Church Chat

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Camping Withdraw

Well, I did it. I took down my tent after having it up for 2 weeks, and I never got to sleep in it. I thought I would get to at least once, but the weather wouldn't cooperate, or my schedule wouldn't adjust. Ah well, I'll be ok. I'm glad it's supposed to rain this week because the spot where my tent once sat is now a nice yellow-green. It needs the air and the rain so it doesn't dry up and die. It will fix itself because nature is good at mending itself. Today I'm supposed to go to a track meet for one of my youth, but if the rain holds up I know they'll cancel this one. He's pretty excited about this meet, so for my youth's sake I hope the sun comes out. I'm feeling very positive about this week and all the planning I've had to do for IYC and for different functions for the church. I feel that God is blessing me and my church in many ways. The new building project has begun and so there's a huge dirt pile where the parking lot used to be. I think it's going to be a little tricky getting into the church for the next few weeks, but it will be worth it in the end. I hope people realize that. This weekend I have another wedding to sing for and I'm pretty excited about it because it's for a friend I haven't seen in 7 years. She called out of the blue to ask me to sing, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I can't wait to see her and the rest of our friends. It's going to be a mini high school reunion. :o) Well, I should stop here so I can finish getting things together for work. God bless!!!

Monday, April 25, 2005

It All Adds Up!

Ok, someone slap my hands if I want to go out for dinner or go shopping in the next month. Today was my bill-paying day, and oh my goodness, I need a bit more control. I don't normally have a shopping problem, but it seems that lately I have. It didn't hit me until the last time Kari and I had to fill our LP tank this past winter. That costs a lot and I wasn't expecting it, and ever since then my money has been kind of tight. Not so tight that I can't live, obviously, but just enough to make me think twice about spending. Ah well, God is good and He's given me the money to pay the bills despite that. I'm not complaining, just simply stating a fact. You can't spend money for bills on things you don't need. It's a simple fact that I normally cling to very tightly, but it seems I didn't last month. It will all even itself out again. Not a big deal at all. I just hate it when I'm not sensable. It's not like me. God has taught me a lesson, and I guess that's what this mess is about. Sometimes His lessons don't come easy to us, but we still learn and know He is good. It all adds up in the end. Many blessings on you all!!

Friday, April 22, 2005

La La Lu Laaaa!!!

I am singing for 4 weddings and standing up in one, so 5 weddings this year so far. One of the songs I'm singing is "I Will Love You" by Fisher. It's so beautiful and I can't wait to perform it for my sweetie, Becky. I think she asked me to do this song specifically because it sounds like an Irish ballad. It's so beautiful, and Becky can sing very well herself, but I think she would rather have someone else sing just in case the tears start flowin'. Weddings have really become a major part of my life this year, and I never knew that they would be. I tell ya what, wow...by the time I get married, I'm gonna be a pro at this whole wedding thing! LOL, maybe not, but I guess I'll know what I want. I really should make a list of all the weddings I've sung for. I could put my name in the paper as a professional wedding singer and make some extra cash...I think I could do it, but I won't. I guess I'm feeling a little silly today by the way this blog is going. I don't have anything deep and terribly vulnerable to share today, but I wanted to write something. I guess that this is it for now. If you want to see the words to that Fisher song, visit my xanga site. I typed out the words to it there cause that's my quote/inspiration site. www.xanga.com/shannymusic

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bono's Baby

You know you're Irish when every rainstorm brings you back to Irish memories of the coastline and foggy mornings where wild horses run free. Sounds beautiful, eh? Well, it was nice to see first hand, let me tell you. I still wish that I could go back there and hear the ocean crash against the shore and smell the salty sea in the brisk air. The grass is finally green here and everything looks so wonderful in its wet state. I don't mind waking up and finding that the morning is cool from the rain. I love seeing all the new growth on the trees, and the new buds on my flowers. It's a georgeous site to behold! I love new birth! I think that my love for nature can be a reflection of my neverending love for God and the new birth every Christian experiences when they first accept Him as their savior. I believe that my calling into the ministry can be traced back to when I was a little girl running around outside enjoying the sun, the trees, the freshness of a rainstorm. I never really thought of it until now. I can see the path God has led me down to bring me to this point. How awesome is He! Maybe this rambling doesn't make much sense to anyone else, but it opens my eyes.

