I Got Nothing…

Have you ever had one of those weeks where by Friday you did not want to handle one more phone call, one more email, or one more person at the door?

That is me this week.

I chewed out my son’s principal, only to find out that I did not have the whole story. At least I was calm in my I think you own me an explanation remarks. I was clear, concise, and respectful with my concerns and asked for an explanation.If the facts had been correct, he would have had one, but they weren’t. He did tell me that I was a lot nicer than he would have expected given the information I was handed. That did not make me feel better. Knowing that my son lied to me and played a deep victim in this situation hurt my heart.

My friend’s mother in law passed away and today was the funeral. I got to be there for her.

My Dad is sick.

There are things going on with my boys I cannot write about. Not yet anyway. What I can say is my oldest is graduating highschool in a month, and my youngest has serious self esteem issues that I do not know how to fix.

And other things I cannot write about.

What has me so fried right now, is the fact that I am powerless over every single thing that happened this week. I cannot fix, control, or change any of it. I don’t like that. I took most of my nervous energy out on my gardens yesterday, and I’m working on setting those blog posts up. My gardens are a place of healing for me. It’s a place where God and I get to meet almost face to face, and I love it. It’s also a place where I have some control. I design it, and plant it. I build and have a hand in creating beauty. It is renewing for me. I wanted to do the same today, but it’s been pouring rain all day. I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

What do you do when you are overwhelmed? Where do you go for rest?

Love In Action, Debt free.

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 NIV

This is my memory verse for the next two weeks.  When memorizing scripture, the first thing I do is look at the context in several translations. Seeing the context gives me a better idea on what the verse really means.

Romans 13:1-14 (NIV) from BibleGateway

1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Love, for the Day is Near

 8Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

 11And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

 There is a lot to chew on here when I take this verse into context. It’s not a sweet platitude, it’s a list of action items that paints a word picture of love in action.

Neat.

When you see the first half of that verse – “Let no debt remain outstanding…” what does that mean to you?

Ablaze Church Egg Hunt 2009

Everyone is asking how our Egg Hunt went. It went great. Or at least that is what the families who came, told us.

Was it a long day? Yes. Being a mobile church is not always easy. We have to set up and tear down every week. The great thing though is how happy and how willing everyone is to be a part of this.

Our “normal” day starts at 3 pm and ends about 10 pm. With the hunt, people were there starting at 11. I brought lunch for everyone at 3:00 and I’m glad I did. Feeding the workers is the least I can do.

We did change some things from last year. Our hunt was 100% outside and the weather cooperated beautifully. Zion’s Fire did not play this year, which simplified our set up. We hired Stephen Smith, AKA Tupper, to be our speaker / entertainer.

Some people might not “get” the whole hiring a clown thing, but if you are from Tulsa, you know Tupper.  Stephen travels all over the state, as several different characters, educating children and spreading the gospel of Christ. Stephen is an ordained minister, preachers kid, and has a heart for families and Christ that is amazing.

Admission to the hunt was one canned food item and we collected 27 crates of food for Broken Arrow Neighbors food bank. We also waited on putting the eggs out until it was time to actually hunt, thus cutting down the whole anxiety factor for the kids.

Simple changes with profound results.

We counted 450 children give or take two or three. All of them happy. The smiles alone are so worth the weeks of planning and work.

Here are just a few pictures from Saturday.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Ablaze Easter 2009
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A Few of my Favorite Things

I promise you, I have no intention of grabbing a guitar, jumping on my bed and singing about raindrops or kittens ala Julie Andrews today. There is enough violence in the world without my tuneless singing.. I do however want to share with you some of my newly discovered favorite places to be or people to listen to. In no particular Order.

1. Tulsa Garden Center – the place to hang out with your family or learn about what grows in Oklahoma.

2. Blotanical – the web page where all the garden bloggers bloom.

3. Creating Culture – Randy Elrod. I just met Randy last month in Nashville. He has the most amazing blog – huge following too. You need to check him out.

4. Michele Cushatt – another blogger I met in Nashville. What an amazing heart.

5. Michael Hyatt-  Publishing CEO, Michael Hyatt shares all kinds of great stuff on writing, publishing and twittering on his blog. Check him out, I have. What a gift to writers to have this resource. I’m thrilled he is doing this.

