Monday, March 30, 2009

Heart Breaking

OK, I've shared with you before how much I love teaching my kindergarten/first grade class at church each week. My class is precious. And the Lord is fulfilling the love I have for teaching through this opportunity. So, I have the best of both worlds. I can stay at home with my babies, and still teach and make a difference.

For the past month now, I have been struggling to bring my class along. We just haven't been progressing in our scripture/memory work, and I couldn't figure out why. So, last week, I decided to implement a reward system, using stickers, balloons, and small toys, like the ones you'd stuff in party favor bags. I brought in my prize box tonight and a chart. I explained to my class that they have a chance to get a prize from the prize box each week if they bring their Bibles, their workbooks, wear their vests, and know their memory work.

I was suddenly slammed with the realization of why we haven't been progressing. Six children in my class tonight told me they don't own a Bible, nor does anyone in their household. SIX! I was shocked! and heartbroken. This is just something I have taken for granted. Part of that is from growing up in the Bible belt. Faith is a part of the culture. It's a way of life down there. I promise you, even the non-church going folks have a granny who owns a Bible. Maybe that's a large presumption for this day and age, but, I truly never considered this to be a possibility. I thought I was merely re-iterating and re-affirming in their little minds what they were already learning and getting at home.

Needless to say, each of the children will have a Bible of their own by the next time we meet. This just makes me realize how lucky I was growing up. Thank you Lord for parents who raised me in the church, gave me a Bible, read it with me and taught me about you. I mean no family is perfect, but I am so lucky -so lucky. Lord, help me in all that I do with them. Help me to love them and show them who you are.
~Blessings my friends!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ponderings of my Heart

Hello my friends. I know, it's been a while. I'm sure most of you thought you'd all but lost me. I have been in kind of a hibernation of sorts. Getting sick slowed me down enough to realize that God was trying to get my attention. He took this opportunity to point out that I need to do a little Spring Cleaning.

So, I hop right to it, not stopping long enough to listen fully to what He had to say to me. Just ready to get back on track. "Yes, Lord! You're right, I need to lose all the distractions and get back to what you have for me. (Thinking that I already know what it is He has for me. ~Silly me.)

I have to say, in my defense, that for a little over a year now, we have kinda had a theme going, in our relationship, God and I. Like Peter, the Lord one day turned to me and said, "Tiffany, do you love me?" And of course my answer was, "Why yes Lord, you know that I love you." And He said, "We talk a lot about love, you and I." .....And in all honesty, love has been an on going conversation with us for years. It usually involved a lot of questions and pleading on my part, all out of what was my little understanding, or should I say miss-understanding of Love.

With my parents, friends, in relationships, Yes, even in my marriage, the cry of my heart was "I just want them to love me! Please God!" What I was really saying is I want them to approve of me, support me, encourage me, care for me, protect me, to never disappoint me, and to never ever leave me. That's all. Why is that asking for too much. I try to love them in that way. I try very, very hard. But, it's never enough. Why is it never enough, Lord? I don't understand.

"Maybe, it's because you're looking for love in all the wrong places. At least the kind of love you're talking about. The security you're looking for...that un-yeilding, un-ending love can only be found in me. ........It's like the light suddenly came on. I don't know why I hadn't seen it before.

"I've tried to tell you." -You have, I said. "Yes, baby girl! You were just always too busy talking to listen to what I was trying to say to you." A lesson I'm still obviously trying to learn. Fast forward to last year, and we're back at the question. His question. "Do you love me Tiffany? -I mean really love me. Not just honor and obey, but love me, the way you desire to be loved. (....long pause...) "I want to Lord, but in all honesty, I don't think it's ever been that intimate." "Let's change that," He said. And so we did.

Now fast forward to last month, a.k.a. Spring Cleaning. So, I'm busy running about getting my house in order, and He has to gently slows me down enough to let me know that while this is a good thing I'm doing, it's not exactly what He had in mind. I was referring to dusting out some of the dark places in your soul. Maybe even get in the garden and do a little pruning and planting. We need new growth. You spent last year getting to know me. We focused on intimacy. And while that is a journey is never ending, I have something more for you.

It's time for you to trust me. No matter where I lead you, no matter what I ask of you, you need to trust me. Even if you don't understand, and even if every fiber of your being and emotion you have wants to resist, just trust me.