Monday, April 18, 2005

A "Spring Fling"

Kari and I left our front door open all night last night. We got home around 10:30 p.m. from our small group meeting, and the house was so stuffy inside. We decided to leave a door open to give us some much needed air flow. I slept real good last night because of it. The only problem is that I think I found the spot where the wasps are trying to make a nest...In the door frame! Yikes! I guess that means a trip to the store for some hornet spray. Ah well...You can't really have a spring or summer without bugs, I guess. It's a beautiful morning and I love waking up to the sound of birds chirping and going to sleep to frogs croaking and crickets chirping. It's so wonderful, and I'm so glad spring is finally here!

I don't want to focus this entire blog on how great of a morning/spring it has been, but I want to talk about my wonderful weekend. I have never felt so blessed by people that aren't even related to me in my life. How awesome are the women of my congregation!!! Let me start from the beginning. My pastor's wife came to me about 3 weeks ago saying that she wanted to spend some time with just me on a Saturday and that I needed to clear one day for her. We looked at my calendar and locked one in. I didn't think much of it because we have spent time together before, and so I thought it was just going to be a nice day with she and I. I was looking forward to it because we've done it before and she's a fun lady. Well, this past Tuesday, my friend and big sister, Shila, calls and asks if I can go have lunch with her on Friday. There doesn't seem to be any correlation there yet, but just wait. Then, in my meeting with pastor on Wednesday, he tells me to get all my work done on Thursday to clear my Friday of everything because he has a special project that he needs me to work on. He told me we were going to discuss sound and visual technology for our new sanctuary. I was all excited and so I did just that. Thursday I was a very busy gal!! I told him that there was only a minor conflict, and that was that I had already promised Shila that I would go to lunch with her on Friday, and he said 'oh yeah I knew that, it's not a big deal'. I was very curious to know why he knew my schedule before I did, but I didn't say anything. So, Shila picked me up at my house at 11a.m. sharp, and we headed into Rockford for a nice lunch at Arnie's. That's a great restaurant, if you didn't know already. Any ways, the two of us go in to be seated and I hear her say just two, but we get seated at a table for six. I thought that odd, but didn't question it. We ordered our drinks and lunch and just start talking about nothing major, and in prances Pastor and Pat. I was real confused by this! They all started laughing and giggling uncontrollably...Well, Pastor doesn't giggle, he's a guy! :o) Pastor turns to me and says that we are only going to discuss sound and visual tech for about 30 seconds, and I was a bit disappointed but very curious as to what was going on to let that get me too down. He then proceeded to tell me that he was paying for lunch and then turning me over to the ladies at the table. They couldn't stop smiling and giggling, like earlier, but this time they were very conscious of their watches. They had appointments to meet with me. I wasn't nervous in the least, but curious through the whole experience. These two can be very silly at times, and so I knew anything could be about to happen...And it did. After lunch, we got in Shila's van and headed for Grand Rapids. They told me that this little scheme had been in the works for about 2 to 3 weeks now and 4 women had the same vision to do this for me. They prayed and collected donations from people, and came up with the same thought. They took me to the eye doctor for the first part of my surprise. I was fitted for contact lenses and had my eyes checked for the first time in 3 years. I cried when they told me what was going on, and I said that I don't deserve this treatment. They reassured me that I do, and the reason they're doing this was to let me know that they love me and felt that I deserved this more than anyone else they could think of. All four of these women, two of which I haven't mentioned yet but will later, had the same thoughts for me. I felt so blessed and humbled by this gesture. After the eye doctor, we went to Target and got me a pair of sunglasses. I've never worn sunglasses without my real glasses underneath them. It was so cool! Then, we went and got Sundays from Stake n' Shake, and left there for my next appointment. They treated me to a full body massage. It was so great. I got home Friday evening around 6 p.m. and "had" to take a hot bubble bath because of all the oil from the massage. I felt like a spoiled girl that day. Well, the next day was just as good (but nothing can top the contacts, I think). I had to be to the Pastor's house by 8:55 a.m. for my next appointment. When I got there, Pat was waiting for Holly to arrive...She's lady # 3 in this plot o' pampering. She's only been at my church for about 2 and a half months, but we are already becoming close friends. She told me later on that day that this all started with her and her husband, Bruce. They were watching "Extreme Makeover" and they thought that it would be a good ministry to do in our church. They were trying to think of someone who was deserving of it, and I was the first person the thought of and they agreed that there was no one who deserved it more. Talk about humbling!! I cried, yet again. My 9:00 a.m. appointment was a hair appointment. I pretty much let her do whatever she wanted, and I love it. I'm no longer a redhead, but more like my natural color with some blonde high lights and brown low lights. It's very pretty, and I now have a new hair dresser. It's pretty cool. I was then rushed back to the Pastor's house for the next part of my makeover. I should say that they were not calling it a makeover, but instead calling it my "Spring Fling". Even the envelope with the donated money said Spring Fling on it. Pat said to me that they didn't want to call it a makeover because there was nothing wrong with me, so they changed it to something else so that I knew that they wanted to pamper me. I felt that in full, let me tell ya. Well, the next thing was a cook out, and Becky, the 4th lady was there to greet me. I love her so much. We bonded right away when I got to CSFMC. She is one of the junior high youth leaders. Well, we sat down for lunch and Holly's Bruce showed up because he wanted to have some part in this as well. Pastor felt relieve because he wasn't the only guy there anymore. Rebecca also was there to participate and that was so cool. She and I get along so much better now...I think it's the best that we've ever gotten along and I'm glad. Any way, after lunch the ladies had a Mary Kay makeover scheduled and that was fun. I love makeup so that felt nice to do something with all of them participating. After that, Pat said that there was one more part to my "Spring Fling", and Becky and Holly chimed in to tell me that they were taking me shopping for some new clothes! Yay!! They took me to JC Penny's and loaded up my arms with bright and colorful clothing. They had asked me what kinds of things I was looking for, and I told them I didn't want any black because I have too much of that in my wardrobe already. So, the colors were very bright and springy. Pinks, blues, greens, and oranges filled my tired arms as I walked into the dressing room area. I don't know how many pieces I had, but I know I went through them fast because I hate trying on stuff. It's depressing. But I did it and ened up with three outfits that I really liked and they all complimented me well. I thought that I was only supposed to get one, but I guess I was wrong. They told me that they had a money limit and not an outfit limit. That floored me because we ended up walking out with all three! We had 20 dollars left and so we got icecream with it. That was fun!! I have never felt so loved and spoiled by people that were not related to me. They wanted to treat me because they felt that I was worth it, and I still could cry. How amazing is the body of Christ! I don't know what I can ever do to thank them for what they had done for me. I don't deserve what they did, but I appreciate it so much and I am so thankful that they chose me! I wore my new pink outfit, contacts, and hairdo on Sunday proudly and people didn't recognize me when I came in. They didn't recognize me when I got up to lead the music either. Many compliments came my way with words like "you do deserve this". I don't know what else to say, but I am so thankful! God has blessed me in many ways this past weekend. Thank you, Lord, and thank you ladies!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Volcanos Life Gives Us

