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Archive for January, 2011

Keepin’ It Real Monday

I have spent alot of my married life not keepin’ it real.  I’ve plastered on the happy smiley face and said the right things, showed up to the right events, but not been real about my struggles.  I have been working diligently to change that about me…I have.  I’ve been cleaning out the proverbial “closets” and sweeping down the cobwebs, slowly but surely…

So today, it’s going to be Keepin’ It Real Monday for me…

I feel very defeated today.  I feel like every time I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I get hit by yet another train.  I’m worn down, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I know that I am under attack, I’ve prayed against it, I’ve had others pray for me, but it doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon. 

I’m hearing lies…I’m hearing that I’m a crummy mom these days because I haven’t felt good and haven’t really been PRESENT for my children since early September…I’m hearing that this baby that I’m carrying (yes, I’m 17 weeks pregnant) isn’t going to make it, that I will never get to hold this baby in my arms, just like the one we lost in September…I’m hearing that I’m a lousy wife, a lousy aunt, a lousy granddaughter, a lousy friend…I’m hearing that I can’t possibly keep this up for 5 more months…I’m hearing that I have nothing left to go around to my friends and family..I’m hearing I should just hide out, alone, feeling sorry for myself….

I know they are lies.  I acknowledge them as lies and I am constantly telling the enemy to shut up, telling him he has no say in my life, but then he comes back and hits me harder.

When I was pregnant with Abby and with Will, I was in a place in my life where it was very difficult for me to be joyful and I’m afraid I’m going down that same path all over again…

So I’m in need of something that’s going to adjust my “eyesight”, so to speak, that’s going to help me see the blessings and joys in my life that God has given me, despite the junk.  I had read about a challenge here to find 100 things that bring you joy over a month long period.  This was back in December but I didn’t do it then. I couldn’t see past the next train in December.  I think February is the month for me – I’m cutting myself 3 days short, but hey – surely I can find 100 things that give me joy in 28 days, right?  Anybody that wants to join me, feel free!  We can compare notes.

And I’ll report back every now and then with how things are going with my 100 things…

Anybody else feel like “Keepin’ It Real” today?

 – Kacey                                                     

 

 

 

 

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Telling Our Stories

I am so happy to share a post with you today from Fran Orson. Fran took a moment to remind us about the importance of sharing our stories with one another. God is able to use our stories to change lives even when we don’t see the results. Here is what Fran shares with us:

It is hard to put into words the excitement and expectancy I feel when I think about what is happening in our church family!  Not ever having been a member of a live church before – it’s a tremendous blessing to be a part of one now!  I see vibrant young couples growing in their faith, hungry for more of God’s ways – loving and caring for each other, sharing their hearts and needs just as God says in His word. I see young families with whole-hearted desires to raise their children in the ways of the Lord. 

When I think of “telling my story” or “witnessing”, I think with much gratitude of the man who told his story in my church in Lamesa many years ago.  That story made me see the empty places in my own heart and made God real to me.  It literally changed my life forever!  I was one of many that weekend who gained eternal life simply because of someone stepping up and sharing what God had done in their lives. 

When we are willing to be vulnerable and share both our successes AND our failures, people see REAL people with REAL issues that they can relate to.  So, I heartily say, “Let’s share our stories and watch God work in and through ALL of us!”  He’s definitely not through with me yet and I’m so glad to be here in this place!
Love,
Fran (Mima)

Please feel free to leave a comment even if it is a simple “I like this!” or “Thanks for sharing”. All comments are welcome!

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And the winner is…

Cathryn ran the random numbers generator this morning…and the winner from Thursday’s – tell us your favorite books – giveaway is…(drum roll, please….) – Sue Parrish!  Congratulations, Sue!  I will be mailing you your very own $25 Starbucks gift card since you live in Umbarger, TX!    Thanks to everyone who shared! 

Now, on to today’s post. 

I wanted to share and tell each you a little bit more about the Women’s Bible/Discussion Groups that will be starting up next week (first meetings – January 31/February 1) – what our heart is in getting those going and how it’s going to work. 

As a women’s ministry team, we have heard again and again that there is a hunger, a need for ways to build community within the women of the church – that women are struggling with feeling isolated.  However, we also hear that time is such a precious commodity, everyone is so busy that no one has time to come to events designed to build that community.  Quite the conundrum, isn’t it? 

Well, we may not be able to solve all of the world’s problems in one fell swoop, but it is our hope that by offering these groups, that those who desire a place to get to know other women of the church on a deeper level and hunger for a safe place to share their heart can do just that. 

The groups will be watching videos – about 30 minutes each – from the BethMooreWisingUp series.  Then the group will have time to talk about what they’ve just heard or whatever else God may be up to at that particular time.  There will be time to share and pray for each other.  What there will NOT be is any homework…there will NOT be a book you have to purchase and read before you come…and if you miss one week and want to come the next, then you will be able to just jump right in without any of the guilt that we sometimes heap upon ourselves for not having completed the lesson or answering the questions ahead of time.  This is designed purely to be a time to learn together and to encourage each other.  Each group should last about 1 1/2 hours. 

