Friday, February 14, 2014
Several years ago i went to a winter breakfast tea for the women in our church and someone asked the question to a panel of women... what do you do spice up your marriage? Several answered saying that they spend time together going on a date once a week or tried to get out of town once every few months but the best answer i have ever heard was from our pastors mother Judy Hopper when she said Life Is A Date. You don't always have money for all those things but when you spend your life together... talking about what God is doing in your lives, serving others together, eating meals together, praying together, laughing together now that is a great life! i will never forget it. So.. Life is a date... how are you spending your life with your sweetheart? It cannot just be about the gifts,the chocolates or the nights out. Your whole life together is just that... together.
Anyway, back to Vday! i thought i would share with you some of the fun things i have done in the past and hopefully either give you some ideas or at least laugh!
so... here are some ideas.
1. One year i bought flannel shirts and embroidered i Love you in the collar and the cuffs. He loved that!
2. My go to gift when i am uncreative is cologne.. i love a man that smells good!
3. A down comforter
4. New sheets
5. New pillows
6. a poster with conversation hearts and candy bars
7. i bought each of us journals to write love notes to each other in... i have way more entries to him than he for me but i still write in it...
8. scavenger hunt in the house for a gift... or me!
9. go out for dinner but as we get older and have kids we usually get take out and eat it with candlelight after the kids go to bed
10. Valentine Pajama party with friends and have Breakfast for Dinner!
But this one takes the cake... read on....
i keep seeing on Pinterest this Valentine idea Love in a Jar and it reminded me of what i did one year. OK so long before Pinterest i did this project. you write 365 things you love about your Valentine and write them on hearts of pink, red and white papers. The thought being that you can read one for every day of the year. i got a cute jar and decorated it up and put my notes in the jar. This took forever... i have no problem thinking of all the things i love about my hubs but to write them all out and in good handwriting and some were a paragraph some were a work or a sentence but still.. very time consuming... i thought... boy he is getting my time, creativeness and my love all wrapped up into one gift and a little chocolate on the side... His favorite is the Reece's hearts (really he likes the eggs better but one holiday at a time right? although i saw the eggs today while at the store). i was so excited to give it to him. He acted like he really liked it and it was a great day. WELL...... about a week later, after he had gone to work i walked into our bathroom and what do i see but every single one of those notes in the trash and an empty cute jar! i was so upset! All the Work.. i spent hours doing this for him and he did not do what the instructions said... i know... men don't read directions...i should have known...haha! Men! i cannot help to think... here he was reading all these while he was taking a smash!!! (smash is pats word for it... sorry! ) Poo!!! Yuck! it just made me crazy.
Now i look at this crazy story and know that he knows i love him...but after a few years i started to see that i was doing something for him that really i probably wished he would do for me. i was giving him something in one of my many love languages but really he would have been happy with me ironing his shirts or making his favorite dinner and watch a basketball game with him. Our personalities are TOTAL opposite. i think on this now and really it would be pretty cool to sit and read 365 things that my love loves about me all at once. (not while taking a smash). He did love the gift, just not how i wanted him to love it.
Isn't that just like me and God? He gives me such great gifts with anticipation of me opening it and using it for His great Glory and i just take it all in at once and don't cherish it everyday... i just want to appreciate these Great Life Dates God gives. Savor it and learn from them. It is about the Giver not just the gifts. Of course the greatest gift ever was given to us in Jesus His son!!!!
For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him, will not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE! Jn.3:16
Tonight... we are heading to Next Door Pizza for dinner and hang out at Starbucks sharing earphones and watching Passion2014 in Houston live stream before we catch a movie... we haven't had Friday nights to ourselves in years let alone go to a movie on a weekend evening...
So my friends... Life is a Date! Love well! Love hard! and Love with out expecting anything in Return.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
We were getting around to go to church. Our girls were at Nana Koontz house and sweet baby Noah was at our friend Melissa's. i told Pat i wasn't feeling very good and i was going to lay down. This isn't very normal for me...i love going to church...we had some news to share! As i laid down pain became intense. My shoulders were killing me. i had not experienced this pain!!!
i asked Pat to call our sweet friend an OB nurse and ask if something might be wrong...she told Pat we needed to call an ambulance and get me to the hospital as soon as possible...she said it sounded like internal bleeding or a possible tubal pregnancy that burst.
