Saturday, March 31, 2012

Left, Left, Left, Right, Left!

This past week, John and I went to boot camp. A church planting boot camp through Church Multiplication Network.  Wow...It was intense...really intense and oh sooo good.

We answered six key questions...
What does God want me to do?
Who am I?
What am I sent to do?
How will we do it?
Who will do it with me?
How will we evaluate our progress?

One thing that I discovered is that boot camp will do one of two things...

1. Give you the tools to accomplish the plan God  has burning in your hearts.

2. Or you will have a clear understanding that God has not called you to church plant but support those who do.

I could never remotely sum up all that God spoke to us over the last 5 days; but here are some quick ones:

Our vision for Bay City is now God sized!
That God has prepared our lives from the moment we where born to be the very best people to do this job.
God has very clearly mapped out His vision and mission for Bay City.
We must be intentionally reaching those who do not know Christ.
We can't do this alone.  God is already calling people to come along side of us.
We have to stay on assignment!

I feel overwhelmed; but I feel confident. Not because of my own abilities; but because of God's!

  If you are reading this and are considering planting a church...absolutely go to CMN boot camp. It will radically change the way you start and do church.

We are so excited to start this adventure!
Get Joy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Girl and A Boy and Their New Kitchen...Part 10 Finally!

Only after two years since we started ripping out, wacking at, throwing out our old kitchen I can officially say our kitchen remodel is done.  We put in the molding last week.  Whoo Hoo, so now I can sit back and thank the good Lord that my kitchen no longer looks like this....

And more like this....

Now that spring has sprung,  I will enjoy my finished kitchen even if it is only for a few months.
Here's to projects that go much longer than planned!
 Oh, and did I mention that we did it all for about $3,000.00.  We got new cabinets, new floors, new counter top, changed plumbing, new 1/2 bath and updated full bath. Not bad for all those updates if you ask me.

Home for Sale!

Our 3 bedroom, 1 & 1/2 bath, full garage, cutesy house is up for sale today. It is a little bitter sweet. We moved into this house as a family of three and we are moving out as a family of five + a dog. Thank you Lord for a dependable home.

God has blessed our home.
Everybody now pray for a miracle.....that it sells!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We Are On Facebook!

Our new church plant has a facebook page!  Go and "like" it....go on...


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Racers Start Your Engines!

 It's Derby Day!

No car for me this year, no time.  But I brought all my old ones and put them in the museum.  I raced them and the VW Van won!
 My son's car...of course McQueen!
 My middle daughter's tribute to Bethany Hamilton.  She won first in design!
 My oldest daughter's design, afternoon picnic! 
 Slowest car; but the cutest I think!

 He won 2nd place for speed, good job boy!
 Johnson annual family race....the winner....the baby boy!  
Whoo HOO!
Too much fun!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Faces On The Wall

Just about every parent has probably experienced their kid drawing of the wall.  I am no exception.  Both of my girls when they were very little drew with pencil on my living room walls.  I never got mad at them.  I gently corrected them and taught them that we do not color, paint, or draw on mommy's walls.  We only create on paper.  They never did it again.  However, I never had the heart to remove them until now some 7 years later.  I still had a hard time painting over them.

The drawings reminded me of how innocent and little they once where.  
The face says exactly how my heart felt as I ran the roller over it.  
My oldest daughters creation!

Thank you Lord for sweet faces on the wall.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tornado Emergency - Epic Fail

The other day, our town was under a tornado warning.  In fact, the sirens were even going off.  My kids were at home with Grandma; because we were at a meeting.  Needless to say, my kids and my emergency system was an epic fail......

there were tears, there were uncertainties, and there was no plan!

My poor mother, she did the best she could with my failed system. 

However, in my failure my kids came up with a plan to at least deal with need for light in our dark crawl space.

Here it is.....

They went and found every toy they own that lights up!  My kids are so smart.  However, I think I need to create an emergency tornado that does not involve twirling princesses and roaring dinosaurs.

I love my kids....I hate tornadoes!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Broken Pieces

Did you know that I use to work at paint your own pottery store? I did!  I loved that job. I enjoyed helping kids pick out their pottery piece.  I was thrilled to help them get started and create their ideas.  For the artist in me it was the perfect place to work.  When there were dead times, especially in the winter, my boss would let me paint pieces to sell them in the store.  I would sit near the shop window and paint away as the snow would fall to the ground.  Frankly, I believe there will be a paint your own pottery shop in me there will be one.

In fact, I have written about working there before...go here  and you can see some of my pieces there too.

Working in that shop, I became very familiar with pottery, firing and the finished product.  I learned in high school how to create pottery.  With all this knowledge about this certain art form, I realize what an amazing metaphor a piece of pottery can be in regards to life.  I am not surprised that God uses pottery to help us understand deep ideas about Him.  

Last night, I had the privilege to hear a great pastor.  He brought in some clay pots for his illustration.  He reminded me that it is not my abilities, my talents, or the things I think are good about me that God uses.    God uses my imperfections, my weaknesses to display His glory.  Then the pastor took the pots and smashed them on the ground.  God takes the broken pieces of my life and uses them to show His grace.  Even though we may see ourselves as worthless.

Philippians 3
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.

We are all like that shattered pot. We all come to Christ as broken pieces.  But God can take even the smallest fragment of our life and do something powerful with it.  He can take that piece and make it useful once again. 
My piece of broken pottery I took home as a reminder of His Grace!

