Thursday, December 9, 2010

Amelia...

4 years ago ...at this moment, friends were trickling into Greenville Memorial Hospital, waiting to see if the Reichley 5 had been blessed with a little girl.  We were (not that people took our word for it, Georgi-Beth stripped her all the way down just to be sure. After all, she looked just like Eli!)
Our life...my life...changed forever that day.

Millie's was a journey of surprise.  We didn't find out what we were having...didn't paint a nursery, didn't have a shower before hand...didn't decide on names until the last minute.  And on a COLD December night (after David parked at the farthest spot from the hospital and ran in saying "It's freezing out here" as my mom helped me hobble in) our fighting princess made her way into our world. (Not to mention on the day of her favorite Aunt TiTi!  It was and will always be the best birthday present ever)

Millie, is an anomaly to me.  She is 185% girl.  Babies, pink, dresses...all the ubber girlie stuff.  But she could be the toughest kid I've ever met.  Mentally and physically.  Seriously, the girl re-defines Strong Willed!  But as my mom pointed out, she's been a fighter all her life.  At birth she refused to gain weight, forcing me to feed on demand for the first few weeks of her life...taking her to the doctor to be weighed every other day.  Once out of that chaos...a new one in sued...one that changed my opinions of myself.
At 6 weeks old Mille had RSV.  I have known other families to go through this and knew it was a long and  tough sickness to fight.
But after another Angel (Leslie Helms) told us to take her to the ER on the night of the Super Bowl and teams of nurses blowing out her veins as she laid there on a table not fussing at all....and after she was admitted to the PICU and a specialist told us we had to wait outside...and after he told us we had a very sick baby, and they will do what they can...then.  Only then did I feel helpless.  All emotion left me, it still does when I think about it.  I could do nothing...Couldn't hold her, feed her, cry for her, even pray for her.  I just....sat.
She fought...hard and strong.  Pulling through the grueling treatments and tests.  After a week, she was released, but had to fight another long 4 months of recovery.

That was the first half of Millie's first year.

She turns 4 today.  She is alive, very tall for her age, allergic to nothing (which is shocking after severe RSV) and a fighter.

Passionate and Loyal...traits that are incredibly evident in her life.  She loves as passionately as she fights and when she chooses you...you can't break that covenant.  As with all my children, I see the Lord's favor on her in ways that could truly change the world.

She changed mine...forever.
I love you moomsie.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Get it....

I know I've posted about this before,but buy yourself and early Christmas present and get the new Gungor CD: Beautiful Things.  I CANNOT tell you how much this has ministered to me...each day a new song hits me right where I'm at....of course track 2 and 7 start my day EVERY morning.  It's hard to dance whilest driving, but I manage.  Always do!
Here are a few lyrics, from the title track...means something new to me every morning.

All this pain

I wonder if I’ll even find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

It only gets better...the cover artwork is enough for me...I want to paint it as a mural in my house, seriously...La'Walker, you up for it?

Curious as to anyone else's thoughts on this album?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Yogurt Mountain

After being introduced to this eupohoria of foodie heaven, by my phoenix...Audrina....in Tuscaloosa, one of my other fave people has informed that G'vegas now has not one...but TWO Yogurt Mountains....Can it be so???  There is a God and He does love me! (not that I didn't think that before...you get it)
http://www.yogurtmountain.com/locations.html

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Integrity...

It's a shame that there are 30somethings walking around without it...

Speechless, sick to my stomach and disappointed...

Stop looking in the mirror, realise you aren't the only person in the world, and show...I don't know...

INTEGRITY!

(Going to get in trouble for this one...but it's time someone makes a stir.)

I'm done.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

weorthscipe

Can you guess what word we use today from this Olde English word?

Well, let's see Weorthscipe broken down is this:

Weorth-Value or Worth

Scipe-Shape or Condition

In other words, judging the value of something...what is it worth to me?

Worship...puts a new spin on it doesn't it.

When you struggle with something having a stronghold on your life...well, you feel that it is WORTH more to you than not doing it.  A moment of satisfaction (or a few moments depending on the vice) has more VALUE to you than doing what God has called you to do (or not do).  It's simple...whatever has more worth to you, will get your worship.

Yet, not so simple...lies and deceit cement vices to our legs, arms...entire bodies. Sometimes they have dug so deep into our skin, that they almost seem to be part of us...something that requires no thought or decision at all...we just do it.  This is where my frustration with "deliverance" comes....it doesn't always work that way.  Sometimes the only way to be "delivered" from a situation is to completely cut of our leg from the knee down, in order to get the fused vice off of us....seems to be more destructive than delivering....but here is where God steps in an truly shows off...He begins to heal the wound...sometimes a new "leg" grows back, but most often, after pain and bandaging and frustration...we begin to learn to walk with a limp. Sometimes with the aid of a crutch or cane, but we move, we go...we're redeemed.

