Friday, June 29, 2012

The Big City

I lived in Houston for over 30 years.  It was a big city.  Huge.  But when you grow up in a big town, it's just part of who you are.  You get around despite traffic.  You have a toll tag on your car windshield, and you know what times of day to travel.  Anything and everything you need is within arms reach (if your checkbook allows).

Then we moved to Deming, New Mexico.  It was truly a day and night experience, but we loved it!  We were ready for small town living.  Then off to Truth or Consequences, even smaller.  After six years of "living on the prairie," we have moved back to the big world.  We love it!  But let me tell you, sometimes it's pretty overwhelming.

When I go to the store, I have to concentrate and realize that the store is bustling with activity and lots of people milling around.  Last night we actually had two church members say hello and I was mortified because I had not a clue to what their names were!  Oh my goodness, it is going to take some great effort and many missed names to get to know everyone.  It's just overwhelming.

It's enough to get me to start to spiral down into depression.  But I've not given in and have been fighting it for quite a while.

God has blessed us abundantly.  The blessings in  my life never cease to amaze me.  I just want to go out and ooze the Holy Spirit so that people know Christ is alive at the church on the hill!  It is what we are called to do.

Let's get on the same page and ooze together and touch the lives of those in Rio Rancho in a supernatural way!  You just never know what will happen.

Today I Am Thankful For:
1. Joe
2. Julian
3. Caeleb
4. Good coffee
5. routine

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Being Dry

It is so hot! I am just thankful I don't live in Houston anymore and have to deal with the humidity. I'll take the dry heat here in New Mexico any day:) Since moving into our new home, I've not paid any attention to the plants in my backyard. I went out to water them and it was just amazing how dry they were. They soaked up the water faster than the water hose could deliver. I had not spent time taking care of those poor plants. I put other things in front of needing to give them water and as a result of my negligence, they do not look very good. I've been so concerned with packing and unpacking that my spiritual life has been like my poor plants. Dry, dry, dry. I've not put the necessary time into my relationship with Christ that I need to put in in order to be full. To be fed. To find and feel the peace that I crave. I know our family has been led to the right place as my husband assumed the pastoral duties at Rio Rancho UMC this week. My heart has been stirred to work with the women of the congregation and I know that diving into my ministry is going to help the "drought" in my spirit. Today I Am Thankful For: 1. peanuts 2. nails 3. pasta 4. a new necklace 5. laundry rooms

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Where I Needed to Be

Yesterday afternoon I was struggling with work.  I just wanted it to be 5:00 pm on Friday!  Then, my cell phone rang.  It was a dear friend of mine who I worked with for many, many years.  I miss her terribly.  Her passion and spirit are contagious.  She is the kind of person children (and adults) gravitate to.  They just want to be in her presence.  I absolutely adore her.

She is struggling because her mother is in the final stages of her life…and my sweet friend called me.  God used me. I was able to relate to her struggle and give her some fresh insights as she tried to make sense of a difficult time.  For someone to reach out to you when they are hurting is humbling.  You learn a lot about yourself when you have to dig deep to help someone else.

Ministry happens at unexpected times.  It’s not always on Sunday mornings within the walls of a church.  It happens during a busy workday, on a weekend with the family, at the store and even late at night on Facebook.

I am honored that God uses me.  When I get complacent about my ministry, He wakes me up in a huge way.

So glad I listened.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.     unexpected phone calls
2.     iced tea
3.     incense
5.     moms

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Ready or Not, Here We Come!

All of our things are in one place...our last Sunday in T or C is behind us...several boxes still to unpack...but now I start to think about the journey to come.

 A bigger church, many, many more names to learn, new relationships to schools for my boys and many new challenges to come.  It's enough to really freak me out.  I can start questioning my ability to work alongside my husband in ministry, I can question God about why he moved us from a church that was starting to really show growth, but I have to continually ask myself, "Why worry?"  One of my favorite passages in scripture is found in Matthew 6:25-34.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

 When I worry I begin to doubt and doubt is one of the worst things a person can do (it's something I truly struggle with).  Doubt starts with a tiny whisper.  It's like the "good angel" on one shoulder and the "bad angel" on the other.  When that tiny voice starts in my head, sometimes I am not strong enough to silence it.

But what I know for sure is that God does not make mistakes.  He puts us on  a path to seek and serve and when we listen to Him with our whole heart, everything just falls into place. 

 Rio Rancho, here we come :)

 Today I am Thankful For:

1.  Hugs and tears
2.  A great steak
3.  Nectarines
4.  Water hoses
5.  New beginnings

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Friday, June 15, 2012

I Thank My God For You

Six years ago, my family moved from all we knew in Houston, Texas to a little town calledDeming.  It was a huge move for us...and one of the best things that we ever did.  We stepped out in faith and followed God's call to ministry.  Everything fell into place...just like when we moved to Truth or Consequences.  The people of T or C have been absolutely amazing.  We have always felt loved by our congregation and our community.  When my son was in the hospital over and over again, to when we lost my mother-in-law, the community surrounded us with an overwhelming love.

God has called us to move again to Rio Rancho.  And just like the past two times we have moved, everything is falling right into place.  I believe it's God's way of letting us know that the right things are happening in His time...and we just have to continue listening with all of our heart.

There are some very special things I love about T or C...the ladies at Smith's, a great soak at the Blackstone, the stars in the sky, the neon sign of the motel I can see from my kitchen window on any given night, and the cool breeze off the lake on a sweltering, summer day.  But most of all, I love the people.  The people who have loved my family in spite of our faults.  The people who give and give and give some more.  The people who have loved a pastor and his family beyond words.

 I will miss year dearly, but know that God in His infinite wisdom has a plan for each of us.  Some of us move around like nomads, spreading the Good News, others of us stay in one place, spreading the Good News.  It's all ministry.  We just have to keep our ears and hearts open to God's nudging.

 "Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears."  Philippians 1:3-6 (MSG)

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

We Were "Pounded"!

The joys of moving...the smell of boxes, tape on the floors, dust everywhere, and not being able to find "that one box."  But I must say, this move has been one of the most exciting moves we have ever made.  This past weekend we moved into our new home.  It is lovely.  It is roomy and we can "breathe" again.  We've not had much in the way of choice over the past six years, and this time we were fortunate enough to be able to pick our house.  Sometimes it even feels homey already.

 Something amazing happened on Sunday afternoon.  Some members from our new church family came over and filled our pantry!  I mean to the brim!  They had put a call out to the church to bring items to "pound" our pantry!  What a beautiful gift!  I went from having peanut butter and bread to having soups, tuna, goodies for the kids (Little Debbie's I would never buy myself)… was just overwhelming.

 My oldest son said, "Wow, they already love us."

 I think we are in for some amazing things here in Rio Rancho.  Everything "feels" right and is falling into place. 

 I've never been happier.

 "The Lord has done great things for our family and our hearts are filled with joy."  Psalm 126:3

 Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  Meeting our first new neighbor (at 5:30 am while putting out the trash)
2.  Finding the right boxes when they are needed
3.  The view from my office window
4.  The first batch of fresh cookies in my new home
5.  Trash day

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