Monday, April 30, 2007

Today in Pictures

We set out today to get some promotional pictures done. It wasn't great weather but still not too bad. What I know about the two of us is...we are goofy. My camera's battery died after only 9 shots. I should have checked that before we left. We captured these I think they will work for what we need.


Okay, so my lovely wife has brought you up to date for the most part on what is going on in our lives. It has been some kind of week. It is crazy how much can change in 1 week. The one thing great about it is we see God's hand in it. I totally feel like Abram (Abraham) right now when God called him away without telling him where he was going.

I read a book recently by Erwin McManus called, The Barbarian Way. Throughout the book there was this really cool artwork that involved some rhinos. I kept wondering what it represented or if he just had a thing for rhinos. Towards the end of the book I received my answer.

He discussed the names of groups of various animals. For example, a group of whales is a pod. A group of vultures is a committee (interesting). And a group of rhinos is a crash. Rhinos can run very fast, especially for their size. When they get together they run full speed ahead. The only thing is that they can only see 30 ft. in front of them. So they run full speed not having a clue at what lies ahead. You may see where the name crash would then come into play.

As I was allowing my mind to wonder in thought it was like God said to me, "Here's your chance to be rhino!" We have no clue what lies ahead. Come August we have no idea where we will be living or what exactly we will be doing. All I know is that God is calling us to trust Him and run full speed ahead. May we crash into His perfect will for our lives.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

To a place?

Genesis 12:1&4
Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your fathers house, to a land which I will show you"...So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him.

This is the place where we are. Today we told our students that we are going to pursue this dream of speaking. It was not quite the time table that we were looking for but God's ways are not our ways. He determines our steps.

We will serve in our current position until the end of July and then the next couple will take over.

There are a lot of questions that we do not have answers to. It is scary yet it is exciting. I love exciting. I love adventures and this is sure to be one. There is a fight raging in the pit of my stomach over fear and faith.

At this point we are seeking a position with a student organization. We will see where God leads us. If you are a student organization and you want us by all means let us know. If it were only that easy.

This blog was created for this specific journey. To all my blog friends...I know that this is not the funny stuff you are looking for...sorry. I will be back with hopefully funny stuff later.

Sight Faith?

Streams in the desert is a daily read for me. This morning was one to behold in our present minutes. I love God and how he reveals himself.

He woke me up with something to share.

The story was about Elijah and his regularness except for the way that he prayed. This is a story of faith and sight-faith cutting itself off from everything except God, with sight that looks and yet sees nothing. Yes, in spite of utterly hopeless results received from sight, this is a story of faith that continues "praying in prayer."

Praying in prayer. Good stuff.

Believing God.

Friday, April 27, 2007

God Happened!

Whirlwind. That would be a good way to describe this week. A lot of change has happened and it is soon to be revealed. Soon enough I promise you will be in the know. I said this to bring in a very cool thing that happened on Wednesday.

God happened.

It was so good. He came in the form of crazy youth pastor guys. We shared with the Abilene Youth Coalition the "news" that we have. They got up from their seats circled around us and prayed. PRAYED. They laid their hands on us and one guy even knelt down and held onto Ernest's feet. In this group of men and women there is no pride for who is better or who is more liked. It about being there for one another and also for our common goal of reaching youth for God. Love was poured out.

They spoke words over us and to us. There was a point, when Craig was sharing to Ernest something that he felt God was speaking to him, that I looked at Ernest and saw his emotion overwhelm. We needed this. We needed God in the flesh and he sent these men and women to be there.

One thing we are sure of is we want to be in the presence of God. Always. We will be crazy in honor of him. We will follow him when others may think we are crazy.

It is all about him.

He is the orchestrator of all. I trust him.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What will the other moms think?

The girl needs me to send in a recipe for a project that she is doing at school. She has reminded me a little over one hundred times today. To top it all off she requested that I send the recipe for my famous sugar cookies. Really? Out of all the wonderful meals I serve this is the one you want. I aim to please so I typed out this secret recipe.

I am almost positive this is for a mother's day recipe book. Once again I say...what will the other mothers think? Honesty has always been a strong point for me so I press on.

For your viewing pleasure I have posted my recipe below. You should try it at once.

