Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Student Becomes The Master, She is!

So, there was a whole lotta shakin' goin' on today, friends!

Where were you on August 23, 2011, the day that the earthquake hit Virginia? That is my new question!

Well, as for me, I was here at the computer in our home office downstairs and I simply thought I was loosing my mind. The house creaked and made noises, the windows sounded like they do in a hard mountain storm, and I saw the flat screen computer monitor shaking and I felt unbalanced...more than on my most frazzled day. You know what I am talking about Shannon! I shared with a friend that it felt like when you are a little girl playing outside and you twirl around and around making your dress fly, then stop. You know, that dizzy feeling? That was me at 1:51 p.m. today, August 23, 2011.

Thanks for those who called and checked on me or sent notes on-line. :) God blessed us all and we are fine!

But, to be honest, I kinda panicked and called my hubby at work and said I thought something was wrong with the house like a water line ruptured or gas line exploded. I was even leaving a message on a voicemail when I heard the news just moments later and I said, "I was just in an earthquake" and hung up. HA! I did call back later and explain. :)

I was fine, but what an out of control experience! Not just physically, but emotionally. I did mention that our son, Jeremiah, just started Kindergarten, didn't I? Oh my! Just thinking about him at school without me was overwhelming! It was those "first day of school feelings" all over again. Was he at recess? Did he feel it? Did it scare him? Is he ok? Is he ok? Is he ok?

You know why cell phones were jammed this afternoon, don't you? Mommas!! Because mommas were checking on their once kindergartners no doubt!

Tonight I am praising God for another reminder, one that registered 5.8, that He is the one who moves Heaven and Earth and cares for those who dwell there. Thank you God that we are never ever too far out of Your Reach, even when our kindergartners or college freshman are. Whew!

But I have to share this story about the end of the day. I was on FB and checking on friends and their funny post about the day. Everything from Jerry Lee Lewis's song to posts about "shaking things up" made me finally laugh about it. But then, sweet Rebecca...
...I read about her "EE" Earthquake Experience from early at the high school (we just finished prayin' her into cosmetology class her Junior year) and she just blew me away. She instantly shared that today's events made her think of Matthew 24:6-13.

Ummm...I wasn't totally sure what that reference was, so I had to look it up before I could reply. From verse 7 and 13, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places...but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."

I sat at my computer and just smiled. Rebecca, a high school Junior, ministered to me today...her soon to be Soul Surfer Bible Study leader.

This must have been what Yoda felt like with Luke Skywalker (new craze at our house...thanks McDonald's Happy Meals!). Hey Rebecca, you wanna teach this year? Hey wait, she did last year and will be this year some nights with Kaitlyn and Bethany, too! WOO HOO! Yep! Our class even has a "Bethany!"

Thank you for the reminder of verse 13, Rebecca. "But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." A gentle reminder that when everything around us shakes, crumbles, falls, collapses, cracks, gives way, and trembles...AND it will...we have a PROMISE to CLAIM that if we stand firm on the name of Jesus, stand firm in Him and His promises, we will be saved..from it all.

Where were you on August 23, 2011? I was in the Word with Rebecca! Thank you, friend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Beginning or Ending?!

Under this picture of my son's first day of school, I wrote, Ecclesiastes 3:4 "a time to weep, and a time to laugh." Which is it, friends? Are we beginning or ending?

We don't always want to be in "transition," do we? That is like riding the ups and downs of ocean waves and never overcoming the fear to mount one and surf. Or never being courageous enough to wipe out and let a ride end even if you have a great faith story to tell. Yep, still prepping for our Soul Surfer Bible Study.

Seriously though, if I hear the word "transition" one more time in our house, I might scream or go grab a bar of soap...FOR ME!

Although God graces and comforts during transition, He even calls us to it, that is not all He has for us. We have to join Him in our endings and beginnings.

There has been so much transition in my life, (NO! NOT THE SOAP!). I am grateful for long distance friends who share and close friends who care. Recently, two friends who fall into both categories, have ministered to me.

A dear friend of mine just transformed her classroom theme from bees to frogs. We are "Coyotes" through and through around here. ;) Anyway, she recently shared that she was using the word "busy" too much.

How many of us do that?! How are you, they ask. I am good, just super busy, we answer. This year, the bees have flown away from my friend and the frogs have leaped in! She isn't even using the "B" word. What a commitment! Now, only replacing the old word with "fruitful." I love that, friend! Who would ever want to be shhh! b-u-s-y swimming a tadpole's life without the transforming hope and power of hopping onto a blooming blessing?