Each month, we’ll cover a different topic.  So, if you are interested in one and not the other, then come the month that catches your interest.

These topics are:

February – A Call to Wise Up

March – The Heart of Wisdom

April – A Wise Friend

May – Wisdom for Moms

There are 2 different groups that are going to meet – but both groups will be covering the same subjects each week.

One group will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Monday mornings at the home of Lynn Miller (9202 Pontiac).

Another group will meet on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Fran Orson (4209 97th Place).

Please come join us whenever you can.  There are so many women within The Springs that have so much to offer to each other.  

 

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Giveaway Thursday!

Happy Thursday!!! We have almost made it to the weekend, and to celebrate, we have a giveaway! Just a reminder of how this works. When you make a comment you are entered into the “drawing” for the giveaway. You have from now until Sunday night at 9 AM to get your comment on the blog. If you have any trouble commenting, please contact Kacey or me. You can email us at springsstillwaters@gmail.com. After Sunday at 9 PM, we then use a random number generator to determine the winner.

Today’s giveaway is a $25 gift certificate to Starbucks!

Whether you like it no-fat, with whip, decaf, soy, double shot, triple shot, quadruple shot, shaken, stirred, tall, short, or squatty, you can enjoy a delicious hot drink on the cold days and an iced drink or frappacino on the random spring-like days. I know I’m super jealous right now that Kacey and I don’t get to enter into the givaways. I would so rig this one. Well, I really wouldn’t, but I would seriously consider it for a little while!

The question for you today is: what is your favorite book or the book that has had the biggest influence on your life?

Now you can do this like we did the movies and see if you can keep your list to around five (fewer is okay and if you just can’t contain yourself more is okay, too 🙂 ). Also, I think we can safely assume that if you are reading this blog that The Bible would be on your list, having influenced your life in an important way. Feel free to make The Bible an understood member of your list, and if you feel like you absolutely must include it, put it on there!

Here’s my list:

  • Pride and Prejudice :Love this book!!! It is part of the reason I have always loved English class, and could also have possibly maybe influenced the naming of my daughter, Elizabeth.
  • A Tale of Two Cities: This book blew my mind in the way the Dickens was able to connect so many different character and create such an intricate story. It solidified the idea that I wanted to major in English and be a high school English teacher. Last year, I actually got to teach A Tale of Two Cities–I was in my own personal English teacher heaven!
  • The Screwtape Letters: I enjoy how C.S. Lewis writes this book from a demon’s point of view, very insightful.
  • Little Women: love, love, love! Such a beautiful book.
  • The Anne of Green Gables series: My mom seriously had to come get me out of my room while I read these books because she was concerned I was being anti-social. I probably was, but there is so much “scope for the imagination” in these books. And don’t be surprised if there is a future little Wright with the name Anne (with an “e”!)

Okay, your turn!

-Cathryn

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A Plan

For those of you who don’t know, we have quite a few readers who do not necessarily attend church with us here locally at The Springs, but are connected to our church body in various ways.  One such lady is my sweet sister-in-law, KathyFuston.  Kathy is married to my oldest brother and they live in Waco.  Kathy is an RN and works full-time as a director in the home health field. My brother, Jeff, after many years working in law enforcement, has gone back to school at Texas A&M to get his bachelor’s degree.  They have a son, Seth, who is 21 and stationed in Tucson, Arizona in the Air Force right now, and a daughter, Kati, who is about to turn 18 and is a Sr. in high school.   Kathy has been brave enough to share with us where God is working in her life right now….                                                                                                                                    – Kacey

 

It seems like that it always the thought that comes to my mind any time anything needs to be done or things are changing – “I need a plan…..”

Seems like such a simple thing, but there are so many times that I want to make a plan and I forget to ask God what his plan is or I ask and then I don’t wait for an answer and just push forward with MY plan, not patient enough to wait for HIS plan.

We have a lot of changes coming in our lives in the next few months.

Kati graduates and starts college (my mind is reeling with all the plans).

Jeff graduates and starts to look for a job (more planning).

I want to get back to the panhandle and closer to the family so my job with my company will change ( more planning)…

We have to sell the house…where are we… where do we want to live and yet more planning.

But I realized recently as I stressed and stressed that plans weren’t in place and it is already January and there was yet so much to do and plans to make that I had not slowed down long enough to say “ Father what is your plan”.

I didn’t stop and ask HIM if we were suppose to get back to the panhandle and the family, I just told my boss that was what I wanted.

Jeff and I hadn’t prayed that the right job was out there for him, we just started looking.

