No Greater Joy

No Greater Joy

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who are we in service of?

My head is still in such a fog from this sinus infection that won't let go! Even as I suffer through this God keeps tugging on my heart with what I believe are His thoughts.

In the past couple of days the idea of service has really been heavy in my mind. Specifically service in our local church. I just filled out an application for our praise team and one of the questions was what are my involvements at Grace (my church). I began listing them. Another question asked about previous music experience. I began naming those. As I think back to those 2 questions I think about all the service opportunities I've had in local churches I have attended. What I am learning is that I have always considered service in my church to be an opportunity and I've always looked for something to enjoy serving in. I shamefully admit there have been times I've turned my back on areas of need simply because I didn't want to do it, or it isn't "my" spritual gift, or for the reason of having too much to do outside of church. I feel I've gotten to a good balance in my life. I've learned my limitations with serving. I cannot serve everywhere there is a need, but I know my spritual gifts and my talents and choose to use those where I can. Spiritual gifts...mine top ones are in administration and teaching. I can use those in women's ministry, designing and administrating VBS, and in some ways with the faith at home initiative we're doing at church., babysitting. :) I love playing piano on praise team and don't mind filling in for nursery. Though I have my hands in several pockets, I stepped back from some things in the last year that were taking too much family time away.

So what does this all really try to say? There can be no doubt that God has gifted each believer with spritual gifts (Acts 2:38, Rom. 1:11). I also believe God has given us talents which could be in music, carpentry, fixing cars, cooking, etc. The real question is how are we using these? Are we using them in our local church as God EXPECTS us to or do we only use them when it suits our needs, our timing, and our purpose? Do we choose not to be on the nursery rotation because we don't like missing a meeting or not volunteer to be a greeter because I don't want to have a commitment? How sad it is!! We are such a self focused society it's no wonder our churches and families are struggling! We have a purpose that God has created us for, but it goes beyond just ourselves. To truly be committed to Christ means it's going to cost something. How much are you willing to pay? How cheap the costs are in America compared to so many others who long just for a printed copy of a Bible and risk their lives to read it. Leaders in today's churches feel they pull teeth sometimes to get all the believers in their church to serve.

What if I am serving in other ways, outside my church and I don't have time to do anything in my church right now? That's great that you serve outside the church, but what would happen if everyone in your local church said that? There would be no service in the church. How long would the church hold together. We all have heard 1 Cor. 12 where Paul discusses the use and variety of gifts. "For the body is not one member, buy many." We serve more completely when we use our gifts and when all believers are exercising their gifts I believe we will truly experience what unity in the body is. I also feel it will help us serve the world around us better.

A couple of questions...
Do you go to church wondering who is going to notice you? Are you waiting to be served? Do you struggle with your place in your church? If you say yes to any of these ask yourself, "In what capacity am I serving others in my church?" Remember, church isn't about you and your "needs" can't be met if you're not fulfilling the responsibility God has given you (gifts).

Where can I serve? Do you step aside because you haven't been asked to serve or don't know what your gifts are? ASK!! You could be waiting forever and again God has given YOU the gift. Even if you don't know what it is, there is always someone that will help you. Ask you pastor, elders, leaders, mentors, someone you feel is spritually mature. Don't be shy. Some day I will answer to God for my life and I want to be able to say I tried to be a good wife, mother, and worker in Your name. Will He say to me, "Well done my good and faithful servant!" I hope so. I will fail many times, but I must take my heart to Him daily in repentance and desire to do His will.

I'm sure I could come up with more, but my head is getting ~~swimmy~~. Please feel free to add your thoughts or refute mine. :) All is said with an honest heart and desire that all my brothers and sisters in Christ will desire to serve Him more.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Needing a good night!

This will be short as I sit here typing with a swimming head as though I'm going upstream. If something comes out wierd, don't worry, just sick.

HeEM got a headache during dance class and got worse the rest of the day. She skipped AWANA, and if you know HEM, she's not a faker and doesn't want to miss out on anything! She put herself to bed early even though she, Grace, and I took a nap together in my bed.

GEM is cutting molars I believe. Sunday night and last night were long nights with her thrashing and screaming throughout the night and 4 of her fingers shoved into her mouth. Nothing would console her unless I let her pretend to bop me with her cup. Somehow the thought of causing me pain entertained her.

Tonight I have been shaky with an achy body. I haven't had a fever like Heather has, but am hoping it's a lack of sleep. I'm off to a hot shower and crawling into my bed with the electric blanket. My hat's off to those single moms that do this day in and day out. I miss having my mate here for support and hugs! Only 3 1/2 more days!! So thankful God has protected him so far.

