Saturday, December 27, 2008

Having Christmas with two little boys who are about one and a half years of age is AMAZING! They are learning how to share - they are learning how to communicate effectively - they are learning what to touch and what not to touch - they work hard at having fun and don't mind taking a nap when they need to!!!! Hey, that sounds like stuff I'M still trying to learn....or re-learn when it comes to fun and napping.

I found such joy in just watching them - they didn't have to do anything extraordinary for me to smile - I smiled just looking at them! I laughed while they were here and I went into my bathroom and cried when they left. I just flat out love them and their parents. I just do. Period.

And that's the truth with God and you and I. He just flat out loves us. Period. We don't have to be Perfect Super Christians to make Him smile.....we just need to be who He made us to be.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do you REALLY work at a Funeral Home?????

I'm going to do a little 'Jeopardy' thing here...
Answer: What is "yes".
Question: Do you REALLY work in a funeral home????

Answer: What is "no".
Question: Have you always, all your life wanted to work in a funeral home?

Answer: What is "because I feel that I am there for a reason".
Question: Why are you working in a funeral home?

Ok, enough of that....I've had many questions about working at a funeral home and here's what I have to say about that!

I work there to support a team of very gifted, very good hearted, very great people who work in an intense environment. My main official responsibility is to pay the company bills and make the deposits and not make a big mess out of things! I also do whatever I'm asked to do in other areas that would be of help.

My unofficial desire is to be strengthening in some way. I am asking the God who 'restores our souls' to use me to help restore or in some small way- fortify this team of people.

I have touched, carried, delivered and said things that I never thought I would touch, carry, deliver or say in this job. For those of you who have expressed concern because my heart seems too tender at times, I thank you for that concern. To be surrounded by grief, often without hope is difficult. But, I am where I am - on purpose and for a purpose.

No, I don't know how much a cremation costs. I just learned that creamation is the wrong way to spell the word!!!! (They like me to spell it right!)

I will not be counseling families - only hugging them, if they let me!

Yes, I'm still leading worship at Parkway - yes, I'm still the pastor's wife at Parkway - I only work at Hull and Hull two days a week.

Thanks for your prayers on my behalf as well as this group of people who are doing with their lives what very few people volunteer to do - constantly 'comforting those who mourn'.
Isaiah 61:1-3

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ok - how can you NOT LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!!!

James 2:2...If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

I have this picture of sticking a cd case in my mouth - - - maybe THEN I'll think about every word I say!!!! (Jack doesn't have a cd case in his mouth but you get the point.) I really, really want to speak words of Life and not death, words of peace and not wounds, words that bring joy rather than depression!!!!!!!!

Are you with me on this one????

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Boundary Lines....

I have no funny stories today. I have a thought, a prayer, a strong urging to encourage whoever reads this to gain courage and encouragement from Ps 16:6 - ..."the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places..." Read all of Ps 16 - but hear in your heart that God has placed you in a place where you can FLOURISH - not just exist.

Heb. 12 talks about our places of discipline. But instead of punishment, the intend of that word in that context is 'a place in which one can grow'!!!!!

Don't miss what God would LOVE to do in and through you right now! In the place and circumstance that you find yourself right now - not someday (when things are different, better or as you dreamed) - right now!!!!!

The enemy would love to have you miss the treasure that God has for you today - that's why it's easier to whine rather than praise, to curse rather than to bless, to feel sorry for yourself rather than be grateful.

Whoever this blog is meant for - please read Ps 16 - let it soak in - let it bring strength and a new perspective. As Beth Moore says - Jesus didn't just come to change your life, He came to change your day! This is a new day for someone. Bless you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

OH! There's a zipper!!!!!!!

I LOVE autumn leaves. They make my heart swell with pleasure! Such beauty.....but then.....such work! Last year I decided to help Dennis by blowing and sucking up the leaves with our leaf blower/sucker thing. (You can tell already that I wasn't well acquainted with this tool.) I blew them all into piles and then I sucked them up until it was too heavy for me to carry. Then, I tried to dump the leaves out of the bag - but I did it through the little hole that I sucked them up with. Really dorky. I thought, "this will take forever - this is insane." If my neighbor was watching, I'm sure he thought the same. Finally, after unloading a couple of bags I made the big discovery of the zipper at the end of the bag. It unzipped to let all of those sucked up leaves come out of a huge hole - much, much easier.

This year I will not be 'helping' Dennis because my wrist is still a little crazy but this is what I see....

