valentines, snow storm, packing…


HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!  I hope that you have had a blessed day and told someone Happy V-day. 

We have been so busy around here.  We have had lots of snow which has given our kids…snow days!   Phoebe has had fun playing out in the snow and Natalie has enjoyed sleeping in.  I have to admit it has been sorta nice sleeping in and not having to run back and forth to school.  We have had our fair share of sickness and everyone is on the mends, PTL! 

Our church service was so good this morning.  Our pastor has been preaching on Jonah.  Now if you grew up in church, I know that you have heard Jonah and the whale, you know the guy who was disobedient to God, got swallowed by a whale, lived in it’s belly for 3 days, decided to obey what God called him to do, got spit out by the whale and followed through with his assignment.   Well, we have been studying topics like, Running from God, Running to God, Running for God and today was Running Into God.  The main meat of the service was the compassion that God showed Jonah as he sat on the hillside and waited to see what kind of wrath God was going to dump on the Ninevites.  When nothing was done, Jonah got angry with God because he, Jonah,  believed that they “deserved” punishment, even though they had turned from their evil ways.  Hmm..don’t we all act that way?  Do we graciously give others compassion and empathy?  Empathy is entering into another’s feelings trying to understand them.  Compassion is acting on what you discover.  We judge and look at others “deciding” what they should have coming to them or coming up with their punishment in our own heads but never stop to think that we ourselves deserve NO mercy or compassion from God, but because he LOVES us so much HE desires to give it to us!  WHOA…  That is huge!  Just sit with that for a minute.  We hold grudges, get angry, look at others with fogged glasses of judgement, when we should be looking right in the mirror.  What God delivers to us so lovingly is GRACE! 

Our pastor brought up someone who is be so criticised right now..Tiger Woods.  He said that the three words that come after Tiger’s name if googled are, affair, mistress, jokes.  That is sad.  Think of how he feels.  Our pastor said no wonder he hasn’t made a comment.  Would anyone take him serious?  The good news is that Tiger’s wife, Elin, has told him that he has 6 months to get their marriage fixed.  So, as Christan’s, we need to hold that family and the whole situation up in prayer.  That, is just what we did.  The church had pieces of paper that we could write an encouraging note to Tiger and Elin Woods.  They are going to be mailed and our senior pastor, Greg Marksberry, wrote a letter that will be inside the box explaining who we are and what the box contains.  Notes of encouragement and prayers hopefully showing them the love of Christ.  Our desire should be that our lives point to Christ. 

 A  question was posed at the end of service,  “Are we a church that celebrates people, not shaming them because of what they have done?”   We all pray, “God use me”  but do we ever pray, “God change me so that my life points to Christ”  We have a choice to show compassion or shovel out judgement.  Let’s choose the compassion!  (Good stuff huh!)

On another note, we are in the midst of packing to move.  Our new home will be finished in about 5 weeks. PTL!  We are so excited, this home is fully handicapped accessible and will make taking care of Natalie so much easier.  Plus she will be able to be completely involved in all family activities.  She will be able to go upstairs to the bonus room and downstairs, to what will eventually be called the family fun room once it is finished (although, Elliott wants to call it, The Man Cave).   God is so awesome and faithful.  We feel so blessed!  This has been an incredible journey and we see God’s hand all over this project!   Does anyone out there have any tips for packing and moving?  I so want to just dive in and get things packed but we still have to live in this house.  I have gone through, cleaned out closets and packed things that we don’t use right now.  I guess I just need to go about my days and go with the flow.  It will get packed and we will get moved. 

Well we are preparing for a winter storm.  We are supposed to get 5-8 inches by Monday night.  School is out for Presidents Day, but I am wondering if there will  be school on Tuesday?  Get all this snowing done now than bring on Spring!!

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