Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Favorites: Radnor Lake

I've said it before and I know I'll say it again, but Radnor Lake is one of my most favorite places on earth!

It's good for my soul. It's good for my body. I can let go of my anxieties and just feel the stress leaving my neck muscles whenever I go for a walk around the lake. And I love to talk to God as I walk. Just being there in the middle of His gorgeous creation makes me want to praise and thank Him.

I love to go to Radnor lake in every season (although I can't say I've actually seen it much in the winter). Today, the bright green grass and other vegetation along the trail was so vivid, it seemed like it was painted on. And the colors of the blooms on the trees in the Spring and the beautiful leaves in the Fall . . . inspiring!

I'm just so thankful that this treasured place is just a few minutes from my home and my office. It's like a little mini-vacation right down the street!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Prom 2012

I don't think it was ever a question in Daniel's mind whether or not he would go to his high school proms. Since he's a Junior this year, this was his first one. He was planning to go regardless of whether he had a date, but he decided he would ask his friend Karlee (with whom he also went to the Homecoming dance this year). A group of friends made plans to eat dinner together before the prom and one of the friend's parents hosted them in their home. Some of these kids have been together in school since elementary and middle school days, so it's been fun to watch them grow up over the years.

And just so we can look back on this one day and remember the details, here are some facts about Prom 2012 (I'll get to the pictures in a minute):
  • Location - Marriott Vanderbilt
  • Prom ticket - $60/person
  • Tux rental - $100
  • Corsage - $25
  • Valet parking - $25
  • Dinner - $10/person
  • Memories to last a lifetime - priceless
 I have been thanking the Lord above that I have a son, and that the group didn't decide to rent a limo. That plus the generous offer from the family that hosted the dinner, kept the cost way down.

But . . . it's not about the money. It's about teenagers being able to experience the fun events of their high school years. And Daniel and his friends know how to have good, clean fun, just hanging out together (none of the couples are officially dating, just guys and girls being good friends).

So, without further ado, here are some of the pictures from the night:

Off to pick up his date

The couples

The ladies

The gentlemen

Daniel and Karlee

Having fun

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Favorites: My job

It may seem strange to some people that I would count my job as one of my favorite things, but for me, it's true. I love my job! And today marks the third anniversary of the day I started my favorite job as Office Manager at Grace Community Church!

I always have to give a shout out to my friend, Jennifer, who had a baby and made it possible for me to have the opportunity to apply for the job. She loved the position, too, and had been there for eight years. She helped me learn the ropes before she left and it made the transition so much more smooth! Thanks, Jennifer!

One big reason that I can be thankful for a job that I love is that I have had jobs in the past that were not as pleasant and where I did not feel a sense of "calling" like I do in this job. The "low point" in my resume would be the temporary job I had pulling staples out of documents at a microfiche company (if you don't know what that is, you can Google it). Thankfully, that job was only temporary, and soon after I was able to get a permanent job at a place where I wanted to work.

The path to me having the job I have today began a long time ago when I was still in college. It was the summer of 1987 and I served as a summer missionary in suburban New Jersey, working at a church. One of my main roles was to work with the youth group and by the end of the summer, I was feeling strongly that God wanted me to serve him in full-time ministry. Since I had been working with youth, and loved doing that, I thought that He was calling me to be a youth minister.

The story of why that first inclination never came to be would take too long to tell here, but I know that the other jobs God led me to along the way, as well as the life experiences I had as a wife, mother, and church member, prepared me to be able to serve in the capacity I do today at Grace.

And yes, I work full time. And yes, I consider what I do to be ministry. I may answer the phone and turn away people selling office supplies unsolicited, but I try to do all of the aspects of my job with a heart of service. I love being able to support the work of the pastors and members of Grace and I love that God has given me unique gifts to equip me to do that. And the benefits of getting to work with coworkers who care about me and who appreciate what I do are beyond any paycheck I could receive.

"Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and establish the work of our hands upon us;
    yes, establish the work of our hands!"
Psalm 90:17, ESV 

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17, ESV

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hymn Monday: Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting

The first time I remember hearing/singing this old hymn was on a Wednesday night with friends at Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN. My friend, Cindy, had invited me and our friend, Robin, and our kids to come to her church for a mid-week service. I remember that we sang this hymn and it was so beautiful and peaceful.

Sometime later, after our family started attending Grace Community Church, it was sung in a worship service and has become a favorite of mine. This past weekend, it was used during the worship time at the Spring Women's Gathering (Topic:  "Be Still" from Exodus 14) and then was also a part of our Sunday morning worship. I love getting to sing a favorite song in corporate worship two times in one weekend!

I am in a season of life when I need to be purposefully resting. Not just physically, although that is important, but I need to rest my mind and rest my spirit and rest in Jesus.

Jesus I Am Resting, Resting

Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.

Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.

O, how great Thy lovingkindness, vaster, broader than the sea!
O! how marvelous Thy goodness lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise and have made it mine. (refrain)

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart.
Satisfies its deepest longings, meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings: Thine is love indeed! (refrain)

Ever lift Thy face upon me as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with Thy grace. (refrain)

I hope that the words of this hymn will ring true in my heart, mind and soul and in yours as well.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is risen!

He is risen, indeed!

My dad used to always say to us on Easter morning, "He is risen!" And we would respond, "He is risen, indeed!" The tradition has its origins in the First Century church, when Christians would greet each other with these words. 

It continued into Eastern Orthodox religions and our pastor tells about being in an Eastern European country on Easter Sunday and the pastor of the church where he was visiting welcomed the congregation with "He is risen" and they responded with "He is risen, indeed!" The pastor said it again, and the congregation responded. A third time it was spoken and the response was given. I tried to verify this for certain, but I believe that the reason for the three sayings of "He is risen. He is risen, indeed" is to signify the three days that Jesus was in the tomb.

But He's not there! He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Happy Resurrection Day!