Sunday

Submission



I am guessing that it was proooobably the tenth or twelfth house that we looked at with our Realtor and my anxiety to find a place was increasing every day. 

Have you ever purchased a home?  If you have never purchased a home before you may not know this, but buying a home is a highly emotional process!!  And if you are not careful your emotions can easily cloud your thinking of logic and common sense, as it did mine.  My husband and I looked at single story, two story, and even one three story home, some with the master bedroom up and some with the master bedroom down, some with three bathrooms, some with zero bathrooms, ha ha, just kidding on that part- they all had at least one bathroom.  My point is that we had driven countless miles, traveling within and between two Counties and four Cities searching, HUNTING for 'the' house that we felt God had hand selected for our family.    Then finally, it revealed itself. 
→ THE ← house had unveiled itself before us and the exciting part is that we BOTH liked it.  Talk about RELIEF.....short....brief... relief.  The VERY next day, I kid you not, we set out for another property we had scheduled earlier that week.  Even though we both reeeally liked the house we saw yesterday, wisdom taught us to



Sarah





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Monday

How many hidden blessings do you see??

****REPOST****

......because we are finding ourselves, possibly, hopefully not reliving this experience.* 


How many wonderful blessings can you count in the picture below?


When our A/C went out after it was struck by lightning last week by a fast moving, but strong thunderstorm we all felt the tension thickening throughout each and every loooong hour in our small family. Living in Houston, it's a well known must that you have an air conditioner as the temperatures often reach up over the 100's, and add that with the humidity and the heat index can sometimes score as high or maybe higher than 110 degrees. And as most Houstonians know the end of July and August are the hottest months for the entire year, so to say that our little munchkins (and us bigger munchkins too) were on the grumpy side would probably be an understatement! The kids fought, my husband and I tiptoed around one another so we wouldn't say the 'wrong things' to prevent defenses from going up. All forms of affection and comfort such as touching, cuddling, 60% of hugs, and small pecks for kisses were all put to a full halt because just the thought of someone's body coming in contact with another was unbearable! Even though we've suffered living without A/C a few summers back for awhile, we were quickly reminded again this past week about how blessed we truly are even when this precious commodity isn't functioning properly, if at all.
So to make 'light' of the mood I snapped a photograph of what our living room looks like during the bed time hours this past week and then the next day I showed it to the kids to help me point out all of the blessings from this picture. How many did you count from the image above? Well here below is what my 3 and 5 year old took notice of, which I was very proud of them for because they exceeding my expectations.
Now in case you aren't able to read the things I typed out that they pointed out I've listed them for you here:
  • The little bubble over 'Ms. Jewels' head reads "Sweet Dreams" so they slept well enough.
  • Circulating floor fan.
  • Air Mattress for kids.
  • Fresh Water.
  • Ice pack (shown above little Jesse's head), which means fridge and freezer are still operating.
  • Hanging Tarp, to keep the cold air in the living room and the hot air out from the kitchen.
  • Couch for mommy to sleep on.
  • Roof over every one's head.
  • Portable A/C Unit to get some cool air in the house.
  • Dinosaur toy that kids were playing with earlier.
  • Purse which might mean there's some cash in it....maybe....
Now these are just the things my kids took notice to, but as an adult I know so many other blessings we should give thanks to God for even w/o looking at the photo.
  1. We aren't living in the hottest parts of the world; nor the coldest, most freezing parts either.
  2. We have our health, just look at 'Mr. Happy's' chunky thighs. :D
  3. We have clothes on our backs.
  4. We had the money in our savings to buy that portable A/C unit, which was a pretty penny actually.
  5. The thunderstorm and lightning did not shut off everything in our home; we still have full use of the kitchen, bathrooms, lights, fans, and luxuries like the Internet, television, stereo, and water for the kids to play with in the backyard for a bit.
  6. Wonderful family and friends who have generously allowed us to bum over at their houses for a few hours here and there just to get some much needed relief from the heat,
  7. A dear friend, who we were just blessed about this today, offered to allow us to borrow her window A/C unit until we get our house central A/C fixed. This will help us out tremendously to have two temporary A/C units indoors!
  8. This photo does not show how messy the house was a lot early in the day. Praise God!
  9. And if all these wonderful blessings weren't enough I showed the kids another photo I took from the opposite side of the living room showing that we are most blessed to have each other; our family.

