Monday, September 24, 2012

My man

I am a blessed girl.  When I think about the road to the pit I was headed on 20 years ago, I cringe.  (Did I just say 20?  EEK!)  In one of my first blogs (Run and Never Stop) I talked about my story of Christ rescuing me from that pit I was headed to.  In my blog, A Call in Texas, I shared about how God called us into ministry.  Those are the two foundations in my life.  The rocks.  The reasons.  The rescue.

"For who is God, besides the Lord? 
 And who is a rock, besides our God?"  2 Samuel 22:32

But right in the middle of those two life changing times, God brought me my man.  Warren G. 

It was at this time of year 19 years ago that I was beginning my junior year of high school and he was about to leave for his sophomore year of college at the University of Arkansas. I had only been in Arkansas for about 8 months.  My parents had divorced and my mom moved us to Arkansas from Texas to be closer to her family.

Warren in Razorback band at UofA
Me playing in band at halftime and cheering the rest for MHS

 My younger brother, Kyle was at the FBC Mansfield, AR basketball court playing ball with some guys.  I was on my daily jog around town when I stopped to relay a message to Kyle from my mom.  That's where I started talking with Warren.  I had seen Warren around that summer at church and with some friends.  But it was that day that we spoke to each other.  After a good while of standing around talking, Warren asked Kyle and me if we wanted a ride home.  Probably not a great idea getting in the car with a semi-stranger, but we did.

Little did I know, this was the man God had for me, for life.  The one I would marry 2 years later, drive crazy for the next 19 years, devise plans for disciplining our children with, physically walk many miles with, dream with, travel with, minister beside, laugh with, dance in the kitchen with, hide behind when I felt weak, cry with, gain strength from, and in the depths of my soul, dread the day I would ever be left on this earth without.

That's my Warren.

"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine,..."
Song of Soloman 6:3
This past week a precious family from our hometown lost their husband, dad, and grandfather.  A man still young and so very kind.  Gary would stand outside the doors of Upward with Pam for many years at FBC Mansfield and greet those that entered.  Their daughter was Tyler's first grade teacher.  Such a godly family.

Pam posted on her Facebook later in the day after his death.  "Made it home. Long drive."
After I read this post I walked into the living room, wanting to tell Warren what she had said.  I also just wanted to tell him how my heart ached for them. 

I told him what the post said and I lost it.  Nothing else could come out of my mouth.  My eyes were filling with tears.  I turned around and walked out, my eyes flooded.    My heart was broken for Pam.  I saw my man sitting there in the chair and could not imagine life without him.  This is who I do life with.  I couldn't even imagine her pain.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
 I fear no evil; for Thou art with me;"
Psalm 23:4
This Friday (28th)  is Warren's birthday.  Elise and I love throwing a party.  Streamers, balloons, cupcakes.  So much so,  that when she was little, we would throw parties for her baby dolls.  The boys would ALWAYS roll their eyes.  I am sure now they wouldn't even participate.

We always ask Warren what he wants for his birthday.  His answer is always the same year to year.  Peace.  He wants peace.  On my birthday I want a piece of cake.  But no, all he wants is peace.  Peace?

So I began dwelling on what to REALLY get him this year. Peace just didn't seem like a gift.  I wanted something I could wrap up and put a bow on top.  Or better yet, throw in a bag with cute tissue paper. 

 It was during this time of planning that Gary passed away and I couldn't shake what Pam must be feeling.  Couldn't even begin to know.  As I was praying for the family, that gift request of Warren's  came to my mind.  Peace.  So that's what I prayed for the family.

Peace.  God's Peace.  Peace that surpasses all understanding.  Peace He leaves with us.  Peace in the midst of storms.  Peace in the land.  Peace in our lives.  Peace made in families.  Peace like a river.  Peace given by the Prince of Peace.  Peace with God.  Peace, Patience.., Peace through His blood.


He came to give us peace, to place peace in our homes, bind us together in peace, to be peace to us, give us peace of mind, multiply peace in our lives when we need it the most. 


