Music!

How many of you go a day with OUT listening to music?!?!?!  Me, NEVER!  I have listened to Christian music for many many years!  I started out as a young girl listening to Psalty!  Anyone remember him, the big blue singing song book?  And there was the Friendship Company with Sandi Patty!  Then in the 2nd grade my best friend, Jessi, and her family introduced me to DC Talk back in the day when they rapped!  There was Michael W Smith and “Friends”, Petra, and her dad had some really cool side burns he would tape on so he looked like the lead singer!  Jessi’s family took me to my first Carman concert in Ft. Wayne, it was “Radically Saved” and it was FREE!  Jessi moved away but the impact of Christian Music didn’t stop!  In 4th and 5th grade when all my friends were listening to New Kids on the Block, I was listening to DC Talk on tape and Steven Curtis Chapman and a group called the A.V.B.!  There was even a group called One Bad Pig!  Does anyone remember that group?  We listened to them at church camp!  Then I went into high school and listened to Harvest at the time now Pulse FM!  My friend, Kimberly Ann, was a DJ and I would call her up most nights and talk to her!  Geoff Moore and the Distance became one of my favorite groups!  After high school my music collection grew in the form of CD’s!  I had over 200 CD’s and most of them I would get autographed at concerts!  Some of my favorite song’s to sing along with were “Life Together” by Geoff Moore and the Distance, anything by AudioA and the Newsboys and “The Great Adventure” by Steven Curtis Chapman!  I really enjoy music and actually listen to the words!  I’ll never forget going to a concert in Elkhart and Tree63 was the opening act!  They were a band from Africa and new to the Christian Music Scene but at camp the week before we had sang their song “Joy” and they were like “How Do You Know This Song?!?!”  I got married, the music didn’t play as much due to differences, and it was more like a part of me died.  Last year around this time, Chris Tomlin’s new album “Burning Light’s” came out and “Whom Shall I Fear” was on it!  That song carried me every day on my 30minute drive to work and on my 30minute drive back home again!  I was going through a divorce, thus the reason why it carried me!  It brought strength and comfort knowing that NO MATTER what happened God had already gone BEFORE ME!  I’ll never forget the JOY that welled up inside me when I heard my 6 year old in the back seat singing these words “Whom Shall I Fear?

I Know Who Goes Before Me!

 I Know Who Stands Behind!

The God Of Angel Armies!

Is Always By My Side!”

Let me tell you as a mom there is nothing that brings me great joy then to hear my kids getting God!  Singing to their heavenly father!  I know as much as it makes me beam God is shining even more!

Music has the power to impact your attitude!  I know when I’m at work looking up answers for 8 hours a day, I’m jamming away to my music!  People frequently look at me and tell me I’m singing out loud! Ha!

8 years ago, I was in a hospital room with a very sick little 5 week old baby boy!  My mom was with me and she said you need to go and get some music to help you through these long days!  We went and got “I Can Only Imagine”, it was a CD filled with worship and encouraging music!  It carried me through some of the roughest weeks!  It was neat because the nurses would come in and ask, “Where Did You Get This CD?” because they enjoyed the encouragement of the words!  You never know the impact you are making on someone by what you are playing!

I am grateful for the place of Christian Music in my life!  How has Christian Music impacted your life?

Be encouraged!

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God Again! and Minimum Wage!

Today is Wednesday!  It should be WORDLESS but I can’t be WORDLESS when God is at work!

Yesterday God showed up yet again!  Last fall, I had asked around at church if anyone knew of some rentals in the Anderson area where I go to school that might be open in February.  One of the ladies said well I have a room you can rent!  We talked about, but I didn’t really think anything of it!  Last week God had pushed her name to the front of my head again!  I didn’t do anything about it but rather I went ahead and filled out paperwork for an apartment in another town!  Yesterday, I was having breakfast with my Best Friend, Kevin, and he said can’t you find ANY place “Cheaper” and I said “NOPE!”  Well, little did I know I would get a Facebook message from her last night, asking if I still needed a place to move to!  I asked what the rent was and it was cheaper than what I would have been paying and much closer to school and work!  God watches out for His children and provides!  This led to some good God conversation with my daughter last night as she is having a hard time in the situation she is in at home.  If you would lift her up in prayer, and I as well for guidance!  

