Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Splashing up fun!

I have to be honest, I am kind of sad that my "100 fun facts about Mich" that took three posts to write, is over. I had such a good time. It is always fun remembering random pieces of your history. Little bits of memory treasure, I say. Maybe I will follow my bloggy friend Sharon's advice and make it a weekly thing. Seriously thinking about it. Anyone interested?

As for this post...

I might have mentioned in an earlier post that my niece is visiting this week. My brother-in-law and his family are from the Houston area. She flew in Saturday and her parents will be driving in for a visit this weekend. The kids are enjoying their their time together. The girls are only 6 weeks apart. Although very different in their personalities, they are close. Of course Jordan has felt outnumbered and is "tired of them bossing him around!" Poor boy, he has two sisters this week, instead of one. They have gone back and forth between grandma's house and our house.
Kevin has been taking them swimming after work. A nice little cool down to end a very hot day. It is HOT around our world! I tagged along one night and snapped a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Too cute, huh? For family and friends that want to see more pictures, you can hope over to my kid's blog http://kandjexpressions.blogspot.com/ to see them making a splash.
Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Final Thirty...

Here you go... the final thirty of fun, unusual facts about "ME." (Sorry, Sis, but you probably know all of these too!)

71. My sister and I try to take a road trip together every summer. We think it should be the next reality show; "Two Moms, Five Kids, One Dog in a Van For Hours!!!" We always have a blast.

72. My son is named after my brother that passed away.

73. I love to plan parties.

74. I go to youth camp every summer.

75. I have walked, ran, rode a bike, rode in a car/truck, rode on a bus, on a boat, on a rickshaw, on a "tuk-tuk," in a taxi, on a ferry, on a train, in a plane... I Haven't been in a shuttle in space.

76. I once was traveling home from overseas by myself and was searched because I was young and the country I was flying from is known for drugs. They went through my whole suitcase, while I stood there scared and in tears. Finally the man found my Bible and asked me why I was over there. I started rambling real fast, explaining how "I had go to see my parents, who are missionaries overseas, and I'm traveling home for college and..." I just kept rambling, when finally the guy just lifted his hand to silence me. "You can go. I know you must be telling the truth, for there is no way you could have made up a story like that."

77. My first car was a Dodge Shadow. I got it when I was a sophomore in college.

78. When I was in high school they would call me "cotton candy head" because I used so much hairspray. Can you say "80's?"

79. I can not tan. God mixed me up at birth. I think I was suppose to be born in Ireland or something. Here in the south, of the good 'ol USA, I have to work at not getting fried.

80. there is no rhyme or reason to my handwriting. It is half cursive, half print. Sometimes caps, sometimes lower case. I have about three different ways to write the letter "a." Bless my mom, the school teacher, she really tried.

81. I sing in the shower.

82. Me and laundry do not get along. It will not stop pestering me and just go away. It just keeps coming back!

83. I almost drown in a creek when I was little. My mom had me take swim lessons after that.

84. I work with babies at a childcare center. I love the smell of baby. I wish I could find a way to bottle it.

85. I am a total people pleaser.

86. I have been to 4 different elementary schools, took 3 different correspondence courses when my mom was homeschooling me, went to 2 International schools and one Baptist college. Some of those I went to at different times. One year I changed school situations 3 times, while in other situations I would stay more than a year. I figured out that between kindergarten and college, I had made 13 school changes. Crazy, huh? Probably explains a lot.

87. Every Wednesday night I get to hang out with 50 - 100 teenagers. (We are down because of summer) I love those kids. I love what my hubby does for a living!

88. My first kiss was not by a so called "boyfriend." Actually, there was another missionary kid, who after "date night" at MK camp, was trying to be prince charming and went up to all the girls and surprised them by "planting" a big on on the lips. I was stunned for a good five minutes. I don't think he ever realized that it was my first kiss by a boy. I was in 9th grade.

89. I love a good nap!

90. I have had snake charmers with "real cobras" in my driveway before.

91. One time I was hanging out with a group of missionary kids. There was an older MK, that i tried to impress all night. Only when we went up to our hotel room that night I realized I had a big hole in the seat of my pants. The seam had come out. Talk about embarrassing. I was so glad he was a missionary kid from another country than where we lived, or I might not have lived it down in my head. I saw him a few years later and he never said a word. I'm still hoping he didn't notice. :)

92. I use to walk home from school in flood waters, in a third world country, BAREFOOT. What was I thinking. And here I am still alive and kicking. Amazing.

93. I won a blue ribbon at the science fair when I was in 10th grade. If I'm honest, I have to say my dad won a blue ribbon at my science fair, when I was in the 10th grade. :)

94. I am not good at math and had to have tutors in high school.

95. I have friends from high school that have one liners in the movie "Good Morning Vietnam." The film was made in Thailand where my parents served as missionaries. they came to our school and got extra and gave auditions for small speaking roles. We thought it was pretty cool at the time.

96. I've been stung by a jellyfish.

97. When I was a senior in high school, I took journalism, yearbook and photography. I thought I might go into journalism. However, I got so burnt out, I quickly changed my dream. I sometimes regret that move, for I think I probably should have stuck with that area of study. I enjoy so much of it.

98. I'm on my 235th post. Pretty cool!

99. I unfortunately pick and bite at my nails when I'm nervous or worried. I've tried to stop, but it is a hard habit to break.

100. I told my hubby just the other day how blogging has helped me. It has given me a voice. I have met new friends and I receive encouragement on a daily basis from other posts and comments sent my way. Thanks!

Part Two...If Anyone is Interested.

In Yesterday's post I listed thirty five facts about myself. I had such a good time doing it that I thought I would continue on. So, in other words, if you're interested in more fun facts about "Mich" keep on reading. If not, well maybe we can catch back up later.

36. When I was in high school I wanted to be an artist/designer. Went to college and realized I wasn't as good as my dream.

37. I named my daughter after a character on "Days of Our Lives." Both my Grandmas watched that show and I would watch with them. There was a girl named Kayla Brady. I thought it was beautiful and had never heard it before. However, I guess everyone else had the same idea, for after she was born there were "Kaylas" popping up all over the place.

38. My real name is Michele. (Yes, it is with one "L".) I got my nickname in high school. One of my best friends wanted to call me something different since there were so many Michelle's, Shelly's, etc... (It is pronounced like the boys name "Mitch.")

40. I went to college with some of the girls in the Christian singing group Point of Grace.

41. When I lived overseas, my dad was the pastor of the English language church in Bangkok. One Sunday morning we had a special guest at church, with lots of security. It was President Jimmy Carter. I have always thought it was cool that he took time to go to church, even when he was traveling. My dad even asked him to pray.

42. I like ALL kinds of music, except rap. It really just depends on the song.

43. I took piano lessons for a year as a kid. I now wish I had taken more.

44. I collect old dishes. My favorites are the ones passed down through the family with a story to tell.

45. I have had two poems published.

46. I am a speed reader. I can read a book in a night. (a couple of hours)

47. I teach kindergarten Sunday School at my church.

48. I love black and white pictures. My Christmas cards every year have a picture of my kids taken in black and white.

49. I DO NOT have an athletic bone in my body. Hence, I was always last to be picked on the playground.

50. I LOVE Arby's. YUMMY!

51. My husband and I met Chris Tomlin before he became a chart topping artist. He was the praise and worship leader at a camp we went to. Kevin even played basketball with him. Great guy! Love his music. Oh, to be able to write like him...

