Friday, April 30, 2010

And the one little duck with the feather on his back

he led the others with a (sing it!) Quack! Quack! Quack!

It has not stopped raining since last week sometime.

Yesterday we had rivers of water running down our streets.

Today it looks like this.

Just last week it was snow.  Yuck!

We WILL be outside working tonight until 10.

I think a big ol'thermos of hot chocolate will be in order.  Don't you?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Regret

something one feels when one wakes from what they think they want, what they think is good and realize how desperate their situation really is.

I may be a sucker for punishment.  I keep track of my daughter through her "secret" *ahem* facebook acct.  You know, the one where we find out what is truly going on and not just what she wants certain people to see or know?  Yeah, that one.

I think, perhaps, I shouldn't.

After this weekend's fiasco and her apology which, I believe I said here, didn't feel sincere but more of a "sorry I got caught, embarrassed" kind of sorry, she facebooks (is that seriously a verb?!) how she "kinda got in trouble" and we kicked her out at 5 am.  Um, no, sweetheart, you decided to leave.  She figures she has talked her way out of it with her grandmother.  Gee, big shocker there.  Not really.  She then goes on to tell one of her friends that "it's all good, def worth it :) good weekend tho".

I try to be a person who speaks positive, who doesn't allow defeatism to enter into my thought process but, I do sometimes wonder just what will become of my daughter.  Will I end up burying her because of some horrific illness she contracts from her -um- extra curricular activities or because she meets up with the wrong crowd of guys or od's?  Will she end up a teen mom just as I did?  If so, welcome to the cycle, baby.  I don't want to think about any of these but those thoughts come and I need to nip them in the bud right now, take them captive.  In fact, I am not even going to finish the thought processes I had on this matter.  I take control over this and I refuse to be manipulated by my thoughts. Thankyouverymuch!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How do you shop?

Working at the customer service desk at a grocery store gives me plenty of opportunity to watch people as they shop and I have seen it all, from the lady with the stack of coupons to the family that just throws stuff in their cart like the world is coming to an end.

It got me to thinking today, how do you all shop?

As for me, I have to start with a meal plan, see what I have/don't have for that plan, make out my list, get it and my coupons clipped onto my clipboard, grab my calculator, grocery bins and re-usable bags and head out.

I find that we, as a family, save money when I shop this way.  Not only do I stay within my food budget but it seems we get more food for our buck when I am not tempted to throw a few of this and a little of that.  The gas station that I fill the car up at offers you a rebate in the form of a coupon to the store each time you get gas and I make sure to use those when I get my groceries.  Another perk, for me, is the fact that I now have a discount card for the store which gives me 10% off the total of most anything in the store.  For things like electronics or clothing it simply covers the taxes but, when I buy food, I am basically getting 10% taken off the cost of the food (which is very, very nice).

I have only just got this card as I have just, at the beginning of this month, been there 6 months and I decided that the money I save through the card, coupons or those special gas "coupons" was not just going to be saved and forgotten.  I decided to keep track of that money saved and put that amount into a savings account for us.

I don't have a lot in that account since it just crossed my mind to do that once I got the card 2 weeks ago but, I have all ready saved $14.57.

One other thing I have learned from working at Customer Service is ALWAYS check your receipt!!!  ALWAYS!!!  People make mistakes.  Computers err.  Prices can be wrong. Check the prices and check your receipt.  I don't know if the same holds true for the USA but here in Canada we have a scanning code policy.  If the price on the shelf is lower and not what you paid, you (a) get the item for free, if under $10 or (b) get $10 taken off the price of the item. 

I think most places have to give it to you automatically BUT, when you take your issue to Customer Service or talk to the cashier do not allow them to just adjust the price accordingly AND, if they don't mention the scanning code to you, YOU MENTION IT TO THEM.  Mistakes happen more than you think.  It pays to pay attention to your receipts and to the shelf prices. 

So, how do you shop?  What are your best tricks or tips for saving time and/or money?

Is it really almost done?

Those duplexes our church has been rebuilding?

The last day of working on them will be tomorrow night.  They will be finished!  Wow!  It feels so weird and so good.

