About Us

Not too much to say (at least not yet)... no long list of credentials... just a story that's worth sharing. I'm Adam Vaughan. My wife, Kelly, will also be sharing. We have 6 children. Our two sons, Lincoln and Tucker, have gone to be with the Lord. The remaining four with us are Emmiline, Eloise, Elliott and Charli. Charli is a triplet. Her brothers Lincoln and Tucker are identical twins. They're dancing with Jesus right now, and they're not sad about it at all!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New news and crazy changes

Man, so much change. So much new. Planning on being brief. That in itself is a change.

Not sure what order to go in...

First, my eating habits are completely different than anything from my past. So much so that it's unrecognizable. Still haven't figured it out. Just know that food played too great of a role in my life. I think I'd say I had some addictions. Learning and striving to make sure I honor God with this body that He entrusted to me. Feeling much more convicted / invited into that. Hard to explain how major it's been. Again, to downplay, we'll just say it hasn't been without struggle.

Second, some of you might have read on Facebook, but as of tonight my planner has been retired. If you're unfamiliar with this planner, it's the large black thing that was usually attached to my hand. At times I pretended it was a Bible when I had forgotten my Bible for small group meetings. Somehow I never forgot my planner. At my church in Florida we actually took classes on how to use the systems in this planner. It was a lifestyle... I mentioned before, but I was never quite sure who was controlling who... think usually the planner called the shots. There were definitely obsessive compulsive issues between me and this planner. Not healthy, but made for a lot of funny heckling from my peoples... for some reason they liked to hide my planner. Those memories feel like a bad dream. Still not quite ready to laugh at those memories.

I still have to keep up with things, but on a whole different scale. Went to Target today. Found a small clearance planner for less than $5! The only color they had was pink. I'm okay with that. It's just going to be a tool to record a few things... not the puppet-master that dangles the strings making me (the puppet) do whatever it says.

It is about 1/100th of the size of my old planner.  The bright pink wasn't captured well with the camera.


Lastly, yesterday I got contacted from a church I've been in dialogue with... They would like to continue the interview process. The next step will be the fourth tier in the process. Very interested in the position. Very excited about the possibility. Very curious. Still don't know where God wants me or what He wants me to do. Not sure if this is where He wants me. Had no intentions of sharing this with the masses. Think I am afraid to express interest just in case they decide they're not interested in me. Wondering if they do offer me the position, but I don't sense it's God's call for me... will I be faithful? That would definitely be a crazy risk.

Some new things. Many changes. Guess I wasn't as brief as I thought. Some things don't change.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

faith book

Hebrews has been a lifeline for me (Kelly) this summer.  Pastor issued an invitation that we read it and discuss it together.

walking by faith in Hebrews....us, two messies...side by side

He, partnered with God, have taught me a lot. I am a slow learner so I have stayed here quite a while.... reading... rereading ...learning... hoping... thinking .... asking.


I have learned a lot this summer.  Many things have changed my life.  Most things have stirred great desire.  All things have been hard and costly.  Self-awareness is often a painful thing, at least for me.  Lately, I have realized just how weary I am.  I think I spent most of the summer trying to authentically speak truth and cheer my husband on.  This crop has produced all it can for now.  It's time for rest.  It's time to let the land heal a bit and let the Gentle Gardener replenish the only way He can.  All striving must cease...it must.  I simply don't have the energy for it.


I have camped out in the persevering part of Hebrews.  I must nourish this body and brain with truth for the daily battles strip me.  Chapter 12 has really been speaking to me lately....titles that remind..."Do not grow weary,"  oops... and, "A kingdom that cannot be shaken," these bring much needed sustenance.    I felt like yesterday God spoke these love words to me through the unknown author of Hebrews.  In 12:12 it says, "Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for  your feet, so that WHAT IS LAME MAY NOT BE PUT OUT OF JOINT BUT RATHER BE HEALED."
Sometimes me being loved on by God looks a lot like this..... because, I forget His passionate love over me
      
I am a lame woman.  God knows this to be true as well as my family.  We talk about it often, and I ask them to pray for me.    However, I don't want to just give up.  I want HEALING.  There are many beautiful stories all throughout scripture where God has used the lameness of a bleeding woman, a limp, a stutter, the demon possessed,  a thorn, fear, the dead, doubt, and many other forms of brokenness to produce great  God opportunity.


I will choose to lift my drooping hands, and they are heavy.  I will ask Daddy-God to strengthen these weak knees.  I will continue to use my scripture roadmap, that always has current GPS ability, to make straight paths for my feet.  I will learn about resting in the ONE that will turn my lameness to healing.


