Thursday, December 13, 2007

Being Thankful and Catching Up!

Wow! It seems like forever since I've checked anyone's blog. I hope to try and catch up a little bit this weekend. I love my new job, but it doesn't leave much time for checking all my favorite blogs. I am on the computer pretty much all day. So once I get home, I rarely even go near the computer. It's amazing how a job changes "everything" in your life! But it's all good! :)

I guess first for some catching up. Wedding plans are going great. Everything is booked and now we are just working out details. Ashley is doing great and having finals this week before coming home for Christmas break. This Christmas is kind of bittersweet. It will be our last Christmas together as a family of four. Next year things will change; but we love Warren to death and he is a direct answer to prayer. So all the changes will be good! It will just be different. I'm actually looking forward to planning a Christmas meal and everything that goes with Christmas for our own expanding family! :)

I don't think I ever posted about this, but Jeremy got the lead in the musical again this year. They are doing "Oklahoma!" and he got the part of Curly. It will be January 10, 11 & 12 for anyone who might be in the area. Tickets won't be on sale until probably after school starts again in January. Needless to say, that is taking up a lot of his time right now. He continues to sing on the praise team at Highland Oaks and he is also leading worship for At the Cross Church of Christ, a small church just starting out.

In our Wednesday night class the last few weeks we have been talking about "The Art of Being Thankful". About how we are supposed to be thankful in "all" circumstances. Sometimes that can be really hard to do if you are in the middle of something that is not so good. Christopher has reminded us about being thankful for everything. For example, our breath as we take it. How often do we thank God for our breaths. As Christopher puts it, "Try not breathing for a couple of minutes and you will begin to become very thankful for those breaths."

We tend not to thank God for the obvious or just everyday things. And sometimes those are some of the things we should be most thankful for. One thing I have tried to start doing is to change my prayer life. Even when things during the day have maybe not gone as I would have hoped, I am trying in my prayer life to only pray in a thankful manner. As I pray, I try to turn every situation into something I can thank God for.

I can tell you, after doing that for a few weeks, it really starts to change your perspective about a lot of things. It's harder to complain, gripe, just be in a generally bad mood, when you are being thankful! Last night, we talked about the scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5 that says, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I have continued to ponder over that one verse of scripture. God's will for us is that we pray and give thanks always. But the first part of that verse says Be Joyful Always. I am finding that if you pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, being Joyful is what you are! Not something you have to work toward.

I pray that throughout this season of Peace and Joy that everyone will be able to be more thankful and experience the true Joy of living in Jesus Christ. Blessings!

Friday, October 19, 2007

What Path Are We Taking?

Tim’s sermon this past Sunday has really gotten me to thinking. He preached on the Good Samaritan from the book of Luke. He was talking about how we pass people by without even thinking about what their needs may be. Something we probably all do to some extent.

While I was reading that scripture, it actually brought something else to the forefront of my mind; in the scripture it was talking about basically a stranger on the road and everyone was passing by. But what about when we do that to people we already know. I think it’s something we have probably all done if we think about it. I’m not proud of it, but I know I’ve done it. You see someone coming down the aisle toward you in the store that you really don’t want to see. So rather than stop and say hello and ask them how things are going, we quickly turn and begin to take another path. Maybe they are someone who is not the greatest friend, or someone who has said something unkind to us or about us. It could be any number of reasons. But the bottom line is its just excuses. Just like its just excuses even when they are strangers and as Tim said, “We walk right past them and leave them in the ditch.”

It’s bad enough when we walk past a stranger who truly might need some help or just a smile from someone to brighten their otherwise dismal day. But when we walk passed someone we know or turn and take another direction rather than communicate the compassion of Christ to them that is just as bad.

I don’t really know if either one is any worse than the other. What I do know is that neither one are pleasing to God. Jesus showed compassion to every person he ever came in contact with. How are we going to be Jesus with skin on to the world, if we won’t even look the world in the eye? Sometimes just having eye contact with someone can change the focus of their day. Imagine what a smile could do or even a compassionate spoken word. I believe that God puts people in our paths for a reason. How many lives would be changed if we continued on the path that God is leading us down rather than taking a detour when we see something coming up ahead that might not be exactly where we thought we needed to go? My prayer is that we don’t miss those opportunities by being too focused on ourselves to notice that there are people lying in the ditch just waiting for someone to notice them. My prayer is that we will bold enough to take the paths that God is leading us on.

Blessings

Friday, October 05, 2007

Are We too Crowded for God?

My life of late feels kind of like walking a tight rope. I have been at my new job for over a month now. I love my job, but man do I miss "my time". I have been blessed beyond measure to not have to work a full time job for the past 21 years. And I also have a new respect for those who have no choice but to work. Even though I love my job and I am working mainly because I want to, adjusting to working is still a bit of a challenge.

I had gotten used to having my own time. Time to study God's word, time to read, time to just relax. And I know for those who have to work and have no choice, they probably want to call the "whambulance" right about now! :) But finding a balance between working, family, activities, relaxing and time with God has become a real challenge for me. By the time you get home it's time for dinner or time for church or time to go to one of your child's activities or time to go to a small group or just time to fall down and collapse!!

My life has gotten too crowded. We always make comments like when I just get done with this or that things will be better and slow down. The reality is, things rarely slow down. And since they don't slow down, are we going to just let life continue to crowd in on us more and more? The more crowded our lives become, the more we are crowding God right out of our lives. We get so busy and so tired that God becomes put on the back burner. Sometimes he's not even on the burner at all. How busy and how crowded are we going to let our lives get before we crowd God completely out? And the more we crowd God out, the more Satan begins to creep in.

Church, jobs, kids, family, etc... I know those are things we all juggle every day. But I know for me, I've got to stop making my time with God one of those things I juggle. The way I used to spend my time has changed. I've got to learn to deal with it. I've got to remember that as life starts crowding in on me, I've got to continue to give God room to push to the front. I can't crowd Him out. Because only when He gets placed back in His rightful position will things begin to feel less crowded in my life.

Blessings!! And have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pelted by Rocks

Every Monday morning we have a staff devotional. It is a great thing!! And a great way to start off the week. Monday of this week Tim was talking about something he had read in a book. The title has left me now (I've slept since then!) but it was about Spiritual self feeding. He talked about how people go to church and make comments like I'm not being fed. They blame church, preachers, whatever else they can think of because they don't feel like they are getting fed spiritually. The author goes on to say, what if we took that approach physically. He describes a man who just becomes weak, frail, eyes dark and sunken in, and one day his wife says, "What's wrong with you?" His response is, I'm waiting for someone to feed me! Of course, we all know what her response would be... well go feed your yourself!! Or in my case, You know where the kitchen is!! As humorous as that is, it's sad that people feel that way about being spiritually fed. If you don't physically feed yourself, you'll die. Why do we think that it's someone else's job to feed us spiritually? Because believe me, if we don't feed ourselves spiritually, we will die and even worse death.