Mom’s Famous Sugar Cookies

1. Get in car and drive to local grocery store
2. Get a cart and proceed to refrigerated section
3. Search high and low until you find the main ingredient
Pillsbury break-and-bake sugar cookies
4. Walk to cashier and make the purchase
5. Drive home
6. Walk into the kitchen
7. Follow directions on the back of the wrapper
8. Don’t forget to keep the box top
9. When done put on dryer rack and let the smell overwhelm the house
10. Let the family enjoy “mom’s” famous cookies

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dirty Dancing

Sing it with me. "I've had the time of my life and I owe it all to you..." This song came on the radio this afternoon. It took me back to a place so distant it seemed unreal. When the movie Dirty Dancing came out I was in junior high. Everywhere I went people told me that I looked just like Jennifer Grey. It got to the point that I had a major distaste for those words. I did not really know what she looked like. I was not allowed to see the movie. Oh, I wanted to. I wanted to know who all these people were comparing me to.

One out of the ordinary day my sister-in-law allowed me to watch the movie. She sympathized with my pain and decided I could view this movie. I remember sitting really close to the TV screen taking in every expression that "Baby" made. Do I look like her? Why does everyone think I look like her?

She was the one that can we just say not the pretty one. I wanted to be the pretty dancer girl. Why couldn't I look like her? Looking back I did resemble "Baby" a lot. I had the short curly hair, sleek eyes, and a big nose. I will never forget the first day of freshmen year when Jason Cato said "Wow...your face finally grew into your noise." Ouch. To be honest I feel bad that I am even writing these words. Jennifer, if you somehow read this, I am sorry. I too had a big nose. I sympathize.

Back to reality. I began to think on how I worried over looking like "Baby"...some moments it really bothered me. Then my thoughts moved over my current life. Who am I worried that I look like?

A sweet familiar voice spoke over me. You are grown now. Not that girl. The worry is not about who you don't want to look like but it is in the WHO you do want to look like. You desire to look like me. Don't worry I know that. Truth is I needed to hear that.

He loves me even with my big nose. He loves me now and he loved me then.

Not only me but you too...

It would be stunning to be in a random aisle at the grocery store when someone would approach and say...You know who you look like...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Having fun with the kids

Inspired to go green

I have been inspired. If you want to read what has so greatly moved me you can read here and here.

Baby steps to going green. I have been a little convicted to do more for the environment. I will just admit right now that I do not recycle. I hear the gasps. My head is hanging in shame. No worries...I plan to start.

Today while driving to the grocery store the conviction hit strong. I remembered about the plastic shopping bags and what I could do. I did it. I bought some reusable totes to put groceries in. Let me tell you it was so much easier. I bought a good amount of groceries and then proceeded to the self checkout. I didn't want to bother the cashier with my long story of why I didn't want her to fill the plastic bags. As I was leaving the lady at the front stopped me and asked what I was doing. She thought I was stealing or something. I produced my receipt and she carefully looked over it and then let me go. Her words..."This is different, you know."

Here is where is gets good. (Can I say that?) It was a lot quicker putting the groceries in the car and also bringing them into the house. I didn't have 100 plastic bags to empty. It was just much simpler. I will be doing this from now on.

I purchased 2 collapsible containers at Wal-mart for 4.97 each. It felt good.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tired? What do you think?

I don't know what is wrong with me. I am in a weird mood. I need to laugh but it is just not there. A good conversation that is what I need. The only problem with that is I have no idea what to talk about. Do you ever feel like you are full of emotion but have no idea what the exact emotion is?

There is so much on my mind. My brain is going to explode due to massive thinking.

Website. We need a good one. Scratch that...we need a GREAT one.
Adoption. My heart is there the answer is not.
Grammar. I stink at it. Yes, I know that I do. I want to be better. Can I help it if I like the way certain punctuation looks?
Future. All I can say is...SCARY.
Dreams. Are they too big?
Photography. Could I pursue this as a small side thing?
Friends. I want some that live close.
Toothache. I need to get dental insurance or just plain go to the dentist.
Wedding cake. I could really use some right now.

You think those are random on.

The view. What would it be like to host the view? Would Rosie eat me alive? Yes! Elisabeth seems so fun. We could be friends.

What will I look like when I get old? Wrinkles?

I still wonder if I would be happy being a L&D nurse or a decorator or teacher or something else.

These thoughts have been devouring me. This week I had the opportunity to drive alone to San Antonio and back. A lot of thinking happened. I am tired and weak. I need to get alone with my Father.

Friday, April 20, 2007

As Yourself

This is something that I recently wrote in my devo blog. I thought since I haven't been able to post, I would post this. Read and Enjoy.

