Happy Resurrection Sunday!

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The stations of the cross at Ivy Memorial Methodist Church–

What a wonderful way to start Good Friday–remembering the Passover, The Garden of Gethsemane, The Cross, The Tomb……

Saturday morning we made Resurrection rolls and before we cooked them we each confessed what we wanted buried and gone so that on Resurrection Sunday we could experience new birth!

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Parish and I were able to go to Les Miserables–a great story of redemption and grace……..

We ate at The Thai Room–no one in the garden but us!!!!

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Happy Resurrection Sunday–heart-shaped cookies from Jean Jacques Bakery, a new Ukulele for Vivian Grace, a pretty pink ball for Nina, and a basket of love from grandma and papa! 🙂

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A cross from Grandma with Valentina’s rose…..

A beautiful card about granddaughters…

A beautiful daughter leading others in worship and Word this morning…

A sweet 9-year-old treasuring her gifts…

Last night being with Parish and enjoying each others company was healing.  Thank you Jesus for a time to run a way, love on each other, laugh, and watch an amazing play!

Les Mis is a great a play about Redemption and Love……

Thank you Jesus…….

I love you……

Headed to church to celebrate HIS LOVE POURED OUT!

God is Speaking….

Closing down my laptop, I heard a song on my Iphone called Beloved AFTER writing the blog post, Dance with Me. 

I’m in a public place holding back tears and rejoicing.  I can’t put into words the mystery of a man and woman in marriage.  If you hold on long enough and work through it all you will find the mystery grows into this unbelievable union with Jesus.  I suppose the closer we get to heaven, Parish and I imagine the other side–our eternal home.  Intertwined in our imperfect love is this Godly love that will not let us go.  The joy of knowing my Parish will be with me in complete healing and joy with Jesus is better than any earthly romance.  Jesus calls us His Beloved…. Oh precious reader take the time to watch this and KNOW the love of JESUS…….

Dance With Me

When I was a baby in my mother and father’s arms they danced me to sleep

As I grew I would dance in swirly dresses and watch them spin–one day I would be a princess

I would dance with friends at slumber parties, dances at schools, dreams of dancing with a boy who thought me beautiful

Yet….

The greatest dance ever danced was with you….

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Our dance continues after 24 years of love, mercy, forgiveness, joy, beauty…

One day we will dance on the streets that are golden.  We will both look to our Father in complete healing and joy.

Until that day, my love, dance with me…..

All the way…..

Home……..

4 Days

If you were able to catch some of The Bible movie last night you would have seen the story of Lazarus.  I love to see Bible stories on the television!  I can picture myself there and try to capture the moment and all that it brings.  I’ve always been struck by the fact that Lazarus was in the tomb for four days.

Jonah was three days in a whale.  Jesus was three days in a tomb.  Why was Lazarus four days?  I noticed this extra day because typically God is orderly and patterned; and you can connect stories and scripture.  That extra day has always baffled me.  Last night seeing Lazarus “come forth” after Jesus proclaims that He is the resurrection and the life was deeply moving.  As everyone celebrated and marveled at the miracle Jesus reminded them that “If you believe in me you will have everlasting life!”  As Resurrection Sunday approaches take time to remember this free gift of love and eternity.  On Thursday, four days before the resurrection, remember the Passover, the turning away of the people, the cross, the Saturday before filled with hopelessness and confusion, and then…………..

THE SUNDAY………………….THE FOURTH DAY………………………….THE RESURRECTION……….HIS LOVE MIRACULOUSLY DISPLAYED!

Lazarus’ fourth day was a testimony of the POWER of Jesus’ Resurrection!  He truly is THE Resurrection and THE Life!

Symbolically, think of something you would love for Jesus to bring to life in you, or overcome!  He is the resurrection and the life–trust HIM!

Men are Waffles; Women are Spaghetti

There is a great book out there for marriage called, Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti.

Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences  -<br /><br /><br />        By: Bill Farrel, Pam Farrel</p><br /><br /><p>

Men see things in compartments and have the ability to hyper-focus on one thing, while women can be like spaghetti and work on many things with all of it intertwined and connecting.  Women go to work and conduct meetings while thinking about the last conversation she had with her child, making a grocery list, and organizing the rest of the work day–all at once.  Men go to work.  It’s the same thing in intimacy.  Women tend to have a racing mind and need lots of settle down time to focus on intimacy.  Men can instantly and with ease forget it all and concentrate on the moment.

