Archive for July, 2010


from my Jesus Calling this morning…….

“Trust Me in the depths of your being.  It is there that I live in constant communion with you.  When you feel flustered and frazzled on the outside, do not get upset with yourself.  You are only human, and the swirl of events going on all around you will sometimes feel overwhelming.  Rather than scolding yourself for your humanness, remind yourself that I am both with you and within you.

I am with you at all times, encouraging and supportive rather than condemning.  I know that deep within you, where I live, My Peace is your continual experience.  Slow down your pace of living for a time.  quiet your mind in My Presence.  Then you will be able to hear Me bestowing the resurrection blessing: Peace be with you.

Colossians 1:27  “The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.”

Matthew 28:20  “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

John 20:19 “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”


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week in review

So, I’ve been a little pre-occupied since returning from camp, and when I had two minutes to sit down with my computer, I found myself unable to form complete sentences.  grin.  I have found when in that state of exhaustion, not to try to write – too risky, for sure.

Camp really was awesome in so many ways – we took 65 high school students and a handful of adults, and loved the whole experience God had for us.  Ben Stuart (one of my long-time favorites) brought powerful messages each time he spoke.  Pow.Er.Ful. not kidding.  I’m still thinking on it all.  Jeff Johnson (one of my new favorites) lead us all skillfully and reverently in worship.  Loved it.  The Student Life team did not disappoint – excellence in all areas.  My family group was comprised of a few of our own students, then also students from two other areas in Texas – we had a great time together, and I loved getting to know them.  We read the Word, discussed, shared, prayed, and so much more.  Camp is full – you don’t have much down time to yourself, but when we did, it was fun to hang out with students, take walks or hikes, and just soak in those Colorado mountains.  They were just glorious.  Thank you for praying – i know God did a mighty work in the hearts and lives of each that was present in that place.

Returning to a full week at work, jury duty, dinner we hosted at home for friends, and a wedding we had been looking forward to forever – among other things.  (by the way, when was the last time you went to a wedding, and there was a salvation?!!!  I’m serious – a young man prayed to receive Christ after this wedding!!!  A true stunning move of God!!!)  All this backdropped by the countdown of my girl going to college.  One day at a time, we are stepping closer to that moment.  Lord help me!  (I’m smiling, but mean it – LORD, HELP ME!!!)

Had a great day today – TWO churches this morning, and it was wonderful – saw both dear friends preach two amazing messages – and about to leave for another church service.  Is that too dorky for you?~  not for me – I love it, and love my Jesus.  Such a great way to spend a Sunday.  Hope your day of praise has been great too.

Ephesians 3:21
“to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”

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another last

As you may know, I am entering a time of new experiences with my family – my sons are all grown up.  (wow.  As I typed that, I realized the absolute truth of that.  it stunned me.) And my girl will be leaving for college soon.  too soon.  So, as I enter this new season, I am also leaving some things behind.  There have been/will be many changes.  I’m blessed – choosing to be blessed, not sad or pitiful at all!  🙂

One of those wonderful things I will experience for the last time this next week – Student Life Camp.  I’ve loved it.  Honestly, one of my favorite weeks of the year.  But this will be it for me.  Unless the Lord really really surprises me.  I will love spending this last camp with my girl, one more time.  I will love driving across the country with some of the recent graduates (we will leave early in the church van, the bus will follow much later in the day).  I will love the Bible study.  I will love being with Student Life staff.  I will love worship.  One. last. time.

I will get to hang with one of my favorite speakers and his wife – I’ve loved and prayed for them forever.  I will get to worship with someone new to me – though I’ve been thoroughly blessed by his music for quite a while.  I will once again, be stretched beyond what I am able, as I meet with a new group of students, for the sake of Christ.

I was telling a co-worker today about camp – reminiscing a little about past years (12, to be exact) at camp, how the Lord has orchestrated some magnificent relationships into my life through this wonderful organization, how much respect I have for them,  how much I love them, and all of a sudden I was crying.  seriously.  Didn’t expect that.  But, as I wiped my eyes, and apologized to her, I realized that I have just done this for so long. And I love the people God truly ushered into my life through camp.  And I’m just so grateful for what I’ve had the joy and privilege to do.

