Friday, July 29, 2011

Cherished Outreach - July

Last night's visit felt really short, but it went really well. A great friend from church, Diana Trantham, made pretty earrings and bracelets and Stephanie Liby donated free haircuts, so our gifts were pretty great this month. I also made Mississippi Mud bars for the guys on staff. Janice Wood (Mom) went with me.

Before the visit I felt the urge to make sure that I asked girls if there was anything I could pray for them about, so I went in expecting God to have something going on. We went in and chatted with the guys (bouncers, dj, bartender) who were all sitting at the bar hanging out. One of the bouncers talked more than usual and even showed me pictures of his twins on his phone, and asked to see pictures of Stella. They ask how she is every time I come in now, which is encouraging as far as relationships that have been built with people at the club. I really want to make a point to reach out to that particular bouncer's wife - she's a stay-at-home mom with 2 year old twins! So please pray that God provides a way to have a playdate, or some kind of interaction with her. I talked quickly with the dj, who's dad recently passed away, and he told me that they spread the ashes this week. He seemed pretty ok and I invited him to let his girlfriend (former dancer) know about the free haircut. He and she both used the coupon the last time we gave away free haircuts. I talked to the bartender, and his grandfather passed away last month, but it was expected and he's fine with it. He told me that he's moved to Lexington, and I told him about a great church up there near where he lives, that TJ and I went to when we lived in Lex (Center Point). He was quick to tell me that he is still a member of his home church where he grew up, and that he spent 9 years playing church league basketball, but that right now working two jobs has him too tired to make it to church on Sundays. Please pray that he is driven to check out Center Point, or any church and feels a desire to know God on a deeper level.

We met 3 new dancers tonight - the girl I talked to last month really wasn't kidding about most of the old girls quitting or being fired. I chatted with one of the new girls - "R" - for a while, and asked if there was anything I could pray for her about, but she said she was fine. She did dance in Lex for a while, so she had met the ladies from Bruised Reed (Southland) and really liked them. It helped make her more comfortable with us, I think, which is great. Mom was able to talk to a new bartender and get to know her a little bit. She is attending church, but had been having trouble with money and is a single mother. Almost all of them are. When we went to the dressing room to leave the rest of the gifts on the counter for anyone to came in to work later, we met another new girl, "L", who has only worked there for a month. This is her first experience dancing, and she hates it. We had a great conversation with her, and she asked us to let her know if we knew of any place that was hiring. She is also a single mother, needed some extra money, and couldn't find a job for a couple of months before she applied at the club. She gave me her phone number and I'll be calling her with some ideas. Please pray for her. It feels like there is a short window when someone first starts in this line of work when they hate it and can get out before it gets really difficult and they've been sucked into the life, or feel they can't do anything else. She also attends a church, and wanted to make sure we didn't tell anyone about her for fear that where she's working might get out. Please pray that she is able to get a different job and gets away from dancing quickly.

Thank you so much for your prayers. We know that this is not a battle against the people working here, or the customers coming in, but a battle against Satan and his hold on them all. Keep it up!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I am so excited - it's 8:25 and I am halfway through my first cup of coffee from my new coffeemaker! TJ's mom saw on my facebook that my old coffeemaker had died, and bought me one! I am immensely blessed.

This weekend has been great so far - this weekend TJ's Granny, Mom, 2 aunts and sister all came in to Lexington to celebrate Terri's (his mom) 50th birthday. I took Stella and Josiah up last night and we all ate at the Melting Pot, and today they will be coming down here to visit and check out our house (his aunts haven't seen it). So naturally, I've been cleaning and organizing like crazy. I also baked a birthday cake this morning and need to get that iced before they get here. But it's great to see them, and we're excited for Aunt Sonya and Aunt Donna to see the house (even if it is a work in progress!). On top of all that, Todd and DeAnn Miller & Co., who are moving to Richmond in September to be our associate pastor, came in for the weekend. On our way home I took Siah and Stella by the house and hung out for a while. Have you ever met one of those people who are just so attractive you want to hang out with them all the time? When you're with them, you have fun, you feel loved, cared for, and clean. Like you're hanging out with Jesus. I feel that way about the Millers, and I'm really excited they're moving here. I so long to be a woman like that. I want to love Jesus and follow him so closely that when people hang out with me, they get a taste of him. They feel built up and special. I don't think there's a special trick to it, just one of the perks of being close to God. I hope he rubs off on me that way.

