Friday, August 24, 2012

All Right Stop, Collaborate and Listen...

*First of all, thank you so much for your very kind comments on my last post. I left town shortly after writing that and really didn't have access to the internet. Those of you that know me know I have the original iPhone I don't do a lot of emailing/tweeting/etc with my slow as molasses phone. So I'm sorry if I have not personally responded to you. That being said, your comments were such a source of encouragement and I'm grateful you would take the time to share with me and send encouragement. My cup runneth over! That being said, let's get right into the Big D recap...

I spent my week in Dallas last week at a conference for Association executives. Although I bear no executive title, I am the meeting planner for my association which has it's perks. Not the least of which included a tour of Cowboy stadium, the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had, an interesting moment in Jason Whitten's pads (those things are HARD to get on and off!), recognizing more Cowboy's Cheerleaders than I'd care to mention thanks to a "Making the Squad" marathon on CMT (low point), and a Big and Rich concert complete with pyrotechnics. And that was just the first night.....

After my day of sessions, networking and exhibit hall browsing I set off for dinner with my Nana, Mom and sister. Dinner plans were soon dashed when we found ourselves on the side of the road with radiator issues. Yay life!

Thankfully, we managed to make it to a gas station and said gas station had a Subway. We didn't need a turkey sandwich as we were holding out for Tex-Mex, but thankfully they were kind enough to let us sit. Because we sat for 2.5 hours!!!!!! Tow truck misery!
After she was hitched up and taken away we made our way to our 9:30pm enchilada special. Praise the Lord for Tupinamba. It turns most frowns upside down.

I spent Tuesday night singing Ice Ice Baby with the 90's very own Vanilla Ice. He had great song segues like talking about his HGTV show, talking about life, and explaining there is nothing in life greater than family. Which was made evident by his subsequent chanting of, "Family! Family! Family!" It was a real crowd pleaser.

My sister was with me and we decided this was our new voicemail go-to.
Don't think for one second that the fun stopped there. Vanilla's nothing if not a great opening act. And there is no one better to follow Vanilla than KC and the Sunshine Band. Now, KC has been around the block. He's seen better days but let me tell you, homeboy still knows how to put on his boogie shoes! I didn't realize just how many hits he had. Boogie Shoes, That's the way I Like it, Shake Your Booty (shake, shake, shake...shake, shake, shake...shake your booty! You know you just said that in your head), Please Don't Go, Get Down Tonight....the hits just kept on comin'.

Dallas, you threw a great party. I didn't know what to do with myself when I got home and had no concert or party bus picking me up for dinner and drinks. I guess I'll have to feed and entertain myself! There's always Making the Squad....

Yo man, let's get outta here....word to your mother.
Happy Friday :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

They That Sow in Tears Shall Reap in JOY!

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed shall come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." ~ Psalm 126:5-6

I found myself in an impenetrable funk over the last couple of months. I vacationed with my mom and Nana, I vacationed with Dave and with my mom and dad, I spent time with dear friends, yet I still cried myself to sleep. I'm not asking for sympathy I'm just being honest. The vacations were wonderful. They were happy, they were fun, they were full of precious time spent with my family. But they weren't a cure all for the hurt down in my soul.

I have had a really hard time reconciling God's plan and timing for my life with the desires of my heart. My desires for a family, mixed with the heart break of losing my Papa- which has left a deep void- created the perfect storm. The perfect storm of sadness, self pity, anger at God, frustration with His timing, and that resulted in me crying out to him...I literally said the words, "Do you not hear me? Or do you just not care?"

He has been answering me every day since.

That perfect storm hit on a Tuesday. Dave, my dad and my brother were playing golf at Spanish Bay and I was sitting in a golf cart sobbing my eyes out. I got a call from my doctor that I didn't want to hear, my frustration went through the roof and I lost my cool. I had a "terrible-twos" moment where I threw a little hissy fit to God. Thankfully, He is big enough and secure enough to handle it. Thankfully, He sees into the depths of my soul to know my heartbreak and He allowed me a moment of weakness so He could show His strength. And thankfully, He created me, and He knows that I have a few screws loose. He created every bit of this emotion and He rejoices when I can (by His grace) manage to use it for good and He reins me back in when I go rogue.

Not 24 hours after my break down I was spent. I was emotionally, physically, mentally spent. "God, I can't keep doing this. I can't keep 'gearing up' only to be let down. Broken. I feel like this peace, this comfort, this joy, this will to keep trying comes straight from you. But then I am knocked down lower than I thought I could go. How can this continue to be?" And as we took off from California on a 3 hour flight back to Texas I opened my Bible study of James. My intent was to make it through my homework but God's intent was to use my "going through the motions" to create a movement in my heart.

My lesson for the day was directly linked to wisdom. Wisdom that comes from God if we'll just ask. Help that comes from God when we make our requests known. And Psalm 121 was "extra reading" among my study of James. I started reading Psalm 121 (which I have read a million times) but this time was different.

"I lift my eyes to the hills- Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip- He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm- He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." ~ Psalm 121

That is what God's word said. But then, ever so gently, God said, "Duh." He continued, "This is what I keep telling you. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. I love you. I want the best for you and I have the very best in store for you. I know my timing seems difficult now but my plan is perfect and it's perfecting." And then, almost audibly He said, "And by the way, I hear you. I always hear you. And I care more than you could ever know. My heart is broken too."

I was crying like a baby. I'm not kidding. Tears flowing so freely because I had been freed. Freed from the torment of my own mind. From the grasp Satan had placed on me in my doubt. That seed of doubt that had caused me to question God's interest in me, concern over my heartache, and general hand in my life and concern of the outcome. And He reclaimed me.

And then...if I'm lyin' I'm dyin'...Dave pointed out the window of the plane...

Y'all literally can't even fathom the tears. I was sobbing, trying to soak in my rainbow, trying to grab my phone to take this picture, and trying to thank God for showing up. You know me and sentiment; we go together like a wink and a smile. This rainbow was just for me. God literally put that rainbow right outside my window at that.very.moment. and said, "I promise." I'm crying now just thinking about it.

I still miss my Papa and our house still has empty rooms. My circumstances haven't changed but my heart has. My joy isn't in my circumstance my joy is in God. The creator of the universe, the lover of my soul, the man with the plan. He has filled me with His joy, with His peace, and with His promise that the one who gives life gives hope. I'm clinging to the promise of Psalm 126:5-6...that "those who sow in tears shall reap in joy...and shall come again with rejoicing".

Someday I'm gonna be rejoicing with my sheaves, y'all! And to God be the glory...He is faithful.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8, 1942...

Today is a day of celebration for the Mendenhalls. On this day 70 years ago (seventy....let that sink in) David's grandmother was a beautiful bride. She was preparing to marry her handsome groom. Dreaming about the life they would have together, full of hope, full of love, full of excitement.

Could they have ever imagined they would have 70 wonderful years together? Could they have imagined they would have 6 children? A mess of grandchildren (I think there are 13??) and now great grandchildren? When they said their vows...."For better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, 'til death do us part..." could they have imagined the depths of the good and the bad, and the depths of forgiveness and love it would take to sustain them?

What a legacy they have given to their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Today is the day...70 years. This weekend the Mendenhall clan will gather to celebrate them and to honor the commitment they made to each other and to God. What a precious time of celebration that will be!

Congratulations on 70 precious years.
We love you and we are thankful for you!

"May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer... may you ever be captivated by her love." ~ Proverbs 5:18-19