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21 December 2009

a Surprise Blessing

  Travis Cottrell, Cindy Morgan, and Shaun Groves came to Westover Church Thursday night for a Gloria concert.  The proceeds of the concert went to the Compassion International foundation and they talked about the children you can sponsor.  For $38.00/mo you can provide food, education, housing, medical care, and much much more for a child.  Please consider sponsoring a child; it is truly one of the most selfless things you can do.  I wish I could remember how many thousands of children die from malnutrition each day! (I will find out and post it.... it was a breathtaking number that brought tears to my eyes.) For more information and/or to sponsor a child please visit Compassion International .  I have multiple sponsored nieces and nephews supported by my sister and brother-in-law.  You receive a picture of the child and can exchange letters with him/her.  Please pray about it.

    When I discovered they were coming to my old church I hoped to go.  Circumstances were as such, that it was not really possible.  On the day of the concert I received a phone call offering tickets for my mom, my dad, and me.  The possibility was exciting but I had no idea what the evening would hold.  We grabbed a quick dinner and headed to the church.  After seeing friends and finding our seats we began our adventure as a member of the audience/congregation.  The first half was classic Christmas hymns and carols including video footage of the Peanuts and old school Frosty the Snowman.  The second half was a worship experience. 

     Shaun talked about no matter how you arrived at the concert it was because God wanted you there.  It wasn't because your husband dragged you, a friend bought you tickets, or you felt guilty.  You were there because God wanted you to be there.... needed you to be there.... you needed to be there.  "Follow That Star" was one of the songs sung by Cindy Morgan.  With the first verse she had me with the tone of her voice, the musicality, and the melody.  With the second verse it took my breath away.  If I had the skill to write a song (writing is not a gift I possess) about the way I feel.... this is it.  It was as if the song had been written especially for me and her amazingly melodious voice was meant to sing it. 

     I have never been one to say that life as a Christian is easy.  In some ways, I think it becomes more challenging.  As one of my friends (an unsure believer) said... "When things go wrong, not only do you have to wonder if it's a sign from God that you are heading in the wrong direction.... you also have to figure out if the devil is unhappy with what you are or are about to do and is trying to stop you...."  Well put.  I think it's a great statement that just begins to touch on the struggle of believers.  I believe.  I know I am still alive today because of my Heavenly Father (there have been some close calls).  I know that he made me and has a purpose for me.  That being said, it does not mean that I don't question my hearing, wonder about his judgment, or think that he is overestimating my ability to carry a lot and still stand tall short.  Now is one of those times.  I'm working my way back...but right now God and I are often in a tug of war.  I think He's okay with that.  I am a firm believer that God likes questions.  He wants us to think things through... He did give us freewill after all.  He sees the whole picture and I see little tiny pieces.  I trust him.  It's just harder sometimes than others to trust without questioning.

     Do you question?  Have you ever been in a place (in your life) that you know is exactly where you are supposed to be.... just to have it taken away?  Did you feel lonely/betrayed/disappointed?  Who do you turn to when life gets hard?

      Below are the lyrics to the song "Follow that Star."  I tried to set it up to play but it was unavailable.  I highly recommend that you listen to it. It's a soulful melody with an amazing message.  If this song touches your soul I pray that a comfort and peace beyond understanding is so present that you know He is right there with you.  He loves you and I more than either of us could possibly imagine.  When times are tough... that is enough....

Follow That Star (Cindy Morgan)

Tonight, feels like there’s something in the air
Tonight, it’s like the sky is filled with prayers.
Maybe I’ll follow; follow that star.

Oh I, I felt this emptiness inside
Maybe this will be the night…
that I’m sure…just what my life is for.
Wake up each morning with hope in my heart
Out of a dark

Oh, God,
 I hear your name out on the street,
but what do you mean to me
You’re so grand, living there up in the sky,
could you care about my life?
Maybe I need, maybe I need a sign
Maybe a star I could follow
Lead me wherever and I’ll go
Cause it feels like your voice is speaking to me
Like there’s something you want me to see

So I’ll follow, follow that star
Follow that star
Follow that star

19 December 2009

A Need for a Change...

It’s 3am and I am wide awake.  This has become the norm… but like other norms I will be happy to break this one.  I’ve never been so fond of “the norm.”  In high school I repainted my desk to read “DoN’t bE nOrMaL bE HaPPy!” and I still find the statement appropriate. 

