Monday, July 26, 2010

The endless gifts

holy experience

*Being (gently) reminded of the truth
*That He uses her to do it again
*"The weight of Glory always tips the scales for joy"
*That He used the sermon yesterday at church
*"You can't think of anything better than God."
*The voice of the Lord thunders (ps29)
*and still He puts my tears in His bottle (ps56:8)
*That I have His written word
*In my hands
*In a language I can understand
*Precious saints who leave everything
*so they can translate His Life-Word into languages in which He has not yet been named
*"plodding visionaries"
*surprise Graeter's gift cards
*Dads that break the hard news to 4 year olds that they won't be returning to preschool this fall
*The 4 year old's reply: "That's okay, I want to live with Grandmommy. I love her."
*that I am utterly annoyed by everything that is "Elmo's World" except for the part when Elmo talks to a baby which cracks me up every time (mostly the baby's complete obliviousness to what's going on)
*the way 16 months old talk (she calls every person "baby" and every cartoon "elbo" meaning "elmo" and roars whenever we ask her what something says

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm overwhelmed by all the Blogger background options! Please won't someone come and just design my blog for me?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Multitude Catch-up, Part 2

What you can't see in this picture is that they were holding hands! Too cute!

157. For the baptism of precious friends!
(I feel like this item should count for like 25 items on the gratitude count!)

158. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

159. "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4

160. That God is still in the business of bringing breath to dry bones, flesh to stone hearts, sight to blind eyes

Monday, July 5, 2010

Multitude Catch-up

"You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told." Psalm 40:5

(I've had this list growing since back in this might take awhile!)

57. 3 sets of amazing students to whom I could entrust my children for a week (Thanks Becky, Ian, Rachel, and Jess!)

58. my mother who paid for us to fly to Orlando instead of drive

59. Pioneers

60. Their mission: mobilizing teams to glorify God among unreached peoples by initiating church-planting movements in partnership with local churches

61-68. Their core values: passion for God, unreached peoples, church-planting movements, ethos of grace, the local church, team-centered, innovation and flexibility, participatory servant leadership

69. the Orlando team

70. the fact that most of them raise their own support

71-97. Scott and Christine (thanks for your ministry to us that week!), Kim and Casey, Amy and Mark, Bryan and Laura, Kurt and Carrie, Rick and Suzi, Joy and Jeremy, Dorothy, Charissa, Ekren and Kari, Amy, Faith, Mike, Heather, Joshua, Cynthia, Abbey, Brittany

98. Adam's determination to see real FL wildlife (ie alligators)

99. Bojangles in the Charlotte airport

100. a long enough layover to eat at said Bojangles

101. that the Bojangles was right next to our gate (and not in the opposite concourse as in the case on previous layovers in CLT)

102-106. Cajun Filet Biscuits, Sweet Tea, Seasoned Fries, Bo-Berry Biscuits, Cinnamon Biscuits

107. That Adam now loves Bojangles almost as much as I do

108. Remembering the Valentine's Day when Ann Wilson bought a box of heart-shaped Bo-berry biscuits and showed up late to Dr. Plank's class to give them to her classmates, totally interrupting the lecture/discussion, and completely befuddling Dr. Plank

109. Remembering the many mornings that Mooresville High School girls would meet me at the crack of dawn at Bojangles to study the Word together

110. Remembering that only Jesus, Caedmon's Call as my alarm clock, and the hope of a cup of coffee were what got me out of bed that early

111. Realizing that Jesus and the hope of a cup of coffee are still what get me out of bed in the morning (well, that and if I try to sleep until 7am an alarm clock named Katie or Caroline wakes me up)

112. Remembering the joy and peace of being an "old person" during my senior year at Davidson and year in China....going to bed at 9pm and waking up at 5 or 6 and feeling well-rested

113. Reconnecting with my YL girls on Facebook

114. 3 John 4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."