Matthew 22:37-39

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

I have read this verse many times yet the other night something struck me afresh. To love God then Love people, that is what we teach. It is right. It is pure. I do believe that is the way to be Jesus to those around us. I know that the love has to come from God because let's just be honest do we really desire to love others. Especially others we don't know or even worse others that we don't like.

Here is where something jumped out as fresh. We are suppose to love our neighbor (others) the way that we love ourselves. Something occurred to me. What if we don't love ourselves? What if that is the biggest struggle in our daily life? It is more than true. If we have yet to love ourselves through the beauty of God's eyes then we cannot love another. We love ourselves when we are secure in the love from our heavenly father. When we learn him and see that what he made it good.

Here is what my brain has been throwing around. If I am secure in the Love of God...If I am secure in the Love of my Father God. Then I am free to love my friend. I can love her unconditionally because I am secure and I do not NEED her love back. I can stop searching for something to complete me. Guess what? It can stop being about me. It is all about My love for God and showing his love to her.

This may be nothing new to you. At this moment it is huge to me. I can dance in the love of my daddy God and be FREE to love. I know that to love others is hard. Do you see love for others evident in your life? I think it is a direct mark on us showing our love for our God.

I don't know about you, I want to love him much. More and more each day.

If you find yourself in the place of little love for yourself. Go to God. Ask him to reveal his love to you. Ask him to make himself huge in your life. Grab a bible, a Christian friend, and or your parent. Reach out. Run to HIM. He wants you to know him. I will go even farther to say, He wants you to see yourself the way that he does. Message me and I will pray for you.

How can we change the world? By giving out his LOVE.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Taste the Rainbow

Picture It:
A family of four is sitting in the mall food court having some dip and dots ice cream and a few laughs. Here is a peek into our family conversation.

Boy: Eating Rainbow Dip and dots shares a taste with his sister.
Sister: Mmmm...that really does taste like a rainbow! (With much glee)
Mom: (curiously) How do you know what a rainbow tastes like?
Sister: DUH!,Mom. (with a sly smile) Skittles!...You know taste the Rainbow.
All Four: Laughter Erupts

They bring such joy to my heart.

Do you have any cute stories you would like to share? I would love to hear.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Beautiful Faith

In case you haven't heard. Heather over at Especially Heather has been diagnosed with some hard health issues. She is a believer and is working through them with beauty. I believe it has been 8 days since she found out. Boomama is having a fundraiser for Heather. I encourage you to participate. She is asking for donations no smaller than $1. You should go visit Heather's site. She is an amazing picture of faith beauty. Many tears have been shed on their laptops this week over the hurt of this sweet lady.

Monday, April 16, 2007

T-shirts + Numbers= COOL

To have a boy in the house. Noise. Joyful noise. There are many things I love about my boy. One thing for sure is his clothing choice. You will usually find him wearing some sort of T-shirt with a giant number on the back. He feels so cool in his team shirt. My boy is also the one wearing underarmour to school. Who am I to tell him that his ribs are sticking out of his small frame. If I told him, I doubt that he would care.

Friday was our first baseball game of the season. My boy had a great night. He was four for four. For those of you who don't know what that means. No worries. I will share my new found knowledge. He was up to bat 4 times and got on base 4 times. Our team ended with a score of 3 and yep our boy scored all 3 runs.

Tonight was the second game. We are 4 games behind everyone else due to weather complications. We were hoping for another awesome game. It was not so. The boy struck out 3 times. Yesterday I took him to the field for batting practice and for some reason he missed a lot of balls. In short he lost his confidence. I am sad for him. Needless to say, after the game, the coach (Ernest) kept him late. After a good pep talk from dad he was able to shake his feelings and hit. Phew. I hope he can do that tomorrow. I just cannot handle him leaving the plate with a long face. I am all about smiles.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bathing Suit?

This is beginning to be a real fiasco. I cannot find a suit that I love. I like the ones that reside in my bottom drawer. I like some that I have seen in the many stores I have browsed. But it is true love that I am looking for. Does anyone share my feeling?

I decided to cruise the web in search of love and I found some great options. After sharing my fun news with Ernest we decided that I needed to look a little farther. The ones that twinkled my eye cost far more than a pretty penny. Why do these little things cost so much? I found one that could very possibly be the love of my bathing suit life but the tag brought me back to reality. Together it would cost $160! That is more than I paid for my CHI iron. I am just not willing to pay that much.

What are your thoughts on suits? Am I the only woman out there who needs to feel love for her bathing suit?

