Monthly Archives: May 2014

Does God Really Move Mountains?

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This week I was thinking back to an event my husband and I hosted and planned for our youth ministry.  We had talked for years about doing something that is never done in a small community like the one where we were youth pastors.  We wanted to bring a Christian concert to our community – not just for our church and youth, but for all the rural communities around us!  And in thinking about the process of doing something we had no clue how to organize, I realized something….

If you want to see God move mountains, you have to dream big enough to be standing in front of a mountain!

Ok, so we started with a HUUUGE budget of $5,000!  Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?  But for us, this was about the same yearly budget we had to run the entire youth program!  And, to be honest, I have never been accused of thinking too small.  I’m a dreamer.  I see glorious visions of what I want the future to be, and most of the time it seems right out crazy.  So, we took this $5,000 beginning budget and did what we had been talking about wanting to do – bring in an awesome Christian artist to do a concert in the middle of a small farm town!

Now, the actual concert itself was awesome.  We faced some weather that made it a smaller event than it could have been (something about tornadoes ripping through the area made people leery of coming).  And, the speaker we had that night probably weren’t the greatest for the audience we reaching – teenagers.  But, I will tell you that the actual event wasn’t where God moved mountains; it was in the preparation for the event.  The mountains God moved weren’t visible to many people, mainly just my husband and I.  But when you witness God move, it does amazing things to build your faith!

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To try to keep this short, we ended up raising about another $5,000 to put on the event by reaching out to other churches, community members, doing fundraisers, asking for donations, etc.  We were able to rent a stage, use the school, bring in a second band to also do the sound and lights for less than just renting sound and lights would have been, bring our entire church together to serve free concessions, raise donations for the local food pantry (that was the “cost” of the concert), rent inflatable games and activities for pre-concert fun, giveaway autographed guitars and other prizes, train youth on how to lead others to Christ, provide an amazing lunch and dinner for the bands and speakers, get free speakers, and have many, many people offer their time to make this event amazing.  We had lots of bumps in the road, but we saw God provide in unbelievable ways – even as amazing as literally parting the storms full of tornadic activity to go around our community!  We saw donations come in from unexpected places.  We had businesses offer discounted prices for the event.  We got to talk on the phone with the actual band members and hang out with them before and after the event!

We had no idea what we were doing.  We knew it was a big task.  Yet, it was a desire we couldn’t shake.  So we stepped out in faith and God provided!  Are you ready to see God move some mountains?  Are you ready to see your faith grow in ways you never dreamed possible?  What dream is in your heart?  It doesn’t matter if it seems ridiculous, crazy, far-fetched, impossible, because God is the God of the Impossible!!  Step out!  Do it!  Start working for it!  And when that dream mountain seems to loom in front of you as blocking your path, pray hard for God to move that mountain and watch your dreams come true!!!

Could It Be That You Are The Perfect Parent?

Some of you may know that my husband and I are licensed for foster care.  Our current little guy, that we loving refer to as C-man in public, has been with us for over a year and a half now.  We have had some good times, and we have gone through some ugly times.  All part of the fostering process.  Recently, we have switch to trying to be ultra-consistent with C-man when it comes to consequences. One, so I can try to keep my calm better. And two, to help him connect the dots between behavior and consequences. Sigh. It’s amazing how you can go from normal day to shaking in frustration in 60 seconds.

So many people share with me how they feel like they aren’t the best parents and don’t know how we do what we do. Let me just take a moment to share this – parenting isn’t about doing everything right all the time; it’s about love. As a matter of fact, our children need to see us mess up, get angry, feel sad, shed tears, fail, even hurt others. Sounds crazy right? But it’s in the moments that follow all those things that really teaches our children most skills they need for life. They need to see us fix what we have messed up. They need to see how we act and calm down when we are angry. They need to see us reach out for comfort when we are sad. They need to learn that emotions are real and okay, even when the tears are flowing. They need to see us handle failure and then get up and try again. And they learn the value of humbleness and forgiveness when they see us rectify a wrong we have done to others.

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So, just for moment, give yourself a break. Perfect parents are not those who never find themselves instantly annoyed at something their kids are doing; they are not those who appear happy all the time. Perfect parents are parents who are real people with real moments who show their children that mistakes do not define us but help us to learn and grow. You and I, we love out kids. Our kids know we love them. When they hurt, they come to us. When they fail, they hear our voices telling them it will be okay. And because they have seen us move forward, they can be sure that they can too!!!

So, here’s to imperfect perfection!  Cheers!

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Nikki, The Skinny Wrap Mom

Read my story here.