Where should Kati go to college? Again I just started planning without asking “Father where does she need to be, what are YOUR plans”

I know that we don’t always get an immediate answer, but doors open and people come into our lives that show us at least a little of HIS plan. A very dear person (who is as bad as I am about wanting a plan) recently opened her bible and the verse that she read was:

Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.

Proverbs 16:1

which she sent to me. I realized at that moment I hadn’t asked GOD whathis plan was for anything that was coming up in my life. I have asked myself why I hadn’t… Did I not want to hear the answer because it may not match my desire or was I just too busy making the plan to stop and ask?

 I am still not sure of all the reasons, but I have since then stopped and asked and tried to let to and let HIM be in control (not an easy task). I have no idea at this point where we will be or where Jeff will work, but I know it will be okay no matter what.

So many of us as women need a plan, so many things we are juggling, but how many of us stop to ask God what his plan is and stop and wait for the answer?

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Encouragement

Good morning! Please feel free to send anything you would like to share with the women of the Springs to springsstillwaters@gmail.com. We would love to hear whatever you have to say!

I just want to offer you some encouragement today. I’ve been reading from Daily Light for Your Daily Path each morning. It provides scriptures that all share a central theme for each day.

January 3 was about God leading us. One of the scriptures came from Isaiah 46:4. “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear, I will carry and will save.” This verse stuck out to me. It’s not one that I had ever noticed before, but it immediately brought peace to my heart.

It reminded me that God is always faithful; he is the constant in my life. Everything else may shift and change, but God is always there. He created me, knows me intimately, and He will be there to bear me, carry me, and save me. Wow! This is a powerful promise, and I believe God fulfills His promises.

I hope this encourages you wherever you are right now in your life. Rest in the truth that God is there whatever you may be facing. He will bear your burdens, carry you when you can’t go on and save you from evil.

-Cathryn

Comments are open to any thoughts you might have.

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Worship

So Pastor Phil started a new sermon series yesterday – not sure of the exact title but it centers around 2 themes – Worship & Witness.  He spent yesterday teaching us scripturally what worship is – what it means to worship in spirit and in truth.

So, today, I’ve got worship on my mind – what it has meant to me in my life and in my experiences.  Most of you know me as the worship pastor’s wife – which is a true statement – going on 12 1/2 years now.  I am married to an extremely talented musician who has such a heart for God and for worship in a corporate and a personal sense.  I have learned much from him about worship.  However, my experience with worship started much younger than that…

I grew up in a very rural Methodist church in Turkey, TX.  My mom was raised in the Assembly of God church but when she met and fell in love with my dad in college and moved back to Turkey so he could farm, there was no Assembly of God church in Turkey, so they ended up at the church my dad grew up in – the Methodist church.  My very earliest memories in life were of me dangling my feet over the church pew there.

The church was very small…we actually shared a pastor with another Methodist church in another town.  On a good Sunday morning, we might have 25 to 30 in attendance.  The only regular attenders under the age of 40 were my parents and my 2 older brothers.  Needless to say, I got lots of attention from the church body – they were kind, they were interested in who I was and they took the time to invest in me and my family and to teach me about a relationship with the Lord.

I had been taking piano lessons from the time I was 5, being trained classically.  However, somewhere around the time I hit 6th grade, our church pianist, Mrs. Green, and her husband (the song leader) were ready to retire from service in those areas – after 40+years.  She asked me to play for our services.  So there I found myself, at the age of 11, leading worship for our sweet little congregation.  Now, understand, this was a Methodist church.  That meant I picked out the 4 hymns we would sing every week, I played the Gloria Patri,  every now and then “Happy Birthday” when it was someone’s birthday, and the special music for offering time.

However – at that point in my life, this was my first experience with what worship really was.  Up until that point, I had sung the songs out of the Methodist Hymnal.  I had been to church camp and experienced worship there…but it hadn’t sunk into my heart.  As I started playing these hymns, really listening to the words, some written hundreds of years before, God started growing something in me.  And the words became more than just words to me…they became cries from hearts that loved the Lord…and I found myself hungry to cry out from my own heart in my own way without even really understanding why or what God was teaching me. 

About that time, my piano teacher got me a book full of beautiful unique arrangements of old hymns.   I devoured that book.  I anxiously picked a new song every week to play for the offering time…and it became my outlet for worship.  While I knew the words of each of these songs, it was the notes, the music that spoke to my heart…and it was through those things that I began feeling like I was giving something back to God, that I was truly worshipping Him…

As time marched on,  I found myself playing for the funerals of many of those same sweet people who gave me the opportunity to first learn about worship.  But I will be forever grateful that God chose to use them to grow me….they were patient, they were encouraging, and they loved me regardless of how many notes I missed – so in the end, I learned about grace as well.

How about you?  What are some of your earliest experiences or recollections of worship?

-Kacey

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