Saturday, December 17, 2011

Three Gifts

 Hi Ladies,
I hope you are enjoying your Christmas preparations and that they are filled with big doses of Joy and Peace. People have been asking me to write about the gift giving plan that Cam mentioned in his sermon focused on three gifts. This idea is by no means original with, me but it is a way to help our children and families think about Jesus and the three gifts He received in the Christmas story. 
I have been praying about getting a balance in our gift giving since last Christmas when I heard of using the number three in reference to Jesus’ gifts. I began to think about what each gift He received would represent in my life or my family’s lives. So let me just share with you what we did with our sweet kids and Grandkids this year as we celebrated the Birth of Jesus during Thanksgiving. (As we would not be together for Christmas…we jumped the gun.)
The first gift I gave out was Frankincense: We started our Christmas celebration talking about how we want our lives to be a sweet aroma to God. Above everything else, that would mean this Christmas could not be “all about us”! Every person from Granny to the babies got a pair of TOMs shoes, so when we got our pair…a child somewhere in the world also got a pair. Everyone loved their TOMs! They were a complete surprise to all…and I was very surprised that this turned out to be one of our favorite gifts.
The second gift Cam and I gave our family was Myrrh: We wanted to give them something that would be a healing balm…something that would ease some need for them. So we just asked them what they needed and tried to find that thing that was a real need. So everyone received something they wanted or needed.
The third gift we gave was Gold: We wanted to give everyone something they would value. Each person received something they did not ask for, that hopefully was a treasure. We are finding that our sons treasure our traditions most. One of the things in our house that had to happen  when they were growing up, is that you must be surprised by something. Keeping this tradition with our Gold gift made it truly a treasure for us all. It’s been said many times before, but it really is the thought that counts.  Planning something special that takes a little thought will always be a blessing to the ones you love.
Let me encourage all of you to make your own new traditions starting with this year. I love watching my sons and their wives work together to mix old traditions from each family and add new ones…precious things that will be just for their sweet growing family to enjoy.  Our heavenly Father is the Master giver. Families that give look an awful lot like Him. Enjoy His best gift this year.   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Catchin Up on Whats Been Happening

Everyone's job has hard things and easy things. Most jobs have good thing and bad things, or things you like about it and things you don't like about it. I love my job and I don't feel like there is any bad part of my job accept when I let too many of the hard things pile up together. So rather than enjoy the challenge I stare at the mountain of work overwhelmed  Well I hope you are not having one of the "mountain staring" days. I've had a few this week but today is not one of them. I'm spending time catching up with an old friend.

At the top of my list of 'great things about my job' is a thing called a Spiritual Retreat Day. We are encouraged to take one day a month to pull away from the normal tasks and spend some time with God. I have been doing that today. What a blessing to read, study and pray without rushing on to the next task. Like many of you I try and spend time with God each day. But if I'm honest some of those days are very rushed. The only way to catch up with a friend about what's going on is to stop, sit down and chat a while. I was reminded today in John 15:14 & 15 that Jesus calls us friends. He goes on to say that we get to know Him and the news from His Father. He want's us to know what He's been up to.

Stop sit down and have a chat with Jesus. He already knows what's going on with you but He'd like to hear you say it...then maybe you'll know what's going on with you. Somehow you'll come away with a little more clarity about what's been happening lately. You think you've been should hear what He's been up to.

Sarah Huxford
SCC Women Pastor

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's the simple things!

