It's here!! My Birthday!! I actually like to celebrate the entire month with Birthday hikes, Birthday dates, Birthday coffee...any excuse to celebrate, I'll take it. When the big day actually arrives, I'm pretty fatigued from all of the celebrating and most of the world is confused as to when my birthday really is....because of all the excessive celebrating!
So, just to calcify again. IT'S TODAY!!
This year, I celebrate my birth a few hundred miles away from home doing a women's event in San Diego and watching a Padres baseball game... so it's not all bad! Such is the life when your ministry takes you on the road.
Birthdays are a mixed bag of emotions for me as an adopted child. I don't have those conversations with my Mom about the night I was born, how long she was in labor, what did I look like when I came into the world. I don't have those conversations with my Mom, because my mom wasn't there.
In fact, the day I was born, she had no clue that I even existed. I'm sure she was going about her usual day, taking care of the six other children she had, probably not imagining that a seventh would soon invade her life and more importantly her heart.
It wouldn't be until six weeks after my birth that my Mom and Dad would get an emergency phone call to take in a little baby girl that had not left the hospital yet, a little baby that didn't have the consistent love of a care-giver, but was looked after by nurses on rotation.
What was originally supposed to be a short-term foster care situation turned into 12 years of foster care. After those years passed, I stood before a judge and said "I want Paul and Joan Grotelueschen to be my parents" and I was officially adopted.
So on this April 22, my birthday, I sit and reflect on the fact that I may not be able to say "Hey, Mom, remember the day I was born?" but I have so much more, like remembering the fact that unbeknownst to my parents on this day, the Lord was stirring, preparing, and orchestrating the greatest gift and birthday present I could have ever asked for.... a Mom, a Dad, and six amazing siblings that would love me forever.
Happy Birthday to me!
I LOVE to hike, I love climbing things and I truly enjoy the peace and quiet of the trail.
The other day when my husband and I set out to watch the Easter morning sunrise from the top of North mountain, we knew that we were going to miss it because we got a late start. By the time we parked, we didn't even see a reason to try and hurry up the mountain to make it, so we started off at an enjoyable leisurely pace.
That was, until..... a man running up the mountain behind us screaming profanities, yelling about 9/11 conspiracy theories scared the crap out of me! I don't scare easily, but this man got my heart pumping and I actually verbalized to my husband that I was sacred. Bob, who normally takes the lead, followed behind me sacrificially in case this man caught up to us.
This fear, unbeknownst to me, caused me to hike up the mountain at a pace I had never done before, a pace that had my husband working hard to keep up to me.
Fear of what Easter might look like with a crazy man on our tail caused my body to go into flight mode while my mind was creating scenarios (several of them) in case we had to go into fight mode.
Let me invite you into my crazy with just a few of the scenarios.
Scenario 1 - Crazy man catches my husband at gun point and asks him if he believes in Jesus. Bob answers yes and crazy man shoots him. I then take a knee ready to profess my faith in Christ willingly accepting death to uphold the Name of my King...and I willing die.
Scenario 2 - Same beginning. Bob goes down, but this time it pushes me into fight mode where I bash the crazy man in the head, knock him out where I get a hold of his gun...... I won't go on, but you get the gist.
There were a few more scenarios that played out in my mind, But I don't want you to know how truly nuts I am (in case you haven't figured it out already)
As I was reading my daily "The One Year Bible "passages, I was struck by Luke 21: 13-15 where it says:
"But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!
That hit me! While I know the scenarios in my head were getting out of control (and yes everything turned out ok) what I needed the Word to remind me of, is this.... I don't need to rehearse how things are going to play out or what I am going to say, God will give me the words and powerful ones too. I am equipped and His Word is buried in my heart.
No matter the situation, we are given opportunities to tell people about Jesus. The reality is that the platform for those opportunities looks different for all of us and the deeper reality is that sometimes, as devastating as it is, that opportunity looks like a believer on his knees with his last breath declaring the truth of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation.
That is heavy stuff for me, brothers and sisters.
On a lighter note, we made it to the top (safely) with a few moments to spare in time to see the Easter morning sun rise over the mountain, which we thought would be impossible. I guess when your in flight mode you are able to go faster than you knew your body could move.
Stay strong in Him, bury His Word in your heart and be ready at all times to give an answer for the faith you have in Christ Jesus.
I love you in the Lord.
This week, I am thrilled to introduce to you, my son and guest blogger, Chris Koehne. This post originally appeared in a school newsletter, then his own blog site (which never went live) and now here, where you get to read it. As he jumps into the world of writing (a son after my own heart) I hope that his words, his insights and his humor , although it can be a bit strange at times (again just like his Mama) can brighten your day. ENJOY!
SNAPCHAT! A photo app that allows users to send a picture to a friend that supposedly disappears after a predetermined amount of time. Pish posh! All of those pictures are saved and anything can be screenshotted! And what’s the point of sending a picture for 5 seconds anyways?
A picture should be a work of art. I don’t go to the Phoenix Museum of Art to look at pictures for a few seconds, that would be silly and a waste of $17.99! (sidebar: I don’t go to the Phoenix Museum of Art. Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s called the Phoenix Museum of Art, it could be called the Phoenix Art Museum or even the Phoenix Art House for all I know. But if it is called the Phoenix Art House it’s probably run by a bunch of hipsters who say things like “you can’t define art” or “High School Musical 3 was actually pretty good.” Either way, they shouldn’t be trusted.)
