This blog will be quite long because it has Saturday and Sunday's happenings together. Hope you can stay with it because the best is last!
For the sake of not typing out everyone's name in our family. Here are the 'codes':
DH - Darling Husband
DD - Darling Daughter
DS - Darling Son
So today we had planned to stay in, sleep in, and catch up on our rest this weekend. DH has not been feeling well with sinus congestion. He had a great week of work orientation with his now job, but over the weekend his sinuses began to act up. We are all still battling the upper respiratory crud...takes time to get that worked out. It turned rather cold here, got below freezing one night this week. Burrrrrrrrr.... Where's the BEACH! ;)
It has been a whirlwind with moving to a new state, and getting unpacked. I'm happy to say that I only have 3 more boxes to unpack. We have so many books that were packed up... Gave so many books away, and we're going to need another bookshelf for our den to hold the books we kept. Looks like we will also need a wall mount for our TV. The Fireplace mantel is very narrow and will not hold our television. We have a list of 'needed' things that we will just have to ck off as we can aquire them.
One thing I did purchase was a shower curtain for the children's bathroom. All they had before was a clear liner, which was torn away from the rings on each end. This one is pretty cute. (Thanks Lindsay for helping us narrow it down) TJ Maxx has super deals on their clearance and bundle racks. I love that place and glad there is one here where we live. My DD and I found the curtain, and then went next door to Big Lots (or Odd Lots as DH's father used to call it)
Here's a pic...the green bath mat towel does not go. lol I'd love to get some of these... Click Here to See! I've purchased these for family members, and I think I shall purchase some at some point for us! I like the dark chocolate brown ones for the children's bathroom and our master. The downstairs...probably will get the light green or cream color. Probably cream. All of the tile in all bathrooms are large shiny marble looking tiles with dark brown, cream and light brown veins running thru. It's really pretty. Everything is just neutral browns and beige. Which is what we run into with renting. I'm so ready for COLOR someday! Until then, I'll keep accenting with my color decor.
Saturday our family slept in and then we took a drive after lunch. I have a bunch of pics from Sat.'s drive, but they are probably going to look smallish here on my blog. However, will still share them for those of my family and friends who do not have Facebook.
We left out and this is the beauty we saw on our way out....which eventually led us to beautiful fiery trees of Harvest Gold, Orange and Red. Wow!
This is what a beautiful tree, with vibrant yellow leaves looks like when the driver of the car is not leisurely driving...but flying by the scenery...lol
The man behind the wheel eventually slowed down, when he got us to where he was going.....
After much driving through valleys and up mountains, we came to this small town. Before we drove through it (if you blinked you would miss it), we saw a pumpkin festival going on right outside of the little town. I wanted to stop, but I was outvoted. ;)
Instead, DH wanted to take us to see more views that he had seen while in orientation for his new job. We wound up at a cemetary. I was like...a cemetary???? Sort of unusual (keep in mind DH is a Hospice Chaplain and he view deaths as very sacred- a cemetary is a peaceful place to him). Also, the view was quite spectacular from that spot....
Driving up into the cemetary we saw beautiful red leaves on this tree...
One view from cemetary......
Another spectacular view from standing in the gazebo of the cemetary......
Being in the cemetary was hard for me, yet healing for me at the same time. My DD and I got out of the car and walked together while I took some pics with my cell phone. We were both feeling sorrow over some losses, without us even talking about them. We pulled together, and I took this pic of us together....
Just when things seemed a little heavy and sad.....we drove by this....
Now I am in 'no way' disrespecting this family and their loss, but something about this God used to give our family a little comic relief. We have experienced much loss....of family and friend in the past yrs.... When we all looked at that stone, we all thought of Scooby Doo, and how he says, Rut Rough Raggy...and the irony of this led us into much spontaneous laughter. I think God likes laugher. He has a sense of humor, and created us to have one too.
Had to grab one more shot of this water tower...I just loved the rust and color of it...standing tall in the midst of such a colorful backdrop of trees...
On our way out, we stopped at a country store and bought some coca cola's in little glass bottles...
We thought of our precious GaGa. He loved cola in glass bottles, fried pies and moon pies. I was VERY thankful for that coke, which settled my stomach before the tight winding road we ended up on. DH thought he had been on this road. I'm telling you, it was a winding winding tight mountain road. I got a little 'green' with car sickness. The coke to sip on was a blessing.
Then.....we ended up WAY LOST on a dirt road....
...for a LONG TIME we were on this dirt road......which kept breaking out into AMAZING views...
Eventually we found our way back to civilization. I'm telling you, it was not right away....we sure had to trust that we would get there, and we got into some desolate places! Whew! lol
We came to this tree.........I SO LOVE this TREE!!!
Now, on to TODAY, Sunday.
We had 'planned' to sleep in again. We had planned to be together as a family, and take it easy. The past months and weeks leading up to the move have been stressful to say the least. On top of that, our whole family got sick the week DH left to begin work, which was the same week I had to finish up the packing and preparing for movers...with pneumonia. Not fun, so we wanted to stay in and heal.
However, it so happens that our master bedroom is FULLY LIGHTED EARLY in the morning. Even with blinds, it is BRIGHT. We were up by 8 am. Our DD's room is on the same side of the house, so she was up as early. Getting DS awake was a little more of a challenge, but he did get moving pretty quick.