That...that God, deserves worship...the value is compared to none and worth the severing of limbs (if necessary) in order to give everything, every dream, every movement, every breath...in applause of Him.

(Thanks to Richard Smith, Pastor of Hopepoint for the inspiration of this from his Sunday Message)

Curious as to what You worship?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Starvation

 /stÉ‘rv/


[stahrv]

verb, starved, starv·ing.

–verb (used without object)

1. to die or perish from lack of food or nourishment
 
 
That's right...starvation...it's been a long time coming...I feel it in my soul, that a lot has led up to this moment, and I feel no sense of hunger or craving...only the tension of going without.
 
My prayer has been for some time, that my soul response be primary and my flesh to be secondary...or none at all!  So the Lord spoke to me the other night as I asked how I make that switch....Starve Your Flesh....
ummm, ok....I need to lose a little weight (and by a little, I mean a 5 year old child...that's for another day)
 
No, not that kind of starvation...the spiritual sense of flesh...starve that.
Well, how do I do that?  In order to do that I must know what "feeds" my flesh
-Music
-Television
-Reading
-Social Media
on and on...basically anything that I do, out of pure satisfaction of myself...
 
Now, let me clarify, that I am NOT saying these things are wrong...I am in a particular process for a particular outcome and feel that most of these things will be re-introduced into my life...maybe not, we'll see. But since I am trying to "kill my flesh", a drastic thing, I require drastic measures. {Think alcoholics and how some can return to even having social drinks and others, can never be around it...again, we'll see}
 
So, I will keep my blog up, as it's a place for my to glorify the Lord through sharing what I learn. 
-So far, the "cravings" have been minimal, surprisingly.
-Have noticed HUGE spiritual warfare, as my flesh is reacting to the starvation...Spirit is beyond strong though and God is faithful.
-So excited to see what is revealed as the death takes place...
Curious what your thoughts are....(if you're reading this on FB or Twitter, I won't be there, so please leave a comment on my actual blog)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Explained but not defined

My heart is in turmoil right now...conviction and grace are swimming all over me, and that makes for an odd mix of heart beats.  As a woman...I am always struggling with things like, the ever present temptation to gossip, judge and self righteousness.  As a wife...I am always struggling with security, unconditional love both received and given and self lessness.  As a mom....I am always struggling....period.  Seriously, those who have had the privilege of knowing me long, know that motherhood is not in my bones...nurturing doesn't come easily.  But I am having to remind myself of a mantra that the Lord downloaded to me several years ago...one that is life changing...if I let it be.

Explained but not defined.

My weaknesses in parenting, the lack of natural ability...explain my struggles, but don't define me as a mom
My INTP Meyers-Briggs report...explains how I tick, but don't define who I am
My insecurities and struggles with identity...explain my response, but shouldn't define my attitude.

You, see, I've come to realize that the only thing, the ONLY thing that defines me is Christ.  The only thing that can redeem the negative qualities in my life and restore them to usefulness for offering hope, is Christ.  That even thought there are chapters and chapters of my life, they don't have to define the life I have yet to live.  I mean, I got a doggone tattoo to remember that...I guess I knew why I needed to see that everyday to be reminded of it!!!

Nothing, bad parenting, weight gain and loss, impure thoughts, a wicked tongue...nothing can separate me from the love of Christ...a love that covers all sin.

So as I sit in a swirling pool of conviction and grace (if you're dying to know, it relates to parenting. I can't stand when people are passive aggressively vague in blogs. I need to love my kids better) I with be introspective in looking at why and what has brought me to this point, I will repent, I will be proactive in moving forward, not dismissing my actions to "that's just who I am and how I work".
God is bigger than that.
Curiously waiting to see what He has in store.

Monday, October 11, 2010

And now...it's rising from the ground...

If you walk past me and I have this "look" on my face...and you wonder, "What is she thinking about?!"  Don't worry, I'm just singing to myself...well not to myself, but my soul and I are singing with the Creator...the Creator of all things, of Beautiful Things.

This past week, Wayfarer had the amazing privelidge to have a suite at Catalyst...you know..Suite 7, check us out next year...ANYWAY...It's always a blessing, a shot in the arm...but this year, the music just overwhelmed me...in whole.  From the opening numbers with the Eminem remake (don't like those, but the did it well and had a beat artist that was...words aren't here for it) to Keyes...to my fave...Gungor.
Side note...been a fan of Michael Gungor for a while, but he has finally found his niche...the new sound of his band is incredible and spot on and annointed. (Beautiful Things is the title of his new album, and one of the most amazing songs ever.)