Last night, I spent the night filling nail holes and washing paint splatters off the floor.

Sounds like final touches to me!

Yay!

BigDaddy, Jellybean, Bug & I have been working there every evening this week (not me on Monday though; I had a migraine).

Lat night as we were leaving Jellybean piped up (in a very tired yet happy voice), "People are going to come from all over to see Manville & take pictures of it, put it in newspapers, on wallpaper, on backgrounds, try fitting it on cookies..."

We erupted in fits of uncontrolled giggles.  Overtired much?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Is this what I have to look forward to?"

When I posted about the recent occurances we have encountered with Rush, one of my bloggy friends said just that to me in the comments.  I would like to reassure her, and any of you who think the same thing, that NO that is not what you neccessarily have to look forward to!

I don't think that this is some rite of passage that teenagers get to do and we are forced to get through.

I did a lot of things wrong along the parenting pathway with Rush.  I was 18 years old when I had her.  My mom had left us several times during our childhood and, to be honest with you, I didn't really know how to parent my daughter.  She was cute.  I got to dress her up in adorable clothes and spoil her rotten with all the things my mom never had done with or for me.  I wasn't a horrible parent; I just was an uneducated one.

As I began to learn to parent, it caught her off guard a bit.  Not long into Rush's life, I was a single parent and her father's parents gave into her every whim.  What Rush wanted, Rush got - no matter the cost.  She knew it.  She knew who to give what list to at Christmas time.  Big ticket item lists were sent to his parents and to my mom.

I also wasn't always a Christian parent, at least not for the first 5 years of my daughter's life but even then the churches we went to were churches that encouraged the minimum effort while claiming the maximum reward. 

3 years ago we discovered a church that focused on God and giving Him every effort instead of focusing on all the things He would do for us because we graced Him with our presence for an hour church service on a Sunday.  She thrived in that environment, demanded to be taken out of public school and paid her own tuition for the Christian School at our church.

Somewhere, in the midst of this, something changed and wonderlust, rebellion and pride overtook her and  she has yet to be able to free herself from the bondage.  Those three things have built prison walls around her that she has yet to see.  This newfound freedom she is claiming has her in a bondage that she can not see.  We can see the unhappiness on her and one day so will she.

We have 7 children.  Two of them have gone through the teenage years ahead of her and while their travels through teenagerdom was not ideal, it was NOT this.  This is NOT what you HAVE to look forward to!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friends,

I have just set up a Facebook page in order to connect better with my blogging friends. If you are interested in "adding" me (How desperate or odd does that sound? {grin}) just take a peak at the top right hand corner of my blog.

Hope to meet you there!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dear Hallmark

You have a card for most situations.  Today, I would like to thank you that you do NOT have a card suited to the situation we faced this weekend.  At least, I really hope you don't.  That would be sick!

Rush came to visit for the weekend.  She arrived on the bus Friday night at 8:30, came to Manville to help out and, mainly to visit.  We got home, visited and went to bed at midnight.  When BigDaddy & I woke up Saturday morning, we were pretty certain Rush had snuck out of the house during the night (and come back in the wee hours of the morning).

Rush left our house, suddenly, at 5:30 this morning.  We had our suspicions to keep an ear open while we slept Saturday night. 4:30 this morning something woke BigDaddy & I suddenly & completely from our sleep.  BigDaddy went outside as he had set up a way to determine if Rush had left again. He then went downstairs to the room we had set up for her.

Much to our, somewhat, surprise, there in the room with her was a boy she had snuck in and was sleeping with.  I can not begin to explain to you what my heart felt like at that moment.  My husband's fist poised in the air ready to pummel this boy; the spirit of God coming over him as this boy trembled and shook in fear and him letting the boy go while "encouraging" him to get out of our house.

Rush decided, at that point, that she was leaving. We made her say goodbye to Jellybean and Bug as there was NO way she was leaving on them in the middle of the night again; we also made her say goodbye to her girlfriend she had asked to sleep over but made to sleep on the couch (while she slept on a queen sized air bed).  As she came to say goodbye to me, I gathered the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I had made her, the puffed wheat cake I had wrapped up for her and the chocolate bar and vitamin water I bought for her bus ride home, told her I had made/bought these things for her and wanted her to have them.  She set them down and cried in my arms while saying 'sorry'. (it was not a godly remorse but more of an embarrassed, sorry I got caught remorse.

