Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Miracle for 2013

I have to write this last blog of the year before we launch into 2014.  The miracles have just been in full force for a year now, so I want to end my year proclaiming a super cool miracle!  It was too cool to keep to myself this New Year's Eve!!

God's got this?  Yep, He sure does.  Over and over again...He's got this! 

Michael has about a month off of seminary right now.  Half of December and half of January.  When he's not in school, there is a certain amount of money from his GI Bill that we don't get.  $600 to be exact.  That's $600 we need to survive.  Just today we were talking about ways to cut WAY back for the next month until school starts back up.  Any and every way to make a dent in the $600 we won't be getting!  We are getting good at "not worrying"...well, not as much as we used to.  There is still a certain amount of worry that comes; we are human, after all! But we are learning to live in expectation of how God will handle our basic needs!

My dear friend, Lea, has been asking me for about a week if I had received a Christmas card from Thrive, our home church in North Dakota.  I hadn't received it before we ended up leaving for a family holiday trip, but I received it today!  BOY, did I receive it today!!!  Certain cards and letters need to come with warning labels on them so I can have a kleenex handy! 

I opened the most amazing card in the world full of goodies.  Oasis, the most generous ladies group from Thrive, had a craft and bake sale before Christmas...and they did that FOR US!  Humbled; that's us right now.  They sent us a check for $332.00 AND a Target gift card for $260.  I'll let you sit here and do the math in your head real quick.  If you're not a math major, I'll help you out...$592.  I stood in the presence of Almighty God with tears streaming down my face at the generosity of my sisters in Christ who love and pray for my family.  I knew they missed us and I know they love us, but WOW!  Again, I'm wow'ed!  And blown away.  Side-note: This is in addition to a $50 gift card that someone sent us anonymously before Christmas with a note that God has not forgotten my family.  Tear flow!!

I share the card with Michael who cried with me.  In walks Evan wanting to know what's wrong.  Nothing is wrong, dear one.  But listen to this story of Jehovah Jireh, our Great Provider!  "Cool" is his response as the biggest smile crosses his face.  Then Alex walks in and my heart is bursting to share this with her.  I start with telling her of our lack of $600 we won't be getting in January.  Her face contorts with worry...she takes the weight of the world on her shoulders.  But then I show her how God has provided from our faithful servant friends in North Dakota.  Then I ask her, "Why do we even worry?  "Why do we worry about tomorrow?"

I was reading a book today and God gave me this verse to chew on in Jeremiah 33:3 'Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'  God must have wanted me to reflect on that knowing I was going to be getting a cool piece of mail today!  He's so sneaky like that!  His timing is PERFECT.  His ways are PERFECT.  Following Him is the PERFECT way to live...albeit challenging, it's perfect. He has done GREAT THINGS!  I just have to shout it in all caps!  :)

I have sat all night basking in His presence.  Doing nothing, but thanking Him for the things (good and "not so good") that have happened in 2013.  It's all for His glory.  Thank you my dear friends for your hearts of love for the Corsar Fam 4.  You will never know the "sermon fodder" you are giving Michael as he launches into ministry.  You will never realize the depths of your simple acts of giving and how they are impacting my children.  You will never know how they heal my broken heart when I start missing my friends!  I thank God every time I think of you.  Tonight....I'm thanking Him extra hard.  


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Miracle

Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give    you the desires of your heart."

We are beginning to live a life accustomed to God meeting our every need.  We have yet to go hungry or naked.  God provides in the coolest ways.  This most recent way really took the cake, though. 

About a month ago, we attended an event for seminary families called Operation Toy Chest. It is hosted by a local church who donates toys, bikes, gift cards, you name it...in order to bless seminary students (who are typically not the wealthiest people on the planet for this season of life!)  If a donated item is valued in a store at $20, the seminary family only has to pay $2 for the toy.  All the money earned that day goes to the missions offering (Lottie Moon Christmas Offering) from that church.  We were blessed with some really cool things for our kids for just a few dollars!

At the end of the "shopping period", they have a big raffle drawing.  They give you some tickets when you arrive and you place your tickets into a prize that you might want to win.  These are bigger prizes such as electric scooters, MacBooks, iPads, American Girl dolls, etc.  We had put our tickets into the items we would like to win for our kids.  As we were putting a ticket into the MacBook Pro box, we looked at each other and said, "Wouldn't it be the coolest thing to win this for the kids?"

My son has rising ambitions to be a YouTuber.  My daughter could use a Mac to do some amazing Photoshop things with pictures...she's very talented.  My kids have talked for about a year about how cool it would be to have their own Mac.  Well, for $1400...that would be a no-go on us buying them one.

So we placed our ticket into the drawing as a pipe dream, really.  There were hundreds of seminary families in attendance.  There were only 50 prizes to be won.  Our odds weren't great.  We would be happy with the other toys we got, and we would be happy for our fellow seminary friends who won big prizes. I sat in the crowd as prizes were being called that were NOT our number.  Doubt started to creep in and I wanted to guard my heart from disappointment, so I started telling myself that we weren't going to win.  "Don't get your hopes up...you'll only be disappointed."  But then I was also praying and asking God to find favor on my family with a blessing for my children.

The emcee held up the MacBook Pro and started telling all the great things about it.  I couldn't stand it anymore!  Just call the number already so I can leave if we didn't win.  Then a miracle happened...he called our number.  I'll never forget the feeling of the Spirit that washed over me in the moment.  Tears poured.  Michael couldn't even stand up to get the prize and stumbled to the front to claim our blessing.  We cried all the way out the door.  Then we just sat in our car in complete silence.  When you are in God's presence, there is really nothing you need to say.

God not only meets my children's NEEDS...He also cares about the desires of their heart.  God knows my children better than I do.  He knew how much they would love this amazing gift.  Psalm 37:23...The life verse of the Corsar Fam 4 had come to pass yet again, "God directs the steps of the godly, He cares about every detail of their lives." Every detail.

