1) Kevin had the rare opportunity to preach Sunday. The topic was worship and since he's the worship pastor he wanted to take a crack at it. I know I'm biased, but I thought he did a fantastic job. For someone who never does that, he looked so confident and at ease. Well, he just looked plain good (And now my children are rolling their eyes and thinking EW! Oh brother. I'm attracted to your father, kids. Get over it.).
At the end of the sermon during first service he came down to the floor of the auditorium.
Kevin: I'm going to ask you to do something weird now, that might take some of you out of your comfort zone. I know I'm gonna put my wife out of hers.
Um . . . what?!
Kevin: She didn't know I was going to do this, but she leaves on her trip to Uganda this Saturday. I want her to come up front and for us to lay hands on her and pray for her. So Tami, come on, and anybody who wants to pray for her come down. Then I'd like the rest of you to get out of your chairs and gather in a big group to sing together.
It was unusual, but so beautiful, in both services. I stood arm in arm with my husband and friends, our church family gathered around. So many people were in tears at the wonder of God and His Spirit uniting us in that moment. It was hard to hold it together as I looked around at my friends, my kids, singing through tears. God's Spirit honored His people with His presence. So beautiful.
I think Kevin gets tired of hearing it, but I often call him my Creator of Beauty Husband. He shrugs it off, but it's true. Facilitating that moment for the Spirit to work was just one instance. Sometimes you can visually see the touch of God on a person. I saw it Sunday on my husband.
Thank you, honey. God uses you in ways most people never see, but it's not lost on me. It is my privilege and complete pleasure to be your wife. How I love you.
2) All the kids returned from their trips over the weekend. Only Princess Dawdle brought home a ton of pictures. Here's one of my favorites, my little girl standing in front of the White House. Drama Queen would say she's representing well, wearing her UNL Drumline t-shirt.
3) Drama Queen has made an addendum to Kevin's Indian name. She came home the other night and he was sitting on the couch all comfy.
Drama Queen: What up, Sweat Pants?
Drama Queen: You never wear sweat pants.
Kevin: So? I wasn't going anywhere.
For the next few hours she called him Sweat Pants every time she addressed him until the bright idea hit her.
Drama Queen: We should call you Gray Hair Sweat Pants!
Me: That sounds like Sponge Bob Square Pants.
And now Kevin not only has an extended Indian name but a theme song as well. Oh my.
4) Drummer Boy's been working a 4-11 shift this week and scrounges around for food the minute he gets home. Apparently he experienced the phenomena I've been complaining about for years, that of empty food boxes left in the refrigerator or pantry. I found this taped to the fridge. I'm not sure who it's directed to, but I'm guessing since he used the term "melonhead" he's referring to Ladies Man.
5) I have been completely overwhelmed at the support I've received for my trip to Uganda. Friends gave me a locket with their picture in it and engraved with the inscription, "God is always good and you are always loved." Another friend gave me a journal where she wrote a personal message to me for every day I would be gone starting with the day before I leave. Yet another friend stopped by my house to pray over me and took a bracelet off her own arm, put it on mine, and said, "Do with it whatever the spirit leads you to." I've received cards and money in the mail, multiple encouraging emails, phone calls, texts--all in the last week.
I am utterly, wholly blessed, and I haven't even left yet.
This, to me, is the beauty of the body of Christ. I gave no resounding YES to God, just a little okay I'll go, and yet people are interested, supportive. They say nice things and pray for me and because they do, I feel stronger, better able to carry out what God has asked. I'm not sure I could do this without them. I've felt the truth of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 personally, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
I've been built up, encouraged. If you are one of those people who's done so, thank you. I am honored and humbled beyond measure. You make me know God is real and unites the hearts of His people. You show me His beauty.
6) I'm not sure why, but Ladies Man decided he wants to learn to play the tuba over the summer. When this kid gets something in his head it's best to go with the obsession until it wanes. He was able to borrow a beat up horn from school, but we never imagined this problem.
He can't stand up straight in the kitchen without hitting the ceiling! He's got about an inch to spare in our other first floor rooms. There's no way he can practice that thing upstairs. I swear he grew a little more on his band trip. (That's sounds like a very old lady thing to say, doesn't it? Imagine a creaky, hillbilly voice saying, "Dag gummit. That Ladies Man, why he grew another inch since I last sawed him." Oh boy.) All I know is that when I went to hug him after he got back, it was a longer reach!
7) My African adventure starts tomorrow. My emotions are all over the place. I go from being super nervous to being super excited. Sleeping has been difficult. I recognize this as a great privilege and have been praying for God to keep my eyes and ears and heart open so I don't miss a single second of His goodness in this.
I'm taking my laptop and camera and hope to share some beautiful experiences with you. I will have internet access, but I'm not sure how reliable the connection will be or how much time I'll have. I won't actually arrive in Uganda until Wednesday, so don't look for anything before then.
If you think of it, I'd appreciate your prayers both for me and my family. I will be gone nearly three weeks. It'll probably be harder on them, but being away from my people (and my Creator of Beauty Husband) for that long will be the toughest thing.
And now I gotta pack, folks! I hope you enjoy your weekend and read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.