Not my will......

Sunday, April 28, 2013

There is something I have to get off my chest.  It really is not just directed at one group of people, it is directed to all of us who consider ourselves to be "in" ministry.  This includes me.  With that disclaimer I digress...
"I just need God to direct my steps into the ministry He wants me to do."  "God, bless me in MY ministry so that You may be glorified."  "I am just waiting for God to open the doors so the dreams He has placed in my heart can be fulfilled."   Any of these sound familiar?  I have been guilty of using phrases very close to, if not dead on to these.  Dear church of America, WAKE UP!  We have people all around us that are suffering, alone, hurt, abused, abandoned, searching for God and we are worried that "our" ministry will not grow enough this quarter.  It is shameful.  Where in scripture does it tell us that God is obliged to make sure WE feel like OUR talents are used in the absolute way WE want them to be used.  Where in scripture does it tell us that if WE work hard enough, know the right people, sing the right songs, play enough shows, preach the right messages, plan the right services that people will be saved?  When did we get so off track of the simplicity of the Gospel?  When did we decide that it was more important for us to have big congregations than for the one "lost sheep" to be found?  There is something wrong with a mindset that wants to "fill seats" in order to "have the biggest" church in town, but most of those seat fillers are people who are just out "church shopping" and have been at almost every church in the tri-state area to see if it is "the right fit."  All the while we can walk just outside of our beautifully manicured church parking lots and everywhere our eyes look there are people who need Jesus.
I am not against using the above things,( our talents, programs etc) to reach out to people who need Jesus, but when they are manipulated to be used to stroke egos or to just fill a "vision statement" that we have of having 2,000 people attending our church services it breaks my heart.  It makes me ashamed.  It makes me cry out to God to change me, to change us, to wake us up and to pour out on us the heart of God.
This morning I was reading in Matthew 4 about when Jesus called His first disciples.  I began to think about each one of the individuals He called to follow Him.  Have you ever stopped to consider the absolute diversity in that group?  I mean just take Peter and Matthew.  Peter was a fisherman.  He was the hardworking, manual labor, get sweaty and earn your living man.  Then, here comes Matthew.. a tax collector to add to the mix.  I can imagine that the two of them might not have exactly liked one another at first.  But Jesus called them both.  He called them to leave their old professions (the ones they had accepted as their lives work) and said "follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."  He did not promise them that they would be the worlds best fishermen, fame and fortune, a "Sea of Galilee" rod and reel endorsement deal..or their face on "Tax collector of the Year" magazine, with wealth and power.  Jesus has a way of taking what WE think is so important and showing us how little importance it actually has.  I want to be able to not be afraid to trust Him and be willing to lay down any of my "plans" or "aspirations" in order to have Him direct my steps.  That does not mean He won't use us in the areas we think, it just means that we can not expect God to bend to our plans, or to what we think is important.

Really feeling the urgency to shed any and all "plans" I have built for myself and truly lay them at the feet of Jesus.  Lead me God.

a little peek...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I thought it would be appropriate to post a little glimpse into a little of what I have been writing for my book.. this small passage keeps playing in my head over and over. Just posting for my benefit I guess.  Who knows, maybe someone else can relate..

 I think every little girl at some point has the fantasy of a prince rescuing her.  No matter how "hard core" or "non girly" we are, deep down we think this scenario out.  For me I cast my birth dad into that role.  He was going to come and rescue me and my brother.  I would look at my step dad sometimes and imagine just as he was going to hit us my birth dad would burst through the door and demand in a very Clint Eastwoodesque way, “Get your hands off of my children!”  We would then run to him “Oh, Daddy!  Thank you!  You found us!”  It was literally my security blanket anytime I felt the harsh coldness from my step dad.  Sometimes, when we were outside playing and my step dad was at work I would tell my step sisters and brothers “Your dad is not my dad!  My Dad is going to come and get me!”  I would puff up and then continue to cross the backyard to meet my “real” brother.  My step sisters, who were maybe 5 would cry and that would make me feel really good.  “Ha!”  I would say to myself.  “Let them cry!  Now they can feel like I do!  NOT special and not wanted.”  I would catch myself smirking.  “I AM wanted!  You hear me!”  I would shout to them.  But they were already headed inside the house to tell our mom.  I didn’t care.  My dad did want me.  He did love me.  He did..right?
     One day out of the blue the phone rang and when my mom picked it up her face looked odd.  I don’t remember what she said but I do remember my step dad saying “Hang up!  Now!”  My mom did and a few minutes later the phone rang again.  My step dad answered this time and his words do not come to my memory but it was clear by his tone and body language that he was pissed off.    He slammed the phone on the kitchen counter and motioned with a grand gesture for me to pick up the phone.  I had no idea what was going on but I knew if I knew what was good for me I would pick up the phone.  My mind was swimming as I heard myself stutter a meek “Hello?”   “Is this Heather?”   I heard a mans voice ask.  I looked up at my step dad almost as if to ask permission to answer the question that I felt he had heard.  I must have not spoken for a long time because the voice started saying “Hello?  Are you there? Hello?”  “Yes.”  I felt like I had just broken a law by answering.  “Heather, do you know who this is?”  He asked.  “No?”  I anwered in a question and looked up to my step dad for his approval of it.  “ I am Mike.”  He spoke with a weird familiarity.  “Your..”  He slowed his words as if to make sure I understood him.  “Your father.”  My eyes must have shown some glimmer of light because my stepdad pushed past me and hissed some vulgar words.  My mom just stood there, frozen not smiling but not frowning either, just blank.  I really don’t remember too much of the rest of the conversation except he told me he was sending a birthday gift to me.  He also told me a lot about himself and all the music he wrote and that he was on the radio.  I  remember smiling a lot when he told me that.  I remember thinking “My dad is famous!”  “Wait until I tell the other kids at school!”  He finished up the covorsation by asking to talk to my brother.  What I DO remember is that he never said I love you.  I remember thinking “He must be scared that my step dad will hurt me more if he tells me he loves me.”  I smiled and handed the phone to my brother. 
     I stood by and tried to over hear my brothers conversation with our birth dad but really all I could hear was my brothers muffled responses.  It seemed to me that everyone else in the kitchen was evesdropping as well.  “My dad called me!”  “My dad is on the radio!”  I kept thinking these things over and over again to myself.  Each time I repeated it I would imagine myself in a fancy car with my dad going to his radio job.  

