As hope grows

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We are entering a new place….on the verge of the unknown and for the first time, in a long time, I feel freedom rather then restraint. We have been released. There is no other way to express it. We were not ‘called out’ or given a ‘new mission’ we have simply been released, allowed to step away from what we have dug into, prayed for and broken over for years.

This business of planting churches has left me a shell. It has broken things I once prized and slapped me in the face. It has bitten me in the back and allowed me to burn. It has left me screaming in the corner with a horse voice and drowned in my own tears. This…this pain and brokenness has left me a shell…Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord for the hard and the pain that makes me a new creature! Praise the Lord for the brokenness that allows me to see that only his kindness can heal and restore! Praise the Lord for making all things new!

I find myself rediscovering parts of who I am that have gone dormant over the years. Those areas that stop growing without food and light…without pruning and compassion. Mike and I have had many hope filled conversations in the last two weeks, and each time I catch that look in his eye, the one that seems to say, ‘Oh, yes, I remember her! Where has she been?!’

I wonder who I am now. After 3 church plants, 4 years of ministry before that, 5 years of having the twins home and 8 years of marriage. Who am I? What marks this new creature….what seeds where there in the past that could only grow when planted in death? This oldest child and manager of things…this hope speaker and love giver…this secret dreamer. Oh, I am excited to meet her…to live in her skin!

For the first time in many years I am looking forward with hope. At the age of 36 I pray that this rebirth will bring a deep knowing and greater peace. That I will discover, with joy, the tools I have picked up along the way. Dear Lord, bring us to a safe and sustaining community of faith that will cherish and challenge all that we are growing into.

Week 26…Games

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Summer tends to be filled with a lot of projects around here! It seems like I am constantly working on something….and with only 5 good months of weather to work outside we are pressed to get things taken care of.

I often forget that there are two little ones in out home that have zero concept of what it means to work other then that it takes mommy and daddy’s time and attention away from them.

So I was really thankful for our trip down to the Chicago Land area a month ago. Wee needed the break….and we needed to play a little! Grandpa Is always good for rounding up some way or another to have a good time!

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On the last night of our visit we had a bit of an adventure. In the middle of the night the whole house was woken up by tornado sirens. The girls were troopers! I think they were so out of it that they weren’t even afraid….they just snuggled up in a blanket with their Bapoos (Nemo’s loving name in our home) and tried to go back to sleep.

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Tears…..mostly of joy!

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Grandma passed away last night. There is room for tears here…but if you knew her….there is mostly joy in her passing! ‘Cookie Grandma’ was a woman of deep faith. She prayed often and hard for her family, loved ones…life…well just everything. She was marked as a woman of prayer, who held this world loosely and was thankful for many blessings.

This attitude was all the more encouraging if you knew her story….Ruth’s life was marked by having lost two sons and both of her husbands. At 95 she was ready to go home to Jesus and to see her loved ones again!

Ruth loved me well….welcomed me into the family with open arms and frequently told me how happy she was the Mike had found me….I know that she prayed for me for many years before I was even in the picture! I am blessed for having known her, a picture, a reflection, in part of Mike’s father who I will not meet until I myself am heaven bound.

She opened her arms and heart wide to our children….in fact, I remember making the decision to adopt early on in our marriage while we were staying with Ruth. We would take walks around her neighborhood in the evening and dream about what the next steps for our family would be.

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Grandma, we love you and we will miss you so much! We also rejoice with you that you are with Jesus, the love of your heart and that you have been reunited with your loved ones!