Tonight when we got the air mattress out again to sleep on and set up the living quarters to be our temporary cooled off bedroom we all prayed together thanking God for reminding us of our hidden blessings. In all honesty taking a photo like this has truly helped myself and my kids realize just by looking at it how very much we do have and are blessed with. Quite sincerely we aren't suffering at all; the fact of the matter is we are just a little uncomfortable, it's as simple as that. And we all know that a little uncomfortableness is good for the soul from time to time just to keep us all in 'check' of how much we've really got it 'made', so why worry? (a little poem I stumbled across online)
Worry never climbed a hill, Worry never paid a bill, Worry never dried a tear, Worry never calmed a fear. Worry never fixed a heel, Worry never cooked a meal, Worry never composed a song to sing, Actually, worry never did a worthwhile thing. To God be the glory, forever!

*Original Post Date 08/225/09
1 Thessalonians 5:18, Matthew 6:34 Sarah
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Friday

Reruns

*Please note to overlook any grammer errors as I tried to type this up fast to get  it out.  It has been
  A LONG time since I have posted anything on our family blog....

rerun
vb [riːˈrʌn] -runs, -running, -ran (tr)
1. (Performing Arts) to broadcast or put on (a film, play, series, etc.) again
2. (General Sporting Terms) to run (a race, etc.) again

n [ˈriːˌrʌn]
1. (Performing Arts) a film, play, series, etc., that is broadcast or put on again; repeat
2. (General Sporting Terms) a race that is run again
3. (Electronics & Computer Science / Computer Science) Computing the repeat of a part of a computer program

Hence the title of this post; Rerun. What do you do when you find yourself fighting a battle you thought you've already conquered?  What do you do when you see you are running the same race you thought you had already won???

It's no mystery to those friends who have followed me in my walk with Jesus that I am quite the stumbler.  lol. I, for whatever reason, seem to trip over the same shoes over and over and over, red rover....

So WHAT DOES ONE DO?  Well I can't speak for others but for me, I went to His Word, but not immediately.   At first it took me a moment to even recognize the repeated offender entered into my camp, yet again.  But when I did recognize it I kind of danced around with it, not intentionally, but almost as if to accept it without surprise that I am 'here yet again' in the spot I felt so confident I had pressed through to the other side.  But here. I. am.   BUT WHY?  Why am I back in the same stupid, freakin' spot I had punched from existence.  I can only guess that it is because maybe I never conquered it in the first round?  IDK (I don't know), but what I do know is that I am tired of the cycle.  I am tired of the repitition.  I am tired of not winning!!

Wondering what the rerun in my life is?  Not that it's all that fascinating or anything and it's certaintly not exciting.  But I feel it will do me some good to confess one of the many reruns I encounter.  And for me it is a big one.  Have you ever heard the phrase 'church hopping'?  Yup.  Told you it wasn't exciting.  BUT I will tell you this, IT HINDERS YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST when you 'church hop'.  For those of you who don't quite understand this phrase I will break it down for you as best I can.  Church hopping is when the one who is seeking to find a Church to 'bond' with never actually does.  It may appear that person does when they attend multiple services, Bible studies, and whatnot, but soon you might notice that person's absence.  Later the absences are running closer and closer together and before you know it they have vanished only to be seen attending another Church elsewhere.    'Church hopping' is when an adult choses not to settle down somewhere and just stick with it.   This could be for various reasons of course, like not feeling that you are in a like-minded Church, you don't feel like you fit in (this can be in all kinds of ways), you don't like the music style; too rock-n-roll, too traditional, ect.,  you don't like the version of the Bible the Church is using, you feel like you are not challenged enough Spiritually (too much baby food), or the opposite; everything being discussed in Sermons or otherwise is way over your head but you're afraid to seek help with any of it, ect, ect, ect....

In my single life I church hopped fairly often but not necessarily on purpose.  I felt my reasons were good, solid ones.   One Church that I very much loved; it was BOLD, DIRECT, encouraging, loving, but I felt like an outsider.  I was struggling with my own demons of lonliness and belonging, or rather not belonging.  It was ME, not the Church, as I find most 'church hopping' reasons usually are. 