So, as you prepare for church Sunday morning, we will already be on the road.  Would you mind praying for us?  That God will minister deeply to our students, our adults, and that each of us will be forever changed by a few short days in the mountains, with the Lord, and His servants.  I have a smile on my face even now as I think about it.  I’m not nearly packed, but as I throw my  things into the suitcase, I again wonder what He will do this time. Whether you get to experience Him in a camp setting, a Bible study, or women’s conference, or even church worship, don’t forget to wonder at what He will do this time. And be touched by His wonders…..

Job 37:14
“Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders.”

Psalm 40:5
“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.”

Psalm 111:4
“He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate.”

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As I sit and reflect on the last 19 years, i cannot believe time passed so quickly!  As July 2nd became July 3rd, 1991, I was quickly beginning to notice I must get to the hospital – you see, I was great with child. a girl child.  Following three boys, that was a pretty big deal. And I was more than ready to meet her face to face.  I had seen a few pictures (ultrasound – not 3D, they didn’t do those yet, at least not that I knew of) of her, but was so eager to hold her, look into her eyes, introduce her to her daddy, and all her brothers……

She had made sure since day one, we took notice of her – high risk from the very start, we were absolutely sure that she would be special.  With our other babies, we never had a problem or concern.  We encountered challenge after challenge as this one grew and developed, yet I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would complete His good work in her.  And as He did that in her, He also worked on some things in me.  Like patience.  and love for a daughter . and faith.  in Him.  I mean, deep down, rubber meets the road kind of faith.  At times, I could not even think of words to pray – the situation would get so out of control it seemed. I was at a loss for words so many times – I remember specifically thinking I should be able to articulate a prayer – yet knew He was receiving my desire, my plea, even with no words.  And I believed.

Each day could present a new problem or challenge.  However, as we met each situation, I knew God’s peace. I knew people were praying for this little baby, and I had great security in my God being able, and willing, to answer them.  One of the most precious things I received after the birth, was an index card from my church – completely covered with initials.  I mean, you can barely see the card itself for all the writing, letters overlapping letters – of all the people who prayed for this baby as the pregnancy progressed.  I was so grateful to each one who prayed, especially when I felt I couldn’t.  It sowed faith deep into my soul, to see the answer to each of their prayers.  To see the answer to mine.

The story’s too detailed to go fully in to, but let’s just say, we overcame the first trimester’s overwhelming challenges, to a month later being in a car wreck where an uninsured motorist totalled my minivan, to go into pre-term labor a month later, to having surgery, and being put on “bedrest” while having three sons to tend to ages 4-8, and keeping kindergarten children in my home for half the day they weren’t in school, often running up to the hospital when my medicine would not lower the number of my contractions per hour.  whew! Then – kidney problems.  Oh. My. Goodness.

But here we were, in the wee hours of July 3rd, going to the hospital, thinking we were going to deliver this baby girl soon.  Well, we did deliver her, just about 18 hours later!  And she was beautiful.  And perfect.  (well, there was that teeny tiny detail of the cord being wrapped around her neck three times, but after the Doctor so skillfully solved that problem…….)  I mean, grateful does not even begin to tell you the relief, joy, thanksgiving, and exhilaration I was feeling.  She was so worth every challenge along the way.  Now to bond with that baby girl!

Would you believe, right after delivery, I was running a high fever, so they would not let me hold her?!!!  I seriously was so undone by that point – but for the next few hours, they worked on lowering my fever, so I could have her.  I had waited sooooo long, and it appeared I must wait just a little longer……

Finally, I got to hold her in my arms, and it was perfection.  I knew my family was complete with this little angel.  As tears slid down my cheeks, and I gazed at her tiny little fingers and toes, I stood in awe.  And ever since that very first day, she has brought me joy, delight, love, and a sense of wonder at my God.

She arrived just a few short hours before the 4th of July.  I missed the fireworks that year, but have forever been captivated by our “early firecracker”, as we sometimes called her.  Happy Birthday, Sara Amanda Mattingly!!!!  I can’t imagine my life without you! I love you so so much!!!   ~your mom

“The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.”  Psalm 126:3

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