Friday, May 20, 2011

The Importance of Being [Honest]

Senior Night 2011 at the Dwelling Place has come and gone. I wondered if I would be sad...after all, its the last Senior Night with Tim as the youth minister...well, actually, he's not even the youth minister anymore, but he's been doing the Dwelling Place this year while we wait for God's new person for the job (can I get a Yahoo for Crews!!??!!).

Anyway, of course I cried because we mother-types tend to always cry at events such as these, but it was not a "sad because our lives have changed" cry. It was the same cry I've cried at every other Senior Night in the last 10 years. It was a "happy/sad/love what God's doing in all of our lives" type of cry. I remember in college that my sweet friend Monica told me that God prepares us for each season of our lives and when we get to it we will be prepared for whatever it is. This is so true. Five years ago if someone had told me that our last Dwelling Place (in that capacity) would be coming in five years, I would've been a blubbering mess. However, now that the season has changed, I'm not a blubbering mess (or at least not any more than any other mother-type in the room that night), but instead I'm a child of the King with a heart that's been prepared for His plan.

Well, enough about that...let's move on to what I intended to write about.

So, I think wonderful and fabulous things happen when we are honest. I saw teenagers and adults speak honestly on Wednesday night, and we all left being a bit more like Jesus than we were before....

...when Miriam reminded us of the pain she has seen, we were able to see in living form God's restoring of the broken-hearted. As Tim said afterwards, "our worlds all became a little bigger by being reminded of Miriam's story".

...when Bradyn told us his story, his testimony, concrete ways he is different now because of Jesus, we were reminded that Jesus CHANGES our lives, makes us new, gives us life to the full.

...when Josef spoke honestly about the way he feels about the members of his family, we were reminded that many of us have heroes right in our own house.

...when Ann spoke honestly to Julie, we remembered that all of us have such extreme worth and value in the eyes of our Savior.

...when Andrea shared that she found God during her time here with us, we were reminded that the way we love people matters...that God can be found in us...that the God of our hearts will be going back to Germany inside of Andrea in July.

...when Charlotte spoke about the friendships she found here, we all remembered that this is a special place filled with special people loving an incredible God together.

...when Thomas told Landen that he models himself after him, we were reminded that people are always watching, whether we know it or not, and others know more of Jesus by the way that we love.

When we take the time to speak the feelings of our hearts, we become more like Jesus, we know more of his love, we understand and love each other more.

I love nights like this.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It is all a gift...

I just finished watching an interview of Noah Worthington's dad, Wil. For those of you who are not local, Noah, age 11, was killed in a car accident last week.

I am left sitting here at my desk, eyes leaking profusely, pondering how this family will go on (I've written about those thoughts here).

The longer I sit there, though, I am struck with the reminder that it is all a gift....ALL of it...every boy in my house is a gift, my sweet husband is a gift, each dear friend is a gift. I deserve none of it.

When I start to consider the gifts in my life as things I somehow deserve or have earned, then living without them is inconceivable. However, gifts are not something to be grasped tightly, but something to cherish, to treasure, to give THANKS for. Gifts are just Blessed be the name of my God, who gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, "Lord blessed be YOUR name".

Today, when I see my gifts, I plan to cherish and treasure a little more, to hug a little tighter, listen a little more intently, love a little more deeply.

THANKFUL for the gifts,