I. am. devestated. heartbroken. lost. sure that God is still in control. hopeful. certain in Him.

*Disclaimer: I know I have tried approaching this with a bit of humor but, I have come to realize that if I allow this to consume me or haunt me it will destroy me.

My God is mighty and powerful and He can move ANY mountain!  This mountain is not too big.  God's arm is NOT too short to save!

But as I say this know that it doesn't mean that though I worshipped with all I had at church this morning, tears did not stream down my face.  They did.  As I prayed during corporate prayer that for a strength in our worship, for a worship that was powerful simply because God is worthy and not based on our feelings, emotions or moods, does not mean that the tears I was crying were not out of my fear and intense grief.  They were.

Bad circumstances happen in the lives of Christians (not because God makes it so either) but the circumstances I face do not dictate the love nor the faith I have in my God.  He is faithful, good and just, and I will praise Him through this storm because He is worthy and deserving.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hard to say

It's hard to say whether this visit is going good or bad or just as it should. 

There's a lot of tension here.  BigDaddy figures it is a spiritual tension.  Our atmosphere has, in a sense, been disrupted.

It's really hard and heart breaking to sit in this house with my daughter and feel uncomfortable, awkward - to feel like strangers.

But we are.

I don't know who she is anymore.

She absolutely had to go to bed at midnight last night as she was "so tired" but, she ended up staying up until 5:30 this morning doing God knows what.  Did she stay here?  Did she sneak out?  I don't know.  There's nothing I can really do about it anyway - not right now (other than pray and that is mightier than anything else I could think of saying or doing).

She is loving her ability to flaunt all the things my mom buys for her - the things that I can't, at this time, buy for the members of my family.  Things like a $50 bus pass (monthly), $40 nails (monthly), tanning beds, cell phone bill, brand name clothes (monthly), hair appointments and professional hair dye (monthly). 

I will be honest, I am partially jealous.  When I lived with my mom I never got any of those things and it makes me wonder, at times, why she loves Rush more than I?

She wanted to watch a movie with her brother.  The movie she picked..."Finding Nemo".  "Finding Nemo"!  Seriously!  I wonder if that was intentional to see what my reaction would be or if she just wasn't thinking.  For those of you who are knew to reading my blog, you can find out here.

Is it wrong for me to just want things to be back to normal?  To have my daughter curl up on the couch beside me, to be happy for me instead of distancing herself from me and trying to one-up me?

I'm trying to rejoice in the babysteps but I'm a mom and I just want my baby back!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dream a little dream for me

Rush is definitely coming for a visit this weekend!  She is taking the 6:30 bus which means she will arrive at the bus station in our city at about 8:30 tomorrow night.

One of her friends, Jarrah, approached me today at the school and asked if she was, indeed, coming.  When I told her of the plans and Rush's excitement to be coming, to work a bit on Manville and to be able to go to a church service, she told me she had a dream about Rush.  Another (Tasha), of the group of girls who had gathered around to hear when they would get to see their friend, piped up and said "I had a dream about her the other day too!"  She went on to tell us how she dreamed that Rush was talking to her and crying, apologizing for all the things she had done that had affected her dear friend.  Jarrah's face grew whiter and whiter as Tasha told her dream and when Tasha was done Jarrah quietly stated that that was what her dream was too (only with her and Rush and not Tasha and Rush).

Last week BigDaddy was praying about the terrible things that we figured this visit was going to be and God spoke to him saying, "How do you know I am not all ready working?"

I am looking forward to this weekend and anything that it does bring.  I hope for Rush to restore some severed relationships with these friends (as a start) and go from there.  Right now the only thing I am praying for is a softening of her heart that God may do what He must and that He may work in her this weekend. 

I'll keep you updated but it may not be until Monday.  I am going to spend as much of my time with my girl as I can.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Distractions

or, why I never seem to do what I set out to in the first place.

