Sunday, February 28, 2016

Comfort vs. Adventure

  1. causing or feeling slight pain or physical discomfort.
    "athlete's foot is a painful and uncomfortable condition"
    synonyms:painfuldisagreeableintolerableunbearable, confining, cramped
    "an uncomfortable chair"

I was talking with some friends tonight about getting out of our comfort zones--and how uncomfortable that makes us feel.  I readily admitted how comfortable I'd gotten living in Borger for 26 years.  I'd made wonderful friends and was very comfortable with them.  Looking back, I wonder how many opportunities I missed out on or how many people felt snubbed by me?  All because I was comfortable and it was awkward to invite someone into my very comfortable life.

God didn't call me to be comfortable.  He told me to "go and tell" and to love my neighbors.  He didn't call me to a comfortable, traditional, or even rote church service.  God never wanted me in a box.  I believe He has always wanted me to expect the unexpected.  I believe He wants to work in our lives in a peculiarly unique way.  Think of all the great men and women of faith in the Bible.  We love their stories because of how extraordinary they are--David killing Goliath, the walls of Jericho falling because of trumpet blasts, Moses crossing the Red Sea, Deborah leading an army to battle, Peter's chains falling off and prison doors opening for him, Jesus healing a blind man with spit.  The lists goes on and on.  And I wouldn't describe any of those people as "comfortable." 

I'm tired of being comfortable.  I want an adventure!  Moving to Groom was that for me.  It's been exciting making new friends...and finding people who are passionate about the things of God!  Today, Andy led the church in an "out-of-the-box-church-service" experience and I loved it!  I think that even excites God--to see a people willing to obey and follow the Spirit wherever He leads.  

I believe "comfortable" describes the church in America today.  When we're unwilling to change, unwilling to grow, unwilling to do new things, unwilling to allow new people in...we're saying we're perfectly satisfied just the way we are.  There's no adventure...and no life.  And doors close.

Ask God for an adventure!!  I bet you'll get one.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dax Chandler

Dax Chandler turns 5-years-old today!!

Dax is grandchild #8 for us.  His birth was unforgettable and he quickly secured his special place in our hearts.

Even as a little guy, Dax loved adventure and people.  He's visiting his special neighbors in this picture.

He also has a big imagination.  We'd just watched "Horton Hears a Who" and he was listening for Who on this flower.

He's a little warrior.  He's in training right now and his little brother is a good sparring partner.

He also has a very gentle side.  He's a wonderful big brother. 

He's also his daddy's little clone.  

Dax has been known to misbehave.  (I've never personally seen this.)  But his mom made him send a video apology to his babysitter, Payton.  I think I've watched this a hundred times and laughed every time.  He's saying, "Sorry, Payton."  (His mom couldn't hold her laughter back either...and I also told her he'd have that eye roll perfected before she knew it!)

The things I love about Dax:
He has an infectious laugh
He's a redhead
He loves adventures outside
He loves to help
He's kind 
The way he studies his choices before he makes them
How much he loves his family
He's courageous
He's such a good bedtime guy
He hates the bad guy in any movie
He hates seeing someone hurt
He prays sweet prayers


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ryan Elijah

Ryan Elijah turns 12-years-old today!

It seems like only yesterday he was this little.  Ryan is grandchild #4 for us.

I think it's awesome he's living in Minnesota now where there's lots of snow!  He's always loved it.

Ryan has always loved playing outside.  He's an adventurer!

He also loves his little sister.  They're best friends.  This was when they were in children's choir in Borger singing "This Little Light of Mine"

This was a fun Thanksgiving when he and his boy cousins all got toy guns.  We didn't see them the rest of the day!

He's almost as excited over his sister's birthday as his own!

You can usually find him in the kitchen at some point.  He doesn't mind cooking or cleaning.

And at 12-years-old...he really likes to eat!

This boy LOVES to read!

I can't believe he's 12!  He's starting to look like a man.

The things I love about Ryan:

He has a big heart
He's kind
He loves to engage other kids to play and is inclusive
He's inquisitive
He's adventurous
He's helpful
He loves to learn and figure things out
He's a Lego genius
He's always excited to see me
He's funny and has a great laugh
He's like his dad and memorizes the lines of a movie
He loves his cousins of all ages

I love you,

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

When they're not your own...

