Saturday, May 16, 2009

To Kimberly on Your Graduation Day

Did you want to know my favorite thing about today was? You. Never before had I enjoyed the honor and privilege of seeing a 7th Grade Girl Graduate, but wait, you are not a 7th Grader anymore. You are a beautiful, amazing High School Senior/Graduate who is entering the world with a heart full of dreams. Allow me just for a moment to reflect on 5 or so years and what makes this day so special.

Did you know that you were the most annoying 7th Grader ever? Maybe not ever, but you annoyed me so much that it left an impression. I think you probably only owned basketball shorts during that time. That's what I remember, this athletic middle school student who was always around. I think in Middle School you were the most faithful to Student Ministry events. Who knew your faithfulness would carry over into so many of the things you do?

Did you know that the emo/punk look wasn't really you? You tried, there is too much joy in your life and the smiles and laughs come so often, there is no way that is you! I think during that time you learned to love all types of people. You never judged because someone was different, you just reached out as a friend. Who knew that so many people would be impacted because you became their friend?

Did you know that your guitar lessons were not just for you? With learning and your God-given talent, you became a part of something bigger than guitar lessons. People were able to see you worship Jesus in Spirit and Truth. You were set apart for a unique service and that continues to this day. Who knew your guitar would be an instrument that would bring great glory to God.

Did you know that every time you ask a Bible question, my heart would be so joyful? You have this crazy passion and desire to learn. This makes me rejoice. Who knew a 17 year old could care so much about living a holy life?

I have never seen it before and not sure when it will happen again. You are a unique masterpiece; created by God to serve and glorify Him. And you are. Are you perfect? Not even close, but you continue to try. I get excited to answer your text messages, to meet with you and find out what God is doing in your life. Do you know that sometimes when you do not even realize that He is working, He is. He is fashioning your life into something amazing and He is doing it a little a time. This causes all of us who know and love you to step back and be amazed at God's Work.

Your graduation day was special for me because I got to be a part. I have seen you grow and mature not just outside, but inside as well. You have reached an important milestone in your life and I am so proud. Not just of what you have accomplished, but what you have become. You love Jesus so much, your classmates even recognized that. Your day was special because your parents have worked hard, invested time, and love you so deeply. Your day was special because we laughed at a crazy waitress, enjoyed some Starbucks, and I stayed away for "teaching mode." For just a moment, we enjoyed today. That's what made today special.

You are the closest thing I have to a little sister. It is my joy and privilege to be a part of your life.

Did you know eating cheese pizza with someone can change your life? Who knew? Now, I do.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A New Mother's Day

I took tulips to the cemetery for Mom yesterday. I cried a lot. I've cried everyday for the past 4 days. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. Not sure I could let today get away without sharing something.

I've been thinking of the blessing I have received from having Godly parents and even though my Mom is gone, I continue to learn from her. Here's what I realized today and hope that I have the opportunity to pass on to my children someday. Dad is the smart theologian, knows God's Word, every Old Testament Bible story, and the opposing sides of a theological debate. I love it that he has this kind of knowledge. It gives way for some interesting conversations. He has this incredible love for learning that I believe He has passed on to me. When it comes to theological things, he is not really every surprised. He has heard it before, has an opinion, and is willing to listen to me. I love these conversations... a lot!

Mom was a little different in the way that she just simply loved the Bible. She knew the stories like Dad, but had a more practical side of reading the Word. I remember coming across passages of Scripture and being encouraged, impressed, or challenged. Of course, she had read the Scripture passage many times; the interesting thing was that she had a story or time in her life when that part of God's Word was especially real to her and how God had spoken to her through His Word. I remember reading Romans 5 after she got cancer and she told me about a specific time in college. It was incredible. The last time I was in Brazil, we read it everyday and then had some great conversation about it when I returned home. Another time, she challenged me to memorize the book of Philippians. She quoted it much better than I ever could, and so many of the verses had been a special part of her life.

So, what's the point? I said all of that to say this, what I realized today. Dad gave me my love for learning and theological study; Mom gave me a love for God's Word. They were working together to teach me and I had no idea, maybe they did. Not sure. This Mother's Day, I am extremely thankful. I hope that someday I have the privilege to teach my children what has been passed down to me.

Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
and forsake not your mother's teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
Proverbs 1:8-9

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Some Random...

I think it is time for another bullet point post:

  • I'm tired and craving some silence and solitude. I'm thankful that God still speaks in the chaos of life. In times like this, I realize the great joy that comes from His Word.
  • I miss Mom. It feels like yesterday, it feels like years. My heart has a void.
  • A student God has placed in my life has been a great source of encouragement. Kimberly and I have met, studied God's Word, and hung out for about 5 years now. She is getting ready to graduate High School. She is amazing. God has already done some incredible things in her life and I know the future looks promising. What a blessing she has been to me! I'm so proud of her.
  • Got to lead a lady to Christ during EE last night. It was different. She was so focused even though there were so many distractions. So thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit drawing people to the Savior.
  • Still reading through the Old Testament. I love the different perspective that it has on God and his relationship with Israel. One thing I have seen lately, I serve a God who keeps His promises. How comforting. How encouraging.
  • My dad is preaching on Sunday. I've already heard a little of his message. It's like I am the practice run before He preaches. Some things never change. I probably need to hear it twice.
Reading in 1 Corinthians to get through my Bible reading in a year, I read this morning, "For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bough with a price, do not become slaves of men." Never thought I would enjoy being a slave, but would not trade anything in this world for the opportunity of serving Jesus.