Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
I spent the next four days in Women's Ministry training seminars and then at the conference. During the training I began to realize that I knew what I was supposed to be doing... have known for a long time but having been hurt so many times I was scared to step up and try again. I talked to my pastor's wife minutes before the conference started and told her that I knew what my calling was and that I was willing... but scared. I could never have planned what happend next. Less than an hour into the conference Beth started talking about how everyone who has accepted Christ has been called with a calling. Here's where it gets weird... she stepped up to the edge of the stage and spoke right at the section I was sitting in and said "When you know what your calling is it is like God is saying AMY (she yelled that part) do what I am asking and have equiped you to do". In that moment I remembered my prayer and was blown away. The next day she only repeated three things from the day before... you guessed it, she stepped up to the edge and looked up at the section I was sitting in again (this time on the opposite side of the stadium) and said it again... all of it.
Ok, I get it (for some sweet women a 2X4 is a last resort but with me He just starts there and moves onto structural beams). I have accepted a position at church that although I am scared out of my mind to do... I know it is my calling. I have been carrying a backpack of ashes for a long time now. So much pain, heartache and hurt and I would love to see God turn it into something beautiful. Only He can do that and even then only if I will give it to Him. My heart is to see women connect. We usually do that best in our points of weakness and yet those are the very places we are rarely willing to share. I believe that everything I have been through, the good the bad and the ugly, will not be wasted. He doesn't waste our pain. The backback is off and I will try not to try and pick it back up.... now let's see what He does!
Thank you to all the amazing women in my life who have been praying for me and encouraging me through these last very difficult years. Our pastor said in his sermon this weekend that "God is able to use us many times in the very areas that we have been hurt the most". Many of you have been gently whispering that to me for a long time now and I love you for it.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I will be wearing long sleeves and long pants as I currently look like a prison tattooed leopard (for those of you not cozy with anyone on the inside, they only use ink from Bic pens to tat each other... so it ends up that weird blue that bruises are). I have been given "bone" injections that will hopefully regrow enough bone for me to get implants put in as I am currently the poster child for the "All I Want For Christmas" song. I now humbly apologize for all the times I have said I was born in the wrong century ( I love the 1500's) because I clearly cannot emotionally handle not being able to smile prettily, talk with excellent diction and sing without a lisp. Thank you God for modern medicine because this little girl of yours has way, way, way more work to do on her ability to feel comfortable minus the cuteness factor.
Don't let me lead you to believe it's all pain and no gain. My lips are swollen to perfection! I have a pout that would shame Angelina Jolie (who am I kidding, she has no shame... but if she did) and all the swelling in the rest of my face has left me with no need for botox! Last but not least... I have had so much work done on my mouth that I have not been able to eat for two days and cannot have solid food for several more days so... totally getting thinner!!! See... told you... SO VAIN.
I don't think I have to explain why there is no picture attached to this post.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I have very little ability to filter myself once I get started and so I must refrain at times to keep myself from saying more than I aught (yes, I just used aught in a sentence in 2010). I have found myself in one of those places in life where one must decide which direction they are going to go. There has been a shift in the ages and stages of my children, our location, our church family and in my family family. One might even say that the landscape of my life has changed. I know who I have been... now who will I be. I had the pleasure of having my niece Alex here for a long time this summer. She helped me really see the impact that I have as a mother. I know that my children are picking up all manner of questionable behavior from me but they are also learning that I value their relationship and commitment to Christ higher than any other aspect of their life. I am an evangelist. I cannot help it. My heart cries out for people who are lost and without hope. I have had some horrible experiences with churches and leadership and some have questioned well... everything about me and my faith. So then I tried to pull myself back and not be involved or put myself out there to keep out of trouble and limit strife... and I have suffered for it.
I wasn't made to stay out of trouble any more than I was made to stay silent. I love loving people... right where they are at... just as they are. Especially those that are harder to love. I have made my choice. I will step up and lead because I know God has equipped me for it. I will not be silent when I see others hurting and lost. I am pretty sure I will end up in trouble again at some point... and if the people I have been serving and caring for feel loved by me and by God through me then I will feel successful. I am tired of feeling empty at the world's version of success... I only really feel accomplished when I know God used me to reach someone's need and touch someone's heart.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Karen is now available at GrandmaKarenis@gmail.com !!!