Girls we "adopted" in Asia

They all came to us in different ways.  There were 6 of them...6 kids not our own.  Three of them came from living with grandparent-types who were just overwhelmed with a teenager's schedule and way of living.  Two of them found us because they were students at Frank Phillips.   Some came while we had babies of our own and some came after we had an empty nest. Some stayed a few months and some stayed over a year.  Some came empty and some were already filled up.  Some were as young as 14 and others were starting a career.  But they all became a part of our family.

I can't recommend it enough.  Is it hard?  Sure!  But so is raising your own kids.  Is it expensive?  Of course.  You've added another set of feet under your table.  Is it difficult mixing in almost-grown-up personalities you're not used to?  That's probably the hardest part. But it helps if you just treat them as your own and set up a few house rules to start with.  And you'll probably find the most important rule is to keep their room clean and their own laundry washed.  It helps them feel a part of the family to have their own specific chore to do around the house.

I'd say the most important thing you can do as the fill-in parents is to see this time as an investment.  Be intentional in investing in this new kid.  You may only have a few months to pour love into their lives.  And to be honest, you may need some short times away from one another to keep a healthy balance in your home.  But our goal was for these kids to know God.

The fun result is your family has some really great--and even hilarious--memories.  And you have a deep connection with some almost-related adults later on.  You may even get an extra call on Mother's Day!

Monday, February 15, 2016

I think we make it harder than it really is.  Our world needs Jesus.  And He's chosen us to express His love.  We think we can't...or don't know how.  We don't know what to do or what to say.  We're uncomfortable.  We think we don't have enough money to share or skills to offer.  We're afraid we're overstepping boundaries others may have created.  We think we may not be wanted.

And you may not know how or you may be uncomfortable.  But if you step out one time, it will be easier the next time.  You may not know what to say, but your presence or a hug may be all that's needed.  And you may not have all the money your heart wants to share, but I bet you have enough to share a meal with someone.  And it's really not about what you can do--it's about allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you.

This week, send a card with a warm message and a gift card to a coffee shop to someone who may be depressed, take a meal to a working mom, take a small stack of $1 bills or a restaurant gift card to someone staying with a family member in the hospital, listen to someone who lives alone and never has anyone to talk to, babysit for a single mom or take her car for an oil change, hug a widow or take her a single-sized home-cooked meal, throw a birthday party for a friend, sit and cry with someone who is grieving, call an old friend, help a neighbor with a chore.  You can do this!!

Just the name of Jesus.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Reframed Life!

In case you didn't notice, I changed the title of this blog from Best of Becky to Life to Life.  God has been doing such a transformation in me, I thought this part of my life deserved newness, too.  I have discovered my purpose and have become much more intentional with everything.  In fact, I've been on quite a journey.  I want to share what I'm learning.  God has promised ABUNDANT LIFE--and it really is available--to all of us!

Recently, I read this book at the recommendation of Jay & Amy:

It's the story of a neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with brain cancer and then shares his story of dying.  His story is one of bravery, premeditated calculation, and focus.  It's one of those stories that you just can't get away from...and don't want to.  It may sound morbid, but it actually brought focus for my future.  This book is just a small part of some amazing things God has been doing in my heart and mind.  I decided to become much more intentional with my life.  To do that, I made a list of things I feel are critical for me to fulfill the kingdom mandate I believe God has placed on my life and the footprints I want to leave behind.  I'll even share a few:
  1. I want a deeply intimate relationship with God.  I want to laugh with Him!
  2. I want to say "YES!" to life.  I want to fully embrace it and not just endure it.
  3. I want to live boldly.
  4. I want to be like Jesus--who only did what He saw the Father doing.  And I want to imitate that eagerly, fearlessly, and unashamedly.
...and the list goes on.  Knowing and understanding my purpose has caused me to want to be much more intentional in what I do.  It also highlights the things I must cut out of my life--the unnecessary and even urgent things.  I'm learning where my giftedness lies and I'm learning to promote the giftedness of others.  I need them--and they need me.  If I try to do things God hasn't called me to, I am stealing opportunities from others--opportunities perfectly fitted for them.  My gifts and purpose complement those around me which means there's no room for jealousy or feeling threatened by one another.   I don't just want to finish this life well; I don't want to miss one good thing God has for me!

I feel like I've just stepped over.  I've stepped into the life which God has been preparing me for...and preparing for me...all these years.  He's using every little and big thing, every good and bad thing, everything for my purpose--for His kingdom.  I may not have all the answers, but I have LIFE to share.  God has breathed life into me--and I want you to know your purpose and be filled with life, too.

"For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]."  Ephesians 2:10 AMP