52. I have ridden on an elephant.

53. In the 9th grade, I lived in a boarding house, while my parents were in a totally different country.

54. I collect dolls when traveling. I have one from every country I have ever been to.

55. I am a reality show junkie. American Idol, The Amazing Race, The Biggest Loser, Dancing With the Stars...

56. I love the Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea miniseries. Anne and I are "kindred spirits."

57. I tend to be a worrier. I can "over think" anything, as my hubby says.

58. I love to shop.

59. I collect Willow Tree figurines. Their simplicity is beautiful to me.

60. I had my tonsils out when I was five.

61. My favorite Bible story is Esther. I love her courage.

62. I have to take "notes" at everything. If I don't, my mind wanders...

63. I am addicted to peppermints. My dentist doesn't like it. However, She should. I'm keeping her in business.

64. I hate storms, but I love the rain. (When I don't have to be anywhere.)

65. I am terrified of needles. One bad experience when I was little sent me over the edge and I became the child they had to chase around the room. I still ask to lay down when blood is drawn.
66. My husband sings beautifully and sang to me at my wedding. He sang Steven Curtis Chapman's "I Will Be Here."

67. I have horrible allergies. Are you ready for this one? I'm allergic to chocolate.

68. I was baptized by my daddy. I was also married by my daddy.

69. My favorite hymn is "How Great Thou Art."

70. I feel like each day is an adventure waiting to happen. How I deal with it is what determines the ride...

Thanks for reading. I had fun once again sharing a part of me. Stay tuned for tomorrow for I will wrap up this list of "100 facts about Mich." Believe it or not I could go on, and on, and on...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

For Your Information...

While I was reading some great posts today by some new friends, I was thinking about how little I know about them. What is great about the blog world is you really get to see a person's heart and their feelings before you know what they look like or what talents they may have. I find myself drawn to a writer's honesty and humor and their faith in the Lord. Many times I've read a post without even knowing what the author looks like.

If only we were judged that way in our everyday world. Being the mother of a Preteen girl, I am reminded constantly of my teenage days and how unfortunately too much judgement is made on one's appearance, wealth or talent. No one takes the time to get to know some one first and then decide whether they would like to be friends. One bad hair day, one bad outfit, one huge zit, one embarrassing moment can make or break you sometimes. But that is a whole different subject for another day.

I was just thinking, I might let you into my world just a little more. If you are curious about who the real "Mich" is then keep on reading. If you are related to me or know me pretty well, then you might enjoy this trip down memory lane. So here I go. "Thirty five random facts about me" just for your information.

1. My favorite color is rose pink. I usually say green, because I do not believe there is an ugly shade of green and because I am picky on the shade of pink. I like the color of dark pink roses.

2. My favorite number is "26." Both my birthday and my anniversary are on that number date.

3. I am a Preacher's Kid. And a Missionary kid.

4. I have two children. One girl and one boy.

5. Both my kids and I were born in the same month. October.

6. I have a sister who is six and half years younger than me. She is the wonderful mom of my three terrific nephews. Love her bunches!

7. For my graduation present, my parents took me through Europe on our way home from the mission field. Too fun!

8. I graduated from the International School in Bangkok.

9. My favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice.

10. I love musicals.

11. I've lived in 4 different states, and 3 different countries.

12. I majored in Christian counseling in college.

13. Right now Mandisa's new CD is in my car stereo.

14. My favorite foods are fried okra, tomatoes and any kind of potato. (My mom's mashed tators are simply the best!)

15. I drink Sprite.

16. I love to take pictures.

17. I'm married to a minister. (His title is Associate pastor/Student Minister)

18. I can touch my nose with my tongue.

19. I've had to wear glasses since I was in the 3rd grade. (I wear contacts now.)

20. I love Beth Moore Bible Studies and I've seen her live twice.

21. I like flea markets and garage sales. I like the "old" stuff with character and history.

22. I was saved at a very young age at church camp, but I rededicated my life to Jesus when I was in college at a 4Him concert.

23. First official date with my husband was at a TCBY.

24. I had a brother who passed away as a baby. I was five.

25. I have scoliosis and I had to wear a back brace when I was younger.

26. I like to cook, but I hate cleaning up afterwards.

27. I sound like a kid when I talk on the phone. People constantly confuse me with my kids.

28. I have terrible stage fright.

29. I am currently reading a book by Karen Kingsbury.

30. I HATE ironing.

31. I love scrap booking. If only I could find the time.

32. I have been carrying the same Bible for 17 years. It is my big "preacher Bible," An old and faithful friend.

33. My favorite Book in the Bible is James.

34. I write poetry from time to time.

35. I consider myself a "work in progress."

Something to think about...

Happy Sunday Everyone! I pray that as you go through your day, that you will find "rest" and a renewed spirit from spending time with the Lord and your family.
Sundays are kind of hard for me sometimes. They are suppose to be a day of rest, but as a minister's wife it sometimes gets confused with being a "work day" for our family. I have to try real hard to put myself into a frame of worship some Sunday mornings. But then I started realizing that church is just the time for organized worship and to be fed with the word. That I'm not suppose to limit my praise and the moments I spend with the Heavenly Father to just a few hours on Sunday. When I started changing my own attitude, then the attitudes around me had no effect on how or when my heart wanted to worship the Lord.
I think if we really look at our lives, there is something to praise the Lord for in every moment of our day. Not always an easy task, I know, but something definitely worth striving for. I was watching Oprah once (years ago before she started teaching all this craziness!) and I like what she said. She kept a "gratitude journal" and wrote at least five things she was happy for everyday. She said there would be some days in which it would be hard, but even then you should be thankful "that you are still breathing!" Finding gratitude, heals the soul.
I do that, only I think it is important to take it a step further. We should not only be thankful, we should give all praise and glory to our Savior. It is amazing how a bad day can be turned around with just a few thankful thoughts. It certainly helps put things in perspective at times.
That doesn't mean I don't have my off days, it just means that thankfulness provides huge "pick-me-ups" at times. A few weeks ago I heard a Christian speaker say these words;
"The Kingdom of God is not about never struggling. It is about in the struggle finding significance.
Even when the obstacles of this world seem huge, you can find the strength to overcome. The Resurrection takes out the stinger."
So I said all this to say, that no matter what you are going through or dealing with today, I pray that you know God has his hand on you. In Him, may you find the rest and tender care you need. And may your heart find a little joy, when in the midst of the fire, you find a little gratitude.
Hmmm...Let me see. Five things I'm thankful for right at this moment?
1. That today is Sunday and I get to go "to the house of the Lord and be glad in it!"
2. My family. If I can't ever find anything else to have a thankful heart over, I have them. I cherish the moments.
3. Air conditioning. It is so hot these days and it is only June!
4. Today is Sunday. Nap day! Hey! It is Biblical to rest.
5. New bloggy friends who leave such encouraging comments and whose posts put a smile on my face each day. Thank you.
What about you? Got at least five things that put a little joy in your heart at this moment? Love to hear them...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Trip to the "BIG" City...

My hubby surprised me the other day by asking if I wanted to go out of town for the night for our anniversary. Get away from the craziness of our life for the day? Yeah, sounds like fun. So, after I got off work Friday night we dropped the kiddos off at my in-laws and headed out to the big 'ol city of Little Rock. For you people that live in or near much bigger places you have to remember that I live in the "middle of nowhere" in Arkansas. Or at least that was what I was told today, by my sweet niece who lives outside Houston. I think she actually said something to the nature of "well you have to remember I'm use to the city and how we do things there and... Yep! Sweetheart, there are days I would have to agree. I do sometimes feel like we live in small town USA, apart from the rest of the world. Of course there are days I love it too. But, as I was saying, Little Rock is about as big as they come around here in these parts!

Anyway, we headed to the "city." We checked into a motel, nothing fancy. It was clean and QUIET. After we checked in we headed across town to do a little shopping before the next round of movies would start. Did I tell you my husband said we could SHOP this weekend?!