Today, I am confident of these two things....the biggest messes in my life are often the ones I create.

thankful for the tender hands that help tidy up what I have taken a wrecking ball too....blessed by the Helpful Spirit



And, He longs for me to stop trying so hard and just rest in the complete work He has already done.  It's already finished.  This lame woman is already declared in perfect working order for the task He has planned....maybe just not the ones I make for myself....
Ahhhh...to be a woman that lives out of REST....so much to
learn....certain that....


the harvest basket that is empty today He soon will fill again....rich fruit is on it's way...











Monday, August 29, 2011

Options...

Seems these days I vacillate between two extremely different mindsets... the first is – I have unlimited options. I can do anything. I've been given the opportunity to dream huge! The second is – I have no options at all.

Visited another church this past Sunday. Been to three churches now. Naturally, I compare them to Fellowship which is very strong at so many things. Not a fair comparison. The first two churches had a lot of really great things about them. The most recent one was not a good fit. So hard not to have a critical mind and spirit. There was still good to be gleaned from it. As I sat in the church service I wondered... could I help birth something that would really be more what God intended for the church? I do know what it's not supposed to look like.

One option... start something new. This is a thought that's been under the surface for awhile. I've shared it with a few people, but I'm very reluctant to actually put it out there to the masses. Maybe start something like a church? I just don't like what comes to mind when we hear the word, “church,” any more. So many churches do a lot of good things. Let's be honest though... some churches have almost everything wrong. I just want the church to be more than I've ever seen it be. Greater authenticity. True community. Family-oriented. No flash. Not about programs. Not about trying to move a group of people in a certain direction... not about getting them on board with a particular idea. Simply about loving God and loving each other (and others not a part of the church)... obviously based on the truths found in scripture. Please know that I'm not bashing any church! I can't even put to words what it is entirely that I want for the church. My good friend today (who shares the same vision) described it with the word, “Different.” I think that best sums it up.

Another option... sell the house and everything else we own... maybe cash in on what I have in retirement (yes, I'm aware of the penalties). Maybe move away, Lord-willing temporarily, for a season of training and learning. Got a few ideas of where this might be, but don't even have that narrowed down.

Option three... find a job in a church... a place that has a similar vision. Have not heard back from the last church I spoke to... not sure if they're interested in continuing the interview process with me. I'm definitely interested in getting to know them more. Just have not heard if this is part of God's plan yet or not...

Option four... something completely different and unexpected.

Option five... take anything I can find. Don't take this one as desperation. I do rest knowing that I'm a pastor. That's what God's called me to be. I'll be a pastor doing whatever it is I “get to” do. Just have no idea what that might be.

At times I feel like my options are unlimited. At other times I feel like I don't have any options at all.

Today I've felt the urge to simply choose an option and go for it with all I've got... if I don't feel like God's leading me down one more than another soon, I'll definitely pick the one I sense is right. Something feels like I'm throwing all of my cards up in the air, but I expect them to land in a perfect card house. That'd be nice.

Started this entry earlier in the day... decided to finish it. Feels pretty vulnerable to put out there. However, what's typed before isn't where my heart is right now. My heart is struggling for my bride. Kel's heart and body are so depleted right now. She's tired... and deeply struggling. I think she feels defeated in many ways.  Not saying anything she wouldn't approve of (I don't think)... just wanted to mention that for the sake of prayer for my sweet wife.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

because I know that you love me

As I sit in our playroom surrounded by our smalls I am trying not to pull all my hair out.  I am surrounded by chaos.  I know one day I will really miss the noise, but right now I want some QUIET!

God spoke some much needed truth into me this afternoon as I was feeling sad and missing security....another giant idol for me.   The verses were in Hebrews 10:35-37,  "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.  For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and not delay.  But my righteous one will live by faith.  And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."

Desperately clinging to this....He is coming...He is about to move on our behalf.  He is doing a new thing.  He is faithful.  He is my promise-keeper.  I need thee, oh how I need thee.  Please make me a woman that doesn't shrink back.  May His word always be on my lips...would I feast on it day and night...would it fill, satisfy and bring life.  May I live by faith.

