Thursday, September 29, 2016

We're a Basket Case

apple basket
Happy Fall Y'all! Good news...this article is not about a basket but I'm glad to be a basket case. Let me explain. This past Sunday, Sloane and I taught Little K at church. Here I am again, in a room full of Pre-K and kindergarten boys! Go figure. :)

I asked the young guys to share a Bible story. Urban raised his hand and said "Noah and the Ark". Good answer! I received some other "stories" some from the Bible and some made-up just to give an answer. Then they asked me for a Bible story. Moses immediately came to my mind. I was surprised that many of them couldn't relate the story of Moses to me. They also seemed perplexed that a child was put into a "basket" and sent down the river alone. I quickly shared the miracle that happened to Moses being raised by his mother and then the Pharaoh's daughter. As I was telling the story, I saw some grown-up things about the Moses story I never noticed before.

We are the same "basket case" as Moses. Moses was born a commoner just like us. He was adopted by a King. We are adopted by the King of Kings! Afterwards, Moses was chosen by God to "free the people". We are chosen to share the gospel so people may be freed by the saving grace of Jesus. Romans 8:15 says "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." The children of Israel were blessed to have a boy from a basket to be their escape from bondage. We are blessed to have a boy born in a manger to be our Savior! Please read the book of Exodus and email me with how the story speaks to you.

Bible stories, as we call them, aren't just for kids anymore...

Woven by Him,
The Happy Handicap

Sunday, September 18, 2016

All I Have Needed

What moves you? A big hairy spider that crawls up beside you! That would move me too, but I'm talking about genuinely emotionally being stirred. I'm one of those people who seek to be music, by movies, by relationships. My greatest desire is to be moved by God. Have you ever experienced God moving you to lift your hand in praise? Have you ever testified of his love and power to someone because he moved you to do so? Have you ever listened to the same song for the last ten years and really hear a line in it for the first time when it moves you? I did this very thing this past weekend. I love the song Great is Thy Faithfulness. I was moved by the following lyric.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided. WOW! Just.Wow! I can truthfully say, "All I have ever needed God's hand has provided it to me"! Can you say that of anyone else? My answer is no. Some of the things I've needed a mere human can't provide. God has provided me with great parents, a nice career, a loving husband, fabulous daughters, sweet son-in-laws, grandchildren, house payments, money when I didn't have any, gas for my car, a car, two cars, three cars, awesome church family and the greatest provision of all, calling me into his saving power! He's provided forgiveness when I'm wrong, mercy when I didn't deserve it, grace that is more than sufficient and peace I sometimes don't understand. Take a few minutes and think about what he's provided for you. Does that move you? 
If it does not move you, please ask yourself why? 
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside. Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness, Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Thomas Chisholm, who penned the hymn in 1925, explained toward the end of his life, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now.  Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.”

I believe Thomas Chisholm was moved!

Be moved,
The Happy Handicap

Monday, September 12, 2016

Trunk or Treat Idea

Disclaimer: Oriental Trading Inc. sent me these products for review.  All opinions and experiences in this post are expressly my own. 

Fall is in the air. Halloween is just around the corner. If you're like me, you are already googling Trunk or Treat Ideas. Decorated trunks have become a favorite at many Halloween festivities and especially churches. Kids are always excited to get candy.  I'm always excited to see the elaborate trunk themes! We work long and hard on these trunks but finding the items to create them isn't hard at all with Oriental Trading as our Halloween Headquarters for decorations.

Let me share the details of  Noah's "ARK"cade trunk. Everyone loves amusement parks, especially children. Most amusement parks have game arcades where you play the game and hopefully win a prize. At Noah's Arkcade, you play the game and ALWAYS win a prize! How cute are these Color Your Own Heart Bubble Bottles for a prize? These Mini Marker Sets are a must to color the hearts. You might get the chance to witness about how God's love is always "bubbling" up!

May I suggest these animal-themed games for your arcade? You can even buy two of each to make your Noah theme more realistic and easily accessible to more kids! The Inflatable Alligator Ring is fun for all ages trying to "ring" the alligators nose or tail. The Going Bananas Monkey Bean Bag Toss gives you a chance to have some fun with your little players by asking them to scratch their head and make monkey sounds before taking a turn. Don't forget extra bean bags! One of my favorite games is Pick up Ducks. Place these cute duckies  in a tub of water. Take a permanent marker to place a number corresponding to a prize on each duck. Kids simply "pick up a duck" to win a prize. Use these or find many more at Oriental Trading Halloween Headquarters.

Your trunk might look something like this with your games in front of the ark and off to the sides.
Simply make this ark-like structure from cardboard and use these Jumbo Zoo Animal Cut-Outs for the animals in your boat. You might also want to add a balloon arch similar to the picture below to create an arcade-like arched entrance way.
balloon arch
Photo Credit:
A rainbow-colored arch is perfect for a Noah's Ark theme. Balloons are fun, pretty, add tons of color AND are super easy to decorate with. My family and I plan to dress up like different animals to add more excitement to the ARKcade! A Printed Animal Face Mask would also do the trick!

I hope this has stirred some creativity for your Trunk or Treat Idea. Whatever theme you decide on, (see my Alice in Wonderland theme from 2015 here) be sure to check out Oriental Trading for all your Halloween needs.

Happy Trunking,
The Happy Handicap

If you have a clever Trunk or Treat Idea you've done using Oriental Trading products, please share it with us in a comment. I'd love to see a picture too!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Should You Say the Word "Hell" to Your Pastor?


