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Archive for April, 2011

Rest

Good evening! Well, it has been a very busy day, so instead of my usual morning post, you get the evening edition. I hope it is coherent as it is past my bed time. ūüôā Please remember that if you are getting a nudge from God to share something that is on your heart, send it our way at springsstillwaters@gmail.com or get a hold of Kacey Stevens or myself (Cathryn Wright).

As many of you know, I am a new(ish) mom. Elizabeth turned one year old on April 9! I found myself frustrated recently because I seemt o be overwhelmed on a regular basis and struggling to find a rhythm for my daily life. You’d think after a year, I’d totally have this mom-thing down (insert sarcasm here…I really don’t expect that of myself, but I thought I’d be more on top of it by now.) In the midst of this, my Mom and I were talking on Easter Sunday about sabbath and the need for rest. Not sleep, but rest. I could use some sleep-that is true, but I’ve also realized that I desperately need rest in my day. As my Mom said in reference to an author (whose name I can’t remember…sorry), we need to have time in which we plan to do nothing.

It seems that it would be easy; oh yes, I would love to do nothing, but that might be more of a challenge for me (and probably most of you) than I realize. In a society that is constantly logged in to something and connected 24/7, taking time to rest is a foreign concept. How do we rest? I think people have tried to answer this question before, and that actually can defeat the purpose of resting. As soon as resting takes on a specific agenda with a predetermined goal, can it really be restful? When it becomes another item to check off my to do list and move on from, I don’t think it can truly serve its purpose.

I personally think resting is different for everyone even different for the same person from one day to the next. This last Easter Sunday, my mom and I rested outside under their oak tree on a quilt. It was wonderful. There was a morning a while ago that I sat in our recliner with a great cup of coffee and just sat for a little bit. Again, perfect.

I believe we were created with a need to rest, to recharge, to refill. So however you do, whenever you do, however long you do, think about planning some time to rest. I’d love to know if any of you do set aside restful time, what do you like to do, how has it impacted your day? I’d appreciate any thoughts you have. I’d like to make this a habit now for the benefit of myself and my family, and I’d love to know what the women around me think. I truly value your opinions.

Be blessed and rested,

Cathryn

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Here’s Your Chance!

Last week, I talked a little about one of the many great things that we heard at the Empower Worship Conference was how it was just an important to God to “Love Others” as it was to “Love God”….that we worship and honor Him by loving others.

Well, we have an opportunity to do just that.¬† Misty Rose is about to leave on a 3 week medical mission trip to Bolivia and could use her church body and extended family’s prayers, support, and encouragement.¬† This is something God has placed on Misty’s heart and she will be going by herself and meeting up with a group there.¬† Here’s Misty to tell you a little more about what she will be doing and how you can help:

Saludos (Greetings! In Spanish)! I want to take a minute to tell you about an exciting opportunity I have to serve on a mission trip in Bolivia.¬†On May 6th, ¬†I will be traveling to Cochabamba, Bolivia in South America to work with Hospitals of Hope for three weeks.¬† HOH has a hospital in Bolivia and works with many other organizations serving the community. ¬†As a volunteer with HOH, I will be helping at the hospital and will have opportunity to share the gospel with the patients in Bolivia as well as work with local orphanges.¬† There is a boys’ orphange, two orphanages for infants to 4 years and a teen girls’s orphange that has 16 girls at this time.

Just as we learned what true worship means, sharing our faith and God’s love¬†with others, I have an awesome opportunity to do just that in a place and a way that I have felt the Lord’s leading for some time.¬† I often joke that when I grow up I want to be a full-time missionary.¬†¬†For now, I will learn what that may one day entail for me and my family and get as much practice both here and abroad.

One way you can partner with me in this ministry opportunity is to pray for me. Please pray also for each and every life I will come in contact with. A second way that you can partner with me is¬†with donations and financial support.¬† I am planning on give a dental hygiene demonstration at an all boys’ orphange¬†as dental care is so poor.¬† I am needing¬†40 toothbrushes and 20-40 tubes of toothepaste.¬† I am also needing jr. size girls’ clothing that in good¬†condition for¬†the girls’¬†orphanage.¬† Many of the girls have been sexually abused and a medical student I spoke with said the girls really need to be taught how Christ views them and loves them because they don’t know what that kind of love is.¬† I am purchasing books in Spanish and many crafts to do with my teaching and any financial gifts would be applied to the purchase¬†of¬†supplies, books,¬†and Christian tracts in Spanish to use at the hospital.