Come, Lord Jesus....do not delay!


in stumbling persevering, I find Your love never fails



Saturday, August 27, 2011

a big pile of poop

Pastor and I spent some time today getting our garden ready for fall.  The soil is rock hard.  It is depleted, and it resists being stirred.  Today, we purchased a humus-manure combo to help replenish and pour back into this earth so it will bear fruit again in a few short months.
Stinky, dirty, pile of poop.   Pastor and I couldn't help but point out the craziness we were discovering as we slowly tilled this into our garden.  Poop replenishes.  It restores.  It adds health.  The muck that was covering Pastors arms was the very thing that would help bring new life and beauty to our rotting-raised bed.  We enjoyed sharing how this is true in our lives.  The very thing that stinks and make others and even ourselves want to run can be the very thing that stirs up new life, new beauty.   We are always so quick to want to wash our hands of the mess....today...I enjoyed raking it in.
When I was in California, God reminded me of many things He had planted in me long ago.  My eyes were reopened to types of worship that I long to learn more about.  I long to learn more about intercession, artful worship and dancing before the King.  I don't long to perform for man, but I do long to use all of me to worship Him....any gift He wants to give...I want to receive....any gift or desire He has given me I want to pour back out to Him in worship.  I am hungry to learn.  I want to learn so that I can be used to teach.  Some of the church leaders of the next generation live under my roof.  I want open eyes so that they too might see all the wonderful ways we can worship our God.

                        
I learned about Humus today too.  "Humus is the stable, long lasting remnant of decaying organic material. It improves soil structure and increases water retention."  The truth in my life is the Humus.  It provides stability and increases my ability to retain what was planted long ago.  When all else falls away, truth is the long lasting remnant that remains.  It is His truth and His truth makes me want to dance....learning to twirl in the manure.  





Friday, August 26, 2011

The End of a Season


This marks the end of a season. No, I'm actually not being overdramatic. Nor am I even speaking in a metaphor. Literally, this weekend is the end of my adult league soccer season. Not that other people are interested in it, but for some reason I get great joy talking about it. One of my best buddies and I love to talk before the games and after the games... maybe enjoy the banter more than we like playing the games. Tradition is that I actually call him on the way home from the game. Yes, we do talk at the field too. It's just a lot of fun. I know it doesn't make sense, but not everything is logical. Just enjoying the opportunity to mention it...

Anyways, back to the normal routine... just want to share that Kelly and I are really tired. I know, you're saying to yourself, “Me too.” I'm not trying to play the martyr. Our bodies are tired, but it's much more than just our bodies. Sleep doesn't seem to give them what they need.

Our spirits are tired. Wanting to learn more about what it means for us to rest (again, not talking about literally sleeping). Not sure. Hope to learn more.

Definitely a season of learning. Wanting to change my attitude about change.

Took a “Victory Walk” with Kel today. It had been a rough day. When we got into an argument earlier this morning, I didn't realize that I had been keeping score in the back of my mind... meaning, I brought up something completely unrelated to the argument at hand. That breaks the first rule of conflict management. Anyways, I might share more about that tomorrow... or Kelly might... or we might not. Anyways, back to the walk. I called it a “Victory Walk,” because we paused (metaphorically, since we were actually walking) to think of all the things we could count as “wins” over the last couple months. We paused to celebrate little things and big things. One was Shorty's quick response of obedience today without saying, “But I just...” at the beginning of her disappointed rebuttal. Others were larger. Somehow I think this walk might have helped in movement towards the rest we long for.

Definitely needing to remind myself of truth today.

Seems it's easy to get caught up in the routine and not look deeper into my heart. Easy to get busy. Easy to stay on the surface.

Speaking of... we play potentially our last soccer game tomorrow... if we lose, the season's over. If we win, we'll play again. If we win that one, we'll play in the championship.

Either way, the season's over this weekend. For all of you die hard fans out there... there's always next season. I'll try to keep you posted on how things develop in the off season.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

visions for princesses

Slowly but surely I will unveil parts of my California trip.  Right now, I am still trying to unpack what went on in my brain and heart.  Things that were so big and life-changing happened to me.  I am not the same woman I was when I left.  Sure, I still look the same and still have the same struggles.  But, I have changed.  Most people wouldn't recognize the changes.  My family does.  It is bringing life and death in our home.  Parts of my "metamorphosis" is welcome... others are met with resistance.

It is not easy being me.  I see clearly that I a woman gifted with things that the world does not like.  Honestly, sometimes I don't even like my gifts.  Being a truth speaker at all costs, and having a heart that just won't settle may leave me friendless.  My heart aches at times with lonely passion.  I thank God for the Moses(es) and Abrahams.  They remind me, as God calls me out into unknown territory that as I struggle I must put one foot in front of the other towards a greater unknown.  I think Moses and Abraham struggled with weariness and loneliness.  So blessed that they paint a messy picture of perseverance that I can hold on to.

        
Do you see this girl?