Want to see what shock, excitement, and extreme joy look like?

 They have been in heaven today playing with their new toy!  The gift tag said "To: Alex and Evan, From: God".  We shared the story with them this morning of this miracle gift that God had brought just for them.  It's been SO hard keeping it quiet for the past month!  But their screams of glee (well, mainly Evan's screams) were SO worth the wait!

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He WILL give you the desires of your heart." Do we follow God and live for Him so that we can get material blessings?  No.  But God is a good Father and He knows the desires in our hearts.  He put those desires there, so that He can "wow" us with his glory. 

We are officially WOW'ed!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Corsars!

Here is our family photo shoot that we took ourselves!  :)  Put our camera's timer on and tried our best to get a good family photo!  After hundreds of pictures, trying to get the perfect one, this became one of my favorite things!  A series of goofy shots of my family....just being themselves!  LOL
We were on the campus of Southeastern Seminary with everyone wearing our seminary shirts...except for me.  I'm wearing the shirt I bought for Michael to remind us of our mantra through our whole obedience journey, "God's Got This!"
In every shot, my question was "Can you see the shirt?"  "You have to make sure you can read the shirt."  The shirt took on a life of itself during this photo shoot.  
My camera has a function where it highlights the faces in the screen to make sure the faces are in focus.  At one point, Alex was behind the lens and said, "Mom, the camera is recognizing your belly as a face."  Thanks, Alex.  I guess I'll be laying off the Christmas cookies.  Merry Christmas from the whole crazy Corsar crew!  We love and miss you all!
video

Monday, December 16, 2013

Homeschool Highlights

Some highlights of our 1st semester of homeschooling!

**Alex had to write a Thankful Acrostic Poem in honor of Thanksgiving week using every letter of the alphabet.  My daughter is such a poet...and I literally didn't know it, until homeschool.  :)

Today I am thankful for my Aunt Jaime.
I also am thankful for Becky, my mother, truly
as well for Christ who saved me.
I am also very thankful for my Daddy dear,
thankful for Evan and bringing such cheer.
Thankful for friends, new and old.
Thankful for a gentleman with a heart of gold.
I'm thankful for even the horrible days,
thankful that I can see just through that blaze.
I'm thankful for Jesus, my Savior over thee,
thankful I am that he's King over me.
Thankful for love and all that it brings,
thankful for music and the songs that it sings.
I'm thankful for never leaving my faith,
thankful for God opening up that strength.
Thankful for Pebbles, my kitty and good friend;
though quiet, a good listener till the end.
Thankful for being raised up the way I was,
thankful for being strong and respected.
Thankful for being saved as anyone truly does,
thankful that I have understanding and truth.
I'm thankful knowing I'm victorious in my youth.
I'm thankful of having the blessing of water,
surprisingly thankful for the extra feelings inside this daughter.
I'm thankful for being stupid and young,
thankful for the amazing woman I'm set to become.


**Then a few weeks ago, we had a lesson on character.  We also learned that week of writing character sketches on different characters in stories or even on people you know.  Her assignment was to write a character sketch on anyone in her family.  I was super surprised that she wrote about ME! I teased her for just picking me so she'd get extra credit.  :)  Either way, I'll take it. 


Character Sketch on my mom, Becky Corsar

I really do love this person.  She cooks, she teaches, she is an excellent mother.  I am almost caught up with her in height, and though she's 40, she could still pass for 32.  She is a little odd, though, she will start lip syncing a singer without even noticing!  "I do not!" she always says. 

When I'm with my mother she is always very kind.  She doesn't ask for help, but we know she needs it.  She is always making everything just perfect.  I truly think everyone likes her.  I mean, she's always nice and understanding to people.  So much so, she could easily become someone's friend quickly.  She is my mom, but I'd also consider her a good friend as well.  Not that I  respect her less, I just enjoy that I can talk to her freely as well.  I really don't know how she would respond by all these titles she has.  Probably, "just remember that I'm still your mom"...I get that a lot.  -_-

Even though she may drive me nuts, I still really do love her.  She directs me and shows me different uses for my life.  She helps me through things. Even when I think I want to kill her, I still respect her guidance.



**I think it's safe to say I'm enjoying homeschooling!  I hope I'm teaching her something!  Evan will be joining our homeschool in January, so I'm praying I've figured out what I'm doing by then! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Delight

I have found myself wholeheartedly delighting in my teenage daughter lately. Many years ago there was a song by Sandi Patti called "All This Time" about a mother delighting in her daughter.  Here are a few of the lyrics. 
How you will grow
And a million dreams will dance around you
Over the stars, past the moon
One day I will tell you

Remembering the years
All this time
Moving through the pages of life
You have been a joy to me
Blooming in the sun and the rain
Holding you through laughter and pain
As you dance I delight
I have loved you all this time

My precious little ballerina when she was 5 years old.


Recently I've discovered that even in hard times, I delight in her.  Even when she fights with me, I delight in her. When she would rather not have anything to do with me, I delight in her.  I still want to be with her.  I still want to meet her needs with things that will make her happy.  I'll find a fun little trinket at the store to surprise her with...just because I delight in her. 

Watching her go through a hard time recently with the transition to a new town and a new life, I have found such delight in her.  I have found that God has given her the strength of a lion.  I have seen her big, soft heart that cares for others even when she is hurting.  I have seen so many beautiful traits come out of her.  I see God about to launch her into something amazing.  Pure delight.

I have to memorize scripture in my seminary class.  The past few weeks I've been focusing on my life verse and the 6 verses that follow.  (Psalm 37:23-29) They have been so fitting for our life recently.  I wanted them firmly committed to my memory. Verse 23 says "The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives."  I know I've blogged on that verse numerous times, but it's just so powerful!  Recently, God has been highlighting the word delight.

