Monday, January 31, 2011

A Day of Inconvenience...

it started at 3:30 A.M.!!!

Kayla came and woke me up, complaining of chills. She was shaking. FEVER.

We went to the kitchen to find some meds, only for her to literally DROP to the floor TWICE on me from dizziness. Scared this mom to death. Ask me if I went back to sleep. NO!


Calls to work and school were made. I took Jordan to school, made a mad dash to Wally World for Lysol and chicken soup makin's and then back home to nurse my baby girl back to health. My child who hardly ever goes to the doctor.

My child who went today and because she NEVER goes to the doctor, I had to fill out GOBS of paperwork. UGH!


sitting in a waiting room CRAMMED FULL of SICK PEOPLE, it is a wonder any of us survived. An hour later, Kayla's vitals are checked. An hour after that, we see a doctor. Yep! We left the office after two and a half hours of WAITING.

NO WAY GOING TO THE DOCTOR IS CONVENIENT! (I asked him if he even had time for lunch...)

Dropped off baby girl at home and went to pick up her prescription. Oh, by the way, doctor thinks she is in the beginning stages of the FLU.


At the pharmacy, after thirty minutes, I go and stand in line, only to be told it is not ready YET, but will be in just a few minutes. Do I need to go home and come back? The lady says "NO." After another THIRTY minutes, it is still not ready. But I am told "almost." I am beginning to think I need to buy the pharmacy lady a watch.

They finally call me up, I am excited. Only when I get there I am told that Kayla's information HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED! I had waited an hour before anyone even asked me about my drug card?!!!


I calmly give information and after one and a half hours at the pharmacy, I make it home.

If you remember in my last post, I told how my phone is DEAD. That sure is making my life


All in all it was a DAY OF INCONVENIENCE.


There was time to have my quiet time early this morning.

There was "movie time" with my favorite gal, while we played hooky from school and work.

There was the lonely "89" year old man at the pharmacy who just wanted to "chat."

There was homemade soup in the crock pot for dinner. (Thank goodness for thinking ahead.)

There is my hubby who is trying to fix my phone as we speak...

There is the priceless hugs from my son.

There is the phone call from my mom.

There were blessings overflowing...


Thank you, Lord!

*** Kayla is doing alright. She has waves of feeling better and then her headache or fever will come back and she will lay down. Thanks for the prayers!***

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Feeling out of touch...

I am not "addicted" to my phone, like some people I know. (Hint. Hint. SISTER!) In fact my family is always fussing about me not answering when they call. I am just not one that stays on it nonstop. An occasional text and call is all I need...

Or at least that is what I thought.

Until yesterday.

My phone was left in my jeans and decided to take a bath in the washing machine. Kev heard it swishing around, so it wasn't in there very long, but...

"Ruby" is drying out in a bag of rice as we speak.

And all of a sudden I miss her horribly. I survived all my high school and college days, living in big cities, traveling all over the world without a cell phone and now I am nervous about driving around town without one? Not even sure I remember how to use a payphone if I needed to. Do we still have payphones? Haven't even noticed.

I feel cut off from the family. I find myself wondering "what if?" someone was trying to get me. What if it was important? What if I just missed that "million dollar" call?

How did our world become so dependent on a cellphone? Why does it feel we are missing an appendage when we lose or break them? Why do I feel so out of touch all of a sudden?


I guess we will have to wait a few days to see if you manage to survive you bath coma.

I hope you do, because I just learned how you really work.

Just took me two years, but our relationship was growing.

I am not really ready to move on...

I will miss you if your time has come to an end.


Friends, have any advice? Is there any hope for Ruby? If not, do you have any suggestions for a replacement. It needs to be easy to use. I am NOT an electronic person. In the meantime, I am not sure what I will do...

Probably just confiscate my daughter's phone. :)


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Power of the Written Words...

On my journey through the Bible, I have been amazed at the descriptive words and phrases used. Words I had never really noticed before. Words that have held new meaning for me. Since not much has been going on around here, I thought I would take the time to share a few of my discoveries. Hopefully, they will encourage and inspire you along your day to day journey, like they have me.

Luke 24:49 "...clothed in power..."

