Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday night stuff

After a week of coming and going, it was nice to be a little less busy this weekend. The week was full of things; worship team rehearsal for CR on Monday night, Joel's first drum lesson Tuesday evening, plus Halle's first night of AWANA this year, leadership team meeting for CR on Wednesday night, small group meeting Thursday night, and then the CR anniversary celebration Friday night. Insert big tired sigh here. 

Just a few comments about all that stuff up there: Joel loved his drum lesson. By the end of the lesson, he was playing the bass, hi-hat, and snare together and accompanying his teacher's guitar playing on the chorus of "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord." His drum set arrived on Thursday and I was lucky enough to know another homeschooler whose husband plays drums in the AF Band here and was more than happy to help us get them set up.

Friday night's CR was awesome. We moved the meeting from our small ministry center into our main worship auditorium. What a difference in the music between the two places! I hated for the worship to end. 

After taking care of business around here yesterday (laundry), the kids and I went to see Eagle Eye. It was pretty good.  Made me think of the old Sandra Bullock flick, The Net.  Then this afternoon, I went to see Fireproof.  GREAT movie! I highly recommend it.

This week looks to be a little less packed, although Tuesday night is full: Joel's drum lesson from 6-6:30, Halle's AWANA from 6:30-8:30, and I have CR worship rehearsal at 6:30 as well. Thankfully there are 2 parents available, so I will be able to drop Halle off on my way to rehearsal while Brian goes to lessons with Joel. Ai-yai-yai.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday meanderings

I'm trying not to go too long between posts, but often postpone sitting here to write in favor of the many other things vying for my attention (namely household management-type things). With school back in session, I have less time to devote to keeping things up, so it is important to grab the time when I have it or life will quickly become quite unmanageable. Can't have that. I am not a happy camper when I feel overwhelmed.

Brian, Noah, and I were able to go see Steven Curtis Chapman last Friday night. It was a great concert (SOLD OUT!) and a testimony to the power of God to heal and comfort. SCC shared so much of his heart with us, including stories about Maria Sue, his little daughter he lost in May, in addition to sharing his music. I could have stayed there all night.

Saturday we did a lot of stuff around the house. Halle cleaned out her room and we helped her move some stuff out to make room for a small table where she can work on jigsaw puzzles (a favorite activity of hers). There is no room anywhere else in the house to do a puzzle other than the dining room table, and that location is no good for obvious reasons. Then we went to a local music store and ordered a drum set for Joel. He begins lessons tomorrow night from one of the musicians at church. 

We are helping the boys make room in their bedroom for the drum set. There is just a little work left to do in their room to have it ready. The drum set should be here by Wednesday, so we are doing fine with that.

Tonight was worship rehearsal for the anniversary celebration for CR on Friday. I am really looking forward to Friday... I cannot wait to see how many folks come and who will wind up coming back again.

Since Emily gave me permission, I will close out with one of her pictures from

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The time, it escapes me

I have been meaning to sit and write for a while now, but there seems to always be something a bit more pressing than a blog post demanding my attention (chauffeur duties, school, and housework/laundry, namely). Oh, and preparations for the 1-year anniversary of the Celebrate Recovery ministry at church. I've been making signs for the barbecue, name tags, and also doing some typing to revamp our operations manual. Then there's the research and development of the ministry website.  I have a meeting later this morning regarding that.

Since the last post, we celebrated Joel's birthday (twice!) and made plans for him to begin music lessons. Celebrations began on Saturday with a party at a local jump house. We were able to convince Emily to invite a friend and come along. It was fun to see them enjoying themselves almost as much as the younger kids. After the party, a few of the boys stayed with us for a pizza dinner, followed by a sleepover in the RV. We parked it in the FamCamp on base and Brian chaperoned. It seems to have been a rousing success.  Part 2 of the celebration was on his actual birthday, Monday. Joel chose Baker's Square for his birthday dinner. 

As far as music lessons go, Joel has been asking to take drum lessons. After much thought and consideration, we talked to a guy at church who does this (he actually gives lessons on both drums and guitars... trains a lot of our youth so that they can participate in the youth worship and eventually the main worship bands at church) and he had an opening. So now we are looking for a drum set for him. This will involve some rearranging of the boys' room in order to fit them.

I spent last night at a CR training session on leading the small groups and newcomers' group. I had plans to write last night after I got home, but got very sidetracked here. I wound up messing around with photos of me, Noah, and Brian. Emily even got into the act (of course, posting anything  of her here is an act punishable by death, so I will respect her wishes). Can anyone guess the year of this photo?