Delight used as a verb means "to please (someone) greatly".  God delights in me.  As his wayward daughter, he delights in me.  When I throw my doubts at him, he delights in me.  When I fight with him, he delights in me.  When I would rather not have anything to do with him for the moment, he still delights in me.  I please Him greatly.  He still wants to be with me.  He meets my needs in the most surprising ways...because he know that makes me happy.  He finds fun little trinkets in His creation to surprise me with...just because He delights in me.

"As you dance, I delight.  I have loved you all this time."




Friday, November 8, 2013

In the midst

Usually when I read blogs, I'm reading about how someone has triumphed over a hurdle, about being on the other side of the storm.

Well, I feel compelled to write in the midst of the storm.  Reading over my blogs since we've been at seminary I've noticed they aren't very uplifting stories.  God is ever present, and you can see His hand in every moment, but it just seems like a constant struggle for us...a constant uphill climb.  (I'll be nice and not insert the video to "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus before she fell off the crazy train.)

But it's constant mountains for us to climb.  Constant disappointments.  Constant tiredness.  Constant work.  Constantly trying to figure out how to do things a new way.  Constantly having our perspectives radically changed on the way we've always done things.  Constantly being brought to our knees.  A constant state of worship and awe for God who has placed us here for His glory.

Studying the book of Job in my Old Testament class a few weeks ago, I was brought to tears.  (Another constant in my life).  Job was having trials of every kind.  Nothing he had done to "deserve" all the bad that was happening to him.  He just wanted an explanation of why these things were happening.  After his friends try to explain in their limited logic, God finally shows up to comfort Job.  Job was probably hoping that God would bring in some cosmic answer to all his questions of "why?!" But he got no explanation from God...he simply got God's presence.  And God's presence was enough.

I cried because I realized that through all my constant struggles, God's presence is simply enough.  When I struggle is when I reach out for God the most.  So, embrace the struggle for that's where God is. 

As I watch him restore my daughter after a few months of sheer brokenness that breaks a momma's heart, God reminds me over and over that "I've got this."  Last night, my daughter and I sat in silence and listened to this song.  Tears streaming down my face as God reminded both of us that He's still here.  Always has been.  Climbs the mountains with us.  Fights the battles right alongside us. Never leaves us alone. 


I'm hoping to write a blog from the other side of the mountain soon.  Maybe even after we've made it to the top.  It may be a while, or it may be tomorrow.  Who knows?!  But we are still here faithfully climbing.  Corsarfam4....plus 1. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Darkness

Today it's sunny.  BUT, for the last 8 days it was sheer darkness.  I was not able to write during the darkness.  It took the sunshine to allow me a clear brain to sit down and write.

My personality equals sunshine.  I literally cannot function in darkness and dreariness.  I can't be around negative people because it literally makes me insane!  I'm like a solar powered calculator.  Have you ever moved it out of the light just slightly and the numbers start to flicker on the screen?  That's me.

When I say it was sheer darkness for 8 days, that means it has been rainy, dreary, and cloudy for over a week!  I did come from that in North Dakota, but I also struggled in North Dakota.  It's something I was never able to overcome.  I didn't mind that dark, dreariness when snow was attached to it because I love the snow.  But here, it was just drizzling rain.  And I knew my beloved snow wasn't going to be coming. 

Well, this blog is sounding quite negative, isn't it?  If I was reading it on someone else's page, I'd probably be closing the tab about now.  But hear me out.  Our family moved to North Carolina out of an act of obedience to God.  Since we have been here nothing has been easy.  Literally everything has been an uphill climb.  My children are struggling with the change.  Seminary classes are HARD...way harder & deeper than college classes.  I've developed some rash/allergy to something here that stresses me because I am a healthy person!  Michael has to work crazy hours to be able fit work in around his class schedule.  Finances...I won't even get started on our budget.  *Whew*

You might be reading this thinking that other people have it way harder.  This is a thing that I know!  And I know plenty of those people who have an uphill climb in their lives as well.  But this is OUR uphill climb.  And honestly, I thought being obedient to God would make this whole journey pretty simple.  We are obeying God, after all.  Obedience equals blessing...that's what I've learned in my Old Testament studies so far.  I told Michael, during a pity party the other night that I threw that he never accepts my invitations for, that God must be really mad at us.  I said I wish He'd just leave us alone for a while so we can come up for air.

The next day, God showed me this video through a friend on facebook.  Smack me right between the eyes. Please take a moment to watch it.  It's powerful.



This man's darkness was extreme.  He was obedient and yet he still went through darkness.  We're all going to go through darkness.  And I KNOW that I find God more clearly in my darkness.  My human brain knows that.  But my human-ness just wants to be left alone sometimes. I just want to breeze through life and everything to be easy!

After this video, I know that God loves me.  God is pleased with my obedience.  God sees me as righteous.  He loves me too much to leave me to myself.  I am being sharpened and refined.

Someday, I'll understand this.  God, thank you for not leaving me alone.  Even during my pity parties.  Even during the dark, dreary days.  Thank you for making me sing it out loud at church Sunday when we sang The Lord our God..."from this darkness you will lead us, and forever we will say, You're the Lord our God!" And thank you for this message that you taught me so that I could turn right around and help my daughter through her darkest day this week.  God's timing is so good and so perfect. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Moving In

About 3 years ago, I started this blog site with a blog entitled, "Starting Over in the Same Place." Now, here I sit thinking I should call this entry "Starting Over in a Different Place".

