Tuesday, April 28, 2009

While in the Waiting Room

Do you ever have moments where it just clicks and you think, I FINALLY GET IT!  Even though you may have heard it before or even though it may be totally elementary? 

Well, this has just happened to me!  It has finally come full circle.  (Think Clark Griswold plugging the 2 cords together and  lighting up the house in Christmas Vacation.)  It finally connected for me, and I'm dying to share it for anyone who may be "in the waiting room."

Let me start by saying when I've been in the waiting room, which, I am not a fan of, I've always believed God could do anything.  I've believed that through infertility, moving away from family, and now losing a job. It is really more of His timing that I question.  

This is a story I got off a blog (Pete Wilson, Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville-  www.withoutwax.tv):

The other day I had the privilege of watching all three of my  boys while my wife, Brandi, was out for a bit. I’m a pretty good dad but my 2 year old can really push my buttons.  He’s so stinking intelligent but often uses this intelligence for evil purposes like manipulating me. He was mad because I wasn’t giving him some crackers he wanted and was screaming his head off.  Over and over he kept screaming “Mommy, Mommy, I want Mommy!”   So I started so scream back “I want mommy too, but she’s not here right now”.

Make no doubt about it. He didn’t really want his Mommy in that moment. He wanted what he thought his Mommy might give him.

Can I be honest with you right now?  Some of you are hoping, longing, praying, begging God to act in your life. But if we’re really honest  you don’t want God…. you want what you think God can give you.

Please note: God will withhold your crackers in order to detach your hope from”other things” and attach it to Himself.

Uh-oh!  BUSTED!!!  

I have begged God for many things along the way.  I have been thinking by continuing to wait on him to grant these things I was being faithful, hanging in there, not giving up on God.  Not just to get what I want, but believing he'll deliver because I know He can.  That is not the point.  Why do we go through the wait?  There is a reason-something God wants me to get from it.  More than the goal I have my eye fixed on.  Something to develop in us that which God wants to use for His purpose.  There will always be that next mountain to face-illness, finances, infertility, relationships, or whatever that one thing is you hope for.  It may never happen.  It may not be God's plan.  Then what?  

In one of Pete's messages I watched online, he tells the story of Lazarus.  The point was how Jesus waited 2 days before he went to Lazarus.  And, how Martha says, "If you were here, this wouldn't have happened".

I just love that-how many times do I feel that way.  He could do this if He really wanted to.  Where is He? Why isn't He here?  Why won't He just fix this?  Why won't He just help me? 

My big revelation:  If I believe , that He has a purpose for me here on earth, and I'm going through this:  THERE IS A REASON I AM WAITING and it's not just to get what I want.   It's not just dead space I have to wait out until God finally delivers what I'm asking him for.

I've just come to realize I pray like I'm giving my order at a restaurant.  Give me this, fix this, heal this.  Of course, always remembering to say please and thank you.  

Excerpt from http://otterbeinstaff.typepad.com/mikes_blog/devotion-reflections/

So often, it seems like life will be better for us when things change.  When the kids are older. When my job is less hectic.  When the economy is better.  But here is the truth of the matter from God's perspective.  Life is never going to be "perfect" because we live in a broken, fallen, and sinful world.  God's plan for a fulfilling and abundant life for us is not found in the removal of all the obstacles in life.  Instead, God's plan for a fulfilling and abundant life for us is found in HIM in the midst of the obstacles and times of change.  It is those very things that God uses to make us who He wants us to be.  It is those very things God uses to improve our lives and grow us to become more like Jesus.

As I have prayed repeatedly for Jordan's job situation since before Christmas, I find that my prayer is the same, the same, the same.  What am I doing while I'm in the waiting room?  Just waiting for God to give me what I'm asking for-to answer my prayer?  Why am I here in the first place?  What am I learning while I'm waiting?  What am I getting from God that he intends for me to from all of this.  Something I consider a setback may be just the opposite for my faith.

