Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Grammee...

There is something about a hospital bed that brings things into perspective. This tiny frail woman laying with eyes closed and head back was not always like this. We used to race down the mall corridors and see who could eat the fastest. We would see 2 or 3 dollar movies in one sitting and eat so much we couldn't move. Her smile would cause her already small eyes to disappear as we would laugh at something silly. We missed more than one exit because we were lost in conversation. She prayed for me, spoke God's Words of truth into my life and was my confidant when I trusted no one.
This is my Grammee.
But this weekend when I went to visit, I realized that things really have changed. Getting up isn't quite as easy as it used to be, walking takes just that much more effort, and the desire for the richest foods has all but disappeared.
I tried to be strong as the EMTs came to scoop her up on Saturday. I held her hand and gave her a reassuring smile as we sat in the ambulance. I interrogated the doctors on what might be wrong and made sure they didn't give her anything she can't have. I played the role of responsible granddaughter for the whole weekend... Until I got home and landed in a puddle of tears in Steven's arms.
This is the grandmother who has taken care of me my whole life. She changed my diapers, washed my face, and held me as I cried. Now I guess its my turn to return the favor.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let the little children come to me...

Today I got to be a part of something beautiful. A woman came to my window at school and said that she was looking for someone. This story unfolded before my eyes: she is a truck driver who was driving through Dallas and doing her laundry at a local laundry mat here in West Dallas. While she was there, she got into a conversation about God with the owner. The message was not well received, but after he walked away a little girl leaned over to her and said, "What you said was true." When the lady asked how she knew that, the little girl explained that she went to a Christian school and knew what the Bible said was true. The lady asked if she could get the little girl something, fully expecting the little girl to say candy or a coke, but instead she said, "I want a Bible." The lady said that the first thing she thought of was Solomon's petition of God for wisdom instead of money and power.
The lady did not get the little girl's name but bought her a bible and a devotional and was going around to the different school in West Dallas looking for a Christian school. Since we are the only Christian school in West Dallas, she came knocking on our door.
Due to the amazing knowledge of our parent liaison and registrar, Mrs. Howard, we were able to pin point which one of our precious kids it was. Here's the interesting thing: this is a child who gets in trouble quite often and at times doesn't act like she is listening. But she was listening; enough to speak the truth when others wouldn't.
Children listen and absorb much more of the truth than I think we give them credit for. I was brought to tears as I looked on this little 7-year-old kid who spoke truth when she could have kept quiet. There are so many reasons that Jesus said: Let the little children come to me. One of the biggest ones was to teach the "growups" how to have child-like faith. Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do you SEE?

Hurt, pain, tears, blood, suffering... do you not see?
One of the number one things that people have against God is this: If this God of yours is so loving, why would he allow this to happen? "This" could be anything from a car wreck to cancer to the death of a loved one to the brutality of humanity.
Several days ago, I was reading Mark 2 where the leper asks Jesus to heal him and the Word says: He had compassion on the man. Jesus could have healed this tortured soul because it was "right" or because others were watching... but instead, he was MOVED by the pain of that man. How often do we question that in our own minds whether or not the God of the universe sees us?
On Sunday, I heard a sermon about the book of Habakkuk. In the first 5 verses, Habakkuk just cries out, “REALLY??” As he cried out, my soul cried out too. During worship that night, I stood before my God broken. A hundred names came to my mind, faces flashed through my memory… people who had lost children, were in constant pain, or suffered for no reason at all. I began to weep uncontrollably as my mind switched to stories I didn’t know personally: kids in my school who grow up without parents to love them, homeless on the streets, prostitutes in Thailand. Do you SEE?! How long oh Lord? I began to cry out to the Lord that he would do something, that he would allow me to do something. And you know what, he did. He opened my eyes to see.
About once a year, I need to reminded to see people; their hurts, their fears, the reality of who they really are.Yesterday I was moved by Jesus’ emotions when I read Mark 3. The Pharisees were trying to trap him when they saw a man with a crippled hand in the Synagogue… will he heal or not? It says: “He looked at them with anger, grieved by their hardness of heart…”
He was anger at their unwillingness to help and grieved because they missed the point. PEOPLE.
Why did Jesus come? To save PEOPLE.
What does he call us to? To love PEOPLE.
The next time you’re tempted to look away when you see someone begging on the side of the street or you want to dismiss a co-worker who answers “good” when you know that’s the furthest thing from the truth, risk it all and look deep in their eyes… just enough to SEE… like Jesus does.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Adventure here we come!

I had every intention of writing something inspirational on the day of my wedding to finish off my 30 days, but it just didn't happen. So here's what you missed:
I married my best friend and the love of my life.
As I prepared to walked down the aisle to the rest of my life, the tears crept into the corners of my eyes. I was being passed from the man who had been my strength and support since day one of my life to the man I would be one with from this day forward. I could barely contain myself as Ashley sang, "When we arrive at eternity's shores, where death is just a memory and tears are no more. We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring, your bride will come together and we'll sing, You're beautiful."
I was blessed to have my daddy not only give me away but give us a great charge. He reminded us that we are going to have to be learners of one another even after so many years of knowing each other.
It was awesome to be able to all worship together we sang together, "And heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest. I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us!"
As Steven served me through communion, my sister blessed us with a song that she wrote: "Baby will you hold my hand, baby will you be my best friend and lead me? I wanna be your wife. I want to show the world Christ. I want to let you be with me... as we serve the One true King." If you can't tell, the music was my favorite part of the ceremony!
Through the exchange of rings and the pronouncement of man and wife, my heart fluttered in my chest. It was official, I was his and he was mine. The reception and saying hi to all the people we love was a blur, but wonderful!
The wedding went off without a hitch. It was everything I ever hoped it would be... none of it would have happened without the support of great friends and family who helped decorate, put together food, and make sure everything ran smoothly. So if that was you, THANK YOU!
After that we made our way to Cancun for our honeymoon and Colorado for Christmas. We made it back to dallas before the New Year and have since started work and about to start school. We are loving being married and excited about all the great things the Lord has for us!
Our main goal in our wedding was to give glory to God. We pray that you saw Jesus in our wedding from start to finish. Thanks for journeying with us... here's to the next adventure called MARRIAGE!