May 09, 2011

Kristi has seen those kind eyes of Jesus.

I first wrote about meeting Kristi here. Today I got word that Kristi has made her way to the other side. 3 years old. Brain cancer. Here she is swollen and puffy from steroids leaning on her mom. The steroids can't hide the life in her eyes. She was interested in all that was around her. She had a sparkle in her spirit that shown through those precious eyes of hers. I was blessed to spend time with Kristi just a couple of times. With the help of the Abilene Zoo I had arranged to take Kristi to the zoo along with her family one day, but she wasn't well enough to go. The Zoo sent a sweet stuffed toy for me to give her and I know that she loved having that sweet little stuffed lion by her side. I didn't know Kristi until she was pretty sick, but I know the joy she brought her family and those around her. It is never easy to lose a child, especially on Mother's Day.

Recalling the book that I just listened to, Heaven is For Real. Little Kristi was welcomed by the kind eyes of Jesus upon her entry to Heaven. There is no greater place to be. She will be waiting to greet her family, and someday I plan on giving her a big hug and tell her how much her precious little face meant to me. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to take this little jewels picture. A face I will never forget.

Please join me in praying for her family and friends as they make their way through this time that has no words to explain.

May 08, 2011

Blessings of the Day

Mother's Day 2011. Almost 4pm on Mother's Day. This morning we had a great day of worship at church, then we headed back to our house to eat a wonderful meal. I don't mind cooking on Mother's Day because I really don't like to wait in line at a restaurant and by the time we get out of church it is normally 12:30 and the lines are long. I cooked Pioneer Woman's Dr. Pepper/Adobe Sauce Pork, shredded it for taco's and then the Knock You Naked Brownies from the same website. They were quite a treat. Rob's mom joined us for lunch and it was a special day.

In the midst of needing to read a bunch for school I have started to read Ann Voskamp's, A Thousand Gifts . It has been on my to read list for a while, but I haven't taken the time until now. With 2 other books going for school purposes I picked up this precious gem. I just could not wait any longer. I am so glad I did. It was refreshment to my soul. Reading this book is like sitting on a warm day next to a stream of cool water trickling over my toes. It is full of delight and truth and grace. I have taken a respit from busyness for a day or two to sink my teeth into a place of peace and presence.
A large part of the book is Ann learning to be thankful and content in the midst of daily life. She decides to make the commitment to write down 1000 blessings, specific blessings she is grateful for. I had NO intention of following in her footsteps but I feel like God is calling me to enter into this endeavor. It is in my busyness that I need to be more intentional about thankfulness and welcoming grace into my life.
My first entry in my journal.
1. A hand-made piece of pottery my first born made me for Mother's day.

My second is this sweet card from my daughter:
10 Great Things About You! (I have typed it as she has written it.)
1. Your Nice
2. Your loving
3. Your funny
4. Your caring
5. Your awesome
6. Your a good listener
7. Your a great cook
8. You follow your dreams
9. Your my mom
10. Your you

Numbers 6 and 8 made me cry. I try and be good at number 6, but I know I can be better at this, and number 8...for every step I take toward schooling and learning there is a part of me that feels guilty for doing anything for myself. My head knows that my example for my children is beneficial, but the guilt is always there and I am always pushing it down. I am thankful that my daughter listed "Following My Dreams" as something she loves about me. #8 is my #2 entry in my journal. I am thankful that my daughter thinks that following my dreams is a great thing.

I am excited to share with you that I have signed up to be a part of the "Growing Deeper" program at Lipscomb. It will be a 12 month program that leads me into a consistent devotion to growing deeper in Christ. There are guided readings, journaling, a mentor, two residencies and prayer. I had seen the program and made a note about it because it was something that I wanted to consider for the future, but I didn't think I wanted to add one more thing to my schedule. God had another plan. The moment I set the info to the side on my desk, God spoke to my heart and said, non-verbally (for all that are freaking out right now), if you can't make time for me right now, if you can't be intentional in your relationship with me right now, it will NEVER get easier. There were some other confirmations that this was something God wanted me to pursue, so I immediately listened and pulled that piece of paper back in front of me and took the first step. I am now signed up and will start this program later this summer. All my work in this program is done here at home, but I will travel to Nashville for one 5 day residency and one 3 day residency. I am tearful over the blessing of God's making His will known so clearly.

May 04, 2011

William, Katherine, the Aston, My Sweet Family and the Empty Chair.

Before too much times passes from the happenings of the Royal Wedding I wanted to be sure and recap our morning. Someday when my kids are reading through my blog that I slurp out into a blurb book I want them to remember the fun we had.

The preparations for the Royal Wedding started a couple days earlier when I made that trip to the British Shoppe for morning supplies. The night before the wedding I made two different types of scones, cream scones that could be topped with the clotted cream and lemon curd. Then I made up a batch of chocolate chip scones. I wish there were different names for clotted cream and lemon curd. Clotted cream is more like a buttery consistency of cream, and the lemon curd, well just imagine the middle of a lemon meringue pie and you have lemon curd. For such delicious tasting treats they have names that don't quite give them their due.
The morning for us started at 3:50am. I hopped right up, put the sausage rolls in the oven, started the coffee and pulling all the treats out of the fridge. All with Matt, Ann, Al and Meredith talking in the background. We watched the Royal Wedding on NBC...of course. Who better to share this event with than with my morning friends who come into my living room through the television each morning.
Rob was a great sport and woke up early with me, he enjoyed the crumpets, scones, sausage rolls and coffee watching the wedding with one eye and the football draft on the computer with the other. All the kids wanted to be woken up except Jack. Derek and Sophie both wanted to watch the wedding but had little interest in the beforehand programming, so once Katherine began her procession to the church I woke them up. I was excited to read via facebook that my next door neighbor, Sarah, who is from England was up and watching the wedding. Via facebook, I invited her over for brekky and the wedding, she shortly joined us and before we knew it we were watching it all happen.

The wedding was beautiful. William and Katherine were mesmerizing. The pomp and circumstance of it all was thoroughly enjoyable, then along came the Prince and Princess traveling from the reception to their hotel room in Prince Charles' Aston Martin. It was a great insert of personality to such a traditional day.
The scriptures the couple chose, along with the prayer they wrote together to have spoken in their wedding were so meaningful. I was blessed by the wedding, but also by the service that the wedding included. It was a beautiful day.

The best part was enjoying this event with my family. I told Sophie that when I was 12 I watched the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana with my mom in the middle of the night, and now here she is at 12 years old and we are watching Diana's oldest son marry his true love. I am hopeful that this wedding with its very different beginnings will have a very different ending. Now, when will we get to see some heirs?

To my sweet family who rose to join in with me on this special day, it was not only a Royal Wedding, but the heart of the matter, it was a morning that celebrated one of my fondest memories with my mom as a little girl. It was as though my mum was right there with us all. Her chair might have been empty on this special morning, but she was there in my heart.

William and Kate's Prayer

God our Father, we thank

you for our families; for

the love that we share and

for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on

what is real and important

in life and help us to be generous with our time

and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union, help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.