You are probably going to laugh at my first choice, but I love this place:
I love books. Especially a good Christian book. I think I left the place with a book for each member of the fam. Then my sweet hubby took me to see a movie...a chick flick no less. We saw this:

OK, here is the deal. The minister's wife part of me can not recommend this movie to you, for there is a little bit "nudy putudy" scene in it. However, I laughed out loud at several scenes and my heart melted at others. I loved the story... well I will just leave it at that.
We swung by and visited "the Bell" after the movie. I got a stuffed steak burrito that was yummy!
We slept late. (Well, I slept till 8:30, which is late for me!) I was able to take a shower in peace. (Wonderful!) And my hubby says we can do some more shopping. (Yep! You read right. More shopping! And he even said I could buy some things!)

We ended up going here:

I know, another book store. Actually my husband was looking for a background track, for a song our pastor asked him to sing at church tomorrow. It wasn't at the other store, so we ended up going to both. Love this store too. I found a lot of great buys and thought I was doing good paying around 40.00 for all I had gathered. But guess what? I got up there and everything was marked down even more. I ended up getting 5 books, 1 CD, and a necklace for twenty bucks! Pretty good, huh?

We then went here:

A little aggravated at them, for they do not carrying any clothing items for "fair skinned, I would actually like to cover my body at least a little" people like me. I'm sorry, but I do not tan well (or I should say not at all) and my arms are starting to do that "flabby" thing (so tanks and me are not friends) and...
Still love Target, they just didn't have anything for me today.

Next stop:

Again, love the place. But I had gone in for a pair of navy blue flip flops and they didn't have one pair in my size! Does everyone in the state of Arkansas where the same size shoe as me?!!!

Frustrated, we went and ate. When we were much younger, living in Fort Worth, TX, while Kevin was going to seminary, we use to eat here all the time. Poor newlyweds that we were, it was about the most expensive place we could afford at the time, so we would go there on special occasions. (Can you say run on sentence and a half?!) When we passed by the sign today, it just seemed like the place to go. It was good!

Love Applebees!

We then went to Kohl's. Again, love this store. I ended up with two shirts, some shorts for Jordan, two tank tops for Kayla and a watch for Kevin. Not bad. I love how they give you the award coupon at the end of your purchase. Ten dollars off my next purchase at Kohl's!!! Love coupons!!!

That ended my "date" with the hubby. My daughter asked what we did and then declared "that doesn't seem romantic!" But you know what... it was what I needed. I just needed a "getaway" moment, in which I could just "hang out" with the man I love. We were able to talk without interruption, rest in peace, shop and buy things purely because we wanted to, not because there was a whining voice in our ears and just forget about all the little worries that surround us at work and home As we left, Kevin said "we should do this more often." I agree.

Before heading home, we swung by the airport to pick up my beautiful niece. She came to visit for the week and her parents will drive in 4Th of July weekend. She and Kayla are only six weeks apart and always have a good time together. Who knows what they will do that I can blog about this week.

Thanks for reading. Amber, sorry there were no pictures of my "big city" trip, but I didn't haul the camera around. I have trouble taking pictures when my kids aren't around. Next time, maybe?

Hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Because Two People Fell In Love...

Yesterday I wrote about my anniversary being today. What I didn't tell you was that I was married on my parent's anniversary. I have been blessed with two wonderful Christian parents. They have had their share of ups and downs, struggles and joy, but their dedication to God and each other has always been my rock. I love them dearly and I am celebrating their love today, for I am who I am because of them and the love they have for each other.

I love you Mom and Dad! Happy 44Th Anniversary!

Aren't they cute?!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

16 years...

Tomorrow is my anniversary. 16 years ago I married my best friend and soul mate. I was just thinking the other day, how I met and started dating Kevin in the Fall of 1989. I have spent almost half my life with this man.

When we first met we were just friends. I've written before on how I wasn't interested in marrying into the ministry life, having been raised in it. Yet, I found out that God has other plans. Not many people "know" the true story of how I changed my mind, so count yourself honored. It is comical in a way. It involves a college, a wizard and another girl. Curious? Well, here I go...

When I went to college in the Fall of '89, my parents were still living in Asia as missionaries. I went to a Baptist University and quickly settled into college life. Enjoying my new found Independence, with parents on the other side of the world and grandparents who really had no clue as to what I was up to, I found myself enjoying the social scene of college life. Now before I go too far, let me say this... I wasn't a party girl, what little experimenting I did was done during the high school years. When I said the "social scene" I meant staying out as late as curfew would allow, dating several different guys and just enjoying the fun energy that comes with being a freshman.

In fact, I loved my freshman year. Unfortunately I didn't make the best of grades my first semester, but I made a lot of great memories. The only downfall when I went to school that year was that I was assigned work study in the cafeteria. It was pretty much considered the worst job on campus. I found myself surrounded by other missionary kids and ministry students. I guess they were preparing us for servant hood in a big way.

Truth is, I look back now and see God's hand in it all. My best friends during my college years all came from that little group of student workers in "Walt's" cafeteria. One of those friends was a guy named Kevin. We called him the singing dishwasher, because he was always singing. He was a super fun guy and just really nice too. A group of us would hang out all the time and it would bother me to tell him "no" when it came to dating. After all, I just wasn't interested in a ministry student. He didn't fit the description that I had in my head as a young girl of what my "dream man" was suppose to look like. He did fit the friend mold perfectly.

We were friends for a few months when I started realizing how fun he was to be around. Finally, he asked again...or actually what he said was "Want to sit together at the movie?" The University I went to had movie night every Sunday night. It was a fun place to catch a show and hang out with friends or have a cheap date. I thought I had finally given him the "yes" he wanted to hear and that we were going to meet at the movie for our first official/unofficial date.

Hello! I walked in and there he was with another girl. A girl that worked with us in the cafeteria. A girl that dreamed of being a missionary one day. A girl who had her arm linked in his!!! The look on his face was priceless. I had walked in with a friend and she graciously stuck with me, as Kevin excitedly asked us to sit with them. Them?!!! Inside I was a muddled wreck. How dare he ask me out and ask her out too. I thought he liked me. Of course he likes her better, she is the ministry student after all...

Wait. What was going on? Didn't I just want him to be my friend? Hadn't I put him off more than once. Wasn't I the one that kept telling everyone that I was glad to have a break from ministry life? Why was I all of a sudden jealous? Why did I really even care that he might be dating Jody? She is a nice, beautiful girl. What was my problem?

I was in love.

While I was out searching for my dreams, God was painting my life's picture. He understood what I thought I wanted, while knowing what I really needed. I realized in that moment that He had sent a man my way that was more than just a cute face. He had a servant's heart, loved the Lord and was a caring human being.

Had I waited too late? As Dorothy and the scarecrow were off finding the wizard, I was sitting in my seat, wondering if my heart had discovered love only to be broken in a matter of minutes, or how ever long the movie lasted. I almost felt the need to find my own yellow brick road in search of wisdom. I would look over and they would be so cozy... or at least she looked all cozy. Kev pretty much looked uncomfortable.

Truth was, he was uncomfortable. The next day after work, he cornered me to explain. He had asked me out, but thought that I thought it was just as friends. Right after I had left from talking to him, Jody had walked up and had asked fro a ride to church. After church was over they just kind of drifted to the movie afterwards. They were just sitting there, when all of a sudden she grabbed his arm. HE looked up and there I was. He was so clueless as to what to do, for he realized I looked upset and he didn't know why.

To make a long story short, it took jealousy to make me realize how much I really did care. We started dating and have been inseparable since. We are proof that God has a plan. He just has to take some of us down the "long" path to get to our destination... His will.

Sixteen years ago I said "I DO!" With those two words I said yes to God and the life He had planned for me. I really am thankful, for HE has blessed me beyond reason.

I love you, Kev! Thank you for 16 great years of marriage! (and almost 20 years of memories)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Broken Tears...

Five minutes ago I received a phone call. The caller ID said it was one of our ladies from church who had gone to camp. When I answered, it was Kayla. A Sobbing Kayla. My Kay Kay doesn't sob. She can cry, but you rarely see her broken, shaken and in tears. She is usually the tough one.