This would be a great time to stop and comment. I know you come and visit me so stop by and say Hi.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


My heart is flooded with emotion. Tonight at our youth service Ernest preached about how a warrior finds his assignment. We have been going over "war" issues getting our students prepared to invade Abilene with Christ. In one part of the service Ernest used a video by Rod Bell titled dust. In watching this video, I felt like God himself was teaching directly to my heart. If you want to see a clip you can click here.

The dust comes in this way. In bible times when a Talmid (disciple) would follow their Rabbi (teacher) it was said that they would be covered in dust. The dust of their Rabbi. Do you get it? They were following so close to every move that the actual dust from his movement would dispense on them. To follow that close...

Another thought from tonight:
What is the difference between a soldier and a civilian? Right now, at this very moment, there are soldiers fighting in a war for freedom. Right now, at this very moment, I am a civilian relaxing on my couch. In the spiritual war am I a soldier or a civilian? It is scary to step out on to the battle zone. Just like Peter stepped out of the boat we must remove ourselves from the couch put the battle gear on and report for duty.

There is so much that I want to share with you. At this time I cannot. To be honest, I do not even know all of what is about to take place. It is a scary moment. God you are so in control and I am good with that. Amaze me, Lord. I beg to stay close to you. I desire nothing more than to be covered in the dust kicked up by your heels.

Here I am reporting for duty...

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Best Friday Night

It was the best Friday night ever. My friend Kerrie had talked me into going to wait for her boyfriend, Cody, to come out of the field house. A lot of girls waited at the field house for their boyfriends so it seemed like no big deal. Here I was dressed in my drill team warm-ups with field make-up that could wound the weak eyed. I knew I was really there to see Ernest. We had been talking for a while but I was just now truly interested in this guy. Cody and Ernest were best friends so it was a sure bet they would come out together. It seemed like we waited forever. I have no idea what Kerrie and I talked about to pass the time. I do however remember sitting past all the other girls who had got there earlier than we did. There was one girl in particular that I noticed...Ernest's ex-girlfriend. It was a rumor that she wanted to get back together with him so my heart began to wonder if he would stop and talk to her and if so will he even notice that I am sitting back here (not waiting for him...yea right).

I had never watched someone so intently. There they came. Ernest and Cody were walking towards this large group. They were talking and laughing. It seemed as though they had not a care in the world. Friday nights for football players was just short of heaven. The moment was approaching. He walked right past her as if he didn't even know she was there. I can still feel the smile in my face. Soon enough they reached us and without saying a word Ernest scooped me up over his shoulder and carried me off to the parking lot. In that moment I was chosen. That is a feeling I will remember for the rest of my days. I have no clue what the football score was. I don't remember him putting me down or even talking that night. None of that stuff mattered to me. I was happy and full. That night went down in my memory as one of the best nights ever.

Why? It was because I was chosen and it was done in a big way.

Here's my spin.

You may be sitting cross legged in a field of other girls. They are beautiful, talented, funny, and in your mind more than you could ever be. It may feel like your day to be chosen will never come. Picture yourself there. The love of your life comes out and he is searching for his beloved. He not only stops at you but he scoops you up in his big strong arms and declares you as His very own. The truth is you have already been chosen. The search can be over. Jesus desires to be your one true love. He is waiting in that place wanting to scoop you up and lavish his love on you. He wants to fill your heart with the warmness of forever. His love is true. He sees you and he knows your hurts. Let him come to your rescue. Call out to him. Ask him to scoop you up and ask that you would be able to feel his arms around you. His is a love like no other...nothing can compare. Keep your eyes fixed on him. There he is walking towards you. Do you see him?

He loves you...

He chooses you...

This particular post is originally from my devo blog for girls. This is a snippet of what I shared while in Mississippi and felt lead to now share it with you. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Just as you say...

"He is not here; He has risen, just as He said."
Matthew 28:6

I love this verse. It speaks truth. He is not here and it happened just like he said it would.

Just as he said. When will the the depth of my heart understand this. I trust him. I love him. I have found that his words roll in my head and if I am not careful the evil one can take them captive and withhold them from me. He will always do everything JUST AS HE SAID he would. Always. I stress over this mostly when my future is in the mix. The words that have been spoken to my heart will be, why, because he said so.

I am scared to believe him for the dreams of my heart. I talk with girls about this to no end. Yet I find myself here.