Love this! The idea of the Holy Spirit dressing me head to toe with the power of Christ gives me chills. Can you just imagine getting up each morning and get ready, clothed with the power of the Spirit? If that thought doesn't give you strength, then to face the day, then I'm not sure what will.

1 Corinthians 9:24 "...under the cloud..."

In this verse Paul was referring to our forefathers and how they were led by God. The thought of having my "head in the clouds" might not be a bad thing, as long as the cloud is God. Sure wish I had come across this juicy tidbit at a younger age. It would have been a handy comeback to all my daydreaming moments. :)

1 Corinthians 14:33 " ...God is not a God of disorder but of peace..."

OK, so I knew this one. Even though Paul was talking about the church in this verse, I believe it holds a special message for all areas of our lives. In other words, the circus is fun, as long as the ringmaster has everything under control. Thankful, that God is my ringmaster. Just got to keep him in the center and let Him be in charge.

1 Corinthians 15:2 "...if you hold firmly..."

I just love this phrase used by Paul to describe keeping the faith, persevering in your relationship with Christ. We hold those we love...Christ should be no different.

2 Corinthians 2:14 "...and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him..."

Being compared to a sweet perfume smells so sweet. I love this thought. I like the idea that living the Christian life can be compared to a sweet fragrance to be shared. This is where I have to stop and ask myself daily, "How do I smell?"

1 Corinthians 3:3 " show that you are a letter from Christ..."

The idea is that our transformed life, is like someone opening up a letter and reading Christ. I can't even begin to tell you how that thought affects me. WOW!

2 Corinthians 4:7 "...but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God..."

Who doesn't like the idea of a treasure box? People would hide their treasures in ordinary clay pots, so no one would discover the value within. Paul used the idea here to describe how unworthy he was, yet he held the greatest treasure of all in his heart. Paul and I are a lot alike in some ways. (I guess this is where the music group found their name?)

Can you tell where I have been reading lately? Yep. Made it through Acts, Romans and just wrapped up the two Corinthians. Looking forward to the next book of adventure. I encourage you to walk this journey with me. Book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, one day at a time. It is amazing what one chapter a day can reveal and the impact that it has had on my life. Don't you just love it when the Word comes alive?
I would love to hear any verses you would like to add to my list. Just remember, this list is only a reflection of a few books of reading and what I wrote down in my journal that morning. I could probably reread the same books and find even more. I have always loved to write and journal, so descriptive words capture my attention and say "STOP!" you might want to read a little further.
I think I will read a little further...


Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Proverbs 31 Woman...

"A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth more than rubies,

Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax

and works with eager hands,

She is like the merchant ships,

bringing her food from afar.

she gets up while it is still dark;

she provides food for her family

and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it;

out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

she sets about her work vigorously;

her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable

and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff

and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor

and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;

for all are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed;

she is clothed in fine linen and purple,

Her husband is respected in the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them,

and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,

and faithful instruction was on her tongue.

She watched over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her;

"Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all."

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

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

- Proverbs 31:10-30

Today is my mom's birthday. I have used this verse before in tributes and cards and it never gets old. In my eyes, my mom was and still is all that Proverbs 31 represents. Her strength, her faith and her love are all characteristics that I pray everyday for. I want to be just like my mom when I grow up!

Growing up I saw her go without new things, so I could have my heart's desires. I watched her and my dad share and teach their faith, both in churches and on the mission field. She always made sure my sister and I had what we needed; we were always fed and dressed and she made our house a home. She is soft spoken, yet firm, compassionate, yet strong. She is a natural caregiver who loves her family and still takes care of all of us. I thank God everyday for her and the example she set in my life. I am blessed.


I love you!

Hope you have a beautiful birthday!

And I don't care how old you are, you can still celebrate. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Keep the music playing...

Last December, Kayla, my young flute player, had All-Region Band tryouts. It may have been one of her hardest school moments so far in her 9 years of school.

Kayla loves the flute. Since day one in 6Th grade, when she tried out for the instrument of her choice, she wanted to play the flute. And she is pretty good at it too. The past few years, she has stayed at first to third chair. At the football games this year, she was front and center, when playing on the field. She really likes her band teachers and they really like her, pushing her to be better, everyday. Last year, she won the band award for the seventh grade.

A lot of pressure. The expectations are high. She is probably harder on herself, than anybody. That is what made that weekend so very hard.

