Wednesday, December 27, 2006

In the Blink of an Eye...

Another Christmas has now come and gone. There is so much anticipation and excitement that builds up to that one special day and before you know it, it is over in the blink of an eye.

We had a great Christmas... Lots of family and great food!!! We go to my mom's house on Christmas Eve, so with that being on Sunday this year, I made all of my pies the day before. That turned out to be a great "new tradition" to start. Usually I am frantic the whole morning of Christmas Eve trying to prepare everything. I am the dessert maker, so I usually make 4 or 5 pies from scratch and it can be very time consuming. This year, doing it a day early was just the blessing I needed. With everything finished, we got up and went to church with all the stress of baking completely behind me. It made my worship so much sweeter and it was the greatest blessing of the day. With all the baking behind me, once we were home I got to relax the rest of the afternoon. It was great!! So from now on, it's the day before for me for baking... way less stress!!

I love Christmas morning and the excitement and anticipation of my kids getting their gifts. It truly is more blessed to give than receive. I love seeing the excitement on their faces. Even though my kids are now 16 and 20, they still get excited. Jeremy set his alarm for 7:00 a.m. so he could be sure to get up early. Ashley and I tried to convince him that 8:00 was early enough, but at 7:00 a.m. he was in her room practically carrying her to our room and telling us all to get up!! We all laid in our bed for about 30 minutes, but that was all he could stand. It was time for everyone to get up! The gift of the year was Ipods. I almost had Jeremy convinced everyone was sold out and I couldn't find them, so the wait to actually find out was killing him :)

The one thing I don't like about Christmas is how fast it is all over. There is so much joy and happiness at this time of year and within an hour, all the gifts are opened and another Christmas has come and gone.

I pray that though the season of Christmas is now past for another year, the spirit in which we live during this time will continue on. Not the stressful part that sometimes comes with it, but the joy and happiness, the love for our fellowman and the discussion everywhere of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. As I said in an earlier post, Jesus is the reason for Every season. I pray that we and people everywhere will continue to celebrate Him each and every day.

Blessings to all!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

God Knows...

It always amazes me how God knows just what we need and when. He always does, I don't know why it continues to amaze me, but it does. I had just been thinking the last couple of days about how busy everything is trying to get ready for Christmas. I have been baking like crazy, wrapping like crazy and have now started thinking about the salsa and 4 or 5 pies I will be making on Saturday. I go to bed exhausted and I know that I am not giving God my best. In fact, I made a personal commitment tonight to quit letting the holiday activities consume me and give God more of my focus. As much as I love the holidays and Christmas time, I should not get so consumed that God gets my leftovers. Because to be honest, if I'm not careful, I don't even have leftovers to give Him.

As I said before, God always knows just what we need and when. As I have been thinking about how much I need to refocus, I received the following poem through an email ministry tonight and it really opened my eyes as to how out of focus I have become lately.


Quiet My Heart, Lord

Quiet my heart, Lord,
and show me a Christmas
as peaceful and calm as
an old cattle shed...

Slow down my pace, Lord,
and help me seek Jesus,
the Son of Your Love,
in a humble straw bed...

Steady my spirit, Lord,
call me from chaos
in simple surrender
to pray and rejoice...

Breakthrough the busy,
too-bright celebration,
and whisper your message.
"Be still...hear my voice..."

Be still and know that I am God..."
Psalm 46:10

--Author Unknown


Even though I love Christmas and all the excitement it brings, this poem spoke volumes to me about the need for me to be still. I need to seek the Lord in the middle of the chaos, slow down and listen to Him whispering my name.

As the busyness and fun of Christmas creeps in upon us, let's remember to Be Still and listen for God's voice. After all, He does know just what we need.

I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tis the Season

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I love the decorations, the music, the hustle and bustle and the joyous feeling that seems to be everywhere. I especially love the family traditions we have established with our family. My family is so important to me and I love the closeness our family shares.

But this time of year can also be very hectic. We have been so busy lately with choir concerts, school activities, my preschoolers program and Jeremy's daily rehearsals for the upcoming Beauty and the Beast musical. The busyness has caused me to think about a couple of things.

Most of the world celebrates the birth of Jesus at Christmas. If your like me though, the C of C world has not celebrated His birth at Christmas because no one really knows the exact day He was born. And we have sometimes done that to the extreme. At this stage of my life and hopefully much more mature stage of my life, the precise day of Jesus' birth is not my main concern. The fact that He Was born is! I am more concerned, actually very thankful, that at least at Christmas, the rest of the world is acknowledging Christ and talking about His birth. The "day" we celebrate His birth is not as important as making sure we "Are" celebrating His birth and more importantly, His resurrection.

We have sometimes been so concerned with not celebrating His birth on Christmas, that we don't celebrate it at all. We don't celebrate Jesus' birth on Christmas, but are we celebrating it at any other time? I have grown to believe that Christmas is an opportunity. People are more open to Christ at Christmas than perhaps at any other time of the year. We should be celebrating that opportunity. The fact that Jesus was born is reason to celebrate! What day we choose to do it is really irrelevant.

We get so busy with the Christmas rush, that I'm afraid those of us who are Christians may sometimes put Jesus on the back burner while the rest of the world is celebrating His birth. We should take Him off the back burner and get on fire with the rest of the world.

The world offers the saying, "Jesus is the reason for the season". Jesus is the reason for Every Season! So I say, Let's Celebrate!! And Merry Christmas to All!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

When Your Child Hurts

There is really nothing worse than when your child is hurt or is struggling with something. It is such a helpless feeling. Your heart aches and breaks as you try and give advice and as you pray over them. Even though it may be nothing big, your heart aches as you watch them struggle and hopefully prevail victoriously.

I have made a lot of sacrifices for my children over the years, but I have never had to give the life of one of my children for the sake others. As my heart breaks over my own children's struggles, how much more must God's heart break when He watches us struggle. And how much more so when He sees us make the wrong choices. He gave up His Son for us, my sacrifices do not compare to that.

I think about how I would feel if I gave up my son or daughter for everyone else in the world and then watched them squander that gift as we so often do. I honestly don't know how God puts up with some of the "stuff" we do. He has given us so much more than we for sure deserve. I am so thankful that God's heart is not like mine would be if it were my child that had been given for others.

God's grace is so amazing and incomprehensible. When I think about how my heart aches as my children struggle, how much more must God's heart ache as He watches us struggle. I am so thankful for the grace of God and that His grace is more than I can imagine in this feeble mind. As God watches me struggle, I hope I make him proud with choices I make. And for the times I know I don't, I thank you God for the never ending grace and compassion you have for your children. I can hear you cheering me on in the same way I am cheering on my own children. Thank you!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Weekend Humor....Provided by Mike Cope and Randy Harris

I was looking at Mike Cope's blog yesterday and found this. For those who saw it at Tulsa last year, it's a hilarious reminder. For those who haven't seen it yet, enjoy!!! Have a great weekend!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Forced Silence

This past week has been interesting. I had laryngitis for 3 days! I usually get it about once a year after a long cold or something, but this one came up out of the blue. One day around 5:00 I just suddenly had no voice. It stayed gone for 3 days. Ashley called me that night after I had lost my voice and said who is this when I answered the phone. I said this is your momma! And then she busted out laughing! She could hardly talk to me she was laughing so hard!

Although not having a voice for 3 days can be very hard, I feel like it was a good thing, because it caused me to reflect a little on myself. I began to ask myself after the 2nd day if maybe God was trying to tell me something. I began to realize that I don't always listen as much as I should. I need to listen more and talk less. After being forced to do that, I realized it was something I already knew, but now had no choice but to work on. So the forced silence was good.

It was also very interesting trying to teach ten 4 year olds with no voice on the day of their Thanksgiving Feast when they are already excited. After they realized I really couldn't talk above a forced whisper, it was one of the best days of school I've had! They were so quiet all day because they knew they had to listen extra hard to hear me. I even had one teacher stick her head in the door to see if we were in there. She said it was so quiet she didn't think we were in the room!

One other nice thing while I had no voice was that Jeremy had to actually stop and look me in the face when I was talking to him no matter how big of hurry he was in :) It frustrated him a little, but it was nice to have his undivided attention!

I have my voice back now. Well, I have A voice back. Not really my own yet. I have more of a man voice right now. I think I could have sang bass at church on Wednesday night. I was already singing an entire octave lower than every one else!

