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Monday, April 14, 2014

Plungers, Grumpiness, and Scripture Memory

So I took a road trip with just my girls for spring break to visit their grandparents and family in Alabama.   It's  barely lunch time and already the adventures have begun!  It only took Abby about twenty minutes to get her hand stuck in a mouse trap at her great grandmothers house today.  Thank goodness it was only the kind the mouse sticks to and not the metal one that breaks fingers! So it took us a lot of hand washing to get all the sticky poison off those little fingers and especially that thumb she still likes to suck...  Never mind that I am a speech therapist and I can tell this thumb sucking is doing bad things to her mouth!

But the one that takes the cake was when mom and I were dressing the twins this morning and Maddie Grace, who had only left the room for a minute, comes walking back in with her face stuck down in the bottom side of a plunger!!  Ughhh!  Oh the things I will have to tell them when they are teens!  You should have seen me scrubbing the mess out of that child's face.  I mean, I am the mom who uses hand sanitizer on everything my kids touch.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I can hardly bear to think of the grossness right now!

Sometimes this mom thing is messy.    Sometimes life is messy.  Sometimes I am grumpy.  I am not a morning person, but my kids don't seem to understand that!  Sometimes I wish I had an Alice that lived with me (think the Brady bunch) so the kids and I could do more exciting things than grocery shop, meal plan, clean house, wipe booties, or scrub plunger faces.  

I have decided I need some systems in my life to help me work smarter and not harder.  One of those systems is a way to be organized about scripture memory.  I really have not been organized about my spiritual growth since Makiah died.  It has seemed like a mountain of effort I just couldn't climb.  But I am in the foothills now and since I have finally joined this century and the world of smart phones, I have discovered there are apps for these things!  Who knew?

So the first scripture I look for is one on diligence.  I come up with Colossians 3:23.  "Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart as unto The Lord, and not for men."   I work on learning it for a few days here and there.  Then the other morning with Dora in the back ground I grab a random devotional book and open it to somewhere in the  middle.  The words on the page are about not dividing your life into compartments of things you can do on your own and things you need God for.  I am drinking this in with my coffee and between bites of my blueberry bagel.  And the scripture?  Yep.  Colossians 3:23!   Even in the mundane, possibly insane, routine of my morning, God is speaking.  And He will to you, too.

And I am convicted about being grumpy.  And I begin to see that it matters what the attitude of my heart is when I am wiping those biddy booties or scrubbing plunger faces!  Perhaps it is not so much what we are doing but how we are doing it that counts for eternity.

So this morning I thought of my scripture and tried to be a little less grumpy watching the sun come up with my peemites.  And I tried to choose thankfulness.  Thankfulness that I have little ones who come running down the hall looking for me at ungodly hours.  Thankfulness that my house is not silent anymore.  And most of all thankfulness that God cares enough to keep speaking to us even when our efforts at hearing seem haphazard at best!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Potty Training... aka Mommy Training

"Mommy I'm poopy. Change me." I sigh and start to change my now three year old's diaper. We just can't seem to conquer this potty training thing. We are trying everything... sticker charts, m&m's, wearing panties for days, setting a timer to keep our potty times regular, watching potty time Elmo dvd's over and over. At a friend's suggestion, I have even tried making the twins wash out their own poopy panties in the toilet! They were grossed out, but obviously not enough to bring change.

So when I open this kid's pull-up, I am surprised. It is clean and empty except for a small Winnie the Pooh toy. I pull it out and say, "Baby, you aren't dirty, this is just a toy in your pants." To which she responds with uproarious laughter, "But Mommy, I pooped a "Pooh!" Oh. My. Surely if you are old enough to be this witty, you are old enough to use a potty!!! I admit I did get a good laugh though...

If you are old enough to change your own poopy diaper without telling anyone, you probably shouldn't be wearing one either, right? And how about if you can hide in the closet and pee in the preschool snack bucket which you then hide under the dining room buffet for hours? Doesn't that indicate some readiness? What's really bad is that one day they had changed themselves after a nap (I knew because they confessed and because of the poop on the wall), but I could only find one of the poopy diapers! Trust me, there was evidence that there had been two stinkers in the premises, but it actually took me two days to find the second diaper smashed under a toy bucket. In the meantime, I had called my mom to lament that this must mean my whole house smells, and I am so immune I can't tell anymore! I mean, for heaven's sake, shouldn't I at least be able to smell which room that thing was hiding in!? And I really do try to keep things clean around here, but I think three sets of diaper booties is more than any can of  Lysol can handle!

