Blessed Beyond Measure by Friends of Eastern Cemetery

Andy Harpole Won’t Give Up on Eastern Cemetery, Even Though City of Louisville Has

It started Memorial weekend. I heard about it on NPR. Flagging Veterans' tombstones at Eastern. A cemetery in ill-repair, abandoned, unloved, desecrated. Veterans' graves long forgotten and left to rot. I made my family go. And it turned out to be an experience we will never forget. We ran around looking for Veterans' final resting places. Chris spoke a sentence that resonates in my soul, even three months later, "even if they aren't Veterans they deserve to be seen." He told Brytin as they brushed grass clippings off tombstones.

At some point, someone told me there was history. A lot of horrible history at Eastern. So of course that night I Googled. I must have read 15 different articles about the atrocious mishandling of finances and land and disrespect for the deceased and just morally repugnant business choices in Eastern's history.

But there they were, this group of angels all dedicated to helping repair and restore and love on and respect this 30 acres of misshapen ground. The Friends of Eastern Cemetery has been around for a little over a year, I guess. Working diligently on Sundays and some other days too, using their personal resources and as many donated resources as they could muster, to try their hand at caring for this molested land.

Somehow, my family seems to run into a debacle most Sundays that prevents our participation in their clean-up efforts, but we do try. Today, we were debacle-free and able to join in. All four of us were there scrubbing the Loomis wakehouse, hoping to restore some of that light grey luster.  (We succeeded!!!)

Sean talked about the building as we scrubbed - about the architect Loomis, about the building's purpose and folklore and I kept thinking how remarkable it is that this group of people each have so much knowledge about different aspects of this 30-acres of land. Some of them know biographies of various people buried there (like the "favorites" and the politicians and prominent citizens and the Veterans - I've heard stories about a lot of them.) Some of them know about the historical drama that this land has been through. Some of them know about cemetery restoration/preservation and how to go about it. And together they have this vision for the land, the cemetery, the future of this hallowed ground. And it is just so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.

When I am with this group of people, loving on a land that can never repay them, I see exactly what Jesus meant for the church to be.

If you have any interest in helping out, please do not hesitate to contact me. Truly, there is an avenue for every different interest - philanthropy, landscape, entrepreneurs, preservation/restoration, civic duty, crafting and even natural, botanical foods and products.
My Kids are Blessed by FOEC Too!


Psalm 121

It is good to worry a little, because it leads to healthier choices (so says Eric Barker).

But quickly remember then, that it is Lord who watches over my life, guides my footsteps and blesses me beyond measure in both trial and triumph.

Psalm 121 is a perfect reminder of this!

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains -
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of Heaven and earth...

The Lord will keep you from all harm -
He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."

Big thanks to WorkLife for the verse today.


Mysterious Ways

I told you recently that God broke my creamer addiction by giving me my most favorite car.

Well I have another mysterious mystery sentence for you - I started an exercise program, and so now I'm moving.

Tee Major said he would change my life, and boy did he ever!

My husband loves bodyweight exercises. His commanding officer asked if he had ever heard off Tee Major. He showed me some YouTube videos one night at home. In one of said videos, Tee Major said, "Give me 90 days and I will change your life."

I was moved, honestly (pun intended). Something about the timing, the simplicity, the military, the excitement...There has been a brick wall between exercise and me my whole life. And something in Tee Major's videos made it seem like I was finally ready to scale that wall, stand on top of it and rappel down the other side.

So, we got the videos and the books and we dove in! My husband was SUPER excited because I was excited. Our kids love physical activity. We were all winning! And in 90 days I was going to be able to do a pull-up! I even got a tweet from TeeMajor himself encouraging me!

The first day of the program, you are to just do the warm-up exercises. It's a bunch of random exercises like running sprints, but sometimes you are skipping sideways and sometimes you are doing high knees. Whatever. Physically exhausting, but fun and easy.

