Jan 31, 2010

If you're happy and you know it...

Even though my feet are back on the ground at home, my spirit is still soaring among the clouds. I have just come home from three phenomenal days in Houston, Texas, where part of time, I had the opportunity to sit under one of the most loved and respected teachers of our day, Beth Moore. She taught Psalm 119 in detail. I have eleven scrawled pages of notes, cross references, a few visuals, a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in my notebook (and I *think* I spelled it correctly!) I tried to write down every detail possible. Of all the profound things sweet Beth conveyed in her study, God encouraged me with a couple very simple truths that have just delighted my heart.

The first one is, that:

I'm happy and I know it!

Just like the song I use to sing in Sunday school in the primary grades. I am happy! If you've been here at By The Lamp Light lately, you know that I've requested more prayer than ever before in the last few months as we felt like the enemy's flame was scorching us. But as Beth taught Psalm 119, I heard the words that it was OK to receive happy moments. I had so many happy moments during this trip, my heart is on overflow!

At Christmas the Salesman blessed me with a trip to the SSMTC. As I prayed about the trip, I felt the LORD was going to use it as a *springboard* on my journey with Him. The LORD delighted me with finding out that a new friend I'd made in the last year, Kelly, was going and we would be able to make our travel arrangements together. As the flight prices were going up and the seat availability on planes was going down, we prayed for direction and waited. After we booked our flights, we found out that several sweet Siesta's were on our same flights and we had a BLAST, even though we got home almost five hours after our scheduled arrival. God is good.

The LORD gave me some sweet encouragement at the airport before we boarded our early morning flight. Kelly handed me a devotional article her mother had given her. There were so many words on the page that just jumped out and spoke to my heart. Reading the devotional I was amazed that the LORD had allowed this new friend, who did not know the thoughts the LORD had laid on my heart, to give me a devotional where most of the words could have been lifted from my journal. The verse on the page was from Isaiah 43:19 "The LORD says, 'See, I am doing a new thing!'" It prompted me to pray right then and there sitting at the gate that He would confirm the *new thing* He wanted me to do and that as it sprang forth, I'd be aware.

The blessings of the LORD were so abundant this weekend, I feel as if my cup is overflowing.

I literally felt like a schoolgirl this weekend when I met one of my most encouraging friends in the blog world, Georgia Jan.
Jan and I were in a small group of ladies and when our eyes met and we realized who the other was, we squealed like school girls! Very loudly, too! (If you're happy and you know it, squeal really loud!) Jan has a mother's heart and has been an encouragement to me like I believe my own mother would have been if she were not alive with Jesus. It was a highlight of my trip to meet Jan and worship side by side on Sunday. It was evident that as a pastor's wife, her sweet heart was missing being on the front row of her own church; but when the praise and worship started...oh my, she was at home. Jan was the first one to meet Beth's pastor after the service and I so wish I had a picture to share of her walking off the stage of FBC Houston with her arm entwined with Pastor Gregg's. I knew she was giving him the same kind of encouraging words I many times find in the comment section of my posts. Jan's words are sincere and they bless to the very depths. If you have not met her yet, please stop by and visit her and prepare to be blessed at Gran Jan's Joy.

The second word of encouragement that just blessed my heart this weekend came in sweet and sincere response Beth gave to a question Lichelle asked on Saturday after teaching and worship. Beth said, (this is loosely quoted - this is what my heart heard) "You can be the one person totally 'eat-up' with Him." I decided then and there - right in the chair - I want to be "eat-up" with Him. The words just struck a chord within my heart and a new request for a prayer to My Father did start. I want to be "eat-up" with Him!

And speaking of eating, we had some good food in Houston. Our first stop was Cyclone Anaya's. I had so much fun catching up with my friends and meeting new Siestas.
My two new friends are at the head of the table. Janet is seated (and lives in the town where we worship - what a small world - met her in the airport!) Next to her is Rachel from Beautiful Daughters. Rachel and I had the sweet privilege to meet on the airplane and got a good visit in before we even set foot in Texas! She is a delightful new friend. Seated at the table from left to right is my BFF Nesha (our families have become friends from being Siestas! Love them all.), Georgia (now known to me affectionately as the backseat girl - we shared the backseat in the van as 6 -7 of us would pile in to commute around Houston) and sweet Patty whose fame and hard work is known from the Siesta Fiesta last year. Beside me is my travel friend, Kelly, who is a sweet as a peach, and to her right is another roomie and dear friend, Brittney. I also was blessed to meet Audrey Howie who was instrumental in helping arrange all our festivities for this get together. Thank you Audrey, it was a blessing to meet you in person and hug your neck!