Being without a voice can be a major pain. But all in all, I really count it as a blessing. God opened my eyes to some things in myself I need to change. And for me that's always a good thing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Rabbi's Dust

Last night in our Wednesday night class we watched a video called "Dust" by Rob Bell at . We were finishing up our series on "More of What I Need to Be..." It was the second time I have seen it. It's pretty amazing if you've never seen it.

In the video, he talks about what it means to be a disciple. He goes on to explain how in some cultures children begin preparing at age 5 to follow a particular Rabbi and learn from him. They go through intense training for years to become the best of the best. At one point he talked about being covered in the dust of your Rabbi. I must have missed that comment the first time I saw it, because I have not been able to stop thinking about that statement.

To be covered in the dust of our Rabbi. Wow!! That would mean we are so close to Him that even the particles of dust that fall off of Him cling to us. That is an amazing word picture for me. It reminds me of Psalm 63:8, "My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me. " We are to get as close to Him as possible. So close, we are covered in His dust.

Being His disciple means being His disciple in even the smallest every day decisions we make. Probably even more so in those decisions. Because sometimes it's in those every day decisions that we fall away. The simple decisions that we sometimes make without thinking. Those every day decisions where even the smallest decision can affect or impact the lives of others.

I will continue to think about that statement. I want to be covered in the dust of my Rabbi, so that even when I make those small every day decisions I will make them to the Glory of God. To be covered in the dust of my Rabbi..... hmmm.... something to think about.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'll Bet You've Never Witnessed This at a Baptism...

This kid was really eager to get baptized!!! Make sure you watch all the way 'till the end.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Aroma's of Life

As I lay in bed last night praying and thinking about my day, I began to remember some conversations and things that happened while Ashley and I were out. (She is home for the weekend! :)

For some reason, one of the things I remembered was all the different things we smelled throughout the day. She was looking at new perfumes that were out, we smelled some new hand lotions, we passed a cookie place with cookies baking. You could smell the Mexican food from the restaurant in the mall. She was talking about how she was wanting me to cook fried chicken this weekend (her favorite meal) and I thought about the way homemade fried chicken smells cooking. I made a comment about how I think homemade brownies baking is one of the best smells in the world. The list goes on.

As I lay there, I began to think about how we smell to the world and the fragrance we emit. I don't mean anything gross or the smells of perfume and such. But when people are around us, do they sense and smell the aroma of Jesus. I'm afraid that too many times that may not be the case. I know that most of us for the most part do our best to emit the aroma of Christ. But what about when we are frustrated in traffic or someone in front of us in line is taking longer than we think they should because we are in a hurry. Even maybe when we are frustrated with our families. Do we emit the aroma of Christ then? Or do they smell the pungent odor of Satan.

My prayer is that I will be more aware of the aroma I emit in my life. And that more and more, people will only smell the sweet smell of our savior. The aroma of Jesus Christ.


Please be in prayer for the Memorial Drive Church of Christ in Tulsa. A tragic shooting involving one of their members happened last night. Four people died. Please pray God's peace, love and compassion on all the families involved.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oh God, Make Me a Better......

I received an email which was a prayer entitled "Oh God, Make Me a Better Parent. I got it about 2 weeks ago. I left it in my inbox and it has really caused me to ponder some things. I think the number one thing is, Oh God, Make me a more spirit filled or spirit led Christian. Our life has been so busy lately. It seems like something different almost everyday. While a lot of these things are good things, I find myself being exhausted. Exhausted to the point, that I know my spiritual life is suffering.

Why is it that when things get crazy, it seems to be our spiritual life that suffers the most. Our bible studying gets put on the back burner, we sometimes don't contemplate the spiritual things. At least that's how it seems in my life. It is something I am desperately trying to change. I go to church on Sunday and Wednesday and get charged up by the great lessons I am hearing and vow to myself right then and there to take note of things I am going to start working on. And then I leave and seem to get right back into the rat race and find trouble prioritizing things. Does this happen to anyone else??

I am so seeking to have my life completely and spiritually centered on Christ. I know if I can somehow start to get even close to that, some of the "stuff" will probably take care of itself. I will leave you with the prayer of "Oh God, Make Me Be a Better a Parent". I know that in reading it, I can replace parent with many other things. Wife, daughter, friend, teacher, etc. I'm praying I can continue to ponder these things and put them into action in my life.

Have a blessed weekend!



Oh, God, make me a better parent.
Help me to understand my children,
to listen patiently to what they have to say
and to answer all their questions kindly.
Keep me from interrupting them,
talking back to them and contradicting them.
Make me as courteous to them
as I would have them be to me.

Give me the courage to confess my sins
against my children and to ask of them forgiveness,
when I know that I have done them wrong.

May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children.
Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes or
resort to shame and ridicule as punishment.

Let me not tempt a child to lie and steal.
So guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate
by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.

Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me.
May I cease to nag;
and when I am out of sorts,
help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue.

Blind me to the little errors of my children
and help me to see the good things that they do.
Give me a ready word for honest praise.

Help me to treat my children as those of their own age,
but let me not exact on them the judgments
and convictions of adults.
Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity
to wait upon themselves,
to think, to choose, and to make decisions.

Forbid that I should ever punish them
for my self satisfaction.
May I grant them all of their wishes
that are reasonable
and have the courage always to withhold
a privilege that I know will do them harm.


-- Author Unknown

Monday, October 30, 2006


All I can say after yesterday is WOW!! We feel soooo blessed to be a part of the Highland Oaks Church of Christ!! Yesterday was one of the most inspiring worship services I have ever been a part of. We began the first of October with an Imagine Campaign. It includes updating the auditorium (the sound is horrific) and building not only for members but for groups outside of Highland Oaks that use our building weekly. It includes the Genesis Alliance to train and equip Hispanic ministers to plant churches in the metroplex and beyond. It also includes planting the Way of Life Church of Christ in East Hollywood, California where gangs are very prevalent. And finally it includes the River of Life Youth Center, which when finished will also include a fully staffed community center so the kids in the neighborhood around the church will have a safe place to get together.

Yesterday was pledge Sunday for the campaign. Each family in the church is pledging what they can do over the next 3 years to further the work in God's kingdom. There were baskets placed around the podium and all around the auditorium. They started with the ministers, elders and their family coming up to the front. The leaders at H.O. believe in leading by example. They all placed there commitment pledges in the baskets first and then families went and placed their pledges in the baskets. It was so incredible to watch so many families put there trust in God and what can be done in His Kingdom.

I forgot to mention that all of this started 2 years ago when the elders and ministers began praying for God to lead them where He wanted them to go. Several months into praying, Highland Oaks received a 1 million dollar grant from Austin Street to plant churches! Part of that is being used to plant the Hispanic Churches and the East Hollywood Church with many more to come. Two years later the Imagine campaign was born. We are just very excited to be here and working for Glory of God's kingdom!

To top things off yesterday we got to be a part of the Highland Oaks Annual Family Carnival. Oh my goodness!! What an experience! There were literally thousands of people there and at the end of the day a trick or treat line that was actually 4 lines with all 4 lines going half way around the building! (If not for the 4 lines it probably would have lapped itself around the building!!) What a blessing is was to see those kids faces light up when they walked away with an Albertson's bag full of candy! KLTY was broadcasting from the carnival, there were over 20 rides, games, climbing things, bouncing things, funhouses, etc. There were cokes, cotton candy, popcorn, chili, hot dogs and pies galore! (On a side note, I entered a coconut and cherry pie. One of the them actually one 1st place! I'm not sure which yet. But that was kind of exciting! :) They even had a booth for people to be able to get immunizations and flu shots.

It was all quite overwhelming. But what a blessing it was to get to serve all of those people and touch their lives. It was truly an exciting and very blessed and inspired day! And a great start to what promises to be a great week! Have a good one!

Friday, October 27, 2006

End of the week updates...

Things have been so busy lately I haven't had time to sit down and think about Thursday Thirteen's. So here is just a short update on some of what's been going on.

First of all, last night was my first "official" night of playing bunco with a group of ladies from Highland Oaks. I had never played before until a couple of months ago when they asked me to fill in for someone who couldn't be there. A couple of people had to drop out so now I'm officially a monthly bunco player. My kids think I'm now in an old lady group!! But it's really not! It is soooo much fun! And it's mindless which is kind of nice... it's hard to think after a long day with 4 years olds! More than playing, it's a great time of fellowship. We eat together first (of course! that's what us C of C er's do :) Then after we visit, we play with whatever time is left. Then we visit some more. It's just great! And I love getting to know these women. They are sooo much fun!