So this is the song that's in my head, the song that reminds me who God is, the song that makes my soul and I grab hands and spin around in yearning for unaltered communion with the creator.  Be blessed, be awakened, be curious.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Do you love her?

She's not perfect...although the expecation is there.  She smells of imperfection...and grace.  She doesn't always know the direction she's headed, and usually thinks she knows better than she does...luckily her groom holds her hand and gently places his other hand on the small of her back as he guides her...
Starting to sound familiar...it should, it's you...or at least you are part of her (if you're a child of the King)...The Bride that is...

This morning at church our pastor gave a much needed call to order...before he started pluggin small groups and community building opportunities, he realised something...realised that if  don't LOVE the church (meaning Corporate Gatherings) you're not going to LOVE smaller versions of it anymore.  Eventually they will become tainted too...and you'll realise that we are all flawed. 

But more than that, he drove home the point that God LOVES the church...Big "C" small "c"  the argument is old in my opinion, trust me...I've banked on that several times...but reading scripture, and admitting that what Paul talks about is the Local Church...that is what God loves...enough to arrange a marriage between it and His only Son.  He loves the church, you can't get away from that...and with a statement I've heard so many times before, it rang personally to me.

I cannot love the Groom apart from His Bride...I can't, and He won't have it.  Flawed, ugly at times and useless...He loves Her, and so Should I. If "one another" is used 59 times in the NT to instruct us how to do life...apparently I don't have all the answers, nor am I designed to go at this alone.

So, I ask you, do you love her?  Or are you trying to love the Groom apart from His Bride?

Just Curious

Monday, September 27, 2010

let's try this again...

Ahem...check, check...(insert feedback squeal here)....Hi. My name is Courtney, and this is my blog.  Let me (re)introduce this to you.
It's a blog of thoughts...sometime, all my own, sometimes spurred on by others thoughts, and sometimes non-sensical in nature and random in content...but always, authentic and honest.
Let me claryify that I understand that this is not my online journal, nor will it be treated as such.  I also understand that it isn't my online bragbook either. At least of myself, others...well, we'll see what the day brings.
Trying to past at least twice a week, that gets harder as life goes on, but I hate the lack of committment that I have given in the past.
So,thanks for the feedback...it seems that some of you are a little curious as to what I have going on "up there" , and I'm a little curious as to what you have to say about that.  Curiousity may be risky, but it also makes me who I am.  I love to learn, never thinking that I know it all, and always willing to challenge the process.
Let's see where this rabbit hole leads...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Changing things up and Helping me out...

Yes, I know, I've been breaking blog etiquette.  Sorry...life, you know.

So, I read today that a good motivation and accountability in running is to blog about it.  So this is turning into my motivation and running blog.  I will post my playlists, my weekly workouts and anything in between.  Any tips or suggestions are welcome and I look forward to where this goes.  It's hot as TARNATION here, so my runs will be inside on the tready...boo.  I have a triathlon in 2 months, so training for that begins this week.,,,oi.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

INTP

If you know what that is, you have either been in corporate America or a psychology major!  I was neither, so I just recently found this out about myself. 
"Google  it".  So I did and have slowly been working my way through the profile descriptions...it's been interesting, funny, frustrating and well...spot on! 
Over the past year, I have been in recovery...you see, I'm a recovering cynic.  I used to think, and even blame this trait, as an excuse to say and treat people, however I deemed "truthful".  That is so far from the Truth, it's a little nauseating.  So about a year ago, after doing a study on the emotions that God placed in all of us and how although they seem negatve, God can redeem them for His use.  So the process of being cynical into being about Truth in Love...it's hard.  But so needed and honestly I wish a lot more "agents of Truth" would take this journey.  It's must be what it's like for a recovering addict to become so aware and sensetive too, other addicts that they had never seen before.
So I'm back to being an INTP.  Learning about myself.  Realising that the explanations do not Define who I am, but Explain what makes me tick. 
There is only One who defines me...and only He can continually change that defenition.  I am content, truely able to say that, with the defenition I currently have and knowing that He is still refining.  I enjoy the thought of that, not so much the process, but you know...
So I've been blessed with knowledge and tools and people to help me through my Recovery...
What are you, or do you need to, go to "Rehab" for? 
Trust me...I said "No, no, no" for a LONG time.  It's much better on this side.

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's all happening...

...a little too fast.
Life that is.  Seems to be spinning.  Some good, some not so good. 

