Happy Birthday Graham

September 28, 2008

Dear Graham,

     Today is your first birthday.  I can't believe you have been with us for a whole year.  Time really does seem to fly (although sometimes the days creep).  Although you have only been with us for a year, I cannot remember my life without you.  You came into our lives so quickly, so dramatically, I guess you were making some kind of statement to our family. 
     This past year has been full of firsts for you, first food, first steps, first tooth (that proved quite painful for you, and me) and first words too.  In the year to come you will change so much. You will walk and talk and fight with your brother.  But don't grow up too fast.  You have your whole life ahead of you.  
     Just know that your dad and I love you and pray for you.  We pray that you would grow up to love God with all your heart.  That you would never stray from your faith.  We pray that you would love people and impact your generation for God.
     Happy Birthday baby, we love you.
Mommy and Daddy


3 Year Check Up

I took Elijah to his 3 year check up this week.  They actually did the vision test with pictures.  He did surprisingly well as this test requires a good bit of concentration.  I was shocked.  He really didn't understand the test at all and said some funny stuff.

About half way through the test, he said to the nurse, "Why can't you just bring it closer?"

Then, the best one, torwards the end, the nurse pointed to yet another black and white picture and said "What is this?"  To which Elijah replied, "You tell me and I'll tell you."

So funny!  You also would have thought they cut his finger off when they pricked him.  He cried for 5 minutes!

How to Pray Part 2- For Our Staff

I got so many great comments about my post on how to pray for your pastor.  Thank you!  You don't know how awesome it feels to know that so many people are praying for my husband and were so glad to have specific things to pray.

So today I am going to give you some specific things to pray for our lead church staff members.  Our church staff is amazing.  They take care of so many details that it frees my husband up to focus on hearing from God and preparing his message.  They too carry a heavy burden for our church and our city.  Remember that our church is very young.  Most of the people that work for Elevation do not have a background in church work.  Because of our rapid growth, our staff members are constantly trying to create systems that make Elevation run like a well oiled machine.  This can be difficult and stressful.

Pray for them…

  • To maintain their personal relationship with the Lord
  • To hear from the Lord
  • To have creativity
  • To lead those under them with authority and love
  • To make good hires
  • To be great husbands and fathers
  • To create good systems at work
  • To have wisdom in the decisions that they make
  • To be able to lead and motivate volunteers

Ephesians 1:16-17
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in all my prayers.  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Monday Morning Commentary

We are in week 2 of Visionary Love, Dream Sex and I am thoroughly enjoying this series!  There is something for everyone in each message.

My biggest take away was the very last point about little foxes.  Song of Solomon 2:15 says Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

Steven talked about little things that can destroy a relationship.  It can be a little thing, such as kissing that can lead to premarital sex, or a little thing such as not communicating as a couple that can lead to divorce.

It is so important to identify the little things. 

Like making and keeping a budget (you know the number one cause of divorce in this country is money).  Or not holding a grudge.  Speaking positive, encouraging things to your spouse rather than negative (see last Monday's commentary).

My prayer is that this week, we will each take some time to ask the Lord to identify any little foxes in our relationships, then be obedient and adjustments.  Its the little things that sometimes make the biggest difference.

Places I hate to drive

For those of you who read my blog, but don't live in Charlotte, you are probably not going to get this post.  You may live in a city where you could write an entire book about traffic.   A few weeks ago, I drove in Miami.  Wow.  That was an experience.  The people there honk when the light turns green.  No joke.  But today I just have to say a few words about some trouble spots in Charlotte.

Now first let me say that I love Charlotte.  There is no place in the world I would rather live.  I love the size, I love the restaurants, the shops, the culture, everything.  I would even go so far as to say we are pretty lucky when it comes to traffic.  Yes, we have traffic, but it is not all day and it is only bad in certain places.

I think one of the perks (among many) of being a stay at home mom is that I don't have to drive during rush hour.  Anyway, here are some places that I don't like to drive in Charlotte.

  • I-485 between Rea Rd and I-77 during rush hour.  I just want to shoot myself anytime I get stuck in that.  I feel so sorry for you if you have to drive in that every day.
  • The I-485 exit and Providence road going away from the city, towards Waxhaw.  I  must confess, sometimes I get in the right lane, knowing full well that it is going to end and I will have to nose my big old car in and make people mad.  And sometimes I don't get in the right lane, I stay in the left, like I should, but then I don't let others in.  I know, double standard.  You do it too.
  • Concord Mills during a race weekend.  Ooh, have you ever made that mistake??
  • Pineville at Christmas time.  I think some people think Carolina Place is the only mall in the city.
  • Independence Blvd on Saturday.  The traffic is just endless all day long.
  • And finally, can I please get a shout out about the parking garage at CMC Main uptown?  I mean please, I know I drive a big car, but so does everyone else and there is no need to design an entire parking garage for compact cars.  I am so afraid that I am going to get hit or hit someone every time I park there.

My husband is constantly reminding me that I have an Elevation sticker on my car and should remember that while driving.  And I do.  Most of the time :).

How about you, what spots do you avoid?

Visionary Love Dream Sex

Yesterday we began a new series on sex, love, and dating called Visionary Love Dream Sex.  I must be honest and say that I loved every minute of that message (you can listen  here.  If you heard it, you would know that it was all about how my husband and I met and fell in love.  I just loved hearing my husband tell about our relationship.  He made it sound so much more romantic than I ever thought it was!

