I know it's Saturday and Thanksgiving was 2 days ago, but I took a "real vacation" this week and that means I did NOT bring my computer. I hated being unplugged, but I really feel refreshed. I have so much that I am thankful for this year - my hubby, my kids, my family, my friends. However, this year in particular, I am most grateful for God as MY PROVIDER. I'll be honest..there are still some major things in my life right now that I am praying earnestly for God to "come through" in a serious way, but after 2008, my confidence in God as my PROVIDER has tremendously increased. Some were deeply personal in nature, but most were right out in the open...the new Cullen rental home in HHP complete with a swing set, a decent tax return this year, some new friends on HHI becoming "good' friends," God supplying a permanent location for our church campus, 50 families giving $40,000 toward our new campus, and a drummer and bass player joining our team. Jehovah-Jireh, My Provider...and I'm leaning on His Provision more and more each day.
As if no time has passed...as if I was going home to 76 Riverside #1A tonight...that is how I felt being back in NYC today. Watching Sydney with her "first" girlfriends playing at the park this afternoon just filled me with such joy and gratitude for these friendships in her life. Talking all afternoon with Mary and Annie (my NYC girlfriends) just filled my heart with warm memories and now new ones. My friend Annie drove in from Jersey with her precious daughter Caitryn to see us. My friend Alexis got off a place from Singapore yesterday and came out tonight (talk about jet lag). Sharon,Bethany, Christie, Emily, Tre, Tom - you guys were so encouraging - I can't stand how much I miss you. My heart is filled to overflow...it's bedtime.
Worship was tremendous today. We opened with two of my favorite Vineyard songs - "Come Now is the Time to Worship" and "There's No One Like Our God" which are great when you have an awesome flute player like Susan! Our cellist, Rob, was a kid in a candy store with his new pickup today. He and Sam (viola) killed it today on "Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone". They wrote their own duet for the intro and then Susan brought it home at the end with her own solo version. We wrapped Pastor Jeff's 3-week series on worry, fear, and facing giants today and "You Never Let Go" has been a consistent worship tune throughout. It was great to hear people just sing it out today. I ended the service with "Sweetly Broken" on acoustic with the band. Besides the fact that I couldn't find "1" if it hit me in the head (Alex, I'll take a 1 for a hundred) it was cool. Brian was mixing today and my acoustic has never sounded so amazing. He is such an artist as an audio engineer and I truly enjoy experiencing his "art." What a great Sunday to send me off on vacation!
This is a part of Fred's Setlist Carnival!
It never grows old for me...especially now with a 4 1/2 year old and an almost 2 year old. Our home is ready for the holidays. Looking through 14 years of ornaments was amazing...our 1st Christmas, our first home, and my traditional family photo ornament fresh from snapfish today. Another year to celebrate the greatest gift ever given to mankind...another year to be thankful for 14 trees with my hubby.
I used to be really good at something...no whining here, but life got really busy in the last 4 years with 2 kids and working (DINKS no more!) I used to be really good at writing thank you notes. I loved it. I would get so excited to get new stationary or note cards and pick out just the right card to send to someone. I haven't stopped it altogether, but there are people that I miss along the way and it REALLY bothers me. So, I made a commitment to myself this year. November is my month of thanks. I am going to make an effort to send a card, make a phone call, or facebook the people in my life that I want to say "thanks' for what they have done for me or my family this past year. If I leave you out, I will go ahead and apologize now:) I'm teaching Sydney along the way this month about being thankful and she is writing her own thank you cards to people who have been kind to her. It's more fun to do this with her than on my own. Although she told me that she didn't know why we have Christmas lights up outside and it's not Thanksgiving yet. They don't miss anything, do they?
Who do you need to say "thanks" to this month?
No, I'm not pregnant...so just get that our of your mind! I have a new baby BLOGGER! Our Lead Pastor, Jeff Cranston, has joined us! After a well-deserved 3-month sabbatical, reading The Blogging Church, hanging out with Perry, and my constant nagging, he finally took the plunge. Subscribe to his blog, people! It will be a great read!
I've been really hitting the gym the last 3 months and I am starting to see some results (for me, it's all about fitting into my favorite pair of jeans!) BUT, WOW, my appetite has really taken off. I am so hungry right after a workout...well, my problem seems to be something a lot of people deal with.
"If people are going to go out and exercise to benefit their health, they should not be eating back the calories immediately upon finishing, or within a couple of hours of finishing," said Barry S. Braun, director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "In order to maintain the benefits, you need to be in this calorie deficit." CLICK here to read the entire article.
So, I have a 90-calorie treat ...to not totally ruin what I just did.
What is your biggest hurdle with food and exercising?
My friend Kim and I are spending a couple of days together (as we try to do at least once maybe twice a year) catching up on each others' lives, eating, and shopping. We have great husbands. We ate at a FABULOUS place last night , Le Maison on Telfair in downtown Augusta, GA that I highly recommend. More food and shopping are on the agenda today. Did I say we have great husbands?
I've have made a concerted effort with my 4 year old daughter to esteem her for who she is and not what she does as much. My own personal quarter-life crisis was based on the fact that I had those backwards. But this article yesterday says that my generation of parents may be giving our kids TOO much self-esteem? That we are telling our kids that they are TOO special? That we are affirming them TOO much? I agree that maybe it has gotten out of hand with the "no F's" given in some schools, but I am not going to "take it down a notch" when it comes to affirming my kids. I'm the most positive force in their lives....so, I am going to not affirm them as much because I am afraid they "might" be disappointed when they find out they are not as special to the rest of the world? What do you think? You tell me...
"These kids didn't raise themselves, they got these ideas from somewhere," Twenge said. With Mom and Dad handing out endless praise, kids today readily believe they are somehow superior, she said. And teachers aren't blameless, either: According to Twenge, research shows that high school teachers now give out an "A" grade more easily than their counterparts did in the 1970s, even though today's high school students report doing less homework than students from that era...."
CLICK here to read the entire article.
If you have been following my twitter, it's about Christmas right now. This is an interesting season of ministry for me because is THE EASIEST Christmas prep I have had in 15 years...just planning services. Even last year was harder because we didn't have a facility and I had a brand new 10 month old baby! Trust me, I'm not complaining - it has been a blast to look at my musicians and singers and arrange songs that allow them to just shine. We are moving to 2 services in December as well as offering our first Christmas Eve Services on our campus. I'm blessed with a fabulous band featuring an amazing guitar player who pulls out his classical at this time of year and blows us away. I have 2 string players and a flautist who just "bring it" on everything I write for them. I'm all about the classics at Christmas with a little flair. People love to hear the familiar at this time of year and so do I. I'm about 95 percent done and very happy today.