Peace to seek, peace that guards our hearts, peace when we are far or near, Peace in a dark world, peace that is open to us, Peace and joy, perfect peace.


As Elise and I plot out the final touches to his birthday week, we want to give Warren the best gift ever.  Maybe Razorback tickets?  A new razor?  A shirt?   IPhone 5?  Oh, he would love a truck!  Old or new!

But one thing is for sure, we could never give a better gift than God has already given His children.


It is a gift that never ends.  Never gets old.  Never wears out.  Never misses a pass.  Never fades.  Never gets dents.  Never changes. 

It is a gift that gets us through life. It's what we will need to walk through this life.  It makes the joys complete and the hurts heal.  It's what binds families and faith. 


"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you..." John 14:27
Happy Birthday to my favorite person on this earth. 
Overwhelmed that God would choose you to be my man!

Monday, September 17, 2012

What? Science Expectations in Deuteronomy?

Things are crazy around the G5 plot of land as usual.  (And I am pretty sure that will never change!)

Sometimes I try to figure out my identity.  Am I bus route driver or mom?  A student?  Or a volunteer? Maybe an employee?  Maybe a wife?  Cheerleader? Encourager?  Maid, chef, shopper, communicator?  Decorator?  Detailer, or maybe a secretary?  Am a personal tutor, bug exterminator, lawn service, and dog trainer?  Driver education instructor, nurse, and trash lady?  or, I know!  A beautician, stylist, and personal trainer.

Do you ever feel like that?  Simply filled with so many titles that at the end of the day you wonder if you really missed IT?  Maybe you have missed your real identity.  Christ follower.  Child of the King.  The redeemed.  Sinner saved by grace.  His.  Able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

There are times that I drop off my children at school and think to myself, Do they know who I am? 
If today was my last day on earth, would they know my heart's deepest desire?
 How would they describe me? 
Who do they think I am? 

What do they think our family's journey of life is all about?

So I asked Ethan.  I knew better to ask Ethan, but I did.

Me: "Ethan, what is my greatest desire?"
Ethan: " Your desire is to drink 20 diet cokes a day."

There you have it. 

What will they answer Monday when the rat race starts up again?  When we are trying to get out the door with lunch pails, homework, piano books, and our sanity?

Or after school as the bus route service Warren and I provide to them via our minivan and suburban passes through?  Picking up one, dropping another off, all evening long?

God has opened the door for me to teach science in third grade this semester at Hugh Goodwin.  (see my previous blog for more insight into this matter) I am having a great time.  I am getting to apply things I am learning in my education classes (at SAU) every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in science.  I have purchased a lab coat and goggles to enhance the experience for the kids when my cart rolls into their classroom.  On my cart is LabQuests, ready to be used for learning.  I decided it would be a good thing for the students to be aware of the expectations I have for them.  So a set of Science Expectations were developed and posted on my cart.

As I was going  over these expectations, God spoke.  Somehow God uses the everyday little things in life to change, remind, and show Himself to me.   And science expectations was no exception.

The expectations I have for the children in science is no different than what He has laid out for His children in life.  Expectations for family.  What my main role in life is.

Science Expectations
Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 18

1.  Be ready to learn!
(Anytime the Lord speaks, it should be time for us to learn!)
2. Listen to all instructions!
4 Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!   

3. Follow all  instructions!
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
4. Complete all parts of the lab!
(sometimes my family seems like a lab!)
7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
5. Have fun learning!
....that it may be well with you..." (6:18)
Just as I am giving the students in my science class expectations to protect them and keep them from failing at the lab, so God does the same with this passage in Deuteronomy.  He wants to protect our families and give us all we need to be "well with us."  We have to be ready to hear Him, Listen to what He says, Follow Him, Obey Him, and Delight in His goodness.  He wants that for your family and mine.
So, I choose to love the life (as crazy as it may be!) God has given me and not for a moment miss the purrpose of this life's journey in my family.  Making the most of the opportunities to teach, talk, walk, and write the Words of Life on the hearts of my children. 
This is who I am called to be in life, all that other stuff is just an added bonus.