Thursday, August 30, 2012

A life unplanned.....

I am a planner/organizer to the core.  The calendar/planner aisle at Wal-Mart makes me happy.  I am also as proud as a peacock to say that I am raising a daughter who is a planner.  We are the type that wakes up with a plan everyday.  Now whether or not we accomplish it is a totally different  story.  Elise and I dream big when it comes to plans.  One of the most exciting things that has happened to us was the invention of Cozi.  Cozi is a family organizing app that has revolutionized our family schedules.  If I have said it once, I have said it a million times to my family, "It's on Cozi." (in response to them asking the plans for the day)  I love Cozi and I organize G5's life on it.  If it's happening, it's on there!

"The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord."
Proverbs 16:1 

But at this season of my life, planning has been a little tough to conquer. (urghh!) From little things, to large things, God has allowed unplanned things in our life to teach us much about Him and and to do His work well. 

 "I know, O Lord, that a man's way is not in himself;
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps."
Jeremiah 10:23

Like today.

I sit in my brown chair this morning, embracing the sound of rain falling outside, thanks to 'Isaac'.  Our sunroom is a glorious place to be (except when it is over 100 degrees or under 40 degrees outside!!!),  especially days like today.  It's very peaceful today.  I was just reflecting back on how unplanned it was for me to be sitting here at 10:00 in the morning.  A weekday morning.  I am usually working during the school year, but due to school budget cuts, I am not this semester.  (and boy do I miss those kiddos at school!!!)  Unplanned. (FYI-on Cozi I had me going back to work on August 20!)

"For I know the plans that I have for you,
declares the Lord,
plans for welfare,
and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

And yesterday, school, like in college,  started up again.  Last August the Lord placed on my heart a huge desire to go back to school for teaching.  So I enrolled at Southern Arkansas University last fall and completed the hours needed to enter the education program.  I started Block I in the Early Childhood Education program yesterday.  Totally unplanned, but it has turned out to be a huge blessing.  God has been very gracious to provide the time, energies, and finances for this to happen.

And I cannot ever forget about the unplanned summer 2012.  I did not have on Cozi a trip to Boston!  Up until all 5 of our feet touched the airplane floor in Little Rock, we were living by absolute faith.  No sight at all, other than God's faithfulness and His Word.  Totally unplanned for all 5 of us to go to Boston.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Neither are your ways My ways, " declares the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8

And then there was our time in Boston.  I had a bucket list of places I wanted to go to in between Ethan's games. I wanted to make this most of the trip!   God had provided the means for us to go at this time and we had no clue if we would ever be able to come back to this part of the country.  So it was so important to Warren and I to make memories together as a family.  But no matter how much planning I did, everyday was unplanned in its own way!  We never knew what we would find along the way, the means we traveled by, or the places we would pass by.
We stumbled upon Walden Pond (Thoreau) on our way to Vermont.  Loved it!

And God totally turned my direction for serving at church this fall around.  I had picked out, purchased, put on Cozi, and communicated with Warren my intentions to teach a ladies class.  The Lord had different plans.  He grabbed my heart a few weeks back and placed it in the student ministry for this fall. I just want to love on and encourage the students.  So that's where I will be!

This verse in Proverbs continually crosses my mind.  In fact, I cannot put something on Cozi without being reminded that I may plan, but it is HE who directs and decides those steps.

"The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs His step."
Proverbs 16:9

And I am so glad. 

"Commit your works to the Lord,
And your plans will be established."
Proverbs 16:3

I am so glad He has me with the students right now. They are so precious and hungry for the Lord.  I don't want to miss the privilege of being a part of that.

I am so glad that the trip to Boston was in His plans and not mine. Otherwise, Elise and I would have never seen this most beautiful sight. 

I am glad that 15 years ago, God interrupted where I was in college with a blue eyed boy.  I wouldn't trade that time for anything.  (especially the naps! ) Now God is using the current college season in my life to reach classmates for Him, encourage my children educationally, and cause me to grow in so many areas. (including a desire to learn!)

And how thankful I am that God has given me a season of rest, even if it is for just a semester.   (although I will be volunteering teaching 3rd grade science starting next week.)  Only He can plan something so good.

So when life seems so unplanned.  When it seems so not in the plans.  When it seems not according to the plan.  He knows.

"O Lord, Thou art my God;
I will exalt Thee, I will give thanks to Thy name;
For Thou hast worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness."
Isaiah 25:1

Friday, August 3, 2012

Summer Fun! or maybe craziness??

I can't believe this summer is winding down already!  I heard some friends of ours call it the 'summer that wasn't.'  That makes me laugh because this summer has defeated all "normal" thoughts of summer.  It's been good, though.  I have stood in awe of God's ways all summer long.

The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3

This past week was extra crazy, to say the least.  I feel like we were on a roller coaster ride all week!
It was just a few hours after I finished my blog last week that I heard the news of the reporter in St. Louis.  The reporter was out for a morning run along the Mississippi River.   He stumbled upon some of our things that were stolen.  Bibles, journals, a moldy retainer (our Tyler's), inhaler's and medication were all found.  This man was nice enough to even go back and look for more items that could be ours after he talked with Warren.  When the package arrived, this note lay on top.

In that box was my Bible.  It had been ran over and is a little torn, but boy did it feel good to hold.  I smile every time I open those pages.  I will even admit that I have hugged it like a long lost friend!

The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
Psalm 19:9-10

We also had the excitement of  Ethan's baseball team making it to the World Series!  They beat Crossett's 12 year old all-stars in Lamesa, Tx to clinch this spot as Southwest Champions.  We will all board airplanes Tuesday and head to Boston, Massachusetts.  That was definitely NOT in the summer plans. 

And Tyler passed his driver's test this past week.  Oh my!  When you look over and see your little blond hair child with your life in his hands, you are thankful our lives are in HIS hands.  Wasn't it just yesterday he was running over my feet with the plastic Today's Kids golf cart?

This past week I found myself praying to God, "I have no idea what to say."  My heart is so full of so many things now.  I am overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed by His blessings, overwhelmed with life, overwhelmed with His goodness, overwhelmed with schedules, overwhelmed by His mercy, overwhelmed with flight schedules, overwhelmed by the faith required.  Just plain overwhelmed!  It's so hard to describe!  I am sure you can relate. 

People were overwhelmed with amazement.
“He has done everything well,” they said.
“He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Mark 7:37

In my prayer journal for the past couple of weeks (which was returned by the reporter, too!), each day basically starts like this:

"God, Guide us.  I don't even know what to say."

Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:5

It seems the situations in life are so much bigger than us, but not our God.  And I just don't want to miss Him, while overwhelmed.  Crazy statement, huh?  I just don't want to miss what He is up to.

The huge miracle of having my Bible returned to me in a city of 318,000 people and 65 square miles, is so much bigger than me.  I can't even wrap my mind around it.  And the note, I really can't wrap my mind around it.  It's a daily reminder how powerful God's Word is.  And how God answers prayers, wow!

Ethan's team heading to the World Series and the awesome ways God has worked in the relationships and now provisions.  It's way beyond words for me.

And that child of ours driving.  Enough said.  His grace is enough and more than I can express.

So God, guide us.
Guide us in the way that brings You glory.
Guide us in the way that brings others to You.
Guide is in the way that brings Life.
Guide us in this "overwhelmed" time.
Guide us.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us—
so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you. 
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth. 
May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us. 
May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Psalm 67