When we arrived at FBC, there were many ladies busy at work at the product tables. It was so much fun to put faces and names together.I was blessed to visit with Beth's assistant, Michelle, who I'd had the sweet opportunity to meet in Greensboro. I met Evangeline who is a doll - as sweet in person as I've heard Beth describe her. Sabrina cracked me up more than one time over the weekend when we talked. I see why Beth enjoys riding to speaking events with her. I had the sweet joy of meeting and visiting with Nancy, the correspondence assistant, as well. I don't know where my picture is of you, dear. You blessed me by looking at EVERY single page in my Scripture memory spiral - oh my, that took some time and you were in no hurry. You appreciated every little detail and commented too. You blessed me Nancy. I praise God for you.

I met so many new friends,like Christian author Marla Taviano; precious, soft spoken Yolanda; and Faran, who was cute-as-a-button in cowboy boots and a dress. I was blessed to spend more time with Judith the jewel and her smiling sister Carolyn. They introduced me to fresh guacamole dip (which I thought I didn't like!). Oh my, thank you! Alexia and I got to catch up on family news and I laughed fit to holler visiting with Melana (also known as Moose Mama). Fuzzytop is one of the most encouraging Siesta's ever to be around. And Twinkle, oh my, if we would have had more time together, I would probably would have had to been pulled off the ceiling like a balloon. I so hope the LORD grants us the opportunity to go to a concert together. I felt like I needed a moment of silence when Melanie (Big Mama) noticed my scarf and said that I'd done good. That was a big accomplishment for me without my teens to give the final stamp of fashion approval. Oh my, I missed my little darlin's. And I know, Victoria Leigh, had you been there, I would not have worn my sunglasses on my head - you would have reminded me to remove them. Love you baby! Melanie has a heart as big as Texas and I love her too, she has been such a blessing to me.

And speaking of love? Have you all met Brittney from Lopsided Halo?Oh my, she is a darlin' young thing. She is living her life boldly for God. At the age of 15 she survived a school shooting and has become a modern day hero for freeing those sold in human trafficking. Now in her 20's, she is the state director for www.notforsalecampaign.org and is one of the most inspiring young women I've been blessed to spend time getting to know. Although we had met before, I really got to hear her heart this trip. Since returning from Houston she has been interviewed on the radio and is planning a trip to Haiti next month. She is a blast to be around and she totally showed me up when we worked out - you are my hero, Brittney! I am blessed to know this young lady. You will be encouraged when you stop and meet Brittney.

My heart is so full and there is so much more to share! And speaking of more - there were more Moore women than I'd ever had the pleasure to meet at one time! It was a pleasure to meet Melissa for the first time this trip and see her eyelashes up close- she's beautiful and reminds me of our youngest, Victoria. (Side note: I did crop myself out of the picture with Melissa because it was taken after worship and teaching on Saturday and by that time, I had NO makeup left on my face. Remember her eyelashes? You could not tell I had any in the picture...I left my ear and earring in the picture close to her head!) Amanda makes me think of Audra in oh so many ways, and I am so thankful these young women allow their mother to share stories of their childhood because it encourages my heart as the mother of teen daughters. And speaking of daughters - I L-O-V-E the picture of the Moore women loving on darlin' little Dailey Ray - their hands-on love blessed my heart. And when I had the blessed opportunity to meet them, I felt the same attention and affection. Thank you ladies for your evident love! (If you are happy and you know it - let someone know!)Beth Moore is a blessing to my heart because on the pages of one of her Bible studies, I fell in love with Jesus and His Word. I had never turned so many pages in my Bible and searched for answers as I did in my first study: Living Beyond Yourself. I have never been the same since I did that lone study at home and without the DVD's. And I never want to go back to who I use to be - never. And anyone who knew me before 2001 would heartily agree. I was blessed to visit with sweet Beth for a brief moment and ask about her back. Her precious response started with, "Thank you so much for asking." LOVE her. LOVE the Spirit I see in her. Friday night, she opened the Word and poured out her heart for us to soak in her teaching the precious Word of God. I was floating Friday night. Floating. The whole time, I thought that if I pinched myself, I might wake up.