She has been gifted in the arts.  She has a passion and ability to express herself through worship.  She reminds me to fight to remain UNSETTLED.  As I was in California, my eyes were opened to many different forms of worshipping our God.  I want to know more about these things so that I can teach a little princess by the name of Emmiline, how to dance, paint and wave banners for our KING.  Oh, I am hungry to teach this little one.  I am uneducated but I am a learner, and I won't settle....I can't, because..

these two princesses also need me to learn and battle on their behalf.  All have different gifts and needs...all remind me of my neediness.  Today, like most, I cry out to God.  I ask Him to fan the flame of passion in me.  I ask for him to give me courage....more hope...faith and strong legs.  And, I ask for a Good Pastor, that will hold my hand and cheer me on.  After all, I have 3 sons to fight for too.  I welcome your prayers.







  





Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Change

Even as a kid I was very resistant to change. I remember coming home and noticing that my mom had rearranged a picture on the wall. No, it wasn't a picture I had made. It wasn't even something I thought was really cool. The fact that she moved it it is what stirred something within me that deeply bothered me. Why did it need to be changed?

I've carried this attitude toward change much of my life. This week I'm still initially encountering change with frustration, concern and fear, but then I feel like I'm moving into it with excitement.

A few significant changes I'd like to mention...

People who study adolescent development like to talk about “markers.” It simply means landmarks or moments / events in a person's life that mark the beginning of a new season. Tonight I experienced a marker.

Before Kelly left for California God had put a passage of scripture on her heart. It was the passage about the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with her hair, tears and perfume. Jesus was anointed to mark the next part of His mission. Kel felt compelled to anoint my feet. No, she doesn't worship me. She actually knows my ugliness better than anyone. Still she deeply loves me... it doesn't make sense, but I'm grateful for it. Anyways, the anointing was more of a marker for the next season in my life. Life is changing. Things will be different. God has a plan for something new. Deeply humbled by this anointing. In some ways it makes me feel more ready for whatever's next.




Second change... Kel came back from her trip with some new convictions about being a good steward with our bodies... basically, honoring God with our health. Just to downplay it a little (because I can), we'll say I was not that excited about the idea of these new health changes. We'll just say I was a “little” grumpy. These health changes were all tied to food. Let me interrupt myself to say that even if I didn't agree with Kel (but I do), I should be willing to entertain her desire to honor God with our bodies (which we're merely entrusted with... they're actually His bodies). I've realized my intense resistance is tied to what I mentioned in a previous blog about a dream. I'm so tied to things. Ensnared. Entangled. There are many things that have strong cords around me. Even food. Ready to break chains.

My friend told me once that everyone is an addict. We're all addicts of something. Maybe we're addicted to ourselves. Maybe I'm addicted to many things. Safety? Comfort? Familiarity? The false sense of security that comes from a steady paycheck?

One last thing... for those of you well acquainted with my closest traveling companion... which is, of course, my giant planner (I've mentioned it before as my Trapper Keeper). Well, we'll just say that at the end of the month it will be retired. No longer will I invest in refills for this system. If you know me really well, you're probably about to re-read this paragraph. It is true. Not sure how I'll do with this change. Never was quite sure who was controlling who in terms the relationship I had with my planner. Somehow, it felt like she (my planner) called the shots more than I did.

All I can say is that change is happening. Pretty excited about it.  

I got to teach the girls' science lesson today.  This was one of the illustrations from the lesson.  It's a chrysalis.  Ready for change.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

bibbidi bobbidi boo

My son has said these words about 1,000 times today.  He ends each phrase with "bibbidi bobbidi boo!"  The crazy thing about this fact is that I am not sure Elliott has even seen Cinderella.  

At first, this phrase annoyed me...ALOT...and then it spoke.  It communicated the frustration whirling in me like the California wind tunnel I saw....I am feeling so many things with such intensity that my insides are screaming..."BIBBIDI BOBBIDI BOO!"  I want to wave a wand and declare things into being.  I want to open my brain to the new and rest in the knowing.  I want to function out of training I have not yet received.  I want to love out of unbrokenness.  I want to have a sure faith.  I want to master tasks.  I want to move ahead...lead...teach...invite..share...offer hope....I want immediate results...I want it now.

                                    

I am having some home school time with my princesses at the pool....enjoying the blessing of flexibility.  As we were loading up the car... hands full and cell phone crashing and rolling under the car...  I had a clear vision of one of my key problems.  I hate process.  I love arrival.  I am not good at enjoying the journey.  I just want to "get there."  

The wind is blowing here at the Greenbrook pool.....this time not like the one swirling the dirt.  Today, a gentle breeze refreshes and reminds me that I need to take a breath.  I need to rest.  I need to allow the Lord to lead.  I need to enjoy the journey.  Before I know it, the journey will end, and I will miss those paths and steps.  I will miss this today.

I am praying for a remembering spirit.  I am praying for a mind and heart that can discern what is best...fully aware that our God is a God of journeys more than bibbidi's.