It was a busy week. The Christmas season had started full swing. There was band concerts, parties, the middle school dance and right smack in the middle was the All-Region competition. YUCK! Kayla was stressed.

I can still remember dropping her off that morning at the school. "Mom, I'm nervous. I wish I had never won that award last year. Everyone expects a lot of me. The pressure is getting to me and I haven't had time to practice like I needed to."

The pressure got to her.

I picked her up, and she didn't think she did well. In her words, she got nervous and "spazzed out!" I encouraged her and we went to the church to decorate for her Christmas tea party being held the next day. While at the church, that evening, she started getting texts from friends saying "they made it!" and what chair and band they were in. The girls decorating with us, found out what they were and were excited. Then we found out Kayla's ranking.

2ND band, 2ND alternate.

In other words, she didn't make it unless two people didn't show. Not to mention that she didn't even make first band. It was OK at first. She was trying to look on the positive and stay upbeat. But that is so hard for anyone, especially a young girl, when all your friends are continuing to text you with their "better than you" scores. It is hard when you know some of the kids that made it, are not even the best in the band or don't even really care. It was just hard, period. But I thought she was going to be OK.

Until, I couldn't find her. Everyone helping me decorate had left and I realized I hadn't seen her in a while. I texted her. She had found herself a dark corner in the church and had cried and called her dad, band geek senior.

My little girl was in so much pain, and I was helpless. She was so angry at herself. She felt like she had let us all down. I did the only thing I could do; held her tight, let her cry, helped her find positives and showed her that life was not over. I then took her and bought some chips and dip from the Mexican restaurant and a chick flick. We would survive.

And we did. She bounced back, continued to encourage her friends and congratulate them and plugged along. She was choosing to stay positive. I was and still am very proud.

Fast forward to this weekend. I'm worried. It is All-Region. Kayla has to go, as an alternate and I was worried that it would drag up a lot of hurtful feelings. I was worried that she would have to practice all weekend and then not get to play. I was worried because that is what us moms do best, right?

Shouldn't have. Turns out she does get to play. I don't know the details, just that I have had to run her back and forth to practice. Evidently two seats "mysteriously" were empty. Kayla and her new friend from another school would get to play after all. When I asked her if it still bothered her about not making 1st band, she said, "No, I'm over it. In fact I like the music better for 2ND band anyway. I've had fun."

So there you have it, friends. We don't always see the bigger picture. I believe that this was a growing experience for my little girl. And although it hurt like crazy, it taught her a valuable lesson in how to deal with the failures that come our way. I totally believe we should always try to be our best, but sometimes our best may not be THE BEST by the world's standards. But it doesn't mean we've failed or that we can't appreciate the step we are on. Life is a journey of ups and downs. Sometimes the downs just make us appreciate what we have a little more.

Mommy loves you. I have been so proud of you. Seeing you smiling today and having fun playing the instrument you love, erased the memories of a hurtful weekend. I wish I had the maturity you have shown the past few months, when I was your age. You have a strength, that could only come from God. May He continue to use you, everyday, to be a display for His light. Especially, when the painful days come and then go. Keep the music going, baby doll. Always keep His song in your heart.

Kayla is in dark red sweater.

Kayla and friend after concert. (SMILING!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Waiting for the BREAD diet...

If you know me and know me well, then you know that one of my favorite things to eat in this world is BREAD. I am not picky either, friends. I like most every kind; plain, baked or toasted. I can put a loaf of bread away faster than you can say "pass the butter." As someone allergic to chocolate, my mom will tell you, when the monthly hormones went crazy, I went straight for the bread, even at a young age. If it was a REALLY, REALLY BAD day, well I would grab a knife and butter too.

I think it started when I was about five and decided I wanted to make my own snacks, preferably when mom was NOT around. All I could reach was the bread on the kitchen counter and mayo on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, so a mayo sandwich it would be. That is where the healthy snacking began.

That is the problem with this whole wanting to diet thing. My gene pool doesn't allow me the luxury of being able to eat anything I want and still stay a size 8 or under. So I usually have to cut back to lose a few pounds. Cutting back usually means depriving myself of my favorite treat...BREAD. So, needless to say, I have a hard time sticking to anything. I couldn't begin to tell you the last time I was a size 8!!! But the last time I had a good 'ol slice of bread with honey butter? Well, that was tonight.