Now on to my little rant about hearing minimum wage is/might be going up!  I work in retail and due to the economy many have not had a raise in a while.  Is it right, NOPE!  but to keep the company a float it is what needs to be done!  Obama last night announced about minimum wage going up BUT how can it go up, if companies are struggling now?  Won’t that put us into a recession sooner rather than later.  What will happen is people will loose their job because the company is stretched thin already, thus the jobless rate increasing, thus people not having money to spend!  I believe you should be paid on many different factors such as education, experience, and performance amongst other things, but if the company doesn’t have the money they can’t pay you!  O.K. enough of my rants now!

Well, God is FAITHFUL and I will continue to say it OVER and OVER again!

Go with your gut!

So, yesterday was a roller coaster of emotion!  There was the really low point, then the middle of the road.

As many of you blog readers know, back at the end of November I met Andy through eHarmony.  We hit it off right away!  Sent emails back and forth, texted and talked on the phone!  We met for lunch.  I didn’t think to much about it.  We went out on a few dates.  I did a little digging because I thought why in the world is a guy like him single?!?!  Well, I went on Facebook, yes the equivalent of any tabloid!  But I needed to know if he was still in a relationship! I felt like he wasn’t able to fully give of himself emotionally.  His “Ex” wife still had she was married.  I thought well maybe she just hasn’t changed it and gave him the benefit of the doubt.  He would talk to me on his way to work and back home again and he would come to my house but I never went to his house because his son lived there.  I was ok with that.  He went to Japan for work, and yesterday told me that he had accepted a job offer that would have him in Japan for the next 5 years and that he didn’t feel he could do a long distances relationship well and that we were on two different planes as far as a relationship!  He told me that I was too pushy regarding wanting a long term commitment and marriage!  I will admit I was and I am because at this point in life if I’m investing time into a relationship with you I need to know it’s for the long haul! I was heartbroken!  God works in ways that I will never be able to comprehend! But he gives us exactly what we need when we need it! Well, I checked on his “Ex” wife’s Facebook page and come to find out he was HOME and she was giddy happy over a gift he had brought her back!  I wasn’t so crushed after I found that out!  In fact that would explain why he only could talk when on his way to work and back home again. The God thing about this is on Sunday night God kept prompting me to ask him how I could be praying for him and then all of this came out!  He did ask for forgiveness and I gave it because let’s face it girls, if I didn’t forgive him, I was choosing to let him control my emotions rather than seeking Freedom in God!  HE know’s what I need before I even ask! 

Life has been Happening!

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  • Last Thursday I started classes again at Anderson University and worked Thursday night and Friday night on 8 hours of sleep TOTAL!  Y’all, I’m not in young anymore!  I was THANKFUL for a New friend who we had only talked on Facebook but I knew attended my church, she replied to my plea for a couch to rest on Friday afternoon between class and work!  I always say YOU NEVER KNOW the power of a Question until you ask! She was being Christ Hand’s and Feet to me that day!
  • I spent time with my kids on Saturday which included taking them to the mall and we ended up in Dress Barn!  This was a fun time and my boys actually are really good at commenting on mom’s clothes!  I’m training them well! 🙂
  • William has lost his 2 front teeth!
  • We’ve had a ton of snow!
  • Andy has been in Japan!  I DO NOT like Good Bye’s even if it is for a week!  It was a good thing I did NOT see him before he left!  He kept telling me how “easy” it was and I’m just like NOPE!  Well, I am here to tell you it has not been as bad as I thought and he was right! 🙂  He’ll be home Saturday and the fun begins of crazy schedules and creative date times!
  • I realized that I have many plates spinning and I wasn’t doing any of them well!  I asked my boss for a schedule change which worked out because there was a lot of people wanting the night shift!  So, I start a 9-6:30 shift with Tue/Thurs off next week.  Not the BEST but it’s BETTER than 4-1230 with an 8a.m. class on Tue/Thur!  
  • I’m doing AnswerXChange for TurboTax which is oh so interesting and I am TRYING really hard to be Joyful and have a good attitude about it but I would so much rather be talking on the phone!
  • I had an interview with an Airline!  I interview TERRIBLY though!  I do NOT sell myself well!  I can do my job WELL!  If I get the opportunity it will be GOD!
  • I’m going to miss church but this is a season and it too will pass!

Thrive Thursday!