VBS Week 2016 was July 31 - August 4! I love the anticipation, the energy and the fun before and during VBS. I almost enjoy the tiredness from a week well spent too.....almost. If you participate in Bible School, you know what I mean. This year, like last year, my girls and I were assigned the Kindergarten Boys class. We had eleven boys! 11 boys! E.L.E.V.E.N. B.O.Y.S.! After this week, I knew more than ever God does not make mistakes. I have two girls, one granddaughter and another granddaughter due in October. I'm suspecting my younger daughter will have girls also if and when she has children.

These boys were full of male DNA which makes them run and jump off of everything, have wiggle worms in their pants, pay attention only when they want to talk, explore all the room decorations to the point of destruction and melt a girl's heart like only a guy can. I'll admit it was rocky the first couple of evenings. The craft teachers voted me "Most Likely to Need a Xanax" and the music teacher (pictured) "blessed me" all week. When the pastor asked how it was going, I replied "I'm ready to get out of VBS hell!". My husband told me that was probably not appropriate so I'm hoping he thought I said VBS jail. His face told me otherwise. Should you say the word "hell" to your pastor?

I always, always, always receive inspiration and blessings at Vacation Bible School. Here's what I got this year:
  • One little lad announced unexpectedly we should pray RIGHT NOW! He led the sweetest and most humble prayer ever that caused Sloane to say "He prays better than me!". 
  • Directly after the awesome prayer, a little one raised his hand and politely explained "I don't know how to pray". This touched my heart so much we devoted lesson time the next day to "How to Pray".
  • An aunt of one of the boys told me how impressed his mom was with our class. He went home each day giving a detailed account of the Bible stories. I was excited to hear it because she's a school teacher!
  • Lisette, my granddaughter, obviously loved the story of Zacchaeus. She keeps saying "Jesus is coming".  After asking my husband several times "Do you see Jesus? He's right over there.", he got a bit unnerved.
  • I wore my hair down the final evening. I actually put on some mascara too. The same boy who prayed kept looking at me and raised his hand to speak. "You look beautiful today!" he said with dreamy eyes. I said "THANK YOU!" all heart-eyes.
Pure preciousness! A few simple actions erased all my hellish thoughts. These boys and I gained a great rapport in five short days. They amazed me with their answers each night. They made me want to teach VBS again. They engraved themselves on my heart. I love these little boys. Next year, I'm ready for some kindergarten GIRLS!

I'm seriously wondering should you say the word "hell" to your pastor as I did? Leave me a comment and let me know if saying "The Word" to my pastor was inappropriate....

Blessed at VBS,
The Happy Handicap.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Gross but Good

grumpy cat
photo credit: Grumpy Cat
I am warning you. You may find the details gross but the message is good. Lisette, my almost three-year-old granddaughter hasn't felt well this week. She's been kinda draggy, just not herself. We checked for a fever. We monitored her cough. We ignored her misbehavior because we knew she felt bad. Still, we couldn't put our fingers on anything specific.

Rewind to yesterday about 5:30 pm. "Sette", as she calls herself, climbed up in my lap as I sat in my rocking chair and went to sleep. Two things unusual about that. She never wants me to rock her anymore and she would rather avoid a nap than take one. Lying her in the bed, I decided she was tired from not feeling well. She woke up like a grumpy cat a few hours later.

Earlier that day, she'd draped a towel across her head asking "Do I look silly with this hoodie on my head?" I said "No! You look like Mary, Mother of Jesus!" Her large imagination liked this idea immediately pretending I was Jesus and she was Mary. After waking from her nap, she once again donned her "hoodie" pretending to be Mary. She came to sit in Jesus's lap still sitting in his rocking chair.

We were playing when she said "Jesus, my stomach is hurting. Will you rub it?" I gently laid her back to rub. Throw up spewed from that sweet baby's mouth by the gallon. I quickly picked her up so she didn't strangle while her mom grabbed a bag because she continued to vomit. I had foul-smelling chunks from my neck to my knees. Literally covered in throw up! After Sydnee took her to the bathroom, I sat motionless.

I HATE vomit! I'm one of those people who just can't deal with it. I couldn't even clean up my kids when they did it. Thankfully, their Dad did! I'm thinking to myself, don't gag or you're gonna be covered in two human's stomach matter. I tried to stand but my lap was full. I felt the stuff oozing everywhere (even into my prostheses) when I moved so I sat still until my husband brought me a towel. I inched my way to another bathroom. Luckily, the chunks stuck to me like glue. The floor was safe. Carefully, I raised the neck of my t-shirt over my head, removed it, my shorts, my underwear and naked I went out into the dark world to scrape the chunks from my clothes to get them into the washer. Then, I showered.

During the episode, I prayed for Lisette. I sat there with her vomit all over me thinking about her. God showed me something beautiful through the grossness. We vomit on God. We sin against him and it is ugly. It stinks. It fills his nostrils with stench. He sees it, smells it, feels it but his Excellency is only thinking about us. How much he loves us. How much he wants to forgive us. How much he desires a right relationship with us through his son, Jesus. I am so thankful that when we've covered God's lap with our filth, he's still mighty to save. Still forgiving, merciful, kind, patient and loving. He's the Dad that cleans his children!
I thought this was so cute and funny....

While Lisette was playing Mary, she asked if I (Jesus) wanted to go into another room to play. I said sure I do. She took my hand excitedly saying,
"Come on Jesus, there's plenty of room in the den!"

Feeling clean,
The Happy Handicap

I welcome all comments.