Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Hottie Hubby and I had an AWESOME, FUN-FILLED weekend with our friends the Brinkmann's!!  Saturday we drove to Kansas City, stayed in a beautiful hotel on the Plaza, ate dinner at the MOST amazing and DELICIOUS restaurant and on Sunday we went to the Chiefs football game (club VIP seats)!!!  Such a  FUN (and much needed) weekend getaway!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Potter's Hands...


...what a year...right?

Well...for me, anyway.

I feel like I've endured more struggles and hardships this year than I have in all my thirty-six years!

Earlier this afternoon, after visiting with a friend, I was thinking about this past year...the change that has occurred in so many areas of my family's life.

The lessons (and there have been many...), the struggles, the hardships, the BLESSINGS, the laughter, the new friendships...

and I remembered something that someone said to me recently when I made the comment "it's all a part of God's plan for me"...

...she said, "Where is God in all these hardships?"

...I didn't answer her.  I knew it was a question that she had no intention on hearing the answer.

But I want to answer her question...

...We can choose to shut ourselves off from what God is trying to accomplish through us in times of trial or we can seek His reason and benefit.

 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." ~ Romans 8:28

God will use all our circumstances, good and bad, to mold us to the image of Christ, if we let Him. The question should never be "Why did this happen to me?" but "How will I be shaped through this?"

The loss of my brother has brought me to know Christ in a way I never have before.  I have grown in my faith and love for Christ.  Although I miss my brother terribly, I truly believe that Christ has answered my requests and prayers to assure me that Cal is in a better place, that Cal no longer feels pain...that this was all a part of God's plan for Cal.

So...where was God in all my struggles this year? 

With me.

...In me.

Molding me...

Working through me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

"Happy Feet"

These fancy feet belong to my adorable niece Sophia
(she is my brother's daughter).
This picture was taken when she was about nine months old,
my mother (her "Nana") bought these flowered rain boots! 
Now Sophia is almost three and her feet are a tad bit bigger,
but she still wears fancy shoes!  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stitched Friendship, Sewn Love...

Imagine my surprise when my dear friend Becky (she moved to Kansas City last May) showed up at church on Sunday morning with this....for ME!!!!!

(photo courtesy of Becky)

Becky is an INCREDIBLE seamstress\quilter!! can see that for yourself...just look at that BEAUTIFUL quilt!!!! is HAND PIECED with SPARKLLY thread...JUST FOR ME!!!!

I love my Becky-boo!!!  She even put a place on the back for me to hang it on a rod!!  LOVE IT!

(This is a picture of me, Becky and Linda at Becky's going away dinner last May)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oops...Wordless Wednesday on Thursday

Yesterday was crazy busy for my family and I apologize, but better late than never, right? ;)

I love all three of these photos, and they are all three framed and in a special place in our home! All three photos are of the AWESOME days that my three boys accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts...Pastor Mark is in all three photos too...just a testament to what a BIG role Pastor Mark played in my boys decisions!  We LOVE and ADORE our Memorial Baptist Church family!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Totally "Radical" (dude)...

It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up...

...this is an AMAZING read so far.

Life changing...


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

New feature on Giggles & Bits (every other blog I "follow" hosts a "wordless Wednesday", so I'm going to "follow" suit)!  Each Wednesday I will post a photo that will reflect my life.  It may be a photo of my family, friends, something I love, places I love...anything!  I am going to cheat...although it's titled "wordless Wednesday," I will offer a caption! 

Here is my first WW entry!!

~ Similarities ~

My brother Cal is on the left, my son Hayden is on the right...I've really been aware of how much Hayden looks like my brother did when he was growing up!  Both Cal and Hayden are 10 years old in the pictures!

My brother Cal and my sister Jordan are on the left, my son Hayden and his "friend that's a girl" (not to be confused with "girlfriend") are on the right.  The picture of my son was taken last week just before the Homecoming dance, he is fourteen.  The picture of my brother and my sister was taken when Cal was twenty-seven. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Will Work For Food...