Monday, August 22, 2011

lost at home

I am back (Kelly.)  After flying all night I returned home to my precious family.  Parts of me feel so joyful about being home but most of me feels lost.

God has stirred many new things in me while I was away.  I can't wait to share them.  They overwhelm me so I still need to process.  My brain is swimming.  My body is tired.  My heart is hungry.  My flesh is weak.  My heart is full.  My whole self is so very thankful....and also lost.

I continue to cling to hope.  Learning to rest...so hard for me....certain that God has things that I can't see.  So, I wait...I  seek...I watch...I learn to rest....and I look for hope in unexpected places.



super tired, needy, grumpy and honestly, a little afraid....in the midst of feeling alone...I am fighting to hear the voices of TRUTH.

off to rest....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dreams

Recently read a book by a pastor / author who is very well known in the charismatic circle.  The book deeply
blessed me.  One thing the author talked about is how God can speak through any means He chooses.  
He might choose to speak through a very unusual event, or He might repeatedly put something in front
of you.  He could even stir something through a dream.  

Well, after reading this I've often gone to bed rather excited… hopeful that maybe God might stir something
within me while I'm sleeping.  (I've really been wanting some definitive answers on a few things, but He's
wanting what's more important for me than definitive answers.)  Unfortunately, sleep lately would be best
described as restless… it's been what I call, "Stressful sleep."  Feel like I'm dreaming crazy, nonsense 
dreams all night long.  Feel extra exhausted in the morning.

This morning I was sorting through portions of 3 dreams I had last night.  When I was sitting in church, I 
felt like I got some clarity on potential meanings… if they mean anything.

First dream, I'm not sure, but I think I was at school.  Somehow my very large backpack full of stuff was
missing.  This wasn't a school backpack but rather a large backpacking pack.  Immediately, I "knew" that 
someone had stolen it.  Later in the dream I remember thinking that I might have left it in another building 
on the opposite side of the campus.  Anyways, I can't communicate the distress associated with this missing 
backpack.  It had school work.  It had clothes… not even sure what else it had, but It was full of stuff.

Second dream, before I went to bed last night I installed a new wireless router.  Maybe I was thinking about 
that… not sure, but in my dream I remember being obsessive compulsive about being unwilling to
move more than a few feet away from my router.  I felt like the computer wouldn't work unless I was that close.  
Even when I wasn't using the computer I would not let myself break away.  It felt like I was chained to it in some
ways.  Hard to communicate how important and urgent it was that I stay so close.

I could have snorted too much Fun Dip as a kid… maybe that's why I had these dreams.  However, my mind was 
thinking that maybe both dreams are revealing that I bound in certain ways.  Maybe my stuff binds me… like chain 
and shackles.  Of the stuff, what do I really need?  What would it really matter if I lost my stuff?  Probably nothing.  
The router dream… what keeps me bound to my circle of comfort… my circle of familiar?  What is keeping me
from venturing out?  Moving beyond where I've got a signal / understanding / control of the circumstances?

Interesting thing is that before I shared either of these dreams with Kelly today she told me that she was really
feeling the Lord nudge us to re-think of life.  Should we sell tons of stuff and do whatever it takes to pursue
spiritual riches?  What would that look like or mean?  What keeps up from pursuing more of God (=spiritual
riches) more than anything else?  Should we venture out into new, unchartered territory for us?

Those were my first two dreams.  Take it or leave it.  That's been my attitude a lot lately.  Not apologizing.  Again, 
just letting you know.

My third dream… some stranger told me that my chin hair looked ugly.  I've let it grow out a little if I haven't seen 
you in the last week or so.  We'll just say I didn't take this as a word from the Lord.  Enjoying my gray chin for 
the moment.  Guess I share the third dream too just to say that sometimes it's hard to know if and what the Lord's 
saying (if anything) outside from His written word.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Looking




Looking
Waiting
Curious
Watching
Anticipating
Freedom
Expectant

These words summarize my heart. They also remind me of our little Charli.

I don't mean this in a derogatory way, but it often feels like Charli is very much like a pet. She crawls across the floor... she chews on anything she can find... she occasionally barks or squawks. As I mentioned yesterday, when she wants attention, she crawls up to me and bumps her head into my body. This little monkey has developed a few predictably, common practices. For one, she throws her pacifier out of her bed... every day. Another one..she also crawls up to the windows in the house just to look outside. Occasionally, she'll yell at someone or something, but usually it's just to look... as if she's expecting something.

Still trying to figure out what it is that I'm looking for. I think I'll know it when I see it. Wanting to dream. Not totally sure how to do it. The whole “risk” part of dreaming seems to keep me too grounded.

Talked with Kel a few more times lately. (She's out of town at a conference.) She's anything but “grounded,” and it's awesome... exciting, terrifying, paradigm-altering, beautiful, enticing...