Later that day, I met Chris for lunch. As you know, I ride my motorcycle most days to work so I also have to ride it if I leave for lunch. This particular day when I was headed back to the office I took the highway to get back a little faster. I don't take the highway often, but I did this particular day. That day I had a first on the bike. I got stuck in the path of a gravel truck!! With the way the traffic pattern was, I couldn't get around him for over a mile or two. Because the weather is warmer, I had on short sleeves. I began to getting pelted by tiny little rocks. It didn't leave any marks, but it did sting pretty good considering I traveled that way for about 2 miles! Even through my pants it was stinging!

It made me think about the devotional we had earlier that morning. If we aren't self feeding ourselves spiritually, what are we going to do when we are under attack? On the bike I could slump down a little and hide behind the windshield. If we aren't self feeding spiritually are we going to have a "shield" to hide under when Satan starts pelting us with rocks?

In our culture we don't seem to have any problems self feeding when it comes to physically feeding ourselves. In fact as a culture we do it so much, most of us are trying to cut back on the self feeding. What if we started to do the same thing spiritually? What if we were feeding ourselves so much spiritually we might need to cut back? Although I don't think we can ever feed ourselves enough spiritually, you get the point.

In this world of always cutting back on what we eat physically eat, I say where self feeding spiritually is concerned, let's line up at the buffet table and just go crazy!! Maybe we can soon become a nation of spiritual over eaters rather than physical over eaters!

Blessings!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Taking a Breath...

I have missed getting to read everyone's blogs over the last couple of weeks. I'm hoping to be able to catch up this weekend.

Well, I am 2 weeks into my new job at Highland Oaks and I love it! The people here are so great. Everyone is so friendly, so loving and so willing to help. After being a stay at home mom for the most part for the past 21 years, I couldn't have asked for a better place to work. I have pretty much settled into my routine and the day goes by so quickly. (I couldn't stand it if I was looking for something to do!) If I'm going to work, I'm glad that God chose for me to be here.

I am trying to ride my motorcycle to work now that the weather is starting to cool off. When I ride the motorcycle I take more of a back way to get here. I prefer not to be on the highway, especially during morning traffic. But last week it was so hot, I drove the truck and came out 635. What a mess. For those who don't live around here, 635 is the main highway in the Dallas area that loops all the way around several surrounding cities. They are doing some major construction through the part of 635 that I must travel to get to work. Apparently, most people in the Dallas area have never seen people working on highways, because they are continously gawking and causing traffic problems.

It's the craziest thing I've ever seen. There will be absolutely no traffic and as you pass someone working or even just work trucks sitting there, suddenly all traffic stops. You would think they working in the nude or something!! Mind you this isn't even in a lane. There are still 4 lanes open. This is going on in the median between both sides of the highway. Once you pass the trucks or workers, traffic picks up to normal speed, then suddenly... stop again as you pass another single truck with no one even in it.

I've decided that they need to put a dome or some kind of tent all down the median of 635 to cover all the construction so that no one will have anything to look at. I think it would drastically help the flow of traffic!!

As I think about that, it makes me think about our lives and what people see in us. When they see us, do we show them something different, something special, something Godly to make them slow down and take a second look at us? Or are we living our life as if we are covered with a tent? Not showing the world anything about whose we are and what they could also have if they choose a life in Christ. Are we living our lives in such a way that people are just blowing past us, not even noticing we are there? If we are, something is wrong. The way we live, the things we do and say, the way we act should always cause people to look at us differently. The norm lately has become so far from what we are or should be as Christians, that if people are not stopping to look and see what's different about us, then maybe we are living too close to the norm.

While I would love to cover up all the construction so I can blow right past it, if we cover ourselves up in the same way, no one is ever going to see the light that should be shining forth from us as we live a life that is different from this world. So, let's illuminate!! Have a great weekend!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

God's Abundant Blessings

This week I begin a new chapter in my life. For the past 21 years, I have been a stay at home mom. I have subbed at the kid's schools while they were in elementary school, I have worked at a Tuesday/Thursday preschool and I have even been a church secretary from home. But as of this week, I am rejoining the full time work force.

I will tell you up front, this is not something I was planning to do. At least not right now. Jeremy is in his senior year of high school and Ashley is getting married (still sounds weird!!) this coming June. I was planning to start looking for a job after this school year ended so that I can help this kids pay for the college education. But it was not even lurking in the corners of my mind at this point. Sometimes, God just has other plans for you.

I began praying a couple of months ago that God would begin to open doors for me so that as this school year came to an end, I would have some leads or ideas about what God's plans were for me. Obviously His plans were for things to get moving faster than I had thought. His plans were not my plans. I had been emailing with one of the administrative assistants as Highland Oaks to see about reserving the church for Ashley's wedding. We emailed back and forth several times and out of the blue she asked me, "do you happened to be looking for a job, I'm not even sure what it is you do." That should have been my first clue. For someone to ask me if I was looking for a job when they weren't even sure what my job history was should have alerted me that God beginning to work. But like most of us, it takes a while before we begin to see it. I told her no, I wasn't really looking for a job. That I had planned to start looking for something after this school year, but I wasn't looking now. I did tell her about what my current job was and what I had done in the past. She let me know later they wanted me to send in a resume and ask me if I might be interested in full or part time. I said maybe part time, but I'm not looking for anything full time. As it turned out, the part time was in Plano. Since we drive a 4-door truck that gets about 10 to 11 miles to the gallon, that was just not feasible. They said they would probably talk to me anyway the next week.

Well, all of this took place the week before Ashley and I went to Vegas. I went to Vegas and got a call while I was there. They had seen my resume and wanted me to come in the day after we got back. I went in, and a day and half later they were offering me a job. I still tried to get out of it, I told them I couldn't work at all the month of June because Jeremy was graduating and Ashley was getting married. What place is going to allow you to be off for a whole month even if you aren't getting paid? I told them since Jeremy was still in school, there may be days I need off for things going on with him. I was really trying to do everything to keep from taking it. They told me all of that is fine, and we will give you an 11-month contract instead of a 12-month contract so you can take off the month of June! Wow!!!

I was stunned, I had to sit back and think about what I had been praying for, what they had been praying for and what God was intending for me to do with my life. Even though I had not planned on getting a job until after the wedding, we were wondering how we were going to pay for the wedding. My preschool job was not going to come anywhere close to covering that. This job was literally like manna from Heaven. It literally fell out of the sky and into my lap. I did not even know they were looking to hire someone, did not plan on going to work, especially never in my wildest imagination had I planned on working for HOCC. Yet there it was, like manna from Heaven. As if God had said, open your mouth wide and allow me to fill it. Now it was up to me to make the choice. I of course said yes. God's hand was too evident in everything about it for me to possibly think of saying no.

