Sunday, July 27, 2008
As of right now our new apartment is hidden beneath boxes (mostly comprised of books from Jon's vast library) but I'm beginning to see glimmers of what will be. Our bedroom seems a lot bigger than our old one. I noticed the difference even more when I discovered that my wonderful husband had made the bed and cleared the room of clutter while I had gone out to run an errand. He knows that in he midst of chaos I need one place to go where I feel some semblance of order, plus I don't sleep well when the bedroom is a hot mess. Thanks honey!
We were finally able to crawl into bed around 4:30pm or so and I think we both struggled to sleep for any prolonged amount of time (we only have blinds hanging over our windows right now which make blocking out any sunlight virtually impossible). In the midst of my constant tossing and turning I do remember waking up around 7:30pm to the sound of children laughing and yelling in what seemed like a strange language...I thought that maybe those noises sounded so foreign because my body was completely exhausted. After laying there a few more minutes trying to discern what was taking place outside our bedroom I turned over in bed and saw my husband looking at me with glazed eyes. We stared at each other for a few seconds and then Jon exerted a long sigh. Poor thing. After a few more minutes of the children jabbering away Jon, in his witty humor (which is even funnier when you are running on a hour or so of sleep) quoted a line from one of our favorite shows, "Habanadah!"
Here is a little explanation:
Ray Barone: That's the restaurant where the crazy old Chinese lady yells at you while you're leaving, right?
Debra Barone: You know what she's yelling, right?
Ray Barone: Yeah, "habanadah!"
Debra Barone: She's saying, "Have a nice day."
Ray Barone: Oh. [pause]
Ray Barone: Well, maybe she isn't crazy.
So there I lay in bed completely exhausted, with the jibber-jabbering of little Chinese children ringing in my ears. The humor of the situation was too much and before I knew it I was laughing out loud. Looking back, I think the Lord gave us both a little extra grace today because with the stress of moving and our lack of sleep...He knew we needed it.
Well, I'm at work and it's 3:20am...I'm still awake, which is a good thing. We'll see what happens when 8:00am rolls around but for now the memories of the afternoon are small encouragements that bring a smile to my face. So to sum up our day here are some blessings that God gave us in the midst of a stressful and sleep deprived move:
1. We had friends give up their Saturday morning to help us out and then enjoyed some fellowship time over Domino's pizza before parting ways. (On a side note nothing was broken during the move thanks to Stephanie and Jennifer's superior packing abilities. Thanks ladies!)
2. Jon and I jumped in the pool before heading to bed (we saw some colorful people at the pool and God reminded me of the multiple evangelistic opportunities we will have at our new place and I can't wait.)
3. Despite my husband's exhaustion he went out of his way to clean up our bedroom and make a little retreat for us away from all of the clutter.
4. We woke up to some Chinese children chattering away and had a good laugh.
God's grace has been more than sufficient for us!!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
While I was at work last night I was blessed once again through a conversation with a friend. We spent a lot of time talking about things of faith that we were working through. During the conversation we talked some about revival and I was reminded of a revival that took place at my alma mater, Asbury College, in the 1970s. This revival is such a beautiful story of God's genuine presence coming in the midst of his people revealing sin and bringing people into a deeper relationship with him. Each of these clips are about 8-9 minutes long. I want to encourage you to try and set some time aside and listen to this account of God's grace. It's truly humbling and awe inspiring. God is so worthy of praise!!
Even though I've seen this video time and time again I can't help but be challenged in my faith. My heart cries out for more of God. This is what I want to see happen among God's people. I want a revival that leaves people changed, so changed that they must go out and share what God has done. This is my prayer!
(The picture is not the best quality and the audio at the beginning of part 1 cuts out for a minute but the story is well worth the wait.)
Asbury College Revival- Part 1
Asbury College Revival- Part 2
Asbury College Revival- Part 3
Asbury College Revival- Part 4
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I had the chance to sit down with Ashley, a friend of mine, and we ended up talking for a couple of hours about all sorts of things, mostly just trying to make up for lost time. Near the end of our conversation we began to talk about people we've known who have come to accept the Lord. We talked about the stories we have seen unfold in the lives of these friends and how God has rescued them from some amazing circumstances from the bondage of drug addiction to freedom from the baggage of abuse. What started out as a conversation turned into such a beautiful time of praise to God. Ashley and I began to think about heaven and all of the people we will see. I'm sure I'll see people there that I had never imagined would ever make that step to follow Christ. My mind wondered and I questioned what that glorious scene would look like. A vast sea of faces, people from all kinds of backgrounds with diverse stories of how they came to know the God of Creation.
I've always heard that when we finally reach heaven that we will spend eternity worshipping God but tonight my heart jumped at the thought of what that might mean. Just imagine for a moment the testimonies of millions upon millions of people praising the name of our holy God by telling of his grace that changed their lives. Stories of women who use to walk the streets to feed their drug addiction, or men who lived most of their lives behind bars. Testimonies of the lives of women who inwardly struggled with self hate and who nursed their pain through eating disorders, or men who ran after the love of money. Young and old, rich and poor all kinds of people telling of how an almighty God stepped into their empty lives showing them the depth of their sin but at the same time showering them with grace. I could listen forever to those stories displaying the greatness of our God. How beautiful, how glorious that would be!!
Of course my mind cannot fathom what that day will be like when Christ returns in power and might but my after my conversation tonight I yearn to see it. To see the face of the Almighty and to hear the stories of His greatness. I feel like my heart can hardly contain the joy of just thinking of what that day and the rest of eternity will be like. I challenge you to take a few minutes just to think of the stories you know and the lives you have seen transformed by the power of God. Think of freedom you found in Christ. Take a moment to just be in awe of the awesomeness of our God!!
Worthy is the Lamb
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Since they are still so young it's hard to see much of their personalities yet so Jon and I plan on going back to see the puppies again in a few weeks to pick ours out. We lost some sleep but it was well worth it. While we were there we took a ton of pictures so I'll leave you will a few of my favorites.
Monday, July 7, 2008
One more thing...I have a confession to make. I still loving hearing Point of Grace sing. I've listened to them ever since I was in middle school and it's hard to find a music group that can sing tight harmony like these ladies. If you want to hear some amazing a capella singing listen to this... http://play.napster.com/track/21215284
Saturday, July 5, 2008
It has been a busy week for me. Work has been rough and I'm physically and mentally worn out. It has been one of those weeks when you feel so drained that you try to offer up a prayer every minute just to make it through the rest of the day. Those days remind me just how much I must rely on the Lord. It's sad that it takes a difficult situation or even just a hard day to open our eyes to the deep need of our hearts...the need for our Savior to take our brokenness and make it into something beautiful. I am a profoundly broken woman with many scars to carry. I rely too much on the encouraging words and opinions of others to sustain my ego and my mask of self-righteousness is a heavy burden I too often choose to carry.
O God may my brokenness be an avenue for you to show your glory and may my faults remind me of my desperate need for you. I have done nothing good on my own. Any gifts or goodness others may see in me is nothing but your gracious hand upon this unworthy vessel. Forgive me for choosing to wear my mask instead of allowing your grace to shine through my inadequacies. I am nothing without you.
"Dear Christ, make one that which we are and that which we appear to be. Be Lord of naked faces." - Calvin Miller
Friday, July 4, 2008
Eric and Ashleigh have posted a video of Lydia on youtube so they could share more of this wonderful miracle with friends and family. I can't help but praise God when I see this video!! How beautiful and what a perfect picture of what Christ has done with us!! Enjoy.