Monday, March 25, 2013

world changer



A stirring for missions has always been on my heart.
I see myself working in an orphanage,
feeding the homeless,
traveling the world; leading thousands in worship.
These things move me.
They excite me.
They have been my desires and prayers.
I want to make a difference.
Leave a mark.

Yet here I sit in Lancaster County.
 
I fold laundry.
I cook.
I clean toilets.
I tie shoes.
I sign permission slips.
I pick up toys.
Change diapers.
Give baths.
Fold laundry.
 
Hardly making a mark on this world.
 
I often get restless.
I feel useless.
Sometimes trapped.
 
When I asked God, recently why I cannot go on a "mission"
he clearly spoke to my heart,
"You are on a mission. 
I created this specific task for you.
I've given you these specific people to love. 
Serve them with all your heart.
Love them. 
Minister to them. 
Equip them.
For I have a specific task in mind for each of them too!"
 
 I'm not running an orphanage in Guatemala - 
but I have 3 children who need tender love and care.
I may not be feeding the homeless -
 but I have 4 mouths right here to feed.
I may not be a well known worship leader - 
but I sing Jesus Loves Me every night to a captive audience.

 It can seem small.
It can be hard.
It can make you bang your head on the kitchen counter.
(I can't be the only one who does that)
 
{My sweet, dear children can turn me into an absolute lunatic!
A nice game of Candy land can quickly turn into crying kids 
and a screaming mom, who throws the game in the box and says "forget it!"
And making brownies with ones children .. well that can drive a mother to drink!}

 Story time:
I was cooking with my kids.
They were making me curse under my breath.
I felt my blood pressure rising.
I stopped, 
turned away from the kids,
closed my eyes,
 and silently said
"OK Jesus, now. 
This is when I need you. 
Right. Now. 
Please help."
 
I trust he knew exactly what I needed.
Patience.
Grace.
Love.
Gentleness.
 
No one was injured during the rest of the task
and we even enjoyed it.
That is God at work, people.
 
He is using this mission field to work in my heart.
To teach me as I teach them.
To stretch me.
To show me what it really means to serve.
To love.

I'm learning to love this mission.
I'm allowing him to work in me instead of protesting.
I'm embracing this enormous task!
I have the ability 
(with the Lords help and guidance)
to raise 
WORLD CHANGERS.
Humble, servants who lead by love.
And where will they learn to love?
Right here.
 
 My sphere of influence may not be large,
 but my influence on the people inside these 4 walls is enormous.
 
I can make the biggest mark,
leave the greatest legacy,
by simply loving the ones in my home, first.
 
 

 




 

 



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I changed my mind about trick or treat.

I'm not a fan of Halloween for many reasons.
Some reasons are faith based
(but they are our personal beliefs so I'm not even going to go there.
 Everyone has there own beliefs and that is absolutely fine!).
I hate the excessive candy.
I hate all the money spent on extravagant costumes.
You get the point,
I'm not a fan.

So we generally don't participate in the festivities.
We have explained to our kids all the reasons and they have never fussed.
Well .. until tonight.
"It's not fair! Everyone trick-or-treats! We're the only ones not going!"

I started the whole
"well life's not fair.."
speech.

As I was spiel-ing
I started to think ..
really what's the big deal?
Should I just take them?

Hmmm.
 
I caved.
We dumped out the dress up box 
and picked out our finest princess and ballerina attire!
 
The excitement was overwhelming!
I am totally mother of the year in their eyes after the abrupt change of heart.

So we set off.
Our first neighbor didn't have candy.
Um, lameee.
(Kidding Fishers, totally kidding!!!)

As we walked up the road I noticed a neighbor I have never introduced myself too.
I hate that. 
We live right across the street and have never said hello.
So, I said "Hi! I'm Sarah! I live in the yellow house across the street"
She was quick to share her name and quicker to invite us back to her house for candy.
(we were out by the mailbox)
 
We walked back and made small talk.
She gave the girls their treats and then asked if we could come in.
We went in and she gave us a tour of her cute modest home.
I noticed all of her art work and when I asked about it
she shared she had painted them all!
How did I not know this woman was an artist?
How did I not know she had a dog named Buster?
How did I live across the street for over a year and never say hello?
 