So as of this week I will begin the job of Administrative Assistant to the Connections Minister. The final word from God about this job came from the Connections minister's wife a few days later when he introduced me to her at church. Her first words to me were, "we have so been praying for you". If I hadn't wanted to admit it before, I had to admit it then. They had been praying for who God was going to use to fill that spot. My prayers had been a little different, but God blended our prayers for His purpose. I can look back over the journey of my life for the past 7 to 8 years. There were times when I questioned God and wondered where He was leading us, and why were we going through some of the things we were going through. As I look back over those experiences, I can see God's hand leading me to this time and this place. There is just no other answer to the chain of events that have been my life. God had a plan all along. I'm so glad He's in charge.

So I start this week. I'm extremely excited and of course a little nervous (maybe a lot!) as well. I went for orientation one day last week and they have made me feel so much more at ease. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is so welcoming, so encouraging and so loving. I cannot think of a better place to work than being surrounded by God's people, people who love God as much as you do. What a blessing this is going to be in my life! Thank you God for open doors and thank you for the eyes to see the opening!

Blessings!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Fun and CrAzY Week!!

Ashley and I got back from Vegas late this past Tuesday night. We had such a blast! It was great to just get to spend some time together. Especially since she is going to be getting married after graduation. That still sounds soooo weird! Speaking of the wedding, it's officially June 21st of next year, the first day of summer!

On the way to Vegas we had the Brazilian basketball team on the plane with us. One of the coaches was actually sitting next to me and the head coach was in front of me. The world basketball tournament was being held in Las Vegas this week. What's weird is as I was flipping channels last night I ran across the tournament on ESPN. The USA was playing Brazil and I saw the people I was sitting next to on the plane on TV. That was kind of weird!! I looked at Chris and said, "Hey, I sat by them on the plane!"

We saw Celine Dion on Sunday night. WOW!! She was absolutely amazing! Ashley has been waiting for years to see her and it was so exciting getting to watch her excitement! She still says it all feels like a dream.


This was the first Celine sign we saw after getting
off the monorail on the way to Caesar's Palace for the show.
She was soooo excited!!


This is on our way into see Celine!
Can you tell she's excited?!?!


We were only there for two nights so we did a LOT of walking around and seeing as much as we possibly could. The hotels are incredible. Each hotel is like it's own city. They have at least 2 sometimes 3 places to have shows or concerts. They have underground shopping, they have sections that are like malls with stores everywhere, multiple restaurants, food courts, wedding chapels, and that's all in one hotel. They are huge! We stayed in the MGM Grand Hotel and our one hotel had 3 different Starbucks in it! Which was of course great for Ashley! There was a huge Rainforest Cafe, a Lion Habitat inside the hotel and in the mall section there is a CBS Television City where you can go and watch possible upcoming TV shows and rate them. We did that before we left and that was pretty cool.


This is the MGM Grand where we stayed.




The lobby of the MGM Grand.


The Lion Habitat inside our hotel.





The pool at the MGM Grand. We were sure wishing
we had enough time to swim.

We saw the Blue Man Group on Monday night. They were incredible! It's amazing how a show can be so good and they never talk! It was a really fun show. That show was in the Venetian Hotel. Wow! What a gorgeous hotel. (We saw a lot of the hotels!)

Ashley after the Blue Man Group


Inside the Venetian Hotel. Yes, INSIDE!
Everything is done to look like you are walking
outside on the streets of Venice. Really Cool!


Another inside picture at the Venetian.
We didn't have time to ride the gondola's :(
There just weren't enough hours in the day!


We went to the New York New York Hotel. They have a roller coaster that starts inside the hotel and then goes outside. Ashley wanted to ride it so she had to do that one by herself. She had heard about it from a friend and she didn't think my motion sickness would be able to take it. :)

The New York New York Hotel with the roller coaster.


We HAD to go and see the Bellagio. It's gorgeous also. That is of course the hotel in all of the Oceans Movies (George Clooney, Matt Damon & Brad Pitt) where they stand outside of the hotel looking over the water fountains at the end of all the movies. :) They have amazing water shows there in their water fountains all done to music. It's really something to see.

The Fountain Show outside the Bellagio.


The "Oceans" spot outside the Bellagio, although the
fountains weren't going at the time.




They have an M&M World there which is 4 floors of everything M&M you can think of. It's pretty cool to see for the chocolate lover! Right next door to that there is a place called Everything Coca Cola, which is also pretty cool for the Coke lover! All in all we had a great time! And even though it was great to spend the time together, we missed getting to share things with the rest of the family. We plan to go back again with everyone. There is so much to see and do there is no way to see or do it all in two and a half days!

M&M World, obviously!


Every color of M&M's you can imagine.


After coming home, some things in my life changed. I had been planning on going to work full time after Jeremy got into college so that I could help the kids pay for their college loans. I've been working at the Dayschool for the past 13 years (with a break in the middle) which has been great, but not enough to help with their college. I ended up applying for a job at Dallas Christian that was part time this year thinking that next year it might work into something full time. They ended up offering me a full time position there and the very next morning, I had another job offer just drop in my lap. I was offered an administrative assistant position at Highland Oaks. A job I had not pursued and didn't even know was available. It literally came out of the blue and fell right into my lap. Needless to say it pays more than a school and with the timing of the wedding I don't have to worry as much about paying for that. This was definitely a God thing. I wasn't planning on going back to work full time yet because of the wedding and they are working with me to allow me to have off the whole month of June in preparation for the wedding! God is so good!!

So I start my new job there the Tuesday after labor day. I am actually very nervous. My life has been around 4 year olds for so long and it's been a long time since I've actually worked side by side with adults. But I am also looking forward to it. I will be working with a lot of great people!

Well, I hope everyone has a great week! School started around here today. I now have a senior in high school and a senior at ACU! It's going to be a busy year! I'm behind on my blog reading, so I'm going to try and catch up today. Blessings!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Couple of Updates on Our Latest News

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their kind wishes on this blog and through emails. It has really been a huge blessing for our family. (See previous post for more info on that)

Secondly, I thought I would add a couple of updates and pictures. We ended up taking a very quick trip to Abilene this past Sunday afternoon. She couldn't wait until she got home on Thursday and wanted us to come and see her. She had to work Sunday night and at noon on Monday so she couldn't come here. Of course we were delighted to go (except for spending the money on extra gas! but it was worth it!!) so we headed out Sunday afternoon after church and came back after a late breakfast on Monday morning. We didn't get there until around 6:00 p.m. so she came home to let us in and show us her ring!! Then she went back to work and didn't get home until about 11:30.

The ring is just beautiful!! I told her it looks so weird to see a ring on her finger!! She said, "I know, every time I look at my hand I say that's not my hand, it's my mom's!" It's all so surreal right now, but exciting none the less. When she got home from work Sunday night, she and I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. talking about Everything! When she comes home on Thursday, we are going to spend Friday and Saturday getting started on some things. The first thing we are doing on Friday is having lunch at the Cheesecake Factory to start making a list! Great place to make a list huh! ;)

They are planning on a June wedding! So that's only 10 months away and I know it will be here before we know it. The original date they picked turned out to be Jeremy's graduation day (June 7). I'm so glad we knew about that date early! They have another date picked out but we are waiting to make sure it's available. So I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, here are some more pics. Now that I've seen the ring, she lets me see all the pictures! :)



This is when she came in from work to her surprise!