6. How to Handle Criticism by Steve Erry – great post

7. Camp Lutherhoma– right here in Tahlequah Oklahoma. This camp is run by John and Joan Busch, Kristy Haines,  and a bunch of other staffers – my kids have gone there for years. They are growing and changing by the day. Your kids will have a blast, learn about Jesus and be loved through and through. They will come back changed. Mine always do.

8. CJ Rapp– Blog tour coming soon. CJ is president and CEO of Unfading Beauty Ministries. I’m presently reading her newest book, “I AM says You Are…” It is a 30 day devotional that speaks God’s truth to the very heart of women. I’m a 43 year old Bible Teacher – and this book speaks over me in ways that made me cry. In a good way of course. Great read.

9. This Ain’t Prettyville– Chonda Pierce. Maybe you guys all know who she is, but I honestly had never seen her until five years ago at a Women of Faith conference. I’ve since had the privledge to work with her, behind the scenes, as one of her Turbos. Turbos are women (and men) who work hard, love well, help promote the show and coordinate volunteers. Her story rips my lungs out. Her life, speaks of hope, forgiveness, love, and an amazing God. She is also hilarious to boot.

10. Don’t Give In, God Wants you to Win. – Thelma Wells. Another amazing woman of faith, with a story that blows me a way, and a mothering spirit I had no idea I craved, until I met her. She has a conference coming up in May. You will not want to miss this.

So there you have it. My favorite top ten right now.

I’m going to the dentist tomorrow for a root canal. I’m thinking after that, I just may post my ten least favorite places to be. 😉 Starting with that one.

Before then though – would you please share with me one of your favorite places or people?

Thanks.

That Can’t Mean Me. Right?

The directions begin with a simple step: “For safety, two people are required for assembly.”

Surely, those directions do not refer to me. I’m a redhead. I can build this by myself. I used to build switches for Sprint Communications for heaven’s sake. How hard can a wall unit book case be? After all it is my book case for my new office that he helped me paint. I know I can do this.

 

my new book case
“For Safety, two people are required for assembly.”

If Jeff were home to help me assemble this he would know that:

  • I lost the picture of what it looks like finished.
  • I did find the schematic which has a list of all needed parts.
  • I now know that I am missing 56 wood hinge thingies (Jeff says they are dowel rods), 48 bolts, and 36 screws
  •  This book case has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

For safety purposes? I’m thinking it’s best he doesn’t help me.

Ever been there?

Edited at 9 pm – Jeff is laughing at this.  He promises to help me finish it on Wed – isn’t he sweet? So, I guess the directions were right – it really does need two people for assembly. I am so happy to be married to a man with a sense of humor.

He’s just happy that I’m building something this time, instead of ripping something out. I tend to start projects that way.. pick at things until is HAS to be replaced.

—————— Edited on April 15, 2009

My wonderful husband, Jeff, went to the hardware store this weekend and bought the missing screws. Wasn’t that sweet? He then spent Easter evening putting my new book case together and hanging some pictures for me in my new office.

Here is the finished project.

office-bookcase

Filling Eggs and Filling Hearts at Ablaze

Snow, in April! In Oklahoma. How can we have snow? It’s already Spring. It can’t snow in the Spring. But, snow it did. A winter storm hit Tulsa last weekend and we had to cancel church services. Talk about being disappointed.  We had a pot luck planned, and people were coming from all around town to help us stuff Easter eggs. 15,000 Easter Eggs to be exact. And now, it was cancelled. Our team did not know what we were going to do.

We thought for sure we\’d never get enough people together to stuff 15,000 eggs by April 11. A handfull of helpers did manage to meet and stuff 2,000 of the eggs last week. But what were we going to do this week?

I mean this is a lot of eggs.

ablaze-egg-hunt-10

And Jenn had a lot of candy to put in them.

ablaze-egg-hunt-19

We thought if we told people there would be food, they would come.

ablaze-egg-hunt-11

And we were right.

 

our-helpersThank you Jen and Errick for coordinating this event. You\’re hard work will be blessed by God. Thank you as well to the members of Ablaze, Lord of Life, and Our Savior Lutheran Churches for coming out on Saturday night to worship with us and to serve by our side.

See you Saturday, April 11 – Liberty Elementary School in Broken Arrow, at 1:00 pm.