Friday, May 25, 2012

We love our Peeps!

We love our peeps!  No, not these peeps.  I am talking about the peeps at our church.  Every so often when Stuart speaks at Waters Edge, he tries to explain just how much he loves his people.  It is really hard to explain, though.  We may not know a lot of the people that attend Waters Edge, but we love them deeply.  Kind of weird, huh?  I think that God has given most pastors or people in ministry this kind of weird love thing.

There are so many people in our lives that we love that we cannot explain its depth using words.  We try.  We say, "I love you to the moon and back" or "I love you this much".  The other day, Taylor told me, "Mommy, I love you more than my eyes."  Wow, now that is love!  We love our parents, our spouses and our kids.  I'd have to say, for our family, we also love our church.  I cannot explain its depth using words, but God's Word gives us a beautiful picture of what I am talking about.

In the Bible, there are a several different words in the Greek that are used for love.  One type of love that is mentioned in the New Testament is agape love.  Agape love is of God and from God.  It is related to obedience and commitment, and not necessarily feeling and emotion.   It is an exercise of will, a deliberate choice.  Obviously, Jesus Christ exhibited the perfect agape love for us.  But, I believe that most pastors love their people with this kind of agape love too.       

We really do love our peeps!  I know that because when one person leaves Waters Edge for some reason or another it hurts like the dickens.  You would think that with almost 3,000 people that attend on Sundays that it wouldn't hurt, but it does.  I know that because when someone calls because they have had a death in the family, it hurts!  I know that because when someone gets engaged, our heart is happy for them!  I know that because when someone loses their job, it hurts.

I am so grateful that God has allowed Stuart to pastor so many people.  We love the people that God has placed at Waters Edge...I think that we love them more than our eyes!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lane Life-The Game of Life

Carlyn Menser and I had the privilege of putting together a wedding shower for Thomas Lane and Helen Crane.    What an absolutely adorable couple!  We wanted the shower to be lots of fun, so we came up with the idea of theming it out with the Game of Life.  It sort of turned into the LANE LIFE shower.  Check it out: 

These letters were hung in my big window.

I got the idea from a friend of mine to use Starbucks Frappuccino bottles (Stu didn't mind this because he got to drink the coffee!)
*I peeled off the label and got the sticky stuff off with Goo Gone.
*I printed out these labels and ran them through my sticker maker.
*I found these straws at World these! 

A big picture of the table.
(notice my green outdoor carpet placemats again!)

Carlyn found these cars at the thrift store.  I spray painted them white.
They are sitting on the same shadow boxes that I used in my baseball shower.  

Check out the back of the car.  The little oval on the back of the car is a WEC magnet.    
Can't get married without a Waters Edge Church magnet!

Carlyn found the Game of Life at a thrift store---she's a good shopper.  
We  put the game at an angel to give the table dimension.  
We also put fabric underneath the game using the same colors of the game.  

I just think that this is a cool angle!

We alternated the plates.  Blue plates had yellow napkins.  The napkin rings were cards from the actual Game of Life.  We punched a hole in the top and looped it with hair ties.

Green plates had purple napkins.  Notice the money to the side too.  It is in the details, people!

I made our food labels to look like the peg people in the Game of Life.
*Cut toilet paper rolls in half.
*Cut Cracker Jack boxes in half.
*Styrofoam balls
*I hot glued all of the pieces together.
*I painted each of these after they were hot glued.
*I made labels and ran them through my sticker maker.    
Carlyn made these yummy stuffed strawberries.  I am pretty sure we ate them all!

More peg people.

Parfait Bar

Drink Area
We also used our Irish Coffee Mugs for coffee.
We attached game pieces to the bottom of each coffee mug.  One more way to tie in the theme.

This is the second table.
*I painted the LANE letters to add color to the table.
*I covered 2 vases in scrapbooking paper.
*I stuffed it with the Game of Life money. 

I wanted to bring the theme into my family room.
*I painted these extra large paper clips white.
*I cut these letters with my lovely Cricut and glued them onto brightly colored paper.
Welp folks, there you have it!  A wedding shower with the theme The Game of Life.  I actually think it might be a first considering we couldn't find any ideas online.  It was a perfect fit this shower, though!

