24 May 2013

10, 9, 8...

This is the big weekend!  Our church will have its first public worship service this Sunday! We have been looking toward this event ever since we arrived in Kerrville 10 months ago.  

While the launch of the worship service is very exciting, it's not all there is.  I liken it to a wedding and a marriage.  Sometimes the wedding gets all the hype and excitement and glory.  And then it is over in a day.  But a marriage is meant to last for years and years, to deepen and grow and improve.  

Our first service is like the wedding.  It's going to be celebratory and fun and we'll have a cake and a party afterward!  But what we intend is for our church community to grow in commitment, to deepen in its understanding of the gospel, and to become sweeter and sweeter as God moves in us.

While I am glad that our days of visiting a new church every week are coming to an end, this is really only the beginning.  The school year is ending; our church life is beginning.

May we labor with the energy of God!  May many, many friends come into our midst and learn to follow God with us!  May men and women and children be set free in the gospel of grace, free to be fully who God made them to be!

Here is what our house looks like the week before the church launch.  I have a feeling the back of our van is going to be full of plastic bins for a while here...

All the church stuff you need!  Plates for the bread and wine...and a coffee urn!  
Trays for the cookies, sugar dispenser, fake sugar...Thank you, Amazon!
Our bulletins! These may look familiar to some of you.  And for good reason!  I love our logo.  You should see it in color.  Really pretty.

Bouncy house ready to go for the party after the service!  For what is a church launch without a bouncy house?!

Amazing flowers from Hawaii to celebrate our first service.  My dear in-laws, who are a part of our church, sent these with a card that said, "A King's bouquet for the worship of the King." Love it.
A dear, sweet note from an old friend, coming just in time to encourage me.  Means the WORLD to know that people are praying!  

We all can't wait for Sunday.  I keep reminding myself that even when Sunday is over, we're going to do it all again in six days...with God's help!  Oh, may He help us, guide us, show us how to love our neighbors, encourage us, and may His Kingdom come!

12 May 2013

Five Minute Friday: Comfort

Some of you may know about Lisa-Jo Bakers's Friday link-up called Five Minute Friday.  I KNOW it's Sunday, but I though I would link up anyway. 
The point is to write, unedited, on the given prompt for just five minutes.  This week (or, last week, now that it's Sunday) the prompt is the word COMFORT.  Here goes!

I've been trying to sell this chair and ottoman.  It's not really "me" -- the tapestry upholstery, the huge size, the tasseled fringe.  But whenever I mention it, Lucy protests. Loudly.

You see, when we moved to our house in Arlington, Lucy was just a baby not yet a year old.  And on many a morning, after we had walked the boys to school (or later, after they had left for the bus with Papa), she and I would snuggle in this chair, in the corner of the living room, under that very quilt you see in the photo, and read and read and read. She and I fit right in there together, warm under our blanket.

In fact, when Lucy was a little bitty and she would get overwrought, she would cry out for comfort, "Read books!  Read books!"  Like that would make everything right with her world.  Her thumb, her pink blankie and reading books together in that big chair. 

Now she's bigger.  We don't fit so well in the chair.  And we've only sat in it to read together maybe one or two times since we moved that chair to Texas (where it fits much better than in an 100-year-old New England two-family home!).  Now we read on the sofa or on her bed at night.  But she can't bear the thought of that chair being gone because for her, it represents comfort, being together, being little and taken care of.

I still don't love that chair and ottoman.  But I might have to keep them, just for Lucy.

Five Minute Friday

08 May 2013

What, what what?

Okay, yeah, I know.  I never blog here anymore. What can I say?  It's complicated.

My dear friend, Jody, said that even if I was having trouble writing, maybe I could still post photos.  Great idea, Jody!  You are the best.

So here is a little review of the past two months or so, in photos.

Walter and his best bud, Corey, at the soccer final four in Houston in March.  They came in fourth, but Walter got to play and they had a GREAT season!  We are so thankful that Walter has found a friend like Corey (and others!).

I made hot cross buns on Good Friday.  Baking is therapeutic for me.  First holidays in a new place are hard.  Easter was no exception!
The family Easter photo.  Probably should have shared this before May, huh?  OH WELL!  I'm proud of all these people.
Easter bread.  I don't always make the same thing, but I DO always feel the need to make a yeast bread for Easter, purely for the symbolism!
The tree that my neighbor gave me last fall is so dang useful for decorating!  Easter tree!
In April, our pastor from Cambridge came to town on his motorcycle.  Oh yeah, he's bad.  To celebrate the visit, we invited all the people who once attended our church in Cambridge and who now live in Texas to come to our house!  It was a great, great time.  How cute is this little buddy trying to hold his eyes open on his daddy's shoulders?!
He gave in.  So adorable.
At the end of April, Lucy had her spring orchestra concert.  There she is, front and center.  She has recently become really excited about playing her violin, and it is fun to see (and listen to!).

The biggest thing on our horizon is our church plant is going to launch at the end of the month!  Yes, this month! EEEEEEEKK!  And HOORAY!  All at the same time!  We are excited to be at the point of beginning to worship together publicly on Sunday morning.  Up to now, we have been meeting in the afternoons for Bible study and discussion of our mission, vision and values.  Now we will begin to do REAL church!  Yes!  I truly can't wait for John to begin to preach every week.  I have been missing hearing some Gospel preaching.

In light of the busy summer we have ahead, John and I took a quick overnight trip to Austin last weekend.  We visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and it was just gorgeous.  I do love this kind of landscape, and it shines in the spring!

Did you know Central Texas could look like this?!
I can hardly believe that our children's first year in school in Texas is coming to a close in just a few weeks.  I continue to struggle mightily with culture shock, and am praying that the Lord would make me softer and more mature.  Thank God He gave me a husband who can coach me and help me to see things more gently.  I'm rather fiery if left to myself; I desperately need softening.

God is good, people.