Monday, February 15, 2010
We built a simple pen for them by reusing some old barn doors from a building we had to tear down on the property awhile back.
Pictured above is Trinity's bunny Cadbury. Ready set... County Fair!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
God didn't let me go. He allowed me to go through this to realize that I had it all backwards. I saw Him as the icing on the cake of life. Something to sweeten the wonderful life I was busy living with family and friends. The truth is that without Him nothing else was sweet, it was exhausting. If this was all there is... they weren't enough to make me want to do it. He is what makes my life sweet. He is my hope. Without Jesus... my life was empty, unfulfilled and without hope. Without hope... I never would have known what that simple, complicated phrase meant if he had not allowed me to really feel it. I needed to know what it felt like to not feel Him there with me to know how much of a difference He makes in my life every day. It makes me want to scream from the mountain tops to all my friends that don't know what hope, true hope feels like! It doesn't have to be this way! There is so much more! He is not a joy stealer... He is a joy giver!
This experience as revived my faith. I still struggle. There are still good days and very hard days. The laundry still piles up. The toilet still needs scrubbing. Some friends stay and some leave. At the end of the day I am still emotionally and physically exhausted but I know what I am here for. I know this is not all there is. I have hope. Sweet, precious, priceless hope for tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
All I hear when this phrase comes out is "we must be unapproachable". I know that is so not what the speaker meant in his heart and yet... as always, I wonder what that looks like to people. I am not above reproach in like ANY part of my life. I screw up almost constantly. I am like some long running joke that never looses the comedic timing! I have made a lifestyle of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong place to the wrong people. The more pristine someones life looks on the outside the more I swear I can smell melting plastic when they stand in direct sunlight! There is nothing appealing to me about people who act like they have it all together. I just want to say "oh, you have it all together... you're above reproach... you are the continuous picture of holiness... well hurry up and die already because you're done... DING! timer went off.... you're perfect!" (which I realize sounds very uncharitable). Now for my even tempered response...
I understand we are to strive to live out our faith. It just seems to me that the more genuine someone is about their faults and shortcomings the more I feel like I can talk to them. The more open they are about their struggles, the more I realize I am not alone in mine. The problem with attempting to live above reproach is that it can't be done. There will always be someone who sees you, hears you, or is told something about you that they disagree with. The only one who will be surprised by this reproachability is you! I honestly think that this is a severe accident of misinterpretation (wow... I am so thankful for spellcheck right now) of the Bible. I believe it hurts people... I know it has hurt me. Now, finally for my bottom line...
Above Reproach = Unapproachable = Bigger canyon between you and those you are trying to reach! Don't like my math?.... It's my blog! I can say it if I want to... you can have your turn too... just look down and click on the word comment baby!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I know everyone says that you should never marry someone hoping they will change... and yet, from the moment you say "I do", that is all you do... change. I married Ben while still a senior in high school (great story... I should blog it sometime I know) and we could not have been more different if we tried. We are still completely opposite in so many ways and yet, we are completely different people than we were then.
As weird as he was then... I think I would have fallen over if you had been able to show him to me 15 years down life's road. I married a man who regularly wore bowling shoes (that he not so accidently wore home from Kenmore lanes one night) with baggy purple jeans and I now see him leave for work in a Calvin Kline wool gentleman's jacket and a black stetson. In between there have been aprons, business casual and dress shirts with ties. I remember hearing him mumble the Lord's prayer by rote at his parents table before Christmas and Easter dinner and now I listen at the door at night sometimes just to hear him pray with his son that God would lead them each to be mighty men of God, asking for opportunities to spread the gospel! I don't even think I would want to be married to the man he was then now (although I would still date him... LOL)
He's not the only one who has changed either. I have done my share of changing too (which is why I now own a wardrobe that spans 10 sizes). I used to be loud, obnoxious and one never knew what might come out of my mouth next... oh wait... ok, so somethings never change! I am very thankful that God has grown us together. We've had our ups and downs to be sure but what fun would the roller coaster of life be without them? I am just happy to be sitting next to my best friend for the ride. Here's to almost 15 years!