Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Terre Haute and All of the Above...

So, I'm sitting here reading through all of my friends blogs that I've been meaning to catch up on for days and realize that it has been over a month since I've posted a new blog of my own...ugh...the gnawing in the back of my mind and constant reminder to go post something on my blog just simply won't go away...and rightly so, I mean, I started a blog to kinda get myself in the habit of keeping a daily journal but I guess it starts with baby steps. First monthly, then weekly, then daily...haha...keep your fingers crossed. Now don't feel too neglected though, I have often thought of my blog and just keep trying to come up with something amazing and wonderful to write about that will touch the lives of anyone who reads it...and I actually have come up with some pretty good things to say but then just got all caught up with life that I would never just sit down and write...but here I am now and I am going to try to be more consistent...I promise. :)

Well, to give a quick summary of this month, I have moved to Terre Haute, IN where I am music minister at Christ Temple Church. Bishop and Pastor Weir are incredible men of God and Sis. Julie Weir is one amazing woman of God. I could take a whole blog just talking about these wonderful people and how blessed I am to know them...that should give you some indication of how great they are ;). I moved here on June 11th and my wonderful, precious mother helped me move in and get settled my first week here then headed back to my southern home in good ole Georgia. Since she left I have been keeping myself busy by unpacking and trying to get the little things around the house done...(you should see the trash bags I'm using as curtains in my bedroom...absolutely hilarious but great at keeping the sun out...hahaha!) So basically the last few weeks have been me getting settled in and getting my feet on the ground with my house and with our ministry team and all. I am beyond excited at the things that God has in store for our church.

We have been meeting for early morning prayer once a week and they have been some of the most incredible prayer meetings I have ever been in. It's hard for me to describe to anyone what I mean when I say, something amazing is about to happen. I just know that God has incredible doors He is about to open and great things He is about to allow us to be a part of. We all definitely have a spirit of expectancy. We are ready to see God move but we are also ready to labor. We aren't just sitting around twiddling our thumbs expecting something to happen without us even moving...no, we are fired up, excited and ready to go.

Starting with prayer is the best way to get things moving and get burdens flowing. The scripture that keeps coming to my mind is 2 Chronicles 7:14 that says, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." There's not much more you can add after quoting a scripture like that. Every time I read it or quote it in my head my faith rises and I get even more excited. It challenges me. It says, "If"..."If my people...shall humble themselves and PRAY"...If we would simply start praying we will see things happen. My God is a prayer answering God. He really is. I have seen Him change the hearts of so many just by simply praying for them. God can do ANYTHING! And I don't know about you but that just makes me so excited! We are ready for battle that's for sure and people are catching a burden for the work of God and for ministry and that is always something incredible to be a part of. It's a process and it's going to take time but what's that saying, "all good things come to those that wait"? I think that's how it goes...we're waiting but we're not sitting idle that's for sure :) With the help of the Lord we are setting things in motion for lives to be touched and changed forever!

This past weekend was swell! My dear friend Mindy came to spend the night with me Friday (GIRLS WEEKEND YAY!) and I took her to the infamous Green Acres Dairy Bar. It's always yummy and since I'm still new to Terre Haute it's pretty much one of the only cool places I know to take people who visit and want to experience this new place I call home. She liked it lots to which I am very glad about. We then came back to my cute little home where we talked and started to watch the oh so classic love story with Carry Grant and Deborah Kerr, "An Affair to Remember." Mindy had never seen it and I love it so we watched it...and I cried of course...I always cry on that movie. We made breakfast the next morning, cheese eggs, toast, and hot tea...it was lovely. Then we made chocolate strawberries which was an absolute blast...even though we were having some issues with our chocolate melting, it still turned out perfectly. After we finished up we went to a little antique shop a couple blocks away and browsed around looking for a couple things for Mindy's wedding....then she had to head home. It was such a nice time. After we departed I headed home to cook for the church picnic. I LOVE my kitchen!! I made Scotcheroos and good ole, Southern Baked Beans just like momma makes back home. It was very relaxing and enjoyable. I loved it. I later met up with several people from church and we watched some beautiful fireworks in celebration of the coming holiday! It was so much fun!

The church picnic was Sunday evening after our service and it was a blast. I had so much fun watching the kids run around with sparklers and play on the playground, eating all the yummy food and sitting around talking with some pretty amazing people. There's absolutely nothing that can substitute for the peace of God in your life. Nothing can compare. Sure there are times that I'm lonely since I'm away from my family and lots of my friends but the peace of God carries me through, it really does make all the difference. God is good and I am blessed!