I hope I don't sound like a broken record (that's a sound that was made when a black plastic disc with music on it skipped back to the same line over and over...repeating phrases let you know you had a broken record) but it truly is the simple things that mean the most. I will try and use terminology in the future that won't need  such a long explanation, but I'm too excited to think of something else. We had our first Coffee and Conversation at Chick-fil-A this morning and it was such a blessing!
A free cup of coffee and people to talk to while I drank it. I think I could start every Thursday like that. I'm always amazed by the number of topics we women can cover in a short amount of time. Today was no different. Hearing each other's stories took us on quite a trip...from backpacking across Euorup to South Africa, from the Holy Land to Ireland, and a good many states in the USA. I hope you will try and be a part of the next C&C if you are anywhere around Savannah Georgia. We will be dropping in to the Chick-fil-A every second Thursday from 9am to 11am through the end of this year. We may expand the times to include and evening in 2012.
I never told you why I was so excited after C&C today. Everyone that came was younger than me! I love being the Women's Pastor at Savannah Christian Church but if there is one thing I love most about our ministry it's that it is multigenerational. I believe with all of my heart that this is how Jesus wants His church to look. We are going to keep working at getting the news out to women of all ages so we can honor what the Lord has called us to do in Titus 2.
What I saw today were sisters meeting for the first time, realizing they had family even far from home. I saw old friends reunited and catching up on each others lives. I saw tears and laughter. It's the simple things...a friend saying she knows how you feel...a sister's tears that prove she's been where you are...a prayer breathed for hope that He will see you through.
Well I'll close this Thursday Thought with the reminder to take each opportunity to connect with your sisters in the Lord. Next opportunity for this is our Girls night out: Shine Like Stars on September 30th! Visit our website to see pictures from other Girls Night Out events.
I'll look for you.
Sarah Huxford
Women's Pastor SCC 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Too Busy to Think

As I was burning the midnight oil last night trying to come up with a topic for this week's blog, the same phrase kept going through my mind. I'm too busy to think. I realize that is a sad state to be in especially when we've been calling this "Sarah's Thursday Thought".  But there I was Thursday...and truly not one thought in my head.

What a scary way to walk thru life. Too busy to think. I'm sure at least some of you can relate. Some days we get so busy that we probably have too many thoughts in our head and we can't focus on the important ones.

Well as I face my busy Fall with many new and fun things launching in our REAL women's ministry, I am so thankful for a group of leaders that work with me and can 'think' when I'm having trouble in that area. They have been planning and praying for you as we start this season. I hope you will get to know these amazing leaders personally. You might be hearing from them on this blog from time to might hear from them in classrooms or home Bible Studies, but their prayers are for you to get connected with you're SCC sisters.

Enjoy the good things going on in your busy fall. I intend to do better enjoying mine. I love this time of year. Let's take time to keep our mind focused on what's really important. Romans 12:2

Sarah Huxford
SCC Womens Pastor

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's Time To Get Strong!

Just when you thought there were no more ways to show you my grandchildren...I have found another. We have a pull up bar in our house that is a part of our regular home decor. It hangs prominently in the doorway between the kitchen and the Dining room. I used to think (to myself of course)...I wonder how much longer that's going to hang there before they get tired of it. As you might have guessed, in a house with quite a few men passing through, they are not tired of it yet. It has been interesting to watch however, to see how long it takes a new person visiting to try it out. It's kind of like they can hear that bar saying..."show me what you got!"...and the next thing I hear from them is "let me at that thing". They have to try it and (as my sister Mary wanted to prove with her try) see if they can still do what they did in high school. Now some of the people that are regularly at our house...have been out of high school for several years but for some of the rest of has been several decades. The "let me at that thing" feeling can happen at any age as you can see form the picture of my 10 month old grandson J. Harrison. But while the desire is the same at any age I will have to say that the results are not the same. 

Well I use that pull up bar in my house as a reminder that it's time to get strong. When you watch people like my son Garrett use it every time he goes by, you realize its value. Doing something regularly and often builds you up. Doing it just once in a while makes you sore...for days. As I think about my spiritual goals I realize they are much like my physical goals. We all want to get strong in the Lord. The funny thing is that strength only happen when we are built up daily by the things that make us grow. So it's time...time to get regular with my own study in the word. Time to get back with the people I can learn from as we study together.

