Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Extra Extra

Extra

E. X. T. R. A. 

It followed me around all day. 

Extra time. Extra patience. Extra joy. Extra presence. Extra hands to help. Extra resources to give. Extra. 

I told my other half, while we ate, "Jesus himself said that He didn't come to give us a little life, He came to give us abundant life. More than enough."

Today felt like that. So, why? Why did today, a Tuesday in July feel so different? I did what every other analytical woman would do, and I tried to figure out the formula to duplicate it. 

And here's what I came up with. 

I had no agenda today. 
I had no preconceived ideas of what it would look like. 
Aslan felt hot in the middle of the day and instead of getting sad about my could-have-been-plans, I made a spontaneous picnic with Eva at home. 
I layed on a raft in the pool with Will Reagan blaring in the wind. 
I looked my kids in the eyes. 
I took it slow. 
I kept my phone in another room and made art with black and white. 
I spent time with my mom and called my grandma. 
Brandon and I danced around the pool. 

My analyzing brought me to one conclusion: nothing was done in haste and there was no hurrying the day away. 

Living in the moment produces extra. Extra produces and atmosphere to hear heaven and release the abundance of what's left over. It is the more than enough that we are meant to carry and release. 

Now...can I get a dose of this for tomorrow? Cheer me on and I'll cheer you on. 

Extra. Let's live there. 




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jason Upton Throwback

The first time I'd ever heard Jason Upton, my brother in law threw me his CD as a "new artist" that was thinking of signing to his label (12 years ago). It was in TN, Veronica and I were visiting and making a vacation of it. 

We sat in the car and we froze. We listened and we opened eyes wide, drinking in the new sound. It was song. It was alive. It was fresh. It has honestly changed my life. 

We took the CD inside the empty house where we were staying and something grabbed our hearts. We couldn't stop. Hours and hours into the night, Veronica and I danced and sang to this fresh new sound of song. We cried. We sweat. If the bible says God sings songs of deliverance over us, I believe this was one of those songs. 

Jason sang this morning (at our church) and I recognized something while he sang. It's been a hard week for me, physically draining and a bit of an emotional "funk". And to be honest, the to-do lists have taken over any time I would have carved out for God. 

But as Jason sang today, I remembered a concept Erik Smith mentioned in his book. "All things created by man are decreasing or wasting away, but all things God created are increasing". I have thought of this with physical things, buildings falling apart and vehicles turning to rust, but today, God woke me up.

It isn't just the physical things that decay, it's our minds and our spirit, if they aren't being renewed by God. For me, this past week has been full of man-made lists and projects and jobs, which in and of themselves are not bad, but without God, I am decaying. I'm decreasing. I'm falling away instead of increasing like I was created to. 

As Jason sang, I could actually feel my mind and my body and my spirit being renewed. I was being strengthened and refreshed. 

God, help us, help me, to take time away from life, from busy LIFE, and tune in to what actually makes us alive. Without you, I am just dying and I want to live, abundantly live! 

Thank God for the Holy Spirit who speaks to us, not just when we are on point and have it all together, but when we are weary and weak. 

Cheers to a week full of Him, what really matters. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bad Luck and Smoking Pipes

It's July at its best, and the heat remains, well, hot.

I've noticed Pennsylvanians love to talk about the weather. Is it a lack of meaningful chatter or is it just an obsession with the uncontrollable? Either way, strangers love to address the precipitation or lack.

We lost power after last night's rain, and through our experience someone told me of their luck...and how it is usually bad.

Bad luck. In the charismatic world, "luck" is often looked at as a no-no word. Should luck mean that we are all set up to succeed or fail, not because of our actions, but by chance, I suppose I agree. I don't believe in luck either. Sure, I believe in statistics, the reality that generalizations can be made and lead us to believe that a person seems to have bad luck, but I don't believe anyone is born to be "unlucky".

Do you?

When this fellow told me of his "bad luck", it aroused something in me that I can only assume is my optimistic nature and personality. I wanted to tell him that he doesn't have bad luck, that he's just seeing things all wrong. Maybe he's been raised to notice the bad and over look the good. Maybe he goes looking for the bad, not even knowing what good looks like or sounds like. Maybe he's trapped in some sort of realistic, negative mindset, when in reality, reality isn't real at all.

But now, I may have lost you.

But in case I haven't...and in case this may be you. Or not.

You don't have bad luck. There actually isn't such a thing, as bad luck. I mean, you may think that terrible things are happening to you on a consistent basis, but I'm telling you that great things are waiting for you to discover them.

You wake up every day and you're loved.
You have strengths and gifts and you are actually going to change the world with them. No seriously, even affecting 1 is enough to change the world.
You were born to live, and abundantly at that.
You have family and friends and if you don't think that's true, then reevaluate what those words mean.
You've been given a second chance, you were chosen, you are blessed, and actually blessed all the days of your life.

ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE.

Every. Single. One. So take that. Take that and shove it up your big "bad luck" pipe, and smoke it.

And then let me know how it feels.

Cheers to having power, speaking truth to lies, and writing again! It feels great.



Saturday, July 5, 2014

The 4th. The under-rated holiday.

Who wouldn't want to celebrate freedom in the middle of the summer? Warm weather, 3 day weekend, fresh local food, fireworks, the pool, a color scheme, and the list goes on. 

The 4th, my 2nd favorite holiday. 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Aslan is 3.

From this...to 3 years old! I got weepy when I prayed over him and dinner. What am I, a mom?! Cheers to your weekend! Party on...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Countdown (0) ONE YEAR LATER.

My attempt in posting for 10 days was unsuccessful. I'm not apologizing. Just stating the facts.

Today we celebrate ONE (1) year of owning this home/promise/blessing.

TRUST. I never thought a renovation would teach me something about my marriage (of course it did), but it did. And since TODAY we are celebrating ONE YEAR I'm gonna shout out to the genius behind all of these posts.

Brandon. BRANDON. BrAnDoN.

It's true. Most people think that the "woman" has all of the ideas and the "man" makes them happen, but in this case, I spent most of my time taking care of our kiddos and I had to learn to trust Brandon to make huge, HUGE, decisions.

I get it. This is just a house, but the layout of your kitchen, using a deck or natural stone, these are kinda a big deal. So I trusted him. My man. And I was never let down (ok, maybe once, when he took ALL the molding and trim off the doors and windows).

When you love, you trust. And when you trust, you love deeper.

Without further ado, the great room and living room, where we hang and tickle the kids and write and read and the master, our changes from blue to neutral.

If you're scoffing at all the chatter over a house, you fail to see the real story here. It's through the "things" through the labor, that He shows us what is really good and he uses the crazy things, like donkeys and renovations, to confound our human minds.

It's good. It's so good. So, without further ado...
Disclaimer: Blogspot was super moody today and would not allow me to move pictures around easily.  I apologize if before/after shots are not in the correct order on your browser.

Before
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Countdown (7)

The party always ends in the KITCHEN.

Why? Because who doesn't like to eat and at the end of the night, somebodys gotta clean up.
Before
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In Progress


In Progress

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After!
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After!