Last night I went to clean our upstairs bathroom.

I cleaned the mirror.

I washed out the sink and the counter top.

I shook out the bathmat and began to sweep the floor.

As I swept, something caught my eye as it jumped out of my way.

Gross!

It's a cricket.  And he got big running free (yes, we feed our lizard free-range crickets only. LOL).

I went to grab a glass & a piece of paper.  (I know.  I am proving myself to be brave {grin}.)

I caught the little critter and then, adding a couple of his caged companions to the glass, I fed him to Mr.
Fred.  (Mr. Fred was happy to meet them.)

I saws what Bug's room looked like.  I helped him clean it.  I went to help Jellybean with a bit of hers. 

I heard the buzzer on the dryer go off so I folded clothes and got the kids to put them away.

It was their bed time.

I tucked them in and made their lunches for today.

I sat for a moment to put my feet up. My feet liked it so we stayed for about 45 minutes.

It had been a long day so I decided to go to bed.

I went to the upstairs bathroom to wash my face...

...it needed sweeping.

Oh, and it also needed the tub washed and the toilet scrubbed.

I finished what I had started, washed my face and went to bed.

Which reminds me, I am going to need to order somemore of my MaryKay moisterizer.  {sigh}

{P.S. Tomorrow I will have a post showing you how much more crap I mean stuff I found and convinced to leave my house.  Another successful round for me.  Another loss for the clutter king.}

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lookey what I found!

I just happened upon this CD of pictures from 2003 (pre-photoshop elements and lightroom so I will be having fun later). Aw the memories!

Dec 2003. My 7 beautiful children. I am so blessed. I love these guys SO much.



Jellybean "reading"her Bible at 3 years old.


Bug and my brother.

Monday, April 19, 2010

4 more days or T-minus 8 months

Today marks 8 months since I woke up and found Rush had run away from home. In those 8 months, I have grown and changed a lot. I never imagined I would be able to face another day with strength or joy.

I have.

She is coming for a visit this coming weekend...taking the bus with her own money to come. According to facebook, she has several reasons for coming home, has something to say to someone but is afraid to because she doesn't know how they will react, and wishes that things could go back to the way they were.

I don't know what any of this means. Trust me, my brain has tried analyzing and figuring it all out. Unfortunately, I just have to wait to see if this even involves us, our relationship & the possiblity of her thinking she made a mistake leaving. I want to remain hopeful but I don't want to set myself up for a huge fall.

I guess we will find out soon enough. I do know this, whatever the result of this weekend, I still have the strength of God to "deal" with whatever may fall.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wow

Conference is done.  It was...amazing!  God's presence was so strong, so powerful and lives were impacted and changed immediately.  I have a couple of personal testimonies of what God did for and through me. 

I may be having a guest poster though.  In the next couple of days.  I have yet to ask her but, Jellybean had quite a God encounter this morning.  I may see if she would like to share it with you ladies.

My voice is gone.  Singing. Praying. Crying.

It seems to be par for the course.

It was. Um.  Intense!  Yep, intense.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Straighten up would you?

I've been in a straight hair phase lately.

With my curly mess it's a lot of work.

A lot of time.

This is just phase one.  Phase two involves some very high heat hair straighteners and a husband willing to get the very back of my head.  {grin}

But...


I do like the end result.

Calling...

...all prayer warriors!

I have access to my daughter, Rush's secret facebook account. Shhh. I can't comment on it but I can see it and see what she updates.

Her most recent update is "...FML". Some of you may not be up to snuff on the shorthand text lingo of this upcoming generation so, that means (pardon my crudeness) "eff my life". (Can you just imagine what the speeches of our political leaders will be like in the next 25-30 years. "So I was talking to my ppl & my BFF from chna...brb...k...said that trbl's coming b/c, o, fml....")

Anyway, I would just like for you who pray to pray for my daughter over the next few days (weeks, months if I can get greedy :-D) and if I may be a bit on the specific side, pray for a softening of her heart and for a Godly remorse for all the things she has said and done. Pray for a conviction but not a condemnation. Pray that she hear God calling out to her; pray for her to realize what it is she is truly searching for and for her to remember when she was truly happy and at true peace and any other thing that God places in your spirit; you know, like restoration in her relationships with her siblings, her father, her mother and, most importantly, her Father.

