Sunday, August 24, 2008

Write A Name On Your Heart (or floor)

The day after Easter, our church began a complete remodel of our worship center. We are nearing completion (ahead of schedule and under budget ... WOW!) and today we were given Sharpies and allowed to write the names of people we are praying for on the concrete. This week they will be covered with carpet. They may be covered with carpet, but we will not forget because not only are they written on the floor, but they are written on our hearts. It was something to see the floor of the worship center/stage covered with names of loved ones. It will be neat to hear stories of lives changed because of those names written on the floor.

Writing the names on the floor was one of our favorite parts of the remodel project. But, by far our most favorite part of the remodel project has to do with something we will probably never see and never benefit from. Our church is taking 10% of the money raised (we raised 24M) and giving it away to fellow churches in Houston and abroad. Already land has been purchased in India for the completion of a Bible college and other churches in our area will be receiving new roofs or AC units or whatever they are in need of. Our pastor impressed upon us that we shouldn't be sitting in the best while others who are worshipping somewhere else are suffering. To whom much is given much is required. I told you he is wise beyond his years.

And, so we move back in on the 7th of September ... can't wait to see what God will do when we move back in!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympic Fever

Oh yeah! We've got it bad! And, because of Dara Torres (who we call "the old woman"), I have been given hope that I am not too old to actually be in the Olympics. Now, to pick a sport. And, I have seriously been racking my brains. The other night we were marveling at the hurdlers and I wondered aloud how tall those things were. Dean and I figured they were about 3 feet ... and then it hit me that those things are the same size as an average sized Kindergartner. And then the light bulb went off in my head ... I knew the sport that I could still teach AND practice daily for ... the hurdles. I could become one of the greatest hurdlers by just practicing during recess ... I would of course be jumping over Kindergartners. When I told Dean my great idea he said "Make sure someone calls me and lets me know what Hospital you are in." Whatever. See you in 2012!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer is .... GONE!

Summer is over. Saddest words ever written. Well, for me ... Torrey is ready to go back. Don't get me wrong, I love school. I love teaching. It is what I was made to do. But, I have enjoyed my summer. Being able to breathe and enjoy life around me. I may also be a bit melancholy because Torrey will be in 7th grade this year. (How in the world did that happen?!) And, so I head back tomorrow morning for school ... inservice until next Wednesday when the kiddos return and the fun really begins. To all my teacher friends out there, know I am praying for you. And, to all the kiddos who will become a part of me, I have been praying for you ... even though I don't know your name! And, you can be rest assured that come May I will be lamenting the fact that the school year is OVER!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Your Father Loves You

I watched an interview with Steven Curtis Chapman and his family on GMA this morning. I wept. But, I knew I would. Steven said that as they were pulling out of the driveway to go to the hospital, he rolled down his window and screamed with everything in him, "Will Franklin, your father loves you!" Let that wash over you for a minute. A boy, inconsolable, devastated hears the only thing he needed to hear in that moment ... that his father loved him. I have thought all day how God is so like that. In our moment of despair, grief, frustration, fear, He is screaming, "Your Father loves you!" The only thing we need to hear. The only thing we need to believe in. The only thing. He is so good!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Hurricane" Update

So, to update you on the "hurricane" that was supposed to hit this morning ... there was ... wait for it ... nothing! Barely any rain ... and, when it did rain, it just sprinkled. No wind to speak of. And so, the Great Spider Massacre of 2008 was for nothing. Our house is back to normal (i.e. the "spider chairs" are back where they belong ... on the front porch) We did enjoy a quiet day at home ... and there was a movie watched ("College Road Trip" which is so funny ... especially when I realized that the dad in the movie was so Dean ... good luck going away to college Torrey!)

Today reminded me of the 1999 hurricane season (what? doesn't everyone measure time by the hurricanes?!) when school was cancelled because of the supposed arrival of some tropical storm (I think Harvey). I was jubilant. Torrey, who was 3, was not feeling it ... she cried. No, she sobbed. I did what any mother would do who lives in Orlando ... I said "Let's go to Disney World!" And, that is what we did and the day still lives as the best day ever (OK, so I realize we have a lot of those in our house!) Because of the supposed storm, there was hardly anyone there ... oh, and did I mention that the day was gorgeous! I remember calling Dean from Dumbo to tell him that we had only been in line for 10 minutes (still the "Dumbo Line Record for the Townsend Family"!) We went on about 10 rides and Torrey soon learned that "hurricane days" can be FUN! Good times!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Hate Spiders!

