Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Nonnie!

Happy Mother's Day to a ROCKSTAR mom. Here are some highlight memories of my mom and hopefully anyone who reads this is inspired and encouraged about the role a mother can play in her childrens' lives- I believe it's in the top 5 most impactful jobs on the planet and Terri Schenzel nailed it while we were growing up and gets more and more wonderful with her adult children...

Memory 1: Our 'performances.' As old family videos prove, my sister and I had a knack for putting on some pretty stellar shows... We would dance around the living room for my parents and brothers to the tune of Amy Grant and especially seemed to like her Christmas album. I love how engaged my mom was. In every video you can just sense what a 'present' mom she was (and is) we always felt so 'seen' (which may explain why my marriage works best when I get lots of attention-quality time all the way baby!!)

Memory 2: Reading. My mom is seriously one of the BEST readers... She read to us for hours (some of us more than others- I don't think Turner could sit still for very long). She even did voices for the different characters... we would frequently ask my dad: "ummm...actually.... can mom read this book to us instead???" because he just wasn't quite as animated. I have memories mom getting choked up reading Max Lucado's "The Crippled Lamb." She would also get each of us a special book every Christmas-we loved that (some more than others (refer to above comment about Turner))...

Memory 3: Singing/rocking. We used to have this old creaky rocking chair that my mom spent hours in rocking us and singing the song: "Jesus, Jesus, Jeeeeessssuuuus there's just something about that name... master, saviour, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain...." I now cry when I'm rocking my own baby and singing that song because it takes me back.

Memory 4: The get-a-way. When I was around 12ish (can't remember exactly) my mom planned a one night hotel get-a-way to give me 'the talk.' She not only made it a super special right of passage, but she had dropped off a gift basket earlier in the day so that it was waiting in our room when we arrived. At first I thought it was a gift basket from the hotel staff (I guess I didn't get out much), but she had specially picked out girlie things that were very meaningful and to this day is one of my favorite gifts I've ever received.

Memory 5: Missions trips. My mom has been on TWO missions trips with me. While I was in high school we went to both Costa Rica and Mozambique... Seriously, what high schooler wants their mom to come on an international trip with them and their friends???- THIS ONE! My mom and I have such special memories because of that- She also went on a trip with my sister to Afghanistan when Annie was in high school...

 Memory 6 :Nonnie. It's so fun that this is my mom's first Mother's Day as Nonnie. Can't believe I'm old enough to be a mother and therefore she is old enough to be a grandmother... the woman doesn't look like a grandma!!!! But honestly, I am SO glad my mom arrived in time for Theo's birth- she literally saw him come into this world (no details) and there is no one else who would have made that day as special as she did.

Mom, You release a piece of glory to this earth by just being who you are and doing what you do best: loving and mothering people. And SERIOUSLY: you need to write a book.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Stretch Marks

"The only reason God stretches you out is so He can push more in... Every great Christian has stretch marks." - Graham Cooke

   I have been thinking about stretch marks lately :) This quote by Graham Cooke is so powerful because it uncovers a deeper truth... Anything hard we are going through is only an opportunity to see what the Lord has to give you. How are you being stretched? Stretching means growth... What does God want to be to you in your situation? 
 Even pregnancy stretch marks are an example of a painful process designed to give you a gift. Stretching= promotion
  So be stretched and be blessed!

P.S. Highly recommend Graham Cooke's "The Art of Brilliant Thinking" -these teachings are changing my life!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Paul's Recap of Tijuana

   Thank you to everyone who supported and prayed for me on my Tijuana Missions trip. It was an amazing time where God came and encountered Tijuana on so many levels. When we live our lives in faith and take radical risk it’s amazing how He continually comes and blesses us and other people beyond what we thought was even possible.
   On the first day, I had an encounter with the Lord that forever changed me. I learned that if I never did any great miracles or led anyone to Jesus on the entire trip that I am accepted and loved by my Father. I feel like it shook my identity in a  wonderful way. The great thing is though, God still loves to do miracles and loves people so much that He was going to use me to show them. We had so many miracles happen, but I’m going to share a couple that rocked me to the core.
   On Friday, we went to a church where joy was not in the building. You could tell they were sincere, but were not experiencing the love or joy of our Father. I was on my way to the bathroom during worship (don’t judge me), when I saw a lady coming out of the bathroom with crutches. So I asked her what was going on (and couldn’t really understand-I don’t speak Spanish) so I just decided to pray for her knee. I put my hand on her knee and command pain to go. I asked her how it felt and she says there was “fuego” on it, which means “heat or fire”. I said, “that’s good,” then I get this thought to blow on it. I put my hand on her knee and blew and felt it popping. She started crying and said it was completely better! By the end of the night the church was so touched by Papa’s joy they were all dancing (including the lady who came in on crutches). Isn’t God awesome?- He will use us even in the bathroom.
   On Saturday we did an outreach at Revolution Street, which is the red light district. I saw people get healed and God used me to bring several people to an encounter with the Lord and that caused them to surrender their lives. We even saw a couple transvestites give their lives to God. I love how He doesn’t discriminate. On Sunday, we had an amazing church service where several people got healed. Then we went to the hospital where a gang member/heroin user gave his life to God and saw about 15 additional healings.
   One healing at the hospital that really was crazy. There was a little boy who was 13 and had broken his collar-bone that day. He was standing outside with his dad who had called us over because he himself had had his knees healed in the waiting room. Three people were praying for the boy when I had the thought again to blow on his shoulder (reasoning that as believers if Christ is in us, we have the breath of Christ). So our translator asked him permission and he said sure. So I blew on his shoulder and he said he felt electricity. I said, “that’s a good sign, lets me do it again”. So as I blew, I had my hands on his shoulder and literally felt his bones pop back into place. We asked him to try it out. When he lifted his hands with no pain his face dropped. He started swinging his arms and was completely healed. That was our last day in Tijuana, but it didn’t stop there. Our team got to host a service at a Vineyard Church in Laguna Niguel where we saw lots of people get saved and healed. The one thing I really experienced on this trip is that when God heals he heals the whole person!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I'm 2.5 months...

   Hello world! I'm 2 and a half months in 3 days and couldn't be cuter! See for yourself?!?:

I don't like to brag, but I'm sleeping 10 hours a night and then snuggle with mom and dad for another 2 hours until 9 am... Then mom and I get up and do 'exercises.'

kicking my baby legs and arms...
 This last week I took my 1st trip to San Francisco. I loved it! I rode the 'muni' and ate at cool places. Mom and Dad took me to the park and covered me with a blanket so my fair baby skin wouldn't bake in the sun... 

 They didn't hardly take any picture because they had their hands full with me... I'm a little high maintenance at times... but BOY! am I smiley in the mornings... we cuddle lots!

I admit giving looks like this is a little unfair... how can mom and dad resist??
  I am excited to be moving to Omaha this month so I can be closer to my cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents... Don't you worry though... I'm making sure to give mom a run for her money by refusing to let her put me down while she is trying to pack... She is  a little emotional about leaving the place I was born. We made lots of memories here! Here is a picture from last week where she made dad snap a photo while she was holding me... she had just gotten done crying because I'm growing up so fast... She is VERY nostalgic.

 I love being a baby, but SERIOUSLY! who wants to live on a liquid-only diet forever?!