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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Launching YWAM Into Action

There are few words to describe what happened 
Saturday night in the streets of Lynden. 
From local turmoil of crime and death, to the protests and violence across our nation; we need Jesus more than ever to be vividly present, extremely bold and our faith more steadfast.
This is what was witnessed as many launched YWAM Lynden into mission. 
When you looked across the street, you saw people of young and old, Reformed to Non-Denomination and those of no faith drawn into worship as the contagious joy was spread sidewalk to sidewalk. There were 2000 fed as the Make Jesus Famous worship team led the crowd, singing praises, followed by the founders of YWAM speaking truth about the progress in the mission field. 
There are countless stories of how this came to be, but also how the devil tried with all his might to shut this down. This was a divine event that had God's powerful Hand covering every detail as things fell perfectly into place. 
Tim and I caught ourselves many times wiping tears from our eyes being witness to the power of the Holy Spirit moving through Front Street. Emotions from seeing people allowing God to break the barriers between church names as we worshipped One King. It was incredibly moving to be there at this event and more blessed that we were asked to have 
our hands be apart of helping make it happen. 
Our home was used as a "home" to two girls all week adding three more over the weekend. Heidi J. originated from Finland which made it a must to have pulla, a Finnish coffee time treat, an absolute introducing her to our family which has it's own Finnish connections. Terhi thoroughly enjoyed entertaining Heidi with Finnish chocolates and sharing conversations in her native tongue. 
What a treat that was!
Myriam also enjoyed the early mornings with Jordan who stayed with a family around the corner. He would show up to have a cup of tea while the house would slowly wake up. Myriam was fascinated by his beard. Thankfully, Jordan was a patient guest making best friends with our youngest. Together they would eat breakfast, color, play games, decorate his beard and chat up the morning hours. 
Friday night our Salem friends made their way here as we kicked the kids out of their beds to make room for the guests. With the help from our neighbors at the Lynden Dutch Bakery, we were able to supply everyone with full tummies before heading downtown to hand out fliers, pick up garbage and assist in the mini golf that many took advantage of during the hot afternoons at the Raspberry Festival
Many hands made the day go by without glitches as they set up the stage, plugged power in and got the night going. 
Tim and I had the opportunity to privately meet and pray with Loren and Darlene Cunningham as we prepared for the evening. We should have prayed for sunscreen to magically appear on 
Tim's dome which has a nice glow about itself now!

I was personally touched by the entire day. It was contagious with the happenings at 7th and Front Street. No one person made this happen. No one person had this idea. This truly was a vision seen and heard by many who continued to pray until action was sought. If you go back many years, you can see God strategically putting this giant puzzle together and I myself, can't wait to see the bigger picture in years to come. Tim and I have gained new friends in this journey, found more motivation and passion for ministries and have had intimate moments of serving God together. We have no connection to YWAM personally besides Tim's sisters participating in a DTS in Maui and Australia, but we are thrilled to support and stand behind this new base right here in our very own berry-enthusiastic, dairy-loving Dutch hometown: 

YWAM Lynden...Welcome. 

{ Loren and Darlene Cunningham, founders of YWAM }

 { My date for the day. }

{ Moving the stage coach with NCCTK's worship warrior: Joel. }

 { Heidi J. was a HUGE help to Jeremy & Jen. We loved having her around! }

{ Thank you Lynden Door & Elements for providing food for the crowds. }

 { Giving a blessing and commissioning the YWAM Lynden base leaders:
Jeremy & Jen Dorrough }

{ Pastor Ryan Bajema sharing his YWAM experience. }
{ One God; One Voice. Freedom of worship in the streets. }

 { Hannah M. became family for the week with her
fiance', Jordan, a visitor by day. }

 { Our Salem, OR friends who joined us for the weekend:
Benjamin K. and Bennett & Tiffany C. }

{ Check out the video; start getting involved by sending a prayer of God's favor over this community and mission. }

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's TIME to Worship!

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him.
Praise the Lord with harp; make music to Him on the ten stringed lyre.
Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.
For the work of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all he does.
Psalm 33:1-4

The Make Jesus Famous event is in full swing as the community joins in launching YWAM Lynden into action. The mini golf is ready for many to strike a hole in one, short films edited for everyone to see the vision, stage organized and songs rehearsed to lead hundreds into worship tomorrow night. There is an amazing team of over 100 volunteers with willing hands to clean, pick up trash, spread the word throughout the Raspberry Festival and share the joy in serving. 
We've had the pleasure of hosting a few YWAM staff this past week allowing Myriam to make some new best friends. Double Ditch Street is about to turn into base camp as many neighbors have also opened their doors for out-of-owners to find a place to rest over the weekend. Thank you to all who have prepared their homes for people to stay over!
There will be a massive grill ready to feed thousands along with free coffee, blue berries and other drinks. It's the perfect combination for a free date night; free food, free activities (miniature golf) and awesome worship! 
You really don't want to miss this!