In case you are just tuning in, we have moved to North Carolina. God wanted us here and so we came. It's been an adventure to say the least! We were blessed with 23 friends who all pitched in to help us move FROM North Dakota. When we got to North Carolina, we were a little concerned with who would help us move our stuff in. We know only one friend here. We called about having a moving company move our furniture in for us. $650 for 2 movers for 2 hours. WHAT? No thanks. We'll do it ourselves...with our one friend, and her husband. So, we prayed hard that God would fight this battle for us. A 26 foot trailer full of heavy furniture to be carried in uphill was not something we had energy for at this point. Our friend and her husband invited a few of their friends...friends with muscles! An old Thrive friend, who lives an hour away, decided to drive out and help us, too. Okay, so this is looking good. Michael called the seminary to see if there were any young strapping students who might be interested in making some money to help us move furniture. Throughout the evening 5 of those students showed up to help us. All at times when our other helpers were getting tired and weak. I'm here to say that God fought this battle not FOR us...but right beside us. Shouldering most of the weight on His shoulders. God showed up that night in the form of several amazing people with strong hands and backs to move our furniture and boxes. God met our need. In a big way.

But talking to the seminary students, they said through us God met their financial needs as well. One of the students had been praying that day for a little money to help him with his rent. Another student was praying for gas money to take his new bride on an anniversary trip. We were able to pay them just what they needed by the work they did for us. Isn't God just SO good? He has consistently shown me His goodness in this whole crazy journey we have been on lately. I love journeys with God. They are my new favorite thing. I'm also learning that these journeys are not always "easy" or what we always consider "good", but they are good for me.

We've been here about a week now. Within this week, there has been a whirlwind of change and emotions I've had to confront. A good friend from North Dakota died suddenly and unexpectedly..grief; my dad had major surgery I couldn't be home for, fear; my children are homesick, sadness; trying to unpack to get our lives feeling normal, unsettled; making new friends, excitement; trying to learn my way around a bigger town, confusion. Emotionally I'm spent. What a journey this week. But through all the change, my God has remained constant.

 I surrender to Him every morning when I get up. I ask Him what He requires of me today. And He is there right beside me every day to help me do whatever needs to be done. All I can say is God is good. I don't think I'll ever be able to say any different.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Unbelievable

Tomorrow we head to Wake Forest, NC, to start the process of Chapter ?. I don't even know what chapter we are beginning now. I've lost count! :) We've been visiting family for the past week in Maryland. Michael and I took a trip by ourselves to Wake Forest to find a suitable place to live. We went in with the attitude that we would easily find a house in one day then head back to pick up the kids from their fun few days with the grandparents. Well, one day turned into 4 days! By day 3, all faith was gone and I was a big blubbering mess! "God's got our back." That was the phrase reveberating in the back of my brain, but my heart had lost all hope. We looked a several homes that were just gross. We've been home OWNERS for the past 10 years. We are fine with renting, but we wanted something nice. Not something that smells like cat pee...know what I mean? We had several specifications...not necessarily "needs", but things we'd like to have. A garage, a fenced yard, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Should be easy to find? Not so much. AND we really needed to stay within our housing budget of about $1150. *Begin laughter now* That's a teeny tiny rent price for a home, but it's our housing allowance through the GI Bill which Michael is using to go to seminary. We had an appointment to look at the "perfect" house. 3 bedrooms, garage, fenced yard, $1250 rent...on a street called "Sovereign Way". Perfect, right? This HAD to be the house God had waiting for us. Our appointment to view the home was at noon. At 11:00, the realtor called us and told us an application had just been submitted for the house. *Cue Becky's massive amount of tears* "What is God doing to us?! Didn't He know this was our house? This one was perfect!" My sweet, patient husband decided it was time for us to pray. Mainly praying for his overly emotional wife at this point. He reminded me God knows what He's doing. He tried to convince me that God obviously had something better for us. "But...but...but..." Then Michael asked me, "Do you really trust that God will meet this need?" Well obviously my emotional state showed that NO, I wasn't trusting too much at this point. It's easy to trust God when everything is working as we "think" it should work. Right now, it wasn't working the way I thought it needed to work. We decided to go driving around because we didn't have anymore appointments for a little while that day. Lo and behold we are driving down a street called Tillamook and there is the cutest little house with a FOR RENT sign in the yard. At first look, my thoughts were that there is no way this rent is in our price range. But Michael took down the number and decided to call the number on the sign. We had to leave a message and WAIT (something I'm getting really good at) for the call back. The doubt crept in and I tried to "guard my heart" knowing the rent was going to be too high or the house would already be rented. Several hours later, the landlord called back and gave us the specs about the home. (Quick, look a few lines above and notice my list of the things we'd like to have) Ready for this? (1) 4 bedrooms (2) 3 bathrooms (3) Garage (4) Fenced yard (5) Fireplace (because God knows I like that sort of thing in the winter) (6) Fresh paint in whole house (7) Brand new carpet in bedrooms (8) 400 sq feet BIGGER than the "perfect" house on Sovereign Way (9) and my favorite thing...Rent is $1150. The landlord told us he could easily rent this house for $1300, but he just didn't feel that was what he was suppoed to rent it for. Can we say that God had our back? Can we say that God prepared the way for us here? This house had been on the market for 1 week...which is an eternity in the rental market. This cute of a house at this cute of a price would have been snagged up in a day if God had not been holding on to it for us. Believe what you want about luck or chance. I choose to believe in Faith. I choose to trust. I'd like to say I'll trust easily from this point forward, but God knows I'm a stubborn cry baby. But I'm going to choose trust a little more quickly next time. I have a whole rest of the year to be trusting in LOTS of things now that my life has been turned upside down in a new town. God has my back. Whom shall I fear?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Who Am I Now?

This past Sunday I sat in church like a regular person. Not a staff person. Not a person who was in charge of anything. It was nice, but it was a little weird.