When I begin to realize that my own pride leads me down a path far away from Him and choose to humble myself then and only then can God use me.  Not to use me to bring greatness to my name; but to bring greatness to His name.  What do I really have to offer God?  He does not truly need me.  He has all that He needs.  Yet.......Yet He chooses you and He chooses me to spread His love to all His people.

Wow, Jesus use the broken pieces of my life for your Glory and to build your Kingdom!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shake It All About!

 You put your left foot in
 You put your left foot out
 You put your left foot in and you shake it all about
 You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself about
 That's what it's all about
 You do the Hokey Pokey
 You do the Hokey Pokey
 You do the Hokey Pokey
That's what it's all about!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Life of a Golden Shoe!

Last night, we went to a fun family math/language arts night at my oldest daughter's school.  They fed us dinner and gave out prizes.   We went to different rooms and did fun activities.  In one of the rooms the parents were instructed to write a creative shoe story.  Our child went and picked a shoe and then we had to tell a story from the shoe's perspective.  Mind you, we only had 5 min and there was no time for editing. My daughter picked out one of the girly, sparkly shoes.   I think she did that on purpose to trap her dad.  Here are our stories and our grades.....

Can you tell who wrote what??????

A Magical Night

As my owner, Tiffany, slipped me onto her foot, I became very excited about what journey I was about to embark on.   She looked fabulous in her black sequined dress and I complimented her look perfectly.  She glided down the stairs where to my surprise she met a man with the finest black patent leather shoes.

We briskly headed out the door.  Our night was magical.  We danced throughout the evening.  I had such a splendid time meeting all sorts of glamorous new friends.  The evening was the nicest I have had in a long time.  It's nice to get out of the box every now and then. 

This story got a 13/15 (marked down for spelling errors) 86% B

Sparkly Shoe Stinks!

Life as a sparkly shoe really stinks.  Everyday I get to see the world, but it's from beneath a fat lady with fallen arches.  The other day I was pressed into a pile of goo while traveling down Cedar Avenue.  It turns out it was gum from some inconsiderate jr. high student.  Don't even get me started on the dog poop incident of 2005.  That's just a glimpse of life as a sparkly shoe.  You should try it some time.  

This story got a 15/15   %100   A+  (figures)

Have you figured out who wrote what???   I think she has way too much fun grading her mom and dad.  Hahahahahahahaha!

Shoe stories are fun!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Seems To Be Our Biggest Hurdle!

We began a process yesterday that John and I have never done before.  John's friend came over.   He is a realtor.  We are putting our home up for sale in the next two weeks.  I know God has called us to plant a church.  However, I have a wide range of feelings about the whole moving thing. 

I am disappointed.  We found out how much our home is worth.  I now understand the housing crisis our state and country is in.  Thankfully, we owe less then what it is worth.  Sadly, that is not true for a lot of hard working Americans. It is so sad to hear how much less our house is worth than when we bought it.   
At our home just after our 2nd daughter was born.

I am concerned.  We want to be over in Bay City this summer.  That is what we are feeling God wants us to do.  But honestly after talking to the realtor I think a miracle is in order.  There are so many homes in foreclosure right now and going for next to nothing.  People are looking for deals.  I am concerned people will not want our home; because it is not necessarily a deal. 
My two girls winging in the yard.

I am worried.   I do not see how we can sell our house in 6 months at the price we want.  Then where does that leave us in transitioning over to Bay City?  Are we going to be able to find a home that works for our family?  I do not know these answers.  This seems like such a big hurdle. 
Christmas at our home.

I am sad.  This is our first home.  Two of my babies have been born here.  We have cried, laughed, celebrated, grown and loved in this house.  Now it is time to start packing up boxes and saying good bye to this house that has sheltered us for almost 10 years.  So many memories and so much joy in this old house. 
Watching TV with our new little guy!

I feel overwhelmed.  There is some work that needs to be done before we list it; work that needs to be done in the next two weeks.  UGH!  We don’t have a lot of time to do this work; but somehow we have to make it work.  We shall see how it all gets done.

Celebrating Birthdays!
I am excited.   Yes, there are some positive feelings in the midst of all the negative ones.   It is so much fun looking at new houses.  I love, love, love it!  It is fun to dream.  It’s fun to explore new possibilities.  It is great hearing the kids request….stairs, their own rooms.  New home shopping is a blast. 

Yup, there are a lot emotions stirring inside of me.   I am human.  It amazes me how earthly things can cloud my vision so quickly.  This house thing is really a small thing to my God and yet it seems so huge to me.  It is so easy for me to not trust.   However, I am choosing to trust.  I am going to trust in God.  He is tried and true!  I am going to trust His promises. 

Girls room redone!
Romans 8
25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

And I am going to cling to this verse...

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Playing the Wii in the living room with friends.
If He has called us to Bay City…He is going to move us.  He is going to take care of our home.  He has it all figured out already.  I need to let go of my house and “Let God”. He is going to meet our need.  I am choosing to trust His Word.  

Hebrews 13
21 may he equip you with all you need
      for doing his will.
   May he produce in you,
      through the power of Jesus Christ,
   every good thing that is pleasing to him.
      All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

Thank you Lord for our home.  God’s got this!