Happy Birthday to Me!!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

We recently spent sometime with my kids in honor of Mother’s Day and My 51st Birthday since the dates are just 2 weeks apart. We went to one of those break-out/escape rooms, and then sat around a table at a local restaurant and just chatted and reminisced.  As I sat back and looked at each of my kids I see the adults they are becoming and I revel in each and everyone of their successes.

See I had many opportunities to do my life differently from what I have, but I don’t believe I would change a thing. See, I could have finished High School, before I got married, but I didn’t. I could have chosen to go to College right after High School but instead I choose to have my first son. I could of chosen to have a musical career when a famous christian artist offered to write songs and produce an album for me, But I didn’t. I choose to stay at home and be a mom. I could of been an ordained minister like my mother who was one of the first ordained woman in the Assemblies of God in the state of Oklahoma, but I didn’t, instead I choose to stay at home and minister to my kids. I could of continued in a successful career as a Assisted Living Director, but I choose to focus on living with my husband and assisting him in every way I could.

Many would say I have given up a lot. Some would even say I sacrificed myself for my family. See to me, none of my successes matter, if I don’t have a family to sit around and enjoy it with. Jeff and I made a commitment a long time ago, truth is, it is our family motto. For we committed, that “What good does it do to win the whole world for Christ, if we lose our own families soul”. Now I know some would say I could’ve had it all and perhaps I could have, but one thing I have learned in this half a century of life, is you can have it all, but something in that equation always has to sacrifice and I wasn’t willing to take a chance that it might be my family that did.

I wouldn’t give up, being up all hours of the night with my babies,  dinners around the family table, family nights, friday field-trip days, or piles of dirty laundry for any of it! (okay, maybe the laundry haha!)

See because as I looked around the table and saw each one of my children and the amazing adults they have and are becoming. That is my successes.

My oldest who is an amazing father, who married a wonderful young lady, and has a Master’s Degree in Family and Marriage Therapy.  He is a Psychologist making a difference in young boys lives in a boys home everyday. He is beginning to make his way in the political world as well as serving as the online campus pastor at his church and he will forever be the future forward thinking farmer. That is my success, with each success he has, it is my reward as well.

My daughter the up and coming Graphic Designer, on the Dean’s list the last 2 yrs of school, member of Phi-Thetta-Kappa, she has been an Intern and Personal Assistant to the Senator, Amazing Nanny to 8 kids under the age of 11 that she has helped homeschool. Assistant to the online campus pastor at her church, where she led people 2 and 3 times her age. That is my success.

And my youngest son, Who is growing into an amazing adult. Passing all his classes last semester, the hardest working teenager I know.  The kid with a heart as big as he is, who will always be my protector, I know God is going to use him in a mighty way, more then just behind the pulpit, he will use him to share His love with others in so many ways. His life is already a testimony and the way he has chosen to live his life.  That is my success.

Then there is the up and coming grands, oh what will the future hold for them? I do not know. But, with each of their success it is my success. Because I am confident that because I

Have poured myself into my children, therefore when they pour themselves into their children it is part of me pouring into the grands. Whether my kids choose to teach them similar values and traditions or they choose to go in a totally different way, either of those choices reflect what I have taught them.

Has our lives been perfect, No. Do we fight and argue, Yes. But I am thrilled to know when I look in the eyes of each of my family members, I get to see a love for Christ and a desire to serve Him with so much passion that I know it runs to the core of who they are and for that, I am very thankful. Because what good would it of been for us to win the whole world for Jesus and lose our own children’s souls?

Do I think we are home free and I don’t have to worry about my children any longer? Not for one minute! I pray for them regularly, the older they get the more prayers they need and the more I worry about them. And if somewhere along the way any of them find that they have made a turn forgetting what they learned, on their journey in this relationship with God. I know that He is forever standing there with His arms outstretched, waiting for them to come home. Because they know, that all I expect of them is to be there! (Heaven) Because none of their successes matter if they aren’t.

But I do trust in the one that gave them to me and I have chosen to believe that He will honor the choices I have made in raising them and because I thoroughly believe, I did what He asked me to do,  to the best of my ability and so I have no regrets as I tip over the half a century mark, and I am thankful, that I still only feel like I am 29 on most days!

What is yet to come, is up to us! The 10th Anniversary of the EF-5 Tornado that hit Greensburg KS.

What is yet to come, is up to us! The 10th Anniversary of the EF-5 Tornado that hit Greensburg KS.

On May 4th 2017, The City of Greensburg KS, will celebrate it’s ability to rebuild this community and honor those who lost their lives in the EF-5 Tornado that destroyed almost the whole town in 2007.
I did not live here then, I have only had the privilege of living here for the past 4 yrs. I have to say when we first came to Greensburg and saw all that had been done to rebuild this community it excited us. The thought of being a part of this community that had a vision and wanted to do something was inspiring to my husband and I. We realize, it was no small task to do all that has been done to rebuild. Although, Jeff and I have done a lot of research to get to know what and where this community has come from. We are confident that nothing we have read or saw compares to what the people in this community has come through. There is no words for the pain and the struggles that this community has went through and overcome.

But in all our research, it actually got me to thinking, When I drive around in our community now, The empty lots I am sure, remind some of lost dreams, the un-repaired homes still yet standing, represents the hopelessness that some must have felt and possibly still feel today even 10 yrs later. Then you look down other streets and you see new buildings and up and coming progress.