There are carrot diets. Cabbage diets. Meat and protein diets. Low fat diets.
HELLO?!!! This world would be a lot skinnier if someone would invent a GREAT tasting bread with NO CALORIES, LOW CARBS and NO FAT.
Anyone with me on this?

I guess you are wondering why I am rambling on and on about BREAD? We went to the local steakhouse with my in-laws, for my mother-in-law's birthday, tonight. I ordered a salad, a baked potato, and Filet Mignon. There was an onion blossom ordered as an appetizer and bread with honey butter was on the table.

I brought my camera, to not only take a few birthday shots of the family, but to take a picture of my yummy dinner. It was ALL wonderful and I ate EVERY bite on my plate. Now, ask me what I took a picture of...

Is there a counselor out there that specializes in BREAD therapy?

Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


It is my Mom-in-law's birthday.

(January 21st)

The past year has been filled with many deep valleys and some pretty incredible mountain tops. Between her radiation treatments last spring and summer for breast cancer, my illness and surgery last summer and my father-in-law's on going battle with cancer, our family has had some rough days, during the past year. But in between the "not so fun times" were some really happy moments too. Like the fact that her and Papa celebrated "50" years of marriage,
last August.

I just wanted to take this time to tell Grandma "Happy Birthday" and "Thank you."
Thank you for all the little things you do for all of us. Thanks for being strong and keeping the faith during the "storms" of life. Thanks for raising a son with a great big servant's heart. Thank you for being a loving and caring grandma to my two kiddos, even on their "unlovable" days. Thanks for being a wonderful mother-in-law.

I pray that you have a beautiful birthday.

December 2010 with her boys.

I love ya!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My Kayla

"...neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from
the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:39

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dear Paul,

Well, friend, it is like this, I have been reading your letters lately. I know you said that it was

"to all in Rome who are loved by God...,"

but honestly, I think it is a misprint. My Bible, (because I did a little personalization, of course) reads;

" Michele, who is loved by God and called to be a saint. Grace and peace to you, Michele, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

I seriously think it was/is a misprint. It has to be, cause I can't explain it, but God knew I needed these letters when He inspired you to write. I know He must have been thinking of me that day. He must have. How else can you explain how your words have met the needs of my heart the last few days? How else can you explain that your words have answered my questions? How else could your words become my prayer?

I started in Acts the other day and just kept reading. I LOVED how your friend Luke told of your conversion. When I reread the story over and over again and how Christ totally "transformed" you, I am humbled. I know you have written many letters, yet I don't think it was an accident that I decided to take on Romans first.

Thank you, for you have challenged me. I have read some of your words and wanted to cry "OUCH!," while others have given me great hope and joy. I am taking baby steps right now, for I am a gal who has grown up in church, thinking "she's had all the answers." Yet, I am now realizing that I can know the truth, but without surrendering my heart to that truth, the answers found on the pages of my Bible are null and void. It hurts me to say this, but somewhere through the years I have become callous to the Word. I would just pick out a verse here or there that seem to meet my needs at the time. I have been missing out on the WHOLE message.

Since dedicating myself to read word by word, chapter by chapter, book by book, God's word has come alive again. So much so, that I think I will probably have to reread Romans again. Every time I read, God speaks. Paul, are you sure you didn't write it just for me?

I am at Romans 12. Can I just say "beautifully written?" Romans 12:9- 21 has become my prayer for the month. It pretty much sums up what I need to do and be daily.

"Love must be sincere.
(Oops! How many times have I said "love you" and really didn't mean it?)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves?
(Oh no, I can be pretty selfish and proud at times.)
Keep your Spiritual fervor serving the Lord.
(definition of "fervor" is great intensity and excitement. I need improvement here for sure.)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.
( I sometimes look at the glass half empty. And my prayer life can often be on a need to need basis. OUCH!)
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
(Ugh! This is my weakest point. I need to make the welcome sign on my door bigger.)
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Seriously?! I mean can't I just be nice? Do I have to pray for them too?)
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
(What if I'm not feeling it?)
Mourn with those who mourn.
(I don't like to cry in public. I sometimes have a hard time with emotions...)
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
(OK. I go on missions trips, but do I have to act mission minded daily?)
Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
(Surely nobody can hold it against me if I say that one bad word or gossip just a little. Every one does it, it won't hurt my witness too bad. After all, they were talking about me the other day.)
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
(EVERYONE?! Is that even possible?)
Do not take revenge my friends but leave room for God's wrath.
(But sometimes I don't like God's timing. I want something done NOW! )
Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good. "
(It is so hard not to be caught up in the world and be a part of worldly things. Can I really make a difference?)
Paul, you sure are asking a lot of me. Can I just say "OUCH!," "HELP!" and "THANK YOU!?"

