Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Recitals and Graduations

May brings the end of school.

My kids suddenly get a year older.

They get on stage for awards, promotions and performances.
I cry.
This week we've had performances galore.

The girls danced at school in a Spanish dance performance called Cri Cri. Both girls were rabbits. They were precious and had so much fun!

Julia celebrated five years of dance this year with a special trophy and a special part in her dance recital. We had fun with special friends and special costumes. It seems like only yesterday the itchy costumes were almost too much and there was a struggle to do her own make-up. I guess the next time I blink, she will be doing her own make-up!

Alyssa graduated from Kindergarten.

The ceremony was so cute. They all took a graduation picture in a maroon cap and gown. The teachers went to lots of trouble to wash their faces and comb their hair before snapping the photos too. It was very thoughtful and professional!
We've had lice alerts regularly at the school. Alyssa has asked me a ton of questions concerning these bugs and where they live and how they get there.
In short, she refused to have her picture made in the cap and gown due to germs. When the teacher told her to put on the gown and cap, she replied, "No, thank you, it's too germy." Grandma would be proud. The handwashing police would be proud. Seriously, she wasn't even the only one who refused the cap and gown. The lice have been defeated!

My baby girl is going into first grade. How can this be? She is writing, reading, adding and subtracting. I don't want to close my eyes for fear I'll miss some of their growing up!

What precious memories in the month of May!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Future Unseen

As I think about college-aged friends graduating, I remember the feelings. Excitement, anxiety, apprehension and anticipation for the future.

The determination of life's course. The questions. Did I hear from God? Had I made the right choices?

I had majors and careers, spouses or lack of a spouse and the future and the unknown on my mind. I even felt some disappointment that I wasn't more confident at the prospects of what lie ahead.

I knew who God was. I believed God's promises applied to my future. But, still I wasn't feeling it.

I had searched the Scriptures, asked the older-and-wisers in my life, observed the cloud of witnesses that was surrounding me and sought a multitude of wise counsel for answers and direction.
I love living here in this town around so many wonderful people willing to open their lives like a book to others. I love all of my many friends and their families. I love that a life well-lived can have so many different faces and so many different circumstances. Our town is truly a place to surround yourself with a cloud of witnesses.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1

I like definitive answers, hard lines and clear boundaries. As believers, we are given The Bible to answer these questions about life.
We just have to apply it to our individual situations. The situation may be individual but our issues are all the same at the core. God's Word tells us in Ecclesiastes, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." God's Word is helpful to everyone. Our problems are all alike in some way.

When I was graduating I wanted a detailed view of my future. I asked for a color brochure of my life, my ministry, my call, my family. What would my life look like? I was certain that I hoped it would be pleasing to God. I am totally insecure with the unseen. God has called me to walk by what is unseen.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

What He offers is a blueprint for a beautiful heart. We are looking to a God who dwells in spirit to lead a life lived in flesh. What he offers is freedom from the fleshly stipulations that so preoccupy our minds.

"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:39

Through the years I've been involved in Bible study on many different levels. Some applicative studies, some inductive studies.

Always with other ladies whose ultimate goal was to mature and bear fruit as a believer with other believers. I've been involved in fellowshipping, discipling and mentoring.

When I graduated from Texas A&M I was at a huge advantage having been mentored and discipled by some awesome ladies. I thought I knew what a Godly family and a Godly life looked like. Even what I thought "the dream" would look like didn't pan least how I thought it should. I wanted definitive answers. I wanted a map for my feet, a specific road to travel.

What I've learned over time and through the maturation process is that I still don't know what a godly life will look like. I know what a godly heart should look like. God's Word is a road map for the heart. As we walk in the light we say, "This is one way godliness looks."

When we line our heart up with His commands, He shows our feet where to go even if it isn't where we were hoping or thinking they should go.

When our hearts are on the right road, the family, the job, the spouse, the decisions become clear. Living out a calling may look like this for one, like that for another. There will be similarities and a likeness of heart.

I wear hats I never dreamed I'd be wearing. I wear many hats I always dreamed of wearing. I have never felt more free to live this life I've been given. God has given me a ministry firmly laid out in His word and boldly walked out by His Spirit.

As I let Him light my path I walk by faith into a ministry that has a look and feel to it that is uniquely me. the result is a wonderful life lived with a confidence that comes from trusting His voice in faith.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path...and I will hear a voice say, "This is the way; turn around and walk here...For we walk by faith, not by sight." Psalm 119:105, Isaiah 30:21 and 2 Corinthians 5:7

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Friends, Finals & Farewells

It's May!

In College Station, May means finals...

End of the semester...

Wrapping it up for the year...


Goodbyes and farewells.

Our life still revolves around semesters and finals and college students.

I love this.

Except when people I love leave.

This year I was part of an awesome Bible study. It was fun and enlightening and encouraging.

There are only two or three of our college girls who are returning!

They all have neat jobs, ministries and opportunities...even the ones who don't see that yet!

They are going, almost gone, to medical school, ministry schools, Dallas, Costa Rica, Africa, Houston and other exciting places.

God will use each of these wonderful ladies in a mighty way to influence their worlds for Him.

I also was part of a wonderful International Bible Study.

We said goodbye to some already.

