Monday, April 30, 2007

A Faithful Servant

Sunday afternoon Josh, his mom, and I were visiting after Kids' Village when Josh got a phone call. He disappeared into the other room to take it. When he came back out I could tell by the look on his face that something was wrong. "That was my dad calling to say that Tom Bailey just died."

What? What do you mean? He died? These were all thoughts racing through my mind as I tried to process what Josh was saying. I couldn't believe it was real. It came as such a shock. This was Tom Bailey. The man who led Josh to Christ in his living room almost eleven years ago. Just last Saturday we laughed with him in the foyer and talked of that steak dinner that we needed to enjoy together sometime soon. And now he was gone? I still had trouble believing it was true.

As I talked with a friend at lunch today about Tom's death, we both shared a sentiment of confusion toward God. I mean, why would He take Tom now, when he seemed to be so productive for the Kingdom? He was so devoted to God's work, leading Bible studies out of his home three nights a week. Pouring his heart into the countless men he discipled. He was such a loving husband and father (and grandfather!). And even served as a father figure to so many who were without their own earthly father.

I guess in times like these I'm not expected to understand or have all the answers. I'm thankful that I can come before you, God, a little confused and deeply saddened at the loss of a friend. I acknowledge, Lord, that you are still good even in the midst of this. You are still in control and you give us your peace "at all times and in every way." (2 Thess. 3:16)

It's interesting that I've been learning about peace this week in my Bible study. Beth Moore says that, "Peace comes in situations completely surrendered to the sovereign authority of Christ." Help me, Lord, to surrender my hurt and sense of loss over to your sovereign and perfect authority. Please keep us "in perfect peace as our mind is steadfast, trusting in you." (Isaiah 26:3) And thank you for allowing me to know you more deeply by knowing your faithful servant Tom Bailey.

Services will be held Thursday May 3rd at 1pm at Prestonwood.
The viewing will be Wednesday May 2nd at 7pm at Ridgeview Memorial.

Tom and Brenda faithfully served together at Ichthus Ministries since 1985. Please be praying for Brenda, Brian, Alicia, and their families.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pray for Luke

Some of you may know the Hughes family, Jonathan, Andrea, and their precious little boy Luke. He is a miracle baby! Luke was in the NICU for 94 days and had to undergo 4 surgeries as an infant. Praise God Luke is now one and making progress everyday. Just recently he was diagnosed with Congenital Myasthentic Syndrome. It's a huge blessing that the doctors identified the syndrome, but they must now go to the Mayo clinic to determine which strand it is. Hopefully they will get in sometime in May or June. Please pray that Luke has a strand that can be treated with medication. If you want to find out more details, check out their blog. Thanks for praying!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pray for Liz

Lily and I spent the afternoon at the park where we ran into Liz and her two kids Otto-2 and Zeze-4. They just moved here from Brooklynn for her husband's job. They've been here a week and are living in Lantana Apartments. She's a stay at home mom and seems really fun. We did the usual chit chat about the kids, restaurants in the area (had to tell her about Anamia's and their tableside guacamole), where we grew up. She asked what Josh did and I told her he was on staff at our church. And then I casually say - "Hey, don't know if you do the church thing, but if you guys wanna give it a try, it's real laid back." And then we moved on. And in my head I'm thinking, "Lord, is that it? Is that all you're calling me to say? Is that lukewarm? Do you want me to ask her if she wants to trust Christ?" I mean, what is the line on your first encounter with a mom at the park? Maybe it's those months I spent in Evangelism Explosion as a teenager that make me think I should be more blunt. But then I know that it's the Spirit's job to save her. Mine is just to be obedient and tell. I wonder if what I said was enough? Was that just planting a seed or was that being a coward? I guess I just have to keep praying that I'll be sensitive to the Spirit and trust that He will lead me in that moment. So, pray for Liz. That our paths will cross again at the park or the grocery store or wherever. Pray that even if I never see her again that God would reveal Himself to her in a real way. (But, Lord, I'm willing to be used in that process!)

I'm outnumbered

For those of you who know Josh, you're familiar with his "anal" tendencies. He prefers things to be tidy, well kept- you know, everything in it's place. I, on the other hand, am a little more "free" when it comes to these things. No matter how hard I try, there's always some sort of clutter following me around. (To my credit, I have come a long way. Just ask my college roomates.) So, the other day, I was ironing a few shirts in the laundry room. Lily was at my feet playing with our front load washer. At least I thought she was. I look over and she's carrying the broom down the hall. I decided to follow her into the kitchen where she begins "sweeping." I'm thinking: "Oh no, I can't handle another clean freak in this house."

Then, the other day, I was putting away some clean dishes in a cabinet under the sink. We've got those babyproof clasps on the door which got stuck and didn't shut all the way. I, of course, didn't notice. Here comes Lily, around the corner, pushing her stroller by the cabinet. Not kidding: she stops, looks at the door, pushes it closed, and continues on her merry way. Wow. I didn't know it would start this early. Needless to say, Josh is ecstatic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Change is good

Yes, I did change the blog title from "Life as Lily" to "Josh, Nat, & Lily Pat." It's been really fun for me to post pictures of Lils and keep you updated on what's going on in her little world. (don't worry I'll keep those coming) But lately I feel like God has been opening my eyes to see more of who I really am (don't you just love those seasons?) It's been really good and healthy but hard. The past few months he's bombarded me with how much control fear of man has on my life. It dominates so many if not every area. My friend Maury has been challenging me to ask God to really show me the root of this sin - where this whole belief system came from. God has been so faithful to show me glimpses of these answers as I seek Truth.

So, one of the things I'm seeing is how much of my life I've been striving to put forth this "front" or "image" I want people to see me as. And I've been doing it for so long that I've kinda forgotten who I am along the way. What are my interests? What are my dislikes? What are my passions? What are my gifts? Even in stuff as simple as what music I like. (My thought process: well, what's "cool" to like? What kind does so and so like?) For so long I've been doing/liking what I thought would keep in line with "The Image" rather than being true to who God has made me. So, I guess I'm on this journey to find out who I am in Christ.

This brings us back to the blog. For the last week, it's been on my heart to start sharing some of my thoughts, feelings, whatever, on the blog. I'm seeing how so often I tend to stay at the surface level. Mainly cause it's easy. Cause going deeper is too much effort. So I just check out and keep myself busy and stay numb to any sort of processing or thinking. But I know that growth can't happen if I'm not willing to go there. So, maybe this is a step of obedience or faith. Forcing myself to really think and facing my greatest fear of exposure. Cause it's hard for me to put the real me out there. I know those thoughts are going to come - what are "they" going to think about me? But, in the end, I know that HIS grace is sufficient, and HIS acceptance of me is all that really counts. Whew! Glad to get that off my chest.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Some things never change

a few weeks old

a year later

Monday, April 16, 2007

Baby Dedication

Saturday was a special day for our family as we attended Lily's baby dedication. We're so glad all the grandparents and Aunt Missa could be there. (We missed you, Uncle Jared and Uncle James!) And so thankful to our Lord for the precious gift sweet Lily is. We pray that she will grow to know and love Him with all her heart.

(We did have a big family picture taken, but I guess it wasn't with our camera! If I get it from someone, I'll post it too!)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Lily

Easter was extra special this year because it fell on Nan's (my grandma's) birthday. We spent the afternoon at Uncle Phil's house celebrating.

Happy Birthday, Nanny!

Helping Nan open her gifts

Checking out Pebbles the dog

Always laughing with Aunt Missa

Loving on Uncle James