Thank you, for although your letter was originally written to your friends in Rome, I appreciate the fact that you were an open vessel for the Lord. How could you have known your letters then would so deeply affect the life of a woman so many years down the road? That too, leaves me humbled and deep in thought...

I know I have a lot to work on. I know there will be days that I flub up and trip all over myself. I just pray that there will be some moments in there, where I am without a doubt a Romans 12 gal for God. I can't help but think what a better world we would have, if everyone just lived by this message, one day at a time.

Thank you.

I am sure I will be writing again, because you are known to be a gifted, God inspired, letter writer. And, I am grace given gal, who needs all the help she can get.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Called to be the envy of all my friends...

Friends, I am going to let you in on a little secret;


Are you surprised?

Those of you who really know me, are not surprised at all. You know that I have gotten where I am today, by a journey of "good, bad and ugly," just like everyone else.

Have you ever wondered what people think when they see you? I am not talking latest fashion trends, flat ironed hair and pearly white teeth. I am talking about "YOU." You know, the person that comes out under pressure, the person that laughs and cries, the person who like everyone else in this world makes right or wrong choices moment by moment of EVERY day. How do you think people see you, really SEE YOU?

The last few weeks I have been thinking about this a lot. I have been trying to read and study my Bible more, getting up thirty minutes earlier in the mornings, not closing my eyes at night until I have read at least one chapter. Some days, the words on the page "JUMP" out at me, others, God shows me through the day, how that verse and message apply to me.

It is simply amazing.

Here I am, a Christian woman. I have gone to church my WHOLE life. I went to a Christian university, where Old and New Testament classes were required. I married a minister, taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, been to revival after revival, conference after conference, Bible Study after Bible Study...

Yet, it still amazes me how God can show me something NEW, every time I open the pages of His Word. WOW!

I have been convicted lately about my attitude. I have been convicted lately over my self control, especially where my mouth is concerned and I have been convicted over how the "world" around me views me each day. It hasn't been fun. Praying the Lord, will grace me with patience, or close the lips of my mouth when the time is right, in NEVER fun. Praying to be an example is a hard prayer.

Trying to live that prayer is even harder.

The other day, a girl at work called me "preacher woman." She didn't mean it as an insult, it wasn't necessarily a compliment. It was stated as fact. "Don't make me say that in front of the preacher woman!"

We all laughed, including me. Yet, I left that day burdened. She had put me on a pedestal. Being around me, made her want to watch her words and attitude. That is a good thing. However, I didn't see any evidence that she wanted to CHANGE and be like me. In fact, if I wasn't around, she wouldn't have given her words a second thought. I felt almost like an inconvenience, something in the way of them having "fun."


I am called to be a light for Jesus. I am called to live and be something that others would want to be. When those around me each day, really look at me, they need to see the "fruit of the Spirit." They need to see the "joy" I have, just by knowing the Savior on a personal level.

I don't want to be seen as the party pooper. I want to be seen as the person who knows where the real party will be one day!!! I want people to look at me and say "I want what she is having..."

After mulling over this for a few weeks, I opened my Bible and read this verse, this morning;

" hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them." Romans 11:14

This sweet little gem of a verse stood out to me, and I knew God was telling me that He is there to help me on this latest journey of self awareness. Even Paul felt the burden of being an example to the world. Not just the world, but his own people, his friends and family. He finally just had to hope that at the end of the day, the joy he had in the Lord would be enough for those he cared about to want to follow the Savior. His passion was that they would love the Lord he had come to know and love. His goal was to accomplish this by example.

So, I guess at the end of each day, I must simply ask myself; "was I the envy of all my friends and coworkers?" "Did they see something different in me today?" "Did I "stand out" in my attitude or response to situations, or did I just blend in?"

