December 16, 2009

Last night we had our Restore staff christmas party. It’s so much fun to get together with this group of people. Troy and Janet hosted the event. We had a fantastic meal made by a real live chef from Restore. It was an amazing 4 course meal. The highlight of the meal for me was some sort of bacon jelly/jam concoction.

We laughed. Played games. Laughed. Said nice things about each other. Prayed. And then laughed some more.

Joey and Erica came dressed up. We all dressed normal. It was awesome.


Peaches and Cream

December 15, 2009

James 3: 3-5

3-5A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

My whole life, I have been one of those “speak your mind” kind of gals. I’ve always wanted to share my 2 cents. I’m real. I have opinions, and I like to share them. Doesn’t mean I think your opinions are wrong, I just like mine to be known. It seems that I’ve always wanted to just “be a part of the conversation.”  Let me just say, this is not my favorite attribute about myself. I once had someone tell me that I should be more “peaches and cream.” I have never forgotten those exact words. Peaches and cream. I wish I was that peaches and cream girl. Soft, gentle, quiet, sweet. Nope, not me.

Throughout the years, my free speech has gotten me in trouble. Words collected in my brain have come out of my mouth almost always with good intentions. The recipient however didn’t get my intentions. He/she wasn’t in my brain, they didn’t know my heart, they didn’t see where I was coming from. I usually blame the recipient. Its not my fault you are a cottenheadedninnymuggins. Right?

Wrong. James tells me that my tongue has the power to bless and curse. My tongue can set the forest on fire. My tongue has power. So I have gotten quieter throughout the years. Because sorry to say, my brain still creates words that want to come out. I’m still opinionated. I still want to be a apart of the conversation. I still, unintentionally, get myself into trouble as I give my 2 cents. I don’t see peaches and cream in my future. But I am constantly working on (and at times failing) taming that tongue of mine.

Maybe you should join me in this quest.

I wish stores had “dislike” buttons

December 12, 2009

My small group decided to help a family in need this holiday season. We worked with “Liberty Christmas Tree” that provides groceries and gifts to the under resourced. Liberty schools did a can food drive and the chamber of commerce donated 20 dollars a child and asked for people to donate whatever else they could. We provided for 2 children and a mother. The chamber gave us a 40 dollar gift certificate to be used at a chamber supported store  and we then added to that to buy for the family. Because of the nature of the gifts I had to go to Walmart.


Its never a pleasant experience to go to Walmart so I did some meditating before I went in. Deep breaths. Self talk. If I had access to some calming perscriptions I would have taken those also.

A friday at 1 pm, walmart should be harmless right? Nope. I had to park in what seemed like Nebraska. I think half of Liberty was in that store. After searching for some gifts, I needed to get a video game that had to be unlocked by an employee. There were about 10 people needing games and 1 employee helping each of us individually. So after she would unlock the case, should would then go and ring them up….or take the game to the front in case the person had more shopping to do. TO THE FRONT OF THE STORE. After waiting for my turn, I did some more shopping and then went to pay. Yep, each check out line had 20 people waiting. Finally my turn. The employee did not acknowledge me just began ringing without a sense of urgency I might add. I gave her the gift certificate, and then paid the rest.

Walked back out to Nebraska. Unloaded the gifts, got Abbey in the car. Got to the light and looked at the receipt. I was only given a 20 dollar credit from the gift certificate that was 40 dollars. Anger burned with in me. I was not going to let Walmart have my 20 bucks. So I turned around. Waited in another 20 person line at customer service. They had to call a manager. Who took about 20 minutes to come help. She then had to go to isle 20 to make sure that I was telling the truth. Surprise, I was telling the truth and after about 30 minutes the second time around, I was able to leave with my 20 bucks.

I guess its affordable to shop there and that is why people still do. If walmart could get the customer service piece, by making it a pleasure to shop there and still be affordable, I predict they could increase their buisness monumentally. (not that they need to).