Her not living with me would not be so hard if she would allow the restoration of that one key relationship. If her rebellion would be uprooted and anihilated. Yeah, I could, sort of, deal with her not being here. Sort of. Not really. Maybe only a little.

I know that although my eyes are heavy and my body weary and my bed calling my name, I will be speaking life and peace (shalom) over my beautiful daughter for quite awhile tonight. Think of the testimony that can, and will, be! The prodigal son daughter returning home! Heh, a life without hope or vision or dreams is but a wasteland.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm so excited!

Oh, just about started channeling The Pointer Sisters for a second... {grin}  (you know, if I believed in that sort of thing).

Jellybean and Bug are excited too.

Why are we so excited?

Tomorrow BigB comes home (BigDaddy, if you will).  He's been gone for a week and we've only been able to talk to him a couple times as he has been so far north that the internet was constantly going down or he had absolutely no cell coverage...

We are absolutely thrilled to have him back!  Just in time for our conference "Contending for Revival".  First night was actually tonight.

BUT and that's a big 'but'
We have another thing that we are excited about.  We get our new car tomorrow.  Ok, new is sort of  a push. It is almost as old as I am.  Uh, so not kidding here but this car is in so much better shape than the one we have been driving (which makes us sea sick every day thanks to some computer sensor that no one can fix that make the car lunge, sputter and cough).  The "new" car is an '86 Chevy Caprice and if we tint our windows we will, we've been told, look rather maffiaesque.  Hmmm?  Let's "pimp" that baby up.  :-D

The best thing about this car is, it is paid for completely! With a minor technicality.  We are paying for it with the income tax we get back so we have, in the mean time, borrowed the money from BigDaddy's parents.  Well that and the fact that you can fit A LOT in the trunk of the car.  We are talking 1 adult sized body and 2 children aged 6 1/2 and 9. {Ahem} Don't ask how we know that or why it was important to know so we could figure out our bulk grocery space.  {grin}

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Prayer I

I have been learning a lot about prayer since attending CRC & especially since becoming a part of the Corporate Prayer Team.  I know I still have a lot to learn - a lot - but, I am so glad to be able to share with those that asked and, well, the rest of you (if you so choose to continue reading).

Prayer is a way to communicate & build your relationship with God.  It is not the time for you to be saying "I need", "I want"... Sure there may occasionally be times where you can address your needs in prayer to God but, He all ready knows our needs.  During one of our classes a couple years ago, the teacher said "it's ok to ask God once.  Anything after that and you are begging.  Change the way you pray after that & thank Him for what you are expecting/needing."

For example, you are in need of healing.  Go to God with that need one time and then, any other time you feel the need to pray about it, thank Him for providing for that need.Thank Him that you are healed, that He is the great physician and His word says that He will heal us of our sickness, disease and infirmities.

But, what I have been learning most is corporate prayer. Praying for the corporate body and for the restoration of God's honor and power. Most people pray because there's a crisis.  That should not be the only time we pray.  We want to pray with a pre-emptive strike against the things that can come to block God from moving.

Here's a bit from a prayer outline I prayed a few weeks ago as an example of how we are learning to pray.

"We know tha tYou are giving us new hearts and so, we expose ourselves to You now, Lord, & allow You to empower us. Purify our hearts! Refine us with Your fire! Build our character.  Let our hearts be stirred by noble themes & not of the unsavory. Give us undivided hearts, God and forgive us for tainting Your precious, holy name through our poor character & our disobedience.  We choose this night, this moment, to pour out our hearts unto You & ask that You would pour out Your spirit unto us that we can shed these filthy  rags and take on Your character."

It's a constant learning curve and I am loving the fact that I am allowed to be a part of it. Had a much nicer, more elaborate post but lost it.  Sorry

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not your average classroom

The desks are on the other side of the room; this is/will be their reading area.  We will be getting a nice black loveseat for them.  You know, once I get the trim bought and someone to cut and install it.  :-D

Happy and tired to have the mudding, sanding and painting done.  Yes!  It is done!  I also moved the bookshelves and other storage containers around for them.  Glad I had a cute guy helping me!