Did I...

"Live, so people will want what I have?"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I'm finishing up on putting away all the Christmas decor. Yep! I'm a little behind, but I have been BUSY, people! Thank goodness for SNOW DAYS to catch up on some things. Anyhow, I came across this little treasure, a picture that I get out every Christmas, because it is protected in a cute Christmas picture frame. I took it out of it's home for a few minutes to scan and share the love.

All I can say is this:


Aren't they just the cutest?!


Monday, January 10, 2011

A Snowboy and his gal pal...

My kiddos waited until dark to finally build a snowman today.

They spent the whole day running around on the four wheeler with their dad. First stop was Grandma's house for a bowl of chili and then they were off to visit some friends, who just happen to have a HUGE yard, perfect for sledding, four wheel riding and football.

So, this evening, right before dinner they decided to try their hand at some "Frosty" magic. After several trips in and out of the house, they finally grabbed my camera and showed off their creations. They were so cute, they cracked me up. Can you guess which snowman belongs to who? :)

Hope you are having a wonderful week. Stay warm!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Snow Day in South Arkansas?!

Excuse my excitement, but around these parts we don't see much SNOW. We will get an occasional flurry during the winter, but not the snowman building, covers the ground in a blanket of white inches, beautiful, beautiful snow. Last real snow we had was 3 years ago? Most of the time we just get ice and slush, nothing fun at all.

But the weather men and women have been building our hopes up all week. Everyone has been to Wally World at least twice for water, milk and bread. Generators have been tested, wood stoves cleaned out and firewood gathered. We were suppose to have big fluffy snow by noon on Sunday...

The weatherman didn't lie, for as I left the church building, the snow was falling and it was BEAUTIFUL. We had just sang "Revelation Song" not 30 minutes before and here I was standing in a beautiful parking lot of white. Didn't even know a parking lot could be so beautiful. All I could think about as I saw the white covered ground, was "He washes us white as snow..." How beautiful is that thought?
We were all excited, even my hubby. Of course, we had to go out and play. And of course mom had to bring the camera...

After about thirty minutes of picture fun, this mom thought the family dog was the smart one of the house. It is COLD out there people!!! Kevin and the kids took the four wheeler down the road to "play" with the neighbors, while I'm catching up in blogland, heating the water for hot tea and hot chocolate and baking muffins for a warm snack for their arrival home.
I hope it stays beautiful and the weather doesn't cause too many problems around town with the roads and electricity, because it has been a Fun day. It is looking like we all will have a free day tomorrow too. :)
Happy Winter, friends! God is good.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Let's Play Ball!

My son LOVES basketball.

I Love watching him play ball.

He makes a good point guard. He passes the ball. He's a pretty good shot. As a mom, I'm loving the sportsmanship he has shown lately.

Way to go Jorboy! Keep up the good work. Mom is proud of you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Something to think about...

"God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called."
-Max Lucado
from the book
"Out Live Your Life"
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Finding my own pebbles...

The last night of 2010, was spent with hundreds of excited teenagers. We had taken our youth group, to an event called "Joy Explo," held in Little Rock. The new year was seen in with plenty of excitement, lots of laughter and a little more heartfelt wisdom.

Here is the thing, it was a fun event, but things got serious for me during the concert. "Pocket Full of Rocks" were in charge of the praise and worship for the night. I had heard the band on the radio. Some songs I knew, some I didn't, but the words of one of their hits, grabbed my heart. All I had been thinking about, journaling about, praying about, preparing myself for the new year...well the song spoke VOLUMES.

"He is not mad at you

and He's not disappointed

His grace is greater still

than all your wrong choices

He is full of mercy

and he is ever kind

hear His invitation

His arms are open wide

You can come as you are

with all your broken pieces

and all your shameful scars

the pain you hold in your heart

bring it all to Jesus

you can come as you are

Louder than the voice

that whispers you're unworthy

hear the sound of love

that tells a different story

You can come as you are..."

-Pocket Full of Rocks

It was awesome to hear a room full of teenagers singing that song with the band. WOW!