I just wanted to comment on one line in his message that I truly believe in.  About halfway through his message he said "If you don't like what you see in your spouse, change what you say to them."

I have never found anything to be more true.  As women, I think we all wish our husbands would pitch in a little bit more when it comes to our home and our children.  I personally have found that the best way to get my husband to do this is to cheer him on when he does something.  And I try to never correct him when he is trying to help.

When he washes the dishes, if I find a dirty spot on a pan, I never hand it back to him and say "here, you missed a spot."  I just put it away and if it is bad enough, I will clean it before I use it.  And I thank him for helping me.

Saturday, he straightened up the house before leaving for the office.  When I came downstairs from dealing with Graham, the lunch dishes were in the dishwasher and all the toys were out of the living room.  I think I thanked him 3 times throughout the day for that.  I really was appreciative and I wanted him to know it.

I once had a conversation with a lady who told me that when her husband loaded the dishwasher and told her she replied something like "Well blow a trumpet, I have loaded it 12 times already this week."

I am just not sure where such negativity gets anyone.  Instead of lifting her husband up, she made him feel like crap for all the times he didn't load the dishwasher.

Marriage is about encouraging each other on to do better, and be better.

I can't wait for next week's message.  What a fun series.

Preparing for cold season

Yesterday after nap time I went to turn on a show for the boys to watch for a few minutes.  When I turned on the tv I saw that there was a Project Runway marathon of a season I had never watched.  I changed my mind about finding a show for the boys and decided to watch a few minutes.

Soon Elijah found something else to do and Graham was just playing around me.  I heard Graham make a noise behind me and turned around to see the Kleenex box on the floor.  I distracted Graham with a toy, and went back to watching Project Runway.  A few minutes later I heard some noise behind my chair.  Graham sounded like he was entertaining himself and so I kept watching (totally forgetting about the box of Kleenex).

Five minutes later I came to myself and turned around to find a very happy baby surrounded by tissues.  I couldn't resist taking a few pictures.  He must have pulled 50 tissues out of the box.  I couldn't bear to throw the pulled tissues away so I filled up a gallon sized ziplock bag.  Cold season is coming, no need to be wasteful.

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How to Pray Part 1- For Your Pastor

The Lord seems to be speaking very clearly about the importance of prayer this week.  Once a month a few of our staff wives and I get together for lunch.  Each month I select a message for us to listen to before hand and then we discuss it at lunch.  This month we watched a dvd of Jim Cymbala preaching a message called "My house shall be called a house of prayer."  It was no coincidence that this was what I needed to hear this week.  God seems to be calling me to a higher level in my personal prayer life but He also is confirming to me how people are praying for me and my family on a regular basis.

I can't tell you how many times in the last month I have met someone that tells me, "I pray for you and your family every day."  Whenever this happens, I always want to spill over with specifics for that person to pray because I value this so much.  It seems that the more our church grows, the more the enemy attacks (or as my husband's favorite preacher,TD Jakes, says "New levels bring new devils.").  I value and covet the prayers of our friends and church members.  I believe with all my heart that God's way of pouring out blessings, protection and grace (among many other things) is through prayer.

So in light of this, I thought I would do a series on my blog for the next few weeks about how you can pray for your pastor, his family, our staff, our staff wives and our church. 

So today is part one, How to Pray for Your Pastor

  • to lead with authority and love
  • to stay tightly connected to the Lord
  • to have wisdom in making decisions
  • to continue to have a God-given vision for our church
  • to find time to relax and unwind
  • for his health (mental and physical)
  • for longevity in ministry
  • for purity
  • to be a great husband and father
  • for protection from the enemy and from people who want to cause harm
  • for him as he prepares his message each week
  • to preach each week with confidence and clarity
  • specifically pray for him on Saturdays, this is a day of great attack for him

Today a fellow pastor's wife friend of mine emailed me this verse and it was so timely…

Call unto Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

First Day of School

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Yesterday was Elijah's first day of school.  He missed the actual first day when he was at my parent's last week.  So today he got to wear his new shoes for the first time and use his new lunch box. 

He was so funny.  On the ride there I was prepping him with all the necessary questions.  What do you do if you want a toy someone is playing with?  What do you do when the teacher says it is time to leave the playground?  What do you do if you need to go potty?

Elijah said, "Mommy, what will I do if a dino comes into da room and eats da teachers, and da kids and da toys?"

I said, "I don't know, what will you do?"

He replied, "I would tell that dino to get out of da classroom!"

Kelly, wouldn't that be crazy???

Daniel Fast Day 21- We did it!!

I am sure you can guess what we ate for dinner… my husband's favorite, PF Chang's.  Steven and Eric were not home with the food at 6 o'clock but you can bet that I had an ice cold glass of Dr.Pepper.  It was so delicious.  Then Nicole and I raided my pantry.  We ate some peanut M&Ms and Baked Lays. 

Dinner was so delicious. I have not looked forward to anything like I did this meal since Christmas Eve as a child.  After dinner I made chocolate chip cookies.  Mmmm.

If you completed the fast, leave me a comment, I would love to know how you broke the it. 

To those of you who completed the fast, congratulations.  I truly believe that God honored your obedience by blessing our church with so many salvations over the past few three weeks!

Here are a few pictures of our dinner tonight…

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