I love this time of year. A time when so many of us feel the pull to get things ordered in our life again. It's almost like you can feel it in the air...the let's get going feeling. I was even excited to be back in my office again.  J. Harrison was with me there doing some Hebrew studies. Did I mention he is a remarkable child? Advanced in every way. We were reading the Bible and discussing the use of the Shofar in the Old Testament (the long Ram's horn) and he was a great student, interested in everything. I saw again with fresh eyes why the Lord tells us to come to Him as a child. Ladies I pray for that for each of us. That we come ready to learn and truly interested in everything He wants to teach us. We have so many great opportunities for Bible Study this Fall I hope you are in one.

Thanks for the inspiration this week J. Harrison! To think that there is coming a day when the only thing he wants to learn is how to drive.

Sarah Huxford, SCC Women's Pastor,
Thursday Thought...

Friday, August 12, 2011

God Sized Beauty

We are thrilled to be back. There is no place like home and Savannah Christian Church. The pictures for this blog could get a little boring however because the only subjects to photograph here some days are Cam and I drinking our coffee and having calendar time. But hopefully we won't have to resort to that this week. We have seen some amazing God size sights this last month. I will have to admit, my husband was right, they do look better from the back seat of a Harley. As we rode through the giant redwoods my neck got so tired trying to look from the bottom of the tree to the top because you can't take in the entire tree at once. So I took advantage of not having a roof over my head...laid back on our pack and just stared straight up at those magnificent trees. When we stopped I just had to hug one. Yes that's me in my motorcycle helmet becoming a tree hugger. I do love those trees.

On the northern California coast I saw God sized cliffs hanging over the ocean as it sparkling hundreds of feet below.  (At one point my husband said it had to be a 1000 feet down.) The ocean was shining with the most beautiful shades of glowing blue I had ever seen. I didn't know we could be that high above the ocean and still be on land. Next time I hope to see all of it with my eyes open. However from what I did see...I was overwhelmed with the creative mind of our God. Just when you think you've seen the most beautiful view there is, another one comes around the next hairpin curve and takes your breath away. (...or maybe it was the curve...but I know I wasn't breathing.)

We also saw some amazing sights that show clearly man's ingenuity and creativity. When we crossed the Golden Gate bridge we were in the clouds part of the ride. It is fortunate that someone decided to paint it orange when it was constructed. Out of all of the colors I think orange shows up best in the fog and clouds. I loved it's graceful inverted arches shooting into the clouds. But the memorable thing for me was the vantage point we had of the surrounding area. I realized without this bridge only the birds would have this chance. After the cliffs and this bridge it became normal to be looking down on birds in flight. I was definitely seeing the world from a new angle.

I think we look most like our God when we create something new. When we can get what's in our mind and heart out there to share with other people we see just a glimmer of His heart. The Bible tells us we were created in His image and so there is a part of us that longs to create. I love that everything God created...He wanted to share with us. That's why He made it!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Getting Closer to God

Ladies, Its been a long hot summer and I don't know about you but I am ready for cooler weather. I am also ready to to get back to connecting and serving with my Sisters in Christ. I would like to take a moment and speak to our sisters at SCC who have not connected with our Women's Ministry. It could be that you are new or it could be that you have been coming for a while and do not know how to get connected.
I would like to tell you about two ladies and what they did to get involved with our Women's ministry.
Delynn Daniels came to our church about 4 years ago from Florida. She knew no one. She said she was lonely and needed girlfriends (she had left 3 best friends in Orlando). She read that our Women's Ministry Bible Studies would be starting up and she decided to join one. The best decision ever. Not only did she grow deeper with her Lord but she made friends. These new girlfriends helped her get plugged into all the activities we have in our Women's Ministry. Delynn is now one of the leaders of this ministry and works part time at SCC. Needless to say Delynn is not lonely anymore.
Maureen Smith came to our church just recently but connected so fast it seems she has been a part of our family for 20 years. Her husband is in the military. We love taking care of our military sisters !!! Maureen like Delynn joined a Women's Bible Study. OMGoodness!!! She will forever have lifelong girlfriends here because of the bond she has made with these ladies. She has gotten plugged into our Ministry big time! Maureen and her husband are being transferred in a few short weeks and we are going to miss her very much.
I know personally I love our Bible studies and all that we learn in them. I love studying Gods Word and connecting with Him along with getting connecting with other ladies. Ladies who understand life from (as Sarah Huxford always says) my side of the breakfast table.
All this to say, our society is more and more driven to social media, texting, and emailing to stay connected. We cannot overlook the importance of physical face to face connecting! I want to encourage you to go to our web site and or watch for our blog about the upcoming Bible Studies . They will be posted around the 20th of August. Lets do this life together Sweet Sisters. I look forward to it! 
Love you all, Irene Christian