The girls were anxious for more treats so we made our way to the door and said goodbye.
 
As we continued on our candy hunt I had to think --
Yes, I have a lot of valid reasons to hate this "holiday"
but you know ..  it's just like anything else in life,
 It's what you make it.
We didn't spend any money on costumes,
we only went to a few houses so the candy was in moderation
and most importantly we made a connection with the nice woman across the street.

Life is what we make it.
We can sit inside hiding with our lights off
Or 
we can get out and let our light shine.

 
I have some candy to eat now.










Monday, October 15, 2012

Come.

It's Monday afternoon.
The last week and weekend have been rough.
I've been suffering from debilitating anxiety.
Debilitating as in:
I don't want to leave my husband's side ..
ever.
(poor guy)
I don't want to hang out with friends or chat on the phone.
I skipped church. 
I dread the grocery store.
On and on.

I've always suffered from anxiety but found healing 
from it a couple of years ago, through prayer and medication.
(GASP! Sarah takes medication!? Poor soul. Must be one of those crazies.)
{what's with the stigma with depression and anxiety anyway?! If I had diabetes I would control it with medication, correct? Correct. So leave your judgements here.}
 
This last month has been draining for me.
I realized yesterday I have been pouring out to others but not taking the time to refill and refresh myself.
I've been carrying the load of life all by myself.
That's enough to give anyone anxiety!
Last night I heard God calling.
He said "Come." 
I didn't feel like it.
Not only didn't I want to chat on the phone but I didn't want to chat with God.
Leave me alone, Lord, I just want to watch Grey's Anatomy.
He said "OK."
Then I felt bad.
OK, Lord what can I do for you?
"How about what can I do for YOU, Sarah?
I want to help. I want to carry this burden, this load.
I've been waiting for you to ask"
Oh. 
 
 
So I simply said,
Lord, forgive me for trying to conquer the world on my own.
I need you. I need only you. Only by your strength can I live.
Come and fill this heart with your peace.
Give me strength for tomorrow.
Be my source.
Amen.
 
Today has been a good day.
 
Let him help you today.
He's just waiting for you to ask.
 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

the trip that forever changed me.

My house is so quiet.
My big girls are both in school full day 
and baby boy is napping.
I'm puttering (I am so my mother) 
 around the house enjoying the silence.
As I putter I'm processing.
I'm processing the trip that changed me forever.
Writing helps me process.
There are no words that could truly describe this trip
but in an attempt to better understand it myself, I will try.
7 weeks ago I was on vacation with my family at the beach.
As we were enjoying the fun and sun we received word 
that a friend, who was also on vacation in Oregon, had been in a bicycle accident.
She had a severe injury to her brain.
Pray! All we could do was pray.
Initially it put a dapper on our vacation. 
We were in shock and we were so sad. 
I realized though we need to keep living and we need to enjoy living.
We need to make the most of this vacation and make memories
for our children to cherish. So we did. It wasn't always easy but we made the choice.
After returning home and getting into my routine of early mornings in Gods presence
I sensed him saying "Go to Oregon."
What?
Um. That surely wasn't God.
*Ignore*
The next morning in His presence,
"Go to Oregon"
Oh dear. I think this is God.
* still ignoring*
The next morning,
Yes. He said it again.
This is insane.
What will I do there God?
Cry and be awkward like I usually am?
He said "Just go. I'll tell you what to do when you get there."
Um. 
Alrighty then.
I cautiously approached Andy.
He is a gracious, low key, laid back man
but what would he say when I tell him I think I'm supposed to fly across the country,
the first week our kids start school and I have no idea why I'm going?

Well he said, "Okay."
Seriously, most laid back guy ever!
We talked with Bill (the husband of my friend who was in the accident) 
and booked my tickets!
OH MY WORD!
WHAT AM I DOING?
This is the dumbest idea I've ever had!
That wasn't the Lord speaking that was me being ridiculous.
"Andy can I get a refund on those plane tickets?" 
NO.
Sigh.

