Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've changed...

...the blog design.

...wearing my hair (without bangs). See the self-portrait. It's not my favorite. You can really tell that I have Rosacea, can't you?!

...trying new sports (kick ball).

...my attitude and made a paper airplane.

...my view of radishes. I like them!

I've done all of this in the last two months. See you can change. I did.

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

Because of you the world has more goodness, more kindness, more caring, more courage, more hope in it.

Dan Zadra

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Relay Pictures



Need a reason to quit? There's one!




Jeannette and breast cancer survivor, Diane!



Me and Bubba D.



Hand and hand until we find a cure.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

MY heart gives thanks for empty moments given to dreams, and for thoughtful people who help those dreams come true.

William S. Braithwaite

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Relay 2010




CELEBRATE. REMEMBER. FIGHT BACK!


I said our team represented the overall feel of Relay, and Jeannette laughed each time I said this word. I'm glad I crack her up.

SPARSE - thinly spread, or occurring with many spaces in between.

Our first year we had about eight on our team. Then it grew to be about twelve. Then fifteen! Now it's back to about eight. No complaints. It is what it is. People get busy. That's ok.

There were many teams missing this year. There were many open spaces where only team name signs existed. There were no teams to the right of us AT ALL.

How does the economy effect fundraising? I don't really have an answer for that. I didn't do much fundraising. I had thought about sending out letters but never got to it. So I am not really sure.



Relay falls at the end of the school year (actually the last day of school it seems). I decided that the children didn't need to go. I wanted everyone at Relay from the very beginning for opening ceremonies. We were! But there wasn't an Opening Ceremony. Odd?! We didn't even know it was 9 am until someone started screaming Whoo Whoo. Then we said, oh it must be after 9!

The Survivor Ceremony is always so powerful. The one speaker was the mother of a seventeen month baby girl named Julia. Julia has battled Ewing's Sarcoma since she was two months old. Her story was a familiar one that I've read on the carepages too many times.

The Luminaria Ceremony is nice because in years past, there wasn't one. Now a few people get up and speak about why they Relay.



There are things that we loved and there are things that we would like to see changed for next year. I have my two cents to add. I always do! But sometimes it's easy to say negative things than positive ones. I can't attend the meetings because my children are now in activities. Mom and Aunt Virgie did a great job of attending the meetings and being our team captains. That is something I just can't do. I miss it but know that I need to allow God to bless someone other than me.



The big thing that we talked about is the lack of Saturday morning anything. People wake, pack up and leave. No one stays until 9 am because there is nothing keeping them there. No one comes back because there is nothing drawing them there. The raffle baskets are usually called at the very end. However they were called at 8 am, under a tent, without a microphone. (See I'm nit picking).

Relay just sneaks up on you. We have all year to plan for it. It's coming. It's coming. Then it's here. Then it's over. Then we can't wait to do it again! If you have never experienced a Relay for Life event, my question to you is...WHY? You are missing so much. I'm not asking you to form a team and camp overnight and walk eleven miles. I am asking you to google local Relay events and stop by to see what it is all about. By far, it is the best charity event that I have ever participated in.



So, next year...already thinking and planning. We will have blue team shirts. We will have new fundraising items. We finally sold all of the Relay hats and I sold Vera Bradley card holders. We raised about $80. We will have new activities for the children. Spin art was a hit with Daniel so it will be returning!

Oh yeah. And I will fundraiser more. Amanda, Kayla and Daniel will be registered as team members. The girls will be thirteen and can do their own fundraising. Our team goal was $2000.00. Our team raised (as of yesterday) $2621.00. Most of that was Mom and Aunt Virgie. But I did raise almost $200 just from sending out emails. Amanda raised $95 from just asking my co-workers! Jeannette raised $415! Imagine how much we can raise if we put a little more effort in this!



Today we are celebrating our successful Relay (with only one small melt-down but we won't go there because it's in the past).

We are remembering all of our loved ones who are now celebrating birthdays in heaven.

And we are getting ready to fight back because before you know it we will be participating in RELAY 2011.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Journey Begins Here



Relay 2010

Eleven and a half miles...46 laps. That is a number that you need to remember. Every day there are 46 new cases of childhood cancer.

It was a good time. It was very different from the last four years with this team of amazing people. I am exhausted but in a good way.

I will leave you with just one photo tonight. The story to follow with many more fun photos at another time. Good night.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do it in fear

The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1


There are many changes occurring at work. Transition time is always a difficult one for the children but it seems that some of us grown-ups are having to make changes too. I don't mind change. I actually enjoy change. Jeannette, she hates it! (Has that changed dear sister? Ha ha, I used the word change to ask you about change.)

Monday I was a floater. Tuesday I was working with Miss M. Wednesday I was floating and Thursday back in the Plum Room. Anyway, that's what the schedule said. The schedule needs to say at the top in bold letters "SUBJECT TO CHANGE".