I've been struggling with what my identity will be when I am no longer "Mrs. Becky". I have been Mrs. Becky for so long! I know I'll live on in the minds of children as Mrs. Becky, but I don't know that I will be called that once we move on to our next chapter. It's funny how your identity can be caught up in a name.

One of the people taking my place is named Cee Cee. I was telling her how much the kids would love Mrs. Cee Cee. She laughed and said, "I've never been called by my own name since I had children." She has always been 'so-and-so's' mom or 'so-and-so's' wife. She is excited to be identified as her own name!

Mrs. Becky takes on many meanings. It's a woman who loves kids, who loves to serve, who will do anything for anyone. Hearing that name makes kids feel comfortable and loved regardless of how they are treated anywhere else. Those are the things I have strived for in creating my identity. But as I move on into new areas of ministry, I'm excited to see the identity that God will forge in me. It's not about me anymore, it's about God IN me.

 I have decided that my identity now is "Child of the One True King". What that looks like I don't know, but I do know I will continue to strive to live as Mrs. Becky. I will also continue to strive to live as Christ. My new name is Redeemed, Worthy, Accepted, Loved.
 Funny, but that's your name, too!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Barbie Meltdown

Packing today was hard. Things got a little emotional for me. I've been slowly packing for about a month now. I'll put some things in a box here and there. I'm okay with packing because I know I'm taking those particular items with me. Getting rid of some things has been easy...no emotional attachment to certain things. But today, sent me flailing over the edge. We were packing up the toy room. When we moved here, we had shelves and shelves of toys. Bins of Hot Wheels, Barbies, Legos, board games, skateboard ramps, remote control cars, little lions and jungle animals. Well, my kids are no longer of an age to really play with those things anymore. We've slowly been weeding through toys over the years that they no longer want. Alex is really attached to her stuff, so we've held on to lots of her favorite toys of the past. Today, I went through the jungle animal box and kept only the lions that were once favored by my big cat enthusiast. Memories of my sweet little girl playing with her lions and tigers flooded my mind. We would hear constant growling and big cat sounds coming from her room. We'd peek in and lions would be devouring zebras. It's funny, but she would play that for hours. Then, I moved to the Barbie box. Over the years, we've dwindled the Barbie collection down to about 15 Barbies. She stopped playing with Barbies a few years ago, but I just can't let them go. Plus friends' daughters play with them when they come to our house. So, I always had a reason to keep them. I asked Alex today if there were any particular Barbies she wanted to keep, but she was adamant that she was ready to let them go. I have a friend we can give them to, and she was okay with that option. Michael grabbed the Barbie box and was about to put it aside in the give away pile. I jerked it away from him like I was grabbing for the last little bits of my daughter's childhood. I started sobbing over those Barbies and their clothes. I'm pretty sure I freaked my husband out just a little bit. But the memories of my sweet little girl were so strong that I just wanted to look through the Barbie box one last time. I then realized that when I leave Grand Forks, I am leaving my children, as children, behind. I am taking a pre-teen and a teenager with me to the next chapter of our life. Certain things are now just in my memories. I welcome the adventure we are going on, but it still pains my heart a little for what I no longer have. Human nature, I guess. That'll always be something I fight. I now have one little Rubbermaid box of "memory toys" that I just can't part with. I know it's just stuff, but I'm really attached to some of that stuff! Packing up my stuff and going through all of it has reminded me yet again of the blessings that fill my life. Blessings of great kids I had the privilege to raise. Blessings of the teenagers they are becoming and the joy they bring into my life. Grand Forks has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. When God puts you out in the middle of nowhere and dumps tons of snow and freezing temps on you, you learn how to find joy in Him. I'll miss this place SO much. But, it too, will live on in my memories. Blessed.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

News?

Everyone keeps asking if we know anything yet about where we are moving.  NOPE.  Nadda.  Nothing. 

Am I worried?  Well, at times I let it worry me, but I'm getting really good at giving that worry back over to God.  We are still moving forward.  Our house has "sold"...that process takes a month or so, so at least we aren't homeless.  My house is slowly getting packed up.  We ordered the moving van, etc.  But we are still in the dark about where we are going.  Last we have heard is that it will be end of June now before we hear from the seminary boards.  (Thanks to the Southern Baptist Convention convening this month).

My wise husband calmed me with some really great wisdom in regards to having to wait.  I am still in charge of Thrive's children's ministry until June 23.  The thought of giving that over to someone else is killing me, so I'll blog about that one when I come to peace with it.   (See, it's a journey).  But Michael helped me see that if God reveals NOW where we are to go, then mentally I'll check out of Grand Forks and all my responsibilities here, and I'll start viewing my new life in the new location.  God still has plans for me here and I need to keep my focus on where I am planted until the uprooting process pulls my final roots. 

Isn't that how we are with everything in our lives?  When our kids are babies, we can't wait for them to sit up. Then we can't wait for them to walk.  Then talk.  Then drive.  (Well, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to that one just yet!) It seems we are always looking ahead for the next best thing.  At our jobs, we are always looking for the next promotion.  The next step.  God is teaching me now to enjoy the journey where it has taken me RIGHT NOW.  Tomorrow is another day.  God will be there waiting so I don't have to worry or fret.  My God is a God who never forgets.  He's holding my world in His hands.  So, I'll just keep on being me and doing what I do.  When God shows up with "orders", I'll be ready.  But for now, I'm still firmly planted in Grand Forks. 

"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." Philippians 1:6 The Message


Sunday, May 5, 2013

From the mouths of (babes) teens....

Sometimes teenagers can be highly annoying!  They can be downright obnoxious.  If you are the parent of a teen or if you work with teens, you know what I mean!  But then, sometimes they can be the biggest blessings of your life. 