The day came for me to leave.
I felt pukish. I may have cried. 
I was terrified.
I had no plan or agenda.
I figured well, I'm a singer so I guess I can sing to her! 
OK. I had somewhat of a plan.
I'm breathing again and feeling less pukish.

I arrived in Oregon and Bill took me to the rehab center where Glenda is being cared for.
Reality hit. And it hit hard.
There in bed lays my friend.
Lifeless.
Beautiful but far away from us.
I saw the photos around her bed of her biking, and laughing and eating ice cream.
And then I looked down at her body.
I held in the tears for fear that once I released them they would never stop.
Bill and I spent time talking.
Glenda's parents were there as well. 
As the conversation got hard I felt prompted to sing.
Great is Thy Faithfulness,
kept coming to my mind.
Again, I ignored this prompting.
(Are you sensing a theme here?)
Then Bill handed me a paper; an email he had received.
What was the email?
The lyrics to Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
The tears came. 
I cried and cried. 
I cried for my friend. I cried for her family. And I cried because in the midst
of the hurt God came and showed me he was at work.
Great IS his faithfulness.
I sang.
The Holy Spirit came and breathed his refreshing winds on us.
God was in that room. We all felt him.

I went to bed that night exhausted but knowing God was at work.
The next morning as I sit by Glenda's bed I felt prompted to walk around the rehab center and 
just love on the patients there. I did not ignore this prompting 
(trust me I wanted to! But I knew I would miss seeing God at work if I did).
I walked around and prayed. I asked God to lead my steps 
and show me who he wanted to encounter that day. 
I met a woman with one leg who had been there for four years. She was very lonely.
Her husband had died several years before. The sadness in her eyes was overwhelming.
We chatted a bit. I saw God move as her eyes brightened.
I began to walk down the hall.
I saw a women coming towards me in a wheelchair. I smiled at her.
That's all I did. But I can assure you she and I encountered God in that moment.
I felt His presence like a forceful wind as I walked towards her.
When I smiled, her entire being changed.
She sat up and returned the smile. She was glowing. 
There was something happening in the supernatural. 
That moment changed me forever.
All I did was smile.
But that's all God needed to touch this woman's heart.
Later I met Rita.
Rita was discouraged and angry as her knee surgery went terribly wrong
and she was in great pain and stuck in this rehab center.
We chatted and I asked her if I could pray with her.
She got very nervous,
I told her it was OK to say no.
"Oh thank you!" she replied.
She said, "I think you believe in a God that heals and I don't".
I don't know why she said that but she was correct.
I told her I would pray for her  in the hallway :)
And I did. 
I returned the next day to see a smiling, Rita!
She had just returned from the doctor.
Her knee was fine and she got the OK to go home!
My, did I chuckle at God.

I could continue but this would be a never ending post.
We saw God moving in Oregon.
We felt him all around us.
He is ever present in time of trouble.

I had gone to Oregon with the hopes of seeing healing in Glenda's body.
I did not see that miracle.
But I saw many.
I don't understand the ways of God.
But I'm choosing to trust in him and trust in his goodness.
He loves Glenda more than any of us here on earth do.
I know he will take care of her.
I know he is with her.
And he is with you.
Watch for Him today.
Watch for him tomorrow.
He's moving.
He's working.
And he's changing hearts.
Great Is Thy Faithfulness O God.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

shut yo mouth!

Well hellooooo! 
How are ya?
I'm good. 
Why haven't I been blogging you ask?
Well quite frankly I have nothing interesting to say.
I update my facebook status daily, I tweet, I blog
and then I think:
Who cares!?
Who cares that I drank a smoothie for lunch?
Who cares that my kids are undeniably the cutest things alive
{hence all the photos of them}?
Who cares about my random thoughts?
Yet, I continue. 
LOL.

SO if you care, please keep reading.
If not, that's OK too.

I felt incredibly impressed to write this.
On Sunday night at my dad's birthday party,
I found myself talking smack on people.
Laughing at someone's awful haircut.
Then earnestly listening to the gossip on so and so's divorce.
Then laughing again about the haircut.
(don't worry it wasn't you!!)