The big question! He's so sweet, he actually got down on one knee.
What a guy!



As you can see, he was all dressed up. She didn't know it was
going to happen, so she came in straight from work!
She works in the sports department of the
Abilene Reporter News.



Obviously she said Yes!



Ashley calling everyone in her phone book!



The Ring!!


We are all so excited!!!


Thanks again for all the prayers and well wishes!! Once we get a confirmation on the date, I'll let you know. In the meantime, please say a prayer for Ashley and I for safe travel. We leave for Vegas on Sunday afternoon and we'll be back late Tuesday night. We see Celine on Sunday night! More about that next week!

Blessings!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Our Newest Addition!! :)

Ok, three post in one week. That must be some kind of record for me. I'm usually the once a week poster. But we have exciting news to share!! We are welcoming a new addition to our family! No, I am NOT pregnant! Praise the Lord! But we are adding a son to our family. Yes, Ashley got engaged tonight!!!! I don't quite know how that is possible; she is still just 4 years old! (actually 21! the years go by so fast!)

His name is Warren and he called us last night to ask for our blessing. Ashley and I are leaving in about a week to go to Las Vegas to see Celine Dion, (more on that when we get back!) so he wanted to ask her before we left. We couldn't be more excited! We have been praying all of our kids lives for the spouse they would one day marry. God has answered our prayer for Ashley in Warren. Warren is a strong Godly, Christian man and comes from a strong Christian family. He loves our daughter very much and has already taken extremely good care of her. He is very sweet, has a great sense of humor and fits into our family just perfectly. Ashley is in Abilene right now, so I haven't even gotten to see the ring!

Warren was so sweet, he went down to Abilene today and all of Ashley's friends knew what was going on. They were keeping her away from the house and helping Warren all day. He decorated her house with flowers and balloons and cooked her dinner. The first picture is the entry way in front of her front door where she walked in. The next picture is of the table. You may notice the mints on the corners of the place mat. They are from Abuelo's, the first place they had dinner. What a sweet guy!! I don't have a picture of them together yet because all of those have her ring in them and she doesn't want me to see it before she gets home to show me. Which isn't going to be until Thursday!! I don't know if I can stand it until then! :)

Warren is a youth minister in Clifton, TX and a graduate of ACU. Ashley graduates from ACU in May, and the wedding will be some time after that.

Kind of a side note, I just found out a couple of days ago that Warren's cousin's wife, Sara Glenn, grew up with her family in the Houston area and were really close friends with some good friends of ours, the Ross's. Small world!

We solicit your prayers for them as they begin a new walk in their personal and spiritual life. We told Warren we expected one thing from him beyond loving her with all of his heart. And that was to make sure that she, and our future grandchildren, as well as himself all get to heaven. If they focus everything on God, everything else will fall into place.

Thanks for sharing this special news with us! I'll keep you posted on a date!

Blessings! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yikes!!! I've been tagged... causing 2 post in 1 week!!

I know, two post in one week... what's the world coming to! Apparently it's come to a game of internet tag. Like my friend who tagged me, I'm not fond of being tagged. It's kind of like getting a Fwd, not one of my favorite things. But I decided to play along as well. It is a great way to get to know people a little bit better. So here goes...

The rules are... 1) I have to post eight random facts about myself, 2) I have to list these rules and 3) I have to tag eight other people.

And we're off...

1. My husband and I ride motorcycles. I own my own motorcycle. I love to ride. I would do it every day and ride every where if I could. But it gets kind of hard to buy groceries that way! I have been known to go to Walmart on my bike for just "a couple of things" and have to cram my backpack shut. I have actually carried about 35 lbs on my back! Yes, I weighed it when I got home. :) Chris fondly calls me a pack mule on those occasions!

2. I love to sing and I love music. I love praise music and I love classic rock. While Chris and I were in high school and newly married, we went to a concert just about every month. We have seen just about every group out there except for Led Zeplin. We even camped out behind Rainbow Tickets across from SMU over night to get tickets to see Heart. We were in high school at the time mind you and our parents knew we were there. What a different time that was! There is No Way I would let my kids do that now. Looking back, I think our parents were insane to let us!

3. I love to camp and I love to read. I love to sit out for hours by the fire and read or just be mesmorized by the fire. My 2 favorite fiction authors are Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. They both write Christian fiction dealing with spiritual warfare. Ted Dekker is very similar to Peretti. With our schedules we haven't been able to go camping in about a year. We hope to remedy that soon.

4. I tend to go on autopilot when I drive. I start heading a direction that is the way I always go and I sometimes end up not where I intended to go :) I think they may call that "sometimers disease". Sometimes you forget what you're doing and where you're going :)

5. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I got hit by a car trying to ride my bike across the street. (Which I wasn't suppose to be doing by the way.) It was a residential street so they weren't going very fast. The woman who hit me was more worried about the scratch on her car (I had a metal basket on the front of my bike!) than whether or not I was alright. So the mean streak in me was kind of glad I left a scratch. ;)

6. I have a weird (some would say psychotic) habit of scaring people. I have been known to hide out in my kids rooms in the dark, in their closets or under their covers and jump out at them and scare them to death. Chris tells me they are going to end up on Jerry Springer some day with a twitch. But they have caught on and are now passing on the tradition! :)

7. My first car was a beige Pacer. You remember the car, yes it looked like a bubble on wheels! But it did get me around! (here is a pic I found. It's not my car, but it is the same color!)

8. I married my high school sweetheart. We started dating when he was 14 and I was 15. Yes, I was a cradle robber. We dated all through high school and got married one year after Chris graduated while we were both 19. (We are 11 months apart. I turned 20 the month after we got married.) While we were both young, no we did not HAVE to get married. Our first child was born 4 years later and is now 21. We just recently celebrated our 25th anniversary.

Well, that was actually kind of fun thinking back on some of those things. Now, to follow the rules of tagging others, I tag Melanie (MommyWiggy), Shannon (Shannon's Scribbles), Danna (BandBMommy), Jenny (Malaya's Mommy), Terry (Chocolate Thunder), Tiersa (See Yourself as God sees you), Lynn (Lynn's Life) and Jana (Emma's Mommy). Maybe this will get a couple of you to update your blogs. :) Some of you lucked out because you've already been tagged!

Have fun and have a great rest of the week! And I'm with Neva, No Tag Backs!!!

Blessings!

Monday, August 06, 2007

So That in All Things God May Be Praised...