But her heart is oh so big...

It was only about a three minute call, but in those moments she told me how her friend had shared her story to the group tonight. Her friend's parents didn't know Christ. Sobbing into the phone Kayla said that her story made her cry. "Mom, I've never had to deal with anything like that. I just needed to talk to you for just a moment."

Her young friend goes to our church with her step grandma. Kayla and her had several classes together last year. Their personalities are both on the quirky side and they "float" among the different groups at school and church. Both are well liked. But that is where the similarities end. Kayla learned tonight that her friend has a huge burden she deals with everyday...

When she got off the phone I started thinking. Scary, I know, but I realized that in that moment my little girl grew up just a little more. She realized that being a missionary and praying for the world doesn't mean just going to Africa or taking up an offering at Christmas and Easter. She learned first hand that saving the world starts with our neighbors. When the minister on Sunday asks you to pray for one person's salvation daily, that it doesn't always have to be the little starving boy from South America, it can actually mean praying for the friend sitting on the pew beside you.

My parents were missionaries and I've lived on the mission field. The sacrifices made and the jobs our missionaries do are awesome tasks. Yet, it is not up to them alone to share the love of Christ. We are all called to His service. Sometimes we just have to be reminded of that.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Electronically Challenged?!

My name is Mich and I'm electronically challenged. How do I know this, you ask?

Well, there are about twenty buttons on my car stereo in which I have no idea what they do. What are they for anyway?!!! My alarm clock goes berserk every once in a while and hubby will have to "fix" it. I just don't think it likes me. My computer will act up and once again Kev will yell "you can't hurt anything!" only to realize five minutes later he should have gotten up and helped me because I pushed the ONE WRONG KEY. I don't text because I get frustrated with it. I don't twitter, because it seems like just one more thing... although my sis is working on me in both those areas. My printer jams constantly and...

then there is this;

Get the picture???

We have umpteen remotes, all of which I don't know how to use properly. My husband is one of those men that has a receiver, speakers, DVD player, PlayStation and who knows what else hooked up. If only watching television was a simple "click" of a button. No. That would be way too easy...

Anyway, I decided to watch a movie last night. Simple enough, huh? It only took me thirty minutes to figure out how to work our "entertainment center" only by the time I was finished, I was NOT entertained!!! I missed my ten year old son more than ever, because he thinks it is cool that he actually knows "more " than me (in this area) and is willing to help me and I usually just get the rolled eyes from Hubby. Of course last night I was on my own all together!!!

Oh well... I'm beginning to wonder if the man of the house has everything set up, so at the end of the day he feels just a little needed. I'm sticking with that theory, for it sounds so much better than me being just plain "dumb." Oh, who am I kidding...

I think maybe, I'll just go start a support group or something.

A Note.

Today was hard. It was a rough day of work. I didn't sleep as well as I could last night, not out of fear or illness, but more out of the knowledge that my loved ones were miles away (us moms worry too much ), so I was tired. The heat was horrible. Summers in the south can be suffocating at times (and it is only JUNE!). My dog had an upset stomach and of course I found that out first thing this morning by stepping in it. Yeah, I knew it was going to be some kind of day after that... Ever have just one of THOSE days?

One of my goals was to clean my house while my family was gone. As I was concentrating on the task at hand, going through a pile of "papers" left on the kitchen counter, I came across a little sheet of paper. Realizing it was my daughter's handwriting, I thought I had come across a note or something. Much to my surprise I found a little burst of "joy." God sent me a little reminder...

I soon realized that the skies had turned dark. In a matter of moments they let loose and fed the dry grounds. We needed the rain so bad and here it was pouring "coolness" and relief with every drop. As I heard the raindrops splash against the windows, I felt like God had sent a shower to pour over me and refresh me as well.

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God." Psalm 42:1

It is on those "dry" days when I realize the most how much I long for the Lord. When everything is just kind of "blah," I realize I need His shine more than ever. I am so thankful for a Savior who desires to "pour" life into us and shower us with blessings everyday, even when we want to be all moody and sometimes difficult.

I've said it before and I will say it again; GOD IS GOOD.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what the sheet of paper said, here it is, in my daughter's handwriting...it doesn't get much better than this....Have a great day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

It is all in the "Goodbye."

My house is quiet right now, with the exception of one loud, ferocious dog named "Baby Girl" who is pitter pattering around and my fingers pecking on the keyboard. This week is Children's Camp for the kids at our church. My dear husband also has the honor of being one of the ministers at camp, so in other words, my time is my own this week.

I spent my Sunday "nap" time getting three suitcases packed and ready. After labeling umpteen pieces of clothing with a Sharpie pen, washing just "one more load of laundry," more than once, for a favorite shirt and finding the "old" towels for them to use and probably lose, I think I actually got the job done. I had the bags ready to go at the church last night at 7:00 p.m. just like they requested. One more thing I can check off the Mommy List for the summer!

I enjoy these little "breaks" from responsibility every once in a while. Yet, I have to be honest, I miss my family like crazy too. (Just don't tell them that!) There are no hugs goodnight, no "venting" conversations to my husband or the encouragement that follows, no one being silly and making me laugh...

The cutest part of the day was the "goodbyes."

My son, "Mr. Cool," the ten year old, hugged me before we left the house. He hugged tight and I have no doubt there will be a moment or two in which he will miss me (mommy is always more understanding of things), but to a little boy his age, appearances are everything. There are older boys watching. I did get a "glance" and a wave as he got on the bus. He makes me smile.

My daughter said "I love you" last night before bed. She had the intention of saying goodbye before she left and got on the bus, but when her little girlfriends started showing up, excited chattering could be heard and mom was forgotten. Until right before dinner. I got a phone call from my husband saying they made it and then he put Kayla on the phone. "Mom, I got away without a goodbye hug. Are you OK? I felt so guilty!" Isn't it just like a preteen to be so worried about her mom?! :) I know there were a few friends within listening distance. But it is alright, because her "guilty" feeling was code for, "I love you, Mom and I really meant to give you a goodbye hug before I left." I can live with that.

My husband, who was driving one of the buses, spent his morning calling roll, putting gas in vehicles and trying to keep everything organized. I only had to go back home for him once, in order to get his phone chargers. To say it was a little chaotic, would be putting it mildly. All of a sudden the buses started to crank up, load and take off. My hubby was the leader. I was standing on the curb of the church parking lot, with a group of moms and dads, when I realized all the buses were headed out. All of a sudden the first bus stops and the driver gets out and runs over to me.

"I almost forgot to say goodbye!" I got a big bear hug from my man. Yep. He cares just a little.

As I spend this moment reflecting on my day, I have to say I feel blessed. I have three very special people in my life, who show me daily that they love me, in their own way. I am humbled everyday by their love and most importantly the love of my Heavenly Father who gave them to me. I pray that they have a wonderful week, learning, praying, singing and playing. May they make memories this week that will remind them daily of the love of Christ.

God is good!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

To My Daddy!

Thanks for being a great dad.

Thanks for setting a great example of following Christ.

Thank you for showing me what a marriage should look like and for loving my mom the way you do.

Thank you for being a wonderful "Poohpa" to five precious youngsters.

Thanks for showing me that tears on a man are not a sign of weakness, but of great strength.

Thanks for reminding me that there is always a funny side to life and for bringing smiles wherever you go.

Thanks for allowing me to witness first hand what kindness and friendliness, even to strangers is really all about.

Thanks for your willingness to always be there, to help in moments of need and for telling my sister and I daily how much you care.

Thank you for your "concern."

Thanks for all the adventures around the world and the memories that go with them.

Thank you for reading our blogs and commenting with words of encouragement.

Thank you for never being afraid to say the words "I love you."

