Thursday, February 28, 2008

Leaving the kiddos!

This weekend, Robby reserved us two nights @ the Temecula Creek Inn! Our church is hosting it's annual marriage retreat there! We are so excited to go but I find myself a little timid!

My Mom (who raised four kids) is coming to our home to watch our two kids! This will be the first time I've left Christian overnight and, we've never stayed away from Abby for 2 nights! As I'm writing up their schedules for my Mom, I'm already beginning to miss them :) I know they'll be in great hands! I'm just nervous!

I know too that these "feelings" I feel aren't right. The worry, fear, anxiety, timidity, nervousness, these aren't from the Lord.

Matthew 6:34 says (and I'm going to post it in a few different translations)
Do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (NASB)

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself" (NIV)

This whole passage talks about how God provides for and meets all our needs and that I can trust in Him that all things will be taken care of :)

If you want to say a prayer that Abby and Christian will be on their best behavior for Grammy and that Robby and I will have an awesome time investing in our marriage while we're gone, that'd be awesome! Prayers are always appreciated!

Pastor Mike reminds us all the time that, our spouses should be our first priority over our children. Usually, kids grow up and move out. It's the spousal relationship that lasts.

PS After putting this post up, I checked on Abby. She'd gotten into my purse and put Mommy's lipstick on ;) This is not the first time I've left Abby unattended where she's put on Mommy's makeup. A few weeks ago she coated her eyes with mascara!

Favorite worship song?

I've been meaning to write a post on a worship song that I can't seem to listen to enough these days. I find this praise song chorus so powerful that some days I can seriously be moved to tears, it's that Good. I want to share the words with you.

My iPod is full of randomly picked songs, not albums. Most of these songs, I've heard on Robby's iPod and ended up downloading them! I'm always looking for new Christian music to listen to! A girlfriend of mine just recommended Mandisa (American Idol) and it's really rockin!!! What songs do you enjoy?

The splendor of a King,
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice,
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at his voice,
And trembles at his voice

How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
and all who sing
How great, How great
Is our God

Age to age he stands
And time is in His Hands
Beginning and the End,
Beginning and the End

The Godhead, Three in one
Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb,
The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
and all who sing
How great, How great
Is our God

Name above all names
You are Worthy of all praise
and My heart will sing how great
Is our God

How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,
and all who sing
How great, How great
Is our God

How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,
and who sing
How great, How great
Is our God

It's just so awesome to think about how Great our God is :)

Another song I love is by Nicole C. Mullen. It's called "Redeemer". I love just listening to this song and thinking how great our God is, that He created the world we live in and how soverign He is over everything.

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
and Who told the ocean you can only come this far?
and Who showed the moon where to hide 'til evening?

Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives:
All of creation testifies
This life within me cry
I know my Redeemer lives, yeah.

The very same God that spins things in orbit
runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within we cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives forever, I'll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave

But now He's alive and
There's an empty grave.

And I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer,
I know my Redeemer
I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
I know that I know that I know that I know that I know my redeemer lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
I Know I know
He lives He lives yeah, yeah I spoke with him this morning
He lives He lives, the tomb is empty,
He lives I gotta tell everybody

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WOW! What a birthday!!!!!

Gosh, where do I begin!?!

Hmm, let's start with Saturday! Our Thrive Small Group met at Chuck E. Cheese for our monthly get together :) Our friends the McCrorys brought my favorite dessert, Trader Joe's Cheesecake (with chocolate to top it off)! We also had a gift of free pizza and tokens from our friends the Larsons! Our whole group sang happy birthday! We had such a fun time running around playing games, switching tables, and talking!

Saturday evening we had the opportunity to visit Robby's Mom. She was in Garden Grove for a teacher's conference so we drove up to Mainplace Mall and met her for dinner :) We were able to go back to the Hyatt and the kids got to play with "Mimi" in her hotel room! I got to open my present, a cute green top, some nice flower petal soaps and comfy white slippers!

Monday night, our family drove to see my family in Manhattan Beach. My Mom had made potato cheese soup and turkey sandwiches for dinner with carmel cake for dessert! I received a bunch of sentimental gifts, including a snowflake pin that was my grandmothers. I also got 2 cute movies, "Mr. Mom" and "Baby Boom"!

My gifts from Robby and the kids were a complete shock! First, a gift from Robby. "Phantom Of The Opera" tickets that are in row H of the orchestra! It's coming to the Orange County Performing Art Center! Then, from the kids :) Premium Disneyland Passes!!! I was SO surprised! I wasn't expecting either of these gifts!!!

Today is my actual birthday! I had a lot of fun celebrating today! :) I met some girlfriends for playtime at the Mall and lunch! Chiara brought chocolate cupcakes!!! I was even blessed with gifts, a sweet smelling candle, some nummy lip gloss, cute notepad and post its, a Busy Mom's Guide to Bible Study book and an Olive Garden gift certificate!!!

