Monday, June 12, 2017

Entitled or Entrusted?

Have you ever worked with someone who had an "Entitlement" mindset?  Someone who feels everyone around "owes" them something?  Dealing with people like that can be very frustrating!

During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at college, I worked a rather challenging job.  Somehow (they must have been desperate for dependable workers) I was hired to work at one of the most prestigious clothing stores in Pensacola - Sam's Style Shop.

Yes, this severely "fashion-challenged" student was hired to suggest what other women should wear! (Honestly, I can't decide whether to laugh or cringe as I tell you this.  Most of you already know I don't even attempt to dress myself anymore.  The girls put all my outfits together and Frank nods yea or nay.)

Because I was never late and because I never complained about whatever lowly task was assigned, I soon became a favorite with the manager.  Her name was Lu and she was both a fashionista and a bright business woman.

Many times she would whisk me into the office before allowing me on to the sales floor.  A belt added here, a jacket or scarf there.  Once the improved ensemble was created, she would turn me around; nod approval; then shove her "salvaged clothing design" out to sell!

This store catered to wealthy clients.  Those ready to spend some serious money for quality clothing. One lady came in while I was working and purchased an entire wardrobe for her daughter who had just been accepted to Harvard as a law student.

Naturally, all sales associates worked on commission.  We were paid an hourly wage ($2.20 in those days) but the real money for us was in selling entire outfits to the customers.

If they looked at a skirt, we quickly produced the matching jacket and a separate blouse.  If they came in searching for a more casual look, we suggested multiple colors, prints and even accessories. (Fortunately for me, these were usually grouped together making it almost fool proof.)

Our job was to set up each potential buyer in one of the plush dressing rooms then not let them leave that mirrored room until they had settled on an outfit....or two.  Many days my little high heels covered several miles as I ran back and forth to get the different sizes, colors and styles the ladies wanted to try.

This job was not for the faint of heart.

Apparently, I was friendly enough to pull in a few customers.  And like I said, the manager was kind to me. But there was one lady who had worked there for years.  (I can't even remember her name; we'll call her Mary. )

Mary quickly established that I was NOT to approach any of her regulars. I understood and her boundary lines were fine with me.  Only she spent most of her time sitting in the break area and I had no idea which ladies were her patrons.

There were countless times that I would work with a customer, running back and forth; finally bring them right to the point of a sale only to have Mary swoop in and say, "Thanks, Sheri!  This lady has been coming in here for years.  I'll take it from here."

I was young and didn't like correcting anyone older than me; especially not right in front of the buyer. How was I to combat Mary's smooth technique?

Finally, one evening while helping close up, I sheepishly addressed the problem with Lu.  "Aw, Sheri! Mary feels entitled to those sales because she's been here so long.  No, she doesn't do the work.  But her attitude is that she paid her dues years ago and now she expects you to do the leg work and let her coast.  I know it's not fair but she does have seniority.  Just try to avoid getting into it with her."

Fortunately for me, I knew my time working there was only temporary.  But the lesson was one I've carried through life.

When we married, I watched Frank live out the opposite of entitlement thinking. His philosophy has been to never ask anyone to do a task he wasn't willing to do himself.  Even when training someone. You do the work.  You do the work with them.  Let them do the work; you assist and cheer.

Then just this past week as I prepared a sermon about the blessings of God in our lives, I hit on the perfect antidote for living with an attitude of entitlement.

We aren't Entitled - we're Entrusted!

We aren't entitled to all the blessings of a life with Christ.  But incredible blessings have been entrusted to us (His children)  because of His grace and abundant love for us.

He also trusts us to be generous with those blessings and to deal compassionately with others in turn. Understanding God's lavish love causes us to respond with a sense of profound gratitude.  (No room for selfishness there.)

God owes me nothing.  My husband owes me nothing.  My family and friends owe me nothing.  But the love I've been given is generous and I'm a very thankful woman!

Hopefully, Mary had someone that eventually helped her come to understand the great chasm between Entitled and Entrusted.   But you and I can certainly grasp this truth now.

Live today knowing that every relationship and every thing in your life has been entrusted to you.  I promise this perspective will cause your gratitude meter to soar!

Blessings, Entrusted Ones!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Grand Babies

It's graduation time again!

So much joy and laughter, excitement mixed with a few tears.  And always a bit of anxiety for those launching into a "Next Chapter" season of their journey.  But our graduations have only been from K5 and K4 so thankfully, no anxiety for our little graduates.