Why the public confession of my sin?
Because since that night I have thought it over a thousand times.
Why did I feel the need to tear someone down?
Someone who wasn't even there.
I surely wouldn't have said that to their face!
{in fact I would probably have smiled and said, "Oh I like your hair!"}
[don't even act like you've never done that.]


Why do we do this?
Why is it entertainment to talk about someone else's pain?
Why do we critique and criticize others?
Because we are perfect, right?


My heart desires to be a lover.
A lover of people.
An encourager.
A woman who speaks life.
NOT DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.
And our words ARE that powerful! 
They can destroy.

Let's be a people who ooze love.
Let's not get caught in the trap of gossip or trash talk.
Let's rise above and be an example to those around us,
 whether it be co-workers, friends, or our children.
Let our words speak truth and life.
May our mouths overflow with goodness and laughter and kindness 
and grace and joy
because our hearts cannot contain it all!!

YES!
Let's do it.

So next time you find yourself tempted to say something unkind, or rude, or just unnecessary,
may I suggest you
SHUT YO MOUTH!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

truth be told

Most of you know I woke up a few weeks ago
and decided to rip my kitchen apart
so I could paint the cabinets and walls.
It's still ripped apart.
We're getting there!

Today someone at church said to me,
"You're amazing! How do you do it all!?"
Well --
I don't.
Please, please don't think I have it all together,
or that I'm some super woman,
or that I'm painting in heels with perfect hair
(although I know Andy would enjoy that..)

I never, ever want to give that impression!
I never want to pressure others to do it all
because they think everyone else is doing it all!
We can't do it all!
If we choose to paint our kitchen
then chances are the laundry isn't getting done,
and chances are pizza is being ordered far too often,
and chance are socks are being pulled out of the hamper
(eww. I would never do that...)

So here is my house.
This is exactly what it looks like as I sit here and type.
Maybe I should be cleaning?
Nah,
It's Sunday.


The Kitchen


The Dining Room

The Laundry Room
I mean Living Room


The Foyer
WELCOME!

And sadly
My Bathroom


There.
Feel better?



Thursday, January 12, 2012

for the men

My last post was about true beauty.
Encouraging women (myself included)
not to listen to the lie the world is telling us about beauty
but instead to seek after the heart of God and allow him
to shine through us, making us beautiful.

Both women and men are bombarded daily
with images of what the world says is beautiful.
Tall, thin, blond...perfect.
We women think this is what you men want!
We are striving to be that perfect woman.
We desperately want to please and satisfy our husbands.
Yet we (or at least I) feel like I fail on a daily basis
because I will never be the perfect woman.
If tall, thin, blond is what Andy wants well I'm plum out of luck..
I'm a 5'0, brunette, who will never be a size 2 again.

Is that what you want, guys?
The perfect looking woman.

Andy assures me this is not what men want.
{not what he wants}

But guys..
YOU HAVE TO TELLS US THAT.

Recently, Andy told me that the least important thing to him is my physical beauty.
He would much rather a kind, gracious, humble, loving, gentle wife
than one who was drop dead gorgeous but possessed none of the above attributes.

I will admit..
this was shocking to me.
Seriously.
I just assume men are after the physical beauty.

We need your encouragement guys!
Encourage us to run after God!
Encourage us to cultivate inner beauty!
Tell us you think it's beautiful when we are kind and respectful!
Express your appreciation for an encouraging, supportive wife!
Tell us gentleness is beautiful!

We need to hear this.
We hear lies all day,
if not from the world than from our own minds!
We need truth spoken over us!
Speak truth and life to our hearts!

And since we are complicated creatures
we also need to hear that we are physically beautiful to you.
Regardless of our cellulite, our scars, our rolls, our wrinkles.
We need to know that we are adored.
We are cherished.
We need to know that you are proud to have us on your arm.

Your words of truth and encouragement
will dramatically change the way your wife views herself.
It will dramatically change her confidence,
and that my friends will dramatically change other areas
{if you catch my drift *wink, wink*}

Be men who run after God,
lead your wife!

Now go tell your wife she's beautiful!
:)