rejoice for He is risen!

I had a really cool Easter. 

I started the day with my 3rd ever Easter church service of my life, and it was awesome.  It just felt really energizing and focusing and fantastic. 

I then got to hang with one of my girlies from youth where we mostly played with my camera and she hugged me a lot :).  Love the girls I’ve had an opportunity to get to know through my church’s youth program.  Also, one of the other youth leaders found candy canes on his dresser and brought them to church.  Because, really, what says EASTER more than candy canes?

This was followed by spending some chaotic time in the three year old room, where everything simmered down when they got in for stories and worship.  I had a little buddy who was so adorable through the time we spent in the teaching portion.  He’s three but has just started talking, so he repeats EVERYTHING you say, and decided I was his friend for today.  Three year old cuddles between praise songs are the bestest.

At home while waiting to go to family dinner I did some varieties of running around because the city turned off our water so they could fix something at our neighbours’ place.  Once that calmed down [aka we had showered and acquired a port-a-potty from my grandparents—gotta love being lake people] I read some of the Easter story in the Bible which just felt super awesome. 

"display the bright splendor of your Son, so the Son in turn may show Your bright splendor"

John 17:1

Intermingle this with a lot of praise music, and even the chaos can be really refreshing.  I think that’s kind of a reminder of where I should be ALL THE TIME.  In the chaos, REJOICE.  PRAISE.  SEEK.  And I have to get better at that.

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my God is full of awesome

don’t look at the past again / the first and last has made everything new / and you are too / so lift your hands / and let your story be told

Break Your Knees, Flyleaf

The power of worship, community and love just overwhelms me sometimes. And the power of any of these things would not be able to exist without a very loving, powerful and overwhelming God.

Ground Zero tonight was awesome—inspiring, refreshing, recharging.

There is something very awesome about praying with your sisters in Christ—praying with people who are perhaps just discovering the redemptive love of Jesus in their lives.  There is something very awesome about being on your knees in awe of all that God can, has and WILL do.  There is something very awesome about feeling the stillness, the love and the PRESENCE and WHOLENESS of God.

There is something awesome about knowing that no matter what, He CAN and WILL make it all become okay and that we can TRUST Him in that—that we can trust him in anything.

There is nothing more awesome.  There is nothing more I could want in life than to know MORE of that awesome.

i only notice Your face, no matter what You’re gonna break my shell

I’m Sorry | Flyleaf

So the day started off sucking.  I woke up to a nosebleed [which like, never happens but has happened twice this winter], both my debit cards and my bus pass were missing, and you know, it was early.  I was pretty much ready to write the day off before it even started.

Starbucks fixed me.  Not only because of the copious amounts of caffeine and sugar it caused me to consume, which did help, and not only because it was delicious, but because out of nowhere, Starbucks messed up both mine and Terina’s drinks which we looked at in confusion as they arrived on the counter:

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That is one heck of a Frappuccino.  Not only that, is that I discovered White Mocha Frappuccinos, which are delicious and I was okay to consume a large amount of white mocha Frapp due to that delicious.  But yes, huge.  Thank goodness for Tiffani sitting beside me helping me with it throughout the service this morning.

The Frappuccino sat under my chair as the service went on and as the service ended awaiting consumption, perhaps awaiting when I would need another cheer-up. 

Our latest series is on tough stuff in general–today was no exception, today delivered, because life can be hard.  They’re services that it’s hard to get through if you have any sort of personal connection to the topic.  Today’s service was especially hard for one of my friends sitting beside me, and it spoke to parts of my past, too, parts that I have overcome with Jesus . . . things that Jesus is working in my friend to overcome.  At times like that, He Loves Us is more impactful than it is on a non-heavy Sunday morning.  I definitely didn’t get through “I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about . . . how He loves us.” without some tears (which happens more often than not.  I mean, how GOOD is that lyric?]

I firmly believe though that tears are outward signs of God working on the inside, outward signs of beginning or continual healing, and that is a really cool thing.  A thing that lead to the end of service, sitting with my arms around the same friend from above and just praying for God to help her feel that He is walking with her through this . . . tears heal.  Love heals.  JESUS heals.

And Starbucks to pick you up again doesn’t hurt . . . prayer being draining is definitely a good thing too.  There is LIGHT in all of this.  But if darkness didn’t exist . . . light wouldn’t matter.  It is amazing how God created such things to complete one another.

The irony is, LIGHT ended up being our unintentional theme in our room today with the three year olds.  I was trying to think up a quote about children [since our Bible verse had already been there a month] for our board.  I got this:

photo (14) The lady at the desk behind me told me I was very creative when I was drawing stars all over it.  I think being creative is a prerequisite for working with three year olds.  So, I guess I’m in the right place.  [See also: I know how to deal with criers and new kids ;).  New kiddo today and it was her family’s first time at our church.  She clung to her mom, I showed them around, she got excited by the trains, and did not care about her mom leaving anymore (though, she did wait for me before going anywhere, but that works, whatever).

Here was our craft:photo (15)

photo (16)

How cute is that?

LIGHT, hugs and high-fives from three year olds and goofy praise songs were exactly what I needed after the service.

(Oh yeah, and my bus pass and one of two debit cards were found)

. . . Cause there’s a light in your eyes, and it tells me that God is on our side.