As I was doing some Bible study recently, I was reading in 1 Peter. In 1 Peter 4:7-11, it says,

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

As I read through that scripture a lot of things crossed my mind. I am no bible scholar and I don't claim to know the full meaning behind scripture, but I know that certain scriptures hit me in certain ways. It talks about being clear minded so you can pray. It brings to mind how many times my mind seems to be a jumbled mess when I am trying to pray; and it makes it hard to focus. There are times when you need to pray in the midst of a mess, but I wonder how much better my prayer life would be if I intentionally tried to clear the clutter before I began to pray? Taking in deeps breathes and releasing the days events before I begin to talk to God. I also think praying out loud or at least out loud in a whisper seems to help me keep my mind clear to pray. It helps me to focus more on the thoughts at hand and keeps my mind from straying. If our mind is more clear when we are praying, how much more so will our mind be clear to hear God's response?

"Love each other deeply, for love covers over a multitude of sins." How much more forgiving and tolerant would we be of others, if we truly loved each other deeply. When you love someone deeply, whoever they are, it's very hard not to forgive them. Love does cover a multitude of sins.

Another verse says offer hospitality without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others. I think we can sometimes be very selfish when it comes to serving. Me included. I know there are times to say no, I'm not talking about that. And I know that we serve. But how many times, even when we do serve do we first think about how it's going to infringe upon my time. I would rather go and do this or that. Someone else will do that, I really don't want to do that today. Without ever giving a thought to the blessing that service might be to someone else. That we might be the only friendly, compassionate, God like face they see that day. I know that every time I forgo those thoughts and serve someone unselfishly, I am the one that usually feels the greater blessing. The person being served is usually always very grateful, but there is just something about the blessing we receive in return.

Everything we do should reflect the word of the God, should reflect Jesus living in us. If we live like that, we are the ones that will be blessed. Have a great week!

so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Glory of God....and twenty five years

Jeremy got back from Honduras a few weeks ago. The picture on the header of my blog is a picture he took while he was in the air from the airplane. It's one of the most incredible pictures I've ever seen. When I look at that picture, it's like I'm looking at God in all of his brilliance. The clouds look like mountains, the sun shining through makes everything just illuminate, the sun overhead shines over the whole picture with a glowing brilliance. It reminds me of a song called "I See the Lord"

I see the Lord seated on the throne exalted,
and the train of His robe fills the temple with glory,
and the whole earth is filled with His glory.

When I look at that picture, that's what I see. It's like the train of His robe is filling the sky with His glory. God lives in us. When people look at us, do we look like the train of His robe has filled our temple with His glory? What would this world be like, if when people looked at us as Christians, they saw the glory of God illuminating through us with such brilliance? I dare say the world would be a much better place.

If God can make the sky light up with such brilliance, how much more brilliant is it going to be some day when we are truly standing surrounded by the train of His robe. It's going to be amazing! I can't wait!

(here is a larger picture. I had to shrink the header.)

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord
seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train
of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs,
each with six wings: With two wings they covered their
faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two
they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty:
the whole earth is full of his glory."

Isaiah 6:1-3

*************************************************

Today is also mine and Chris' 25th wedding anniversary! Twenty five years goes by so fast. For our anniversary, our garage door springs broke. So we get to replace those at probably around $200. There is always something!

I am so blessed to married to my best friend. He is my partner in life and my spiritual partner. There is no one I would rather spend my life with. We have had lots of incredible journey's along the way. I can't wait to see what the next 25 years holds. You are my love and my life. I love you Chris! Happy Anniversary!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Going Through the Motions

I generally feel like my life is going pretty good. I've got things pretty much together, I have a great family, I have great friends, I go to church regularly, I pretty much do all the right things. As I began my day yesterday, I realized that things weren't really what I had perceived them to be. They rarely are when you've got so many "I's" working for you. (or against you)

I got ready for church yesterday morning and I had a few extra minutes before leaving (a great feat in and of it self for me! because I'm not a morning person) so I opened my bible up to James and started to ready. I only had time to read for about 5 minutes before everyone was ready to go, but that 5 minutes was enough to bother me. There were a couple of phrases that seemed to just jump out and knock me back. "he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." And then, "unstable in all he does". I left for church thinking, why did those phrases pop out at me? I've got things together.

We got to class and had another great lesson, by Jim Kirk. He has an incredible way of teaching and making you feel like your watching a movie. He brings the stories we are discussing to life in remarkable ways. By the end of his class, I felt even more like I was being convicted in my heart. A couple of things he said to close class were, "Only when we realize we need cleansing, can we be cleansed." "Only when we reach the end of "our" way, we will turn to God and accept His way." It really hit me and I started thinking, "am I really trying to do everything my way?"

Then, on to worship. I looked at the song selection in the bulletin and thought, wow... that's a great list of songs. We got into our worship time and after the call to worship, the next song was "Breathe". I was thinking, oh I really like that song and we haven't sung it in a while. But then our worship minister, Chad Higgins, had us stop and breathe in deeply. He asked us to thing about what we picture God's glory to be and breathe that in deeply and then exhale, to continue to breathe the Glory of God in deeply and exhale and after several times of doing this, we began singing the song "Breathe". The song convicted me like never before. The lyrics are...

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me

And I, I'm desperate for you
And I, I'm lost without you

The part about God being the air that I breathe, started to hit me. Do I really allow Him to be the air that I breathe? And when we reached the words, "I'm desperate for you, I'm lost without you" I realized just how desperate I was. I realized in that moment that I let myself get caught up in the motions of being a child of God. I had let my spiritual life become routine. I had not been breathing in the air that is God and I truly was desperate for Him. I realized that the words in James I had read earlier that morning where the beginning of my conviction that morning. Because I realized I did feel like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind and I felt unstable in all I did. When we start having so many I's in our language, we lose sight of the fact that "I" am nothing without "Him".

I want God to always be the air that I breathe. There is no other air that is more refreshing!


the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and the man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7


God is the air that I breathe! Blessings!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Little Weekend Humor for Talking off Those Pounds!

There seems to be several of us trying to take off some of those unwanted pounds. It can be very hard to do and very hard to stay focused on your goal. Obviously keeping God at the center is the first step. But for those days when you feel like screaming, click here for a little something to make you smile!

(it may take a few seconds to load)

Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Looking to Ourselves for Change

As I was driving down the road the other day, I passed a church that had an interesting statement on their marquee. I can't remember what it said exactly, or even the name of the church in which I saw it. But the implication of the comment has stuck with me and caused me to think.

It said something like... Change in me what I see in others that I think needs to be changed.
It's one of those statements you have to read over and over a few times to really let it sink in. I started thinking about the times I see someone doing something and think they shouldn't be doing it, or they shouldn't be acting that way, or why on earth would you do something like that.

How many times do we say things like that. It's so easy to see in others the changes we think they need to make in themselves. Maybe it's so easy to see those things, because God is trying to show us those are things we need to change about ourselves. We are so blind or maybe so arrogant that we don't seem to be able to see as easily the things we need to change in our own lives or with the way we act in certain situations. I bet if we really stepped back and looked at ourselves, we would see lots of things we need to change.