Even after all that, I pray that the family who receives the gifts and food are blessed this season.  For them,  I would do it all over again even if it means going to walmart.


December 9, 2009

Heard this today:

You can’t lead people where you haven’t already been yourself.

I have experienced this working at the bux…when we would get a manager that was an outside hire and they didn’t know the culture of starbucks, didn’t know how to run a shift, didn’t even know how to make a latte. At first, it was hard to listen to them because we felt like we knew so much more than they did.

That statement weighs heavy on me as we are about to embark on a new journey of leading a group of people who are figuring out what it means to follow Christ. In my short 3 decades of being alive I can honestly say I’ve come through alot. And I have a lot more to experience. But I can say with certainty that everything that has occured in my life up until this point was to prepare me for such a time as this. Ephesians 5:10 says “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” I like that it says “trying.” It implies that we don’t have it all figured out, but we are sure going to do our  very best to please God with our lives.

I can’t wait to see how this all plays out. Looking back years from now and seeing how we’ve been apart of  changing the spiritual landscape of Kansas City!

Give me some ideas!

December 3, 2009

I really love the holidays! I really really love it. I always have. I love Christmas music, Snow, Decorations, Food, and the fact that people puposefully spend time together during this time of the year.  (I am an early decorator…….remember my view of the holidays is that they are like the trinity, 3 in 1.)

What I don’t love about Christmas is the gifts part. I kindof wish I could just eliminate that from the holiday. Cause “Jesus is the reason for this season” can I get an Amen?  I think its because I want the gift I give to be the perfect thing. So much pressure!  And I usually ask people what it is they want and I buy just that. Because I want them to have exactly what they would want/need/use. Instead of something like, oh say, a laptop bag when you are a stay at home mom who doesn’t get out much….for instance. I also don’t love spending money. I’m not cheap, I just like to save money not spend it.

I had great Christmas’s growing up. Santa would come and we would have what seemed like tons of presents under the tree. It was awesome. Fast forward to 2009. Well as church planters we aren’t swimming in cash. So theres a delimma for Nate and I because we want our children to have that wonder and awe and excitment of Christmas day but don’t have the resources to get them everything their hearts desire….and I might add….we don’t want them to get everything their hearts desire, because thats not the lesson we want them to learn about life.  A friend of mine told me that they told their kids that Jesus got 3 gifts at his birth and so each of their children only ever got 3. Sure those 3 could be expensive gifts…but they knew there would be 3.

So what do you think? I like this idea. Do you think we should implement this? I guess I just think of our child in Haiti that might not even get one gift this year….it seems right to teach our children moderation….but I really need help, what is your opinion on this? Or does your family have gift traditions that we might use?

Whirlwind Week

December 1, 2009

We got back on Sunday night from a whirlwind week in Illinois. It was a great time. We spent a lot of time in the car driving around the state visiting some friends and family. It was pretty much an eating tour as well. We ate at all of our favorite spots…might need to change that……Anyway, got to spend some time with my sister and her family. Can’t believe how big my niece and nephews are getting.

We then drove over to spend some time with our great friends the Janes. I love this family. Our kids haven’t seen eachother in a long time but they became best buds in a matter of hours.  There is nothing like a friendship with people that you know could last a lifetime. Here is Dave being Dave making us laugh.

The kids having a great time! Kasey and I.

Thanksgiving with all the fam in Naperville. We have so much to be thankful for! My families Thanksgiving is one tradition that I have cherished and want my children to experience. We have done basically the same thing for as long as I can remember. We always go to the Calvary Church Thanksgiving service at 10 am. We used to come back from that and then eat but now that some of the kids are married, they go to their inlaws and then we have dinner. The day is spent with football, family and faith. I’m a fan of games so I’m always trying to get the family to play a game or two. Its a bit harder when we do dinner because the tryptophan has taken over and everyone is in a food coma…..

And here we are again with another tradition of eating Lou Malnati’s a few days after…..oh my its good. This year we had some nerf guns that were consistantly being shot at eachother and various targets. Good times.