Whether you are called Dad, Poohpa, Jim-Dad, father or friend. I appreciate you and love you very much!

Happy Father's Day!

I thought I would include a picture. Unfortunately, I can't say I remember this moment, but I can say God knew what He was doing and I was one blessed little girl...I still am.

ME and MY DADDY - 1970

A Tribute to my Hubby on Father's Day Weekend!

My husband was meant to be a daddy. He loves kids. Truly enjoys just being with them. I guess that is a good quality to have when you are a student minister. Kids love him too. I work at a preschool/daycare right now and he will occasionally stop by. Babies that are normally shy are drawn to him. Older kids want him to make his little animal noises and joke around with them. Teenagers think it is their goal to beat him in ping pong every Wednesday night. They love him and seek his approval. God blessed him with the gift of being able to discipline when needed, yet be someone they love. I didn't think he could love kids any more than he already did, until Kayla came along. Tears want to come when I remember the first time he held his little girl. HE WAS IN LOVE. When my son came along two years later he beamed with pride. He had his princess and his little man. IS he perfect? No. There are days when he snaps a little or just wants to rest in his recliner, but on most days he has a kid with him. He and Kayla watch movies together or go fishing. (He is excited that his little girl likes to fish and he doesn't even have to bait her hook most of the time!) Just the other day he told her she could invite a few friends and he would take them swimming. As for Jordan, well he is a DADDY"S BOY. He still wants mommy if he is hurt or scared or wants new clothes, but 99% of the time he wants to be with his dad. Many Saturdays they go and eat breakfast together with my in-laws and then go four wheeler riding at the camp. He plays basketball with him almost every other night and he lets Jordan do for him and learn from him when there is work to be done. He is a good daddy and I'm thankful everyday that he was the man God chose to be the father of my kids and my partner in this adventure called parenthood. Today I am simply going down memory lane...

Kevin becomes a daddy (1996)

Kevin's first Father's Day! (1997)

Aren't they cute! (Christmas 1997)

Jordan (1998)

Easter (with Jordan in 1999)


My men! (2001)

Jordan loved trains. (2003)

With his ballerina. (2006)

December (2008)

I love you Kevin. Thanks for being a terrific dad and husband!

Friday, June 19, 2009

A little Help in the shoe department...

OK. Before I went to camp I went shoe shopping. I wanted some tennis shoes that I could wear with capri pants (I don't do shorts. Too scary for the kids. White legs. Capris are bad enough.) I saw a cute plaid pair, but they didn't have my size. I found some pink converse style, but I really didn't want bubblegum pink shoes. I finally found some KEDS. I remember wearing them all the time as a kid/teenager. These were a little different than the old style of KEDS. Since I live in the middle of no where, with very few places to shop unless you drive 45 minutes to an hour, I decided to get them. Even payed more than I would have liked.

They were comfortable and I thought they looked better than my bulky tennis shoes with my capri's. (I'm short legged.) I wore them all through camp week. And since I had to walk and climb a lot, I was thankful that I didn't wear my flip flops everywhere.

I wore them today. My almost 13 year old who thinks she has become style conscious overnight gets a good look at them today and declares "Why are you wearing old grandma shoes?!" Be still my heart. Do they really look like grandma shoes? And if they look like grandma shoes, do they look that way because I, at my age could be a grandma or because they really aren't "cool" looking. And should it matter that I care what my kid thinks? If she thinks that, does everyone think that? Should I care what anyone thinks, if they truly are comfortable? (now I do sound like a grandma!!!)

Anyway, I thought I would ask you. Before you see the picture, know that I want honesty. (Amb, I know I can count on you for this...) Even if you say they are ugly, I will probably still wear them, because I think they are pretty darn comfortable, but I might reconsider WHERE I wear them. If you say they look grandmaish then I probably should just come to terms with my age and realize I might pick out some grandma looking things from time to time, because I simply can't help myself. Now if you think they are cute, well I'm just here to tell you that if you have a teen, watch out because you might not be dressing in style. But then, do I really want to wear knee socks or bright purple ball caps with sparkles all over them, that my daughter seems to think are so hip and happening?

So here they are. Sorry, they are a little dirty from the wear, but you get the idea...

Break it to me gently... Are they really that bad? And just know that I wear my flips flops most of the time anyway... and...

does it really matter?

Oh no, who am I and who have I become? I am now taking fashion advice from my daughter? When did that happen? Wait! I'm not even going to go there today... No, my question for the day is simply this:

"Can I still be the 'cool mom' even if I wear grandma looking tennis shoes?"

Good grief. Now she has me thinking they look like grandma tennis shoes.

I simply give up.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The answer was "no."

A few weeks ago I had asked for prayer for my hubby's health and for an unspoken prayer request. I received a lot of encouragement from my bloggy friends. Thank you so much.

Kevin is doing much better these days. He still has a few "off" days when he just doesn't have much energy or has a few aches and pains he wished would go away. But he is doing better. The doctor says he retains fluid which causes many of his problems, however we are beginning to think he had a virus on top of everything else that week, that was making his body do crazy things. Whatever it was, I pray that he daily continues to feel better. Thanks for keeping him in your prayers. Ministry can be stressful at times, so when you don't feel good, it is even harder.

As for the unspoken, God answered my prayer and it was a "no." I am alright. Do I wish the answer was "yes?" I had mixed feelings about the whole thing, but yeah, I kind of wanted a nod in that direction. But I also know I gave the request to God and asked for His guidance. He didn't have to send a burning bush, lay manna on the ground or tear down a wall, for me to get His answer this time. The circumstances just declared "no."

I have learned that a "no" doesn't mean my prayer was not answered. It just may not have been answered the way I would have liked, during a time frame of my choosing. He has a plan. And although it can be scary to wait, in the end His plan is always best. All He asks of me is patience and a little faith.

I will not lie. Underneath it all, I'm frustrated, sad and a little let down. But, I'm trying hard to chose a different path. God has been teaching me so much lately... well I know I am going to be alright.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers. I may have received a "no" to one part of my unspoken request, but the situation is still out there. I still need to be on my toes, listening for God's total answer to my request, with a willing heart to obey. I am also going to need lots of strength in order to be patient. (Not one of my better qualities.)

Thanks for reading (and listening).

Thank you, to the God of Details...

Have you ever had a tough situation, whether it be with a relationship, a financial situation, a fear or a health issue and it seems like there is no hope? Like you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel? And everything about the situation leaves you feeling helpless? Well, it happens to me more often than I would like.

A couple of years ago, I lost three wonderful grandparents in one year. Hard times for my family. My husband has been at churches before where friendships were tested to the extreme and he felt like his whole ministry was on trial. I've made some stupid money mistakes in the past, that unfortunately still haunt me. And as for my list of fears...God and I are still working on some of those.

I can't go into detail about my latest little problem. (And for family members reading this post, it is NOT a matter that needs worrying about.) But I did have a moment of helplessness today. I felt like the little child who didn't want to admit there was a problem. It is not a relationship issue or a health problem. Unfortunately it had to do with a bill.

Heard of those? You know those nasty little things that show up in the mail or on your email, reminding you that nothing in this world is free! I had forgotten... I thought I had messed up...again. I thought I was going to have to let my dear, sweet husband down...again. I thought...

But God heard my cry. He saw me in that pit of despair and said "Hey, remember me, my child? You have been working really hard to get things in order. You've been working really hard to take care of past mistakes. You have been... Let me take care of this for you. I already have this figured out. I was just waiting for you to realize you might want my help. The details have been taken care of."

I can't explain what happened, but I just know that the way it all worked out, was a gift from God. I messed up and HE SAVED ME.

I am humbled when He shows himself in my everyday world. I sometimes get carried away in my business, too busy to realize that He is there to help me through each moment or each day. I am not expected to be perfect, for that is impossible. And HE loves me anyway. He is there to guide me every step of the way, if I will just remember to simply let Him in.

