Friday, March 23, 2012

My Mind Is Racing

I don’t even know how to start this post because I have so many things running through my little head.  Every day I am having more and more “encounters” with God and am really, really finding it hard to suppress my excitement.  I guess I’m not sure if I want to say “encounters”.  More or less I am FEELING His love in a tangible way.  I am bursting with things I want to say and share with everyone I meet.  I am astounded at the provisions and blessings He has given to me and my family and am so incredibly humbled. 

I had the privilege of serving as a table leader at our church’s women’s Christian Retreat Weekend (CRW) a few weeks ago and can honestly say that I got more out of serving that weekend than I did the year before as just an attendee.  Not only that, but last weekend the men had their CRW and I had the privilege of serving in a small capacity that weekend as well.  And still, I got more out of serving during THAT weekend than I did at my own CRW! I just can’t explain it.  Being in a serving role is definitely my thing.  I have always liked to serve people – since I was young.  The only difference now is that I serve to glorify Him and His love for mankind – not for my own benefit or to “get anything out of it”.  It is a freeing feeling.  I want to model after Jesus.  When He washed the feet of His disciples?  Mind.  Blowing.  Jesus, the ultimate authority, THE KING, lowered and bent Himself to. the. ground. to serve some of those who would betray him! And He KNEW they would betray Him!  Seriously, I have no words to describe my complete awe.  I think that the act of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is symbolic in so many ways.  It is symbolic of the cleansing and washing of our sins.  Only through Jesus can we be cleansed of our sin, and He prompts us to wash the feet of one another, to bring others to Christ by showing them love, compassion, kindness, and love and forgiving their sins (even for those who have betrayed us). He washes their feet so they would be cleansed of their sin and so they could know Him.  Sounds a bit like a baptism, don’t you think?  Basically to “carry on” His teaching and His love. If you want to read up on this, read John 13.  I don’t even know how to say all of this without confusing anyone or to state clearly exactly what I want to say because I have so many ideas running through my head.  I am just so thankful to be able to hear Him and see Him in my life because for far too long I was in darkness.

I love Easter.  I always have.  Maybe because daffodils are my favorite flower and they bloom around Easter.  Maybe it's because we used to get chocolate bunnies with the crunchy eyes (we always liked the hollow bunnies WAY better than the solid bunnies!).  Easter has a whole new meaning for me now that I walk with Christ.  And I plan to carry on His word and truth, His light and His teachings, to our kids.  It's not about the bunnies or the cute little chicks and lambs.  However, have you made the connection between symbolic Easter lambs and "The Lamb of God" who is JESUS??! Society may try to push God out of our schools and buildings, but most don't know that He is still permeating our culture!!! Ha!  Take that world!  The other night we made “Jesus’ tomb” with dirt, a small planter, grass seed, some rock, and some twigs.  I got the idea off Pinterest (if you don’t know what Pinterest is, I advise you not to check it out unless you want to be sucked into a time-sucking black hole).  Here is a picture of what it should look like when it starts to grow.

If you are like me and need something concrete to show concepts, watch this video.  I never understood exactly what it is God did for us by sending His one and only son, THE LAMB OF GOD, to earth.  This video is indescribable at explaining that concept.  (disclaimer: tissues not included). 

If you do not have a church to call home and are curious about a relationship with Jesus, give me a call, send me an email, get in touch with me somehow!  I love talking about Jesus and His unending love for us.  If you have questions that I don’t have the answer to, I know of A LOT of people who do!  :-)  Some days I wonder what took me so long to finally cement my relationship with Jesus, but then I realize that everything happens in His time, when He knows we are ready.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


"Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will.  Then you will receive all that He has planned." Hebrews 10:36

Today marks the end of a 6-week long journey (which started 4 1/2 years ago!) through surgeries, body casts, loss of independence, and immobility.  Today Nora gets her cast off!!!  Many of you are not familiar with hip dysplasia, but if you pregnant or having children, your baby will be checked at birth for it - all babies are.( We found out before I was even out of the delivery room four and a half years ago, that Nora had something wrong with her hips.  She has run the gammut of harnesses, surgeries, body casts, and braces.  I am convinced that God created Nora with her "disability" for a reason and a purpose - to teach her compassion, strength, and courage.  She has dealt with it more maturely and more courageously than most adults would - she ASTOUNDS me.  She truly is my hero.

..........Continued from yesterday......

Yesterday we had the pleasure of taking Nora & Archer down to Iowa City to get Nora's cast off.  She was so incredibly brave!  After about 30 minutes of "sawing" and "cracking" the cast off...she was finally free!  But we weren't able to let her walk just yet - they needed to do x-rays to make sure the surgery did as it was supposed to.  After x-rays we reviewed them and talked with Dr. Dietz.  Hesitantly, we asked if the surgery was successful and if she will require more surgery.  His reply was that the surgery was successful, but that he can't guarantee that she won't require more surgery - but he is very optimistic that this will be it for now!  Praise God!  It was so, so comforting to be able to hold Nora close to me again.  I have missed that, and so has she.  Last night we spent the night cuddling on the couch, just me and Nora.  She is happy to be out of her cast, yet she's a bit tentative.  She still can't walk (without support) and has trouble lifting her legs, but Dr. Dietz said that she should be back to her old self hopefully within two weeks.  We thought we were going to be able to send her back to daycare today, but she just doesn't have the strength and can't walk yet, so Grandma Hurst gets to stay with her in the mornings and I get to stay with her in the afternoons!  I LOVE my time with her!  I was so sad on Tuesday when I thought it was our last day together.  I took her to Happy Joe's for lunch and then for a walk (in her wheelchair, of course!) on the Heritage Trail since it was so nice out.  I have so thoroughly enjoyed our special time together - it has reminded me of the special one-on-one time I used to have with my Grandma Gaul on the farm, which I SO fondly remember.  I hope Nora remembers this time together with me just as fondly <3

I want to take this opportunity to thank EACH and every one of you for your support.  You will never know how much it has meant to our family for the meals, cards, time spent, and most of all prayers.  We are humbly blessed to be surrounded by amazing people.  Thanking God today for His many, many provisions! We. Are. Blessed.

 In the Elevator on the way to Nora's appointment!


 See ya stinky!!!