God used an amazing group of teenagers this weekend to pierce the hearts of adults at Riverside Christian School's annual dinner theater.  I'm assuming all the other adults in the room were as touched as I was, but I can only speak for myself.  I knew the night was going to be good when the title of the one of the skits the kids were performing was titled, "More Coke".  Since I'm a Coke addict, I knew I'd be in for a treat!  Who says God can't use ANYTHING to speak to you?! 

Lately I've been struggling.  I've been struggling with the thought that God's blessings will eventually run out.  I've lived a blessed life.  There have been some ugly moments, but blessed still yet.  Embarking on an adventure of giving it all up for God, I feel that His blessings are going to eventually cease and we are going to be screwed!  Please tell me you have felt that way at some point in your life, too!  I know I'm not alone here!  I've also been struggling with the idea of a lost identity since I'll be giving up my job of being a children's minister when we move.  That's been my identity for the past 6 years with my church.  Well, let me tell you a little bit about how God met me through the mouths of teenagers in a dinner theater and cleared up any doubt that had been festering in my mind.

My daughter, a budding actress, was cast in a skit that will forever change our lives.  She is on stage with Jesus talking to Him about how she has a hard time trusting Him.  So, Jesus tells her to turn around and fall into his arms, you know..the Trust Fall?  We've all had to do it at some team building event in our lifetime.  So, she eventually falls backwards into Jesus' arms realizing how easy it is to trust Him when He's right there and you can see Him!  Then Jesus tells her to face Him and now fall backwards.  Her trust is then tested because no one is behind her to catch her!  Why would I fall back Jesus?  You are not there to catch me?!  Trusting God when things He asks you to do don't make sense to you.  Well, by the end of her act, Michael and I were at our seats with tears streaming down our face.  Thank you, God, for speaking to us through our daughter.  But also, thank you, God, for speaking to our daughter through that skit.  That skit is what made her realize that moving away from her comfortable life in Grand Forks to go where God needs us next was the next trustworthy step.  Wow.  God works in such COOL ways!  They aren't really mysterious...just extremely cool!

Other skits showed me that God's goodness is not going to run out.  God is faithful and true and can be trusted over and over again.  Another skit spoke volumes to me that whatever I have, God can use.  My identity is found in what I give over to Him to use.  My identity is not found in what I have BEEN for years, but it's found in what I offer up to Him to use.  Tears, tears, blowing the nose, wiping the eyes.  Get it together, Becky!  Okay, a few breaths and I have it all together, until they start playing that song, "Your love never fails, it never gives up, IT NEVER RUNS OUT ON ME!!"  Seriously, God?  I just got over the tears and here they come again.

He is relentless in His pursuit of us.  That relationship is what He is wanting from us.  And He will do anything and everything to set us straight, to get us to trust Him, and to wrap His arms around us.  Later that evening, my family was watching The Bible on DVD.  Jesus goes up to a disciple and gives him a big bear hug.  Alex says, "I'd love to have a Jesus hug."  Tears again.  I can be a blubbering fool!  :)  But I was just relishing in the fact that I had spent a whole evening in the midst of one big Jesus hug that those amazing teenagers delivered to me.  Thank you, kids, for doing something that you'll never know the impact of.  Man, God is so good.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Corsar Adventure

Being a Corsar is never a boring thing.  If life starts to get too mundane and predictable, we can count on God to change that and shake it up for us.  That may sound horrible to someone who hates change, but Corsars adapt well to change.  Good thing.

We are embarking on a new adventure.  We've sensed God moving for about a year now, but we've just had to be patient and wait on His timing.  We got used to that in the Air Force...always waiting for new orders and a new change of scenery.  Well, now that we are out of the Air Force, making a move on our own seems a bit overwhelming and scary.  So, we've been putting it off just knowing God had something else in mind for us.  Surely moving is not what He has in mind for us.  That will be too hard.  Have you seen all the STUFF we have?!  Moving that by ourselves?  Are you serious, God?  Can't you just use us here, where we are comfortable and secure?  Where we are rooted and finally getting established?

Nope.

It's about a testimony of obedience.  We offered up our lives to do whatever God wants with us and to go wherever He wants us.  That means what?  Well, that's the lesson we are learning.  What exactly does that mean?  So far, we've learned it means letting go and letting God lead.  And if He leads to another state, then we follow.  Period.  No "but", "why", or doubt.  I am human, though, so there will still be all those things, but I am learning to combat those doubts and fears.

So, all this to say...Corsars are moving.  At least we are moving in the direction toward God.  We are still waiting for Him to reveal to us exactly where we are moving and when.  Michael has decided he'll be attending seminary full-time...not online.  God is pursuing a deep relationship with Michael and wants ALL of his time, not just what he has left over at the end of a long work day.  He has currently applied at Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, and Southern Seminary in Louisille, KY.  So, we are awaiting orders from God  to which one we will be going to.

Stepping off a ledge into God's arms with faith that He will sell our house here, He will provide a house at our new location, He will provide all the finances for a move, He will ease the pain of uprooting and moving, etc.  There are lots of "etcs" there, but I'm trying not to overwhelm myself with them!  God has just told us to move forward.  He'll divulge the rest of the plan only as we start walking in faith.

So, won't you come along this adventure with us?  You can pray for us and hug us frequently when you see us.  You can send us encouragments and verses that God lays on your hearts to share with us.

I started this blog about 3 years ago when our life went through a major upheaval.  A major life change.  I'm seeing a pattern now.  :)  But a pattern of faith and trust is a good pattern to see.  Following Christ is exciting.  I'll keep you all posted about what is going on with us.  Thank you for your support and prayers.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Week Two of Rest

So, my last post was explaining to you how I can't just "be still". But my body needs some time right now to be still.  Fighting with my brain to make my body rest is quite exhasting!  Oh, the irony!

