Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To die is gain...

As I enter a note about the phone call I'd just had with the payroll company, I check the date.... 6/26 ...

"Already?" I wonder inside as my voice continues to carry on a happy telephone conversation about our family dachshund.

"I almost missed it... That would have been a first," I think as I save the note and then refocus on the conversation about dog shampoo and itchy skin.

A couple hours later I look at the spreadsheet I'm working on and my eye skims past the calendar. There it is again ... 6/26.

I go into the bedroom and open my sock drawer. I dig under the assortment of hosiery and pull out the black and white striped journal. Walking back into the office, I sit and open the off-white pages and flip to the middle of the book. I don't let my eyes focus enough to read all of the words (I'm not willing to go back there today). So, I flip to see how many pages there were... Four. At the end of the 4th page, I let my eyes focus and look to see what I wrote...

"I pray that through this traumatic experience, people are able to see how great you are."

I catch my breath as I finish reading the sentence. "Did I really pray that then? ... I must have, because I wrote it..." And there I reread a prayer that so simply reflects what happened that day....

The five of us kids, as we rode in that white van the day before, talked about Philippians 1:21.

"To live is Christ, to die is gain."

After some discussion, we agreed that we believed the verse. That dying for Christ was more than worth it if it meant the proclamation of His Name.

The next day we looked down the barrel of a black gun that tested if we really believed dying in the name of Christ was worth it.

I sit here eight years later and simultaneously praise the Lord for sparing our lives while recognizing that a part of us did die that day ... we died to ourselves.

As we've continued to serve our Maker and make His name known in spite of what happened, He has shown people how great He is.

"I pray that through this traumatic experience, people are able to see how great you are."

We asked that the Holiest of Holies would use violent sin to bring glory to His name.

We agreed to die to ourselves if God would make it worth it.

And I rejoice in sharing with you that He came through. He didn't just rescue us that day. He didn't just spare our lives so we could spend a little more time here on Earth and make it home to hug our families. He went further and answered a simple request from the heart of a small servant. Through the pain, the fear, the PTSD, the agony of watching my family endure the trial with me, through it all, His name has been proclaimed and people have seen how great He is.

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4:8)

That was my declaration in the van, and it's my declaration today. The Lord God Almighty is Holy, was holy, and will be holy forever and ever. And as He will be Holy, He will also be faithful. (Psalm 119:90) Praise The Lord.. Praise The Lord!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Crock Pot Lettuce Wraps

Yum yum yum!

As soon as I sampled my first bite of this delicious (so easy!) recipe, I knew I had to share it will all of the foodies and dinner preparers who visit our blog!

This recipe is for Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

David liked them so much, he offered to take the left overs to work for lunch the next day!

Notes on the recipe:

- The only ingredient I did not use was sesame seeds (because I could not find them at Kroger).
- I used 3 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- I used the lowest setting on my crockpot and let the chicken cook for 4 hours before taking it out to shred. It was perfectly cooked and moist!
- I (like the Domestic Superhero) used Bib Lettuce.
- There was enough left over for one person to have lunch. 

If you try this recipe, I hope you and your family like it as much as we did! 

And if you know where sesame seeds can be found, please comment below!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekend in Dallas, TX

For several months now, my mother-in-law, Brenda, has wanted to take a quick trip down to Dallas, TX for a weekend. She shared her idea with some extended family members and soon found herself the  Travel Coordinator for a fun-filled weekend of Dallas sight seeing and family time. 

We got to take a tour of the new George W. Bush Library at SMU. 

(David, Me, Brenda, Dave Sr., Erin, & Evan)

It was really incredible. David and I both agreed that we'd happily go back if given the opportunity. We all thought it was a special way for us to honor a man who'd made such a positive impact on our lives. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the family enjoying the great mexican at Chuy's afterwards. Nor, did I document the evening at Trail Dust Steakhouse, but that was probably because we were enjoying the great food and fun times too much!