What if, every time we wanted to make a comment about something in someone else we thought they needed to change, we just didn't. And we took that thought and applied it to ourselves and our own lives. Do you think we would begin to see that there are lots of things in our own lives we need to be working on? That there really isn't time for us to worry about the things everyone else needs to change if we focus those thoughts inwardly and apply them to ourselves? My grandmother had a saying, "You need to clean out from under your own doorstep before you start worrying about someone else's." And I imagine that if we started looking inwardly first, and things started to change in us, we would see far less wrong with those around us.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with
the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy
complete by being like-minded, having the same love,
being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish
ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better
than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your
own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:1-4


Blessings! And have a great week!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Medina Children's Home and Avery Johnson

On Saturday, June 30th, Chris and I were privileged to be a part of the annual benefit dinner benefiting the children of the Medina Children's Home. Avery Johnson was this year's guest speaker. He was awesome! But more on that later.

We were a part of the auction committee so we were there beginning at 9:30 at a.m. that day. It was a long day, but when you hear the stories of those children, it's all worth it! It is so cool to be a part of something that does so much for the kids at Medina. Between the silent auction and the live auction alone, $36,000 was raised for the children. (At the silent auction there was a really cool Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Poster with an inset autographed picture of Johnny Depp!! It went for way out of my price range...But Johnny Depp is another story!!:) That doesn't even include donations made that night, corporate donations and the 1300 seats that were sold!! It is truly amazing to see all of that go to these kids.

We have been privileged to help and attend for several years and it's always amazing to hear the stories of some of these kids and the struggles they have overcome. I cannot even imagine telling a child, "even God doesn't love you" as one girl who is now graduating from A&M was told by her mother before she arrived at Medina. It literally breaks your heart. And to see how far these kids have come because of a place like the Medina Children's Home is just amazing. Only a God who truly does love them very much could get them to where they are now. Praise God and praise God for the Medina Children's Home.

It was also a great privilege to hear Avery Johnson speak. Somehow, God graciously allowed us to sit at the 2nd table from the front! I don't know how that happened, but we are so grateful! What an incredible, Godly man Avery is. His story was amazing. He has overcome so many things to get to where he is and said that he realized, "If things don't change, things don't change". He gives God the credit and the praise for where he is in his life. I only wish he had more time to speak. Not only is his story very inspiring, he has such a gentle voice. He is known as "The Little General". But there is nothing little about him. He has a big heart, a big love for God and a big smile that can't help but make you smile also. A big thanks to Avery for giving his time to such a worthy cause.

May God continue to bless the Medina Children's Home and all the good work going on there.

Jesus said, "Let the little chidren come to me,
and do not hinder them,

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
Matthew 19:14

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Rain Continues...

The rain continues here in this part of Texas, as I'm sure it does in most of your areas as well. I have never seen so much rain in my life. It is raining here pretty much every day and has been for about a month. There are sporadic times of sun, but mostly rain.

I was driving home the other day and the sun was shining. All of sudden as I got closer to home everything turned dark and down came another torrential downpour. It lasted about 5 minutes and then stopped, but then more rain came later that day. The 4th here was great though. A few showers in the morning and then what turned out to be a gorgeous day outside with a great breeze. Probably one of the coolest 4th of July's I've ever experienced. It was spent with dear friends which just made it that much better!

As we are in mid summer, I find myself so busy. I usually think summer is when things slow down. But this summer has been busier than most. The other hard thing about summer is we are out of our usual routines. For me, that makes it harder to keep my focus, stay up with my studying, etc. I find myself falling into old patterns that I'm trying to correct.

As I was getting out of my car the other day in yet another rainstorm, I began thinking about how much rain we've had. It is so unusual. And then I started thinking about how I've been getting out of good habits and thinking of the world and all the worldly things that go on. As I watched and thought about the rain, a thought struck me. It's almost like God is trying to clean up the world some with all of the rain. I know that's not really why the rain is here, but it did start me to thinking.

It rains and rains and just when you think it's not going to rain anymore, then it starts again. Almost like God saying, ok... things are looking better now, wait... no, there they go again. We need more washing out of the old habits.

It really made me think about my life and making sure my good habits stay good and don't get lost in my busyness. It was like God was telling me, I've gotten her cleaned up to start fresh, again, oh... maybe not... there she goes again.

Although I know that Jesus' blood continually cleanses us, I don't want to feel like I'm in a state of needing to be washed continually because my focus doesn't stay where it needs to be. And I'm not talking about huge things... I'm talking about just letting every day life get in the way and letting myself resort to old habits of putting reading the word at the end of the day if I'm not too tired, rather than starting the day with it; being grouchy at someone who cuts me off in traffic rather than thinking, wow... they could really be having a bad day today; etc.

I love the fact that God's grace and Jesus' blood continually wash over me and keep pure in His eyes. But I don't want to make him feel like, Ok... start the showers, here she goes again. I thank God for the rain this Earth so desperately needed, but I'm praying for spiritual blue skies for the rest of the summer!

(On a side note, Jeremy left this morning for a mission trip to Honduras with the Highland Oaks youth. Please keep him and his group in your prayers.)

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-22

Friday, June 29, 2007

Weekend Randomness... Evolution of Dance

This is a great way to start off the weekend. The music alone brings back lots of memories. Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

And thanks for all the birthday wishes for Ashley! They were very sweet of you!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Twenty One years ago...

Twenty-one years ago today, at 9:41 p.m., after 18 and a half long hours of labor, Ashley Elizabeth Moore came into this world. It seems like yesterday. I can still remember every detail of the morning, day and night in which it all began. That's right, she is now 21 years old! I cannot believe it!

She has been a great blessing in my life over the last 21 years. Of course there have been times I wanted to strangle her, but those times are so easily forgotten when you look back over cherished memories. We have so loved watching her grow over the years. From a tiny baby (7 lbs. 4 oz) to a precious little girl who loved choc milk, to a wonderful big sister, to a beautiful Godly, Christian woman. She has the most beautiful smile. Her smile can change your mood instantly. It can also melt your heart. It has been so amazing to watch God developer her into the woman she has become. And sometimes when I get a little cynical about things, she's always there to set me straight. It's amazing when you start learning from your children.

We had so much fun over the years watching her play soccer, then softball and basketball and finally volleyball. Which is still her favorite sport. I couldn't believe it when she graduated high school and now she is about to begin her senior year at ACU. Where does the time go? Cherish every moment you have with your children. Even when the days are sometimes not so good. Because one day you blink, and they are grown women, about to take on the world.

My life would not be the same without her in it. She is not only my daughter; she has become my best friend. I feel like I can tell her anything and she never judges me. I have made so many mistakes throughout her 21 years, but thank goodness for God's grace and mercy who has covered over a multitude of mistakes. I give God glory for everything she is and for everything she will become. She is truly His child. I am just so fortunate and so thankful that He allowed me to be her mom. I love you Ashley! May God continue to bless your life and continue to mold you into the woman He wants you to be and to become. Happy 21st Birthday!!