First, let me say I am a responsible homeowner. Responsible. Not smart. The hurricane is coming and we got an email from our neighborhood association reminding us to bring in outside stuff. I, of course, knew this. (I am not a rookie ... see previous post) And, since it really makes me mad when people do not take in their "stuff" before a hurricane (there was an ugly drain pipe episode during a previous hurricane ... if you live across the street from us and your drainpipe falls off during a previous hurricane, you may want to lock your garage because Dean will recruit neighbors to help him put it in your garage!) I knew I needed to bring in the rocking chairs from the front porch. I love those rocking chairs, but we never sit in them. Never. First of all, it is disgustingly hot in Texas ... imagine an oven and add a few hundred degrees! Secondly, they are full of dust from the construction next door ... and spiders. Texas spiders are BIG. When people say "Everything is bigger in Texas", they are only talking about the spiders. But, I do not want to be branded as the "bad neighbor" (which is also why I make sure we have great trick or treat candy ... but that is another post ... or a sign I need therapy ... you decide), so I brought in the chairs. And, with the chairs the bugs. And, when I made the decision to bring in the chairs, I knew I would be bringing in the bugs. Hence the part about me not being smart. Oh, and remember when I said Dean was gone in the earlier post? Still gone. Which meant that I had to be the one to get the bugs. Torrey wasn't much help ... although she did get a baseball bat. I got them (yes, "them", as in more than one, as in several, as in MANY!) with papertowels which meant I couldn't flush them. Spiders are fast ... and since I wasn't sure I had killed them I put them in plastic bags. Torrey freaked when I put what we really think was a spider egg nest in a ziplock bag ... she thought I was going to keep it. And, I thought she knew me! I must brag for a minute and say that she looked at me with a look of "You are the smartest mom ever!" when I told her the reason I put the spider egg nest in the ziplock bag ... um, because I didn't want to wake up in the morning to a hurricane AND a kitchen full of tiny spiders! I think I got them all ... and just in case I didn't I am going to barricade myself in my room. And pray.

And, so we hope that the hurricane comes soon. I have rocking chairs I NEED to get out of our house. A dog that won't stop barking. And, I got an email from the neighborhood association that says the power company expects power outages (I think the entire power company needs to go to a Tony Robbins "Power of Positive Thinking" seminar!). Oh, and did I say that Dean is gone? Boy do I miss him!

Storm's A'Comin'!

So, I woke up this morning (at 5:30 no less) to this ... a hurricane watch (or warning ... whatever is worse!) Evidently a hurricane is due to hit around the Port Arthur area tomorrow morning ... and, for those of you who are wondering, Port Arthur is basically Houston. Which is basically where I live. Oh, wait, we are the southern suberb of Houston. Close to Galveston. Close to the Gulf. Close to Edouard. Good times.

Dean is gone. I live in a neighborhood of trees. Big trees. I think we live in the 100 year flood plan (what DOES that really mean?) And, best of all we are surrounded by levees. I guess I could leave ... but, that would mean I leave with the 12 year old, the 80 year old mother in law, 1 dog and 2 cats. And, then where would I go ... because is there really a motel that will take a woman in the middle of a hurricane with a 12 year old, mother in law, 1 dog and 2 cats? And, so we will stay. And, not fear.

I am remarkably not worried (although I did change an appointment for tomorrow to today "just in case" and because I have big plans to just stay home and watch movies). We have done this before ... 4 times the Townsend family has lived through a hurricane ... Charley, Fran, Jeanne (2004) and Wilma (2005). I was reminded this morning of one of my 1st graders during the 2004 hurricane season when we were expecting our 3rd hurricane in 6 weeks ... when I told them we wouldn't have school the next day because of the storm you could just see it all on their faces ... exhaustion. We were tired of the storms ... and a bit frustrated. Sweet Cole (who to give you background, when he would pray would cause me more than once to peek up because I just knew heaven had been opened up!) summed it up like this, "Guys, we can do this. God knows we can because we already have. Just think of the other kids who would be scared if the storm came to them." And a child shall lead them.

And, now I go to get storm supplies ... water and popcorn (because what good is a movie with out popcorn?!) And, to Edouard I say "Bring It!"

Phillipians 4:13 "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."