Finding God's grace in normal life

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

year 15 and year 16...keep getting better!

I've chosen to chronicle each year of life in my anniversary note to my Handsome K, included in each a song for our love and life that year...this is a continuation of previous anniversary posts...I'm the greatest fan of his life!  


Year 16

It seems true that time continues to pass quicker as we age.  Seems like this year went by so fast.  This year has had many refreshing moments.  After a tough year the Lord has been faithful to answer my prayers for you to let go of some heavy bricks…and be refreshed!  The Lord has renewed and called us to a larger vision than we previously had.  God breathed life into us and continues to ask us to be obedient and I believe that is because you are willing to risk and ready to do whatever God asks.  I believe our kids will always understand what it means to give up ourselves for the sake of God’s glory…it is a much better life.  Counter-cultural, don’t care.  American dream, don’t care.  God’s plan is bigger.   You are brave and confident of that and I’ll follow you because I trust you’re following God. 
This year’s song is not new but to me has always been so good.  I’ve always thought of you and how over time I just love you more…you can still make me stop and stare.  I’m captivated. 
We are each other’s crying shoulder and I’m the greatest fan of your life.

I’ll Be-Edwin McCain
The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
Stop me and steal my breath
Emeralds from mountains and thrust towards the sky
Never revealing their depth
Tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I'll be captivated, I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

I'll be your cryin' shoulder
I'll be love suicide
I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

And rain falls angry on the tin roof
As we lie awake in my bed
You're my survival, you're my living proof

My love is alive and not dead

Year 15
This has been a rough, long year…thankfully not in marriage but in other ways.  We stayed on each other’s team.  We learned more about what God talks about when He says wives and husbands are helpmates.  When I am weak you are strong and I hope to be the same for you with Jesus’ strength.  You have walked through some difficult decisions this year that I am so proud of you for your perseverance…asking God for clarity and for conviction of sins.  I’ve seen you vulnerable in ways I haven’t yet seen.  And I thought I’d seen all of you.  Your character is unshakeable, your persistence to pursue the prize heavenward in Christ Jesus is something I pray protection over and get to see firsthand.  I continue to be amazed by who you are and pushed to be a better me because of you.  15 years…wow!  We have so much to be thankful for in the past 15 years, God has the story moving forward…parenting struggles, relational decisions, ministry leaps, new church plants, the privilege of spending our lives on something greater…oh, I pray this never changes, the reliance upon God for strength, wisdom and breath.  You are a man of integrity, I saw that back in 1995 and that is only reinforced by your life through the years.  Thank you for having the determination to persevere and lead our family on the great adventure! 
I am nuts about you…still.  And I cannot imagine life without you.  Nobody makes me laugh like you.  Nobody makes me think like you.  Nobody helps me believe in me like you do.  AND Nobody could possibly believe in you as much as I do.  Nobody has access to my heart like you do.  You are worthy of my respect and you get it over and over…I will spend my life giving you my respect for who you are and who you have become even during this past season.  I am yours…forever and always!  I could not ask for more.   And we will be TOGETHER facing life’s ups and downs as long as the Lord allows.

TOGETHER-Stephen Curtis Chapman
Here we stand, here we are
With all our wounds and battle scars
From all the storms and all the wars we’ve weathered together
We had no way of knowing when
We started way back there and then
How the road would twist and turn and bend
We just knew we belonged together

And if it wasn’t for God’s mercy and His grace
There’s no way we would be standing in this place
But because He has been faithful
Every step along the way
Here we are together
We’ve climbed up mountains higher than
Were ever in our hopes and plans
We’ve held onto each other’s hands
Watched miracles unfold together
And we’ve crawled on our hands and knees
Through valleys cold and dark and deep
Sometimes not even sure if we could make it out alive together

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Reflections of sacrificial living through the Eyes of my 8 year old

We celebrated the marriage of two of our own church planters this week.  I once told Handsome K “that guy is going to plant a church.” He is now.  I once heard that girl (while in Houston at a conference) say she was made for this and she knows she will be involved with church planting.  They fell in love and are now church planters. 

Princess K had the opportunity to drop petals down the aisle before the bride walked down.  She relished the day, getting attention from the bridesmaids and others.  She told me she kept saying to herself “this is Chris and Tannis’ day” so she wouldn’t forget.  In part, I think, because she was also having so much fun.  This made me smile because I gave a passionate hopeful mommy speech about not complaining and not distracting from the bride and groom because in fact it was their day not ours.  She was surrounded by women who love Jesus and spent time treating her like a real person, not just a kid who is in the background.  I love that about our church and our staff.  Princess K loves deeply and treasures relationships…she has a heart that will probably be broken and disappointed many times through her elementary, middle and high school years.  She will learn about expectations and how only God will not fail her, hurt her or leave her.


It’s hard when people leave.

When we got in the car, all of us excited and a bit tired…she climbed into the back seat and began to cry.  A heartfelt deeply sad cry with immediate tears.  I glanced at Handsome K and crawled back with her.  I asked her to tell me what she’s feeling, to tell me what is making her cry.  She said, “I don’t like that we plant new churches and people have to leave.  It’s sad.  Chris and Tannis are moving and I won’t see them.  Some of my friends (she used this to refer to the bridesmaids who showed her love and attention, ladies you play an important role in my daughter’s life) are leaving. Last year Craig and Kellie left.”

She said all of this through her tears while burying her head on me and having a hard time talking.

Our church is pushing back darkness on college campuses, starting new churches to do so.  We are prayerfully raising up leaders and sending out teams to go.  Princess K said it well, sometimes we don’t want to see them go because for our sake we like it better with them here.  But for the Gospel’s sake they must go.  Princess K is learning about sacrificing our comfort for God’s call.  Princess K is learning about Love for Jesus over love for what’s easy and makes sense.  Princess K is a feeler like her momma.  We feel this deeply and it’s hard…but they must go. 

We were talking about Moses’ response to God’s call this morning while the kids ate their brown sugar cinnamon bagels (cool mom=1, healthy breakfast=0).  We saw how Moses doubted God was telling him to go, he doubted that God will also go with him and give him the words to say.  God kind of told Moses…ok I’ll send your brother with you to do the talking if you doubt me so much.  We talked about how Moses missed out  because God was looking for him to simply be obedient and God would equip him for what he was being called to do.  But God had a plan to push forward and He was going to do it with someone who was willing to be obedient and have faith.  Aaron went along.  Moses doubted. 
God still did what He planned to do and used someone with an obedient heart. 

I pray this is what Princess K sees when it’s sad and we ugly cry because people we love have to move.  I had no idea that at 8 years old she felt this way.  God made her with a heart that loves.  I pray that she knows that people will come and go but the Lord is here to stay in her heart…never to go without her, always going before her and being right here with her too. 


But true.

That’s my God.

Help us Lord to think more of your Kingdom than ours.  Teach Princess K to know that pretty dresses and shiny lip gloss don’t make her beautiful, but you inside her is remarkable and radiant.  That’s what she saw in the bride and groom this week…you inside of them, calling them forward to another place.  Remind me to be obedient even in the little things for you desire to call us to bigger things for your kingdom yet seen, more than we can imagine possible.