I'll leave you with a few pictures from over her 21 years... Enjoy!

For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you. Colossians 3:8,9



Her 1st ball game...with many more to come!



The morning Jeremy was born. This was around 3:00 a.m.



The night before middle school volleyball tryouts!



High School volleyball game. They went to the playoffs for the
1st time in 17 years! They ended up Area Champs and
Regional Quarterfinalist.


Senior Volleyball Picture



Senior Picture





















Some things never change!!!!




Officially Twenty-One!!



Ashley & Jeremy



Ashley & Warren
We found fireworks on her 21st birthday
and celebrated with some really good friends!!
How cool is that!!


Blessings Everyone... Have a great week!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ok God...I'm Listening...

I spent this past week in Abilene with Ashley. She was moving from an apartment to a house with 2 other girls for her senior year at ACU. I can't believe she's a senior! We had a great time together. In fact, I think it was our first actual "grown up" time together if that makes sense. I think we have crossed over to that adult relationship between mother and daughter. We didn't argue once and just had a really great time hanging out. And have I said before I miss having her home this summer?? :)

During the moving process, I think everything that could go wrong went wrong as far as utilities go. The electricity was suppose to be activated in their name on Monday last week. While Ashley and I were in the house on Monday, the electricity all of sudden went off. I saw someone walking around outside so I went out to talk to him. He was very reluctant to talk to me, but said he did not have an order for electricity to be turned on at that address. And of course he was there turning it off because the previous tenants had not paid the bill. (Normally, at least around here, they don't actually turn it off when someone moves. They just read the meter and change the name on the account.) We called the electric company and of course they had no record of anyone calling to have it turned on even though they had been called the previous Monday, a whole 7 days earlier. So, no electricity until Wednesday afternoon. We moved for 3 days in 95 degree weather with no air. What did we ever do without air conditioning! Fortunately, we had her apartment until Tuesday night so we slept there. And Tuesday night some dear friends who live in Abilene let us crash on their couch.

On Tuesday, the cable and internet was suppose to be hooked up. I called them on Monday evening to warn them we had no electricity and the person said, "Oh it's ok, they can still hook it up and that way it will be on when your electricity comes on". So they came out Tuesday and lo and behold, they are not allowed to leave equipment there with no electricity. Big Surprise! I told them about my call the previous day and he called his supervisor. They gave us the direct phone # to the supervisor and told us as soon as it gets turned on, to call him and they would try to send someone out. When the electricity finally came on Wednesday, I called and they had someone out within an hour an a half. So that was great! After he hooked everything up, he was explaining all the equipment and I asked him a question about the DVR (tivo) they were suppose to have..."Oh, you ordered a DVR? They didn't tell me that. This is just a regular cable box." Fortunately he was able to locate one quickly and came back out later that afternoon and switched the boxes out. Our best experience of the week with utilities!

Now with electricity on we began to wash clothes. I noticed after about 3 loads there didn't seem to be any hot water. I thought it going to be hard for 3 girls to shower every day if the hot water doesn't last any longer than that. We left a little while later and went to eat. Ashley had to work that night so I ran some errands. It had been about 4 hours since I had washed clothes when I finally got back. There was still no hot water. I told Ashley to call the landlord because the pilot light must out. They sent out a plumber the next day and guess what... you guessed it, the gas had been cut off because the previous tenant had not paid the gas bill either. After I headed home on Friday the gas company came out and turned on the gas but couldn't find the hot water heater to light the pilot light. And of course they didn't show up until around 8:00 p.m. so it was to late to get a plumber over there. So hopefully tomorrow they will finally have gas...and hot water!

Needless to say it was an interesting week where the utilities were concerned. As many of you know who have read previous posts, I tend to like to be in control. (no duhs here please :) I try really hard to let it go, but lately I have noticed myself having more trouble in that area. This week, it was like God was slapping me up beside my head, saying back off, you CAN'T be in control. I think I finally realized that on my drive home. I started replaying things from the week over in my head and it was like, Ok God, I'm Listening... finally. And as if to reiterate it, all the way home, things kept happening or I kept noticing things that were just one more subtle hint after another. I was flipping radio stations on the way home trying to stay awake. I don't usually listen to country but happened to stop for a few seconds on a country station. The song had just gotten to the chorus which said, "I'm living life in fast forward, I need to rewind real slow". I thought, how many times am I just rushing from one thing to the next and not enjoying things along the way?

Then, when I was about 30 minutes from home, the traffic suddenly came to a stop do to an accident. It was like God was saying, "I'm really not kidding, you aren't in charge". Don't you just love that God has a sense of humor! Fortunately it broke up in about 10 minutes and I continued on. Then I saw a billboard that had paper dolls cut out on it. I don't even know what it was advertising. I noticed that at the front there was one cut off from the rest of the group standing by itself. My thought was, I am cutting myself off from what God wants me connected to by continuing to take control of things I really can't control.

It's really kind of scary. It's obvious that I haven't given up control as much as I thought I had and that God is trying to get my attention. That's always a scary thing, because I know God is leading me somewhere and He wants me to just let Him lead. So once again I'm trying to turn that over to Him.

All in all, it was a great week! I got to spend the entire week with my daughter and that is always one of the great blessings in my life. She will be home on Thursday for a little over a week. I can't wait!

On a side note, Tim Spivey, our minister, is taking a few weeks off and we had the privilege of having Wade Hodges from the Garnett Church in Tulsa, OK speak today. It was great to get to hear him again. He had a great message on "Moving Up From the Back Row" taken from the passage about the Ethiopian Eunuch.

I hope everyone has a blessed week!

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:26-28

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

Friday, June 08, 2007

Weekend Randomness

Here's a little humor to start off the weekend! Go ahead... ask your husband for anything!! :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Keeping Your Focus

The weather lately (in between the rain :) , has been great for motorcycle riding. Lots of sun and just great to be outdoors and feel the wind in your face. While I was riding the other day, I realized something that is very different from when I am driving in the truck (or the cage as another motorcycle friend likes to put it! :) It's my focus. It's almost completely different.

When I am driving in the truck, if I'm going to be gone for a while, I don't like to listen to the radio much. I love listening to music, but I have grown to love those times as quiet times. I like to reflect on things going on in our life. I sometimes use that time to pray specific prayers or just talk to God about everything going on. It is a quiet time and a restful time. I sometimes get so caught up in just thinking or contemplating that I sort of go on autopilot and sometimes either forget where I'm going or just end up some place different as I'm sure my family would love to attest to. :)

When I was on the motorcycle the other day, I realized that I don't do that on the motorcycle. When I'm on the motorcycle I am completely and totally focused on what's going on all around me. (Which is a very good thing if you have read the previous post about me being an idiot driver magnet!) Anticipating the moves of others and keeping my focus completely and totally on the bike and being safe. You sometimes get lost in the ride, but you never lose your focus.

