Friday, April 29, 2011

All That Matters

I remember his laugh.
So hard that no sound came out.  Then he would take out his hankie and wipe the tears from his eyes. 

I remember his hugs.
I can still feel the eye glasses and pens in his shirt pocket.

I remember his sense of humor.
"Just look at this mess I've started!" He would say and then feign disgust as we all filed in his house for a family gathering.

I remember the stories.
So outrageous, yet he had us believing.

I remember the fishing.
Hours on end.  Getting "skunked" sometimes, but most often getting "keepers."

I remember his favorite chair.
The one where he sat when he couldn't catch his breath.

I remember his last call.
I was at work.  Why wasn't I there? 
He didn't miss one game, one birthday, one anything.  Why wasn't I there?
I think he called all of us, though we've never spoken of it.
It was in the final hours, one foot already in heaven.
I couldn't understand a word of what he said to me.
But I knew.

"I love you Tami.
Live your life for the Lord.
That's all that matters."

I was silent amidst the tears.
Only squeaking out an "I love you Grandpa."  Why couldn't I tell him?
He meant the world to me.
There was no one like him.
Nor will there ever be.

They don't come easy when they will be your last spoken to someone.
But I will always be grateful for that call.
Nothing understood, yet understanding.

I looked through his Bible when I was at home.
This is what I found.

I can't wait to see him again. 
I can't wait to see the smile on his face when he meets the "mess I started."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Makes your Heart Sing?

Recently a class was offered at our church on figuring out what your spiritual gifts are.  Eric and I decided to take it to see what, if anything, we have to offer the world. 

A couple years ago I was convinced that God passed me over when it came to any kind of gifts at all.  I was kinda good at some things but let's just say everything I touched didn't turn to gold.  I remember being on a walk with two close friends (both of whom were very obviously gifted) and asking them what could I possibly have to offer?  They both touched on a few things that could be my gifts, but I knew they were reaching.  I had to dig deeper.

I had a deep desire to serve the Lord in a way that I was passionate about.  The only problem was that I wasn't passionate about anything in particular.  So, I began to pray.  I begged the Lord to reveal a gift of mine that I could serve him with, something obvious to me.  I knew I could administrate and was already serving in that way, but I wasn't that passionate about it.  I knew I was hospitable in some capacity, but entertaining stresses me out so I threw that idea out the window.

Not until I took the class in church did I realize that my prayer had already been answered. Some of the familiar gifts came up - Administration, Hospitality, Giving - but, Creative Communication this is what makes my heart sing. This is my passion.

Creative Communication - The gift of creative communication is the divine enablement to communicate God's truth through a variety of art forms.

Not only do I enjoy writing, I'm noticing other forms of this gift beginning to emerge.  The deeper I delve the more excited I become! 

I learned so much from taking this class about how different gifts can be used. Like, Hospitality isn't about entertaining and, having Words of Wisdom doesn't mean you have to storm the pulpit. There are so many angles and options for Spiritual gifts because God created us all so differently!

If you don't know what your spiritual gifts are and desire for God to reveal them to you.  All you have to do is ask.  And be ready to serve because He will not disappoint.  We went through this program in class and I'm sure there are other great resources out there for you to find out what makes your heart sing.


This week's verse

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Thank you
 There would be no hope without...
What would my life be if it weren't for you?
I'm so unworthy

There are no words Lord, so please just help me live a life worthy of what I have attained.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Humbled Again

After reading a small devotional to Rylie about treating others with love, I thought I would try to bring it down to her level and simplify the lesson.

So, genius here says, "that means if someone is mean to you, you should love them anyway."

"Okay I will still love you since you're mean to me then." 

(Note to self: wait until you're not the only person your children spend time with before pushing them to reflect on life.)

"Am I that mean to you, Rylie?"

"Ya remember last week when I hit the computer?"

"Ummm....yes, I remember."

Maybe my kids getting older isn't such a good thing.  Now they remember.....

Just so you know, I am also battling a bad case of leprosy this week.  So, double whammy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Fits Too

I went home last week.  Is it weird that I still refer to going to my parents house as going home?  Wonder what my husband thinks?