Light in Your Eyes | Flyleaf

Yahweh, look what You’ve done for me

look what You’ve done for me / Your blood has set me free / Jesus my Lord, look what You’ve done for me / i haven’t been the same / ever since that day i called Your name / Yahweh, Yahweh, look what You’ve done for me

what can i do for You, my Lord? / i want You to know my heart is Yours / it’s not a question of what You can do for me / but what can i do for You my Lord?

up to Your cross I crawl / now i am standing ten feet tall / Jesus my Saviour, look what You’ve done for me / free at last, i’m free / i owe You my life completely / Yahweh, Yahweh, look what You’ve done for me

look what You’ve done // tree 63

So because I was playing with cute three year olds [read: being hugged, being followed, being used for a chair, making endless bathroom trips, reading stories and being ignored until I stopped, etc] I missed service today.  We only had one service, so therefore I missed Tiffani getting baptized, and I missed the epic music [sans Drew.  Still have not been to a Drew-less service, and I assume it will be lower on the awesome-level, albeit still awesome, because that’s just how my church family rolls] that commenced today.  I love my church family so much.  I am starting to feel really, really settled and I am so, so happy.

I missed Look What You’ve Done, He Loves Us [what is this song actually called, anyway? ‘He Loves Us’, ‘How He Loves’ or ‘How He Loves Us’?] and another equally awesome song upstairs in service.  I haven’t been to a legit service in a couple weeks, only playing with adorable three year olds, I really miss it.  Next Sunday, I will do both!

Jesus, look what You’ve done for me.  Brought me from the depths of self-absorption of depression to this.  This abundant, never-ceasing feeling of being ALIVE.  What else can I do, but use my life and my love to praise You?  Use all that You allow me to do in this life as a form of worship to Your never-ending love, Your love that heals, changes, ignites life.  A love I don’t deserve.

What can I do to show You more love . . . to love You more and more as You love me?

12 of 12 – december ‘10

Last 12 of 12 of 2010!

On the 12th of each month, a bunch of bloggers take 12 pictures throughout the day.  These are my pictures for December 12th, 2010.

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7:15 AM – bed.  Eff.  I have to get up and go to church in this?  Good thing I love my church.

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7:47 am – bus stop.  This is the biggest lie I have seen ever.  Or today at least.  Canada?  Warm?

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8:49 am – church.  Oh how I love my church’s proximity to Starbucks.  Although my gingerbread latte was totally, totally a letdown.  I had to go back tonight and have a caramel apple spice to make myself feel better.DSCF5673 10:46 am – church.  Our first kiddo arrived in the three year old room.  She was super-intensely writing a list on an offering envelope.

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1:50 pm – kitchen.  What this open Dr Pepper can is doing amongst the produce I have no idea.

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3:16 pm – kitchen.  Studying sociology.  Evil, evil textbook.  Well, I guess since I was reading about maltreatment, it is evil.

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3:19 pm – kitchen.  I went to my room for popcorn twists [which were semi-stale] and found a totally hardened muffin.  I am fortunate muffins do not mold, or I would probably have puked.  I do not do mold.

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5:42 pm – bedroom.  I finally had enough with the inhaler hits [my lungs hate winter] and did a breathing treatment, which has kept me pretty dang open the last six hours.  Even though my neb was doing something weird and it took FOREVER to do a freaking unit dose.  I hate asthma.

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5:44 pm – bathroom.  See how cold it is?  I am wearing FOUR layers on my upper body.  In your face, Canada.

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6:46 pm = church.  Enter the Farewell Party for the epic and lovely Browns.  This “welcome.  we’re glad you’re with us today.” sign makes me feel really good whenever I walk into my church.  I’m totally, totally blessed to be here and to have gotten to experience the awesome love that is Drew and Sara the last three and a half months.

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9:59 pm – church.  My lovely friends Tiffani [left] and Tara [right].  They are sisters and awesome.

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11:14 pm – kitchen.  Posting my 12 of 12.  One of my pictures didn’t turn out as I thought it did, so I’m short one, kay?  Dang. ;-)  Short one no longer! [Well, I’m still a short one :)].

12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell.  Click here to see all the December 12 of 12s.

It’s been a great year, all – see you in 2011!

kid quotes: "what’s special to you?”

I volunteer with the three year olds during second service at church.  They are awesome and do and say very cute things that are often really touching.

Today, one boy was very gently “taking care of” the dolls.  He took them shopping and just LOVED them.  When I asked him what his baby’s name was, he told me his brother’s name.  When I realized he had two babies in the shopping cart a few minutes later, I went and asked what the baby’s name was again.  He pointed to the other baby and once again told me his brother’s name.  Soon enough, he accumulated four babies [one of which, he pointed out to me “This baby has no eyes!” and so it was that the doll’s eyes had been pried out.  Poor doll.], all of whom were named after his brother.  So, so cute.

Then in small-group time, this happened.

ME: What’s special to you, T?

T: *looks at me and smiles* R!

R” is one of our three year old girls, who is an absolute sweetheart [well, they all are, but she’s little spunky, wide-eyed three-year-old fashionista.]

Terina asked one of the kids what was special to her . . . THIS just makes my heart so, so happy:

“I have this friend . . . he’s a guy.  He’s always there for me.  His name is God.”

Goodness.  Goodness goodness goodness.

These kids and this God . . . make my heart so, so happy.