Monday, July 28, 2008

Being the church


Yesterday, after morning service, our church held Community Day. We invited the surrounding area to join us for (free) lunch, live music, games, fellowship and school supplies (if needed).

It was a raging success. Our church is an old elementary school building, right in the middle of a neighborhood. In fact, because of our low key appearance, a lot of people don't realize we are a church unless they stop and look for the modest signs. Still, we have been in this location for many years and have done amazing ventures for Christ.

I was so proud of our church yesterday. Most of the family stayed after service and pitched in to help promote a successful event. It took a lot of willing hands (and hearts)!

We fed hundreds. We talked to hundreds. We shared with hundreds. We helped hundreds.

It was a reminder that the building we use for worship, fellowship, and service is called a church, but it is we, the followers, that are the true church. Our faith was put into action for His glory.

To quote one of our pastors, "It is good-stuff!"


The entire law is summed up in a single command:
"Love your neighbor as yourself."

Galatians 5:14

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Strength

We have returned from the funeral. It was held in a large Catholic church (which brought back memories of my own childhood). The church was packed -- with standing room only in the back. It was a beautiful tribute to a darling little boy.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

Lisa, Charlie's mom, was a pillar of faithfulness and strength. Through her sorrow, she shared hugs and love with those around her. She said, "Charlie was a beautiful gift from the Lord. He was cherished in our family. Now, we hand Charlie back to the Lord with special thanksgiving for his precious life." It was both heartbreaking and beautiful to watch her kiss and touch her baby for the final time before the casket was closed. My heart broke into a million little pieces.

The funeral procession was 200 cars deep and the sun shone bright as the priest cast his final blessings on Charlie's resting place.

Thank you for praying over this family. It is a comfort. If they should come to mind in the following days, please lift them in prayer.

Now the healing begins.

Monday, July 21, 2008

In memory

Charles "Charlie" David Schenkel
2006-2008

We received heartbreaking news today that a sweet family friend lost their precious 22 month old son over the weekend. Charles "Charlie" Schenkel was with family and friends on Saturday, enjoying a summer party, when he accidentally drown in the swimming pool.

Charlie was an active, adorable, lovebug of a little boy and he brought a smile to all that met him.
He was the youngest of 11 children. He is survived by his daddy (Dave), mommy (Lisa), David Jr., Luke, George, Adam, Amanda, Gracie, Claire, Lucy, Sylvia, and Marie. His loving grandparents are also left to mourn, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Claire, Charlie's big sister, is on Sarah's gymnastic team. During practice tonight, the girls sat together and prayed for Claire and her family. It was touching to watch.

As mothers to large families -- Lisa and I shared laughs, tips, and many hours on gym bleachers, waiting for the girls. My heart breaks for this wonderful family. My mind can not comprehend the pain they most be experiencing at this moment.

Tomorrow morning, Sarah and I will attend the funeral. Funerals are difficult enough but when it is a child involved, well.....there are no words.

If you are reading this entry, please take a moment to pray over the Schenkel family. They are very devout in their faith and I know it would touch them deeply. Thank you.

A mother's identity

"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow on your wings. My soul
clings to you; your right hand upholds me."
Psalm 63:7-8 NIV


As a mother, we are many things.
We are a friend, a caregiver, lover, and provider.
We are a teacher, referee, and a taxi-driver. We are an organizer, cheerleader, and champion.
We meal plan, grocery shop, dish wash, mend, and cook.
We do all things great and good.

The hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
- W. R. Wallace


We have been touched by God's goodness. We have been chosen to be among a group of God's people - mothers. God has placed a special kind of love in our heart. It is the love without end; it is a love that grows with each child. It is the love that marks us as God's chosen one. It is the love we share with our children in various capacities.

We are mothers, chosen by God's love.

Her children arise up, and call her blessed.
- Proverbs 31:28

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday free-for-all

:: dusts off the keyboard ::
I'm back.

I didn't plan on taking a blogging break but it appears that that is exactly what happened.

I don't really have a set topic to discuss. Instead, I will give a quick run-down on the house happenings. I know far away family, friends, and others may appreciate the info.

Here goes...
1. Jeff is recovering nicely from leg surgery. He had to have two outpatient procedures done to remove bad veins and blood clots. We are happy to have the ordeal behind us and praise God for safety and healing.
2. I do not like Midwest humidity.
3. Sarah had a sleep over at the gym to kick off their upcoming gymnastic season. Imagine, if you will, 18 girls and 2 coaches, running crazy in a very large gym, full of fun equipment. They did not sleep one wink. Seriously, she never unrolled her sleeping bag. She was there from 4:45 to 7:30 the next morning.
4. The van decided to make a trip to the mechanic. It was a large repair. We actually thought about ditching the van and getting something new, but we couldn't find a 2006/07 re-sale in the area that would seat all of us. Oh well.
5. We are making plans for a nice family vacation next May. I know it sounds far off, but with our size and time restraint, planning is a good thing. Our niece is graduating in May so we are heading to Virginia. While there, we will stay at Great Wolf Lodge -- visit Williamsburg and Monticello before heading over to Staunton for the graduation. It should be a nice time.
6. We are considering a trip up to Buffalo for Thanksgiving this year. It will depend on Jeff's schedule. New York family reading --- we will be in touch soon!
7. Speaking of Jeff, he received a promotion at work. It goes into effect August 1. So proud of him!
8. I dislike the humidity of Midwest summers.
9. Our VBS program at church was outstanding! We had a blast. We are having Community Day the end of this month. We will have live music, food, games, and school supply giveways to the surrounding neigborhood children.
10. I forgot how rough it can be potty-training a puppy. Kids are MUCH easier in this respect.
11. Talk about far off plans...but I am so excited -- Jeff is taking me on a Caribbean cruise for my 40th birthday (in 2010). The plans are already underway. I figure if I have to turn 40, this is the way to do it! :-)
12. Christmas is 160 days away. My kids are counting.
13. I really dislike Midwest summer weather.
14. The end.

Now I will try to catch up on my blogging buddies....
Blessings to you!

Friday, July 04, 2008

God Bless America


Here's a bit of trivia for you.
Our actual date of independence is July 2, 1776.
It was on that date that our Founding Fathers, the Continental Congress, voted to be independent, knowing full well the turmoil ahead for our beloved country.

July 4, 1776 is the day the Declaration was signed by the congress.
It is said that John Hancock wrote his smack dab in the middle of the document in very large font so that the King would not miss his name.
Thus, the saying, "Put your John Hancock on this line, sir."

Happy Birthday, America!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

His name is Sullivan - Sully for short.
He needed a forever home. I am weak.
He is a tiny little lovebug.

The End.