The few winks I got Friday night at the luxurious Omni (I am so thankful the teens showed me how to use Picnik because I wanted to share every ounce of beauty I saw at the Omni - it was nearly overwhelming.)helped me to relax Saturday and remember that God had a purpose and a reason for me being in Houston and it was personal. It was beyond all the excitement, the cloud like euphoria of hanging out with sweet Siestas and the darlin' behind-the-scenes ladies at Living Proof and the precious Moore women. I so wanted to know where my new journey was *springing* to. By faith, and the realization that I wanted to know and live out my purpose for Him (even if it included *new things* that were daunting to me), helped me to feel a relaxing in my spirit Saturday.

The excitement of the celebration, of taking pictures with the Moore ladies, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones seemed to fade to the peripheral as Saturday morning,
Beth opened with prayer.

On Saturday, I could feel the Spirit fall
As Beth knelt, and on our Saviour did call

Travis' worship opened the gate to the throne room door
And my make-up, washed in my tears, puddled toward the floor
Though I can't sing a note or remotely even carry a tune
God's Spirit invaded Beth's former Sunday school room

There are times you just know HE is there
The worship is free and other's opinions, aren't a worry or care
Because in those moments it is God alone
Receiving our hearts worship before HIS throne

It was then I heard with a child like heart
Wisdom call and God impart

LORD, as Your Words to my heart, press in
I am ready for Your *new things* to begin

But as I leave the wonder of Big City life
And head back home to the country, my title: a home school mother and wife
My heart, to You, LORD, is full of thanksgiving
You allowed, You favored this weekend with abundant living
I want to be one person totally "eat up" with Him
Totally surrendered, God focused, unfettered from sin
I want to be a bright light in a very dark world
Your goodness, Your story to herald
Let my heart be a sanctuary for You alone to dwell
Your story in Me, bravely and boldly, may I tell
Thank You for opening a torrent and that Your Words fell with power and in a sweet hush
As my pen and paper could hardly keep up as the Spirit, to my heart, said much
LORD, I've taken in so much encouragement and Truth filled notes
My mind, my being, like a cloud or balloon, above this world, seems to float
Help me LORD, as soon as I walk through my home's door
To put to use all I learned from You and Your servant, Beth Moore

Let new *things* in me bloom and grow
More of You LORD, I long to intimately know
Let it be evident LORD that I've heard from You
In my words, my thoughts, my actions - all that I do

Don't let me discard what has been deposited into the depths of my soul
Use it all LORD, not in part, but the whole
LORD, you know I've arrived home today and I'm sleep deprived
And for Audra's appointment, we have a three plus hour drive
But for the visual You give on the drive, of the river overflowing its banks
Describes the state of my heart LORD, and I pause to give YOU alone, I give thanksLet the river of Your Spirit keep rising in me
Reflecting more of Yourself and soaking my life, the tender roots of my tree
With reckless abandon LORD, "eat-up" only to You,
As the river rises, happily in response, *new things* I will do.

With thanksgiving to Worshipping One for capturing and graciously sharing the worship photo. Nesha, your picture out the plane window describes exactly how I feel.

If you desire to read *Moore* on the great adventure in Houston:

Jan 29, 2010

Living Proof Ministries

From the lovely lamp lights,
To the towering trees,
Our visit to the grounds of Living Proof Ministries,
Proved a calm and peaceful place to be.
A ministry firmly founded upon The Rock,
Servant hearts knit together like birds of a flock.
As I reflect, God bids, "Come to Me and sit a while,
As sweet Siestas gather from across the miles.
Dear one, as you look up toward My eyes,
You'll find Me, the gold, the green, The Prize.
So, as along the pilgrim path you go,
To My Word and My Spirit, cling and grow.
I will give you light for the very next step,
Filled with My Spirit, you'll find happiness, joy and pep.
I am The God who does new things.
Creation around Me gloriously sings.
You may feel the path is so different, so varied,
And the obstacles looming so very great.
Come on in, I bid, open the gate
Time is ripe. I'm ready for you, don't hesitate.
As you see the seasons of life change,
I know your path, the now, the near, and the long range.
Darlin' bend your knee in prayer and total submission to Me,
Then, the so much more of Me, you will experience and see."

With thanksgiving to talented Nesha for graciously sharing the last picture.

Jan 28, 2010

Purse on a Chain

This post is by request: Georgia Jan, I love you. Thank you for agreeing this is not my normal poetry. *This* is what happens after three amazing days in Houston for a Siesta gathering coupled with three nights of sleep eluding me and a flight delay (that I would not have missed for anything!) to get back to the country life...

Have you heard the saying:
"You can take a girl out of the country, but you can't the country out of a girl?"