I did something today that some would say was "stupid" or "dangerous".... truth, my actions today were probably stupid and dangerous.  But....I think it's no coincidence that the situation that was presented to me today came the day after my first reading in a church study we started yesterday titled "Radical".... David Pratt writes about how Christianity in America has become far too comfortable.  He urges Christians to see what they are missing out on by holding back in their faith!  It is very much about leaving your comfort zone...something we all struggle with!

So, it is by no accident that today while I was tooling around town, meeting with clients, "schmoozing" with business owners and executive directors, I sat at a stop light in downtown Jefferson City, looking down at my freshly manicured nails, singing along to the new CD I had purchased over the weekend, thinking about a new pasta dish I would try for dinner, that I looked over and saw an elderly man, worn and weary, filthy with the city air, standing on the street corner, holding a sign that read "Will work for food." 

..."sad."  That was the thought that ran through my head.  But then I went right back to my thoughts of which grocery store would I shop that will carry the special cheese I would need for the new pasta dish recipe? 

And the light turned green, and I drove on...

...and then God intervened.

"Will work for food."  I said it out loud.  I said it to myself.  "What am I doing?"  I continued to talk out loud..."I'm worrying about where I'm going to buy cheese...and there is a man standing on the corner begging for food!" 

...and I heard the voice of God.  "Be radical."

I stopped my car on the side of the road.  My palms felt sweaty.  I took a deep breath and I thought..."this is crazy.  This isn't what God means....this isn't what God wants me to do."

But I knew in my heart that it was exactly what God wanted me to do.

I thought about texting hottie hubby....just to let him know what I was doing...just in case something happened, somebody would know where to start looking.... in God....

"Be still and know that He is God...." a verse I have been focusing on the past several weeks.

I put my cell phone away in my purse.  I pulled my car back onto the road and I made a U-turn.  I pulled into the first parking space I could find close to the corner where the man stood and I parked my car.  I grabbed my purse and I walked towards the man.  "Be still and know that He is God...." I whispered it over and over to myself with each step closer to stepping "outside my comfort zone."

I approached the man, my legs shaking in uncertainty, my heart ready to beat out of my chest.  "Hello," I smiled and he stood, staring at me with sad eyes.  "Hi," he greeted me back.  "Can I treat you to something to eat or a cup of coffee?" I asked, pointing towards the coffee shop just a few blocks away.  "Do you have work for me?" he asked, a heaviness in his voice caused me to choke back the tears I could have so easily released.  "No, I don't have any work...but I would love to treat you to a bite to eat, please..."  He stood, looking at me.  I pointed down the road, "there is a coffee shop just down the street that has great food and hot coffee...." He smiled and agreed. 

...As we walked towards the coffee shop people passing by stared at this odd pair, one gentleman even asked me if I needed help.

A turkey sandwich, chips, a slice of chocolate cake and a cup of would have thought I had just handed him a check for a million dollars.  I sat with this man, who I now know as Charles and I watched his face light up when I asked him to tell me about who he is.  How long had it been for Charles since someone was interested in who he is?  How long had it been for Charles since someone had engaged him in conversation?  Conversation...interest...such a simple notion to you and me, and yet an incredible gift to someone like Charles.

Charles is 65 years old.  Charles was married and has two children, but he has no idea where his wife and children are now.  Charles son would be 36...that's how old I am.  His daughter would be 32.  Charles lived in Kentucky with his wife and children.  He became an alcoholic and a gambler...he literally drank and gambled his life away.  One day Charles came home, after loosing his job at the factory and his wife and children were gone.  Their home had been foreclosed on, their cars had been repossessed...and his wife had had enough.  He carries the letter she left for him in his coat pocket.  A pocket that hangs by a tread...

He offered the letter to me to read...but I declined, feeling that it was too personal for me to impose.  He smiled and placed the letter back into his pocket. 