When I ask Abby why she doesn't use the potty, she just says, "I don't have the words to tell you." Now that is probably truth! A lady at work told me what I have to do is stay calm and positive and not show any negative reactions when they have accidents. That's when I decided that potty training is really mommy training! This is not about them. It must be about me learning oh my goodness a new level of self-control. I really am kind of a clean freak and wiping up pee off my floors and furniture and oh my gosh sticking my hands down in a toilet to wash someone else's poop out of their Dora panties (or princess or Minnie Mouse... not motivating them either) and then being expected to smile and say positive things is a serious stretch! This is a new level of character that I have not attained!

So as I type this, mommy boot camp is in full force, and my pretty tablecloth is in the washing machine.   Oh just because they pulled it out of the dining room buffet and used it to mop up some pee that they were hoping I would not discover. And I wish they would just come to me.

And I can't help but wonder how often does God wish I would just come to Him. Is He wondering when we will stop trying to change ourselves and getting you know what all over the place? Does it seem just as foolish to Him when I try to clean up my own messes and hope He won't notice? That the conversation I stuffed under that toy bucket won't eventually start to stink? Or my lack of self discipline won't show up all over the walls? And if we ask ourselves why do we run, perhaps we would look in a mirror and say "I don't have the words to tell you."

So tonight I am feeling a bit more humble. And a little less frustrated. Perhaps my kids are not so different from me after all. And I am reminded that Daddy God is not angry with us. He is waiting patiently (unlike me) and lovingly for us to learn to run to Him. Not once. Not even once a day. But over and over again all day long. Not so He can scold us, but so He can help us to grow up.  In Him.

1 Tim. 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for this life and the life to come.

PS In my defense, Makiah and my cat were both super easy to train. And even 18 month old Maddie Grace has actually asked to use the potty and then really gone! But oh these twins...

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Agony of Defeat

This session of the conference was titled, “The Agony of Defeat.”  The speaker talked about praying for God to heal people.  Most of the time we hear the miracle stories, but this time he only told stories of when God didn’t heal.  He didn’t offer platitudes or try to explain away the irony.  He simply said Christ says we must take up our cross daily and follow him.  This speaker believes that the cross we must carry if we are willing to pray in faith for people to be healed is the pain and disappointment that comes inevitably when some are not healed.  

Many of the stories he told were of children who continued to suffer or even die after receiving prayer for healing.  In every story I was the parent.   Because I am that parent.  I had believed for a solid hour with all my heart after the accident that God would raise Makiah from the dead, if she was indeed dead.  I just knew all the healing stories I had read were in me for faith for that moment and that I was going to see a miracle.   But I am that parent who didn’t see the miracle.  Instead I was handed the agony of defeat.  It’s not too often that I have heard people talk about what I and many others have lived.

As I sat in that chair near the back of the crowded auditorium, I felt as if my insides were quaking, and I know my lips trembled as I tried with all my might to hold back the torrents.  I am not sure if the sweet lady next to me could see through my facade or if she was trembling inside from her own pain, but when she reached over and took my hand I couldn’t restrain the flood any longer.  Hot tears poured silently down my cheeks as I bit my quivering lip.

This was the hardest teaching I have sat through, but it helped me.  Victory is so sweet,  but until Jesus returns we must be willing to bear the cross of disappointment that will inevitably rear its head as we strive to live like Him, pointing to salvation and praying for God to intervene with healing and miracles.   And we must be willing to embrace mystery.  We cannot fully understand why some are healed and others are not.  There are principles of course, but there is also overarching Grace.  God’s Grace that gives healings in circumstances when none of the principles are in place.  And God’s Grace that sustains us when the healing doesn’t come at all.

