Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Heart of Worship


"When you come through the doors of the church on a Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God?"  That was the question song-writer, Matt Redmon's, pastor asked of his church family. They had gotten in a rut of "worship as usual".  They were consumers of worship, rather than producers of worship.  Something was missing.

So, they did something unusual... they got rid of the sound system and their worship band for a season and gathered together with nothing but their voices.  At first, without the aid of their song leader, there was an uncomfortable silence.  But, eventually, people started to share scripture, or prayer, and some broke out into a cappella songs of praise.  Something amazing happened, and the church began to experience God in a new and fresh way.  They gained a new perspective on worship - it's all about Jesus.

Matt wrote the words to the song "The Heart of Worship" during this time his church was searching for the missing element in their worship.

Randy chose this song to include in our worship this morning.  It's one of my favorite songs.  The words are pure and from the heart.  When I think about the circumstances under which it was written, it gives even greater meaning to the words.

Worship - the meaning of the word literally means "to kiss".  It is often depicted as a knight bowing before his king to kiss his hand in homage to him, but this really comes far short of what the word signifies. It is not so much about a great person humbling himself before a greater one.  It's more like a dog licking the hand of its owner.  It's about adoration. It is to adore the object of your worship.

It's all about you, Jesus.

Oh, to have my heart filled with such adoration each time I come before Him in worship!

Do you have a song favorite that your church sings during worship and what makes it special to you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reaching the Two Year Mark

image (9)

Kale and Kayla are celebrating two years together today.  I can't believe two years has gone by already.  They met at the beginning of their sophomore year of college.  Kale got an intern job the next semester in Little Rock and took off school to fulfill it.  Kayla's folks live in North Little Rock, so she went back and stayed there while Kale worked his internship.  They grew a lot in the seven months they were there.  They've both been back in Fayetteville for over a year now, but that's a lot of changes for a budding relationship and they still kinda like each other.

Kayla is so very sweet to my baby boy. (I know, I know he's 21!)  She is a loving, thoughtful young woman who treats him with so much tender care.  I tease him that she's too good for him!  He knows a good thing when he sees it though.  He's a smart lad.

We love you, Kale and Kayla!  Happy two year mark!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Amazing Love, How Can it Be?


Being from a large family, I have struggled with feelings of insignificance. I'm the middle of eleven children... one of 11!  Now, that's a lot of love for my parents to have to try to spread out.  I don't know if I'm the only one in my family that has struggled with this, but I have (just sayin').  Even though I always knew I was loved, I often times didn't feel loved.  I had the sweetest childhood and I was well taken care of.  My parents (as you can tell from most of my posts) were wonderful parents who did an amazing job, but raising eleven children, is completely different from raising one, two or even three children.  So, for me, for some reason, I just never felt all that important.

I think those feelings have had an effect on my total understanding of God's love.  (He has a lot more than eleven children to deal with.)  I know he is my "Abba", Daddy.  "Abba" is a term of endearment expressed by a young child to his loving father, his daddy, the one who wipes his tears, holds him in his lap, picks him up and cradles him when he's sad or hurt.  But do I truly understand my God like that?  Do I grasp that He desires to hold me and care for me in an even greater way than I have for my children?  I can't imagine loving my children more than I do.

Some of my best worship experiences are when I truly try to focus on the words to the songs as we sing.  The song that really hit me emotionally this morning was "You are My King (Amazing Love)".  Much like the song Randy picked last week "The Love of God", the writer of this song in a simple way expresses the depth of God's love for us:

I’m forgiven, because You were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well, Your spirit lives within me
Because you died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be
That You my king would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true
And it’s my joy to honor You
In all I do I honor You

You are my king, You are my king,
Jesus, You are my king,
Jesus, You are my king

"The Preacher" (as I affectionately call him) preached about facing our giants in life.  At the end of the sermon he talked about having faith to be able to claim God's work in our lives, even when we are in the midst of the battle.  For years, I have struggled with fear and worry (can I get an "Amen" from any mothers out there?).  Today, I'm reminded that I can trust God even when things are not all worked out for the good... just yet.  My prayer needs to change from "fix this, God (please)" to "thank You, because I KNOW You already have this worked out for Your good" and just simply trust in Him.