I started re-reading This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti this week. It might be one of my all-time favorite books. Maybe if I was more intellectual I would like The Screwtape Letters more (and I do love that book as well), but for me, they both accomplish the same job. I am reminded how subtly Satan works in my life through things like Complacency, Pride, Laziness, and many others. I'm reminded that I am in the middle of a war, and prayer is not only vital and powerful, it is my primary weapon. Sometimes I feel like what I'm doing as a mother and wife may not be important, and I'm so thankful when God reminds me that it IS important, and I'm filled with a renewed sense of purpose.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Is Really Weak Coffee...

Hot, even very strong, tea is not the same as coffee.

My coffee maker finally gave up the ghost (what does that even mean?) and died. My dear husband took it apart and tried to find the reason it was malfunctioning, but in the end, it was just the coffee maker's time. In lieu of a few last words spoken over it, TJ turned to me and said, "Don't worry, we'll get you a new one. You having coffee is vital to the well-being of our family."

I love that guy. He gets me.

Our house continues to come together more and more every week, albiet slowly. While TJ works on major jobs on the weekend (like finishing out the basement), I'm trying to accomplish organization. My goal is do at least one organizational job a day. I've made myself a list of things that need to get done, and I'm determined to get going on it. I'm trying very hard to be more disciplined, but it's a lot harder when your coffee maker breaks. I can't wait for TJ to finish the basement so that Joe can move down there, and Josiah can move upstairs and then Stella can move into her nursery. Last night I was looking at pictures of nurseries and kids rooms - I'm so excited about being able to paint their rooms! Another perk of owning your own house. :-)

Well, it's time to get started on my to-do list. And maybe check out Etsy for cute kid room decor. No. Discipline. I can do this. I think today I might need to work on a memory verse:

"Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:4-5

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

So far this week...

TJ had the week of the 4th off, and it was an amazing week having him home. He did some great work on the yard and painted the kitchen (yellow). It's pretty bright, but now that I've adjusted, I really like it. We're not quite done - we're going to do an accent wall in some type of gray, and I want to get some chalkboard paint and paint a square on the wall for to-do lists and verses.

However, Monday night was not super great on the toddler front. I mopped the kitchen floor by hand that morning, and was very proud of how great it looked. I made spaghetti for supper and (like an idiot) left Josiah in his high chair with a bowl of spaghetti and a spoon while I fed Stella. Cut to 20 minutes later when I walk in to find the bowl of spaghetti all over my floor and dripping down the side of the refrigerator. He had left some of the spaghetti in the tray of his high chair and then dumped his water on that, making a nasty pool of goop for me to clean as well. I'm sorry if you disagree with corporal punishment, but Josiah got a serious spanking. He also didn't eat anything for the rest of the night until he decided he was interested in spaghetti. That took 2 hours, but it worked.

Tuesday was a great morning, we went to my Mom's and played by the pool, and then ate lunch with my Mom and Dad. Josiah had fun playing legos with Grandpa, and I got a decent start on a tan. Siah was better behaved last night, not perfect, but better. So we'll just keep at it. Stella has been great for the last couple of days, which is really nice. She's been consistently sleeping for a 4-5 hour block every night, and I like feeling like a real person. :-) She's such a fun baby, she's starting to be more alert and awake for longer periods of time.

Today's been ok - despite thinking I'd broken a toe and spending the day limping around our house. Mostly I felt ridiculous for tripping on Stella's bouncy seat that badly. :-) I had been planning to go on a walk, but since my toe hurt, I did my pilates dvd instead. Big mistake. I did almost 30 minutes and I'm exhausted. Time to get consistent and build my stamina back up. I did take Stella and Siah to play in the backyard for a little while and that was fun. Josiah doesn't really know how to play by himself out there - he's so used to working with Daddy on the house and yard he has no idea what to do out there all by himself. :-) He's so fun right now, even with the attitude problems he sports at times.

Well, here's hoping we have a great rest of the week (and I'm not too sore tomorrow)!