So, week two of my sabbatical.  I've watched it snow, read 2 books, watched some movies on Netflix,  spring cleaned the house, napped a bit, had some great lunch dates,  started playing Candy Crush Saga (the most addictive internet game ever), and just spent time with God.  It's really strange not focusing on children's ministry all week long.  That really consumed every ounce of my thoughts.  And guess what?  Children's church was a raging success last week without me!  I'm so proud of Val and the team for making it seamless and perfect for the kids.  I guess my pride is the thing that made me fear that it couldn't be done without me.  Forgive me, God, for being so prideful.  First lesson learned in the "being still phase".

I'm sure there will be plenty of lessons that God will be teaching me.  Right now, our family is working on a faith lesson.  And being still is the perfect way to bask in the lesson of faith.  God's timing is always perfect for He sees around the bends that we don't see coming.  I'm so thankful that I am learning to trust Him.  Even in the craziness of this week in our nation with bombings, explosions, and wide spread fear, I can rest in God's ever peaceful arms knowing that He has everything under control.  I need not fear for I know who is walking in front of me, behind me, and holding my hand the whole way.  Lesson number 2 is almost complete.  I wonder how many lessons there will be?  I guess I just need to be still and wait for the Teacher.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Be still!

I'm sure I've used that title before on some other blog post in the past.  It's something God constantly has to teach me...then teach me again...then pound me over the head with.

I'm good at lots of things, but being still is not one of them.  I can't even sit in the bathtub and "relax".  What is that about?  I don't understand the concept of "being still".  I am very good at running myself to the point of exhaustion.  I can pour my whole heart and soul into something until it takes every ounce of life out of me.  I'm really good at that.  And the product I produce is great, but the effects on my body are not so great.  And let's face it, I'm almost 40.  My body can't take a beating like it used to.

So, I decided to "be still".  I'm on sabbatical from my children's ministry job for the next 5 weeks.  Hardest choice I've ever had to make, but definitely something I need to do.  I need to recharge my brain, my heart, my body...and just let them do nothing for a bit.  I need to not pour into anything for a few weeks until I feel like myself again.  All I can say is it's going to be hard. But it seems that all the good lessons in my life that God absolutely has to teach me always seem to be hard.  So, I'm looking forward to the lesson.

My being still for this first week has involved spring cleaning (real "still", huh?) & picking some paint colors to paint a few rooms.  May not seem "still", but it's making time out for things I've neglected but that I really enjoy.  I've put my hobbies aside for a while now, that I'm going to spend the next few weeks having fun.  I even sat down and watched a movie the other day...all by myself... in the middle of the day!  How refreshing!

God made me the way I am for a reason.  Now, I just need to learn balance.  I think I'll sit down and ponder that...and possibly take a nap on the couch.  :)


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Harlem Shake Kids Matter Ministries Version

video
This is what I do for a living.  I get paid to act like a nut!  Best job in the world...hands down!  ;)

This was our children's ministry lock-in this past weekend.  It was so fun to shoot this.  Although very few kids had heard of the Harlem Shake.  I got to educate them on viral videos and what is cool right now!  HAHA  Although I had to be very selective on Harlem Shake videos to show...most of them are not quite appropriate for little eyes! 

Thanks to GABC College Ministry for your Harlem Shake at Chick-fil-a.  That was a great example of one for us to watch to get some ideas.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

You have made me new!

Every time I feel a need to blog, I realize it's usually about the same theme.  New life in Christ, how God takes the ugly and makes it GOOD, broken...now redeemed.  I guess I could consider this the main theme of my life.  The need to blog this time comes from an experience I had recently with my precious husband. 

Most of you know our Air Force history.  Michael valiantly served as an exemplary pilot for 10 years.  He gave it his all.  He was awarded for numerous things, events, activities.  His whole identity was wrapped up in his career and what the Air Force made him.  Pride comes before the fall, is the saying.  Is that biblical?  A proverb?  I'm certain it is...will have to look that up later.  Michael has been out of the service now for 2.5 years.  I write about it a lot because it was a traumatic loss for our family!  You get used to things being done a certain way and then, it's ended.  It's a little surreal.  We were used to the Air Force determining our destiny.  Telling us where to go next and what to do.  God had a hand in putting a screeching halt to that when we got out.  It was at that moment that Michael fully surrendered, recklessly abandoned everything to follow only what God wants for our life.  Easy?  NO!  It's quite the traumatic experience.  It  probably could have been peaceful if we hadn't been kicking and screaming the whole way. 

So, here we sit quite a few years into our "new" life.  Michael has tons and tons of military uniforms and paraphernalia in our attic.  He was fine having it sit there for the past 2 years.  Evan, is of course, enamored with all this militaria. So, Michael decided to get it all down the other night, go through it, and determine what he should keep and what he could get rid of.  He pulled it all down, then had to leave for a meeting.  So, Evan pulled EVERYTHING out.  Beaming with pride to see his dad's awards, the uniforms, the patches.  Michael got home from his meeting and Evan had a ton of questions for him about all these military stuff littering my living room!  Michael sat patiently and answered every one of Evan's questions about every item he pulled out.  Then, we put the kids to bed. 

I then found Michael sitting in the living room amidst all the remains of his old life.  He had tears streaming down his face as he held some flight instruments.  He sat there telling me how hard it was to see all this stuff again because it was such a deep part of him.  He told me how he foolishly made all that his identity for so long.  This military life that he wanted to invest in just came to a screeching halt in 2010.  He cried grieving the "old" life.  The man he used to be. 

God pulled him out of that life because God had a better calling for him.  God wanted to use Michael in a way that the Air Force would not allow.  God was going to make Michael a new man.  And he's been chiseling away at him for the past few years now.  Chiseling is a painful process.  It calls for sacrifice, selflessness, humility, putting God's ways above our own. 

