Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dear Momma,

Dear Momma,

Happy Birthday! You know that I am awful about sending birthday cards. You have to remind me to send one to dad. That is bad. But this is good. I LOVE you. I love you more than I can even put into words, but here goes.

This is what I love about you:

I love that you have more energy than you know what to do with. (Ok, mainly the times that you make me finish things that I don't want to finish;))
I love that you are so strong.
I love that even though you have been hurt, you have let the Lord heal your heart and soul.
I love that you love the Lord with all your heart and soul.
I love the way you love me. I use to not love the way you loved me...but I am different now;)
I love the way you love your grandkids.
I love that you love to spend time with them. Quality time.
I love that you love to take pictures, since I don't.
I love that you love to teach.
I love that gray streak in your hair. I love it even more when people ask you how you do that to your hair....hehe:)
I love that you were Homecoming Queen.
You are beautiful. Inside and Out.
You give and give and then give some more.
I love that God picked YOU to be my momma. He is so wise:)
I admire you, Momma. I do.
Oh, and I am still amazed that you put on 4 amazing weddings for your girls.
I love that God put dad in your life. He has given me a true glimpse at what an earthly father is. What a gift.
I love that when I walk into your house now, it smells like Jack and Tay's house. Such sweet and precious memories. They would be so proud of you, Momma. I know they can see you from Heaven, but you are such a different person than you were even 19 years ago. I can't imagine what it has been like for you to not have your parents. You lost them way to soon. Way too soon. But, they see you. And I know they are grinning from ear to ear:)

You grew up and married someone who was not so kind to you. He did things that aren't right. But, what he did give you was two children that love you more than words can say. Then He gave you Gregg. Praise the Lord. God is redeeming our past. He is taking those past hurts and pains and restoring us. How amazing is that? How amazing is He? WHOA. You have endured, Momma. You have persevered. You have taught your girls so much. I love that you love unconditionally. The past three years have been amazing to see how our relationship has changed. I believe it has changed because our relationship with the Lord has deepened. We see each other through God's eyes. Unconditional love.

My prayer for you today is that you experience God's love in a real tangible way. Even though I won't be there(and I know this is hard, since I am the favorite;)) that you be surrounded with love. Rest is God's love for you and ENJOY:) Don't worry about growing old. Be young at heart.

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us." 1 John 4:7-11

I love you, Lile, Lile the crocodile:)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Four R's

What do you get when you take a girl away for a weekend in the mountains with amazing friends, beautiful place and Jesus? One happy camper:) I had the most amazing weekend at Windy Gap (Young Life Camp). I have been trying to digest all that was taken in over the weekend. It almost took my breath away(and those who know me, know that is hard to do because I can barely keep my mouth shut from talking so much;))

I have to admit I was a little nervous about going. I haven't been to camp in a long time. I haven't been to a Christian camp since high school, yes...seventeen years to be exact. WHOA.....feeling old, but 35 is the new 25, right? Anywho. As you know, my darling, precious husband lost his job 2 weeks ago. His last day of work is tomorrow. I started graduate school. I am away from my children more than I ever have in their life. We would love to sell our home. That is just to name a few. But, I think it is enough...don't you?;) But, I was anything but nervous as soon as I stepped foot onto the grounds of Windy Gap.

We arrived when it was dark. I couldn't see what it looked like and could not wait until the morning to see how beautiful it was. We unpacked and went to our first "club". We sang. We laughed at some of the funniest skits I have ever seen. There were four ladies who call themselves "The Couch Potato Girls." The first lady gave her talk Friday night. It was about "Radical Rest." Are you resting in who God created you to be? Whoa, Lord....I don't really know how to rest. What is rest? Radical rest is falling at Jesus' feet and resting. Or laying your head in His lap. Whatever you do to feel close to the Lord.

The second lady talked about "Radical Relationships." Are you satisfied with your relationship with God? With Jesus? With others? It is our job to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Am I doing that? How can I glorify and enjoy Him? I haven't been feeling too much joy lately. Mostly fear. Fear isn't from the Lord. After her talk we were given the opportunity for quiet time with the Lord. I found one of the most beautiful spots I have ever laid my eyes upon. Imagine with me please....beautiful green grassy hill with creek down below. Bright beautiful blue sky with white fluffy clouds. Birds chirping. Wind blowing. Shoes off. Toes between the grass. Bible. Notebook. Scriptures that they gave us:

Psalm 139:13-15 (New International Version)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Isaiah 43:1

1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)

10 "Be still, and know that I am God."

Matthew 11:28 (New International Version)

28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

I spent the most glorious hour with the Lord. Glorious. Filled to the rim. Never in my life have I ever felt closer to Him. Sweet and precious time that I will NEVER forget. NEVER.

The third lady spoke on "Radical Release." Oh, sweet Lord. Just what I needed to do. He knew that I had too many burdens and just needed to release them. Release them for good. One of the scriptures that she talked about was:

Hebrews 6:17-20

17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.

She talked about deep water. Shallow water. Shallow water feels comfortable. That is where we want to stay. But, deep water is a reality of this life. What anchor am I holding on to? Jesus, pain, resentment, anger, bitterness, past? Are there people in your life that point you back to the anchor? Deep water is hard. It is painful. It hurts. We are all scared of deep water. What I discovered is that I have been clinging to the past. Clinging to the pain of the past. Angry at Leighton's job. Angry at the injustice. Bitter. Clinging to fear. The time had come for me to release it all. There was time after the program to stay and pray. I just prayed. I didn't want to leave. I was scared to release it. It is part of what has defined me for so long. But, not anymore. I had sweet precious friends pray over me. I walked out different than when I walked in.

Sunday morning the fourth lady talked about "Radical Receiving." Forgiveness. Cling to Truth and not LIES. Really just overwhelming. After the talk we were going to take communion and we were asked to clear up any unforgiveness in our hearts before. I just prayed for a long time actually. I had more than I thought that I had. I took communion. Cleansed by the precious body and blood of our Savior. Relief. Change.

Rest, Relationships, Release, Receiving. The four R's = RELIEF. The truth of the matter is this is a daily walk with Christ. I am one step closer to the Lord than I was last Friday. I love Him more today than I did yesterday. I want to glorify Him more than ever. I want to enjoy Him. I want to "really live." To "really live" I am going to have to not fear the deep water or the shallow. I am going to have to put all my hope, trust and faith in the Lord....moment by moment. Swim. One breath at a time. Always looking up to Heaven in thanksgiving for all He has done for me. Amazing. He Redeems. He Restores. Glory be to God in the Highest.