Saturday, February 21, 2009

Best Friends Reunited!!

So....let's just say, God is good. All the time.

When I first met Christina, I thought surely someone like her in the world couldn't actually exist. Fortunately for me, I was wrong. I met her one of my first weekends at UGA and it truly was love at first sound (we had a long talk on the phone before we actually met in person).  Her brother was the college pastor at my home church and he was insistent upon us meeting each other. So we talked on the phone and met at a Starbucks in downtown Athens one night. We must have talked forever and very quickly learned that our friendship was very different from anyone else's. 

Christina is one of those people that you feel instantly known by. She automatically sees good and beauty in people and allows them the freedom to be themselves. She is radiant and compassionate, gracious and honest. Two or three years into our friendship I came to the conclusion that our friendship mirrored that of David and Jonathan. She got to know me quicker than anyone ever has and found ways to meet me where I was at. She would crawl into the dark places with me or she'd celebrate any victory. She'd pray for me and fight for me in ways I couldn't believe. We both used to study and do terrible on all the same tests. I maintain that we are both very smart but horrific at taking tests. We could talk about anything for hours and enjoy the most random things. I liked to think that she was the introverted version of myself. However, she knew how to act like an extrovert. 

Unfortunately, through a system of events, we took a 2 1/2 year hiatus on our friendship. We were both hurt through several things that started as out of our control but motivated us each to make some poor decisions that didn't help our friendship. We slowly backed away from each other for different reasons and in the summer of '06 parted ways. 

But the good news is GOD IS GOOD. So so good. Full of healing and restoration and beauty. He has brought the most precious person in the world back to me. And I feel so honored and blessed right now. I feel like part of my heart is back again. Christina is truly the most beautiful and compassionate person in the whole world, and I hope you all have an opportunity to meet her. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Eve

This is a picture of the 12 roses Patrick sent me at work! He really is an incredible husband in so many ways. I am beyond blessed by his love for me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Least of These

Today we had homeless outreach after church. I'm never excited to go because it makes Sunday such a long day, but I'm always happy I go when I get down to the parking lot where all the homeless wait in line for lunch. They brighten my day every week. 

It's been especially cool to see the expectation level in our group rise. We've seen some awesome miracles and each week we go down to the parking lot expecting God to show up in a bigger way today than He did last week. We're constantly seeking out the "greater things" that Jesus tells us we will do. 

Last week and this week there has been a rise in demonic activity, but there has also been a rise in the Presence of God. Last week and this week we had people get out of wheelchairs, stop needing their canes because their arthritis they've had for 10+ years has stopped bothering them, ears open up, sinus pressure and pain gone, degenerative disc disease completely leaving and crutches no longer being necessary, and so much more. We've gotten to hug on people, tell them how much God loves them, and speak life over them. 

One of our dreams for the homeless is that they'd start to realize their dreams and start to pursue them. 2-3 weeks ago we had such a change in the atmosphere downtown. One man told us that he hadn't been singing in awhile, and wanted to start up again. And this man was an incredible singer....similar to, but better than Kirk Franklin. He was unbelievable. He just stood in the parking lot among hundreds of others and just sang. Then we had a guy come up to us randomly and tell us that he loves poetry and that he used to go to open mic nights at coffee houses around Atlanta just to do "freestyle" poetry. You could give him any two words and he would fabricate this beautiful poem around them. We gave him "fearless love" and you would have thought he spent his whole life creating a poem around those two words. He had a lot of religious symbolism as well as stuff from his heart. The funny thing is that he didn't think before he started the poem or write anything down. It all just came spilling out of his heart. Thirdly we had a guy who sketches come show us all the art pieces he'd been doing over the last few weeks. Because he's homeless he only had an old notebook and some scrap paper, but I would have paid him to do a portrait for me. He would use pens or pencils and within an hour would do someone's entire body (the best was TI), shading and everything. I hope to post some pictures of his art soon. The talent among the homeless is unreal.

So we've been really encouraged in our time with the homeless recently. We've seen people get healed and we've seen creativity and dreams get stirred up. We have such a heart to see their passion for life restored. Only when they believe that they can go after their dreams and that they are worth them will they get up and go run after them. And if we do anything down there I hope that we communicate that they have those dreams for a reason. And that God put them inside of their hearts and has given them the capacity to see those dreams fulfilled. And I can't wait to see the dreams flow more freely and the passion and level of expectancy to rise up in them. It's going to be awesome. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

My favorite blog

So this is officially my favorite blog. I want to be this family...

This family has 3 children, one is their own, and their other two are adopted from Korea. On this blog, the mom has all the adoption videos posted...and if you know me, I want to adopt a million Asian children!! But it's not just the crayola-ness of this family that I love...

This family also does a cool thing called "Family Night" which they do every week or so (there's a tab on the right side of the page that tells all about each night). One night they did a "Snow" themed night...everyone wore their winter coats, gloves, hats, scarves...etc. They made a snowman on the table out of cotton and drank hot chocolate. They hung snowflakes everywhere and ate potato soup (they put cut up carrots and bacon in it to make the face of a snowman- they called it a melted snowman's face). Then they ate powdered donuts, or "snowballs" and then had a snowball fight with balled up white socks. Some other nights included Beach Night, Carlos' Night (Carlos is the dad), Paper Night, Baseball Night (Patrick can't wait to have children and have baseball night every night), Football/Cheerleader Night, Turtle Night, Back-to-School Night...and SO MANY MORE! these nights might not sound awesome, but if you look at this blog, you can see all the pictures, activities, outfits, food and decor that goes into every single family night! It's incredible. 

I want to be this family, including the Korean children. They're beautiful.