Life is full of surprises...

Most of you who know me know I am rarely caught unable to find words. You've read them here. I write like I would talk - and sometimes I go on and on. I probably write what I would say if I could say all I wanted to...(whoa - tangent...). OK, back on track. Unable to find words. Being surprised to the point that literally you just sit with your mouth open, unable to speak.

That was me last Saturday - it was my birthday. I told Steve I just wanted a quiet day - time with family and our friends here. No big deal. That morning girlfriends from Atlanta called to say Happy Birthday to me - sweet things - calling me @ 8:30 am to wish me a good day. While we're on the phone I hear the doorbell ring - and am a bit confused (you know it's 8:30 am so I am not at my best). Looking at the door - in walk Amy, Jennifer & Melissa...the friends I was on the phone with...who were supposed to be in Atlanta, not walking in our front door in Oregon. I was so blown away I just sat on the floor mouth covered with one hand, the other still holding the phone to my left ear...and tears streaming down my face. I was SHOCKED! It blew me out of the water. Even sitting here most honestly I am tearing up again thinking that someone cared enough about me to fly out on my birthday. They've got to be nuts. (They are - that's part of why I love them!) Even now - I'm shocked. It almost doesn't seem real.

Tonight @ Crash (our Wednesday night middle school event) we talked about how much God loves us. How we listen to the insults, the putdowns, the "little voices" that tell us we're not worth it, or we're fat, or we're stupid, or we can't play tennis (another story for another day), or we won't amount to anything, or we'll regret decisions that we know are right...why do those things stick in our heads so strong?? Then...we talked about how God sees us. How He loves us. Our group spent a good bit of time talking about Zephaniah 3:17 which says "He rejoices over you with singing..." and the thought that God has a song just for you, about you and how much He loves you. Whoa! He loves me how much? I've caught a physical human glimpse of His love for me so many times this week... when my 3 dear friends walked in the door from Atlanta, when I heard about my husband and other friends here keeping it a secret and going to great lengths to surprise me, when the staff @ church today sang Happy Birthday in mosh pit style, when my friends and family called to say Happy Birthday, when my kids race into my room first thing in the morning to wake me up, when my friends were arguing over who would watch my kids while Steve & I were at Crash, when I looked up and saw a full moon tonight and thought about how we don't always see the whole moon, but it's there... See, God is full of surprises. And sometimes they are clear as day in front of our face, and we somehow miss it. Sometimes He's so obvious we can't. Sometimes we're too busy to see it...

I hope today you'll sit and just remember how much He loves you. He made you. He knows everything about you. He rejoices over you with singing. He knows the number of hairs on your head. Wow...we are loved so much.


Collapses...and hope.

So...here it is late at night on the anniversary of 9/11. I remember where I was, at home playing with Kaylee, when I got a phone call from my mom to turn on the tv. As I turned on the tv the second tower at the World Trade Center was hit. It's one of those surreal "did I just see that happen" moments. Even now as I flip channels on the tv, a station is playing footage from that day - and I'm drawn in. And the anxiety of that day starts to meet me all over again. Six years from it, my heart aches for a friend who lost her brother in one of the towers that day, for those who I know who have been, are in or are going back to Iraq or Afghanistan or other similar area, for those who live under the constant fear of attacks every day...

Today I had another one of those moments. I was out shopping, and one of my kids needed to go to the bathroom. I walk in to find a girl standing in the middle of the bathroom, mouth wide open in shock, holding a pregnancy test in her hand saying, "I can't believe it." She'd just found out she is pregnant. That's not what she expected today. The look on her face was like that of those walking away from the towers on 9/11. Her world was collapsing before her eyes. We talked a little, then, she gathered herself together to head out the door. She said, "I know I can do this." I don't know her name. I don't know how she is doing right now. All I can do is pray for her and the little baby growing inside...

Regardless of the circumstances, the consequences, or many other things, honestly, there are lots of days I don't get. There are lots of times I wish I could see the big picture and all the details. But I don't know it all. Then again, I don't know that I want to either. As I turn the tv off, I can breathe again. I have hope. There's only one I know who wants to steal hope - and I just can't give in to letting him try to take it away from me. he will use whatever means possible to steal hope - to steal joy - to steal life. No, I can't see all the details of the big picture, but I know how the story ends. I love Jesus. I trust Jesus. I need Jesus. I believe in Jesus. And He is all the hope I need.


Is it fall??

I can't believe the summer is over. Well, technically it's not, but there's something about everyone getting back to school that makes it feel like it's fall... Kaylee even asked me today if it was fall yet, because some of the leaves are starting to turn and fall off the trees. This southern girl is glad it is still going to be 90 degrees tomorrow, but I know that before long I'll be heading into my first Oregon fall & winter, and we'll see if the gray blues set in at all (I hear that they could - for those who don't know, that's when you get bummed because it's gray all day...for a long long time).

But...at least I'll be able to make it through in a new place to live. That's right - we're renting a house and should move in about a week! We're SO excited to have some elbow room (where's schoolhouse rock when you need it!) and Noah tonight said, Mom, I'm ready to have my own room. The kids have been such troopers while we've been in the apartment, and I know that we are all ready for a house. I've struggled a little with it most honestly, because I don't like that I'm wanting a house. Part of me is frustrated with myself for not being content in the apartment. There are days when I am, but such a part of me longs for more space. And that sounds so selfish! I admit it! I think of so many in the world who have so much less, and I feel junky for wanting more. I honestly can say I'm SO appreciative to have a roof over my head - an amazing, fabulous, unbelieveably great husband, and the best kids ever. We really don't NEED anything. We are SO blessed. And yet, I'm also truly grateful for the space coming our way.

And so...Kaylee is in first grade, Noah is @ Condello Pre-K 3 days a week, we've had all our visitors that we know we are going to have, we don't know when we will get to the coast again (we went 3 times in 3 weeks - sweet!), kick-off for The Link has past, and kick-off for Crash is Wednesday, pro and college football are underway - and hockey is coming! So...is it fall?

There's so much to do. But I need to rest. And that's what summer is supposed to be about. God's good at reminding me that rest is important. He's good at giving me rest. And always good at giving me better than I deserve. For today, I'll take sunshine, family, friends...and rest. And I'll remember, technically - it's still summer...

©2009 Until... | by TNB