So, although I can't go into more detail about my little mishap, I can shout to the high heavens with the outcome. I still have to deal with the situation at hand, but it was worked out in a fashion that gave me HOPE and not despair. And I totally believe all Hope comes from the Lord.

Gotta love it when God does His thing over what seems to the world to be the most insignificant of details.

Word of advice...don't leave God out of the details. (No matter how small they may seem.) You might just miss a blessing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Forgive me...I'm wearing green today!

So, I have been fighting this crazy allergy/cold thing. The eyes are a beautiful shade of bloodshot red these days. The nose is sporting a red tip, with a matching red mustache underneath and my voice has lowered itself an octave. You would have to be a family member to understand, but I feel like I have the "Nanny cough" going on whenever I try to speak. Kleenex is my new best friend, and to top it off my face just hurts. Fun times!

Desperate enough to visit my friend the doctor. I think I would have been up for a shot of something if he had offered, which if you truly knew me, you would know that, that says a lot. (I hate shots or needles of any kind.) He didn't offer but I did come home with a pile of prescriptions that shot me with relief the last time the allergies flared up. He said in a few days I should start feeling better....HELLO!!! Do I really have to wait a few days?

Anyway, I said all of that to let family and friends know that hopefully I am on the mend. Thanks for the kind thoughts and prayers. Your "walking allergy time bomb" appreciates the love...

Now, I know you are wondering about the title to my post and what exactly I meant. I could have been, but believe it or not I was not referring to anything green that might be coming out of the nose or throat area at this time. (Sorry, not trying to be gross!) Actually I was referring to the fact that, while I have the red nose, eyes, everything and feel totally cruddy, I was in the Walmart line, paying for my pile of prescriptions when I saw this:

Is Christie Brinkley really 55 years old? She is like over 15 years older than me!!! And she looks like that?!!! Don't even try to tell me about the airbrush think, 'cause I'm thinking if you take the airbrush stuff away she is still looking great for 55! Yep! I had to ask for forgiveness in my heart as I left the Walmart parking lot. The green envy monster had visited me for a moment. I had to send him packing real fast too, 'cause feeling like I was already feeling... I might have had to make a u-turn and go back to the doc for something for depression. I wasn't feeling the love at that moment...

Then I read the other headline on the magazine. Do you see it? The one that says "How to make peace with your flaws." I'm laughing. Very funny. I have to hand it to the magazine people. They know how to grab a person whose heart hit the floor in self pity after looking at our friend Christie. I can hear them now..."Let's put in a self help page to help all those sad people who feel yucky about themselves because they are sick and just saw a picture of the GORGEOUS model on the cover. Then add another story on how to make your skin look younger and how to have your best body at any age and some sad chick is going to fall for it all and buy the magazine."

Hello. My name is SAD CHICK.

Yep. Weak moment. I paid $2.49 so I can look at Christie Brinkley's picture and boost my self esteem daily. Did I tell you I was sick? Clearly not thinking straight. As for the "flaws" article...I will have to get back to you on that one. Maybe one of these days I'll read it for a good laugh.

I guess in the meantime I will try to hold on to Proverbs 31:30.

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the Lord, is to be praised."

Enough said.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

All in the day in the life of...

what happened today? Let's see...

I left my family sleeping this morning as I left for work. Probably one of the hardest things I have to do each morning. Is it selfishness that there is a little part of me that says if I have to get up early every morning, that everyone else in the house should have to too? Is that so wrong? :)

I held the cutest baby today at work. I just love them when they snuggle close. This little fellow has red hair. Reminds me of a little nephew I love, who was once a little tiny bug too.

On my lunch break I went to Walmart to look for some meds. If you remember, before going to camp I was getting sick. Well, due to prayer, I made it through the week. However, upon returning I think I am acquiring what I think is a sinus infection. Because I have already missed too much work time, I'm trying to self medicate. We shall see...and pray.

My son, who spent last night at a friend's house, came home during my lunch hour. I love him so much, yet he is such a needy individual. Get this...he went swimming, to a baseball game and spent the night with a friend yesterday, only to come home at lunch today and fuss at me about being bored. I'm seriously thinking about enrolling him in summer school just because. I hear that my hubby was once like that, when he was his age. I know we pay for our childhood and the grief we cause our parents, but why do I have to pay for my husband's childhood? It doesn't seem fair somehow...

I got "crowned" today. somehow I don't feel all royal. It was hopefully my last dental visit for a while. I seriously don't think I have a tooth left to be worked on right now. It was a "had to be there moment," but I almost swallowed the crown. It was a funny moment. the tooth that needed the crown is in the very back of my mouth, hard to get too and it is a short tooth, so it has been hard to fix. Anyway, funny moment, but again "you had to be there."

I took an hour nap. Worn out from working while not feeling good, side affects from meds and trauma from the dentist office. I probably could have slept longer, but hubby came home from work.

Please don't judge, but it was not Betty Crocker night at the dinner table. We had fish sticks, popcorn shrimp and french fries, all baked and out of a box. The highlight of my day was when my son said he loved my french fries, "better than McDonald's." Wow! I just might forgive him for causing me frustration earlier. Gotta love him.

Watched a little television, I am now chatting on the computer and in a few minutes I will be going to hit the shower, in an attempt to clear the sinuses. And that was my day. I pray between fish sticks, baby rocking and mothering my son, that I pleased God with all I did, no matter how insignificant or boring the day may seem.

I will close with a verse. My blog friend, who is such an encouraging individual has started Treasure Verse Tuesday. Check her out at http://joyinthetruth.blogspot.com/.

You will be blessed. The verse I chose for today is Psalm 40:1-3:

"I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on the rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord."
No matter what kind of day you had, isn't it wonderful to know that God was there to help you through? Hope you had a great day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Back in the world...

The alarm clock went off this morning at 5:30a.m. YUCK! I hit the snooze until 6:15. I had to be at work by 7:00. I didn't want to go. If I could financially stay at home right now I would, but unfortunately that is not possible right now. AND I HATE IT! I wake up every morning trying to find the "joy" in my day.

And I do. The smell of baby, a combination of powder and spit up should be bottled. Sweet words from a kind momma are always good for a smile and of course there is nothing better than baby kisses and hugs. Today I was watching two toddlers learn to walk, priceless moments. I enjoy the babies I work with...BUT...

Do you ever get tired of negativity? You know, when it seems that gossip is all there is to do and it is never nice. When it seems that every one in town has a skeleton in their closet and you are going to hear about it whether you want to or not? When words that you do not enjoy hearing are used constantly, and I'm not just talking about "bad" words. What happened to second chances, loving your neighbor or pulling the big ol' plank from your own eye before judging someone else? What happened to simple kindness and respect?

The days get long when you are rocking babies, surrounded by "did you know?," "haven't you heard?," and "I hate..." If you are not careful you can get caught up in it. I have often found myself saying something I regretted, just because I was bored and wanted to be a part of the conversation.

I just came back from a week of camp where prayer, love and Christ were the focus. Coming back to the real world is tough. Getting back in the daily saddle is rough. We go from having "scheduled" quiet times, to trying to set aside a few moments of piece and quiet to have a conversation with God. We go from positive reinforcement to the daily struggling to stay afloat in a sea of negative waves.

Don't get me wrong, I do not work in a war zone. The people I work with are very nice. Yet in my particular area of work, there is time to talk...too much time. Boredom often leads to trying to find something entertaining to say...many times at the expense of another.

I'm not perfect. Yet, I was raised by a Godly woman who thought the words "shut up," "hate," and "stupid" were wrong. As a teenager I thought she was crazy. As a mom, I so agree. Unfortunately we live in a world today, in which if those are the only questionable words you hear, you are very lucky. The vocabulary everyone is using these days is horrible and frankly wears on the soul.