The next day was Father's Day, and it couldn't have been more appropriate for us to tour the Dallas Cowboy's Stadium that day. 

(David, Dave Sr, and Erin in front of the stadium)

(Papa John & Memaw Millicent)

(Having fun in one of the club boxes)

(The press room)

(The locker room)

(Uncle Lloyd and David walking underground)

(Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleader's Locker Room - We're copying the poses of the cheerleaders' pictures above us!)

(Evan and Erin on the field!)

(Field Goal!)

(Uncle Lloyd's still got football skills!)

(Erin's pretty good too!)

(Dave Sr. and Brenda - 10 yard line)

 (David and Dave Sr.)

Everyone had a lot of fun laughing, oohing and awing, and running around the football field. It was a great day, and a great weekend! But most of all, we had great fellowship with Armand, Stebbins, Mills, Carr, and Warford families!

God Bless Texas!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Speaking in Faith

Camp kicked off this week at the Arkansas Dream Center. Even though David couldn't come down with me, he was a huge behind the scenes servant helping me put together a costume and science experiment for my reoccurring character, "Professor Pricilla" (stay posted for a picture)

It was such a joy getting to again see the children who'd been coming to Girls' Night and DC Kids during the school year. And, it was such a blessing to meet so many new faces (children and servants)

I couldn't believe how many kids kept coming and coming, day after day, who'd never been to the Dream Center before. One little girl even exclaimed as her grandparent was registering her for camp, "I was born for this place!" Oh, sweet child! Maybe you were. : ) Maybe part of your purpose is to grow up here, be discipled here, and then make disciples here!

While my primary responsibility for camp is to organize all the games and be Professor Pricilla, I'll also get the opportunity to teach from time to time. This week I was really excited to be slotted to speak on Thursday because the topic pertained to the power of our words and speaking in faith. 

I prepared my talk a few days before and felt pretty good about how everything was organized, the Bible verses and story I'd be sharing, and the objects I'd be using as visuals. 

Yesterday morning, while I ate my cereal and looked over my notes, I heard God's voice say, "You need to share about your knee." I sighed, "But, God, should the talk go much longer. They're so little. I don't want to loose their attention." By the time I got to the Dream Center thirty minutes later, I knew I needed to surrender my agenda and asked the Holy Spirit to give the talk through me. 

I delivered my talk, told them all about Ezekiel and the dry bones coming back to life (Ezekiel 37), showed them a picture of a burning building lit on fire by a small match, and explained what it meant to speak in faith; that it doesn't matter how simple or small the words are, God can use them to change your entire life.

When I was done, I showed them the 7" scar on my left knee. I told them about how I'd fallen off a ladder and broken it, that I had three surgeries and had to relearn how to walk. I also told them that when I was learning to walk again, someone made a small comment to me about how there was only a chance that I might run again. 

I told the kids that I didn't think I'd ever run again until last summer when David and I spoke over my knee praying for healing and restoration. 

I wrapped up the talk by running across the stage, demonstrating to the children the healing and restoration that had taken place by the hand of God. I told them, "God can put all the dry bones back together and bring them back to life; He put my bones back together; He can put your's back together; He can put your families back together; He can put your life back together... Just speak it out in faith!"

I prayed and we sent the children to lunch. While I began picking up game props off the stage, Nati brought a little girl, Taylor, to me and stated, "Lindsay, she needs prayer for her knee." 

I could have dropped all the props I was holding! 

I took Taylor by the hand, and we sat on the side of the stage. Taylor explained that she'd hurt her knee playing softball last week. I noticed she was still limping, and she said it still hurt a lot. 

I put my hands over her knee and prayed out loud. When I was finished, I looked at Taylor and asked her to walk for me. She got up and took a couple steps. She was still limping a little. She looked at me and laid her hand out flat, giving me the "so-so" sign. 

"Does it still hurt?" I asked. 

She said, "Yeah, kinda." 