"...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Eph. 3:17-19)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Through the Decades

Let's pretend.  Just for the fun of it, let's pretend that I graduated, say, in 1950.  What do you think I might have looked like?



Or can you see me as a graduate in these years?






1956  (I don't know what's wrong with the side of my head, but this one looks scarily like my 6th grade picture!)

Jacquie 6th grade 1975-76

6th grade - 1975-1976 


1958 (I don't even understand this one)





Yearbook Image





1968 (kinda cute, here!  I remind myself of "That Girl".)


1970 (I probably should lose the pearls... they make me look old!)




1974 (with a strong jawline)


1976 (The All American Girl look)


1978 (I think I've had this hairstyle!)


1980 (AND this one)


1982 (my actual graduation year and my hair didn't look like this at all... BUT I did actually sport this flip for a few years in my freshman/sophomore years of high school, right Jodi??)


1984 (looking a little like my sister Valerie)


1986 (looking a little like "Tootsie" or "Mrs. Doubtfire", I don't know which)




1990 (the hair I wanted in those days... but never had.  I did find my attempt at it in 1989 when I was pregnant with Tyler)

Jacquie in 1989 




1994 (they gave me a bad tan and seriously over-processed hair here)


1996 (I would actually consider buying a wig like this and sporting this look.)


1998 (I think of Jennifer Anniston on this one for some reason.  I wish!)


2000 (I look a little like my sister, Sharon, here.  Did any of your friends have this hairstyle? I don't know why they chose this one for 2000?)

Ok, here's the real deal... my graduation picture from 1982...

Graduation pic 1981-1982

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Daddy's Girl or Mama's Boy?

Hands of a baby

There was some talk at work this morning about the bond between a father and a daughter and how (supposedly) there is no stronger parent/child bond.(Please note:  I work with two men who lost their hearts to their daughters the day they were born!)

As a mama of two boys, I got a little defensive and I wanted to disprove their silly notion and validate the precious connection that I have with my boys.  (Did you see Michael Phelps and his mother being interviewed by Bob Costas on TV?? Oh, that did my heart good.  Now that's a mama/son bond!!)  

Belly with footprint

After all, I carried those boys in my womb for 9 months (almost 10 months with Kale). I love them with my whole heart and would do anything for them - I'd lay down my life for them.  Not that Dads wouldn't do that for their daughters, but the thought that "their" bond is somehow superior to "our" bond is just wrong!

I was blessed to have had the opportunity to have my mother in the delivery room with me during both my children's birth... Dave had mysteriously "stepped out" of the room for a little bit.  Anyway, after having Tyler, my postpartum blues consisted of realizing that I would never be invited into the delivery room... since I had boys.  Broke my heart, I tell you.

Let's face it... a girl will always need her daddy (he's probably not going in the delivery room either), but there comes a time with boys that, as a mom, you know they won't need you anymore, and that's as it should be.  You want them to be men of strength, character, and integrity... not a whiny, stunted grown child.

Since God saw fit to bless me with children of the male variety, I am looking forward to having precious daughters (in-law) someday and enjoying a mother-daughter relationship with them.

I may be missing some things that only come with having daughters, but no one can take away the arm wrestling and rib poking as well as the phone calls, tender hugs, and sweet sentiments that come (even if it is every once in a while) from a son... only for a mama's heart.

jacq and the boys Dec 06

Okay, you mother's out there.  I don't think that Dad's have anything on us Moms.  Do you?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Memories of The First Day of School

Our church started the Awana program two years ago. In those two years, I have been the Cubbies Director. Cubbies is a two-year program for children that begins when a child is three years old. So, I have now gone through a full cycle with a group of kids who now will graduate to Awana Sparks (Kindergarten through 2nd grade). Those children started the first day of Kindergarten today. I think I'm having just as hard a time losing them to Sparks as their moms are to losing them to Elementary School! But, we'll be starting a new Cubbies year on September 3rd and I'm looking forward to seeing my 4 year-olds again and introducing some new 3 year-olds to the group.