Then, Robby came home early from work and we took the kids to Disneyland and Rain Forest Cafe! This is my absolute favorite place to go with Robby :) We always have a blast! We'd had passes for 2 years prior to the kids being born. It used to be a weekly date night for us, listening to the violinist play while we enjoyed Italian food @ Naples. Abby's favorite ride, Tea Cups! She also wasn't too big of a fan of the gorillas at Rain Forest. She ended up eating her entire dinner and dessert sitting on Mommy's lap! Christian slept through the entire "rain storm"!!!

It's now 10-! Both kids are asleep and I've been able to listen to voicemails, emails, instant messages and myspace messages from girlfriends and family and received cards in the mail. Today, I'm just feeling so blessed, special and loved by SO many! Thank you so much for making my 27th birthday SO special!

Thanks to:
Robby, Rosemary, Robby's grandparents, my Mom and Dad, Robby's Mom, Holly, Aunt Julie, Chiara, Laura, Alycia, Rachel, Carrie, Megan, Paula, Meg, Lindsey, Kana, Jen T., Lori, Katy & James :)

This weekend should be awesome too as Robby reserved us 2 nights at the Temecula Creek Inn for our church Marriage Retreat! My Mom is coming to watch the kids for the 3 days we'll be gone :) Thank you Mom and Robby! :) This will be our first time leaving Christian overnight and, we've never left Abby for 2 nights! This should be a fun new experience for our family! :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mike's Message

James 1:22- Be doers of the word, and not hearers only.

This week, our church hosted a ministry fair. Pastor Mike put together a 55 page book of all the ministry needs and opportunities in our church! They passed them out last weekend, asked us to thumb through it and pray about where we need to serve.

His message was short, but very good! He said that in most churches, 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Yet, we're all given gifts, that means each of us. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says "Each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." This means that every person should be involved in some aspect of service. God has enabled YOU to fulfill a particular role! :) Service should permeate our lives! We're to always be growing, moving forward in our Spiritual walk and maturing.

I thought about my friend Chiara. Thursday nights, she and her husband lead our Thrive Marriage ministry at church. On Wednesday, she co-leads a Women's Bible Study table and every other Sunday she blesses Mommies of the church by watching the babies in the nursery! I think about Jen who teaches the 2's class on Saturdays and leads a table at Navigating Motherhood. Sarah also leads at Navigating Motherhood and leads a group with her husband at Thrive. There are a lot of other things these women are involved in at church too including accountability and leading women through the partners program.

I really started to evaluate what I do for the church and felt very convicted. I don't merely want to be a consumer. I bring the kids to church Sunday to "hear" but, I don't "do" anything for the church. I come on Wednesday mornings to Bible study to "hear" but I don't "do" anything.

Pastor Mike said that it's his job as Pastor to instruct the people of the church so they can be adequately prepared to do something. We're not supposed to be there to "get" something. Also, when we serve at church, it's the MOST important way we can spend our time here on earth because, when we're serving God's people, I'm serving God! The longer we've been attending church, the more prepared we should be to lead.

I really liked another thing Pastor Mike said regarding "Spiritual Gifts". So often we take the "spiritual gifts" test when, in the Bible there's no set list of gifts presented! We stumble over this "gift list" so much that we don't get involved cause, "it's not my gift". We need to have more of the "ATAPAT" attitude. That means "Any Thing, Any Place, Any Time", just be willing to "do"!

I liked too that it doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment to one ministry. We can try things out for a few months and see how we like it. Also, sometimes God may call us to different ministries. I LOVED serving in AWANA for years but our AWANA ministry at church meets the same night as our Thrive Marriage Ministry. I'd love to get involved in AWANA again someday but right now we're serving in Thrive! (and loving it by the way!)

This week, I started putting Christian in the nursery! That's probably why I was able to hear all of this weeks sermon! ;) Before he was born, Abby and I were serving in Navigating Motherhood kids ministry and doing Saturday night toddler ministry. It's time for me to get involved again! :)

I really enjoyed reading through the "Opportunities to Serve" booklet. It's amazing seeing how God is working in our church! I had a lot of fun running from table to table signing up for different ministries to help in!

If you're free on May 10th, we're having Compass Bible Church's 3rd Annual Spring Tea from 11:00am to 2:00pm and Pastor Mike's wife Carlynn will be speaking! I'll be hosting a table too! :) My Haviland China and Heisey Crystal will finally get some use! ;)

Something else to think about...
What church do you call home? Are you 100% committed to one church? How are we serving?

Remember, we're not supposed to jog our way through the Christian life. We're running the race to win the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.