Spencer walked in his cap and gown on May 23.  (Which just happened to be the same day Noni graduated from high school.......41 years earlier!)  His day of celebration was enhanced because Grandma and Grandpa Schreck were in town to meet baby sister, Ava.

We all arrived early enough to take over the back row with our purses and diaper bags and baby seats and cousins.  There were five lively cousins.  Four grandparents with IPhones.  Three bouncy balloons. Two parents beaming.  And a kindergarten student standing tall.  (Yes, that was a play on 12 Days of Christmas. Read back over it with the song in mind.  It'll make you smile.)

When they called "Spencer Schreck", there was a rather uninhibited cheer that rose loudly from the back row.  (Uncles Nathan and Cody congratulated themselves on causing heads to turn on behalf of their nephew.)

When it was Spencer's turn to take the mic and share his assigned part, he quoted all of John 14:6     without missing a beat.  Linda and I nodded at one another with big grandma tears and concurred that surely our grandson was the most amazing student on that stage!

Last week it was Abby's turn for the spot light.  She sang songs along with her K4 classmates, quoted scriptures and even counted to 100 by fives on her own.

We could hear her raspy little voice above the others when they got to one of her favorite songs, "I am a Pwomis.  I am a pastabilwity.  I am a pwomis wif a capitahl P.  I am a gweat big bunduhl of Potenshealwity."  (Translation: I am a promise.  I am a possibility.  I am a promise with a capital P.  I am a great big bundle of potentiality!)

Abby has no problem attacking words that shouldn't be part of her vocabulary for another few years. She doesn't let pronunciation slow her down one little bit.  I, for one, applaud her fierce bravery.

Several weeks ago, we all had the rare opportunity to eat together at a local restaurant.  As soon as the waiter looked in her direction, Abby piped up, "I'll have a stwahberwy lemalaide, please."  She made eye contact with him and pushed her pink glasses up on her nose for added emphasis.

He graciously stifled a chuckle and answered, "As long as you keep asking so politely, I'll keep them coming for you, little lady!"  And he did.

Zach and Madi have both been up in the middle of all our excitement.  But it's Noah that has one more adorable word story you must hear.

With so much activity and so little time, I joined the girls who had decided to grab a quick lunch before putting the babies down for their naps.  Loading all those precious behinds in carseats is a task not to be taken on by the faint of heart.

While the gathering and loading was taking place I called out over all the babble to the girls, "Hey, why don't we go to Zaxby's or Wendy's today?"

Noah was barreling down the sidewalk in order to answer the summons of his mom before she could reach the discipline point.  But when he heard my suggestion, he wheeled around on his three year old heels, put his little hand in the air with palm facing his own blond head, then waved it with each syllable for emphasis, "But, Noni. Ina go to chikferay!!"  (Translation:  But, Noni!  I want to go to Chick-Fil-a!)

He looked just like a miniature Italian mob boss waving that hand which caused me to burst out laughing.   As soon as I could catch my breath I responded to him,  "Well of course we need to eat at Chick-Fil-a!  Where else would we go?!"

Probably the take away for today's post would be this:  Don't bow to the master of perfection. Celebrate what you can do.  Try a few things that seem over your head.  Your potentiality may surprise even you.

And of course,  you'll need to celebrate with a Stwahberwy Lemalaide of your own!








Friday, May 26, 2017

Together

Every year, about this same time, if you watch the treetops you'll see an amazing thing.  It begins happening in the spring and sometimes goes into early summer.  Every year I know it's surely coming and every year I find myself fascinated, amazed, cheering yet again.

Sheri, what in the world are you going on about?

It's the Power of Together!

You must be watching for it but if you are, you'll witness this phenomenon repeating itself again and again.  I'm talking about the way birds work together to protect their young.  

I've seen it thousands of times and I bet you have, too.  A large, hungry bird swoops in to snatch eggs or even babies from the nest of smaller birds.  But he almost always gets something more than he bargained for.....Fierce Togetherness! 

You see, those smaller parents aren't willing to give up their young without a fight!  I've seen them attack a bird many times their size in order to beat back the threatening predator.  They screech and peck at the monster trying to steal their prized possessions.  

And they attack in tandem.  First the male then the female then the male again. Swirling, diving, pecking, clawing using every resource at their disposal to drive away the thief.