I guess it's hard to imagine life without a few bumps in the road. It wouldn't be life if there wasn't trials, I guess. Nothing is going on, so I'm sorry if I made anyone nervous. I've been pondering some things recently that deal with the portions of life that cause growing pains. Sometimes just the thought of the negative is..well, depressing. I'm not purposely trying to depress myself, honest. I just know that not all of life gets to be bright and happy. That's something I've known for a very long time, and I guess today I'm in a bit of mourning for the hard times. It's like a volcano after it erupts; after that happens and all of the old life is covered in the hot blackness of the lava, and as it cools down, new life begins to grow out of it. It's so rich in nutrients that life can't help but happen. I'm so thankful for that. Like I said, nothing major has happened to cause a depression, I'm just reflecting and sharing with you my thankfulness of the good and the bad alike. I hope you can reflect on your hardships and appreciate what God has done for you and to you through them all. I love you all and I hope to hear back from you soon. What are your thoughts on all of this? Bye for now, but not forever.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Wedding Central

I am going to have so many ideas for my wedding by the time this one summer is over, and I'm not even dating anyone. There's nothing like being prepared, I guess. Ah well...this weekend was wonderfully busy. I have to say that despite the fact that I lived in my car and drove about 400 miles in 2 days, the weekend was fantastic. My dear friends Jen and Mike tied the knot in a candelight service. It was very beautiful. Classic black, soft pinks, and low lights made the whole service romantic. I sang "The Prayer" with a partner I had only met the night before. We did a good job, but the scary part of it was the fact that the entire music staff from Spring Arbor was there. AHHHH!! It was actually ok. I caught the boquet and that makes 6 for my collection. Crazy, eh? Oh yes. Then, it was time for me to drive back to Cedar because I had to lead music the next morning, but it wasn't too bad of a drive. I had a friend call me at 10 to keep me awake on the way, and that made the trip a whole lot better.