Chris has been gone all week in L.A. on business. I had to go to his office a couple of times and run some jobs for him with him on the phone telling me what to do. I am picking him up at the airport this afternoon... Yeah!!! A week seems like forever. I'll be glad when he's home.

Ashley went to New Orleans last weekend on a fall break campaign with Southern Hills. They completely gutted two houses that hadn't been touched since Hurricane Katrina. She had a great time and got to meet some new friends. They drive through the outer edge of Mesquite coming and going. They stopped about every 3 hours during the drive. We haven't seen her in about a month and coming back they were stopping somewhere in the metroplex for a break. Her driver was nice enough to stop in Mesquite off of I-20 for their break since we were here. It was great to see her. She of course asked if we could bring her a Starbuck's drink, which we did. And she gave us an Aunt Sally's Praline from New Orleans she had brought for us. At least a part of one. She had already eaten some of it. They are hard to resist!

She met a new friend named Whitney while on campaign. Whitney is Ashley's age and has a pacemaker. She started having trouble this past week and had to go home to the doctor in San Antonio yesterday to determine if she would need some type of surgery or not. She sees the doctor today and possibly could have surgery either Monday or Tuesday. Please be in prayer for her.

Ashley is still working at the Abilene Reporter Newspaper and she also doing some substitute teaching. That's hard to believe!! She did kindergarten a couple of weeks ago. Today she is subbing in a middle school math class! We'll see how that goes! Ashley stopped growing in height at about 5 ft. Maybe 5' 1"... so the some of the kids may be taller than she is. I'm anxious to hear from her this afternoon!

Jeremy is working fast and furious on Beauty and the Beast. They have rehearsal every day after school until around 6:00 or 6:30. That will soon become some Saturday's and after school every day until around 10:00 or 10:30. He keeps drugged up on vitamin C so hopefully he can stay healthy and not get run down. He is having a blast though!! You never hear him complain. He wouldn't have it any other way! Thanks so much for all the encouraging words everyone sent. I got emails or blog notes from over 30 people. I printed each one on different colors of paper and hung them all over the closet doors in his room. He couldn't believe all of the notes. You made him feel very special and loved. Thank you!!

We are working at the annual Highland Oaks Fall Carnival this Sunday afternoon. It's from 2:30 to 6:00. It's our first time to be there during the carnival and it seems to be a really big deal. KLTY broadcast their show live from the carnival. They have tons of food, rides, etc. Last year 8,000 people attended. This year they are expecting around 10,000! If you're in the area, stop by and say hello. We'll be there all day somewhere.

Lastly, I thought I'd post of couple of current pictures of Ashley and Jeremy. You might not recognize them if you saw them on the street. Especially Jeremy, he has matured so much over the last couple of years.

Anyway, I pray that everyone has blessed and wonderful weekend!

Love ya!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Just Randomness...

For everyone who grew up loving Grease, this is just great!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Open House

We had our dayschool open house last night. It's one of those times I really sort of dread. I enjoy getting all their work together and decorating, but it's the getting back up there after a long day of school that is sometimes tough. Even though it made for a long day, it was so worth seeing the excitement on all of those kids faces as they paraded their parents around the room and showed them all of their work. Their were all so proud of themselves!

I am teaching 4 year olds this year and I am having a blast! We are doing a lot of cool things and I think all the kids pretty much think I'm crazy. I like to keep things fun and I'm really just a big kid at heart. I have a really good class and they are eager to learn. It's really been great!

It is such an exciting year, but also kind of sad. Please be in prayer for our dayschool. The elders will be deciding probably after the 1st of the year whether or not to keep the dayschool doors open at the end of this school year. This is my 15th year to be involved with the dayschool and I hate to see it close it doors. It has been a tremendous benefit to lots of children and has the potential to impact many more lives in a very positive way. Please pray for God's blessings upon us. Have a blessed week!

Monday, October 16, 2006

I am.... An Idiot Driver Magnet!!

I jokingly told someone last week I might post about idiot drivers... well, the time has come and it is now. I really think I am an idiot driver magnet! I know, I know... those of you who have known me for quite a while know that I have a history of a very big lead foot! Some might even say a lead leg to go along with it! But I promise you, my driving habits have changed immensely since I started riding a motorcycle last October. Riding a motorcycle really does make you a better driver. I am more aware of everything going on around me (apparently for very good reason!) and believe it or not, I don't go over 5 miles over the speed limit anymore. (at least 98 percent of the time:)

But almost every time I am on the road someone around me is acting crazy!! It doesn't matter if I'm in our 4 door truck or on the motorcycle, it's like I'm a magnet for every idiot driver on the road. I kind of think I might have brought this on myself a few months ago after our Wednesday night class. We were talking about love, patience, compassion and the like and what we might need to work on in our own lives. I left thinking I need to be more compassionate to drivers around me and not call them names but ask God to bless them. I think that let the flood gates open.

Since then my driving life has gone wild. I have had people almost run me into the curb while on the motorcycle. Another lady watched me approaching and then pulled out right into my lane just as I got there and made me have to swerve around her. People are constantly pulling right in front of me where there is no room in the truck. The other day, someone cut across 3 lanes of traffic from the right directly in front of me to turn left. Last week I was stopped at a light on a very steep hill while on the motorcycle and watch in my mirror as the person behind me pulled up so close to me a person could barely walk through! Fortunately I can keep from rolling when starting on a hill. But the best one happened to me while I was sitting at the light last week, waiting to go into the mall parking lot. I was on the motorcycle completely stopped at the red light, waiting to cross the intersection to go into the mall. I saw a car coming up behind me in the mirror. I was reminded of the week before and the person pulling so close to me on the hill. I continued to watch as she slowed down but kept rolling. I kept thinking surely she is going to stop... I'm sitting right here. But no, she continued to roll closer and closer until she literally rolled into the back of my bike! Fortunately she was not going fast enough to do any damage and didn't knock me off the bike. But I swear, I think I must have a sign on my back that says "All Idiot Driver's Enter Here"!

I am trying very hard to show more compassion to other driver's, but Satan is making it extremely difficult! Does anyone else feel like an Idiot Driver Magnet??

Please keep me in your prayers as I venture out onto those crazy roads today :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sweet Memories

I was looking through some old pictures this week trying to find something I wanted to use in Jeremy's musical program. As I was searching, I ran across these pictures. Wow!! What memories they bring back. It is so fun to look through pictures and remember sweet memories you hadn't thought about in a while. So I thought I would share some memories with you. We are still good friends with each of these families even though all but one of them have moved and are not so close in distance any more.

This one is Jeremy & Josh Hardcastle.
They were in the 3 year old class at the Mesquite Dayschool together.
This was right before the Hardcastle's moved Lubbock.
They are now in Abilene and Jeremy & Josh are both juniors in High School!

The next two are of Ashley & Karisa Butler.
They were 13 years old at the time.
They are both in college now! Ashley in her 3rd year at ACU
and Karisa in her 2nd year at Belmont in Tennessee.

The next one is of Ashley and Rebekah Mock at 13.
Rebekah is now in Medina, Texas working as a nail technician.

The next two are of Ashley, Jeremy and Malaya Bizillion.
This was our first year to go to Celebrate Freedom.
It rained all night the night before and all that morning.
It was muggy, humid and about 800 degrees!!
We have since decided we like indoor concerts much better.
Malaya is now in 1st grade!
The Bizillions now live in Keller.

I hope you got as big a kick out of some of these as I did! Sweet, sweet memories! I hope everyone has a great week!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Beast of a Week

This week has kind of been one of those weeks with lots of "stuff" going on. Lots of good stuff, but still lots of stuff none the less. One of those weeks where I'm glad the weekend is almost here. We've had several late nights, lots of good stuff at church going on and Jeremy has been working hard for the musical tryouts for Mesquite High School. They have been trying out in some sort of fashion almost everyday since last Friday. They had call backs tonight and parts were suppose to be posted by tomorrow morning for school. Well, one of his friends had a church function at the school tonight and called Jeremy to tell him the parts were already posted. Jeremy went to school to check and this PROUD MOM is proud to say, that Jeremy got the role of The Beast in the musical Beauty and the Beast!!! He is on cloud 9!! And so is his momma!! The musical will be in January. So if you happen to be in the area on January 11th, 12th or 13th, I know he would love to see you! The musical will be in the Mesquite High School auditorium at 7:00 p.m each of those nights. I'm not sure how much the tickets are right now, but I know you can save a couple of dollars if you get advanced tickets. They won't go on sale until probably late December.