We all go through seasons in life. Some with incredible beauty and also incredible labor (or sorrow). God absolutely gives us what we need to negotiate every season - but sometimes we use the tools of our own strength and wisdom and understanding. When we journey through the seasons with His tools of strength and wisdom and understanding it is MUCH more efficient, much more peaceful and much more effective. I pray right now that if you are struggling in the place that you find yourself you will stop - you will look up - you will ask, "Lord, is there a zipper here that I'm missing? Am I making this harder for myself than it really is because I'm doing it with my limited perspective and not Your abundance?????"

At this moment....look up......

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Be careful what you pray - you might get what you ask for!

For several years we did a drive through light display on the
property at Parkway. THOUSANDS of cars drove through - more than I dreamed of. The message was simple - "I AM the Light of the World"..... It was an extreme example of the church pulling together to literally show Jesus to the community. I loved it. I loved the joy that people displayed as they put in hours of work to set up, and then take take down the thousands and thousands of lights.

For 4 years I prayed that we would have a live camel in the nativity scene. "Oh God" (I cried) - "how incredible that would be - how life like and fun for the kids and unique to southern Oregon". Please God - oh, please, please, please (etc....etc...etc...)

So one year, we found a camel. He couldn't work on Friday nights cuz he was Seventh Day Adventist - but he could work every other night of the week. Yay! Hallelujah!

Until we actually experienced the real camel. He was ornery - was subject to an upset stomach - went 'No. 1' like a hose turned on full strength (right next to Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus).

He spit on me once (in front of people that I was explaining the miracle of having a live camel to).

The only one who could calm him down was Dennis. We'd call Dennis to come, and that camel would get close to him and lay his face next to Dennis' face, or wrap his lips around his nose like he was kissing him. (I'll admit that that was my very favorite part.) You should have seen Dennis' face. Oh my stars!

I'll admit to hearing laughter from heaven as I watched this camel relieving himself in front of our guests every night. "You ASKED for this, Jeanette! - I'm giving you what you BEGGED Me for!"

So, I guess I pray a little differently after this experience. Sometimes I think I know what I want, or what would make God look really, really good. The reality is I don't have the full perspective and sometimes when God says, 'no', it's for a very, very, very good reason that we just can't see.

I deeply want to stand in agreement with what God wants - what His will is on earth as it is in heaven - and not ask Him to stand in agreement with what I want and what my will is. Father, show me - remind me how to pray with abandon, "Thy Kingdom come, They will be done - on earth as it is in heaven!' - even if I think I have a wonderful idea for Him!

(Be sure to click on the the camel picture to enlarge it - you don't want to miss his smile!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

So - about the horse deal...
We have friends who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail for 3 weeks with pack-horses. We met them at Diamond Lake, just for fun, and they were down-sizing from 3 horses to 1 horse for the last 10 days. The previous pictures were taken of them loading up, and heading out....

When I look at those pictures I see 2 possibilities. One is what actually was happening - 'let's see how much this horse can REALLY handle'. One of our friends kept assuring me that the horse really LIKES doing this!

The second possibility could be seen just by studying the pictures. One could think - "maybe the load is being UNLOADED by those people." I can almost FEEL the relief of having those big packs lifted off the horse's back, one at a time.

I would love to say a great, big, huge THANK YOU to every person in my life - and in the life of others - who takes the time and effort to help UNLOAD a heavy burden - rather than piling on .
Prayers and words and kindness that makes an unbelievable difference in the way I can conquer the trail laid out for me.

I know that God is the One who ultimately wants to carry the load. I know that. I just really want us to GET that we effect each other along this journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who help 'bear one another's burdens - and so fulfill the law of Christ'! Thank you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I feel like this horse!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I ALMOST obeyed.....

One of the funny things that happens with our little Webber boys is this: You call their name, they look at you & their face tells you that they are actively deciding whether to come or not. (I might tell you right now that I've prayed that our grandkids would not look at me and then run away in terror! You know - you've seen it - a child just LOOKS at someone and something strikes them weird and they burst out crying. I don't need to be anyone's 'favorite' anything - I just don't want something like my honkin' nose to make my own grandkids cry at the sight of me. Ok, that said...) Sometimes, one of the boys will have something (like the TV remote) in their hand and you are asking them to give it to you. (Ok, yes, I've been known to let the grandboys even play with the TV remote cuz I can't seem to say a whole lot of "no's" to them yet. I'll work on that, I promise.) The point - they head toward me, sometimes even holding out their hand like they fully intend to come for a hug or give me whatever the prize is in their hand and at the last possible moment - they veer off!!! They take a quick right or left and run another direction! It does make me laugh, but I don't laugh so much when I think of how many times I do that to God. I hear Him call - I head His direction - I even hold out to Him what I KNOW He's asking for (for my own good) -and then somehow I veer off. Somehow I get distracted, or I decide I really want to keep what's in my hand (or that attitude in my heart) a little while longer. How does that make Him feel, I wonder. Sometimes I'm trying to hold 50 things (or people/situations/heartaches) in my hand and He JUST WANTS TO HELP - but I veer off with my big load and don't quite make it to His embrace. Lord, help me to run to You - fully. To know the joy in your heart when I do (like my heart enjoys the boys when they actually run over for a hug in the middle of their busyness) - and enjoy You.
"Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest". Thank you for Your patience with me, Lord.....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Overwhelmed by love