Can't wait to see her... I know she's not coming back until Monday morning, but so excited that I feel like I'm ready to start staring out the windows in anticipation of her arrival now. Sounds like there are some major, new, fresh, stirrings within her... hope I recognize her. Have a feeling I'll be just as crazy excited even if I don't... 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Living the Dream


Charli's first time pulling herself up... yes, that is Mouse Trap and kitchen toys scattered all over our play room

Last couple days something has changed... not feeling frantic about needing a job.  The need for a job should seem more urgent, but somehow I've been able to enjoy the perks of unemployment much more lately.  It's definitely not logical. Really enjoying extra time with kids.  Enjoying Charli climbing on me (she pulled herself up for the first time yesterday).  Sometimes she crawls into me and rams her head into me.  That's her way of saying, "I want some attention."  I like that.  Enjoying sitting on the couch, cuddling with my son while he watches Sesame Street.  Enjoying playing cards with my two bigs (Emmiline and Eloise) while the two smalls take their naps.

Don't even remember how this skirt got put on Charli, but I liked that it made her look like Batman so I left it on her for awhile




Bud mesmerized by Sesame Street...TV is a special treat for Bud

Have talked with Kel on the phone a little.  If you haven't heard, she's at a conference in California.  Some very kind and generous friends made a huge kingdom investment by making a way for her to experience that opportunity. The stories of what the Lord is doing sound life-changing.  The Spirit is stirring and moving and liberating in ways like never before.
Expectant.  Excited.  Celebrating today. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Full...Name

No, I’m not going to share my full name with you. Thinking of those two words separately, “full,” and, “name.” I think I’ll hit them out of order though.

“Name.” There is power in naming. When Adam (not me, the Adam in the Garden of Eden) was given the permission and authority to name the animals, he was given a huge responsibility. There’s power in naming. I’ve been reminded today of the power of naming. I don’t mean naming animals or even humans… I’m talking about simply naming the reality.

There’s great power in naming what’s going on inside of you. One friend shared with me today his incredible longing for community. He also shared what he is most passionate about… in terms of what he’d like to be about. I offered no “fixes.” I didn’t communicate a three step approach on how to fulfill those things. He didn’t need that. He’s smarter than I am. I just listened. From where I was it appeared there was much power in simply naming the truths that seemed to bring disappointment and frustration.

When I first heard the phrase “guilt management,” something inside of me deeply resonated with those words. I could relate. Much of the guilt has stopped, but I wouldn’t say it stopped right after hearing that phrase. Yet, there was power in naming it.
Naming… now on to the word, “full.” Just want to name some more of what I long for… really desiring more of the Lord. Really desiring life to the full. I’m not talking about a new backpacking adventure every week. Nor am I even talking about improving my old soccer skills and actually contributing in my soccer games (but that‘d be nice)… Been reminded today that maybe, just maybe, the frustratingly common and ordinary activities in my day are also invitations to life to the full. That’s the naming part… not sure how to accept those invitations fully, but giving it much more thought than normal.

Maybe it’s the perspective taken as I take do these ordinary activities. Maybe it’s the lens through which I look as I see them. Anyways, just naming it… I want more. Not speaking in a consumeristic way when I say that I want more… wanting something more valuable than what money can buy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

To Be A Kid Again?

Two cousins who couldn't be more excited about being together... completely oblivious to the baseball game around them

Sword-fighting with the sticks from their suckers
How many times have you thought, “What would it be like to be a kid again?” That thought has gone through my head countless times. There's something about kids that brings such joy. Seeing them experience something for the first time... this has always been one of my favorite things. Watching their eyes as they see new things... Today I took my kids to Petco. No, it's not quite the same thing as a zoo. It's a large pet store, but they've got a couple ferrets, a few reptiles and some birds. To my kids... it was awesome. Charli's giant eyes were so fun to watch as she looked at creatures she had never seen.

Also today...before Kelly left for her trip she left the kids a note. It gave each of them money to enjoy the goodies of the nomad ice cream man that wanders through my neighborhood every day... yes, his van plays the same obnoxious songs over and over again; however, probably the it was probably the sweetest sound my kids have ever heard... especially when they were on the look out today. They knew that today they were golden... there was no question if they were going to get some type of frozen sugar. If they could locate the ice cream man, they were going to get something. The moment Eloise first heard his music her excitement level flew through the roof. It was awesome. Wish I could have videoed the whole thing.
Enjoying the summer... life is good.  Thank you, Ice Cream Man.


Everyone got in on this action.  Charli will voice her opinions whether you ask her or not. 
The simple things that bring children so much joy... so sweet.