The ambulance and paramedics came...it was very icy outside and terrible weather. They came to my room and i could hear them saying they had no radial pulse...i was saying in my mind but never out of my lips...i can hear you...i am alive!!! Nothing. They kept trying and said they could not transport until i had a pulse. Finally something faint ...they had a hard time getting me down the stairs on the stretcher and down the icy driveway. They took me to the hospital. i sat in the ER forever. In & out of consciousness. They were waiting for a sonogram technician to get there from the ice...I lost over 2 liters of blood. i was dying. i was only 35. i had 3 kids and one on the way...
The whole church (Liberty Baptist at the time, now Abundant Life) it seemed turned out to the hospital on this very icy day. Many praying...the Silbers brought food for everyone...i laid in the ER waiting. Then everyone came in to see me and passed by me like i was in a coffin...my friend Tammy bent down and her face was drained of color and she kissed me on my face...i knew i was about to die. Our baby was no longer alive.
i remember thinking...how will Pat do THIS? His father and grandfather had already passed away, now his wife? What about my children? Would he continue to Trust God or be angry? It was all too much!!!!
What was most on my mind was that i was just starting to "get it". i want to be clear...i still don't have it all together but God has given me such a gift and my life has been changed! i was just seeing things with a more eternal prospective and i was seriously afraid, not in the sense of fear but a godly fear of meeting The God who created me, God, The creator of All! You see, He knows me. Inside and out. i had wasted so much time the years i had been privileged to live. i had so many opportunities to share Jesus with others...so many opportunities to Serve others to Love others...what had i been doing with all these 35 years? Why hadn't i used every opportunity to share what i knew? What in the world did I have to give? What crowns? What wood, hay or stubble was going to burn at His feet? Was anything good to give Him? It was more than i could fathom. i was empty...scared...nothing. Funny that is exactly where He wanted me.
i started begging Him to let me stay...to be a better mommye, wife, friend, servant. (i had no idea what i would seen Him do in the next 13 years. He totally blows my mind!). The nurse in the room heard me arguing with Him or saw the restlessness and struggle i was in the middle of. She came near to me and my first thought was...i have to tell her about Jesus! i was not going to meet Jesus and waste these last few minutes of my life. She told me to rest...she did not tell me i wasn't going to die...i continued to ask her if she knew Him...i fell out of consciousness again...later i found out she asked the group to pray for her sister who was sick...she must have seen belief...she must have seen Jesus in me...Oh Praise THE ONE!
i was out...apparently i died on the table twice...with no blood transfusion from the hospital but a true blood transfusion from God Himself. Honestly, my Doctors said that i truly was a miracle. When i went to the doctor the following week they all clapped. They couldn't believe i was alive. He let me live...He gave me a new life. i was Born again as a young girl but He was renewing my life! Wow!
My life has been different ever since! i chose to live with purpose! Even to this day...i look back and see...my kids loving Jesus...my husband and i started teaching college students Sunday School...starting a ministry beyond our dreams! Just like Him! He was equipping us for something greater! Being accountable to these students has proven to be such a joy and humbling experience while He is equipping me for whatever the future He has for me! Honestly i cannot wait to see these next chapters He has written for me! Oh yes, i am still desperate for Him...I do not live in the dessert but am living in a great promised land! i have had the privilege to disciple many. i have been able to share my story many times. I've got to watch my husband being obedient to God in his job situations...a police officer, teacher in the inner city, now a pastor! i always said after going to bible college i would NEVER be a pastors wife! i don't look at myself that way...i'm just a gal who has chosen not to waste her life! He is ever changing our lives...i am entitled to NOTHING...we now are serving the Great Senior Citizens in our church! They have so much to teach me...to mold me even more! He gets the Glory from my life...fullness and freedom come when we lay our lives down and He deserves EVERYTHING! i know He is not done working on me...and whoa!!!!! There is much work to be done but really, i just want to love people genuinely with purpose! it is never too late to quit wasting your life no matter how old we are!
So every Super Bowl i always remember that He has given me life, and i am to live it for Him! I have so many scars in my life of time wasted. Let's be done with that!
Who's with me?
Louie Giglio said this, "Heaven is going to be a great celebration because we all have scars and i will stand with THE ONE who's scars and wounds triumphed all mine!" i just want to Sing...really loud! Thank you Jesus!