I’m fast forwarding in the chain of life to an experience that happened to me 8 years ago.  When we go through the birth of a child we hope and pray for a healthy, happy, uneventful time.  When you are entrusted with a newborn your job is to love, nurture, care for and make sure that child grows healthy and strong!  On December 20th, I was blessed with my son Timothy!  He had the ideal pregnancy and scheduled c-section with no complications.  I took that bundle of Joy home with me on Christmas day!  A few weeks later my mom and step-dad came out to visit from Iowa. We celebrated with a baby shower and spending time celebrating a boy!  Little did I know how a week later my joy would turn to uncertainty!  I woke up on Sunday January 29th, to a wheezing Timmy.  I didn’t really think too much about it but felt I should call the hospital to see what I should do.  With urgency in her voice the nurse suggested I bring him to the hospital to have him checked out since he was a newborn at 5 weeks and his lungs were tiny.  It was a Sunday morning, my ex was getting ready for church.  I took my daughter to the ER with me as she was junkie too!  The doctor was Dr. Bambara and our nurse was Heidi!  Two of the finest people around!  Lily had bronchitis  and Timmy had RSV.  I’ll never forget being in that ER room alone but not really alone.  God was with me.  Holding me in the palm of his hand during this valley.  I’ll never forget Dr. B coming into that room and saying these words that changed my view “I’ll try and save him!”  I called Josh (my ex now), and told him that Timmy had RSV and they were going to admit us.  Neither of us at this point realized the seriousness of this!  Josh came and picked up Lily and off they went to church.  I stayed with Timmy at the hospital in rural Grinnell.  He was quarantined.  Alone, in the room with the occasional phone call to see how we were doing.  The only thing I could do was TRUST in HIM!  He had created Timmy and HE knew what he was doing!  The next morning, as Josh was coming to check on us our family doctor stopped him outside the room explaining the severity of the situation at hand.  Timmy was NOT responding to the treatments and Grinnell was NOT equipped to handle intubating him if he began to fail.  A decision had to be made where we would go from here.  Josh spoke with the doctor outside the room, she was Catholic, she recommended that we have him baptized.  His baptism was nothing grand or spectacular, but rather simple.  Josh, myself, God and Timmy in that room.  He was baptized.  We decided that it would be best to transport him to Des Moines to Blank Children’s Hospital.  We would be an hour to my dad and I had family in Des Moines.  Transport had been called and I think that was the longest hour waiting for them to arrive.  I had not been home and was not going to leave Timmy.  It was like everything stood still!  The room was busy with people coming in and out checking on Timmy, getting him ready to be transported but for me it was like no one was there.  I was not upset but rather at peace.  Living in a small community, everyone knew and was praying.  Once the transport team arrived, the nurses name was Liz, she had short spiky hair and I remember her getting an i.v. started and off we went.  As we emerged from the room it was like there was a line of people stopping their activity to watch as we left perhaps for the last time with Timmy.  We loaded into the ambulance.  I road in the front.  Timmy snuggled safely in the back with Liz.  Once we arrived at Blank we were taken up to the 4th floor where there was a flurry of activity.  People in and out checking on him.  My dad and step-mom came up.  Josh arrived.  My dad made sure I was fed.  Then the doctor stopped what he was doing and asked if we knew that Timmy had a heart murmur.  We DID NOT know this!  More testing ensued! EKG’s, blood pressures in all 4’s quadrants!  Do you know how heart wrenching it is watching your child struggle to scream because they are having their blood pressure taken?  Monday night everyone had gone home but me and Timmy.  We snuggled in for the night.  I tried to get sleep but if you have ever slept in a hospital you know it’s not the easiest thing.  Tuesday morning came, with an early morning group of nursing students wanting to check Timmy out.  I was ok with it.  That morning the team had a pediatric cardiologist coming over from another hospital to check out Timmy’s heart.  We did NOT know about this test.  Josh was NOT there.  The student nurses wanted to see.  I let them watch.  Here my son laid helpless, as the doctor examined the pictures he proceeded to tell me that my son had 3 heart defects.  But with these heart defects they were actually help him stay alive.  God was allowing Timmy to THRIVE despite these circumstances.  As soon as the doctor told me about these defects and that he would need heart surgery once his lungs had healed from the RSV, I was in SHOCK!  I was surrounded by people but alone or so I thought!  God was there with me and knew EXACTLY what I would need as the phone rang in the room at the moment I had just gotten this terrible news!  My mom called!  I handed the phone to the nurse so she could explain what was going on.  My mom was concerned that I needed her.  She was in Indiana.  I kept saying his lungs just need to rest.  I’ll be ok.  But she left that afternoon.   My ex came up but he needed time to process all this alone.  I stayed in the room with Timmy.  The respiratory therapist said he was doing ok.  There was talk of moving him to the PICU to get more one on one care but he hadn’t gotten to that point yet.  Tuesday night Josh left at 7p.m.  thinking Timmy was going to be ok but at 7:30p.m. I called upset and told him to get back up there because Timmy had just gone into respiratory distress and was being moved to the PICU.  My mom arrived Wednesday.  That was the BEST thing to have her there.  She kept my mind distracted but was there that Saturday morning that Timmy was put on the vent!  That was the WORST feeling as a parent holding your child and watching them only breath in not out!  We had people all over the world praying for him!  I had peace that God was going to heal him because had BIG plans for Timmy!  The body of Christ was in action!  My dad’s pastor came up with a prayer blanket for Timmy.  They came up to prayer with me.  Timmy sleeps with that blanket and know’s it as his special prayer blanket.  My dad’s hospital CEO gave us a meal pass for a week!  If you have ever been in the hospital for any length of time you know eating get’s costly!  Then the cards came in!  Piles and Piles of cards!  Support!  Prayer!  Each day there was a new stack of card to open, read through and be grateful because the body of Christ was carrying me through this time!  Because of the prayers of HIS people I was able to THRIVE during this time of my life.  After a 3 week stay, 10 days on the vent, MRSA and STREP-Pnemonia on top of the RSV and Heart Condition!  Timmy came home, his lungs healed, he had his heart surgery at 5 months old and today he is 8 years old and as normal as a boy can be!  Yes, we still have a few struggles with his breathing but God has healed Timmy to be able to THRIVE and he carried me through his ordeal to THRIVE and know that we are over comers!  

