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Archive for October, 2011

Thankful Ponderings

Today, our sweet Jenny McClendon has some thoughts she wanted to share with us in follow-up to the sweet, precious time we had this past weekend on our Women’s Retreat….if you weren’t there, you were dearly missed!! 

Here’s Miss Jenny:

Thankful ponderings…..
Tonight, I’m thankful for the challenge to be thankful. 

Our women’s retreat was about cultivating a life-habit of thankfulness, which ultimately leads to that deep abiding joy in our lives.  Cathryn so beautifully shared from a book called One Thousand Gifts (by Ann Voskamp), and the message was so timely. 

As we worshipped, shared, rested, listened, ate, watched Tech beat OU!!!!, and so much more, I was struck with the thought that without fail, young women led us the entire weekend. 

Each young woman was blessed to have their mom there at the retreat to support them and pray for them as they shared their hearts.  I had a sweet revelation about that whole “older women teaching the younger women” thing.  It is vital that we older women support, nurture, and love our precious young ones.  It is equally vital that our young gals have a place to share their giftings and test their wings in a safe place.  None of us are out of the picture!!  The maturity that came from these girls was incredible – I was so blessed to be a part of it all. 

A special thanks goes to our women’s ministry team.  Your servant hearts set the pace and the foundation of your prayers was so apparent.   Thanks so much for putting the challenge before us.  Forgive the “cheesiness” of this, but as I thought about the covenant we made I realized that it spelled out TLC – Thanks-Living Commitment

We all need TLC in our lives. 

As much as negativity spreads like wildfire, I believe that thankful living doubles in effect. 

Our world needs our example – our church needs our example and our families desperately need our example.  I’m so excited to see what God does in our lives through this!  I love you all! 

– Jenny Mc

 

I’d like to encourage anyone who has something to share from your experience at the retreat to do so in a comment here!  We would love to hear it and love to be able to see how God is working in our friends’ lives through “Eucharisteo” – Grace, Thanks, Joy….

 

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Is it Fall yet?

Here in good ol’ West Texas, I’ve about decided that fall only lasts about 2 weeks – I mean, seriously! Are you not ready for some fall weather that lasts past 10 a.m?  I am….Now, granted, these high 70s, low 80s temperatures are MUCH more pleasant than our long hot summer of 100+ days, but I’ve got fall-ish things I want to do!  I came across this “fall bucket list” and am doing my best to get as many done as I can before the Christmas fever hits…

   I’ve checked a few of these off – picked apples, made pies, drink fancy coffee drinks, gone on 2 dates…The one I REALLY want to get done is the taking pictures in a pile of leaves…but the leaves on our trees just aren’t ready to cooperate yet – but when they do, I’m going to make my kids jump in the leaves and snap away!! 

 

   What’s your point, Kacey?  Why are you wasting your time reading my fall bucket list?  Well, I’m going to smoothly transition from my fall bucket list into talking about our “fall” retreat!  WINK WINK….which should definitely be on my bucket list! It’s one of my favorite things about the month of October!!

In all seriousness – The Springs Women’s Retreat is next weekend – Oct. 21-23.  It’s not too late to go!  It is going to be a fantastic time of getting away, taking a deep breath, and enjoying each other’s company for a little while.  As women, we tend to just go, go, go until we collapse.  This is an opportunity for us to just stop and live right in the moment we are in – the moment God has given us.  There will be fantastic worship,  great food, hearing the hearts of a few of our own women, and lots of free time to do with as you wish – nap, play games, take a walk, whatever you want!

If you have not signed up to go yet, it’s not too late! Email me at kasogayle@gmail.com and we will get it worked out!

Now, what’s on your “fall bucket list”?  What’s your favorite thing about this time of year?

– Kacey

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Have you ever felt ROBBED?  Today we have the opportunity to hear from our own Rachel Engler about that very subject…thanks so much for sharing your heart with us, Rachel! 

 

Last week was a huge milestone of accomplishment for me….But this week a string of “bad luck” has been so pervasive that it has robbed me of the celebration and joy I should be experiencing.

 

It has been a rough week to say the least; the enemy has been at work on me all week long and I have been drowning.

 

By Friday, I was bracing myself for whatever that next hit would be because I knew it was coming. And the hardest thing I have had to struggle with is the fact that most of these “hits” have been completely out of my control; I have had to just sit back and take it when all I wanted to do is figure out how to get everything back under control.

 

I turned to God and I prayed, please make all of this stop and just go away. But the week went on and if one resolution came along there was something else waiting to bring me down.

 

So today I asked for rest. And I rested.

 

And then it finally came to me – God did not want to just take away my struggles, but rather He is so good that He gave me the clarity to see what was really going on.

 

And here it is – that same theme that I let the enemy use against me again and again – it’s that perfectionism and control. But this time I did not see it so clearly for what it was. Even after a friend blankly asked “Why are you beating yourself up about this?” I was still in denial.

 

I can’t help but wonder why I keep returning to this place. Do I enjoy being so hard on myself? And when I really thought about it and answered that question to myself this evening I realized that the ugly truth was that yes, I enjoy it. Not because it feels good but because I think of that perfectionism and control as the drive that has allowed me to reach so far and accomplish so many things. I think about how I could not have accomplished even half of what I have as a single mother without that constant pushing on myself… But it was NEVER me; it was ALWAYS God!

 

Through the perfectionism I was giving the enemy and myself all of the credit. What hurts my heart the most is that I have been robbing my God of the celebration and joy HE deserves; but He is so good and so forgiving that He just keeps on loving me regardless!  So, today: 

God, I celebrate You!

You took me in all of my brokenness, imperfections and sin and gave me everything I needed to accomplish my dreams.

You gave me the ability to care for and parent the most amazing gift of a child.

You opened doors for me when I had no idea what doors needed to be opened.

You walked me along a path that made it all look easy.

You gave me the most amazing friends who help me figure out how to navigate a world where being a Christian isn’t always easy.

You provided for me, You grew me, and You always loved me.

But most of all, when I turn to You and listen, really listen, You always speak answers into my heart.

 You are my Joy. I celebrate You!

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