Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Emptiness... Emotions.... Encouragement ... Excitement

Today as I write, my heart can't believe the weekend, conference weekend, has come and gone just.like.that.

It seemed like yesterday we were all at my moms house for the after conference festivities last year and now here we are 2015- another conference in the books & our lives can speed full force ahead looking forward to next year... Lord willing

Last week I was reminded about God's mercies and how blessed I am to be called His. The love of the believers is just amazing. Truly. (Thank you Jim & Sarah for my Ink gift! I go through black ink like ...C.R.A.Z.Y & Pam for your heart in creating a fundraiser that 1) saved me from baking for conference and 2)gave money to Syrian refugees. )
So after all that I should have been thankful for.. the blessings were and are many... my heart and soul grew weary ... I walked in our home Friday afternoon, after an early morning, long day at work, rushed after work time, to see toys...everywhere...pillows from the couch .... everywhere... looked like a real life 2 year old tornado had zoomed through the whole lower level of our place...which of course had happened... I was empty. I had literally given all my energy to 22 kids at Johnny Appleseed Day that day & then spent some time with our good friend Betty, who's health condition just breaks my heart, and then we dropped our 2 oldest off at KINGS club  ( Kids in need of God's Salvation- cool right!?) at the assembly by our house. Then I walked in. 7:30 pm on conference Friday. To that. Empty. Drained. Emotions ready to dump out. Been there?
Do my emotions come out or do my devotions? I thought it was a great time to take a walk and dump the trash. :) That seemed to be a great way to talk to God & breathe.
{On a side note, according to Bible Gateway NIV, there are 48 mentions of the word Empty in scripture... looking at a few of the verses, emptiness is not a good thing like using "empty words", but I love the passages about the good empty- The empty tomb! It needed to be empty to show us Christ lives! So I am guess I should be thrilled to be empty- knowing that ME is leaving... and Christ is filling...}
 I am slowly seeing how empty I am- and that I truly need God to fill every single place in me.

I love my written devotion time-but if I'm not applying those truths that I read and write each day - then what good is it!? I walked back from taking the trash out and just had to smile, through the tears, and be thankful that I have good husband that is working hard at home, and that our little kiddos are being just that. Kids. They are good kids, with big hearts. On a side note- markers will be in a locked cupboard this week. Clearly we have a budding 2 year old Picasso, as too many of my household decor showed ... and yes some of that artistic ability might have been done in a Sharpie... deep breath mama... we got this... ;)

I did my cleaning therapy that night once the kids were snuggled in their beds. Wow the place cleaned up great ;) Then off I went to grab surprises for the conference meeting bags. Meijer I love you. Your hours ROCK. Costco, you need better hours there my dear. Target, you too!! 24 hours is where it's at :)

Then Saturday at conference begins. Love conferences.Love the anticipation of good messages. Love the social vibe. Love seeing young people all mingling- love my childhood memories of conference hopping! Love that Harrison's 2 pals from MI were there. Love that this year our conference had assigned speakers at assigned times. Our outfits pulled together surprisingly and we made it one piece. Then we sit down. Then cars roll waaaay down the aisle ( since we are in a school and it's slanted stadium seating). Then Hudson starts fussing for that said car, which no one can get. And then... IT... starts. The IT of Hudson's fussings mixed with Hannah's needs mixed with my insane desire to actually hear what was being preached... Maybe 15 minutes in? at 10:15. Really?! So my emotions - are real. I am such a bad hider of reality. Anyone who sees me will know if I'm happy or ridiculously annoyed. {I'm still a massive work in progress and praying for the ability to be gracious while I'm ridiculously annoyed ;)}

I decided finally that the best approach was bribery & driving. So Hannah was bribed and she was fine and then I took Hudson for a ride, and he eventually passed out as I drove to the nearest Dunkin. He slept. I got more pep in my step & felt ready to conquer the last 1/2 of Saturday. The ministry that I did get was super encouraging and challenging. But the hymns. That may be my favorite part?! Hearing ministry related hymns and the whole place in chorus, is just heavenly. The melody and harmony combo is beautiful!!

Sunday I restocked-... new things in the bag and note to all you moms- Mr Potato Head is NOT a meeting toy... I thought it would be IDEAL and of course Hudson LOVED it- but when dropped on the cement floor a few times?! And the rolling!? Yeah.. lol... nope! Only on carpet and flat surfaces ;) The convo that I was blessed with during lunch was amazing & uplifting & real. Thankful for friends who are open. Who share. Who shoot straight and let you know they are real and breakable and dependent on God too, even those friends who look super strong and unbreakable.
Best hour.
(And yes, you read right. I left my kids completely parent-less, as my hubby is equally as social and was in a great convo too, and then we had to do a man hunt for Hudson who gotten lost in the MASSIVE school, but after we calmed his RACING heart ( wow!! It was beating very fast poor boy!!), it was all good :))
Emptiness gone. My heart was full. The remembrance meeting was opened by a youngish guy who just read a few verses and then prayed. I love simple. I love the real honest authentic fresh prayers and thoughts.
(It also helped that Hudson fell asleep in the car again earlier in  the day, and that Hannah slept A.L.L afternoon meeting) The messages of encouragement to be hospitable and to build relationships with our fellow Christians spoke to me. As well as making sure we listen to God when he clearly talks and directs us. Prayers answered. Emptiness gone. Emotions still here, but hopefully more controlled.

And then today, I'm at work early loving the feeling of Monday....Excited for conference leftovers for supper...excited to see how we handle the ministry from the weekend after the weekend is over...{You know that Monday after conference feeling? Will we heed the word or keep living like we had?} and then my neighbor teacher knocks on my door with a double chocolate donut. Because she just knew "chocolate would be a good Monday thing". AMEN sister. :) :) :)

I  hope that you feel empty of you, and full of Christ. I hope that you can be encouraged during your week & excited to see what's next in your journey for Him. XO
 Ms Wards, our assistant principal... the Seahawk lover and Boo-er of all things Patriots. She is such a great lady. I love her glitter & pizzaz &amazing untiring support. 

 Johnny Appleseed Afternoon Centers
Rhyme Time with Miss Williams

 Apple Puppets with Miss Morris

 Playdough Apple Life Cycle with Miss Jordan

 Apple Jack Necklaces with Miss Clark

 Tasting homemade Applesauce & drinking juice time, with me :) 

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