I never worked with Miss M. before and was really looking forward to the challenge of the four-year-olds otherwise known as the Coconuts. I prayed during quiet time and then as I drove to work, I prayed again, because I had a 'feeling'. When I arrived Miss M. was preparing the lesson because she was leaving with a bad headache. Waaa!

I ended up working with two other lovely ladies. The day went fairly well. I lost my patience only once. I would call that a good day. It was not the day that I expected but that's ok. We don't always get what we expect.

Yesterday, I woke up and thought, Horray I am a floater. Then I had a 'feeling'. Darn, those feelings! I was thinking about how most of us have a favorite room to work in. We even have favorite co-workers to work with. But we all have those 'don't put me in that room' attitudes. Don't pair me with her...honestly, maybe?! I thought if I had to pick one room/age that I did not want to work with it would have to be the group just finishing kindergarten going to be "school age or Figs".

Let me tell you that I have now stopped with my preferences. I have stopped praying about where "I" want to be. It doesn't matter what I want. It doesn't matter what I am comfortable with. God has not called me to a comfortable life. I have now started to pray these words:

Use me, Father, for Your will. Let me be purposeful. Let me be a blessing.

And the reason I am stopping with my preference praying mantra is because God will place me exactly where I DON'T want to be. Which is what happened yesterday?

Why don't I want to work with that age? I guess it's fear. Fear that maybe someone could hurt me. (I am only 4'11", 117 lbs). Some of these boys are two-thirds of me already.

Fear stinks. Fear is not of God. Fear stops me from being all that God wants me to be.

What is it exactly? Fear of failure? Inadequacy? Not being liked? Being alone? God promises that whatever the "if" that He will be the "then". What does that mean?

For example:
What if I lose my job? Then God will provide.
What if my husband leaves me? Then God will comfort.

So my new mantra will be "Do it in fear". I sat with one of the little boys. He is so sweet but comes with a lot of "stuff". He handed me a paper airplane book and said "can you make this for me". Huh? Me? Oh no. You have the wrong person! Daniel got one of those a couple of years ago and I took one look at it and said, go ask your Dad.

I looked at the paper folds. I looked at the child. I said I didn't think I could do it. He said "yes, you can". I asked him if he would be mad at me if I couldn't do it. He said, "no, of course not." I asked him if he would still LIKE me if I couldn't do it. He said, "yes!" I told the boys that sometimes I get scared. And sometimes I cry. They reassured me!

So I tried to find one with about EIGHT steps. He wanted the one with FOURTEEN steps. Oh boy.

Then I said, let's pray first.
Father God,
I ask that you take away my fear and give me the ability to create this airplane. I know all things are possible with You, God. In Jesus, name.


I asked him what if it doesn't fly. He said, then we try again. Wisdom of a six-year-old! I said, "we don't throw ourselves on the floor and cry?" He simply said no.

(Oh yeah, Miss C. had to help with the first one! I can't take all the credit.)

Then before we flew it, we prayed again that God would allow it to fly.

I not only made the airplane but it flew. It actually SOARED! I was so excited. Wow, kickball and now paper airplanes. I don't even know who I am?!

I made about four different kinds of airplanes for my buddy. He played with them all morning. When Daniel showed up at 1:30, I said to him "look, I made this". His eyes got big and said "really?" Can you make me one too?"

What a fantastic day I had with the Figs making paper airplanes. Such a simple thing yet such a huge lesson in fear.

God wants to bless us all. But sometimes, He will put obstacles in our lives to bring out that fear and put it in the light. Once it is exposed for whatever lie it really is, He will bless it and get all the glory.

All I kept thinking yesterday is, "Man, I almost missed this blessing". This little boy made my day and if I had let myself get in the way then I would have missed it completely. That reminds me of a song by MercyMe called "So-long Self"

So long, self
Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell
Oh well, goodbye, don't cry
Oh so long self


Trust the Lord, even when you can't see where the path is taking you. Act in obedience even when you don't "feel" like it. Wait on the Lord, because the blessing is coming. Just be patient...and do it in fear!

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After I wrote this I checked the encouraging word on Klove and biblegateway. I love that my name means "The Harvester".

"So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up." Galatians 6:9 NLT (from Klove).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

W.O.W

There comes a point in your life when you realize:

Who matters,
Who never did,
Who won't anymore...
And who always will.
So, don't worry about people from your past,
there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thank you, Aunt Alice




I have always been raised to write out thank you cards. Over the last few years, I have become very bad at doing this. I eventually get around to the thank yous but sometimes it takes me months to do so. I think "better late than never" but others may disagree.

I have six thank you cards sitting in the kitchen just waiting for me to fill out. I need to do so in the next 2 days because they are for the teachers. Amanda has five teachers. Daniel only has one.

Amanda has eight thank yous to complete for her birthday gifts.

I have lost count as to how many donations I have received so far. I plan on doing those thank yous after Relay. That way I will have a photo too. Well, that is always my thought. I have many good intentions but I was once told that good intentions pave the pathway to you know where!

