Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where it all began

We are headed to the place it all began. We are packing up the kids for a night in the mountains. We are taking them to the place our story originated. I vividly remember walking around the lake at Eagle Lake and seeing Jason walking with a lovely woman up to camp. I thought,"I forgot about him, but I need to pray that woman out of his life." It turned out that lovely woman was Jason's sister. Though I wouldn't encourage such praying today, it was certainly where I was, and it was the beginning of our story.
I later sat next to Jason, where he told me the goals for his life. To love children and Jesus and play outside all the days given to him. That night I wrote to my parents telling them I had met the kind of man I wanted to marry. That started a long friendship. Jason was clueless to my affections. I tried very hard to keep my feelings hidden. And as many of you know me, I'm not very good at keeping my feelings inside. Fortunate for me, he was clueless.
Eventually, Jason was brave and asked me to consider dating him. All of this took place at Eagle Lake. It was a place that worked diligently to keep our focus on the campers. I believe it truly was our focus, but what better place to find people who were committed to walking with Jesus. In our three years at camp, I believe at least ten couples from there were married.
We are excited to share this place with our children. If Eagle Lake hadn't existed, they would not exist. To show them our favorite hikes and our favorite quiet places. To show them the walk around the lake that forever changed my story. Maybe we will take a hike to the cross that overlooks camp. We will be spending time with dear friends from our camp days. With the man that took a bet on me as a counselor, Jesus knew I was a mess and didn't deserve the grace shown to me, but isn't that what grace is. Undeserved mercy. I look forward to sharing pictures of our weekend.
I am thankful on many levels for Eagle Lake. I'm thankful for the place that taught me to walk near to Jesus. I'm thankful that it was where I met the love of my life. I'm thankful for the children that are a product of that relationship. I'm thankful for the lasting friendships that have grown out of my time there. It will be nice to spend quiet in the mountains before Sunday. To spend time committing the church plant to Jesus. Committing future decisions of home, car, church, children, future to the One who has our days exactly numbered. I can hardly wait. Very soon we will be celebrating our anniversary, but this weekend I celebrate the place that brought us together. It hasn't always been easy, but there has always been grace.....from the very beginning!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Be still

Psalm 46:10-11 "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
I love waking up and having my coffee in a sleeping house. It is spring break and my children are in no hurry to wake. Twice I have peeked in on my sweet sleeping faces. I have enjoyed time praying, reading scripture, and sharing my fears and concerns with the One who loves me best. Jason is enjoying breakfast with a new friend, and I am enjoying coffee with Jesus.
There is a saying at Village 7, "Communities make big church small." Since we have been here, Jason and I have done a tour of the communities sharing about the church plant. I see how the saying is made true. Any given Sunday, Village 7 has roughly 1,500 people come through their doors. People then meet in smaller communities and build community among fellow believers. Several communities have made us feel very welcome, but we have not had the privilege of staying consistently in one spot.
This Sunday marks the end of our tour of the communities. This Sunday is the first time those interested in the church plant will begin a new community. For the first time since I have been in Colorado Springs, big church will be made small. I am so excited about seeing who the Lord has prompted to come. I am so eager to see the makeup of this community and how we will begin to build community with one another. Certainly, I also have many fears, but in my time this morning the Lord has done much to quiet them. As my children wake one by one, I know what faithfulness today is. I do not need to worry about tomorrow.
At the end of Psalm 48, I inserted Colorado Springs into the song, and it is my song for the church plant... Walk about Zion (Colorado Springs), go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Today has been a day of tears. This morning Jason called to tell me the news of our van. At first, I thought I could be reasonable. Then as I began cleaning the house, I became overwhelmed with the situation. I have felt overwhelmed by our medical bills and now our car dying. I called a treasured friend in tears wondering what lesson I was missing. I know I'm supposed to trust the Lord in all situations, but I really struggle in my own control (which is a farce). About an hour after the tears with my friend, a new friend pulled into my driveway with an almost an identical van (only difference is that their van is clean), to the van of ours that just died. He said drive it until you have a plan. I couldn't help but cry. I was overwhelmed with the generosity of this family, and cried in sadness over my own lack of trust. Maybe someday I will understand how much the Lord cares about my family, my heart, my big and small concerns, but today I get to repent of my weak faith. Thank you friends. Thank you for living near to Jesus in front of me. You have encouraged a discouraged sister this day. I'm truly humbled.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