Four weeks ago today our little grandson Oscar became very sick. Our daughter-in-law and also her mom kept us posted as they waited for the ambulance, as the ambulance arrived and then as they did what they needed to do in the hospital. Dennis and I waited, oh, I'd say 15 minutes from the first call to hop into our car and head up to Salem - not to fix anything - just to be with them. On the way up there my heart hurt so badly for Oscar - literal pain. I thought I had a huge mom heart for our sons - boy, this grandma heart could kill a person! We would move heaven and earth for that little guy if we could. As I was praying for him I asked the Lord to show me His heart for His kids. Confession - sometimes I struggle to KNOW the love of God for myself. That He would move heaven and earth for me, if it was best. Do you ever struggle with this? I felt Him whisper, "I love you more than you love Oscar." Oh, I want to 'get' that! Just like I want Oscar to really 'get' that he is loved so, so deeply - I want to 'get' that I am loved so, so, so, so, so deeply by our Father.
Oscar is doing great - thank you, God - no tumor - thank you, God. It's a regrouping time for their little family and for all of us. So my verse for you and for me today is Eph. 3:18 - I pray that we...may have the power, together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
(The picture is Oscar and Danita - his mom - she is awesome.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Shaved My Legs for This?????

Ok - confession - I really don't like to shave my legs, my armpits or even my chin. I do it (well, not my chin) but only after I decide if my day really deserves it. The day I get to have a massage - definetly shave. The day I'm meeting with people who will tell me what the church is doing that they don't like, what I have done that they don't like or even what the nursery workers are doing that they don't like - don't shave. Why am I writing about this? Because I think someone reading this is STILL trying to be perfect - all the time. I know, you won't look at me the same from now'll wonder, "will I get a rug burn if I touch her legs today?"
Relax! Enjoy the good stuff, live through and learn from the hard stuff. Shave if you want to!

Monday, September 29, 2008

What happens when I try to cook....

Ok - so, I have this honkin' scar on my wrist from an injury and 3 surgeries to repair that injury. What caused the injury, you ask? Well, I tried to cook. Technically, my injury came from cleaning up afterward but - I would have NEVER HAD to clean up afterwards if I hadn't tried to cook! It was Christmas Eve and I volunteered without thinking of the consequences. I dropped the bowl I was trying to wash and it broke into large pieces, one of which punched a hole in my wrist taking out 2 tendons and damaging the nerve between them. What have I learned in the last few months? Well, for one thing, I definately took the use of my right hand for granted. What I'm learning now is - you can do all the right stuff (physical therapy, massage the sight, etc...) and it still might not ever be what it's suppose to be - strong and useful and pretty! The weirdest thing to me right now is how much trouble my unusual ability to grow massive amounts of scar tissue can hamper things. It's entangled in and among really important stuff in my wrist and applying pressure that is not helpful. It makes holding my grandbabies, and playing the piano, and writing in my journal very, very painful.
So what I have I learned through this experience? I should NOT try to cook anymore, and if I do have to cook - I should NOT be the one to do the dishes. (No one else is buying that theory yet - but that's my theory and I'm stickin' to it!) Unfortunately, I have no chapter and verse for that to share with you.....but it's still the only thing I've learned that's important so far with this experience! Well, that and....'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in (your) weakness."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Always wear clean underwear!

For as long as I can remember I've heard, "always wear clean underwear because you never know when you'll be in an accident." My thinking is, if I'm in an accident my underwear will not be clean any longer! But you know the unseen thing that we need to keep clean? Our heart....our attitude...our spirit. You just never know when a situation or conversation will come at you that you didn't expect. When that happens what's REALLY in your heart will come keep your heart clean! And full of Him, not other junk like resentment or offense or fear. Matt. 12:34 - "Out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart the mouth speaks." God - help that 'abundance' to be courage and mercy and grace and peace.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My first blog! Life has lots of firsts and lots of changes - but some things you can count on...
No one is church is one leading in ministry is parent is child is perfect......only Jesus is perfect. Let Him be the Perfect One and give yourself permission to be who you are - especially on your 'less than perfect' days!
2 Cor. 12:9 - "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Wow....