I'm sitting there thinking of the name of their band and what the meaning is behind it. Suddenly the song held even more meaning for me. A young man, David, with nothing but a pocket full of pebbles, ready to do what God asked of Him. Do you think he knew then, how close to God he would become? Do you think he knew then how hard he would fall and how great God's grace is? Do you think he had any idea how God would use him and his pebbles for years to come to declare the power of the Lord? Do you think he knew...?

I think he was a shepherd boy and treated so. In fact his father and brothers didn't even see him as king material. He made mistakes like children, teenagers and adults do. Yet, when God called, he came, just like he was and God turned his pocket full of stones into a legacy of faith.

I'm looking at the rocks that represent my heart, my gifts, my talents, my faith in my own pocket. Wondering how each one could be used by God or if I will even surrender when the time comes and use one for His glory. Sometimes I feel so useless, so broken, so scarred up. Surely God would choose someone else to kill today's giant, and probably tomorrow"s too. Right?

"Come as you are, with all your broken pieces and all your shameful scars..."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year, Friends!

See this picture? My sister took it the other day, while playing with my camera. At first I HATED it. A little too close for comfort. Every line, bump, imperfection seen. But then the more I studied it, I realized that that is how God sees me everyday. He is very UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. He sees EVERY worry line, EVERY scar, EVERY hive, EVERY heart, that no amount of make up or photo shop can hide. I wonder how I look in His eyes today? What will I end up looking like tomorrow?

Today is a new day, the start of a new year.

Last year was super crazy, super wonderful, super heartbreaking, super scary, super fun and just plain super duper blessed. At the end of the day, deep down I know the rough moments were faith building, while the highs were memories for the "joy" jar in my heart. Looking back, I sigh in both relief and in sadness, for the past year was a road well traveled. In fact there were plenty of moments when I just had to be "carried" through, from weariness and rock torn feet. Yet, a part of me hates to say "goodbye." For among those rocks was great awareness and growth. God is good. Life might stink sometimes, but God is good.

So, I look at today, a little overwhelmed, for me being the "list maker" that I am, I have a whole list of things I want to do and accomplish, things I want to let go of and change, things I want to finally forget, paving the way to allow myself to forgive. I want to wrap myself in God's tender mercies and grace and start new and fresh. NOW!!!

But it isn't that easy. Letting go takes more than a list. Becoming organized takes more than a day. Changing the world takes one day at a time...

And if I am not careful, I fall back into my rut of what is "easy."

No, I need to take this slowly. One prayer at a time. One task at a time. One child of God at a time. I need to just simply be available and let God Almighty work out the kinks. After all, He is better at making a spreadsheet than I am. It helps when you have the ability to see ahead and can see the goal accomplished. It helps when you can read hearts, know minds and have unfailing love in your corner. It helps when you are the definition of GRACE itself.

So where does that leave me today?

Approaching the new year with optimism, with determination, with awareness and with great hope. None of us knows what this year may hold, for our families, our friends, our towns and our country. There are no guarantees in this world. The only guarantee I have in life is that at the end of the day "God is love."

And for some reason He loves ME and has a plan for ME. Despite the crow's feet, adult acne, allergy eyes and sinful heart. WOW!

So, lists are crumpled and put in the trash. Resolutions already forgotten. Goals are even put on the shelf. For you see, at the end of the day, if I just soak myself in God's love, through prayer and study, this year will happen and God will grace me with the right tools to see each day through. The Bible even says not "to worry about tomorrow for it has enough worries of it's own."


So does that mean I just camp myself out on the couch, day and night and soak in His word? Oh, that would be nice, wouldn't it? No, I am still going to be a busy mom and wife with plenty to do and accomplish. There would be a rebellion in the house, if bills didn't get paid, underwear washed and meals cooked, not to mention the job I'm employed to do outside the home...

No, I think what I am trying to say is this; I am going to try to just take one day at a time, laying my burdens before the Lord, praising Him for the strength He provides daily. I can't help but think if I stop trying to "control" everything, and allow God to work His miracles, the me and mine would be a whole lot better off in the long run.

So what did 2010 teach me, if anything?

That at the end of the day, God is in control. You can either jump on board for the ride of your life or you can watch helplessly from the station, going nowhere. I think I am ready to see what adventures 2011 holds, what about you?

And if it adds a few more wrinkles, then so be it. It will also add a little joy to my heart.

Happy New Year!