 { Errands have all been ran, the fridges all stocked and volunteers informed. }

See you tomorrow at 4pm!

Monday, July 13, 2015

No Perfect Size

In all my life, I can't say honestly, that I've ever purchased a piece of clothing that has had a perfect fit...ever. 
Yes, it may feel great, look great and be as close to perfect as humanly possible, but never as it would, say you had a custom sewer, making everything tailored to your ever-changing body. Give it a time or two wearing or the first time through the wash and what was close to perfection has now shrunk or been stretched out. 
This was the case yesterday when Addison needed yet another new swimming suit since the ones purchased just over a month ago ALREADY don't fit her teeny body. This girl has been growing what seems like inches per day. Frustrating really when she's going up and not wide. This makes shopping all the more irritating as most items come in sets. 
Poor thing tried on so many different sizes and styles which most had all too much material for her tween body. 
The solution...two suits; two sizes. Ugh. 

And of course, me taking this a bit further and thinking about it some more this morning, got me thinking about life, families, styles of opinions and choices. There's no one way parenting method, relationship pattern or faith style that ultimately serves One King. We all live life differently, love more loudly and serve in many opposite ways from even those in the same home and family. 
How boring would life be if it was all a one size fits all world? How stagnate would loving and serving Jesus be if it was all monotone? It's the differences that make this world interesting and colorful. I love that our home church worships with a drum set, guitars and keyboard. I love that my parents church still uses the organ and hymnals tossing in a new chorus here and there. Some serve through wallets funding those that serve on the mission field. Some do both. We are told to serve. To be His Hands and His Feet. How we do that may look, and should look, different from your neighbor!
The methods we used to discipline our oldest certainly don't work for our youngest. The ways I taught Addison don't click for Charlie and can guarantee won't pan out for Myriam. Just like our hair and skin looks different, so do the ways we serve, live and love especially in our faith journeys. 
I remember a few weeks after a devastating transition in our marriage, Tim was Johnny-On-It to get me to read the Bible first thing before drinking coffee or going the bathroom. Problem was that what worked for him certainly didn't work me. That's the beauty of most relationships. More often than not, two will compliment each other. Some gain closeness to God through worship; some through meditation. Doesn't mean one is better than the other. 
This weekend YWAM Lynden is launching it's local DTS base with a night of worship and inspirational speaking from the founders of the mission organization. The most beautiful thing about all of this is how multiple churches of different sizes and styles are coming together, as one, to serve the One. It has been a collaborated effort from community pastors praying for this into action. 
Faith is not one color.
Communities are not one style.
Churches should not be one size.
Families different sizes.
Hands raised or folded in your lap...
One purpose.
One faith.
One God.
One mission.
I love witnessing our daughter change daily from little, timid Addi to mature, compassionate sweet Addi. (Not gonna lie...I'm struggling terribly with the purchase of deodorant and a lightly padded swim suit top! I'm not ready for this.) I love that she is not a one size fits most. So what if we need to stretch the wallet a bit to make things fit best. I'd do anything to let her know how beautiful she is, how precious her life is in our eyes and God's. According to the hanger she may not be the perfect size, but why go with the flow? Shake it up a bit.

A little from this church, some prayers from there and holy hand raisers from others. 
The beauty of community is that exact thing. We are all different, but together we make it something beautiful. 

"For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him."
Romans 10:12

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

One Week; 4 Locations

{ Location One. }

With Tim singing in Pittsburgh, PA, for the International AIC Show of Champs, the kids had to be displaced as we jet set across the states. It was a joy listening to Tim sing once again as I sat in my seat, overwhelmed with pride, to be supporting My Love. All week I heard compliments being paid forward to his talent which gave me reasons to smile. The barbershop family is hard to understand by outsiders, but once you're in, they embrace you with big open arms; all differences aside. 
Thank you Realtime and all the families who have given us many great musical memories!

{ Location Two. }

Tim flew out Monday morning, I followed early Wednesday morning. That meant the kids were spread thin Tuesday night. My parents had a boat trip planned which Charlie was beyond thrilled to join! With intentions on learning how to row, Chuckles snapped his life vest in placed and assisted Papa in navigating Bellingham Bay, until an unexpected slice of Papa's finger sent them to Friday Harbor with medical staff waiting to help. Nana was a Rock Star driving the boat until marine and medical help boarded to take over with the docking skills. What a story! Thankfully, Stumpy is fine, Uncle Jason came to help, the boat is back in the Harbor and another story can be added to the books. With the boat trip shortened a few days, Auntie Traci stole the show by continuing the vacation tied up to the dock in the Harbor. Can't say the skill of rowing was mastered, but catching three inch fish has been the rave!