I have no idea how many times I've wanted to say to a kid (including my own), “You have no idea how good you've got it! You don't even realize how good your life is!” Ever thought that? Maybe you've said it multiple times.

Today I'm saying something else to myself. Instead of saying (or wanting to say to a kid), “You have no idea how good you've got it.” I'm saying to myself, “You've got no idea how good you've got it, Adam! You don't even know how good your life is!” Feeling very grateful for my life today.

Kelly challenged me and all who read her posts to consider having a “get to” attitude versus a “have to” attitude. It makes a world of difference. It changed my perspective drastically.  Hoping to keep that perspective change.

Choosing joy today. Think it begins with gratitude... for everything. My friend told me to be careful about pursuing joy. It's tricky. I think he's right. He encouraged me to focus on trusting God... His goodness, His sovereignty. I think that's 100% right. As I think more though, I think that trusting God is inherent within true gratitude. Enjoying the rare day that I have a “get to” attitude.

Today I got to have a lot of time with my kids. I got to play adult league soccer. I got to sweat to much that my own body odor disgusted me. I got to serve my kids. I got to do much. Grateful... today. Grateful for what I get to do. Grateful for my life. Grateful for the simple things that I almost always overlook...



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

californ IA

yes...Pastor's wife is heading out early in the A.M. No, I am not going to pursue my lifelong passion of being rich and famous... though, the money would come in handy these days.  But, I am going on a gold hunt.

I have no problem reminding you that I am on HOPE's mission.  Since my sons went to be with Jesus I have sought out the Lord's hope just about anywhere I can find it.  And, I am finding it everywhere...especially when I choose to see.



Pastor's scribbles

A precious sister and her family invited me to go to a women's conference titled HOPE.  Along with the gracious invitation they made a way for me to go when there was no way.  I love that God allows us to be waymakers for others.  I receive this as a gift.

I have many hopes as I embark on this trip.  I won't bore you with all the fears that accompany them.  I am very aware that the normal temptation would see this opportunity as a "vending machine" experience.  I bring my desire...make myself available...I participate hard...close my eyes... and, then, receive my prize.

a hopeful princess risking and  hoping it pays off

I would be lying if I said I wasn't tempted.  Truth is, God knows my heart.  He sees my longings...and they are many...but at my core, maybe for the first time ever....I just want more of the ONE that wants ALL of me.  I am excited.  I really am....I am terrifyingly excited.

Not sure what's gonna happen to me while I am gone.  Pastor and I have discussed this.  I can tell you, whatever God makes available I will recieve as a child receives on Christmas....with giddy joy.  I am expectant.  YES! 

As I explained to my Bud just a few minutes ago as he was eating a messy-sweet bread concoction and  was freaking out over the sticky mess....I said "Bud, sometimes really good things are worth the mess."  I know this to be true.  No doubt, the Lord will undo me in messy ways as He makes a new thing true in me.  Again, worth the mess.
In about 16 hours I will be headed towards something new and different.  I can hardly believe it.  This scared girl that has been homebound for close to 2 years is going far away....away from my control.  Hoping that as I leave my control on Ridgegate Lane His control will propel me even deeper on the pathway to......







Monday, August 15, 2011

have to...get to

learning this today....
eyes that only see "have to's"  miss blessings
"have to"... means irritation
"have to"...expresses lack of desire
"have to"... communicates inconvenience
"have to" speaks duty...drudgery...
the "have to" posture robs the heart of the "get to's"

Today, God invited a woman who was dreading the start of school to have new eyes.  He was reminding me that I get to.  I GET TO DO THIS...what a priveledge...what  a gift.....I get to be Ms. Mimi to my precious students.  I get to be the tool that shapes and teaches.  I get to invest...I get to challenge, encourage, bless, struggle alongside....get to...

Here are some of the things my new eyes saw today....thankful that we serve a God that is an expert vision corrector

my little people make me hungry for better vision

               
 my students need to see their mommy-teacher be silly
"get to's" remind me to be intentional about  providing earthly and spiritual food


"get to's" remind me that our home, though it has many tears, is also one of laughter 
"get to's" remind me that they are worth knowing and worth documenting


 
"get to's" remind me that I can celebrate them and make our home&school one of joy and delight

As I cherish these pictures in my head, in my camera, and in my heart....I say "thank you" for letting me... TODAY.... fully realizing that every "get to" is for a season and the next season I may not "get to"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

ahh yes...I remember this

Sunday scurrying.  Hustle and Bustle and rush out the door.  Brush teeth, brush hair, shove down breakfast, make sure kids have grabbed their snack.  Quick kisses and smiling faces. 
Today, Shorty and Lu spent the morning worshipping with old friends.  Pastor and Bud visited a new church and I had sweet heart time with a precious sister-friend.  I felt two things as I glanced at at my crumb-filled, empty table...one, I miss our "together."  And, two...this feels familiar.  Familar doesn't always mean bad or good.  Today, it felt safe in probably a bad way.  Normal let me pretend that things were as they used to be.  I pretended for a moment that Pastor was off at his job, and I was just doing what I have been doing for the past 2 years, taking care of the needs of a little person named Charli.  That doesn't take away that fact that it was a rich morning.  We were all blessed, encouraged and stirred.