So, this year's theme is Submission. It's been a little scary already and ever so slightly uncomfortable, but I'm growing and learning. And nothing is better than where He wants me to be, and what He wants me to be. And to know that I made His heart smile. I'll share more later. I'm in the middle of a big test right now. There will be lots to come....Stay tuned! ~Blessings all around!

You Are Blooming Flowers

You are an optimistic person by nature. In even the darkest times, you are hopeful about the future.

You feel truly blessed in life and can sometimes be overwhelmed with emotions.

You have an artist's eye. You are always looking for beauty in the mundane.

You have a good sense of aesthetics, especially when it comes to shapes and color.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Your Shamrock Says You Are Wise

You are well balanced and good at taking charge. You have good judgment.

Sometimes you take on too many projects at once. You get stressed out rather easily.

You don't really consider yourself a lucky person. In your view, people create their own luck.

You are traditional, easy going, and appreciative of the simple things in life.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm still alive...barely.

Helloooo out there....helloooo out there. It's me. Yes, I'm still alive. I feel more dead than alive, but I'm still hangin in there. I just haven't had the strength to post or read much for that matter. I made it to church on Sunday and felt great. I even took Trey and Anna Grace to an afternoon concert, and then for ice cream. But, it's been down hill ever since. And I thought I was getting over this. Ha! I didn't teach my class this week for Master's club, or have Bible study tonight. Oh, well, maybe next week will be better.

On a high note, both of the children and their families that I asked you to pray for are doing better. The Murrow family is home and the last I heard, little Shawn was off the ventilator, and his mom was getting to hold and feed him. Thank you Jesus! And thank you for praying.

I am suddenly not feeling very well. So, I'm heading to bed. Please say a little prayer for me, if you have a moment. I would so appreciate it. I need to get back to normal. No more of this up down, up down business. I need to be on the mend for everyone, especially my little ones.
Peace, Love -I'm Out!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Playing Catch Up and Prayer Requests

Hello bloggyland! Hope all is well. We have been fighting a horrible tummy flu here at our house. First, the babies had it, then me, and Hugh has been struggling through for the last three days. And I woke up from a nice nap today feeling achy and prickly. So, I'm afraid it's coming back around. Yuck! As, soon as I felt better this last week, I striped the kid's beds, washed their mattresses on both sides, cleaned in between the slats of the crib, wiped down the baseboards and furniture, and vacuumed. I still need to bleach their toys, and get our room done, so maybe Hugh and I can shake this bug for good.

On the up side, we've had the most glorious Spring weather for the last two days. Please Dear Lord let it stay! Where we live we typically get snow through early May. I'm ready for Spring. I'm ready to get out of this house. I missed teaching Master's Club for two weeks and had a very warm welcome when I returned this week. My class is precious. We started with a special snack time this week before we started our weekly session. And I came in to smiles and hugs. I told them how much I missed them, and they said, "We missed you more." I could have cried. It was so sweet. I have a really great story to tell about my class and what all we talked about and learned this week, but I'll save that for a separate post. But, praise God, He is moving in those little lives and I'm just blessed that I get to be a part of it.

I have two families that are on my heart right now. One is the Murrow family here in town, who recently have been visiting our church. They are a family of five, with a new 3 month old. I've invited the mom to our play group, but she's been unable to come so far, due to the fact that they only own one car. I've even offered to pick her up if she'd like, but it just hasn't worked out so far, with sickness and all. Speaking of which, her 3 month old infant son is in Akron Children's hospital right now with severe respiratory problems. They are staying at the Ronald McDonald House there to be close by, because it is very serious and doesn't look good right now. There is also another family from here with a nine month old at Akron Children's hospital. Their son, who has Downs, is also fighting horrible respiratory and RSV problems, right now. Their son's name is Shawn. My heart goes out to these two families. I wanted to share their stories with you, because they are on my heart and I'm lifting them up in prayer at this time. Won't you join me. I know you don't know them, but they need all the prayer they can get right now. And I know our Lord can work miracles in all their lives. So, I'm asking the faithful to pray. It would mean so much.

I don't even know if I have many readers out there any more, because I haven't been posting as often as I used to. But, if you happen upon this post, I don't believe it's by chance. I believe it's because the Lord brought you here, so you could read this post and hopefully stop for a moment right where you are, to lift these two families up. ~Thank you so much friends! I hope we can visit real soon. For now, I'm off to bed. ~Blessings!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009