Well, I went to South Dakota.
To the middle of nowhere.
To the farm I love. 
To the country. 

Ahhh...Just saying the word "country" brings me a calmness.  Even though I now live in what many people chuckle at even calling a town, I still feel a little claustrophobic here.  Often I look out the window of my house and I imagine a view like this, well, minus the snow.  The view I grew up with.

Yes, it snowed - blah.

 I miss seeing new life every spring.

Austyn wasn't impressed with the calves getting shots

I miss searching for all the new kitties in the barn.

I want to go to grandmas and have milk and cookies everyday.

I want to ride off into the sunset. :)

 I want to have a built in petting zoo.

I want to wear muddy jeans everywhere.
I want to go days on end without a stitch of makeup.
I want to get that feeling of a hard day's work.
I want to live off the land.
I want my kids to know the beauty and simplicity of wide open spaces.

Even though I've been gone for 10 years, I have to fight back the tears everytime I leave the farm. But, by the time I make the long drive back to my home, I realize that "this fits too."  (A little nod to one of my movie faves, Sweet Home Alabama).  It feels like my home now and, surprisingly enough, I found that I can actually survive living in town. I'm still trying to figure out how to interact with neighbors and how not to let my dog run wild.  But, we're getting there.  Turns out dogs actually need to be trained, who knew? 


This week's verse
(I'm a week behind so thought I would share this one - came as a good reminder for me!)

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The View from the Top of a Manure Pile

I've been reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan for Bible Study.  This book is a life changer.  I may get into why a little later but for now there is one quote in the book that has been replaying in my mind as of late, "Christians are like manure: spread them out and they help everything grow better, but keep them in one big pile and they stink horribly."

There are many days I love living in this town.  I have the privilege(?) of living in a very devout society.  Every which way you turn your head there are believers.  Or maybe I should say, church goers.  It's all very safe, very predictable, a town you want your kids to grow up in.

But as of late I am seeing "religion" rear it's ugly head.  Over the last couple months I've attended two church meetings at two different churches.  Both meetings were intense and both were over potentially divisive issues.  Both though, left me with a feeling of....why can't we just all get along?  I know I'm oversimplifying and understating both issues but, in the mist of church politics what happened to the greatest commandment in all this arguing? A command that I myself have been recently convicted of.


Through all of the backbiting, gossip, slander, judgments, and screaming, I can't help but think of what a terrible witness it is to those who don't know the Lord. If this is what Jesus looks like, I wouldn't want any part of it either.

The one thing I am sure about these days is that....I detect a stench.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Scripture and Grandma

When I was talking on the phone to my Grandma the other day she totally caught me off guard when she said, "I am going to try to memorize your verses with you.  It may take me a little longer but I'm gonna do it!"  I got so emotional after she told me that.  (I know, surprise, surprise - still trying to reign my emotions in a bit).  But it was just a special moment. I'm pretty blessed to have a scripture-learnin' Grandma.  Plus, it's just a cool thing to learn the same verses together.

I can only pray that my desire for learning God's word will follow me into my seventies and beyond.

Grandma holding Rylie as a baby
Isn't she a cute Grandma!

So Grandma, we have a hard one this week, but I get excited just reading this verse so putting it to memory will be worth it! 

But the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:26-27

Friday, April 1, 2011

Kindergarten Round-Up

Can't believe the time has come for Kindergarten Round-up.  Pretty sure I used to pray for this day to come when, as a baby, Rylie would scream from 5 to 9 at night.  Or as a toddler when she would throw tantrums that would make me want to run away and never come back.  That, and her constant need for my attention left me irritable and drained 7 days of the week.

I've always been excited for the school days, I don't do babies very well.  It may have something to do with my selfishness and need for space. Just a guess.  So, I love Rylie at this age, the school age. She has become such a fun kid, her strong personality was so challenging as a baby (and sometimes still is), but it's become what I love about her now.  

However, Kindergarten Round-up left me feeling a little sad...where did my 5 lb. fussy baby go?

Where did my curly headed rug rat go?

Where did my ornery toddler go? she is

So grown up.
So beautiful inside and out. 
So worth all the hard fought days.
Site Meter