{ Location Three. }

Addison has entered the awkward Tween age where she is easily bored with youthful events and hanging with young ones too much. This led to the second split as she hung out at Uncle Matt and Auntie Becky's all week! It started with volunteering in the childcare during Day Camp at church followed by visits to Lake Whatcom, Firwood and shopping trips where the two girl cousins purchased matching outfits. Not realizing the time change, we had a wake-up Face Time call at 1am...oops. Addison had a great time and 
I'm pretty sure she wasn't bored once!

{ Location Four. }

The final split came as Myriam stayed at home with our dear friend Melissa, "Missa" as Myriam calls her. It is a blessing to have someone who understands this mischievous one, able to hold her ground and let the punches roll during some of Myriam's most pleasant moments. With the temperatures almost reaching the hundreds, the ladies headed to the pond on the fourth to celebrate with friends. Thank you to Tim and Tami for hosting the fun, Kyle for the, "carry me", Christie for floating back and forth to the dock and the kids who extended grace to this over-heated, feisty child. There may have been some little naked buns in the back yard in attempts to cool off and time outs had, but overall, Myriam was entertained, entertaining and well cared for!

Our family is bigger than just the five of us. It contains blood relatives, friends and many others who make us who we are. Thank you to everyone who made this trip memorable for the kids and manageable for this Mama to vacation at ease knowing our kids were well taken care of!

5th on the 4th

What reminded me of PleasantVille jacked up on American spirit with red, white and blue beads, hair bows, balloons and every outfit possible resembling a flag, was exactly what lined the streets of my latest race towards 50 by 50. 
While in Pittsburgh, PA for the tenth reunion show of Realtime winning the gold (Tim's quartet he used to sing with), I managed to locate a nearby race to participate in on the Fourth of July. I'm not kidding you when I say it was like PleasantVille.
This small-town of Brentwood had little old ladies fashioning the brightest red lip smackers you could possibly find as they handed out race packets and assisted the race organizers. There were kids dolled up to the nines in matching sibling outfits, face paintings and proudly waved flags as they sat along the parade route which happened to be the race course too. Out and back, there were neighbors lining the streets with lawn chairs and disposable cups filled with water as the runners ran by. Old fashion planes flew overhead with smoke trails behind them not far off from the ground. 
The gun went off and I started off running dodging many of those in front of me. For a small town race, the 2200 registered runners brought in many quick feet in an extremely well-organized event. Running up and down the rolling hills on the main street, I managed to complete the race 13th in my age division with a time of 26:13. Not my best, but I was happy with it as I'm not sure I could have gone much quicker dancing around the other runners and my lungs figuring out how to deal with the humidity. 
Once I was done, the event team met me with still warm bagels, bananas, popsicles, oranges, Gatorade, beer of my choice (if only I liked that stuff!) and music to keep the party going. After waiting for almost 45 minutes for a taxi, I got bold and asked a gal if she was driving anywhere near the downtown area. Exactly where I needed to be. 
Thank you so much Sarah for the ride back to the hotel! Turns out she's been on a five year quest to completing a full marathon in every state with 23 already crossed off her list. One of which just happened to be Bellingham. Go figure! In the ten minute drive back, We managed to talk family, faith, adoption, marriage and our similar interest of running. Next time you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area and need to go for a run, just look up the Steel City Road Runners Club who also provided pacers for the race!
Five down...a few more to go!

{ Thanks to this lady for holding my race packet. }

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Shared Words with BBB

I recently was invited to be a guest blog contributor with 
The Better Business Babe
BBB's mission is to see women succeed in business and in life, offering a multi-faceted online community dedicated to helping, supporting and encouraging women both personally and professionally. 
It amazes me how God has already used this connection to encourage others in similar situations through my story. You never know when or how God will plant you in a new arena to be used by Him. I may not have all the business know-abouts to speak of, but I certainly support those who do and I'm excited to join this new online family!
You can read more about BBB and read my first guest entry by clicking on the link below or follow the link in the side bar. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Make Jesus Famous

Mark your calendars for July 18th...we are Making Jesus Famous under the Windmill as we launch YWAM Lynden into action!!!
Not only will there be free food for those in attendance, but amazing worship from multiple local churches joining forces to lift His name up high on Front Street!!!
The real bonus is the blessing of listening to YWAM founders 
Loren & Darlene Cunningham 
share what's going on with YWAM, where, who and why so many youth are fired up for God!!!
Bring a lawn chair if you wish or jump to your feet as we want to force the shut down of Front Street due to people of Whatcom County worshipping and celebrating what God is doing locally and globally!!!
For more information or if you'd like to volunteer for this event, check out the website or you can find YWAM Lynden on Facebook as well!!!