Previous month:
April 2011
Next month:
June 2011

Something Amazing

Watch this clip from one of our favorite family movies, The Incredibles.

 

There is something inside of that desires to break out of the predictable, mundane, and planned part of our existence. We long for an unexpected windfall, a suprise, even a miracle. Francis Chan, in his book Forgotten God, says this about miracles...

"Miracles are never an end in themselves;they are always a means to point to and accomplish something greater."

That is what we want...to be a part of something amazing...to say we were there when"it" happened...to play a part in something greater than ourselves and our time...to leave a legacy.

Church planting is miracle territory. As think back over the last four years that Todd and I have been on Hilton Head Island, there have been a lot of miracles...experiences and situations that fit all of those things I mentioned.  However, this Sunday at the Island Campus, we are stepping into some major miracle territory. I do not want to diminish any of the amazing things that God has done over the last four years - they are all miracles! From locating our first temporary facility to finding our first permanent facility to where we are today...embarking on purchasing our first permanent facility. These are just examples in one category!

There are the people miracles...changed lives...people who were far from God who are now in a daily relationship with Him...these are miracles.

There are personal miracles in the life of my family... a brother-in-law who is cancer free, the ability to purchase a home for our family on the Island, and financial recovery from some tough days in our past.

I long for the miraculous. I desire to see the unpredictable and the unplanned happen. I am an organized person  in my job and with my family life because it is out of necessity (trust me!). However, I feel the most alive when the unexplained becomes reality -when common sense says, "That's impossible."

Mothers are required to be realists (I think it's in a handbook somewhere.) It's my job in our home to be "the dose of reality" when it comes to our family schedule, chores, budget...you get the picture. I think it is because of that role that I play in our family, that I long for any opportunity to dream and say "Wouldn't it be great if..."  That is what I love about church planting. Yes, you have to have a dose of reality in the mix, but for the most part, this is ALL unchartered territory! You can't put a formula to every part and in fact, I think God probably gets a chuckle at all our stats, strategies, and formulas for church planting!

Maybe this whole idea of wanting something amazing paralyzes you as a person. You are ok without being a part of miracles. Maybe you have never seen one and so you don't understand what all the buzz is all about. Maybe you have seen a miracle, but you have forgotten what it felt like to experience it.  Are you afraid to dream because "God might not come through?" Read this quote from Forgotten God...

"I think the fear of God failing us leads us to "cover for God." This means we ask for less, expect less, and are satisfied with less because we are afraid to ask for or expect more. We even convince ourselves that we don't want more - that we have all the "God" we need or could want." - Francis Chan, Forgotten God, pg. 47

I want to see more, be a part of more, experience more, and be blown away by the Creator God who by very definition is creative...unpredictable, original...and wants to do something amazing in me and through me.

"I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work." God's Decree."For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think . Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don't go back until they've watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed.They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them. "So you'll go out in joy, you'll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song.  All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause. No more thistles, but giant sequoias, no more thornbushes, but stately pines—Monuments to me, to God, living and lasting evidence of God." - Isaiah 55:8-13 (MSG)


the best gift for Mother's Day

image
When I was pregnant with Sydney, Todd and I would pray for her that one day she would choose to trust Jesus as her Savior. Last summer, she made that decision and now she has expressed the desire to be baptized. We've been talking with her about what it means and she attended our baptism class for kids last Sunday. I really was concerned that she may be too young so we have been going through a great book that was provided for her after the class called " First Steps." She has been reading it and has totally connected with salvation and following Jesus in baptism.
I had an amazing day today with my family complete with flowers, cards, a terrific lunch, and even a little sun dress that I really wanted that "Daddy" remembered :) However, nothing will top seeing what Sydney wrote in her Bible earlier this week... absolutely priceless for this mom.

What I've learned from Fasting

Daniel_Fast_Book We completed 40 days of prayer and fasting as a church on Easter Sunday. Todd and I decided to do the Daniel Fast for 21 days of that time. I had never done a structured fast like this before. I knew doing it together with Todd would help me with accountability, but I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to stick with it. Here's what I learned:

I never thought I had a food issue till I started fasting. I was shocked at how much I would think of eating or drinking something in response to a circumstance or as a diversion.

I've learned to view food as something I need and not as a hobby. I grew up in the Deep South. Food is a way of life. When you are eating lunch, you are talking about what you are having for dinner. It's just the way it is.

Our family ate more meals together and enjoyed grocery shopping like never before. Todd is an amazing cook. He loves to cook and experiment with recipes. I can cook, but it is not something that I enjoy like Todd does. It was fun to plan meals together and shop and really talk about what we were going to eat each week. My favorite thing was his sweet potato fries. The book has amazing recipes and Todd did some "tweaking" on his own!

I learned to replace my thoughts for food with prayer.  When I would had those moments of really "wanting" something in the first week, I would turn my thoughts to God. After a week on the fast, my cravings for things not on the fast went away almost 90 percent. I began to not think about food in relation to my day and I had so much more "thought energy" to focus on God and my priorities.

It brought Todd and I closer to each other. We spent more time together and encouraged each other throughout the day. Doing this together gave us the opportunity to share what we were learning through it and prompted great converstation that I don't think would have happened without the fast.

We were able to teach our kids about fasting. We had the kids do the fast with us without some of the rigidness of no dairy. However, we did eliminate sweets and we cooked the same meal at night for them that we ate. It was a great learning experience for our family.

I'm going to make parts of it a lifestyle now. I made choices as best as I could on the fast in every environment.  Not everything I had was "perfectly" in line with the fast, but I did the best I could. The Daniel Fast is not about legalism and following rules. It's about learning how to eat, making good choices, and focusing on God. I saw how I could live my life better, feel better, and have so much more of a focused lifestyle. I don't want to go back to my old way of eating and thinking about food. It changed my life and the way I think about food forever.

That's not to say I'm never going to have a cookie, candy, or dessert ever again. I just want to have the right perspective moving forward that I learned from this period of fasting.

This was a life-changing experience for me. I naturally lost some weight which was a nice bi-product, but it was never about weight loss for me. It was about surrender. It was about being willing to do something totally different in response to my desire to seek God.  If you have never tried a fast, I would encourage you to do this one. Do it with a friend or a spouse. Be ready for your eyes to be opened to new things about yourself and new truths that God will be able to speak into your life. Spiritually, it was the best thing I have done to deepen my walk with God.