115. brothers who faithfully preach the Word (most recently at 3ABC: Kurt, Josh, Sam, and Steve)

116. being a work-in-progress (thanks to my husband, Eric Johnson and Kurt for heralding this)

117. that God is completely okay with me being a work-in-progress

118. embracing that truth

119. that God's chosen method of growing His Kingdom is using works-in-progress

120. that Pioneers "gets" this and is happy to accept broken people ('cause that's the only kind of person there is!)

121. embracing others as works-in-progress

122. needing so much grace to truly embrace my status as a work-in-progress and to embrace others as such

123. abundant mercy for when I fail to do that

124. having lunch with an "old" friend

125. that this old friend eagerly and generously watching my children after I had to go to the Urgent Care because I sliced my finger attempting to remove a stubborn avocado pit after only being at her place for 30 minutes

126. Providence

127. The ability (means, time, money) to drive back east and visit family

128. That Caroline at least slept 30 minutes for the 12 hour drive

129. Portable DVD players

130. Introducing Katie to Hook

131. Introducing Katie to the Sound of Music

132. Introducing Adam to the Sound of Music (slowly though since he can only handle about 45 minutes at a time)

133. Being transported back to my childhood

134. Enjoying things with Katie that I used to do with my mom

135. Children who sleep until 8am (and sometimes 9!) (Update: this trend has since ended but it was nice while it lasted)

136. Thick blankets over windows that help

137. 3 hours of time alone during the day!

138. Precious friends who make that happen

139. A quiet house

140. Cup of coffee

141. One of these

142. Hydrangeas

143. in a vase on my table

144. From a friend's yard

145. That have stayed beautiful for weeks

146. Blueberry pie

147. Making the crust from scratch for the first time in 4 years (and not completely butchering it)

147. Calling it "rustic" blueberry to make it look like I messed up the crust on purpose

148. Feeling like it was okay to spend the time on the crust since I was only using canned blueberry filling



150. hitting publish even though I'm not nearly done catching up with my gratitude!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


"The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to the Other voice, taking that Other point of view, letting that Other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in."
-C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity

Isn't that so true? Isn't that just how it is? Oh, Father, help me, give me the strength, grant me the grace, to shove it all back. To slow down and listen.

It seems that everywhere I turn lately I hear the same message. Like here, for example.

"Slow down. Breathe. Rest. Listen. Receive."

Why is this so hard?

"The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him. Rush is wrong every time, there is always plenty of time to worship God. Quiet days with God may be a snare. We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be. There are not three stages in spiritual life - worship, waiting and work. Some of us go in jumps like spiritual frogs, we jump from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God's idea is that the three should go together. They were always together in the life of Our Lord. He was unhasting and unresting. It is a discipline, we cannot get into it all at once." -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, January 6

See also, My Utmost, October 19

This is a busy season of life, to be sure. If you're not sure why, visit here. Support-raising feels like a full-time job...and it's not like life wasn't full before! But what makes it especially difficult for me is my case of morbid Martha-ism. Why do I value task more than relationship? Why do I fail to treasure what is truly valuable? This is a joyful season of our life to be sure, and we are thrilled with the chance to take part in the "ministry of fund-raising" (Henri Nouwen). But I am coming to see that it is also a very necessary season for my own soul. He wants me to grow in cherishing what He cherishes, what He deems as most important. "Only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better portion and it will not be taken from her." (Luke 12:42) One thing. One thing. One thing. One thing.

Adam and I both struggle with the temptation to sacrifice family for the sake of "ministry." I am fearful for what that could mean for our marriage and our children as we head into full-time work overseas. I am thankful that the very fact that we are aware of this temptation means that He is with us and is willing and able to help us overcome this sin. Please pray with us in this and help us keep watch over our souls.

I've also seen afresh how I want to keep relationships in nice, neat boxes of time so that I can preserve my schedule, my agenda. You'd think that I'd have made more progress in this area since having kids! By God's grace I think I have grown, but then something happens--an interruption, an inconvenience, a relationship that won't conform to appointments and schedules and my to-do list--to show me that I haven't yet "arrived." And again He speaks to me here. Oh, Jesus, help me to choose the better portion. To lose my life and find it.

Thanks for lettting me indulge in some soul-baring. Pictures and videos and "multitude catch-up" to come.