Sunday, October 27, 2013


" Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28

Much is to be said about and for the aspect of rest. It's almost ironic to write a blog about it, really. Nonetheless, it's what I am learning and what's on my heart, so it's what I write. I will, however, strive to be as brief as possible.

 We Americans, especially  those of us who are "working" moms, tend to lose out on rest. Everything is in high demand to be done now, right away, at everyone's beck and call.
  However, we cannot do that without also including rest in our lives…..somehow.

I will be the first to say I stink at this. I don't rest well.
  I don't sleep enough hours.
 I am up early, and I go all day long. I don't sit still. If I'm on the couch, I am generally folding laundry or writing a note or doing emails or SOMETHING. It's ridiculous really. But it's partially my fault. I love to do things for people.
   Text are immediate response.  Emails come to the phone. I work on a persons drink before they even speak what it is...And the list goes on….  Even my decompress time in life is RUNNING!

 Lately, God has been speaking to me the words REST.
  It came a bit forceable, I admit. It came because I got very sick. And yes, I pushed through even that, not even resting to get better as I should. However, in that occurrence, it has caused me to pause more and really ponder this topic. It's on my heart. I am learning it. And while I don't have it figured out, I am striving to embrace it.

  Really be quiet.
  Earnestly seek God.
  Stop all the extra activity.
  Take time to enjoy what matters.

He wants to fill me up so I can in turn pour out His love into others. But I can't do that when I'm totally expended. So He is teaching me to R.E.S.T.
 Really be quiet. Get up. Pray. Read His word. Soak in the silence. Silence will rebuild my tired body and heart and mind.
 Earnestly seek God. Pray. But don't just pray and then rush on. Pray. Stop. Wait for His beckoning back to me. Listen. Listen to what He is telling me.
 Stop all the extra activity. Sometimes this isn't practical. Other times, it has to be practiced. Take a break from running, take a break from lunch dates and emails and (yes, blogs, even).
 Take time to enjoy what really matters. In all the chaos of being so busy, I miss out on laughs with the kids, conversations with my husband, opportunities to see God in the every day moments.

 We have to take breaks so that we can be rebuilt physically (and not be sick), emotionally (and not have total meltdowns over spilled coffee beans…I may or may not have had that moment), and most importantly- spiritually (and not be so busy we drown out what God is teaching and showing).

 I'm far from mastering this. It is really hard for me, to be honest. But I'm working on it…one day at a time.
   "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I stand in awe

I sit here in front of my screen with awe in my heart and emotions captured inside me, ready to burst out of me, only to feel dumbfounded as to how to adequately express them to my audience.
  Last week held a number of emotions for me, leading up to the Linda A. Ferguson Memorial 5K. The event which I am fortunate enough to organize in memory of my beautiful mom. Just like a child who builds so much anticipation for Christmas morning, months led up with that building anticipation for me for the few hours that would unfold in the 2013 event.
  The week of, my body was screaming it had had enough, as I came down with what felt like the world's worst cold. It was a nudge in my side yet again reminding me, I can do nothing apart from the strength of Christ.
   Volunteers came together to bag up the shirts and numbers and "goodies" that each participant would get. Checks and even more registrations were rolling in. By God, all things were lining up in good fashion. All things were building the excitement and anticipation of Saturday's event.
   Family came in from out of town. Mom's friends from college even came in this year. The sounds of the chatter were becoming quite contagious.
   Saturday morning, I was up early and finishing up packing the car with last minute items, as is the normal for me on the day of the event. With a quick hug and kiss, I was out the door before the rest of my family.
  Upon arrival at the scene, my right hand buddy, Dawn, drove in right behind me. Without her help, I may have lost my mind (Not to mention my keys, which she assured me more than once were in her possession).  I had a great team of volunteers this year, allowing me to be free to direct better. Fast forward to the scurry moments of runners bustling about and friends and family showing up and more than ever for us on site registrants, we were feeling the buzz in the air, played to the beat of the DJ's music.
   Mom and dad's pastor arrived and we shared a small conversation. A little about mom, yes. But more so about what this event is all about: helping out the students who get the scholarship.  As the music quieted and prayer was beginning, I moved to my place to sound the starting horn. New course this year; new people this year; new emotions. I stood in awe. Literally.
 I stood in awe of God's provision for my strength and energy
   I stood in awe of the beauty of the day.
    I stood in awe of how far God has brought me since that day long ago when mom passed away.
    I stood in awe of the amount of runners crowding in this year.
      I stood in awe of what months of planning ultimately led up to in that moment.
   And I'd like to think mom was standing in heaven looking down on the moment as well.