Camp is here, that means constant work.  Constantly thinking of what needs to be done.  I don't mind it, it's enjoyable work and it's David's "sweet spot".  I love seeing him shine and take charge and lead like no one else.  He truly is one of a kind, and in the camp world...he knocks it out of the park.
Camp also means summer and summer means kids are home...today is the last day of school.  FYI, when your kids hit life in the school year calendar...flies by doesn't even begin to describe it.  The years are a blur, seriously. Summer around here means structure and travel.  We have a structured day or mom goes crazy...not good for anyone.  We travel to PA for a few weeks each summer, and that is always a highlight and memory maker, priceless for my kids to build memories in the same place I have from my childhood.  We also have David's family reunion, in between camps...so that pretty much sums up June!!!

Abiding...has been going well.  I had a slip up yesterday and I was at a point where the lack of action had me frustrated.  I reverted back to the place where I want control and felt that integrity was losing out again.  Frustration...anger...disappointment.  I was quickly drawn back in with the Gentle but Firm arm of Our Father.  and words from some FB friends!! Back into the vine I go, the pruning season is somewhat embarrassing as it seems that all you have done is cut away, as you await the new.  It looks like failure..

We're are homeless...church home that is.  David and I have made some difficult and painful  but healthy decisions for our family.  It's tough, it's no fun, it's lonely.  We feel we have a direction on what we are too look for in a Corporate Worship home...but it's still no fun.  Let me assure you that there is no bitterness. As David said "there was no line drawn in the sand that someone crossed."  So if you want to know gossip of sorts, you are coming to the wrong person. 

So that pretty much sums it up.  Our life is busy, and plentiful and lived daily by faith in our Guide and Provider.  The Shepherd knows what's best for us, I'm still learning how to trust Him.  That again?!?!

So Peace be with you this season.  I will be back when I get a minute, June is about here and we are off and running.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Songs

I am convinced that my life has a soundtrack. 

When David and I were dating he used to get frustrated when we would be driving and there was no talking...he'd ask what I was thinking about..."nothing, I'm just singing in my head".  He'd roll his eyes, not believing.  Now, he's a believer and he enjoys the silence a little too much, the tables have turned and the "song" in his head usually begins with a "W" and ends with an "ayfarer".

All that to say , I truely hear music in my head all day.  I used to think I'm crazy, but now I know that is just a way the Spirit speaks to me.  It encompasses emotion, literal meaning and complex artistry all in one.  I guess you could say it encompasses me.  (And no, it's not all spiritual music, God's not that small).

So songs, they mean a lot to me.  They are the easiest way for me to convey my thoughts and emotions (just ask the people in my life who have recieved mix-Cd-that's sad- from me rather than a letter or speech)
It is one of my most favourite things to do.  Search out artists, shop on iTunes and read lyrics and the stories behind them.

And yes, you don't even have to ask, I have the music for my funeral all picked out.  It changes every couple years, but a few remain...they keep me focused and aware that when I leave there will be others left who knew me.  I hope they knew me well, and speak well.

So what is your song list? What would be the soundtrack of your life? Here, is my current:

Mushaboom
Ice Cream
American Boy
True Love
Paper Planes
You and Me
Hello Lord
I like to Dance
Fragile
The Way I am

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wagons and such

I've fallen off...and they've moved on...I'm waiting for the next.
Take your pick, you name which "wagon" it is and I feel like I am just watching drive off into the sunset!  Health, Exercise...blogging.

I apologize for my lack of responsibility.  If I'm going to have a blog, I need to keep it up.  If any of you are still out there. Thanks.

So, as I climb back onto the rickety car and rejoin the wagon train, I will try and be concise and fluid as I share where I am.

I am at a place that if not careful, I could stay forever.  A place that I think has gotten many people in trouble, if not handled correctly.  A place of Abiding.  As in, when the branches are being pruned, they abide in the vine.  It is blissful, restful, beautiful...it's full.  I wonder, and understand the struggle, how the Israelites returned to work after taking every 7th year off.  Although, with my personality, I guess I will be itching to get back at it.  But for now, I'm enjoying my Sabbath.

The other morning in my place of meeting (sounds important, it's my new hammock out back, I'm a creature that loves ceremony) I had the strangest experience.  I was reading my Bible, and the spirit told me no..."ok, so not that passage, I'll read the next".  no. Put it down.  Seriously, put down the thing that I am trying so hard to instill back into my daily life?  But it was clear as day, almost audible.  "Stop trying to learn me and just BE with me.  I'm relational, I love you, I'll tell you all you want to know."  I was shocked, excited and humbled.  I go about life, trying to learn, I'm a Berean at heart. Those are great things, and part of what makes me, well, me.  But during this season, God has really showed me that I can't do ANYTHING while abiding.  That's the whole point.  (and yes, I do still pick up my Bible each morning, but for different reasons)
It's hard, but in the midst of pruning, a love like no other time shows through.  A protection and trust is shown while all the things that have become dead and fruitless are cut away. 