The song that has been resonating in my soul for a while now is "New Man" by All Things New.  Wow.  What a song.  I'll share it with you.  Hopefully it helps you to quite grieving the "old man", but reminds you that God has made you into a new creation.  A way better model of what you were before! 

God reminds us constantly that we are His!  Set apart for great things.  Praying God restores my husband's heart and reminds him that his identity is not in his old man, but in what God has made him to be. And watch out world for what's coming!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

All I Need



God keeps showing me so many things!  I prayed and asked Him to open my eyes to things I’ve never seen before.  I kind of meant that I wanted to see angels standing guard outside my doors…things like that. 




Instead, He has answered my prayer and is showing me attributes that are travesties…he’s showing me things I haven’t seen or noticed before that need to be changed. 

The coolest thing I’m seeing are people that God is madly in love with!  I’m seeing Christian people who live out of their comfort zone, who are fully invested in God, who seem to keep experiencing “trials”…I’m seeing those things in a backwards way.  The backwards message of the Cross, some have called it.  We typically see God’s blessings as tons of money, a big house, a nice car.  I’m starting to see God’s blessings for what they really are.  Struggles, things that take you to your knees, illness that doesn’t seem to heal, rains that keep falling…those are the blessings.

Backwards?  Yes.  Because the trials and the struggles are what run us straight into God’s arms.  And that’s where He created us to be!!  We seem to take Him out of the equation when life is good.  So, to get us where He wants us, trials abound. 

My dad, who is God’s very best friend, has suffered with shingles for many agonizing months.  My heart breaks for him, but I know God is holding him, so I don’t have to worry about him.  It hurts, but he’s at peace…right where he’s supposed to be.  A dear friend lost her son before Christmas.  The pain I feel in my heart for her is NOTHING compared to the pain she is feeling.  But God has her right in the palm of His hand where true peace exists, so I know she’s okay.  A friend has come to Grand Forks with nothing but the clothes on his back.  He is experiencing true trials right now, but as he stated, “This is where God wants me.  He wants me to be still and wait for Him to provide.”  The trials are where God is!  Of course, He’s there in your success and easiness, too, but we don’t lean into Him as deeply during those times.  Have you noticed that? 

God has opened my eyes to our apathy.  I’m seeing a lot of people who truly just want to be comfortable, and that to them is more important than doing uncomfortable things for God’s people or for God's glory.  My house is so comfortable and warm, so I don’t make time for those who need me outside the walls of my house.  Those are some things I really didn’t want to see when I asked God to show me things I had never seen before.  Those things make me angry, so I’m going to have to now ask God to show me how to do something about it, or how to make peace with it.  But in the meantime, I’m living outside my comfort zone.  That’s where God is.  I hope you’ll view your trials and your struggles as a gift from God.  And if you can’t see the gift, ask Him to show you.  Step out and realize He is truly all you need!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dreams

For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Zephaniah 3:17




I LOVE music!  It's one of my favorite things in the world.  You will never walk into my house without hearing some sort of music playing or hearing singing of some sort going on in my presence at all times.  It's just  THE thing that moves me.  We all have that one thing that motivates and inspires us.  That one thing that we love.  Mine is music.  If you've read ANY of my blogs, you know that God speaks to me through songs.

Growing up, music was my life.  I was in every choir and ensemble that I could possibly get in to!  Singing competitions, talent shows, anything I could sing in...I was there!  My idol at the time was Sandi Patti!  Wanted to be just like her.  Wanted to sing to packed out crowds and possibly be some sort of a rockstar when I grew up.  :)

This was my dream when I headed off to a college known for its music.  I was going to be a music major and just see where that led me.  The beginning of freshman year was always a Freshman Talent Show.  Check out the new talent coming into the music program.  I was prepared to "wow" the crowd with my amazing musical ability.  I think my ego got a bit inflated, ya think?  I had my song prepared...a song I had sang numerous times at numerous events.  I knew it like the back of my hand.  I walked out on stage and got the worse case of stage fright EVER.  I had never experienced that before.  They tried to start my song for me about 2 more times, but my mind had just gone blank.  I felt I was laughed off the stage, and literally flushed my dream right there at that moment.  It sealed the deal for me the following year when as a sophomore, I attended the freshman talent show and heard some people in front of me talking about that girl who froze on stage the previous year.  UGH!  I felt that was now my legacy. 

So, take that dream, and stuff it.  Didn't use my talent hardly at all for the next few decades.  (Yes, I am old enough to be able to use that term...sadly.) 

But I never stopped singing.  I just sang to myself.  In my car, when I was alone, when I was behind a screen at funerals when no one could see me, when I am tucking Evan into bed at night.  No one really even knew I had the talent.  I was never okay with that, and really missed being able to do what I absolutely loved, but just figured my time had passed and it was time for new dreams. Evan asks me constantly, "Mom, why don't sing anymore?"  *tears dude*

I live my life now absolutely in love with what God has me doing.   It was never my dream to work with kids, but God knew I would love it.  But He also reminded me today that He still loves to hear me sing His praises.  Recently, He spoke to our worship leader, Adrian,  and told him to ask me to sing with him this Sunday.  I was honored to be asked, but a little fearful that I'd get laughed off the stage again.  Satan crept into my thoughts dropping little bits of fear and doubt, as he does best.  Satan even caused this big ugly snafu among quite a few people to occur to take away my joy in the situation.  That ugly beast causes such train wrecks.  But I had to constantly pray through it and ask God to keep being my joy and to allow me to sing like He created me to sing.  I think THAT is what got me through the fear of my past.  An ugly situation (that Satan meant for harm) that draws you right into the arms of the Comforter (that God used for good). 

God is good.  And He rejoices over me with singing!  He rejoices over YOU, TOO!  Despite where you are with your dreams, He delights in you.  Let Him use your broken ugly pieces and turn them into that one thing you love...and that He loves, too.