 I have placed a box in the foyer at church for the collection of clothings and toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Any monetary donations may be given to Brent or myself.  This next Sunday, May 1st, will be the last Sunday I will be at church before I leave.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Excited to serve Him,

Misty Rose

http://hospitalsofhope.org/

The pictures I attached are ones from the medical student who took a year off of medical school to train at the hospital.

Girls' Orphanage in Bolivia

Girls' Orphanage in Bolivia


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Easter Poem

¬†This morning we have a new guest blogger, Megan Allen, Tammy Bolton’s daughter. She is sharing a beautiful and heartfelt poem about the loss of her brother, Justin. Easter is¬† a time that we mourn the loss of those we love and rejoice that with the resurrection of Jesus Christ there¬†is new hope for us all, and death can no longer hold us captive, but we will dance with our Heavenly Father. Justin had a sweet spirit that is not held captive but still felt and remember by his family and those who got to know him. Here is Megan:
Justin and Megan

My Justin Easter Poem ‚̧

It’s spring so it’s that time of the year

And you know the only thing that I seem to hear

Are the laughing and cheering of kids playing

So for me it’s that time of the year where I lay my head down praying

Wishing I had once again a little brother

His name was Justin, Justin Lynn Bolton

Man I miss you so much, you were like no other

I love you and wish you were home

At least I know you’re not alone

It’s not the same without you here

What had happened to you still seems so unclear

You’d look at me and smile

Your smile used to stretch a mile

When I had a bad day you were the only one that could make me laugh

It was like you were my other half

It had hurt me to see what you had to go through

It hurt me even more because I knew there was nothing I could do

I just wish I could have taken it all away

But all I could do was pray

I pray for you every night before I go to sleep

And every time I think I hear you creep

Sometimes it’s like you’re still here

I look at my door and wait for you to appear

Then I realize you’re not home

And once again I am feeling so alone

I love you so much you just don’t know

No matter what you’ll always be my one and only little bro.

-Megan Allen 

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The Weekend…

Happy Holy Week, everyone!¬† What a START to our Holy Week!¬† I hope all of you had an opportunity to attend at least some of this last weekend’s Empower Worship Conference @ The Springs!¬† It was an amazing time of coming together in collective worship, of teaching, and of just experiencing an indescribable movement of the Holy Spirit…God showed up, no doubt.¬†

So today, for our blog post, I wanted to just reflect a little bit on what I experienced through the weekend and, if any of you want to share, we’d love to hear it!¬† Leave us a comment…

First off, I went into this weekend with probably a little bit more info than the average bear.¬† My husband has lived and breathed this event for the past couple of months.¬† Having said that, I was VERY excited about what was going to happen and anticipating the worship music and the teaching. I knew God had put this in Dallas’s heart and that He was going to move in a crazy way..but, honestly, there was a part of me that was also already ready for it to be over before it even began.¬† I was weary of being a single-parent while Dallas was at all of the rehearsals and planning meetings, etc.¬† And, let’s face it….being 28 weeks pregnant, I’m just plain tired these days and a little bit hormonal.

Anyway, I had also heard lots of stories about Scott Bottoms (our speaker for the conference) throughout our married life…but my only previous opportunity to meet him was on our wedding day.¬† Scott was a groomsman in our wedding.¬† I met him and his wife¬†and kids¬†the day of the rehearsal, but we didn’t really have any opportunity to do more than just say hi to each other…UNTIL after the wedding, when we were taking pictures.¬† My photographer got it into her head she wanted a picture of just me and the groomsmen…ok, whatever.¬† I did whatever she told me.¬† I didn’t care.¬† I was MARRIED!¬† ūüôā¬† Well, cutesy photographer decided she wanted me to sit in the lap of one of the groomsmen for the picture and she picked Scott – the one groomsmen I did not know.¬† Yep, awkward….so, I may not have had a deep conversation with Scott prior to this weekend, but I did have to sit in his lap for a picture in my wedding dress!¬†Nice, right? I wonder what Linda thought of that…

But I digress…the weekend.