Whew Hoo!!! I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight! I hope everyone has as great a weekend as our has started out to be!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Prayer Life

As I lay in bed last night praying, I suddenly found myself examining my prayer life. I have always been a prayer, that is not the problem. But I think it's more how I pray. I have certain things I pray for every day, probably #1 is my children and my family. And I always pray for people I know who have special needs or concerns. But as I was praying last night something just hit me and I started feeling like I was missing out on something. I think I realized I am missing out on more of a dialogue or conversation with God. I realized I'm not taking the time to be still before Him and just listen.

I know that God knows everything on our minds and hearts even before we tell Him or pray for it, but there are still certain things I feel like I need to tell Him or ask Him every day. I want to have more of an open dialogue with God when I pray, more of just a conversation with Him about my day and then take the time to listen to see if He reveals anything to me. But I struggle with not praying some of things I pray for every day. Not that I can't do both. But last night I just got this weird feeling. I was praying and there were some different than the norm things on my heart I was praying for. But I felt like I had to pray for all my every day prayer stuff first. Like if I didn't pray for the things about my kids that I always pray, something would happen. I know that probably sounds weird, but it just hit me like that and that's never happened before. That's when I started thinking maybe I'm doing too much talking and not enough listening. Because I know that God already knows the things on my heart about my kids.

Anyway, I feel like I'm rambling now. I know I'm probably just weird. I know God is not calling me away from praying those things that are always on my heart, but I do think He is calling me to something different. Hopefully He will help me sort all of this out.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thirteen Things I Love About Being a Child of the King and My Relationship With Him

I am so blessed to be a child of the King and I have really been trying to focus more on my relationship with God lately. Not that it's not good already, but I am far from perfect and I am changing and growing every day. I know there is always more He wants to bless me with if I will just let Him (or let Him in). I'm trying to be more focused and not miss out on the treasures He has in store for me.

1. I love the fact that He is my heavenly father and is always with me! Especially since my earthly father has already gone to be with Him.
2. I love the relationship I have with Him that grows closer and closer with each passing day!
3. I love that He doesn't judge me no matter how much I judge myself. And that He covers over every mistake that I make with His grace and compassion!
4. I love that even when everything around me seems to be crazy and fleeting, He is the constant in my life!
5. I love the way His word is new every time I read it; that something you've read a thousand times can suddenly be revealed to you in a new way!
6. I love the way that He sends people into your life at just the time you need them to be Jesus with skin on!
7. I love the way He holds our family together in a way that we or no one else can and the closeness we share because of Him!
8. I love the way that when you are connected with friends through Christ, you have a special bond that cannot be broken. Even if you are a million miles away from each other!
9. I love the way I can talk to Him about anything and still feel safe!
10. I love that even through death, my family will never be separated because of our relationship with God!
11. I love that someday distance will not matter between family and friends who are connected through Christ. We will all be praising and worshipping Him together forever!
12. I love that He hears our prayers and answers them in ways we could not even imagine!
13. I love that I will spend eternity with the Father worshipping and glorifying Him and the joy that can only be found through relationship with Him!

I could continue to go on and on! There are so many things to say that I could never list them all! I am a truly blessed child of the King and I would not want to be anything else. I am so grateful that no matter what else happens in our lives, we will always be connected as sons and daughters of the King!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Cup of Coffee

I received this from a dear friend and thought it was worth sharing.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:

"If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it’s just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

God brews the coffee, not the cups . . . enjoy your coffee!

Why is it we always want to be and have the best of everything. Jesus tells us in scripture "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." The world tells us we are number one, put ourselves before others because we must take care of ourselves first and that what matters most is that we are "happy".

This boggles the mind... how can we be "happy" if we never give others a second thought, if we don't put others before ourselves, if things and always having the best things are the most important things in our lives. I believe that true contentment comes from putting others before yourself, stepping back and letting others be first, serving others, I could go on. There is a lot of truth to the old saying it's better to give than to receive. I am always extremely blessed when I do something for others. And for me, it is much more exciting to give others gifts than to receive them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to put myself upon a pedestal. I love to get gifts! But there is just something about seeing the excitement in someone's eyes when they open a gift from you. Especially when it's your kids!

True joy comes from living a life centered on Christ and living as he lived, serving others. Whatever shape or form that service may be in. Christ gave up his life for us, it seems like the least we could do is give up a few "things".

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Now that the weather has begun to cool off (especially in the mornings) it has made me ready for fall. So the following are things I love about the fall season.

1. The beautiful colors that come with the changing of seasons and seeing God's hand at work.
2. The cooler weather.
3. The weather is great for camping!
4. Football season (this may not last long the way the Cowboys are playing or maybe I should say the way Parcel's is coaching :)
5. Dallas Stars Hockey is just around the corner!!
6. Mavs Basketball is also just around the corner!!
7. Being able to be outdoors without sweating the moment you step outside.
8. The new television season begins... except for 24 & American Idol :( (bring on January!)
9. The State Fair is coming... which means corny dogs are coming :) yum, yum!
10. The weather is great for riding the motorcycle :)
11. School starts and it's like the beginning of a new year with new plans, just as much as it is in January.
12. Thanksgiving and Christmas are getting closer :) I love the holiday season!
13. Rockstar Supernova is Over!! I am so disappointed in their choice!! It should have been Dilana! ( I know some of you are probably laughing right now... oh well. I got addicted)

Something about Fall just reminds me of a time of renewing. I know that spring is probably more a time of renewing, but fall is the beginning of those changes. Casting off the old and preparing for new growth. I know that's what I need to do in my own life as well. Fall is a good time for me to sit back and re-evaluate where I am spiritually and begin casting off the old so I can prepare and will be ready for new growth. Sometimes casting off the old can be painful, but if I'm going to be ready for the new growth I have to let the potter mold and reshape me every year. So bring on the fall... I need some reshaping.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mid Week Sustenance

I am so glad today is Wednesday!! I know, that sounds like kind of a crazy thing to say, but I need the mid week sustenance I receive from being with my Christian family.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about trying to balance life. Things are better now that school has actually started. I am back in the swing of the things so it doesn't feel like everything is hitting at once, but the balance part I'm still working on. I know, I know I'm not really going to find a perfect balance, but it is something I need to work more on. I know it's about setting priorities and I think I'm getting better at that. But old habits are hard to break... and they are so easy to fall back into if we're not careful.

But back to Wednesday...Jeremy has to be at church early tonight and Chris is working late. It would be so easy to just stay home tonight and not go to church. We are going to have to drive two cars so staying home would save gas, I could just relax and be by myself. (Something that moms don’t get to do to often :) But you know what, I am looking so forward to going tonight even though it will be an inconvenience with two cars and even though I will have to go by myself tonight. It gives me such a boost and such a spiritual high to just be around fellow believers and friends. I admit there are rare occasions when the temptation to stay home gets the best of me, but I later regret that. Because even when I am having the worst day and could easily stay home, if I just go ahead and go... wow!! The difference it makes in me physically and emotionally is incredible. There is something about being around friends and God's people that will charge up you and fill you full of energy!

So even though today will be busy, I am so already looking forward to my mid week sustenance and spending time with God's people. It's a very refreshing feeling! :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

My Word Cloud

I got this from Jenny Bizaillion. It's free and it really is a lot of fun. It pulls words from the words you use in your own blog. So it really says a lot about who you are. Here is the link if you want to try it . Have fun!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

These are at least 13 of the reasons I love to ride my motorcycle!! :)

1. It's very relaxing.
2. It's fun and exciting!!
3. It's personal time with my husband.
4. It's a great time to think.
5. I love feeling like I'm right in the middle of all of God's creation.
6. I love the cool breeze that blows on you, especially now that it's not 106 degrees outside!
7. I love taking winding roads and not getting car sick!!
8. It gets about 50 miles to the gallon instead of the 12 miles to the gallon our truck gets!!!!
9. It cost me $8.00 to fill up the gas tank instead of the $58 it cost in the truck.
10. I can drive the same number of miles on a 3.2 gallon tank that I can drive on a 26 gallon tank in the truck.
11. I like the special motorcycle wave that motorcycle riders give to other riders. (motorcycle riders are really quite friendly... even though some may not look like it!!)
12. It makes the dayschool kids think Ms. Liz is way cool :)
13. Did I say it was fun?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Just in case you're wondering... here is a picture of my motorcycle :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My Son is on the Radio!!

