Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Lowdown

About an hour after I published my last post about not being sure how much information I could share, an email got sent out that would have allowed me to tell all.  Figures.  So here's some of the details I couldn't mention before.

On Sunday morning, during a meeting before our regular church service, the church plant that we have been a part of for the past three years voted to end its ministry as of May 1, 2011.  Over the past number of years, we have been struggling with issues surrounding leadership and vision, which has led to people being hurt and subsequently leaving the church.  Our numbers have been getting smaller and smaller, and it has become harder and harder for us to support ourselves financially.  This was not an easy decision to come to; many of us have actually felt that we were not properly informed of all the issues that were happening as it seemed like this has come somewhat unexpectedly.  But in the end, even with whatever doubts and struggles we still had about the decision in our mind, I think we all had a sense that this is God's time for it to end.

There's not many people that can say they've seen the closing down of their church community.  Sure, many people leave churches and go to new churches; that experience happens to a lot of us.  But to actually see and be part of a church closing its doors, this is an experience for only a few.

I feel as if my particular view on this experience is also different in that I am actually an employee of our church.  Since October, I have been working part-time as the administrative assistant for our church.  Am I sad to see my job end?  Certainly.  Am I heartbroken?  Not at all.  To a certain extent, I feel like they had to talk me into applying for the job to begin with.  I am in a good place with God right now to trust that He will continue to provide for us, and frankly, I look forward to having my Thursdays back.  (Thursdays are my office days.  The rest of the week I work from home.)  And I always have my transcription work to fall back on...  :)

So that's what's going on.  We have five weeks until we are officially done meeting, and my job will continue for at least a month after that to help with all the closing details.  I don't know what to expect from this next month.  I know that we have a choice.  We can take all the hurt and frustration and anger and all the other emotions we're feeling and leave with only bitterness; or we can lean on God, keep our focus on Him, work through the pain and come to a place of healing so that in the end, He will be glorified.  I for one will be choosing the latter.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The ending starts...

I had forgotten how much grief sucks. 

Without going into too much detail yet because I don't know how much is public knowledge, let me just say that something that I am a part of is coming to an end, and it's going to be hard to see it go.  The grieving process has started, and as I earlier stated, I'd forgotten how so not fun it is.  The turmoil of emotions, feeling as if life has irrevocably changed, the sadness, the anger, the hurt, the sense of confusion and lost-ness trying to sort out what next -- and yet, through it all, still being able to praise God for His faithfulness, still being able to have joy in my heart for all He has done, and still being surrounded by His peace and love -- oy.  It's a lot to take in.

I have made the first part of Hebrews 12:2 my mantra; "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus..."  Through it all, I am continually reminding myself to keep my focus on Him so that God alone will be glorified in whatever happens next. 

I'm also working to memorize Psalm 68:19-20a.  "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.  Our God is a God who saves..."  I can get through this, but only by trusting fully and completely in God my Savior, who is daily carrying my burdens and walking beside me.  May God give me the strength to face each new day with patience and grace.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Do you have any idea how hard it is to peel a tomato?  You wouldn't expect it to be so difficult, but it really is quite tricky.

Also, I get to go shopping today for a few hours without the kids.  I've been piecing together Reuben's suit for my brother's wedding, (he's going to be the ringbearer), and I just need to find him a jacket and some black socks.  Value Village and Once Upon a Child have been good to me so far.  :)  Did I mention I get to go shopping without the kids?  Hurray!  (A big thank-you shout out to my in-laws for letting me monopolize their Saturday morning...)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Be Still

God has a funny way of telling me to shut up sometimes.  Take yesterday for example.  I was at work, having a moment getting myself a bit worked up in regards to our current church situation, and then the playlist I had going went to the Steven Curtis Chapman song "Be Still".

"Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is holy
Be still, O restless soul of mine
Bow before the Prince of peace
Let the noise and clamor cease..."

*sigh*  Okay, God.  Shutting up now.

So I stopped my rant-crazed typing and listened to Him speak to me through the words of the song.

"Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that He has done
Stand in awe and be amazed..."

I love being able to hear His voice.  There isn't really any good way to describe the joy that fills my heart when I feel His loving arms come around me, and I can hear Him say, "You are mine.  I love you.  I will never leave you or forsake you."

"Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know He is our Father
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still..."

Monday, March 21, 2011

I missed my blog anniversary!

So I've been going through my blog lately and changing around some things, and I noticed that I completely forgot to note the anniversary of my foray into blogging.  As of March 4, this blog has been in existence for seven years!!  Can you believe it?  I can't.  Seven years and 175 posts later (this will be 176), here we are.  It's been quite a journey.

It is sometimes fun to look back at the posts I wrote when I first started, back when I was still a third year in university, just starting out in my relationship with Tim, no kids, no job, feeling like life could go just about anywhere.  I hardly recognize the person I was then compared to the person I am now.  God has been so faithful to keep His hand upon me through this entire journey.  I love that in some ways I feel like it is only just beginning.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the next seven years will bring...

For Meditation

Some scriptures I've been meditating on lately.

"But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."  2 Thes 3:3

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful."  Hebrews 10:23

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."  Hebrews 12:2-3.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Some New Recipes

I've gotten back into trying some new recipes again lately, partly because with Spring coming, I'm feeling adventurous again, and partly because Reuben's had some health issues that have necessitated a change in diet for a little while (no yeast, very limited sugar).  The limited sugar thing presented a huge challenge as far as how to do any sort of baking.  No yeast would be easy enough because I could just make muffins, but try to make muffins with no sugar!  And don't get me started on cookies with no sugar...  Here's an oatmeal cookie recipe I tried:

1 cup honey
1 egg
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Beat together shortening, honey, egg, water, and vanilla until creamy.  Add combined remaining ingredients; mix well.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes.

I also added about 1 tbsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup of raisins.  The final result was both chewy and flavorless.  I wasn't thrilled, and neither were the kids.  I have doubts that I'll make another attempt at sugar-less cookies, unless I try some sort of ginger cookie with molasses as a sweetener.

We also Grilled Chicken Rollers.

They were quite yummy, but you need to make sure you have the barbecue hot enough or the chicken won't be done in the time they say.

Friday, March 18, 2011

His faithfulness

God is faithful.  Over the last few weeks, I have come to feel a renewed sense of His presence in my life.  I've been able to start some new "quiet time" routines -- that don't involve getting up too early in the morning :) -- and I've really noticed a strengthening in my relationship with Him.  I'm hearing His voice in the sound of the birds outside my window, and I'm seeing his Face in the faces of my children.  "There's a peace I've come to know...I can say, 'It is well.'" (Chris Tomlin)

"I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing." John 15:5

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

These children are His children

This morning, I can barely see my computer screen from the sun shining directly on it through the window behind me.  I've become obsessed with opening up the blinds and letting the light shine in on sunny days.

It makes me happy.

And today, I am praying for patience.  I am praying that God will help me to see my children the way He sees them.  I am praying that I will find them delightful, and beautiful, and precious because that's what they are.

I am praying that I will take my time for them.  I am not praying for them to stop annoying me, but that I will stop being annoyed by them.

I know that God hears me, and He will help me because these children are His children.