Looking at the aftermath of the tornado reminds me of a life rebuilt by Christ. Often times by our choice to live for ourselves, our life can be reduced to ruins, but when we give our lives to Christ and truly choose to follow Him. We can see Him restore what satan has stolen. But then there is some so-called Christians who, have accepted Christ and believe in Him. But, they don’t want to get “too crazy” about it. To them it is just good enough, to show up for church every now and then so, they can check that off their list of things to do for the week and feel better about themselves.

The next steps for Greensburg is a lot like any follower of Christ. We all have a choice. When we choose to believe in Christ, we can choose to continue to grow in Him or we can stay right where we are. I think of staying where we are in Christ, as just buying “fire insurance”. We know God just enough to stay out of hell but we never get to know Him well enough to live an abundant life that God calls us to. (John 10:10) In my mind the next steps for the City of Greensburg is like a person who has a choice. It can choose to be like the one who has chosen to believe in Christ and be satisfied where we are, or we can do what God has called to do and continue to grow and rebuild and invite others to join us in the process. In essence we can choose to live an abundant life or buy fire insurance and be satisfied with good enough.

Are we willing to simply be content with where we are because I don’t think that is what the founding fathers who helped build this city had in mind. I don’t think the men who broke there backs, and gave their lives to have the world’s largest hand dug well here, thought, “Oh! that’s good enough, and this is all we need.” Those men who hand dug that, 109 ft deep and 32 ft wide well, went above and beyond the call of duty and why?? So people all over the area would come to Greensburg. Because they wanted to see a city built, because they knew bringing water to a city back then would bring people and fuel the railroad. They wanted to see a city built so badly, that at one point they stole a post office to assure we had a zip code. They were willing to do whatever it took to see this city built and grow.

I believe the people who have stayed behind after the tornado, to see this town re-build are no less commented to seeing this town go forward.

The bible talks about a Well, In John 4 it is the story of the Samaritan Women at Jacob’s well, when Jesus ask the woman to bring water to Him to drink. The woman was surprised because at that time, the Jews didn’t even talk to the Samaritan’s let alone ask them to bring them a drink. But Jesus did, he went out of the norm, He step out of what was acceptable to do at that time because He wasn’t concerned with what others thought, He wasn’t concerned with who she was, He was concerned with her heart and where she would spend eternity. He knew she needed more than the water from the well, that she was drawing water from, He knew she needed the living water and He was that living water. The water from which she would never thirst again.

In Mark 16 God calls us to go into ALL the world and share His love with others. And let me tell you that in this day and age all the world is at our back door, the question is will we let them in? Will we allow them to come into our Christ loving community,? Perhaps, the bigger question is, will we provide opportunities for them to come, so we can reach out to them? Or will we choose to rather “not associate ” with people that aren’t exactly like us. Some might be different from what we are use to, just like the difference between the Samaritans, and Jews back then. Our founding fathers who had hopes and dreams for this community, but there is no greater dream than the one by our Heavenly Father. But if we choose to do nothing, if we choose to be satisfied with what we have done and just maintain the status quo. Then we are no different then the follower of Christ that simply chooses to buy the fire insurance, instead of living the abundant life that God has called us to live.

We live in a great country where we are free to talk about God and even pray right in public without fear of being put in jail or killed. We now have people who live in this country who are from those countries where we send missionaries to risk their lives to tell them about God, and yet often times, we refuse to reach out to people who are not just like us. Perhaps, because of fear or what others will think, or just because they are different and we don’t really want them here anyway? But, let me pose to you a question here, ” What if God has allowed those people to come to America, so we could tell them about Him, without fear or retribution for sharing our faith? Do we care for their heart and where they might spend eternity, like Jesus did with the woman at the well? Are we willing to give them the living water, so that they will never thirst again?

And if we are going to be all that God has called us to be, we cant stop now. People from all over the world come to see this Big Well. But what if Greensburg in the next 10 years became less known for a hole of water and known more for the living water,of what God is doing in this town! More of what God wants to see. If we want to honor our Heavenly Father we can’t stop now. Yes, we have worked hard and many are tired but we cannot stop until the Lord comes back. This is bigger than our own comfort, it is about the lost souls who are in danger of living eternity in hell.

We stand at another crossroads on this anniversary like this community did 10 years ago as you met in tents, deciding who would stay and see this city rebuild,. Today we can choose to stay right where we are. just like the follower of Christ who only buys fire insurance unwilling to change their ways or we can choose, the abundant life that God has promised for us all. Will we be satisfied with what we have here in our own little world we have created or does our heart break at the thought of anyone, missing out on that abundant life and drinking from the well, that they will never thirst from again? Because, I believe, if we refuse to open more opportunities in our city for all nations and all cultures to come, then we are not only missing out on continuing what our founding fathers started, but more importantly, we are refusing to do what God has called us to do and that is to, tell the world about Him.

Over the last 10 yrs the eyes of the world, have been upon us, but I am only worried about one set of eyes and that’s the eyes of the Heavenly Father’s. My heart breaks for what His heart breaks for and that is seeing any soul lost without Him. What will we do in the next 10 yrs for Him? It only takes one person to get it started. Let’s be all we can be for Him and share this abundant life we have with others!