A few weeks before, my hubby and I sat in the Georgia Dome surrounded by thousands of young people at WinterJam.  The sounds and lights were amazing as Newsong, a group born in my childhood, took the stage to perform their signature song, Arise My Love.  The words rang out with deafening power:

Arise, My Love
Arise, My Love
The grave no longer has a hold on You
No more death's sting
No more suffering
Arise, arise

The words are from Father God to Jesus after he has died for our sins.  I can’t count how many times I have heard this song.  But this time was different.  As I stood there in the crowds, all I could see was a beautiful little blonde haired girl in a light pink smocked dress.  Lying still as death in that tiny white coffin.  And I could hear the words of Jesus when he returns to resurrect those who believe, “Arise, My Love!”  And the sting has been taken out of death and hell has been defeated because the grave the could not hold the King!  And it will not hold us!  And it will not hold my Makiah!  I looked back at Cameron, and I knew from the tears streaming from his red eyes that he saw the same thing in his heart.

And even now when I close my eyes I can picture the glorious light streaming forth from Jesus broken body as he was being resurrected.  Light and power that pierced and shattered the grave clothes that had bound Him.  And that same powerful resurrecting life is available for us and the grave clothes of fear or sin or disappointment or of our painful pasts are vaporized by the love of God.  And we can live free!  Even now!

But God raised him (Jesus) from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.  

Romans 8:11

11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who lives in you.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Well Project is Alive and Well!

A dear friend sent me a photo today of a bubbling brook and peaceful rushing waters.  She texted me “as I watched the crisp fresh water bubbling from that spring it reminded me of Makiah, and I grasped my necklace of her Living Water Well that I wear 99.9% of the time.  It made me smile as I remembered all the sweet little girls that are now able to go to school and live somewhat normal lives because of Makiah’s dream.  This photo makes me happy and helps me to remember her beauty.  It has no filter or editing, simply God’s creation in all its splendor.”  

Tears sprang to my eyes.  Happy tears that Makiah still comes to my friend’s mind.  Joy that the money Makiah gave from her piggy bank shortly before her death to help build a well at church has multiplied into many wells.  And amazement that this text came today, when today was the day I planned to blog about all the new wells!

Yes there are more!  There are eleven wells in all now!  Saturday I gathered all the well pictures and info that had been shuffled around in the move and prepared to write but nap time was too short.  Yesterday I had a sick child and a mega headache, so this morning when I got the text I knew this was well writing day!  If you are new to the blog, you can read the original well story HERE.   Let’s hope my children sleep long…

In the scorching African sun, 500 high school students attended the well dedication in a village in Ghana.  The new well meant the children’s school would no longer have to collect rainwater as their main source of water, and in the dry season they would not have to miss class anymore to make treks outside the village in search of water.  It also meant that all 500 heard a clear presentation of the gospel, and 50 students made decisions to serve the Lord!        

              Rev. John Lawertey is the Headmaster of the School.  The prayer of dedication for the well.

In Manzibomvu, South Africa a village of 60 people who desperately collected rainwater before,  gave thanks to God for their new well.  These two wells have something in common.   The money for them was raised entirely by a preschool class at Oak Crest Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina in Makiah’s memory!  And they have already sent in the $1800 for a third well and are almost finished raising the money for a fourth!  Can we make a difference in this world?  Can a child?  Can we impact eternity?  This group of little ones and their amazing leaders and my mother-n-law who shared Makiah’s story with them have shown us that we can! 

In Viswanadhapally, India 500 people are benefiting from the well that many of you, my friends and family, and my dad’s coworkers built.  A local pastor shared the gospel of hope and explained how the Lord Jesus is the only one who can quench the spiritual thirst we all have.  He prayed with several villagers to receive Christ.  One lady told a worker that her family suffers from skin infections because they previously could not get enough water to bathe or wash their clothes in.  She said the well has brought great relief not only to her family but also to the others in her village.  We can be the bringers of relief for them!

In Erukalawada, India most of the people walk barefoot in the hot sun for miles every day to secure a bare minimum of water.  The water they normally get is highly contaminated and many suffer from, gastroenteritis and other water borne diseases.  Today, Jyothi, a 27 year old resident of the village, is thankful that she can spend more time with her family instead of waiting for hours to catch water dripping from a pipe that passes by the village.  “Thank you for this wonderful gift!”  she exclaimed to a worker.  Her words are a reflection of the hope brought to 500 villagers because of many of you!!!   We can be the bringers of hope!