This year Jeremy decided to take KEOM radio for a class at school. He started getting to do traffic reports or weather last week. He was a little nervous the first day, but he did great. Now he sounds like a pro! (Proud momma moment!!) He has radio first period on B day which is every other day. So if you're ever in your car or near a radio in the morning between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m., put your radio on 88.5 FM and you just might hear Jeremy!! :) Plus it's great music from the 70's... you can't beat that!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Trying to Balance Life...Is There Such a Thing?

Dayschool starts next Tuesday...and I'm finally ready!! Yeah!!! As good as that is, it has created a new problem for me. I guess not really so new, I battle it off and on pretty frequently depending on what's going on in my life. When I get involved in something, I give it my complete all. So much so that it's almost like everything else in my life ceases to exist. It's like that's all I can focus on. I even wake up at night thinking about it and lose sleep.

During the last month, I was working almost 8 to 10 hours a day at school just getting everything in the room ready, getting curriculum ready, running copies, etc. I don't say that to brag or anything at all. I say that because I seem to let it consume me... and not in a good way. I come home and I'm completely exhausted so of course my house suffers because I just want to sit down and relax. I'm sure my family doesn't get the best of me during these times either. I try to not let it carry into my family but when you are physically exhausted you don't always show them the compassion they deserve. Any most of all my spiritual life suffers, which of course in turn affects everything else in my life. I spend so much time working on or doing what I am so engrossed in at the time that I either almost forget about studying the word because all I can think about is finally going to bed, or I just fall asleep trying to study. And I can definitely tell when God's word is not close to my heart.

I get so tired that on Wednesday's it would be so easy to just stay home. But I try to always go no matter how tired I am. And I am always so blessed by the words of God and I am always so glad that I went. I always feel that way about being in the word as well, but my tiredness tends to get the best of me. I've talked before in small groups about this very thing, but it's usually been involving someone else.

I am not a morning person. I'm the person who lays in bed until the last absolute second before getting up. Which generally works for me, I can usually still get everything done in my day and most importantly make sure I have the time to spend alone with God. But at these times when new things get thrown into the mix, I somehow seem to lose all sense of prioritizing and balance. I like things to be finished and completed so it gets hard for me to just leave things and come back to them later. I guess if I'm going to have any semblance at all of balance in my life, I'm going to have to learn how to prioritize my life or maybe schedule my life a little better. I don't like who I sometimes become when I let God fall to the back burner. I always pray, but my time in God's word suffers. I know that He needs to be the focus of my life no matter what else is going on and I can't let Satan change God's place in my life. So here's to seeking a more balanced life, that begins and ends with God!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Movies continued...

I realized after talking to Ashley last week that I left off several of my favorite movies. So I decided to just continue that this week and get it out of my system. Ha Ha. So here goes...

1. Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood
2. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
3. Kate & Leopold
4. Sweet Home Alabama
5. The X-Men Movies
6. The Lion King
7. Armageddon
8. Mean Girls
9. Secret Window
10. All Elvis Movies
11. Ms. Congeniality
12. Two Weeks Notice
13. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Ok, I'm done!! Have a great weekend!! It's almost here!!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Way to Go 24!!!

I don't usually blog twice in one day, but I couldn't let the night go by without giving a big nod to Keifer Sutherland for winning best actor in a drama series for 24... as well as 24 winning for best drama series!! :) It is my absolute favorite show and of course the best show on television!! :) Now I'm ready for January... a new season of 24 and a new season of American Idol! Whew Hoo!! Sorry... I'm back to normal now.... :)

A Parent's Prayer

I received this through an email and thought it was worth sharing for those of us who have children.


Oh, God, make me a better parent.
Help me to understand my children,
to listen patiently to what they have to say
and to answer all their questions kindly.

Keep me from interrupting them,
talking back to them and contradicting them.
Make me as courteous to them
as I would have them be to me.

Give me the courage to confess my sins
against my children and to ask of them forgiveness,
when I know that I have done them wrong.

May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children.
Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes or
resort to shame and ridicule as punishment.

Let me not tempt a child to lie and steal.
So guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate
by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.

Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me.
May I cease to nag:
and when I am out of sorts,
help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue.

Blind me to the little errors of my children
and help me to see the good things that they do.
Give me a ready word for honest praise.

Help me to treat my children as those of their own age,
but let me not exact on them the judgments
and conventions of adults.

Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity
to wait upon themselves,
to think, to choose, and to make decisions.

Forbid that I should ever punish them
for my self satisfaction.
May I grant them all of their wishes

that are reasonable
and have the courage always to withhold
a privilege that I know will do them harm.


-- Author Unknown


I know that know matter how hard I try, there are days when my children probably don't like me much. I pray that I will show the compassion & love of Christ to my children first and foremost. And for the days when I do mess up, and there will be those days, I am so grateful for a God who covers over all of our mistakes.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My Favorite Movies (at least of few of them :)

I love to watch movies!! I haven't really seen anything too terribly recent since Ashley went back to Abilene :( She is my movie buddy :) But anyway, here are some of my favorites... without a list of all movies in front of me, I know I'll forget something I really like, but here goes...

1. Gone With the Wind
2. The Notebook
3. RV
4. Pirates of the Caribbean
5. A Knight's Tale
6. Finding Neverland
7. You've Got Mail
8. What Lies Beneath
9. Grease
10. Shrek
11. Freaky Friday (new version)
12. The Santa Clause
13. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

These are in no particular order and I know I'm missing something. I may just have to do another movie 13 later :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

That Sinking Feeling

You know that feeling you get when your plate is soooo full you just feel like your drowning.... I think I have officially arrived there!! Dayschool is starting in a couple weeks. I was asked about 2 weeks ago to move up to the four year old department. Both 4 year old teachers are moving. I have been in the three's for about 4 years now and thought ok, this will be exciting. Well, the excitement has started to wear off and desperation has begun setting in! Really, the excitement has not worn off, that sinking feeling has just set in... school now starts in 2 weeks and I feel like I am no where near being ready. I feel like I'm my life as I knew it is over :) Obviously that is a bit exaggerated :) I know it will all eventually come into place, right now it's all just overwhelming.

The first big thing was I had to change class rooms, mine was not big enough for the fours. That in and of itself was a huge undertaking. I am finally settled in after spending practically every day at school and now begins the enormous task of curriculum. There is obviously a good curriculum already in place, but every teacher is different. Their organizations skills are not the same as mine, not that they were not organized, we just all have our own preferred way. And of course there are always things you want to change or add to fit your style of teaching. I have been on the web getting new material almost every day and have finally begun to at least get the months organized. I figure if I can go ahead and at least put every month together, I can then go back and get each months activities together and organized. But I'm also to the point now where sleep is fleeting. I go to sleep fine...exhausted. But if I wake up before the alarm goes off to go the ladies room etc.... forget it, my mind is going a mile a minute with all the things I still need to get done.

Please be praying for me that I will be able to get everything together, get some sleep and keep my sanity in the process. I want God to use me through my teaching these children to not only teach them and prepare them for kindergarten, but to show them Him. To show them love, compassion and understanding. To show them Jesus with skin on. I pray that God's hand will guide me as I teach and love these children.

And now.... I'm off to school... again!! :)

Friday, August 18, 2006

My Favorite Desserts

I couldn't decide what to do this week and then I saw this graphic. It made me thing about desserts so I thought I would give that a try. I like desserts, but 13 may be hard to come with... we'll see. These are just in random order.

1. Homemade Chocolate Pie
2. Homemade Brownies
3. Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory
4. Peach Cobbler
5. Marble Slab Peppermint Ice Cream
6. Homemade Coconut Pie
7. Homemade Caramel Corn (thanks Tiersa!!)
8. Homemade Fudge
9. Hot Fudge Sundaes
10. Chick-fil-a chocolate Shakes
11. Italian chocolate Cake from Johnny Carino's
12. Watermelon
13. Peach Dump Cake

Well, I guess I could think of thirteen :) Just looking at the list makes me gain about 30 pounds!! As much as I love desserts, fortunately I don't eat them too often...I don't need any extra pounds. But it's at least fun to think about them all!! At least you don't gain weight just thinking about them :) Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chain Link Fences

A couple of days ago I was riding in the car and passed a big back yard with a chain link fence and a little boy playing in the back yard. It reminded me of my childhood. The days when everyone had chain link fences. You only had a wooden fence if you had a swimming pool in your backyard and there certainly weren't many of those. I know I'm dating myself... Oh well.