What a missed opportunity to get quickly what it is that you want!  It's not just about waiting on God to answer my prayer-to give me the thing I'm waiting and hoping for.  He wants me to HOPE IN HIM. It's for my growth and for His glory.   It's for my good.  Even though the situation may be bad.  And THAT makes the wait worth it.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  James 1:2

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Still Marching

Jordan's last day is June 5th.  I have already packed about 10 boxes, so only about 1,000 to go! At this time, Jordan has 3 potential job possibilities (3 different states) which we are prayerful and hopeful for. However, if nothing materializes before June 5th, we will be moving to Searcy.  Our old stomping ground. What better place to be in transition, than near both sets of grandparents, right?!
It is hard not knowing what job Jordan will get, if he'll get one, or where we will be moving to.  There are so many things to plan for and do, but I don't have the information in which to make these decisions.  Very hard for this "planner/doer" girl.  It's certainly not a fun spot for Jordan and I to be in.  Definitely not what we would have chosen for our family.  But, when I think about it, how many times in our life together have things gone the way we wanted, when we wanted? A lot of times, when we most wanted it to, it hasn't. And thankfully so. Because, if they would have, we wouldn't have Kennedy.  We wouldn't have Jackson. We wouldn't have Chandler Grace.
I didn't want to move here, hated it for more than 2 years, but would have never found MY faith, without this move.  And, we wouldn't have gotten to experience The Cove Church, which has been such a blessing and encouragement to our family.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55:9

So, here we are ONCE AGAIN, waiting.

You know the Bible story about Jericho?  The one where the army was told to march around the city walls of Jericho 7 times and then give a loud yell and the walls would just fall down?  That was the plan.  That was it.  That's what they were advised to do to conquer their enemy.  Ridiculous sounding, isn't it?  But, they did what they were told, and when the time came, God was faithful, and he made the walls fall down. So, it may seem silly packing up a house and having no destination, but I guess you could say we are just marching around, staying faithful knowing the 7th day is coming.  Even if it feels like we are walking circles, even if it feels like nothing is happening, we will keep going in faith, knowing that God is faithful.   That doesn't mean at times it isn't frustrating or hard-it is. But, we have a joy even in this situation and are praising Him for what He will do.  And, when the time is right, God will "bring the walls down".  Our march will end.  The wait will be over.  

"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still." Ex. 14:13a,14

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter pictures

Sunday, after dinner we took the kids to the park in Davidson for Easter pictures.  We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day.  The kids loved the water, ducks and bridge.  Danna, www.littleshowoffs.blogspot.com, made the girls dresses, and did a BEAUTIFUL job.  I just love them! Thank you, Danna!
Here's Easter pics of the Harr Trio!

Then we came home and I got some individual and group shots during and after the big egg hunt.  


For Easter, our church offered 5 services. They asked the regular attenders to come Friday or Saturday evening, to allow room for all that they expected to attend on Sunday.  Isn't that awesome?
So, we went Saturday night, instead of our normal Sunday service.  Of course, Jordan went for all 5 services since he was singing.  It was such an awesome experience to have the service outside.  There were 1,000 at the evening Saturday service.  Just incredible.  
In Cove Kids, they did a huge egg drop from the ceiling!  The kids made bags and picked up prize eggs.  After church, I took the 3 of them to Northlake Mall to see and have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny (I'll post later).  It was a late night, and since we run like clockwork around here, I didn't know how they'd hold up.  But, we made it.  We got back and picked up Jordan from church, came home, and the kids crashed. 
Sunday morning, the kids helped roll the dough for Grandma's Chicken Pot Pie-a family favorite, and what we had for Easter lunch.
The Easter bunny brought the kids Easter baskets Sunday afternoon.  I guess he knew that Daddy wouldn't want to miss it!  You guys don't get candy often, so it was a real treat.  The girls got pink purses, and Jackson got a Lightening McQueen cap. There were very impressed with their Easter baskets.  Jordan and I swapped Easter baskets the night before.  This year, I got my own Easter basket! He bought me a green lined white Easter basket and filled it with my favorite candy AND new earphones for my ipod that I use at the gym-he did good!  Great Easter.