I motioned for her to sit down again, and said, "We're going to pray again." 

I prayed again and when I was finished, asked her to walk for me again. Taylor hopped off the stage and walked normally. She turned around to face me with a smile on her face. 

"Does it hurt?" I asked. 

"No," she answered. I hugged her and praised the Lord, then sent her to lunch. 

My eyes filled with tears as I watched Taylor run

For so long I've known that God has had so many good reasons for me falling off that ladder. 

Yesterday, I realized that one of them is a little princess named Taylor... Praise the Lord!

"So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” Ezekiel 37:7-9

Friday, June 7, 2013

Used to Sold!

Today, I discovered the simplicity and profitability of selling things on eBay. I have listed a few things before over the last couple years, but nothing was ever purchased. My brother Paul sells things all the time on eBay, and he explained to me today that there's a science to getting bids on your items. And here I'd thought if I wrote a cute, personal description that's what would catch the buyers eye and seal the deal! ; ) I had almost completely forgotten about the items I'd listed last week until I got an email this afternoon saying, "Your item has sold!"

I'm super excited about making a little extra spending cash from a couple of unused items that had been tucked away in my closet for a very long time now. I will probably encourage David to go through some other "closet items" with me this weekend and see if we can potentially make a little extra money selling them too.

Whenever it's time to de-clutter, we always end up giving away our used possessions - we honestly never even consider selling them. The thought of putting together a yard sale seems unnecessary when we know our used shoes/clothes/electronics could be a real blessing to someone else in need. We even made the decision recently to only give things away to places who will give, not sell, our things to those who need them. But, other things that wont meet someone else's daily needs (like the iPod I sold today) we might be able to make some money back on, which in turn, could be put towards the opportunities we have this summer to be in fellowship with distant friends and family members.

I think it's going to be a resourceful way of moving our gently used items out of our home while also providing a way to make a little extra cash every now and then when it comes to the right item.

I'm interested to know how you "make a little extra cash" in your home. I recently adopted a sewing machine from my mom. My hobby for the summer is going to be trying to learn how to use it! Maybe there will be more money making opportunities down the road via that medium as well. We will see!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June's Unexpected Surprises

Things I didn't expect for June 2013 in Arkansas...

- This weather! The weather is just beautiful! Sure, we've had some flash floods and whole days of tornado warnings, but the temperature has made me forget about any and all bouts of severe weather. Our rental home is very poorly insulated, and last summer our electric bill was through the roof. We were bracing ourselves for ugly power bills to start coming in May, but praise the Lord, these cooler temps are helping keep our house cooler! (I even wore a long sleeved shirt last evening around the house!)

- To gladly hop out of bed at 6 am in the morning to work out. David and I are in the second week of a weight loss competition with some of my family members. We've created a pretty strict exercise and nutrition regimen for each other and did a great job of sticking with it the first week (*We're basically just exercising every day - which includes cardio and weight training - and have cut out a bunch of food that we know we shouldn't be eating like fried foods, sodas, desserts, etc.) We're both seeing major results after just one week. This morning, I literally hoped out of bed a few minutes before 6 am to change into my workout clothes and get moving. Ask David - I hardly ever "hop" out of bed. ; )

- To be preparing for camp! Yeah, camp! The Arkansas Dream Center Kids Summer Program, to be exact, which is located in the heart of downtown Little Rock. It's definitely been a lot of work getting ready (and we have so much work left to do before it starts on Monday), but it's also been really fun for me to use the creative side of my brain again. I've been thinking about all of the fun, summer retreats David and I went on growing up and about how impactful "summer camp" was on both of our lives. I hope we can help create some fun memories for these kids during these 8 weeks and that during their time at camp they'll learn new truths about their Maker, Savior, and Heavenly Helper. 

It's only the 5th day of June, and it's such a blessing to reflect on these unexpected surprises. Looking forward to see what the next 25 days of this month have in store!