It really got me to thinking how sad our lives have become all surrounded by our wooden fences. When I was growing up you used to talk to your neighbor through the chain link fence, just visit with them for a while and sometimes even the neighbor a few doors down. You could practically see all the way to the end of street through the backyard! I miss those days!

Now pretty much everyone has wooden fences or privacy fences as they are sometimes called. I admit, I feel safer with my wooden fence, they aren't nearly as easy to climb as those chain link fences are. And admittedly, things aren't quite as safe as they were when I was a child. But I think not only are we keeping unwanted things out of yard, we are closing ourselves in from the outside world. We don't talk as much to our neighbors as we used to, you hardly ever see them. We pull up into our driveways, go in and close the garage door, we keep our front doors closed, we sometimes even drive by and pick up our mail before we pull into the drive way. It's like we have become so private that we don't even share simple hellos and common courtesy's anymore.

And how about just dropping in to visit a friend... we don't dare do that these days. When I was growing up it used to be so much fun when someone just dropped by to visit. Now we are so worried about how the house looks and if everything is put away, that we are literally scared to death that someone WILL stop by unannounced.

We are so closed up in our own little worlds, that unless it's scheduled for someone to come over, we don't just visit much. I miss the days of chain link fences and friends just dropping by to say hello. So what if the house isn't perfectly cleaned. Real friends don't care. How are we suppose to shine the light of Jesus to the world, if we are closed up in our own little worlds. I fear we have become so private that no one gets to see the real us and we are missing out on so much that life and friends have to offer. As well as possible opportunities that God is trying to lay before us.......I say, bring on the chain link fences!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Favorite TV Shows

I have some friends who have been doing the Thursday Thirteen. It's looks like fun so I thought I would give it a try. With all the new commercials for the new fall tv shows, it got me to thinking about my current favorite shows. And then I saw this image so I couldn't resist :) . So here are my favorite 13 in no particular order except for the 1st two :)

1. 24
2. American Idol (Here is a link to pictures from mine and Ashley's visit season before last in case you haven't seen them yet :)
3. Lost
4. House
5. CSI
6. CSI New York
7. CSI Miami
8. The 4400
9. Gilmore Girls
10. Gray's Anatomy
11. Criminal Minds
12. The Unit
13. Medium

I know it looks like we watch way too much TV, but most of them we spend Saturday watching. Except for 24, American Idol and The 4400 :) Is it January yet... I can't wait for 24 and American Idol!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Back to Reality, But Hopefully Changed

We got back from our vacation last night. It was awesome! We spent 7 days on the beach of Galveston. It's beaches are not the blue and green of Destin or some of the other beaches, but it was great just the same. One of the best parts was the fact that the weather there was about 88 degrees every day with cool air blowing up off the beach. We pulled our trailer and our campsite was literally 50 feet from the beach. It was great. We are now back to 100+ hot, miserable weather here. I know I never want to be in hell. I couldn't take it!

The time away was great family time. We spent the first
night having dinner with some very dear friends in the Houston area who are like family to us. It was great being able to catch up with them and see their new little one! We spent days on the beach reading, fishing or Jeremy searching for crabs or shells, nights watching movies or playing games. Jeremy actually caught 17 crabs and cooked them! They looked wonderful, but not quite our taste. Ashley wanted nothing to do with them at all. She reminded me of Kelly Pickler with Wolfgang Puck on American Idol! She didn't like looking at something that was looking back up at her! :) The people camping right next to us were from Louisiana so Jeremy took them over to them to see if they wanted them. They chowed down on them! And showed us how you are suppose to really crack and eat a crab! They told him he did a great job of preparing them. Jeremy and Zatterain's know how to cook!

I love the family time that vacation brings. Even though we are pretty much together the rest of the year too, it's just different on vacation. Everyone gets a long better and actually enjoys each other more. That part of vacation I wish I could hold on to every day!

It was great being at the beach and just watching the wonderment of God through the ocean and sea life. It's amazing to watch the ocean and the waves crashing in day after day. "Even the wind and the waves obey His commands." And to watch the birds who sit on the shore just waiting for the waves to bring in the seaweed so they can devourer whatever is in it. It really puts into perspective how God cares and provides for us.

We are now home and back to the realities of the real world. It's good to be home and good to sleep in your own bed. But I am hoping to keep some of that vacation magic alive this year. I'm hoping we can all love each other a little more, appreciate the beauty of God a little more and just keep that relaxed vacation feeling going. To try and remember that God will handle everything and not live the year so stressed out we are just longing for that one or two weeks. I want the year to have the feeling of vacation all year with just a joyous extra bonus of that feeling during the actual vacation. Man, how much better would everyday life be if we could all live like that every day... :)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Shielding Yourself

Saturday evening Chris & I went out for a ride on our bikes. When we started out it was early evening and the sun was just starting to go down. By the time we got to the Rowlett, Rockwall area it was dark. We rode over the lake on the bridge that crosses Hwy 66. As we got about half way across, I realized it was beginning to rain pretty hard, the face mask on my helmet was being pelted pretty good. As we got to the end of bridge, Chris motioned for us to pull over at a gas station. It was then that I realized, it wasn't raining at all... Yes, you guessed it, it was bugs!! You know, just like when you're driving a car at night and bugs it the windshield. Only this is much grosser and nastier, because it's hitting in front of your face. We went into the bathroom and laughed as we washed off our face masks! I guess it was so bad because we were driving over the lake, it wasn't like that anywhere else.

Needless to say, I can't imagine what it must be like for all of those people you see out there who don't wear helmets, let alone face shields. I will never be without mine!! Yuck!! As I have thought about that today, it has reminded me of another shield we sometimes go without and don't really think about it. How often to we go out into the world without the armor of God surrounding us, without being covered in His word to protect us? I know I probably do it more than I would care to admit. I try to always cover my day in prayer and study, but how often do we really go out into the world and not consciously think about protecting ourselves from Satan? If I were to ride at night without a shield over my face, it would only take a second of bug splatter (oooh groooss!!) hitting my face to remind me to put my shield down. But Satan isn't quite as obvious as those bugs. He hits us just a little bit at a time; quietly and discretely, little by little, until suddenly we are covered, disgusting and gross. How long do we let Satan pelt away at us before we remember to put our shield around us?

I know in my life, I sometimes take to many things for granted in my day to day life. I rely to much on myself sometimes and forget to put on my armor and put up my shield around me. I have been reminded of the Zoe song, A Shield About Me. "Thou oh Lord, are a shield about me. You're my Glory, you're the lifter of my head. Alleluia, you're the lifter of my head."

I want to be more aware in my life of calling on the Lord to be a shield about me every second of every day. He IS my glory and my head will stay lifted if I remember to cover myself with His shield for protection.

Monday, July 17, 2006

24 Years and Counting!!!....well, almost!

Two weeks from today, July 31st, Chris and I will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary! I am writing this a little early because we will be on vacation on our actual anniversary. As I think back, I can't really remember much of a time when we weren't together. Probably because we got married when we were 19 and we dated 4 years before that! And no, just in case you're wondering, it was NOT a shotgun wedding! :) We had Ashley almost 4 years later. We started dating at the beginning of high school and got married after we both graduated from High School. I am a year older than Chris, actually only 11 months, but a school year older :) . His birthday is early in July and mine is late in August so we decided to get married July 31st because we would both be 19 when we got married.

I know it was very young, but it didn't seem so young at the time. Ashley just turned 20 last month and I can not even imagine her already being married for a year. It just seems so young. Although I would not recommend it, it did work great for us. I know that God placed us together for a reason. And I would not trade my walk thus far for anything in the world. We have grown and matured tremendously over the years. (We had to... we certainly couldn't get much more immature!! :) God has taught us both a lot. We have seen some really hard times and some simply magical times and we have grown and learned a lot through all of it.

