Here’s what’s on my mind and heart today…
Tonight is something that I have planned for and prayed for since several months ago. Our Aroma women’s ministry at LifeSong is hosting “This Night…A Night of New Beginnings.” This Night is something that God gave me a vision for a little over a year ago. Although the idea is something that many churches do, it’s the focus that I desired be different from what I’ve experienced in the past. The idea is to have hostesses decorate their tables according to a provided color scheme and according to their personalities, and to sell tickets to women in our community to attend. The encouragement from me, however, has been to let God challenge you to buy your table’s tickets and hand out tickets for women to come, making it much more doable in getting people to attend. If they have a free ticket, they feel ministered to by receiving a gift, and they come in and are ministered to. In the past I’ve participated in this in different churches, but the outreach part of it never felt like it clicked. I never felt that we were reaching anyone but ourselves, so the idea of This Night…A Night….. you fill in the blanks, was birthed. Our first one was a Night to Reach the Nations and our second one was a Night to Reach the Community. Tonight’s idea came from where each of us finds ourselves right now – in a new year of new beginnings. Our speaker’s life changing experience exemplifies this to a tee. The added thought behind This Night has been that we come face to face with our Father in corporate worship, rather than having someone stand before us and sing. If you have ever attended a women’s conference before and come back and say you needed that kind of corporate worship, that is kind of what I’m talking about here. The bursting of my heart always comes when I look around that room and I don’t know a soul! I love it. I know my hostesses, but the people that are sitting at their tables are women that they are having a direct influence on, and on whom LifeSong is getting to say, “We exist for you!” I am beyond excited about what God has intended for His glory tonight. This Night is saying, “here’s your opportunity to evoke change on a big level, but let it prompt you to do this every single day!” I can’t wait!!!
Paying it forward….
We all have heard the phrase, “pay it forward.” It is really what LifeSong was founded on by saying, “be missionaries where you live, work and play.” Jeff and I had the opportunity to be on the receiving end of this on Friday. We went to the mall to spend some giftcards and decided to eat at Garfield’s in the mall. Let me stop here and say that I really do not like Garfield’s a whole lot. I think I could make their food at home and it is way over priced. It had a sit down atmosphere away from the noise of the mall, so that made our decision to eat there. We enjoyed some time together and with Quinn, and really our lunch was great. We were getting ready to pack Quinn’s food up to take with us when the waitress came over and told us that a gentleman sitting on the other side of the wall divider from us knew us and had paid for our meal! What?!!! We asked who it was and the waitress said she had not asked his name, but that he had a mustache. Ok, yeah, well, that really narrowed it down! We were really touched. Jeff and I will randomly pay for people’s meals when we are out, or pay for their coffee in the drive thru at Starbucks, but I can’t say that we’ve ever been on the receiving end of someone doing that for us anonymously. We were beyond touched by this. It encouraged our hearts so much. It’s one of those times that being on the receiving end just heightens the notion behind the reasons you yourself do what you do. Giving is much easier for us than receiving. Now don’t go thinking I don’t love a good present, ’cause I do! I’m just saying, we’re so focused on that most of the time, that receiving just almost seems weird! To whomever bought our meal for us, if you are reading this, “may you be blessed a hundred fold for how you blessed us!”
Bailey and Avery participated in their first Upward cheerleading experience. They were awesome! I am so proud of them. We’ve been to Upward games before, but to be able to be in the atmosphere with your children participating was really special. I will post some pics soon of our day together.
So far, I’ve accomplised a full week of doing Wii Fit. It’s been awesome, really. We missed getting the deal at the gym we were joining, so we are holding off a little bit until it comes back, so in the meantime, the Wii has taken off three pounds and I’m cool with that. I want to be on this journey of 2009 being about me. I want my kids to see their mom giving it her all in every area…..
Purple Book…so I’ve started this book to focus on the everyday with Jesus. Let me tell ya…my quiet time has really been less than existent here lately. I need structure. I need simple. This book is being used in our LifeGroups, so it has provided me with both. It has challenged me and made me rethink a lot of what I do, think and believe. It’s been great!
Jeff and I are learning daily to be intentional in our marriage. God has blessed us, yes, but it’s hard work to walk life together. We love the challenge of getting to know each other more and more each day. This time continues to be the sweetest time we’ve known to date!
McKenna is just encouraging my heart so much lately. She is a ten year old that just desires to serve God with all of her heart. She told me yesterday that she loves going with her Daddy early on Sunday mornings to help set up things at LifeSong because she just wants to serve people. We don’t make her get up or tell her she HAS to do this. She sets her clock every Saturday night and is ready to go out the door before Jeff is. I see God using this in her life to place her focus on others, rather than herself.
Bailey, as noted before, is doing great in Upward. She looks forward to going to practices and always comes back saying she is looking for the new, special friend. She is working on making her bedroom a girly place to hang out and last night she helped make a really yummy dinner.
Avery is busy with some responsibilities we have given her. She initiated things by asking if she could take over unloading the dishwasher, so this prompted Jeff and I to do job charts for each of the girls. They do jobs all throughout the summer, but generally don’t do a lot during the school year. They had been begging for allowance, so they get $3 a week for four jobs and consistently doing their homework when they get home, without being told. For every job they do not complete, or have to be consistently reminded to do, we deduct 50 cents from their week end’s pay. They are doing a great job, and although we are working through some issues, once again, I love teaching my children to serve. And hey, I’m human, lightening my workload ain’t half bad either! 🙂
Quinn is talking up a storm! She is hilarious and loves everyone! She now has big girl panties for us to begin an intense week of potty training this week. Pray for me. I never had to potty train the girls after McKenna was potty trained. They just always wanted to be like her. Quinn is doing the same, to some extent, but I still need to spend some one on one time with her. This is why I don’t like dogs in the house! You get it, right? I dread cleaning up accidents! 🙂
So, enough random from me for one day. Pray for me, if you think about it. The word “focus” comes to mind!