Friday night, a night we normally have service, was dubbed a work night at Manville to get the last minute things done.  BigB, the kids and I were at the church school working on the classroom.  It needed to get done.  We are having another conference this coming weekend and wanted the painting, at least, completed.  So...what did we do since we weren't having church service?  We had our own.

Sort of.

We joined one on streaming video. Yes, we joined our friends and family at World Revival Church in KC, Mo.  The kids were really able to engage in the worship time with Pastor Dustin!  Loved it!

Of tri-fold boards, glue sticks, fancy scissors and pink dolphins

22 hours of work.

1 young lady who worked very, very hard.

$23 spent.

1 mommy who LOVED every single minute of the 22 hours working with her daughter.



$100 of prize money.


What do these numbers all equal? A lot of pictures like this...
(not sure why this picture rotated itself. It wasn't like that in the camera. Weird)





(Jellybean seems to be saying "Shouldn't you be putting that camera away and helping me?")





She did it!

My dear Jellybean's science fair was last night.  She was in for a nerve wrecking surprise when she found out that she had to present it by speaking into the microphone; I think she almost hyperventilated.  :-D

Her project was on pink dolphins.  She bumbled through her presentation with a very red face.

She was the youngest student there - by two years.

She won first place, in the junior division (under 13).  She was in such shock, it took her a minute to even move after they called her name.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Completed

Well some things have been completed anyway.  There are periods in my life where it seems I have a lot of irons in the fire and some may think I do too much.  It's ok.  I don't mind.  Sure, there are moments that seem very stressful but they are just moments.  A few deep breaths and I am all better (probably even a firey prayer or two to really help).

I got a couple of things completed  today.  I am SO happy.  I got the classroom I was asked to work on done.  Well, the painting part anyway.  There are a few odds and ends I still need to do or buy, as budget permits.  But, for the most part, I am done what was askede to be done for next weekend!

Jellybean's science fair is tomorrow!  We are done.  We have been working on and learning about pink dolphins for the last month and it has been so great to work with her.  She is quite the go-getter.

We made an offer on an old car that is in GREAT shape and is way more reliable than the  old car we have now.  It was accepted!  Yay! I am so relieved to not have to drive the car we have much longer.  Just about everything was going wrong or wearing out on it.  I am so very happy.

BigB leaves Monday morning again (for a week - again).  I will be working on the next skit I have been asked to write.  Really I should have had it done a couple weeks ago but I have had writer's block BAD! Hopefully the blockage has been lifted and I will be able to get that skit out like nothing now.

Happy Sunday everyone!  I know I am looking forward to service tomorrow morning, to the things that God is going to do in that service and to seeing my little girl in her first ever science fair tomorrow evening.

Snow Flurries and Blowing Winds

cause cancellation of visit with Rush this weekend.  All involved, including Rush are disappointed by the events that transpired. 

In other news, she seemed like she really wanted and needed her mama this weekend after having a boyfriend (we "knew" nothing about) break up with her.

Baby steps.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hungry and Desperate.

I don't want this to be wordy. I know that people have busy lives and reading a bunch of wordy blogs is not how you want to spend your day.  Short, sweet, to the point, right?  I will try.  I have been processing this since last Sunday.  It was a powerful service. I left emotionally drained, spiritually charged and a changed woman.

God spoke to me about my response, about how we do not know how to give a proper response to Him. Pastor Kevin said something that struck me; he said, "We don't love God the way we think we do; we're merely caught in a (religious) system."  There's the story in Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man and the poor man (religious circles try to teach us that this has to do with money but that is merely touching the surface).  This story is about a rich man and his brothers having the opportunity to have an encounter with God but they poured out their passions elsewhere.  It is about a people who have lost their ability to respond to God.

God revealed to me that I don't respond to Him the way I truly should.  I respond to Him through my past experiences, the mindsets and teachings I have had of who He is, my hurts, my fears, my disappointments - they all have affected how I respond to God.  He told me that I have put walls up and hardened my heart because of Rush.  And I see that now.  I see where I can feel myself harden when I speak to her or see her status on her "secret" facebook page or when she wants to come for a visit.  I was never really aware of that before this weekend.  God showed me how those walls and that hardening are affecting the way I respond to Him as well.