But nowadays I see boys walking around after school taking selfies and giggling when they send it to somebody. What’s up with that!? As a matter of fact, on Tuesday, I saw Hugo standing by himself in the middle of a basketball court taking a selfie while making a duck face! What has this world come to!?
Back in my day guys didn’t take selfies! If you wanted to send a picture of your face to somebody, you didn’t! But if for some odd reason you wanted to, that would have required you to take a picture with an actual camera. Then after that you would have to take that camera to your local Walgreens and pay $13.99 just so you could wait 24 hours for your photos to develop by some guy who is going to look at all of your pictures and laugh at you when you come back in to pick them up. Then once you have the picture you would have to wait in line at the post office behind somebody’s grandma who can’t figure out which state her grandson lives in. (sidebar: don’t be mean to grandmas, my grandma loves going to the post office and mailing me letters. Let your grandma know you love her.) So then, days later, once your friend finally receives the picture in the mail they are confused about why they are receiving a picture of your face. (sidebar: They are also kinda creeped out that you know their address and they probably don’t want to be friends anymore… (sidebar from the sidebar: it’s an awkward way for a friendship to end, don’t mail people a picture of your face))
Instead of guys taking selfies and deciding which filter makes our ugly mugs look the best, we would actually talk to each other and play games like Yahtzee or try and figure out the rules to Clue. But we definitely didn’t stand by ourselves and take selfies like Hugo, and that’s just how it was, back in my day. - Chris Koehne
My weekends tend to be pretty full with traveling, music, airports and hotels (I know, I know, life is hard.) It's not strenuous, but I do pour out everything I have and being away from home and on the road consistently can be mentally exhausting. So, when I am home during the week, I tend to hunker down, throw on my yoga pants, hibernate and refuel.
Today, I slept in late...really late... had my coffee, did my Bible study, answered emails and now all I have to do is learn 3 new songs for this weekends services that I am worship leading at.....again, I know, I know my life is so hard (in case you missed it, that was sarcasm.) My husband finds it quite amusing as he typically works 6 days, sometimes 7 days a week...He feels no pity either as I'm sure you don't and shouldn't.
However, today I do have errands to run, things I have been putting off for WEEKS, mostly because I simply do not feel like moving myself out of my house where it feels so safe. SAFE....this is the word I use as an introvert who has trouble being out in public around people in mass and would love to be a hermit who simply came out of her cave to eat, hike mountains and sing songs! I think this is another reason why I have an unhealthy relationship with Amazon Prime...but that's another story.
Still, the fact remains, I have to get things done...TODAY. In order for that to happen, I had to verbally psych myself up, talk myself out of my pajama's and say outloud "COME ON MIA, GET YOUR BRA ON, STRAP UP AND LET"S DO THIS!"
And that's what I did! As ridiculous as the method sounds, it works for me! I'm strapped up and now I'm heading out the door!
In life there are times where it's easier to simply stay home and stay out of the game that God is calling us to. God will give us the strength to do things, that on our own seem difficult and impossible. For some, it's a simple errand, for others it's packing up and moving across the country, and for many it's learning to go, serve and love wherever God tells us.... near or far.
Whatever it is, strap up and get going. Peace out friends! I got my bra on and I'm getting things done!
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
I love you in the Lord, Mia
As I stood there, singing songs of praise and worship to the Lord I love so dearly, I suddenly found myself speechless, unable to sing, unable to lift my hands and unable to breathe. Tears became my language, tears became my song, tears became my very breath as I desperately tried to turn away as each moment I was drawn in deeper.
My eyes caught a glimpse of what would ultimately wreck me and tear me apart inside. I was overwhelmed. I was changes and I was renewed.
From the corner of my eye, while the band was playing, the congregation singing and clapping, the fog and the lights blazing, I saw two women standing face to face with each other. The first women in the midst of worship simply held the hands of the women who was facing her while her back was to the stage. The women, whom I recognized as one of the interpreters for the deaf, gently swayed with the other women while she signed the song of praise into her hands.
Together the stood with their eyes closed and they worshipped. What I witnessed was the greatest worship leader I have ever seen leading a women who was blind and deaf into the presence of the King of Kings. And not only that, she lead me into the deepest moments of worship that I would ever experience up until this point in my life.
I was wrecked. I was flooded with the reality of how far we must go to reach people for Christ. I was a part of a congregation that day that did whatever it took to make sure no one left hungry, that all were able to receive the Word of God and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The lengths that Christ went for us was again made a reality for me in that moment when I saw the length of what the body of Christ is called to do so that all can hear, see, touch and know the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was a precious moment that God allowed me to be a part of. It was my Hellen Keller 2017 moment. I will treasure it in my heart forever.
May we too be encouraged to go as far as it takes to make sure people have the means to receive the gospel and be drawn into worhip the Mighty King of Kings. May we be wrecked for Christ so that we can fall on our knees and worship Him like we never have before. May we not only hear and see, but may we also touch people with the gospel of Christ so that they will know.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Romans 10:14
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.