When a Man Loves a Woman–Thankful Thursday

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Tonight my husband did another thing in that long list of things that he does best. He helped me. Actually that’s an understatement. Because the truth is, he did almost all the work. I helped him. You can almost see him in the picture above. He’s sort of in the shadows behind the angel that’s behind Mary and Joseph.

Earlier this afternoon I texted him asking, “Do you think you could stop by the church after work and help me put the nativity up?”

His reply, “O.K.”

Man of few words.

Around the end of November, he helped me and our 6th graders as we lugged “the family” out of the garage and freshened them up with a coat of paint. He made us a few new camel’s ears, tightened some loose screws and went on a search for the stakes we had apparently lost–again–that would help keep Mary, Joseph and the wise guys from falling over in the wind.

So he came by after work as I was beginning to put Mary and Joseph in their places! With my wrist still healing from the summer’s VBS break, there was no way I could hammer the stakes into the partially frozen rocky ground.

But he could. And he did. In the cold. Never complaining. Mary, Joseph, three camels, two angels, and three wisemen. I have no idea what happened to the shepherds. I don’t remember that we ever had shepherds, or sheep, but we have some pretty cool camels! (Which, btw, we did not put up on “hump day”, but that would have been pretty funny!)

And that is the man I am thankful for, not just on Thursdays, but every day.

He is the man who loves me unconditionally with all my crazy ideas. Trebuchet?? No problem. Toy Story themed rehearsal dinner? How can I help, honey?! (Yeah, there’s my wedding shout out for today!) Hang fake stone wall throughout the entire church? We’ll need a ladder. Hammer the holy family into frozen ground? O.K.

Drive 7 hours for a 2 hour soccer game? Let’s go! Invite a myriad of college students into our home? No problem. Repurpose furniture for the boy? Sure! Dance, twirl and spin? He gave it a try!

Listen to me when I’m frustrated, tired, and silly? Yup. Listen to me when I still have 3,800 of my 5,000 words a day left to go? (Did I mention he’s a little hard of hearing!) Allow me to travel to speak, teach, share, and encourage, even when it’s not always convenient? Uh-huh.

He is willing to eat sandwiches for dinner, embrace the leftover (he calls them scraps) and keep quiet when I chose Christmas cookies and tea for my dinner tonight.

The truth is that this man is THE BEST! and I am overwhelmingly thankful for him. He is a little quiet, a lot strong, totally humble and faithfully mine.

Why? Because these are the things a man does when he loves a woman. It makes him live differently. He puts my needs before his, and does all he can to make me look good. He encourages me and helps me shine, and when necessary he tells me “no,” every now and then, because he cares more about what is really best for me than what may seem best or what I may want at the time.

This weekend when we were at the wedding, I heard these same thoughts shared, and I watched our son model these same traits. Traits I see in his dad and that I see our first son live out with his wife, and it made me think that this Thursday, I’m not the only Farris wife who is thankful–giving me even one more reason to be thankful!

And I hope your Thursday is filled with thankfulness as well!

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Tim, who I am always thankful for, with me and Trevor, before the wedding.

Why VBS Is Still A Very Good Thing–Thankful Thursday

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There’s a lot of talk these days about whether or not to continue with Vacation Bible Schools. Our church, for one, has taken a couple of VBS breaks recently. Yet, this year, we chose to once again invest our resources into a great week of ministry within our community. Here are some of the reasons why we believe VBS is still a very good thing:

1–Kids get to hear about Jesus

2–Grownups get to hear about Jesus

3–The church is unified

4–Excitement is created

5–Great cookies

6–Kids learn about missions like never before

7–Generational ministry happens in a powerful way

8–New people connect; old people do, too

9–Lives are changed; people are saved

10–Passion is stirred

Granted not all these things may happen in every church. But, that doesn’t negate the fact that these things do happen and when they do, God is glorified and the kingdom is strengthened. And that, is still, and will always be, a very good thing! I’m thankful for that truth, and for the people who use their gifts and talents to serve Christ through VBS’s around the world. And on this Thursday, that makes me very thankful. (That and the fact that clean up is just about done!)

Oh! And one other reason . . . who doesn’t like slime???!!

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Andrew the Guard getting slimed at VBS

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VBS team members and me at closing night.

You may have some other great reasons why your church still does VBS or why your kids love VBS. Feel free to share!

Winnie the Pooh Was So Smart–Thankful Thursday

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“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”–Winnie the Pooh

That Winnie the Pooh was so smart!

I recently saw this quote on a friend’s Facebook page. Recently, as in the day after we returned home from dropping the son off to start a new phase in his life in a new, great place, recently. Not only did we say goodbye to him for a while, so did his fiancé, and just a few days before that he and his college friends (plus a couple of high school buddies) said their “see ya later mans”.

We also had to say good bye to our future daughter in law, our “fake adopted” daughter Tiphani, and The Rumseys–a precious couple, friends of the aforementioned son, as they headed off to a church plant in Florida.

Of course, last year we said goodbye to another son who headed out to the vast unknown of Russia, and at Christmas we told him good bye again as he headed back “home.” This time, we had a daughter in law to say good bye to as well.

Each time, my heart was oh-so-sad, even though it knew the good byes had to come, and they were all part of the plan. It was still hard, and on some days will continue to be hard as we are so far away from those we love and have come to love so much.

BUT. . . “How lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

How lucky, indeed, to have met and loved these precious people who have made our lives richer even in the short times we have known them. We are lucky, indeed, thankful for sure, and better forever because of the blessings of friends and family in our lives. All of which make this a very Thankful Thursday!

(The Winnie the Pooh above is the Russian Winnie the Pooh, in case you were wondering!)

HyperSmash.com

Thankful Thursday–Justin Graves Band

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Last week I stumbled upon Justin and Michelle Graves of the Justin Graves Band and their CD “Live to Love” at the Children’s Ministry Expo in St. Louis. “Live to Love” was created for families, taking scriptures and putting them to music that everyone can enjoy. It’s not too grown up for kids, and it’s not too kid like for grownups. It’s pretty great mini van fair, and a fabulous way to help you and your kids put Scripture into your hearts. Justin and Michelle are allowing God to lead them as they lead others in worship at churches, conferences and at events like VBS, camps and retreats.

I love that they are helping us to hide God’s Word in our hearts, allowing it to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths. Last fall, they released “Hymns,” an accoustic set of classics with a slightly updated twist. Again, I am thankful for their heart to introduce new generations of families to the worship music of the generations that have gone before us.

Find them at Facebook or you can check out their music on iTunes, and their ministry (with opportunities to book them for your church) on their website at http://www.justingravesband

I’m thankful to have crossed paths with them, and I hope you find yourself thankful for that pleasure to.