Today, more than one negative thing was said. Earlier this morning I prayed for peace as my heart was frustrated over hateful words declared. I totally understand if you do not like someone, for that is your choice. But what happened to respect for those of us that like that same person or maybe we are even related to the subject of your venom? Is "venting" more important than your relationship with the people around you? We need to remember that once something is said, you can never really take it back, even if apologies are made.

It was hard to go back to work today. Yet, I know that is where God has placed me right now. For how long, I don't know. I could be leaving tomorrow or I could be rocking babies in the same chair 5 years from now. However, the point is that God calls us to be a light for Him no matter where we are at. I might not be able to change my circumstances right now, but I need to try my best not to let my circumstances change me. That old saying "If you can't beat them, join them" CAN NOT apply to my life. I need to be on my toes at all times, standing for Christ.

If I sound preachy, forgive me. I am really just muddling through my feelings and giving MYSELF a good tongue lashing in the process. ( And hopefully encouraging myself to hang in there too. ) If in someway and somehow you have similar issues you are dealing with and God used this post... Hallelujah! If you were just reading through and found yourself feeling sorry for me...then say a prayer for me. If I just made you stop and think about what you said today...then I'm thankful I vented aloud.

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Words to live by.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Picture proof...

Just so you know I actually did go to camp and not make the whole thing up, I thought I would share a few pictures. (Plus, my family reads my blog so they like to see the pictures.) The picture above is of the whole group that went, which is probably about 75% of our Wednesday night crowd. If you look real close you can see me (and my hubby) on the far right of the picture.
Here I am with who I think deserves the "Student Minister of the Year" award. We had a chartered bus and our small bus going there and back. My husband drove the small bus while everyone else got to sleep. (Remember we left at 4:30a.m.) Then we got to the camp and they had messed up our rooming assignments...between the camp staff having everything confused, our kids whining and the elevators being shut off (while us girls had to climb 4 flights of stairs with luggage) he kept his cool. I found out later that because of the out of routine early morning hour that we left, he had forgotten to take his blood pressure medicine that morning. All I can say to that is that God is good!

I told you I got wet. Two of my family group kids came and poured water on me. It actually made me feel good to realize that they had gotten to know me well enough to feel comfortable doing that.

I took this picture the last night of camp. During church group time after the worship service, Thursday night, we had a unique prayer time. My hubby asked all the 7th-9th grade to sit in chairs in a circle and then he asked the senior high to go around the circle praying for each student as they went. It was beautiful. Some whispered prayers in a young friend's ear. Some hugged and whispered words of encouragement, while some just laid their hands on each one, sending a blessing their way. There were smiles, plenty of tears and lots of hugs. It was a very meaningful moment. When they were finished, he asked the senior high students to sit in the chairs and let the younger students have the honor to pray for their role models. I was blessed. Watching 50 kids praying for each other by name... words can't describe the spirit of that room. When it was all over, four friends huddled (above) in encouragement. I love this picture and all it stands for.

I will leave you with one last thought... it is from the lesson I had to teach on Wednesday.

"Discipleship is learning to live by dying. Followers of Christ are not called to deny themselves of something, but to deny themselves. God's will replaces their wills; life gets rearranged so that God is not only a priority, HE IS EVERYTHING!"

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

God is good.

I am sitting in my chair, after having about 10 hours of sleep. My bones are tired, my muscles ache, I still have that worn out feeling, but my heart is smiling because GOD IS GOOD.

I had a great week of camp. I could complain about the mix ups with our rooms in the beginning, the 4 flights of stairs I had to climb everyday to my room because they turned the elevators off, the electricity going off for a couple hours while we are getting ready for the day, the long lines of the dining hall or the heat at recreation time, but I won't. Those things happened and there were a few whines here and there, after all I am only human, an definitely out of shape. But truthfully, I know that every camp will have its physical hangups. But I also think there is a reason... how can we truly "deny ourselves" if we are wrapped up in comfort.
Or at least that is what I kept telling myself as I was trying hard to set an example and not fuss when I couldn't blow dry my hair or had to climb the "mountain of stairs" to my room.

The food was good. That is always a plus for camp. They even had fried okra and mashed potatoes one night. As it happened it was the night after I had to teach. I felt I was being rewarded...I like my fried okra and tators.

Recreation was actually pretty good. The leaders didn't have to participate in the actual games, we just helped referee and cheer. It was hot and I sweated buckets, but there were many fun moments too. The last day was "water" day and I took one for the home team and got wet...not that I really had a choice about getting wet, I just wasn't holding a camera.

Worship was AWESOME. I've said it before, but I will say it again...watching hundreds of kids worship is beautiful. Whether they danced in the aisles, lifted their hands, or sat in their seats with tears streaming down their cheeks, you could see God working on the hearts of all that were there and it was incredible. We didn't have any saved from our church, but I think most of our kids had already made decisions for Christ. However, our group had many who realized that they may call themselves followers of Christ but they hadn't been doing much of the following part and wanted to change that. We always have a church time following worship and the testimonies of the kids hearts always touched me. Especially when a young person you never usually hear from, speaks up and empties her heart for all to see. God was at work this week. He spoke and many listened. My prayer is that they will continue to hold close to the commitments they made and not let them fall to the side when they get back to their busy lives... I pray that our group will change.

Small group. It was the thorn in my flesh, but it was also one of my favorite parts of camp. Teaching that first day scared me to death. However, I did it and I survived and I actually think it went well. You would have to ask one of the kids to know for sure, but I don't think it really matters. By the time the second teaching opportunity came around, I wasn't even nervous, yet shared my heart and even cried at one moment while giving a part of my testimony. We had an unusual group: 4 from our church, 4 from Louisiana and 4 from Mississippi. We called our group the ARKLAMISS. (kind of sounds like a drink). One church had all their kids on my form listed as graduates when actually they had just finished the 8th grade. Crazy since the rest of the kids were high school age, but it worked out in the end. It was an oddball group. There were so many personalities and we found ourselves laughing through. I knew that God had done his work in our small group time, when during our last moments we had together, we were having sentence prayer and two or three of the kids thanked God for each person in the group and how they loved their new friends and will remember this experience. God is good.

As for me... He touched my heart in a special way this week. He gave me the strength to get out of the boat and then blessed my efforts. He allowed me, a weak and what I would consider an unusable vessel, to be poured into and in return be able to pour myself into others. He allowed me to use my fears for good and show others that you receive such a blessing when you say "yes" to God. He gave me true "rest" amidst a busy week.

Thank you for your prayers. God answered.

I am thankful for a great week of camp. As always God changed lives because our focus all day was on Him. If only we had such focus in our day to day lives...how incredible would the world be then?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thanks so much for all the kind words, beautiful comments and prayers the last week.

I am officially off. I will leave here in the morning at 4:30a.m.!!! Again, what was my hubby thinking?!!! One bag and we have to get up in the middle of night...SIGH!

I am still fighting the allergy/head cold thing. I pray that God will bring His healing power my way...A lady at my church this morning said, "Now sweetheart, you really have to believe He will." (after she said a sweet healing prayer for me.) I do. But I also know He allows things to happen to teach us how depend on Him even more. Either way, I know He has a plan, I'm in it and He will provide what I need to handle it all. I've about figured out that this whole trip will be for me about getting out of the boat and doing a little walking on water. I just gotta remember to keep my eyes on Him. Faith.

I look forward to coming back with plenty of post worthy material, as well as catching up with all of you.

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The "Flip Side" of things...

The house is quiet. Jordan is spending the night with a friend. Kevin and Kayla are fishing. I'm taking a little break from the laundry and packing. In my head is all kinds of ideas and info floating around...