Congrats Thomas and Helen!  You guys will have an amazing LANE LIFE together!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Stirring the Rise Up Factor"

You know, ministry can be quite the roller coaster.  I heard recently that only 10% of all pastors finish well in ministry.  Um, if that is true, that is a scary statistic.  I pray that Stuart and I are part of that 10%, as a matter of fact, we are determined to be part of that 10%!  When you are called to some sort of ministry it has so many ups and downs.  I am so thankful that we have had so many more ups than we have had downs.  Recently, we went through a situation that was probably one of the most difficult situations we have ever experienced in ministry.  I am so grateful for the difficult situations in life, because it draws your soul to deeply long for Christ and His guidance.  Our marriage is stronger and I believe our perspective on ministry, church and friendships are better.  When we were going through this difficult time, I heard a woman speak, Kerri Weems.  She spoke about dealing with discouragement and some of the things that she said really resonated with me.  I thought that I would share some of my notes with you.

When dealing with discouragement:

*Stir up the rise up factor-The rise up factor is simply "the will to keep going in the face of opposition and discouragement."  That will preach!  I think that this can be used in ALL areas of our lives.  We have to make a conscious decision to STIR UP THE RISE UP FACTOR!

*Get the mind of Christ-we have the capacity to see all things the way that Christ sees them.  We need to learn to see things through spiritual eyes.  In these difficult times it is important to position yourself even more in the word of God.  Know the promises of God and retrain your mind to think the way God's Word does.

*Get in the habit of practicing the presence of God-Be in tune to his voice all day long.  Worship him all day long.

*Guard the fire of devotion in you heart-I love the way that she phrased this.  It is such a great picture of us physically guarding our heart and our devotion to the One that we love.  Booya-that is how we increase that 10% to 100% of people in ministry finishing well!

I am so thankful that a couple of months ago I had the privilege of hearing Kerri Weems.   It was exactly what I needed and I hope that it helps you too!

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Mother's Day

I'm thinking that this Mother's Day will go down in the books for me!  It was such a great weekend.

The kids had a half day on Friday and as soon as they got off of the bus we went to Busch Gardens.  It was so much fun.  I got to spend some special time with Taylor (our non roller coaster child) and I also got to spend time with Emma and Brayden (our roller coaster riding children).  Verbolten (their new roller coaster) was having a soft opening and we got to ride it...AMAZING!  We had dinner at Chickfila and went home.  Stuart and the kids worked on a "special" project the whole rest of the night.

Saturday we went to Brayden's baseball game and then all of our family came over to have dinner for Mother's Day (preachers and their families have to celebrate things like this on a separate day).  Typically, Stuart tries to rest on Saturday, but he worked his tail off making things extra special for me an our moms.  He grocery shopped and he cooked the whole meal, which was fantastic!  I felt so special.  My kids also went all out for Mother's Day.  Check out what they made me:

These beautiful tissue flowers are from Emma!
This was the card from Brayden.  He said that in my free time I like organizing...he knows me so well!  And, how do you like my favorite food?  Krispy Kreme!  Ha!
Brayden also wrote 3 paragraphs about me.  I love that he likes to spend time with me!
Taylor wrote this for me!  So sweet and her handwriting is awesome!
How and Taylor!

I love our art teacher at school.  Every time my kids have been in 1st grade she has them make this pinch pot for Mother's Day.  I now have my complete set of 3!  I love these and I will cherish them forever!

The big finale was the "special" project that the kids had been working on.  Stuart had the idea a couple of weeks ago to build me a garden.  We inherited a very large garden in our yard, but we took it down because I felt overwhelmed by the size.  So, he took the old wood that we used from the other garden (score!) and then he and the kids built me a garden.  Then he took the kids to the store and they bought plants with their own money.  I don't think that I have ever felt so special before.  I am so grateful to have a husband and kids that are so incredibly thoughtful.  I feel ridiculously blessed!

On Sunday, I had the privilege of speaking with Stuart at the end of the service.  I have never done anything like that before.  I was sooo nervous.  How crazy is it that every time I went up there I was nervous?  However, Stuart made me feel so comfortable and he promised me that he would cover up all of my mess ups...he is a pro you know?  It was a really neat experience.  It definitely gave me more of an appreciation of what Stuart does on Sundays.  God has blessed him with an amazing ability to my own personal opinion he is the BEST!