Not crying took all the energy I had, but I held it together and sounded the horn and they took off! I exhaled deeply and took it all in. God is so good.
  The day went on without a hitch, quite honestly. Michael took care of making sure all was well on the course.The kids ran/walked the event. My brother jogged his way strongly through it and dad finished the event in his blue jeans, true to his normal, only this year, he added on a utility knife to his belt to make it even more picturesque.
   I held it together fairly well until the very end, when I allowed a few precious tears to fall. Tears of joy over raising more funds this year than we ever have yet; tears of exhaustion; tears of gratitude for all the support I felt from all those who came out for what we are trying to accomplish; and yes, a few tears  for the missed presence of my mom.
 Words don't do the emotions justice. I left the event with a very full heart. And renewed excitement for putting together an even better one next year, by God's grace.
  I stand in awe, as I was incredibly humbled this year through this experience. God taught me a lot on the journey traveled through the planning of the 2013 5K and I know He will continue to teach me as it continues to grow.
  I stand in awe.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Doing all things through Christ

I have been reminded today that I may make my own plans, but God ordains what my life is every step of the way.
  The fact that I have become quite sick this week, in the midst of a very busy time of an approaching event, is God's way of telling me to REST! I don't do that well. I am sure I will have to learn the lesson over and over, like a hammer slamming a nail into a wall. I very easily get caught up in the details and the daily grind that it usually takes getting sick to force me to take a deep breath and slow down.

This 5K is no exception, of course. I have run myself ragged, by my own fault, only to become sick and take away from a tad bit of the joy in the days leading up to the very event.
 So, I am once again humbly reminded that I can make all the plans I want, but God is in charge. Not me.  I have had to sleep at a time when (I felt) much needed done.
   I have had to call on others and ask for help in a situation that I want to do it all myself.
     I have had to call on all my prayer warrior friends asking for much prayer to get well, or at the very least, make it through.
      Most importantly, I have been reminded of the truth that I can do all things only through Christ.

Not through my strength and energy.
  Not through my friends' help.
    Not through my family's support.
I can do all things through Christ alone.
  He gives me people to help through the circumstances and events, but all in all, without Him I am nothing.

 So tomorrow, the event which I have spent months of time and energy and planning, is finally here. I am SO excited (and yes, nervous) to watch it unfold as God has planned, not as I have planned.
 And as next week brings me into a wind down, I will remember the valuable lesson I have been learning lately of rest, And strive to apply it. One day at a time.
 For all my readers who may be running tomorrow, below is a preview of a banner from one of our sponsors. For those of you who can't be there, but are faithful supporters in my life, thank you.
 Here is a caption of the energy our race will bring tomorrow.... a race that in essence makes a huge difference for the future!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Legacy Banquet

The Legacy Banquet.
  Tears filled my eyes on more than one occasion as the president of Cedarville University addressed the crowd....the crowd in which I unrealistically sit now each year in memory of my mom.
  Friday Night I had the opportunity to take part in the yearly Legacy Banquet at Cedarville University. This banquet is put on by the university to honor donors of scholarships.
  My dad and I are asked to be there to take part because of the scholarship we give out in memory of mom.
   The Legacy Banquet always is a humbling reminder of why we do what we do.

I love how this banquet falls at a time of year that happens to be the weekend before Mom's 5K. I love that because it is during this time that I am tremendously caught up in all the details of putting this event on. My living room is full of boxes of shirts, pens, coupons from sponsors, bib numbers and race details. All of these things are exciting elements of hosting an event which I love to do. However, the entire reason we put on this event is because we are striving to grow the scholarship in memory of mom.

 We are setting out to help students who could not otherwise afford to attend the University. We do this event to help these young individuals who will further His Kingdom, one patient at a time. We do this 5K so that we have funds to give as a gift to young people who will not touch just one person, but hundreds, on behalf of the love of Christ. We do this so that God can ultimately receive glory.
 The banquet helps remind me of our reasons at a time it can be easy to forget.

 Sitting next to my dad, taking in the events, the food, the speeches, and the students sitting among us, is a very humble reminder of the small piece we get to play being His hands for His plans.

 With this comes a varying amount of emotions.
     Renewed excitement for the upcoming event and what we are striving to accomplish.
        A twinge of sadness as we also recall the memory of mom that is bound to our scholarship.
            A sense of humility in playing a small part for His Kingdom.
    A sense of awe over all God is doing around us, through us, and for us.

I love doing the 5K, and it is just days away for me. But I love even more watching God work, and I see him do that every year in me through this event. The humble reminders handed out during the banquet often bring me back to the realities of His work.

 The time with my dad was precious as well. After the banquet, we stood under the stars talking, and even soaking in just a few quiet moments of nothing being said, knowing where both our thoughts were being directed- toward the beauty of my mom.
  This post today has nothing much profound to offer.  I am just being humbly reminded daily that I GET to be a part of His work each day, and my home is not here....but I am striving toward the eternal. Mom did that. She did that one day at a time, and now I am learning to be doing it one day at a time as well. The Legacy Banquet was a drop in the bucket of reminding me of that. Onward this week towards the unfolding of a piece of that work- the Linda A. Ferguson Memorial 5K. One day at a time....It's not about me; It's about Him.