Friday, November 11, 2011

Music, children, dreams and peace out FB

     To start things off...I am no longer on facebook.  And though I was rarely on that thing...I feel free.  There is really no big reason to blog about that, but I thought you may be interested to know ;)
     Onto much better things...My sweet friend, Aunt to my children and Brian actually thinks she might be an angel of sorts becuase of the sound of her voice and because she so often helps us out with our kids that it is clear she is sent from heaven!...Ashely Brusenhan, just released her first CD!  You can go here to listen to it and find out more!  It is wonderful and encouraging and we listen to her every morning...and really anytime we listen to music these days. 
              Some of you may remember, Ashley also started a thing called "Intimacy" for college women.  The 5th Intimacy was last Friday here in Aggieland and it was really a sweet time.  Lucretia came and spoke to all of us in her gentle and powerful way.  Good times.  Anyway, I lead a group of dancers called "Talitha" and we were able to dance as a part of worship.  It was really fun and also profound.  We were able to dance to one of Ashley's song's from her new CD called "Come Awake."  There is a line in her song that says "He wants to wash your feet tonight..."  speaking of Jesus with us.  As I was preparing and thinking about the girls that were coming to Intimacy, I realized that I really don't get it.  The reality of the gospel. I have understood it in many different seasons of my life, but still the reality of those words being true...The reality that Jesus (Perfect Holy God) wants to wash my feet (a nasty messed up girl who sins and sins and sins).  So....a week prior to performing I simply asked the Lord to help me understand that more.  And I had a dream.
            The dream was one of those terribly real ones.  It was really me and the setting was our normal lives.  It went like this "I was approached by an authority figure that I did not know and they told me that I was sentenced to death next Thursday.  It was clear to me that I was guilty.  I was deserving of death and I had no excuse.  The next scene was me and Brian talking about how much I wish I could raise our children and grow old with him, and we were making plans on how they would all go on without me.  It was eerie.  To try and describe the deep sadness that I felt is impossible."  
        And then I woke up.  Terrible, huh???  No beautiful gospel story there.  Just guilt and the bleak future of deserved death.  Of course I began praying as soon as I woke up and couldn't get to the scriptures fast enough.  I asked the Lord to make it clear to me what I was supposed to understand and even to remove the weight of the dream that still sat on me. 
           Two days passed and the weight was still there.   And that brings me to our house church meeting on Thursday night.  We were worshiping and singing to the Lord to start things off and suddenly the scene of me going to die came back to me.  I saw myself standing alone in the room that was clearly designated to be the place of my death.  Deep sadness and utter grief filled me.  And the only man that held the power to end it all came in the room.  Instead of carrying a weapon, He carried a bowl of water and began washing my feet.  He started speaking sweetly to me and He simply began telling me what I will receive instead of death.  He said, "You get to be Brian's wife, you get to raise your children, you get to live many days on the earth and you get to do all of this for me.  And then you get to live forever with me."  I wept and wept and am weeping again writing this.  A PROFOUND JOY filled me in the deep crevices of my heart and the weight that I had been carrying was lifted. 
          I was sincerely ministered to through this, and I believe the Lord allowed me to understand where most of the girls that were coming to Intimacy may be living. Weighed down by guilt and shame and passively accepting their lot in life as bleak.  A very incomplete gospel.  A terrible way to live!  If I were to write down all of the reasons why I deserve death, you would see that I am "the worst of sinners" as Paul refers to in 1 Timothy.  BUT, that verse starts off by saying "Jesus came to save sinners, of who I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His UNLIMITED patience as an example of those who would believe in Him and receive eternal life."  I feel like I could have written this verse.  For real.  And I just want to say that Jesus loves to make things new and He has even stored up an inheritance for us to receive rather than wrath or shame or guilt.  We, as daughters, as redeemed ones should actually be the lightest, free-est, and most expectant of good things on the earth.  Not one of us is forgotten.  Praise Jesus!
          And on a different note...thinking about life and children.  Many of you are moms and many of you will be.  So here goes.  There is a lot lot lot of things that the Lord teaches us moms about surrender.  About laying down ourselves for our children.  It starts during pregnancy as our bodies change, goes on to birth and all of the pain involved there, then goes into not sleeping much and not showering much and not reading magazines throughout the day while sipping on some fancy drink...etc.  All of those are silly things really.  But you get what I mean.  Some of the girls that I have run into over the years have been surprised with their pregnancy and they have had to lay down their ideas and timing of missions, or adoption or corporate work, etc.  "Surrendered" is another word for "Following Jesus as a Mom" in many ways.  But, sometimes I think we are thinking too hard or too long about things that don't really matter that much.  You know...too many conversations about the food that we are feeding our children or the education that we are choosing for our children or the extra-curricular stuff that we are choosing to place them in.  All relevant stuff to a mom that is surrendered to Jesus and wanting to make good decisions for her kids, but...all of that needs to be in it's right place.  ALL of that as a preface for what I am about to write. 
          So, I am reading a Piper book and this is what I read today..."I plead with you to dream a dream that is bigger than you and your families and your churches.  Un-deify the American family and say boldly that our children are not our cause; they are given to us to train for a cause.  They are given to us for a short season so that we can train them for the great causes of truth and mercy and justice in a prejudiced, pain-filled and perishing world."  YES!...AMEN.  As I raise Jada, Kiva and Judson (and Lord willing more little people) I really want to raise them with a generational view in my mind.  I want to invest in them so richly through prayer and truth that their children and their children's children will be laborers in God's plan to bring His kingdom to earth and to rescue and set free the forgotten.  I don't want my first thoughts to be about the food/school/sports stuff...I want my thoughts to be about how to expose them to the real reason they are living.  To give themselves away to Jesus so that He can use their gifts and talents and personalities to be a part of Jesus' mission to rescue the world!  So as moms...and as future moms...let us all pray and teach and train our children to love like Christ did and let's honestly allow the Lord to shape us and train us in the same way.  Receiving the deep love of God towards us and freely giving that away. 
     Which takes me back to my dream to tie all of these ramblings together.  "Whoever has been forgiven much...loves much."   Out of a thankful heart, Let us not be so easily distracted and yet let us fully enjoy the people we have been given to love.

Party time and a quick catch up

My hope is to simply catch up through here is some fun photos from Kiva's party...she likes Elmo a lot...not because she watches Elmo a ton (we are definitely watching Elmo Potty right now though :)), but because his picture is on her diapers and for some reason his personality is contagious through toys and what not...anyway...we had a fun time with it.  

So I need to start off by saying that Kiva's party was pulled off by her beloved Aunts that are my sweet friends here.  Aubrey, Ashley and Blair totally created the most fun and funny Elmo cake pops along with cleaning the house and organizing gift bags and helping with all of the little details along the way.  I love these girls so much...and Kiva, you are so loved by them!

MiMi made these cute matching Elmo outfits for Jada and Kiva to celebrate in

 Quick family shot...Judson was sleeping :)
 And of course, our sweet friend Blair dressed up as Big Bird to complete the party...which was really funny because as she walked out Kiva said with a simple expression.."Blair."  and continued to eat :)  So funny.  I think this just fills you all in on how fun Blair is all of the time!

 Precious people
 On Kiva's actual birthday Aunt Sarah/Apple brought Kiva some fun princess attire that she immediately loved too
 And of course, Ashley found a bigger than life Elmo Balloon for Kiv
Jada went to the Woodlands with MiMi and PaPa and of course had a blast...I think she is looking so old!!!

Jada with one of her sweet friends Piper
 And are you serious...look at how stinking cute this little man is!  I like him so much