21 August 2009

Not My Gifting...

I can cook and I make pretty cool cakes.
I can write and I'm a fast reader.
And I can organize -- other people's spaces (apparently NOT my own).
But there is one thing that I have not been gifted to do.

Actually, there are a lot of things that are not "my gifting."

I can't sing.
I can't dance.
And I can't paint.
Even when I try reallllly hard and I'm oh, so careful and tape around everything and take my time... it still ends up looking like a preschooler did it.
Painting is not one of my gifts, but that's ok, 'cuz I've got Carole!

My friend -- over at the Wardrobe & the White Tree -- she knows how to paint!
And do you know what's really sickening?
She doesn't even have to tape off first!

Seriously, if you live in the Baton Rouge area and you need something painted (interior, exterior, furniture, etc.), she is the person to call! Check out her video of some of the things she's painted:
She'll Paint ANYTHING.

Look what she did for me:


19 August 2009

What I Did Last Summer...

Now that school is back in full swing, my thoughts turn to my own childhood days when I would begin a new school year.

Everyone remembers the dreaded, "What I Did Last Summer" essays assigned by (I believe) every 6th grade teacher in these contiguous United States. The story lines droned on, swimming together in their similarities...

... a week at Church Camp...
... weekend with my grandparents...
... nothing. Just watched TV...
dotted with the occasional blast of excitement when some lucky classmate would gloat over a family vacation to Disney World or the Grand Canyon.
But those were few & far between.

Too bad my kids are homeschooled.
They would have the coolest essays because this summer was nothing short of life-changing.
My two older daughters had the privilege of participating in Healing Place Church's Summer Student Internship known as Navigate & Saturate.

For almost 8 weeks, they attended classes on dealing with world issues (homelessness, poverty, etc.) and Biblical studies.And they worked hard... serving it up for the community in true HPC fashion!

Some or all of the interns were involved with each of these outreaches:
They held car washes (completely free)
cleaned up & painted a school and playground
visited nursing homes and spent time with the patients
participated in the homeless breakfast outreach (NoPlace)
stood on blazing street corners & gave away ice-cold water
spent an afternoon serving kids of the inner city
& volunteering with VBS.
But it wasn't ALL work. ;)
There was a lot of playtime as well.
Hiking through Tunica Hills
Field Day
Free Manicures
and, let's not forget, Medieval Day!Each day was exhausting and every day was a blast.
I wish I could have done something like this when I was their age.
Beats spending their days at the mall or lounging in front of the tv.
Best of all, they can't wait to do it all over again next summer.

Students Serving
THIS is the future of HPC!

11 August 2009

Something Bigger Coming...

Yesterday, I met with two very dear friends who also happen to be writers.
We have made a commitment to one another to hold each other accountable, to pray for one another, and to support one another through this crazy process of writing and publishing our books.
I always come away from our meetings refreshed and enlightened and highly motivated to write.

One of these friends is going through a time of testing as changes she didn't anticipate begin to take place. As she sat sharing her concerns with us, I had a very clear glimpse of what God is doing in her life... It seemed fairly obvious to me that He is moving things around -- shifting her responsibilities and priorities -- because He is about to do something bigger.
Much bigger.

While she was fretting that the impending changes were ominous for her "vision," it suddenly became apparent (to me) that the opposite was true.
These changes would actually make it possible for her dream to become reality!

And then it hit me:
How often do I do the same thing... worry about something that isn't going like I planned only to later discover God's hand was in it all along?
Why is it so hard for us -- for ME -- to remember that God sees the bigger picture?
He knows what lies before us and He sees the path's end even while we are still very near its beginning.
Why can't we trust Him with the vision He has given us?

I am speaking more to myself here, than to my friend.
While encouraging her with these very words, I felt a nudge in my own spirit.

When God gives you a vision -- a task, a mission, a purpose -- your only concern should be obedience to that task.
But so often, we take the burden upon ourselves of making the dream a reality.
This was never part of His plan, yet we act as though "if I don't do it, nobody will."
We forget that God is in control and no matter what obstacles the enemy places in our path -- as long as we are faithful to what we have been given -- God will bring it all to completion.
It may not be in the time we allotted and it may not come about just as we envisioned, but if it is truly from God, He will make it happen.
When we come across detours or roadblocks, we shouldn't falter. Perseverance and unwavering trust should be our standard response.

I write this here as a reminder to myself the next time I start to worry and fret about writing my book proposal and sending those query letters... it's not my job to publish this book.
I have only been given the task of writing it.
It's up to God to do the rest.