Sunday morning went quite well. I didn't think that either one of my pianists were going to be back from Florida, but to my suprise, one was and she came in just in time for practice. After service was fellowship dinner, and then I went home to take a nap before heading to my parent's house for the next couple of days. I was only going to sleep about an hour, but I ended up sleeping 2 and a half hours. It was nuts!!! Ah well. I got up when Kari came home from her vacation and then I packed and headed out. Monday, my mom and I went to lunch and shopping for her birthday. It was a great time, and we made good memories. Also, I had a nice time with a new friend as we did devotions together. That lasted about an hour, and then I rejoined my mom and watched "Mona Lisa Smile". She hadn't seen it before and I had; my mom loved it and she said she saw a lot of me in the character Julia Roberts played. It's so very true.


Well, that's about everything that happened between Friday and Monday. Today I got up and drove back home to Cedar and went to work. I was so tired today, so most of my evening has been spent in relaxation mode. I've also had the opportunity to catch up with Kari and hear about her Florida adventures. It's been a very good evening. That's all I got for now. God bless and peace be with you!!!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Wisdom of the Renaissance Women

I don't pride myself on being every man's dream, or on my outer beauty...all of that fades. I'd rather go camping! I want to be much more than that. I don't know what all God has planned for my life, but I do know that whatever it is, I'm going to do it. I'm so thankful for who I am and who God has made me. I don't like the pettiness of most girls my age...and younger. It's makes me sick. I have always enjoyed being tough, and I think that it's safe to call me a Renaissance woman of this generation. I'd rather have enlightenment than vanity, hard work rather than pretty nails, a kind heart rather than a cruel spirit. I feel as though I'm venting a bit today, but I guess I need to. I feel that God has given me this time to myself for a reason, and it's not just for the quiet I have around me physically, but also for the quietness of my heart. I want to be more like Him....the only man I want to be like. I feel more transformation coming on, and it's good. There are some things going on that I can't talk about online, but I would like some prayer from my saintly women friends that feel the same as I do. God is good, and we are much more than a pretty creation to Him. I love you guys!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

German Romance in Irish Skin

Hey all! I pray that all is good with you today. I'm feeling great today. It's beautiful outside and I can't help but be in love with the weather! I've been cleaning up the yard the past couple of days, planting a flower garden, and building fires. I'm probably going to have another fire tonight...just because I can. I also would like to set up and air out my tent today if at all possible...I wouldn't mind doing a little camping in my yard tonight if the weather permits it. It's so nice out! Yesterday I was inspired to take a walk through the woods and it reminded me of my childhood. I remember playing with my brother in the woods behind our house for hours. There was a little creek about a quarter of a mile back, and it was always pleasant to just sit back and listen to it babble on and on. If I could, I would write love songs about how beautiful the day is to me. That's the reason for my title today. if you know anything about German Opera, their romance was in nature. I'd have to say that part of me, the part that loves nature so much, is German...though I am not in any way at all German. I think it's safe to say that my love comes directly from God. Ah, yes, well I must get going. I have to go to work now and earn my keep. I love you all and I hope to talk to you sometime soon. Bye for now, but not forever.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Call Me...Anytime!

Wow, what a week, eh? Oh yes, it's been busy and I'm broke, but God is still so good and He's taking care of every need. I can't believe that spring is finally here, woo hoo!! I have a bit of running to do before work, then when I get home tonight I have a bit of cleaning to do. It's funny, but when you're by yourself for a few days, you can really make a mess. :o) Ah, it's been alright though. My housemate is on her way down to Florida with the rest of her family, and she needs a break. She's been very tired lately, so I'm happy she's taking some time off to get away. My scheduled spring break is not until May this year, but that's not a bad thing. I, because I'm ainal, have to make sure everything is completely accomplished before I go. So much to do and sooo little time. It's ok, cause when I do go on vacation, I'm going to Dallas...yay! I know I've already blogged that a million times, but I'm so excited about it. I can't wait. So, there's a reason for the title I've picked today "Call Me...Anytime". If you're reading this, and I hope you are, you should do what it says. I have some news that I don't want to put in the blog, but I want to tell you...or...maybe I don't, and I just haven't heard from you in forever so I want you to call me. It could be one or both of those reasons. Well, I do have to go so I can get my running done today before work. I don't want to be even a minute late today. Big suprise, eh? Love you all, and I'll talk to you later...hopefully soon if you read the title...get my drift? Ok, bye for now, but not forever. God bless!!