prayer please..

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I am sitting outside on my porch and honestly do not even know how to start this post.  I feel like I have been punched in the gut and I can't shake the sick feeling in my stomach.  There are so many moments in our lives that we take for granted.  There are so many little small still voices that whisper to us that we just ignore and chalk up to emotion or think we can get to it later.  Two nights ago I felt like I was supposed to email my birth dad and tell him thank you for congratulating us on the birth of Luke.  I felt like I was supposed to reach out.. but I didn't.  I don't know why, I just put it off and felt like I was so tired that once the baby got settled that I would.
This morning I received a call that caught me off guard, blindsided me really.  I found out that my birth father, Mike Holder Sr. had been in a car accident this morning and was killed instantly.  I can not even begin to process this information.  I have been crying for what seems like 3 hours straight and just can not seem to stop.  Mike Holder Sr. was not a part of my life.  He and I did not have a close relationship..but he is my father.  I ask that you all would pray for his family, he has three other children besides my older brother and I and they are all in high school and younger.  I know they must be so devistated.   I ask that you pray for me as well, that God would help me process all of this and not have saddness and regret take over.  I mourn for the loss that took place a long time ago that now will never in this life have a chance for closure.  I do know that Mike Holder Sr. is in heaven.  I am grateful and at peace about that.

Thank you for your prayers,


New baby and all tha...zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

For starters I would like to go on the record as saying that even though it has been 8 years since my last child was born that it is comforting to know that some things never change.  That certain things in life remain true to form and never seem to make you go "OH .. that's new".  Take sleep deprecation for instance.. it still stinks I see.  Little Luke is a really good baby and for the most part sleeps pretty good.. for an infant that is. For the most part I have been caught off guard by the newness of a baby in the house.  It has been so long it feels almost like Luke is our first all over again.  I found myself sanitizing the cart at Target.  I did not even do that for Gideon, but apparently I am a tad over-protective of this little guy.  I even told dad to "watch the soft spot" on his head.   Yes, yes.. I was THAT mom.  It is so sweet to watch my other two "older" kids just love on Luke.  They have been so great with him.  Skye was actually in the room when Luke was born and she said it was the most amazing experience she has ever had in her life.  It was touching to hear her squeal with delight as he was being born.  She was literally jumping up and down and giggling.  It is a moment I will always cherish.  Gideon, who did NOT want to be in the room..came in minutes later and met his brother.  He was overwhelmed and even sat down in a chair and just tears came down his face.  Boys process things so much more differently.  Gideon then came over and held his brother and pretty much does not want to put him down at all now.  Tim, who is my hero everyday..was once again there for me and held my hand as we welcomed a new life into the world and into our family.  We all gathered around and prayed for Luke and sang him Happy Birthday.. I am still waiting on the cake ;-)

The first weeks of mommyhood can be rough.  If anyone tries to tell you otherwise they are lying to you and are probably laughing at you.  It is not all rainbows, butterflies and sparkles.. although with sleep deprivation you WILL "see" these things but as soon as you start getting regular sleep again the hallucinations usually do go away.. if not .. well, see your doc.

Thank you all for your prayers and your well wishes to me and my family on the birth of our sweet baby Luke.  I will try to keep you updated and have some new posts for you very soon!