I'm a little slow (okay a lot slow) in posting on what was one of my highlights of the week but in my defense... I'm honestly still catching up on sleep!
God blessed us immensely over the last two weeks..... I have six potential posts floating around in my mind, but I owe some who couldn't attend AIM-a-Palooza some photos, so I'll start there!
I will post pics soon... but for now, check out the fun slide show Jason and Michelle did! http://team-harris-happenings.blogspot.com
I can't even begin to convey how cool the weekend was. Tim - I really think it was the name. (Thank you.) :-) It outgrew our house before we even knew it. I put out fliers out at the AIM booth around 10 am on Thursday at the Workshop and was back by 1 pm changing the address on all the fliers to move it to the church building. Good thing, too....I never took a final count, but I know we had over 70 in attendance from what we could count.
The night, to me, was just one more example of our God and His goodness - making things bigger than we dream, blessing more that we imagined, - doing the unthinkable out of simple thoughts. I don't know how many classes were represented ultimately, but for sure 18 classes from the last four decades. ( Thanks Jay and Sherry for making that statistic possible...:-)
What amazed me the most was to see the faithfulness of our God. For many of us, AIM was such a pivotal point in our life... and in our faith. And from there, the journey for each of us is quite diverse...with joy, pain, celebration, disappointment, confusion, uncertainty, confidence and ultimately, profound change.. etc - as any walk that faithfully pursues Him will eventually have.
Jason made a point that if we had a glimpse at where & how everyone worshipped..some of us might be surprised. But I think that's what I loved most about the night. When we piled into the room late that night and began to sing, the passage of time and the different paths were irrelevant. In fact, it seemed better to me... because I knew the hearts that were singing were even more mature and in love with our God than when I first met them. The songs held more meaning.
I sat next to some I knew well, and some I had just met that night. Didn't matter. When God takes you on a journey... He bonds you with others you don't even know... because you both know Him. Most exciting to me was the thought that heaven holds such feelings for us. Except add in everyone who couldn't make it, a few other generations of believers, a heavenly host and songs that we don't even know yet but will love... and wow. Who wouldn't want a taste of that once a year?
I'm not a crowd person... so the one frustration to me was wishing I could have had coffee & conversation with everyone (and by 2:30 am I NEEDED coffee) .... but just seeing everyone & chatting was amazing. Thank you -EVERYONE... for coming and for making it a blessing to so many by your presence. And make plans next year!!
Angie... My heart smiles in your presence. CONSTANTLY. Thank you for making a huge impact on this world and in our lives - you touch so many. Your sensitivity breathes His life into people. You continue to grow me up and inspire me, friend.
Tim... thanks for always dreaming big - esp. for this weekend. God has blessed our lives through you in particular over and over and over and over again. Thanks for your faithful pursuit of Him.
Jason and Michelle.... I don't know at what point you all decided to come, but when you did, it was like a shot of adrenaline to me - and I KNOW it inspired others. Thank you - that move of faith I really believe added momentum as only He can to others deciding the same - and made the night so special. You both are wonderful.
Heather - Again, I could say the same to you as I just said to Jason and Michelle. I know He worked in your presence bigger than you realized. And even though I didn't get to personally spend time catching up with you like I really wanted to ... the chain reaction of your presence blessed so many. I'll get my time eventually... and between now and then I will keep being inspired from afar by your blog.
Flee ,Selandra & Stuart.... I love that time passes and yet with you it doesn't. Your singing was hoped for ... and a treat. Thanks for always making your voices available for His using along with Ang and Jason to bless others. You enjoy each other, and you let us enjoy you. Thank you.
Flee- I love and miss your directness.. He gifted you in your ability to skip small talk and get straight to the heart. How I love that about you.
Selandra... it's all coming back to me now ( the whole thing about you caring for Eli for the WHOLE first year of his life!) You can laugh out loud at me. Good grief...I've always been a mess and you have always loved me faithfully in spite of it. You were one of the biggest leaps my heart made in the whole weekend. How I have missed you... and could use a good dose of you every day.
Stu... We didn't know 15 years ago how special you would become to us. You continue to eternally invest in our souls. There are friends, and there are friends. You will just always have a special place. Thanks for making the night fun with the books... but know that you have taught me things both through your generosity and in the very books you have passed on that really have changed both of us. He is at work in you always.
Steve - every time we see you... no matter how long or how little we talk, our heart swells with pride in a way it does for few others. In fact, I'm not an overly emotional person - but every single time I get a brief glimpse into your life and what He's doing in you... I feel immediately thankful and overwhelmed - He grew us up through you , and you still hung in there with us. More importantly - you pursue Him. I love that - and I love you.
Donovan and Sharon - You've been doing this connecting thing long before the AIM-a-Palooza night got here. Thank you. I don't know if you get thanked enough - but what you do is bigger than you realize - way bigger. And I would have never guessed that what would get my kids through the night would be the connection they made with yours. What a blessing.. what a glimpse (hopefully) into the future. Thank you so much!
Kris & Barb - Again, I needed lunch... not just a brief hello. (But I will NOT pick the restaurant.) Our hearts are connected to yours permanently though - so we will take time when we get it, and even hugging and standing next to you fill us up. Thank you for shaping us and continuing to bless us.
Kim (Solis) - I can't tell you how many times I keep reflecting on that moment of staring at you over the registration counter - and later thinking that I must have looked either really funny or really rude!! I'm SO glad we figured it out - and so glad our God crossed our paths again. Only He can create such depth of feelings over such a short span of time. My friend, you spurred me on in inspiration bigger than you could have imagined years ago, and it brought such joy to me heart to see where He has taken you since then. Your family is beautiful - and your heart always has been and continues to be. Thank you for being a highlight of my week.
Amy & Jeff - - Again - another shot of adrenaline to hear you were coming. Jeff - thanks for sacrificing and making it so special for so many by sending Amy all that way. Amy, your laughter and stories kept me entertained (even as my body was begging for a pillow) - and you have always been that way. One to balance humor and genuine faith and devotion so wonderfully. I love you and LOVED seeing & listening to you again. I think I could do a thousand late nights with you in the room.
Oh my goodness.... I have so many more to write. But I don't know if they ever read this blog... so I'll save my energy and go to bed at this point. Although I do want to point out it is now 2 am. I don't know why it seemed so hard to stay up that night... I've been able to do it just fine ever since!!!!
Thank you for making my life so much richer...each one of you. I am so out of my league in the blessing of friendships. Our God is so good.