 “This post is inspired by Casting Crowns’ new album “Thrive” releasing on January 28th.”

THRIVE THURSDAY!

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The above picture is with one of my very dear friends Jamie!  Many times people would get us mixed up and call Jamie, Jenny and vice versa!  It was actually comical!  Jamie helped me THRIVE in my walk with Jesus.  She was NOT afraid to call me out on the carpet when there was something that needed to be challenged.  She showed me LOVE by the MANY notes she wrote to me!  I am grateful for Jamie in my life and loving on me when I was unlovable!

As I think back to those days post high school.  Those were some of the best days during my teens and early twenties.  I’m going to focus specifically on my church family that I did life with that helped me THRIVE and shift my way of thinking!  You see growing up my parents “church hoped”.  I was not a fan of this but when your a teen you don’t have much say.  The day finally came in June when I graduated from High School and I FINALLY could choose where I would attend church and I went to Granger Community Church also known as GCC.  Why did I choose GCC?  Why did I THRIVE at GCC With my relationship with Christ and gaining clarity for his vision for my life?  

I choose GCC because Mark Beeson had asked my dad to use the movie theater that he managed on Sunday mornings for church!  I remember at a young age going with him on some Sunday’s and thinking how cool it was that a church met in a movie theater and that there was a guy playing a guitar!  Mark also directed my week of Camp Adventure throughout jr high so I already felt a connection from that experience.  You can actually read Mark’s blog over at http://www.markbeeson.com  When I started attending GCC in 1997 they had moved to a building where they were running 3 services and a Thursday night service.  I attend a Sunday morning service and Thursday night as my work schedule allowed.  I talked to Mark about serving at Camp Adventure and was able to serve in the summer of 1998.  That week was a huge week for me realizing that I wanted to serve in the jr. high youth ministry at GCC.  I quickly became connected with Judy Gregory and started to serve on Wednesday nights which happened to be jr. high youth ministry night also known as Christian’s In Action (CIA) and later Oasis!  Through the Wednesday nights, the leaders formed a small group on Monday nights that met at Judy’s house.  This group of leaders taught me how to love well, encourage others towards Jesus and to speak boldly when we don’t want to!  These friends were not afraid to speak up and out and tell me what they were thinking!

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 Serving in the jr. high youth ministry was the best days for me during that time.  I was able to learn what my gifts were, how to use them and God’s calling on my life.  I was able to draw closer to Him by serving!  

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“Angels In Camo!”  Jr. High Small Group!  This is the group that Dave and I led on Wednesday nights.  We were part of the larger ministry of GCC!

There were two places you would find me when I wasn’t at home sleeping and that was at church or at work.  I lived and breathed life at church.  I found many places to serve and when I was serving others I was THRIVING!  For you serving others may not be in the form of actually physical presences but in ways of blessing those who are in a tough situation by finances, watching their children or being a listening ear.  For others it may be in the form of prayer.  I challenge you to act on serving in your church.  You will be blessed as you bless others!

“This post is inspired by Casting Crowns’ new album “Thrive” releasing on January 28th.”