And friends, we do not know how many days we will have that opportunity.  Cameron’s mom was sharing Makiah’s story with a sweet couple, the Bryants, that have known him all his life.  They knew of Makiah’s death but not the Well Project.  Their hearts were so moved that they wrote a check to fund an entire well.  They took their earthly wealth and spent it on an eternal investment.   And the people of a South African village, Esipahleni, were changed because of their generosity.  Little did this couple  know that almost exactly one year later, Mr. James Bryant would meet Jesus face to face and have a chance to lay that heavenly crown at His master’s feet.  

Our life is but a breath the bible says.  It is like the grass of the field that fades away, but the Word of God stands forever.  When we are Jesus with skin on, we take our perishable lives and sow them into something incorruptible.   We trade our pennies for His treasure.  Thank you for turning my Makiah’s pennies into treasure that will last!  I will so enjoy the day I get to introduce you to her and we are able to meet those face to face who have been changed!  May we sow our pennies wisely until that day!

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”  Mathew 6:19-20

Only $1800 builds a well.  Donations to the Well Project can be made through PayPal using the link to the right on this blog or if you would like a tax deductable receipt, checks can be mailed to:

Operation Blessing International
Attn: Brenda Fansher, CSB 322
977 Centerville Turnpike
Virginia Beach, VA 23463

*Mark your gift clearly for Makiah King and it will be credited to her account.

Thank you for making her life count over and over again!
"Come follow me, and I will make you fisher's of men." -Jesus  in  Mathew 4:19

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Experience is a Powerful Teacher

This blog has been about sharing my journey.  Being vulnerable.  There was a time when I needed to scream my pain to the world.  Not so much now.  I tend to find myself wanting to wait to write about things until they are resolved.  Perfect.  Or at least not so messy.  But the truth is we all wade through messy in one way or another.  And sometimes we might need to know we are not alone in our uncertainty.

So here is a peek at my messiness… and the reason why I have been tired and nauseated and slower to blog than I should be!

There is only one color that every pregnant woman dreads, even if secretly.  And one  Tuesday night a few weeks ago it showed up out of no where.  We were eight weeks pregnant and had just seen the newbie (yes, baby number 5!!)  on ultrasound for the first time a few days before.  Every thing had seemed perfect.  But now it seemed almost certain I was miscarrying.  I called the doctor, and he said to come in for an ultrasound in the morning.   The long night of waiting began. 

And wrestling.  I was so disappointed.  I wanted to hope but how do you pray for life when you have lost a precious life before?  The words just seemed to be blown away by the painful wind of past memories.  Experience is a powerful teacher.  Prayers of great faith have not been my strong point since that October when she was taken from us.  Three years, three weeks, and three days ago.  God didn't save my Makiah.  
Most of the night I could not muster even the smallest seed of faith.  Somewhere in the dark of the morning my mind landed on pieces of a verse… God gives life to the dead and calls those things that are not as though they were.  And the smallest knowing started growing in my heart of how I needed to pray.

The next morning on the way to the doctor’s office Cameron told me he had gotten a text message from an old friend of his at about 3:00 am that day.  This man didn’t know anything about our situation or even that we were expecting a baby.  Here is what he sent Cameron…

“I think this  is for you. “Disappointment is not just a sad, emotional state of mind; it actually can sever our hearts from faith. It is the enemy’s work. Demonically manipulated disappointment can actually “dis-appoint” a person from God’s destiny for their lives.  When someone is disappointed, he or she is cut off from a scheduled appointment with destiny. The appointment remains in the heart of God, but the individual cannot connect with it because the offense filled his or her soul with unbelief. As a result, the person becomes dis-appointed.   Beloved, are you carrying disappointment in your heart? Renounce it. Forgive those who have disappointed you. Pluck out of your spirit the paralyzing sting of disappointment! Today the Spirit of God has come to release you from the effect of this attack. He sent me to tell you, “Your appointment with your destiny is still set.”

Holy Spirit, I confess that disappointment has crept into my soul. I forgive those who have disappointed me, and I release them back to You. I also forgive myself for accepting disappointment. I renounce unbelief and submit again to Your call on my life. Lord, prepare me again to move into the future You have appointed for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Excerpt From: Frangipane, Francis. “This Day We Fight!.” Baker Publishing Group, 2010-06-28. iBooks.”

