Hey you all!
I am in a good place right now...my house with a cup of chai tea (w/ milk and honey) in front of my space heater, feeling good because of my 2 hour nap this afternoon!! Only thing better would be watching White Christmas, but instead I am studying for our scripture write out on Monday and trying to get ideas for my newsletter due Monday as well. Writing is my break :)
This morning was the second ever "Come Together," from 8:30 to noon, which is an initiative our church is taking to beautify/bless the people and properties of the neighborhood surrounding our church. So we are going one block at a time. There are different teams (Work crew, hospitality, prayer, pastoral) and I chose to do Hospitality. It was a fun time. We basically just cooked lunch for everyone involved and other little errands. It was a misty cold day, but luckily the rain didn't get too crazy and work was still done. Mainly raking yards and sidewalks, since the ground was too wet to mow.
One of the guys in my Elevate class is one of the visionaries for this event and I think it's a great idea. Bless people practically, then let them know why you love the way you love. Point them to Jesus. And to be honest, our neighborhood needs some major TLC!
There's also this really cool thing going on this Tuesday called the "Christmas Store" at ACC where people can come to our church and buy NICE, BRAND NEW Christmas gifts for about 20% of the cost. Church members donate the toys and each family gets to buy 3 gifts. My lifegroup is helping out with that on Tuesday instead of our regular meeting at my house, but Liz and I have EPM that night...our Christmas party/dinner (Olive Garden!)/talent show/regular teaching time. Jenny and I are planning the party and it's gonna be a blast! It is a little overwhelming tacking that onto all of the other things that are due this week, but still so fun and it will be our last class before Christmas break.
BREAK. I NEED THEE!!!
I have soooo much to do in these next few days. Once I get to Wednesday I can cool my jets and enjoy friends again!! I've done some Christmas shopping but am probably only halfway done.
Little story of God's faithfulness: Liz lost her debit card for a few days and we were retracing her steps, etc. Well we decided it would be good to go to the last place she used it, which was Burger King. We were praying hard that it was there, because we had checked everywhere else. If it wasn't there, then it probably got thrown away with her BK trash or something random happened, like it fell out in a parking lot or something.
So we sheepishly asked the lady at the counter, and she goes went back and pulled out this STACK of abandoned credit cards! I was in shock. And she flipped through and found Liz's within seconds! We were soooo excited. We told her how we'd been praying it would be here and that the Lord answers prayer. Asked her if she believed in Jesus and she said yes, she went to Catholic School all her life and loves God. We prayed for her as she was having financial struggles and wanting to spend more time with her 3 kids instead of working, but has a hard time doing so because she needs the work. Bless her life and her family, Lord! She was Liz's best buddy today!
I went through a couple weeks of feeling paralyzed every time I go to share Jesus with someone or even pray for them...but I have been asking the Lord to change my mindset about it and since then I have found greater freedom to make little efforts here and there. I am so grateful for grace and also for Holy Spirit promptings. I knew God was giving me an opportunity in Panera the other day because this woman just started jabbering away to me in line about all the sweets and how she can't have them because she's diabetic. She was an older woman and the first thing I noticed was this HUGE purple bruise under her eye/right side of her face. It looked pretty bad. She told me her husband fell and she tried to help him, which made them both fall. :( So I prayed for her and she was blessed. I think she even hugged me! hm!