I've also learned that in the pruning time, if you try and produce fruit...it will whither away...rather quickly.  I'm not meant to produce anything at this time...such revolutionary thinking in this American-Christian society.

So, my posts may be rather bland, one sided and well...less "Courtney"...but what my prayer that you see now, is My Love.  He is who should shine through, for you see, there is not much of me now, I'm being pruned.

Peace be with you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Story

I know, it's been almost a month...really...how did that happen?  I write this post, a little fevered, a lot feeling really ill and mostly dumbfounded.

In the past 24 hours I have read two books on genocide.  People who know me well, will smirk a little at this.  Yes, I submerge myself and can read books quickly when I want too...and yes, tragedy is my favorite genre, and if it is a TRUE tragedy, I eat it up.  These two genocides are 40 years apart from each other, on different continents, written by two people who are nothing alike...and yet, the similarities are frightening.  The first is the book Night by Elie Wiesel which is his first hand account of the Nazi takeover.  Being shuffled from camp to camp, in his shockingly refreshing honesty (much like Manning's) it drags you through the stench of emotion that we dare not even imagine.
The second is Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza...words cannot describe this book.  This heroic woman recounts the life she LIVED during the Rwandan holocaust...to say she is a hero of mine, is an understatement.  The cursor blinks as I think of words to type...

So in the midst of these two books about God, questions, humanity and evil...I found my worldview once again being opened.  As I sit and realise that we all have stories, issues and tragedy...I see the questions that these people asked in thier situations that I couldn't even point pictures too at times, the very same as mine as I seek God's counsel about daily situations.  Lies are lies.  The devil only has that trick...fear, doubt, irrational thinking...it's all about lies.  Whether it's a lie that a certain people group is inferior to you and God would rather them be dead or that You aren't worth loving and no one really likes you.  We all fall prey to the lies...

What is even more exceptional is that freedom in all these situations is also found in the hope of the truth.  How these two people found hope at all is a miracle, but the fact that I find hope is too.  I love finding people with scars who are not ashamed of them, realise that God thinks they're beautiful and has shown them a way to use them.  Our scars are our stories and our stories change lives.  Don't hide your scars, take the oversized sweaters off and surround yourself with people who love you scars and all, and let the world gawk and stare...then someone will be brave enough to ask a question...which in turn you have the opportunity to answer...and thus a conversation is born...

Get these books.  Left to Tell is my recommendation if you can only read one.  Find courage in their stories...and share your own.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Definitions..

**sorry for the typos...kids mean a quick type**

let me start by saying that I have set myself up...promises of new and exciting thoughts, well written statements, timely posts...well, motherhood has called and called and now I have shut the door and locked it, and am not answering the calls for a bit. (Literally and figuratively).  As well as now wondering if this writing will be worth the fanfare it has been given.
These thoughts are not new, they aren't exciting. If you've been around me this past 6 months you've probably heard them...but it something else to put it in writting.  To stake claim in them and allow the scrutiny and questions to flow.  I am there. Tired of candy coating and not stepping on toes. This is where I have landed.

Again, if you are any part of my life, you are aware of lots of changes.  Changes at Wayfarer, changes at church, changes in our personal lives (this shockingly isn't the major catalyst).  And the awkwardness of it all is that it is so intricately interwound that it gets blurry, grey, and well mis represented at times.  This is not about that persay, but about me voiceing where I stand on an issue that seems to be all a buzz and all over. Healing...(again it isn't such a different topic if you are in the daily ins and outs).

Healing is part of my spiritual DNA.  I was raised to believe in it, taught to know it and led to expect it.  I have seen all of these things come to pass too. People healed, released, filled and overflow.  I also know that it can be done apart from God, for things other than God's Glory and by manipulative people.  But as the pendulum has swung back and forth, it has landed in what I have come to accept as center, for me at least.

All of this came about as I have wrestled to answer questions of others as well as my own, on my thoughts of a movement of the Holy Spirit that is, without question, here in G'ville.  So, as I sing and pray and whisper the same words as people around me: "I believe that you're my healer...nothing is impossible for you..." I can't help but wonder if we are singing the same thing.  Bold I know, I'm willing to be alone on this...

I have come to realize that as I do believe and know and expect healing, the definition may be different.  See for some, I believe healing is defined as deliverance.  God ridding our lives, cities and circumstances of anything other that what He.  Yet, I have come to find that the character of God (through Jesus) is one that doesn't promise that, in fact at times promises the opposite.  I believe that healing is defined as deliverance and/or redemption.  We don't know why deliverance may or may not come to us...but redemption is ALWAYS promised.  If we pray "healing" over people and only use language that elludes too deliverance, what are people to do if the deliverance never comes.  Where do they land?  What is their faith in? 