First thing I’d like to say is how amazing it was not only for me to be able to enter into corporate worship with our worship team this weekend, but, as a mother,¬†to watch all of our Springs¬†kids on the front¬† rows just eating it all up.¬† Were they a little crazy and rambunctious at times?¬† Yes..there was funny dancing, there were giggles.¬† I think God loves giggles, personally….but there were also moments when some of them raised their hands to try to express what they were feeling to God and times when they were on their knees before our God.¬† God was speaking to their hearts about worship during the music¬† AND during the teaching times…that’s good stuff right there.¬†

Secondly – Big Picture Idea of Worship – it is not just 2 hours on Sunday morning, it’s not that great music or high you get¬†when you are at church camp, it’s not even jamming out to Jesus Culture in your car…worship is about who we are, who we have allowed God to mold us into by allowing¬†Him¬†into our lives.¬† It’s about loving God with everything in us….and, just as important to God, it’s about how we love others.¬† We honor God by loving others.¬† We are reflections of Him by¬†how we love¬†others.¬† We worship Him by loving others.¬†

Now that will stop you in your tracks, won’t it?¬† You mean I have to love that mean girl in high school who made my life miserable?¬† And that obnoxious one-upper who, no matter how many times you try to talk to them, always has something more important to say than¬†I do?¬† And that IRS agent who – let’s face it – doesn’t seem to love me too much?¬† What about that bully who was mean to my child?¬† And that family member who really hurt me?¬† I mean, REALLY hurt me, God?¬† Are you telling me that to truly worship you, I have to love those people?

Well, folks…the answer is yes.¬† We worship Him by loving others.¬† And we don’t get to pick and choose the “others” we want to love and the¬†“others” we don’t want to love….it is a condition of the heart that God’s looking for…and it is a choice, not a feeling.

This is only the big picture¬†of what I experienced¬†this weekend, through Scott’s teaching, through the worship team, and through the Holy Spirit showing up in such a powerful way that all you could do was stand or kneel in amazement…but it’s what God is using to change me..to change my heart…and to bring me to a more full understanding of who He is and what He wants for my life…and it’s AWESOME and does leave me feeling EMPOWERED in my worship.

So what about the rest of you?¬† What did you experience through the conference?¬† Or, if you weren’t able to be there, tell us about worship in your life….

 РKacey

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Hallelujah

And our winner of the Orlando’s gift certificate is….#4 Sherri Bearden! Congrats, Sherri! We’ll be sure you get your gift certifcate. (Enjoy some Mafia Queso for me!)

For those of you who do not attend the Springs Fellowship you should know we are having a worship conference this weekend. Empowered Worship: Releasing the Sound of Heaven will be Friday and Saturday evening at 7:00 P.M. and Sunday morning at 10:30 A.M.  It is going to be amazing, so whether you attend The Springs Fellowship of not, try to make it.

I was recently on Facebook looking at the event page for the conference,and I notice a note written by Dallas Stevens our worship leader. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/notes/dallas-stevens-iii/what-the-heck-is-releasing-the-sound-of-heaven/10150231413660505¬†Take a minute to read it. It’s worth the time.

As I was reading this, I found it interesting to think about¬†how worship is more than music.¬†“It encompasses everything we are.¬† Singing, speaking, living‚Ķ All of it.” (from Dallas’s note).¬† This reminded me of something my mother would tell me when I was younger, “Do everything as if you are doing it for the Lord.”

I wonder how we would live our daily lives differently if we realized that our words and actions could be worship to our God. Would I grumble when I had to do the dishes or fold the laundry, or would I take a moment to that the Lord for the food that made the dishes dirty and for the clean clothes to fold? Would I face the next obstacle after just barely making it through the last with fear and depression, or would I turn to God and know that He is in control.

By no means am I saying that we should skip around humming a tune as if nothing bad happens. Tough stuff happens; even another pile of laundry can feel like climbing Mount Everest sometimes. However, it is in those times of exhaustion and weakness that we can choose to worship our Lord. I think the chorus from the song “Hallelujah” by Bethany Dillon applies:

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
Help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
I’ll choose to sing hallelujah

Whether it be another sink of dirty dishes, another day at the office or a life shattering experience, turning your face to God, singing hallelujah, and allowing Him to carry you through that time can be the sweetest sound to Him.

Dear Lord, let us live our lives as worship to You. With whatever we face today, help us to sing hallelujah. Amen.

-Cathryn

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Giveaway Monday!

Woo hoo!¬† I love Giveaway Mondays (except for the fact that I can’t WIN the giveaways!).¬† Today, thanks to a kind donation from Melody¬†at Lubbock_Home_and_Family_Magazine, we have quite¬†a tasty giveaway…$40 gift certificate to Orlando’s!¬† Mmmm…love me some green chile chicken linguine.¬†

Here’s how it works:¬† I’m going to ask a question, you have to answer in the comments sometime between now and 9 pm on Wednesday night, April 13th.¬† We will then use a random numbers generator to find out who won from all of the comments posted.¬† Easy-Peasy?¬†

So here’s your question:

Tell us about your least favorite food in the world.