Coloring Easter Eggs

After rabbit pancakes for breakfast on Saturday, we dyed some eggs!
All 3 of my little Easter eggs got in on the action this year.  Dyeing eggs was a hit! 
Here's some pics of the fun!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A good Good Friday

I had the greatest experience with my daughter today.
Kennedy was out of school for Good Friday.
So, this afternoon I asked Kennedy if she knew what Good Friday was.  (To be perfectly honest, I wikipedia-ed it myself.  I mean, I know it goes with Easter, and I've read about the crucifixion in the Bible, but I wanted to check quickly before we talked.  Usually, Easter Sunday gets all the attention around here.)  She said no, so I got the opportunity to explain that Good Friday is a day to remember that Jesus was crucified.  To which she replied, "That's not good."  I told her that it wasn't good for Him that he died, but good that He would die for us.

I told her that was how criminals were punished back then, by hanging on a cross.  I reminded her of the agony He endured even before being hung on a cross.  Then, I told her that He hung on the cross for 6 hours.  She asked how long that was.  I thought, and told her it was the same as her school day.  I explained that for the last 3 hours, darkness was everywhere.  (The dark and stormy day we had here was the perfect setting for our talk!) Then I told her that when He died, there was an earthquake, the tombs broke open, and the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom, and that even a guard who didn't believe Jesus before said, "Truly this was God's son!" (Matt 27:45-54)  (Her eyes WIDE!)
I went on to tell her that He didn't have to do this.  But that He chose to because he loved her and everyone so much, that He let all of that happen so that we could go to Heaven.  I told her that's why it's so important that we live our lives for Him and try to be like Him.  She was ALL ears for our conversation.  

She got down out of the chair with me, and regular chaos ensued before I realized she wasn't in the room.  I heard a door shut, so I called out to her.
She came around the corner and said:
"Mom, do you know where I've been?  I went to the bathroom and sat on top of the potty to pray to Jesus and told Him, (her eyes closed) I'll do anything for you.  Anything for you. Because you did that for me."

And, isn't that the point?
Happy Good Friday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Arrival

It came today.  Jordan's release letter.
We've known this day was coming since before Christmas.  We've just been waiting, waiting, and waiting. Jordan's company has been bought out by Altria and his job has been eliminated.

I will confess:  I'm not good at waiting.  I do not like the not knowing.  I like having a plan and a backup plan.  So, it's been a L O N G 4 months.  
We know that God is in control of even this.  We know that he will provide.  That being said, some days are easier than others. You see, I'm just stubborn that way.  God has never let me down.  He's always shown up.  I don't need to look any further than my 3 children to know this is true. I know His way is the best way. Yet, I constantly struggle with worrying, trying to do things on my own, doing things my way, instead of just getting out of the way and trusting God to do it. 

When we first learned of the possibility of the buy out, we were actually excited thinking it's a blessing in disguise to get back "home"-Arkansas. You see, we've been in North Carolina since Kennedy was 2 1/2, and I was 5 months pregnant with Jackson.  And of course, 12 1/2 months after Jackson was born, Chandler Grace made her debut.  So, our babies/family don't really know each other.  This is heartbreaking for all of us.

It's funny how God can use any circumstance and does.  Let me just say I wasn't thrilled to move here-did I say I was 5 months pregnant??!!  To be perfectly honest, I hated this place for over 2 years. It had nothing to do with our town.  It is on Lake Norman, a beautiful water community, with mountains or beaches just 4 hours away.  It had more to do with the fact it was 12-14 hours away from our family. 
But, this move has been paramount for my faith.  Away from the "bubble" of Christian surroundings I had been co-dependent on, I was forced to start over and find an authentic relationship with God.  We have become plugged in with a church home we love and I am already saddened to think of leaving it.  It has been a refuge for me and a place I believe God led me to.  So, in some respects, I feel like a new Christian. A little scared to leave, but, knowing that I take Him with me wherever I go.

Jordan has interviews being set up and we are praying for God's purpose for our lives.  We hope that we can get back close to Arkansas and be a part of our family's lives.  
The reality of this has set in, so to speak, and we are constantly reminding ourselves and each other of God's promises as we are in this sea of uncertainty. He will not abandon us.  This verse has been read by me more times than I can count for months now.  What encouragement in times such as these.  Please pray for us!

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3