Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chicken-Butt Eggs


We love our chickens.  I know this may sound crazy, but they have as much personality as our dogs.  And now, we are starting to reap the rewards of having them: EGGS!!! 

The other day, Caroline and I were playing with the chickens and collecting eggs.  As we were walking back into the house, I asked her if she wanted me to make her some scrambled eggs.  She had this very hesitant look on her face and asked if I was going to use the eggs we had just collected.  I told her, "Yes," and she made that face kids make when you try to make them eat broccoli.

Here's how the rest of the exchange went:
Me: "What's wrong? You realize these eggs are not fertilized so we are not eating baby chickens, right?"
Caroline: "Yes, but it's just weird to me to eat these.  They came from our chickens' butts!"
Me: "You realize ALL eggs come from chickens' butts, right?  Even the ones in the stores. 
Caroline: "Yeah, but we don't KNOW the other chickens."
Me: "Yes, but isn't it better that we know where ours come from and know how good our chickens are?"
Caroline: "Yes, but the ones in the store have all the extra added stuff in them."
Me: "And that is exactly why these taste so good and are better for us--they don't have all the extra preservatives and stuff in them and we know what our chickens have been eating."
Caroline: "Well, it's still just weird."
Me: "Maybe a little, but I'm hungry."


And the circle of life goes on and on...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Things I discovered while Cleaning out my Office

I've spent the last couple of days going through piles of papers.  Seriously big piles.  Piles that completely filled the tall recycle bin in our copy room.  Papers that I don't need anymore and probably never really needed to keep in the first place. 

And in the process, I discovered a few things...

  • I'm a hoarder of office supplies ( and folders, labels, envelopes, etc.--you get the drift...)
  • I like fun-colored/printed folders
  • Calendars dating back to 2011 (yes, calendars is plural there--just don't ask)
  • Some sweet, sweet thank you notes
  • A napkin with training plans/philosophies on it (which, have all been implemented at this time--yay, God!)
  • Lots and lots of old "Maps" (our name for a weekly schedule) with hundreds of volunteer names on them
  • Precious artwork and notes from my daughter
But, the biggest thing I re-discovered is that I am blessed.  Some days, an office job doing data entry sounds really good.  It's got a beginning and an end.  It can be compartmentalized and not thought about again when I get home.  It might not take as much energy from me.

But, it would take me away from people.  Back in 2006, I remember being asked why I wanted this job--did I realize how hard it would be working with people day in and day out.  My answer then is the same one now.  "Yes.  People are a lot of work and it will be hard.  BUT, they also bring a lot of joy--more than a spreadsheet--and the rewards far outweigh the words."

Moving on/over is sometimes hard, but if we don't move, we stagnate.  And stagnate water not only looks ugly, it stinks. 

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"  Isaiah 43:18-19a

P.S.  Reading back through this, I want to clarify that I am not leaving Bent Tree; I am simply shifting my focus from what I've done for the past 8 years to helping to build the Kids ministry on the Frisco campus.  I'm cleaning in anticipation of an awesome replacement for me in Carrollton.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

He Knows my Name

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in His hands.

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go.

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call.

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in His hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Remember Who the REAL Enemy Is

Remember who the real enemy is.  A friend of mine reminded me the other day of that line in "Catching Fire" and it has popped up unexpectedly in my mind several times since then.  Here's a quick view of it in case you've been under a rock the past few years and haven't seen it yet: http://youtu.be/rwxcNayRTI0

It's so easy to get caught up in our conflicts with friends, spouses, co-workers, kids, etc. that we lose sight of the bigger battle.  Ephesians 6:11-13 reminds us of this:
 
"Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Can't you just hear Satan (in President Snow's voice) saying, "Let it fly!"?  Let it fly at the people around you who love you the most.  Let it fly on the unsuspecting customer service rep.  Let it fly on your boss.  Even let it fly on yourself.  But the real enemy is not any of those people. 

Praying for you (and me) as we put on our gold bracelet/armor--that we would not get so far into the details that we forget who the REAL enemy is...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Doing

It's funny what we spend our days on. The things we think are so important in the moment. The ways we get consumed with doing.

God has been showing me a lot this past few weeks about what is truly important to Him. And the conclusion I am facing, is that all my doing just spins me further from Him--even when it's things I think are FOR Him. The doing that requires it to be about me. And my desires. The doing that keeps me too busy to sit and seek His voice.

Just over 2 weeks ago, I entered a contest to go to Rwanda and part of me was hoping to win so I could change the world. Sounds silly now when I put it on paper, but I REALLY wanted it.  I realized this morning that the contest ended yesterday. Obviously, I did not receive enough votes to even be in the running.