We chose to do these exercises in the parking lot next to our home. The parking lot next to our home is for a "church" that only our landlords attend. Not thinking anything of it, we used the church parking lot to run these sprints, because it was paved and flat - unlike any piece of land in our yard. Unfortunately, when our landlords arrived at the church that evening and saw us doing the exercises, they did not "think nothing of it." They marched right up to us and gave us the what-for.

I quickly told them that I was sorry I had offended them by doing exercises in their parking lot and took the children inside the house. My husband tried discussing the matter with them, but communication fell apart.

We received a letter in the mail two days later letting us know that they were gravely offended that we had desecrated their church and that we were to vacate within the month.

And so you have it. I started an exercise program and so now I'm moving.

The Lord, in all His glory, sure works in mysterious ways!


#BringBackOurGirls is NOT a Current Event.

"We Are That Family" is a blog I read EVERY day. Something about the writing strikes a chord in my soul EVERY single day. The parenting, the ministry, the #yesinmymess mentality. I love it.

Today, though, was the most remarkable blog post. Please please please take the time to read it.

The Difference Between Their Daughters and Mine

I don't have daughters, but this situation in Nigeria has truly brought to light for me a resounding problem.I HAVE been posting #BringBackOurGirls everywhere and anywhere I could. But my heart knew there was more...

Kidnapped, abused and misused girls in third world countries is NOT a current event. It is real, it is every day, and it is not going to go stop until the whole world stands up for them.

Yes, I wrote a letter to my Senator, because I didn't know what else to do. But today, We Are That Family, reminded me that I need to pray. I don't know how I missed that, but it is exactly what I need to do.

 Will you pray with me?

“God, we humbly seek your face and lift up the girls and women in our world who suffer in bondage and fear violence. We ask that you would set these captives free. We pray they would feel your strong arm of love in the midst of their suffering. Please give me the courage to stand against oppression. Bring back our girls. Amen.” (Reposted from We Are That Family.)


Bible Study Fellowship Share Night 2014

Every year, BSF's final night of gathering is about sharing how the study has affected you. I love to listen to wormen's stories! They get healed, they get inspired, they get reformed, they get Jesus.

I had something I wanted to share. There were plenty of opportunities to segue into my story for the year. There were plenty of times my heart was pounding so loud in my chest, I thought for sure my neighbor heard it. But I just couldn't get in front of that crowd of strangers, stand in for of the mic, and NOT cry. So I didn't.

I should have. When it was all over, and was driving home in my Mini Cooper, I felt so disappointed.

The whole way home, and even the next day, and even today, I know that I missed out on an opportunity to glorify God. Oh, He was glorified. But not by me.

Like the disciples in Gethsemane who slept rather than prayed, my silence robbed me of the opportunity to strengthen others and glorify God.


Let It Be

I read a blog post this morning by Oriah called “Let It Go.” One particular sentence stood out amongst all the others:

“I have found the inner directive to "let it be" somewhat more fruitful in helping me loosen a desperate grasp and rest in what is.”

After that sentence, her blog post went in a different direction than what I was hoping for – she went back to using “let it go.”

“Let it be,” however, seemed VERY insightful and almost perfect.

“Let it be,” releases judgment, releases opinion and allows God to control it. It allows me to ride the waves of whatever the situation is. 

“Let it go,” to me, means I have to forget about it, and I just can’t do that. I care too much (yes, about everything).

I can, however, “let it be” what it is and allow God’s plan to play out.

The Beatles, apparently, had this figured out decades ago!


Matthew 26

Matthew 26 and its multi-layered depth and beauty has truly awakened my soul.

So much happens.

Each happening means something.

All the lessons are significant.

Every verse is so rich with meaning and purpose and guidance and love.

As Easter approaches, I pray that I would spend it all on Jesus like Mary.

As Easter approaches, I pray that truth would always turn me toward Jesus, unlike Judas.

As Easter approaches, I pray that I would know that whenever I rely on my own strength, I am even more weak than Peter.

I pray fervently that God would use me in ways that I do not even know I am being used. That He would use me in ways that have a positive eternal significance.

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