We visited a church that my DH had found on the website, back when he was checking out the new area, before we moved. Every time we visited the site, there was so much about it that reminded us of Harvest Church and Mountain Grove Church. Not that we can ever find the same churches exactly....but something about it just seemed right. When we drove by the church last week, it seemed much different than the website. When we got INTO the building.... what loving people.
We were greated warmly. Even as FULL as the service was, we were greated by ALL of the leaders. They saught us out and noticed we were new, and greeted us. They were INTERESTED in us, and it really showed. They touched us with pats on the back and sincere conversations...and weren't afraid to show the love of God in action.
What blew our minds......well, several things actually!!!
First, it felt very 'familiar'. I think God does that when you are in the place HE wants you to be for that moment. I'm not saying this is 'the place' we are going to make our church home yet. We need to visit places, and pray pray pray!
The service opened with a BEAUTIFUL worship dance!!! OH I wish I had recorded it with my phone. If they do this dance again, I will!!!! (Sarge, you would have LOVE It!!) It was so anointed. They used flags and tamborines...wow!!! Here is the song they danced to....the words so ministered to our family....anointed and I hope they will do it again sometime!
During praise and worship, the Holy Spirit flowed so freely. Actually their service reminded me of some services I've seen online at Bethel in California. How many people go down front to worship...their songs, etc.
Here are the songs that were sung during worship this morning....we felt right at home because Harvest Church had introduced us to many of these songs. ;) Thank you God for these words in song...such comfort and reminders from the Lord especially with where our family is at right now:
This was AWESOME when they sang it....
Third song.....and could not believe they did this one today......... Wow God! I've LOVED this ever since I heard it at Harvest Church...
His LOVE NEVER FAILS it NEVER GIVES UP, it NEVER RUNS OUT ON ME! I never have to be afraid...this ONE THING REMAINS!
Ok, this was totally amazing and such a God moment! My DD had a dream last night. She woke up singing a song. At a point in the service this song was played!!!! She had a dream where the enemy was really attacking her at the core of her giftings and her heart to encourage others, and she woke up singing this song. God was reminding her of WHO she is in HIM even as she was waking up. I had also been very attacked by the enemy this week...the enemy IS the accuser of the brethren.
Anyway, so, DD woke up singing this song, THEN it was played in the service today! How cool is that?? Only God can orchestrate what He did today!
I needed to hear it too. Here it is......
The message was on being HIS BELOVED. There was so much greatness of God in that message today. What a compassionate, passionate, and loving message today. The Pastor shared parts of a song with us by Misty Edwards on what love really is:
Here are some notes from the message today:
Love is what Jesus showed us on the cross. It is willing to be....... Arms Wide Open, A Heart Exposed, and Bleeding...Sometimes Bleeding. Jesus was our example. We must keep our arms wide open to people, we must be willing to allow people to expose the truth of their hearts while still accepting them where they are at...sometimes we bleed..allow them to bleed. By HIS stripes we are healed. It isn't anything WE do for someone else, but what we allow Christ to do through us as we love others....as we hold them, cry with them, for however long it takes for them. God loves THRU people. It was so refreshing to hear this. These are all quotes from the pastor I am typing previously and now... Love is the key to disclosure, in the purity of love. Only the emotion of love will overcome fear. Open your heart, let love in. Love others, and let others love you. There is no fear in true God passion love. Ministry is holding someone while they open their heart, while they are bleeding....ministry is holding one another through it and allowing Christ to do the healing. He also mentioned a quote about, "A Lover OUTWORKS a worker". When someone is doing something with love, they will last and they will have passion. They won't give up on someone else. Paul boasted in his weaknesses, he gloried in them because he knew in his weakness, Christ's strength would be revealed. Our heart is like a mirror to others. God always makes room for others. There is room for me. I am a delight in everything I bring in the name of the Lord. God pursues us through people. He referenced the pepsi commercial of the puppies in pursuit....Click HERE and you can see the Puppies in Pursuit. See the end how the puppies shower with love...
This is how God pursues us and how HE uses people to pursue us with His love. Lay down our walls in our relationships. It is about HIM but it is also about US. He uses US to be His love. Emotions are not bad. Too many times we shut them off. His love for us is passionate and he delights spending time with us, and the body of Christ should delight spending time with one another. And be sad when we have to go away. (It helped me so much to hear these words because I do have sorrow that we had to go away, and God was saying to me this morning...you are OK to feel that!) He said that knowledge makes arrogance, but love always edifies. The scriptures He referenced in this message were:
Song of Solomon 4:8
Song of Solomon 7:10
1 John 4:18
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
1 John 4:18
1 John 4:19
He said, "Where fear restrains us, we can hear Your Heartbeat God."
Here was the ending song of the sermon:
The Pastor finished with reminding us who were are in Christ. "Beloved" Our identity of being His Beloved. Also, he shared a story about his brother who died (I think pretty recently but he was in his 50's when he died). He had alzheimer's, and shrank to look like a 90 yr old man. After he died, his wife was in the shower crying out, and when she opened her eyes, she saw her husband...and he said these words to her:
"Pain will make you strong. Great pain will make you invincible. Be invincible for Him."
If we had slept in, we would have missed all of these wonderful words God wanted to share with us to encourage our hearts. Thanks God for loving us that much! He also brought up Romans 8:28 :)