Lift a prayer up for us to have good health and renewed strength. With all the ups and downs the last few weeks it has given great teaching moments to my children about the love and power of God!

Good night!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What a Weekend!

I really enjoyed Hearts at Home in Normal, IL. My favorite things were the Go Fish Guys and listening to Dr. Kevin Leman. It was very reaffirming in my role as a wife and mother and also cool to be with so many stay home moms that make sacrifices to be at home. One of the seminars realy talked about viewing motherhood as a profession. There are so many of us that have college degrees or have held professional jobs and feel that people view us as uneducated when we answer that infamous question, "What do you do?" We know the popular answer, "I'm just a mom." I realize I need to leave the word "just" out of it. It doesn't mean that I am any less than what I ever was before kids or when I was using the degree I worked so hard for. I can honestly say I would be okay with the idea of never teaching again, never having the bigger house and yard, the gym membership, going to the theaters, getting the new car, frequenting the spas, and well...the list goes on. I am truly satisfied and fulfilled in what I do as a woman for my husband and my kids. It is what God has called me to be. I think of how often I hear moms say, "I wish I could afford to be home." I know there are those that live on the bare minimum and truly can't afford that sacrifice. I do question those that say that and have the wallet full of credit cards, the huge house in the best neighborhood, the brand new vehicles, vacations, extra-curricular activities. Where's the willingness to sacrifice? Do you really mean it when you say you want to be home? No offence please, but when God calls you for this job, it's going to require sacrifice. I do have great friends that truly don't have the desire to be at home. Are they any less of a mom than I am? No. It's not their calling and they don't pretend it is. My kids love having me home and their love and hugs are the best paycheck I get every day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Relaxing weekend ahead!

My day began with a ringing phone! I stayed up late last night trying to get my house cleaned and organized after it sat neglected since the accident last week. I won't complain though because the phone call was none other than my wonderful husband! He's doing okay. He's working long days and has a bit of a cough that won't go away. It was good hearing his voice again!

Today also went well with the insurance agent coming to my house. He didn't want to make a settlement yet until we know more about our medical treatment. He's also going to get me a check soon for my car seats and stroller so I can get those replaced.

Tomorrow my friend Lori and I head out for Bloomington, IL for Hearts at Home. This is my first year going so I'm looking forward to it. It will be a great time for a break for me. The last couple of days I've been really grouchy and short tempered with the kids. I've not felt well with the sore body and all the stress. Today my body felt better than it has since the accident. :)

Keep praying for Sean and his health and safety. Also add to your prayers an insurance issue we've had for a few years now. We've been going back and forth over a medical bill that was to be paid by insurance, but for overly complicated reasons they refused to pay it despite all our paperwork. Pray that my current insurance will help with some of it (they were the secondary provider at the time), otherwise I've gotten stuck with this big bill! I was really upset about it this afternoon, but it's okay because I know it will work out with God in control.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Today was a pretty "normal" day if there is such a thing. I enjoyed getting a massage this morning. I actually scheduled it last month, so it was good timing. There were parts of my body that felt like they had frozen peas in them when she rubbed, ouch! It was definitely needed and was a Christmas gift so it didn't cost me anything either. YAY! We're all still on the mend. It was upsetting last night though to watch EMM try not to cry during her tumbling class last night. She had been working so hard and even practicing at home on some of her tricks and now I don't know if she'll get to learn any of the new things she was suppose to because we're down to the wire on getting ready for recital. Just pray for her. I don't want to see her disappointed in that.

Sean only sends me a periodic e-mail with just a couple of lines. he's putting in long days. What little he says cheers me up though, just hearing from him. I keep praying for his safety and that he'll feel God's presence around him. Only 12 more days until he's home!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The start of a new week.

EMM had a great birthday Saturday. It began when she got to talk to her daddy on the phone. She was on cloud 9 after that. We took the "suicide mission" to Chuck E. Cheese's on a Saturday because it was where she wanted to go. She said her birthday was great except that her daddy wasn't there.

I've been more at ease knowing that the van is going to be repaired. Tomorrow morning we go to the chiro again. The girls seem almost back to their normal selves. Today was the best for me physically so far. I still get burning in my back muscles and periodically experience a coldness/numbing feeling in my hands which is kind of wierd. I don't really know how it all works together, but I'm hoping to be back to normal very quickly.