When I read this on his phone, the hot tears wouldn’t stop.  This was for us! For me!  I sat amazed that God would use this man that I have never met to speak so clearly to my heart.  This was my battle.   Faith welled up.  Not so much of the outcome, but that God still loves me no matter what the ultrasound would show.  We cried and prayed that even if this resulted in more disappointment, that we would not let it “dis-appoint” us from what God has designed us for.

As I sit here typing tonight, I am now twelve weeks pregnant!  You can just imagine how I cried with joy when that ultrasound showed a little heart beating still.  And the ultrasound I had yesterday showed a wiggly baby with limbs moving and rolling and even little fingers already!  The complication, a sub chorionic bleed adjacent to the placenta, is beginning to show signs of resolving.  I was hoping by now it would be perfectly healed, but I guess I need to be stretched a bit more.  I am setting my faith on meeting this little one next summer and choosing to say; “the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us… but even if he does not, we want you to know… that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
(from Daniel 3: 17-18 when his three friends were about to be tossed into a fiery furnace for not worshiping the king’s idol). 

Experience is a powerful teacher.  But it is not always truth.  The word is Truth.   Jesus is Truth.   And the truth card must beat the experience card every time.  God is faithful.  Period.  And He is more powerful than my experience.

Well, now this is Happy New Year...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Breathtaking Proposal

The sky grew black
as the eastern hemisphere  rotated into the darkness. 
Away from the light of the sun the night became cold. 
The hearts had grown cold long ago. 
Plunged into darkness by a wayward choice. 
A stretch for power beyond ourselves.
A taste had sentenced the generations to darkness of heart and
coldness of spirit that even the  warm morning sun
 could not drive away.

Except that night there was a rather brilliant star
intruding on the inky blackness. 
The  dazzling twinkle taunted its pale brothers in the sky. 
And it drew the eye.  Captured the gaze. 
And for centuries before there had been twinkles of light
that seemed to point the way. 
Signs of hope given in the midst of despair. 
The light of miracles and divine intervention. 
Dotting history, they had grabbed the heart and drawn the gaze. 
Illuminating the path and giving hope of what was to come. 
Of WHO was to come.

In the chill of that night a muffled scream tore the silence. 
Searing pain and groaning agony
never experienced by this innocent before. 
It rang out with a prophetic echo. 
Foretelling the future groans, the ripping torment, the soul searing destruction of His innocent flesh. 
To be laid down in sacrifice. 
His life blood hemorrhaging away that a world in darkness might
be born new.

As the minutes crept by and the intensity became suffocating,
the darkness looked on and tightened its grip
on the world it had held since the fall. 
But Suddenly. 
After hundreds of minutes…
after hundreds of years…
the moment was here. 
The push.  A breath and a cry. 
A tiny little innocent cry that flashed like a bolt of lightening ripping time in half. 
The darkness reverberated and a pulse of light cut through 
dimensions we cannot perceive.  
All of heaven rejoiced with a thunderous sound.  
And hell trembled with confusion. 

It had never been done before. 
And who would have ever imagined a love so great? 
What God leaves his throne to become a man? 
To enter the darkness in order to defeat it. 
For others.  For us.  For you.  For me.

It was unthinkable. 
This plan set in motion by that very first cry. 
That downy wet head cradled in swaddling clothes and
laid in a humble bed of straw. 
He had crowned and come in human blood
so He could be crowned. 
With thorns and His own blood dripping. 
So He could be crowned with glory
and take home His bride. 
To whisk her away from the darkness she was once captive to,
the darkness she had once chosen. 
To make her clean and new and beautiful and
take her home to His forever kingdom. 
Such a love story had never been written.

And all creation held its breath as He took his first. 
And then everything changed. 
God was sticky and cold
and there was no warm bath for Him or snugly soft blankets. 
No incubator or decorated nursery or baby shower. 
Just a filthy barn, the loving arms of two young parents, some smelly shepherds, and a suspicious and
scornful family to welcome him.