But I'm okay with it. In fact, the thought of leaving the country and my family right now fills me with angst.   Because, while a worthy thing, it's not what God is doing through me right now.  It's so easy for me to "save the world" but ignore my family. I'm embarrassed to admit that. That I let myself get caught up in the plight of orphans in another country and am not as accessible to my own children as they want/need.

But God, in His grace, gives wake up calls and second chances. He reminds me of my calling as a wife and mom.  He pulls me up and gives me a glimpse of His perspective. And it's not always what I thought it was.  Or dreamed it would be. But it's oh so much more beautiful!

And through it all, He loves me. And calls me His. And never disowns me. Or berates me. He just shakes His head, smiles and opens up His arms wide. Waiting for me to stop doing and just be. To be still. To be with Him. To be comforted. To be loved.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Broken Beautiful

I know that I don't bring a lot to the table
Just little pieces of a broken heart
There's days I wonder if You'll still be faithful
Hold me together when I fall apart?

Would You remind me now of who You are?

That Your love will never change,
That there's healing inYour name
And that You can take broken things,
And make them beautiful

You took my shame and You walked out of the grave
So Your love can take broken things

...and make them beautiful, oh-oh
And make the-em beautiful oh-oh...
And make them beautiful-oh

I'm better off when I begin to remember
How You have met me in my deepest pain
So give me glimpses now of how You have covered
All of my heartache, oh with all Your grace

Remind me know that You can make a way

That Your love will never change,
That there's healing inYour name 
And that You can take broken things,
And make them beautiful 

You took my shame and You walked out of the grave
So Your love can take broken things

...and make them beautiful, oh-oh
And make the-em beautiful oh-oh...
And make them beautiful-oh

You say that. You'll turn my weeping into dancing
Remove my sadness and cover me with joy
You say your scars are the evidence of healing

That you can make the broken...beautiful

Cuz Your love will never change,
And there's healing in Your name
And You will take broken things
And make them beautiful

You took my shame
And Youw allied out of the grave

So Your love can take broken things...

...and make them beautiful, oh-oh
And make the-em beautiful oh-oh...
And make them beautiful-oh

You make us beautiful oh-oh
You make us beautiful-oh

The Broken Beautiful by Ellie Holcomb



Friday, May 16, 2014

Birthday Love

It's not even 10am, but it's already been a fabulous day!  It's the day we celebrate my birth--42 years ago.  And I have a secret to tell...even though I don't always act like it, I REALLY like gifts.  In fact, it's really embarrassing how much I like them.

And I got a great one from my family this morning--a charm bracelet I've wanted for years.  I can't wait to get my first charms on it and start adding to the collection.  Charm bracelets tell stories and if you know me at all, you know I have this deep love for stories!

But, the charm bracelet wasn't my favorite gift. While it's a pretty hard one to beat, I realized how much more I loved the words/non-words I received from my favorite Royal people.

Caroline wrote me this note:


I know it's hard to read (surely I don't need to remind you of my lack of good picture-taking skills), but I am the shell to her turtle.  And for those of you who don't know, turtles are her most favorite thing in the world.  And her hands were covered in marker afterward--be still my heart!




After a rough start to the morning that began with tears (those of you with pre-teens who don't like to get out of bed in the morning will totally understand), my Hope, who never posts selfies with me, posted this on her Instagram:
And if that weren't enough to have me in puddles, my hubby, who hates making lunches and only does it when I'm stressed and running really late, got out of bed before me and helped the girls to make theirs so I didn't have to.  No pics on this one because he doesn't like me to make a big deal out of the little things like this he does and snapping a pic would have ruined the moment. 

And, not to be left out, my sweet friends who I ADORE working with, snuck in to Tin Star earlier this week and decorated "our" table before I got there.

And yes--that is my favorite flower--beautiful hydrangeas!!!

Throughout the morning, my phone has also been blowing up with facebook messages.

Words bring life. 

In the past couple of years, I've not made it a priority to tell those I love "happy bday" and celebrate/mourn with them as intentionally as I have in the past.  I've got lots of great excuses that I tell myself when I feel that Holy Spirit twinge to reach out:
  • I'm too busy
  • They won't even notice if I don't say anything--everybody else will cover me
  • But what happens if I do it this time and forget the next time--will they read into it
  • What if I didn't say anything on their best friend's birthday--won't that friend feel left out?
It's crazy!!  And yes, that's just a snippet into my narcissistic mind--scary, huh?

Anyway, my socks have been blessed off and it reminds me that when kindness is shown to you, it makes you want to show it to others. 

So, it's time for some intentional and spontaneous life-giving words to start coming out of my mouth...