It made me realize, if I can be that focused while riding, why is it so hard to stay focused on other things in my life? How is it that I can get so distracted while studying my bible, while praying, while doing any number of other things spiritual or otherwise? What if I was able to channel that type of focus into every aspect of my spiritual life?

If I were to focus my spiritual life in the same way that I focus while riding on the bike, wow, how much better life would be. Not that I necessarily feel like my spiritual life is in a bad place, but I know that I am way too easily distracted. What things do we all focus on? I'm sure it may be different for everyone. I'm going to try and be more intentional about making sure my spiritual life, is just as focused as my motorcycle riding. I can't wait for the ride God is ready is take me on!

But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge - do not give me over to death. Psalm 141:8

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Noticing Nature

We went to Abilene this past weekend to spend some time with Ashley. She is taking a Maymester and has decided to stay in Abilene for the summer. I miss her not being home this summer so it was great to get to spend some time with her. While we were there, Ashley got to meet Jeremy's newest pet, Zeus. He has wanted one forever and now that he is older, I finally gave in. Ashley was not to happy to see him though! Especially since Jeremy was chasing her around to me him!




Ashley & Jeremy at Prairie Dog Town in Abilene.





Jeremy and his new pet, Zeus!
(And no, I have not held it! I've touched it, but not held it :)


While we were in Abilene we ate at a place called "Brick Oven Pizza". It's over by Hobby Lobby. Even though Ashley has been there for 3 years, it was the 1st time we had ever eaten there. It may be fairly new, I'm not sure. Anyway, the pizza was probably some of the best pizza I have ever eaten. If you're in Abilene, you should definitely check it out.

The weekend was great and the weather was beautiful in Abilene. Blue skies and sunshine the whole weekend. Completely opposite from what we heard the Dallas area had been over the weekend.

As much as I hate the 3 hours it takes to get to Abilene, I love the view during the drive. Most people think it's a really boring drive. And it probably is, there really isn't much to see on the way. But the closer you get to Abilene the more of God's country you get to see. Lot's of trees, less buildings and during the spring the wonderful beauty of the Texas Wildflowers lining the highway. I enjoy the scenery of the drive.

As we made our way back to Mesquite on Sunday afternoon it was getting dark and we were headed into rain. We hit some pretty heavy rain, but also some times of sun. What I noticed coming back were the clouds. They were really amazing. I have always been fascinated by clouds and their ability to do what they do. Some of the clouds were flat, some were huge with dark bottoms and you knew the rain could just drop at any minute and some were just huge, puffy, beautiful clouds. I've often wondered if those huge puffy clouds could hold us up. If we could just jump and bounce on them or lay down and get lost in the cushyness of them.

I remember as a child driving and looking at clouds or just laying in the yard looking at the clouds and discovering what images they looked like. Sometimes they looked like animals or dragons, sometimes like angels. I still enjoy looking for "things" in the clouds. How can anyone look at clouds and then believe there is no God? That's what I love about clouds and nature in general. God is everywhere! No one but God could make clouds just float around in the sky. Especially the ones with rain in the them, you know they must weigh an enormous amount.

The most beautiful thing was the sky underneath the clouds. It was so many different shades of bright blues it was just amazing! Like I said, God is everywhere in nature. The sad thing was, the closer we got to home and the closer we got to the city, those blues began to fade and were not as bright. Our cities have covered up some of the most beautiful things that God created. I think it's like that for us sometimes. It's really easy to be all caught up in God when we are surrounded by His beauty. But when we get "closer to the city" does our love for God fade as we get busy with all the "things" around us?

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. Philippians 2:14-16

May we all shine like the stars in the heavens.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Catching Up...

It's been a while since I've blogged. The past 4 weeks have been extremely busy. I haven't had time to even read blogs, much less write one of my own. It has been really hard not having time to especially read blogs. I enjoy doing that so much. School is out now though and I hope to catch up on my reading and hopefully post a little more often.

Well, I'll catch you up on what we've been up to lately. It started about the 2nd week of April with Jeremy's prom. Yes, Jeremy is old enough to be going to prom. Soooo hard to believe! In fact, he is now officially a senior in high school! Ashley is now officially a senior at ACU! Where does the time go. Here are a couple of pictures from prom that night.


Ashley & Jeremy


Jeremy & Warren (Warren was standing on the down slope of a hill. He's not "that" much shorter than Jeremy :) Actually, he might be :)


Warren & Ashley

A couple of weeks after prom, Chris and I went with Jeremy's choir from high school (70 kids!!) on their choir trip for 5 days. We went to Branson and St. Louis. The trip was a lot of fun, the bus driver was a psycho (a story in and of itself :), but all in all a fun trip. Of course by the time we got back we were exhausted. We went non stop for 5 days from 7:30 in the morning until 11:00 at night. On the way back, a nine hour drive, we had 3 freshman girls sitting behind us, who did nothing but shriek and carry on for 9 solid hours! No joke, they NEVER slept for even 1 minute the entire 9 hours back. Believe me, I was so ready to get off of that bus :)

Then we had the opening of the new Highland Oaks auditorium which is just amazing! Jeremy's choir banquet was the next week (he was elected the new choir president for next year by the students and was also named a senior leader for next year by the faculty). The same week he also had 2 choir performances. In one of the performances he sang a solo of "Casting Crowns" Lifesong. He put together clips from the "Passion of the Christ" to be playing while he was singing. He did an amazing job! The next week was my 4 year old class's preschool graduation. Obviously, it's been a busy several weeks. It's been a good busy, but I'm sure glad it's summer!

Ashley is staying in Abilene this summer and working :( It's the first summer she hasn't been home for the whole summer so that is sad for me. That's always our time to hang out together. Although someone else is taking up a lot of her time now a days. You might have noticed the guy in the pictures from Jeremy's prom with him and Ashley. That is Ashley's boyfriend (yes I said it, boyfriend) Warren. He is a really sweet guy and we really like him a lot. He is the youth minister in Clifton, TX. He graduated last year from ACU and he and Ashley met working together at the Abilene newspaper. They started dating this past February. He spends a lot of time driving back and forth from Clifton to Abilene.

Summer is almost here and it promises to be busy as well, but with no school it will be a lot more manageable. Jeremy is going to Encounter at LCU the 1st of June, to Honduras the 1st of July, then to choir camp the very next week, the week after that will be Summer Bible Quest (VBS) at Highland Oaks, then at the end of July Chris and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and in August Ashley and I are going to see Celine Dion in Las Vegas!

Well, I guess that's about it. I had told several people after Jeremy's performance in Beauty and the Beast back in January I was going to try and post a video. I think we've finally figured it out. So I will close with a couple of videos from Beauty and the Beast and also his solo of "Lifesong". Have a great week!

P.S. Even though there is sometimes no picture on the YouTube screen, it still works. Just click on the YouTube image.