...I shared with Charles that I too was living a life that was "detrimental" to my family.  A life of misery for my husband as he played the role of both mother and father while I ran with people that were half my age, they had no families to care for...I had nothing in common with these people.  My husband was on the brink of divorcing family was slowly falling apart....

..."What changed?"  Charles asked me as he scrapped the last bit of chocolate cake from his plate.

I sat quietly.  My eyes began to sting with tears.  It sounded so cliche...

"God changed me."  my voice cracked and I swallowed my sob..."God placed good people in my life and allowed my heart to open up to His love and peace."

"God is good," Charles smiled..."and so are you." 

"You are too."  I don't know Charles...I only knew what he had just shared with me...and honestly, how do I know that it was the truth?  I don't.  But I felt that Charles was a good man, and most importantly, I felt that Charles needed to hear that he was a good man.

I sat with Charles for almost two hours in a small coffee shop just up the street from where I work.  I smiled at the people that came in and out of the coffee shop, looks of confusion towards a business woman and a homeless man sharing coffee together...

As we walked back out onto the street together I gave Charles all the cash I had in my wallet...a whopping thirty dollars.  "Get some dinner tonight Charles" I said as I placed the money in his dirt stained hands.  He thanked me and we walked our separate ways...

..."Hey Charles!" I yelled back..."Wait!"  Charles stopped and waited for me as I made my way towards his path.  "Can you walk me to my car?" I asked...admittedly as panic flashed through my thoughts of what are you doing???  But I was trusting in God....

Charles and I walked to my car parked just a few feet from where I found Charles.  I opened the back of my SUV and I pulled out my pink monogrammed bag that carries my Bible, my "Radical" book and my journal.  Inside my bag was a Bible that I had picked up off a clearance rack at a local bookstore.  At the time of the purchase I wondered why I was buying the Bible...I didn't need another Bible, but something told me to buy it.  Now I know why...

I grabbed the Bible I had bought just a few weeks before and I handed it to Charles.  "I know God can change your life too."  Charles took the Bible from my hands and he looked back at me and said, "Thank you.  You must be one of God's angels.  Nobody has been this nice to me in many years."

Charles walked away...a Bible in one hand and a cardboard sign that reads "Will work for food" in the other.

Want to know the truth?  I think that Charles is the angel...sent by God, to allow me the opportunity to experience what "radical" means.  To step outside my comfort zone and befriend a man that society tells me I should ignore. 

Thank you Jesus, for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me.  Thank you for the opportunity to share a hot meal, a fresh cup of coffee and a bit of happiness with a man that otherwise would have stood on the corner of the street, being passed up by people that are comfortable in how they live each day.  Thank you for teaching me what it means to trust in you completely.  And thank you for the "radical" way in which you lived your life, and the sacrifice you made on the Cross to allow us the grace and the mercy that we receive from you each and every day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Not My Lucky Number....But...

The Number 5, five, cinco, V (that's Roman Numeral), Cinq (that's French)...

What Are Your 5 Favorite Snacks?

Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, chips & salsa, Nutty Butter Bars, Nilla Wafers and White Cheddar Cheez Its!

What Are 5 Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionaire?

First and foremost I would tithe to my church (it's important to give back to God what He blesses you), sell my home and build my dream house, invest, buy a new truck with all the bells and whistles for my hottie hubby and plan an outrageous family vacation!

What Are 5 Things You Like Doing?

I LOVE to clean and rearrange furniture!  I LOVE meeting new people and making new friends, I LOVE to sing with the Praise and Worship team at my church, I LOVE going to the movies (and reviewing them on the radio...Friday mornings at 8 am on KWOS 950 AM...)  :) and I LOVE laughing and making memories with my family!

What Are 5 Things You Will Never Wear Again?

Maternity clothing, bikini, size "A" cup bra, braces and glitter eyeshadow

What Are 5 Of Your Favorite Toys?

Ummmm....I'm not exactly sure what they mean by "toys"....but I'm going to keep this "family friendly"....

Laptop, cell phone, Cuisinart mixer, digital camera and Wii Game System

Now it's YOUR turn!