Some will journey back to their countries and return.

Some will have babies this summer and who knows if they'll be back in the fall. (I hope so. Babies are always welcome in my group!)

I loved being in Jan's group. I love Jan. I learned so much from this Godly "older" woman who has walked in faith for so many years, many of them in another country.

I know that our little group will grow and change. I hope to see these ladies, to keep in touch, to develop a stronger friendship with them.

They are beautiful.

My year has been very rewarding!

I love my lady friends.

I know that as some groups come to a close, new groups will form and opportunities for new friendships will open. Sometimes as groups end God makes room to start new things.

My ladies' Bible study next fall will be fun. I'm praying for these ladies now.

My fall international group will be filled with wonderful ladies who I'm dying to get to know. I'm praying for these ladies already as well.

We get to start a new home group this summer. It's going to be incredible. It's going to be built around the young, growing family. Yaay! We will meet as families the first week of the month to cookout or play games in addition to a short family worship time that will hold the interest of lots of young children. The second week of the month is for the men. The guys will bond however they choose. Whether it's breakfast on Tuesday morning or basketball on Thursday evening, they will bond and fellowship in male fashion. The third week will be couples' week. All couples will hire a babysitter on this week so we can dig into God's Word together and share issues that are relevant to our lives. The fourth week is ladies' week. We will have movie night or craft night or coffee night. We will have it while daddies father children. The months that have a fifth week, we will do a service project as families. Now, doesn't that sound fun? Doesn't this sound even more fun if you were doing this with about five or six of your most favorite families ever?

I love how God has called us to relate to one another in community. I'm a part of an awesome community.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Birthdays and Surprises

Last weekend, well, Saturday night, we drove to Richardson to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday...and drove back home!

The result was great. She was surprised.
"Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her." (Proverbs 31:28 NLT)

My stepdad put on a really good party for her. I loved listening to him fret and fuss over the smallest of details to make her happy and to surprise her really well. She was surrounded by lots of her favorite people and her grandchildren.
She got lots of presents, ate good food and received prayer blessings from her lady friends.
This was a great time.

I got to visit with some of my mom's friends that I don't see much now that all the kids have grown up and moved away.

I got to see my grandparents, brother and his family and lots of old friends. I got to meet lots of new friends too.

Each grandchild, between three and eight years old, presented Gran with a special rose and a reason they love her. A rose for a Rose!
Jack loves his Gran.
Julia loves her Gran.
Alyssa loves Gran, too.
Hunter loves Gran lots.
Cooper loves Gran last but not least.

"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." (Proverbs 31:28 NIV)
This year I pray my mother will feel blessed, like a woman among women this year. I pray that the way we live our lives, the way we love others and the way we minister the love of Christ will raise her up and bless her. I pray she will hear the praises of those who love her.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue...Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. " (Proverbs 31:25-26&30)

I love watching her look forward to the rest of her life. I love watching her fulfill her dreams and calling. I love watching as the "Rose of Sharon" becomes more fragrant in her life and she gives off more of the aroma of Christ. She is a beautiful woman who fears the Lord!

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." (Proverbs 31:29)

I love you, Mom!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tagged Again!

So, those of you who are old faithful friends know I was tagged in December. But, now that I have some new friends, I've been tagged again.

Here is Part II.

6. When my brain thinks of the words it is fixing to say, it types them. I see the keyboard in my mind and peck it. When I spell words, I see them on the keyboard first. I think this is a leftover habit from high school typing. I dreamed typing so I could type 100 words a minute to get exempt from my final exam. Sometimes my fingers move in this pattern as I speak. I was exempt. I have never stopped brain-typing

7. I am obsessed with crime shows. I love Law and Order, CSI. Without A Trace, Cold Case, Crossing Jordan. I even love Matlock and Murder She Wrote. (Don't laugh!) I could watch these marathons all day... but I don't. I love the justice and resolution of these type shows. I love to figure it out first. Sort of like Wheel of Fortune for detective wannabes. When i was a little girl, I fantasized of being Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden or a Charlie's Angel. (Again, don't laugh!)

8. As a senior in high school I was voted class "Loudest." I don't know if my voice just carries, I crave attention or if I have a hearing deficiency, nonetheless, I have a loud voice.

9. I call my children made-up names like "Pooker" and "Bo-Bo." There are a million more where these came from too. I don't have set names for each child I just make one up and use it. Even if I use the same name for each child, they always know who it is I'm talking to and the right child always answers. It's our love language of imaginary and made-up words.

10. I get up in the middle of the night after everyone is sound asleep to clean my house. I never do too much. I do just enough that I feel like I've gotten something accomplished and no one notices the next morning. Folding and putting clothes away goes quickly and nobody slips across a freshly mopped floor after midnight. When I get stressed over not having time, I always know I have the night. I haven't been night cleaning in awhile because I've been pretty tired lately.

Since I don't think anyone answered my first tag, I will tag Andrew, Grandmother, Mom, Tracy, Hyeong Sook and Jung Woo, Angie, Lisa, Renee, Kyle and Whitney.

Just tell us ten interesting and lesser known facts about yourself and tag ten or as many people as you can to keep the game going. Don't get stressed if you don't know who to tag, you can always name them later.

"You're It!"