With the new school year starting, I've been thinking about all those first days of school I had with my boys. If you know me at all you know that I'm not a morning person, so getting to school early with time to spare just never really happened. So, usually when we were running out the door, I'd scream, "Oh, I forgot pictures... hurry, hurry, get on the porch and let me take pictures." At first, I never heard any complaints, but as the years went by and each year I'd scream that same sentence, the kids would get a bit agitated at me.

Here are a couple of pictures from Kale's first day of Kindergarten...

AWWWWW! How sweet. Could those pants have ridden any higher? And what about those matching mustard colored socks! That boy gelled his own hair every single day by himself!! Precious, he is.

Tyler wanted to jump in the picture. Kale is appearing a bit nervous at this point.

And here is a picture from Tyler's first day of Kindergarten... (you can tell he's the kind of kid that said, "Mom, you don't need to walk me to class. I know where to go.")

Because I was "one of those moms" they usually had matching outfits (at least until they put their foot down).

I didn't get pictures every year... because I was probably too late to even scream my usual "Oh, I forgot pictures...." sentence. But here are the ones I found.

Oh, how I miss those days. No more "first day of school pictures"... even if I wanted to, the boys simply wouldn't let me. What are the chances Kale would do a self-timed portrait next week at college just to make me smile? I'll catch Tyler just before he wakes up.

Some of you have read Kale's comments on my blog... he has the best time poking fun at me (and several others, actually). Kale has always been my serious child. He was NEVER a little boy... he was always a little man... even as a baby. It was hilarious. He's been analytical all his life, and is the most observant thing - he notices details about everything! I'm not sure when he got his sense of humor, and sometimes he's the only one who gets it. But, one day, I think it was in his senior year of high school, he had been going through old pictures and he got a wild hair and decided to put together a little reminder to me of all the first day of school pictures I MADE him endure... and here's what it looked like:

Poke fun of me now, little man!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Time For Family

Kale came home for the weekend (smile) and all four of us went out to eat last night along with Tyler's friend, Justin, and Jessie and Sarah (the couple that got married last month).  We decided to try out the new Colton's that just opened this week in Mountain Home.  When the waitress set the biscuits down, I went to move my water and, of course, it spilled everywhere, including in my purse. (Thank goodness it was just water.) 

But, the funniest thing was when the waitress came to collect dirty plates and she leaned a bit too far forward with a Coke on her tray and spilled it all down Justin's back and in his lap.  I'm sure he wasn't feeling too great, but it was hilarious.  Especially when he and Tyler left the restaurant together and his khaki shorts were soaked all down the backside.

We followed up the fun with a trip to Wal*Mart (of course).

Today has been a special day.  My Mom called last night to tell me my cousin, Allison, was in from Texas... so I invited Mom to spend the day together and go see them.   My aunt is very sick with cancer and it meant the world to me to get to spend the morning with them.  She has a wonderful, positive outlook and I truly was moved by her spirit.  Allison was just as impressive.  My Aunt Karen was there, too... and we took a few pictures before we left.  After we got done visiting and wearing my Aunt Rosemary out, I took Mom to Wal*Mart for a brief run-through and then on to lunch.  We had a really nice talk there and on the way home.  It's nice having a Mom who's a good listener.  She's the best!

Mom and siblings 1992 

This is my Mom's family in 1992 after my grandmother died.  The girls (L-R) are Mom, Rosemary, and Karen.  Her brothers are (L-R) Don, Mike, and Jim

Mom, Don, Jim and Ro

Left to Right (Mom, Uncle Don, Uncle Jim, and Aunt Rosemary)  Check out the curly hair!

Karen, Rosemary, and Mom  Today (Aunt Karen, Aunt Ro, and Mom)

Mom and Rosemary

Mom and Aunt Ro

I absolutely love this photo.  I SOOO want to call my Mom "Patsy" (her name is Patricia), but she said she'd kill me (or something like it) if I ever did.  She hates being called that.

Me and my cousin, Allison

Today  (me and Allison - looking a lot like our mothers)

It is so easy to take your family and friends for granted, so I wanted to be sure and let my Aunts know how much they have meant to me throughout my life.  I remember as a little girl sitting and listening to them visit and enjoying how well they get along. It's almost as though they have a connection that no one else really understands. They are a great example of how sisters should be.

And I miss you dearly, Allison!!! We must do better keeping in touch.