Thank you for modeling how to "end" something, friend.

Another friend and I grabbed a few minutes over the phone this week and I said the word "prune" and she began telling me about this message she listened to 3 times! As "fruitful" and "fruit-filled" as she is, what would make her want to begin watching something 3 times!?

I began to get was curious and hit the "arrow" button. You know, the one that points you in a new direction.

What an awesome message from Dr. Henry Cloud that he recently gave about "Necessary Endings" at Willow Creek Community Church! He knows all about letting things end, even pruning them, so new things can begin.

Thank you for modeling how to "begin" something great, friend.

With so many HUGE things going on in my life right now, I need to take a knee. I need to end how I have been praying, and begin praying differently.

Father, help me support and encourage my husband as his job ends and he begins something new. Give me what can help him.

Father, I praise you for 5 and 1/2 years at home! As they come to an end and new opportunities are beginning, let me only say "YES" to what you are saying "YES" to. Give me new ears.

Father, I ask for wisdom at church as one ministry ends and a new one begins. Both "goodbyes" and "hellos" can be difficult.

Father, I thank you that our Wed. Night Bible Study ended. Thank you that we waited and You have given us something new to begin now. I am so excited to dive in!

Father, for my deepest needs, let me know Your Love enough and trust You enough to fill them. Teach me that ending
does not have to leave me empty. Your filling is not a beginning, but better. It is complete.

So, what about you?

Dr. Cloud has some great questions to ask you. If you are interested in listening you can click here. If you are in a tran....., I mean, if you are not too b...... Ummm, let's just say, I'm ending the blog post so that you can watch now and let God begin to speak to you.

Working on my first assignment of the school year,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Grateful for the sunshine, the smell of morning, and the cool air, we walked up to the corner of the yard.

We heard the rumble of the engine before we saw the yellow of the school bus.

That's when it happened, friend.

My son, Jeremiah, urgently almost breathlessly said, "I wanna pray!" Didn't we just do that last night and this morning? The bus was turning the corner and my kindergartner dropped to both knees...on the street....in his new jeans, and prayed for his day. Got up, climbed on board, took his seat, and went to his first day of school.

I have never seen someone begin their day more humble.

What is a momma to do? Wave.

Recently, I have been doing a lot of reading about waves as we gear up for our teenage girls Bible Study on Wednesday nights. How can you do the new Soul Surfer Bible Study without talking about waves, right?! But I was struck by the description of how from shore, surfers look like they are just sitting out in the middle of the water on their boards and doing nothing, but they are. They are watching waves come and go. As they are moved up and down in the water, they wait for the right one. They wait until they "feel" the right wave arrives, then they ride it.

My wave came today. I have been preparing, watching, teaching, instilling, and praying. Yes, there have been many ups and downs as I have stayed home for 5 1/2 years. But, I knew this day would come. I have felt the rise in the tide this summer...tying shoes, picking out what he thinks matches, not asking for help in the bathroom, sharing opinions and even asking the hard questions. Friends, that big WAVE came today.

God has waves for each of us. Some are meant to just ebb on by...not all are ours. Others are meant to swell and specifically train us. A few...those few amazing ones are meant to be enjoyed, ridden, and rejoiced in. Today, tasting the salt water of my own tears, I trust in Jesus. I trust He is preparing not just me to be the mom that He has called me to be, but I trust that He is preparing Jeremiah.

Ride on, Jeremiah. You are called to ride waves that arrive for you, buddy. Each wave is different. You won't score perfect 10's every time. God provides and appoints; Momma stand on the shore and WAVEs. My heart swells with love for you today, son.

Friend, are you riding the right wave for you? Praise God if you are. But if not, stop. Find God's best for your life. Learn to wait on Him and for His plans. Ask Him to teach you and give you eyes to see it, even if it far off on the horizon. Trust in Jesus.

If you are like my friends moving to South Dakota, and it is rough, choppy, and you are barely hanging on. Trust in Jesus.

But, if you feel like you are sitting in the middle of the Pacific (and have been) waiting on "the big one," remember you would not want to be any other place when God sends it to you. So, Trust in Jesus.

No matter your answer, today this is for me and for you...

Waving, but Trusting More,