Chris has had to take several business trips lately. His company is based in L.A. And I have realized through him being gone several different weeks over the last couple of months, that I can't imagine my life without him. Not that I could before, but it's just more real to think about when they're gone. When you are by yourself, you realize how much you actually communicate with each other. You will think about the smallest little thing you almost start to say and then remember that no one is there. It really makes you realize how when one spouse dies after 50+ years of marriage, the one who is left is not usually far behind. He is a part of me and I can't imagine life without Him. I could get all sappy right about now, but I'll spare you that. :) But I will say that our marriage is stronger than it's ever been and I am more in love with him than I've ever been.

I know that all of that comes from the relationship with God with have both realized over the past 10 or so years. We have gone through some great struggles and deep pains spiritually over the last several years, but through all of that we are not only stronger and closer to God, but closer to each other. I wouldn't trade anything we've been through because it makes us who we are now...... Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4. I can't wait for the next 24 years!!

On a little bit different note, we both did something new and exciting in November this past year. We both took a motorcycle training class and both got our motorcycle licenses!! In January we bought a Honda Rebel. A small motorcycle to basically learn on and get used to driving. It has been a lot of fun! But the problem is, we only have one. So we can never ride together which isn't much fun. We are best friends and we like to do things together. And amazingly enough, we like all of the same things for the most part. We both love camping, reading, hanging out together and with the family. We like the same TV shows, we love all sports and love to watch sports together and scream and cheer on our favorite teams. (Mavs and Stars right at the top of the list!) We just have always like the same types of things. Some of that probably comes from basically growing up together! :)

So in order to continue doing things together, we got sort of a unique anniversary present for each other this year. Last week we traded in our Rebel and got 2 new Honda VT750 Shadow Aero's!! We went riding Saturday for about 4 hours! It was a blast!! And since we get about 75 miles to the gallon, it's a lot better than driving around our 3/4 ton truck that gets 12 miles to the gallon!!

Anyway, it's been a great 24 years! I can't wait for the next 24! I love the fact that we like the same things, I love the way we start laughing ourselves silly at things other people would just say is retarded, I like our conversations sitting on top of the kitchen counter and I can't wait to go riding again!! Seeing the number 24 up there made me realize that 24 is also our favorite TV show!! Maybe that's why this year is so special....hmmmm... probably not!! Anyway, Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!! I love you more than words can say!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Who Am I?

I love Casting Crowns. I have been listening to them a lot lately and I love their song "Who Am I". The following are the words from the song...

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star would choose to light the way for my ever wandering heart?
Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are,
I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling, Lord, You catch me when I'm falling and You've told me who I am. I am Yours.

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin, would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea would call out through the rain and calm the storm in me?
Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are,
I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling, Lord, You catch me when I'm falling and You've told me who I am. I am Yours.


Who are we? We are His!! We are children of the King!! And through being His children we are blessed beyond measure, we have an inheritance that know one else can claim unless we help them to figure out who they are. God's promises are incredible and everlasting. I am so grateful that through all my mistakes God still claims me as His. Because nothing I am or that I do or have done, is because of anything in me. It is all by the grace of God, because of who He is and what He's done! Praise God!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

One Woman's Thoughts

I have decided to change the name of this blog to "One Woman's Thoughts". Not that I by any means think that what I have to say is in any way any more profound that it was when I started this 7 months ago, but my spiritual life is in a different place than it was at that time. My blog started from basically some deep hurts within my heart. God has replaced those hurts with abundant Joy and some of my perspectives have changed a bit. Hopefully always for the better and for the Glory of God. My life is no way perfect. But God has guided me through some very difficult times and I know He continues to carry me even though things are much more blessed in my life right now. And I know that the next time something big comes, I will be even stronger and will still have God right there to walk beside me.

"One Woman's Thoughts", is simply that, one woman's thoughts. One woman who wants to be a blessed child of God more than anything else in this world. And as I said, I do not think my thoughts are any more profound than they were a year ago, but I hope and pray that maybe the thoughts of one woman, will maybe help someone else who might be in the same place or situation I sometimes find myself in.

I want nothing more than to praise, honor and glorify God in all that I do and say. Any maybe in some small way I can be a blessing to others.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Am I Being a Blessing??

Last night at church, Christopher Green, one of our ministers, did the Wednesday night talk. His talk was on how we can bless others and he posed the question, "Am I a blessing to those I come in contact with?".

That statement has really stayed with me. Am I being a blessing to those around me? I have always thought about how we may be the only bible that other people see, but I hadn't really thought about being a blessing to others. Sure, I always try to be nice and polite to others and help them out when I can, but that question of being a blessing has somehow troubled me.

Am I being a blessing to those around me? Am I blessing those around me with a little glimpse of Jesus by something I say or do? I hope the answer is yes, but I'm afraid it is sometimes no. How many times do we go through our life not really seeing things through the eyes of Jesus? How many opportunities have I missed to bless others by being so zoned in into what I'm doing, that I don't see things right in front of me? I think we get so caught up in our day to day life (at least I sometimes do) that we miss numerous chances to be a blessing. By missing out on being a blessing, I believe that we are missing out on some of the blessings that God has waiting for us. Because only in blessing others are we truly blessed.

I pray that as I begin this day, and every day from here forward, that I will be more aware of the circumstances around me. That I will see more things through the eyes of Jesus and be aware of His work that is already going on around me. For those who may not see a bible anywhere else, that I will truly be that piece of the bible or Jesus that people see and truly be a blessing to those around me.

May God bless each of you today.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Independence Day

I have been thinking a lot today about Independence Day. I think it started yesterday during our bible class when independence Day came up there. And while I am very thankful and grateful for the independence and luxuries we have as a country, it has caused me to think a lot today about my independence or dependence upon God.

It seems like we (or at least I) sometimes have a great deal of trouble truly being dependent upon God for the things in my life. We have this mentality of always thinking we need or even can "fix things". Why is that? As I have thought all day about tomorrow being Independence Day for our country, it has made me think about how everything really in this life calls for independence.

When our children are small they are dependent upon us for everything. But as they grow up, we encourage them to become more independent. To begin to dress and feed themselves, to begin making choices on their own, to eventually be out of the house, on their own, and independent. It's no wonder, that as we get older, we sometimes find it hard to be dependent upon God.

Everything in this world screams independence. And the older you get, the more you seem to hear it. Everything encourages you do be independent. While we of course need to have good jobs and be able to take care of ourselves and our families so we don't depend upon others our entire life, I think we forget during all this independence how to be dependent upon God. Somehow, where God is concerned, we need to get back to the mind set of a child, to where we rely on Him for everything.

I think the only way to do that is through constant prayer and study. We all know that we should take everything before God in prayer before making decisions. Even the simplest of things we should take to God. But how many times do we get caught up in the here and now and thinking we can take care of this one by ourselves. (We've been studying Joshua in bible class and I feel sometimes like the Israelites who got a little cocky and decided they didn't need to ask God before allowing the Gibeonites to deceive them.) And before you know it, you are out there being more independent than being dependent upon God. And more times than not, things really not going so well.

My prayer for this Independence Day, is while I am thanking for the independence of this country that God has blessed us with, that I will make a new commitment in my life to be more dependent upon God. Because I believe when we have more dependence upon God, we will actually be more free than we ever have been before.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Looks Can Be Deceiving...Are Our Looks Deceiving??

While Jeremy is gone to camp, I have been watering his garden. He has been gone almost 2 weeks (he comes back on Thursday!! Yah!!) so I have noticed a lot of changes, particularly in the tomato plants.

He has two rows of tomato plants and not one of them looks the same. The interesting thing is, one plant has grown to 2 or 3 times the size of the other plants. It is green beyond belief, looks wonderful and healthy, has blooms that come up everywhere, but there is not one tomato growing on that plant. There is another plant that is about one fourth of the size of that plant, it is green, but only a light green, in fact about half the plant is really a tan color. But this tomato plant has 3 tomatoes on it! And the tomatoes are all growing bigger and bigger every day!

As I have watched those plants, it has gotten me to thinking, are "our looks" deceiving? How do we look when people from the world look at us. Do we look like that tomato plant that appears to be flourishing and growing beyond belief? When really on the inside nothing is happening. There is no fruit actually being produced. We aren't really living the life God called us to live. Or are we like the tomato plant who at first glance, looks pretty rough around the edges. But if you take a closer look, you can see the beautiful fruit growing under the rough and worn edges.

Even though plants may not all produce fruit, we as God's children produce some type of fruit. Is the fruit we produce something beautiful and sweet that draws others toward Christ or is the fruit we produce something bitter and sour that turns people away from God.

