It’s over (for now). What’s over?
That’s Iron Men. It was a regular part of my life for the last 6 years. Every Wednesday at 12 noon you could expect to find me with about 30 of my good Christian Brothers at Iron Men. It was truly a marvelous blessing and I’m melancholy about seeing it go away for now.
Why are we putting a bookmark in Iron Men? Well, it’s simply a matter of time management. I love it, but I honestly no longer have the time to prepare for it and do it each week. When I started Iron Men six years ago, we had 300 coming to the church and now it’s over 500. Yet, I believe there will come a time that it will be restarted by someone else. I really believe one of younger men will pick it up at some point in the future. But, for now…this is the scene that looked back at me yesterday afternoon that stung me…
So, all good things must come to an end for “such a time as this.” I love those 200+ men who came through our doors over the last six years. I pray that foundations were laid in their lives to lead their families, churches, jobs and communities as honorable, Christ-centered men. I pray that those men of “Iron Men” will now go out and be “disciple-makers.” I pray they will use that 1 hour time slot on Wednesdays to mentor someone. Take someone to lunch that needs to be encouraged or challenged…trained or coached. I pray that we will GO and make more disciples. If that takes place, then I believe Iron Men will have been a huge success.
I want to show you a picture of Andrew helping to take up the offering this past Sunday.
It’s hard to see him. He’s in the center in the white pants and striped shirt. You see, he was asked to help take up the offering and you would have thought it was Christmas! He was so excited! I’m so thankful for a church that will “employ” the services of our young adults and allow them to take part in the inner workings of the church. That can mean being an usher, greeter, washing dishes on Wednesday nights, going on mission trips, etc. Mt. Pleasant is not just the church I go to, but it’s also Andrew’s church. It’s as much his church as my church. That’s exciting!
I’ve titled this blog post “Taking Things for Granted” and it’s because of something Clara wrote on Wednesday that Pam discovered on her computer. Sometimes Clara will park on my computer or her mom’s and just start typing random thoughts and musings of her life. What she wrote about her big sister Katy was very thought-provoking (coming from a 9-year old). You see what you think. (Please look over the typos…we’ve left it “as is” for posterity sake.)
In life I have noticed not to take things for granted. When you think about something next year you think that’s a long way away and then you blink and you’re there. I noticed that a lot when my oldest sister got married. When she and Josh got engaged I realized I had taken all those years with her for granted. I thought they would never come and there they were. Those days when I went up to her room and watched a movie on her computer the days where I would sit on her lap the days when she gave me baths. They were all gone. Sometimes I would be sitting on my bed and I would think about Katy and her getting married and I would cry. There were nights when I would cry myself to sleep. One day I was walking with Katy in the yard and we were talking about her and Josh. She talked about him. Then she looked at me and I was crying. She asked me what was wrong. I told her. “I’ll miss you.”
She said she would miss me too. But I will never forget what she told me. “If I stay here with you I’ll miss Josh. If I leave with Josh I’ll miss you.”
“Will we still be sisters?”
“Of course we’ll be sisters.” She told me not to be sad. I wish soooo bad that I would not have taken those wonderful years for granted. I will never get them back. I will never be able to go back. I long for those days again!!
It was this
And I blinked and now it’s this
It happens so fast. I encourage you not to just take those years for granted but to see them as special memories. They are very important and they can change you forever. If you have brothers and sisters you know what I mean there is a different relationship with you and your sibling. It is love. The love is a strange love. But it is strong. It’s a love that loves even when you are hurt. I love my beautiful sister Kandace. I try not take the years with her for granted I don’t want it to be like me and Katy. It is so easy to take those things for granted. Me and Kandace have a different relationship. It is a very strong and special relationship. It is 2 sisters who love each other. I love the moments when Kandace asks me to come up to her room and says, “I want you to hear this song I learned.” I love the moments when Andrew does something weird at the table and me and Kandace look at each other. I love the moments when she curls my hair. I love the moments when we are all at the table and holding hands to pray.
Oh, how I wish I enjoyed the simple things with Katy. I will never get to hold Katy’s hand again at the table when we pray on a regular night. I will never get to go to her room and watch a movie. I have regretted that a thousand times. There are many different relationships in life. I used to think things like that were just life. But they aren’t. They are memories and very very special times. If you have a brother or sister enjoy the time you have with them cause soon it will all be gone. You’ll blink and everything will change. Your brother or sister may fight. They may annoy you sometimes, they may hurt you, they may even pick on you but enjoy the special memories. Don’t take things for granted like I did. You will regret it over and over. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for any of my siblings, except maybe Andrew, just kidding! Sometimes he gets on my nerves but I love him.
I almost cry typing this, but I know now to enjoy the little things. There is a relationship with everybody. Some good, some bad… But I encourage you if you have a brother or sister. Love them. Just love them because soon it will all be gone and you won’t even realize it. Enjoy it. Still, when we are all together, Dad, mom, Katy, Josh, Kandace, me, and Andrew at the table to pray, I look around and see everyone and their faces and I am thankful! I miss Katy when she leaves to go back to her home but I know we still have a relationship and no one can ever separate us. Now when I see her I enjoy the little things.
I was here
and I blinked and now I am here
If you’re the only child I feel bad for you. You will never experience or understand relationships with siblings. It may be fun not to have to share anything with anybody Or get to make decisions. But I had much rather have a sister or brother than not having to share with anybody or make decisions. Please enjoy the simple little easy things in life. They are special and you will never ever forget them.
I hope you got something out of this little blog. Thank you!
Last but not least… A couple of huge things going on in Katy’s life…
To say that I’m excited would be the greatest understatement of all time!!!
Here book is almost done…
Want a sneak peek?
Isn’t it snazzy!!
Here’s and excerpt that will be on the back cover:
I turned the corner. The aisle stretched before me as the music escalated. My white slippers brushed over the red roses. My heart thumped. I had waited so long for this moment. Had I really made it this far? Hundreds of eyes twinkled their approval. But did they really think I was crazy? I could almost hear the question I had been asked before, “Do you think it will be worth the wait?” Here I was at this pinnacle moment. My first kiss.
Here’s the description on the back cover:
These are the lessons of a young woman’s life. It may seem an unusual narrative as she saved her heart for love and grew up knowing that being “different” was a gift. From her childhood years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the stark poverty and tremendous courage and faith of the Ethiopians, this is a riveting and inspiring story of God’s sovereignty and faithfulness.
You can preorder the book for $9.09. The regular price will be $12.99.
Let me say it again…
I’m not taking ANY of this for granted! 🙂