The unsuspecting enemy is first startled then confused.  It seems there's no getting away.  Where did all these other birds come from?  

There aren't other birds.  It's just the power of two working in perfect harmony with a laser sharp focus - "Get the Enemy AWAY from our Young!"  It's a dangerous approach; the smaller birds flinging themselves again and again at the giant bird.  But their offspring are worth the risk!

Besides, he is working alone and they are working TOGETHER!  

I've never seen one of the larger birds swoop back toward the nest. Usually,  it beats a path for the clearest way of escape.  It goes in search of an easier lunch at some nest less diligently defended.

You see, the enemy (in this case) is simply fighting with hunger.  The defenders are fighting with Heart.  They have more at stake and are therefore not afraid to fight with fierce abandon.

I watched a video just yesterday of two birds attacking a grown man standing on a bridge.  He unwittingly walked too close to the nest and they went after him again and again with no apparent concern for their own safety.

AMAZING!

There is a scripture that explains this fascinating practice: 
      "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor;
          If either of them falls down, one can help the other up."  
                   (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

 How wonderful it would be if we humans would adopt the principle of TOGETHER!  
  • Fighting together for our children!
  • Standing together for our marriages!
  • Applauding together for our extended families!
  • Cheering together for those who choose right!
  • Praying together for our nations and world!
"Two are better than one...."

It seems our world today champions the individual more and more.  "You did it all on your own!"  "You took the prize!"  "I sure did!  Look at ME!"

But the wisdom of the ages says, "Don't go life alone.  It's better to face the struggles together with another.  Then if you fall down (or even lose heart),  there's someone to help." 

You may see some giant ominously approaching on the horizon.  Don't despair!  Grab a friend, hit your knees and attack TOGETHER in prayer.  

Maybe your thought is, "That's a great concept, Sheri.  But I literally have no one who can fight with me."

Then may I encourage you to find a scripture addressing your particular battle point and begin reading it aloud every time you are concerned.  Who better to fight with you than the Creator of the Universe?

Every time we pray His words (scripture), we're declaring that we stand with Him.  God stood with David against Goliath; with Moses against Pharaoh; with Esther against her enemy, Haman.  The list goes on but you get the idea.

Scripture describes our Heavenly Father as a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  I know that to be true from personal experience.    

You may have to be fierce in your approach but remember your objective.  Some of you are battling for your children, some for your marriage,  others for health issues or work concerns.  Keep fighting! Don't forget for a minute that your prayers are creating confusion for the enemy you face.  

And as you employ the tactic of "together," the promise is, "[together] you have a good return for your labor." 

Believing with you today.  Push back that enemy......TOGETHER!


Monday, May 22, 2017

Clear Direction

In 2015, I experienced a true Miracle!

I needed direction about a potential missions trip and God gave it to me.  This morning a picture came up on Facebook to remind me of just how miraculous that was.  Let me tell you about it.......

Many of you know how our wonderful church family decided for Christmas of 2014 to bless us with the surprise of a trip to Israel (for the following spring.)  It was a lifetime dream of ours to visit the Holy Land and our joy was uncontainable while preparing.

By January (2015,)  it was decided Frank and I would leave for Israel in April, right after Easter.   Every time I remember it, a bit of excitement still rumbles up from my tummy and bursts out as a big, silly grin on my face.  I'm telling you, getting to go to Israel was one of the highlights of my life. (And yes, we do hope to return some day.)

So in late January, I got a message from a dear missionary friend in Spain.  "Sheri, would you consider coming to speak for our women's retreat in May?  We would also like for you to preach for our international church and do other Bible studies, etc. while here.  Could you do that?"

Could I do that?  Let's think about this:

  • I love to preach anywhere/anytime!
  • She had mentioned this possibility the year before.
  • I had immediately wanted to go.
  • SPAIN??!!!
Any other time it would have been a "No Brainer!" as my kids often say.  But the fact that this retreat followed so closely on the heels of our trip to Israel made it seem impossible.

I wrote back to Brandi explaining our dilemma and asked if the dates for her retreat were flexible. She responded right away that they could push it to the end of May but no later because of the camp facilities where it was held.

Frank (who's always up for an adventure) said, "Absolutely you should go.  What's to think about?" But still I wrestled with what would be the wise choice.  It's long been my philosophy in many matters, "Just because I can doesn't automatically mean I should!"

