"I've found that when life's brush obscures my view with gloomy strokes that seem to mar the scene, God's hand appears and gives to sunless hue and dreary skies a more majestic sheen." Gustafson

25 January 2008

The Angels are Singing!

Today is a day of rejoicing! A precious baby boy was born today. But not in the typical fashion. He has spent the last 9 months in the womb (referred to as the hotel) of my dear boss' wife's tummy (I'll refer to her as NA). NA is the mother of two pre-teen boys, a counselor, an artist, a soccer mom, wife and beloved friend. She has dreams and desires of her own but at the age of 49, felt God stirring in her heart to offer her womb to her dear friends who weren't able to conceive another child. The doctors gave her the go ahead and implanted a few eggs. One fought hard to make it and after much prayer and many months of waiting for baby boy to arrive, the day has finally come!! NA is truly an example of Christ. She has given of herself in so many ways, exemplified Christ's example to deny self for God's glory and blessed this precious family. I am forever moved by her life of faith and trust in Jesus.
The angels are singing today!

20 January 2008

The nest is so safe

It's safe and warm...
Mama nestles me under her wings,
Daddy protects and provides.
He is strong and valiant.
She is constant and nurturing.
I grow and watch others soar above me,
My heart wants to do the same.
There is hope outside the nest.
It's my turn to fly now.
My nature is to stay in fear;
it's too risky.
I'd rather live in the familiar.
God give me courage to fly!

BEB the ripper!

It's a known fact that BEB LOVES to rip things. Paper, books, receipts, whatever she can get her little hands on. We've named her "BEB the ripper" (it sounds better when you say her first name!). She's heard us call her that for months now and has (obviously) been storing it away in that brilliant mind of hers. She doesn't forget a thing! Our guess is that she loves the sound it makes!!
Back-up two days....I gave BEB a pretty toile gift bag to play with and she has had it filled with Little People and toys ever since. This morning, while playing on the couch, she finally realized that the bag had the potential to rip. She started slowly and then let 'er rip! I was reminding her the whole rip down that we couldn't put it back together. She looked up at me with a smirky smile and said enthusiastically "BEB THE RIPPER!!!"

17 January 2008

Daddy the "Male" Man

The other morning, BEB and I were enjoying breakfast together and somehow got on the subject of females vs. males. I was explaining the difference between them saying "Mommy is a lady so she's a female; BEB's a little girl, which means she's also a female." And then I went on to explain that Daddy's a male because he's a man and Scout (our doggie) is a boy dog so he's a male. She replied with, "Ohhhhh, ok. (PAUSE) Daddy's a male man!" Makes perfect since to her!!!

A bible verse meets The Beatles

What do these two things have in common? Well leave it to our little lady to make the connection. We were at a dear friend's house last night and BEB and her son were playing together. The mom and son were in the middle of reciting a bible verse and when the son said John 14:7 (I don't exactly remember the verse, I just remember it was in the book of John!), BEB chimed in and said "John, Paul, George & Ringo!!!" CNB and I just cracked up! She knows her Beatles!! :)

11 January 2008

Tornadoes, Wal-Mart & a lady named Karen

Yesterday was by far the closest I've ever come to realizing my life could be over in an instant. It was a stormy day here in Middle Tennessee and I decided (for whatever reason) to brave the storms and run some errands for work after lunch. I went to a few places, getting drenched in between, made a pit-stop at Starbucks (of course!) and then found myself at Wal-Mart. A little voice told me to head back to the office but I figured while I was out....and so goes the story.
I made my way around the store and while I was in the grocery section picking out paper towels, CNB called my cell. He proceeded to tell me to head home immediately (he thought I was at work, which is only about 5 minutes from our house)because there was a tornado watch in effect for the Cool Springs area. At the same time, we got disconnected and a voice came over the intercom instructing shoppers to move to the center of the store ASAP! I left my buggy and briskly walked (which is usually my normal walk!) to the clothing department. The rain was pounding on the roof harder and harder. There we all congregated anticipating what would come next. No one seemed to be panicking, most people were just chatting and carrying on. I was able to get through to CNB and tell him the update on the situation. It was then, when I said "I love you" as I was hanging up that the overwhelming thought and fear hit me, this could be the last time I might ever be able to talk to my husband. I stood there, not knowing a soul, longing to be home with my precious family. CNB was at work, I was stranded at Wal-Mart (the place that shouts "Everyday matters!") and our little one was at home with the grandparents. I was praying inwardly for protection and so focused on the fear in my heart. I kept looking up at the skylights over head, fearing the worst.
At that time, a lady came up and said "excuse me" as she passed behind me and a rack of clothes. Then, something happened that I'll NEVER forget. She turned back around, looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Are you a Christian?" Without hesitation, I said "Yes" and she immediately grabbed my hands and said "Let's pray." For the next 10 minutes or so, right in the middle of a group of people and over the announcer's voice shouting "Code Black, Code Black", we prayed fervently for the storm. For Jesus to calm the storm, to calm our hearts, to protect our lives and reveal Himself to those who need His love. She just kept praying boldly and with a strong voice "Peace" "Your Peace Jesus" "You spoke and the winds and the seas stopped" and on and on. It was so powerful. Amidst the tears, I was able to pray a few meager words but I was just so in awe of God's hand upon us. As we kept praying and beseeching God to spare our lives, the rain became lighter and lighter. The storm blew over. We never lost electricity, we didn't have to get on our hands and knees and hunker down and (Praise God!) the tornado never hit.
A few more minutes passed and we were told to proceed with our shopping like nothing ever happened. As quickly as the storm came up, it "mysteriously" disappeared. I'm confident that God sent Karen to Wal-Mart for me. We ended up talking for awhile after the scare and I learned some things. She was leaving a another store about 5 minutes down the road from Wal-Mart when she noticed the sky was turning green. She just kept hearing God tell her to go to Wal-Mart to seek shelter. That's not at all what she wanted to do, but obeyed. She came into the store and purposefully looked into people's eyes trying to find someone who believed. The Lord led her to me. She explained that she and her family moved to Nashville after Katrina destroyed their home in LA back in '05 (her husband is there now rebuilding). She also told me a story about her experience in a tornado back in Minnesota earlier in her life that God had saved her from.
Karen is a woman of strong faith. She was looking outwardly in the midst of a frightening time. She boldly said that Christians are supposed to rise up in times like these and call out to our good God. God reminded me of my calling to set an example in scary and uncertain times instead of focusing so much on myself.
I was also reminded on the way home about a statement we learned at church last weekend. Our teaching pastor asked us to carry this saying in our hearts during our week, "The good hand of our God is upon us!" I just kept saying that as I drove away, praising God for saving me. I hugged my family much tighter last night, knowing that the outcome of my day could've looked so differently. My heart is heavy for the people in Alabama and Mississippi who were effected by the devastating tornadoes that hit yesterday. I'm so grateful...