Yeah, I've been working on important stuff.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The day I learned some things

I think I've posted about our 9/11 experience more than a few times, so I won't go into that story again. If you haven't read it and would like to (or if you have, but feel like you would like to read it again), last year's post is here

Looking back, I realize that day taught me some things I didn't know. Or maybe they were things I knew but had forgotten and needed reminding of.  Like the fact that despite the myriad ways in which we try to deny our creator, His image often shines through us in the darkest times. We cannot deny we were made in his likeness when in times of terror and pain, true acts of goodness come out of broken vessels such as we.  For me personally, this was seen in the kindness and unselfishness of the driver who spirited us away from the chaos that was the Newark airport and drove us around looking for a rental vehicle so that we could return home. Or the man who reassured me he was helping me keep an eye on all of my children as we evacuated the airport and were being herded through the terminals and out the doors. Read any number of accounts of the day and you will find other similar stories. 

I was reminded that my husband was a man of duty and honor. As a military member, he realized that even though he was "on leave," his first duty was to his country. He called his immediate supervisor, whose first words were to not worry about coming back, but who after hearing that Brian was willing to do whatever was needed, went ahead and recalled him.  He went right to work once we made it home. 

I was reminded of how many people cared for us. The phone calls from friends wanting to make sure we were OK, letting us know they were praying for us... Our families, waiting to hear from us that we were safe...

Most of all, I was reminded of the God we serve... How He never left us before, during, or after those fateful hours. How a tragedy such as the one our country suffered could be taken by Him and made into something to bring healing to others and honor and glory to Him. 

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A welcome departure

I often wonder if it gets a little old hearing about the day-to-day (or month-to-month) happenings around here. I've thought a lot about trying to have something more meaningful to share, but have never known just what. Well, last night I had a little bit of an epiphany, and while I can't share it all here, I think at least part of it might be of some interest.... and who knows? Maybe this will start a trend in my posts.

Anyhow, I imagine many of you are familiar with the oft-quoted "Serenity Prayer." Or are you?? Until about a year ago, I was only aware of one small portion:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,  the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Little did I know, there is much more to the prayer than that. It continues:

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is;  not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. AMEN.
This prayer is used to close out the worship/large meeting portion of Celebrate Recovery groups. Sometimes I think that it is easy to get used to repeating the words without even thinking about what we're saying.  But if you are in a position in which you are seeking a change in your life, these words make so much sense. How many of you have spent countless hours trying to affect a change in something of which you had no control? Or know what things you do have power over, but lack the courage to attempt to change? It's a sobering thought. Who wouldn't want the ability to differentiate between the two, along with being able to be content in our powerlessness over some things?

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time.... We've all heard the platitudes of taking life a step at a time, a day at a time, etc. But isn't it true? We only have control over what we are doing in this moment. If we can live in this moment, rather than tomorrow or next year, won't we experience a bit more success? 

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace... Ouch. Yeah, I could totally leave that line out. It doesn't sound like too much fun. But of course, exercise buffs are famous for saying "No pain, no gain." Doesn't that ring just as true for growing personally and spiritually?

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.... That says a lot. How much trouble do we get ourselves in wishing the world was different? 

Trusting that you will make all things right if I surrender to Your will.... God won't hand stuff over to me until/unless I surrender to him. 

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you forever in the next.... Let's not get greedy: reasonably happy, not perfectly and totally happy. We can save that for eternity. After all, if life were perfect here, what's the hope in heaven?

So there you have it... my little thoughts on this short little prayer attributed to theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Don't faint

Unbelievable, I know. It's been less than 48 hours since my last post and I'm already back.  Got quite a lot accomplished today. I never got around to the bookcase yesterday, so that was left for me to tackle today. I wish I had taken before/after pictures. I am very pleased with my work and hope we can maintain it. To understand the size of the job, you need to understand the size of the bookcase: 4 feet wide by 7 feet high with 12 shelves almost 2 feet wide. The only shelves I didn't have to do anything with were the 2 shelves with the encyclopedia on them. I pulled off almost 75 books to either store on a different bookcase or to try to sell online (the sell pile was the smallest, around 25).

Before tackling the bookcase, the kids and I went to the mall (Aeropostale for Emily, her favorite place for hoodies and jackets) then Target. Dropped a few bucks on notebooks and binders for Emily for tomorrow and a few things for the other kids first day of school as well. We will figure out just what we'll need as we go along.

Cable guy did finally show up yesterday about half an hour before the deadline. Unfortunately, the installation order wasn't written correctly and they didn't bring the correct equipment. The set top boxes he brought didn't have the HDMI connections we need.... and closed captioning does not work on either one of our televisions if the box is connected via the component connections. Sigh. So we will have another technician coming tomorrow morning to fix that issue. There was also the issue of only one box actually showing on the order as well.... so the cable in my bedroom isn't even functioning.  Oh well, not like I have had time to sit and watch anyhow.

Forgot to mention that a friend from church cut and colored my hair this past Friday. I am so happy with it, and think I've never gotten as many compliments on a hair cut as I have this one. Via the magic of the built-in ISight camera on my IMac, and a little crop-work done in IPhoto, I give you moi:

Happy 1st day of September!

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