My favorite Aunt Alice (actually, my only Aunt Alice, hee hee) went to the Vera Bradley outlet in Indiana. (She lives in Indiana too). She not only bought Amanda and I backpacks, but she bought Jeannette and Kayla one also. These are retailed at $84 at Hallmark and $66 on the website under "sale".

Aunt Alice would not accept money for these. She also would not tell us how much she paid for them. She is truly a rare breed.

I can't tell you exactly when she went, I believe in April, but it's been far too long for me to say thank you.

You see, Relay and the end of school fall at the same time every year. It's almost like, I can't do anything until those two things are completed!

Well, here are the photos and here is the thank you!!!

Aunt Alice,
Your generosity is not necessary but it is so appreciated. I could and would never have bought a backpack for myself or Amanda. This was a want not a need. But we are both so excited to have them. We went to the mall tonight toting our backpacks. Amanda carries hers every day to school. I carry mine every day to work. We are huge Vera fans and we are huge "Aunt Alice" fans. We wish you lived closer and hope that you will be able to visit this summer.
We love you very much. I am sorry that it took me so long to say THANK YOU! You are the best.
Love Theresa and Amanda

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Global Focus

"And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28:31

These are my notes from Sunday's Service (June 6th):

Realize. Personalize. Mobilize.

Our Purpose: to bring God Glory
Our Mission: to live like Christ

What did God call me to do? I believe it is to reach women. That's where my heart is right now.

REALIZE
ever living hope
lasting inheritance.

Gold will perish but my faith will not!

You can say NO to sin and yes to Godliness.

Call to action
Being diligent
Called to fervent obedience

We are the light and salt. Light is only light in the darkness. If salt sits on the shelf it's pointless.

We may have to sit in the smoking section!

MISSIONAL PLAN:

1. Enter
2. Identify
3. Live
4. Relate
5. Watch

Pastor Paul had us then make a map of or neighborhood and write the names of our neighbors in the square houses. I think I got an A (if he had collected them and graded them, ha ha.) There are 18 houses on our road, including ours. HOPE ROAD! Out of the 17 other houses, I knew 15! But just because I know their name, does that mean I know them and they know me? No.

Paul challenged us to knock on their doors and introduce ourselves and let them know that we are praying for them. OK, what!?! Me!? The middle child. The freckled faced, frizzy hair, not athletic, C student girl?

Wait a minute. That's not me. Those were things that existed in my life at one time. But I've had this hair for 42 years. I am use to it. I like it. And my freckles have fades (and have been replaced by wrinkles). Not athletic? Not me. I played kick-ball (for the 1st time ever) on Tuesday night with the parent's of Daniel's baseball team. And who is really looking at my Kutztown transcript, not the neighbors?

Theresa, stop finding excuses and get out there!

I formed a plan that afternoon. I decided to make Friendship bread for each neighbor and tell them about Paul's sermon, as well as letting them know that I am praying for the neighborhood and them.

Tuesday night (before kickball) I stopped by five homes and gave the bread out. Last night, I stopped by five more homes and gave the bread out. I am almost finished! I felt great. Two of the neighbors actually talked for a little while with me.

Tuesday, one neighbor asked where I was going and told me about how her church was changing and becoming more contemporary. We talked about the two things that God wanted us to do (love Him and each other), we talked about the ten commandments and we talked about salvation and what it was. Really? Did I do that? I DID!

Last night, one neighbor told me all about the struggles she is go through with her 79 year old father-in-law. I told her that I'd be praying for her. We must have talked for about 15 minutes. Then finally I said, let's pray now. So Amanda, my neighbor and I held hands and prayed. Really? Did I do that? I DID!

It took me less than an hour to bake the bread. It took me less than a half hour to pass out the bread but I am pretty sure that I have made a difference that goes far beyond those few minutes.

I gave a few starter bags and the bread or I just gave the bread to my neighbors. I wrote a little note on the recipe or I just said these words:

I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for Hope Road and your family. I am praying that the Lord blesses you with good health, happiness and peace in your heart.

Friday was an awesome day at work and after work.

I bake again in ten days. I can't wait! Then who knows what God will do. He is so neat (to say the least).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

W.O.W

"To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of Love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness." - Robert Muller

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Come As You Are

Pocket Full of Rocks - Come As You Are

He’s not mad at you
And He’s not disappointed
His grace is greater still
Than all of your wrong choices

He is full of mercy
And He is ever kind
Hear His invitation
His arms are open wide

Chorus:
You can come as you are
With all your broken pieces
And all your shameful scars
The pain you hold in your heart
Bring it all to Jesus
You can come as you are

Louder than the voice
That whispers you’re unworthy
Hear the sound of love
That tells a different story

Shattering your darkness
And pushing through the lies
How tenderly He calls you
His arms are open wide

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

W.O.W

Faith not Fear

Embrace Sovereignty not Anxiety

"God does whatever He wants whenever he wants, for whatever reason He desires and He uses whomever He likes for whatever purpose He has...and God never makes mistakes. Whatever He does is right"

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I bolded that because I find myself using that line a lot lately.