I know you are the ultimate dream giver. I choose to believe you and follow you. You will live out things just as you said. I am here for the ride.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Beautiful Egg

Thank you, Martha Stewart, for this great idea. The kids had a great time decorating these eggs. They are beautiful and different than anything we have ever done. They were so easy. Try it and let me know how it goes. Here is what you would need for this project: old ties, white vinegar, old white sheet or muslin, and twist ties. We used some of Ernest's better ties since he does not have to wear them to church anymore. I think he felt kind of liberated.

I feel like I should be writing something very profound about Easter. Sorry...maybe tomorrow.

One Snowy Spring Day

Such a strange happening. Snow. I love it. I wanted to share some pictures of our fun day. It was pretty normal all expect we had some errands to run and we did that in our new drive. It is so pretty and so much of a blessing. I have a car that runs people...and this one has leather seats. The last car purchase we made was 9 years ago. We have faithfully been driving the Toyota for all this time. We are so thankful to you Corolla. We are also thankful that you will continue to be our second "around this town" car. Ernest traded in his beloved truck, after much prayer! It has been due for expensive work and we thought it would be smarter to trade it and collect our pennies.

Good days. Priceless.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Baseball Caps and Peanut Shells

I love the sight of this. Our (their) beloved Astros are back in season. The TV will be tuned in to the game until the end of their season. I like the Astros. I like baseball. I just don't want to watch it all the time. My boys do. As soon as the boy stepped out of the shower he ran to the kitchen pantry got the (baseball) peanuts and his ball cap and happily joined dad on the couch. As I was walking down from the loft I saw them together. I had to run back and grab the camera to get this shot. I will watch the Astros for the rest of my days if it will bring back this view.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The sun rises and then it sets

How fitting was it that on the plane ride back to Abilene the sun was just setting...

God's romance never ceases to amaze me!

Separated to Serve

The tag line at the Bible college where we went reads like this, "Enter to Learn, Separated to Serve", it couldn't be more true.

This weekend I was privileged to spend some time with people that I have served with in the past, not present, but the ever distant past. I miss them to say the least.

In one place it seemed that all areas of ministry past were present. It is hard to wrap my brain around it. My former youth pastor's wife and dear friend, Laurel, A friend that I worked on staff with in Springfield, Kim, and Marice who just recently left our ministry here in Abilene to start a church with her husband. Life collided and God brought forth a harvest.

In coming home from this trip I feel more grown.

I was talking with Laurel and the flow of conversation was so easy. When I left Houston, Texas and Cornerstone Baptist Church, I thought my life would change. I did not know that it would change to this extent. I think back to those days and my faith was just sprouting. I would have been so overwhelmed if God showed me the picture of life now, without all the people that I loved so much. I fear that if I could only have seen a picture I could not have followed through. It was a process I had to learn step by step. Today Laurel is a Pastor's wife in Alabama. I watched as her ladies loved on her with tears streaming down my face. She is in God's will and so am I...separated to serve. Our loss for his greater good. She sent me an e-mail this morning and said that in Heaven our mansions will be next door and our windows will be open so we can chat all day. That would be great fun.

Working and going to school in Springfield was a great time in life. It had great ups and great downs. We learned so much working on staff for the first time. The fact that someone even wanted to hire us was just beyond our imagination. God is good. Seeing Kim and her sweet daughter Jordan brought back all those first years. Jordan was in our junior high youth and now she is a college freshmen. She is a beautiful young lady.

Marcie, is reading this, so I don't want to be too mushy. She just left Abilene a few months ago, 3 to be exact. I miss her daily. I am learning to do life without her around. She was my shopping buddy and after church communication (our husbands usually lock up the buildings). I watched her and her husband, Sean, in their church on Sunday and as they were doing their thing I realized...separated to serve. How my heart misses that crazy girl.

God's way is beautiful and so mysterious. He called us each to do something different and even in different places and to different people. I will even go as far as to say with different kinds of music. But he does it so that He, himself, will be shown to all the world. In God's plan there are time when we have to separate to follow Him. To leave everything else behind and go to a place... It hurts but it is good.

It was good to see old friends. I had been asking God to bring some girlfriends my way and he did. I even found humor in one way he answered that prayer. Every time I would pray it I would find myself getting all kinds of friend requests on myspace...He thinks he is so funny. okay so he is.

Thank you Lord for this weekend with friends. As Sharon Hoffman, said to me, "Sweetie, I think we learn more on these trips than we teach." God was good to me and taught me new things moment by moment.

Me with Laurel

What an honor to be pictured with these other speakers