Why do we lump people into groups?  Why do we decide that because one group is doing something a certain way, others should also?  Why are all couples expected to have children? Why must pregnant mothers be given blue or pink clothes based on the sex of the unborn baby?  How can we decide, before the baby is born, whether it will like pink or blue?  I always make a point of gifting yellows, greens, etc… Why must a young boy play with trucks while girls should play with dolls?  What’s wrong with a young boy styling the hair on his big Barbie head?  Why should girls like to wear skirts and dresses?  (I do, by the way, but it is a recent development…) Why are handmade gifts so much more fun than bought presents? What can I make for gifts out of things I already have?  Would that old tablecloth work for a reusable grocery bag?  Can I also make an apron from that material?  Is there enough?

These are the kinds of questions that go through my head at 3am.  This is why I don’t sleep.  The “what ifs”,” if only(s)”, and “could its” rear their ugly heads.  I then lay here staring at the ceiling or the back of my eyelids until I pull out yarn and a hook, a book, or my blackberry.  Am I the only one who does this?  Am I the only one who is unable to discontinue my brain long enough to sleep?  You would think I would be super smart with all of this extra work for my brain.  When in actuality it makes my brain feel like slush…. Like the ice/sleet/snow on the ground that has been trampled repeatedly. 

So this is my thought process…. I will put my thoughts to paper/laptop in hopes that my brain will slowly shut down without doing major harm to the knowledge hidden in the deep dark crevices. 
I can guarantee no topics…for my brain is like a sponge and contains some incredibly odd information.  I love science.  I love logic.  I love questioning things and digging deeper.  This is a quest to renew my blogging.  It’s a quest for freedom and quest for peace.  Feel free to comment for comments are always appreciated and it’s nice to know I am not the only one who reads my musings.

Possible Topics:
                -current books read
                -recipes tried
                -societal norms
                -the food controversy (organic, local, hormone free….)
                -Biblical highlights from current Bible studies
                -Quotes of interest
                -General fun and nonsense
                -Lots of pictures!!!

                -Any suggestions?  Feel free to contribute

Prayer for a Contest?

I just entered a contest for what would be an AMAZING gift!  Is it wrong to pray to win?

No luck!  Maybe next time!!!

16 December 2009

My Boy...

    I haven't posted much lately because things are a struggle and when I started this blog I never wanted it to be a depressing blog.  So with that said... I will shove aside the suffocating and overwhelming feelings of need/anxiety/ and panic... to tell you about my week.  I was blessed this week with one of the best welcomes I have had in a long time.  

   Before I went to grad school... for many years... I was a nanny for two boys in a very special family.  A lot happened in those years (good and bad) and we've struggled through together.  They have been a great support to me and hopefully I was a support for them.  Well, the "boys" are no longer boys... but young men.  the younger is in high school and the older just finished his first semester in college.  (Man I feel OLD!!!)

    When E found out I was in town I was invited to a play.  They younger of the two boys, "Bubba", had a part  (in a Shakespeare play!)... and I wanted to be there.  B, however, was unaware that I was coming.  We made it through the first half of the play and then during the intermission  Christy and I were chatting about whether B was at the age when speaking to us is "uncool."  About that time he turned and glanced in my direction, I made a "classically Christa" face, his face glowed, and ... in a swirl of hair, a huge smile, and a rush... I was wrapped up in a hug that I have missed dearly!  I can't even begin to express how my heart felt at that moment.  Unconditional love and honestly excited to see me!  How often do we receive people's greetings while wondering about ulterior motives or inner thoughts?  How awesome to be loved for exactly who you are... no ifs, no ands, no buts...
       This is the kid who:
  • got me hooked on Jackie Chan movies
  • laughed at my directional deficiencies in video games
  • humors my inability to play basketball (seriously!!!... I'm under 5ft... come on!)
  • lets me play his beautiful guitar
  • shares his Velveeta shells and cheese, cucumbers with ranch dressing, and chicken..
  • likes to cook with me...
  • lets me call him nicknames like Bubbaloo...
  • still loved me after I painted happy birthday on my car windows for the carpool line at school
  • laughs at my ridiculously stupid jokes
  • shares my love for the Big Bang Theory (the show)
  • has an amazing smile
  • has a contagious laugh
  • gives the BEST hugs!!!!
  • I love bunches and bunches....

       C was kind enough to take some pictures of me and B.... to think... he used to be shorter than me... and I used to take him to get his head almost shaved!  Enjoy! goofy buddy who calls me a "DERD"... I answer to the name proudly :)
(derd= dorky nerd)