On that subject, I am currently digging into Faith and Healing...Jesus says by your Faith you have been healed ( and other times, the person had nothing to do with it.  He just wanted to prove something (see Him healing on the Sabbath)).  But faith in what?  Faith that He could heal them, or Faith that He was the Son of God?  Really digging into that one.

So again, I know this isn't crazy or out there or awe inspiring, but I felt as though I needed to say it...more so type it.  I stand on the side of Healing...but my definition is much broader than you may think.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Proud Mama...

Yesterday we decided to include the whole family.  We decided to take a step of faith and let the older boys accompany us to Ash Wednesday service and see how they would recieve it.  We also decided to invite them to fast from something for Lent.  Of course the initial responses were quite, well...amusing.
Logan-"Meat, no, any food but vegetables...yeah and only water to drink"
Eli-"Broccoli...and save all my vegetables for 5 days and give it to people who don't have any"
Brennan-"School..."
Millie-"Where's my Paci?"

So, as good discerning parents we told them to pray about it during service and listen to what the Lord was telling them to give up.  Remember it's 40 days, and it's a sacrifice.

So after they did a great job during service, and complained a little about how strong the wine was and compared ashes on their foreheads, we told them to let us know when we tucked them into bed what they heard the Lord ask them to give up.

Logan...Sweets.  After David explained that's all candy and Ice Cream, he teared up a little and said okay, he'd do his best.

Brennan...DS. He told us that he knew it would be hard, but he'd try.

Eli...still Broccoli (he doesn't eat Broccoli by the way, so as I told Rhodes, you can only give up something you'd been doing prior) We'll search that a little more today.

I am so proud. David said as we went to bed last night "we've done a good job with them".  I'm not saying this to brag, but every now and then in the midst of the chaos and feeling failures and that our kids are going to end up in Juvey, God gives us moments of the big picture.  Moments their hearts shine through and their character shows.  As parents we need that, we need to give our kids more opportunites to show that.

Isaiah 58:1-12 was one of the readings last night and the crux of Father Rob's message.  It was wonderful and freeing and enlightening.  Read it, if you are celebrating Lent or fasting at any point, it's so good.

We are also following Mars Hill's Lenten calendar as a family, and it is so good too.  The theme of it is Fasting-from and Living-to...the two are meant to go together...so good.

So as a proud mother and gracious child, I encourage you today, to live well. 
Peace be with you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Heartbeat...

Pulse...rhythm...movement...

Ups and downs...unsure...never knowing the "for sure"

All of these words, are, in some way, encompassing our lives right now.  It's exhausting, it's faith building, it's stressful and it's life.

Literally, life. David came home yesterday and said that it was an "up and down day".  I said "Good, that means there was movement".  When the movement stops...you flatline...no life.

Sometimes we wish we could live on the mountain tops, sometimes, we feel that we can show our gifts best in the valleys, but without both, we're stagnent. 

Movement...hearbeat...life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dig in!

That has so many meanings for me right now!! 
1.) It means that I am eating some pretty "salted" words that I claimed a little less than a year ago.
2.) It means that I need to stop complaining and just do it
3.) It literally means "dig my heels in"

Sigh...so a few weeks ago, the night of the Earthquake, Kim's birthday and an emotional bonding moment...I agreed to run, with my friends.  The 4 of us (Reichley and Rhodes clan) promised to run the...gulp...wait for it...Spinx Marathon this fall.  That's right 26.2.  Not only am I running 13.1 AGAIN, i'm doing it AGAIN AND AGAIN! 
So, my friends took advantage of me in a vulnerable moment and we made a promise to do something that I really don't want to do, nor do I think it is at all possible!  So next week starts my Hal Higgy (thanks Anth) 30 WEEK training program.  No, don't worry, I won't peak out too early, it starts at  1.5 miles.  So, I think I'm safe.
Yes, I'm about to throw up just typing about it.
Digging in...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Moving

I've been accused before, of needing to live in chaos.  Of moving from tragedy to tragedy, my own or someone elses.  These were right accusations.  I have learned how to function best in the midst of calamity. I know the God of that, my strengths shine brightest in that, I am COMFORTABLE in that.  It gives me a sense of meaning, of achievement, of fulfilling my passions and well, keeps my mind working.

Now, this isn't all bad, if I may expound on the positive points for a few, it's a bit theraputic. There is something ingrained in us Taggarts to get something done.  When someone has a need, we do what we can. And if there is something we can do, we do it...and then some.  We were raised well, and this something that I proudly share with my brother, sister and parents. Because I know God inthis "season" I trust God in this season.  This is the foundation for it all. 