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To See Clearly We May Need New Light

I have the most amazing young women raising my grandchildren! I know that is a strange way to tell you that news. It's just that I have recently seen them in a new and different light. They have both agreed to work with me on projects this summer and it's like I got to view them from a different angle.

So allow me to restate than my daughters-in-law look amazing from any angle. First of all how brave do you have to be to work with your Mother-in-law! Secondly I've got to admit that I've been more creative and more productive than ever before. When my eyes were opened to this "new light" I got excited because this just what we believe God has called us to in REAL Women ministries.

We have always believed that we are to take seriously Titus 2 and that means our ministry must be inter-generational. I have once again seen that God has a great plan for us as women when we are willing to learn from each other. This is a great time of year ro step out and make those inter-generational connections. Over these next few days you will be hearing from some REAL Women leaders (on this blog) about opportunities to connect with other women that will help you grow and see things in a "new light". I hope you will find what I have found...that there is still a lot to learn.

I think our families are just like God's works well when there are strong ties from generation to generation. Each holding to His truth for the generation that is yet to come. So as I watch my daughters-in-law (from any angle or in any light) I see the next generation in good hands. It brings such joy to see my grand children being raised by these amazing women!

Sarah Huxford
SCC Women's Ministry

Thursday, July 28, 2011

She Called Him By Name

I wish you could have seen his face. Grandpa Cam was given his name this week. The first time Riley called him Papa I thought he was going to melt. We would say something about "Grandpa" and Riley would say "Papa" over and over. The world was hers. If it was in his power he would make her wishes come true. Even if it was going into the waves that no one wanted to brave, she'd pull...and into the water he'd go. We even caught him playing choo choo train following her around in circles.
These last few weeks I have been facinated watching what happened to my son Cam's face everytime she called him by name. She has been saying Dada a long time (he proudly stated several times) but it never lost the power to bring joy to his heart. She says it when she wants to sing in the morning with him or when she sqeels as he throws her in the air and it's like magic.

I was thinking as I watched my two Cams that there is a lesson in this father's joy over the child they love calling them by name. Don't ever forget that you have a Father in heaven that rejoices every time you call His name. Do it often in prayer and worship. Some of you are young in the Lord and He has such joy hearing that you know Him by name. Also don't forget to hold His hand and trust Him when the waves are too deep or you're up too high!

Sarah Huxford
SCC Women's Ministry

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Modern Thought…Ancient Provision

We’ve been “Earthing” these last few days and I’ve got to say that I’m enjoying it. I know at this point you are worried about me spending too much time on the west coast.

I will admit  that it is all my fault. I was reading some health articles and one of the new schools of thought is called “Earthing".  In a nutshell, the thought behind it is that there is healthful  benefits to having your feet touch the earth. As you might have guessed I read it out loud to the family to share the education.  So the suggestions were to put your toes in the grass each day or have your feet in the salty ocean sand and you’ll feel better.

Even though this is accompanied with much teasing and laughing  about “Mom’s latest cure” we do feel better after  having had our toes in the grass or feet on the beach. I will not vouch for the science behind “earthing” but I will say that the one who created the Earth has given us a remarkable gift and made provision for all we need.