So here I am again, feeling the sting beneath me to run, but I can plainly, clearly SEE this cycle more than I ever have before and I can plainly and clearly SEE that it is ME.  I absolutely LOVE the Church I attend right now.  It is not the prettiest Church I have been too.  It is not the biggest Church I've attended.  It is not the fanciest, or richest Church I've been part of.  It is not the best, most organized Church I have belonged to.  It is certaintly not the largest Church as far as  attendees and members are concerned either.   In fact in my last two years of time spent at this Church I have witnessed many vanishing acts.  I have watched, without judgement, people come and go, some coming back and others to never return (at least not yet), and I am grateful that the Lord unveiled my eyes to taking note of this pattern because it is the same pattern I see in me.  Which is why I never judged those people I watched do this act.   The Church I attend may not be 'all that' but I will tell you what I do see in my Church.  I see REALNESS!  (Is that even a word?- lol)  I see people hurting!  I see people searching, a whole lot of searching!  I see people broken, both Spiritually and emotionally.  I look in my mirror and see ME in all of them.  The Church I am part of is beyond any big, fancy, rich, over populated Church I have attended.   I feel like I see them in the 'raw'.  I don't feel judged, though I don't doubt I have been a time or three, but I don't 'feel' it.  I don't feel like anybody acts better than me, even if I happen to wear the same black outfit I've repeated many times to Church.  You can not see me as I type this but I am tearing up as I share.  Mainly because I adore my Church to a point that I have NEVER done with any other building or organization striving to teach from the Holy Bible.   I WANT to go to a Church where people are hurting, where people come for divine healing.  I want to go to a Church where healthy or unhealthy people can come to get Spiritual exercise.  I love that my Church does not appear to have it all together, I LOVE THAT.  Because it tells, rather shows me that even though they may or may not see cracks in the walls, or paint peeling off, or repairs from Hurricane Ike still needing repairs, the focus for them (at least how I see it) is that they are STRIVING towards Christ.  My Church is not perfect, but we DESIRE to draw closer to Jesus Christ and I believe whole heartedly that He meets us at this point!! Whole heartedly!! I know, that I know, that I KNOW, I am supposed to stay planted at Bayshore.  I have gone around the mountain (repeated and stayed in the same run to many times) and it's time I stop.   I heard my husband say something profound recently that his mother taught him.  'If you do not like something about the Church you are attending, if you find yourself complaining about something in the Church you frequent, if you count faults in your Church then help to CHANGE it!'.  That spoke volumes to me! 

"You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough..." Deuteronomy 2:3, which is the Scripture the Lord has place in me when He had revealed to me my pattern of 'church hopping'.    And 'Peace! Be Still!' Mark 4:39-40.    The Lord WANTS to grow me.  I am not an infant Christian (meaning that I am not new to His words).  How in the world can I grow in Him if every time I am challenged I sprint off?  He will bring me back to the same mountain (in my case anyhow) until I conquer those insecurities, those failures, those weaknesses, ect.  He loves me TOO MUCH not to. 


Anyhoot, I want to challenge you.  If you find that you can relate to myself in this area of me that I have shared, then will you join me in fighting the fight to leave where the Lord has planted you?  I promise you it will be worth your while and then some. 

Anyway, I'd like to close with this; I am not perfect.  I have SO many stumbling blocks in front of me that I simply get overwhelmed sometimes and just want to throw my hands up in the air saying 'I'm done!', but I can't, I won't do that.    I am so far from even being 'okay' that I can't even see the shadow of a finish line, but I ask myself (and you maybe?) what are my options, quiting or pushing through,  willing to be taught and learn from those God has placed around me or rebel and run, defeating the bondage OR repeating it????  I honestly can't even say I'll conquer this but I vow to work at it, pursuring after Him.  Defeat or repeat? That's something only you can answer but I know for myself that I desire to defeat it, to draw closer to Christ.  I am a student of the Lord's, still learning.  Aren't we all?  To rise up in my walk I must FINISH the task He has put before me.  That is IF I desire to draw closer to Jesus Christ....do you?


Sarah
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Monday

2010 Jesse Christmas Program 026.AVI




Be sure to pause the Video Pod on the right hand sidebar further down the screen to hear this Christmas video.  :D




Sarah
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