  • Just because I can squeeze into this dress, doesn't mean I should.
  • Just because I can hit that high note, doesn't mean I should.
  • Just because I can tell you off, doesn't mean I should.
Not a bad philosophy to adopt, right?

So fast forward to the end of February, 2015.  It's crunch time for deciding about Spain.  "Lord, I need a definite word of direction from You on this.  I just can't seem to decide.  Please, help me!" It was my constant prayer for about a week.

In the pre-dawn darkness of Sunday morning, I was doing a quick devotion.  A soft light shown on these words in my Bible, "I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain......Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem.....so after I have completed this....I will go to Spain."  (Romans 15:23-28)

I was speechless!

I walked into the bedroom as Frank was putting on his coat to leave.  "Honey, look what I just read." I handed over my Bible, still in shock.

He read it then looked up with his characteristic grin, "Told you you should go.  Can't get much clearer than that, Sheri."

So that very day we set the wheels in motion.  Other miracles took place along the way making it even more apparent that this was God's plan all along.  

It just so happens that this morning I am again wrestling with a decision about opportunities in front of me.  "What is the wise choice, Lord?  Direct me, please."  And it just so happened that my scheduled reading was again Romans 15.  Then it just so happened that I opened Facebook to find this picture from our miracle trip to Spain.  Wow!  

In case you aren't sure, let me remind you of something,  The Heavenly Father loves YOU just as much as He loves me and He WILL direct you, too if you ask.  Watch for it.  It will be different with each of us.  But His promise is this - when we call, He will answer!  

Clear Direction is available for us all.  Just ask.....

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ava Quinn

Our own little Ava Quinn has arrived!!  Mother and baby are healthy and happy, Thank the Lord!

Joy was convinced she would be the smallest of all their children because she's gained so little weight with Ava.  Nope!  At 21.5 inches long and 9 pounds 5 ounces, she surpassed them all.

She looks just like the others.  Still no features like our side of the family - none.  But the rich dark hair and almond shaped eyes won our hearts immediately whether they looked like us or not.

Her name means, "Life of Wisdom."  Isn't that a wonderful thing to call a child every single day? "Come here, 'Life of Wisdom.'  It's time to clean your room."

Of course, her name also connects her to Abby (both starting with A) who feels Ava is her own personal baby doll.  Abby has been over-the-moon excited about having a baby sister ever since we found out Ava was a girl.  We captured a precious video of Abby quietly singing "Jesus Loves Me" to Ava when they first met at the hospital.

Spencer fills the role of Biggest Brother so well.  He held her like a pro and kept giving us reports on her special coos and grunts.  Even Zach reached out timidly to put his hand on Ava's dark hair. He mostly wanted to sit snuggled close to Mommie while she held Baby Ava.

John and Joy now have four children.  A big family by today's national average of 1.75 children per household. But it's been Joy's declaration since she was a little girl.  "I'll have two children or four. But I will NOT have three." (Guess being the middle child had a real impact on her.)  And yes, it's boy, girl, boy, girl.  Spencer - 6; Abby - almost 5; Zach - almost 2; Ava - three days.

Joy really is the hero of the day in the thinking of all who know her.  Even with contractions that had her doubling over the last couple of weeks before delivery, she kept rolling along.  There were lunches to pack, youth activities to attend, Mother's Day to celebrate.  She even managed to keep the house together while Frank and Nathan helped John paint most of their downstairs this month.

Of course with her knack for all that wise mothering, she also knew how to unhook and completely focus on Ava once she arrived.  All four births have been by caesarean section which means: newborn baby, return to nursing, mothering three others AND recovering from major surgery.  Yep, we call her Wonder Woman!

Sadly, John came down with strep throat and had to leave the hospital.  But when you have a family this big all around you who knows how to juggle - you manage.  Every wife would prefer her husband be there to care for her after the birth of a baby and Joy is no different.  But I must admit, being with her those two days at the hospital became a treasured memory I'll long hold dear.

Everyone had an assigned task to complete.  Kristin and Cody spent the nights and deposited the oldest at school then headed off to their jobs.  Meagan took the day shift wrangling her own two along with Zach, Abby, then Spencer.  Papa kept Joy supplied with new snacks each evening.  Uncle Nathan even took Noah and Madi home the night Meagan had to stay at the hospital with Joy. Whew!