But, because of the positives, and they are good, I have a tendancy to jump from trial to trial. To try and "live" in the midst of them.  I have never been one to run from conflict, but I have realised that I do often run TO it.  This isn't healthy, for anyone.

The past 9 months, our family has gone from storm to storm to storm, etc.  It's been tough, it's been character building, trust instilling, life changing stuff.  But it's been left wide open...all the storms eventually became a tsunami (that's what happens when you cannot or refuse to find closure in something).

But (yes there is a but) as I lay in bed Saturday night, with my exhausted husband in our bed, and little Franklin 5 miles down the road in his bed (or at least on the floor of his room) I had this overwhelming emotion.  I couldn't describe it.  I tried to my exhausted husband...I just kept saying, that it felt like he had been gone for weeks instead of 15 hours....then it hit me.  It was closure.  Something I hadn't felt in a long time. It made me realise what it feels like to (as Kim quoted) not just turn a page, but start a new chapter. It was freeing, refreshing and joy inspiring. In a way, Frankie put a seal on the volume of our lives.

I know that closure needs to come for so many other things, but for now, I find rest in the refreshing redemption I have found in this story, being exactly that a story that's moving.  Not necessarily moving on, but it's moving. And movement like a BIG morning stretch or a wonderful Yoga class (not that P90X stuff) makes one feel SO good.

All this to say, I'm moving...away from the calamity, and into a season of wholeness.  I feel it in my bones, I sense a stirring in my spirit that for the first time in a long time says "rest".  Will conflict come...absolutely. Will I search it out, I hope not.  But I'm moving..

Sunday, January 24, 2010

They found a way.

It's early, no one is awake in our house.  It's dark, it's quiet...it is well. The cursor keeps blinking at me, asking for another word, but none come. Indescribable.

The emotional state, that I'm in cannot be summed up in a word, a look, a feeling.  It's a tempest.  Raging as conflicting thoughts and emotions swirl. 

Frankie's home...still laying in his new bed  or maybe, even better, between two people,he calls Mama and Daddy.

Their story, will unfold in the next few days, via news casts, blogs, spoken word.  But the impact, on me, is just beginning.

Frankie's home.  But all of them aren't.

David and the Rhodeses told me about a family that was at the airport in Florida to pick up one of their daughters, a baby girl named Amelia.  But their other daughter, the older Naomi...she didn't make it through.
Jason, her father, is trying to get over to Haiti to find a way to bring her home too.My heart is crying out for them...and so many others. It's hard, the overwhelming joy of a homecoming, and the heartbreak that your daughter is still over there.  We'll find a way.

But Dave and Kim...they found a way. Frankie's Home.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I believe...

...nothing is impossible for You.
...You hear our cry.
...You are holding the world right now.
...You are holding Frankie right now.
...You are about to lift Kim and Dave out of their own strength.
...You are protecting Emma and Izzie.
...You want Frankie home.
...You will show yourself greatly.
...You already have.
...You care,love and hold us.

Prayer is not our only option it's our best option.

Peace be with you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Truth...

...I'm hungry for it, I believe there is Freedom in  knowing it, we need more of it, can be manipulated.

These past 9 months, have been tough, on levels I've never cared to know, in ways that I thought I could handle and with people I never would have imagined.  But, I'm here, I'm not only breathing and here, but I'm better and here.  Struggles, have caused me to seek out Truth.  Caused me to look deeper and find what I know to be true.

That is not an out of character thing for me. I'm a recovering Cynic.  God has redeemed that side of me and made me realise that I am a Berean. (Revelation 2) He is using my questioning to find Him.  So in the midst of the struggles and times of being uncomfortable, I have learned to rejoice, I thank the Lord for these struggles, because they have led me to Him, to finding Him in places, on my own, not because others say He is there or isn't there.  I have learned to Trust my savior who lives in me, MY guide, The Spirit which lives in me.  He speaks to me, loud and clear, and other times challenges my thinking, but always says He loves me.  No matter how long this will take. And other times, He's silent..."go and find out" He says, so I do.  I remember my mom, if I would ask an obscure question, which I did a lot..."Go look it up" she'd say, without even turning around.  So I trekked upstairs to our Encyclopedia Britannica collection and looked it up and learned, at my own pace.

So God is teaching me, the same way my parents did, because He's knows how I learn. funny.  And He has brought to me one of the best teachings that so greatly articulate the frustration and desire within me.  When the energy inside me can't find words to point out what is missing, this man did.  God has crossed my (and my family's) path with his at an exact moment for an exact thing. (It doesn't help these men are British, I'm just saying...God knows me and has a wicked good sense of humour!) 3DMinistries.org...is changing how David and I think and speak and has given us a confidence that is truly from the Lord.  Mike Breen gave a message on Healing that...well, you just need to listen. It articulates a yearning inside me for the whole story, for both sides of the coin...You can believe in Healing and the move of the Spirit and still Find God when it doesn't happen...and maybe, even more so!