Last week was very up and down emotionally and physically. Now the hardest thing for me is that every now and then I seem to replay that last moment before the accident in my head. On the day of the accident I happened to look up in my mirror at just the last moment before we were hit to see the vehicle coming at us. I can't seem to get it out of my mind. I feel silly because we are all okay and everything is working out, but it was such a frightening moment for me. I can't help but replay the moment. I know there was nothing I could have done, but I keep going over the what if's knowing my 3 children were in the back of my van. Wow, how bad it could have been and how injured my precious children could have been. I feel ridiculous thinking about it so much and even crying over it. I'm sure it will pass soon. It made for a hard week also without Sean there. I truly can handle his absence for weeks at a time. We've gone up to 3 months apart in the past. However, I've never had anything major happen during the time he was gone so this made it harder. I hope to have a normal week and do our usual school days this week. We got a bit off track last week.

I'm thankful that through it all I have such wonderful friends and family who have given me words of encouragement and tried to assist me where they could. It has been such a blessing. I hope not to have anything too exciting to report this week! Maybe things will lay low other than the extra chiro appts. for the next few weeks.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Today Ended on a Great Note!

I am so happy to say that I spoke the the adjuster today and they've decided to fix my van even though it's only 5% from them considering the option of totalling it. The damage has been evaluated at just over $5600 right now. I immediately called the dealership to tell them to begin the work. I missed the adjuster's call tonight but he is going to call me to go over some things. I'm assuming there's paperwork involved. :) He did say in the message he would go ahead and issue the check for repair. I've been praying so hard because last night he talked like they were going to consider totalling it which was NOT what I wanted. I am getting great advice from friends who work with insurance and one who is a former adjuster! God places the people in our lives ew need when we need them. It is going to take approximately 3 weeks to get the parts and repair my van so I am thankful for a good rental!

Today HEM and I spent the day together while EMM and GEM were with Grandma. It was a great day for us to spend together. By the end of the day my back was hurting from all those sore muscles I started with. Tomorrow is EMM's birthday so we have a date with Chuck E. Cheese's! Next week I will have a day with just EMM and she's looking forward to it.

I haven't heard from Sean again. I'm hoping he will get some great experience and get to see the area and meet some of the people. I'm sure he'll have some great stories when he returns home. I miss him, but am doing okay with him gone. Of course I haven't had a lot of time to really think on his absence with all the drama going on! We've had longer periods apart in the past, but this is the first time he has been out of the country so it does make it feel a little different. I found out today that for the low price of just $2.30 per minute we could call each other on our cell phones. Maybe we'll just stick to periodic e-mails.

A huge thanks to all those who have thought of my family in prayer this week. They have definitely been heard. It's been neat listening to my kids pray at night and be thankful for the situation, too. It was great to be able to show how God protected us and has been working everything out. I was able to talk to Heather about how prayer works today, too.

God gave me good sleep last night!

Last night was very stressful as I continue to deal with the matter of my van. I had a good cry over too many "what if's". Thankfully I had some reassuring advice. I felt a real peace about it and was able to fall asleep quickly and for the whole night.

On a funny note as I sat on the loveseat in my living room I noticed police cars surrounding another car in front between my house and the neighbor's. It was like a live tv program. The guys in the car were arrested, a drug unit showed up with their dog sniffing out the car and everything. It took a little while to get everything done, but eventually "Fred" came for their car to tow it. (You know, "Car dead? Call Fred.) It was a nice destraction for my thoughts last night anyway!

Keep praying for the details of the repairs and that this will finish soon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Slightly Improved Day

I woke up after a great night of rest not feeling as sore as I thought though I feel the tightness and tingling from time to time. HEM and EMM had a really rough morning though. We went back for more adjustments today and go for x-rays tomorrow.

I had to deal with the bank today because they thought Sean's card was being fraudulently used. They didn't want to talk to me because it was "his" card. I "gently" reminded them it was "MY" account with his name under mine. :) They finally made a note so they would stop any holds on his card.

Pray for my sister in law, Lori. She underwent surgery today to remove a mass above her uterus. She was in pain yesterday and the dr.'s thought it may be her appendix or gall stones then they found the mass. They had to remove part of an ovary, but she should still be able to have children. The doctors told the family they didn't think it was cancerous so that's good news. Pray for a speedy recovery!

A sweet friend from church called to let me know today she was ordering pizza for us tonight so I wouldn't have to cook! It was nice to be "one anothered" in such a simple way and enjoy one less thing to do today. We have friends that invited us over tomorrow night, too. :) It's great to see people living the example Christ wants us to live.