It's been a crazy ride this week but then, that's our life.  We don't live every day as though we're all wise.  But with Ava Quinn around to remind us, I'll bet there will be more wise days than foolish.

 


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gold, Real Gold

Mom and I were watching a western movie on TV one rainy, Saturday afternoon when I was just a teenager.  Halfway through, the hero of the movie was being encouraged to abandon the mine where he and others had been working.  "It's hopeless," said the villain.  "Give it up!  You'll never find anything anyway."

At that very moment an old man, weathered and leathery-looking, came hobbling out of the saloon. He had heard the conversation and knew it looked hopeless but he also knew that with hard work, success was possible.  (Apparently, the villain just wanted the mine for himself.)  The old fella declared boldly in a pinched, uneducated voice, "Thar's gold in them thar hills!!"  His statement (so funny sounding) immediately became a by-line for Mom and me.

If I faced something that required more work than I originally thought but the reward would be great, Mom would look at me, wink one eye and in her best imitation of the old miner she'd say, "Thar's gold in them thar hills, Sheri!"  (In other words, keep working.  Don't give up now!)

If I found Mom quietly crying because of some disappointment, I would slide up beside her, give her my best daughter hug and whisper, "Thar's gold in them thar hills, Mama."  She would start chuckling even if the tears weren't quite finished.  "Well I sure hope I find some soon," she often answered.

I hadn't thought of our little inside joke for a long time, until this morning when I struck gold.  I'll have to back up a bit to explain.

We purchased our current home eleven years ago.  We had just become pastors in FL after serving as evangelists for six years.  During the evangelist years, we lived in a forty-foot RV.  I can assure you that living as a family in 400 square feet helps you know what household items are important and which ones you can live without.

Moving from the RV back to a full-sized home left me with quite a few vacant spots.  We needed everything from beds and bedding, to living room furniture, lamps, decorations, even a shower curtain.  Needless to say, I was constantly on the look out for inexpensive ways to fill our household.

The young man we bought our house from was a bachelor engaged to be married.  The house had been, for him, simply an investment so his furnishings were rather sparse as well.  At the walk through, I noticed a lovely set of dishes he had just sitting against one wall.

"Those are beautiful," I commented.

"One of the ladies in my church gave them to me," he said.  "We won't use them.  Would you like them?"

Although dishes weren't actually on my list, I really liked the look of them and answered, "Sure!"  It was a complete service for eight and FREE.  If I didn't use them, one of the girls probably would. The dishes promptly went into storage in the garage.

Fast forward to my season of purging and reorganizing - that would be now.  The dishes I've been using for everyday ware are lovely but after five years of constant service they were showing their age.  I decided to sell them in the yard sale we had and start looking around for a replacement set.

That's when I remembered the dishes in storage.

They would do just fine as my temporary set.  Only problem, our family has grown to 13 and we would need more dishes.  I went online to search out where to pick up a few more pieces.  That's when the discovery was made.

The simple blue and white plates, cups, saucers and such that had been sitting in dark storage bins for eleven years are actually a fine grade of willow ware made in Stafforshire, England.  It's known as the Winston Churchill collection.

The meat platter alone cost over $300!  I was in total shock.  I had no idea such exquisite and expensive beauty had been hidden away in my garage, serving no one all these years.

This morning as I carefully unpacked, washed and shelved the Winston Churchill collection,  my mind whirled with so many unanswered thoughts:

  • Who was the original owner?
  • Was it a set slowly collected or perhaps wedding dishes for some young bride?
  • Were they often used or seldom?
  • Was there laughter around their table, too?
  • Why did the lady give them to the bachelor?
  • Was no one in her family interested in them?
  • Did no one appreciate their value?
As always, the Lord used my ponderings to whisper a truth to my heart.  "Sheri, there are pockets of gold hidden all around you.  You must have eyes to see it and a willingness to work at mining the gold.  Appreciate what I've placed in your hands."

For me, that translates to:
  • Watch for the people around you who are pure gold.  They may be quiet and you may have to mine their gifts.  But appreciate them; see them!
  • Watch for the moments of gold.  A pat on the face from tiny jam hands.  A tender kiss good-bye.  A hug from a true friend.  A casual, "Love you, Mom!"
  • Watch for the golden life lessons.  Hardships that made you stronger.  Lonely times that push you toward friends.  Answered prayers that remind you of God's faithfulness.  
All this from a revived set of dishes.  