Yesterday, July 4th, Independence Day, was a marvelous day. I got to go to Indy and spend the day with some of my dearest friends. I met up with Mindy, Sam, Simon and the rest of the Sluis family and they so graciously allowed me to be a part of their family cookout. It was a very relaxing time. We had incredible food that included homemade vanilla ice cream and homemade apple pie that was scrumptious!! After helping clean up, Mindy, Sam, Simon and I proceeded to the other room where we formed an Independence Day band - Sam got on his guitar, I got on the terribly out of tune piano, Mindy on the bell(the bell you ring on the front desk of a hotel or doctors office) and Simon on what looked like a door stop and a pencil. We laughed hysterically and sang and played together...Sam and I almost kicked Mindy and Simon out of the band on account that they weren't cooperating and Simon's skills at keeping tempo were simply out of control. All I have to say is that it takes real talent to STAY off beat...haha. Alas, after 20-30 minutes of our formation, a dismemberment occurred...perhaps next July 4th we shall play together again. Later that night we all went our separate ways. I went to Calvary Tab to meet up with some of my peeps and watch fireworks. Upon my arrival I was coaxed into playing a very funny mind game at which I failed miserably but it was hilarious. I got to see a lot of my friends I went to school with, friends from Calvary which was nice, made some new friends, as well as spending some much needed quality time with Michael and Jarred (I love them both dearly!!) All in all, this July 4th was full of laughter and wonderful memories that I hope to cherish a lifetime. I am so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

This week is Indiana Family Camp meeting and I am so stoked to go! I can't wait! I've only been to Georgia Family Camp so I'm excited to experience camp in a different state. I can't wait to see everyone and meet new people too! I also can't wait to hear Bro. Jimmy Toney preaching! He is ALWAYS incredible! One of my favorites for sure! He and his wife are absolutely precious.

Alright, well, since I've taken forever to write this blog and tried to catch everyone up for the past month I believe it is time to say good night for now and again, I promise to do better and write more. I will also try to write more meaningful things too and not just a captain's log of what my week/month consisted of...lol.

Let me leave you with this last thought. Change begins with you. If you are tired of where you are or what you are doing, get out of the box, try new things. Don't expect life to change when you continue to do the same things you've always done. Don't let life pass you by, be a part of it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Empty Pages

Hmm...What to say? This is a blog...yes...and it is my blog...wow...I never really thought I would be one to have a blog or "online journal" as I'd like to call it. It's not that I don't like to write, I do. I guess I have always just read others blogs and figured I could never have my own due to the fact that I'd probably forget that I had it and would more then likely never keep it updated. So we'll see how this turns out. :)

I'm one of those people who LOVES buying journals (and ANY sort of planner and office supplies for that matter...it's weird I know) with good intentions to write in them every single day  so that one day my children will be able to read about their mother and the things that happened in her life. But unfortunately I never find my way to the end of the cute journal that I just 'had to have". I still buy them though...and I still intend to write in them...and I will...all the way through...one day.

I ask myself, why I keep buying these journals, especially since I never find the end of them? And after thinking about it for a little bit I came to the conclusion that I suppose it's like the journal represents a fresh start, a new beginning. It represents the excitement of all the wonderful adventures yet to be had and the colorful words and stories to be jotted down on those crisp, fresh, white pages...telling a story...my story...it represents my life to come. These thoughts led me to another question. What do I want to fill the empty pages of my journal with? What will all the words on pages of my life say when I'm gone?

Each of us have our own journal, whether it be a blog, a diary, a notebook, or even just the memories and experiences we carry with us in our minds still waiting to be written down. A journal, like life, carries with it, filled pages of our past, half jotted thoughts of our present, and empty sheets of our future. The filled pages of our past do not dictate what is written in our present or even what is to be filled in our future. We can write our own story.

Life has its ups and downs, its hard times, good times, its tears and laughter, its scary unknowns and its moments of incredible excitement. When it's all said and done, it' up to us how we choose to react to life as it happens around us. Do we want to sit and watch others live or do we want to live? Autobiographer or Biographer? We don't have to be afraid of what life may throw our way. God has not given us the spirit of fear, we can walk courageously, even during those times that seem so hard.

I am in a place in my life where extreme change is happening. I'm following the direction of the Lord, moving away, spreading my wings so to speak, from my family, my home, my church family, my friends...all I've really ever known, and I'm starting a new...alone. I am a person who loves change and new things but there is also a side of me that likes consistency and stability...again, I'm weird, I know. Now, I can choose to sit and think about all the lonely times I will have and how the people that I love and cherish so dearly won't be around me all the time as they once were...and I actually have sat and thought about all that...and it made me very sad...it made me cry too (which is really no surprise if you know me at all). But I had to realize that this is a new chapter in my journal and it's up to me how I want this transition to take place. Yes, I know there will be some days that are harder then others but I choose to dry the tears, be a big girl, hold my head up and look forward. I choose to write on those fresh, clean, soon to be not so empty pages of my journal called life, and write a story like never before. I am filled with excitement when I think of all that is still to happen before me. All the experiences to be had, people to meet, friendships to build, love to embrace...it's all waiting for me to grab on to.

This chapter in my journal will not just represent a chapter in my life's journey but my spiritual journey as well. There is still so much more depths to go in my relationship with the Lord and I can't wait to get to know Him more. And ya know? I'm not really alone. I'm only a short trip, phone call, text message, letter, email, Skype away from the people I love. But even more importantly, He'll be right beside me the whole way. Because He's part of my story too. All the pages that I have ever written and ever will write will bare His mark on them without a doubt, because He isn't just a part of my story, He is my story...without Him I'd have no story at all and my journal would be full of pages with meaningless words.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Because I have made Him my story, I hope and pray that maybe, just maybe, one day, someone will pick up my journal and will see just how much He means to me and that it will cause them to want to get to know Him more for themselves. That's what I want my journal to say about me.

Tomorrow is a new day full of fresh starts. So, as I close my first and very lengthy blog entry, I ask you, What will you fill the empty pages of your journal with?