Yesterday I was talking to the cutest couple ever– alive in their love, happy, successful and we got to sharing about daily tasks.  The infamous, “Why can’t he just read my mind?” question came up with daily tasks.  Make a list!  It’s worth it.  The husband noted a list would be a lot better than the old western scene of the sheriff shooting his gun at the outlaw’s feet to watch him dance. We all laughed!

A list of things to do literally puts everyone on the same page.  We recently sat down as a family and had the overall weekly list placed on the frig.  Monday we clean this room.  So and so is responsible for this chore.  However, weekends bring new lists because we are all so busy.  Make it fun!  Sit down over coffee and eggs and talk about the goals for the day and plan it like a vacation.  I’ve often conveyed to our family that God has given us a beautiful home and life, and we can give back to Him a huge THANK YOU by taking care of the things He has given us.  The other choice is an angry attitude and an ungrateful heart, which, I confess, I’ve had on many occasions.

I don’t have a clean house all the time.  I’m not June Cleaver.  I call my spaghetti-waffle life an adventure of ups and downs and figure things out day-to-day.  Over the years I’ve tried hard to keep expectations realistic for myself and my mate, enjoy the moment and take time to laugh, eat cereal for dinner, be okay with baskets of clothes not put away, and most importantly it’s okay to make a list!

Husbands, if your wife gives you a list the true test is your attitude and spirit.  If you complain that you can’t read her mind, but get puffed up when you see the list, then perhaps a serious look at what’s really going on in the communication area is needed.  God calls men to love and honor their wives as Christ loves the church.  How can you honor your wife today?

Wives, make a realistic list, and don’t give it to him while he is in the shower, or taped to his forehead while sleeping.  The best way is to sit and talk about the day; however, we have been so busy in our lives that I’ve made a time agenda with a list and posted it like a camp schedule.  I always include the children too.  They have capable hands to help around the house.

We are different by design–embrace and celebrate the differences!  Spaghetti women are great at seeing the big picture, intertwined, and can make lists!  Men are awesome at hyper-focus and can do one step at a time on the list!  What a gift we have in our men!  Parish yesterday hyper-focused on a major item that brought great success, fun, and love to his mother’s surprise birthday party.  He made the best chocolate fountain ever while I took care of other things around the house and gathered all the necessary items for the party.  I watched his brother, John, support his wife in the same way–working hard to make food and clean after the party while his wife was leading and hosting.  It’s a partnership filled with joy if we learn to communicate and not be the sheriff shooting at each other’s feet!

Here is a short synopsis on the book from Lifeway if you are interested:

http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_crd_plp_WafflesSpaghetti_Differences.pdf

Little bits of love and confirmation…

A reader posted an awesome verse on the post Invade

2 Corinthians 7:1

New International Version (NIV)

7 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

What an awesome verse!  Thank you!

Also, the back of a daily book I’m reading on leadership:

“Leaders are meant to help others become the people God created them to be.”

AMEN! Validation from HIM.

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Validation

I don’t know how God knows and how He does it–all of us with idiosyncrasies going on and yet He speaks to them?  In my Jesus Calling book today the devotional proclaimed that God knows us best and knows our thoughts, longings, and sees us through the eyes of grace. I knew this but the timing of being reminded was a huge hug.

In school, my professor and I had a discussion in which we professionally discussed the word judgment versus questioning.  In that moment of our discussion I folded, but later I realized I was allowing his authority to influence what God was doing in my life and my journey.  We were not talking about mechanical parts of the paper, grammar, or APA.  Later that night I couldn’t rest because I realized that I had folded to authority and someone I admired.  God has a work for us individually.  I desire to not come out of my doctorate program being my professors, but who God is molding me to be. We can agree to disagree.  God knows my heart–that’s the only validation I should long for.  I did not want to sway my professor to my side, just listen and consider my point of view, not to discount it as wrong.

http://karladornacher.typepad.com/karlas_korner/2011/08/set-free-new-painting.html

Today in church, my eyes literally saw the wrong verse on the paper of sermon notes.  I went there and all heaven opened in my soul.  Romans 14: 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

No way!  I smiled.  Thank you God.  That was no accident! This was validation of the points I was trying to convey to my professor.  I returned to the sermon and was blessed.  Perhaps this seems so insignificant, but not for someone who struggles with taking a stand when the stakes are high.

God has a plan for each of us individually.  He knows us.  When he speaks to your soul, perhaps important people wont understand or think differently, but you only need validation from the one who knows you best–Jesus.