I wish Mom were here this Mother's Day to marvel with me over this amazing story.  I wish she and I could share some coffee using the finely crafted cups.  I wish I could eat one of her wonderful meals served on the rich blue and white pattern.  That can't happen.  

But I can imagine the twinkle in her eye and the wink as she would surely look sideways at me and say,  "Never stop looking, Sheri.  Thar's gold in them thar hills!"

Here's praying you'll find the gold waiting to be discovered in your own life!










Sunday, April 30, 2017

Favorite of all Time

April is, without a doubt, my favorite month!

The past 30 days have been, without a doubt, my least favorite April in many years.

However, when you are an optimist by nature and you see you're at the final day of your favorite month and you would truly like to finish said month on a high note, you reach for the rainbow to record. (Longest run-on sentence in the world.  If any of my former students are reading, I apologize.)

So I thought I'd share with you a few moments from this month where I sensed joy and fulfillment. With such a big family, it's not difficult to find "smile moments."  We just need to be careful to notice and record them so they don't slip away like a wisp of wind.

Noah got a new style hair cut for Easter and is very pleased with how grown up he looks.  At three and a half, he's quite the little man.  "Noni!  Noni, do you yike my heya?"  Huge grin followed by a coy turn of the chin to maximize Noni's viewing of the special, new style.

"I like it very much," and I reach to touch his white blond head.  He suddenly bobs and weaves like a boxer while shouting, "No, don't tosh it, Noni!  It will mesh up."  Then he squeezes me tightly around the knees and runs off to catch his cousins.

It was my privilege this past week to be part of John and Joy's bedtime ritual with their children.  (Joy needed an extra set of hands for bedtime as John was working late and Ava takes up a lot more energy these days.)  Joy directed while Noni helped change a diaper, locate pjs, monitor teeth being brushed and so on.  I even got to read the Bible story.

My favorite part was "Thankfuls."  Just before prayers, everyone says what they're thankful for from the day.  "I'm thankful I gotted to go on my feeld twip!" (Abby- 4) "I'm thankful Ava stayed put one more day." (Joy - 38 weeks pregnant)  "I'm thankful we got to play outside."  (Spencer - 6)  "I'm thankful I got to be with you tonight."  (Noni - 110 in childhood's eyes)

The children were so quick with their responses and totally natural.  It was easy to tell this is part of every bedtime for them.  What a wonderful habit it would be for us all as we wrap up each day.  To purposefully shift focus from ourselves and to remember that no matter what the day held, there was something to be grateful for.

One of my favorite moments from this month actually happened at the memorial service for Dad Hawley.  Grandma had asked our girls to sing like they did for Grandaddy while he was in the hospital.  So they put together a hymn medley and practiced while driving to NC.

Cody, Kristin's husband, drove while the girls sang, slept and shared funny memories.  By the time they arrived, he felt like he knew everyone even though it was his first visit to Dunn.  (The other two husbands stayed home, worked their jobs and took care of the children in order to make the trip easier for their wives.  Good men all around!)

The medley was a lovely arrangement of three hymns and during the sound check everyone's voice was strong and clear.  But when they started to sing for the memorial, Joy realized they all had cried at some point except Kristin.  She had been too busy taking care of everyone else.

They sang all the way through Great Is Thy Faithfulness with rich tones.  But just as Kristin started the lead of, "We shall behold Him..." her own tears began to flow.  Meagan had stepped away from the microphone to sign that portion of the song.  Joy had already started with the harmony notes.

Without missing a beat, sitting in the pew right behind me, Cody started softly singing Kristin's part.  It was almost as if he was willing her to have the strength to carry on.

You have to understand that Cody doesn't normally sing.  He's the tech guy.  The one who puts words on the screen; balances the microphones; creates graphics.  He doesn't sing.

It was his heart rushing to the side of his bride in her moment of need.  He couldn't physically stand beside her but he could whisper the words and timidly catch matching notes while reaching to encourage the one he loves.  And sure enough, after two or three lines, Kristin was able to step back to the mic and continue.

The girls finished strong.  Words and melodies from time-honored hymns bringing comfort to the hearts of all those present. And this mama had yet another reason for loving her newest son.

It's true.  2017 didn't bring my favorite April of all time but there were moments in it for me to rehearse with gratitude.  And so these are my Thankfuls!






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