My country roots were showing the moment I stepped foot in the door of Neiman Marcus at the Galleria in Houston. After the Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration, Brittney, Kelly, Nesha and I had ventured out for a little shopping. Literally, the first *thing* I spotted was a gorgeous handbag for Victoria Leigh, our fifteen year old darlin', fashion conscious teen. My gracious, I just knew she would love the flowers and the bright red color.
Unlike any shopping I've done in tiny towns nearby our little unincorporated area, the purse was chained to the display. And there was an armed policeman about 20 feet away. Those *things* should have been a clue; but what's a country girl to do? However, this did not prepare me for what I saw on the price tag.
I thought my eyesight was going bad.
This is what I saw:
Then I had to look again for a hidden camera, because I thought I might be being filmed for a show like Hee-Haw.
The purse remained...on the chain.

Even though we have been TV free for over five years, I have heard of "Pants on the Ground" and this little parody could be said or rapped to the same tune. Do you say a rap to a tune?! I'm not sure. But, it provided some good laughs as Jan, Twinkle, Emmy, Wendy, Kelly and I were stuck on a plane - yes, Purse on a Chain was written while stuck on a plane! I promise you it does not get any better, feel free to stop now before you read the first letter.

Purse on a Chain

Purse on a chain
Purse on a chain
Stores in Houston got
Purse on a chain

Fancy red flowers all over the bag
Sticker shock hits when you look at the tag
Purse on a chain
Purse on a chain

Neiman Marcus keeps Valentino under lock and key
The nineteen hundred and fifty price is killin' me
Purse on a chain
Purse on a chain

If you purchase this bag to go out or to a game
You may be labeled as rich or vain
Purse on a chain
Purse on a chain

Oh, take me back to my cozy, country home
Where our dogs (and our purses) are free to roam
Purse on a chain
Purse on a chain


Now, Sweet Siesta's that's a Houston rap
And since sleep has eluded me for days, Goodnight, I need *moore* than a nap.

Jan 21, 2010

Siesta Scripture Memory Team

I found the neatest little bird spiral at Pier I to organize all of my Scripture memory cards for the Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration that will be held this weekend. The Salesman blessed me with the trip to the celebration as a Christmas gift. I am so excited! No, I'm beyond excited!

Before I knew that I was going, I had participated in the Scripture Memory posts on Beth Moore's blog at Living Proof Ministries. Instead of having all my memory cards in a spiral book, my memory cards were covering the bath mirror. Well, that is, until the Salesman said he could hardly see into the mirror. So I moved most of them to inside the medicine cabinet.

As a home school mama, most of my time is spent at home. And it was more convenient for me to place my cards around the house, so I did.

However, since admission to the event is a spiral, I knew I needed to organize my now well worn cards.

I had all different sizes of cards and papers with Scripture on them placed throughout our home.

Some of the cards I had moved to our closet door.
But since I found out I was going to be able to make the trip, I started organizing the spiral with 24 verses that I'd put to memory. Then I went back and added pictures, because I'm a visual learner, and most of the verses I'd memorized were tied to an event or picture in my mind. The first verses I'm going to share were memorized because of Priscilla Shirer's talk at Deeper Still in Greensboro. I blogged about the vivid impact her talk had on me here.

I Corinthians 6:20 reminds me not to gain the weight back because I have been bought with a price. Picture of me with 75+ extra pounds.

I have verses that reminded me of the teens. This one is for Audra and speaks to her love of music and the direction the LORD is leading her in.

This heart picture fit so well with the verse it represents.

Our lovely historic home that we moved from fit with what has become one of my favorite verses.

This calendar reminds me of the plans I make versus the ones the LORD makes.

Have I ever mentioned that I use to do my ironing around Murder She Wrote when we had TV? (Even though we have been TV free for five years now, I still iron!) I love mysteries and this picture reminds me of the mystery talked about in I Timothy 3:16.

There are pictures from the garden, to remind me of The Gardner.

And a picture of Victoria in the snow reminding me of a clean heart.

I have pictures of the Salesman, Lilly Belle, and other special family and dear ones along with the Scripture in my spiral awaiting departure for the celebration this weekend. I'm looking forward to traveling with and/or seeing Nesha, Kelly, Alexia, Brittney, Georgia Jan, Patty, Carolyn, Judith, Sherri, Audrey, Georgia and many more dear Siestas. I hope to see you there! Blessings dear ones! With a heart of thanksgiving to the LORD for this opportunity.