I've started studying for camp. I can feel already that it is going to be a powerful camp. Just the subject matter alone has left me humbled and shaken just from studying. We are going to be talking about the "flip side " of things. Being different than what this world thinks is right. Setting yourself apart, going against the norm, even when it seems like you are swimming upstream, the opposite direction of everyone else. Tough. John the Baptist stood out. He dressed different, he ate different, he spoke different, he LIVED differently. Jesus himself didn't come in as a normal king would, yet made His presence known in a powerful way. Each disciple was going about their daily tasks when Jesus said "follow me."

You have to ask the question: Am I ready to live for Christ, no matter what it takes, even if I have to be different? When going about my daily routine, do I have what it takes to drop everything and "follow Jesus." We have some pretty hefty role models to follow. Sometimes we think the missionaries and the preachers are the only ones that have to drop everything and go and act differently. But that is not what the Bible reads. Jesus didn't call the priests and rabbis to be his disciples. He called those everyday people, like you and me.

Speaking as a missionary kid and a minister's wife, those that seem to have a ministry minded occupation started out like everyone else...just doing their thing, when one day God said "follow me." Examples? My dad was in the Navy when he felt the called to preach. Later he would be a small town preacher, when God would grab hold of him and my teacher mother and give them a heart for missions. My husband was a freshman in college at a church retreat. He was going to be an architect until God spoke. He changed schools, majors and his focus. Even letting go of a longtime girlfriend because her heart was not on the same page as his. I have several friends who have had a settled life and then God spoke and changed everything.

I guess what I am saying is that we should never get too comfortable. We should always be listening for the Savior's voice. Whether he just asks us to change the way we dress, act or talk, to set ourselves apart or whether he has a mission cut out especially for each of us. As I continue to study, I am totally humbled by the disciples and their calling. What went through their minds and their hearts as they gave up everything to walk with the Savior. You can't help but be a little jealous that they actually got to talk and laugh with Jesus in such a personal way. Yet, that is where the jealousy ends, for they also had to bear the burden up close and personal of watching Jesus die on that cross. A little overwhelming...

So, it is my prayer, my friends that you and I will both stay alert to the calling of our Savior. Whether he wants us to go across the world, or whether he wants us to be that shining light at work and to the neighborhood, we need to be willing to follow that calling. So much easier to type and say than to actually accomplish. But isn't that the best part of following Jesus? He didn't give up on his disciples when they whined, complained and even denied knowing him, no, he loved them anyway. Faults and all, using each man's story for his glory, in a book we call the Bible. Pretty awesome.

I leave for camp in a day and a half. I'm trying my best to be faithful and strong, keeping in mind that I am answering a call. Keeping in mind that it may be out of my comfort zone and that he wants us all to get out of the boat and have a little faith. I also have to be aware that there will be hundreds of kids at camp learning to listen for their own Savior's call. Powerful stuff. We can all have a domino affect on this world for Christ, if we open our hearts to the possibilities.

Thank you for your prayers. I will need them. Please pray for camp, that it will change some lives...and in the process change the world one individual at a time.

*** If you wouldn't mind saying a healing prayer for me. My allergies are acting up and my throat has hurt all day. I feel like I'm getting sick. I want more than anything to be energetic and feeling great while at camp, so I will not be distracted. Thanks!***

Friday, June 5, 2009

Making a list and checking it twice...

It is Friday. Gotta love Fridays! Especially if you are one of the unfortunate moms that still have to work through the summer. It has been busy around here. We wrapped up the end of the school stuff, Kev just go back from senior trip last weekend, we had the big 80's extravaganza for the youth on Wednesday and now I have to get ready for camp. It has arrived!!!! (Gulp!) HELP!!!

Now I've already posted my sob story about God taking me "WAY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE," so I will not put you through all that again, but I do ask that you keep your prayers coming...

Now that I got that out of the way, I have to say "I LOVE CAMP!" I love going and seeing hundreds of kids, forget about all the "junk" they have to deal with at home and worship the Lord like crazy. No looking around and caring about reputations, getting all pumped up with the word all day long and forgetting those things (Gulp!) that get in our way of spending time with God. I love going and seeing adults forget about all the "junk" they carry day to day too. LOVE IT!!!

The part I hate? Preparing for it. This year I do have a lot of studying to do before hand, but I also HATE packing. You would think that after all the traveling I've done in my lifetime that I would be use to it...I think it just makes me hate it more. ( Although my sister and I are pretty darn good at it. We can pack a suitcase and a car and manage to fit almost anything inside!!!)

There is always that "figuring out what I'm going to wear, I don't have any cute clothes, UGH!!!" moment before the suitcase actually has clothes in it. Then there is the zip lock bags...my Nanny use to have a separate bag for everything. I swore when she use to wake me up early in the morning rattling those bags that I would never... I buy a box every time I travel. And then there is the crazy one bag per person rule that my hubby makes every year. I keep telling him that girls need at least two. We actually care about how we smell... I haven't convinced him yet. Something about space. I'm going to have to work on his priorities... :)

So here I am getting ready. I start with my list. My husband laughs when he sees it. However, after he had to go to Walmart for underwear or a swimsuit, he now lets me make my list and even pack for him. Yep! Gotta prepare for him too or we will have to find a store somewhere.

So here is part of my list (I will not bore you with the detailed version.)

1.Clothes and shoes (enough for five days plus)

2.make up (can't scare the children)

3.hair works (can't leave the hairdryer behind or I have wacky hair. Sure wish I had the kind of hair that can air dry and look gorgeous... sorry just a little envy moment.)

4. bedding (trying to decide if I want the sleeping bag or sheets and a blanket. Hard decision because it depends on the air conditioning...)

5.towels (Oops! I guess I better get started on the mountain of laundry inside my bathroom!)

6. my medicine (Allergy baby here. My pill bag looks like my grandma's, but at least I can breathe.)

7. contacts and glasses (can't see without them, I would be lost!)

8. my Bible (can't leave home without it. I would be lost!)

9. pen and paper (gotta go get me a cute new notebook...)

10. my camera (I got to have pictures for my kids on Facebook and of course one or two for you guys. And of course I love to scrap...)

11. goody bags (traditionally I make goody bags for camp trips for everyone to have while traveling. I've already bought the stuff, just have to fill the bags.)

12.A good attitude. (With 50 something people traveling from our church...lots of patience and a humble spirit.)

13.Prayers (lots of them!)

Did I forget anything? Good thing I still have a few days to work on it. Of course feel free to let me know if I need to add something. I am so nervous, yet so excited!

Now I just have to find the right bag...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Knee deep in 80's...

Well it came and went. Tonight was the big scavenger hunt, 80's themed, late birthday bash for the hubby. Whew! What a night. It was a blast. We had a scavenger hunt in the rain (didn't plan that part, but it added a little excitement.), a birthday cake that was shaped like an old Nintendo (pretty cool), a chocolate fountain (which went over really well), karaoke (my husband's new favorite thing to do!) and about 70 kids there. With the adults, we had almost 100 people.

The cake that a friend made for me. Pretty cool,?

Kevin and I. My hair started out big, but this picture was taken towards the end of the night and I can't make myself use a whole can of hairspray like I use to. Oh, well. Amb I had to wear the Dirty Dancing shirt because the Air Supply one didn't fit.

Kev with a few of our 80's girls. He looks like he is about to kill the cake...

Overall it was a great night. I am bone weary tired from being on my feet all day, but it was totally worth it. Second to kids learning about Jesus, parties like tonight is what makes student ministry a joy.

I am blessed...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Should I call him junior?

See that?! This is what my husband got me the other day. He has been in charge of ordering new computers at church and came across this little guy. He is only about the size of an 8x10 picture. Isn't he cute? (I know that it is kind of hard to tell from the picture. Sorry about that!)

I'm just excited to have something to travel with. Even if he is little bitty.

The best part is when Kev said he bought it so I could "blog" while sitting in the living room with him. Isn't that sweet?

Now I just have to come up with a name for the little guy. Any suggestions?

Happy blogging!