I have to say mine is black licorice.¬† The one time I ate it in kindergarten, I threw up and I haven’t been able to make myself eat it since then.¬† I’m also not a fan of creamed spinach or just about anything that can be classified as a crustacean.¬†

Ready?  Set?  Go!

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Stitch by Stitch

Good afternoon everyone! I have a post to share with you today from my sweet mom, Carol Thomson. For all of you who have ever felt overwhelmed, I hope it encourages you today! Here is Carol:

I love spending time with women.¬† Sharing time with friends, learning about the lives and interests of new friends, and catching up with long-time friends (notice I didn‚Äôt say ‚Äúold‚ÄĚ friends!).¬† I love how we are so alike and still so very different.¬† I relish seeing the different seasons that make up each of our lives and the ever-present but always changing responsibilities that often define our schedules for our days.¬†

 One of my favorite sounds is the sound of women visiting.  To some (the men in our lives, maybe?) it may sound like a cacophony of indistinguishable syllables, but to me it is the sound of relationship.  Women sharing their lives, laughing at the joys in their lives, celebrating with one another the accomplishments and victories however large or small, supporting and encouraging during the more difficult, and at times just downright distasteful parts of our days. 

¬†As different as we are there are also many things that we share in common.¬† Today I want to share with you about one of those commonly held areas in our lives.¬† That feeling of being overwhelmed.¬† I‚Äôve heard this a lot lately from my friends and have been feeling it myself in the last few weeks¬† — that feeling of being so overwhelmed with the present circumstances that it is almost impossible to see above the current that seems to be sweeping us along in this life we live as we struggle to grasp onto something that will allow us to breathe, even for just a moment.

 Some of you know that for the last 14 years, I have had my own long-arm custom quilting business.  One of my customers had completed piecing the top of a king-size quilt and it was now time for me to begin the quilting process and complete it by the date that I had promised.  At the time I had assured her it would be ready by her requested date, it seemed completely possible to do everything she was hoping for with plenty of time to spare. 

¬†Then Life happened.¬† Suddenly all of my carefully laid plans were out the window and ‚Äúoverwhelmed‚ÄĚ came crashing into my life in all of its vicious brutality.¬† I felt paralyzed, unable to really accomplish anything productive.¬† As I would look at this beautiful quilt top, waiting for the stitches that would add another layer of dimension to its end result, I just wanted to stand there and cry.¬† I suddenly had so many other responsibilities waiting for me, but I had a job to complete, as well and it was just too much.¬†

¬†Sitting in my little chair in my studio, I was doing a mighty fine job of feeling sorry for myself and really letting it all out to God.¬† About how unfair life was and how could I ever be expected to do all that seemed to be asked of me.¬† If there is an art to complaining, I think I perfected it that day.¬† I pouted, whined, fumed, complained, took a deep breath and did it all again.¬† I finally ran out of words and was just sitting for a few minutes.¬† Before I could work up enough steam to do it all again, I began to feel a contentment and peace.¬† That is definitely not what I was going for, but instead of letting loose with another rant, I listened.¬† I just listened.¬† ‚ÄúOne stitch at a time, Carol.¬† Just one stitch at a time.‚Ä̬† After a few more minutes, I got up, looked at the quilt and began to do as I had heard ‚Äď just one stitch at a time.

¬†Before I knew it I was completely caught up in the designing of the stitches that would complete this quilt.¬† One stitch after another, and a plain border suddenly took on depth and character.¬† One stitch after another, and a pieced block revealed color and texture that was just waiting to be released.¬† One stitch after another, and pattern upon pattern began to come together.¬† I realized I wasn‚Äôt caught up in the tension of meeting a deadline, but instead was reveling in the surprise of design and pattern that would complete what had previously just been a ‚Äújob‚ÄĚ but was now becoming a joy.

 Again, that still small voice spoke to my heart.  He assured me that whether my life was at peace or in turmoil, He was there.  Whether my days went according to plan or nothing happened that was expected, He was there.  When I was looking to Him and even when I wasn’t, He was there.  He held me close and whispered to my heart that when life was just too much and it all seemed so unfair, the Master Designer was there and stitch by stich it will all work together to create something beautiful.

 Stitch by stitch.  Together, and with our God who designed the universe to work in perfect harmony, we can be assured that when we lay our lives, our schedules, our frustrations and our joys, in His hands we will be at peace.   What once was overwhelming is now opportunity for Him to work in our lives as only He can.

 Stich by stich, dear friends!

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