Keep praying for our bodies to heal. Also remember my sister in law and her family during this hard time for them. I haven't had anymore communications from Sean yet. Continue praying for his safety, too as well as spiritually. The military isn't known for its godly reputation. I'm taking EMM and GEM to Grandma's tomorrow afternoon so that I can have the next day with Heather. She's looking forward to it! I'll blog tomorrow about our chiro appt. where hopefully all goes well!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Not So Good Day Today

So many of you know I was in an accident today. I was going to the chiro and as I was stopped waiting to make a left turn into the parking area the car coming behind me suddenly decided to switch lanes and go around me. That left the poor lady behind them not realizing I was stopped right there. So going at normal speed on Locust St. (near the corner of Eastern Ave.) she ran right into the back of me with her Dodge Durango. Of course I had all 3 girls with me. I remember the sound of the crash with the rear window shattering and the girls screaming. My van moved quite a bit ahead and thankfully I could think clearly enough to call 911. EMM and HEM were distressed with EMM crying. GEM was too shocked to do anything, I think. The firestation was only across the street from where I was. It helped the girls when one of the 2 chiropractors came to us and one of the receptionists as well. That helped put them at ease a little. We were able to go get adjusted after dealing with all the formalities of having an accident. The lady that hit me was pretty shooken, but she wasn't hurt. All the glass from my back windshield pretty much covered her front hood.

I am thankful we weren't hurt more seriously. We go back for x-rays on Thursday and can go back tomorrow if we need to. I'm thankful also that the lady had insurance. We were provided with a minivan from Enterprise in the meantime. Ironically it's a Dodge! Also, I am so thankful that Sean was able to chat with me on-line today for a few minutes when I could fill him in. I would say it was a coincidental thing, but we know it's not really coincidence! :)

Here's some pictures I took of my van today before it was towed from my chiro's office.





Monday, March 2, 2009

Sean's First Day Away

Sean called me this morning from the airport in Chicago where he was awaiting his flight. He was leaving around noon for the approximately 15 hour flight to South Korea. I don't know if I'll hear from him from this point on. I am thinking he has a possibility of computer access once he arrives, but I won't know unless I get an e-mail from him.

EMM had the most notable issues today. First thing this morning she remarked that she missed her daddy. Usually he doesn't come home on Monday nights anyway. Her saying something let me know it was on her mind that he was gone. She had a little bit of attitude during schoolwork today. She's not my most willing student anyway, but she was just a bit too unwilling to work for a while. She did calm down and did fine in the end.

I felt better most of the day. On the way to EMM's dance class I began feeling really bad again, but after eating supper I felt better. I went to the chiro this morning and I think that helped, too. Hopefully I'm well on the mend and the girls will stay healthy as well.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Today Was the Day

It was a rough night last night! I am suffering from a bad cold, so I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. I spent half the night on the couch so I wouldn't keep Sean awake. I drug myself out of bed as Sean was packing for his trip, and I momentarily thought about skipping church because I felt so bad. Again, it was momentarily as I quickly realized HEM and EMM were all dressed for church and Sean had even gotten GEM ready to save me time that morning. We made it to Sunday school and came home right after that. Soon after we got back home we had to say our good-byes. EMM tried blocking the door so Sean couldn't get out. The 3 girls together were trying to keep the door closed. :) It was hard for the girls, but harder for me since I know the reality that anything could happen in the next 3 weeks. I know people will be praying for us and also for Sean's safety. I don't know if I'll hear from him while he's away. I only have the phone number of his lieutenant in case of a major emergency. There's always the 'what if he doesn't return?' I have to leave him in God's hands, and I pray that God will deliver my husband safely back to me. I am so proud of what he does and his willingness to serve his family and his country. He will never brag on what he does and does not want any attention to himself at all! My fears will never let me discourage him from where he feels he should be. I find myself more fulfilled as a wife when I am supportive and willing to let him be who he wants to be because I know the girls and I are foremost in his decision making. I trust that God will honor and bless our family because I honor my husband.

When we enter your thoughts please pray for Sean's safety abroad and pray that I'll feel better very soon so I can take care of my girls. Pray that the girls will get through the next 3 weeks without their daddy okay. Praise God for Sean's willingness to serve and His many ways of providing for the needs of our family. He has been so good to answer our prayers and provide all our needs so that I may continue to be a full time stay home mom.