I spent the weekend in Dallas, and lemme tell ya, it was not perfect. Now, I'm not saying that it was awful or that I wasn't blessed out of my mind on the trip, but I am saying that being there was hard for me a lot of the time. That's the thing about me... I love very deeply. I could literally FEEL his presence because I hadn't been in such proximity in so many months. Obviously, that killed me. Thankfully, I was blanketed in prayer the entire time I was there, and so I only cried a little and never for extended periods of time or in public. God is good like that. Renee has a verse she's claimed for me, and I think it helps:
...to provide comfort for all who mourn, and to provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness, instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. Isaiah 61:2b-4
When I wasn't feeling betrayed by my heart, I was filling it with time with some of my favorite people! Friday night I got in way late, so dinner at the Stock's was cancelled. I did get to see Liz and Tom and Shan and Ashleigh (hooray! I finally met her and she is WONDERFUL!!) though, which was very nice. Saturday was my beloved Bunny's 25th birthday. Megan stopped by after class for a little bit, which was fantastic because we never see each other! We did a lot of wedding stuff, which was a huge relief for Bunny. We finalized the ceremony order, picked all the ceremony music, and edited the programs. Then we went to dinner at Cuba Libre with my aunt and uncle. SO YUMMY!!!! Unfortunately, Bunny was exhausted and passed out before 10. Crystal had invited me out for her birthday, so I gladly accepted. Unfortunately, she told me the wrong location, so I didn't see her. But Chris and Karen had already agreed to meet me, then Shan and Ashleigh followed. Jaeger Bombs. lol! SO MUCH FUN! On Sunday, we did more wedding stuff. We picked all the reception songs and filled out the paperwork for the DJ. That may not sound like much, but it took us 4 hours. Then, after a touch of the drama, we established a list of needs and quantities for the bar. That was also no small feat. We rounded out the wedding stuff with a trip to David's Bridal so the bride could see the dresses her maids would be wearing (she is pleased) and a trip to Whole Foods to pick out flowers for the bouquets. We celebrated our productivity with some chicken nuggets watching the Super Bowl (I picked the Steelers last week, so I'm feeling awesome). After the game, I hugged my family (meaning Bunny, her fiance', and his Beast son) and headed out. I stopped by the Stock's house on the way, because I couldn't bear to not see Christina. We planted strawberries and giggled and it was the best possible ending.
God treated me to a beautiful show for almost my entire drive home. There was a thunderstorm passing to the south, which I never hit - I was always just behind it - and the lightning was high in the clouds and just spectacular! It was frequently orange (my favorite!!) and just amazing. I got home, slept a little, and prepped for my day of errands and a night of Ross!
All in all, I would not say that I am feeling particularly happy these days. However, I am striving to feel FULL. I am blessed every single day by the friends and family I have, by the church that I belong to and the involvement I have there, and that helps. I was reminded when I left Dallas how BIG my sweet Lord is. I saw a billboard. Usually I think those billboards are cheesy and ridiculous, but to be feeling hurt and see a reminder that God can do and save ANYTHING was exactly what I needed at that exact moment. Then He put on that show for me, and really, it was a wonderful little drive home.
Next week I strive to put to good use the gift I was given a week ago. One of the sweet ladies in my Bible study group bought my workbook for me. I thanked her by missing class last week and this week. GARK! I need to be a more powerful praying woman, so I need to get my butt to class!
Tonight is week 2 of Alpha. We're praying like crazy for all the seekers who are coming. Last week, everyone in my small group (I'm helping to lead a group) was already a believer. God can and will do awesome work through this course, and we're all praying hard for that. If you have a minute, would you pray for that, too?
And finally, my sweet sweet kids on Sunday mornings. I missed them so much this weekend!! We just finished a unit on the miracles of Christ and now we're starting one on God the Healer. Friends, God is about to blow my mind, I can just feel it. Because WHOA do I need some healing. And He's already shown me how much He enjoys teaching me through those kiddos. Oh, I am as ready as I'll ever be for this.
Have a great week, y'all. And keep drinking water. :-)