The Dykstras just returned from a 11-day road trip that covered 9 states, Niagara, two speaking opportunities, a new tattoo and the Rock Hall of Fame; and our first two days back home included a pretty legit awards ceremony and five services that I preached with a really awful cold.
That's the short version.
If you're into the long version of stuff, complete with photos and links, stick around. One one of our first pit stops, Aidan bought this wolf hat (named "Thompson").
I forgot to mention this road trip happened in my very sweet but not-so-large Dodge Charger. We started in Iowa for Thanksgiving/Christmas with the Dykstras, and then headed cross-country to Liberty, PA, to visit our pastor friends Lon & Dawn Williams. Eric spoke in their Sunday services, and I had a blast speaking at Dawn's event for women on Monday night. If you'd like to listen to our sermons while you wrap presents or wash dishes, click here (we're Dec. 1 & 2).
Dawn is the mom of 4 BOYS! And when church was over, she took us to her home & served us a HAM DINNER. And 3 homemade desserts!!! I wanna be like her when I grow up!!! We left Liberty and headed for Niagara Falls, on a gorgeous 53-degree day! I'd never been there before. It's truly incredible!
The next stop was Cleveland, OH, where Braden got this:
If you've heard Eric preach on manhood before (or if you're a part of Heroes of the House), you'll recognize these words: pastor, protector, provider, pursuer. I'm proud of my kid. He knows what he's created to be!
Before we headed the rest of the way home, the boys hit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while Holland and I hit Starbucks, where she did school work & I worked on my sermon for the weekend, which you can watch here, if you missed it:
(Side note: what I taught this weekend has CHANGED my LIFE. Maybe it will help you!)
While I was preaching at The Crossing Saturday night, Eric and Holland were at an awards ceremony, where the Minnesota Jaycees were naming him as one of the 2013 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans! It was a crazy cool honor and opportunity for him to meet and have some cool conversations with some influential Minnesotans. Holland video'd his thank-you speech, and I'm posting it here, not just because he talks about me ;) but also because I'm really proud of how he connected with the very diverse audience (representing many agendas typically opposed by the religious). All for Jesus!
I made them pose for a picture before they left (typical mom):
Yeah, my man cleans up GOOD!
Here's a little behind-the-scenes insight & some encouragement for you today:
If you were at church on Sunday, you know my voice deteriorated quickly. I was actually pretty sick...praise God that in our times of weakness, He steps in and makes us strong! Of all my preaching times, this was probably the most mentally challenging - shoving out the mind monsters that tried to tell me I wouldn't be able to get through 5 services. I was so excited to share, and Eric said he'd come and finish Sunday for me if he needed to, but we both knew God had given ME the word for this weekend. I confidently asked for and declared healing in Jesus' name, but for some reason, God allowed me to "play hurt". So I confidently declared that I had His power in me to do the work. I didn't freak out or get victim-y, because what would that accomplish?
In this moment, I'm sitting in my bed, typing and coughing, surrounded by Kleenex. I spent today working via phone, email, and FaceTime (feel sorry for the staff who saw this face today!). But I'm supremely grateful that He carried me through the weekend. And having survived that, I'll be more confident the next time He calls me to pull on my big-girl pants and do something hard.
I don't know what you're up against this week. If you think about all of the stuff you need to accomplish, you might get a little bit sick to your stomach. :) If you think about how hard it will be, or whether or not you'll physically be able to accomplish it, you'll start to freak out.
Think about what you're thinking about! Just focus on your Father's loving heart and His strength to help you accomplish what you need to DESPITE his apparent unwillingness to remove your obstacle! He's building your faith and your courage! Stay on the people mover! ;) When you're on the other side of this busy season, you want to look back and be proud of how well you trusted - and not annoyed with yourself for freaking out.