As our family was facing a tough situation last year, I clung to Mark 9. As I spent time reading the Bible in that season, I felt as though I could not move past that chapter. It was a wonderful comfort, as only God's word can be. It is the story of the boy with an unclean spirit. I love the tender care that Jesus shows the situation. The father of the boy is at the end of his options, sounding tired and desperate. Jesus asks the father questions he knows that answers to already. He cares for the father by allowing him the grace to tell his story. He understands the importance for the father to unburden himself to a person that truly cares. Jesus listens. Jesus asks questions. Jesus heals. This is the part I clung to in our tough season. Mark 921-24 And Jesus asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." And Jesus said to him, "'If you can!' All things are possible for the one who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" And we all know how the story ends, but do we? Do we understand that we must face down our unbelief with Jesus near to us? Or do we live thinking Jesus cannot rescue us in our difficult situation? I have recently grown in fear of our mailbox. Yes, you read that right, I dread getting the mail. I am paralyzed by what I find inside. I should be rejoicing that I live in an excellent age of medicine that helped me when I was in need. I should be rejoicing in my healing and excellent prognosis concerning my heart problem. Instead, I crumble under the fear of our medical bills. I forget who owns everything. I forget the tender care of Jesus. Instead, I am convinced our major medical insurance is bogus and will leave us struggling for years. I hate my unbelief. I hate my faithless worry. I hate my sin struggle in this area. "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief." You are so good, why do I fret and lose my peace? Thank you for Your love! Thank you that you are enough. Thank you for loving me enough to walk near to me in my unbelief. Thank you for loving me enough to show me my sin. Would you please allow me to trust you with my moment of unbelief? And, as I watch the shepherd of my heart in this story, I am struck by the way he cares, even as he knows the answers to the questions. He knew this father and child before they were born. He had known their every step, every need, every thought before this day. He knew their struggle, and He knew He had a holy ordained appointment with a father and son in desperation,and that the appointment would bring great glory to God then and today. It did not come as a surprise to him. Therefore, as I shepherd and love those around me, do I employ this tender care? Do I ask questions I may already know that answers to in order to allow a burdened heart to be unburdened? Do I offer Jesus as the only answer to the heart sickness we all have? Do you? Good questions for me to pray through this beautiful spring day. Lastly, favorite reader, I'm sorry for my format. For some reason, blogger is not allowing my paragraph breaks. I hate reading this in one big clump, but alas, that is how it keeps coming out. I will soon be switching to a different host.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Meeting Loneliness with Grace

I have, for so long, seen evangelism as meeting an unbeliever and sharing what it means to know Jesus. I'm realizing that sharing the complexities of my faith and love for Jesus is much more complicated. As I am currently in the community, I have had the opportunity to meet so many new people, believer and unbeliever alike. Today, especially, I have grown in thankfulness as Jesus brought two very different women in my life. I have the love of Jesus to share with believer and unbeliever alike. At the heart of evangelism, is sharing. I'm learning that is sharing life, sharing loneliness, and offering friendship and the truth of Jesus. I have found that so many in this town are lonely and longing for friendship. I feel grateful for the people I have met who have shared their loneliness honestly. It's a risk to admit a need for friendship. It is a risk to say hi to a stranger. I think as Jesus accepts us in our depravity, He joins us to Himself in community. I believe honest community is one of our greatest heart desires. I certainly do not have the corner on building community, but I do know loneliness. I do know that I long to be known. I want people not to just know the shiny, pretty places in my life, but the harder places in my heart. I long for community that will be honest with me in my ugly and point me to the Kind one. I feel so thankful for this day that brought two lovely women in my life. I have never deserved the kindness that was once shown to me by Michele, Jenny, and Mickey, but those women connected me to the God that has never left my community since the day I met Him, May 4, 1994. Thank you Jesus, You are the only cure for my loneliness. You are the One that gives me the grace to meet new people in new places. Thank you ladies that took the time to meet this simple believer today.
A place to find encouragement to love your little ones, your husbands and those you come in contact with daily. Two does not have to be terrible. These are years to grow not simply get through!