in my circumstances. Help me to take my eyes off myself and seek you with all my heart. My trust is in you. Thank you for your overflowing grace and mercy. I am so grateful you call me your own.
In your Son's name I pray,