And we are no longer alone in our filth and our pain. 
The coldness of our hearts and the futility of our situations. 
He is with us.  Hope is here.  Peace has arrived. 
He has come for us.  To hold us.  To walk with us. 
And if we will let him, to rescue us with His love.

And perhaps now the King is holding His breath, to see if you will take your first. 
The first of a new life. 
His royal nail scarred hand reaching out for yours. 
No offer could be greater.  No proposal more breathtaking.

And in our hearts we will whisper “Yes!” 
And with our mouths let’s shout “Yes!”
This Christmas Day.
And every day after.
Let us rejoice!
The King has come for us!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In the Potter's Hands

I have had one Thanksgiving with Maddie Grace, two with the twins, Abby and Alena, and four with Makiah.  I don’t know what it is about the holidays that makes us want to look back.  I guess memories of love and togetherness, good food and fun all roll up into a sort of intangible slice of heaven.  Despite the chaos  and perhaps even wreckage we may pull those memories from.  

I mean its messy down here for sure.  Just in our family this week my grandmother had emergency brain surgery (she is doing great though).  My parents new house didn’t get built in time for us to get into it until this afternoon despite my mom’s lovely plans of being settled in weeks ago.  Two of the four littles here with the family have been sick so we are quarantined from the older folks and other littles.  Even though we are here in Alabama, we will likely need to have a separate Thanksgiving and miss out on visiting.  I mean, it’s just plain messy.  Not the way I planned.  And maybe it is in your family, too.

Every song I heard on the radio last week was about surrendering yourself and your dreams to the Lord.  I would change the channel and the next one would be singing about laying down your own plans and embracing whatever God has for you. Every. Song.  I have been in a spot of unknowing here lately and trusting is not something that comes easily to me since October of 2010.  Even this week I have the opportunity to be frustrated because not much has worked out how I envisioned it.   But last night I opened a classic book to read on my phone, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah W. Smith.  I liked the title and figured it might be something good to fall asleep to.

This is what I read.

“Suppose I were to be describing to a person... the way in which a lump of clay is to be made into a beautiful vessel.  I tell him first the part of the clay... is that the clay is put into the potter’s hands, and lies passive there, submitting itself to all the turnings and over turnings of the potter’s hands upon it. There is really nothing else to be said about the clay’s part... Now we come to the important part.  The potter takes the clay thus abandoned to his working, and begins to mold and fashion it according to his own will.  He kneads and works it, he tears it apart and presses it together again, he wets it and then suffers it to dry. Sometimes he works at it for hours together, sometimes he lays it aside for days and does not touch it.  And then, when by all these processes he has made it perfectly pliable in his hands, he proceeds to make it into the vessel he has purposed.  He turns it upon the wheel, planes it and smoothes it, and dries it in the sun, bakes it in the oven, and finally turns it out of his workshop, a vessel to his honor and fit for his use...

What can be said about man’s part in this great work, but that he must continually surrender himself and continually trust... And so the soul, abandoned to the work of the Heavenly Potter,  is changed rapidly from glory to glory into the image of the Lord by His Spirit.”  

And I hear the call to surrender myself.  Even my little insignificant daily plans.  I hear the whisper asking me if I will thank Him in every circumstance.  Will I allow myself to be comforted because He is with me and will not abandon me?  Will I draw near to His presence with praise or will I push back at what I am dealt?  God is sovereign, yes, but He has made us in His image.  Even though we are a lump of clay and He is the potter, He has graciously allowed us a choice.  Will we surrender our lives and our dreams, our very selves?  Will we trust that He is good?  Check your heart.  I believe you will hear the whisper.  Every day it is there.  Every day we can answer by picking up our cross and following Him.  

Because what He is designing us for is eternity.  This life is not the end game.  That beautiful vessel of honor that He has planned for us to be has an eternal destiny.  We cannot even begin to imagine what He is preparing us for and preparing for us!  

So I will embrace my messy week.  And entrust my dreams to Him again today.  And tomorrow I will give thanks because the Heavenly Potter is not finished with me, and my heart leaps for joy when I try to imagine what He ultimately has in store!  More than just memories and good feelings rolled up in a slice of heaven.  That holiday slice is just a mere shadow of what is to come!!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Luke 9:23  Then He (Jesus) said to them all, “ Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Joshua 24:15  But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and courts with praise..