I urge you to listen, to listen and listen again. Find Truth in it and search it out for yourself.  God is moving...yes He is. I'm not missing it.

http://www.northlondonvineyard.com/Media/Player.aspx?media_id=28119&file_id=30483

Monday, January 11, 2010

Burning...

"...I'm Burning, and I know I'm gonna blister in these flames. But I'll stay here, until this smoke clears, and you find me in the ashes that remain"

I feel as though, this blog is a Debbie Downer at times.  I'm really not depressed, just aware...curiously aware.  Last night at a fun little social, we passed around Table Topics. David's question was "Do you tend to speak Kindly or Honestly" of course David answered with his honesty that is so uniquely beautiful and said "Kindly"  those who knew me, looked my direction and we laughed as I said "Yes, and I speak honestly"  So that is what this is honesty, hopefully, as I grow in love, with Kindness too.

So, at this little social, some new and exciting things for Wayfarer were discussed.  A new Sunday night Service at the Handlebar.  A partnership with people that can fill in the gaps for what Wayfarer has seemingly lacked in ability to do. And a chance for our family to make new friends...wait, this doesn't look so good to me...

It's tough, moving forward. Feeling like something or someone is missing as you take steps.  It doesn't seem right, but you know you must.  It seriously makes me nauseaous right now, thinking of doing a new venture and missing 4 people.  4 people, that you never thought these kind of steps would be made without.  But it isn't just 4, it's 12!  It's looking at our children as their faces get a little older and words get a little wiser and realise that life is moving, not waiting for what you want.

I told David that closing a wound is often more painful than obtaining it.  I'm one who likes to huddle around my chaos like "a dog at it's food bowl.  'Mine, get away'"  I want to hold onto the pain, anger and hurt, because it means that I can't move on.  I can live in this moment and even if it is wrong, they are still with me.  Holding onto those emotions makes me feel like time has stopped, like there is still something I can do to change the situation.  When I release those emotions, when I let go...I'm closing the wound and letting God heal and saying, there was nothing more I could do. My pride tells me to keep it bleeding, keep trying to fix it, keep feeling. 

But today, through tears, I let God stitch those wounds. I will not rip the stitches out, which means I may have a big white plastic hood around my head, so I can't get to them (not literally of course, but if I'm acting out of sorts, picture that). I will move on. Ahead, as painful as it is, knowing that every time I look at the scars, they will ache, I will be tempted to cut them open again, but by God's mercy, may He move my hand gently away and onto something productive.
So to the 4, if you read this.  It's not goodbye, it's redefining.  It's reshaping the reality that we are now in.  And learning to live and love in that reality.

So excuse me, I have a Doctor to see.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I wanna....

...I wanna, I wanna!!!! (spice girls baby!)

There are so many things I want for this year. To go back to London and take friends with us.(Yeah David, I said it) To have more conversations with my husband. Keep my house cleaner. Hang my clothes up every night. Make my bed every morning. And finish all the other things on my list!

But there is one thing, that I have been trying to do for almost 10 years, and really longer if you look at it a certain way....Love. I was thinking the other night...do I really love anyone? I know that sounds extreme, but I mean, I'm a pretty selfish person, and do I really love anyone more than myself? So I started thinking how would I know? and like the Psalms promise, the words came floating by:
Love is:
-patient
-kind
-not jealous or boastful or proud or rude
-does not demand its own way
-not irritable
-does not keep a record of wrongs
-never glad about someone failing
-rejoices when Truth wins out
-Never gives up
-Never loses faith
-always hopeful
-endures every circumstance
-will last forever

Am I those to the people I say I love? My husband, my kids? Here is what I realize that I have been when I say I love them:
-Conditional
-Easily Angered
-Circumstantially driven
-Expects too much

The list could go on and on, but I don't want to bury myself.
I want to love, as love is truly defined, not what I see the defenition should be. Today I have decided to try a new venture, to love this week. Too love my kids, as Paul says in his letter. Not to yell, not to teach, not to correct...but love. Today, has gone very well. I raised my voice once, and caught myself. Of course there have been moments of discipline or steering, but truly in love. Shocking, I'm happier, my kids are happier, they are behaving and getting along. I need this, they need this. It's time the "expectations" of those around me are set aside. I don't care if you follow baby wise, growing Kids God's way or any other child reering plan. I DON'T CARE! We all do our best, we all fail, but we all love (or at least should). My youngest may not be potty trained and still take a pacifier, my boys may be rowdy and smell like boys sometimes do, but dangit, they will know they are loved.

I will finish that task, before it's too late.