A while back He kept bring these words to me "Desperate and hungry look like something". He then showed me a picture of the children of Africa, desperate and hungry for food.  They are, in a sense, demanding when given the opportunity to eat.  If we were to put them in a room full of food they would (after the shock or disbelief wore off) not sit and wait for us to politely give them their food.  Given free run they would most likely run for that food, desperate for it for fear that it would be gone by the time they got there and there would be none left for them. (I don't know for sure; I am only speculating but that is the image that He showed me.)

It is time for me to shed the old responses I had and give to God, out of hunger and desperation to have an encounter with Him, the responses He truly deserves.

As I write this, I have been thinking too that those children in Africa, I think, they would get to a point where they are so hungry they no longer feel hungry.  I think we, as Christians can get like that too - so lost in a religious system that we don't even realize we are lost.

All I know is His presence is ALL I need.

Hungry and desperate looks like SOMETHING!  There are many things I know it doesn't look like and there are many ways I can assume it looks like.  This weekend I choose to respond to God in a way unlike I ever have.  I want for Him to rip out of me all the things that don't belong, all the things that hinder me and block me from Him!  I want to respond to Him in a way that shows I am hungry and desperate for Him!!! 

Think about it...

Hungry and desperate looks like SOMETHING!


What does it look like to you?  At this point, I don't know if I know what it looks like but I am going to give my continual best until I achieve it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Progress...

There's been a lot going on around here.  A lot. 

We are still working on those townhouses that our church has been renovating.  They should be done in the next week or two.  Yay!  It is fantastic to see what we started with and where we have taken them from there.

From this...







To this...








And a little of the fun in between...








This picture is particularly funny to me.  These townhouses used to be the place the police in our city were called to.  This was it.  A great percentage of all calls to the police were to this bay.  It was home to drug dealers, prostitutes, gang members.  The elite (shall we say) of the bad were here.  As we were tearing down, cleaning up, clearing out and re-building we would have people stop in the back alley and bang on the doors (or the holes cut in the walls) to get their next fix.  People would walk up to the front door saying "Heh, buddy, you got any (insert drug of choice here).  So, although the situation that resulted in this sign is NOT funny; one of our team putting this on the door reminding us of those times is funny. 

This was the most feared place in our town.  This was the darkest and meanest of areas and people feared for their safety.  I think it is the fact that they are coming up to us, telling us that they are no longer afraid to walk in their back alleys or park their car or send their child to the store for milk that makes this funny to me.  That it has changed that much! 

A few years ago, I came with friends of mine to bring roses to the ladies that lived in and around Manville, to show them love.  Rush cried hours upon hours before we left because she was certain I was not going to come back alive.

The atmosphere in that place, since that first time I was there taking flowers to broken women lost in what seemed like hopeless situations to them, has changed to the point where it is unrecognizable.  That darkness is gone; the heaviness destroyed.  The peering out of windows with suspicion each time a car door shut has been replaced with the laughter of children playing in the park in the center of the bay and families gathering for neighborhood barbeques! 

I find that funny.  Funny in a "woohoo!" kind of way and we give God ALL the credit.  We didn't even have the money to begin this project when it first came about (let alone the money to finish it).  God provided for us all that we needed.  He is a great and merciful god!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Still

Still having a hard time uploading pictures to blogger to get on here.  I don't know if it's the new system or my internet but it is a smidge frustrating.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wow!

I have a lot A LOT of processing to do from this weekend's services. Especially today's.
Nothing about it was a typical Easter Sunday service. LIfe.Changing!

I will explain but for now, I can not even begin to put it into words. Other than WOW!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

So Good!

God that is!  Yes, He is SO Good!  I have been expecting a check from a company I worked for whoe, every fiscal year-end sends out a check to employees for the year with wage adjustments.  I was expecting a check for $500-600.

The check came today.

$1033.00

God is good! Nope, let's make that great!