Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Night in the Storm Cellar

To say our hearts are heavy this morning is an understatement. The storms have destroyed so much. Homes are gone, towns destroyed and families are grieving the loss of their loved ones.

After the girls and I settled in for our basement slumber party last night, we talked a little about what could happen. Surprisingly, they were not afraid. We made up beds and settled in for a long night.

I asked the girls if they wanted to read a particular passage or have a favorite Bible story they wanted to hear. Emma spoke up pretty fast and said "Joseph". So we read about Joseph and his brothers. Verses like "what you meant for evil, God used for good" just about had me in tears last night.

Then we hit the Psalms. I can't even tell you which ones we read, I just kept turning pages and read/prayed them for a little while. The girls were still and quiet and I could tell they were close to sleep, so we prayed.

Chloe prayed first asking God to protect our area, spare us and to "move the storm out of our path".

Emma prayed for the people who had already lost their homes and that God would help her be brave.

We had hardly finished praying when Chad texted me. (He's at Nasa for the shuttle launch) His eyes were glued to the weather channel. His words were..

"Weather channel reporting tornado danger for metro ATL has passed-tornado activity is all but dead!"

God answered our prayers and literally moved the storm out of our path.

This was my view shortly after that text.

We are grateful.

At the same time we are just sick for Alabama, northern Georgia and Tennessee. We have friends and or family in each of these places.

Everything in us wants to get in the car and go help clean up, rock babies, hand out water. But we right now we can't do that.

So we pray.

We pray that Jesus will continue to be near to the brokenhearted.

We pray for restoration. Restoration of property, but more importantly, of hearts.

We thank Him for being greater, stronger and in control of all things.

He is faithful. He is with us on days with blue skies and He is with us on days filled with funnel clouds and hail storms. He is in control.

Our focus verse for yesterday was the last part of Luke 8:25

"He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

While I pray we never see this type of devastation again, I am so thankful for time we had last night in the storm cellar. It will be an Ebenezer moment for each of us.
So far the Lord has helped us. (see 1 Sam. 7:12)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It was Saturday. The day before Easter Sunday. Our family of four was rejoicing that we had finally found the perfect Easter outfit for one of our daughters. (It was quite a hunt this year! But she would not give up until she found the perfect, modest ensemble. I'm proud of her.)

The mall was packed so my normal walking pace was severely hindered. To say we were strolling is an understatement, we were slow pokes and I was getting a little aggravated. About the time I was getting huffy with the group of boys in front of us, I saw her coming towards us.

Actually, I saw a police officer carrying a very nice handbag first, and THEN the lady she was walking slightly behind, and I made eye contact. I smiled. She stared coldly and looked away. As they got closer I realized she was handcuffed.

My first reaction was to use it as a teaching opportunity with my girls, and after they had walked past us I did. BUT, after we got home I could not get over how cold my heart was to this young girl. Part of me felt like "you do the crime, you do the time". (I had to ask forgiveness for that by the way.) The other part is crying, that is someones daughter, sister, maybe even mother. Does she know Jesus? Has anyone told her how much He loves her?

At barely 20 she has made choices that will affect her life for quite sometime. Choices that resulted in being handcuffed and paraded through the mall for all to see and speculate about what she had done. People were turning around to watch. I'm sure people laughed, pointed, stared. Most of us, assuming she was getting what she deserved.

The day before we celebrate Easter.

This morning during worship, I was overwhelmed with the fact that my sinless Savior was arrested, beaten, paraded through a crowd of people and then died. With my sin on Him. He was taunted, spit on, laughed at...for me.

He willingly paid the penalty of my sin.

Of your sin.

My bad choices may not have resulted in being handcuffed, but if we all received what we deserved, it would be death.

Romans 6:23 says

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amazing love. Amazing Grace.

I love how The Message words 2 Corinthians 5:21

God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

What a Savior we have.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15.

Monday, April 18, 2011

OneThousand Gifts - 5

What a busy two weeks. My heart is overflowing with thanks for so much.

61. feeling at home
62. green on the trees that fill our backyard
63. jets in my bathtub (thank you emma for reminding me how awesome they are.)
64. weekend getaways with friends
65. feeling the weight of God's glory in a worship service
66. my own closet
67. baby showers and the new life they celebrate
68. the iris and hostas Chad transplanted for me on Saturday (what a treat to pull in the driveway and see him planting my flowers.)
69. lavender scented fabric softener
70. sunrise

We are so thankful life is falling back into our normal schedule! We are counting down the days of school and dreaming about summer vacation. It is going to be good. We already see things to be grateful for there. :)

I'm off to spend some time with "Hannah's One Wish" preparing for my 8th grader girls week one of this study. And then....

I'm FINALLY hanging pictures in our bedroom. (That big room is beginning to feel like a hospital with all the white!)

Thank you for stopping by, you have been prayed for today!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hi!'s been so long since I posted I'll be surprised if anyone is still reading! :)

We have spent the last three weeks in high gear. Emma's birthday, packing boxes, musical, packing boxes, move, unpacking boxes, speaking in TN, more unpacking, helping with a baby shower...did I mention unpacking boxes?

We are finally getting settled in and things are starting to look like home.

I know that we are exactly where God wants us to be and even with the craziness of moving, we are at complete peace.

We have tried our best to keep our minds and hearts focused on Him during this move and God has done what His words says He will do. (Keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast... Isaiah 26:3)

I'm in the midst of packing for a quick overnight trip to the lake with some of my favorite ladies. God orchestrated this getaway at just the right time. He's so good like that.

Thanks for stopping by today! You have been prayed for...