It also made me very thankful that we chose to do our family Sabbath yesterday.  I find myself longing for our Sabbath now.  Thankful that our God is not big on formulas and how to's. 

I love that we serve a God that longs for us to long for Him....to enjoy Him...to rest in Him...to DELIGHT in Him.....as I learn how to do this I am seeing how I am better able to love others and better live this out.
no strategies...no 7 steps....just enjoy....ENJOY...who would've thought?  So humbled by our God's kindness today....oh, that I would grasp how long, how deep, and how wide HIS love is...seeing it a little better each day....hoping that with my better vision heart change will follow.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

copy cat

This is a term I would use to describe me (Kelly) most of my life.  I am sad about it.  It has brought many unpleasant consequences. 

It is not new information that I am a woman that struggles with insecurity.  I am making snails progress towards something greater, but today it lingers.  Fear is at  the root of my insecurities.

It started early for me...I believed the lie that I wasn't super bright as a child...that mixed with laziness left me with choices...I chose to copy...cheat...steal...
Grades on this old report card don't do justice to my "mad cheating" skills...they developed as I was busily flushing my character down the toilet.  Today,  ironically, I'm a home school mom and Good Pastors wife.... paying the price and  lamenting my bad choices.

As I grew, I wrestled with identity.  Growing up in any school is hard.  Attending Farragut High reminded me of all the ways I didn't add up...so I did my best to copy....appearances this time.
Thank you, God for low-resolution photos....churning something gross out of my mouth...where are my truth speaking friends?????  Someone tell this girl that less is more....she was too busy trying to be a copy cat...trying to fit in....trying to find something to offer...believe it or not, this look was sorta in style then...yikes!


Today, the Spirit has been gently reminding me of the ways that I have settled to be a copy....a version that is less than what the Creator originally intended.  I think some of this true for the church as well.   I am broken over it, and  I am inspired more than ever to join Good Pastors fight for the bride...me and the church.  I long to see God's heart for the church.  I long for Daddys to teach their children and wives and not settle....I long for them to lead.    I long to live in community with the body.  A body that is a mix of sweetly broken individuals...young...old...tattered...torn...full of life and yes...even the fume-filled.  I don't need more of me...I need less.  I need sandpaper....not real fun, not real flashy, not real easy....but real none the less.  I don't think I have any amazing ideas...remember....I copy by nature...but I do belive the One that created the church has strong desires on this subject and we're  diggin' around here.

I can tell you as we press on into faith-walking....I am feeling a bit lonely.  I am aware that the world, the church and even our own family may not understand...how I long for man's approval...some days feel quite dark...I am thankful that I am not in charge of keeping the light burning.....I CANNOT DO THIS FOR MYSELF....I simply cannot....it's not in me...but He is!
                                                  
Our house is not without tears....today they are flowing a little more freely.  I am thankful that this shows my heart is freed up to feel more than it has in the past.  I do receive it as a gift even though it hurts.  I had sweet time in worship and remembering.  The words of a particular song sums up a part of what I am trying to communicate, here are a few...."Though the world sees and soon forgets we will not forget who YOU are what YOU"VE done for us.......Where YOU go I"ll go...what you say, I say, God....what YOU pray, I pray." 

Those are things I want to copy....I want to copy Jesus...He only spoke and did what was of the Father's heart.   He was about His Daddy's business.  This is worthy of my greatest study and imitation.  I pray I can lay down old ways of copying.  It will be hard.  I am thankful for eyes to see.  Praying for faith to believe and fruit that shows His likeness in me.


Just for fun I thought of two other people that I would like to imitate more as they remind me of the character of God...

Through very hard packaging...Charli's story reminds me to be a hope bringer and to remember that joy will ALWAYS come and.... 

This beautiful woman so teaches me to serve, to love others in a way that costs me, to share,  to play hard and to fight for and beside the ones you love.... she is a life giver... a rich rich joy giver...oh, how I pray that one day my own daughters will see the beauty in me the way I see it in  my mommy

Even as I type this blog I am seeing the joys of being me...thankful....but also noticing that being a copy cat isn't always a bad thing...it really just comes down to who you are copying!