As we’ve been talking  about what refreshes us and renews us I will have to say that anytime I spend some time in nature I see the hand of God and I am left speechless by the wonder of what He created.

If scientist have by chance finally figured out that this earth is exactly what we need for our well being, then they are catching up to the book of Genesis. Our Father has created the perfect place for His Children. Let Him lead you beside the quiet waters and let Him restore your souls. Psalm 23

My husband added his comment after reading this and informed me they always practiced “earthing” in South Carolina but they called it “going barefoot”.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BIG Day today for me!

Today is a big day for me.
Today is the day that Riley Grace Huxford spends the day and night with her grandparents. I feel I am definitely moving up a step on the grandparent ladder now that I have had both of my grandchildren spend the night. I am so excited.

There may be, however, someone more excited that me and that's my daughter-in-law Hailey. I see the longing in her eyes as she talks about 'sleeping in' one morning...and that it has been 14 months since she has done that.
You young moms are amazing with your tireless, non-stop care of your sweet kids. Those of us past this time in our lives need to be reminded of how constant your life is at this stage. I hope and pray that you find ways to stay refreshed and renewed in your busy days. Hanging out with 14 month old Riley has introduced me to the speed fun concept.
You moms know that you can't give up shopping so you "speed shop" and out of three stores in under 15 minutes. It's pretty remarkable. Then if you need to get one more store in you stop for some fast fun and you "speed play" with your little one. This has all been a great reminder for me. With their attention spans children don't need an hour at each thing...just a few minutes will be great fun for them.
After having three sons I am glad to have a girl in this next generation of the family to shop with. I will have to say that Riley is already showing signs of being a good shopper. She oos and ahhs at the right time over items in the shopping bag and will even try on some hot pink sandals and model them for everyone in the store to "ooh and ahh" over.

When I handed her her shopping bag she held the handle tight all the way down the street as if her life depended on it. I thought her little knuckles were going to turn white with that strong determined grip.

Even so some of the best shopping moments were the play breaks. The stop at the frogs fountain where you never know when the water is going to come out of their mouths was priceless but she loved the five minutes to play with her new ball that Mom got her, just as much.

So as I close, let me just say ladies, I hope you will put some energy into finding some fast fun for yourselves as well, that will renew your spirit.
Psm 103:5 So you can keep doing the most important job in the world with joy.
Sarah Huxford

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thursday's Thought from Sarah-

The topic of how to fill the extra hours with kids home during the summer seems to keep coming up. I know all of you good moms want to make sure that this time is productive and fun for them. What I want you to keep in mind is that in the normal day to day you might build some of your best memories. Watch for opportunities for fun breaks!
I have been trying to think back at my age (I'll admit this much...I'm a Grandma for those of you that don't know me) about the things that leave the best memories after the years have flown by. It was, however, time with my 8 month old grandson that reminded me of something very important. We were all together for the 4th of July out at Fort Stewart. We were trying to honor our military families with some chicken sandwiches that "Grillzilla" was producing by the hundreds as well as some other picnic food and cool drinks on that hot day. Did I mention it was almost 100 degrees (ok, only 99) but hot for a picnic!?!
I figured the best job for me was to be on "baby watch" so everyone else could get the food served. Staying cool was the goal, so we tried riding, walking, and holding...but after awhile little J Harrison did not want to be held by anymore hot people. Then I saw it...the perfect toy...a cardboard box. After I verified that it had only been used for bread, I figured it was clean enough for my grandson. He played in that box with a cold bottle of water for over an hour. Uncle G had to come by and make some reinforcements and upgrades with duct tape so he could stand up and show off (and reach for his cheerios) in his chariot. He thought he was the king of the day and rewarded us with tons of cute giggles...and we haven't laughed like that for a long time.
I was reminded that it is often the simple things and sometime to just hanging out together that builds good memories. After all handing out cheerios and tickling tummies are the best jobs I know.
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