What do people see when they look at us? Do they see someone who looks really great and beautiful on the outside, but at closer look really has no substance or nothing to offer. Or do they maybe see someone who looks a little rough around the edges and a little worn, but upon closer examination, they see something beautiful and wonderful growing. Something that looks like Christ and something that causes people to take that extra look at us.

I know that no one is perfect. Only God is perfect. So why are we so worried about what we physically look like. No matter how rough and worn we look, as long as we look and smell like Jesus, nothing else really matters. Because if we look and smell like Jesus we will produce fruit, the fruit of the, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And there is no sweeter fruit than that!

Friday, June 23, 2006

In the Blink of an Eye...

Tomorrow, on June 24th, Ashley will turn 20 years old!! No more teenager. It's so hard to believe she is all grown up. It’s weird, even though there are a lot of things throughout 20 years you might forget, I don't think you ever forget anything about the day they were born.

Even though 20 years has past I still remember in great detail the day she decided to arrive. It started at 4:00 a.m. I won't go into all the details, but she was very stubborn, she finally arrived into the world a very long 18 and a half hours later. About 30 minutes longer and they were going to take her. It's funny how at least in my children, their delivery seems to parallel their life. She is still quite stubborn in everything she does! :)

Ashley has grown into a wonderful woman who is not only beautiful on the outside, but more importantly beautiful on the inside. I am so amazed at how God works in my children, even through all of the mistakes I make. She learned at a young age, 7th grade, that you sometimes have to stand up for faith. Even if someone who is an adult is telling you that you are wrong because of how you worship and that you and your parents are going to hell. She learned a lot and learned what it meant to study scripture and begin to own your own faith.

I was so proud of the way she handled that situation at an early age and she has continued to make me proud. Even when the mom in me wanted to sometimes throttle some people, (through school, sports, etc.) she continued to so God's love and taught me a lot in the process. She still does. She has a heart for always seeing the good in people. And continues to teach me a lot in that area as well as others.

She is a junior at ACU now, a long way from those 1st cries 20 years ago, and she still amazes me. And her amazing smile still melts my heart. So Happy Birthday Ashley! I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to use you for and accomplish through you as you become a young adult. Always keep your eyes focused on God and remember whose you are. I love you!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A New Psalm

About 15 years ago while we were at the Mesquite church, God sent 2 incredible people into my life. I learned a lot over the years from Rick & Beverly, but one specific thing that has always stayed with me is the first series of lessons I ever remember Beverly doing. They were on the book "The Blessing" by Trent and Smalley. Those lessons and that book have been some of the greatest blessings in my life.

Through that study I learned what it meant give your children the blessing and pray blessings over them. If you have never read that book, I encourage you to do so. It will change your life, but more importantly it can change the lives of your children through the blessings you learn to pray over them.

Among many other blessings, I have always told Jeremy what a heart for the Lord I see in him. And that the Lord is going to use him in incredible and amazing ways in His kingdom. It has been amazing over the last few months to watch the way the Lord is using Jeremy among the youth at Highland Oaks. It has caused him to really show his love for the Lord even more. I Praise God for that. He went to Encounter at LCU a coupe of weeks ago and he said that it was amazing. I know it was because he has started something incredible that can only come from the Lord.

It fills my heart with such joy and love for the Lord when I see God bringing those blessings I have prayed over my children into realization. Jeremy is gone this week and next week to another camp, Camp Wyldewood in Searcy. They have an amazing camp there as well. Before he left, I asked him if I could share what the Lord has put on his heart. He said that I could.

One of the other things I have always prayed for over my children is that God will do whatever it takes in them to draw them continually into a more intimate relationship with Him. As a mom, that is sometimes a hard prayer to pray. Because you don't know where it is leading. But it is so amazing when you can see the blessings you have asked for children come into fruition. When Jeremy got back from Encounter, he decided he was going to try and start writing his own Psalms. The following is the first one he wrote...

"Hear my cry oh, Lord. I cry out to the heavens when I feel the war inside of me. Your consuming fire takes hold of my body and burns away all my impurities, it cleanses me fully. I thank you, my God, for cleansing me. Showing me my wrongs and allowing me to bring them to you, for you to take them. My heart cries out for the ones who are suffering. It pains me like a needle to my nail. Lord take us now! So the new born ones wont have time to fall and we wont disappoint you anymore. Hear my cry, oh Lord. Hear my cry...."

"by the power of Christ in me..." -- Jeremy Moore

Wow! God is so amazing when we let Him work through and in our lives. I praise God for the gift and the heart he has given Jeremy. My prayer is that God will continue to use Jeremy even more and that He will continue to fill him with His Spirit.

To God be All the Glory and Praise!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day Thoughts

Father's Day is one of those holidays that I have struggled with over the years. My father passed away with cancer when I was 12 years old. I have lots of great memories with my father for which I am very thankful. But there have also been struggles along the way. One thing I struggled with for years was the fact that the last time I saw my dad at home was the day after his 36 birthday. I knew my father had cancer, but back then you didn't really hear as much as you do now about people dying with cancer. So I don't think I thought it would every really happen. (I know that no one every thinks or wants that to happen and I don't mean for that to sound belittling to anyone going through that struggle right now. I’m just remembering thoughts from a 12 year mind.) My father was taken to the hospital for the last time the day after his birthday. That was at a time when children were not allowed to visit patients in the hospital under any circumstances. It was just not permitted. So my dad left that day with me not really realizing that was the last time I would see him alive. I still remember vividly a few days later when my aunt came to pick me up at school. I knew what had happened without anyone saying a word. I didn't realize until many years later how I had struggled with not being able to say goodbye. Of course I told him goodbye as he was leaving that night, but in my 12 year old heart I didn't know it was "goodbye".

When I was in my 30's I had my first small group experience with a group of wonderful women. We studied "Experiencing God" by Blackaby. As we began that study I had such a hard time understanding how to have a relationship with my heavenly Father. But through that study, with the help of those women and most of all the help of God, I began to realize why I had such a hard time with that relationship. Besides the fact that when we were all growing up a relationship with God was never talked about, I realized I felt cheated by not still having a relationship with my earthly father. I hadn't been able to let go of those feelings because I realized I was still troubled by never being able to say goodbye. Through that study and through many personal bible studies since, I have learned to trust in God and the relationship that he wants with me. I have learned that he is always there and He will never leave. The foundation of my relationship with God to this day is based largely on that 1st small group with those women. I praise God for allowing me that opportunity with them and for showing me that He is truly seeking a relationship with ME!

As I have had my own children, there are still times I greatly miss my earthly father and still struggle some on occasion with father's day. Times like when your children are born, when the play their first ball game, when they're in the school musical and you think about him not being there to share in those special moments personally. And as my son gets older I am sometimes reminded of father even more. People who knew my father think Jeremy looks a lot like him. I think so too. Jeremy loves a lot of the same things that my father did. Jeremy has always loved to be outside, he likes to garden, he loves animals, I could go on and on. It's things like that I remember about my father and see in Jeremy that make father's day or any other day sometimes a little harder. Jeremy has the most Godly heart you could ever imagine and at the same time he can also be the most mischievous thing you have ever seen. I know from stories I have been told all my life about my father when he was Jeremy's age, that he was the exact same way. So even the mischievousness of Jeremy makes me think of my father and how I miss him. I know they would be best friends, two peas in a pod and probably driving us all nuts!

Even as those things sometimes make me sad, I also take great comfort in them. My father was a wonderful husband, father and son, but most of all he was a child of God. So I know there will come a time when we are all together again, when he will see what a beautiful Godly woman Ashley has become and when he and Jeremy are hi-fiving at all the things Jeremy did to make this mom crazy! It makes me smile just to think about it.

I have learned to experience father's day through my own husband and my children. I am very thankful for my husband and the godly leader and example he is in our home. I know that he was sent to me by God. I love and cherish him and I praise God for sending him into my life. God is allowing us to help guide His children that he has so graciously loaned to us for a time. I am so very grateful for that.

So through it all I have learned to call on God by two of favorite names Jehovah Shammah “the Lord is there” and Jehovah Nissi “the Lord is my banner”. I have learned to adjust my father's day thoughts to those with my children's father and the blessing he is in all of our lives, to always look to my heavenly father in and for all things, and to know that because my father was a child of God we will all be together again one day.