Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I've kinda been in a funk for a week. Just life stuff that happens--family, work, stress, too much TV and not enough sleep, too much world and not enough Word. My Esther study has ended and I don't have something else next to do. To be honest, I do better when there's accountability for homework involved and blanks to fill in! It has given me time to read Karen Kingsbury's newest book and review a couple other Christian non-fiction books. But nothing is a substitute for the Word.

Monday I was driving to work with one of our local Christian stations cranked up. I don't know where I've been or if they just recently started playing it, but I heard Chris Tomlin's song, I Will Rise for the first time. Instantly the words seeped down deep.

Then Monday evening as I was visiting my blogging friends in the internetty world, one posted this video:

I was reminded that Christ's death and resurrection secured-- for all who fully lean on Him-- a life with Him after this earthly one. I was also reminded me that God has overcome all sin, pain, and sorrow and His power is quite enough for my everyday funk.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm Glad I Didn't

My plans for this weekend were to turn over my closet by putting away all my fall/winter wear. I was going to store my sweaters in clear totes. I wanted to clean my boots and box them up for another season. I looked forward to replacing the dark colors and heavy fabric of Winter with the lighter textures and brighter hues of Spring and Summer. Then I would be able to take inventory of what fit from last year, what needed to be sent to consignment or Goodwill and what essential items needed to be replaced or added to round out my wardrobe. I also thought that it would be a good time to take my wool coat to the cleaners then put away all the scarves, hats, and gloves that have accumulated in the closet shelf (and on the closet floor if I'm honest).

This seemed to be a reasonable goal.
The calendar said it was Spring.
The weather had been seasonable for this time of year.

Then it started doing this:

And didn't stop until several inches had accumulated on grass that was just starting to show a hint of green.

I planned to turn over my closet--I'm so glad I didn't. We had dinner plans out with friends. My wardrobe for the evening required a turtleneck, my wool coat and black boots. Guess I'll be dressing out of my winter closet for a few more days!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More March Madness

1 end of the year cheer banquet and awards night. Saying good bye to the seniors. Lots of tears, lots of running mascara. Not just the girls either--some moms were sniffling too.
1 extra guest home with College Boy for Spring Break.
2 performances of the Spring variety show with half a duet who has laryngitis-probably from cheering at state game and singing her heart out at last show choir competition.
1 car wreck involving teenage daughter -- more tears. All before last performance of Spring Variety Show. It could have been worse. Thanking God for His protection.
I'm worn out and missed my last Esther Bible study lesson due to car incident noted above.
I'm going to bed now.
Wake me up when it's April.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March Madness

This is my March Madness so far:
2 trips to the other side of the state for Basketball Tournaments- girls game and boys game.
1 visit to my favorite mall during one of the aforementioned basketball trips.
2 new spring outfits & 1 new pair of sandals.
1 lunch at Cheesecake Factory at the aforementioned favorite mall.
Last show choir competition of the season-- Grand Champions one more time!
2 kids- 2 different Spring Breaks...

I'll get back to you when it lets up.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Early Signs of Spring

A friend of my was visiting family in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago (before the freak snow storm hit our dear southern states) and came back reporting that the daffodils, forsythia, and crepe myrtles were in bloom. Oh how I wished I had been there to see it for myself. I love Spring and am ready to say buh-bye to Winter. But I have lived in Iowa long enough to know that the few days we might get of sunshine and warm weather this time of year are just a teaser. We really won't see Spring until April or May. So I have learned to look for and relish any early signs of Spring. These are some of those things that help me hold on to hope...

A Spring wreath, the March edition of Midwest Living, & my Spring weight coat--after all this IS Iowa!

The cross that stays up year 'round but reminds me this time of year of the sacrifice of Christ and that He did not stay on the cross!

More decorations (I have a thing for rabbits as long as they are not burrowing in my yard) & my husband's favorite springtime toy:

A view from my backyard:

And what they do to my car when I park too close to their roost:

More signs of Spring:
the Dairy Queen that re-opened after a winter break, the Hy-Vee garden center setting up their outdoor display, & hot cross buns at Panera!

So what are the early signs of Spring where you live?


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Saving Face

We had a big event for the women at our church this past weekend. Every other year we plan a home-grown retreat/conference for women in our church. Sometimes it is held nearby at a hotel or retreat center but this year we choose to do it all "in house" meaning we met at church and use our own speakers & musicians. The other (of every other) years, we plan a weekend away to a big event involving national speakers in arena settings where we worship, study (and sometimes cry) with thousands of women from all backgrounds and denominations.

Part of my job involves supporting the women's ministry at our church so I had responsibilities through out the weekend. I knew my Friday would blur from work to weekend without a break so I planned for reinforcements. Some things in my survival kit included snacks (chocolate), comfortable shoes, a change of clothes, and my essential make-up bag. My essential make up bag contains the 4-5 things that I think are necessary to put on a publicly presentable face. I have yet to find makeup that lives up to the "All Day" or "Long Wearing" hype. These few items would be necessary to freshen up my face at the end of a workday. Sure enough, there only a few minutes to spare between clocking out and before the first ladies arrived. There was just enough time to check my teeth and smear on a new layer of lipstick. Not the full fresh face I had hoped for but it would have to do.

During the Friday night portion of the retreat, seven women had been asked to share their stories of how God met them when Life Happened. Openly and honestly they shared of self-esteem issues, job loss, a marriage on the brink of dissolution, drug addiction, breast cancer, and loss of a spouse/aging. I knew each of these women personally. For some of them, I knew what a work of God it was that they could even stand before a group to share their story. Around our tables, there was a time to share in small groups and the discussion at my table was equally authentic. Others reported women at their table who felt free enough to share deep issues for which they were requesting prayer and seeking wisdom.

What an incredible evening of openness!

I had been concerned with fixing my face and being "presentable".

These precious women came to be real.